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Trinity County News - Breakout

Treasurer answers financial security questions

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
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 GROVETON — During discussion about county finances, County Treasurer Bob Dockens was questioned about the security of county deposits and investments.

The discussion was held Feb. 22 during a regular meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court. Commissioner Neal Smith asked Dockens if the county’s money is protected.

Dockens said that what deposits can be are covered by FDIC to the maximum as allowed by law. However, when the FDIC limits of protection are exceeded, other methods are employed.

The FDIC insures accounts up to $250,000 per bank, according to FDIC.gov. In the case of Citizens State Bank, where the county has its accounts, the bank has $4 billion in bonds as security, pledged to the account.

“Our bank accounts are collateralized by this,” he said. “Our investments have a similar type of protection.”

Dockens said there are insurance policies in place for investments as well.

In other business, the court:

• proclaimed February as Black History Month;

• approved hiring Terracon for soil testing at a piece of property  that is a potential jail site;

• approved personnel action forms;

• approved a maintenance contract with VistaCom for $3,251 for a recorder system for the Sheriff’s Office;

• approved a budget amendment of $5,000.23 to balance the county’s books;

• approved seeking bids for road work on Joe Bailey Road;

• tabled a decision on the purchase of a storage unit;

• set April 13 as the Spring Trash cleanup date; and

• tabled a decision to enact a burn ban in the county.

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New faces in Trinity County government

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By Tony Farkas

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GROVETON — With no Democratic challenger filing for the primary, Danny Martin will become the new Trinity County Judge.

Martin picked up 1,645 votes ahead of challenger Steven Jones, who garnered 1,317, during the Primary Election on Tuesday. The two were seeking the Republican nomination to replace Doug Page, who opted not to run again.

Incumbent County Treasurer Bob Dockens lost the GOP nomination to Orrin Hargrave 1,676 to 1,106. Hargrave will face Democratic challenger Cheryl Boggs Savage, who ran unopposed on the Democrat ticket.

Another incumbent, District Clerk Kristen Raiford, lost her primary nomination bid to Jillian Steptoe 1,429 to 1,405. Since Steptoe garnered 50.42 percent of the vote, no runoff will be held, according to Elections Administrator Priscilla Rasbeary.

To fill the open Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 slot, Keith Johnson picked up 496 votes to challenger Lenzy Meshell Hargrave’s 237. The spot was left unfilled following the death of Hayne Huffman.

District Judge Travis Kitchens held off a challenge from Polk County DA Lee Hon in the 258th District — which includes Trinity, Polk and San Jacinto counties — by getting 7,505 votes, or 54.86 percent, to Hon’s 6,156. However, in Trinity County, Hon had 1,617 votes to Kitchens’ 1,419.

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Home field advantage

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An overview of the new field for Centerville ISD. (Below) Dugouts under construction. Courtesy photoAn overview of the new field for Centerville ISD. (Below) Dugouts under construction. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
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CENTERVILLE — The High School built it, so now they’ll come — to home baseball games, something that the Bulldogs haven’t had for 24 years.

Superintendent Mark Brown said the district is putting the finishing touches on a new baseball diamond, complete with dugouts, fences, and a professional, manicured field. Up until now, the only home games were in the Bulldog gym during basketball season.

“It’s been 1998 since there’s been a home game for baseball,” Brown said. “Four years ago, we started playing outlaw, and only had a backstop to use as practice field.”

The baseball program continued to grow, and with the numbers the Bulldogs were showing, Brown said the district wanted to get back into UIL, have better organized practices and play home games.

“We built backstop 3 years ago, and started on dirt work last year, leveling the field with the help of Prime Acres out of Woodville, who donated the bulldozer and labor,” Brown said. “We started on the fence early in the fall of 2021, and started on dugouts after first of this year.”

Since the district has made good use of donations, including labor, the cost of the new field hovers around $55,000.

“There’s still things to be done; we can’t get bleachers in on time because of supply chain issues,” he said. 

Plans are to hold first district ball game at Centerville on April 1.

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GHS Cosmetology heads to state

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Groveton ISD cosmetology students headed to state include (top row, from left) senior Hailey Bergman, sophomore Adriana Vazquez, and junior Hannah Smith; (middle row, from left) sophomore Emily McCaleb, sophomore Allisyn Cleaver and junior Tanaysha Cole; and (bottom row, from left) freshman Bailee Reed, senior Madison Nash and junior Kaylee Velasquez. Courtesy photoGroveton ISD cosmetology students headed to state include (top row, from left) senior Hailey Bergman, sophomore Adriana Vazquez, and junior Hannah Smith; (middle row, from left) sophomore Emily McCaleb, sophomore Allisyn Cleaver and junior Tanaysha Cole; and (bottom row, from left) freshman Bailee Reed, senior Madison Nash and junior Kaylee Velasquez. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Standard

GROVETON — The Groveton Cosmetology Department used their skills to garner an appearance at the State Competition.

The students competed at the District SkillsUSA competition in Beaumont Feb. 10-12. 

Hailey Bergman, who will graduate this year, competed in the Nail Art Hand Skill Competition, and placed second and advances to state competition. Juniors Hannah Smith and Tanaysha Cole and sophomore Adriana Vazquez each placed third in Community Service, receiving medals. 

Some students had more than one project. 

Cosmetology Instructor Victoria Robertson said she is very proud of all of her students for their the hard work and dedication, and all of the students will be competing in Corpus Christi at the skills USA state competition on March 31-April 3.

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February, libraries a good match

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The Republican Women of Trinity County donated several books for young readers to both of the Trinity County libraries. The books are a part of the National Federation of Republican Women Maime Eisenhower Library Project and thoughtfully chosen by Lily Guerin. Pictured are the Blanche K. Werner staff and volunteers (Joy Jackson, Sophie Evans (Director), Paula Holcomb & Lily Guerin) with RWTC’s Monet Lasater, Barbara Chamberlin & Sally Harrington.  Courtesy photosThe Republican Women of Trinity County donated several books for young readers to both of the Trinity County libraries. The books are a part of the National Federation of Republican Women Maime Eisenhower Library Project and thoughtfully chosen by Lily Guerin. Pictured are the Blanche K. Werner staff and volunteers (Joy Jackson, Sophie Evans (Director), Paula Holcomb & Lily Guerin) with RWTC’s Monet Lasater, Barbara Chamberlin & Sally Harrington. Courtesy photos

GrovetonLibrary GraphicFebruary is Library Lover’s Month. This would be a good time to come to the library and get a library card or renew your existing library card. We have 79 active library patrons. Your librarian has a goal to have 100 at the end of this year. Think of how you can support your local library. 

•America saves week is Feb. 21-25. Started by nonprofit organization America Saves and now supported by thousands of participating organizations, America Saves Week is a five-day annual celebration that encourages people and communities to commit to saving money. The theme this year is “Building Financial Resilience.” 

Each day, the event will highlight a different aspect of saving, such as making it automatic, planning for the unexpected and setting aside money for retirement. After two years of dealing with a global crisis, being conscious of your spending is more important than ever, and America Saves Week is a great opportunity to do a financial check-in with yourself.       

•Your librarian is already working on the Children’s Summer Reading Program. This year the program dates are June 1-July 29. Our theme is “Oceans of Possibilities.” We had a great time last year and this year will be better. Mark the dates and tell all children that there will be much fun at the library this summer. 

•The Republican Women of Trinity County has graciously donated children’s books to the library. These books include “One Flag, One America” (the story of the American Star) by Michelle Hirstius; “Counting on Katherine (How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13)” by Helaine Becker; “The King of Kindergarten” by Derrick Barnes; “Mae Among the Stars” by Roda Ahmed; “Give Please a Chance” by Bill O’Reilly and James Patterson; “Little House on the Prairie,” “Little House in the Big Woods,” “On the Banks of Plum Creek,” “By the Shores of Silver Lake,” “The Long Winter,” “Little Town on the Prairie,” and “These Happy Golden Years” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. 

The Republican Ladies also donated two of my favorite books that the youth or adults would enjoy. One book is “Sacred Duty, A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery” by Tom Cotton, United States Senator, and the other book is Condoleezza Rice, A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me.” Your librarian is excited to have these new books in the library. 

•Donations for our new library fund collected between Jan. 28 and Feb. 11 are $29.64 and this brings our total to $713.01. Our Library Building Fund is growing a little every week. Please put your change in the donation jars at McClain’s Hardware, One Stop Grocery and Pizza, Pruitt’s Auto, and Susie Q’s. Thank you to these businesses for their support. 

The library offers copy services and fax services and Notary Public services to the public. We are here to help our community any way we can. 

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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