TAX VALUES SLIPPING – The sluggish economy took its toll on tax values in Wise County this year. Chief Appraiser Mickey Hand issued his preliminary values over the weekend and for most cities and school districts the news was not good. Overall Wise County tax values stood at $7.1 billion, a decrease of three-quarters of 1 percent. While real estate values were up, mineral values dropped 9.25 percent. City of Decatur values stood at almost $580 million, a decrease of 2.14 percent while Decatur ISD values were $2.243 billion, a decrease of 2.9 percent. Mineral values in DISD were down 11.24 percent. There were some bright spots – Slidell ISD saw its values jump 58 percent while Alvord ISD values climbed almost 25 percent, Bridgeport ISD was up 1.8 percent, Paradise ISD up 1.7 percent. Slidell mineral values were up almost 85 percent and Alvord’s up 64 percent. The cities of Aurora, Boyd and Paradise showed small valuation increases. City of Rhome values were down 14.3 percent with a 30 percent drop in mineral values. Final values are due in July.
GILL NAMED PROSECUTOR IN ROSS CASE - Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Robert Gill has been appointed prosecutor to continue the case against suspended Precinct 4 County Commissioner Terry Ross. Gill was appointed by District Judge Roger Towery last week after District Attorney Greg Lowery last month recused himself and his office from the case after being reminded that he represented Ross in a criminal matter 16 years ago. No trial date has been set for Ross, who faces charges of tampering with governmental records, theft by a public servant and abuse of official capacity. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger on news stands now.
NWS CLASSIFIES ALVORD TORNADO EF-0 – The National Weather Service in Fort Worth released more information about the tornado spotted near Alvord during last Wednesday’s storms. The tornado has been rated “EF-0″ with estimated peak winds of 80 miles per hour. It was estimated to be 25 yards wide and was on the ground for just 1/10 of a mile. The NWS said the location was 3 miles northeast of Alvord in open land and damaged only trees. An “EF-0″ tornado is classified as a weak tornado with winds 65 to 85 miles per hour.
STORMS POSSIBLE TONIGHT – It could be another stormy evening in Wise County with a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m. Some of the storms could be severe, the National Weather Service says. Large hail and damaging winds will be the primary threats, but isolated tornadoes are also possible. Temperatures are expected to reach 92 today.
STEM SHOWCASE – The Northwest High School Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will host its third annual showcase 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the NHS east entrance. Students in ninth through 12th grade will display their best work.
VACCINATION CLINIC – The Weatherford College Wise County campus will host a vaccination clinic 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday. Hepatitis A/A&B/B, Chickenpox, Meningococcal, MMR, Tdap, and TB vaccinations will be available. Call the Area Health Education Center, located at the college, at 940-626-3282 for additional information.
HEAD START ENROLLMENT – Decatur Head Start is enrolling 4-year-olds for the 2013-14 school year. For information call (940) 627-6418 or 627-6435 or come by 575 W. Mulberry St. Decatur.
WISE DEMOCRATS – The Wise County Democratic Party will meet at 7 tonight in the Law Enforcement Center Courtroom, 200 Rook Ramsey Dr., in Decatur.
RECORDING HISTORY WORKSHOP – The Bridgeport Historical Society is holding a free workshop titled “Here and There: Recollections of Texas in World War II” 1-3 p.m. today at the Weatherford College Wise County campus. This workshop is one of a series taking place across the state, which is designed to teach people how to conduct and record oral histories pertaining to the World War II effort. Attendees will receive free oral history training handouts and a “how-to” presentation by Texas Historical Commission oral historian William McWhorter. Call Ken Sprecher at (940) 683-5389 if you have any questions.
CHICO SCHOOL BOARD – The Chico School Board meets at 6:30 tonight in the Chico Elementary School Cafetorium. Agenda items include the swearing in of newly-elected board members, reorganization of the board, recognizing student UIL and spring contest results, possible bond items and the purchase of elementary iPad carts.
FUNERALS – Service for Ima Lee Anderson, 81, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery.
MEMORIAL service for Tom Hall, 59, of Runaway Bay is 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Runaway Bay Community Church. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.
MEMORIAL service for Dr. Red Covington, 75, of Waco, formerly of Alvord, is 1 p.m. today at First Baptist Church of Waco. Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco is handling arrangements.