News

Wed
24
Sep

Bluegrass is Saturday at Reunion Grounds


The Bluegrass Solution, of Houston, will be in concert at the Con­fed­erate Reunion Grounds this Saturday, Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m. Ad­mission is free and re­freshments will be served. Mexia News file photo

Camp Coffee, Cobbler, and Jam Music Series
Back by popular de­mand, the Bluegrass Solution from Houston will entertain visitors with their hard-driving bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music Saturday evening, Sept. 27.
Everyone is invited to gather 6-8 p.m. under the 1893 Dance Pavilion within the Confederate Reunion Grounds, 1738 FM 2705, Mexia.
Guests will also enjoy cobblers cooked over the campfire by Mexia’s Boy Scout Troop 70 along with coffee provided by Friends of the Confederate Reunion Grounds.

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

Wed
24
Sep

County public hearing draws familiar faces


Former Limestone County Judge Elenor Holmes urges commissioners court at Monday’s public hearing on the budget and new tax rate to adequately fund Old Fort Parker. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
County officials held the final public hearing before voting on the budget and new tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year. The hearing took place Monday, Sept. 22, shortly after the end of the regular commissioners court meeting.
Three people spoke, one on behalf of providing adequate funding for Old Fort Parker; and two urging the court to use fiscal restraint regarding the tax rate.
Although the court had announced that an anonymous donor had pledged the additional $6,000 requested by the Old Fort Parker board of directors, County Judge Elenor Holmes said she wanted to be sure the members of the court realized how significant Old Fort Parker is.
She said the fort’s dire financial situation makes running the fort difficult for Sarah McReynolds, who oversees the day-to-day operation of the facility.

Mon
22
Sep

Limestone may create new elections administrator office

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County may get its own elections administrator in January. County commissioners moved budget lines to the anticipated new office at their Sept. 8 meeting when they were discussing the budget. The court made a few more decisions concerning the Nov. 4 election at the same meeting, accepted the salaries of the county auditor, her staff and district court personnel; and also heard reports from the Sheriff’s Office and Juvenile Detention Center.

During budget planning, County Judge Daniel Burkeen noted that funds from the county clerk’s office would be moved in the new budget that begins Oct. 1 to a new elections administrator office that if approved would be set up by the county to begin Jan. 1. Funds from the treasurers office designated for voter registration also were moved to the election administrator office in the budget.

Mon
22
Sep

Pawsitively adorable

Three-year-old Caleb Shamblin (in front with the pom and cow bell) was ready to run out on the field with his Paw Patrol buddies last Friday night at Black Cat Field before the start of Mexia’s game against Waco La Vega. For more on that game, and other sports news, turn to Pages B1 and B3.
Mexia News photo/Stephen R. Farris

Mon
22
Sep

NRG, CAD June lawsuit settlement announced

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Although the lawsuit between NRG Energy and the Limestone County Appraisal District was settled in June, that fact was not announced in commissioners court until its Monday, Sept. 8 meeting.

Because NRG disputed the appraisal board’s 2013 valuation, it filed a lawsuit Aug. 29 of that year in the 77th District Court, which is the prescribed way for it to handle such a disagreement. The Appraisal Board, which uses outside professionals for such a significant and important task, had reduced its valuation of the main NRG plant from $765.76 million in 2012 to $724 million in 2013. NRG, however, filed the lawsuit, claiming the valuation should have been lower.

By the time the 2014 appraisal of $696 million came out in January 2014, the 2013 dispute was still going on, with no word of progress, and NRG disputed the 2014 valuation as well.

Wed
17
Sep

Judge scolds Old Fort Parker board


Those at the Sept. 15 Old Fort Parker board meeting listen as County Judge Daniel Burkeen, left, expresses his displeasure at the board for distributing a flyer that some thought indicated the board was considering closing the fort. Representatives of all three entities that own the fort, Limestone County, the city of Groesbeck and the city of Mexia, attended the meeting. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
When Monday’s meeting of the board of directors of Old Fort Parker was called to “discuss the future of the fort” – after Limestone County commissioners voted not to increase funding to the historic facility – many concluded the board was considering closing the fort. That did not happen at the board meeting, and it was made clear to the 50 or so in attendance that the fort is very much a part of Limestone County and would not close if the three entities that own it – the county and the cities of Groesbeck and Mexia – have any say in the matter.
The three entities share approximately equally in their support, Mexia and the county contributing $14,000 each annually and the city of Groesbeck $15,000.

Mon
15
Sep

Body found near high school, cause of death unknown

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
It's too early to tell the cause of death of a man whose badly-decomposed body was found Sunday evening off Ross Avenue.
Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson said Monday morning, "I guess at this point you could call it a questionable death."
Wilson said Mexia Police located the body around 6:45 p.m. Sept. 14 in a field behind an apartment building across from Mexia High School, on North Ross Avenue. Because the field is outside the city limits, the scene was immediately handed over to investigators from the Sheriff's Office, Mexia PD Chief Richard Hawthorne said.
Wilson said the man has been identified as Ronald Hobbs, who was in his early 30s. Hobbs, of Alvarado, had been staying in and around Mexia in recent days, Wilson said.

To read more, pick up a copy of Tuesday's The Mexia News.

Wed
10
Sep

Moon over Mexia


Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

Skye Olvera, 3, gets a boost from mom Stephanie Olvera to use some powerful binoculars to see the moon Saturday at Gibbs Memorial Library’s Observe the Moon Night, an international event observed annually in Mexia for several years. To see more photos from this event, see Page 8.

Wed
10
Sep

County may decrease tax hike amount

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County property-owners may only have a 3.4-cent increase in property taxes instead of the 5.4-cent increase previously estimated. Commissioners court members suggested ways to cut several hundred thousand dollars from the budget at Monday’s budget workshop but may also dip into reserves to balance the budget. Also Monday, the first of two public hearings on the tax increase drew only two speakers, both of which basically encouraged the court to do its best to limit the tax increase but acknowledged the difficulty of the budget decisions.
“We were looking at raising the tax rate 3.4 (cents per $100 valuation), and when the cuts were made, there was about a $350,000 shortfall,” said Commissioner John McCarver explaining what the court may do to limit the tax increase. “If you take that out and carry it over, hopefully something good will happen next year.”

Tue
09
Sep

Natural gas lines being replaced in Mexia


Mexia residents have seen these signs lately on Hwy. 14 north of the city since Watkins Construction Company began replacing aging natural gas pipelines for Atmos Energy. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Those who have been wondering about the red “pipeline construction ahead” signs on Hwy. 14 north of Mexia, the many white pickup trucks marked “Watkins Construction Co.” and signs that say “Watkins Access” may be interested to know they are all part of a project to replace natural gas pipelines in this area.
Atmos Energy is having some of their older gas pipelines replaced as part of a larger project that runs through Limestone County. The work is part of two projects just outside Mexia, west of Hwy. 14 and heading back into Mexia, a stretch of 6-inch high-pressure line about 8 miles long, according to Atmos Manager of Public Affairs Chace Murphy, who is based in Bryan.

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

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