FAMILY LOSES HOME TO FIRE – Marcos and Porfiria Martinez of Decatur lost their home and all of their belongings in a fire that started due to an electrical short around midnight Monday. Kennedale Fire Marshal J.C. Travis, who was filling in for Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard, declared the home on Private Road 4215 a total loss. Travis said the blaze traveled quickly up the walls of the mobile home and into the attic space. Marcos and Porfiria lived in the home with their two youngest children, a 14-year-old and 5-year-old, but no one was home when the fire started. Two animals were underneath the house, but they escaped safely. The American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist the family. Read more in the midweek Wise County Messenger on newsstands tomorrow.
CHICO MAYOR TO RUN FOR COUNTY JUDGE – Chico Mayor J.D. Clark has announced he will run for the office of county judge. In a press release from the Wise County Republican Party, Clark said, “As a mayor, I have shown myself to be a leader who is willing to create a lean yet effective budget, cut property tax rates, seek out innovative solutions for our problems and upgrade our water, sewer and street infrastructure. I’m ready to take those skills and that experience and put them to work for all of Wise County.” Clark is serving his third term as mayor and is also a high school history teacher in Bowie. Bill McElhaney, who is currently serving his second term as county judge, told the Messenger in July that he also plans to run for the post. Read more tomorrow in the midweek Messenger.
ACCIDENT INJURES 2 – A domestic disturbance caused a one-vehicle rollover on U.S. 81/287 north of Decatur about 9:30 Friday night. Donette Watson was driving southbound on U.S. 287 about five miles north of Decatur, according to Department of Public Safety Trooper Zeb Siebeneck, when she and her front seat passenger, Jeremy Smith, began arguing. Smith told the trooper that they pulled over, and he got out of the vehicle. Watson told him to get back inside, at which time Smith returned, and they continued southbound. Smith told the trooper that Watson then grabbed at him. He threw her arm off, and she lost control of the vehicle. Siebeneck said the vehicle went over the shoulder, cut across lanes of traffic and rolled when Watson overcorrected. Watson was flown by Care Flite to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, and Smith was taken by ground ambulance to JPS. A third person was not injured. Read more tomorrow in the midweek Messenger.
RAIN RELIEF – Parts of Wise County received much needed rainfall Sunday night and Monday morning. Rainfall totals included 1.8 inches in Greenwood, 1.57 in Rhome and 0.57 in Decatur. Rain chances have disappeared from the forecast, but high temperatures are expected to remain under 100 for most of this week.
STORYTIME RETURNS – Beginning Wednesday, Preschool Storytime is back at the Bridgeport Public Library at 10:30 a.m. Preschool children age 3-6 years are invited to come listen to stories and fingerplays about summer. Parents or caregivers are encouraged to attend, and no signup is necessary. Programs will take place in the children’s section of the library.
DECATUR CITY COUNCIL – The Decatur city council meets at 6 tonight at City Hall to hold the second and final required public hearing on next year’s property tax rate – which is pegged at 67.3 cents per $100 valuation. That’s up a penny from the current year’s rate – well below the 70 cents they authorized at last week’s meeting. After the hearing, the council is expected to discuss and approve the budget, approve the appraisal roll, ratify the purchase of a new dump truck and make the final payment on the city’s phone system. The tax rate will be formally adopted next Monday.
BRIDGEPORT CITY COUNCIL – At the 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, the Bridgeport City Council will consider levying a 58.75 cent tax rate per $100 valuation to fund the budget they approved last week. They are also expected to accept the resignation of Councilman Scott Cheves, whose family has built a home outside the city limits. The council will consider naming someone to fill the vacancy. Cheves is the second council member to resign in the past month.
CHICO CITY COUNCIL – The Chico city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed 2013-14 budget and tax rate at 7 tonight in the council chamber at City Hall. Mayor J.D. Clark said the tax rate proposed is 48 cents, the same as last year. The public hearing will be followed by the regular meeting.
FUNERALS – Service for V.M. Hill, Jr., 84, of Bridgeport is 3 p.m. Wednesday at the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.
GRAVESIDE service for Bobby Hale, 69, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Wednesday at Bethel Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
PRIVATE GRAVESIDE service for Dorothy Freeman-Delong, 88, formerly of Decatur will be at Freeman-New Harp Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins.
SERVICE for Barbara Baker, 69, of Runaway Bay is 2 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Perrin Memorial Gardens in Perrin. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.