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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  • IMG_7134.JPG Despite cold, peach crops looking rosy

    Parker County peach growers won’t know for sure for a few more days, but as of Wednesday, one day after April temperatures plummeted into the low 30s, they’re predicting a good, even rosy, peach harvest for this year’s Parker County Peach Festival.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Animal shelter throwing a party

    The Weatherford Parker County Animal Shelter made a promise to its staff, volunteers and rescues that if the shelter was able to achieve a 90 percent live release rate by the end of March, the shelter would throw a community-wide party to celebrate its accomplishments.

    April 16, 2014

  • Veterans Memorial Rendering.jpg Cabin fever

    Weatherford Parks and Recreation officials are looking to renovate two areas to make them more user friendly.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parker County man killed in single-vehicle wreck

    A 60-year-old Parker County man was killed around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in a one-vehicle crash in the 2100 block of FM Road 3325, also known as Farmer Road.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 one kidfish.jpg Catching some fun at KidFish

    “Is there anything better than spending time with your kids and teaching them the joys of fishing?” James Shaker, a lifetime Weatherford resident, asked Saturday. “I don’t think so.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fund set up for family after losing home

    Two streets down and hours after many members of the East Parker County community gathered April 5 to present a new home built with donations to a local family in need, another family in the West Oak subdivision lost their home to a fire and is now in need of support from the community. 

    April 15, 2014

  • County wins grant, approves road plan

    New funding to improve county roads and a new plan to rank them according to their need for repair moved forward hand-in-hand at Monday’s Parker County Commissioners’ Court meeting.

    April 15, 2014

  • IMG_6890.jpg WC’s new Allied Health Building nears completion

    Construction crews are in high swing as the completion date for Weatherford College’s new Don Allen Allied Health Building nears.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • IMG_6862.jpg Keeping alive the story of Mary Martin

    Mary Martin historian George Dansker gave a heartwarming lecture about the Weatherford-born Broadway actress many didn’t know during a fundraising dinner honoring her 100th birthday Thursday night.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • Assessing the needs

    For the last few weeks, Weatherford ISD has had some new faces on campuses as engineers and architects of Huckabee & Associates have busily been assessing district facility needs.

    April 12, 2014

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