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Congressman to hold regular meetings

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DidYouKnow ColumnHeadState Rep. Ernest Bailes held a breakfast meeting on Aug. 28 at his office in Shepherd. Elected officials from the area were invited for coffee and kolaches and everyone had a chance to speak about their area and what was happening there.

Questions and answers as well as an exchange of information made this a really good gathering. Ernest Bailes liked the outcome so much he suggested we do it on a regular basis.

He said he was pleased at being able to ask officials from each precinct, including Sheriff Greg Capers and Emergency Manager Coordinator Emmitt Eldridge, for how he could help us.

Thanks to Ellie Berry, assistant to Bailes, for taking the photo of the occasion.

•Coldspring Chamber of Commerce will hold their next quarterly lunch on September 19 at noon at Coldspring High School. Lunch will be provided by their Culinary Department.

Seating is limited and you must register beforehand, there will be no walk-ins, and the cost is $13 in advance. President Barbara Justice will give the State of the Chamber address. Call (936) 653-2184 to register. The students always produce wonderful meals, this is a lunch to remember.

•The City of Shepherd has a Police Chief and two additional full-time officers who form Shepherd Police Department, which is housed in the old City Hall building. Chief Clint Headley has also formed a group of reserve officers to help cover the area 24 hours.

Constable Ray Atchley is still on the job, he is part of the Sheriff’s Department, while Chief Headley serves the City of Shepherd only. There will be a swearing-in ceremony of all the officers on Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Shepherd Community Center.

As a sign that police work is not all about catching the bad guys, Clint recently found a homeless man sleeping in a ditch. After checking the old man had no warrants or ever been in trouble, he took him to the Star of Hope Shelter in Houston.

•Guess who showed up at Shepherd Library? After making an appearance at Coldspring Library, Dolly Parton came to bring attention to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Well, not the flesh and blood Dolly but a life-size cutout of her. She still made everybody happy with her smiling face.

The books sent to the children each month are specially chosen to encourage their interest in books and reading. Different authors, carefully vetted, have written books for each age group. Parents read the stories to their little ones and gradually the children want to learn to read for themselves.

Call your local library for details. The program is doing well and has 181 children from 0-5 years old registered since the program started here last year.

Call Shepherd Library at (936) 628-3515 or Coldspring Library at (936) 653-3104.

•Brenda Myers and her team are organizing a fundraiser for the future Impact Emergency Crisis Center in Shepherd. This Center will house for up to 30 days those in crisis. This could be a family who lost their home to fire, something which has happened at least twice in recent history.

Mothers with children who are seeking help from an abusive situation are also examples of those who will be helped when this Center is opened. The ‘BBQ Cook-Off Boo Bash Benefit’ will take place on Oct. 20-21 at the Shepherd Community Center.

DJ Joe LeBlanc will create the perfect atmosphere as always with his music and Jon Dameron with the Awesome Bootleg Country Band will rock the house. Apart from the Boo Bash BBQ Contest, there will be a Wicked Witch Chili Cook Off and a Dracula’s Kiss Cocktail Contest.

For more information go to the Facebook page for the Impact Center or call Brenda at (936) 499-2632.

•I love to introduce people to our readers who serve our state or county but are rarely recognized for their work. Betty Russo is a hard-working regional representative for the Office of The Governor of the State of Texas.

Her area is economic development and tourism. She covers 49 counties on the Gulf Coast and East Texas. You can imagine this means she does a lot of driving. She holds workshops and gives talks as well as communicating with the many organizations who need information and help in these areas.

Betty lives with her husband in Coldspring. Their grown children are close, and the younger son is building his own plane. They have three grandsons. They moved there in 1996 and her first job in this county was with the Coldspring Chamber of Commerce as the office manager.

She moved into the economic development of our area when she was doing this job and went to Polk County EDC and from there, she worked her way to the Office of the Governor.

Betty says she loves her job. She meets many interesting people and the aim is to create incentives for businesses and tourism. This includes work with the Film Commission who need places to film their shows, documentaries, etc. Betty is the most interesting person to talk to and she has a wealth of knowledge of this part of our state. It was a pleasure talking to her.

The new phone number for Shepherd Chamber of Commerce is (210) 995-7420. The old number is phased out.

Contact the Shepherd Chamber at (210) 995-7420 or the Coldspring Chamber at (936) 653-2184.

Yvonne Cones is president of the Greater Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Coldspring Chamber of Commerce.

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