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Trinity County News - Breakout

Groveton deals with water issues

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groveton texas city limits 250By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — After the city of Groveton spent months working on an additional water well, the well was abandoned, leaving city council members looking for new options.

The council approved abandoning the well on Nov. 9, and discussed options for eventually drilling a new well in a different location.

Mayor Ralph Bennett said the council was told the well was not producing water in sufficient quantity, providing about 10 gallons per minute, well below city needs.

The council will explore building a new cistern to hold water with a permanent connection to its supplier, Pennington Water, and discussed hiring a hydrologist to help find a suitable location for a new well.

At its Nov. 27 meeting, the council approved budget amendments for repair work on the current ground storage tank on MLK Drive, as the city received a $500,000 grant with $10,000 match, and a $165,000 change for well repair.

Also, the council was informed that Pennington Water raised its rates to $5.10 per 1,000 gallons, which will take effect in January 2024.

Bennett said the city does not plan on raising rates for customers.

In related business, the council approved payment of $8,625.25 to Inframark, which manages the city’s water and wastewater systems.

Additionally, council members discussed hiring a company to perform lead and copper inspections on the water system, a requirement from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

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TISD aces financial exam

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The Trinity ISD employees of the month were Cynthia Fuest, professional; Melissa Allbright, paraprofessional; and Melissa Martinez, support. Pictured are (from left) Judy Bishop, Gill Campbell, Melissa Martinez, Kent Copley, Melissa Allbright, Brittaney Cassidy and Cynthia Fuest.The Trinity ISD employees of the month were Cynthia Fuest, professional; Melissa Allbright, paraprofessional; and Melissa Martinez, support. Pictured are (from left) Judy Bishop, Gill Campbell, Melissa Martinez, Kent Copley, Melissa Allbright, Brittaney Cassidy and Cynthia Fuest.

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity school district got top marks from the state for its finances.

The Trinity ISD Board of Managers held a public hearing on its Financial Integrity Rating System results at its regular meeting Nov. 27.

Superintendent Dr. John Kaufman said that the district is doing excellent, having achieved 100 out of 100 on its score.

Kaufman said it was a superior achievement in that regard.

In other business, the board:

•approved updates on policy based on bills from Legislature;

•tabled a decision regarding accepting volunteer chaplains to providing support services to students and staff; and

•hired Anna Torregrossa as a seventh-grade social studies teacher.

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County budget takes a hit

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas

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GROVETON — Trinity County’s budget for the previous fiscal year showed almost a half-million dollar shortfall, largely due to expenses incurred by the jail.

County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy told the County Commissioners Court on Nov. 28 that the 2022-23 fiscal year didn’t end well and there will be a $450,000 difference between what was budgeted and what was spent.

There were additional costs due to housing prisoners in other counties’ facilities, as well as insurances costs. Kennedy stressed that there wasn’t enough money budgeted, but the county did have the funds to cover the costs.

However, Kennedy cautioned that eventually, the county’s coffers could run dry.

Commissioner Mike Loftin agreed, saying he was concerned that the overages will eat into the county’s savings.

She also said that the first month of the new fiscal year will look off because the new software is not posting all revenues, particularly from the Justice of the Peace departments, correctly.

Sheriff Woody Wallace said the trend will continue as a new agreement with Houston County saw jail prices rise from $35 to $75 per inmate per day. Additionally, the county in its first month of the new fiscal year was hit with almost $18,000 in medical costs for inmates, and only $34,000 was budgeted for the entire year.

In other business, the county:

•discussed refinancing trucks for another year as the company cannot provide replacements on a lease agreement;

•approved the Sheriff’s Office Trade School Scholarship Program guidelines and procedures;

•tabled approval of a contract for housing inmates with Houston County to allow for some negotiation; and

•approved accepting a $1,000 donation from the Republican Women of Trinity County for the Trinity County Community Center.

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Celebration a hit for Trinity

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Julias TidbitsThe Trinity Peninsula Chamber of Commerce 26th Annual Christmas Show and Parade was awesome. Everything was perfect including the weather. The food, the gifts, the music, and the people of Trinity were very blessed for these activities that were held Saturday at the Trinity Community Center.

If you did not see the parade on Saturday night, you missed the best lighted Christmas parade we have had in a long time. I will list the six category winners, but you must know it was a tough decision for the judges to choose the first-place winners, because even second- and third-place winners were outstanding.

•Category 1 — Floats-River Pointe Rehab Center- The Polar Express

•Category 2 — Cars and Trucks-TISD Transportation-The Grinch

•Category 3 — Motorcycles/Four Wheelers- Jerry Wilder, Motorcycle

•Category 4 — Walkers-TISD Marching Band

•Category 5 — Emergency Vehicles-Trinity Volunteer Fire Department

•Students 6 — TISD Tigerettes

The youth of the community were the stars of our show. A special thank you goes to Joe Morales, TISD Band Director, and Margaret Campbell, Choir Director, for encouraging and supporting the students’ endeavors and participation in the 2023 Christmas Parade.

Higginbotham, Brookshire Brothers, Trinity County Crime Stoppers. All Around Electrical Services, The Trinity Volunteer Fire Department, the Trinity Police Department, the students of TISD, River Pointe of Trinity and many others were responsible for the success of this parade.

The Mayor of Trinity, Billy Goodin, welcomed the citizens of Trinity to the Tree Lighting Ceremony Saturday night, and he was so proud and overwhelmed by the generosity of the residents of Trinity for their participation and support of this 26th Annual Christmas Show. The decorations downtown and throughout the city were a labor of love for the Trinity Beautiful Committee, the City of Trinity, the students, the businesses and our Trinity local volunteers and their families.

A visitor from out of town was amazed to see stockings and s’mores given away free to the children of Trinity. He asked Jennifer Budsize why the community did this and he was shocked by her answer that the community and its residents were so generous and supportive of our youth. He said “God Bless her” as he moved on to the next activity.

He really was blown away when he heard about the generosity of the members of the Trinity County Crime Stoppers Association, who gave 100 gift bags to the children of Trinity when they visited Santa Claus Saturday afternoon at the show from 2-4 p.m.

Larry Grant, president of Trinity County Crime Stoppers, and the members assembled, fruit, candy, and pencils for the nursing homes, elderly centers, and the children of Trinity County for years. Kudos to this organization for supporting our county and winning an outstanding Texas Award for recovering lost or stolen items for our citizens of Trinity County for 2023.

Finally, the Trinity Peninsula Chamber of Commerce must thank the vendors of Trinity County for providing their time and money with booth items for sale that made this show worthwhile and such an outstanding event.

We had more than 55 vendors inside the Trinity Community Center Exhibit Hall, and over 35 booths set up outside for patronage. It was unbelievable that vendors were still asking for spaces for sell their wares on Saturday morning before the show opened.

A special donation was made by Higginbotham Brothers Store, a wagon cart all the vendors wanted. Only the vendors were the recipients of this prize for attending this event. Margie Little won this prize, and she was ecstatic.

Again, thank you to all the people who attended the 26th Annual Christmas Show and Parade. The venue change to the Trinity Community Center will probably become a permanent fixture in the future. People praised the new location. Lots of elbow room and parking.

Thank you to all the participants for decorating the Christmas Show areas early, and to the special list of people who need to be recognized in order for the Christmas Show to be performed are Trinity City Council and Mayor; Trinity Police Department; Trinity Fire Department; Trinity Public Works Department; Trinity Independent School District; Trinity Community Fair Association; Trinity Peninsula Chamber of Commerce; Trinity County News-Standard; Trinity County Crime Stoppers; Trinity Lions Club; First Methodist Church of Trinity; Chicas’ Coffee Shop; Becky Girouard; All Around Electric Services; Asset Marketing Pros LLC; Blanche K. Werner Public Library; John Holcomb; Liberty Christian Center; River Pointe of Trinity;  Calvary Tabernacle Pentecostal Church; State Farm — Rich Scott; and the Haley Burk Scholarship foundation.

If I missed anyone, please forgive me.

•Now, some other events are happening in December.

For the parents this weekend, several events will be held for the children’s enjoyment and parental shopping.

First, need a babysitter? The Liberty Christian Center will babysit children from ages 5- 12 for you to go Christmas shopping for two days, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., free, and there will be a program for the children entitled “Chosen,” a VBS Blitz. They are located at 101 W. Main St., and for more information please contact the Church at (936) 355-3309.

Second, come meet Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus on Saturday, from 4:30-6 p.m. at the River Pointe Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at 1410 S. Robb St. and take pictures with the Clauses. The pictures will be taken by a professional photographer.

A movie will be shown outdoors entitled “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and this event is a free event for families. Activities include a hot chocolate bar, cookie decorating, letters to Santa, a reindeer food making station, popcorn, and a blanket provided for the movie. For more information, please call Essie at (936) 594-7521.

•The Knights of Columbus are hosting their last blood drive of 2023 on Sunday at Brookshire Brothers’ Parking lot in Trinity from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Please, if you can, donate. Trinity County needs to support this worthwhile cause especially during this time of year.

•On Dec. 14, Liberty Christian Center has the Share Your Holiday Food Basket Giveaway from 10 a.m. to noon. The free boxes or baskets will be given away on this day only and hopefully will supply all who are in need.

•On Dec. 15, Liberty Christian Center will present its Christmas Play, “Frozen.” The play starts at 6 p.m. and all ages are welcome. Admission is free.

The next big event for the children of Trinity County is the Elf Station that will be held on Dec. 16 for children and parents to shop for one another. Call Sheran Casey or Flo Cleburn for appointments and information.

You need to call or text me your information regarding Christmas cantatas or candlelight services if you want people to attend your Church’s special services, and I will start advertising them now.

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Christmas in Trinity

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Vehicles sported bright lights at the annual Christmas parade. PHOTOS BY TONY FARKASVehicles sported bright lights at the annual Christmas parade. PHOTOS BY TONY FARKAS

Vehicles sported bright lights at the annual Christmas parade. PHOTOS BY TONY FARKAS

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