Elevator expense going up

A state inspection revealed this summer that the courthouse elevator needs improvement.

It may not make the creaky ride to the top faster, but it should be safer.

County Judge Glenn Hughes told commissioners at a July 28 meeting that the elevator, which runs on a single-wall cylinder, must be converted to a double-wall cylinder to meet current safety code. At that time he said Otis Elevator Co., the company that currently maintains the elevator, estimated the cost at $60,000.

Commissioners decided to seek bids, but the only company that threw its hat in the ring was Otis with a formal bid of $70,000. They were awarded the job in Monday’s regular commissioners meeting.

The elevator was installed in the early ’60s, and the hydraulic cylinder that runs it fits into a hole in the bedrock underneath the courthouse.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns said Tuesday that they’re not sure how deep the hole is, but it could be up to 12 or 15 feet. The current hole was drilled for the single-wall cylinder and will have to be enlarged to fit the double-wall cylinder. It will also have to be drained of any fluids that may have collected in it. Burns said fluids will also likely drain into it as the elevator is disassembled.

At this point, it’s not clear how or who will drill and drain the hole.

Otis representative Amanda Haynes told commissioners that their bid does not include “drilling or sucking out the hole.” It only includes the parts and labor to change the cylinder.

“The hole you have now is so small that you can’t get the hose down there to suck it out,” she said. “There are a lot of unknowns … as far as putting a price on it, it’s impossible.”

Haynes said the county could hire someone else to drill the hole, but an Otis mechanic would have to be present.

“It’s solid rock under the courthouse, and that’s what they’re worried about,” Burns said. “And that’s understandable.”

The commissioner said Otis could do the work or they might hire it out.

“I wanted to reserve the right to do it ourselves, as well as cleaning out the fluids,” he said. “I’m curious about what type of machinery will be required for the job.”

Commissioners will further investigate the best method to drill and drain the hole so the project can move forward.

The county was notified of the necessary upgrade during an annual state inspection in June and has until June 2015 to complete the work.

If it’s not completed by that time, the elevator will be shut down.

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Applications due for DATCU junior board

DATCU Credit Union recognizes the importance of developing young business leaders with a heart for service and volunteerism.

In 2012, DATCU created their first junior board of directors to help local students further develop leadership, gain insight about the credit union and financial industry and promote community service.

The program was previously for Denton-area students only, but this year it will be open for the first time to students in Decatur and Lewisville.

Last year’s program was successful and led to DATCU’s being awarded the prestigious Dora Maxwell Award for Social Responsibility.

“We received outstanding feedback and are so excited to expand our junior board program. While these bright, young leaders will be gaining valuable business knowledge to complement their lives, just as important, they will be making a difference in the service of others,” said Pat Sherman, DATCU’s vice president of business development.

To apply, visit datcu.org/about us. Requirements include being a high school senior graduating in May 2015, mandatory attendance at four meetings during the school year and submission of an application on or before Thursday, Aug. 28. All applicants will be selected by an external committee and will receive a $250 scholarship to be used toward higher education.

DATCU Credit Union is a member-owned, not-for profit financial institution founded in 1936. They currently serve more than 77,000 members with assets in excess of $700 million and have 10 branch locations.

Membership is open to anyone living or working in Denton, Cooke, Wise, Montague or Clay Counties.

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County judge’s paycheck to shrink

Almost all county employees will see a pay increase in fiscal year 2015 – all except for the county judge.

Under the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, employees will receive a 3 percent increase in pay, but the judge’s position will see a $4,150 decrease.

The shift is the result of County Judge Glenn Hughes trying to keep the county in good standing with the state and keep the judge’s pay equal to commissioners’ without being tied to the state supplement.

He suggested in a July 31 meeting that the county no longer accept a $15,000 state stipend for the judge’s salary because it requires the judge to spend 40 percent of his time on judicial duties.

Hughes doesn’t think that’s possible, or necessary, since Wise County now has two county courts-at-law.

Although it had been previously discussed, Precinct 3 Commissioner Harry Lamance still had questions at a budget workshop this week.

“The way the county is structured now versus 15 or 20 years ago, there’s just no way a county judge can spend 40 percent of his time doing judicial duties,” Hughes said. “What’s happened, Harry, is it [could cause] problems … being legal. I’m afraid it’ll get the county in a situation with a lawsuit.”

Lamance asked if the next county judge could reconsider the issue. Auditor Ann McCuiston said he could, but no changes could be made until fiscal year 2016 once this year’s budget is approved.

“I’ve talked to several people, and I’ve done some research on this,” Hughes said. “Everybody I’ve talked to is in concurrence that they don’t feel comfortable putting their name on the dotted line.

“We’ve talked about Judge Bill (McElhaney) in the past, and in people that I’ve talked to, he would have been the closest to anyone to having done the 40 percent.”

Judges who accept the stipend must sign an affidavit stating that they did dedicate 40 percent of their time to judicial issues.

Lamance asked if McElhaney might have even been “a hair under.”

“If he was, I’d say it’s probably hard to do,” Lamance said.

McCuiston said McElhaney handled many mental commitments and filled in for Court-at-Law Judge Melton Cude.

“Do you think he actually made the 40 percent or even with that hard work, do you think he was under?” Lamance asked.

McCuiston said, “Knowing Judge Bill, he wouldn’t have signed it if he was under. He wouldn’t.”

Hughes said he doesn’t feel like he’s currently able to do 40 percent, and he doesn’t think the next judge will be able to, either.

“I don’t think there’s 40 percent out there, even if you wanted it,” he said.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns said county judges in less populated counties sometimes have to help their county court-at-law judges, but it’s no longer necessary here.

“It will be a decrease in the judge’s salary, but it’s peace of mind,” Hughes said. “I didn’t feel like there’s 40 percent work out there.”

Instead of accepting the stipend, Hughes wants the county to pitch in and cover part of the difference, enough to bring the judge’s salary equal to that of commissioners.

In the proposed budget, the county judge and commissioners will make $77,250, but overall, the commissioners end up making more than the judge due to vehicle allowances.

The judge will receive a $14,000 vehicle allowance for a grand total of $91,250, while commissioners’ $16,000 vehicle allowance pushes them to $93,250.

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Package thief may have hit Wise

If you haven’t received a package you’ve been expecting, you might want to call the Parker County Sheriff’s Office.

Parker County Sheriff’s investigators recently recovered a large amount of stolen property, including many packages believed stolen from homes in Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties that had been delivered by UPS or FedEx.

Jerry L. Weeks

Jerry L. Weeks, 34, of Weatherford was arrested Aug. 13 and charged with theft $50-$500 and theft $500-$1,500 in connection with the case. If it is determined during the investigation that Weeks stole packages delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, he could face additional federal charges.

According to the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, Weeks implicated himself in numerous thefts that took place throughout the three counties.

During the investigation, officers found numerous suspected stolen items in a hotel room rented by Weeks, who claimed he found a large portion of the property in a trash bin located at a storage facility in Wise County. Most of the packages’ labels had been removed, making it difficult to locate who the packages belong to.

Weeks told investigators that he sold many of the stolen items for drugs and money. Other items were thrown away.

Some of the items reported stolen included ammunition, jewelry, clothing, electronics, guitars, a trumpet, iPhones, rodeo equipment, toys, cosmetics, hunting equipment, souvenirs, home decorations, printer paper and ink, crafts, oil field tools, cleaning supplies and a pipeline Geo phone.

Victims are encouraged to call the Parker County Sheriff’s Office at 817-594-8845 to identify their items.

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Wise Regional performs its first therapeutic plasma exchange; Patient doing well following lifesaving procedure

John Foster of Chico was the first patient to receive a therapeutic plasma exchange at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

This lifesaving procedure “deep cleans” a patient’s plasma, the fluid that carries red and white blood cells and platelets around the body.

Lifesaving Machine

LIFESAVING MACHINE – (from left) Katherine and John Foster and nurse Lisa Lambert, RN, show off the machine used to perform a therapeutic plasma exchange on Foster last month. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

The procedure is necessary when a patient presents with critically high protein levels in their blood. High protein levels can be caused be a variety of conditions involving the blood, nerves or kidneys.

Previously, patients had to be transferred to Dallas to have this advanced procedure.

When Foster was admitted to Wise Regional July 15, his creatinine, or protein, levels were 22 milligrams per deciliter. A typical adult has a creatinine level below 2 mg/dL.

“John had the highest creatinine levels I’ve personally ever seen in more than 20 years of practice,” said Dr. Aamir Zuberi, medical director at Wise Regional’s dialysis clinics.

Initially, Foster had only presented with recurrent diarrhea, but soon after being admitted he began developing additional symptoms, including neuropathy, or numbness, in his hands and feet, as well as vision problems.

“I went to see my family doctor first because I’d been having digestive issues on and off,” Foster said. “[Dr. Richardson] sent me to Wise Regional for blood work. After the blood work, I went to the pharmacy to pick up some medicine he had prescribed.

“Before I even left the pharmacy, the lab at Wise Regional had called me to say I needed to come back and be admitted.”

Zuberi ordered emergency dialysis to filter some of the toxins from Foster’s body, but dialysis alone wouldn’t remove the proteins that were quickly clogging his system. Zuberi also performed a kidney biopsy, which led him to diagnose Foster with multiple myeloma, a condition that results in high plasma cell production.

The plasma cells produce protein, so as their numbers increase, so does protein production.

After consulting with the Critical Care Unit staff and Dr. Maddukuri, medical oncologist with The Cancer Center at Wise Regional, Zuberi decided Foster was a good candidate for Wise Regional’s first use of therapeutic plasma exchange.

Wise Regional acquired the equipment to perform TPE several years ago, and several members of the CCU staff recently underwent training to learn how to administer the treatment. Katy Anderson, RN, and Lisa Lambert, RN, both attended the training and were on duty when the decision was made to treat Foster.

Foster received a total of six plasma exchange treatments over the course of a week. Each time, his blood was removed through a catheter in his neck, filtered and simultaneously replaced with fresh, frozen plasma and human albumin – a common protein important in the growth and repair of tissue.

“During the first treatment, the waste that we filtered out of John’s blood was milky white,” Anderson said. “The process took close to four hours, and we went through three filters.

“The final treatment took about half the time, the waste was clear and we only had to use one filter.”

Foster said other than being cold during the treatment, he experienced little discomfort. After the third treatment, his symptoms had improved significantly. He went from being unable to hold a pen to being able to hold and drink from a cup. His vision also returned.

“When we saw that he was able to read the numbers on his remote control, we were all a little choked up. It was amazing to see how quickly he improved,” said Lambert.

Foster also began receiving additional treatments to eliminate the abnormal plasma cells. He was discharged July 31. He’s continuing dialysis and he and wife Katherine are confident he’ll make a full recovery.

“We trust in God, not only that he’ll heal John, but also that He gave the doctors and nurses the wisdom they needed to provide the best possible care,” said Katherine. “It’s exciting to see that this kind of technology is available so close to home.”

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Commissioners dig into budget

County commissioners have proposed an almost $70 million budget for fiscal year 2015, and Auditor Ann McCuiston hit the financial highlights in a budget workshop Thursday.

The bulk of the discussion centered around declining a state stipend for the judge’s salary, but McCuiston gave the details behind other significant numbers.

She said there was a slight increase in autopsy and inquest expenses, from $120,000 to $130,000. It was noted that Wise County could use either the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office or the Dallas County ME, but Dallas County is the office of choice.

County Judge Glenn Hughes said he tried to compare pricing between the two offices, but there wasn’t much difference.

He asked Justice of the Peace Jan Morrow why the Dallas office is used instead of the one in Fort Worth, and she said it was the preference of District Attorney Greg Lowery.

“We could use Tarrant or Dallas, but with anything criminal, the district attorney has asked that we use Dallas County,” she said. “They feel much more comfortable with any testimony is their reasoning, so we try to go along with the district attorney.”

“So is it that Dallas is a little more technical or professional?” the judge asked.

“Mr. Lowery could probably give you a little more insight into his reasoning,” she said, “but he prefers (Dallas), especially on the criminal ones.”

ENGINEERS/CONSULTANTS

The proposed budget also includes an increase for engineers and consultants due to the continued rising cost of Kimley-Horn engineering.

“I had asked (county engineer) Chad (Davis) if he would stay in touch with them and keep track of what’s going on with them because their costs have doubled in the last three or four years,” McCuiston said.

Davis told commissioners that in 2008, subdivision work dropped drastically, but they’ve “seen a lot more come across the desk” the last couple of years. He’s also started assisting with construction inspections to cut down on the firm’s trips to the county and therefore, their bill.

The FY ’15 budget includes $101,700 for engineers and consultants. Last year $80,000 was budgeted, and the county has spent $92,171 to date. In fiscal year 2013, $112,347 was spent on engineers and consultants, compared to $77,583 in fiscal year 2012.

OIL AND GAS

McCuiston also noted they anticipate a significant drop in oil and gas royalties.

Last year the county budgeted $800,000, but it’s received only $400,199.67 to date. They have budgeted $550,000 for FY ’15.

TEEN COURT

Hughes noted the proposed budget does not include funding for teen court because the group was disorganized, and they didn’t have clear goals. In fiscal year 2014, $18,000 was allotted to the organization.

“They had two or three different names, and I was kind of confused as to who they even were,” the judge said.

Commissioners attorney Thomas Aaberg backed up the judge, saying the documentation was confusing. The group that approached the county for funding is Wise Area Teen Court and helpers (WATCh).

“I told them that if they’d get their numbers together and information and tell us what they do, and the benefits, we’d be glad to come back to this,” he said.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns also noted the justices of the peace would need to utilize the group to warrant giving them county money.

The only JP present, Morrow, said she doesn’t have enough cases to recommend to teen court, and those she could recommend often don’t want to participate when they learn of the commitment it requires. She said the city courts utilize it more often.

It was also noted that there are now two teen court groups in the county.

Other items of note:

  • $17,000 for IT consultants
  • $500 auto allowance increase for justices of the peace
  • $3,000 increase for Wise County Child Welfare Board
  • $300,000 in cash reserves
  • an increase for election judges (Read more in next midweek’s Messenger.)

This year’s proposed budget is based on the current tax rate of 37.89 cents per $100 property valuation. If approved, this means property owners would not pay more in taxes unless the value of their property increased.

Commissioners will have public hearings on the tax rate at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur.

They are scheduled to adopt a tax rate and budget Sept. 8.

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More tax dollars headed to college

Weatherford College Wise County will receive more local tax dollars in 2014-15.

Wise County commissioners proposed Tuesday to keep the branch campus maintenance tax at the current rate of 4.618 cents per $100 valuation, which will generate approximately $170,600 more than last year.

The move came at the request of campus officials, Dean Duane Durrett and Associate Dean Matt Joiner, who had both addressed commissioners over the last two weeks.

“Today I’d like to recommend on behalf of [college president] Dr. (Kevin) Eaton and the board of trustees leaving the tax rate at its current rate,” Joiner told commissioners in a budget workshop Tuesday morning.

The increase in funds will help cover a proposed $6.2 million budget that’s up slightly from last year.

Joiner said it’s a 5.32 percent increase, primarily due to a 20-plus percent increase in benefits and a 3.75 percent raise for all full-time employees. He said part-time instructors will also see a 4.2 percent increase in pay.

Another increase to the budget was a new position – workforce and economic development coordinator, who plans continuing education programs such as Spanish, photography and computer classes.

“Otherwise budgets by and large were very flat or decreased,” he said.

Joiner also noted the change in the calculation of the indirect costs, which comes in at $849,176. That resulted in a $43,656 savings for the county.

Indirect costs are based on actual institutional support and administrative costs provided by Weatherford College to the Wise County campus. The number includes 39 categories such as human resources, communications and public relations, admissions, financial aid and the learning resource center.

County Judge Glenn Hughes thanked Joiner and Durrett during the workshop this week for their conscientious efforts.

“I feel like your interests are with Wise County and with the college,” he said. “I’ve been surprised and pleased with the way you’ve tried to work with Wise County on this. I really appreciate the way that y’all have done.”

The Weatherford College board is expected to adopt the budget Thursday, Aug. 28.

Commissioners will hold public hearings on the branch campus maintenance tax rate 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur.

They are expected to adopt a tax rate for the college at a special meeting 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 8.

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Proposed changes link injection wells, earthquakes

The Texas Railroad Commission is proposing some rule changes to the permitting process for disposal wells – taking into consideration the possibility that those wells might play a role in earthquakes.

The TRC is the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry.

Injection wells, used to dispose of fluid recovered from the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) process by pumping it into formations deep underground, became the focus of public outcry after more than 30 minor earthquakes struck the area around Azle and Reno – northwest Tarrant, northeast Parker and southern Wise counties – last December and January.

The proposed changes would require a company applying for a disposal well permit to include seismic information on their application in areas designated as “high-risk” for seismic activity.

An area is so defined if it has characteristics that may increase the possibility that fracking fluids would not be confined exclusively to the injection zone – including areas with “complex geology” or a history of seismic events.

Companies applying to operate an injection well in a high-risk area would also be required to submit logs, geologic cross-sections and structure maps, and the proposed changes would allow the TRC to suspend or terminate a permit if seismic activity occurs near an injection well.

The commission can also require more frequent monitoring and reporting of injection pressure and injection rates – information regulators had trouble getting after the rash of earthquakes last winter.

State Rep. Phil King, who represents Wise and Parker counties, said the proposed rules on seismic activity “seem reasonable.”

He said there is a hearing Monday, Aug. 25, of the House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity, of which he is a member, and the TRC is expected to testify along with other parties.

“I’ll know more after the hearing,” King said.

Tracy Smith, Wise County Democratic party chair, who has been seeking action on the earthquake issue, was “cautiously optimistic” about the proposed new rules.

“As with all things political, the citizens of Texas have yet to see how the traditionally pro-industry Railroad Commission will interpret the new proposed rules,” she said via email. “It is certainly a step in the right direction.

“The citizens of Texas still have a long way to go to get elected leaders to refocus on the job of protecting citizens as the No. 1 priority,” she said. “The Texas Railroad Commission has earned a reputation of supporting the traditonal industry attitude of denial first, and it will take a while for the public interest to trust both the TRC and the industry again.”

Railroad Commission spokeswoman Ramona Nye said the link between disposal wells and earthquakes has still not been fully established. Staff seismologist David Craig Pearson was hired in March and is studying the link between injection wells and seismic activity.

“As our agency continues to work with the scientific community to coordinate an exchange of information … we have seen a need for laying the groundwork for some basic industry best practices,” Nye said.

The TRC estimates the proposed regulations would add about $300 to the cost of an injection well permit application.

The rule changes were published Aug. 5 and approved without comment by the TRC in a conference on Aug. 12. They will be published in the Texas Register Aug. 29, and after that, there will be a 30-day comment period.

The public has until noon Monday, Sept. 29, to weigh in on the proposals.

Public comment may be submitted to the Rules Coordinator, Office of General Counsel, Railroad Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, TX 78711-2967; online at www.rrc.state.tx.us/legal/rules/comment-form-for-proposed-rulemakings; or by email to rulescoordinator@rrc.state.tx.us.

Comments should refer to O&G Docket No. 20-0290951.

The TRC has issued permits to more than 50,000 Class II injections wells in Texas since the 1930s.

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‘Surge’ results in arrests, recovery of stolen items

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office has made numerous arrests for drug offenses – and recovered stolen vehicles and guns – as part of a multi-county special operation conducted last week.

Chief Deputy Kevin Benton said the Sheriff’s Office participates in a program called the Texoma High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which periodically holds “surges.” Wise joined Tarrant, Denton and Cooke counties in such a surge Aug. 13-15.

Evidence

EVIDENCE – Items seized from a traffic stop near Alvord last week included drugs, weapons and cash. Messenger Photo by Richard Greene

On Wednesday, Aug. 13, a traffic stop in the area of the roadside park between Alvord and Decatur resulted in the discovery of numerous illegal items including 3.33 ounces of marijuana, LSD, butane hash oil (derived from marijuana) and brass knuckles as well as a rifle and more than $800 in cash.

Criminals

Alexander Dinsmore, 18, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 1A, less than 20 abuse units, and possession of marijuana, 2-4 ounces.

James Bass-Roberts, 19, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 2, less than 1 gram and possession of marijuana, less than 2 ounces. Christopher Allen Lopez, 18, was arrested for prohibited weapon. All three are from Dallas.

The next day, Aug. 14, Joseph Dwayne Sparks, 31, of Rhome was arrested following a traffic stop at U.S. 81/287 and Farm Road 407 near Rhome. He was charged with possession of marijuana, 4 ounces to 5 pounds, after 4.03 ounces of the drug was discovered.

On Aug. 15, a traffic stop at U.S. 81/287 and County Road 1280 in the Alvord area led to the arrest of Jamie Kristin Mack, 27, of Chico. She was charged with driving while license invalid with previous conviction. Drug paraphernalia was also located in her vehicle.

The surge also resulted in the recovery of a vehicle stolen from Arlington, two stolen motorcycles (one from Monroe, La. and one from Jacksboro) and three stolen firearms from a convicted felon. Because arrests have not yet been made on those individuals, no further information was available.

The three-day operation consisted of a combined effort of the Criminal Investigation Division, Specialized Enforcement Division headed up by Lt. Chuck Gomez, K-9 Deputy J.T. Manoushagian and Sgt. Cavin Riggs of the Traffic Division.

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Commissioners propose budget, tax rate

Nothing is set in stone, but Wise County’s budget for fiscal year 2015 is taking shape.

County commissioners proposed a $69.8 million budget – a $3.3 million increase over last year – in a workshop Tuesday morning.

They also agreed to keep the tax rate at 37.89 cents per $100 property valuation, as suggested by County Judge Glenn Hughes in a July 31 meeting. If approved, this means property owners would not pay more in taxes unless the value of their property increased.

Neither the budget or the tax rate will be final until commissioners formally approve them in a special meeting Monday, Sept. 8.

Prior to that, two public hearings on the tax rate will be held the first week of September. The first is 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, and the second is 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5. Both meetings will be held in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur.

Under the Texas Property Tax Code, the county is required to hold the hearings because the proposed tax rate is higher than the effective rate. If adopted, the effective rate, with this year’s property values, would raise the same amount of tax dollars as fiscal year 2014, but Hughes was concerned it wouldn’t raise enough money to balance the budget.

Although overall property values are up 5.3 percent, a $400,000 increase in county insurance almost cancels out additional tax revenue that will be generated with the current rate in the next fiscal year.

Aside from the insurance increase and a 3 percent pay raise for all county employees, county Auditor Ann McCuiston said the rest of the budget remains the same as last year with only minor changes in various departments.

The fiscal year 2015 budget also includes $5 million in capital expenditures, which accounts for the overall increase from FY ’14 to FY ’15. Last year there was no capital expenditure money in the budget.

In December, commissioners approved funding $15 million in capital expenditures with tax notes, and the money will be used over a five-year period, starting in FY ’15, to purchase equipment and vehicles for various county departments.

This is the second time the county has used a capital expenditure plan. The first was in 2008, and that debt will be paid off this fiscal year.

Commissioners’ next regular meeting is 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, in the courthouse in Decatur.

Read more details about the county budget in the weekend Messenger.

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Wins help offset losses for shelter volunteers

Twenty-three Wise County families got a little bigger Saturday.

Wise County Animal Shelter played host to Empty the Shelter Day, a North Texas adoption effort held to encourage pet adoptions by waiving the fees associated with adopting an animal.

Hello Kitty

HELLO KITTY – Twenty-three animals were adopted Saturday as part of Empty the Shelter Day. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Thirteen cats and 10 dogs were adopted out by the shelter – 20 more than on that day last year. The shelter’s sign-in sheet showed that more than 120 people passed through the shelter’s doors Saturday.

Supervisor Linda Bryan said her facility wouldn’t have been able to participate in the event if it weren’t for the efforts of a group of local women, dubbed the Shelter Buddies.

“Since this set of volunteers we have now started, the adoption and rescue rates have tripled,” Bryan said.

These efforts include organizing auctions, bake sales and garage sales to raise funds for events and maintain a standing budget. While this is the first time Wise County has taken part in Empty the Shelter Day, the volunteers have hosted similar events for several years.

“I can’t waive the fees, so the shelter buddies used their designated bank account to sponsor fees,” Bryan said. “On most events, they’ll pay for the adoption, which is about $30, and then they’ll give out a voucher worth about $100 for the spaying or neutering.”

Brenda Argraves has been volunteering with the Shelter Buddies for more than two years. She helps run the group’s online campaign, which includes posting photos and details on Facebook to encourage adoption.

The group’s page, Urgent Animals at the Wise County Animal Shelter, is followed by more than 6,100 people – almost equal to the population of Decatur.

“When I first started going to the shelter, I was just going to drop off food, bleach, and some other supplies, but I saw a need,” Argraves said.

The Wise County Shelter serves the entire county, more than 922 square miles. As many as 25 animals can come in on any given day, Bryan said. The shelter only has 33 kennels.

Initially, Argraves said she worked with the shelter to increase the chances of adoption by doing things the staff doesn’t always have time to do – spend time with each animal.

“They really don’t have the time to take them out and make them feel good and so that’s what we do,” Argraves said. “We get their confidence back.”

While working with the animals, Argraves discovered something she was truly passionate about.

“When we helped get one out, it makes you want to get another out, and another out, and another out” Argraves said. “It’s addicting.”

The group includes seven regular volunteers and several more who help out when they can. Although it can be fulfilling work, Argraves said each of them needs to take the occasional break. Volunteering can be physically and emotionally exhausting.

“When you work really hard and you put hours into organizing a rescue and it falls through, and the dog ends up being euthanized because of lack of space, it’s devastating,” Argraves said. “Some of these ladies put their heart and soul into it.”

As a result of their efforts, the Shelter cleared out most of its residents Saturday. Across North Texas, more than 2,200 animals were adopted and three shelters reported being completely empty.

“Every single one we get out is a win,” Argraves said.

Wise County can chalk Saturday up as a resounding victory.

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Forum set on water, transportation

State Rep. Phil King will host a town hall forum 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the lecture hall at Weatherford College Wise County.

Commissioner Victor Vandergriff of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Director Kathleen Jackson of the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will be on hand along with King to discuss transportation and water issues facing the state and how those issues will be addressed during the upcoming 84th legislative session.

Jackson will discuss the TWDB’s role and the need to develop a wide range of solutions, promising technologies and collaborative partnerships to meet the state’s current and future water needs.

“TWDB is actively engaged in a new level of public and community outreach across the state to address the common goal we all share, which is to develop water for Texas,” King said. “Director Jackson will highlight policies and procedures that have changed at the agency since the passage of House Bill 4 and will provide an update on implementing the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT).”

Vandergriff, a member of the Texas Transportation Commission, helps oversee TxDOT’s activities statewide. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry March 26, 2013, and took his seat on the commission on April 30, 2013. He is an attorney and private businessman specializing in business development and legislative issues.

From 2009 to 2013, Vandergriff served as chairman of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles board. He was also a board member for the North Texas Tollway Authority from 2007 to 2013, serving as chairman 2010-2011.

The public is invited to the forum.

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Swimming: Swimmers fill pool in growing program

Swimming: Swimmers fill pool in growing program

The lap pool at Fit-N-Wise is in danger of overflowing.

A strong influx of new swimmers has threatened to fill the pool to its edges.

Brooke Huffman, coach of the Fit-N-Wise Muscle Swim Team and leader of the Decatur High School team last year, has watched the squads grow since her arrival last August.

Huffman said most of her high school swimmers are also training with the Fit-N-Wise team.

Hard at Work

HARD AT WORK – Jennifer Morehart does a swimming workout in the gym at Fit-N-Wise. The Fit-N-Wise Muscle swim team continues to grow each year. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“If they want the extra practice time and they’re not involved in anything else, then they’re doing both practices,” Huffman said. “It definitely shows a different level of commitment from these kids.”

Several incoming freshmen have already approached Huffman, hoping to get a leg up on the season. After training with Team Muscle all summer, they’re now ready to compete.

“They’ve been coming in and working hard to get ready for the high school season,” Huffman said. “It’s awesome to see that. These are kids who came in with no experience and, through their own will, have gotten themselves in racing form.”

Huffman started Fit-N-Wise’s competitive swim program in 2001 with a team known as AquaRacers. Later it transitioned into Quest Aquatics, and Huffman led it for seven years before moving out of the area. Her return to Decatur in 2013 came at an opportune time.

“It just happened that when I moved back here, both coaching positions opened up,” Huffman said.

Huffman’s return also coincided with changes in Fit-N-Wise’s sports performance program.

Wendell Berry, sports performance coordinator at Fit-N-Wise, said Huffman’s team is part of a larger effort by Fit-N-Wise to develop several sports teams, ranging from golf to basketball to volleyball.

“We’re building the culture of Fit-N-Wise sports for this town,” Berry said.

Part of this expansion means separating the swim team into four skill-based practice groups, so that Huffman can isolate and work on specific issues with her team. It also means stronger backing and support from the fitness facility, which is based at Wise Regional Health System.

On the high school level, Huffman will be an assistant to new head coach Caroline Renfro. The duo brings a combined 30 years of coaching experience to the poolside. Renfro said she hopes she can become a part of Huffman’s established relationship with the students.

“She’s the backbone,” Renfro said. “I went to the first team meeting and got to see how the kids react to Brooke and they love her.”

In the past year, Huffman said she’s had the chance to grow close with the team. It’s a relationship she hopes will result in faster times in the pool.

“These kids are like family,” Huffman said. “I just want to build on the program and make it stronger.”

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Fingerprint system making its mark on local crime

Fingerprint system making its mark on local crime

Most of us focus on what is taken from a crime scene. Tim Lamkin focuses on what was left behind.

Specifically, fingerprints.

Digital Digits

DIGITAL DIGITS – Tim Lamkin, a crime scene investigator at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, demonstrates how the AFIS system is used to help investigators identify crime suspects through fingerprint technology. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

A couple of weeks ago, sheriff’s officers responded to a report that some stolen vehicles had been found near Paradise. Officers pursued the suspects, arresting one after about an hour’s chase. Another suspect got away.

Lamkin, a crime scene investigator at the sheriff’s office, was called out to search for fingerprints on the recovered vehicles.

“We processed the vehicles and got a lot of fingerprints, especially from the Hummer,” he said.

Back at the office, Lamkin used the new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to search for the suspect’s identity. It didn’t take long for Lamkin to pinpoint his man.

“Within 3 1/2 minutes of putting the fingerprint in there, I got a hit on the person who was not arrested,” he said.

Pointing at an enlarged fingerprint on the large AFIS screen in his office, Lamkin described how he uses points of comparison to determine if a fingerprint is a match. In this case, he hit on 20 out of 21 marks.

“Most counties, the number of points of comparison it takes to convict someone is about eight, but some have been convicted with four,” he said. “So when I hit on something with 20 points of comparison, ‘Sorry about your bad luck, but you shouldn’t have committed the crime.’”

The suspect’s fingerprint was one of about 14,000 in the system at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. If it hadn’t matched a fingerprint in-house, the AFIS system allows investigators to search other agencies who use the same system.

The number of agencies using AFIS is growing. Locally, 28 agencies in North Texas and the Oklahoma Department of Corrections are now using the system.

If Lamkin wanted to run the fingerprint through the Dallas County database, for example, it could take anywhere from 25 minutes to 24 hours to search through the million or so fingerprints.

While 24 hours might sound like a long time, it is still much quicker than the old system.

“It used to be we took our fingerprints, sent them to the Department of Public Safety, they scanned the prints, and to run it through the DPS system it took sometimes two weeks to identify somebody because of the millions of fingerprints in there,” Lamkin said.

The new system will help even if a suspect is not immediately identified. For example, Dallas may have fingerprints of an unknown suspect, and Wise County may also get the same fingerprint on a case locally. Once the person is identified, the matching fingerprints will tie the suspect to both cases.

When it comes time to take the case to court, the AFIS system also prepares a presentation for the judge or jury showing in detail how the fingerprints match up.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said the new system is a great tool in crime solving.

“Productivity-wise, I think it will really make a difference,” Walker said. “It will save us a lot of time, and I think we’ll be able to solve a whole lot more cases with it.”

Since the first of the year, Lamkin said about 14 cases have been solved based on fingerprints.

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Water board proposes $1.58 million budget

Directors of the Wise County Water Supply District, an entity of the City of Decatur, reviewed a proposed budget of $1.58 million at their meeting Tuesday.

The district, organized as a debt retirement entity, provides water purchased from Lake Bridgeport to the city’s water treatment plant.

Decatur City Manager Brett Shannon, who handles water district business, proposed a tax rate of 12.75 cents, the same as the current year. The majority of the expenses, $785,000, are designated for debt retirement and another $570,000 goes for water purchases from Tarrant Regional Water District.

In addition to the water lines and pump stations at Lake Bridgeport, the district owns the water treatment plant, which is operated by the city.

At its Tuesday meeting the board approved $50,000 in improvements to the treatment plant, including a $25,000 contract to Kimley Horn Engineers to secure a wastewater permit for the plant.

The board will hold a public hearing on the budget and tax rate Aug. 27 at 4 p.m. at Decatur City Hall.

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TAPS seeks local park and ride location

Transportation needs exist in rural communities, but now there’s a new coalition in Wise County that is looking for local input to help identify and meet those needs.

That was the theme of the first meeting of the Wise County Transportation Coalition Tuesday at Decatur City Hall.

Jeff Davis, transportation solutions coordinator with TAPS (Texoma Area Paratransit System) Public Transit, chaired the meeting, which attracted 10 participants from the community. He explained the services TAPS provides Wise County residents, including clearing up the confusion about who could ride.

“I get this all the time: ‘I thought that was just for old or disabled people.’” he said. “And really, anybody can ride TAPS.”

He asked those in attendance to take note of the transportation needs of the community and share them at future meetings. Among the issues the coalition plans to look at is access for veterans, Weatherford College, workforce and medical.

Six TAPS buses currently serve Wise County, and TAPS Access will begin serving the area in September, providing non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid recipients.

The TAPS service area includes Wise, Clay, Montague, Cooke, Grayson, Fannin and Collin counties. One common issue for Wise County residents is the need to travel to Denton or Tarrant counties – counties that have their own transportation systems.

Davis said it is possible, or will be soon, he hopes, to bring Wise County residents into those areas.

“One of the things that is really exciting about TAPS is our leadership has had conversations and introductions with DCTA (Denton County Transportation Authority) in Denton and The T (in Fort Worth),” he said. “Both entities are favorable about making some of these connections, but again, you have to be careful in how those jurisdictional areas are crossed over. We don’t want to jeopardize our funding, because it is so critical to the mission.”

Because TAPS is a not-for-profit entity, it relies on state funding and grants. That money comes with certain rules about coverage area and hours of service.

One of the major issues in making transportation to Denton or Tarrant counties a reality is locating a “park and ride” location in Decatur. Davis said he is looking for a local business or church that would be willing to give up a few parking spots to create such a location. The ideal location would be on U.S. 81/287, he said, but other locations around town could also work.

The bus would leave from the Decatur park and ride location and take riders to either the Intermodal Transfer Station in downtown Fort Worth, where riders could catch a ride on a different bus, or a new park and ride location near Alliance.

Davis said he was willing to make presentations to local businesses or groups about the services offered by TAPS.

The coalition, which is open to anyone with an interest in transportation issues, will meet again at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 at Decatur City Hall. Davis said he envisions the group meeting every other month or quarterly.

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Greene wants to reform Congress

Monday when he came to Decatur, Mark Greene was looking for a place to hold a campaign fundraiser dove hunt this fall.

Mark Greene

A few weeks ago, he spoke to the Decatur Lions’ Club. Not long after that he was back in town for Reunion, pitching washers with other Democratic candidates.

He’s on the campaign trail, working for votes as he seeks to outpoll longtime incumbent Kay Granger in November for the right to represent the 12th District in the U.S. Congress.

It’s an uphill battle, but Greene stays on message.

“I’m not one of these people who can leave something alone if I think it’s broken, and I think government is broken,” he said. “This hellish mess we call politics these days – we have a dysfunctional government.”

Greene was born in Amarillo, but his family moved to Fort Worth when he was 2. He graduated from Eastern Hills High School, served three years in the Army, started a construction business and earned a degree in journalism/public relations from UT Arlington, winding up back in construction as a contractor.

In 2000 he ran for Congress and “kind of just walked away” from his small company during the 18-month campaign. He got pursued by corporate headhunters and ended up going to work for them.

He did mostly construction- and energy-related recruiting, working with firms that deal in wind farms and high-voltage transmission systems. He spent the last couple of years in Mexico until a project he was working on got mothballed, and he returned to the U.S.

By far, political reform is his biggest issue.

“If not for that, I would be much less inclined to run,” he said. “It’s the most difficult issue to address, but every other problem we have comes back to this one.”

Greene’s talking points range from energy to water issues to immigration. But it all starts with reforming the way government does business.

“I’m not so much an issues person as an organizational person,” he said. “The machine of government needs to work, and it doesn’t right now. It’s totally broken.

“Right now, the government we have in Washington is not particularly more functional than the one in Iraq, in Afghanistan or in Somalia. It can’t legislate, it can’t regulate, it can’t govern.”

Greene said partisanship and money drive the system, and must be dealt with.

He supports a constitutional amendment to put the redistricting process into nonpartisan hands and end the gerrymandering that creates “safe” districts for career politicians.

“I used to think money was the biggest problem, but now I’m convinced that gerrymandering is the problem – whether the money was there or not,” he said.

Aside from the fact that redistricting basically costs Texas a legislative session every 10 years, with all the court fights and re-mapping that occur, Greene said having those safe districts removes the incentive for legislators in Washington, D.C. to work together.

“They draw these districts that are so uncompetitive that the representatives have no reason to reach across the aisle, to try and find some common ground where they can work together,” he said. “That’s what politics is supposed to be – the art of compromise. That just doesn’t exist.”

He also supports efforts to repeal the Citizens United decision, in which the Supreme Court struck down limits on political spending by corporations, associations and labor unions.

Without fixing those two issues, he said, it’s not likely there will be much progress in Washington.

“The patient has cancer, and a lot these other issues are broken bones and hangnails and contusions,” he said. “I want to fix the cancer. That’s No. 1.”

Water, energy and immigration reform

On water and energy issues, Greene is more moderate than many of his fellow Democrats.

He sees desalination – of brackish groundwater and, ultimately, seawater – as the most likely long-term solution. And he believes energy production and environmental issues do not have to be in conflict if government will play the role it was designed to play.

“Unlike a lot of my Democratic friends, I believe natural gas is an important energy source that we need to produce and can produce responsibly,” he said. “I don’t think we have to waste nearly the amount of water we waste, producing it, right now.”

He said the Texas Railroad Commission, as currently set up, is rubber-stamping, rather than regulating, the oil and gas industry.

“If the state of Texas would do its job in regulating this industry, there probably wouldn’t be a significant role for the federal government to play,” Greene said.

“I think we, as Democrats, are in the right place on this,” he added. “There’s a place for the average voter to say, ‘Hey, the Republicans are singing a song that I don’t like here – it’s just not that everything the oil and gas producers want to do is OK.’”

He also opposes Granger’s signature project – Fort Worth’s Trinity River Vision – which he says is not a water project at all but “an economic development project that happens to have a water feature to it.”

Greene believes it’s a waste of taxpayer money for something that is going to cost, rather than generate, water.

“If somebody’s going to throw a billion dollars at something in the Fort Worth area, I’d much rather it be to real water works, or to education, or to anything other than a private real estate, economic development project that’s not going to benefit the 682,000 constituents of the district,” he said.

As far as immigration reform and border security, he says Washington’s efforts have been a “huge, colossal failure.”

“Securing our border and establishing some kind of sound, viable immigration policy – that is the role of the federal government, one of the key things we’re supposed to do and clearly, they’re not going to address it,” he said. “It’s a serious deal. A country is hard-pressed to call itself a country if it can’t control its borders.”

He said border issues are complicated and did not just rise up overnight. In fact, the U.S. has played a role in creating the instability and crime south of our border, he said, and must play a central role in fixing it.

“We do need to control our border,” he said. “We need to know what is coming in and who is coming in, and we need to have a system to deal with that. And we need to have our visa program streamlined considerably.”

But to fix the process, you have to allocate the resources, he added – and he said Republicans dont’ want to allocate resources for anything.

“They’ll talk about everything, but they won’t pay for anything,” he said. “To put more people on the ground, to put better systems in place – these things cost money.”

He supports a guest-worker program, but not amnesty or a “special path” to citizenship for the 12-13 million undocumented immigrants currently in this country.

“But I don’t think their path should be blocked, either – assuming that we put a program in place that they can comply with and they pay their fines, go to the back of the line and all that,” he said.

The refugee crisis is another matter, he said, and one the U.S. played a key role in creating.

“Our failed drug war, our lack of attention to things going on down there, our waging proxy wars down there for 20 or 30 years, our sanctioning the overthrow of legitimate governments down there – we’ve trod heavy over Central and South America for over a century,” he said.

Now, as children and families seek to escape the violence, the U.S. cannot turn its back.

“They’re refugees,” Greene said. “They’re kids. And they’re not just coming to the United States, they’re going to Mexico, they’re going to Belize, they’re going to Costa Rica, anyplace they can go. They’re trying to get out. To sit there and suggest we throw them out without any sort of due process – that’s just inhumane.”

He said Granger “fumbled an opportunity” to show leadership on the issue.

“She’s been there long enough that she’s part of her party’s leadership,” he said. “She’s in a position to be part of the solution. She’s part of the problem.”

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Going Glock: Sheriff’s Office exchanging weapons

Going Glock: Sheriff’s Office exchanging weapons

The Wise County Sheriff’s Office is about to re-arm.

At the request of Sheriff David Walker, the department won approval Monday to trade its Sig pistols for Glocks.

Deputies to Get New Weapons

DEPUTIES TO GET NEW WEAPONS – The Wise County Sheriff’s Office will trade its Sig pistols (left) for Glocks (right) in the next few weeks, going with the 9 mm weapon instead of the heavier .357 handgun. Sheriff David Walker said the change would allow the department to get ammunition cheaper and faster. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

County commissioners approved trading 58 .357 Sigs for 70 9 mm Glocks after Walker said the cost of Sigs is on the rise, and the ammunition is hard to find.

“The cost of the pistols is high and going up, and the cost of the ammo is higher,” he said. “And there’s a lengthy delay for .357 ammo. It’s ridiculous, even ordering bulk ammo the way we do.”

He said the shift would allow the department to get cheaper ammo and faster.

“It’s not a 9 mm that you can buy off the shelf,” he said. “We’ll basically get a souped-up 9 mm round.”

Walker said the 9 mm ammunition would be delivered immediately, whereas there is sometimes a six-month delay for the .357 ammunition.

The trade will result in the department having extra pistols that can be kept on hand. Walker said they would have extra guns at the ready in case an officer’s firearm needs repair, and if an officer is involved in a shooting and his or her weapon is taken into evidence, another gun can be assigned to them.

He said the transition will be a three- to four-month process. The county’s supplier, GT Distributors, will send the Glock pistols first so officers have time to train and qualify on the new weapons, after which they can carry them on duty.

The Sig pistols will be inventoried with county Asset Manager Diana Alexander and shipped back to GT.

Walker said GT will allow the officers the option of purchasing the Sig they carried for $378. The buy-back plan is between GT and the individual officers. It does not involve the county.

“The cost continually goes up,” Walker said. “DPS is getting away from Sigs for the same reason, but I’m not sure what they’re going with. Glock has loaned us some of them … they’re not a pretty gun, but we’re not in a pretty business.”

Walker said they were concerned about the firepower of the 9 mm until a manufacturer did a demonstration with the .357 versus the 9 mm police round. He said it was “very comparable.”

He said the department will have to buy duty gear, but money is already set aside in capital expenditures.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Harry Lamance, a former Boyd police chief, asked if Walker anticipated problems acquiring 9 mm ammo down the road.

The sheriff said there were a lot of other departments also moving to the 9 mm, but it’s the best solution.

“Basically, I can buy two Glock pistols for the price of one Sig,” he said. “With us providing weapons to the guys, going down the road, it just makes sense.”

Walker also told commissioners the department will be trading in various rounds of ammunition that they don’t use to 2K Pawn in Decatur for regular 9 mm rounds that the officers will use for qualifying with their new pistols.

JAIL SECURITY

Commissioners approved an $88,171 bid from MCI for a jail security upgrade. The only other company to bid was Stanley, but it was unable at this time to offer a key component – a control room upgrade.

The Stanley bid was $30,000 less, but without the control room upgrade, the system would not operate to its highest potential.

Walker said the current system is 10 years old and is piecemealed together. Although they’ve replaced individual digital video recorders (DVRs) over time, he said a completely new system is needed.

Stanley indicated it might be able to offer the control room upgrade in the future, but Walker said he thought the county needed to move forward with the project.

“… if something happens in the jail and there’s a lawsuit, it’ll cost more than these two systems together,” he said.

The entire cost of the system will be covered by capital expenditure funds.

Commissioners also awarded annual bids for fiscal year 2015. A detailed list will run in a future edition of the Messenger.

In other business, commissioners:

  • authorized District Clerk Brenda Rowe to name Mildred Lester a deputy district clerk;
  • appointed Lynn Giddens to place 2 on the Helen Farabee Centers’ board of trustees, representing Wise and Jack counties;
  • approved an order of election for this fall as presented by Elections Administrator Lannie Noble;
  • approved amended and final plat for lots 1 and 2 in block 1 of Weatherford College addition; and
  • approved re-plat of Walnut Creek Ranchettes, lots 4A-R1 and 4A-R2 in Precinct 1.

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County Clerk Records for Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recorded marriage licenses filed July 2014

Stephen Charles Maun of Decatur and Meghan Louise Warnock of Alvord

Lucas Shayne Scherb and Heather Amanda Johnson, both of Decatur

John Jefferson Rogers of Alvord and Carla Rene Anderson of Gun Barrel City

Che Van Rotramble and Hyeroung Lee, both of Decatur

Caleb Israel Hardin and Elizabeth Nicole Brown, both of Bridgeport

Randall Scott Batchelor and Erin Lola Marie Patrick, both of Alvord

Russell Lee Hodges of Bowie and Christin Leigh Ary of Paradise

William Thomas Whitaker and Martha Ann Paul, both of Bridgeport

Jack William Peters and Sharon Christina Hill, both of Bridgeport

Jay Nathaniel Willis and Chelsea Ann Turner, both of Decatur

Jerrick Randall Hammond and Jesusita Iglesias Behle, both of Paradise

Peter Fischer and Jill Jon Ingram, both of Paradise

Samuel Duncan Robertson of Bridgeport and Kara Elizabeth Perez of Decatur

Daniel Taylor Ward and Ashli Elizabeth Keil, both of Decatur

Mark Wilson Clark Jr. of Bridgeport and Andrea Morgan Calabretta of Runaway Bay

Marty Lynn Lampkin of Rhome and Tuesdee Lynn Rundle of Wichita Falls

Arthur Wayne Manuel of Bridgeport and Amanda Kay Largent of Chico

Gabriel Preston Cocanougher and Lacy Renee Graves, both of Decatur

Roy Lee Wilkinson Jr. of Nacogdoches and Diane Shaffer Price of Gainesville

William Chad Leito of Arlington and Kattie Gregg Foster of Decatur

Jeffery Steven Dickens and Amy Deanne Mitchell, both of Rhome

Isaac Teran and Jessica Carolina Rodriguez Reyes, both of Alvord

Justin Robert Walker and Daneyl Bara Michelle Hannah, both of Bridgeport

Ethan Lloyd Alexander and Sandra Elizabeth Garn, both of Decatur

Tony Van Vinzant and Judy Viola Shannon, both of Waxhaw, N.C.

Inocente Gonzalez Fraga and Monica Marie Hinojosa, both of Bridgeport

Jason Lee Breeland of Decatur and Miranda Dawn Hance of Marlow, Okla.

Jacob Cade Isham of Decatur and Blair Nicole Bartee of Dallas

David Lee Miley and Susan Michelle Vols, both of Paradise

Shawn Michael Ryburn of San Antonio and Kristine Amber Herron of Springtown

Gabriel Alexzander Martinez of Rhome and Tara Jolene Trigg of Keller

Harry Lee Ames Jr. and Leah Deanne Coursey, both of Bridgeport

Matthew Reid Hall and Tessa Dena Smart, both of Newcastle, Okla.

Justin Will Graves of Roanoke and Samantha Lee Coulson of Alvord

Frank Odell Hobbs and Tanya Leann Pearce, both of Bridgeport

Darryl Keith Peel of Boyd and Brenda Ann Goodwill of Burleson

William Cole Carter of Ponder and Hannah Renee Freeman of Justin

Colby Lewis McGee of Decatur and Tracy Shea Mosier of Alvord

Collen David Cook of Nocona and Haley Devawn Byers of Chico

Brett Lewis Grier of Weatherford and Molly Dawn Williams of Decatur

Tony Leroyce Leverett and Crystal Sue Perkins, both of Chico

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District Clerk Records for Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Green Tree Servicing LLC, formerly known as Conseco Finance Servicing Corp., vs. Joye E. Green, Edward K. Green

LVNV Funding LLC vs. Judy Solomon

Mignon Hudson, individually as representative of the estate of James Hudson and derivatively for Waste Gas Flares LLC vs. David Rogers and Blake Bowen

DD&L Enterprises LLC, doing business as D&I Leasing, vs. HB Solutions Inc., Ian Hymer and Richard Seeberger

Brett A. Jones vs. Robert Pennington

National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-1 vs. Mathew Lunsford and James Lunsford

National Collegiate Student Loan Trust 2007-3 vs. Jeffrey Hankins and Mona Hankins

FORECLOSURES

1306 Hovey St. in Bridgeport

102 Legendary Court in Newark, Joni Fontenot and Jody Fontenot

230 County Road 4859 in Newark, Fernando Sifuentez, Josie Sifuentez

600 Pioneer Road in Rhome, Frank Lauro, Deanna Lauro, Frank Lauro

INJURY OR DAMAGE – MOTOR VEHICLE

Robert Alton Looney vs. Carl Fennell

Adam Leeper individually and as next friend of Laylah Leeper vs. Gabrielle Leeper

Karye Callaway vs. Deloris Martin

Jared Baswell vs. Bobby Venable

INJURY OR DAMAGE – OTHER

Paul Daniel and Lorie Daniel vs. United Bucking Bulls Inc, Randy Schmutz, Jimmy Ray and Jerry Nelson

TAX CASES

Northwest ISD vs. Aqua Texas Inc.

Alvord ISD, et al vs. Mark Ashlock and Blizzard Yovonne Ashlock

Azle ISD and Wise County vs. Bradberry Water Supply

Decatur ISD and Wise County vs. Cecil Cross

Northwest ISD and Wise County vs. Kathy J. Davis

Northwest ISD vs. Anthony Gile and Ashley Gile

Northwest ISD vs. Ernesto Hurtado and Marecela D. Hurtado

Northwest ISD and Wise County vs. Ann Marie Odom

Bridgeport ISD and Wise County vs. Harriet Raven

Bridgeport ISD, et al vs. Alva Traister, et al

Northwest ISD and Wise County vs. Raymond J. Taylor

Boyd ISD, et al vs. Alta Williams and Alma Munn Revocable Living Trust

Decatur ISD, et al vs. Sheila Kay Young, et al

Chico ISD and Wise County vs. Ron Blocker

Paradie ISD and Wise County vs. Janetta Snuffer

DIVORCES FILED

Suzanne Hitchcock and Paul Allen Hitchcock

Delaine Matthews and Charles Alexander Matthews

Donald Clay Herriage and Ashley Dawn Herriage

Deborah Lee Hines and Tracy Clay Hines

Marion S. Kirk and Justin S. Kirk

Steven Lee Sharp and Jamie Christine Sharp

Adela Mancilla and Bernabe J. Mancilla

James Clarence Muncy and Elaina Muncy

Cindy Inez Clark and Jeffrey Wayne Clark

Michael Rann Zemmin and Emily Ruth Witemeyer

David Musgrave and Yolinde Anne Musgrave

Kimberly Ann Whitaker and Joseph Sean Whitaker

Austin Neal Williams and Stephanie Michele Williams

Curtis Scott Buckner and Whitney Shae Buckner

Traci Jean Brigham and David Scott Brigham

Charles Alton Evans and Phyllis Ann Evans

Erika J. Herman and Michael L. Herman

Laura Lee Naranjo and Joel Alexander Gutierrez

Toby Justin Stanley and Patricia Elaine Stanley

Veronica Moran de Martinez and Juan Martinez

Lisa Diane Blanton and Charlie Todd Blanton

Charissa McConnell and Michel Herrijgers

Celeste Rodriguez Martinez and Everardo Martinez

Maria Isabel Loera and Miguel Angel Gonzalez

Cecil Deon Tarver and Sonya Renee Tarver

Mary Marie Crowder-Morse and Michaeal Ryan Crowder-Morse

Chance McAnally and Ashley Daye McAnally

Jordan Leigh Schwarz and Aaron Louis Schwarz

Sarah Nemec and Matthew James Nemec

Paula Poweel Cooksey and James Monroe Cooksey

Charity Dawn Livesay and Matthew Lane Livesay

Tiffany Yvonne Morton and Christopher Lance Morton

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