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June 26, 2015 - The Center City Council approved a resolution at their meeting on Monday, June 22, 2015 for funding to improve the Center Municipal Airport as well as approving the Shelby County Appraisal District budget.
Chad Nehring, City Manager, explained Resolution 2015-19 Airport Capital Improvement program. He stated TxDOT has accumulated funds from the FAA and state appropriations which are being geared toward matching programs for improvements at the Center Municipal airport since it is a part of the state and federal aviation system.
"With the reductions of federal funding a couple of years ago a past project that the city had, which we had asked that they actually slow down on anyway, was terminated. So, because of the major funding availability that was requested and actually approved by TxDOT that project has been trimmed and altered and phased to be able to be paid with federal appropriations that are guaranteed annually in what's called the non-primary entitlement program system, which dedicates at least $150,000 a year to the city's airport," said Nehring.
He explained the money is dedicated to the airport for the foreseeable future and could change with federal appropriations. Several years of such designated funds have been collected by the city over the years and Nehring says the project can move forward and a large contribution from the city will not be necessary. According to Nehring, fuel sales at the airport will provide the funds needed for the local match.
Once construction is started, Nehring said fundraising options may need to be considered. A motion was carried to approve the resolution.
An interlocal agreement with TML and Multi-State Intergovernmental Employee Benefit Pool was approved during the meeting and Nehring provided some background information relating to employee benefits.
"The last several years have not been tremendously unkind as they have to many other group benefit insurance policies; however, this year I guess is catchup time. We're looking at roughly a 12% increase in premiums. After a couple of years that we actually did have some declines, this would put premiums back at about the highest point they've been, but honestly not higher than they have been here previously," said Nehring.
According to Nehring, the city's group loss ratio, additional mandates, new expansions in the healthcare system and requirements of city policy enhancements will be necessary this year.
"The last time we went through an adjustment of this magnitude, we did adjust the benefit levels to what they are currently. That was about 4-5 years ago. We did ask our carrier to provide some options for benefit levels. We evaluated those and basically it would only save about 70-75% of the cost that would end up being absorbed by employees," said Nehring. "If increasing deductibles out of pockets and other benefits were paid at 100% by employees it would generate, let's just use round numbers because this is not exact, $10,000 of increased cost on the employees. The premiums would only go down $7,500."
Nehring says this would shift a heavy burden onto the employee base, because the premium savings did not match with the reduction in benefits. A motion carried to adopt the agreement and was approved by the council.
A motion carried and approved for the Shelby County Appraisal District (SCAD) FY 2015 Budget. Nehring remarked there is a 30% increase in health insurance and benefit cost and this is secondary to enhancements in the mapping system, which have been postponed for the last two years.
"Working closely with the appraisal district with regard to their mapping system and the collaboration that we're able to have, I would strongly encourage the council not to dispute the enhancements in the mapping. We're able to collaborate, we use their product to enhance the services we're providing in our utility system as well as street planning. This summer we're doing a lot to even map signed maintenance and drainage improvements," said Nehring.
According to Nehring the Center Police Department also uses the mapping system for property identification, owner identification and aerial photos. Mayor David Chadwick remarked councilmen John Howard and Charles Rushing represent the city on the SCAD board, which helps to provide direct input for the council.
During the items of interest portion of the agenda Nehring and Chadwick stated the sales tax is at an improvement over last year. Joyce Johnson, councilwoman, and Nehring are hoping to be able to bring good news from a DETCOG meeting in Nacogdoches at the next council meeting in reference to the reallocation of unused funds under the disaster recovery program, of which the city has made requests. The Center Police Department has submitted a zero cost match grant application with the U.S. Department of Justice and if there is an award in the future it will be presented to the council.
A motion was carried and approved to adjourn the meeting.
Items on the agenda receiving approval include: Minutes of the June 8, 2015 meeting. Resolution 2015-19 Airport Capital Improvement program. Center Rotary Club What-A-Melon festival 5k Run/Walk route. Interlocal Agreement with TML Multi-State Intergovernmental Employee Benfits Pool. Shelby County Appraisal District Board (SCAD) FY 2015 Budget. Adjournment.
June 26, 2015 - "We have identified the suspects with the help of numerous tips. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office really appreciates the public’s help in this investigation. I apologize to anyone that I did not return their call, I had more tips than expected. Thank you to Shelby County Today and the citizens of Shelby County," Det. Byron Dunaway.
In May the unidentified male in the picture, along with a white female going by the name of Joseph and Carolyn Roy A’ were in the process of purchasing Walker’s Waterfront.
The suspects were managing the business during that time and after a month it was discovered that they were fraudulently purchasing the property. They also stole a large amount of money from the business. They were last seen driving a 2003 Sliver Chevy Van with TX LP#FKV0285 and are believed to be from the Tenaha area. It is believed that they have a parent by the name of Carolyn A Roy that lives in Tenaha, Texas.
If you can identify the suspects please contact Detective Byron Dunaway of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-329-9029.
June 26, 2015 - The Tenaha City Marshal's is seeking information on individuals involved in a shooting that took place at the baseball field in Tenaha after a kickball game on June 21, 2015.
If you have information please call (936)248-3481 or your local law enforcement agency.
June 24, 2015 - A Center man has pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 1st degree, charge in relation to the stabbing of his wife.
According to court documents Marcos Aguilar, 39, pleaded guilty in the 273rd Judicial District Court with Judge Charles Mitchell presiding on May 15, 2015. Aguilar received 15 years sentence in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice system prison and 131 days credit for time served. He is now being held in the John F. Gurney Unit in Tennessee Colony, TX.
Emergency personnel with the Center Police Department and ACE EMS arrived at Pine Grove Trailer Park at 10:04am on January 5, 2015 where Florentina Rojas Gonzales, 37, reported Aguilar had stabbed her. Gonzalez was life-flighted by Life Air Rescue from the Center Municipal Airport to LSU in Shreveport.
It was learned by the police department Aguilar returned to his home at the trailer park at 4:45pm on the day of the stabbing. Officers quickly apprehended him and once in jail, a $100,000 bond was set.
During a hearing in which Gonzalez sought a protective order against her husband, Aguilar took the stand and when asked directly by County Attorney Gary Rholes if he stabbed Gonzalez, Aguilar said, "Si." The protective order was granted.
June 24, 2015 - Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover which took down a utility pole just outside of Center on State Highway 7 West near CR 1140 on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
First to arrive on scene was Bradley Wilburn, West Shelby Volunteer fireman and Shelby County Probation Officer, who reported the driver was out of the vehicle and not trapped. ACE EMS arrived on scene and treated the driver for minor injuries. The driver refused transport by ambulance and was taken by private vehicle to a Nacogdoches hospital.
According to DPS State Trooper Keith Jones, at 3:42pm a 2001 black Ford Ranger pickup owned by Norma Castillo, of Tenaha, and driven by a minor, age 17, of Tenaha, was eastbound on SH 7 West. The driver stated to DPS he fell asleep and as the vehicle ran off the roadway, he woke up and over corrected to the left. The pickup crossed over the double yellow line onto the wrong side of the roadway and exited the highway before overturning and striking a Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative utility pole. The vehicle came to rest on its drivers side.
The power line snapped and DETEC crews arrived on scene to replace the damaged pole and repair the downed power line.
The driver was cited for wrong side of roadway when not passing. Assisting with the crash investigation was DPS Trooper Jade LaVergne.
June 22, 2015 - The mother of an infant who died tragically has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 273rd District Court on Friday, June 19, 2015.
Angela Marie Moore, 25, of Tenaha was indicted on March 25, 2015 for capital murder, capital felony, in reference to the death of her 6-month-old infant daughter Ariana Moore.
According to court documents Moore pleaded guilty to manslaughter, 2nd degree felony, and received 5 years incarceration in a prison within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system. Moore has agreed to testify against her husband William Moore, 28, in his capital murder case.
According to the original information provided by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded to the Kyle Parmer Trailer Park located on County Road 4356 at 3:49am on February 16, 2015. Ariana Moore was transported from the scene by ambulance and was pronounced deceased by Maxie Eaves, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, at Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department.
June 22, 2015 -Shelby County Commissioners discussed the necessity of including the District Attorney's office in a liability insurance package during their June 22, 2015 meeting.
The item on the agenda was an annual renewal of insurance coverage through the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Risk Management Pool which includes general liability, public official liability, law enforcement and crime coverage. At the previous meeting of the commissioners on June 8, 2015 Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, sought to table the item in regards to the District Attorney's office and the District Judges, because in previous lawsuits involving the District Attorney's office the insurance did not provide any coverage.
Clint Porterfield, Shelby County Auditor, provided some insight for the commissioners on the coverage the insurance provides as McSwain wanted to know the benefit of the insurance, "This particular coverage covers a specific type of claim that could be filed against the D.A. or District Judge. No, it is not all inclusive, it's for a particular type of claim. We haven't had that experience with this particular type. Because it is of such a restrictive nature this is why the D.A. has actually obtained other coverage in case other types of things come about."
Porterfield stated the current environment of "everyone" being under scrutiny and the low cost of the insurance at $580 for up to $1 million in coverage is a worthwhile expense. He also stated the county is in really good shape in regards to the budget and the D.A. agrees this coverage should continue. A motion to approve the coverage carried.
Debora Riley, Shelby County Tax Assessor Collector, addressed the court about a data use agreement between Computer Information Concepts, Inc. and the Shelby County Tax Assessor's office at a cost of $4,860 annually. She explained the software is what is used for banking through her office and is the only software which works with her tax collection software.
"It helps me with being able to do payouts quicker and more correct and accurate," said Riley. "This year I'm going to look into how it can help me in other ways and in the future we might decide to, depending on what everybody thinks about it, but it's helped me so far and I'm glad that I had it in place when I did because coming into the office like I did I would have had problems without it."
A motion was carried to approve the agreement. A motion was carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:43am.
Agenda items receiving approval include:
Agenda items receiving approval include: 1. Pay monthly expenses. 2. Purchase a rubber tire backhoe from Buyboard for Precinct 3 out of the Precinct 3 budget. 3. Shelby County yearly Renewal Application for Insurance Coverage through the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool for the following coverage; General Liability, Public Official Liability, Law Enforcement Liability and Crime Coverage. 4. Data use agreement between Computer Information Concepts, Inc. and the Shelby County Tax Assessor's office at a cost of $4,860 annually. 5. Accept bid from Bryan & Bryan Asphalt of Henderson for road oil at $595 per ton. 6. Adjournment at 9:43am.
June 21, 2015 - An incident involving a motorcycle and a truck Saturday, June 20, 2015 sent one driver by life-flight to the hospital.
First responders were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash on FM 2694 just over 1/2 mile from the intersection with FM 3172 in Huxley.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Anthony Lacount, at 8:50am a red 2003 Toyota Tacoma driven by Max Robertson, 44, of Center was in the westbound lane and was attempting to make a u-turn from a stopped position on the bottom side of a hill.
As Robertson attempted to cross both lanes of traffic a Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Curtis Cooper, 63, of Shelbyville was traveling behind the Tacoma and was unable to stop his motorcycle in time before striking the back left quarter panel of the Tacoma. The collision caused Cooper to be ejected off the motorcycle onto the roadway and spun the Tacoma around to face north on the south shoulder. The motorcycle also came to rest on the south shoulder facing east.
The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the scene to assist and provide traffic control. ACE EMS transported Cooper from the scene to the Huxley Volunteer Fire Department where he was life-flighted to a Shreveport hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Robertson refused treatment at the scene and was issued a citation for turning when unsafe.
June 19, 2015 - Law enforcement personnel converged on the Best Western Plus Thursday, June 18, 2015 when it was brought to their attention an individual was contemplating harming himself.
Agencies including the Center Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and Texas Game Wardens arrived at 8:15pm and were all present during the standoff. Center Fire Department arrived at a later time to assist. Guests from within the hotel were gathered at different locations in and around the grounds such as the lobby, poolside and parking lot and could not leave by vehicle as the entry to the facility was completely blocked with law enforcement vehicles.
Witnesses who were at the scene later revealed the subject, who was in room 217 facing U.S. Highway 96 North, stated he would open fire on anyone that entered his room. Officers could be seen exiting the hotel and donning bullet proof vests as protection.
Center Police Officers used a second floor laundry room as a staging area and could be seen talking on the phone, possibly with the man inside. Guests, who became aggravated with being denied exit and entry as a result of the blocked driveway, could be seen getting into trucks and driving over curbs to do so and in some instances became stuck. At around 10pm any bloodshed had been averted as the officers exited the hotel with the man absent of cuffs on his wrists and escorted him away from the facility.
Witnesses on scene when the man was escorted out said they were informed the man was a constable from another county.
According to a press release issued by the Center Police Department, officers responded to a complaint of a very emotionally unstable white male locked in his hotel room at the Best Western located on Hurst Street. Upon arrival officers found a man who was refusing to come out of his room.
The man was also threatening to harm himself. Officers were engaged in a lenthy negotiation with the man, but finally Officer Steve Thornburgh was successful in talking the man out of his room. Officers escorted the man to the Police Department, where he was evaluated by mental health care professionals.
The man was released without charges to responsible authorities.
June 19, 2015 - According to a press release from the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Marcus Hill, 33 of Shelbyville, was arrested Friday morning, June 19, 2015 and booked into the Shelby County Jail on two charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felony one and felony two, in connection to the shooting incident which occurred the day before on US 96 North of Center.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 1, Maxie Eaves set bonds of $75,000 each for a total of $150,000.
The victims in the shooting incident were a family from Burleson, Texas who were returning from visiting family in Hemphill when the incident occurred. Sean Micheal Arnold, 40, and Auston Micheal Arnold, 17, a father and his son, were both transported to ETMC in Carthage and then later transferred to ETMC in Tyler. Both are listed to be in stable condition. Two passengers in the back seat ages 12 and 7 didn't receive any injuries.
Hill allegedly pointed a shotgun at the Suburban and fired a single shot of bird shot inside the lower left corner of the driver side window. The wad from the shell was later located on the dash of the Suburban. Sean Arnold, the driver, attempted to duck away from the shotgun. He received bird shot wounds to his back, left shoulder, left arm, and back of his head. The 17-year-old passenger received bird shot wounds to the left side of his face.
The reason for the violent incident has not been released. Investigators for the case are Detective D.J. Dickerson and Detective Kevin Windham.