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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

A&M Club to host Aggie Muster April 21

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Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — At the spring Leadership Council meeting of the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University in College Station earlier this year, John R. Lovett Jr. accepted a charter certificate to form a local A&M Club in San Jacinto County.

The new San Jacinto County A&M Club, one of four to be chartered in the last year, is the result of the efforts of Lovett and Andy Townend. These two Aggies participated in Texas A&M University activities and saw a need for a local A&M club.

A&M Clubs are social groups that exist to coordinate all organized former student activity in a geographical area; provide information about academic programs, scholarship opportunities and advantages at the association and Texas A&M University; recruit members and assist each other professionally, participate in community affairs, and encourage leadership and professional development and networking opportunities for former students; and provide scholarship funds for Texas A&M students.

One of the most solemn and visible traditions at Texas A&M is Aggie Muster, and each club is expected to host one locally.

This year’s Muster will be held at 6 p.m. April 21 at the pavilion of Dog Gone Hay Co. in San Jacinto County Precinct 3. A meal of hamburgers and hot dogs will be followed by a business meeting.

All former students, families and friends of Texas A&M wishing to attend are encouraged to RSVP to Lovett at (713) 553-7655.

Held on April 21st each year on the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, Aggie Muster is a Texas A&M University tradition in which Aggies worldwide gather to remember their time at Texas A&M together and honor those who passed away during the last year.

At each Muster ceremony around the world, a speaker will be followed by the “Roll Call for The Absent,” which is a reading of the names of those from that area who have passed away in the past year, along with those of other classmates or friends.

As each name is called, a family member or friend will answer, “Here,” and a candle will be lit in honor of their loved one. For Muster this year, Aggies in San Jacinto County are invited to the first-ever Muster to join with 40,000 fellow Aggies attending more than 300 Musters worldwide.

Organizer Lovett is a former San Jacinto County Judge, a registered investment advisor more than two decades in the financial services industry and serves as an association class agent for the Class of ’89.

Townsend owns Dog Gone Hay Co.

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Tasty treats with the EDC on the side

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A ribbon cutting for Atchley Insurance.A ribbon cutting for Atchley Insurance.

DidYouKnow ColumnHeadShepherd City EDC hosted a dinner on Thursday last week at Shepherd Community Center. It was catered by the High School Culinary Arts Class (who did a spectacular job) that included an amazing array of desserts.

This meant most people wanted to try at least three of the yummy choices, including me. This dinner was an invitation to businesses in our city to enjoy time talking to other owners of businesses. The event was free and was well-attended with the Board of the Economic Development Corporation introducing themselves and City Secretary Debra Hagler being introduced for the important part she does for our city.

Lauren Migl, E.D.C. Secretary with Board member Amanda Addison created a beautiful room, decorated with balloons and flowers which made a perfect setting for the event.

•Coldspring Garden Club had to change the calendar for this month. Instead of a trip out to Rustic Ridge Gardens, the owner of that business came to the Community Center at the regular time to give a talk.

The very rainy weather caused this change but everyone was fascinated by Vickie Pullen’s talk, illustrated by wonderful photographs of her place.

Rustic Ridge Gardens has a butterfly garden, container gardens and fruit trees, and Vickie offers landscape design as well as floral designs. The venue is also perfect for weddings and other events.

Call her at (281) 844-5896 or go to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

•San Jacinto County Historical Commission held an Easter Egg Hunt at Old Town Spring on Saturday. If you do not know where this is, it is the original site of Coldspring but after a fire destroyed the Courthouse there, it was abandoned and the Courthouse was built on the present site.

This meant businesses and offices, especially attorneys, moved around the Square which is now such an integral part of the life of our county. The jail is a museum now in Old Town and can be visited on certain days. Watch for announcements of this.

•Last week in Shepherd Library we had a talk on life during World War II in England, or as I like to call it, “I was born during an air raid.” This was, I hope, the first of talks by local people and this one was a lively hour or so with questions about rationing and how clothes were recycled from parents to children with obvious adjustments.

I was the speaker and recalled that my parents often told the tale of how I was born during an air raid over the steel town where we lived. The Library would love to hear from others who have interesting tales to tell of their adventures or family history.

Shepherd Library is on Facebook or call (936) 628-3515.

•It’s last call for the Women’s League Style Show on Thursday, which starts at 11:30 a.m. Call at the Senior Center in Coldspring for tickets, $25 each, which include the style show with fashion by Chico of Kingwood, a silent auction and a delicious lunch catered by India Love. The event will be at the Coldspring Community Shelter.

•Shepherd Chamber is working on the July 4 event to be held July 1 in Shepherd. Vendors can call the chamber, which currently is booking entertainment for this day. There will be games and competitions with lots of music.

Contact the Shepherd Chamber at (936) 628-3890 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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County approves more overtime pay

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The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court, along with representatives for SAAFE House, proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Photo by Tony FarkasThe San Jacinto County Commissioners Court, along with representatives for SAAFE House, proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Photo by Tony Farkas

By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COLDSPRING — The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court approved another month of overtime pay for county jailers, with the understanding that the funds are running dry and there probably would be no more.

The court has allowed overtime pay for the past few months because of staffing issues, paying overtime until open positions were filled.

Commissioner Donnie Marrs asked, however, when the requests would stop, and was told by the county auditor that there were enough funds for one more month.

Commissioner Mark Nettuno expressed concern that the county was spending more funds than were allocated through grant funds.

In a related matter, the county did allow the Sheriff’s Office to create an area to house livestock that had been picked up as stray.

The new pens will be in a wooded area near the Sheriff’s Office and the Storm Shelter, which would allow for electricity to be run from county buildings and allow for the use of inmates for care and feeding.

Commissioner Laddie McAnnally said he has been working with the county to prepare the area, and the Sheriff’s Office plans to use seizure funds to erect the new pens.

In other business, the court:

•discussed creating a day to honor all county employees who passed in the line of duty;

•appointed Skye Spivey to the Lower Trinity Ground Water District board;

•approved Rachel Slocum Drake as county representative to the Burke Center Board;

•approved an amended contract with Tyler Technologies;

•proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month;

•approved issuing a credit card to District Clerk Tammy Currie;

•accepted a $25,000 donation from Point Lookout West Inc. for asphalt work on West Lake Circle;

•tabled the purchase of a Bomag reclaimer-stabilizer;

•approved assisting Texas Forest Service with the removal of an abandoned trailer;

•approved advertising for a county environmental officer;

•approved a variance on a lot split on Lee Turner Road; and

•approved a variance on a lot split on Pauline Road.

Photo by Tony Farkas

The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court, along with representatives for SAAFE House, proclaimed April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

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Team succeeds in FFA judging competitions

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Hayden Richards, Heaven Burleson, Cinco Bailes, Gray King, Cinco Bailes, Branden Oehrlein and Zander Taylor competed recently in FFA Livestock judging events. Courtesy photoHayden Richards, Heaven Burleson, Cinco Bailes, Gray King, Cinco Bailes, Branden Oehrlein and Zander Taylor competed recently in FFA Livestock judging events. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — During the last week of March the Coldspring FFA Livestock Judging Team saw great success at their competitions.

On March 27, the team traveled to a competition at Stephen F. Austin University and placed 13th out of 119 teams, and special recognition went to Hayden Richards, who was the 20th high-point individual.

On March 29, the team traveled to Montgomery County and took home ninth place, with Averey Moss placing as 20th high-point individual.

Then on March 31, the team traveled to Crockett for Champion’s Prep and placed 10th as a team.

Members of the Livestock Judging Team include Hayden Richards, Heaven Burleson, Cinco Bailes, Gray King, Cinco Bailes, Branden Oehrlein and Zander Taylor.

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Loose livestock a growing concern

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GregCapersSheriffLike many of you, I enjoy the satisfaction and rewards of cattle ranching. However, with those rewards come responsibilities that will safeguard the public at large and provide for the safety of the animals as well.  We need to understand the laws associated with ranching and adhere to those laws.

The Texas Agriculture Code has laws that regulate not only cattle, but donkeys, goats, hogs, horses, jacks, jennets, mules and sheep.

Since 1876, the Texas legislature has allowed for local stock laws to be passed that modify common-law rule of open range.

Stock laws are laws determined by local voters and apply to all areas of the county. If these laws are in place, as they are in San Jacinto County, common law is modified to closed range. In a county that has passed a stock law making it a closed range, like in San Jacinto County, livestock owners must restrain their livestock by fencing them in their property.

Stock laws state that certain species of animals, such as horses, jack, jennies, cattle, sheep, etc., may not be permitted to run free within the limits of San Jacinto County. As a landowner and rancher, you have a duty to prevent your livestock from entering the roadways.

Most Texans are quick to note that Texas is an open range or fence out state, meaning that a livestock owner does not have a legal duty to prevent animals from getting onto the roadway. Technically, this a is true; however, there are exceptions to this rule that are important for livestock owners to know.

It’s true that Texas is an open range state. The Texas Supreme Court made it clear more than a century ago when it ruled, “It is the right of every owner of domestic animals in this state to allow them to run free.” This approach was reaffirmed more recently in 1999 when the Texas Supreme Court refused to adopt a common law duty that required a livestock owner to keep livestock off the roadways.

Although this law may be applicable in some counties in the state, it’s not the law in all counties, and it’s not the law in San Jacinto County.

If you are a landowner with livestock in San Jacinto County you have a duty to prevent your livestock from running at large, usually by maintaining an adequate fence to keep your livestock on your property. An adequate fence is defined as being at least 4 feet high and in compliance with the requirements of the TAC.

I think it is important for all members of the community to understand the consequences of estray, or stray livestock, laws.

For instance, a landowner who finds stray livestock on their property should report the stray to my office as soon as reasonably possible. Once stray livestock is discovered, I will attempt to contact the owner. If the owner is found, he, or she may recover the livestock. If an owner is not found or fails to redeem the livestock within five days, the animal will be impounded. If the animal is not recovered from impound, it will be sold at public auction.

I should point out, however, that just because a stray livestock is on one’s land does not mean the landowner can automatically claim it as has his own or remove it by other methods. Refusing to allow the legitimate owner to recover the stray, or disposing of stray is outside of the TAC’s protocol and therefore may be considered livestock theft.

I’m not suggesting that as part of your ranching activities that you are remiss in maintaining your fence lines. For those of you who are not engaging in this activity, I strongly suggest that you do so on a somewhat regular basis by checking your fence lines and making appropriate repairs when needed.

As you may know, we routinely respond to these stray animal calls for service. However, I think you would agree that these calls could potentially increase our response time to a higher priority call for service.

As always, if you have any questions about this subject or any other subject, please feel free to call my office’s non-emergency number (93) 654-4367 and we will be happy to assist you.

Greg Capers is Sheriff of San Jacinto County.

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