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January 27, 2020 - State Highway 87 (SH87) South just before CR 2050 was the scene of a single-vehicle crash incident Monday, January 27, 2020.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the location just north of Shelbyville at 9am. Center Fire Department firemen were requested, as it was reported the driver was trapped and couldn't get her door to open.

When Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies arrived, they were able to help her out of the vehicle and extrication tools were not necessary.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jonathan Stinson, at 8:55am a blue Saturn Ion driven by Courtney Michelle Reierson, 29, of Center was southbound on SH87 when she failed to drive in a single lane, crossed over the northbound traffic lanes and struck a tree.

Ambulance personnel transported Reierson from the location of the crash to Nacogodoches Memorial Hospital in Nacogdoches.

Reierson was issued citations for fail to drive in a single lane and no insurance 

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies and Constables assisted at the scene with traffic control.

January 24, 2020 - The Jury that was summoned for Monday, January 27th, 2020, for the 273rd Judicial District Court, Honorable James A. Payne Jr., presiding, has been cancelled. 

All cases scheduled have been resolved or passed. 

Anyone receiving a jury summons for this day is released until they receive a future summons. 

January 23, 2020 - The intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and 84 was the scene of a two-vehicle crash incident January 17, 2020. 

Timpson Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the location and Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers investigated the crash as it was during a time Timpson Police Department was closed. 

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos, at 5:05pm a white 2014 Chevrolet driven by Micah Nutt, 55, of Timpson was southbound on U.S. Highway 59 in Timpson.

As the Chevrolet was passing U.S. Highway 84 a black 2011 Honda CR-V driven by Trevor Warren, 24, of Houston failed to yield right of way from a stop sign. As it crossed U.S. 59 into the path of the Chevrolet attempting to enter U.S. 84, the truck collided with the right rear quarter of the Honda.

The Chevrolet came to a stop in the southbound traffic lane of U.S. 59 and the Honda pulled into a nearby parking lot.

Nutt was transported by Timpson Volunteer Ambulance Service to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment of possible injiries.

Warren was issued a citation for fail to yield right of way - stop sign.

The location of the crash was the same spot where a fatal crash occurred on January 9, 2020, involving similar circumstances.


Timpson Volunteer Fire personnel diverted traffic around the crash scene while DPS investigated.

According to State statistics, there have been 24 crashes at the intersection over the past 10 years. Timpson Police Department investigated 20 of those crashes with one of them having been a fatal incident. Texas Department of Public Safety has investigated four crashes in that location with one of them also having been a fatal incident, which was the most recent.

January 22, 2020 - A 38-year-old Carthage, Texas, man has been convicted of federal firearms violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

Timothy Earl Brown was found guilty today of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition following a two-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Jeremy D. Kernodle.

According to information presented in court, on Oct. 14, 2016, law enforcement officers were dispatched to a rural residence in Panola County for a prowler. Brown was spotted by law enforcement carrying a rifle in a wooded area near the home. Brown fled but was apprehended and also found in possession of a revolver. Further investigation revealed Brown is a convicted felon and prohibited by federal law from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Brown was convicted in Panola County in 2000 for theft, in 2000 for escape and in 2011 for sexual assault. He also has a prior conviction in the Eastern District of Texas for being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2004. Brown was indicted for this incident on June 21, 2018 and charged with federal firearms violations.

Under the federal statute, Brown faces up to 10 years in federal prison at sentencing. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.  Project Safe Neighborhoods is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence; deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition, and body armor; and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

This case was investigated by the Panola County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jim Noble and Alan Jackson.

January 20, 2020 - FM 2694 just east of Shelbyville was the scene of a single-vehicle crash January 14, 2020. 

Troopers were dispatched to the location at around 7pm. According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Taylor Buster, a tan 1996 Cadillac driven by Precious Redmond, 24, of Center was southbound on FM 2694. 

The Cadillac was traveling at an unsafe speed when it left the roadway in a side skid, striking a culvert, and continued down the borrow ditch before coming to a stop.

Redmond and her passenger Ahmad Chumbley, 28, of Center were not reported to have been injured in the crash.

Citations were issued to Redmond for unsafe speed and no seat belt.

Shelbyville Fire Department firemen and Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies assisted by directing traffic around the crash scene.

January 18, 2020 - FM 2787 was the scene of a major crash incident, resulting in the death of the driver January 17, 2020. 

Emergency personnel were immediately dispatched to the crash. Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department firemen, Shelby County Sheriff’s Deputies, and county Constables were all present at the location just south of CR 3569.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos, at 9:45pm a 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck driven by Johnnie Briggs, 44, of Joaquin was northbound in FM 2787 when the vehicle traveled off the roadway to the left in a curve.

The truck continued through the southbound shoulder and borrow ditch before coming to an embankment along a driveway. The truck traveled up the embankment and was vaulted into the air before colliding with a tree.

Following striking the tree, the truck came to rest in the borrow ditch facing the roadway.

Tracy Broadway, Justice of the Peace Precinct 5, pronounced Briggs deceased. Rose-Neath Funeral Home transported him from the incident location. 

January 15, 2020 - The Shelby County Commissioners accepted the resignation of Jacob Metcalf, Shelby County Constable Precinct 4, during their meeting held January 15, 2020.

Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge, presented the letter of resignation submitted by Metcalf and read it aloud. The letter reads as follows: "It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Shelby County as their Precinct 4 Constable. Effective immediately, I am resigning my position as Precinct 4 Constable in Shelby County, Texas. It is my intent to not seek re-election in the upcoming March 2020 primary, however, I recognize that we are passed the deadline to remove my name from the ballot. As such, I would express my intent to the Commissioners' Court and the voters in Precinct 4 that should I be re-elected in spite of this resignation, I do not intend [to] accept this office and I would then again resign. 

"Furthermore, pursuant to Chapter 152 Government Code, I forfeit my salary, pay, benefit or otherwise for the remainder of my term. I do so in an effort to allow the Commissioners' Court to utilize their authority and budget to appoint my replacement. Respectfully, J Metcalf."

Gary Rholes, Shelby County Attorney, indicated for the knowledge of the court Metcalf would remain the Constable even following his resignation, until a successor is sworn-in and duly qualified.

"I don't like that, I'm going to be honest about it, it don't look right and it ain't right. Because, it takes away from the legitimacy of why he's resigning if the county allows him to remain as constable, I don't care if it's in word or name, or he's active or not active," said Roscoe McSwain, Constable Precinct 1. 

Judge Harbison suggested appointing another individual at the next meeting, and McSwain said that wasn't what he was wanting to do, but if that's the only way to remove any association of Metcalf from the office, then he will be for the appointment.

Tom Bellmyer, Commissioner Precinct 4, asked with all of the other constables employed by the county, could they not be utilized to fulfill the duties of the Constable 4 office. 

"They could work over there, but that still doesn't get him out of office," said Rholes.

He explained they could still work the area, but not hold the office in place of another. 

Commissioners McSwain asked Rholes, "If we accept this resignation, and if things play out like we want or say if something went wrong with this picture down the road, by accepting this and the documentation we've read do we reserve any rights for future action or does this do away with our opportunity to have future action down the road, should we need it, like file charges?"

McSwain elaborated, the letter submitted by Metcalf's attorney indicates he considers the issue to cease once the commissioners accept the resignation.

"He does not have any blanket immunity, I can tell you that," said Rholes.

A motion carried to accept the resignation and affidavit waiving compensation.

Although the discussion had in court was relating to the Metcalf's resignation, there was no explanation during court as to why the commissioners decided on December 20, 2019 to withdraw Metcalf's office, vehicle and salary.

Following inquiries by Shelby County Today with several county officials unwilling to go on the record as to the circumstances, County Attorney Gary Rholes has confirmed the issues relating to Metcalf have to do with a document turned in for payment through the office of Constable Precinct 4.

Later in the meeting, the commissioners discussed a new reimbursement policy. Ann Blackwell described some of why these changes should be made. (Click here to view the policy)

"In light of some things that have happened, we work really hard in my office to try to make sure that everything that we pay is of a benefit to the county and a legitimate invoice and a legitimate expense," said Blackwell. "I'm certainly not saying that I think that people are giving me things that are not correct, I'm not saying that."

Blackwell said she would like to see an extra safeguard in place. She explained, a lot of times employees will make purchases out of their own pocket at locations where the county already has accounts, and as a result have to turn in receipts. Blackwell explained it would be a lot more efficient if the county could just purchase through the vendor, or establish a new account with that source.

A motion carried to adopt the new Shelby County Expense Reimbursement Policy.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:26am.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.
2. Officers Report.
3. Accept Jake Metcalf Constable Pct. 4 resignation and affidavit waving any compensation.
4. Purchase of PC towers for Tax Office out of County Records Management funds.
5. Annual Service Support contract with Harris Govern.
6. Tax Abatement agreement between Tyson Farms QOZB, LLC and Shelby County. 
7. Resolution declaring Shelby County to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.
8. New Reimbursement Policy.
9. Adjourn 10:26am.

Related article:
Commissioners Strip Constable 4 of Office Amenities, Benefits

January 15, 2020 - On January 14, 2020, at approximately 10 a.m., the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center received a call concerning a missing man in the area of County Road 3685 in Joaquin. The caller indicated that Elzie Holland, 68, of Joaquin, had left on foot to retrieve items from a residence located next door at approximately 7:45 p.m. on January 13. Holland never made it to the residence nor did he return home. The caller stated that Holland was using a walker at the time of his disappearance and did not get around well unassisted.

Sheriff Willis Blackwell, Chief Deputy Kevin Windham, and Deputy Josh Tipton arrived at the residence and began gathering information. Lieutenant Del Birdwell, Investigator Mandy Fears, and Deputy Jake Gross began searching the area on foot and by a utility vehicle. Investigators Chad Brown and Tanner Peace interviewed friends and family members on scene.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Sam Anderson arrived at the location and utilized a drag in a small pond in the front of the property with negative results. After searching for some time without results, officers gathered to discuss further action and areas to search.

Birdwell left the location and traveled by means of a utility vehicle to the location of County Road 3853, an area that had not been checked. Birdwell traveled the road to a clear cut and proceeded to follow the pathway. Looking down the path, Birdwell observed what he believed to be a person on the ground matching the description of Holland. Birdwell approached the male subject and called out to him, noting that he was alert. The subject identified himself as Holland. Birdwell notified SCSO communications at 12:20 p.m. and requested EMS.

Allegiance EMS arrived on scene and assumed patient care. Holland was transported to the Center emergency room in stable condition.

Updated January 14, 2020 - The candidates have been updated to the order they will appear on the ballot.


December 10, 2019 - The filing deadline for a place on the 2020 Primary Democrat and Republican Ballots expired as of 6pm on Monday, December 9, 2019.

Once again, all candidates running for local Shelby County offices filed on the Republican Party ballot. County Chair candidates are Democrat Party - Patsy A. Handy and Republican Party - Leigh Porterfield.

Republican Party Candidates

FEDERAL

President:

  • Bob Ely
  • Donald J. Trump (Incumbent)
  • Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente Guerra
  • Zoltan G. Istvan
  • Bill Weld
  • Matthew John Matern
  • Joe Walsh

United States Senator

  • John Anthony Castro
  • John Cornyn (Incumbent)
  • Virgil Bierschwale
  • Dwayne Stovall
  • Mark Yancey

United States Representative, District 1:

  • Johnathan Kyle Davidson
  • Louie Gohmert (Incumbent)

STATE

Railroad Commissioner

  • Ryan Sitton (Incumbent)
  • James "Jim" Wright

Chief Justice, Supreme Court - Nathan Hecht

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 - Unexpired Term - Jane Bland

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7 - Jeff Boyd

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8 - Brett Busby

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3:

  • Bert Richardson
  • Gina Parker 

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4 - Kevin Patrick Yeary

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9 - David Newell

Member, State Board of Education, District 9 - Keven M. Ellis (Incumbent)

State Representative, District 9:

  • Chris Paddie (Incumbant)
  • Mark Williams

Chief Justice, 12th Court of Appeals District - Jim Worthen

District Judge, 123rd Judicial District - Leann Kay Rafferty (Incumbent)

District Attorney, 123 Judicial District:

COUNTY

County Attorney - Gary Rholes (Incumbent)

Sheriff:

County Tax Assessor-Collector - Debora Riley (Incumbent)

County Commissioner Pct 1:

  • Roscoe McSwain (Incumbent)
  • Donnie Borders

County Commissioner Pct 3:

Justice of the Peace Pct 1 - Donna Hughes

Justice of the Peace Pct 3:

County Constable Pct 1:

County Constable Pct 2:

  • Randy Joe Dean
  • Jamie Hagler (Incumbent)

County Constable Pct 3 - Roy Cheatwood

County Constable Pct 4:

  • Bryan Gray
  • Jake Metcalf (Incumbent)

County Constable Pct 5:

Democrat Party Candidates

FEDERAL

President:

  • Bernie Sanders
  • Michael Bennet
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Joseph R. Biden
  • Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • John K. Delaney
  • Marianne Williamson
  • Robby Wells
  • Michael R. Bloomberg
  • Tom Steyer
  • Tulsi Gabbard
  • Andrew Yang
  • Cory Booker
  • Julian Castro
  • Deval Patrick

United States Senator

  • Adrian Ocegueda
  • Annie "Mama" Garcia
  • Amanda K. Edwards
  • Mary "MJ" Hegar
  • Sema Hernandez
  • Royce West
  • Jack Daniel Foster Jr
  • Victor Hugo Harris
  • Michael Cooper
  • Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez
  • D.R. Hunter
  • Chris Bell

United States Representative, District 1 - Hank Gilbert

STATE

Railroad Commissioner

  • Mark Watson
  • Kelly Stone
  • Roberto R. "Beto" Alonzo
  • Chrysta Castaneda

Chief Justice, Supreme Court:

  • Amy Clark Meachum
  • Jerry Zimmerer

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 6 - Unexpired Term:

  • Larry Praeger
  • Kathy Cheng

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 7:

  • Staci Williams
  • Brandy Voss

Justice, Supreme Court, Place 8:

  • Peter Kelly
  • Gisela D. Triana

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3:

  • Dan Wood
  • William Pieratt Demond
  • Elizabeth Davis Frizell

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 4:

  • Tina Clinton
  • Steven Miears

Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 9 - Brandon Birmingham

Member, State Board of Education, District 9 - Brenda Davis

January 14, 2020 – With political campaign season in full swing, the Texas Department of Transportation advises political parties, candidates and their supporters of where campaign signs can be placed along Texas roadways.

March 3 is the scheduled primary election and Nov. 3 is the general election in Texas, with May 26 set as the primary runoff election date. May 2 is set for local elections. Candidates are allowed by law to place campaign signs in the public up to 90 days prior to these elections, but the Lufkin District is currently removing some signage that has been placed on state property.

“We want to remind everyone that TxDOT has guidelines regarding placing signs on the right-of-way,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer for the Lufkin District. “There are usually many signs posted near election time and if a political sign is placed on the right of way, we are required to remove it without notice.”

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Where can I place political signs?

You can place your signs anywhere so long as they are not in the highway right of way or in a location that poses a safety hazard (e.g. blocking sight to a driveway). Always make sure to check with local authorities (Cities, Counties, Homeowner’s Associations, etc.) as they may have their own restrictions.

When can I place political signs?

Cities and counties may have their own time restrictions for political signs, however TxDOT does not enforce any timing restrictions.

There is a sign on private property posing a safety hazard

If you believe a sign or signs create a safety hazard, contact local law enforcement as they can have the owner remove or relocate their sign(s).

There are signs located on the Right of Way (ROW)

Signs cannot be placed on the ROW as per Texas Transportation Code (TTC) §393.002. “A sheriff, constable, or other trained volunteer authorized by the commissioner’s court of a county may confiscate a sign placed in violation of Section 393.002.” (TTC §393.003). For state-maintained highways, your local TxDOT district office also has the authority to remove signs located on state owned right of way.

For more information regarding signage, visit txdot.gov/Inside TxDOT/Division/Right of Way/Rules for Posting Campaign Signs, or contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or (936) 633-4395.

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