Month in Review: July 2018

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, September 1, 2018

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Inferno torches LBJ Grasslands

A massive fire torched 450 acres of the LBJ National Grasslands Aug. 3.

Firefighters from more than 20 fire departments, including 10 Wise County departments, battled the intense blaze centered around County Road 2391 near Hopewell Baptist Church close to Alvord.

Flames hurled several feet in the air and covered the sky with black smoke.

The fire also consumed the Barclay Salvage Yard.

Gaming machines seized

Ten gaming machines were seized from two separate tobacco shops in Bridgeport Aug. 9, and the business owners could soon face misdemeanor gambling charges.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford said officers received tips from citizens about possible illegal gambling going on in the two businesses, both located on 16th Street – one in the 1400 block and the other in the 1700 block.

An undercover officer had gone into the businesses and verified that cash prizes were being given to winners.

Stanford explained that the machines themselves are not illegal. Businesses are allowed to award prizes to winners, but a cash prize is against the law.

Local districts make the grade

Two Wise County school districts earned A’s in the first A-F accountability ratings released Aug. 15 by the Texas Education Agency.

Alvord and Northwest received A’s based on three domains measuring academic performance – student achievement, school progress and closing the gaps.

All districts in the county earned passing grades.

Pilot dies in plane crash

The pilot of a single-engine Cessna 172, Curtis Moore, 63, of Rhome died after crashing into a field in Rhome Aug. 16.

Three other passengers suffered unknown injuries.

Child dies after falling in pool

A 2-year-old child died Aug. 19 at a Fort Worth hospital after being found unresponsive in his family’s pool on the afternoon of Aug. 16 near Balsora.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said deputies and medics responded to a home off Farm Road 2210 around 5 p.m. when a 2 1/2-year-old boy was found in the family’s in-ground swimming pool.


41: first days of school at Alvord Elementary for kindergarten teacher Judy Smith.

21: dogs and 13 cats were adopted from the Wise County Animal Shelter during the annual Clear the Shelter event.

$2.7: million in sales taxes brought in by city of Decatur over the past 11 months.

$60,084: raised at the fundraiser for Abby Bramlett, a local 5-year-old girl battling a rare form of brain cancer.


“That hero stuff means nothing to me. The babies living meant a lot. That’s all that [mattered] to me.”
Steve Maxwell, who helped rescue Abby Nelson and her two sons from a burning home in Chico.

“The fire was coming our way and the wind shifted. The flames went around us. The way I’m taking that is God is the master of the wind. God’s not through with us yet.”
Hopewell Baptist Church pastor Charles Nichols on the church being saved from the Aug. 3 wildfire.

“I’m borderline anarchist where I feel like there should be no government.”
Maritha Gan during her speech at the county’s public hearing on the tax rate.

“The average home value in Boyd is $139,000. This is about $6 per month of an increase…That’s a breakfast at Mel’s one day.”
Boyd Mayor Rodney Holmes on the city’s proposed tax increase.

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