SHOOTING SUSPECT MAY HAVE TIES TO COLORADO MURDER – The shooting suspect involved in a high-speed chase and firefight that ended in Decatur Thursday morning has possibly been identified. An unnamed federal source informed The Denver Post that the suspect is Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a former Colorado parolee and alleged member of a white supremacists prison gang. However, Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins advised they are still awaiting positive identification on the suspect. “As of now, no one here has been contacted about his identity,” Hoskins said yesterday evening. “We are still waiting for the FBI to verify the identity of the suspect using fingerprints.” The suspect crashed into an 18-wheeler at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Business 380 West in Decatur at the end of an almost 40-mile chase that began with the suspect shooting a Montague County deputy three times near Bowie at 11 a.m. The suspect’s Cadillac burst into flames from the impact with the rock hauler. The suspect rolled out of his car and opened fire on deputies and police. They returned fire and put the suspect down. He was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital with critical injuries after being shot in the head and is being kept alive with life support. The suspect also fired at a Wise County Sheriff’s Office patrol lieutenant and Hoskins during the chase. The Montague County Deputy, James Boyd, was flown to a Fort Worth hospital with what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. The vehicle used by the suspect matched a vehicle sought in connection with a murder case in Monument, Colo., on Tuesday. Tom Clements, 58, was shot and killed in front of his home in Monument, Colo. Clements was the director of Colorado’s Department of Corrections. Witnesses at that scene described seeing a dark-colored vehicle matching the description of the black Cadillac that wrecked in Decatur. That vehicle had two sets of Colorado license plates. Keep up with the latest in this developing case – including stories, photos and video – at the breaking news page at WCMessenger.com throughout the coming days.
NTCH HOSPITAL TO DISCONTINUE OBSTETRIC SERVICE IMMEDIATELY – Wise Regional Health System in Decatur was notified by North Texas Community Hospital officials in Bridgeport that the Bridgeport facility will immediately discontinue obstetric services. Expectant mothers currently utilizing a family practice physician at NTCH for their obstetric care and wish to deliver at WRHS are asked to transfer their care to any of the local OB/GYNs listed as follows: Dr. Russell Edwards, (940) 627-2409, Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday, 8 a.m.-noon; Dr. Doug Kyle, (940) 627-4216, Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-noon; Dr. Renee Smith, (940) 626-8008, Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-noon. These physicians’ offices are all located at 2451 S. FM 51 in Decatur. Expectant mothers should identify themselves as a “transfer patient” and provide their current physician’s name providing prenatal care. An information release authorization may be required. Should an expectant mother go into active labor before having the chance to transfer her care to an OB/GYN, she should go immediately to the Emergency Room Admissions at WRHS, Decatur campus. Wise Regional has a board certified OB/GYN on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to handle obstetric needs; and, board certified pediatricians available to handle newborn care.
HONORING A VETERAN – The Red Path Warriors Society is honoring Lori Piestewa 11 a.m. Saturday at Wise County Veteran’s Memorial Park in Decatur. Piestewa was the first Native American woman warrior killed in action in Iraq, and the ceremony is being held on the 10th anniversary of her death. She was killed March 23, 2003, in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Veteran’s Memorial Park is at 406 N. Trinity St. For more information, call Yolonda Blue Horse with the Red Path Warriors at (972) 971-5676.
FINAL DAYS OF THE YOUTH FAIR – Today’s events at the Wise County Youth Fair include the prospect steer show at 8 a.m. immediately followed by the market steer show and the breeding heifer show at 1 p.m. Agricultural mechanics will be judged at noon. Photos will be taken of the 4-H and FCCLA food, craft, clothing, photography and horticulture entries at 4. On Saturday, the pet show is at 10 a.m., a barbecue meal is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and the auction at 1 p.m.
NEW SIGN – The electronic sign in front of the Decatur Civic Center will soon be a lot brighter. The Decatur Economic Development Corporation Thursday approved a $30,000 grant to the Civic Center to replace the electronic portion of the sign. Civic Center Manager Lori Sherwood said the 12-year-old sign no longer worked properly.
TEACHER SURVEY SAYS – The results of the recent curriculum and climate survey taken by Decatur ISD teachers were shared with the school board last night. Overall, teachers indicated that their opinion of CSCOPE has improved since it was first implemented several years ago, and they feel they have the freedom to develop their own lesson plans. However, the survey did reveal some areas of need, such as more time for planning lessons. The anonymous survey was taken by 202 teachers, representing more than 95 percent of teachers in the district, over a three-day period earlier this month.
BRISKET BENEFIT – Wise Electric Co-op will sell 50 briskets to benefit various local charities. Pick up will be 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, March 28. Deadline is March 27, or until they are all gone. Cost is $50. Call (940) 627-2167 to place your order.
BOYD REUNION – The Annual Boyd High School All Alumni reunion is 3-8 p.m. Saturday at the Boyd High School cafeteria. Pot luck dinner is at 5 p.m. For more information visit www.boydreunion.com or call Judy Wilson at (940) 255-9235 or Debbie Males at (817) 925-9208.
COMMUNITY HEALTH EDUCATION – Governor’s Ridge and Angels Care Home Health will host the first in a series of community education sessions 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at Governor’s Ridge, 300 E. Devereaux St. in Decatur. The topic is “keep your senses sharp.” RSVP for a complimentary lunch at 940-627-1104 or RSVP@governorsridge.com.
EASTER EVENT – The Main Street Easter Event is 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 23, on the southeast corner of the Square. There will be a fun jump, face-painting, barrel train and pictures with the Easter bunny. There will also be an age-restricted egg hunt at the First United Methodist Church playground – infants 0 to 23 months at 1 p.m.; toddlers 2 to 3 years at 2 p.m.; and children 4 to 5 years at 3 p.m. For more information, call 940-627-6158.
BUNNY VISITS NEWARK - The Third annual Newark Community Easter Egg Hunt is 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturday at Town Square Park, 209 Hudson St. Look for 2,000 candy-filled eggs, plus games, prizes, food, pictures with the Easter Bunny and nine grand prize baskets for those who find prize eggs. The hunt will be divided into age groups: 0-4; 5-8; and 9-12. Kids without baskets can come early and decorate a bag before the hunt begins.
EGG HUNT – Senior Care Health and Rehabilitation, 701 W. Bennett Rd., in Decatur is hosting an Easter family event 2-4 p.m. Saturday. The egg hunt will be at 3 p.m., and there will also be popcorn and a bounce house. The Easter bunny will be there.
BUNNY IN BRIDGEPORT – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation is hosting its annual egg hunt and carnival 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the Bridgeport Community Center and Lawdwin Ballfields. The Easter bunny will attend, and the hunt starts promptly at 2. There will be inflatables, face-painting, games, candy, balloon animals and more. Call 940-683-3480 for more information.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE HUNT – The Wise County Sheriff’s Office annual Easter egg hunt is 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the Decatur Civic Center. Food and drinks will be provided. Bring a basket for hunting and a camera for photos with the Easter bunny.
MEETING – Eastside Alumni will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at the home of Mike Bell. They will discuss their upcoming reunion and fundraisers. Call 940-627-9082 for more information.
MEN AGAINST ABUSE – Wise County men who would like to take a visible stand against domestic violence are invited to a rally 10 a.m. Saturday at the Wise County Courthouse. For more information, call Gerre Joiner at 940-393-8863 or Wise Hope 940-626-4855.
FITNESS COURSE – Northwest ISD will offer an eight-week adult fitness course at the Northwest High School Indoor Activity Center three times a week beginning Monday, March 25. Participants will receive an individual fitness assessment and nutritional evaluation and will do strength training and cardio circuit 6 to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. For information, call 817-215-0011.
LAST SUPPER QUILT – First Presbyterian Church in Bridgeport is bringing the Last Supper Quilt to Bridgeport 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23. The free showing of the 15.3-foot by 5.5-foot quilt will highlight a display of talent from local quilters all in the church sanctuary. Refreshments will be served in the Montford Family Fellowship Hall. Individuals as well as quilting clubs are invited. First Presbyterian is located at 1307 Newby St. at the intersection of Lawdwin, just off U.S. 380. For information, call Pat Hiler at 940-575-9242.
BOOK SALE – The Friends of the Bridgeport Public Library host a book sale during regular library hours today through Saturday. Hardback books, audio books, videos and other media will be $1. Paperback books will be 50-cents, and Harlequin romance novels will be eight for $1. On Saturday, a bag of books may be purchased for $1. All funds raised will support programs and projects for the library.
VOTE FOR LOCAL COOK’S RECIPE – Helen Fields of Paradise and her Honey and Bacon Brussels Sprouts Pizza recipe are one of 60 semifinalists in category 1 of the Pillsbury Bake-Off. The 33 entries who garner the most online votes from now until March 28 will join the finalists from two other categories in the national Bake-Off competition Nov. 10-12 in Las Vegas. Vote for Helen’s Honey and Bacon Brussels Sprouts Pizza recipe at www.pillsbury.com/bakeoff.
FUNERALS – Memorial service for Hayward Edwards, 80 of Sunset will be held at a later date. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.
MEMORIAL service for Sallye Anne Richardson, 66, formerly of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. today at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Decatur.
MEMORIAL service for Marion Kert “Smokey” Jones, 56, of Chico is 11 a.m. today at The Shepherd’s House in Chico. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.
MEMORIAL graveside service for Don and Karon Covington, formerly of Alvord is 11 a.m. Saturday at Alvord Cemetery. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.