Freeze, pandemic, changes mark year


2021 was a challenging year in many facets, starting with historic cold and the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. There were also many leadership changes throughout the county. In the end, there was plenty to celebrate between championships and everyday life trending back to normal. Here’s a look back at the top stories in 2021: Deep freeze hits Wise County […]

Investing in people

FREE Reddy’s tireless efforts, passion for people, earn him Person of the Year

Twisted X CEO Prasad Reddy knows a good investment when he sees it. Starting in 2009, he took a boot company in the middle of bankruptcy proceedings and turned it into a brand that helped morph the Western footwear industry into what it is today. That change is seen at Western retailers, rodeos and around town where people kick up […]

Wood charged in assault

The man arrested for shooting a Rhome officer this past summer is facing additional assault charges for an incident in the jail. Royce Edward Wood, 44, has three added charges of assault public servant for an incident Nov. 26 at the Wise County jail, according to jail records. An affidavit in the case states jailers were removing inmates from the […]

Omicron cases rise


As 2021 closes, Wise County and the state are seeing a rise again in COVID-19 hospitalizations as the Omicron variant spreads. The Texas Department of State Health Services stated earlier this week the Omicron variant accounts for more than 90 percent of new COVID-19 cases. Wednesday, DSHS reported positivity rates were at all-time highs and cases were climbing close to […]

Hernandez remains in FWPD custody


The suspect accused of murdering a Paradise man in Boyd last month is still in the Tarrant County jail. Daniel Trevino Hernandez, 61, is accused of murdering Chad Vess, 41, Nov. 30 inside a residence on County Road 4609 west of Boyd. According to Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin, Hernandez’ sister called authorities regarding a shooting inside her home at […]

Pandemic rages on

The COVID-19 pandemic continued to plague Wise County throughout 2021, with various peaks and valleys in the battle against the virus. Wise County crossed a grim milestone with the 100th death from COVID-19 reported by DSHS in February, since March 2020. By year’s end the number of deaths was 210. The year started with hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area E, […]

School leadership changes

Decatur ISD and Bridgeport ISD experienced leadership changes during 2021. Northwest ISD Superintendent Ryder Warren also announced he would be retiring at the end of the 2021-22 school year. In Decatur, the school board met for 5 1/2-hour meeting, four hours behind closed doors, and took no action May 10 on two agenda items related to a possible separation agreement […]

Fire destroys Aurora City Hall, former city administrator arrested

Several decades worth of Aurora’s history were lost in a matter of minutes early on the morning of June 1. At 5:15 a.m., first responders arrived at Aurora City Hall at 303 Derting Street. By that time, flames and smoke had already engulfed the structure, destroying pieces of the town’s heritage. In December, former city administrator Toni Wheeler was arrested […]

Back on top

The Decatur Lady Eagles closed a historic run to their fifth volleyball championship in November. After starting the season with a loss to Wichita Falls Rider, the Lady Eagles swept their second consecutive District 7-4A title. With six playoff wins, Decatur returned to the 4A championship match against Celina Nov. 20 at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. Trailing 22-18 […]

Voters make choices

In May, Northwest ISD voters passed three of the four bond propositions, including $712.4 million to build six schools, including a replacement for Seven Hills Elementary in Newark. Bridgeport voters elected three new members to the city council in the May 1 election, ousting three incumbents. Linda Vasser beat Billy Fred Walker for Place 5. Susan Coffman won Place 3 […]