HOSPITAL TO OPEN NEW FACILITY – Wise Regional Health System in Decatur has announced plans to open Parkway Surgical Hospital, an inpatient surgical facility, to be located in north Tarrant County on North Tarrant Parkway near the intersection of U.S. 81/287 and Interstate 35. The 29,053-square-foot facility will include four operating rooms, two procedure rooms and 12 inpatient beds along with laboratory, radiology and pre-operative services. Construction is expected to begin later this year with a projected opening in November or December of 2013. “This planned expansion will enable Wise Regional to provide services to a rapidly developing area on the Highway 287 corridor, between Decatur and the Alliance Airport/Heritage Trace area,” said Steve Summers, CEO of WRHS. “We believe that this identified high growth area has a need for the services that this type of facility will provide and will certainly complement the full range of hospital services being provided in Decatur.”
COUNTY’S EFFECTIVE TAX RATE – Yesterday county commissioners proposed a property tax rate of 37.8979 cents per $100 valuation. This is the effective rate for fiscal year 2013, which means it will raise the same amount of tax dollars as last year’s 38-cent rate. The decision was made at a special called meeting, and commissioners tentatively plan to meet Wednesday, Aug. 15, to actually set the rate. They also proposed the college branch maintenance tax of 4.6148 cents per $100 valuation, which is the effective rate. Last year’s rate was 4.6250 cents per $100 valuation, a difference of one-one hundredth of a cent. Editor’s note: This brief contains revised information from the printed Update.
RAISES FOR COUNTY EMPLOYEES – A proposed county budget for fiscal year 2013 includes money for raises, the first time in four years. “The total increase for the budget, as far as salaries and benefits, is $1,120,000,” said County Judge Bill McElhaney. He and Auditor Ann McCuiston presented the budget at a workshop yesterday. Increases in pay to elected officials total $87,000, which does not include longevity or phone allowances. Elected officials who will see the biggest increase in pay include Treasurer Katherine Hudson, $9,300; County Clerk Sherry Lemon, $8,100; and Sheriff David Walker, $8,100. McElhaney said he allocated money for raises “based on what he’d observed and what had happened over the last year. There were some areas where I tried to do some equalization to keep things in sync.” Commissioners approved a $2,000 raise for themselves, on top of the $2,600 raise proposed by McElhaney. Read more in an upcoming edition of the Messenger.
HEAT ADVISORY – Temperatures in Decatur reached 106 at the airport yesterday, and 105 is the expected high temperature today. Wise County remains under a heat advisory through 8 tonight. Also the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is asking people to conserve electricity from 3-7 p.m. during this heat wave to reduce the state’s electricity demand.
CONSERVATION MEETING – The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Wise Soil and Water Conservation District and the Local Working Group invite the public to the annual Conservation Stakeholder’s Meeting at 10 a.m. Friday at the USDA Service Center Conference Room, 1604 West Business 380, Decatur.
ENCHILADA DINNER FUNDRAISER – The City of Bridgeport’s Finance Department will host an Enchilada Dinner Fundraiser 5:30-7:30 tonight at the Bridgeport Community Center for one of their employees, whose family had an unexpected medical emergency and loss of income. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at Bridgeport City Hall and the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. Meal includes enchiladas, rice, beans, dessert and a drink. For more information, call Amy Standard at (940) 683-3405.
CAR WASH – The Bridgeport High School volleyball team is holding a car wash 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at James Wood Motors in Bridgeport. Funds from the car wash benefit the volleyball team, but they will be selling a “Guinn Special” meal that includes hot dog, chips and drink to benefit the Guinn family. There will also be a waterslide and sno cones for sale.
RODEO QUEEN – The deadline to sign up for Wise County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Queen, Sweetheart and Little Miss contests is at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6, at the posse grounds. Contestants must be between the ages of 3 to 18 as of Jan. 1, 2012, and be a resident of Wise County or attend a Wise County primary school. For information call Carla Tackett at (940) 390-9104 or Margaret Mollenhour at (940) 442-9903.
AIM RAFFLES – Amputees In Motion will raffle a DPMS AR-15 flat-top rifle Sept. 9. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. They will also raffle a Rugby II “rough and tough” phone Sept. 4. Tickets are $3 each or two for $5. For tickets, call (903) 746-5091 or (940) 393-9779.
CLINIC CANCELED – The free Legal Aid Clinic to be held today at the Decatur Public Library has been canceled. Legal Aid clinics will resume 5 to 7 p.m. the first Thursday in September.
SENIOR QUEEN SIGNUP – Contestants are being sought for the title of Ms. Senior Wise County. The queen will be crowned during the Taste of Wise Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. at the Decatur Civic Center. This free event is sponsored by the Look Local Wise County Task Force to promote local business. Candidates 65 and older can call Susan Miller at (940) 627-7658 or Phil Major at 627-5987 about entering the contest. Local businesses will sponsor the contestants and provide clothing for the casual wear and Sunday dress contests.
BUYER BEWARE – Decatur High School baseball coach Chris Carter reports that area businesses are being contacted by a business claiming to be selling ads for a fundraising baseball poster for the team. He said this business is not affiliated with his team or the school district.
ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT GROUP – The monthly support group for those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or related dementia is 7 tonight at the Wise Regional Health System West Campus. For more information, call Angie at (940) 627-6888.
FUNERALS – Service for Gordon Ennis Taylor, 87, of Bridgeport is 10:30 a.m. today at First Baptist Church in Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.
SERVICES for Olga Shaver, 89, of Decatur and Tessie E. Sydow, 92, of Boyd are pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
SERVICE for Mara Ooten, 28, of Bridgeport is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.
MEMORIAL service for Cheyanne Dollins, 14, of Alvord is 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church of Alvord. White Family Funeral Home in Bowie is handling arrangements.