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San Jacinto County News

Court holds special session on flood infrastructure

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SJchildabuseawareness1EMILY KUBISCH-SABRSULA | SJNT The Courthouse lawn is festooned with Marvel and DC comic book characters and stars in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month.

By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula
SJNT staff writer

COLDSPRING — Residents of San Jacinto County can soon expect to see prescribed burns and surveyors with the U.S. Forest Service wrapping up their jobs around the Sam Houston National Forest, with improvements to come from them.

During a special session on Wednesday, the court discussed plans to bid on CDBG-DR Harvey Round 1 projects, including on streets in the Waterwood subdivision and other roads in the county including Butch Arthur, Jeanette, Pelican, and Chipmunk roads.

Improvements include plans to install culverts, clean neglected ditches and perform other means of flood mitigation, since several roads and bridges in the county historically flood via the San Jacinto river and several of its creeks.

Pending the completion of the surveys and updates of county records, that information will be used to complete Harvey related projects as well as other potential areas of improvement including running new power lines and means to reduce speeding on the county’s curvier roads.

Those still seeking to receive their first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine, either Pfizer or Moderna depending on availability, can reach out to the San Jacinto Office of Emergency Management at (936) 653-8714 for upcoming clinics.

Those seeking a vaccine do not need to live in the county to receive one. This includes those participating in the ongoing Save Our Seniors Initiative, which aims to prioritizing getting the vaccine to those 75 years or older.

The Enterprise Lease program continues to provide Chief Tim Keen with weekly check-ins but production cutback from pandemic-related problems have left the department without new vehicles, something that has been ongoing since late 2020.

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Students lend helping hand

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042221 Chemo Kits 1COURTESY PHOTO | CASSIE GREGORY Members of the Coldspring-Oakhurst High School FBLA and the Order of the Eastern Star worked together to collect donations for chemo bags to encourage struggling cancer patients in the Coldspring area. Shown from left: Lisa Lewis, Marissa Martinez, Neveah Piles, Ethan Manshack, Desiree McFadden, Amanda Ready, Marydith Hebert, Luc Butler and COHS Business Teacher and FBLA Sponsor Kelly Presley.

Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Under the guidance of Coldspring-Oakhurst High School Business teacher Kelly Presley, COHS Future Business Leaders of America members, together with the Order of the Eastern Star, worked on a donation drive to collect items for chemo bags to present to patients struggling with cancer in the local area.

The group created 130 handmade cards to be placed into each bag to offer words of encouragement, and collected more than 100 items to help fill the bags.

042221 Chemo Kits 2COURTESY PHOTO | CASSIE GREGORY COHS FBLA member Desiree McFadden helped fill chemo bags to encourage local cancer patients.

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Students gather food

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041521 food drive 1 copyCOURTESY PHOTO Shepherd ISD FFA members participated in a food drive recently. Pictured are Madison Smith, president; Aulstin Baloy, treasurer; and Ashley Adams, secretary.

Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — The Shepherd FFA participated in the Seventh Annual Battle of the FFA's Canned Food Drive recently.

In all, Shepherd FFA collected 1,360 pounds of donated goods, with Coldspring FFA collecting a total of 616 pounds.

With the generous donations from San Jacinto County Farm Bureau, Bank of San Jacinto County, and McClain's Food Market, the overall total surpassed last year's donation with 3,234 pounds.

All proceeds will be divided equally and donated to the Shepherd and Coldspring Senior Citizens Centers.

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Board discusses PD’s outreach efforts

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040121 COCISD PDCOURTESY PHOTO BY CASSIE GREGORY COCISD Police Chief Roosevelt Joseph and his team gave a year-in-review presentation at the COCISD school board meeting on Monday, March 22.

By Cassie Gregory
Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — The highlight of the March 22 COCISD Board of Trustees meeting was the yearly report given by COCISD Police Chief Roosevelt Joseph and his team of officers.

They reported on the year's events and outreach programs that have been implemented to build relationships with students, families and the community.

"A lot of what we've been doing is to foster the relationship between the public and police officers," Joseph said. "This has been a tough year with all of the things going on around the country. We are community based — that's what we are all about."

Some of the programs include Cops Who Care at the beginning of the school year, where officers give away free backpacks filled with school supplies, and Shop with a Cop at Christmas, which helps to provide gifts for students in need at Christmas.

"We don't want any child to wake up on Christmas morning without a gift under the tree," Joseph said.

The department also works with organizations and other police departments to acquire equipment, technology and software at no cost to the district. Recently, hey were awarded a grant for a sophisticated report-writing system that has cut down on the time it takes to record reports and has greatly increased the security of confidential information. Another grant provided equipment designed to teach students about the danger of vaping, and they also received new radios as a donation, saving the district $12,000.

"We work very hard every day to make this a safe environment, and we are going to continue," Joseph said.

Also at the meeting, Coldspring-Oakhurst High School advanced culinary arts students served a delicious meal to board members and staff under the direction of Chef Joel Casiday. The selection included chicken and dumplings, mixed greens salad and a fresh, multi-berry crisp topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.

The meeting began with the pledges of allegiance led by Coldspring Intermediate students.

Interim Superintendent Walter Key introduced and thanked the culinary arts students, followed by a presentation given by Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Vikki Curry and campus principals on benchmark scores.

In other business, trustees approved:

  • •The adoption of pre-kindergarten instructional materials to be implemented in the 2021-22 school year.
  • •The TASB Localized Policy Manual Update 116.
  • •Recommended revisions to board policies.
  • •A digital learning agreement with Apex Learning.
  • •The purchase and installation of a paint booth for Coldspring-Oakhurst High School.
  • •The purchase of interactive televisions.
  • •Participation in the Region 7 purchasing cooperative.
  • •Construction of a tennis court.
  • •Proposals for facility projects.
  • •To temporarily delegate hiring authority for contract personnel to the superintendent.

The next regular meeting of the COCISD Board of Trustees is set for 6:30 p.m. April 26 at the Jones Educational Complex Auditorium.

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San Jacinto County Chamber celebrates new businesses

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032521 chamber rhjTONY FARKAS | SJNT Relson Gracie JiuJitsu celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Saturday.

By Tony Farkas

SHEPHERD — Three businesses new to the community were honored by the Greater Shepherd Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, two with ribbon cuttings and one named Business of the Month.

Fierce Nutrition, a store that specializes in nutritious smoothies, shakes and herbal teas, was named Business of the Month for March and April.

032521 chamber fierceTONY FARKAS | SJNT Fierce Nutrition was named Business of the Month for March by the Greater Shepherd Chamber of Commerce.

Texas Glam Girlz celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting, although owner Misty Slawson says they’ve been open since October.

Slawson, who’s been a Shepherd resident most of her life, offers several different services: there’s a boutique that offers women’s and girls clothes, shoes and accessories; a tanning salon, which has tanning beds or spray tans available; and a dry cleaning business.

032521 chamnber tggTONY FARKAS | SJNT Texas Glam Girlz celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Saturday.

The grand opening was delayed, Slawson said, because of damage done to the building during the severe winter weather, requiring remodeling.

Hours are from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturdays.

At Relson Gracie JiuJitsu, owner Bruce McKinzie said he’s been open eight months, but has been teaching for 10 years.

He has been practicing the discipline for 16 years, but has been into martial arts for 38 years and holds multiple black belts. Currently, he has top belts in kenpo karate, taekwon do, jeet kune do, and kali, a Filipino martial art, to which he holds a rank of full instructor, the highest available.

He also holds full instructor ranking for jeet kune do, a discipline started by Bruce Lee, having trained with Bruce Lee’s friend Ted Wong.

McKinzie said he teaches jiujitsu because of his age and his retirement from competitive matches, and the art is less violent, but will teach other disciplines on a one-on-one basis.

“What I teach kids is to be bully-proof,” he said. “I teach students not to fight if they don’t have to, but to control the situation and holler for a teacher.”

Instruction is offered Monday through Thursday; kickboxing is from 6:15 - 7:15 p.m., children’s jiujitsu from 7:15 - 8 p.m.; and from 8 - 9 p.m. for adults.

Fierce Nutrition is at 11104 TX 150 Suite 300, and can be reached at (832) 946-4615.

Texas Glam Girlz is at 1281 S. Byrd Ave., and can be reached at (334) 429-0545.

Relson Gracie JiuJitsu, next door to Fierce Nutrition, can be reached at (281) 387-8782.

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