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The Joaquin Fire Department was dispatched to a grass fire on FM 139 at 1:04 pm Sunday afternoon, December 14, 2014. Fire department units arrived on the scene at 1:09 pm and had the fire under control by 1:25 pm.They remained on scene knocking out hotspots until 1:50 pm. The fire was started when wind gusts caused a pile of burning leaves to spread to a pasture.

Two bags of trash were recently recovered by the Road and Bridge Department in Precinct 1 on County Road 1140, and they appeared to have been illegally dumped by the roadside. Identifying information was also located within the bags.

The Shelby County Commissioners will be seeking charges against anyone linked to illegal dumping in Shelby County.

Dumpster Schedules
Precinct 1 dumpster is available the first weekend of each month. The dumpsters will be open this weekend on January 3rd from 7am until 1pm.
Precinct 2 and 3 dumpsters are open during business hours during the week and closed on weekends.
Precinct 4 has a dumpster available when needed and announce through local news media when the dumpster will be downtown in Tenaha. Contact your commissioner for scheduling.
Precinct 5 dumpster is available every other month with the next one due February 7th in Timpson.

Hurst Street at the entrance to Walmart and McDonalds was the scene of a two-vehicle collision on Tuesday evening, December 9, 2014.

As has happened in the past at the same exact location, a driver attempted to cross Hurst Street only to collide with another as they attempted to reach Foster Street.

According to Center Police Sgt. Duane Gordon, Arthur Cloudy, 65, of Joaquin was traveling north on Hurst Street in a silver Honda as he approached the intersection with Foster Street and the Wal-Mart parking lot entrance.

Sheaqua Stanley, 35, of Center was leaving the Wal-Mart parking lot in a grey Malibu and failed to yield right of way to Cloudy as she left a private drive resulting in the crash. ACE EMS responded to the scene and transported Cloudy to ETMC Carthage. Stanley was cited for failure to yield right of way.

Emergency personnel responded to a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday morning, December 10, 2014 on U.S. 96 North which resulted in injuries to parties from both vehicles involved.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 7:55am on U.S. Highway 96 North just south of the Center Country Club a 1989 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Andres Olvera, 46, of Henderson with passengers Francisco Olvera, 48, and Jose Fierro, 30, was traveling south.

As Olvera stopped and was preparing to turn left into a private driveway a 2015 Toyota driven by Dayna Thomas, 32, was all traveling south in the inside lane when the car crested a hill and struck the truck from behind. Trooper Faulkner stated Thomas has a Florida driver's license, but that she lives in Texas now.

Thomas and Francisco were transported from the scene by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Memorial hospital for treatment of their injuries. Thomas was cited for failure to control speed.

The Center Fire Department assisted with the injured parties in the crash and handled traffic control at the scene along with Shelby County Shberiff's Deputies Jim Ed Matthews, John Pope, Roy Bailey as well as Zack Warr Constable Precinct 1.

Marcus Isaac, 19, of Center has turned himself in to the Shelby County Sheriff's Department at 6:45pm. Isaac has been being sought by authorities following an alleged murder of 24-year-old Dominique Brooks in Nacogdoches on Railroad Street on December 5, 2014.

Authorities located a maroon Mercury Grand Marquis he was last seen in on the day of Brooks' death and found it on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 in Shelby County at the end of County Road 3215. U.S. Marshals, Center Police Officers and Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies all responded to the scene.

After interviewing and releasing a man at the scene identified as Tyler Martin, the vehicle was towed and taken to Nacogdoches for the Nacogdoches Police Department investigation.

Up until the time Isaac turned himself in, authorities have been searching Shelby County for his whereabouts.

Composed by Scott Flowers, Photos by J.J. Ford

A two-vehicle crash sent three people to hospital Sunday, December 21, 2014.

First responders were dispatched to the scene of the crash inside the Center city limits on Louisiana Street (State Highway 7 East) to see to the injured and provide traffic control.

According to Center Police Sgt. Duane Gordon who investigated the crash, at 4:10pm a light blue Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Douglas Williams, 25, of Converse, LA, with passenger Anthony Hemphill was traveling east in the outside lane on Louisiana Street.

As the Silverado entered the intersection with Railroad Avenue, a black Chevrolet Impala driven by Francesca Jenkins, 23, of Center with a 17-year-old passenger and 46-year-old passenger was traveling south on Railroad Avenue and failed to yield right of way to the Silverado as it entered the intersection causing the vehicles to collide.

The Impala was spun around and faced west and the truck continued off the roadway to the right and into a ditch where it came to a stop.

Williams and Hemphill were transported by ACE EMS to San Augustine Memorial Hospital and Jenkins was transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital by ACE EMS. Jenkins passengers were not reported to have been injured.

Jenkins was cited for failed to yield right of way leaving a stop sign, no driver's license in possession, no proof of insurance in possession.

Assisting at the scene of the crash were the Center Fire Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and Shelby County Sheriff's Department.

Shelby County JP Pct 2 O. B. "Bert" Furlow was honored along with JP Jim Powers and JP Larry "Dude" Jones during an open house at the Shelby County Sheriff's Department Tuesday, December 22, 2014.

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell presented Judge Furlow with a plaque engraved with the dates July 2, 1984 through December 31, 2014 for his years of service to Shelby County. Shad Sparks, Chief Deputy and former Constable Precinct 2, said with humor, "Now you did notice his was gold plated. I figured anybody putting up with it that long needs to have gold." Furlow served as Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 for 30 years.

Furlow expressed his appreciation for the Sheriff's Office and then said, "Most of all I thank the good Lord for giving me the strength and the health to do what I've done. I thank the people of Precinct 2 for putting me back in office all these years. Thank you."

Certificates of appreciation were presented to Judge Powers from Timpson and to Judge Jones from Tenaha for their many years of service to Shelby County. Sheriff Blackwell presented the certificates and thanked them.

Also present at the open house was Shelby County Judge Rick Campbell, Commissioner Bradley Allen, Commissioner Roscoe McSwain, and Commissioner Jimmy Lout.

(L to R) Sheriff Blackwell, Judge Powers, and Constable Stanley Burgay

(L to R) Sheriff Blackwell and Judge Jones

(L to R) Judge Powers, Judge Furlow, and Judge Margie Anderson

(L to R) Investigator Kevin Windham, Judge Furlow, and Chief Deputy Sparks. Windham and Sparks are both former Constables of Precinct 2 and worked with Furlow.

Judge Furlow with his family

The West Shelby Volunteer Fire Department (WSVFD) responded to a 9-1-1 call by a passerby of a house fire on County Road 1211 on Friday, December 26, 2014 at 10:34am.

When the firemen arrived at the residence of Vicky Campbell the mobile home was engulfed in flames. Several fire trucks arrived on scene and firemen actively worked to extinguish the fire. Some flames had spread beyond the boundaries of the home, but the firemen were able to prevent its further spread.

The house was a total loss and according to WSVFD Chief Jerryl Adams the fire appeared to have been electrical in origin. The firemen cleared the scene and returned to the station at 12:40pm.

The firemen once again were dispatched to the scene when the house flamed up again at 1:11pm and they returned to the station again at 1:45pm

Campbell was not home at the time of the fire as she has been staying with relatives while dealing with a seasonal illness.

Composed by Scott Flowers, Photos by J.J. Ford

One driver has been arrested for driving while intoxicated following a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 7 (SH7) East Saturday, December 27, 2014.

Emergency personnel was dispatched to the scene of the crash in the Moodyville area and when they arrived one vehicle was in the westbound shoulder and the other vehicle was in the woods.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Keith Jones, at 4:10pm a white 2014 Ford Explorer SUV driven by and registered to Amber Lavonne Mathews, 29, of Center with passenger Dorothy Annette Mathews, 75, of Joaquin was traveling east on SH7 East.

A maroon 2008 Ford F-150 driven by Cassandra Wilson, 30, of Logansport was also traveling eastbound at the same time.

Mathews related to Trooper Jones the F-150 got behind her Explorer on Loop 500 and was following too closely weaving in and out of her lane traffic. As they traveled east on State Highway 7 East the F-150 continued to follow and drive erratically all over the roadway following closely. The truck then pulled off onto the shoulder as Mathews continued east.

Trooper Jones stated Wilson then pulled back onto the highway, sped up and rear-ended the Explorer causing the Explorer to spin around and come to rest facing westbound in the westbound shoulder. The F-150 continued off the roadway striking a telephone junction box and then traveling through a barbed wire fence before striking a tree and coming to a halt.

Wilson was transported from the scene by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department where she was treated and released at which time she was arrested by DPS Trooper Jones and charged with driving while intoxicated - 2nd offense; failure to control speed; no driver's license; and no insurance. Wilson stated to Jones she had just gotten off an 8-hour shift at work.

During Shelby County Commissioners' Court, three items on the agenda received split votes by the Commissioners and required a tiebreaker vote by County Judge Rick Campbell. The three items pertained to moving the Indigent Health Care Coordinator employee out of the Shelby County Judge's office to its own office.

Judge Campbell spoke concerning Indigent Health Care (IHC), "We approved in budget to move [IHC Coordinator]. It's become 85% (of the work) in that office and I don't think it is fair to the new incoming County Judge to only get 15% of work out of somebody and they're spending 85% of the rest of their time or more, really more, its a full-time job. I think [IHC] needs to be a stand alone office."

Currently, the IHC Coordinator is also the Administrative Assistant to the County Judge and is funded through the IHC Fund. With the moving of the position into a separate office, the Shelby County Judge's budget would have to replace the Administrative Assistant position which was allotted for in the new 2014-2015 budget.

Discussion was held among the Commissioners. Roscoe McSwain said, "So, the Judge's office has got a new salary allowance setup?" to which Judge Campbell replied yes saying, "We budgeted for a new salary, $10 an hour."

A motion was made to approve by Travis Rogers and a second was made by Bradley Allen. McSwain and Jimmy Lout opposed the approval and Judge Campbell passed a "for" vote approving the item.

The next two items on the agenda also concerned IHC. During discussion for item 5 - hiring an employee to fill the vacancy. McSwain said, "I don't agree to a fact of hiring, creating a new position and then hiring them, because to me it isn't fair to, nothing about you or the court today, its about 30 days from now. What if that person doesn't have that employment, if the court says to change or Allison (Harbison) or something was different, well that is a dis-justice to the employee to have a job that's going to last 3 weeks, if it turns out that way."

More discussion was held concerning the position. With the approval of the agenda items, IHC would have a full-time and a part-time employee. Lout said, "My thought was that it didn't need a full-time and a part-time (employee)."
The current full-time employee, Deanne Sample, has already given her notice of leaving. It was expressed by the incoming Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison to the court about having the part-time employee become full-time and only having the one position. Judge Campbell replied he was informed the part-time employee had expressed they didn't wish to hold the full-time position and he felt often times the office needs both positions.

A motion was made to approve by Rogers and a second was made by Allen. McSwain and Lout opposed the approval and Judge Campbell once again passed a "for" vote approving the item.

The stand-off among Commissioners continued with the final item concerning IHC Fund which pertained to purchasing a new computer, fax/copy machine, and a new fax line for the Indigent Office to be paid for out of the IHC Fund. The item was approved with the same process as before - two approvals by Rogers and Allen and two votes against by Lout and MsSwain with the final vote of approval by Campbell.

Following approval of all agenda items. Commissioners and County Judge expressed words of appreciation to Sample as it was her last day working for the County.