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March 4, 2015 - On Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at approximately 7:18pm Officer Jacob Gross of the Center Police Department was en route to the auto-pedestrian crash on Tenaha Street when he was diverted to Center Place Apartments located at 705 Clifford Street in reference to a possible gunshot victim who had passed out.

Once on scene, Gross was informed the call was medical only and was directed inside to one of the apartments where he observed Joann Lockett, 58, of Center sitting in a chair not responding to family members. Gross did not observe any movement of Lockett's eyes and listened for breathing but did not detect any.

With the assistance of family members Lockett was laid down on the floor where Gross began CPR. Gross continued to perform CPR until ACE EMS personnel Bobby Ritter and Steve Dudley arrived on scene and began providing care.

After working on Lockett for several minutes, a pulse was detected and once stable enough she was transported to the Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center EMergency Department where she was seen by hospital staff.

Lockett was then transported by ACE EMS for further care to Nacogdoches Medical Center located in Nacogdoches.

See related stories -

Center PD Releases Information From Auto-Pedestrian Crash

Center PD Investigates Vehicle/Pedestrian Crash

(Photos by Shelby County Today) Bobby Carlsen (left), District Attorney Investigator, is seen indicating the direction of Center Place Apartments as Jade Lavergne, Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper, and Jeremy Konderla, Center Police Officer, (both near yellow coat) examine the crash scene.March 4, 2015 - According to a Center Police Department press release, the pedestrian killed in the auto-pedistrian crash was Johnie Nash, age 63 of Center.

On Tuesday March 3, 2015 at approximately 7:15pm Officer Jeremy Konderla was dispatched to the 700 block of Tenaha Street in reference to an Auto-Pedestrian crash that had occurred. Once on scene Officer Konderla began to investigate the crash and learned that a 1999 White Ford Explorer driven by Russell Jones, 36 of Center, was traveling North on Tenaha Street when a pedestrian, later identified as Johnie Nash, 63 of Center, began crossing the street while not at a crosswalk.

Witnesses at the scene stated that Jones attempted to stop before striking Nash but was unsuccessful and hit on the driver's side causing damage. Nash was taken by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Clinic - Center where she was pronounced dead by Maxie Eaves, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1. Nash was then taken by Community Funeral Home to their facility until Funeral arrangements can be made. The crash is currently under investigation and is ongoing.

The Center Police Department would like to thank Trooper Jade LaVergne of the Texas Department of Public Safety as well as Investigator Bobby Carlsen of the Shelby County District Attorney's Office for their assistance at the crash scene.

See related story at the following link -

March 3, 2015 - The Center Police Department is currently investigating an incident involving a vehicle striking a pedestrian.

Center police officers and ACE EMS were dispatched to the scene on Tenaha Street just near the Dollar General store before 7pm on Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

When the officers arrived, a Johnie Nash, 63 of Center was found to be lying in the middle of the roadway and a white Ford Explorer which struck her was parked by the side of the roadway.

An eyewitness to the incident indicated the driver Russell Jones, 36, of Center did not have any time to react as Nash was reported to have crossed right in front of the Explorer.

ACE EMS transported the pedestrian in an unknown, yet suspected to be serious, condition to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department.

The Center Fire Department provided traffic control at the scene while Center Police Officer Jeremy Konderla, assisted by Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade Lavergne, investigated the crash scene.

March 3, 2015 - An Arcadia family has lost its residence to a fire which took place on Monday, March 2, 2015. Two fire departments were dispatched to fight the fire as it raged late into the night.

Firemen with the Center Fire Department (CFD) were first to be dispatched to the residence of John York located at 6605 FM 138 at 7:53pm, and when they arrived the fire was fully involved with the majority of the house engulfed in flames. The fire appeared to have originated in the garage on the right side of the home for an unknown reason.

Efforts were made by the firemen to knock back the flames and consolidate the fire to one area; however, the fire continued to burn through the middle of the house. The assistance of the West Shelby Volunteer Fire Department (WSVFD) was requested and they arrived on scene at 8:32pm with an additional supply of water. Both departments worked together to extinguish the flames and once their water was depleted, WSVFD returned to the station at 10:50pm. The CFD gained control of the fire at 11:45pm and remained at the scene until 1:05am.

Some items were able to be recovered from within the home. The house was a total loss.

March 2, 2015 - Traffic north of Tenaha is blocked as emergency crews are working to remove a truck tractor which is blocking the entire north side of U.S. 96 North outside of Tenaha.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jimmy Faulkner, at 11:50am on Monday, March 2, 2015 Oscar Alvarado, 35, of Houston was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 96 North in a blue 2007 Peterbilt owned by Rush Truck Leasing of San Antonio and was hauling a non hazardous frack mud. As Alvarado was traveling through a curve in the roadway he over corrected and the truck tractor overturned causing it to block both northbound traffic lanes.

The Tenaha City Marshal's Office, Tenaha Volunteer Fire Department (TVFD) were first to arrive at the scene followed by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. Once Alvarado was outside of the truck an ambulance was requested. Alvarado was transported from the scene by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of minor injuries.

Alvarado was issued a citation for failure to drive in a single lane. It was expected for the mud to be moved from the tanker to another before the crashed truck tractor could be up righted; however, it is now upright. The TVFD is directing traffic into a southbound lane to detour around the wreck scene. It is advised travelers should take an alternate route if possible as attempts are still being made to clear the crash scene.

March 2, 2015 - According to Jim and Ann Forbes, Center had the following weather stats for the month of February 2015.

Highest Temp was 77 degrees on 2-09-2015
Highest Temp on Record was 90 degrees on 2-21-1986
Lowest Temp was 27 degrees on 2-24 and 2-27-2015
Lowest Temp on Record was 0 degrees on 2-02-1951

Rainfall recorded was 3.14 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 4.95 inches
Below Average by 1.81 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 8.90 inches in 2003
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.24 inches in 1996

2 inches beautiful large snowflakes fell on 2-25-2015
Total Rainfall recorded in 2015 is 12.97 inches

Center Weather Stats Report for February - Link

February 27, 2015 - Currently a private insurance company, HomeServe, is selling a home insurance product and possibly implying it is associated with or endorsed by the City of Center or Center Utilities.

While the product they are selling is legitimate and potentially beneficial for homeowners experiencing some types of water or sewer line problems on their private property, it is in no way associated with or endorsed by the City of Center or Center Utilities.

February 25, 2015 - Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is diligently working to help keep the roadways safe. Local departments are reporting the current roadway conditions which can be viewed at the following link, currently shows most of Shelby County roadways to have ice and snow.

February 24, 2015 - A single-vehicle crash occurred just before 9pm during icy conditions on Loop 500 in Center on Monday, February 23, 2015. Center Police Department officers and ACE EMS were dispatched to the scene of the crash on the bridge just before Few Ready Mix.

When the officers arrived they found a Ford Explorer SUV with the driver Saundra Harris, 52, of Center still inside. Officers, assisted by a Sheriff's Deputy at the scene, broke a window to gain access to the vehicle and provide help to Harris as well as assist EMS in moving her to a waiting ambulance.

Before the crash occurred, Harris was traveling westbound on Loop 500 in the Ford Explorer when the vehicle traveled over the bridge and met with a very icy roadway. She lost control of the vehicle due to the ice and struck a guardrail which caused the Explorer to roll onto the driver's side.

Harris was transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of unknown injuries. No citations were issued as of this report.

The investigation was handled by Center Police Officer Jeremy Konderla, assisted by Officer Jake Gross.

There were several other incidents across the county, and most notably at Huana Creek bridge on U.S. Highway 96 South where a sheet of ice covered the bridge, which could not even be traversed on foot safely. Deputies marked the roadway to slow travelers following two crashes which occurred just after the incident on the Loop 500 bridge. TxDOT, soon after, applied sand and salt to bridges across the county, including Huana Creek bridge.

Travelers should continue to use caution Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, February 25.

February 24, 2015 - The Shelby County Commissioner's Court heard public comment on vehicles to be bid on which are possessed by the Precinct 4 Constable's office and approved seeking bids on the automobiles.

A new item recently introduced on the regular agenda is public comments and these were heard during the meeting held on Monday, February 23, 2015. Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge, explained it is new and the commissioners will see how it goes. She asked the audience if there was anyone wishing to comment on any of the agenda items.

Tom Trussell, Huxley resident, took the opportunity to be the first person to address the court during the public comment portion of the meeting. Trussell asked Judge Harbison how the vehicles on item 6 of the agenda were being sold, if it was as one inclusive package or if they were being sold individually and he wanted to know where they came from.

Harbison explained the origin of the vehicles, "These are seized vehicles from Tenaha Constable Precinct 4."

Judge Harbison stated it was brought to her attention when the commissioners approved to pay rent for the Justice of the Peace Precinct 5 office, it was not approved to pay for the utilities as well.

Ann Blackwell, Shelby County Treasurer, spoke about the previous approval of the rent payment and why it was being brought up again in the meeting, "What you did, I believe in December, was approve the rent and I don't know that you meant rent and utilities but it wasn't specified and we felt like we needed to bring it back to you."

A suggestion was made by Clint Porterfield, Shelby County Auditor, in regards to the rental agreement for Precinct 5, "I would recommend that some sort of contract be drafted with the individual that we're renting from in Precinct 5, to spell out not only the rent, but the utilities and whatever repairs or maintenance might need to be done by us on that building."

According to Harbison, a contract is being looked at by Gary Rholes, Shelby County Attorney, as there were some items in the contract with which she was not entirely comfortable.

With there having been discussion about other items beyond public comment Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1, felt it necessary to outline the practices and procedure of public comment, "I want to talk about the public comment that we have on the agenda item we approved last week. It was my understanding, we discussed that and [Judge Harbison] wasn't here. That is not for public interaction with the commissioners, or the judge through the audience. That's for comments by the audience about something on the agenda."

McSwain addressed Trussell, and explained some of the questions he asked would be addressed at the time the commissioners reach that item on the agenda if procedure is handled properly. He stated he was clarifying the comment portion is strictly for comment and not discussion as discussion could go on without end.

The commissioners approved insurance coverage through the Texas Association of Counties for the policy year June 2015-June 2016. Porterfield provided some facts concerning the policy, "We have approximately 97 vehicles that the county covers through the Texas Association of Counties. Our annual cost is about $24,000 in total and that cost is distributed between each department that has a budget for a vehicle."

Porterfield also commented the cost of the policy decreased last year.

Advertisement for bids on five vehicles seized by the Precinct 4 Constable's office were approved by the commissioners. A sixth vehicles has been ordered returned to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, meanwhile five remain on City of Tenaha property. Judge Harbison stated the county was contacted by the city a week previous to the meeting requesting the vehicles be moved. Judge Harbison asked for three weeks to have the vehicles removed so the county would not have to move the vehicles more than once.

Bryan Gray, Constable Precinct 4, confirmed for Judge Harbison there is a judgment allowing for the sale of the vehicle, and he explained the Expedition available for sale is actually owned by the constable's office. A sealed bid on each vehicle is the method for bidding. Those interested in viewing the vehicles may contact Constable Gray to view the automobiles.

The vehicles include a 2000 Cadillac, 2004 Suzuki, 1995 Mazda, 2003 Ford, and 1998 Ford Expedition.

Agenda items receiving approval include:

    Approve and pay monthly expenses.
    Renewal of County vehicle insurance coverage through the Texas Association of Counties for the policy year June 2015 to June 2016.
    Record filing of Vehicle Inventory Tax Fund Audit for February 2015.
    Advertise for bids on five (5) seized vehicles for Precinct 4, Constable Bryan Gray.

Agenda items tabled during the meeting include:

    Purchasing a radio for Mike Crouch JP 5.