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Around Town

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July 10, 2018 - Luke Brown Watermelons and Wiggins Farms are sponsoring the Texas Watermelon Queen and the National Watermelon Queen who will be visiting royalty for the 2018 What-A-Melon Festival - July 12th, 13th, and 14th.

Savannah Christensen, previously the 2017 Florida Watermelon Queen is the new 2018 National Watermelon Queen. She travels all over the United States, as well as Canada, promoting the production and consumption of the happiest, and tastiest fruit in the world, watermelon! Miss Christensen said, "There is no place I would rather be on July 12-14 than the 2018 East Texas What-A-Melon festival. I'm so excited to see what fun activities are in store for families and friends!"

Hannah Crisp, the 2018 Texas Watermelon Queen, will also be attending the festival. Miss Crisp gave a history of her journey to becoming the Texas Watermelon Queen, "I am currently a senior nursing student at East Texas Baptist University pursuing a career in pediatric oncology. Recently I was honored with the opportunity of representing the Texas Watermelon Association throughout the year traveling all over Texas, some out of state, and even out of the country promoting the sales of watermelons and the watermelon industry. I was crowned in November of 2017 at the Texas Watermelon Association Convention in McAllen. Most recently I have gotten to attend the Viva Fresh Produce Expo, go on a farm tour, attend the Alamo Watermelon Festival, and many other events. I am looking forward to my next event at the East Texas What-a-melon festival to share my love of watermelons and promoting the Texas watermelon industry."

Wiggins Farms and Luke Brown Watermelons are proud to sponsor these two ladies attending the What-A-Melon Festival and invite everyone to give a friendly East Texas 'Howdy' to them as they attend all the festival activities.

July 9, 2017 - The 2018 What-A-Melon Festival t-shirts have arrived and are available for purchase at Farmers State Bank main branch through Wednesday, July 11th and at the coke booth during the festival. All shirts are $15 each.

The What-A-Melon Festival starts Thursday, July 12th with opening ceremonies at 5pm and the Largest Watermelon contest weighing in after the offical watermelon cutting. The festival runs through Saturday, July 14th.

Scott Stanfield, President of the Rotary Club of Center, revealed the winner of the What-A-Melon Festival logo contest to be Amanda Hughes. Miss Hughes is now a senior at Center High School. It's her design representing the meat of the festival, the watermelon slice, that is on all the festival t-shirts!

Shirts can be bought this week at Farmers State Bank main branch Monday-Wednesday from 9am until 3pm.

Related article: Rotary Club Announces Winner of Festival Logo Design

July 6, 2018 (More Photos by Ronny Samford) - The American Legion Post 5 presented their Tenaha Independence Day Celebration for 2018 on July 4th at Tiger Stadium. Everyone attending enjoyed entertainment by the Calvery Boys prior to the fireworks display.

The patriotic celebration was made possible thanks to the following sponsors: Scull Timber Company, Bounds Insurance Agency, Tenaha Businessmen's Club, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, Raymond K. Vann and Associates, The Doc Watson Family, AEP Southwestern Electric Power, City of Tenaha, Tenaha Housing Authority, the American Legion, Wayne Christian, Railroad Commissioner, Roland and Diane Cross, Longview Asphalt, Inc. and First National Bank of Hughes Spring - Tenaha. Special thanks to Tenaha ISD for use of their facility.

July 5, 2018 - The Xi Alpha Delta Rho chapter of Beta Sigma Phi recently made a donation to the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center.  Funds were raised by the group during the month of December through their annual Breakfast with Santa fundraiser.  Xi Alpha Delta Rho supports several local organizations that benefit the children of Shelby County each year through their fundraiser.

After director Denise Merriman, pictured, gave the group an overview of what all The Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center does for our community's children and their families, a check was presented by president Anna Stuever.

July 5, 2018 - Due to recent complaints and in an effort for maintenance personnel to improve the appearance of Oaklawn Memorial Park, management will begin strictly enforcing the rules and regulations regarding the decoration of cemetery lots. It is our goal to ensure that the cemetery is neat, clean and respectful for our community.

The placing of vases, toys, metal designs, ornaments, and similar articles upon lots are not permitted. We kindly ask that such items be removed.

Artificial flowers or real flowers are permitted on monuments containing a receptacle.

The deadline for the removal of all unapproved items will be August 1, 2018.

After that date, any unapproved items will be removed and discarded by cemetery personnel.

Thank you in advance for your assistance with this matter.

Click here to view Cemetery Park Rules and Regulations regarding ornaments and flowers (Updated)

July 4, 2018 (Registration Form) - The 2018 East Texas What-A-Melon Pageant will be Saturday, July 14 from 5:30pm until 7:30pm and proceeds from the pageant will cover medical expenses for Tonya Bailey. Tonya Bailey was the owner of Bailey's Pageants and hosted the What-A-Melon pageant for years. 

Watermelon or summer attire is all you need! Girls 0-19 and Boys 0-5 will wear their favorite Summer outfit on the big stage during the festival.

There will be two $250 Cash Scholarships given away by Wiggins Farms and Luke Brown Watermelons.

Age divisions are: Baby 0-11 months; Toddler 12-23 months; Tiny 2-3 years; Little 4-5 years; Petite 6-8 years; Pre-teen 9-12 years; Teen 13-15 years; Miss 16-19 years; and Mister boys 0-5 years.

Registration fee is $50 and the deadline for entry is Thursday, July 5. The deadline will not be extended. The pageant is Saturday, July 14th with registration at 5pm and showtime at 5:30pm. Pageant will be held under the big tent on the downtown square during the What-A-Melon Festival.

This is the perfect first pageant! This is a natural beauty pageant, so only age appropriate makeup.

Registration forms can be dropped off at Elite Hair Designs, 125 Foster St, Center, TX 75935 or mailed to What-A-Melon Festival Pageant, P.O. Box 64, Center, Texas 75935.

In memory of Tonya Bailey (1971-2018)

July 3, 2018 - Weather statistics for June, 2018 are prepared and submitted by Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Service Observer.
Highest Temp was 100 degrees on 6-30-2018
Highest Temp on Record was 108 degrees on 6-13-1943
Lowest Temp was 68 degrees on 6-06-2018
Lowest Temp on Record was 45 degrees on 6-01-1984

Rainfall Recorded was 2.68 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 5.30 inches
Below Average by 2.62 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 12.19 inches in 1981
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.00 inches in 1948 and 1954

Yearly Rainfall at the end of June, 2018 is 29.47 inches
Average Yearly Rainfall at the end of June is 27.93 inches
Above Average by 1.44 inches

Have a Wonderful & Safe July 4th!!!

Click here for full weather report

Seated (from left) Christine Mahan and her sister surrounded by fellow museum volunteers. Standing: David Whitlock, Leonard Irish, Teddy Hopkins, Venora McSwain, Pharbreece Havis, Vickie Martin, and Peaches Conway.

July 2, 2018 - During an open house for the official opening of the World War I exhibit at the Shelby County Museum, Christine Mahan was the guest of honor and was recognized for her years of faithful and dedicated service to the museum.

Larry Hume, VFW Post 8904 Quartermaster, helped the Shelby County Historical Society (SCHS) with the setup of the World War I display and was designated to read a card from the museum volunteers, "A sincere thank you is not sufficient to tell you how much we appreciate your many years of service to this museum. Your dedication to Shelby County history has flourished because of your many hours of work and research. You will be highly missed and come back any time, to help any time!"

Mahan, a 26-year volunteer at the museum, said, "I just really appreciate the honor. But, you know when I moved here in 1990 there were two things I wanted to do. One of them was to work at the museum and the other one was to take art from Woodrow Foster and I got to do both of those. It took a while but anyways once I started here there was no looking back. There was always something to do and the thing that I enjoyed more than anything else was helping people with their genealogy and we do have a rich history here in Shelby County and I love to see people take advantage of it."

The open house was for the new display setup for the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I which is November 11th of this year. The museum has setup a display recognizing all Shelby County veterans who served in World War I or veterans who were not from Shelby County but they are now buried in Shelby County. In total, the display represents 887 veterans of World War I.

Attendees look over the names of the veterans recognized in the museum's new World War I exhibit.

Hume said on behalf of the VFW Post 8904 and the auxiliary, "We are going to have a program on November 11th, we realize its a Sunday, but still its November 11th and you only get a chance to do 100 years one time. We are going to have it in the Shelby County Historic Courthouse at 1pm. Let everybody go to church, then come back, we hope you all come." He also encouraged everyone to bring some young people and let them know what Veteran's Day is all about.

The museum is open Monday through Friday from 1pm until 4pm. Come find your World War I family member.

Venora McSwain invited anyone who would like to volunteer at the museum from 1pm to 4pm Monday through Friday to stop by and see them. They sure would appreciate the help. For more information, visit online the Shelby County Texas Historical Society at

Christine Mahan surrounded by her family.

June 28, 2018 - Creature Teacher will be at the Fannie Brown Booth Library Thursday, June 28th for the fourth program of the 2018 Summer Reading/Learning Program. She will present her program for ages 4-8 years at 10:30 a.m. and at 2:00 p.m. for the Tweens (ages 9-13).

Come and see what exciting creatures she brings this year!

June 26, 2018 - The Relay For Life of Shelby County wants to thank everyone who contributed, organized, and/or participated in this year's Relay.

Included in the festivities was a tree dedication 'In Honor of all Shelby County Cancer Survivors.' It is planted in front of the Windham Civic Center. So the next time you are there, make sure to stop and see the live oak tree planted in their honor. It is a living symbol of their strength, courage, and perseverance.

Through the efforts of all involved we were able to raise over $47,500 this year and over 1 million in the past 13 years. We are proud to live in a county that works so hard in the fight against cancer. Throughout the many years of Relay I know that we have made a difference in people's lives. The money we have raised has resulted in new drug and treatment protocols that have resulted in people celebrating more birthdays, attending graduations, seeing their children get married, and saying "hello, I love you" to their grandchildren. We did that together and that is a legacy to be proud of!

Thank you Shelby County for all the support!