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San Jacinto County News

Commissioners dismiss initial landfill concerns

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CountySealSJ 200By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula
SJNT staff writer

COLDSPRING — Opening the meeting with public comment, Van Weldon, owner of a produce farm near the proposed landfill in the southern part of the county, wanted to know if commissioners were OK with the newest addition.

The court would not return comment, citing the matter was not on the agenda, though several times Weldon stated he had filed the appropriate paperwork with the County Clerk’s office to create an action item on the agenda.

Commissioner David Brandon, who wrote to TCEQ earlier this year regarding road conditions and “unwanted changes” nearby residents would endure as a consequence of the landfill, refused to give any statement or opinion when asked by Weldon.

When Commissioner Mark Netunno, also a DETCOG chairman familiar with the situation, was asked if he was for or against it, stated “I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t be here. If you buy a piece of land you should be able to do anything as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else.” 

TCEQ has raised concerns over violations and erosion problems at the Livingston landfill, with concerns of similar happenings occurring at the proposed San Jacinto one since it would be run by the same company, Peach Creek Environmental. The cities of Shepherd and Cleveland have already signed resolutions stating they view the landfill as a public health concern. 

The company has made a $75,000 donation to fix and maintain a road leading up to the 2,000-acre property, despite not having obtained a permit yet.

A virtual public hearing will be held by TCEQ on Sept. 28. Without addressing the concern, the gentleman was dismissed by Judge Fritz Faulkner.

In a separate matter, after successfully applying, San Jacinto County will receive a $5.5 million grant from the American Rescue Plan. Since the program is new it is still being learned what can be done with the money, but objectives listed on the US Treasury’s website include replacing lost revenue, addressing public and economic challenges, and continuing efforts to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.

In other business:

  • Despite continued cases of the coronavirus, the San Jacinto County Fair will go on as it has in pre-pandemic years.
  • Citing several employees asking for a clarification on protocol, the county will outline covid procedures within its own workforce, including how to handle situation in which a family member has covid and paid sick time.
  • There is no update on census data for the county or the innovation center.

The next Commissioner’s court meet will meet Wednesday, Sept. 22, at 9 a.m. in the Emergency Shelter in Coldspring, across from the courthouse. Public comment can be made at the beginning of the meeting.

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Partnership helps schools

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Pirate partners are featured in monthly Shepherd School publications and online. (Courtesy Photo)Pirate partners are featured in monthly Shepherd School publications and online. (Courtesy Photo)Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — Shepherd ISD would like to join up with individuals, businesses and companies to help empower and educate all students for success in society.  

By becoming a Pirate Partner, individuals have the opportunity to support the district and the students in the community. The proceeds go to the Shepherd Blue and White Scholarship and for staff appreciation.  

Shepherd is a school district with an unwavering commitment to excellence and embraces the responsibility to create a space where everyone feels confident to perform at their very best and we want the community to help us achieve this.

There are different levels of partnership, costing from $100 to $500.

For information, contact Brooke Rhoden, SISD Parent and Community Liaison, at (936) 628-3396 ext. 4005 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Thanks for the assist

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082621 shepherd bus 1000

The Shepherd ISD Transportation Department shows appreciation to Texas Department of Public Safety State Troopers, as well as Corporal Chris Koonce of CVE Nacogdoches County and Trooper Linley Clark of San Jacinto County. These Troopers take great pride in their work, public safety and the betterment of all communities. DPS Troopers are always there to lend a hand and help us grow into something better. The officials dedicated time and knowledge to help the district grow and further its goals for the future and providing better transportation for students. Courtesy photo

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One killed in two-vehicle collision on U.S. Highway 59

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DPS20logo 1Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD —A two-vehicle crash on U.S Highway 59 on Saturday claimed the life of a Liverpool man.

According to reports from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Phillip Marone, 57, was pronounced dead at the scene the crash, which occurred three miles south of Shepherd. 

The report indicates that at 2:14 p.m., a 2003 Ford Expedition, driven by Marone, was traveling southbound on U.S. 59. A 2020 Mazda M3, driven by Coby Duncan, 22, of Shepherd, was traveling northbound. 

Marone’s vehicle suffered a tire blowout on the left rear of the vehicle causing it to roll across the center median into the northbound lane, striking the Mazda on the driver’s side. 

Marone was pronounced dead at the scene by San Jacinto County Justice of the Peace Harris Blanchette. 

Duncan was transported to HCA Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Additionally, there were multiple passengers in the Mazda: Maria Garcia, age and address unknown, was transported to HCA Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries; and two girls, a 1-year-old and 2-year-old, also were transported to HCA Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. 

This crash remains under investigation.

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San Jacinto County resident honored

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081921 sheriff award 1000

Special to the News-Times

SHEPHERD — The San Jacinto County Sheriff’s Department honored an Shepherd man for his assistance in solving a burglary case.

Brenda Myers, executive director of the Community and Children's Impact Center, said Teddy Theodore Elliot’s efforts helped stop numerous thefts from the center’s thrift shop.

“Each time Deputy Brian Cosme would respond to take statements, Teddy was always delighted to assist by reviewing all the videos and putting them on a sim card for the deputy,” Myers said. “Every time he would tell each and every customer how he helped solved a crime in our community.”

Myers said Teddy is a very kind and much-loved person in the community and is always helping others, so because of that, she contacted the Sheriff’s Department and asked him if there was a recognition process for this.

“(Cosme) reached out to Sheriff Greg Capers and with no hesitation, they made arrangements for Teddy to be picked up in a patrol car and escorted to the Police Station, where he was met by other law enforcement officers,” she said. “They presented a Citizens Award recognizing Teddy for assisting San Jacinto County Sheriffs Dept to stomp out crime.”

Myers said she truly is grateful for the kindness shown by the SJCSO to such an amazing person.

“Everyone who knows and loves Teddy also knows this will be a memory he will never forget,” she said. “He is a valued and very much-appreciated volunteer at the Impact Thrift Shop in Shepherd.

“I would like to recognize the San Jacinto County Sheriff's Department for this,” Myers said. “They went the extra mile by giving him an award, a hat which he will probably never take off, a pen for his jacket and a tour of the Police Station.”

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