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Trinity County News 2

Groveton native competes in cowboy competition series

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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.”

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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.

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Addressing critical in today’s world

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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..

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Nursing home makes event out of COVID vaccinations

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011421 vaccine 1COURTESY PHOTO Claudia Brown, a resident of Trinity Rehabilitation Center, helps “Tackle COVID” by receiving the first of two vaccines.

By Tony Farkas

TRINITY — Mary Poppins did it with song and sugar; Trinity Rehabilitation Center did it with football and cupcakes.

Folks at the senior citizen center on Thursday rolled out a COVID-19 immunization plan with the theme of Tackle COVID, according to center CEO and Owner Darcy Whatley.

“We had our vaccines today for staff and patients,” she said. “CVS Pharmacy, through the federal Operation Warp Speed, and they administered the vaccine to the employees and all the residents.”

011421 vaccine 3COURTESY PHOTO April Ross-Lester, activity director for Trinity Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, signs the field showing she has helped “Tackle COVID” by being immunized.

The promotion was to get the employees behind receiving the vaccine, and those that did were able to sign a commemorative football field.

The promotion was part of educating both the staff and the residents to the need for the vaccine, and listed all the benefits of being treated, so that they would volunteer. Whatley said that pretty much all residents signed up.

Additionally, Dr. James Crawford, one of the facility’s medical directors, talked with the staff about the importance of the vaccine, which helped convince employees.

In 21 days, the second required vaccine will be administered, possibly to a baseball theme, Whatley said.

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Trinity County's New Attorney looks to implement change (VIDEO)

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011421 colton hayTONY FARKAS | TCNS Colton Hay took the reins of the Trinity County Attorney’s office on January 4, 2021, hitting the ground running.

By Tony Farkas

GROVETON — Colton Hay walked into the office at 8 a.m. on the first day to a ringing telephone and only him to answer it.

The newly minted County Attorney, elected in November to replace Joe Warner Bell, was being asked about creating a protective order. Hay said he had to call around that morning to find out what the protocol and procedures were.

“I started calling around, and Rana Wingo of the SAAFE House was able to help me out, and what I found reaching out to people is that no one really knew exactly what to do, where a protective order was supposed to start,” he said.

Hay went immediately to work, setting up meetings with Wingo, the Sheriff’s Office and the DA’s office, as well as other entities involved, and together created a step-by-step process — that was on the second day.

“That’s what I’m looking to do — update things, trying new things, something you can only do when you’re new and don’t really know exactly what to do,” Hay said. “(The new procedure) will be great for the victims, for everyone, and I don’t want to stop there, with protective orders and criminal cases, I want to keep going and bring that new insight to the office.”

The word update sums up Hay’s entire campaign.

“We’re looking to get new computers, and we, with the DA and the Sheriff, are looking into software that will connect all of us, to expedite things,” he said. “I want to get everyone communicating.”

Hay said he hopes to bring some youthful energy to the position. Having just got married, he said he wants to put down roots, and saw the election as a good opportunity to do that.

Hay graduated law school in 2017, and worked for an insurance defense firm for the nephew of Joe Ned Dean, who gave him some sage advice.

Hay also is a former clerk for the Trinity County District Attorney Bennie Schiro, and has worked in Anderson County for two years doing the essentially the same work as he is doing now. He said he brings experience and a fresh perspective to the position.

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Now it looks a lot like winter (GALLERY)

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jillian phillips steptoePHOTO COURTESY OF JILLIAN PHILLIPS STEPTOE A winter storm blew through Trinity County on Sunday, chilling noses and toes and creating pastoral scenes.

Special to the News Standard

A winter storm unloaded more snow in Texas than some areas have received in decades at the end of the weekend.

The snow, stretched all the way from the northernmost parts of Colorado beginning Saturday, to eastern Texas by Sunday, according to Accuweather.

The swath of heaviest snow, with 6-9 inches of accumulation in 24 hours, stretched from near Lubbock to Abilene and just west of Waco, which received 4.4 inches of snow on Sunday, making it the highest snowfall total the city has received since 1982 and the 10th highest 24-hour snowfall total on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow-covered, slippery roadways were reported throughout the region, including along some of the major highways such as interstates 20 and 35.

But for those who didn't need to travel, the snow was mostly fun and games.

AccuWeather National News Reporter Bill Wadell interviewed some residents of Stephenville, Texas, who told him they haven't seen this much snow in years. Some residents were seen using the hood of a car as a sled for multiple people. Stephenville reported 8 inches of snow by Sunday evening.

The worst of the storm stayed to the south of Dallas, where a rain and snow mix throughout Sunday led to only a trace of snow accumulating.

Farther south, however, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott posted a video on Twitter showing snow covering the grounds of the Governor's Mansion in the capital city of Austin. The city officially reported 1.3 inches at the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport, but just north of town, 3-5 inches of snow was reported.

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