News

Wed
01
Jul

City’s sales tax collections continue to rise

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
The city of Mexia’s sales tax rebates for May rose 4 percent compared to last year, and totals in all but one of the other four taxing entities in Limestone County were also up for the month.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said state sales tax revenue in May was $2.6 billion, up 5.2 percent compared to May 2014.
“This marks the 62nd consecutive month of growth in sales tax collections,” Hegar said. “Sales tax revenue growth was relatively strong, spurred by consumer spending at retail stores and restaurants. Remittances from the construction, wholesale trade and services sectors were also up significantly. Collections from the oil and gas mining sector declined, as was expected, due to the slowdown in drilling.”

To read more on this story, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Mexia News, or subscribe to our online edition.

Wed
01
Jul

County OKs overtime for seasonal workers despite ACA worries

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners were cautioned at their June 22 meeting by County Treasurer Carol Pickett about allowing Road and Bridge Department seasonal workers to work overtime hours, but the court decided to allow it anyway.
Pickett’s concern was that the county might run afoul of new requirements for employers by the Affordable Care Act.
County Engineer Ted Kantor hires seasonal workers every summer to help his regular Road and Bridge Department employees mow the grass along county roads, repair and maintain ditches, and do other tasks.
Earlier this year, Kantor told the court about his efforts to make sure the titles of the seasonal positions and the description of the job duties were in line with new restrictions of the Act.
At the June 22 meeting, Kantor said Pickett had a different concern.

Wed
01
Jul

I believe I can fly


Mexia News photo/Stephen R. Farris

This sheep was jumpin’ for joy after the rider decided not to get on during the mutton bustin’ event at the 85th Annual Mexia Area Chamber of Commerce Rodeo. For more photos from this year’s rodeo, pick up a copy of Thursday's Mexia News.

Mon
29
Jun

Independence Day festival promises all-day fun


Mexia’s Boomin’ on the Fourth – the city’s Independence Day celebration – draws hundreds of people to the city park for a variety of fun events, like Pets on Parade, where pet-owners like these in last year’s event, can show off their beloved animals. This year’s Boomin’ on the Fourth is this Saturday, July 4. Events are scheduled all day and evening, including food and craft booths, music, contests, all-star baseball games, a live concert 6-10 p.m. and a fireworks show about 9 p.m. Mexia News file photo

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Revelers will have to start early July 4 to catch all the fun scheduled for Mexia’s annual Boomin’ on the Fourth celebration of Independence Day. Late-risers, however, can easily get up to speed since various events are staggered throughout the day and evening.
This will be the 35th annual Mexia Boomin’ on the Fourth, July 4th festival, said event organizer Linda Archibald, president of the Mexia Area Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a fun time for families to gather – that’s what July Fourth is about – celebrating our freedom as United States citizens,” Archibald said. “It’s just a time for fun, food, baseball and a celebration of our country.”
Most activities are centered around the city park, with the Firecracker 5K Run/1 Mile Walk beginning the day. Runners and walkers want to beat the heat, so registration begins at 7 a.m.

Mon
29
Jun

Sheriff: LCSO pay is falling behind

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson warned county commissioners that the county is falling behind in its pay scale at the Sheriff’s Office compared to other law enforcement agencies and risks being unable to maintain quality personnel.
Wilson’s comments came after he got some resistance from the court to an increase in pay he requested for two deputies he had promoted to corporal.
The initial request was presented by Jail Administrator Capt. David Turrubiarte.
“We promoted two deputies to corporal, so this would bump their salary up by 50 cents an hour,” said Turrubiarte. “It’s within our budget and it’s not going to make us go over our budget.”
County Judge Daniel Burkeen noted that the change would increase the budget lines.

To read more on this story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The Mexia News, or subscribe to our online edition.

Mon
29
Jun

Limestone County Clerk’s office ready to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Same-sex couples will be issued marriage licenses in Limestone County after Friday’s historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court requiring states to allow such marriages.
But so far, there hasn’t been a stampede at the courthouse door to obtain marriage licenses.
Limestone County Clerk Peggy Beck said so far, no license requests have been sought by same-sex couples. She said her office issues an average of no more than 10 marriage licenses a month.
Ahead of Friday’s ruling, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton urged county clerks not to give out licenses without the approval of the state. Despite Paxton’s request, clerks in high-population counties, including Travis, Harris, Tarrant, Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Hidalgo and Midland counties, began issuing licenses to waiting couples that very day.

Wed
24
Jun

Lewis gains hit in coach's all-star game

Mexia News Staff Report

Former Blackcats baseball player Blake Lewis picked up the only hit for the North team in their 8-0 loss to the South Tuesday night, at the Central Texas Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game at Baylor Ballpark in Waco.
Lewis' single to center in the second inning kept the combination of five South pitchers from no-hitting the North team in the game.
Lewis will be playing for SAGU (Southwestern Assemblies of God University) next season in Waxahachie.
During his senior season with the Mexia Blackcats, he hit .372 with four homeruns and was 3-0 on the mound with one save.
The game was originally set for June 16, but incliment weather rolled in that afternoon and forced it to be moved to June 23.
Groesbeck's Jaime Rocha - also from District 18-4A as Lewis - played in the game Tuesday night for the North team.

Wed
24
Jun

Fan-tastic idea!


Mexia News photos/Roxanne McKnight

Eva Price, left, with The Manor Healthcare Residence, and Brooke Anderson, with Providence Hospice, examine some of the fans they received at a fan drive Monday, June 22, in front of Mexia Pest Control on Milam, in Mexia. The two organizations collected new fans donated by the public that would later be given to Limestone County senior citizen centers to give to elderly and homebound residents without air conditioning. Both organizations are still accepting fan donations.

Wed
24
Jun

County Fairgrounds still lacking stalls for bigger events

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
The county is still talking about adding more stalls at the county fairgrounds, but because it hasn’t, it is losing income opportunities and may risk losing at least one of its larger events.
Fairgrounds Manager Kenneth Ellis told the court at its June 8 meeting that in May, the fairgrounds had the highest-grossing income month in its history, due in part to one event, he said, in which the facility was far short of the number of stalls needed.
According to personnel in County Judge Daniel Burkeen’s office, the facility took in $6,775 gross in May.

Wed
24
Jun

History professor speaks on emancipation’s realities


Dr. Carey H. Latimore, associate professor of history at San Antonio’s Trinity University, addresses those assembled for a chautauqua on emancipation in Texas and Limestone County at the Confederate Reunion Grounds, held Saturday, June 13. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
The freeing of the last of the slaves in the United States is celebrated in the Juneteenth holiday, but the realization of freedom by those slaves was more gradual than often thought. So says associate professor of history Dr. Carey H. Latimore, of Trinity University, in San Antonio. Latimore recently spoke at a chautauqua – an outdoor educational assembly – at the Confederate Reunion Grounds on Emancipation in Texas and Limestone County.
Latimore also talked about why June 19 may be the key date among others, why there was such a lag between the date the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and when it became a reality in Texas, and how Juneteenth is related to the Fourth of July.

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