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Update for Thursday, June 27, 2024

COUNTY APPROVES NEARLY $1 MILLION FOR WCSO EXPENDITURES — Commissioners OK’d a $913,776 purchase to replace Wise County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, body cams and in-car systems Monday. The expenditure was funded through the county’s $9.8 million bond issuance approved by the court in May. In that tax note issuance, the county budgeted $3 million for WCSO capital improvements, with the remainder expected to be used for future fleet replacement. The purchase approved Monday includes 10 Chevrolet Tahoe patrol vehicles ($825,150), a transport van ($76,000) and body camera equipment ($12,656). The Tahoes cost $82,515 each after being outfitted with police equipment, which includes technology, radio and in-car camera equipment. The WCSO currently has around 72 body cameras, produced by a company that was recently acquired by Motorola. The warranty on those cameras and all but 13 WCSO in-car camera systems expired in the 2023 fiscal year. The body cam purchase include six units, which covers the gap of the cameras that were previously issued to the WCSO as part of a demo. Chief Deputy Craig Johnson said the WCSO has been delayed on its replacement of fleet vehicles due to the inventory crunch in the automotive industry from the past few years. He said the vehicles in this week’s purchase will be readily available.

TRAFFIC ALERT — The southbound lanes of U.S. 81/287 near the Wise/Montague county line were shut down due to a major accident as Update was going to press. The wreck was reported around 4 a.m. No other information was immediately available.

HEAT ADVISORY EXTENDED — Wise County remains under a heat advisory until 7 tonight. Today’s high is expected to be around 97 with heat index values as high as 107.

4TH FEST IN RUNAWAY BAY — Runaway Bay will host the 49th Annual 4th Fest Saturday. Activities begin at noon at the Norma Coble Civic Center where you’ll find food trucks and vendors. Free activities for kids start at 2 p.m. with pony rides beginning at 3. Activities will also include water slides, a petting zoo, Lion’s Club train, a firetruck display, live music and turtle races. The Bridgeport High School BBQ team will also be selling barbecue. The Patriotic Golf Cart Parade lines up at 5 p.m., with the parade starting at 5:30. A fireworks display will wrap up the days activities at dusk, usually around 9:15.

ELDER SUFFERS LOSS IN MLB RETURN — Called up as the 27th man on the Atlanta Braves’ roster for a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Decatur native Bryce Elder gave up two runs on four hits and struck out four in six innings in a 4-1 loss. In six starts with the Braves this season, Elder is 1-3 with a 5.76 earned run average, 23 strikeouts and 11 walks in 29.2 innings. The former Eagles’ ace has spent the majority of the season with Atlanta’s Triple A affiliate Gwinnett Stripers, amassing a 5-2 record through eight starts with a 3.86 ERA, 59 strikeouts and 19 walks in 46.2 innings. As of Update deadline Thursday morning, Elder remained on the Braves’ active roster.

MESSENGER RECEIVES STATE AWARDS — The Wise County Messenger received several top journalism awards at the Texas Press Association’s annual conference and awards ceremony Saturday in College Station. In Division 5 of the state contest, the Messenger placed second in Sweepstakes, an award based on points accumulated by placing in various contest categories. The Pleasanton Express won with 475 points. The Messenger had 425 points to place second. The Messenger won second place in General Excellence, Feature Writing, News Photography, Page Design and Sports Coverage. “Remarkable amount of news and sports coverage in these issues,” the Georgia Press Association judges commented on the Messenger’s entry in the General Excellence category. “Great job on fire coverage, and you have a great deal of detail in your crime stories. The amount of sports coverage is also pretty remarkable.” Assistant Editor Brendan Marchand and Editor Austin Jackson placed second in Feature Writing and fourth in Headline Writing. Jackson and Sports Editor Micah McCartney placed second in News Photo, with McCartney and Marchand helping take home second in Sports Coverage. Hannah King was awarded second in Page Design, while her and the Messenger staff’s work on the annual visitors guide, Welcome to Wise, resulted in a third place prize for Best Magazine.

NEW FAIRVIEW CLEAN UP — The Keep New Fairview Beautiful Committee will hold a Clean Up event 8 a.m.-noon Saturday. Meet at city hall, 999 Illinois Lane, at 8 a.m. The group will clean up the U.S. 81/287 northbound frontage road at Farm Road 407. All personal protective equipment will be provided. Refreshments will also be provided.

TRAINING AT SCHOOL — Decatur Police Department will continue the second day of a multi-jurisdictional training at DISD STEM Academy at Enis Elementary today. Do not be alarmed at multiple emergency vehicles in the area.

7-ON-7 STATE TOURNAMENT — Decatur will face Bay City (1:45 p.m.), Yoakum (3:15 p.m.) and Whitney (4:45 p.m.) today in Pool G play at the 2024 Division II 7-on-7 state tournament, played at College Station’s Veterans Park and Athletic Complex. The tournament continues with bracket play on Friday. Read more online here.

FUNERALS — Service for Joyce McDaniel, 91, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Decatur with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

FUNERAL for Jimmie Ray VanHoose, 80, of Chico is 10 a.m. today at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with burial at Pleasant Grove No. 3 Cemetery.

FUNERAL for Patsy Johnson, 83, of Chico is 10 a.m. Friday at Hawkins-Bridgeport with burial at Chico Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Deborah Sue Sandlin, 72, of Bridgeport is pending at Hawkins-Bridgeport.

GRAVESIDE service for Sherry (Peel) Spinks, 68, of Bridgeport is 10:30 a.m. Friday at Oakview Cemetery in Mullin. Visitation is 6-8 tonight at Hudson & Torres Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Dorothy (Tubbs) Clark, 93, of Runaway Bay is 10 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church Bridgeport with burial at Eternal Oaks Cemetery in Runaway Bay. Visitation is 9 a.m. Friday prior to the service at the church. Hudson & Torres is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Johnny Chilton, 80, of Chico is pending at Hudson & Torres.

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