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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

Air medical transport benefits residents of Trinity County

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PHI Air Medical has numerous helicopter transports victims of accidents or those in dire medical need. Courtesy photoPHI Air Medical has numerous helicopter transports victims of accidents or those in dire medical need. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Standard

Trinity County has approved a new emergency air medical transportation membership agreement with PHI Cares that will provide air medical transport benefits for all residents transported by a PHI Air Medical aircraft in the region.

The new agreement begins on Jan. 1.

The PHI Air Medical membership program, called PHI Cares, supports all the households and residents of Trinity County. With the launch of this agreement, Trinity County residents will not be required to pay any additional out-of-pocket expense for their emergency air medical transportation when a PHI Air Medical aircraft in the region transports them from Trinity County or a surrounding county, including Angelina, Polk, San Jacinto, Walker and Houston counties.

Residents should always call 911 first when they have a medical emergency. The 911 dispatchers are trained at assessing the medical needs of each caller and will determine if a ground or air ambulance is necessary. If a resident is transported by a PHI Air Medical Aircraft, they should notify the PHI Cares membership department at 1.888.I.Fly.PHI (1.888.435.9744) and provide them with the Trinity County PHI Cares membership number, 72161, and their date of transport.

PHI Air Medical will be providing Trinity County with membership cards which include a unique PHI Cares membership number. Residents may obtain their PHI Cares membership cards from the following locations after January 15th, 2023:

•Trinity County Courthouse, 162 W. First St., Groveton

•Justice of the Peace Precinct 4, 133 JP-4 Road, Apple Springs

•Trinity County Courthouse Annex, 106 N. Elm St., Trinity

The PHI Cares membership program is available at over 60 PHI Air Medical bases across the country. Trinity County residents may upgrade their Trinity County limited membership benefit coverage to nationwide coverage for only $45 per year.

To upgrade your household membership, please go to www.PHICares.com and fill out an online application using the special discount code, TRINITYUPGRADE. Trinity County Residents may also email the PHI Cares Membership Department at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 1.888.435.9744 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. MST to request an upgrade form. Please reference the “Trinity County” Membership program when calling or writing them.

Residents can visit the PHI company website at www.PHIAirMedical.com to learn more about the company and www.PHICares.com to learn more about their membership program.

PHI Air Medical is a leading air medical transport provider, operating more than 80 air medical bases in the nation with 18 of those bases in Texas. These bases provide outreach education to local communities and healthcare systems across the nation.

Safely transporting more than 30,000 patients each year, each PHI Air Medical base maintains a crew of highly trained pilots, flight nurses and paramedics — prepared to respond to emergency medical transport requests.

Courtesy photos

PHI Air Medical has numerous helicopter transports victims of accidents or those in dire medical need.

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Cold snap causes energy, water issues

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Entergy crews work to restore power in Trinity. Courtesy photoEntergy crews work to restore power in Trinity. Courtesy photo

TCNS staff

TRINITY — The dip in temperatures during the holiday week left Trinity residents without water and about 48,000 people in East Texas without power.

Trinity City Manager Tim Kind posted the low temperatures caused the city’s water pumps to freeze, and city crews had to shut off service to thaw them.

Crews did restore service within hours; however, Texas Commission for Environmental Quality regulations require that the city be put on a boil-water notice because of the drop in pressure.

In Groveton, Mayor Tommy Walton said the city had no issues with pressure, but there were problems with excessive use because customers had left taps running, which was depleting city storage.

Meanwhile, Entergy Texas crews have restored most of the power lost to the approximately 48,000 customers in the impacted regions across Southeast Texas.

According to a press release from Entergy, portions of its infrastructure were impacted by Thursday’s severe wind gusts.

Entergy also said that it did not have any power generation concerns and all units were online with appropriate fuel supply.

Customers are encouraged to make safety a priority by keeping their distance from utility crews and their worksites and calling 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to report downed power lines.

Also, the company recommends never using a generator indoors. Carbon monoxide from the exhaust is deadly. Never plug the generator into a wall outlet. If you plan to use a standby built-in generator, always use a licensed electrician to hook it up.

When using standby built-in generators, the main breakers should be opened to avoid feeding power back into Entergy’s lines and creating a hazard for the public and power line workers.

For the safety of crews and individuals, please stay away from their work zones. If you need to report a problem with your service or get bill payment help, call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749). Additional safety tips are available on the Storm Center. Find further updates and safety tips on the Entergy Texas Facebook and Twitter pages.

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County expends Capital Credit monies

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — While the Trinity County Commissioners Court approved the disbursement of funds to several entities at its last meeting, not every commissioner was in a giving spirit.

The court approved requested funds to three entities at its regular meeting on Dec. 13.

The Nigton Historical Development Project received $5,000, and $1,000 each to Circle B Farm and Wildlife Rehab and the Trinity Boys & Girls Club.

Commissioner Steven Truss said that NHDP and Circle B should get the funds in the interest of fairness, since similar entities received funds. He also said that in the future, the county needs to come up with a better plan to disburse funds, such as an application process and a committee to evaluate them.

However, Commissioner Neal Smith said he disagreed that Circle B should get any funds since it was an organization run by a county official, namely County Clerk Shasta Bergman, on her private property.

Bergman said the land was deeded over to the rehab, which is now overseen by a board.

Smith also said he was against donating funds to the Nigton organization, as it was to purchase bicycles for needy children and to have a Christmas meal. He explained that the funds given to Groveton and Trinity were for beautification.

Smith claimed his concerns with giving funds to the NHDP was that it wasn’t going to be spent on specified uses, which in turn would make the county liable for those funds. He said that there needs to be stipulations on any disbursed funds.

“If they said they would put up lights and Santy Clauses and such out there, then I’m all for it,” Smith said. “I’m not for providing bicycles and I’m not for providing a Christmas dinner for $1,500. That’s what was presented to this board.”

Smith also said he would prefer to vote on each item separately, but as a group, he voted against the measure.

In other business, the county:

•approved personnel action forms;

•approved budget amendments;

•approved renewal of copier leases with Texas Document Solutions;

•tabled bid openings to get clarifications on a bid from one interested contractor;

•tabled extending loan agreements with Cadence Bank/Bancorp South for leases on vehicles, since new vehicles will not be available for a year, until information on warranty and buybacks can be obtained;

•approved separating Trinity County from the umbrella of the Polk County emergency management plan;

•approved submitting a bid request for software for the county’s Justices of the Peace;

•approved the $1,600 purchase of two self-contained breathing apparatuses; and

•approved the receipt of surplus material allocations from TxDOT.

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School board remains same

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CentervilleISDBy Tony Farkas
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CENTERVILLE — Since an upcoming election drew no challenges, the Centerville ISD Board of Trustees has cancelled its election.

Also at the meeting on Thursday, the trustees re-appointed its members to their various positions, as Superintendent Mark Brown said the lineup ran well and needed no reorganization.

James Due will remain as board president, Randall Fry will be vice president and Kim Blalock will continue as board secretary.

In a separate matter, the board approved a budget adjustment in connection with the weather damage to the gymnasium.

Brown said the insurance company has issued a payment of $348,000 for roof damages, which will be enough for repairs to be started.

He also said that the insurance adjuster and an appraiser will be meeting after Christmas, and the school should receive additional funds, probably in February 2023, toward the claim.

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Christmas holiday rich with tradition

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ChristmasTradition Stock

Julias TidbitsDec. 16 was a wonderful day last week. It was the Martin Senior Citizen Center’s Christmas party and my daughter’s birthday. It is hard to believe that this beautiful daughter, cheerleader, basketball player, softball player in college, Homecoming Queen, mother of twins, and career woman has lived almost half a century. Why does life fly so fast?

In two weeks 2022 will be just a fleeting memory, but we still long to know about things from the past. For instance, knowing about Christmas traditions in America is a must. Here is a little bit of Christmas traditions we love and know about, and still practice today, from Christmas trees to greeting cards.

Here are a few Christmas facts from Poor Richard’s Almanac 2022:

•The first American Christmas tree can be credited to a Hessian soldier by the name of Henrick Roddmore, who was captured at the Battle of Bennington in 1776. He then went to work on the farm of Samuel Denslow in Windsor Locks in Connecticut, where for the next 14 years he put up and decorated Christmas trees in the Denslow family home.

•The first retail Christmas tree lot was established in 1851 by a Pennsylvanian named Mark Carr, who hauled two ox sleds loaded with Christmas trees from the Catskill Mountains to the sidewalks of New York City.

•The first president to set up a Christmas tree in the White House was Franklin Pierce, and the first president to establish the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn was Calvin Coolidge. In 1882, the first tree lights were sold in New York City.

•The first American to print and sell Christmas cards was Louis Prang of Roxbury, Mass., who began publishing cards in 1875.

•Eisenhower is given credit for sending the first official Christmas card from the White House. An art print also became the standard Christmas gift for the president’s staff, a practice continued to this day.

•“Here Comes Santa Claus” is credited to the first department store Santa, named James Edgar, who during Christmas seasons beginning in 1890, would wander about his store (the Boston Store) in Brockton, Mass., dressed as Santa Claus, talking to the children of Customers.

Ever wonder how the custom of giving Christmas gifts originated?

The ancient Romans gave each other gifts on the calends (first day of January), and the practice spread throughout the Roman Empire. Eventually, Christians moved the custom to Dec. 25, although many Christians still give gifts on Jan. 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the manifestation of Jesus’ divine nature to the Magi.

My favorite tradition at Christmas is kissing under the mistletoe. I love the story how the tradition came about and why people kiss under the mistletoe.

In an old Norse legend, Frigga, the goddess of love, had a son named Balder who was the god of innocence and light. To protect him, Frigga demanded that all creatures — even inanimate objects —swear an oath not to harm him, but she forgot to include mistletoe.

Loki, god of evil and destruction, learned of this and made an arrow from a sprig of mistletoe. Loki then tricked Hoth, Balder’s blind brother, into shooting the mistletoe arrow and guided it to kill Balder. The death of Balder meant the death of sunlight, explaining the long winter nights in the north.

Frigga’s tears fell onto the mistletoe and turned into white berries. She decreed that it should never cause harm again but should promote love and peace instead. From then on, anyone standing under mistletoe would get a kiss. Even mortal enemies meeting under mistletoe by accident had to put their weapons aside and exchange a kiss of peace declaring a truce for the day.

These are some of our Christmas traditions, but I have some other facts to impart regarding other American Christmas facts or trivia that I have been privy to over the years.

•The first printed reference to Christmas trees appeared in Germany in 1531.

•Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.

•The first Christmas cards were invented in 1843.

•Rudolph was created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930s for a holiday promotion. The rest is history.

•If you received all the gifts in the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas,” you would receive 364 presents.

•“A Christmas Carol,” published in 1843, was written by Charles Dickens in just six weeks.

•The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday officially was Alabama in 1836. In 1907, Oklahoma became the last state to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

•Christmas became a national holiday in America on June 26, 1870.

•Clearing up a common misconception, in Greek, X means Christ. That is where the word” XMas” comes from. Not because someone took the “Christ out of Christmas.

•In Mexico, wearing red underwear on New Year’s Eve is said to bring love in the upcoming year.

•Friday, Dec. 16, was a wonderful day also for the less-fortunate citizens of Trinity. When I came to town at 7:30 that morning, I saw people receiving Christmas baskets at the Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church Family Life Center Building. This was the endeavors of several local churches in our community, and we are so grateful for their love and thoughtfulness to our citizens. We also are thankful to all the people who donated food and toys for this event.

Saturday, Dec. 17, was another wonderful day for the children and parents of Trinity who were able to get toys for their children to put under their Christmas trees.

The Elf Station serviced more than 300 children with toys for Christmas and gave away more than 900 cookies that were donated for this event. Kudos to the women of Mickey’s House. You are the best.

Most of the state and county offices will be closed on Friday and some on Monday, and I have only one more tidbit issue left for this year.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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