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August 19, 2016 - Three people involved in a crash on State Highway 7 West Wednesday, August 17 were transported to the hospital following a collision with a tree.

West Shelby Volunteer Fire Department (WSVFD) firemen were dispatched to a tree across all four lanes of State Highway 7 West at 3:45am approximately 6 miles from Center. Following the dispatch of the firemen, a collision occurred as a black Chrysler 300 struck the large tree head-on.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department arrived at the crash scene and the Center Police Department also arrived to provide assistance. While the officers and ACE EMS personnel saw to those involved in the crash, WSVFD firemen worked to cut the tree into smaller pieces so it could be more easily cleared from the highway. The Center Fire Department also assisted in this effort.

Driver of the Chrysler was Nicole Ellington, 46, the front passenger was Louis Edwards, 64, and the back seat passenger was Joyce Edwards, 64. They all were transported from the scene by ambulance to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital in Nacogdches.

Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Austin Lunsford led the crash investigation. He was assisted with the investigation at the scene by Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Renfro and Center Police Officer Jake Gross.

August 18, 2016 - Rain fall across Shelby County has led to several vehicles leaving the roadway in a skid. One Center man found himself in a dangerous situation after his vehicle left the roadway and came to rest in a pond.

Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos responded to the single-vehicle crash on SH 87 South just north of Shelbyville on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. A Chevrolet Silverdo driven by Brian Denby, 45 of Center, was southbound when the vehicle hydroplaned and exited the roadway to the left entering a pond backwards. The truck also went through a fence owned by Bridgette Wilburn.

After the vehicle came to rest, Denby was unharmed and was able to safely exit his vehicle as its front was still on land. According to Constable Pct 2 Jamie Hagler, the pond is deep and it was fortunate the truck didn't go all the way in.

According to Trooper Ramos, Denby was cited for unsafe speed for the wet roadway conditions. Also responding to the scene were DPS Troopers Jimmy Faulkner and Austin Lunsford.

Rain continued to fall as the crash scene was worked and the vehicle was pulled out by Jason Burch, Hughes Wrecker Service.

August 16, 2016 - Beginning August 22nd, Childs Street, beside City Hall, will be closed to traffic and under construction.  The City will place barricades and detour signage.  Childs Street will be widened to accommodate for two-way traffic, move the Tenaha Street intersection to line up with Foster Drive, and have a right-turn lane for school buses.
During construction, City Hall customers will be able to access the current parking lot via a temporary driveway from Malone Drive.  Access to Center Middle and Intermediate campuses will need to be made via Kennedy Street.
Once Childs Street is reopened, Fair Street, adjoining the tennis courts, will be closed to build a new parking lot for the Portacool Park expansion.

If you have any questions, please contact City Hall at 936/598-2941.

Amputation at Tyson Foods Exposes Chemical, Fall, Fire Hazards at Center Texas Plant
Agency fines company $263K for 15 serious, 2 repeated workplace safety violations

August 16, 2016 DALLAS - A gruesome employee injury led federal workplace safety inspectors to discover the nation's largest meat and poultry processor endangered workers by exposing them to amputation hazards, high levels of carbon dioxide and peracetic acid without providing personal protective equipment.

Responding to a report of a finger amputation at the Tyson Foods Inc. chicken processing facility in Center, Texas, U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors identified two repeated and 15 serious violations. The company faces $263,498 in proposed fines.

The investigation determined the employee suffered an amputation when his finger became stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt as he worked in the debone area and tried to remove chicken parts jammed in the belt.

OSHA inspectors also found more than a dozen serious violations including failing to ensure proper safety guards on moving machine parts, allowing carbon dioxide levels above the permissible exposure limit, failing to provide personal protective equipment and not training employees on hazards associated with peracetic acid. Used as a disinfectant, the acid can cause burns and respiratory illness if not handled safely.

"Tyson Foods must do much more to prevent disfiguring injuries like this one from happening," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. "As one of the nation's largest food suppliers, it should set an example for workplace safety rather than drawing multiple citations from OSHA for ongoing safety failures."

Inspectors also found employees exposed to slip-and-fall hazards due to a lack of proper drainage, trip-and-fall hazards caused by recessed drains and fire hazards resulting from of improper stored compressed gas cylinders. The inspection falls under OSHA's Regional Emphasis Program for Poultry Processing Facilities.

OSHA cited the company for repeated violations for not making sure employees used appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards. The agency cited Tyson for a similar violation in a 2012 investigation at its Carthage facility. The company also failed to separate compressed gas cylinders of oxygen and acetylene while in storage - a violation for which OSHA cited the company in 2013 at its Albertville, Alabama, facility.

The citations are available here and here.

Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, Tyson is the world's largest meat and poultry processing company. With more than $40 billion in annual sales, the company produces more than 68 million pounds of meat per week. It has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Dallas Area Office at 972-952-1330.

August 15, 2016 - U.S. Highway 96 South just north of the FM 417 intersection was the scene of a two-vehicle crash Sunday, August 14, 2016.

When emergency personnel arrived, it was discovered a car left the roadway and collided with a parked trailer.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Taylor Buster, at 2:30pm a red 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Adrian Mekel Demon Johnson, 18, of Center was northbound on U.S. Highway 96 South through a curve when the Chevrolet began to hydroplane.

As the vehicle was spinning, it left the roadway to the right and the driver's side collided with a parked trailer, causing major damage to the Chevrolet.

ACE EMS arrived at the scene and Johnson was transported from the scene to Nacogdcohes Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment.

Johnson was issued citations for unsafe speed for roadway conditions.

Public Boil Water Notice effective Monday, August 15, 2016 until further notice

August 15, 2016 - This is for San Augustine Rural Water Supply customers on FM 2213, including the entire Roberts Community and all customers South of the City Lake. Also, all customers on 96 South and County Roads south of Bob Evans Equipment located on Hwy 96 in San Augustine, Texas.

This is just a safety precaution due to a line breakage that occurred South ot the City of San Augustine, Texas.

This does not include the remaining customers on San Augustine Rural Water Supply.

Customers will be notified thru radio and television when the notice is lifted.

August 15, 2016 - The contents of a hay barn burned Sunday, August 14, 2016 on a chicken farm located in Campti Community.

When the fire was reported to have been discovered, the Center Fire Department was dispatched to the Backwoods Chicks chicken farm owned by William Nichols located at 506 County Road 3102.

The hay barn was reported to contain around 150 round bales of hay which were in flames. At the request of the property owner, the firemen drenched nearby equipment with water and knocked back nearby flames to prevent further spread. The hay was left to burn.

Once their task was complete the firemen cleared the scene at 2:39pm.

A cause of the fire was not reported at the time of the fire.

Shaddrick McCollister (with white makeup)August 15, 2016 - Center Fire Department responded to a house fire on Tuesday August 2, 2016 located at 306 Travis Street. Center Police Department officers were called out because the fire was suspicious in nature which led to Detectives being called out.

Lead Detective Stephen Stroud and Detective David Haley processed the scene with Chief Byndom and determined that it could only be a deliberate fire. Detectives canvased the area for witnesses where it was discovered that two suspects were seen in the area at the time of the arson. They are identified as 32 year old Shaddrick Tawan McCollister and 17-year-old Michael Casey Jr.

Upon interviewing the subjects, Casey confessed he and McCollister set the fire and provided details that only the suspect could know. During the investigation, Detective Stroud discovered McCollister was responsible for an unsolved arson that took place at Hidden Creek Trailer Park trailer, #303 on August 29, 2015.

Michael Casey Jr.Suspect Shaddrick Tawan McCollister was arrested on August 10, 2016 at the Shelby County Sheriff's Department where he received a personal recognizance bond and was released by the Sheriff's Department.

On August 12, 2016 Michael Casey Jr was arrested for the Arson at 306 Travis Street and transported to the Center Police Department where Maxie Eaves, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1, gave him a $4,000 bond.

Shaddrick McCollister (without makeup)On August 12, 2016 Shaddrick Tawan McCollister was arrested for the 2015 arson case that took place at Hidden Creek Trailer park. He was transported to the Center Police Department where Judge Eaves gave him a $4,000 bond.

Detective Stroud advised that McCollister is a danger to our community, and is currently out on bond from two other arson cases, from 2012. In one of the cases McCollister set fire to a residence where the family was asleep when the fire began. McCollister did confess to both 2012 Arson cases.

Detective Stroud is working closely with assistant District Attorney Stephen Shires to ensure the safety of our community.

Related story

Center PD Makes Arrest in Travis Street Arson

Center FD Fights Travis Street House Fire; PD Opens Arson Investigation


August 15, 2016 - Hurst Street at the intersection of Crawford Street in Center was the scene of a two-vehicle crash Wednesday, August 10, 2016.

When officers arrived at the scene, both vehicles were sitting in the inside lane of Hurst Street where the collision occurred. ACE EMS arrived and extracted several children, including one from the front seat of the front vehicle.

According to Center Police Officer John Welch, at around 5:38pm a white 1998 Honda Civic driven by Melba Patton, 80, of Center was traveling north on Hurst Street and was stopped preparing to make a left turn onto Crawford Street.

A black 2013 Dodge Challenger driven by April Holloway, 33, of Center was also traveling north in the same lane as the Civic when the Challenger collided with the rear of the Civic, causing damage to both vehicles.

When EMS personnel arrived, they moved three children and the driver of the Civic and two children from the Challenger to an ambulance on scene.

Patton and her passengers including two male children age two and three and a 5-year-old female passenger were all transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment. Also transported were Holloway and two female passengers from the Challenger age 14 and 11.

Patton was issued a citation for expired registration and citations for three unrestrained children.

Shaddrick McCollisterAugust 12, 2016 - An arrest has been made in connection with a house fire that occurred in Center on August 1, 2016.

Shaddrick Tawan McCollister, 32, of Center was arrested on August 10, 2016 and charged with arson, felony 2.

The Center Fire Department responded to the fire located at 306 Travis Street and after extinguishing the flames, requested Center Police Department officers for an apparent suspicious situation.

According to the arrest affidavit, the residence did not have electricity at the time of the fire and it was explained the fire burned from the attic down with a few small fires set in the pantry.

The affidavit indicates a gas can was taken from a yard in the area and gas was poured in the attic. Paper was lit on the pantry floor and gasoline in the attic.

McCollister was released on a $2,000 PR bond. The investigation into this incident is still ongoing.

Related article:

Center FD Fights Travis Street House Fire; PD Opens Arson Investigation

Center PD Update on Arson Investigation; Arrests Second Suspect