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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

FFA wins at show

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A boy and his animal. See more fair photos on page 3A. COURTESY PHOTOA boy and his animal. See more fair photos on page 3A. COURTESY PHOTO

Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — The Shepherd FFA Alumni Progress show had 28 entries this year from several levels of competition.

Junior exhibitors to high school students that will be competing at the San Jacinto County Fair in September participated. 

The event, while fun, also was done in order for students to receive the show experience to prepare for the fair. 

Winners include:

• Junior Swine: Grand Champion Hunter Oehrlein, Reserve Champion LIllian Cruz

• Senior Swine: Grand Champion Branden Oehrlein, Reserve Champion Antwon Stanley

• Heifer: Grand Champion Braydon Mitchell, Reserve Champion Cadeyn Mitchell

• Junior Goat: Grand Champion Sawyer Anderson, Reserve Champion Sawyer Anderson

• Junior Lambs: Grand Champion Brinlee May, Reserve Champion Carter Beverly

• Senior Lambs: Grand Champion Marlee Thorton, Reserve Champion Fallynn Pursley

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Board OKS proposed budget, tax rate

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Chef Joel Casiday presented Coldspring-Oakhurst High School graduate Ethan Manshack with an award for placing 6th out of 27 at the 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championships in Atlanta, Georgia in June. “He is now using the skills gained in the COHS Culinary Arts program working as a server for an upscale dining establishment in Georgetown, Texas,” said Casiday. Photo by Cassie GregoryChef Joel Casiday presented Coldspring-Oakhurst High School graduate Ethan Manshack with an award for placing 6th out of 27 at the 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championships in Atlanta, Georgia in June. “He is now using the skills gained in the COHS Culinary Arts program working as a server for an upscale dining establishment in Georgetown, Texas,” said Casiday. Photo by Cassie Gregory

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring ISD Board of Trustees approved the 2022-23 FY budget and tax rate at its regular meeting on Aug. 22.

This was following a public hearing and a presentation from Assistant Superintendent of Business & Finance Adam Jenke gave a presentation and discussed the items. 

There was no public comment.

After the public hearing, Chef Joel Casiday presented Coldspring-Oakhurst High School graduate Ethan Manshack with a special certificate in honor of his performance at nationals over the summer.

“Ethan placed sixth out of 27 competitors at the 2022 SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Championships in Atlanta, Georgia this past June,” Casiday said. “He is now using the skills gained in the COHS Culinary Arts program and honed through competing in SkillsUSA working as a server for an upscale dining establishment in Georgetown, Texas, as he prepares for life after graduation. Manshack is a 2022 graduate of COHS and earned his endorsement in Business and Industry, focusing his hospitality and tourism program of study in culinary arts.”

In other business, the Board approved:

•appointed County Extension Agent Michelle Moss as an adjunct faculty member for the 2022-23 school year;

•revised adult meal prices; and

•nominated Berlin Bradford as the delegate for the 2022 TASB Advocacy Convention.

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County discusses funds distribution

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SanJacCountySealSJNT staff

COLDSPRING — San Jacinto County Commissioners discussed future grants and how they were to be distributed at their regular meeting on Wednesday.

County Judge Fritz Faulkner said the county was in line to receive around $14.2 million; he said that DETCOG received $161 million to be awarded to the seven counties affected most by Hurricane Harvey.

Previously, judges from those counties met several times to create a formula for distribution, and Faulkner said he in turn was hoping to come up with a plan.

In other business, the county:

•discussed the burn ban, but took no action;

•tabled distribution of funds to three requesters until the courthouse was repaired;

•accepted donations from Montgomery County of computers and from Multi County Crime Stoppers for $10,000;

•approved the annual agreement with Family and Protective Services;

•approved a resolution for the Nov. 8 general election, which will have six different entities running concurrent elections;

•approved the order of election for Nov. 8;

•approved the appointment of a replacement alternate election judge;

•approved bond renewals for Election Administrator Vicki Shelly and assistant Sherry Shepherd;

•approved seeking bids for roadwork materials;

•approved constable and sheriff’s office fees; and

•approved the county’s records management plan.

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Sheriff receives donation

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Thom Bolsch (from left) of Saddle River Ranch, Charles Costenbader, Chairman of Crime Stoppers, Sheriff Greg Capers, Steve Squier, MCSO, Ronnie Rector, MCSO, and Warren Cherry of Crime Stoppers display the $10,000 donation given to the sheriff's office. Courtesy photoThom Bolsch (from left) of Saddle River Ranch, Charles Costenbader, Chairman of Crime Stoppers, Sheriff Greg Capers, Steve Squier, MCSO, Ronnie Rector, MCSO, and Warren Cherry of Crime Stoppers display the $10,000 donation given to the sheriff's office. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office was the beneficiary of “cooperative” largesse from fellow law enforcement officials and the area Crime Stoppers.

On Aug. 22, Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson transferred 32 used Dell laptops, the rugged variety used by law enforcement officials, valued at $139,000

Henderson said the contribution is in the tradition of cooperation between law enforcement agencies to provide for the safety and security of residents.

Capers said he was pleased with the act of generosity.

“This which will contribute to the overall efficiency of our deputies for safeguarding our residents,” he said.

Additionally, the department received a donation of $10,000 from Multi-County Crime Stoppers Chairman Charles Costenbader, which will be used for upgrades to the gifted computers.

“Crime Stoppers since its inception in 1981 as a community-based partnership between dedicated volunteering citizens, law-enforcement and the media all working together towards a common goal of the reduction of crime and the arrest and conviction of criminals and fugitives statewide,” Costenbader said. “Toward that end it’s not uncommon for Crime Stoppers to provide financial contributions to law enforcement agencies.”

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District ramps up safety measures

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Law enforcement officers demonstrate procedures to be taken in the event of an active shooter situation during training at COCISD campuses in July. Photo by Cassie GregoryLaw enforcement officers demonstrate procedures to be taken in the event of an active shooter situation during training at COCISD campuses in July. Photo by Cassie Gregory

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Chief Jack Dean and Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD school resource officers held a four-day intensive active shooter training that included local, county and state law enforcement officials and EMS In July. 

The training familiarized participants with the layouts of the campuses and a variety of scenarios to prepare them for multiple situations that could occur. 

During professional development in August, all COCISD staff members were trained by Dean in what to do in the case of an active shooter incident and emergency first aid procedures in a training called Stop the Bleed.

Even before the unimaginable tragedy at Uvalde ISD, Dean and district administrators were performing campus safety audits and creating a comprehensive safety plan to ensure law enforcement agencies, emergency services, and district employees would be able to work together effectively in the event of a campus or district-wide emergency.

Dean met with district leaders and school board members over the summer to discuss the audit and proposed steps to improve campus safety including campus modifications, student and staff procedures, and training sessions. 

Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD is known for being proactive toward campus safety and security. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton and COCISD Police Chief Dean, planning and preparation for safety are of the utmost importance.

In addition to the training, the following safety measures are in place:

•Increased security cameras at all facilities.

•Mandatory metal detector checks at the junior high, high school, and DAEP (Jones) campuses.

•Keyless badge entry system for most campuses and limited points of entry for all campuses.

•Interior, exterior doors and perimeter gates will remain locked.

•Increased police officer patrols and security checks.

•Upgraded police department radio operations.

•Updated emergency operations procedures and protocols packets.

•Security Threat Assessment Team meetings, Safety & Security Committee meetings biannually, quarterly critical incident response and management training for police department personnel, and biannual safety audits conducted by COCISD police and maintenance personnel in conjunction with the mandated Texas Education Agency audit every three years.

Dean has extensive experience in law enforcement and emergency incident response. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Dean served in the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Trooper before advancing to the  Texas Ranger Special Operations Group and then to the Criminal Investigations Division before his retirement in 2020. He has also been an adjunct instructor for the University of Texas Advanced Rapid Response Law Enforcement Training (Active Shooter).

Dean says his philosophy is expressed perfectly by Aristotle: “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

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