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.

Posted in News0 Comments

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.

Posted in News1 Comment

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.

Posted in News0 Comments

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.

Posted in News0 Comments

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.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

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.

Posted in News0 Comments

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.

Posted in News0 Comments

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.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

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.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

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.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

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.”

Posted in News0 Comments

Joseph Samuel Echavarria

Sam and Erin Echavarria of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Joseph Samuel, on Dec. 9, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds and was 19-3/4 inches long.

He has one brother: Luke, 6; and one sister: Grace, 4.

Grandparents are John and Darlene Moroney of Springfield, Ill., and Jose and Cathy Echavarria of Oaklawn Ill.

Great-grandparents are Al and Anita Echavarria of Chicago.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

2 remain hospitalized after collision

2 remain hospitalized after collision

Both victims of a head-on collision that occurred in Rhome earlier this week remain hospitalized.

Powerful Impact

POWERFUL IMPACT – A head-on collision Tuesday afternoon in Rhome left two victims hospitalized with serious injuries. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

On Friday afternoon Sherry Lee, 47, of Boyd was listed in fair condition. She was flown to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth from the scene of the wreck, which occurred just after 2 p.m. Tuesday on Texas 114, west of the Love’s Travel Stop.

The status of the other driver involved, Joseph Hake, 31, of Paradise, was not available. But a spokesperson for JPS said he was in surgery Friday afternoon. He was transported by ground ambulance to the hospital from the accident scene Tuesday.

Investigators said Hake was westbound on 114 in a gold car when, for unknown reasons, his car veered across the center divider, striking Lee’s pickup head-on. The impact caused the pickup to spin into a ditch on the south side of the road.

There was only one occupant in each vehicle.

Rhome, Boyd and Newark fire departments, along with Rhome Police Department, Wise County Sheriff’s deputies and state troopers, responded.

The highway was shut down in both directions for several hours to land the helicopter and clear the scene.

Hake was seriously injured in a fiery wreck last year. In September 2012, he sustained third-degree burns and several broken bones in a one-vehicle wreck south of Paradise.

Rescue Efforts

RESCUE EFFORTS – Emergency responders work to pull a victim from a vehicle that wound up in a ditch after a head-on collision on Texas 114 West in Rhome Tuesday afternoon. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Posted in Features, News0 Comments

Aubree Lynn Johnson

Brittni and D.J. Johnson of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Aubree Lynn, on Dec. 5, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

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

She has one sister: Kynlee Johnson, 3.

Grandparents are Jerry and Sarah Maxwell and Donna and Gene Wallis, all of Arkansas.

Great-grandparents are Jeanine and Rod Moore of Oklahoma and Jim Maxwell, Aldean Wallis, Joyce Goff and Ola Freeman, all of Arkansas.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

James Everett Waldrop III

James Everett Waldrop III

James Everett Waldrop III, 46, died Friday, Nov. 29, 2013, at his home in Rhome.

Memorial service was Dec. 3 at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

James was born Aug. 23, 1967, in Richmond, Va., to James Everett Jr. and Paulette (Parish) Waldrop. He married Linda Griffin March 25, 2008, in Conroe. He was a truck driver for Coffman Tank Trucks in Chico.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Waldrop of Rhome; daughters Katelyn, Hannah and Jamie Waldrop; mother Paulette Kullos and husband, Jerry; brothers Adam Waldrop and wife, Amy, and David Waldrop and wife, Martha, all of Montgomery, Jered Kullos of Nevada and Jorden Kullos of Waxahachie; sister Daphne Whiddon and husband, Chris, of Baton Rouge, La.; grandson Harley Palmer of Dallas; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father and brother Nelson Waldrop.

Posted in Obituaries0 Comments

Tyler Emit Rose

Steven and Amber Rose of Rhome announce the birth of a son, Tyler Emit, on Nov. 27, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 4 pounds, 14 ounces and was 16 inches long.

He has one brother: Derek Rose, 6.

Grandparents are Joyce Rose of Boyd and George Rose of Rhome.

Great-grandmother is Betty Rozicki of Dallas.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Man’s artistic talent realized in retirement

Johnny Mahto Hogue is finally getting to do what he’s always wanted.

Since retiring and moving from the Four Corners to Rhome in 2007, Hogue is able to fully devote himself to drawing and painting, a passion he developed at an early age.

Artist in Retirement 1

ARTIST IN RETIREMENT – Now that he’s retired, Johnny Mahto Hogue of Rhome is able to focus on a lifelong dream of being an artist. Since 2008, he has won dozens of awards. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“It started when I was 5 or 6 years old,” he said. “Anytime I picked up a pencil, I doodled and would draw what I could see. But my parents and grandparents didn’t want me to be an artist. That was not a good thing to be. I had to get a real job.”

So he became a leatherworker and saddlemaker, a trade around which he grew up.

Although he’s from Texas, Hogue fell in love with the Santa Fe area, its people, the land and colors during a visit. He made his home there for several years and opened a saddle shop with intentions to grow his craft as a painter.

“But I worked seven days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day,” he said. “I didn’t have a lot of time for painting.”

But after developing carpal tunnel syndrome and traumatic arthritis from pulling on the leather, he retired and was able to focus on oil painting and learning the colors. The self-taught artist spends at least an hour every day reading and “studying the masters” for composition, color and anatomy.

Artist in Retirement 2

Hogue uses a baton to steady his hand as he paints intricate strokes. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

“Every book I can find on painting or drawing I read, sometimes two or three times,” he said. “I learn by repetition. I’m inspired by the Old Masters and Modern Masters – Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth and Daniel Green.”

He relays his knowledge and skills not only through the works he produces, but also to his students. Hogue teaches three days a week – two days for the Trinity Arts Guild at the Bedford Boys Ranch and one day of private lessons at his studio in Rhome.

“When I’m not teaching or taking care of this place, I’m painting,” he said.

His favorite medium is oil because it’s easy for him to manipulate, but he also uses pastels, acrylics, charcoal and pen and pencil.

To produce a portrait of people or animals, his signature works, he utilizes several of those mediums.

“Whenever I do a painting, I draw it first really good and use that as a blue print,” he said. “When I finish the drawing, I do it in pastel to get the color scheme right, then I do it in oils.”

He also does landscapes and still-life pieces, and he enjoys sculpting and pottery.

But his least favorite is watercolor.

“I don’t like it because it’s flat, and it doesn’t have the color that pastels have.”

Hogue has earned several awards for his work, beginning in 2008 through the Saginaw Arts Association, of which he was a member. His most recent honors include two first places in pastel/graphics and scultpure at a members-only juried show with the Trinity Arts Guild earlier this month.

He won a second place and Best of Show last year; three first places, a Painting of the Year and a second place in 2010; a second place and Best of Show in 2009; and a Best of Show in 2008.

“I wish I could’ve started 20 years ago, but I had to make a living,” he said. “You really have to apply yourself. Now I devote as much time as I possibly can. And I enjoy it. I really, really enjoy it.”

To view his work, visit his website at www.mahtohogue.com.

Posted in News0 Comments

Baizlie Jane Davidson

Ethan and Seria Davidson of Rhome announce the birth of a daughter, Baizlie Jane, on Nov. 25, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long.

She has one brother: Allen Wyatt Davidson, 2.

Grandparents are Isaac Teran, Ted Davidson, Janie Dominguez and Valerie Davidson.

Great-grandparents are Kathy Davidson, Anna Driver, Collen Kauffman, Paul Kauffman and Griselda Zuniga.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Rhealeigh Elise Petty

Joel and Shanda Petty of Rhome announce the birth of daughter, Rhealeigh Elise, on Nov. 22, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 inches long.

She has one brother: Cayden Petty, 2.

Grandparents are Mark Woodruff of Greenwood, Sissy Foster of Decatur and Dan and Sandra Petty of Devine.

Great-grandparents are Billy and Shirley Petty of Boyd and Jo Woodruff of Gainesville.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Christmas decoration is meaningful

To the company located at the corner of U.S. 287 South and Farm Road 2264 that hangs the Christmas star each year:

I was so excited to see the Christmas star hanging last week on my way home from work! I look forward to it each year. Thank you so much for brightening the season with such a simple, but beautiful, decoration. It reminds me of the star the wise men followed to find the Christ child … such a special and profound event.

This year during all of the commercialism and fantasy that Christmas is to so many people, I pray we will all take time to follow the star to the Christ child and make Him the focus of this glorious Christmas season. God bless everyone! Merry Christmas!

Anne Sollee

Posted in Letters to the Editor1 Comment




Recover password | Create an Account