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Around Town

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September 18, 2018 - The Speaker for the Tuesday, September 18th meeting of the Shelby County Historical Museum will be Bill O'Neal.

Mr. O'Neal will be speaking on Texas in WWI. The program will consist of interviews that he had students do of people that they knew who were in WWI back a while ago when he was teaching History at Panola College.

The public is invited to attend. Meeting begins at 2:00 pm. Museum is located on Pecan, behind First Baptist Church.

September 17, 2018 - Shelby County Senior Nutrition Site is hosting their Annual Breakfast Fundraiser on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 8am until 11am. The price of a donation is priceless to those who are helped! The all you can eat fundraiser includes eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits and gravy, grits,  french toast, pancakes, hashbrowns, fruit, apple juice, and orange juice.

The Senior Nutrition Site is located at 124 Haley Drive (Loop 500) across from Panola College. For more information, call the Senior Nutrition Site at 936-598-7768.

September 16, 2018 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society (PWPS) held their regular monthly meeting this past Saturday. The September challenge of architecture showed some outstanding photographs submitted by members for voting and critique. There was a very informative workshop about photographing wildlife presented by Janet Windham Hughes.

The results of the critique voting are as follows:

First Place - Donna Holt

Second Place Tie - Melissa Sweet-Leavins

Second Place Tie - Melvin Hanson

Third Place tie - Summer Koltonski

Third Place Tie - Angie Junell Davis 

Third Place Tie - Sam Flarity 

Third Place Tie - Lawrence C Davis

September 14, 2018 - Thank a Police Officer Day is Saturday, September 15, 2018 and the Center Police Department Ladies Auxiliary hosted a pizza party for the officers on Friday. The officers were given goodie bags as a 'Thank you for all you do!' along with the pizza and cupcakes.

The national campaign also known as National Tell a Police Officer "Thank You" Day is observed starting Friday at 8pm and ends on Saturday at 8pm in order to include all shifts. It has been observed the third Saturday of September since a national campaign was started in 2012 by the Whole Truth Project.

Take a moment and say "thank you" to any police officer as a simple way of showing gratitude for those who serve and protect us.

September 14, 2018 - Thank a Police Officer Day, also known as National Tell a Police Officer "Thank You" Day, is being observed on Saturday, September 15th, 2018! which is scheduled to start 8pm on Friday and end 8pm on Saturday in order to include all shifts. It has been observed the third Saturday of September since a national campaign was started in 2012 by the Whole Truth Project. This is a day where people across the country - from small towns to big cities - take a moment and say "thank you" to any police officer they may happen to run across. It's a simple way of showing gratitude for those who serve and protect us .

The Center Police Department Ladies Auxiliary is honoring their officers this year with goody gift bags and a pizza party with cupcakes. When you see an Officer, remember to say Thank you!

September 13, 2018 - The community participated in welcoming Roughrider Quick Lube to the business' location on Hurst Street in Center with a ribbon cutting on September 13, 2018.

Andi Foster, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador President, welcomed business owner Nathan Phelps on behalf of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and introduced Phelps.

"We are excited to open up Roughrider Quick Lube," said Phelps. "We call it the 'Hill on Hurst Street,' Roughrider Quick Lube and I wouldn't be able to do it without my great staff."

Phelps introduced his staff members Earl Redmond, Justin Whiddon, James Daniels and Vanessa Daniels. 

Not only will the business change your oil, they also will provide additional service for your vehicle, according to Phelps. Drivers can also get their State inspection at the location for their vehicle, as well as windshield wipers.

"We'll vacuum out your car, check your tires, do a courtesy inspection of your vehicle and make sure everything's operating correctly," said Phelps.

Anyone attending was welcome to a chicken sandwich, freshly prepared by Bobby Daw on behalf of the Shelby County Cookers. Gift bags were available as well and Phelps announced giveaways being offered through the business' Facebook page. 

Roughrider Quick Lube is located at 905 Hurst Street Center, Texas 75935. They're open Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm, and Saturday 8am to 5pm. For more information call, (936) 598-9544

September 13, 2018 - Friends of the Library are asking for donations of used paperback and hardback books in good condition. No encyclopedias, please. Books may be brought to the Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library during regular library hours. The books will be sold in the fall book sale to be held Tuesday, October 30 – November 3, 2018. All proceeds will go to the library for the purchase of new books. Any volunteers who can help with sorting of books may call Melba at 936-591-7036 or Amy at 936-657-8529.

2017 ETPF Queen Macey Jo Hanson surrounded by the 2018 East Texas Poultry Festival Queen's Court Princesses and their escorts

September 13, 2018 - The 42nd Poultry Festival Queen’s Court activities are underway. Ten junior girls from area schools, and their escorts are participating in the activities this year.

Thank you to this year’s Queen’s Court Sponsors: Platinum Sponsor, High Roller Wells, LLC and Gold Sponsors, Dazzle Me Pink and Blue, JML Management and Sombero’s.

2018 Poultry Festival Queen's Court Princesses with their escorts

The Welcome Party and Photo Shoot were held on September 5th at the Community House. At this event, the Princesses, their escorts and a parent met for dinner and received information from the Committee.

A fun social for the Princesses and Escorts was held on September 11th at the Center Country Club. In addition to participating in some fun activities the princesses were provided with social media etiquette and interview tips while the escorts were shown how to tie a neck tie. Several more fun events are scheduled including a Masquerade Ball, the Doo Dah Parade and a Mother/Daughter Brunch.

The Princesses have already had one rehearsal for the Coronation, with several more on the calendar.

The Coronation will be held on September 29th at 6:00pm at Center High School Cafetorium. General admission will be $5.00. Tables and reserved seats may be purchased through the Chamber of Commerce at 598-3682.

2018 East Texas Poultry Festival Queen's Court Princesses

Escorts for the 2018 East Texas Poultry Festival Queen's Court Princesses

The 2018 Princesses and their Escorts:
McKenzie Murry, escorted by Colt Leach (Shelbyville)
Jasmine Cooks, escorted by Jakevion Calhoun (Center)
Mallory Fausett, escorted by Dayton Bush (Center)
Rachel Powell, escorted by Levi Harville (Shelbyville)
Jocelyn Berry, escorted by Jayden Hicks (Center)
Keelan Williams, escorted by Keaton Watlington (Center)
Kalei LaRock, escorted by Kutter Milford (Center)
Makayla Mayo, escorted by Bobby Walker (Center)
Caroline Scull, escorted by Logan Holloway (Center)
Abigail Hooper, escorted by Brayden Strong (Shelbyville)

The Children of the Court:
Ella Eaves, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Eaves
Andrew Pinkston, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Pinkston
Faith Snider, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hayden Snider
Blake Collard, son of Dr. and Mrs. Randy Collard
Landree Jousan, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Jousan
Weston Wulf, son of Mr. and Mrs. Deuce Wulf

Children of the Court

Pageant Committee with Chamber President​: Caroline Corbell, Chairman; Sharisse McAdams; Haley Link; 2017 Queen Macey Jo Hanson; Jesse Wiggins; Chamber of Commerce President Deborah Chadwick; and Shannell Ruiz

September 13, 2018 - The Center High School and Center Alumni 2018 Homecoming Weekend Schedule is as follows:

CHS Homecoming Pep Rally - Friday, September 21st at 3pm in the CHS Gym.
CHS Homecoming Game - Friday, September 21st at 7:30pm vs Henderson. 
CHS Annual Alumni Meeting - Saturday, September 22nd at the Windham Civic Center. Doors open at 9 am. Alumni meeting 10-11am. Hall of Honor Award will be presented during the meeting.
CHS Homecoming Parade - Saturday, September 22nd at 4pm on the Downtown Center Square (Participants line up at the Farmer's Bank Drive Through).

Note from Editor: Class reunion information can be emailed to

September 12, 2018 - The William Carroll Crawford Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas held their Chapter Meeting on Saturday, September 8th with special guests of the Gateway to Texas Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas and were given a unique opportunity to see the old Center Sanitarium.

With Gina Ferrer giving the tour dressed as a nurse in early 1900s attire, she gave the history of the house which she called the Calvin and Hazel Smith home. The Smiths bought the house in 1981 and moved it from Shelbyville Street not far from the Center downtown square to its current location just outside of Center.

The original part of the house was built in 1873 for James S. Stephenson and his new wife Fredonia Alice Rushing as a wedding gift from the bride's father, G.B.D. Rushing. It was added onto in 1919 by the then owner Judge Tom C. Davis. In 1927 the property was transferred to Bennie Watson by her husband J.R. Watson and she turned the home into a hospital. In 1928 Watson sold the property to Dr. T.L. Hurst and after his death in 1964 the house was boarded up. The property was sold in 1971 to A.L. Pinkston and then to Hazel Smith in 1981. Calvin and Hazel Smith spent countless hours restoring the home to its original grand beauty. In 2015 the home sold to City of Center Mayor David Chadwick.

Prior to the tour of the old Center Sanitarium, the William Carroll Crawford Chapter of the DRT held their business meeting in an old fashion style as the electricity was out.

Maggie Casto mentioned the chapter has two prospective new members along with two already approved members for a total of four. Maggie said she is planning a new members ceremony for DRT Founders Day in November. The chapter did receive the Growth Award at convention making the chapter a six star chapter. The DRT chapter had six new members last year as well as six new Children of the Republic of Texas (CRT) members.

She reminded attendees of upcoming events which are Texian Navy Day (Sept 15) and Texas Heroes Day (Sept 18) and encouraged DRT members to fly their Texas flag.

Merle Howard reported on financials which included funding five scholarships for the graduates who were awarded them in May, workshop outcome, donations to Shelby County Historical Commission and to the Republic of Texas History Center.

Merle highlighted the Workshop the group hosted in August saying, "We had 99 people at the workshop, 93 were participants, 2 guests, and 4 CRT and those were at the State level the CRT officers that attended. It was a good workshop." She did give thanks for the Center HS Culinary class who prepared and served the meal and with their attendance the workshop had over 100 attendees.

Merle added the $2,000 which the group had approved earlier in the year to go to the Shelby County Historical Commission for needed repairs to the windows of the Ladies building was paid in the summer. She advised the work will hopeful start later on in the fall. The chapter voted to approve the expense of a new window unit for the building after the renovations are completed.

Earlier the group voted to give $2,000 to the Daughters of the Republic of Texas for the Republic of Texas History Center (RTHC) project and Merle said the donation was given. The chapter did receive a very nice thank you letter from the RTHC group. Links -, RTHC Building Newsletter for March 2018

Merle said, "We've got money in the bank and the bills are paid."