Month in Review: July 2018

By Messenger Staff | Published Saturday, August 4, 2018

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Renshaw dies at 95

Retired Decatur City Manager Sam Renshaw died July 3 in a Fort Worth hospital.

Renshaw, who carried the title of city secretary for much of his career, retired in 1990 after more than three decades as Decatur’s chief administrator. When he was hired by the late Mayor W.B. Woodruff Jr., the city was struggling financially to pay off the debt of a lake east of town that had washed away in the 1930s. Long after the lake was only a memory for old timers, the city paid off the loan to build it.

Thirty years later, the city was on sound financial footing, and most gave Renshaw and his hand-picked successor Brett Shannon credit for the recovery. In 1958, the city had eight employees, and today it has more than 100.

Man shot, killed over fireworks

An elderly Lake Bridgeport man was shot and killed July 7 after getting into an argument over fireworks with neighbors.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said his office received a call about 10:25 p.m. regarding a shooting incident near Church Street. Edward Cordero, 80, came outside because a large group of people were igniting fireworks. The conversation soon turned argumentative, and Cordero told the group he was going to get his gun. A 33-year-old in the group also retrieved a firearm.

According to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office, Cordero reportedly fired the first shot. The 33-year-old then returned fire and struck Cordero in the head. No charges have been filed. Akin said the Sheriff’s Office will be conferring with the District Attorney and the case may be referred to the grand jury.

Rhome man killed in plane crash

An 86-year-old man was killed when his single engine aircraft crashed in a field north of Farm Road 407 near the Fairview Airport July 12.

The pilot, Dominick Pellegreno, of Rhome, was the sole occupant of the plane, a 1936 Rose Parakeet, fixed-wing aircraft.

Two homes destroyed in fires

Two homes were lost in separate fires July 27.

Good Samaritans rescued three people from a house fire in Chico in the 300 block of Weatherford Street across from the Lowe’s Market. Ubaldo Garcia of the Chico Volunteer Fire Department said a mother, infant and toddler were trapped in the house when they arrived.

Fire destroyed a single-story home on County Road 3198. Firefighters from Decatur, Boyd, Bridgeport, Paradise, East Wise and Rhome battled the blaze in the 90-degree heat throughout the morning. The home was fully involved when firefighters arrived.


751 was the average for the county July 25 on the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture. The scale goes to 800. The county is under a 90-day burn ban.

111 was the high temperature recorded by weather watcher Doyle Green in Decatur for four straight days between July 20-23. The average high temperature was 101.6 with 20 days above 100.

600 pounds of marijuana discovered by a Department of Public Safety trooper during a traffic stop July 24 on U.S. 81/287.

12,655 protests filed with the Wise County Appraisal District on property values – nearly triple the 4,657 in 2017.

51 arrests by Wise County Sheriff’s Office for methamphetamine in the first six months of the year.


“I can’t tell enough people about it. When I look back on this, this is probably one of the happiest times of my life.”
Gary Davis on winning the gold medal with Vocal Majority in the Barbershop Harmony Society Chorus World Championships.

“When it’s hot, it’s miserable. You don’t get used to it. It never gets easier.”
Travis Cochin, a line inspector for HP Communications on working in the heat.

“No rain, no hay. No hay, no cattle. It’s pretty simple. We need some rain.”
Rancher Melinda Aaron of A-Ranch on hay shortage during this summer’s drought.

“No one’s ever done it. I feel pretty good going in. Being the defending champs, we have a lot of confidence. With swagger and confidence, that hole gets really big. We got plenty of confidence.”
Dylan Nation on preparing to defend championship in the Decatur Chamber of Commerce Put Yo Money Where Yo Mouth Is tournament at Reunion.

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