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March 30, 2015 - Due to events that have recently come to light, Center Youth Baseball would like to reassure everyone that the safety and well-being of all our children that participate in our program is our number one priority.
We want to be clear that each year our head coaches undergo a background check that includes review of publicly available data on the Texas Department of Public Safety's website.
Effective immediately, Center Youth Baseball will expand this review policy to include running background checks on assistant coaches once each head coach notifies CYB of who these assistant coaches will be. Coaches with an unacceptable background report will not be allowed to participate in any Center Youth Baseball team practice, game, or activity.
March 30, 2015 - U.S. 96 South was the scene of a single-vehicle crash Friday night which resulted in the arrest of the driver.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 8:10pm on March 27, 2015 a green 1998 Honda Accord driven by Eddie Lockey II, 46, of San Augustine was traveling north on U.S. Highway 96 South 1.6 miles south of Loop 500 outside of Center.
Lockey failed to drive in a single lane and the Honda skidded off the side of the roadway to the right. The Honda traveled across a large culvert skirting before striking a fence owned by Wheldon Boles and a telephone box as it overturned onto its top.
It was determined Lockey was intoxicated and he was transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of injuries. Lockey was later released to the custody of Trooper Faulkner and he was arrested for driving while intoxicated - 3rd. The vehicle was towed from the scene by East Texas Towing and Storage.
March 30, 2015 - A Texas youth baseball coach was arrested Saturday after driving to Shreveport for the purpose of meeting underage boys for sex, said Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator.
Christopher Scott Tyre, 26, of Center, Texas, was arrested in the 8500 block of Youree Drive at a location where he thought he would be meeting two juvenile boys and their father, Prator said.
Sheriff’s Detective Jared Marshall began investigating Tyre this past week after Tyre placed a publicly viewable online ad. Marshall responded to the ad under an assumed identity of an adult male with two juvenile boys, ages 8 and 12. Marshall and Tyre had several text conversations during which Tyre stated his intentions.
Tyre told Marshall’s assumed identity that he would be driving to Shreveport with the intent to perform sexual acts on the two juvenile boys after Tyre finished coaching a baseball team of 7 and 8-year-old boys in Center.
Following his arrest, Tyre was booked into the Caddo Correctional Center for computer-aided solicitation of a minor.
Assisting Marshall with the arrest were Sheriff’s Youth Services Lt. Sam Hall, Detective Trey Keene, and Caddo Sheriff’s patrol deputies.
April 7, 2015 (Related article) - The Center Police Department performed a street raid on Mildred Street on the evening of March 27, 2015 and Shelby County Today was on scene as officers and K-9 Taz searched the area for illegal narcotics. Information has now been shared by the police department indicating one man was arrested.
The following is information provided by Center Police Detective Chris Knowlton: Based on an ongoing narcotics investigation, in addition to numerous citizens’ complaints about possible drug trafficking at the location, Officers made contact with a large group of people who were found to be loitering and illegally parked on Mildred Street.
Upon further investigation LaJuan Cole, 48, of Center was arrested on scene as he was found to be in possession of “crack” cocaine. Said suspected “crack” cocaine totaled 0.9 grams in weight.
Additionally, upon K-9 Taz alerting on the vehicle, approximately 4.3 ounces of suspected marijuana was found secured in the trunk of Mr. Cole’s vehicle. Also found in the trunk was a set of digital scales.
Also found on scene was a Scope bottle containing suspected phencyclidine (PCP). Said bottle totaled approximately 22.3 grams in weight. At this time the identity of the owner of the aforementioned recovered PCP will not be released as the Center Police Department is waiting for the DNA test results on said bottle to further confirm ownership of the bottle. Additionally, the Center Police Department is waiting on lab results on said suspected PCP to confirm that it is in fact said controlled substance.
March 29, 2015 - The Center Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire at Brian Borders property located six miles from State Highway 87 South on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 10:16pm.
When the firemen arrived at the scene a mobile home located between a litter barn and chicken house was engulfed in flames. The firemen quickly worked to extinguish the flames and were successful in preventing the fire from spreading to the neighboring buildings.
Shelbyville Volunteer Firemen were dispatched to the scene with a tanker truck at 10:55pm to help completely extinguish the fire.
Residents in the home were reported to have not been present at the time the fire started and it is unknown at this time how the fire started.
Center Fire Department returned to the station at 12:03am.
March 27, 2015 (Related Artilce) - Officers with the Center Police performed a street raid on Mildred Street in Center during a party on Friday evening, March 27, 2015 at 7:35pm.
Taz and Sgt. Burkhalter could be seen going from vehicle, to house, to yard in search of narcotics and it appeared a variety was located. During the search a small Scope mouthwash bottle was located and was suspected to contain PCP (Phencycline). Marijuana and possibly other narcotics were located in a vehicle at the scene.
A Buick Century, which was located in the middle of the roadway, and a Hyundai Elantra were towed from the scene by Joey Ross Towing.
At this time the Center Police Department has not released any information including who was arrested. A press release on the operation has been promised.
March 27, 2015 - A chase ensued on Friday, March 27, 2015 sometime around 10:30pm when a driver allegedly failed to comply with Center Police Officers on Loop 500.
Several individuals occupied a blue Chrysler 300 as it led officers on a high speed chase down County Road 2050 (Africa Road). After several miles and before the vehicle reached State Highway 87 South, officers performed a precision immobilization technique (PIT) maneuver which quickly brought the car to a stop on the dirt roadway.
Additional officers from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department arrived at the scene to provide support, and Texas Department of Public State Trooper Jade Lavergne to investigate the vehicle collision.
Shelby County Today was on scene when prescription bottles were located in the vehicle as well as alcohol. Officers searched the roadway previous to the collision site where it was suspected narcotics were thrown from the vehicle and whatever substance was allegedly tossed from the vehicle was found.
According to jail records Danie (Danny) Larome Bell, 38, of Center was arrested for evading arrest with vehicle, delivery of a controlled substance, tampering with physical evidence, unlawful restraint and on a warrant for parole violation. Two women from the vehicle were taken into custody and transported to the Center Police Department jail. Neither of the vehicles received more than cosmetic damage. More information will be provided on Shelby County Today via a press release provided by the Center Police Department.
(Update) : According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade Lavergne, on March 27, 2015 at 10:47pm on CR 2050 a white 2010 Chevy Tahoe with Center Police Department driven by Detective Christopher Knowlton, 30, and a approved ride along passenger Kevin Sage, 53, had lights and sirens on and was in pursuit of a vehicle.
The vehicle being pursued was a 2008 Blue Chrysler 300 driven Danny Bell, 38, with front right passenger Laquita Watts, 38, and back right pass Denise Nobles, 41. After attempting to stop the Chrysler, a PIT maneuver was attempted by Detective Knowlton and this caused Bell to lose control of the Chrysler.
Detective Knowlton then intentionally rear-ended the Chrysler to prevent the occupants from fleeing. Both vehicles came to a complete stop and the three occupants were taken into custody.
March 27, 2015 - A new Tahoe for the Sheriff's Department was approved by the Shelby County Commissioners Court following a presentation by Shad Sparks, Chief Deputy. The commissioners also decided to purchase a new building for Mike Crouch's Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 office.
Allison Harbison, County Judge, went on to discuss the Sheriff's Department Chevrolet Tahoe and her understanding is there are two remaining Ford Crown Victorias in use by the department which are in failing condition. One of those cars are expected to need a great deal of repair ranging from $7,000-$8,000.
Chief Deputy Sparks addressed the commissioners to discuss the purchase of the new vehicle and the current state of repair on the Crown Victorias in use. He stated the department is down to one Crown Victoria on patrol because the other one is in the shop receiveing head repair. The results of that repair won't be known until next week.
Two other vehicles have been parted to sustain the active patrol units and there is a courthouse vehicle which the bailiff drives and keeps in front of the courthouse. That vehicle is also used at night on patrol and it currently has 187,000 miles on its odometer.
"The other two Crown Vics that we are using, one has to be parked at the office due to the light bars, the light bars run in excess of over $2,000 and you're putting a $2,000 light bar on a $900 Crown Vic. It has right at 200,000 miles on it also, and the other one the light bar, half of it's out."
Sparks informed Judge Harbison two of the vehicles are 2008 year model vehicles and one is a 2005. He said they are to the point of getting a new vehicle or are they going to spend $5,000-$6,000 on a $900 vehicle which has the potential for more problems.
Judge Harbison stated the Sheriff's current budget looks pretty good with 55% remaining at this time, and suggested moving forward with what finances are in the current Sheriff's Department budget and if they end up in the red, make up the difference out of the contingency fund. A motion was carried for the Sheriff's Department to purchase the Tahoe.
The commissioners approved the purchase of a new building for the Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 office in the amount of $19,878 out of the contingency fund. Although Mike Crouch, Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, felt a portable building would be a downgrade to his current facilities, Judge Harbison's opinion was to the contrary as she stated the new building would be very much like a mobile home and that utility bills would be much less than they are currently. The city council of Timpson approved a motion on placement on the building and they are going to try to find the best and most accessible place which will have the best parking. It was stated the utilities will likely have to be paid out of the contingency fund as well.
Judge Harbison recognized the certificate of compliance from the Texas Department of Jail Standards for the Shelby County Jail, "So excited to get a good report on the jail, I would like to commend Chief Deputy Shad Sparks is here and the Jail Administrator William Cox is here. I personally just want to thank you guys for all your hard work and I went over there to talk to the gentleman that was inspecting, really nice guy, had really great things to say about the staff and the jail."
An item tabled during the meeting was resuming maintenance of a portion of County Road 4670. Don McGuffin is one of the landowners requesting it be maintained once again and he addressed the commissioners about his request, "What we have is property that has been in my immediate family for several generations. The road that's in question has always been our legal ingress egress. I do know that there are no other legal access methods to get to this property other than this road."
McGuffin described the road as having been a grated and drained road according to a map from 1961. According to McGuffin, it was not depicted as the same as a county road, but at that time was depicted as a drained and grated roadway. At this time the roadway is described as being in well maintained shape; however, this maintenance is not performed by the county.
Bradley Allen, Commissioner Precinct 4, informed the court he traveled the area with a man who has worked in Precinct 4 for the county for 30 years and during that time he does not recall the roadway having been maintained.
Travis Rodgers, Commissioners Precinct 3, asked Gary Rholes, County Attorney, how long a road has to stay unmaintained for it to turn to the landowner, "I have not seen a case where there's a period where that happens, unless the road is under fence at this point in 20 years," stated Gary Rholes, County Attorney. Judge Harbison interjected, "Unless it's been closed through court," to which Rholes agreed. "But just on maintenance, I've not found anything that says it takes a county road out of the status of a county road," said Rholes.
Bradley Allen, Commissioner Precinct 4, seemed reluctant to resume maintenance of the roadway at this time and made a motion to table the item to look into it a little more and at the next meeting to have it on the agenda to make a decision.
During the meeting the commissioners also considered the possibility of allowing Tri County to use the Old Elementary School gym and assume responsibility for the utility payments and liability insurance, removing this responsibility from the county. Rodgers stated he would like to see the building vacated and used for county office space. The commissioners decided to table the item until the next meeting.
Agenda items receiving approval include: 1) Pay monthly expenses. 2) Reimbursement of utility cost to Mike Crouch, Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, in the amount of $790.33. 3) Purchase of new building in the amount of $19,878 for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5. 4) Payment of utilities for the present office of Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5. 5) New automobile for the Sheriff Department at a cost of $30,857.57. 6) Appoint Allison Harbison and David Chadwick to the Deep East Texas Rural Transportation Planning Organization. 7) Appoint Florencio Singson M.D. as the Local Health Authority for Shelby County. 8) Recognize income received from sale of seized vehicles and adjust the Constable Precinct 4 forfeiture budget for increase in income and proposed expenses in the amount of $1,655. 9) Change locks on Old Elementary school gym. 10) Ann Blackwell’s request for funding to have a dividing wall placed in the Treasurer’s office. 11) Adjournment at 10:30am. Agenda items tabled during the meeting include: 1) Resuming the maintenance on a portion of CR 4670. 2) Action on allowing Tri County to use the gym and assume responsibility for utility payments and liability insurance. 3) Rental of old Elementary School gym to Denetra Slaughter and Celia Aguilar for one year.
March 27, 2015 - The Joaquin Community Pantry distributed food boxes for the first time on Wednesday, March 18, 2015 with the support of the East Texas Food Bank Mobile Pantry and volunteers. They distributed 59 total boxes. The mobile food pantry will come to Joaquin on the 3rd Wednesday of the month which will be on the 15th for the month of April and starts at 10:30am until 12:30pm at First Baptist Church of Haslam.
Lauren Hovey, a senior at L.S.U.S. studying Psychology and the agency director for the Joaquin Community Pantry, spoke about the pantry and how it got started. Hovey was aware of various churches and groups who were already collecting food and clothes to help people in the community.
She visited with the East Texas Food Bank about programs available to help organize the food collections and became interested in 'Unified Hunger,' a program offered by East Texas Food Bank which spreads awareness for hunger in our community. Once she realized none of the Joaquin food programs were registered at the East Texas Food Bank, she visited with Bro. Jody Hooper, pastor at First Baptist Church of Haslam, about hosting a mobile food pantry program at the church.
After getting paperwork going, the first community meeting was held and it had a great turnout of 20 or so people which according to the agent with the East Texas Food Pantry was 4 times as many people which normally attend initial meetings. Hovey said, "We have had a lot of community outreach which has been amazing to have."
How the mobile pantry works is for two and a half years East Texas Food Bank Mobile Pantry brings all of the food. The Joaquin Community Pantry has to have $100 per month to purchase the food and the money goes into a scholarship account for the Joaquin pantry. After the two and a half years are over, the money is given back for the Joaquin pantry as start up for them to be able to purchase the food from then on. At this time, the pantry doesn't need food donations until the two and a half years is over; however, they are seeking money donations which will go to the cost of buying food from the East Texas Food Bank now and in the future. Volunteers are always nice to have as well especially during the summer months when people are on vacation.
Hovey wanted to express appreciation to everyone who helped make the food pantry possible, "Big thanks to Mrs. Gail of Joaquin Christian Services for all of her influence and knowledge. She has done so much. Also, Mr. Baker for helping us spread awareness. So many people have helped make it amazing. We ended up serving 59 boxes which is amazing for a first day!" She also said the food pantry's success so far can be attributed to all of the Joaquin community. Volunteers who have helped aren't just from First Baptist Church of Haslam but are from many different churches, students from the school, council members, and the community.
"For me the most important thing is awareness. If anyone knows people that are in need in the community, let them know that we do have it here because I know there are a lot of people that are in need and I want to make sure that we are reaching out to everyone."
Lauren Hovey told a little about what got her wanting to help with the food pantry, "I have been extremely blessed. My parents are very giving people. Growing up I had good examples; they have always been in the community doing things." Lauren continued saying, "I believe that Christ died for my sins and he has blessed me so much and I don't deserve it. My mom is a teacher at [Joaquin] school, I [substitute teach] and I have seen how a lot of kids struggle and that breaks my heart. I know there are a lot of families in need. I'm excited and nervous; I kind of feel young but, I know that it's gonna prosper because God has it under control and we have so many great people in our community who have given and done so much. I can't wait to see the future of the pantry."
Requirements to qualify for food boxes: Texas residence (Information can be given to Louisiana residents for a food pantry in Logansport), a household make less than 185% of the poverty level ($21,257 or less for a household of 1; $28,694 or less for a household of 2; $36,131 or less for a household of 3; $43,568 or less for a household of 4; etc.)
Hovey can be contacted by email at email@example.com. The East Texas Food Bank Mobile Pantry agent for Joaquin is Michelle Rodriguez who can be contacted at 903-617-2017 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations can be mailed to First Baptist Church of Haslam, 154 County Road 3590, Joaquin, TX 75954. Church phone number is (936) 269-3587.
All the volunteers who helped to make it happen!
March 26, 2015 (Related indictment story) - The Shelby County Grand Jury appointed for the January term of the 273rd Judicial District Court indicted 40 cases on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.
William Bryce Moore and Angela Marie Moore each received an indictment for capital murder, capital felony. Each indictment alleges on February 16, 2015 the Moores caused the death of Ariana Moore, an individual younger than 10 years of age, by striking her in the stomach.
Bret Wayne Anderson was indicted for criminally negligent homicide, state jail felony. The indictment alleges Anderson caused the death of Taylor Keith Keele by discharging a firearm, striking Keele in the chest.
Jeffrey Hudson received four indictments for aggravated sexual assault, first degree felony. All four indictments allege Hudson penetrated four girls under the age of 14.
Everett Johnson was indicted for burglary of a building, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on May 19, 2014 Johnson entered Shofner's Washateria in Center attempted to commit or committed theft of a stand alone safe.
Stephen Wayne Implom received an indictment for burglary of a building, state jail felony. The indictment alleges Implom entered Medico Pharmacy in Center and attempted to commit or committed theft of hydrocodone pills owned by Medico Pharmacy.
Stacey Coats was indicted for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on February 10, 2014 Coats, during a traffic stop, concealed a pocketbook containing, needles, syringes, and a small digital scale with intent to impair its verity as evidence in the investigation of an official proceeding. Coats was also indicted for possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony. That indictment alleges on May 21, 2014 Coats was in possession of methamphetamine in an amount less than one gram.
Sirtonio Emerson Evans received two indictments for delivery of a controlled substance, state jail felony. The indictments allege on March 24, 2014 and April 7, 2014 Evans delivered Xanax in an amount of less than 28 grams to a confidential informant.
Rodney Dewayne Swindle received two indictments for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree felony. The indictments allege Swindle threatened to kill Donny Jenkins and Travis Ray Handy as he displayed a black handgun during the commission of the assault.
Evan Russell Lutz was indicted for deadly conduct, third degree felony. Lutz is alleged on November 14, 2014 to have discharged a firearm in the direction of Ashley Lutz and her small child.
Elidio Santi-Garcia was indicted for driving while intoxicated with child passenger, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on May 4, 2014 Santi-Garcia operated a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated with the vehicle being occupied by a child under the age of 15.
Erik Ramirez was indicted for failure to stop and render aid, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on April 25, 2014 Ramirez drove a vehicle involved in a crash which resulted in injury to Diann H. Price. The indictment continues by alleging Ramirez left the scene of the crash without giving his name, address, vehicle registration number, liability insurance information or rendering aid to Price when it was apparent she was in need of medical attention.
Ricky Lee Myers received an indictment for intoxication assault, third degree felony, The indictment alleges on May 8, 2014 Myers drove a vehicle while intoxicated and did by reason of such intoxication cause serious bodily injury to Daphne Wilkins by striking her with his vehicle.
Michael Lee Smith was indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, second degree felony. The indictment alleges on April 9, 2014 Smith caused bodily injury to a child younger than 15 years of age by injecting the child with a syringe of methamphetamines into it's arm. Smith received two additional indictments for abandoning or endangering a child, state jail felony, by allegedly exposing two children to methamphetamine on April 9, 2014 and not delivering the children to an emergency infant care provider.
Sarah Hite received two indictments for abandoning or endangering a child, state jail felony, by allegedly exposing two children to methamphetamine on April 9, 2014 and not delivering the children to an emergency infant care provider.
Rafael Acevedo was indicted for assault, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on April 11, 2014 Acevedo caused bodily injury to Lisa Simmons, a family member, by impeding her breathing or circulation of blood by applying pressure to her throat or neck and/or blocking her nose or mouth.
Travis Goodrum was indicted for theft, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on October 11, 2013 Goodrum took possession of a gray 2012 Can Am 1000 side by side ATV valued at $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 from Joshua Harris without his consent.
Jamie Ray Barnes was indicted for burglary of a habitation, second degree felony. The indictment alleges on November 29, 2014 Barnes entered the home of Judith Barnes with intent to commit an assault against her.
Edward Eugene Moorman was indicted for aggravated assault, second degree felony. The indictment alleges on May 15, 2014 Moorman caused bodily injury to Nathan Cheshire by hitting him against the head with an unknown object.
Detria Lashun Hamilton was indicted for fraudulent use or possession of identifying information, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on December 3, 2013 Hamilton intended to harm or defraud David W. Bishop, an elderly man age 65 or older, by using a a financial institution account number belonging to Bishop to set up a ACH Auto-pay on her Sprint Telephone/Cellular phone bill.
(Dates in parenthesis indicate the date of the alleged incident)
Joseph Rondell Gipson, evading arrest, 3rd degree felony (April 20, 2014).
Michael Anthony Hill, Jr., possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (May 25, 2014).
Randy Lynn Fountain, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (May 21, 2014).
Kristin Paige Wilburn, possession of a controlled substance, second degree felony (May 14, 2014).
Kevin Randall Nash, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (April 17, 2014).
Jeremy Caraway, possession of a controlled substance, third degree felony (April 18, 2014).
Marcus Yarbrough, unlawful possession of firearm, third degree felony (March 22, 2014).
Thomas Justin Brown, possession of a controlled substance, second degree felony (April 15, 2014).
Bryan Keith Green, evading arrest - prior convictions, state jail felony (April 22, 2014).
Cynthia Smith, driving while intoxicated - 3rd or more, third degree felony (April 19, 2014).
Kenneth Wayne Hart, driving while intoxicated, third degree felony (May 12, 2014).
***Indictments and Information are not a conviction, and are a matter of public record. All individuals are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.