Wise County Messenger

Update for Monday, June 20, 2022

MURDER ARREST — An Oklahoma man was arrested for murder in Wichita Falls Saturday evening in connection with a man found dead in Chico last week. McKinley Mantrell Bradford, 39, of Lawton, Okla., was taken into custody around 6 p.m. Saturday in Wichita Falls when officers served him with a warrant for murder, which had been issued Friday afternoon, according to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin. Bradford is a suspect in the death of 51-year-old John Freeman, who was found dead in a travel trailer off Private Road 1652 north of Chico Wednesday afternoon. Investigators believe Freeman died from multiple gunshot wounds. “After two days of investigation, Wise County Sheriff’s Office and Texas Rangers, with the assistance of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, were able to identify a likely suspect in Lawton, Okla.,” Akin said in a press release issued Sunday. “Following numerous interviews and collection of evidence, the investigation team obtained an arrest warrant for McKinley Mantrell Bradford, 39, charging him with murder.” Bradford remained in the Wichita County Jail as of Monday morning. Akin said he will be transferred to Wise County in the coming days.

FIRE DESTROYS BALSORA CHURCH — Fire consumed Balsora Baptist Church Friday, destroying a place of worship attended by around 75 members of the Balsora community. The fire broke out at around 1 p.m. Damage indicates the fire originated on the far west side of the church. The fire quickly spread throughout the approximately 4,000-square-foot building at 108 County Road 3623 near Farm Road 920. No one was inside the building and there were no injuries from the fire, Wise County Fire Marshal Jeff Doughty said. Wise County EMS checked on one firefighter due to high temperatures. The church was declared a complete loss. Pastor Sonny Smith said members of the church were working on the fellowship hall before the fire started. Doughty said the cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

AIR POLLUTION DAY — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has issued an Ozone Action Day for the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Wise County. Atmospheric conditions are expected to be favorable for producing high levels of ozone air pollution in the area. Today will be the start of a hot work week, with high temperatures around 96 expected today and climbing each day to more than 100 by Friday.

RHOME AREA TRAFFIC ALERT — U.S. 81/287 southbound will be reduced to one lane as needed from NRS Ranch Road to FM 407 in New Fairview for maintenance activities 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Friday. The U.S. 81/287 southbound exit ramp to FM 3433 in Rhome will also be closed as needed from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Motorists should expect delays.

JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY OBSERVED MONDAY — Post offices and some government offices will be closed today in observance of the Juneteenth federal holiday.

RHOME SUMMER READING — Summer Reading Club continues at the Rhome Community Library through July. Registration is available for children 0-18 years old. Register at the library or at rhomelibrary.org. Participants earn prizes for meeting reading thresholds. Every Tuesday afternoon at 1, children in grades K-5 are invited to the library for Crafty Kids – a different craft activity every week in June and July. Then, beginning in July, the library will offer Preschool Storytime (recommended for children 3-5 years old) 10 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays and Toddler Playdate (recommended for children 1-3 years old) 10 a.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays. Children older or younger than the recommended ages may attend at the discretion of the parent/caregiver.

HEALTHCARE MIXER — Healthcare providers are invited to a Healthcare Summer Mixer hosted by Right at Home in Rhome. The beginning of summer party is 4-7 p.m. Tuesday at 303 W. Main St. in Decatur and will feature drinks, mingling and food.

4TH OF JULY MEAT SALE — Greenwood Masonic Lodge 779 is taking pre-orders for Independence Day. Brisket (whole or sliced) $125, pork tenderloin $40, pork ribs $30/rack sausage (jalapeño/cheese and regular) $25/pan. Call or text Tiffany Joseph at 940-399-8594. Preorder deadline is today. Pick up is 9 a.m.-noon Saturday in Greenwood.

FUNERALS — Service for Winford Hammonds, 76, of Decatur is 10:30 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Carolyn McMillan, 63, of Rhome is 11 a.m. Wednesday at Aurora Baptist Church with burial at Aurora Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Hawkins-Decatur.

SERVICE for Guinneth Hilton, 86, of Fort Worth is pending at Hawkins-Decatur.

NO SERVICE is scheduled for Darrell Wells, 75, of Chico. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Douglas Lewis, 74, of Runaway Bay is pending at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Dorothy Louise Smith, 81, formerly of Boyd is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Hawkins Funeral Home Chapel in Boyd.

SERVICE for James Carter, 67, of Decatur is pending at Hudson & Torres Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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