Bear Chase Marathon to celebrate tenth year in Groveton

By Chris Edwards

For the tenth year now, Groveton will be the site of an event that one of its organizers considers to have a “cult following” in the world of marathon running. 

The Davy Crockett Bear Chase Marathon, which begins bright and early at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 8 is a 26.2-mile total test of fitness that keeps participants coming back year-after-year. From runners who make the sport their life to novices and everyone in between, the event organizers promise that the Bear Chase is a way for participants to “get back to the roots of running.” Houston-based runner Paula Boone, along with her husband Steve, started the event in 2007. Paula Boone said initially the event was launched to help out with the Trinity County Chamber of Commerce, but proved quite popular. “The community has really gotten behind it, and that’s why we keep going back,” she said.

Aside from the outpouring of local support, the Bear Chase is also a great marathon for first-timers to cut their teeth on, Paula Boone said. However, from novices to veterans of hundreds of marathons, the Bear Chase boasts a varied base of runners. Participants come to Groveton from all over the country, and in the past the race has even hosted runners from the United Kingdom. The Boones, who also run the 3,700-member strong Fifty States Marathon Club, credit a great deal of what gives the event its appeal to the idyllic setting. “The small-town America feel is what people really like about it,” Paula Boone said.

A big part of the appeal for Paula Boone, personally, also has to do with the level of involvement that the city of Groveton offers to the event, as well as the camaraderie and opportunity of meeting new people. Prior to the race, on Friday night, a pasta dinner will take place for the runners and their families in the Groveton Elementary School cafeteria, free of charge. 

It lasts from 5 p.m. until 7. The dinner that has become a tradition during the race and something that Paula Boone considers one of the many highlights of the event. “The pasta party is always a lot of fun,” she said.

The marathon itself has different events, with each accommodating runners of varied levels of experience and age. The 26.2-mile main event is a cycle of twice around a 13.1-mile course, which features pavement and forest roads in and around the city. 

It will start at Groveton High School Athletic Field and proceed to the roads and streets, eventually returning to the starting point. 

Runners are also able to compete in a half-marathon, a 5K run or a Possum Walk event, which is one mile (four laps) around the track. All participants in the event will receive a medal and a stuffed bear. In keeping with the race tradition, Paula Boone noted that T-shirts for this year’s event will feature caricatures depicting 10 bears in hot pursuit of Davy Crockett. Boone said the number of bears increases with another year and race on the books. 

Each of the Boones have hundreds of marathon appearances to their credit, yet it’s the thirst for the camaraderie that keeps them participating, Paula said. “It’s also a great way to meet new people, to travel and see the world,” she said.

 The entry fees for participants range from $15 to $90. Registration can be done online (until April 6) by visiting Participants can also print their application to bring on Friday evening or before 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.

You can also call the Trinity County Chamber of Commerce office at 936-642-1715 for information or a registration form.


Trinity ISD Board of Trustees recognize students and staff

The Trinity I.S.D. Board of Trustees recognized a number of students and staff at their last meeting.

 The meeting began with recognition of students of the month, starting with Trinity Middle School (TMS) students Fidencio Ruiz and Peyton Robb.

 TMS Principal Brittaney Cassidy introduced the students, noting that it was difficult to choose only two students from the school.

 “I chose Peyton [Robb] to represent TMS this month because of her good character,” Cassidy said. “Not only is Peyton very involved in everything – she is just top of the line when it comes to character.”

 Robb, Cassidy said, is an eighth grader who enjoys sports, her friends, and fishing. Robb is involved in several sports at school, in addition playing the French horn and trumpet in the marching band.

 “I love coming to school and I appreciate everything that the school teaches, administrators and school board members, to make Trinity I.S.D. a great school,” Robb said.

 “I chose Fidencio [Ruiz] to represent TMS this month because of his good character as well,” Cassidy said. “He’s an honor roll student, he’s always prepared for class and has a smile on his face, and he’s just an all-around good kid – very friendly to everybody.”

Ruiz is a bilingual seventh grader who enjoys sports and building activities, and is an honor student who participates in the Beta Club and Choir. Ruiz is interested in attending Texas State University to become an engineer.

 Next the Board recognized the Superintendent’s Advisory Council, which Superintendent Dr. John Kaufman meets with three times per semester to have lunch and hear suggestions from the students concerning campus improvement.

 “These kids come up with some very great, great ideas,” Dr. Kaufman said.

 Some of the ideas incorporated over the past year per the council’s suggestions were: adding microwaves in the high school cafeteria for students to warm their lunches, and replacing the hand sanitation mixture in the fifth-grade wing with soap in restrooms. The Board is currently looking into one student’s suggestions to replace the sign at Lansberry Elementary.

 Students on the council were recognized for their work and given plaques and T-shirts to remember the experience. Students include: Peyton Leftwich, Laura Garcia, Lainey Jones, Jordan Barnes, Braxton Ratliff, and Kayla Kembro.

 Following the advisory council, employees of the month were recognized and given certificates and $25 each.

Amber Currie was recognized as professional of the month, Dot Paske was recognized as paraprofessional of the month, and Melissa Garcia was recognized as support staff of the month.

The Trinity I.S.D. Board of Trustees meets the fourth Monday of each month at 6 p.m. for their regular meetings in the Board Room of the Administration Building.

Trinity County schools represented at Capitol

Hundreds of school board members from across the country advocated on behalf of their county, local students and schools on Capitol Hill last month. Apple Springs ISD Board Trustee President Audrey Young, used the opportunity to discuss federal and state education issues with US Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), as well as US Representative Kevin Brady. She is currently sharing that information with local trustees and administrators to help improve the district’s operations and understanding of federal law.

Regionally selected Texas school board members traveled to Washington, DC January 29-31, for the National School Boards Association Advocacy Institute: New President. New Congress. New Challenges. At the conference, trustees learned about important federal education issues impacting Texas school districts, such as funding, school nutrition guidelines, career and technical education programs, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 

School trustees also heard about education initiatives being considered by senators from US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chair Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), and US Senate Committee on Appropriations Member Jon Tester (R-MT). The conference also featured remarks from US House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), and Committee Member Tim Walberg (R-MI). During the informational sessions available at the conference, Young discussed strategies, current trends, research, and best practices that are positively impacting the educational outcomes of academically and economically disadvantaged students in traditional K-12 public settings with board members across the Nation. See more at: Additionally, Young directly targeted the negative impact of the school voucher/scholarship system on small and rural school districts like those in Trinity County and challenged Senator Cruz with providing a level playing field for ALL schools to function under, including accountability standards and funding programs. 

Trinity Boys & Girls Club thanks McMichael

At the monthly board meeting of the Boys & Girls Club of Trinity on February 21 Julia McMichael of Trinity was presented with a framed thank you letter for her outstanding work organizing the Valentine’s Day Party Fundraiser at the Trinity Community Center on February 14.  The letter said, in part “…you and the great team you pulled together to make this event happen are to be congratulated for a great job well done!  The beautiful room decorations, generous prize baskets and great auction items were all a big hit with the attending crowd…not to mention the delicious meal, silent auction dessert pies and top-notch service from the Trinity ISD youth.” The letter was signed for the club board of directors by board president Rich Chamberlin who also thanked all of the event volunteers, sponsors and donors.


VFW Post celebrates 30th anniversary, recognizes veterans

Members of VFW Post 6899, Auxiliary and distinguished guest celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Post on Saturday, Feb. 18 at their Post Home on Caroline Street in Trinity, Texas. VFW Post 6899 was chartered on February 13, 1987 to serve and honor all veterans, their spouses and children in Trinity County. Charter members and World War II veterans were recognized. 

Charter members and World War II veterans recognized at the event include Pearly Emmons, Lenora Ainsworth, Charles Ainsworth, D.R. Emmons, Olin Holt, Arthur Arnold, Peggy Darington, Archie Arnold.

Pearly Emmons is a Charter member of the local Auxiliary, Charles Ainsworth and D.R. Emmons are Charter members of VFW Post 6899, and Arthur and Archie Arnold are WWII Navy veterans who served on the battleship USS Tennessee BB-43 from 1942 – 1945. Arthur was a Gunner’s Mate 2nd class and his battle station was on the 5” 38 guns, and Archie was a seaman 3rd class and his battle station was in the powder room on the 14” guns. The battleship USS Tennessee was involved in fourteen major battles in the South Pacific. During the battle for Iwo Jima their 14” guns struck the slopes of Mount Suribachi and in the Battle for Okinawa they were hit by kamikazes (suicide planes). Olin Holt was a sergeant in the USAF in 1946 servicing with the occupation forces in Japan and Philippines, and Master Sergeant Charles Ainsworth, USAF (Ret) served in the Merchant Marines during WWII.

Other special guests were Texas VFW Department Junior Vice-commander Inge Conley and her husband, Commander VFW District 19 Dick Shawver, President VFW District 19 Auxiliary Brenda Foltz and Neal Smith. Master of Ceremonies was Bob “Gunner” Smith, CWO4, USMC (Ret).