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Academic Award Dyanne VasquestCOURTESY PHOTO Academic Award Dyanne Vasquest

SJNT Staff

On May 13, the Shepherd held its academic and athletic banquet, and honored students that excelled in their respective sport, as well as in learning.

Getting through the school year, given the challenges over the past year, is an achievement all students can be proud of.

Academic Award Dyanne Vasquest
Academic Award Winner Christian Castillo
Athletic Trainers of the Year. David Benkowski and Graycie Weaver
Baseball MVP Dillen Johnson
Basketball MVP Brad Davis
Cross Country MVPs Dillen Johnson and Grace Ramos
Fighting Heart Award Winners Jackson Ellingburg and Shelby Dean
Football MVP Brice Major
Gary Corn Memorial Award Winner Autumn Phillips
Gary Corn Memorial Award Winner Walker Windt
Girls Basketball MVP Grace Ramos
Madison Smith Cheer MVP
Most Athletic Dillen Johnson
Most Athletic Female Cheyenne Lowrance
Powerlifting MVPs Lain Baker and Shelby Dean
Softball MVP Kaylee Barlow
Tennis MVPs Kristi Hinzie and Valentina Beiza
Track MVPs HD Green and Grace Ramos
Volleyball MVPs Kristi Hinze and Jordan Watkins
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One arrested in murder case

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052021 suspectMUGSHOT Emmanuel Smith

By Tony Farkas

CLEVELAND — Two people have been arrested in the April 22 shooting death of a Cleveland resident.

Emmanuel Smith, 20, a resident of the Porter/New Caney area, was arrested in Montgomery County in connection with the shooting death of Clay Heard. A second suspect, who was not identified at this time, is currently being held in Montgomery County Jail on drug charges.

Detective Gary Sharpen of the San Jacinto Sheriff’s Office said that the two men were found in the Home Depot parking lot in Conroe and were arrested by tactical officers of the Houston Police Department and agents of the Department of Homeland Security.

Heard, who is from Cleveland, was found shot in the head in a ditch in south San Jacinto County, and police began investigating the death as a homicide. Over time, SJCSO detectives, Texas Rangers, Houston Police, Homeland Security and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.

The arrest involved a tactical team because it was believed that the two men were most likely to be armed, Sharpen said.

The case remains under investigation; however, Sharpen said the crime appears to be drug-related.

According to reports, on April 22, at approximately 4:30 p.m., the SJCSO received a call about an unresponsive male laying in the ditch, about two miles down Forest Service Road 201 from FM 1725 in the Cleveland area, deep inside the National Forest.

Deputies arrived and found the victim, who had been shot one time in the head, and then immediately notified the SJCSO Detective Division.

Smith has been charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. He is being held on a $1 million bond.

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FFA hands out honors

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006CASSIE GREGORY | COURTESY PHOTO The 2020-21 Coldspring-Oakhurst High School FFA Chapter Banquet was held on Thursday, May 13.

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst High School FFA Chapter celebrated a year filled with firsts, lasts, and hope for the future.

At the FFA banquet on Thursday, 2020-21 Coldspring FFA President Brelynn Ellisor opened the emotional evening.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for making this a successful year," Ellisor said. "The hard work and dedication of each member has played a role in making all of these accomplishments possible."

The invocation was led by FFA member Cinco Bailes, followed by a meal prepared and served by Mary Gray Catering with assistance from the FFA Booster Club.

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The 2020-21 FFA officers — Ellisor, Vice President Camilla Fussell, Secretary Kimberly Blackmann, Treasurer Kylie Curri, and Reporter Kaylen McAdams, with Advisor Ashlie Taylor — presented the year's awards and scholarship winners.

The evening wound down with a touching end-of-year slideshow and the ceremony for retiring seniors, who hung up their FFA jackets as a symbol of the end of their high school FFA years.

Before closing the meeting, the names of the 2021-2022 Coldspring FFA Officers were announced: President Kimberly Blackmann, Vice President Brelynn Ellisor, Secretary Cinco Bailes, Treasurer Hayden Richardson, Sentinel Mayci Whitten, Reporter Camilla Fussell and Student Advisor Kaylen McAdams.

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Police arrest sexual assault suspect

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crime stoppersMUGSHOT David Lynn Turner of Houston

Special to the News-Times

The San Jacinto and Montgomery County Sheriff’s offices are seeking potential victims in connection with an ongoing sexual assault case.

According to a release from Multi-County Crime Stoppers, on May 4, the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office conducted a joint investigation into allegations of sexual assault made by several victims describing similar incidents.

During the investigation it was learned that the suspect, David Lynn Turner of Houston, targeted several of his victims through various social media platforms and dating apps.

The release states Turner, a former reserve Texas Peace Officer in Harris County between 2012 and 2015, is alleged to have driven the women to remote locations in San Jacinto and surrounding counties under the guise of "Ghost Hunting," where he would then force himself upon the women in various ways.

As a result of the investigation, Turner was arrested on May 4 and charged with two counts of sexual assault, and currently is being held in the San Jacinto County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

The release states that law enforcement officials believe Turner's activities began in December 2018 in the greater Southeast Texas region, with potential victims from Beaumont, Galveston, Katy, The Woodlands, Coldspring and Livingston.

San Jacinto County and Montgomery County detectives continue to investigate, and are seeking contact with possible additional victims, the release states.

Anyone with information or interactions associated with David Lynn Turner or similar incidents are encouraged to contact the San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office at (936) 653-4367 or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (936) 760-5800.

To remain completely anonymous, call Multi-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-STOP (7867).

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Praise for prowess

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051321 fort 4COURTESY PHOTO Troy Fortenberry accepting award from Rep. Ernest Bailes

By SJNT Staff

Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Trojan Troy Fortenberry receives a recognition from the State Legislature, presented by Rep. Ernest Bailes, noting his participation in the State Track Tournament, held May 6-8 in Austin. Fortenberry, the lone high-school student participating from San Jacinto County, placed ninth in the Pole Vault with a leap of 12 feet 6 inches.

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