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  • Buying a drone can cost more than one might think

    IMG 2242CALEB FORTENBERRY | TCB File photo of Tyler County Booster reporter, Caleb Fortenberry, flying a Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) while on a video production job in Conroe, Texas in March, 2020.

    By Caleb Fortenberry

    Every Christmas the Booster receives letters to Santa from children in the Tyler County region. This year a surprising number of children wished for drones.

    Parents should consider the amount of laws to be followed before the drone can be launched into the air.

    Before a recreational flyer can actually launch their drone, they must register it through the (Federal Aviation Administration) FAA. Not only do you have to pay for the registry, you must display the registration number on the drone and keep the proof of registration on your person while flying.

    Now, the exception is weight. If the drone weighs less than 0.55 lbs (250 grams) then there is no need for registry. Still, those drones are few and far between.

    weight applicibility FILE PHOTO Courtesy of the FAA website.

    There are several penalties not only on the federal level, but also through the state to be aware of. According to CHAPTER 423. USE OF UNMANNED AIRCRAFT of GOVERNMENT CODE, TITLE 4. EXECUTIVE BRANCH, if you take photos or video someone else’s property with intent to conduct surveillance, you can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor. If any image or video is kept, distributed, or displayed it is also a Class C misdemeanor and each image is a separate offense.

    But that’s not all, the property owner of the photos taken can enjoin a violation or imnent violation of $5,000 for the capturing of images and $10,000 for displaying, distribution, or use of the images.

    So, a child’s $40 drone that a parent buys for Christmas could ultimately lead to larger costs. Those are just charges through the state. The FAA is constantly tracking down on violations made. And each violation fine gets worse with less laws followed.

    If your child is older and the goal is to get into a photography business, do your research. There are far more laws and requirements and fees to face. You may live in an area where the airspace restricts drone flights. That could be problematic for finding a place to fly recreationally.

    You can own and operate a drone legally, but there are many repercussions that parents can face from the ignorance of a child. Be smart this Christmas, plan ahead, follow the law, and if you do get your child a drone, supervise the flights.

    You can read more about Texas drone laws at https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/GV/htm/GV.423.htm and federal regulations at https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/

  • FFA honors participants

    american ffa degreeCOURTESY PHOTO American FFA Degree recipients are Jace Stout and Mallory Stout.

    Special to the News-Standard

    TRINITY — Trinity FFA held its end of the year banquet May 20 at the Trinity Community Center.

    Ag teacher Tristan Pedersen said that with the challenges that this year brought, the members stepped up and did not let it slow them down, going above and beyond to make this one of the greatest years yet.

    The 2021-2022 Trinity FFA officers installed at the banquet are President Haden Coleman, Vice President Zoe Hawkey, Secretary Allie Ancira, Treasurer Kayla Kembro, Reporter Graci Robb and Sentinel Alivia Wallace.

    Awards

    Chip Hart Top Hand Award — Haden Coleman

    Honorary FFA Members — Brittaney Cassidy and Shaun Stout

    Outstanding Service Award — Mike Burk

    Star Greenhand — Kayla Kembro

    Star Chapter — Allie Ancira

    Star Lonestar — Haden Coleman

    Top Junior FFA Member — Preston Riddle

    Beef Proficiency — Haden Coleman

    Goat Proficiency — Eryn Eaton

    Sheep Proficiency — Kaitlynn Medcalf

    Swine Proficiency — Zoey Gray

    Small Animal Management Proficiency — Peyton Robb

    Junior FFA Members — Samantha Dilda, Preston Riddle, Trace Coleman

    Greenhand Degree Recipients — Christanea Cunningham, Emalee Ellis, Zoe Hawkey, Alyssa Juniel, Kayla Kembro, Graci Robb, Samantha Short, Gunner Smith

    Chapter Degree Recipients — Brooke Allen, Allie Ancira, Robbie McDonald

    American FFA Degree Recipients — Jace Stout, Mallory Stout

    Top Seller — Kayla Kembro

    Top 5 FFA Members — Eryn Eaton, Haden Coleman, Peyton Robb, Zoey Grey, Shelby Walters

    2021 Trinity FFA CDE Teams

    Horse Evaluation — Haden Coleman, Peyton Robb, Graci Robb

    Livestock Judging — Haden Coleman, Alivia Wallace, Kayla Kembro, Eryn Eaton

    Veterinary Science — Haden Coleman, Zoey Grey, Zoe Hawkey, Allie Ancira

    Senior Members — Peyton Robb, Eryn Eaton, Kyndal Corbin

    2021 Student Teacher Recognition — Ms. Heather Stenson from SHSU

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