News

Mon
11
Jan

Inmate-driven semi hits car, kills Mexia woman

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
A brutal collision in Falls County took the life of a Mexia woman Friday night, after her car was hit head-on by a big rig driven by a state prison inmate.
According to Department of Public Safety reports, the wreck occurred in the mid-afternoon of Jan. 8, on Hwy. 7, a little more than 4 miles east of Marlin.
DPS said Brandice Ray “Brandy” Garrett, 43, of Mexia was headed eastbound on the highway in a 2015 Nissan Versa, a subcompact car.
A westbound semitractor-trailer carrying items from Huntsville to Gatesville, which belongs to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, entered the eastbound lanes, possibly to pass another vehicle, when the collision occurred.
The driver of the semi was Venson V. Williams, 47, of Huntsville, who DPS said is a trustee. He was being followed by a TDCJ employee and holds a commercial driver’s license.

Fri
08
Jan

School teachers need encouragement, group says

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
The Texas public school system is the target of much criticism, but at least one group believes the constant barrage of negativity is not only inaccurate, but has become a destructive force that must be countered.
That group is called Friends of Texas Public Schools, founded 10 years ago by Scott and Leslie Milder to promote good news about the public schools.
Mexia ISD Superintendent Dr. Sharon Ross invited Milder to speak when the previous school year’s test results were announced this past fall, and she expressed appreciation for the work of Friends of Texas Public Schools.
“They are really promoting public schools and the work that is being done within the walls of every public school in the state of Texas,” Ross said.
Leslie commended Mexia ISD on its achievements but first spoke about how she got into teaching and what motivated her and her husband to found the organization.

Fri
08
Jan

Commissioners to consider election matters

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
County commissioners will take care of some routine matters related to this spring's two upcoming elections and consider another step towards closing part of a county road when they meet Monday morning.
On the court's agenda are three election-related items. The first is consideration of a contract to lease election equipment to the city of Mexia for use in the May 7 General election. The May elections are for local political subdivisions: cities, school boards, etc.
Candidates for those races may begin to file for a place on the ballot starting Jan. 20.
The other two election items commissioners will consider involve providing joint election services for the county's Republican and Democratic parties during the upcoming March 1 political primaries. The primaries will determine which federal, state and county party candidates will appear on the ballot in the Nov. 8 general election.

Mon
04
Jan

Part of Coolidge road LCR 187 may close

Limestone County commissioners court recognize County Clerk Peggy Beck and her staff.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
A Coolidge resident requested the county close a portion of LCR 187 – since, he says, the county is not maintaining it – and county commissioners agreed to hold a hearing on the matter, but opposition from at least one nearby landowner is expected.
The commissioners heard the resident’s complaints about the county’s lack of service on the road at their Dec. 28 meeting and also recognized the County Clerk and her staff for providing such good service that they won an award from the state for the quality of their work.
Regarding LCR 187, Coolidge’s Tommy Kutscherousky Jr. appeared before the court to request the county close a portion of that thoroughfare, asking Commissioner Pct. 2 W.A. “Sonny” Baker, in whose precinct both Coolidge and the road in question lie, to confirm to the court the condition of the road.

Mon
04
Jan

Mobile boutique to offer girls free prom dresses

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Kathy Bradshaw, a Mexia High School graduate, formerly of Lake Mexia, distinctly remembers how she became fairy godmother to many a Cinderella who, without Bradshaw’s intervention, could not have gone to “the ball.”
It was 2008, and a Mexia High School girl began weeping as she sat with her two equally glum friends in a Mexia restaurant, realizing that none of the three could attend her upcoming prom because they couldn’t afford a formal dress. Lucky for them, in the adjoining booth sat Bradshaw, whose heart was touched by the tears of the teen.
“Honey, is there anything I can do?” she asked.
When they told Bradshaw their problem, she got their dress sizes and promised to find each a prom dress so they could attend that iconic event.

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

Wed
30
Dec

City agrees to provide water to home outside city limits

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
The third time was a charm for a the owner of a home outside the city limits of Mexia who wanted water service to her home.
Mexia City Council at its Dec. 15 regular monthly meeting once again considered the plight of Frances Cook. She first requested water and sewer services for her home at 1249 Hwy. 171, which is outside city boundaries, at the Council’s Oct. 20 regular meeting.
Cook told the Council in October that the city had been providing those services to the home prior to her recent purchase of the property, adding that she was told by the water department and city manager, prior to her purchase of the property, that she could receive city water services.
The city sewer department said they do not have sewer lines that extend to her property, but instead end at the credit union building on the highway, so that matter ended.

Tue
29
Dec

Major front brings winter weather to Texas

The Navasota River at Hwy. 14, out of its banks

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
After a Christmas holiday that was downright balmy, winter blasted into Texas starting Saturday with two days of tornadoes, hail, torrential rains and flooding, and leaving in its wake nothing but brutally cold days ahead.
On Christmas Day, record or near-record high temperatures were recorded throughout Texas, and also across much of the East and South.
But by Saturday, warmth was replaced by high winds and rain as a major cold front made its way toward Central Texas. Rain arrived in full force, falling on already-saturated ground, caused widespread flooding in Central and East Texas.

Tue
29
Dec

New law means visible, holstered handguns

Limestone County District Attorney Roy DeFriend speaks

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
With the Texas open-carry law going into effect Jan. 1, residents can expect to see people with handguns visible in shoulder or belt holsters.
Opponents of open-carry, which was passed by the Texas Legislature in March and signed by Gov. Abbot in June, claim the state will return to the days of the Old West, with shootings a common occurrence, but Limestone County District Attorney Roy DeFriend thinks otherwise.
“In 2012, Oklahoma had been a concealed-carry state, and they went to open-carry; and we haven’t seen the problems like people were anticipating coming out of Oklahoma,” DeFriend said, “so I don’t think we’re going to see that, and hopefully we won’t.”
Other opponents worry that people not used to seeing firearms carried openly will panic and call 911 when they first see people walking around with guns in holsters.

Tue
29
Dec

City sales tax rebates up in 2015

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
The city of Mexia’s sales tax rebates for December are down less than 1 percent compared to last year, but the city’s rebates, year-to-date remain above those collected at the same time last year.
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar will send cities, counties, transit systems and special purpose taxing districts $626.3 million in local sales tax allocations for December, 3 percent less than in December 2014. These allocations are based on sales made in October by businesses that report tax monthly.
Hegar also said today that sales tax revenue for the state in November was $2.58 billion, down 3.3 percent compared to November 2014.

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

Fri
18
Dec

Good will to all

Officials from across Limestone County met at the old Navasota River Bridge Monday, Dec. 3, for the Annual Bridge Lighting ceremony. Shown here, l-r, are Mexia Building Inspector Johnny Rogers, Mexia City Council member Bobby Jack Liles, Mexia City Manager Larry Brown, Mexia City Council member Laura Rothrock, Mexia Mayor Troy Miller, County Commissioner Pct. 4 Bobby Forrest, Mexia Building Inspector Billy Archibald, and County Judge Daniel Burkeen with his wife, Penny, and daughters Amanda, right, and Fallon, left.

See more photos from this event in the Saturday, Dec. 19, edition of the Mexia News.

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