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February 2, 2015 - A four wheeler parked under a carport is believed to be the cause of a structure fire on CR 1005 which the Center Fire Department responded to Monday morning.

According to the Center FD, a 9-1-1 call came in at 9:40am Monday, February 2, 2015 for a structure, possible house fire, on CR 1005 belonging to Darrell and Pam Samford. Upon arrival at the scene, fire fighters located a fully involved fire on the backside of a house. Once water was put to the fire, it was discovered the source was a parked four wheeler under the carport.

Cody Matlock, renter living in the house, was at home when the fire was discovered. He, along with Pam Samford who called 9-1-1, attempted to extinguish the flames before the fire department arrived only to find the water hose located 10 feet from the fire was frozen from the overnight freezing temperatures. Family pets located inside the house were evacuated to a safe area.

Fire fighters quickly extinguished the flames which had spread to the roof of the carport; however, the house only received minimal smoke damage inside the back door from the carport to the house. According to fireman Derek Lightfoot, the siding on the house was hardie board, a fire resistant material, and was most likely the reason for the fire did not spread from the 4-wheeler to the house.

Renter, Jill Albert who was at work at the Light and Champion at the time of the fire, was dispatched to her own house fire.

February 2, 2015 - Highest Temp was 77 degrees on 1-27-2015

Highest Temp on Record was 85 degrees on 1-23-1943 and 1-26-1950
Lowest Temp was 19 degrees on 1-08-2015
Lowest Temp on Record was 5 degrees on 1-19-1940 and 1-12-1982

Rainfall Recorded was 9.83 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 4.45 inches
Above Average by 5.38 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 12.13 inches in 1999
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.57 inches in 1986

Glaze on power lines 1-09-2015
Sleet on 1-24-2015

Full January 2015 Stats Report - link

February 2, 2015 - The City of Center is excited to announce regular recycling service will resume Tuesday, February 3. The recycling trailer will be placed at the Historic Square at its previous location.

Center Mayor David Chadwick explains, that, “Last year, the City made a very hard decision to cancel the recycling program especially in light of the fact that many people outside the City used the program. We reached out to the other governments and they agreed to help.” Shelby County and the Cities of Joaquin, Tenaha and Timpson each agreed to help pay part of the cost of the program. “In return for their help, we will carry the trailer to their location twice a year for one week.”

The City also received a Solid Waste Grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) through the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG). “This grant allowed the City to purchase a new, larger truck for the program,” reported Center City Manager Chad Nehring.

The recycling program is single stream, meaning that one does not have to sort the recyclables to place them in the trailer. The City transports the trailer to Pratt Industries in Shreveport where the material is sorted and processed.

The City would encourage anyone using the program to break down boxes or compress items such as milk jugs, cans and plastic bottles. “These types of materials take a lot of space and are low weight,” Nehring said. “Conserving volume saves space in the trailer so more can be transported per trip.”

January 30, 2015 - Shelby County Sheriff's Department received a 911 on January 30, 2015 at approximately 3:18am regarding a male subject identified as a Darrell Bailey, who lives at the corner of CR 1245 and 7 West, reported to have been shot by an assailant unknown to him at the time. Mr. Bailey was life flighted to LSU by Life Air Rescue and condition is unknown at this time.

Photo by Jerryl AdamsThe West Shelby County Volunteer Fire Department established a landing zone on the highway for the helicopter.

If anyone has any information regarding this incident, please contact Investigator DJ Dickerson at the Shelby County Sheriff's Department at 936-598-5600.

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.

January 27, 2015 - An industrial incident outside of Timpson on FM 415 resulted in injury and a life-flight for an individual involved.

Emergency crews responded to the scene located 3/4 of a mile from State Highway 87 North at 799 FM 415 at 10:30am on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. According to law enforcement officials at the scene, Ricky Harkness received injury to his arms from a wood chipper.

Members of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department, and Constable Precinct 5 office were in the area and responded when they received word of the emergency. A landing zone was established in a field near where the incident occurred with the assistance of the Timpson Volunteer Fire Department.

EMS with the Timpson Volunteer Ambulance Service and ACE EMS stabilized Harkness at the scene until Life-Air Rescue arrived to airlift him to a hospital in Shreveport.

January 27, 2015 - The Shelby County Commissioners approved the rental of an office for Marla Denby, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, in the Shelbyville area during their recent meeting on Monday, January 26, 2015.

Denby addressed the court about the office space already provided by the county, "We do have an office in Dreka that has been supplied by the county. Times change, things change and this office space is not to where we can really do what we need to do. It's for myself and [Jamie] Hagler the constable and to benefit the people."

The new space which Denby described is in Shelbyville and is on FM 417, very close to Farmers State Bank, "I could make my deposits right then, I could collect money from the people because people bring cash and they bring money orders and things like that," said Denby. "The post office is just across the street basically, and we do have a time limit on some of the things we have to mail."

The school is very close to the new office and is a more central area for law enforcement and people in the community to travel. Denby commented the environment would be a great deal better for those visiting the Justice of the Peace office. The new office will also have high speed internet which Denby explained will help to run the office efficiently, "We don't want to be ashamed, I'll put it that way. We want to be up to par and that's just the way I've always tried to do, I mean I've always been a hard worker and I just don't like to halfway do a job."

A motion was carried by the commissioners to rent space from Farmers State Bank for $2,400 dollars a year as well as to pay for utilities with the funding for both coming out of the contingency fund and to adjust the budget accordingly.

Colleen Doggett, Shelby County Historical Commission Chair, presented the commissioners with a list depicting the names of 17 Shelby County Historical Commission proposed members with officers designated for the 2015-2016 year. A motion was carried to approve the members.

Jamie Hagler (left), Constable Precinct 2, and Marla Denby (right), Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, are seen above as Denby addressed the commissioners on Monday, January 26, 2015.Doggett informed the commissioners of several issues at the 1885 Historic Courthouse which are in need of attention. There is an issue on the second floor of the courthouse in the courtroom which may be due to a leak in the roof.

According to Doggett, the elevator is almost non operative at this time and last April she was stuck in the elevator during a wedding at the courthouse with family members of the bride and groom, "The elevator needs to be fixed, because those stairs are hard to navigate for older people and the VFW uses that building a lot. They're all older people, mostly retired military and the stairs are just too hard for them."

Two years ago the air conditioner in the courthouse leaked and Doggett states this caused some damage to a historic rug in the Transportation Room of the courthouse. It has been noticed lately the ceiling boards damaged by the air conditioner leak are sagging. Doggett requested an estimate from JC Lewis on cost of repair and it ranges from $3,000 to $6,000 depending on unknown damage.

There are several other items in the courthouse which Doggett stated are in need of care. Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison stated she will do some research on the roof and will work with Doggett on additional items.

Agenda items receiving approval include:

    Approve and pay monthly expenses.
    Rent space for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 from Farmers State Bank for $2,400 a year as well as utilities and it will come out of the contingency fund, adjust budget accordingly.
    Appointment of Shelby County Historical Commission members for 2015-2016.
    Travis Rodgers, Commissioner Precinct 3, to sell or dispose of (a) Ranch 2 door belly dump trailer; (b) 1975 Chevy Silverado flatbed truck; (c) Fiat 175 maintainer; (d) FG85 maintainer.
    Separate commissioner cell phones from the Sheriff's Department account and put them on their own individual accounts.
    Appoint Anne Blackwell to the DETCOG Board of Directors.
    Adjournment 10:03am

January 26, 2015 - The Center Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire located at 1213 Bolton Street on Saturday, January 24, 2015.

When the firemen and Center Police Officers arrived on scene at 8:10am the fire was fully involved and the house was engulfed in flames.

The firemen worked to extinguish the flames as quickly as possible. According to Center Fire Chief Keith Byndom, the house was formerly owend by Tom Buckley and a neighbor stated the house has been abandoned since the Buckley passed away. Recently During the cold weather, people could be seen entering the house through the front door which has been left open.

It's believed the fire may have been set by someone using the house for warmth.

January 26, 2015 - A single-vehicle crash on U.S. Highway 96 South was the result of ice on the roadway Saturday, January 24, 2015.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety Larry Linder, Marcus Daniels, 44, of San Augustine was traveling southbound in a silver Mercury on U.S. Highway 96 South just after County Road 1021 when the Mercury traveled over some black ice in the roadway.

Daniels lost control of the vehicle and it traveled across the northbound traffic lane before leaving the roadway, traveling into the barrow ditch and overturning next to a large pine tree. Daniels was able to escaped the Mercury and went for help on foot.

Zach Warr, Constable Precinct 1, was first on scene when the crash was dispatched at 7:15am and checked the vehicle to make sure anyone involved was not in need of medical help. Once Trooper Linder arrived at the scene Daniels returned as well.

No citations were issued and no injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

January 26, 2015 - Icy road conditions which occurred overnight on Friday evening and into Saturday morning, January 24, 2015 contributed to crashes throughout Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties keeping Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Troopers extra busy.

A crash which occurred on U.S Highway 96 North caused traffic delays and an intense moment for two drivers.

According to Texas DPS Trooper Larry Linder, at 6:30am Aldin Monty, 58, of De Berry was traveling southbound in a 2002 Chevrolet 2500 on U.S. Highway 96 North at a railroad overpass just south of Flatfork Creek when the boat trailer he was hauling hit an icy patch in the roadway and began to hydroplane before striking a guardrail with its right side.

The trailer then spun back around to the left as the boat dislodged from the trailer and traveled across the highway into the northbound traffic lane. At this time a green 2014 Freightliner 18-wheeler driven by Michael Kinnaman, 67, of Iowa was quickly approaching. Kinnaman attempted to avoid hitting the boat by slowing down; however, this could not be prevented and the Freightliner collided with the boat.

The Chevrolet and the trailer continued off the roadway on the northbound side before coming to rest. Firemen with the Center Department and Center Police Department Sgt. Scott Burkhalter responded to the scene of the crash to assist with traffic control at the scene.

Damage to the Freightliner was minimal. Damage incurred by the boat was much more major and the trailer received damage as well, but it was still able to be towed away.

No citations have been issued at this time and no injuries were reported as a result of the crash.

According to sources with the Texas Department of Public Safety there were 16 reported crashes across Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine Counties during the icy conditions.

January 26, 2015 - State Representative Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) filed H.B. 849, which would create two sales tax holidays for firearms and hunting supplies.

"H.B. 849 recognizes that hunting is a time-honored tradition in Texas and looks to give tax relief to the sportsmen and women who continue one of our most cherished pastimes and, more importantly, those who continue to pass our love of hunting and the outdoors down to the next generation," said Rep. Paddie.

H.B. 849 would create two sales tax holiday weekends, one on the last full weekend in August, to coincide with the beginning of dove season, and a second on the last full weekend in October, to coincide with the beginning of deer season. Items that would be included in the tax free weekend are firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, hunting blinds and stands, hunting decoys, gun cases and gun safes, and hunting safety equipment.

"In the past year, Texas hunters purchased over 1.2 million hunting licenses. This bill will serve to increase the number of hunters in Texas, which will provide further economic opportunity in many rural areas that offer world-renowned hunting," said Rep. Paddie. "I look forward to working with my fellow hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in the Legislature to pass this Texas style tax relief measure."

Rep. Paddie is serving his second term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he represents District 9, including Cass, Marion, Harrison, Panola, Shelby, and Sabine Counties.

Rep. Paddie also serves on the House Energy Resources Committee, the Subcommittee on Seismic Activity, the House Land and Resource Management Committee, the Joint Committee on Coastal Barrier Systems and the Select Committee on Healthcare Education and Training.