Teen reported missing


The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating a 16-year-old runaway. Christian Putnam left his home on County Road 1590 in Alvord between 3 and 4 p.m. Sunday. He is approximately 5-foot, 9-inches tall and weighs 150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a blue shirt with faded horses on it, a blue Brandt hat, boots and blue jeans. If you have any information, contact the sheriff’s office at 940-627-5971 or Glenn or Susan Putnam at 940-427-2322.

Putnam

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2 injured in helicopter hard landing


Two people were taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur following a helicopter hard landing Tuesday around 3:20 p.m. at the Decatur Municipal Airport. Few details of the incident are available, but the helicopter could be seen upright on its landing skids at the side of a runway with damage to the tail boom, tail rotor and main rotor blade. Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said the pilot, Eric Carroll, 57, and another occupant, Russell Timmerman, 47, of Liberty, Mo., were injured and taken by ground ambulance to WRHS. Wise County EMS, the Decatur Fire Department, Decatur Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety officers responded.

heli crash.6.17.14

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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Missing elderly woman found dead


A missing elderly woman was found deceased Monday evening not far from her home in Newark. According to Wise County Sheriff David Walker, Dora Cairns, 82, had apparently gone for a walk Monday and didn’t return to her home. Family reported that she had been missing since about 9 a.m. First responders began a search around 3:30 Monday afternoon. A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter assisted with the search and located her in a grassy area about 500 yards from her home in the 600 block of Rogers Road around 5:45. Wise County EMS and Newark Volunteer Fire Department assisted the sheriff’s office with the search. Walker said the case will be investigated as a questionable death at this point, as is protocol, although there are no indications of foul play at this time. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays ordered an autopsy be performed by the Dallas County Medical Examiners office.

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Missing elderly in Newark


The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a missing elderly female in the Newark area. She is described as 82 years old, 5 foot 2 inches tall, 150 pounds, long grey hair, wears glasses and uses a walker. According to police radio reports, she has been missing since around 9 this morning. Fire department and medics have been dispatched to assist officers with the search. If you have any information on this missing person, call 940-627-5971.

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Power out in Alvord


Residents of Alvord and Sunset were without power Monday afternoon due to a broken power pole outside an Oncor substation, according to Area Manager Sabrina Easley. Approximately 1,160 customers lost power around 2:30 p.m. Easley said crews were on site making repairs, and as of 4:15 p.m., she said power should be restored in about three hours. The substation is located on Farm Road 1655 between Alvord and Chico.

UPDATE: As of 6 p.m., power has been restored to Alvord according to Sabrina Easley at Oncor.

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Power restored to residents


Lightning is to blame for the outages that left residents in various parts of the county without power Thursday.

Sabrina Easley, area manager for Oncor Electric Delivery, said lightning struck a power line in Rhome, breaking the line and cutting the delivery of electricity to more than 1,300 customers in Rhome and Newark.

The necessary repairs were made, and power was restored by 12:47 p.m.

In Alvord, lightning struck and damaged a piece of electric equipment. Easley said power would be rerouted until repairs are made.

Ninety-one  customers along Hubbard Street and U.S. 287 were affected by this outage.

Five customers in the Boonsville/Balsora area also called in.

All calls came in around 10 a.m.

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Storms leave many without power


Storms rolled through Wise County Thursday morning, leaving residents across the area without power.

Sabrina Easley, area manager at Oncor Electric Delivery, said outages had been reported in Alvord, Newark, Rhome and Boonsville/Balsora.

The largest is a widespread outage in Rhome and Newark, where 1,300 customers are without power following a lightning strike.

In Alvord, 91 customers along Hubbard Street and U.S. 287 reported a loss of power.

Five customers in the Boonsville/Balsora area also called in.

All calls came in around 10 a.m. As of just before noon, Easley said servicemen were at the scene of each outage to determine the problem.

“We have no reports as to the cause or estimated time of restoration yet,” Easley said. “We should know shortly.”

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Train strikes truck in Decatur


The flatbed trailer of an 18-wheeler stopped on the tracks at Farm Road 2264 and U.S. 81/287 in Decatur was struck by a train Wednesday morning around 9:30. Sgt. Delvon Campbell with the Decatur Police Department said the truck, driven by Glenn Armstrong, 63, of Stephenville had stopped on the tracks while waiting for traffic to clear on U.S. 81/287. He did not see a southbound Burlington Northern-Santa Fe train headed his way. The train struck the trailer, knocking it off the track and spilling its load – PVC pipe – into the ditch on the the west side of the tracks. Armstrong and a passenger were not injured. Medics did check on a member of the train crew for a sore shoulder, but no one was transported to the hospital.

TrainVtruck6.11.14

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Car runs under 18-wheeler, kills Chico woman


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Chico woman was killed Wednesday evening when her car ran underneath an 18-wheeler on Texas 101, just south of Chico.

Maria Ruiz-Quezada, 52, was northbound in a Toyota Corolla on 101 about 6 p.m. when a 3 J Trucking tractor-trailer pulled out in front of her as it left Blue Star Materials. The truck was driven by Johnny Hothouse, 49, of Chico.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeff Johnson said Ruiz-Quezada took evasive action to avoid a collision, swerving to the right side of the road, but hit gravel along the side of 101, lost control of the vehicle and spun into the southbound lanes. As her car entered the other lane of traffic, she hit a southbound Cowtown truck, and her car became lodged underneath the fourth axle of the 18-wheeler. The truck, driven by Ruiz Segundo, 54, of Fort Worth drug the car “a couple hundred feet,” according to Johnson.

Ruiz-Quezada was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Jan Morrow.

Segundo was transported to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur by Medic 2, but Trooper Patrick Alonzo said he did not appear to be seriously injured. Hothouse was not injured.

Seven DPS troopers were called to the scene, as well as Chico Fire Department. The roadway was still shut down as of 8 p.m.

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1 injured in motorcycle wreck


A man from St. Joseph, Mo., was flown to a Metroplex hospital after losing control of his motorcycle and slamming into the guard rail in Decatur Monday afternoon.

Investigators believe Ira Skirlock, 67, was westbound on U.S. 380 when he attempted to exit onto northbound U.S. 81/287.

“He was going a little too fast on dead man’s curve,” Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said.

Skirlock lost control of his motorcycle, which slid into the guard rail. He was wearing a helmet.

The extent of his injuries were not known. Medic 1 transported the victim to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, where Lifeteam 68 was waiting to transport him to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

In addition to Wise County medics, Decatur police and fire departments responded to the wreck, which was toned out around 3 p.m.

little dribblers (1 of 1)

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Boyd man injured in single-car accident


Christian Smith, 21, of Boyd was flown to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth late Thursday night following a one-car wreck on County Road 4698 about a mile east of Farm Road 51 in southern Wise County. Department of Public Safety Trooper Carson Bening said Smith was westbound on the county road around 10:30 when he swerved to avoid hitting a deer in the roadway. He rolled his vehicle at least once, and it landed upright. CareFlite was called to transport Smith to the hospital.

5.29.14 Springtown wreck

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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2 dead from Sunday wreck


Investigators have released the identities of those involved in Sunday’s fatal wreck near Slidell, and a second victim has died. Thomas Garcia, 53, of Ardmore, Okla., was the operator of a motorcycle hit head-on by a passenger car on Farm Road 51 at the Wise/Denton County line Sunday afternoon, according to Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel. Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, Cassie Turner, 33, of Ardmore was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur where she died. The occupants of a second motorcycle struck by the car, Dustin Bailey, 33, of Ardmore and Megan McCleary, 30, of Ringling, Okla., were flown to Medical Center of Plano. Their conditions were unavailable. The driver of the passenger car that was in the wrong lane of traffic was identified as Sherrie Rose, 32, of Weatherford. She and a front seat passenger, Debra Crouch, 49, of Weatherford, were flown to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth where they were listed in stable condition late Monday,  Haschel said. A 6-year-old in the back seat, Jacob Perrine of Weatherford, was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth where he was also in stable condition late Monday. Haschel said there is no indication at this time that drugs or alcohol were involved, but the investigation is still in the early stages.

5.25.14 slidell wreck2

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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1 killed, 6 injured in collision


A man was killed and six more people were taken to area hospitals following a wreck Sunday afternoon around 5:45 that involved a passenger car and two motorcycles. Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel said three Harley Davidson motorcycles were northbound on Farm Road 51 at the Wise County/Denton County line, two side-by-side and another behind, when a southbound Toyota passenger car topped a hill in the wrong lane  and struck the motorcycle closest to the center line head-on. The motorcycle to the right of the one struck was also hit, although it is unknown if it was struck by the car or the first motorcycle. The third motorcycle took evasive action and was not hit. The operator of the first motorcycle died at the scene while his passenger was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. The operator and passenger of the second motorcycle, a male and female, were both flown by medical helicopter to Medical Center in Plano. The driver of the passenger car and her front passenger, both female, were flown to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth while a 6-year-old boy in the backseat was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. No names of the victims were released at the scene.

5.25.14 slidell wreck

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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Two injured in wreck at 287 and 1810


One woman was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth following a two-vehicle accident around noon Thursday at the intersection of U.S. 287 and Farm Road 1810 in Decatur.
Didra Lee, 40, of Paradise was flown by Air Evac Lifeteam 68 from the scene to Fort Worth.
Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said at the scene that Lee suffered a broken leg.
Lee was driving a red Pontiac passenger car northbound on U.S. 287 and was struck by a Ford Explorer driven by Oralia Wood, 55, of Valley View. Wood was taken to Wise Regional Health System for treatment.
Wood turned in front of Lee’s vehicle.
“The Explorer didn’t stop at the crossover to go to Old Chico Road,” Hoskins said. “She pulled in front of the Pontiac and struck in the front and then collided again in the rear.”
Both vehicles came to rest in the right shoulder of the highway.
Both drivers were wearing seat belts and airbags were deployed.
Northbound traffic on U.S. 287 was shut down for approximately 15 minutes as the medical helicopter landed on the highway.

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Fire destroys home near Chico


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
A family lost its home in a fire west of Chico Sunday evening.
Flames tore through the roo_JDS1310f of the single-family home on Private Road 1648 after 9 p.m. Firefighters from Chico, Alvord, Bridgeport and Sand Flat battled the blaze that destroyed much of the house. Decatur firefighters were paged out around 11 p.m. to provide mutual aid.
“I’m hoping they can get some of their property out. The center of the roof has caved in,” said Wise County Assistant Fire Marshal J.C. Travis, who estimated that 90 percent of the house was lost.
Flora Shelton, who lived in the home with her husband Jimmy and two grandsons, was watching TV when she noticed smoke coming out of a vent._JDS1429
She said she woke her husband, who was asleep on the couch in the living room, and got everyone out of the house.
“Before we got out, he went to the back bedroom [at the north end of the home] and it was covered in smoke,” Mrs. Shelton said.
Jimmy Shelton had lived in the house most of his life.
“It’s been here since 1977,” he said. “My parents moved it in after their trailer burned.”_JDS1324
He said the trailer fire in the exact location was July 1, 1977.
While firefighters were still battling the fire, Travis indicated the cause was likely “electrical in origin” and accidental.
It was the second structure fire of the day for Alvord, Bridgeport and Decatur firefighters. They also responded to a blaze that consumed a shed, truck, fifth-wheel camper and work equipment just north of the intersection of U.S. 287 and Farm Road 1810.
Travis said that fire is still under investigation.

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Fire destroys shed, vehicle


A Sunday morning blaze destroyed a shed on U.S. 287 just north of the intersection with Farm Road 1810._JDU6946
The fire consumed the metal structure along with a truck, fifth-wheel trailer and work equipment parked under it.
Decatur firefighters battled the blaze toned out at 6 a.m. Alvord, Bridgeport and Paradise firefighters provided mutual aid and water.
“There was heavy fire upon arrival,” said Decatur Fire Captain Nate Mara. “We had it knocked down and under control by the time first mutual aid arrived.”
There were no injuries. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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Fire destroys vacant house


IMG_3384
By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
Fire ripped through a vacant house east of Decatur on County Road 4511 early Thursday morning.
East Wise, Rhome and Decatur firefighters battled the blaze that was toned out shortly before 3 a.m.
By the time firefighters made the scene, flames had fully engulfed the single-story structure.
“It was a total loss when we got on scene,” said East Wise firefighter Travis Hull, who held command at the scene. “There was nothing to into.”
As firefighters mopped up the scene there was no early indication of what ignited the fire. Hull said there was a power line down on the back corner.

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Tank batteries destroyed by lightning strike


Three production tank batteries southeast of Decatur were destroyed just before 4 p.m. Monday when they were struck by lightning and exploded in a fiery blaze.

East Wise, Decatur and Rhome firefighters were dispatched to the site near Longbranch Drive, just off Farm Road 2264, about 3:45 p.m. Smoke and flames billowed into the sky and could be seen for miles. Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said the batteries “took off like rockets” after catching fire, but no one was injured.

The batteries were destroyed, and the well-head and compressor on site were severely damaged.

The facility is owned by Enervest Operating. Faron McCain, the company’s superintendent for the North Barnett Shale, said they don’t yet have a cost estimate for the damages, but they will rebuild on the site.

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Lightning strike sparks church fire


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Country Cowboy Church near Runaway Bay caught fire Monday just before 4 p.m. after being struck by lightning.

Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis said lightning struck a wall on the back of the building, igniting a fire, but the damage was contained to that room.

Pastor Gary Wagener said the room was used during congregation dinners.

“We used it to set up tables when we had Grub Sunday, what some people call potluck,” he said. “We’d go get the food in there, it’s next to the kitchen, and take it back up to the main dining room.”

The church, located next door to Bay Landing on U.S. 380, has about 60 members. Travis estimated the damage at $4,000 to $5,000, which includes the burned room and a door that firefighters had to force open. Runaway Bay and Bridgeport fire departments were called to the scene. Travis said electricity was cut off to the building, and it can’t be turned back on until an electrician inspects and certifies the structure.

Just before the church caught fire, lightning struck three tank batteries off of Farm Road 2264, near Longbranch Drive, southeast of Decatur. All three burned, sending smoke and flames billowing into the air.

Travis left that scene to investigate the fire at the church and was returning to the tank batteries to complete his investigation when he spoke to the Messenger about 6 p.m. Fire departments cleared that scene shortly thereafter.

 

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May 10 City Council and School Board Election Results


Wise County voters cast ballots for 21 school board and city council positions in today’s election.  Results for most entities were available by 9 p.m., including Alvord City Council, Alvord School Board, Boyd School Board, Bridgeport City Council, Bridgeport School Board, Chico School Board, Decatur School Board, Newark City Council and Rhome City Council.

ALVORD CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 4
Lenda Barnes 63
Debra McKelvain 86
Shane Raney 44
ALVORD SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 6
Tracy Barclay Parker 152
Lance Thweatt 396
Lex Williams 3
ALVORD SCHOOL BOARD PLACE 7
Charles Neal Matthews 400
Jeannette Ward 151
BOYD SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 2
Mikeul Fite 15
Cathy Gordon 23
Jake Tackett 138
BRIDGEPORT MAYOR
Kathy Kennedy 177
Corey Lane 193
BRIDGEPORT CITY COUNTIL, PLACE 1
David Correll 243
A.Z. Smith 111
BRIDGEPORT CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 2
Calvin Coursey 186
Art Velasquez 177
BRIDGEPORT SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 6
Scott Hiler 356
Ken Kilpatrick 126
Donald Majka 109
BRIDGEPORT SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 7
Loretta Hill 119
Steven Lara 26
Robert Marlett 95
Steve Stanford 353
CHICO SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 6
G.A. Buckner 248
J.D. Coffman 221
CHICO SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 7
Doug Bowyer 245
Noel Ruddick 226
DECATUR SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 3
Jim Lamirand 190
Pete Rivera 14
Ricky Stutt 145
DECATUR SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 4
Dr. Jeff Alling 245
Charles Ross 96
NEWARK CITY COUNCIL, PLACE 1
Cary Mellema 34
Monique Murray 20
NORTHWEST SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 5
Jerry Burkett 1,046
Devonna Holland 1,064
NORTHWEST SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 6
Andrew Bennett 257
Stan Durham 265
Edward Mergenthal 47
Lillian Rauch 750
Kristi Wade 711
Aaron Fraser 122
NORTHWEST SCHOOL BOARD, PLACE 7
Mel Fuller 1,201
Doug Smith 853
RHOME MAYOR
Louis Godfrey 117
Mark Lorance 88
RHOME CITY COUNCIL (2 AT-LARGE SEATS)
Shawn Holliman 48
Jason Miller 38
Michelle Pittman 90
Timothy Robison 79
Jo Ann Wilson 122
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