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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Looking forward to fun and voting

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The sponsors table for Fish Friday at the Senior Center.The sponsors table for Fish Friday at the Senior Center.

DidYouKnow ColumnHeadI read that we are in for a lot of rain this week. Hopefully by the time you read this, it will be over. When I see the floods in the northern parts of our country, I send prayers to those affected and give thanks that our area is not having the same problems.

•The future Impact Crisis Center in Shepherd has changed the date for the fundraiser. Casino Night will now be on May 18 at Cleveland VFW 1839. The Board decided that the rodeo and other events around the original date made it too difficult to connect with sponsors for this event.

You can see all the details on the Community and Children’s Impact Center’s Facebook page. You can also contact Brenda at (936) 499-3632 or James at (832) 235- 5737.

•The San Jacinto County Senior Citizens Center in Coldspring had a lot going on Friday. First it was Fish Friday, sponsored by SJCRadio.com. As always, the food was delicious, and the sponsors were there to sample their donation.

Dale Everitt and Carson Anderson were joined by Officer Rae Lynn Phillips from Precinct 1 COCISD Police Department. Unfortunately, Charles Ballard could not make it. Get well soon Charles.

SJCRadio is an online radio service with a mixture of music and local news, items of interest and when needed interviews on a topic. At the table with them was the staff of the Election Administration.

Elections Administrator Vicki Shelly and Sherry Shepherd came to inform and answer questions about the upcoming election on March 5. Early Voting will start Feb. 19 and Vicki said that voting early is the best way to go.

This election, she explained, is a joint primary election with both parties agreeing to combine to save money. Of course, there will be two lines one for each party when you go to vote. If you want more details, call the office on 51 E. Pine Ave. in Coldspring and collect a sheet of locations along with dates for early voting.

The Senior Center also is having a Talent Show on Feb. 24. If you want to be a performer or want to enjoy the show from the audience call (936) 653-4175 for more information.

•While I was gathering information for this column, and enjoying my fish dinner, I decided to have a chat with Charline Smith, the administrator of the Center. I think it is very interesting to talk to people in our community who are very visible in their job, but we do not see them in their normal everyday life. Not that we want paparazzi her,e but we see Charline at the Center working in the office, organizing events, working with the staff who all work hard to run the place in a smooth and friendly fashion.

So, where did Charline come from? She was raised in Houston, and first came to our area for weekends away from the city. First friends invited them, then they bought a place for themselves at Holiday Shores. Ten years ago, she started to volunteer at the Senior Center.

As often happens, good volunteers are sought after to become board members and then in 2015 there was a sudden and very difficult time when a new administrator and other staff members were sought. Charline became president of the board.

Gayle became Administrator in 2017 and sadly she passed away in 2021. Charline and her colleague Jackie Compton took over running the place, and she said it was a very stressful time for all of them as they rebuilt the workings of the center. Now, it is a great success, fueled by the resale shop boosting the income from the authorities. Generous donors helped them too.

Many people come to the center to be with friends while they play cards, exercise, line dance or join in on many other events. Every Friday Ken Janik is the DJ for karaoke and it is also very easy to shop at the resale store.

Charline has been married for 35 years, has four children, eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild is on the way. Her husband Floyd retired from Reynolds Metals. They attend Paul Horton Church and have many community attachments, which explains how in 2021 Charline was awarded the Citizen of the Year at the Best of San Jacinto County Banquet.

•It is hard to believe that it is a year since Daiquiri’s 2 Go opened on Loop 424 in Shepherd, yet they will be celebrating their first anniversary on Saturday with some goodies to tempt the palette. This will include a $20 box special including seafood boil crab cluster, turkey necks, eggs and corn with MB’s Butta Sauce. The event starts at 2 p.m. till sold out.

Of course, the normal menu and daiquiris are also on the list. Call (832) 480-0553. Go to the Facebook page for a view of the box.

•Shepherd Library will have the Annual Tea Party on Jan. 26 from 3-4 p.m. This is a free event but please call for reservations so that everyone is accommodated. Call (936) 628-3515.

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

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

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Catering to Excellence

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The Shepherd High School culinary students prepared a meal for the Shepherd ISD Board of Managers in honor of School Board Appreciation Month at Thursday’s meeting. Courtesy photoThe Shepherd High School culinary students prepared a meal for the Shepherd ISD Board of Managers in honor of School Board Appreciation Month at Thursday’s meeting. Courtesy photo

By Erin Goad
Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — In a display of appreciation, Shepherd ISD came together at the January board meeting to celebrate School Board Recognition Month.

The presentation was a tribute to the individuals who play a vital role in shaping the future of education in the district. Tokens of appreciation included gift baskets, and potted plants from the high school’s floral department were presented to the members.

One of highlights of the evening was a special dinner prepared and served by the Shepherd High School culinary students. The talented young chefs, led by teachers Ginger Pippen and Lindsey Swiech, showcased their culinary skills by crafting a delicious meal, allowing the board members to enjoy a dining experience. It was a true testament to the dedication and talent present within Shepherd ISD.

Dr. Jason Hewitt, Shepherd ISD superintendent, expressed his gratitude during the event saying, “Our board of managers are the unsung heroes of our district. They work behind the scenes to provide the best possible education for our students. This recognition is a small token of our appreciation for their hard work and dedication.”

The meeting was attended by community members, educators and students, all coming together to recognize the valuable contributions of the board. It served as a reminder of the crucial role these leaders play in ensuring that Shepherd ISD continues to uphold their commitment to providing high-quality education and ensuring a brighter future for all its students.

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Maximizing energy efficiency during the winter

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EnergyEfficiancy STOCK

Special to theNews-Times

Frigid temperatures continue to move through parts of our service area, kicking heaters and energy consumption into high gear. Fortunately, people can stay warm while managing energy usage and costs by making their homes more energy efficient.

Heating costs can account for more than 50 percent of monthly energy usage. Instead of cranking up the thermostat when the temperatures drop, the following free or low-cost steps to remain comfortable and save energy and money on utility bills:

•Seal air leaks: Use caulk or weatherstripping around doors, windows and any location where there may be a path between the inside and outside.

•Adjust the thermostat: Set the thermostat to 68 degrees during winter months, and dress in layers to stay warm. Each degree above 68 can increase an energy bill by about 3 percent.

•Conserve hot water: Set your hot water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees, or the medium setting. Wrap electric water heaters with water heater blankets, which can be found at home improvement stores.

•Keep doors and windows closed: Constant traffic will let out warm air, forcing heaters to work harder to keep the room at a set temperature.

•Ensure fans are turning the right way: Fans should run at a low speed clockwise during the winter to prevent the cold air from blowing down on you.

•Replace air filters: Dirty filters make heating systems work harder. Replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

•Use sunlight to your advantage: During the day, open curtains and blinds to let in the warm sunlight. Close them at night to reduce heat loss.

Entergy Texas also offers free comprehensive residential energy audits and rebates to help reduce the upfront cost of installing energy-efficient equipment. Visit entergy.com/energyefficiency for more information.

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Patrick to headline event at Reagan Dinner

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Special to the News-Times

dan patrick new 2021COLDSPRING — Dwayne Wright, Chairman of the San Jacinto County Republican Party, has announced that Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, will be the keynote speaker for the annual Reagan Dinner.   

The dinner, which will be held Feb. 3 at the San Jacinto County Shelter in Coldspring, will also feature State Sen. Charles Schwertner, and many candidates for the March 5 Republican Primary will also be in attendance.

The event will begin at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served. There will be a live auction that will feature guns, Texas-themed furniture and other sought-after items, and a bucket draw.

Tickets are available at https://sjcgop.com/events.

For more information, visit Republican Club of San Jacinto County or San Jacinto County Republican Party on Facebook. The Republican Headquarters, located at 201 Highway 150 Suite J in Coldspring, is open from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

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Internet a potential landmine for children

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GregCapersSheriffWhen I was growing up, my research into the world, past and present, came from books and other published materials available to me at the public library. When my teacher gave us an assignment, we knew that our next step was a visit to our public library where the Dewey Decimal System became our keyboard.

I think most people would agree that things have changed for the better. Improvements in technology have opened the minds of our children to limitless opportunities for learning through the internet. With those opportunities comes a level of danger with what is now known as internet exploitation.

The internet can expose children to dangers, such as individuals who attempt to sexually exploit children through the use of online services. Some of these individuals gradually seduce targets through the use of attention, affection, kindness, and even gifts. These individuals are often willing to devote considerable amounts of time, money, and energy to this process.

They will attempt to gradually lower children’s inhibitions by slowly introducing sexual context and content into their conversations. There are other individuals, however, who immediately engage in sexually explicit conversation with children.

Some offenders primarily collect and trade child pornographic images, while others seek face-to-face meetings. It’s important for parents to understand that children can be indirectly victimized through conversation, or chat, as well as the transfer of sexually explicit material.

Computer-sex offenders may also be evaluating children they meet online for future face-to-face contact and direct victimization. Parents and children should remember that a sex offender can be any age or sex. The person does not have to fit the caricature of a unkept older man, wearing a raincoat to be someone who could harm a child.

What are signs that your child might be at risk online:

•Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night.

•You find pornography on your child’s computer.

•Your child receives phone calls from people you don’t know or is making calls, sometimes long distances to numbers you don’t recognize.

•Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don’t know.

•Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.

•Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.

•Your child is using an online account belonging to someone else.

What should you do if you suspect your child is communicating with a sexual predator online:

•Consider talking openly with your child about your suspicions.

•Review what is on your child’s computer.

•Use caller ID service to determine who is calling your child.

•Devices can be purchased that show telephone numbers that have been dialed from your home.

•Monitor your child’s access to all types of electronic communications and monitor your child’s email.

Should any of the following situation arise in your household via the internet or online service you should immediately contact my office’s non-emergency number at (936) 653-4367, the FBI, (713-693-5000) or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, (24-hour call center 1-800-843 5678) if:

•Your child, or anyone in the household has received child pornography.

•Your child has been sexually solicited by someone who knows that your child is under 18 years of age.

What can you do to minimize the chances of an online exploiter victimizing your child:

•Talk to your child about sexual victimization and potential online danger.

•Spend time with your children online. Have them teach you about their favorite online destinations.

•Keep the computer in the common room in the house. Not in your child’s bedroom.

•Utilize parental controls provided by your internet service provider and or blocking software.

•Always maintain access to your child’s online account and randomly check their email.

•Find out what computer safeguards are utilized by your child’s school, the public library, and at the home of your child’s friends.

•Understand, even if your child was a participant in any form of sexual exploitation, that they are not at fault.

•Instruct your child to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online.

•Instruct your child to never upload pictures of themselves onto the Internet or online service to people they do not personally know.

•Instruct your child to never give out identifying information, such as their name, home address, school name, or telephone number.

•Instruct your child to never download pictures from an unknown source, as there is a good chance, they could be sexually explicit images.

•Instruct your child to never respond to messages of bulletin board postings that are suggestive.

These are but a few things I believe will assist you in safeguarding your children. Remember, our children may be good and well-intentioned, but unfortunately, there are those evil doers out there that will attempt to find ways to enter your child life using the internet. They are well versed and very sophisticated in lowering children’s guard.

Please be mindful of this information and be open with your children and make this a regular discussion item when you and your child are relaxed. Include all members of the family.

As always, I hope you find this information informative as well as helpful. Should you need additional information on the specifics of the subject, or any other subject please feel free to reach out to my office by calling my nonemergency number (936) 653-4367 and ask the dispatcher for assistance.

Greg Capers is Sheriff of San Jacinto County.

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