BOMB THREAT LEADS TO EVACUATION — A bomb threat found scrawled at a work area at Devon Energy’s natural gas processing plant in Bridgeport between 8 and 9 a.m. yesterday prompted a partial evacuation of the site and closure of U.S. 380 for much of the day as investigators searched for an explosive device. The Wise County Sheriff’s Office, Bridgeport Police Department, Wise County Medics, Denton Bomb Squad, Texas Department of Public Safety and Federal Bureau of Investigation all responded to the scene. After finding nothing suspicious, the scene was cleared around 3 p.m. The investigation into who is responsible for the threat continues. Wise County Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,500 for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the threat. Contact Sgt. Clint Caddell at (940) 627-5971, ext. 236. Read more in the midweek Wise County Messenger on news stands today.
HOSPITAL NEEDS CASH — North Texas Community Hospital in Bridgeport is on track to become part of the Wise Regional Health System by mid-March — but keeping the doors open until then is going to require some money. Monday evening Jimmy Horner, chairman of the NTCH board, asked the Wise Regional board of directors to provide increased financial assistance to enable the facility to remain open until the acquisition is finalized. NTCH CEO Max Ludeke said $1.5 million in cash is needed to meet the operating needs of the facility from now until around March 15. Wise Regional’s board took no formal action on the request, but CEO Steve Summers said he would explore the idea with attorneys for the hospital and the bondholders. The Wise Regional board will meet again Friday to consider financial alternatives. Read more in the midweek Messenger.
UNITED WAY CELEBRATES RECORD YEAR — For the first time in its history, the United Way of Wise County distributed more than half-a-million dollars to its member agencies. But donations will need to grow this year in order to keep up with the growing needs of the agencies, said UWWC Executive Director Martin Woodruff. The United Way’s budget will fall in 2013 by more than $108,000. Donors and the 28 partner agencies were honored at the UWWC annual meeting last Thursday. Read more in the midweek Messenger.
FILE BY FRIDAY — The filing period for the May 11 city council and school board elections ends Friday. Read the midweek Messenger to see the latest filing update.
UMPIRE CLINIC — A mandatory umpire clinic for anyone wanting to umpire baseball in the upcoming Bridgeport Youth Association season is 2-6 p.m. Saturday at the Bridgeport Community Center (1102 Lawdwin Ave.). Cost is $10. For information, call Heath Wilson at (940) 577-9111.
DONKEY BASKETBALL — The Paradise Band Boosters presents a Donkey Basketball Show at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Paradise High School gym. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $6 at the school or for $8 at the gate. Ages 6 and under are free. Teams include the Cottondale and Paradise fire departments, PHS students and Mann Refrigeration. The event will also feature donkey rides, refreshments and raffles.
PAYING IT FORWARD FOR PROM — Donations of formal dresses, shoes, jewelry and cash are being collected at Patti’s Hair Parlor in Decatur through March for the second drive of Paying It Forward for Prom. Through the program, girls who couldn’t otherwise afford prom expenses volunteer community service hours in exchange for formal wear and accessories, hair-do’s, manicures and pedicures, facials and make-up application. This year, the program will expand to help boys with the cost of tuxedo rental. For more information, call Amanda at (940) 536-8585.
HIGH SCHOOL RODEO — The Decatur High School Rodeo Team will host a 3-day high school rodeo event Friday through Sunday at the Wise County Sheriff Posse Grounds. Fifty area high schools will compete. The team is raffling off a longhorn heifer (13 months old). The event will also include a silent auction, concessions and calf scramble. Cost is $5 at the gate per person. Rodeo begins Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. The team is dedicating the rodeo to the late Roy Young.
BLOOD DRIVE — Chico High School Student Council will host a Carter Blood Drive 9 a.m.-3 p.m. today in the high school parking lot. Call Kelly Durham at (940) 644-5783, ext. 4302 to sign up or for more details.
CHICO BOARD TO VOTE ON CONTRACTS — After a 3-3 vote last week on the renewal of administrator contracts, the Chico School Board will meet tonight to vote on the issue once more. The split vote apparently was caused by the recommendation of Superintendent Mike Jones not to extend the contract of middle school principal Maury Martin. The meeting is at 5:30 in Room 150 of Chico Elementary School.
FUNERALS — Graveside service for Charles David Bradford, 55, of Decatur is 10 a.m. today at Bethel Cemetery in Decatur. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
GRAVESIDE service for Virginia Baze, 65, formerly of Boyd is 2 p.m. Friday at Friendship Cemetery in Boyd. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.
SERVICE for Stella Motley, 87, of Boyd is pending at Christian-Hawkins.
FUNERAL for Idell Cordelia Swindle, 84, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today at Pleasant View Baptist Church in Bridgeport with burial at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.