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Trinity County News 2

Trinity to replace some sewer lines

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111920 trinity 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS Justice of the Peace Hayne Huffman (right) swears in (from left) Clegg DeWalt, Wayne Huffman and Chris Dennis at the Nov. 12 Trinity City Council meeting. The three were re-elected to their posts on Nov. 3.

By Tony Farkas

TRINITY — Christmas came early to the Trinity City Council in the form of a $275,000 no-match grant that will help replace some aging infrastructure.

At its regular meeting on Nov. 12, the city discussed a grant that Police Chief Steven Jones said was initially denied.

“Council Member Bubba Smith and I were in Lufkin to discuss it, and we were told that we did not get the grant,” Jones said. “… I got a call out of nowhere recently that said we did get the grant, and we have a confirmation email.”

Engineers will now begin work on replacing a sewer line that runs between Trinity Memorial Hospital and Rockdale Street. He also said it has zero match.

In other business, the city:

  • •approved the canvass of votes in the Nov. 3 election of city officials, and swore in returning council members Smith, Clegg DeWalt and Chris Dennis, Mayor Wayne Huffman, and Municipal Judge Lyle Stubbs.
  • •re-appointed Billy Goodin as Mayor Pro Tem;
  • •approved changes to persons allowed to handle the night depository bag;
  • •approved $1,500 in Hotel/Motel funds for the Christmas at the Crossroads event; and
  • •approved receipt of the city audit for the 2018-19 fiscal year. Auditor Dianne Sollock informed the council that the audit has an “unmodified opinion,” which is the best outcome, and also said that the city’s financial picture is improving year to year.
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Trinity Schools affected by COVID

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trinity isd logoFILE PHOTO - Trinity ISD logo

TCNS Staff

TRINITY — The High School and Junior High in Trinity are now going through the state required procedures of quarantine and contract tracing as one student and one employee have tested positive for COVID-19.

Letters were sent out Thursday to parents.

Superintendent John Kaufman said these are the first positive cases in the district this year.

“We have completed our contact tracing on the two individuals and notified the appropriate parents,” Kaufman said. “A deep cleaning was conducted on all classrooms and common areas associated with the two positives.”

Kaufman said TISD will continue to follow the protocol established in its reopening plan and CDC guidance.  

“Trinity ISD is committed in providing a safe environment for all our students,” he said.

Due to privacy requirements, the district did not release the names of the individuals or any identifying details.

According to the letter sent out to the district, based on the information that was gathered, it has been determined the end of the 14-day incubation period for anyone possibly exposed on campus to the student/staff member is Nov. 25.

The release also states that while the district does not have reason to believe that those who were not in close contact with the infected individual have reason to be concerned, residents are admonished to watch for symptoms of COVID-19, and to follow district guidelines regarding contact with any positive-testing person.

Anyone within the Trinity ISD community that begins experiencing any symptoms in a way that is not typical is encouraged to contact a physician. Anyone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 is requested to notify the school nurse at (936) 594-2090.

The release states the district continues to monitor the situation and will provide additional information as needed. Questions or concerns can be directed to (936) 594-2090, or information will be available at Trinityisd.net.

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Trinity County approves contract with Groveton EMS

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trinityFILE PHOTO - Trinity County courthouse

By Tony Farkas

GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court now has a new contract with Groveton EMS for ambulance services, but not without some discussion as to the nature of the $1,500 monthly payment.

While both the county and Groveton EMS agree that ambulance service is needed, the county on Nov. 10 approved a $1,500 monthly stipend, while the EMS service sought a contract that was based on a fee for services.

Grover Worsham, who owned the service and sold it to current owner David Robison, said he understood Robison’s position, but the real issue was getting the ambulances to run.

Robison initially asked for the contract to read fee for services as it would benefit the organization in the long run; his argument was that the language made the difference between a vendor relationship and a dependent relationship. However, County Judge Doug Page said the contract will read subsidy based on advice from County Attorney Joe Warner Bell.

In the end, both sides agreed that it would be best to end the negotiations and approve the contract. The previous contract expired in December 2019. This contract will last seven years with a 90-day right of termination.

In other business, the county:

  • canvassed the county votes from the Nov. 3 General Election;
  • approved $332,106 from the October check register;
  • approved a budget amendment moving $7,952 into the general fund;
  • approved issuing a county credit card to Sheriff Woody Wallace;
  • approved disbursing Family Protection Fee funds to three county agencies;
  • approved the sale of surplus equipment;
  • approved bids for the sale of tax resale properties from the County Appraisal District; and
  • approved a resolution authorizing $35,000 in county funds as part of a Community Development Block Grant, a project sponsored by the Deep East Texas Council of Government, for the improvement of regional radio communications infrastructure.
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Trinity Historical society dedicates markers to Rep. Charlie Wilson and 'Wobbly Bobbly'

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111220 plaque 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Sharon Wilson Allison, sister to Charlie Wilson, reads the text of a Texas Historical Marker that was dedicated to the U.S. Representative on Saturday November 7, 2020 in Trinity, Texas.

By Tony Farkas

TRINITY — Millions of Google returns on a search, as well as a movie, might give some folks a passing familiarity for Rep. Charlie Wilson, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years.

For the residents of Trinity, though, Little Charles, as he was known, was the definition of the hometown boy who done good. Because of that, on Saturday an official Texas Historical Marker was dedicated at his boyhood home.

The Trinity Historical Society also dedicated a marker to the “Wobbly Bobbly,” the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine Railroad on Saturday.

Wilson was born in Trinity on June 1, 1933, and served in both the Texas Legislature and the U.S. House, representing the districts around his home town. He died Feb. 10, 2010, in Lufkin, Texas.

Susan Madeley of the Trinity County Historical Commission said that there were many accomplishments made by the congressman, particularly with funding for Afghan rebels during that country’s war with the Soviet Union in the 1980s, the subject of the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War.”

Wilson also was a champion in business and environmental arenas as well, and was known as a consummate dealmaker.

Sharon Wilson Allison, Charlie’s sister, said she cherished the memories of her time in Trinity and her brother.

“(My family) would be so honored that you were here,” she said. “Thank you for doing this.”

Earlier on Saturday, on the southwest corner of Main and Maple streets, the commission dedicated and unveiled a marker commemorating the Waco, Beaumont, Trinity and Sabine Railroad, which was known affectionately by the people of the time as the Wobbly Bobbly Turnover and Stop.

111220 plaque 1 TONY FARKAS | TCNS Historians Jason Rose (left) and Everett Lueck unveil a Texas Historical Marker that was dedicated to the WBT&S Railroad on Saturday in Trinity, near the site of the now-defunct railroad’s home offices.

The railroad was chartered in September 1881, and was used primarily as a logging tram, as the area to this day is a large producer of timber. Over the 115.2 miles of track, passengers, mail, pulpwood, tomatoes, vehicles and oil, among other freight, was transported, according to the marker request application compiled by Jason Rose and Madeley.

It stopped operation in 1959, and the remaining engine was restored and is on display at the Galveston Railroad Museum.

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Congressman Kevin Brady looks to the next step in Washington

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Kevin BradyKevin Brady file photo - official portrait

By Tony Farkas

CONROEKevin Brady’s win in the election on Nov. 3 is like an energy drink — re-energizing the congressman to face the challenges ahead.

“I’m really thrilled to be re-elected to Congressional District 8 of the Republic of Texas,” he said. “It’s an honor, always has been. However, despite the historic economic recovery after COVID, and a vaccine deployment arriving at a record pace, there’s still more work to be done.”

Brady said his goal as Republican leader of the House Ways and Means Committee is to help defeat the coronavirus, create 10 million new jobs and create an economy even stronger than the one prior to the crash caused by the virus.

“I’ve introduced legislation that would lock in the tax relief to benefit workers and businesses; to make America medically independent from China, and we hope to leapfrog America into the No. 1 innovation nation in the world and using our tax code to do that,” he said. “That will create millions of new tax-paying jobs, and spur manufacturing and research in America.”

He also said he helped introduce new retirement legislation that will help more families, and more low-income workers, save for the future.

On a separate matter, Brady said he was proud to report that the Democratic “blue wave” crashed and burned in Texas, despite record voter turnout during a COVID crisis.

“I was proud that President Donald Trump won 230 of 254 counties in the state,” he said.
“The Texas Republican delegation faced long odds this year, with six retirements and a total of 10 races targeted by national Democrats.”

Brady said that despite Democrats predicting they would get the majority of the seats up for election, they got nothing, and it was especially embarrassing in the 23rd Congressional district, where a Texas Democrat promised a flip but did not deliver.

Brady said he felt the Democrats failed to gain any ground in Texas is because conservative legislators reflect Texas values, and that there was no way to fund the crazy ideas that Democrats put for, such as defunding police.

He also said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to stall any legislation designed to assist families dealing with the COVID crisis was a factor.

“I’m proud that Republicans held the Texas House of representatives with no losses,” he said.

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