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Around Town

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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.

January 7, 2016 - Our local Shelby County Aggie Moms group was able to spend the evening with several of our local Aggies before the start of fall finals. We traveled to College Station and treated the students to an evening of good food and fellowship to give them a boost to finish the semester strong. We are so proud of all of our local Aggies and wish them good luck this spring semester.

Members included: (Back row from left): Christi Foster, Allison Pratt, Sommer Herndon, Mindy Henson, Kristi Stone, Jaclyn Scarbrough, Denise Merriman, Natalie Morse, Shelby Skeen, Mollie Amburn, Amber Phelps, Amber Matthews, Anna Stuever & Kerri Ramos. Front from left: Jennifer Jones, Alison Scull, Whitney Scarber, Santa, Angie Turk, Benita Collard & Penny Bird.

January 6, 2016 - Xi Alpha Delta Rho would like to thank our generous sponsors for their donations to our 8th Annual Breakfast with Santa. Our sponsors included: Boom Boom Photo Booth, Epic Fit, Target Timber Mgmt., Brookshire Bros., McAdams Propane, Mathews Realty, Texas State Bank, Shelby Savings Bank, Farmers State Bank, Boles Feed, Sabine State Bank, Center Noon Lions Club, Shelby County Today & Deep East Texas Electric Co-Op.

Xi Alpha Delta Rho Sorority gives all proceeds to child serving organizations. Some of the recipients included: Rainbow Room, Advocacy Center, Grace Manor, Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library, Noble Child Placing Agency & Project Graduation.

Thanks again for making our 8th Annual Breakfast with Santa a huge success.

January 4, 2016 - Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz arrived in Center on Sunday, January 3, 2016 at the Center Municipal Airport for a rally/fundraiser. Members of the public were invited to meet the senator and hear a speech from him on his race for the presidency.

Many Shelby County officials were present, as well as others from surrounding areas. Following the senator's speech, all in attendance were treated to a meal prepared by the Shelby County Cookers. Cruz announced he would be traveling from Shelby County to Iowa where he is continuing his campaign.



Presidential Candidate #Cruz Visits #ShelbyCounty - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Monday, January 4, 2016


January 4, 2016 - Jim and Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Observers report the following weather stats and anomalies for the year of 2015:

  •     Glaze on power lines on January 09, 2015
  •     2 inches snow on February 22, 2015 and light snow on March 4, 2015
  •     Last freeze on March 7, 2015
  •     Hail and damaging winds in Center and Shelby County on April 19, 2015
  •     6.54 inches rainfall recorded in 24 hour period ending at 7 AM June 18, 2015
  •     First triple digits recorded with 100 degrees on July 29 and 101 degrees on July 30, 2015
  •     6 triple digit days recorded in August
  •     First frost and freeze were recorded on November 23, 2015
  •     78 degrees on Christmas Day and 82 degrees the next day on December 26, 2015
  •     77.13 inches rainfall fell in 2015 setting a New Yearly Record Rainfall

2015 Yearly Weather Stats for Center, Texas prepared and submitted by Jim and Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Observers.

January 4, 2016 - Center, Texas Weather Stats for December 2015

Highest Temp was 82 degrees on 12-26-2015
Highest Temp on Record was 84 degrees on 12-06-1956
Lowest Temp was 30 degrees on 12-19-2015
Lowest Temp on Record was 2 degrees on 12-24-1989

Rainfall Recorded was 6.67 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 5.43 inches
Above Average by 1.24 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 14.23 inches in 2002
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.87 inches in 1980
Average Yearly Rainfall is 54.20 inches

Total Rainfall for the Year is 77.13 inches - a New Yearly Record Rainfall
22.93 inches above Yearly Rainfall in 2015
Previous Yearly Record Rainfall is 76.20 inches in 1997
0.93 inches above Previous Yearly Record Rainfall

Message from the Forbes, "Hard to believe by looking at these stats that we also had a summer drought this year isn't it? Happy New Year everybody and may you have a wonderful blessed 2016!"

Attached is the December, 2015 Center, TX Weather Report prepared and submitted by Jim and Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Observers.

December 31, 2015 - Shelby County Sheriff's Department inmates, under the direction of Probation Officer James Moore, removed the signs from the Shelby County Courthouse on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 which prohibited firearms in the building.

Due to the new Open Carry law passed in Texas which goes into effect on January 1, 2016, the Shelby County Commissioner's Court voted on Monday, December 28, 2015 to comply with the law as it stands and remove the signs.