Posted by : admin | On : July 6, 2017

murder CMYK

The News Staff Reports
EAST TEXAS–A Henderson County man who was serving time for the fatal shooting of a Trinidad resident in 2009, was killed in a prison unit in Bowie County last week.
According to news reports, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is investigating the death of 29-year-old Pete Armando Ayala, of Trinidad, who was serving a 40-year sentence for murder with a deadly weapon for the death of 21-year-old Johnny Lee Brown, also of Trinidad.
TDCJ Public Information Officer Robert Hurst said in a statement to the Bowie County Citizens Tribune, prison officials discovered Ayala unresponsive in his cell on Sunday. They restrained Ayala’s cellmate, Justin Williams, 22, and removed him from the cell. Ayala was transported to a Texarkana hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Wednesday.
The TDCJ is investigating the case as a homicide.
Ayala had been in the Telford Unit since December of 2009, and was not eligible for parole until 2029. His sentence was to run until 2049.
Henderson County Sheriff’s Department reports said dispatch received a 9-1-1 call on Feb. 18, 2009, telling of a gunshot victim at a residence on Leagueline Road. HCSO investigators responded to the scene to assist the Trinidad Police Department with the case. Brown’s body was found in the master bedroom of the residence.
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department obtained an arrest warrant in connection with the fatal shooting. Ayala was arrested in Garland after he was seen at a McDonald’s restaurant.
Williams joined the unit in November, 2016 to serve a 50-year sentence for murder with a deadly weapon.



Posted by : admin | On : May 25, 2017

Trinidad BaseballCMYK

The News Staff Reports
BULLARD–The Trinidad Trojans’ season came to an end after dropping games two and three to Union Hill in the Class A Region III Quarterfinals May 18-19 at Hubbard High School.
After winning game one of the series 6-3, the Trojans lost games two and three by scores of 14-7 and 22-13. The Trojans end the season with a record of 10-12.
In game one, Nate Williams pitched a complete game, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out four and walking two.
The Trojans got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. After Williams reached on an error and moved to third on a passed ball, J. Ayala was hit by a pitch and stole second. Jayden Walden drove in Williams with a groundout and K. Eastman scored Ayala with a single to left. Union Hill got one of the runs back in the top of the second to make it 2-1.
The Trojans added to the lead with a run in the third after Jerry Bannister reached on an error and scored on an error after a Walden grounder. Trinidad scored twice in the fourth. With two outs, Tristian Fletcher reached on an error and moved to third on yet another Union Hill error. Bannister doubled to score Fletcher and Williams to extend the lead to 5-1.
Union Hill scored two runs in the fifth to make it 5-3, but the Trojans added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 6-3 final.
In game two, Union Hill took a quick 3-0 lead, but it didn’t last long as Trinidad came back with four runs in the top of the second. Union Hill regained the lead with a three-run third to go up 6-4 and broke it open with four runs in the fourth for a 10-5 lead. The Trojans got single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth but it wasn’t enough as Union Hill would add four more runs in the fifth and sixth innings to put the game away.
Ayala led the Trojans with two hits in three at-bats with a run scored and an RBI. Williams, Bannister, Walden, Eastman, Zach Stanfield and Snider each had a hit for the Trojans. Bannister drove in three runs in the game-two loss. The Trojans committed six errors in the game that led to eight unearned runs.
In game three, Walden led the offense by going 3-5 with three RBIs and a run scored. Williams, Bannister, Ayala and Jaden Garcia each had hits in the game.



Posted by : admin | On : May 4, 2017

The News Staff Reports
PFLUGERVILLE–Trinidad High School junior track athlete Erica Airheart will be competing at the UIL State Track and Field Meet after qualifying as the wild card in the triple jump at the regional meet April 28-29 in Pflugerville.
Airheart finished third at the regional meet, but having the next best non-advancing jump in the state qualifies her for the state meet, which will be held May 11-13 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.
Her jump of 36 feet, six inches was a personal best and just one and a half inches behind the second-place finisher. The jump was the not only the third best in the region, but in the state as well, as the top three at the state meet are from region four. Airheart will compete at 8 a.m. Friday, May 12.
Airheart also qualified for regionals in the high jump, where she had a seventh-place finish, with a height of four feet, eight inches.
Eryn Airheart finished 15th in the 800-meter run with a time of 3:17.09. the third regional qualifier for the Lady Trojans, Ashlee Stevenson, was 16th in the long jump with a distance of nine feet, eight and three quarter inches.



Posted by : admin | On : March 30, 2017


By Rollin Hadsell
The News Staff Writer
KEMP–Trinidad Trojan track athletes recently participated in the ’Jacket Relays at Yellowjacket Stadium in Kemp on March 24. Four athletes placed in five individual events at the meet that was comprised of larger Class 3A schools. Trinidad was the smallest school attending the meet.
In the boys’ division, Jerry Bannister placed fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.83. Seth Monroe finished sixth in the 3200-meter run with a time of 15.03.
On the girls side, Mystic McClintock placed third in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing with a time of 19.60. Erica Airheart finished tied for first in the high jump event with a jump of four feet- eight inches, tying with two other athletes. Airheart also placed second in the triple jump, finishing with a distance of 32 feet, nine inches. Airheart’s jump was almost five feet further than the third place jump.
The Trinidad varsity girls 4 x 100 M Relay team made up of Airheart, Ashlee Stevenson, Jade Shoulders and Uneka Grant finished sixth in the event with a time of 1:01.57.
The Trojans and Lady Trojans are getting set for their district meet, which will be April 13 in Teague.



Posted by : admin | On : March 23, 2017

By Rollin Hadsell
The News Sports Writer
MARTIN’S MILL– The Trinidad Trojans ran into a hot-hitting team in their 17-2 defeat at the hands of Martin’s Mill, March 21 at Mustang Sports Park. The Trojans were battered for 12 runs on 11 hits in the rough first inning.
After two groundouts in the top of the first inning, the Trojans got a man on when Colby Snider walked with two outs. The next hitter foulded out to the catcher to end the inning for Trinidad.
In the home half of the first inning, the first three batters for Martin’s Mill reached on base-hits. An error brought home the first run of the game. The five-hole hitter singled to drive in two more runs, putting runners at second and third. Two more singles brought home two more runs. The Mustangs used two triples, two singles and an error to score seven more runs, going up 12-0 after one inning of play.
In the top of the second inning, the Trojans again got a man aboard when Tristan Fletcher walked on five pitches. Jaden Garcia grounded into a fielder’s choice and the next two hitters struck out to end the inning.
Martin’s Mill added three more runs in the bottom of the second inning. The first batter was hit by a pitch and the next batter walked to put men at first and second. The third hitter in the inning laced a double to left field to drive in two runs. After an infield single, an error scored the third run of the inning for the Mustangs.
The Trojans settled down after the rough first inning, but by then it was too late to catch a team that was on fire offensively. The Trojans got back two of the runs in the top of the third inning. Kaleb Mines led off the inning when he was hit by a pitch. After a fielder’s choice by Nate Williams, Jerry Bannister knocked a single to center field with Williams was running on the play and Williams scored from first on the base hit. Bannister stole second base and Snider was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second with just one out. Bannister came around to score the Trojans’ second run of the game after a successful double steal by he and Snider caused an overthrow by the Martin’s Mill catcher, allowing Bannister to trot home with the run.
In the bottom of the third inning, Martin’s Mill scored two runs on a double and two singles.
Bannister went 1-2 with a run batted in, a run scored and two stolen bases. Snider reached base twice and had a stolen base. Jaden Garcia also had a steal in the game.
Snider pitched the first two innings for the Trojans. Williams came on in relief in the third inning.
The Trojans will be back in action at 6 p.m. Friday, March 31 when they travel to Kerens to battle the Bobcats in a District 20-2A battle.



Posted by : admin | On : February 2, 2017

Mikael Johnson
Special to The News
TYLER–A 35-year-old Trinidad, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for child pornography violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston Jan. 25 in a press release.
Mikael Johnson pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2016, to distributing child pornography and was sentenced to 140 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Ron Clark on Jan. 24, 2017.
According to information presented in court, on Dec. 14, 2015, Johnson knowingly sent another person child pornography by using the Internet, digital services that he owned and a social media application. Following an investigation, federal agents obtained and executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence on Jan. 7, 2016. More than 600 images and videos containing child pornography were located and seized during the search. Johnson was arrested on that day and a federal grand jury returned an indictment on Jan. 20, 2016 charging him with federal child exploitation violations.
This case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. [external link]
This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marisa Miller and U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division Trial Attorney Amy Larson.



Posted by : admin | On : November 17, 2016


By Rollin Hadsell
News Staff Writer
TRINIDAD–The Trinidad Lady Trojans finished up a great season by winning District 21-1A and advancing to the regional finals. After an 0-27 record just two seasons ago, and last year winning their first district game, the team fought through adversity all year long, to win the district.
Lady Trojan Head Volleyball Coach Tina Sawtelle was proud of the way her team came together this year. “We had a lot of adversity this year with health and personal problems but the girls really came together and showed perseverance, mental toughness and drive,” said Sawtelle. “I am beyond proud of these ladies and the improvements we continue to make each year.” She also is encouraged by the way the future looks for the young team. “We are excited as a program for what the next year has in store for us,” Coach Sawtelle said. “We are only graduating one, so we will have almost our entire team back for the next season. It is a very exciting time for Lady Trojan volleyball.”
The Lady Trojans parlayed their regional finals appearance into post season honors. Eight players were selected to the all-district team.
Lady Trojan junior Erica Airheart was selected as the District 21-1A Most Valuable Player. Junior Hallie Airheart received district MVP server, sophomore Tori Moody district MVP blocker and sophomore Hayley Ned received district MVP defensive specialist.
Junior Brianna Cagle was selected 1st team all-district. Sophomore Jazmyn Burden-Engle and sophomore Jaylinn Womack received all-district second team honors. Freshman Cassie Patch was all-district honorable mention.
Coach Sawtell was also selected as the District 21-1A Coach of the Year by her coaching peers.
Coach Sawtell said she and the girls will stick to the plan she had coming into Trinidad. “Building a successful program is what we have been striving to do since I became the volleyball coach and we will continue to grow and build throughout the years,” Sawtelle said. “It has been exciting and rewarding to see the change in this program over the last 4 years, and I am excited for the future of Lady Trojan Volleyball.”



Posted by : admin | On : November 9, 2016


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
TRINIDAD—One Trinidad family is celebrating a reunion with their Petty Officer First Class daughter, who was recently released from military service. Amber Shardee Ferguson returns after six years serving in the U.S. Navy where she achieved the rank of E-6 Petty Officer First Class in just four years.
Amber is the daughter of Mike Ferguson of Trinidad and Lisa Straubing of Tulsa, Okla. Her stepmother is Debbie Ferguson, who told The News “I am extremely proud of Amber and all she has accomplished. She is a beautiful person, inside and out.” Debbie Ferguson’s father Charles Leo Whatley was also a veteran.
She enlisted in October of 2010 after graduating high school in Siloam Springs, Ark and has been an exemplary sailor, achieving Sailor of the Month several times and Sailor of the Year in 2015. She served as a gun specialist aboard the USS Mobile Bay for most of her years in service.
Ferguson has four sisters, the older two of which have retired from service in the U.S. Marine Corp. Her sister Kimberly, a former Marine resides with husband Shawn Jaggers, also a former Marine, in Alabama. Her sister Megan, who along with husband Scott Robbins is retired from the U.S. Marine Corp lives in Georgia. Her younger two sisters are Jackie and Shelby.
Ferguson is now employed by Epsilon Systems as a Ship Supervisor in San Diego, Calif.



Posted by : admin | On : October 20, 2016

The News Staff Reports
HENDERSON COUNTY–Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 24 and runs through Friday, Nov. 4. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8.
The Presidential election is of course, top of mind for most. Running on the Republican ticket is Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence and the Democratic ticket is Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine. Also running are Libertarians Gary Johnson/William Weld and Green Party candidates Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka.
United States Representative, Dist. 5 comes down to Republican Jeb Hensarling and Libertarian Ken Ashby.
Railroad Commissioner candidates are Republican Wayne Christian, Democrat Grady Yarbrough, Libertarian Mark Miller and Green Party candidate Martina Salinas.
There are several Justices of the Supreme Court elections. In the running for Place 3, is Republican Debra Lehrmann, Democrat Mike Westergren, Libertarian Kathie Glass, and Green Party candidate Rodolfo Rivera Munoz. Place 5 candidates are Republican Paul Green, Democrat Dori Contreras Garza, Libertarian Tom Oxford and Green Party candidate Charles Waterbury. For Place 9, the candidates are Republican Eva Guzman, Democrat Savannah Robinson, Libertarian Don Fulton and Green Party candidate Jim Chisholm.
Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2 candidates are Republican Mary Lou Keel, Democrat Lawrence “Larry” Meyers, Libertarian Mark Ash and Green Party candidate Adam King Blackwell Reposa. Place 5 candidates are Republican Scott Walker, Democrat Betsy Johnson, Libertarian William Bryan Strange III and Green Party candidate Judith Sanders-Castro. Place 6 candidates are Republican Michael E. Keasler, Democrat Robert Burns and Libertarian Mark W. Bennett.
State Board of Education, District 9 candidates are Republican Keven M. Ellis, Democrat Amanda M. Rudolph and Libertarian Anastasia Wilford.
Malakoff ISD Board of Trustees candidates are Peggy Dewberry, Stephen Burkhalter, Duana Busch, Michael Kent Monroe and Jerry Spiva. Voters may choose up to three of the candidates.
Crossroads ISD Board of Trustee candidates are Shelly Robertson, Darren Himes, William “Russell” Giles, Jr., Dustin Cook, Kevin Hazelip and Shane Stanfield. Voters may choose three candidates
The City of Caney City has a bond election for $191,000 tax bonds for structing and equipping a fire station.
Also on the ballot for some voters in Precincts 1 and 4 is The Henderson County Emergency Services District 11 special election proposition to confirm the creation of the Henderson County Emergency Services District 11 and the levy by the District of a tax not to exceed the rate allowed by the Section 48-e of the Texas Constitution.
See page 3A for polling locations.



Posted by : admin | On : August 4, 2016

noah bush
malakoff flags
By Ryan Moulds
The News Sports Writer
HENDERSON COUNTY–The helmets and pads came out again as Texas high school football teams began two-a-days on August 1. Several local teams around the lake are gearing up for the first game of the season August 26.
The Malakoff Tigers enter the season with more hype than any other team in the area. They are picked to win district 9-3A and are ranked number four in the state. The eight-team district is picked to finish with Malakoff in first place followed by Teague, Groesbeck, West, Palestine Westwood, Elkhart, Whitney and Eustace.
Everything starts with the quarterback for Malakoff. Judd Miller had 3,199 total yards and 46 touchdowns a season ago as a sophomore. He returns as a junior with more experience and with two big targets to throw to in QT Barker and Tyler Russell.
Jamie Driskell’s defense will be led by Dan’Yal Littleton, a fierce defensive end who can get after the quarterback. Other standouts on defense are Larry Coker, Zee Bailey, Caleb Adams and Breashawn Williams.
Malakoff has an explosive offensive that has a chance to be even better than they were last year. They have a defense to match up with anyone and should be able to make a deep playoff run. The Tigers have a legitimate shot to hold up a championship trophy at AT&T Stadium at the end of the year.
Malakoff went 10-2 last season and was knocked out of the playoffs by three-time defending State Champion Cameron Yoe by one point. The Tigers finished second in district behind Teague, who beat Malakoff 28-7 in their rain-soaked match-up. Malakoff returns 13 starters and the varsity roster will be bolstered by a JV squad that went 8-2 last season.
“We have to take things one game at a time,” Driskell said. “Having all the pre-season hype is great, but the games are won on the field not on paper, and we have to show up ready to compete every week if we want to accomplish our goal.”
Driskell also said that he hopes for a rematch with Cameron Yoe in the playoffs this season. “The loss still stings,” he said. “I don’t know if it will ever fully go away but if we get another chance I think that things would go differently this time around.”
The Athens Hornets are in district 8-4A. Athens will be led by Head Coach Paul Essary who is in his eighth year at the helm.
The biggest hump that the Hornets will need to overcome is replacing running back Logan Fuller who had over 6,000 career rushing yards and signed to play at Tyler Junior College. Maalik Hall will split time at running back with Jaqualyon Bowman, and they will try to make up for Fuller’s absence.
Xavius Fulton will make the switch from receiver to quarterback. He will be tasked to replace Brandon Boyd. Athens is hoping to run the pistol on offense this season.
Defensively, linebacker Noah Bush might be the best player for the Hornets. He had 120 tackles last year as a junior and has already been getting attention from division one colleges. Between Bush, Hall, Zach Carson and Taylor Carson, Athens might have the best linebacker core in the district.
The Hornets will have the talent they need to compete on defense. In order to make it into the playoffs in a district with two state ranked teams, they must find what it takes to keep up on offense.
Last season, Athens went 8-4 and lost in the second round of the playoffs to Kennedale. The Hornets finished second in the district behind Kaufman.
“It’s an exciting time for Hornet Nation,” Essary said. “We are working on building a tradition of winning and anything short of the playoffs isn’t acceptable. We lost a lot on offense, but younger guys are going to step up and play hard for us. I think the sky is the limit for our team.”
Cross Roads
The Cross Roads Bobcats will be playing in district 10-2A this season. They are picked to finish last. The six-team district is picked to finish in the order of Big Sandy, Kerens, Gladewater Union Grove, Cayuga, Hawkins and Cross Roads.
The Bobcats are under new leadership this season. Former Skidmore-Tynan assistant coach Michael Gain takes over for a team that has not made the playoffs since 2003.
Despite history not being on their side, it may finally be time for optimism. Cross Roads won three games last season and only has one team on their schedule that finished last year with a winning record. Gain has been working hard with the team and thinks that they have what it takes to have success.
Taylor McKenzie will take over as quarterback for the Bobcats and Tyler Johnson is a proven work horse at the running back position. Johnson was injured halfway through the season last year and hopes to stay healthy to lead Cross Roads to more victories.
If everyone can stay healthy and the players buy what coach Gain is selling them, Cross Roads could sneak into the playoffs in a weak district.
The Bobcats went 3-7 last season and looked strong early on, but they went 0-5 in district play to end the year.
“We have the pieces in place to make the playoffs,” Gain said. “I like what we have on offense and defense, and we are all working hard every day to end the 13-year playoff drought. I want to make every day an adventure, and I want to get better while we have fun working.”
The Trinidad Trojans are picked to finish last in district 15-1A. The four-team district is picked to finish in the order of Milford, Mount Calm, Oakwood and Trinidad. The top two teams make the playoffs.
Trinidad hired a new coach after Scott Hayes announced that he was leaving to take a coaching job at Rice High School June 29. James Massarelli will step in and try to guide the Trojans back to the playoffs.
Massarelli will have one of the most exciting players in the district at his disposal in receiver Jerry Bannister. Colby Snider is a proven quarterback and will make the coaching transition easier.
Other players to watch include Johnny Ayala, Eli Arnold, Talon Sims and Ronald Marcus. The toughest task will be to replace Javonte Hornbuckle and his 18 total touchdowns. No one player will be able to pick up the slack by himself but, collectively, it’s possible.
The district is very top heavy and Trinidad is a very experienced team. The Trojans have the chance to compete and play spoiler. Trinidad finished with a 3-7 record last year and was 0-3 in district.
The high school football season starts on August 26. Malakoff will take on Bullard at home, Athens will be on the road at Mexia, Cross Roads will take on Frost and Trinidad will play Campbell.
The News will release its fall sports preview August 25. It will have information on all the local football, volleyball and cross country teams.