Thursday, February 1, 2018

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MURDER CONVICTION – It took a Wise County jury only 10 minutes Wednesday to decide that Jake Abel should spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his girlfriend. Just three hours earlier, the same jury had found Abel, 31, guilty of killing Soccorro Taylor in December of 2015 in Fort Worth and burying her body in a shallow grave near Boyd. In addition to the life sentence, the jury also assessed a $10,000 fine, the maximum amount on both. The verdict brought the 12-day trial to a close after nearly 50 witnesses testified and around 700 pieces of evidence were introduced. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

FIRES BREAK OUT ACROSS COUNTY – Firefighters from Boyd, Paradise, Newark, Rhome, Cottondale and Springtown battled a blaze off Farm Road 2048 near Keeter that charred approximately 100 acres shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Firefighters had the fire contained by the early evening and then worked to hit hotspots into the evening. The Red Cross provided food and drinks for the busy firefighters. Firefighters worked multiple grass fires around Wise County Wednesday on a Red Flag Warning day. Decatur and Greenwood/Slidell firefighters responded to a fire off Farm Road 730 in the northeast portion of the county. Decatur and East Wise firefighters extinguished a blaze on County Road 4223. Crafton and Chico firefighters were called to a grass fire Wednesday around 8:30 p.m. off County Road 1886 that included six to seven bales of hay. Temperatures reached the high 70s with humidity levels in the low 20s. The unseasonably warm temperatures, dry air and wind gusts as high as 28 mph out of the southwest created terrifying fire weather conditions Wednesday. After the arrival of a cold front, Thursday’s highs will be in the low 60s, with north winds between 10 and 15 mph in the afternoon. An elevated fire risk remains, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

JANUARY WEATHER – Wise County saw its second driest January ever according to records dating back to 1974. We received 0.09 of an inch of rain for the month. Temperatures in the month ranged from a low of 7 on Jan. 17 to a high of 76 on Jan. 21.

UIL REALIGNMENT – The University Interscholastic League (UIL) will announce its reclassification and realignment for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years at 9 a.m. today. The new district alignments are established by the enrollment snapshot that was taken in October and will serve as the football and basketball districts for the next two school years. All Wise County schools will stay in their current class and division with the exception of Northwest. Follow along @WCMsports at 9 a.m. for live updates of where Wise County teams end up.

YOUTH SOCCER – Bridgeport youth soccer sign ups will take place 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday Feb. 3 and 10 at the Bridgeport Public Library. Fee is $65.

GENEALOGY CLASS – A free genealogy class will be offered at the Decatur Public Library 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22. Patti Gillespie will present “Tracing, Recording and Remembering our Ancestors.” Laptops will be used. Register at the library or call 940-393-0290.

GARDEN CLUB – The Bridgeport Garden Club, which serves all of Wise County, will hold its monthly meeting today at the Bridgeport Community Center. The program is “Companion Plants for Pollinators” by Suzanne Clement. Lunch will served, and all are welcome. Call Deb Lewis, 443-415-4240.

DOMINOES ANYONE? – Anybody who plays 42 or would like to learn is invited to the Decatur Senior Citizen Center at 6 p.m. on Thursdays. The center is located at 1200 N. Miller St.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Lisa Sipes, 53, of Bridgeport is 11 a.m. Friday at the First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Ryan Alden Munnerlyn, 28, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Beverly Ann Coffey, 60, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Saturday at Central Baptist Church in Chico with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur. Family visitation will be one hour prior to service at the church. Jones-Decatur is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Twyligh Shaffer, 89, of Rhome is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Warren C. Crain, 84, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Eric Hodge, 42, of Conway, Ark., is 11 a.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Chico Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Bobby Joe Murrell, 82, of Sunset is 11:30 a.m. today at Mount Olivet Chapel in Fort Worth.

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