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September 29, 2015 - 280 people attended the 38th Annual Shelby County Ducks Unlimited (SCDU) Dinner at the Windham Civic Center on Saturday, September 12 and the grandmother of Jacob Hughes won the 4th Annual Jacob Hughes gun.

The main event of the dinner was a live auction which once again opened with the first item auctioned in memory of Jacob Hughes. It was an emotional moment when auctioneer Kevin McDonald announced Sandra Hughes, the grandmother of Jacob Hughes, had won the memorial gun, a 12ga Browning Silver Automatic with special embellishing, with a bid of $5,100. Upon winning the cherished auction item, she wept momentarily with emotions of joy and sadness as the audience applauded.

This is the 4th year the SCDU has auctioned off a gun in memory of Hughes. Money raised from the memorial gun goes to a scholarship account setup for students seeking a degree in wildlife and fisheries science, the degree Hughes was pursuing at Texas A&M at the time of his death in 2011.

Another winning bidder honored the Hughes family by presenting the father, Lance Hughes, with a knife in a display case won during the silent auction.

The winners of the Dream Gun giveaway, which was a pre fundraiser for the dinner, was Jason Locke, Ed Copelin, and David Lawrence. The winner of the key item, an Academy DU Yildiz 12ga, was Brady Scarber. The pick of the litter was won by Jeff Dean who selected a Howa rifle.

Auction items which raised the most for conservation efforts were the SCDU Greenwing Youth Package ($2,100), 2015 gun of the year Browning A5 engraving of the 2015 artist-of-the-year Richard Clifton Afternoon Pintails ($3,400), 2015 DU handgun of the year Kimber Stainless II ($2,300), 2016 3 night/2 day fishing adventure on the Island of Nantucket ($2,400), 2014 DU President's Elite Fausti Cherry select 12ga over/under ($2,800), DU Henry Silverado .22 cal with engraving of 2015 artist of the year Richard Clifton Afternoon Pintails ($2,900), and 2014 gun of the year Benelli Montrefeltro shotgun ($2,800).

 Yazoo Thomas, Senior Regional Director - East Texas, recognized the chapter's conservation fundraising efforts praising their achievements, "This is the 80th Chapter out of 3,500 chapters in Ducks Unlimited. Shelby County, number 80 out of 3,500 chapters, is that worth a round of applause? Now give yourself a round of applause because we are going back again next year!" The SCDU received Ducks Unlimited, Inc - President's Elite Chapter Award, Texas Ducks Unlimited Top 20 Chapter, and Ducks Unlimited Diamond Event award.

Each year a select group of Ducks Unlimited chapters rise to the top of the ranks as the President's Elite, each raising $100,000 or more annually for DU's habitat conservation work. Shelby County was 80th on the list earning a spot of honor.

The SCDU would like to give special thanks to sponsors, donors, and underwriters of the banquet because without them the banquet could not be the success that it is. Also, appreciation to Bob's Pawn Shop for handling the ATF required background checks and Hughes Florist for the table decorations.

Ducks Unlimited Sponsors and Underwriters

Corporate Sponsors: Shelby Vet and Associates, Sand Hill Foundation, Few Ready Mix, Hometown Marine, Roy Blackshear, Bill Lloyd, Yazoo Thomas, Terry Bailey, Center Broadcasting, Light & Champion, R&K Distributors, PORTACOOL, Farmers State Bank, Shelby Savings Bank, Edward Jones, 4GContractors, Platinum Tire, Mild to Wild, Mettauer Law Office, C&S Rentals, Piney Forest Products, D&I Trucking, Steel Building Supply, Aztec Consulting, and Hughes Family.

Underwriters/Donors: Century Shop, Center ATV, Zacks Tint Shop, Watson & Son Funeral Home, Elite Hair Design, Petes Pro Auto, Steaks & More, L&L Taxidermy, Edward Jones, Lasting Impressions, Windham Dentistry, The Balcony, Center Automotive Collision Specialist, Ace Hardware, Golden Eye Clinic, 4G Contractors, R&D, The Loft, Shoop Financial, Hughes Florist, Morris Timber, Cody Barton, McAdams Propane, Triple T, Rio Theater, Backwoods Buggies, Ultra Shade, Texas State Bank, Sabine State Bank, The Reserve, Monco Motor Company, Jonnies Liquor, Pineywoods Beverage, Handy Andy, General Shelters, Delbert Beckham Metal Art, Covington Lumber, Boles Feed, Southern Seasons, Center Floral, 4C Electric, Center Glass, Goodtimes Smokehouse, Pine Grove Nursing Home, Spartan Structures, and J&J Feed.

September 29, 2015FM 711 was the scene of a house fire to which the Center Fire Department and West Shelby Volunteer Fire Department responded on Friday, September 25, 2015 at 10:15pm.

As firemen were en-route, Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Renfro traveled to the scene to see if anyone on the property located at 6095 FM 711 was in need of assistance. The homeowner and only occupant of the residence at that time, Sheila Chandler, was outside of the log house when Deputy Renfro arrived. To mark the location of the house, which was fully engulfed in flames, Deputy Renfro indicated the location with his patrol vehicle for arriving firemen to see the driveway into the property. Deputy Cody Muse arrived at the scene shortly thereafter.

A shed near the residence housed jet skis, and immediately after the arrival of firemen, the skis fuel tanks ignited and caused a flurry of flame to emit from the building. Firemen from both departments split their attention to the house and the shed with groups of firemen working on both buildings.

The firemen were very wary of power lines leading to the home and trees around the residence as many of them had caught on fire and were at risk of collapsing. The fire of the shed was first extinguished and the rich wood of the house continued to burn for several hours before the majority of flames were put out. The firemen left the scene at 1am.

During the time the firemen were fighting the blaze, a Center fireman collapsed and was transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department. It was suspected at the scene he had become dehydrated due to the excessive heat. Following treatment at the hospital, the fireman was returned to the scene to pick up his vehicle.

Reports by firemen, and family members at the scene, were that Chandler had been sleeping on a couch in the house when she awoke to find smoke inside the residence, and she could see flames emitting from behind a light fixture. Chandler broke a window to escape from the danger of the fire. Six weeks previous to the fire, she sold her home in Center to move into the log house which had been in her family for many years.

The house was a total loss and a specific cause has not been determined at this time. See related information by clicking here

September 18, 2015 - Low Cost Spay/Neuter and Pet Wellness Clinic one Thursday each month and every fourth Saturday from 10-3p. The next clinic will take place on Friday, October 2 at Tractor Supply in Center, Texas located at 1155 Tenaha Street. We offer dog/cat vaccines, heartworm tests/prevention, flea/tick prevention, microchips, and nail trims.

Now offering low cost spay/neuter and pets must have appointment for surgery. Information can be found at or call (903) 590-7722.

September 28, 2015 - Short United Methodist Church will be hosting its annual Homecoming, Sunday, October 11, 2015. Lunch will be served at 12:00noon with an afternoon singing to follow. The "Shelby County Singers" will be conducting the singing with other local singers. Please come on out for a day of good food and fellowship.

September 28, 2015 - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court in Matthews v. Kountze Independent School District, supporting the constitutional rights of Texas’ public schoolchildren to express their own messages at school and school-related events.

“The Kountze cheerleaders’ case involves personal expressions of faith and an ill-advised school district change of policy that has mislabeled their expressions of faith as ‘government speech,’” Attorney General Paxton said. “Let’s not forget that our country was founded on the very concept of religious freedom. When our fundamental rights are threatened, we have an obligation to defend them – and I stand with the students and parents at Kountze High School who are committed to move forward in this important fight.”

This case stems from a 2012 complaint by the Freedom From Religion Foundation against Kountze High School for allowing cheerleaders to print Bible verses on run-through banners at football games. Kountze ISD banned students from using the signs, and parents of the cheerleaders filed a lawsuit against the school district. KISD changed its policy to allow the banners, but in doing so claimed, for the first time, that the banners actually convey the school’s speech and not the cheerleaders’ personal expressions of faith. KISD then asked an appeals court to dismiss the case. The Ninth Court of Appeals, in Beaumont, dismissed the case, effectively allowing KISD to control the speech on banners as “school speech” and to disassociate the cheerleaders from their personal expressions of faith. The ruling is now before the Texas Supreme Court.

Attorney General Paxton has consistently and fervently defended religious liberty. On August 24, Attorney General Paxton filed an amicus brief on behalf of 20 states with the U.S. Supreme Court in Little Sisters v. Burwell, supporting the religious nonprofit’s right to exercise sincerely-held religious beliefs. On August 10, the Attorney General filed another amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Houston Baptist University v. Burwell in support of the petitioners’ fight against Obamacare’s contraception mandate based on its religious objections.

To view the brief in Matthews v. Kountze Independent School District, please visit:

September 25, 2015 - The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce presents the 39th Annual East Texas Poultry Festival Queen’s Scholarship Pageant at 6pm on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at the Center High School. Portraits below were taken by As You Wish Photography.

The Queen's Court season is made possible in part by Platinum Sponsor, Shelby Savings Bank. Festival Gold Sponsors are City of Center, Drewery Construction, Tyson Foods, Sombreros, JML Management, and Wiggins Farms.

The Poultry Festival is presented by Farmers State Bank.

2014 Queen Zoey Stuever
Escorted by Tony Garcia


Princess Hannah Hall 
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Rusty Hall 
Escorted by Hunter Berry
Sponsored By Rusty’s Consulting Services


Princess Konner Windham
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Windham 
Escorted by Zachary Fausett
Sponsored By ETSM


Princess Alexis Barlow 
Daughter of Jimmy Barlow & Nikki Joubert 
Escorted by Jacob Jackson
Sponsored By Cornerstone Construction


Princess Brynna Birdwell
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Del Birdwell
Escorted by Jesse Burns
Sponsored By Wiggins Farms


Princess Bailey Snell 
Daughter of Mr. Wes Snell & Ms. Stephanie Davis
Escorted by Joel Rodriguez
Sponsored By Hughes Florist & Gifts


Princess Madison Agnew
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Scott Agnew
Escorted by Lewis Blount
Sponsored By ACE Hardware of East Texas


Princess Kaci Griffin
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ray Griffin
Escorted by Aaron Gilchrist
Sponsored By Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rash/ Younique by Keni Bradshaw


Children of the Court 2015

Hudsyn Wulf 
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Deuce Wulf

Sutton Link 
Son of Mrs. Haley White
& Mr. Chris Link

Avery Lawson
Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Carl Whitehead
& Mr. & Mrs. Craig Lawson

Rex Payne 
Son of Mr. & Mrs. Rob Payne


Hannah Wages 

Daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Bryan Wages

Wade Collard 
Son of Dr. & Mrs. Randy Collard


Evening of Events

Master of Ceremonies
Chris Watlington

A Very Special Thank You

Introduction of Judges




Farewell-East Texas Poultry Festival Queen 2014
Zoey Stuever

Presentation of Awards

Crowning of
Miss East Texas Poultry Festival Queen 2015


September 25, 2015 - The Center Fire Department fought a grass fire on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 on CR 1045, which upon arrival of firemen was dangerously close to a chicken house.

A passerby on the roadway witnessed flames emitting from Hughes chicken farm just under 1 1/2 miles from State Highway 7 West and reported the fire to The Shelby County Sheriff's Department. West Shelby Volunteer Fire Department (WSVFD) was first to be dispatched to the fire; however, it was not in their coverage area. Once this was determined, the WSVFD was canceled and the Center Fire Department was dispatched to the fire.

When the firemen arrived, smoke billowed into the sky and across the roadway where flames appeared to be reaching out to get to the other side. While a grass truck was driven onto the property to investigate the origination of the flames that had traveled to the road, another group of firemen began extinguishing the fire beside the road.

Fire had traveled through a hay meadow very close to a chicken house and the flames were extinguished before they could catch on to the building. The remaining fire was contained to a large cluster of round hay bales, which were at the top of a hill. After the firemen doused the bales of hay with water, an individual on the property dragged the bales from their location to the middle of the field where the firemen further drenched them with water.

The cause of the fire was not known, but the danger presented by the fire was a good example of why the county remains under a burn ban to this date.

September 25, 2015LUFKIN – The Texas Transportation Commission on Thursday approved 62 transportation contracts that totaled $294.8 million, including three projects for the Lufkin District that total $15.7 million.

In Polk County, a $13.9 million project will begin on US 190 that will add passing lanes beginning in Onalaska and continuing for 6.25 miles to FM 2457. Smith & Company, contractor for the project, will construct the passing lanes at a cost of $10.8 million. In addition, $3.6 million will go toward safety treating fixed objects on US 190 to US 59.

San Augustine County also received approval for a $ 1.2 million project on FM 705. AR Brothers Construction Services, contractor for the project, will work to safety treat fixed objects from SH 147 for 2.4 miles south of FM 83.

In Angelina County, an $86,851 project was approved that will add an intersection flashing beacon and advance warning signals in three locations. South Texas Illumination, contractor for the project, will work to install a flashing beacon on US 69 North at FM 2021 at a cost of $33,572; advance warning signals on SL 287 at FM 1194 at a cost of $13,314; and advance warning signals on US 69 at FM 2251 at a cost of $42,293.

As these projects begin, motorists are urged to use caution and remain alert to workers and construction equipment. Delays, reduced lanes of traffic and flaggers should be expected in construction zones. Remember that speeds are reduced in work areas and fines double when workers are present.

These projects, once complete, will continue to help maintain a safe system for the traveling public, address congestion and alert motorists to nearby intersections. The Texas Department of Transportation continues to meet the goals of successfully connecting Texas communities as well as providing better maneuverability and safe highways while remaining a Best In Class state agency.

For more information, contact or (936) 633-4395.


September 25, 2015 -  The Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) and the Association of Texas Soil & Water Conservation Districts (ATSWCD) are sponsoring a poster contest (open to students 12 years and under, and does not jeopardize Texas University Interscholastic League eligibility).

The contest is open to public, private, or home school students. Posters should address the following subject for 2016: “Local Heroes – Your Hardworking Pollinators”.

Please visit the stewardship website at for information on the theme. Posters shall be submitted to the local soil and water conservation district for local judging by December 31, 2015. Their office will have the form to attach to the entry.

Each local district will judge the entries and submit three posters to the TSSWCB for competition on the area level. Plaques will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners on the area level and state winners will be selected from the area winners.

The local district is: Shelby Soil & Water Conservation District, 158 Cass Caid, Center, TX (across the street from Texas State Bank). As this office has only one part-time employee, you should probably call before coming by the office. The telephone number is: (936) 598-5557, Ext. 3. If no one is in, you may leave your telephone number on the answering machine and someone will get back with you.

September 22, 2015 - The Shelby County grand jury for the July term of the 123rd Judicial District Court met on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 and handed down indictments for 51 cases.

Derek Wayne Hendricks was indicted for theft, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on December 4, 2014 Hendricks stole a propane torch including two bottles, hoses and gauges, a brown welding hood, approximately 200 feet of welding leads, a diamond plate tool box with assorted tools, booster cables, 2 boxes of welding rods, a 6 ft box blade for tractor, 1-5 gallon bucket of hydraulic oil, 1 red metal gas can, 1 receiver hitch with a two inch trailer ball, trailer dolly, grease gun, come-a-longs, 6 bags of sheet metal screws, 2 round bales of hay, valued at $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 from Jim McCauley, the owner, without his consent.

Derek Wayne Hendricks was also indicted for theft, state jail felony involving another incident. According to the indictment, on November 30, 2014 Hendricks stole the following: Huskey socket set, oxygen and acetylene bottles, tool boxes, jacks, grease gun, come-a-longs, 400' 2-0 service wire, 10 lbs loose copper, Snap-on crow foot open end wrenches, Coleman cooler, bucket pins, cylinder engine head, Victor acetylene gauges with torch, large red shackle valued at $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 from Jason Harrell Fleming, the owner.

Jonas Dewaun Goodwin was indicted for indecency with a child - exposure, a third degree felony. The indictment alleges on October 29, 2014, Goodwin with intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desire did intentionally or knowingly expose his genitals to a child younger than 17 years of age.

Sarah Simmons was indicted for criminally negligent homicide, state jail felony. According to the allegation in the indictment on April 19, 2014 Simmons did, by criminal negligence, cause the death of an individual, namely, Logan Simmons., by being ejected from vehicle during the crash due to being unrestrained.

Justin Earl Bennett received three indictments. The first indictment, delivery of a controlled substance, state jail felony, in a drug free zone, penalty enhanced to third degree felony alleges Bennett intended to deliver cocaine in an amount of less than one gram, and that he committed this alleged offense within 1,000 feet of Center Middle School. Bennett is alleged in the second indictment, evading arrest with vehicle, third degree felony to have fled from Center Police Sgt. Ricky King in a vehicle. The third indictment against Bennett, evading arrest with previous conviction, state jail felony alleges when Bennett evaded arrest from Sgt. King he had a previous conviction for the same charge on February 18, 1998. All of the charges are alleged to have occurred on August 28, 2014

Terry Victor Johnson, Jr. was indicted for assault bodily injury, third degree felony. The indictment alleges Johnson, Jr. did intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to the victim, Jennifer Kellum Johnson, a family member by impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure to the throat or neck and/or blocking the nose or mouth of the victim on September 7, 2014.

Johnson was also indicted for continuous violence against the family, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on November 18, 2014 Johnson recklessly caused bodily injury to Joshua Wayne Kellum, a member of Johnson's family by kicking and injuring Kellum's knee, causing him to fall and injuring his elbow. On or about September 7, 2014, Johnson caused bodily injury to Jennifer Kellum Johnson, a member of his family, by grabbing her around her throat strangling her, making it hard for her to breathe, and said conduct by Johnson occurred during a period that was 12 months or less in duration.

Derwin Wayne Armstrong was indicted for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The indictment alleges on November 8, 2014 Armstrong operated an automobile without effective consent of Carrie Boykins, the owner thereof.

Ray Charles Carroll received an indictment for, forgery, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on October 24, 2014 Carroll with intent to defraud or harm Reymundo Bahena wrote a business check in the name of B and B Sports Floors drawn on Angelina Savings Bank, on the above date for the amount of $700.

Dustin Bryan Estes was indicted for burglary of a building, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on November 10, 2014 Estes entered a building without the consent of Regency Energy Partners, the owner of the building, and attempted to commit or committed theft of 1 Galenfeha-GLFH -1240-CW Battery owned by Regency Energy Partners.

Joseph Leon Parker was indicted for theft, state jail felony. The indictment alleges on November 8, 2014 Parker stole 2 Yard Railroad Yellow Equipment buckets valued at 1,500 or more but less than $20,000 from Charles Mackey, the owner.

David Aaron Parks and Leanne Jeanette Fox each received indictments pertaining to the same incident for injury to a child, elderly or disabled individual, first degree felony. The indictments collectively allege on October 22, 2014 Parks and Fox caused serious bodily injury to a child 14 years of age or younger when they failed to supervise and protect the child, therefore allowing the child to be seriously injured as a result of being attacked by a dog. In relation to the same incident, Thomas Chase Lee was also indicted for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on October 22, 2014 when Lee was aware an investigation of the attack on the child was in progress, he concealed the dog involved, a tan and white pit bull, with intent to impair its availability to the investigation.

Horace Roger Hendrick was indicted for theft, third degree felony. The indictment alleges on November 1, 2014 Hendrick stole rolls of barbed wire and creosote posts valued at $1,500 or more but less than $20,000 from Lawrence Kent Edwards, the owner, without his consent.

Daniel Patrick Gay was indicted for burglary of a habitation, second degree felony. The indictment alleges on October 27, 2014 Gay stole a list of items including: Samsung 52" television, Magnavox Blue-ray DVD player, DVD's and case, 1 20-guage shotgun, 1 winchester 30/30 lever action rifle, miscellaneous fishing equipment, batter charger, air compressor, Apple iPhone, Black and Decker drill, women's leather boots, black leather jacket, chaps and vest, red sleeping bags, owned by Paula Nugent.

Wesley Aaron Lawrence and Kathleen May Edwards were each indicted in relation to the same incident for theft of firearm, state jail felony. The indictments allege on November 5, 2014 Lawrence and Edwards stole a .380 semi-automatic handgun from Jacob Durant, the owner. Edwards and Lawrence also received an indictment each for, possession of a controlled substance, second degree felony. The indictments allege they possessed methamphetamine in an amount of four grams or more but less than 200 grams.

Amity Leigh Arriola, Brittany Ann Humphreys, Roderick Darnell Yarbrough and Harold Christopher received three indictments each involving the same incident occurring on November 17, 2014. The first indictment for arson, second degree felony, alleges all involved intended to damage or destroy a habitation owned by Brenda Mackey, located at 683 CR 4021 in Timpson by starting a fire or causing an explosion by setting the kitchen cabinet on fire. The second indictment burglary of a habitation, first degree felony, alleges all involved entered the habitation without the consent of Brenda Mackey, and attempted to commit or committed the felony offense of arson. The third indictment for engaging in organized criminal activity, felony one degree higher, alleges all involved entered the habitation without the consent of Brenda Mackey and attempted to commit or committed the felony offense of arson. All involved are alleged to have done so with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of combination who collaborated in carrying on said criminal activity

(Dates in parenthesis indicate the date of the alleged incident)
Mary Thomas, insurance fraud, state jail felony (June 11, 2012).
Kelly Blake Carr, theft, state jail felony (November 29, 2014).
Crystal Leigh Smith, theft, state jail felony (November 29, 2014).
Thomas Earl Ingram, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (October 3, 2014).
Robert Curtis Reed, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (November 22, 2014).
Carlos Herrera Delgado, driving while intoxicated, third degree felony (October 10, 2014).
Elidio Santi-Garcia, driving while intoxicated, third degree felon (October 3, 2014).
Zachery Lee Crockett, failure to register as a sex offender, third degree felony (October 17, 2014).
Xavier Monzell Smith, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (October 31, 2014).
Luis Rosas Sanchez, driving while intoxicated - 3rd or more, third degree felony (November 3, 2014).
Rhiana Smith, driving while intoxicated with child passenger, state jail felony (August 2, 2014).
Charles Patrick Chumbley, driving while intoxicated, third degree felony (March 22, 2014).
Justin Todd Short, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (December 8, 2013).
Benjiman Joseph Malone, possession of a controlled substance, state jail felony (March 16, 2015).
Miguel Miranda-Garcia, failure to register as a sex offender, third degree felony (May 5, 2015).
Kirk Hinson, prohibited substances in an adult correctional facility, third degree felony (October 13, 2014).

Indictments and Information are not a conviction, and are a matter of public record. All individuals are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.