FIRE CLAIMS COUPLE’S HOME – A New Fairview-area couple lost their home in a fire late Saturday afternoon. Joe and Patricia Applewhite had just returned home from the grocery store in Decatur around 4. Joe had backed up their truck to be close to the front door in order to unload the groceries when he noticed a fire under the truck. He managed to put the grass fire out with a garden hose, he said, but the pickup had started to catch fire. By the time he went to the back of the truck to help his wife who had fallen, the truck quickly went up in flames. Because the truck was so close to the house, the home quickly went up in flames as well. By the time fire departments from East Wise, Rhome and Decatur arrived on the scene, they had to battle a vehicle, house and grass fire as wind had swept the fire into a field behind the home. The home, located in the 1400 block of Heritage Creek Dr., was a total loss. The Applewhites were not injured. Red Cross responded to help them with basic needs.
DENTON COUNTY WRECK – Anyone traveling to or from Gainesville on Farm Road 51 around midday yesterday found the going tough. An 18-wheeler tanker truck ran off the side of a bridge in Denton County just north of Rocky Ridge, leaving the trailer blocking FM 51 on a narrow bridge. Traffic was rerouted around the area for several hours beginning around 11:30 a.m. The Denton County DPS officer at the scene declined to comment on the accident, but medics cleared the scene without transporting anyone. Two 18-wheelers were believed to be involved in the wreck. The Greenwood/Slidell Volunteer Fire Department assisted with traffic control and remained on the scene until 4:30 p.m.
DEPUTIES HONORED - Four Wise County sheriff’s deputies were honored with plaques of valor Friday at the annual sheriff’s department employee appreciation dinner at the Decatur Civic Center. Three of the deputies, Lt. Art Ferguson, Sgt. Cavin Riggs and deputy Chris Hodges were honored for their work in the Evan Ebel case. Ebel, wanted in Colorado for murder, was killed in wild chase and shoot-out with officers in March of last year. Another deputy, Cpl. Stephen Yancy, was honored for his work in another case where a gunman pulled a gun on him as he answered a disturbance call. Yancy was also honored with the Patrol Deputy of the Year award. The Bo Wright Memorial “Riding for the Brand Award” was presented to Chief Deputy Doug Whitehead. “He is someone who has touched every single one of you” said Sheriff David Walker who presented the award to Whitehead who has been a deputy sheriff in Wise County for more than 30 years.
EARLY VOTING ENTERS SECOND WEEK – Early voting in the March 4 primary elections continues 8 a.m.-5 p.m. today through Friday at Decatur City Hall, the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center and Rhome City Hall. Through the first week of early voting, 838 people have cast their ballots, including 110 on Saturday at Wal-Mart in Decatur.
EAGLES, HOUNDS ADVANCE - The Decatur Eagles and Slidell Greyhounds won their area-round games Friday in thrilling fashion. Philip Walker hit a 12-footer with 9 seconds left to lift Decatur to a 45-44 win over Dallas Roosevelt. Decatur will move on to play Frisco Lone Star at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Class 3A Region quarterfinal at Denton High School. Slidell outlasted Avinger 71-65 in overtime behind 36 points from Isaac Davis. Slidell will play Roxton in Van Alstyne at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Van Alstyne.
CHICO, PARADISE LIFTERS MAKE STATE – Seven lifters from Chico and two from Paradise qualified for the state powerlifting meet Saturday. Chico’s Ana Rodriguez, Alli York, Charley Biggerstaff, Breann Hall, Matison Rhodes, Corey Tate and Heidi Spann earned state bids. Paradise’s Mikela Beck and Deanna Walterscheid won their weight classes to qualify for state.
ROWDEN TAKES 10th – Decatur’s Katey Rowden finished 10th in 4A 50 freestyle, swimming 24.9 at the state swim meet Saturday. She finished 12th in the 100 butterfly in 59.79.
ADULT COMPUTER CLASS – Decatur Public Library begins its Spring Adult Computer Classes with Beginning Microsoft Excel, 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The class is free and open to the public. Visit the library or call 940-393-0290 to register. Space is limited.
BOOK SPEED DATING – Teens ages 12 and up are invited to the Decatur Public Library’s Book Speed Dating event at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Participants will “meet” dozens of new and interesting books in quick succession, with the aim of discovering a great read that otherwise might have been overlooked. No signup is required. Call the library at 940-393-0290 for more information.
RETIRED EDUCATORS MEETING – Wise County Retired School Personnel will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Decatur Civic Center for lunch, business meeting and entertainment furnished by the Decatur High School Flamenco Dancers. Anyone interested in educational matters is invited, but reservations are needed by calling 940-575-2341.
GOSPEL OPRY – The monthly Gospel Opry sing-along program is 7 tonight at the G.C. Rann Auditorium in the Wise County Heritage Museum at 1602 S. Trinity St. in Decatur. Admission is free, and an offering will be accepted toward the expenses of the museum.
FUNERALS – No service is planned for Paul Vernon Jr., 86, of Chico. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.
MEMORIAL service for Ruben R. Matta, 59, of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. Saturday at Jones Family Funeral Home.
SERVICE for Juanita Cleveland, 93, of Paradise is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home.
FUNERAL for Allie Florida, 89, of Greenwood is 11 a.m. Tuesday at Greenwood Baptist Church with burial at Greenwood Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.
SERVICE for Kenneth Dale Cummings, 43, of Decatur is pending at Coker-Hawkins.
MEMORIAL service for Norma Lee Montgomery Coble, 84, of Runaway Bay is 1:30 p.m. Friday at DFW National Cemetery in Dallas. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.