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Law Enforcement Respond to Two 9-1-1 Calls in Downtown Center - August 20, 2014

Officers are seen escorting Luis Acuna into a patrol vehicle after he was arrested
on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

Law enforcement officers responded to multiple incidents near the Center Downtown square Tuesday, August 20, 2014.

The first 9-1-1 call was shortly after 10:30am and Center Police Department officers responded to San Augustine Street in front of Pizzeria for an unknown male who had fallen from a ladder. The male was later identified as Kenneth Verner, of Center, a local business man who makes custom signs. It is suspected his fall was the result of a health problem. ACE EMS responded to the scene and transported Verner to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. He was unresponsive at the scene.

Seen above is a handgun that was taken into evidence by officers at the scene where Acuna was arrested.

Later, at 4:15pm, all law enforcement responded to Austin Street near the intersection of Nacogdoches Street concerning a male suspect with a gun who was threatening to commit suicide. Center Police Department officers, Shelby County Sheriff's Department deputies, Texas Department of Public Safety, and District Attorney Investigator Robert Carlsen arrived on scene to find Luis Acuna, age 22, of Center, with a handgun in his possession. He was taken into custody and booked into the Center PD jail for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

A Chevrolet Z71 pickup driven by Luis Acuna was stopped at the red light on Austin Street at the Nacogdoches Street intersection.

CFD Prevents Spread of Fire at Apartment Complex - August 19, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

The Center Fire Department responded to a fire of unknown origin at the Center Place Apartments located on Clifford Street in Center on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 3:35pm.

When the firemen arrived, smoke was billowing from Apartment 16, the residence of Shaquanna Dock,
at the far end of the apartment complex. Residents of other apartments exited from their residences as the fire trucks arrived.

Firemen quickly dressed in their bunker gear and began entering the apartment, as well as ushering occupants from the neighboring apartment to safety.

According to Center Fire Chief Keith Byndom, once inside the residence it was determined that the origin of the smoke was a grease fire in the kitchen. Chief Byndom described some of the damage that was found in the apartment, "Kitchen damage to the vent hood and wall and smoke damage in the apartment."

The firemen ventilated the apartment to push the smoke out. Once that was complete they returned to the fire station.

A resident is seen exiting her apartment with a baby as firemen and apartment complex personnel make certain no one remains inside.



Center Police Department Responds to Reports of Abduction - August 19, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

Law enforcement officers from the Center Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff's Department responded to an abduction call on Monday, August 18, 2014 in Center which began on Tenaha Street.

Once law enforcement officials located the vehicle, Center Police officers immediately detained the driver and interviewed the passenger.

According to information provided by the Center Police Department, on August 18, 2014 at approximately 10:05am the Center Police Department responded to a call of a female subject being forced into a vehicle on Tenaha Street. A witness observed the male subject forcing a female into his vehicle and could hear her screaming.

Officers located the vehicle, a white Cadillac, on Hurst Street and initiated a traffic stop in the Walmart Parking lot. The male suspect was identified as Tom Paul Chandler of Center. The female victim stated to officers, that her boyfriend grabbed her and forced her into the vehicle.

Chandler was arrested for Assault Family Violence and was transported to the Center City Jail. According to the arrest log he was also charged with no driver's license.


SC Commissioners' Court Notice of Public Hearing, Budget and Tax Rate - August 19, 2014

Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing will be conducted by the Governing Body of the Shelby County Commissioners' Court and will be held on the 22nd day of August, 2014 at 9:30am in the Courtroom of the Shelby County Courthouse at 200 San Augustine Street, Center, Shelby County, Texas to deliberate and consider action on the following items:

1. FY 2014-15 Budget
2. FY 2014-15 Tax Rate
3. Adjourn


Elkhart Woman Perishes in Fatal Crash Saturday North of Center - August 16, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford

Update: A GoFundMe account has been setup for the Green Family - Story

A fatal crash occurred on SH 87 North at 2:45pm on Saturday, August 16, 2014 resulting in the death of a 24-year-old woman from Elkhart.

According to the report from the Texas Department of Public Safety, a 2007 Ford Taurus driven by a sixteen-year-old teenager from Shelbyville was traveling south on State Highway 87, 3 miles north of Center, when the vehicle crossed over the center line into oncoming traffic. A 2009 Dodge Durango driven by Christopher Brian Green, age 28, of Elkhart was traveling in the northbound lane and the two vehicles struck head-on causing major damage to both vehicles.

The driver of the Tauras was transported by ACE EMS to Good Shepherd Hospital in Longview in serious condition. Christopher Green was life-flighted to LSU Hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana also in serious condition. A passenger in the Durango, Heather Elaine Green, age 24, of Elkhart perished at the scene from her injuries. An inquest was performed by Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Jim Powers and Heather Green was transported from the scene by Mangum Funeral Home of Center, Texas.

Traffic was blocked while emergency crews worked the scene of the crash. The Center Fire Department assisted at the scene with traffic control and clean up. The Timpson Volunteer Fire Department also assisted with traffic control.

The crash was investigated by Department of Public Safety Trooper, Jade LaVergne and assisted by Troopers Cpl. Jimmy Faulkner, Brent Murray, Jordan Eastridge, and Sgt. Bowen.


Commissioners Approve Proposed Property Tax Rate, No Increase - August 13, 2014
Composed by J.J. Ford

The Shelby County Commissioners' Court approved a proposed property tax rate of $0.600600 per $100 valuation for Shelby County at a special meeting held Wednesday, August 13, 2014. The break down of the proposed property tax rate is calculated as $0.5212 to the General Fund plus $0.0794 to Road and Bridge for a total proposed property tax rate of the $0.600600 per $100.

Debora Riley said, "If y'all are going with last year's (tax rate), it is above the effective rate on both." Since the rate is above the effective tax rate, the Commissioners' Court is required by law to hold two public hearings before the final approval of the rate.

Commissioner Travis Rodgers made a motion to approve the proposed tax rate for General Fund and Road and Bridge, which is above the effective rate, and it was seconded by Commissioner Roscoe McSwain. Before the motion carried, Commissioner Jimmy Lout said, "Now our tax rate will not be going up for this year; is that correct?" Judge Rick Campbell replied, "That is right, it will stay at $0.6006, that is what is in the proposed budget." The motion carried.

According to a public notice issued by Tax Assessor Collector, Debora Riley, a tax rate of $0.600600 per $100 valuation has been proposed by the governing body of Shelby County. The rate exceeds the lower of the effective or rollback tax rate, and state law requires that two public hearings be held by the governing body before adopting the proposed tax rate.

Proposed tax rate - $0.600600 per $100
Preceding year's tax rate - $0.600600 per $100
Effective tax rate - $0.582000 per $100
Rollback tax rate - $0.628500 per $100

The effective tax rate is the total tax rate needed to raise the same amount of property tax revenue for Shelby County from the same properties in both the 2013 tax year and the 2014 tax year.

The rollback tax rate is the highest tax rate that Shelby County may adopt before voters are entitled to petition for an election to limit the rate that may be approved to the rollback rate.

Your taxes owed under any of the above rates can be calculated as follows: property tax amount = (rate) x (taxable value of your property)/100.

For assistance or detailed information about tax calculations, please contact:
Shelby County Tax Assessor Collector
200 San Augustine Street, Center, Texas
Phone: 936-598-4441 or Email: dkriley_shelbyco@yahoo.com

You are urged to attend and express your views at the following public hearings on proposed tax rate:
First Hearing: 08/22/2014 at 9:30am at the Shelby County Courthouse
Second Hearing: 08/25/2014 at 9:30am at the Shelby County Courthouse


Storm Contributes to Car vs. Tree Collision - August 12, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A storm that traveled through various portions of Shelby County contributed to a single-vehicle collision on FM 139 Monday, August 11, 2014. Billy Hearnsberger, Constable Precinct 3, and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) were dispatched to the scene of the crash involving a tree.

Texas DPS State Trooper Daniel Dellenger investigated the crash and according to his report at the scene, at 4:45pm Richard Hallett, 65, of Shelbyville was traveling southbound in a white 1997 Ford Mustang soft top on FM 139 one mile south of County Road 2572. A strong wind was blowing and as Hallett approached a bridge, a large tree fell from the west side of the roadway and landed on the hood of his car.

The tree remained across the roadway on top of the disabled car until the roadway was cleared by neighbors in the area and Constable Hearnsberger. Although the car received major damage, Hallett was uninjured in the incident.


DPS Investigates Sunday Night Crash - August 10, 2014
Composed by Scott Flowers

A single-vehicle crash at 10:45pm on Sunday, August 10, 2014 is under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. When emergency personnel arrived at the scene none of the occupants of the vehicle were present.

According to Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper Jade Lavergne, a green Ford Mustang driven by Chris Waller, 42, with passengers Nicole Deaton, 42, and Torin McSwain, 17, all of Center was traveling northbound on County Road 3046. Deaton was seated in the front passenger seat and McSwain was in the back seat. The Mustang failed to control speed and ran through the intersection with County Road 3505 and into a wooded area where it struck a tree head-on.

Upon examination of the wrecked vehicle, it appeared that someones head had struck the windshield. Authorities began searching for the occupants of the vehicle and following a short search, it was learned that all occupants were transported by private vehicle to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital.

Both passengers were later located by Trooper Lavergne; however, Waller remained missing. He was cited for failure to control speed and failure to report injury or accident.


Suspect Crashes Car; Breaks into Home to Ask for Ride - August 8, 2014
Shelby County Sheriff's Department Press Release

Sheriff Willis Blackwell reports that at approximately 1:50am on Sunday, July 20, 2014, the Shelby County Sheriff's Department was dispatched to a burglary of a habitation call on CR 3126 in Center, Texas. A 911 call was made concerning a suspect who had broken into a residence and gotten a ride to James Grocery Store from a male living at the residence.

Deputies Cody Muse and Micheal Griffin responded along with Center Police Department Officer Steven Thornburgh to the James Grocery Store. Upon arrival the suspect had left the store but was shortly thereafter located on CR 3215 after officers heard a gun shot.

The suspect located was Roshea Deon Rushing, a 34 year old black male of Center. He was found to have in his possession a .22 caliber pistol and small amount of marijuana. Deputies believed the suspect was possibly under the influence of PCP. He was taken into custody and deputies then proceeded to speak to the complainants, Jaime and Tiffany Teodoro.

Upon further investigation, deputies found the suspect had allegedly driven a silver Dodge Sedan through a fence at which time the vehicle became stuck. The suspect then kicked in the door of the Teodoro residence, awoke them, and asked for a ride to James Grocery Store. Jaime Teodoro then drove Rushing to James Grocery Store, dropping him off before returning to his residence.

Roshea Rushing was booked into the Shelby County Jail for Burglary of a Habitation and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a felon. Bond was set by Justice of Peace Pct.3 Margie Anderson at $40,000 for the Burglary of the Habitation and $20,000 for the Possession of Firearm. This case was investigated by Kevin Windham with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.


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