Grass fire erupts along U.S. 380


A Chico Volunteer Fire Dept. brush truck works to put out the remains of a grass fire -- one of several that that broke out just after 2 Tuesday afternoon along U.S. 380 across from Amanda Way. Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis was trying to determine a cause for the fires, but it looked like the ignition source came from the highway.

A Chico Volunteer Fire Dept. brush truck works to put out the remains of a grass fire — one of several that that broke out just after 2 Tuesday afternoon along U.S. 380 across from Amanda Way. Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis was trying to determine a cause for the fires, but it looked like the ignition source came from the highway.

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Flurry of rollovers on 287


Two separate one-car rollovers on U.S. 287 near Alvord Sunday evening sent four people to the hospital in Decatur. Both mishaps were blamed on icy roads as snow and sleet blew in after sundown. The first occurred just before 8 when a vehicle rolled into the median just north of Alvord. Two people were transported from the scene by Wise County EMS ambulance. While officers were at the scene, a car approaching the accident spun out and went off the roadway and was helped back onto the road by the Alvord Fire Department’s brush truck crew. Just a few minutes later, another one-car rollover was called in just south of the earlier one. Two people were also transported by Wise County EMS from that wreck. Alvord Fire Department responded to that scene as well, as Department of Public Safety state troopers worked both accidents. The wreck scenes were cleared shortly after 9.

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Car crashes into ravine, driver seriously injured


A man was seriously injured Thursday evening when his car crashed into a ravine off of Farm Road 2127 near Crafton.

Adam Edington, 19, was traveling southbound on 2127 in a compact car about 5 p.m. when he ran off the edge of the pavement. Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeff Johnson said Edington tried to return to the roadway and overcorrected, losing control.

The car left the roadway and crashed into a ravine that was about 100 feet deep. Johnson said Edington’s car landed upright, but due to his injuries, including a head injury, he was unable to get out of the car.

Wise County’s Medic 1 and Rescue 1 treated Edington and transported him about one mile south to Farm Road 1810 where Air Evac Lifeteam 68 landed. The helicopter ambulance flew Edington to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Farm Road 2127 was shut down for about an hour. Crafton and Chico volunteer fire departments also responded and assisted with traffic control on both roadways.

 

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Fire destroys Alvord home


 

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

An Alvord home caught fire about 12:45 a.m. Wednesday when the heater on a chicken brooder malfunctioned.

Homeowner Mark Kelley and his dogs, Thumper and Roxie, escaped without injury, but his house in the 1500 block of County Road 1790 was destroyed. The smell of smoke woke him up.

“When I went to see what was smoking, I could see the fire on the side of the brooder where the heating element was,” he said. “By the time I figured out what was happening, it was time to get out.”

Kelley said he raises chickens for organic eggs, and he had 86 new chicks in the brooder. He had it set up in the middle bedroom of the mobile home to protect the chicks from the cold front that blew in this week.

Alvord Fire Chief Sam Hahn said when his department arrived, the home was fully involved. Decatur and Sunset fire departments were also called to the scene.

The American Red Cross was called to assist Kelley.

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Worker killed in tractor accident


A man operating a tractor at a construction site at a private residence near Boyd was killed Wednesday morning when the tractor tipped over. The man, from Decatur, was not identified pending notification of next of kin and positive identification. Wise County Sheriff’s Investigator Josh Reynolds said the backhoe tipped over on its side, pinning the operator underneath. He died at the scene. Reynolds said there does not appear to be anything suspicious about the accident, which happened just after 10 a.m. in the 1200 block of  County Road 4371 north of Boyd. It appeared the man was part of a work crew clearing brush and digging out a pond.

 

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Update on Tuesday’s U.S. 287 wreck


The woman who was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth Tuesday following her wreck with a parked 18-wheeler on the median of U.S. 287 at C.R. 4421 has been identified as Yanete Ramirez-Merchedo, 31, of Decatur. She is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at JPS, and was initially treated for a head contusion, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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Wise County voting totals


Update: We’ve got finals. Clark elected county judge with 83 percent to Stegall’s 17 percent. Kennedy is elected Pct. 4 commissioner with 83.5 percent to over Kemp’s 16.5 percent.

Update: 19 of 25 boxes are in, and Clark is cruising to an easy win. He maintains his 83 to 17 percent lead over Stegall in the county judge race. Boxes that are in: 1-1, 1-2, 1-22, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 2-7, 2-8, 2-9, 2-10, 2-11, 2-12, 4-13, 4-17, 2-18, 3-23, 3-24, 3-25 and 3-27.

Update: With 12 of 25 boxes reporting, Clark leads the county judge race with 83 percent of the vote over Stegall. With 2 of 5 boxes reporting in Pct. 4 commissioner race, Kennedy leads Kemp 83 to 17 percent. Boxes that are in: 1-1, 1-2, 1-22, 1-3, 1-4, 2-7, 2-8, 2-10, 2-12, 4-13, 4-17, and 2-18.

Update: With five boxes reporting, Clark retains his large lead 83 percent to 17 percent over Stegall in county judge race. Those five boxes we’ve reported include 1-1, 2-7, 2-8, 2-12 and 2-18.

Wise County early voting results: Republican County judge candidate J.D. Clark and Precinct 4 County Commissioner candidate Gaylord Kennedy both got 82.62 percent of the early vote in their races.
In the state representative race, incumbent Phil King has received 81.79 percent of the early vote, while opposing candidate Matt Britt has received 18.21 percent.

View all the results here.

 

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Breaking News: Woman injured in U.S. 287 wreck


A woman was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth today after she lost control of the blue sedan she was driving, hit a road sign, hydroplaned and spun around into a parked 18-wheeler on U.S. 287 North near C.R. 4421 around 2:30 p.m.

Texas state troopers on scene would not release the name of the woman, but said she was the sole occupant of the car, which hit the front left side of an 18-wheeler that was parked in the median of the highway.

East Wise Fire Department, Wise County Medic, the Wise County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety were on scene to respond to the accident.

Traffic is currently shut down to one lane on U.S. 287 North around the area of the crash. More information will be published as it becomes available.

Photo by Joe Duty.

Photo by Joe Duty.

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Saturday wreck victim identified


The victim from Saturday night’s fatal crash near Chico has been identified as Luis Carlos Infante, 23, of Decatur. He was killed when he crashed in front of the Hanson Aggregates quarry on Farm Road 1810 about a mile east of Chico. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Carson Bening said the vehicle was westbound on FM 1810 when Infante apparently lost control, hit a pipe fence and then crashed into and splintered a telephone pole. Infante was ejected. He died at the scene. A passenger, Edgar Gonzalez, 36, of Decatur was seriously injured and was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth by Air Evac Lifeteam 68. Bening said Gonzalez was listed in stable condition Sunday. The accident happened around 10:15 p.m. Two Wise County EMS ambulances, Rescue 1, the Chico Volunteer Fire Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene

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1 killed, 1 injured in wreck near Chico


The driver of a passenger car was killed Saturday night when he crashed in front of the Hanson Aggregates quarry  on Farm Road 1810 about a mile east of Chico. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Carson Bening said the vehicle was westbound on FM 1810 when the driver apparently lost control, hit a pipe fence and then crashed into and splintered a telephone pole. The driver was ejected. He died at the scene. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. A passenger, Edgar Gonzalez, 36, of Decatur was seriously injured and was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth by Air Evac Lifeteam 68. The accident happened around 10:15 p.m. Two Wise County EMS ambulances, Rescue 1, the Chico Volunteer Fire Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.

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Fire destroys home in south Wise County


A family of four was displaced Saturday afternoon when fire destroyed a double-wide mobile home at 1849 Saddle Ridge Drive near the Salt Creek area in south Wise County. Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said the family was home when they smelled smoke just after noon. They saw flames  near the front porch area and were all able to exit the home without injury. Salt Creek, Cottondale and Boonsville/Balsora fire departments responded. Travis said the first fire unit to arrive said the fire had already traveled the length of the home under the structure and flames were also coming from the roof. Because the fire likely weakened the floor, firefighters had to attack the flames from outside the home. The cause is under investigation.

fire photo 11.1.14

Messenger photo by Brian Knox

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Rhome bank robbed


Woodhaven National Bank in Rhome was robbed around noon Wednesday. Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis said a man entered the bank and handed the teller a note that said hand over the money and no one will get hurt. He kept his hands in his pocket and did not display a weapon during the robbery. He took an undisclosed amount of cash, and he and a second suspect driving a black, four-door newer model Chevrolet pickup with paper tags headed north on U.S. 81/287. As of mid-afternoon, the two suspects were still at large. The suspect who entered the bank is described as around 5-foot, 10-inches tall, early to mid-30s, heavy build, wearing a ball cap with a logo on it and a burnt orange University of Texas shirt. He was also wearing sunglasses on the cap and had about a day or two of facial hair growth. Security cameras were able to capture images of the man. A description of the get-away driver was not available. Anyone with information should call Wise County Crimestoppers at 800-643-TIPS (8477) or 940-627-TIPS (8477) 24 hours a day. You may remain anonymous, and a reward of up to $1,500 is available to information leading to an arrest.

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1 killed in 2-vehicle accident


WednesdayFatal

A woman was killed and a child was seriously injured about 9:30 Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle accident on Farm Road 51 at Farm Road 455 near Slidell. The child was flown to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. Their identities will not be released until family has been notified. Department of Public Safety Trooper Ray Wallace said a passenger car  stopped at the stop sign on 455 (on the east side of 51), but then pulled out in front of an 18-wheeler traveling northbound on 51. The truck driver, who works for Targa Resources, was not injured. “It was like a movie,” said witness Charles Shouse of Paris. “The car was in the air. There are no tracks in the grass.” The car came to rest on the west side of the road, just north of the intersection. The witness said the truck also went airborne before crashing into RVs parked nearby and landing on its side. According to Shouse, the driver of the truck said he was carrying saltwater. The road was temporarily shut down so the helicopter ambulance could land on 455. Wise County’s Medic 1, Medic 4 and Rescue 1 were called to the scene. Greenwood/Slidell and Decatur fire departments were also on scene, as well as sheriff’s deputies and several state troopers.

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Suspect flees, officers swarm Chico


Wise County Sheriff’s Office investigators and deputies were combing the city of Chico Tuesday  after a suspect escaped about 4 p.m. Brian King, 32, of Alvord jumped from his vehicle and ran from officers when they attempted to stop him on Hickory Street. King has been arrested numerous times in Wise County and currently has a felony warrant out of Montague County for possession of a controlled substance. Sheriff David Walker said King is not believed to be dangerous. As of 5:30 p.m. he had not been apprehended. Walker said officers first spotted King in Sunset. They recognized him and knowing there was a warrant for his arrest, they began following him in an unmarked car. He drove to Chico at which time a marked unit was called to the scene to make the stop. When the marked car attempted to stop King, he jumped from his vehicle, leaving it in gear, and it rolled into the officer’s car. Walker said when King is apprehended, he will face additional charges, including evading arrest.

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Breaking News: Two bikes collide in Rhome


_JD67003Two motorcycles collided on the U.S. 287 service road between Pioneer Road and Texas 114 in Rhome Sunday morning.
One of the riders was flown by Air Evac 68 to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.
The accident occurred around 7:45 a.m.
Rhome officers on the scene directed all media requests about the accident to Chief Brandon Davis, who was not immediately available for comment.
According to Wise County Sheriff’s Office initial dispatch, three riders were on the ground following the collision. The medical helicopter was requested immediately after first responders arrived on scene for one rider.
A rider on a third bike with the group, who asked to remain anonymous, said he did not see the accident occur.

_JD67036
“I was a couple hundred yards behind,” he said. “They came over the hit and I guess they realized they had to merge and clipped.”
The rider said the group was heading back to Utah .

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Boy struck by car


A 13-year-old boy was struck by a car in the 800 block of 17th Street in Bridgeport Sunday morning.
He was transported by ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with apparent minor injuries, according to Bridgeport Police Sgt. Ricky Schwartz.
The accident occurred at 8:47 a.m.

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Slidell home catches fire


Submitted photo

Submitted photo

A home in Slidell, located just behind the school on County Road 2822, caught fire about 6 p.m. Monday.

Greenwood/Slidell Fire Chief Adam North said they were able to contain the fire to one bedroom and the attic of the 90-plus-year-old structure.

He said an electric company had been working on the power lines across the street when the linemen smelled smoke.

“When they got up in the cherry picker, they could see smoke coming from the back of the house and called 911,” he said.

When his crews arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from the back of the home, and it had gone into the attic.

The chief said they initiated an interior attack and were able to get a “quick knockdown.”

“It was a great job by my guys doing a quick interior attack,” he said. “It’s very rare to save a house like this in a rural area, especially a wooden structure.”

He said his department had a good response time, and he also gave credit to departments that provided mutual aid.

Decatur, Krum and Sanger fire departments were called to the scene, as well as Wise County medics.

North said although a pickup was parked in front of the home, the house was locked and no one was home. The structure was remodeled about a year ago.

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Judge rules in favor of Elections Commission


Judge R.H. Wallace Jr. Friday denied the injunction requested by Tracy Smith against interim Elections Administrator Jim Parker and the Wise County Elections Commission. Smith, the Wise County Democratic Party Chair, filed the lawsuit, claiming that the appointment of Parker violated the state election code. Several witnesses testified in the hearing that lasted almost two hours, and Judge Wallace, with the 96th District Court in Fort Worth, issued his ruling shortly after noon. Smith dropped her head when the ruling was announced. “I think the spirit of the law was not adhered to,” she said afterward. “I don’t feel like the intent of the law was followed either. It’s unfortunate.” Read the full story in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

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Rock truck spills load on U.S. 81/287 in Decatur


gravel_web

Traffic was slow going Tuesday during the noon hour in the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 at the Farm Road 1810 intersection after a rock  hauler lost its load. Decatur Police officer Keith Hilton said Manuel Pena, 41, of Fort Worth was entering the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 from FM 1810 when he came around the curve too fast. The trailer tipped over, spilling gravel on the roadway. No one was injured. The Texas Department of Transportation responded to clean up the rocks. Decatur Police and Fire departments worked traffic control in the area. The roadway was expected to be cleared within the hour.

 

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Stabbing suspect arrested after chase


A 35-year-old stabbing suspect fled on foot Monday afternoon when Wise County Sheriff’s investigators attempted to arrest him in connection with a Saturday-night stabbing in Chico. Ricky Stilwell was caught after about a 45-minute chase west of Chico High School. Wise County Sheriff David Walker said Stilwell is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and evading arrest in connection with the incident which took place, by some accounts, near the Chico Cemetery. The Sheriff said investigators went to JPS Hospital in Fort Worth Monday to interview the victim in the hospital, after taking statements from several other witnesses. Walker said the stabbing is likely related to incidents the previous week in Chico where officers responded to reports of people shooting at houses, going door-to-door and standing in the road. “I think it’s all related and we’re trying to pull it all together,” he said. Look for more information in the mid-week Messenger.

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