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Trinity County News - Breakout

Donations continue to county VFDs

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080422 donations two

TCNS staff

TRINITY — With the fire risk still high because of the lack of rain, firefighters are still on alert; area agencies, including VFW Post 6899.

The post was a drop-off location for donations to help out the fire departments with drinks and snacks; the local fire departments recently picked up those donations, and organizers were able to drop off two pallets of water to local volunteer fire departments.

Organizers state that since it still hasn’t rained in many areas, donations will continue to be accepted Monday-Saturday from 2-10 p.m.

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District preps for tighter security

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080722 training 4Superintendent John Kaufman goes through training. Courtesy photo

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The tragedy in Uvalde has given the state’s school systems even more reasons to improve security, and the Trinity district hopes to put all students’ minds at ease.

On Friday, Brian Stutes of Tactical Response Solutions of Beaumont spent the day with the district administration leadership team, training the crew from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. on processes for dealing with school intruders or active shooting events.

Superintendent John Kaufman said the visit will help the district do what needs to be done to improve site security and responses.

“Our practices are good, but people after time get complacent, and (Uvalde) put fire under all of us to make security a 24/7 thing,” he said. “We need to continuously look at what we’re doing.”

Stutes led training in defensive mechanisms and first aid, and then walked through the buildings and gave suggestions for security and making sure all necessary aid items were in place.

In addition to all administrators, Trinity VFD and EMS, and both Trinity and TISD police departments went through training, Kaufman said.

“We talked through scenarios and the processes to deal with them, and then we will pass this along to teachers and other staff,” Kaufman said. “We’ve got a good start, but there are things to make it better, and we’re going to do it.”

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Board discusses conduct, discipline

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080422 school discipline

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — The Trinity ISD Board of Trustees discussed changes to its discipline matrix to make things stricter, while shoring up policies in the Student

Code of Conduct.
At its regular meeting on July 25, changes including removing warnings and detention were discussed. Superintendent John Kaufman said that instead, the district will move to in-school suspension instead of warnings on first offenses.

Cutting class and leaving the campus without permission previously meant one day of detention, now it will be one day of ISS.

Kaufman told board members that in the last school year, there were some incidents that were serious enough to justify strengthening its discipline.
“We’re going to be quite a bit stricter on first and second offenses,” he said. “Hopefully it will eliminate some problems.”

However, board members Ricky Hortman and Elaine King wanted the current policies to form a basis of comparison. The board ultimately tabled the matter until its special meeting on Aug. 1.

In a related matter, the board also tabled revisions to the Student Code of Conduct for the same reasons, which was to get copies of current policy to make comparisons.

The matter also will be taken up at its Aug. 1 meeting.

In other business, the board:

•approved all financial statements; and

  •discussed safety measures, including having all building in the district re-keyed.

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City fights more water woes

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080422 water woesCrews attempt to stem a leak in a broken water line. Courtesy photo

TCNS staff

TRINITY — City employees fought a pipe break that occurred while contractors were attempting to connect water mains from Trinity River Authority with Trinity city lines on Thursday.

City Manager Steven Jones said the main water line from TRA broke, affecting the city’s ability to keep the downtown water tower full.

Residents in the Milltown, downtown and Mulbery Street areas saw pressure drops and service loss, and were asked conserve water.

After waiting for delivery of a valve from Katy, the break was repaired at 2 a.m. Friday.

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County approves pay raise

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080422 county pay raises

By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — Trinity County Commissioners OK’d a pay raise for a county deputy sheriff but stayed in line with the salary schedule put into place last year.

At its regular meeting on July 26, the court discussed the raise request, which became contested over claims that the county was paying female deputies less than male deputies at the same level.

At the last meeting, Sheriff Woody Wallace sought equity in pay; however, the court maintained the difference was based on tenure, not on gender.

After delaying the matter for research, Commissioner Tommy Park said the deputy’s pay was an oversight, not being

corrected when the new salary matrix was put into place.
Commissioner Neal Smith, who objected to requests being made at the same time every year that deviate from the salary schedule, then questioned how many other salaries were inadvertently missed.

Commissioner Steven Truss said he put in a request as well because a road employee of his compared salaries with an employee in Smith’s precinct, and the disparity was questioned.

In other business, the court:

•approved election judges for the Nov. 8 general election;

•approved a contract with Westwood Shores MUD and its election administrator for a concurrent election on Nov. 8;

•approve a contract with Apple Springs ISD and its election administrator for a concurrent election on Nov. 8;

•approved a $20,000 bond for County Clerk Shasta Bergman;

•approved six budget amendments to move funds to make payments;

•approved a donation of dirt from Mark Brown to Precinct 4 Commissioner Steven Truss;

•approved renaming Little Kickapoo Road to Redden Road;

•approved bids for tax resale properties;

•discussed the combined disposition completeness report for the county’s criminal justice system; and

•discuss some budget requests from each department ahead of budget discussions.

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