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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Libraries combine forces for literacy

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081122 libraries combine

Special to the News-Times

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program is available to all children of San Jacinto County.

Coldspring and Shepherd libraries have partnered with The Dolly Parton Imagination Library to benefit children in San Jacinto County, with Coldspring Library as the host coordinating site.

Any child who resides in zip codes 77331 (Coldspring), 77359 (Oakhurst), 77364 (Point Blank) and 77371 (Shepherd) and is between the ages of 0 and 5 is eligible to participate.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides free, high-quality, age-appropriate books to registered children, from birth through their fifth birthday
For a $25 annual donation, the county’s libraries and the Imagination Library will mail 12 books directly to a registered child’s home. The child must reside in San Jacinto County and be registered by an authorized adult.

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted more than 182 million free books in the United

States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland.

To build a strong culture of reading for young children and increase early literacy in San Jacinto County, the libraries are seeking donors to contribute to our project.

Please stop by either the Coldspring or Shepherd library to pick up an enrollment form. Donations to the program can also be made in person at the library.

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Breakfast, lunch will be free for students

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081122 free school lunch

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD once again will provide all students with free breakfast and lunch for the 2022-23 school year.
The meals again are available under the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program.

Campuses that qualify to operate the Community Eligibility Provision provide breakfast and lunch to all children at no charge, and eliminate the collection of meal applications for free, reduced-price, and paid student meals. This new approach reduces burdens for both families and school administrators and helps ensure that students receive nutritious meals.

All COCISD campuses including James Street Elementary, Coldspring Intermediate, Lincoln Junior High, and Coldspring-Oakhurst High School will continue to participate in the CEP program.

Students who have opted to participate in one of our online learning options will also be provided free breakfast and lunch through daily curbside pick-up.

For additional information please contact Amanda Dunaway with COCISD Child Nutrition Department at (936) 653-1107 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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County extends burn ban

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080411 burn ban extendend

By Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court extended the county’s burn ban for another month at its regular meeting on Wednesday.

According to the order, the conditions that caused the imposition of the ban still exist, and any outdoor burning would create a public safety hazard.

The order will be revisited in 30 days, or when conditions improve.

In other business, the county:

•approved paying $5,836 out of county funds, as opposed to a grant, for emergency management funds;

•approved the $4,000 purchase of an air conditioning system for the District Attorney’s Office, half of which will come from the DA’s asset forfeiture funds;

•approved the early voting schedule for the Nov. 8 general election, which will run from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4;

•approved polling locations for the Nov. 8 general election;

•approved T.C. Jones as judge and Shirley Elmore as alternate judge for the election;

•approved the appointment of central counting station personnel for the election;

•approved allowing the Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas to use payroll deduction for membership dues;

•declared office equipment as surplus;

•approved the sale of a 2010 Dodge Caravan at auction;

•approved a lot split for O.E. and Leann Ellisor, with the caveat of the county holding no responsibility for the installation or maintenance of culverts;

•approved the amendment of an ARPA funds request for well rehabilitation for the Point Blank and Stephens Creek Water Supply Co. to include a third well;

•approved the county’s administration of a grant for the PBSC Water Supply Co., which is applying for $500,000 for upgrading water lines. Commissioner David Brandon voted against the measure, and Commissioner Laddie McAnnally abstained;

•approved the request from PBSC to seek bids for engineering and administrative services for its water project. Brandon voted against it;

•tabled a request from Trinity Covenant Food Bank for ARPA funds to pay for rent and additional help; and

•approved a donation of $15,000 from residents of Lake Shore Drive and Black Walnut for road repair.

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San Jacinto County youth honored

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080411 youth honoredRonnie Charles Jr. was lauded on July 23 after gaining the rank of Eagle Scout. San Jacinto County Sheriff Lt. Charles Daugherty presents Ronnie Charles Jr. with the Sheriff’s Office Achievement Award. Courtesy photos

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Neil Armstrong, President Gerald Ford, former Governor and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Chairman of Marriott International Bill Marriott, founder of Walmart Sam Walton, and as of Saturday, Shepherd resident Ronnie Charles Jr. all have one thing in common.

They all attained the prestigious Boy Scouts of Americas achievement level of Eagle Scout.

In recognition of this prestigious achievement, Sheriff Greg Capers and Lt. Charles Daugherty joined others at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor, held July 23 in honor of Ronnie’s achievement.

The two presented Ronnie with the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office Achievement Award during the event.

Daugherty said this award is typically reserved for members of law enforcement, however Sheriff Capers asked that an exception be made for Ronnie.

“We here at the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office salute you, Ronnie Charles Jr.,” Capers said. “May God continue guiding you into what will be a bright and successful future.”

The path to achieving Eagle Scout status is rigorous, but adhere to the three Scouting principles that have been followed since the organization’s inception in 1910: be strong, be mentally aware, and be morally straight.

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Board tends to maintenance, supplies

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072822 sisd 4Teachers across the Shepherd School District participated in a mentoring program. Research-based strategies will be used to help support the new teachers in the district.

By Tony Farkas
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SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers discussed ongoing maintenance projects, the largest of which is a new parking lot for the primary school.

The update came as part of the regular meeting held Thursday.

Other projects include refinishing floors of two gymnasiums.

The district also will providing school supplies, with the exception of backpacks, to all students.

Superintendent Jason Hewitt said the supply program started last year as a response to COVID.

“When the pandemic hit, we thought this would be the best way to help out,” he said. “We had some federal funds, and earmarked that for this program.”

In other business, the board:

•discussed receipt of the Carl D. Perkins Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Federal Program grant;

•approved the student code of conduct for the new school year;

•approved T-TESS appraisers and the appraisal calendar for 2022-2023;

•approved the call for the trustee election. Hewitt said the district is governed by both a board of trustees and a board of managers, and the trustees sidelined until the district is released from its conservatorship. However, the election process still must be followed;

•approved a joint election with San Jacinto County, and appointed Elections Administrator Vicki Shelly as early voting clerk;

•approved policy updates submitted by TEA;

•approved expenses for an EDpact LLC teacher incentive allotment consultant;

•approved the quarterly financial report; and

•approved application for renewal of the district’s droupout recovery program, which allows the district to work with students during non-traditional hours to help get them a diploma.

072822 sisd 2Brooke Rhoden introduces student volunteers.

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