Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Trinity County News 2

Abbott signs power, drug laws


User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active


Special to the News-Standard

AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott signed laws to empower Texas parents, protect Texans from the growing national fentanyl crisis, and safeguard women’s sports passed during the 88th Regular Legislative Session at the Texas Capitol.

At the bill signing ceremony last week, Abbott signed a transformative package of four laws that empower parents in the educational decisions of their children. On Wednesday, he took significant action in the fight against deadly fentanyl, signing four laws that will save countless lives.

Abbott also signed laws protecting the integrity of women’s collegiate sports in Texas.

On Monday, Abbott signed four transformative parent empowerment laws that will give parents access to course curriculum, allow parents to determine if their child should repeat a grade, remove inappropriate books from libraries schools, and support students with special needs.

“Today, I will sign four bills into law that grant parents more rights in the education of their children,” Abbott said. “One of those bills transforms school curriculum, improving it for Texas parents, students, and teachers. We will empower parents of students with special needs with the tools and resources they need to provide their child with the best education.

I will also sign a law where parents — not school administrators — have the option to determine whether it’s in the child’s best interest to repeat a grade level. Additionally, parents deserve to know what books are in school libraries. I’m signing a law that gets inappropriate or vulgar materials out of our schools.”

Abbott was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Sen. Brandon Creighton; Reps. Charles Cunningham, Lacey Hull, and Jared Patterson; Texas Public Policy Foundation CEO Greg Sindelar and Campaign Director Mandy Drogin; Texas parents; and other parent empowerment advocates.

•House Bill 900 (Patterson/Paxton) prohibits the possession, acquisition, and purchase of harmful library material that is sexually explicit, pervasively vulgar, or educationally unsuitable. In November 2021, Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards to ensure no child is exposed to sexually explicit or other inappropriate content at a Texas public school.

•House Bill 1605 (Buckley/Creighton) allows parents to access and review instructional materials and requires districts to provide teachers with a full sequence of instructional materials so they do not have to devote personal or planning time to develop instructional materials themselves.

•House Bill 1926 (Hull/Paxton) removes the $30 million cap on the total amount of funds that may be appropriated for the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program each fiscal year. This bill expands access to more students who need these critical services. In October 2020, Abbott established the SSES program to offset learning disruptions caused by school closures.

•House Bill 3803 (Cunningham/Paxton) allows parents to determine if their child should repeat a grade level for 4th through 8th grades or a high school level course. Texas students in grades four through eight are eligible to retake any course in which they were enrolled in the previous year unless the student has already met all requirements for graduation.

Surrounded by families who have lost loved ones to fentanyl, Abbott also took a significant step forward Wednesday in the fight against the deadly opioid, signing four key laws to prosecute fentanyl deaths as murder, ensure death certificates reflect when people are poisoned by fentanyl, provide more life-saving NARCAN to Texas universities, and educate young Texans about the dangers of fentanyl.

“The fentanyl epidemic has taken far too many innocent lives, but thanks to the work by brave parents and loved ones, like those here today, we have made Texans aware of this crisis,” said Abbott. “These four laws will forever change Texas through new protections that will help save lives. In my State of the State address at the beginning of this session, I made curbing the fentanyl epidemic an emergency item. Today, I am signing four new laws that will save countless lives.”

Abbott was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Sens. Brandon Creighton, Donna Campbell, Joan Huffman, and Royce West; Reps. Craig Goldman, John Lujan, and Terry Wilson; Texas Against Fentanyl (TXAF) Founder Stefanie Turner; Leander High School alumna and student fentanyl advocate Jenna Mitchell; dozens of families who lost loved ones to fentanyl; and other fentanyl awareness advocates.

•House Bill 6 (Goldman/Huffman) creates a criminal offense of murder for supplying fentanyl that results in death, enhances the criminal penalty for the manufacturing or delivery of fentanyl, and requires deaths caused by fentanyl to be designated as fentanyl toxicity or fentanyl poisoning on a death certificate. Current law does not require such classification on a death certificate, with most fentanyl-related deaths currently classified as an overdose.

•House Bill 3144 (Lujan/Campbell) establishes October as Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month to help increase awareness of the dangers of fentanyl.

•House Bill 3908 (Wilson/Creighton) also known as Tucker’s Law, requires public schools each year to provide research-based instruction on fentanyl abuse prevention and drug poisoning awareness to students grades 6 through 12. The bill also requires a designation of a Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Week.

•Senate Bill 867 (West/Rose) allows the distribution of opioid antagonists, including lifesaving NARCAN, to Texas colleges and universities to prevent opioid poisonings.

Then on Thursday, Abbott signed into law the Save Women’s Sports Act, which protects the integrity of women’s sports by prohibiting biological males from competing against female athletes at Texas colleges and universities.

“Today is an important day for female athletes across the state of Texas, including little girls who aspire to one day compete in college sports,” said Abbott. “Sports have inspired many women to cast bold visions and dreams of what they want to achieve. The legacy of women’s sports will be safeguarded for generations to come. Women in Texas can be assured that the integrity of their sports will be protected in our state.”

The was joined at the bill signing ceremony by Sen. Mayes Middleton and Donna Campbell; Reps. Caroline Harris, Tom Oliverson, and Valoree Swanson; former collegiate swimmer Jeri Shanteau; collegiate basketball player Kassidy Comer; powerlifter Jade Dickens; collegiate swimmer Ellie McLeod; collegiate volleyball player Makenna Miller; and other women’s sports advocates.

•Senate Bill 15 (Middleton/Swanson) prohibits a biological male from competing in a college-level athletic competition designated for a biological female athlete to maintain competitive fairness. The bill also creates a mechanism for people to seek injunctive relief against a Texas public college or university or intercollegiate athletic team if it violates the provisions of the bill.

  • Hits: 72101

Legendary broadcaster to be honored at DETCOG event

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


Special to the News-Times

062223 awardLUFKIN — For more than 36 years, Horace McQueen was known as the voice of agriculture in Texas. During most of those years, thousands of East Texans started their day with him on his popular Farm and Ranch News on KTRE-TV in Lufkin and KLTV-TV in Tyler.

Over the years he has won many awards, including the National Farm Broadcaster of the Year and the Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture.

On June 22, the Deep East Texas Council of Governments will bestow another honor on McQueen — the prestigious Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year.

The award will be presented during DETCOG’s Annual Membership and Awards Luncheon to be held Thursday at Noon at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin.

The Steen award honors an individual who has played a major role in leadership and service to Deep East Texas. DETCOG President and Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison says Horace McQueen fits the bill perfectly.

“Agriculture is so important to our region and always has been,” she said. “It is very fitting that our East Texan of the Year is someone who has devoted his life to promoting agriculture, which is more than just a big part of our economy — it’s a way of life for many of our residents. We invite everyone to come celebrate with us and honor Mr. McQueen and our other award recipients.”

This marks the 48th consecutive year DETCOG has presented the Ralph W. Steen East Texan of the Year Award. In 1976, Dr. Steen was retiring after 20 years as President of Stephen F. Austin State University. To honor his contributions to the region DETCOG presented the first East Texan of the Year Award to him and then decided to make it an annual presentation in his honor.

Other awards to be presented at the DETCOG annual meeting include the President’s Award which recognizes outstanding service on a DETCOG committee. The Key Contributor Award recognizes a staff member who has contributed greatly to the organization’s success. The Star Partner Award honors an employee or official in a state or federal agency. The DETCOG Employee of the Year and Program Director of the Year for 2022 will also be recognized at the event.

Luncheon tickets are $25 and reserved tables are also available. RSVPs are appreciated. Anyone needing information may contact Executive Assistant Lacy Sargent at the DETCOG office in Lufkin at (936) 634-2247 extension 5254.

DETCOG, organized in 1966, is a voluntary association of local governments in the 11-county region encompassing all of Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties.

DETCOG was established in November of 1966 as an Economic Development District under the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration. In 1968 the organization also became a political subdivision of the State of Texas as a Regional Planning Commission under state law. Current membership includes 11 counties, 34 cities, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, plus a number of other entities including school districts, river authorities, special purpose districts, and sustaining members.

“Above all, DETCOG is an organization of, by, and for the local governments of Deep East Texas,” said Executive Director Lonnie Hunt. “We exist to support our member governments and serve their residents.”

  • Hits: 2576

Entergy helps low-income customers

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive


Special to the News-Standard

BEAUMONT — Entergy Texas is excited to mark 23 years of fan donations across our service area to help low-income customers stay cool and save money.

Throughout the month of June, the company will donate a total of 1,300 fans to 34 local cities and agencies.

Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to approximately 499,000 customers in 27 counties. Entergy Texas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in New Orleans. Entergy powers life for 3 million customers through its operating companies across Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy is creating a cleaner, more resilient energy future for everyone with our diverse power generation portfolio, including increasingly carbon-free energy sources.

With roots in the Gulf South region for more than a century, Entergy is a recognized leader in corporate citizenship, delivering more than $100 million in economic benefits to local communities through philanthropy and advocacy efforts annually over the last several years. Our approximately 12,000 employees are dedicated to powering life today and for future generations.

  • Hits: 722

Memorial Day weekend will bring increased traffic on Texas roads

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

MemorialDay STOCK

Special to the News-Standard

AUSTIN — Motorists traveling during the Memorial Day weekend are reminded that state law requires drivers to slow down or move over for emergency vehicles — including tow trucks, police cars and fire trucks — stopped on the side of the road with their emergency lights activated.

Large numbers of travelers are expected on Texas roads, which means that more breakdowns and traffic stops are likely as well. Drivers should pay attention to what’s happening around them and prepare to react quickly.

Texas law requires drivers to slow down at least 20 miles per hour under the posted speed limit or, if able, to change lanes when they’re passing a first responder stopped on the road with their emergency lights activated.

TDLR licenses tow operators and tow companies in Texas, and regulates driver education/driving safety courses, and motorcycle/ATV safety courses.

  • Hits: 777

Trinity County suspects arrested

1 Comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Screenshot 2023 05 25 at 10.02.22 AM

TCNS staff

HUNTSVILLE — Two suspects from Trinity County wanted for mail theft were arrested by members of the Walker County Sheriff’s Department on May 15.

According to reports from law enforcement, 24-year-old Chastity Stanley and 25-year-old Haley Johnson were both placed in custody and transported to the Walker County Jail after Walker County Sheriff’s Deputy D. Arce observed the two exiting a green passenger at the 3000 block of State Highway 19.

Arce was aware the two women had active warrants; when he approached the vehicle, he observed a green pipe and an abundance of mail covering the floorboard of the back and passenger side of the vehicle. After confirming their identity, dispatch advised that both subjects had active warrants out of Trinity County.

While searching the vehicle, mail belonging to approximately 57 different addresses was found, reports indicate. Additionally, a small bag was found with 5 different written checks with different names and addresses.

Stanley was charged with theft of mail, a third-degree felony, and endangering a child, a second-degree felony. Bond was set at $50,000.

Johnson was charged with theft of mail, a third-degree felony; criminal mischief; and warrants for hindering apprehension or prosecution, a third-degree felony, endangering a child, a second-degree felony; unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, a third-degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony; and theft of mail a state jail felony. Bond was set at $90,000.

The Walker County Sheriff’s Office has been working with the United States Postal Services inspector, and detectives have been contacting all mail theft victims.

If you believe you may have been a victim of this case of mail them, contact the Sheriff’s Office at (936) 435-2400.

  • Hits: 3299