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Trinity County News - Breakout

County delays pay raise request

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072122 raise denied

By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court delayed a pay raise request from Sheriff Woody Wallace over a disagreement regarding the county’s pay schedule.

At the regular July 12 meeting, the court and Wallace could not come to terms over a request for a raise.

The request for Alyssa White was put in to match pay with another deputy. However, Commissioner Mike Loftin said that White’s salary was in line with a recent salary survey and was correct based on years of service.

Commissioner Steven Truss agreed, saying it was what was approved, and all department heads and elected officials were OK with the study.

However, Wallace asked commissioners how they can justify paying a female deputy less than what is paid to a man in the same position.

However, County Judge Doug Page the salary levels had nothing to do with gender, but with tenure; the higher pay rate for Glenn Rightmire was based on the salary level for those with 10 years of service, and White had only nine.

You all do what you want to do, but I’m telling you right now you cannot do this kind of stuff to the females of this county any longer,” Wallace said.

The county will meet with department heads and revisit the request at its next meeting.

In other business, the commission:

•approved an agreement with Trinity County school systems for purchasing ammunition for training;

•approved the purchase of a 2018 Chevrolet Express van for the Sheriff’s Office;

•approved the allocation of funds from the Texas Comptroller Unclaimed Property Capital Credits for Counties;

•named Nancy Shanafelt to the DETCOG board of directors.

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Council discusses tap fees

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072122 tap fees

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity City Council is looking to increase its sewer and water tap fees as the city loses money — up to $1,000 per site.

At its regular meeting on Thursday, council members found that the city charges $250 per tap, while it costs between $700 and $800. For new construction needing both sewer and water service, the total cost is just under $1,500.

City Manager Steven Jones said the city loses approximately $6,100 in revenue per month.

Mayor Pro Tem sought to raise the price to $1,400, but his motion died, and Council Member Clegg DeWalt moved to table the matter until a cost analysis could be made, including calls to nearby cities to determine what is charged there.

In a separate matter, the city will hold a special meeting Thursday to plan the city’s sesquicentennial as well as receive input on a city beautification plan.

Trinity’s 150th anniversary will be in November.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. July 21 at City Hall.

In other business, the council:

•approved taking bids for mowing services on city property;

•approved a resolution rejecting a rate hike requested by Entergy Texas;

•approved setting a mileage reimbursement rate at 62.5 cents per mile, with council member Smith voting against it;

•approved seeking bids for ADA handrails for the Community Center; and

•approved the purchase of three trucks for the city for $40,000.

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Author reads at story time

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 072122 groveton librarhChildren enjoy a recent story hour at the Library in Groveton. “Lentil,” a favorite book of Susan Kitchens, was read to the children attending story hour at the Library recently. Courtesy photos

By Cathy Czajkowski
Groveton Library Director

Janet Batchelor was here on Thursday, July 21, to read her newest book “Fraidy Fox.”

The Children’s Summer Reading Program has 23 registered children and we are averaging 12 for story time each Tuesday and Thursday. Our theme is “Oceans of Possibilities.” Our summer reading program will end July 29.

We are thankful to all who have donated their time, gifts for our treasure chest and to those parents who have brought their children to the library. Your librarian considers this summer a huge success.

On July 7, Susan Kitchens read for the children. She read a book that was her favorite when she was a child. It was “Lentil” by Robert McCloskey. The story is about how Lentil, a boy who could not sing or even whistle, learned to play a harmonica and how learning to play the harmonica opened up possibilities for his home town. Thank you to Mrs. Kitchens for the story and for the gifts of harmonicas to all the children present. It was a special story time.

•The library is hosting a Groveton Photo Contest at the library during the month of August. The contest guidelines are as follows. All work must be by the entrant. Minimum size for entry is 5x7 and maximum size is 16x20. Photos may be mounted, unmounted or framed. All entries must be in one of the categories of people, places or things.

Deliver the entries to the Groveton Public Library between the hours of 1-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. All entries need to be in by Aug. 15 and the judging and awards presentation will be on Aug. 26. You may pick up an entry form at the library during regular hours. Your librarian is excited to have this opportunity for our community.

The library is having a fundraiser for our new library building. The tickets are $5 per ticket. There will be three chances to win. The first item is 114 volumes of Louis L’ Amour leatherbound books which are a $1,000 value. The second item is a volume of “Journey to Jubilee, Groveton, Texas, USA,” a $100 value. The third item is three books written and signed by Janet Batchelor, our local author and they are “Al & the Owligator,” “Princess, Fred Frog and the Thing on the Log,” and “Fraidy Fox” with a $50 value.

All ticket sales will go towards our New Library Building Fund. The drawing will be held on Dec. 22 at the Library Christmas Open House. If you would like to purchase tickets, please call the library at (936) 642-2483 or come by the library between the hours of 1-6 p.m. Your librarian will also be at upcoming events to promote our library. Please stop and visit if you see me in your area. You do not have to be present to win.

Donations of $170 added to our New Library Building Fund brings our total to $2,455.20. Please put your change in the donation jars at McClain’s Hardware, Monica’s on Main Resale, One Stop Grocery and Pizza, Pruitt’s Auto, and Susie Q’s. Thank you to these businesses for their support. Thank you to everyone who drops their pennies in the jars, purchases books at our book sale and donates in memory of someone.

•We have a retired teacher that teaches ESL (English as a second language) classes to anyone who is interested. This is a free service provided at the library for our community.

The library offers copy services and fax services and Notary Public services.

If you are aware of any person that is homebound and cannot get to the library but would like to have books to read, please call the library. We will work on a time for delivery and pickup of books if someone shows interest. This is your library. Please let me know how I can be of service to you.

Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.

Story time is at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. ESL class is at 2 p.m. Friday

The library phone number is (936) 642-2483, and the location is in the rock building just east of the courthouse.

Cathy Czajkowski is director of the Groveton Public Library.

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Busy firefighters get help

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072122 fires in trinityA plane heads toward the fire.

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — While area firefighters battle numerous grass fires in the county, the Republican Women of Trinity County have been providing relief.

The ladies have been busy the past few weeks making deliveries to all the Volunteer Fire Departments in Trinity County. Items include coffee and cleaning supplies.

The items came in hand as firefighters battled three more blazes in the county last week.

Assistant Trinity Fire Chief Keith Johnson said approximately 350 acres off Glendale and Holly roads and Champion Road burned broke out early Sunday afternoon. Trinity, Friday, Pennington, Groveton and Lovelady fire departments arrived on scene with three tankers and eight brush trucks.

The Texas Forest Service also responded with four bulldozers, three small water drop planes and a helicopter. The fire was 90 percent contained at 8:45 p.m.  

On July 12, a brush fire broke out at Oats Brothers Road in Walker County. The Trinity VFD assisted Riverside and Crabbs Prairie fire departments with the 14-acre fire. The Texas Forest Service arrived to plow a fire lane.  
Also on July 12, a small fire broke out in the median of Highway 19 south of Trinity. Witness reported a man pulling a lit barbecue trailer down the road with a fire in the box, and embers were flying out on the road.

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Program looks to improve county health

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071422 improve county health

By Tony Farkas
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

GROVETON — Trinity County has been chosen as a site for a program designed to improve the health of residents, and participants can earn a little cash for their efforts.

Deborah Alvarenga, Health Agent with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension for Trinity and Polk counties, said the Change Club Project will be in four separate areas of state, one of which is Trinity County.

She said she hopes to have a group in both Trinity and Groveton.

“We’re looking for people to enroll in the club, which is designed to help improve the health of the people involved as well as the community at large,” she said. “This will consist of 12-15 people in each town; they will go through educational meetings where members will learn about food, nutrition, diet and exercise, and after that, then there will be meetings about community planning, assessing the environment to see what could be done to improve the health.”

Following that, the group will undertake a project of their choosing, and they will be given up to $5,000 toward that. Projects include creating community gardens, creating a walking trail, a fun and fitness area for children and adults, or even improving school lunches or lobbying for longer recesses. Other groups have created a nutrition awareness program to promote healthy eating.

While the county isn’t quite on the brink, according to an AgriLife health assessment on the county, there are certain areas in Trinity that made it a better candidate for the program, such as 23 percent of the population of the county reported being in fair or poor health.

Additionally, 25 percent of the people are classified as obese and 26 percent are physically inactive. Moreover, the county shows higher than average percentages in areas such as diabetes prevalence as well as cardiovascular and premature deaths.

Alvarenga said they would like to get started soon, and hopes that people will register to be part of the program.

Registrants will be asked to fill out a health questionnaire, and then will be asked to track their steps for 7 days and keep a food diary. A pedometer will be provided if the participant does not have one.

he project is scheduled to last three years, and has several benchmarks. Each participant will be compensated for completing certain areas of the project. For full participation for the three years, registrants could earn up to $450.

For information or to register, contact Alvarenga at (936) 642-1421, visit the Change Club website at changeclubproject.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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