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Trinity County Sheriff’s Office investigating deaths

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Trinity County Sheriff’s Office deputies examine a vehicle that was pulled from a private lake at the scene where two men were found dead. (Courtesy Photo)Trinity County Sheriff’s Office deputies examine a vehicle that was pulled from a private lake at the scene where two men were found dead. (Courtesy Photo)

Special to the News-Standard

TRINITY — The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of two men.

The identities of the two men are not being released at this time. 

The bodies of two men were recovered Friday after officers responded to a caller reporting a body floating on a private lake near White Rock City Marina, according to police reports.

Deputies and game wardens retrieved the body, and officers noticed what appeared to be vehicle tracks leading into the water. 

Game wardens were able to use the sonar on a boat to locate a vehicle submerged in about 12 feet of water. A second man was discovered inside the truck that was pulled from the lake. 

DPS Troopers were called to investigate the crash. 

The investigation continues, and no other details are available at this time.

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Trinity County tends to nuisances

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court will be on the side of Trinity Cove’s POA in helping abate some nuisances located within the subdivision.

At its regular meeting on July 12, the court set a public hearing for Aug. 10 into a list of 12 properties in Trinity Cove that have been deemed public nuisances.

County Judge Doug Page said the county had taken this matter up about 1 ½ years ago, under former County Attorney Joe Warner Bell, but did not finish the matter. Bell was defeated in a subsequent election, and the matter went dormant.

The current attorney, Colton Hay, said that it needed to be revived, and the commissioners agreed.

 In other business, the county:

  • approved bids for the sale of tax resale properties submitted by the County Appraisal District;
  • approved the deletion of Crabapple Lane from the county’s 911 addressing map;
  • approved the purchase of body cameras for the county’s four constables, and signed an agreement with WatchGuard Video Inc. to that effect;
  • approved new private road in the Colt Ranch Land Development, designated Colt Lane;
  • approved designating east and west directions for Sixth through 11thstreets in Milltown, based on location relative to Avenue A;
  • discussed a new city ordinance for the city of Trinity requiring homes and businesses to display the proper 911 address; and
  • scheduled special session for Aug. 4 for budget requests from department heads.
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Centerville ISD applies for funding

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Centerville ISD logo 250By Tony Farkas
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CENTERVILLE — The Centerville ISD will once again seek funding to help students in the district who have been identified as socially disadvantaged.

The CISD Board of Trustees held a public hearing at its regular meeting on July 15.

Superintendent Mark Brown said that for Title I funding, which is to be used for socially disadvantaged students, the district is applying for $42,920, which will be used to fund enrichment programs to reach children identified as disadvantaged, as well as for stipends for teachers in high-needs areas.

Title II funds are used for teacher training and recruitment, and Brown said the district is applying for $6,986. The funds help keep qualified teachers and administrators in a district that has less economic opportunities for funding. 

In the past, the money was used to pay teachers in science and math because those areas are harder to recruit and retain, Brown said. 

Additionally, the district will seek Title IV funding, which last year bought cameras and door buzzers as the funds primarily go toward safety.

Brow said the district is at 65.49 percent of students identified as disadvantaged; in the 2019-20 school year the district was at 55 percent. 

This information will be presented at Parent-Teacher Night as well, Brown said.

No action was taken.

In a separate matter, Lawton Trekell was hired to teach history and be the head baseball coach at Centerville.

Principal Andja Sailer said he has been enthusiastic during the interview and questions process, and thinks he would be a good fit for the school.

The board approved the hire unanimously.

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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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