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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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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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.

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Fire breaks out at Bridgeport scrap yard


More than half of Wise County’s fire departments were dispatched to a large fire at Bridgeport Iron and Metal on Texas 101 Saturday afternoon.

A blaze broke out among two larges piles — one of scrap metal and another of vehicles — at the scrap metal yard. Flames were contained to the piles, which were up to 35 feet tall, and nearby overhanging trees.

However, no structures were involved as of 6:30.

One firefighter was transported to Wise Regional Health System - Bridgeport for heat exposure. Two other were being treated at the scene. Their injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Firefighters from Bridgeport, Lake Bridgeport, Decatur, Chico, Paradise, Runaway Bay, Alvord, Cottondale and Greenwood-Slidell battled the blaze, which was reported just before 4 p.m.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard expected the fire to burn into the night. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Judge Terri Johnson killed in wreck


Terri Johnson

Terri Johnson

Wise County Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Terri Johnson was killed Saturday evening in a shattering wreck that killed three other people. The accident happened around 6 p.m. about a quarter mile north of the crossover on U.S. 81/287 near National Ropers Supply (NRS) Trailers, just south of Decatur. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper William Cooper said Johnson was apparently going southbound in the northbound lane when she struck an SUV head on. A 4-year-old child in the SUV was ejected. She was flown to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth. Three adults in the SUV were killed. They included the driver, Juan Jose Rios, 31, of Quanah; and two passengers, Amy Dee Culwell, 35, of Chillicothe and Sherry Ann Rios, 50, of Quanah. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays pronounced all four victims dead at the scene. Johnson’s and Juan Rios’ bodies will be taken to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s office, and blood work will be performed, Cooper said. All northbound traffic on U.S. 81/287 was completely shut down, and traffic was rerouted at Farm Road 407 to Farm Road 2264. The road was reopened around 10 p.m.

Messenger photo by Brian Knox

Messenger photo by Brian Knox

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Messenger photo by Brian Knox

 

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Chevron station catches fire


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Chevron station on Farm Road 51 South in Decatur caught fire just after 10 p.m. Sunday.

The blaze appears to have started in the north end of the building, which is located at 2806 FM 51 South, near the Wise County Fairgrounds. Decatur’s Deputy Fire Chief Deroy Bennett said the north end of the building sustained heavy fire damage, and the rest of the building will likely have smoke and heat damage.

Bridgeport and Paradise fire departments were called to the scene to assist Decatur Fire Department, and as of 11 p.m., they were still working to ensure the fire was out. The heaviest damage appeared to be in the ceiling and attic.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. More information will be posted as it’s available.

 

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Fire rips through home in East Wise


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Fire tore through half a trailer home at 308 Private Road 4433 early Sunday morning, leaving one of the five dogs in the residence dead.
East Wise, Rhome and Decatur firefighters contained the blaze that started around 3:30 a.m. to the left side of the trailer.

“Half of it is gone – the two rooms on [the left] end,” said East Wise Assistant Fire Chief Jim Blackney. “Decatur got here quick and then Rhome to help attack it.

“We attacked it from the outside initially and knocked it down. Decatur then went in the front.”

Homeowner Dennis Lack said his dogs woke him up.
“I had just gotten to sleep when a couple of the dogs woke me,” Lack said. “I could see flames out the kitchen window.”
Lack, who was the only person in the home, got out with four of the five dogs in the house.
Lack has lived in the home a few miles off Farm Road 2264 near Oliver Creek for more than 14 years.
He believed the fire started in the chicken coup located to the back left of the home.
“I just finished redoing everything in the chicken coup,” Lack said. “I think one of the cords [to the heat lamps] shorted out.”

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Chico home destroyed, resident taken to hospital


A house at 411 Mockingbird Street in Chico was destroyed by fire late Thursday afternoon. Chico, Sand Flat, Bridgeport and Decatur fire departments responded to a report of a single-wide mobile home engulfed in flames around 5:15. The female home owner was taken to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur with unspecified injuries. Assistant Fire Marshal J.C. Travis was on the scene investigating, but he said a cause had not yet been determined. A car parked in the driveway was also destroyed by fire.

Mockingbird St. fire

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

 

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Jury delivers guilty verdict in drug case


A Wise County jury Wednesday afternoon found George David Shannon, 55, of Paradise guilty of possession of methamphetamine less than 1 gram, a state jail felony. Before the trial began, Shannon elected to have 271st District Judge John Fostel assess punishment in the case, which included mandatory probation since Shannon had not been convicted of a felony offense in the past. Fostel assessed the punishment at one year in state jail, probated for two years plus a $2,000 fine. All of the evidence in the case was presented Tuesday, and closing arguments began this morning. The jury deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours before reaching its guilty verdict just before 2 p.m. Assistant District Attorney Patrick Berry presented the state’s case, and Shannon was represented by Decatur attorney Barry Green.

Shannon, George David

George David Shannon

 

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1 injured in head-on collision


A Decatur man was injured in a head-on collision east of Paradise just after 6 Friday morning.

Roland Hodge was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. His injuries were not known.

According to investigators, Hodge was westbound on Texas 114, near County Road 3381 in a Dodge pickup. He was attempting to pass a vehicle and hadn’t made it completely into his lane when he clipped an eastbound Ford pickup.

The impact caused the Ford pickup to roll. Its driver, Cory Kelsey of Paradise was not injured.

Investigators believe that the heavy fog that blanketed much of the county contributed.

Paradise Fire Department, state troopers, Wise County medics and sheriff’s deputies responded.

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Help needed to ID suspects


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The Decatur Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying three subjects suspected of breaking into cars and using stolen credit cards to make purchases at Wal-Mart last weekend.

Sgt. Mike Picha  said at least four vehicle burglaries occurred in Decatur late Friday night and early Saturday morning. He said nothing substantial was stolen except credit cards, which were used early Saturday morning to make  purchases at Wal-Mart.

The photos posted above are stills obtained by Decatur PD from Wal-Mart security cameras. To report information related to the identity of these individuals or the crime, call Picha or Sgt. Gerald Wright at 940-393-0300. To report information anonymously, call Wise County Crimestoppers at 800-643-TIPS or 940-627-8477. Lines are open 24 hours.

 

 

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Northwest coach heads to Sherman


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
After five seasons on the Northwest Texans’ sidelines, Bill Patterson is leaving.
Patterson, who led the Texans to three playoff appearances, accepted the head football coaching job at Sherman Monday.
“I feel like Sherman is a place you can go and have a chance to win a state championship,” Patterson said Monday night. “They have good players and a tradition of having good football teams.”
Patterson added that he was drawn by the fact that Sherman is a “one-school town.”
Northwest currently has two high schools and a third is being built.
He takes over a Sherman team that went 4-6 last season and missed the playoffs. He replaces Gary Joe Kinne.
Sherman will be a 5A school, sharing District 10 with Denison, McKinney, McKinney North, Lovejoy, Prosper, Wylie and Wylie East. Northwest will be in the new Class 6A.
Patterson leaves Northwest with a record of 23-30. After his first squad went winless in 2009, he guided the Texans to the playoffs in 2010. The Texans went 8-3 the past two seasons and lost in the bi-district round of the Class 5A playoffs.
“We’re the only team to go back-to-back to the playoffs,” he said. “It’s been a great five years. I’ve enjoyed working with Coach [Susan] Elza and the staff here. I had two kids graduate from Northwest. It’ll always be a special place.”
Under Patterson, the Texans dominated the Keller schools the past two years, going 7-1.
“The credit goes to the players,” he said. “We’ve had a great group of kids to work with.”

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Wreck victim identified


A Haslet man was seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident just north of Decatur

    early Sunday morning.

    Zachary Sano, 18, was transported by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur then flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. His injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

    The accident, which was reported just after 4 a.m., is under investigation, but it appears Sano was southbound in a small pickup on U.S. 287, near Bono’s, when it lost control. Witnesses said the driver ran off the roadway into the right-side ditch, overcorrected and darted back onto the highway, where an 18-wheeler drove over the front end of the pickup.

    The impact caused the pickup to flip. It came to a rest on the side of the road, near AGvantage.

    The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured.

    State troopers are investigating the accident, and they believe drugs were a factor in the crash.

    Decatur fire and police departments and Wise County medics also responded.

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1 injured in Decatur wreck


The driver of a small pickup was seriously injured in a wreck with an 18-wheeler just north of Decatur early Sunday morning.

The driver, a male whose name was not available, was transported by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur and was later flown to a Metroplex hospital.

The extent of his injuries were not known, but authorities at the scene said he was “incoherent.”

The accident, which was reported just after 4 a.m., is under investigation, but it appears the pickup was southbound on U.S. 287, near Bono’s, when it lost control. Witnesses said the driver ran off the roadway into the right-side ditch, overcorrected and darted back onto the highway, where the 18-wheeler drove over the front end of the pickup.

The impact caused the pickup to flip. It came to a rest on the side of the road, near AGvantage.

The driver of the 18-wheeler was not injured.

State troopers are investigating the accident. Decatur fire and police departments and Wise County medics responded.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

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Decatur hires Fuller as AD, coach


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com_DSC1121
Mike Fuller is the new leader of the Eagles.
After leading the Colleyville Heritage to seven straight playoff appearances and compiling a record of 60-19, Fuller accepted the football coach and athletic director job at Decatur Thursday night.
Fuller said the small-town atmosphere and a chance to be an athletic director drew him to Decatur and away from his 5A job in Colleyville.
“I have heard nothing but fantastic things about this community,” Fuller said. “It’s an opportunity to be an athletic director and still coach football, which has been a goal of mine for a while. I love the one town, one community and one high school atmosphere.”
Fuller replaces Kyle Story, who left the district in February to become the first football coach at Frisco Independence, which will open in the fall.
The district had 144 applicants for the opening and interviewed eight candidates.
“The talent pool was extremely deep,” said Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend. “We had 144 applicants and there was probably 40 of those that you would have been satisfied with. As we narrowed it down to eight, it was tough. He continued to come to the top.”

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Chico gas leak forces evacuation


Residents near Chico Auto wrecking yard were evacuated about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday after a tanker trailer was discovered to have a small anhydrous ammonia leak.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said residents within a 500 perimeter of the trailer were evacuated to Chico High School. It included eight homes. Chico, Bridgeport and Sand Flat fire departments were on scene, as well as Wise County deputies who were assisting with the evacuation.

Beard said the tanker was involved in an accident yesterday in Jack County and was hauled to the Chico Auto yard on Weatherford Street. A Hazmat crew cleared the trailer and indicated it was safe. Beard said there was likely residual gas in the tanker that after heating up today began to leak.

More information will be posted as it’s available.

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Ross removed from office


Precinct 4 County Commissioner Terry Ross was removed from office Wednesday morning by District Judge Roger Towery.

Terry Ross

Terry Ross

Towery granted County Attorney James Stainton’s request to issue a summary judgment in the civil suit regarding his removal. The order was filed in the clerk’s office of the 271st District Court at 9:46 a.m.

It says: “The court finds that (Ross) was convicted of a misdemeanor involving official misconduct during the time he held public office. Pursuant to Local Government Code 87.031, the court orders that Terry Ross is immediately removed from the office of Wise County commissioner, Precinct 4.”

“I believe it’s the right result,” Stainton said. “It fits the law. When you plead guilty to a criminal offense tied to your elected office, you shouldn’t expect to stay in office.”

Read more in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

 

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