News

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.

Fri
20
Sep

County closes out block grant

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court closed out an old community development block grant, completing the requirements needed to finish the paperwork for it. The commissioners also approved the sale of 14 Groesbeck lots that had been struck off the tax rolls.

The court approved three administrative actions required for the county to have on file to close out the last Community Development Block Grant, which was administered by County Engineer Ted Kantor.

“It’s the one we got through the state to help fix some bridges from some flooding several years ago,” Burkeen said later.

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

Fri
20
Sep

Court to take final vote on budget, tax increase

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court will convene Monday, with the most pressing items the proposed budget and new tax rate.

As part of the meeting, one final hearing for the public to express its views on the proposed budget will take place at 10 a.m.

Following the hearing, the commissioners will vote on accepting the budget and then vote on accepting the tax rate for Fiscal Year 2013. The new budget and fiscal year begin Oct. 1.

Up in the air is whether any action will be taken to lift the burn ban, considered unlikely before Friday, but with 6-10 inches of rain predicted over the weekend because of the remains of a hurricane making it to this area, who knows?

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

Fri
20
Sep

Mexia City Council expected to pass new tax rate

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Mexia City Council has a lot of work to take care of – including passing a budget and tax rate for the coming fiscal year – when they meet Tuesday night.

After a public hearing on the matter, the City Council likely will pass its proposed tax rate of $0.7600 per $100 in taxable value, an increase from last year's rate of $0.7292 per $100.

This is the first tax rate increase for the city in eight years, and requested mainly for road repairs.
Other agenda items include:

• A public hearing and possible passage of amendments to the current budget.

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

Fri
20
Sep

At the car wash

Milam Street (U.S. 84) filled with run-off from Friday’s most-welcome rains, turning its junction with Red River Street into a soggy mess. Until yesterday, the city hadn’t seen decent rainfall in months: only 2 inches total in July, half an inch in all of August, and until Friday, a tenth of an inch of precipitation this month. Cooler temperatures, with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s and 60s, are forecast for the next few days.
Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

Fri
20
Sep

Sheriff anticipating new training expenses

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Some of the new Texas laws that went into effect Sept. 1 are not as widely known but affect Limestone County just the same. Sheriff Dennis Wilson told commissioners court last Monday that one law stipulates that as of Sept. 1, all 911 operators must be licensed. The court heard about that and other matters requiring their attention.

“We’re ahead of the curve because we saw this coming,” Wilson said of the new licensing requirements. “So we feel that our people who are currently employed there will have no problems getting their license. We meet the requirements for a telecommunications license.”

The cost for maintaining their training is a new expense, however, Wilson pointed out. He said former Limestone County Detention Center employee Sgt. Arnulfo Bennett used to do all the training locally, and since he is no longer available, sending his employees for training elsewhere will have significant costs.

Wed
18
Sep

Hearing draws a few


Limestone County residents Pat and Skip Wade listen to the answers given at commissioners court last Monday on the budget. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Four county residents attended last Thursday’s commissioners court hearing on the proposed tax increase, four more than attended the previous hearing last Monday. Two asked several questions about the increase but did not express an opinion about it. County Judge Daniel Burkeen fielded the questions, answering at length.

“How did you arrive at the numbers?” asked Skip Wade, of Prairie Grove.

Burkeen said the rate was based on the proposed budget for the upcoming year, anticipated expenditures and the anticipated appraisals.

“Now, there’s some question with our appraisals because our largest taxpayer is the NRG Energy power plant, and they are contesting their appraisal,” he said. “So, that’s a big question that could have a big impact on us, and that’s a worry. We’re going to be possibly taking some budget action in the budget workshop to anticipate that …. Appraisals are down; that means the tax rate goes up.”

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