Weatherford Democrat

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January 2, 2014

2013 in Review

A look back at 2013 through the year’s top stories as compiled by the WD staff

NUMBER ONE – Earthquakes shake up Parker County

An epidemic of low-magnitude earthquakes — mainly in northeast Parker County, raise questions about a link to the injection wells used by gas drillers to dispose of fracking waste. Scientists report the fluids — pumped into the wells under pressure — might release the natural stress built up on fault lines, triggering the quakes.

Citizens’ response to the ground shakers — which now number two dozen in the county and some 30 across the region including Tarrant and Palo Pinto counties — sent Parker County commissioners and others to the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, for answers.

A town hall meeting about the area ground shakers is set for 5 p.m. Thursday at Azle High School.

Industry experts are mixed on whether fracking, a process used to extract natural gas from the area’s layer of shale, or the subsequent injection of fluids and chemicals used in the fracking process back into the ground could be the cause for the area’s relatively mild earthquakes, most of them registering below 3.0 magnitude with several above that, as high as 3.6 magnitude. No injuries or significant property damage have been reported as a result of the series of quakes, which began in early November.

The U.S. Geological Survey and Southern Methodist University recently placed monitors in areas of northeast Parker County and have identified an area between Reno and Reno as the epicenter for the more recent earthquakes recorded, saying they are generally occurring at a considerably shallow depth of about 2-4 miles below ground level.

NUMBER TWO – Bearcats roll to another state football title

One word – domination.

That describes the Aledo Bearcats’ 2013 undefeated, record-setting football season that culminated with a Class 4A, Division II state championship on Dec. 22 at AT&T Stadium in a 38-10 win over the Brenham Cubs.

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  • Hospital board moves closer to building ambulance station

    The Parker County Hospital District Board of Directors took steps Wednesday to advertise and accept bids for the construction of a Brock-area ambulance station. 

    July 24, 2014

  • 0725 one arson.JPG Suspicious house fire under investigation

    The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • CPS data.jpg Case overload

    Parker County Attorney John Forrest will ask county commissioners for additional funds as county budget discussions begin this year; he hopes to hire another attorney to help with an increase in Child Protective Services cases.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • City to transfer bond funds to cover street project

    Per the recommendations of City of Weatherford staff, the Weatherford City Council Tuesday approved an ordinance amending the fiscal year 2014 budget to transfer monies from various bond funds into the general capital improvement projects fund. The reallocation of funds are from bonds designated to various street construction projects and will be consolidated into one more street construction project: the access road between Bethel Road and South Bowie Dr.

    July 23, 2014

  • Richard Adams Sr. Firefighter arrested on child sex assault charges

    A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period. 

    Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested Monday, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 one trooper.jpg Living up to his name

    For a dog that has survived all odds, Trooper, a three-legged dog that is now seen at fundraisers and other Weatherford events, really does live up to his nickname, Super Trooper.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Macedo, Kelly.jpeg Couple arrested for stealing from elderly woman

    A Weatherford man and woman were arrested last week on charges that they burglarized the house of a woman in a nursing home, making off with books of checks and a rifle found by police during a traffic stop in May. 

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0723 one solar power car.jpg Powered by the sun

    About a half dozen solar-powered cars racing cross county began arriving in Weatherford late Monday afternoon. 

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cole Pritchard.jpg Becoming tech savvy

    Monday afternoon, Weatherford Public Library was home to local teens with a “techie” appetite. As a part of the library’s Young Adult Summer Reading Club, the library hosted a Teen Tech Challenge was hosted to inspire teens with desires of becoming animators and designers. Beyond just technology as a draw, those with a creative mind or a passion for storytelling were also invited.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0722 one puppy bag bikers.jpg A case for comfort

    Weatherford’s VFW Post 4746 R.D. Nelson Memorial and Guardians of the Children motorcycle club gave Hope for Tomorrow employee Heather Dezomits a helping hand Saturday when she introduced Operation Sweet Cases, a program designed to give foster kids a place to store their belongings as they travel from placement to placement.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

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