STUDENTS INJURED IN WRECK – A three-vehicle pileup involving a Decatur ISD school bus sent eight student to the hospital Thursday afternoon. The eastbound bus was coming to a stop on Farm Road 2264, just a couple miles east of U.S. 81/287, when a van, driven by McClellon Kitner, 38, of Decatur rammed into a pickup, driven by Peter Davis, 26, of Decatur stopped behind the bus. The force of the impact crushed the pickup into the back bumper of bus, jarring the students inside. A fourth vehicle was also involved in the wreck. A pickup driven by Randy Cooper, 54, of Decatur, swerved to avoid the pileup and had a minor wreck in the grass ditch running alongside the highway. Fifty-six Decatur high school and middle school students were on the bus. A total of eight suffered minor injuries. Medics and firefighters tended to the students in the dry grass alongside the road before they were transported by ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The school bus driver, Elizabeth Ruiz, 42, was uninjured. Department of Public Safety Trooper William Cooper said Kitner was at the fault for the wreck and will be issued a citation for failure to control speed. Decatur superintendent Rod Townsend and high school principal Jason Cochran both arrived on scene shortly after the wreck. Townsend said he didn’t think any of the injuries were serious. “They’re getting sent to the hospital to get checked out for precautionary measures,” he said. The wreck happened just before 4 p.m. Traffic was shut down in both directions for more than an hour as officers investigated the scene and firefighters cleaned up a fuel spill.
RODEO WELCOME HOME – A Welcome Home reception honoring Trevor Brazile, Tuf Cooper, Clif Cooper and KC Jones as they return from the National Finals Rodeo is 5 p.m. today at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on the Decatur Square. The event is sponsored by First Financial Bank, State National Bank and James Wood Motors.
COMMITTEE FORMED – Numerous citizens expressed confusion about a possible new water and sewer system and waterline extensions in Paradise at a council meeting Thursday. After assuring those in attendance that the plan was “in its infancy,” the council appointed Councilman Brad Largent, former councilman Chris Harris, citizen Robert Burns and two representatives of the school district to a committee that will research grants and system options.
CHRISTMAS GOODIES — North Texas Bank in Decatur is having a holiday open house 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.
ANIMAL ADOPTION – Wise County Animal Shelter will have cats and dogs available for adoption 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Market Place in Decatur. The adoption fees will be sponsored at the event, and free microchipping will be offered for any adopted dog.
RUNAWAY BAY TRASH PICK-UP – There will be no trash pick-up in Runaway Bay Wednesday, Dec. 26. Trash pick-up will be Friday, Dec. 28 instead.
DECATUR TRASH PICK-UP – Trash pick-up in the city of Decatur will assume its normal schedule Monday, Dec. 24, but, starting Christmas Day, will shift over a day – Tuesday’s collection will be on Wednesday, Thursday’s on Friday, Friday’s on Saturday. Recycling collection won’t be affected and will remain on Wednesday.
CHICO TRASH PICK-UP – Chico trash pick-up the week of Christmas and New Year’s will be on Thursday, instead of Wednesday. City Hall will be closed on Christmas Eve, and it will close at noon on New Year’s Eve.
WARM TO CLOSE FOR HOLIDAY – Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) will be closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1 and will resume regular food distribution hours on Wednesday, Jan. 2. WARM is open until 2 p.m. today.
MERRY CHRISTMAS – The Messenger office will be closed Monday and Tuesday for the Christmas holiday. Any breaking news will be posted at WCMessenger.com. Have a safe and happy Christmas.
FUNERALS – Service for Pedro Trevino, 82, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. today at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Decatur. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.
FUNERAL for Donna Marie Talley, 47, of Alvord is 10 a.m. Saturday at the Alvord Church of Christ with burial at Grand Prairie Memorial Gardens. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins.
SERVICE for Pamela May Benevidez, 45, of Decatur is pending at Coker-Hawkins.
GRAVESIDE service for Samuel A. Hines, 81, formerly of Aurora is 2 p.m. today at Aurora Cemetery. Family visitation is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today before the service at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.
FUNERAL for Lee Hamby, 82, of Paradise is 11 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Cottondale Cemetery.