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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

Trinity County News - Breakout

Honored for service

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042723 masons

Members of Eastern Star Lodge 284 in Groveton awarded the Golden Trowel to Mark Sheak for his outstanding and exemplary service to the lodge. Standing with Mark are members (top row, from left) Mark Luce, Buddy Kesinger, Pat Kesinger, Gary Jones Jr. and Tom Hunt; and (bottom row, from left) Shane Hollis, Charles Stewart, Sheak and Wendell Kendrick. Courtesy Photo

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042723 groveton 4H 2

Groveton FFA and 4-H competed in the state forestry contest in Nacogdoches. The team of Malley, Reed, Lucas and Jarrett placed fourth. The team of Kutter, Cyler, Carmen, and Abbey placed 12th. The team of Kayleigh, Megan, Justin, and Heather placed 23rd. Courtesy Photo

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District Reappraisal set for 2023

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AppraisalDistrict STOCK

Special to the News-Times

GROVETON — All appraisal districts in the State of Texas are required by state law to reappraise all real and personal property at least once every three years.

Ratio studies are conducted each year to identify the areas that need attention. Ratio studies are comprised of comparing sale prices of property to the current records of the district and to review the cost schedules being used by the district to arrive at the value for the property for the current year.

These studies are performed in all areas of the county to keep the values as equal and uniform as possible.

The term reappraisal simply means that the studies are read to keep the district records up to date to comply with the State Comptroller’s biannual Property Value Study. Reappraisal does not always mean that value will increase but ensures that the district is keeping up with the current market value of property.

Values could remain the same or in some cases actually decrease, however, the trend for the previous few years has indicated a steady rise in both land and improved property.

The Appraisal District is responsible for the appraisal of all properties located in the boundaries of Trinity County at 100 percent of its market value unless specified for the special use (Ag/Timber) valuation.

Strict adherence to these methods is required of the district in their attempt to appraise all property in a uniform, fair and equal result in value.

Property owners should be aware that appraisal districts are political subdivisions of the State of Texas and fall under the guidance and rules of the State Comptroller’s Property Tax Assistance Division. This office conducts two different audits on appraisal district operations on a biannual schedule.

In one year, they perform a Methods and Procedures review to assure that the district has all manuals and required standards prescribed by law. In the following year they will perform a Property Value Study to assure that the district is following the reappraisal requirements as specified by the Tax Code and take samples of properties comparing the district’s values to recent sales or the PTAD will do their own appraisal and compare it to the district’s value.

This study is done to ensure that the Appraisal District is making every effort to keep all values current toward what is determined to be 100 percent of market value. Market value is defined as the price at which a property would transfer for cash or its equivalent under prevailing market conditions if:

•Exposed FOR SALE in the open market with a reasonable time for the seller to find a purchaser.

•Both the seller and the purchaser know of all the uses and purposes to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used and of the enforceable restrictions on its use.

•Both the seller and the purchaser seek to maximize their gains, and neither is in a position to take advantage of the exigencies of the other.

The two studies or audits are repeated year after year in one of the two formats. Should the Appraisal District fall below the State’s guidelines it could eventually affect school district state funding.

The studies are performed by school district and the value findings are reported to the Texas Education Agency. The purpose for this connection to the TEA is to substantiate that the school district values indicate that the local effort to gain revenue for the school district is at the maximum level.

This information is to better inform property owners in Trinity County why reappraisals take place and how the district keeps records and values current. Trinity County currently contains approximately 30,000 parcels of property.

The TCAD staff has 10 full-time and two part-time people, which includes three people tasked for the collection of taxes for nine entities.

The remaining employees are assigned to Appraisal District operations, including two field appraisers. These are the people who ensure improvements are recorded yearly and keep up with changing market conditions.

Certain employees require certification, which includes passing a six-hour state exam.

Appraisal Districts are governed by a board of directors who are responsible for budgeting, supervising the chief appraiser, and setting district policy. The board has no involvement property valuation, but does create the biennial reappraisal plan.

Additionally, the board presides over dispute hearings and protests submitted by property owners for various disputes.

The Appraisal Review Board is a separate entity from the district; members must attend training on laws and rules. Their decisions are final.

The Appraisal Phase runs from Jan. 1 to May 15 of each year, when the district makes changes for the property owner if necessary. Once the records are turned over to the Appraisal Review Board on May 15 the Appraisal District is no longer in control; property owners should make every effort to correct problems during this phase.

The Equalization Phase runs from May 15 to July 20, and the records are in the hands of the Appraisal Review Board. The Appraisal District does attempt to deal with property owners informally to try and resolve disputes before going to the ARB, but when they are not the property owner still has the right to take their protest to the ARB.

The ARB must approve records by July 20; then the Chief Appraiser certifies the values to the taxing jurisdictions by July 25. This is a very critical time due to the information which has been certified to these entities give the required numbers to allow them to calculate tax rates.

Property owners should make every effort to resolve problems regarding appraisal, exemptions or deed changes by May 1 of the current year.

Once the roll is certified, the Assessment Phase starts and runs from July 25 through Oct. 1. Tax rates are calculated and published in the newspaper, which is done by assessors and collectors who also have to be certified by the state.

The governing bodies of the taxing entities — school boards, city councils, and commissioner courts — are involved in tax-rate calculation as well as setting tax rates.

After all that, the Collection Phase begins, running from Oct. 1 to Jan. 31. On Feb 1, current year taxes become delinquent and will begin to accrue penalty and interest. Delinquent taxes are collected throughout the year. If current taxes are not paid by July 1st of the year, they become delinquent and will incur an additional 20 percent penalty.

The taxing entity then turns the delinquent tax collections over to the attorneys, and all collection fees are passed onto the property owner. The Appraisal District has no involvement in the collection process, unless it is contracted to collect taxes.

The goal of the Trinity County Appraisal District is to provide the best service. This district is here to answer questions, fix problems and serve the community. For information and assistance, call (936) 642-1502.

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Community health fair scheduled

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Health Fair STOCK

Special to the News-Times

The Crockett Resource Center for Independent Living will host its 14th annual Community Health Fair on Thursday.

The event will be held at the Crockett Civic Center, 1100 Edmiston Drive, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“The number of uninsured adults in the U.S. today is more than 30 million, which is approximately 9.2 percent of the total population,” CRCIL’s Executive Director Sara Minton said. “A recent survey finds that more than two in five working-age adults are struggling to afford care. It is shocking to learn that Texas is the number one state with the highest percentage of uninsured among its population, which is about 18.4 percent.”

Minton said that more than 22,000 people in Houston County alone and roughly 19 percent of this population under the age of 65 are living without health insurance.

“So many of the uninsured individuals living in our rural community cannot afford the expense of doctor visits and costly tests due to limited income,” she said. “Because of the high numbers of uninsured individuals in our county, we felt that it was important to have a community health fair with as many free screenings to reach the uninsured residing within our county and surrounding areas.”

The list of free screenings and assessments include:

•A1C Screenings — PRCIL Sharon Watts, RN

•Anemia Screenings - PRCIL

•Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) Assessments — At Home Health Care

•Blood Pressure Screenings — TruCare Living Center

•Blood Sugar Screenings — PRCIL Sharon Watts, RN

•Blood Type Testing — Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

•Body Mass Index (BMI) Assessments — At Home Health Care

•COVID Vaccines/Boosters — NET Health

•Depression Assessments — Burks Center

•Diabetic Foot Screenings — Solaris Hospice

•EKGs — Houston County EMS

•Ear Screenings with Otoscope — PRCIL

•Electrocardiograms (EKGs) — PRCIL

•Fall Risk Assessments/Timed Up and Go — Crockett Medical Center

•Glaucoma Screenings - Gold Eye Clinic

•HIV, Hepatitis C with Same Testing Day Results, STDs — Brown Family Clinic

•Interactive Thera Band Activity - PRMC

•Iron Deficiency Assessment - PRCIL

•Low-Dose CT Cancer Screening — PRMC

•Lung Function — Crockett Medical Center

•Mammograms — Ross Breast Center

•Memory Screenings — Dogwood Trails

•Neuropathy Screenings — Solaris Hospice

•Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

•Peak Flow Spirometer - Crockett Medical Center

•Pulmonary Function Assessment — Crockett Medical Center

•Pulse Ox (02) Level and Heart Rates — Crockett Medical Center

•Sleep Assessments — PRMC’s Sleep Lab

•Vision Screenings — Wal Mart Vision Center

•Visual Acuity — Gold Eye Clinic

•Wound Care Assessments — PRMC’s Wound Care Center

Anyone interested in getting a mammogram must be pre-registered. To register, call Ross Breast Center as early as possible at 903-606-5433. Choose Option #3 to schedule the appointment or call 903-606-5499. Give the date and location of the event.

On the day of the event bring a photo ID and present your insurance card if insured. Most insurance is accepted. The insured will need to verify that their insurance is in network with Christus Trinity Mother Frances Healthcare System.

The insured may call before the screening to be certain that the insurance is accepted. Cash payment will also be accepted. Call 903-606-4700 and choose option #3 for a cash pricing quote.

Grant assistance may be available through NET Public Health District. To inquire about assistance, call (903) 593-7474. Ask to speak to Enedina or Arnetta. All uninsured and underinsured must call for screening to qualify for grant assistance through NET Public Health District prior to the event.

A physician’s order is not required to receive a mammogram, however, a physician’s name is required for mammogram results to be mailed.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center will be holding a blood drive from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Participants who donate blood will receive a free T-shirt.

Other activities and health-related education:

• Anodyne Therapy Display — Angels Care Home Health

• Breast Self-Exam Cancer Display and Demonstrations — UT Nursing Students

• Hands-Only CPR Demonstrations –Air Rescue 127

• Long COVID Education — Dr. Subi Gandhi, North East Texas Counts

• Testicular Exam Display — UT Nursing Students

• TheraBand Interactive Demonstrations — PRMC Therapy Department

Food vendors for the health fair include Credeur’s Cajun Cooking, The Moosehead Care, Rosemary’s Hilltop Kitchen, Scooter’s Coffee, and Subway.

Door prize drawings will be held throughout the event. A reminder, fair participants need to be fasting for best blood sugar/glucose screening results. Snacks will be available for people to eat after they have had their tests.

CRCIL’s Community Health Fair sponsors include Crockett Medical Center, Palestine Regional Medical Center, A Pineywoods Home Health, Brazos Transit District, Houston County Family Medical Clinic and Winfield Rehab and Nursing.

“The fair is for every community member, there is no age limit,” Minton said. “We are especially hopeful that individuals who do not have health insurance and are living on fixed incomes will take full advantage of this opportunity to get the free screenings at no expense to them. Our goal is to ensure that everyone receives the benefits of the free screenings.”

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VFW getting back to normal

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Julias TidbitsVFW is hosting an event to raise money for their student scholarships, and to help support our Trinity veterans this weekend, and my friend has baked pies, cakes, and banana breads for this event that will be sold out by noon on Saturday.

I will attend the event for the $5 barbecue sandwich, but I will be too late for the bake sale. Members will buy her goodies before the public can gobble them up. I know they will do well, but the most exciting thing to announce is that the Ladies have obtained their Bingo license and starting Monday, Bingo will be available three times a week.

Thursday and Friday night bingo are the former days, but Monday night has been added to the VFW agenda with the same format, times, prices, games, food, and canteen offerings. For more information, call Dawn Bray at (936) 594-9467. Doors open at 4 p.m. Café opens at 5 p.m. Games start at 6 p.m.

•The TISD High School prom is Saturday at the Manor House on Pinecrest Road. Bill Thomas has done a magnificent job creating an entertainment venue for our community, but the restoration and Historical Marker for the John Henley Hill House located on this old plantation homesite is the real story.

If you can call and reserve a time to visit this historical site, you should do so just to appreciate the time, money, and energy it takes to preserve a relic of the past like this. We should impart the memory of a time gone by and educate our children or show them where we were, and to show them where we are now.

April and May are wonderful months to host events, because generally the weather is good, and people are ready to attend local events to enjoy, donate, and have fun with their family before the school term ends and hot weather devours us.

•Several events are happening in the last two weeks of April, and I will list as many as I know about. Watch this space for TCFA Crawfish Boil.

On Thursday, First Methodist Church of Trinity is hosting a Youth Group Ice Cream Party from 5:30-7 p.m. in the fellowship hall which is located at 131 N. Elm St. For more information call Laura at (936) 594-3826.

Also Thursday is grocery day for the Ladies in Action in Groveton, held from 8-10 a.m. Liberty Christian Center is still open to Trinity participants for commodities on Wednesday and Thursdays from 10 a.m. until noon each week.

Friday is another event at the VFW Hall starting at 7 p.m. Regular bingo will not take place as a birthday party for Dawn Bray was planned before the Bingo License was renewed. Koka Kola Cowboyz will be providing music, and the $10 cover charge will include dinner. The public is invited to attend.

•Last week I told you about the financial constraints of the Martin Senior Citizen Center, so this week the board members are implementing new ideas to generate revenue. Our attendance has lessened, so we are returning to Thursday Throwback days. Meals will be $5 a person on Thursdays only each week, serving at noon, and the menu to be announced each week with the doors opened for games played as usual.

We will have a fundraiser for the Center on April 29, at the old Alco Center on Highway 19 South across from Higginbotham Store from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Along with our usual barbecue Old Timers crew, we will have a garage sale. Please bring donations for the sale at 400 Walker St. on April 28, by noon.

For more information call Brenda at (936) 594-2625. Please, no clothes, dirty items, or broken items. Clean items or gently used donations are welcomed.

Also, on Friday night at 6 p.m., there will be a fundraiser at the Trinity High School campus for the TISD Art Department. The students will prepare dinner and the theme this year is Southern. I will have more details later but call Rana Wingo If you can’t wait for me.

The Republican Women of Trinity County are hosting their annual Golf Tournament “Liberty Over Texas” on Saturday, May 6, at the Westwood Shores Country Club in Trinity starting at 9 a.m. The cost of each player is $75 which includes golf entry fee, cart, meal, round of golf, and two mulligans. If you would like to sponsor an advertisement sign on the golf course, it is $100 per sponsor. For more information, application or donation, please call Barbara Chamberlin at (936) 222-2590.

On May 6 at the VFW Hall on Caroline Street, the Ed and Maxie Dance will start at noon and end at 4 p.m. The cover charge is $12 and the band, Shadow Road, will perform oldies and country music for your dancing or listening pleasure.

•I believe there will be a Spaghetti Dinner at Trinity Methodist Church on May 16, but I need to confirm this next week.

•I have been trying to confirm graduation activities for TISD, but I have conflicting times, places and dates. This is my latest information. However, I will go to the Administration office this week and find out for sure.

One report was that May 25 is the last day of school for TISD students, but now I have been told it will be June 1. I really want to know when the awards and scholarship night is because the Trinity Lions Club gives two scholarship awards each school year to seniors. Also, I have been told May 27 is Graduation Day, and that the ceremony will be held in Huntsville at the Sam Houston Civic Center at 3 p.m.

I promise I will give a correction next week. I do know one thing for sure, Memorial Day is Monday May 29.

•I saw where the Trinity FFA Fundraiser did very well for the students that was held in the Brookshire Brothers. Thank you, Brookshire Brothers, for all that you do for the Trinity community. They allow students to set up there for fundraisers, organizations for Blood Drives, Pet owners can treat their pets there monthly, Girl Scouts Sell Cookies there, and the Veterans sell raffle tickets and give Poppies flowers away there and much more.

In addition to the above events that I know about personally, Brookshires Brothers is the biggest donor to everyone in Trinity County. A few more recipients are the Trinity Community Fair Association, the Boys and Girls Club, the baseball and football children’s leagues, the Haley Burke Foundation, the Trinity Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, the Wall of Honor, the Trinity Lions Club, and most church groups in Trinity proper. I know I have missed more donations that the store has made to our citizens, but I truly thank Mr. Miller for his store and staff. See you around town.

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