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Around Town

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February 18, 2020 – Dr. Ilyas Khan, Cardiologist with The Heart Institute of East Texas presented the Heart Health program at the Women on the Go Club meeting hosted by AgriLife Extension on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 concerning the risk factors on heart disease and other issues associated with cardiovascular disease. Dr. Khan specializes in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine and Echocardiography.

Sharon Ford, Marketing Specialist with The Heart Institute of East TexasFeleshia Thompson, County Extension Agent-Family and Community Health, welcomed everyone in attendance and thanked the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Health and Fitness Fair Committee for sponsoring the meal. Thompson introduced Sharon Ford, Marketing Specialist with The Heart Institute of East Texas who in turn gave the introduction for Dr. Khan and his background. Ford thanked everyone for having her and Dr. Khan at the club meeting and she explained how the amazing group of doctors with The Heath Institute of East Texas gives educational talks in communities throughout East Texas.

Dr. Ilyas Khan, Cardiologist with The Heart Institute of East Texas“Thank you for having us here,” said Dr. Khan. “As Sharon pointed out, this month, February is heart month, which gives us an opportunity to go out into the community to try to create awareness about heart disease and how we can invest in healthy lifestyles and prevent heart disease.” Dr. Khan continued, “The Heart Institute of East Texas is affiliated with the Baylor College of Medicine and their main office is based in Lufkin with satellite offices all over East Texas.” Their offices are located in Center, Crockett, Hemphill, Jasper, Livingston, San Augustine, Trinity and Woodville.

According to medical research, Dr. Khan shared how heart disease is the leading cause of death not just in Texas or nationally, but also around the world. During the presentation, Dr. Khan provided a slideshow providing data on how a healthy heart operates in the body, describing the chambers of the heart along with explanations how the coronary arteries work in providing the proper blood flow in and out of the heart.

During his presentation, Dr. Khan identified the root cause of heart disease being plaque formation and buildup that occurs when coronary arteries become clogged by cholesterol, fatty deposits, and calcium. Buildup causes arteries to become narrow, making it difficult for oxygen and blood to flow through the body and to the organs. He further explained people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoke cigarettes are at higher risk. Dr. Khan explained in-depth each of the following factors contributing to the progression and associated with people at risk for developing heart disease including:

  • Diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Having a family history of heart disease
  • Age, especially in women 55 and older

At the end of Dr. Khan’s informative presentation about how heart disease develops and what preventative measures can be taken to stay health conscious including diet and exercise, he said as referring to an American Heart Association slide, “The key is starting with simple steps because a healthy heart means a healthy you. Do whatever it takes to adapt to healthier lifestyles.” Dr. Kahn continued, “Following a heart healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be complicated, it doesn’t mean you have to live a life of self-deprivation, instead you need to find ways to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. The key thing is making little steps and having a dialogue with your health care providers.”

In addition, Dr. Khan reiterated the availability of their physicians and offices for The Heart Institute of East Texas and their mission “to provide a full continuum of high quality, cost effective heart and vascular services, and be committed to serving the well-being to the residents of Deep East Texas.”

Links for additional information regarding heart disease and prevention:

About AgriLife Women on the Go Club
The focus on this, hands-on club is about learning tips and shortcuts to be more productive and successful in balancing home, family and work through a healthy lifestyle. While the focus of the club is geared toward women, it is open to men who also want to participate.

February 18, 2020 - Pine Grove held their annual cookie contest and Valentine celebration. Mr. Jessie Sims was crowned King and Mrs. Marguerite Kuykendall was crowned Queen.

Winners of the cookie contest were 1st Place Ashley Balkom, 2nd Place Laura Casey, and 3rd Place Kay Desoto.

Thank you to all the family members and friends who made this day special for our residents.

From left: Dr. Derek Grant and wife Ann Grant, stand with Anna Register who is the handler of Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center's new therapy dog, Yowser. 

February 18, 2020 – The Rotary Club of Center recently welcomed Denise Merriman, Executive Director; Anna Register, Forensic Interviewer; and Yowser of the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center (SCCAC) to their luncheon meeting held at the John D. Windham Civic Center. During his introduction, Rotarian Dr. Keith Miller recognized Merriman, Register and the entire SCCAC staff for their tireless dedication and service to our community.
Merriman opened the presentation with an overview of the SCCAC giving the mission, purpose and goals of the organization. Then, Register introduced Yowser, the SCCAC’s service companion dog, to the club and explained the application process with Canine Companions for Independence® and his role with the organization. Register stated how she researched the benefits of having a service animal at their center (SCCAC) interacting with the children and after completing the application, the whole process took about a year from applying to actually being accepted to having the dog.

“Canine Companions for Independence® is a nonprofit organization and we got the dog totally free from them,” said Merriman. “Everything was free up to Anna being able to stay in an urban area for two weeks to be trained to be the dog’s facilitator.”

According to Register, her position with SCCAC is conducting interviews with the children ranging in ages 3 to 18. “Yowser is a trained service dog to interact with the kids at the Advocacy Center,” said Register, “so he comes into interviews with us when we talk to the kids. The kids are allowed to pet him and take their mind off of everything for a little bit on what we are talking about. We’ve had huge luck with him (Yowser) so far and all the kids have loved him.” 

Merriman also expressed her gratitude to Dr. Derek and Ann Grant for being supporters of the SCCAC and providing care and covering expenses through their donations for Yowser. 

Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center, Inc. is here for our community. (http://www.shelbycountycac.com/)
The Mission of the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center is to promote emotional and physical healing of child abuse victims by uniting the efforts of public agencies and enlisting community support to optimize the prevention, detection, assessment, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse cases. The Advocacy Center is located at 131 Tenaha Street in Center, TX. It is one of the 65 other members of CACTX. Funding comes from grants, fund raising efforts, and donations by individuals, businesses, and area churches. The Center serves children in Shelby County that are victims of crimes and/or neglect. For more information about how to donate or volunteer contact the Center at 936-590-9864 or at P.O. Box 2072, Center, Texas 75935.

Canine Companions for Independence®: Who We Are (https://www.cci.org/)
Founded in 1975, Canine Companions for Independence® is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. The assistance dogs we breed, raise and train aren’t just the ears, hands and legs of their human partners. They’re also goodwill ambassadors and often, their best friends. They open up new opportunities and new possibilities and spread incredible joy. We unite people with dogs in a powerful program that leads to greater independence and confidence.

February 17, 2020 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society held their February monthly meeting this past Saturday. The Workshop presented by Billie Jones was "How to Photograph Winter" and Jan Carter did a presentation on "Editing Techniques with Photoshop."

The February Challenge "Red Hot" featured photographs with the color red as the main focal point. The photographs were submitted for favorites vote and critique to help us become better photographers. The February Challenge Favorites are listed below, to view all the photographs submitted by members check out our flickr page, https://www.flickr.com/groups/pineywoodsphotographic/.

For more information on the Piney Woods Photographic Society, like our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/groups/PineyWoodsPhoto. PWPS is a close knit club with a variety of skill levels available. Visitors are invited to join us the third Saturday of each month in Center, TX at the First United Methodist Church, 211 Porter St.

February Challenge "Red Hot"

First Place: Bobbie Jean Wood's "Ambasadeur"

Second Place: Summer Koltonski's "Open Up"

Third Place (Tie): Jan Carter's "Mr. Red"

Third Place (Tie): Melvin Henson's "Fire Hydrant"

Third Place Tie: Donna Holt's "Streaming Hearts"

February 15, 2020 - The Shop in Tenaha celebrated with a grand opening ceremony held Saturday, February 15, 2020.

Community members, city representatives as well as family and friends joined Cliff Lloyd, owner, in the celebration at the venue’s location of 289 Martin Luther King Drive.

Lloyd says The Shop is an event venue where anyone can gather for a good time, watch sporting events on TV, play pool, and listen to music on the Touchtunes jukebox.

Rev. Joseph Hall, Sr. gave a prayer for the venue during the opening ceremony.

"I'm really happy for Cliff, I think it's going to be nice for the neighborhood," said Mayor Michael Baker. "He put a lot of work into this."

The venue is conveniently located just off U.S. Highway 59 in Tenaha. Anyone seeking to utilize the location can contact Cliff Lloyd by email at theshoptenahatx@gmail.com

February 14, 2020 - (Album) - Focused Care of Center nursing facility held a Valentines Day celebration on Thursday, February 13, 2020 for residents.

Guests and residents were treated to a meal and music performed by 310. During the event Tina Hutto, Activities Director, announced Valentines Day King and Queen. 2020 Valentines Day Queen is Margaret Fuller and 2020 Valentines Day King is Thomas Murphy.

Each one was crowned and presented a sash designating their title.

February 14, 2020 - Members of VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary gathered at the Shelby County Veterans Memorial located at the Historic Shelby County Courthouse on the Center square in honor of the USS Maine and its crew.

Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, spoke to all present and shared with them the history of the USS Maine and the tragedy which was the inception of the Spanish-American War.

"122 years ago tomorrow, February 15, 1898 the USS Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba. In that explosion, 266 American crewmen and Marines were lost. Spain was blamed for the explosion and the Spanish-American War began as a result. Less than four months later on August 12, 1898 the United States had won a decisive victory, and this was the first war the United States had ever fought beyond her shores. 3,000 American military were lost, but mostly from Yellow fever and fighting in the jungles of the Philippines. You all remember Teddy Roosevelt of the Roughrider fame. When the war was over, he told his troops as they mustered out, 'Enjoy the next 15 days, because after that you will be forgotten,' and they were, just as they are today. And because of the United States Government's refusal of proper military care, these veterans banded together in organizations that would eventually become the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Today we are here to remember the lives lost so long ago in the explosion of the Maine and the Spanish-American War that ensued, we thank them for their service, just as we thank the veterans of all wars."

Gene Hutto, Post Commander, placed the Memorial wreath on the Shelby County Veterans Memorial. 

Hume stated Shelby County, Texas has participated in all wars and he has found through research veterans connected to the Spanish-American War. According to Hume, Elijah Webb who was born in Center in 1866, was killed in the Philippines. He voluntarily enlisted at the beginning of the Spanish-American War. Webb was first in Cuba and then was sent to Manila, Philippines with Company H of the 44th U.S. Volunteer Infantry.

"While the Spanish-American War ended in August 1898, the first Philippine Republic objected to the terms under which the United States took possession of the Philippines from Spain and fighting continued there until July 2, 1902," said Hume. "During this fighting, Elijah Webb was killed on June 16, 1900, and his body was returned to Shelby County for burial in August 1901."

Hume referenced a Houston Chronicle article from August 8, 1901, "On the large box which held the metallic coffin was his name, the number of his company and the cause of his death," said Hume. "Which was stated on the box as knife wound to the head. It went on to say that Leige had many friend here and good crowd witnessed the casket in which rested his remains."

Webb was buried in what was known as the city cemetery, but is now known as the Methodist cemetery located behind the First United Methodist Church on Porter Street.

Others from Shelby County who served and survived the Spanish-American War included Edwin Booth who is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Timpson; Brunson Cline who is buried in Carroll Cemetery; Charles Hudson who is buried in the Corinth Cemetery near Timpson; Charlie Matlock who is buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery; and James Mosby Jr. who is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Center.

"Today we can honor these local veterans and all those who are forefathers of our great organization by continuing to fight for veterans rights just as they did," said Hume. 

In their honor, Taps was then sounded as presented by Gene Hutto, Post Commander. As is always the case, veterans and auxilary members saluted during the playing of Taps and the constant noisy traffic traveling the square continued. In respect of the ceremony and honor being given, a man could be seen on the other side of the square removing his hat and giving reverence.

February 13, 2020 - The Center Noon Lions Club has for sale for a limited time their popular Princess Brooms. They are available at King's Nursery and Florist in Tenaha and Ivan Smith Furniture Store in Center. These brooms are only available for a limited time. For more information, please contact Tim Wulf at 598-6333.

February 10, 2020 - Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc. “Harvest for Homes” is seeking volunteers to assist with our Produce Drop every 4th Wednesday of each month, as well as the Food Pantry every Thursday of month.

The Produce Drop requires that you be able to lift up to 25 pounds and assist clients with carrying bags, boxes, etc. to their cars. It also consists of clean up afterwards.

The Food Pantry hours are from 8:30 – 10:30am each Thursday. Must be able to lift up to 25 pounds and assist clients with carrying their bags to their cars. If you could sacrifice at least 3 hours each Thursday that would be greatly appreciated!

For more information, please contact: Tri-County Community Action Agency, Inc., Brenda Allen at (936) 598-6315, ext. 502.

From left: Troy Massey, Chrisco Bragg, Celeste Lewis, Amanda Kirby, and Crystal Brooks.

February 6, 2020 - Living in Joaquin you will find yourself surrounded by LSU fans. Chrisco Bragg had no choice and explained, "My only choice was to challenge them to a wager. If LSU wins, I would wear LSU gear and stand at a HWY intersection in Logansport for an hour and accept any jeers I may receive. If Clemson wins, then the taker had to wear Clemson gear and do the same."

Crystal Brooks was bold enough to accept and the bet was on. LSU continued their dominance in college football and the outcome was inevitable.

Bragg mustered up the courage and reluctantly wore the LSU gear for an hour and listened to the fans drive by and cheer.

Bragg told the rest of the story, "BUT this is where the story takes a turn for the better. I proposed that we raffle off a Joe Burreaux #9 jersey and give the proceeds to charity. Mrs. Brooks chose Boo’s Battle founded here in Joaquin as the charity to receive the benefit. The bid started and quickly rose into the hundreds until Troy Massey of TriState made a very generous bid of $500."

After the time limit expired, Mr. Massey came out on top as the winning bid. He received the jersey, however, the REAL WINNERS are the charity and the people that will be helped and comforted during their time of need.

If anyone wants to donate to a great cause, please contact Celeste Lewis (936-615-7468), Amanda Lewis Kirby of Boo’s Battle (903-754-9291), or on Facebook (Boo's Battle Support Fund) and help families in need as they battle the awful disease we know as cancer. A football game and a little wager turned out to be fun and a way to help our community.