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June 4, 2019 Lufkin - Texas transportation commissioners last week approved more than $592.8 million in highway construction projects, with more than $3 million approved for the Lufkin District.

Improvements to crossovers on various divided highways in the Lufkin District were approved for a $1.4 million safety highway improvement project that will include upgrading signing and striping. Striping Technology LP, Tyler, TX, will serve as contractor for the project. No timeline for completion has been set.

US 84 from just east of LP 157 in Tenaha to Morris Creek in Shelby County and SH 94 from Herndon Street to BU 59 (Timberland Drive) in Angelina County were approved for a $1.3 million project that will include resurfacing the roadway. Moore Brothers Construction Company, Lufkin TX, will serve as contractor for the project. No timeline for completion has been set.

US 96 at McKim Creek in Sabine County and FM 139 at Tenaha Bayou in Shelby County were approved for a $260,935 bridge maintenance project. FNH Construction LLC, Farmers Branch, TX, will serve as contractor for the project. No timeline for completion has been set.

As these projects begin, motorists are asked to stay alert and respect the work zones. Reduce speed and prepare for intermittent delays as work progresses.

For more information about road closures and conditions statewide, visit For more information on Lufkin District projects, contact or (936) 633-4395.

June 4, 2019 - A car came crashing through a brick wall early Saturday, June 1, 2019, causing major damage to the vehicle and the wall.

At the time emergency personnel arrived no one was in the car, and a search began for anyone that had been inside.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Dustin Ramos, at 3:15am Troopers were dispatched to the location along with the Center Police Department and Center Fire Department to the 3000 block of U.S. Highway 96 North. 

Upon arrival, it was discovered the driver had fled the scene after striking a wall belonging to Jim Donnan. As of the time the scene was clear the driver was still missing. 

The owner of the vehicle arrived at the location of the crash incident; however, she was not aware of the location of the driver at that time.

June 3, 2019 - US Highway 96 North just inside the city limits of Center was the scene of a vehicle versus pedestrian incident in the middle of a construction zone in front of a fuel station.

According to Center Police Officer Brian Wright, at 11:45am a white International truck hauling water driven by Joe Ray Williamson, 52, of Lufkin was backing up spraying water over freshly paved roadway on U.S. 96. 

At that time another laborer Damarius Penson, 26, of Houston was walking behind the truck keeping oncoming traffic from traveling into the truck's lane. Williamson could not see Penson had stopped and that's when the International struck Penson.

Law enforcement and additional emergency units were alerted to the incident and while EMS were treating Penson, Center Fire Department firemen were assisting. Center Police Officers began investigating the incident and were assisted by Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety.

Penson was transported from the scene by ambulance and was then life-flighted by helicopter to a hospital in Shreveport for treatment of unknown injuries.

While Center Police Officers were investigating, several laborers appeared to be arguing with the officers and one eventually taken into custody and transported to the police department.

June 3, 2019 - At 9:30 pm Sunday evening, The Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department, along with Desoto Fire District #1, was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 500 block of FM 3174.

First arriving units found heavy fire showing from the front and back of a double wide mobile home.

It took about 15 minutes for crews to make a knockdown on the blaze, but units remained on scene for several hours searching for and extinguishing hot spots. 

June 3, 2019 - A Presidential Proclamation has been issued that flags should be flown at half staff until sunset, tomorrow, June 4, 2019 in honor of the Virginia Beach, Virginia shooting victims.
Read proclamation by clicking here.

May 31, 2019 - Weather statistics for May, 2019 are prepared and submitted by Ann Forbes, U.S. Weather Service Observer.
Highest Temp was 93 degrees on 5-20-2019
Highest Temp on Record was 100 degrees on 5-21-1943
Lowest Temp was 55 degrees on 5-14-2019
Lowest Temp on Record was 40 degrees on 5-05-1992, 5-01-1996 & 5-04-2013
Rainfall Recorded was 9.83 inches
Average Monthly Rainfall is 4.47 inches
Above Average by 5.36 inches
Highest Recorded for this Month was 16.50 inches in 1953
Lowest Recorded for this Month was 0.10 inches in 1998
Typo in last month's report at the end of April, Rainfall was 19.03 & not 19.10 inches.
Rainfall through May, 2019 is 28.86 inches
400 tornadoes and flooding have been reported by the news media across our nation in the last two weeks!  
Hopefully, this does not mean we will have more hurricanes than normal. 
Just be aware and keep your eyes on the weather when you are out and about - Be Safe and not Sorry!!! 

Click here for full weather report.

May 31, 2019 - FM 414 was the scene of a single-vehicle rollover crash Friday, May 31, 2019. 

First responders were dispatched to the location around 9:15am as occupants of the vehicle remained trapped inside. While Center Fire Department firemen were en-route. According to witnesses on scene, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) State Trooper Taylor Buster was able to break the rear window and free those inside.

According to Texas DPS State Trooper Taylor Buster, a black 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Karen Walters, 21, of Center and a 2-year-old passenger was westbound on FM 414 when she swerved to miss a dog in the roadway.

The Tahoe traveled off the road to the right and rolled several times before coming to rest on its passenger side nextr to a tree.

An ambulance also responded to the scene; however, no injuries were reported resulting from the crash.

No citations were issued at the time of the incident.

May 30, 2019 - The Jury that was summoned for Monday, June 3, 2019, for the 273rd District Court, Honorable James A. Payne, Jr. presiding, has been cancelled. 

All cases scheduled have been resolved or passed. 

Anyone receiving a jury summons for this day is released until the receive a future summons. 

Thank you.

Lori Oliver
District Clerk

May 30, 2019 - (Update): Commissioner Bellmyer announces as of 4:17pm, Thursday CR 4020 has been re-opened for general use.

May 30, 2019 - Precinct 4 Commissioner Tom Bellmyer reports the bridge on CR 4020 which is approximately 1.25 miles off of Hwy 87 is temporarily closed for repairs. The bridge is broke down and repairs are currently being made.

Bellmyer said he hopes to have repairs completed and the bridge open by this Saturday.

Anyone located on the south side of the bridge can have access by detouring using CR 4088 which is off of FM 415.

May 30, 2019 - The West Shelby Volunteer Fire Department responded to a hay roll on fire in a hay meadow Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 6:26pm on County Road 1171 with a tanker truck and two grass trucks.

A faulty bearing on the baler was the cause of the fire. Dustin Hughes contained the fire until the fire department arrived and then he used the forks on the tractor to unroll the hay while the fire department saturated the hay with water. Frankie Anthony, a neighbor near the property, finished rolling the remaining hay with his baler.

The fire department finished and was back in service at 7:20pm.