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January 27, 2022 - Property Taxes are due Monday, January 31st to the county tax assessor-collector, Debora Riley. If you wait until February 1st, a penalty and interest of 7% will be charged for unpaid tax bills. In March the penalty and interest increases to 9% and continues to increase an additional 2% each month.

The courthouse is open until 4:30pm Monday through Friday.

INNOVA is Latin for ‘Renew’

January 26, 2022 - The Center Economic Development Corporation is seeking applications from businesses within the city that want to improve the appeal or make updates to their properties.

The INNOVA Grant seeks to provide financial assistance to any Center business located in downtown, a commercial or industrial zone. The program will reimburse the applicant 50% of qualifying improvements up to a certain dollar amount.

For more information, please contact Brianna Suell at (936)598-2491. INNOVA applications can be picked up at Center City Hall located at 617 Tenaha Street, Center Texas.  

INNOVA Grant recipients include: 936 CrossFit, Bob’s Pawn and Gun, Bounds Insurance Agency, Center Floral, Center Glass, David’s Auto and Diesel Repair, Hughes Florist, Johnstone Financial, Morrisons Insurance, Payne and Payne, Pine Colony Inn, Pinewood’s Beverage, Shoop Insurance Agency, Taco Bell, The Forge, Thomas R. McLeroy Jr. Attorney-at-Law, and many more…

January 25, 2022 - According to the Texas Department of State Health Service’s Covid-19 Dashboard, since yesterday there have been 12 total new cases of Covid-19 reported. Of the new cases reported, 9 are new confirmed cases and 3 are new probable cases.

Today’s increase is the smallest increase in new cases reported in over a week.

No new Covid-19 deaths were reported over night.

January 25th Numbers: (Changes since Jan. 24)
Confirmed Cases - 2,524 (9 new)
Probable Cases - 1,511 (3 new)
Fatalities - 117

January 24th Numbers: (Changes since Jan. 23)
Confirmed Cases - 2,515 (19 new)
Probable Cases - 1,508 (9 new)
Fatalities - 117

Daily Totals of New Cases
Tuesday (1/25) - 12 new
Monday (1/24) - 28 new
Sunday (1/23) - 44 new
Saturday (1/22) - 70 new
Friday (1/21) - 49 new
Thursday (1/20) - 44 new
Wednesday (1/19) - 17 new
Tuesday (1/18) - 30 new
Monday (1/17) - 76 new

January 25, 2022 - Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, announces County Roady 1246 will be closed in the middle for culvert replacement until work is complete.

IRS urges extra caution for taxpayers to file accurate tax returns electronically to speed refunds, avoid delays

January 24, 2022 — The Internal Revenue Service today kicked off the 2022 tax filing season with an urgent reminder to taxpayers to take extra precautions this year to file an accurate tax return electronically to help speed refunds.

The start of this year's tax season – which takes place earlier than last year's February 12 opening – signals the IRS is now accepting and processing 2021 tax returns. More than 160 million individual tax returns for the 2021 tax year are expected to be filed, with most before the April 18 tax deadline.

Most taxpayers face an April 18 deadline this year due to the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, DC falling on April 15. Taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine will have an April 19 deadline due to Patriots Day; disaster victims have later filing deadlines in some locations.

IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig noted that taxpayers need to take special care this year due to several critical tax law changes that took place in 2021 and ongoing challenges related to the pandemic.

"IRS employees are working hard to deliver a successful 2022 tax season while facing enormous challenges related to the pandemic," Rettig said. "There are important steps people can take to ensure they avoid processing delays and get their tax refund as quickly as possible. We urge people to carefully review their taxes for accuracy before filing. And they should file electronically with direct deposit if at all possible; filing a paper tax return this year means an extended refund delay."

For most taxpayers who file a tax return with no issues, the IRS anticipates they will receive their refund within 21 days of when they file electronically if they choose direct deposit – similar to previous years. Last year's average tax refund was more than $2,800.

"There are simple steps that people can take that will help them navigate this challenging tax season," Rettig said. "Filing electronically and using online resources instead of calling are just some of the steps that can help people avoid delays."

"IRS employees will do everything possible with the available resources to serve taxpayers this year," Rettig said. "We will work hard to deliver refunds quickly, serve as many people as possible and work to catch up on past tax returns affected by the pandemic. The IRS thanks you for filing your taxes, a critical part of helping our great nation."

IRS tips for a smooth filing season:

  • Fastest refunds by e-filing, avoiding paper returns: Filing electronically with direct deposit and avoiding a paper tax return is more important than ever this year to avoid refund delays. If you need a tax refund quickly, do not file on paper – use software, a trusted tax professional or Free File on IRS.gov.
  • Avoid delays; file an accurate tax return: More than ever this year, the IRS urges people to make sure they're ready to file an accurate tax return. An accurate tax return can avoid processing delays, extensive refund delays and later IRS notices.
  • Special care for EIP, advance Child Tax Credit recipients: The IRS also encourages caution to those people who received a third Economic Impact Payment or advance Child Tax Credit in 2021. Taxpayers should ensure the amounts they've received are entered correctly on the tax return. Incorrect entries when reporting these payments mean the IRS will need to further review the tax return, creating an extensive delay. To help taxpayers, the IRS is mailing special letters about the stimulus payments and advance Child Tax Credit payment amounts. People can also check the amount of their payments in their Online Account available on IRS.gov.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit refunds: By law, the IRS cannot issue a refund involving the Earned Income Tax Credit or Additional Child Tax Credit before mid-February, though eligible people may file their returns beginning on January 24. The law provides this additional time to help the IRS stop fraudulent refunds from being issued.
  • Avoid phone delays; online resources best option for help: IRS.gov is the quickest and easiest option for help. IRS assisted phone lines continue to receive record numbers of calls, more than the agency can handle with its limited resources. Avoid delays: Check IRS.gov first for refund information and answers to tax questions. Establishing an Online Account on IRS.gov can also help taxpayers get information quickly. The Online Account feature has recently been expanded to allow more people to gain access.
  • Don't normally file a return? Consider filing for CTC, other valuable credits: For people who don't normally file a tax return and didn't file a 2020 return or use the Non-Filers tool, they can still qualify for important credits they're eligible for, including the Recovery Rebate Credit (stimulus payment), advance Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit. The IRS encourages people in this group to file a 2021 tax return so they can receive all the credits for which they're eligible.
  • Online options for free help; answers to common questions: Use IRS.gov to get answers to tax questions, check a refund status or pay taxes. There's no wait time or appointment needed — online tools and resources are available 24 hours a day.
  • Other free options for help: IRS Free File is available to any person or family who earned $73,000 or less in 2021. Qualified taxpayers can also find free one-on-one tax preparation help around the nation through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs.
  • 2020 tax return still being processed? Tips to help with filing 2021 tax return: For people whose tax returns from 2020 have not yet been processed, they can still file their 2021 tax returns. For those filing electronically in this group, here's a critical point. Taxpayers need their Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI, from their most recent tax return when they file electronically. For those waiting on their 2020 tax return to be processed, make sure to enter $0 (zero dollars) for last year's AGI on the 2021 tax return. Visit Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return for more details.
  • April 18 tax deadline: The filing deadline is April 18 for most taxpayers; automatic six-month extensions of time to file are available for anyone by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

January 24, 2022 - According to the Texas Department of State Health Service’s Covid-19 Dashboard, since Friday there have been 142 total new cases of Covid-19 reported. Of the new cases reported over the weekend and Monday, 62 are new confirmed cases and 80 are new probable cases.

With the continued surge of Covid-19 cases, some businesses are once again encouraging masks be worn inside their locations. According to healthcare professionals, best practices for preventing the spread of Covid-19 continues to be good hand washing practices, cleaning and disinfecting, good ventilation inside buildings, wearing masks when indoors especially in large crowds or groups, and practice social distancing. If you are sick, stay home or if you have syptoms develop while out and about, go home.

No new Covid-19 deaths were reported over the weekend.

January 24th Numbers: (Changes since Jan. 23)
Confirmed Cases - 2,515 (19 new)
Probable Cases - 1,508 (9 new)
Fatalities - 117

January 23rd Numbers: (Changes since Jan. 22)
Confirmed Cases - 2,496 (18 new)
Probable Cases - 1,499 (26 new)
Fatalities - 117

January 22nd Numbers: (Changes since Jan. 21)
Confirmed Cases - 2,478 (25 new)
Probable Cases - 1,473 (45 new)
Fatalities - 117

January 21st Numbers:
Confirmed Cases - 2,453
Probable Cases - 1,428
Fatalities - 117

January 24, 2022 - The voter registration deadline for the March 1st Primary elections (Democrat and Republican) is just around the corner. January 31st is your last chance to update your address or register to vote. Make sure you’re all set to cast your ballot on March 1st. Make sure your voice is heard. Click here to visit votetexas.org to register to vote, confirm your voter registration status, update your address.

January 21, 2022 - One week ago the Texas Department of State Health Services announced an update to the Covid-19 Dashboard and a move away from reporting estimated number of active cases and estimate number of recoveries. Since then, the dashboard is only reporting the total number of cases and fatalities.

The number of confirmed cases and probable cases changed drastically after the update as the state was revising case totals to account for final 2020 case numbers. According to the press release, year-end data cleanup is a standard part of public health reporting.

The numbers published after the update and just prior to the update were as follows:

January 14th Numbers:
Confirmed Cases - 2,310
Probable Cases - 1,320
Fatalities - 115
Year - 2020-2022

January 13th Numbers: The last reported numbers before the update to the Dashboard.
Confirmed Cases - 2,002
Probable Cases - 1,495
Fatalities - 115
Active Cases (Estimated) - 438
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,945

The change moved an unknown number of cases from Probable to Confirmed. The difference between Confirmed and Probable cases is the type of test given. Confirmed cases are a person who has tested positive through a molecular test that looks for the virus’s genetic material. Probable cases are a person who has either tested positive through an antigen test or has a combination of symptoms and a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 without a more likely diagnosis.

The combined total number of cases (Confirmed and Probable) on January 13 was 3,497. The combined total number of cases on January 14 was 3,630 for a difference of 133 new cases reported that day.

For the week, since January 14th, a total of 251 new cases were reported and 2 new deaths.

January 21st Numbers: (Changes since Jan. 14)
Confirmed Cases - 2,453 (143 new)
Probable Cases - 1,428 (108 new)
Fatalities - 117 (2 new)


DSHS updates COVID-19 dashboard with final 2020 data

Expanded demographic data to be available

January 14, 2022 Press Release - With Friday’s update to the Texas COVID-19 data dashboard, the Texas Department of State Health Services is revising case totals to account for final 2020 case numbers. DSHS reported a total of 1,620,499 confirmed and 182,983 probable cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 2020. As of today, statewide and county numbers will be adjusted to reflect those final totals. The dashboard will be down for a period of time Friday afternoon as the updates are made.

Year-end data cleanup is a standard part of public health reporting. Epidemiologists review case information to weed out cases that may have been reported multiple times or by different jurisdictions, identify cases that may have been missed, verify cases are assigned to the right county, and ensure cases are classified correctly as either confirmed or probable. Any errors are corrected, and the result is the most accurate accounting of disease cases possible. Until the finalization process is complete and data reported to the CDC, all public health data is considered provisional and subject to change.

DSHS is also making dashboard improvements, including allowing users to filter by year and enhancing the demographic information available. Data that shows disease cases by sex, age and race/ethnicity will include all Texas cases reported into the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System. Until now, demographic data has only been available for a small subset of cases. Users will also be able to view monthly demographics for COVID-19 cases and deaths, and a future update will add rate calculations. DSHS is removing the estimates of active and recovered cases because of the difficulty of assigning them to a specific year.

The final 2020 data increases the total number of confirmed and probable Texas cases by about one-half of one percent. Individual counties may see larger changes. Most are due to a combination of de-duplicating cases reported multiple times, correcting the county of residence, or correcting the classification of the case, for example, when a person who was initially a probable case got additional testing and became a confirmed case.

DSHS will continue to update the dashboard daily with the latest available information and make improvements in data collection and display over time.


This is a picture of the vehicle believed to be driven by the suspect(s) and it is believed to be a black 2008-2011 Ford Escape. The suspects should be considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached.

January 21, 2022 - On January 17, 2022, at approximately 1:30 PM, the San Augustine Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call in regards to a shooting that took place at a residence on County Road 120 East.

At the scene, Deputies, along with San Augustine Police City Officers found that Courtney Garrett had been shot during a home invasion by two unknown black males. Mr. Garrett was transported to the emergency room in San Augustine, where he was then transported to LSU trauma center in Shreveport Louisiana by life flight.

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident and is currently following up on leads to identify the suspects. Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact Sheriff’s Investigator Joey Haley at the San Augustine Sheriff’s Office at 936-275 2424.

January 19, 2022 - State Highway 7 (SH7) East two miles east of Center was the scene of a major two-vehicle crash Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

Emergency responders were dispatched to the major crash incident, and when they arrived both vehicles were off the roadway. One was on the westbound shoulder and the other was on the eastbound shoulder.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper David Shields, at around 6:20pm a silver 2015 Mazda CX-5 SUV driven by a 59-year-old female driver was westbound on SH7 East at an unsafe speed during wet roadway conditions and heavy rain and veered over into the eastbound lane striking head-on a grey 2019 Honda Pilot SUV which was eastbound.

The Mazda came to rest on the eastbound side of the roadway and the Honda came to rest on the westbound side of the roadway.

Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for further medical evaluation.

Center Fire Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department personnel assisted at the scene with traffic control until the roadway was clear.

Additional identifying information on the driver's was not yet available at the time of this report.

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