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County focus shifts to animals

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Trinity County Commissioners Court members and representatives from the Child Protective Services office pose after the county declared November and National Adoption Month. Photo by Tony FarkasTrinity County Commissioners Court members and representatives from the Child Protective Services office pose after the county declared November and National Adoption Month. Photo by Tony FarkasBy Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — As well as being concerned about housing prisoners, Sheriff Woody Wallace expressed concern to the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court about stray animals and where to house those.

Wallace told the court at its regular meeting on Oct. 25, that the stray animal problem in the county is bad, and that his office is receiving about 100 calls per month.

He also said that his office does not have the capacity to handle the problem, and that the kennels the county does have need to be renovated.

“Deputies don’t have time to handle the calls,” he said. “We need to revise the plan that we have, and maybe hire a part-timer person to get this under control.”

Commissioner Neal Smith asked if the Sheriff’s Department had ordered the required drugs to euthanize the animal; Wallace said it would be too expensive and not an answer to the problem.

While the county took no action, the court did approve applying for U.S. Treasury Local Assistance/Tribal Consistency grants, and if approved, will be used to help solve the problem.

In a separate matter, the court heard a presentation for Medi-Vac services from PHI Air Medical.

Representatives said that for a little more than $42,000 per year, there would be air ambulance service provided to all areas of the county, and it would be of no out-of-pocket expenses for the patients.

Commissioners likewise took no action; however, should they approve an agreement, grant funds from the same place as for the stray problems would be used.

In other business, the court:

•approved an inmate housing agreement with Waller County, with Smith voting no;

•approved modifying an inmate housing agreement with Somervell County, raising daily costs from $45 to $70. Smith again voted against the measure;

•approved a construction project for Precinct 4;

•took no action on a pauper funeral payment for non-compliance; and

•approved personnel action forms.

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Early voting ends Friday

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VoteEarly grahpic

TCNS staff

Early voting for the Nov. 8 general election ends Friday, and election day is Tuesday.

These midterm elections will be for the Texas governor and other state offices; State Senator; State Representative, and for new U.S. Representative, Pete Sessions, after redistricting placed Trinity County in District 17.

Sessions, the Republican incumbent, faces Democrat Mary Jo Woods.

On the state front, incumbent Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville, is being challenged by Democrat Steve Russell and Libertarian Desarae Lindsey; and incumbent Rep. Trent Ashby, R-Lufkin, faces Democrat Jason Rogers.

Most local races were decided in the May primary election, and the only county election is for treasurer, and Orrin Hargrave faces Cheryl Boggs Savage to replace Bob Dockens, who lost in the primary.

Apple Springs ISD also will have an election. Daniel Murray, Melanie Aycock, Tonya Odom, Amanda Roden and Jerry Sanders are the five candidates vying for the four positions up for election.

For information, contact the Election Administrator’s Office at (936) 642-3959.

Trinity County Voting Location

Nov. 8 General/Joint Election 

•Groveton High School, 202 N. Main, Groveton

•Chita Baptist Church, 10959 FM 355, Trinity

•Lakeway Baptist Church, 12748 FM 356, Trinity

•Glendale Methodist Church, 184 Glendale Church Road, Trinity

•Trinity Middle School, Jefferson Street, Trinity

•Friday Community Center, 4198 FM 1280, Groveton

•Pennington Community Center, 11568 W. FM 358, Pennington

•Nogalus Calvary Baptist Church, (4712 FM 357 2 miles farther), Centralia

•Apple Springs VFD, 14755 N. SH 94, Apple Springs

•Centerville School, 10327 N. SH 94, Groveton

•Risin Sun Cowboy Church, 13984 E. Pegoda Road, Trinity

•Groveton Community Center, 147 Fair Loop, Groveton

•Trinity Pines Baptist Church, 4769 FM 356, Trinity

•East Prairie Church of Christ, 138 Norsworthy Lane (Possum Walk), Groveton

•Baldwin Chapel, 288 MLK Jr. Drive, Groveton

•Trinity Community Center, 502 S. Robb, Trinity

•Ligon Chapel CME Hall, 565 E. Deason Loop, Apple Springs

•Trinity City Hall, 101 W. Madison, Trinity

•Oaklawn Baptist Church, 4833 N. SH 94, Groveton

•River of Life Church, 2390 S. SH 19, Trinity 

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Hospital to open doors again

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Trinity Memorial Hospital District board President Randy Karnes signs a lease agreement resolution on Monday after the board unanimously approved an agreement with MidCoast Health System to reopen the Trinity hospital.  Photo by  Tony FarkasTrinity Memorial Hospital District board President Randy Karnes signs a lease agreement resolution on Monday after the board unanimously approved an agreement with MidCoast Health System to reopen the Trinity hospital. Photo by Tony Farkas

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity Memorial Hospital District board ended a five-year search by signing a lease agreement with a firm that will reopen the hospital.

At a special meeting on Monday, the board signed resolutions required for leasing and conflict of interest issues with MidCoast Health Systems, which will create the MidCoast Medical Center-Trinity.

Hospital Board President Randy Karnes, many times tearing up, said it was like a great weight being lifted from his shoulders, which had been there since East Texas Medical Center pulled up stakes in July 2017.

“We talked with 28 entities over five years,” he said. “This the best option of all of them.”

Karnes said he did not know of any timelines that exist, but said that if he were to guess, the center would not open for business until at least February, since the hospital would require work to bring it up to current safety codes.

According to a press release from MCHS, the facility will be a full-service hospital for residents throughout the county, including surgery, rehabilitation, diagnostic services and WellCare clinic services.

“The town of Trinity and surround area is lacking medical services and we are proud to have partnered with Trinity Memorial Hospital District to bring these services back,” Nathan Tudor, CEO of MidCoast, said. “We are excited for the expansion of our health care services to East Texas and plan to be a part of the community for years to come.”

Karnes said he is pleased with MCHS, and said that during talks, he was told the group has never failed and won’t start now.

Once up and running, the hospital would employ from 50 to 70 people.

Funds for the renovations will come from the taxes collected by TMHD; board member Marjory Pulvino said that there has been some concern in the community about the need to collect taxes for a closed facility, but it has given the board funds to complete the construction efforts.

MCHS started as a regional health care provider for the Texas Gulf Coast region, but now has expanded throughout the state to enhance rural health care. The company operates hospital facilities in El Campo, Palacios and Llano as well as 20 clinics. It has been recognized for its achievements and methods.

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Chester approves new grant improvements

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chester logoBy Michael G. Maness

CHESTER – Chester city council approved several measures for GrantWorks to proceed with improvements on their grants at their rescheduled meeting, Tuesday evening, Oct. 11. Most of these will be road improvements.

The city seemed to have had a record gas arrears, causing them to lock off 14 who did not keep up their commitments. Mayor Robert Poynter facilitated a substantial discussion on profit and loss from gas usage and timings with the readings of the supplier. A lot of work had been done. 

The city agreed to renew their agreement the Railroad Commission as a gas supplier.

City Secretary Balela Mahaffey presented an option for her to take a webinar with the Texas Secretary of State’s office, and council opted to pay for that. 

Mahaffey was asked about signs by the city park. The city had no ordinance, and there appeared no need to create one. As long as the signs were no “in the park” or on the city fences, they decided to leave enforcement to TxDOT. 

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SAAFE House Purse Bingo fundraiser hits home run

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Rana Wingo, Trinity County Outreach Coordinator for the SAAFE House, congratulates Dr. Audrey Young on her winning a purse during the Denim & Diamonds Purse Bingo fundraiser, held Saturday at VFW Post 6899 in Trinity. Photo by Tony FarkasRana Wingo, Trinity County Outreach Coordinator for the SAAFE House, congratulates Dr. Audrey Young on her winning a purse during the Denim & Diamonds Purse Bingo fundraiser, held Saturday at VFW Post 6899 in Trinity. Photo by Tony Farkas

Julias TidbitsSAAFE House Purse Bingo Fundraiser Saturday night was spectacular. The food was good, the games were fun, and the prizes awesome. However, the best part of the evening was the recognition of Rana Wingo by her peers and the Trent Ashby’s special presentation and kind words about her hard work and her love for Trinity Community’s people.

She has served this community for more than 20 years and her compassion and love for SAAFE House’s advocacy has never waned. October is the month to recognize violence against domestic abuse and SAAFE House Community Relations Director Tammy Farkas presented Rana with a special award and a basket full of gifts for her service. It was a great evening for all.

Tammy Farkas did a great job with her constituents and Rana in setting up, decorating, and providing auction sheets for this event. They worked had all day and stayed until the end of the event to help clean up. If the money raised is known by press time, I will report the good news, but you will probably hear before the next issue of Julia’s tidbits.

I know it will be good news as the people attending were very generous. We had a great photographer too. His name is Tony Farkas. Also, we were very appreciative to the VFW for leasing their facility to us to have this event as our original venue was not available. Trinity always comes together to help our residents.

I would like to thank everyone in our community who donated items and gift cards to the SAAFE House event. I asked residents and businesses to donate, volunteer, or to provide food for this event and they said yes. Trinity’s generosity always amazes me. Why? I don’t know because the residents of Trinity had been donating to events since I came here in 1997.

From concession stand sales, to bake sales, to auctions, fairs, bingos, to children’s baseball and football games, car shows, church bazaars, school events, veterans’ fundraisers, Halloween treats, personal financial help, and many other wants and items needed, this community always helps. Trinity is a great place to live.

One of our most benevolent contributors in Trinity is Mayor Billy Goodwin. He gives of his time, talents, money, and energy to give back to “his” community. I needed help with some last-minute donations, and he made himself available to help even though he was on the way to another important event. Thank you from me and Rana.

•October is one of the busiest months of the year and it is hard to attend every event that is taking place. Unfortunately, October also left us feeling sad for our community as we lost several people far too soon. We are praying for the Hortmans, the Staytons, and the Goodalls and their families for their losses. We hope time will ease your pain. Trinity cares and is thinking of you and your loved ones during your grief.

•Early voting starts, Monday. Go vote.

•Saturday is the Trinity County Veterans annual fundraiser. The Trinity County Veterans Wall of Honor Society’s membership is open to the public, and all members. The Board of Directors are entirely non-paid volunteers, and they exist to provide aid to Trinity County Veterans, active personnel, and their families. This organization cuts through the red tape to provide basic needs that may otherwise go unheeded.

A few of their accomplishments: constructed wheelchair ramps for residences; provided and installed air conditioning/heating units; provided and installed water heaters; retrofitted bathroom facilities to accommodate the handicapped and elderly; repaired leaky roofs; and helped offset the fuel costs associated with travel to V.A. facilities for health issues and treatments. Thank you, Wall of Honor Society.

They can accomplish these things solely through the donations and contributions of generous individuals and corporations. Each year they conduct a raffle and an auction on the last Saturday of October and money is generated consistently to allow this tax-exempt entity to help veterans in need.

The tailgate party takes place at Scheelbillies on FM 356 staring at noon. There are 10 top prizes raffled, and you can bid on other items in the silent auction including quilts. The fish fry is $10 a plate and the pulled pork sandwiches are $5 each. Entertainment is provided and the fun lasts until 6 p.m. 

For donations, contributions, and information, please call Tom McCrory at (936) 577-8689, Bill Reeves at (936) 661-7107, or Randy Barclay at (936) 933-0953.

•Monday is Happy Halloween night. Prizes, games, free candy, and food await every child and family member who attend this celebration. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on North Elm Street.

•On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Second Annual VFW Bingo Extravaganza for the Boys and Girls Club of Trinity is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. A silent auction, door prizes, and other activities along with the bingo games will start at 1 p.m. 

To make donations or contributions, or for information, please call David LaVassaur at (936) 594-0778.

•Friday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, and many activities are planned to celebrate our heroes on this day. Churches, businesses, and TISD students on all school campuses will participate in honoring our Veterans on this day, so watch this space for details.

•On Saturday, Nov. 12, is the fourth annual Trinity Veterans Appreciation Banquet held at the Burning Hope Baptist Church, 204 Pegoda St. (FM 356). The event starts at 4 and ends at 6:30 p.m. They are having a spaghetti dinner with salad and dessert. Guest speakers are planned for the veterans about local resources, and door prizes given for the Veterans and their spouses. 

Please contact Marilyn Barnes for more information and for donations at 281-782-8309.

•Also on that Saturday is the Founders Day Celebration sponsored by the Trinity City Council and Mayor Billy Goodin. The celebration will take place at the Trinity Community Center next to McDonald’s on South Robb Street at 10 a.m. Come see the displays, visit the children’s’ corner in the Annex Room, and hear local music and performers inside and outside the Community Center.

Vendors and exhibitors can set up their booths and displays after five on Friday, Nov. 11. Food booths will be located outside. Spots will be assigned on Friday for those needing electricity and or water. Exhibitors will be assigned inside the community center along with the Trinity Sesquicentennial Historical Committee’s displays.

The TSHC committee is Judy Bishop, Mary and Walter White, Bill Elliot, and Paula Holcomb. If you have any items or relics, you would like to display at this event please call Judy Bishop at (936) 594-9860. 

At this time, the displays are from First Presbyterian Church, Congregational Methodist Church at Glendale, The VFW, Trinity Lions Club, the Church of God, the First United Methodist Church, Trinity Voluntary Fire Department, and Precious Gibson’s Historical Contributions to our city.

If you would like to represent your organization, a historical event, or other church contributions to Trinity, please call Julia at (936) 537-8171.

Don’t get left out of our Founders Day celebration. The time capsule will be buried at 1 p.m. in front of the Trinity Community Center followed by cake and punch for everyone attending.

Please call Shirley Romo if you have an item to represent the 150-year history of Trinity, or items that will represent 2022, that will be dug up in 2078. Shirley’s number is (936) 594-6962. The capsule will be waterproofed and hold items telling the time of the burial and the life and times of Trinity from 1872 until 2022. There is a children’s contest being held at this time to have some artwork displayed in the capsule by our youth. Please help with this project for our city’s legacy.

On Sunday, Nov. 13, Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s Knights of Columbus will host their Shrimp Gumbo Dinner at 401 N. Prospect Drive in the fellowship hall. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students. The menu is shrimp gumbo, salad, bread, drinks, and dessert. The time to be there is 11 a.m. as they stop serving at 2 p.m. and you might be too late as they sell out fast. Proceeds are donated to the Trinity Toys, a community fundraiser.

Next week, I will elaborate on TISD school activities, sports, world series, and Thanksgiving holiday activities surrounding Trinity County, and beyond, so watch this space. Thanks, Julia

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