The story headline links to a better view of the story and share features.

October 5, 2019 - Kalei LaRock, a senior at Center ISD, showed the Grand Champion chicken at the 2019 East Texas Poultry Festival Broiler show. Reserve Grand Champion broiler was shown by Lance Holloway.  The auction will be held tonight at 7pm under the big tent.

October 4, 2019 - Hurst Street at the intersection of Foster Street was the scene of a two-vehicle crash September 17, 2019. 

One vehicle involved came to rest on the southbound side of the roadway while the other vehicle involved traveled across the road and came to rest in a parking lot.

According to Center Police Officer Robert Lee, around 12-noon a black 2018 Chevrolet Traverse driven by Jordan Latrache, 27, attempted to exit the Walmart driveway and travel across Hurst Street to Foster Street.

At that time a white 2009 Hyundai Sonata driven by Sydney Cheshire, 19, was southbound on Hurst Street when the Traverse crossed into the lane of travel for the Sonata and the vehicles collided.

No injuries were reported as a result of the collision. 

Accordng to crash statistics, that particular location has had 35 crashes in the past five years from 2014 to 2019.

October 3, 2019 - (Update: 4:49pm) - The National Weather Service in Shreveport has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Northeastern Nacogdoches County in eastern Texas, Southwestern Shelby County in eastern Texas, Northwestern San Augustine County in eastern Texas until 5:30pm CDT.

At 4:42 PM CDT, a severe thunderstorm was located 7 miles northeast of Martinsville, or 10 miles southwest of Center, moving west southwest at 20 mph.

Hazard: 60 mph wind gusts and penny size hail.

Source: Radar indicated.

Impact: Expect damage to roofs, siding, and trees.

Locations impacted include Garrison, Melrose, Martinsville, Neuville, Appleby, Arcadia, Jericho and Stockman.

Precautionary/Preparedness Actions:

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

Large hail and damaging winds and continuous cloud to ground lightning is occurring with this storm. Move indoors immediately. Lightning is one of nature`s leading killers. Remember, if you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

Significant Weather Advisory for Southeastern Panola, Shelby, Northeastern San Augustine and Northwestern Sabine Counties until 5pm CDT.

At 3:54pm CDT, Doppler radar was tracking strong thunderstorms along a line extending from 6 miles north of Joaquin to near Milam. Movement was west northwest at 10 to 15 mph.

Pea size hail and wind gusts up to 50 mph will be possible with these storms.

Locations impacted include: Center, Milam, San Augustine, Tenaha, Timpson, Joaquin, Rosevine, Patroon, Macune, Shelbyville, Bland Lake, Neuville, Gary City, Hurstown, Denning, James, Sexton, Jericho, Calgary and Arcadia.

October 3, 2019 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department has arrested a former jailer on charges of improper sexual activity with person in custody, state jail felony.

Jayaveon Standley, 27, of Center was arrested on September 30, 2019 for the charge. According to the arrest affidavit, obtained by Shelby County Today, while Standley was an official of the Shelby County Jail he allegedly engaged in deviate sexual activity with an inmate while he was in custody.

Sheriff’s Department Investigator Chad Brown indicated in the affidavit he reviewed jail footage of the incident after receiving report of the alleged sexual activity between inmate and jailer.

Upon reviewing the footage from September 25, 2019, Brown stated he observed Standley and the inmate enter the jail booking room and then the adjoining dressing room. 

It’s at that time the alleged incident occurred and Investigator Brown described seeing a sex act between Standley and the inmate.

According to jail records, Standley was released from the Shelby County Jail the same day of his arrest on a $10,000 bond.

In 2017 a former jail Sergeant, Korey McClure, was arrested on similar charges, as well as bribery; however, the cases have yet to be tried in court.

Related article:
Shelby County Jail Sergeant Arrested on Two Felony Charges

October 3, 2019 - The Shelby County Commissioners gave raises to many county employees following an executive session during their meeting held October 2, 2019.

When the meeting returned from executive session, Commissioner Charles Barr stated the outside auditors usually give the county a positive audit and he said that is a reflection on the county judge, some on the commissioners, as well as the County Auditor, and Treasurer.

"But there's a lot of people downstairs and around that do a lot of work and I think it has a lot to do with them as well," said Barr.

A motion then carried to give an across the board raise of 50 cents an hour to clerical staff, which came to 31 people. It was specified the funds for that raise would come out of contingency.

Another motion then carried by the commissioners to approve a $1 raise on top of the 50 cent raise for deputy county clerk, deputy district clerk and deputy tax assessor collector, to be made available to the department whether the department uses it or not.   

Barr stated he and Commissioner Jimmy Lout have part-time employees, Lout with some that have been on for six years and Barr with some who have been on for two years.

A motion carried to raise those commissioner part-time employees to the regular pay scale at part-time.

A raise was then also given to new employees hired for clerical work.

A motion carried to raise the starting pay to $10.75 an hour.

Earlier in the meeting there was discussion of the City of Joaquin paying Newton Johnson, Jr. $1,000 a month, as they recently approved that expenditure. There was discussion over the possibility of the city giving the money to the county and then the county handling disbursement, since Johnson is a reserve deputy constable; however, Constable Roy Cheatwood stated he had spoken to Mayor Bill Baker.

"As far as their agreement was to just go ahead and pay Mr. Newton through their deal," said Cheatwood. "I'm not an attorney or nothin', but I researched and actually you know, Newton's a reserve deputy he's not a county employee."

Cheatwood offered to take a letter to the city of Joaquin on behalf of the commissioners' court letting them know to move forward with their plans involving Johnson and not include the county in them.

"The city is actually wanting to try to start a municipal court. I think the mayor in about three months is going to go to school where he could actually be the judge," said Cheatwood.

Cheatwood stated Joaquin is a lawless city as the ordinances and laws of the city can't be enforced due to their not being a municipal court. 

No action was taken.

The meeting was adjourned.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. Current payroll
3. Retain the law firm of Allison, Bass & Magee, L.L.P. for 2020 Redistricting Services, sign agreement, and authorize the first payment of $5,000 for the Initial Assessment fee.
4. Give an across the board raise of 50 cents an hour to clerical staff, which came to 31 people. It was specified the funds for that raise would come out of contingency.
5. $1 raise on top of the 50 cent raise for deputy county clerk, deputy district clerk and deputy tax assessor collector, to be made available to the department whether the department uses it or not. 
6. Raise Precinct 2 and 3 commissioner part-time employees to the regular pay scale at part-time.
7. Raise the starting pay for clerical employees to $10.75 an hour.
8. Adjourn.

October 1, 2019 - The Shelby County Courthouse will close early Friday October 4, 2019 at 1pm

October 1, 2019 - Center weather statistics for September 2019 are prepared and submitted by Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Service Observer.

Highest Temp was 101 degrees on 9-15-2019
Highest Temp on Record was 112 degrees on 9-02-2000
Lowest Temp was 67 degrees on 9-13, 9-28 and 9-29-2019
Lowest Temp on Record was 39 degrees on 9-29-1967

Rainfall Recorded was 1.17 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 3.65 inches
Below Average by 2.48 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 16.64 inches in 1978
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.28 inches in 1955

September had one day Triple Digit of 101 degrees
Rainfall recorded through September is 43.15 inches
Average Rainfall through September is 38.41 inches

Enjoy the Shelby County Poultry Festival this week folks!

Click here to view the full weather report

September 27, 2019 - The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday approved more than $514.9 million in new construction projects statewide, with more than $4.7 million approved for the Lufkin District. In addition, more than $40.7 million was approved for maintenance contracts statewide, with more than $2.5 million approved for the Lufkin District.

Construction projects approved for districtwide locations include:

Two projects, a $2.36 million and a $2.35 million were awarded to Stripe-A-Zone, Inc., Grand Prairie, TX, for the installation of profile pavement markings at various districtwide locations in Angelina, Nacogdoches, San Augustine, Sabine, Houston, Trinity, Polk, San Jacinto and Shelby counties.

Maintenance contracts approved for the district include:

A $718,542 bridge maintenance project was awarded to Scott Tucker Construction Company, LLC Fort Worth, TX that includes:

  • Angelina County: BU 69 NB at the Union Pacific Railroad; Spur 278 at Hurricane Creek and SH 103 at Crawford Creek
  • Houston County: US 287 at Mayes Branch, SH 21 at Big Creek and FM 1280 at Lost Creek
  • Nacogdoches County: SH 7 at the Attoyac River and FM 343 at the Angelina River
  • Polk County: US 190 at Choates Creek, FM 942 at Brushy Creek and FM 942 at McManus Creek
  • Sabine County: SH 21 at Carrice Creek, SH 87 at Housen Bayou Relief, SH 87 at Big Sandy Creek Relief and FM 2971 at Housen Bayou
  • San Augustine County: FM 705 at Copelle Creek, FM 3153 at Palo Gaucho Bayou and FM 3153 at Cypress Creek
  • San Jacinto County: SH 105 at Peach Creek, SH 156 SB at Stephens Creek, FM 945 at Sand Creek and FM 222 at Huffman Creek
  • Shelby County: US 96 at BNSF Railroad, SH 87 at Tenaha Slough, US 59 at Flat Fork Creek Slough #2, FM 947 at Nelson Creek and FM 947 at Ship Creek
  • Trinity County: SH 19 at Tantabogue Slough

A $1.3 million maintenance contract that includes on-call traffic control services for Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine and Shelby counties. Area Wide Protective, Inc., North Canton, OH, will serve as contractor for the maintenance section services.
$520,270.28 maintenance contract that includes on-call traffic control services for Polk and San Jacinto counties. Area Wide Protective, Inc., North Canton, OH, will serve as contractor for the maintenance section services.

As these projects begin, motorists are urged to stay alert and reduce speed through work zones. For more information about road conditions and closures statewide, visit For more information on these and other Lufkin District projects, contact or (936) 633-4395.

September 26, 2019 - Louisiana Street in Center was the location of a major single-vehicle crash Wednesday, September 25, 2019. 

Center Fire Department firemen redirected traffic at the scene and extinguished a fire outside the SWEPCO substation located near to the crash. 

According to Center Police Sgt. Chris Knowlton, sometime just before 1pm Donald Cohenour, 72, of Center was driving a black Chevrolet Silverado westbound on Louisiana Street (State Highway 7 East) when Cohenour stated he believed he fell asleep. 

A witness who was standing outside at the time, said she saw the truck hit the right hand curve of the roadway and travel off the road where it then struck a utility pole. 

Cohenour was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for medical treatment.

September 25, 2019 - Emergency personnel are currently diverting traffic on Louisiana Street in Center due to a crash.

The vehicle involved struck a pole and power is out at locations on the south end of Center. Travellers should consider an alternate route at this time to avoid delays.

Power on the north end of town seems to be less affected. The driver of the vehicle was transported from the scene by ambulance.

At this time, barricades are in place on Louisiana Street (SH 7) at the intersection of Railroad Ave. and the intersection of Patton Street.

More information will be added on #ShelbyCountyToday as it’s made available.

September 26, 2019 - The Shelby County Judges office would like to make the public aware of phone issues with some of the offices in the courthouse. Please do not think your calls are being ignored. The phone company is working to resolve the issues which may take several days before they are repaired and all operational again. Thank you for your patience during this time of technical difficulties.