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January 13, 2016 - Sometime between Friday, January 8th and Saturday, January 9th unknown suspects went to Brookshire Brother, H&S Foods and Tec Co Gas Station located in Center, Texas. There they took three (3) Nacogdoches Daly Sentinel newspaper machines one (1) from each location. They then went to Shelbyville Log Cabin store and took a Light and Champion newspaper machine from that location.
Update: According to a press release issued by the Center Police Department, on Friday, January 8, 2016 Center Police Department Officers took a theft report from the Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel. They reported that three newspaper machines were stolen from three locations Brookshire Brothers, Tetco Gas Station and H&S Foods all in the City of Center.
Later in the day, Detective Stephen Stroud was advised by Precinct 2 Constable Jamie Hagler that someone had stolen the newspaper stand from Shelbyville Grocery that belongs to the Light and Champion. On the same day, Stroud was advised that two newspaper stands were stolen out of the City of San Augustine that belong to the San Augustine Tribune.
Constable Hagler received a tip from an informant identifying one of the suspects as Tevin Garrett, 23, of Center, Texas. Constable Hagler and Stroud drove to the suspects address and were unable to locate the suspect but found evidence from thefts. Judge Margie Anderson, Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace, issued an arrest warrant for Theft on Garrett who was located and arrested later in the day.
Upon speaking with Garrett, he confessed and identified the other suspect as Jeremy Edwards, 35, of Center from Center and took Stroud, Constable Hagler, Shelby County Sheriff Investigators Dickerson and Windham to two locations where they dumped the six newspaper stands. One location was in a water filled creek off of FM 138 and the other was off the new overpass located on the new loop 500.
Investigators were able to recover four of the machines off of FM 138 late Thursday night with Sheriff’s Deputy Adam Renfro winching them out of the creek water. Investigators then went to suspect Jeremy Edwards residence where Investigator Dickerson arrested Edwards for a failure to appear warrant out of DeSoto Parish.
Upon interviewing Edwards he confessed to the thefts and was arrested for a theft warrant issued by Judge Anderson related to this case. On Friday, January 15, 2016 Shelby County Sheriffs Investigators Windham and Dickerson recovered the remaining two machines from under the overpass on the new loop 500.
January 13, 2016 - On Sunday, January 10, 2016 at approximately 11:35pm, an unknown suspect burglarized a building located on County Road 4620 in Tenaha, Texas.
The unknown suspect illegally appropriated the following property: a Briggs & Stratton HP Electric 15 HP / 8000 Watt Red/Black Generator, a Craftsman 16 inch chainsaw (black), a Husqvarna 18 inch chainsaw (orange/yellow). Surveillance video footage was captured of the suspect stealing the property.
Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information regarding this crime should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember 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 a caller does not wish to remain anonymous or receive a reward, they may call the Shelby County Sheriff's Department at 936-598-5600 and speak with Sergeant Investigator DJ Dickerson at 936-572-1468.
January 13, 2016 - Center Crime Stoppers is seeking information on three individuals suspected of passing fake currency in Center. These suspects passed fake $100 bills at the Center Wal Mart on December 31, 2015.
Center Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information. Anyone who has information should call Center Crime Stoppers at 936-598-SAFE (7233) or submit a tip online at www.centercrimestoppers.com. Remember 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.
January 12, 2016 - The City of Timpson remains without a mayor following the special council meeting held on Tuesday, January 12, 2016. The reason for the meeting was to resolve an illegal outcome of the previous meeting and to clear up a misunderstanding.
"We had a incident happen at the last meeting and it's on tape, where our ex-mayor instructed our city secretary that we could not appoint someone from outside this council as mayor," said Ronnie Wolfe.
Wolfe then requested the audience remain silent throughout the meeting, "Keep your comments till after the meeting, no applause and this is done in accordance with state law, and you will be removed from the room if you express yourself in any way while this meeting's in order if you're not on the agenda."
After instructing the audience be silent, Wolfe explained the illegal action of the previous meeting, "The other mistake that was made, I cannot vote for myself to be mayor. So we can leave it like it is and law says I can, as mayor pro tem, I can conduct the meetings till the next regularly scheduled election, or we can appoint somebody from out in the community or from off of this board."
Al Skinner, Timpson resident, addressed the council about the possibility of having future meetings at a venue which can handle a large attendance as there have been many meetings in Timpson with standing room only circumstances. He suggested the possibility of hosting meetings at the Community House in So So Park and asked the council to consider the possibility at the next meeting.
Any council member has the right to ask for an item to be put on the meeting agenda, and only that council member can remove the item, according to state law.
As the meeting continued, the council moved on to the first item on the agenda. Wolfe stated the two options for the council are to appoint a new mayor, if the council can all agree on someone, or to as he stated, "leave it like it is" and mayor pro tem will preside over the meetings until the next election in May. George Grace offered a motion to "leave it as is," which was seconded by Janell Baker. Yvonne Ramsey offered for Kenny Walker to be appointed mayor until May; however, Walker declined. The motion to "leave it as is" carried with four council members in favor and Ramsey not in favor.
Wolfe stated since the council voted not to appoint a mayor there was no reason to move forward with the next agenda item of appointing a mayor pro tem as he stated he will still be the mayor pro tem.
The motion of the previous agenda item to, "leave it as is," was less than explanatory. Does this bring into question who holds the position of the mayor pro tem? At the previous meeting of the Timpson City Council, the vote for mayor was illegal because Wolfe could not vote for himself; however, George Grace was appointed mayor pro tem with the motion made by Kyle Allen, seconded by Yvonne Ramsey and carried by vote of the council. If the vote for mayor pro tem doesn't stand then by the same thought process, other items approved during the January 4 meeting would also be null.
Another item which may be in question is the Resolution of Authority also voted on at the previous meeting. The resolution removed Debra Pate Smith and gave authority to "Mayor" Ronnie Wolfe, as well as Mayor Pro Tem George Grace over the Austin Bank accounts for the city. This was not addressed at the January 12 meeting. Since Wolfe broke a tie to carry the vote on the resolution of authority at the January 4 meeting, who now has that authority, and will this be addressed at the next Timpson Council meeting.
Meetings are scheduled to be held on the third Tuesday of every month, which would be next Tuesday, January 19, 2016 and for which an agenda has not yet been circulated.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:41pm.
Shelby County Today will continue to research and seek answers from the Texas Municipal League regarding these issues.
January 12, 2016 - Tenaha Street in Center was the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Friday night, January 8, 2016 from which one driver was arrested.
When Center Police Officers arrived at the scene three vehicles were blocking the roadway, and it appeared the middle vehicle, a white and black Chevrolet Suburban had been struck in the rear by a white Ford F-150. Although it was initially suspected the lead vehicle was involved in the crash, it was determined it had not been struck and the driver was allowed to leave.
While Center Police Officers Sgt. Ricky King and Steve Thornburgh directed traffic at the intersection of Tenaha Street, Porter Street and Timpson Street, Officer Jim Blackwell investigated the crash and ACE EMS personnel attended those involved in the crash. When Officer Blackwell questioned the driver of the Ford F-150, he refused to identify himself and after the other driver in the Suburban was allowed to leave the scene the driver of the Ford was arrested.
The driver was later determined to be Jesus Hernandez Alvarado, 38, of Center. He was charged with no driver's license, failure to maintain financial responsibility, and failure to control speed.
January 12, 2016 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office recently received reports of possible narcotic traffic in the Haslam community leading down towards the river area. Sheriff Willis Blackwell states patrol has increased in the area due to recent burglaries.
On January 12, 2016 around 5:20 a.m. Patrol Sgt. Michael Griffin was on patrol in the Joaquin area and conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle on County Road 3605 off of County Road 3315. Sgt. Griffin activated his overheads for a traffic violation of failing to signal turn. After a short period of not stopping, the vehicle came to a halt and the driver was identified a 36-year-old David Len Weaver Jr. of Center.
During the course of the investigation Sgt. Griffin asked Weaver Jr. why he did not stop when he activated his overheads to which Weaver Jr. stated he believed there were drugs in the vehicle that did not belong to him. Weaver Jr. stated that he attempted to toss them out of the window but they landed in the passenger side floor board area of the vehicle. Sgt. Griffin looked inside the vehicle and observed in plain sight a clear plastic bag that contained a clear crystal like substance believed to be methamphetamine.
At that time Weaver Jr. was placed under arrest for driving while license invalid M-B and possession of controlled substance PG1, 1>4 grams Felony-3 and transported to the Shelby County Jail.
Sheriff Blackwell would like to thank the citizens that came forward with this information leading to this arrest. Blackwell states that this area will be patrolled as well as many others as calls for service permits deputies to do so. Citizens who suspect illegal narcotic activity in their community are asked to please contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 936-598-5600. Remember you do not have to leave your name just your information.
Submitted by Leah Chase
January 11, 2016 - U.S. Highway 96 and U.S. Highway 59 outside of Tenaha were the scenes of two crashes which took place during inclement weather on Friday, January 8, 2016.
First responders were dispatched to a crash north of Tenaha on U.S. Highway 59 North where a vehicle was on its side in the median of the highway.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Taylor Buster, at 8:56pm a brown Ford Explorer driven by Anabel Stacks, 43, of Katy was traveling north on U.S. Highway 59 when she looked at her GPS. The Explorer traveled through the median into the southbound traffic lanes where Stacks over corrected to the right and flipped the Explorer onto the driver's side coming to rest facing south.
Stacks was traveling with 11-year-old female and 13-year-old male passengers. No injuries were reported as a result of the crash. A citation was issued for drive on wrong side of road divided highway.
Another crash occurring sometime before 10:15pm had emergency personnel spread out and searching until the vehicle was located. South of Flatfork Creek at the bridge after County Road 3774 was the scene of the crash. Upon arrival, no one was in the vehicle; however there was a child safety seat visible within and there was evidence someone had been injured.
According to Texas DPS Trooper Keith Jones, a tan Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by Michael James Tolbert, 21, of Sarepta, LA. with passengers Victoria Lee Tolbert, 23, and a 1-year-old male passenger was traveling south on U.S. 96. As the truck approached the bridge, it began to hydroplane and left the roadway to the right through the barrow ditch. The truck was traveling backwards when it struck a tree on the driver's side bringing the truck to a stop facing the roadway.
The occupants of the vehicle walked to a nearby house in search of help and were located there by Texas DPS Trooper Taylor Buster and ACE EMS. The driver and passengers were treated for minor injuries at the scene. Tolbert was issued citations for unsafe speed and no driver's license.
Tenaha Deputy City Marshal Darren Gray assisted at both crash scenes.
January 9, 2016 - Hurst Street at the intersection with Roughrider Drive in Center was the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Thursday, January 7, 2016 where a Center Police Officer was almost struck by a vehicle.
As Shelby County Today arrived at the scene, Center Police Officer Jim Blackwell was seen directing traffic on the northbound Hurst Street outside traffic lane and adjoining Timpson Street traffic. As Officer Blackwell motioned traffic from Timpson Street onto Hurst Street, a black Mustang which had been stopped behind a patrol car in the inside traffic lane quickly pulled out into the outside traffic lane in the direction of Officer Blackwell. Before the car struck Officer Blackwell, the driver heeded his command to stop.
Officer Blackwell requested a license from the driver, and when he could not produce one, was ordered to exit the vehicle. Once it was determined a separate individual with a valid driver's license was in the Mustang, Officer Blackwell had that individual drive the Mustang out of the middle of the roadway so traffic could continue moving. He then placed Jose Huerta, 21, of Center in custody within a patrol car.
While Officer Blackwell continued to direct traffic, Officer Steve Thornburgh investigated the crash. According to updated and corrected crash information provided by Center Police officer Steve Thornburgh, at 5:57pm a 2002 Black Expedition driven by Amy Perry, 20, of Joaquin was traveling south on Hurst Street turning left onto Timpson Street when it failed to yield right of way to oncoming traffic. At that time a 2012 Black Dodge pickup truck driven by John Boxley, 73, of Center was traveling north on Hurst Street when the Expedition struck the left front quarter panel of the Dodge, causing damage to both vehicles.
No injuries were reported at the scene and both drivers refused treatment. Perry was issued citations for no driver's license and fail to yield right of way. Huerta was cited for disregard a police officer and no driver's license.
January 8, 2016 - The Center Fire Department responded to a house fire on Lillian Street in Center at the residence of
Ceferina Barahona Gonzalez on Thursday, January 7, 2016.
Upon arrival the firemen could see mostly smoke emanating from within with some flames spotted at one location. Several of the firemen donned breathing apparatus and gained entry to the building through the front door.
Water was sprayed on fire located in the living room area at the front of the house. A chair which had been on fire was carried out of the house, as well as an audio speaker that was partially melted from the heat.
A search of the home was conducted to determine the location of any other possible hot spots within the residence. A fan was used to ventilate the building of smoke and it was determined the origin of the fire was near where the chair had been located.
Once the fire was out, smoke was clear, and no other area of the home appeared to be on fire the firemen cleared the scene and returned to the station.
January 5, 2016 - The Center Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire on State Highway 7 East in the James Community 1 mile from FM 2608 on New Years Eve December 31, 2015.
When the firemen arrived at the scene around 7:30pm, a house owned by James H. Smith was engulfed in flames and the fire was fully involved. The firemen began dragging hose and working to extinguish the fire while neighbors and passersby tried to make contact with the homeowner. Another firemen with the Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department was on scene and as the CFD pumper began running low on water, he headed to Joaquin to get another truck on the way while another CFD truck en-route.
When the next CFD truck arrived, the house was emitting so much heat that the firemen had to drench the fire truck with water to prevent it from receiving damage from the fire. The firemen sprayed the home with water on the front and back and as more trucks arrived from Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department they focused on main hot spots. Until the power company could arrive to disconnect the power, firemen were stationed near the down power lines to prevent anyone stepping on them.
During the fire, contact was made with Smith and it was learned for certain no one had been in the home at the time of the fire. Once the fire was mostly under control, JVFD returned to their station. Once the CFD firemen had the fire extinguished, they returned to the station at 9:35pm. The house was a total loss due to the fire and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time.