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May 27, 2018 - FM 417 was the scene of an early morning fatality crash just inside the Huxley City limits Sunday, May 27, 2018.

Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department and Huxley Volunteer Fire Department were dispatched to the scene as well as ACE EMS personnel.

According to a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), DPS Troopers investigated a one-vehicle crash on FM 417 just west of FM 139.

The preliminary crash investigation indicates at approximately 7:15am, a 2001 GMC pickup was traveling east on FM 417 when the pickup drove off the roadway to the right and struck a concrete culvert before overturning.

The driver was ejected during the crash and identified as a 15-year-old male from Shelbyville. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene by Marla Denby, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2. A passenger in the pickup is identified as Brittnie Risinger, 19, also from Shelbyville.

Risinger was transported to a Center hospital for treatment. This crash remains under investigation. No additional information is available at this time.

Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jesse Fountain is leading the investigation. He was assisted in the investigation at the scene by Cpl. Jimmy Faulkner, Daniel Dellinger and Justin Sikes.

At this time the name of the driver has not yet been released.


Both photos from the San Augustine County Sheriff's Department Facebook page

May 25, 2018 San Augustine County – A traffic stop yeilded 217 pounds of marijuana in San Augustine County Thursday morning, May 24, 2018 ending in the arrest of an Arkansas man.

According to a DPS press release, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers conducted a traffic stop on US 96 yesterday morning involving a commercial motor vehicle resulting in a felony drug arrest.

The preliminary information indicates at approximately 8 a.m., a DPS Trooper stopped a Western Star truck tractor semi-trailer, near the San Augustine (and Shelby) county line for a traffic violation.

Christopher Metz, 47, from Little Rock, AR. was identified as the driver. 

During the traffic contact a San Augustine County canine alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle. A search of the truck led to the discovery of approximately 217 pounds of marijuana.

Metz was transported to the San Augustine County Jail for possessing over 50 pounds of marijuana, a second degree felony.

He was reportedly traveling from Houston to Arkansas.

This is an ongoing investigation and further details are not available for release at this time.

According to the San Augustine County Sheriff's Department facebook page, the San Augustine Sheriff's office K-9 "Kane" assisted DPS Troopers during the traffic stop discovering the marijuana in the cab of the Western Star tractor trailer.


K-9 "Kane" with his handler Lt. Robert Brazeal pose beside a State Trooper unit and the recovered marijuana.

May 24, 2018 - A pre-construction meeting was held Thursday in the Nacogdoches Area Office, signaling the beginning of a new construction project planned for SH 7, northeast of Martinsville.

The work will include road resurfacing on a 7-mile section of the roadway from the Attoyac Bayou to Mt. Hermon. Moore Brothers Construction, Lufkin, will serve as contractor for the $1.8 million construction project. The work is scheduled to be completed by mid-July, weather permitting.

Crews will begin setting project barricades as early as next week. The project is slated for completion in August, weather permitting. Motorists are urged to obey all traffic control devices, flaggers and signage. This is an active TxDOT work zone. Never attempt to drive around orange barrels or cones. Stay alert to slowing traffic, moving equipment and workers near the lane of traffic. Motorists could experience some delays and should expect daily lane closures for the duration of the project.

For more information regarding road work and closures statewide, visit txdot.gov. For more information on Lufkin District projects, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.

May 23, 2018 Lufkin — A Jasper, Texas couple and their daughter have been sentenced to federal prison for conspiracy violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

Walter Diggles, 66, his wife, Rosie Diggles, 64, both of Jasper, and their daughter, Anita Diggles, 42, of Houston, were convicted on August 3, 2017, of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Additionally, Walter Diggles was convicted of 11 counts of wire fraud, three counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, and three counts of money laundering (engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, here, wire fraud). Rosie Diggles was also convicted of ten counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering (engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, here, wire fraud).

Today, Walter Diggles was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark, along with restitution to be paid to the government in the amount of $1,326,049.91. Rosie Diggles and Anita Diggles were each sentenced to 54 months in federal prison and were ordered to pay restitution jointly to the government in the amount of $971,143.57.

According to information presented in court, the defendants devised a scheme to obtain and make personal use of federal block grant funds that Congress appropriated following Hurricanes Rita, Katrina, Ike, and Dolly. These funds were made available to the State of Texas, which in turn contracted with several councils of governments within the state to assist in administering and distributing the funds. Walter Diggles was the Executive Director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments during this time and used his position to approve inflated billing rates and requests for reimbursement of federal block grant funds while Rosie Diggles and Anita Diggles prepared many of the requests. Additionally, Walter Diggles engaged in activities and approved requests for block grant funds that were fraudulent in nature and all the defendants spent significant amounts of the excess funds on personal expenses. The Diggles were indicted by a federal grand jury on Dec. 2, 2015.

“The defendants stole from the taxpayers, and these kinds of frauds take money away from real people – disaster victims,” said Joseph Brown, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. “This was an appropriate sentence, and hopefully it will help deter some of this type of behavior the next time.”

“Offenders who abuse the public trust inherently are more culpable. The defendants made a conscious decision to deceive and benefit personally at the expense of the citizens of the State of Texas,” said Tamera Cantu, IRS Special Agent In Charge of the Dallas Field Office. “Today’s sentences underscore our commitment to work in a collaborative effort to promote honest and ethical government at all levels and to prosecute those who violate the public’s trust.”

"Today's sentencing is the result of an outstanding collaborative effort between the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Texas (Lufkin Division), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Services-Criminal Investigation Division, Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Texas State Auditor's Office," said HSI Houston Special Agent in Charge Mark B. Dawson. "By working together as a team, we were able to bring justice to the hurricane victims to whom the funds were intended to aid."

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Texas State Auditor’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom Gibson and James Noble.

May 14, 2018 - Election day is May 22nd and polling locations close at 7pm. (Related article: Republican Primary Runoff Election Polling Locations, Early Voting)

Voters must vote on the same party ticket they voted for in the March Primary Election.

Democratic Party and Republican Party ballot information below.

DEMOCRAT - All Precincts

Governor
Andrew White: Early -- 29 Voting Day (including Early) -- 42
Lupe Valdez: Early -- 23 Voting Day (including Early) -- 31

REPUBLICAN 

Justice of the Peace, Precinct No. 1
Randy Robertson: Early -- 136 Voting Day (including Early) -- 241
Melissa Crouch: Early -- 251 Voting Day (including Early) -- 443

County Commissioner, Precinct No. 4
Bradley Allen: Early -- 43 Voting Day (including Early) -- 266
Tom Bellmyer: Early -- 65 Voting Day (including Early) -- 281

Precincts Counted: 10 of 10
Ballots Cast - Total: 1,215
Ballots Cast - Republican Party: 1,137
Ballots Cast - Democratic Party: 78

May 9, 2018 - The Republican Primary Runoff Election is Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Below are the polling locations for each Precinct.

1N, 1SO, 1SE, 1SW (Center)
Voting Location: Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas 75935
Runoff Race: Justice of the Peace, Pct 1

1W (Center, Timpson, Tenaha)
Voting Location: JOI Ranch, 5198 FM 2026, Tenaha, Texas 75974
Runoff Race: Commissioner, Pct 4 and Justice of the Peace, Pct 1

2 (Excelsior)
Voting Location: Excelsior ISD, 11280 St. Hwy 7 W., Center, Texas 75935
Runoff Race: Justice of the Peace, Pct 1

8 (Tenaha)
Voting Location: First United Methodist Church, Schiede Hall, 256 N. George Bowers Drive, Tenaha, Texas 75954
Runoff Race: Commissioner, Pct 4

9N, 9S (Timpson)
Voting Location: Timpson Public Library, 520 Austin Street, Timpson, Texas 75975 ***NEW LOCATION just for RUNOFF
Runoff Race: Commissioner, Pct 4

Early Voting for all of the above is at the County Clerk’s office on the Center Square, Monday, May 14 through Friday, May 18, 2018.

May 22, 2018 - Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Griffin was dispatched to FM 2975 and FM 417 West on May 18, 2018, for an unresponsive driver stopped in the roadway. The initial call indicated two passersby were concerned that the driver may have been suffering from a medical condition because he would not wake up.

Once on scene, Deputy Griffin spent several minutes trying to awake the driver. After a period of time, the driver slowly awoke and put the car in park. The driver was identified as 36-year-old Jeffrey Haley of Center.

Deputy Griffin observed Haley to have slurred speech and instructed Haley to step out of the vehicle. When Haley stepped out, Deputy Griffin observed a clear plastic bag containing a substance believed to be marijuana. Deputy Griffin detained Haley and conducted a probable search of the vehicle.

Two Xanax pills and the remains of a marijuana cigarette were located inside a Newport cigarette pack located in the driver’s side door pocket. Two clear plastic baggies containing a clear crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine were rolled up inside of the exterior cellophane wrapper around the cigarette pack.

ACE EMS arrived on scene to examine Haley but he refused medical treatment. Deputy Griffin was able to verify that Haley did not have a prescription for the Xanax.

Haley was arrested and booked into the Shelby County jail for POCS (F-4) - $5,000 bond; POCS (M-A) - $4,000 bond; and POM (M-B) - $1,500 bond.

May 21, 2018 - The May 22nd Primary Runoff Election is this Tuesday for the Runoff race for Governor. 

Polling locations are open from 7am until 7pm and are listed below. Please note Timpson area has a different polling location.

Voting Precincts - Polling Location
1N, 1SW, 1S, 1W, 2, 3 (Center, Excelsior, Sardis) - Hurst Street Church of Christ, 110 Hurst Street, Center, Texas 75935
1SE (Center) - Pineywoods Family Outreach Center, 255 Haley Drive, Center, Texas 75935
5 (Joaquin) - First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 175 Faulkville Road, Joaquin, Texas 75974
8 (Tenaha) - First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 226 N. George Bowers Drive, Tenaha, Texas 75974
9S, 9N (Timpson) - Timpson Public Library, 520 Austin Street, Timpson, Texas 75975

May 21, 2018 - FM 139 was the scene of a fatal crash Saturday, May 19, 2018. Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers and Joaquin Volunteer firemen were all dispatched to the scene as well as ACE EMS.

While Troopers investigated the incident, firemen assisted by directing traffic around the scene.

According to a press release issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), on FM 139 about five miles south of Joaquin.The preliminary crash investigation indicates at approximately 3:45 p.m., a white 2004 Ford pickup was traveling south on FM 139 when the pickup drove off the roadway to the right, over corrected to the left and exited the left side of the roadway and overturned onto left and top.

The driver of the Ford is identified as Christopher Krieg, 56, from Shelbyville. Krieg was pronounced deceased at the scene by Margie Anderson, Shelby County Justice of the Peace Precinct 3.

This crash remains under investigation. No additional information is available at this time.

Krieg was transported from the scene by Mangum Funeral Home. 

The crash is under investigation by Texas DPS Trooper Keith Jones, assisted by Troopers Sean Smith, Taylor Buster and Jesse Fountain.

May 21, 2018 - Notice is hereby given that a Special meeting of the governing body of the above named City will be held on the 21st day of May 2018 at 5:30 pm. at the City Hall, 456 Jacob Street, Timpson, Texas, at which time the following subjects will be considered, to-wit: 

1. Discuss and take action: The Council will discuss hiring a seasonal employee 40 hours a week to help while Henry Marx is out on Workman’s Comp. Note that this is only a seasonal job and there will be no benefits offered.

2. Discuss and take action: Approve applications being accepted from May 22nd through June 1st and an advertisement being placed in surrounding newspapers.

3. Discuss and take action: Decide whether to give the Mayor the authorization to hire a qualified candidate or to have another Special Meeting to make a selection with the Council voting.

4. Discuss and take action: If needed, determine a rate of pay.

The Council reserves the right to retire into executive session concerning any of the items listed on this agenda whenever it is considered necessary and is legally justified under the Open Meetings Act.

This facility is wheelchair accessible and wheelchair parking is available. Requests for accommodations or interpretive services must be made 48 hours prior to this meeting. Please contact the City Secretary at 254-2421 for further information or needed assistance.

This agenda is posted as required under Government Code Section 551.041. For more information or for a copy of the open meetings act, please contact the Attorney General of Texas at 1-800-252-8011 or the City Secretary at 936-254-2421.

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