April 1, 2020 - Hope Community Medicine would like the public to know that we are an active testing site for COVID-19 and are seeing all patients.

We ask that you call our office first to determine what precautions to take to ensure you are treated correctly, and with the utmost safety to yourself and others. We do have protocols in place to ensure the safety of all patients and staff.

We ask that you call our office to get tested if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever above 100.4
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

Call us immediately if you have the symptoms above and meet the criteria below:

  • have been in close contact with a Laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patient within 14 days of symptom onset
  • have a travel history from affected geographic areas within 14 days of symptom onset

Please be patient as we are in daily communication with the CDC and the Texas Department of Health and protocols, for testing and treatment may change as this current crisis unfolds.

If you have severe difficulty breathing or are in serious distress, please go straight to the Emergency Room. (Call ahead to let them know you are on your way.)

3 locations to better serve you! Tenaha (936) 248-4673, Center (936) 598-2716, and San Augustine (936) 275-4420.

April 1, 2020 - The Shelby County Commissioners met April 1, 2020 and addressed several regular items for consideration. Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge, stated before the meeting she had spoken with medical representatives in Nacogdoches who have indicated Shelby County would be getting a testing facility for COVID-19 and additional information is forthcoming.

"The one they're doing in Nacogdoches is, you call in and you're screened, and if you meet the criteria then you're given an appointment," said Judge Harbison. "We're hoping it's the rapid tests that are 24 hours."

Judge Harbison then called the meeting to order for the 1st day of April. She welcomed guests at the meeting and invited Bro. Rob Merriman to say a prayer. 

Harbison suggested they put off the bid presentations by bidders - one was having to drive from Houston. They have three and all three have different types of roofs they are offering. They passed on the item until a future meeting.

Judge Harbison read aloud a Proclamation Declaring April as Child Abuse Awareness Month to the commissioners' court.

Whereas during the month of April 2020, Shelby County Advocacy Center will observe National Child Abuse Awareness Month to raise awareness of child abuse neglect and create strong communities to support the strengthening and healing of abused children and their non-offending family members.

And Whereas, each year hundreds of Shelby County children are confirmed victims of child abuse and neglects, and its prevention is a community-wide responsibility. 

And Whereas, Shelby County's Children's Advocacy Center serves hundreds of abused and neglected children, as well as their non-offending family members each year.

And Whereas, it is important to remember that children are our future. We must nurture and protect them and provide a safe environment in which they can grow and prosper. 

Now therefore, be it resolved, that the Shelby County Commissioners' Court hereby recognizes and proclaims April 2020 to be Child Abuse Awareness month in Shelby County, Texas and urges all citizens to work together to help significantly reduce child abuse and neglect in our community.

A motion then carried by the commissioners to approve recognizing April 2020 as Child Abuse Awareness Month.

"I want to make a statement that how much I appreciate the advocacy center here in Shelby County. I think that we have a great, great center and I'll put it up against anybodys in the state, in the nation," said Judge Harbison.

Precinct 1 and 2 commissioners have been discussing the 6-month lease of a 2020 belly dump trailer. Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, explained each of the two precincts would be paying $3,000 into the lease agreement for a total of $6,000. 

A motion carried to approve the contract with Brazos Trailer Manufacturing L.L.C and the payment of $6,000.

Discussions have been ongoing for the rental of space for the Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace and Constable. A contract has been approved by Gary Rholes, Shelby County Attorney, and Judge Harbison explained the contract could be re-negotiated at the end of the year. 

A motion carried to approve the contract for the rental.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:46am.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. Current payroll.
3. No public comments.
4. Venders bidding on roof repairs - Tabled.
5. Proclamation declaring April as “Child Abuse Awareness Month.”
6. 6-month lease between Commissioner Pct. 1 and Commissioner Pct. 2 with Brazos Trailer Manufacturing L.L.C for a 2020 Belly Dump Trailer.
7. Rental space for Justice of the Peace and Constable for Precinct 3.
8. Adjourn.

March 31, 2020 - Just over two-and-a-half miles south of Center on U.S. Highway 96 was the scene of a single-vehicle crash early Tuesday morning.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, at 3:50am on March 31, 2020 a grey 2015 Hyundai Sonata driven by Michael Blake Higgenbotham, 19, of San Augustine was northbound on U.S. 96 when he fell asleep while traveling to work. 

The Hyundai left the roadway to the right, struck a mailbox and traveled through the barrow ditch before returning to the roadway. The vehicle then crossed the highway before coming to rest on the southbound side of the road.

Center Fire Department firemen were dispatched to the scene where they cut Higgenbotham free of the vehicle. As the firemen worked, they did so with respirators for the protection of themselves and those around them.

Higgenbotham was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. He will be issued a citation for failure to maintain a single lane.

Center Police Department Officers also assisted at the scene.

March 31, 2020 - The City of Joaquin has issued a declaration of local state of disaster to take effect 10pm Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The declaration is available to be viewed at the following link: View Here

March 31, 2020 - Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison reports two additional cases of COVID-19 which brings the total to 4 cases for the county.

Judge Harbison emailed, "I was notified last night by the Department of State Health Services that Shelby County has 2 more confirmed COVID-19 cases bringing our total to 4. I have been informed by health professionals that they have performed numerous tests and there will probably be more positive results to come. This is why is it so important for everyone that can stay home, to stay at home. You are exposing yourselves to other people and you don’t know where they have been or who they have been in contact with. PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE, IT MAY BE YOUR LIFE YOU SAVE."

March 30, 2020 - The City of Tenaha met in an emergency special session Monday, March 30, 2020 at 5:30pm to consider several actions related to COVID-19. 

As a result of this meeting, the council approved the Declaration of local state of disaster due to public health emergency. (View Here

The council approved an order setting a curfew of 9pm through 6am nightly starting March 30 through April 7. (View Here)

A motion also carried for the council to enact a stay at home order starting March 30 at 9pm and endings April 6 at 9pm. (View Here)

March 30, 2020 (Complete Local State of Disaster Order) - Beginning at 11:59pm Monday, March 30, 2020 and ending at 11:59pm April 30th, Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison is ordering all individuals living within Shelby County to stay home and travel only to perform essential activities, essential government functions, or to operate essential businesses as outlined here. Please read the order carefully to see how daily activities and business will be impacted.

The following are four categories of allowed activities:

1. Activities related to maintaining the health and safety of their family, household members, and their pets. Examples are seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication, and visiting a healthcare professional. This includes caring for a family member or pet in another household.
2. Activities to obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves, their family and household, including groceries or food (such as from curbside or drive-thru pickup from restaurants), pet supplies and pet food, supplies needed to work from home and consumer products, and picking up materials for distance learning or school-provided meals.
3. Outdoor activity, such as walking, running or cycling, but only if social distancing is upheld, such as staying six feet away from other people.
4. Working for an exempted business or government that is providing essential services or products needed by the public during this crisis, this is explained in detail below.

All public and private gatherings consisting of more than 10 individuals or anyone than a person’s own household or family are prohibited.

Businesses and organizations that are providing products and services that are needed by the community during this crisis are exempt. The followed exempt businesses may continue operating, provided they exercise proper social distancing:

Healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare facilities and supplies, home-based care and residential facilities for seniors and children, and veterinary care;
Essential infrastructure including construction, water, sewer, gas, electrical, roads and solid waste collection and removal, internet, telecommunications systems, first responders, emergency management personnel, law enforcement, emergency dispatchers, animal shelters;
Government functions  as determined by the government entity to perform those functions provided social distancing requirements are met;
Businesses related to food sales, delivery, and cultivation such as grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, food and good delivery operations, pet supplies, liquor stores, farming, livestock, and fishing;
Charitable organizations providing food, shelter and social services to economically disadvantaged or vulnerable populations, including animals;
• Businesses engaged in the sales, transporting, and licensing of firearms, knives, ammunition and gun supplies.
News media, including newspapers, television, radio and other media outlets providing information to the public.

March 30, 2020 - Tenaha Police Officers responded to the intersection of South Houston and Vine street regarding a report of a stabbing victim on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at approximately 4:55pm. Upon arrival, officers located the victim in the yard of a residence suffering from a stab wound.  

A Tenaha Police Officer began life-saving skills on the victim until Paramedics arrived to render medical aid. Timpson Police Department, and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office also responded to assist with the situation as a large crowd of people had begun to gather and others began to fight.  Once the scene was secured officers continued the investigation.

Bobby Williams, Sr.

The victim was transported to LSU Health in Shreveport LA, by Life Air Rescue where he was treated and released. Three arrests were made in connection with the incident including Bobby Williams, Sr., 43, charged with Aggravated Assault 22.02 (a)(2) F-2, Engaging Organized Criminal Activity 71.02 (b) F-2. Dezelle Williams, 25, charged with Engaging Organized Criminal Activity 71.02 (b) F-2, Sadara Wilson, 27, charged with Aggravated Assault 22.02 (a)(2) F-2, Engaging Organized Criminal Activity 71.02 (b) F-2.  

Dezelle Williams

All were transported to the Shelby County jail where they were booked on the above charges.
The preliminary investigation suggests the incident was not random in nature, as the victim was involved in a physical altercation with the suspect. The victim has been identified as Brandon Horton, 32, a Tenaha resident.

Sadara Wilson

It was learned that the motive for the physical encounter between the victim and the suspect is in retaliation of a previous altercation that occurred in Timpson, Texas where another individual received a gunshot wound, however the investigation is currently ongoing. Possible charges are pending due to further investigation.

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Tenaha Police Department at (936) 248-3831.

Related article:

Timpson, Tenaha Scenes of Back-to-Back Violent Incidents

March 29, 2020 - Letter from Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison

Yesterday, I was notified by the Department of State Health Services that Shelby County has its 2nd confirmed case of COVID-19. It appears that it is from Community Spread. This means that the patient does not know where they were exposed. 

Governor Abbott issued another Executive Order which limits travel between Texas and Louisiana. Only essential travelers will be able to travel from LA without a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Essential travel is defined as traveling in connection with commercial activity, military service, emergency response, health response, or critical infrastructure functions. This includes to your place of work.

I urge everyone to stay close to home if possible. If you are going crazy at home, get out and work in your yard, walk around the block or down the road. Stay away from people who are not in your household, when you go to the grocery store or pharmacy respect each other’s personal space.

As I have information, I will notify the press.

Be Kind, Be Smart, Stay Safe, Be Well!!

March 29, 2020 - Altercations in Timpson and Tenaha developed into violent incidents Saturday afternoon, March 28 which left one individual injured involving a firearm in Timpson and another involving a knife in Tenaha.

Law enforcement officials were first dispatched to Timpson during the afternoon.

According to information released by the Timpson Police Department, they along with the Shelby County Sheriff's Department and Tenaha Police Department responded to a disturbance with shots fired at MLK Park and Park Street in the City of Timpson at 2:45pm.

The victim, identified as Kendall Davis, 19, of Timpson was shot in the left leg. He was transported by Timpson Volunteer Ambulance Service to Nacogdoches Medical Center and admitted, receiving treatment for a non-life threatening wound.

Bobby Ray Williams

The suspect in the shooting was identified as Bobby Ray Williams, Jr., 20, of Timpson. Williams was arrested by Timpson Police and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felon 1; deadly conduct, felony 3; and tampering with evidence, felony3.

B'Sean Williams

Also arrested was B'Sean Williams, 19, of Timpson who was charged with tampering with evidence, felony 3. 

This case is ongoing with no further information at this time.

Members of the DeSoto Parish fire District #1 Toledo Bend Search and Recovery Dive Team were called in Sunday to search for additional evidence of the shooting incident in a pond not far from MLK Park.

Not long after the incident occurred in Timpson Saturday, officers responded to Fallin Place in Tenaha where a large group of people had gathered. 

The extent of the resulting injuries is unknown at this time; however, the injured party in Tenaha was flown by helicopter from a landing zone near the fire department.

Related article:

Tenaha Police Department Reports on Stabbing Incident