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FCCLA hosts food drive

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Shepherd ISD FCCLA students prepare gallons of milk for distribution. (Courtesy Photos)Shepherd ISD FCCLA students prepare gallons of milk for distribution. (Courtesy Photos)

SHEPHERD — Shepherd ISD hosted a breakfast mobile food drive for the community, and the Shepherd High School FCCLA students helped by volunteering to pack and load the food.  

Thanks to the Houston Food Bank for supplying the food so that we were able to give it out to the community.  

SISD is grateful for these students; this program provides an opportunity for students to learn and grow into valuable members of society. They develop life skills as they get immersed in activities that are outside of their comfort zones.  

Volunteering is more than spending one’s time actively participating in selfless acts or activities that benefit other people. It has a greater impact on society as a whole. Volunteers are of great help to the community as they immerse themselves in a pool of opportunities.

FCCLA students help load cars with food from the Shepherd ISD food drive.FCCLA students help load cars with food from the Shepherd ISD food drive.

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Volleyball players honored

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102821 vb SJ1000

On Friday night, not only were seniors Kristi Hinze, Jordan Watkins, Valentina Beiza and Hope Counseller, but all four had amazing plays and contributed to the win in the fifth set. Crista Hinds had the best night of the season with several kills in the last two points, one of which hit the 10-foot line. As a whole these girls played as a team and earned every point we scored, giving the Lady Pirates a 3-2 win over Hamshire-Fannett. On Oct. 19 against Livingston, Celine Orozco, Kortlyn Goodson and Jordan Watkins played great, but it was not enough and Shepherd lost against Livingston in 3. (Courtesy Photo)

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County upbraided for benefit policy

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Countyseal-TrnityBy Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — The first meeting of the San Jacinto County Commissioners’ Court in the new fiscal year started with a departmental bang.

At the regular meeting on Oct. 6, Grant Goodwin, a staff attorney with CLEAT – Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas — told the court that a policy that took effect Oct. 1 potentially could put the county in legal trouble.

The county during its budget negotiations recently adopted a use-or-lose policy for vacation and holiday time for the Sheriff’s Department

“The county enacted something that will nullify a lot of people’s earned holiday and vacation time,” Goodwin said. “I’m sure it sounded good from a budgetary standpoint by getting rid of unfunded liability, but this has to be paid out under the law.”

The fact that the county has forced its employees to use comp time first has erased the value of vacation time, he said.

“Officers are banking large amounts of holiday time because they have to work those holidays being as you are understaffed and remain understaffed,” Goodwin said. “Based upon these actions, you may have a lot more openings in your department if you keep going in this direction.”

He also said that CLEAT does not like to get involved in litigation, but this is a very important matter, in that the county has reneged on its promise to officers who have earned their time off. 

“In doing so, you’re telling them you don’t care,” Goodwin said. “You might as well vote to defund your department and go out and be officers yourselves, because you have a lot of officers who will be discontent.”

Deputy Sheriff Omar Shiekh, who has been with the county for six years, said he has done his fair share for the county and deserves the things he was promised.

I’ve seen a lot of false and broken promises, and it seems to stem from you all,” he said. “You need us, and you throw us under the bus time and time again. This is ridiculous. The animosity you have toward the sheriff, I don’t know what it is or what it’s about, it’s unfair. Making budget cuts to hurt the Sheriff hurts us. Your decisions are pissing us off every year.”

Having only two months to use the banked time is ridiculous, Sheikh said.

“It’s a staffing problem, not a management problem,” he said. “We don’t want to fight, but we will, if you want to.”

Goodwin said that some officers have between 700 to 1,000 hours on the books because of working mostly holidays.

“Forcing them to use comp time is the key,” he said. “You’re telling them you don’t get vacations in this county, and if that’s the case, then CLEAT will have to step in, and I’m encouraging you to look at this seriously and come up with a formula for employees to use their time.”

Following an executive session later in the meeting, the county voted to extend the deadline for using banked holiday and vacation time to October 2022.

In a separate matter, the commissioners adopted the criteria for redistricting.

Given the county population based on the 2020 Census was 27,404, the ideal size per precinct is 6,851. Precinct 3, for example, has 7,443 people, so the county will need to change district boundaries.

The law dictates that precincts must have equal population, plus or minus 10 percent, and not be discriminatory toward minorities

In other business, the county:

  • waived the rental fee for annual Christmas family event, whereby area churches provide food and gifts to families in need;
  • approved the adoption of the Texas Indigent Defense formula;
  • tabled a lease renewal agreement with the state for housing state agencies DHHS and Family and Protective Services to research rental rates and look at a new agreement;
  • approved a website package with the Texas Association of Counties;
  • approved a resolution authorizing support for Cleveland Senior Citizens meals on wheels;
  • approved a licensing renewal for Tyler Odyssey Software;
  • approved a cooperative agreement with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension;
  • proclaimed Oct. 3-9 as National 4-H Week;
  • approved bids for road work materials;
  • approved an increase in the cost of trash stickers; and
  • approved a declaration of county equipment as salvage and surplus.
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Fun with learning - Gallery

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Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Coldspring Intermediate School students are rocketing toward a great future through hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) projects that are as fun as they are educational.

Just in time for the Halloween season, students in Courtney Bailes' GT classes are learning all about blood. 

"They studied the four components of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma and the functions of each," Bailes said. "They then created a slime model to represent each component."

On Friday, all CIS classes took turns visiting the Will Hatch Kidz Science Safari on exhibit in the CIS gym. The traveling STEAM show is a hands-on, interactive exhibit with over a dozen STEAM-related activities that provide students with a true immersion experience as they explore, play and learn. 

The exhibits included a gears table, domino race table, iPad animation station, dino dig, plasma sphere, bike generator, pixel play, digital microscopes, and more. 

 
CIS student Beau Jackson shows off his slime model that represents each component of blood for a science project in Courtney Bailes' GT class. (Photo by Courtney Bailes)
CIS student Beau Jackson shows off his slime model that represents each component of blood for a science project in Courtney Bailes' GT class. (Photo by Courtney Bailes)
from left: Alex Stockton, Christopher King and Landon Anderson. (Photo by Nicholette Speers) The Gears Table was a big hit with CIS students at the Kidz Science Safari held in the CIS gym on Friday, Oct. 15. Shown

from left: Alex Stockton, Christopher King and Landon Anderson. (Photo by Nicholette Speers) The Gears Table was a big hit with CIS students at the Kidz Science Safari held in the CIS gym on Friday,

Colt Nelson is able to explore the world of microorganisms with a digital microscope at the Kidz Science Safari exhibit at the CIS campus on Friday, Oct. 15. (Photo by Nicholette Speers)
Colt Nelson is able to explore the world of microorganisms with a digital microscope at the Kidz Science Safari exhibit at the CIS campus on Friday, Oct. 15. (Photo by Nicholette Speers)
Who knew digging for dinosaurs could be so much fun? CIS students Jacob Gober, left, and Dakota Menard learned the ins and outs of an archaeological dig at the Fossil Discovery Station, one of the interactive exhibits included in the Kidz Science Safari on Friday, Oct. 15. (Photo by Nicholette Speers)

Who knew digging for dinosaurs could be so much fun? CIS students Jacob Gober, left, and Dakota Menard learned the ins and outs of an archaeological dig at the Fossil Discovery Station, one of the…

Don't let the ring touch the metal tube! CIS students Ryder Terry, left, and Isabella Garcia learned science can be fun at the Circuit Station, just one of over a dozen STEAM exhibits at the Kidz Science Safari held in the CIS gym on Friday, Oct. 15. (Photo by Nicholette Speers)

Don't let the ring touch the metal tube! CIS students Ryder Terry, left, and Isabella Garcia learned science can be fun at the Circuit Station, just one of over a dozen STEAM exhibits at the Kidz…

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Board discusses new lab

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APPLE SPRINGS — The Apple Springs ISD Board of Trustees were treated to a large dose of life on Monday.

Superintendent Cody Moree said the district debuted its new Life Skills Learning Lab during the board’s regular meeting.  

“We've been doing some remodeling, which is now complete,” he said.  

The lab has a fully functioning kitchen and laundry room, and will be used to serve special education students.

“They can acquire the skills they need to hopefully be able to live independently one day,” Moree said.
The board approved only consent agenda items, such as paying bills and approving minutes.

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