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Relay for Life committee members, team leaders, team members and family members attended the Wrap-Up Party at Pizzeria.

June 29, 2015 - The Shelby County Relay for Life held their wrap-up party on Friday, June 26th and announced raising a total of $74,516.71. Team and individual awards were presented and recognition was given to everyone who helped make Relay for Life 2015 a success.

Strides of Hope team receives Top Fundraising Awards. From left: Kristen Whisenant, Stacey Scarborough, and Becky Parfait.Becky Parfait, Shelby County Relay for Life Committee Chairperson, announced she would be stepping down as chairperson for the event due to personal reasons. She addressed everyone about next year's relay saying, "Even though I'm not chair, I look forward to seeing all of y'all again next year. The first ten years we did wonderful! Hopefully, we won't need another ten [years] but we will take each one as it goes and as long as we need to do it, we will continue to do it." Parfait continued saying, "The Relay will continue even without me at the top. Somebody will take over and we will make sure [Shelby County Relay for Life] doesn't die."

"It has been my honor and privilege to be event chair for as many years as I have been event chair. My heart will always be with Relay. I'll always fund-raise; I'll always be on a team," expressed Parfait.

The first awards presented recognized fundraising levels which were as follows:
Rising Star Level ($1,000 up to $2,499) - Never Give Up Always Look Up, Smyrna Sole Savers, and Gaddy’s Medical
Silver Level ($3,500 up to $4,999) - TSB Believe Team (Texas State Bank) and Cooling for a Cure (Portacool)
Gold Level ($5,000 up to $7,499) - Timpson ISD and Shelby Savings Bank
Jade Level ($10,000 up to $14,999) - Lydia MBC
Sapphire Level ($15,000 up to $24,999) - Strides of Hope

Team Captains were recognized for their hard work and continuing efforts throughout the year. Team captains were presented with a standup cooler and co-captains were presented with gift bags. Team Captains were Cooling For a Cure - Laurie King; Gaddy’s Medical – Susan Mitchell, (co-captain) Shirley Brittain; Game Warden Wives! – Brittany Hall; Lydia MBC - Amy Oswalt; Never Give Up Always Look Up – William Morris; Shelby Savings Bank – Whitney Burgay; Smyrna Sole Savers – Stacy O’Rear; Stepping For a Cure – Requanah Santifer; Strides of Hope – Stacey Scarborough, (co-captain) Kristin Whisenant; Texas State Bank – Mary Cummings; Timpson ISD – Teresa Burns.

Committee members were recognized as well. They are Accounting - Stacey Scarborough; Luminaria – Kristen Whisenant; Survivor - Stacey O’Rear, Sandy Runnels, Shirley Brittain, Paula Kay; Teams - Tammy Sparks and Amber Coburn; and Staff Partner – Rachelle Frankens.

The family and children of committee members were recognized for their work and support. Committee members sign up for the challenge; family members involuntarily become a part of the team and endure all the challenges along with the committee members.

Lydia MBC team wins 2nd Place for Most Money Raised. Pictured is Amy Oswalt accepting the award.Fourteen people received ‘$1000 T-shirts' for raising $1,000 plus for Relay for Life. They were: Gaddy Medical team - Shirley Brittain; Lydia MBC team - Sue Carter, Atwood Kay, Amy Oswalt, Imernell Vaughn, Jack Vaughn; Smyrna Sole Savers team - Stacy O’Rear; Strides of Hope team - Rebecca Parfait; Timpson ISD team - Teresa Burns, Amber Coburn, April Ramsey, Tammy Sparks; and TSB Believe - Mary Cummings, Mary Lowe.

Awards were presented for teams and individuals who logged their money raised online. Most money raised online by a team was 3rd place with $210 was Stepping for a Cure, 2nd place with $3,292 went to Lydia MBC, and 1st place with $4,226.10 raised went to Timpson ISD. Most money raised online by an individual awards were then presented and all but one of the individuals was a member of the Timpson ISD team. Third place went to Teresa Burns with $695.10 raised and second place was a tie with $1,000 each raised by April Ramsey, Timpson ISD, and Atwood Kay who is a member of LydiaMBC team. First place individual was Amber Coburn who raised $1,756 online.

Overall Awards were presented to teams and individuals for most money raised. Most Money Raised Team awards were 3rd place for $7,200 raised went to Shelby Savings Bank, 2nd place with $10,841 raised went to Lydia MBC, and 1st place with a total of $22,377.12 raised went to Strides of Hope. Most Money Raised Individual awards were presented with 3rd place going to Mary Cummings with TSB Believe team for raising $2,860, 2nd place went to Imernell Vaughn with Lydia MBC for raising $3,100 and 1st place was won by Becky Parfait, Strides of Hope, for raising $21,020.

Gaddy’s Medical team received Silver Survivorship team recognition for having a total of 25 years total in survivor years among its members.

The following teams all received Rising Star Level certificates.
From left: Symrna Sole Savers (Stacy O'Rear and Sandy Runnels)Never Give Up Always Look Up (William Morris)Gaddy's Medical (Shirley Brittain)

Team Captains and Co-Captains (from left, standing) Stacey Scarborough, Kristen Whisenant, Sandy Runnels, Stacy O'Rear, Amy Oswalt, (seated) Shirley Brittain and William MorrisCommittee members (from left, standing) Stacey Scarborough, Sandy Runnels, Kristen Whisenant, Stacy O'Rear, (seated) Shirley Brittain and Becky Parfait.Just for fun! Ready to Relay for Life in 2016!

June 29, 2015 - Shelby County Emergency personnel were on scene for a two-vehicle crash in San Augustine County on Friday, June 26, 2015 which resulted in a fatality for one passenger involved. Personnel with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Shelby County Sheriff's Department, Center Police Department and Center Fire Department were all dispatched to the crash scene. The location was reported to be on the Shelby County side and due to the severity of the crash, first responders continued to search for the location. Eventually the crash was located 2 1/4 miles from the Shelby County line in San Augustine County.

Personnel quickly began checking those involved in the crash and immediately called for more ambulances to be en-route as well as Jaws of Life. The Center firemen and San Augustine Volunteer firemen began working to extricate people from vehicles. Sheriff's Deputies and Police Officers actively assisted EMS personnel in moving occupants from the vehicles to waiting ambulances.

The driver of a Dodge pickup truck and two children from a Honda Pilot were removed first from the vehicles. It was determined the 12-year-old female passenger was in need of critical care and a life-flight was requested. While the helicopter was en-route, firemen worked at extricating the driver of the Pilot from the vehicle. The San Augustine Sheriff's Department and firemen established a landing zone for the helicopter.

Once the driver was removed from the Pilot it was determined the passenger, his wife, had passed away. A Life-Air Rescue helicopter landed at the scene of the crash and airlifted the 12-year-old female from the scene.

According to the DPS report, at 10pm a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck driven by Bryan Norris Spurgeon, 53, of Orange was traveling north on U.S. Highway 96. A 2015 Honda Pilot driven by William Pond, 61, of Orange was traveling south at the same time when Spurgeon drove on the wrong side of the roadway when not passing and caused the vehicles to collide head-on.

Spurgeon received non-incapacitating injuries and was transported from the scene to San Augustine Memorial Hospital for treatment, and was later released. William Pond received injuries and was transported to San Augustine Memorial Hospital for treatment of his incapacitating injuries. He was later transported to ETMC Tyler in stable condition for treatment. An 11-year-old male passenger of Indiana was in the back set of the Pilot. He was transported to San Augustine Memorial Hospital with non-incapacitating injuries, was treated and released. A 12-year-old female passenger of Indiana, also in the backseat of the Pilot was in stable condition with incapacitating injuries. She was transported by Life-Air Rescue to LSU Hospital for treatment of her injuries.

Malinda Sue Pond, 61, of Orange was pronounced deceased at the scene by JD Miller, Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 of San Augustine County. She was transported from the scene by Wyman Roberts Funeral Home in San Augustine.

All parties involved in the crash were wearing their seat belts. Following his release from the hospital, Spurgeon was arrested and booked into the San Augustine County Jail for Intoxication Manslaughter. The crash remains under investigation by DPS Trooper Jade LaVergne who was assisted at the scene by DPS Trooper Keith Jones.

June 26, 2015 - The Center City Council approved a resolution at their meeting on Monday, June 22, 2015 for funding to improve the Center Municipal Airport as well as approving the Shelby County Appraisal District budget.

Chad Nehring, City Manager, explained Resolution 2015-19 Airport Capital Improvement program. He stated TxDOT has accumulated funds from the FAA and state appropriations which are being geared toward matching programs for improvements at the Center Municipal airport since it is a part of the state and federal aviation system.

"With the reductions of federal funding a couple of years ago a past project that the city had, which we had asked that they actually slow down on anyway, was terminated. So, because of the major funding availability that was requested and actually approved by TxDOT that project has been trimmed and altered and phased to be able to be paid with federal appropriations that are guaranteed annually in what's called the non-primary entitlement program system, which dedicates at least $150,000 a year to the city's airport," said Nehring.

He explained the money is dedicated to the airport for the foreseeable future and could change with federal appropriations. Several years of such designated funds have been collected by the city over the years and Nehring says the project can move forward and a large contribution from the city will not be necessary. According to Nehring, fuel sales at the airport will provide the funds needed for the local match.

Once construction is started, Nehring said fundraising options may need to be considered. A motion was carried to approve the resolution.

An interlocal agreement with TML and Multi-State Intergovernmental Employee Benefit Pool was approved during the meeting and Nehring provided some background information relating to employee benefits.

"The last several years have not been tremendously unkind as they have to many other group benefit insurance policies; however, this year I guess is catchup time. We're looking at roughly a 12% increase in premiums. After a couple of years that we actually did have some declines, this would put premiums back at about the highest point they've been, but honestly not higher than they have been here previously," said Nehring.

According to Nehring, the city's group loss ratio, additional mandates, new expansions in the healthcare system and requirements of city policy enhancements will be necessary this year.

"The last time we went through an adjustment of this magnitude, we did adjust the benefit levels to what they are currently. That was about 4-5 years ago. We did ask our carrier to provide some options for benefit levels. We evaluated those and basically it would only save about 70-75% of the cost that would end up being absorbed by employees," said Nehring. "If increasing deductibles out of pockets and other benefits were paid at 100% by employees it would generate, let's just use round numbers because this is not exact, $10,000 of increased cost on the employees. The premiums would only go down $7,500."

Nehring says this would shift a heavy burden onto the employee base, because the premium savings did not match with the reduction in benefits. A motion carried to adopt the agreement and was approved by the council.

A motion carried and approved for the Shelby County Appraisal District (SCAD) FY 2015 Budget. Nehring remarked there is a 30% increase in health insurance and benefit cost and this is secondary to enhancements in the mapping system, which have been postponed for the last two years.

"Working closely with the appraisal district with regard to their mapping system and the collaboration that we're able to have, I would strongly encourage the council not to dispute the enhancements in the mapping. We're able to collaborate, we use their product to enhance the services we're providing in our utility system as well as street planning. This summer we're doing a lot to even map signed maintenance and drainage improvements," said Nehring.

According to Nehring the Center Police Department also uses the mapping system for property identification, owner identification and aerial photos. Mayor David Chadwick remarked councilmen John Howard and Charles Rushing represent the city on the SCAD board, which helps to provide direct input for the council.

During the items of interest portion of the agenda Nehring and Chadwick stated the sales tax is at an improvement over last year. Joyce Johnson, councilwoman, and Nehring are hoping to be able to bring good news from a DETCOG meeting in Nacogdoches at the next council meeting in reference to the reallocation of unused funds under the disaster recovery program, of which the city has made requests. The Center Police Department has submitted a zero cost match grant application with the U.S. Department of Justice and if there is an award in the future it will be presented to the council.

A motion was carried and approved to adjourn the meeting.

Items on the agenda receiving approval include:

    Minutes of the June 8, 2015 meeting.
    Resolution 2015-19 Airport Capital Improvement program.
    Center Rotary Club What-A-Melon festival 5k Run/Walk route.
    Interlocal Agreement with TML Multi-State Intergovernmental Employee Benfits Pool.
    Shelby County Appraisal District Board (SCAD) FY 2015 Budget.

June 26, 2015 - "We have identified the suspects with the help of numerous tips. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office really appreciates the public’s help in this investigation. I apologize to anyone that I did not return their call, I had more tips than expected. Thank you to Shelby County Today and the citizens of Shelby County," Det. Byron Dunaway.

In May the unidentified male in the picture, along with a white female going by the name of Joseph and Carolyn Roy A’ were in the process of purchasing Walker’s Waterfront.

The suspects were managing the business during that time and after a month it was discovered that they were fraudulently purchasing the property. They also stole a large amount of money from the business. They were last seen driving a 2003 Sliver Chevy Van with TX LP#FKV0285 and are believed to be from the Tenaha area. It is believed that they have a parent by the name of Carolyn A Roy that lives in Tenaha, Texas.

If you can identify the suspects please contact Detective Byron Dunaway of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 936-329-9029.

June 26, 2015 - The Tenaha City Marshal's is seeking information on individuals involved in a shooting that took place at the baseball field in Tenaha after a kickball game on June 21, 2015.

If you have information please call (936)248-3481 or your local law enforcement agency.

June 24, 2015 - A Center man has pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 1st degree, charge in relation to the stabbing of his wife.

According to court documents Marcos Aguilar, 39, pleaded guilty in the 273rd Judicial District Court with Judge Charles Mitchell presiding on May 15, 2015. Aguilar received 15 years sentence in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice system prison and 131 days credit for time served. He is now being held in the John F. Gurney Unit in Tennessee Colony, TX.

Emergency personnel with the Center Police Department and ACE EMS arrived at Pine Grove Trailer Park at 10:04am on January 5, 2015 where Florentina Rojas Gonzales, 37, reported Aguilar had stabbed her. Gonzalez was life-flighted by Life Air Rescue from the Center Municipal Airport to LSU in Shreveport.

It was learned by the police department Aguilar returned to his home at the trailer park at 4:45pm on the day of the stabbing. Officers quickly apprehended him and once in jail, a $100,000 bond was set.

During a hearing in which Gonzalez sought a protective order against her husband, Aguilar took the stand and when asked directly by County Attorney Gary Rholes if he stabbed Gonzalez, Aguilar said, "Si." The protective order was granted.

June 24, 2015 - Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers were dispatched to a single-vehicle rollover which took down a utility pole just outside of Center on State Highway 7 West near CR 1140 on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.

First to arrive on scene was Bradley Wilburn, West Shelby Volunteer fireman and Shelby County Probation Officer, who reported the driver was out of the vehicle and not trapped. ACE EMS arrived on scene and treated the driver for minor injuries. The driver refused transport by ambulance and was taken by private vehicle to a Nacogdoches hospital.

According to DPS State Trooper Keith Jones, at 3:42pm a 2001 black Ford Ranger pickup owned by Norma Castillo, of Tenaha, and driven by a minor, age 17, of Tenaha, was eastbound on SH 7 West. The driver stated to DPS he fell asleep and as the vehicle ran off the roadway, he woke up and over corrected to the left. The pickup crossed over the double yellow line onto the wrong side of the roadway and exited the highway before overturning and striking a Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative utility pole. The vehicle came to rest on its drivers side.

The power line snapped and DETEC crews arrived on scene to replace the damaged pole and repair the downed power line.

The driver was cited for wrong side of roadway when not passing. Assisting with the crash investigation was DPS Trooper Jade LaVergne.

June 22, 2015 -  The mother of an infant who died tragically has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the 273rd District Court on Friday, June 19, 2015.

Angela Marie Moore, 25, of Tenaha was indicted on March 25, 2015 for capital murder, capital felony, in reference to the death of her 6-month-old infant daughter Ariana Moore.

According to court documents Moore pleaded guilty to manslaughter, 2nd degree felony, and received 5 years incarceration in a prison within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system. Moore has agreed to testify against her husband William Moore, 28, in his capital murder case.

According to the original information provided by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, deputies responded to the Kyle Parmer Trailer Park located on County Road 4356 at 3:49am on February 16, 2015. Ariana Moore was transported from the scene by ambulance and was pronounced deceased by Maxie Eaves, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, at Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department.

June 22, 2015 -Shelby County Commissioners discussed the necessity of including the District Attorney's office in a liability insurance package during their June 22, 2015 meeting.

The item on the agenda was an annual renewal of insurance coverage through the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) Risk Management Pool which includes general liability, public official liability, law enforcement and crime coverage. At the previous meeting of the commissioners on June 8, 2015 Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, sought to table the item in regards to the District Attorney's office and the District Judges, because in previous lawsuits involving the District Attorney's office the insurance did not provide any coverage.

Clint Porterfield, Shelby County Auditor, provided some insight for the commissioners on the coverage the insurance provides as McSwain wanted to know the benefit of the insurance, "This particular coverage covers a specific type of claim that could be filed against the D.A. or District Judge. No, it is not all inclusive, it's for a particular type of claim. We haven't had that experience with this particular type. Because it is of such a restrictive nature this is why the D.A. has actually obtained other coverage in case other types of things come about."

Porterfield stated the current environment of "everyone" being under scrutiny and the low cost of the insurance at $580 for up to $1 million in coverage is a worthwhile expense. He also stated the county is in really good shape in regards to the budget and the D.A. agrees this coverage should continue. A motion to approve the coverage carried.

Debora Riley, Shelby County Tax Assessor Collector, addressed the court about a data use agreement between Computer Information Concepts, Inc. and the Shelby County Tax Assessor's office at a cost of $4,860 annually. She explained the software is what is used for banking through her office and is the only software which works with her tax collection software.

"It helps me with being able to do payouts quicker and more correct and accurate," said Riley. "This year I'm going to look into how it can help me in other ways and in the future we might decide to, depending on what everybody thinks about it, but it's helped me so far and I'm glad that I had it in place when I did because coming into the office like I did I would have had problems without it."

A motion was carried to approve the agreement. A motion was carried to adjourn the meeting at 9:43am.

Agenda items receiving approval include:

Agenda items receiving approval include:

1.  Pay monthly expenses.
2.  Purchase a rubber tire backhoe from Buyboard for Precinct 3 out of the Precinct 3 budget.
3.  Shelby County yearly Renewal Application for Insurance Coverage through the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool for the following coverage; General Liability, Public Official Liability, Law Enforcement Liability and Crime Coverage.
4.  Data use agreement between Computer Information Concepts, Inc. and the Shelby County Tax Assessor's office at a cost of $4,860 annually.
5.  Accept bid from Bryan & Bryan Asphalt of Henderson for road oil at $595 per ton.
6.  Adjournment at 9:43am.

June 21, 2015 - An incident involving a motorcycle and a truck Saturday, June 20, 2015 sent one driver by life-flight to the hospital.

First responders were dispatched to the two-vehicle crash on FM 2694 just over 1/2 mile from the intersection with FM 3172 in Huxley.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Anthony Lacount, at 8:50am a red 2003 Toyota Tacoma driven by Max Robertson, 44, of Center was in the westbound lane and was attempting to make a u-turn from a stopped position on the bottom side of a hill.

As Robertson attempted to cross both lanes of traffic a Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Curtis Cooper, 63, of Shelbyville was traveling behind the Tacoma and was unable to stop his motorcycle in time before striking the back left quarter panel of the Tacoma. The collision caused Cooper to be ejected off the motorcycle onto the roadway and spun the Tacoma around to face north on the south shoulder. The motorcycle also came to rest on the south shoulder facing east.

The Shelbyville Volunteer Fire Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to the scene to assist and provide traffic control. ACE EMS transported Cooper from the scene to the Huxley Volunteer Fire Department where he was life-flighted to a Shreveport hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Robertson refused treatment at the scene and was issued a citation for turning when unsafe.