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  • 70 years and counting

    041521 anniversary 1COURTESY PHOTO Benjamin Malrey Pyle and Mary Ellen Hartman

    Couple celebrates ‘Platinum Jubilee’

    Special to the News-Standard

    GROVETON — The key to a happy marriage is to love and cherish each other completely and always be respectful of each other's differences, something Ben and Mary Pyle took to heart and nurtured — 70 years ago.

    Benjamin Malrey Pyle and Mary Ellen Hartman tied the knot after knowing each other for about seven weeks on March 23, 1951, and have been side-by-side since.

    This was in spite of naysayers; Ellen's mother was skeptical about their marriage and said, "it will never last.” The couple smiled, knowing their love would survive any of life's storms.

    Benjamin and Mary met in the home of a friend, Bettyy Scott Tripp, when Ben was a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Cherry Point, N.C.; Ellen lived at home in Alliance, N.C. with her mother and stepfather, Fairy and Nathan Miller, and worked as a stenographer.

    Ben escorted her home that evening, and they arranged for a date on the following weekend. The rest is history.

    Ellen's uncle, Saint Elmo Harper, A Baptist minister, performed the ceremony in his home in Grantsboro, N.C., and at her request, sang "Amazing Grace" in his beautiful tenor voice. His wife, Aunt Nancy, accompanied him in her sweet voice.

    Ben's best friend, Jack Wroten, a fellow Marine from Tyler, served as best man, and Ellen's friend Betty, served as matron of honor.

    The newlyweds honeymooned in historic Richmond, Va., where Ellen had lived until the age of 12.

    The Pyles have two wonderful sons, their lovely wives and one lovely granddaughter.

    The family members are Malrey Nathan Pyle, his wife, Jan, and their daughter, Madison, and Dwight Dana Pyle and his wife, Sharon.

  • Addressing critical in today’s world

    020421 addressingFile photo

    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — The people of Trinity County live in a time where health care is of special importance, especially since there is no full hospital in the area.

    Imagine, then, if in a health crisis, the ambulance ends up at an address on the wrong side of the county, or across the street, or down the block.

    Proper addressing will help first responders, utility installation, mail delivery and even the tax office, and 911 Addressing Coordinator Jolynn Wars can help make sure things are right.

    “I give incoming residents addresses if there is not one already, verify existing addresses if there is one, and if I get a state error report on an address, I correct it, and notify the resident, landowner or business owner,” she said.

    FCC regulations stipulate that 911 is the universal number for emergencies, in order to increase public safety. Enhanced 911 provides addresses to emergency personnel when a call is made, or a location if the call is made from a cell phone.

    To make the system work its best, addresses throughout the county were inspected and changed, if necessary, Wars said. However, the work is not done, and not without some resistance.

    “There’s a lot of the county not done, mainly in (the City of) Trinity,” Wars said. “When (addressing) first started, it wasn’t addressed properly. The odd and even (address numbers) are swapped on almost every street. Westwood Shores is the same. There also are problems with numbers being in the wrong range of the road.”

    The problem becomes worse, since residents and business owners continue to use old address numbers, even after the new address has been posted. Also, many addresses are not posted with the correct numbers, if at all.

    “For people moving into the county, their first phone call should be to me,” Wars said. “Utilities can’t be set up, or mobile homes can’t be moved onto properties, without a proper address.”

    Posting the address numbers, especially on roadways, is very important as well, she said, as well as changing letterheads and business cards for businesses.

    For more information, or to verify addresses, contact Wars at (936) 642-3904 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Born to Be Wild (GALLERY)

    IMG 9321PHOTOS BY PHILLIP SCHMITTENRocky Raccoon here is waiting to grow up and be released back into the wild.

    By Philip Schmitten
    TCNS Correspondent

    GROVETON — Ever wonder what happens to the animals in the wild who are sick, crippled or abandoned? They end up at Circle B Farm & Wildlife Rehab in Groveton.

    This single-family crusade to care for orphaned, abandoned and injured animals from the wild is totally paid for by the Bergman Family, who takes care of the daily routine of providing and care of the 76 animals in their care now.

    They have had more than 100 wild animals to take care of in the past. Donations are always welcome from the public and much needed.

    Shasta, Rodney, Hanna and Mattie Bergman are responsible for the daily care of these animals. With Shasta working full time as the Trinity County Clerk, Hanna and Mattie pull a lot of the day to day duties.

    All wildlife belongs to the State of Texas, so if you spot an animal who seems to be lost or in trouble, call the local Game Warden and they, most likely, will contact Circle B for the rescue.

    “We are licensed by the State of Texas to care and house these wild animals, with the goal of returning them to the wild when they are ready,” Shasta said.

    They care for just about all wild animals; they have had foxes, skunks, possums, rabbits, squirrels, deer and raccoons. The care and feeding of these animals takes some effort, but the Bergmans love what they do. Their goals are to have a sanctuary where the public can visit to see and learn about animals in the wild.

    They rescue animals from all over the area, going as far as Texarkana. At the present time there are a lot of animals going hungry due to overpopulation —the deer, rabbits and squirrels are fighting for food and starving from lack of nourishment.

    Shasta Bergman summed to up when she said, “Circle B Farm & Wildlife Rehab is dedicated to caring for orphaned and injured wildlife, with the sole intent of being able to release each animal back into the wild, where they belong.”

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  • Brookshire Brothers pharmacies offer COVID-19 vaccine

    BrookshiresFILE PHOTO Brookshire Brothers logo

    Special to the News-Standard

    LUFKIN — As distribution of the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine begins at a rapid pace, Brookshire Brothers Pharmacy is proud to be one of the first retailers in the nation to offer the vaccine, as it becomes available.

    To maximize access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Americans, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a governmental partnership with large chain pharmacies and networks that represent independent pharmacies and regional chains — including those in retail and grocery chains — to further increase access to the vaccine across the country — particularly in traditionally underserved areas.

    Brookshire Brothers is honored to partner with HHS and the states of Texas and Louisiana in offering COVID-19 vaccine.

    The vaccine will be available in a phased approach, with the first doses being offered to healthcare workers and residents of long-term health care facilities, followed by essential workers and other high-risk individuals. It is expected to be available to the general public by spring or early summer of 2021 and will be administered at no cost to patients.

    At the Tuesday, Dec. 22, Trinity County Commissioners’ Court meeting, Emergency Management Coordinator Richard Steptoe said that the Brookshire’s in Trinity has secured 40 vaccinations, and the Brookshire’s in Groveton has secured 10.

    “Ensuring access and affordability of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans is a top priority for the Trump Administration,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “We are leveraging the existing private sector infrastructure to get safe and effective vaccines supported by Operation Warp Speed into communities and into arms as quickly as possible with no out-of-pocket costs. The vast majority of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacy, and our new agreement with pharmacy partners across America is a critical step toward making sure all Americans have access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines when they are available.”

    Many pharmacists, such as the ones who work at Brookshire Brothers, are trained to provide immunizations and are already important immunizers in their communities. Pharmacists have been heralded for playing a vital role in the public health response to COVID-19 by counseling patients and expanding access to childhood vaccinations during the pandemic. By working with these partners, the federal government will rapidly expand access to COVID-19 vaccines.

    “This is consistent with our commitment to being a trusted resource for our communities. Pharmacists and their staff are some of the most accessible healthcare professionals in the nation, and we stand ready to help increase access and convenience for people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, once it is approved and available to us,” said Laura Edmundson, Director of Clinical Pharmacy Programs at Brookshire Brothers.

    For more information, visit BrookshireBrothers.com/pharmacy.

  • Centerville boys win 20-2A title, Groveton takes second

    IMG 2695Larry Lamb | HCC Lovelady’s Shaun Easterling took district titles in the 100 and 300 meter hurdles during the District 20-2A Track and Field Meet at Centerville recently.

    By Larry Lamb

    The Centerville Tigers hosted the District 20-2A track meet and claimed the varsity boys championship during competition that required an extra day to complete due to inclement weather.

    The Tigers racked up 181 points to claim the title by a comfortable margin over Groveton, which tallied 135.5 points. The Lovelady Lions were hot on the Indians’ heels with 134 points followed by Grapeland (66), Jewett Leon (46.5), Latexo (30) and Slocum (0.

    Field events, running prelims and 3200-meter races took place Monday, April 5 at Tiger Stadium. Athletes returned Thursday for the running finals at 6 p.m. but just over an hour into the session threatening weather prompted meet officials to call a 30-minute lightning delay. Subsequent threatening weather in the area forced the delay to be extended and eventually the remaining six events were postponed until Friday morning.

    The top four finishers in each event advanced to the area meet Thursday in Madisonville. The top four performers at area qualify for the Class 2A Region III meet April 23-24 at Palestine High School.

    Results of the district meet are as follows:

    District 20-2A Track Meet

    Monday, April 5 - Thursday, April 8 - Friday, April 9

    Varsity Boys

    Team Standings- 1, Centerville 181. 2, Groveton, 135.5. 3, Lovelady, 134. 4, Grapeland 66. 5, Jewett Leon 46.5. 6, Latexo 30. 7. Slocum 0.

    Running Events

    100 dash – B. J. Lamb, Grapeland, 10.94. 2, Kaden Dunn, Centerville, 11.10. 3, T. Cornett, Leon, 11.32. 4, Ashton Hargrove, Latexo, 11.47. 5, Phoenix Bowman, Groveton, 11.57. 6, D. Watson, Leon, 11.57.

    200 dash – 1, T. Cornett, Leon, 22.30. 2, Cadarian Wiley, Grapeland, 22.82. 3, Ashton Hargrove, Latexo, 22.83. 4, Andrew Newman, Centerville, 23.12. 5, D. Watson, Leon, 23.41. 6, Angel Villareal, Centerville, 23.50.

    400 dash - 1, Donivan Moehr, Centerville, 50.97. 2, Dillon Denman, Centerville, 54.68. 3, Haden Lee, Groveton, 54.78. 4, Jackson Jefferies, Lovelady, 54.90. 5, James Williams, Groveton, 56.68.6, Halston French, Centerville, 56.75.

    800 run – 1, Kasen Jeitz, Centerville, 1:59.18. 2, Joel Pomeroy, Lovelady, 2:11.61. 3, Haden Lee, Groveton, 2:13.62.4, Luke Carter, Centerville, 2:17.11. 5, Blake Patrick, Lovelady, 2:18.00. 6, Cyris Gray, Centerville, 2:18.02.

    1600 run – Logan Ray, Latexo, 5:16.11. 2, Jarrett Loftin, Groveton, 5:21.59. 3, Luke Carter, Centerville, 5:22.02. 4, Enrique Cruz, Centerville, 5:23.21. 5, Cyrus Gray, Centerville, 5:23.34. 6, Caden Alexander, Groveton, 5:26.56.

    3200 run – 1. Logan Ray, Latexo, 11:44. 2, Jarrett Loftin, Groveton, 11:52. 3, Cyris Gray, Centerville, 11:53. 4, Luke Carter, Centerville, 11:54. 5, Caden Alexander, Groveton, 12:07. 6, Enrique Cruz, Centerville, 12:12

    110 hurdles – 1, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 15.34. 2, Brett Wagnon, Centerville, 16.84. 3, Bradi Minter, Centerville, 18.15. 4, King Jones, Groveton, 18.56. 5, Ian Utz, Groveton, 19.18. 6, Tyler Stanford, Centerville, 19.46.

    300 hurdles – 1, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 42.28. 2, Brett Wagnon, Centerville, 42.37. 3, Karter Kornegay, Centerville, 43.75. 4, King Jones, Groveton, 45.37. 5, Tuff Reynolds, Groveton, 46.34. 6, Brandon Fry, Lovelady, 52.05.

    4x100 relay – Grapeland (Riley Murchison, Cadarian Wiley, Lekarian Smith, B.J. Lamb), 44.60. 2, Centerville (French, Newman, Kornegay, Moehr), 44.61. 3, Groveton (Phoenix Bowman, Byron Thomas, David Ayala, Malachi Stewart), 45.31. 4, Lovelady (Conner Martinez, Cole Harris, Slade Murray, Keivon Skinner), 45.85.

    4x200 relay – Leon (Leggett, Noey, Watson, Cornett), 1:34.99. 2, Groveton (Navid Pat, Bryon Thomas, David Ayala, Malachi Stewart), 1:36.88. 3, Centerville (Roberts, Newman, Villareal, White), 1:36.88. 4, Lovelady (Conner Martinez, Cole Harris, Slade Murray, Keivon Skinner), 1:37.12.

    4x400 relay – 1, Centerville (Jeitz, Denman, White, Moehr), 3:32.62. 2, Lovelady (Joel Pomeroy, Keivon Skinner, Shaun Easterling, Cole Harris), 3:36.84. 3, Groveton (David Ayala, Navid Pat, Chase Blair, Haden Lee), 3:47.52.

    Field Events

    Long Jump- 1, B.J. Lamb, Grapeland, 20-10 ¾. 2, Keivon Skinner, Lovelady, 19-6 ½. 3, T, Cornett, Leon, 19-5. 4, Halston French, Centerville, 18-5 ¼. 5, Andrew Newman, Centerville, 18-4 ¾. 6, James Williams, Groveton, 17-9 ¾.

    Shot put – 1, Tyler Allen, Groveton, 40-2. 2, Jabez Fills, Centerville, 38-2. 3, Levodrick Phillips, Centerville, 36-6. 4, Jason DeCluette, Grapeland, 35-10 ½. 5, B.J. Kelly, Centerville, 35-4. 6, Dayvian Skinner, Lovelady, 35-2 ½.

    Discus – 1, Eric Castillo, Lovelady, 112-4. 2, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 110-10 ½. 3, Tyler Allen, Groveton, 99-10 ½. 4, Jason DeCluette, Grapeland, 99-0. 5, Dayvian Skinner, Lovelady, 91-2 ½. 6, Holley Zantayl, Centerville, 90-2.

    Triple jump – 1, Riley Murchison, Grapeland, 39-0. 2, Slade Murray, Lovelady, 38-7. 3, Chase Blair, Groveton, 37-2 ½. 4, Navid Pat, Groveton, 37-1. 5, James Williams, Groveton, 36-11 ½. 6, T. Kirschner, Leon, 36-8.

    High jump – 1, Shaun Easterling, Lovelady, 5-10. 2, Keivon Skinner, Lovelady, 5’10. 3, Dillon Denman, Centerville, 5-8. 4, Malachi Stewart, Groveton, 5-8. 5, Chase Vycital, Groveton, 5-6.

    Pole vault – 1, Cole Harris. Lovelady, 11-6. 2, Dalton Chandler, Groveton, 10-0. 3, Haden Lee, Groveton, 9-0. 4, James Webb, Centerville, 8-6. 5, Jackson Jefferies, Lovelady, 8-6. 6, Brett Wagnon, Centerville, 8-6.

  • Centerville enjoys successful season

    041521 baseball 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Groveton right fielder Reese White beats the pickoff back to first base during the Indians’ 19-1 win over Apple Springs on April 6.

    Special to the News-Standard

    CENTERVILLE — On March 23, Centerville pulled off a 14-1 win against the Apple Springs Eagles.

    Starting pitcher for the Bulldogs was Aydn Self, squaring off against the Eagles’ Dakota Campbell. Self went five innings with five strikeouts, and giving up one run; while Campbell pitched four and picked up seven strikeouts, while allowing 11 runs.

    Closing pitcher for the Eagles was Daniel Johnson, who gave up three runs with one strikeout.

    For the Bulldogs, Self went 3-for-3 with a double and two singles and five stolen bases; Logan Villanueva went 2-for-3 and three stolen bases; and Weston Dial, Ty Havard, Anthony Commiato, Ethan Rutledge and Logan Whittlesey each contributed hits as well.

    The win put Centerville’s record at 4-1 on the season.

    On March 16, Centerville downed the North Zulch Bulldogs 13-12.

    On March 12, Centerville downed the Richards Panthers 13-11 in extra innings.

    The Bulldogs and Panthers were tied 11-11 at the bottom of the sixth. Neither team scored in the seventh; in the eighth, Travis Thorne was on base after a walk, and lead-off batter Aydn Self clobbered a homer to bring the Bulldogs score up to 13.

    Starting pitcher Self went five innings and recorded five strikeouts.

    Logan Villanueva, Weston Dial, Travis Thorne and Logan Whittlesey each contributed hits in the win.

     

    Scores roundup

    Apple Springs

    April 12 vs. Wells, 3-2 win

    April 9 vs. Centerville, 20-0 loss

    April 6 vs. Groveton, 19-1 loss

    April 1 vs. Douglass, 29-0 loss

    Centerville

    April 9 vs. Apple Springs, 20-0 win

    Groveton

    April 9 vs. Douglass, 10-9 win

    April 6 vs. Apple Springs, 19-1 win

    Trinity

    April 9 vs. Tarkington, 16-1 loss.

  • County sets speed limit near Apple Springs

    110520 countyGoogle Maps

    TCNS Staff

    GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court on Oct. 27 put its foot down on drivers putting the accelerator down.

    Commissioners approved setting a 25-mph speed limit on Graham Road between FM 357 and State Highway 94, which was done without debate. It was approved unanimously.

    In other business, the county:

    •approve the county’s investment policy, an annual undertaking, and reappointed County Treasurer B.L. Dockens as investment officer;

    • approved budget amendments of $1,500;

    • appointed Tom Hester as reserve deputy constable for Precinct 3;

    • approved the purchase of a 2012 HAMM 3410 cab roller for Road and Bridge Precinct 3; and

    • declined to discuss or act on a burn ban for the county.

  • Cross Country Latexo Groveton Oct. 14 (video)

    Latexo Meet Photo FinishLatexo runners Eli Filer and Eduardo Rodriguez (l-r) battle down the stretch in the Tiger Invitational Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Shartle Ranch. Filer edged out his teammate to claim the 10thplace medal.

    By Larry Lamb

    HOUSTON COUNTY - With the district cross-country meet just a week away, the Latexo Tigers tuned up with a second place finish in their own meet Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Shartle Ranch.

    Class 3A Franklin won the varsity boys title with 49 points, Latexo was next with 63 and 3A New Waverly was third with 80.Franklin’s Nick Phillipello paced all runners with a first place time of 18:02.

    Phillipello also had the winning time of 17:48 a week earlier when the Franklin crew finished second in team standings.

    Latexo runners finished 7-9-10-11-26 to claim runner-up team honors.Tiger Logan Ray (19:53) came in seventh and teammate Ashton Hargrove (21:05) was two spots back in ninth behind

    Elkhart’s Pablo Rodarte (21.00). LHS teammates Eli Filer and Eduardo Rodriguez engaged in a photo finish for 10th place.

    Filer (21:17), competing for the first time this season due to an injury, nosed out Rodriguez for the final individual medal.

    “They battled it out at the end for 10th and 11th. I honestly thought they were going to pass up the kid in front of them so that they would get ninth and 10th,” said Latexo coach Jessica Cutshall.

    Carter Tucker (25:52) finished 26thfor the final counting spot in the Tigers’ team score. “I haven’t been letting Eli run in meets because of his injury and heonly has one practice a week,” said Cutshall.

    Latexo Tigers MedalistsLoganRay (seventh), Ashton Hargrove (ninth) and Eli Filer (10th) (l-r) placed in the top 10 to lead the Latexo Tigers cross country team to a second place finish in the Latexo Invitational on Wednesday, Oct. 14 at Shartle Ranch.

    “I’m really proud of my guys. I’ve been trying to push them really hard and they finally came through this week,” added the coach. “None of the teams in our district finished in front of us, so I can’t complain about that.”

    This was the third meet Latexo has hosted at Shartle Ranch, where the District 20-2A meet will be held Oct. 21.In addition to Latexo, the district lineup includes Centerville, Grapeland, Groveton, Jewett Leon, Lovelady and Slocum.

    Cutshall noted that only two teams from each district will advance to the UIL regional meet due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Region III Class 2A competition will be Tuesday, Nov. 10 in Huntsville.

    Groveton won the varsity girls title while Centerville was second and Jewett Leon third.

    Elkhart’s Guin Young posted the winning time of 13:34 out of 57 runners.Results for the Lady Tigers were Caleigh Duvall (17:12) 35th, Ashley Ray (18:24) 43rd; Maggie Gibbins (18:58) 48th and Kennedy Patterson (20:59) 53rd.

    Latexo’s girls team was short-handed due to one runner missing the meet due to illness. “One was at home with a migraine and I only have five runners so I ended up only having four to compete this week,” said Cutshall. “One of my girls just came back after being out for Covid for 2 ½ weeks and hasn’t been running but she ran today. Another runner has been checked out for a high heart rate, so she had to take it real easy today too.”

  • Election time

    groveton elec 4MARLENA STUBBLEFIELD | TCNS Dwayne Alsbrook and Autumn Dial attend the drawing ceremony for ballot placement on Monday at Groveton City Hall. The two have filed for candidacy for the two council positions up for election on Groveton City Council. The election will be held May 1, 2021.

    Trinity County cities and schools to hold elections 

    By Tony Farkas

    As the county creeps out from under a blanket of snow, business resumes, and that includes the business of the respective governments in the area.

    For this year, that means city and school board elections, all scheduled for May 1.

    In Groveton, Superintendent Don Hamilton said that three people have filed for election to the Groveton School Board: incumbent members Benny Abshier and Board President Mark Folds, and newcomer Sam Shanafelt.

    Early voting will be held from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. April 19-23 and April 26-27 at the School Administration Building, 207 N. Main St., in Groveton.

    At the City of Groveton, two incumbents — Acting Mayor Ralph Bennett and Council Member Tommy Walton — have filed for the mayor position, which came open due to the passing of Mayor Byron Richards.

    For the two remaining council positions up for election, six residents have filed: Chris McFarland, Philip Schmitten, Autumn Dial, Dwayne Alsbrook, Mark Taylor and incumbent Council Member Robert Smith.

    Early voting will take place from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. April 19-27, with April 20-21 set aside for voting from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Ballots can be cast at Groveton City Hall, 115 W. Front St.

    groveton elec 2MARLENA STUBBLEFIELD | TCNS Council Member Tommy Walton (right) and Acting Mayor Ralph Bennett will face off in a spring election for the position of Mayor of Groveton. Early voting for the May 1 election is scheduled for April 19 at City Hall.

    In the City of Trinity, both the city and school district will not have to hold elections, as only incumbent members of their respective boards have filed for candidacy.

    For the city, Mayor Pro Tem Billy Goodin and Council Member Phillip Morrison are unopposed, and will resume their positions for the next term.

    For the Trinity ISD School Board, incumbent members Judy Bishop and Elizabeth King also are unchallenged and will retain their posts.

    School districts in Apple Springs and Centerville do not have elections scheduled.

  • Fatal Trinity County crash claims Groveton woman

    police lightsFILE PHOTO Police lights

    By Chris Edwards

    TRINITY COUNTY – A Groveton woman is dead following a multiple-vehicle crash that occurred near Groveton on the evening of Wednesday, March 31.

    According to Sgt. David Hendry with the Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS troopers responded to a three-vehicle crash, which involved one of their own, about six miles west of the Groveton city limits on SH 94.

    According to the preliminary investigation, a Mack truck towing a pole trailer was eastbound and a DPS Chevrolet patrol vehicle was westbound at approximately 6:45 p.m. The trooper in the patrol vehicle, Brady Germeroth, of Crockett, identified a movingviolation on another eastbound vehicle and made a U-turn.

    As Germeroth was attempting to re-enter the eastbound lane of the highway, the driver of the Mack truck drove over into the westbound land and struck a Jeep Wrangler head-on. Both the truck and its accompanying trailer crossed back over into the eastbound lane, striking the back right side of the DPS vehicle, and continued off the roadway where it overturned onto its passenger side and caught fire.

    The driver of the Mack truck, 35-year-old Chad Deford, of Livingston, was not injured in the crash, neither was Germeroth. The driver of the Jeep, 53-year-old Melanie Painter, of Groveton, was transported to Crockett Medical Center where she was pronounced deceased a short time later, according to Hendry. The crash remains under investigation.

  • Groveton continues mask policy

    Groveton ISD logoFILE PHOTO Groveton ISD logo

    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — the Groveton ISD School Board intends to leave well enough alone by keeping masking requirements in place through the end of the school year.

    At the board’s regular meeting on March 22, the board took no action regarding Gov. Greg Abbott’s order removing any restrictions connected with the coronavirus pandemic.

    Superintendent Don Hamilton said the state gave schools an option regarding masks only, making it a school board decision.

    “(A handout from the state) shows that as boards consider their mask policies, one thing to be aware of is the risk for litigation and grievances for COVID-19-related claims,” Hamilton said. “This is a hot topic — half the people want to do away with it, half the people want to keep it.”

    Hamilton said he spoke with School Nurse Virginia Redden, who pointed out the district was nine weeks away from school being out, and that the students and teachers have done too well to change.

    Board President Mark Folds said he could go either way, but since the district has been doing so well, he did not see a reason to change, and the board could take up the matter at a later date.

    In other business, the board:

    • •approved the purchase of a new school bus from Longhorn Bus Sales;
    • •approved changes to school policy based on recommendations from the Texas Association of School Boards;
    • •approved the school calendar for the 2021-22 school year;
    • •approved keeping the District of Innovation description, and appointed a planning committee; and
    • •discussed contracts for teachers.
  • Groveton girls nip Lovelady for district track crown

    IMG 2689LARRY LAMB | HCC Groveton’s Ingrid Rojo took first in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles at the District 20-2A Track Meet.

    By Larry Lamb

    A first place finish in the 1600-meter run and a third place showing in the 1600 relay lifted Groveton to the District 20-2A varsity girls track championship in the finals Friday, April 9 at Centerville High School’s Tiger Stadium.

    That strong finish by the Lady Indians in the last two events gave them a total of 167 points, putting them two points ahead of Lovelady (165) in the district team standings. Jewett Leon (137.5) finished a distant third, followed by Centerville (94.5), Latexo (20), Slocum (5) and Grapeland (0).

    The meet was scheduled to take two days, but inclement weather stretched competition into a third day.

    Field events, running prelims and 3200-meter races took place Monday. Athletes returned Thursday for the running finals at 6 p.m. and the meet was running on schedule until shortly after 7 o’clock when a 30-minute lightning delay was called. Subsequent threatening weather in the area forced the delay to be extended and eventually the remaining six events were postponed until Friday morning.

    The top four finishers in each event advanced to the area meet Thursday in Madisonville where they competed for a regional berth April 23-24 at Palestine Wildcats Stadium.

    Results of the district meet are as follows:

    District 20-2A Track Meet

    Monday, April 5 - Thursday, April 8 - Friday, April 9

    Varsity Girls

    Team Standings- 1, Groveton 167. 2, Lovelady 165. 3, Jewett Leon 137.5. 4, Centerville 94.5. 5, Latexo 20. 6, Slocum 5. 7, Grapeland 0.

    Running events

    100 dash – 1, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 12.78. 2, Anaya Bloodworth, Groveton, 13.28. 3, Charlee Biano, Latexo, 13.49. 4, Kortney Bynum, Lovelady, 13.55. 5, Kaitlyn Kirschner, Leon, 13.90. 5, Kameron Denman, Centerville, 13.90.

    200 dash – 1, Lauren Salley, Leon, 27.56. 2, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 27.87. 3, Keyonna Holley, Centerville, 27.93. 4, Maya Calvin, Leon, 28.84. 5, Emma Alexander, Groveton, 28.85. 6, Anaya Bloodworth, Groveton, 29.93.

    400 dash – 1, Lauren Salley, Leon, 1:03.11. 2, Madison Johnson, Leon, 1:04.90. 3, Kinsley Kornegay, Centerville, 1:07.49. 4, Tanaysha Cole, Groveton, 1:07.68. 5, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 1:07.75. 6, Josselyn Cruz, Groveton, 1:09.65.

    800 run – Madison Johnson, Leon, 2:36.46. 2, Rylie Croston, Centerville, 2:36.72. 3, Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 2:36.96. 4, Kinsey Hardee, Centerville, 2:38.81. 5, Claire Stevens, Leon, 2:40.72. 6, Josselyn Cruz, Groveton, 2:43.86.

    1600 run – 1, Caitlyn Antley, Groveton, 6:06.61. 2, Claire Stevens, Leon, 6:08.36. 3, Isavel Bautista, Groveton, 6:18.34. 4, Abby Sarraf, Slocum, 6:19.68. 5, Skyler Shaw, Groveton, 6:22.27. 6, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 6:33.84.

    3200 run – 1. Claire Stevens, Leon, 13:14. 2, Caitlyn Antley, Groveton, 13:17. 3, Rylie Croston, Centerville, 13:19. 4. Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 13:25. 5, Isavel Bautista, Groveton, 13:31. 6, Abby Sarraf, Slocum, 14:28.

    100 hurdles – 1, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 18.99. 2, Emma Carmicheal, Lovelady, 19.90. 3, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 20.65. 4, Hanna Huffstuttler, Lovelady, 20.90. 5, Olivia Ice, Lovelady, 21.00.

    300 hurdles – 1, Scout Lovell, Lovelady, 51.34. 2, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 55.94. 3, Olivia Ice, Lovelady, 57.15. 3, Samantha Hobbs, Centerville, 57.15.

    5, Emma Carmicheal, Lovelady, 57.72. 6, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 1:05.31

    4x100 – 1, Leon (Ramirez, Sitton, Oviedo, Calvin), 51.65. 2, Groveton (Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith, Emma Alexander, Breanna McQueen), 52.00.

    1. Centerville (Keeton, Denman, Rivenbark, Holley), 52.97. 4, Lovelady (MaKenna Pierce, Bailee Albinus, Kortney Bynum, Aaliyah Jones), 53.88. 5, Latexo (Charlee Biano, Emily Bird, Shelby Eberts, Taylor Dise), 56.31.

    4x200 relay – 1, Leon (Ramirez, Sitton, Oviedo, Calvin), 1:50.18. 2, Groveton. (Breanna McQueen, Emma Alexander, Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith), 1:51.56. 3, Lovelady (MaKenna Pierce, Bailee Albinus, Scout Lovell, Jacy Stubblefield), 1:53.49. 4, Latexo (Charlee Biano, Emily Bird, Shelby Eberts, Taylor Dise), 2:01.87.

    4x400 – 1, Leon (Salley, Johnson, Sitton, Oviedo), 4:18.12. 2, Centerville (Holley, Hardee, Kornegay, Kapchinsky), 4:24.25. 3, Groveton (Breanna McQueen, Caitlyn Antley, Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith), 4:26.18.

    Field Events

    Long jump – 1, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 16-1 ¼. 2, Ciera Keeton, Centerville, 15-4. 3, Breanna McQueen, Groveton, 15-1 ¾. 4, Aaliyah Jones, Lovelady, 14-2 ¾. 5, Emily Bird, Latexo, 14-0. 6, Alexis Easterling, Groveton, 13’10.

    Shot put – 1, Jenny Kapchinski, Centerville, 32-2. 2, Canaan Dillard, Groveton, 31-6. 3, Stacy Rojo, Groveton, 27-10. 4, Magali Castillo, Lovelady, 27-8. 5. Hollie Seidel, Lovelady, 25-8. 6, Hannah Spurgeon, Groveton, 24-7.

    Discus – 1, Kylie Pugh, Lovelady, 88-1. 2, Magali Castillo, Lovelady, 86-8. 3, Stacey Rojo, Groveton, 86-7 ½. 4, Canann Dillard, Groveton, 84-7 ½. 5, Hannah Spurgeon, Groveton, 78-2 ½. 6, Danielle Glasgow, Lovelady, 74-9.

    Triple jump – 1, Makenna Pierce, Lovelady, 31-6 ½. 2, Maya Calvin, Leon, 31-5. 3, Kortney Bynum, Lovelady, 30-11. 4, Kaylee McRory, Groveton, 29-0 1/2. 5, Emma Alexander, Groveton, 28-7. 6, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 27-9.

    High jump – 1, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 5-2. 2, Kieyn Smith, Groveton, 4-8. 3, Emily Sitton, Leon, 4-6.

    Pole Vault - Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 9-6. 2, Kameron Negrete, Lovelady, 9-0. 3, Scout Lovell, Lovelady, 8-6. 4, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 6-6. 5, Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 6-0.

  • Groveton Invitational Baseball Tournament

    031121 baseball 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS Reece White makes contact with a pitch during the Groveton Invitational Tournament on Thursday. Groveton won its two outings, 9-1 over Trinity and 5-2 over Normagee.

    Thursday Results

    Groveton 9, Trinity 1

    Groveton 5, Normangee 2

    Warren 5, Trinity 3

    Diboll 8, Normangee 4

    Diboll 13, Warren 2

    031121 baseball 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Kaleb Coots brings the heat against a Normagee batter during the Groveton Invitation Tournament on Thursday.

  • Groveton ISD a safe place to be

    Groveton ISD logoGroveton ISD file photo

    TCNS Staff

    GROVETON — Students in Groveton Independent School District are in pretty safe hands

    At its Oct. 26 meeting, the Groveton School Board approved a safety audit which Superintendent Don Hamilton said was overall very good.

    “We have a few things we know we need to deal with, but overall it’s good,” he said.

    Hamilton said the layout of the building is of a concern, because its age means it does not meet current safety and fire codes, but for the most part, the kids are going to school in a safe environment.

    In other business, the board:

    •approved the ESL program;

    •approved changes of names from the signature card on the school’s account;

    •changed meeting dates for next two meetings because of upcoming holidays. The November meeting will be held Nov. 16, and the December meeting will be held Dec. 17;

    •discussed new goals for the future;

    •approved purchase of 20 interactive boards to replace older models at a cost of $40,000; and

    •approved an annual pay stipend, to be paid to non-professional employees only.

  • Groveton looks to beautify downtown and spur economic development

    grovetonmanPhoto by Tony Farkas | TCNS Groveton Mayor Byron Richards points out some of the plans for renovating the sidewalks in the downtown Square. The city has received a $980,000 grant and will begin work Nov. 30.

    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — An almost $1 million grant will help city officials tidy up the Square, with metal railings, new sidewalks and some new lighting.

    Mayor Byron Richards said the city has been working on the Groveton Downtown Revitalization Project for nine years.

    “We submitted grant applications over a period of six years and didn’t really land one, seeing them go to bigger cities. We didn’t think we had a chance at it,” he said. “After the sixth year, we got word that the city will receive funds from the Transportation Alternatives Set-aside Program.”

    Richards said the city signed a contract for $980,000, but was $67,000 short to complete the project; that money will come from our Economic Development Corporation. Construction will be done by Ti-Zack Concrete Inc., and the project is slated to start Nov. 30. It’s projected to take six to seven months.

    The project will feature new sidewalks around the Square, which also will provide handicapped access. There will be lighting throughout the project, as well as safety railings.

    “These sidewalks and curbs are a trap, and can cause falls,” he said. “This allows anyone disabled or not to have access to downtown businesses. The whole purpose of the project, as I envisioned it nine years ago, is to update the area and give the city a new look.”

    Groveton has been stagnant for years, the population has declined, and big businesses that wanted to come in were turned away, Richards said.

    “We’re trying to look to the future,” he said. “With the population that’s moving to this area, East Texas finally is being recognized as a good place to live, to raise a family. We’re trying to move the city forward as best we can.”

    This project is one of many projects that have been undertaken in recent years, which includes renovations to the city’s sewers and water system, courthouse work, highway and sidewalk construction, numerous upgrades and even work on the courthouse and annex. All told, it’s more than $23 million spent on beautifying the city, Richards said.

    Along those lines, there will be a commemorative brick paver section right on the corner, and laser-engraved brick pavers will be sold for $25. Contact Richards at City Hall for information.

    “We need new economic activity in this area,” he said. “There is a new Family Dollar coming; a manufacturing company taking over the old sewing machine plant. We need new sources of sales tax and real estate taxes coming into the city, and hopefully draw more retailers in.

    “We’re takin’ an old girl and dressin’ her up, and we have hope for the future that Groveton will grow,” Richards said.

    CalebWebAd

  • Groveton native competes in cowboy competition series

    020421 hunterCOURTESY PHOTO

    TCNS staff

    A Groveton native is set to compete in the Ultimate Cowboy Showdown, a reality competition broadcast on the INSP Network.

    Hunter Arnold, a rodeo cowboy and horse trainer, will be one of 14 people on the program, which is scheduled to air Feb. 24.

    According to a release from the network, Season 2 of Ultimate Cowboy Showdown boasts a diverse group of 14 cowboys (men and women) from all across the country compete for a life-changing prize.

    Arnold said he was approached at the Professional Bull Riders Finals in Las Vegas by some of the show’s producers.

    “They asked if I would like to try out for the show, and I told them that I definitely would be interested,” he said.

    Arnold said wasn’t really sure what to expect, but wasn’t surprised that we had challenges involving ranch work, day work and roping cows.

    “I had put myself in the mindset to be ready for anything,” he said. “When I headed into this competition, I just tried as hard as I could, and gave it my all.”

    Screen Shot 2021 02 01 at 9.16.36 PM

    Arnold has garnered 100 buckles and 20 saddles in roping and rodeo competitions, and has trained more than 100 horses, many of which have gone on to qualify for the World Series of Team Roping.

    “I’ve lived in Groveton for 24 years; I went to elementary, middle and high school in Groveton, and graduated in 2014,” he said. “My Agriculture teacher, Mr. Fortenberry, helped to teach me how to rope. We’re still neighbors today.”

    •In the second season of Ultimate Cowboy Showdown, viewers will watch 14 contestants undergo a series of physical and mental challenges that will test them individually and as teams. The last cowboy standing will walk away with a prize package that includes a herd they can take to market, a Rawhide Portable Corral, an Arrowquip Q-Catch 87 Series Cattle Chute, the coveted Ultimate Cowboy Showdown belt buckle, and a lifetime of bragging rights.

    Ultimate Cowboy Showdown shows at 8 p.m. CST on Wednesday, Feb. 24 on INSP.

  • Groveton project making good progress (VIDEO)

    121720 sidewalk updateTONY FARKAS | TCNS Groveton Mayor Byron Richards shows one of the areas designated for personalized pavers, part of the city’s downtown revitalization project.

    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — The project to renovate and replace downtown sidewalks is proceeding rapidly.

    Mayor Byron Richards said that the project should be completed around the end of March.

    “The’ve got quite a bit done, and should have not problem finishing on time,” he said.

    Crews started on the east side of the Square, replacing sidewalks and adding handicapped access and railings; Richards said because of the season, and because there were retail outlets on the west side, work there would begin after the end of the year.

    The west side of the street will be a two-tier setup when completed, and there will be 18 old-style lights placed around the area. Colored contoured cement will be added around the sidewalks for some style and contrast.

    “We’re trying to keep the old town charm, while showing that we’re progressive,” Richards said.

    A new feature to be added will be personalized pavers, and room on both sides of the Square have been added. Richards said that orders have been sparse; however, the deadline is Feb. 28, 2021, and there are 450 spaces available.

    In order to secure a spot, there are order forms available on the city’s website — cityofgroveton.com — or by calling the city at (936) 642-1122.

    With the renovations, “maybe we can get some more businesses to move to the Square,” Richards said. “After TxDOT redid the street, we get a lot of traffic, and we want to make the city impressive.”

  • Groveton rocked by mayor’s death

    mayorCOURTESY PHOTO Mayor Richards of Groveton

     
    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — Mayor Byron Richards of Groveton passed away on Monday from complications due to COVID-19.

    Funeral services are pending.

    Mayor Pro Tem Ralph Bennett said that Richards died last night, but he was not aware of it until he received a call at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday from a fellow City Council member.

    “This is a shocking development,” Bennett said. “It’s hard for me to believe that he’s gone. We were aware he had possibly contracted the virus, and he had taken himself and his wife to CHI St. Luke’s Hospital in Lufkin.”

    Bennett also said that Richards contacted him Monday afternoon.

    “He told me over the phone that he wasn’t going to make it,” Bennett said. “It was a hard phone call to get. I’m still shook by it.

    “He thanked the secretaries for the job they’ve done for the city, and thanked the Council for backing him 100 percent,” Bennett said. “He said that I would do a good job for the city.”

    County Judge Doug Page, who also serves as the county’s Emergency Management director, called the news shocking.

    He said that Richards found out he had contracted the virus on New Year’s Eve.

    “As long as we’ve been dealing with the coronavirus, it’s the quickest I’ve heard of it taking someone down,” Page said. “It’s hitting close to home, and we will react appropriately at the county level.”

    Bennett said Richards’ wife, Sandi, also had contracted the disease, but has improved and been taken home.

    Bennett described Richards as a very humble man who was extremely passionate about Groveton.

    “The projects with the downtown renovations and changes with the water well, Richards was adamant about getting that done for the betterment of the community,” Bennett said.

    Bennett said the city plans to carry out all current projects.

    “We shouldn’t lose any continuity in those. I have a good idea of what to do,” he said. “It was always a dream for the council to bring about change the city, and the mayor was the perfect face for that.”

    Bennett said he will assume mayoral duties.

    Page said the county will continue to follow all state edicts regarding COVID-19.

    He also said there will be a free coronavirus testing from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Thursday at the Volunteer Fire Department in Trinity.

  • Groveton school board OKs improvement plan

    Groveton ISD logoFILE PHOTO - Groveton ISD logo

    TCNS Staff

    GROVETON — The Board of Trustees for Groveton ISD again approved an improvement plan for the elementary school.

    The need for the approval was because the submission form had changed; the state requires a three-year plan be in place.

    One part of the plan includes using test scores to drive instruction. Also, items were adjusted because of the affect of COVID-19.

    In a separate matter, the council denied a request for appeal from a resident of the district over a decision made regarding a student.

    No details about the incident, including the student’s name, were revealed because of privacy laws.

    The appeal was rejected because it was not filed in a timely manner, according to Board President Mark Folds.

    The decision was first appealed to the High School principal, who upheld the decision; then to Superintendent Don Hamilton, who also denied it.

    In other business, the board:

    • approved a missed school days waiver, as the district missed more days than were allowed for on the previous calendar; and
    • approved the Dec. 17 board meeting to be the date for the superintendent’s evaluation.
  • Groveton selects top superintendent candidate

    021821 hamiltonTCNS FILE PHOTO Groveton ISD Superintendent Don Hamilton (right) will be retiring effective Aug. 31, and Board President Mark Folds (left) and fellow board members selected Assistant Superintendent Jim Dillard as his replacement at a special meeting on Feb. 8.

    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — The Groveton ISD School Board settled on a finalist for the upcoming superintendent vacancy at a special meeting on Feb. 8.

    Jim Dillard, who currently serves as the district’s assistant superintendent, will assume the top spot in September, after the retirement of current Superintendent Don Hamilton.

    Board President Mark Folds said Hamilton had some challenges and tough calls, but he had the backbone to make them.

    Folds cited the improvements to the baseball fields, the cafeteria and other items as proof of Hamilton’s dedication and service.

    “We are pleased with his work,” Folds said.

    Don Hamilton is retiring Aug. 31 after eight years as superintendent and 34 years as an educator, 31 of which were in the Groveton district.

    “I told them 2 years ago (when my contract was renewed) that this would be my last year,” he said.

    Hamilton said he was looking for a little time off, mostly to spend working on his ranch and spending time with grandsons.

    “We have done a lot of construction on the facilities, and we were named one of the top schools in America by U.S. News and World Report,” Hamilton said of his accomplishments. “We’ve had FCCLA students who have advanced to nationals, and won, we’ve had ag students excel at Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show, and Beta Club has advanced to nationals several times.

    “I hope I left the place better than when I got here,” he said.

    Folds said that aside from Dillard being the lone finalist, he also was the lone applicant, but has the board’s full support.

    Dillard has been in education since 2014, and started in the Groveton district as assistant principal for the junior/senior high school.