San Jacinto County SO attempting to locate Hispanic Male

Staff Reports

Jose-FloresSan Jacinto County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to locate a Hispanic male identified as Jose Flores.

Flores’ date of birth is March 1, 1976. He is approximately five feet, four inches tall and weights approximately 185 pounds.

Flores is identified as the man who allegedly shot and killed a 37-year-old male on Saturday, Oct. 14.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:50 p.m. in the 400 block of Oak Wood Drive in Cleveland. When responding deputies arrived on scene, they found the victim lying on the ground of a rodeo arena with several gunshot wounds. The victim was deceased on scene prior to the arrival of first responders.

The name of the victim has not been released.

Witnesses on the scene said Flores got into the passenger seat of a pickup truck and left the scene shortly after the incident.

Flores is considered to be armed and dangerous and should not be approached. For any tips or knowledge of Flores’ whereabouts or if anyone comes in contact with Flores, contact the Sheriff’s Office at 936-653-4367. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-392-7867.

COCISD hits the road to spread the word on Bond

By Cassie Gregory

Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD Superintendent Leland Moore and members of the COCISD Board of Trustees are hitting the road to share factual information and answer questions about the upcoming bond election. Presentations are planned at area community centers and local organizations district-wide throughout the month of October.

“We want to give everyone a chance to see what this bond issue is about,” Moore said. “This is our opportunity to get the word out, to share the projects that are planned, and how it will affect students, employees, and the entire COCISD community.”

Everyone is invited to attend the public meetings to see the presentation, view schematics of planned improvements, receive informational handouts, and participate in Q&A sessions at the end of each event. Questions are welcome.

Public meetings are scheduled at the following locations: Evergreen Baptist Church on Tuesday, Oct. 17; Trojan Community Forum @ Jones Educational Complex on Thursday, Oct. 19; and the Oakhurst VFD Station on Monday, Oct. 30. All public meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. and refreshments will be served.

To view the entire Bond 2017 presentation, projects list and schematics, voting information and a sample ballot, visit the district website at > District > Bond 2017. To schedule a bond presentation, contact Cindy Elliott by phone at 936-653-1114, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Early voting runs from Oct. 23-Nov. 3, and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Commissioners honor Trinity County citizens for their heroic works after Hurricane Harvey

Standing (Left to Right)…Anthony King, Sam Shanafelt, Kevin Searcy, Sheriff Woody Wallace, Scott Womack, Deputy Chief Tommy Park, VFW Commander Don Chambers, Karlene Chambers, VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Delorise Grey, Sheran Casey and Jessica Dean.  Seated (Left to Right)…Precinct #3 Commissioner Neal Smith, County Judge Doug Page, Precinct #2 Commissioner Rich Chamberlin and Precinct #4 Commissioner Jimmy Brown.Standing (Left to Right)…Anthony King, Sam Shanafelt, Kevin Searcy, Sheriff Woody Wallace, Scott Womack, Deputy Chief Tommy Park, VFW Commander Don Chambers, Karlene Chambers, VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Delorise Grey, Sheran Casey and Jessica Dean. Seated (Left to Right)…Precinct #3 Commissioner Neal Smith, County Judge Doug Page, Precinct #2 Commissioner Rich Chamberlin and Precinct #4 Commissioner Jimmy Brown.

(Trinity, TX)---Trinity County Commissioners Court recognized several citizens and first responders at their regular meeting held on Monday, September 25th at the county courthouse in Groveton. Recognized for helping to rescue residents in flooded areas of Sportsman’s Oaks subdivision off of Doug Bell Road with the fire rescue boat were Trinity Volunteer Fire Department Certification Coordinator Scott Womack, volunteer Justin Womack, and firefighter Kevin Searcy. Law enforcement officials that helped coordinate rescue activities were Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace and Deputy Chief Tommy Park. Responding with the game warden low water boat were Game Wardens Sam Shanafelt and Anthony Park. For their part in opening and operating the VFW Post #6899 emergency shelter with American Red Cross supervision were Post Commander Don Chambers, his wife Karlene and VFW Ladies Auxiliary President Delorise Grey. Some sixteen evacuees were sheltered at the VFW facility on Caroline Street for four days during the mandatory evacuation of Sportsman’s Oaks order declared by County Judge Doug Page. Also, Sheran Casey and her team of volunteers were recognized for establishing a donation center at Mickey’s House on Main Street for clothing, food, and cleaning supplies suggested by Jessica Dean from the County Attorney’s office. All were presented with certificates of appreciation by Precinct #2 County Commissioner Rich Chamberlin.

While countless people gave their time and resources to ease the burden of those affected by Harvey, these individuals went above and beyond what’s expected.

Thank you all, and our appreciation goes out, as well, to the scores of people who gathered food, clothing, water, fuel, and supplies for those here in Trinity County in southern Texas who were recipients of Trinity’s generosity.

Harvey survivors needing hotel stays get extension

Hurricane Harvey survivors who need more time to find housing are getting an extension to stay temporarily in hotels while they look for an alternative place to live.

The Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program, which pays for short-term hotel stays, has been extended by 14 days. The new checkout date is Oct. 24. Participants eligible to continue in the program will receive a phone call telling them what they need to do to remain at their current hotel or find a new hotel. Applicants must meet certain requirements to remain eligible.

Hurricane Harvey survivors who are not currently in the program but who may be eligible are notified automatically. TSA participants must be registered with FEMA for disaster assistance.

FEMA pays directly for the room and any applicable taxes. Applicants are responsible for all other incidental costs (meals, transportation, etc.). Hotels may require a credit card for incidental expenses.

A household of four or fewer members is authorized for one hotel room and a household of five or more is authorized additional rooms based on a limit of four people per room. One member of each household 18 years old or older must reside in each room.

TSA-eligible applicants must find and book their own hotel rooms. The list of participating hotels is available at under the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program link or by calling FEMA at 800-321-3362. For 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

Applicants with disabilities or who have access and functional needs should check with hotels to ensure appropriate accommodations are available. Those with pets must check with the hotel to see if they are accepted. Applicants must show photo identification and adhere to any hotel check-in requirements.

Houston Food Bank seeking partners as disaster distribution sites in county

By Megan Whitworth

Care Share Food Pantry, located in Coldspring, is the first location in San Jacinto County to partner with the Houston Food Bank as a disaster distribution site to reach individuals who have suffered losses from Hurricane Harvey.

“Food insecurity occurs year-round. It’s not on a calendar,” said Betsy Ballard, Houston Food Bank chief communications officer. “During a time following disaster, the need for food assistance is magnified. The Houston Food Bank wants to reach people who need food assistance, but we can only do it through partner agencies, most of them operated by volunteers. We want to find more partners in counties like San Jacinto in order to extend access to food beyond geographic boundaries.”

Currently the Food Bank has 230 distribution sites in various areas across Southeast Texas, but only one in San Jacinto.

The Care Share Food Pantry will be open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to distribute items. The Pantry is located at 21 Butler St.

Ballard said the Food Bank is seeking other partners in: Katy, Humble, Kingwood and Sheldon Lake areas in Harris County; Dickinson/Galveston County; and Brazoria, Fort Bend and Liberty counties.

Partners could be faith-based congregations and organizations, neighborhood organizations, community centers, social service organizations or other nonprofit entities. New partners would be considered disaster temporary agencies. If a group has access to a facility of some type that volunteers can run, Ballard said “let us know and we can look for a nonprofit partner to work with you.”

Houston Food Bank officials will deliver large quantities of food and cleaning supplies to partners at different locations. Partners will be responsible for all site logistics, including maintaining the facility, recruiting volunteers, observing a schedule for distributing product to clients and receiving product and handling all product after it’s delivered.

Partners also must be able to: accept and Accept and handle anywhere from 10 to 20 pallets of food (an 18-wheeler trailer holds 20 pallets); serve 150 to 300 people (or households) in a four-hour period; provide 10 to 20 volunteers at one time; be solely responsible for maintaining the site; comply with Houston Food Bank rules for Disaster Temporary Agencies.

“Hurricane Harvey created widespread devastation,” she said. “We haven’t been able to quantify the number of people who are seeking food assistance, but based on what we know about the extent of damage, it has to be much higher than the number of people who typically visit Houston Food Bank partner agencies. One indicator is the amount of food we’re distributing at several hubs in the greater Houston area. We leave an 18-wheeler trailer filled with food and supplies at a hub site one day, and then return the next day to pick up the empty trailer and replace it with another full one. That means those sites are distributing up to 20,000 pounds of product every day. At the peak time, we had 24 hubs. We’re down to 11, which means more individuals are either getting settled and finding other resources, or they’re going to other food pantry locations for help.”

Since Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas, Ballard said the Houston Food Bank is distributing twice as much food as Food Bank normally does, Ballard said.

“In the first month since Harvey, we distributed 14 million pounds of product. That’s more than many food banks across the country are able to do,” she said. “We had 16,000 different people come volunteer during that month. Truckloads of product arrive at all hours of the day and night. We’ve added dozens of temporary and part-time staff to our normal employee base. Our board chair likes to say that this is the Houston Food Bank on steroids.

“Food insecurity is a problem in every community. People need food assistance for any number of reasons,” she added. “It’s related to poverty, and poverty can be a temporary thing or a persistent problem that affects someone’s life over a longer period of time. Hunger is blind to zip codes and demographic descriptions.”

For more information on submitting an organization to become a distributing disaster site, visit

Smith, Martin reflect on winning Grand Champion at the SJC Fair & Rodeo

Madison Smith, left, holds her goat as she is pictured with 2016 Rodeo Queen Jacelynn Head. Smith received Grand Champion of the Senior Goat category Tuesday, Sept. 26. at the SJC Fair. Macie Martin, right, is pictured with 2016 Rodeo Queen Jacelynn Head. Martin received Grand Champion overall in the Swine catergory on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the SJC Fair. (Sabrina Baker Photos)Madison Smith, left, holds her goat as she is pictured with 2016 Rodeo Queen Jacelynn Head. Smith received Grand Champion of the Senior Goat category Tuesday, Sept. 26. at the SJC Fair. Macie Martin, right, is pictured with 2016 Rodeo Queen Jacelynn Head. Martin received Grand Champion overall in the Swine catergory on Wednesday, Sept. 26 at the SJC Fair. (Sabrina Baker Photos)

By Megan Whitworth

Walking away with a triple win, Shepherd 4-H President Madison Smith said she was shocked to receive Grand Champion in the Senior Lamb category, Grand Champion in the Senior Lamb Showmanship Category and Grand Champion in the Senior Goat category at the 70th annual San Jacinto County Fair & Rodeo.

“It took a few seconds for it to sink in,” Smith said of winning. “It was overwhelming. It was hard for me to contain my excitement! All of my hard work had paid off.

“The Showmanship award is the most prestigious award,” she added. “It has everything to do with the exhibitor showcasing their animal. I am so honored to receive this award.”

Smith said working and practicing with her animals prepared them both for showing in the ring. She also said the judge said her lamb had more muscle and correct structure verses the other lambs in her category.

A freshman at Shepherd High School, Madison plans on attending Texas A&M University and becoming a vet. She also plans to continue showing lambs, among other animals, at the SJC Fair & Rodeo while she is in high school.

“Showing animals has allowed me to work hard and develop a love for animals,” Smith said. “…I have big dreams!”

Defending her title from last year, Macie Martin received Grand Champion Overall in the Senior Swine show, also placing Grand Champion in the Cross category Wednesday, Sept. 27 at the 2017 San Jacinto County Fair & Rodeo.

“I didn’t expect it,” Martin said of her win. “I was shocked when I did win.

“The person I was showing up against that did; he had been showing since he was a little kid,” she said. “And I was nervous going in against him. But overall, I was shocked when I did win.”

Showing pigs for the second year in a row in the Fair, Martin received her pig in May as piglet, and she started working with her immediately.
“When you’re preparing for it,” she said. “You have to feed it every day, walk it every day, make sure you work with it, make sure it meets the guidelines to bring it up here.”

With her pig weighing in at 280, Martin said she had to put the pig on a diet “because she probably could have been a 350-pound pig.”

“She was so fat. I called her the dinosaur pig; she’s just big,” Martin said with a chuckle. “Overall, she’s a really good pig. She wasn’t a hard pig to have to run with. So, it was nice.”

And that fat pig is what got her first place.

“I really wasn’t expecting an award. I wasn’t expecting to win,” she said. “When I was the only person in the ring with my partner, I was like, ‘Oh, wow. I won.’ I was just shock. … I wasn’t expecting to win two years in a row. I thought it was beginner’s luck type of thing, but I guess not.”

A senior at Coldspring High School and involved with the Coldspring chapter of Future Farmers of America, Martin is planning to attending college either at Texas Tech University or Kilgore College to be a Rangerette. Looking back through her years of being involved in the county fair, Martin said participating in the Fair helped pave her way to college.

“I’ve won Grand Champion twice in the Education Barn, so that’s $8,000 in scholarship money. You get scholarships for just participating the Fair,” she said. “When I sale my pigs tonight, I’ll have more money in the bank from last year to go towards my education for college.”
Martin also ran for Rodeo Queen for the fourth year in a row; even though she didn’t take top place this year, she said that she showed young girl “to never give up even if you won’t win.”

Martin and Smith both encourage students to participate in the Fair.

“For people who have never participated in the fair and want to, don’t give up because you don’t win your first time,” she said. “…Don’t let somebody else intimidate you because they’ve done it longer. Because your clearly going to win if you don’t have intimidation. Keep it up!

“Ask for advice from your 4-H or FFA advisor, find a good feed and exercise program, but most importantly have fun,” Smith said.