FINAL PLAT APPROVED FOR WALKER’S PARK — The Bridgeport City Council approved the final plat on the first phase of Walker’s Park Monday, greenlighting plans to bring in 140 homes along U.S. 380. John Pitstick of Beaten Path, LLC, said the development could start bringing in homes by 2023. The final plat outlines the first phase of Walker’s Park — 140 residential lots and six common area lots on 35 acres. As part of the approval, the city entered an agreement with Beaten Path to fund $105,000 in sewer upgrades following a study funded by the developer that showed the city’s capacity would need to be enhanced as more homes are brought to the area. It would also fund upsizing the existing 10-inch east side collector main to 12-inch PVC and realigning the main from Kriste Drive and Lanice Avenue to 17th Street and Brush Street.
DEATH INVESTIGATION — The Wise County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers are investigating a suspicious death near Chico. Sheriff Lane Akin said a woman called around 3 p.m. Wednesday reporting her friend was apparently dead inside his home. Deputies and Wise County EMS responded to the travel trailer off Private Road 1652 about three miles north of Chico and found John Freeman, 51, dead inside. Investigators were called to the home, including the local Texas Ranger. “Early investigative findings tend to show the victim’s death was caused by gunshot wound,” Akin said. The wound did not appear to be self-inflicted, he said. The investigation is ongoing.
CONSTABLE TO RETIRE — Precinct 2 constable Larry Short is resigning his post. Short recently notified Wise County Judge J.D. Clark he would be stepping down Aug. 31. “He’s provided a great service to Wise County in a variety of capacities over his career,” Clark said. “His health is unfortunately not allowing him to continue on in the way he would like to.” Short has been in the post since 2012 and was reelected to a third term in 2020. Clark asked Wise County commissioners Monday to form a committee to review applicants for a new constable. Sheriff Lane Akin, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Kim Redman, Precinct 2 Commissioner Kevin Burns and Clark will serve on the committee.
DISTRICT TO INCREASE PAY — Anticipating a competitive market to bring on staff and teachers, Bridgeport ISD approved a $1 million employee compensation plan Monday night. The compensation plan includes a 3 percent general pay increase for all full-time employees based on 2021/22 salary, a $1k retention check in Nov 2022 and increased monthly contribution for employee health insurance. Trustees approved the plan 6-0. The district approved the pay and benefit increase as it faces a deficit in next year’s budget.
1 HURT IN FRIDAY WRECK — A Decatur man was transported to Wise Health System with non-life threatening injuries after a two-vehicle wreck Friday evening. According to Decatur Police Chief Delvon Campbell, the wreck occurred at about 7:30 p.m. A 2020 Honda PCX motorcycle driven by Albert Madden, 63, was traveling on Farm Road 51 south, near the intersection of Preskitt Road. “Madden failed to control his speed as he approached the intersection,” Campbell said. Madden lost control of the motorcycle, striking a 2014 Buick Enclave driven by Peggy Reeves, 88 of Decatur, and a 1997 Chevy pickup driven by Melinda Gasperson, 61 of Decatur. According to Campbell, Reeves and Gasperson were uninjured.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER STOLEN VEHICLE PURSUIT — An Arlington man was arrested following a high speed chase through Wise County late Tuesday night. Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said a Corvette driven by Adrian Gabriel Escalante, 33, was northbound on U.S. 81/287 south of Decatur around 11 p.m. when a sheriff’s deputy attempted to make a stop after the license plate returned to a stolen vehicle. Escalante turned around in Decatur and continued southbound at speeds up to 135 miles per hour as deputies remained in pursuit. Rhome Police Department deployed spike sticks which disabled two of the car’s tires and caused the speed to decrease to 40 miles per hour. Escalante stopped the vehicle near the county line when one of the disabled tires caught fire. He was arrested and charged with evading arrest with a vehicle and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Jail records show he posted $25,000 bail Wednesday and was released.
FIRE DAMAGES DECATUR HOME — Fire damaged a home in the 1400 block of South Church Street in Decatur Wednesday evening. Light smoke was visible from the brick home when Decatur firefighters arrived on scene around 7:15 p.m. “There was no fire when firefighters entered the home, but lots of smoke,” said Decatur Assistant Fire Chief Joe Boyd. The kitchen and living room at the rear of the home showed evidence of fire damage. The entire home had smoke damage. The cause of the fire is undetermined. No one was home at the time of fire. Boyd said a resident returned home and encountered the smoke. Three of the family’s four pets perished in the fire — two cats and a dog. Boyd said Wise County EMS successfully resuscitated one dog, who was taken to a local veterinarian. Medics also attempted to provide aid to the other pets. Along with Decatur firefighters and Wise County EMS personnel, Bridgeport and Paradise firefighters responded with engines.
MAN ARRESTED AFTER RAMMING HOUSE — Alfonso Duran, 39, was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after purposely driving his Honda passenger car into a trailer home in the 400 block of Newark Street in Decatur around 9:30 p.m. Monday. Decatur Police Chief Delvon Campbell said officers responded to a disturbance at the trailer home and found two men fighting in the front yard. “Duran had previously been at the house and left. He came back and rammed the house with the car,” Campbell said. “There were two occupants in the house. The owner confronted Duran and a physical altercation occurred.” The occupants in the house were uninjured. Duran was taken to Wise Health System for a medical evaluation for injuries suffered in the fight. He was then transported to Wise County Jail where he was booked for the aggravated assault charge. He remained in jail Tuesday with bail set at $25,000. He also had an outstanding warrant for a family assault charge.
ANIMAL SHELTER CLOSED DUE TO DISTEMPER — The Wise County Animal Shelter is currently closed after a dog recently brought to the facility tested positive for distemper. Wise County Judge J.D. Clark said staff has consulted with its local veterinarian and was advised to close the facility to the public temporarily and to test possibly exposed animals. “We’ve shut down the shelter to the public for taking in or releasing animals to treat, test and clean,” Clark said. “We’re testing all dogs that were possibly exposed to make sure they are OK.” Distemper is a highly contagious disease that attacks multiple body systems and can be fatal to dogs. Clark expected the testing to be completed soon and the facility to be reopened. The county is working to open a temporary facility in the former City of Decatur’s shelter to house any impounded animals.
SOUTH WISE WRECK — Boyd firefighters and medics responded to a one-vehicle wreck on Farm Road 51 near County Road 3696 north of the Parker County line around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. According to initial reports, the vehicle rolled several times before coming to rest near the southbound lanes of Farm Road 51. Dispatchers also informed emergency personnel that the driver was the lone occupant of the vehicle. A medical helicopter was dispatched to the scene. The Texas Department of Public Safety had not provided additional details as of press time Monday.