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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

OLDER SPORTSMEN HAVE MORE FUN

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

County approves vehicle purchases

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — Although not a brand Trinity County Commissioners are fond of, the county’s constables will be driving new vehicles.

At the county regular meeting on Dec. 28, the court approved the purchase of two 2022 Dodge vehicles at $33,289 apiece to replace vehicles for the county’s constables.

This comes after the purchase of two 2021 Dodge vehicles at $28,700 apiece, which was approved at a special meeting on Dec. 20.

The constables approached the county two weeks ago with a request for the purchases, as they said their current vehicles were at end-of-life, approaching 300,000 miles. Constable Mark Cole did not have a vehicle, and was using his personal vehicle for work and was being reimbursed for mileage.

The money used for the purchases in both instances came from the county’s CARES Act grant funds.

In other business, the county:

•received the certificate of training for the County Tax Assessor/Collector;

•approved budget amendments to provide funds for purchasing vehicles for constables; and

•approved the declaration of surplus items.

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Officers continue search for suspect’s vehicle

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fatality carBy Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity Police Department is sifting through clues and numerous tips for the suspect in a Christmas day hit-and-run fatality.

Police Chief Steven Jones said the department appreciates the tips and information pouring in from the public; however, none of the information that has been provided has panned out.

“We’ve seen video footage from different locations, but they’re not high quality,” he said. “We do have a better idea of the vehicle description. We have followed cars as far as Grapeland, and had other vehicles followed by concerned people.”

At about 2:20 a.m. on Christmas Day, 36-year-old Nathan Gonzales, who was lying in the roadway near the intersection of Highway 19 and Kelly Avenue in the north part of Trinity, was struck by a vehicle which left the scene.

Reports indicate the victim lived in a nearby house and had been drinking with friends; Gonzales walked out on to the roadway and laid down on the double yellow line for unknown reasons.

A woman was driving southbound on 19, saw the man who was curled up in the fetal position, and pulled over to the right; at the same time, an 18-wheeler traveling northbound saw the victim, and pulled over to the right as well.

The truck driver saw another vehicle headed north and attempted to get the vehicle to stop; instead, the vehicle moved over to the middle of the road and apparently did not see Gonzales, Jones said.

The car struck Gonzales and then accelerated away from the scene, he said.

The vehicle is described as a late model sedan, possibly dark green, with some damage to the front of the vehicle. Leaving the scene of an accident involving death constitutes a felony, Jones said.

The police also have received the autopsy report and is following up on that information. The cause of death is multiple blunt force trauma, Jones said.

“We ask that people keep family and friend in prayers,” he said. “This was a horrible, tragic accident to happen on Christmas morning.”

Anyone with information that may lead to the identification of the driver of the suspected vehicle, contact your local law enforcement or Trinity County Crime Stoppers at (936) 639-TIPS (8477).

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City hopes to get water issues solved soon

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Crews work on tying two water lines from two sources together recent in the city of Trinity. The work would go a long way to solving water problems the city has been experiencing. Courtesy photoCrews work on tying two water lines from two sources together recent in the city of Trinity. The work would go a long way to solving water problems the city has been experiencing. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The city of Trinity hopes that its ongoing problem with water quality will be solved this week.

At a recent meeting, the council approved an emergency expenditure to connect the city’s two water sources to eliminate quality and service problems.

Those problems include boil water notices for the city, which has happened twice this year. The city currently is under a boil water notice.

City Manager Steven Jones said that the water lines have been laid and tied in, and they have ordered parts to renovate the lines in the area the site will be servicing.

He also said the city has spent a lot of money repairing the chlorinators, and installed a new chlorinator system with a new building at the city well site. 

Jones said all he lines have been flushed, and for all intents and purposes, it’s back to normal.

“We should be able to lift boil water notice in the near future,” he said. “We have built up a quality residual in the system, and we are in contact with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to get their final blessing.”

The city had previously been providing water from two sources — its own well site and from wells owned by the Trinity River Authority. Jones has said in the past that has been a big source of the water issues the city has faced.

The city approved the use of grant funds to connect has a water line that runs the length of Highway 19 through Trinity, and the city will connect the TRA water line to the city well line.

“The system will be filled from one source, and there will be no more blending sources,” Jones said. “Blending causes a lot of the problems we have had.”

Cutoff valves will be placed at both ends of the connecting line, which will allow the city to repair the well system for use as a backup.

Jones said that after a discussion with a contractor, the city was given a price of $169,120.18 for the work; also, since the work was to protect public health by fixing the city’s water system, the city was exempt from the normal process of seeking bids.

“This will be a permanent, right now fix for our problems,” Jones said.

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City puts codes, inspections on hold

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Codes InspectionsBy Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The city of Groveton has opted to take more time to study implementing building codes for residential and commercial buildings within the city, as well as enforcing any new rules.

At its regular meeting on Dec. 20, the council discussed the possibility of new rules, but concerns about the scope of the rules, as well as how the ordinances were to be approved, led to the items being tabled.

Council Member Autumn Dial said her chief concern was that the city was setting building standards, but yet does not have any zoning ordinances. 

“If we’re not zoned, how can we differentiate between homes and businesses?” she asked. “That concerns me. I want to make sure that’s not a problem.”

Additionally, Dial said that some of the fines for infractions are pretty high, and there are no provisions as to how the rules are to be enforced. She also said that most people won’t know or want to get permits for construction or remodeling, and that the ordinances list the infractions as criminal, but there have been no amendments to the city’s criminal ordinances.

Dial said that recently she had to replace a water heater, which she did by herself; when she read the proposed ordinances, though, it was clear that she would have been in violation because she would not have gotten a permit, not had it done by a licensed plumber and subsequently inspected.

Mayor Tommy Walton said the codes are based on ordinances from Conroe and Willis and were presented based on the council’s request to improve the looks of the city.

Council Member Joe Don Kennedy said that the was going from zero to 100 real quick, but the city needs to put something like this in place and see what “aggravation” they get within a year’s time.

Walton said that people will be asked to comply, but real enforcement won’t begin until around the middle of summer and the city will use some judgment in its enforcement. However, certain things like replacing gas water heaters were included because of the danger of house fires if done improperly.

In a separate matter, the council approved raising the rates for both garbage collection and water service.

Sonny Hubbard of Pineywoods Sanitation said that the business has been hit with rising costs over the last year, both in the cost of replacement parts as well as the fees it pays to area landfills.

“We don’t want to go up on anyone, but it’s become a matter of staying in business,” he said. 

The amount of the increase will come to about 60 cents per month per household, Hubbard said.

City Accountant Jack Pashtag said that costs of service and maintenance of the city’s water system were also on the rise and sought an increase in the water bills.

This comes on the heels of an increase that was granted in September.

Pashtag said the city’s debt service on the work it has done on the system increased more than expected, and that more funds were needed to keep things solvent.

Customers will see an increase of 6 percent, which amounts to $3 per average bill. It will become effective on the next bills.

In other business, the council:

•reapproved council compensation, which provides paid water for council members, and a $500 monthly stipend for Walton;

•approved paying the $5,500 monthly bill to Inframark for water and sewer service; and

•approved election of Groveton EDC members Tommy Walton, James Alford, Gordon Bergman and Benny McClain.

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