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October 11, 2015 - The Timpson Volunteer Fire Department and Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department responded to a hay fire at 11:30am on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at the property of Louis S. Jones Jr. two miles from Timpson on FM 947.

When the firemen arrived a large quantity of round hay bales numbering around 40 were in flames. The firemen worked to extinguish the flames and were successful at preventing the flames from entering a nearby forest of trees, and a nearby building.

It was reported the owner had been cutting metal with a torch when the fire started.

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October 11, 2015 - The Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire at 9:32am on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at the residence of Stella Baker on CR 4688 3 1/2 miles north of FM 947.

When the firemen arrived, they were informed a stove within the home had caught on fire, filling the house with smoke. The firemen dragged the stove from within the house and put the fire out, preventing the house from going up in flames.

Fans were used to ventilate the home and once the firemen were certain there was no more threat of fire, they left the scene at 10:12am.

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October 6, 2015 - Authorities were alerted to a two-vehicle crash on the Center square Saturday, October 3, 2015 in front of the Rio Theatre.

Poultry Festival events were still in full swing when a loud screech and bang were heard coming from the direction of the traffic light on the northeast side of the Center square.

Shelby County Today was on location when Center police officers Steve Thornburgh and Jim Blackwell hurried to the scene. When they arrived, the driver of one vehicle was still in his vehicle and the other appeared to be unoccupied and parked.

Upon speaking with the driver, it was learned he had lost consciousness for some reason.

According to the police report, at 9:52pm Elijah Cotton, 27, of Center was traveling west on Nacogdoches Street in a gold 2006 Pontiac Sunfire through the intersection with Shelbyville Street when the Pontiac left the roadway to the right and struck a parked vehicle. The vehicle which was struck on the right side was a white 2011 Mazda CX9 owned by Summer Jackson, 37, of Shelbyville.

ACE EMS arrived on scene and transported Cotton to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for examination. No citations were reported to have been issued. The crash was investigated by Center Police Officer Maegan Wright.

October 6, 2015 - Center FD firemen responded to a structure fire on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at the Ben Dupre residence on FM 2140 in the Neuville area just before 5pm.

When firemen arrived at the scene smoke and flame could be seen emitting from behind a mobile home on the property. A carport located behind the house was in flames and had collapsed.

The firemen sprayed water on and within the structure to extinguish the flames. Damage was obvious on the back side of the house where the flames had damaged the exterior wall causing the paneling to melt off the building.

Fire had traveled through the grass around the carport, house and into a wooded area near the house. It appeared to firemen at the scene the fire originated from a burn barrel located behind the carport.

No one was home at the time the fire started, and it is unknown how it ignited in the barrel.

October 6, 2015 - Due to conditions which have occurred a leak and water line break, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has required the system to notify customers in the Oakdale and Possum Trot areas to boil their water prior to consumption.

To ensure destruction of all harmful bacteria and other microbes, water for drinking, cooking, and ice making should be boiled and cooled prior to consumption, 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, 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 regarding this matter you may contact City Hall at 936-368-2266.

October 6, 2015 - Center Crime Stoppers is seeking information of the whereabouts of Dustin Bryan Estes and Linda Ann Parent. Their last known location was Tenaha, Texas.

Estes is a white male, 28, with light brown hair and brown eyes. He is 6 foot-tall and weighs approximately 150. He has a skull and wings tattoo on his upper left arm.
Parent is a white female, 24, with red hair and blue eyes. She is 5’1 and weight approximately 105 pounds. She has a cross tattoo on her left leg and a heart on her back with the name David.

Estes is wanted for active warrants including: evading arrest with a motor vehicle (F4); evading arrest or detention (M-A); criminal mischief (M-B); burglary of a building (F4); burglary of a building (F4); theft of copper (state jail felony).

Parent is wanted for active warrants including: burglary of a building (F4); evading arrest or detention (M-A); and burglary of a building (F4).

Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone with information regarding this crime should contact Center Crime Stoppers at (936) 598-SAFE (7223) or you may submit a tip online at You don’t have to give your name. All calls and cash rewards are completely anonymous. Rewards will only be paid on tips submitted through the Center Crime Stoppers system.

If anyone is found to be hindering apprehension, harboring or concealing, providing or aiding with any means of avoiding arrest, effecting escape or warns Estes and/or Parent of impending discovery or apprehension will be arrested and charged in accordance with Penal Code Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, a third-degree felony..

October 5, 2015 - Nacogdoches, Texas - September 28, 2015 – The County Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nacogdoches-Angelina-Trinity-San Augustine-Shelby County, Lance Jacobs, announced today that ranchers and livestock producers may be eligible for assistance from the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for grazing losses incurred in 2015.

According to Jacobs, “Nacogdoches, Angelina, Trinity, San Augustine and Shelby counties recently met qualifying drought ratings that ‘trigger’ eligibility for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program on improved pasture, native pasture and sorghum forage.”

The Livestock Forage Disaster Program provides compensation to livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses due to drought or fire. For losses due to drought, qualifying drought ratings are determined using the U.S. Drought Monitor located at  

Qualifying fires are those occurring on rangeland managed by a federal agency and the producer is prohibited by the federal agency from grazing the normal permitted livestock on the managed rangeland due to the fire.

Eligible livestock include alpacas, beef cattle, buffalo, beefalo, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, reindeer, sheep or swine that have been or would have been grazing the eligible grazing land or pastureland during the normal grazing period.

Applications are required for 2015 losses. To expedite applications, producers who experienced losses in 2015 are encouraged to collect records documenting their losses. Supporting documents may include information related to grazing leases or federal grazing permits, contract grower agreements, and more.

“We encourage producers to contact our office for an appointment, and to learn what records are required to apply for assistance,” said Jacobs.  

For more information, contact the Nacogdoches-Angelina-Trinity-San Augustine-Shelby County FSA office at 936-564-5891 Extension 2.  Information can also be obtained online at:

October 5, 2015 - According to two press releases from the Sheriff's Department, a man was charged for aggravated kidnapping and in a separate case a woman was charged with burglary of a habitation. Both were arrested in July 2015. Neither case has been indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury as of October 5, 2015.

Deron Vodre Bowlds, 22, of Logansport, Louisiana was arrested July 7, 2015 after allegedly kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Lee Barber, causing seriously bodily injury, stemming from an incident that occurred June 29, 2015.

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports Tuesday, June 30, 2015 patrol sergeant Derek Barbee met with Barber at the Nacogdoches Medical Center, Center Emergency Center. Barber advised Barbee she had been assaulted by Bowlds in Joaquin and then taken into Logansport, Louisiana.

According to the report, Barber told officials she saw Bowlds walking past Brookshire’s in Joaquin around 10:30 p.m. on June 29. Barber stated she stopped and picked up Bowlds and was going to drop him off at Nu-Way in Joaquin. Barber said Bowlds went into Nu-Way, made a purchase, returned to the car and told Barber to drive down the road so the two could talk for a few minutes. Barber said the two traveled down the road beside the store and talked.

Barber stated in the report after driving for a few minutes, Bowlds told her to take him back to the store and drop him off. Barber said as she turned the car and headed towards to the store, Bowlds allegedly punched her in the back of the head and told her to drive to Logansport, Louisiana. Barber told officials that as she approached Nu-Way, she drove her car into the parking lot without hitting the brakes and the car came to rest in a ditch in front of the store. Barber said Bowls continued hitting her.

The report states Barber began honking the horn of the car and screaming. Barber advised that Bowlds bit her in an attempt to keep her quiet. Barber then told officials that Bowlds began to choke her where she couldn’t breathe and he took full control of the car. Barber said Bowlds climbed into the driver’s seat, sat on top of her and drove the car to Logansport, Louisiana and parked it in the woods.

Barber told officials once they arrived at Bowlds home, he snuck her inside the house without anyone seeing her and made her talk to him. Barber advised that Bowlds fell asleep after daylight (June 30) and she was able to escape from the house and ran to her car. Barber then traveled to the emergency room and contacted law enforcement.

Surveillance footage was obtained from Nu-Way in Joaquin which verified what Barber reported to officials. The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) also received a call at 11:03 p.m. June 29 from a caller who advised that a gold Pontiac Bonneville left Nu-Way in Joaquin at a high rate of speed and was driving out of control. The caller also indicated she heard a lady screaming inside the vehicle.

Bowlds was charged with aggravated kidnapping – felony 1. He remains at the SCSO on a $6,000 bond.

This case was under the investigation of SCSO Investigator Kevin Windham.

Gina Graves Furra, 37, of Center was arrested July 21, 2015 after allegedly stealing checks from the home of her grandparents, George and Geneva Burns.

On July 16 Furra reportedly attempted to purchase a vehicle from Melton’s Car Center in Center using a check from Capital One Bank for $12,000. An employee called Capital One and it was revealed the check Furra tried to use was invalid. Furra advised the employee she would return to purchase the vehicle.

The arrest affidavit states Geneva Burns told Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) investigators she was in the back room of the house hanging up clothes when she heard Furra in her house talking on the phone. Burns stated by the time she made it to the living room she could see Furra out the window of the house in a vehicle with a male passenger. Burns said she looked at her desk where two checkbooks were and discovered a check was missing from their farm account and two checks were missing from their personal account. Burns stated that no one had permission to take any of the checks.

During the course of the investigation, SCSO Investigator Kevin Windham contacted Farmers State Bank in Center in reference to the checks Furra passed on the Burns bank accounts. The bank confirmed that on July 15 a check in the amount of $12, 297.67 was issued to Melton’s Car Center with a reported forged signature of Geneva Burns. Furra also issued a check from her account on July 15 to George Burns in the amount of $12,297.67. The investigation revealed after failing to purchase a vehicle with the check from Capital one, Furra traveled to her grandparent’s residence and returned with a stolen check and paid for a car with it. Melton’s Car Center contacted Geneva Burns and found that the check was not legitimate and began looking for the car Furra purchased.

SCSO Sergeant Investigator D.J. Dickerson met with Furra (who was already an inmate at the SCSO on unrelated charges) on July 23 and she confessed to traveling to her grandparents’ home and taking the checks without permission. Furra told Dickerson everything had been returned to the rightful owners, including the vehicle.

Furra was charged with burglary of a habitation – felony three. Her bond was set at $15,000. She posted bond and was released August 7.

Submitted by Leah Chase

October 5, 2015 - Panola County Chamber of Commerce, Panola College Board of Trustees and community members will gather to enjoy refreshments and perform a ribbon cutting for the Charles C. Matthews Foundation Student Center on Monday, October 12, 2015. The new facility is the second largest building on campus at approximately 54,000 square feet and two stories tall. It combines several offices and areas that were previously scattered across campus. Students have only a short walk from their campus apartments past the recently erected Frances B. Ross Millennium Clock Tower to the front entrance of the Student Center.

The Charles C. Matthews Foundation Student Center includes a fitness center with a yoga room, practice gym, cardio and weight room. Athletes will also enjoy new locker rooms, a training room, and a renovated Arthur Johnson Gymnasium that is scheduled to be open the latter part of November. The Panola College Store is located at the main entrance of the new building to provide students with spirit wear, textbooks, and other supplies students may need. The first floor also features the Frances B. Ross Ballroom. The ballroom can be divided into two separate rooms or can seat a total of 300 people. The room features state-of-the-art technology for the presenters and speakers. There is also a wall of windows on the west side of the ballroom that will offer guests one of the best views on campus overlooking the 30 feet tall Frances B. Ross Millennium Clock Tower.

The new facility also houses a recreational area equipped with a lounge area, pool table, and ping pong table. Students are also enjoying the new dining hall which includes an outdoor seating area to enjoy the weather on nice days.Charlie’s Bistro, another eatery, is located directly beside the Arthur Johnson Gymnasium and will feature Seattle’s Best Coffee, part of Starbucks Coffee Company.

On the second floor of the Student Center students will be able to register for classes in the admissions and registration offices. The office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, the student activities coordinator, and student advisors are also located on the second floor, along with veteran affairs, disability services and testing services.

Charles C. Matthews Foundation Student Center
(On the East Side of Campus)
Panola College
1109 W Panola
Carthage, TX 75633

October 12, 2015
1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

October 5, 2015 - State Highway 7 West was the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Thursday, October 1, 2015 which sent two people to the hospital.

Passersby were directing traffic when members of the Texas Department of Public Safety arrived on scene to investigate the crash.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade Lavergne, just over 1/4 mile west of CR 1205 at 4:20pm a black 2011 Dodge Ram 3500 wrecker truck owned by Liberty Recovery Services, LLC. and driven by Kody Allen Woodruff, 24, of Tyler was traveling east with the left indicator on and preparing to make a left turn into private driveway from the inside lane.

A silver 2008 Honda Civic driven by Tammy Jones, 44, of Center was also traveling east in the inside lane and for an unknown reason failed to control speed and traveled into the inside westbound traffic lane. This caused the Honda to collide with the front left quarter panel of the Dodge causing major damage to both vehicles.

The vehicles came to a halt with the Honda facing north and the Dodge facing east with its front bumper resting against the left rear bumper of the Honda.

Jones and her 10-year-old female passenger were transported by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for unknown injuries. Jones was issued a citation for failure to control speed.

No injuries were reported to have been received by Woodruff and his passenger Kevin Michael Sides, 27.