TRUCK FIRE CAUSES TRAFFIC ISSUES – An 18-wheeler that wrecked and caught fire on U.S. 81/287 in Decatur Wednesday afternoon caused southbound traffic to be rerouted on Farm Road 730 through Boyd for hours. The driver of the vehicle was not injured. The wreck happened in south Decatur around 3 p.m. near McMaster New Holland. Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said Bradley Eastman, 51, of Fort Worth was southbound in an 18-wheeler when he apparently drifted into a concrete construction barrier south of Karl Klement Ford. The truck skidded along the barrier for about 100 yards, leaking diesel fuel on the road. The truck also caught fire, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air and stopping both northbound and southbound traffic. Eastman said he was able to bail out of the cab with just a scratch to his knee. Decatur Police and Fire responded to help extinguish the blaze which destroyed the cab and trailer. Wise County EMS also responded. Hoskins said a haz-mat crew was called for the cleanup. Northbound traffic began flowing again around 4 p.m., but all southbound traffic was rerouted on Farm Road 730 through Boyd to Texas 114 until around 7 p.m. when one southbound lane of U.S. 81/287 was reopened. The accident happened around the time Decatur schools released for the day, so some bus routes were delayed. Hoskins said traffic will likely be reduced to one lane for several weeks in that area. TxDOT should be on scene this morning to remove pavement damaged in the accident.
TRASH SERVICE RATE INCREASE – Bridgeport residents will now pay an increase of 22 cents per month for trash and recycling services after the Bridgeport City Council approved an amendment to the city’s contract with Progressive Waste Systems at its meeting Tuesday night. The council also amended contracts for the city’s electric rates and approved the purchase of 17 Kimber .45 guns a for the Bridgeport Police Department from the Court Security fund. Read more in the next edition of the Wise County Messenger.
UNITED WAY LUNCHEON – The United Way of Wise County will kick off its 2014 fundraising campaign with a luncheon today at the Decatur Civic Center. The group hopes to raise $450,000 this fall for Wise County charities. Tickets for the luncheon are $15 at the door. To be billed, fax the United Way office at 940-627-3684.
CAR WASH FOR MDA – Chico High School’s “Ryan’s Padawans” will host an MDA Benefit Car Wash this Saturday in memory of classmate Ryan Ruddick, who died May 19, 2011, at the age of 14 after battling muscular dystrophy throughout his life. The car wash will be from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Old Car Wash on 1810 in Chico, across from Chico Park. Cost is $10 for car wash only or $15 for car wash and vacuum, with all proceeds going to MDA. The class has continued to do fundraisers for MDA in Ryan’s memory since he died, shortly after he was named valedictorian of their eighth grade class.
REPUBLICAN MEETING – Wise County Republicans will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 8, at the Training Room of the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, 200 Rook Ramsey Dr. in Decatur. Guest speaker MerryLynn Gerstenschlager, vice president of Texas Eagle Forum, will speak on Common Core. This month’s meeting and speaker will be hosted by the Wise County Republican Women.
FALL FESTIVAL – The Rhome Fall Festival is Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27. Sponsors, vendors, pageant and parade entries are welcome. Contact Rhome City Hall, 817-636-2462; Deborah BeCraft, 817-636-2826 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Debbie Stewart, 817-707-2097 or email@example.com.
COMMUNITY MENTORING – An informational meeting on a new, community-driven mentoring program at Boyd Middle School is 6:30 tonight in the school’s cafeteria. Volunteers interested in making a difference in a middle school student’s life are needed. For information, call the school at 940-433-9560.
BOOTHS AND SPONSORSHIPS – Various levels of sponsorship are available for the Decatur Junior Woman’s Club 2nd Annual City on a Hill Color Run and Fun Run. They include platinum for $250, business name on event T-shirt and sponsorship banner; gold for $100, business name on gold level of banner; silver for $50, business name on silver level of banner. Sponsors are also welcome to submit items for goodie bags distributed to every participant. There will also be booth space available at the event for $50. Call Amy Wilson at 817-841-4471.
FUNERALS – Service for James Leo Holder, 82, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. today at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Keeter with burial at Pleasant Grove Cemetery No. 2. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.
FUNERAL for Delbert William Paige, 67, of Decatur is 11 a.m. today at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery.