News

Mon
09
May

Turmoil for vendors at Coolidge festival

State Health Inspector Doug Hartfield, center, and Carlos Mendoza, of the St. Mary Catholic Church food booth at the Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival discuss health requirements.
A food booth run by Greater Mount Hope Baptist Church selling barbecue plates at Coolidge’s Mesquite Tree Festival is shut down by State Health Inspector Doug Hartfield.
Abraham Garcia, of Wortham, tries out the new wash station at St. Mary Catholic Church’s food booth at the Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival Saturday, May 7.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Most of the food booths at the annual Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival Saturday were shut down for nearly an hour by a state health inspector, citing violation of health laws.
Health Inspector Doug Hartfield made his way to each booth, checking for running water and three-basin wash stations as well as the temperature of foods offered for sale. Most booths were able to re-open later, though not all could sell food that had been prepared at home.
Hartfield, with the Texas Department of State Health Services, began with the first booth on the corner of Bell and 4th streets, where the festival booths were congregated. The festival fell quiet as sales stopped and organizers left for the nearest large grocery store – which was in Mexia – to buy the required basins, bottles of water and a container with a spigot.

Mon
09
May

Perfect day for it

Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

A family relaxes, fishing for catfish at Lake Mexia, near Comanche Crossing Saturday, April 30.

Mon
09
May

Freestone County grand jury issues indictments

Mexia News Staff Report

Mon
09
May

Federal Disaster Assistance includes right of appeal

Not every Texas resident who registered for federal disaster assistance following the March tornadoes and flooding will qualify for aid. However, an appeal process can ensure those affected by the storms will receive all aid for which they are legally eligible.
Thirteen counties are designated for assistance for the March 7-29 storms: Erath, Gregg, Harrison, Henderson, Hood, Jasper, Limestone, Marion, Newton, Orange, Parker, Shelby and Tyler.
Applicants from those counties have 60 days from the date on FEMA’s decision letter to file their appeal. The FEMA letter describes the amount and type of assistance being offered.
To appeal FEMA’s decision, write a letter explaining why the amount or type of assistance authorized is not correct. The appeal should include any documentation that supports the claim.

Fri
06
May

Friday accident

Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

This Mistubishi Galant and a Waco semi hauling a trailer collided at the intersection of Hwy. 14 and U.S. 84 in Mexia around 11:30 a.m. Friday. There were no serious injuries to either driver, though the sedan’s driver was taken by ambulance to the hospital after complaining of pain. The cause of the accident was still being investigated as of presstime Friday.

Fri
06
May

Commissioners say no to shorter rail timeline

Landowner Charles Little, standing, was among 50-60 Limestone County residents who attended the commissioners court’s specially called meeting to express their opposition to the Texas Central Railroad.
Map showing various routes being considered by Texas Central Railway.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Nearly 60 Limestone County residents showed up to a specially called meeting of commissioners court Thursday to express opposition to a high-speed railroad company’s latest plans to acquire land.
On April 19, attorneys for Texas Central Railroad and Infrastructure and Texas Central Railroad asked the federal Surface Transportation Board to rule on its request within 90 days, to speed up the approval process. TCRI said this would keep potential landowner litigation from slowing down its schedule. The Surface Transportation Board is under the Department of Transportation and oversees economic regulation of railroads and certain other transportation venues.
A separate filing the same day asked the board to exempt the company’s construction and operation from prior approval requirements and from ongoing regulation after construction is complete and passenger service begins.

Fri
06
May

Voters decide races for cities, school boards

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Voters who didn’t take advantage of early voting hours head to the polls today to decide local school board and city elections.
Elections for Mexia City Council and Mexia ISD take place today, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Mexia Civic Center, 101 S. McKinney.
In the Mexia City Council election, District 2 incumbent Laura Rothrock faces Blanca Rivera, while District 6 member Bobby Jack Liles faces Stephen Friday and Colby Archibald.
At Mexia ISD, Place 1 incumbent Lee Banks faces David Klosterman; Place 2 incumbent Cheryl Cockrell is opposed by Benjie Reed, and William Lowry is running against Place 3 incumbent Culetta Beachum.

Fri
06
May

Three-vehicle wreck on U.S. 84 kills four

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Four people are dead following an horrific accident Wednesday evening near Teague.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the wreck took place at 5:17 p.m. May 4, one mile east of Teague, on U.S. 84.
Michael James Jackson, 30, of Teague was driving a 2003 Mercury Sable sedan eastbound at what the DPS said was an “unsafe speed.” He lost control of his car and entered the westbound lane, striking a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. Linda Nichols Huffman, 76, was driving the SUV, and had two passengers with her: Janice Sartor Turner, 78, and Martha Brown Turner, 80. All three were Teague residents.

Fri
06
May

County may settle with Labor Board on review

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners may resolve a matter that has arisen from a recent Department of Labor compliance review at their meeting next Tuesday, May 9.
Also Tuesday, the court plans to arrange for funding to establish flood levels at Lake Mexia, approve delivery of an oil-sand mixture to the city of Kosse, schedule a public hearing on closing a portion of LCR 747, approve holding a sale of surplus Road and Bridge equipment, and approve an agreement to accept overflow inmates from McLennan County.
Regarding the Labor Board review, the court held an executive session, which is closed to the public, at a specially called meeting, on April 28.
When the court returned to open session, however, no discussion took place and no action was taken. Since the item is on the agenda again, with a mention of a possible settlement, the matter may be resolved at Tuesday’s meeting.

Wed
04
May

Courthouse repairs done, new problem arises

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners received the final report on courthouse repairs made through a grant from the State Historical Commission last year, but they also learned of a new serious problem.
Maintenance Supervisor Sam Callis wrote the report, which is required as part of the grant that financed repairs to the courthouse’s staircase assemblies and driveway.
After County Judge Daniel Burkeen presented the report for Callis, who was not at the meeting, he reported on a new situation requiring repair in the basement, in the room that used to house the Department of Public Safety but now is used for District Clerk Carol Jenkins’ very large filing cabinet system.
“The floor was moving down there before, and it’s moving again,” Burkeen told the commissioners. “Sam has had several people look at it; he’s looked at several different options to fix it.”

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