News

May 11, 2020 - Hurst Street at the intrance to Walmart was the scene of a two-vehicle crash Monday, May 11, 2020.

According to Center Police Officer Maegan Wright, a black 2010 Ford Focus driven by Jonathan Windham, 37, of Center was leaving the Walmart parking lot entering Hurst Street. At that time a 1999 tan Cadillac sedan driven by Joel Gilliard, 52, of San Augustine was southbound on Hurst Street.

The Ford failed to yield right of way to the Cadillac and entered Hurst street which caused the vehicles to collide and cause major damage. 

The Cadillac came to rest in the middle of Hurst Street and the Ford remained in the Walmart driveway exit.

Windham and his passenger Jennifer Windham, 39, and a 17-year-old were not reported injured as a result of the crash, while Gilliard and his passengers Meredith McDowell, 20, Crystal Torgerson, 38, a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old were equally not reported to have received injury.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene to remove them from the roadway.

May 11, 2020 - Shelby County Office of Emergency Management was notified by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) of new cases bring the total of cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 to 154. DSHS also reported 32 cases recovered. Only 2 deaths have been reported to Shelby County local officials by DSHS.

The number of cumulative cases include all confirmed cases, recovered cases, and deaths.

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages: (New cases since May 7th report)

Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 110 (6 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 6 (1 new)
Shelbyville (75973) - 9
Tenaha (75974) - 16
Timpson (75975) - 13

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20 - 6 cases
Ages 21 to 40 - 45 cases (1 new)
Ages 41 to 60 - 31 cases (2 new), 1 death
Ages 61 to 80 - 32 cases (1 new), 1 death
Ages 81 to 100 - 7 cases (2 new)
Age unknown - 3 cases

May 11, 2020 - Center Police Officers were alerted to a crash incident just before the intersection of Shelbyville Street and Martin Luther King Drive May 8, 2020.

At the scene it appeared a white Kia crossed Shelbyville Street and struck a speed limit sign where it came to a stop.

A group of bystanders were at the scene with Center Police Officers Robert Lee and Brian Wright as they were investigating the crash. EMS personnel arrived at the scene and after consulting with the apparent driver of the vehicle they departed. 

Officers then took the man into custody and he was transported from the scene in a Center Police Department patrol vehicle.

According to the Shelby County Jail log Casedrick Goodwin, 44, of Center was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated, misdemeanor B; and possession of a controlled substance, fourth degree felony.

May 9, 2020 - FM 139 near CR 2536 was the scene of a crash incident that resulted in the death of a Center man late Friday, May 8, 2020.

According to information released from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), Troopers responded to a one-vehicle crash last night on FM 139, about three tenths of a mile north of County Road 2536. The preliminary crash investigation indicates at approximately 11:15pm, a 2003 Chevrolet SUV driven by Joseph Williams was traveling south on FM 139.

For unknown reasons Williams drove off the roadway to the right and struck a utility pole. After striking the utility pole Williams reportedly exited the vehicle and came into contact with downed power lines due to the crash and was electrocuted.

Williams was pronounced deceased at the scene by a Shelby County Justice of the Peace. No additional information is available at this time.

May 8, 2020 - Swepco crews are gathered on Cora Street near the intersection of Fannin this afternoon. Around 2:15pm crews had four buckets raised to work on the power line.

A power outage affecting part of the City of Center area occurred around 11am this morning. Swepco's outage map shows 2 outage cases causing 945 customers to be out of power. Swepco estimates the power should be restored around 3:30pm.

Use caution if traveling down Louisiana/Cora Street where crews are working.

May 8, 2020 - State Highway 7 (SH7) West at CR 1145 was the scene of a major two-vehicle collision early Friday, May 8, 2020.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Keith Jones, at 6:10am a white 2013 Ford passenger van driven by Amanda Nicole Handy, 47, of Center was westbound on SH 7 just past CR 1145 when she crossed over the center line into the eastbound side of the roadway.

At that time a white 2020 Freightliner truck-tractor semi trailer driven by Christopher Robert Parkerson, 45, of Spring Hill, LA was eastbound when Parkerson took appropriate action trying to avoid the crash. The van struck the right rear quarter of the truck and front right quarter of the trailer, causing major damage.

The 18-wheeler came to rest in the middle of the roadway while the van came to a halt on the eastbound shoulder.

Handy was transported by ambulance to Nacogdoches Medical Center - Shelby Emergency Department for treatment of her injuries. 

She was issued a citation for wrong side of roadway not passing.

During the investigation it was determined the incident was possibly due to a medical issue.

Center Fire Department and West Shelby County Volunteer Fire Department directed traffic at the scene. As of 9am the majority of the roadway was re-opened.

May 7, 2020 - Shelby County Office of Emergency Management was notified by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on May 5th of 3 more positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 and on May 6th DSHS reported 13 more positive cases bringing the total cumulative case count for Shelby County to 147. 

Also on May 5th, DSHS reported 4 cases recovered and on May 6th, 7 more cases were reported as recovered bringing the total of recovered cases to 31.

The number of cumulative cases include all confirmed cases, recovered cases, and deaths.

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages: (New cases since May 4th report)

Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 104 (20 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 5
Shelbyville (75973) - 9 (1 new)
Tenaha (75974) - 16 (4 new)
Timpson (75975) - 13 (2 new)

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20 - 6 case (2 new)
Ages 21 to 40 - 44 cases (9 new)
Ages 41 to 60 - 58 cases (8 new), 1 death
Ages 61 to 80 - 31 cases (4 new), 1 death
Ages 81 to 100 - 5 cases (2 new)
Age unknown - 3 cases

May 6, 2020 - The Shelby County Commissioners' Court met May 6, 2020 in the Community Room of the courthouse and declared May as Elder Abuse Awareness month.

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison read the proclamation aloud for the commissioners.

According to Texas Department of Family and Protective Services there were 135 cases investigated in 2019 in Shelby County and of those cases there were 97 validated victims. Of those victims 68 were 65 and older, 29 were 18-64 years old with disability, 50 were female, 46 were male, 33 were African-American, 58 Anglo, two Hispanic and four were listed as other.

Discussion continued on the parking lot for the Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 and Constable office, and the project has begun, according to Commissioner Charles Barr. The commissioners suggested the possibility of adding drainage gutters to the building.

One item brought up for discussion regarding the weekly expenses was a bill from Lynda K. Russell for legal fees. The bill was for $7,500 and it was determined the expenses were for the Randa and Matthew McMahon civil case. 

Judge Harbison said she spoke with Leann Rafferty, 123rd District Judge, who said the amount was a deal and could easily have been double the amount.

The question came up in court as to whether the criminal case has yet been prosecuted, and it has not as it was most recently scheduled for March 2020.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:25am.

Update: Any first responder or medical personnel can get tested without having ANY symptoms. Just call or register on line for an appointment. The first day of testing had 102 people get tested.


May 2, 2020 - The drive-thru COVID-19 testing site will once again open for Shelby County residents.

These tests site will be open Monday & Tuesday May 4th & 5th. ALL Tests will need to be scheduled in advance and patients will be given appointments for the test.

Please call the call center number 512-883-2400 or visit the web site at https://txcovidtest.org to register.  Again, all testing must be scheduled in advance.

There will be NO costs for the tests at these sites. The test procedure will be a nasal swab.

To be eligible for testing you must have ONE or more symptoms of COVID-19 for testing. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Sore throat
  • Cough (dry or productive)
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea 
  • Body aches/muscle or joint pain
  • Nasal congestion  
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Shortness of breath

The Texas Dept. of State Health Services, Texas Military Department, Texas Division of Emergency Management, and Texas Medical Task Force have partnered to increase the availability of COVID-19 testing in Texas using these mobile testing sites.

Update: The Shelby County Office of Emergency Management received an additional update on confirmed cases today from TxDSHS of 11 more bringing the total to 131 COVID-19 cases in the county.

The statistics for the newly reported cases are 8 new (92 total) in the 75935 zip code, 2 new (13 total) in the 75975 zip code, and 1 new (13 total) in the 75974 zip code. For age groups, the newly added cases were 3 new (5 total) in the ages 1-20 group, 3 new (38 total) in the ages 21-40 group, 3 new (53 total) in the ages 41-60 group, 1 new (28 total) in the 61-80 group, and 1 new (4 total) in the 81-100 group.


May 4, 2020 - Shelby County Office of Emergency Management was notified by Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on April 30th of 3 more positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 and on May 1st, 8 more positive cases bringing the total cumulative case count for Shelby County to 120.

DSHS notified us of 2 more recoveries on May 1st bringing the total recoveries to 20. Also reported to us on May 1st was one more death (*bringing the total of deaths to 2 reported by TxDSHS to the local Emergency Management. The TxDSHS website reports 4 deaths in Shelby County.)

Breakdown of cumulative cases by zip code and ages: (New cases since April 30th report)

Cases in each zip code:

Center (75935) - 84 (7 new)
Joaquin (75954) - 5
Shelbyville (75973) - 8 (1 new)
Tenaha (75974) - 12 (1 new)
Timpson (75975) - 11 (2 new)

Ages of Confirmed Cases:

Ages 1 to 20 - 2 case
Ages 21 to 40 - 35 cases (5 new)
Ages 41 to 60 - 50 cases (4 new), 1 death
Ages 61 to 80 - 27 cases (1 new), 1 death (New)
Ages 81 to 100 - 3 cases
Age unknown - 3 cases

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