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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observed Monday

Martin Luther King Jr. Day observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.

King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

The idea of Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday was promoted by labor unions in contract negotiations. After King's death, U.S. Representative John Conyers (a Democrat from Michigan) and U.S. Senator Edward Brooke (a Republican from Massachusetts) introduced a bill in Congress to make King's birthday a national holiday. The bill first came to a vote in the U.S. House of

Representatives in 1979. However, it fell five votes short of the number needed for passage. Two of the main arguments mentioned by opponents were that a paid holiday for federal employees would be too expensive, and that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office). Only two other figures have national holidays in the U.S. honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus.

Soon after, the King Center turned to support from the corporate community and the general public. The success of this strategy was cemented when musician Stevie Wonder released the single "Happy Birthday" to popularize the campaign in 1980 and hosted the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. Six million signatures were collected for a petition to Congress to pass the law, termed by a 2006 article in The Nation as "the largest petition in favor of an issue in U.S. history."

The bill also established the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission to oversee observance of the holiday, and Coretta Scott King, King's wife, was made a member of this commission for life by President George H. W. Bush in May 1989.

Senators Jesse Helms and John Porter East (both North Carolina Republicans) led opposition to the holiday and questioned whether King was important enough to receive such an honor. Helms criticized King's opposition to the Vietnam War and accused him of espousing "action-oriented Marxism". Helms led a filibuster against the bill and on October 3, 1983, submitted a 300-page document to the Senate alleging that King had associations with communists. New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan declared the document a "packet of filth", threw it on the Senate floor and stomped on it.

Groveton High students perform at Citrus Bowl Halftime show

Two local teenagers took their cheer/pom talents to a national stage New Year's Eve. Kaitlyn Allen, a Junior and Eden Dillard, a Sophomore at Groveton High School were two of a select group of cheer/pom performers who performed with country music star Cole Swindell at the halftime show of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida on December 31.

Eden Dillard (left) and Kaitlyn Allen prepare to perform for a national crowd.Eden Dillard (left) and Kaitlyn Allen prepare to perform for a national crowd.The All American Halftime Show cast auditions took place during cheer camp, they were chosen to try out for the performance. Only the best performers in the nation between 12 and 21 years of age qualify for this opportunity. They were sent a DVD to work with and practiced every day until leaving for Orlando. The first day was spent at Magic Kingdom and the second at Universal Studios. That evening the girls had their first two and a half hour practice. The next day was a large eight hour group practice in the outdoors. The third day the girls were up at 5 a.m. to get ready for the big performance.

The two girls danced with performers from across the United States. The girls performed while Cole Swindell sung a mix of his two No. 1 singles, "Chillin' It" and "Let Me See Ya Girl," off of his self-titled platinum-certified debut album. The All American Halftime Show – America's BEST Halftime Show was produced by ESP productions and is based out of Orlando, Florida. The All American Halftime cast members were fortunate to work closely with some of the nation's top field show choreographers and entertainment production technicians to create their bowl game performance memory of a lifetime.

In addition to the esteemed performance professionals, the bowl week production instructional team is supplemented with carefully selected staff members representing leading student training programs from across the country. The nationally renowned All American Halftime Show choreographers and directors specialize in large-scale visual productions while the caring instructional staff provided personal attention to talented All American cast members.

Kaitlyn is the daughter of Wesley and Trisha Allen and Eden is the daughter of Jim and Erica Dillard. Their cheer sponsor is Mary Lankford.

Commissioners hear presentation on body cams from Sheriff

From left to right: Pct. 1 Constable Tommy Park, Pct. 4 Constable Reggie Olive, District Attorney Bennie Schiro, Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace, Pct. 2 Constable Mark Cole, and Pct. 3 Constable Carl Casey were sworn-in to their respective offices on Tuesday, January 3.From left to right: Pct. 1 Constable Tommy Park, Pct. 4 Constable Reggie Olive, District Attorney Bennie Schiro, Trinity County Sheriff Woody Wallace, Pct. 2 Constable Mark Cole, and Pct. 3 Constable Carl Casey were sworn-in to their respective offices on Tuesday, January 3.

By Chris Edwards

A nascent technology, which Sheriff Woody Wallace referred to as a "new craze", might be coming to Trinity County soon.

Body cams, which are high-quality video-capture devices worn on the body by law enforcement personnel, might be required gear for LEOs in the near future, according to Sheriff Wallace; a possible future requirement for agencies to secure state funding.
Sheriff Wallace and Susie Hammond were on hand during Monday morning's meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners' Court to ask for approval for the application of an e-grant for the body cams. Sheriff Wallace said that if the grant is approved and the cameras are purchased, they will be provided to the Sheriff's Department and the four county constables.

Hammond, who is working with the sheriff to research and secure the grant funds, answered some questions about the method of data storage and maintenance for the equipment. She said that after being purchased and set up, the cameras would have enough storage capacity for three years worth of footage. She said that the grant that TCSO is looking to apply for is a matched funding grant, with a 20% match to the county, which would come to a total of $7,500. Hammond drew from her previous experience in securing a similar grant for Houston County to explain how the grant works.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Grover "Tiger" Worsham asked questions about technical issues with the cameras, and said that the topic was something that previously had been addressed at the state level, but had yet to become a requirement for law enforcement agencies. Sheriff Wallace said that although he wasn't the biggest fan of body cams, he has seen instances where they could be of help. They are especially helpful, as Precinct 2 Commissioner Rich Chamberlin noted, for maintaining transparency among departments.

The grant application was approved by the court by way of a motion from Commissioner Worsham and a second by Commissioner Smith.

In other items of business on the agenda:
•Commissioners voted to restore the funds to the office of new Precinct 1 Constable Tommy Park. Park, who was elected to the office in the last election, replaced Rusty Barrett. The monies for that office's budget had been redacted due to inactivity.
•Susanne Waller of the Trinity County Historical Commission spoke to the court about the appointment of officers and members for TCHC's 2017-18 term. The appointments were approved by the commissioners. Waller also spoke about a few historical markers that TCHC is working on securing for sites such as the site of a CCC camp near Trinity, the Glendale Congregational Methodist Church, and the boyhood home in Trinity of the late, long-serving congressman Charlie Wilson.
•The approval of a service provider agreement between the Centerville Water Supply Corporation and Trinity County. Documents outlining each party's responsibilities in a 2017-18 Texas Community Development Block Grant program grant were given to commissioners for review. The grand funds, which can be secured for up to $275,000 would be used to construct water system improvements, if awarded. The designation of Trinity County Judge Doug Page as authorized signatory for the grant process was also approved.
•A public hearing was scheduled for February 27 to extend the Texas Transportation Code laws to all roads within the Westwood Shores subdivision.
•A public hearing for February 13 was scheduled to determine a reasonable maximum speed for vehicles traveling Martin Thompson Road and Evans Road. Commissioner Smith noted that complaints had recently arisen about 18-wheeler traffic along the roads, due to recent drilling activity.
•Commissioners also approved bonds of $5,000 apiece for Commissioners Worsham and Smith, who were recently sworn-in to begin their newly elected terms.

2016: a look back at the year as it was in local headlines

Compiled by Marlena Stubblefield

With the blackeyed peas, cabbage and cornbread all gone and the last bottle of champagne consumed, 2017 is of cially here, like it or not. It was a year that brought changes to the area, some of which hold the potential for great progress, locally. There was also tragedy, as well as joy to be found in local headlines. With all the moving and shaking going on, here are is a look back at the last year in headlines from the Groveton News.

January 7, 2016-Worsham announces re-election bid for Precinct 1
Commissioner; Sentiments from the Alford Family to Groveton High
theater dept.; Trinity County officials weigh in on new Open Carry
law.

January 14, 2016-Commissioners discuss open carry law in court;
Thomas to be honored with golden football; "Battle of Blackjack Grove"
promises to bring county's colorful history to life.

January 21, 2016-Legendary gospel group featuring Groveton native
to perform; Morris announces candidacy for Sheriff; VFW Post 6899
accepting applications for Trinity County scholarship.

January 28, 2016-Sheriff Woody Wallace announces candidacy for
re-election; Womack seeks county Republican chair position; Candidates
announce bids for Trinity County offices.

February 4, 2016-Groveton alum Johnson signs lucrative NFL
contract; Racial profiling report, audit presented to Council; Trinity
County Patriots host local candidate forum; Commissioners further
discuss open carry law; Battle of Blackjack Grove getting close.

February 11, 2016-Groveton Band members earn accolades at UIL
contest; Battle of Blackjack Grove Civil War re-enactment this
weekend; Academy teaches attendees to restore longleaf pine.
February 18, 2016-"Battle of Blackjack Grove" brings education,
entertainment; County implements policy banning weapons in courthouse,
court offices; Texans saving lives, reuniting families; Amber Alert
system started in Texas.

February 25, 2016-Chuck Wagon Gang entertains, uplifts at Groveton
FBC; Manhunt continues for assault suspect Singleton; FEMA Grant
awarded for flood damages in Pct.1; Horse Judging team excels at San
Antonio Rodeo.

March 3, 2016-Election results in for Trinity County races;
Holcombe resigns from GISD Board; contracts extended; Trinity County
Fair & Youth Livestock Show almost here.

March 10, 2016-Groveton Junior High, High School recognizes;
Service project to aide animal shelter; MS Support group meeting
scheduled Mar. 15; Softball girls in action at tournament.

March 17, 2016-Legendary Indians football coach Don Hill dies;
Trinity county Fair and Youth Livestock Show time here again; Former
Groveton Mayor Paul Snyder dies at 83.

March 24, 2016-Brady speaks in Groveton at Republican Women
meeting; Friends colleagues pay tribute to Coach Don Hill; Trinity
Memorial Hospital enters into agreement with Huntsville Memorial.

March 31, 2016-GISD Board discusses personnel matters; considers
replacement for Coach Brown; Recent county fair a "great success"; Two
GHS Indian baseball athletes achieve high honor; Local historian
completes WWII book.

April 7, 2016-City Council hears updates on projects; Child Abuse
Prevention Month recognized in Trinity County; County Commissioners
receive updates.

April 14, 2016-Lions club Annual Golf Tournament scheduled for

April 30; Bear Chase Marathon helps participants return to "roots of
running"; SHSU to premier opera "The Sacrifice of Berenice" for first
time in 300 years.

April 21, 2016-"Steak & Stomp" fundraiser nets nearly $80k for
Kalin's Center; Annual Davy Crockett Bear Chase Marathon this Saturday
in Groveton; Centerville ISD now offering Pre-K class.

April 28, 2016-Commissioners discuss technological upgrades; TxDOT
urges motorists to pay extra attention in work zones; Woodland Heights
Med. Ctr. announces NICU transport..

May 5, 2016-Relay For Life to take place on Friday; Builders'
association to host code training classes; Kindergarten, Pre-K
registration scheduled; "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive works to end
hunger.

May 12, 2016-High-speed chase begins in Lufkin, ends wth crash at
courthouse; Trinity County residents participate in Relay for Life to
help end cancer; Groveton FBC to host VBS June 6-10; Kindergarten,
Pre-K registration scheduled.

May 19, 2016-Manhunt, brief standoff end in suspect's arrest;
Trinity County Republican Women honored at convention; Gospel School
summer camp July 4-15; Groveton FBC to host VBS June 6-10; 2016 senior
J'Terian Washington advances to UIL State Track and Field Competition.
J'Terian placed 6th with a throw of 37 feet 7 inches.

May 26, 2016-Longtime GISD Board secretary Holcombe steps down; Apple
Springs VFD members take part in training course; Ex-Student News:
1966 Tomahawk annual shows a time of changes.

June 2, 2016-Commissioners hear land-leasing proposal; Council
members sworn in; updates on projects given; Four Groveton grads
awarded prestigious Smith-Hutson Scholarships.

June 9, 2016-Hats off to Groveton High School Class of 2016; Love
knows no bounds for Katy family hosting exchange students.

June 16, 2016-Commissioners approve disaster declaration, nuisance
abatement; TxDOT 'Plan while you can' campaign urges drivers to plan
for sober rides; Groveton Volunteer Fire Department receives check.

June 23, 2016-Groveton Indians selected to Blue-Grey All American
Super Combine event; Womack sworn in as county GOP chair; T-Ball
Allstars win district Allstar title; Practice sun safety for a
healthy, fun summer.

June 30, 2016-VFW awards several scholarships to Trinity County
students; Young meets with statewide school officials; Groveton's
annual Fourth of July celebration to feature fireworks, games; DETCOG
Board Selects Lonnie Hunt to be new Executive Director; Groveton
Ex-Student News-A look back at the year 1976 through the Tomahawk.

Local candidates unopposed in election

GROVETON – In what has to be one of the most contentious election cycles on the national front, things were relatively sedate at the county level, with all of the local candidates running uncontested races in the general election.

A total number of 5,985 Trinity County voters came to cast their ballots for candidates and policies up for a vote, for local, statewide, and federal elections on Tuesday.

Candidates up for re-election to county positions ran unopposed in the general election this year. Those candidates include Precinct 1 Commissioner Grover "Tiger" Worsham; Precinct 3 Commissioner Neal Smith; Precinct 1 Constable Tommy Park; District Attorney Bennie L. Schiro; County Attorney Joe W. Bell II; Sheriff Woody Wallace; Tax Assessor-Collector Lindy Madden Warren, and Precinct 4 Constable Reggie Olive.

Both the state and federal representatives for the area, Trent Ashby and Kevin Brady, respectively, went unopposed in the election.

District Judge Kaycee L. Jones faced a write-in candidate in John Wells. Jones easily defeated her write-in opponent with 4,488 votes to Wells's 212.

The number of voters who turned out to the polling places in Trinity County for early voting (also including tabulations for absentee ballots) totaled 3,627, a large number that mirrored the state and national trends of large numbers for early voters.

Together, the number of early voters and those who came out to the polls on Tuesday was represented 51.68% of the total registered voters in Trinity County.

Overall, record numbers of voters were recorded at Trinity County polls, according to Elections Coordinator Priscilla Rasbeary.