Library offers summer storytime

Every Thursday at 2:30 p.m., groups of children file into the Rhome public library to listen to Daniabelle Hromanik tell stories.

Family Time

FAMILY TIME – Kyra Cole and her great-grandmother Delores McKinnon read a story together Thursday at the Rhome public library. Cole later listened to a story from volunteer Daniabelle Hromanik as part of the library’s summer reading program. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Hromanik, a Rhome library volunteer and English teacher at Bridgeport Intermediate School, held the first storytelling day June 10. She volunteered to start the program after the previous librarian, Linda Gillespie, died in her car after work in March. Gillespie had done the summer reading program in addition to her other duties.

Janice Wilson, a library board member, said they almost didn’t have a reading program this summer.

“We wanted [a reading program] so badly, but we lost our librarian in March, so we didn’t have someone to do it,” Wilson said. “We were just delighted, just beside ourselves [when Hromanik volunteered].”

On this particular Thursday, Hromanik told the story of the Little Red Hen – the classic barnyard work-ethic tale. A crowd of 13 children acted out different animals’ parts as they smiled and listened.

“It’s fun just to see the kids enjoy the stories and smile and get into it,” Hromanik said.

A jar of marbles sat on a table beside Hromanik as she read. Children who want to participate bring a list of each book they’ve read throughout the week and get to drop a marble in the jar for each book. Hromanik said this is one way to motivate the children to enjoy reading.

“We just want to encourage reading in the community for the kids,” Hromanik said.

Story and craft time is every Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 at the Rhome Public Library. Children 11 years and younger are allowed to participate – younger children must be accompanied by an adult.

A hot dog supper is planned for the children and their parents Aug. 7 at 6 p.m.

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Layla Dawn Tennyson

Vanessa Schluter and Sarjay Tennyson of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Layla Dawn Tennyson, on July 14, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 inches long.

Grandparents are Van and Shela Schluter of Rhome and Caudis and Samantha Tennyson of Fort Worth.

Great-grandparents are Martha Page of Lubbock and Marline Miller of Briar.

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New chief looks to build professionalism

There’s a new police chief in town, and he brings with him a rigid military structure he hopes will bring “positive changes” to the department.

Brandon Davis, who has lived in Rhome for 14 years, was named interim police chief June 24 after Police Chief James Rose resigned.

Within a few days, Davis met with his troops – eight full-time officers and four reserves – to outline the goals and changes he plans to bring about.

“This is pretty much how we plan things in the military,” said Davis, who is in the middle of transitioning out of the U.S. Army after 20 years of service. “When we plan our training for a year out, we have to set ourselves goals like this. We set our near-term goals, which is 30 days or less; short-term, 60 days; long-term, 90 days; and then the way-ahead goals, a year or more out.”

Shortly after that first meeting, Davis and his officers knocked out the near-term goals – which included polishing the appearance of police headquarters, the force and the equipment they use.

“If you would’ve pulled into the parking lot about a month ago, you would’ve seen the building look like it’s about to fall down, cars that would’ve been willy-nilly parked every which way you want,” Davis said. “But when you pull in now, you see not only the facilities looking better, a new fence that secures our facility lot and the cars are backed in at the ready. At any time, we can jump in a car and take off, if we need to.”

Another huge improvement Davis hopes to make is the implementation of COPsync, an information-sharing law enforcement network that is expected to drastically reduce the number of man-hours used in data input.

The software “efficiently gathers information at the point of incident and immediately shares data with officers on the network” and can also serve as an offices safety alert system, GPS-based vehicle locator and automated ticketing features.

It is expected to cost $45,000 to $55,000.

Council will vote on the matter at a special session to be held 10 a.m. Saturday, July 19, at City Hall.

“This council is really wanting to make this a premiere police department, and we’re going to get there,” Davis said. “They all saw the need for that COPsync packages, that’s going to be the start. We’re all going to get on the same sheet of music as far as police operations go.

“When you look at the overall benefit and the time saved in man-hours alone, probably in three months that’s going to pay for itself,” he continued. “The council sees that. They’re smart. They know what’s right and wrong. I think what they’re happy to see is someone with energy, motivated to come in here and make things right.

“They understand that my motivation is that everything is going to be TCOLE compliant (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement).”

That motivation is behind many of the short-term goals, which include transparent budget reviews, updating personnel files, compliant and streamlined uniforms and developing a training plan for all officers.

In the long-term, Davis is looking at squad replacement and implementing an interfacing records management system and impound lot.

In the “way-ahead,” he will consider building expansion or relocation and specialized units.

“If an administrator of any type of department is not thinking towards the future, then they have no business being there,” Davis said. “I’m not the chief that thinks six months out. I’m the guy that thinks 10 years out and to set up that infrastructure to meet those goals 10 years from now. And that’s what my focus is. That’s what the city council’s focus is. And a lot of citizens aren’t understanding of that.

” … Those (goals) are right out of my head,” he continued. “I didn’t plagiarize anybody. It’s what I saw the need was for this department and put it down on paper.”

But whether Davis and his team are working to accomplish a task next week or in the next decade, a few concepts drive all that they do including community-oriented policing, community engagemenent, transparency and capitalizing on the strengths of his officers.

“I want my guys out there stopping their cars, getting out and talking to citizens,” he said. “One of the things we’ve heard is that you don’t see the police until you’re getting pulled over and they’re writing you a ticket.

“That is changing.”

DAVIS’ BACKGROUND

Upon graduating from Slidell High School, Davis attended Paris Junior College for a year.

“Parents couldn’t afford to send me to school, and I didn’t want to get student loans, so I signed up for the Army. ‘Let Uncle Sam pay for it,’ I thought,” Davis said.

He remained on active duty for seven years before deciding to return to school at the University of North Texas, which is where he began his law enforcement career.

“I worked as a police officer full-time (12-hour shifts); I was in the reserves; and I was going to school full-time (12 to 15 hours) at North Texas,” Davis said. “That’s where I got my law enforcement experience to start off with. It was top-of-the-line law enforcement techniques and training.”

After graduating from UNT in 2006, he was commissioned as an officer in the reserves two years later.

“I commissioned as an MP (military police) because I had police experience, plus military,” Davis said. “When you go in as an officer in the military policy, they don’t train you for going out and doing law enforcement. It is all admin stuff.”

He brings those strengths to his new role. Although it is a temporary position, he is confident that he can improve the department.

“They’re getting a good taste of a combination of civilian law enforcement, plus military structure of equipment accountability, fleet management – a lot of the things that this department had not had for a long time, if ever,” he said. ” … Essentially, I’m pretty much volunteering to do this right now. But I have no doubt in my mind that whenever that time comes, (the city council is) going to offer me a job.

“They’re seeing the change, and our town needed this. Our town needed some structure in the police department.

” … All the skeptics are going to see in the future the difference it’s made … The public needs to know – Wise County needs to know – that Rhome is not going to be anybody’s stepping stone anymore. We’re going to do things right. We’re going to show everyone that we’re professional.”

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Lillyann Marie Vines

Matthew Vines and Rachael Parnell of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Lillyann Marie Vines, on July 5, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 5 pounds, 11 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long.

She has two brothers, Jerad Walker, 6, and Christopher Walker, 4; and a sister, Elizabeth Walker, 9.

Grandparents are Kim Parnell of Bridgeport, and Joel Roberts and Tanya Buethe-Vines, both of Rhome.

Great-grandparents are Mickey and Julia Parnell.

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Cole Dean Haak

Roger and Marah Haak of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Cole Dean, on June 17, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 3/4 inches long.

He has a sister, Charlii Rae Haak, 7.

Grandparents are Mike and Jenni Studebaker of Muenster, Willie And Starla Haak of Alvord, and Terry Bullard of Jacksboro.

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Final post filled

The city of Rhome has hired a public works director – the last position to be filled after a mass exodus of department heads two weeks ago.

Sam Dorsett, public works director in Boyd, was hired for the same job in Rhome and will start Thursday.

The decision was confirmed Tuesday by Rhome city secretary Ramah Burns, who said Dorsett had previously worked for the city 10 or 11 years ago.

Former Public Works Director Preston Gilliam resigned June 23, along with Police Chief James Rose. Municipal court clerk Sherry Taylor retired the week of June 16-20.

The only department head who did not leave was Burns, who is married to Mayor Louis Godfrey.

Within days of Taylor’s retirement, Godfrey had hired Sherrie Dast to replace her. Dast, who had previously worked as a court administrator, had filled in for Taylor on occasion.

Godfrey also moved quickly to replace Rose, hiring former Rhome city councilman Brandon Davis the day after the chief resigned.

Rose has declined to comment on his resignation, but Gilliam said the way things were handled with the chief – coupled with a growing uneasiness about how city business was being conducted – led to his resignation. He declined to elaborate but said he was not forced to resign.

Rumors have swirled that Rose was forced to resign by Godfrey, but the mayor has denied those allegations. He told the Messenger June 24 that no one was forced to resign or retire, although he was given the authority just the week before to hire and fire department heads independent of the city council.

Gilliam said his decision was made after much thought and consideration.

“When I lost the desire and felt like I wasn’t working for the citizens of Rhome and just watching personal agendas fly instead of taking care of city business, I just washed my hands of it,” he told the Messenger June 26.

Gilliam was contacted for a June 25 story, “City of Rhome officials jump ship,” but he did not respond by press time, saying later in the week that his city phone had been shut off and he never got the message.

Gilliam, who had been with the city eight years, offered in his resigation letter to work six more months with his last day being Jan. 9, 2015. In the meantime, he would help the council with the budget for his department and help them find a replacement.

In the June 23 letter, which he brought to the Messenger June 27, he said, “I have taken this decision after thorough deliberation and assessment, and I believe it’s in my best interest to move on.” He ended it with, “This decision is not negotiable!”

Gilliam also provided the Messenger with a copy of Godfrey’s response, which is also dated June 23.

It reads: “I spoke with the council concerning your resignation. Neither the council or myself know why you’re wishing to resign, but you have indicated quite clearly that you do not wish to talk or negotiate why you’re leaving.”

Godfrey went on to say that he was sorry to hear Gilliam was leaving, but he and the council felt it was best for him to resign immediately instead of waiting until January.

In the letter he says Gilliam will be on vacation until June 27 because he had already been paid for that week, and on the 27th he was to turn in his keys, cell phone and vehicle.

“You will also pick up your check for any monies owed to you by the city and leave,” the letter says. “Friday is your last day here. This too is not negotiable.”

Gilliam said he felt like Godfrey already had a replacement lined up for his position, and “what happened would have happened anyway … just a little farther down the road.”

“I put the gun to my foot,” Gilliam said in reference to his resignation letter, “and Louis pulled the trigger. And I’m fine with that.”

—–

Rhome City Council’s next regular meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 105 E. 1st St.

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Families benefit from farmer’s venture

L’cajn Farm sits off Farm Road 407 near Rhome. The seven acres of tall, brightly blooming crops are distinctly different from nearby brown fields, already succumbing to Wise County’s summer heat.

Another difference is L’cajn’s clientele. Volunteers work more than 16 hours a week to help owner Cecil Woods and his family maintain the farm.

HARVEST TIME – Cecil Woods holds a basket of fruit and vegetables grown for subscribers to his farm. Woods has been selling shares of his produce since 2011. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

However, the most significant difference may be that Woods’ farm is part of a community-supported agriculture system. These volunteers, and other community members, subscribe to the farm’s crops, and for a fee, they reap a portion of whatever produce is grown.

“They prepay for a share of the harvest,” Woods said. “They take a risk and gamble with me. This season 36 out of the 42 crops I planted have been successful. People are happy.”

Woods, who moved to Wise County in 2011, said he enjoys this type of farming more than growing his crops to sell on grocery store shelves.

“I like this better than I like commercial farming,” Woods said. “I used to deal with businesses. Now I deal with families.”

The Louisiana native said he originally encountered unfavorable growing conditions.

“From what I understand, 100 years ago, this region was used solely for growing cotton,” Woods said. “In doing that, the farmers helped cause the Dust Bowl. They planted until the soil was no good and then just moved on.”

A lack of nutrients in the dirt made sustainable growth nearly impossible. Woods infused his irrigation system with microbial organisms, a procedure popular in Europe to remedy weak soil.

“Now you can go out there and pick up the dirt, and it smells like dirt,” Woods said. “Before, it didn’t have a smell.”

Each week, parents bring their children out to work in the now-healthy landscape.

Woods said he enjoys seeing the young farmers learn to appreciate where their food is grown and the work it takes to put it on the table.

“I tell everyone I have an open-door policy. They can come out here any time they want,” he said. “Folks will bring their kids out to look around and get the experience. It’s like having one big family.”

It’s a family that grows a little closer each time a new round of crops is picked. The subscribers have an online forum to swap recipes and discuss gardening techniques.

“They’re trying stuff they wouldn’t normally buy,” Woods said. “If they go into a grocery store, they might not buy a certain green because they don’t know how to cook it. Now they have to do something with it.”

Unclaimed food is donated to a local food bank, Woods said.

With the popularity of his farm growing each season, Woods said he’s had to cap the number of shares at 100 and has considered dropping it to 75.

Working hard and serving the community are just a way of life for the farmer.

“It’s not a lot of land, but it is for one person,” he said. “I’m not getting rich. It’s a passion.”

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Rhome City Council to appoint 2 to P&Z

The Rhome city council will restructure its planning and zoning commission in more ways than one.

In a public hearing Thursday, council members will discuss changes to the requirements to serve on the planning and zoning commission.

After acting in accordance with the discussion generated, the council will then fill two vacancies on the commission.

Also at its meeting, the council will consider:

  • a donation plaque for the Veterans Park;
  • the contract on electrical work at Family Park;
  • the 2013 annual drinking water quality report in a public hearing;
  • updating fire department ordinance; and
  • setting a budget workshop.

The council will recess into closed session to discuss personnel, real property and potential litigation with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Officials may consider and act on the matters in open session.

In the consent agenda, officials will review the June 16 meeting minutes and the check registers for June 10 through July 7 and hear departmental reports from police, fire, public works and administration.

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City of Rhome officials jump ship

The city of Rhome lost almost every department head in just one week’s time.

Police Chief James Rose and Public Works Director Preston Gilliam resigned Monday, and Sherry Taylor, municipal court clerk, retired last week.

Only city secretary Ramah Burns is left.

Mayor Louis Godfrey confirmed the exodus Tuesday morning and said the city had already hired replacements for Rose and Taylor.

According to Godfrey, Brandon Davis was hired Tuesday as interim police chief of the Rhome department.

The mayor said Davis had been an officer “for a while.”

“He’s kept up his certification through the years,” he said. “He’s about to retire from the military. He’s a captain. He’s former military police. He was a police officer in another city.

“As soon as we knew (Rose) was resigning, we talked to (Davis).”

Rose declined to comment on his resignation. He’s been chief of police for six years.

Godfrey said Taylor retired to care for her husband, who is ill. Her replacement will be Sherrie Dast of River Oaks. Dast, who has previously worked as a court administrator, has filled in for Taylor on occasion.

Godfrey said they have no leads yet on a replacement for Gilliam. The former public works director did not return a call by press time Tuesday.

Council member JoAnn Wilson said the city will pull through the shuffling of city officials.

“We’ve got a good city, and we’ll survive all this,” she said. “The gentleman that is interim police chief has taken over, and we won’t miss a beat.

“We have a lady coming on board [the new municipal court clerk] that’s highly trained, and she’s already helping us out on a contract basis,” she said. “I think we’ll land on our feet.”

At a June 16 meeting, city council members approved amending an ordinance designating officers of the city. Godfrey said over the years many positions had been added to the ordinance, but last week’s action reduced it to the mayor, city secretary, city attorney and city administrator, if there was one.

The ordinance was also amended to give Godfrey the authority to hire and fire department heads without the council’s approval.

Since that time, three of the four have left, although Godfrey said no one was asked to resign or retire.

“It was like this some time back, and even Mark Lorance had that power years ago when he was here,” Godfrey said. “Some time back it was removed. They just put it back in the hands of the mayor.”

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William E. Wheeler

William E. (Bill) Wheeler

William E. (Bill) Wheeler, 83, of Rhome, died Saturday, June 21, 2014 at Franklin Parish Health Center in Winnsboro, La. after a short illness.

Services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 25 at Coker Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Decatur, officiated by brother-in-law Boatner Holder and sister-in-law Claire Harrison, stepdaughters Julianne Fendley and Janet Cowart, and nephew Larry Burke.

Interment will follow at Aurora Cemetery. David Long, Bailey Burke, Craig Utley, Kelly Adams, Scott Childress, Eddie Fendley, Bruce Fendley and Jeff Cowart will serve as pallbearers, while Fred Schultz, Stephen Long and Mark Burke will be honorary pallbearers.

Friends and family may call at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Bill was born Jan. 4, 1931. He was a retired truck driver and a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Decatur. He was a gentle person, loved by all who knew him.

At 6’2″ he was a basketball player in high school and at Decatur Baptist College, where he received an Associate Degree. Bill was a hard-working man who worked for Carnation Milk Company and later as a long-haul truck driver.

Survivors include his wife of 10 years, Bobbie Wheeler; daughter Leslie Elaine Marr and husband, Steve; stepdaughters Janet Cowart and husband, Jeff, Julianne Fendley and husband, Bruce; grandson Scott Childress and wife, Chris. He is also survived by two great-granddaughters, two step-granddaughters, two step-grandsons and four great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law Doris Dickey and Jewel Burke; nephews Baily Burke, Mark Burke, Larry Burke and Craig Utley.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Geneva Grace Utley Wheeler; parents William E. Wheeler and Amelia Williams Wheeler and son Gary Wheeler.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association at donate.heart.org or to Gideons International, Franklin Parish, Gideon Camp c/o Boatner Holder, 303 2nd Street, Winnsboro, LA 71295 or to Gideons International, www.gideons.org.

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Lost load leads to wreck

Lost load leads to wreck

Dust billowing from a lost load of gravel on U.S. 81/287 at the south county line Thursday afternoon caused a two-vehicle accident, injuring an Oklahoma woman.

Teresa Humphrey, 37, was traveling southbound on 287 south of Rhome about 3 p.m. in a small sports utility vehicle when she drove into a thick cloud of dust. It was rising from gravel dropped in the highway and severely reduced visibility.

Trecherous Conditions

TREACHEROUS CONDITIONS – Vehicles drive cautiously along U.S. 81/287 near the south Wise County line Thursday after a load of gravel was dropped in the middle of the highway. Dust billowing from the gravel, which caused traffic to backup in the northbound lanes. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Department of Public Safety Trooper William Wallace said Humphrey panicked and stopped on the center line of the roadway. He said she was then hit from behind by an 18-wheeler driven by Ruben Guerra, 49, of Baytown.

“I saw the cloud going up and started downshifting,” Guerra said. “I just held on and hit the brakes as hard as I could.”

Guerra, who drives for Strike, said he was traveling in the lefthand lane, and Humphrey was straddling the center line. He said another vehicle had pulled over on the left side of the road, so he was unable to swerve that direction, and there was also a vehicle in the lane to his right.

Injury Accident

INJURY ACCIDENT – Teresa Humphrey’s sports utility vehicle was rear-ended Thursday afternoon on U.S. 81/287 south of Rhome when a dust cloud reduced her visibility, causing her to stop in the middle of the highway. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The impact pushed Humphrey’s vehicle across the center median and the northbound lanes. It came to rest just off the shoulder on the northbound side.

Guerra was uninjured, but Humphrey was transported via ground ambulance by Wise County medics to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Wallace said her injuries were not life threatening, and as of Friday morning, she was no longer listed as a JPS patient.

She had one passenger, John Humphrey, 38, also of Oklahoma, and he was not injured.

Wallace said it was unknown who spilled the gravel. It was reported as a road hazard to Wise County dispatch at 2:52 p.m., and the accident occurred just a few minutes later.

Traffic was reduced to one lane at the accident scene for at least an hour. Texas Department of Transportation arrived to clean up the rock at 4:07 p.m.

Other agencies responding included the Wise County Sheriff’s Department, Rhome Police Department and Rhome Fire Department.

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Rhome City Council proceeds with carport ordinance

Let the carport construction begin.

Rhome City Council Monday night authorized the city staff and Mayor Louis Godfrey to finalize an ordinance outlining the rules for carport construction. They also approved it being a special exception to the zoning ordinance.

City attorney Walt Leonard said the city requires that a structure be built 10 feet from the side boundaries of a property, but the council needed to decided the distance requirement from the front property line.

“In Rhome, we have old, old platting where property lines go to the middle of the street,” he said. “If you measure from the property line in front, it might give you weird results.”

He said the distance could be figured from the right-of-way.

Leonard said they also needed to consider if they wanted to require every homeowner to present their plans to the council for approval.

“Anyone who wants one has to come to the council and show that it’s compatible and meets the general spirit of the ordinance and make some sort of promises to show where it will be placed,” Leonard said.

Mayor Pro Tem Charles Pennington said he thought that was a good idea.

Although the mayor and staff will finalize the ordinance, the council agreed that it should include construction requirements that a carport be built 10 feet from the side boundaries of a property and 5 feet from the right-of-way in front.

Leonard said if those dimensions don’t fit a particular piece of property, owners could ask for a variance.

Before discussing the issue, the council re-opened a public hearing on carports, but no one present spoke. The topic proved to be controversial at a council meeting in April, as citizens on both sides of the issue expressed strong opinions.

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Rhome City Council fills vacancy, creates another

Rhome city officials have done a lot of shuffling to fill posts on the council and on boards/commissions.

In May, voters elected then-council member Louis Godfrey mayor. But with a year left on his term, the council was tasked with appointing someone to fill the vacancy.

At a special called meeting last Friday, officials named former mayor and council member David E. Wilson to that post.

Wilson, however, was serving on the city’s planning and zoning commission – a post he must now resign after his council appointment.

The council will consider accepting at its regular meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday.

Also on the agenda is resuming a public hearing on carports. The topic proved to be controversial at the council’s meeting in April, as citizens on both sides of the issue expressed strong opinions.

“I’ve lived in neighborhoods before where this has been an issue, adding carports,” resident Diane Fletcher said at the April meeting. “What it started looking like was a trailer park Things started looking trashy I think it’s definitely not going to make Rhome look very good. I don’t want Rhome looking like a trailer park.”

Nathan Robertson spoke up for the other side.

“I’ve lived here for 24 years, and I don’t think it’s going to decrease my property value,” he said. ” There’s a lot more to worry about with eyesores than carports.”

At the April meeting, Charles Pennington – who was named mayor pro tem at last Friday’s meeting – agreed to conduct an impact study and present the findings at this June meeting.

The council will consider taking action on the matter.

They will also:

  • consider authorizing the mayor to execute any papers necessary to complete the sale of property in Crown Point;
  • discuss improvements to the city’s wastewater plant including a gate on the east side and a building on the west side;
  • update the requirements of the planning and zoning commission;
  • discuss old business including a veterans park donation plaque and electricity in Family Park;
  • recess into closed session to discuss police personnel then discuss, consider or act regarding the matter;
  • consider routine business including meeting minutes, check registers and staff reports.

The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at City Hall, 105 First St.

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Carl Douglas Alderman

Carl Douglas Alderman, 75, of Rhome, died Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Haslet.

Service was June 6 at Faith Temple in New Fairview with Pastor Windell Splawn Jr. officiating. Alpine Funeral Home in Fort Worth handled the cremation.

Carl was born Sept 3, 1938, in Shreveport, La. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force and worked in the telecom business for more than 40 years as a project manager and a site manager.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Alderman; parents Myra Crain and Mr. Stennett; sons Paul Alderman and Matt Alderman; daughters Debra Alderman and Laura Alderman; sister Billie Alderman; grandchildren Jeremy Alderman, Ryan Goodwin, Angelina Anguish, Aaron Anguish, Sarah Geddess, Samantha Howard and Casey Howard; and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by brothers L.A Alderman and Leroy Alderman; and sister Susie Alderman.

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Maxine Thorell Griffin

Maxine Thorell Griffin

Maxine Thorell Griffin, 86, of Rhome, died Tuesday, June 3, 2014, in Plano.

Graveside service was June 6 at Aurora Cemetery with Pastor Carl L. Thorell officiating. Burial was under the direction of Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

Maxine was born Nov. 9, 1927, in Rhome to O.Z. and Dollie (Brammer) Thorell. She married Daniel Bert “D.B.” Griffin April 5, 1947, in Rhome, and they were married 62 years before his death in 2009.

Maxine enjoyed square dancing in her younger days with her husband and later playing 42 and bingo. She loved her family, her Lord and spoiling her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by sons Don Griffin of Rhome and Gary Griffin and wife, Dorothy, of Dallas; granddaughters Joanie Griffin Lester and husband, Steven, of Celina and Chelsie Griffin of Dallas; step-granddaughter Sabrina Lambert of Haltom City; great-grandchildren Wyatt Samuel Lester, Ainsley Maxine Lester and Enzo Lester; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; sisters Juanelle Thorell and Geneva Burch; and brother Carl A. Thorell.

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Council to fill vacancy

Louis Godfrey’s election as mayor of Rhome leaves his place on the council vacant with one year left in the term.

At a special meeting Friday, the council will appoint someone to fill that seat.

Also at the meeting, which begins at 4 p.m. at City Hall, officials will appoint a mayor pro tem and recess into closed session to discuss the public works director and city secretary positions.

Any action on the matter will be taken in open session.

The meeting is open to the public.

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Arianna Renee Mauricio

Hollie and Adrian Mauricio of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Arianna Renee, on May 27, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

She has two brothers: Alex, 7, and Isaac, 5; and one sister: Natalie, 3.

Grandparents are Norma and Adrian Mauricio and Melissa Walker.

Great-grandparents are James and Mildred Hurst.

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Laura Kelly Williams

Laura Kelly Williams

Laura Kelly Williams, 79, of Rhome, died Monday, May 26, 2014.

Funeral is 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at Greenwood Chapel in Fort Worth. Entombment will be at Greenwood Mausoleum.

Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Greenwood Funeral Home.

Laura was born Feb. 2, 1935, in Hobson, Mont. She owned the Shell Station in Rhome from 1978 to 2003 and was a longtime member of Faith Temple Church in Rhome. She was loved by all who knew her and will be dearly missed.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Williams; sons David Wendt and wife, JoAnne, and Richard Wendt and wife, Karen; daughter Rennie Wolverton and husband, Bill; stepson Scott Williams and wife, Loretta; stepdaughters Carla Phillips and husband, Wayne, and Lori West and husband, Jay; granddaughter Kelly Daman and husband, Singh; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

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Anika Rodriguez

Jaunna and Yarcesin Rodriguez of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Anika Rodrguez, on May 20, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Her sister is Ansleigh, 3.

Grandparents are Agusten Rodriguez, Josafina Rubio, Jose Cruz, Ricardo Rubio, and Martha Rodriguez.

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Eli Gabriel Clayton

Heather and Cole Clayton of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Eli Gabriel, May 19, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 18 inches long.

His sister is Mily, 3.

Grandparents are Nancy Rodriguez and Jo Landry of Decatur, Stacy and Bobby Tucknies of Sunset, Richard Benavides of Keller, and Wesley and Tammy Clayton of Bridgeport.

Great-grandparents are Glenda Holt of Decatur and Jo Benavides of Fort Worth.

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