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Trinity County News 2

Texans must conserve water

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062322 conserve waterWith extreme heat comes additional water use, and it’s important to understand why additional conservation methods are needed, especially during a drought.

Statewide drought due to less rainfall

By Todd Danielson
Vice President, Engineering, Texas Water Utilities

Record-breaking heat, below-average rainfall and wildfires are having a significant impact on Texans. Farmers are finding creative solutions to grow their crops, and water utilities are forced to implement restrictions on watering.

With extreme heat comes additional water use, and it’s important to understand why additional conservation methods are needed, especially during a drought.
According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 80 percent of Texans are currently experiencing drought. As temperatures rise, soil dries out, people start using more water outdoors and reservoir levels deplete.

Conserving water saves you money on your water bill and leaves more water for you and your neighbors as the drought continues. Texas Water Utilities provides the following tips for conserving outdoor water use this summer.

• Water your yard in the morning or evening. By choosing a time of day with minimal direct sunlight (before sunrise is typically best), you can help to avoid water loss through evaporation before it can soak into the soil.

• Monitor your sprinkler system. If your landscaping is equipped with a sprinkler system, ensure there are no leaks in the system and that the heads are watering only what they should (plants/landscaping). Monitor the weather regularly to ensure you do not water on a rainy day.

• Use the tuna can method. Place an empty tuna can on the part of your lawn that is being watered. Once the tuna can is filled, turn off your sprinkler. This ensures your lawn has received sufficient water for the week.
If water is running off your lawn, you may need to split this watering into two or three separate applications. It is a balancing act to water enough to promote deep root growth while also not spreading out watering so much that plants experience heat stress.

•Use a commercial car wash. Washing your car at home uses about 116 gallons of water, whereas a commercial car wash uses about 60 percent less water. Commercial car washes are required to properly dispose of wastewater including cleaning products, and many filter and recycle their water.
If washing your car at home, use nontoxic, phosphate-free soaps sparingly and wash on a pervious surface such as grass or gravel to help filter runoff. Minimize runoff by reducing water use, using a spray nozzle to restrict water flow and wring out sponges/rags over a bucket or sink. Waterless car wash products for spot cleaning are a great way to conserve water.

•Regularly maintain your landscape. Replace mulch around shrubs and garden plants to help them retain moisture. Remove weeds and thatch as necessary so they don’t compete with your desired plants for water.

•Minimize or eliminate fertilizer. Fertilizer encourages thirsty new growth, causing your landscape to require additional water. If you need fertilizer, look for a product that contains “natural organic” or “slow-release” ingredients. Use native plants in your yard to avoid the need for fertilizers and pesticides and use less water.

•Raise your lawn mower cutting height. Longer grass promotes deeper root growth and a more drought resistant lawn. Cutting off more than one-third of the blade of grass at once could shock the plant, preventing it from healthy growth. Mulching the grass clippings back onto your lawn provides moisture, organic, and fertilizer content, which reduces the need for water.

•Try xeriscaping. This landscaping literally means to conserve water—”xeri” means “dry”, therefore xeriscaping is “dry landscaping.” It requires less maintenance and is good for the environment. Consider using native drought-tolerant plants such as Texas sage, Texas redbud, desert willow and trailing lantana.
Much of the water consumed by an average American household is used outdoors. It is here where we can make simple but significant changes that will have a positive effect.

Small changes, if done on a large scale, add up to big change. Every drop counts and every Texan can make a difference.

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Twice the fun on July 2

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060922 twice the fun July4

July 4 celebration to feature back-to-back barbecue competitions

By Tony Farkas

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TRINITY — The city of Trinity will again host its Beat the Heat cook-off in conjunction with its July 4 celebration.

This year, though, it will be two competitions, scheduled for July 2-3.

This cook-off is IBCA sanctioned and will follow IBCA rules, and will be held at the Trinity Community Center, 604 S. Robb St.

Entry fee for each day’s cook-off is $250; there will be cash payouts for first through 15th places in all three IBCA meat categories.

Grand champions will receive $750, and $500 for reserve champions. Payouts for first are $725 and drop $50 for each subsequent placing. A $20,000 cash payout is guaranteed in each cook, and there will be a payout also overall grand and reserve champions for the doubleheader event.

As well as the competition, there will be side events, including Chef’s Choice and margaritas on July 1 and beans and Bloody Marys on July 2. Both events have a $25 entry fee and boast and 80 percent payout.

Also, there will be a junior competition on Saturday, and the fireworks show will be on Saturday at dusk.

Food and merchandise vendors also are welcome: merchandise booths 8x8 inside sites run $75 and food space $100. Space is limited.

Forms are available at cityoftrinity.com and completed forms can be mailed to City of Trinity, care of Steven Jones, P.O. Box 431, Trinity, TX 75862; emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or faxed to (936) 594-8364.

All checks should be made payable to the City of Trinity (deadline for paying by check is 5 p.m. Friday, June 17). Entry and payment deadline is 9 p.m. Friday, July 1.

Teams are welcome to set up starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 29, and stay through Tuesday, July 5.

For information, call (936) 594-2507 or visit cityoftrinity.com.

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Blaze erupts in empty home

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060922 fire destroys homeTrinity VFD firefighters responded to a house fire on Monday, only to return on Tuesday as the porch caught fire again. Courtesy photo

TCNS staff

TRINITY — The Trinity Volunteer Fire Department battled a fire at a home in Trinity Cove — twice.

Assistant Fire Chief Keith Johnson said a blaze broke out in an abandoned residence at 118 Azalea in the Trinity Cove subdivision at 2:20 p.m. Monday.

When firefighters arrived, the structure was partially ablaze. The VFD brought and engine, two tankers and 15 firefighters and had the fire under control in about 15 minutes, Johnson said.

The Fire Department was called back at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday as the structure broke out again. One engine and nine firefighters responded and extinguished the fire on the front portion of the structure.

As the building was abandoned, no injuries were reported.  

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SBA offers disaster assistance

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small business loan

Special to the News-Standard

SACRAMENTO — Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Texas businesses and residents affected by the severe storms and tornadoes that occurred on March 21, announced Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman of the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. Greg Abbott on May 2. 

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Anderson, Angelina, Archer, Bastrop, Bell, Burnet, Caldwell, Camp, Cherokee, Clay, Collin, Cooke, Denton, Fannin, Fayette, Grayson, Gregg, Harrison, Houston, Jack, Lee, Leon, Madison, Marion, Milam, Montague, Morris, Nacogdoches, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rusk, San Augustine, Shelby, Smith, Travis, Trinity, Upshur, Walker, Williamson, Wise, Wood and Young counties in Texas; and Bryan, Jefferson, Love and Marshall counties in Oklahoma.

“SBA’s mission-driven team stands ready to help Texas’s small businesses and residents impacted by the severe storms and tornadoes,” Guzman said. “We’re committed to providing federal disaster loans swiftly and efficiently, with a customer-centric approach to help businesses and communities recover and rebuild.”

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses of all sizes, most private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. “Beginning Monday, May 9, SBA customer service representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Centers to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application.”

The centers will be open on the days and times indicated below. No appointment is necessary.  Additional locations will be announced in the coming days.

•Jack County, Disaster Loan Outreach Center, Jack County Courthouse, 100 N. Main St., Jacksboro.

The center opened Monday, opened and the Courthouse is open from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

•Williamson County, Disaster Loan Outreach Center, Wayfinders Church, 508 N. Fifth St., Jarrell.

The center opened Monday, and the Courthouse is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. 

SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 2.94 percent for businesses, 1.875 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 1.438 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information on SBA disaster assistance. 

The deadline to apply for property damage is July 5. The deadline to apply for economic injury is Feb. 6, 2023.

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Trinity leadership changes

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By Tony Farkas

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While most incumbents retained their seats, Mayor Wayne Huffman of Trinity has been unseated by challenger and Mayor Pro Tem Billy Goodin.

The two statewide propositions passed overwhelmingly, and incumbents in the city of Trinity, the city of Groveton and the Trinity ISD all were re-elected.

Proposition 1, which will benefit individuals with an over-65 or disabled exemption on their property, passed 86.92 percent to 13.08, or 1,069,963 to 161,032.

The amendment will become effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Proposition 2 increases the homestead exemption by $15,000, and passed 84.84 percent 15.16 percent, or 1,058,511 to 189,087.

It is now effective, so homeowners will see the savings when they receive their property tax bill this fall.

In the other races in Trinity County:

In the city of Trinity races, Mayor Pro Tem Billy Goodin, with 270 votes, won over incumbent Mayor Wayne Huffman, who had 93, and Jimmy McCasland, who had 69.

For Council Member Position 1, incumbent Clegg DeWalt defeated Willie Evans Jr. 291-123; for Council Member Position 2, incumbent Bubba Smith defeated Martha Gray 243-169; and for Council Member Position 3, incumbent Chris Dennis lost to Scott Womack, 237-179.

For Trinity ISD, School Board President Kevin Searcy with 446 votes, along with incumbent board members Maggie Trevino with 331 votes and Monty Andrew Huffman with 436 votes, all retained their positions on the board. In this race, the top three vote-getters are considered winners.

In the Groveton city election, the three incumbents won re-election out of a field of eight; Mayor Pro Tem Ralph Bennett with 84 votes, Stephen Casper with 66 and Joe Don Kennedy with 59. In this race, the top three vote-getters are considered winners.

A runoff election for state offices will be held May 24.

The races on that ballot include state offices only.

For those in the Democratic party, the ballot contains four races: Michelle Beckley and Mike Collier for lieutenant governor; Rochelle Mercedes Garza and Joe Jaworski for Attorney General; Angel Luis Vega and Janet T. Dudding for Comptroller of Public Accounts; and Sandragrace Martinez and Jay Kleberg for Commissioner of the General Land Office.

For Republicans, those races include: George P. Bush and Ken Paxton for Attorney General; Tim Westley and Dawn Buckingham for Commissioner of the General Land Office; and Sarah Stogner and Wayne Christian for Railroad Commissioner.

Early voting for the runoff runs May 16-20 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Polling stations are at the Groveton VFD, Apple Springs VFD and Trinity City Hall.

On May 24, polls will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at Groveton VFD, Apple Springs VFD, Trinity City Hall and Trinity Community Center.

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