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Trinity County News - Breakout

County to pay out unused time off

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062322 unused time off payoutThe Trinity County Commission declared the month of June as Elder Abuse Awareness Month at its regular meeting on June 14. Photo by Tony Farkas

By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court authorized the payout of unused comp and vacation time to Sheriff Department employees.

Chief Deputy Jeremy Carroll told the court at its regular meeting on June 14 that the department’s dispatchers/jailers could not make use of the accumulated hours because of staffing issues.

“We’re understaffed, overworked and underpaid; we’re fighting big-city crime will small-town funding,” Carroll said. “I have six employees maxed out on (accrued) time.”

He said there is no shortage of the employees’ commitment to the county, but the problem has existed for months. The employees just don’t have the ability to take time off.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got,” Carroll said. “This would be the county showing its appreciation, saying they understand the situation.”He said that if the trend continues, there may be more employees leaving.

The county normally pays out unused comp and vacation time at an employee’s termination.

County Attorney Colton Hay cautioned the commission that they would need to change that policy to allow this.

The county opted to delay the matter two weeks, and to research what other counties do in these situations.

In other business, the county:

•  approved a bond for Constable Carl Casey;• discussed collections of outstanding fines and fees;

•  proclaimed June as Elder Abuse Prevention Month;

•  approved renewal of county’s health benefits through the Texas Association of Counties;

•  approved extending loans for three Mack trucks, as the county cannot trade in their current models because there are no trucks to swap;

• awarded a bid for a John Deere Motor Grader to George Bane Inc. for $195,000, and approved County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy to seek financing;

• changed the name of Skains Road, both north and south legs, to Skains Chapel Road;

• approved a release of liability for county commissioners dumping ditch materials on private property;

• changed the name of Frankie Parish Road to Frankie & Jessica Parish Road;

• delayed enacting a burn ban in the county; and

• approved offering $93,000 to purchase the Pineywoods Home Health Care building to be used for the County Maintenance Department and for storage.


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Students nail finals

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062622 students nail finalsMadison Nash and Hailey Bergman recently passed their final examination and have gained their cosmetology licenses. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Standard

HOUSTON — Groveton Cosmetology students Madison Nash and Hailey Bergman traveled to Houston on June 14 with instructor Victoria Robertson and successfully passed their final examination for their cosmetology license.

Groveton ISD now has produced two more licensed cosmetologists through their program, and the students now can get a job in the beauty industry with zero debt.
Normally, licenses can cost between $15,000-$25,000 for those going through cosmetology school after graduating high school.

Robertson said these young ladies took advantage while attending High school and put in the 1,000 hours necessary to become eligible to test for the state board examinations.

Robertson said she will miss these two, but she is so proud and can’t wait to see where this license takes them

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Trinity gathers for freedom

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062322 juneteenth trinityVehicles of all types are displayed during the Juneteenth Parade. Photo by Tony Farkas

By Tony Farkas
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TRINITY — Freedom was celebrated on Saturday by Trinity residents on a day that means so much to so many — Juneteenth.

Lena Holley Boston, president of the Juneteenth Movement Committee, leads the group that plans and coordinates the event every year.

Juneteenth holds a special place in Boston’s heart, and it was a much bigger event when she was growing up.

“This was a big deal when I was a little kid,” she said. “The parade was probably three times as long as it was today; every African America church in town had a float. It was huge. We wish we can get it back to that, but we don’t want the memory to fade.”

This year, we had a lot more people step up, and Boston said it would be awesome if they could rejuvenate the celebration, as so many of the original organizers have passed away.

“This event is not just for the African American community, it’s for everybody, and it will help us come together as a people,” Boston said. “It’s a celebration of the day that everybody was free. We celebrate freedom on Independence Day, but our people were not free, and even more so in Texas, since we didn’t find out until two years later.”

She said there’s more to the event than fellowship, there’s an educational element to Juneteenth celebrations as well.

Boston was born and raised in Trinity, graduating from Trinity High School in 1992. She left the area for a time, but when she returned, the committee reached out for her help, as they felt the annual celebration was dying off a little, especially since COVID stopped things for a while.

“We kicked it back off this year, and it’s already bigger and better,” she said. “We want to keep it going for the kids. So it was awesome to see support from community members for this.”

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County enacts burn ban

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062322 burn ban in effect

TCNS staff

GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court has enacted a burn ban following a special meeting on Tuesday.

The order states that the court “finds that circumstances present in all of the unincorporated areas of the county create a public safety hazard that would be exacerbated by outdoor burning.”

The order prohibits all outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of the county for 90 days unless restrictions are terminated earlier based on a determination made by the Texas Forest Service or this Court.

The order does not prohibit outdoor burning activities related to public health and safety, such as firefighter training; public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; planting or harvesting agricultural crops; or burns that are conducted by a prescribed burn manager.

In addition, the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court acknowledges that the Davy Crockett National Forest is exempt from the ban.

A violation of this order is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.

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Sullivan “SHOWS” out in 2022

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061622 sullivan shows outJack Sullivan’s favorite bit of memorabilia is his TJLA 2022 Senior Showmanship Series Champion belt buckle. Jack Sullivan won Open Show Grand Champion Female at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Limousin competition.Courtesy photos

Special to the News-Standard

Traveling across the great State of Texas and the country for the most part can be daunting but not when you are on a mission. Jack Cutter Sullivan, Groveton native and Sophmore at GHS, can tell you all about it. He has traveled near and far across the United States exhibiting livestock, breeding heifers, and has seemed to rack up in the titles, namesakes, scholarships, prizes, awards and friendships.

Jack is no stranger to the winners circle in the stock show industry. When I asked him what his favorite moment was this past year, or any year, he replied “I went to Limousin Junior Nationals last summer in Grand Island, Nebraska and was selected as Grand Champion Limousin Heifer but I also won the Intermediate Showmanship contest while there too. Basically, that meant I had the number one Limousin Heifer in the US and was selected as a National Showman a day apart. My brother won Limousin Junior Nationals a few years before me so for two brothers to have that honor, three national champion titles is unbelievable. It just doesn’t happen that often to the same family, same breeder or same genetics”.

Sullivan has grown up in the Flat Prairie Community around beef cattle all his life. Showing cattle such as heifers and steers came quite easily, as well as naturally, considering his brother, Cole Sullivan, left some big shoes to fill. Both Sullivan brothers left an imprint for Texas Majors, International Heifer Shows, Groveton FFA and the local Trinity County 4-H Club. Sullivan never meets a stranger and most everyone recognizes him at stock shows.

Jack Cutter Sullivan not only won the Limousin Junior Nationals this past summer, he went on to win Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Open Show, and Reserve Champion at Rodeo Austin. Jack also won 1st at Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, 1st at San Antonio Livestock Show and 2nd at HLSR while competing in the TJLA Showmanship Series. He concluded the year with winning Overall Champion Texas Junior Limousin Association Senior Showman. If you know Jack Cutter Sullivan, you know he has grit and determination in his eye when he walks into the ring. He knows people are watching him and when I asked him “what do you do when you lose”? His response was “shake the opponent’s hand, say ‘Congratulations’ and regroup. Try harder and do better but always be respectful”.

He has the hardware, buckles, trophies, banners and memorabilia from each show displayed at home. Sullivan proudly wears his Limousin Junior National Showmanship buckle on his belt. His says that managing school, sports, calendars, community events and livestock shows can be hard, but you never give up no matter the circumstance. Being able to interact with exhibitors, friends and family from all over the nation is truly what the livestock showing industry is about. That seems to the backbone of success. With all of the livestock activities Jack Cutter Sullivan seems to be in, he also is extremely active at Groveton High School in athletics being on Varsity in each sport. His favorite thing to do outside of the show ring is playing baseball, running cross country and fishing. He hustles and is extremely competitive. Sullivan is a 4-H District 5 Gold Star Recipient for Trinity County. He went to UIL State in Varsity 2A Cross Country in the fall and was named District 22 Baseball 2nd Team All District Infielder this spring for GHS. Jack Cutter Sullivan is a hometown boy competing in a huge world outside of Trinity County.

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