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July 29, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 8:30am on Wednesday, July 29, 2020, TxDSHS has reported 6 new cases increasing the total of cumulative cases to 348. The death count is 14 for Shelby County. (The DSHS website dashboard now shows 17 deaths for Shelby County.)

According to the state's algorithm to determine recoveries, no new recoveries were reported and the total of recoveries remains at 266 and active cases is now 68.

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages:

Active Cases in each zip code: (Change in Data)

Center (75935) - 39 (5 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 6
Shelbyville (75973) - 3
Tenaha (75974) - 13
Timpson (75975) - 7 (1 new)

Cumulative Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 240 (5 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 20
Shelbyville (75973) - 20
Tenaha (75974) - 41
Timpson (75975) - 26 (1 new)

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20: 33 cases (1 new)
Ages 21 to 40: 112 cases (2 new)
Ages 41 to 60: 110 cases (2 new), 4 deaths
Ages 61 to 80: 57 cases, 4 deaths
Ages 81 to 100: 30 cases, 6 deaths
Age unknown: 6 cases (1 new)

July 29, 2020 - Site lease agreements between EIP Holdings II, LLC and Shelby County for radio communications were approved during Commissioners Court on July 22, 2020. 

The agreement facilitates the use of a tower owned by EIP Holdings II, LLC for the communications of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Road and Bridge Department, Adult Probation Department and the Volunteer fire departments of the county. 

A motion carried to approve the total payment of $17,700 a year to EIP Holdings II, LLC for this lease. 

The contract requires the county to pay $3,300 each month and should the rent be late, it will require an additional 10%. Each anniversary of the commencement date requires a 3% increase of the rent.

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison stated the agreement has been in the making for the past six months. She further explained the initial agreement is for two years and after that will renew for five additional two-year terms, making it a potential 12-year agreement. 

Following the 12-year rental period, the contract inidicates holdover rent to the county would be 125% of the rate at that time, which would be around $4,643.75.

Commissioner Tom Bellmyer asked if the amount for the lease is budgeted.

"We've consolidated this lease into one account in non-departmental, so we're not going to be covering it out of splitting it up for each precinct, or the sheriff," said Clint Porterfield, County Auditor. "We're just going to pay it out of one account  and let the General Fund cover the whole cost of that."

The commissioners heard from Debora Riley, Tax Assessor/Collector, on local optional fees collected via Chapter 502 of the Transportation Code. These include fees for Road and Bridge and the Child Safety Fee which through the county serves to benefit organizations such as the Children's Advocacy Center and Court Appointed Special Advocates. 

"We're at the max level on both the Road and Bridge is set at $10 and then the Child Safety fee is set at $1.50," said Debora Riley, Tax Assessor/Collector.

By law, the Road and Bridge fee may not exceed $10 and the fees must go into the county Road and Bridge fund. 

The Child Safety fee may not exceed $1.50, by law, and the revenue must be used for school crossing guard services, while remaining funds must be used for programs to enhance child safety, health, or nutrition, including child abuse intervention and prevention, as well as drug and alcohol abuse prevention.

A motion carried by the commissioners to keep the fees as they are.

The commissioners entered an executive session during which time they interviewed Scotty Burkhalter for the Courthouse Security position. 

Following executive session, no action was taken and Judge Harbison informed the public there is another candidate for the position whom two of the commissioners would be interviewing.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:

1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. Current payroll.
3. FY2020 Budget line item transfers
4. Site Lease Agreements with EIP Holdings II, LLC for radio communications for Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Road and Bridge Department, Adult Probation Department, and all Volunteer Fire Departments starting at $17,700 per year for the first two years.
5. Optional fees from Chapter 502 of the Transportation Code for the Calendar year 2021.
6. Adjourn.

 

 

July 28, 2020 - FM 711 was the scene of a single-vehicle crash Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos, at 7:15pm DPS Troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover in the 3000 block of FM 711 just north of CR 1005.

Upon arrival a maroon 2011 Ford Fiesta was discovered on the northbound side of FM 711 upside down in a ditch. A hispanic male was reported to have left the scene in another vehicle which showed up after the incident. He is still being sought.

The vehicle is registered to a Juan Montejano.

July 28, 2020 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is seeking the whereabouts of David LaBoy, 35, of Center. LaBoy is described as a 6’00” black male and weighs approximately 170 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. LaBoy has two active felony warrants for Invasive Visual Recording (SJF) and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon (SJF).

The SCSO is seeking the assistance of the public with locating LaBoy. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please contact the SCSO (936) 598-5601.

If anyone is found to be hindering the apprehension, harboring or concealing, providing or aiding with any means of avoiding arrest or effecting escape, or warns LaBoy of impending discovery or apprehension, will be arrested and charged in accordance to Penal Code 38.05 Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, a Felony 3 offense.

Leah Chase, Media Relations

July 28, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 7:45am on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, TxDSHS has reported 6 new cases increasing the total of cumulative cases to 342. The death count is 14 for Shelby County. (The DSHS website dashboard now shows 17 deaths for Shelby County.)

According to the state's algorithm to determine recoveries, 3 new recoveries were reported and the total of recoveries is 266 and active cases is 62. (Updated)

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages:

Active Cases in each zip code: (Change in Data)

Center (75935) - 34 (4 new, 1 recovery)
Joaquin (75954) - 6
Shelbyville (75973) - 3 (1 recovery)
Tenaha (75974) - 13 (2 new, 1 recovery)
Timpson (75975) - 6

Cumulative Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 235 (4 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 20
Shelbyville (75973) - 20
Tenaha (75974) - 41 (2 new)
Timpson (75975) - 26

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20: 32 cases (2 new)
Ages 21 to 40: 110 cases (4 new)
Ages 41 to 60: 108 cases, 4 deaths
Ages 61 to 80: 57 cases, 4 deaths
Ages 81 to 100: 30 cases, 6 deaths
Age unknown: 5 cases

July 27, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 8:45am on Monday, July 27, 2020, TxDSHS has reported 11 new cases increasing the total of cumulative cases to 336. The death count is 14 for Shelby County.

According to the state's algorithm to determine recoveries, no new recoveries were reported and the total of recoveries remains at 263 and active cases increases to 59.

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages:

Active Cases in each zip code: (Change in Data)

Center (75935) - 31 (3 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 6 (2 new)
Shelbyville (75973) - 4 (1 new)
Tenaha (75974) - 12 (2 new)
Timpson (75975) - 6 (3 new)

Cumulative Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 231 (3 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 20 (2 new)
Shelbyville (75973) - 20 (1 new)
Tenaha (75974) - 39 (2 new)
Timpson (75975) - 26 (3 new)

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20: 30 cases (1 new)
Ages 21 to 40: 106 cases (3 new)
Ages 41 to 60: 108 cases (6 new), 4 death
Ages 61 to 80: 57 cases (1 new), 4 death
Ages 81 to 100: 30 cases, 6 death
Age unknown: 5 cases


Andrew Blaine Hightower

July 24, 2020 - Following the announcement of Hightower being found safe Ben Baker, a family member, commented on Shelby County Today's social media Friday morning to thank the first responders for all of their efforts in trying to locate Hightower, "Just want to say thank you for all who searched for him. Y'all's community went above and beyond from the wrecker service to the state police. He is home with us and thankful it wasn't worse than it was. God bless."


July 23, 2020 - (8:57pm) - The driver Andrew Blaine Hightower, 28, involved in the crash on US 96 on July 22, has been found unharmed and in contact with his family.

(4:30pm) - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is seeking the whereabouts of the man they believes was involved in the crash Wednesday, July 22, 2020.

The driver—who Troopers believe is Andrew Blaine Hightower, 28, from Denton—was not located at the scene of the crash. Investigators have learned from family members that he was traveling from Fort Worth to Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Hightower is listed as an overdue motorist, and law enforcement agencies in Southeast Texas have been made aware that he has not arrived at his destination. Anyone with information on Hightower’s whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement or Lufkin DPS Communications at 936-699-7340.

Hightower is described as a white male who is approximately 5’6” tall and weighs about 137 pounds. He has blonde hair and blue eyes.

This crash remains under investigation.

July 23, 2020 - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is actively searching for the man involved in the crash on Wednesday. DPS Troopers and Center Fire Department fire personnel returned to the location of the crash on Thursday, July 23, 2020, as he was now reported missing.

Firemen scoured the woods around the crash and a drone was also utilized to give an aerial view of the scene; however, no sign of the driver could be found.

Additional information about the driver, including his name and a photograph are pending from the Texas Department of Public Safety. This information will be updated at that time.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who may have seen the driver should reach out to law enforcement. The Shelby County Sheriff's Department can be reached at 936-699-7340.


July 22, 2020 - Emergency crews responded to a location two miles south of Loop 500 in Center on U.S. Highway 96 South where a single-vehicle crash occured on July 22, 2020 at 5:15pm. 

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Taylor Buster, a black 2005 Mini Cooper with California plates was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 96 South when, for an unknown reason, the vehicle left the roadway to the right traveled over a large culvert, striking several trees and rolled before coming to rest on its top.

EMS, Center Fire Department Fire personnel and Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies assisted in searching around the vehicle for a victim of the crash; however, no one was located.

Hughes Wrecker Services assisted in pulling the vehicle out while trying to locate the driver, and the vehicle was towed from the scene by East Texas Towing and Recovery.

The location of the driver is still unknown at this time.

July 24, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 8:20am on Friday, July 24, 2020, TxDSHS has reported 1 new case increasing the total of cumulative cases to 325. The death count is 14 for Shelby County.

According to the state's algorithm to determine recoveries, no new recoveries were reported and the total of recoveries remains at 263 and active cases increases to 48.

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages:

Active Cases in each zip code: (Change in Data)

Center (75935) - 28
Joaquin (75954) - 4
Shelbyville (75973) - 3
Tenaha (75974) - 10 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 3

Cumulative Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 228
Joaquin (75954) - 18
Shelbyville (75973) - 19
Tenaha (75974) - 37 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 23

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20: 29 cases
Ages 21 to 40: 103 cases
Ages 41 to 60: 102 cases (1 new), 4 death
Ages 61 to 80: 56 cases, 4 death
Ages 81 to 100: 30 cases, 6 death
Age unknown: 5 cases

July 23, 2020 - FM 417 East was the scene of a single-vehicle crash Wednesday morning, July 23, 2020, where the driver remained trapped for an extended period of time until fire personnel were able to cut him free of the vehicle.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jonathan Stinson, at 8:15am troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash at the intersection of FM 417 and FM 2694 where it was reported the driver was trapped. 

It was determined a black 2009 BMW 325i driven by Jonathan Gomez, 19, of Center with a 16 year-old passenger was westbound on FM 417 when he approached a curve at an unsafe speed, traveled across the roadway and struck a tree on the other side of FM 417.

Once extricated from the vehicle, Gomez and his passenger were transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital with possible injuries.

Gomez was issued a citation for unsafe speed. 

Center Fire Department fire personnel worked for around an hour with Jaws of Life and other extrication equipment to free Gomez from where he appeared to be pinned within the vehicle by his foot.

Once free, he was quickly moved to the ambulance and driven from the scene with his passenger.

Also assisting at the scene were Shelby County Constable Jamie Hagler and Sheriff's Deputies.

July 23, 2020 - The Shelby County Emergency Management office reports as of 8:15am on Thursday, July 23, 2020, TxDSHS has reported 4 new cases increasing the total of cumulative cases to 324. The death count is 14 for Shelby County. 

According to the state's algorithm to determine recoveries, no new recoveries were reported and the total of recoveries remains at 263 and active cases increases to 47.

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages:

Active Cases in each zip code: (Change in Data)

Center (75935) - 28 (3 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 4
Shelbyville (75973) - 3
Tenaha (75974) - 9 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 3

Cumulative Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 228 (3 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 18
Shelbyville (75973) - 19
Tenaha (75974) - 36 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 23

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20: 29 cases
Ages 21 to 40: 103 cases (1 new)
Ages 41 to 60: 101 cases (1 new), 4 death
Ages 61 to 80: 56 cases (2 new), 4 death
Ages 81 to 100: 30 cases, 6 death
Age unknown: 5 cases

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