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Around Town

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March 13, 2015 - The Texas Bucket List will air a St. Patrick's Day special this weekend which will feature the historic Shelby County Courthouse.

Colleen Doggett, Chairperson of the Shelby County Historical Commission, was contacted by Leigh Porterfield with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce saying The Texas Bucket List would be contacting her concerning the courthouse. Doggett said to her surprise, "[Shane McAuliffe] did indeed call me and make an appointment to meet me" and to tour the heart of Shelby County - its historic courthouse.

"I love our Courthouse and they were just blown away with the beauty of it. They loved the story which I hope airs on the TV about the judge's escape hatch" explained Doggett.

With McAuliffe she spoke about the stories told in articles and history books concerning the escape hatch under the judges bench but she preferred the version told by Joe Lewis Jones, long time caretaker and historian of the courthouse.

Doggett relayed his version saying, "The story Joe Lewis Jones told me when he and I were talking was that in that day, when the courthouse was built it was in 1885 and it was only 40 or 35 years after the close of the Regulator-Moderator war, and so there had been numerous incidents of people coming into court with their guns and people being shot coming out of a church meeting during that war." With the mind set of troubled times in people's memory, the escape hatch was designed to be a quick get-a-way for the judge.

Now why was the historic courthouse selected to be a part of The Texas Bucket List? According to The Texas Bucket List Facebook page, its because of the courthouse's Irish style. Their Facebook post posted Thursday, March 12th along with a photo of the courthouse was - This weekend on The Texas Bucket List St. Patrick's Day special, we head to Center, Texas to visit the Shelby County Courthouse. This amazing structure was built in 1885 by an Irishman from Dublin!

The architect, J. J. E. Gibson of Ireland, designed the courthouse which is now the only remaining Irish castle style courthouse in the United States.

If you are able to watch The Texas Bucket List to see Shelby County's Historic Courthouse and Colleen Doggett giving McAuliffe and Texas a tour of it, click here to see a Texas TV Stations list of show schedule. For those unable to see, we will just have to wait and hope it will be a video available online after the show airs.

Keaton Bush (seen above with family), Timpson FFA, had the Grand Champion Steer in the Shelby County Livestock Show Steer division.

March 8, 2015 - (More photos - Album1, Album2, Album3) The Shelby County Livestock Sale raised over  $66,950 for FFA and 4-H exhibitors Saturday night, March 7, 2015 at the John D. Windham Civic Center. The show was held Friday night, March 6th at the Expo Center. More details of the sale including buyers will be updated Monday.

Grand Champion Steer shown by Keaton Bush, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $4,500
Grand Champion Swine shown by Madison McMillan,    Center FFA, auctioned for $1,800
Grand Champion Goat shown by Wesley Wages, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,750
Grand Champion Lamb shown by Kayleigh Scroggins, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,750

Reserve Grand Steer shown by Ethan Wood, Joaquin FFA, auctioned for $13,000
Reserve Grand Swine shown by Lance Holloway, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,700
Reserve Grand Goat shown by Ally Kimbro, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,250
Reserve Grand Lamb shown by Josie Green, Joaquin FFA, auctioned for $1,600

3rd Place Steer shown by Megan Dunn, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,300
3rd Place Swine shown by Taylor Gutermuth, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,600
3rd Place Goat shown by Baylor Kimbro, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,300
3rd Place Lamb shown by Hajeo Caporali, Center FFA, auctioned for $1,200

4th Place Steer shown by Clarissa Menefee, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,600
4th Place Swine shown by Seth Shamblin, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,500
4th Place Goat shown by April Ramsey, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,200
4th Place Lamb shown by Jairo Blanco, Joaquin FFA, auctioned for $1,500

5th Place Steer shown by Christopher Dunn, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,400
5th Place Swine shown by Hunter McSwain, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,500
5th Place Goat shown by Triston Smith, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,400
5th Place Lamb shown by Caden Solomon, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,200

6th Place Steer shown by Blake Griffin, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,600
6th Place Swine shown by Lila Smith, Joaquin FFA, auctioned for $1,300
6th Place Goat shown by Carsen Vickers, Joaquin 4-H, auctioned for $1,400
6th Place Lamb shown by Hannah Jamison, Shelbyville 4-H, auctioned for $2,200

7th Place Steer shown by Trey Harvey, Joaquin FFA, auctioned for $7,000
7th Place Swine shown by Hope Milford, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $2,100
7th Place Goat shown by Emmy Sigler, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,300
7th Place Lamb shown by Sheldon Scroggins, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,200

8th Place Swine shown by Colton Gutermuth, Center 4-H, auctioned for $1,600
8th Place Goat shown by Collin Vickers, Joaquin 4-H, auctioned for $1,800
8th Place Lamb shown by Kallie Solomon, Timpson FFA, auctioned for $1,400

Grand Champion Rabbit shown by Trevor Hightower, Center 4-H
Reserve Grand Champion Rabbit shown by Dalton Alexander, Center FFA
3rd Place Rabbit shown by Abbie Muckelroy, Center FFA
4th Place Rabbit shown by Ariel Patterson, Tenaha FFA
5th Place Rabbit shown by Michelle Gomez, Center 4-H
6th Place Rabbit shown by Dominque Bauer, Center FFA
7th Place Rabbit shown by Holly Linebarger, Tenaha FFA

Trey Harvey, Joaquin FFA, was seventh in the sale and had one of the highest selling steers at $7,000.Ethan Wood, Joaquin FFA, had the Reserve Grand Champion Steer at the show which was the top selling at $13,000.

March 6, 2015 - Rachel Grant, a junior at Longview High School, performed with the TMEA All-State Band in San Antonio, Sturday, February 14,
2015, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as part of the 2015 Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention. She was chosen for this honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at District, Region and Area levels.

High School students selected to perform in the All-State concerts competed through several levels of auditions beginning in the fall of 2014 to arrive at the state level. All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive. Those selected were less than 3 percent of the over 30,000 bands students from around the state who vied for this honor to perform in one of three bands and two ensembles.

Texas Music Educators Association sponors the Texas All-State competition. This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 28 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges swho rank each instrument. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advance from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in seven TMEA Area competitions. The highest ranking musicians judged at TMEA Area compition qualify to perform in the TMEA All-State music group.

Rachel is the daughter of Doice and Beth Grant of Longveiw and the granddaughter of Alice Pate of Center and Neil and Jackie Grant of the Arcadia community.

March 6, 2015 - Shelby Savings Bank is proud to donate to Joaquin Youth Sports. This donation will go toward lighting for the new baseball and softball fields, providing players and fans with a family-friendly sporting experience.

Nathan Anglin is pictured accepting the check from Shelby Savings Bank Marketing Director, Whitney Burgay.

From Left: Rodney Mathews, John Holt, Michael Lee, and Waylon Griffith

March 4, 2015 - The Center Volunteer Fire Department voted in new officers and bid farewell to two of their faithful volunteers, Michael Lee and John Holt, during Tuesday night's meeting.

Rodney Mathews recognized both men for their years of service and presented them with custom knives in appreciation for all they have done for the Volunteer Fire Department. The Case knives had 'Fire Fighters' and 'Service through Courage' on the blades as well as the firefighter insignia on the handle.

Michael Lee has been with the volunteer fire department for 14 years and served as fire chief four of those years. John Holt has been with the department for 17 years and served as secretary and treasurer for five to six years.

The Center Volunteer Fire Department officers are Rodney Mathews, Fire Chief; Waylon Griffith, 1st Assistant Chief; John Green, 2nd Assistant Chief; David Andrusick, Secretary and Treasurer; Del Birdwell, Training officer; and Pat Thomas, Chaplain.

Following the meeting, everyone enjoyed a shrimp and crawfish fest prepared by Pineywoods Seafood.

Left to Right: Rodney Mathews, Waylon Griffith, John Green, Del Birdwell, Pat Thomas, and David Andrusick

March 3, 2015 - Have you ever dreamed of being an artist? We have exciting news for you! International artist, J. Montemayor will be teaching watercolor classes beginning April 6th at The Little Fox Marketplace. The classes will be taught twice weekly over the course of a month, with the goal of instructing beginner and intermediate level students in technique and execution of watercolor painting, and developing artistic confidence in students.

Class Dates: Mondays and Tuesdays, April 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
Times: 5:30 to 7:30pm (2 hours, each class)
Cost: $240 for 16 hours of class! (plus supplies)

For more information on J. Montemayor and course objectives, please see www.jmontemayorart.com.

Pre-registration is required for this class, and split payments are available. To sign up or for questions, please contact Tracie Fox Galindo at The Little Fox Marketplace , 936-590-4422. The Little Fox Marketplace is located on the Square in Center, Texas.

Girl Scout Ella Matthews delivering cookies with the help of her dad. She is the daughter of Jim Ed and Jennifer Matthews.March 2, 2015 - It's time for Girl Scouts Cookies! The cookie sales have begun and will continue until March 29th.

Cookies sold in this area are Thanks-a-Lot, Cranberry Citrus Crisps, Lemonades, Thin Mints, Shortbread, Peanut Butter Patties, Carmel deLites, and Peanut Butter Sandwiches. They are $4 a box. Available online only is a gluten free cookie, 'Trios,' and they are $5 a box.

Cookie sales are an important part of being a Girl Scout. It teaches girls five essential skills - goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. Also, a portion of the money raised stays local. Shelby County has five troops with approximately 40 girls ranging in ages from kindergarten to 8th grade. Money helps to pay for camp, programs, helps fund financial assistance, and more.

The Girl Scouts have three days designated where they can be found with tables setup in front of Brookshire Brothers or Tractor Supply in Center. Scheduled times are Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 10-6pm, and Sunday 12-6pm. The girls will be there for cookie sales as their schedules allow. So, if your in the area, drive by and look for the table setup with boxes of Girl Scout Cookies on top.

If you are needing help finding a Girl Scout in your area, Wendy Wilburn, Community Cookie Manager for Shelby County, can be reached by email at wenwilburn@gmail.com.

February 27, 2015 - Gulf War Veterans were honored by members of VFW Post 8904 and Ladies Auxiliary in front of the Shelby County Veterans Memorial on the Center square Friday, February 27, 2015.

The ceremony was led by Larry Hume, Post Quartermaster, and an opening prayer was given by Gene Hutto, Post Chaplain.

Hume told of how the Gulf War, codenamed Operation Desert Storm, began on January 17, 1991 when coalition forces from 34 nations led by the United States began the aerial bombardment in Iraq. This was in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait. A week later on February 24th, a ground assault began the liberation of Kuwait and advancement into Iraqi territory.

"When the war ended on February 28th, 1991, 148 Americans had died in battle, which included 15 females. There were also 145 nonbattle deaths and 467 wounded. In their honor today we're proud to have Desert Storm Veteran Sean Martin who was in the United States Navy Seabees to place out wreath," said Hume.

Martin hung the wreath and Hume explained the wreath would remain at the Veterans Memorial until the close of business day. "Our presence here today is a small but heartfelt thank you for the Desert Storm Veterans who died during the war and those who survived and have since passed away and those still living. If it were not for you and all these familiar faces in front of me, this day would have gone by unnoticed in Shelby County, Texas. The service and sacrifices of these veterans would not have been remembered, and we cannot let any group of veterans be forgotten, that's our charge and I thank you again for caring enough to be here today."

As a final tribute Taps was played as presented by Mike Langford, Post Commander.

February 24, 2015 - The Woman's Reading Club met in the home of Mrs. Linda Anderson on February 19. President Donna Holt presided and welcomed two guests, Mrs. Winola Ellis and Mrs. Cindy Brown.

Following the business meeting, hostess and program leader Mrs. Linda Anderson reviewed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Henrietta Lacks was an African-American woman Who was the unwitting source of cells (taken from her malignant biopsy in 1951) which Johns Hopkins researchers cultured to create the first- known immortal cell line called the Hela (a combination of the first two letters of Henrietta's first and last name).

Henrietta's immortal cells, Hela, grew very aggressively and continue to grow still, immortally, leading to scientific breakthroughs such as polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, cancer and AIDS medications, and to innumerable other scientific pursuits past, present, and future worldwide.

Mrs. Anderson's review was both informative and moving. Following the program, she treated the club to lovely assorted refreshments which she had prepared for the occasion.

“Kneel at the Cross” - Best in Show by Liela KleinFebruary 23, 2015 - The Shelby County 4-H Photography contest was held on February 10, 2015 in the Shelby County Courthouse. We had a record number of participants ranked by the age divisions of Senior, Intermediate and Junior and judged in 15 different categories.

The overall winner of the county contest was junior 4-H’er Liela Klein with her photograph entitled “Kneel at the Cross” in the Catch All category.

The next show is at the district level and it will be conducted on April 25, 2015 at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches. Each youth that entered a photograph at the county level may enter the same photo at the district level, if desired. Senior age division photographs that placed first at the county level will automatically advance to the state level to be judged.

The photographs are on exhibit on the first floor of courthouse. Please stop by and check out the great job these youth did in taking their photographs.

A special thank you to Ms. Charity Arwine for leading the 4-H photography project and for sharing excellent and invaluable photography skills with the 4-H project members.

The results for all class divisions and categories are listed below:

Senior Division

Night Photography: Megan Dunn (1), Tori Baker (2)
Animals - Domestic: Tori Baker (1), Megan Dunn (2)
Catch All: Konner Windham (1), Tori Baker (2)
Animals - Wildlife: Konner Windham (1), Tori Baker (2)
Plant/Flora: Tori Baker (1)
Nature & Landscape: Konner Windham (1), Tori Baker (2), Megan Dunn (3), Christopher Dunn (4)
Elements of Design: Megan Dunn (1)
Dominant Color: Konner Windham (1)
Theme: Tori Baker (1)    

Intermediate Division

Animals - Domestic: Lance Holloway (1), Trey Smith (2)
Animals - Wildlife: Lance Holloway (1), Ethan Shofner (2), Trey Smith (3)
Catch All: Trey Smith (1)
Plant/Flora: Ethan Shofner(1), Trey Smith (2)
Details & Macro: Ethan Shofner (1), Lance Holloway(2)
Nature & Landscape: Ethan Shofner (1), Trey Smith (2), Lance Holloway (3)
Elements of Design: Trey Smith (1)
Food: Lance Holloway (1)
Dominant Color: Lance Holloway (1), Trey Smith (2)
Storyboard: Trey Smith (1)
People: Trey Smith (1)
Digital Darkroom: Trey Smith (1)
Marine/Aquatic: Trey Smith (1), Lance Holloway(2)
Theme: Trey Smith (1)

Junior Division

Animals - Domestic: Liela Klein (1), Abigayle Shofner (2), Lieza Klein (3), Michelle Gomez (4)
Catch All: Liela Klein (1), Lieza Klein (2), Michelle Gomez (3),
Animals - Wildlife: Michelle Gomez (1)
Plant/Flora: Michelle Gomez (1), Lieza Klein (2)
Details & Macro: Michelle Gomez (1)
Nature & Landscape: Michelle Gomez (1)
Elements of Design: Abigayle Shofner (1), Lieza Klein (2), Liela Klein (3)
Dominant Color: Abigayle Shofner (1), Michelle Gomez (2)
People: Liela Klein (1)
Theme: Lieza Klein (1), Abigayle Shofner (2), Michelle Gomez (3)

If you would like information on this program or participating in other Shelby County 4-H projects, please contact county extension agent Jheri-Lynn McSwain, M.Ed., M.S., Family and Consumer Sciences at Jheri-Lynn.Smith@ag.tamu.edu or 936-598-7744.