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July 19, 2019 - Motorists will likely encounter a work zone or road closure as work continues in many areas. While work schedules are likely to change in inclement weather, plans for construction and maintenance of roadways extend throughout the nine-county Lufkin District.

Motorists are urged to reduce speed through a work zone, obey the Move Over, Slow Down law and stay alert for workers and moving equipment through work zones. Project updates and plans for the week of July 22-26 include:

Angelina County

  • US 59 South: Crews are scheduled to continue upgrading metal beam guardrail and cross structures along with excavation and backfilling in various locations from SL 287 in Lufkin to the Polk County line.
  • US 69: Work continues from FM 844 to FM 1270 south of Zavalla to widen the existing two-lanes to a four-lane divided highway. Dirt is being hauled for excavation and embankment work. Beams placed for the US 69 northbound ramps are being placed at SH 63. Crews are also cement treating  the new areas of construction and doing dirt work in the Shawnee Prairie area. Motorists should be alert for trucks exiting and entering the roadway throughout the construction site. Intermittent lane closures expected.
  • SH 7: Work is scheduled to cut high edges in various locations. Lane closures expected.
  • FM 324: Crews are scheduled to work to pour concrete for headwalls  and work on metal guard beam guardrail on this project designed to improve guardrail to design standard and safety treat fixed objects from just south of SH 94 to US 59. Lane closures expected.
  • FM 2497: Repair work is scheduled to begin on the Cedar Creek Bridge. Motorists should be alert to road closures and heavy equipment in the area.
  • SH 103/SL 287: Crews are clearing the right of way and removing pavement near Spur 339 on this project designed to widen existing pavement for additional turn lanes from just south of SL 36 to just north of SP 339.
  • SH 147: Work is scheduled to pour concrete for guardrail attachments on the Lake Sam Rayburn Bridge that will result in a lane closure on this project designed to upgrade metal beam guardrail to design standards and safety treat fixed objects from just north of FM 3123 to FM 2109.
  • FM 842: Crews are scheduled to level up pavement in various locations. Lane closures expected.
  • Robinson Lane: This roadway has been reopened and crews are monitoring vegetative establishment on this bridge replacement project at Gilliland Creek.
  • East Lufkin Avenue: Crews are scheduled to continue work on East Lufkin Avenue near the intersection of Timberland Drive that will include cleaning, placing sod and removing forms on this project designed to add sidewalks near the intersection.
  • Various locations: Work is scheduled to apply herbicide, patch potholes, install signs and sweep the roadway.

Houston County

  • SH 21: Crews continue to work on cross drainage structures and blading the topsoil on this project designed to reconstruct and add passing lanes from the east end of the Trinity River Bridge to FM 1280. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures.
  • SH 21 East: Work is scheduled to repair base and edges from SL 304 to FM 227.
  • SH 19: Crews are working to begin a project designed to improve guardrail to design standards and safety treat fixed objects from 1.6 miles north of FM 231 to the Trinity County line.
  • FM 2781: Crews are scheduled to place cement on this project to reconstruct and widen existing pavement from FM 1280 to US 287. Motorists should expect lane closures using pilot car and flaggers.
  • SL 304: Work is scheduled to continue base repairs and begin seal coating from US 287 North to FM 229. Lane closures expected.
  • Various locations: Crews will work to apply herbicide, patch potholes, repair signs and clean ditches. Stay alert for intermittent lane closures and workers.

Nacogdoches County

  • SH 21: Work will continue to place culvert extensions on this project designed to upgrade metal bean guardrail to design standards and safety treat fixed objects from SH 7 to the San Augustine County line and on SH 21 from the San Augustine line to FM 3448 in Sabine County. Motorists should expect intermittent lane closures.
  • FM 95: Crews are monitoring vegetative establishment on this completed bridge replacement project at Terrapin Creek.
  • FM 226: Work is scheduled to backfill headwalls on this project designed to upgrade metal beam guardrail to design standards and safety treat fixed objects from SH 21 to the end of pavement. Possible lane closures are expected.
  • FM 1638: Crews continue to monitor vegetative establishment on this project designed to upgrade metal beam guardrail to design standards, safety treat fixed objects and provide additional pavement width from FM 698 to US 59/SL 224.
  • FM 2609: Work to relocate utilities and construct storm sewers continues on this project designed to widen the roadway from Raguet Street to North Street (BU 59). This roadway remains closed to through traffic.

Polk County

  • US 59: Crews are repairing joints in the northbound lanes on this project designed to resurface the roadway with a permeable friction course from just south of US 287 in Corrigan to Moscow.
  • SH 146: Crews are scheduled to cut high edges in various locations. Lane closures expected.
  • FM 350: Crews are installing mow strips and metal beam guardrail on this project designed to upgrade metal beam guardrail and safety treat fixed objects from 2.6 miles north of FM 3152 to US 190.

Sabine County

  • SH 87: Crews are working from near the high school in Hemphill to SH 83 on this project designed to add pedestrian sidewalks in the area.
  • FM 83: Crews are working on cross culvert and driveway structures along with sod placement from SH 87 to FM 3121 on this project designed to safety treat fixed objects.
  • FM 1: Crews are scheduled to continue to widen the subgrade on this project that will upgrade metal beam guardrail to design standards and provide additional pavement width from the San Augustine County line to SH 103.
  • FM 944: Work is scheduled to level up base in various locations. Lane closures are expected.

San Augustine County

  • SH 21: Crews will continue to place embankment at the Attoyac River Bridge on this bridge replacement project. Lane closures are expected.
  • SH 21: Bridge replacements are complete and crews continue to monitor vegetative establishment at Venado Creek, Niciper Creek and Perkins Creek.
  • FM 711: Crews will be working to backfill shoulders on this project designed to reconstruct and widen the pavement from the Shelby County line to US 96.
  • FM 2390: Crews are scheduled to repair base in various locations. Intermittent lane closures expected.
  • FM 1277: Work is scheduled for base repairs in various locations. Lane closures expected.

San Jacinto County

  • US 59: Crews are scheduled to remove debris, repair signs, delineators and repair potholes in various locations.
  • SH 150: Crews are scheduled to continue work on driveway culverts, embankment and flexible base throughout the project along with prime and seal coating in one section of this project designed to reconstruct the pavement and add passing lanes from the Walker County line to FM 945 North.
  • SH 156: Work is planned to repair pavement edges, reshape high shoulders and work on clearing drainage and culverts in various locations. Some lane closures are possible.
  • FM 2693: Crews are scheduled to work in various locations to trim limbs and remove dead trees from the right of way.
  • FM 2025: Crews will remove dead trees and trim trees in various locations.
  • FM 224: Crews are installing mow strips on this project designed to improve and upgrade metal beam guardrail to design standards from SH 156 North to SH 156 South.
  • Various locations: Herbicide application is planned for vegetative control.

Shelby County

  • US 96: Work is scheduled to place striping and backfill pavement from US 84 to SH 87. Lane closures expected.

Trinity County

  • FM 2262: Striping is complete and clean-up is being done on this project designed to reconstruct and widen pavement from FM 357 to SH 94.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.

July 17, 2019 - Center Police Department officers are currently searching for an individual involved in a robbery of the Dollar General store in Center. 

Officers converged on the location on Tenaha Street at 4:45pm. After making contact with the store employees the officers were seen traveling the nearby streets in search of their suspect.

The Center Mini Park, Center Place Apartments and other nearby residences were of apparent interest to the officers as they investigated the area assisted by Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers.

According to a press release issued by the Center Police Department,  on July 17, 2018 approximately 4:34pm, an unknown black male, entered the Dollar General store located at 806 Tenaha St. in Center Texas, wearing a black shirt and black shorts and a black flat billed ball cap, with a white T-shirt wrapped around his face.

Center PD Sgt. Detective Nicole Faulkner and Detective Andrew Williams are seen entering the Dollar General to work their investigation of the incident.

There the unknown male subject pointed a black and silver semi-automatic handgun at the cashier and demanded the register to be opened, the cashier complied, and the male subject took the cash from the drawer and left the store.

Anyone with any information concerning these actions, or information on the identity of this subject, is urged to contact the Center Police Department. Our Office and Officers are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Center Police Officer Brian Wright is seen checking bathrooms at the Center Mini Park for the possible suspect.

Officers gathered on Henrietta Street as they searched the area for their suspect.

July 18, 2019 - Work is expected to begin Monday, July 22, in Shelby County that will require lane closures at an intersection through August 9, weather permitting.

SH 87 at SL 500 in Center will have lane closures and delays as parts of the intersection are milled and repairs are made to the base of the roadway. A hot mix overlay will be applied to the intersection to complete the surface. Intermittent lane closures are expected throughout the project until completion.

This project is designed to rehabilitate the existing roadway in order to enhance safety and extend the life of the roadway. Traffic control will be in place throughout the project.

Motorists are urged to reduce speed in and near the work zone, respect all traffic control and stay alert for workers and moving equipment. For information on closures and road conditions, visit drivetexas.org.

For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.

July 13, 2019 - (Album1, Album2) - A breezy morning toned down the Texas heat for runners and walkers in the 2019 What-A-Melon 5K Run/Walk! The top male runner was Antonio Chavez with a time of 17:40. This is the fourth consecutive year for Chavez to clinch the overall top place. His previous times were 18:45 in 2016; 15:51 in 2017; and 16:57 in 2018.


Photo left, Antonio Chavez and, photo right, Cori Lawson are presented their trophies by Center Rotarian Scott Stanfield

The Top female runner of the race was also a repeat from 2018 with Cori Lawson crossing the line with a time of 27:50. In 2018 Cori had a time of 25:48.

The overall and divisional race results are listed below:

DIVISION RESULTS

Male 0 - 15
1st Place - (Bib #341) Giselle Hernandez (Time 00:29:46.62)
2nd Place - (Bib #314) Scott Sims (Time 00:43:45.34)
3rd Place - (Bib #313) Porfi Williford (Time 00:45:07.53)

Female 0 - 15
1st Place - (Bib #336) Cori Lawson (Time 00:27:50.20)
2nd Place - (Bib #337) Kate Lawson (Time 00:29:33.63)
3rd Place - (Bib #317) Robin Lane (Time 00:36:21.70)

Male 16 - 19
1st Place - (Bib #334) Antonio Chavez (Time 00:17:40.60)
2nd Place - (Bib #333) Jesus Gonzalez (Time 00:17:43.92)
3rd Place - (Bib #335) Fabian Morales (Time 00:22:34.33)

Female 16 - 19
1st Place - (Bib #340) Allison Wilson (Time 00:30:38.09)

Female 30 - 39
1st Place - (Bib #319) Camille Stanfield (Time 00:28:25.93)
2nd Place - (Bib #302) Summer Sims (Time 00:43:45.22)
3rd Place - (Bib #320) Tina Barton (Time 00:44:33.69)

Female 40 - 49
1st Place - (Bib #301) Amy Strain (Time 00:46:24.46)

Male 50 - 59
1st Place - (Bib #339) Hermila Mendoza (Time 00:33:02.02)

Female 50 - 59
1st Place - (Bib #316) Deborah Chadwick (Time 00:29:02.57)
2nd Place - (Bib #331) Lizann Burke (Time 00:47:12.63)
3rd Place - (Bib #332) Penny Lynch (Time 00:47:14.81)

Male 60+
1st Place - (Bib #318) Art Bauereiss (Time 00:25:22.54)
2nd Place - (Bib #325) Greg Pierce (Time 00:27:06.42)
3rd Place - (Bib #324) Jimmie Jones (Time 00:28:09.55)

Female 60+
1st Place - (Bib #330) Jayne Crain (Time 00:47:11.55)
2nd Place - (Bib #329) Dottie West (Time 00:53:52.39)
3rd Place - (Bib #326) Doris Bennett (Time 01:00:03.29)

OVERALL RESULTS

1st Place - Antonio Chavez (Time 00:17:40.60) (Pace 05:41) (Speed 10.5mph)
2nd Place - Jesus Gonzales (Time 00:17:43.92) (Pace 05:42) (Speed 10.5mph)
3rd Place - Fabian Morales (Time 00:22:34.33) (Pace 07:15) (Speed 8.3mph)
4th Place - Art Bauereiss, Lufkin (Time 00:25:22.54) (Pace 08:10) (Speed 7.3mph)
5th Place - Greg Pierce, Lufkin (Time 00:27:06.42) (Pace 08:43) (Speed 6.9mph)
6th Place - Cori Lawson (Time 00:27:50.20) (Pace 08:57) (Speed 6.7mph)
7th Place - Jimmie Jones, Nacogdoches (Time 00:28:09.55) (Pace 09:03) (Speed 6.6mph)
8th Place - Camille Stanfield (Time 00:28:25.93) (Pace 09:09) (Speed 6.6mph)
9th Place - Deborah Chadwick, Center (Time 00:29:02.57) (Pace 09:20) (Speed 6.4mph)
10th Place - Kate Lawson (Time 00:29:33.63) (Pace 09:30) (Speed 6.3mph)
11th Place - Giselle Hernandez (Time 00:29:46.62) (Pace 09:35) (Speed 6.3mph)
12th Place - Allison Wilson (Time 00:30:38.09) (Pace 09:51) (Speed 6.1mph)
13th Place - Hermila Mendoza (Time 00:33:02.02) (Pace 10:37) (Speed 5.6mph)
14th Place - Jon Black (Time 00:35:26.18) (Pace 11:24) (Speed 5.3mph)
15th Place - Robin Lane (Time 00:36:21.70) (Pace 11:42) (Speed 5.1mph)
16th Place - Yareli Ramirez (Time 00:37:45.31) (Pace 12:09) (Speed 4.9mph)
17th Place - Summer Sims (Time 00:43:45.22) (Pace 14:04) (Speed 4.3mph)
18th Place - Scott Sims (Time 00:43:45.34) (Pace 14:05) (Speed 4.3mph)
19th Place - Tina Barton, Tenaha (Time 00:44:33.69) (Pace 14:20) (Speed 4.2mph)
20th Place - Porfi Williford (Time 00:45:07.53) (Pace 14:31) (Speed 4.1mph)
21st Place - Amy Strain, Center (Time 00:46:24.46) (Pace 14:56) (Speed 4.0mph)
22nd Place - Leigh Peterson, Center (Time 00:46:24.89) (Pace 14:56) (Speed 4.0mph)
23rd Place - Jayne Crain (Time 00:47:11.55) (Pace 15:11) (Speed 4.0mph)
24th Place - Lizann Burke (Time 00:47:12.63) (Pace 15:11) (Speed 3.9mph)
25th Place - Penny Lynch (Time 00:47:14.81) (Pace 15:12) (Speed 3.9mph)
26th Place - Sherry Soape, Tenaha (Time 00:47:15.09) (Pace 15:12) (Speed 3.9mph)
27th Place - Laree Bounds (Time 00:47:15.96) (Pace 15:12) (Speed 3.9mph)
28th Place - Michael Aldridge, Center (Time 00:49:17.40) (Pace 15:51) (Speed 3.8mph)
29th Place - Sara Sowell (Time 00:52:35.65) (Pace 16:55) (Speed 3.5mph)
30th Place - Michelle (Time 00:52:59.41) (Pace 17:03) (Speed 3.5mph)
31st Place - Joe West (Time 00:53:51.51) (Pace 17:20) (Speed 3.5mph)
32nd Place - Dottie West (Time 00:53:52.39) (Pace 17:20) (Speed 3.5mph)
33rd Place - Keith Davis (Time 00:56:28.43) (Pace 18:10) (Speed 3.3mph)
34th Place - Bob Lacher (Time 00:57:43.55) (Pace 18:34) (Speed 3.2mph)
35th Place - Doris Bennett (Time 01:00:03.29) (Pace 19:19) (Speed 3.1mph)
36th Place - Zaundra Whitton (Time 01:00:04.18) (Pace 19:20) (Speed 3.1mph)
37th Place - Theresa Hume, Center (Time 01:03:39.90) (Pace 20:29) (Speed 2.9mph)
38th Place - Larry Hume, Center (Time 01:03:40.17) (Pace 20:29) (Speed 2.9mph)

EHF Announces $17 Million Investment to Strengthen Health System, Community-based Clinics

July 15, 2019 - Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) has awarded $17 million in grants to help community-based clinics provide a wider range of health services and go beyond the doctor’s office to address underlying causes of poor health.

Included in these grants was a $300,000 grant to HOPE Community Medicine in Center, Texas to expand access for behavioral health and women’s health services in Shelby and San Augustine counties.

“More medical care alone ignores many of the non-medical issues that cause chronic illness,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “To improve health in Texas, resources in the health system have to shift to pay for those non-medical factors like housing conditions, safe neighborhoods, healthy eating and other things that really determine health. Much of this investment helps clinics become change agents to move health resources beyond the exam room.”

Non-medical factors that affect health are often called social determinants of health. They are broadly defined as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Research shows that 80% of a person’s health is influenced by social determinants of health, and only about 20% of health outcomes result from medical care.

EHF’s $17 million investment includes:

  • Grants to support clinic efforts to convert from a volume-based care payment model that’s centered on the number of medical procedures, to a value-based care payment model that focuses on quality and patient health outcomes.
  • Grants that help clinics address non-medical factors that contribute to poor health, including funding for EHF’s ongoing Texas Community-Centered Health Homes Initiative with 12 Texas clinics. 
  • More than $9.1 million in grants to help community-based clinics provide comprehensive care (including primary care, preventive services, dental care, specialty referrals, and behavioral care) to low-income and populations in need.
  • More than $500,000 in grants to help expand and strengthen clinics in rural areas.

Along with strengthening clinics, EHF’s investment also includes $1.6 million to organizations that are expanding health insurance coverage and other benefits for Texans with the least resources. These organizations help enroll eligible Texans in programs and then follow up to ensure that these families use the health services covered by their plans.

“Low-income populations are less likely to have health insurance, leaving them at greater risk of poor health,” Marks said. “True access to health services requires a system of affordable coverage. People who are insured have greater access to care and have better health outcomes, including lower mortality rates.”

July 14, 2019 - Tyson work schedule for Center Processing Plant for Monday, July 15, 2019

  • Day shift labeling, 28 degree room, shipping, and rack line will work. 
  • All other departments will not work. 
  • Night shift will not work. 

The plant will resume a normal work schedule Tuesday, July 16

July 12, 2019 - One of two men involved in a single-vehicle rollover crash south of Shelbyville has been life-flighted by helicopter for treatment of his injuries.

When emergency personnel arrived a dump truck was sitting on its side just at the edge of a wood line on the northbound side of State Highway 87.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos, at 8:10am Troopers and Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a one-vehicle crash on State Highway 87 involving an ejection. 

Upon arrival a white 2000 GM dump truck owned by Texas Drainage Ink and driven by Jordan Shisler, 27, of Center was traveling south on State Highway 87 when he failed to drive in a single lane, causing the truck to fishtail. 

The truck traveled across the northbound traffic lane and left the roadway where it overturned coming to rest on its side facing the roadway. A passenger in the truck, William Garcia, 22, was ejected and has apparent cuts.

Shisler was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for treatment of his injuries. Garcia was flown by helicopter to LSU Shreveport hospital.

Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department established a landing zone at the Shelbyville ISD grounds for the helicopter. Trooper Ramos was assited at the scene by Trooper Keith Jones.


Click the above image for a larger version

July 11, 2019 (Album) - Twenty-three watermelons made it to the largest watermelon contest at the 2019 What-A-Melon Festival for cumulative weight of 2,206.5 lbs. Eleven of the entries weighed more than 100 lbs this year for a cumulative weight of 2,206.5 lbs which was moved to the scales by Center High School athletes who volunteered to help.

The largest watermelon tipped the scales at 132 lbs! The winning melon was grown by Olivia Johnson who has won the 1st place title and the grand prize money seven years previous. She had a spree of five years in a row, 2009-2013. She regained 1st place title in 2017 and has made it a winning streak by winning in 2018 and now 2019.

Below are the full results of the watermelon weigh-in:

1st place - 132 lbs, Olivia Johnson 
2nd place - 126 lbs, Rex Rains
3rd place - 125 lbs, Whitley Johnson
4th place - 123.5 lbs, Jenny Johnson
5th place - 120 lbs, Lynn Johnson
6th place - 119.5 lbs, Shelby Johnson
7th place - 112 lbs, Jaleigh Johnson
8th place - 111 lbs, Renee Johnson
9th place - 102.5 lbs, Hope Kruebbe
10th place - 101 lbs, Garry Crawford

The body of water pictured above is a part of the creek where the disposed records were recovered.

July 10, 2019 - A former Shelby County Deputy District Clerk has been arrested on charges of tampering with government records, misdemeanor a, following an investigation by the Texas Rangers.

In March a resident in the Possum Trot area on CR 2545 discovered a trash bag on their property which had been dumped in a creek. The resident made contact with Marla Denby, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, about the bag which she and Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2, took possession. When they discovered what was inside, they contacted Kevin Windham at the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Shelby County District Clerk Lori Oliver.

Documents meant to have been filed in the District Clerk’s office had been thrown into a Shelby County creek, as well as, mail for several individuals with one particular name immediately becoming the primary suspect. That name was Shelly Murphree, 47, of Shelbyville.

According to the arrest affidavit, Texas Ranger James Hicks reviewed the documents at the Sheriff’s Department and several of them were file stamped "Shelby County District Clerk's Office," and also included were a check and a money order which appeared to have originally accompanied official government requests.

Ranger Hicks remarked the check and money order didn't appear to have been cashed.

A document also included in the report was a "Release of Child Support Lien," and several envelopes appeared to have been addressed to the Shelby County District Clerk's Office. The documents were listed as being addressed between October 28, 2018 and March 7, 2019.

It was reported to Ranger Hicks by Adam Renfro, Sheriff's Department Investigator, Murphree was known to be employed by the Shelby County District Clerk's Office. He also told Hicks, District Clerk Lori Oliver had been shown the documents and she indicated there was no legitimate reason they should have been removed from her office and when Oliver had searched for one of the documents, Murphree had denied knowing the whereabouts of the document.

According to the affidavit, Hicks conducted an interview of Murphree and she admitted to taking the documents and as many as 30 others, because she was overwhelmed, and she knew removing the documents was wrong. 

Murphree was arrested 6pm Tuesday, July 10, 2019 at the Shelby County Jail for tampering with a government record, misdemeanor a. She was bonded out later in the evening on a $5,000 bond.

July 9, 2019 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office is searching for the owner of three horses, one bay gelding and two sorrels, found in the Welcome Hall area in Shelbyville. 

For more information, please contact the SCSO at 936-598-5601.

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