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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Deputy issued commendation

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012022 sheriff 1

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — While on routine patrol, Deputy Eric Chimney noticed a vehicle exceeding the posted speed limit, and then pulled the vehicle over to investigate. 

Chimney was confronted with a senior lady who was in apparent distress.

After listening intently to the lady’s emotional explanation of her being diagnosed with cancer, Chimney said he could relate to that due to his own personal experience with a loved one with a similar diagnosis. 

Chimney said he asked the lady if she would be comfortable if he could pray with her, and the woman tearfully accepted the compassionate offer. 

During a commendation award ceremony at the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Greg Capers made a comment that the county is fortunate to have this fine deputy patrolling the county. 

“I tell my deputies there’s more to a traffic stop then issuing citations,” he said.

Chimney is no stranger to serving the public. He retired from the Houston Police Department in 2017 after 34 years of service. During those 34 years, he was the recipient of many local and national awards from the Houston Police Department, the Houston Police Chiefs and the FBI.

The lady was not issued a citation, Chimney said.

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Schools get new police chief

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Jack Dean took over as chief of the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Police Department on Jan. 1.Jack Dean took over as chief of the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Police Department on Jan. 1.Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Jack Dean has taken the reins of police chief of the Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISD.

He took over the position on Jan. 1.

Chief Dean is an 8-year veteran of the U.S. Army and has given more than 27 years of dedicated service to the State of Texas in law enforcement. He recently retired from the Texas Department of Public Safety and said he is looking forward to serving COCISD students, families, staff and community.

Dean said he welcomes visitors; however, as he is frequently out on campuses, making an appointment is recommended, and can be done by calling (936) 653-1115, or via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dean’s office is housed at the COCISD administration building located at 14210 TX-150 in Coldspring. He may be reached at 936-653-1136 or 281-622-1223. His email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

For reports of on-campus bullying, suspicious behavior or other concerns, COCISD offers an online Tipline-Safe Reporting form at www.cocisd.org. This form is also located on each campus website under both “Students” and “Parents.” 

Reports may be made anonymously. Every report is taken seriously and will be investigated in accordance with district policy.

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COCISD School Board members recognized

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COISD Board Members

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — January is School Board Recognition Month in Texas and Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD is proud to honor and celebrate its board of trustees. 

“These selfless men and women are elected volunteers who spend long hours in training, planning, and a multitude of meetings every year to ensure all of our students have the opportunity to learn and grow,” said COCISD Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton. “They truly care about our students, families, staff, and community.”

The school board members who serve our district are President Paul Buchanan, Vice President Daniel Williams, Secretary Tony Sewell, Trustee William B. Baker, Trustee Berlin Bradford, Trustee Barbara Moore and Trustee Ashney Shelly.

“School boards are essential to a strong public education system,” said Texas Association of School Boards Executive Director Dan Troxell. “They provide the local governance and oversight that makes it possible for school districts to serve students, including establishing a strategic plan, adopting policies, approving a budget, and selecting and evaluating a superintendent. It’s fitting that we celebrate them in January as their leadership is key to the success of every school district in Texas.”

The COCISD Board of Trustees will be honored at this month’s regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 24, at the Jones Educational Complex Auditorium. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m.

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Shepherd ISD to offer performance money

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The December Anchor Award staff recipient are (from left) Adrian Porrata- Doria, Shepherd High School; Jessica Moheng, Shepherd Intermediate School; and San Juanita Cruz, Transportation. Anne Gallmeier of Shepherd High School was the November recipient.The December Anchor Award staff recipient are (from left) Adrian Porrata- Doria, Shepherd High School; Jessica Moheng, Shepherd Intermediate School; and San Juanita Cruz, Transportation. Anne Gallmeier of Shepherd High School was the November recipient.

By Tony Farkas
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SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers additional pay for good grades.

The Board, at its regular meeting on Dec. 16, approved a pay plan which will reward all teachers and staff for good grades, which will be determined by state evaluations.

Superintendent Jason Hewitt said that the “performance pay matrix” is two-pronged, and depending upon teacher and campus success, employees could see bonuses from $1,000 to $5,000.

Hewitt said the plan encompasses all teachers, including CTE teachers, as well as all employees and support staff.

Based on state rankings, teachers graded A will receive $5,000, B gets $3,000 and C’s will receive $1,000.

All staff members are eligible to receive a stipend based on campus grades; those are A, $1,000; B, $750; and C, $250.

Hewit said that the new matrix took effect immediately, although the grading won’t be done until the summer months.

In a separate matter, the Board approved the financial audit report for last year, which came back with an unmodified opinion, the highest result. Hewitt said the district has been able to put about $1 million into its fund balance.

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Sheriff asks community for concerns

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Neighborhood watch graphicSpecial to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — This first of many Community Services Program meetings is scheduled for Tuesday, and Sheriff Greg Capers looks to step up law enforcement in San Jacinto County with the help of the community.

Part of the sheriff’s program initiative is to provide to the community safeguard measures to help county residents from becoming a victim of a variety of crimes. 

One such crime that is becoming a large problem in the area is people finding paper stuck to the rear windshield, which could lead to carjacking or worse.

The obstruction can be a ruse to allow a thief to get into a vehicle with the keys and other items, leading to a person’s entire life in jeopardy.

Law enforcement personnel offer suggestions should this happen, victims should drive away and remove the item later.

This type of information and more will be available at the Sheriff’s Office of Community Service Program. Capers said that county residents should plan to attend and bring a friend or neighbor along with a list of questions and concerns that are important to the community.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Sheriff’s Office, 75 W. Cedar Ave., in Coldspring.

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