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Center City Council Meeting Agenda (June 8, 2020)


City of Tenaha Council Meeting (May 26, 2020)

Notice is hereby given that a Regular Meeting of the Governing body of the City of Tenaha will be held May 26, 2020 at 5:30pm in the Council Room of the City of Tenaha at 238 North George Bowers Drive, Tenaha, Texas 75974 to deliberate and consider action on the following items. 


1. Call to Order---Welcome, Prayer and Pledge

2. Roll Call to Establish a Quorum

3. Public Comment(s)

4. Reports from the Department Heads.

5. Discuss and Consider for Approval the April 2020 Meeting Minutes.

6. Discuss and Consider for Approval the April 2020 Financials.

7. Discuss and Consider for Approval making changes to the Cellular One Contract.

8. Discuss the signs for City parks. 

9. Discuss the Engine Brake Ordinance. 


10. Discuss and Consider for Approval weather to allow the Tenaha Businessmen’s Club and American Legion Post 5 to hold a Fourth of July Celebration at the Tenaha High School or not due to Covid-19 and large crowd gatherings/ social distancing. 


11. Discuss and Consider for Approval the opening of the city office due to COVID-19


12. Discuss and Consider for Approval the Backhoe Repair and/or use or sale of the Police Department Backhoe. 



Recess into executive session pursuant to Chapter 551, Subchapter D of the Texas

Government Code:



To deliberate the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline,

or dismissal of a public officer or employee:


Reconvene into open session and take any action necessary because of the Executive Session.


14.  Provide Official Statement of Elected Officer and Oath of Office to candidates (Secretary of State Forms 2201 and 2204).

15. Comments by the Council

16. Adjournment 


I certify that the above was posted on the front door of the Tenaha City Hall at 238 North George Bowers Drive Tenaha Texas at 4:00 pm Friday May 22, 2020 for public viewing 72 hours prior to 5:30 pm May 26, 2020. Emailed to the Light and Champion, Shelby County Today and East Texas Press.


Amanda Treat

City Secretary



City of Joaquin Council Meeting (Tuesday, May 19th)


Center City Council Meeting Agenda (May 11, 2020)

For packet click here.


New SFA graduate program trains educators to be athletic directors

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — A new concentration available through Stephen F. Austin State University’s Master of Education in educational leadership prepares students to become leaders in the field of public-school athletic administration.


Beginning this fall, the James I. Perkins College of Education at SFA is offering an athletic director concentration that provides the needed skills and knowledge to effectively supervise both coaches and student-athletes.


“The Master of Education in educational leadership program at SFA has a rich history of preparing effective and capable school leaders who influence the educational setting and focus on instruction for student success, but the addition of a program specifically for future athletic directors is a new one,” said Dr. Barbara Qualls, director of SFA’s educational leadership program.


“Students are already enrolling in a cohort for this new program,” she added.


Through this 30-hour, completely online program, students can earn an educational leadership master’s degree, develop athletic administration skills and meet many of the requirements for eventual principal certification, all while remaining fully employed.


“In each course, a field-based component connects the university coursework with transformative leadership experiences in the school setting,” Qualls said. “The students complete assigned and creative experiences that directly apply to each course and comply with the Texas core competencies for administrators and Educational Leadership Constituent Council standards.”


Scholarships are available for the program.


For more information, email Qualls at




By Jo Gilmore, marketing communications specialist at Stephen F. Austin State University.


SFA biology students take first place in undergraduate poster presentation at ecological symposium

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Two students from Stephen F. Austin State University’s Department of Biology recently placed first for the best undergraduate poster presentation at Texas A&M’s Ecological Integration Symposium.


Jordan Griffin of Chandler and Zachary Hutchens of Nacogdoches virtually presented their poster “Distribution of the non-native Sheepshead Minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus) in the Brazos River, Texas: Implications for niche overlap with its native congener Red River Pupfish (Cyprinodon rubrofluviatilis).”


“This project was my first real opportunity to work with real data in a lab setting,” said Hutchens, a sophomore biology major. “I learned a lot about research techniques and how formal research is conducted. Our data was all the more relevant for conservation when the Red River Pupfish was recently classified as threatened in Texas.”


The presentation investigated the abundance of the Sheepshead Minnow, which is invasive to the Brazos River system, its similarities to the native Red River Pupfish and its ecological consequences.


“As faculty and a mentor, I am proud of our students,” said Dr. Carmen Montaña-Schalk, assistant professor of biology. “They work very hard in the lab and field settings to increase involvement with scientific research. Their participation in these local and regional meetings allows them to grow as scientists.”


The symposium gave students a platform to showcase their research and engage in meaningful dialogue with a diverse group of scientists and undergraduate and graduate students from the fields of ecology, evolutionary ecology and conservation, Montaña-Schalk said.


“I am delighted that SFA students majoring in biology continue to be recognized for the rigor of their research projects and their ability to effectively communicate novel outcomes in the biological sciences,” said Dr. Stephen Mullin, professor and chair of the Department of Biology.


To learn more about the Department of Biology, visit




By Joanna Armstrong, marketing communications specialist for Stephen F. Austin State University.


Shelby County Commissioners' Court Meeting Agenda (March 18, 2020)

Notice is hereby given that a Special meeting of the Governing body of the Shelby County Commissioners’ Court will be held on the 18th day of March, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. 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.  Approve and pay weekly expenses.


  1. Approve Current payroll.


  1. Public comments on Agenda item.


  1. Approve Taylor Fanguy Constable 4 Bond.


  1. Discuss and possibly approve rental space for Justice of the Peace and Constable for Precinct 3.


  1. Adjourn.


City Council of Joaquin Meeting Agenda (Tuesday March 17, 2020)


Center Garden Club Announces Plant Sale, April 3rd

The Center Garden Club is hosting a Plant Sale on Friday, April 3 on the historic courthouse square across the street from Center Floral near the DRT building.  The sale will begin at 8:00 am and end at 1:00 pm unless sold out earlier.  Many varieties of plants will be available at very attractive prices, from old pass-along plants and your grandmother’s old garden favorites to some of the newest and most exotic varieties on the market.  Be sure to arrive early for the best selection.


Those of us to live in East Texas are blessed with a large variety of plants to choose from when planning our gardens or landscapes.  Our native plants have adapted to the climate, geography, and habitat.  They are generally hardy and do not require much attention.  Many of them attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators essential to our ecosystem and offer food and shelter for our wildlife.


CGC welcomes new members. The club meets at noon on the second Wednesday of each month September through May.  Anyone interested in joining this group of plant-lovers is invited to come by and visit with us during the club’s once-a-year sale. Remember to mark your calendar for the morning of April the third!


James Antioch Community Meeting Cancellation

The James Antioch Community will not have their regular meeting this month.  There will be no meeting on March 21, 2020, at the James Antioch Community Building.


Ellen Manning  298-3081


2020 Shelby County Livestock Show Results


Center City Council Meeting Agenda (March 9, 2020)


SFA School of Music to host Oboe Day events

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will host Oboe Day Saturday, March 21, featuring a full day of events that culminate in a guest artist recital.


Coordinated by Dr. Abby Yeakle Held, oboe faculty in the School of Music, with Dr. Meridith Hite Estevez, adjunct professor of oboe at the  University of Deleware, as clinician, the free all-day event for collegiate and pre-college oboists will include high school and university master classes, a reed-making session, an Oboe Band performance by participants and a recital that showcases Estevez.


Oboe Day is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the recital beginning at 4 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall. Admission is free. Participants may register by email:


Featured works on the recital are inspired by works of art. Estevez will perform selections from Gilles Silvestrini’s “Six Études pour Hautbois,” which was inspired by impressionist paintings and artists. The Silvestrini etudes consist of six movements for unaccompanied oboe that can stand alone, be played in sets, or even performed in entirety, Held explained.


“The music for each movement was inspired by a different impressionist painting and musically depicts the imagery for the listener,” she said. “The Silvestrini is considered to be one of the most technically demanding works in the oboe’s repertoire.”


The recital will also include a piece performed by Held and a piece performed by the Oboe Band, comprised of Oboe Day participants.


Estevez has performed and taught throughout North and South America, Asia and Europe. Currently on faculty at University of Delaware, she is an active freelancer and sought-after recitalist. Orchestrally, she is the English hornist for the Chamber Orchestra of New York, and has also performed with PhillyPOPS, OperaDelaware, New York City’s Metropolitan Opera  and American Symphony as well as innovative shows with cutting-edge groups like Experiential Orchestra. Her worldwide education includes Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Yale School of Music, Fulbright Scholar to Germany and The Juilliard School where she received her doctorate in oboe. As director of Lumina Arts Incubator, a ministry of Grace United Methodist Church in Wilmington, Delaware, Estevez works with artists of all disciplines who struggle with creative block and are interested in exploring the intersection between creativity and spirituality.


Oboe Day is sponsored by David DeLoach.


For more information, contact Held at


Cutline: Dr. Meridith Hite Estevez


Cutline: Dr. Abby Yeakle Held




Shelby County Commissioners' Court Agenda (March 4, 2020)



Center ISD Public Hearing To Present Texas Academic Performance Report

Center, Texas – March 2, 2020 - Center Independent School District Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on Thursday, March 12th beginning at 12:00 p.m. to explain the annual Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR). 


The public hearing will be held in the Boardroom located in the CISD Administration Building at 107 Private Road 605 in Center, Texas.  


The annual report, which is required by the Texas Education Code, requires each school district to publish an annual report describing the educational performance of the district that includes uniform student performance and other descriptive information as determined by the Commissioner. 


The TAPR will be posted on the District’s website ( by March 30, 2020.



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OMA to host fourth annual Women's Empowerment Summit

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — A wide range of topics concerning women in leadership, health and wellness, and other women’s issues will be discussed during the fourth annual Women’s Empowerment Summit, hosted by Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs March 20 in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Twilight Ballroom.


Veronica Beavers, OMA director, is excited to host an event that empowers women and educates the community on issues women face every day.


“During this summit, we want attendees to connect with others who are striving to make an impact, learn professional development skills, discuss the issues women are facing today, learn tips on improving personal wellness and much more,” Beavers said. “Regardless of gender, I believe everyone can benefit from the summit.”


Elena Freeman will kick off the summit as the opening speaker. A mentor, preacher/teacher and leader, Freeman can discuss myriad topics, such as practical life skills, student programming, public speaking, missions, conflict resolution, sex education, parenting and more. Freeman serves as an advocate for community youth programs, safe houses, shelters, prisons and organizations.


The luncheon speaker will be Valerie Henderson, area vice president at SHI, the largest female minority-owned business in the U.S. SHI is a technology consulting firm that employs more than 4,000.


Ebony Smith will close the summit. She is the founder of Yoga N Da Hood, a fast-growing nonprofit dedicated to making wellness accessible to everyone. Smith has taught yoga and mindfulness throughout the world and is an experienced speaker.


Event check in starts at 8:30 a.m. The opening keynote presentation will begin at 9 a.m. followed by a breakout session at 10 a.m. The lunch keynote will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and will be followed by two more breakout sessions. The closing speaker session will begin at 2:30 p.m. Breakout session presenters are a mix of faculty, staff and community members.


The event is free and open to the public. Lunch is provided to all who pre-register. Registration is available at The deadline to register is March 13.


For more information, contact the OMA at (936) 468-1073 or




City of Tenaha City Council Meeting ( February 24, 2020)

Notice is hereby given that the Regular Called meeting of the governing body of the City of Tenaha will be held on Monday, February 24, 2020 @ 5:30 PM in the City Council Meeting Room located at 238 N. George Bowers Drive in Tenaha, Texas.  If while in the meeting, any discussion on items on the Agenda should be held in executive session, the Council will convene in accordance with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Government Code Section 551.101.

Order of Business:

  1. Call to Order 

  2. Welcome/Prayer/Pledge

  3. Roll Call and Establish a quorum

  4. Public Comments (Must sign in prior to call to order and limited to 3 minutes) 

  5. Department Head Reports:

  6. Presentation from Axel & Rode for the 2018 Audit Presentation. Discuss and Consider Approving the 2018 Audit. ACTION ITEM

  7. Discuss and Consider Axel & Rode to conduct the 2019 Audit. ACTION ITEM

  8. Discuss and Consider Approving January 2020 City Council Meeting Minutes. ACTION ITEM

  9. Discuss and Consider Approving January 2020 Financials. ACTION ITEM

  10. Discuss and Consider Accepting the Certification of Unopposed Candidates (SOS FORM AW12-1). ACTION ITEM

  11. Discuss and Consider Approving Board Resolution to become a member of The Local Government Purchasing Cooperative. ACTION ITEM

  12. Discuss and Consider Approving the 2020 Investment Policy. ACTION ITEM

  13. Discuss and Consider Approving Cleanup & Restoration of the City Hall Building due to Slab Leak and Flooding by Servpro. ACTION ITEM

  14. Council Comments 

  15. Adjourn

I certify that the above was posted on the front door of the Tenaha City Hall at 238 North George Bowers Drive Tenaha Texas at 4:00 pm Friday January 24, 2020 for public viewing 72 hours prior to 5:30 pm January 27, 2020.  Emailed to the Light and Champion, Shelby County Today and East Texas Press.


Amanda Treat

City Secretary



Panola College Offers Zumba and Yoga Classes




Center City Council Meeting Agenda (February 24, 2020)


Shelby County Commissioners' Court Special Meeting Agenda

Notice is hereby given that a Special meeting of the Governing body of the Shelby County Commissioners’ Court will be held on the 26th day of February, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. 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.  Approve and pay weekly expenses.


  1. Public comments on Agenda item.


  1.  Tyson Representative, Bob Chavis to update the Court of the Tyson Mill Project.


  1. Discuss and possibly take action on selling the Old Shelby General Hospital Property.


  1. Adjourn.


SFA jazz bands to perform big band favorites

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The big band sounds of jazz greats like the Count Basie Orchestra and composer and arranger Sammy Nestico will be performed by the jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.


Directed by Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone at SFA, and Dr. J.D. Salas, associate professor of tuba and euphonium studies, the Swingin’ Axes and the Swingin’ Aces student ensembles have planned “an exciting concert of classic big band compositions,” according to Scott.


The Swingin’ Axes will perform, in University of North Texas’ famous One O’Clock Lab Band style, Mike Bogle’s Grammy-nominated arrangement of Chick Corea’s “Got a Match?” It will feature Felipe Hernandez of Lufkin on lead alto saxophone.


Students Kevin Thomas of Houston, tenor sax, and Sterling Davis of Cambridge, Ohio, trombone, will be featured on Nestico’s “Tall Cotton,” made famous by the Count Basie Big Band. “Tickle Toe” by Lester Young will be performed like the rendition made famous by Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass. From the Stan Kenton tradition, Marty Paich’s arrangement of “My Old Flame” will feature Jacob Kilford of New Braunfels on alto saxophone and Travis Wattigney of Fort Worth on trumpet.


Also performed from the current big band repertoire will be “Bodysnatchers” composed by Radiohead and arranged by Fred Sturm.


The Swingin’ Aces will perform Nestico’s arrangement of “Splanky,” Dave Wolpe’s arrangement of “A Foggy Day” and close their portion of the concert with Japanese composer Yoko Kanno’s “Tank!” Many will recognize the work as the opening theme to the late 1990s anime show “Cowboy Bebop.”


Concert tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit




Stanley Fletcher Recounts the History of the Neutral Zone for TAGHS

East Texas residents are familiar with border towns and their frequently unsavory reputation by virtue of Texas' border with Mexico. However, many residents of East Texas and Western Louisiana forget that the Sabine River was once the border between the United States and Mexico and this area was a dangerous place to live. 

Historian Stanley Fletcher of Leesville, Louisiana has studied the period and shared some interesting and little known facts about our area's past with members at the February 19th monthly meeting of the Timpson Area Genealogical and Heritage Society. In a talk entitled “Inlaws and Outlaws of West Louisiana and East Texas” , Mr. Fletcher opened his remarks by saying the reason for the title was that “the Twenty Percenters at the top of the society married other Twenty Percenters”, therefore the same family names crop up in the history of the area, sometimes on either side of the law.” 

With the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, this area became the border between the two nations. The boundary was somewhat ill defined, a fact that was recognized by the establishment of the Sabine Free State of “Neutral Zone” between the Sabine River on the west and Arroyo Hondo, Coshatta Creek, and Rio Hondo on the east. Mexico and the United States agreed that neither county would take any unilateral action in this area. This left law enforcement up to the residents of the Neutral Zone and the law's somewhat sporadic and uneven enforcement made the area attractive to bandits and outlaws, Fletcher said. 

There was an influx of this societal element into the Neutral Zone after 1821, when the first steamboats began operating on the Mississippi River. “Prior to the advent of Mississippi steamboats” Fletcher explained, “ traders who had traveled down the Mississippi with their goods to sell in New Orleans, had to travel by land up the Nachez Trace to return home.” Bandits preyed on these travelers for the money they had made in New Orleans. “With the steamboats came the ability for traders to return home by the same route they had come down and to avoid the dangerous Nachez Trace.” The bandits had to look elsewhere for a suitable enviornment and the Neutral Zone attracted many of them, including the notorious John A. Murrell, also know as “Reverend Devil” and “The Great Western Land Pirate”, and his gang. 

While a great many persons who sought to avoid encounters with the law came to the Neutral Zone, the notion that the area was entirely lawless is erroneous, Fletcher shared. In a portion of his talk he calls “Lies My Teacher Told Me” Mr. Fletcher revealed that 280 “lawful” families lived in the Neutral Zone. In addition, he said, in 1812 both Zebulon Pike and Mexican authorities made patrols through the zone, with another such patrol being made in 1816. Finally, Fletcher said that the idea that the area was entirely wilderness is wrong. “The area had developed “communities” along Nolan's Trace, El Camino Real, and the Coshatta Cattle Trail,” he said. Still, day-to-day law enforcement was done by a group vigilantes know as the Regulators. “The Regulators were organized to stop cattle rustling, land swindling, business frauds, and other crimes.” Law enforcement by the Regulators was often questionable and frequently self-serving. Eventually enough citizens felt that the Regulators were more of a problem than a solution and the Moderators were formed to police the Regulators. Members of both groups could occasionally be found on the wrong side of the law and the “bitterness spilled over into East Texas after 1821, when the U.S. Government took over the Neutral Zone”. 

The conflict between the Regulators and the Moderators degenerated into open warfare between 1839 and 1844 in Shelby and Harrison Counties of Texas. Now known as the Regulator-Moderator War, the conflict resulted in 52 deaths and finally ended in 1846 with the coming the Mexican War. 

The Timpson Area Genealogical Society meets at 2PM on the third Wednesday of each month in the meeting room of the Timpson Public Library on the corner of Austin and Bremond Streets in downtown Timpson. The TAGHS library is located within the Timpson Public Library and is open and staffed from 9AM until 5PM weekdays. Telephone 936-254-2966 and ask for the Genealogical Library. 


Center City Council Meeting Agenda


Christian Gives Keynote Address at World Oil Forecast Breakfast

AUSTIN - Today, Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian gave the keynote address at the 94th Annual World Oil Forecast Breakfast.


"The United States is the top producer of oil and gas in the world, and Texas is the top producer and exporter in the nation," said Christian. "While short-term we have seen a slight decline in growth, the industry still managed to produce a record 1.8 billion barrels of oil and 10.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in 2019.


This growth is not temporary, as Texas is blessed with tremendous reserves, including the largest find in the history of the world. The United States Geologic Survey assessed a recent discovery in the Permian Basin to be 46 billion barrels of oil and according to RS Energy Group, it could be as large as 230 billion barrels. To put this in perspective, proven oil reserves in the U.S. from Alaska to Brownsville were estimated to be 36.4 billion barrels in 2014.


"The growth of the oil and gas industry in Texas over the last decade has grown our state's economy, provided energy sovereignty, and most importantly improved our national security," continued Christian. "Meanwhile, environmentally since 1970, the six major pollutants regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act (CAA) have fallen by 73 percent and worldwide air pollution-related deaths have fallen 27 years in a row. These are just two examples that show both the economy and environment can flourish concurrently - they are not mutually exclusive."


SFA dietetic interns use integrative and functional medicine to offer clients a more holistic health approach

NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Food, nutrition and dietetics graduate interns at Stephen F. Austin State University are learning how to holistically examine a variety of issues in different body systems — even if they seem unrelated — to help their clients feel better.


Integrative and functional medicine combines conventional medicine with complementary therapies to provide a systems-based approach rather than a symptom-by-symptom assessment.


The integrative and functional medicine model was first proposed by Dr. Jeffrey Bland in the 1980s and is gaining momentum. Bland cofounded The Institute for Functional Medicine in 1991.


Dr. Darla O’Dwyer, associate professor in SFA's food, nutrition and dietetics program, offers an example of this model used for a client with eczema, depression and diarrhea, three seemingly unrelated symptoms.


“Rather than treating each of these symptoms separately, the practitioner will take an extensive health history and assess diet, lifestyle factors, gut health, conventional and functional lab testing, and genetics to determine the underlying cause,” O’Dwyer said. “Five people who have the same symptom could have five totally different root causes.”


In 2018, two integrative and functional nutrition/medicine courses were added to SFA’s Master of Science in human sciences, a 36-hour program offered in combination with a dietetic internship.


Gabriella Deleski completed this internship as part of the master’s degree she earned last year at SFA.


“During my internship, I had the opportunity to work with professionals from different backgrounds in a variety of settings,” she said. “What I appreciated most about this program is that it exposed me to diverse areas within the field of dietetics.”


Students take the integrative and functional nutrition/medicine courses during their 1,200-hour supervised practice. The functional medicine approach also is woven into assignments and seminar courses, which are required in the supervised practice component of the program.


Deleski said she’s already using what she learned during her internship in her new career as a registered dietitian at Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute in Plano, where she specializes in obesity prevention and treatment.


“I firmly believe that my education in integrative nutrition from SFA allows me to treat my patients holistically and provide them with care that is uniquely suited for them,” she said. 


According to the 2019 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance, integrative and functional medicine principles are increasingly accepted by health care professionals and institutions. Registered dietitians can apply integrative and functional medicine principles across all areas of practice.


The Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine practice group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has more than 5,200 members and is steadily growing.


“It is important that our dietetic interns at SFA are equipped with the skills to handle root cause resolution to chronic disease by employing integrative and functional medicine,” O’Dwyer said. “It is the future of health care, and we at SFA are embracing this new paradigm.”


Cutline: Gabriella Deleski earned a Master of Science in human sciences with a dietetics focus last year from Stephen F. Austin State University. Now a registered dietitian at Vitality Weight Loss and Wellness Institute in Plano, Deleski uses the integrative and functional medicine principles she learned during her dietetic internship at SFA when helping her clients prevent and treat obesity. Here, Deleski uses a modified exercise bicycle to blend a healthy smoothie. Photo courtesy of Gabriella Deleski




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