POLICE UNSURE WHY MAN WAS ON TRACKS – The victim in yesterday morning’s train fatality in Bridgeport has been identified as Floyd H. Smith, 53. A southbound Union Pacific engine was passing under the bridge of Texas 114 in Bridgeport at about 1:15 a.m. when the conductor saw a man lying in the middle of the tracks. “They made an attempt to stop, but there was no way to stop that fast,” said Bridgeport Police Chief Randy Singleton. Smith’s body was dragged about 100 feet by the engine, which wasn’t pulling any cars. He was killed instantly from the impact and pronounced dead at the scene. Smith appeared to be homeless and had been staying with various friends. Near his body, police found two five gallon plastic buckets. The containers held all his personal belongings, including clothes, food, utensils and tools. The items were scattered up and down the tracks. Investigators can’t confirm why he was lying in the middle of the tracks in the middle of the night. Read more in the midweek Wise County Messenger on newsstands today.
PRISON UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT – Management and Training Corporation (MTC) of Utah confirmed Monday that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) approved their taking over the Bridgeport Pre-Parole Transfer Facility effective Sept. 15. The contract, which MTC took over from Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), extends through August 2017. MTC has operated the Bridgeport Correctional Center, which houses male, minimum-security inmates, since September 2010. The Pre-Parole Transfer Facility is a women’s facility, but both house inmates who are typically within two years of parole eligibility or a release date. The men’s facility, which is owned by the state, is licensed for 520 inmates. The women’s facility, which is still owned by CCA, is designed to house 200. Read more in the midweek Messenger.
CLASS REUNION – Decatur High School Class of 1978 will celebrate its 35th reunion at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the home of Ronnie Hale, 644 Cemetery Road, in Decatur. Call Ronnie at 940-627-4346 for more details.
STEAK BREAK RUN – The Steak Break! 5K and Fun Run will be held the morning of the Steak Challenge event at the Reunion Grounds on Sept. 28. Proceeds raised go to support Decatur Lions Club sponsored local charities and organizations. Register early at getmeregistered.com/steakbreakrun or pick up a registration form at State National Bank in Decatur.
PITCHIN’ COALS – Register for the Pitchin’ Coals Washers Tournament at the Bridgeport Coal Miner’s Heritage Festival Saturday, Oct. 5, in downtown. Cost is $25 per two-person team before Wednesday, Oct. 2, and $40 if you register the day of the tournament. For more information, call 940-683-2076.
PIONEER DAYS – The 27th Annual Pioneer Days in Rhome is Sept. 27-28. The event will include raffles, gunfights, stagecoach rides, games, dunking booth, music, antique tractors and cars, IBCA barbecue contest and pageants. For more information call Rhome City Hall at 817-636-2462 or Terri Troxell at 817-223-6172.
MAIN STREET FESTIVAL – Paradise Main Street Festival is now accepting vendor applications for Sept. 28. Vendor booths are 10 foot by 10 foot at $20; professional food vendor booths are $50; and electricity per booth is $10. Download vendor forms at www.paradisehistoricalsociety.com/Upcoming_Events.html. Call 940-969-3680 for more information.
CEMETERY MEETING – The Wilson Prairie Cemetery Association meeting is 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29.
GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY – Wise County’s newly formed Genealogical Society will hold its first meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the fireside room of Decatur Church of Christ in Decatur. It is open to the public. Speakers Sue Tackel and LaDarla Keith will discuss their research of Wise County cemeteries and their web site.
FUNERALS – Service for Roy Wayne Harris, 59, of Paradise is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.
SERVICE for Gene P. Brown, 81, of Decatur is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
GRAVESIDE service for Harold Cash, 75, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. today at Cottonwood Cemetery. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.