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February 9, 2015 - Firemen Return to Home Previously Saved from Fire; Total LossFiremen returned three months later to the scene of a mobile home fire on CR 3010 Sunday evening, February 8, 2015 to find it destroyed by flames.

A 9-1-1 call came in and Shelbyville and Center fire departments were dispatched at 6:55pm for a house on fire which both departments had responded to on the first of November for fire as well. The first fireman on scene, John Green reported to those responded the house was fully engulfed in flames. The home owned by Ray Smith and rented by John Paul Gay, Ronnie Gay, and Paula Askew was too engulfed in flames for the firemen to be able to save it.

Deep East Texas Electric Cooperative responded to the scene and disconnected service to the almost completely burned down structure. No injuries were reported and firemen left the scene at 8:35pm.


February 9, 2015 - Due to an outage experienced by SWEPCO – Southwestern Electric Power Company, the DETEC service areas powered by our Center, Center South, Hilltop, Holly, San Augustine, Bronson, Black Ankle, Pendleton, Hemphill, Six Mile, Hurstown and Huxley Substations are currently without power.

At this time, the cause of the outage is unknown. DETEC is working with SWEPCO to have power restored as soon as possible.

As of 5:45am power has been restore to all area effected by the power outage.

February 6, 2015 - Shelby County is gearing up for a new Texas Two Step. Beginning March 1, 2015, the state will no longer issue vehicle inspection stickers and will move to a "Two Steps, One Sticker" program. Under the new system, Texas vehicle owners will need to pass inspection prior to renewing their registration. The familiar blue-bordered Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) registration sticker will serve as proof of both inspection and registration.

"Shelby County is prepared to make this transition as smooth as possible for our residents," said Shelby County Tax Assessor-Collector Debora Riley, "During the first year of the program beginning March 1, 2015, all you will need to do is make sure you already have a valid passing vehicle inspection before you renew your registration in our office, online or by mail."

When vehicle owners renew their registration, the system will automatically verify whether the vehicle has a valid inspection. Without a passing inspection, the vehicle will not be eligible for registration renewal.

During the second year of the program, beginning March 1, 2016, vehicles' inspection and registration expiration dates will align to the date that is on the registration sticker. Once the expiration dates are aligned in that second year, you will have a convenient 90-day window to pass inspection first and renew your registration before the end of the month listed on your sticker.

"When the 'Two Steps, One Sticker' program is fully implemented, Shelby County residents will appreciate having just one sticker in the corner of their windshield and only one expiration date to worry about," said TxDMV Executive Director Whitney Brewster. "And because a passing vehicle inspection will be a requirement to renew your registration, more vehicle owners will comply with inspection requirements leading to safer and more environmentally sound cars on Texas roads."

The implementation of 'Two Steps, One Sticker' is a result of House Bill 2305 which passed during the 83rd Legislative Session in 2013. The program is a join effort by the TxDMV, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, in collaboration with the 254 county tax assessor-collector's offices which process vehicle registrations and vehicle inspection stations across the state.

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February 6, 2015 - A single vehicle rollover eluded responding emergency personnel Friday, February 6, 2015 on Hwy 7 West since the vehicle was nestled in the edge of a wooded area hidden by a tree line.

Authorities with the Texas Department of Public Safety, Center Police Department, Center Fire Department and Zach Warr, Constable Precinct 1 all searched the area one mile west of Center on State Highway 7 West for the vehicle. A passerby who had stopped to help the driver waved down Constable Warr. Shortly thereafter all other law enforcement involved in the short search converged at the scene.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, at 9am Stephanie Maria Small, 27, of Center was traveling eastbound in a maroon 2007 Dodge Caliber SXT on State Highway 7 West just before County Road 1145 when she lost control of her vehicle.

The Dodge traveled into the westbound side of the highway and then left the roadway traveling through a deep ditch and then rolling into a wooded area.

Small was transported from the scene by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department for treatment of minor injuries. A citation was issued to Small for wrong side of roadway not passing.

February 5, 2015 - Emergency personnel responded to a single-vehicle crash on CR 3267 late Wednesday evening after a report of a vehicle striking a tree.

Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade Lavergne and ACE EMS were dispatched to the scene of the crash at 9:58pm. Upon arrival a black Camaro with a red stripe was found at the scene.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade Lavergne, a black 2011 Chevrolet Camaro with a red racing stripe driven by Colton Tyre, 22, of Huxley was traveling southbound on CR 3267 with front passenger Maranda Whitton, 20, of Center; right-rear passenger Haley Evans, 18, of Joaquin; and left-rear passenger Heather Jernigan, 18, of Nacogdoches.

As the Camaro was traveling south at an unsafe speed, Tyre lost control of the vehicle which then struck a small embankment on the right and spun around before coming to a halt facing north partially in the roadway.

No injuries were reported as a result of the crash. The Camaro sustained major damage. Tyre was issued a citation for unsafe speed.

February 5, 2015 - We have become aware of an outside party calling people in the area claiming to be affiliated with Shelby Savings Bank. These callers are trying to lend large amounts of money and asking for personal information to do so. They are using a practice known as “Caller ID Spoofing” in which the caller id shows to be coming from SSB. Please remember that Shelby Savings Bank will never ask for personal information on the phone unless the call is initiated by our customer.

February 5, 2015 - Lone Star Grill was the scene of a car fire in Joaquin Wednesday, February 5, 2015 and was almost included in the inferno.

The driver of the vehicle, Jessica Register, was dining at the Lone Star Grill when flames were seen emitting from her grey Kia Sephia, which was parked directly in front of the front door to the restaurant.

Joaquin Volunteer Firemen were dispatched to the scene by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department at 7:06pm. When they arrived at the scene they found the car engulfed in flames which were threatening to catch the building on fire as the flames melted through the business' sign.

Hoses were deployed and water was quickly sprayed on the fire, averting danger from the building. According to Jeremy Boyett, Assistant Fire Chief, the cause of the fire is unknown at this time and further investigation will be handled by the insurance company.

A separate incident occurred during the fire as firemen were directing traffic on U.S. Highway 84 East. According to Jade Lavergne, Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper, TJ McKnight, 19, of Joaquin and the son of a Lone Star Grill employee, arrived at the scene during the fire. He parked across the street from the restaurant and rushed across the highway in concern of his mother's safety.

As McKnight crossed the roadway, he did so in front of a white F-150 extended cab pickup truck driven by Rodney Lee Harvill, 49, of Joaquin and he was struck by the vehicle which knocked him to the ground. Harvill stopped and McKnight engaged him in an argument.

A witness at the scene broke up the argument and suggested Harvill leave. Later, after the fire had been extinguished, McKnight expressed a desire to be seen by a doctor and he was transported from the scene by ACE EMS to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Center Emergency Department.

Once Trooper Lavergne investigated the incident, it was determined no charges were necessary to be filed.

February 4, 2015 - The Center Fire Department was able to prevent the destruction of a home Wednesday, February 4, 2015 when they were dispatched to a house fire located in the James Community.

A resident of the home had stepped outside to make a phone call when he discovered smoke emanating from the house at 2:48pm. When the firemen arrived at the home, resided in by Garris and Nell Powell and located on CR 3156, smoke was billowing from the top of the tin roofed home. Firemen quickly entered the domicile and began searching for the origin of the fire in the attic.

As firemen searched within, other firemen used ladders to climb atop the roof and trace the smoke from above. The tin on the roof was peeled back revealing flames on which water was sprayed by the firemen on the roof and by those within the attic. The dual attack extinguished the flames and contained the fire to that one area of the roof thus, saving the home.

According to Center fireman Bobby Smith, the chimney to the fireplace in the home overheated. This caused the insulation and rafters around the chimney to catch fire and spread to the roof. Once the beams were exposed, it was discovered the fire had been building for some time and, previous to their arrival, appeared to have started and been snuffed out multiple times as it traveled up the rafters.

Before the firemen departed from the scene, Deep East Texas Cooperative representative Todd Clark arrived and disconnected the power to the home until repairs can be made.

February 3, 2015 - Information is being sought by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department in relation to a man who allegedly fired a rifle at a child on Monday.

Shelby County Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that on Monday February 2, 2015 at around 5:15pm Sheriff’s Deputies Kurtes Lawrence, Bradley Horton and John Pope responded to a report of a juvenile who had been shot at by an unknown person.

When the deputies arrived on scene at a residence located on State Highway 87 South in the Shelbyville area. They said that the juvenile was on his own property checking some traps and observed an unknown black male described as being tall, thin built with a bald head, wearing a long sleeved shirt and blue jeans.

The juvenile stated that the unknown male was about 50 yards from him and that he waved at the unknown person. The juvenile stated that the person then raised a long firearm at him and shot one time. Deputies, along with Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, searched the area, but were unable to locate the person.

This case is still under investigation. If anyone has any information regarding this case, please contact the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 936-598-5600 or Center Crime Stoppers.

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 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.

February 3, 2015 - The Center Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at a chicken farm involving a piece of equipment at 2:55pm on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

A crew was working at loading chickens and cleaning out chicken houses at Tres Niños chicken farm owned by Austin Lucas at the time the fire ignited.

When the firemen arrived, a Bobcat ski-steer loader was engulfed in flames and the firemen began working to put out the fire. The firemen extinguished the flames and prevented the fire from spreading.