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January 8, 2020 - State Highway 7 (SH7) just east of the Center Municipal Airport was the scene of a major two-vehicle crash early Wednesday, January 8, 2020 resulting in medical helicopter transport being necessary for some involved.

The Center Fire Department was dispatched to the location at 6:35am for traffic control and when they arrived determined Jaws of Life was necessary to facilitate extrication from a Ford Edge involved in the crash.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jonathan Stinson, a grey 2009 Ford Edge driven by Tiffany Lynne Mayfield, 26, of Joaquin, was westbound on SH7 when she failed to control speed and struck the rear of a maroon 2018 Dodge Ram driven by James Craig Beasley, 50, of Marshall.

The Dodge was stopped for a school bus on the opposite side of the roadway which had been loading passengers. Both vehicles incurred major damage and remained in the middle of both traffic lanes following the collision.

Mayfield and a 2-year-old passenger were life-flighted by helicopter to LSU hospital for treatment of their injuries.

Beasley was not reported to have received injury as a result of the crash.

Mayfield was cited for failure to control speed and child safety belt.

Center Fire Department fire personnel, Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies and Center ISD Police Department personnel directed traffic at the scene of the crash until it was clear. 

January 8, 2020 Lufkin District — Texas Transportation Commissioners recently approved speed limit changes in two counties within the Lufkin District.

Angelina County: The speed limit on FM 1819 from SH 103 to SH 7 was approved for change from 50 miles per hour to 40 mph. 

Sabine County: The speed limit on SH 184 from FM 1 to the City of Hemphill city limits was approved for change from 70 mph to 65 mph. These new speed limits will be enforceable once signs are set. The limits were approved after a speed study and traffic investigation were conducted at each location to determine a safe and reasonable maximum speed. 

Motorists are urged to stay alert for the new signage indicating the speed limits. For more information regarding road conditions and closures statewide. visit drivetexas org For more information regarding this and other Lufkin District projects. contact Rhonda.Oaksl&txdot gov or call (936) 633-4395.

January 5, 2020 - A number of night flying aircraft flew over the Shelby County area Sunday, January 5, 2020 with a number of witnesses. 

Both the Center Police Department and Shelby County Sheriff's Department had several reports of the aircraft. The Center Police Department had one particular report come from the vicinity of Tenaha Street and Hurst Street. 

Shelby County Today witnessed six of the aircraft flying over the vicinity of Loop 500 and State Highway 7 West in Center. A brief video captured several of the aircraft as three were traveling in a north-northwest direction while two appeared to be heading west and a sixth traveled in a more northern direction. It also appeared each of the wings had a white flashing light at the end.

Anyone with knowledge of what the craft may be, and where you may have witnessed them, please share your story with Shelby County Today. 

The video and photos below are from viewers Sandra Olalde and Alvaro Palacios who were traveling on FM 2026 heding into Center when they saw the aircraft at 6:29pm.

January 3, 2020 - U.S. Highway 84 outside of Timpson was the location of a major single-vehicle crash January 1, 2020.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jonathan Stinson, at 10:20am a white 2016 Volvo SUV driven by Jared Wiggins, 22, of Timpson was westbound on U.S. Highway 84 at an unsafe speed. 

Wiggins failed to drive in a single lane and traveled off the westbound shoulder. The Volvo continued westbound and vaulted across a culvert 113 feet and rolled several times before coming to rest against a tree on its right and top.

Wiggins was transported by air support to Trinity Mother Frances, a major trauma center hospital in Tyler, for treatment. He is listed in stable condition.

The crash investigation is pending due to suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

The driver was issued citations for fail to drive in a single lane, unsafe speed and driving while intoxicated 1st offense (pending DWI investigation).

January 1, 2020 - The City of Center Public Water System, PWS #2100001, will be conducting water system maintenance beginning January 1, 2020, and lasting until January 31, 2020. The system will be switching to free chlorine as its main disinfection.

This maintenance which is not a requirement, but is the recommended course of action set by the TCEQ/EPA for the accumulation of disinfection byproducts.

This is a routine maintenance procedure performed to help reduce unstable water conditions in our system and insure the highest quality of water being delivered to our customers.

During this maintenance period you may notice an odor or slight discoloration, but the safety of the water will not be affected. City maintenance crews and the Fire Department will also be aggressively flushing hydrants throughout the City’s distribution system.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our Public Works Department at 936-598-5241.

January 2, 2020 - State Highway 7 in the Aiken Community was the scene of a two-vehicle crash December 28, 2019, which resulted in injury to one driver involved.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, at just before 8pm a silver 2014 GMC pickup truck driven by Freddy Marrero-Cortez, 21, of Center was at the stop sign where CR 1245 meets State Highway 7 (SH7) in the Aiken Community.

Marrero-Cortez failed to yield right of way at the CR 1245 stop sign when entering SH7 in the GMC which then entered the path of and was struck by a red 2000 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Nathan Alan Anding, 43, of Joaquin traveling east. 

The Camaro spun around and came to rest facing west in the outside eastbound traffic lane. The GMC came to rest on the westbound side of the roadway in the shoulder.

Anding was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Marrero-Cortez and his passengers Yesenia Chavez, 21, and a 1-year-old passenger were not reported to have been injured in the incident. 

West Shelby County Volunteer Fire Department firemen, Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies and Constables assisted at the scene.

Pictured are (from left): Roscoe McSwain, Commissioner Precinct 1; Charles Barr, Commissioner Precinct 3; Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1; Allison Harbison, Shelby County Judge; Jimmy Lout, Commissioner Precinct 2; and Tom Bellmyer, Commissioner Precinct 4.

January 2, 2020 - The Shelby County Commissioners met for their first meeting of 2020 at the Shelby County Courthouse January 2, at 9:30am.

During the meeting, a motion carried by the commissioners to approve the bond for newly appointed Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1 (JP1) Donna Hughes.

Additional housekeeping agenda items approved separately by motion include paying weekly expenses and current payroll.

Once all agenda items were considered the meeting was adjourned at 9:34am.

Immediately following the meeting, Hughes was sworn in by Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison to the office of JP1.

Hughes is running for the JP1 office and is unopposed.

Agenda items approved during the meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.

2. Current payroll.

3. JP. 1 Bond.

4. Adjourn at 9:34am.

December 31, 2019 - Shelby County Today offers condolences to the family and friends of the Panola County Sheriff's Deputy killed in the line of duty early Tuesday morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Panola County Sheriff's Department and the deputy's family. The death was reported on The Panola Watchman. To read the story, click here.

December 30, 2019 - Hurst Street at the intersection of Crawford Street in Center was the scene of an auto versus pedestrian incident December 23, 2019. 

According to Center Police Officer Angela Neal, at 1:30pm Charles Standley, 54, of Center was pedaling his bicycle northbound on Hurst Street in the southbound lane. At that time Kenneth Earl Windham, 59, of Center was pulled up to the stop sign in a tan Ford passenger car at Hurst Street and Crawford Street. Windham then turned attempting to enter Hurst Street and the Ford struck the bicycle.

It was determined, the bicycle was traveling the wrong direction in the traffic lane.

Staff members from a neaby medical clinic responded quickly to Standley, who was then lying in the middle of the roadway, and assessed him until an ambulance arrived. EMS personnel moved Standley to the ambulance and he was transported to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for possible injury.

The crash was investigated by Center Police Officer Spencer Anderson and Officer Neal. Center Fire Department personnel and Texas Department of Public Safety assisted at the scene.

December 27, 2019 - The intersection of Louisiana Street and Railroad Avenue was the location of a three-vehicle crash Friday, December 20, 2019.

According to Center Police Officer Brian Wright, at 7:15am a white Suburban driven by Kinequa Humphrey, 33, of Center was traveling northbound on Railroad Avenue when she crossed Louisiana Street. 

A black Dodge Avenger driven by Alfredo Tello, 49, of Center was traveling west on Louisiana Street with a 12-year-old female passenger and collided with the right rear of the Suburban, causing it to spin around and strike a Center ISD school bus that was stopped at the southbound intersection with Railroad Avenue.

The bus was driven by Carroll Miller, 66, of Tenaha with passenger Dwight Preston, III, 57, of Center. 

Humphrey, who was with child, was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for possible injuries. 

No one else involved in the incident was reported to have received injury, and no children were on board the school bus at the time of the incident.