Weatherford News

A final so long to 2016

Aledo Superintendent, Dr. Derek Citty, looks at a artist rendering of Aledo’s fifth elementary school campus.
Aledo Superintendent, Dr. Derek Citty, looks at a artist rendering of Aledo’s fifth elementary school campus. Weatherford Star-Telegram

Looking back at 2016 wasn’t all bad. Parker County revealed - most of the time - its good side, through benevolent, philanthropic gestures good for all. But, still others were found behaving badly leaving us to wonder, why?

July

Sale of drug dealer’s home nets $198,455 for DA, WPD and PCSO

A home seized from a Parker County drug dealer was sold and yielded nearly $200,000 for local law enforcement, according to Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, who handled the case.

The house, five acres, pool, and pool house were forfeited under Texas’ asset forfeiture law and sold for $225,000. The homeowner, Jimmy Wayne Mack, 41, of Weatherford, was arrested on March 22, 2012. In 2013, he was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance in United States District Court and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.

“At his peak, Jimmy Mack was the biggest methamphetamine dealer in Parker County,” Swain said. “He was dealing upwards of a half pound of meth per week.”

Felony DWI yields 20 year prison sentence for Weatherford man

The 20 year prison sentence a Parker County jury assessed to a 61-year-old Weatherford man for a felony driving while intoxicated charge was upheld on appeal in a ruling handed down.

Jose Luis Chavez pled guilty last August and elected to have a jury assess his punishment. Assistant District Attorneys Abigail Placke and Robert DuBoise, who prosecuted the case, introduced records for the jury showing that Chavez had convictions for two misdemeanor DWI’s, a felony DWI case in 2010 for which he was sentenced to five years in prison, as well as prison sentences for possession of marijuana in 1987 and 1992 and for possession of a controlled substance in 2008.

Parker County Peach Festival sees another huge turnout

Early morning cloud cover provided a respite needed from the heat as festival goers attended the 32nd Annual Parker County Peach Festival.

For decades folks from all over North Texas have made an annual pilgrimage to Parker County every second Saturday in July greeted by blazing hot temperatures. Only this Saturday weather conditions were a little more moderate.

“We were so blessed by the wonderful cloud cover,” said Tammy Gazzola, Weatherford Chamber of Commerce president. “It certainly helped with a great turnout, but it also helped keep people at the festival longer.”

Hobby Lobby coming to Weatherford as second result of TIRZ

It has been announced Hobby Lobby, Inc. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma will open its first store in Weatherford next year, adjacent to the recently announced Academy Sports & Outdoors.

The location will be a co-anchor store with Academy Sports & Outdoors in an approximately 10 acre retail shopping center development that will front I-20, west of Tin Top Road. The new Hobby Lobby Arts and Crafts store will be approximately 55,000 square feet and create 30 to 50 new jobs.

The two announcements are a direct result of the efforts made by the City of Weatherford to establish a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) supported by City Council in partnership with the Parker County Hospital District (PCHD) and Weatherford Independent School District (WISD). By law, Weatherford Independent School District (WISD) cannot participate with a TIRZ, but did pass a resolution of support.

$6 million lottery ticket sold at Food Mart in Weatherford

A $6 million Lotto Texas ticket was sold in Weatherford, the Texas Lottery Commission announced.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was sold at Food Mart, 1405 S. Main St. The winning numbers were 2, 3, 17, 35, 41, 44.

It’s the second winning ticket sold in the area in less than a month. A Grand Prairie man won $13 million in a Lotto Texas drawing on June 18.

Parker County inmates helped save jailer’s life

Inmates in Parker County might have saved a jailer’s life after he keeled over from an apparent heart attack.

What’s more, they did it while shackled and after breaking out of their holding cell, WFAA.com reports.

WFAA reporter Jim Douglas spoke to the inmates in Weatherford. They told him they screamed for help and banged on doors to get assistance for the jailer when he slumped over while guarding them at the courthouse in June.

The noise was so loud that deputies in court upstairs heard the commotion and made their way downstairs to see what was up. The deputies performed CPR and paramedics shocked the guard to get a pulse. The guard is now recovering and expected back at work next week, Douglas reported.

Asked why he acted the way he did, one inmate told Douglas, “Because he’s a good man. Wanted to save his life.”

Weatherford man pleads guilty to sex abuse

A 37-year-old Weatherford man pled guilty to sexually abusing an elementary school aged girl, on multiple occasions, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison without the possibility of parole.

Joaquin Cruz pled guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a young child before 415th District Judge Graham Quisenberry.

“The victim’s family was in agreement with the sentence assessed in this case,” said Assistant District Attorney Abigail Placke, who prosecuted the case for the State. “With this sentence, Mr. Cruz will remain in prison until the year 2040.”

August

Paroled killer accused in weekend Parker County rape

A Weatherford man paroled last year after he was convicted of beating his girlfriend’s toddler to death in 1983 is accused of raping a woman in Parker County.

John Robert Morton, 52, was sent to prison in 1984 for 99 years in the death of 3-year-old Charles Christopher Burns who died of a massive brain injury. Charles also had numerous bruises on his back, abdomen, buttocks and extremities, authorities said.

In addition, the boy suffered 17 bite marks, which experts described as “sadistic” and intentionally inflicted to cause pain, according to Parker County court documents.

Ringer Alley open and ready for pitching shoes

John Allison, retired career and technology teacher, has found himself in the pits.

But don’t be troubled. The former Weatherford educator enjoys it there, along with several other members of the Weatherford Noon Lions Club. The pits referred to are the newly constructed horseshoe pits that can be found at Love Street Park.

“It began when our club had Weatherford Parks Director, Shannon Goodman, as our speaker during one of our meetings,” Allison said. “Afterward, I asked him what the Lions Club could do to help with any local projects.”

Allison, a former horseshoe pitching aficionado, naturally suggested horseshoe pits.

“[Shannon] said he thought it was a great idea, that he’d believed it was part of the parks master plan,” Allison said. “So, I started looking around for locations.

September

Man identified in Weatherford police shooting

The man who was shot and killed by Weatherford police was Gregory Mathis, 36, of Weatherford, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.

Mathis died of multiple gunshot wounds fired by officers trying to serve two aggravated robbery warrants. Police say he emerged from a motel bathrom with a knife.

Officers from several agencies converged at the Super Value Inn on Interstate 20, where they believed they would find the 36-year-old suspect.

Ex-Millsap company payroll official sentenced for theft of $116,000

A former payroll official who stole about $116,000 from the Millsap company where she worked has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

During the trial Geraldine Renee Null, 49, of Weatherford testified that stealing the money from GEODynamics in Millsap was her only choice because her husband was arrested on a drug charge and she had to post his bail and hire an attorney for him.

But bank records indicated she also spent the money, which she stole from 2014 to 2015, on a car, clothes, jewelry, hotel accommodations, rental cars and pedicures.

Aledo ISD breaks ground on fifth elementary school

It was a celebratory moment, complete with small jars full of dirt, marking the groundbreaking of Aledo ISD’s fifth elementary school.

Representatives from the school district, Walsh Ranch development, and even Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, came together for the special occasion.

“I want to thank the community for supporting the bond program, it won’t be the last one we have in our school district,” Aledo Superintendent Dr. Derek Citty said. “We’ll have many more to come as we continue to grow.”

Parker County church defaced with ‘demonic symbols, profanity’

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