News

Wed
15
Jul

19th of June group factions battle for control

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Turmoil is rocking the 19th of June Organization, which owns Booker T. Washington Park at Comanche Crossing on Lake Mexia and has organized Juneteenth celebrations there for more than 100 years.
The Mexia News was inadvertently drawn into the conflict when an ad was placed in the Saturday, July 11 edition, congratulating William “Pete” Kirvin for being elected the new president of the organization. The ad was placed by Jackie Gee of Mexia, who did not return a call requesting comment.
That advertisement drew immediate and multiple objections from at least a dozen people who attended the July 3 meeting during which an election was held. The organization elects new officers every two years, as proscribed in its bylaws, which were drafted in 1910.
The ad stated Kirvin received 39 votes out of 59 eligible voting members, defeating Dana Busby and Renee Turner for the position of president.

Mon
13
Jul

Close call


Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

A state trooper and emergency responders look over the remains of a 2015 Jeep SUV that rolled through a fence and into a pasture off FM 39, about two miles south of CR 425, shortly after 10 p.m. Friday night. The driver is believed to have been trying to avoid a deer when her vehicle left the roadway. The ditch at the site is filled with deep sand and she was unable to regain control of the Jeep. The SUV ended up resting on the driver’s side. The driver and a male passenger, both of Streetman, were not wearing seatbelts, and the male passenger was ejected. A 4-year-old, who was using a child safety seat, and the driver were taken to Parkview Regional Hospital by Mexia EMS; the man, who was cited for open container, was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco by Air Evac helicopter ambulance.

Mon
13
Jul

City of Mexia sales tax revenues up over 2014 figures

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Texas saw a the first drop in sales tax revenue in more than five years in June, but the city of Mexia’s sales tax rebates for June rose nearly six percent compared to last year. Totals in all but one of the other four taxing entities in Limestone County were also up for the month.
State sales tax revenue in June was $2.2 billion, down 1.4 percent compared to June 2014. This marks the first decline in state sales tax revenue following 62 consecutive months of growth.
“This slight decline was expected due to the slowdown in the oil and gas mining sector, and is in line with the biennial revenue estimate presented in January,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “Receipts from the construction, information, restaurant and services sectors continued to grow, however, which is a testament to Texas’ diverse and dynamic economy.”

Mon
13
Jul

Sheriff, deputies note changes in law enforcement


Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson has a light moment in an early morning meeting with his top officers. Wilson says he has seen significant changes in technology in his 40 years in law enforcement. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson has noted many changes during his 40 years in law enforcement, and he’s also seen the difficulty of the job increase in light of increased levels of hostility toward all peace officers.
Wilson, who has been sheriff of Limestone County about 14 years, recently gave the Mexia Lions Club an update on law enforcement in the county,
“Right now is not a very popular time to be a police officer,” he told the Lions. “All you’ve got to do is turn on the news and find out the hatred that’s going on in our nation toward our police. But let me tell you something: We’re the last line of defense between you and the bad guys. And if we don’t get the citizens of our state, our county, of our nation to stand up for our police officers, we’re in sad shape. It is becoming alarming for me and my personnel, knowing the violence we face every day.”

Fri
10
Jul

…And into the fire


Mexia News photo by Roxanne McKnight

Vanessa Salazar prepares to let go of a cast-iron skillet in the Women’s Skillet Toss while other participants watch to see if Salazar can match the distance they were able to throw the same heavy kitchen pan.

Fri
10
Jul

New provider will cut county’s electric bill

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County may get a break on its electricity prices through finding a more competitive bid than its current provider. Commissioners addressed this and other financial matters at their June 22 meeting, including the sale of a tax-foreclosed property in Groesbeck and several surplus county vehicles, and paying bills for the Limestone County Detention Center, the county-owned private prison that is currently closed.
Commissioners approved changing electricity providers for the county from Hudson Energy to TXU Energy after the current contract with Hudson expires.
There are still about two years remaining on the Hudson contract, County Judge Daniel Burkeen told the court. He said a three-year contract with TXU would save the county about $66,000 over the term of the contract.

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

Fri
10
Jul

Greatest generation


Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

World War II veteran and runner Ernie Andrus, at center, is joined by well-wishers as he descends the overpass on the west side of Mexia Thursday morning, July 9. Walking with Andrus, l-r, are Martha Alvarado with her son Angel Alvarado Jr., 3 months, and Lisa C. Tweedle at left, and MaryFaye Grimes, of Austin’s veterans support group Team Red, White and Blue, at right. Driving behind the walkers are supporter Sergio Grimes and a Mexia Police Officer, escorting the group. Andrus is making a trek across the United States to raise money for the LST 325, a ship like one on which he served in World War II, that has been restored and is displayed at different places around the country. Andrus began his journey in October 2013 in San Diego, and plans to reach Brunswick, Ga., on the east coast in the summer of 2016.

Fri
10
Jul

Pay raise issue back on commissioners’ agenda

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Pay raises will be sought for some staff in the Sheriff’s Office and Road and Bridge Department when Limestone County commissioners meet Monday morning.
At the court’s last meeting , Sheriff Dennis Wilson and members of the court had an extensive conversation on the topic, because he promoted several people and wants to give them the higher pay that goes with those positions. The court and county auditor told Wilson that “salary adjustments” are usually only made at the beginning of a new fiscal year. The agenda item for Monday’s court meeting appears unrelated to the previous salary adjustments, but details were not available at press time.
Other matters concerning the Road and Bridge Department that the court will consider Monday involve the purchase of a fuel/service truck and paying invoices from STV Communication on behalf of Road and Bridge.

Wed
08
Jul

THC explains Confederate flag removals


A Confederate battle flag flies above Old Val Verde, the Civil War cannon on display at Mexia’s Confederate Reunion Grounds, in this 2013 file photo. The Texas Historical Commission has removed that flag and three others until an interpretive panel can be created and installed to explain their symbolism. Shown with the cannon is Dixie Hoover, site manager of the Confederate Reunion Grounds.

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
The Texas Historical Commission wants you to know the flags at Confederate Reunion Grounds will be back.
On June 30, the THC removed four flags that were flying by the park’s Old Val Verde cannon. The 76-acre state historic site, located on the Navasota River, was the location for reunions of Confederate Civil War from 1889 to 1946, and currently hosts living history events and family reunions, while featuring an 1893 dance pavilion, the Civil War-era Old Val Verde cannon, and ruins of structures from the Roaring ‘20s and Mexia Oil Boom.
“We removed a total of four flags,” said THC Communications Director Chris Florance. “There was a 31-star version of the American flag and three versions of the Confederate flag.”
The move came in the wake of a racially motivated church shooting event in Charleston, S.C., in which a white teenager shot dead nine people in a historically African-American church.

Mon
06
Jul

Helping people face the end of life: Valerie Henson on hospice


Valerie Henson, right, patient care manager at Providence Hospice, in Mexia, and Robilyn Reed, volunteer coordinator for the organization, share a light moment at their office recently. Henson said the help provided by volunteers is invaluable in helping patients on hospice care. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Valerie Henson thought when she was younger that she could never become a nurse – after all, she was scared of needles. Something her mother told her rang true, however, and helped young Valerie move forward to fulfill her dream.
“You’re not the one getting stuck,” her mother reminded her, “it’s everybody else.”
“And I went with it,” Henson said. She recently spoke to the Mexia Lions Club on hospice and especially her career.
Valerie graduated from Goose Creek High School, not far from Charleston, N.C. Her parents were originally from Corsicana, though, and later moved back to this area, as did Henson. That move saw her enrolling in Navarro College-Corsicana, where she earned her associates degree in nursing.

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