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Fire damages Bridgeport home


A fire late Tuesday afternoon caused serious damage to a home located just west of Bridgeport. The fire was possibly caused by a faulty extension cord running from the home to a nearby well house. The home is located on County Road 3212, just south of Cuba Road. Firefighters from Bridgeport, Decatur and Paradise were called to the scene. Smoke billowed from the roof as the fire spread from a bedroom up to the attic. Firefighters climbed a ladder up to the ice-covered roof. They used a chainsaw to carve a hole into the roof so they could attack the flames in the attic. They contained the fire, but not before smoke damaged most, if not all, of the home. The wooden home was built in the 1930s. Michael Holmes lives in the house with his 72-year-old father. “I was trying to put the fire out , but the ceiling became as hot as a heater, and I threw up after breathing in the smoke,” Holmes said. “I hope I can save my clothes. I hope there is a place for us to sleep tonight. This is messed up. It’s only a couple weeks before Christmas.”

Bridgeport firefighters make access to an attic to attack a house fire Tuesday afternoon west of Bridgeport. Photo by Joe Duty.

Bridgeport firefighters make access to an attic to attack a house fire Tuesday afternoon west of Bridgeport. Photo by Joe Duty.

 

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1 flown from head-on collision


The driver of a white pickup was flown to John Peter Smith in Fort Worth after a head-on collision with a passenger car on Texas 114 in Rhome Tuesday afternoon.

A gold car was westbound past Love’s Truck Stop when, for unknown reasons, it veered across the center divider, striking the white pickup head-on. The impact caused the car to spin into a ditch on the south side of the road.

The driver of the car was transported by ground ambulance to JPS.

There was only one occupant in each vehicle.

Rhome, Boyd and Newark fire departments, along with Rhome Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers, responded.

Names and injury specifics were not available. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Cancellations and delays for Tuesday, Dec. 10


Here’s the latest information on cancellations or delays for Tuesday, Dec. 10, due to lingering ice from the winter storm. We’ll add to this list as we receive information. (Updated 11:30 a.m. 12/10/13)

271st District Court: Jury panel scheduled for Tuesday is canceled

Alvord ISD: Closed

Boyd ISD: Closed

Bridgeport Housing Authority: Office closed, meeting scheduled for 8:30 a.m. has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 18

Bridgeport ISD: Closed

Chico ISD: Closed

Decatur ISD: Closed

Northwest ISD: Closed

Paradise ISD: Closed

Slidell ISD: Closed

Sons of Confederate Veterans: Tuesday’s meeting canceled, next meeting is Jan. 14

Texas Women’s University (Denton): Closed Tuesday (Dallas Campus open)

Victory Christian Academy and Victory Kids Care: Closed

Weatherford College (all campuses): Closed

Decatur Weight Watchers: Meeting is canceled.

Wise County government offices: Opening at 10 a.m.

Wise County Meals on Wheels: Will not deliver Tuesday.

Wise Dance Center: Closed Tuesday
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Winter storm cancellations/delays for Monday, Dec. 9


Here’s the latest information on cancellations or delays for Monday, Dec. 9, due to lingering ice from the winter storm. We’ll add to this list as we receive information. (Updated 12:45 p.m. 12/09/13)

Alvord ISD: Closed

Boyd ISD: Closed

Boyd Lions Club: Meeting will be rescheduled

Boyd School Board: Meeting will be rescheduled

Bridgeport ISD: Closed

Chico ISD: Closed

City of Bridgeport, municipal court and library: Closed

Decatur City Council: Meeting postponed to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16

Decatur ISD: Closed

Decatur Livestock Market: Closed

Decatur Public Library: Closed

Northwest ISD: Closed

Paradise ISD: Closed

Slidell ISD: Closed

Sons of Confederate Veterans: Tuesday’s meeting has been changed to Jan. 14.

Victory Christian Academy and Victory Kids Care: Closed

Weatherford College (all campuses): Closed

Wise County courthouse and other offices: Closed

Wise Hope Crisis Center: Closed on Monday. 24 Hour Hotline available at 940-626-4855.

Wise County Meals on Wheels: Not making deliveries.

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Roads remain treacherous


Wise County roads remain treacherous especially U.S. 287 in Rhome where many travelers have been stuck all night, including two Greyhound buses loaded with passengers. Avoid this area at all cost. Traffic remains completely stalled for the foreseeable future there.

 

 

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Road Closures and Shut Downs


Road closures and shut downs have been reported today (Saturday, December 7) on U.S. 380 between Decatur and Bridgeport. Traffic has also slowed to a crawl on large sections of U.S. 287 all the way from Farm Road 407 to Texas 114 in Rhome in the southbound lanes. The south county line on U.S. 287 has also come to complete stops at times today. Numerous accidents have been reported all over the county. Everyone is encourage not to drive unless it is an absolute emergency. The sleet has compacted to a slick, thick layer of ice on all roadways in the county. A temporary warming shelter has been opened at Decatur civic center to stranded travelers.

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.: Farm 730 south of Decatur is shut down after an 18-wheeler jackknifed. Traffic still at a crawl on U.S. 287 southbound from County Road 4421 south of Decatur to Texas 114 in Rhome.

UPDATE 8:00 p.m.: US 287 northbound from Rhome almost to Decatur almost at a complete standstill. Wrecker services are very backed up causing wait times of several hours at least.

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Winter storm cancellations/delays


Here’s the latest information on cancellations or delays due to the  winter storm. We’ll add to this list as we receive the information. (Updated 6:00 p.m. 12/07/13)

Alvord ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Alzheimer’s Support Group: postponed to  Thursday, Dec. 12

Boyd ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Breakfast with Santa at Young Elementary: Cancelled for Saturday, December 7

Bridgeport ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Bridgeport Park and Recreation’s Breakfast with Santa: Saturday’s event canceled

Chico City Hall: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Chico ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6

City of Bridgeport Offices and Library: Closed Friday, Dec, 6; Library also closed Saturday, Dec. 7

Decatur ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Decatur Livestock Market: closed Monday, December 9

Decatur Parade of Lights: postponed to Friday, Dec. 20

Decatur Public Library: closed Saturday, Dec. 7

DHS Theatre Department’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” has been cancelled for Sunday, Dec. 8 at 2:30p performance; Event rescheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14.

Decatur Woman’s Club Tour of Homes: postponed to Sunday, Dec. 15

First Christian Church of Paradise: No services will be on Sunday, December 8

First United Methodist Church Decatur: No church activities Sunday, December 8, 2013 due to weather.

Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX is closed Sunday for all services.

Newark’s Santa at the Station: Saturday’s event canceled

New Fairview City Hall: closed Friday December 6

North Texas Singles Club: Saturday’s meeting canceled

Northwest ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6. All Friday night and Saturday activities are also canceled at this time.

Paradise ISD: no school Friday, all activities cancelled

Paradise ISD election: early voting poll open at the superintendent’s office Friday, Dec. 6

SAT Center: SAT test scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 7, at Bridgeport High School postponed for Saturday, Dec. 21

Santa visits The Community Bank in Bridgeport via helicopter: cancelled

Santa’s visit to Rhome: postponed to Saturday, Dec. 14

Slidell ISD: closed Friday, Dec. 6

The Relay For Life of Wise County kickoff: postponed to later date

University of North Texas: closed Friday, Dec. 6

VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Bridgeport: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Victory Christian Academy: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Weatherford College Wise County: closed Friday, Dec. 6

Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center: office is closed, and the open house is postponed to Thursday, Dec. 12

Wise County Animal Shelter: closing at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5

Wise County Appraisal District: Closed Friday, Dec. 6

Wise County offices: Closed Friday, Dec. 6

Youth Fair Tag In: postponed to  Saturday, Dec. 14

Links to school websites:

Links to local news websites:

 

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Ice collapses ag barn; goats saved


One by one Boyd police officers carried goats too safety from a collapsed building Friday afternoon. Ice accumulated on the metal roof of the ag barn by Boyd High School and caused the building to collapse. Eight goats were inside the building, but none were injured as police officers, fire fighters, ag teachers and the superintendent all helped carry the goats to safety. “Luckily the pens we constructed were strong enough to protect the goats,” said Boyd ag teacher Scott Rawlings. The collapsed roof was resting on top of the pipe pens that housed all the goats. The school was closed due to weather. “Luckily no kids were up here, so no one was hurt, and no animals were hurt,” said Boyd School Superintendent Ted West, who was on hand helping move animals and items from the barn. Even though school was closed some kids were playing on sleds on the frozen ground at the nearby football field. “It sounded like a car crash,” said Cameron Clark, a junior at Boyd High School. “The police showed up, and all the goats were rescued,” said Shelby Bradshaw, a junior from nearby Paradise High. The goats were all projects for the upcoming Fort Wort Stock and Wise County Youth Fair. Rawlings said they would find a new place to house the animals, all the students would still be able to show their goats as usual. The ag barn was just constructed last fall. “A lot of time people don’t realize how much this stuff weighs,” said Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis of the accumulated ice.

Shelby Bradshaw feeds goats rescued from a collapsed animal barn at Boyd High School Friday. Photo by Joe Duty.

Shelby Bradshaw feeds goats rescued from a collapsed animal barn at Boyd High School Friday. Photo by Joe Duty.

 

 

 

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Saturday’s crash victims identified


The Texas Department of Public Safety has identified the people involved in Saturday’s multiple vehicle wreck on U.S. 81/287 near the Montague and Wise county line. Amanda Lee Garner, 34, of Springtown was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth where she was listed in serious condition as of noon today. Kenneth Dewayne Fuller, 45, of Lewisville; Chong Kim, 27, of Irving and Wui Kim, 35, of Irving were all taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth. Fuller was listed in critical condition at the time of transport, but conditions were not available for the Kims. Lisa Marie Hall, 27, of Boyd was transported in serious condition to Bowie Memorial Hospital. The accident started around 6:35 when two northbound passenger vehicles apparently bumped into each other, sending them both across the median into the southbound lanes where two more vehicles were struck. The accident shut down the roadway for hours. Read the full story in the midweek Wise County Messenger.

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Wreck at county line involves multiple patients


At least four vehicles were involved in a wreck on U.S. 81/287 just inside the Montague County line around 6:30 Saturday night. Few details of the wreck are known at this point, but at least three helicopters were seen taking off from the scene of the wreck carrying the most seriously injured. It apparently involved two SUVs and two passenger cars. Both northbound and southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 were diverted onto the access road for hours while the highway was used as a landing zone for helicopters from at least three different counties, including an Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter from Decatur. In addition to Montague County emergency responders, two ambulances from Wise County, the Alvord Volunteer Fire Department and Department of Public Safety troopers from the Decatur office assisted at the scene. More information will be posted as it becomes available at WCMessenger.com.

Montague wreck

One of at least three helicopters that responded to the scene of Saturday night’s wreck just inside Montague County prepares to take flight with one of the victims.

 

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WRHS to suspend inpatient services at Bridgeport


Wise Regional Health System will suspend inpatient services at its Bridgeport campus effective Dec. 1.

The change will only affect the medical/surgical inpatient unit and ICU. The facility will remain open, focusing on outpatient services including surgery, radiology and Emergency Services.  Patients who need an overnight stay will be transferred to the Decatur campus.

“Wise Regional has provided the ability to care for inpatients since March 2013 and had hoped to see enough inpatient volume at the Bridgeport campus to provide a good level of support for the facility,” said Donna Stowers, the Bridgeport hospital’s administrative director. “An Intensive Care Unit was opened at the end of September to further encourage inpatient admissions to the facility. Unfortunately, we have not seen the patient volumes that are necessary to make inpatient services a financially viable effort.”

WRHS officials expected to encounter losses on operations, but CFO Jim Eaton said the Bridgeport campus has continued to lose about $350,000 per month. Inpatient volumes, which were projected in the eight to 10 patient per day range, have instead remained at one to two patients per day.

“Our goal and hope is that this is a temporary suspension,” said CEO Steve Summers. “All of the equipment needed to restart inpatient services at Bridgeport will remain intact, and we are maintaining our license as an inpatient facility. We are committed as an organization to providing quality care in Bridgeport and health care services which are needed and will continue to do so.”

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Fire damages Crafton home


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Crafton home was damaged Sunday morning when the chimney caught fire and quickly spread to the attic.

Crafton, Sand Flat and Chico volunteer fire departments were called to 1787 CR 1895 about 10:45 a.m. Homeowner Alvin Hall told a Wise County dispatcher that a fire in his fireplace had spread to his living room.

“Yesterday I had no electricity [for a period of time], and it was cold so I kept my fireplace going,” he said. Hall was not injured in the fire. He lives there with his cat, Hoot.

Sand Flat Fire Chief Kenny Carnley said damage was confined to one end of the single-story, wooden structure, and in addition to heat and smoke damage, there was also water damage to the drywall. He said the flames spread quickly from the chimney to the attic.

Medic 2 and Sunset Volunteer Fire Department were also on scene.

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Lady Eagles win state crown


The Decatur Lady Eagles celebrate after winning their first-ever state volleyball title Saturday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur Lady Eagles celebrate after winning their first-ever state volleyball title Saturday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty 

 

Superintendent Rod Townsend presents the Decatur Lady Eagles with their medals after winning the Class 3A state volleyball championship Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Superintendent Rod Townsend presents the Decatur Lady Eagles with their medals after winning the Class 3A state volleyball championship Saturday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur Lady Eagles won the Class 3A state volleyball title Saturday afternoon in Garland. The newly-crowned state champions swept Bellville in the state final game 25-21, 25-18 and 27-25. Cooper Martin was named MVP.

 

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Lady Eagles reach state title game


The Decatur Lady Eagles volleyball team beat Big Spring in three sets this afternoon, 25-12, 25-22, 25-10 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland in the state semifinal game. The second game was the toughest as the Lady Eagles found themselves down 12-16 before storming back for the win. They will play at 2 tomorrow for a state championship. This is the first time the Lady Eagles have reached the state finals in the program’s history. Read the full story of today’s game in the weekend Wise County Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

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Fire displaces family


Fire departments from Cottondale, Paradise and Springtown responded to a house fire in the 1500 block of County Road 3791 south of Cottondale Monday afternoon.

The fire was called in around 5 by a child, who was inside the house when the fire started.

The homeowner, Alan Weaver said he had stepped outside and his three grandsons were inside playing video games whenever the smoke alarms started going off.

The boys — age 11, 8 and 5 — ran outside and called for help as their grandfather attempted to hose the fire down.

The first units to check on scene reported smoke from the rear of the mobile home. The fire was quickly contained, however there was smoke damage throughout.

Red Cross was dispatched to assist the family living in the home, which includes, Weaver, his wife, Petra, and their three grandsons.

There were no reports of injuries.
photo

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Two injured in Monday morning rollover


Two men were injured in a one-vehicle rollover south of Decatur early Sunday morning. Both were transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth — one by ground ambulance, the other by helicopter.

The driver, Osei Ageyman Leonard, 49, of Grand Prairie was flown due to a crushed foot and facial injuries. He was trapped inside the car and had to be extricated out.

His passenger, Meaxwell Brefo, 32, of Arlington was transported by ground ambulance.

Investigators believe the car was northbound on U.S. 81/287 when, for unknown reasons, it left the roadway, near Farm Road 2264. The car rolled several times before coming to a rest on the driver’s side in the median.

Decatur Fire Department, Decatur police officers, Wise County medics and a State Trooper responded to the accident, which was called in just after midnight.

There were no other vehicles involved.

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Teen injured in rollover


A Rhome teenager was injured in a one-vehicle rollover east of Chico early Sunday morning.
Investigators believe Miguel Infante, 19, was eastbound on Farm Road 1810, near the Sandy Creek bridge, when he lost control of the 1996 Ford pickup he was driving just after 4 a.m.
The pickup rolled across the westbound lanes and shoulder, before coming to a rest at the bottom of a ravine on the north side of the road.
Infante was pinned in the vehicle and possibly fractured his left arm. He was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.
Both lanes of 1810 were shut down to land the helicopter on the road.
Investigators believe alcohol may have played a factor.
There were no other passengers or vehicles involved.
Chico Volunteer Fire Department, Wise County medics and State Troopers responded.

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Paradise School Board race officially tied


Bill Mundy and Ben Sanders are now officially tied for Place 6 on the Paradise School Board. The Wise County ballot board met this morning to determine if the provisional ballots cast in last week’s election are valid ballots. One of the ballots deemed valid included the Paradise School Board races. Bill Mundy held a one-vote advantage over Ben Sanders, 93-92, prior to the provisional ballot being cast. When the results were updated to include the provisional ballot, the results showed a 93-93 vote tie. The two candidates and the school district now must decide how to break the tie. Election law provides a few options: candidates could agree to cast lots (such as a coin flip or drawing straws) or one candidate could withdraw. If neither candidate can come to an agreement, an automatic recount is held. If the race is still tied, a run-off election would be held.

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Heithecker not guilty by reason of insanity in mother’s death


Kirk Alan Heithecker was found not guilty by reason of insanity in 271st District Court this morning. Heithecker, 49, is accused of killing his mother at their home south of Decatur sometime over Mother’s Day weekend earlier this  year. Dr. Jim Womack, a licensed psychologist who performed evaluations on Heithecker last month, testified that Heithecker has a history of mental illness dating back to his early 20s and has taken medication for many years. He apparently was not taking this medication around the time of his mother’s death. Womack testified that Heithecker could not distinguish between right or wrong when he apparently killed his mother and buried her under a pile of trash in the front yard of their rural home. In fact, Womack testified that Heithecker said he felt threatened by his mother and even thought she might be trying to kill him. Assistant District Attorney Tim Cole said the state did not dispute the doctor’s findings of Heithecker’s insanity at the time of the murder. Heithecker will be evaluated at a state hospital and return to court within 30 days for a committal hearing. He will then be committed to a state hospital. The judgment was made by District Judge John Fostel. Heithecker waived his right to a jury trial.

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Driver arrested following wreck


A Poolville man was arrested for driving while intoxicated following a three-vehicle wreck Thursday night around 6:40 near Cottondale. Department of Public Safety Trooper Beau Bridgeman said Makaylyn Wolff, 17, of Springtown was stopped in the northbound lane of Farm Road 51 waiting to turn left onto Farm Road 2123 when her SUV was struck from behind by a pickup driven by Casey Smith, 44, of Poolville. The impact pushed Wolff’s vehicle into the southbound lane of FM 51 where it was struck a second time by a southbound pickup driven by Jordan Crittenden, 26, of Springtown. Meanwhile, Smith’s pickup ran off the road and through a fence on the west side of the roadway. No one was seriously injured in the wreck. Smith was taken to the Wise County Jail. The wreck had FM 51 shut down for about an hour and down to one lane for about another half-hour as the scene was cleared. Two ambulances as well as the Boyd and Cottondale fire departments responded to the scene.

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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