Tuesday, December 12, 2017


BOYD TO KEEP GRADUATION AT STADIUM – The Boyd ISD School Board reversed its decision from last month and will hold graduation at Yellowjacket Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2018. The district had planned to move the ceremony to the University of North Texas in Denton. In other business, trustees voted unanimously for a two-year contract extension for athletic director Brandon Hopkins and appointed former board member Dennis Tidwell to fill the vacant place 6 seat. The spot became open after the resignation of Ernest Partin due to health concerns.

LOPEZ TO RUN FOR STATE OFFICE – Bridgeport City Councilman Kevin Lopez filed to run for State Senator, District 30 yesterday. Lopez is running as a Democrat, the only member of the party in the race by yesterday’s filing deadline. He will face the winner of the March Republican primary, incumbent Craig Estes or challenger Pat Fallon, in the November 2018 election.

DISTRICT BASKETBALL – Several Wise County girls basketball teams start district play tonight. In 8-3A, Paradise welcomes in Nocona. Boyd travels to Bowie. In 6-5A, Northwest goes to Eaton. The Slidell Lady Greyhounds start their 21-A title defense at Saint Jo.

PRELIMINARY BOND DISCUSSION – The Alvord ISD Community Facilities Committee presented a draft proposal for a bond package at a community meeting last night in the Alvord Elementary gym. The preliminary proposal includes a new elementary gym and a new elementary classroom wing at an estimated cost of $6.9 million. The estimated impact on the tax rate would be between 15 and 19 cents per $100 of taxable value. The committee is expected to meet again before making their proposal to the school board next month.

SANTA ON THE STREETS – Santa will continue his visit through Decatur by visiting neighborhoods in northeast Decatur (east of North Trinity Street, north and east of Walnut Street) beginning at 5 tonight. Santa will continue visiting parts of Decatur through Thursday.

CHICO CHAMBER – The Chico Chamber monthly membership meeting is noon-1 p.m. today. Lunch is $7 per person, and guest speaker Mende Hanley will discuss how Look Local Wise County promotes area businesses.

CHRISTMAS MUSICAL – The Wise County Veterans Group and Rebecca Buchanan Potter present a classic Christmas musical Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Arcadia Theater in Bridgeport. Show times are 1:30 to 4 p.m., and admission is free. Santa Claus, the HeartStrings and Wise Youth String Ensemble will be part of the program.

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – South Wise Spirit of Christmas angels are available for pick-up at Rhome Pharmacy and Pinnacle Bank. Gifts must be returned by Dec. 14. Monetary donations may be made at Wells Fargo.

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM – Bridgeport Intermediate School fifth graders will present the program “Jingle Bell Jukebox” 6 tonight at the middle school auditorium. The show is a blend of traditional Christmas songs and 50s-era song styles. The middle school auditorium is located at 702 17th St., and the public is invited.

FUNERALS – Service for Myrle Virginia French, 97, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Kathy Cunnius, 70, of Decatur is pending at Hawkins-Decatur.

FUNERAL for Bobby Lloyd “Rusty” Brown, 62, of Bridgeport is 10:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at West Bridgeport Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Rocky L. Littrell, 64, of Bridgeport is 11 a.m. Wednesday at Hawkins-Bridgeport with burial at Greenwood Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Vicki Morris, 66, formerly of Bridgeport is 2 p.m. Thursday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Marion Margaret Paul Burr, 97, of Runaway Bay is 2 p.m. Friday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Eternal Oaks Cemetery in Runaway Bay. Family visitation is 6-7 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

GRAVESIDE service for Gary Clyde Underwood, 61, of Newark is noon Wednesday at Aurora Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd.

GRAVESIDE service for Margie Miller, 74, of Newark is noon Wednesday at Belew Cemetery in Aubrey. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins-Boyd.

FUNERAL for Tom Spikes, 78, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. today at the First Baptist Church in Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to the service. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

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Monday, December 11, 2017


CRASH VICTIM DIES – A Bridgeport man who was in a motorcycle crash last weekend died Friday, according to Cpl. Lantz Elliott with the Department of Public Safety. Rocky Leon Littrell, 64, died at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. On Dec. 3, he and his 14-year-old grandson were westbound on Farm Road 1655 about a mile west of Alvord when the motorcycle ran off the side of the road for an unknown reason around 10:45 a.m. Helicopter ambulances were called for both Littrell and the teen. Littrell was flown to JPS, and his grandson was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. The teen suffered a compound fracture to his arm but is expected to make a full recovery, according to Elliott. Funeral for Littrell is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FILING PERIOD ENDS – Today is the filing deadline for the March 6 primary election. As of Friday, 21 Republican candidates had filed to run for local office, while no one has filed for the Democratic primary in Wise County. State Rep. Phil King and Sen. Craig Estes have both filed for re-election with the state Republican Party. Pat Fallon filed to run against Estes for the District 30 seat in the Republican primary, and Davey Edwards of Alvord filed to run for Texas land commissioner. Candidates have until 6 p.m. today to file with their respective parties. Read the midweek Messenger for a complete list of candidates running for office in March.

CHRISTMAS PROGRAM – Bridgeport Intermediate School fifth graders will present the program “Jingle Bell Jukebox” 6 p.m. Tuesday at the middle school auditorium. The show is a blend of traditional Christmas songs and 50s-era song styles. The middle school auditorium is located at 702 17th St., and the public is invited.

ABWN LUNCH – The Area Business Women’s Network will hold its monthly networking lunch 11:45 a.m. Thursday at the Decatur Conference Center. You can bring an optional $10 gift to participate in a networking gift exchange. RSVP to info@abwn.org. Lunch is $11.

SANTA ON THE STREETS – Santa will continue his visit through Decatur by visiting neighborhoods near downtown Decatur (east of U.S. 81/287, west of U.S. Business 81/287, south of Walnut Street and north of Hale Street) beginning at 5 tonight. Santa will continue visiting parts of Decatur through Thursday.

COMMUNITY INPUT MEETING – The Alvord ISD Community Facilities Committee is working to identify and prioritize the facility needs of the school district. The committee is asking for feedback from the community before recommending a bond proposal to the school board. Alvord ISD residents are invited to a meeting 7 tonight in the Alvord Elementary School gymnasium to discuss the draft bond proposal.

COALITION MEETING – The Wise County Community Coalition will meet at noon today at Pizza Hut in Decatur.

COLLEGE FUNDING CLASS – Claudia Roberts, licensed professional counselor, will present a “How-to” class for students and parents on applying for college scholarships, grants and loans at 6 p.m. today at First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport, located at 1307 Newby St. Instruction is free and open to the public.

CHRISTMAS OF HOPE – Wise Hope’s annual Christmas of Hope has angels available for the community. This program helps children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence have a special Christmas. Angels are located at the Outreach office at 608 N. Business U.S. 81/287 in Decatur during regular office hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday. Monetary donations will also be accepted. Call 940-626-4585.

FUNERALS – Services for Myrle French, 97, and Kathy Cunnius, 70, both of Decatur are pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICES for Rocky Littrell, 64, of Bridgeport; Greg Stewart of Spokane, Wash.; Marian Burr, 97, of Runaway Bay; and Vicki A. Morris, 66, formerly of Bridgeport are pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Bobby Lloyd “Rusty” Brown, 62, of Bridgeport is 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Hawkins Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE service for Gary Clyde Underwood, 61, of Newark is noon Wednesday at Aurora Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd.

GRAVESIDE service for Margie Miller, 74, of Newark is noon Wednesday at Belew Cemetery in Aubrey. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins-Boyd.

FUNERAL for Tom Spikes, 78, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to the service. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

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Crash victim dies


A Bridgeport man who was in a motorcycle crash last weekend died Friday, according to Cpl. Lantz Elliott with the Department of Public Safety.

Rocky Leon Littrell, 64, died at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Last Sunday he and his 14-year-old grandson were westbound on Farm Road 1655 about a mile west of Alvord when the motorcycle ran off the side of the road for an unknown reason around 10:45 a.m. Helicopter ambulances were called for both Littrell and the teen. Littrell was flown to JPS, and his grandson was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

The teen suffered a compound fracture to his arm but is expected to make a full recovery, according to Elliott.

Funeral for Littrell is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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Friday, December 8, 2017


NEWARK HOME BURNS – A mobile home on County Road 4845 in Newark caught fire around 2 a.m. Friday. Newark Volunteer Fire Department Captain Ed Hawthorne said the blaze started on the front porch then moved into the living room. Hawthorne said all occupants were reported to be out of the home by the time Newark arrived on scene. The Red Cross was called to assist the residents. The middle section of the mobile home was a total loss, with heavy smoke damage on either side. Rhome, Boyd, East Wise, Haslet, Briar and Eagle Mountain fire departments responded to assist Newark. This was the fifth fire call Newark had responded to within 24 hours.

RHOME FIRE – One person was injured in a fire at an oilfield-related business near Rhome Thursday around noon. Rhome Police officer Bryan Pickler said for an unknown reason, a fire started on a forklift as the business’ owner, Carl Thomas, was transferring chemicals from one vat to another. Thomas received second degree burns on the top of his head, face, chest and arms and was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Pickler said. Several people called 911 reporting hearing explosions and seeing a large plume of black smoke. The building itself, located south of Texas 114 just east of Rhome, was not on fire. Fire departments from Rhome, Boyd and Newark responded and quickly brought the fire under control.

COMMUNITY INPUT MEETING – The Alvord ISD Community Facilities Committee is working to identify and prioritize the facility needs of the school district. The committee is asking for feedback from the community before recommending a bond proposal to the school board. Alvord ISD residents are invited to a meeting 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, in the Alvord Elementary School gymnasium to discuss the draft bond proposal.

LIVE NATIVITY -Paradise United Methodist Church presents “Walk to Bethlehem,” a live nativity scene and petting zoo for kids 3-5 p.m. Saturday at the church, 301 S. Oak St. in Paradise. The church choir will also sing.

COALITION MEETING – The Wise County Community Coalition will meet at noon Monday at Pizza Hut in Decatur.

SANTA VISIT – Santa will be at First Financial Bank in Bridgeport 4-6 p.m. today.

SANTA ON THE STREETS – A much-anticipated holiday tradition begins Sunday as Santa begins his tour through the city escorted by the Decatur Fire Department. The annual trek through neighborhoods runs Dec. 10-14 with Santa visiting a different neighborhood each night. Firefighters begin their route nightly at 5 p.m. and aim to finish around 9 p.m., so kids can get to bed. Santa will start his tour in neighborhoods west of U.S. 81/287.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – Decatur Fire Department will host its annual Breakfast with Santa 7-10 a.m. Saturday at the fire hall. Santa will arrive at 8:30. Bring your camera for a photo. Free pancakes and sausage will be served.

WATER REPAIRS – The City of Bridgeport will be repairing a break in the city’s main raw water supply line beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. The repair is anticipated to be completed by 4 p.m. Water will be temporarily discontinued to the water treatment plant during this time. Water service to residents and businesses is not expected to be impacted. Call Bridgeport City Hall at 940-683-3400 for information.

ALVORD CHRISTMAS PARADE – The Alvord EDC will host a Christmas Parade Saturday beginning at Elm Creek Park at 6 p.m. and ending up at Alvord City Hall for the tree lighting, a visit with Santa, hot chocolate and cookies. Donation of an unwrapped toy for the Spirit of Christmas or a monetary donation is greatly appreciated. Call Debra McKelvain at 940-389-1656 or Gay Houston at 940-393-5007.

BROILER ORDER DEADLINE – Broiler orders for the 2018 Wise County Youth Fair are due today. Turn in your order and payment to your ag teacher or the 4-H office. Cost is $43.50 per 25 birds. Call 940-389-5388.

SANTA’S DEPUTIES – Applications for Santa’s Deputies are now available at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, 200 Rook Ramsey Dr., in Decatur and on the department’s Facebook page. They should be returned to the department by 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Donations of new, unwrapped toys or money will be accepted at the sheriff’s office until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. For more information, call Susan Gomez, 940-627-5987.

CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCE – Morris Memorial United Methodist Church of Chico will host “Simply Christmas” 6 p.m. Sunday. It includes music by the choir and various soloists, with a time of food, fellowship and a visit from Santa afterwards. The church is located at 302 South Weatherford St., and the event is free and open to the public.

FUNERALS – Visitation for Gene Moody of Crafton is 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Tom Spikes, 78, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Bridgeport with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to the service. Jones-Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Greg Stewart of Spokane, Wash., is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Gladys Faye Cox, 74, of Chico is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Chico Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE service for Margie Miller, 74, of Newark is noon Wednesday at Belew Cemetery in Aubrey. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

SERVICE for Melanie A. Hofsiss, 64, of Alvord is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur.

MEMORIAL service for Dottie Chase is 2 p.m. Saturday at Justin United Methodist Church. She was the wife of former Wise County Judge Dick Chase.

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Newark mobile home burns


A mobile home on County Road 4845 in Newark caught fire around 2 a.m. Friday.

Newark Volunteer Fire Department Captain Ed Hawthorne said the blaze started on the front porch then moved into the living room.

Hawthorne said all occupants were reported to be out of the home by the time Newark arrived on scene. The Red Cross was called to assist the residents.

The middle section of the mobile home was a total loss, with heavy smoke damage on either side.

Rhome, Boyd, East Wise, Haslet, Briar and Eagle Mountain fire departments responded to assist Newark.

This was the fifth fire call Newark had responded to within 24 hours.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017


WATER REPAIRS – The City of Bridgeport will be repairing a break in the city’s main raw water supply line beginning at 9 a.m. Friday. The repair is anticipated to be completed by 4 p.m. Water will be temporarily discontinued to the water treatment plant during this time. Water service to residents and businesses is not expected to be impacted. Call Bridgeport City Hall at 940-683-3400 for information.

CLARK TO REPRESENT NORTH TEXAS – Wise County Judge J.D. Clark, who is secretary of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), was chosen to represent the group on the board of directors for the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC). TARC is a statewide group that includes 24 regional councils comprised of city, county and special district members working together to implement cost-effective, results-oriented strategies that address statewide and local needs on a regional scale. The group meets three times a year in Austin. Read more about Clark’s appointment in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

WINTER WONDERLAND – Decatur High School will host a Winter Wonderland event 5-7 tonight and Friday in the DHS cafeteria. Tickets ranging from 25 cents to $1 may be purchased for various activities. Children can see Santa and Mrs. Claus and participate in Christmas Bingo, a cupcake walk and coloring pages. At 7, DHS theater will perform “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” There is no cost for the performance.

SANTA VISIT – Santa’s helicopter will land at The Community Bank in Bridgeport at 5 p.m. today. The event will feature cookies and photos with Santa.

COLLEGE FUNDING CLASS – Claudia Roberts, licensed professional counselor, will present a “How-to” class for students and parents on applying for college scholarships, grants and loans at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 11, at First Presbyterian Church of Bridgeport, located at 1307 Newby St. Instruction is free and open to the public.

KITCHEN GRAND OPENING – Wise County Committee on Aging will hold a grand opening of its new kitchen 3-7:30 p.m. today at 400 S. Hovey in Chico. The Wise County Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 3. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. The kitchen will prepare meals for the local Meals on Wheels program through the WCCA.

CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCE – Morris Memorial United Methodist Church of Chico will host “Simply Christmas” 6 p.m. Sunday. It includes music by the choir and various soloists, with a time of food, fellowship and a visit from Santa afterwards. The church is located at 302 South Weatherford St., and the event is free and open to the public.

SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER – Light a Lantern for a Loved One is 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, at the Paradise soccer field. There are large, white and red lanterns available, as well as a limited number of mini lanterns in white or green. Pre-order a lantern by emailing Maggie Loney, maggiloney01@gmail.com. Cost is $9 each. Proceeds benefit the Zackery S. Loney Memorial Scholarship.

FUNERALS – Mass of Christian burial for Carlos Arellano, 29, of Decatur is 11 a.m. today at Assumption Catholic Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Robert Walter Bull, 86, of Sunset is 2 p.m. today at the First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Alvord Cemetery. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Lawrence Scott, 72, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Greg Stewart of Spokane, Wash., is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Gladys Faye Cox, 74, of Chico is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Chico Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

SERVICE for Margie Miller, 74, of Newark is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

MEMORIAL service for Gene Moody of Crafton is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

SERVICE for Melanie A. Hofsiss, 64, of Alvord is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur.

VISITATION for Leslie E. “Fast Eddie” Russell, 59, of Chico is 6-8 tonight at Alpine Funeral Home in Fort Worth.

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017


FREEZING TEMPERATURES RETURN TO FORECAST – It will feel like winter the next few days. After a high today of around 52 degrees, temperatures will drop to around 29 overnight. Tomorrow’s high will only be around 43 degrees with a low of 25. High temperatures will return to the mid- to upper-50s for the end of the week.

TUESDAY HOOPS – Wilson Hicks tossed in 22 points in his first game of the season as the Decatur Eagles beat Peaster 67-37. Kylee Fitzgerald scored a game-high 20 points in a 49-28 win over Graham. The Boyd Yellowjackets beat Alvord 64-54 with 20 points from Reuben Rodebaugh. Tanner Baker led Alvord with 13. The Paradise Lady Panthers edged Alvord 43-33. The Era girls earned a 47-37 win over Boyd. Paytin Bullard scored 11.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – Decatur Fire Department will host its annual Breakfast with Santa 7-10 a.m. Saturday at the fire hall. Santa will arrive at 8:30. Bring your camera for a photo. Free pancakes and sausage will be served.

BROILER ORDER DEADLINE – Broiler orders for the 2018 Wise County Youth Fair are due Friday. Turn in your order and payment to your ag teacher or the 4-H office. Cost is $43.50 per 25 birds. Call 940-389-5388.

CHICO SEEKS DONATIONS – Chico City Hall is accepting Christmas donations for residents of local nursing homes. Examples of donations include socks, small cozy blankets, slippers, costume jewelry, candies, cookies, brushes, books and crackers. All donations will be delivered Dec. 19 and 20. Donations will be accepted 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday at Chico City Hall, 400 S. Hovey.

ANGELS AVAILABLE – Home Health Care of North Central Texas, 401 Center Court Drive in Bridgeport, has angels available for adoption. Angels represent local elderly or disabled in need. Gifts should be returned by Dec. 15. Call 940-683-3300.

CALENDARS AVAILABLE – The Bridgeport Historical Society is selling calendars featuring photos of sunsets over Lake Bridgeport taken by four local residents. “Sunsets Over Lake Bridgeport” are available for purchase for $8. Call Don Majka at 940-389-3821.

SANTA’S DEPUTIES – Applications for Santa’s Deputies are now available at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, 200 Rook Ramsey Dr., in Decatur and on the department’s Facebook page. They should be returned to the department by 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9. Donations of new, unwrapped toys or money will be accepted at the sheriff’s office until 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15. For more information, call Susan Gomez, 940-627-5987.

FUNERALS – Service for Melanie A. Hofsiss, 64, of Alvord is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home-Decatur.

SERVICE for John Rogers, 79, of Brownwood is 2 p.m. today in the Chapel of Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with burial at Poolville Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to service.

MASS of Christian burial for Carlos Arellano, 29, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Thursday at Assumption Catholic Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the Arellano residence, 407 Private Road 4215 in Decatur where rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Robert Walter Bull, 86, of Sunset is 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Alvord Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Lawrence Scott, 72, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICES for Greg Stewart of Spokane, Wash., and Gladys Cox, 74, of Chico are pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Alton Young, 65, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. today at the First United Methodist Church in Boyd with burial at Aurora Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.

VISITATION for Leslie E. “Fast Eddie” Russell, 59, of Chico is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Alpine Funeral Home in Fort Worth.

 

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017


RHOME HOUSE FIRE – A mobile home in Rhome caught fire Monday afternoon. The fire, on Private Road 4732, was called in to dispatchers around 2 p.m. Rhome, East Wise, Newark, Decatur and Justin fire departments responded. “The main thing when we first got here was we were faced with strong winds blowing heavy smoke across the road,” Rhome Fire Chief Darrell Fitch said. “There were flames coming out of the roof.” Fitch said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but because the fire was hottest at the east end of the structure it appeared to have started there. There was also a shed with fire damage at the east end of the home. The Red Cross was called to assist the family who lived in the home, two adults and four children, who were out of the house at the time of the fire.

NORTHWEST ISD TRUSTEES TO LEAVE SPOT VACANT – Northwest ISD trustees voted not to fill Place 7 vacancy on board by appointment. The spot will remain open until the May election.

TUESDAY BASKETBALL – The Decatur Eagles will play Peaster at 8 p.m. at home. The Decatur Lady Eagles take on Graham before. Other games: Boys – Boyd at Alvord, Iowa Park at Bridgeport, Bellevue at Chico, Millsap at Paradise, Northwest at Mansfield Timberview, Slidell at Bryson. Girls – Paradise at Alvord, Iowa Park at Bridgeport, Bellevue at Chico, Northwest at Fossil Ridge, Slidell at Bryson.

JP 3 TRIAL CANCELED – The jury trial scheduled for 8:45 a.m. today in Precinct 3’s Justice of the Peace Court is canceled. Jurors do not need to report.

SWEARING IN CEREMONY – Dr. Robert Marlett will be sworn in at 5 p.m. today as Wise County’s representative on the Weatherford College Board. The ceremony will be at the Wise County campus, and the building will be open for guests to tour.

KITCHEN GRAND OPENING – Wise County Committee on Aging will hold a grand opening of its new kitchen 3-7:30 p.m. Thursday at 400 S. Hovey in Chico. The Wise County Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 3. Hors d’oeuvres will be served. The kitchen will prepare meals for the local Meals on Wheels program through the WCCA.

BRIDGEPORT GT – Bridgeport ISD is accepting GT referral forms for students who are currently in K-11th grade through Dec. 21. All completed referral forms must be returned to your child’s campus by 4 p.m. on Dec. 21. Referral forms are located at each campus office and on the BISD website.

ALVORD CHRISTMAS PARADE – The Alvord EDC will host a Christmas Parade Saturday beginning at Elm Creek Park at 6 p.m. and ending up at Alvord City Hall for the tree lighting, a visit with Santa, hot chocolate and cookies. Donation of an unwrapped toy for the Spirit of Christmas or a monetary donation is greatly appreciated. Call Debra McKelvain at 940-389-1656 or Gay Houston at 940-393-5007.

SUPPORT GROUP – The Wise Alzheimer’s Group meets 7 tonight in the boardroom at the Wise Health System west campus in Decatur. Call Richard, 940-255-0244.

PARKINSON’S SUPPORT – The Parkinson’s Support Group meets 6 tonight at the old Fit-N-Wise building, 609 Medical Center Dr. in Decatur.

FUNERALS – Funeral for Mildred Haney, 96, of Alvord is 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial in Alvord Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

MASS of Christian burial for Carlos Arellano, 29, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Thursday at Assumption Catholic Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Arellano residence, 407 Private Road 4215, Decatur where the rosary will be said at 7 p.m. Hawkins-Decatur is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Robert Walter Bull, 86, of Sunset is 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Alvord Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Lawrence Scott, 72, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Greg Stewart of Spokane, Wash., is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Alton Young, 65, of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the First United Methodist Church in Boyd with burial at Aurora Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd.

SERVICE for John Rogers, 79, of Brownwood is 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Chapel at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with burial at Poolville Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to the service.

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Mobile home burns


A mobile home in Rhome caught fire Monday afternoon.

The fire, on Private Road 4732, was called in to dispatchers around 2 p.m. Rhome, East Wise, Newark, Decatur and Justin fire departments responded.

“The main thing when we first got here was we were faced with strong winds blowing heavy smoke across the road,” Rhome Fire Chief Darrell Fitch said. “There were flames coming out of the roof.”

Fitch said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but because the fire was hottest at the east end of the structure it appeared to have started there. There was also a shed with fire damage at the east end of the home.

The Red Cross was called to assist the family who lived in the home, two adults and four children, who were out of the house at the time of the fire.

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Monday, December 4, 2017


MAN KILLED IN SATURDAY WRECK – A man was killed Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle wreck on Farm Road 2264. Department of Public Safety Trooper Adam Lawson said the victim was westbound on FM 2264 around 5:30 p.m. when he attempted to pass another vehicle. The motorcycle operator then hit a curb and lost control. The motorcycle went off the roadway and into a fence pole. The ID of the victim has not been released at this time. Decatur Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services Medic 1, Rescue 1 and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

2 HURT IN SUNDAY MOTORCYCLE CRASH – A Bridgeport man and a 14-year-old family member were both seriously injured in a single-vehicle motorcycle wreck around 10:45 a.m. Sunday near Alvord. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Lantz Elliott said a motorcycle operated by Rocky Leon Littrell, 64, of Bridgeport was westbound on Farm Road 1655 about a mile west of Alvord when the motorcycle ran off the side of the road for an unknown reason. Helicopter ambulances were called for both Littrell and his 14-year-old passenger. Littrell was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with possible life-threatening injuries. The 14-year-old was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth with a broken arm. Elliott said the two were planning to participate in the Wise County Toy Run that started in Decatur at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Wise County EMS, Alvord Fire Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the crash.

DECATUR FALLS TO HIRSCHI – Wichita Falls Hirschi defeated Decatur 58-28 Friday in Denton in a 4A Division I Regional semifinal game. Decatur ends its season with an 8-5 record.

BASH SMASHES FUNDRAISING RECORD – The third annual Wise Youth Ag Syndicate Blue Ribbon Bash raised just under $100,000 Friday night, setting a new record. Money raised is used to purchase reserve champion lots, as well as breed and division champions at the Wise County Youth Fair Sale. The hot ticket auction item, raising $30,000, was a Colt Commander 1911 with custom engraving and silver inlay by Michael Tittor. It was sold twice – once for $14,500, then donated back and sold again for $15,500. In addition to the live auction, this year’s bash included a silent auction, raffles and a night of dancing to the King George Band. Read more about the event in the midweek Messenger on newsstands Wednesday.

LARGE TOY RUN TURNOUT – An estimated 2,500 motorcycles participated in this year’s Wise County Toy Run from Decatur to Bridgeport Sunday. The event collects toys for local children in need.

SANTA COPS APPLICATION DEADLINE – Today is the deadline for the Bridgeport Police Department to accept applications for their Santa Cops program. Applications are available at the police department, 1000 Thompson St. in Bridgeport. The program benefits children who live in the city or who attend Bridgeport ISD. The police department is also accepting donations of new unwrapped toys, monetary donations or gift cards. Call Lt. Todd Low or Holli Olmos at 940-683-3430 for more information.

DIABETES CLASSES – Total Diabetes Care at Wise Health System will hold diabetes education classes in Bridgeport today. The classes are intended to help those with diabetes better understand and manage the disease. 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 the Wise Clinical Care, 2202 U.S. 380 No. 112. Classes are free and will be taught by Dick Gilley RN, CCRN, CDE. No RSVP required. Call Gilley at 940-626-1890.

SUPPORT GROUP – The Wise Alzheimer’s Group meets 7 p.m. Tuesday in the boardroom at the Wise Health System west campus in Decatur. Call Richard, 940-255-0244.

PARKINSON’S SUPPORT – The Parkinson’s Support Group meets 6 p.m. Tuesday at the old Fit-N-Wise building, 609 Medical Center Dr. in Decatur.

DRY NOVEMBER – Drought conditions in Wise County continued to worsen in November with only 0.96 of an inch of rainfall recorded in the month. Temperatures in the month ranged from a high of 93 on Nov. 2 to a low of 28 on Nov. 19.

FUNERALS – Service for Mildred Haney, 96, of Alvord is 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the First Baptist Church in Alvord with burial at Alvord Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

SERVICES for Carlos Arrellano, 29, of Decatur; Robert Bull, 86, of Sunset; and Lawrence Scott, 72, of Boyd are pending at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Alton Young, 65, of Boyd is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

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2 hurt in motorcycle wreck


A Bridgeport man and a 14-year-old family member were both seriously injured in a single-vehicle motorcycle wreck around 10:45 a.m. Sunday near Alvord. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Lantz Elliott said a motorcycle operated by Rocky Leon Littrell, 64, of Bridgeport was westbound on Farm Road 1655 about a mile west of Alvord when the motorcycle ran off the side of the road for an unknown reason. Helicopter ambulances were called for both Littrell and his 14-year-old passenger. Littrell was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with possible life-threatening injuries. The 14-year-old was flown to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth with a broken arm. Elliott said the two were planning to participate in the Wise County Toy Run that started in Decatur at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Wise County EMS, Alvord Fire Department and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the crash.

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Man killed in motorcycle wreck


A man was killed Saturday afternoon in a motorcycle wreck on Farm Road 2264.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Adam Lawson said the victim was driving westbound on FM 2264 around 5:30 p.m. when he attempted to pass another vehicle. The motorcycle driver then hit a curb and lost control. The motorcycle went off the roadway and into a fence pole.

The ID of the victim has not been released at this time.

Decatur Fire Department, Emergency Medical Services Medic 1, Rescue 1 and the Wise County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

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Friday, December 1, 2017


RHOME WRECK – The northbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 were shut down 7 a.m. Friday just north of Rhome due to a two-vehicle accident. Both vehicles overturned, and one driver was temporarily trapped. Patients were transported via ground ambulance to Wise Health System in Decatur. A dog was also injured in the accident, and Wise County Animal Control was called to pick it up. Northbound U.S. 81/287 traffic was diverted to the service road at Texas 114, and there was a minor accident in the backup, which temporarily shut down the service road. Just after 8 a.m., one northbound lane of U.S. 81/287 was reopened. More information will be posted as it’s available.

KENNAN PLEADS TO 16 YEARS – Brett Walter Kennan, 34, of Newark pleaded guilty in 271st District Court in Decatur Thursday to aggravated assault causes serious bodily injury in exchange for a 16-year prison sentence. He faced a punishment range of 2 to 20 years on the second degree felony charge. Kennan was convicted of the August 2016 assault which seriously injured Freddie Ballard, 58, of Newark. Ballard later died from his injuries. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

PLAYOFF FOOTBALL – The Decatur Eagles will play in the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013 tonight at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton against 4-4A Division I rival Wichita Falls Hirschi. Kickoff is set for 7. Keep up with the action on our live blog at wcmessenger.com/scores.

CHRISTMAS IN PARADISE – A “Sip and Shop” fundraiser for Christmas in Paradise, the community’s Spirit of Christmas campaign, is 6-8 tonight in the parking lot of Hometown Tees in Paradise. It will feature Sunny Side Up Boutique, Jearene’s Cottage, Envy Denton and 5 Boys Food Truck. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Paradise families in need. Fifty angels will also be available for adoption. Donations may be made at First State Bank in Paradise.

COFFEE WITH A COP – Bridgeport Police Department will hold Coffee with a Cop 7-9 a.m. Saturday at 5 Boys in Bridgeport.

YOUTH FAIR TAG IN – Wise County Youth Fair County Tag In is 8-11 a.m. Saturday at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Animals to be tagged are: market lamb, market goat, market hog and non registered beef heifers. For information call 940-389-5388.

NEW FAIRVIEW BURN BAN – The City of New Fairview has a firework and burn ban in effect as of today due to the severe drought. No burning in the city limits is allowed, and no fireworks will be sold in the city limits.

PLAYOFF PEP RALLY – The Decatur High School pep rally is 10:30 a.m. today in the high school gym. The community is invited to attend and cheer on the Eagles before their 4A Division I regional game against Wichita Falls Hirschi.

HISTORICAL PLAY – Two encore performances are scheduled this weekend for the historical play “Eight Days in Paradise.” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the G.C. Rann Auditorium in the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity St., Decatur. Admission is $10. The play involves historical events about the 1933 kidnapping of Oklahoma oilman Charles Urschel by Machine Gun Kelley. Urschel was held captive in a farmhouse near Paradise for eight days until a $200,000 ransom was paid.

FOOD PANTRY OPEN SATURDAY – A mobile food pantry will be in the parking lot of the Decatur ISD Administration Building, 309 S. Cates St., 9-11 a.m. Saturday. It’s open to anyone in the community who needs help with groceries. The 18-wheeler full of food will come to Decatur the first Saturday of every month throughout the year.

RHOME TREE LIGHTING – The Rhome Veterans Group will have a tree lighting ceremony at the Rhome Veterans Park Saturday. Festivities will last from 1 p.m. to dusk.

TOY RUN – The annual Wise County Toy Run is Sunday. Motorcycle riders from across North Texas participate in the ride from Decatur to Bridgeport, bringing toy donations for Wise County children who need a little help at Christmas. Registration is 10 a.m.-noon at the McCarroll Middle School parking lot on West Thompson Street. The parade will leave at 12:30 p.m. Each rider should bring at least one unwrapped toy for a 1- to 12-year-old child or a $10 minimum donation. The event will also feature door prizes, a raffle, 50/50 raffle and more.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation will host its annual Breakfast with Santa 8-10 a.m. Saturday. The event at the Bridgeport Community Center includes breakfast, crafts and photos. Pre-sale tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for children and can be purchased at Bridgeport City Hall. Tickets at the door are $4 each. Space is limited. Call 940-683-3480.

CHRISTMAS IN DECATUR – The Decatur Chamber of Commerce’s Parade of Lights is 6 p.m. Saturday in downtown Decatur. Enjoy hot chocolate, holiday music and kids activities from 4-8 p.m. Visit with Santa on the Courthouse lawn and take photos from 4-6 p.m.

FUNERALS – Service for John Haggard, 76, of Paradise is 10 a.m. today at First Baptist Church of Cottondale with burial at Paradise Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Mildred Haney, 96, of Alvord is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017


FIRE DESTROYS BRIAR HOME – A Briar family lost their home Wednesday night when it caught fire around 5:30 p.m. Several fire departments were called to the scene at 139 Cedar Drive, but they were unable to save the mobile home. Boyd firefighter Sheridan Rhine said his crew could see smoke when they left the station, so they immediately called for mutual aid. “When we arrived, there were flames shooting out the windows, doors and roof, and there was a small grass fire,” he said. “Thankfully, we had enough people to get it under control quickly.” Scott and Ronda Hollon lived in the home with their daughter, Eva Hilburn; her boyfriend, Chaning Dodson; and the young couple’s 4-month-old daughter, Fallon. They all escaped without injury. “We were sitting in the living room eating pizza and watching TV when we heard a pop,” she said. “I looked and the window was glowing like fire. It spread in like five minutes.” At least one vehicle was also damaged in the blaze. Departments called to aid Boyd VFD included Cottondale, Newark, Briar, Reno and La Junta. Wise County’s Medic 3 also responded. The Red Cross was called to assist the family.

PLAYOFF PEP RALLY – The Decatur High School pep rally is 10:30 a.m. Friday in the high school gym. The community is invited to attend and cheer on the Eagles before their 4A Division I regional game against Wichita Falls Hirschi. The game is 7 p.m. Friday at the C.H. Collins Complex in Denton.

HISTORICAL PLAY – Two encore performances are scheduled this weekend for the historical play “Eight Days in Paradise.” Performances are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the G.C. Rann Auditorium in the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity St., Decatur. Admission is $10. The play involves historical events about the 1933 kidnapping of Oklahoma oilman Charles Urschel by Machine Gun Kelley. Urschel was held captive in a farmhouse near Paradise for eight days until a $200,000 ransom was paid.

FOOD PANTRY OPEN SATURDAY – A mobile food pantry will be in the parking lot of the Decatur ISD Administration Building, 309 S. Cates St., 9-11 a.m. Saturday. It’s open to anyone in the community who needs help with groceries. The 18-wheeler full of food will come to Decatur the first Saturday of every month throughout the year.

RHOME TREE LIGHTING – The Rhome Veterans Group will have a tree lighting ceremony at the Rhome Veterans Park Saturday. Festivities will last from 1 p.m. to dusk.

LIGHTED PARADE – The Lights on Halsell Christmas Parade is 6 tonight in downtown Bridgeport. This year’s theme is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

SEEKING VOLUNTEERS – Solaris Hospice needs volunteers. Those who choose to participate will undergo a background check, drug screening and TB testing. Training is provided. Contact Director of Volunteer Services Caitlyn Littlejohn at clittlejohn@solarisfamily.com or 940-627-1011.

CHRISTMAS CARDS IN THE PARK – Spaces are now being reserved for Christmas Cards in the Park, sponsored by Bridgeport Parks and Recreation. This is a holiday d cor program to offer businesses, civic groups, or individuals a chance to share their best wishes for the season with residents and visitors. There is no charge for a space. To reserve your spot or for questions call Bridgeport Parks and Recreation at 940-683-3480.

FREEDOM TEXAS – Freedom Texas meets 7 tonight in the meeting room at Pizza Hut, 601 S. Washburn St., in Decatur. This group promotes the sovereignty, security, self-sufficiency and eventual independence of Texas. Call Brenda Vaughn, 940-389-0999, or visit freedomtexas.org.

FUNERALS – Service for John Haggard, 76, of Paradise is 10 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Cottondale with burial at Paradise Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Bailie Christine Jackson-Samford, 25, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at County Line Cowboy Church in Sunset with burial at Sunset Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

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Fire destroys mobile home


A Briar family lost their home Wednesday night when it caught fire around 5:30 p.m.

Several fire departments were called to the scene at 139 Cedar Drive, but they were unable to save the mobile home. Boyd firefighter Sheridan Rhine said his crew could see smoke when they left the station, so they immediately called for mutual aid.

“When we arrived, there were flames shooting out the windows, doors and roof, and there was a small grass fire,” he said. “Thankfully, we had enough people to get it under control quickly.”

Scott and Ronda Hollon lived in the home with their daughter, Eva Hilburn; her boyfriend, Chaning Dodson; and the young couple’s 4-month-old daughter, Fallon. They all escaped without injury.

“We were sitting in the living room eating pizza and watching TV when we heard a pop,” she said. “I looked and the window was glowing like fire. It spread in like five minutes.”

At least one vehicle was also damaged in the blaze. Rhine said “thankfully they had enough help (at the scene) within five minutes of arriving.”

Departments called to aid Boyd VFD included Cottondale, Newark, Briar, Reno and La Junta. Wise County’s Medic 3 also responded. The Red Cross was called to assist the family.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017


SCHOOL REVENUE HIGHER THAN EXPECTED – Revenues are running ahead of projections for Decatur ISD early in the fiscal year due to higher than anticipated enrollment and an unexpected payment from the state. In a report to Decatur School Board Monday, Cindy Tatum, deputy superintendent over finances, said the district’s revenues through October were $1.6 million over the budgeted amount. DISD also received a one-time payment of roughly $762,000 from the state to offset the expiring Additional State Aid for Tax Reduction (ASATR). Read more in the midweek Wise County Messenger on newsstands today.

NEW BOARD MEMBERS – Four newly-elected trustees were sworn in at Paradise School Board’s meeting Monday. Susie Burt, Scott Cox, Renea Remmele and Heath Smith were elected to the board Nov. 7. In choosing new officers, the board voted for Homer Mundy to remain president and elected Ben Sanders vice president and Shannon Caddell secretary.

TOY RUN – The annual Wise County Toy Run is Sunday. Motorcycle riders from across North Texas participate in the ride from Decatur to Bridgeport, bringing toy donations for Wise County children who need a little help at Christmas. Registration is 10 a.m.-noon at the McCarroll Middle School parking lot on West Thompson Street. The parade will leave at 12:30 p.m. Each rider should bring at least one unwrapped toy for a 1- to 12-year-old child or a $10 minimum donation. The event will also feature door prizes, a raffle, 50/50 raffle and more.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation will host its annual Breakfast with Santa 8-10 a.m. Saturday. The event at the Bridgeport Community Center includes breakfast, crafts and photos. Pre-sale tickets are $3 for adults, $2 for children and can be purchased at Bridgeport City Hall. Tickets at the door are $4 each. Space is limited. Call 940-683-3480.

CHRISTMAS IN DECATUR – The Decatur Chamber of Commerce’s Parade of Lights is 6 p.m. Saturday in downtown Decatur. Enjoy hot chocolate, holiday music and kids activities from 4-8 p.m. Visit with Santa on the Courthouse lawn and take photos from 4-6 p.m.

GT REFERRALS – Bridgeport ISD will be accepting GT referral forms for students who are currently in kindergarten through 11th grade. The referral window is Dec. 4-21. All completed referral forms must be returned to your child’s campus by 4 p.m. Dec. 21. Referral forms will be at each campus office and on the BISD website beginning Dec. 4. There will be a parent meeting 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at the elementary school.

BELL RINGERS NEEDED – Volunteers are needed to ring the bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle fundraising campaign. The kettles will be set up at Walmart in Decatur and Brookshires in Bridgeport. Volunteers are asked to sign up for two-hour shifts by going to (Decatur) www.signupgenius.com/go/5080449a4a923a6fd0-2017 or (Bridgeport) www.signupgenius.com/go/5080449a4a923a6fd0-20171. The campaign will continue daily through Christmas Eve. All money collected stays in Wise County to help those in need. Call the Kettle Coordinator at 940-626-8691.

FUNERALS – Service for Bailie Christine Jackson-Samford, 25, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Thursday at County Line Cowboy Church in Sunset with burial at Sunset Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for John Haggard, 76, of Paradise is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017


LIBRARY CLOSED FOLLOWING BREAK-IN – The Chico Public Library is temporarily closed following the second burglary in less than a month. In both instances, entry was made through the back door, damaging it. The door is currently boarded up, and the library can’t open until it’s repaired, said library Director Michelle Slonaker. “It’s discouraging,” she said. “If you’re going to break in somewhere why the library?” The latest incident occurred sometime during the Thanksgiving holiday between Wednesday and Saturday, according to Sheriff Lane Akin. Slonaker said in the first break-in, the library lost about $3,500 in stolen goods and damages. Akin declined to detail the losses in the latest incident since it’s still under investigation, but he did say a small safe was stolen. Read more and find out how you can help in the midweek Messenger on newsstands Wednesday.

CHRISTMAS OF HOPE – Wise Hope’s annual Christmas of Hope now has angels available for the community. This program helps children whose lives have been affected by domestic violence have a special Christmas. Angels are located at the Outreach office at 608 N. Business U.S. 81/287 in Decatur during regular office hours Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monetary donations will also be accepted. Call 940-626-4585.

SANTA COPS DEADLINE – The Decatur Police Department is accepting applications for their Santa Cops program, but the deadline is today. Applications can be picked up at the police department, 1601 S. State St. in Decatur, or found online at decaturtx.org. Applicants must live in the city or have children enrolled in Decatur ISD schools. The program assists children ages newborn to 17 years old. Donations of new, unwrapped toys or monetary donations can be dropped off at the police department through Friday, Dec. 15. Call Ashly DoByns at 940-393-0303 for more information.

COFFEE NETWORK – The Wise County Chamber of Commerce Monthly Coffee Network is 8-9 a.m. Wednesday at New Fairview City Hall, 999 Illinois Ave. A New Fairview official will be the speaker.

LIGHTED PARADE – The Lights on Halsell Christmas Parade is 6 p.m. Thursday in downtown Bridgeport. This year’s theme is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Parade applications are available at Bridgeport City Hall or on the Bridgeport Main Street Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bportmainstreet/. Completed applications are due by noon today. To register or for more information, call Bridgeport Main Street at 940-683-3404.

FREEDOM TEXAS – Freedom Texas meets 7 p.m. Thursday in the meeting room at Pizza Hut, 601 S. Washburn St., in Decatur. This group promotes the sovereignty, security, self-sufficiency and eventual independence of Texas. Call Brenda Vaughn, 940-389-0999, or visit freedomtexas.org.

ROAD CLOSURE – Texas 114 on the south side of Bridgeport will be completely shut down to all traffic from 9 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Work will be performed on the viaduct bridge. Detour information signs have been placed near the area where the road work will take place.

FIDDLE PERFORMANCE – The Bridgeport Public Library will have a guest performance by champion fiddle player Dale Morris 4 p.m. today. Morris has worked with artists such as Marty Robbins, Ray Price, Sons of the Pioneers, Johnny Rodriguez and many others. He currently operates a teaching studio in Boyd and will be demonstrating some of his teaching methods as well as performing. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome.

FUNERALS – Service for Bailie Christine Jackson-Samford, 25, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Thursday at County Line Cowboy Church in Sunset with burial at Sunset Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for John Haggard, 76, of Paradise is pending at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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Monday, November 27, 2017


FAMILY KILLED IN HOUSE FIRE – Four members of a Bridgeport family were killed in an early-morning house fire Saturday in Garland. According to a report by NBC Channel 5, the victims are Lorenzo Castillo, 40; his wife, Ana Castillo, 29; and the couple’s two youngest children. Their oldest child escaped along with four other people in the home. The fire was reported just after 1 a.m. The family was visiting Lorenzo’s brother at their Garland home.

EAGLES ADVANCE – Decatur beats Andrews 55-48 to win the area title Friday and reach the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Dane Fitzgerald, who had not played since breaking his sternum on Sept. 8, returned for the game and hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass to help Decatur reach the 4A Division I regional round. Decatur will take on District 4-4A Division I foe Hirschi at 7 p.m. Friday at the C.H. Collins Complex in Denton.

ROAD CLOSURE – Texas 114 on the south side of Bridgeport will be completely shut down to all traffic from 9 p.m. Tuesday to 5 a.m. Wednesday. Work will be performed on the viaduct bridge. Detour information signs have been placed near the area where the road work will take place.

GOSPEL OPRY – The Gospel Opry Sing-along program is 6:30 tonight in the G.C. Rann Auditorium of the Wise County Heritage Museum, 1602 S. Trinity St. in Decatur. Admission is free. An offering will be accepted to be used toward museum expenses.

DIABETES CLASSES – Total Diabetes Care at Wise Health System will hold diabetes education classes in Boyd 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 the Wise Clinical Care Associates, 133 N. 730 Suite 105. Classes are free and will be taught by Dick Gilley RN, CCRN, CDE. No RSVP required. Call Dick Gilley at 940-626-1890 for more information.

FIDDLE PERFORMANCE – The Bridgeport Public Library will have a guest performance by champion fiddle player Dale Morris 4 p.m. Tuesday. Morris has worked with artists such as Marty Robbins, Ray Price, Sons of the Pioneers, Johnny Rodriguez and many others. He currently operates a teaching studio in Boyd and will be demonstrating some of his teaching methods as well as performing. Admission is free, and all ages are welcome.

LITTLE DRIBBLERS DEADLINE – Deadline for Wise County Little Dribblers basketball for pre-K through fourth grade is Friday. Forms are available at Decatur elementary schools.

SANTA AND THE STAGECOACH – Santa and the Stagecoach is 5:30-7 tonight at Bridgeport City Hall. It features the tree lighting, live entertainment, photos with Santa Claus, kid crafts, food and drinks, cookie decorating, donation stations, letters to Santa and holiday family fun. Bridgeport Santa Cops will be accepting new unwrapped toys, monetary donations and gift cards. Bridgeport Lions Club will be accepting lightly used coats of all sizes for their coat drive. The City of Bridgeport will be accepting canned and non-perishable food items for their canned food drive. For more information, call Bridgeport City Hall at 940-683-3400.

DECATUR JOINT WORKSHOP – Decatur’s city council and planning and zoning commission will hold a joint workshop tonight to discuss a number of items, including possibly extending the downtown land use district. The request to look at extending the downtown land use district north to Ash Street and south to Brady Street, with the east and west boundaries remaining the same, came from the Decatur Main Street Board. The workshop will also include discussion of a Hale Street corridor mixed-use land use designation and the extension of land uses in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). The joint workshop will begin at 5 p.m. at Decatur City Hall, 201 E. Walnut St. That will be followed by the regular monthly council workshop to hear department reports. The regular council meeting will take place at 6 p.m.

FUNERAL – Service for Balie Christine Jackson-Samford, 25, of Decatur is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Dorothy Juanita (Nita) Ogle, 91, of Bowie, formerly of Decatur, is 2 p.m. today at Coker Funeral Home in Jacksboro. Visitation is one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.

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Friday, November 24, 2017


1 SERIOUSLY INJURED IN WRECK – A Thanksgiving night wreck shut down U.S. 81/287 southbound about a mile north of Farm Road 407 and seriously injured one person. The wreck happened around 7 p.m. Department of Public Safety Trooper Lantz Elliott said an oilfield truck and a pickup were both southbound when the driver of the pickup ran into the back of the larger truck. A helicopter was called to the scene, and the pickup driver had to be cut out of the wreckage and was then flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. No names were immediately available. Traffic began to move again on the southbound shoulder around 8:15 p.m. as the wreck continued to be cleared. Traffic was backed up for several miles back toward Decatur.

PLAYOFF FOOTBALL – The Decatur Eagles will play Andrews in the 4A Division I area round at McMurry University in Abilene 7 tonight. Keep up with the action on our live blog at wcmessenger.com/scores.

LUCKY SEVEN – Businesses in Decatur will hold the annual “Lucky Seven” event today with special sales 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Some participating stores offer discounts that change by the hour. The event is sponsored by the Decatur Main Street program.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – Citizens are encouraged to shop at their favorite local stores and help fuel the local economy Saturday. A kickoff coffee will take place at 7 a.m. at Trinity Street Coffee House in Decatur.

SANTA AND THE STAGECOACH – Santa and the Stagecoach is 5:30-7 p.m. Monday at Bridgeport City Hall. It features the tree lighting, live entertainment, photos with Santa Claus, kid crafts, food and drinks, cookie decorating, donation stations, letters to Santa and holiday family fun. Bridgeport Santa Cops will be accepting new unwrapped toys, monetary donations and gift cards. Bridgeport Lions Club will be accepting lightly used coats of all sizes for their coat drive. The City of Bridgeport will be accepting canned and non-perishable food items for their canned food drive. For more information, call Bridgeport City Hall at 940-683-3400.

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS – South Wise Spirit of Christmas angels are available for pick-up at Rhome Pharmacy and Pinacle Bank. Gifts must be returned by Dec. 14. Monetary donations may be made at Wells Fargo.

RETIRED EDUCATORS MEETING – The Wise County Retired School Personnel will meet 11:30 a.m. next Tuesday for lunch at the Decatur Conference Center. “HeartStrings” will bring the program. The cost of the luncheon is $11, and reservations must be made by Sunday to richardperry@embarqmail.com.

FUNERALS – Service for Willie White, 89, of Bridgeport is 11 a.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Bridgeport with burial at Chico Cemetery. Family visitation is one hour prior to the service.

SERVICE for Susan Pietranski, 63, of Newark is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

SERVICE for Annie Lee Walker, 83, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at Laurel Land Funeral Home in Fort Worth. Family visitation is at 1 p.m.

FUNERAL for Donna M. Baggett, 78, of Decatur is 11:30 a.m. Monday at Mount Olivet Chapel in Fort Worth with interment at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Family visitation is 4-6 p.m. Sunday at Mount Olivet.

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Wreck shuts down U.S. 81/287


A Thanksgiving night wreck shut down U.S. 81/287 southbound about a mile north of Farm Road 407 and seriously injured one person. The wreck happened around 7 p.m. Department of Public Safety Trooper Lantz Elliott said an oilfield truck and a pickup were both southbound when the driver of the pickup ran into the back of the larger truck. A helicopter was called to the scene, and the pickup driver had to be cut out of the wreckage and was then flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. No names were immediately available. Traffic began to move again on the southbound shoulder around 8:15 p.m. as the wreck continued to be cleared. Traffic was backed up for several miles back toward Decatur.

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