NO BURNING – Wise County is in a full burn ban effective immediately. All burning is prohibited for the next seven days. County Judge Bill McElhaney signed a disaster declaration at Monday’s special commissioners meeting at the recommendation of Fire Marshal Marc Dodd. “Normally (at night) the humidity goes up and vegetation absorbs that moisture, and we haven’t had that in weeks,” Dodd said. “Fires that should be five-acre fires are [becoming] 100-acre fires. If there’s a 10 or 15 mph gust, (the fire) just takes off on (the firefighters) because the fuel is so dry.” Commissioners will reconsider the ban at their regular meeting Monday, Aug. 15.
DRILLING SITE INJURY – An oil field worker at a drilling site received helicopter transport to a Fort Worth hospital after a piece of equipment fell 10 to 15 feet down onto his head Monday afternoon. The injury was reported at about 3:30 p.m. It occurred at a ConocoPhillips site located just off Farm Road 2264, four miles east of U.S. 81/287. The extent of the injuries are unknown.
BUDGET TALKS – County commissioners will have a budget workshop at 10 this morning at the sheriff’s office conference room. Several elected officials and department heads are expected to address commissioners in the afternoon session, which begins at 1:30. Visit www.wcmessenger.com for updates.
NO CHANGE IN RATE – Monday, Northwest school board members unanimously approved maintaining current tax rates – $1.04 for maintenance and operations and $0.335 for debt services – for the 2012 fiscal year. A public hearing for the proposed tax rates and budget will be discussed at the board’s next meeting Aug. 22.
LOWER RATE EXPECTED – Boyd school district expects to drop its I&S tax rate from 20 cents to 18.5 cents for taxpayers in the district. Superintendent John Emshoff said collection rates of 100 percent the past couple of years helped prompt the lower rate. Districts use I&S revenue to pay off debt such as bonds.
PUBLIC HEARINGS SET – Decatur City Council set public hearings for Aug. 22 and 29 for the proposed budget and property tax rate. The proposed tax rate of 67.5 cents per $100 value is a 3.5-cent increase, but typically the council opts to set a rate lower than proposed. Planning and zoning matters involving Sandford Petroleum and Legend Bank met approval.
CLEAN-UP CANCELED – Clean-Up Day at Rann Elementary School in Decatur scheduled for Monday, Aug. 15, has been canceled due to the heat.
STREET IMPROVEMENTS – Various streets in Decatur will be worked on today through Thursday including State from Charles to Hatcher; Stratton and Cliff streets from Hale to Collins; College from Hale to Carpenter; Collins from Cliff to Trinity; Cowan from Hale to Walnut; Carpenter and Brady from Washburn to Trinity and Shady Lane. All vehicles need to be off the street so that construction can begin as quickly as possible. Once the paving process is complete, the road will remain closed for two hours. For information, call (940) 627-9600.
RELAY COMMITTEE – Volunteers interested in serving on the Relay for Life of Wise County planning committee will meet 6 to 7 p.m. today at Hampton Inn and Suites in Decatur. For more information, contact Stephanie Kott at (940) 393-3165 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BASEBALL TIME – Saturday is the final day for Decatur Baseball League sign ups. Sign ups will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pizza Hut in Decatur. Bring a birth certificate. Register online at www.decaturbaseballleague.com. For more information call (940) 255-2499.
ALVORD ORIENTATION – Orientation/registration for Alvord High School incoming Freshmen is Tuesday, August 9 at 6 p.m. in the high school cafeteria. Orientation/registration for Alvord High School incoming Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors is Thursday, August 11 at 6 p.m. in the high school gymnasium.
SCHEDULE PICK UP – Chico High School student schedules are available for pickup. Juniors may pick up schedules from 8 a.m.-noon today. On Wednesday, seniors may pick up schedules from 8 a.m.-noon.
COLOR GUARD FUNDRAISER – The Boyd High School color guard will have a car wash and bake sale beginning at 2 p.m. today at Boyd Pit Stop.
FUNERALS – Service is pending for Kathleen Caylor, 87, of Runaway Bay at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.
GRAVESIDE service for Davis Stanford Dennis Jr., 62, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today at Mountain Park Cemetery in Saint Jo. Hawkins-Bridgeport is handling arrangements.