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Around Town

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Connie MettauerMay 23, 2016 - May 17th Connie Mettauer joined the Shelby County Historical Society at the Shelby County Museum to discuss the murder of Marlie Childs. Explaining the ordeal in detail, Connie takes the crowd on a journey as she discusses the murder, committed in her very own childhood home. 

 

The murder of Marlie Childs, a  prominent businessman, took place in 1938. After much investigation Mr. Child's wife, Reabla, and  lover Terrence Bramlett was taken into custody. The couple had been having an affair behind Marlie's back for the better part of two years.  Mr. Childs had suffered from polio and was confined to a wheelchair. This contributed to the fact that Reabla and Terrence had yet to be caught during the affair. It was even said that Terrence would climb into the attic to hide if Mr. Childs ever arrived home unexpectedly. One evening when Mr. Childs made his way to the kitchen sink to mix his evening drink, he was shot point blank in the head by Terrence, whom had been hiding outside the home near the kitchen window. Reabla never did confess to assisting Terrence with the murder, though did say that she and Terrence had discussed many times of how to "get rid" of him. Reabla was found guilty and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Her lover, Terrence, received a 50 year sentence.

 

The couple found themselves sentenced to the same prison, where it was said that Terrence would send Reabla gifts for her birthday. Reabla was painted as a heartless conspirator, a beautiful young Jezebel. She found herself in a great deal of newspapers across the United States. Her time in prison further attributed to her nearly famous stature. While behind bars, she wrote as a columnist in the Jail House Newspaper and also taught herself to play several instruments. She joined the Goree Girls and eventually the girls developed their skills enough to appear on Thirty Minutes.  Hoping to find some normal semblance of life, she left all behind her once she was released. She fell in love with a man she had met in prison, who had previously been on death row twice. They married, had a child and moved to Houston, TX where they lived out the remainder of their life. 

 

The Shelby County Museum is located at 230 Pecan Street in Center, Texas.

Click the photo above for a larger image

 

 

May 23, 2016 - Lulu's Accessories is a new business located in Center and was welcomed by the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

 

Pam Phelps, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, introduced everyone to the new business' owner Maria Medrano. Acting as translators were Brenda Morales, Cline Family Medicine, and Rebeca Medrano, Maria Medrano's daughter.

On behalf of her mother, Medrano explained it's been 10 years since her mother began selling from a catalogue and she has gotten to the point a location was necessary for her business, rather than her home, or having to take clothes to a location.

She said it has been a dream of her mother to own a store location for a long time and it is a great accomplishment.

Meg Camp, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador President, welcomed Medrano and let her know the ambassadors are ready and willing to help in any way they can.

Lulu's Accessories is located at 516 Shelbyville Street seven days a week from 11am until 7pm.

May 23, 2016 - Shelby County Memorial VFW Post 8904 Commander Gene Hutto recently received from State Commander Dan West a replica WW II 1943 M1 Garand Bayonet in recognition of the post reaching 100% plus 1 in membership for the year 2015-16.  The award was presented at the VFW District 19 meeting in Nacogdoches on April 30th.

 

May 20, 2016 - Album - General Shelters celebrated a new milestone on May 20, 2016 with the completion of their 75,000th building which is a 1,152 square foot cabin with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, central air/heat, on demand hot water, GE stainless kitchen appliances, washer/dryer and vaulted ceilings.

The morning's events began with a welcome from David Koonce, President/CEO of General Shelters, "It's great to be in a community that's got so much support."

He expressed appreciation to everyone for attending and on behalf of General Shelters and the Campbell family thanked everyone for being present.

"Peter Drucker once said, 'If you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.' Well in 1973 James Campbell made that courageous decision to go in the mobile home business and after that didn't work out, he decided he'd build mobile offices and storage buildings and what you see here today is from that vision he had in 1973."

Koonce said Campbell can't be thanked enough for what he has done for the employees of General Shelters and the community. With an annual payroll of $3.4 million there are many who depend on General Shelters.

Recognition was given by Koonce to his wife, Angela; brother-in-law, Rick Campbell; nephew, Colin McElroy; nephew, Cameron McElroy. He also recognized the executive staff of General Shelters.

"We couldn't do it without accounting staff, builders, plant managers. All of y'all have all contributed to success of us completing our 75,000th building. We've got several key employees that have been here with us for over 35 years, I'd like to mention them. We've got David Eubank, whose been here nearly 38 years, Shorty Aguilar nearly 38 years, and Terry Lunsford 35 years," said Koonce.

Jim Sawyer, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President, then presented a plaque to James Campbell commemorating the 75000th building built by General Shelters.

"On behalf of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, thank you all for coming today. We have a plaque for you, David and the Campbell Family. General Shelters of Texas, 75,000 buildings. Congratulations to all of you, and we thank you for the work you do in this community and what you mean to this community, especially you Mr. Campbell, everyone in this room thanks you all," said Sawyer.

Everyone then participated in touring an open house of the 75,000th building. During the tour of the home, Koonce made a presentation to the Moss family, Moss Ranch of Normangee, Texas who purchased the building. Tours followed of the General Shelters facility and buildings.

May 20, 2016 - The woods were a buzzin’ last weekend in the East Texas Piney Woods…not with the buzzing of bees but with the sound of scooters ranging from 39CC’S to engines with 250 CC’S. Boles Field in Huxley became home for a few days to participants of the Texas Tiddler Endurance Run 2016.

On Saturday morning about eighty motorcycle enthusiasts participated in the two one hundred mile treks. The morning route went from Boles Field to San Augustine, to Shelbyville and then back to Boles Field. Then, at 1:00 PM Dennis Leggett, Vice- President of Area A, held a TRMA meeting. Later, a few games were played before the bikes left on the afternoon run.

The afternoon route went through Haslam, Texas and Logansport, Louisiana to the International Boundary marker located right outside of Logansport. From that point riders meandered their way back to Boles Field. Saturday evening was a night of visiting, eating and making music. Sunday morning the worship service was held by Calvin Tucker, National President of the Circuit Riders Motorcycle Ministry.

We would like to thank the National Forest Service for the excellent maintenance they do to maintain Boles Field. Thanks also to Steve Waters, Sr. Vice-President of Sabine State Bank and Trust in Center, Texas, for donating the Grand Prize of $100.

The ride was great as was the weather (mostly) and a good time was had by all. Everyone is already looking forward to next year. See you there!

 

 

May 19, 2016 - Aiken Tan celebrated the grand opening of their new location in Center at 706 Southview Circle on May 12, 2016.

The celebration was shared with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors and business owner Ben Burns. Pam Phelps, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, introduced Burns to everyone present and he provided a description of the business.

"What we have here is a tanning facility, it's all self-automated you know, pretty much you do it all yourself, do it yourself tanning," said Burns. "When the customer comes in and signs up with us we give them a six digit code at the door, gives them 24-hour access to the facility and in the facility here we have three brand new 12-minute tanning beds."

Ben Burns (left) is seen with Wanda Perkins (right) who operates a hair salon next door to the tanning salon. She is helping to check in new members to Aiken Tan.

A long-term contract is not required and is monthly at a cost of $40 a month for membership. The business' first location, which has been open for over three years, is in Aiken off State Highway 7 West.

Meg Camp, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador President, spoke on behalf of the ambassadors and she stated the ambassadors are available to help and she thanked Burns for expanding into the Center area.

Burns introduced family members present for the ribbon cutting including: wife, Shellie; niece, Emma; mother-in-law, Delma and her twin sister, Thelma; uncle, Benny Russell; son, Keaton; granddaughter, Skylar; and daughter Candice.

"I would like to acknowledge our friends down at Shelby Savings Bank who made all this possible," said Burns.

He also thanked the ambassadors for helping to get the word out about the ribbon cutting and helping to advertise the event.

 

May 19, 2016 - Shelby County Sheriff’s Posse has announced that the 2016 SCSP Rodeo, due to unforeseen circumstances, is being postponed this year. However, the SCSP Queen, Duchess and Princess contest will be held as originally slated for Saturday, June 4, 2016.

The Queen coronation will be held in conjunction with the dress rehearsals of the Drill Teams on Saturday night, June 4 at the SCSP Rodeo Arena. The Rustlers will ride at 6pm. The coronation of the Rodeo Queen, Duchess and Princess will be at 6:45pm and the Roughrider drill performance at 7:15pm.

The 63rd annual SCSP Rodeo will return to Shelby County next year more action packed than ever.  

The public is encouraged to come out on June 4 to the SCSP Rodeo arena to support the drill teams and the Queen contestants!

Ja’Mense Bryant, Marlene Hernandez and Debbra Johnson, were the top three biggest losers of weight.  Winners were announced at a ceremony held at the Piney Woods Outreach Center on Tuesday, May 17, 2016.May 19, 2016 - After 12 weeks of setting weight loss goals, learning to prepare and eat healthy and tasty meals, participating in daily fitness activities, supporting each other through ups and downs and many, many “five-highs,” the 63 biggest losers of weight in Extension’s Step Up, Scale Down program were recognized, and the top three winners of weight loss were announced on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 at the Piney Woods Outreach Center.  All total, the group lost an astounding 414 pounds.  

The first place winner with 18.1% weight loss was Ja’Mense Bryant.  She was awarded a check of $700 and seven aerobic/yoga/kick-boxing lessons at I Fit on the Square along with gift certificates from Light and Champion, Oceano Spa and T/R’s Steaks and More.  The second place winner with 12.8% weight loss was Debbra Johnson.  She was awarded a check of $400 and a gift certificate to T/R’s Steaks and More.  The third place winner was Marlene Hernandez with a 9.6% weight loss.  She was awarded a check of $200 and a gift certificate from T/R’s Steaks and More.

As part of our fitness plan this year, teams were formed to “Walk Across Texas.”  These teams and solo walkers competed with each other to see who could walk the most miles over eight weeks.   Their goal was to walk at least 830 miles (the distance from Longview to El Paso) during this time period.  
Shelby County Steppers Walk Across Texas Team Debbra Johnson, Sherri Felder, and Cynthia Howard.  Not pictured:  Ann Grant, Tara Baylor, DeShun Greggory, Jennifer Gillaspie, and Shelia ReevesAt the conclusion of the 8 week program, the teams and individuals walked a total of 12,072 miles with The Shelby County Steppers team walking 3,255 miles and placing first in the team category.  This team is comprised of Cynthia Howard, team captain, Ann Grant, DeShun Gregory, Sheila Reeves, Debbra Johnson, Sherri Felder, Jennifer Gillaspie, and Tara Baylor.  

We would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the following sponsors who supported this program and made it possible:  Nacogdoches Medical Center, Cline Family Medicine, Monco Motors, Piney Woods Outreach Center, Oceano Spa, T/R’s Steaks and More, and Light and Champion.

“Overall, this was a great way to lose some weight and learn how to make positive lifestyle changes,” said Jheri-Lynn McSwain, County Extension Agent.  McSwain added, “I’m so proud of all the participants in this year’s class.  They worked very hard to meet their weight loss goals and to become more physically active – and the results show.”  If you have questions about these wellness programs, please contact Jheri-Lynn McSwain, County Extension Agent – Family & Consumer Sciences at 598-7744 or jlmcswain@ag.tamu.edu.

From left: Shirley Owens (Garden Club), Doug Moore (UIL Coordinator), Brittany Lawrence, Emmalee Tomazewski, Pablo Valdez, and Robbie Kerr (Garden Club President)

May 19, 2016 - Center Garden Club members recently presented awards and prize money to the winners of the Center Garden Club’s 2015 High School Awards Contests during the May 12th Center ISD School Board meeting.

Pablo Valdez

  • Winner: $25 - Center Garden Club TGC Texas High School Speech Award
  • Winner: $100 - District III TGC Texas High School Speech Award
  • Winner: $500 - Texas State TGC High School Speech Award

Brittany Lawrence

  • 2nd Place: $75 -  District III TGC Texas High School Speech Award
  • 2nd Place: $250 - Texas State TGC High School Speech Award
  • Winner: $25 - Center Garden Club NGC High School Essay Award
  • 2nd Place: $75 - District III NGC High School Essay Award
  • 1st Place: $100 - Texas State NGC High School Essay Award
  • 1st Place: South Central Region NGC High School Essay Award

Hario Salazar

  • 3rd Place: $50 - District III TGC Texas High School Speech Award
  • 3rd Place: $100 - Texas State TGC High School Speech Award

Rachel Lawson

  • Honorable Mention: TGC District III Texas High School Speech Award
  • Honorable Mention: TGC Texas State High School Speech Award

Emmalee Tomazewski

  • Honorable Mention: TGC District III Texas High School Speech Award
  • Honorable Mention: TGC Texas State High School Speech Award

Shirley Owens, Texas State Speech Contest Chair said, "I am so proud of our Center High School Students that participated in the Center Garden Club’s 2015 High School Awards Contests. Their hard work paid off with some really nice monetary awards."

Submitted by Shirley Owens

Lane DunnMay 19, 2016 - Shelby County AgriLife Agent Lane Dunn is a busy man. He has to be to “wear as many hats” as he does: Agriculture, Natural Resources, Horticulture, Community Economic Development, and 4H Youth Development. Any one of these could be a full-time job and he is responsible for all of them. He gave specific examples of the many AgriLife programs and activities in Shelby County to Timpson Area Genealogy and Heritage Society members and guests at their May meeting last Wednesday.

A graduate of SFA with a Master of Science degree and a former Center High School Ag teacher, Lane Dunn has been Shelby County AgriLife Agent for thirteen years. He may have left public school teaching behind but his love of working with young people remains. His face lights up as he talks about 4H and its benefits to young people. “4H helps create future leaders” he says. “You trick them into it. Give them something fun that they want to do and then make them tell others about their project when they are finished”. He cited a recent 4H taxidermy project as an example. “The kids loved doing it and they were so proud of their projects when they finished them!”, he says. He explained that many of the 4H'ers had never spoken in fron of a group before and found it difficult at first but their enthusiasm for their project got them through it.

Lane Dunn identifies a weed for Dudley McIntyreJanuary through March is an especially busy time for Lane. He spends over half his time travelling around the county helping young people prepare for upcoming agricultural shows. He helps with hoof trimming and and showmanship classes. In February there were 4H project meetings, Shooting Sports meetings, the San Antonio and Houston Livestock shows and a Forestry Pest Seminar which he co-hosted. In March there was the Shelby County Livestock Show. Dunn is quick to point out that Shelby County kids did very well at these shows, including his daughter, who won Breed Champion at Houston with her steer. She was also chosen as one of only 28 4H Livestock Ambassadors statewide. “Through the creation of the Texas 4-H Livestock Ambassador Program a new generation of knowledgeable, educated, and well-spoken youth have emerged in Texas to teach other youth and adults the skills of being good stewards, producers, and exhibitors of beef cattle, sheep, goats, and swine.”  The Ambassadors have travelled to South America and may go to Australia to promote Texas livestock.

Dunn also speaks with pride about a garden planted as part of the Community Economic Development in which proven techniques of fertilization and insect control were demonstrated. The vegetables grown were then given to Shelby County Community Outreach Ministries to distribute to residents who are physically unable to go to the supermarket. They also had a tomato variety trial, looking for the varieties with the best taste and disease resistance.

As expected, Mr. Dunn asked if there were any questions at the end of his talk and that was when the audience pounced. It seemed that ever person had come with a question..or two..for the county agent. “What is this and how can I get rid of it in my lawn?” (You're too late this year. Apply a pre-emergent weed control in September.) “Are red ladybugs or orange ones the good ones?” (Red is good.) “How can I keep hogs off my property?” (Electric fences are a lot of trouble but they seem to be effective.) “What about hog traps?” (Hogs are smart and have become wary of the old-style traps. If a hog steps on metal it will back away. 'Corral traps' are most effective.) “Why can't we sterilize them?” (Sterilization works but there is great concern about the possibility of accidentally sterilizing other species.) “Can peanuts be grown in Shelby County?” (Probably not very successfully.) “Why do my tomatoes get blossom end rot?” (Lack of calcium and sporadic rainfall.) After all the audience's questions had been answered, Mr. Dunn gave out his telephone number saying “If you need more information, just call me.” Many undoubtedly will.

TAGHS meets at 2pm on the third Wednesday of each month in the Meeting Room of the Timpson Public Library, located on the corner of Austin and Bremond streets. The public is invited.

 

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