May 29, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 9am on Friday, May 29, 2020, TxDSHS has reported to them 196 cumulative cases of COVID-19, 78 recoveries, and 6 deaths for a total of 112 active cases.

DSHS also reports of the 196 cumulative cases, 19 of those cases are "lost to follow" which means DSHS has not been able to contact them to follow up on their recovery. 

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages: (New cases since last report from May 20)

Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 143 (11 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 8
Shelbyville (75973) - 11
Tenaha (75974) - 19 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 15 (1 new)

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20: 11 cases (2 new)
Ages 21 to 40: 60 cases (3 new)
Ages 41 to 60: 72 cases (3 new), 4 death (1 new)
Ages 61 to 80: 36 cases (1 new), 2 death
Ages 81 to 100: 12 cases (4 new)
Age unknown: 5 cases

Editor's Note: Shelby County Today will update the numbers provided by the Shelby County Emergency Management office in a county situation report Monday-Friday providing the number of cases, recoveries, deaths, and zip code/age statistics. All the data reported in the situation report is confirmed data and not estimated. The recoveries reported by the Emergency Management Office are actual recoveries which have been verified. The recoveries and active cases reported on the TxDSHS website are estimated numbers. Shelby County Today will not be posting the DSHS reported number of cases on a daily basis but will once a week report all of the counties cumulative case counts.

May 28, 2020 - An overpass on U.S. Highway 96 North was the scene of a single-vehicle crash Sunday, May 24, 2020.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jesse Fountain, at 2:20pm Troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 96 North just past County Road 4360.

Upon arrival at the scene, it was determined a green 2001 F-150 driven by Juan Flores, 29, of Timpson was traveling northbound when a witness stated they were passed by the F-150 when it spun out of control. 

The F-150 then crossed the southbound traffic lanes before striking a concrete barrier at an overpass head-on. Due to the possibility of injury, the Center Fire Department was called to the scene with Jaws-of-Life to help extricate Flores from the vehicle.

Flores was transported from the scene of the crash by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for treatment of possible injury.

He was issued a citation for failure to control speed and no driver's license.

May 28, 2020 - A COVID-19 drive-thru testing site opened Friday, May 15, 2020 in the Walmart parking lot located at 765 Hurst St., Center, TX 75935 and remains available 3 days a week.

The site is supported by Walmart, eTrueNorth and state and local officials to test anyone who meets CDC and state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19 and those in high risk groups without symptoms. Those interested in being tested need to visit to see if eligible for testing and to make an appointment.

“Walmart is part of the community, and we are proud to help support the expansion of COVID-19 testing in Shelby County during this unprecedented time,” said Laurie Smalling Letts, Walmart Public Affairs Director for Texas. “We are grateful to our associates who keep our stores running, our pharmacists who support these testing sites, and to eTrueNorth and local officials as we work together to open the site and help our community.”

Details on the COVID-19 testing site:

  • Beginning Friday, May 15, 2020, the site will be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays weekly
  • 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., weather permitting. Appointments must be made through eTrueNorth’s online portal at, which will screen individuals to ensure they meet CDC eligibility for testing.
  • For questions regarding testing, call 800-635-8611.
  • Those being tested will need to wear a mask and stay in their cars for verification of eligibility criteria, ID check and self-administered test. For the safety of all those on-site, the test site is not available to those who walk up.
  • The site will use a self-administered nasal swab test that will allow those being tested to swab their own nose onsite while in their vehicles, observed by a trained medical volunteer to ensure the sample is taken correctly, and then dropped in the sealed sample into a container on their way out of the drive-through site.
  • eTrueNorth will handle processing test samples and communicating results to those tested and applicable Departments of Health.
  • The site will be staffed by Walmart healthcare professionals
  • Please note, testing is not available inside Walmart stores.
  • While individuals who are tested are awaiting results, please follow CDC guidelines and take steps to help prevent the virus from spreading to people in your home and community.

May 26, 2020 - A Shelby County Today viewer has reported a tree across Stephens Street, blocking the roadway, and a power outage as a result which began around 7am.

As of 9:23am, the tree remains across the roadway and the power is still out. 

May 26, 2020 - The water has receded at Risinger Creek and CR 4323 is now open again to regular traffic.

May 25, 2020 - Commissioner Tom Bellmyer announces County Road 4323 at Risinger Creek is currently under water and impassable to car traffic.

Barricades have now been established, and once the roadway clears will be removed and this information updated.


May 25, 2020 - Significant Weather Advisory for Southwestern De Soto and Northwestern Sabine Parishes, Eastern Shelby, Northeastern San Augustine and Northwestern Sabine Counties until 6:30pm.

At 5:28pm CDT, Doppler radar was tracking a strong thunderstorm over San Augustine, or 20 miles south of Center, moving northeast at 25

Half inch hail and winds in excess of 40 mph will be possible with this storm.

Locations impacted include...
San Augustine, Converse, Bland Lake, Patroon, Huxley, Stanley, Hurstown, Sexton, Calgary, Toledo Bend Reservoir North and Jordans Store.


Torrential rainfall is also occurring with this storm, and may lead to localized flooding. Do not drive your vehicle through flooded roadways.

Frequent cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm.

Lightning can strike 10 miles away from a thunderstorm. Seek a safe shelter inside a building or vehicle.

This storm may intensify, so be certain to monitor local radio stations and available television stations for additional information and possible warnings from the National Weather Service.

Fire personnel are seen in the above photo gaining access to property as they attempted to locate the crashed plane.

May 21, 2020 - A wooded area near the Center Municipal Airport was the location where Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers and Center Fire Department firemen were dispatched to when it was reported a plane had taken a nose dive and crashed just before 4:40pm Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

Authorities were feverishly searching a property just behind the woods and after a short time it was determined the plane was not located in the open field and the attention of fire personnel, law enforcement and EMS was quickly turned to the wooded area.

Searchers traveled in several directions as the search began.

Once inside the woods, directly behind Watson and Sons Funeral Home, the plane was located around 100 yards from the treeline where the majority of searchers had entered on the south-eastern side of the property.

Fire personnel worked painstakingly under the direction of Texas Department of Public Safety to extricate the members of the party within the airplane, and when it was determined the remainder of the efforts required the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) and FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) the operation was put on hold until those officials could arrive and continue their investigation. 

Neighbors to the crash site were quick to offer help to all the first responders in the area, including allowing access to their property.

Several law enforcement agencies joined in the search for the location of the plane which crashed near the Center Municipal Airport.

Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, pronounced the pilot and passenger at the scene of the crash and they were identified as John D. Scull, 73, and Carolyn Hooker Scull, 81.

At this time the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

UpdateThe plane crash that occurred yesterday has resulted in the deaths of two Tenaha residents. The pilot is identified as 73-year-old John D. Scull and the passenger has also been identified as 81-year-old Carolyn Hooker Scull.

Update: The investigation of the plane crash continued Thursday, May 21 with FAA and NTSB on scene along with local authories. Shelby County Justice of the Peace Pct 1 Donna Hughes preformed the inquest and confirmed the crash resulted in two fatalities, a male and a female.

JP Hughes expressed her thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time.

Additional information is anticipated today from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

May 20, 2020 - Authorities are currently investigating a small plane crash that occurred at 4:40pm Wednesday, May 20, 2020 behind Watson and Sons Funeral Home located off State Highway 7 east of Center. The Center FD is on scene assisting law enforcement.

According to a press release issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Troopers responded this afternoon to a report of a plane crash in Shelby County.

The preliminary information indicates at approximately 4:40p.m., DPS Troopers along with other first responders located the crash site, just south of the Center Municipal Airport. At this time details surrounding the cause of the crash and the identity of the occupant or occupants is not immediately available.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has been notified to conduct the investigation.

May 20, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 10am Wednesday, May 20, 2020, TxDSHS has reported to them 183 cumulative cases of COVID-19, 52 recoveries, and 5 deaths for a total of 126 active cases. 

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages: (New cases since last report from May 18)

Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 132 (3 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 8 (1 new)
Shelbyville (75973) - 11 (1 new)
Tenaha (75974) - 18 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 14 (1 new)

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20 - 9 cases (2 new)
Ages 21 to 40 - 57 cases (5 new)
Ages 41 to 60 - 69 cases, 3 death
Ages 61 to 80 - 35 cases, 2 death
Ages 81 to 100 - 8 cases
Age unknown - 5 cases

May 20, 2020 - The Shelby County Commissioners discussed and approved the replacement of the roof of the current courthouse with a pitch instead of the current flat build during their meeting held Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

After considering the bids for the roof work, the comissioners approved a bid from Alert Contracting in the amount of $130,500 to do the project. 

The company working on the air conditioning in conjunction with the contractor will be Parker Air Conditioning and he projected the work on the units to be four weeks, conservatively.

A motion carried by the commissioners to accept a bid on the Shelby General Hospital property of $150,001. Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge, stated the winning bid was by Kelby McCall of Lufkin, Texas under KMJR Properties, LLC. The deed for the property is being processed as well as an owners policy.

Commissioner Tom Bellmyer confirmed with Judge Harbison the county has been paid for the property.

"Money's in the bank, we had it by 1 o'clock that day right after lunch," said Judge Harbison. "They assured me that they're going to start cleaning the place up, mowing and tearing down what they can." 

Judge Harbison said the Probation office has everything they need of the property and the county can now cut power to the building. 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:55am.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. FY2020 Budget Line Item Transfers.
3. Bid for the Shelby County Courthouse roof of $130,500 from Alert Contracting.
4. Auction bid for the Shelby General Hospital property in the amount of $150,001 to Kelby McCall through KMJR Properties, LLC.
5. Adjourn.

May 19, 2020 - A railroad crossing in Shelby County will be closed Wednesday, May 20th, as crews work to repair and upgrade the road base.

The Union Pacific Railroad crossing on FM 2787 will be closed through the day as concrete and limestone are placed in both lanes on the south side of the tracks. Traffic control will be set near the crossing. Motorists should plan to detour around the work zone on FM 139 or choose alternate routes.

Once work is completed, motorists can expect continued maintenance work in the area for several weeks. A pilot car will in place to guide traffic through the work zones. Motorists should remain alert for signage, workers and moving equipment near this work zone. Obey all traffic control in place and prepare for delays.

For more information on road conditions and closures statewide, visit For more information on this project and others in the Lufkin District, contact or call (936) 633-4395.