200,000 bees found in Aledo home

A peaceful Saturday morning in Aledo was disturbed when a swarm of about 200,000 bees came swarming from the walls of a home.

Krysta Mullins told NBC 5 that she was still sleeping when her 9-year-old daughter came to wake her, telling her the dogs were crying on the upstairs balcony. When she went to check on them, she hardly had time to realize what the problem was before she was sent looking for an escape.

Mullins said the entire family took off in different directions, running down the street and stripping items of clothes, hoping they could eventually outrun the bees.

Though 911 was called, Mullins said they weren’t able to immediately get close to the house. A neighbor called Randall Kennedy of DFW Wildlife Control to help.

In total, Kennedy guessed there were as many as 200,000 bees swarming the street. He guessed they’d been building their hive for three years right in between Mullins’ home’s walls.

He said most bee species are more aggressive than they once were thanks to cross breeding with Africanized bees.

Over the course of a couple of hours, Kennedy was able to vacuum most of them up. Though without cutting into the wall, he said they’ll be impossible to completely remove.

No one was seriously injured, but Mullins said her family spent most of the day removing dozens of stingers from both them and one of their dogs. They’re still searching for their other dog that leaped from the balcony amidst the chaos.

Paul Paschall announces candidacy for mayor

Weatherford businessman Paul Paschall has announced his candidacy for mayor of the City of Weatherford. Paschall will officially file January 16, 2019, the first filing date for the May 4th municipal election.

“It will be my honor to serve this great community as its mayor,” Paschall said. “The citizens of Weatherford need a mayor that understands the problems they face and has the courage, independence and conviction to do the right thing.”

Craig Swancy, the current mayor of Weatherford, has indicated he will not be seeking re-election.

Paschall, 47, served on the Weatherford Independent School District Board for nine years, from 2006 to 2015. He served six years as an officer and two years as board president.

He has been an active volunteer for the City of Weatherford since 2005, having previously served on the Building and Standards Board and the Citizens Capital Advisory Committee. He is the current chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission and a member of the Municipal Utility Board. In addition, he was in the inaugural graduating class of Citizens University in 2016, a 10-month program allowing citizens to learn more about the operations and scope of city services.

Paschall has also served on the Weatherford ISD Education Foundation Board (2005-2013), the United Way of Parker County Board (past chair), the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce Board (past chair) as well as volunteering with Partners in Education, the Texas Scholars Program, Junior Achievement and as past president of the Weatherford Noon Lions Club. He is also chairman of the Finance Committee at North Side Baptist Church and serves on the church’s Wednesday evening Kitchen Team.

“Several leadership and service positions have prepared me to be the mayor of Weatherford,” Paschall said. “As I look back now, I feel I have been training for this opportunity for years.”

Paschall says economic development and strengthened partnerships are among his top priorities.

“Targeted and sustainable economic growth will be my primary focus area,” he said. “This will result in attracting additional high paying employment opportunities for the citizens of Weatherford.

“Relationships with Parker County and other neighboring communities need to be strengthened. Working together when the opportunity presents itself will produce better results for all parties involved.”

Paschall said serving in the various aspects of city government has given him a unique perspective.

“The City of Weatherford is a complex entity,” he said. “Our staff and volunteer leaders not only provide services and infrastructure, they also give oversight and protection. My time on the Municipal Utility Board has provided a thorough understanding of many revenue and infrastructure responsibilities. During my tenure on the Planning and Zoning Commission, I learned about making crucial zoning decisions and the development of the General Plan. I’m thankful for these opportunities to listen, learn, and grow as a leader for this city.”

Paschall earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management and a Master of Business Administration degree, both from Tarleton State University. He has spent nearly 20 years in the commercial and personal insurance marketplace, including 10 years owning and operating an independent agency. Paschall Insurance Group was named Small Business of the Year by the Weatherford Chamber in 2006.

Paul and his wife, Courtney, have been married for 21 years. They have two children: Walker, a sophomore at Texas A&M University, and Gencye, an eighth grader at Hall Middle School.

Wise County deputy arrested

A Wise County Sheriff’s deputy has been arrested for aggravated assault related to a domestic violence incident.

According to the Wise County Messenger, Deputy Taylor Alan Whittle of Decatur was arrested Tuesday and charged with a second degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a third degree felony of assault family violence impeding breathing or circulation.

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said he was made aware on Monday of a domestic violence incident involving Whittle that occurred the previous evening. Whittle was accused of assaulting and choking a family member. The deputy was also accused of committing additional offenses within the city of Decatur.

Akin said the investigation was turned over to Texas Ranger Jeremy Wallace who worked with the Decatur Police Department on the case, which led to the arrest.

Akin said Whittle has been fired.

Mineral Wells hospital CEO fired

The Palo Pinto Hospital District Board met Tuesday night, and the board voted to terminate Palo Pinto General Hospital CEO Harris Brooks. The vote was unanimous.

Brooks was placed on paid administrative leave last week. One issue seemed to be a controversial DNA testing service that had been connected with allegations of fraud in patient billing and alleged kickbacks for physician referrals in other communities.

According to the Mineral Wells Index, Brooks had been with the hospital for 19 years, 11 as CEO, most recently at a salary of $305,000 per year.