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San Jacinto County News - Breakout

Commission mulls new fee structure for rentals

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SanJacCountySealBy Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court discussed implementing a fee structure for people and organizations wanting to rent the Emergency Shelter at its regular meeting on Nov. 30.

Commissioner Mark Nettuno said the county waives fees for use of the shelter for events, but commissioners contend that the fee structure is open-ended with no details, and still costs the county money

In the last fiscal year, the county, through the general fund, had to contribute $29,000 for the shelter to break even.

Currently, the county requires a $200 deposit and then $250 for ½ of the structure Sunday through Wednesday, and $500 for half Thursday through Saturday. Prices are double if the whole shelter is rented.

Commissioner Donny Marrs said the county needs to put more thought into costs for the building’s use.

County personnel to come in and setup and take-down for an event amounts to around $160 for renting half of the space, and double if the whole shelter is used.

Commissioners Laddie McAnally said it is OK to waive fees for a function that is strictly to help the community.

“I’m not talking about every function we have … but there are some organizations that should be considered for a lower rate,” he said.

Nettuno said regardless of the fee structure, there still needs to insurance coverage provided by each renter.

The county appointed several commissioners to come up with a fee structure to be brought to a future court session.

In other business, the court:

•approved an agreement with FEMA for a public warning system, with commissioners McAnally and Brandon abstaining;

•approved bond renewal for Constable Ray Atchley;

•approved a “Sweats for Vets” clothing drive collection point for the Courthouse;

•approved county equipment as surplus;

•approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Shepherd for inspections;

•approved having IT personnel on call for use by the Sheriff’s Department on the weekends; and

•approved the purchase of a pickup truck for $43,487 from Buckalew Chevrolet.

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COCISD leader garners honor

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Special to the News-Times

Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Superintendent Dr. Bryan Taulton was honored at the 2022 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards in Houston on Dec. 4.

The Presidential Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize individuals for their commitment to cultivating lasting change.

According to the event website, the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation founded the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2003 to honor outstanding citizens giving their time to volunteering and helping their communities.

The Selection Committee deliberates long hours and gives careful consideration to all nominees.

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Christmas celebration goes well

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Jinda “Lady Songbird” Harris entertains the crowd.  Photo  by Tony FarkasJinda “Lady Songbird” Harris entertains the crowd. Photo by Tony Farkas

DidYouKnow ColumnHeadShepherd held its Christmas event on Dec. 3 in Gazebo Park next to the Library. We had wonderful entertainment from singers and DJ Joe LeBlanc. Jinda Harris sang as she walked around the Park and people got up to dance to the music .

Tamisha Crowley, Lateja Skinner and Megan Lewis sang to the people and ‘Karaoke Joe’ was their backing as well as filling in when singers were resting. Tina LeBlanc was there too, looking wonderful after recovering from her accident when a deer jumped into her as she drove on her motorbike. She said she is starting physical rehab soon.

Santa was popular with everybody, and the weather was perfect. Rain had been forecast for the morning, but it never arrived in Shepherd.

The Intermediate and High School ROTC were very well-represented. Along with the Marching Blue and White Shepherd High School Band, they made a great impression in the Parade and before, as they went through their paces in the park.

New store owner Marvin Green brought some items from his Shepherd Supercenter, which is located on the frontage road at 11403 State Highway 150, Suite A. This is just on the corner of Highway 150 and US 59 South feeder. His store is full of an amazing variety of items most of them new, all in great condition. There is furniture, home decor, clothes, jewelry, tools, toys and much more.

Children loved the bubble wands he had and there were bubbles everywhere. The store is open Wednesday- Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call (832) 579-3800 for more information.

Another interesting vendor was Olivia representing SAAFE House, which provides services to victims of family violence and sexual assault. They have been doing this since 1984 and also provide legal advocacy, licensed counseling, shelters and safety planning and community education.

Their 24-hour hot lines are (936) 291-3369 and (936) 327-2513. You can donate to this very worthy cause at www.saafehouse.org/donate. They serve, beside San Jacinto County, Walker, Polk and Trinity counties.

Food was supplied by Walterine Carr and her team who served fried fish, chicken strips, fries and chili.

The Parade was well attended and went very smoothly, thanks to the law enforcement officers from our county who directed traffic after the parade as well as making sure the streets were closed beforehand. Thank you all who helped here, Sheriff Greg Capers and his officers and Constable Ray Atchley who also helped with the lineup of floats.

We had some very inventive ideas with first place going to the City of Shepherd Float. They had a giant cup of what looked like steaming liquid with a dinosaur sipping it through a straw, and there was a gingerbread house provided the background. The steam of course was dry ice.

Second place went to The Community and Children’s Impact Center. A gingerbread house complete with a Grinch who claimed to be stealing cookies moved in and out of the house holding a sign to this effect.

Many of the Impact Center’s youth held signs to send the crowd Christmas messages. They were a very dynamic bunch.

Third place went to the float of the Shepherd Middle School Cheer Team. This team of very active girls did their cheer dances in front of their float well before parade time. Their float was also a delightfully designed Gingerbread House. When they heard they had won third place they let us all know they could cheer.

Shepherd Primary School was given an honorable mention with their float. The judges thought they were worthy of this mention. Thank you Judges. Linda Bridges arranged for a golf cart for the three of them since the line of floats and vehicles was very long and they were able to move more comfortably on wheels.

Next Saturday, Dec. 10, is Coldspring’s Christmas on the Square. The day is well-planned with entertainment, vendors, kids games and a gingerbread house contest. This entails building a house from scratch and is meant for children who may have one adult as a helper. The finished houses will be judged and then the public may view them for an hour afterwards.

The venue will be the Community Center by the Square. Call the Chamber for details since the entrants will be limited in number.

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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Board honors winners

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Coldspring-Oakhurst High School freshman Hayden Richards was recognized for her 3rd place win in the Jr. FFA Creed Speaking contest at the very competitive Sam Houston District LDE competition. Photo by Cassie GregoryColdspring-Oakhurst High School freshman Hayden Richards was recognized for her 3rd place win in the Jr. FFA Creed Speaking contest at the very competitive Sam Houston District LDE competition. Photo by Cassie Gregory

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The COCISD Board of Trustees celebrated excellence at its monthly meeting on Nov. 28.

James Street Elementary and Coldspring Intermediate Advanced Academics students displayed their first-semester anatomy projects for the public before the meeting and were congratulated by school board members with a handshake after the meeting began.

Also recognized was Coldspring-Oakhurst High School freshman Hayden Richards for her third-place win in the Junior FFA Creed Speaking contest at the very competitive Sam Houston District LDE competition in November.

After the student recognition, Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Education Foundation Grants Committee Chairperson Cathy Loflin discussed the winners of this year’s COEF Fall Grants cycle. Out of the 13 applications received, eight were awarded by the COEF in the total amount of $21,102.02.

COEF directors presented the Board with a symbolic check in the amount of the grant awards.

Afterward, Asst. Superintendent of Business & Finance J.W. Kirkham conducted a public hearing to discuss the district’s FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System) rating.

In other business, the board:

•approved the Local Wellness Policy for 2022-23.

•approved the 2022 Certified Tax Roll.

•approved the purchase and installation of nursing equipment for the high school campus.

The next regular meeting of the COCISD Board of Trustees is set for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Jones Auditorium, 125 FM 1514 in Coldspring

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Tis the season

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Lots of gingerbread houses in the annual parade. (Courtesy Photo)Lots of gingerbread houses in the annual parade. (Courtesy Photo)

Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — Parade enthusiasts from across San Jacinto County joined together in Shepherd on Saturday to celebrate the Christmas holiday season

A special thanks to the Shepherd Chamber of Commerce which sponsored the event. The individuals from the Shepherd Chamber have for years given unselfishly of their time and efforts so the members of the community could benefit.

As is customary, members of the law enforcement community and Sheriff Greg Capers were out in force providing for the safety and security for both participants and spectators as well as traffic control.

A broad selection of impressive floats, as well as students from Shepherd ISD to include members of the JROTC presenting colors for the parade, capped off the festivities.

Winning first place in the parade was the city of Shepherd float; second place went to the Community Impact Center; and third was won by the Shepherd Middle School cheerleaders.

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