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Around Town

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April 14, 2022 - Shelby County Outreach Ministries will be closed tomorrow, April 15, 2022, in observance of Good Friday. We are sorry for any inconvenience, and we hope you have a safe and blessed Easter weekend.

April 14, 2022 - A scholarship fund has been set up at Farmers State Bank honoring Judy Bowers. Judy taught at Center High School from 1968-1985 before moving back home to Baytown in 1985.

The Judy Bowers Scholarship will be presented to a graduating senior from Center High School. Judy taught all of the upper level math classes from Algebra 2 through Calculus while teaching at Center High School. Judy also sponsored the yearbook, drill team, and student council at various times while teaching at CHS. 

To honor Judy, contribute and make checks payable to:

The Judy Bowers Scholarship
Farmers State Bank
P.O. Box 352
Center, Texas 75935
c/o Jeannie Gaines

April 13, 2022 - (Photo Album) - A flight of butterflies were released on the downtown square on Thursday, April 7th at the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center's (SCCAC) annual Butterfly Release to raise awareness of April as the National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Denise Merriman, Executive Director of SCCAC, spoke words of appreciation to Farmers State Bank for sponsoring and making the event possible.

Farmers State Bank President/City of Center mayor David Chadwick gave thanks in return, “First of all we want to thank Mrs. Merriman and the Children’s Advocacy Center, the Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center, and all the work that they do for our county. Unfortunately, this is one of those jobs that is a very sensitive job, a very serious job, one that we wished that we did not have to have. But we are so blessed to have a team that is willing to work with families and with children who have problems socially and many who have problems related to abuse. We are one of a very small number of counties that is blessed with the quality of service that we have, the volume of people, and then the whole community supporting the efforts of the advocacy center.”

Next, Mayor Chadwick highlighted the number of children affected by abuse which is 1 in 10, and he explained the reason the butterfly was being used for this event. It isn’t because of spring but because it is an example of a new life. Mayor Chadwick then told the legend of the butterfly which involves telling a butterfly a secret which can then be taken to the heavens to be granted. He explained the butterfly is symbolic of the gesture that we try to instill in a child to tell someone what their problems are.

The final phase of the butterfly release was Mayor Chadwick counting down to everyone setting their butterfly free. The butterflies are dormant in the envelopes and once they open up, the butterfly take a moment to awake before flying away.

April 12, 2022 - William Carroll Crawford Chapter of Daughters of Republic of Texas, J.J.E. Gibson Children of the Republic of Texas Flag Retirement Ceremony March 12, 2022.

John Austin Ford, Ian Williamson, and new member applicant, Pierson Waller of the JJE Gibson Chapter of the Children of the Republic of Texas held a Texas flag retirement ceremony following the William Carroll Crawford Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas meeting Saturday, March 11, 2022.

Merle Howard presented the program on the history of the Lone Star Flag which led into the CRT demonstrating the protocol of folding the Lone Star Flag and separating the colors to respectfully retire the flags later. Navy Veteran, Sean Martin assisted the youth in the folding demonstration. They then, unfolded one flag and demonstrated how to separate the colors for retirement. Air Force Veteran, Don Casto assisted in the separation of the colors.

The meeting dismissed after a light lunch and the following DRT members, SRT members and CRT members met at the home of John and Merle Howard to retire the flags.

Present were, John Austin Ford and Ian Williamson of the CRT. DRT members were President Gina Ferren, Registrar Maggie Casto, Chaplain Vickie Martin, 1st Vice President Gail Sholar, Treasurer Merle Howard and husband John, Parliamentarian Judy Lee, Lynn Williamson, Patricia Harrison, and SRT members Don Casto, Sean Martin, and Nolan Sholar.

Merle Howard continued with the script to retire the flags as John Austin and Ian presented the blue rectangle, the white rectangle, the red rectangle and finally the Lone Star of the flags to the flame. During the process those present saluted the flags as they were retired.

The ceremony concluded with Navy Veteran, Sean Martin and Air Force Veteran Don Casto talking about their jobs in their branch of service for our country. Members thanked them for their service.

April 11, 2022 - Jumping Jelly Beans! We’re egg-cited because the Easter Bunny is coming to Town and Country Real Estate pm Friday, April 15, 2022 from 2pm until 4pm. Get your photo taken with the bunny and enjoy treats and more! Town and Country Real Estate is located at 114 Nacogdoches Street, Center, Texas 75935.

April 11, 2022 - Dutch Oven Cooking is meeting Saturday, April 16 at Boles Field. Lonnie King will be there with his authentic 122 year old chuck wagon. Set up is at 9am with food on the table at 12:00 noon. Visitors and prospective members welcome.

April 8, 2022 - Time to start your Spring Cleaning. The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce announces there will be an Electronic Recycle Day on Friday, April 22nd and a Shred Day on Friday, April 29th.

You may take your electronics (only electronics) to R&J Recycling and Disposal on Friday, April 22nd between the hours of 8am and 4pm. R&J Recycling and Disposal is located at 306 FM 2468, right before you reach the Portacool plant. Volunteers will be available to help unload your vehicle.

The mobile Shredding Unit will be available on the downtown square in front of the Chamber of Commerce on Friday, April 29th from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Community members are invited to bring documents that need to be shredded.

Both services are provided free to the public as a service of the Shelby County Beautiful Clean program of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and our generous Sponsors:

  • Farmers State Bank, Gold Sponsor for Shredding Services
  • Republic Services, Presenting Sponsor for Recycling/Disposal Services

For more information please contact the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at (936) 598-3682 or

From left: Kristin Peace (50 Women), Lisa McAdams (50 Women), Linda Miller (50 Women), Sheilah Reeves (50 Women), Ann Grant (50 Women), Jody Hooper (CCS), Lauren Hovey Bonner (CCS), Mark Lawrence (CCS), and J.J. Ford (50 Women).

April 7, 2022 - The 50 Women Impact group voted for Community Christian Services (CCS) of Joaquin to receive their grant for the first quarter of 2022. The total amount donated by it’s members to CCS was $10,900!

Community Christian Services was started in 2015 and to date serves an average of 210 households per month. Presently, the most urgent needs of CCS is cold storage and transportation. On the application submitted by CCS they described success as one food box at a time, “It is humbling to be a part of numerous volunteers gathering each week working together to help people, many of which they don’t even know.”

The 50 Women Impact group was started in November of 2017 and selects a non-profit organization to support each quarter of the year. Applications are due in February, May, August, and November. In total, the power of giving as one has distributed nearly $186,000 to worthy organizations!

Awards presented in 2021:
1st quarter - Shelby County Expo $11,100
2nd quarter (Tie) - Shelby County Outreach Ministries $5,600 and Cole DePriest Scholarship Fund $5,600
3rd quarter - Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center $11,100
4th quarter - Shelby County Outreach Ministries’ Senior Nutrition Site/Meals on Wheels $11,100

Pictured above are (from left): Ruth Gonzales, Shelby County Deputy Chief; Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1; Anna Register, SCCAC Shelby County Coordinator; Marlene Hernandez, Family Advocate; Denise Merriman, SCCAC Executive Director; Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge; Tanner Peace; Shelby County Sheriff's Captain/SCCAC board President; Anabel Emmons, SCCAC board member; Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2; Tom Bellmyer, Commissioner Precinct 4; and Stevie Smith, Commissioner Precinct 3.

April 4, 2022 - Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center (SCCAC) staff and board members were present at the recent Commissioners’ Court meeting held Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in preparation for Child Abuse Awareness Month.

A proclamation was presented to the commissioners and was approved through a motion in favor.

Denise Merriman, Shelby County Children's Advocacy Executive Director, introduced board members and staff members who accompanied her to court. They were: Marlene Hernandez, Family Advocate; Anabel Emmons, board member; Anna Register, Shelby County Coordinator; and Tanner Peace, board President.

“I have enjoyed every minute of being able to work with the Advocacy Center, it’s truly amazing what those ladies do there and how they’re able to help the kids of our community,” said Peace. “I do want to appreciate the support that we’ve had from the [Commissioners’] court on disbursing the [Child Safety] Fee.”

Peace went on to report in the last two weeks they have had 25 new child cases, and he stated how much every bit of support and monetary assistance they receive is beneficial to the children of Shelby County.

Judge Harbison described the proclamation to the commissioners once again stating that it indicates April 2022 is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

She reminded everyone in court the annual butterfly release will be on April 7, 2022, 4:30pm on the Center square at the Historic 1885 Courthouse.

Judge Harrison encouraged anyone with children to attend the event and participate in the butterfly release.

“That’s always a really fun event, a lot of the kids come and the butterflies get released, and it’s really pretty cool,” said Judge Harrison.

April 1, 2022 - VFW Post 8904 and the Auxiliary honored Veterans of Somalia with a wreath laying at the Veterans Memorial on the grounds of the 1885 Historic Courthouse on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

Post Quartermaster Larry Hume stated, "Americans consider themselves to be a compassionate people, and the United States military has a long tradition of humanitarian relief operations both within and outside the continental United States, but never has this humanitarian impulse proven more dangerous to follow than in 1992 when the United States intervened to arrest the famine in the midst of an ongoing civil war in the East African country of Somalia." 

Hume continued, “Ultimately hundreds of thousands were saved, but unintended involvement in Somalian civil strife cost the lives of 30 American Soldiers, four Marines, and eight Air Force personnel during the years of 1992 to 1994. The American military has established the conditions for peace in the midst of a famine and civil war but unlike later in Bosnia, the factions were not exhausted in the fighting and were not yet willing to stop killing each other and anyone caught in the middle. There was no peace to keep and the United States withdrew all military combat troops in March of 1994. 

“The American G.I. had as always done their best under difficult circumstances to perform a complex, and often confusing task, but the best military in the world can only lay the foundation for peace; they cannot create peace itself."

In honor of the Veterans who served in Somalia, Past Post Commander Mike Langford placed the the memorial wreath. Taps was then sounded as presented by VFW Post Commander Gene Hutto in honor of those lost in Somalia and those who served and survived, but have since passed.