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Around Town

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October 13, 2015 (More Photos) - Volunteers who helped - from left: (Front row) Patricia Samuels, Miranda Thornburg, Amy Lindley, Lisa Albers, Kayla Williams, (left row) Stephanie King, Donna Dugger, Clay Samuels, Tori Brazeal, Amber Horn, Kristin Peace

Center Police Department Ladies Auxiliary, business owners, and community members supported the initiative of a Center man who wanted to do something positive for law enforcement and hosted a law enforcement appreciation luncheon on Thursday, October 8, 2015.

The man who organized the luncheon was Clay Samuels, a 2008 graduate of Center HS. Samuels posted on his Facebook around the first of September asking if anybody would be interested in putting together some kind of appreciation lunch or dinner for law enforcement.

Clay Samuels "I was watching the news and it just seemed like every time I turned on the television there was something happening as far as law enforcement was concerned, you know like, disrespect a cop or cops being murdered. And I mean, I've always respected police, but you don't really stop to think about the fact they are out there facing stuff like that potentially happening every time they leave their house you know. And it made me just feel like I just wanted to do something to show appreciation."

In Samuels' Facebook post requesting help he reference his military family and friends receiving respect for their service; however, felt the service of police officers can go under-appreciated. He received an overwhelming response from others wanting to help.

After coordinating with the Center Police Department Ladies Auxiliary, the event came together five weeks later and was held in the John D. Windham Civic Center parking lot. Officers from all over the county were already on site attending a required legal update training course. Officers enjoyed fried catfish and chicken prepared by the Shelby County Cookers as well as side dishes and desserts donated.

Samuels posted on Facebook after the event - I would like to take the time to seriously thank our team of volunteers who made our Law Enforcement Appreciation Event such a huge success. The whole community came together in such an awesome way and made our event even bigger and better than we had hoped for. I especially want to thank [Kristin Peace, Torie Gilchrist, Amy Lindley, Donna Dugger, Lisa Albers] who really stepped up from day 1 and started organizing, making contacts, and getting things done. None of this would have been possible without ya'll.

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October 15, 2015 - Miss Megan Dunn of Center and a Shelby County 4-H member was awarded the District 5 Gold Star at a banquet on October 13, 2015 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. The Gold Star award is the highest award given by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to a youth and is based on the 4-H member’s project, leadership and citizenship/community service participation on the county level.

Megan has been an active member of 4-H for the past 8 years, and she is a sophomore at Center High School. She has participated in many projects during her 4-H years such as the Livestock Project, Photography, Livestock Judging and

Food and Fashion. Her favorite project would be showing livestock. Megan has shown chickens in the Poultry Festival since she was 8yrs old. She has also shown heifers, swine and steers at our county show as well as the major shows in Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth. Megan was extremely fortunate to get picked to attend the Texas A&M Livestock Ambassador Short Course in College Station this summer.

After passing a lengthy test, submitting an essay and video, she is now officially a Livestock Ambassador. She will spend the next four years advocating and promoting agriculture wherever she can. After high school, Megan plans to attend college and major in an agriculture field. Megan is the daughter of Lane and Katie Dunn of Center.

October 15, 2015 - Woodmen Life Chapter 250 made a monetary donation to the San Augustine VFD on October 2nd, 2015.  Woodmen appreciates all of our local volunteer fire departments!


October 15, 2015 - Woodmen Life Chapter 250 made a monetary donation to the Shelbyville VFD on October 5th, 2015.  Woodmen appreciates all of our local volunteer fire departments!  Accepting the donation from Ashton Askew was Chris Koltonski, of the Shelbyville VFD.

October 15, 2015 - Scott Martin, President of the Pineywoods Beekeepers Association and a Master Beekeeper candidate, stressed the importance of bees in our environment in his program on "Beekeeping" to the Center Garden Club at their Oct. 14 meeting at the Community House in Center, Texas.

Submitted by Linda Bordelon

October 14, 2015 - On Friday, September 25th, 2015, Woodmen Life Chapter 250 made a monetary donation to the Shelby County Outreach Ministries. Members of the organization also brought canned goods to help out with the Meals on Wheels Program that helps feed Shelby County. Pictured left to right: Joyce Hurt, Ashton Askew, Sherry Harding of Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Venorah McSwain & Cecilia Boles.

October 14, 2015 - Made to Ride (M.T.R.) M/C, a motorcycle group from Center, was driven by a desire to help the community and decided to volunteer some hours on Sunday, October 11th to clean up the St. Paul's cemetery on Tenaha Street which was in need of some tender loving care.

Club members selected cleaning the cemetery as a community service project. Nathan Kaluza's daughter, a 4-H student, had helped to clean the cemetery as a service project for 4-H, and Kaluza followed her lead suggesting the same. Todd Jernigan organized the volunteers who participated in the work day who were Dusten Byrd, Nathan Hathorn, Chris Barton, Nathan Kaluza, Bret Anderson Sr., William Lightbody and Christopher Brown.

The group gathered around 1pm to begin the process of cutting down overgrown bushes, mowing, and clearing debris which with the previous rainy summer months had overgrown the cemetery. The group also cleaned the fence and along the outside of the cemetery.

M.T.R. M/C is a brotherhood and a group of motorcycle enthusiasts. It is a Texas Motorcycle Roadriders Association Charter Club and a member of the Confederation of Clubs.

October 14, 2015 - Students at Center Christian Academy dedicated last week to studying and honoring the United States of America. Activities included daily lessons and group discussions on topics such as: our founding fathers, government structure, balance of power, responsibilities of citizens, and proper flag and national anthem etiquette, coloring pages and activities, group exercises, memorization of the Preamble to the Constitution and the National Anthem, a Flag Etiquette presentation by USAF Retired TSGT, Raymond Caldas, group prayer, and a balloon release.

Staff and students wish to thank area ministers Rev. Todd Jenkins, Rev. Dathan Triplett, and Rev. Mike Belgard for leading us in prayer for the state of Texas, Christians worldwide, and the United States of America, and Mrs. Regina Danley for providing the balloons for the balloon release. Patriotic Week was both educational and enjoyable!

October 14, 2015 - Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8904 recently held a ceremony at the Shelby County Veterans Memorial on the Historic Shelby County Courthouse lawn October 9, 2015 in remembrance of Afghanistan Veterans.

Operation Enduring Freedom was part of the counterattack by America on terrorism following the tragedy of 9/11. The ceremony was led by Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, with an opening prayer given by Jason Sanford, Post Chaplain.

"In those years since, the United States has lost 2,326 military and another 20,000 have been wounded in action. Among that number are the sons and daughters in big cities and small towns and Shelby County Texas as in all previous wars also suffered losses," stated Hume.

U.S. Army Specialist Corey Bertrand and Sgt. Devon Casey Roberts both lost their lives as the result of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) while overseas. As Hume explained, Sgt. Roberts was killed in action on May 7, He was not from Shelby County, yet he married a local girl and fell in love with Shelby County as well. His wish were anything to happen to him was to be buried in Shelby County.

Bertrand was killed in action before his 19th birthday which was only one month away on October 14, 2008. He is also buried in Shelby County.

Dr. Robert Hughes was given the honor of placing the memorial wreath on the Shelby County Memorial. Hume remarked that Dr. Hughes' son Robbie was in the service during Afghanistan and he still serves to this day.

Following the placing of the wreath, Taps was played as presented by Sanford.


October 14, 2015 - The Center High School class of 1960 celebrated their 55th year reunion at the John D. Windham Civic Center during the Center Homecoming weekend festivities.