News

Wed
04
Sep

Flames devastate Mexia RV home


Flames fully en­gulf an RV Tuesday mor­ning 30 minutes after the man who had been living in it left for work. A couple passing by saw the fire and called 911 then snapped this picture with a cell phone. Mexia News photo/Kristin Byrd

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

An early morning fire in Mexia Tuesday destroyed a recreational vehicle a man was using at his home as well as most of his possessions.

Shortly after Chris Brewer got to his job in Shiloh that day, his mother called to tell him his home was on fire. Brewer had left the RV, which was the size of a modest single-wide mobile home and listed at 901 S. Belknap St., about 5 a.m. that day.

A couple who had been delivering The Mexia News on Belknap saw smoke and flames coming from the home just after 5:30 a.m. and called 911.

The Mexia Fire Department arrived within 5 minutes and quickly doused the flames.

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

Wed
04
Sep

Court watches bills, encourages local buying

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners continued last week to comb the county’s expenses for places to cut. They also reminded department heads to try to buy from county merchants to help boost the local economy.

Upon examining the monthly bills, Commissioner Jerry Allen pointed out that the Adult Probation Department included a bill for valet parking on a trip to Austin.

“They have valet parking on there, $27.06,” Allen said. “They’ve got free parking there.”

County Judge Daniel Burkeen asked County Auditor Debbie Watson whether the funds are provided by the county or state; she confirmed the funding in question was from the state.

“It’s CSCD (Community Supervision Corrections Department, or adult probation) funds; it’s not paid by the county,” she said. “They have their own policies and procedures.”

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

Mon
02
Sep

Rotarians from Mexia help Mexican students


Retired teacher Yolanda Cordova Mancinas shows Mexia Rotarian Lynn Simpson what she is cooking on his visit to Mexico a few weeks ago. Simpson has been involved in helping impoverished students in the Mexican town of Creel since his first visit there in 1996. Contributed photo

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Mexia college professor and Rotarian Lynn Simpson has long had a soft spot for impoverished children in Mexico.
It started in 1996 when he was living in the Texas Panhandle town of Big Spring. He was teaching in a college there and accepted an invitation to go with a Rotary friend to visit a school in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

“Part of the trip was to go to this little town away up in the mountains called Creel,” he said recently.

Creel was founded as a railway depot and named for Enrique Creel, the governor of Chihuahua, at the time of its founding. The population of the area is an estimated 20,000, though Creel itself is closer to about 5,500.

That first trip was mostly a sightseeing trip for Simpson, but he was inspired to begin helping the people, especially children, living there.

Mon
02
Sep

Multiple choice


Sariah Flores, 8, offers an array of salad dressings to Rusty Trammell, assistant principal, and Shelia Sims, principal, of Mexia Junior High, at the Northcrest Church of Christ teacher appreciation luncheon last Thursday, Aug. 22. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

Sariah Flores, 8, offers an array of salad dressings to Rusty Trammell, assistant principal, and Shelia Sims, principal, of Mexia Junior High, at the Northcrest Church of Christ teacher appreciation luncheon last Thursday, Aug. 22.

Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

Mon
02
Sep

Courthouse to get new phones, elevator repair

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court voted at Monday’s meeting to have the Courthouse phone system replaced at the same time the Internet cabling is replaced. The court was also apprised of repairs to the elevator.

IT Specialist William Lane recommended to the court upgrading the phone service wiring at the same time the Courthouse’s Internet lines are rewired so the old telephone wiring can be pulled out at the same time the old Internet wiring is removed.

Fri
30
Aug

Volunteer program brings out hero in kids

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Through encouraging volunteerism, Mexia High School teacher Jodie Maki is training students to think more of others and not so much of themselves.

The vehicle for doing this is the HERO program, which she began at Mexia High last fall.

Maki, who teaches senior English and dual-credit English for Navarro College, spoke to the Mexia Lions Club recently about the HERO program and how it began.

Though 2012-13 was her first year teaching at Mexia, she had already attended the school district’s District Improvement Planning meeting simply as a community member about improving things at Mexia High School.

Fri
30
Aug

Split votes continue to mark county’s priority road fund decisions

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners discussed several items relating to county roads at Monday’s meeting, two regarding repairs, and one on a temporary closure.

One issue was the question of whether to use $60,000 of priority road material funds to repair 1 mile of LCR 439, which is in Precinct 4. The proposal by Commissioner Pct. 4 Bobby Forrest was put forth at the commissioners court meeting two weeks ago but tabled until this meeting.

At the previous meeting, Forrest had said Road Supervisor Jerry Herrin had recommended the work and was needed because off extra traffic due to a detour away from construction work on FM 1953.

Fri
30
Aug

Mexia school district gets passing grades

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Mexia ISD officials are pleased with the first performance marks they’ve received from the state since 2011, with the district overall returning to passing status after last being deemed unacceptable.

“When you have good news, why keep it all bottled up?” MISD curriculum director Donna Savage said as she shared the district’s ratings with MISD trustees at the board’s Aug. 19 regular monthly meeting.

In early August, Texas’ new rating system – based largely on the two-year-old STAAR testing program – was unveiled for the first time. The new system is more comprehensive than its predecessor, in place since the 1990s, which had four ratings: exemplary, recognized, acceptable and unacceptable.

Districts and campuses now receive one of two ratings: “met standard” or “improvement required.” Almost 93 percent of Texas school districts and charter schools met standard, as did about 91 percent of campuses.

Wed
28
Aug

Chambers gives Mexia sports overview


Mexia Independent School District Athletic Director Lamonte Chambers addresses the Rotary Club of Mexia recently giving a preview of the sports program this school year. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Mexia Blackcat Football Coach Lamonte Chambers has looked into the face of defeat – last year’s 0-10 record – and laughed, because he knows another day is coming, one he plans will have a different outcome.

As the district’s athletic director, Chambers is beginning his second school year in Mexia.

Chambers recently addressed the Rotary Club of Mexia to give a preview of this year’s sports teams. Before he spoke on his plans for the football program, however, he noted the high points of the sports program overall last school year.

“Football last year didn’t come out exactly like we wanted it to, but overall as an athletic program, it was awesome,” Chambers said. “Our soccer team made it to the playoffs, won their first playoff game in history. Our girls track team did the same: They went again to state in track. The boys track team took a relay (team) down there for the first time since 1947.

Wed
28
Aug

Property value drop means tax bump

County employees would get 3 percent raise, first in 3 years

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

County commissioners will consider an increase of 6.85 cents in the property tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year and are scheduling public hearings in September to give residents the opportunity to voice their opinions on the subject.
Limestone County Tax Assessor-Collector Stacy Hall told the court the tax rate to fund the proposed budget would have to be $0.6220 per $100 property valuation. That rate exceeds last year’s tax rate of $0.5535, an increase of $0.0685 per $100 valuation.

It also is higher than the effective tax rate of $0.5786 per $100 valuation, which is the amount the new rate would have to be to match last year’s revenues generated. The effective tax rate is higher than last year’s actual rate primarily because of a drop in value of the NRG Energy power plant and a decrease in mineral and other industrial and utility property values.

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