1 DEAD, 1 MISSING IN ALVORD FIRE – At least one person was killed in a two-structure fire north of Alvord early Thursday morning. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the remains of one person were found, but another person believed to be in one of the structures was unaccounted for. Fire departments from Alvord, Chico, Sunset and Decatur were dispatched to the fire in the 200 block of County Road 1695 around 12:49 a.m. Units arrived on scene and reported a travel trailer fully engulfed and flames through the back part of a single-wide mobile home. Officials believe the fire started in the travel trailer and spread to the mobile home. The occupant of the mobile home escaped without serious injury. The names of the victims were not released at the scene. The cause of the fire is under investigation. More information will be published at WCMessenger.com as it becomes available.
NO BURNING TODAY – The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for noon-6 p.m. today due to extreme fire danger. That means no outdoor burning is allowed in Wise County according to the county’s burn ban. Northwest winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 40 miles per hour are expected behind a cold front along with minimum relative humidities of 15 to 30 percent. Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.
VOTED YET? – Early voting for the March 4 Democratic and Republican primaries continues today at three locations in Wise County: Decatur City Hall, the Bridgeport Law Enforcement Center and Rhome City Hall. Another 179 people cast their votes yesterday.
SLOWING DOWN – Devon Energy Corporation told financial analysts Wednesday that it will reduce its spending in the Barnett Shale natural gas field for the second consecutive year. Devon plans to spend $600 million in the Barnett and the Anadarko fields in Oklahoma. The Star-Telegram quoted CEO John Richels as saying Devon will drill about 200 wells in total in the two fields “in only the most economic portion of these plays.” Last year Devon drilled 172 wells in the Barnett and 184 in the Anadarko. Despite the cuts Devon’s production in the Barnett field in 2013 remained virtually unchanged from 2012. The Star-Telegram said that Devon and other producers have been concentrating their drilling in areas with higher oil and natural gas liquids because of higher prices than dry gas.
LITERACY BANQUET – The 3rd annual Bridgeport Literacy Banquet, hosted by the Bridgeport Bookcase Project Committee, is 6 p.m. tonight at the Bridgeport High School Commons. Tickets are $15.95 per person or $125 per table and can be purchased at Bridgeport Public Library, Meyers Agency, Bridgeport Index, First State Bank, First Financial Bank and The Community Bank. Proceeds are used to build bookcases for Head Start students. Bring gently used preschool children’s books to be given with the bookcases, or drop books off at the Index, Brookshire’s or public library.
BLOOD DRIVE – Rhome Pharmacy will host a Carter BloodCare Blood Drive at 400 S. Main Street in Rhome 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, or appointments can be made by calling Best Value Rhome Pharmacy at 817-638-5561.
ALVORD SPORTS ASSOCIATION – The last day to register for Alvord youth baseball, softball or T-ball is Saturday, No late registration will be accepted. Forms may be picked up at school offices or by calling Tracy Parker at 940-393-5316.
BRIDGEPORT SPORTS – Bridgeport Youth Association will have baseball/softball/soccer sign-ups for ages 4-14 from 5:30-8 tonight at the Community Center on Lawdwin Street. The last Saturday registration is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Community Center. For more information, visit www.bridgeportyouthassoc.com or call Jared McComis at 940-399-7530.
UMPIRING CLINIC – The Bridgeport Youth Association will hold an ASA Softball Umpiring Clinic at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Bridgeport Recreational Center. Cost is $35. For more information, call Acie Raymond at 405-481-5290 or Mike Maxon at 940-577-1297.
SOFTBALL TRYOUTS – “Wise County Crush” select softball is holding tryouts for girls 14 and under and 12 and under at 1 p.m. Saturday at Jewel Park in Chico. For more information, call 940-626-9697.
DEADLINE EXTENDED – Chico Softball registration has been extended until Feb. 28. Registration forms are available in the Chico Elementary and Middle School offices.
FUNERAL - Memorial service for Barbara Darlene Paul, 72, of Springtown is 2 p.m. Saturday at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd. Family visitation is one hour prior to the service at the funeral home.