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Around Town

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May 2, 2019 - On April 26, 2019 Tenaha PD Captain Joey Hudnall, Officer Johnathan Newton and Officer Nyx (K-9) visited Self Defense America to teach the students about the dangers of drugs Captain Hudnall talked with the students about the effects of drugs and they students had lots of questions for him. Captain Hudnall took the time to answer all the questions. The students really loved the demostrations with Officers Newton and Nyx. The first demonstration was on finding drug sample pouches that were used instead of actual drugs. Two pouches were pre-hidden and Officer Nyx found them with no problem. Then Officer Newton wore the attack sleeve to show how Nyx is also the protector. When Officer Newton came at Captain Hudnall with training weapons how Officer Nyx is highly trained to attack when given the command. We were so honored to have our men and k-9 in blue come and teach today!

April 29, 2019 - The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department would like to express our sincerest appreciation to each person who supported our recent BBQ fundraiser. We were able to raise over $11,000 for the SVFD due to the generosity of our donors and volunteers, and thanks especially our community members who came out to purchase plates, raffle tickets and make additional monetary donations despite the unfavorable weather conditions. The SVFD would like to thank Tyson, Shelbyville Grocery, Glenn Watts, McAdams Propane, JML Management, Shelbyville ISD, each person who provided baked goods and desserts for plates and for purchase, and those who came out to help cook and serve. As always, the SVFD appreciates the generous and continuous support of our community.

April 25, 2019 (Photo Album) - Receiving top honors at the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Teacher Appreciation reception were Brooke Harrison and Beth Nichols. Harrison won Shelby County Secondary Teacher of the Year and Nichols won Shelby County Elementary Teacher of the Year!

Shelby County Elementary Teacher of the Year Beth Nichols

Shelby County Secondary Teacher of the Year Brooke Harrison

The recipient of the Pam Phelps Friends of Education Award for 2019 was Shelby County Go Texan in recognition of their dedication and support to the education profession. The group gives scholarships to Shelby County graduates each year. Attending the event to accept the award on behalf of the Shelby County Go Texans was Ed Johnson.

Cancee Lester presents plaque to Ed Johnson on behalf of Shelby County Go Texan

During the reception which was held Wednesday, April 24 at the Windham Civic Center, teachers were recognized for their dedication to their students, school, and community.

All of the Teachers of the Year from the Shelby County School Campuses who were recognized were:

Center Christian Academy –  Karen Mayo
F.L. Moffett Primary School –  Jessica Belrose
Center Elementary School –  Kirstin Trahan
Center Intermediate School –  Beth Nichols
Center Middle School –  Pamela Doggett
Center High School –  Michele Whiddon
Roughrider Academy -  Erica Klein
Excelsior ISD – Sonya Nutt
Joaquin Elementary School –  Monica Smith
Joaquin Junior High School –  Mary Hovey
Joaquin High School –  Brett Gaylord
S.W. Carter Elementary –  Jason McDonald
Shelbyville Middle School –  Bailee Rash
Shelbyville High School – Brooke Harrison
Tenaha Elementary School – Carrie Jenkins
Tenaha Middle/High School – Tammy Hamilton
Timpson Elementary –  Melanie Sanford
Timpson Middle School – Kendra Welch
Timpson High School –  Darlene Therwhanger

Gold sponsors for the event were Farmers State Bank and Shelby Savings Bank. Silver Sponsors were Dr. James Hockenberry, Nacogdoches Medical Center, and Ray Jones Chevrolet. 

April 26, 2019 - Time is running out! The book sale at the Fannie Brown Booth Library on Tenaha St in Center is nearly over! All day Friday, April 26, books will sell for half price! That means paperback books will be 25 cents and hard back books will be 50 cents. The hours for Friday are 10am-5pm.

On Saturday, April 27, the last day of the sale, books will sell for $1 a bag!. The library hours Saturday are 10am-2pm. All proceeds are used to purchase more books for the library.  

April 24, 2019 - A community Easter Egg Hunt was held at Perry Sampson Park on Saturday with a rainbow of colors covering the field. Kids were excited to not only hunt eggs but also enjoyed a visit with two Easter Bunnies. Kids also enjoyed carnival type games, a cake walk, face painting, and a bouncy house.

To see photos from the event - Album1, Album2

April 24, 2019 - First Baptist Church of Center spread joy through hundreds of eggs poured across the field at Portacool Park during their Easter weekend Block Party on Saturday, April 20, 2019. Hundreds attended the event where children collected eggs and enjoyed games, bounce houses, hot dogs, and other goodies.

To see photos from the event - Album1, Album2

April 22, 2019 - Library book sale begins April 23!

Save, Save, Save!! Great sale on paperback books (50 cents each), hard back books ($1 each), and children’s books (3 for $1).   

The book sale will be held at the Fannie Brown Booth Library on Tenaha Street, Center next week! April 23 April 27, 2019.

Proceeds are used to purchase more books.

April 24, 2019 - All birthdays are good, but this one is great, so come and join us as we celebrate!

The family of Mrs. Pinkie Atkinson cordially invites everyone to join us in a grand celebration in honor of her 100th birthday. The celebration will take place Saturday, April 27, 2019 from 1-4 p.m. at the Strong Triumph Church Fellowship Hall.

Mrs. Pinkie is a former Shelby County educator who retired after over 40 years in education as well as a pillar in the community. Her most famous and well remembered accomplishment came in 1968 when she coached the East Liberty Tigers all the way to the PVIL (now a part of UIL) state championship, but there are so many other accomplishments that she's known for.

For more information, please contact Faye Dell Allen at 936-368-2611/936-572-5810. Please come out and help us celebrate this huge milestone in her life. 

April 24, 2019 - The Piney Woods Photographic Society held their regular monthly meeting this past Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Center, TX. There was a workshop on "Better Flower Photography" presented by Billie Jones, in preparation for the May Challenge "Flowers". There was also a short tutorial, presented by Lawrence C Davis, on post processing your flowers using the Light Room Editing Program. The Patterns and Texture Challenge was obviously well liked by members due to the large number of photographs submitted for critique and voting. To see all the entries for Patterns and Textures, view our Flickr page For more information on memberships or meetings like our Facebook page or contact Billie F. Jones, 936-591-2426.

Piney Woods Photographic Society is for camera enthusiasts of all skills and interests. Our goal is to help people become a better photographer and give them a place to meet others who share their passion for photography. Featuring programs and activities with information and instruction for all skill levels in an environment of support and cooperation. Visitors are welcome to attend meetings with or without a member.

April Challenge was Patterns and Textures.

First Place - Tie

"King of the Board" by Lawrence C. Davis, Center, TX

"Web With Fog & Sunlight" by Melvin Henson, Milam, TX

Second Place

"The Chicken" by Bobbie Jean Wood, Center, TX

Third Place - Tie

"Cool Colors" by Summer Koltonski, Shelbyville, TX

"Silent City Wall" by Angie Junell Davis, Center, TX

Click image to see a flyer about Damon West

April 23, 2019 - The Shelby County Juvenile Probation Department will be hosting Motivational Speaker Damon West at the John Dean Windham Civic Center on Monday, April 29th beginning at 1pm. The event is being provided to all high school junior and seniors in Shelby County.

Mr. Damon West uses his life experiences to educate young people about the negative effects of drugs. He comes from being a quarterback at UNT to being sentenced to 65 years in prison to currently working for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, TX, and traveling all over the country sharing his story to literally thousands of students about the dangers of drugs and the consequences of bad decisions.

Veronica Berry, Chief Juvenile Probation Officer, said, "I am confident that every student will leave with a positive and renewed mindset; whether it be concerning drug use or concerning their own role in being a positive contribution to society."

Damon West Biography

Sentenced to 65 years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities. A natural born leader, handsome and charming, and a three-year starting quarterback, he appeared to be the all-American.

Underneath this façade, however, was an addict in the early stages of his disease. After suffering childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter at the age of nine, he began putting chemicals into his body to alter the way he felt, starting with drinking and smoking. By the age of 12, he would escalate to marijuana use.

After receiving a scholarship to play football for the University of North Texas, Damon left for college. When his football career came to a premature end, due to an injury, in 1996, against Texas A&M, Damon lost all direction. 

Football had become so much of his identity that he no longer knew who he was. Damon chose a dark path on the road of addiction, abusing harder drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and prescription pills to go along with the alcohol and marijuana.

After graduating in 1999, Damon’s life would take him to the United States Congress, political fundraising for a presidential candidate and then into the world of Wall Street, with a position to train as a stockbroker for one of the biggest banks in the world, U.B.S. It was here that Damon was introduced to meth for the first time; he was instantly hooked. 

After 3 years of committing property crimes and other drug-related crimes in order to fuel his meth habit, a Dallas SWAT team finally caught up with Damon and arrested him on July 30, 2008. The consequences of his behavior earned him a life-sentence of 65 years for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity. 

Damon began prison life armed with the knowledge that “you don’t have to win all your fights, but you do have to fight all your fights,” as he battled for his right to exist independent of a gang. Clinging closely to God, his family’s unwavering support, the story of the coffee bean an elderly convict shared with him in county jail, a 12-step recovery program and all the tools available to him, Damon emerged from prison a better man spiritually, emotionally and physically. On November 16, 2015, he walked out of prison with 58 years of parole. 

Today, Damon is enrolled in graduate school at Lamar University, where he is studying criminal justice, and works for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, TX.