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November 9, 2015 - Daniel Williamson was sworn in as the City of Center’s new Court Clerk on Monday, November 9th at 10am. Daniel was sworn in by Court Clerk Donna Dugger. The ceremony was witnessed by City of Center Judge Grover Russell, Center Police Chief Jim Albers, also on hand was Daniel’s sister and brother-in-law.

Congratulations to Daniel from the Center Police Dept.

November 6, 2015 - U.S. Highway 96 North was the scene of a single-vehicle crash outside of Center on Thursday, November 5, 2015 to which State Troopers were dispatched.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Taylor Buster, at 12:10pm Bencie Allen Mancil Sr., 67, of Hemphill was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 96, north of Loop 500, in a grey 2014 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck. Due to a medical issue, Mancil lost control of the truck which crossed the northbound traffic lanes and left the roadway to the left, striking a guardrail and coming to rest against some trees in a wooded area.

Mancil was determined at the scene to have not received injury from the crash. No citations were reported to have been issued at the time of the crash. Trooper Cpl. Jimmy Faulkner assisted with the crash investigation.

Click image to enlargeNovember 6, 2015 - AUSTIN – Texas marks a grim milestone this weekend as at least one fatality has occurred each and every day on state roadways since Nov. 7, 2000. That’s 5,478 consecutive days with at least one fatality. In an effort to end this deadly 15-year streak, the Texas Department of Transportation, through its #EndTheStreakTX campaign, reminds drivers to stay alert, obey traffic laws and take personal responsibility behind the wheel.

“More than 50,000 people have been killed on Texas roadways over the past 15 years and that number is a sobering reminder that we must do everything in our power to stay focused and safe while driving,” said TxDOT Executive Director LtGen Joe Weber, USMC (Ret). “These crashes have killed spouses, children, friends and neighbors, and shattered the lives of those they left behind. We can stop this staggering streak if all drivers make it a priority to be safe, focused and responsible.”

Throughout November, TxDOT’s social media pages will share facts and information about the last 15 years of roadway fatalities and invite Texans to publicly show their commitment to ending the streak of deadly days by sharing these posts with the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX. TxDOT also will invite the public to share personal stories of loved ones lost in car crashes on its social media pages using photo and video testimonials with the hashtag #EndTheStreakTX.

Since Nov. 7, 2000, fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes on Texas roadways have numbered 51,832. A leading cause of fatalities continues to be alcohol, with distracted driving and a lack of seat belt use also being major causes.

To decrease the chances of roadway crashes and fatalities, TxDOT reminds drivers to:

  •     Buckle seatbelt – all passengers need to be buckled
  •     Never drink and drive – drunk driving kills; get a sober ride home
  •     Pay attention – put phone away and avoid distractions
  •     Drive the speed limit – always follow speed limits and drive slower speeds when weather or conditions warrant

For more information, contact Rhonda Oaks, Lufkin public information officer, at or call (936) 633-4395.

Pictured are (from left) Sandy Wheeler, State Farm Agent; Bev Kellner, Program Manager Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Passenger Safety; and Mike Guidry.November 5, 2015 (Album) - Shelbyville ISD High School was host to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Passenger Safety Project representatives who were instructing students on the dangers of distracted driving on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.

Bev Kellner and Mike Guidry Passenger Safety Project visiting schools across Texas to enlighten students about the consequences of distracted driving. The program began in the Shelbyville ISD cafeteria where a slide show presentation was given by Kellner and Guidry depicting many of the causes of distracted driving and how to try and avoid such incidents.

Kellner said statistically teens are more likely to want to text than call someone on their cellular phone and studies have even demonstrated the addictive attraction of texting by monitoring the release of endorphin in someone who receives a text message. She stated teens are at the highest risk of the danger of distracted driving, but adults are also at risk. Kellner quizzed the students as to how many have parents that text and drive with a large number raising their hands to indicate they have parents who text and drive.

20% of crashes are attributed to distracted driving, statistically; however, Kellner says it is known that a large number are not reported to be crashes attributed to distraction as it isn't common for a driver to admit to an officer they were texting when driving. Also, unless the crash is serious enough, or a fatality has occurred, cellular phone records which would demonstrate a driver was texting at the time are not likely to be subpoenaed.

Someone who is distracted is likely to take twice as long to react while driving and it is 23 times more likely a crash will occur with a distracted driver than one who is not.

"Here's to me a very scary thought, that texting and driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving," said Kellner.

The prevalence of drivers texting was exampled by the commonality of students in the audience remarking, when asked, how many drivers they witnessed on their phones while they were en route to school. Kellner stated most teen deaths are the result of automobile crashes and the majority who die in crashes are not wearing safety belts.

"58% of the crashes involving teens are due to distracted driving, and that again comes to inexperience," said Kellner. "The more you drive, and if you can survive your own driving, the more you drive and the more experience you get, the better driver you'll be."

Kellner said pickup trucks are twice as likely to roll than other vehicles. More teens in a vehicle increases the possibility of a crash occurring and according to the graduated driver's license law, a teenage driver is not allowed to have more than one person in the car with them under the age of 21 unless they are a relation. A driver under the age of 18 is also not allowed to use a cellular phone. Kellner implored the students to read and learn the graduated driver's license law.

A Distracted Driving Simulator was setup in the main lobby of the high school where several students from each high school class were able to participate.
State Farm has donated the funding for the equipment through a grant allowing for the Passenger Safety Project to use the simulator to instruct students. Sandy Wheeler, local State Farm Agent, was present throughout the demonstration and she agreed the project is a worthwhile one.

"I think it's awesome, I think it shows the kids can be distracted by other things besides texts," said Wheeler.

As the students took turns using the simulator, their fellow students became active participants by pretending to be passengers in the simulated vehicle and offering the distractions which can so easily break a driver's concentration.

One student, Corey Bearden, while participating with the simulator shared with everyone that he had been involved in a distracted driving incident. He showed a picture on his cell phone of a mangled white pickup truck. Kellner and Guidry asked Bearden to share his story when they return to the school on November 17th.

The passenger safety project has been in existence for several years with their main goals being to increase seat belt use and the correct use of car seats, as well as education on the dangers of distracted driving.

"We got this idea of how we could reach the teens better with this message by giving them a hands-on experience in a safe environment, where they could see the effects immediately of when they take their eyes off the road," said Kellner. "We're also having those other teens act as if they're passengers in the car and that is the main reason for teens having crashes is other passengers in the car, followed by cell phone use."

Kellner says the program is approaching its third year running and they visit about 50 schools in a year. Along with schools, they also visit safety fairs and workplaces to educate there also.

"We've worked with some oil companies and other big employers that want to encourage safe driving to their employees, because we know that one of the most dangerous times for employees is when they're commuting to work," said Kellner.

Shelbyville ISD will be hosting a health fair on November 17, 2015 and representatives of the Passenger Safety Project will be bringing their Rollover Convincer simulator, which demonstrates a vehicle rollover with dummies to show what occurs.

Any other schools in Shelby County desiring the Passenger Safety Project to come to their school can contact Bev Kellner at 979-862-1782 or through the local AgriLife Extension office at 936-598-7744

The Passenger Safety Project facebook address is -





#ShelbyCounty Students Learn the Effects of the Crime of Drunk Driving, "When Sean Speaks" - Read the story on #ShelbyCountyToday at the following link -

Posted by Shelby County Today on Friday, May 8, 2015


November 3, 2015 - All seven Constitutional Amendments pass with a higher than 58% 'In Favor' vote in Shelby County.

Number of Registered Voters 14,553
Ballots Cast 1,333
Early 263
Election Day 1,070

Proposition 1 – SJR 1

In Favor EARLY 239  
  TOTAL 1,193 90.52%
Against EARLY 21  
  TOTAL 125 9.48%

“The constitutional amendment increasing the amount of the residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation for public school purposes from $15,000 to $25,000, providing for a reduction of the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for those purposes on the homestead of an elderly or disabled person to reflect the increased exemption amount, authorizing the legislature to prohibit a political subdivision that has adopted an optional residence homestead exemption from ad valorem taxation from reducing the amount of or repealing the exemption, and prohibiting the enactment of a law that imposes a transfer tax on a transaction that conveys fee simple title to real property.”

Proposition 2 – HJR 75

In Favor EARLY 241  
  TOTAL 1,209 92.93%
Against EARLY 15  
  TOTAL 92 7.07%

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a 100 percent or totally disabled veteran who died before the law authorizing a residence homestead exemption for such a veteran took effect.”

Proposition 3 – SJR 52

In Favor EARLY 165  
  TOTAL 840 66.72%
Against EARLY 85  
  TOTAL 419 33.28%

“The constitutional amendment repealing the requirement that state officers elected by voters statewide reside in the state capital.”

Proposition 4 – HJR 73

In Favor EARLY 146  
  TOTAL 818 64.36%
Against EARLY 103  
  TOTAL 453 35.64%

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct charitable raffles.”

Proposition 5 – SJR 17

In Favor EARLY 179  
  TOTAL 944 73.58%
Against EARLY 74  
  TOTAL 339 26.42%

“The constitutional amendment to authorize counties with a population of 7,500 or less to perform private road construction and maintenance.”

Proposition 6 – SJR 22

In Favor EARLY 223  
  TOTAL 1,188 90.96%
Against EARLY 31  
  TOTAL 118 9.04%

“The constitutional amendment recognizing the right of the people to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife subject to laws that promote wildlife conservation.”

Proposition 7 – SJR 5

In Favor EARLY 219  
  TOTAL 1,057 82.00%
Against EARLY 39  
  TOTAL 232 18.00%

“The constitutional amendment dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund to provide funding for nontolled roads and the reduction of certain transportation-related debt.”

November 3, 2015 - Emergency personnel were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash on Sunday, November 1, 2015 located on FM 417.

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy Bradley Horton was first on scene with ACE EMS and he provided traffic control in the precarious location of the roadway while medical personnel treated the driver.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper John Hallenbeck, at 8:20pm a white 2010 Ford Fusion driven by Amber Metcalf, 31, of Center was traveling east on FM 417 when the vehicle hydroplaned following a curve in the roadway. The Fusion struck a guardrail multiple times causing damage to the vehicle and guardrail before coming to rest facing west.

ACE EMS transported Metcalf to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment. She was issued a citation for unsafe speed - traveling too fast for conditions.

November 3, 2015 - October, 2015 Center, TX Weather Report prepared and submitted by Jim and Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Observers.

Weather Stats for October, 2015

Highest Temp was 96 degrees
Highest Temp on Record was 100 degrees on 10-01-1953
Lowest Temp was 46 degrees
Lowest Temp on Record was 26 degrees on 10-31-1993

Rainfall Recorded was 6.82 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 5.21 inches
Above Average by 1.50 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 18.94 inches in 2009
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.00 inches in 1952 and 2005

Total Rainfall through October is 60.69 inches
Average Rainfall through October is 43.73 inches

Record of River and Climatological Observations - Link

November 2, 2015 - Joaquin ISD will be holding a Veterans Day Program honoring our veterans on Wednesday, November 11th, 8:30 AM in the High School Gymnasium. The event is open to the public and all veterans and current service members are encouraged to attend. We will be recognizing our veterans during the event and honoring them with a breakfast reception afterwards in the Joaquin High School Library.

3:00pm CDT, Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30, 2015 - A flash flood watch is now in effect from 10pm this evening through 10am Saturday morning for central East Texas.

The flash flood watch includes the following counties: Angelina, Nacogdoches, Sabine, San Augustine, Shelby, Cherokee, Gregg, Harrison, Panola, Rusk, and Smith Counties.

Widespread rain showers and scattered thunderstorms will continue to stream into the area this evening with periods of heavy rain developing late tonight and continuing through tomorrow morning, mainly south of IH20. Two to four inches of rain, with locally higher amounts, are possible across central East Texas.

A flash flood watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued.

October 30, 2015 - Shelbyville Athletic Booster Club is taking orders for Football Playoff T-shirts, Long Sleeve T-shirts and Hoodies. Please go to (click the school website which will download the order form) for order form or stop by any campus office.

Order forms and money are due by November 3.