News

Fri
24
Jul

County still teetering on edge of burn ban

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Because Limestone County is on the edge of a dry area of the state that is expected to get much drier in the next few weeks, a burn ban could be in the county’s future, but court watchers are not expecting county commissioners to declare a burn ban at their meeting this Monday, July 27. The ban is on the agenda of items to consider, however, along with awarding winners of annual bids of commonly used items, and agreements concerning housing inmates for a nearby county, renewing permission to use a landfill and renewing a software license.

Wed
22
Jul

County gets deep cuts in electricity rates

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
County commissioners approved the final contract its electricity broker worked out for the county, with the rate dropping about 44 percent for the county and about 43 percent for the Limestone County Detention Center, whose electricity is supplied by a different provider.
The county uses a company called Texas Energy, which helps businesses and other entities find the most competitive energy rates. The court approved at its June 22 meeting allowing Texas Energy to pursue the deal, and the court approved the contract with TXU Energy at its July 13 meeting.
County Judge Daniel Burkeen told the court the new contract will begin in June 2017, when the current contract with Hudson Energy expires. Hudson is charging about 8 cents a kilowatt hour, Burkeen told the court at the previous meeting.

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

Wed
22
Jul

New Extension agent to focus on health issues

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County’s new AgriLife Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Science, has been on the job since May and is looking to get feedback from residents about what kind of programming residents would like her to pursue.
Gabrielle Washington, who began her Limestone County Extension Agent post May 1, said she would like to gear some of her programming to the health issues associated with the top three causes of death in Limestone County: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Some programs she plans to continue were begun by her predecessor, Vanessa Casad, who transferred to Coryell County in December 2014.
One of those programs is called ‘Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes,’ which teaches the basics of that condition, including medications and lifestyle changes that can help a person diagnosed with diabetes to manage it.

Mon
20
Jul

Fit to be pied

Brother Dale Hergett, Justin Campbell and Hannah McCord all earned a pie in the face at a fundraiser on the last night of Kirvin Baptist Church’s Vacation Bible School. Sponsors were Bush’s Chicken of Mexia and FBC of Mexia. Offerings totaling $200 were collected for local mission projects.

Mon
20
Jul

County, LCSO juggling funds to stay in budget

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners are moving funds in and out of various budget lines to keep the budget balanced through the end of the fiscal year, but they were able also to get two needed salary raises through at their meeting Monday, July 13.
The court addressed those and other issues concerning the Law Enforcement Center, which includes the Sheriff’s Office and jail: taming the overgrown grass, hearing the statistics for June and a report on old car sales, and correcting a vehicle title.
At the court’s June 22 meeting, a difference of opinion had arisen about when certificate-based salary increases should go through, as soon as the employee earns certification or at the beginning of the next fiscal year.

Wed
15
Jul

Sim’s community garden sows seeds of knowledge

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
R.Q. Sims Intermediate School students got their hands dirty this past spring when they started their own community garden, and in doing so learned many lessons.
Fourth-grade science teacher Rhonda Mills had wanted to create a community garden for the past couple of years. Likewise, Sims librarian Jodi Huff had been wanting to start a garden for the ACE (Afterschool Centers on Education) after-school program she works with. So Mills and Huff planned together and made the community garden a reality.
Mills incorporated many lessons from science to make the gardening an academic pursuit as well as a fun activity.
First she issued each of her 148 fourth-graders a gallon-size plastic bag and had them take it home and ask their parents to help them find fertile soil.

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

Wed
15
Jul

19th of June group factions battle for control

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Turmoil is rocking the 19th of June Organization, which owns Booker T. Washington Park at Comanche Crossing on Lake Mexia and has organized Juneteenth celebrations there for more than 100 years.
The Mexia News was inadvertently drawn into the conflict when an ad was placed in the Saturday, July 11 edition, congratulating William “Pete” Kirvin for being elected the new president of the organization. The ad was placed by Jackie Gee of Mexia, who did not return a call requesting comment.
That advertisement drew immediate and multiple objections from at least a dozen people who attended the July 3 meeting during which an election was held. The organization elects new officers every two years, as proscribed in its bylaws, which were drafted in 1910.
The ad stated Kirvin received 39 votes out of 59 eligible voting members, defeating Dana Busby and Renee Turner for the position of president.

Mon
13
Jul

Close call

A state trooper and emergency responders look over the remains of a 2015 Jeep SUV that rolled through a fence and into a pasture off FM 39, about two miles south of CR 425, shortly after 10 p.m. Friday night. The driver is believed to have been trying to avoid a deer when her vehicle left the roadway. The ditch at the site is filled with deep sand and she was unable to regain control of the Jeep. The SUV ended up resting on the driver’s side. The driver and a male passenger, both of Streetman, were not wearing seatbelts, and the male passenger was ejected. A 4-year-old, who was using a child safety seat, and the driver were taken to Parkview Regional Hospital by Mexia EMS; the man, who was cited for open container, was taken to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center in Waco by Air Evac helicopter ambulance.

Mon
13
Jul

City of Mexia sales tax revenues up over 2014 figures

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Texas saw a the first drop in sales tax revenue in more than five years in June, but the city of Mexia’s sales tax rebates for June rose nearly six percent compared to last year. Totals in all but one of the other four taxing entities in Limestone County were also up for the month.
State sales tax revenue in June was $2.2 billion, down 1.4 percent compared to June 2014. This marks the first decline in state sales tax revenue following 62 consecutive months of growth.
“This slight decline was expected due to the slowdown in the oil and gas mining sector, and is in line with the biennial revenue estimate presented in January,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “Receipts from the construction, information, restaurant and services sectors continued to grow, however, which is a testament to Texas’ diverse and dynamic economy.”

Mon
13
Jul

Sheriff, deputies note changes in law enforcement

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson has noted many changes during his 40 years in law enforcement, and he’s also seen the difficulty of the job increase in light of increased levels of hostility toward all peace officers.
Wilson, who has been sheriff of Limestone County about 14 years, recently gave the Mexia Lions Club an update on law enforcement in the county,
“Right now is not a very popular time to be a police officer,” he told the Lions. “All you’ve got to do is turn on the news and find out the hatred that’s going on in our nation toward our police. But let me tell you something: We’re the last line of defense between you and the bad guys. And if we don’t get the citizens of our state, our county, of our nation to stand up for our police officers, we’re in sad shape. It is becoming alarming for me and my personnel, knowing the violence we face every day.”

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