Jones arrested for drug, weapon charges

A Rhome man remains jailed after leading investigators on a high speed chase March 3 near Aurora.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said investigators Chad Lanier and Mike Neagle were working a burglary case near Newark when they noticed a motorcycle drive by and then speed away on Farm Road 718. The motorcycle was then seen behind someone’s house, and the homeowner said no one should be there.

Calvin Charles Jones

The officers then attempted to stop the motorcycle operator, later identified as Calvin Charles Jones, 32, of Rhome, but he continued northbound on Farm Road 718. Jones was clocked at over 90 miles per hour.

After passing a pickup, Jones was seen discarding a couple of items.

“The officers observed him reach in his pants and toss a black case,” Walker said. “Sgt. Lanier notified dispatch of the location. They continued to pursue and went around the big curve. The driver reached into the back of his pants, and he tossed a pistol, which slid down the shoulder of the road and went under their vehicle.”

Jones stopped at FM 718 and Green Oaks Road, where Lanier took Jones into custody. Neagle was able to find both the black bag and the pistol that Jones had thrown from the motorcycle. Walker said the officers found what appeared to be methamphetamine and a digital scale.

Jones was arrested on two counts of tampering with evidence, possession of a controlled substance 4-200 grams, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and a warrant for bond insufficient related to a burglary of a habitation charge.

He remained in the Wise County Jail Tuesday with total bond set at $300,000.

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Rene Bolton

Rene Bolton

Rene Bolton, 68, of Rhome died Monday, March 16, 2015, in Rhome.

Memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd with Gerre Joiner officiating.

Ren was born April 4, 1946, in San Diego to Herbert and Wanda (Sparks) Wright. She married Billy Wayne Bolton Dec. 30, 1988, in Dallas. She was a Baptist and a retired insurance adjuster,

Ren was preceded in death by her parents and her daughter, Michelle McDuffy.

She is survived by her husband, Billy Bolton of Rhome; son Jeremy Bolton and wife, Crystal, of San Angelo; grandson Xander Bolton of San Angelo; brother Vance Jenkins and wife, Robin, of Blanco; sister Tonya Taylor and husband, Jackie, of Haslet; son-in-law Gary McDuffy of Rhome; and other family members and friends.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 3301 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76107, 817-737-9990,

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Lawrence James Hamilton

Lawrence James Hamilton

Lawrence James Hamilton, 74, of Rhome, died Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Decatur.

Memorial service is 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Hampton Inn and Suites Fossil Creek, 3850 Sandshell Dr., in Fort Worth. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling arrangements.

Lawrence was born June 11, 1940, in Tampa, Fla., to Ethel Hamilton. He proudly served his country in the United States Army, and he was a mechanic for Capital Electric.

Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Norma Sue Hamilton; sister Marsha Green; and brother Edward Hamilton.

He’s survived by his wife, Lisa Hamilton of Rhome; sons Larry Hamilton and wife, Holly, of Lawrence, Kan., Jeffrey Hamilton and wife, Marilyn, of Blue Springs, Mo., and Timothy Arp of Decatur; daughters Stephanie Shawver of Ponder, Mary Arp of Electra and Lisa Baker of Forney; 14 grandchildren; brothers Jerrald and Tracy; sisters Vivian, Cindy and Debbie; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Memorial donations may be made to the fallen and wounded soldiers’ charity of choice.

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Wyatt Harold Bays

Dustin Bays and Sherry Gill of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Wyatt Harold Bays, on March 3, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces and was 17 inches long.

He has one sister: Samantha Gill.

Grandparents are Alena and Harold Bays, Belinda Wochener and Tommy King.

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Paul Richard Ward

Paul Richard Ward

Paul Richard Ward, 69, of Rhome died Wednesday, March 4, 2015, in Rhome.

Graveside service is 2 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at Aurora Cemetery with Gerre Joiner officiating. There is no scheduled visitation. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur is handling the arrangements.

Paul was born June 26, 1945, in Fort Worth to George and Naomie (Stroud) Ward Jr. He worked at General Dynamics and was a roofing contractor for commercial construction. Paul played football for Boswell High School. In his early adult years, he was a private pilot. Paul was a Baptist.

He is survived by his brother, Michael Ward and wife, Karen, of Cambridgeshire, England; nephew Michael J. Ward of Alexandria, Va.; and cousins and friends.

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Davis enrolled in King Ranch Institute

Tom Davis, son of Rob and Pam Davis of Rhome, is in his first year at the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management, working on a master’s degree.

He is one of four students enrolled at this time in the program in Kingsville and upon graduation will likely work at a large ranch in the United States.

Davis received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University, and immediately following graduation, he became involved with Camp John Marc, a summer camp for special needs children, where he met his wife, Alexandra.

He is a 2007 Boyd High School graduate and was first introduced to cattle and farming on the family’s dairy in Haslet. The Davis family moved to the Chisholm Trail Ranch in 1998 where he learned every aspect of the cattle business.

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Austin Lucas Terry Hawk

Adrienne Henson and Austin Hawk of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Austin Lucas Terry Hawk, on March 1, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has two sisters: Brooklyn Kelley Hawk, 4, and Lillian Carol Hawk, 1.

Grandparents are Billy Hawk and Angela Henson.

Great-grandparent is Diane Kelley.

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Glenn Rollins McComb

Glenn Rollins McComb

Glenn Rollins McComb, 73, died Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, at his home in Rhome.

Memorial service is 11 a.m. Saturday, March 7, at Alexander’s Midway Chapel in Springtown.

Glenn was born March 26, 1941, in Lampasas to Helen Jones Badalati and Vernon McComb. They both preceded him in death, along with brothers Vernon and Charles McComb, sister Von Thomas and nephew John Burge.

Glenn was retired from State Farm Insurance, as an adjuster. He loved showing his 1950s Mercury and flying. He was a member of the Heritage Creek Pilots’ Association.

Glenn is survived by his sisters, Doris Prestage and Mary Finto; stepson Jamie Morton and Samuel Self; brother-in-law Ron Thomas; three nieces; and three nephews.

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John Allison Clifford Corder

John Allison Clifford Corder

John Allison Clifford Corder, 74, of Rhome, died Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, in Rhome.

No services will be held.

John was born July 22, 1940, in Haigler, Neb., to John and Lucile (Phifer) Corder. He married Bertha Sumner in 1965 in Melissa. John proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy and was a retired machinist.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha Corder; and his parents.

He is survived by daughters Becky Lamb and husband, Craig, of Decatur and Christine Corder and Leon Jones of Cashion, Okla.; grandchildren Austin Corder, Heather Patterson, Holly Lamb, Sara Jones and Cecely Jones; great-grandchildren Lillie Patterson, Camdyn Patterson and Wake Hawkins; sister Pamela Renzelman and husband, Terry, of Colorado; his niece; and many friends.

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Dorothy Eldridge

Dorothy “Rexroat” Eldridge

Dorothy “Rexroat” Eldridge, 85, of Rhome, died Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Decatur.

Funeral is 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, at Aurora Baptist Church with the Rev. Jimmy Withers officiating. Burial will follow at Aurora Cemetery. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.

Pallbearers are Rick Hyatt, Joe Paul Hines, David Hines, Dan Meador and Kevin Drake.

Dorothy was born Sept. 30, 1929, in Fairview to Benjamin and Mallie (Brown) Rexroat in Fairview. She married Allan Eldridge. Dorothy was a member of the Eagle Mountain International Church and VFW. She was a retired credit reporter.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; sister Pauline Hines; and her brothers, John C. and Titus W. Rexroat.

She is survived by two nephews; five nieces; and many friends.

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Train victim identified

The man struck and killed by a train Tuesday in Rhome has been identified as 33-year-old Rhome resident Chance Arron Johnson. Johnson was killed near the intersection of Pioneer Road in Rhome at around 12:45 p.m.

About an hour before his death, Johnson was seen walking along the tracks and told to get off the tracks by the Rhome Police Department. Investigators have not determined why Johnson was on the tracks.

The Wise County Sheriff’s Department, Rhome PD and BNSF Police investigated the accident.

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Chance Arron Johnson

Chance Arron Johnson

Chance Arron Johnson, 33, a loving son, brother and grandson, died Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, in Rhome.

Graveside service is 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 21, at Memory Gardens in Weatherford, with burial under the direction of Alexander’s Midway Funeral Home in Springtown.

Chance was born Sept. 27, 1981, in Fort Worth.

He was preceded in death by his father, James Rice.

Survivors include his mother, Pam Rice; brother Chase Rice; sister Chandler Rice; grandparents Johnny and Mary Johnson and Al and Jean Rice; and three nephews.

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Man hit, killed by train

Man hit, killed by train

A Rhome man was killed Tuesday afternoon when he was struck by a train at the intersection of Pioneer Road and U.S. Business 81/287.

TRAIN ACCIDENT – Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis climbs over the train that struck a man in Rhome Tuesday. The incident is still under investigation. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The man’s name had not been released at press time Tuesday, but Wise County Sheriff David Walker identified him as a white, 33-year-old Rhome resident.

The incident occurred at 12:45 p.m., almost an hour after the same man was seen walking along the tracks and told by the Rhome Police Department to get off the tracks.

The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department, Rhome PD and BNSF Police.

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3 kids, 1 adult hurt in Texas 114 wreck

Three children and an adult were taken to Fort Worth hospitals following a two-vehicle collision Monday night on Texas 114 east of Rhome.

The accident happened around 6:50 p.m. about two miles west of the Denton/Wise County line at the entrance of City Concrete.

Rescue Efforts

RESCUE EFFORTS – Firefighters and medics work to free one of the victims of Monday’s wreck on Texas 114 east of Rhome. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

Department of Public Safety Trooper Adam Lawson said an 18-wheeler driven by Joshua Little, 35, was eastbound on Texas 114 and was slowing to turn right into City Concrete. A Ford Explorer driven by John Graham, 44, of Fort Worth was eastbound behind Little. Lawson said Graham turned to look in the back seat momentarily and then looked forward again just before colliding with the back left tire of the truck.

The impact caused extensive damage to the front of the Explorer, and the wreck caused all eastbound lanes to be shut down.

Two helicopters were called to the scene and landed just east of the crash scene. Rhome firefighters worked for about 30 minutes to extricate the front passenger from the vehicle.

Two of Graham’s children, ages 6 and 14, were flown from the scene to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, while a 7-year-old child was taken by ground ambulance to Cook’s. Graham was taken by ground ambulance to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Little was not injured.

The eastbound lanes of Texas 114 reopened around 8:40 p.m.

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Officer struck by suspected drunk driver

A Wise County sheriff’s deputy received minor injuries when he was struck by a suspected intoxicated driver early Monday morning.

Jose Cortez-Vasquez

Corporal Jay Polhemus was assisting Rhome police and fire on the scene of an accident that happened about 1:15 a.m. Monday on U.S. 81/287 at Pioneer Road in Rhome. An 18-wheeler had run off the road, struck a bridge pillar and rolled onto its side, spilling 41,000 pounds of frozen food.

The mess blocked the southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287, and Polhemus parked in the road, placed cones behind his vehicle and activated his traffic direction lights on his vehicle in order to divert traffic onto the access road, according to Wise County Sheriff David Walker.

At 2:10 a.m., a 2002 GMC pickup drove through the cones and struck the back of Polhemus’ patrol car, turning it sideways and knocking it back several yards. Polhemus, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, struck his head and was later taken to the hospital to be checked out. He was not seriously hurt, according to Walker.

The driver of the pickup, Jose Cortez-Vasquez, 44, of Fort Worth was arrested at the scene for intoxicated assault causing serious bodily injury of a peace officer. He remained in the Wise County Jail Tuesday afternoon with bond set at $35,000.

The truck driver of the original wreck was briefly trapped in his vehicle, but he was not seriously injured. Firefighters removed the truck’s windshield to free the driver. He originally refused medical treatment but was later taken to the hospital.

U.S. 81/287 was reopened to traffic around 7:30 a.m.

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Investigators seek information on pharmacy burglaries

Wise County Crimestoppers is offering a reward for information about two recent burglaries of a Rhome pharmacy.

The Best Value Pharmacy in Rhome was burglarized at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 and again at 4:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27.

Security cameras captured photos of a suspect and a vehicle used.

Wise County Sheriff’s investigators are assisting the Rhome Police Department on the case.

To report information about the burglary or the suspect shown in the photo, call 800-643-TIPS (8477) or 940-627-8477 24 hours a day. You may remain anonymous.

Crimestoppers will pay up to $1,500 for tips leading to an arrest in the case.

Burglary 1

Burglary 2

Burglary 3

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Local students graduate UNT

The following students from Wise County received degrees at the University of North Texas’ fall 2014 commencement ceremonies.

  • Boyd – Brandon James Anderson, Bachelor of Science in criminal justice
  • Decatur – Aaron Michael Renaud, Bachelor of Arts in English; Austin Jefferson Anderson, Bachelor of Arts in international studies; Brooke A. Joiner, Bachelor of Science in kinesiology; Claribel Trejo, Bachelor of Arts in international studies; Daniel Kyle Walker, Bachelor of Arts in English; Elizabeth Joy Hatter, Bachelor of Arts in English; Erika Angela Olson, Bachelor of Arts in history; John David Curry, Bachelor of Science in integrative studies; Kimberly Lynn James-Kelly, Master of Science in behavior analysis; Nathaniel Reid Smith, Bachelor of Science in geography; Raymond C. McMillian, Bachelor of Arts in psychology; Sara Kathryn Blankenship, Master of Arts in journalism
  • Paradise – Erica D. Jones, Bachelor of Science in integrative studies
  • Rhome – Corey Shannon Bomar, Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art; Kathy Ann Ryan, Bachelor of Arts in psychology; Thomas Wayne Bryan, Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting
  • Runaway Bay – Natasha M. Randolph, Bachelor of Science in speech-language pathology/audiology

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Local students named to UNT president’s list

The following University of North Texas students from Wise County were named to the president’s list for the 2014 fall semester.

  • Boyd – Kaitlin Denise Solis, Marley B. Wright
  • Decatur – Ciara Lee Gibson, Jared M. Retamal, Jodie Renae Ross
  • Newark – Sarah Whitney Hickmon, Jennifer Michaela Smith
  • Paradise – Stephen C. Daneshjou, Wacy Ross Lusk
  • Rhome – Kathy Ann Lea, Kathy Ann Ledford, Benjamin Sterling Mazurek, Rebekah Jean Schrunk

To receive the honor, undergraduates must complete at least 12 academic hours with a 4.0 grade point average.

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Book Blowout raises money for new library building

”The Old Man and the Sea.” “Emma,” “The Da Vinci Code,” “The Sixth Sense” on VHS. The original “Jungle Book” series. Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. An “SNL” Trivial Pursuit game. Old typewriters and scanners.

Items like this and many more are available to own at the Rhome Public Library, which has an entire garage full of books and other library resources available for purchase during the library’s “Book Blow-Out” going on through the end of March.

Patrons can buy hardcover books for donations of $1 or paperback books for 50 cents. The event is designed to free up space in the library and to raise money for a new building on Main Street.

“Our building is too small, and we have to get rid of a lot of books that we just don’t have room for anymore,” said library board member Janice Wilson.

Wilson said it will cost the library about $500,000 for a new, 4,000-square-foot building and parking lot. She added that the board voted to temporarily name the new building after whoever donates the most money.

Other upcoming events at the library include:

  • a President’s Day program, 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, Feb. 16, for third, fourth and fifth graders, and
  • Story Time programs, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. every first and third Wednesday, February through May, for preschool-age children.

To register to attend these events or to donate to the Rhome library building fund, call Wilson at 940-577-2266 or the library at 817-636-2767.

You can also bring donations to the library.

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Burglars hit 2 pharmacies

Two Wise County pharmacies were burglarized in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Bridgeport Police Chief Randy Singleton said an alarm company contacted his department at 4:01 a.m. to report front glass breakage at Valu-Rite Pharmacy, located at 709 Woodrow Wilson Ray Circle. Officers responded and confirmed that a burglary had taken place.

Singleton said security cameras captured video of the break-in.

“Three people entered the store dressed in camouflage-colored jumpsuits and wore white bandannas over their faces with dark hoodies,” Singleton said.

One person remained in the vehicle, described as a white SUV.

Singleton said the smash-and-grab style burglary lasted about one minute, and certain narcotics were stolen. The burglars also left shelves and medicine bottle knocked over in addition to broken glass at the front of the store.

Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis said his department received an alarm call at 4:33 a.m. from the Best Value Pharmacy at 400 S. Main St. in his city. Police arrived two minutes later to find a similar scene to that in Bridgeport. The suspects had broken the front glass, stolen items and quickly fled.

Davis said it appears the two burglaries on Tuesday could be connected, and it could be connected to a similar break-in at the Rhome pharmacy just 10 days earlier.

“These guys are professionals. They’ve done their homework,” Davis said.

Anyone with information on the burglaries can call the Bridgeport Police Department at 940-683-3430 or the Rhome Police Department at 817-636-2400.

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