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Trinity County News 2

Building a Better Future

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Pictured are (from left) Timothy Skinner, GP Camden Plywood Shipping Forklift Operator; Andrew Krenek, Groveton Ag Science Teacher; and Luther Cockrell, Groveton ISD Maintenance representative. (Courtesy photo )Pictured are (from left) Timothy Skinner, GP Camden Plywood Shipping Forklift Operator; Andrew Krenek, Groveton Ag Science Teacher; and Luther Cockrell, Groveton ISD Maintenance representative. (Courtesy photo )

Special to the News-Standard 

CORRIGAN — Georgia-Pacific is helping students build a better future by contributing to schools’ building and trades and Future Farmers of America programs. 

Recently, the local building products company provided plywood to the students at Groveton Independent School District to build various projects, including feed troughs and deer stands. The students sell their crafts to the community and, in return, raise funds for their FFA chapter. 

This is just one of many East Texas schools receiving GP products like plywood, lumber and particleboard each year for school projects.  

Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals.  

Their familiar consumer brands include Quilted Northern®, Angel Soft®, Brawny®, Dixie®, enMotion®, Sparkle® and Vanity Fair®. Georgia-Pacific has long been a leading supplier of building products to lumber and building materials dealers and large do-it-yourself warehouse retailers.

Its Georgia-Pacific Recycling subsidiary is among the world’s largest traders of paper, metal and plastics. The company operates more than 150 facilities and employs more than 30,000 people directly, creating approximately 89,000 jobs indirectly. 

For more information, visit gp.com/about-us. For news, visit gp.com/news.

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Trinity ISD Board inks OK on dress code

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trinity isd logo 250Tattoos cause concern for one board member

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity ISD School Board approved an employee dress code, but not before the policy regarding tattoos was questioned as being discriminatory.

The new policy was being discussed at a special meeting on Aug. 9.

Superintendent John Kaufman the purpose of the code is for the staff, especially teachers, to project a professional image. 

“That’s my whole objective of this policy,” he said. “I want everyone to dress professionally, to look professional.”

Board Member Ricky Hortman said that he had issues with the policy, because in this day and age, tattoos are mainstream. 

“We’re going to discriminate against people who have tattoos? A person can’t be professional if they have tattoos?” Hortman asked. “I would hate to lose a … teacher because of a tattoo. We have lots of other issues than to worry about this.”

Hortman said times are changing, and other entities, such as police departments, are rolling with those changes.

Kaufman said that covered tattoos have been in the code for as long as he can remember, and the district hasn’t lost any teachers because of it. 

“We’re just like any other organization; there is going to be rules to abide by,” he said. “Working at McDonald’s, they have standards too. I don’t think that showing tattoos looks professional. I’m not saying it has anything to do with the way a teacher does their job; we have a lot of teachers that have tattoos now. They understand they have to be covered.”

Other changes to the police include requiring coaches to be in professional dress while walking the halls, no shorts are allowed in the classroom. Also, there are to be no more than two piercings in each ear for both male and female staff, and no nose studs or rings.

The board voted 5-1 to approve the code, with Hortman voting against the measure. Board Member Maggie Trevino was absent.

In other business, the board:

  • approved a bid for $65,600 to Blackmon Mooring for cleaning the ductwork and HVAC systems at Lansberry Elementary School;
  • approved a bid of $95,000 to Waters Construction for driveway repairs at Lansberry;
  • approved a pay-raise scale for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which includes a $500 step raise for teachers, a 50 cents per hour raise for hourly employees and a 3 percent raise for administrators;
  • approved raising rates for substitute teachers from $65 to $80 per day for non-degreed teachers and from $75 to $90 per day for degreed teachers. Certified substitutes will receive $150 per day;
  • discussed the minor changes in the budget proposal; and
  • approved additions to the policy manual, mostly dealing with legal matters.
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Trinity County Sheriff warns of future funding crises

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Countyseal 250 08192121By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace told the Commissioners’ Court that unless something is done, there will be a population problem at the county jail.

At a budget workshop during the regular Commissioners’ Court meeting on Aug. 10, Wallace said there were two areas of his budget that needed additional funding — the jail and vehicles.

Wallace said that even though the office contracted with Enterprise Fleet earlier this year, all vehicles are on back-order, and he believes the county should put in additional funds for purchases — at least $125,000 — even if they continue with the lease program.

Currently, the fleet of Sheriff’s Office vehicles are averaging 200,000 to more than 300,000 miles driven, he said, and they need 10 patrol vehicles and two transport vans.

Wallace also said that all of the jails this county contracts with to house prisoners has informed him that they cannot take any more. Also, most counties are looking to increase their per day jail fees, some up to $75 per day.

“We are fixing to be in a huge bind,” he said.

Wallace said that years ago, he mentioned that the county will need to build a jail, but was told to wait until the funds for courthouse renovations were repaid. That was done this year, he said.

“If we’re going to operate the little jail we have, we need repairs; everything about it is old,” he said. 

Wallace said he had no solutions, and was looking for guidance.

Separately, the county tabled two items pertaining to the FY 2021-22 budget: approval of the property list from the County Appraisal District, and approval of a new salary schedule, which Commissioner Neal Smith, who was chairing the meeting in County Judge Doug Page’s absence, said needed some tweaking before approval.

In other business, the county:

  • approved a title change for 911 Addressing Coordinator Jolynn Wars to be in line with DETCOG;
  • appointed County Treasurer Bob Dockens as the county’s representative for the U.S. Department of Treasury Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds;
  • declared 10 lots in the Trinity Cove subdivision as public nuisances;
  • approved bids of $40,079 and $6,950 for Waters Construction for chip and seal paving of Pinecrest Drive;
  • approved an agreement between Road District 3 and Darren Smith for rock and clay;
  • approved the addition of about ½ mile of Reggie Lane to the Precinct 1 road inventory;
  • approved the annual agreement with Lubbock County for a public defender for capital cases;
  • approved optional county road and bridge fees;
  • designated County Commissioner Mike Loftin as supervisor to any grant administrator hired by the county; and
  • drew lots of county employee names for a salary grievance committee.
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Crash claims life of Trinity resident

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011A7237 1000Special to the News-Standard

TRINITY — One person died and one injured as law enforcement officials on Tuesday worked to investigate three separate vehicle accidents in Trinity County.

James Golden, 75, of Trinity, died as the result of a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 94 about 2 1/2 miles east of Trinity.

According to DPS reports, a 2000 Ford pickup was traveling eastbound on 94 collided with a 2021 Dodge pickup, which was traveling westbound, at about 5 p.m. 

Golden, the driver of the Ford, reportedly drove off the roadway to the right, overcorrected back to the left and traveled into the westbound lane where it was struck by the Dodge.

Golden was transported to Huntsville Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Dodge is identified as Richard Herring, 31, of Conroe. Herring was transported to Conroe Regional Hospital for treatment.

Later on Tuesday, a two-vehicle crash occurred at about 6:50 p.m. on FM 356, about 2 1/2 miles south of FM 355.

Reports indicate a 2016 Kia SUV driven by Jennifer Slade, 51, of Groveton, was traveling northbound, while a 2004 GMC pickup pulling a trailer, driven by Daniel Leonard, 25, of Huntsville, was traveling southbound. 

Leonard attempted to enter a local business parking lot and turned left when unsafe, and the Kia collided with the trailer.

Neither driver was injured in the crash.

At about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 2001 Toyota pickup driven by Curtis White, 47, of Kennard, was traveling westbound, while a 2012 Dodge van driven by Jerrilyne Wathey, 71, of Glendale, Ariz., reportedly failed to yield right of way from a private drive and drove into the roadway, causing White to take evasive action to the right, where he drove off the roadway and struck a culvert.

White was not injured, reports indicate.

All accidents remain under investigation.

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Ready to play - Trinity Marching Band season also starting

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A little water from a firehose keeps the bad cool during marching practice.A little water from a firehose keeps the bad cool during marching practice.

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — It’s almost time for Friday Night Lights, which means not only will there be the sound of pads clashing, but there will be musical entertainment as well — just as much anticipated as the game.

The Trinity Tiger Marching Band will take the field on Aug. 27 for the first performance of this year’s halftime show, and Team Captain and Senior Zoey Gray is looking forward to it. 

Band 01 250VThis year, the band will play “Rise of the Phoenix,” a compilation of several classical pieces arranged by Doug Moore, Drum Major and fellow Senior Andi Hickman said.

Andi said the group started drills last week after two weeks of band camp, and will perform in front of a crowd at first home game on Aug. 27.

The two seniors believe the band will do extremely well this year.

“We have a very young band this year — about half of the band are sophomores or younger,” Andi said. “We have about eight juniors and seniors. The lower classmen have come along so much and I’m so proud of them. They’re amazing musicians that learn more and more every day.”

“I think our team is amazing, in all honesty,” Zoey said. “We get along like a family.”

As well as a positive feeling about the band’s prospects, both seniors say this season and school year will be bittersweet.

Band 03 250V“I have a lot of friends; these people are my family,” Zoey said. “But I’m glad to be a senior because I get to move forward in life.”

Zoey said that after she graduates, it’s off to college to study veterinary science.

Andi will “hopefully” be going to Texas A&M to study neuroscience.

“I feel very content in my journey here, but it’s sad to leave the people I’ve been closest to for years,” she said.

Till then, the team leaders hope to advance as far as it can.

Band 04 250VIt’s our year to advance, so we will go to UIL,” Zoey said. “We will need an overall 1 rating to advance to area competition.”

I’d like to think we’d make area, but it depends on how the other bands perform, but I would love to get area before I move on,” Andi said. “We are double ahead of where we were last year. We just have to keep the work ethic up.”

Photos by Tony Farkas/TCNS

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