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.

Fireworks banned for 60 hours in Parker Co.

On Tuesday afternoon, Parker County Judge Mark Riley declared a local state of disaster due to the imminent threat to life and property from wildfires and has banned the use of all fireworks in Parker County.

The Texas Disaster Act allows County Judges to ban the use of fireworks during a disaster for up to 60 hours. The act allows for the governor to extend the ban.

Fire Danger and drought conditions are measured by the Keetch Byram Drought Index (KBDI), a scale from zero to 800. Low fire danger is zero to 200 on the scale. Moderate fire danger is a KBDI of 200 to 400. High fire danger is 400 to 600 on the KBDI index and extreme fire danger is 600 to 800 on the scale. Parker County’s KBDI number as of Tuesday, July 3 stands at 629.

Violation of this order is a Class C Misdemeanor and could result in a fine of up to $500 plus court costs and the seizure of the fireworks.

Serial murderer, rapist put to death

The man known as the “ice pick killer,” whose victims included two in Parker County and one in Palo Pinto County, was put to death by lethal injection Wednesday night in Huntsville.

66-year-old Danny Paul Bible’s attorneys had asked for either a firing squad or gas, saying the likelihood of a botched execution by injection was very high because of his medical condition. The Supreme Court denied his appeal yesterday.

Bible was a serial rapist and murderer. Among Bible’s several victims are Tracy Powers and her 4-month-old son, Justin, killed in Parker County in May of 1983, as well as her roommate, Pam Hudgins, killed on the same day in Palo Pinto County.