Wreck causes ramp closure


The onramp to U.S. 81/287 North from U.S. 380 in Decatur is closed while crews clean the contents spilled from an overturned 18-wheeler hauling hot asphalt. The road is expected to remain closed through the afternoon Tuesday.

Fortunately, there were no serious injuries in the wreck that was toned out just after 12:30 p.m.

According to investigators, Frank Taylor of Benbrook was westbound on 380 when he attempted to exit onto northbound U.S. 81/287. He lost control of the 18-wheeler, and it overturned. Hot asphalt, oil and diesel spilled onto the roadway and into the surrounding grass.

Decatur firefighters shoveled piles of dirt onto the roadway to prevent the contents from spreading.

Texas Department of Transportation and a haz mat crew were called to the scene to aid in clean-up efforts.

Speed is believed to be a factor in the wreck.

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Wreck claims Slidell teen


A recent Slidell graduate was killed Friday morning in an accident on Farm Road 455 West in Denton County.
Bobby Colton Perkins, 17, of Decatur died at 5:15 a.m. in the 7900 block of FM 455 West between Bolivar and Sanger according to the release from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
Perkins was traveling eastbound on FM 455 when he lost control of his Chevrolet pickup just east of FM 2450.
“For some reason he went off onto the shoulder and over-corrected trying to get back on the roadway,” said Department of Public Safety Trooper Kyle Bradford. “The truck went into a skid and slid into a tree. He was ejected.”
Perkins was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bradford said the roadway was wet. He added that investigators were looking into whether speed was a factor.

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Decatur PD seeks help to ID suspect


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The Decatur Police Department is investigating copper thefts at Wise Electric Co-op that occurred July 11 and July 14. Sgt. Gerald Wright said suspects cut the Co-op yard’s fence sometime between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. on those dates. He also believes there were at least two people involved — the white male pictured above and a person driving the black car in the second photo. Wright said the vehicle appears to be a recent model (’10 to ’13) Camaro. The maroon car pictured belongs to a Co-op employee. If you recognize the suspect pictured above or have information related to this incident, call the Decatur Police Department at 940-627-1500 or call Wright at 940-393-0310.

 

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2 homes charred in separate fires


Fire ravished two mobile homes in separate incidents early Friday morning. The blazes were reported within 30 minutes of the other.

Firefighters from Boyd, Newark, Cottondale and Briar responded to reports of a “fully engulfed double wide” in the 300 block of Brighton Oaks Drive south of Boyd. The incident was reported just after 12:30.

The homeowner, Erik Harshman, and his dog escaped without injury. Harshman said he was asleep in his recliner when he awoke to a room filled with smoke.

“I felt like I was choking,” he said. “So I cupped my hands around my mouth and went to the floor to get enough fresh air. And I crawled out.”

Although the incident is under investigation, Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis believes the fire started on the front porch.

Damage to the home was extensive, and Harshman lost most of his belongings, Travis said.

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Just before 1 a.m., firefighters from East Wise were dispatched to reports of a grass fire at the intersection of Coyote Trail and Ridge Trail in New Fairview. However, the flames spread quickly and clipped a mobile home.

Rhome, Decatur and Paradise fire departments were called in to assist.

It is unknown if the home was occupied. The extent of the damage was also not available. The cause of the fire is under investigation. More information will be posted when it becomes available.

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1 found dead in truck that drove off bridge


The driver of a pickup found in a gully near the Lake Bridgeport spillway has been identified.

Stephen Doyle Ince, 22, of Bridgeport was pronounced dead at the scene Friday afternoon.

It is unknown how long the truck was in the gully, which is several hundred yards below the bridge on  Farm Road 1658.

Trooper Patrick Alonzo said the family reported Ince missing on Wednesday night. Family members set out to look for him Friday morning.

“They were driving along the road and noticed the fence was down (on the south side of the spillway),” Alonzo said. “They looked over the bridge and saw the truck then called 911.”

Although the wreck is still under investigation, it is believed Ince was eastbound on FM 1658, when he rounded a curve, drove off the roadway, down the embankment and several hundred yards into the bottom of the spillway.

Alonzo said that the trail of debris indicates the truck landed in the gully on its top then flipped upright.

Units from Lake Bridgeport and Bridgeport fire departments as well as Wise County medics and deputies and state troopers worked for more than two hours to hoist the truck back up to the roadway.

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Decatur Bank merging with Gainesville Bank Group


North Texas Bank in Decatur has signed an agreement to merge with the First State Bank in Gainesville.  The merger is through the two bank’s holding companies.

North Texas Bank was formed in 2004 and has assets of $150 million The Decatur bank has a branch in Roanoke. First State Bank of Gainesville is the oldest state bank in Texas and has 12 locations, including several branches in Denton.

“The merger of North Texas Bank into First State Bank in Gainesville is an exciting opportunity for our customers, employees and communities, said J. Andrew Rottner, president of North Texas Bank.  The merger is subject to regulatory approval.

First State Bank of Gainesville is not part of the First State Bank in Wise County that has branches in Chico, Bridgeport, Runaway Bay and Paradise.

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Shooting of youth appears accidental


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Although the shooting of a 14-year-old boy in Briar Tuesday afternoon remains under investigation, it appears to have been accidental.

 “There are no indications of criminal intent,” Wise County Sheriff David Walker said. “The kids were trying to shoot at a snake.”

Investigators said four kids were playing in the front yard of a home in the 100 block of County Road 4764 in Briar when they saw a snake.

 A 12-year-old and a 14-year-old ran inside the home to retrieve a gun to shoot the reptile.

 “In the process of rushing outside, the 12-year-old bumped the wall with the rifle — a .22 Long Rifle — setting it off,” Walker said.

 The 14-year-old boy sustained a “through-in-through” wound in the lower abdomen.

Walker said an adult at the home loaded the boy in the car to drive him to the hospital.

“But they called the mother of the victim, who advised them to pull over and call 911,” he said.

The driver pulled into the parking lot of Azco Short Stop on Farm Road 730, just inside the Tarrant County line, to call in the emergency about 1:30 p.m.

A helicopter was dispatched to the scene to fly the victim to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. His condition was unknown as of 5:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities are withholding the names of those involved because they’re minors.

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14-year-old boy shot in South Wise


A 14-year-old boy was flown from a gas station in Briar to a Metroplex hospital Tuesday afternoon after sustaining a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

The incident is still under investigation, but it appears to be accidental, according to Wise County Sheriff David Walker.

It occurred at a home in the 100 block of County Road 4764 in Briar. Walker said an adult at the scene loaded the boy in the car to transport him to the hospital.

“But they called the mother of the victim, who advised them to pull over and call 911,” he said.

The driver pulled into the parking lot of Azco Short Stop on Farm Road 730, just inside the Tarrant County line, to call in the emergency about 1:30 p.m.

Azle and Boyd fire departments, as well as Boyd police and sheriff’s deputies from Wise and Tarrant counties responded.

A helicopter was dispatched to the scene to fly the victim to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. His condition was unknown.

Investigators are at the home where the incident occurred. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Enis leaves Alvord for hoops job


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
Curtis Enis is leaving the football sidelines and Alvord and will return to coaching on the hardwood.
Enis resigned from Alvord Wednesday and will be the girls basketball coach at Burleson High School. His wife, Rhonda, also will leave her post as girls track coach in Alvord to become an assistant at Burleson in basketball and track. She will tender her resignation after signing a contract with Burleson.
“We’re moving to Burleson and will become part of the community there and help the kids,” Enis said.
“I wish the kids in Alvord well. I enjoyed the kids, the faculty and administration. They were all good to me. The girls program will continue to be good and the boys are fixing to be real good. I’ll be 60 miles away but I’ll be rooting for them.”
Enis, who was in his second tenure at the school, leaves after a turbulent spring in which the Alvord ISD trustees failed to extend his contract with a 3-3 vote. Later, the board stripped the athletic director role from him with a unanimous vote.
Enis, who coached at Alvord from 1989 to 2008, returned to the school in February 2011 as the athletic director and football coach. Under Enis, the Bulldogs went 10-20 in three seasons.
The team went 3-7 last year in 2A Division II. But after moving down to the new Class 2A in the latest round of realignment, the Bulldogs are picked to win District 5-2A Division I by Texas Football.
“They are going to have a great football season,” Enis said. “The kids have been working hard and will reap the rewards of their hard work this year.
“It’s been impressive how hard they have worked the past two years. We were young offensively and defensively last year and made mistakes. They were lack of experience mistakes.”
He was the Bulldogs’ head coach in 1997, leading the team to an 11-2 record and trip to the third round of the playoffs.
He hired his brother, Greg, as head coach in 1998 and Alvord captured a district title.
Curtis Enis said he hopes that current assistant and former Chico coach Pete Hart lands the athletic director and football coach job.
“He’s a good coach, hard worker and very thorough,” Enis said. “He’s deserving of the head coaching position.”
Going back to coaching basketball full time, Enis takes a 433-215 career record. He is 19-13 in playoff games and led teams to seven district titles. He took the Alvord Lady Bulldogs to the state tournament in 1995, falling to Sudan.

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Flash Flood Warning in Southern Wise


The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a Flash Flood Warning for southern Wise County until 5:15 p.m.

Storms are rolling through the southeastern portion of the county. The National Weather Service has reported nearly 3 inches of rain falling in the past hour between Eagle Mountain Lake and Haslet with an additional 2 inches possible.

 

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3 injured in head-on collision


Three people were taken to area hospitals following a collision on Texas 199 about a mile east of Farm Road 920 in far southwest Wise County Tuesday evening. The accident happened at 6 p.m. Department of Public Safety Trooper Patrick Alonzo said a passenger car driven by Shannon Nicole Edgar, 21, of Midland was eastbound on Texas 199 when she lost control and went into the opposite lane of traffic where she struck a westbound pickup truck driven by Gildardo Torres, 43, of Jacksboro head-on. The collision caused both vehicles to roll. Torres was able to exit his vehicle, which was briefly on fire. Fire departments from Boonsville and Salt Creek responded to help extricate Edgar and a passenger, Anthony Vance, 21, of Carrollton. Torres was taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, Edgar was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth and Vance was taken to Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. Alonzo said Vance was critically injured while the two drivers had non-life-threatening injuries. Storms that rolled through around the time of the crash made the roads slick, which may have contributed to the wreck. Wise County EMS and an ambulance out of Springtown also responded along with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

199 wreck.6.24.14

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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Lightning strikes home


Lightning during Tuesday afternoon’s fast-moving storms struck a home in the 500 block of County Road 4756 south of Boyd.

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The lightning struck a wind turbine atop the home, starting a small fire. Boyd, Newark and Rhome firefighters responded to the blaze that was contained quickly. The home did suffer smoke damage

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Wise County emergency officials responded to several calls for downed power lines during the storm that rolled through the county around 5 p.m.

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2 escape injury in travel trailer fire


A mother and daughter escaped injury when the travel trailer they were living in caught fire early Sunday morning at 2161 County Road 2320. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said Krystal Maurer was apparently cooking around 2:30 a.m. when the fire started. She and her 6-year-old daughter were able to escape without injuries. By the time fire departments from Decatur and Greenwood-Slidell arrived, the trailer was engulfed in flames. The family lost the trailer and all its contents. Beard said the fire was accidental. Red Cross was called to assist the family. Wise County EMS also responded to the scene.

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Spilled gravel leads to injury accident


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

An Oklahoma woman was injured Thursday afternoon when her vehicle was hit from behind on U.S. 81/287 near the south Wise County line.

Teresa Humphrey, 37, was traveling southbound on 287 south of Rhome about 3 p.m. in a small sports utility vehicle when she drove into a thick cloud of dust.

A load of gravel had been dropped on the highway, and dust billowed from it severely reducing visibility.

Department of Public Safety Trooper William Wallace said Humphrey panicked and stopped on the center line of the highway. He said she was then hit from behind by an 18-wheeler driven by Ruben Guerra, 49, of Baytown.

“I saw the cloud going up and started downshifting,” Guerra said. “I just held on and hit the brakes as hard as I could.”

Guerra said he was traveling in the lefthand lane, and Humphrey was straddling the center line.

The impact pushed Humphrey’s vehicle across the center median and the northbound lanes. It came to rest just off the shoulder on the northbound side.

Guerra was uninjured, but Humphrey was transported by Wise County medics to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Wallace said her injuries were not life threatening.

She had one passenger, John Humphrey, 38, also of Oklahoma, and he was not injured.

Traffic was reduced to one lane at the accident scene for at least an hour. Texas Department of Transportation was called to clean up the gravel.

Wallace said it was unknown who spilled the gravel. He said Wise County dispatch received a call about a road hazard, and the wreck was reported just a few minutes later.

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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.

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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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