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September 22, 2021 - Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department reports at 1:25am on Wednesday, September 22nd, the fire department was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 600 block of East Saddle Street in Joaquin. 

Firefighters arrived to find a single wide mobile home with heavy fire showing from the kitchen end of the structure. 

The home was occupied by a family of five at the time the fire was discovered. Fortunately, everyone got out safely. Firefighters entered the structure and performed an interior attack, achieving a quick knockdown of the fire. 

Despite the quick knockdown and extensive salvage and overhaul operations, the home and its contents were a total loss. 

After ensuring that all hot spots were extinguished, fire units returned to the station at 3:10am. 

The JVFD was assisted on the scene by units from Desoto Fire District #1.

September 21, 2021 - (Update): As of 6:20pm, Mr. Scruggs returned home safely.


September 21, 2021 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of Bruce E. Scruggs, 85, of Timpson. Scruggs is a white male, 6’2”, weighs approximately 210 pounds with green eyes and silver hair.

He was last seen driving a 2013 grey Dodge pickup with Texas plate CHS3569 on FM 2026 in the Timpson area. The Dodge truck has a silver toolbox in the back with a visible dent.

If you have any information on Scruggs’ location, or if you have seen him, please contact the SCSO immediately by calling 936-598-5601.

September 21, 2021 - State Highway 87 South was the scene of a major two-vehicle collision Tuesday morning, September 21, 2021, sometime just before 6:50am.

Emergency responders including Shelbyville VFD and Sheriff's Department rushed to the scene to help those trapped inside a Jeep involved in the incident. Center Fire Department was immediately requested to the scene, as Jaws of Life was needed. Center Fire Department personnel worked diligently to cut through the vehicle to free those trapped inside. The roadway was blocked for several hours as emergency responders worked the scene.

The Jeep had collided with the rear of a log truck which was hauling a load.

According to information released by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Troopers investigated a fatal crash on the 9000 block of State Highway 87 just over four miles south of Shelbyville.

The preliminary investigation by Trooper David Shields indicates that at approximately 6:50am, a 2002 Freightliner truck-tractor semi-trailer was traveling north on SH 87, while a 2020 Jeep SUV was traveling behind it. The Jeep, for an unknown reason, struck the rear of the truck tractor semi-trailer.

The driver of the Freightliner has been identified as Steven Bennefield, 57, of San Augustine, and he was not injured.

The Jeep driver has been identified as Mianna Adair, 32, of Joaquin, and was transported to Christus Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler for treatment. Her passenger, Chesney Grace Adair, 7, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene by Marla Denby, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2.

The crash remains under investigation, no additional information at this time.

Watson & Sons Funeral Home transported Chesney Grace Adair from the scene.

So much is expected of first responders when they arrive at a crash scene, and the community at large isn't always aware of the terrible circumstances they have to directly face when they help those in need.

Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department expressed enormous gratitude to the Center Fire Department for responding to the scene with Jaws of Life and other extrication tools to help.

Effective September 19, 2021 Until further notice

September 20, 2021 - Due to a break in the line at Plant 1, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required the N.E.W. Water Supply Corporation PWS # 2030034 to notify all customers on FM 711, CR 203, CR 205, Fountain Town and Woodland Acres Communities to boil their water prior to consumption (eg., washing hands/ face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc). Children, seniors and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a notice to customers that rescinds the boil water notice in a manner similar to this notice.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received the notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact N.E.W. Water Supply Corporation at 220 W. Columbia Street, San Augustine, Texas, 75972, or call 936-288-0489 or Charles Sharp at 936-201-5001.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) can also be reached at 512-239-4691.

September 18, 2021 - Three new deaths were reported on Saturday bringing Septembers reported deaths to 13.

According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, Friday and Saturday combined numbers show 35 new cases and 34 estimated recoveries. Of the new cases, 19 were reported on September 17th and 16 were reported on September 18th.

The number of active cases is now 219.

September has had 270 new cases reported and 237 estimated recoveries reported.

September 18th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 17)
Confirmed Cases - 1,577 (6 new)
Probable Cases - 1,104 (10 new)
Fatalities - 89 (3 new)
Active Cases (Estimated) - 219
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,376 (4 new)

September 17th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 16)
Confirmed Cases - 1,571 (3 new)
Probable Cases - 1,094 (16 new)
Fatalities - 86
Active Cases (Estimated) - 207
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,372 (30 new)

September 16th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 15)
Confirmed Cases - 1,568 (5 new)
Probable Cases - 1,078 (6 new)
Fatalities - 86
Active Cases (Estimated)- 218
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,342 (16 new)

September 16, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, there were 11 new cases and 16 estimated recoveries reported on Thursday. The number of active cases is now 218.

September has had 235 new cases reported and 203 estimated recoveries reported.

September 16th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 15)
Confirmed Cases - 1,568 (5 new)
Probable Cases - 1,078 (6 new)
Fatalities - 86
Active Cases (Estimated)- 218
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,342 (16 new)

September 15th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 14)
Confirmed Cases - 1,563 (13 new)
Probable Cases - 1,072 (10 new)
Fatalities - 86
Active Cases (Estimated) - 223
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,326 (12 new)

September 16, 2021 - State Highway 87 South was the scene of a single-vehicle crash September 14, 2021, just south of CR 2010.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper David Shields, at around 9:10pm a white 2003 GMC Yukon driven by Walter Cartwright, 57, of Shelbyville was southbound on State Highway 87 when, for an unknown reason, the vehicle traveled off the roadway to the right.

The vehicle struck a tree on the driver's side and came to rest facing the roadway.

Center Fire Department personnel were on scene to assist in moving Cartwright to an ambulance. He was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for possible injuries.

No citations were issued at the time of the crash. The crash remains under investigation.

September 16, 2021 - The Shelby County Attorney's Office has negotiated a settlement September 16, 2021, involving the alleged illegal gambling activities uncovered by Shelby County Constables on September 5, 2021.

Through a hearing held before 123rd Judicial District Judge LeAnne K. Rafferty, Gary Rholes, Shelby County Attorney, and criminal defense lawyer Sean Hightower, representing Fardeen Sayani, worked out the arrangements and according to Rholes the court order allows him to administer those funds to help law enforcement.

"I'd just like to thank all law enforcement who worked on this and Honorable Judge LeAnne Rafferty for affording us a quick hearing," said Rholes.

Constable Cheatwood said he and County Attorney Rholes have been working on this together from day one.

"We just want to thank the citizens of our precincts, for working with our offices on illegal activity going on in Shelby County," said Constable Cheatwood.

Rholes said around $16,000 and 16 gaming machines have been relenquished in the arranged settlement. 

Constable Cheatwood thanked several law enforcement officers and agencies for helping with the operation.

"I want to give thanks to Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2; Josh Tipton, Constable Precinct 5, for working with me to begin what started in my precinct; Taylor Fanguy, Constable Precinct 4; Scott Burkhalter, Tenaha Police Department; Billy Lusk, Timpson ISD Police Department; Texas Department of Public Safety; Bryan Murff, Panola County Constable for coming and checking on my well-being," said Cheatwood.

Constable Josh Tipton mirrored Cheatwood’s appreciation of the other officers and agencies and in addition, he and Constable Cheatwood wanted to thank Sgt. Cody Muse. 

Related article:
Constables Halt Alleged Illegal Gambling Operation

September 15, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, there were 23 new cases and 12 estimated recoveries reported today, September 15th. The number of active cases is now up to 223.

September has had 224 new cases reported and 187 estimated recoveries reported.

September 15th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 14)
Confirmed Cases - 1,563 (13 new)
Probable Cases - 1,072 (10 new)
Fatalities - 86
Active Cases (Estimated) - 223
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,326 (12 new)

September 14th Numbers: (changes since Sept. 13)
Confirmed Cases - 1,550 (18 new)
Probable Cases - 1,062 (21 new)
Fatalities - 86 (2 new)
Active Cases (Estimated) - 214
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,314 (23 new)

September 15, 2021 - On September 8, 2021, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the San Augustine Rural Public Water System, #2030007, to issue a Boil Water Notice to inform customers, individuals or employees that due to conditions which occurred recently in the public water system, the water from this public water system was required to be boiled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

San Augustine Rural Water has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of September 15, 2021.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact the office:
220 West Columbia Street, San Augustine, Texas. 936-288-0489 or Charles Sharp 936-201-5001.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

If a customer, individual or employee wishes to contact the executive director, please call (512)239-4691.


September 8, 2021 - Due to a break in a line, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required San Augustine Rural Public Water System PWS #2030007 to notify Customers on FM 2213 and the Roberts Community to boil their water prior to consumption (eg., washing hands / face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc). Children, Seniors and Persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.

In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received the notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact San Augustine Rural Water System at 220 W. Columbia Street, San Augustine, Texas, 75972, or call 936-288-0489 or Charles Sharp at 936-201-5001.

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