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February 18, 2015 - Law enforcement and emergency responders were dispatched to a log truck and car collision on U.S. Hwy 96 South near the intersection of CR 1015 Wednesday evening, February 18, 2015.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade LaVergne, a red 1984 Peterbilt truck tractor driven by Cody Bryan, age 28 of Center, was hauling an empty log trailer southbound on U.S. Hwy 96 and slowed to a stop to turn onto CR 1015 when a white 2006 Chrysler 300, also southbound, failed to control speed.

The driver of the Chrysler, Juan Diaz, Jr, age 19 of San Augustine, slammed on his brakes leaving marks on the roadway and attempted to avoid a collision by passing on the right; however, the car struck the rear right side of the trailer with its front driver's side. The Chrysler received major damage to its front and came to rest partially in the roadway. The log truck received only minor damage but remained where it was until after law enforcement arrived on scene and the driver then pulled it out of the roadway onto CR 1015.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department was first on scene to evaluate the crash scene and requested the assistance of the Center Fire Department to assist with traffic control. ACE EMS responded to the crash but no one required transport. Diaz was cited for failure to control speed.

February 17, 2015 - The Timpson City Council met on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 once again to discuss a reduction in the Timpson Police force as well as adopting a new budget for the 2015-2016 year.

Following discussion by council members and public input the council, through no action, adopted the existing 2014-2015 budget and through no action did not reduce the police force at this time. Check back with Shelby County Today for the complete story.

February 16, 2015 - Serious injury resulted from a single-vehicle crash on Sunday, February 15, 2015 and several agencies worked together to help the driver involved in the wreck in Huxley.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, at 8pm Stephanie Guynes, 41, of Center was traveling southbound in a red Ford Taurus SE on FM 3172 one mile after the intersection with FM 139 when, for an unknown reason, the vehicle left the roadway.

The Taurus traveled across the northbound traffic lane and into the barrow ditch where it rolled and landed upright on its wheels. The Taurus then traveled across the roadway once again and through a fence into a pasture on the southbound side of the road.

For reasons not as yet known by Shelby County Today, and as evidenced by tracks from the vehicle, the Taurus took a route which traversed many areas of the pasture. Once the vehicle was in a low area of the field, it finally came to a halt when it became stuck in mud.

The Center Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of the crash to bring Jaws of Life to help extricate Guynes from the car. Center and Huxley Volunteer Firemen worked together to cut through the car and free Guynes.

Once clear access was gained to Guynes, the emergency personnel worked together to get her onto a stretcher and move Guynes 40 yards up a steep hill to a waiting ambulance.

Guynes was in serious condition and attempts were made by ACE EMS to transport her to the Center Municipal Airport for an ambulatory airplane; however, weather caused the plane to change course. Guynes was instead transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment.

It was believed Guynes' husband, Tommy, had been in the vehicle just previous to the crash and as emergency personnel were working at removing the Taurus from the pasture, he was located on foot by a passerby on CR 3172 near the intersection with FM 139.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is handling the crash investigation. According to a family member, Guynes was released to her husband from Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital early on Monday morning, February 16. Shelby County Today is glad to report Guynes' injuries were not as serious as were originally indicated at the scene of the crash.

February 16, 2015 - A collision at the intersection of Loop 500 and State Highway 7 West caused traffic delays for many travelers as emergency personnel worked to investigate and clear the scene Sunday, February 15, 2015.

Officers with the Center Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Department and Center Firemen quickly responded to the two-vehicle crash.

According to Center Police Officer Bobby Walker, at 12:39pm Derek Michael Hughes, 22, of Center was exiting Loop 500 in a black 2014 Dodge pickup truck and was turning left onto State Highway 7 West.

Hughes failed to yield right of way to Dennis Eugene Esch, 64, of Nacogdoches who was traveling eastbound in a blue Ford four-door pickup truck and the Ford struck the left side of the Dodge. The Dodge was spun around and came to rest facing south in the middle of the westbound traffic lanes and the Ford came to rest facing northeast in the westbound traffic lanes.

Only minor injuries were reported as a result of those crash and both drivers declined transport from the scene by ACE EMS.

Hughes was issued a citation for failure to yield right of way.

February 13, 2015 - Savannah Talbert and Ty Fox competed in the U.I.L District 22-2A cross-examination debate contest February 7 hosted at Shelbyville High School.

Fox and Talbert placed first, and Savannah was the high point individual for the district. The two will be competing in Austin at the C.X. State Meet on March 16.

February 13, 2015 - The City of Center is excited to announce that it has joined the ranks of less than 100 proactive Texas cities in the Texas Comptroller’s Leadership Circle, a group of cities committed to financial transparency. “For me financial transparency means that we have nothing to hide,” explained Center Mayor David Chadwick. “We are honored to be included in such company as Dallas, Houston, Austin and to be one of the smaller Texas local governments to reach the highest level.” The transparency award ranges from Bronze to Platinum. For more information about the Leadership Circle, visit

“City staff created a financial transparency webpage which has all sorts of information on the annual budgets, audits, contact information, check registers, charts and graphs. It truly is a one-stop shop for anyone wishing to learn more about how the City of Center operates.” Chadwick continued, “We hope that residents will visit the financial transparency page from our website

“For the past few years, City staff has worked very hard to present more information to the Council and public in an understandable format, whether that be in the budget or website,” reported Center City Manager Chad Nehring. “This is the first step in being recognized in these efforts.”

February 12, 2015 - A man has been life-flighted following a single-vehicle crash on FM 415 near Timpson.

Texas Department of Public Safety State (DPS) Troopers and Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to the wreck scene located two miles from FM 138 on FM 415. Deputy Roy Bailey and Stanley Burgay, Constable Precinct 5, handled traffic control while DPS, and Timpson Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) personnel assisted ACE EMS with the driver.

Once the driver was removed from the vehicle ACE EMS transported him from the crash scene to a nearby field for life-flight. The TVFD established a landing zone in the field where Life-Air Rescue then set down.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Anthony LaCount, at 3:15pm Herbert Hearnsberger, 92, of Livingston was traveling southbound at an unsafe speed in a 2001 Toyota Tacoma on FM 415 just before the Stockman Community when he lost control of the truck. The Toyota rolled multiple times in the northbound traffic lane before finally coming to rest in the southbound lane facing north.

Hearnsberger was life-flighted in stable condition to a hospital in Shreveport for treatment. The crash remains under investigation. DPS Troopers Dustin Ramos and Keith Jones assisted with the crash investigation.

February 11, 2015 - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover on County Road 4466 on near Tenaha Wednesday, February 11, 2015.

When DPS Troopers Anthony LaCount and Dustin Ramos arrived at the scene no one was present with the vehicle, which was on its side in a wooded area along the roadway. During the investigation of the crash, the driver and family members returned to the scene.

According to DPS Trooper Anthony LaCount, at 4:05pm Albert Louise, 18, of Joaquin was traveling westbound in a black Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck on County Road 4366 just before the intersection with County Road 4370 when a deer ran in front of the truck. Louise took evasive action and lost control of the truck which traveled off the roadway to the left and into the woods where it received major damage to the front end and rolled onto its left side where it came to rest.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crash and Louise was issued citations for unsafe speed and no driver's license.

February 11, 2015 - The council approved Resolution 2015-9 accepting the visual surface area report for the Center Municipal Airport and remediation response. Nehring addressed the council in reference to the resolution and a few months ago at the second meeting of October 2014 he presented the council with plans from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the airport.

"I brought to the council FAA's notice that they were expanding the visual surface runway approach for instrument landing requirements," said Nehring.

He presented the council with the report based on survey data which was conducted by on-site survey to document any obstacles and trees needing to be moved or removed for the required FAA changes, "Some are going to be relatively easy to remedy, I did not say inexpensive, but relatively easy. Others are off site."

Nehring doesn't expect much difficulty in reaching amicable agreements with property owners around the airport, " We will bring you some cost estimates for actual physical removal of some of these trees in the upcoming future based on your approval and acceptance of this report."

Mayor David Chadwick remarked on the construction which has been taking place on an airplane hangar being built by a construction company hired by Terry Bailey along State Highway 7 East. Chadwick asked Nehring if there will be the need for fencing to keep people off the runway and Nehring described the plans for a gate.

"We're working with the contractor and the owner or builder of the new hangar as much as possible, they're supposed to be making sure that fence and everything stays impassable," said Nehring. "There will be a new gate installed, that is probably the biggest concession that we ended up making. The hangar builder agreed to go ahead and build the already approved entrance off of Highway 7 that council approved 4-6 years ago."

According to Nehring the city will still have to work on gate operation, and he expects once the construction is complete on the new entrance and hangar, the value added to the airport is going to be substantial.

The council approved Resolution 2015-8 authorizing application for the Justice Assistance Grant of the U.S. Department of Justice by the Center Police Department. Chad Nehring, Center City Manager, explained to the council the reason for asking for permission from the council to submit the application. He also stated they are seeking clarification on some criteria they are meant to meet to receive the funding.

"Jim [Gibson] and, I think, Lt. [Jeremy] Bittick have worked to try to identify some funding sources for additional equipment, some that's nearing end of life, primarily our main server and some ancillary computer systems," said Nehring.

After the council addressed the regular agenda items several items of interest were reviewed. The Center Volunteer Fire Department has issued a letter to the City of Center as they are preparing to purchase new bunker gear out of the department's funds. The department will purchase six new sets of gear contingent on the city agreeing to purchase three sets of gear as well, totaling $5,289. The department has applied for an additional grant through the Texas Forestry Service and those grants will be determined in March.

The City of Center website is the recipient of a 2015 Platinum Leadership Circle Award. This was achieved by scoring 21 of 23 points on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts ratings criteria.

Items on the agenda receiving approval include:

   1 Minutes of the regular meeting on January 26, 2015.
   2 Resolution 2015-8 authorizing application for the Justice Assistance Grant of the U.S. Department of Justice.
   3 Resolution 2015-9 accepting the visual surface area report for the Center Municipal Airport and remediation response.
   4 Annual Racial Profiling Report from Center Police Department.
   5 Zoning Board of Adjustment appointment of James Camp; Hotel Motel Advisory Committee appointment of Rose Spector. In addition other members accepting their appointments were approved.


February 10, 2015 - The Shelby County Commissioners approved the use of a new credit card for the county with very limited usage at their brief session on Monday, February 10, 2015. They also allowed the passage of a new regular agenda item allowing public comment on a current day agenda.

Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, stated there are a lot of instances where county representatives have to book rooms in hotels/motels and they have to use their personal cards for these charges. There are also times the commissioners have difficulty purchasing parts through some vendors that do not extend a line of credit.

Anne Blackwell, Shelby County Treasurer, will retain the credit card in her office and be the only person in possession of the number.

Clint Porterfield, Shelby County Auditor, commented on the history of the county having a credit card and the importance of having a central individual to handle the credit card, "The county has had a credit card program before and through personal experience I can tell you that without some good controls it can get out of line. The person who is going to be in control of this credit card has quite a responsibility, not only to just secure the credit card and make sure purchases are correct that we make against the credit card, but you've got to think about the billing that comes in. You've got to think about all the receipts or the tickets that go with that and matching all that up, because basically just because we use a credit card, we can't pay that credit card unless we have the correct receipts that go with it, and that's always been an issue when you have a credit card program for a county or any business."

A motion was carried to get the credit card with stipulations that the card could be used for reserving rooms, parts if needed. It was also added if a receipt is not brought back by an individual they would then be responsible for the bill.

Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2, made a motion which was approved to allow the public to speak on agenda items with a three minute limit, "I think a lot of times the public needs the input on what's on the agenda and I just think it would be a good thing for them to speak."

A motion was carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:52am.

Agenda items receiving approval include:

   1 Minutes of the January 12th regular meeting and the January 23rd and 26th special meetings.
   2 Officer's reports.
   3 Pay monthly expenses.
   4 County investment policy.
   5 Procedure allowing members of the public to comment, with a 3 minute time limit, on any current agenda item.
   6 Approve commercial lease with Farmers State Bank for rental of office space for Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace and Constable at $200 per month with the lease expiring February 1, 2016.

Agenda items tabled during the meeting include:

   1 Resolution to enroll in the National Flood Insurance Program.
   2 Flood Management Prevention Order for Shelby County.