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Shelby County Residents Under Attack from Computer Scammers - July 3, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

A scam is currently being used on Shelby County residents involving computers and the suggestion the caller on the other end of the phone line is calling to help with a software issue.

A Shelby County Today viewer has received four phone calls, including two on their cell phone and two on their home phone. The person on the other end of the phone line spoke with a foreign accent and said they are from "Geek Central or Control" and told the viewer there is something wrong with the viewer's computer. They wanted the viewer to turn it on while the caller was on the phone.

The viewer immediately recognized this as a scam and kept the conversation going with the caller, trying to get the caller to reveal what the "problem" was. The caller had the IP address of the viewer and said the problem was with Microsoft Windows and they could fix the so-called problem. This "help" comes at a price via your credit card information.

Shelby County Today has also received a similar phone call. Microsoft Windows and any software company associated with Microsoft Windows is not going to make an unsolicited phone call to someone directly and offer to fix a problem on a computer. If you receive a phone call like this, do not provide the caller with any information.

The first line of defense for anyone receiving a call of this nature is to just hang up because it's a high probability that if you do what the caller says, the end result will be a messed up computer and you having to pay to get your computer back working. If you are able to glean any information from the caller, you may want to turn your information over to law enforcement.

A website at the following link suggests contacting the Federal Trade Commission and filing a complaint with that agency http://geeksupportlivescam.com/#maintext

Another website to learn more about scams and what to beware of visit online https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/frauds-and-scams

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Center PD Reports Credit Card System Breach (Update) - July 2, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

(Update): As of 10:21am Friday, July 3, 2015 a statement in relation to the charges provided by Christi Woodworth, Vice President of Public Relations for SONIC, America's Drive-In is as follows: For the last several weeks, legitimate credit card transactions at a very limited number of credit card readers at 11 SONIC Drive-Ins were not processed promptly. There was no data breach at SONIC.

Once the processing issue was discovered, the transactions were processed. Unfortunately, a number of those transactions are dated a number weeks ago. Customers who have concerns about any charges from their local SONIC should talk with the manager of the drive-in.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our customers and are working to ensure this does not happen again in the future.

The franchisee who owns and operates the Center, Tex. drive-in, together with SONIC corporate, are working closely with authorities to demonstrate that the charges are legitimate.

According to a Shelby County Today viewer, Sonic in Center has had a security breach with their credit card system. The viewer stated their credit/debit cards were charged for various amounts yesterday, July 1, 2015 and charges were found on several different cards to Sonic.

Upon contacting the Center Police Department, it was confirmed an investigation had been started.

Center PD received a complaint concerning possible credit card abuse. Center PD Detective David Haley is handling the investigation and advised, "It's going to be investigated to the fullest. Right now it appears that its not a Sonic employee targeting individuals so they can try to take their debit card information. It appears that Sonic's credit card system has been hacked at this point."

Haley went on to advise anyone who suspects fraudulent charges on their account, "Sonic is cooperating fully to try to resolve this. The best thing to do at this point is to dispute it with their bank. Sonic will get that dispute from the bank and we'll get that information from Sonic."

Sonic is the complainant right now because it was their system which was hacked.

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Center PD Seeks Information on Doctor's Office Break-In - July 1, 2015
Submitted by Det. David Haley

The Center Police Department is investigating a burglary of Dr. Singsong’s office. The burglary took place between Friday June 26th and Monday June 29th. During the burglary a prescription pad along with other items were taken. If you have any information about this burglary, Please contact Detective David Haley at the Center Police Department at 936-598-2788.

Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information regarding this crime should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember, you don't have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system.

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Center Fire Department Saves House from Destruction - July 1, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

The Center Fire Department prevented the loss of a house Tuesday, June 30, 2015 when they responded to the home of Lynn Locke located in Center 2 1/2 miles north of Loop 500 off U.S. Highway 96 South at 3:16pm. Local 9-1-1 was unavailable at the time Locke called and she had to contact the fire department directly as 9-1-1 calls were being transferred to Nacogdoches County.

Shelby County Today was on scene when the Center Fire Department arrived and witnessed smoke and flames billowing from one end of a pool house located behind Locke's home. Firemen wearing breathing apparatus entered the house to address the fire from within as water was sprayed on the building from the outside.

The firemen extinguished the flames quickly and were successful at preventing further spred through the rest of the building. Extensive damage was received to the bathroom at the corner of the house where the fire originated and up into the roof as well as smoke damage throughout.

A cause for the fire has not been determined at this time and remains under investigation.

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Polk County Sheriff's Office Seeking Tenaha Couple's Whereabouts - June 30, 2015
Submitted by Detective Byron Dunaway

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Joseph C. Roy and Stacy Pharris Tullos Roy. They have several felony warrants and were last seen in the Onalaska/Livingston area operating Walkers Waterfront Campground during the month of May. They are from Tenaha, Tx area in Shelby County and were last seen driving a 2003 Silver Chevy Van TX LP FKV0285. They may be traveling with two young males around the ages of 9 and 13.

If you know their whereabouts or have any information you can contact your local law enforcement agency, Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-327-6810, or call Crime Stoppers at 936-327-STOP where you can remain anonymous and may collect a cash reward for information leading to an arrest.

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Shelby County Emergency Personnel Respond to Fatal San Augustine Crash - June 29, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

Shelby County Emergency personnel were on scene for a two-vehicle crash in San Augustine County on Friday, June 26, 2015 which resulted in a fatality for one passenger involved. Personnel with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Center Police Department and Center Fire Department were all dispatched to the crash scene. The location was reported to be on the Shelby County side and due to the severity of the crash, first responders continued to search for the location. Eventually the crash was located 2 1/4 miles from the Shelby County line in San Augustine County.

Personnel quickly began checking those involved in the crash and immediately called for more ambulances to be en-route as well as Jaws of Life. The Center firemen and San Augustine Volunteer firemen began working to extricate people from vehicles. Sheriff's Deputies and Police Officers actively assisted EMS personnel in moving occupants from the vehicles to waiting ambulances.

The driver of a Dodge pickup truck and two children from a Honda Pilot were removed first from the vehicles. It was determined the 12-year-old female passenger was in need of critical care and a life-flight was requested. While the helicopter was en-route, firemen worked at extricating the driver of the Pilot from the vehicle. The San Augustine Sheriff's Department and firemen established a landing zone for the helicopter.

Once the driver was removed from the Pilot it was determined the passenger, his wife, had passed away. A Life-Air Rescue helicopter landed at the scene of the crash and airlifted the 12-year-old female from the scene.

According to the DPS report, at 10pm a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck driven by Bryan Norris Spurgeon, 53, of Orange was traveling north on U.S. Highway 96. A 2015 Honda Pilot driven by William Pond, 61, of Orange was traveling south at the same time when Spurgeon drove on the wrong side of the roadway when not passing and caused the vehicles to collide head-on.

Spurgeon received non-incapacitating injuries and was transported from the scene to San Augustine Memorial Hospital for treatment, and was later released. William Pond received injuries and was transported to San Augustine Memorial Hospital for treatment of his incapacitating injuries. He was later transported to ETMC Tyler in stable condition for treatment. An 11-year-old male passenger of Indiana was in the back set of the Pilot. He was transported to San Augustine Memorial Hospital with non-incapacitating injuries, was treated and released. A 12-year-old female passenger of Indiana, also in the backseat of the Pilot was in stable condition with incapacitating injuries. She was transported by Life-Air Rescue to LSU Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Malinda Sue Pond, 61, of Orange was pronounced deceased at the scene by JD Miller, Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 of San Augustine County. She was transported from the scene by Wyman Roberts Funeral Home in San Augustine.

All parties involved in the crash were wearing their seat belts. Following his release from the hospital, Spurgeon was arrested and booked into the San Augustine County Jail for Intoxication Manslaughter. The crash remains under investigation by DPS Trooper Jade LaVergne who was assisted at the scene by DPS Trooper Keith Jones.

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Tenaha Couple Sought by Polk County Authorities (Update) - June 26, 2015
Submitted by Det. Byron Dunaway

(Update): "We have identified the suspects with the help of numerous tips. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office really appreciates the public’s help in this investigation. I apologize to anyone that I did not return their call, I had more tips than expected. Thank you to Shelby County Today and the citizens of Shelby County," Det. Byron Dunaway. 

In May the unidentified male in the picture, along with a white female going by the name of Joseph and Carolyn Roy A’ were in the process of purchasing Walker’s Waterfront.

The suspects were managing the business during that time and after a month it was discovered that they were fraudulently purchasing the property. They also stole a large amount of money from the business. They were last seen driving a 2003 Sliver Chevy Van with TX LP#FKV0285 and are believed to be from the Tenaha area. It is believed that they have a parent by the name of Carolyn A Roy that lives in Tenaha, Texas.

If you can identify the suspects please contact Detective Byron Dunaway of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-329-9029.

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Tenaha City Marshal's Office Seeks Information on Shooting - June 26, 2015

The Tenaha City Marshal's is seeking information on individuals involved in a shooting that took place at the baseball field in Tenaha after a kickball game on June 21, 2015.

If you have information please call (936)248-3481 or your local law enforcement agency.

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Center Man Pleads Guilty to Stabbing Wife - June 24, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

A Center man has pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 1st degree, charge in relation to the stabbing of his wife.

According to court documents Marcos Aguilar, 39, pleaded guilty in the 273rd Judicial District Court with Judge Charles Mitchell presiding on May 15, 2015. Aguilar received 15 years sentence in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice system prison and 131 days credit for time served. He is now being held in the John F. Gurney Unit in Tennessee Colony, TX.

Emergency personnel with the Center Police Department and ACE EMS arrived at Pine Grove Trailer Park at 10:04am on January 5, 2015 where Florentina Rojas Gonzales, 37, reported Aguilar had stabbed her. Gonzalez was life-flighted by Life Air Rescue from the Center Municipal Airport to LSU in Shreveport.

It was learned by the police department Aguilar returned to his home at the trailer park at 4:45pm on the day of the stabbing. Officers quickly apprehended him and once in jail, a $100,000 bond was set.

During a hearing in which Gonzalez sought a protective order against her husband, Aguilar took the stand and when asked directly by County Attorney Gary Rholes if he stabbed Gonzalez, Aguilar said, "Si." The protective order was granted.

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Single-Vehicle Rollover Takes Down Utility Pole - June 24, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover which took down a utility pole just outside of Center on State Highway 7 West near CR 1140 on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

First to arrive on scene was Bradley Wilburn, West Shelby Volunteer fireman and Shelby County Probation Officer, who reported the driver was out of the vehicle and not trapped. ACE EMS arrived on scene and treated the driver for minor injuries. The driver refused transport by ambulance and was taken by private vehicle to a Nacogdoches hospital.

According to DPS State Trooper Keith Jones, at 3:42pm a 2001 black Ford Ranger pickup owned by Norma Castillo, of Tenaha, and driven by a minor, age 17, of Tenaha, was eastbound on SH 7 West. The driver stated to DPS he fell asleep and as the vehicle ran off the roadway, he woke up and over corrected to the left. The pickup crossed over the double yellow line onto the wrong side of the roadway and exited the highway before overturning and striking a Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative utility pole. The vehicle came to rest on its drivers side.

The power line snapped and DETEC crews arrived on scene to replace the damaged pole and repair the downed power line.

The driver was cited for wrong side of roadway when not passing. Assisting with the crash investigation was DPS Trooper Jade LaVergne.

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Jury Cancellation for Monday, June 29th - June 24, 2015
Submitted by Lori Oliver

Lori Oliver, Shelby County District Clerk, announces a jury cancellation. The jury that has been summoned for Monday, June 29, 2015 for the 273rd District Court with honorable Charles R. Mitchell, presiding has been cancelled due to scheduled cases being resolved or passed.

Anyone receiving a summons for that day is released from july service until they receive a future summons.

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Mother Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter in Infant Death Case - June 22, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

The mother of an infant who died tragically has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 273rd District Court on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Angela Marie Moore, 25, of Tenaha was indicted on March 25, 2015 for capital murder, capital felony, in reference to the death of her 6-month-old infant daughter Ariana Moore.

According to court documents Moore pleaded guilty to manslaughter, 2nd degree felony, and received 5 years incarceration in a prison within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system. Moore has agreed to testify against her husband William Moore, 28, in his capital murder case.

According to the original information provided by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded to the Kyle Parmer Trailer Park located on County Road 4356 at 3:49am on February 16, 2015. Ariana Moore was transported from the scene by ambulance and was pronounced deceased by Maxie Eaves, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, at Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department.

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Driver Life-Flighted Following Motorcycle, Truck Collision in Huxley - June 21, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

An incident involving a motorcycle and a truck Saturday, June 20, 2015 sent one driver by life-flight to the hospital.

First responders were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash on FM 2694 just over 1/2 mile from the intersection with FM 3172 in Huxley.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Anthony Lacount, at 8:50am a red 2003 Toyota Tacoma driven by Max Robertson, 44, of Center was in the westbound lane and was attempting to make a u-turn from a stopped position on the bottom side of a hill.

As Robertson attempted to cross both lanes of traffic a Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Curtis Cooper, 63, of Shelbyville was traveling behind the Tacoma and was unable to stop his motorcycle in time before striking the back left quarter panel of the Tacoma. The collision caused Cooper to be ejected off the motorcycle onto the roadway and spun the Tacoma around to face north on the south shoulder. The motorcycle also came to rest on the south shoulder facing east.

The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the scene to assist and provide traffic control. ACE EMS transported Cooper from the scene to the Huxley Volunteer Fire Department where he was life-flighted to a Shreveport hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Robertson refused treatment at the scene and was issued a citation for turning when unsafe.

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Officers Prevent Shooting Incident at Local Hotel - June 19, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

Law enforcement personnel converged on the Best Western Plus Thursday, June 18, 2015 when it was brought to their attention an individual was contemplating harming himself.

Agencies including the Center Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and Texas Game Wardens arrived at 8:15pm and were all present during the standoff. Center Fire Department arrived at a later time to assist. Guests from within the hotel were gathered at different locations in and around the grounds such as the lobby, poolside and parking lot and could not leave by vehicle as the entry to the facility was completely blocked with law enforcement vehicles.

Witnesses who were at the scene later revealed the subject, who was in room 217 facing U.S. Highway 96 North, stated he would open fire on anyone that entered his room. Officers could be seen exiting the hotel and donning bullet proof vests as protection.

Center Police Officers used a second floor laundry room as a staging area and could be seen talking on the phone, possibly with the man inside. Guests, who became aggravated with being denied exit and entry as a result of the blocked driveway, could be seen getting into trucks and driving over curbs to do so and in some instances became stuck. At around 10pm any bloodshed had been averted as the officers exited the hotel with the man absent of cuffs on his wrists and escorted him away from the facility.


Center Police Sgt. Ricky King and Chief Jim Albers are seen speaking with someone on a phone while in the hotel laundry room during the standoff.

Witnesses on scene when the man was escorted out said they were informed the man was a constable from another county.

According to a press release issued by the Center Police Department, officers responded to a complaint of a very emotionally unstable white male locked in his hotel room at the Best Western located on Hurst Street. Upon arrival officers found a man who was refusing to come out of his room.

The man was also threatening to harm himself. Officers were engaged in a lenthy negotiation with the man, but finally Officer Steve Thornburgh was successful in talking the man out of his room. Officers escorted the man to the Police Department, where he was evaluated by mental health care professionals.

The man was released without charges to responsible authorities.


Several agencies patrol cars blocked the entrance and exit to the hotel.

A sheriff's deputy is seen walking in the hotel wearing a bullet proof vest.
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Suspect Arrested in US 96 Shooting Incident; Victims Identified - June 19, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

According to a press release from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Marcus Hill, 33 of Shelbyville, was arrested Friday morning, June 19, 2015 and booked into the Shelby County Jail on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felony one and felony two, in connection to the shooting incident which occurred the day before on US 96 North of Center.

Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Maxie Eaves set bonds of $75,000 each for a total of $150,000.


The driver's side window were the shotgun shell entered the vehicle.

The victims in the shooting incident were a family from Burleson, Texas who were returning from visiting family in Hemphill when the incident occurred. Sean Micheal Arnold, 40, and Auston Micheal Arnold, 17, a father and his son, were both transported to ETMC in Carthage and then later transferred to ETMC in Tyler. Both are listed to be in stable condition. Two passengers in the back seat ages 12 and 7 didn't receive any injuries.

Hill allegedly pointed a shotgun at the Suburban and fired a single shot of bird shot inside the lower left corner of the driver side window. The wad from the shell was later located on the dash of the Suburban. Sean Arnold, the driver, attempted to duck away from the shotgun. He received bird shot wounds to his back, left shoulder, left arm, and back of his head. The 17-year-old passenger received bird shot wounds to the left side of his face.

The reason for the violent incident has not been released. Investigators for the case are Detective D.J. Dickerson and Detective Kevin Windham.


From left: Deputy Roy Bailey and Detective Dickerson
measure the passenger window damage.


Passenger window

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Haslam Community Water Issues a Boil Water Notice - June 22, 2015
Submitted by Amanda Willey

(Update): The boil water notice for the Haslam Community has been lifted.

Due to pressure loss, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water system Haslam Community (2100034) to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Haslam Community Water or Randall Lout at 936-269-3021 or 936-590-1599.

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Public Notice to Boil Water for City of Joaquin - June 22, 2015
Submitted by Amanda Willey

(Update): The boil water notice for the Joaquin has been lifted.

Due to pressure loss, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water system The City of Joaquin (2100010) to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact The City of Joaquin or Randall Lout at 936-269-3021 or 936-590-1599.

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Sand Hills Water Supply Issues Boil Water Notice - June 24, 2015
Submitted by Cathy Adams

(Update): The Boil Water Notice that was issued for part of Sand Hills Water Supply on June 18,2015 has been lifted as of today June 24, 2015.

Due to a water line break, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water System, Sand Hills Water Supply, to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption. This notice is only for the customers that were out of water on, June 18th, 2015.

​To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, you may contacy Randall Lout at 936-590-1599

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Joaquin Area Boil Water Notice Issued - June 25, 2015
Submitted by Shirley Di Verdi

(Update): It is no longer necessary for Paxton customers in the Jackson area to boil their water.

Due to a water main break, the TCEQ has required Paxton Water Supply to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption. This is for customers in the Joaquin area that were without water on June 18, 2015.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil for two minutes. In lieu of boiling you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from another suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system official will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

For questions concerning this matter, you may contact Vince Di Verdi at 936-590-9177.

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Shooter Sought in U.S. 96 North Incident (Update) - June 19, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

(Update): Marcus Hill, 33, of Shelbyville was arrested on Friday morning, June 19, 2015 on felony one and felony two aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charges.

Following hours of investigation, Hill was arrested around 7pm Thursday and transported to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. According to the Shelby County Jail arrest log, Hill was later booked into the jail at 2:30am. The investigation of this case is under the direction of Sgt. Investigator D.J. Dickerson assisted by Investigator Kevin Windham.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department was seeking the public's assistance in locating a suspect in a shooting incident on U.S. Highway 96 North.

At 11:38am Thursday, June 18, 2015 a black male wearing a black do-rag driving in a white 4-door car of unknown make was traveling north when he opened fire with a shotgun on the driver's side of a red suburban. The incident occurred north of Center, 2.8 miles north of the US 96 and SH 87 intersection. The suspect continued north on US 96.

Two individuals, one of which was a juvenile, were struck and have been transported by ACE EMS to ETMC Carthage for treatment of their injuries.

Anyone with information who may have witnessed the incident or the shooter is asked to contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Department at 936-598-5600.

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Flash Flood Warning Extended Till 8am; Roadways Flooded in Shelby County - June 18, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford


Please do not attempt to travel
around emergency personnel

National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Southern Rusk County in Northeastern Texas, Nacogdoches County in Eastern Texas, Western Shelby County in Eastern Texas, and Angelina County in Eastern Texas until 8am Thursday, June 18, 2015.

At 5:05am, Doppler Radar indicated a thunderstorm producing heavy rain across the warned area. Up to two inches of rain has already fallen. Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly.

Center Police Department officers Jim Blackwell and Stephen Thornburgh performed a high water rescue at 4:00am this morning for a vehicle stalled out in water across US 96 South. Center Fire Department was on scene to assist as well. Please use extreme caution traveling on roadways.

Highways flooded in Shelby County:
96 South just outside of Center before Loop 500 - Center FD is diverting traffic to 87S and Loop 500 to 96S
87 South about a half mile south of Loop 500, between Borders Poultry Supply and the large storage tanks (Sunoco Logistics)
FM 138 (Arcadia Road), at the bridge south of Hurst Street
96 North outside of Center
7 East near the Airport
Highway 59 at the Shelby County and Panola County line.
FM 414, 3/4 of a mile off of 87 South

Use caution:
San Augustine Street in Center near Mangum Funeral Home (Manhole cover displaced in the roadway due to water flowing out)

No reports for 87 North or 96 North between Center and Tenaha

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Center FD Responds to Crash Involving Fellow Fireman - June 17, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

Center firemen responded to a single-vehicle crash on State Highway 7 West Tuesday night, June 17, 2015 for one of their own.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 10:30pm a 2015 black Dodge pickup truck driven by Wade Howell, 22 of Center and a volunteer fireman, was traveling west on SH 7 leaving Center. Howell reported seeing a ladder in the roadway and steered to the right to avoid it. The truck left the roadway and slid down the embankment into Huana Creek.

The water was over 4 feet deep in the area the truck entered covering the bed of the truck with only a small portion of it and roof of the cab above water. Howell reported no injuries and was sitting atop the truck when emergency responders arrived on scene.

The Center Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Department and the Center Fire Department all responded to the scene. The fire department used spotlights to illuminate the dark creek area. Jason Burch with waders on entered the water to assist with removing equipment floating in the water. Burch and Howell then attached the tow cable to the pickup. Hughes Wrecker winched the pickup full of water from the swollen creek.

As an added concern an alligator was visible a short distance away from the truck and driver; however, he never ventured over to the crash scene and remained as only a spectator to the event.

#CenterFD Responds to #Crash Involving Fellow Fireman - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link - http://www.shelbycountytoday.com/sctNewsspecial.php#rci

Posted by Shelby County Today on Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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Former Shelby County Hospital CFO Sentenced in EHR Incentive Case - June 17, 2015
Submitted by Davilyn Walston

TYLER, Texas – The former Chief Financial Officer of Shelby Regional Medical Center has been sentenced to federal prison in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Joe White, 68, of Cameron, Texas, pleaded guilty on Nov. 12, 2014 to making a false statement and was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider. White was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,483,089.09 to Medicare’s Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program.

According to information presented in court, White was the Chief Financial Officer for Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center, Texas, in addition to other hospitals owned and operated by Dr. Tariq Mahmood. White oversaw the implementation of electronic health records for the hospital and was responsible for attesting to the meaningful use of electronic health records in order to qualify to receive incentive payments under Medicare’s EHR Incentive Program. On Nov. 20, 2012, White knowingly made a false statement to Medicare falsely representing that the hospital was a meaningful user of electronic health records, when the hospital did not meet the meaningful use requirements. As a result, Shelby Regional Medical Center received $785,655.00 from Medicare. In total, hospitals owned by Mahmood were paid over $16 million under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. White was indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 22, 2014.

“The granting of EHR funds to individual and institutional providers was intended to modernize medical record storage and access. Unfortunately, there are individuals and institutions like Mr. White and his hospital whose only intent for EHR funds was to enrich themselves,” said Mike Fields, Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas region’s HHS – Office of Inspector General.

“I agree with SAC Fields,” said U.S. Attorney Bales. “The EHR Incentive Program was designed to enhance the delivery of excellent medical care to all Americans and especially for those citizens who live in underserved, rural areas like Shelby County. There is no doubt that Mr. White understood that purpose and yet, he intentionally decided to steal taxpayer monies and in the process, undermine and abuse this important program.”

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth C. McGurk and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld.

Any individuals with knowledge of these or other health care fraud violations are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477).
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NWS Issues Tornado Watch, Heavy Rainfall, Severe Storms - June 16, 2015
National Weather Service, Shreveport, LA

Tornado Watch Outline Update

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch in effect until 12:00am CDT for Shelby County and the following other Texas Counties: Anderson, Angelina, Austin, Bastrop, Bell, Brazoria, Brazos, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Chambers, Cherokee, Colorado, Coryell, Dewitt, Falls, Fayette, Fort Bend, Freestone, Galveston, Gonzales, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Hays, Henderson, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Lavaca, Lee, Liberty, Limestone, Madison, Matagorda, Mclennan, Milam, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Robertson, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington, Wharton, and Williamson.

Hazardous Weather Outlook
12:10pm CDT, Tuesday, June 16, 2015

This hazardous weather outlook is for portions of Northwest Louisiana, Southeast Oklahoma, East Texas and Northeast Texas.

Day One - This afternoon and tonight, Tropical Storm Bill moved ashore on the Southeast Texas coast earlier today. Very heavy rainfall is possible from any convection which develops in the region. Additionally, a few tornadoes will be possible mainly across parts of East Texas as wind shear and instability values associated with the storm appear favorable.

Days Two Through Seven, Wednesday through Monday - the potential for heavy rainfall and isolated severe storms will continue through Thursday. The rainfall may result in flash flooding in a few locations. Additional river flooding on the Neches, Sabine, Angelina and Sulphur rivers of East Texas is also possible by Thursday.

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NWS Issues Hazardous Weather Outlook: Heavy Rains and Threat of Flash Flooding - June 15, 2015

Hazardous Weather Outlook
11:39am CDT, Monday, June 15, 2015

The National Weather Service issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for portions of South Central Arkansas, Southwest Arkansas, North Central Louisiana, Northwest Louisiana, Southeast Oklahoma, East Texas and Northeast Texas.

Day One, this afternoon and tonight, scattered tropical low in the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to move north and spread large amounts of moisture into the region. Best chance for heavy rain should be Wednesday into Thursday. Up to four inches of rain is possible from Tuesday through Thursday, mainly across western portions of East Texas. This Could lead to a threat for flash flooding as well as new and continued river flooding.

Short Term Forecast
1:56pm CDT, June 15, 2015

The National Weather Service has also issued a short term forecast. Now, a line of showers and thunderstorms are moving to the northwest at 20 MPH over parts of Deep East Texas and Central Louisiana. Heavy rainfall and dangerous cloud to ground lightning will be possible as these storms move into the area. Rainfall amounts will range from a quarter of an inch upwards to nearly one inch.

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State Highway 7 Scene of Two-Vehicle Crash - June 15, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

The entrance to a hunting camp off State Highway 7 West was the scene of a two-vehicle crash Saturday, June 13, 2015 when one vehicle turned in front of another.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Daniel Dellenger, at 2:25pm a maroon Toyota Tundra driven by Robert Temple, 54, of Katie was traveling east toward Center on State Highway 7 in the inside lane near CR 1234.

A red Chevrolet Colorado LS driven by Elna Benge, 77, of Lufkin was also traveling east in the outside lane when Temple attempted to turn right in to a private driveway for a hunting camp. This caused the Colorado to strike passenger side of the Toyota causing damage to both vehicles.

Benge received minor injuries and her passenger Anna Benge, 54, received possible head injuries. Both were transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Memorial hospital.

Temple was issued a citation for turning when unsafe.

*****

Special Weather Alert for Shelby County, Joaquin - June 12, 2015

Special weather statement National Weather Service Shreveport La 3:56pm CDT Friday, June 12. Significant weather advisory for north central Shelby County until 4:45pm CDT at 3:55pm CDT.

Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm over Logansport or 16 miles west of Mansfield moving northeast near 30 mph. Winds in excess of 40 mph will be possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include Joaquin.

*****

Firemen Respond to Building Fire on FM 417 in Shelbyville - June 12, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a building on fire on FM 417 West at 10:00am Friday, June 12, 2015. While en route to the fire, Shelbyville VFD requested the assistance of Center Fire Department.

Upon arrival, Chief Chris Koltonski reported smoke coming from a storage building which was 100 feet away from the home of Burly and Carolyn Lamb. Koltonski opened the door and discovered a small fire on the concrete floor of the building and was able to quickly extinguish the flames.

Inside the building were chemicals for furniture restoration and paint supplies. Center Fire Department Chief Keith Byndom suspected the cause of the fire to be from rags soaked with chemicals which were inside the building and possibly ignited from the heat.

The building only received smoke damage from the fire. The firemen used fan to help push the smoke out of the building.

*****

Area Residents Impacted by Recent Weather Damage Eligible for Assistance - June 12, 2015
Submitted by Allison Harbison

If you have been impacted by flooding, downed trees, or any other property damage between the dates of May 4, 2015 and June 3, 2015 you may be eligible for assistance in repairing and/or replacing your property. You can pick up an application at the County Judge’s office on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse located at 200 San Augustine Street in Center. This applies to your individual property and/or business property.

The Texas Department of Agriculture is offering grants for Agriculture Relief for agricultures expenses related to the disaster during this time also. Application to apply for Agriculture Relief application can also be picked up at the County Judge’s office. You can find additional information at www.texasagriculture.gov . The information is under the STAR Fund program.

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Sheriff's Deputy has Close Call While Directing Rodeo Traffic - June 10, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

Following the Shelby County Sheriff's Posse Rodeo held on Friday, June 5, 2015 Shelby County Sheriff's Officers were directing traffic from the event just before 11pm when an officer was almost struck by a vehicle .

Toward the end of their task with few cars remaining, Deputy Bradley Horton was almost struck by a silver Oldsmobile Alero which was traveling east on State Highway 7 as he was attempting to allow traffic to flow from the rodeo. When the vehicle passed by, Deputy Horton convinced the driver to bring his vehicle to a stop just outside the entrance to the Shelby County Expo.

Deputies Adam Renfro and Michael Griffin quickly responded to the aid of Deputy Horton and during an investigation it was determined the driver Julio Cuellar, 59, of Center was intoxicated. During an inventory of the vehicle several large cans of beer were located inside.

Cuellar was arrested, charged with public intoxication and transported by Deputy Renfro to the Shelby County Jail.

*****

Boil Water Notice for Specific Sand Hills Customers - June 10, 2015
Submitted by Cathy Adams

Update

The Boil Water notice for Sand Hills Water Supply has been lifted as of today June 10, 2015.


Due to a water line break, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water System, Sand Hills Water Supply, to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption. This notice is only for the customers that were out of water on, June 5th and 6th 2015

?To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.
In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other
suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, you may contact : Randall Lout @ 936-590-1599

*****

Transport to Hospital Results for Driver Involved in Single-Vehicle Crash - June 10, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

The driver involved in a single-vehicle crash was transported to the hospital on Friday, June 5, 2015 following the incident.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) report, at 8:21pm a grey 2009 GMC Sierra pickup truck driven by Colton Dewayne Tyre, 23, of Shelbyville was traveling west on FM 417 at an unsafe speed.

As the pickup truck was near County Road 2380 Tyre lost control of the vehicle, traveled into the eastbound lane and into the south ditch where the truck rolled and came to rest on the driver's side facing east.

Texas DPS State Trooper John Hallenbeck was dispatched to the scene and upon interview, Tyre stated a truck tractor ran him off the road. Trooper Hallenbeck spoke with the driver of the truck tractor who stated he witnessed the GMC pass him at a high rate of speed; however, he did not see the GMC leave the roadway in his mirrors.

No evidence was found to indicate Tyre had been run off the roadway. He was transported from the scene of the crash by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department. A citation was issued to Tyre for unsafe speed.

*****

DWI Arrest Results from Two-Vehicle Crash - June 10, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers, Submitted photo

A DWI arrest resulted from a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 7 East at the intersection of FM 2608 on Friday, June 5, 2015.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) report at 6:15pm William Edward McGee, 49, of Joaquin was traveling west in a red 2012 Ford F-150 on State Highway 7 near FM 2608. At the same time a white 2001 Toyota Sequoia driven by Connie H. Cobb, 51, of Baytown was traveling east.

McGee went to make a left turn into James Grocery and misjudged the distance from the Sequoia and failed to yield right of way causing the Sequoia to collide with the right side of the Ford. Major damage was incurred by both vehicles.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crash. William Edward McGee was arrested at the scene and charged with driving while intoxicated. Texas DPS State Trooper John Hallenbeck led the crash investigation.

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Judge Dickerson Swears-In Shires as New Assistant D.A. - June 5, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

Attorney Stephen Shires was sworn in at the Assistant District Attorney at 1:30pm on Friday, June 5, 2015 in the 123rd Judicial District Court. The Honorable Judge Charles "Brick" Dickerson swore Shires into the position which was approved at the May 26th Commissioners' Court meeting. Shires will perform the duties of Assistant District Attorney as a contractor. To read the Commissioners' Court story about the approval of the position, click here.

Attending the swearing in ceremony were employees of the District Attorney's office, Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell, co-workers of Shires, family, and friends. Shires thanked everyone who attended and said he is excited to get to work on helping to make Shelby County a better place.

*****

Sand Hill Water Supply Issues Boil Water Notice - June 4, 2015
Submitted by Cathy Adams

Update

The Boil Water notice that was issued for Sand Hills Water Supply has been lifted as of Wednesday, June 3, 2015.


Due to a water line break, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water System, Sand Hills Water Supply, to notify customers of the need to boil their water prior to consumption. This notice is only for the customers that were out of water on May 31, 2015.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other
suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, you may contact : Randall Lout @ 936-590-1599

*****

Center PD Leads Raids into Timpson Homes - June 3, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers


Officers were seen removing evidence bags from the house
located on McLaughlin Street.

Two Timpson residences were the focus of raids performed on Friday, May 29, 2015 involving several law enforcement agencies.


Officers spoke with the residents and neighbors of the home on Todd Street.

Just before 4:30pm officers with the Center Police Department; Shelby County Sheriff's Department; Texas Department of Public Safety and Stanley Burgay, Constable Precinct 5, converged on a house located on McLaughlin Street near Timpson ISD with additional support from the Timpson Police Department.

Four individuals were detained and placed in handcuffs outside while officers searched the house, a pickup truck, car and other areas surrounding the building. No arrests were made; however, following the search which lasted just over an hour a number of evidence bags were carried from the home and the detainees were released.

Shortly thereafter the officers moved to a house located on Todd Street where they served another search warrant. The officers spoke with a man and a woman from within the house as well as two neighbors; however, no arrests were made at that residence either.

At this time no information has been provided by law enforcement, although requests were made by Shelby County Today. If and when information is shared it will be updated.

*****

City of Center Staff Explains Water Violation Notices - June 3, 2015
Submitted by Jim Gibson

CENTER, Texas (June 3, 2015) – Center utility customers will soon receive postcard notices containing mandatory language for a system violation for haloactic acid (HAA5) levels. This violation is for the quarterly testing of chemical byproducts created during the water treatment and disinfection process.

The City has two sources of raw surface water – Lake Pinkston and Center Lake. Certain environmental factors can make raw water more difficult to treat, including increased temperatures in summer, large amounts of rain, or the lakes ‘turning over’. These problems with raw water quality can be managed in the treatment process through enhanced chlorination. “The City uses chlorine to treat raw water so that it is safe for consumption,” explained Marcus Cameron, Center Water Superintendent.

Chlorine ensures the removal of bacteria or other harmful organisms and controls the taste and odor quality.
“If the raw water is of a poorer quality, then we have to enhance our treatment process.” However, the extra chlorine can produce byproducts that the federal government mandates be monitored. After receiving the test results, the City increased the amount of ammonia used in the treatment process which eliminates the free chlorine that caused this violation.

Center City Manager Chad Nehring described a difficult water treatment process as a very delicate balancing act, “Staff has to make sure that enough chlorine is used to treat the water so it is not only safe to drink but also aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately controlling taste and odor can lead to violations such as this.”

The reporting and monitoring of HAA5 is on a rolling twelve month average. It is anticipated to take at least two additional quarters before the notices are no longer required. Customers will receive notices with the required mandatory language until the rolling average is within established parameters. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Center City Hall at 936/598-2941.

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Center PD Investigates Shooting on Shelbyville Street (Update) - June 4, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

 


Center Police Sgt. Duane Gordon and Officer Michelle Ashworth
held the scene with the injured Ventura until ACE EMS arrived.


CPD Detective David Haley is seen above photographing evidence markers at the scene.

The Center Police Department is currently investigating a shooting which took place on Shelbyville Street at L&L Storage in Center on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. When officers arrived just after 12-noon one man had been shot in the leg and the shooter was still on the scene.

A witness who drove by the facility as the altercation took place stated to Shelby County Today he had seen a man, who has been unofficially identified as Johnny Aguilar Ventura, standing by a bicycle at the entrance to the facility throwing cans of food at a man who has been identified as Lonnie Ray Lawrence, the owner of the facility.

A verbal altercation is believed to have been the catalyst which developed into a violent resolution. Another witness stated Lawrence had been mowing the grass at the facility when they heard a "bang" and thought the mower had struck a rock; however, Lawrence had allegedly fired a gun and shot Ventura in the leg.

ACE EMS arrived at the scene following the police, began examining Ventura, and transported him to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment.

Lawrence was transported to the police department for questioning and has since been released as of 3pm. The incident remains under investigation by Center Police Department investigators.

According to a press release issued by the Center Police Department, upon arrival it was discovered through witnesses and video of the incident that Lawrence had been assaulted by Ventura, an illegal citizen.

While Lawrence was being assaulted, he was able to retrieve his firearm and fire one shot at Ventura, striking him once in the leg. Lawrence was able to keep Ventura at bay as he called the Police.

Ventura was transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department, treated and released for his non life threatening injury.

Center Police Detective Stephen Stroud states all the information and evidence points to a clear case of self-defense by Lawrence and the investigation continues.

Ventura is known by local law enforcement to be violent and is facing charges of assault and terroristic threat.

(Update): Ventura was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree felony. He is currently (June 4, 2015) being held at the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

*****

Tractor in Wrong Lane Causes Crash - June 2, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

A John Deere tractor in the wrong lane was the cause of a crash south of Tenaha on U.S. Highway 96 Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers, Tenaha City Marshal's and the Center Fire Department were all dispatched to the scene of a railroad crossing bridge just south of Flat Fork Creek near County Road 4360.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos, at 3pm he was dispatched to the crash involving a green 2009 John Deere tractor driven by Randy Pugh, 55, of Tenaha. The tractor was southbound in the northbound shoulder approaching the bridge on the wrong side of the road.

A tan 2000 Buick driven by Desmond Steadman, 48, of Tenaha was traveling northbound in the outside lane approaching the bridge and at the last minute the tractor came into the roadway causing the Buick to strike the right rear tire of the tractor. The Buick spun across the southbound lanes and struck the guardrail with the rear of the vehicle where it came to rest.

Steadman was transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of possible injuries. Pugh was issued citations for wrong side of road when not passing and warnings for no hazard warning.

*****

Tenaha Street Remains Hazardous Thoroughfare; Seven Transported by Ambulance - June 2, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers


Officer Michelle Ashworth is seen helping move a dog which occupied the Mountaineer involved in the crash to another vehicle.

Tenaha Street at the intersection of Henrietta Street has been the site of many crashes in Center involving rear end collisions and another has occurred resulting in several people being transported to the hospital.

According to Center Police Officer Michelle Ashworth, at 5:18pm a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer driven by Christina Hammers, 25, of Center was stopped facing north and was preparing to turn into Dollar General. A green 1998 Ford Explorer driven by Rigoberto Cornelio Morales, 24, of Center was traveling the same direction behind Hammers and rear-ended the Mercury. Both vehicles remained in the roadway.

Center police officers arrived at the scene and quickly began traffic control while ACE EMS personnel saw to the needs of those involved in the crash. Transported from the scene were Hammers, Morales and his passengers Anna Laura Mendez-Jimenez, 22, and a 5 month old boy, 2 year old girl, 5 year old girl, and 6 year old girl.

Morales was issued citations for unsafe speed, no driver's license, and four counts of unrestrained children. Hammers was issued citations for no driver's license and no insurance.

*****

Highway 87 South of Shelbyville Scene of Two-Vehicle Crash - June 1, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

Highway 87 was the scene of a two-vehicle crash south of Shelbyville Saturday, May 30, 2015.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 12:45pm a 2007white Dodge Nitro driven by Brandy Woodard, of Center was traveling south on State Highway 87 South with several Center High School students following her as she approached FM 147.

As Woodard neared a curve in the roadway a 2004 white Chrysler Sebring driven by Austin Wright, 18, of Center was traveling behind Woodard and collided with the back of the Nitro causing considerable damage to the Sebring. Both vehicles were able to pull out of the roadway

ACE EMS personnel responded to the scene but were refused by both drivers. No injuries were reported at the scene. Wright was issued a citation for failure to control speed and the Sebring was towed.

*****

Driver Arrested Following Single Vehicle Crash in Joaquin - June 1, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

A single vehicle crash occurred just before midnight on Friday, May 29, 2015 on State Highway 7 East coming into Joaquin ending with the arrest of the driver for driving while intoxicated.

According to a Texas Department of Public Safety crash report, 9-1-1 was called at 11:51pm concerning a crash on SH 7, one mile west of US 84. A 2006 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Donna Coates, age 53, of Tioga, Louisiana, was east bound when she failed to drive in a single lane crossing over to the left lane and then over correcting. The vehicle traveled into a ditch before flipping onto its top and landing upside down propped against a concrete culvert to a driveway.

The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department and ACE EMS were both dispatched to the scene due an initial report of the driver being trapped inside the car. Upon arrival on scene, the driver was located standing outside of the vehicle. ACE EMS evaluated her condition and no injuries were reported.

TxDPS State Trooper Dustin Ramos was dispatched to the crash and upon investigation the driver was arrested for driving while intoxicated and booked into the Shelby County Jail at 1:40am.

Firemen remained on scene assisting with traffic control until the vehicle was overturned and the crash scene was clear.

*****

East Texas Health Access Network Closing - June 1, 2015
Submitted by Kim Harris

Jasper, Texas – East Texas Health Access Network (ETHAN), a non-profit organization that assists low income, uninsured and chronically ill rural residents with desperately needed healthcare services and programs, will be closing its doors on June 12, 2015. ETHAN has been serving the eight rural East Texas counties of Jasper, Newton, Sabine, San Augustine, Tyler, Hardin, Shelby, and Polk for over 14 years. ETHAN, a safety net provider and rural health network, collaborated with public health agencies, hospitals, healthcare providers, universities, businesses, civic groups and community leaders to bridge the gap in rural healthcare services.

“It is with deepest regret that I inform you of ETHAN’s closure on June 12, 2015. Rural health funding has been extremely limited in recent years and our area is not considered a priority. Everything possible has been done to avoid this situation but without funding we are no longer able to provide services. We will work with everyone to the best of our ability to ensure the best possible transition for both our partners, clients and our rural community at large,” stated Kim Harris, Executive Director.

Some of the programs and services provided by ETHAN included free Diabetes Education Classes, Prescription Assistance, Dental Services, Mammography, Nutrition Counseling, Durable Medical Equipment Program, Health Insurance Screening and Patient Navigation Services.

*****

Two Arrested on Narcotics Charges Following Attempt to Flee - June 1, 2015
Press Release


Morgan MaGee

Tony Smith Jr.

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at approximately 2:10am, Investigator Kevin W. Windham attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a vehicle that was traveling East on FM 699. Upon initiating his emergency lights, the vehicle evaded and pulled into a residence on FM 699 in which the occupants were arrested during a felony stop.

The driver was identified as a Tony Ray Smith, Jr, 31, of Center and the passenger was identified as a Morgan Ann Magee, 31, of Shelbyville. Subjects were found to be in possession of approximately 75 grams of Methamphetamine as well as two handguns. Smith and Magee were both transported to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department jail and booked. Magee received charges of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Controlled Substance, and for a warrant for Burglary of a Building. Magee's bond was set by Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Margie Anderson at a total of $150,000 dollars.

Smith received charges of Possession with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Evading in a Motor Vehicle, and Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon. Smith's bond was set by Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Margie Anderson at a total of $160,000 dollars.

Investigator Kevin W. Windham was assisted by Shelby County Deputies, DPS Highway Patrol, and Center Police Department.

*****

Driver Transported to Hospital Following Hurst Street, Arcadia Road Crash - May 29, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

Hurst Street and Arcadia Road (FM 138) in Center was the scene of a two-vehicle collision Thursday afternoon, May 28, 2015 which resulted in injuries to one driver involved.

At 4pm Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Derek Barbee was first to arrive on scene followed by the Center Police Department and Center Fire Department. Upon arrival both vehicles were located at opposite corners of the Hurst Street intersection with their drivers still inside.

According to Center Police Officer Maegan Wright, a white Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Daniel Smith, 28, of Nacogdoches was traveling south on Hurst Street when the brakes failed. A tan Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Jesus Orozco-Rivera, 34, of Nacogdoches was entering the intersection from the west on Arcadia Road as the brakes on Smith's truck failed and the truck collided with the driver's side of the Tahoe.

The Tahoe spun to the right and came to rest at the corner of Arcadia Road facing northwest. The truck continued to the opposing corner of Hurst Street where it came to a stop.

As ACE EMS, assisted by Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department (CED) personnel, worked to extricate Rivera from the Tahoe the Center Fire Department used Jaws of Life to gain access to the vehicle. Rivera was transported to CED for possible neck and back injuries. He was also issued a citation for driving without a license.

Officer Wright was assisted at the scene by Center Police Officer John Welch.

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District Court Jury Cancellation for Monday - May 29, 2015
Submitted by Lori Oliver

The jury that has been summoned for Monday, June 8, 2015 for the 273rd District Court, Honorable Charles R. Mitchell, presiding has been cancelled due to the scheduled cases being resolved or passed.

Anyone receiving a summons for that day are released from jury service until they receive a future summons.

*****

City of Huxley Issues Notice to Boil Water - May 29, 2015
Submitted by Gerald Huddleston

Update

Boil Water Notice Lifted

Testing has been completed and the Boil Water Notice for Possum Trot, Oakdale, and New Harmony areas is lifted.

It is no longer necessary to boil the water for comsuption.


Until further notice, the City of Huxley has issued a Boil Water Notice for Possum Trot, New Harmony, and Oakdale communities due to loss of pressure.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water the City of Huxley will notify you. If you have questions regarding this matter, you may contact City Hall at 936-368-2266.

*****

DPS Investigates Crash on Highway 96 - May 28, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

Two miles south of Loop 500 on US Highway 96 a two-vehicle collision brought out the highway patrol on Thursday, May 28, 2015.

According to Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 7:20am a 2009 white GMC 2500 pickup pulling a homemade trailer with a water tank was traveling south on US Highway 96 when it struck the rear of a 2010 silver Chevrolet Traverse. The driver of the GMC, Christopher David Link, age 32, of Center was cited for failure to control speed. The driver of the Chevrolet was Aaron Weldon Boles, age 79, of Center, and he was stopped with his blinker on to make a left turn into a private driveway when the collision occurred.

The Traverse exited the roadway to the left and came to rest beside the private driveway. The GMC came to a halt a little further down the highway from the crash in the middle of the southbound lane. Once DPS arrived the GMC was moved from the road.

No injuries were reported and both vehicles were towed from the scene.

*****

Highway 7 Scene of Single-Vehicle Crash; Witnesses Aid Those Involved - May 26, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

State Highway 7 East was the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 where several witnesses were first to respond to the aid of those involved.

As the crash occurred, Jennifer Norton was preparing to turn into the Steel Building Supply parking lot and Jamie Lindley was in the lot by his vehicle. Norton hesitated turning as it appeared a truck which was approaching her from the east was about to turn into the same lot. That hesitation may have prevented the truck from colliding with Norton as the next thing Lindley witnessed was the truck traveling airborne over the entrance to the parking lot. Once the vehicle stopped moving, Lindley and Norton moved quickly to those involved in the crash and helped them until EMS arrived.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Cpl. Trooper Jimmy Faulkner investigated the crash assisted by DPS Trooper Dustin Ramos and DPS Trooper Michael Neal. According to DPS Trooper Ramos at 12:28pm a 1995 white Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Nicholas Smith, 19, of Mansfield with passenger Terry London, 20, was traveling west on State Highway 7 East. The truck failed to drive in a single lane and drove off the roadway to the left into a ditch where it struck a culvert and became slightly airborne before overturning and coming to rest off the road in front of Steel Building Supply and facing north. A motorcycle within the bed of the truck was tossed from the vehicle during the crash.

Smith and London were transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Smith was issued a citation for failure to drive in a single lane and failure to maintain financial responsibility. The crash remains under investigation.

The Center Fire Department was on scene to provide traffic control and assist others.

*****

DETEC Weather Related Outages - May 26, 2015
Submitted by Brittney Johnson

As of 6:30 PM, power has been restored to Deep East Texas Electric Co-op members in Panola County.

Thank you for your patience as SWEPCO worked to access severely flooded areas to repair the transmission line that feeds the DETEC line.

Currently a small number of scattered outages remain and crews will continue to work until all power is restored.

If you are still experiencing an outage, please call DETEC at 1-800-392-5986.


As of 4 PM, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 800 members remaining without power.

Approximately 450 of these members are located in Carthage and Gary in Panola County. SWEPCO – Southwestern Electric Power Company, has reported both transmission feeds that serve DETEC members on and along both sides of US 59 is currently out and not accessible by truck. SWEPCO crews are working to safely access this area to restore the transmission line that serves DETEC members. Due to the severe flooding in this area, SWEPCO is reporting that it may be late this evening before the repairs are made. As soon as the transmission line is repaired by SWEPCO, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative crews can work to restore power to those members affected.

Panola Co – approx. 450 members affected
Nacogdoches Co. – approx. 250 (primarily along FM 2259)
Shelby Co. – approx. 100
San Augustine, Sabine & Jasper Co. – less than 10

We understand that being without electricity is a hardship, please be assured that your Co-op is working diligently to restore your power. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

DETEC would like to remind members to be safe - STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Consider them all to be live and dangerous. Call DETEC at 1-800-392-5986 to report downed lines and outages.


As of 12 PM, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 1450 members remaining without power.

Approximately 450 of these members are located in Carthage and Gary in Panola County. SWEPCO – Southwestern Electric Power Company, has reported both transmission feeds that serve DETEC members on and along both sides of US 59 is currently out and not accessible by truck. SWEPCO crews are working to safely access this area to restore the transmission line that serves DETEC members. Due to the severe flooding in this area, SWEPCO is reporting that it may be late this evening before the repairs are made. As soon as the transmission line is repaired by SWEPCO, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative crews can work to restore power to those members affected.

Panola Co – approx. 450 members affected
Shelby Co. – approx. 400
Nacogdoches Co. – approx. 300
San Augustine Co. – approx. 200
Sabine Co. – approx. 100

We understand that being without electricity is a hardship, please be assured that your Co-op is working diligently to restore your power. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.


As of 8am, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 1500 members remaining without power with the majority of these outages in Shelby County.

Crews worked throughout the night to restore power and will continue to work until all power is restored.

As of 2:46am, Deep East Texas Electrical Cooperative is reporting approximately 1460 weather related outages.

Approx. 1000 in Shelby county

Approx. 250 Nac county

Approx. 200 Sabine, Jasper county

Approx. 10 San Aug county


As of 11:30pm, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 3,250 weather related outages.

Shelby Co. - approx. 1500 members

Nacogdoches Co. – approx. 1000 members

San Augustine, Sabine and Jasper Co. – approx. 750 members

Crews are now out assessing damage and working to restore power as quickly as possible.

DETEC would like to remind members to be safe - STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Consider them all to be live and dangerous. Call DETEC at 1-800-392-5986 to report downed lines and outages.

*****

Weather Channel Issues 50% Tornado Chance in Central and East Texas - May 25, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

Effective May 25, 2015, 12:30pm EDT

As of 12:30pm EDT, May 25th, the Weather Channel's Dr. Greg Forbes issued a 50% probability of a tornado for Central and East Texas. Dr. Forbes is a severe weather expert who developed the TOR:CON index which estimates the risk of a tornado.

According to the Weather.com, TOR:CON index ranges from 0 to 10. The index values are 8+ Very high probability of a tornado; 6 - High probability of a tornado; 4 - Moderate chance of a tornado nearby, but hail and/or high wind gusts possible; 2 - Low chance of a tornado, but hail and/or high wind gusts possible; and 0 - Near-zero chance of a tornado or a severe thunderstorm.

To calculate percentage, multiply the TOR:CON value by 10 for the chance of a tornado within 50 miles of a location.

Monday, May 25, 2015 - Severe thunderstorms in central and east TX, east of a line from near Childress to Abilene to Fort Stockton, southeast OK, southwest AR, northwest LA. TOR:CON - 5 central and east TX.

Isolated to scattered severe thunderstorms in west-central TX, southeast MN, north and west IA, southeast and south-central NE, central and east KS, central and east OK, northwest AR, west MO. TOR:CON - 3 southeast NE, southwest IA, northeast KS; 2 to 3 rest of area.

A chance of isolated severe thunderstorms in west IN, central and south IL, southeast MO, west KY, west TN, east AR, MS, LA. TOR:CON - 2.

The above information is available at the following link - TOR:CON Index, Exclusively From The Weather Channel (http://www.weather.com/tv/shows/amhq/news/tornado-torcon-index)

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Strong Upper Level Disturbance Forecast for Shelby County - May 23, 2015

A flash flood watch that includes Shelby County is in effect from 4am CDT Sunday to 7am CDT Monday for Southeast Oklahoma, all of East Texas, much of Southwest Arkansas, and Northwest Louisiana.

A strong upper level disturbance will eject northeast across the four state region Sunday ahead of an upper level storm system over the northern Rockies and Central Plains. Copious amounts of low level moisture will return north ahead of this disturbance this afternoon and tonight, with showers and thunderstorm expected to increase Sunday morning over East Texas and Southeast Oklahoma and spread east / northeast into southwest Arkansas and North Louisiana Sunday afternoon.

Locally heavy rainfall is possible falling over already saturated grounds from heavy rainfall that has fallen in the last week. Flash flooding is possible over the watch area.

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DPS Pursues Motorcycle into Shelby County, Suspect Remains at Large - May 22, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers


Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton is seen speaking with the passenger of the motorcycle as she sits by the motorcycle following the chase.

DPS Trooper Ricardo Segura investigated the Suzuki 600 motorcycle following the incident. He is seen being assisted by Gene Vail and his wrecker crew.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was engaged in a bi-county vehicle chase on Monday, May 18, 2015 south of Shelbyville and the suspect driver is still being sought.

At around 12am Texas DPS State Trooper Ricardo Segura was entering Shelby County on FM 147 as he attempted to pull over a blue Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle which was speeding and had two riders. As the motorcycle was 1 mile from the intersection with State Highway 87 South the driver of the motorcycle laid the motorcycle down beside the roadway.

When Trooper Segura brought his vehicle to a stop it was discovered the passenger was still with the motorcycle and her leg was trapped beneath it. While Trooper Segura removed the vehicle from atop the passenger, the driver fled into the woods.

Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2, arrived shortly after with Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton to assist in the search for the suspect.

The passenger informed authorities she did not know the identity of the driver. Center Police Sgt. Scott Burkhalter arrived at the scene with K9 Taz to assist in searching for the suspect in the woods. ACE EMS transported the passenger from the scene to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for examination.

No information has been provided by DPS at this time pertaining to the suspect or passenger. Further information will be provided as it is made available.


Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2, tried to gain information from the passenger relating to the driver of the Suzuki GSX-R600 motorcycle.
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DETEC Reports of Weather Related Outages - May 21, 2015
Submitted by Brittney Johnson

As of 12:40 PM approximately less than 30 members are without power due to the morning storms. These members are scattered in Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Sabine and Jasper Counties.

Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative would like to thank the membership for their patience as crews have worked to restore power as quickly as possible. DETEC is proud of the hard work and extra hours crews have endured this storm season – thank a Lineman when you see one!

If you are still experiencing an outage please report it to DETEC at 1-800-392-5986.


Currently DETEC (Deep East Texas Electric Co-op) is reporting approximately 600 weather related outages.

Shelby Co. - approx. 50
San Augustine Co. - approx. 380 - Outages in Shelby and San Augustine Counties are primarily along Hwy 147 N in the Hawthorne, Bland Lake and Calgary Communities
Nacogdoches Co. - approx. 150 - FM 225 area, west of Nacogdoches
Sabine Co. - less than 20

Crews are working to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible.

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Center PD Traffic Stop Nets Drugs and Over $30,000 - May 20, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford


Shelby County Today was on scene as officers searched the vehicle where they recovered a large amount of narcotics and money. Center Police Officer Jake Gross is seen at the back of the vehicle as Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton searches the passenger side of the vehicle with Sgt. Scott Burkhalter.

Center Police Department traffic stop nets an assortment of drugs, a gun, and over $30,000 in suspected drug money in the early hours of Tuesday morning on Hurst Street.

According to a Center Police Department press release, Sgt. Scotty Burkhalter with his K9 partner, "Taz", observed a black Chrysler 300 leaving Wal-Mart parking lot without headlights turned on at 1:30am on May 19, 2015. Sgt. Burkhalter initiated a traffic stop in the 800 block of Hurst Street and made contact with the driver of the Chrysler, Benny Earl Holmes, 25, of Tenaha.

Burkhalter observed Holmes was reaching into the floor board of the vehicle while Burkhalter was talking to him. Burkhalter ordered Holmes to get out of the vehicle and to show his hands. He complied after several commands to do so.

Coming from the vehicle Sgt Burkhalter smelled a strong odor of Marijuana and placed Holmes into custody for further investigation.

Arriving on scene and assisting Burkhalter was Center PD Officer Jake Gross along with Shelby County Sheriff Deputy Michael Griffin and Deputy Bradley Horton. During the investigation a .380 caliber pistol was located in the floorboard next to two big bags of marijuana.

The search concluded with the seizure of 13.6 grams of methamphetamine, powder cocaine, over a quarter pound of marijuana, a large amount of assorted pills, $30,616 in US Currency, and a pistol.

The suspect was charged with seven (7) felonies which includes possession with intent to distribute and money laundering. Holmes was taken to the Center Police Department.

The Center Police Department wants to thank Sheriff Willis Blackwell for his deputies and the help they provided.

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Sheriff's Department Seeking Information on Deer Lease Items Theft - May 20, 2015
Press Release

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on April 11th, 2015 suspect(s) entered onto the property of a deer lease located on County Road 1017 in Center, Texas and stole items such as a utility trailer with deer stands, deer feeder, solar panels, trail cameras, and buddy heaters. A photograph was provided from a trail camera that shows a vehicle of interest that was on the deer lease on April 09th, 2015 at approximately 12:33pm. The property was stolen on April 11th, 2015 at approximately 12:42am. Photographs were also provided depicting the some of the stolen property.

If anyone has any information regarding this case, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 936-598-5600 and ask to speak with Criminal Investigation Division Sergeant DJ Dickerson or Investigator Kevin W. Windham.

Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information regarding this crime should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember, you don't have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system.

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Sheriff's Department Reports of Drug Arrest - May 20, 2015
Press Release

Sheriff Willis Blackwell would like to report that on the 12th of May at around 12am Sergeant Michael Griffin while on routine patrol made a traffic stop on a vehicle for an expired registration on Martin Luther King Drive in Center. Sergeant Griffin identified the driver as James Allen Watson, 41, of Joaquin with passenger Crystal Monique Steffen, 26, of Center.

During the course of the traffic stop, Sergeant Griffin observed the driver to be nervous and was denied consent to search the vehicle. Sergeant Burkhalter and K9 Taz with the Center Police Department was contacted to perform an open air sniff around the vehicle. K9 Taz alerted on the vehicle as containing possible narcotics and a search of the vehicle was performed.

During the search a usable amount of methamphetamine was located along with several items of drug paraphernalia. James Allen Watson was placed under arrest for Possession of a Controlled Substance (state jail felony) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (class C misdemeanor).

This illustrates the inter agency cooperation between different law enforcement agencies committed to make Shelby County a better place. We would like to stress if you observe anything you believe to be suspicious or believe there is illegal drug activity in your neighborhood to please feel free to call your local agency or report it to the Center Crime stoppers.

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Shelby County Sheriff's Department Seeking Information on Vehicles Break-Ins - May 20, 2015
Press Release

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that sometime on Monday, May 18th, 2015 at 10pm to Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 at 4am, unknown suspect(s) entered into several vehicles in Shelby County. Areas in which the burglaries occurred were in the James/Antioch Communities on County Road 3215 and FM 2608. Suspect(s) stole a Pioneer stereo system and money.

If anyone has any information regarding this case, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 936-598-5600 and ask to speak with Criminal Investigation Division Sergeant DJ Dickerson or Investigator Kevin W. Windham.

Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information regarding this crime should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember, you don't have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system.

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Tree Falls Across Gladstone Causing Gas and Electric Damage - May 18, 2015
Composed by Sean Martin

Update: As of 5:10pm the tree has been cleared from Gladstone and the roadway is back open.

Residents on Gladstone in Center got quite a surprise when a large oak tree fell across the street Monday, May 18, 2015 at 11:30am.


City of Center crews clearing the tree from the roadway

In the process of falling, the tree broke a gas meter and struck some overhead power line. Center police, fire department and street crews were called out to the scene. Also notified was SWEPCO and Center Point Energy.

While Center PD blocked off the street firemen made repairs to the meter. Upon securing the scene and beginning clean up, it was discovered the tree had fallen on a small car parked along the curb on the opposite side of the street. The car at the time was unoccupied and received damage to its top as well as the front window being busted out.


Tree across Gladstone

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Joaquin Sees Flooding as Rain Pours Down in Shelby County - May 18, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

 

The photos in this album include submissions by viewers as well as photos taken by Shelby County Today.

Posted by Shelby County Today on Monday, May 18, 2015

The Shelby County area has received a great deal of rain as the result of storms which have blown through. Joaquin and Haslam have a lot of flooding as a result. Shelby County Today captured, and viewers submitted, photos of roadways and homes in the area.

These photos have been included in a photo album on the Shelby County Today Facebook and can be viewed there.

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Timpson ISD Early Release on Monday, Late Start on Tuesday - May 18, 2015
Submitted by Mid Johnson

Timpson ISD will release today at 1:45 because of pending road conditions. We plan to run buses at 2:00 p.m. or shortly thereafter as road conditions allow.

Timpson ISD Late Start on Tuesday, May 19th - The Timpson ISD will have a late start at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning to allow for better bus visibility.

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Shelbyville ISD Late Start Time for Tuesday - May 18, 2015
Submitted by Debbie Gilchrist

Shelbyville I.S.D. will start classes one hour later than normal on Tuesday, May 19th due to the prediction of flooding roads in our area. This will allow for better visibility for bus drivers and others.

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Joaquin ISD Statement: Early Release and Buses Not Running - May 18, 2015
Submitted by Donna Vergo

Road conditions have deteriorated to such a point that Joaquin ISD has decided not to run bus routes this afternoon, Monday, May 18, 2015. Students will be held at the school with supervision until parents can pick them up. This is a highly unusual situation and this decision has been made in an effort to keep all students safe.

School is being dismissed at 1:10 pm for all students.

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DETEC Reporting 1,300 Members Out - May 18, 2015
Submitted by Brittney Johnson

As of 4 PM, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 130 members remaining without power due to the severe weather.

Nacogdoches Co: approx. 70 (with the majority located in the Etoile area)
San Augustine Co: less than 5
Sabine Co: approx. 55 (Hemphill)


As of 1 PM, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 230 member without power due to the severe weather.

Panola Co: approx. 85 members out
Shelby Co: approx. 80
Nacogdoches Co: less than 10
San Augustine Co: approx. 50
Sabine Co: less than 5


As of 11 AM, Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 1,300 member without power due to the severe weather.

Panola Co: 550 members out – due to an outage experienced by SWEPCO whom feeds the DETEC line.

Shelby Co: 95
Nacogdoches Co: 60
San Augustine Co: 450
Sabine Co: 150
Jasper Co: less than 10

Crews are currently out working to restore power as quickly and as safely as possible. To report an outage, please call: 1-800-392-5986.

DETEC would like to remind members to be safe - STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Consider them all to be live and dangerous. Call DETEC at 1-800-392-5986 to report downed lines and outages.

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FM 699 Scene of Two-Vehicle Crash Near Tenaha - May 17, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

FM 699 was the scene of a two-vehicle crash outside of Tenaha on Sunday, May 17, 2015. Residents at the scene of the crash were first to check on those involved in the crash and to contact 9-1-1.

Jessie Griffith with ACE EMS arrived with law enforcement and the Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department and began treatment of injured parties.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade LaVergne, at 1:20pm a white 2012 GMC Sierra SLE pickup truck driven by Marion Jackson, 71, of Joaquin was traveling north on FM 699 1/2 mile from U.S. Highway 84. At the same time a blue 2013 Ford Fusion driven by Doyle Taylor, 83, of Joaquin was traveling south when he blacked out due to a medical condition and the Fusion crossed into the northbound traffic lane.

Jackson attempted to avoid colliding with Taylor by vacating his lane and entering the southbound lane, which is a legal action. Taylor regained consciousness and when he saw what was happening he attempted to veer the Fusion back into the correct lane; however, the vehicles still sideswiped each other head-on on the front right driver side and disabling both vehicles in the middle of the roadway.

Emergency personnel from the Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department and Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department provided traffic control at the scene while those involved in the crash were examined by ACE EMS.

Taylor was transported from the scene by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of his minor injuries. Following examination by EMS, Jackson and his passenger Dewana Jackson, 38, of Joaquin refused transport to the hospital.

No citations have been issued at this time.

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National Weather Service Issues a Special Weather Alert (10:18am) - May 18, 2015

10:17 AM CDT Mon May 18, 2015

Significant weather advisory for west central DeSoto Parish, north central Shelby, and southeastern Panola Counties unit 11:00am CDT.

At 10:16am Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm near Tenaha or 8 miles south of Carthage moving northeast at 45 MPH.

Winds in excess of 40 MPH will be possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include: Logansport, Tenaha, Joaquin, Gary City, Keachi, Grand Cane, Longstreet, Front, Gloster, Reeds Store, Midyett, Woods, Deadwood, Paxton, and Kickapoo.

Torrential rainfall is also occurring with this storm and may lead to flash flooding.


10:08 AM CDT Mon May 18, 2015

Significant weather advisory for western Sabine Parish, Southeastern Shelby, Sabine, and northeastern San Augustine Counties until 11:00am CDT.

At 10:07am CDT Doppler radar was tracking a line of strong thunderstorm along a line extending from near Bland Lake to near Rosevine and moving northeast at 40mph.

Wind gusts up to 50 mph will be possible with these storm.

Locations impacted include: Milam, Hemphill, Pineland, Patroon, Rosevine, Noble, Columbus, Sexton, Bronson, and Toledo Bend Reservoir north.

Torrential rainfall is also occurring with these storms and may lead to flash flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways. .

If on or near Toledo Bend, get out of the water and move indoors or inside a vehicle. Remember, lightening can strike out to 15 miles from the parent thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Move to as safe shelter NOW. Do not be caught on the water in a thunderstorm.

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Sheriff's Department Reports on Vickers Arrest - May 15, 2015
Press Release

On Friday, May 15, 2015 Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that Johanna Vickers, 36, was arrested for the offense of Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student and the offense of Sexual Assault of a Child, both 2nd degree felonies. The need for an investigation was reported to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office by Shelbyville I.S.D. who then fully cooperated with the Sheriff’s Office throughout the investigation.

Sheriff Blackwell would also like to thank the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center who has purchased and donated through a grant to local law enforcement earlier this year of a Universal Forensic Extraction Device which played a key roll in the investigation.

Mrs. Vickers was booked into the Shelby County Sheriff's Department jail facility and arraigned by Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Marla Denby with bond being set at a total of $50,000 dollars for both charges.

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Shelbyville ISD Teacher Under Arrest; School Superintendent Issues Statement - May 15, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

A Shelbyville ISD teacher has been arrested by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department on charges of improper relationship between educator and student and sexual assault of a child.

Johanna Vickers, 35, of San Augustine was arrested Thursday, May 14, 2015 on the aforementioned charges at 8:10pm and released at 9:50pm on two $25,000 bonds. At this time a press release is pending from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Shelby County Today visited with Dr. Ray West, Shelbyville ISD Superintendent, to gather information from the district on the situation. Dr. West issued the following statement:

"Johanna Vickers, a teacher with Shelbyville High School, resigned Wednesday May 13, 2015 from the school district. She is no longer an employee of the school district. At the time of her resignation Ms. Vickers noted she was resigning for personal reasons and did not admit any wrongdoing related to the investigation for possible behavior involving her and a Shelbyville High School student. The investigation into the possible inappropriate conduct was initiated as an internal school investigation led by Jud Matthews, Shelbyville ISD Police Chief; however, early in the process Shelbyville ISD brought local law enforcement in to oversee the investigation since the case included the possibility of criminal wrongdoing by a school district employee.

"Since this is still an open and ongoing investigation the school district cannot offer comments regarding specifics of the case; however, it's to be noted that at the time of Ms. Vickers resignation nothing had been uncovered as far as an actual criminal act. This is a very fluid situation and it seems like with each passing day and maybe even each passing hour more things are being uncovered. It's my understanding as of this morning that she was actually arrested and charged. It's extremely troubling anytime something like this happens and it's something that disappoints all of us.

"We've got to remember that we have to allow enforcement officials to uncover facts for the investigation and not confuse things with rumors and speculation and allow the fact finding process to occur. Whenever any employee is accused of violating the trust that's given to educators that's a sad day for all of us. It doesn't change the fact that we must stay unyielding to our commitment to our students in providing a safe educational environment. Also, it doesn't take away from the fact that we stay committed to continuing the trust with our parents and stakeholders. Shelbyville ISD is a great place to be and will continue to be that and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and other enforcement officials from the state who will likely become involved with this because it is an educator who earned their certificate.

"From my seat we will do whatever we can to make sure that if something's been violated then that person is going to have to face the consequences at the state level."

In addition to his statement, Dr. West spoke further of the rapidly changing situation involving the investigation, "A lot of times these investigations drag on, this has been extremely rapid in terms of how investigations unfold. I haven't really been involved in a lot of investigations but [they do take some time] to the point of frustration with everybody that wants to know what's going on. In this case this has really moved. There's families involved, there's children involved and nobody wins when something like this happens and we've just gotta keep doing our best to try to safeguard against it happening in the future and trying to make that for everybody else that we help them get through it and we move forward, but it's a disappointing day it really is."

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NWS Issues Flash Flood Watch - May 13, 2015

3:37pm CDT Wednesday, May 13, 2015

National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch in effect through the evening hours Wednesday, May 13, 2015 for Shelby County.

A line of thunderstorms is poised to move across much of the East Texas late afternoon and evening. Some training of thunderstorms will bring the threat of very heavy rainfall on still wet soil, bayous, rivers and lakes.

The flash flood watch is in effect until 1am CDT Thursday for portions of Southeast Oklahoma and Texas including the following areas in Southeast Oklahoma, McCurtain, and in Texas, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Panola, Red River, Rusk, San Angustine, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Upshur and Wood.

A wide line of thunderstorms that will likely have training echoes that will be capable of producing heavy rainfall totals. The soil is still primed for quick runoff into already high bank bayous, rivers, and lakes. Rainfall amounts of one to three inches will occur in many locales with isolated higher amounts not out of the realm of possibility.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions

A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

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Logansport Woman Injured in Joaquin Crash - May 13, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

A Logansport woman was injured in a crash Wednesday afternoon, May 13, 2015 in Joaquin resulting in her transport to the hospital. Emergency personnel including the Texas Department of Public Safety, Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department and ACE EMS were dispatched to the scene.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Cpl. Jimmy Faulkner, at 4pm a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban drive by Linda Blunt, 65, of Logansport was traveling from Houston east on U.S. Highway 84. Blunt did not recall what happened, and possibly fell asleep when she failed to maintain a single lane and left the roadway to the right. The Suburban traveled through a ditch and then over a culvert before the rear end skidded to the right and struck a utility pole on the right rear passenger door.

The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department provided traffic control at the scene and assisted as ACE EMS administered treatment to Blunt. She was then transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of minor injuries.

No citations have been issued as of the time of this report.

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SCSO Press Release for Shooting Incident, 1 Deceased, 1 in ICU - May 13, 2015
Submitted by Sergeant Dickerson, Shelby County Sheriff's Office

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Sunday, May 10, 2015 at approximately 5:49PM, a deputy responded to 3678 FM 139 in Joaquin, Texas in reference to an altercation that had occurred between a John Leggett, James Leggett, and Richard Sharp, Sr.

On Tuesday, May 12, 2015 deputies were dispatched to the same location at approximately 1:06PM in reference to a shooting incident involving James Leggett, Richard Sharp, Sr. and Richard Sharp, Jr.

Upon arrival, deputies found Richard Sharp, Sr. deceased in the front yard of James Leggett's residence and Richard Sharp, Jr. having received a gunshot wound to the right leg. Richard Sharp, Jr. was treated by ACE EMS and lifeflighted by LifeAir Rescue to LSU in Shreveport, Louisiana.

It was found that James Leggett had shot both Richard Sharp, Sr. and Richard Sharp, Jr. at his residence. No charges have been filed at this time. Texas Rangers Brazil and Rayburn are investigating along with Criminal Investigation Division Sergeant DJ Dickerson and Investigator Kevin W. Windham. All evidence was mapped, cataloged, and packaged for processing. Texas DPS Crime Scene team also came to the Leggett residence to map evidence.

Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Judge Margie Anderson pronounced Richard Sharp, Sr. as deceased at 1:45PM and an autopsy was ordered. Richard Sharp, Jr. was reported to be in ICU at LSU hospital.

This case is under investigation. A Grand Jury will hear all evidence of the case.

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Shelbyville ISD School Bus Involved in Crash (Update) - May 13, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and Shelbyville ISD representatives responded to a two-vehicle crash involving a school bus and an 18-wheeler on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Students were on the bus when the collision occurred and another school bus was called to the scene to pick them up. No students were reported to have received any injuries at the scene.

(Update): According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade LaVergne, at 7:14am a 2004 Kenworth hauling a tanker trailer owned by MKO Trucking driven by Leon Hardaway, 25, of Center was traveling south on FM 3172 just under two miles from the intersection of FM 2694 in Huxley.

A yellow Thomas school bus owned by Shelbyville ISD (bus #2) and driven by Kenneth Gregston, 24, of Center was traveling north with 12 minor passengers. As the school bus and the 18-wheeler passed one another in a curve in the roadway two tires on the rear axle driver side of the 18-wheeler came of the hub assembly. Gregston attempted to avoid the tires and left the roadway to the right more than expected with the tires striking the front driver's side quarter panel. Gregston continued on a path through the ditch and came to a stop along the tree line.

Unaware the collision occurred, Hardaway continued to his destination. Once he was aware the collision occurred he returned to the scene of the crash. Students onboard school bus number 2 were transferred to school bus number 17 so they could be safely transported to school.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crash. No citations were issued as the crash was due to mechanical failure.

 

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Provisional Votes Change Timpson Election Outcome - May 12, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers


City of Timpson Mayor Debra Pate Smith is seen assisting City Secretary Leslie Leathers posting the new results of the Timpson city election.

Provisional votes are in for the 2015 City of Timpson election and they have altered the results. The ballots provided an additional two votes for both Janell Baker and George Grace. As a result Grace's gain of two votes put him over Kenny Walker by one vote and put him back in the council seat.

The new results are as follows:
City of Timpson: The three (3) council member positions were won by Kyle Allen, Janell Baker, and George Grace. Kyle Allen received 95 votes, Jannell Baker received 82 votes, George Grace received 78 votes, Linda Hancock received 74 votes, and Kenneth Walker received 77 votes.

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Neighbor Dispute Results in Shooting Death, Injury - May 12, 2015
Composed by JJ Ford

A dispute between neighbors ends badly with a shooting incident ending the life of one and sending another by Life Air Rescue to LSU hospital in Shreveport with a gun shot wound.

Shelby County Sheriff Department is on scene and Texas Rangers are on the way to investigate. Shelby County Today has been on scene and no additional information is available at this time. ACE EMS was on scene to provide emergency care and Joaquin VFD assisted with the landing zone and traffic control.

More information will be provided as it is made available.

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Three Transported to Hospital From U.S. 96 Crash - May 11, 2015
Composed by Scott Flowers

Three people were transported to the hospital following a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 96 North 1/2 mile north of CR 3765 which occurred at 1:35pm on Saturday, May 9, 2015.

Three passersby including two women and a man stopped to help the occupants and called 9-1-1. Once emergency personnel arrived, the Center Fire Department began working traffic control and assisting ACE EMS in loading the crash victims into an ambulance.

The vehicle, a black Chevrolet Blazer driven by Adrian Cordova-Caporali, 26, was heading southbound on U.S. Highway 96 North when the Blazer left the roadway to the right. The Blazer came back on the roadway and once in the inside lane made a hard right and began to flip. The vehicle then left the roadway again and rolled down an embankment where it came to rest facing north.

Caporali and his passengers Maria Angelica Poot-Dzib, 20, and an 11-month-old female child were all transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of unknown injuries.

The crash is under investigation by Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Daniel Dellenger. No citations have been reported at this time. Adam Renfro, Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy also assisted at the scene.

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National Weather Service Short Term Forecast Issued at 12:41pm - May 11, 2015
NWS Hazardous Weather Conditions

12:41pm CDT, Monday, May 11, 2015

The National Weather Service has issued a short term forecast for Shelby County and surrounding area. A large area of rain and possible embedded thunderstorms will continue to move very slowly to the Northeast. Expect rainfall amounts to vary from a trace in some locations, to upwards of half an inch or more in isolated areas. People are urged to use caution as saturated grounds, along with additional rainfall could result in low lying flood or ponding on roadways.

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Cities, Schools Unofficial Election Results - (Update) May 9, 2015
Composed by J.J. Ford

Ballots have been cast and counted and election results for cities and schools this May 9th election day are:

City of Joaquin: The new mayor of Joaquin is Bill Baker. Bill Baker received 58 votes and Pat Gray received 52 votes. (Mike Wood did not run for re-election.)

The two (2) at large City Council positions were won by Mike Adkinson and Joe Long. Mike Adkinson received 69 votes, Lee Vern Stotts Gilliam received 46 votes, and Joe Long received 55 votes.

Joaquin ISD: The two (2) board positions were won by Ronnie Belrose and Tom Harvey. Ronnie Belrose received 170 votes, Maggie Bowdin received 135 votes, Tom Harvey received 289 votes, and Jay Wilson received 152 votes. (Luke Garrett did not run for re-election)


Shelbyville ISD: The two (2) board positions were won by the two incumbents, Etola Jones and Joe Tom Schillings. Brad Hinton received 74 votes, Etola Jones received 151 votes, Chris Koltonski received 97 votes, Clint Norton received 34 votes, Joe Tom Schillings received 155 votes, and Latashia Thompson received 75 votes.


City of Tenaha: The three (3) council member positions were won by Michael Baker, Natalie Harris, and Claudine Howard. Michael Baker received 96 votes, Natalie Harris received 94 votes, Claudine Howard received 56 votes, and Larry Terry received 53 votes.

Tenaha ISD: The three (3) board positions were won by Joe Anderson, Robert Barton, and David Fallin. Joe Anderson received 153 votes, Robert Barton received 119 votes, David Fallin received 159 votes, Korey McClure received 89 votes, and Bo Morris received 87 votes.


City of Timpson: The three (3) council member positions were won by Kyle Allen, Janell Baker, and Kenneth Walker. Kyle Allen received 95 votes, Jannell Baker received 80 votes, George Grace received 76 votes, Linda Hancock received 74 votes, and Kenneth Walker received 77 votes.

Provisional ballots have come in and have changed the result of the Timpson Election, Click here to see the outcome.

Timpson ISD: The three (3) board positions were won by Dannie Hunt, Carlos Johnson, and Jim Rader. Linda Fraizer Todd received 77 votes, Dannie Hunt received 140 votes, Carlos Johnson received 136 votes, and Jim Rader received 164 votes. (Tracy Hooper and Beth Tipton did not run for re-election)

*Election results must be canvassed by the City Council or School Board before they are official.

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Seeking Information About Burglaries in Jericho Community - May 8, 2015
SCSO Press Release

Updated with more information

According to an updated press release, the Shelby County Sheriff's Department has discovered more areas which were burglarized.

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Friday, May 08th, 2015, unknown suspect(s) forced entry into (5) residences in Shelby County.

The areas in which the burglaries occurred were (1) on FM 417 West, (2) in the Jericho Community, (1) on County Road 1234, and (1) on County Road 1510. Suspect(s) stole firearms, boots, clothing, a Sentry safe and money.


Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Friday, May 08th, 2015 between the hours of 9:00am and 10:00am, unknown suspect(s) forced entry into (2) residences located in the Jericho community on FM 711. Suspect(s) stole firearms, pair of Ostrich boots, a Sentry safe and money.

If anyone has any information regarding this case, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 936-598-5600 and ask to speak with Criminal Investigation Division Sergeant DJ Dickerson or Investigator Kevin W. Windham.

Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information regarding this crime should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember, you don't have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system.

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Amnesty Ends Friday! Center Municipal Court Warrant Roundup - March 25, 2015
Submitted by Edna Boykins

Update: Center Municipal Court is offering Amnesty starting Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. If you have a 'Failure to Appear,' the $235 fine will be dismissed, if you pay before the police come for you. Must pay full amount of the fines!

Center Municipal Court will be holding a Warrant Roundup with participating agencies. Pay your outstanding warrants before they come for you.

Payments must be paid in full, contact the court at 936-598-3080. In order to pay your warrant on line you will need your citation # before you call traffic payment.com or call 1-800-444-1187. You can come to the court to pay; you must bring the exact amount. NO CREDIT CARDS AND NO PERSONAL CHECKS.

If you feel like your name is on the list in error, contact the court and we will get the matter resolved. Disregard if you have paid and we have not taken you off the list. We will try and update the list as often as we can.

Outstanding Warrant List: (Click the letters to view the lists)

A | B | C | D, E, F | G | H | I, J | K, L | M | N, O, P | R | S | T, U, V | W, Y, Z

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