ICE KEEPS COUNTY SHUT DOWN – The temperature rose above freezing, barely, for a few hours yesterday afternoon, but it did little to help thaw out icy roads around Wise County. All Wise County public schools as well as Victory Christian Academy and Victory Kids Care and Weatherford College are closed today. Other closures include all Wise County offices, the Decatur Livestock Market , Wise Hope Crisis Center (hotline still available at 940-626-4855) and the Decatur Public Library. Meetings for the Boyd Lions Club and Boyd School Board will be rescheduled. Wise County Meals on Wheels will not be able to make deliveries. City of Bridgeport offices, the municipal court and the library will be closed today. We are regularly updating our list of closures or delays at wcmess.com/cancellations.
SLOW THAW – The icy conditions around the county made travel extremely difficult around Wise County this weekend. Parts of U.S. 81/287 were at a standstill due to stranded 18-wheelers many times over the weekend, particularly in the Rhome area. U.S. 380 between Decatur and Bridgeport was also shut down Saturday. Numerous accidents and stranded motorists were reported, but no major injuries were reported. TxDot and City of Decatur crews were at work Sunday afternoon clearing roadways with motor graders. TxDot crews were on U.S. 81/287 south of Rhome and Decatur public works employees were working in the city to clear roadways into Wise Regional Health System, Eagle Summit Drive to Decatur High School, around the Courthouse Square, Hale and Trinity Streets and other areas. Today’s high temperature is only expected to be 33 degrees, so problems may persist throughout the day. And with the temperature expected to drop to 19 degrees tonight, any ice that melts will refreeze. It will be a similar story Tuesday with a forecast high of 37 and an overnight low of 24. The temperature should finally climb into the 40s by Wednesday but may once again drop below freezing Wednesday night.
ICE COLLAPSES AG BARN – One by one, Boyd police officers carried goats to safety from a collapsed building Friday afternoon. Ice accumulated on the metal roof of the ag barn by Boyd High School and caused the building to collapse. Eight goats were inside the building, but none were injured as police officers, fire fighters, ag teachers and the superintendent all helped carry the goats to safety. “Luckily the pens we constructed were strong enough to protect the goats,” said Boyd ag teacher Scott Rawlings. The collapsed roof was resting on top of the pipe pens that housed all the goats. The school was closed due to weather. “Luckily no kids were up here, so no one was hurt, and no animals were hurt,” said Boyd School Superintendent Ted West, who was on hand helping move animals and items from the barn. Even though school was closed some kids were playing on sleds on the frozen ground at the nearby football field. “It sounded like a car crash,” said Cameron Clark, a junior at Boyd High School. “The police showed up, and all the goats were rescued,” said Shelby Bradshaw, a junior from nearby Paradise High. The goats were all projects for the upcoming Fort Worth Stock Show and Wise County Youth Fair. Rawlings said they would find a new place to house the animals, and all the students would still be able to show their goats as usual. The ag barn was just constructed last fall. “A lot of time people don’t realize how much this stuff weighs,” said Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis of the accumulated ice.
FILING DEADLINE – Today is the last day to file for the 2014 primary election. The filing period has been open since Nov. 9, and the Wise County Republican Party has drawn numerous candidates. Party Chairman Allen Williamson said 17 candidates had filed as of Dec. 6. Contested races include county judge, Precinct 4 commissioner, Precinct 1 justice of the peace and county treasurer. The Messenger has not been notified of anyone that has filed with the Democratic Party. The latest list of filings was included in the weekend Wise County Messenger.
VOLLEYBALL BANQUET RESCHEDULED – The Decatur Lady Eagles Volleyball banquet celebrating their state championship has been rescheduled to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Decatur Civic Center.
SCV MEETING – Tuesday’s meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has been changed to Jan. 14.
PARTY POSTPONED – The Wise County Republican Party and the Wise Republican Women Christmas party has been postponed to Monday, Dec. 16 due to the weather.
LIGHTING UP THE BAY – Members of the Greater Runaway Bay Alliance will compile a map of all local homes and businesses decorated for the holidays. Copies of the map will be available at local businesses, at City Hall and outside the civic center. To be included on the map, contact Jackie Ishmael at 940-575-4592 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kay Federspiel at 940-575-4916. Deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 10.
LIGHTED PARADE – Deadline to register for the Bridgeport Main Street Lighted Christmas Parade is 5 p.m. Tuesday. For a form, stop by Bridgeport City Hall or email email@example.com. The parade is 6 p.m. Saturday through downtown Bridgeport. For more information, call 940-683-3404.
FUNERALS – Service for Phillip Pierce, 68, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Wednesday at Pleasant View Baptist Church with burial at Thomas Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.
MEMORIAL graveside service for Lena Pearl Elliott, 94, of Seattle, Wash., formerly of Bridgeport, is 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 16, at Bridgeport Cemetery.
SERVICE for Buddy O’Dell, 57, of Bridgeport is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home.
SERVICE for Edward Bailey of Boyd is pending at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.