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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Court discusses pay scales, retention

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SanJacCountySealBy Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — Staffing issues plague the Sheriff’s Office, especially in the Jail, and it’s looking to get worse.

The discussion about paying out accrued leave time for an officer that quit led to a discussion about manning the jail. 

Sheriff Greg Capers said it could cause problems with housing prisoners if more personnel are lost.

Part of the issue is pay; Capers said jailers in San Jacinto County make $4-$5 per hour less than others in the area. 

“If we want people to stay and climb the ladder here, then we need to pay them,” he said.

The commission vowed to look into the matter.

In other business, the court:

• proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month;

• proclaimed March as Red Cross Month;

• approved the conveyance of a portion of a lot in the Point Lookout Estates without a replat;

• approved a settlement agreement with the Texas Opioid Abatement Fund;

• approved a payment method for contract worker Mark Wood;

• approved election judges, appointment of alternate judges and a joint election order for the May 7 election;

• approved renewal of Affordable Care Act reporting and tracking services;

• approved replacing Kimberly Wooley with Elizabeth Caroline Manthey-Weisinger on the Investment Council;

• approved DiAnna Adams as San Jacinto County investment officer;

• approved an agreement with Point Blank Water Stephens Creek Water Supply Inc.;

• approved a lot split for the Stephen Hills Property Owners Association;

• approved the annual racial profiling report for the Constable Sam Houston.

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Fundraiser for scholarships set

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Officer Neil Adams’ procession passes through Shepherd. Courtesy photoOfficer Neil Adams’ procession passes through Shepherd. Courtesy photo

Spring is nearly here. On Sunday the clocks spring forward and we will be busy with spring cleaning, gardening and all the things that we do when nature starts to waken from winter. 

• Shepherd Chamber of Commerce has a date for their scholarship fundraiser — April 23. As we did last year, we will have a cornhole tournament, volleyball and other games at the Community Center Park. Vendors may have a table inside the Community Center, food vendors will be outside. 

We had a wonderful day last year and hope to do as well or better this year. All the money raised goes to the scholarships for Shepherd High School graduates who are going on to college or vocational school. Students can ask their counselor for the application now. 

• Coldspring Garden Club had a wonderful lecture from Sandra Smith who is an expert on all things roses. The Club members were told the best way to prune, mulch and choose roses for their landscapes. Sandra showed a very interesting slideshow of roses growing in different habitats and spoke of the history of many named roses. 

All in all, it was a pleasant way to learn. 

Information on the proposed landfill in San Jacinto County was made available at the Garden Club meeting. Along with a copy of a letter from the U.S. Forestry Service there was a list of items including the webinar on this matter to be held on March 22 at 7 p.m. 

The Forestry Service warned that failure at this landfill site would have ecological and social impacts including wildlife and water quality and damage public health and safety and loss of recreational opportunities. 

The information pointed out that the landfill application did not make a copy of the permit available at Shepherd Library, which was required. There have many letters sent against this landfill and Wood Duck Farms owner Van Weldon has declared it will ruin his crops and business. 

To join the meeting go to this link https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar/joinwebinar and enter ID #844-640-627. It is recommended to join by 6.45 p.m. You can use your phone or computer audio.

• The SJC Historical Commission met this last week. Chair Rebecca Hammond talked about broadening the use of Old Town Coldspring for events. There is plenty of space for such events like family reunions and celebrations. There is also an upcoming yoga class being organized in the Spring. This will be outside on the staging area. Look for more details soon.

From March 10 till April 14, Eagle Radio from Livingston will feature information about Shepherd and area twice a day. These short ads will inform people of upcoming events for the public, as well as historical details about Shepherd. 

Ken Luck, owner of KETX 92.3 FM is a community minded communicator and Shepherd will be happy to have others hear more about what is happening in our area.

• Teen Nite at Shepherd Library was busy with games of all types from board games to building a tower of small nuts with a long toothpick, at least that is what they looked like to me. Look at the Facebook page for more information, especially for “Whatcha doing Wednesday?” 

Depending on the topic of the day and the imagination of the Director and her staff, this could be “How to eat with Chopsticks” at the Chinese New Year to making a Mardi Gras mask for Fat Tuesday.

• Officer Neil Adams was laid to rest this week. His funeral and previous viewing were held in Coldspring Community Shelter. A very long procession of police cars and law enforcement vehicles from many areas, near and far away, brought him home. 

Mayor Charles Minton asked for those available on the council and city workers to stand by the Shepherd Police Station to show our respect as the procession passed. Neil Adams was a well-respected, honorable police officer who had been deputy and constable in Shepherd before he took on the County Environmental Officer position. He will be missed by so many people.

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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County honors fallen hero

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Law enforcement officials from around the country attend the funeral service for Deputy Neil Adams. Courtesy photoLaw enforcement officials from around the country attend the funeral service for Deputy Neil Adams. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Times

CLEVELAND — Sadness pervades residents of San Jacinto County after the loss of one of their own law enforcement heroes. 

The aftermath of the shooting death of Deputy Neil Adams has brought together members of the law enforcement community from as far away as New York City and Chicago.

Adams was buried with full honors on Thursday.

San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers said he reached out to The Brotherhood of the Fallen, a law enforcement association dedicated to supporting the families of fallen officers and they quickly responded with their efforts resulting in hundreds of law enforcement professionals participating in the ceremony.

Other Texas notables in attendance included Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas House Rep. Ernest Bailes, U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, and Morgan Luttrell Republican Congressional nominee to replace retiring Kevin Brady, , just to name a few.

On Feb. 23, 2022, Adams was killed during a fight with a suspect at a Houston shopping mall over a credit card dispute. 

During the altercation, the suspect grabbed Adams’ service weapon and shot Adams, who tragically died at the scene. 

Shortly after the shooting, three members of the Houston Police Department arrived and confronted the suspect, who, while armed armed with a knife, attempted to assault those officer officers. Those officers opened fire, injuring the suspect. 

The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital where he subsequently died of his wounds. 

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Super garners new honor

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Dr. TaultonDr. TaultonSpecial to the News-Times

COLDSPRING —Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton has been named one of the 2022 Top 50 Black Professionals & Entrepreneurs of Texas. 

Born and raised in Houston, at a very young age Dr. Taulton developed an unwavering desire for educational merit, which has been a driving force in his professional practice and success as an educator. 

As a servant leader, his educational leadership philosophy and daily objectives are centered on being overtly immersed in doing whatever it takes to help both students and teachers excel in the classroom.

Dr. Taulton is a product of the Houston Independent School District. Upon graduation from Jack Yates Senior High School in 2001, he attended Texas Southern University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2005. A few years after earning his bachelor’s degree and beginning his career as an educator, he furthered his education by earning a master’s degree in education administration from Concordia University-Texas in 2009. In 2014, he attained a doctorate degree in professional educational leadership from the University of Houston at just 31 years of age.

Dr. Taulton has more than 15 years of professional experience in public education and has served as a teacher, assistant principal, junior high principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent before serving as the superintendent of Goodrich ISD for three years, followed by his current tenure at COCISD. 

Dr. Taulton also teaches graduate courses at Houston Baptist University in the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, specializing in School Law, School Business Management and Finance, Instructional Leadership & Evaluation, and Interpersonal Communication and Public Relations.

An up-and-coming leader in education, Dr. Taulton served as Co-Grand Marshal of the 2022 Martin Luther King Grand Parade in Houston, and was featured on The Path Forward podcast episode “Superintendent on the Rise.”

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San Jacinto incumbents keep seats

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031022 election

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

COLDSPRING — Incumbent County Commissioner Mark Nettuno outlasted a challenge by Tammy Betancourt in the Republican Primary Election on March 1.

Since no Democrat filed for the seat, essentially Nettuno gets to keep his post, once the November General Election results are in.

In the GOP primary for Justice of The Peace Precinct 4, Kim Webb picked up 896 votes, or 60.95 percent, to gain the nomination and ultimately the position, as no Democratic challenger filed.

Other candidates for the spot were Bill Cooke, who picked up 302 votes, and Mike Selmer, who gained 272 votes.

District Judge Travis Kitchens held off a challenge from Polk County DA Lee Hon in San Jacinto County, winning with 2,576 votes over Hon’s 1,571. In the three counties that make up the 258th District —Trinity, Polk and San Jacinto — Kitchens garnered 7,505votes, or 54.86 percent, to Hon’s 6,176.

No Democratic challenger filed for this position either.

The results of the other unopposed local races, all Republican, include:

— State Board of Education District 8: Audrey Young, 3,505

— State Senator District 5: Charles Schwertner, 3,499

— Criminal District Attorney: Todd Dillon, 3,712

— County Judge: Fritz Faulkner, 3,723

— District Clerk: Tammy Currie, 3,756

— County Clerk: Dawn Wright, 3,718

— County Treasurer: Deedee Adams, 3,726

— County Commissioner Precinct 2: Donny Marrs, 571

— Justice of The Peace Precinct 1: Christina McGee, 919

— Justice of The Peace Precinct 2: Harris Red Blanchette, 598

— Justice of The Peace Precinct 3: Randy Ellisor, 890

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