TRUCK DRIVER KILLED – Robert J. Penny, 41, of Pantego, was killed yesterday morning when his 18-wheeler, hauling a piece of heavy equipment, ran off of County Road 4599 west of Boyd. According to state troopers, the driver was traveling east about 8 a.m. when he ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected and drove through a fence on the left side. The truck jackknifed, and the driver, who was not wearing a seat belt, was hurled into the passenger side where he hit his head on an electrical pole by the open window resulting in fatal head trauma. The road is located south of the Texas 114 and Farm Road 51 intersection currently under construction. Penny had just left Cottondale where he was working that morning. Penny’s boss told investigators that the man was probably driving on that road to avoid the construction.
HUMAN WEST NILE CASE IN WISE – The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed this week that a Wise County resident has a confirmed case of West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND). A spokesperson with the TDSHS declined to provide any more information, citing patient privacy laws. WNND is the more serious of the two forms of the illness, with West Nile fever being the milder form.
AIR MONITOR IN RHOME – TCEQ will place an air monitor in the city of Rhome to record data on ground-level ozone pollution. Wise County was designated in non-attainment for federal air quality standards by the EPA for high levels of ground-level ozone, but critics argued there was no monitor in the county. The city of Rhome entered a five-year agreement with the agency to place the monitor on city property. The council voted 3-1 on the measure. Chris Graves cast the dissenting vote.
ASSAULT CONVICTION – A Wise County jury Wednesday sentenced a Paradise man to 20 years in prison for assaulting an elderly man. Charles E. Wilkinson, 41, committed the assault against his 69-year-old stepfather at his home in July 2010. The jury gave him the maximum punishment for the second-degree felony. He was also fined $7,500.
DECATUR ISD TALKS BUDGET – The Decatur School Board is set to adopt the same tax rate as last year. The board met for a budget workshop yesterday morning and proposed a tax rate of $1.30, which will be officially adopted at a meeting later this month. The board also reviewed the proposed budget for the upcoming year which includes a 3.2 percent increase in teacher salaries.
TEACHER HONOR – Former Decatur McCarroll Middle School eighth grade science teacher Erin Griffith was named the Region XI Secondary Teacher of the Year Wednesday. Griffith was chosen out of 24 school districts represented in the competition. She will now advance to the state level for Texas Teacher of the Year. Those winners will be announced in October.
BLOOD DRIVE – The Decatur Rotary Club is sponsoring a Carter BloodCare blood drive 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. today in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
LAPTOP ORIENTATION – Decatur High School will have Laptop Orientations at the following times: 6-7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 13; 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14; and 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15. New students and a parent must attend one of the laptop orientations prior to the student receiving their laptop. If parents have attended a previous orientation for other siblings, only the student new to DHS must attend.
FALL OUT AUDITIONS – Auditions for the Nov. 10 Wise Country Fallout are 1 p.m. Saturdays, Aug. 11 and 18 at the Wise County Heritage Museum. They are open to those who sing, dance, play an instrument or have a special talent. If a CD is used, it must not be vocal, music only. To preregister, call the museum at (940) 627-5586 or Kim Saling at (940) 389-7338.
YOUTH SOFTBALL – Sign ups for Wise County girls fall softball are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Hibbett Sports in Decatur. Cost is $35, and age brackets are 14-and-under, 12-U, 10-U and 8-U. For more information, call Krisha at (817) 988-2817.
GUINN FUNDRAISERS – A couple of fundraisers benefiting the Roger Guinn family of Bridgeport will be held during volleyball games at Bridgeport High School this weekend. There will be a bake sale during Friday’s matches, which begin at 5 p.m., and an ice cream sale 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. A spaghetti dinner and silent auction to benefit Guinn and family is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Bridgeport High School. Cost is $5. Guinn was injured in a horse accident July 15, and proceeds from the dinner will go toward his medical expenses.
TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES – A construction crew severed a phone line earlier this week at Boyd ISD, meaning the telephones aren’t working. If anyone needs to contact the school, visit their web site at www.boydisd.net or the Boyd High School Facebook page.
FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES – “Gear Up,” a free school supply event for local families, is 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Decatur Church of Christ on Farm Road 51 South.
CHICO BOARD APPROVES RAISES - The Chico School Board yesterday approved a 3 percent pay increase for school employees. Teachers also received a $2,000 increase in their “above base” salary. Trustees approved the new schedules and hired three new teachers. The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27, for a budget and tax rate hearing and is expected to approve the items at the meeting that night. The tax rate is expected to decrease by more than three cents.
FUNERALS – Last rites for Ernest Lee Brumbalow, 81, of Decatur will be performed by Southside Masonic Lodge No. 114 of Fort Worth 11 a.m. Saturday at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 7-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
GRAVESIDE service for Charley Dean Hill, 56, of Boyd is 11 a.m. today at Boyd Cemetery. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.
MEMORIAL service for Doris Ruth Gardner, 71, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 9-10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
MEMORIAL service for Penny Sue McCarty, 51, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport.
SERVICE for Joyce Slate, 83, of Paradise is pending at White’s Family Funeral Home in Springtown.