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July 27, 2018 - State Highway 87 North at FM 1645 was the scene of a major two-vehicle crash Thursday, July 26, which has put one child in a hospital in Houston.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Taylor Buster, at 5pm, a grey 1998 International truck-tractor driven by Aubrey Dionyell Lacy, 37, of Center was traveling north on SH 87. A tan 2015 Jeep SUV driven by Sandra Zamarron, 23, of Tenaha reportedly disregarded the stop sign at the intersection of State Highway 87 and FM 1645 West and was struck by the truck-tractor. 

No citations have been reported at this time. No injuries were reported of Lacy at the scene. 

Zamarron had three child passenger age two, three and four. All were transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Additional reports from Texas DPS indicate the four-year-old child is currently at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for treatment.

Center Fire Department directed traffic at the scene until it was clear. Trooper Buster was assisted with the investigation by Trooper Dustin Ramos.

July 26, 2018 - The Center Police Department responded to an unresponsive person on Sampson Street On July 5th at approximately 10:23 A.M. Upon arrival, Officers found Brakia Rashed Roland 27, of Center deceased.

Detectives were able to link Alvin Jerome Davis II, 26, of Center to the murder of the victim with forensic and physical evidence.

Detective Stephen Stroud presented the case to District Judge LeAnn Kay Rafferty, Judge Rafferty did issue two arrest warrants for Alvin Jerome Davis II for Capital murder and Aggravated Robbery.

This case is still under investigation.

Davis is currently being held at the Caddo Parrish Jail on unrelated Louisiana charges.

Submitted by Detective David Haley

Related article:
Center PD Rules Death of Center Man a Homicide (Updated)

July 26, 2018 - As a result of the suspension of Jenny Hicks as Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4 in Shelby County, it was necessary for another individual to be placed in that position during the interim. 

Per order of suspension by LeAnn K. Rafferty, 123rd Judicial District Judge, of Hicks and immediate placement of Jackie Kirkwood as acting Justice of the Peace to fulfill the duties of the office of Precinct 4, Hicks still retains the office; however, under suspension.

Anyone needing to reach Jackie Kirkwood as acting Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4 can reach him at the following number: 936-572-3040

July 24, 2018 - (Declaration of Disaster Order) - Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison has initiated a Burn Ban for Shelby County effective Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

The Shelby County judge placed a ban on burning outdoors. Due to the extreme drought time in which the county is located, it is prohibited to burn any type of outdoor fire. Please do not burn trash, tree leaves or anything involving flames.


Spanish - El juez del condado de Shelby puso en effecto una prohibición de quemar al aire libre. Debido al extremo tiempo de sequia en la que se encuentra el condado, se prohíbe encender cualquier tipo de fuego al aire libre. Por favor de no quemar basura, hojas de arboles o cualquier cosa que implique llamas.

July 24, 2018 - An immediate temporary suspension of Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 Jenny Hicks was filed in the 123rd Judicial District Court, Judge Leann Rafferty presiding, and served by Constable Precinct 3 Roy Cheatwood on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 effectively removing her from office.

As a follow up to the petition filed July 12, 2018 by Shelby County Attorney Gary Rholes to remove Jenny Hicks from office, an amended petition was filed Tuesday giving additional reasons for the immediate suspension. Hicks has served as Justice of the Peace of PCT 4 since January of 2015 after being elected to the position.

The amended petition includes portions of a Texas Rangers' Investigation Report which sites specific instances where some fines were paid in cash to the Municipal Court (of Tenaha) and not deposited. The investigation revealed deposit details against the receipt registers had a delinquency of $6,685.60 in fines unaccounted for. Specific incidents were mentioned in the report pertaining to voided citations, as well as, citations marked to have been paid by community service in the computer system when the citation was paid in cash.

According to the report, during an interview with Texas Rangers, Hicks confirmed she had been Tenaha Municipal Court Judge since 2009 until 2016. Hicks had no explanation for the high number of voided citations and denied having stolen any money from the court.

An additional amendment was a letter from Shelby County Treasurer Ann Blackwell to Attorney Rholes. Blackwell stated, "I am extremely concerned for the financial aspect with the situation in JP Precinct 4. I fear there is money for payments "floating around" unsecured and unaccounted for."

Blackwell cited Hicks' failure to report collections to the Treasurer's office by the deadline dates of the 15th and the last day of each month. She also reported Hicks has not turned in a report or collections since April 2018 and fees collected by an online payment system are sent out to the JP by check which have yet to be turned in. Blackwell advises the Post Office is collecting mail for Hicks in a box because JP Hicks is not picking it up.

Blackwell continued by mentioning no one has access to Hicks computer system and Hicks unwillingness to do her job is preventing the money collected from being distributed to the state, county, etc.

Blackwell ended her letter stating, "This type of behavior from an official elected by the citizens of her precinct is appalling. She continues to reap the benefits of an employed county official receiving a paycheck, insurance, and earning retirement. Precinct 4 deserves better." 

Related articles:
Petition to Remove JP Hicks Filed
SC Justice of the Peace Under Investigation

July 24, 2018 - Pepperidge Farm has been notified by one of its ingredient suppliers that whey powder in a seasoning that is applied to four varieties of crackers has been the subject of a recall by the whey powder manufacturer due to the potential presence of Salmonella.  Pepperidge Farm initiated an investigation and, out of an abundance of caution, is voluntarily recalling four varieties of Goldfish crackers. The products were distributed throughout the United States. No illnesses have been reported. No other Pepperidge Farm products in the U.S. are subject to this recall.

The following four varieties with the indicated codes are subject to this recall:

  • Flavor Blasted® Xtra Cheddar
  • Flavor Blasted® Sour Cream & Onion
  • Goldfish® Baked with Whole Grain Xtra Cheddar
  • Goldfish® Mix Xtra Cheddar + Pretzel

Different packaging options are included in this recall. Consumers are encouraged to read the chart located here for more information.

Consumers who have purchased these products should not eat them. Recalled product should be discarded or may be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

You may also click here for reimbursement if you have the product, sell by date and package code listed in the chart provided.

Consumers with questions may call Customer Service at 800-679-1791, 24 hours a day, for more information. Our Customer Service specialists are available M – F 9AM – 7PM EST.

July 23, 2018 - The National Weather Service, Shreveport, LA issued at 6:04am Monday, July 23, 2018, a Hazardous Weather Outlook for portions of north central Louisiana, northwest Louisiana, east Texas and northeast Texas.

Today and tonight... a Heat Advisory is in effect from noon until 7 PM CDT this evening for portions of East Texas and Northern Louisiana. Hot temperatures combined with high humidity will result in heat index values between 105 and 108 degrees this afternoon. If outdoor activities are planned, make sure and take frequent breaks, drink plenty of liquids and move activities into the shade if possible.

There is also a slight chance of thunderstorms this afternoon and this evening, mainly south of a line from Jacksonville Texas to Winnfield Louisiana. Any storms that develop will be capable of gusty winds and dangerous cloud to ground lightning.

Tuesday through Sunday... after some slightly cooler weather, afternoon heat index values may once again climb above 105 degrees Friday through Sunday.

Chances for thunderstorms will return to the forecast during the weekend as a cold front moves south across the Plains.

July 20, 2018 - An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect until 8 pm this evening.

At 11:24am CDT, Friday, July 20, 2018 the National Weather Service of Shreveport issued an excessive heat warning for the following areas: Sevier, Howard, Little River, Hempstead, Nevada, Miller, Lafayette, Columbia, Union, Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Lincoln, De Soto, Red River, Bienville, Jackson, Ouachita, Sabine, Natchitoches, Winn, Grant, Caldwell, La Salle, McCurtain, Bowie, Franklin, Titus, Camp, Morris, Cass, Wood, Upshur, Marion, Smith, Gregg, Harrison, Cherokee, Rusk, Panola, Nacogdoches, Shelby, Angelina, and San Augustine.

The EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM CDT THIS EVENING.

Maximum heat index values of at least 110 degrees Today through this evening. Heat related illnesses will be possible for those involved in outdoor activities and home bound persons without air-conditioning or circulated air.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

An excessive heat warning means that a prolonged period of dangerously hot temperatures will occur. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will combine to create a dangerous situation in which heat illnesses are likely. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.

Take extra precautions if you work or spend time outside. When possible, reschedule strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Know the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing when possible and drink plenty of water. Anyone overcome by heat should be moved to a cool and shaded location. Heat stroke is an emergency, call 9 1 1.

Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, as car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes.

July 19, 2018 - State Highway 87 South outside of Shelbyville was the scene of a major two-vehicle crash from which one driver fled the scene.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Sean Smith, at 11pm July 9, 2018 a grey 2006 Pontiac G6 was southbound on State Highway 87 South just before FM 147 when it crossed into the northbound traffic lane.

At that time a white 2004 Toyota Tundra driven by John Randall Gillespie, 59, of Center was traveling in the northbound lane when the Pontiac struck the Toyota in a front left to left collision. 

The crash caused major damage to both vehicles. The Pontiac came to rest in the middle of the highway facing south. The Toyota came to rest on the northbound shoulder, also facing south.

No injuries were reported at the time of the crash. No citations have been issued as of the time of this report as the driver of the Pontiac was not yet determined. The owner of the vehicle was reported to be Jennifer Cheshire of Crockett.

Traffic was delayed until the scene could be cleared. The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department assisted with traffic control.

48 Teams Visiting Center – Ready for Local Hospitality

July 19, 2018 Center, Texas (Event Schedule) – The 2018 Dixie Invitational World Series tournament will begin this Friday, July 20 at Center Park. A total of 48 teams from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas are participating. “Opening ceremonies will begin Friday at 7:30 pm, followed by an awesome fireworks show,” said Center Recreation Director, Jason Mitchell.

In October 2017, the Center City Council established a committee to start the process of soliciting the tournament. Unlike other tournaments hosted by Center, the successful bid is judged more on what a community can offer the event. “Our City has been given a great opportunity with this tournament,” said Center Mayor David Chadwick. “We want our visitors to have a grand experience when they visit us. This is quite an accomplishment for a City of our size to host an event of this caliber.”

“I would encourage everyone to attend Friday’s opening ceremony and especially the fireworks show,” stated City Manager, Chad Nehring. “Putting together all the activities has taken a lot of work from many staff, volunteers and sponsors without which this wouldn’t be possible.” Friday’s Fireworks display is sponsored by Shelby Savings Bank, Cobb-Vantress, Whataburger, Texas State Bank, Borders Poultry Supply and McAdam’s Propane.

Dazzle Me Pink and Blue is sponsoring Pizza/ and Movie night Saturday for players while the Shelby County Chamber is hosting a visitors’ reception that evening at the Civic Center. Sunday afternoon, Wal-Mart is helping host a Fun Day at Portacool Park for teams and the community.

“This event really will have a major impact to our local economy and we hope all our local businesses will see benefits,” explained Center Mayor David Chadwick. “I would ask all of our residents that if you see someone from out of town to go out of your way to show them some Center hospitality.”

Major sponsors for the World Series are OMNI Environmental, Commissioner Precinct 1, Farmers State Bank, Center Motor Company, T&R’s Steaks & More, Rotary Club of Center, Ultra Shade Plus and Tyson.

Anyone interested in staffing the tournament, additional sponsorships or simply helping this weekend should visit the City website at www.CenterTexas.org or contact Jason Mitchell at 936/590-7196 or simply come out to the park and enjoy some quality baseball.

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