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Trinity County News 2

Groveton continues mask policy

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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.
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Trinity County Officials take county to task on pay scales

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CountysealFILE PHOTO Trinity County Seal

By Tony Farkas

GROVETON — Trinity County Commissioners’ Court on March 23 heard threats of lawsuits regarding decisions on pay raises.

County Clerk Shasta Bergman told the court that there is a pay disparity between the employees of female elected officials and that of male elected officials, and she, by submitting several requests for raises, was addressing the problem.

Of the four requests that were submitted, three were for Bergman’s employees; one for an additional $2.78 on a salary of $10.92 per hour, one for an additional $3.22 on the chief deputy’s salary of $11.20 per hour, and the last for an additional $1 on a salary of $10.50 per hour.

Bergman told the funds for the raises would be taken from her department’s Records Management account, and not from the general fund, which would not affect county income or tax dollars because the funds came from fees charged for record-keeping.

She also said those funds can only be used in her office, and mostly for salaries.

However, Commissioner Mike Loftin said during the budget season last year that the court decided there would be no raises, as the county needed to be frugal, despite being told by Bergman that the raises will not affect the county budget.

Commissioner Neal Smith said that the county attempted to look at all departments equally, and had the pay scales within pennies of each other.

“You can’t starve people out of a job,” Bergman said. “You are setting yourself up for trouble.”

Sheriff Woody Wallace said the county needed to be mindful of the legal ramifications of its decisions, saying also that he was “sick and tired” of his deputies having to work second jobs to feed their children.

“We need to look at this before we find ourselves in a class action lawsuit,” he said.

Loftin insisted that he understands the plight of the employees, but said the idea was to wait until this year’s budget season to determine what money was available; Bergman again said that the funds came from a different source than tax dollars.

Commissioner Steven Truss said that if the court approved the raises, then all departments will be seeking raises.

Commissioner Tommy Park made the motion to approve the raises, which had to be seconded by County Judge Doug Page. The end result, though, was that Smith, Loftin and Truss voted against the raises.

Bergman told commissioners then that she will present the raises in the same manner until they are approved, or they are handled through legal means.

In other business, the county:

  • approved the appointment of Stacye Tullos as Trinity County Extension Agent-Ag and Natural Resources;
  • proclaimed the month of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month;
  • discussed billing from Groveton EMS regarding visits to inmates; and
  • recognized the county’s constables for taking training regarding the state Open Meetings and Public Information acts.
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Trinity County Fair and Youth Livestock Show 2021 Results (GALLERY)

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untitled 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Centerville ISD Ag Teacher Kelly Dial shows students the proper way to transport chickens during the Broiler Show during the Trinity County Fair and Livestock Sale on Wednesday.

TCNS STAFF

The Trinity County Fair and Youth Livestock Show 2021 was a complete show, judging all animals and placing all projects. The sale generated approximately $169,850 in sales and $20,975 in add-ons.

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Fair Results

Market Fryers

Lexi Larson, Groveton 4-H, Grand Champion; Parker Leach, East County 4-H, Reserve Champion; Adriana Sottosanti, Groveton 4-H, 3rd; Cade Mauldin, Trinity 4-H, 4th; Gunner Hollis, East County 4-H, 5th; Faith Smith, East County 4-H, 6th; Reece Watts, Groveton 4-H, 7th; Braxton Rogers, Centerville 4-H, 8th; Clarissa Ashworth, Centerville FFA, 9th; Kenneth Smith, East County 4-H, 10th; Tripp Turner, East County 4-H, 11th; Mikala Rivers, Groveton 4-H, 12th; Aurora Gonzalez, 13th; Cooper Shanafelt, Groveton 4-H, 14th; Payzlea Davis, East County 4-H, 15th; Wesson Burriss, Groveton 4-H, 16th; Skyler Shaw, Groveton FFA, 17th; Klarysa Peterson, Centerville 4-H, 18th; Samatha Hittner, Groveton 4-H, 19th; Rebecca Braswell, Centerville 4-H, 20th; Hunter Anderson, Centerville 4-H, 21st, Madelyn Bergman, Groveton FFA, 22nd; Dailey Turner, 23rd, Hannah Turner, East County 4-H, 24th; Madison Haislip, Groveton 4-H, 25th; Bentley Thompson, Groveton 4-H, 26th; Mekenna Meshell, Trinity 4-H, 27th.

Market Broilers

Haygen Townsend, Groveton 4-H, Grand Champion; Rhett Hawkins, Groveton 4-H, Reserve Champion; Tristin Eddins, East County 4-H, 3rd; Logan Townsend, Groveton FFA, 4th; Avery Brown, Centerville 4-H, 5th; Hardy Brown, Centerville 4-H, 6th; Trey Page, Groveton 4-H, 7th; Samantha McMullen, Apple Springs FFA, 8th; Jake Snyder, Centerville 4-H, 9th; Payson Dickinson, Centerville FFA, 10th; Aiden Conner, East County 4-H, 11th; Zoey Perez, Groveton 4-H, 12th; Gabriel (Julio) Perez, Groveton 4-H, 13th.

Market Steers

Laney Peterson, East County 4-H, Grand Champion; Kayla Kembro, Trinity 4-H, Reserve Champion; Andrew Kembro, Trinity 4-H, 3rd; Makala Rowe, 4th; Lucas Sottosanti, Groveton 4-H, 5th; Cade White, East County 4-H, 6th; Clayton Tullos, Apple Springs FFA, 7th; Reese White, Groveton FFA, 8th; Madison Nash, Groveton FFA, 9th; Brody Thornton, Groveton FFA, 10th; Austin Wallace, Trinity 4-H, 11th; Alivia Wallace, Trinity FFA, 12th.

Market Lambs

Malley Ecord, Groveton 4-H, Grand Champion; Megan Hannah, Groveton 4-H, Reserve Champion; Abbey Thornton, Groveton 4-H, 3rd; Katie Davis, East County 4-H, 4th; Brenley Fuller, Groveton 4-H, 5th.

Commercial Heifers

Emily Ecord, Groveton FFA, Grand Champion; Conner King, Groveton 4-H, Reserve Champion; Reed Hawkins, Groveton 4-H, 3rd; Rylie Due, Groveton 4-H, 4th; Cash Moore, Groveton 4-H, 5th; Cole Sullivan, Groveton 4-H, 6th; Jasper Due, Groveton 4-H, 7th; Hannah Page, Groveton 4-H, 8th; Lauren Moore, Groveton 4-H, 9th; Haley Denman, Apple Springs FFA, 10th; Jack Sullivan, Groveton 4-H, 11th.

Swine

Landree Martin, Grand Champion; Jace Taylor, Groveton 4-H, Reserve Champion; Peyton Noack, Centerville 4-H, 3rd; Kaileigh Lopez, 4th; Chase Blair, 5th; Colter Hajovsky, 6th; Jackson Cathey, 7th; Hayley Hajek, 8th; Chasity Blair, Groveton 4-H, 9th; Tanner Steubing, 10th; Kade Rosser, 11th; Kutter Minter, Groveton 4-H, 12th; Asa Stewart, Groveton 4-H, 13th; James Hennigan, Centerville FFA, 14th; Ethan Bowling, Groveton 4-H, 15th; Trey Brooks, 16th; Mercedes Wilson, Groveton 4-H, 17th; Laura Rogers, Centerville 4-H, 18th; Gracie May, Centerville FFA, 19th; Ashton Ashford, 20th; A.J. Lopez, Groveton 4-H, 21st; Raylee Boggs, Centerville 4-H, 22nd; Darbi Parker, Groveton 4-H, 23rd; Brance Dial, Centerville 4-H, 24th; Addison Randal, Groveton 4-H, 25th; Jill Watts, 26th; Ian Utz, 27th; Alexis May, Centerville FFA, 28th; Milton Riley Pitts, 29th; Serenity Stanley, 30th; Kyleigh Eddins, Centerville 4-H, 31st; Ethan Rutledge, Centerville FFA, 32nd; Jada Welch, Centerville FFA, 33rd; Sarah Sallas, 34th; Hunter Bowling, Groveton 4-H, 35th; Savannah Woodrick, 36th; Cooper Campbell, East County 4-H, 37th; Wyatt Turner, East County 4-H, 38th; Katie Blanchard, 39th; Ty Havard, Centerville FFA, 40th; Melony Allen, 41st; Gage Hollis, Apple Springs FFA, 42nd; Hunter Davis, Apple Springs FFA, 43rd; Wesley Maxfield, Centerville FFA, 44th; Weston Dial, Centerville FFA, 45th; Kate Roger, Centerville FFA, 46th; Colton Brausell, Centerville FFA, 47th; Daniel Brister, Centerville 4-H, 48th; Jaycee Hildebrand, East County 4-H, 49th; Kayla Mott, Centerville FFA, 50th; Kathryn Turner, Apple Springs FFA, 51st; Samantha Smith, Centerville FFA, 52nd.

Goats

Brianna Davison, Groveton FFA, Grand Champion; Karly Abshier, Groveton 4-H, Reserve Champion; Jett Arbuckle, Groveton 4-H, 3rd; Anna LaRue, 4th; Ayla Abshier, Groveton 4-H, 5th; Marlie Murray, East County 4-H, 6th; Maycynn Meshell, Trinity 4-H, 7th; Zachary Davison, Groveton 4-H, 8th; Preston Murray, East County 4-H, 9th; Miley Hannah, Groveton 4-H, 10th; Tanner Smith, Apple Springs FFA, 11th; Clay Ashworth, Centerville FFA, 12th; Olivia Smith, Apple Springs FFA, 13th; Eryn Eaton, Trinity FFA, 14th; Emily Brister, Apple Springs FFA, 15th; Leo Conner, Centerville FFA, 16th.

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New restaurant takes up old haunt

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032521 restaurant 1PHILLIP SCHMITTEN | TCNS CORRESPONDENT Maria Casas prepares some pico de gallo for the arriving customers.

By Philip Schmitten
TCNS correspondent

GROVETON — Very recently a new restaurant opened in Groveton; Habaneros is the name, and you can find it next door to Los Jalapenos Restaurant next to B&B Grocery.

The restaurant, formerly known as Wagon Wheel has some new owners, Edgar and Lori Abshire, and they serve up some excellent Tex-Mex food.

Manager and co-owner Lori Abshire sends out a big thank you to the residents of Groveton, who have been so wonderful with their support and patience while the new eatery gets settled.

“The folks here have been absolutely wonderful to us,” Lori said. “We plan on staying as long as Groveton will have us.”

The Abshires have been in the restaurant business for more than 20 years and bring their excellent venue to Groveton.

“We love the town and the people are so very friendly,” Lori said.

They offer seating for up to 70 and have a party room for those special occasions. Lori Abshire wants to thank Groveton for making them feel so welcome and look forward to many years of service.

“We have applied for a liquor license and are look forward to adding Margaritas to our menu real soon,” she said. “We are currently looking for local help as of now all of our staff comes from Lufkin and we would really like to hire some local talent.”

So, if you are in the mood for some fantastic Tex-Mex, look no further than Habaneros.

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Two injured in crash

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DPS logo

Special to the News-Standard

TRINITY COUNTY – The Texas Department of Public Safety investigated a two-vehicle crash Tuesday morning on SH 94, just west of Deaton Road.

The preliminary crash investigation indicates at approximately 10 a.m., a 2009 Ford passenger car was traveling east, collided with a 2020 Dodge pickup that was traveling west.

Reports indicate the driver of the Ford drove over into the westbound lane and struck the Dodge on the driver side. The Ford then continued off the roadway, where it caught on fire.

The driver of the Ford, Diana Haddox, 52, of Groveton, was able to exit the vehicle. She was transported to a Conroe hospital by medical helicopter for treatment.

The driver of the Dodge, Alesha Turner, 35, of Diboll, was transported to Woodland Heights Hospital in Lufkin for treatment.

This crash remains under investigation. Additional information is not available at this time.

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