BREAKING NEWS — Targa Gas Plant fire


Fire departments across the county were called to a fire at the Targa Gas Plant in Chico shortly after 2 a.m. this morning. Alvord, Chico, Crafton, Decatur and Sand Flats fire units were dispatched to the plant. Wise County Fire Marshall Chuck Beard said that the fire was still burning as of 5:30 a.m., and the plan is to let it burn itself out.

Ten to fifteen homes in the area have been evacuated. No one has been injured.

“Right now, it’s kind of just a waiting game,” Beard said.

Bus routes for Chico ISD running along County Road 1745 will be affected by the fire. Farm Road 1810, closed off  after first responders arrived on scene, is now open.

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Accident on Farm Road 51


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An accident on the Farm Road 51 overpass crossing U.S. 380 slowed traffic on the bridge Friday evening.

A Chevy Equinox struck a Nissan Acura on the overpass. Wise County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Wes Hughes said the passenger of the Equinox reported the driver in the vehicle was experiencing medical issues prior to the wreck. The driver of the Equinox was unconscious when officers arrived and will be transported to Wise Regional Health System.

Hughes said the driver of the Acura was conscious and may have suffered a minor head injury.

No names have been released at this time.

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Breaking News: Fire destroys Newark home


At around 2:15 a.m. Friday a fire destroyed a double-wide Newark home located at 164 County Road 4875.

The home was occupied by five people — two adults and three children.

All five escaped the fire, but one child was flown to Parkland Hospital with 35 percent burns on his body.

“The adults pulled the 11 year-old out of the window,” Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said. “The grandfather received injuries, cuts and minor burns, but he was not transported.”

The names of the victims have not been released yet and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Electrical issues force office closing


Due to electrical issues with an underground transformer, the Wise County Clerk’s office is closed for the rest of the day. Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley said the issue only affects the one office, and repairs are expected to take several hours.

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Rollover at highway intersection


Lonnie Phipps, of Rhome, rolled over the 18-wheeler he was driving at the intersection of U.S. 287 and U.S. 380 in Decatur at approximately 6:45 p.m.

Phipps, driving for Nabors, exited off of U.S. 380 where he rolled the tractor-trailer on the loop that transitions to U.S. 287.

According to Decatur Police officer Victor Monjaraz­ – who worked the accident ­– Phipps seemed in good health.

“He was doing ok when I got on scene,” Monjaraz said. “He was standing up with a couple of lacerations on his face. He had already contacted his supervisor and wife on the phone when I arrived.”

Phipps was transported to Wise Regional Health System.wreck 8-23-15 car wreck 2 8-23-15 car wreck 3 8-23-15

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Fire destroys home in Boyd


imageFire destroyed a double-wide trailer at 311 North Ewing in Boyd Saturday morning, displacing a family.
Boyd, Newark and Rhome firefighters fought the blaze in the near 90-degree heat with medics on scene providing fluids and cool rags for relief. Medics also checked the vitals of firefighters battling the blaze.
Dane O’Neil, who lived in the trailer with his daughter, mother and brother, said he was at a residence up the road when the blaze started.
“I was about to go out to do a mowing job when a little girl come down the road and said there was a fire,” O’Neil said.
“It was way bad when we got here. Anything and everything we had in there is gone.”
He said the family had lived in the trailer for two months but had spent several months making repairs at the property.
The front of the structure was fully involved and was working to the back when Boyd Assistant Fire Chief Jason Adams arrived.
Boyd Police Officer Aaron Soultaire added that the front porch was engulfed in flames when he arrived at 10:50 a.m.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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Bridgeport man killed in Friday’s accident


The Department of Public Safety Sunday night released the names of those involved in Friday night’s fatal accident on Farm Road 1810 at the intersection with Farm Road 1655 North.
DPS Sgt. Lonny Haschel said Daniel Cordova-Acuna, 30, of Bridgeport died in the accident. He was driving the Mazda B series pickup that ran the stop sign at FM 1655 and FM 1810 and into the path of an eastbound 18-wheeler.
The 18-wheeler was driven by Jose Ramirez Garcia, 42, of Alto. He was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. After hitting the Ford Ranger, Garcia’s 18-wheeler rolled onto its side and slid into oncoming traffic.
It was hit by a military vehicle driven by Colton Petty, 21, of Chico. Petty was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
There were no passengers in any of the vehicles.
Read the full story in the midweek Messenger on newsstands Wednesday.

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2 seriously injured in motorcycle crash


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Springtown man and woman were seriously injured Sunday morning when they laid their motorcycle down to avoid hitting barricades on Farm Road 730 north of Decatur.
Randall and Danni Carwile, both 31, were traveling south on FM 730 with two other motorcycles when they topped the hill at County Road 2175 about 10:30 a.m.
“They topped the hill, encountered the barricades and laid the bike down,” Department of Public Safety Trooper William Wallace said. “Their speed has yet to be determined.”
The Carwiles were the third motorcycle in a group of three.
Randy Finch of Springtown was driving the first bike with his wife, Beth, a passenger. He said the detour signs were a surprise as they came over the hill.
“They really need to move those to the other side of the hill,” Beth Finch said. “It’s behind the road where you turn.”
The orange detour sign and barricades are immediately south of the detour route on CR 2175. Trooper Wallace said there is a white “road closed sign” just north of CR 2175, but the Finches said they did not see it.
Randy Finch said he saw the detour sign and barricades as they came over the hill, but it was too late to turn. He veered to the right and was able to avoid hitting the barricades.
Finch’s brother, Danny Finch, was driving the second motorcycle, and he, too, ran off the road to avoid a collision. Danny Finch is also Danni Carwile’s father. No one on the first two bikes were injured.
Trooper Wallace did not know the extent of the Carwiles’ injuries, but they were both flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Neither were wearing helmets.
This stretch of 730 has been closed since heavy rainfall earlier this year damaged the bridge.
On July 17, Public Information Officer Natalie Galindo with the Texas Department of Transportation said there was no estimated completion date for the bridge repair work.
“Due to the amount of rain we received, it has washed out parts of the bridge, which in turn makes the bridge not safe,” she said via email. “We are in the process of an emergency contract ….”

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ID of shooting suspect released


Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

A 21-year-old man was arrested Saturday morning after firing shots near the Paradise High School football field while the football and cross country teams were practicing.
Tanner Lee Andrews of Fort Worth, formerly of Paradise, was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon in a weapon-free zone and deadly conduct discharging a firearm at or in the direction of a residence and/or persons. He is in the Wise County Jail, and as of Sunday morning, no bond had been set.
Andrews was seen driving erratically on Stadium Drive at 7:16 a.m. Saturday, and witnesses said he held a handgun out the window and fired.
Wise County Sheriff David Walker said other witnesses saw the driver fire at least one additional shot farther down Stadium Drive in the direction of the football field.
No one was injured in the incident, and Andrews was quickly located by state troopers on Texas 114 in Paradise.
Wise County criminal investigators, crime scene investigators and Paradise ISD administration responded to the scene. Off-duty deputies remained at Paradise High School throughout the day as a precaution during ongoing practices and volleyball scrimmages.
The investigation is ongoing, but it’s believed Andrews acted alone.
Walker advised citizens who live in the area of the football field to check their homes for damage. Investigators are going door-to-door in search of damage or additional witnesses.

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Deputies investigate drive-by shooting


Wise County sheriff’s deputies are investigating a drive-by shooting incident Saturday morning near the Paradise High School football field.
“There were lots of people on the field, but luckily no one was hit,” Sheriff David Walker said. State troopers stopped the suspect vehicle — a red pickup — at Texas 114 and Old Town Road in Paradise and arrested a 22-year-old suspect.
Walker said witnesses told officers he was 100 to 200 yards away when the shots were fired from a pistol.
“Both the football and cross-country teams were on the field when the shots were fired,” Walker said.

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Accident kills 1, destroys 3 vehicles


Photo by Joe Duty

Photo by Joe Duty

One man was killed in a three-vehicle accident east of Chico Friday evening.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick Garcia said a small pickup traveling on Farm Road 1655 ran a stop sign at the intersection of 1655 and Farm Road 1810, coming into the path of an eastbound 18-wheeler. The 18-wheeler hit the pickup and pushed it off the road before rolling over onto its side and sliding into the westbound lane, where it was struck by an oncoming military vehicle. The two vehicles came to rest on the north side of the road after destroying a guard rail.

The driver of the pickup was killed, and the driver of the military vehicle was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. The 18-wheeler driver was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

There were no passengers in any of the vehicles.

DPS has not yet released the names of those involved.

More information will be posted as it’s available.

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Rhome city administrator resigns


Rhome City Administrator Brandon Davis has resigned after a little over a week on the job. His resignation follows heated protests from Mayor Michelle Pittman concerning his hiring.

Pittman said via email that two city council members, Jerry Taylor and Dawn Davis, also submitted resignations to her.

Davis called a special city council meeting earlier this week, which is still scheduled for 8 p.m. tonight. City Secretary Angie Young said if the meeting is cancelled she will post an update on the city website.

Davis, also the police chief of Rhome, said he will remain in that position.

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Pasture fire threatens home


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Decatur Fire Department, Newark Fire Department and Boyd Volunteer Fire Department responded to a pasture fire threatening a structure on Private Road 4379 between Decatur and Boyd this morning.

David Lambert said he had been raking and baling hay for the owner of the property when the hay baler caught on fire. The fire then spread to several hay bales and across the pasture, burning between two to three acres, according to Boyd VFD Captain Shane McNelly.

The fire then spread to the residence on the property, burning a portion of the garage before Decatur FD put it out.

The owner of the property, who requested his name be withheld, said most of what burned was marginal.

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Car chase ends in arrest


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Decatur Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Public Safety were involved in a car chase that ended in the arrest of Israel Trey Rodriguez, 21, in Decatur this afternoon.

Decatur Officer Keith Hilton responded to a call from Rodriguez’s girlfriend, who claimed Rodriguez, a Bridgeport resident, told her he was coming to her home to kill her. After Hilton arrived at the girlfriend’s home, Rodriguez pulled onto the road. Seeing Hilton, he turned his car and fled.

The various law enforcement agencies gave chase as Rodriguez headed north on U.S. 81/287 toward Alvord, before turning around and back south to Decatur. The chase snaked through downtown Decatur before ending on Business U.S. 81/287 south of Carson Elementary. Wise County Sheriff’s Patrol Lt. Art Ferguson said officers tried to use spikes to stop the car three times during the chase, but Rodriguez managed to evade. At the scene of his arrest, Rodriguez appeared agitated and screamed at detectives, demanding for them to talk to him.

Rodriguez is currently in the custody of Decatur PD. Decatur Sgt. Gerald Wright said Rodriguez will be charged with evading arrest, resisting arrest and making a terroristic threat.

Prior to today’s incident, Rodriguez was awaiting trial for interfering with an emergency call in June.

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Boyd to shut off water, issues boil notice


The Boyd Public Works Department will shut off water to most of the city at midnight Friday to repair a six-inch water line that ruptured along Farm Road 730 near Texas 114. The Highland Oaks development will not be affected by the outage. The repair is expected to take less than four hours with water service restored by 4 a.m. The city has issued a boil water notice from Friday through the weekend. The notice is expected to be rescinded Monday after getting clearance from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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Head-on wreck injures 1


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Two pickups collided at a bend on Old Decatur Road roughly two miles from Farm Road 730 just before 2:15 Wednesday afternoon.

DPS Trooper Robert Carson said a southbound white Ford work truck driven by a 60 year old male from Decatur failed to give one half of the roadway to an oncoming white Chevrolet work truck driven by a 44 year old male, also from Decatur.

“The driver of the Ford stated that he had looked down to check his notes and when he looked back up is when the collision happened,” Carson said. “He couldn’t remember much besides that.”

The southbound Ford driver, who identified himself as Kyle Stephens, appeared uninjured at the scene. Firefighters had to cut the northbound driver out of his truck. He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth via helicopter according to Trooper Carson.

Trooper Carson could not confirm the name of the injured driver.

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IDs released in fatal accident


Karyn Peterson, 53, of Paradise was killed in the three-vehicle accident on Texas 114 between Boyd and Paradise Saturday morning.

Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel Sunday released Peterson’s name, as well as the others involved in the crash.

Peterson was driving a Ford Escape east on 114 near the 51 exit to Springtown when, for unknown reasons, she veered into the westbound lane. DPS Trooper Jeremy Pope said the passenger car sideswiped a westbound Chevrolet pickup driven by Treva Anderson, 47, of Boyd. The pickup went into a side skid and came to rest in the middle of the road, facing east.

After the Escape struck the pickup, it continued across the westbound lane and was hit by a GMC Yukon, pulling two Sea-Doos. The Yukon was driven by Russell Hightower, 29, of Springtown.

The impact split the Escape in two with one half landing in the creek below the roadway. Peterson was pronounced dead on scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson. There were no passengers in her vehicle.

Trooper Pope said a passenger in the pickup, Wade Anderson, 49, of Boyd, was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with injuries. He was treated and released. The Anderson’s teenage daughter was also in the pickup, but she and her mother were not injured.

Hightower and Yukon passenger Autumn Hightower, 25, of Springtown were treated and released from Wise Regional.

In addition to troopers, Boyd Fire Department, sheriff’s deputies and Wise County medics were called to the scene. The highway was shut down for almost three hours. It re-opened at 12:20 p.m.

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91-year-old killed in tractor accident


A 91-year-old man was killed in a tractor accident on property off Farm Road 2048, southwest of Boyd, Saturday night.

Forrest Bailey routinely took his tractor out and usually returned to the house at dark, according to Captain Kevin Benton with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. When he didn’t return at the expected time Saturday, his wife called a family member who began looking for Bailey. He was found in the pasture pinned beneath the tractor. Emergency responders were called to the scene just after 10:30 p.m.

Benton said according to a family member, there was a piece on the tractor that regularly vibrates loose, and it wasn’t uncommon for Bailey to get off the tractor to tighten it. The piece was missing Saturday night.

Benton said investigators believe Bailey got off the tractor while it was in low gear and was run over by the piece of machinery.

“It’s a bad, bad accident,” Benton said.

Bailey’s body was sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiners for an autopsy.

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Woman killed in 3-vehicle accident


The passenger in the GMC Yukon was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The driver was uninjured. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

The passenger in the GMC Yukon was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The driver was uninjured. Messenger photo by Joe Duty.

A woman was killed in a three-vehicle accident on Texas 114 between Boyd and Paradise just before 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

She was driving a passenger car east on 114 near the 51 exit to Springtown when, for unknown reasons, she veered into the westbound lane. Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeremy Pope said the passenger car sideswiped a westbound Chevrolet pickup. The pickup went into a side skid and came to rest in the middle of the road, facing east.

After the passenger car struck the pickup, it continued across the westbound lane and was hit by a GMC Yukon, pulling two Sea-Doos. The impact split the car in two with one half landing in the creek below the roadway.

The driver of the car was pronounced dead on scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson. There were no passengers in the car.

Trooper Pope said the driver of the pickup was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with injuries. The driver’s wife and daughter were also in the vehicle but were uninjured.

The driver of the Yukon was uninjured, but a passenger in the vehicle was transported to Wise Regional.

Pope had not released the names of anyone involved as of noon Saturday. There were a total of six people in the accident, and Pope and Trooper Patrick Garcia were working to confirm their identities.

In addition to troopers, Boyd Fire Department, sheriff’s deputies and Wise County medics were called to the scene. The highway was shut down for almost three hours. It re-opened at 12:20 p.m.

More information will be posted as it’s available.

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Pilot injured in crash


imageA small plane crashed Sunday afternoon a mile west of Chico, injuring the pilot.

Harold Love, 64, of Bridgeport was taken by ground ambulance to Harris Methodist in Fort Worth with back pain.

Love was the lone passenger of the 1970s model plane.

Love and another plane were headed to get fuel. When the pilot of othe plane saw no sight of Love, he circled around and found Love and the plane in a field 250 yards south of County Road 1640.

“The buddy circling over head found him,” said Department of Public Safety Trooper Ralph Wallace. “He’d been sitting there for an hour.

Medics and firefighters were called to the scene shortly after 6 p.m.

Wallace said Love was alert and complaining of back pain.

Wallace added that the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate crash.

 

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