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Around Town

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June 18, 2018 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society held their regular monthly meeting for June with their monthly Challenge featuring Night Photography.  The Challenge featured a total of 20 photographs submitted by members for voting and critique .  The quality of the pictures was outstanding and showed the talent of all who participated.  Category winners are:       

June Challenge - Night Photography
First Place Jan Carter, San Augustine, TXSecond Place Lawrence C. Davis, Center, TXThird Place Sam Flarity, Marshall, TX               

The workshop, "Birds and Bugs", was taught by Janet Hughes with information and techniques needed to photograph flying objects of any kind.  With so many bird photographers in attendance, the discussions were intense, lots of information shared this day.  

The club would like to welcome new member Sam Flarity, from Marshall, TX.  

The club is open to anyone interested in learning more about photography and cameras.  Memberships are available, a single membership fee is $35.00 @ yr. and anyone is welcome to attend any meeting.  The next regular monthly meeting will be Saturday, July 21, 2018, in the First United Methodist Church on Porter St. in Center, TX., 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. For more information on memberships or the meetings, contact Billie F. Jones, or text/call 936-591-2426.

June 15, 2018 – Baseball tournament season is upon us and hundreds of players and their families will soon arrive in Center, Texas. The district tournament will be from June 22 through June 25; the State tournaments will be June 29 through July 19.

The tournament program books will be available for all participants as mementos. This is a chance for local businesses to highlight their goods, hours or special deals to tournament guests.

This year, the ads will run for all three weeks of district and state tournaments, and will also be included for the World Series. This will be advertising to over 120 + teams and their families.

“The City hosts these tournaments each year,” Center Mayor David Chadwick explained, “and they represent a large economic impact to our community. Advertising directly to these visitors in the tournament program can provide an advantage to getting visitors into our local stores.” A sponsorship in the tournament book will be the same for all tournaments and the World Series. “Any business offering a coupon discount or special offer for visitors will be seen by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of out of town visitors.”

If any business would like to sponsor a space in the tournament book, the deadline is approaching soon. “We need to get the book to the printers by June 19, so we need orders by then,” said Jason Mitchell, Center Recreation Program Director.

Further, to facilitate information during the tournaments, the City is launching a new event app. “Anyone wanting to stay up on the most current tournament news can download Attendify, then search DYB,” Mitchell added. Advertisers and tournament sponsors will also be featured in the app.

Anyone interested in sponsoring, staffing the tournament, or being a host family should download the sponsorship form at the City website at or contact Jason Mitchell at 936/590-7196 or

Entry deadline is Friday, June 15, 2018

June 15, 2018 (Entry Form) - Shelby County watermelon growers are invited to bring their largest watermelon to the 29th Annual East Texas What-A-Melon Festival on the downtown Center square. The festival is July 12th, 13th, and 14th!

Last year was a good year for watermelons in Shelby County with sixteen of the twenty-six watermelon entries weighing over 100 pounds according to Mayor David Chadwick who was the official weigh-in judge! The first place melon grown by Olivia Johnson weighed 142.5 lbs and won the $2,500 grand prize.

Whose melon will weigh in as the largest of the festival for 2018 and leave with the big bucks? The weigh in is Thursday, July 12th at 6pm. The winning melon will be on display for the duration of the festival for visitors to see and for photo opportunities.

Entry deadline is Friday, June 15, 2018. Melons must be grown in Shelby County and all entries will be marked while attached to the vine by festival judges. Entry forms can be dropped off at Brookshire Brothers on Hurst Street in Center or can be mailed to Chandra Atholi, 301 Wulf Creek Drive, Center, Texas 75935 or faxed to 936-598-5032.

The What-A-Melon Festival is hosted by the Center Rotary Club.

2017 What-A-Melon Festival Largest Melons

June 13, 2018 - The Center High School 2018 Project Graduation Committee would like to THANK the following sponsors who helped make this year’s graduation night a safe and sound SUCCESS!
A 1 Paint & Body; AT&T; 4B Trucking; 4-C Electric; 96 Equipment, Inc.; Ace Hardware; Advanced Ecology. Ltd.; Back Country Furniture Designs; Boles Feed; Borders Poultry Supply; Bounds Insurance; Brookshires; Campbells Portable Bldgs; Center Floral; Center Lions Club; Center Rotary Club; Center Tire Co.; Center Welding; Century Shoppe; Chicken Express; Citizens Bank; Classic Nails; Cline Family Medicine; COR Boutique; Covingtons; Darrells BBQ; D&D Properties; Dairy Queen; David's Auto and Diesel Repair; Dazzle Me Pink and Blue; Denim and Lace; East Texas Asphalt; East Texas Laser and Ingraving; East Texas Poultry Supply; Elite Hair Design; Farmers State Bank; First Baptist Church; Focused Care of Center; Granny B's Snowcones; General Shelters; Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center; H & S Discount Foods; H & R Block; H 5 Farms; Hardys Machine Shop; High Roller Wells; Hope Medical Clinic; Hot Headz; Hughes Florist; JBA Financial Services; Lasting Impressions; MB Energy Services, LLC; Margarita's Restaurant; Mathews Real Estate; McAdams Propane; Mi Casita; Mettauer Law Firm; Mooneys Emporium; Nelson Family Practice; Norbord; O'Reilly Auto Parts; Paul and Patti Putska; Payne and Payne Home N' Suchlike; Pete's Pro Auto Care; Preceptor Beta Nu Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi; Professional Title Services; Quick Change Oil & Lube; Rancho Grande; R & D Distributing; Raymond Motor Co.; Rio Theatre; Sassy Reds; Shelby Savings Bank; Shelby Veterinarian Assoc.; Shofner, Joe and Shirley; Shoop Financial Services; Sombrero's Restaurant; Sonic Drive In; Southern Lemonade; Southern Seasons; Specter Inc.; State Farm-Chris Mayfield; State Farm-Sandy Wheeler; Steel Building; Steptoe Realty; Texas State Bank; The Balcony; The Catch; Toledo Automotive Supply (NAPA); Toledo Finance; Town N' Country Real Estate; Ultra Shade Plus; Ward Animal Hospital; Watson & Son Funeral Home; Watson Tucker Florist; Westech; What A Burger; Ronnie & Serica Wilkins; Windham Family Dental; Wright Chrysler Dodge Jeep; and Xi Alpha Delta Rho Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi.

June 12, 2018 - Delta Gamma chapter recently awarded Tracy Bryant with their Grant in Aid Scholarship for women students in the field of education. Tracy (center) is working on her Masters in the Special Education field. She currently works for Joaquin ISD. Presenting the check is (left) Wendy Watson, incoming President and (right) Nora Robinson, outgoing President. Delta Gamma is proud to assist other women in pursuing a degree in Education.

Submitted by Nora Robinson

June 11, 2018 - This June, Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. (SCOM) launches their Hunger Awareness Campaign. This campaign is to raise awareness for families and individuals that are dealing with hunger in the community. 

This year, SCOM is selling T-Shirts to help raise money to combat hunger in Shelby County. The shirts are $15, and all proceeds go to purchase more food for our emergency food boxes, which are given out daily. Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. distributed 3,161 emergency food boxes in 2017. Those food boxes helped feed 5,716 people last year. 

To purchase a T-Shirt and help stomp out hunger, please stop by the following locations to place your order: 

Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. Office
The Senior Nutrition Site
Hughes Florist
Southern Seasons Florals and Gifts

SCOM will be selling the shirts all month long. Fill out an order form at any location and leave your check or cash there. When your shirts come in, we will call you to pick them up at the Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. Office. For questions or more information please call us at 936-598-4990.

June 11, 2018 - Hope Community Medicine held a ribbon cutting for the opening of their new office facility located at 109 East Main Street (old Dr. Haley building) in San Augustine TX.

The CEO of Hope Community Medicine, Mike Belgard, gave a short history on the mission and the services Hope has to offer. The Hope Project was opened in 2003 by Jean Diebolt. Mr. Belgard states that his participation with the Hope Project came a few years after the closing of the Hospital in Center. TX.

Mr.Belgard is currently CEO of Hope Community Medicine, formally known as The Hope Project. Hope Community Medicine has offices in Center, Tenaha, and San Augustine, that offer Medical, Dental, and OB/Gyn services, and recently adding a Behavioral Health Management office where Dr. Dan Wilkins is the Chief Behavioral Health officer.

They offer a Sliding Fee discount based on family size and income, and also accept all major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare. They invite you stop by and visit any of their locations for treatment.

June 6, 2018 - The 74th Anniversary of D-Day was recognized on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 by Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8904 and Auxiliary members.

Members gathered before the Shelby County Veterans Memorial on the Historic 1885 Courthouse grounds to lay a memorial wreath. 

Laying the memorial wreath was Senior Vice Newton Johnson Jr. Post Quartermaster Larry Hume thanked everyone for attending and gave the history of D-Day. 

On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded -- but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

The ceremony was brought to a close with TAPS presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander.

June 6, 2018 - During the Rotary Club meeting on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 the winner of the What-A-Melon Festival logo contest was announced to be Amanda Hughes. Miss Hughes is now a senior at Center High School.

The Rotary Club enlisted the assistance of Center ISD teacher, Adam Ramirez to help design the official logo of the What-A-Melon Festival. Ramirez teaches graphic design and illustration. He challenged his students to design the festival logo and seven unique designs were submitted. Out of those submitted, Miss Hughes' design was selected and she received a $100 prize which was presented by Rotary Club President Scott Stanfield.

The artwork will be featured on the What-A-Melon festival shirts and promotions.

Photo: (From left) Teacher Adam Ramirez and his graphic design student, Amanda Hughes, are recognized at the Center Rotary Club meeting by Club President Scott Stanfield. 

From left: Andi Foster, Montie Jones, Library Director Sandra Davis, Chapter President Sue Russell, Mary Masterson and Laura Rowe

June 5, 2018 - Members with the Beta Sigma Phi Preceptor Upsilon Chapter presented the Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library with a $2,400 donation on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Attending the donation presentation included Andi Foster, Montie Jones, Library Director Sandra Davis, Chapter President Sue Russell, Mary Masterson and Laura Rowe. The Preceptor Upsilon Chapter extends their appreciation to the library for their continued service to our community.

The Fannie Brown Booth Library ( has served Shelby County residents at its present site in Center since 1974. Mr. Edwin Brown Booth, son of Fannie Brown Booth, a beloved area schoolteacher, spearheaded the effort to secure funding from the Brown Foundation of Houston for the current library building. Center’s civic organizations and the City of Center provided the other funding necessary to provide the community with a quality facility. The library also provides a spacious meeting room that is furnished and maintained by the Redditt family members. The community is indebted to those organizations and individuals who continue to support the library.

Beta Sigma Phi is an international non-profit organization, non-academic sorority for women offering opportunities friendship, development of cultural appreciation, and community service. The Greek letters stand for life, learning and friendship. Approximately, 12,500 chapters in 20 countries meet twice a month for a brief business meeting and cultural program. Founded by Walter W. Ross in Abilene, Kansas in 1931 with seven members, the organization today has 250,000 members. Beta Sigma Phi supports various projects including the International Endowment Fund, Disaster Relief Fund, Breast Cancer Research Fund and Scholarship Fund.