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Trinity County News - Breakout

County to explore temporary jail

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Jail Graphic

By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — Policy changes at area jails have put the county jail out of compliance, and Sheriff Woody Wallace told the County Commissioners Court something must be done.

The jail, which can hold seven prisoners, is holding 15 as of last week; Wallace said that the other jails contracted to house Trinity County prisoners will no longer accept prisoners requiring medical attention.

He also said that several prisons will be raising their rates in the next fiscal year, which will further put a strain on county coffers.

The court did approve submitting a proposed drawing of a temporary jail, to be built using the old sewing mill, to the Texas Jail Commission for review. Depending on their response, the county then will look into funding options.

In a separate matter, the county will propose a .57 percent tax rate for its FY 2022-23 budget, which also will include a 6 percent raise for county employees and officials.

In other business, the county:

•approved an official bond for Jill Steptoe;

•approved a personnel action form to correct a clerical error on a pay rate;

•approved eight housecleaning budget amendments;

•approved the purchase of a chair restraint to be used by the jail;

•approved an agreement with Darren Smith to allow the county to remove soil from his property;

•approved service agreements with Windstream for 911 addressing needs for offices in Trinity and the County Museum;

•accepted a donation of $1,000 from Steely Lumber Co.;

•accepted a donation of $3,000 from Dillon Renfro for damages done to Baker Lane;

•approved the 2023 holiday schedule for the county; and

•approved the regular terms of Commissioners Court for the next fiscal year.

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Contest wrapping up

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Philip Schmitten categorizes photo contest entries. Philip Schmitten categorizes photo contest entries.

By Philip Schmitten
TCNS correspondent

GROVETON — The Groveton 2022 Photo Contest is in full swing with all entries on adisplay in the Groveton Public Library. 

The photo contest is co-sponsored by Philip and Evelyn Schmitten, along with the library.

Residents are encouraged stop by the library from 1-6 p.m. Monday through Friday and look at the truly outstanding photography from the area residents. 

The Library will be holding a small Reception at the Awards Presentation Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.

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Fires continue to plague county

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The Fountain View Fire burned 514 acres. Courtesy photoThe Fountain View Fire burned 514 acres. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Groveton Fire Department battled numerous forest fires in the past week, some lightning caused, and several that were set deliberately.

Additionally, in the process of fighting fires across the county line near Corrigan, a small plane contracted to the Texas Forest Service to fight fires crashed in Lake Livingston.

Sheriff Woody Wallace said there is a $1,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest of a “pyromaniac jackass.”

Wallace said fires have been deliberately set on Due Road, Rainey Road and Ed West Road at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday. Those fires are now being investigated by the Texas Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service, Texas Rangers and TCSO. 

Anyone with cameras aimed at the area roads in the area of those fires are asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office or (936) 639-TIPS (8477) .

At approximately 5 p.m. Aug. 9, a Fire Boss Single Engine Air Tanker/Scooper crashed in Lake Livingston while responding to wildfires in Polk County. 

GVFD assisted the Texas A&M Forest Service on multiple ligahtning fires in the Corrigan area. The Forest Service does not own any aviation resources but instead uses federal aviation contracts through the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for all firefighting aircraft.

The pilot is in good health and sustained no injuries from the crash. Reports indicate that as the event unfolded the pilot’s emergency procedures training kicked in, enabling him to react quickly to the situation and safely extricate himself from the aircraft. 

The National Transportation and Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration will conduct an investigation.

On Aug. 9, Fountain View Fire burned 514 acres south of Groveton, but was 100 percent contained by Wednesday. All state resources have been released and the fire has transitioned back to the local unit.

Onlaska, Hudson, Pennington, Apple Springs, Trinity, Corrigan, and others assisted in the firefighting.

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Group holds flood plan discussion

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Special to the News-Standard

CROCKETT — The Trinity Regional Flood Planning Group will host an open house-style informational session in Crockett to present an overview of a draft regional flood plan for the Trinity River Basin.

The meeting, set for 5-7 p.m. Aug. 30 at Houston County Electric Cooperative Community Room, 1701 Loop 304, will showcase flood mitigation recommendations for the local area and encourage stakeholder input. 

The informational session will begin with a brief presentation, followed by a chance for the public to ask questions, review planning materials and visit with RFPG representatives. 

The plan draws on the best available science, data, models and flood risk mapping to recommend over $1 billion in flood mitigation actions designed to fix local flooding issues and reduce flood-related loss of lives, property and livelihoods throughout the region. 

The plan is important because recommended projects will ultimately have better access to future state funding.

The plan can be reviewed on the Planning Documents page of the Trinity RFPG website, using the Categories tool to sort by “2022 Draft Plan.” Hard copies of the Draft Plan are also available for review at the following libraries across the region during normal operating hours:

•Dallas Public Library, 1515 Young Street, Dallas.

•Fairfield Library, 350 W. Main Street, Fairfield.

•Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, 650 FM 1011, Liberty.

Public comments on the Draft Plan are due to the Trinity RFPG by Oct. 10. For more information on the public comment submission process, please visit www.trinityrfpg.org. 

The Trinity RFPG’s planning region (Trinity River Basin, or Region 3) has an estimated population of approximately 8 million and spans a nearly 18,000-square-mile, 38-county region from Cooke County in the north to Chambers County on the Gulf Coast. For more information, visit the Trinity RFPG website www.trinityrfpg.org, follow the group on Twitter or email the group via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Scholarship programs commence

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Scholarships 200pxSpecial to the News-Standard

TRINITY — Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6899 and Auxiliary are kicking off the VFW fall scholarship programs. 

Thousands of dollars in scholarships are awarded each year to students in grades sixth through 12th grades. The VFW is conducting a nationwide youth essay competition which gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on an annual patriotic theme. 

The deadline is Oct. 31.

The Patriot’s Pen essay is open to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students in public, private or parochial schools or a home student program. The 2022-2023 Theme is “My Pledge to Our Veterans.” 

The Voice of Democracy Program is open to students in grades 9-12 who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home student program. The 2022-2023 Theme is “Why is the Veteran Important?” 

More information is available at https://www.vfw.org/community/youth-and-education/youth-scholarships.

The brochures can be picked up at the local VFW Post 6899, 400 W. Caroline, in Trinity, or at local school districts. The brochures will give instructions for completing these essays. 

Winners and their speeches can be viewed at vfw.org. By viewing past winners it would give students an opportunity to see what is possible; in District 19 we had a winner from Lufkin that took first in the state and 10th in the nation. If you win locally the student then moves onto district competition and the winners move to the VFW Department of Texas where one winner is chosen to move onto nationals.

The VFW also offers a Smart/Maher VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award for Grades K-12. Our local VFW Post can submit one outstanding teacher in grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Please consider this opportunity to recognize those special educators that make a difference in your schools. Deadline is Oct. 31. Brochure gives detailed information about this award. To obtain a application contact local VFW Post 6899 or https://vfwnm.org/uploads/Documents/VFW%20Programs/TeacherEntryForm.pdf.

The VFW Post 6899 Scholarship Chairman is Commander Herb Henderson. For more information, forms or applications, please contact VFW Post 6899 at (936) 594-9467 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Henderson can be reached at his home phone number 512-934-4206. The VFW is open Monday through Saturday from 2-10 p.m

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