Power outage reported in South Wise


More than 1,000 customers are without electricity in south Wise County. Oncor Area Manager Sabrina Easley said Wednesday 1,350 customers in Rhome, Aurora, Newark and Boyd are without electricity due to a line being down in Boyd. Crews are working to repair the line, and power should be restored by 4 p.m.

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Child dies in hunting accident


Callen Little, 9, was shot in a hunting accident at approximately 9:58 a.m. Saturday at his family’s ranch on FM 4010 outside of Decatur.

Wise County EMS and the Wise County Sherriff’s Office responded and Little was transported by EMS to Wise Regional Medical Center. He was pronounced dead upon arrival.

“He was sitting in a blind with his grandfather, Jim Bob Little,” Sherriff David Walker said. “They were doing a controlled release of pheasants.”

Walker said that Callen stepped out of the blind without his grandfather knowing and when the pheasants were released, Jim Bob accidentally hit his grandson while aiming for a pheasant.

“The little boy got out of the stand, maybe to go to the bathroom or something,” Walker continued. “They released the birds and he unknowingly shot his grandson while trying to hit a bird.”

Callen’s mother and father were also at the hunt, along with a registered nurse who immediately began CPR.

“It’s a horrible, horrible accident,” Walker said. “It has affected the family, friends and the emergency responders who were there. Wise County wraps its arms around whoever needs it. I know it will take a long time, but with the love of the community, this family will heal eventually.”

Walker also said that the ranch has hosted several hunts in the past that have been extremely successful and safe.

“This is the first time they’ve had an accident at one of their hunts,” he said. “It’s just really sad and an awful thing. I know that they’re hurting and I know the community is going to rally around them because I’ve seen it before.”

Little’s body is currently at the Dallas County Medical Examiners for an autopsy.

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One flown from accident on 287


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
A man was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth from the scene of a multiple vehicle accident on U.S. 287/81 Friday evening.
The accident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. a few miles north of County Road 4421 and south of Decatur.
According to Department of Public Safety Sgt. Lonny Haschel, a gray, four-door Dodge pickup driven by Warren Maughan, 42, of Springtown was headed north on U.S. 287 at a high rate of speed and attempted to pass a tractor trailer on the inside shoulder.
“After going around in the grassy area, it rear-ended a blue, Ford Expedition,” Haschel explained.
Maughan was flown to JPS by Air Evac with serious injuries.
The four occupants of the Expedition, including driver Darin Woolwine, 46, of Marlow, Okla. were taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System with non-life threatening injuries.
The highway was shut down for nearly an hour, causing a backup of more than three miles to near CR 4421. The accident was fully cleared and the highway opened up at 8:35 p.m.
The accident remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.
Just a few minutes after the accident south of Decatur another wreck was reported on U.S. 287 near Catfish O’Harlies north of Decatur. Medics were disregarded upon arrival of the accidents.

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High water danger remains


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A member of the Paradise Fire Department works to rescue a teen nearly swept away in flood waters Monday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

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Despite a couple of sunny days in a row with no rain, the threat of flood waters remains. This afternoon around 6 p.m., the Decatur and Paradise fire departments as well as Wise County EMS and law enforcement were called to County Road 3250 near Screaming Bridge to rescue a 16-year-old who got swept off his feet by flood waters. The teen was able to clutch onto a tree until rescuers were able to reach him and pull him to safety. He only sustained scratches, according to law enforcement. He and his friends had been wading through the water fishing when he was swept off his feet by the swollen West Fork of the Trinity River. High water remains over several Wise County roadways, and as of 8 p.m. Monday, major roads including U.S. 380 in Runaway Bay and Farm Road 730 north of Boyd remained closed. As of 9 p.m., Lake Bridgeport continued to rise higher and was at an elevation of 840.37 feet above sea level, or 4.37 feet above conservation level. The lake remains closed to boat traffic. Motorists are reminded not to drive around or move barricades, and do not attempt to drive through flood waters.

 

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U.S. 380 closed at Lake Bridgeport bridge


With water climbing over the roadway on U.S 380 just west of the Lake Bridgeport bridge in Runaway Bay, the Texas Department of Transportation has shut down the roadway until further notice. The lake level has continued to rise after weeks of rainy weather. As of 9 p.m., the lake stood at an elevation of 840.13 feet, more than four feet above conservation level. Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said he has been told by the Tarrant Regional Water District that the lake level should crest between 841 to 842 feet tomorrow, according to estimates. Only emergency traffic will be allowed to cross the bridge while he road is closed. Drivers should seek alternate routes.

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Breaking News: Voluntary evacuations requested due to flooding concerns


The Tarrant Regional Water District and Sheriff David Walker are asking anyone who lives below the 840 feet elevation around Lake Bridgeport and areas downstream along the Trinity River to voluntarily evacuate. The TRWD expects the lake to crest at or above 840 feet tonight. U.S. 380 is expected to remain open at this time. At 6 p.m., the water level is expected to reach the beams of the bridge and would need to be reevaluated by TxDOT around midnight for possible flooding. Water is being released from Lake Bridgeport, meaning areas along the Trinity downstream in the Bridgeport and Boyd areas could be at risk for more flooding. People are reminded not to drive around barricades for roads that are shut down due to flooding.

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Lake Bridgeport closed to boat traffic


The Tarrant Regional Water District closed Lake Bridgeport to boat traffic Friday morning, citing dangerous water conditions. Wakes caused by boating could potentially flood low-lying homes along the lake, and debris from the recent storms makes the water hazardous to enter. The reservoir’s spillway was opened Wednesday to discharge excess water, but the rate of discharge was increased Friday. The Wise County Sheriff’s Office warns that this may cause flooding downstream from Lake Bridgeport in Precinct 3 or along the Trinity River. Sheriff David Walker urges citizens to leave alone any barricades on flooded roadways and to not drive through water.

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Rhome woman seriously injured in rollover


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Rhome woman was seriously injured Thursday morning when she rolled her sports utility vehicle on U.S. 81/287, just south of County Road 4421.
Barbara L. Mallory was northbound on 287 just before 8 a.m. when her left, front tire blew out, pulling her vehicle to the left. Department of Public Safety Trooper Madison Zaragoza said Mallory overcorrected to the right, running off the east side of the road. She tried to straighten the vehicle on a strip of pavement that runs alongside the highway, but she never regained control. The vehicle rolled and landed on its side next to the railroad tracks.
Mallory was trapped in the SUV and suffered multiple lacerations. She was transported to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth by Medic 1.
Wise County’s Rescue 1 and East Wise Fire Department also responded.

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Truck fire shuts down highway


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The northbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 in front of Allsup’s in Decatur were shut down just before 5 a.m. Wednesday when an 18-wheeler caught fire. Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said it hit another truck that had slowed to turn into Allsup’s.

Sam Russo of Louisiana, who was driving a TMI Logistics truck loaded with oil and gas equipment, said he was on his way to Pampa when he was hit from behind. A door from the 18-wheeler that hit him was hanging off the equipment on Russo’s trailer. Russo was parked in the Allsup’s parking lot, while the burned truck sat in the exit for Farm Road 51 South.

The name of the driver of the burned truck was not immediately available. Neither driver was injured.

The highway was still shut down as of 6:25 a.m. as the Texas Department of Transportation and wrecker crews worked to clean diesel and debris from the road.

Wise County sheriff’s deputies were directing northbound traffic to Business 287 south of town.

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Body identified, missing woman found


The body of a man found inside a burning travel trailer near Chico last Thursday has been identified as Lawrence Roy Roberts, 58, of Chico. The positive identification was made by the Dallas County Medical Examiners Office, which also ruled the death a homicide. Wise County Sheriff David Walker said the ME’s office ruled Roberts died from a gun shot wound. His body was in one of three fires on the property at 1122 Farm Road 2952 southwest of Chico last Thursday night. Jeremy Wade Marlett, 34, of Chico was arrested Friday and charged with arson in the case. No murder charges have been filed. A missing woman wanted in connection with the case was also found safe Tuesday, Walker said. Teresa Jan Rose, 41, of Chico was found in Bridgeport and is cooperating with investigators, who are seeking the couple who gave Rose a ride Thursday night. To report information about the case, contact Sergeant Josh Reynolds with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office at 940-627-5971 ext. 263 or via e-mail at reynoldsj@sheriff.co.wise.tx.us.

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2 killed in Friday collision


Two people were killed Friday afternoon in a car wreck on Texas 199, one mile west of Farm Road 920. Department of Public Safety Trooper Fred Thornton Jr. said a passenger car traveling east crossed the center line and hit a westbound white, Ford Escape driven by Pamela Hudson, 56, of Bowie.

Thornton said wet roads were a factor.

“He hydroplaned and went over the center stripe, and she plowed into him,” Thornton said.

Both drivers were killed. The name of the second driver has not yet been released, pending notification of the family.

Both were pronounced dead on the scene by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Craig Johnson.

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Murder investigation includes search for missing person


 

Teresa Rose

Teresa Rose

As part of an arson/murder investigation related to Thursday night’s fire and the discovery of a body in a travel trailer in the 1100 block of Farm Road 2952 in Chico, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office is now seeking a missing person that could be connected to the case. Investigators are seeking Teresa Jan Rose, 41, of Chico. She’s 5-foot-2-inches tall and weighs approximately 135 pounds. Anyone with information about Rose’s location should call Sgt. Josh Reynolds with the WCSO at 940-627-5971, ext. 263; email reynolds@sheriff.co.wise.tx.us or call Crimestoppers at 800-643-TIPS. Jeremy Wade Marlett, 34, of Chico was arrested early Friday morning and was charged with arson in connection with the fire as well as on a charge of possession of marijuana. The body, which was found in the travel trailer that was destroyed by fire, has not yet been identified. A mobile home was also destroyed in a fire on the property.

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Chico fire leads to murder investigation


A structure fire destroyed a vehicle and a mobile homes off of FM 2952 in Chico Thursday night.

Human remains were found once the fires were extinguished and a murder investigation is underway.

Witnesses said three cars left the property before the fires began.

An explosion releasing a strong ammonia smell filled the air during the fire’s peak, but Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said that they found no evidence of a drug manufacturing lab.

“We didn’t have any evidence of a meth lab or anything like that,” Washburn said.

The vehicle and house were about 40 feet apart, suggesting that the fires were set intentionally.

“That is pretty curious,” Washburn said. “Especially because there wasn’t any fire in between the house and car.”

 

 

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Fire destroys Chico home


A family was displaced when fire destroyed their home north of Chico Thursday morning. Chico and Bridgeport fire departments along with Wise County EMS responded to the call in the 1700 block of Texas 101 around 8 a.m. The first units on the scene reported the single story, wood-frame home totally engulfed in flames. Wise County Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said a woman, her daughter and a small child were able to escape without injury. He said the fire apparently started from a space heater in a bedroom. A dog is thought to have died in the fire. The home was a total loss. The Chico Church of Christ is collecting clothes and household items for the fire victims. For information, call 940-577-0762. The family needs all household items. Clothing sizes include: young female adult size 3 pants and shirts size small to medium; small girls’ size 3T through 6T clothing; adult women’s pants sizes 12-14 and large shirts; and adult men’s size 32 to 34 pants and large shirts. Donations can be dropped off at 203 S. McCracken. People are available to receive donation from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and donations can be left on the fellowship hall’s porch 24 hours a day.

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Tornadic storms rip through Wise County


One confirmed tornado, high winds and torrential rain pounded Wise County Tuesday night. The American Red Cross estimates 50 families were displaced due to the storms, but as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, its disaster assessment was not yet complete. Residents continue to wade through the ugly aftermath, picking up the pieces and contemplating how to move forward.

Tornado tosses man from home; Family rides out storm in closet

Paula Revell Roberts stood close to piles of items normally found inside a home, not outside. A pillow. A kitchen table chair. A plaque that holds a toy fish that sings when you push a button.
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Neighbors survive tornado in shack

In the aftermath of Tuesday night’s tornado, several trailer homes on Farm Road 920 lay on their sides with debris scattered across nearby fields. Trees were broken in half like twigs.
READ MORE…

Tornadic storm strikes lake community

As a storm raged overhead Tuesday night, Brittiany Spain and her 3-year-old son crouched in a closet in their Runaway Bay home.
READ MORE…

Meteorologists confirm tornado near Balsora

An EF1 tornado tore through an area off Farm Road 920 near Balsora Tuesday night, packing winds between 90 and 110 mph, according to National Weather Service crews that visited the area Wednesday.
READ MORE…

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More than 300 remain without power in Wise


rbtornado15More than 300 Oncor customers in Wise County were still without power as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Tree trimmers and electric crews from around the state have converged in the county to repair lines and restore power to residents affected by Tuesday’s tornadic storms.
“Right now, we have 50 tree-trimming crews out and about 25 electric crews out and they will be continuing to work around the clock,” said Oncor spokesperson Sabrina Easley. “The tree-trimming guys are doing a good job getting out ahead to clear limbs.”
At the height of the storm Tuesday, 3,568 Oncor customers were without power. By Wednesday afternoon, Easley said they had 30 customers without electricity in Runaway Bay and 300 along Farm Road 920.
She explained that the numbers for the apartments in Runaway Bay represented the individual meters and up to six apartment units may be on one meter.
The utility is hoping to have all the power restored to customers by early Thursday morning.
“We’re shooting for midnight but it may be closer to 4-5 a.m. to get everyone taken care of,” Easley said.
Wise Electric Cooperative reported just one outage Wednesday afternoon.
Check back to www.wcmessenger.com for more storm coverage.

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Storm causes damage and flooding in Wise County


At approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday night, two large storms merged into one and made its way through Wise County.

The storm produced at least one tornado that caused considerable damage in the southwest quadrant of the county, in Runaway Bay and along Farm Road 920.

There was also considerable flooding in Bridgeport and the surrounding communities.

Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator Chuck Beard said that the initial plan of action is to make sure everyone is safe.

“Right now we’re dealing with life safety,” Beard said. “We will take care of property damage and flooding when everyone is accounted for.”

Two Runaway Bay apartment buildings and at least 15 houses along Farm Road 920 were severely damaged or destroyed as of 12:56 a.m. Wednesday morning.

At that time, no storm-related deaths and minimal injuries had been reported.

County Judge JD Clark said that several organizations were lending their services to the people of Wise County.

“Red Cross is mobilized and are heading to Runaway Bay to assist those displaced from their homes and offer shelter and medical care,” Clark said. “The State Department has a task force on the way to offer aid, as well.”

At the time, Clark said that they hadn’t had a lot of serious injuries and were hopeful to assess property damage when daylight arrives.

But before that, taking care of the storm victims was the top priority.

“We want to make sure that everyone has a roof over their heads and a place to sleep,” Clark said. “We’re getting the help and manpower we need to make sure that everyone who was affected by the storm is accounted for.”

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Boyd’s coach Cranfill passes away


Former Boyd girls basketball coach Lynn Cranfill died Monday morning.
Cranfill was diagnosed with brain cancer last spring. He tried to come back and coach the Lady Yellowjackets this fall. He fell ill again during the season and retired this spring.
Cranfill spent seven years at Boyd, taking over the girls basketball program in 2008. He led the Lady Yellowjackets to the playoffs four times.
“He was a great asset to the school and program,” said Boyd athletic director Brandon Hopkins. “He was a straight-shooter and wanted to be real serious. But he truly was kind-hearted behind the scenes. He wanted what was best for the kids.”
Boyd ISD Superintendent Ted West echoed Hopkins.
“He asked a lot of his girls. He was an old-school coach and was pretty intense and demanding,” West said. “His players at the same time knew he loved them.
“He ran a successful program not only because of the wins but the type of students he turned out.”
A funeral service for Cranfill will be held at Mount Olivet Chapel in Fort Worth at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

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Power outage for repairs


Oncor crews are making repairs at its Rhome substation and will be interrupting service to customers in Rhome, Newark and Aurora for an hour and a half until shortly after 4:30 p.m.
Parts of Boyd will also be without power.
Oncor spokesperson Sabrina Easley said the utility had some vandalism at the substation.
“Someone was attempting to steal copper and it disabled some protection devices,” Easley said. “We’re in the process of making repairs.”
The vandalism was discovered by a company patrolman around noon Monday. Easley added that it was causing a voltage imbalance in the area.
Approximately 3,500 customers were expected to be affected by the outage during repairs.

Update: Easley reported at 4:20 p.m. that repairs were complete, and power is now being restored.

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Roads throughout county flooded


By Richard Greene
rgreene@wcmessenger.com
Heavy rains Sunday morning on top of the multi-inch showers between Thursday and Saturday have flooded several roads in Wise County.
Multiple fire departments have been called out for high-water rescues.
Farm Road 730 north of Boyd is closed with the Trinity River flooding the roadway. Farm Road 51 north of Decatur at CR 2320 is also closed. South of Decatur FM 51 has water over the roadway. The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is also reporting water over areas of U.S. 287/81.
Dispatchers are asking drivers to slow down and use caution on the roads. Also, if water is over the road, turn around.
The Texas Department of Transportation is stretched thin trying to block off closed roads. The various county precincts have road crews also out taking care of county roads as reports of flooding are reported.
The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has received reports of four to five inches of rain since midnight in Wise County. More rain is on the way.
The county is under a Tornado Watch until 9 p.m. and a Flash Flood Warning until 5:45 p.m.

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