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Around Town

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July 25, 2018 - The Center Police Department Ladies Auxiliary will be selling Raffle tickets for an Autographed Basketball and photo of former Harlem Globe Trotter Trazel D. Silver. Tickets are only $1.00 each.

The drawing will be held on Saturday, October 6th 2018, at the close of the Poultry Festival. CPDLA also has T-shirts available for Purchase. Limited Sizes available.

Please to come the Center Police Department Dispatch to purchase tickets and shirts. The CPDLA would like to thank everyone for their support in 'Backing The Blue!'

Flyers: T-Shirt Flyer and sizes and Harlem Globetrotters Flyer

July 24, 2018 - Thank you for your condolences. Please continue to pray for my family and I as we continue to process this. Thank you.

The family of Mr Brakia Rashad Roland

July 23, 2018 - Pam and I had a Book Signing at “Nettie’s Nook” on the square in Center, Texas last week. Along with other friends, we met Annette Peters the store owner. A friend told me, “when you meet her, you’ll like her” and he was so right. What a genial personality and natural entertainer. Early that afternoon, Lonnie Lawson walked up to our table and asked “were you kin to “Sister Richards?” And when I told him she was my Preacher/Grandmother, it kick-started a wonderful story about his attending church with “Mama” when he was a young boy.

Later, Mrs. Hooker, Dr. Hooker’s widow, joined us and we exchanged uplifting stories about her late husband and Dr. Carroll Chadwick. Then Ginger Borders surprised us with a visit. “I work at Farmer’s State Bank next door and want one of your books,” she said. I had not seen Ginger since the days that I photographed Painted Buntings near their Broiler Farm in the Center Sand Hills.

We had only twenty minutes left before closing time when heard someone call, “Henry.” I knew immediately it had to be someone I knew long, long ago during “ancient” school days when I was called by my first name. I looked up and there she was, my dear childhood friend, Janette Searcy (now Wittmann). We both enrolled in Mrs. Stanley’s first grade class in 1939 and graduated together in 1950. There was a giant hug and then an immediate explosion of dialogue. She was the same indisputable Janette… same wit and same personality. For about twenty five minutes it was a non-stop exchange of childhood memories that only stopped when we walked out the front door at closing time. As we walked to our cars, Janette said, “Henry, there are so few of us left.” “We need to have another reunion soon.”

And I hope we do.

July 20, 2018 - Saturday activites happening in Center, Texas.

The Daughters of the Republic of Texas will have the Historic Courthouse open Saturday, July 21, 2018 from 10am until 4pm for tours of the courthouse. The DRT will also have the traveling trunk at the courthouse which has a wide variety of items pioneers would have used daily during the time of the Republic of Texas, 1836 to Feb 19, 1846.

The Rio Theatre will also a Saturday matinee on July 21st at 1:30pm. Showing is Incredibles 2.

Lynn Locke will have her pool open to the public. The pool has 2 water slides and includes a picnic area and five holes of putt-putt golf. The cost is $5 per person. Call 936-598-7082 or 936-427-7957 to reserve a time and for directions.

Email if your group or business is hosting special activities for the World Series this weekend!

July 19, 2018 (Photos) - The What-A-Melon Festival seed spitting and speed eating contest results are below:

Kid's Seed Spitting
1st place - John Ford
2nd place - Raylee Askew
3rd place - Stephanie Santana

Women's Seed Spitting
1st place - Ashley Newton
2nd place - Isabel Santana
3rd place - Lory Gonzalez

Men's Seed Spitting
1st place - Rob Payne
2nd place - Nehemias Santana
3rd place - William Jacobs

Kid's Speed Eating
1st place - Mackenzie Simmons
2nd place - Raylee Askew
3rd place - Rex Payne

Women's Speed Eating
1st place - Ruby Bhanji
2nd place - Isabel Santana
3rd place - Erica Santana

Men's Speed Eating
1st place - Kris Dockens
2nd place - William Jacobs
3rd place - Dillan Payne

July 19, 2018 (Photos - Album1, Album2) - The 2018 East Texas What-A-Melon Festival pageant was held July 14, 2018 and raised money to establish a scholarship fund in memory of Tonya Bailey who has organized the pageant since its beginning.

This year the pageant was organized by a pageant committee comprises Ashlyn Wiggins, Kendall Brown, Kerri Wiggins, Emily Shoop Teske, April Pledger, and Caroline Corbell.

Emceeing the pageant was Jesse Wiggins and Ashlyn Wiggins

Mister What-A-Melon - Hanson Hughes
Best Smile - Paxton Mueller
Most Hansome - Gabriel Cruse
Best Fashion - Keton Migues

Baby Miss What-A-Melon - Saylor Cummins
Best Smile - Camyla Espino
Most Beautiful - Korbyn Sigler
Best Fashion - Dallas Collier

Toddler Miss What-A-Melon - Rory Wilson
Best Smile - Leah Livingston
Most Beautiful - Elli Hathorn
Best Fashion - Adalyn Caldwell

Tiny Miss What-A-Melon - Emery Gomez
Best Smile - Kymberlyn Snodgrass
Most Beautiful - Emery Gomez
Best Fashion - Alxees Jones

Little Miss What-A-Melon - Ivy Durbin
Best Smile - Ivy Durbin
Most Beautiful - Justice Boyd
Best Fashion - Justice Boyd

Petite Miss What-A-Melon - Maylea Rodgers
Best Smile - Kinzley Chandler
Most Beautiful - Katelynn Willess
Best Fashion - Madison Bailey

Pre-Teen Miss What-A-Melon - Carolyn Mathis
Best Smile - Lakynn Bowers
Most Beautiful - Carolyn Mathis
Best Fashion - Lakynn Bowers

Teen Miss What-A-Melon - Mahalia Ratcliff
Best Smile - Mahalia Ratcliff
Most Beautiful - Mahalia Ratcliff
Best Fashion - Mahalia Ratcliff

Miss What-A-Melon - Olivia Johnson
Best Smile - Zoie Madeline
Most Beautiful - Olivia Johnson
Best Fashion - Zoie Ebernz

Pageant monetary donors were Steel Building, Shoop Finance, Shoop Insurance, McAdams Propane, Wiggins Farms, Luke Brown Watermelons.

Items including prizes and stage decorations were donated by Elite Hair Design, Cor Boutique, Denim and Lace Boutique, Lasting Impressions, Dazzle Me Pink and Blue, The Coral Cactus, Sassy Red's, Granny B's snow cones, Payne and Payne Home and Such Like, Wiggins Farms, Crown Bound Bronzing by Chloe Brown, Center Floral, Southern Seasons, Hughes Florist, and Tucker Florist.

Platinum sponsors for the festival are Farmers State Bank,, and Shelby Savings Bank.

The What-A-Melon Festival is hosted by the Center Rotary Club. Additional sponsors who make the festival possible are (Gold Sponsors) City of Center; Focused Care of Center; (Silver Sponsors) Center Glass; R&D Distributors; Citizens Bank; Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative; ACE Hardware; Kyle Coffin, DDS; Coral Cactus; Texas Credit; (Bronze Sponsors) Toledo Automotive / NAPA; Sandy Wheeler State Farm; and Tammy Steptoe Realty. Be sure to thank all the festival sponsors.

Mr. Charles Niswonger playing his saw.

July 17, 2018 - The Golden Harvest Ministries Club met on July 16 at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall in Center, Texas at 11:30 AM with 48 members and guests present. President Helen Collard welcomed members and recognized guests. Harold Hanson led members and guests in singing patriotic songs in celebration of the July holiday. Alice West accompanied on the piano.

July birthdays celebrated were Debbie Brown, July 6, Becky Maidic, July 20, Robert Gregg, July 22, Brenda Applequist, July 30, and Laynette Els, July 30. Helen Collard remembered her husband on their July anniversary as members sang "Happy Anniversary."

Mr. Charles Niswonger presented a program with his musical saw playing favorites such as "America the Beautiful," "Amazing Grace," "In the Sweet By and By," and "Bridge Over Troubled Waters."

Submitted by Linda Bordelon, Reporter

July 16, 2018 - The Xi Alpha Delta Rho chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met recently and presented a donation check to Elizabeth Andrusick, executive director of Noble Children's Services. Xi Alpha Delta Rho was pleased to make this donation, as the group's mission in giving is to help local children's organizations.

Noble Children's Services serves foster and adoptive children and youth who have been removed from their home due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. The local agency trains and supports special families who make the choice to help heal and nurture children through their journey towards a reunification with the biological family, a permanent placement, independent living or adoption.

July 16, 2018 - So far with the help from all of you, we’ve been able to help 17 families since we’ve gotten started! Our first fundraiser was done in January and then another in March and in May, we are doing a bbq pit/smoker raffle and have BIG Plans for this Fall!

We are so greatful, thankful and blessed that you all have helped make this successful. We ask that you please keep those who are fighting this battle and their families in your thoughts and prayers. We want to help as many people as we can. If you or someone you know needs assistance please message us on Facebook (Boos Battle Support Fund) for an application. Thank you all again and god bless.

July 16, 2018 - The 127th annual convention of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas was held at the Dallas Addison Quorum Hotel in Addison earlier this summer.

The William Carroll Crawford Chapter, along with the other eleven chapters from District IV, co-hosted the event, called "The Piney Woods: a Pathway to Texas. District IV is comprised of chapters from Center, San Augustine, Hemphill, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Tyler, Longview, Crockett, Jasper, Livingston, Palestine and Mabank. Different chapters furnished decorations, arranged for the entertainment or did the behind the scenes organization that makes any event go smoothly. Our chapter decorated the head table and the stage area each day and Gail Sholar, Barbara McClellan and Maggie Casto led a break-out session on "The Travelin" Trunk" as members from around the state were interested in how to put one together and take it out into the community.

For Thursday nights opening event Bill Smith and Tommie Ritter from the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and the Tex Ritter Museum in Carthage entertained with the music (and costume) of "Tex Ritter: A Texas Music Legend." Bill O'Neal, the Texas State Historian, also from Carthage, gave the program at the Friday night Historical Dinner. He talked about Texas music and musicians from the days of the Republic to the present. The Texas music theme was continued at the Saturday luncheon with music by "A Texas Republic String Band" from San Augustine.

Attending from the William Carroll Crawford Chapter were Judy Lee, Gina Ferren, Maggie Casto, Fay Eddins, Billie Dawson, Barbara McClellan, Gail Sholar, Lavonne Wood, Vickie Martin and Merle Howard

The Chapter was honored to once again receive Six Star Chapter status, achieved by completing standards of Chapter growth, community outreach, civic participation, communication and to continue to publicly honor our Republic of Texas ancestors and history. This award underscores the DRT mission to "perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas."

The 2018 Convention is now a memory but plans are being made to attend the 2019 event in Austin. God Bless Texas.