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Trinity County News 2

FFA honors participants

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american ffa degreeCOURTESY PHOTO American FFA Degree recipients are Jace Stout and Mallory Stout.

Special to the News-Standard

TRINITY — Trinity FFA held its end of the year banquet May 20 at the Trinity Community Center.

Ag teacher Tristan Pedersen said that with the challenges that this year brought, the members stepped up and did not let it slow them down, going above and beyond to make this one of the greatest years yet.

The 2021-2022 Trinity FFA officers installed at the banquet are President Haden Coleman, Vice President Zoe Hawkey, Secretary Allie Ancira, Treasurer Kayla Kembro, Reporter Graci Robb and Sentinel Alivia Wallace.

Awards

Chip Hart Top Hand Award — Haden Coleman

Honorary FFA Members — Brittaney Cassidy and Shaun Stout

Outstanding Service Award — Mike Burk

Star Greenhand — Kayla Kembro

Star Chapter — Allie Ancira

Star Lonestar — Haden Coleman

Top Junior FFA Member — Preston Riddle

Beef Proficiency — Haden Coleman

Goat Proficiency — Eryn Eaton

Sheep Proficiency — Kaitlynn Medcalf

Swine Proficiency — Zoey Gray

Small Animal Management Proficiency — Peyton Robb

Junior FFA Members — Samantha Dilda, Preston Riddle, Trace Coleman

Greenhand Degree Recipients — Christanea Cunningham, Emalee Ellis, Zoe Hawkey, Alyssa Juniel, Kayla Kembro, Graci Robb, Samantha Short, Gunner Smith

Chapter Degree Recipients — Brooke Allen, Allie Ancira, Robbie McDonald

American FFA Degree Recipients — Jace Stout, Mallory Stout

Top Seller — Kayla Kembro

Top 5 FFA Members — Eryn Eaton, Haden Coleman, Peyton Robb, Zoey Grey, Shelby Walters

2021 Trinity FFA CDE Teams

Horse Evaluation — Haden Coleman, Peyton Robb, Graci Robb

Livestock Judging — Haden Coleman, Alivia Wallace, Kayla Kembro, Eryn Eaton

Veterinary Science — Haden Coleman, Zoey Grey, Zoe Hawkey, Allie Ancira

Senior Members — Peyton Robb, Eryn Eaton, Kyndal Corbin

2021 Student Teacher Recognition — Ms. Heather Stenson from SHSU

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County to investigate insurance options

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CountysealFILE PHOTO Trinity County seal

TCNS staff

GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court delayed action on renewing its health benefits with the Texas Association of Counties to allow questions about plan availability are answered.

County Attorney Colton Hay had asked if there was a second option that could be offered that had a higher deductible but lower premiums, to be offered to people who would prefer that type of plan.

County Treasurer Bob Dockens said there was, but there also was a danger of the county losing its grandfathered position on health care plans, which will mean much higher premium costs.

Dockens will schedule a discussion with the county’s TAC representative to get clarification on options and county’s grandfathered status.

In other business, the county:

  • approved a hiring recommendation from the county’s Internship Committee;
  • approved the purchase of a new recording system for 911;
  • approved the countywide transition to Microsoft 365 for the county’s email needs;
  • approved the purchase of several vehicles for Precinct 4 from the Texas Forest Service;
  • approved the hiring of a structural engineer to evaluate the needs for a new maintenance building;
  • approved a resolution regarding 1115 Medicaid waivers.
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City to seek answers to police dilemma

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060321 city 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS City Judge Angelia Evans swears in Tommy Walton as mayor of the City of Groveton. Walton won the post in the May 1 election.

By Tony Farkas

GROVETON — The Groveton City Council delayed action on changing the salary of the police chief, in light of the fact that the city has to replace John Raiford, who resigned May 14.

Mayor Tommy Walton said the resignation was effective immediately. Daniel Kee was appointed interim chief at an emergency meeting on May 14.

“He did not leave on bad terms,” Walton said. “It was time; he stopped attending meetings, and his reports reflected no activity, and I think he just got tired.”

The city is budgeted for two officers, and currently is using reserve officers and Kee for patrol until hiring is done. Walton said sheriff covers for the city as well.

At its regular meeting on May 24, Walton said he was considering $18 to $20 per hour for a pay scale; however, Council Member Joe Don Kennedy asked to delay any action because the matter needed more discussion, and the city at this time did not have a chief.

Council Member Autumn Dial said that she has been investigating the matter, and Groveton is about $10,000 under pay scales offered by towns of similar size.

Walton said in order to hire a chief, there needed to be some sort of plan in place.

Kee warned the commission that the call volume after hours is pretty high, and that would be a detriment to hiring someone.

“You can’t salary someone and call them out 24 hours a day,” Kee said. “Salary is based on a 40- to 50-hour week, and 3 in the morning isn’t salary time. You need to pare down your expectations.”

Kee also said the city needed to decide who will hire a replacement officer — the city or the newly hired chief.

“It appears you’re tabling this to discuss the issues,” Kee said. “I encourage you to please discuss it to the fullest. I’m in limbo in the meantime.”

In a separate matter, Maretha Lawrence asked the council to be more aware of some of the things it does, as an event during the city election could be construed as racist.

Lawrence said that during the vote, there were two black women serving as election judges at the city polling station, and someone made a point of saying that should not be allowed to happen.

“I started not to say anything, but I felt it was a racist statement,” she said. “To me, that was saying you can’t trust two black people.”

Walton said that the statement that was made was not meant to be racial, but was a request for equal representation in election judges.

Lawrence said she expected the council to address it, and not change out one of the election judges for a white person, which was the damaging action.

“There’s nothing that can be done about it now, but I want to put that out there so next time it can be addressed properly,” she said.

In other business, the council:

  • approved a $8,641 payment to Inframark for water and sewer operations;
  • discussed the flooding issue on West First Street due to the large amount of rain received;
  • delayed action on paying $28,963 to stock a fire truck for the Groveton Fire Department, expected to arrive in 2022;
  • delayed action of approval of changes to the city’s weed ordinance; and
  • re-appointed Angelia Evans as city judge.
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Students receive accolades

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011A5887TONY FARKAS | TCNS Students gathered to be recognized for their achievements.

Academics, sports accomplishments noted with plaques, scholarships

By Tony Farkas

TRINITY — Athletic Director Patrick Goodman said the students and athletes of the school needed to be recognized for their efforts after such a tumultuous year, which teachers and coaches did at the annual awards ceremony, held Thursday.

Thousands of dollars in scholarships and numerous awards were given to the students that excelled throughout the year.

Goodman also brought back the tradition of naming athletes who went above and beyond — the Tiger Heart Award — which went to Zoey Grey and Emilio Cleveland. He also started an all-around athlete award, which went to Cynthia Sizemore and Treylin Goodman.

Other awards include:

UIL Academic Results

District

Brooke Kelley, first place Ready Writing; Emilio Cleveland, third place Computer Apps; Diego Lewin, fourth place Computer Apps; Hunter Cassidy, third place Current Issues, fifth place Computer Apps; Kaitlyn Smith, second place Prose Interpretation, third place Persuasive Speaking; Allie Ancira, fourth place Prose Interpretation; Izaiah Fortenberry, second place Informative Speaking; Paton Mauldin, second place Biology, third place Chemistry, fourth place Physics; Zachary Thibodeaux, second place Chemistry.

Team Results

First place, Science: Hunter Cassidy, Emilio Cleveland, Paton Mauldin, Zach Thibodeaux.

Second place, Current Issues and Events: Hunter Cassidy, Emilio Cleveland, Paton Mauldin, Candida Guzman.

Regional Results

Izaiah Fortenberry, seventh place Informative Speaking; Kaitlyn Smith, fifth Persuasive Speaking; Zachary Thibodeaux, fourth place Biology.

Sports Awards

Cross country

Boys and girls track

Ava Morrison, cross country/track, regional cross country and area track, first-year letter winner; Kemberlie Caceras, track, area track, first-year letter winner; LaResa Green, track, area and regional qualifier, first-year letter winner; Aaliyah Hale, track, Area, first-year letter winner; Yesica Lopez, track , first-year letter winner; Yasmin Moore, track, area and regional qualifier, first-year letter winner; Daria Woods, track, Area track, first-year letter winner; Shania English, 23-3A District Champion 400 Meters, area and regional qualifier, Victoria Smith, area qualifier, Shelby Walters, Pole Vault, 23-3A District Champion Area Champion and regional qualifier, Anaya Weathersby, area and regional qualifier, Myona Wilson, area and regional qualifier, Zoey Gray, area qualifier, Cole Caldwell, first-Year track letter winner; Julian Clayborne, first-year track letter winner, area qualifier; Austin Cummins, first-year track letter winner; Marshall Sizemore, first-year track letter winner; Zylon Woods, first-year track letter winner; Tristan Williams, first-year track letter winner; Kaden Barnes, first-year track letter winner.

Tennis

Olivia Kitts, first-year letter winner, 23-3A second-place regional qualifier girls doubles; Natalie Bates, first-year letter winner, 23-3A second-regional qualifier girls doubles; Andrea Hickman, 23-3A District Champions girls doubles and regional qualifier; Gabby Kaufman, 23-3A District Champions girls doubles and regional qualifier, Team MVP; Dylan Ford, 3rd place boys singles; Paton Mauldin, Letter Award Winner

Volleyball

Cynthia Sizemore, first-team All-District, Co-MVP; Aniya Phillips, second-team All-District, Co-MVP.

Soccer

Melissa Acosta, first-year letter winner

Athletic training, student aides

Gabrielle Potts, 2 Years Varsity, first-year Letter Award Winner; Morgan Allbright, 2 Years Varsity, first-year Letter Award Winner

Football, Bi-District Finalist

Julian Clayborne, first-year letter winner; Navjot Gill, first-year letter winner, Academic All-District , UIL Scholar Award; Cole Hortman, first-year letter winner; Kaden Barnes, first-year letter winner; Romero Lopez, first-year letter winner; Trintin Fulsom, first-year letter winner, Academic All-District ; Randall Dumas, first-year letter winner, Academic All-District; Cole Odom, first-year letter winner; Treylin Goodman, Trinity first-team Running Back and second-team linebacker; Austin Cummins, Trinity, first-team Offensive Line and first-team Defensive Line, Academic All-District; Emilio Cleveland, Trinity, second-team Offensive Line , Academic All-District, UIL Scholar Award; Andrew Crabtree, Trinity, second-team Defensive Line; Fidencio Ruiz, Trinity, second-team Defensive Line, Academic All-District, UIL Scholar Award; Colton Smith, OL, Trinity, second-team Offensive Line

Boys and girls basketball, Bi-District Finalist

Nevaeh Craft, second-team All-District; Shania English, Honorable, Mention All-District; Peyton Robb, first-team All-District; Cynthia Sizemore, first-team All-District; Treylin Goodman, first-team All-District; Jakai Miller-Gates, first-team All-District; Terius Maxie, first-team All-District; Fermin Aleman, second-team All-District; Quinn Mack, Honorable Mention All-District, first-year Letter Award Winner; Tristian Martinez, first-year Letter Award Winner, Honorable Mention All-District, Academic All-District, ; Marshall Sizemore, first-year Letter Award Winner, Academic All-District; Cameron Anderson, first-year Letter Award Winner, Academic All-District; Cole Hortman, first-year Letter Award Winner

Baseball

Cole Hortman, first-year Letter Award Winner; Romero Lopez, first-year Letter Award Winner; Remi Lassman, first-year Letter Award Winner; David McKendree, first-year Letter Award Winner; Tristan Williams, first-year Letter Award Winner.

Golf

Anneliese Beasley, 23-3A Medalist, regional qualifier; Emilio Cleveland , Academic All-District; Hunter Cassidy, Academic All-District, UIL Scholar Athlete; Tyler Calloway, Academic All-District.

Boys and girls powerlifting

Deandra Mills, regional qualifier/medalist; Alyssa Hill, regional qualifier; Maria Mendoza, regional qualifier, first-year Letter Award Winner; Kailyn Fisher, Regional Champion, State Champion; Treylin Goodman, regional qualifier/medalist; Austin Cummins, regional qualifier.

Softball

Cynthia Sizemore, Defensive MVP; Dayanara Martinez, Utility Player of the Year, first-year Letter Award Winner; Peyton Robb, first-team All-District; Nevaeh Craft, second-team All-District; Abby Crowton, first-year Letter Award Winner; Brooke Arnold, first-year Letter Award Winner; Yasmin Moore, first-year Letter Award Winner.

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County attorney helps save infant

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060321 hayCOURTESY PHOTO Trinity County Attorney Colton Hay walks away from a one-vehicle crash, where he and others helped rescue an infant that was in the vehicle.

News-Standard staff

GROVETON — Trinity County Attorney Colton Hay can add lifesaver to his resume, having come to the aid of an infant following a car crash on May 25.

The wreck occurred on State Highway 94 west of Groveton at about 5 p.m.

According to police reports, the driver, James Christopher Gambrell Jr., 29, was driving his vehicle in an unsafe manner during a rainstorm, hydroplaned, and rolled the vehicle into a ditch.

Hay said he witnessed the event on his way home from work,

“We went over to the car, me and a few other people, and someone hollered, ‘There’s a baby in here,’” Hay said. “I carry a sledgehammer in the car for trailer hitches; we looked, found the child, and broke the back window.”

Hay then called law enforcement officials on his cell phone to report the event.

The car had come to a stop upside down in about a foot of water, with oil and other fluids leaking from the car, reports indicate. Hay, who recently became a father for the first time, climbed into the car to get the baby out.

Hay said the car was filled with many items, such as computers and tools, which made entering the car difficult.

“I shimmy into the car through the back window; the driver was wedged in the car, part in front and part in back,” Hay said. “I got to the baby; it looked to be about a year old. The car seat was flipped over, because it was not attached properly.”

Hay said the child was crying and moving her arms and legs, and had a small abrasion on her cheek.

“I unhooked her as carefully as I could from the seat, cradled her as best as I could, and shimmied out,” he said.

Reports state the child was taken by ambulance to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was arrested for driving with license invalid with a previous conviction, and other charges are pending.

Hay said that with the help of other passers-by who witnessed the crash and stopped to help, they were able to help the child.

“I just had a baby, and holding her was like holding mine, and we got her out and we all were ecstatic,” Hay said. “It was beautiful to see people to come together from all walks of life and save this girl.

“It was an emotional experience,” he said.

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