Fire destroys home near Decatur


Fire destroyed a single-story home on County Road 3198 Friday morning southwest of Decatur.
Firefighters from Decatur, Boyd, Bridgeport, Paradise, East Wise and Rhome battled the blaze in the 90-degree heat throughout the morning.
The home was fully involved when firefighters arrived shortly after 10 a.m.
Several outbuildings and vehicles surrounded the home. Decatur Deputy Fire Chief Deroy Bennett said several resources were needed to keep the fire contained.
“There were obviously a lot of exposures around with flammable liquids. I wanted to get as much water on it as possible,” Bennett said.
By 11:30 a.m., Bennett said the forward progression of the fire had been stopped. Firefighters were still battling an active fire, and Bennett said they would be on scene for several hours.
The American Red Cross and Wise County EMS medics were on scene providing rehab to firefighters.
Andrew Kerbel lived in the residence with a roommate. He said nothing was out of the norm when he left for work at AutoZone at 7 a.m.
“There was nothing leading up to it,” Kerbel said.
Kerbel said no one was in the home when the fire started. Three dogs were in the residence and had not been accounted for.
Two vehicles were destroyed, according to Kerbel.
Another man lived in another building on the property and was not harmed in the fire.
“The good news is there is multiple places to live here. I’m not going to be homeless,” Kerbel said.

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Update for Friday, July 27, 2018


TAX ROLLS GROW FOR ENTITIES – Tax rolls grew by double digits in all but three Wise County cities  – Alvord, Bridgeport and Runaway Bay – when certified values were released Thursday by the Wise County Appraisal District. Decatur’s tax roll grew by 12.05 percent to $722.3 million. Bridgeport’s values rose by 5.7 percent to $383 million. Decatur ISD’s total values topped $2.303 billion, growing 16.7 percent. Bridgeport ISD was at $1.37 billion, increasing 5.18 percent. Boyd ISD’s tax rolls jumped 22 percent to $714.2 million. Wise County’s total values grew 13.6 percent to $7.315 billion. See the full list of values and story in this weekend’s Messenger.

WRECK VICTIM IDENTIFIED – The driver of the vehicle killed in Wednesday’s wreck near Alvord has been identified by the Department of Public Safety as Rienhard Warmuth, 58, of Alvord. The single-car wreck happened on County Road 2585 near County Road 2571, a few miles east of Alvord.

600 POUNDS OF POT – For the second time this year, a traffic stop in Wise County has resulted in the discovery of at least 600 pounds of marijuana. The latest stop was made at 9:42 p.m. Tuesday when a Department of Public Safety Trooper stopped a 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickup and trailer on U.S. 81/287 for a traffic violation. “Due to indications of criminal activity, a police canine was called to the scene. As a result, approximately 600 pounds of marijuana was found in the trailer,” DPS spokesperson Lt. Lonny Haschel said. Marijuana was discovered inside nine large duffel bags. The driver, Bryan Berc, 38, of Toluca Lake, Calif., was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana 50 to 2,000 pounds. Berc was taken to the Wise County Jail. He was released Wednesday after posting $20,000 bond. The narcotics allegedly originated in California and were being transported to Florida, Haschel said.

WEEKEND AT REUNION – The Wise County Old Settlers Reunion wraps up this weekend. Carnival ride bracelets are $20, and parking is $10. Tonight’s entertainment lineup includes Phil Hamilton featuring Erica Perry 9-11 p.m. and Brandon Rhyder 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday’s entertainment is Jarrod Morris 9-11 p.m. and Joshua Ingram 11 p.m.-1 a.m.

RAIN CHANCES TO RETURN – With much of Wise County now in extreme drought, according to the latest USDA Drought Monitor released Thursday, rain would be a welcome sight. There is a 20 percent chance for storms today and tonight. Chances improve Sunday night to 50 percent and 60 percent Monday. High temperatures today through Sunday are expected to be 99 to 100. A cool down is expected Monday with a high of 89.

RHOME VETERANS EVENT – Rhome Veterans will visit the Museum of North Texas History in Wichita Falls Saturday. The tour will leave the library at 8 a.m. Lunch will follow the tour.

DECATUR FOOTBALL CAMP – Decatur will hold its 2018 football camp July 30-Aug. 2 at the high school for athletes in grades 2 through 9. Campers will learn the fundamentals of football, proper mechanics for throwing, catching, route running, tackling and blocking and the basic schemes of the Eagles’ offense and defense. They will be instructed by head coach Mike Fuller and the rest of Decatur’s coaching staff. Second through sixth graders are scheduled from 5:15-7:15 p.m. and seventh through ninth graders from 7:15-9:15 p.m. Pre-registration is $70 and $50 for each additional family member. It is $80 at the door and includes a camp T-shirt. Mail form and fee to Mike Fuller, 129 West Ridge St., Decatur, TX, 76234 or bring the form and fee to the Decatur fieldhouse. Checks should be made payable to Eagle Football Camp.

PICNIC IN THE PARK – Cates Street Baptist Church in Bridgeport and the First United Methodist Church of Bridgeport are teaming up for a back-to-school picnic at Payne Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The event will feature free food, homemade ice cream, watermelon, bounce houses, face painting, door prizes, games, kids identity fingerprinting, vision screening, hygiene packs, school supplies and the Lions Club train.

RIBBON CUTTING – The grand opening of Hayhurst Brothers Design and Build at 1305 10th St. in Bridgeport is 6 to 7:30 p.m. today. Guests will be treated to finger foods, Blessed Bru coffee, Chundy’s popsicles and a spot of whiskey. The Hayhursts make their premiere on reality show “Texas Flip N Move” at 8 tonight on the DIY Network.

FEEDING WISE KIDS – The Feeding Wise Kids summer feeding program continues its Friday distribution at the following locations and times: (Boyd) First United Methodist Church 10:30-11 a.m.; (Bridgeport) Bridgeport Elementary School parking lot 10:30-noon, Cates Street Baptist Church 10:30-11 a.m., First Baptist Church 10:30-11 a.m., First United Methodist Church 10:30-11 a.m., Presbyterian Church 10:30-11 a.m.; (Slidell) Slidell High School 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Other locations and times are as follows: Chico First United Methodist Church 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Chisholm Trail Middle School and Seven Hills Elementary in Rhome on Thursdays.

FUNERAL for Mildred A. Davis, 93, of Arlington is 2 p.m. today at Moore Funeral Home in Arlington with burial at Moore Memorial Gardens. She was the mother of Karen Garrett of Wise County.

SERVICE for Sonrisa Kay Grant, 54, is 4-6 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church Decatur.

GRAVESIDE SERVICE for Charles Ray Henninger, 66, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at Aurora Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Linda Dunn, 68, of Greeley, Colo., is 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 4 at Rhome Church of Christ with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery.

SERVICE for Jack T. Mann, 75, of Bridgeport is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE SERVICE for Bobbie Roberts Ashley, 85, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Saturday at Oaklawn Cemetery. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Finis Eugene “Gene” Fluker, 91, of Decatur is 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Cottonwood Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Alice Malone Brannon, 75, of Decatur is 9:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Chapel in Decatur with burial Slidell Cemetery.

GRAVESIDE SERVICE for J.R. Bradley, 75, of Paradise is 10:30 a.m. today at Poolville Cemetery.

SERVICE for Mark Dwayne Vestal, 62, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

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Update for Thursday, July 26, 2018


LARGE FIRE IN BRIDGEPORT – Firefighters from multiple departments as well as Texas Forest Service personnel battled a large grass fire yesterday afternoon north of Bridgeport. The fire appeared to originate off Private Road 1525 and quickly moved north through pastures. Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said his department was dispatched to the blaze around 1:30 p.m. “It started and was about two acres in heavy, heavy fuel,” Long said. “It got in the trees and started setting spot fires out in front of it.” Texas Forest Service firefighters manned three bulldozers, helping local firefighters on the ground knock down the fire. Texas Forest Service pilots in a helicopter and two single-engine air tankers (SEATs) dumped water and fire retardant on the fire from the air. Another airplane circled the fire to coordinate the other aircraft. The fire burned an estimated 150 acres. Some fire units remained on the scene until 3 a.m. Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell said Thursday morning that the containment lines are holding. “There are still areas on the interior smoldering, but no active threats,” he said. “Fire crews will check on it throughout the day. Citizens will see smoke if they drive by. This is normal. There is no need to worry unless they see active flames.”

FATAL WRECK – One person was killed in a single-car wreck yesterday afternoon on a county road near Alvord. At approximately 12:10 p.m., Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Troopers were called to a one car crash on County Road 2585, east of Alvord. According to DPS spokesperson Lonny Haschel, preliminary information indicates a 2009 Ford Mustang was traveling east on CR 2585, when for an as yet undetermined reason, the vehicle left the roadway and overturned. The driver and sole occupant died at the scene. The name is being withheld pending next of kin notification. The crash is still under investigation.

WASHER TOURNEY WINNERS – The winners of the Put Yo Money Where Yo Mouth Is washer tournament at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion Tuesday night included the following: first place: Bryce Elder and Cade Lamirand; second place: Kyle Parker and Dylan Rottner; third place: Mark Semmelmann and Ty Harris.

THURSDAY AT REUNION – If you plan on going to Reunion tonight, be aware that parking from today through Saturday is $10. Carnival ride bracelets are $20 through Saturday. Tonight’s entertainment includes the Placer De Acapulco Band 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

MARKET CLOSED – The weekly Decatur Community Farmers Market will be closed until fall produce starts in the first week of September. The excessive heat and drought has destroyed farmers’ crops and back yard gardens this year, according to organizers. Wise County Market Day will still happen on the third Saturday, Aug. 18, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. with a back to school themed community event.

REGISTRATION FAIR – The Alvord ISD Registration Fair is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 1 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 2 in the high school cafeteria. All students need to register. Parents will be completing the registration packet and verifying proof of residency. New students will need a copy of their birth certificate, Social Security card, immunization record and proof of residency.

BLOOD DRIVE – Wise Health System in Decatur will hold a blood drive 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. today. For information call 940-626-0167.

FUNERALS – Service for Finis Eugene “Gene” Fluker, 91, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Cottonwood Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to service at the church. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

GRAVESIDE service for Bobbie Roberts Ashley, 85, of Decatur is 10 a.m. Saturday at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Hawkins-Decatur.

FUNERAL for Alice Malone Brannon, 75, of Decatur is 9:30 a.m. Friday at Hawkins Chapel in Decatur with burial at Slidell Cemetery. Family visitation is 6:30-8 tonight at the funeral home.

GRAVESIDE service for J.R. Bradley, 75, of Paradise is 10:30 a.m. Friday at Poolville Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Edward Godfrey, 71, of Haslet is 2 p.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd. Family visitation is noon-2 p.m. today at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Sonrisa Kay Grant, 54, is 4-6 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church Decatur.

GRAVESIDE service for Charles Ray Henninger, 66, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at Aurora Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur is handling arrangements.

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Firefighters battle large grass fire north of Bridgeport


By ground and air, local firefighters and personnel from the Texas Forest Service battled a large grass fire off Texas 101 north of Bridgeport Wednesday afternoon.
The fire appeared to originate off Private Road 1525 and quickly moved north through pastures, charring between 100 and 125 acres.
Bridgeport Fire Chief Terry Long said his department was dispatched to the blaze around 1:30 p.m.
“It started and was about two acres in heavy, heavy fuel,” Long said. “It got in the trees and started setting spot fires out in front of it.”
Firefighters from Bridgeport, Chico, Lake Bridgeport, Paradise and Runaway Bay fought the blaze in brush trucks in the 102-degree heat. The Red Cross and Wise County EMS responded to the scene to provide rehab to firefighters. Local citizens also brought water.
The low humidity of 18 percent and a light breeze helped fuel the flames over the dry vegetation. In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county was at an average of 721 on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. The high in the county is 751.
Texas Forest Service firefighters manned three bulldozers, helping local firefighters on the ground knock down the fire. Texas Forest Service pilots in a helicopter and two single-engine air tankers (SEATs) dumped water and fire retardant on the fire from the air. Another airplane circled the fire to coordinate the other aircraft.
As of 6:30 p.m., only 25 percent had been contained according to Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator Cody Powell.
He added that a few homes were evacuated for a short time, but residents have been allowed to return home.
“Multiple structures were threatened, but none were lost at this point,” Powell said.

Update at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday: Powell reports that the fire is 70 percent contained and has burned around 150 acres.

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Update for Wednesday, July 25, 2018


WEDNESDAY AT REUNION – Tonight is Gospel night at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion. The Hinkles will perform at 7:30 p.m. That will be followed by DJ music (country). Parking is $5 tonight. Carnival ride bracelets are $20.

EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM – Chico Public Library will hold its 1, 2, 3 Play with Me program 11 a.m.-noon today. Designed for infants and toddlers (0-4), this program provides children and their adults with the opportunity to socialize and learn through play. Call Michelle at 940-644-2330.

CARDIAC AND STROKE SYMPOSIUM – Wise Health System will hold a Cardiac and Stroke Symposium Aug. 2 at Weatherford College Wise County. Nursing and EMS CMEs will be provided. Register by emailing jholzbog@wisehealthsystem.com.

DECATUR FOOTBALL CAMP – Decatur will host its 2018 football camp July 30-Aug. 2 at the high school for athletes in grades 2 through 9. Campers will learn the fundamentals of football, proper mechanics for throwing, catching, route running, tackling and blocking and the basic schemes of the Eagles’ offense and defense. They will be instructed by head coach Mike Fuller and the rest of Decatur’s coaching staff. Second through sixth graders are scheduled from 5:15-7:15 p.m. and seventh through ninth graders from 7:15-9:15 p.m. Pre-registration is $70 and $50 for each additional family member. It is $80 at the door and includes a camp T-shirt. Mail form and fee to Mike Fuller, 129 West Ridge St., Decatur, TX, 76234 or bring the form and fee to the Decatur fieldhouse. Checks should be made payable to Eagle Football Camp.

COFFEE NETWORK CANCELED – The Wise County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Network for July has been canceled due to scheduling conflicts.

WATER BALLOON PROGRAM – The Alvord Public Library will celebrate with The Amazing Mr. K and his water balloon program today. Come prepared to get wet. All programs are held at Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm St., Alvord, from 10-11 a.m., with a visit to the library afterwards to check out books and receive goodie bags.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING – The Wise County Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting at noon Thursday in the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity St. in Decatur. The speaker this month will be local author Brenda Pellet of Rhome who will discuss growing up in England during WWII and her book about her father’s experience as a soldier in WWII. Lunch will be served, so call the museum at 940-627-5586 to RSVP by 3 p.m. today if you plan to attend.

DANCE PARTY AT THE LIBRARY – The Decatur Public Library will wrap up its Summer Reading Club with a dance party at 10:30 a.m. today. There will only be one dance party, so there will not be a noon event. DJing the event is Mary Embry, The Music Mixer. For more information, call the library at 940-393-0290.

FUNERALS – Service for Bobbie Ashley, 85, of Decatur is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Finis Eugene “Gene” Fluker, 91, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Cottonwood Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to service at the church. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Alice Malone Brannon, 75, of Decatur is 9:30 a.m. Friday at Hawkins Chapel in Decatur with burial at Slidell Cemetery. Family visitation is 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

GRAVESIDE service for J.R. Bradley, 75, of Paradise is 10:30 a.m. Friday at Poolville Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Frankie Ann Williams, 75, of Boyd, is 10:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Chapel in Boyd with burial at Keeter Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Edward Godfrey, 71, of Haslet is 2 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins-Boyd. Family visitation is noon-2 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

GRAVESIDE service for Charles Ray Henninger, 66, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at Aurora Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Mildred A. Davis, 93, of Arlington is 2 p.m. Friday at Moore Funeral Home in Arlington with burial at Moore Memorial Gardens. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home. She was the mother of Karen Garrett of Wise County.

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Bingo makes Reunion comeback


BY KRISTEN TRIBE
ktribe@wcmessenger.com

Mary Dorsey’s hand shot in the air as she yelled “bingo” with a squeal Monday night at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion.
She scrambled to the pavilion stage to claim her prize — a carrot cake and water gun and balloon set.
“She had a little shake in her shimmy like she won the Price is Right,” said announcer Wendy Lambert of Decatur.
Dorsey was one of more than 20 winners in the bingo game put on by the Decatur Buyers Association. It was a fundraiser for the group, which buys 4-H and FFA projects at the Wise County Youth Fair Auction.
Dorsey said she’s lived in Decatur for 12 years, but this was her first visit to Reunion.
“I grew up up north, and it’s a regular thing up there to have bingo at all the churches on Friday nights,” she said. “I just like this kind of thing.”
Julie Christian, who is a member of the Buyers Association and the Reunion Committee, said they used to play bingo at the Reunion, “so we thought this would be a throwback.”
“We’ve been playing around with entertainment for Monday night,” she said. “We’ve had pageants and singing competitions … lots of different things. (The Buyers Association) is always looking for another fundraiser, so I thought this would be something good.”
Buyers Association member Shauna Frazier said with the number of projects in the sale, the group needed another fundraiser to be prepared for the 2019 fair. Last year the Decatur Buyers group needed $45,000 to cover all the projects.
Nina White came out for that very reason. The Decatur resident said it was important to her to support the Buyers Association because her grandkids were in 4-H for many years, and she has a great-granddaughter that will show next year.
“Being in 4-H and FFA allows kids to grow up knowing responsibility,” she said. “It’s not so much the competition, but the responsibility of taking care of animals and the association with the other kids. They’re just a big family.
“I also love to play bingo.”

Michelle Hood wins a game during bingo Monday night at the Wise County Old Settlers Reunion.

Throughout the evening, players filed in to join the game, and by the end of the night, organizers ran out of markers and were handing out corn kernels and rocks to use instead.
“Please pass the corn, and the potatoes, too,” Lambert called out, entertaining the crowd between games.
Prizes were donated by individuals and local businesses.
“I was overwhelmed by all the donations,” Frazier said.
The group hopes to bring bingo back and make it an annual Reunion tradition.
“It’s fun for the whole family,” said Buyers Association member Tracy Barnett. “You can bring your kids, your grandma, everyone!”

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Update for Tuesday, July 24, 2018


DAYCARE SUP APPROVED – The Decatur City Council Monday approved by a unanimous vote a specific use permit to allow a daycare at the entrance to the South Martin Branch neighborhood off Farm Road 730 South in Decatur. A super majority three-fourths vote of the council was required for approval due to a number of nearby property owners who were against granting the SUP. The item had been tabled at the last meeting since one council member was absent. The full council voted Monday.

TUESDAY AT REUNION – The Wise County Old Settlers Reunion continues today at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. The Decatur Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Put Yo Money Where Yo Mouth Is Washer Tournament at 7 tonight. Registration is 6-6:45 p.m. Parking is $5 tonight and Wednesday. Carnival ride bracelets are $15 tonight.

CABIN WINNERS – The winners of this year’s cabin competition at the Reunion have been named: Best Lighting – Montgomery Ward (Laura Montgomery); Best Name – Three’s Company (David and Callie Manning, Tracy Parker and Lexi Steele); Best Decorated – WanderLust (Leah Pitts); Most Unusual- Love Boat (Gay Trachta); Best Overall – Gage/Riley Circus (Leisa Gage).

TRUCK FIRE – The trailer of an 18-wheeler caught fire on U.S. 81/287 near the Wise and Montague County line Monday morning. Northbound traffic was shut down and backed up several miles for about an hour. Alvord Fire Department responded to extinguish the blaze.

SANDWICH SURPRISE – Chico Public Library will host its final Libraries Rock summer program for kids ages 5 to 11 from 11 a.m.-noon today. Participants will have the opportunity to create and test new sandwich recipes. Be sure to bring your final reading logs. For more information call 940-644-2330.

DANCE PARTY AT THE LIBRARY – The Decatur Public Library will wrap up its Summer Reading Club with a dance party at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. There will only be one dance party, so there will not be a noon event. DJing the event is Mary Embry, The Music Mixer. For more information, call the library at 940-393-0290.

BLOOD DRIVE – Wise Health System in Decatur will hold a blood drive 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Thursday. For information call 940-626-0167.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING – The Wise County Historical Society will hold its monthly meeting at noon Thursday in the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity St. in Decatur. The speaker this month will be local author Brenda Pellet of Rhome who will discuss growing up in England during WWII and her book about her father’s experience as a soldier in WWII. Lunch will be served, so call the museum at 940-627-5586 to RSVP by 3 p.m. Wednesday if you plan to attend.

ART EXHIBIT – The Decatur Visitor’s Center is hosting Reflections on Wise County: A Contemporary Perspective featuring the art work of Decatur artist Byron Watson through Saturday at the Decatur Visitor’s Center.

FUNERALS – Service for Charles Ray Henninger, 66, of Decatur is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for Finis Fluker, 91, of Decatur is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Billy Wayne Stone, 79, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. today at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Alice Malone Brannon, 75, of Decatur is 9:30 a.m. Friday at Hawkins Chapel in Decatur with burial at Slidell Cemetery. Family visitation is 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

SERVICE for James Bradley, 75, of Paradise is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Samie Calvin Erwin, 82, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Frankie Ann Williams, 75, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd with burial at Keeter Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Edward Godfrey, 71, of Haslet is 2 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins Chapel in Boyd. Family visitation is noon-2 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

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Update for Monday, July 23, 2018


CRAFTON-AREA HOME DESTROYED IN FIRE – Fire destroyed a home on Private Road 1607 off Texas 101 in the Crafton area Saturday afternoon. Multiple departments including Crafton, Chico, Alvord, Sunset and Bridgeport responded to a report of a house on fire in the 300 block of Private Road 1607, north of Chico just before 2 p.m. When the first units arrived, they found a mobile home completely engulfed in flames with a grass fire quickly spreading to other structures. Before firefighters were able to get the blaze under control, fire destroyed several vehicles and other outbuildings on the property. No one was injured. Firefighters battled the blaze in temperatures of around 107 degrees. Wise County EMS provided a cooling station for firefighters, and Red Cross was on the scene to provide bottled water to the firefighters and to assist the home’s occupant.

REUNION TIME AGAIN – The Wise County Old Settlers Reunion officially begins today at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. Parking is $5 today through Wednesday and $10 Thursday through Saturday. Tonight’s activities include bingo from 7-9 and DJ music from 9-11. Carnival ride bracelets are $15 tonight and Tuesday.

HEAT ADVISORY – While Wise County is no longer in an excessive heat warning, we do remain under a heat advisory today. Monday’s high temperature is expected to be around 101 degrees. We hit 110 degrees again Sunday, but the highs this week are expected to be between 98 and 101. Today’s forecast also includes a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.

WATER BALLOON PROGRAM – The Alvord Public Library will celebrate with The Amazing Mr. K and his water balloon program on Wednesday. Come prepared to get wet. All programs are held at Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm St., Alvord, from 10-11 a.m., with a visit to the library afterwards to check out books and receive goodie bags.

PHOTOS FOR CALENDAR – The Bridgeport Historical Society is making a new calendar for 2019. The theme is wildflowers of Wise County. The group would like the public to contribute pictures of flowers growing in Wise County. Include name of the flower and location. Pictures can be sent to eno11@embarkmail.com before Aug. 31.

RHOME VETERANS EVENT – Rhome Veterans will visit the Museum of North Texas History in Wichita Falls Saturday. The tour will leave the library at 8 a.m. Lunch will follow the tour.

DECATUR CITY COUNCIL – The Decatur City Council tonight is expected to take action on a specific use permit to allow a daycare at the entrance to the South Martin Branch neighborhood. A three-fourths vote of the city council will be necessary for approval due to local property owner opposition. In other business, the council will hold a second reading and take action on a number of different items related to downtown apartments, birthing centers and bingo halls. The meeting begins with a workshop at 5:30 p.m. followed by the regular meeting at 6 at city hall, 201 E. Walnut.

FUNERALS – Service for Billy Wayne Stone, 79, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the church. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Kenneth Solomon, 55, of Boyd will be held at a later date. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Samie Calvin Erwin, 82, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Frankie Ann Williams, 75, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Edward Godfrey, 71, of Haslet is pending at Hawkins-Boyd.

NO SERVICE is scheduled for Roy Garcia, 54, of Knox City. Hawkins-Boyd is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Charles R. Henninger, 66, of Decatur is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Decatur.

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Fire destroys Crafton-area home


Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Fire destroyed a home on Private Road 1607 off Texas 101 in the Crafton area Saturday afternoon. Multiple departments including Crafton, Chico, Alvord, Sunset and Bridgeport responded to a report of a house on fire in the 300 block of Private Road 1607, north of Chico just before 2 p.m. When the first units arrived, they found a mobile home completely engulfed in flames with a grass fire quickly spreading to other structures. Before firefighters were able to get the blaze under control, fire destroyed several vehicles and other outbuildings on the property. No one was injured. Firefighters battled the blaze in temperatures of around 107 degrees. Wise County EMS provided a cooling station for firefighters, and Red Cross was on the scene to provide bottled water to the firefighters and to assist the home’s occupant.

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Update for Friday, July 20, 2018


PARADISE FIRE – A barn and truck were lost in a blaze that also burned approximately an acre at 2131 Sunflower Road Thursday morning near Paradise. Paradise, Cottondale, Boonsville and Bridgeport firefighters battled the fire that was reported around 11 a.m. “When we got on scene, there was a fully involved shed and vehicle,” said Captain Dakota Richardson of the Paradise Volunteer Fire Department. “It wasn’t actively moving anywhere. There was a lot of short grass. They were able to knock it down and stop the core progression.” Richardson expected firefighters to be on scene for several hours performing extensive overhaul in the heat. “They are sending three departments to every grass fire call specifically because of the heat and the conditions we are under,” Richardson said. Area firefighters responded to numerous other fires throughout the county during the day, including a grass fire on County Road 1550 north of Chico that burned several hay bales. Wise County remains under a burn ban that prohibits all outdoor burning.

EXTREME HEAT – Temperatures at the Decatur Municipal Airport hit 110 degrees yesterday afternoon, and it might hit the same mark today. An excessive heat warning remains in effect for Wise County through Sunday evening as afternoon highs each day are expected to top out between 105 and 110 degrees.

BOMB SQUAD CALLED FOR SUSPICIOUS SUITCASE – The Denton Fire Department Bomb Squad was called to a home south of Boyd yesterday evening after a suspicious suitcase was found. Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said it appears it was part of a scam. An elderly couple received a call from a man saying they won $7 million. He told them to send $5,000. They sent the cash to the caller’s given address. Yesterday a box arrived at their home via UPS. After they signed for the package, they received another call from the same caller. Inside the box was a briefcase. The caller said their money was inside the briefcase, but he instructed them not to open it because a person who had the code would come and open the briefcase. The caller said if they attempted to open the briefcase a die pack would explode and ruin all of the money. The caller instructed the couple to go to the Apple store and purchase certain laptops and cellular devices. They went to the store and purchased about $20,000 worth of Apple devices to be sent to the caller. An Apple store employee became suspicious and reported it to a Fort Worth Police Department officer who was in the store. Fort Worth PD reported the incident to WCSO. Deputies went to the couple’s home last night. The Denton FD Bomb Squad X-rayed the package. Only paper was inside.

FORMER TRUSTEE CONVICTED FOR LEWD PHOTOS – Former Northwest School Board member Mel Fuller, who was arrested last October for possession of child pornography, has been given five years probation. According to Denton County court records, Fuller of Hurst, formerly of Trophy Club, pleaded guilty Wednesday in 16th Judicial District Court to possession of lewd visual material depicting children – a state jail felony. The court accepted his guilty plea and sentenced him to five years probation. That includes 120 hours of community service, according to court records. Fuller had served on the Northwest School Board from 2008 until the time of his arrest Oct. 31, 2017, for the third degree felony offense of possession of child pornography.

NATIONAL APPOINTMENT SECURED – Wise County Judge J.D. Clark this week was appointed chair of the Veterans and Military Services Committee, a subgroup of the National Association of Counties headquartered in Washington, D.C. The group seeks county best practices and policies to promote innovative programs, services and benefits for the U.S. military and its veterans. He is also vice chair of the Community Workforce and Economic Development Committee. Clark just completed a two-year term as chairman of the Rural Action Caucus with NACo. He will remain a member of RAC and is starting his second year as secretary of the National Conference of Republican County Officials, also within NACo. Read more in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

DECATUR MARKET – The Decatur Market will hold Splash Day from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Wise County Fairgrounds. The event will feature a 31-foot water slide. There will also be a watermelon eating contest. Local produce and arts and crafts will be available for purchase.

MUSIC DEMONSTRATIONS – Fiddle champion Dale Morris will be at the Bridgeport Public Library at 4 p.m. today offering free fiddle and guitar demonstrations for those interested in learning to play an instrument.

QUARTER AUCTION – The Bridgeport Women’s Club will host a Quarter Auction 5:30 p.m. July 31 at 1102 Lawdwin St. All proceeds go towards scholarships. Vendor spaces are available. Call 940-366-0186 or visit Event Page, www.facebook.com/events/2105509233105530/?ti=ia.

KC BINGO – The Knights of Columbus Council 9644 will hold bingo from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the Bridgeport Lions Club Hall, 1107 8th Street.

ART EXHIBIT – The Decatur Visitor’s Center will host Reflections on Wise County: A Contemporary Perspective featuring the art work of Decatur artist Byron Watson July 21-28 at the Decatur Visitor’s Center. A reception will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. this Saturday.

VETERANS BREAKFAST – The Wise County Veterans Group will meet for breakfast at the Decatur Conference Center at 8 a.m. Saturday. Guest speaker will be Fiske Hanley, a WWII B-29 flight engineer shot down over Japan during the closing hours of WWII. Following his remarks, the group will resume questions at the WCV Memorial Museum in Bridgeport. All veterans and interested parties are invited.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for Kenneth Solomon, 55, of Boyd will be held at a later date. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Fred Peek, 63, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport.

MEMORIAL service for Ashley McCollum, 32, of Justin is 5 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd.

NO SERVICE for George E. Lacourse Jr. is planned at this time. Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur is handling arrangements.

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Barn, truck burn in grass fire on Sunflower Road


A barn and truck were lost in a blaze that also burned approximately an acre at 2131 Sunflower Road Thursday morning near Paradise.
Paradise, Cottondale, Boonsville and Bridgeport firefighters battled the fire that was reported around 11 a.m.
“When we got on scene, there was a fully involved shed and vehicle,” said Captain Dakota Richardson of the Paradise Volunteer Fire Department.
“It wasn’t actively moving anywhere. There was a lot of short grass. They were able to knock it down and stop the core progression.”
Richardson expected firefighters to be on scene for several hours performing extensive overhaul in the heat.
An excessive heat warning is in place in the county with temperatures expected to be above 105 this afternoon.
“They are sending three departments to every grass fire call specifically because of the heat and the conditions we are under,” Richardson said.
The National Weather Service also issued a fire danger statement Thursday morning warning of elevated fire risk as winds were expected to increase to 10 to 15 mph along with the extreme heat and relative humidity levels under 20 percent.
In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county is at an average of 690, the highest in the state, on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. Much of the county is above 700 with the high of 727.
Cody Powell, Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator, said the heat is the biggest worry today.
“Along with the dryness, wind and relative humidity, the X factor is the heat,” Powell said. “In 110 degree heat, it doesn’t take long to tax guys. A lot of the guys were out fighting fires yesterday. If something big happens, it’ll deplete resources quickly.”
A 90-day burn ban is in place.

 

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Fire risk increases in Wise County


Excessive heat, dry vegetation, low humidity and the addition of winds picking up today are expected to create dangerous fire conditions in Wise County.
The National Weather Service issued a fire danger statement Thursday morning for Wise and several surrounding counties with high temperatures expected to range between 105 and 110, relative humidity between 10 and 20 percent and winds between 10 and 15 mph.
Paradise and Cottondale firefighters are battling a barn, vehicle and grass fire on Sunflower Road.
In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county is at an average of 690, the highest in the state, on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. Much of the county is above 700 with the high of 727.
Cody Powell, Wise County Emergency Management Coordinator, said the heat is the biggest worry today. An excessive heat warning is effect for today and Friday with temperatures exceeding 105. It’s the first time since August 2011 that the National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for North Central Texas.
“Along with the dryness, wind and relative humidity, the X factor is the heat,” Powell said. “In 110 degree heat, it doesn’t take long to tax guys. A lot of the guys were out fighting fires yesterday. If something big happens, it’ll deplete resources quickly.”
Several departments battled a large grass fire between Alvord and Decatur Wednesday afternoon.
The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is dispatching three departments on the initial response to any fires and putting the next nearest station on standby. Powell said Wise County EMS is stocked and ready to perform rehab at any fires.
Powell suggested residents consider dropping off cases of water and sports drinks at fire stations to help.
“The biggest thing citizens can do is stop by and drop off a case of water or [sports drinks],” he said. “They are almost all volunteers and they are the ones keeping the county from burning.”
A 90-day burn ban is effect and the Sheriff’s Office is issuing citations for violations.

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Update for Thursday, July 19, 2018


GAS LEAK FORCES EVACUATIONS – Eight homes along Garland and Murvil streets in the Lipsey Addition in Decatur were evacuated for more than two hours Wednesday evening as a precaution due to a propane tank leak. Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 8:30 p.m. after Decatur firefighters gave the all clear. The relief valve on a propane tank in the 3100 block of South Murvil released shortly after 5:30 p.m. A neighbor reported what sounded like an explosion. “It was venting so hard that it was blowing the leaves off the trees,” said Decatur Deputy Fire Chief Deroy Bennett said. Bennett said the heat, the temperature reached 105 in Decatur Wednesday, likely caused the valve to release. The aged valve on the tank would not reset. “We did several things to cool it off,” Bennett said. “We had the tank hauled off.” The propane company that serviced the tank estimated that it could have needed a couple of days to vent. Given that timeline, the choice was made to remove it. The tank vented about 60 gallons. “There was just enough breeze that it never collected,” Bennett said. Bennett said they used sensors to check the entire area before giving the OK to allow residents back in.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING – The heat is on and it will continue. As temperatures hit 105 at Decatur Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued an “excessive heat warning” for Wise County and the rest of North Central Texas for Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to hit 107 and 108 Thursday and Friday. “Excessive heat warnings are issued when we expect temperatures to reach 105 or the heat index over 110,” said Juan Hernandez, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Forth Worth. “Temperatures will exceed 105 or above through weekend. They are not that common. The last time we issued an excessive heat warning was August 2011.” The extreme heat is being caused by a ridge of high pressure centered over New Mexico, Hernandez said. The heat is exacerbating severe drought conditions already in place in the county. In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county is at an average of 684 on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. Much of the county is above 700 with the high of 727. Several fire departments battled a grass fire on Private Road 1272 in the extreme heat across the county as humidity levels dipped under 20 percent. Hernandez said the calm winds were preventing a fire weather warning. “With the heat and lack of rain everything is drying out. We expect an uptick in the fires this weekend,” he said. Wise County has a 90-day burn ban in place. Temperatures are finally expected to dip below the triple digits next week as the high pressure system moves to the west, Hernandez said.

BOYD NAMES PERSON OF YEAR – Jennifer Nichols, the branch manager at Wells Fargo in Boyd, was named Boyd’s Person of the Year Tuesday night by the city council. Nichols was recognized for her service to the community by helping those in need. She has recently been helping a disabled resident with getting his utilities reconnected, his medications delivered along with getting him meals through Meals on Wheels. Nichols has also worked with several local organizations, including the Boyd Education Foundation. She said she learned service to others from her parents, a minister and teacher.

STROKE SUPPORT GROUP – The Stroke Overcomers Support Group will have their monthly meeting at 6 p.m. today at the Wise Health System west campus, Decatur (rehabilitation cafeteria). This group is designed to assist stroke survivors and their families with hope and information. This month’s topic is the importance of controlling diabetes to reduce the risk of strokes. Call Dennis McCreary, 817-307-9588 or Casey Rauschuber, 940-626-2457.

ART EXHIBIT – The Decatur Visitor’s Center will host Reflections on Wise County: A Contemporary Perspective featuring the art work of Decatur artist Byron Watson July 21-28 at the Decatur Visitor’s Center. A reception will be held 6:30-8:30 p.m. this Saturday. Read more in the current midweek issue of All Around Wise.

VETERANS BREAKFAST – The Wise County Veterans Group will meet for breakfast at the Decatur Conference Center at 8 a.m. Saturday. Guest speaker will be Fiske Hanley, a WWII B-29 flight engineer shot down over Japan during the closing hours of WWII. Following his remarks, the group will resume questions at the WCV Memorial Museum in Bridgeport. All veterans and interested parties are invited.

BETTER BREATHERS CLUB – Wise Health System will hold its first meeting of the Better Breathers Club, a club for all lung patients and their families and caregivers, 3 p.m. today at Decatur Public Library. For more information or to RSVP call Angie at 817-862-7796.

BOOK SIGNING – The Decatur Public Library will host local author Sylvia Hornback today. She will sign copies of her novel “The Mallard Conspiracy” beginning at 5 p.m. She will discuss her book at 6 p.m. Copies of the book will be for sale.

FUNERAL – Service for Fred Peek, 63, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Friday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

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Gas leak forces evacuations in Lipsey Addition


Eight homes along Garland and Murvil streets in the Lipsey Addition in Decatur were evacuated for more than two hours Wednesday evening as a precaution due to a propane tank leak.
Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 8:30 p.m. after Decatur firefighters gave the all clear.
The relief valve on a propane tank in the 3100 block of South Murvil released shortly after 5:30 p.m. A neighbor reported what sounded like an explosion.
“It was venting so hard that it was blowing the leaves off the trees,” said Decatur Deputy Fire Chief Deroy Bennett said.
Bennett said the heat, the temperature reached 105 in Decatur Wednesday, likely caused the valve to release. The aged valve on the tank would not reset.
“We did several things to cool it off,” Bennett said. “We had the tank hauled off.”
The propane company that serviced the tank estimated that it could have needed a couple of days to vent. Given that timeline, the choice was made to remove it.
The tank vented about 60 gallons.
“There was just enough breeze that it never collected,” Bennett said.
Bennett said they used sensors to check the entire area before giving the OK to allow residents back in.

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Excessive heat warning issued for county


The heat is on and it will continue.
As temperatures hit 105 at Decatur Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued an “excessive heat warning” for Wise County and the rest of North Central Texas for Thursday and Friday. Temperatures are expected to hit 107 and 108 Thursday and Friday.
“Excessive heat warnings are issued when we expect temperatures to reach 105 or the heat index over 110,” said Juan Hernandez, meteorologist with the National Weather Service Office in Forth Worth. “Temperatures will exceed 105 or above through weekend. They are not that common. The last time we issued an excessive heat warning was August 2011.”
The extreme heat is being caused by a ridge of high pressure centered over New Mexico, Hernandez said.
The heat is exacerbating severe drought conditions already in place in the county.
In the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI), which measures the wildfire potential by taking into account the soil moisture, the county is at an average of 684 on a scale ranging from 0 to 800. The top end of the scale represents completely dry conditions. Much of the county is above 700 with the high of 727.
Several fire departments battled a grass fires on Private Road 1272 in the extreme heat across the county as humidity levels dipped under 20 percent.
Hernandez said the calm winds were preventing a fire weather warning.
“With the heat and lack of rain everything is drying out. We expect an uptick in the fires this weekend,” he said.
Wise County has a 90-day burn ban in place.
Temperatures are finally expected to dip below the triple digits next week as the high pressure system moves to the west, Hernandez said.

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Update for Wednesday, July 18, 2018


TRAFFIC STOPS LEAD TO MARIJUANA ARRESTS – In the span of less than 24 hours earlier this week, officers seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana passing through the county in a pair of traffic stops. Around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped an RV traveling south on U.S. 81/287 south of Decatur for several moving traffic violations. A K9 unit was called to assist and alerted to the odor of illegal substances in the vehicle. A search of the RV revealed 53.1 pounds of marijuana. The driver, Dagoberto Cabrera, 53, of Homestead, Fla., was arrested for delivery of marijuana 50 to 2,000 pounds, a first degree felony offense. Around 8:15 p.m. Monday, a deputy with the North Texas Sheriffs’ Criminal Interdiction Unit noticed a passenger car southbound on U.S. 81/287 near the roadside park north of Decatur leave the roadway and then drive back onto the road. The vehicle was stopped, and the driver, Calvin Charles Hightower, 72, of San Jose, Calif., admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle. The officer discovered 53 pounds of marijuana hidden in two duffel bags and a dog food bag. He was arrested for possession of marijuana 50-2,000 pounds.

GETTING WARMER – A heat advisory remains in effect today in Wise County with an expected high of 105, and an excessive heat watch has been issued from Thursday afternoon to Friday evening as temperatures are expected to top out around 108 both days. The temperature reached 105 yesterday at the Decatur Municipal Airport.

BETTER BREATHERS CLUB – Wise Health System will hold its first meeting of the Better Breathers Club, a club for all lung patients and their families and caregivers, 3 p.m. Thursday at Decatur Public Library. For more information or to RSVP call Angie at 817-862-7796.

BOOK SIGNING – Local author Sylvia Hornback will discuss and sign copies of her novel “The Mallard Conspiracy” 5-7 p.m. Thursday at the Decatur Public Library.

FOOTBALL CLASS – Helmet and Heels for ladies who want to learn a little more about football is slated for 6 p.m. Aug. 2 in the Paradise High School cafeteria. Registration is $20 and includes a T-shirt and meal. Call Christi Ryle, 940-210-2739.

YOUNG CHILD PROGRAM – Chico Public Library will hold its 1, 2, 3 Play with Me program 11 a.m.-noon today. Designed for infants and toddlers (0-4), this program provides children and their adults with the opportunity to socialize and learn through play. Call Michelle at 940-644-2330.

ALVORD SUMMER READING – Today’s Alvord Public Library’s summer reading program, “Hoedown,” will include instruction on a country dance, Cotton-Eyed Joe. All programs are held at Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm St., Alvord, from 10-11 a.m. and are followed by a visit to the library to check out books and receive goody bags.

FUNERALS – Service for Fred Peek, 63, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Friday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

NO SERVICE for George E. Lacourse Jr. is planned at this time. Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur is handling arrangements.

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Update for Tuesday, July 17, 2018


DECATUR ISD APPOINTS NEW OFFICERS – A month after splitting on the vote to keep superintendent Judi Whitis, Decatur ISD school board has a new slate of officers. Decatur ISD trustees named Cheri Boyd the new school board president Monday after reorganizing officers. Trustees appointed Rex Hoskins vice president and Jennifer Wren board secretary. All three appointments had a 5-2 vote with previous president Wade Watson and vice president Matt Joiner casting dissenting votes. Wren called for the reorganization to be put on the agenda after June’s 4-3 decision to keep Whitis. Watson, Joiner and Marsha Hafer voted against the move. “I felt like we needed to start with a slate of officers that wanted to work with Dr. Whitis to improve the district,” Wren said. “After the last meeting, I was worried with the officers that we had they would not be willing to communicate with her effectively to improve Decatur ISD.” Boyd, who was elected to the board in May 2016, takes over as president. Last month, she read the statement voicing the majority support for Whitis. “I just hope to do a good job and assist the board in supporting Dr. Whitis in moving forward to be a successful and effective superintendent,” Boyd said. “[The change] is reflective of the vote last month. Hopefully moving forward it will be a smooth transition to be supportive of Dr. Whitis and the district.” After the meeting, Watson said he welcomed Boyd as the new board president. “The board voted and I will respect the vote,” Watson said. “I will remain a board member. “The new slate of officers agree with the direction the district is heading.” Watson pointed out that his vote last month showed he obviously did not.

HEAT ADVISORY ISSUED – The National Weather Service in Fort Worth has issued a heat advisory, which is in effect from noon today to 7 p.m. Wednesday, for Wise County. High temperatures ranging from 103 to 105 are possible each afternoon. The very hot temperatures will increase the risk of heat related illnesses. Take the necessary precautions.

WHITE NAMED ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT – Decatur ISD trustees approved naming Steve White the assistant superintendent for operations Monday with a 5-2 vote. Wade Watson and Matt Joiner voted against the promotion, citing the need for additional consideration and review of the structure of the administration. Trustee Jennifer Wren in moving the motion for the appointment said superintendent Judi Whitis was hired to pick her employees. White has been with the district since January overseeing the transportation department. The former superintendent at Granger, Alpine, Aspermont and Thrall will oversee safety, attendance, help with discipline, health services, transfers and handle parent concerns at the district level.

BOYD TO NAME PERSON OF THE YEAR – The Boyd city council will honor the city’s Person of the Year at 6:30 tonight at its meeting.

DANCING AT THE LIBRARY – Children ages 5 to 11 are invited to join the Libraries Rock summer program at the Chico Public Library 11 a.m. today. Participants will learn about tinikling, a traditional dance from the Philippines. For more information contact Michelle or Amber at 940-644-2330.

KC BINGO – The Knights of Columbus Council 9644 will hold bingo from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the Bridgeport Lions Club Hall, 1107 8th Street.

CLAY SHOOT – The Wise Health Foundation will hold its annual Clay Shoot Friday, Aug. 24, at the Fossil Pointe Sporting Grounds. Check-in is at 8 a.m. with the shoot kicking-off at 9. Proceeds help support Wise Health System programs, services and the purchase of innovative equipment. Visit WiseHealthFoundation.com to learn more or register online. For information call the Wise Health Foundation at 940-626-1384.

FUNERALS – Service for Fred Peek, 63, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Friday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

NO SERVICE for George E. Lacourse, Jr. is planned at this time. Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur is handling arrangements.

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Decatur ISD names new board officers


A month after splitting on the vote to keep superintendent Judi Whitis, Decatur ISD school board has a new slate of officers.
Decatur ISD trustees named Cheri Boyd the new school board president Monday after reorganizing officers. Trustees appointed Rex Hoskins vice president and Jennifer Wren board secretary.
All three appointments had a 5-2 vote with previous president Wade Watson and vice president Matt Joiner casting dissenting votes.
Wren called for the reorganization to be put on the agenda after June’s 4-3 decision to keep Whitis. Watson, Joiner and Marsha Hafer voted against the move.
“I felt like we needed to start with a slate of officers that wanted to work with Dr. Whitis to improve the district,” Wren said. “After the last meeting, I was worried with the officers that we had they would not be willing to communicate with her effectively to improve Decatur ISD.”
Boyd, who was elected to the board in May 2016, takes over as president. Last month, she read the statement voicing the majority support for Whitis.
“I just hope to do a good job and assist the board in supporting Dr. Whitis in moving forward to be a successful and effective superintendent,” Boyd said.
“[The change] is reflective of the vote last month. Hopefully moving forward it will be a smooth transition to be supportive of Dr. Whitis and the district.”
After the meeting, Watson said he welcomed Boyd as the new board president.
“The board voted and I will respect the vote,” Watson said. “I will remain a board member.
“The new slate of officers agree with the direction the district is heading.”
Watson pointed out that his vote last month showed he obviously did not.
Before a pair of long closed sessions in June to evaluate Whitis and discuss her contract, Watson sent Whitis a two-page letter detailing “multiple concerns [that] have been brought to the attention of several [board] members recently.”
Last week after the agenda for the meeting was posted with the reorganization of officers, Watson mentioned concerns about communication. He reiterated that Monday after the meeting.
“Communication has not improved. Communication is still lacking between the superintendent and the board after our split vote,” Watson said.
Boyd disagreed when asked about communication.
“That’s not a problem on my part. When I’ve asked questions of Dr. Whitis, it’s never been a problem,” Boyd said. “She’s always been accessible.”

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Update for Monday, July 16, 2018


DECATUR BOARD TO VOTE ON REORGANIZATION – Decatur ISD trustees will consider the reorganization of board officers tonight in their first meeting since recording the 4-3 vote to keep superintendent Judi Whitis on the job last month. Board President Wade Watson said the reorganization discussion was placed on the agenda at the request of another trustee. “There are differing views on the board as evidenced by the 4-3 split vote,” Watson said. “If it’s the board’s decision for someone else to be president, I’ll respect the board’s decision.” Trustees will also discuss the construction projects at the high school – the bistro and athletic facilities. Trustees will also consider raising lunch prices by 10 cents to $2.70 at the elementary campuses and $2.90 at the secondary campuses.

TURNING UP THE HEAT – Triple-digit high temperatures return to the forecast this week. After a high of 98 today, high temperatures the rest of the week are expected to be between 101 to 106 each day through Sunday.

FRIDAY RAINFALL – Bridgeport received 0.6 of an inch of rain Friday. No rain is in the forecast this week.

DIABETES SUPPORT GROUP – Wise Health System, the Wise and Montague County Medical Society and Renew Home Health will host a Diabetes Support Group 6:30 tonight in the Education Room of the hospital in Decatur. Dr. Brad Faglie will host a question-and-answer session on the trials and triumphs of living with diabetes and plans of action. If you have diabetes or know someone with diabetes, you are invited. If it’s your first meeting, come at 6:15 to meet Dr. Faglie and get an introduction to the basics.

DIABETES CLASSES – Total Diabetes Care at Wise Health System will hold diabetes education classes in Decatur today. The beginner class will be offered at 3 p.m., and the advanced class will be offered at 4 p.m. Both classes will be held at Wise Health System in the Education Room on the second floor. The classes are intended to help those with diabetes better understand and manage the disease. Classes are free and will be taught by Dick Gilley RN, CCRN, CDE. No RSVP required. Call Gilley at 940-626-1890.

ALVORD SUMMER READING – On Wednesday, the Alvord Public Library’s summer reading program, “Hoedown,” will include instruction on a country dance, Cotton-Eyed Joe. All programs are held at Alvord City Hall, 215 W. Elm St., Alvord, from 10-11 a.m. and are followed by a visit to the library to check out books and receive goody bags.

SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE – Decatur Medical Lodge is partnering with Wise Area Relief Mission (WARM) in Decatur to provide school supplies for junior high and high school students. Items like paper, pens and pencils, spiral notebooks, lunch totes and backpacks are appreciated. Drop donations by DML at 701 W. Bennett Road anytime before Aug. 13.

DEMOCRATIC MEETING – The Wise County Democratic Party will host Delonia Watson, Democratic nominee for the Second Court of Appeals, at the party’s meeting 6:30 p.m. today at 106 S. Trinity Street, Decatur. Visit www.wisedemocrats.com.

FUNERALS – Memorial service for George E. Lacourse Jr., 52, of Decatur is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for Fred Peek, 63, of Decatur is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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Update for Friday, July 13, 2018


RHOME MAN KILLED IN PLANE CRASH – An 86-year-old man was killed when his single-engine aircraft crashed in a field north of Farm Road 407 near Fairview Airport Thursday afternoon, according to Department of Public Safety spokesman Lonny Haschel. The pilot, identified as Dominick Pellegreno of Rhome, was the sole occupant of the plane, described as a 1936 Rose Parakeet, fixed wing aircraft. James Edwards, a New Fairview resident who lives just outside where the plane crashed, said he witnessed the plane take off, but didn’t see what caused the crash. “I watched him take off and turn back around,” Edwards said. “It took off loud and instantly, no sound.” Haschel said it is unknown at this time was caused the plane to go down. He added the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Traffic Safety Board have been notified and will be conducting an investigation.

COUNCIL DENIES TOWNHOMES – After a contentious meeting, the Rhome City Council voted 5-0 Thursday night to deny a controversial project that would have built townhomes on Morris Street. The council reversed course after originally going against the planning and zoning commission, who recommended they reject the plan several weeks ago.

FORMER PARTY CHAIR DIES – Former Wise County Republican Party Chairman D.A. Sharpe died yesterday. A memorial service will be held later in the middle of August at the Sharpe family home in Aurora. Details will be announced on his web page at www.DASharpe.com. Private family interment of the cremated remains will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth.

NOT MUCH RAIN – Parts of Wise County only received a trace of rain yesterday. The heaviest rainfall amount was in Greenwood where 0.1 of an inch was recorded.

DEMOCRATIC MEETING – The Wise County Democratic Party will host Delonia Watson, Democratic nominee for the Second Court of Appeals, at the party’s meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday at 106 S. Trinity Street, Decatur. Visit www.wisedemocrats.com.

COLOR RUN – Wise County 4-H’s Run for the Clovers Color Run is Saturday at McCarroll Middle School. The event will include a 5K and 1-mile family fun run, both with multiple color stations promising a rainbow-dipped finish. The 5K starts at 7:30 a.m., and the 1-mile at 8. Proceeds benefit local charities. Sign up at wcmess.com/runforclovers. Early registration is $10 for kids and $15 for adults. Prices go up on the day of the event. Call 940-627-3341.

FRIDAY NIGHT MARKET – Wise County Market Days teamed up with the city of Bridgeport, Economic Development Corp. and Main Street for a Friday night event. It kicks off this week at the corner of 12th and Halsell Streets, open 5-9 p.m. It’s planned to be open every Friday, as long as produce is available. The market will feature fresh produce, free range eggs, local raised beef and lamb, local honey, jelly and jams, plus baked goods and pickles.

DIVE-IN MOVIE – Bridgeport Box Office will present “Flipper” on Saturday at Bridgeport City Pool. Pool admission is required, and concessions are available for purchase. The pool opens at 7 p.m., and the movie will start at dusk. Call 640-683-3480.

DOG ADOPTION EVENT – An adoption event for the Bridgeport Animal Shelter is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Fred’s, 801 Turkey Creek Trail in Bridgeport. A patio plant sale will be held, and all sales will go to a partner rescue to be used for the animals at this shelter.

FUNDRAISER – A fundraiser and silent auction will be held from 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant Grove Cowboy Church in Decatur, 4789 FM 730, for Behrin Brown. Brown was born with a stage 2 laryngeal cleft. He will travel to Boston late this summer to the Esophageal and Airway Treatment Center at Children’s Hospital of Boston to undergo surgery to repair his cleft. Tickets are $10 at the door. Donations are accepted.

FEEDING WISE KIDS – The Feeding Wise Kids summer feeding program continues its Friday distribution at the following locations and times: (Boyd) First United Methodist Church 10:30-11 a.m.; (Bridgeport) Bridgeport Elementary School parking lot 10:30-noon, Cates Street Baptist Church 10:30-11 a.m., First Baptist Church 10:30-11 a.m., First United Methodist Church 10:30-11 a.m., Presbyterian Church 10:30-11 a.m.; (Slidell) Slidell High School 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Other locations and times are as follows: Chico First United Methodist Church 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Chisholm Trail Middle School and Seven Hills Elementary in Rhome on Thursdays.

FUNERALS – Service for Rollins Bilby, 83, of Lake Bridgeport is 2 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Mountain Home Cemetery in Bryson. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Eddie Cordero, 80, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today at The Father’s House in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Hawkins-Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

MEMORIAL service for Brian Charles Webb, 31, of Bridgeport is 5 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport.

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