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January 27, 2015 - The Shelby County Commissioners approved the rental of an office for Marla Denby, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, in the Shelbyville area during their recent meeting on Monday, January 26, 2015.

Denby addressed the court about the office space already provided by the county, "We do have an office in Dreka that has been supplied by the county. Times change, things change and this office space is not to where we can really do what we need to do. It's for myself and [Jamie] Hagler the constable and to benefit the people."

The new space which Denby described is in Shelbyville and is on FM 417, very close to Farmers State Bank, "I could make my deposits right then, I could collect money from the people because people bring cash and they bring money orders and things like that," said Denby. "The post office is just across the street basically, and we do have a time limit on some of the things we have to mail."

The school is very close to the new office and is a more central area for law enforcement and people in the community to travel. Denby commented the environment would be a great deal better for those visiting the Justice of the Peace office. The new office will also have high speed internet which Denby explained will help to run the office efficiently, "We don't want to be ashamed, I'll put it that way. We want to be up to par and that's just the way I've always tried to do, I mean I've always been a hard worker and I just don't like to halfway do a job."

A motion was carried by the commissioners to rent space from Farmers State Bank for $2,400 dollars a year as well as to pay for utilities with the funding for both coming out of the contingency fund and to adjust the budget accordingly.

Colleen Doggett, Shelby County Historical Commission Chair, presented the commissioners with a list depicting the names of 17 Shelby County Historical Commission proposed members with officers designated for the 2015-2016 year. A motion was carried to approve the members.

Jamie Hagler (left), Constable Precinct 2, and Marla Denby (right), Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, are seen above as Denby addressed the commissioners on Monday, January 26, 2015.Doggett informed the commissioners of several issues at the 1885 Historic Courthouse which are in need of attention. There is an issue on the second floor of the courthouse in the courtroom which may be due to a leak in the roof.

According to Doggett, the elevator is almost non operative at this time and last April she was stuck in the elevator during a wedding at the courthouse with family members of the bride and groom, "The elevator needs to be fixed, because those stairs are hard to navigate for older people and the VFW uses that building a lot. They're all older people, mostly retired military and the stairs are just too hard for them."

Two years ago the air conditioner in the courthouse leaked and Doggett states this caused some damage to a historic rug in the Transportation Room of the courthouse. It has been noticed lately the ceiling boards damaged by the air conditioner leak are sagging. Doggett requested an estimate from JC Lewis on cost of repair and it ranges from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on unknown damage.

There are several other items in the courthouse which Doggett stated are in need of care. Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison stated she will do some research on the roof and will work with Doggett on additional items.

Agenda items receiving approval include:

    Approve and pay monthly expenses.
    Rent space for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 from Farmers State Bank for $2,400 a year as well as utilities and it will come out of the contingency fund, adjust budget accordingly.
    Appointment of Shelby County Historical Commission members for 2015-2016.
    Travis Rodgers, Commissioner Precinct 3, to sell or dispose of (a) Ranch 2 door belly dump trailer; (b) 1975 Chevy Silverado flatbed truck; (c) Fiat 175 maintainer; (d) FG85 maintainer.
    Separate commissioner cell phones from the Sheriff's Department account and put them on their own individual accounts.
    Appoint Anne Blackwell to the DETCOG Board of Directors.
    Adjournment 10:03am

January 26, 2015 - The Center Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire located at 1213 Bolton Street on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

When the firemen and Center Police Officers arrived on scene at 8:10am the fire was fully involved and the house was engulfed in flames.

The firemen worked to extinguish the flames as quickly as possible. According to Center Fire Chief Keith Byndom, the house was formerly owend by Tom Buckley and a neighbor stated the house has been abandoned since the Buckley passed away. Recently During the cold weather, people could be seen entering the house through the front door which has been left open.

It's believed the fire may have been set by someone using the house for warmth.

January 26, 2015 - A single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 96 South was the result of ice on the roadway Saturday, January 24, 2015.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Larry Linder, Marcus Daniels, 44, of San Augustine was traveling southbound in a silver Mercury on U.S. Highway 96 South just after County Road 1021 when the Mercury traveled over some black ice in the roadway.

Daniels lost control of the vehicle and it traveled across the northbound traffic lane before leaving the roadway, traveling into the barrow ditch and overturning next to a large pine tree. Daniels was able to escaped the Mercury and went for help on foot.

Zach Warr, Constable Precinct 1, was first on scene when the crash was dispatched at 7:15am and checked the vehicle to make sure anyone involved was not in need of medical help. Once Trooper Linder arrived at the scene Daniels returned as well.

No citations were issued and no injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

January 26, 2015 - Icy road conditions which occurred overnight on Friday evening and into Saturday morning, January 24, 2015 contributed to crashes throughout Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties keeping Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers extra busy.

A crash which occurred on U.S Highway 96 North caused traffic delays and an intense moment for two drivers.

According to Texas DPS Trooper Larry Linder, at 6:30am Aldin Monty, 58, of De Berry was traveling southbound in a 2002 Chevrolet 2500 on U.S. Highway 96 North at a railroad overpass just south of Flatfork Creek when the boat trailer he was hauling hit an icy patch in the roadway and began to hydroplane before striking a guardrail with its right side.

The trailer then spun back around to the left as the boat dislodged from the trailer and traveled across the highway into the northbound traffic lane. At this time a green 2014 Freightliner 18-wheeler driven by Michael Kinnaman, 67, of Iowa was quickly approaching. Kinnaman attempted to avoid hitting the boat by slowing down; however, this could not be prevented and the Freightliner collided with the boat.

The Chevrolet and the trailer continued off the roadway on the northbound side before coming to rest. Firemen with the Center Department and Center Police Department Sgt. Scott Burkhalter responded to the scene of the crash to assist with traffic control at the scene.

Damage to the Freightliner was minimal. Damage incurred by the boat was much more major and the trailer received damage as well, but it was still able to be towed away.

No citations have been issued at this time and no injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

According to sources with the Texas Department of Public Safety there were 16 reported crashes across Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties during the icy conditions.

January 26, 2015 - State Representative Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) filed H.B. 849, which would create two sales tax holidays for firearms and hunting supplies.

"H.B. 849 recognizes that hunting is a time-honored tradition in Texas and looks to give tax relief to the sportsmen and women who continue one of our most cherished pastimes and, more importantly, those who continue to pass our love of hunting and the outdoors down to the next generation," said Rep. Paddie.

H.B. 849 would create two sales tax holiday weekends, one on the last full weekend in August, to coincide with the beginning of dove season, and a second on the last full weekend in October, to coincide with the beginning of deer season. Items that would be included in the tax free weekend are firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, hunting blinds and stands, hunting decoys, gun cases and gun safes, and hunting safety equipment.

"In the past year, Texas hunters purchased over 1.2 million hunting licenses. This bill will serve to increase the number of hunters in Texas, which will provide further economic opportunity in many rural areas that offer world-renowned hunting," said Rep. Paddie. "I look forward to working with my fellow hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in the Legislature to pass this Texas style tax relief measure."

Rep. Paddie is serving his second term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he represents District 9, including Cass, Marion, Harrison, Panola, Shelby, and Sabine Counties.

Rep. Paddie also serves on the House Energy Resources Committee, the Subcommittee on Seismic Activity, the House Land and Resource Management Committee, the Joint Committee on Coastal Barrier Systems and the Select Committee on Healthcare Education and Training. 

January 23, 2015 - The Center Police Department, the United States Marshal Service Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force, the Shelby County Sheriffs Office, the Shelby County District, Attomey’s Office and Agents from the Department of Homeland Security, executed a series of arrest warrants in the Shelby County area on January 23, 2015.

According to Officer James Blackwell, Warrant Officer for Center Police Department, and Special Deputy United States Marshal, assigned to the Fugitive Task Force, seven persons were arrested clearing a total of eight Felony warrants and six Misdemeanor warrants.

Arrested in the operation were:

  •     Joel DeLaCruz — Illegal re-entry into the United States — Felony (federal).
  •     Anthony Dupree Pogue — Escape from Custody F3; Tampering with Evidence F3; Possession of Marijuana MB; Theft MB.
  •     Thomas Jefferson Anding — Failure to Comply with Registration Requirement - Sex Offender F3.
  •     David Harold Harris - Injury to a Child F2.
  •     Jaleesa Phillips — Burglary of a Habitation F2; Theft x 2 MB.
  •     John David Adams — Aggravated Assault Using a Deadly Weapon F2.
  •     O’Keith McCollister - Criminal Mischief SJF; Criminal Mischief MA; Interfere with Emergency Call MA.

The Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force is headquartered out of Beaumont, Texas, and has Special Deputy Marshals throughout East Texas.

Fugitive apprehension is one of the most highly visible job duties that U.S. marshals perform. For example, in 2013 alone, the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in Eastem Texas, working as part of the Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force, cleared more than 2,440 fugitive cases. With the help of partnering agencies at the federal, state and local levels, the U.S. marshals were able to bring to justice some of the region’s most dangerous criminals.

Of the fugitive cases cleared by the Joint East Texas Fugitive Task Force in 2013, 53 were homicide warrants, 178 were sex offender warrants, 32 were weapons offenses warrants, and 187 were assault/aggravated assault warrants.

The U.S. Marshals in the Eastern District of Texas has no less than 70 participating agencies, which include 40 full-time and 84 part-time task force officers. Center Police Department Chief Jim Albers said, “our commitment to our community is stronger than ever, and by partnering with the community, we will continue to bring these fugitives to justice.”

If you feel that you may be a fugitive, or that you have outstanding Warrants, you can feel free to contact the Center Police Department, The Shelby County Sheriff Department, or any of your local Law Enforcement Agencies and make arrangements to tum yourself in.

Also, if you believe that someone you know may be a fugitive from justice, you can contact the Center Police Department, The Shelby County Sheriff Department or any of your local Law Enforcement Agencies and make a report. You can also contact Crimestoppers and make a report.

Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information regarding crime should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember you don't have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system.

January 23, 2015 - Sheriff Willis Blackwell reported that on Friday, January 23, 2015 at about 1:00p.m. the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received a report of a possible armed subject on the campus of the Joaquin Independent School District. The SCSO responded with multiple other agencies in the county assisting in the response. After the investigation of the incident was completed it was determined that the initial report was fictitious.

Sheriff Blackwell would like to thank all the agencies who assisted with ensuring the welfare and safety of our children and community. Sheriff Blackwell would also like to commend the Joaquin I.S.D. for their response and safety measures that were put into effect in response to the initial report.

Deputies Derek Barbee and Roy Bailey search the grounds of a house located across the street from Joaquin Elementary School.January 23, 2015 - Shelby County Sheriff's Department reports Joaquin school is no longer on lockdown.

Chief Deputy Shad Sparks reports, "The Joaquin school is officially off lockdown. We are remaining on scene at this time still investigating." The 9-1-1 call came in as a gun was brought on campus, Sparks updated saying, "It was reported that it was (a gun) but after further investigation it was determined that there was no gun involved in the incident."

A message from Scott Tyner, Tenaha ISD Superintendent of Schools, reported:

     At approximately 1:30 PM today (Friday, January 23), I ordered a lockdown of TISD for precautionary measures. While the students and staff of TISD were never in the direct threat of harm’s way, it is my belief that when it comes to threats to student safety that no precautions are extreme. Students were only in lockdown for a short period of time and at approximately 2:00 PM the order to “stand down” was given and regular class activities resumed. Again, no direct threat to TISD was ever imminent as the alleged incident was occurring in a neighboring community. However, it was the decision of the TISD Administration to err on the side of caution until law enforcement officials were able to confirm that Tenaha did not appear to face any imminent or perceived threat. Thank you once again for your trust in us to care for your most precious gift.


January 23, 2015 - Shelby County Clerk's office is almost out of Remote Size Birth Certificate paper. This is the paper birth certificates are issued on if you were born in another county other than Shelby. Paper was ordered back in September, but the printing press the company uses for this size paper is broken.

There are many Texas counties that are out of the remote size paper. This notice has been given because it's time to register for ball. If your child was born in a county other than Shelby county, you will need to contact the county they were born in to get their birth certificate.

Jennifer Fountain, County Clerk, expressed "I know this is a huge inconvenience, but unfortunately we are at the mercy of the vendors we order our paper through."

If you need a phone number for another county, please call county clerks for you phone numbers. And a lot of counties will let you email or fax your request in and pay with a card so they can mail the certificates out faster.

Fountain said "I am so sorry for this, but like I said, we ordered paper 4 months ago, but no one could predict this would happen."

Now, if you need a birth or death certificate for someone that was born or passed away in Shelby County, the county clerk's office can still issue those from our office.

Fountain expressed "Again, I am so sorry for this inconvenience. I understand that this is a huge hardship, however, it is out of our hands. Thank you for your understanding."

January 22, 2015 - Emergency personnel was dispatched to a vehicle on fire on Tuesday night, January 20, 2015 on State Highway (SH) 147 in San Augustine.

The crash was investigated by Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones and according to the report, at 8:50pm .1 mile north of County Road 111 Maurice Watts Jr., 35, of Center was traveling southbound in a black 2015 Chrysler 200 on SH 147.

As the Chrysler traveled through a curve in the roadway a deer ran into the path of the car from the right side. Watts took faulty evasive action, steering right and exited the roadway before striking a tree head-on. The collision caused the vehicle to burst into flame.

Firemen were dispatched to the scene to extinguish the fire and Watts was transported from the scene by ambulance to San Augustine Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

No citations were given at the time of this report.

The car was towed from the scene by Vail and Son Towing.

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