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. 

Box office opens at 7:00pm. Showtime at 7:30pm. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for children.
Senior Citizen's Night
Mondays - $5 Admission

Around Town

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August 6, 2015 - The Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center (SCCAC) now has a new swing set for kids to enjoy while visiting. Police Explorers Post 843 have been constructing the swing set this week with material donated by Raymond Construction and should complete the project on Sunday, August 9.

Denise Merriman, SCCAC Director, said, "We are very excited at the Advocacy Center that our CAC kiddos will soon have a swing set to enjoy when they visit. Thank you to Center Police Explorers (Tyler Morris, Taylor Morris, Koby Whisenant, and Officer Maegan Wright, Post Advisor) for their time and labor and to Raymond Construction for donating the materials!"

From left: Rhonda Samford, Nora Robinson, Fannie Watson, and Chad PateAugust 5, 2015 - The Texas State Organization of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International selected the Timpson and Tenaha News, Inc. and Our Town Times, Inc. to receive a 2014-2015 Media Award in recognition of excellence in coverage of local chapter news.

Delta Gamma, the local chapter, recommended the newspapers for this honor because they consistently published articles about outstanding programs and projects.

Nora Robinson, 2nd vice president, presented the Media Award for the Timpson and Tenaha News to Rhonda Samford who worked with Mrs. Hilda Pena while this newspaper was in operation and continues to be the print production manager for Our Town Times, Inc. Fannie Watson, chapter president, presented the Media Award to Chad Pate owner, publisher and editor of Our Town Times, Inc.

August 3, 2015 - Center Weather Stats For July

Highest Temp was 101 degrees on 7-30-2015
Highest Temp on Record was 110 degrees on 7-26-1954
Lowest Temp was 71 degrees on 7-01-2015
Lowest Temp on Record was 55 degrees on 7-15-1967, 7-07-1970 and 7-08-1972

Rainfall recorded was 1.37 inches
Average Monthly rainfall is 3.31 inches
Below Average by 1.94 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 10.19 inches in 2002
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.19 inches in 1947

Total Rainfall through July is 51.13 inches
Average Rainfall through July is 31.24 inches
Average Yearly Rainfall is 54.20 inches
No Triple Digit Days this year until it was 100 degrees on 7-29-2015 and 101 degrees on 7-30-2015..

Link to Full Report

Stay Cool!!!

August 1, 2015 - 'Welcome Home Avery' was on signs from U.S. 96 North, down Tenaha Street, all the way to the downtown Center square Saturday, August 1, 2015 where an anxious crowd waited to welcome Avery Lawson back to Shelby County.

Well-wishers began cheering as Avery's vehicle entered the square escorted by two Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper vehicle. The vehicle pulled into the center of the square and as Avery exited the vehicle, friends greeted her and Avery replied to them with simply, "I'm free," to which everyone cheered.

Among her supporters was a family who knows so well the journey Avery and her family have been on. Brooklyn Oliver with pom poms in hand cheered for Avery along with her family.

Avery's grandmother, Cecelia Boles spoke to the crowd giving thanks to the Lord and appreciation to everyone for their prayers and support. Boles said, "This baby is a miracle. God has touched not only her life, but our lives and so many others everyday."

Lawson has been recovering since May 31, 2015 from an ATV accident. She is the daughter of Emma & Carl Whitehead and Craig & Abby Lawson.


Family & Friends 'Welcome Home Avery' on Downtown Square - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Saturday, August 1, 2015

From left: Neilson Davis, FSB Board Member; Vicky Warren; and David Chadwick.July 31, 2015 - Farmers State Bank, Shelbyville Branch, hosted a retirement reception on Friday, July 31st in honor of Vicky Warren, Branch Manager and 30 year employee of the bank, inviting members of the community to attend.

Warren along with her husband, George, additional family and friends, community members and bank customers enjoyed refreshments and reminiscing over the years together. For everyone's enjoyment a photo slideshow was on display which reflected Warren's time at the bank.

David Chadwick, Farmers State Bank President, spoke praise and admiration about Warren and her service to the bank, "[Vicky Warren] was the first one who was in charge of our Shelbyville Branch. She has built it to an institution of over 20 million dollars. We are going to miss her tremendously. She has built a community around this location. She is more than a banker, she is everybody's friend, everybody's consultant, and not only are we going to miss her but I think the community will miss her greatly. She has been a jewel."

Warren addressed all those who have supported her over the years, "I just want to say thank you for coming and sharing with me today. Thirty years is just a blink, because I thought 30 years is such a long time, but its not."

Warren visits with Tim Hopkins, new Branch Manager, and Will Lucas with Shelby Savings Bank who congratulates her on retirement.She continued, "We opened here in April of 1997, so, I was fortunate enough to be the one to come down. And when Mr. [Luke] Motley came and talked to me he said, 'We want you to look at the Shelbyville Branch, doing that for us.' And I thought, oh no... no... no, I can't be doing that, I'm a secretary. Now secretaries are the most important people in your operation, believe me, but I thought, I just don't know anything about running a branch. He said, 'Vicky go down there and do the very best that you can do and that's all we expect.'

"So, 3 years after we were open, he came down and he did my evaluation. And the branch had done three times what the directors had projected it would do. So, we have been very blessed here at Shelbyville and it's because of y'all. Y'all (the community) have made that happen, not me. I was just kind of a barnacle on the side of the boat but the people here made that happen. And I'm so appreciative and thank y'all."

From left: Del Birdwell (TFS), Chris Koltonski, Luke Matthews, and Poss Cagle

July 31, 2015 - Del Birdwell, Resource Specialist II with the Texas A&M Forest Service, delivered a 1991 military truck to the Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) on Friday, July 31, 2015. Accepting the truck on behalf of the fire department was Fire Chief Chris Koltonski; Assistant Chief Luke Matthews, and Secretary/Treasurer Mark 'Poss' Cagle.

The Shelbyville VFD plans to convert the truck into a tanker truck which is estimated to cost the department approximately $30,000 and includes painting and installation of a 1,500 gallon tank and pump on the bed of the truck. Koltonski was thankful for the truck which is in excellent condition with less than 12,000 miles on its diesel engine. He compared the cost of modifying the truck to the cost of a new tanker truck which is $200,000.

SVFD also plans to demolish the brick building located behind the department and build a structure which will house the new tanker truck once finished.

The truck was received through the Department of Defense Firefighter Property Program (DoD-FFP) which is a Federal Property Program, managed by the Texas A&M Forest Service and is for rural fire departments all over the state. Fire departments submit an application and are graded on a scale or rating system. Vehicles are acquired from the military and are assessed before assignment to make sure they are usable as fire trucks.

Birdwell described the FFP Program and new changes, "The new part of the program is they have 180 days to paint it a non-military color. [SVFD] plans are to put a tank on it and after a year [of service] it actually belongs to the fire department. The old program, it wasn't quite like that, the government retained ownership of it the duration of the piece of equipment's life. But now they have changed it up. So, this will actually be theirs within a year. All they have to do is supply the insurance on it and its theirs."

July 31, 2015 - Center Order of the Eastern Star #348 presented ACE EMS on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 with stuffed animals for children they transport. Following the presentation ACE EMS personnel were treated to a meal with Eastern Star members.

From left, Rotary President Anna Lee and Sherry Harding, SCOM Executive Director.July 28, 2015 - The Senior Nutrition Site was host to the Center Rotary Club on Tuesday, July 28th for their noon lunch meeting. During the luncheon, Rotary President Anna Lee presented Sherry Harding, Shelby County Outreach Ministries (SCOM) Executive Director, a check for $2,500 from proceeds raised during the recent What-A-Melon Crawl 5K Run/Walk held downtown on July 11th.

Sherry Harding thanked the club for their generous donation and introduced Hazel Beasley who is over the Senior Nutrition Site and the Meals on Wheels program. Harding said, "We serve over 2,000 meals in a month and are reimbursed for about a 1,000 meals. She is 83 and she can work circles around everyone. She brings a lot of skills and abilities. She catered for years at her own business and she puts a lot of love into what she does here and we really appreciate her for what she has done to this site and for the people she serves."

From left: Sherry Harding, Hazel Beasley, and Anna LeeHazel Beasley spoke briefly about her catering business in Houston and when she came to Shelby County five years ago, "When I came up here, I saw the need of this facility and all having good help. We have come along way; this community has been wonderful." Beasley went on to speak about two fundraisers, the Breakfast Fundraisers, which the Senior Nutrition Site hosts each year to help greatly with funding of the site and the Meals on Wheels program.

The Breakfast Fundraisers are held on the first Saturday in February and in August. However, this August the Senior Nutrition Site decided to move the Breakfast Fundraiser to the second Saturday, August 8th since the first Saturday fell on August 1st. Volunteers and staff members will prepare a large buffet of every breakfast food imaginable including biscuits and gravy, pancakes, waffles, eggs, sausage, bacon, selection of fruit, grits, oatmeal, muffins, and so much more. Beasley invites everyone to come out, bring the family, and enjoy a great breakfast while helping to feed others. The breakfast cost is a monetary donation.

From left: Rotarian James Campbell visits with Melba Williams during the luncheon.The two breakfast fundraisers help the Senior Nutrition Site and the Meal on Wheels with extra money for food during the entire year. The Center Senior Nutrition site alone serves 900 plus meals a month and the government only funds 1/3 of those meals which is a big shortfall. Beasley said, "It takes the whole community to help us to support [the Senior Nutrition Site and Meals on Wheels] and the seniors are real good... we have a big help from them. I'm so proud to be affiliated with it. We really appreciate all [the Rotary members] coming today and all the help that y'all have given us."

Beasley also described the daily obligations of the Senior Nutrition Site which includes three separate programs. At 10:00am the site sends meals to the San Augustine Senior Nutrition Site, at 10:30am approximately 50 meals go out with the Meals on Wheels program, and at 11:30am meals are served at the Senior Nutrition Site which typically serves 35 to 40.

On a daily basis, the Senior Nutrition Site serves lunches between 11:30am until 12:30pm, Monday through Friday. For seniors a suggested voluntary donation is $3 and includes meal, beverage, and dessert. The Senior Nutrition Site is under the umbrella corporation of Shelby County Outreach Ministries and is located off of Loop 500 in Center at 3580 Loop 500 East. For all others a donation of $6 is suggested. For more information, contact Hazel Beasley at 936-598-7768.

July 28, 2015 - The Center Garden Club dedicates the "Butterfly Preservation Garden" on the 1885 Historic Shelby County Courthouse grounds. This is in honor of Mrs. Margaret Hathorn, a life time member with 50 years of membership in the "Center Garden Club" as well as being a charter member. She has worked diligently in the preservation of birds, butterflies, and bees.

Garden Club members Jackie Hancock and Judy Matthews are breaking the ground for the new butterfly garden along with the help of Judy's husband, Buddy.The deeds which Mrs. Hathorn has used to protect and provide habitat for these pollinators has been profound. It is typical of the mystery of nature that small deeds make profound impacts.

She treasures her work and asks that her legacy will continue with the people of Shelby County, making sure that we include wildflowers in our gardens, yards, and highways.

(Editor's Note) Working periodically over the last couple of months, Center Garden Club members have been tilling and weeding the brick border edged garden area.

Tilling up broken glass and trash left long ago and buried under the weeds and dirt, the Garden Club members restored the ground to a rich mulch ripe for planting. The ladies laid down a black fabric to help keep-out the weeds, spread 4 cubic feet of fresh mulch, and planted native plants including wildflowers. The wildflowers were collected from around the area and are all local.

July 27, 2015 - The City of Center hosted a retirement celebration for Debbie Runnels.

Today, July 27, 2015 is her offical retirement date and Runnels has been employed by the City of Center for the past 22 1/2 years with her current position being Human Resources. Chad Nehring, City Manager, presented Ms. Runnels with a gold watch in appreciation of her dedication to the city.

When questioned about her plans for the future, she stated just to be home and enjoy spending time with her husband and family.