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August 28, 2017 - A group of Shelby County citizens and businesses have come together to support flood victims. The goal is to send a trailer filled with donations.

Items needed: blankets, non perishable food items, water / Gatorade / Powerade, baby items (wipes, diapers, formula, bottles, pacifiers), toiletries, tarps (big need for them), pet food

Drop-off locations for donations include:

  • Ace Ems (704 Southview Circle, Center) - anytime
  • Allen's Auto Repair (504 Shelbyville) from 9am until 4:30pm
  • Automatic Gas (148 Wall Street, Tenaha) - Precinct 4 Constable Jake Metcalf will leave tomorrow (Tuesday) around noon. If items can't be dropped off before his leaving, they are still collecting for the next trip
  • Center Floral (135 Shelbyville St, Center)
  • CHS National Honor Society - CHS (Susan Lout Penick)
  • Custom Threads (204 Houston St, Center) from 10am until 5pm
  • Farmers State Bank (on Roughrider Dr, Center)
  • Hampton Hotel (141 Express Blvd, Center) ***they have evacuees there needing supplies
  • Hissy Fit (209 Nacogdoches St, Center) from 8am until 6pm
  • The Hope Project (157 wall St. Tenaha, TX or 620 Tenaha St. Center, TX) from  7am to 5pm (Donation Flyer)
  • Joaquin VFD (124 Preston St, Joaquin) ***leaving bay doors open for you to drop off
  • Jordan Health Services (202 Tenaha St, Center) from 8am to 5pm
  • McAdams Propane (191 US Highway 96 South, Center) will be taking a trailer load as well of supplies
  • Menzies' Liquor (6210 Hwy 87 N, Center)
  • Shelby Co Sheriffs Office
  • Shelby County Today (229 San Augustine Street)
  • Tenaha FBC (200 George Bowers Dr, Tenaha)
  • Timpson FBC (715 N 2nd St, Timpson) from 8am till 12 noon
  • Timpson Volunteer Fire Dept (305 Jacobs St, Timpson) from 8am to 5pm
  • Zack's Tint Shop (1419 St Hwy 87, Center) after 7:30am

August 28, 2017 - All recreation areas and trails in the Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Angelina and Sabine National Forests remain closed as a public safety precaution until the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey passes, according to Forest Supervisor Eddie Taylor.

Taylor emphasized that national forest campgrounds have older trees that are susceptible to falling when soils become saturated. 

“With potentially high winds, possible tornados and heavy rainfall, the forest is not a safe place to be,” he said. "The forecast calls for rain through the week which means the ground will be saturated and the threat of falling trees is real. We’ve had experiences with people trapped and even injured in recreation areas when trees have fallen onto campers and tents. Expected heavy rains can cause roads and culverts to wash out and we will not put the public in harm's way."

Recreation areas and trails will remain closed until the storm has passed and Forest Service personnel have determined the roads and public areas are safe.

Reservations through will be suspended through next week.

August 28, 2017 - Shelby County Today reports that mail delivery may be delayed. The local Post Offices are serviced out of a Houston distribution center which has been impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Mail delivered to the Center office this morning was extremely low on mail volume. Shelby County Today was advised that mail in Houston at the North Houston TX Processing and Distribution Center was unable to be dispatched and postal workers and volunteers are working on retrieving the mail from that facility.

New mail is being rerouted to Dallas and other areas for processing so there should not be any delays for new mail sent out.

SCT advised anyone who has mailed in an account payment around the end of last week when Hurricane Harvey arrived, they may want to contact the company to see if payment has been received. If not, then call the company to advise them of the possible mail delay and see if the company needs you to make payment arrangements to avoid late fees.

USPS Service Alerts -

August 28, 2017 - Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative is currently and has been monitoring Tropical Storm Harvey for the past several days, as well as preparing for the storm’s possible movement across the DETEC Service Area.

DETEC linemen are currently responding to outages and contractors are ready to respond if needed.

With the current rainfall levels increasing and the continued forecasted rain over the next few days, please understand that restoration efforts may be slowed considerably to ensure the safety of our lineman and contractors.

We encourage you to also prepare now for the possibility of weather-related problems. We urge everyone to make necessary preparations including:

  • If you or someone in your household is dependent upon life support, have an alternate power source available or identify a location you can move to that has an alternate power source.
  • Check backup generators for proper operations and remember to carefully follow generator safety precautions including NOT operating a generator indoors.
  • Monitor local weather conditions.
  • Follow warnings from local authorities. If you must travel, check, for road closures and hazard information.
  • Above all, we want to ask you to be safe - STAY AWAY FROM ALL DOWNED LINES. Consider them all to be live and dangerous. Call DETEC at 1-800-392-5986 to report downed lines and outages.

Please report outages, by calling: 1-800-392-5986

August 27, 2017 - Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Sunday, August 27, 2017 Shelby County Sheriff's Communications Division received a call at approximately 6:42am of a body floating in the Sabine River. The call was transferred from DeSoto Parish and they had lost contact with the caller. SCSO Communications was able to regain contact with the caller. Responding from SCSO was Sheriff Willis Blackwell, Deputy Adam Renfro and Investigator Del Birdwell along with Constable Pct. 3 Roy Cheatwood. TPWD Game Warden Austin Cryer also responded.

Upon arrival of SCSO personnel, the victim had gotten in the current and was traveling downstream. The victim was originally located between the US 84 bridge and Lovick's Landing. Upon getting the victim to shore, the victim was only known as being a black female and no identification was located on her person.

Desoto Parish Fire/Rescue along with two Desoto Parish Deputies arrived on scene via water to provide assistance. Shortly after DeSoto Parish Sheriff Rodney Arbuckle and three investigators arrived as well. One of the deputies thought he recognized the victim as someone from Logansport. Sheriff Arbuckle took a picture of the victim and sent it for identification. The victim was later identified as Sophia Young Davis, 48 of Keatchie, Louisiana. It is believed she had been staying in the Logansport area recently.

The inquest was performed by Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Margie Anderson. Davis was taken from the scene by Watson and Sons Funeral Home personnel for transport to East Texas Forensics in Tyler for an autopsy.

August 25, 2017 - The Center Police Department is facing allegations of excessive use of force by two of its officers during a traffic stop in January through a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court August 18, 2017.

Allegations made in the 11-page complaint are Center Police officer Spencer Anderson, in his patrol car, "chased" Kenith Windham on January 21, 2017 to Brown Street where Windham did not pull over, but crashed.

It is further alleged Anderson pursued Windham on foot before wrapping his legs around, choking, and relentlessly striking Windham in the face multiple times causing several bones in his face to be fractured.

Sgt. Chris Knowlton is alleged after having placed handcuffs on Windham to have admonished him to stop squirming and spitting while Windham was on his knees, bleeding and handcuffed. In regards to this, Knowlton is also alleged to have threatened to release his K-9 to attack Windham. The complaint says at this time Windham was spitting blood because his mouth was filling with blood due to multiple injuries including a broken palate.

The fear of dog attack is explained to be the reason why Windham then attempted to flee the officers on foot in fear for his life.

This is when the complaint alleges both Anderson and Knowlton ran Windham down on foot and when the officers caught up to him Anderson began striking Windham again, while handcuffed, and threw him on the pavement. With his hands cuffed behind his back, Windham was unable to break his fall.

The complaint describes the resulting medical expenses of the incident incurred by Windham to be more than $120,000 and suggests he suffers loss of depth perception, impaired peripheral vision, impaired sense of smell and other nerve damage because of the alleged beatings.

According to the Center Police Department incident report obtained by Shelby County Today, Officer Anderson reported attempting to initiate a traffic stop on Windham when he alleges Windham failed to stop for a stop sign at the intersection of Daniels Street and Martin Luther King Drive. Officer Anderson reported chasing the vehicle down several streets and losing sight of the vehicle on two separate occasions.

Officer Anderson reported regaining sight of the vehicle once again on Loop 500 traveling toward State Highway 87 and the pursuit is alleged to have re-engaged at speeds of 100mph to 105mph. When the vehicle being pursued reached Brown Street, the report alleges the vehicle attempted to turn onto Brown Street at a high rate of speed and missed the roadway before coming to a complete stop after hitting a fire hydrant.

What the complaint and the incident report seem to corroborate is Windham received facial fractures.

This required Windham to have received a PR bond on the charge of driving while intoxicated - 2nd, at the emergency room to facilitate his transfer to a hospital in Tyler for more extensive treatment.

The Shelby County Attorney's office rejected the charge of resist arrest, search, or transportation, misdemeanor A. Court records do not indicate at this time if the charges of evading arrest or detention, felony 3; assault, felony 3; or escape, felony 3; will be pursued by the Shelby County District Attorney's office.

Windham was arrested March 7, 2017 on the resisting arrest and evading arrest with a vehicle charges.

August 25, 2017 - Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Thursday, August 24, 2017 a narcotics search warrant was issued for a residence located at 147 East Saddle Street in Joaquin which stemmed from an ongoing extensive narcotics investigation conducted by Chief Deputy D.J. Dickerson.

John EscobedoJessica BarberThe search warrant was executed by Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and Investigators, along with Shelby County District Attorney Investigator Joey Haley and Constable Pct. 2 Jamie Hagler.

The search warrant yielded the recovery and seizure of over 10 grams of methamphetamine, along with ecstasy, hydrocodone, oxycodone, valium, and over three ounces of marijuana. During the search warrant, property also recovered was zip baggies for packaging narcotics, several digital scales, drug paraphernalia, and a firearm.

Suspects arrested at the residence were John Escobedo, 39 of Joaquin and Jessica Barber, 26 of Joaquin. Escobedo and Barber were charged with Manufacture/Delivery of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1 >= 4g<200g, Felony 1; Delivery of Marijuana >=2oz<4oz, State Jail Felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 2 < 1g, State Jail Felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 3 < 28g, Misdemeanor A; and Possession of a Controlled Substance in Penalty Group 1 >=1g<4g, Felony 3. Escobedo also was arrested for a warrant for Failure to Appear on Credit Card / Debit Card Abuse, State Jail Felony.

Escobedo and Barber were both arraigned by Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Melissa Crouch. Escobedo’s bond was set at $85,000 along with a no bond for the FTA warrant and Barber’s bond was set at $83,000.

So it begins…will you be next?

Submitted by Leah Chase, SCSO Media Relations

Local fuels displayed longer than normal wait times Friday afternoon.

August 25, 2017 - Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison and Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) Kerrie Shofner have been communicating with state agencies concerning Hurricane Harvey and advise they are monitoring the situation.

"Our area is still at a Level III, Increased Readiness. They stated they had no forecasts for after landfall because they couldn't predict where it was going to go. My EMC and I will be monitoring all weekend. We are a pass-thru county, therefore, I do not anticipate any shelters opening for evacuees," explained Judge Harbison.

According to the Texas Emergency Management guide, the levels of Emergency Operations begin at four and count down to one indicating an emergency condition. The levels are Level IV – Normal Conditions; Level III – Increased Readiness; Level II - Escalated Response Conditions; and Level I - Emergency Conditions.

Level III means a significant emergency has not yet occurred, but a higher than normal level of readiness is warranted because of increased vulnerability to a specific hazard. Advisory notifications are sent to the Emergency Management Council and appropriate officials and agency representatives are briefed on anticipated risk situations and potential impacts. Coordination activities may increase.

Typical Events for Level III are tropical weather system development, escalating or immediate risk to impact area. Typical notification would be made to TDEM (Texas Division of Emergency Management) staff, emergency management coordinators and directors, fire departments/EMS, law enforcement.

Judge Harbison would like to remind people that price gouging is illegal, if anyone feels they have been a victim of this, call the Attorney General at 800-621-0508 to report.

National Weather Service detailed forecast for Shelby County

  • Rest Of Today - Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight - Mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 70s. East winds 5 to 10 mph.
  • Saturday (Aug 26) - Cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
  • Saturday Night - Mostly cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 70s. East winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
  • Sunday (Aug 27) - Showers and thunderstorms likely. Cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
  • Sunday Night - Cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
  • Monday (Aug 28) - Mostly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the lower 80s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
  • Monday Night - Mostly cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
  • Tuesday (Aug 29) - Mostly cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
  • Tuesday Night - Mostly cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
  • Wednesday (Aug 30) - Cloudy. Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the lower 80s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.
  • Wednesday Night - Mostly cloudy with chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 60s. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.
  • Thursday (Aug 31) - Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 80s.

Lorri BrownHolly BrownAugust 24, 2017 - Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on August 15, 2017 Deputy Adam Renfro was dispatched to a residence in Timpson in reference to a 15 year-old female runaway.

During the investigation, it was revealed through a neighbor’s video surveillance camera, that the female left her home at 11:47 p.m. on August 14, 2017.

Investigators with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office learned that Holly Elizabeth Brown of Garrison and her 15-year-old son picked the female up from her residence in Shelby County.

Brown and 15-year-old son took the female to their residence in Garrison and hid her when approached by law enforcement officers. Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Kevin Windham found the female runaway hiding underneath a bed at the Brown’s residence in the evening hours of August 15, 2017.

Holly Brown, Lorri Brown, Elma Paul Brown and the juvenile son of Holly Brown were present in the home when the runaway was located and all had knowledge the child was a runaway and failed to notify law enforcement or the child’s legal guardians of her location.

Warrants were issued for Holly Brown and Lorri Brown for Harboring a Runaway Child (M-A).

Holly Brown and Lorri Brown turned themselves into the SCSO on August 23, 2017. Each posted a $5,000 bond and were released the same day.

Leah Chase, SCSO Media Relations

Related Story:
15-Year-Old Timpson Girl Missing (Found)

August 24, 2017 - Center Police Officers were dispatched to a major crash on State Loop 500 Wednesday, August 23, 2017 involving a meat delivery truck and a passenger vehicle.

The Center Fire Department was also dispatched to the scene and used Jaws-of-Life to help extricate the driver from the vehicle. Hughes Wrecker Service was also on scene and helped to pull the truck away from the driver.

According to Center Police Officer Spencer Anderson, at approximately 1:55pm a Buick 4-door passenger vehicle driven by Gloria Harvey, 72, of Center was eastbound on State Loop 500 when she stopped to turn left on FM 2788. At that time a white Freightliner FL70 owned by Deans Meat Service and driven by Christopher Johnson, 38, of Huntington was traveling behind Harvey. Johnson failed to control speed, struck the right rear of the Buick and flipped over before coming to rest off the roadway to the right.

Harvey and Johnson were reported to have received minor injuries as a result of the crash. Johnson was transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment and Harvey was transported by private vehicle to a hospital.

No citations have been issued at this time.

Center ISD police officers assisted at the scene with traffic control. Officer Anderson was assisted with the investigation at the scene by Officer Kenneth King.

TxDOT was also on scene as some road signs were struck during the incident. JB Raymond provided a forklift at the scene to help lift the truck container and make it easier to remove.