For the first time and due to the COVID-19 Ruling, the RIO Theatre is closed until the COVID-19 restrictions have been removed. The RIO will miss our customers during this time; however, the closing is for the health and wellness of our community. We appreciate our customers and wish everyone well. Check back often for when the RIO announces it will reopen. 

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Around Town

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January 15, 2016 - The Pineywoods Beekeepers Association met January 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Chamber of Commerce office in Lufkin for the first meeting of 2016 with 57 members and guests attending. Program Coordinator Marie Kocyan discussed beekeeping policies and regulations in Texas. The Pineywoods Beekeepers Association meets the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Dues are $10 for e-mail membership and $16 for postal per family.

Pictured from left: Rachel Payne, The Bee Line Newsletter Editor and SFASU Liaison; Marie Kocyan, Program Coordinator; Terry McFall, Treasurer; Mike Bordelon, President; Linda Bordelon, Secretary; Don Lymbery, PBA Apiary Manager; and Keith Brashear, Vice President. (Not pictured, Immediate Past President, Scott Martin; and David Gallager, Assistant SAFASU Liaison)

The February 11 meeting speaker will be Kacy Cole, manager of the Paris, Texas, branch of Dadant & Sons, Inc. Beekeeping Supplies. For more info, contact Mike Bordelon (936-332-4457)

January 13, 2016 - Album - Go Tell Crusade with Rick Gage held a kick-off banquet for the Go Tell Resurrection Celebration which will be held at Roughrider Stadium March 25-27, 2016.

All attending the banquet were welcomed to the event by Rick Thompson, followed by the meal with a prayer and blessing led by Aubie McSwain, Crusade Chairman. Rick Gage was the speaker and he brought the message. The Go Tell Crusade has been to Shelby County twice in the past, in 1999 and 2013.

"We saw many souls saved, and many lives that were touched by the spirit of God. We spoke in many of the schools across the region and was able to touch thousands of teenagers across this region, because of the school assemblies," said Gage. "About maybe six months, eight months ago we got a call from some of the lay leaders in this community who felt a desire from the spirit of God to have an evangelistic outreach event in 2016 at the football stadium once again over the Easter weekend."

Gage stated, contacts have once again been made to others in the region about the return of the crusade and plans have been being put into motion over the past several months.

Following Gage on stage were Crusade Chairmen Rusty Hall, and David Koonce as well as Center First Baptist Church Youth Pastor Josh Sanford.

For more information on the Go Tell Resurrection Celebration, contact Rusty Hall at 318-422-1511 or David Koonce at 936-590-0994.

January 14, 2016 - Suzanne Ihlo was the guest speaker for the January 13 Center Garden Club meeting at the Community House in Center, Texas. She discussed the history and plants of the Historic First Methodist Church Cemetery (1861-1939), and she has submitted an application for it to be named as a Texas Historical Cemetery Marker.

Members make plans for future projects, fundraising, the April 22 Flower Show, and the Southern Zone Workshop which Center Garden Club will host June 16 at the Community House in Center.

Submitted by Linda Bordelon

Photo from left: Melba Pahal, Delta Gamma Program Chairman and Loretta BedfordJanuary 14, 2016 - Delta Gamma's January Program "Modern Day Slavery:Human Trafficking" was presented by Loretta Bedford of San Augustine. "Refuge of Light" is dedicated to establishing a safe home for victimized girls under the age of 18 years in the U.S. Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. It generates $32 billion per year and impacts as many as 300,000 American children.

Photo (from left): Delta Gamma President Fannie Watson, Leisa Chadwick, Selisha Cockrell, Jeri Meredith, and Deonna Courtney.

January 14, 2016 - The Delta Gamma Chapter of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International initiated four members during their January 11 meeting at the Royal Buffet in Center, Texas. Delta Gamma serves key women educators in Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby Counties.

Submitted by Linda Bordelon

January 13, 2016 - Margo Hooper of Timpson won the Louisiana State Fair Bull Show with her bull, Lucchese. She also Reserved the Heifer Show and won two divisions.

Margo is a junior at SFA who made the President's List with a 4.0 average, a member of the Honor Society, and a 2015 recipient of the FFA American Degree. Her parents are Tracy and Robin Hooper of Timpson, her grandparents are Yvonne and the late Glynn Ramsey of Timpson, and the late Tommy Mack and Barbara Hooper of Gary, Texas.

January 12, 2016 - The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department recently added new phrases to their apparatus. On the passenger side of Fire Engine 2 are the words 'In God We Trust' and on the drivers side are the words 'Protecting the 269' which is the exchange for the Joaquin area.

While the 'In God We Trust' has been in the news recently with emergency responders across the country adding it to their vehicles, volunteer fireman Jesse Parent had the idea of adding the phrase 'Protecting the 269'.

 From left: Don Walker, Dr. Keith Miller, County Attorney Gary Rholes, Happy Bear, Luke Garrett, Jim Sawyer, and Wil Blackshear

January 12, 2016 - The Center Noon Lions Club and the Rotary Club of Center joined together to purchase a new Happy Bear for the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center (SCCAC.) Happy Bear is part of a personal safety program for elementary school aged children presented by the SCCAC.

The program addresses recognizing welcome and unwelcome touches, practicing resistance skills, and learning to report to a trusted adult.

Denise Merriman, SCCAC Director, expressed gratitude for the donation, "We appreciate these organizations for their continued support of the Children's Advocacy Center. The community is an important part of the SCCAC being able to succeed in it's mission."

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.

January 12, 2016 - The first meeting of the new year for the Center Women’s Reading Club, was held at the lovely home of Sandy Sinclair on January 7th. President, Janene Walker welcomed members and three guests. Mrs. Walker read a note from Gary Rholes thanking the ladies for the generous contribution of children’s books to his Christmas Toy Drive. She also asked members to present their volunteer hours so she can report them to the State Offices.

At the conclusion of the business meeting, Sandy Sinclair gave a fascinating report on Svetlana Stalin, Stalin’s only daughter. The book she read was Svetlana: The Story of Stalin’s Daughter by Martin Ebon. The author, Mr. Ebon is a member of the faculty of Social Science at the New School for Social Research in New York. He is also an authority on Communist history and tactics.

Svetlana was born in 1925, and grew up in the midst of the Bolshevic Revolution when her father was in power. She spent most her childhood living within the Kremlin walls. She was protected from the horrible atrocities that were occurring at the hands of her father. It wasn’t until she became a young adult and sent to school that she learned what really happened, and realized there was a very dark side to her father.

Sveltana’s mother, Nadya, married Stalin in 1919, and gave birth to a son a few month after the wedding. The boy’s name was Vassily. Stalin had nothing to do with his son, ever. But when Sveltana was born his attitude was much different. Stalin loved and protected her. Nadya died in 1931, of an apparent suicide. Later, reports revealed that she might have been murdered.

Sveltana was allowed to attend the public Communist School when she was older. It was at school where she learned of events that she had been protected from while living in the Kremlin. She also fell in love with a Jewish Soviet film maker who was 40 years old. Stalin disapproved of the romance. Soon after the romance began, the film maker was sentenced to ten years in exile near the Arctic Circle. Svetlana never heard from him again.

Sveltana married three times during the course of her life. At the age of 17, she married Grigory Morozov, a fellow student at Moscow University. They had a son in 1945, and divorced in 1947.

Her second marriage, in 1949, was arranged to Yuri Zhdanov, the son of Stalin’s right hand man. A daughter was born in 1950, but the marriage soon ended.

Her third marriage, which also ended in divorce, was to William Peters, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. She married him in 1971 after she had moved to the United States. They had a daughter, but the marriage dissolved within two years.

After Stalin’s death in 1953, Sveltana worked as a lecturer and translator. In 1963, while in the hospital for the removal of her tonsils, she met Brajesh Singh, an Indian Communist visiting Moscow. The two fell in love but the Soviet government would not allow them to marry. He died a few years later. Sveltana was allowed to leave Russia to deliver Singh’s ashes to his family in India. She fell in love with India and the people and wanted to stay. The Indian government feared condemnation by the Soviet Union if they granted her political asylum.

On March 6,1967, Svetlana approached the U.S. embassy in New Dehli, stating her desire to defect. The U.S. Ambassador, Charles Bowles, offered her political asylum and a new life in the United States. After receiving approval from Washington DC, he put her on the 1:00am plane to Rome. From Rome she travelled to Geneva where the government arranged a tourist visa and accommodations for six weeks. She lived in a convent during this time where the nuns protected her privacy and gave her the solitude she wanted.

Svetlana arrived in New York City in April 1967. She immediately gave a press conference denouncing her father’s legacy and the Soviet government. She also announced that she intended to publish an autobiographical book “Twenty Letters to a Friend” on the fiftieth anniversary of the October Revolution. The book was very successful.

During her years in exile, it is claimed that Svetlana was never happy. She had left her children behind, and they did not maintain contact. Western sources said the KGB prevented communication. She eventually joined the Roman Catholic Church. She married and divorced William Peters in the early 1970s.

Svetlana became a U.S. citizen in 1978. She lived in England for a brief time and eventually returned to the Soviet Union. She returned to the United States in 2007.

Svetlana moved to Wisconsin and died on November 22, 2011 from complications from colon cancer.

January 9, 2016 - Betty Miller was chosen by the Center Garden Club for the December, "Garden of the Month." When you drive by her home on Logansport Street, she is normally working in her yard. She is dedicated to the beauty of flowers. In the backyard, you will see a bed of beautiful greens. Watch out for those rabbits! Thank you Betty, for all your hard work.