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August 26, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, 12 new cases, 1 new death, and 19 new recoveries were reported Thursday. Estimated active cases lowered to 180.

The new cases pushed August Covid-19 numbers to 287 new cases for the month.

August 26th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 25)
Confirmed Cases - 1,391 (8 new)
Probable Cases - 961 (4 new)
Fatalities - 76 (1 new)
Active Cases (Estimated) - 180
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,097 (19 new)

August 25th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 24)
Confirmed Cases - 1,383 (15 new)
Probable Cases - 957 (2 new)
Fatalities - 75
Active Cases (Estimated) - 187
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,078 (18 new)

August 25, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, 17 new cases and 18 new recoveries were reported Wednesday. Estimated active cases are now 187.

The new cases pushed August Covid-19 numbers to 275 new cases for the month.

August 25th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 24)
Confirmed Cases - 1,383 (15 new)
Probable Cases - 957 (2 new)
Fatalities - 75
Active Cases (Estimated) - 187
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,078 (18 new)

August 24th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 23)
Confirmed Cases - 1,368 (2 new)
Probable Cases - 955 (7 new)
Fatalities - 75
Active Cases (Estimated) - 188
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,060 (7 new)

August 25, 2021 - Martinsville ISD posted a temporary closure notice on their Facebook page Wednesday evening and linked to a letter to MISD Families and Staff.

The letter began, "Due to the increased trend of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 and individuals with COVID-19 symptoms and out of an abundance of caution to break the incubation cycle of the virus, Martinsville ISD will be closed beginning IMMEDIATELY and extending through the Labor Day Holiday on Monday, September 6, 2021. This will include ALL extra-curricular events and practices. This will allow us to deep-clean the campus while we are closed and to be sure that individuals infected with the virus are not on campus when they are contagious. School will resume on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. We believe this action to be in the best interest and safety of our faculty, staff, and students, which is our top priority."

To view the full letter, click here.

August 25, 2021 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) would like to report the arrest of Justin Earl Bennett. Bennett was being sought by authorities for Murder (F-1) in regards to a homicide that occurred Saturday, August 21, 2021 in Center which claimed the life of 42 year-old Delvin Deon Bailey.

At 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 25, Bennett entered the lobby of the SCSO and turned himself in to authorities without incident.

(Update): Bond has been set for Bennett at $1,000,000 per Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1. According to the Shelby County Jail, Bennett also has a violation of probation - flight or escape and has no bond on that charge.

The SCSO is very grateful for this outcome. First and foremost, we extend our gratitude to the community for all the tips, leads and information that poured in concerning this situation. Thank you, Shelby County District Attorney Karren Price, for your diligence and assistance to our needs during this time. Thank you to the Center Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, and the U.S. Marshals for your dedication to our office. Thank you for assisting us with our every need and your willingness to go the extra mile when requested.

We are thankful that this situation has come to a close in the safest manner possible.

To the family and friends of Deon Bailey, you are and will remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Leah Chase, SCSO Public Relations

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August 24, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, 9 new cases and 7 new recoveries were reported today. The active cases went up to 188.

The new cases pushed August Covid-19 numbers to 258 new cases for the month.

August 24th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 23)
Confirmed Cases - 1,368 (2 new)
Probable Cases - 955 (7 new)
Fatalities - 75
Active Cases (Estimated) - 188
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,060 (7 new)

August 23rd Numbers: (changes since Aug. 22)
Confirmed Cases - 1,366 (6 new)
Probable Cases - 948
Fatalities - 75
Active Cases (Estimated) - 186
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,053 (1 new)

August 23, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, since Friday 1 new death, 29 new cases and 14 new recoveries were reported today. The active cases went up to 186.

The new cases pushed August Covid-19 numbers to 249 new cases for the month.

August 23rd Numbers: (changes since Aug. 22)
Confirmed Cases - 1,366 (6 new)
Probable Cases - 948
Fatalities - 75
Active Cases (Estimated) - 186
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,053 (1 new)

August 22nd Numbers: (changes since Aug. 21)
Confirmed Cases - 1,360 (6 new)
Probable Cases - 948 (9 new)
Fatalities - 75 (1 new)
Active Cases (Estimated) - 182
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,052 (7 new)

August 21st Numbers: (changes since Aug. 20)
Confirmed Cases - 1,354 (3 new)
Probable Cases - 939 (5 new)
Fatalities - 74
Active Cases (Estimated) - 174
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,045 (6 new)

August 20th Numbers:
Confirmed Cases - 1,351
Probable Cases - 934
Fatalities - 74
Active Cases (Estimated) - 172
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,039

August 23, 2021 - The intersection of SL 500 and State Highway 7 (SH7) East was the scene of a major two-vehicle crash Friday, August 20, 2021.

When officers arrived at the scene, a truck hauling a trailer was flipped over in the middle of the roadway and a passenger car involved also remained in the middle of the road.

According to Center Police Officer Kevin Sage, a black 2021 Ford Super Duty F-350 driven by Ryan Hunt, 34, of Huntington was westbound on SH7 hauling a flatbed trailer, and was preparing to turn left on SL 500. At that time a silver 2008 Pontiac G6 driven by Martin Leon, 26, of Timpson was eastbound. 

The Ford turned left on SL 500 in front of the Pontiac, failing to yield right of way, which subsequently struck the Ford on the passenger side with the front right quarter panel of the Pontiac. The Ford rolled over in the roadway and came to rest on its top, and on top of a stop sign, facing west. The Pontiac remained in the roadway where the collision occured, facing east.

Leon was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for medical treatment.

At 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 25, Bennett entered the lobby of the SCSO and turned himself in to authorities without incident.


August 23, 2021 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is actively investigating a homicide that occurred Saturday, August 21 on County Road 2225 in Center.

According to Sheriff Kevin W. Windham, deputies responded to the scene at approximately 10:40 p.m. in reference to a disturbance that involved gunshots. Once on scene, deputies discovered that 41 year-old Delvin Deon Bailey, of Center, had been fatally wounded.

Investigation into the disturbance revealed that earlier in the evening, Bailey and 41 year-old Justin Earl Bennett, of Center, had gotten into a physical altercation at a party that took place on CR 2225. Witnesses stated that Bennett left the location, only to return approximately an hour later, and the two began fighting again. Witnesses stated that during the fight, Bennett allegedly fatally shot Bailey and fled the scene in a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu. The vehicle has since been recovered. 

A warrant has been issued for Bennett for Murder (F-1). Bennett is described as black male, 5’9” and weighs approximately 210 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Bennett has tattoos on both forearms, scars on his left arm and left calf.

Anyone with information on Bennett’s whereabouts is urged to contact the SCSO at 936-598-5601, or by calling 9-1-1. Bennett is considered armed and dangerous, do not approach him.

If anyone is found to be hindering the apprehension, harboring or concealing, providing or aiding with any means of avoiding arrest or effecting escape, or warns Bennett of impending discovery or apprehension, will be arrested and charged in accordance to Penal Code 38.05 Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, a Felony 3 offense.

The SCSO extends our sympathy to the family of Deon Bailey.

Leah Chase, SCSO Public Relations

At 8:40 a.m. Wednesday, August 25, Bennett entered the lobby of the SCSO and turned himself in to authorities without incident.


August 23, 2021 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is actively investigating a homicide that occurred Saturday, August 21 on County Road 2225 in Center.

August 22, 2021 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) is actively seeking the whereabouts of Justin Earl Bennett. According to a press release issued by the agency, Bennett is described as a 41-year-old black male, 5’9”, 210 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Bennett has tattoos on both forearms, scars on his left arm and left calf. Bennett is wanted for Murder (F-1) out of Shelby County.

Bennett is considered Armed and Dangerous.  

Anyone with information on Bennett’s whereabouts is Urged to contact the SCSO by calling 936.598.5601. If the vehicle or the subject is spotted, Do Not Approach. Call 9-1-1.



Sheriff Kevin Windham is seen above (in the cowboy hat) conferring with officers.

August 22, 2021 - The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department is investigating a shooting death which took place on a new feed mill road which connects to Loop 500 Saturday evening, August 21.

Shelby County Sheriff Kevin Windham confirms, a trail ride event was ongoing when two men had an altercation, which resulted in the death of one, and the other to flee.

Deputies responded to the scene at approximately 10:40pm in reference to a disturbance that involved gunshots. Once on scene, deputies discovered that 41-year-old Delvin Deon Bailey, of Center, had been fatally wounded.

As of 1am, a suspect was being sought.


Shelby County Sheriff's Investigators are seen above with Chief Deputy Ruth Gonzales.

After the first incident occurred, a stabbing was reported on McCowan Street in Center, and a victim in that incident was life-flighted by helicopter from the Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department.

A suspect is also being sought in the McCowan Street stabbing.


Center Police Department Detective Bobby Walker, is seen with Officers Mandy Fears and John Clevenger.

Community Funeral Home transported the deceased man from the first scene and he was pronounced deceased by Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1.

Center Fire Department personnel were called to both scenes to assist with crowd control, if necessary.

Texas Game Warden’s Sam Anderson and Austin Cryer were on scene to assist, as well as Constables Josh Tipton and Roy Cheatwood.

Both investigations continue by the agencies involved, and additional details are pending.


Detective Walker and Cpl. Steve Thornburgh search nearby for evidence of the McCowan Street incident.

August 20, 2021 - According to the Texas DSHS Covid-19 Dashboard, 13 new cases were reported on Friday. The new active cases decreased to 172 due to 14 new recoveries.

The new cases pushed August Covid-19 numbers to 217 new cases.

August 20th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 19)
Confirmed Cases - 1,351 (5 new)
Probable Cases - 934 (8 new)
Fatalities - 74
Active Cases (Estimated) - 172
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,039 (14 new)

August 19th Numbers: (changes since Aug. 18)
Confirmed Cases - 1,346 (12 new)
Probable Cases - 926 (7 new)
Fatalities - 74
Active Cases (Estimated) - 173
Recovered (Estimated) - 2,025 (16 new)

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