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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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West: GOP needs to engage

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051321 west 1TONY FARKAS | SJNT Lt. Col. Allen West, leader of the Texas GOP, tells the crowd at the San Jacinto Republican Party meeting how to keep non-conservative values from taking over the state of Texas.

By Tony Farkas

COLDSPRING — The state’s GOP party leader said the state is facing a Marxism that is based on racial divisiveness, and Republicans have to go on offense and speak out.

“The only way we win is to make sure that Texas remains the strong, constitutionally driven state that it is,” Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.), said. “We are in an ideological civil war, and we need to put on the full armor of God and the full armor of understanding — who we are and what we believe.”

West spoke to a gathering of the San Jacinto GOP Party on May 5. He was elected to the position in 2019.

“We live in a constitutional republic; we’re supposed to be governed, not ruled by orders, edicts, mandates and creeds,” he said. “You are blessed to be in this country, in this state, but in the blink of an eye you can lose it. Now is the time to destroy progressive socialism — a cancer that is trying to destroy the greatest state that God’s ever known.”

West said that by explaining the party’s constitutional conservative principles, its Judeo-Christian faith, its belief in strong families and individual responsibility, accountability and freedom, things can eventually change, and in Texas, that was evident in the last election.

“By presenting the facts about police defunding and other issues such as open borders, we found that many people in the Rio Grande Valley agreed, and for the first time in a long time, the valley was flipped to red,” he said. “Zapata County for the first time in 100 years is now a Republican County, and just a few weeks ago, we swore in a young, Hispanic woman by the name of Jennifer Longoria-Thatcher as GOP chair.”

Warriors understand that battles aren’t won on defense, but on offense, and the time has come for conservatives to stop allowing the “progressive, socialist left” to dictate the narrative, to own the message in a place like Texas, West said.

The results in Zapata County can be replicated, he said.

051321 west 2TONY FARKAS | SJNT Lt. Col. Allen West cuts up with San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers at a meeting of the San Jacinto County Republican Party.

“One of the things I plan to focus on is something we haven’t done as Republicans, and that is local elections,” West said. “They have the least amount of voter participation; if you can convince five of your friends to come out and vote, you’ll raise those percentages. (In the local elections) this past Saturday, more than 70 percent of these woke, critical-race-theory school board members got sent home.”

West said that other successes include Lubbock, which became the largest sanctuary city in the nation for the unborn, and in Austin, voters got rid of tent cities.

“In Kerrville, an incredible thing happened; a young man by the name of Roman Garcia is now a member of the Kerrville City Council and he won with 57 percent,” he said. “He is 19 years of age. We can connect with the younger generation.”

West also exhorted the area pastors to get out and fight the racism and Democratic ways of thinking, to not put faith on the back burner in favor of a government agenda.

“Change the minds of young people,” he said. “Get people to understand that your skin color does not define you.”

West pointed out that Texas is gaining two congressional seats in the House, and states with liberal governors pursuing liberal agendas have lost them, such as Michigan and California.

Because of that, he noted that people from those states who move to Texas need to be engaged.

“Let them know how special Texas is,” West said. “Let them know that no other state in the nation fought for its independence all by itself. Let them know that when they come to Texas, they need to be part of Texas, not make it like where they came from.”

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COCISD settles on single candidate

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Dr. TaultonCOURTESY PHOTO Dr. Bryan Taulton

SJNT staff

COLDSPRING — On Tuesday, May 4, the Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to name Dr. Bryan Taulton as the lone finalist for the position of COCISD Superintendent.

Dr. Taulton is the current superintendent of Goodrich ISD.

Due to state law, there is a 21-day waiting period before the board can officially hire Dr. Taulton. The board is scheduled to meet about the matter May 27.

According to Taulton’s LinkedIn profile, he currently is the superintendent of Goodrich ISD in Houston, and had previously been an adjunct professor at Houston Baptist University.

He holds a Ph.D. in education administration and supervision, which he obtained in 2014.

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Commissioners seek more county improvement

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CountySealSJFILE PHOTO San Jacinto County seal

By Emily Kubisch-Sabrsula
SJNT staff writer

COLDSPRING — Reports of residents not respecting private or public property when holding events that may require security spurred a county law enforcement professional to seek a remedy.

Precinct 2 Constable Ray Atchley took advantage of public comment during the regular County Commissioners’ Court meeting to address county gatherings.

Atchley said that recent events in Shepherd were held and have made some residents miserable. While law enforcement has attempted to stay within their authority while respecting the rights of both parties — those having the event and those potentially filing the complaint against the coordinators — with no oversight, the resources to help maintain public safety are not always available to law enforcement.

Atchley asked the court if they would consider passing a resolution to give law enforcement more authority to enforce restrictions should they become necessary, and he presented the court with an example to consider.

No action could be taken.

Elsewhere, the Court will seek bids for administrative services and requests for qualifications for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The county expects to receive $5,597,025.34, which will go towards projects aimed at expanding the definition of traditional infrastructure, seeking to provide more resources for more projects, including rural healthcare, small business credit expansion initiatives, and improvements to the Child Tax Credit.

More information on how money will be distributed can be found at https://home.treasury.gov/.

Other matters discussed by the county include:

  • The county’s newest truck stop off of Highway 59 and FM 1127 in Shepherd will soon be hiring 70 new employees pending the completion of inspections.
  • Vaccination rates in San Jacinto County have continued to decline as those who are eligible and want the vaccine have been able to receive theirs. At the last Army-run clinic less than 10 people showed up, according to County Judge Fritz Faulkner. They are keeping ears open for when children will be eligible.

The next Commissioner’s court meet will meet Wednesday, May 19 at 9 am at the Emergency Shelter in Coldspring, across from the courthouse. Public comment can be made at the beginning of the meeting.

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Council set on cleaning up the town

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coldspringcityFILE PHOTO Coldspring town hall sign

By Tony Farkas

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring City Council is making bold moves to clean up the city.

At its regular meeting on May 3, council members approved starting the process to have the property owners of three properties within the city remedy the violations of the city’s nuisance law.

According to Mayor Pat Eversole, one property is an abandoned home on Slade Street, and the city has received complaints from neighbors about it being an eyesore and dangerous.

The remaining two, both on Highway 150, are vacant and full of parked cars and litter, Eversole said.

The properties and complaints have been turned over to the city’s attorney to start the process for remediation, and the for the attorney to contact the landowners.

In other business, the council:

  • discussed a draft ordinance to ban private and civil helicopters landing within the city limits, which will come up for approval at the next council meeting;
  • discussed a planned ballpark expansion, and the council’s hope to find some additional property to expand the Dixie Youth Park fields and construct another entrance. Also, portable toilets with handicapped access were ordered for placement at the park;
  • approved the repair of a sewer line that had been damaged by a vehicle; and
  • tabled a discussion about removing an ADA-compliant handrail section on the town square at the intersection of Highway 150 at Church Street for further discussion.

The Coldspring City Council meets the first Monday of every month, beginning at 7 p.m. at Coldspring City Hall.

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