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San Jacinto County News

DETCOG accepting grant applications for solid waste projects

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SolidWaste STOCK

Special to the News-Times

LUFKIN — Deep East Texas Council of Governments is now taking applications for funding of solid waste projects for FY 2024.

DETCOG anticipates the awarding of grants totaling $67,500.00.

Each application will be judged by the DETCOG Regional Solid Waste Advisory Committee in accordance with the RSWAC Project Review and Scoring Guidelines and DETCOG’s Regional Solid Waste Management Plan. Grant awards will be made by the DETCOG Board after it receives the RSWAC recommendations.

The grants are available to cities, counties, public schools, school districts, river authorities as well as general and special law districts with the authority and responsibility for water quality protection or municipal solid waste management.

The applicants must be located within Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties to be eligible to apply. Funding for the DETCOG Solid Waste Grants comes from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Applications for projects will be accepted for Enforcement, litter and illegal dumping cleanup and community collection events, source reduction and recycling, local solid waste management, household hazardous waste management, technical studies, educational and training projects, and other projects not included in these categories which meet TCEQ criteria.

Applications are available on DETCOG’s website at www.detcog.gov/solid-waste-recycling. They are due back to DETCOG by 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30.

For more information, or to request an application packet, please contact Regional Services Specialist Carolyn Stephenson by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (936) 634-2247 ext. 5353.

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New law bars cruelty offenders from owning animals for five years

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AnimalCruelty STOCK

By Ali Juell
The Texas Tribune

Texas lawmakers are making it harder for those convicted of animal cruelty to own any animals – at least for the next five years after their initial offense.

The animal possession ban or House Bill 598, authored by state Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano, applies to people convicted of being involved in dogfighting operations, but also those who hurt an assistance animal or are found to be cruel to a non-livestock animal under Texas penal code or similar penal codes in other states and at the federal level.

Offenders are still able to live in the same household as animals. Shaheen said there is no exemption for offenders to own assistance animals during that five-year period nor would he support it.

“We need to make sure that our animals are taken care of,” Shaheen said. “We’re not going to tolerate any type of animal abuse.”

If an offender is found to have an animal during those five years, they could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor, or as much as a $500 fine. If the offender is repeatedly in possession of an animal, the charge is raised to a Class B misdemeanor, increasing the possible fine to $2,000 and adding the possibility of up to 180 days in jail.

Shaheen failed to pass a similar animal cruelty prevention bill during the 2021 legislative session, but he said he reintroduced the bill because of calls from his constituents, who were largely surprised a possession ban didn’t already exist.

The law went into effect Friday, one of 774 bills passed by the Texas Legislature this session.

Even though animal cruelty is a very rare problem, Shaheen said it’s important to identify offenders to prevent future violence.

In many cases of animal cruelty, perpetrators are likely to recommit an offense, sometimes immediately after their last criminal case’s conclusion, said Shelby Bobosky, executive director of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, who is also an adjunct professor of animal law and wildlife law at Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.

“Possession bans are one of the most effective ways to ensure that a person convicted of animal cruelty does not reoffend,” Bobosky said.

Wayne Pacelle, founder and president of Washington D.C.-based Animal Wellness Action, said acts of cruelty such as animal abuse are an indicator of “a broader loss of empathy for others” and creates a need for post-conviction attention from law enforcement.

“Possessing a pet or other animal in the household or on their property is a privilege and not a right,” Pacelle said in an email.

Bobosky said violence against animals can also be a warning sign of intent to harm people. She notes that in the case of the Uvalde school shooter, he had posted himself committing animal abuse to social media. By increasing convictions of animal cruelty, she said there’s hope that other instances of violence can be prevented.

“Along with psychological evaluation and some sort of treatment, these sentencing measures can ensure that the root of these issues is addressed,” Bobosky said. “Any way to cause that interruption is incredibly important from our standpoint.”

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/09/08/texas-animal-cruelty-law-five-year-ban/.

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Five injured in two crashes on US 59

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CarCrash Adobe

SJNT staff

SAN JACINTO COUNTY —Texas Department of Public Safety Troopers investigated a crash on U.S. Highway 59 at the intersection of FM 1127 that occurred Aug. 12.

The preliminary crash investigation indicates that at approximately 7:26 p.m., a 2014 Dodge Charger was traveling north on U.S. 59, while a 2012 Honda Accord was stopped on FM 1127 at the intersection.

It is reported that the driver of the Honda failed to yield to the Dodge and pulled into its path, where it was struck on its left side.

The driver of the Dodge, 28-year-old Cornesha Johnson of Lufkin, and two passengers were transported to HCA Houston Healthcare in Kingwood for treatment.

The driver of the Honda, 27-year-old Alexis Nunez of Katy, also was transported to HCA Houston Healthcare in Kingwood for treatment. Nunez was cited for failing to yield right-of-way at a stop sign.

On Aug. 14, DPS Troopers investigated a crash on U.S. Highway 59 near Wonderland First Drive.

The preliminary crash investigation indicates that at approximately 1:50 p.m., a 2023 GMC Sierra was traveling northbound in the outside lane, while a 2016 Freightliner Sprinter was traveling northbound in the inside lane.

It is reported that the driver of the GMC failed to drive in a single lane and struck the back right portion of the Freightliner, with the front left portion of his vehicle.

The driver of the GMC, 59-year-old Rose Fields of Nacogdoches, was transported to CHI St. Luke’s Hospital for treatment. Fields was cited for failing to drive in a single lane.

The driver of the Freightliner, 56-year-old Quinn Arthur, was not injured.

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One killed, one injured in shooting

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SJNT staff

An 18-year-old female was killed in an attempted murder-suicide on Saturday.

According to San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers, at about 6:35 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a shooting call at an address in the 6000 block of FM 1725.

Officers found a white female, identified as Jesslyn Draper, deceased in the yard from a gunshot wound, and a white male, identified as Dylan Morse, 25, was found in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, Capers said.

Reports indicate that Morse is believed to have shot Draper and then turned the gun on himself; Capers said Morse was transported by medical helicopter to a local trauma center for treatment.

His condition is not being released at this time.

Investigators have determined that there currently is no danger to the public as this was an isolated incident between the suspect and victim.

Capers said this is an ongoing investigation and more information will be available later.

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Summer Buy one subscription, get a new subscription free winner announced

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The winner of the summer Buy one subscription, get a new subscription free for a friend/family member , has been announced. 
The drawing was held August 17, and the lucky winner is Charlene Capers, San Jacinto News-Times subscriber. She will receive $200 in groceries from Brookshire Brothers.
Thanks to all those who participated in this contest.
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