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Around Town

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April 22, 2017 - The PWPS held their monthly meeting April 8th. The April Challenge was "Window Light" and challenging it was! Congratulations to the Challenge winners. After the Challenge and discussion, a field trip was taken to Buster Bounds recording studio, which proved to be very informative and was enjoyed by all. Thank you Buster.

The Piney Woods Photographic Society is meant for camera enthusiasts of all skills and interests. Our goal is to help you become a better photographer and give you a place to meet others who share your passion for photography. We try to create programs and activities with information and instruction for all skill levels in an environment of support and cooperation.

Visitors are always welcome to attend our meetings with or without a member.

The next meeting will be Saturday, May 20th, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., basement First United Methodist Church, on Porter St., Center, Tx.

For more information contact Billie Jones, Secretary, at email or 936-591-2426.

April 2017 Challenge Winners: Theme: Window Light

Worshipful Master Jimmy Wagstaff (left) presents Vance Jordan with the Golden Trowel Award.

April 21, 2017 - Joaquin Masonic Lodge #856 bestowed one of their own, Vance Jordan, with the highest honor a lodge can bestow April 15, 2017 the Golden Trowel Award.

Fellow Masons gathered at the lodge, as well as friends and family to celebrate with Jordan in his recognition.

A history of Jordan's devotion to Masonry was given and some highlights of that history included his becoming a Master Mason in 1994; a past Master of Joaquin lodge four times over, which is a record, and a past District Deputy Grand Master for 2010-2011.

Jordan, and his wife Cathy, were escorted to the center of the room where Worshipful Master Jimmy Wagstaff presented Jordan with a flag which had been flown over the state capitol in his honor Thursday, April 13, 2017 and it was received from Rep. Chris Paddie, who also wrote a letter to the lodge and Jordan in recognition of his honor.

Wagstaff then presented Jordan with the Golden Trowel Award and an accompanying certificate, which Wagstaff read aloud, "This Golden Trowel Award presented to Leland Vance Jordan, Jr. in grateful appreciation for spreading the cement of brotherly love and friendship with all the skill of a master craftsman. Joaquin Lodge #856 Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons Joaquin, Texas hereby award the Golden Trowel to the above brother in the highest award a lodge can bestow upon an individual member."

Jordan's father was a Mason and since his childhood he knew he wanted to one day follow in his footsteps. Following starting a family and many years in the oilfield industry, he joined the Masons. Jordan addressed all present and thanked them for their attendance, sharing his shock at receiving the honor and giving a brief history of his time and experiences in Masonry, before the event was adjourned.

Vance Jordan is seen with members of Joaquin Lodge #856 as well as with members from other lodges.

Vance Jordan is seen with members of his family who were in attendance for the presentation of the Golden Trowel Award.

April 20, 2017 - Shelbyville Junior Chamber of Commerce (JCC) members are having a food drive!!! The food drive will be held April 24-28 and it’s going to help the Shelby County Outreach in Center. Food can be dropped off at Shelbyville school and can consist of any canned goods or nonperishable food items including bottle water, beans, rice, canned meat, pasta, instant potatoes, ramen noodles, soup, peanut butter, crackers, etc.

Pictured are (from left): Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell, Chief Deputy DJ Dickerson, Bethany Birdwell, and Investigator Del Birdwell.

April 20, 2017 - The Sheriff's Association of Texas has awarded a scholarship for the Spring 2017 Semester to Bethany Birdwell, daughter of Shelby County Sheriff's Office Investigator Del Birdwell and Joanna Birdwell.

Bethany is a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, majoring in Education.

The Sheriffs' Association of Texas offers scholarships to eligible students pursuing an academic degree at a college or university. In addition to the Sheriffs' Association of Texas scholarships, several others are made available through the generosity of individuals or other organizations. These funds are managed by the Sheriffs' Association of Texas for award to qualified students. The scholarships are awarded once in the Spring Semester and once in the Fall Semester of each year. Since 1981, the Sheriffs' Association of Texas has awarded 1,891 youth scholarships, totaling $945,500.

On hand for the presentation of the scholarship to Bethany were Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell, Investigator Birdwell and Chief Deputy DJ Dickerson.

Submitted by Leah Chase, SCSO Media Relations

April 20, 2017 - Texas is home to more than 70 children’s advocacy centers, as unique as the communities they serve. But each has one thing in common: a table that functions as a regular place of meeting for people who care. These tables welcome police detectives, CPS investigators, prosecutors, forensic interviewers, medical experts and therapists, united in one guiding goal: to win justice for the victims of child abuse and place them on a path toward healing.

While not physically present at those tables, there is an unseen network of supporters who help make this process work. We all have a part to play in making sure that our children are protected. #takeyourseat 

April 19, 2017 - April is Confederate History Month and in honor of Shelby County Confederate Veterans, The Sons Of Confederate Veterans Capt. Jesse Amason Camp # 282, placed Confederate Flags designating the veterans service and burial. The veterans of the Corinth and Buena Vista cemeteries were chosen for the annual flagging tradition. SCV members participating were Gene Hotto, Glenn Hartt, Jim Barrett and Roger Doyle.

C.S.A. - SGT. John F. Bell, CO. K, 52 GA. INF. and James L. Wilson, Born July 8, 1842, Died June 29, 1882

April 17, 2017 - The Shelbyville Athletic Boosters would like to thank the Shelby County Cookers for cooking hamburgers at our Junior High track meet on March 30th and our High School District track meet on April 10th. Hundreds of hamburgers were prepared on both days for the athletes.

Athletic Booster President
Beth Harrington

VFW/Auxiliary members, students and HS Principal Matthew Gregory.

April 14, 2017 - VFW Post 8904 members joined with Center High School yesterday, April 13th in honoring Adam Ramirez as our Post HS Teacher of the Year. He was presented with a framed certificate, check for $100 and an engraved pen set. Adam teaches basic and advanced graphic design and illustration.

Photos courtesy of Sydney Brookshire, District Media Coordinator. Congratulations Adam Ramirez!!

Post Commander Gene Hutto (red shirt) and Post Quartermaster Larry Hume present Adam with certificate, pen, and check.

April 14, 2017 (Album1Album2) - The community gathered on the downtown Center square to unit against child abuse. April is Child Abuse Prevention month and the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center along with the Shelby County Rainbow Room meet on the square to the Blue Ribbon Tree and the Butterfly Release.

Bro. Rob Merriman, pastor of First Baptist Church of Shelbyville, said a prayer for the safety of the community and a safe place to raise our kids.

Wayne Christian, Texas Railroad Commissioner, spoke about the constitution and what it instructs us to do, “[In 2016] 222 children have lost their lives in the state of Texas. Folks, what did our constitution say was the most important thing that government was here to protect? Number one was life. And when we don’t protect those young lives, then we are not doing the duty, number one that God gave us here, and number two our forefathers gave us the order to do.” He thanked everyone for being at the event as a community to unite to help prevent child abuse and protect those who can't protect themselves.

Shelby County had 83 confirmed cases of child abuse in the year of 2016. There were zero child deaths due to child abuse reported in Shelby County since the last Blue Ribbon Tree event which was the first time in over four years.

Alice Pate, Rainbow Room representative, spoke about the Blue Ribbon tree ceremony as members of Child Protective services handed out a ribbon for each of the confirmed victims of child abuse in Shelby County. “We tie a blue ribbon for each of the 83 confirmed cases of abuse in Shelby County. Then we have thrown in a few extras for the children we don’t know about yet so we are tying 90 ribbons.”

Following everyone tying the blue ribbons in the tree, Mayor Chadwick, president of Farmers State Bank who is the sponsor of the Butterfly Release, shared the story of the butterfly as members of the Shelby County Advocacy Center handed out the delicate butterflies in their envelopes.

With a countdown from 10, everyone opened up their envelopes releasing their butterfly to carry their wish to God.

Nacogdoches County agricultue award recipients are pictured from left are Fred Borders, Melvin Adams, Stephani Curbow and Hyman and Benjamin Boozer.

April 13, 2017 - The 16th Annual Agriculture Appreciation & Awareness Banquet presented by TFP Nutrition was held April 10 at the Nacogdoches County Exposition & Civic Center. The Nacogdoches County Agriculture Committee honored award recipients and presented Gary and Sue Atkins Agricultural Scholarships to four students.

The 2017 agriculture award recipients are:

  • Agribusiness of the Year, Borders Poultry Supply, Inc. (sponsored by First Bank & Trust East Texas);
  • Agriculture Educator of the Year, Melvin Adams (sponsored by Citizens 1st Bank);
  • Pete Smith Agriculture Pioneer, Hank Curbow (sponsored by Heritage Land Bank);
  • Farm Family of the Year, Hyman and Benjamin Boozer Family (sponsored by Tipton Ford-Lincoln).

Scholarship recipients are:

Johnathan Lowery and Clayton Sestak Douglass High School; Brooke Petty, Nacogdoches High School; and Matthew Matlock, Cushing High School.

The Gary and Sue Atkins Agricultural Scholarship award recipients are Matthew Matlock, Brooke Petty, Clayton Sestak and Jonathan Lowery. Pictured from left are Matlock, Petty, event Chair Angela Shannon, Gary Atkins, Dr. Joey Bray, Chairman of SFA Department of Agriculture, Sestak and Lowery. (Photos by Trecia Johnson)