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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

County celebrates freedom

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062322 san jac juneteenthA veteran rides a tractor during the Juneteenth Parade. Old Glory and the Lone Star symbolize the Juneteenth connection to Texas. Photos by Charles Ballard

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Residents of San Jacinto County marked the anniversary of both emancipation and naming Juneteenth a holiday with a celebration on Saturday.

The annual celebration is sponsored by the Friends of Hopewell Inc.

This year marks the first anniversary recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, as President Joe Biden signed a bill into law June 17, 2021.

The Emancipation Program was presided over by Ester Elmore-Wynn.

Following a flag raising ceremony and the singing of “Oh Freedom” by Harry Belafonte, speakers explained the significance of the holiday.

Opening prayer was offered by the Rev. James Elmore, Eastside Church of God in Christ. Other speakers included Lille Lunnon-Bason, County Judge Fritz Faulkner and Dale Everitt, who offered “Juneteenth Expressions.”

“The Emancipation Proclamation” was read by Christyn Combs; “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was led by Christine Andrews and “How Great is Our God” was led by led by Mrs. Christine Andrews

The closing prayer was offered by Alice Hines.

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Sending the year off in style

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061622 ending in styleCOCISD retirees got a surprise confetti shower after they were presented with rocking chairs in honor of their years of service on Friday, June 3. Photo by Cassie Gregory

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — COCISD held its 2021-22 End of Year Convocation and Service Awards on June 3, a celebration of a challenging but successful year in education.

Staff members enjoyed good food and fellowship and cheered on fellow service award recipients and retirees.

Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton and school board trustees congratulated staff members who reached landmark years of service and received employee of the year awards. Taulton also thanked everyone for working so hard and for staying focused on what matters most — the education of students.

“I sincerely thank each and every one of you for making me feel so welcome my first year here, and for your hard work every day to do what’s best for our students,” Taulton said. “We are going to continue to stay focused, to reach our goals, and to make sure every student has the opportunity to reach his or her potential in a safe, effective learning environment.”

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Area students receive HLSR scholarships

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061622 rodeo scholarships

Special to the News-Times

HOUSTON — Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo officials announced that 493 students received a scholarship from the organization’s educational program.

These scholarships are part of the Rodeo’s $14.1 million in scholarships and total annual commitment of more than $22 million in educational funding and are awarded to students across the state of Texas.

In San Jacinto County, Kristi Hinze of Shepherd ISD and Maxwell Irving of Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD each received Area Go Texan scholarships.

“Our mission of promoting agriculture while supporting Texas youth and education is at the core of everything we do at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo,” said Rodeo President and CEO Chris Boleman. “We are proud of what these scholars have accomplished, and it is thanks to the generosity of our donors that we can support these students as they continue their educational journey.”

These 493 recipients represent the majority of the Rodeo’s scholarship programs, including Area Go Texan, Exhibitor, Hildebrand Family, Houston Area, Military and School Art scholarships. Each student received $20,000 to apply toward a four-year undergraduate degree, for a total scholarship commitment of nearly $10 million.

Of the scholarship recipients, 68 percent are female, and 32 percent are male; 35 percent of these scholars are the first in their family to graduate high school and nearly half will be the first in their family to attend college.

These scholars will attend 42 different Texas colleges and universities, and the top three schools these students will be attending are Texas A&M University, The University of Texas at Austin, and University of Houston.

These students have chosen 110 different fields of study, with the top chosen majors being biology, psychology and mechanical engineering.
Additional information about the Rodeo’s continued educational commitment can be found at rodeohouston.com.

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Winners announced for art contest

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060922 art contest winners(Left) Mary Helms’ butterfly garden is a tiny art winner. (Right) Graylee Scott’s Yoshi Adventure is a tiny art winner. Courtesy photos

By Yvonne Cones

I visit Shepherd Library often, not just to change my books but to see what is happening there. This week the winners of the Tiny Art Contest were announced. The public voted for the ones they liked best and there was a tie for first.

Graylee Scott won with “Yoshi’s Adventure” and Mary Helms with “Butterfly Garden.” All the entries were good and Terri MacIntyre says this contest will be offered again later because it was such a success.

It’s Bingo Night at Shepherd Library on June 9 at 6 p.m. and Whatcha Doin’ Wednesday and Lemonade and Cookies for children on June 15. The Summer Reading Program is on Mondays from 2-4 p.m.

Call (936) 628-3515 for more information.

If you would like to become a Friend of Shepherd Library, call to find out when the next meeting will be. Friends help raise money for all the things not budgeted by the city and makes it possible for the staff to offer the programs and contests.

Coldspring Library has started its Reading Program for the summer, which is called “Oceans of Possibilities.” It starts on June 8 at 11 a.m. and continues through July 13. Go to their web site for more information or call them at (936) 653-3104.

Coldspring Chamber of Commerce hopes to have the office remodel finished in two weeks. Things are looking good with the new changes and the storage building will also be an addition to the property beside the office.
Watch out for the open day when all is complete. Another building which will need some remodeling is the San Jacinto County Tax Office in Coldspring when on June

1 a motorist had an unfortunate accident and rammed his car through the wall. No one was hurt.

Coldspring elected a new mayor; Mayor John Benestante was sworn in by Judge Greg Magee and took office last month.

Coldspring Farmers’ Market will sell their produce on the Courthouse lawn for the next three months, starting on June 16. This will be on the third Saturday of each month. This is a great opportunity to buy fresh vegetables and fruit from our own area.

Shepherd Chamber of Commerce welcomes new Treasurer Kristen Minatrea, who is a teller at First State Bank in Shepherd. She is excited to be joining us as we work towards out Independence Day Event on July 2.

This day will have a full complement of musical talent with recording artists Jinda Harris and Tamisha Crowley and Allyson Moises and The Do Yo Thang Band.
Vendors please sign up online or collect a form from either Shepherd Library or City Hall counter. Call the Chamber for more info.

There will be a Patriotic Costume Contest for Adults, Youth/Children and Pets with games and food as well as our own great DJ Joe LeBlanc.
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 secretary of the Coldspring Chamber of Commerce.

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Saying goodbye

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060922 saying goodbyeCOHS senior Kimberly Blackmann welcomes a congratulatory hug of support before she heads down the aisle for the Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony on May 27. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony was a beautiful event held at the newly renamed Berlin Bradford Stadium just before sunset on May 27. 

Friends and family watched as seniors took their final walk down the aisle as high school students. The Processional was performed by the COHS band. The invocation was led by Top 10 senior Lilly Warwick, and the COHS Air Force JROTC/TX-20066 Color Guard presented the colors.

Class Historian Alexis Moore reminisced about the years gone by, including the disruption of the pandemic and how that affected the entire school experience. Salutatorian Ellie Kier thanked her parents and everyone who helped her become the person she is.

Valedictorian Alexis Chandler addressed her peers with an inspirational speech that encouraged them to overcome obstacles and reach their goals through hard work. She said she had been inspired by Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who had related that hard work is the reason she had met with success in her career.

"I am not the smartest person here, I know that," said Chandler. "But I have worked hard and that is what has gotten me here. You may not be the smartest person or the most talented, but if you work hard, you can reach your goals."

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