News

Mon
01
Sep

Welcome rains bring relief to parched region


Mexia Lion Don Beene braves heavy rain to deliver hot pancake breakfast plates to Mexia businesses Friday, part of the Lions Club’s annual Double Whammy Pancake Breakfast, served the morning and evening of the Blackcat’s first home football game. Mexia News photo/ Roxanne McKnight

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Rain gauges finally got a chance to strut their stuff after heavy showers pelted many parts of the Bistone region yesterday.
Mexia recorded 1.52 inches of rain between 6:45 and 8:35 a.m., causing roadway flooding in areas that tend to fill early, including the railroad underpass at North Ross Avenue, the outside lanes of Milam Street between Ross Avenue and McKinney Street, Bonham at Hopkins Street and the intersections of U.S. 84 and Hwy. 14, and Hwy. 14 and Hwy. 171. Stalled vehicles were reported to police at the 14/171 intersection and on East Palestine.
At 9:15 a.m., after rainfall had ebbed in Mexia, the National Weather Service issued an Urban and Small Stream Flood Advisory for Freestone County, southeastern Limestone County, northwestern Anderson County and Henderson County until 12:15 p.m.

To read more, subscribe to The Mexia News.

Wed
27
Aug

MISD approves budget

By Mike Eddleman
Publisher
The Mexia ISD Board of Trustees approved the district budget for 2014-15 Monday, but it didn't come without questions.
The $16.28 million budget passed 4-1, with board member Ron Fowler voting against. Board members Kim Williams and Culetta Beachum were absent.
The $16.28 million Mexia ISD budget is for the general fund, but the total budget is $19.4 million with federal programs included.
The tax rate will remain unchanged from the current year, with the maintenance and operations (M&O) rate at the maximum $1.04 and the interest and sinking (I&S) – or debt service rate – at $.0716, for a total rate of $1.1116.

To read more, pick up a copy of Thursday's The Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Wed
27
Aug

Walkers circle Mexia schools in prayer


About 75-80 people turned out for the seventh annual prayer walk around Mexia schools Wednesday, Aug. 20, an effort by several local churches. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Well-wishers of Mexia students walked the perimeter of Mexia schools Wednesday evening, Aug. 20, despite temperatures in the mid-90s – that felt more like mid-100s – to ask for divine intervention in the upcoming school year.
This is the seventh year for the prayer walk, according to event organizer Bryan Hallmark, pastor of Mexia First Assembly of God and a Mexia teacher himself.
“We do it every year because we believe in everything starting in prayer,” he said. “If you put God in it, we believe that He can work a lot of things out. We want our school year to be great, our new teachers coming in and the old teachers having unity. We want our schools to function great, and we want to coat them with prayer so that God can do great things this school year.”
Hallmark does not consider the prayer walk an event of the church he pastors but something in which he encourages members of any church to participate.

Wed
27
Aug

Making court payments to become easier

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Paying Limestone County court should be much easier in the near future, since commissioners agreed at their Aug. 25 meeting to sign a court payment credit card processing agreement with Tyler Technologies.
The move is part of the e-filing requirement that will be mandatory in about a year, said County Judge Daniel Burkeen. County Clerk Peggy Beck said she hopes to have the system operational in October.
In two other significant agenda items, the court made no changes: The judge and commissioners agreed not to lift the burn ban and not to change the county and district’s 2015 retirement plan.

To read more, pick up a copy of Thursday's The Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Fri
15
Aug

What's the scoop?


Mexia News photo/Stephen R. Farris

It’s hard to tell in this photo if junior varsity football player Oscar Mares is trying to decide which ice cream he wants next, or if he’s simply star struck because the cheerleaders are serving up the frozen treat. As you can see, players were lined up end-to-end to fill their bowls up with all the different flavors of ice cream at the Meet the Blackcats night/Ice Cream Social held at Black Cat Field Thursday evening. See more photos from Thursday’s ice cream social on Page 10.

Fri
15
Aug

MISD making final budget choices

By Mike Eddleman
Publisher
The Mexia ISD administration and board of trustees is entering the home stretch in budget preparations.
The board will meet at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 18 for its regular monthly meeting, then again the following Monday, Aug. 25 to vote on the budget.
The limited budget discussion at this week's meeting will center on how raises will be handled for non-teaching positions.
“The major concern and the big question for us is whether or not we will be able to give raises,” said Superintendent Sharon Ross.

To read more, pick up a copy of Saturday's The Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Fri
15
Aug

City preps 2014-15 budget

The proposed budget for the city of Mexia’s new fiscal year will be formally presented when the City Council meets Tuesday evening.
The move comes after a budget workshop held Aug. 12. Once the budget is presented to the city secretary, it must still be passed by the Council at a future meeting, but prior to Oct. 1, when the next fiscal year begins.
Other items on the Council’s agenda include possibly renewing the city’s employee health plan, and accepting the Mexia Economic Development Corporation’s annual budget for its new fiscal year, which also begins Oct. 1.

To read more, pick up a copy of Saturday's The Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Fri
15
Aug

Burkeen proposes 5.4 cent tax rate increase

Mexia News Staff Report

After a decline in county appraisals, Limestone County Judge Daniel Burkeen is proposing a tax rate increase of about 5.4 cents per $100 in valuation for the county’s new fiscal year.
The current rate of .6220 per $100 would leave the county with about $195,000 less in revenue that it had for the current fiscal year.
Burkeen announced his proposed tax rate in a press release sent Thursday. Limestone County Commissioners Court called a special meeting for Monday, Aug. 18, when it will discuss and propose the new tax rate.
“This budget will allow us to maintain our current level of services without depleting our fund balances,” he wrote.

To read more, pick up a copy of Saturday's The Mexia News, or subscribe to our e-edition.

Wed
13
Aug

LCR 174 to stay open, commissioners decide


Limestone County residents Dan Harrison and Troy and Donna Gayden explain to Limestone County commissioners why they oppose the closing of LCR 174 at a public hearing on the subject Monday, Aug. 11. Shown here, clockwise from bottom left, are County Commissioner John McCarver, Executive Assistant Lori Moore, Harrison, County Clerk Peggy Beck, Troy and Donna Gayden, County Engineer Ted Kantor, Commissioner Jerry Allen, County Judge Daniel Burkeen and Commissioner William ‘Pete’ Kirven. Present but not shown is Commissioner Bobby Forrest. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Three residents who live near LCR 174 showed up to a public hearing on its closure Monday, bringing with them a petition from others in the area to keep the road open. Though Limestone County commissioners had appeared to be prepared to close the road before the meeting, after the residents argued they use the road regularly, the court agreed to keep it open.
LCR 174 lies west of Mexia and north of U.S. 84, about halfway between Prairie Hill and Coolidge. It runs northwest to southeast, from LCR 150 to FM 73, a distance of 1.4 miles.
Austin businessman Henry Tippie, who reportedly owns 33,000 acres in Limestone County, requested the closure through Pct. 2 Commissioner William “Pete” Kirven.
The county closed LCR 362 in July at Tippie’s request, but that was a short dead-end road, and Tippie owned the land on both sides of it.

Mon
11
Aug

Gala raises money to help MSSLC residents


While auctioneer Jerry Lee Kennedy, left, calls for bids, Bill Ward, center and Roy Ward, 17, show the prize – a handmade quilt made of Baylor University emblem-decorated fabric. The auction was part of Saturday’s fundraiser to benefit the Mexia State Supported Living Center. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
About 250 well-wishers attended the Mexia State Supported Living Center Volunteer Council’s annual gala-auction fundraiser Saturday evening.
"We strive for an evening of good food, fellowship and fun for our supporters," said Cheryl B. Cockrell, MSSLC community relations director. "We appreciate the outpouring of their generosity to the mission of the Volunteer Council."
The Christian Life Center of First Baptist Church, Mexia, where the gala took place, was filled with round tables covered with white tablecloths and decorated in orange and bronze centerpieces featuring a safari theme. The guests enjoyed appetizers as they waited for dinner and the program to begin. Each place setting included a bottle of “safari water” that looked and tasted very much like bottled Ozarka water was decorated with a colorful square of fabric tied with raffia.

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