News

Fri
27
Sep

County burn ban off, but could return at any time


A man on Ross Avenue, just outside the Mexia city limits, takes advantage of the lifting of the burn ban by using a controlled burn to burn brush on his property Thursday morning. When Limestone County commissioners allowed the burn ban to expire at Monday’s meeting, they asked residents to use caution when burning outside. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Although the burn ban has been lifted, residents need to remember it could return any day and to call the Sheriff’s Office ahead of controlled burns outside the city.

Within the Mexia city limits, only certain burns are allowed.

“People inside the city can burn brush and that kind of thing,” said Mike Clements, Mexia Fire Department officer and EMS trainer. “They can’t burn trash, building materials, things like that. That’s not city rule, that’s state law. Besides brush, they can burn tree limbs and vegetation they’ve cleaned off their land.

“If it’s in the city limits, they need to come by here and get a burn permit, and that process brings one of us to them. We’ll look at where they’re going to burn and what’s around it – and determine whether or not it’s safe. Sometimes they don’t realize it’s not a good idea to burn where they are.”

Fri
27
Sep

Bonfire tradition continues

Seniors show off their handiwork Thursday after building the annual Homecoming bonfire on the Mexia ISD campus. The bonfire was built from pallets donated by local businesses and picked up and stacked by the Mexia High senior class. Turn to Page 10 for more photos from Thursday night’s bonfire and spirit procession.
Contributed photo/Debra Bishop

Fri
27
Sep

City considers legal action to stop water rate hike

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Mexia City Council is ready to consider legal remedies after its water supplier took out a $6 million loan for improvements without notifying the city, a move that could mean 27- to 30-percent higher water bills for city residents.

Bistone Water Supply District, which manages Lake Mexia, also supplies water to the city via deep wells near Personville. The city is by far Bistone’s largest customer, though the district also supplies water to the city of Wortham and the Whiterock community.

In July 2012, City Council agreed to join Bistone in a study presented as the first step needed to secure low-interest bonds from the Texas Water Development Board, to see what rates would be like if upgrades or repairs came to pass.

Wed
25
Sep

Sales tax rebate down this month, up year-to-date

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Sales tax distributions to Mexia were down last month, but remain a bit ahead of rebate totals at this time last year.

The city of Mexia received $191,290 this period, down 2.72 percent from the $196,665 reported sent in this month in 2012.

Year-to-date, Mexia has received $1,961,440, up .95 of a percent from the $1,898,250 year-to-date total 12 months ago.

Revenues this month were up 22.86 percent in Groesbeck, with that town set to receive $63,938 this period compared to $52,040 a year ago. That city, year-to-date, is ahead 3.46 percent compared to a year ago.

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

Wed
25
Sep

MHS Homecoming 2013 plans ramping up


Shown here is the court for 2013 Mexia High School Homecoming Queen. They are, l-r, back row: Cierra Ratliff, Samantha Jacobs, Amber Busby, Noemi Soto, Tasia Irvin and Amiee Owens; front row: Petra Albiter and Mia Wells. Not shown is Lilibeth Ortiz. Contributed photo/Paparazzi Photography

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

This year’s Homecoming Court has been announced at Mexia High School, as preparations continue for a weekend full of Homecoming-related events.

This year’s court consists of nine students: six senior princesses eligible to be named queen, and three duchesses, one each from the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. Duchess are not eligible to be named queen.

This year’s princesses are:

• Petra Albiter, daughter of Vicki and Andre Smith. Petra is senior yearbook editor, a member of the Spanish Club, and has been in Student Council and played volleyball for the past two years. She was a duchess in last year’s court, and has been a member of the MHS Heroes for the last two years. She plans to attend Sam Houston State University after graduation, and earn a degree in cosmetology. Her escort will be her father.

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

Wed
25
Sep

Budget approved; tax rate increase passes


Alan Hughes, center, president of South Limestone County Water Supply, questions Limestone County commissioners court at Monday’s final public hearing before the vote that passed the new budget. Hughes expressed concern about the higher tax rate and residents’ ability to afford to pay it. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court approved the proposed $24.34 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, with changes made to move almost half a million dollars to the contingencies fund in case the NRG lawsuit ruling takes more money from the county. Monday’s vote was not unanimous, however, as Commissioner William “Pete” Kirven voted against.

Since the NRG Energy Power Plant is contesting its appraisal, maintaining it should be much lower than it is, commissioners held a budget workshop last week to come up with places in the budget to put a hold on spending so the county would not be caught short if the tax income from the plant is much lower than expected.

Commissioner Bobby Forrest explained what they did in the public hearing that took place just before Monday’s vote, and that information can be found on Page 12.

Mon
23
Sep

Shelter a first step for domestic violence victims


Jennifer Hawks, director of advocacy and outreach for the Family Abuse Center, in Waco, speaks to the Rotary Club of Mexia recently about the clients she serves, some of which are from Limestone County. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Domestic abuse cuts across all socio-economic, class, racial and religious lines, and affects people in Limestone County – maybe even someone you know. Maybe even you.

Jennifer Hawks is director of advocacy and outreach for the Family Abuse Center, in Waco, which serves victims of domestic violence cases in Limestone County. She said she has seen more victims come forward from this county – and is glad.

“While that’s not a good thing that they’re experiencing more domestic violence, we’re fixing to step up our efforts,” she explains.

Also, she notes, when numbers are down, that may simply be a result of victims not reporting the abuse they have experienced.

Mon
23
Sep

County plans road repairs at park, LCR 198


Mr. Bonnie Echols, of Houston, addresses Limestone County commissioners court Monday, Sept. 9, asking for redress for damage done to his hayfield on LCR 198 by county trucks turning around in it. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court unanimously agreed at last Monday’s meeting to use some priority road funds to make repairs to the road and parking lot of County Park No. 2.

“John (McCarver, commissioner) and I had talked about this, to try to fix those maybe out of priority road money since they are county parks to make that park more accessible,” said County Judge Daniel Burkeen, “and maybe do some work on the boat ramp there, too, so we have at least one boat ramp that makes the lake accessible.”

Burkeen noted that Lake Limestone is down 7 feet so this would be a good time to work on the boat ramp before it rains significantly again.

County Engineer Ted Kantor said he estimated it would take $20,000 to extend the ramp 20-30 feet.

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

Mon
23
Sep

Grass roots movement

This tree, just north of Hughes City Park, lost its creekbed footing and toppled during Friday's rainstorm. The city received about 4 inches of rain Saturday, the first significant rainfall since mid-July. Weather didn’t delay the county’s extending the boat ramp at Lake Limestone.
Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

Mon
23
Sep

Five injured in one-car rollover wreck

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Five people – four of then teenagers – were injured in a one-car rollover wreck Saturday afternoon west of Mexia.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, a 2003 Ford Focus was westbound on U.S. 84 in the county. At 4:50 p.m. Sept. 21, the sedan, driven by Melinda Hudson, 34, of Mexia came up on a vehicle legally stopped in the westbound lane, waiting to make a left turn.

Hudson apparently didn't see the vehicle until the last minute, the DPS said. She took evasive action by jerking the steering wheel to the right, which caused the Ford to cross over private drive, jumping a culvert. She then cut the steering wheel to left, entering into side skid, rolling twice. The sedan came to rest upright, facing south, in the bar ditch. No other vehicles were hit.

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

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