News

Wed
02
Oct

Mexia students join millions praying for schools


Mexia High School student Samantha Bowers, at right, weeps with emotion as she prays for her school and fellow students last Wednesday morning before school at See You at the Pole, a worldwide event that involves students gathering at the flagpole of their school to pray for divineintervention in their affairs. At rear center, local pastor Bryan Hallmark videos the event. See more photos on Page 10. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Mexia students gathered early last Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the flagpole in front of their school to pray together as part of an international event called See You at the Pole.

An estimated 130-150 Mexia students participated, about 80-100 high schoolers at their campus and 50 junior high students at theirs.

Senior Joshua Hallmark, 17, who was one of the organizers, played spiritually themed songs on his guitar between prayers.
Several students prayed aloud, requesting divine intervention, protection and blessings on the school, their fellow students, teachers, administrators and community.

One student, Cassandra Vel­as­quez, prayed both in English and Spanish.

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

Wed
02
Oct

County renews grant to feed elderly, shut-ins

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Though the newly passed county budget was tight, commissioners continue to help provide for the county’s more vulnerable: the homebound to whom meals are delivered, and those elderly who go to one the county’s six senior centers. All are fed a hot lunch Monday through Friday at a reduced cost.

The court voted at last week’s meeting to renew its annual $25,000 grant toward the Texans Feeding Texans Grant for Limestone County, the same amount as last year.

Theresa Tilotta, project director of the Senior Citizen Services Center, told the court the organization had delivered 17,038 meals to homebound clients of Limestone County in the past year. She said that Monday through Friday they deliver about 75 meals a day to homebound residents, and provide another 75-80 meals to those who go to the various senior centers.

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

Mon
30
Sep

Homecoming filled with pageantry, honors


The 2013 Homecoming Queen, Noemi Soto, is escorted at Blackcat Stadium by her brother, Aaron Soto. Her win was announced during halftime at Friday night’s Homecoming game against Robinson. Contributed photo/Paparazzi Photography

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

This year’s Homecoming ceremonies brought honor to not only the 2013 Homecoming Queen, but also the Mexia High School alumni Coming Home Queen and Distinguished Alumni.

Noemi Soto, granddaughter of Maria Troncoso, was named 2013 Homecoming Queen Friday night.

Noemi is a member of the powerlifting, softball and track teams, as well as the Spanish Club, DECA, mascot and MHS Heroes. As a freshman powerlifter, she made it to regionals, earning her way to state her sophomore and junior years. She works at Pizza Hut, helps out in the community and likes to knit. She plans to continue powerlifting in college, and hopes to become a registered nurse. She was escorted by her brother, Aaron Soto.

This year’s Homecoming court consisted of six senior princesses eligible to be named queen, and three duchesses, one each from the freshman, sophomore and junior classes. Duchesses are not eligible to be named queen.

Mon
30
Sep

TxDOT work on county bridges to speed up


TxDOT engineers, from left, Darwin Myers and Jacob Chau give an update on bridges TxDOT is building in Limestone County at last week's commissioners court meeting. At right are County Engineer Ted Kantor and Commissioner Jerry Allen. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Two TxDOT engineers attended last Monday’s commissioners court meeting to give an update on the construction of bridges on county roads 421 and 750, both of which are behind schedule.

Two other bridges are complete, said Darwin J. Myers, an engineer for the Dallas district, who was accompanied by Jacob Chau, of the Waco district. Myers referred to those on county roads 158 and 140,

Myers said the projects started a year ago but the progress has been very slow and sporadic. He said he and other TxDOT representatives met with the contractor with promising results.

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.

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