Update for Thursday, August 2, 2018

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ELEVATED FIRE RISK – There will be an elevated fire risk for Wise and surrounding counties Saturday and Sunday according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Temperatures will be in the high 90s with winds 10-15 mph and humidity levels below 30 percent. Wise County is under a 90-day burn ban. In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county is at an average of 726 on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. The high in the county is currently 762.

HOT, DRY JULY – July was the driest since 2012. According to weather watcher Doyle Green in Decatur, we officially received 0.37 of an inch of rain for the month. That followed the 0.31 that fell in June, prolonging drought in the county. For the year, only 12.18 inches of rain has been recorded by Green. The average high temperature in July was 101.6 with 20 days above 100. Green recorded highs of 111 for four straight days between July 20-23. The average low was 75.7.

COUNTY RENEWS INSURANCE, CONSIDERS CHANGES – Wise County renewed its employee health insurance with no increase in cost for the base plan but a 7.8 percent increase on the buy-up plans, which will be absorbed by those policyholders. The county buys insurance through the Texas Association of Counties pool, and the provider is BlueCross BlueShield. “(The insurance company) is willing to do a 0 percent increase on the base plan, but they need to make some more money on the buy-up because that’s where they’re spending the most,” Wise County Judge J.D. Clark told commissioners in a meeting Monday. Last year 60 employees were on the buy-up plan and had $3.1 million in claims for a 328 percent loss, while 267 people on the base plan had only $2.76 million in claims and an 80.3 percent loss ratio. At the recommendation of the insurance company, Clark also suggested commissioners consider implementing a spousal affidavit to confirm employees’ spouses do not have coverage elsewhere before they join the county plan and a tobacco affidavit to curb tobacco use and insurance claims tied to the habit. No decision was made on the affidavits this week, but they will be discussed at the Aug. 13 meeting. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

RANCHERS GATHERING – The Wise County Ranchers Gathering is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church in Decatur. Mike McCravey, industry relations manager with Texas Beef Council, will give an update on the Beef Checkoff and Dr. Doug Hawkins, beef cattle consultant and nutritionist with Purina Mills, will discuss preparation for fall feeding and mineral supplementation.” The trade show will feature more than 20 agriculture-related businesses offering the newest in technology for beef cattle producers. Dinner is set for 6 p.m. Cost is $10. Call the Wise County Extension office to sign up, 940-627-3341.

WELCOME TO WISE – The Wise County Messenger invites the public to a celebration of the 2018 Welcome to Wise, our newcomers and visitors guide, 9-10 a.m. today at Trinity Street Coffee Bar on the Decatur Square. The coffee bar is providing free cappuccinos or iced tea to the first 50 people. We’ll have Messenger goodies to give away, as well as copies of Welcome. The publication will be mailed to all Wise County residents this week.

VETERANS BREAKFAST – The Wise County Veterans Group will meet for breakfast at the Decatur Conference Center 8 a.m. Saturday.

COLLECTING SCHOOL SUPPLIES – Decatur Medical Lodge, 701 W. Bennett Road, is collecting school supplies – paper, pens, spirals, lunch totes and backpacks – for middle and high school students through Aug. 13.

FOOTBALL CLASS – Helmet and Heels for women who want to learn more about football is 6 p.m. Thursday in the Paradise High School cafeteria. Registration is $20 and includes a T-shirt and meal. Call Christi Ryle, 940-210-2739.

FUNERALS – Service for Jackie L. Deaton, 77, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur with burial at West Bridgeport Cemetery.

MEMORIAL service for Billy D. Stevens II, 34, formerly of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Mary L. Huntsinger, 83, of Paradise is 10:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd with burial at Paradise Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Linda Dunn, 68, of Haslet is 10 a.m. Saturday at Rhome Church of Christ with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Patricia Ann Taylor, 72, of Newark is 2 p.m. Friday at Hilltop Assembly of God Church in Boyd with burial at Aurora Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. today at Hilltop Assembly of God Church in Boyd. Arrangements handled by Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

MEMORIAL service for Mark Dwayne Vestal, 62, of Boyd is 7 p.m. Friday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday, before and after the memorial service.

SERVICE for Maria L. Garza, 88, of Decatur is 7 p.m. Monday at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witness.

FUNERAL for Jerry “Mike” Riley, 71, of Boyd is 10 a.m. Friday at Hawkins in Boyd with burial at Wheeler Cemetery in Wheeler. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Joseph Word Giddens Jr., 72, of Ponder is 11 a.m. Saturday at Hawkins in Decatur. Visitation is at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.

SERVICES for Ginger G. Cox, 83, of Decatur and Lisa Green, 57, of Fort Worth are pending at Hawkins in Decatur.

SERVICE for Kristofer Price, 40, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins in Boyd.

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