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Around Town

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April 8, 2015 - The Center Garden Club enjoyed an afternoon of painting on rocks with the Junior Garden Club members at F.L. Moffitt school. They painted various varieties of wild flowers on rocks found from our state of Texas. Thank you Mrs. Wolf for sharing your students. The ladies of Center Garden Club were very amazed of their talents.

April 7, 2015 - The Woman's Reading Club met on March 19 in the home of Mrs. Billie Sue Payne. President Donna Holt presided. The club welcomed guest Caroline Chadwick and expressed happy birthday wishes to her in recognition of her turning 21 on that day. Miss Chadwick is the daughter of member Mrs. Deborah Chadwick and the granddaughter of the late Mrs. Marleta Chadwick who was a Woman's Reading Club member for many years. Following the business meeting, program leader Mrs. Janene Walker presented an interesting and enlightening review of Hedy's Folly: the Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes.

Behind the legendary Hollywood movie actress Hedy Lamarr's legendary beauty was a brilliant and inquisitive mind that would (with her co-inventor George Antheil) discover the breakthrough concept of spread-spectrum radio technology that became important to the U.S. during WWII in controlling torpedoes. This technology languished for decades after the war, but eventually, American scientists repurposed it to develop a more general version that now undergirds today's WI-FI, Bluetooth networks, wireless cell phones, and GPS devices. Proving herself much more than a pretty face, Hedy Lamarr did, indeed, earn a place among the twentieth century's most important women inventors.

At the conclusion of Mrs. Walker's program, Mrs. Payne treated everyone to refreshments during a most enjoyable social hour.

April 6, 2015 - Ace Hardware of East Texas “Downtown”: We are proud to announce the following winners of our Garden Center Grand Opening:

Lynne Kelly, Jenny Fancher, Joy Hutto, Gwen Hughes, Alice McCann, Nat Townes, Meg Camp, Nora Robinson, Jade Hogue, JJ Ford, Ann Clark Harmon, Ozay Ford, Vickey Dudley, Carmel Fountain, Margaret Stockton, and Pearl McLendon.

Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and signed-up. We still have a good selection of Bonnie Plants, trees, shrubs, mulches, soils, bedding plants, and much more! Follow them on Facebook at

April 4, 2015 - Ace Hardware of East Texas held a ribbon cutting on Thursday, April 2, 2015 to introduce their new Garden center at their location on Tenaha Street in Center.

Photo by J.J. Ford
Pam Phelps introduced Angela Howard who explained how the new garden center was established. She described how the space the garden center is in was once a lawn mower repair shop and was instead transformed into a garden center, "We just totally revamped it and we moved all the plants and garden center stuff down here and at the other store redid our front and then that awning out there we had a storm that blew it off, and now we've got all our Huskvarna mowers and power equipment parked out there where the garden center was."

Howard continued by introducing staff members who were present for the ribbon cutting. Meg Camp, Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador, spoke on behalf of her fellow ambassadors and expressed excitement at the new garden center. She said the ambassadors are always available to help.

Refreshments and door prizes were also available during the event.



#AceHardware of East Texas has Grand Opening for New Garden Center - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Saturday, April 4, 2015


April 2, 2015 - Sabine State Bank would like to welcome Tara Permenter to their organization. Tara is a Shelby County native with extensive experience in mortgage lending. Permenter began her banking career in 1996 in Joaquin, Texas. Tara continued on her career path in mortgage lending with a move to Center, Texas in October of 2003.

"We are extremely excited to have Tara become part of our team here at Sabine State Bank. It isn't every day that an institution can find someone that has the experience level and work ethic that she possesses. Experience is an invaluable asset in our industry. Lenders need to have the ability to make the customer feel confident and comfortable that they have chosen the best bank for their needs and I believe Tara has that ability. The future of Sabine State Bank and mortgage lending is bright, I, as well as the entire staff here at Sabine, am very enthusiastic about what is to come with her addition to our team.” said Steve Waters, Regional Manager and Senior VP for Sabine State Bank.

When asked about her career in mortgage lending Tara had this to say, "My mom has been in the banking industry all of my life and I knew early on that being in that environment was something I wanted to do; I just didn't know which area or where to put my focus. I found out right after I attended my very first mortgage loan closing that helping people realize their dream of owning a home or land was where I wanted to be. To me it means a lot to know that I was able to play an important role in helping someone achieve one of the most important purchases they will ever make in their lifetime; that's huge. I, along with Sabine State Bank, am looking forward to helping customers in Shelby, Sabine, San Augustine, Panola counties and the surrounding areas achieve their real estate ownership goals.”

Tara and husband, Cody have three children Collin, Carsen and Hadley. Tara enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.

Sabine State Bank has been serving its customers since 1901; assisting individuals, small & mid-size businesses, municipal and political subdivisions with over 45 locations in Central Louisiana & East Texas, Sabine State Bank is one of the largest state-charted banks in Louisiana with assets exceeding $700 million. Sabine State Bank is dedicated to the areas in which it serves and is committed to supporting local communities.


April 2, 2015 - Sunday afternoon, March 22, 2015, four students from Wittmann Music Studio entertained members of the East Texas alumni chapter of the Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity at their meeting, held in Center.

For the music, the young ladies performed both piano and vocal selections.

Pictured with their teacher, Janette Wittmann, are Celeste Gibson, Laura Anne Scull, Sarah Scull and Cecily Gibson.

Back row: Janette Wittmann:Front Row (L to R) Celeste Gibson, Laura Ann Scull, Sarah Scull and Cecily Gibson

VFW Post 8904 members, Ladies Auxiliary and additional veterans are seen above in attendace of the ceremony Tuesday. Those present are as follows (from left): Auxiliary member Becky Maidic; Leslie Gill and his dog "Little T"; Auxiliary Chaplain Mary Fausett; United States Marine Veteran Paul Risinger; Auxiliary Sr. Vice Sandy Risinger; Gene Hutto, Post Chaplain; Charles Kreisel, Post JA; Steve Reeff, US Air Force Retired Chief Master Sergeant; Larry Hume, Quartermaster; Sean Martin, Post Member/Somali Veteran; Jason Sanford, Iraq Veteran; Mike Langford, Post Commander.

Pictured above are Somalia Veterans (from left) Sean Martin, Steve Reeff and Mike LangfordApril 1, 2015 - VFW Post 8904 Members and the Ladies Auxiliary were present on the Center square Tuesday, March 31, 2015 in honor of those who served in Somalia. The program was presented by Larry Hume, Quartermaster and opening prayer was led by Gene Hutto, Chaplain.

Following the introduction, Hume introduced Steve Reeff, "Today we're honored to have Steve Reeff of Belleville, Illinois who is up here visiting Mike [Langford] and actually served in Somalia. He's an Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Retired," said Hume.

Reeff commenced to placing the wreath and this was followd by Taps as presented by Mike Langford, Post Commander.


March 30, 2015 - Two travelers from Idaho have arrived in Shelby County and are in search of some family history. Harold and Linda Craft of Coeur D'Alene, Idaho stopped by Shelby County Today in search of information about Mattie Mitchell and any other people in the area who may have been ancestors by the names of McGee, Mitchell and English.

To Craft's knowledge Mattie Mitchell, who was his great-aunt, wrote newspaper articles and was on the radio as well with "The Ag Report." Craft also recalls Mitchell wrote a story once about William English.

During their visit to Center, Mr. Craft shared he had to get a photograph of himself by the historical marker in front of the historic Shelby County Courthouse as his third grandfather was William English.

English was a resident of Shelbyville, and amongst several other noted historical events, was a participant in the Fredonian Rebellion. When this insurrection was unsuccessful against the Mexican government, he fled with his family to Natchitoches, La., where he stayed for about a year before returning to Texas. The Crafts plan to visit San Jacinto while they are in Texas.

"What I found out is he set on the convention of 1832 and 1833 and he fought at the San Jacinto battlefield," said Craft.

While the Craft's are in the area, they are seeking any information on ancestors and can be reached by email at



March 30, 2015 - Local beekeepers Mike and Linda Bordelon, members of the Pineywoods Beekeepers Association, explained basic equipment for beekeepers, bee facts, and plants, flowers, and trees that bees love at the San Augustine Gala Garden Fair on March 28th which was hosted by the San Augustine Garden Club.

March 27, 2015 - Center Garden Club shared planting ideas with local students Monday, March 23, 2015 at the Center Elementary Campus. Students enjoyed a hands-on program on the art of preparing the soil and other planting information. A good time was enjoyed by all!

The Center Garden Club promotes the love of gardening to the young several times through out the year. Members visit with students for Harbor Day and will have Junior Garden Club members and other youth participate in their upcoming Flower Show "Nature's Gallery" on Friday, April 17, 2015 starting at noon until 4pm at the Community House on San Augustine Street. Admission is free.