News

Mon
16
May

Early voting is this week only

Mexia News Staff Report

Mon
16
May

Groesbeck embezzler takes plea

Mexia News Staff Report

Mon
16
May

Celebrating Cinco

Mexia News photos/Roxanne McKnight
Busy Mexia mom Marisela Hernandez, left, holds her son Alexander, 1, while his twin, Christopher, watches Rosa Hernandez, also of Mexia, make gorditas, or thick, little tortillas that are later filled like tacos. Their interactions were part of the Cinco de Mayo festival held Saturday, May 7, in downtown Mexia.
Eugenio and Maria Lara, of Mexia, take a break for Maria to eat corn while they listen to the bands play at the Cinco de Mayo festival held Saturday, May 7.
Zack Beechum, of Mexia, gives his niece, Adriana Walker, 5, a piggy-back ride around the Cinco de Mayo festival on Saturday, May 7, in downtown Mexia.
companied on vocals by Carlos Escudero, left, while Martinez’s son Joshua Martinez plays electric guitar at rear. The three were part of Christian Tejano band Nuevo Inspiracion, of Austin.
 Russell Martinez, left, on keyboard, and Isaac Paiz, right, on bass guitar, appear intent on the song they are performing as part of a larger group called Nueva Inspiraction, a Christian Tejano band from Austin.

Selena Buentello, 13, gets a laugh as Lazaro Perez shows her some of the freshly boiled corn he made at the Cinco de Mayo festival in Mexia. Downtown church Nueva Vida Assembly of God hosted the annual celebration on Saturday, May 7. See more photos from this event, pick up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The Mexia News, or subscribe to our online edition.

Mon
16
May

County settles with Labor Board on infraction

Attorney Mike Dixon, who represents Limestone County commissioners court in legal matters, speaks to the court on a settlement with the Labor Department when the commissioners return to open session at their May 10 meeting.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners court agreed to pay $55,629 in overtime pay to about 20 Sheriff’s Office employees after a recent review by the U.S. Labor Department revealed non-standard payment practices that amounted to employees working more than 40 hours a week without receiving overtime pay.
For the past three years, the dispatchers and some jailers were allowed to work the 80 hours within a two-week period in unequal amounts, such as working 56 hours one week and 24 the following week.
“That way the employees could get long weekends and time off, and they loved it,” said County Judge Daniel Burkeen.
He said allowing employees flexible hours cut down on turnover, which had been a problem before the Sheriff’s Office had began the flexible-hour policy, resulting in their constantly having to train new employees.

Fri
13
May

County Auditor Watson describes her work

Limestone County Debbie Watson tells the Rotary Club of Mexia at a recent meeting about her duties.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
When large amounts of cash are involved, an important step to ensure the money is used correctly is having checks and balances, and an auditor who has the staff and skills to review, analyze and reconcile expenditures.
For Limestone County, that auditor is Debbie Watson, who has been in her current position for 12 years. She recently spoke to the Rotary Club of Mexia about her job, and especially some of the things the county does to ensure its money is accounted for properly.
She was introduced by District 77 Judge Patrick Simmons, who is responsible for hiring the county auditor.

Fri
13
May

Limestone County rebates fairly stable in April

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
The city of Mexia's sales tax rebates for April are up by a bit, by .74 of a percent compared to this month last year, in spite of the state’s economic slowdown due to a decline in the oil and gas business.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced he will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $591.4 million in local sales tax allocations for April, 2.6 percent more than in April 2015. These allocations are based on sales made in February by businesses that report tax monthly.
“The cities of Dallas, Austin, Sugar Land and Fort Worth saw substantial increases in sales tax allocations that helped stop a four-month streak of declining sales tax allocations for the state overall,” Hegar said. “Energy-centric cities such as Houston and Midland continue to see decreases in sales tax allocations.”

Wed
11
May

Mesquite Tree fun

Coolidge’s Gay Pranger, left, and Kristina Allcorn, serve plates of freshly fried catfish, french fries, cole slaw and hushpuppies at the Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival.
Raychel Rutherford, 10, of Haslet, basks in the warmth of the company of her grandmother Tommye Rutherford, of Coolidge, at the Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival.
Bingo checker Gay Pranger verifies the winning bingo card of Maria Garcia, of Coolidge, while Evangelina Rivera looks on.
Members of the Coolidge High School band, along with band director Rhonda Ivy, at right, wait in the green area next to the food and game booths.
James and Robyn Allen, of Frisco, stop to check on their pet dogs, Benji, a Wauzer, at left, and Charlie, a black Labrador, at the Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival.
Sherri Lewis, center, and Christine Daniels, with the Greater Mount Hope Baptist Church food booth, tell Wesley Owenswhere to place his order.
Adult volunteers monitor the water slide, a popular place for youth, at the Coolidge Mesquite Tree Festival on Saturday, May 7.
Entrants in the Little Mr. and Miss Mesquite Festival Pageant share a moment together at the end of the event.

In spite of some glitches, the city of Coolidge held its annual Mesquite Tree Festival this past weekend. The event featured bingo, a fish fry, pageant, street dance and more. Here's some photos from the goings-on, taken by Roxanne McKnight of The Mexia News.

Wed
11
May

Court won’t pay invoice without investigation

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners at their April 26 meeting refused to pay an invoice from a Mexia welding company for missing items until an investigation is made.
The issue was addressed with a similar outcome at the court’s April 11 meeting, but more details emerged about why the commissioners refuse to pay the invoice. The problem has been ongoing for several years and concerns the county-owned private prison, the Limestone County Detention Center. The LCDC lost its last contract to house inmates in June 2013. County officials added bunk beds at the prison later that year to increase the number of inmates it could potentially hold.

Wed
11
May

Wortham All-Honors choirs to hold outdoor concert fundraiser

An evening of hot dogs, Dr Pepper floats and wonderful singing is planned for Saturday, when the Wortham All-Honors Choirs hold a fundraiser at Cup o’ Joe in Tehuacana.
The choirs are a group of curricular and extra-curricular vocalists who meet before and after school for ensemble and individual choral development. The WAHC groups include: the Elementary Show Choir, the North Texas Children’s Choir Satellite Choir, the Junior High and High School choirs, and the Rockin’ Recorders Orff Ensemble for third through sixth graders. Involvement includes individual and ensemble competition in UIL, TMEA choirs, Texas Federation of Music Clubs, two or more Community Concerts.

Mon
09
May

Change is theme in Saturday’s city, ISD votes

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Mexia voters apparently were ready for change in city and school leadership, voting against all incumbents who had opponents in Saturday’s general election.
Longtime Mexia City Council members Bobby Jack Liles, from District 6, and District 2 member Laura Rothrock both lost their bids for re-election. Rothrock, a retired school teacher, drew 34 votes while her opponent, homemaker Blanca Rivera, garnered 56 votes. Liles, who had two opponents, drew only 18 votes. Challenger Colby Archibald drew 81 votes, while challenger Stephen Friday, owner/chef at Joe Friday’s Diner in Mexia, won with a clear majority of 118 votes.
District 5 incumbent Arthur Busby, who works at XTO Energy and first took office in 2002, had no opponent, so returns to office.
Busby, Friday and Rivera will take their oaths of office after the election results are accepted at the council’s next regular meeting, set for May 17.
Mexia ISD

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