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Trojans celebrate homecoming

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James Street Elementary student Kyler Ritchey was thrilled to be greeted by Coldspring-Oakhurst High School football players and cheerleaders as he arrived at school on Friday, Sept. 16, in honor of Homecoming Week.. Photo by Feather WilsonJames Street Elementary student Kyler Ritchey was thrilled to be greeted by Coldspring-Oakhurst High School football players and cheerleaders as he arrived at school on Friday, Sept. 16, in honor of Homecoming Week.. Photo by Feather Wilson

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — COCISD Trojans celebrated Homecoming last week, with everyone moving to the theme of “We Got the Beat!”

The week kicked off with Manic Monday. Students and staff wore their best 80’s neon color block outfits. Monday evening was lit up with this year’s Community Bonfire featuring performances by the Coldspring-Oakhurst High School band, cheerleaders, and Trojanettes Drill Team.

Tuesday’s them was Groovy Tuesday with 70’s apparel, Wednesday was go Western Day, Throwback Thursday was Boy Bands and Girl Groups from the 2000s, and Friday was Rock the Bulldogs with red, black and white rock n’ roll or spirit clothing.

On Friday morning, COHS football players and cheerleaders greeted James Street Elementary and Coldspring Intermediate students as they arrived at school, an inspirational morning for everyone.

COHS students enjoyed the second Annual Trojan Tailgate at the high school on Friday afternoon. Free popcorn, snacks, snow cones, and various games and entertainment were provided. 

Thanks to all of the campus administrators and staff, departments, and clubs for their hard work in making the day great. Special thanks to COCISD Board President Paul Buchanan for providing the music, and the COCISD Education Foundation (COEF) for their awesome cookie decorating station.

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Tragedy claims life of public servant

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By Tony Farkas
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Joe HickinbothamJoe HickinbothamPOINT BLANK — City Alderman Joe Hickinbotham was killed in a tragic accident on Sept. 15, according to reports from the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. Charles Dougherty said that at around noon, a neighbor called 911 and told officials that Hickinbotham was mowing his yard, and after a while, she heard yelling. She went to the area and reported the lawnmower had fallen over and trapped Hickinbotham underneath. 

The 60-inch zero turn mower then caught fire, and bystanders were unable to remove Hickinbotham from under the mower, Dougherty said.

Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Christina McGee ordered an autopsy, and Dougherty said it could take 8-10 weeks for results.

Point Blank Mayor Mark Wood said that on behalf of himself, City Secretary Kelly Hoot and the Point Blank City Council, they are sending prayers and heartfelt condolences to Joe’s family. 

“There are no words that can adequately express what Joe meant to the entire community,” Wood said. “He was a fair and decent man. Joe’s humor, intelligence and calm demeanor was a great inspiration. We all benefited from his input. He was also my friend, and our weekly meetings were a joy to me. We will all miss him and have an emptiness in our hearts by his absence.”

According to the obituary submitted by Cochran Funeral Home, Hickinbotham was born in Pampa, where he began his love of all things Texas. He spent most of his childhood in Texas but graduated from Washington high school in Kansas City, Kan., in 1968. After graduation, Joe enlisted in the Navy where he served from 1969 to 1973. 

After earning his associate’s degree, he began a 34-year career at Phillips Petroleum Co. He started in the Kansas City refinery and later transferred to Bartlesville, Okla., to be in Applied Automations. In the early 2000s, he moved back to Texas as the Director of Safety and Health U.S. Marketing.

Hickinbotham became an adjunct professor at Lone Star College teaching math after retirement, and many of his students were veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life. Most recently, he was active in his community by being on the City Council and was president of the Northwoods Property Owners Association. 

Hickinbotham was proud of his service to the country and his Indian heritage as a member of the Choctaw Tribe. 

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at Cochran Funeral Home, 212 Old Groveton Road South, in Onalaska. A funeral service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the funeral home. A graveside service for family and invited guests will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Houston National Cemetery.

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Stadium dedicated to public servant

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COCISD Board Trustee Berlin Bradford received a plaque to commemorate the naming of Trojan Field at Berlin Bradford Stadium in his honor. Bradford has served the COCISD  students and community for over 57 years, as a teacher, coach, and school board member. Photo by Cassie GregoryCOCISD Board Trustee Berlin Bradford received a plaque to commemorate the naming of Trojan Field at Berlin Bradford Stadium in his honor. Bradford has served the COCISD students and community for over 57 years, as a teacher, coach, and school board member. Photo by Cassie Gregory

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — In a touching dedication ceremony, former COCISD coach, teacher, and current school board member Berlin Bradford, who has given six decades of service to the district.

Bradford was presented a plaque by Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton, COCISD Board of Trustees President Paul Buchanan and Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Principal Dr. Matthew Bess to commemorate the renaming of Trojan Stadium to Trojan Field at Berlin Bradford Stadium.

The ceremony was held between the first and second quarter of the Homecoming Game on Friday. Coach Bradford and COCISD administrators walked to center field as Announcer Jeff Eichman read the dedication.

“Tonight, we honor Mr. Berlin Bradford for over 57 years of service to Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD and the Coldspring community. Mr. Bradford dedicated 33 years to the district while serving in the classroom as a teacher and coach beginning in 1964. 

“In 1998, Mr. Bradford was elected to the COCISD Board of Trustees where he has served for the past 24 years.

“This past May 23, the COCISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to rename Trojan Stadium in honor of Mr. Bradford. Tonight, we present him with a commemorative plaque that reads:

“Let it be known that on this day, the 16th of September in the year 2022, Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Stadium shall henceforth be known as Berlin Bradford Stadium in appreciation of his 57 years of service and dedication to the students and staff of Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District and the Coldspring-Oakhurst communities.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to officially welcome you to Trojan Field at Berlin Bradford Stadium. 

“Thank you, Mr. Bradford, for your continued service.

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Group hands out donations

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DidYouKnow ColumnHeadWomen’s League of San Jacinto County met on Thursday for the first meeting of the season. This was a very special meeting when the money collected throughout the year was disbursed to 13 organizations in our county. 

The program also welcomed Kara Danny of Dabney Cattle Co. and Coldspring Farmers Market Plus who gave a very interesting talk about her family’s history in the cattle company and how Farmers Market Plus got started in Coldspring. 

The caterer also was new to the League and was a big success. India Love produced a three-course meal with a good variety of teas, coffee and punch to go with the food.

The organizations included two scholarships to the third-ranking senior at both COCISD and Shepherd high schools. These had already been accepted by the students at an earlier time. 

COCISD Education Foundation and Shepherd ISD Project Graduation also received checks. Coldspring Library, Coldspring Community Center, Shepherd Senior Center and Shepherd Helping Hands as well as Casa and Care Share were recipients of checks from the League. Quilts For Kids is a very worthy organization who received a check. The Coldspring Senior Center MOW Program was included on the list and the total amount shared among the grateful beneficiaries was $7,700. 

The members of the Women’s League worked hard to make this amount so that they could give it away at this luncheon.

During the meeting, Kara Dabney gave the very full house a short history of how Farmers Market grew from a few to many home-grown businesses selling their produce, leather goods, eggs, baked goods, crocheted works and more in the shop on the Square. 

This is open on Tuesday and Saturday as well as on the Square on Trades Day in Coldspring. As Kara said, they are “homemade, handmade and home-grown.” Look them up on Facebook.

Next month, SJC Women’s League will have Dale Everitt as their guest speaker. He will talk on San Jacinto County, Facts and Tales. Dale is a well know personality in our area who, with Charles Ballard, started the SJC Radio, a free internet radio station. He is also a long-time member of the SJC Historical Commission. Please make a note to hear him on Oct. 13.

•Shepherd Library is looking for some volunteers to help out at the library. The hours involved will be up to the volunteer, but a commitment is required so serious volunteers are invited to talk with Terri, the Library Director at (936) 628-3515. 

Help is needed with the programs for children and adults, welcoming people and using the computer to check in and out the books, films, etc., and to generally enjoy being in a bright, air conditioned and welcoming place. This is perfect for those who like to read, watch movies and join in with the community events. 

•The SJC Democratic Party met Saturday morning at Coldspring Community Center. This was the first meeting chaired by John Michael Adams, who just took on the position of Chair recently. 

The group will meet regularly from now on at the Community Center. Meetings will be announced. 

This time training for phone banks and block walking were discussed and John Michael said that the Vote by Mail Program had sent out about 350 applications in our county. The party is looking for an office to rent in our area. Inquiries, if you have a place to rent, can be made by calling John Michael at (601) 434-2035 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Adams is one of the youngest chairs in the state and says he is a regular rural Democrat having lived in the country, this area, most of his life, although he was born in Mississippi, He is also a cancer survivor, which he overcame when he was a teenager. 

The SJC Democrats became a member of the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce, and a ribbon cutting will be announced soon.

•Health Center of Southeast Texas welcomes a new doctor to their practice. Dr. Carlos Escobar is a practicing psychiatrist and is a very experienced professional . 

To learn more about him and his practice, call the HCSETX at (281) 592-2224. The main office in our area is in Cleveland at 307 N. William Barnett Ave. They have an office in Shepherd also.

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 discusses future road projects

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SanJacCountySealBy Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — Future road projects will cause numerous detours for people living near four bridges in the county, but not until 2024.

Approved closing portions of farm-to-market roads for construction projects; Need to rebuild bridges, and Mitchell Randall of TxDOT told commissioners that closing the bridges for repair is cheaper and faster than building temporary bridges.

One project is on FM 945 just under ½ mile west of Trail Ride Road; the second, also on FM 945, is two bridges about ½ mile west of the intersection with FM 2025; and a third is on FM 3278 on the bridge crossing the Trinity River near the Polk/San Jacinto county line.

The projects will begin around May 2024, and last between 4 and 6 months. Randall said TxDOT is in the design phase for the projects.

Commissioner Mark Nettuno pointed out that one of the projects could affect school bus routes; Randall said TxDOT does notify schools and EMS systems about any closures.

In other business, the county;

•approved a contract with Calvary Construction to repair the Annex Building, which was damaged after being struck by a vehicle. The contract was discussed in executive session, and is a reimbursement contract, meaning the county will pay for repairs and then be reimbursed by the county’s insurance company;

•approved negotiation for a property purchase in connection with jail expansion, also discussed in executive session;

•approved a lot split for Randy and Terri Ellisor;

•approved submission of an application for a Community Development Block Grant;

•approved the declaration of county equipment as salvage;

•accepted a $5,750 donation from residents of Beaver Den Road for road repairs on the 2/10 of a mile of road;

•approved use of the Storm Shelter in April 2023 for Women’s League Style Show at a cost of $100;

•approved the release of a $200,000 bond for Peach Creek Farms; and

•approved the use of Eastex Title for real estate settlement services.

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