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August 24, 2015 - In drizzling rain a two-vehicle crash on San Augustine Street resulted in minor injuries Saturday afternoon, at 3:30pm near the intersection of Southview Circle.

According to the Center Police Department, a GMC Sierra pickup driven by Charles Burrows, age 57 of Center was traveling west on San Augustine Street and failed to yield right of way striking a Ford Escape driven by David Eubank, age 55 of Center, with passenger Cindy Eubank. The Ford was turning east onto San Augustine Street turning from Hurst Street just before the accident occurred.

Burrows, the driver of the GMC, attempted to apply his brakes when they locked up and the vehicle began to slide. Eubank was unable to avoid the collision and the front of the GMC hit the drivers side front quarter panel of the Escape causing extensive damage to both vehicles.

The crash was investigated by Center PD Officer John Welch. No citations were issued.

August 22, 2015 - Arcadia Road was the scene of a single-vehicle crash just outside of Center on Saturday afternoon, August 22, 2015.

Emergency personnel was dispatched at 1:10pm when it was reported a vehicle was located in the ditch alongside of the road. The Center Fire Department, Center Police Department and ACE EMS all responded to the crash at the intersection of Ellington Street.

Trayvon Osby, 21, of Tenaha was traveling east in a blue Hyundai Santa Fe on Arcadia Road (FM 138) when he failed to control speed. The Hyundai left the roadway to the right and traveled over a culvert as it crossed Ellington Street before it rolled onto its right side and came to rest in a ditch.

Osby was transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for possible injuries. No citations have been given at this time. The crash was investigated by Center Police Officer John Welch, assisted by Sgt. Duane Gordon.

August 21, 2015 - Sheriff Willis Blackwell would like to announce that the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office will have two vehicles for auction. The two vehicles are a 2008 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor and a 2003 Chevy Tahoe with third row seating. Bids will be taken online through Public Surplus.

Go to then browse auctions within area click Texas then to select agency, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. There are photos of the vehicles that you can look at or feel free to come by the Sheriff’s Office and you can look at the vehicles in person.

If you have any questions call 936-598-5600 ask for the Sheriff or Chief Deputy Shad Sparks for more information.

August 21, 2015 - Notice is hereby given that a Budget Hearing of the Governing body of the Shelby County Commissioners’ Court will be held on Monday the 24th day of August, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in the Courtroom of the Shelby County Courthouse at 200 San Augustine Street, Center, Shelby County, Texas to deliberate and consider action on the following items:

1. Hearing to discuss Proposed Budget for 2015-2016.

2. Adjourn.

The August 18, 2015 meeting of the Timpson City Council was well attended with Concerned citizens and business owners.

August 19, 2015 - The Timpson City Council voted to approve the reduction in force to a four-man police force at their meeting on Tuesday, August 19, 2015 by way of an unexpected vote from councilman George Grace.

Following an in-depth meeting filled with input from citizens, and business owners for and against the reduction in force of the police department, with the majority against the reduction, Councilman Grace threw the RIF (Reduction in Force) train off its tracks by voting for the four-man department.

A five-man police force was no longer being considered as, according to Mayor Debra Pate Smith, the city could not afford to cover a fifth officer; however, it could afford a four-man police force with the proposed budget reflecting a positive balance for the city.

The initial four-man motion made by Councilman Kyle Allen and seconded by Councilwoman Yvonne Ramsey failed. Council members Ronnie Wolfe, Janell Baker and Grace have all expressed their preference in the past to reduce the police force to a three-man department. Two three-man budgets were presented to the council for approval at the Tuesday meeting and Janell Baker made a motion to approve a three-man department which removed Chief Kent Graham from scheduling the officers and putting the responsibility on the shoulders of the council; however, her motion received no second and it failed as well.

Grace put forth a motion to keep a four-man department and allow the council to interview whomever would be hired on the police department. The totality of Grace's motion could not be put into effect and he amended his motion to have a four-man police department and stated it may take a different motion to allow the council the right to interview anyone that would be hired and to amend the handbook.

Seeing as the handbook was a separate issue from the number of officers in the department, the motion for a four-man department was considered and approved with council members Grace, Ramsey and Allen voting in favor of the reduction to a four-man department. The question remains as to why neither Councilman Wolfe, nor Councilman Grace provided a second to Baker's motion when a three-man department has been the apparent desire of council members Grace, Baker and Wolfe.

Another issue for the council in relation to the police department has been a police department account, which was approved at the last council meeting which had a quorum. The Tuesday agenda included a resolution of authority and contact information for the Austin Bank Police Account, adding Mayor Debra Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Ronnie Wolfe, City Secretary Leslie Leathers and Municipal Court Clerk Paula Mullins. *****To open the account an opening balance would be necessary and required to be included with the motion was a directive on where the funds should come from.


Grace Steps in, Drives #Timpson Council Vote for Four-Man Police Force - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Councilman Wolfe suggested using funds from the police department forfeiture fund account to open the account. Mayor Smith asked Chief Graham to explain the impossibility of transferring forfeiture funds or donated funds to a separate police account.

"Forfeiture funds have to be used to buy police equipment and things of that nature," said Chief Graham. "They cannot be co-mingled."

Mayor Smith stated the city received a letter to that effect from the District Attorney. Councilman Wolfe suggested putting municipal court funds into the account and made a motion to approve resolution 08-10-2015-01 and open the account with funds generated by the court starting immediately or this month. He also added the money should be put into the account as it is paid and any other monies generated by the police department.

Councilman Allen asked Councilman Wolfe for what the money is going to be used to pay. Wolfe stated they would be used to pay for the expenses of the police department and he confirmed with Mayor Smith the money would be transferred out of that account and into the general fund as needed. Councilwoman Ramsey asked if that would not create even more work for Secretary Leathers and Wolfe concurred it probably will create more work.

"Is it legal to earmark that money not into the general fund? Before we do this shouldn't we possibly ask someone?" said Councilman Allen.

"Alright with me. I don't think it is, but you're welcome to ask Mr. Bovey (City Attorney) about it," said Wolfe.

Councilman Allen continued to express concern over tracking the police department gains so closely as it would appear the council is trying to monitor how many tickets are produced by the department, "It almost seems like we're keeping tabs on how much they're working and what they're actually producing instead of being part of one big account, part of a general fund, it seems like we're segregating them off and actually causing it to look like we are keeping tabs on their production and using that as our measurement of their worthiness and not actually the service they provide to the city."

One reason Councilman Allen stated the council should not set up an account for the police department, which would mirror that of the electric department and water department, is because they are companies designed to support themselves and the police department is a service to function out of the general fund. Councilman Allen stated taking that action with the account would get the council in trouble.

"That's the reason we have lawyers," said Councilman Wolfe. "Yeah," agreed Councilwoman Baker.

A motion was made by Councilman Grace to put the resolution on hold until Mayor Smith could check with legal counsel regarding the issue. Councilwoman Baker seconded the motion and it carried.

Police Department report for July
28 agency assists, 10 motorist assists, 2 escorts, 7 extra patrol requests, 4 calls for lose livestock, 4 calls for animal complaints, served 2 warrants, 5 theft cases, 1 criminal mischief, 1 criminal trespass, 7 disturbance, 4 suspicious person, 1 suspicious vehicle, 2 reckless drivers, 17 investigations, 3 burglary of a building, 3 burglary of a habitation, 2 assault, 5 assault family violence, 2 sexual assault of a child, 1 possession of marijuana, 1 possession of a controlled substance, 1 evading arrest, 1 public intoxication, 6 welfare checks, 7 engaging in organized criminal activity.

Total calls for service - 127
Total Arrests - 21

Public Works report for July
58 total work orders received with 54 of them being resolved. Repaired a leak on Timpson Street which has been leaking for a long time. Replaced 180' of water line. Repaired Timpson Street and Railroad Avenue with white rock. Resurfaced Driver Lane and North 4th Street with white rock.

Municipal Court report for July
177 citations issued, 212 violations, 0 to juveniles and 15 to minors. Total amount reported $40,734.55 the City’s portion a 55% estimate of $22,404.00.

Approved items on the agenda:

    Consent agenda:
    A. Minutes of the regular meeting held on July 21, 2015
    B. Minutes of the special meeting held on July 30, 2015
    C. Financial Statement for the month of July, 2015
    D. Accounts Payable – Unpaid bills for July, 2015
    E. Gareth Yoder and the Mennonite Community to use the Gazebo area for their Annual Tent Revival which will take place October 5th-11th.
    Contract renewal at Woodlawn Cemetery with Ricky Askins for $1,375.00 a month for mowing and basic cemetery maintenance.
    Reduction in Force of the police department to a four-man department.
    Proposed budget for the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year: General revenue, subtotal of revenue $284,550; transfers required from electric fund $34,779.90; Cemetery fund $14,000. Total of expenditures $333,329.90.
    Tax Rate for 2015-2016 of .313 per $100, a $2,119 increase in revenue and increase in effective rate proposed by Shelby County.

Tabled items on the agenda:

    Runnels Property Survey.
    Employee Handbook(s) based in the issues being decided at this meeting: Employee benefits, “Call-Out” Pay, Garaging of department vehicles, over-time pay, department scheduling, etc.
    Resolution of Authority and contact info for Austin Bank Police Account #2800018349, adding Mayor Debra Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Ronnie Wolfe, City Secretary Leslie Leathers and Paula Mullins, Municipal Court Clerk.

August 19, 2015 - Due to a break in the main line, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has required our water system, McClelland Water Supply Corporation, PWS ID# 2100011 to notify customers east of the Oakland Church on FM 139, of the need to boil their water prior to consumption.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and making ice should be boiled and cooled prior to use. The water should be brought to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boiled for two minutes. In lieu of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source.

When it is no longer necessary to boil the water, the water system officials will notify you that the water is safe for consumption. Instructions to discontinue boiling will be issued in the same manner as this notice.

If you have questions concerning this matter, you may contact Vince DiVerdi at 936-598-8478 or Renita Hudman at 936-598-9781.

August 19, 2015 - The following cases were disposed of in the Shelby County Court on August 18th, 2015. Judge Allison Harbison was the presiding judge and County Attorney Gary Rholes was the prosecutor:

  •     Mercedes Jones - Theft (Class B) - - Defendant received $600.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 12 months deferred adjudication probation, attend and complete Theft Program.
  •     Abilio Salinas - Driving While Intoxicated (Class B) - Defendant received $1200.00 fine, $412.10 court cost, 12 months probation, 40 hours Community Service, attend and complete DWI education program.
  •     Kaylyn Jackson - Possession Of Controlled Substance (Class A) - Defendant received a $400.00 fine, $262.00 court cost Final Judgement.
  •     Jonathan Johnson - Theft (Class B) - Defendant received $262.00 court cost, $500 restitution, 6 months probation.
  •     Jonathan Johnson - Criminal Trespass (Class B) - Defendant received $500.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 30 days Shelby County Jail.
  •     Chatrick Hines - Driving While Intoxicated 2nd (Class A) - Defendant received $1200.00 fine, $412.10 court cost, 180 days Shelby County Jail Final Judgement.
  •     Tykeya King - Theft (Class B) - Defendant received $600.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 12 months probation, 40 hours Community Service, attend and complete Theft Program.
  •     Desmond Polley - Theft (Class B) - Defendant received $400.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 12 months deferred adjudication probation, 40 hours Community Service.
  •     Jontay Lane - Reckless Driving (Class B) - Defendant received $600.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, Final Judgement.
  •     Jerome Sanders - Unlawful Carry of Weapon (Class A) - Defendant received $600.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 12 months probation, 40 hours Community Service.
  •     Justin Shofner - Assault (Class A) - Defendant received $750.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 12 months probation, 40 hours Community Service, attend and complete Anger Management Program.
  •     Mack Hamilton - Theft (Class A) - Defendant received $600.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, 12 months probation, 40 hours Community Service, attend and complete Theft Program.
  •     Randy Fountain - Driving While License Invalid (Class B) - Defendant received $500.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, Final Judgement.
  •     Regina Curry - Driving While Intoxicated 2nd (Class A) - Defendant received $1200.00 fine, $412.10 court cost, 12 months probation, 40 hours Community Service, attend and complete DWI education program.
  •     Logan Driver - Harassment (Class B) - Defendant received $600.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, Final Judgement.
  •     Landon Vidrine - Possession Of Marijuana (Class B) - Defendant received $400.00 fine, $262.00 court cost, Final Judgement.
  •     Gordon Davis Jr. - Probation Revocation (original charge, Class A Theft) - 8 months Shelby County Jail.
  •     Allen James Price - Probation Revocation (original charge, Class A Driving While Intoxicated 2nd) - 140 days Shelby County Jail.
  •     Chatrick Hines - Probation Revocation (original charge, Class B Driving While Intoxicated) - 6 months Shelby County Jail.

Photos by Whitney Burgay

August 18, 2015 - A new tradition was unveiled Monday, August 18, 2015 on Center ISD Campus when Will Lucas, Shelby Savings Bank president, removed the cover off of the new 'Shelby Savings Bank Drive' street sign while bank employees and Rotary members watched.

In support of the Rotary Club's Fun for Funds benefit auction which helps provide scholarships to Center ISD graduating seniors, Center ISD donated to the auction "Name that Sign" which gave the winning bidder naming rights to the street connecting Roughrider Drive to Timpson Highway for one year. The street passes in front of the Tennis Courts and Roughrider Stadium. For one year the sign will display Shelby Savings Bank Drive on both ends until next years Fun for Funds Benefit Auction places the item up for someone to claim naming rights.

The Fun for Funds auction was held March 24, 2015 and Shelby Savings Bank won with a $900 bid. The Fun for Funds auction raised over $33,000 for scholarships which is managed by the Catherine Pinkston Roughrider Scholarship Foundation. As of March 2015, the Roughrider Scholarship Foundation (RSF) has presented 1,544 scholarships totaling $1,213,800 to graduating C.H.S. students and is funded by donations, not just from Rotary, but from the community.

The RSF gave out over 100 scholarship to 2015 graduating seniors which wasn't included in the previous total. For more information about the RSF, visit online at

August 14, 2015 - A two-vehicle crash occurred at the common incident location of the Wal Mart entrance in Center on Friday, August 14, 2015 as one vehicle was attempting to cross Hurst Street at 5:19pm.

As Chad McCormick, 29, of Joaquin was traveling north on Hurst Street in a red Mitsubishi Outlander Sport with Lisa McCormick, 39, and a female child, a blue Ford F-150 failed to yield right of way from Foster Street. Marconi Hernandez, 51, with passenger Latwan Gibbs, 43, both of Center exited from Foster Street and the front center distributive of the Ford struck the right side distributive of the Mitsubishi causing major damage to the passenger side of the Mitsubishi and sending it into the inside turning lane.

McCormick was able to gain control of the vehicle and parked it on the southbound side shoulder of the roadway. Hernandez drove the Ford into the Wal Mart parking lot driveway and came to a halt. ACE EMS transported Lisa McCormick, with non life threatening injuries, and the child passenger, with possible injuries, to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment.

No injuries were reported from the other vehicle and Hernandez was issued a citation for no driver's license. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

The crash was investigated by Center Police Lt. Jeremy Bittick.

August 14, 2015 - A single-vehicle crash resulting in a fire occurred on FM 699 on Wednesday night, August 12, 2015. The Center Fire Department was dispatched to the scene of the crash and when they arrived the front end of the pickup truck involved in the crash was engulfed in flames in the front yard of a residence.

The firemen were quickly able to extinguish the flames and prevent the truck from further going up in flames. Members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Center Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) all arrived at the scene and an investigation began.

According to DPS State Trooper Keith Jones, at 8:59pm a 2001 Ford F-150 owned by Ellen Hearne of Center driven by Dustin Lamar Hearne, 19, was traveling south on FM 699, 1,500 feet from FM 2468. The vehicle was traveling at an unsafe speed due to the curve in the roadway and exited the roadway over correcting left before striking an embankment on the left side of the roadway causing the truck to roll. The truck caught on fire and the fire department was dispatched to put out the fire.

Hearne was not reported to have received any injuries and refused treatment at the scene. He was issued a citation for unsafe speed.