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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

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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Honored son

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060922 honored son Bessie Richardson reacts to the plaque and flag presented to her. Photo by Charlie Ballard


Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The true meaning of Memorial Day in San Jacinto County was displayed through a ceremony on May 30 honoring one of the county’s fallen heroes.

Pvt. John Nelson, a young African American from Coldspring, joined the Army in October 1917 to serve in World War I.
At the time, the military was segregated, so Nelson was assigned to the 369th Harlem regiment, a regiment so tough in battle it was named by the enemy the Hellfighters.

Nelson was killed in action on Sept. 26, 1918, in one of the last, bloodiest battle of the war — the Meuse-Argonne offensive — and is buried in the Romagne-sous-Montfaucon cemetery in France.

He was honored by area veterans and officials, and his 91-year-old niece, Bessie Richardson, was the special guest at the event.

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County delays funding request

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sanjacinto courthouse

By Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — A request for $38,000 for the Waterwood Volunteer Fire Department was delayed for two weeks while the county researches the request.

At the regular county meeting on June 1, Tim McGrath of the WVFD request funds to purchase an offroad UTV with a 300-gallon capacity foam system, which should be available under the auspices of American Rescue Plan Act.

McGrath said the department does not have any such capabilities.

“There’s a potential this year to be very dry with very high wildland fire danger, and we have no capability to access land on narrow roads or in forest-like conditions,” he said. “Neighboring department have the equipment, but the resulting delay is 30-45 minutes. We need the ability to respond to events quickly.”

However, the court questioned whether the department had actually applied for the funds, instead of approaching the court itself, and also whether there were other avenues for funding the request.

Judge Fritz Faulkner said that some research was needed in order to see if the fire department qualified for the grant funds, and the court tabled the motion.

In other business, the court:

• approved a lot split for property owned by Arica Pitts located on Snowhill Road;

• tabled a vote on the installation of a septic system at the animal shelter;

• discussed a presentation from Nancy Windham from the Texas Forest Country Partnership;

• approved a method of distribution of grant funds for DETCOG-area counties;

• approved bond renewals for the County Judge’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office;

• approved designating old county equipment as salvage; and

• approved changing the designated payee for grant funds from Mercy to 150 water system.

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