Posted by : admin | On : July 14, 2015

Trinidad police chief

By Russell Slaton
The News
TRINIDAD – The City of Trinidad has a new police chief. That town’s city council hired Chris Simmons to take over its police department during a special meeting, held Monday, June 22.
Simmons started his service as chief on Wednesday, June 24, said Trinidad City Administrator Terri Newhouse. The new chief is in the process of interviewing applicants for a patrol officer position, the city administrator added.
Simmons, who has deep family ties to western Henderson County, previously was a Trinidad police officer for five years, until 2006. Later, from 2011-12, Simmons served a stint as a Trinidad reserve police officer. In addition to Trinidad, Chief Simmons has been a member of the Tool and Caney City police departments, and also was a police officer for three years in Midlothian, which is located in Ellis County, just south of the DFW metroplex.
“My goal is to get the department back to a fair and respected department that gets the city cleaned up and safe and secure for all our residents,” said Simmons.



Posted by : admin | On : March 20, 2015

Trinidad city council
By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent

TRINIDAD–A flap over the future of the First Baptist Church of Trinidad found itself before the city council during the March 17 monthly meeting. Current church membership has dwindled to a handful, and services have not been held since November.

Tensions started during the public comments portion of the meeting, when Hugh Roberts and his wife, Charlotte, who live in Log Cabin, asked about city zoning regulations that might stand in the way of the couple converting the church to a faith-based, state-licensed children’s home under private control.

The idea of a Trinidad children’s home drew the ire of Kenneth Carter, who formerly served as Trinidad police chief and a Henderson County deputy. Carter said his experience with a children’s home came from the former St. Paul Industrial School, located in Caney City. Carter said such children’s homes “always mean trouble” and that he “worked day and night” dealing with those who lived there. “If it’s such a good place,” Carter said, “why don’t you put it in your back yard, and not mine?”

Other options discussed included conversion to a Hispanic outreach mission or to turn over leadership to another group that would continue church services. Joe D. Cooper of Key Ranch Estates, who said he has more than 40 years’ experience in the ministry, offered to keep the church going. Cooper also stated that he believed church bylaws and the deed he said was gifted in 1991 state that the property must remain a church.
Online records of the Henderson County Appraisal District for 2014 show a one-acre parcel of land with a 10,000 square-foot structure with a market value of $800,000, and an adjacent half-acre lot valued at nearly $4,000. Both properties are owned completely by First Baptist Church-Trinidad, according to the 2014 records.

Former FBC-Trinidad pastor Jim Lamb said there were four members of the church when he stepped down from the pulpit and handed control to Wayne Pitchford of Log Cabin. Lamb said the handoff was a handshake deal to turn the building into a Hispanic outreach mission. Since then, water and electric service has been discontinued, and rumors swirl that the building has had its locks changed. Those opposing the children’s home also stated that plans include tearing down the church sanctuary, which Pitchford denied.

Pitchford said there are now three members of the church, which is located at 302 Lawrence Street. While services haven’t been held since late last year, church members continue to hold monthly business meetings, Pitchford said. It was during those meetings that church members agreed that a children’s home would be a better option than the outreach mission.

Also in question is control of the church’s bank account. Lamb said the original deal called for more than $10,000 remaining in church coffers to be transferred to a Seven Points congregation. Pitchford said the account remains in First Baptist Church-Trinidad’s name at a Malakoff bank in that same amount.

Lamb and others fear that if a children’s home is established, the state of Texas will eventually end up in control of the church through the state Child Protective Services (CPS). Lamb and Cooper stated they opposed the intermingling of church and state.

Pitchford said he, too, opposes government control of the property, and that any children’s home would be governed by a nonprofit board of directors. Pitchford added that he has been threatened with two lawsuits since the controversy erupted.

Council member Roy Stanfield voiced support of the children’s home, pointing out it would increase enrollment in Trinidad schools. Mayor Larry Don Estes said while he had no vote on the issue, the controversy “wasn’t a (City of) Trinidad matter, but a lawyer matter.” The Trinidad City Council took no action on the First Baptist Church issue.

Also during March 17’s meeting, Utility Service Group offered the city a deal to rehabilitate and maintain the city’s two ground water storage tanks. Each of the first three years of the contract would cost the city about $57,000, which would pay for repairs. After the initial three-year contract, the agreement would revert to an annual one, costing Trinidad about $15,000 per year. The city’s elevated water storage tank was not factored into those figures, but could be if the city desired to do so, Almond said. Council members took no action on the matter.

In other business, the Trinidad City Council approved a $65,000 deal with AAA Sanitation to replace two manholes and approximately 600 feet of sewer line on McEntire Road (FM 764); voted to demolish a garage April 24 at 511 McEntire; eliminated parking along Oak and First streets; reduced the speed limit on Oak Street from 25 mph to 20 mph; accepted resignations of Bette Lehmann and Heather Burton from the Trinidad Economic Development Corp. board; and revised the city’s noise ordinance to prohibit trucks from using motor engine brakes within the city limits.

In addition, the Trinidad council voted to table a request by Trinidad ISD Superintendent Corey Jenkins to acquire fencing from the city-owned baseball field behind Dillon’s Park for school use.



Posted by : admin | On : December 30, 2014

By David Webb
The News Correspondent
TRINIDAD–Retired Judge Ron Chapman and his wife, Sally, attended President Obama’s Christmas party at the White House Dec. 11, something they “never dreamed about being able to do” in their lifetimes.
“It was amazing,” Sally Chapman said after the couple returned home. “It was so beautiful and elegant. It was so exciting. It was just overwhelming.”
The vision of the lighted Christmas decorations on the first and second floor of the White House continues to thrill her, she said. “It was over the moon,” she said.
She said the best part of the experience though was the “reward” it represented for her husband, a longtime Democratic Party member.
“I was just so happy for him,” she said. “He loved it too.”
The trip came about as a result of a friend of Ron Chapman arranging the invitation. The friend asked the former judge if he would like to receive a Christmas card from President Obama, and he of course replied, “Yes.”
Then he received an e-mail asking for his Social Security number, address and other pertinent personal information in preparation for them attending the Christmas party. The couple, of course, wondered if it might be some sort of Internet scam, rather than a legitimate inquiry from the White House.
“Ron said, ‘Well, if it is a scam, it’s the best one I’ve ever seen,’” his wife said. A call to the judge’s friend revealed it was legitimate.
They received the invitation to the Christmas party about a week prior to their trip to Washington, D.C., and they made reservations to spend five days in the nation’s capital to see all of the historic sights.
Upon their arrival at the White House in the afternoon, it took about an hour for them to get through security. There were about 750 guests in attendance so the Chapmans only got a glimpse of the President and the First Lady, who descended to the second floor from a back staircase to greet the crowd.
The entertainment included the Marine Band, the St. Louis Carolers and an array of food on a 50-foot-long buffet table that offered everything imaginable to eat. President Obama and the First Lady danced during the party.
The Chapmans and other guests were free to roam throughout the first and second floors of the White House. Each room had a Christmas tree designed as a ball gown and a Secret Service guard who answered questions.
“I walked into one room where everything was blue so I said, ‘This must be the Blue Room,’” she said. The Secret Service agent joked back, “You are very observative.”
The rest of the stay in Washington, D.C. proved to be just as thrilling of an experience, she said. They toured the Smithsonian and visited as many national landmarks as they could.
Now, they are back at home, recovering from a bout of the flu, but the memories of their visit to the White House are comforting them through the aches and pains.




Posted by : Press release | On : April 6, 2012

By Emily Lundy
Special to The News
In a week that began with warm weather, now we are seeing drastic changes around us that should bring rain and nothing else, we hope.

When Mary Ellen Lincecum Johnston was buried Saturday morning after complications from a serious stroke, we realized what an asset this 85-year old woman, a life-time resident, had been to our church and community. Married to the late Milburn Johnston, the couple had a daughter who lived only a few days. Then their son David, now middle-aged, lived. He was Mary Ellen’s only close relative. Of course, many attending the funeral service from here and from out of town were cousins

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Posted by : Staff Reports | On : March 23, 2012

By Emily Lundy
Special to The News
Remember, the Trinity Baptist Church meets this Saturday, March 24, at 8 a.m. for a Women’s Conference; all women invited. Cost is $15. Mail forms to Trinity Baptist Church; Attn: Maxine Tart; PO Box 505; Trinidad, Texas 75163. Checks paid to Trinity Baptist Church. There will be breakfast, hot lunch and door prices. Afternoon session begins at 1 p.m. Call 903-778-2832

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Posted by : Staff Reports | On : March 16, 2012

By Emily Lundy
Special to The News
We rejoiced with the rain last weekend. It is welcome to come again soon.

The Trinity Baptist Church will hold a Women’s Seminar or Work Study on Saturday, March 24, $12 before March 10, $15 after that date.
Mail your name to Trinity Baptist Church, Attn: Maxine Tart; PO Box 505; Trinidad, Texas 7163. Checks made to Trinity Baptist (on Highway 274).
Registration and breakfast begins at 8 a.m. with conference

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Posted by : Press release | On : March 8, 2012

By Emily Lundy
The News Staff
People are wondering. Will we have more cold weather? If not, will summer be worse than last year’s days of sweat, agony, tears, high electrical bills?

Someone has said those dreadful words about time. Day-light Savings Time may occur next Saturday night. I am not sure. I may not change a clock.
What this time change does to ordinary people past 70 is not pretty.

Mary Ellen Johnston of Trinidad has been home several

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Posted by : Staff Reports | On : February 17, 2012

By Emily Lundy
Special to The news
We’ve been enjoying more rain; it is always welcome, the wet stuff in any form. As a child, we always had a barrel to catch rain in as it fell. It seems this was used for washing hair, maybe with a vinegar/water rinse or lemon with water. Never did we wash our hair nightly.

Barbara Wier has left Trinidad, now in Denver for tests on her thyroid and surgery on her throat. I called her the day she left and she answered

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Posted by : Staff Reports | On : February 3, 2012

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) conducted its bi-annual realignment Thursday. Here’s where area schools landed:


Football (Div. I, District 7-2A): Malakoff, Eustace, Grand Saline, Kemp, Lone Oak, Quitman, Winnsboro.
Basketball (Div. I, District 13-2A): Malakoff, Dallas Faith Family, Dallas Life Oak Cliff, Eustace, Kemp, Palmer, Red Oak Life, Scurry-Rosser

Cross Roads

Football (Div. I, District 6-1A): Cross Roads, Cayuga, Dallas Gateway, Italy, Itasca, Kerens
Basketball (Div. I, District 18-1A): Cross Roads, Cayuga, Hubbard, Kerens, Wortham


Football (Div. I, District 16-6man): Trinidad, Calvert, Karnack, Milford
Basketball (Div II, District 23-1A): Trinidad, Campbell, Cumby Miller Grove, Fruitvale, Yantis



Posted by : Press release | On : January 27, 2012

By Emily Lundy
Special to The News
Let the rain come at any time.

Cleda Freeman, 77, a former high school teacher in Trinidad along with her husband Billy, has died in Arkansas. The Freemans left Trinidad approximately 30 or more years ago for the ministry. Billy became a pastor with Cleda working by his side. She was a passionate student of the Bible. Cleda is survived by her husband of 60 years and three children: Carrolyn Tucker

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