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Shoplifter not crafty, facing prison time

A Sunset woman could be looking at up to 10 years in prison for allegedly stealing items including Krazy Glue and popcorn from a local retailer.

Tena Marie Cage

Tena Marie Cage, 55, was indicted by a Wise County grand jury March 27 for theft less than $1,500 with two or more previous convictions.

According to Decatur Police Sgt. Mike Picha, Cage was arrested for shoplifting last July 12 at Wal-Mart in Decatur. A loss prevention officer found her past the point of sale with items concealed in her purse.

According to the indictment on file at the Wise County District Clerk’s office, those items included “Krazy Glue, Super Glue, Activity Kit and two bags of Chester’s popcorn.”

“It looks like she was working on some kind of craft project,” Picha said.

The total amount of items found in Cage’s purse totaled $189.16, he noted. That would normally constitute theft $50-$500 – a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

However, Cage has twice been convicted of theft $50-$500 – once in July 2003 in Tarrant County and again in August 2003 in Denton County. Because of those two prior convictions, a third conviction would become a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

But the indictment also carries an enhancement paragraph, pointing out that Cage was convicted of two charges of possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram in November 2003 in Montague County. Those state jail felony convictions bump the punishment range for the shoplifting charge to that of a third-degree felony – a minimum of two years to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

While this type of case is rare, Picha said the law states that after two theft convictions, any type of theft, even something as small as a pack of gum, could lead to a felony charge.

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Garry Paul Rench

Garry Paul Rench

Garry Paul Rench, an independent truck driver, died Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Sunset. He was 57.

Memorial service is 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Chaplain Joel Watson officiating. Visitation is one hour prior to the service.

Garry was born June 22, 1956, in Fort Worth to John and Ruth (Wallace) Rench.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Robert Rench.

Survivors include his daughters, Tina Coy of Glen Rose, Natalie Vara of Sunset and Ashley Rench of Texas City; sons Paul Rench of Granbury, Garry Paul Rench Jr. of Cleburne, Robert Rench and Samantha Boldt of Benbrook, David Vaughn and wife, Jenee, of Stephenville, John Jones and wife, Elizabeth, of Fort Worth; 18 grandchildren; brothers Johnny Rench and Larry Rench; sisters Debbie Koon and Cindi Foster; his dear friend, Kenny Vaughn; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Garry Paul Rench

Garry Paul Rench, 57, an independent truck driver, died Saturday, March 22, 2014, in Sunset.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Garry was born June 22, 1956, in Fort Worth to John and Ruth (Wallace) Rench.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Robert Rench.

Survivors include his daughters, Tina Coy of Glen Rose, Natalie Vara of Sunset and Ashley Rench of Texas City; sons Paul Rench of Granbury, Garry Paul Rench Jr. of Cleburne, Robert Rench and Samantha Boldt of Benbrook, David Vaughn and wife, Jenee, of Benbrook, and John Jones and wife, Elizabeth, of Fort Worth; 18 grandchildren; brothers Johnny Rench and Larry Rench; sisters Debbie Koon and Cindi Foster; very dear friend Kenny Vaughn; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Kamryn Marie Gortney

Levi and Melissa Gortney of Sunset announce the birth of a daughter, Kamryn Marie, on March 24, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 inches long. She has one sister, Zoey Mae, 1.

Grandparents are Tim and Sheila Gortney of Sunset and Ronald and Karen Johnson of Montague.

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Patrick Leighton VanVacter

Lee and Renee VanVacter of Sunset announce the birth of a son, Patrick Leighton, on Feb. 17, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 4 pounds, 6 ounces and was 16 inches long.

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Sunset fire victims not identified

The victims in last Thursday’s fire in Sunset have not yet been identified – and may not be for a few months.

Investigators recovered the bodies of a male and female from the debris of a travel trailer that burned in the 400 block of County Road 1695.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said that the remains will be sent for DNA testing at the Dallas County Medical Examiner. It could take two to three months to receive the results.

However, an autopsy report received earlier this week ruled smoke inhalation and thermal burns as the cause of death.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined – and may not be.

“We have a lot of different possibilities, but with no one to answer the questions, we’ve hit a wall,” Beard said. “We can do what we can to eliminate the possibilities, but it’s likely this case will stay undetermined.”

Beard declined to specify what possible causes may have been eliminated.

The fire, which was reported before 1 a.m. Thursday, started in a an 18-foot travel trailer, where the bodies were found. It spread to a single-wide mobile home parked four-and-a-half feet away, and its occupant, Jerry Haire, escaped without serious injury.

The female who died is believed to be Haire’s caretaker, who lived in the travel trailer.

The male who died is believed to be a friend of hers.

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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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2 die in Sunset blaze

2 die in Sunset blaze

Two people were killed in a two-structure fire in Sunset early Thursday morning.

Investigators recovered the bodies of a male and a female from the debris of a travel trailer that burned in the 400 block of County Road 1695.

Fatal Fire

FATAL FIRE – A fire that started in a travel trailer spread to a mobile home less than 5 feet away in Sunset early Thursday morning. The two occupants of the travel trailer died in the blaze. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Their remains have been sent to the Dallas County Medical Examiner and had not been identified as of Friday afternoon.

Officials also awaited the results of an autopsy and toxicology report to determine the cause of death.

Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, officials believe it started in the 18-foot travel trailer where the bodies were found and spread to a single-wide mobile home parked 4-1/2 feet in front of it.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the female who died is believed to be the caretaker of Jerry Haire, who lived in the mobile home and, with the help of neighbors, escaped without injury. The female lived in the travel trailer, and the male who died is believed to be a friend of hers.

Haire, who is wheelchair-bound, suffered from “a little bit of smoke inhalation” but did not require medical attention.

Quick Response

QUICK RESPONSE – Fire departments from Alvord, Chico, Sunset and Decatur responded to an early morning blaze Thursday in Sunset. Although both the travel trailer and mobile home involved were total losses, many of the mobile home’s contents were salvaged. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Tracey and Chris Hofsiss said they woke up to the incessant barking of their Rottweiler, Goliath.

“We looked out the window and saw flames,” Chris said.

“We called 911 and drove down to the house, honked our horn and banged on the door to wake him up,” Tracey said.

The couple was able to then help Haire out of his house.

“If it weren’t for the dog, who knows how this would have ended,” Chris said. “That’s why we have him out there, for protection.”

Departments from Alvord, Chico, Sunset and Decatur, as well as Wise County EMS and sheriff’s deputies responded to the blaze, which was reported at 12:49 a.m.

The first units on scene reported a travel trailer fully engulfed and flames through the back part of a single-wide mobile home.

Although the mobile home will likely be deemed a total loss, Beard said many items inside are salvageable.

“The Alvord Fire Department and all the other departments that responded really did a good job putting the fire out and saving what they did,” Beard said. “Thanks to their quick action and hard work, the gentleman will be able to recover quite a bit of his belongings.”

—–

Shortly after clearing the Sunset fire, Chico Fire Department, along with units from Crafton and Sand Flat, were dispatched to a structure fire in the 100 block of County Road 1876.

A 40×20 detached garage that contained two Harley Davidson motorcycles and a classic pickup burned.

Investigators believe an electrical short is to blame for the fire, which was toned out just after 4 a.m. Thursday.

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Charlie Marie Pace

Kyle and Emily Pace of Sunset announce the birth of a daughter, Charlie Marie, on Feb. 12, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

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

She has one sister: Rayleigh Lynn.

Grandparents are Molly and Jimmy Atkinson, Debbie and Dewayne Watts and Michael and Chelle Pace.

Great-grandparents are Jim and Diana Atkinson, Bill and Lorriane Jennings, Robert and Morcille Lawson and Don Pace.

Great-great-grandparents are Melba Risner and Lucille Ward.

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Frances Ellowayne Folger

Frances Ellowayne Folger

Frances Ellowayne Folger, 79, died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, in Sunset.

Graveside service is 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Fort Sam Houston Cemetery in San Antonio. Visitation is 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at Trevino Funeral Home in San Antonio.

Frances was born Sept. 17, 1934, in Sulphur Springs to William and Nancy (Hobbs) Whitehead. She married Arvid Hartford Folger May 3, 1952, in Killeen.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and five brothers and sisters.

Survivors include her daughters, Judy Kay Rodriguez and husband, Raymond, of Laredo, Carol Urbano and husband, Raul, of Ponder and Nancy Edwards and husband, Buddy, of Sunset; sons Butch Folger and wife, Erica, of San Antonio and Steven Folger of New Braunfels; 13 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; brother Glen Whitehead and wife, Mary, of Sherman; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Margaret Evelyn Belvin

Margaret Evelyn Belvin, 85, of Sunset, died Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in Krum.

Graveside service was Jan. 3 at Evergreen Cemetery in Paris with Sam Bolton officiating. Burial was under the direction of Mulkey-Mason, Jack Schmitz and Son Funeral Home in Denton.

Margaret was born July 21, 1928, in Bairdstown to Joel and Ruby (Poteet) Bolton. She married Jerrell Stricklin June 16, 1949. He died July 21, 1996. She then married R.B. Belvin March 29, 2002, in Alvord.

She was a homemaker and a member of the Baptist church.

Margaret is survived by her husband, R.B. Belvin of Alvord; son Bryan Stricklin of Denton; daughters Bonnie and husband, Mike Edwards, of Paradise and Lori and husband, Thomas Jajacate, of The Woodlands; sisters Helen and husband, Horace Greer, of Cortez, Colo., Doral and husband, Dale Emery, of Denton, Joann and husband, Lloyd, of Wisconsin, and Sue and husband, Don Newsom, of Plainview; and brother Buddy Bolton of Paris.

She was preceded in death by sisters Rachell Bolton and Sally Starks; brothers Hubert Bolton, Vester Bolton and Shorty Bolton; sisters and brothers-in-law B.H. Bolton of Grand Prairie, Karen Fruen of Tom Bean, John Belvin of Milpitas, Calif., and Billie Levinson of Anaheim, Calif.

Online condolences may be left at www.mulkeymasondenton.com.

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Focus on unfortunate, not felons

As a new subscriber to the Wise County Messenger, I am extremely disappointed by Brandon Evans’s story regarding repeat criminal Joey South.

Mr. South’s incarceration is completely of his own doing. I have no sympathy for him or his current wife who chose to marry a man whose “stripes” were evident. He is charged with stolen firearm possession, using stolen credit cards and numerous narcotics violations.

If there is anything evident, it is that this man cannot control his life, the people he associates with or his temptation to steal from honest, hardworking people.

Sure, it’s a shame that his children suffer, but what of the children of his victims? If Mr. South wants to see who is responsible for his family’s suffering, he only has to gaze into the mirror. Indeed, he made bad decisions. He’s a big, dangerous man who can terrorize when he is free and out of control.

Life in jail seems to agree with him. He is clean and able to engage in self-examination with a sober mind. He is an ideal citizen in jail because his life is structured in a way he could not do for himself.

Jails are full of people who make bad decisions. Criminals are jailed to protect the public from repeat offenders like Mr. South. I wish him only well and that he can gain enough self-control to become a productive member of society.

In the meantime, I wish the Messenger would spend more time giving us stories about people who are unfortunate due to no fault of their own. These are people who need a hand up rather than a handout. Especially at Christmas time, we need to hear more about them.

Had Mr. Evans’s story have been about the suffering of Mr. South’s family, I could surely be more sympathetic.

Jim Inman
Sunset

Posted in Letters to the Editor15 Comments

Kaydence Lois McClain

Kaylee Lynne Bell and Billy Joe McClain Jr. of Sunset announce the birth of a daughter, Kaydence Lois McClain, on Dec. 13, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 18 inches long.

She has two sisters: Breanna Baumeister, 6, and Chloe McClain, 7.

Grandparents are Melody and David Hicks of Bowie, Sandra Brewer of Vashti and Billy McClain of Sunset.

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Robert L. St. John

Dr. Robert L. St. John, DDS, 59, died Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, in Sunset.

Graveside service is 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery with a memorial service to follow at 2 p.m. at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Bowie.

Arrangements are entrusted to the White Family Funeral Home of Bowie.

Robert was born June 1, 1954, in Jackson, Mich., to Clarence and Natalie (Lewis) St. John. He served in the United States Navy during Vietnam.

Robert graduated from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston and married Barbara Neff Sept. 29, 1979, in Bedford. He had a dental practice serving the Bowie community since 2002 and was a proud member of Bowie Rotary Club.

Robert is survived by his wife, Barbara St. John of Sunset; daughters Patricia Musgrove and husband, James, of Lizana, Miss., Kimberly Byndom and Ariel of Lewisville, and Ashley Silcox and husband, Justin, of Lewisville; grandchildren Courtney Prihoda and husband, Eric, of Abilene; Kaitlyn and Chandler Musgrove of Lizana, Savanna and Xander Silcox of Lewisville, Brayden Silcox of Oklahoma and Skylar and Kadyn Byndom of Lewisville; great-grandchildren Ainsleigh, Averi, Anderson and Asher Prihoda; sister Janet Taylor of Tampa, Fla.; and his dog, Annie.

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Mavric Richard Stamper

Chad and Donna Stamper of Sunset announce the birth of a son, Mavric Richard Stamper, on Sept. 3, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long.

He has one brother: Jonathan, 14; and three sisters: Donnell, 15, Daisy, 5, and Daphney, 2.

Grandmother is Terry Stovall of Sunset.

Great-grandmother is Shirley Stovall of Sunset.

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Billy Ray Farrell II

Billy Ray Farrell II

Graveside service for Billy Ray Farrell II, 24, of Sunset is 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Pleasant Grove Cemetery No. 3 in Chico. Kevin Alexander, pastor of U-Turn World Ministries in Chico, will officiate.

Farrell died Thursday, July 25, 2013, in Fort Worth.

Born April 11, 1989, in Grapevine to Raymond and Sandra (Jessup) Farrell, he was a 2007 Chico graduate who enjoyed science and reading. He loved music and played many musical instruments.

He is survived by his parents of Sunset; brother Bradley Farrell; sisters Kimberly Spraberry and Christie Adcox and husband, Ollie; grandparents Linda Farrell and husband, Jesse Rubio, and Bob Argo and Frances King; and numerous nieces and nephews.

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Sophia Grace’Lynn Munns

Brandee Munns of Sunset announces the birth of a daughter, Sophia Grace’Lynn, on June 17, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 18 inches long.

She has one brother: Cashton Cade.

Grandparents are Kim Munns and Jeff Love of Sunset, and Don Munns of California.

Great-grandparents are Frances and Fred Moose of Sunset and Don and Margert Munns of California.

Great-great-grandmother is Juanita Willett of Sunset.

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Case Ryan Warnick

Cory and Tracie Warnick of Sunset announce the birth of a son, Case Ryan, on June 4, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. He weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces and was 20 1/4 inches long.

He has one brother: Dain Warnick, 12.

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Maci Lee Scruggs

Tyson Scruggs and Brittany Alexander of Sunset announce the birth of a daughter, Maci Lee Scruggs, on June 5, 2013, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur. She weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 18 inches long.

She has one brother: Caysen Scruggs, 1; and one sister: Savanna Scruggs, 1.

Grandparents are Billy and Mary Alexander, Eric and Ronda Hedding and Lisa and Lance Scruggs.

Great-grandparents are Billy Joe Alexander, Sonny and Elaine Stipes and Phillip and Kay Scruggs.

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Flora Mae (Flossie) Bridgeman

Flora Mae (Flossie) Bridgeman

Flora Mae (Flossie) Bridgeman

Flora Mae (Flossie) Bridgeman, 87, of Sunset died Saturday, June 1, 2013, in Bowie.

Graveside service was June 4 in Sunset Cemetery with Doyle Wade officiating. Burial was under the direction of Jones Family Funeral Home.

Flossie was born Feb. 13, 1926, in Holbert, Okla., to Flora (Cooper) and Jessie Welch. She graduated high school in Olton in 1943 and attended beauty school in Lubbock. She married Ed Bridgeman April 18, 1947.

She was a homemaker who loved gardening and listening to music.

She is survived by her sons, Bill Bridgeman and wife, Becky, of Sunset, Bobby Bridgeman and wife, Donna, of Ferris and Ronnie Bridgeman and wife, Erin, of Paradise; daughter Connie Allison and husband, Gary, of Fort Worth; 12 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband.

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