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51 from Wise on Weatherford College dean’s list

More than 450 students – including 51 from Wise County – were named to the Weatherford College Dean’s List for the fall 2013 semester.

To be eligible for the Dean’s List, a student must be enrolled for 12 or more semester hours, have no grade lower than a C and meet the minimum grade- point average. The GPA system is based on a one-to-four rating.

Earning the honor from Wise County were:

Alvord: Trevor Hardee; Shelbi Harmon and Alexandria Talamantes.

Aurora: Victor Ramirez and Bertie Sellers.

Boyd: Derek Martin and Carolina McDowell.

Bridgeport: Ana Caldera; Torie Carter; Sharlyn Fagan; Taylor Hulsey; Danielle Mindieta and Autumn Pickett.

Chico: Hannah Avants; Karla Deamicis; Damian Delgado; Callie Fuller; Luke Plummer; James Redwine; Vanessa Saxon; Molli Umphress; Tiffany Vislosky and Kaylee Wriston.

Decatur: Rosaura Aldape; Victoria Aldape; Monica Bernard; Carissa Byrd; Steven Cao; Araceli Cruz; Sarrah Ennis; Elda Garcia; Brittany Hargrave; Sara Harris; Kasidi Heiens; Victoria Myers; Christina Overton; Brandon Pelton; Venancio Rodriguez; Liliana Torres and Omar Torres.

Sunset: Austin Gaskins and Brittani Martin.

Newark: Savannah Brooks.

Paradise: Lacy Jackson; Sara Kelly; Amber Kirkland; Carol McCutchen and William Ngetich.

Rhome: Haley McGuire, Bethlyn Prentice and Lisa Shearer.

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Ygnacio DeLeon

Ygnacio DeLeon Jr.

Ygnacio DeLeon Jr., 65, of Rhome died Monday, Feb. 10, 2014.

A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Ygnacio was born Feb. 12, 1948, in Lamesa.

Junior, as he was known to family and friends, was a caring man. He loved his family and would do anything for them. He grew up on and around a farm, and he loved working with farm equipment. He was a hardworking person who believed in helping others. He will be greatly missed.

Ygnacio was preceded in death by his mother, Jacinta Urrabazo DeLeon; father Ygnacio DeLeon Sr.; and sisters Oralia Lopez and Elvira Rodriguez.

He is survived by his son, Jon Paul DeLeon and wife, Christina and grandchildren Alexis and Marc, all of Rhome; siblings Elisa Zaragoza (Francisco) of San Jacinto, Calif., Eloisa Martinez (Martin) of Brownfield, Eliseo DeLeon (Consuelo) of Fort Worth, Victoria Leija (Juan) of Brownfield, Grabilla Leija of Brownfield, Valentine DeLeon of Roanoke and Rosendo DeLeon (Rosalinda) of San Antonio; and 51 nieces and nephews.

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Police shop for vehicle to handle ice

In the wake of several winter storms this year that have caused numerous accidents and left hundreds of drivers stranded at one time, Rhome Police Department plans to add a vehicle to handle the conditions.

“I’m looking for an older Bronco or Blazer or similar model with four-wheel drive to go off-road if we need it,” said Rhome Police Chief James Rose. “It’s not going to get fully decked out, just basic signage. It’s just to be taken out during ice storms.”

During the last ice storm, a police officer lost control of his cruiser, slid off the road and totaled it. It was an older model car. Insurance money from the accident will be used to purchase the off-road vehicle.

“I just need a vehicle for us to use during bad weather,” Rose said.

During an ice storm in November, hundreds of vehicles were stuck on a stretch of U.S. 287 in Rhome – some for more than 36 hours. An off-road vehicle could have aided in getting help to some of those stranded.

The used vehicle is not expected to cost above $5,000.

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Firestorm over Rhome VFD service fizzles out

After months of wrangling, Rhome City Council rejected an ordinance tied to dual service on the council and fire department.

Council members decided to take no action Thursday night on a proposed ordinance that would have limited the number and voting power of volunteer firefighters who also serve on council.

The proposed ordinance would allow no more than two members of the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department to serve on council and/or as mayor. They would also have to recuse themselves from voting on items related to the fire department.

The proposed ordinance had been discussed at length in council meetings for months, and it was a topic at a council workshop held last month.

But at this week’s regular meeting council member Louis Godfrey gave a compelling argument against the measure. He said imposing such a limit could breech the voting rights of elected officials and the people who elected them into office.

“I think we need to be careful about what we are doing here,” Godfrey said. “We could get into legal trouble. We have council members talking about what other council members can or can’t vote on.

“Should we take away the right of people to vote who have been elected by people to vote for them on these issues?” he asked. “Everyone should have a right to vote on these issues. Why should you take that away?”

He added that preventing votes for anything related to fire department would basically prevent certain council members from taking any action on the budget since it includes funding for the volunteer fire department.”

“I have an issue with the voting,” added Mayor Chris Moore who also serves as assistant fire chief. “Council members were elected to vote on this stuff. It’s doesn’t benefit me or the department or anybody else, but equipment for the fire department does benefit the entire city by improving our ability to protect citizens and their property.”

City attorney Walt Leonard said it’s common to see volunteer fire departments also serve on the local council.

“You’ll see a lot of small towns where multiple members of the city council also serve on the VFD,” Leonard said.

David Wilson, former mayor and council member and former longtime member of the fire department said “it’s a bad deal.”

“I don’t like the situation down at the fire department right now by any means, but I don’t like hamstringing the council like this either,” he added.

“It’s unfortunate this has come up at all,” said council member Michelle Pittman. “I feel like you’re picking on one person, me.”

Pittman serves on the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department.

“Everyone is really tired of this,” she said. “This is tearing the town apart. … This has never been an issue before. What has changed? What has happened?”

“No one is against the fire department,” said council member Jo Ann Wilson, who has supported the ordinance. “We just want accountability to the taxpayer on where the money is going and how it’s spent.”

“Nobody on the fire department has access to any money,” Pittman said.

Current city law prevents only the fire chief from serving on the council or as mayor.

“What we have in place is fine,” Godfrey said. “I say we should forget this, and if there’s a problem in the future, we’ll address it.”

In the end, the rest of the council agreed and took no action on the proposed ordinance.

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Rhome City Council to discuss pavilion, VFD limit

It’s “old business” on the agenda, but the Rhome City Council will continue discussions on the city’s pavilion and volunteer fire dept. when it meets Thursday.

The ordinance limiting membership on the volunteer fire dept. to no more than two city council members has been the focus of controversy in recent meetings. The measure also requires those members to recuse themselves anytime the council votes on RVFD issue.

The council will set a date to move Rescue Revenue to City Hall, and consider draft ordinances on PODS and carports.

Among the new business on Thursday’s agenda are contracts with the Wise County Elections Office and Northwest Independent School District for the May 10 council elections to be held jointly.

Another contract will finance equipment for the public works department.

The council will also order a plaque to recognize major donors for Veterans’ Park, review incentive pay and the city’s depreciation schedule, and set dates for an Easter Egg Hunt, the candidate forum and chili cookoff.

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Carl L. Wear

Carl L. Wear

Carl L. Wear, 90, a former mayor of Rhome, died Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014.

Funeral was Feb. 7 at Aurora Baptist Church where he was a member, and burial followed at Aurora Cemetery with full military honors under the direction of Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

Pallbearers were Troy Misner, Shawn Hines, Jerod Blomberg, Ben Hoover, Matt Hoover, John Hoover, Steven Wear and Garrett Richardson. Honorary pallbearers were Charles Haynes, David Wilson, Bill Childress, Lee Waldrop, Ned Adcock and Will Hughes.

Carl was born Dec. 13, 1923, in Catawba, Wis., to Carl Sr. and Eva Tague Wear. Born to deaf parents, his first language was signing with his hands.

After being raised as a farm boy, he went on to serve two years in the Army during World War II, participating in the Battle of the Bulge at Grande Halleaux, Belgium, and earning a Purple Heart after being wounded there.

He later enlisted in the Air Force and proudly and humbly served his country in the U.S. and in England for the next 18 years. After retiring from military service, he settled his family in Rhome and enjoyed the rest of his life there, making many friends and serving his community as city secretary, water superintendent and mayor. He also served as water superintendent in Saginaw.

Carl always had a smile and a handshake for everyone he met, and no one left his presence a stranger. His greatest joys were his family, friends, his pets and working with his hands. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

He was a proud member of the Wise County Veteran’s Association, a charter member of the Chisholm Trail Antique Farm Equipment Club and the 75th Division Veteran’s Association.

Survivors include his wife, Mildred Wear; daughters Carolyn Hines and husband, Danny, and Jennifer Blomberg and husband, Jerry; son Gary Wear and wife, Cindy; stepdaughters Cheryl Hoover and husband, Jerry, Donna Misner and Jean Misner-Smith and husband, David; stepsons Steve Misner and wife, Cindi, and John Misner; 20 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

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Gage Colten Callan

John Callan and Crystal Boyd of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Gage Colten Callan, on Feb. 3, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and was 18 3/4 inches long.

He has one brother: Chase, 11; and two sisters: Alexis, 7, and Madison, 5.

Grandparents are Dwayne Boyd of Sulphur Springs and Denise Wood of Rhome.

Great-grandparents are Jean Boyd of Yantis and James Hooker of Pilot Point.

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Moore runs no more; Lorance eyes return

For eight years, Rhome Mayor Chris Moore has served as a member of the city council and most recently as mayor of the third-largest city in Wise.

But Moore, who also serves as assistant chief for the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department, said he will not be on the ballot in the city’s May election.

“I think I’m done,” Moore said. “A man can only take so much.”

“People just won’t let things go. It’s always one thing or another. The last workshop we had was about nothing but the fire department.”

A topic at multiple council meetings and the primary focus of a council workshop held late last month was whether a member of city council can also serve as a member of the volunteer fire department.

After the workshop, a majority of council appeared ready to pass an ordinance at the next meeting stipulating no more than two members of the council, including the mayoral position, can serve on the Rhome Fire Department. Those council members also can’t vote on issues related to the fire department, the proposed ordinance adds.

“I’m tired of it,” Moore said. “And I can’t get the city council to fix it. I don’t have a vote. I know I have a voice, but they have their minds made up, and I’m fed up.”

Moore plans to finish his term through the May election.

With his decision not to run, former longtime mayor Mark Lorance has filed for the position. His hope is to get the council to focus on big-picture projects and stop sweating the small stuff so much.

“The council seems to be snipping at each other a little too much,” Lorance said. “I’d like to see the council get back to projects that focus on growth. We have to focus on growth. The housing market is coming back with a vengeance. We have the potential for a lot of growth to come to this city.”

Lorance knows about big projects. After serving two years as a council member and 10 more as mayor, he stepped away from office for the last couple of years to focus squarely on his work as a civil engineer. His firm recently helped complete a 14-mile segment of the Chisholm Trail Parkway, a 28-mile toll road connecting south Fort Worth and Cleburne, scheduled to open this spring.

His company also helped complete a 30-mile section of the Grand Parkway, a 180-mile loop around a seven-county greater-Houston metropolitan area which will open to traffic sometime in 2015.

“Those were career projects for me,” he said. “It took up 110 percent of my time.”

If elected, Lorance wants to use some of that time to get the council working as a group again on bigger issues. He said he wouldn’t mind if every member of the council also served on the fire department.

“We’ve got bigger issues to focus on,” Lorance said.

One of those issues is the water and sewer department.

“It lost about $400,000,” said city auditor Peter Chaney. “It can’t continue this way. You’re going to have to increase rates. There is no alternative. You can’t continue to have another year like this. You might be able to do that in Washington, D.C., but not in Rhome, Texas.”

Lorance said the city has lost some revenue in that area due to the slowdown in oil and gas development in the region.

“We used to sell a lot of water to the oil and gas industry,” Lorance said. “That has gone away. We also had some maintenance issues, but that can always pop up. We are going to have to look at a new rate structure.”

So far Lorance has drawn no other competitors in the race.

“I look forward to working with the council,” Lorance said. “We can accomplish a lot if we work together.”

The May race also has two city council positions up for election. Incumbents Jo Ann Wilson and Michelle Pittman have been the only two to file so far for those spots.

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Buddhists: Great example, great coverage

The Messenger’s Jan. 29 front-page piece, “The American dream through Buddhist eyes” was very enjoyable.

Your chronicle of the long life of a remarkable individual, Newark’s 84-year-old Bouonhot Souimaniphanah, is a great example of a person on what Buddhists call the Right Path. I thought this was a fascinating inside look at another culture, an inspiration on how to conduct one’s own life, topped off with information about a local landmark all wrapped up in this fine example of skilled newspaper reporting.

I’ll be visiting the Newark Buddhists very soon.

My sincere wish is for us all to aspire, in at least a small way, to attain the kind of determination, spiritualism and enlightenment found by your story’s central character.

By the way, Buddhism asks students of the practice to take the Eight-Fold Path, and one of the steps on that path is to choose the right livelihood – to choose to work in keeping with their nature and to have awareness of the impact of their work on society.

It looks like your reporter, Mr. Evans, and your photographer, Mr. Duty, have indeed chosen the right livelihoods.

Ken Bateman

Posted in Letters to the Editor1 Comment

Rhome officers discover loads of drugs

Police uncovered a cornucopia of assorted drugs after a traffic stop early Thursday morning in Rhome.

Darren A. Berkley

Rhome police officer Robert Gillock noticed a man acting suspiciously as he was pumping gasoline about 2:30 a.m. at Love’s Travel Center. Gillock followed the driver, who proceeded to cross over the center stripe several times.

“After I pulled him over, he acted extremely nervous,” Gillock said. “He told me his license was suspended and he probably had a warrant.”

Inside a pocket on the car door, officers discovered a brown bag filled with a variety of pills including Xanax, hydrocodone and methadone. They also found a prescription bottle of liquid hydrocodone with the label ripped off and a bag of what proved to be approximately 24 grams of methamphetamine.

The driver, Darren A. Berkley, 23, of Mansfield told officers the drugs weren’t his. He claimed someone had stolen his car, and when he’d gotten the car back the drugs just happened to be in there.

Berkley was arrested and charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a dangerous drugs, and driving with a suspended license. As of Friday, he remained in Wise County Jail under a $21,500 bond.

Rhome police officer Chance Garrett assisted with the stop.

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Rhome City Council looks to take over parks board, limit firefighters

After struggling to find enough members, the Rhome City Council will likely take over the duties of the Parks and Recreation Board – at least temporarily.

“Everyone (on the city council) appears to be in agreement it will go to the council,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jo Ann Wilson. “Different council members will coordinate different events, and we’ll have help from volunteers. We’ll just have to see how it works.”

The council discussed the issue in detail at a workshop held last Saturday night at city hall. Although no action could be taken during the workshop, the council expects to take action at the next council meeting.

The workshop also covered how to proceed to complete construction of a pavilion at the Rhome Family Park. So far, just the concrete foundation has been completed. Councilman Louis Godfrey was appointed to find out the best way to proceed and bring a recommendation back to the council.

The council also discussed the fate of several ordinances regarding the fire department, including one related to membership on the department and serving in city government.

“By law the fire chief can’t be the mayor,” Wilson said. “But an ordinance that the council might approve at the next meeting might limit no more than two members of the fire department can serve on the city council and mayor position.”

Currently, the mayor and one council member serve on the volunteer fire department.

“The reasoning for limiting it to two people is not a personality issue,” Wilson said. “But if a fire emergency is called out during a meeting, we need to keep enough there to have quorum.”

The proposed ordinance would also prevent council who are members of the fire department from voting on funding issues related to the department.

When asked what the council would do if a third member of the fire department was elected to the council or mayor position, Wilson said if that happened, they’d just have “to look at options at that time.”

“We’re not trying to limit volunteering,” Wilson said.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.

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On call: Rhome city council to discuss fate of fire department during workshop

The right of a city council member to also volunteer as a member of the Rhome Fire Department will be discussed in detail tonight.

Rhome City Council has scheduled a workshop to discuss the fire department ordinance. Also on the agenda is the Parks and Recreation Department, who’s board is unable to reach a quorum since it’s down to one member. The workshop will also tackle the fate of the pavilion at the family park.

At a Jan. 9 meeting, several council members discussed amending a fire department ordinance. The ordinance currently allows anyone to serve on both the council and fire department so long as they are not the fire chief. Currently, Mayor Chris Moore and council member Michelle Pittman serve on the volunteer fire department.

Council member Ronnie Moore has argued that serving on both constitutes a conflict of interest. City attorney Walt Leonard said according to state law, conflict of interest only occurs if one is making 15 percent or more of their income from an entity. City council members and firefighters volunteer their time.

The workshop is scheduled to start at 6:45 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

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Rhome officials question service on fire department, council

On Thursday night, Rhome City Council discussed ways to change an ordinance regarding whether or not someone can volunteer for both city council and the fire department at the same time. Although no action was taken on the item, council was close to making a motion that, if passed, would have forced Mayor Chris Moore and council member Michelle Pittman to choose between serving on the council or the Rhome Volunteer Fire Department.

“It is too much a conflict of interest to help run the city and be on the fire department,” said council member Ronnie Moore.

“I’ll resign from the fire department tonight if you do this,” Moore said.

Current city law says only a fire chief can’t serve on council or as mayor. Options posed included forbidding anyone from serving on both, limiting the number of elected officials that can serve as members of the fire department and/or preventing them from voting on actions that affect the fire department.

“We’ve set a precedent where this has been OK for many, many years,” Pittman said. “I wonder why everything is different now when it’s been this way for 20 years.”

Moore has served as council member and mayor for several years all while being assistant fire department chief.

“I was on the fire department and the council for 13 years,” echoed former council member David Wilson.

The fire department has had low membership numbers for the past couple of years, which resulted in late to no response on several daytime calls. The council took some steps to increase membership, and Pittman joined as a volunteer firefighter herself last year to help bolster protection. The fire department currently has eight members.

“I don’t understand why you’d do anything that could reduce the number of firefighters,” Pittman said. “You better put fire department response on the next agenda if you pass this because we won’t have enough.”

According to Texas law, a conflict of interest only arises if an involved party receives 15 percent or more of their income from it, said city attorney Walt Leonard. In this case, neither volunteer fire department members or elected city officials earn any income for their efforts.

Council members Jo Ann Wilson, Charles Pennington and Ronnie Moore all leaned toward some kind of change to the current ordinance. But they eventually agreed to take no action and discuss it further at an upcoming workshop. No date was set for the workshop, but it’s expected to be on a Friday or Saturday night sometime in the next couple of months.

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Finnick Bane Holland

Zane G. and Whitney Holland of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Finnick Bane, on Dec. 16, 2013, at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.

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

He has one brother: Statham Lane, 4.

Grandparents are David and Terry Holland of Paradise and Kenny and Tamme Byers of Rhome.

Great-grandparents are Jim and Janice Paschall of Paradise, Joyce Holland of Lubbock, Oscar and Billie Romine of Rhome and Dimple Byers of Chico.

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Police find stash and cash in car from Colorado

During a routine traffic stop in Rhome Saturday, officers discovered a bag of marijuana and a large amount of cash in a vehicle traveling from Colorado to Houston.

Heavy Toll

HEAVY TOLL – Rhome police officers Brody Brown (left) and Robert Gillock initiated a routine traffic stop on a sport utility vehicle from Colorado early Saturday morning. Inside the vehicle they found a small amount of marijuana and more than $33,000 in cash that was seized. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“We initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle out of Colorado with no license place light,” said Rhome police officer Brody Brown.

The officer detected the odor of marijuana wafting out of the Chevy Tahoe and then found 1/4-ounce, which is a misdemeanor. He also found $33,500 bundled up inside the glove box.

Three Hispanic males in their 20s were all arrested for possession and transported to Wise County Jail. A fourth suspect, a female, was not charged.

“Because of the large amount of money, we believe they are involved in a drug-dealing operation,” Brown said.

The police didn’t release the names of the suspects due to the ongoing investigation. The money has been seized. Boyd Police Department and Wise County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the stop.

Although it has not been verified, police think the suspects were possibly planning to smuggle a substantial amount of marijuana into or out of Colorado. The state recently decriminalized cannabis, and last Wednesday licensed shops started legally selling it for recreational use to those 21 and older. Those with a Colorado ID can purchase 1 ounce at a time, while those from other states can only purchase 1/4 ounce.

Authorities in neighboring states fear that more high-quality marijuana might start flowing out of Colorado due to the change in local law, while proponents of decriminalizing it hope the sale and use of it recreationally will be legalized in other states.

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Department up for discussion again

Once again the issue of elected officials volunteering with the fire department will be discussed when Rhome City Council meets 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Two agenda items are related to ordinances concerning membership on the city’s volunteer fire department.

In meetings last year, some questioned if it was a conflict of interest for someone to serve on the council and as a member of the volunteer fire department.

The only rule regarding that in the current ordinance language is that the fire chief can’t serve on the council. Rhome Mayor Chris Moore is a longtime volunteer with the fire department. Council member Michelle Pittman also volunteers.

Moore has contended there’s never been an issue with serving on the fire department and serving on the council.

Council will also revisit the first responder position. Other items include term limits, parking at the community center and the status of the pavilion at Rhome Family Park.

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Joe Don Peterson

Joe Don Peterson

Joe Don Peterson, 71, of Rhome, died Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Keller.

Graveside service is 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at Aurora Cemetery with the Rev. Jimmy Withers officiating.

Joe Don was born Dec. 15, 1942, to Prosser and Thelma (Lisby) Peterson in Fort Worth. His parents preceded him in death.

He is survived by his sister, Sherry Wood of Bedford; brothers John Peterson of Decatur and Tom Peterson of Rhome; numerous nieces and nephews; and other family members and friends.

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Gael Alvarez

Silvia Alvarez of Rhome announces the birth of a son, Gael, on Dec. 31, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

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

He has two brothers: Oscar, 13, and Angel, 7; and two sisters: Yoselin, 16, and Carina, 12.

Grandparents are Margarita and Jesus Moncada.

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Kami Lynn Foster

Keisha Upchurch and Kyler Foster of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Kami Lynn Foster, on Dec. 17, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Hank and Rhonda Upchurch of Boyd and Jodie and Tim Foster of Rhome.

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Newark and Rhome firefighters’ quick response saves home

A quick response by Newark and Rhome firefighters salvaged a home Saturday morning.

The two departments were dispatched to reports of smoke and flames coming though the roof of a mobile home in the 100 block of County Road 4857 around 8 a.m.


TEAMWORK – Rhome Fire Chief Robert Pratt and another firefighter assist the Newark Fire Department at a house fire in the rain Saturday morning. A quick response by both departments salvaged the home. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Units checked on scene within four minutes and reported light smoke coming through the eaves and ridge row on the roof.

The fire, which started in the back wall of a room added to the mobile home, was contained to the wall and attic.

“There’s a brick fireplace attached to the add-on,” said Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis. “Over time, the foundation has settled, creating a gap between the chimney and the exterior wall … Birds are able to go in there and build a nest. That morning, the family lit a fire to heat the home, and an ember got through the chimney to the nest, and that’s what set off the fire.”

Newark Fire Chief James Edgemon said he didn’t believe there was any fire or smoke damage to items in the room. There may have been some water damage, and structural damage was minimal.

“We had to go in and pull the sheetrock and ceiling where the fire started,” Edgemon said. “But nothing burned in the room. We know where it started, but we’re not sure what started it.”

Red Cross was dispatched to assist the home’s occupants, which included a middle-aged couple and a younger couple and their baby.

On Monday morning, Travis said an electrician had made the appropriate repairs. Power was to be restored later in the day.

“They’ll have to go in and make some repairs, but they should be back in the home and living comfortably by the end of the day (Monday),” Travis said.

“The fire department did a really good job containing the fire to one room,” he added. “Their quick action – along with that of the homeowners, who got in the attic and fought the fire with fire extinguishers until firefighters arrived – will enable the family to spend the holidays at home.”

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