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.

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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

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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

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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

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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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Illegal gambling machines seized at truck stop


Wise County Sheriff’s investigators executed a search warrant on the Navigator Truck Stop on the south side of Alvord this afternoon in response to complaints about illegal gambling machines inside the business. Sheriff David Walker said his office had received numerous complaints over the past several months about the gambling machines, and the owners had been warned numerous times to stop operating the machines. Officers took 14 machines located in a back room as well as nearly $5,700 in cash believed to be tied to the gambling operation. No arrests have been made yet, Walker said. The investigation is ongoing.

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Ervin guilty of evading, not aggravated assault


A Wise County jury this afternoon found Chad Everett Ervin, 27, of Springtown guilty of evading arrest with a vehicle, and they found that the vehicle constituted a deadly weapon. However, the jury found Ervin not guilty of the more serious charge of aggravated assault of a public servant, a first degree felony. The evading arrest is a third degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison. Ervin elected before the trial to have the judge perform the sentencing, and that will be done at a future date. Ervin led Wise County officers on a 30-minute chase through much of Wise County Sept. 2 of last year. During the chase, Ervin briefly swerved into the lane of an oncoming sheriff’s deputy. Prosecutors argued that Ervin threatened the officer by driving at him and urged the jury to find him guilty of the aggravated assault charge. The jury deliberated for about three-and-a-half hours before returning its verdict.

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1 injured in overturned cement truck


The driver of a cement truck was injured in a one-vehicle rollover north of Boyd Monday afternoon.

Jamey Wolf, 33, sustained lacerations to his back. Although a helicopter ambulance was called to the scene, he was transported by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Investigators said Wolf was southbound on Farm Road 730 when he drove off the roadway as he attempted to round a curve near County Road 4480. He drove back onto the road but overcorrected and overturned the truck.

The truck landed on its side, spun twice and skidded several yards before coming to a rest in the bar ditch on the southbound side. It dropped its load across both lanes of 730.

Boyd Fire Department, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and medics responded to the accident, which was toned out just before 4 p.m.
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Fire guts Paradise home


A single-wide mobile home burned to the ground in a fire near Paradise Sunday night.

Fortunately, there were no injuries.

Paradise, Bridgeport and Cottondale fire departments responded to the structure fire in the 100 block of County Road 3351, just after 10 p.m.

When officials first checked on scene, the home was fully engulfed and threatened another home on the property. However, the fire didn’t spread.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Sgt. Chad Lanier, Wise County Sheriff’s narcotics investigator, was called to the scene to assist Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis.

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Burning prohibited today


The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from noon to 8 p.m. today in Wise County due to expected strong winds and low humidity. The county’s burn ban will be in effect. No outdoor burning is allowed.

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1 injured in Saturday wreck


A Chico man was flown to a Metroplex hospital following a one-vehicle wreck Saturday.

According to investigators, Charles R. Duke, 52, was westbound on Farm Road 1810, about four miles west of U.S. 287, when he left the roadway. Duke drove through a fence and hit an embankment, which caused his pickup to spin and slide backward down the ravine.

His pickup became lodged under a culvert, where he was found around 5:30 p.m.

Investigators are unsure how long he was there. Duke told them he had left Denton around 10 a.m.

Duke’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening. He complained of pain in his ribs and neck.

Investigators believe a mixture of medication as well as alcohol contributed to the crash. Charges are pending blood tests.

_JD62784

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