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Around Town

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October 26, 2021 - (Album) - The Center Fire Department hosted F.L. Moffett students at their fire station on Tuesday, October 5, 2021.

Fire Chief Keith Byndom covered a wide variety of safety measures for the students including the importance of not playing with matches, having smoke detectors in the home, what to do during a house fire and not playing on 911. Byndom also wanted the students to understand that “firemen are our friends.”

Firefighter Del Birdwell demonstrated the use of bunker gear. He told the students of the protective value of the clothing in firefighter safety. He donned SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) so the students could see, and hear him to not be afraid in the event they were to ever have a firefighter in their house during a fire.

The students then were invited outside to witness the Center Fire Department ladder truck. The ladder was extended and the students were all thrilled when water was sprayed from the ladder pipe nozzle.

Each of the classes were escorted to the fire department by the teachers and Center ISD Police Officer Jim Ed Matthews.

Attending the demonstration were over 500 students and Chief Byndom sent a box of helmets with Officer Matthews for distribution to the students at school.

October 25, 2021 - VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary honored Women in Military with a ceremony held October 18, 2021, in front of the Shelby County Veterans Memorial beside the 1885 Historic Courthouse.

The event was attended by post members and members of the public alike.

Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, welcomed everyone to the event. The history of women in the armed forces began more than 227 years ago with women serving during the American Revolution continuing into present day.

All women who have served courageously, selflessly and with dedication in times of conflict and times of peace were honored. Women whose achievements have gone far too long without being recognized and ignored.

Women have shared many responsibilities as they served on the battlefield as nurses, water bearers, cooks and saboteurs. During the civil war women disguised themselves as men in order to serve.

Dr. Mary Walker received the medal of honor in 1865, the only woman to receive the nation's highest military honor.

During the Spanish-American War in 1898, from which the VFW was founded, thousands of soldiers became sick with typhoid, malaria and yao fever.

1,500 contract nurses were assigned to army hospitals, as well as the hospital ship named Relief. 20 of these nurses died as a result of their contact with the soldiers.

Over 21,000 nurses served in World War I in the United States and overseas.

The Navy and Marine Corps enlisted thousands of women to free up men to fight. 400 military nurses died during World War I.

During World War II there were more than 60,000 nurses serving stateside and overseas. Captured by the Japanese were 67 Army nurses in the Philippines in 1942 who were held as prisoners of war for over 2 1/2 years.

Over 150,000 served in the WACS, as they were called then, with thousands sent to the Pacific and Eurpoean theaters. 800,000 joined and served in the Navy and the Marine Corps also enlisted women to release men for combat. In the Korean War, the women who joined the reserves following World War II were involuntarily recalled and more than 500 Army nurses served in combat zones in Korea.

Over 7,000 military women served in Vietnam with the majority of them being nurses. An Army nurse was the only U.S. military woman to die from enemy fire in Vietnam with six others dying in the line of duty. 1971 saw the promotion of the first woman to the rank of Brigadier General in the United State Air Force and the first women completed the aircraft maintenance school in the Air Force.

In 1973 the first women earned their pilot wings. In 1974 an Army officer becomes the first woman military helicopter pilot. This was followed in 1976 by the admission of women into all service academies and in 1978 the Marine Corps promoted its first woman to the grade of Brigadier General. Also in 1978, the WAC (Women's Army Corps) was disestablished and all of its members integrated into the regular Army.

In 1983 200 Army and Air Force women were among forces deployed to Grenada. 1984 for the first time in history the Naval Academy's top graduate was a woman. Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm saw the deployment of 40,000 American military women and two of them were taken as prisoners of war by the Iraqis.

1998 saw the first woman fighter pilot drop a payload of missiles in combat. By year end in 2004, 19 service women had been killed in combat since the war began in 2003. In 2005 the first woman in history was awarded the Silver Star for combat action. For the first time in history in 2008 a woman was promoted to the rank of Four-star General.

In 2015, three women Army officers now wear the coveted Ranger tab on their uniform and they also all happen to be United States West Point graduates.

Women who have served were recognized.

Center Police Officer Angela Neal who is a five year Army Veteran placed the Memorial Wreath in honor of all Women Veterans.

Historical information sourced from Larry Hume.

October 26, 2021 - Center Garden Club met on October 13 at the home of Carolyn Bounds. Following a soup and salad lunch and a short business meeting, members adjourned to participate in a “hands-on” hypertufa workshop for creating molded flower pots.

Pictured mixing the hypertufa recipe (Portland cement, perlite, vermiculite, sphagnum moss and water) for creating unique molded flower pots are members Cherry Jones, Carolyn Bounds, Robbie Kerr, Janette Wittmann, and Judy Matthews.

Others present for the meeting were members Rita Hughes, Lisa Albers, Cathy Williams, Alison Scull and special guests Holly Burns and her little granddaughter Ellie Burns.

October 25, 2021 - The Center Police Department's Blue Santa program is getting ready to load the sleigh and needs your help. Blue Santa is asking for donations of new toys, books, or clothes for all ages of boys and girls. Monetary donations are also welcomed, and can be given in the form of Cash, or Check, or through Paypal @BlueSantaCPD

Cookies & Cocoa with Santa is being planned this year. Scheduled for December 5th from 2pm – 4pm at the Center Police Department. This is our BIG Toy Drive, and we are very excited to be having it again this year. Enjoy Cookies & Cocoa, and FREE pictures with Santa, and bring in a toy to donate, and be entered into our raffle for a 32 in Tv and DVD Player, and other Christmas movie watching goody basket.

Sign up forms can be downloaded now or will be ready for pickup on Monday, November 1st. If you know of any child in Shelby County that may not have any Santa this Christmas, please have their parent/guardian fill out this form. One for each child and turn back into the Center Police Department Dispatch, Shelby County Today, or The Light & Champion. This form will need to be returned to the PD no later than Monday, December 6th, 2021. Any form turned in after the due date will NOT be accepted. This ensures us plenty of time to get all the toys we will need.

Forms or Monetary donations can also be mailed to OPERATION BLUE SANTA at P.O. Box 322 Center, Tx 75935. If you would like to donate new toys, clothing, hygiene items please bring them to the Center Police Dept. Boys and girls of all ages will be needed, infant to 15yrs old. The entire Blue Santa team would like to thank everyone for your generous donation to the Blue Santa program. With your donation and others like yours, we will be able to provide Christmas to many children in Shelby County. Again, thank you, we cannot do it without you! Let Blue Santa help You make a Childs Christmas blessed this year.

Thank You,
from the Operation Blue Santa Team!

October 24, 2021 - Aryn and Sullivan McAdams recently visited the Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library. They found some great Halloween books to check out. The girls hope you will also visit the library and pick out Halloween books to share with your children and grandchildren. Aryn and Sullivan enjoyed their visit to the library and hope you will visit it soon.

Next week October 28-30 will be the Friends of the Library Fall Book Sale which raises funds for our library. There will be books for all ages and interests at very reasonable prices. We invite everyone to come out and support our local library and find some great reads!

October 24, 2021 - VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary honored those who served in the military during Operation Enduring Freedom in a ceremony held October 12, 2021.

Although the weather wasn't agreeable on that day with steady showers coming down, as would be appropriate for the day, the group endured and braved the elements to participate in the ceremony regardless.

The opening prayer was given by Kenneth Ramsey, Post Chaplain, and the program was led by Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, and the recited the Pledge of Allegiance to our nation's flag.

"It's been 20 years ago since America launched its counter-attack against terrorism, attacking terrorist targets in Afghanistan and ushering in Operation Enduring Freedom," said Hume. "To date there have been 2,300 military deaths in Afghanistan. Among that number are sons and daughters of big cities and small towns."

Hume reminded everyone of the 15 service members killed in Afghanistan on August 26 at Kabul International Airport less than a week before United States was set to withdraw.

"Shelby County, as in all previous wars has suffered losses. U.S. Army Specialist Cory Bertrand and Sgt. Kevin "Casey" Roberts," said Hume. "U.S. Sgt. Kevin "Casey" Roberts was killed in action on May 7, 2008, when his vehicle hit an improvised explosive device commonly known as an IED. He was not from here, but he married a local girl and fell in love with Shelby County, Texas, and his wish was to be buried in the West Hamilton Cemetery."

Hume continued, "U.S. Army Specialist Cory Bertrand died in Afghanistan five months later on October 14, 2008, one month before his 19th birthday. His vehicle also struck an IED, and he was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery."

In honor of all those who served and sacrificed Sean Martin, VFW Post 8904 member, placed the memorial wreath. Taps was then played as presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander.

October 22, 2021 - Stop by The Unique Boutique and check out their fall décor along with all their Halloween costumes!

Costumes are only $2.50 each! There is a wide selection to choose from with assorted sizes. Get your kids ready for Halloween at The Unique Boutique.

The store is open from 9-4, Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 936-591-8190.

October 15, 2021 - The Healthcare committee of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 14th Annual Health and Fitness Fair, Friday, October 22nd at the Windham Civic Center from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The fair is free to the public and will feature over 30 vendors with give aways and door prizes. Cline Family Medicine is the Presenting Sponsor of this year’s event along with Gold sponsors, Focused Care of Center and Hope Community Medicine.

Clines’s Family Medicine will be offering Flu Shots.

Nacgodoches Medical Center will be offering the COVID vaccine. They will have the 1st and 2nd doses of Moderna and Pfizer; 3rd doses of Moderna for the immunocompromised; Booster doses of Pfizer at least 6 months after second for anyone 65 years and older, 18-64 years old at high risk of severe COVID-19, 18-64 years old whose frequent institutional/occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2 puts them at a high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19.

There are several new vendors and activities. There will be the Driving Simulator which allows the “driver” to find out what impaired driving feels like. This a must for everyone to try. 

Information will be provided on healthy eating with food demonstrations, blood typing, allergy treatments, diabetes, sleep disorders, caregiver relief and much more, physical therapy and balance. The Blender Bike Smoothie Challenge is back by popular demand. 

Test your “health” knowledge by competing in our Jeopardy games. Nutrition Jeopardy at 10am, Diabetes Jeopardy at 11am, Physical Activity Jeopardy at 12 noon and Hypertension Jeopardy at 1pm. Prizes will be given to the winners of each game.

There will be opportunities to win door prizes. Participate in the Scavenger and earn an opportunity to an air fryer, an instapot or a 32’ Screen TV.

For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 598-3682, email or visit

October 20, 2021 - On behalf of the 2021 Aggie Moms Benefit and Fundraiser, the Shelby County Aggie Moms would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for making donations which greatly contributed to making our fundraiser a huge success!

In part, your generosity significantly impacted the lives of many students in this county. Thank You! Gig’em and God Bless!

Contributors: Ace Hardware, Armstrong Collectibles, The Balcony, Patricia Blount, Becky Bridges, BTS - Baldwin Tree Service, Jeff and Kim Cater, COR Boutique – Jasper Corbell, Covington Lumber, Holly Duck, East Texas Poultry, Elite Hair Design, Farmers State Bank, 4G Contractors – Brant Graves, High Roller, John Henry and Chelsea Holloway, Brad and Melanie Hughes, Hughes Florist – Heather Moody, Island Daiquiris - Jason Mitchell, J and W Lawn Service, James Ramsey Construction, John and Rose Jenkins, Jim Donnan, Joe’s Car Spa, Shelby and Renee Johnson, Ken Muckleroy Law Office, Lasting Impressions, Jason and Shelley Locke, Mathews Real Estate, McAdams Propane, Matthew and Traci Mettauer, Mooney’s Emporium, NAPA San Augustine, Payne & Payne Home and Suchlike, Paul and Patti Putska, Quick Stop Stores – Robin Connell, Red Feather Boutique, Rio Theater, Sanford and Sons, Shelby Savings Bank, Shelby Vet Associates – Dr. Mark and Kristen Jousan, Southern Seasons, Stephanie Snell Photography, T and C Property Management, TCS Bistro, Teresa’s Tumblers, Texas Glacier, Town and Country Real Estate, Ward Animal Hospital, Watson Tucker Florist, and Whataburger

Hope Community Medicine Awards Sponsor representative presents Bryan Bolton (middle) his 3rd place metal with 5K Chicken Trot Mascot, Kyle Chambliss.

October 19, 2021 - Shelby County Outreach Ministries would like to recognize one of our incredibly special volunteers, Bryan Bolton. Bryan has a servant’s heart and is always ready to help someone else. We are very proud of him and would like to congratulate him for placing 3rd in his category at the 2021 5K Chicken Trot.

Bryan, we are so proud to have you as a part of the Shelby County Outreach Ministries’ family. Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and selfless attitude. You are a blessing to us all.