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Driver Fatigue Results in Crash on 96 South - April 15, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A driver lost control of a vehicle he was driving and crashed on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 when he fell asleep at the wheel.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 2:30pm a tan 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Marshal Grant, 19, of Pineland was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 96 South. Grant stated that he fell asleep behind the wheel, overcorrected and left the highway to the left, crossing over the southbound traffic lane and into the borrow ditch. The Tahoe flipped over onto its top coming to rest on top of a culvert.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crash and no citations have been given at this time.


Sheriff's Office Warns of "IRS Scam" - April 15, 2014
Submitted by Shad Sparks

Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that a concerned Shelby County citizen called in and reported a scam going around involving the IRS. An unknown person called and attempted to obtain personal information by stating that he had fraudulently filed his income tax return. This caller then attempted to obtain his address. The concerned citizen told him that he was not giving him his address. The person stated that if he did not he would be arrested. The concerned citizen stated to come on and arrest me then the unknown caller hung up.

This is not how the IRS conducts their business. Please inform your family and any elderly person that you may know of this scam. If anyone has any additional information in regards to this scam or can obtain a phone number from the caller please contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at 936-598-5600.


Sheriff's Office Investigates Shooting Death in Joaquin - April 15, 2014
Submitted by Shad Sparks

On Monday, April 14, 2014 the Shelby County Sheriff's Department received a call in reference to a shooting incident on FM 2787 in Joaquin, Texas. Upon arrival, a 19-year-old white male identifited as a Dalton Williams was found deceased in a wooded area. It was found that Williams had a single gunshot wound to the head.

The case is under investigation by Investigator DJ Dickerson. JP3 Margie Anderson performed the inquest and an autopsy has been ordered.


Driver Receives Injuries Following Single Vehicle Crash on FM 414 - April 14, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford

Law enforcement and emergency responders went to a single vehicle crash on FM 414, Sardis/Campti Road, which resulted in the driver being transported with injuries.

DPS Trooper Keith Jones along with Shelby County Sheriff"s Deputy Kurtes Lawrence were dispatched at 6:02 am Saturday morning, April 12, 2014 to FM 414. Upon arrival, they found a 2001 Dodge pickup crashed off the roadway with the driver Victor Eddins, 47, of Center, having received possible injuries. ACE EMS was dispatched to the scene and Eddins was transported by ACE to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

The dodge pickup was traveling on FM 414 when the vehicle exited the roadway to the left side, not passing. The pickup drove across a driveway, continued traveling in a bar ditch before striking a culvert and becoming airborne. The cause of the crash is unknown at this time. The crash is under investigation by DPS Trooper Keith Jones.


No Donuts for Joaquin; Truck Crashes into Building - April 14, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers, Photos by J.J. Ford

Joaquin and Haslam residents' stomachs may feel as though they have a hole in them as the Best Donuts on Haslam Strip has a brand new drive-thru going through its kitchen.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 1:15pm on Monday, April 14, 2014, a 2007 Ford pickup truck driven by James Price, 17, of Logansport, La. with a 15-year-old minor passenger was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 84 East (Haslam Strip). The driver reported to DPS the truck hydroplaned on the wet roadway, causing Price to lose control of the vehicle and crash into the Best Donuts owned by Tony Yang, of Joaquin.

No one was in building at the time of the crash. The driver received minor injuries as a result of the crash.

Price was cited for unsafe speed and no drivers license.

The owners regret that there will not be fresh donuts for everyone to enjoy in the morning.


NWS Issues Watch County Notification for Watch 80 - April 14, 2014

National Weather Service Shreveport LA
10:37 AM CDT, Monday, April 14, 2014

The National Weather Service has issued Severe Thunderstorm Watch 80 in effect until 5pm CDT this afternoon for the following areas.

In Northwest Louisiana
Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Clairborne, DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Webster.

In East Texas
Angelina, Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby

In Northeast Texas
Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Panola, Rusk, Smith, Upshur .


Passerby Reports Vehicle on Fire on US 96 North - April 13, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford

A 911 call was made by passerby, Preston Whitney, concerning a car on fire on US 96 North near Flat Fork Creek at 12:23pm, Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Arriving on scene first was DPS Trooper Keith Jones and Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Kurtes Lawrence. Upon arrival of the Center Fire Department, the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. Law enforcement on scene managed traffic control while firemen Corey Hagler and John Green worked to extinguish the blaze.

According to fireman John Green, Kursti Agnew, of Center, reported the Jeep she was driving died and she managed to steer it off the roadway onto the shoulder. When she tried to crank the Jeep again, she smelled smoke and exited the vehicle with her infant child.

Agnew went home with her child and returned after the fire was completely out. The vehicle was registered to Susan Tyler of Center.

In June of 2013 Chrysler recalled nearly 1.6 million 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokees and 2002-2007 Jeep Liberty S.U.V.s due to the vulnerability of the gas tank being punctured and the vehicle catching fire. It is unknown at this time what the cause of the fire was.


National Weather Service Shreveport LA Issues Tornado Watch - April 13, 2014

5:15pm CDT, Sunday, Apr 13, 2014

The National Weather Service has issued Tornado Watch 76 in effect until midnight CDT tonight for the following areas:

In Northwest Louisiana
Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Red River, and Webster

In Texas
Anderson, Bell, Bosque, Bowie, Brown, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Collin, Comanche, Coryell, Dallas, Delta Denton, Eastland, Ellis Erath, Falls, Fannin, Franklin, Freestone, Gregg, Hamilton, Harrison, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Hunt, Jack, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Lampasas, Limestone, Marion, McClellan, Mills, Morris, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Rains, Red River, Rockwall, Rusk, Shelby, Smith Somervell, Tarrant, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, Wise, Wood

Tornado watch -- Conditions are conducive to the development of tornadoes in and close to the watch area.


Montgomery County Finds Center Man Wanted for Theft of Firearm - April 10, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A local man sought by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office was arrested by Montgomery County Sheriff's Department on new charges.

According to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, Killian Michael Richey, 24, of Center was arrested on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 8:30pm during a traffic stop on Nichols Sawmill Road just outside of Magnolia. During the traffic stop he provided a false name to the officer and consequently was arrested. Richey was booked in to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department for giving false information and was identified through tattoo photos as being wanted from Shelby County.

Richey is in custody in Montgomery County for failure to identify as a fugitive and is being held there on the warrant out of Shelby County.

See related Shelby County Today story here: Link


Train, Truck Collide Outside of Tenaha; Child Ejected on Impact - April 9, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A train collided with a pickup truck on Wednesday afternoon, causing a child to be ejected from the vehicle.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Jordan Eastridge, at 3:38pm on April 9, 2014 a Union Pacific locomotive en-route to Houston, 1/4 mile east of Tenaha on U.S. Highway 84, struck a black 2003 Chevrolet pickup truck. The truck is registered to Jubert Segovia, of Tenaha, and was driven by a 16-year-old female minor driver with a 16-year-old female minor passenger, as well as, an 8-year-old boy seated in the back left and a 5-year-old girl seated in the back right, all of Tenaha. As the train struck the truck on the front right corner and pushed it south, the five-year-old child, who was not in a secured child safety seat, was ejected through the right rear window of the vehicle and landed on the rocks alongside the rail.

DPS Troopers were dispatched along with Bryan Gray, Constable Precinct 4, and the Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department to the scene. Union Pacific Railroad representatives, Gil Stovall, Union Pacific Railroad Manager of Operating Practices, and a member of the Union Pacific Railroad Police Department out of Longview arrived right away to investigate the incident.

All four of the occupants were transported by ACE EMS to ETMC in Carthage for treatment and precautionary measures. The five-year-old did receive some scratches to her face.
The driver does not have a license but the incident did occur on a private driveway.

The train involved in the crash (seen above) received no obvious damage a result of the crash. Only a few visible scrapes on the front.

Many trains travel the rail through Shelby County hauling a variety of different cargo. This particular train had a large number of cars; however, its cars were not fully loaded with materials.

"It was a manifest train, and so that means it was kind of made up of mixed rail cars, different commodities you know. It had 110 cars, but not all of them were carrying freight. It had 67 empty cars," said Elizabeth Hutchison, a Union Pacific Railroad Spokeswoman.

The railroad crossing where the incident occurred was at a private roadway with stop signs. Hutchison says that installing a crossing signal at a railroad crossing requires an evaluation process that involves the community and the railroad. The speed of the train is unknown at this time; however, Hutchison states the speed is being looked into.
Incidents involving trains can be very stressful for engineers and crew involved with the trains daily operation, leaving them at times in need of professional care.

Gil Stovall, Union Pacific Railroad Manager of Operating Practices, (left) and Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jordan Eastridge (right) exchanged information at the scene of the crash. The name of the engineer was not provided by Union Pacific Railroad at the scene.

"The train crew was not injured, but we'll be providing them care support as we always do in an incident such as this to make sure that they have counseling and support as well," said Hutchison.

A very important measure in preventing train incidents is not crossing train tracks when a train is moving near an intersection.

"I can't urge people enough to stress that everyone use extreme caution around railroad tracks, and adhere to all the signaling and never ever try to beat a train," said Hutchison.

The incident remains under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety and Officials with Union Pacific Railroad.


Early Morning Crash Sends Driver to Hospital - April 9, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A single-vehicle crash in the early morning on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 on FM 414 sent the driver to the hospital.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, at 2:42am Paul Vincent Hayden, Jr., 34, of Center, was driving a tan 2005 GMC Sierra pickup, three miles east of State Highway 87 South, westbound on FM 414 after getting off work from Tyson. As Hayden was driving, the truck left the roadway to the right and traveled down an embankment before entering a driveway and striking a tree head-on.

It is believed that a medical condition may have contributed to causing the incident. Hayden was transported to San Augustine Memorial Hospital by ACE EMS for observation.

Correction: There was no indication at the scene that intoxication was a factor.


City of Center Utilities Repair Major Water Leak - April 7, 2014
Submitted by Chad Nehring

Center Utilities identified a major water leak on the 18” main transmission water line on Highway 7 West last Friday, April 4th. Utility crews did an excellent job of expediting the repair while maintaining system pressure and service to customers during this work. The line was completely repaired and placed back in service Saturday evening after disinfection and significant flushing. Utility crews are continuing to flush lines as necessary to address reports of water with dissolved air reaching some customers appearing as discolored water. The disinfection residual and pressure have been maintained in all parts of the system, so despite any discoloration, the water is safe to drink and use as normal.

If you experience continued or long term water concerns, please call 598-2941 to report the condition , location and duration or any issues.


Terrible Crash on SH 7 Sends Both Drivers to Hospital - April 6, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford, Photos by Scott Flowers

Two drivers were transported to a Nacogdoches hospital following a major crash which occurred Saturday evening in the Grisby Community on SH 7 West near the Nacogdoches County Line.

DPS Trooper Jimmy Faulkner was dispatched at 6:31pm to a crash on SH 7 involving two pickup trucks Saturday, April 5, 2014. According to Trooper Faulkner, a blue with grey 2000 Dodge pickup was heading east on SH 7 and was traveling all over the highway, as stated by witnesses traveling behind the vehicle. The pickup driven by Steven Dennis, age 48, of Shelbyville, traveled across the center lines onto the wrong side of the road when a black 2008 Chevrolet pickup driven by Taylor Spinks, age 22, of Etoile, was heading west on SH 7.

In an attempt to avoid the Dodge pickup which was traveling east in the westbound lane, the Chevrolet entered into the eastbound traffic lane. The Dodge pickup then crossed back onto the right side of the roadway and with its front struck the side of the Chevrolet pickup. The impact caused the Chevrolet pickup to overturn onto its top and both pickups came to rest off the roadway on the eastbound shoulder. Both vehicles received major damage.

Good Samaritans who were at the scene at the time of the crash were able to pull Spinks from the Chevrolet immediately following the crash.

Assisting with traffic control and extracting Dennis from the wreckage were West Shelby VFD, Center VFD, Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Nacogdoches FD. Also, on scene was the US Forest Service. Dennis and Spinks were both taken to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital by ambulances, ACE EMS and Nacogdoches Memorial Ambulance.

The wreck is under investigation by DPS for possibly being a DWI related crash. No citations were issued at the scene of the crash.


Louisiana Woman Life-Flighted from Single Vehicle Rollover - April 6, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford, Photos by Scott Flowers

A Louisiana woman was life-flighted from a single vehicle accident on SH 7 West after vehicle became airborne and struck a tree.

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Derek Barbee and DPS Trooper Dustin Ramos responded to a single vehicle rollover in front of Hughes Wrecker Service on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 1:40pm. A 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by Abreia Smith, age 21, of Louisiana, was traveling eastbound on SH 7 fatigued or asleep. The car crossed both lanes of highway 7 exiting the roadway to the left and striking a driveway culvert causing the vehicle to become airborne. The car somersaulted before striking a tree five feet above the ground, spun around and came to rest right side up underneath the branches of another tree. Smith was ejected from the vehicle before it came to rest.

The Center Fire Department assisted at the scene and secured a landing zone for life air to land. ACE EMS treated Smith on scene before she was transferred to the care of Life Air Rescue who transported her to LSU Hospital in Shreveport due to possible injuries.

The vehicle was taken by Hughes Wreck Service. The accident was worked by DPS Trooper Dustin Ramos.


Wedding Delayed Due to Guests Stuck in Elevator - April 5, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford

Firefighters Danbert Collum and John Green smile as the elevator lowers and they see smiling faces through the glass door.

Saturday, April 5th was a well planned day of wedding festivities for bride Jessica Bridges and groom Cody Dawson who exchanged wedding vows at the beautiful Historic Shelby County Courthouse. However, even the best laid plans can go awry, which is what happened to four people who became stuck between the bottom and top floor of the courthouse inside the elevator.

Extra guests to attend the wedding were members of the Center Volunteer Fire Department when they were dispatched at 3:55pm to assist the stranded individuals who were Tim and Mary Anderson, Mrs. Spurlock, and Colleen Doggett.

After almost an hour stuck inside the elevator and as the bride and groom were saying their 'I dos', those stranded were feeling the elevator finally move down. The fire department was able to safely lower the elevator at 4:52pm and help everyone inside get outside without incident. Colleen Doggett wished to thank everyone who helped with their rescue.

The newly wed couple, Mr. and Mrs. Cody Dawson, and the stranded wedding guests will have a unique memory to share for years to come.

The elevator occupants express joy as they exit greeting the fire fighters with hugs and thank yous.


Center City Manager Alleviates Confusion Over Insurance Provider - April 4, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

Residents of Center and possibly other cities in Shelby County may have received a letter recently from a company called Homeserve. Recently some Center utility customers have contacted Shelby County Today due to some confusion over whether Homeserve is associated with City of Center. Shelby County Today contacted Chad Nehring, Center City Manager, about this concern and he was able to provide an enlightening statement to set the record straight.

"Currently a private insurance company, HomeServe, is selling a home insurance product and possibly implying it is associated with or endorsed by the City of Center or Center Utilities. While the product they are selling is legitimate and potentially beneficial for homeowners experiencing some types of water or sewer line problems, it is in no way associated with or endorsed by the City of Center or Center Utilities."

Chad Nehring
City Manager
City of Center, Texas


Lightning Strikes Tank Battery; JVFD Responds to Natural Gas Well Site Fire - April 4, 2014
Submitted by Stephen Ewing

The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a tank battery fire at a natural gas well on County Road 3790 near Crystal Lake at 3:50am early Friday morning, April 4, 2014. Lightning struck one of tanks, causing an explosion that blew the top off of the steel tank and melted the fiberglass tank.

The JVFD responded with four trucks and 12 firefighters. Firefighters stood by until a representative of the production company arrived to shut the well in for the safety of personnel. Once the well was shut in, firefighters extinguished the fire and returned to the station at approximately 4:45 a.m.


Man Receives Injury While Protecting Child from Dog Attack - April 3, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A man was attacked by dogs in the Ragtown Community while protecting a child on Monday, March 23, 2014. The Shelby County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene to investigate, and according to the report a large number of dogs described to be "pit bulls" are in the area and have been a danger to people on several occasions.

Deputy Jeremy Pope arrived at the scene of the attack, located on Forest Service Road 123, where he met with two individuals who informed him there had been several attacks of people by the pack of "pit bulls." The most recent victim of the attack was at San Augustine Memorial Hospital receiving treatment at the time Deputy Pope arrived at the scene.

The victim of the attack, Thomas Allen, and a witness to the attack, Sally Reynolds, later provided a statement to Deputy Pope and explained what happened. According to the report, Allen stated he heard Reynolds' son cry for help and witnessed the pack of dogs running after the boy. Upon seeing what was happening he quickly responded to help. Three of the dogs attacked Allen when he arrived, prompting him to draw a knife and stab the dogs several times to get them off of him. Allen was severely bitten on the arm by the dogs and he was immediately taken by private vehicle to the hospital. Thanks to his quick reaction, the boy wasn't injured.

According to the Centers For Disease Control, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and almost one in five of those who are bitten, about 885,000, require medical attention for bite-related injuries; half of these are children. In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office asks that anyone with information about this pack of dogs call the Shelby County Sheriff's Office as soon as possible at 936-598-5600.


Sheriff Reports of Dog Attacks in Ragtown - April 3, 2014
Submitted by Shad Sparks

Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Sunday, March 23, the Sheriff's Office received a report of two people being attacked by a large pack of pit bulldogs running loose in the Rag Town Park area. Our office has been in contact the United States Forest Service regarding this incident.

If you have any information regarding this pack of dogs in this area, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff's Office as soon as possible at 936-598-5600.


Warrant Round Up Coming Soon
Submitted by Edna Boykins

12:57pm: Warrant list updated with new warrants added and paid warrants removed. * Indicates new warrants.

Center Municipal Court will be holding a Warrant Roundup soon. Pay your Outstanding Warrants as soon as possible to avoid arrest. If you come in on your own, payment must be paid in full. Contact the Court at 936-598-3080. Pay online at trafficpayment.com or call 1-800-444-1187.

If you feel like your name is on here in error, contact the court at 936-598-3080 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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