Homes evacuated due to grass fire near Cottondale


Several homes in the Jamberly Hills subdivision northwest of Cottondale were evacuated for two hours, while firefighters worked a large grass fire off County Road 3657 Monday afternoon.
Firefighters from Salt Creek, Cottondale, Bridgeport, Lake Bridgeport, Briar and Reno responded to the blaze toned out at 3:31 p.m. Department of Public Safety troopers assisted with the scene.
Salt Creek firefighters were assisting Poolville with a structure fire when the fire was reported at County Road 3657. The fire jumped County Road 3673 in multiple spots, according to Salt Creek Fire Captain Robert Allen.
He said the fire’s forward progress was stopped by 4:30 p.m. No structures were damaged.
Residents were allowed to return home shortly before 5:30 p.m.
It was one of several fires in the county Monday. Wise County is under a Red Flag warning due to elevated fire risk.

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Western Wise County experiences a pair of power outages


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Oncor crews are working to restore power to hundreds of customers in western Wise County after a pair of outages Wednesday morning.
A line down on U.S. 380 took out power to 550 customers in the Runaway Bay area around 5 a.m. Wednesday. Later in the morning more than 600 residents stretching from the west side of Bridgeport, Cottondale, Balsora and into Parker County were without power.
Oncor spokesperson Sabrina Easley said efforts to restore power were complicated by the heavy load on the system due to the frigid temperatures.
“Crews are having to got to all the fuse locations and close them up one at a time,” Easley said.
After a fuse is closed, she said there is a 30-minute delay for the load to normalize before moving to the next fuse. As of 10:45 a.m., Easley said crews had two more fuse positions to close, leaving 100 customers without power in the Runaway Bay area.
“We expect to have them back on line in the next hour,” she said.
Seven crews are working on the other outage in the western part of the county and power is expected to be restored by early afternoon.
“We’ve brought in extra resources,” Easley said. “We’re doing everything we can to get it back on.”
ERCOT issued a warning Tuesday evening about conserving usage due to the demand on the power grid with temperatures in the single digits in many parts of the state.
With cold temperatures expected Thursday morning, Easley is asking residents to conserve during the peak usage time of 7 to 8 a.m.

Update: Power was returned to Oncor customers by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

 

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Driver indicted in fatal wreck


A driver involved in a deadly crash near Cottondale in July has been indicted by a Wise County grand jury.

According to records that were unsealed this week, Christoval Reynal Villarreal, 32, of Decatur was indicted for criminal negligent homicide stemming from a wreck July 12 at the intersection of Farm Roads 51 and 2123.

According to investigators, Villarreal was stopped on FM 2123 facing east. A Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Coby McNabb, 30, of Weatherford was southbound on FM 51. For an undetermined reason, Villarreal pulled into the path of McNabb’s vehicle, and the two collided.

McNabb died at the scene. Villarreal was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with serious injuries.

The indictment charges that Villarreal was criminally negligent when he failed to yield the right of way to McNabb, resulting in McNabb’s death.

Criminal negligent homicide is a state jail felony.

Villarreal was indicted by the grand jury when it met Oct. 19. The indictment remained sealed until after Villarreal’s arrest. Wise County Jail records indicate Villarreal was arrested Nov. 9 and released the same day after posting $1,500 bond.

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Raymond Hull


Raymond Hull

Raymond (Buddy) Hull, 91, of Cottondale, died Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, in Cottondale.

Graveside service was Oct. 2 at Oakwood Cemetery in Jacksboro with the Rev. Millard Buchholz officiating.

Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport handled arrangements.

Buddy was born Jan. 4, 1926, in Lacota to William Henry and Della Mae (Johns) Hull. He married Jane Adams Jan. 19, 1963, in Jacksboro. Buddy proudly served his country as a United States Navy mechanic until his retirement. He was a member of the Jacksboro Jaycees, a volunteer fire marshal for the city of Jacksboro for 11 years and a member of the Jacksboro VFW Post 8914.

Pallbearers were Brandy Jones, Aaron Jones, Steve Barnes, Don Hull, David Hull, Rick Hull and Ryan Murphy.

Honorary pallbearer was Don Hull.

Buddy was preceded in death by his parents; son Bradley Hull; daughter Rhonda Hull; great-grandson Jacob Jones; brothers Aaron, Charlie and Clyde Hull; sisters Ruby Leath, Margaret Lewis and Wanda Cantu.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years; daughter Terri Allen and husband, Tommy, of Oregon; sons David Hull and wife, Sue, and Rick Hull and wife, Anna, all of Paradise; children Rick and Mirela Kerr of Tyler; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Warrant issued


Arrest warrants have been issued for the person investigators say shot another man at a party last weekend near Cottondale.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said Friday that warrants for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony, and deadly conduct discharging a firearm, a third degree felony, have been issued for Archie Coleman, 29, of Lake Worth.

Akin said investigators are actively seeking him to serve the arrest warrants.

The sheriff said a group of people in their 20s and 30s had gathered at a home on County Road 3791 near Cottondale last Friday night, Sept. 22, into Saturday morning, Sept. 23, and were drinking when an argument broke out.

Investigators said around 1:30 a.m., Coleman fired a hand gun, striking a 28-year-old Fort Worth man twice.

He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth by ground ambulance where he was treated and released, Akin said.

The investigation is ongoing, the sheriff said, and anyone with information can call the sheriff’s office at 940-627-5971 or Crime Stoppers of Wise County at 800-643-8477 or 940-627-8477 24 hours a day.

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Thanks to local VFDs


My sincere gratitude goes out to Boyd and Cottondale volunteer fire departments for your quick response to a hay and pasture fire Labor Day on County Road 4680 and 4681 in Boyd. You kept the situation under control and prevented disaster for my neighbors and myself.

I wish to express that your hard work and dedication is extremely appreciated!

Madeline Snow-Lobaugh
Boyd

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Man shot at party


A Fort Worth man was hurt when he was shot at a home in the Cottondale area early Saturday morning.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said a group of people in their 20s and 30s had gathered at a home on County Road 3791 and were drinking when an argument broke out.

“One of the partiers started randomly firing with a hand gun,” Akin said. “Another guy was struck twice by the gunfire.”

The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m.

According to initial reports provided to medics who were responding to the scene, the 28-year-old victim was shot in the left side of the back and the lower left buttock.

He was taken to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth by ground ambulance where he was treated and released, Akin said.

The shooter left the scene but was identified.

No arrests have been made, but the investigation is ongoing, Akin said Tuesday.

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Weatherford man killed in wreck

Weatherford man killed in wreck


Collission

COLLISION – The two trucks involved in a crash at Farm Road 51 and Farm Road 2123 ended up in the ditch on the east side of the intersection. The road was shut down so Air Evac Lifeteam 68 could transport the surviving victim to the hospital. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

One person was killed and another seriously injured in a two-vehicle wreck Wednesday morning near Cottondale.

The crash happened just before 10 a.m. at the intersection of Farm Roads 2123 and 51, east of Cottondale.

Texas Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Sgt. Lonny Haschel said preliminary information indicates a Dodge Ram, driven by Christoval Villerral, 31, of Decatur was stopped on FM 2123 facing east. A Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Coby McNabb, 30, of Weatherford was southbound on FM 51. For an undetermined reason, Villerral pulled into the path of McNabb’s vehicle and the two collided.

McNabb died at the scene.

Villerral was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with serious injuries.

The wreck damaged a water main at the intersection, sending water spraying into the air. The crash investigation was delayed until representatives with the water supply district arrived and shut off the water.

Traffic on FM 51 was shut down and later reduced to one lane until the wreck was cleared around noon.

The crash was about a mile east of the location of another fatal wreck on FM 2123 less than a week prior. In that accident on July 6, 17-year-old Nicholas Chance Rhodes of Boyd was killed and Richard Morgan Ginn, 46, of Paradise was seriously injured in a two-vehicle collision.

Water Issue

WATER ISSUE – A water main was damaged during the crash, sending water high into the air in the middle of the accident scene. The driver of the pickup shown was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

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Local teen killed in crash

Local teen killed in crash


Wreck Claims One

WRECK CLAIMS ONE – Paradise student Nicolas Rhodes was killed in a two-vehicle wreck on FM 2123 near Cottondale Thursday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A Paradise High School student was killed in a head-on collision Thursday afternoon on Farm Road 2123, just east of Cottondale.

According to Department of Public Safety Trooper Robert Carson, Nicholas Chance Rhodes, 17, was driving eastbound in a Toyota Tundra on FM 2123 about 4 p.m. when he crossed into the westbound lane of traffic, colliding head-on with a Ford pickup.

“The Ford pickup had just crested the hill and didn’t have a lot of time, but he veered to the right at the last minute,” Carson said. “The impact was in the center of the roadway.”

The driver of the Ford, Richard Morgan Ginn, 46, of Paradise, was extricated from his vehicle by first responders. He was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth with serious injuries.

Rhodes was pronounced dead at the scene by Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Mandy Hays. Carson said although Rhodes was a PHS student, he lived in Boyd.

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Alice Rasco


Alice Rasco, 82, of Cottondale, died Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with the Rev. Charles Pugh officiating.

Alice was born Oct. 31, 1934, to Roy and Nanny (King) Thomarrson. She was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Cottondale. She enjoyed cooking, reading, crocheting and watching cooking shows.

Alice is preceded in death by her husband, W.L. “Bill” Rasco; her parents; and one brother.

She is survived by her children, Mark Rasco and wife, Carol, Bruce Rasco and wife, Vera, and Kim Herbert and husband, Jim; sister Earlene Carnley; seven grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Daphne Odum Merrell


Daphne Merrell

Daphne Odum (Stewart) Merrell, 98, of Cottondale died Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

Funeral was Dec. 19 at Mount Olivet Chapel in Fort Worth. Burial followed at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park.

Daphne was born July 11, 1918, in Fort Worth. She worked for NBC channel 5 in Fort Worth for 31 years.

Daphne was known as Bob-o and Mamo by her loved ones.

She was preceded in death by her husband, L.V. Merrell; brother JR Odom; and mother Edith Odom.

Daphne is survived by daughters Jan McNabb and husband, Eldion, of Green Valley, Ariz., Joy Merritt and husband, James, of Loveland, Colo., and Jill Thibodeaux and husband, David, of Cottondale; grandchildren Roger, Cheryl, Lori, Rodney, Shelia, Debbie, Jason and Kara; 15 great-grandchildren; 11 great-great-grandchildren; and niece Pat Sherrill of Sun City, Ariz.

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Florence Elizabeth Miller


Florence Miller

Florence Elizabeth (Hansell) Miller, 83, of Cottondale/Paradise, died Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Decatur.

There will be a private family service at a later date.

Florence was born July 19, 1933, in the Ozarks of Missouri to James and Hettie Hansell. She was the third child of eight and the eldest daughter. At the tender age of 16, Florence met and married William R.(Bob) Miller and together they moved from Chicago to Texas and lived in Fort Worth, Weatherford, Azle and finally Paradise/Cottondale.

As a young wife and mother, Florence was active in the Weatherford area in the Floral Club and PTA, as an Avon lady and as a creative Scout leader in Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts throughout the 1960s and early ’70s.

Her kind and generous nature inspired all who were close to her. She extended her spirit to all – her loving family, countless friends and acquaintances.

Florence was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers; one sister; her husband, Bob; and her youngest son, Jeff.

She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Lowry and husband, Bruce, and Amanda Burkhalter and husband, Greg; son Jim Miller and wife, Lisa; daughter-in-law Sheril Miller; grandchildren Dylan Lowry, Ilia Srygley and Joren and Isabella Burkhalter; great-grandchildren Caleb, Sara, Jakob, Andrew, River and Arden; siblings Edward, Clyde and Bonnie; and other extended family members.

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Home damaged by fire


Fighting Fire

FIGHTING FIRE – Firefighters prepare to enter a home near Cottondale Saturday morning. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

A house near Cottondale was heavily damaged by fire Saturday morning.

The fire in the 300 block of County Road 3573 was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke coming out of the single-wide mobile home around 8:30 a.m.

Fire departments from Cottondale, Boyd, Salt Creek and Paradise responded along with Wise County EMS.

No one was home at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported.

Fire Investigator Jeff Doughty said fire gutted one end of the home while the rest of the house sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

No cause of the fire has been released.

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Cottondale mobile home burns

Cottondale mobile home burns


On Scene

ON SCENE – Crews from three departments worked to put out a blaze in a mobile home near Cottondale Monday afternoon. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

A mobile home fire just off School House Road north of County Road 3480 near Cottondale produced a tall column of white smoke visible from Decatur Monday afternoon.

Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Washburn said the home was owned by a family with a small child, but no one was there when the fire started. A neighbor reported the blaze.

Cottondale Fire Chief Jason Walker said crews arrived around 6 p.m. to find the structure fully involved, with flames visible through the front and center of the roof and smoke streaming out of windows. Washburn said the home was a complete loss but confirmed the family had insurance.

Wise County EMS was on scene and treated at least one firefighter for heat exhaustion.

As of press time Tuesday, Washburn said the cause of the fire remained under investigation. Boyd and Paradise fire departments also responded.

The displaced family needs clothing in infant size 18 to 24 months, size 18 to 20 women’s pants, 38×32 men’s pants, 36×32 men’s pants and size large shirts for three adults. The family also needs men’s size 14 wide and size 10 shoes, women’s size 8 1/2 shoes and infant size 4 shoes.

To make a donation:

  • mail it to P.O. Box 856, Chico, TX 76431;
  • drop it off at H&M Enterprise, 2301 Woodrow Wilson Ray Circle in Bridgeport
  • call Priscilla Hardin, 940-210-5215; or
  • visit gofundme.com/29c7ukk.
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Owen Matthew Read


Brian and Alison Read of Cottondale announce the birth of a son, Owen Matthew, on April 22, 2016, at Baylor All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth.

He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Owen has two sisters: Mavis, 10; and Sadie, 6.

Grandparents include Rick and Leda Read of Paradise and Joe and Cathy Gardner of Alvord.

Great-grandmothers are Cora Beth Read of Paradise and Mary Landers of Decatur.

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Outlaw’s grave recognized with historical marker


The gravesite of George Barnes, aka “Machine Gun Kelly,” will be declared a historical site Sunday as part of the annual Cottondale Community Reunion.

His wife’s family buried the infamous outlaw in Cottondale Cemetery after his death in 1954. Kelly was most well-known for his kidnapping of Charles F. Urschel, an oilman from Oklahoma City. Kelly kept Urschel at a farm in Paradise that belonged to his in-laws, the Shannons, before he released Urschel.

A dedication ceremony will be held at the gravesite at 1:30 p.m., following a 12:30 lunch at the cemetery’s pavilion. After the dedication, the Cottondale Cemetery Association will hold their business meeting.

The whole community is invited to the lunch and dedication.

Paradise Historical Society is sponsoring the marker, approved by the Texas Historical Commission.

Donna Weeden, president of the Paradise branch, said the cemetery receives visitors from all over the country, who come looking for the grave. Now it will be easily spotted.

“It’s not to honor [Kelly],” Weeden said of the marker. “It was a historical situation. It needs to be remembered.”

According to the Texas Historical Society, a site qualifies for a marker if two criteria are met: historical significance and age.

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Mark Austin Noles


Mark Austin Noles

Mark Austin Noles, 62, of Cottondale, died Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, in Decatur.

Funeral was Feb. 4 at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with the Rev. Jack Skidmore officiating. Burial followed at Throckmorton Cemetery in Throckmorton.

Mark was born July 21, 1953, in Graham to Wanda Gae (Moore) and Coy Alex Noles. Mark made his living as a carpenter, house builder and all-around fix-it man who was known by many, but his heart belonged to Jesus and telling others about Him. He was very involved at Church of the Living God, where he was a longtime member. He looked forward to going on mission trips with his friend and pastor, Jack Skidmore. In his spare time, he liked to hunt and fish and spend time with family.

Mark was preceded in death by his father, Coy Alex Noles Sr. of Throckmorton; and mother Wanda Gae Noles of Abilene.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Beverly Kay (Carter) Noles of Cottondale; sons Nathanael Noles and wife, Meagan, of Abilene and Jeremiah Noles of Cottondale; daughters Hannah Noles of Abilene, Lydia Ezzell and husband, Chad, of Abilene, Talitha Noles of Cottondale and Bethany Noles of Cottondale; brother Coy Noles and wife, Jan, of Abilene; sister Gae Lyn Busch-Petersen of Round Rock; and grandson Brice Ezzell of Abilene.

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Cottondale home lost to fire


An early morning fire destroyed a home near Cottondale Saturday.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the home’s occupants were awakened around 5:30 a.m. to popping sounds and found one end of the home on fire.

Everyone was able to escape safely.

Total Loss

TOTAL LOSS – Firefighters shoot water onto flames inside a rural home Saturday morning. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

When firefighters arrived, they found the single-wide mobile home in the 500 block of Spring Valley Road partially engulfed in flames.

Fire departments from Cottondale, Paradise and Boyd responded, along with Wise County EMS.

Beard said the fire appears accidental, and the home is a total loss.

As of Tuesday, the fire marshal’s office had not been able to reach the home’s owner, so his name and the number of people living in the home were unknown.

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Bridger Zane Tierce


Logan and Shallie Tierce of Cottondale announce the birth of a son, Bridger Zane Tierce, on April 6, 2015, at the North Texas Medical Center in Gainesville.

He weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long.

He has two brothers: Trapper, 7; and Hagen,4.

Grandparents are Mark and Bethy Tierce and Kathy O’Dell.

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Imogene Gentry


Imogene Gentry

Imogene Gentry, 87, of Cottondale died Thursday, April 2, 2015, in Cottondale.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Monday, April 6, at Cottondale Baptist Church with the Rev. Rodney Bolejack and Charles Pugh officiating. Burial will follow at Cottondale Cemetery.

Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

Pallbearers are Chris Miles, Zane Lasater, Chase Lasater, Brody Gentry, Jacoby Gentry and Bryson Gentry.

Honorary pallbearer is Cody Gentry. Soloists are Donna Gentry, Frieda Davis and Dyke Read. Pianist is Michael Niblett.

Imogene was born Jan. 28, 1928, in Agnes to Claude and Ruby (Pike) Niblett. She married Harold Arthur Gentry March 26, 1949, in Weatherford. She was a charter member of the First Baptist Church in Cottondale, and she loved her family, cooking, gardening, crocheting and her dogs.

Imogene was accepting of all people, giving of herself and timeless in her commitment to help those around her.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Eugene Niblett; sisters Inez King, Claudine (Tommy) Foreman and Betty Holley; grandson Cody Shane Gentry; and son-in-law Clarence Miles.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years, Harold Gentry of Cottondale; daughters Theresa Dale Norman and husband, James, of Rhome, and Letha Ann Lasater and husband, Gary, of Cottondale; and sons Wally Gentry and wife, Binky, of Cottondale, and Jimmy Ray Gentry and wife, Gail, of Cottondale.

She is also survived by grandchildren Chris Miles and wife, Chantay, Dana King and husband, Everett, Zane Lasater and Frieda, Keely Gage and husband, Will, Chase Lasater and wife, Amanda, Brody Gentry and wife, Jacqueline, Jacoby Gentry and wife, Jamie, Bryson Gentry and Raylee Moss and husband, Wesley; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and sisters Lorene Gentry and Edna Wood of Cottondale.

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