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June 13, 2022 - Since Monday, June 6th to Sunday, June 12th the Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department has responded to 6 calls. Here is a brief rundown of all that transpired.
On Monday, June 6th there were 2 calls starting at 2:28pm with a traffic accident at the intersection of FM 139 and Hwy 7. The Joaquin VFD arrived on the scene to provide traffic control until the wreck could be removed from the roadway. No major injuries were reported. The second call on Monday came in at 3:59pm in regards to an elderly person experiencing severe pain at a residence on CR 3421. JVFD EMRs responded to secure the patient until Allegiance EMS arrived.
Thursday, June 9th also saw 2 calls, the first at 9:48am in regards to a DOA at a residence on CR 3689, and the second came in at 2:51pm for a person having chest pain at a residence on CR 3790.
Saturday, June 11th saw 2 calls as well, the first starting early at 7:02am for a person having trouble breathing at the apartments in downtown Joaquin. The last call came in at 9:16am for a silo smoking on CR 3620. Upon arriving on the scene the “silo” was discovered to be part of the old hatchery building located near the railroad bridge crossing the Sabine River. The smoke was coming from within the vacant hatchery and not from the building itself, and the Joaquin VFD extinguished the fire that had been lit inside.
That concludes the rundown of the most recent calls, so until next time the Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department hopes everyone stays safe and has a great week.
June 10, 2022 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division initiated an investigation on June 8, 2022, that resulted in the recovery of a stolen motorcycle.
During the afternoon of June 8, Investigator Chad Hooper, Investigator Misty Ray, and Constable Precinct 3 Roy Cheatwood began patrolling a specific area between Tenaha and Joaquin looking for a vehicle that was believed to be involved in the burglary of a habitation. The investigators located the vehicle and identified possible suspects.
While most people were winding up from their daily activities and spending time with their families, Investigators Hooper and Ray diligently followed leads, and with the help of patrol deputy Aaron Jones and Constable Cheatwood, recovered the motorcycle less than 24-hours after it was stolen.
“This swift recovery proves that we are working theft cases and we take them seriously,” stated Shelby County Sheriff Kevin W. Windham. “Investigator Hooper and Investigator Ray were on this case from the moment it was reported and they did not stop until it was found. This is the third piece of property these two investigators have recovered and returned to the rightful owner in less than a weeks’ time. This right here shows their dedication to their jobs and this county.”
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office greatly extends our thanks to the public for their assistance in sharing our press release regarding this case over social media. Thank you, Constable Precinct 4 Taylor Fanguy for your assistance.
Leah Chase, Public Relations
The water on Denning Rural WSC no longer requires boiling.
June 14, 2022 - On June 9, 2022, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the Denning Rural Water Supply, #2030004, to issue a Boil Water Notice to inform customers, individuals or employees that due to conditions which occurred recently in the public water system, the water from this public water system was required to be boiled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes.
Denning Rural Water Supply has taken the necessary corrective actions to restore the quality of the water distributed by this public water system used for drinking water or human consumption purposes and has provided TCEQ with laboratory test results that indicate that the water no longer requires boiling prior to use as of June 14, 2022.
If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact the office: 220 West Columbia Street, San Augustine, Texas, 936-288-0489 or Charles Sharp 936-201-5001.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
If a customer, individual or employee wishes to contact the executive director, please call (512)239-4691.
June 9, 2022 - Due to a break in the main line, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required the Denning Rural Water System PWS # 2030004 to notify ALL customers to boil their water prior to consumption (eg., washing hands/ face, brushing teeth, drinking, etc). Children, seniors and persons with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to harmful bacteria, and all customers should follow these directions.
To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to use for drinking water or human consumption purposes. The water should be brought to a vigorous rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes.
In lieu of boiling, individuals may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source for drinking water or human consumption purposes.
When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the public water system officials will notify customers that the water is safe for drinking water or human consumption purposes.
Once the boil water notice is no longer in effect, the public water system will issue a notice to customer that rescinds the boil water notice in a manner similar to this notice.
Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received the notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses). You can do this by posting this notice in a public place or distributing copies by hand or mail.
If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Denning Rural Water System at 220 W. Columbia Street, San Augustine, Texas, 75972, or call 936-288-0489 or Charles Sharp at 936-201-5001.
June 8, 2022 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a theft that occurred in the 3000 block of FM 2787 in Joaquin.
A 2021 KTM Duke 890 motorcycle was removed from the property sometime between 11 p.m. on June 7, 2022 and 6 a.m. on June 8, 2022. The motorcycle is orange and black in color, and has a split headlight in the front.
If you have any information regarding the theft of this motorcycle, please contact Investigator Chad Hooper at 936.572.0425 or 936.598.5601.
June 8, 2022 - Commissioner Precinct 1 Roscoe McSwain reports County Road 1273 will be closed at Peacock Lake Thursday, June 9, 2022.
The roadway is expected to reopen by 3pm on the same day.
June 8, 2022 - The City of Tenaha has awarded Piney Woods Sanitation the contract for waste pickup service. Piney Woods will deliver each resident a 95-gallon trash cart before July 1, 2022, the commercial containers will be delivered the week of June 20, 2022.
Starting the week of June 6, 2022, each commercial customer will be contacted by Piney Woods to set up the Name, Address, Phone number and service information about the rate and pickup day.
Pick-up day for both residential and commercial will begin on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.
The residential service will be a one time per week for regular garbage pickup. Two bulky items may be picked up on the regular service day. These items would include such things as extra bags, boxes, or small items less than 50 pounds. Tree cuttings must be either bagged or bundled, tied and no longer than 4 feet. Items not able to be put out would include tires, batteries, or appliances with freon, must have the federally mandated sticker showing the freon has been removed. Also on the no pickup list is any cans containing liquids, such as oil, fuels, or antifreeze, any hazardous material cannot be picked up.
If you have large items such as couches, dressers, old rolls of carpet, etc., contact the office for pickup. There is a small service charge for larger items over 50 pounds.
If you are disabled and are unable to roll your trash cart out for curbside service, please contact the Tenaha City Hall for details.
If you have any additional questions, please call the Tenaha City Hall at 936-248-3841.
June 8, 2022 - As Shelby County works at continuing to rebuild its Hazard Mitigation Plan, the Commissioners approved a contract for plan writing services with GrantWorks for that plan during their meeting held June 1, 2022.
"We have received several payments from the cities, the other entities," said Judge Allison Harbison.
Judge Harbison said when the agreements were sent out to the cities to participate in the Hazard Mitigation Plan, a bill was also sent with it by GrantWorks and as a result several checks have been received by the county.
"Whenever we approved this grant writing services, the contract was left over to have the county attorney look at it and I do have an email from him that he looked at the contract and said that it was, he approved it he thought it was a good contract," said Judge Harbison.
Along with deciding whether or not to move forward with the contract, Judge Harbison also said a fund for the money to go into would need to be chosen.
Commissioner Bellmyer asked, "Is the reason that like Joaquin and some of the other towns, they fall under the county umbrella, under our plan?"
Judge Harbison answered, "We've always had the other municipalities under our plan. It's a whole lot less expensive for them to go under our plan than it is to go out on their own. As a matter of fact the city of Center was in the process of going out for grant writing services whenever we approached them and they're going under our plan also, because the cost was a lot less expensive than going out on their own."
Bellmyer then confirmed with Judge Harbison all of the municipalities in Shelby County will be on the county Hazard Mitigation Plan. The cities were given a prorated rate as to their population.
It's expected the savings to the county for all of the cities participating will be over $10,000.
Judge Harbison asked Clint Porterfield, County Auditor, if he had an account he would prefer to see the funds go in and he said either the Contingency Fund or the CRF.
A motion carried to approve the contract for Plan Writing Services between Shelby County and GrantWorks for the Hazard Mitigation Plan and designate the CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund) to receive payments, also approval to pay GrantWorks invoice number 1 in the amount of $12,487.50.
Judge Harbison said Tracy Broadway, Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, requested a video monitoring system for the Justice of Peace and Constable Pct. 5 building in Timpson.
With there being no one present in the foyer between the Justice of the Peace office and the Constable office, Judge Broadway had stated to Judge Harbison people walk in all the time and it would just help to let the judge and constable know who is coming in the front door.
A motion carried to approve the video monitoring system and services from SafeCo for Justice of Peace and Constable Pct. 5 building in the amount of $2,975 and for the monthly fee to come out of JP Court Security account, Fund 76.
The commissioners discussed the possibility of video monitoring system and services for the District Attorney and County Attorney building. The District Attorney has asked for a security system and the quote for the cameras was $4,250 for a seven camera system similar to what the courthouse utilizes.
Judge Harbison said they were going to see if there's any way to interlink that system with the courthouse cameras.
A motion carried to enter into an agreement with SafeCo to have a monitoring system installed at the District Attorney's office and the County Attorney's office at a cost of $4,250.
"This is pretty much going to leave several JP's offices without surveillance and the most glaring one right now is the County Clerk's office, she has no video surveillance and I feel like one of these days she's going to ask for that," said Judge Harbison.
The commissioners considered the Texas Association of Counties, Blue Cross Blue Shield, group health insurance plan for FY2023 and Auditor Porterfield gave some details on the plan.
"The pool average for TAC was 5.9% they'll tell you that the national average there is 9.8% to 13.8%," said Porterfield. "Our renewal was actually 7%."
The commissioners were proivided with information on the rates, plan and history of what Shelby County has paid out compared to its contribution. Porterfield said, from April 2021 to March 2022 Shelby County paid in approximately $1 million to the plan meanwhile nearly $1.3 million was paid out.
"Our county rate for this year, as expected, has gone up $55 per person, [per pay period]," said Porterfield. "That equates to about $72,000 a year which we'll have to add to our budget beginning October 1."
According to Porterfield, cost for employees with children on the plan has gone up $19.62, per pay period; employee with spouse, $28.33, per pay period; employee with family, $47.94, per pay period.
There were alternate proposals presented, and one would reduce the cost to the county; however, it would then be the employees who would be expected to make up the difference.
"My opinion, I want to stay with the plan we have because our employees in a county that can't, some are struggling to make it now and they cannot absorb more co-pay at the doctor or the pharmacy," said Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1.
A motion carried to continue with the current plan at the renewal rate of $841.20 per employee.
The Sheriff's Department presented a proposal for expanding the laundry room at the Sheriff's Department and to install a commercial washer, to accomadate the Sheriff's Department and allow them to gather more details on a washer, the item was tabled for two weeks.
The meeting went into an executive session and when the commissioners returned to an open meeting, there were no motions to be made.
Judge Allison Harbison stated, "We are not prepared right now to make a decision, I just kind of brought everybody up to date on where we were on the County Attorney appointment, and the rules and regs on the timeframe and some things like that."
Judge previous to adjourning Commissioner McSwain asked that everyone keep the family of Charles Williams in their prayers, because he had passed recently and he was Precinct 1 Commissioner for 12 years.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Agenda items approved during the meeting include: 1. Pay weekly expenses. 2. Contract for Plan Writing Services between Shelby County and GrantWorks for the Hazard Mitigation Plan and designate the CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund) to receive payments, also approval to pay GrantWorks invoice number 1 in the amount of $12,487.50. 3. Video monitoring system and services from SafeCo for Justice of Peace and Constable Pct.5 building in the amount of $2,975 and for the monthly fee to come out of JP Court Security account, Fund 76. 4. Video monitoring system and services for District Attorney and County Attorney Building at a cost of $4,250. 5. Texas Association of Counties, Blue Cross Blue Shield, group health insurance plan for FY2023, remain at the current plan. 6. Adjourn. Agenda items tabled during the meeting include: 1. Sheriff’s office to address the court about enlarging the jails laundry room.
June 8, 2022 - The Shelby County Commissioners accepted the resignation of Gary Rholes, County Attorney, at their May 25, 2022, meeting.
Allison Harbison, County Judge, indicated for the commissioners to review their meeting packets and see Rholes had text messaged her a letter of resignation. She stated payroll would need to have something on file and the resignation would have to be accepted to make it effective so they could move forward.
Tom Bellmyer, Commissioner Precinct 4, asked about the nature of a resignation via text message, "I realize in today's world that we do things electronically, in a text and is this, I mean I realize is this really official as a text?"
He remarked on how he traditionally is used to resignations through a letter with a written signature.
"I was on the phone when I spoke to him and had him on speakerphone and Clint [Porterfield] was on the phone with me, and he offered to send one in writing," said Judge Harbison.
Commissioner Bellmyer felt it was "casual" and Judge Harbison said his resignation was already on news media, and she stated it was just a formality.
"He already announced to the world that he was resigning," said Judge Harbison. "We do need to do it in an official capacity. I did talk to TAC (Texas Association of Counties) and they did say that we needed to do this officially in commissioners' court."
A motion carried to accept Gary Rholes' resignation as County Attorney, effective July 4, 2022.
Tracey Belin, Adult Protective Services, addressed the court about Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. She has been with Adult Protective Services for 23 years and during that time she has been associated with many proclamations all over Region five, which she said ranges from Beaumont to Crockett.
"We always take this opportunity when it's a campaign month, which is Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness month, to come out and thank our police officers, our county judges," said Belin. "Allison and I have done a lot of work over the years, as well as the commissioners with just making sure our residents of Shelby County that's elderly and disabled are protected and that we're not only doing investigations, but thorough investigations."
She said their investigators aren't perfect, and have to look things over repeatedly, and sometimes incidents have to occur more than once for them to be able to act, but they always do act. Belin encouraged the court to reach out to them if there are any issues or concerns, or an issue not being resolved quickly enough.
"You guys have always been super supportive of our program, and we're very grateful for you guys," said Belin. "We do appreciate the commissioners and the judges for making Elder Abuse Prevention month for June official."
Judge Harbison read from the proclamation that during 2021 Adult Protective Services performed 94 investigations and 69 of those cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation were confirmed.
"That's 73%, that's a shocking number to me, it really is," said Commissioner Bellmyer.
Belin said most cases are underreported, and suggested the numbers may be even greater.
"Sometimes there's a lot of stigma to calling in," said Bellin.
Commissioner Bellmyer expressed how unacceptable it is and reitereated his surprise at the known percentages.
A motion carried to declare June as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month.
The commissioners discussed the previously awarded bid for repairs to the Old Records Building, and Judge Harbison explained the need to choose another bidder.
"A couple weeks ago we awarded this bid to Easy Way Construction and on the 18th we got a call from Ms. Kathy Reagan whose the owner of that, and she said that she would like to withdraw her proposal," said Judge Harbison. "She said that she would be unable to complete the project."
Judge Harbison brought the other bids that were presented at the same time as Easy Way Construction was originally chosen so the commissioners could consider those options.
The two other bids were from Cornerstone Manufacturing for $15,000; and the other bid was from Hagler Construction in the amount of $13,800.
A motion carried to award the bid to Hagler Construction to be paid out of the CRF (Coronavirus Relief Fund).
Agenda items approved during the meeting include: 1. Pay weekly expenses. 2. Current payroll. 3. County Attorney, Gary Rholes' resignation effective July 4, 2022. 4. Proclamation declaring June as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. 5. Award bid for the old records Building to Hagler Construction for $13,800. 6. Adjourn.
Pictured from left: Investigator Chad Hooper, Jerry Russell – property owner, and Investigator Misty Ray.
June 7, 2022 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division initiated an investigation on May 2, 2022, that recently resulted in the recovery of stolen property.
Investigator Chad Hooper and Investigator Misty Ray recovered stolen property including an EXMARK zero turn mover and a trailer that were stolen from a property located on State Highway 7 West in Center. On Friday, June 3, 2022, the property was recovered from Portacool Park in Center.
The property has been returned to the owner.
“The determination and hard work these two investigators put into this case are what produced this recovery,” stated Sheriff Kevin W. Windham. “This is the exact outcome we hope for in every theft case we work.
Leah Chase, SCSO Public Relations
Sheriff's Department Seeking Help with Theft in Excelsior School Area (Recovered)
May 3, 2022 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a theft that occurred in the 11000 block of State Highway 7 West (Excelsior School area) between Sunday, May 1 and Monday, May 2, 2022.
A black bumper pull trailer bearing Texas plate FKZP22 (with damage to the left side wheel well) and an ExMark ZTR zero turn lawn mower were removed from a residence without the owner’s consent.
Homeowners in the area are encouraged to check any surveillance footage in hopes of recovering any information relating to this theft.
If you have any information regarding this case, please contact Investigator Chad Hooper at 936.598.5601 or 936.572.5045.