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Shepherd ISD Board approves additional leave

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District Librarian Erin Goad, along with other members of the Shepherd School District, recognized the Shepherd Intermediate Library Art Contest winners. Students were encouraged to submit an entry — painting, writing, photograph, or a drawing — which included information about an animal. Those winners include: Third Grade, Mixed Media – Christopher Cabrera, Photography – Rylan Firmin, and Painting & Drawing – Olivia Payton; Fourth Grade, Mixed Media – Devin Wedergren, Photography – Josie Guereque, Writing – Catherine Santiago, and Painting & Drawing – Briley White; and Fifth Grade, Mixed Media – Carol Brown, Photography – Harley Newton, Writing – Kaitlyn Brown, and Painting & Drawing – Karlee McGee. (Courtesy Photo)District Librarian Erin Goad, along with other members of the Shepherd School District, recognized the Shepherd Intermediate Library Art Contest winners. Students were encouraged to submit an entry — painting, writing, photograph, or a drawing — which included information about an animal. Those winners include: Third Grade, Mixed Media – Christopher Cabrera, Photography – Rylan Firmin, and Painting & Drawing – Olivia Payton; Fourth Grade, Mixed Media – Devin Wedergren, Photography – Josie Guereque, Writing – Catherine Santiago, and Painting & Drawing – Briley White; and Fifth Grade, Mixed Media – Carol Brown, Photography – Harley Newton, Writing – Kaitlyn Brown, and Painting & Drawing – Karlee McGee. (Courtesy Photo)

By Tony Farkas
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SHEPHERD — The Shepherd ISD Board of Managers will continue offering extended leave to staff members who test positive for COVID.

The vote was at the Sept. 16 regular meeting.

Superintendent Jason Hewitt said the days shall be capped at 10 days per employee for the school year, and the days will be retroactive. Upon verification of employees who were COVID positive, the district will restore any local/state days or comp time taken.

Additionally, the district will provide a COVID-19 pandemic staff retention incentive of $500 to each full-time and part-time staff member for extraordinary work performed through the fall. Each employee is eligible for only one stipend and must be employed by the district on the date of distribution. 

The one-time payment will be paid in a lump sum to the eligible employees in December.

In a separate matter, the board gave its approval to the administration to explore the possibility of providing a child-care program for its employees. An amendment to the budget to the Fiscal Year 2022 budget for $100,000 was approved, which will be used to hire a coordinator and begin the process to become a state-licensed facility.

In other business, the board;

  • recognized Robbins Wonderland Craftory as a Pirate Partner. Jacob and Kayla Robbins have signed an agreement with SISD to create, sell, and donate half of the proceeds from selling tumblers with the SISD logo on it at home football games;
  • approved the senior trip to Disney in Orlando, Fla.;
  • approved the student trip to Indianapolis for the National FFA Convention;
  • approved the Board of Managers waiver for class sizes exceeding 22 enrolled students in Kindergarten through fourth grade in accordance with the District of Innovation plan;
  • approved a physician services agreement by and between Texas Children's Hospital and Shepherd ISD;
  • approved a resolution to compensate employees due to school emergency closure for Hurricane Nicholas;
  • approved the acceptance of the certification of unopposed candidates for Position 6 of the Shepherd ISD Board of Trustees election on Nov. 2;
  • approved the cancellation of the Shepherd ISD Board of Trustee election on Nov. 2;
  • approved a resolution delegating authority to the superintendent to act during COVID-19 emergency closure and suspension of instruction; and
  • approved a waiver for changing the maximum class size exception for pre-K classes.

The Shepherd ISD Anchor Award, given to staff members who demonstrate a high level of service to our students, families, schools, district and community, were given to teacher Heather Phelps (SIS), paraprofessional Dany Estrada (SIS), and auxiliary staff member Kristin Barnett. (Courtesy Photo)The Shepherd ISD Anchor Award, given to staff members who demonstrate a high level of service to our students, families, schools, district and community, were given to teacher Heather Phelps (SIS), paraprofessional Dany Estrada (SIS), and auxiliary staff member Kristin Barnett. (Courtesy Photo)

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Brookshire Brothers celebrates 100th anniversary

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The Brookshire brothers and their parents at a family reunion on Fern Lake in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the 1930s. Pictured left to right: Bryan (Jack) Brookshire, Wood Brookshire, Houston Brookshire, Fannie Brookshire, Jasper Brookshire, Austin Brookshire and Lee Brookshire Sr. (Courtesy Photo)The Brookshire brothers and their parents at a family reunion on Fern Lake in Nacogdoches, Texas, in the 1930s. Pictured left to right: Bryan (Jack) Brookshire, Wood Brookshire, Houston Brookshire, Fannie Brookshire, Jasper Brookshire, Austin Brookshire and Lee Brookshire Sr. (Courtesy Photo)

Special to the News-Times

LUFKIN — Brookshire Brothers Inc. whole-heartedly believes in being good people who sell good food and do good deeds in the communities where they live and work, and they’ve been doing just that for the past 100 years. 

In honor of its centennial anniversary, Brookshire Brothers and its more than 6,000 employee owners celebrated on Saturday. 

A surviving legacy

Founded in September 1921, Brookshire Brothers has grown from a small general store in downtown Lufkin to encompass 116 grocery and convenience stores, 72 pharmacies, 87 fueling stations, a fleet of trucks and trailers, a massive, centralized distribution center, a handful of coffee shops and two event venues.

In 1921, two brothers had a dream. At that time, the concept of a “grocery store” as it is known today didn’t really exist. The “Roaring Twenties” hadn’t taken off just yet, and the country was in the process of getting back on track after World War I. 

In the midst of uncertainty and turmoil, brothers Austin and Tom Brookshire, each a veteran of the Great War, pooled their resources in an attempt to create their own grocery store.

“They had a small counter, and it only had one cash register,” said Austin’s son Eugene Brookshire. “People living out of town would come in and buy big quantities of everything.”

By 1928, thanks to the help and hard work of family and friends, Brookshire Brothers began to expand throughout East Texas. By 1938, Brookshire Brothers included 32 stores, and by 1957, the franchise made a graceful exit from a country grocery store and jumped full-speed into the modern supermarket era. 

The company’s first official supermarket — store No. 8 — opened in Carthage that very year. In 1966, three sons of Austin Brookshire — R.A., Eugene and Oscar — assumed leadership of the company, which grew to 69 stores in East Texas and western Louisiana.

Growth occurred through different means, including building new facilities and purchasing existing stores. The 1990s brought about numerous changes as the company continued its search for ways to meet the needs of its communities. In 1991, the company began selling gasoline, and in 1992, they opened their first pharmacy. 

Brookshire Brothers faced numerous challenges throughout the years, including a brief period when selling out to a competitor seemed like a valid option. However, in 1999, Brookshire Brothers finalized its status in the Employee Stock Ownership Plan, giving every employee the opportunity to own a piece of the company. By 2006, Brookshire Brothers became 100% employee owned and still proudly carries that designation today. 

Some things never change

From a tiny, country store to an ever-growing franchise, Brookshire Brothers has proven that success comes from a willingness to work hard, an insistence on self-reliance and a focus on service. President and CEO John Alston said the company’s core values and focus on family and community are what sets them apart. 

“We treat our customers with respect, and we take care of our employee owners; we place a great importance on providing high quality products; and our core values of quality, community-minded action, growth and inspiration, passionate commitment to our work and friendliness that feels like home drives our business in every way possible.”

Alston said that being a community grocer carries a certain responsibility that the company carries with pride. 

“We are there when disaster strikes and our neighbors need a hot meal. We are there to purchase your son or daughter’s livestock animal they so carefully raised throughout the year. We are there for the local festival or city-sponsored event,” Alston said. “We show up with bottles of water on a hot day and a helping hand when we’re needed most. We take our service-minded attitudes outside the walls of our stores, warehouse and corporate office so we can share them with you.

“A lot can change in 100 years, but as we look forward to the next century, we hope our communities know that there are some things that will never change: most importantly, our commitment to them.”

  • Brookshire Brothers is a 100 percent employee-owned, community-centered grocer based in Lufkin. Founded in 1921, this regional grocery chain operates nearly 120 locations that stretch from the Texas Hill Country and to western Louisiana. 

Though its focus remains on traditional grocery and pharmacy, Brookshire Brothers has complimentary formats that include fuel and tobacco operations, coffee shops and event venues. Brookshire Brothers is committed to quality and service in its stores and is known for being good people who sell good food and do good deeds in the communities they serve. https://www.brookshirebrothers.com/

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Schools host college application workshop

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Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students got a jumpstart on the college application process at the Apply Texas Workshop held in partnership with Angelina College held on Friday, Sept. 10.  (Kathryn Pedigo Photo)Coldspring-Oakhurst High School students got a jumpstart on the college application process at the Apply Texas Workshop held in partnership with Angelina College held on Friday, Sept. 10. (Kathryn Pedigo Photo)

By Kathryn Pedigo 

COCISD College Career & Military Readiness (CCMR) Counselor:

COLDSPRING — Coldspring-Oakhurst High School recently partnered with Angelina College to host an Apply Texas Workshop for seniors. 

At this workshop, recruiters from Angelina College walked COHS seniors through the Apply Texas college application process in real-time.  

Apply Texas is a common application site in which students can apply for admission to any Texas public university, as well as many junior colleges and some private colleges. Students create accounts, enter their demographic data one time, and then they are able to copy a submitted application into other institutions for a variety of college applications. 

Through this site, students can also submit their application essays online, apply for scholarships from participating universities and search for general and university-specific information.  

We wish our students the best of luck in their journey towards post-secondary certificates and degrees!  For more information, visit applytexas.org.  For questions about going to college in general, visit collegeforalltexans.com.  

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San Jacinto County Fair in full swing

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The Coldspring-Oakhurst Marching Band fills the air with music.The Coldspring-Oakhurst Marching Band fills the air with music.

SJNT staff

COLDSPRING — While the cooking and check-in portions of the San Jacinto County Fair and Rodeo are in the books, events and contests still go on.

County youth will shoot for the top, and top dollar, and it all comes to a head Saturday with the Youth Auction.

Schedule of events

Wednesday

9  a.m. Fine Arts/Handicraft interviews

3-5  p.m. Steers and all heifers check-in

TBA Carnival

7  p.m. Market Swine Show- Jr then Sr

Thursday

9  a.m. Horticulture/Food Interviews

9  a.m. Ag Mechanics Judging

Clearly enjoying the ride, 72-year-old Marshall Roberts rides in the annual SJC Fair and Rodeo parade.Clearly enjoying the ride, 72-year-old Marshall Roberts rides in the annual SJC Fair and Rodeo parade.

TBA Carnival

7:30 p.m. Rodeo and Queen's 2nd Horsemanship

Friday

9  a.m. Breeding Heifer Show, followed by Commercial Heifer Show, followed by Market Steer Show

1  p.m. Auction set up. Volunteers appreciated!

2  p.m. Species Chair Notify Sale Committee of Non-Sale animals 

After show until 4  p.m. Non-Sale Animal check-out

TBA Carnival

7:30 p.m. Rodeo

Saturday

10  a.m. Exhibitors to pick up Sale numbers

10:30 a.m. Awards and Recognition

11  a.m. Youth Auction

TBA Carnival

7:30 p.m. Rodeo and Crowning of 2020 Queen

Sunday

8 -10  a.m. Mandatory Exhibitor Grounds Clean up, buyer/add-on verification, and animal check-out, Ed Barn Exhibitors/projects included

7-11 a.m. Concessions/Vendors move out

San Jacinto County Fair Queen Candidates lead the way at the annual parade. San Jacinto County Fair Queen Candidates lead the way at the annual parade.

The Shepherd High School Marching Band provides the tunes.The Shepherd High School Marching Band provides the tunes.

The Shepherd High School Marching Band provides the tunes. (Photos by Tony Farkas/SJNTThe Shepherd High School Marching Band provides the tunes. (Photos by Tony Farkas/SJNT

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Hitting 100- Shepherd Bank celebrates centennial

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psb 250Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — Peoples State Bank, the oldest chartered bank in San Jacinto County, will hit the 100-year mark in October.

The event will be marked Oct. 2 by a barbecue, door prizes, giveaways and a concert with the Kenny Martin Band.

The bank was originally chartered as San Jacinto State Bank and opened in Coldspring on Oct. 11, 1907. On Sept. 21, 1921, the Guaranty Bank of Shepherd assumed ownership of the bank. In 1926, it changed its name to Peoples State Bank. 

In 1932, the bank merged with the Coldspring State Bank, but remained in the town of Shepherd and did not open a branch in Coldspring again until 1996. A third location in Livingston was opened in 1998.

The original location of the bank is where JC’s Pharmacy now stands. The bank then moved across the street to the building currently occupied by City Hall. The present location in Shepherd was opened in 1976. Since that time, it has been expanded and remodeled numerous times.

The bank has grown to more than $158,000,000 in assets since opening.

San Jacinto was organized as a county in 1870. It was named after one of the rivers that run through the county. The area was settled by colonists as early as 1830. Prior to that, the Alabama and Coushatta Indian tribes lived there, having been granted land by the Texas Legislature. The land was taken from them by the new colonists.

The Houston East & West Railroad came to Shepherd in about 1880 and made Shepherd its principal station. It served numerous sawmills and cotton and sugar plantations in the area. Products were shipped out of Shepherd by boat as well as by rail. Boats teamed down the Trinity River to the port of Galveston.

The city of Shepherd was established by B.A. Shepherd, who worked for the Houston East & West Railroad and was a good friend of Sam Houston. Mr. Shepherd later left Shepherd and founded the first trust fund in Texas and the nation. The B.A. Shepherd Charity Fund is still in existence today.

Peoples State Bank presently has three locations in the area, serving San Jacinto and Polk counties. They have locations in Shepherd, Coldspring and Livingston. All locations are in or near the vicinity of Lake Livingston, which is one of the largest man-made lakes in the state of Texas, comprising approximately 475 miles of shoreline.

Bank robbers take note: the bank has been robbed three times in its history and each time the thieves were caught and convicted. One of those robberies was during the largest flood in the country in 1973. Two robbers made off with their bounty only to find themselves trapped by mud and rising water and were unable to escape when they had to abandon their car due to the high water and mud.

San Jacinto County’s economy today is based primarily on tourism, ranching and the timber industry. There are two large state parks, one on the east and one on the west side of Lake Livingston. At one time, a large part of the town was consumed by fire, on the west side of the present railroad tracks. After the fire, the town basically rebuilt on the east side of the railroad tracks.

Clarence O. Ford was the longest-termed officer in the bank’s history. He was elected director and acting vice president on Dec. 11, 1928, and shortly thereafter, was named president. Ford tendered his resignation on Feb. 28, 1967, after 39 years of service. After his resignation, he remained an advisor to the Board of Directors.

CEO and Chairman of the Board Clifford W. Miller has the second longest tenure, with 28 years of service. Miller came to Peoples State Bank in January of 1987. 

Mark W. Hamilton has elected President, CEO and Chairman of the Board after Miller’s retirement.

Peoples State Bank is presently owned by Amtex Bancshares, which has its headquarters in Orange. They also own Bridge City State Bank in Bridge City and Pavillion Ban

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