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June 6, 2022 - State Highway 7 (SH 7) West at the intersection of FM 711 was the scene of a crash involving a truck-tractor chicken hauler and SUV with a tree on Monday, June 6, 2022. 

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene and Center Fire Department helped extricate those individuals who were in the SUV.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, at 10:35am a 2012 Mack Truck owned by Tyson Foods and driven by Tommy Joe Jackson, 60, of Center was northbound on FM 711 approaching SH 7 West hauling a trailer of chickens.

Jackson disregarded the stop sign while turning right, overturning and blocking the roadway.

At that time a tan 2008 Ford Explorer driven by Tammy Davis, 58, of Center was eastbound on SH 7 with a 13-year-old and 12-year-old passenger. Upon seeing the roadway was blocked, took evasive action and steered to the left avoiding contact with the truck-tractor. The Explorer then left the roadway to the left and made contact on its passenger side with a large pine tree before coming to a stop just beyond the tree.

All occupants in the Explorer were transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital for treatment of possible injuries.

Jackson was issued a citation for disregard stop sign.

Tyson Foods personnel were quick in helping to clear the roadway and get traffic flowing normally. The scene was clear by 2:10pm.

Additional details are pending and will be updated when they are made available.

Center Fire Department, Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies, Constable Precinct 3 and West Shelby County Volunteer Fire Department personnel all assisted at the scene.

June 6, 2022 - Timpson Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) was called out on a mutual aid assist at 6:38pm Saturday, June 4, 2022, for Garrison Volunteer Fire Department on County Road. 3253 E. to set up a landing zone.

Upon arrival TVFD began to set up the landing zone and assisted EMS with getting the patient ready for transport. Nine minutes after arrival the Life Flight arrived and loaded the patient up and took off for the hospital. Once the helicopter was clear, TVFD picked up all our equipment and returned to the station.

16 total calls for the month of May:

Hazardous condition - 1
10-50 (Crash) without injuries- 1
10-50 (Crash) with injuries - 2
Passenger vehicle fire - 2
EMS assist - 2
Police assist - 1
Grass fire - 1
Structure fire - 1
Smoke scare - 2
Gas leak - 1
Lift assist - 2

June 6, 2022 - Upon taking the oath as your Sheriff, I made a promise to be transparent to the citizens of Shelby County and have an open door policy. I strongly feel that the public has a right to know what is going on with this office and this is not something that will change.

During a recent Commissioner’s Court meeting, several statements were made about the Sheriff’s Office that I feel need to be clarified. The article was published on Shelby County Today (SCTTX.COM), dated May 31, 2022 and titled: SC Commissioners allow Constable to maintain use of bulletproof vest, add reserve officer.  

While I understand that everyone has a right to state their concerns, I can only accept responsibility for the actions that I have had control of since taking office January 1, 2021. Being Sheriff is not an easy task and I quickly learned that it is impossible to make everyone happy and keep everyone satisfied. I feel that if an article is going to be published, both sides deserve the right for clarification.

March 1, 2021, the City of Timpson made the decision to close their police department. As a result of their closure (effective March 4, 2021), the City of Timpson donated a patrol vehicle to the sheriff’s office and the county purchased an additional vehicle from the City of Timpson for $35,000. From January 1, 2021 to March 3, 2021, 98 calls for service came through the sheriff’s office for assistance in Timpson. From March 4, 2021 to the present date, 829 calls for service came through the sheriff’s office for assistance in Timpson area and Precinct 5.

In 2021 during a budget meeting, I asked the commissioners for permission to hire an additional three deputies, we were granted one additional deputy. The position was filled in October 2021. While we were VERY grateful to add another officer to patrol, this did not even touch the need.

In the meeting, the statement was made, “That’s the reason we hired them another deputy and they assured us when the mayor was here to help donate the car, and stuff like that, they would pick up and step up and do more and they’re not doing it.”

From the time Timpson Police Department closed to the time we actually put the additional deputy on patrol was seven months. Prior to adding the deputy, and to the present time, yes, we have stepped up. Yes, we are doing more and we will continue to do all that we can. We have never refused a call and we never will.

In the meeting, Constable Tipton stated that 75% of the calls in Precinct 5 come through his office. While the sheriff’s office has no idea of the personal calls that go directly to Constable Tipton, we do for a fact know that multiple times, on a daily basis, the sheriff’s office is contacted directly for assistance in Timpson. We log every single call that comes in to our office. This is public information.

In the meeting, the comment was made,” We may need to have a sit down with the Sheriff and we may need to hire another deputy or two, have somebody that serves their community, not goes up there once or twice a week.”

Our call logs clearly reflect that we have deputies in Timpson more than once or twice a week. Again, in the budget meeting, I asked for three deputies. We were granted one. The reason I asked for three is simple: there is a NEED. At the minimum, a total of three deputies would allow us to always have two deputies on duty at all times. Three additional deputies can’t even begin to cover the need for additional manpower, but it would be better that what we have now. We cannot work with more than what we have. This has to be understood. If a deputy is sick, or has requested time off – we have to bring another deputy in to cover the shift. This creates overtime. Overtime causes a major problem as it is pulling more money from our already strained budget. To avoid overtime, we often shuffle the schedule around, and have deputies work split shifts. Even by doing this, at some point during the night, that deputy goes off duty leaving ONE deputy on patrol. ONE. One deputy trying to cover approximately 850 square miles - this is impossible. I will continue to ask for more deputies because there is a need.

Shelby County resident Robin Connell was in attendance at the meeting. Connell is a business owner in Timpson and Joaquin, as well as a resident of Precinct 4. Connell made the statement, “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called the Sheriff’s Department and this is what I’m told, ‘we don’t have anybody on duty right now, we don’t have anybody we can send, the only people we have on duty are down in Possum Trot.” Connell added, “Emergencies aren’t Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. That’s not when you call and you’re scared to death of what’s going on, that’s not when it happens. We had the luxury of having a city police department and I say that in all sincerity we had the luxury of having one, that’s gone. If you call the Sheriff’s Department Monday morning at 9 a.m., you’ll have a whole army show up, but Thursday at 12:15 a.m. it would be a different situation.”

I can only take responsibility for the actions of this office since January 1, 2021. Since I became Sheriff, we have always had a deputy on duty. Our call logs reflect that since January 1, 2021, Ms. Connell, and/or her store associates have called the sheriff’s office for assistance 10 times. Every single time they requested assistance, a deputy showed up. We cannot control the location or time of crime. Obviously, during the day, we have more manpower available. All of our investigators are in the office, as well as Chief Deputy Ruth Gonzales, Captain Tanner Peace, and me. This is not to say that if/when a situation arises at night that no one will respond. We will respond, and we will respond every single time. There just may not be as many of us and depending on where the deputy(s) are in the county will depend on our response time. For instance, if we have a deputy on a call in the southern most part of the county, and an additional call comes in on the most northern part of the county, the response time is going to be right at an hour. Mind you that this is the deputy doing their best to get there as quickly and safely as possible; and that is only if he is able to leave immediately from the call he is on.

At times situations arise and we have two deputies tied up on a call and both are unable to leave. We use every resource available to respond as quickly to the call. This includes reaching out to constables in the surrounding precincts, as well as our on call investigator. Calls are never and will never be turned down under my administration. It has to be understood that our hands are often tied because of lack of deputies.

We are doing our best to manage from where we are, not where we wish we were. Unfortunately, unlimited resources are not provided to us. As I have previously stated, we are going to be transparent to the people of our county.  My door here at the office has been and will remain open for any help, questions, or comments. Continuing to build community relations between our office and the people of Shelby County is one priority we will refuse to let wither. I am your Sheriff. One thing I can always promise you is that every decision that I, or my administration makes, will always be in the best interest of this county.   

Sheriff Kevin W. Windham

June 6, 2022 - Over the past week, and the transition from May to June, the Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department received 5 calls. This week was free from fires as all 5 calls pertain to medical emergencies.

Starting early morning Thursday June 2nd, a call was received about an unresponsive person in their vehicle parked at the Quick Stop on the Haslam Strip.

Two additional calls came in on Thursday, one at 3:00pm for a Medical Alarm at a home on Cummings Street, and another at 4:19pm to set up a landing zone for a burn patient.

Next on Saturday, June 4th the JVFD were dispatched to County Road 3421 for a fall patient.

The final call for the week came in Sunday, June 5th, in regards to a seizure patient on County Road 3252.

The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department works very closely with Allegiance EMS on nearly every medical call that comes in, wether it’s to assist on an ongoing emergency or to secure a patient until the EMS can arrive for pick-up. That said, the JVFD hopes everyone has a safe and enjoyable week going forward.

June 6, 2022 - On June 1, 2022, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality required the Paxton (Jackson) public water system, 2100031 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.

The public water system 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 6/06/2022.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact, Stacy Cranford 903-692-4313.

June 2, 2022 - Due to a broken water main the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the PAXTON (Jackson) Water system, ID# 2100031 to notify customers that were without water 06/01/2022 on Hwy 7E (anyone without water) to boil their water, prior to consumption (e.g., 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 customers 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 this 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 Stacy Cranford 903-692-4313

June 2, 2022 – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is investigating a fatal crash in Nacogdoches County on state Highway 7, approximately 12 miles west of Center, that occurred Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

The preliminary investigation indicates that at approximately 1 p.m., a 2011 Ford pickup was traveling west while a 2004 Ford SUV was traveling east. It is reported that the pickup traveled into the oncoming lane and struck the SUV.

The driver of the pickup, identified as 63-year-old Vicki Campbell of Center, was pronounced deceased on scene by a Justice of the Peace. There were two passengers, 61-year-old Juan Oliverio and a 6-year-old child, transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center for treatment.

The driver of the SUV, identified as 18-year-old Raliah Griffin of Nacogdoches, was transported to UT Tyler for treatment. Her passenger, a 1-year-old child, was transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center for treatment.

The investigation remains ongoing and there is no additional information available at this time.

June 2, 2022 - State Highway 87 South was the scene of a major single-vehicle crash Friday, May 27, 2022. The crash occurred immediately following the Center High School graduation. 

According to Trooper Keith Jones, at 9:19pm Texas Department of Public Safety was notified of a single-vehicle crash on State Highway 87 South just before the intersection of FM 414.

Upon arrival Trooper Jones observed a white 2018 GMC Sierra pickup truck laying on it's side. The truck which was driven by Trevor Patrick Henkel, 26, of Center was northbound when it exited the roadway to the left in a curve and struck a culvert. The truck then became airborne and landed while rolling on its side and through a pillar before coming to rest against the FM 414 sign on the driver's side facing west.

Following a field sobriety test at the scene, Henkel was arrested for driving while intoxicated and transported to the Shelby County Jail. 

No injuries were reported to have resulted from the crash. Assisting at the scene were the Center Fire Department, Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

June 2, 2022 - The month of May 2022 had 19 days of 90 degrees and above temperatures and only 1 day, May 23rd, with the day’s high in the 70s.

The weather data for Center, Texas during the month of May 2022 is as follows:

Hottest temperature - 93.9 on May 18
Lowest temperature - 55.9 on May 27
Total rain fall for the month - 5.80 inches
Number of days with rain - 7 days

05/01/2022 - Low of 65.3, High of 88.5, Rain 0.52
05/02/2022 - Low of 68.0, High of 85.3
05/03/2022 - Low of 63.3, High of 83.8, Rain 1.58
05/04/2022 - Low of 70.2, High of 89.4
05/05/2022 - Low of 64.8, High of 83.1, Rain 1.21
05/06/2022 - Low of 60.6, High of 84.2
05/07/2022 - Low of 63.9, High of 91.8
05/08/2022 - Low of 73.0, High of 91.4
05/09/2022 - Low of 73.4, High of 92.1
05/10/2022 - Low of 73.0, High of 91.6
05/11/2022 - Low of 70.3, High of 90.3
05/12/2022 - Low of 66.0, High of 91.6
05/13/2022 - Low of 65.8, High of 91.0
05/14/2022 - Low of 69.6, High of 90.7
05/15/2022 - Low of 68.7, High of 90.5
05/16/2022 - Low of 69.6, High of 93.6
05/17/2022 - Low of 71.2, High of 93.0
05/18/2022 - Low of 70.2, High of 93.9
05/19/2022 - Low of 74.1, High of 93.2
05/20/2022 - Low of 72.7, High of 92.3
05/21/2022 - Low of 68.9, High of 92.7, Rain 0.56
05/22/2022 - Low of 66.6, High of 81.5, Rain 1.26
05/23/2022 - Low of 63.9, High of 72.3
05/24/2022 - Low of 68.2, High of 81.0, Rain 0.14
05/25/2022 - Low of 60.4, High of 82.9, Rain 0.53
05/26/2022 - Low of 56.3, High of 89.8
05/27/2022 - Low of 55.9, High of 88.0
05/28/2022 - Low of 57.0, High of 90.5
05/29/2022 - Low of 69.3, High of 91.8
05/30/2022 - Low of 77.4, High of 90.3
05/31/2022 - Low of 74.5, High of 93.4

June 1, 2022 (Photo Album- Community members gathered Monday, May 30 at the John D. Windham Civic Center for a Memorial Day ceremony hosted by VFW Post 8904 and Auxiliary to remember all Shelby County soldiers who gave all in their 'Last Full Measure of Devotion.' Elder Faye Dell Allen with Strong Triumph Church gave the invocation and the posting of the ceremonial rifle was performed by Sr. Vice Commander Newton Johnson, Jr. and Kenneth Dickerson. Post Quartermaster Larry Hume spoke, "You have just witnessed the posting of the military battle cross whose origins go back to a time of the Civil War when riffles were used to mark the graves of the fallen so that they could later be recovered. The battle cross is a visible reminder of the fallen that we honor here and across this nation today."

Guest speaker was Dick Shawver, Immediate Past Texas VFW State Commander. "On Memorial day we honor our fallen but we must also embrace the feeling of honor, patriotism, and pride. One hundred and fifty-five years have passed since a drug store owner in Waterloo, New York encouraged businesses to close for one day to honor the soldiers who lost their lives during the civil war." He then described the American tradition of Memorial day.

A special medal presentation was made to Past Post Commander John Piersol who is a Korean War veteran, and paratrooper. Hume read a letter for John, "It is a great honor and pleasure to express the everlasting gratitude of the Republic of Korea and our people for the service you and your countrymen have performed in restoring and preserving the freedom of democracy. We cherish in our hearts the memory of your valiant sacrifices in helping us to reestablish our free nation. In grateful recognition of your dedicated contribution, it is our privilege to claim you as an ambassador for peace. Every good wish, the people of the Republic of Korea, let each of us reaffirm our mutual respect and friendship that they may endure for generations to come. Signed Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, Republic of Korea."

As part of the program, several families of military members - past and present, were given special recognition with presentations of banners. Blue Star families, the immediate family of a U.S. military member who is serving during war, were asked to stand and then were presented Blue Star Banners by Post Jr. Vice Commander Jason Samford.

Three special Gold Star families were recognized as well. Gold star families are spouses, children, parents, siblings or others whose loved one died in service to our nation. Gold Star families recognized belonged to the following military members: John Stilley, U.S. Army, who was killed in Vietnam; Rennie C. Snider, Jr., U.S. Army, who was killed in WW II; and James L. Beckham who was killed in action in WW II.

Three Quilts of Valor were presented by Shelby County 4-H representatives, Dr. Jheri-Lynn McSwain and Feleshia Thompson as part of the Heart to Hands Quilt of Valor project. The three quilts were sponsored by Woodmen Life Chapter 250 and were presented to Athena Ezernack, served 14 years in U.S. Air Force; Ruby Johnson, retired U.S. Navy; and Casey Williams, served in U.S. Marine Corps. Before each veteran was wrapped in their quilt, their service history and accommodations were read. They were then each welcomed home.

Beautiful music was performed during the ceremony. David Mathis and Leigh Porterfield led the audience in the National Anthem, the First Baptist Church Trio sang a cappella "In Flanders Fields," and Leigh Porterfield ended the inside portion of the program with "Last Full Measure of Devotion."

Those remembered in the Roll Call of Honor are listed below:

Mexican-American War (14): William Graves, Prince B. Hawes, Ezekiel T. Hewett, Oliver Latharp, Richard Manning, Gabriel Moore, Abner Nail, John R. Robbins, Jacob Sessum, Alfred Sick, Robert Smith, Ephraim Story, Peter Tidwell, and Jackson West.

American Civil War (24): William Thomas Baker, Frank Biggar, Richard Sweezer Biggar, James Tapley Booth, D. C. Brandon, James Moore Choate, Stephen Choppell Christian, Joseph Duncan, W.J. Freeland, Oscar F. Hall, James Harkness, John W.I. Hayes, James Travis Hopkins, Andrew Frank Hughes, Sam Houston Latham, Stephen N. Latham, Joseph H. McCary, David Milford Mouser, Benjamin Franklin Newman, Jesse Oates, Stephen N. Power, Benjamin Henry Schooler, James Madison Soloman, and G. H. Stevens.

Spanish/Philippine Insurrection-American War (1): Elijah Webb

World War I (40): Joe L. Adams, Preston Archer, Norfleet Armstrong, Clyde Chance, Jimmie E. Chandler, Freddie F. Choate, Norman G. Crocker (1st Texas A&M Grad & Shelby Co. Soldier killed in WWI), Devoe Ferguson, Jodie M. Ferguson, James E. Fielder, Louis Franklin, Thomas H. Franks, Bert Gordon, Ira A. Hoffman, Irvin F. Hunter, Oscar Latimer, Albert W. Lewis, Fred R. Lindsey, Benice N. Mancil, Ferman H. McCann, Clyde T. Morrison, John B. Norman, Stephen H. Oates, Calvin Kirt Ramey, Alexander D. Ramsey (brothers), Robert L. Ramsey (brothers), John Sharp, Ernest H. Shipp, John Stanton, Joe Taylor, Wilburn Taylor, John W. Temple, Nathaniel H. Tims, Boss Turner, Bernice Tyson, Norman G. Vaught, Noah H. Warr, Barney Webb, John N. Yeary, and George M. Yeats.

World War II (128): John C.B. Alford, Ernest W. Allen, Ralph L. Amoss, John C. Anderson, Nolan R. Anderson, William Leroy Anding, Lloyd L. Andrews, Cecil A. Armstreet, Bruce C. Baker Jr., Marvin Beard, James L. Beckham, Oscar L. Belser, Ray W. Bolton, Joseph B. Brannon, Richard Dale Bray, Urdong Brinson, Bryan Nelson Brittain, Thomas B. Brittain Jr., Lee O. Brunson, Edmond T. Burgess Jr., John B. Byrn, Emory C. Campbell, Jack E. Carter, Huston Cartwright, Rayford H. Ceal, Raymond H. Chance, Philip H. Childs, James Alton Cleveland, Royce C. Collum, Bobbie B. Compton, Joseph S. Connell, Marvin K. Crausby, Delton Cravey, Richard E. Crawford, Troy F. Crawford, Bobby Allen Crump, Barron Bailey Davis (brothers), Early E. Davis (brothers), Robert E. Daw Jr., Lewis V. Dockens, Reed H. Dominy, Roy V. Duncan, Austin E. Dunaway, William P. Durham, Arlie L. Eddins, O.J. Edwards, Robert Henry Essery, Louis Fishman, Charles R. Frame, Everett A. Gaines, Tom Gant, Randle B. Golden, E. C. Gunnels, Hubert B. Haley, Hulen M. Hardage, Pershing H. Harvey, Walter Bruce Henry, Ralph D. Herndon, Dudley D. Holt, Harold W. Hooper, William S. Hopkins, Preston O. Huckabay, Roy D. Hughes, Arther T. Hutcherson, Walter B. Hutto, Leroy Johnson, Curtis Jolley, Carl H. Jones, Johnnie L. Jones, James R. Kirkland, Willie D. Lathon, Johnnie M. Lee, Howard L. Lovell, Clarence M. Mahan, Earnest M. Mahan, Charlie D. Majors, Bryan McCollum Jr., James A. McDaniel, John R. Miller, John W. Minter, Roy H. Mitchell, Thomas T. Mitchell, Woodrow W. Moro, Jimmie H. Mott, Hoya B. Murphy, L.C. Netherly, Kenneth N. Nicholson, Robert L. Norris, Joe L. Odom, Steve Henry Oates, Allie J. Oliver, James E. Pate, Pershing Pate, Jack T. Powell, Arlen R. Rhame, Ben R. Rhodes, Postell Richard, Darwin A. Risinger, George O. River Jr., John C. Scott, Benjamin M. Simon, Hugh J. Smith, Choron Smothermon, Rennie C. Snider Jr., Luther T. Spurlock, Johnie F. Stack, Robert Swanzy, James P. Tindol, William R. Todd, Richard R. Wallace, Vernon B. Walters, Sidney E. Watson, Arvin D. Webb, Robert H. Wharton, E. C. White, Marion Bedford Whiteside Jr., Robert Wilburn, Claude M. Wilkerson, Clifton Williams, Eligie P. Williams, Elmer E. Williams, Ray D. Williams, Wrayful Willis, Julius R. Windham, Melvin T. Windham, Silvanus Winfrey Jr., Harry H. Womack, and Albert Youngblood

Korean War (8): Floyd Harris, Clifford Hughes, Johnny V. Mena, Bobbie F. Mock, Billy Clyde Stephenson, Leonard Williams, Willie J. Wilson, Willie E. Windham

Vietnam War (12): Ted Wane Adams, William Larry "Shorty" Andrews, Jimmy Dalton Barnett, Mac Curtis Buckley, Larry S. "Possum" Byford, Ray A. Chatelain Jr., William Henry Eaden, Jerry Lynn Hughes, Taylor D. Johnson, John B. Lightfood, Samuel R. Lynch, and Calvin R. Patrick

War on Terrorism - Iraq (1): Larry E. Polley Jr.

War on Terrorism - Afghanistan (2): Kevin C. Roberts and Cory J. Bertrand

June 1, 2022 - On Tuesday, May 24 and Wednesday, May 25, Shelbyville High School student Ava Silva competed in the U.I.L. state speech tournament in extemporaneous informative speaking in Austin, Texas. According to the U.I.L. handbook, “The purpose of this contest is to stimulate an active interest in current affairs at the state, national and international levels, and to teach the student to present facts extemporaneously in a clear and impartial manner. This contest is an exercise in clear thinking and informing the public on the issues and concerns of the American people. The objective is to orally present information in an interesting way.”

Ava Silva was awarded the title of State Champion for her speech presentation over Sweden and Finland joining NATO. Shelbyville Speech and Debate was also awarded the prestigious honor of being the second highest ranked speech team in the State of Texas. This is Ava’s third state medal this school year and first time to be awarded champion. She has also placed 3rd in cross-examination debate with her partner Aubree Camp and 3rd in congress. She is coached by her mother, Emily Sowell.