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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024

OLDER SPORTSMEN HAVE MORE FUN

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Trinity County News 2

Apple Springs looks to boost test scores

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apple springs ISD logo 250By Tony Farkas

APPLE SPRINGS — STARR test scores for the Apple Springs ISD were higher than the state average, but could be better.

The ASISD Board of Trustees discussed the results at its regular meeting on July 8.

Superintendent Cody Moree said that the district’s overall scores were lower than normal, but on par or slightly better than the state averages. He said that the math scores were exceptionally good.

However, he said that the results, coming off a year where education was interrupted because of the pandemic, should not have been used.

“My opinion is that none of the state's scores should have been published this year,” he said. “If anything, they should have only been used as diagnostic information moving forward.”

Moree said the district’s mitigation plan for the future is comprehensive, and includes an emphasis on curricular vertical alignment, longer instructional periods in core subjects, a district-wide reading and writing initiative and the hiring of a dedicated instructional interventionist.  

In a separate matter, only students commented on the school receiving grant funding during a public hearing held during the board meeting.

ASISD is scheduled to receive $808,000 in ESSER III and $363,000 in ESSER II funding, Moree said. The bulk will be used for instructional personnel, technology and student services

“It is important to remember that the life of these grants is spread out over more than three years,” he said. “During that time frame, we will dedicate at least 20 percent to direct student learning loss mitigation. We will also focus on student and staff mental and emotional health.”

A small portion will be reserved to make our infrastructure less prone to virus transmission, he said.

In other business, the board:

  • changed the date of the August meeting to Aug. 19;
  • discussed setting a date for a public hearing into the school’s tax rate. Moree said the district budget looks to be in good shape for the coming year, and he anticipates no changes in the tax rate; and
  • set a date to open the annual bids for goods and services for 1 p.m. Aug. 19.
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Trinity Council talks more grant work

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By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity City Council began planning for the use of grant funds it received to help shore up its infrastructure.

Mayor Wayne Huffman said the city received a $35,000 grant to assist planning the work, which will be paid for by a separate $4.2 million grant for work on parks, water and wastewater services, drainage and streets.

Carlos Beceiro of GrantWorks facilitated the discussion, Huffman said.

In a related matter, the city tabled a request to seek bids for grant administration and engineering services related to the Hazard Mitigation Assistance grant program.

Huffman said the council did not have enough information about the grant, so action was delayed.

He also said the HMA grant was a gamble, in that the city would be required to put up certain fees, which would not be reimbursed should the grant request be denied.

In other business, the city:

  • appointed Council Member Clegg DeWalt as the city’s representative on the Deep East Texas Council of Governments board of directors; and
  • tabled a discussion regarding the hiring of a police officer.
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Trinity County Treasurer Arrested

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Bob DockensBob Dockens

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — A Trinity County elected official was arrested Friday for an outstanding warrant.

County Treasurer Bob Dockens was arrested on a warrant for a Nov. 11, 2020, traffic citation that was issued in Corrigan.

The charge was for passing a stationary emergency vehicle.

Police reports indicate that Dockens did not show for a scheduled court date on the citation, and an arrest warrant was issued on May 18.

The Corrigan Police Department contacted the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office while doing a warrant sweep, and Dockens was arrested by Trinity County Constable Mark Cole.

Sheriff Woody Wallace said his office was notified Friday morning, but since Dockens was attending a meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court, he was allowed to finish the meeting and then quietly left with officers for booking.

Wallace said that it was his understanding is that someone in Dockens family took care of the charges in Corrigan; the Sheriff’s Office was notified later Friday that Dockens could be released.

Dockens did not immediately return calls for comment.

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Groveton Council changes police chief pay

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By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Groveton City Council approved a pay range for its police chief, but it took prodding from Interim Police Chief Daniel Kee to get his pay adjusted to the new rate.

Mayor Tommy Walton suggested a rate of $18 per hour for a new hire, and then after a year of service the rate would be raised to $20.

Walton also said that the council intends to seek applications for another 30 days before making any decision on replacing John Raiford, who resigned in May. Additionally, the city plans to allow any new chief to fill the open position, leaving the city’s law enforcement at one full-time officer and reserves.

However, Interim Chief Daniel Kee asked about the rate he is being paid, which is not $18; he also said that his 10 years of working for the city should mean his pay should be raised to $20 per hour.

He also questioned why the city decided to extend its search without discussing it with him.

“I’ve been back there cleaning up the office, and no one asked me about another month,” Kee said. “There’s people working for the city making more than that and not getting shot at.”

After a back-and-forth discussion between Kee and Council Member Steve Casper on his tenure, the council approved raising Kee’s pay to $18 per hour.

In other business, the council:

  • approved a resolution to purchase a pumper truck and other assorted equipment for the Groveton Volunteer Fire Department, using grant funds the city will apply for;
  • discussed using local vendor Williams Wrecker Service for the city’s needs;
  • approved continuing the city’s compensation amount for the mayor;
  • re-appointed Council Member Ralph Bennett, who was absent, to his current position of Mayor Pro Tem; and
  • approved a measure to begin the process of spending $28,963 to stock a new fire truck for the GVFD, expected to arrive in 2022.
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Groveton ISD discusses grant funds

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By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Groveton ISD Board of Trustees discussed a third round of grants for the district at its regular meeting June 26.

Assistant Superintendent Jim Dillard said the money needed to be spent on certain items, which include $219,000 in funds for construction of items involving social support for students.

The funds are being released under the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief grants, part of the American Rescue Plan.

He also said a survey sent out into the community had 59 responses, and showed there was a need for technology updates and instructional materials.

A survey of the staff showed a desire to pay the teachers more money and building repairs.

Additionally, new technology would be a benefit, he said, as well as hiring two additional counselors to have one assigned to each campus.

Dillard said that at the time, no plans have been made for using the money.

In other business, the board:

  • approved the district’s quarterly investment report;
  • approved the evaluation of the district’s gifted and talented program, which showed that there were challenges dealing with the pandemic; and
  • accepted a bid of $375 from Kayvu LLC for the purchase of an acre of school property.
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