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Around Town

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April 12, 2016 - The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department recently converted a 5-ton military truck into a 1,800 gallon tanker truck through the DoD Firefighter Property Program. This program provides excess military equipment to fire departments and emergency service providers. Launched in Texas in 2005, the DoD Firefighter Property Program has released over 300 retired military trucks to VFDs across the state to help them better protect lives and property. The USDA Forest Service oversees the program and it is directed by Texas A&M Forest Service.

In addition to converting the military truck into a tanker, the SVFD was also able to construct a new, two bay building to house both the military tanker as well as their primary tanker truck thanks entirely to donated funds from the community. The public is invited to see both the new tanker and the new building during the annual Fire Department BBQ Fundraiser to be held on Saturday, April 16th beginning at 11 am. Plates are $7 and include a chicken leg quarter, sausage link, beans, potato salad, bread and a dessert. The SVFD would like to express our appreciation to the community for your generous support year after year, and we look forward to continuing to grow and serve you.

Related article: TFS Presents Shelbyville VFD with Large Military Truck, Future Tanker Truck

Johnny Cockrell (front middle) was the recipient of a 25-year recognition during the City of Center Employee Appreciation Banquet on April 1, 2016. Also receiving a 25-year recognition; however not present, was Allen Penick. Pictured with Cockrell are members of the Center City council and they are (from left) Mayor David Chadwick, Jerry Lathan, Jim Forbes, Charles Rushing and Joyce Johnson.

April 11, 2016 - Album - City of Center employees were honored at the 2016 Employee Appreciation Banquet on April 1, 2016 at the John D. Windham Civic Center.

Chad Nehring, City Manager, spoke to the employees thanking them for the great job they do every day for the city. Nehring remarked how the city was forced in recent years to make some cuts to the city's budget and, regretfully, the banquet was one of those items. He heard from the employees how much the banquet was missed. The city listened and were glad to be able to start back hosting the Employee Appreciation Banquet.

City of Center Mayor David Chadwick and members of the City's Council then spoke to the employees and their families. They each expressed appreciation to them for the job well done and for the positive representation they provide the city.

Employees receiving years of service awards were:

1-Year Award Recipients - Terry Adkinson, Willie Alford, James Blackwell, Charles J. Goings, Sarah Hircsh, Diana Munoz, Angela Neal, Janice Williams

5-Year Award Recipients - Lucy Betancourt, Jim Gibson, Tommy Hughes, Charles Rushing, Steven Thornburgh, Larry Weaver

10-Year Award Recipients - Barbara Boyd, Marcus Cameron, Derrick Lightfoot, Joseph Mitchell

20-Year Award Recipients - Gary Frame

25-Year Award Recipients - Johnny Cockrell, Allen Penick

Following the presentation of awards, the City recognized new employees from each department. Nehring then gave special recognition to an employee of the city who was the winner of the healthy challenge. Clint Tanner won the challenge and lost 79.5 lbs.

Sammy Arnold announces winners during Fun for Funds on March 29th.April 10, 2016 - The Center Noon Lions Club, Shelbyville Lions Club, Center Rotary Club, and the San Augustine Lions Club all joined forces in a fund raising event which benefited the Shelby County Outreach Ministries (SCOM), Senior Nutrition Center (Shelby and San Augustine), Meals on Wheels, food boxes and clothing for needy.

Sammy Arnold presents donation to Sherry Harding for Shelby County Outreach Ministries.Sammy Arnold, coordinator of the fundraiser and Center Noon Lions Club member, presented Sherry Harding with an $8,000 donation from the fundraiser during the Center Noon Lions Club meeting on April 7th. Harding expressed appreciation saying, "I just want to say I really appreciate you guys; it takes us all."

The winners were drawn during the Rotary Club of Center's Fun for Funds Benefit Auction which was held on March 29th. The grand prize was a Grasshopper Lawn Mower provided by Backwoods Buggies of Center, Texas and was won by Luke Motley III of Center. 

Other prize sponsors were: Toledo Automotive, McAdams Propane, Covington Lumber, Shelby Savings Bank, Boles Feed, Farmers State Bank, Ace Hardware, Texas State Bank, Center Tire, Citizen's Bank, Hometown Marine, Sabine State Bank, and Steel Building Supply.

Additional prizes and winners:
Tires donated by Center Tire - Roscoe McSwain
Fish Cooker donated by McAdams Propane - Anna Shirley
Gas Grill donated by Ace Hardware - Rusty Hall
Floor jack donated by Toledo Automotive - Sammy Arnold
Hitachi Drill donated by Covington Lumber - Deloris Lout
Cooler full of Extras donated by Shelby Savings Bank - Bobbie Nutt
DeWalt Drill donated by Steel Building Supply - O'Neal Jackson

From left: Bradley Richard, owner of Backwoods Buggies; Silver Motley and Luke Motley III

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Blue Ribbon Tree Ceremony Held on Center Square; Harbison Shares Abuse Statistics - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 10, 2016 - Album - Community leaders, child protection agencies and citizens of Shelby County gathered on the Center square April 8, 2016 to recognize the issue of child abuse by honoring its victims.

Alice Pate, Community Partners Rainbow Room, welcomed everyone who attended the event and at her request Rob Merriman, First Baptist Shelbyville Pastor, led the group in an opening prayer.

Pate felt the blue ribbon tree is a touching way to remember the victims of abuse in Shelby County, "People think it doesn't happen in small communities, but it's everywhere."

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison thanked the Community Partners Rainbow Room, Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center and volunteers for their participation. She also shared some of the statistics pertaining to Shelby County. "As of last year, we had 90 confirmed victims of abuse in Shelby County and we had 59 kids to go into foster care, but unfortunately we had one child who died because of the abuse that had been put upon them."

Harbison said many people asked her last year what the blue ribbons and the ceremony on the square were about. She said that gave her the opportunity to share and explain.

The participants then commenced to tying the ribbons to the tree to remember those victims of abuse. The balloons were an additional recognition for all unknown cases of abuse.

April 8, 2016 - My daughter, Brooklyn Oliver​​​, will be having a major back surgery at the end of May/beginning of June. We will be staying in Dallas at the Ronald McDonald House. We are very grateful and blessed to have the RMDH, however, it is not free (though would be discounted) and we need funds for lodging and meals. We are scheduled to stay in Dallas for 2 months after the surgery and we are expecting great results for Brooklyn on her next step to walking! Many people have asked, if we have anything setup for help and support.  

We have set up a few things. 
A GoFundMe - 
T-shirt Fund Raiser

All help will be greatly appreciated. Feel free to tell your friends and family. Thanks to everyone for the prayers and support.

April 8, 2016 - Shelby County Tax Accessor/Collector Debora Riley announces Vehicle Registration Department will be closed for training in Austin for three days, Wednesday, April 13th through Friday, April 15th. Normal hours will resume Monday, April 18th, 2016.

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@Ford #Ford Center Motor Company Celebrates Grand Opening, 25th Anniversary - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 7, 2016 - Members of the community, business owners and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce were present for the long-awaited grand opening of Center Motor Company at its new location on Hurst Street in Center.

Pam Phelps, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced Center Motor Company owner Ray Jones.

"Center Motor Company has been a pillar of the community and has been in business for 65 years," said Phelps. "That's one amazing thing to start with, the other thing is look at this facility, who would have ever thunk it? It's just absolutely gorgeous and beautiful, and the service continues that this company has been well known for many years."

Jones thanked everyone for being at the event and was glad to see many of them return. He expressed appreciation to the customers for enduring the business' move to its new location and what he said was maybe not as good of service during that time.

"I think it's going to be well worth it, you know, everybody's going to be able to do business with us in a little more comfort, if they want to," said Jones.

He thanked many for their assistance in the endeavor including Chad Nehring, City of Center Manager; David Chadwick, Center Mayor; Center City Council; Center Economic Development Corporation, including Jim Gibson; Farmers State Bank including Mark Leach and Neilson Davis; Shelby Savings Bank representatives for their presence; Ford Motor Credit Company, Jody Thomas; Scott Lauer, Market Representation Manager; Larry Gach, Houston Regional Sales Manager; Bob Stinson, Construction Manager.

Jones remarked several of his brothers and sisters were present for the event as well.

Meg Camp, President of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, spoke with Jones on behalf of the ambassadors. She thanked him for inviting everyone to the business' great occasion, stated it was very good for Center.

Larry Gach, Houston Regional Sales Manager, then made a presentation to the Jones family, "Normally I get to do these events and they're very exciting, but really, we're combining two major events today which is really unique," said Gach. "We might be a little bit late on the 25th anniversary, which is what the plaque's all about, since it happened about 11 months ago, but never too late to celebrate it. Of course the other major, major thing obviously is the facility."

Gach stated how the new facility means a great deal to the community, Ford Motor Company and Lincoln Motor Company. He stated how thrilled they are about how well the facility finished out. Gach then delivered a letter from David Mondragon, Ford Motor Company Executive Director of U.S. Sales. In recognition of the business being an authorized dealer for 25 years, this was followed by Gach presenting Center Motor Company with a 25-year plaque and a 25-year pin to Jones.

"The final thing I want to say is, the investment in the community and the facility is indicative of a a lot of things we're doing at the Ford Motor Company as well, as we continue to invest in our products," said Gach.

Anyone interested in visiting the new facility, or in the market for a new vehicle can find Center Motor Company at its new address, 816 Hurst Street in Center. For additional inquiries contact the business by calling 936-598-3361.

Video below by Buster Bounds




April 6, 2016 - It recently was time again for what has become an annual competition at Center Intermediate School. This year the competition between the 4th graders and 5th graders was which class of students could sell the most cookie dough. As has become tradition, each grade is represented by a member of the administrative staff of the school who, if the class they represent does not meet their goal, has to kiss a member of the livestock community. What has also proven to be tradition is, Principal Heath Hagler has had to kiss, on three separate occasions, two pigs and a horse.

Students from the 4th grade and 5th grade gathered outside the school gymnasium at Center ISD Intermediate School in preparation for the event on March 28, 2016. Hagler represented the 4th grade and the 5th grade was represented by Tracy Bolton, At Risk Coordinator. Bolton proudly led the event as he once again was not required to plant a "wet one" on a squealing or neighing beast. He in fact was the head cheerleader of the event and was able, with the assistance of a loudspeaker, to influence the students to chant "kiss the horse."

Principal Hagler, good sport that he is, approached "Blacky" the horse and his owner Beth Nichols, wooed the horse with a bucket of grain and proceeded to place a kiss on the horses nose to the delight of all students present.

Mr. Bolton wanted it to be known to all, he has won this competition three years in a row which has resulted in Hagler having to pay up, and this year he had to kiss a horse.

Take a look at the last time Principal Hagler had to kiss a pig by viewing the related video below.



#CenterISD Intermediate School Principal Heath Hagler kisses a pig for a school fundraiser as kids chant their encouragement - See the video here on #ShelbyCountyToday

Posted by Shelby County Today on Friday, January 30, 2015


April 5, 2016 - Jacob Locke, sophomore at Texas A&M University, was one of 20 members of the TAMU Trap and Skeet Club that competed at the 2016 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target National Championships in San Antonio, March 29-April 3.

The event took place at the San Antonio National Shooting Complex and included 76 teams representing colleges nation-wide. There were 476 total competitors that participated in various disciplines including International and American versions of Trap, Skeet, 5-Stand, and Sporting Clays. Each team shot a total of 2350 clay targets, with the TAMU team hitting 2206.

The team was awarded a Division II National Championship trophy and each member will receive a National Championship Ring and Belt Buckle.

Jacob has been shooting with the team for two years while at TAMU, and is a former member of the Shelby County 4-H Shooting Sports Team, coached by John Henry and Chelsea Holloway. Jacob is also a member of the TAMU Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit and serves as the Clays Team Gunnery Sergeant.

April 5, 2016 - The PWPS would like to let everyone know that there WILL NOT be a monthly meeting in April. The Club has scheduled a photo shoot trip to attend the "Feather Fest" in Galveston.  There will, however, be a regular meeting in May, 5/21/16, per the normal schedule, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the basement of the First United Methodist Church, Center, Tx.  Any questions may be directed to Janet Hughes,  a (903)720-3499.

"The PWPS did hold their regular monthly March meeting Saturday, 3/19/16 with a workshop, conducted by Janet Hughes, featuring "Exposure Compensation." The monthly Challenge was "Reflections" with some outstanding entries. The results are as follows:

March 2016 Challenge Winners - Theme: Reflections
First Place - Tie: Jan Carter, San Augustine
First Place - Tie: Janet Hughes, Carthage
Second Place: Billie Jones, Center
Third Place: Shelia Harris, Center