News

Wed
07
Aug

Airport’s weather tower going up this week


Lucas Schultz, a field service engineer with Vaisala, the company that manufacturers the Automatic Weather Observation System towers, installs one such tower at Limestone County Airport earlier this week. The tower is to be commissioned Friday, and weather information will begin to be available over the Internet as soon as the National Weather Service begins accepting the data. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

It’s been years in the planning, but the weather tower at the Limestone County Airport is expected to begin transmitting the county’s weather conditions online within the next week or so.

The Automatic Weather Observation Tower, called simply AWOS, will measure and record the first official weather records for Limestone County in its history.

The National Weather Service will use the weather information from the AWOS tower to chart and predict weather more accurately.
Pilots will be able to check weather conditions at the airport to make landing and take-off safer; and they can make plans based on the information the tower will provide.

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

Wed
07
Aug

Cable cut puts hush on Mexia communications


AT&T technicians confer after finding the location of a severed fiber optic cable about 6 miles west of Mexia Wednesday morning. Internet, long distance and cell phone service was out most of the day, affecting business and personal activities. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight and Brenda Sommer

A highway shredder severed a fiber optic cable west of Mexia Wednesday morning, cutting off cell phone, long distance and Internet service to the city and even impacting 911 service.

The outage occurred just before 9 a.m. AT&T personnel determined the cut was between Mexia and Waco but had to search to find the exact location.

Splicers found the cut wiring by noon. It was clearly visible above ground in the newly cut grass beside U.S. 84 at its intersection with FM 2681, about 6 miles west of Mexia just past the old Farm House Restaurant.

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

Mon
05
Aug

Friends rally around injured motorcyclist Pilkington


Brandon Lansford, of Wortham, donates blood at the Scott and White mobile blood bus Saturday in the parking lot of CVS in Mexia. Checking on Lansford is phlebotomist and team leader Barbara Young-Webber, of Temple. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

People in the Mexia area have been working together to help motorcyclist Marc Pilkington, who was seriously injured last week in a wreck on Hwy. 171.

A friend of the family has been collecting cash donations to help with the bills, and dozens showed up for a blood drive at CVS Pharmacy in Mexia Saturday.

Whitney Buck, a longtime friend of the family, coordinated the blood drive, which saw a blood donation bus from Scott and White park at the drugstore for four hours starting at 10 in the morning.

Though the blood was not directly for Pilkington, the drive was to help replenish what he had used.

“It was the donations of others that saved Marc after his accident, so we thought we’d give back,” Buck said as she waited in the parking lot. “We’re just restocking their shelves so someone’s brother or father could be saved. It was donations like these that provided the blood that saved him.”

Mon
05
Aug

Mexia kids learn STEM concepts at LEGO Camp


Oscar Ronquillo and Audrey Lin, both 10-year-olds from Mexia, have fun using what they have learned about gears and pulleys to put together a car from LEGO blocks at the LEGO Camp held at Navarro College South last week. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

A new, innovative way to teach engineering concepts to kids debuted in Mexia last week at a LEGO robotics camp hosted by Navarro College South.

The learning event took place Monday through Thursday, with a morning session for children in third to fifth grades, and an afternoon session that included students through seventh grades.

Teaching the class was David Hayes, principal of Wortham Elementary and Junior High schools, and former robotics teacher at Mexia High School.

“The afternoon is a little higher level, more critical thinking for slightly older kids,” Hayes said. “They have to just look at the pictures and decide on the design that’s going to be the most structurally sound.”

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

Mon
05
Aug

Continuing heat wave danger to elders, children


High temperatures have Mexia residents staying inside to keep cool. The Mexia Incommons bank sign, which displays the temperature, shows one of the hottest temperatures of the summer so far. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

You don’t need a calendar to know it’s August: Just step outside.

The blisteringly hot temperatures that returned last week are expected to continue for at least the rest of this week. The National Weather Service predicts sunny days with highs of 100 degrees for today through Friday. Highs should dip to 97 Saturday and 96 Sunday, due to a 20-percent chance of rain both days.

“Wednesday should be the hottest day of the week over most of North Texas… with temps a degree or so cooler Thursday and Friday,” the NWS forecast discussion stated.

Baking hot temperatures aren’t helping the ongoing drought situation, either, which has been going on in most of the state for three years.

The Keetch-Byram Drought Index, used to determine forest fire potential, ranges from 0 to 800. A KDBI of 0 is water-logged soil to a depth of at least 8 inches, while 800 represents bone dry conditions to that same depth.

Fri
02
Aug

Memorial service honors fallen MPD officer Ward


Guests, including these two state troopers, salute the flag raised at half-staff as a trumpeter plays “Taps” during Friday’s memorial service for Mexia PD Officer Ricky Ward, who was killed on duty 20 years ago. Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Speakers remembered “gentle giant” Ricky Ward at a memorial service Friday, 20 years to the day the Mexia police officer was killed in the line of duty.

The memorial was held in front of the police department to honor the sacrifice of Ward, who died Aug. 2, 1993 at the age of 33.

County Judge Daniel Burkeen and Sheriff Dennis Wilson were among those who spoke to the crowd of about 60.

“He lives in our minds and hearts as a hero,” Wilson said, also discussing the way myriad law enforcement agencies came together to capture Ward’s killer.

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

Fri
02
Aug

Summer in Mexia a time for vacation Bible school


Vacation Bible school students work on constructing scarecrows with their arts and craft supplies at Mexia’s St. Luke United Methodist Church last week. Shown here, from left and going clockwise, are Kamiyah Pritchett, 7, Trynity Hicks, 8, Ty Strong, 8, Makayla Banks, 7, Kiara Busby, 8, Devon West, 8, Jordan Banks, 6, (obscured), and Amauri Smith, 7. See more photos on Page 8. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

St. Luke United Methodist Church, of Mexia, revived its vacation Bible school this summer after a hiatus of many years.

Vacation Bible school, a common activity in Christian churches, usually consists of four or five days of fun activities with a religious theme held during the summer months for children from kindergarten through at least fifth grade, if not higher.

St. Luke UMC held its VBS last week, Monday through Friday, July 22-26, with the help of volunteers from the congregation: teachers Mary Burns, Lavonda McCrary, Darron Collins and Jackie Smith; and aides Rosie Durham, Brittney Jones, Mariyah Wiley and Myron Thompson.

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

Fri
02
Aug

ACLU warns MISD against drug testing for all

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas has sent a four-page letter to Mexia ISD and its board of trustees, outlining its concerns about a proposed change to the district‘s drug-testing policy.

The letter, dated Aug. 1, lays out a number of court rulings the ACLU believes don’t allow for the kind of policy the Mexia ISD board has discussed implementing over the course of several meetings.

The district’s board is currently considering a policy to test all junior high and high school students for drug usage, and include all of them in the pool of those considered for random testing.

Currently, the district randomly tests 40 students a month, names chosen randomly from a pool consisting of junior high and high school students who either take part in extracurricular activities, or drive on campus.

Wed
31
Jul

Limestone’s Wilson elected 3rd VP of state sheriff group


Dennis D. Wilson Limestone County Sheriff

Limestone County Sheriff Dennis D. Wilson has been elected Third Vice President of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas.
His selection took place at the organization’s 135th Annual Training Conference, held in Corpus Christi, July 20-23.

Sheriff Wilson has been the sheriff of Limestone County since January 2001. He is serving and has served in various state-level leadership positions in Limestone County and throughout the state.

Wilson attended the conference with Limestone County’s Chief Deputy Sheriff R.T .Beck.

Wilson will be sworn in as president of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas at the 139th Annual Training Conference.

Wed
31
Jul

Gala a chance to improve MSSLC residents’ lives


Cheryl Cockrell and her assistant Robin Green, with the Mexia State Supported Living Center Volunteer Council, chat with members of the Mexia Lions Club and sell tickets to the Aug. 10 gala fundraiser to benefit MSSLC residents. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Though residents at the Mexia State Supported Living Center have their most basic needs met, compassionate people in and around Mexia and Limestone County agreed more than 50 years ago that they needed to do something to make the residents’ lives better. So, they founded the Volunteer Council to provide the extra things of life that go a long way to doing just that for MSSLC residents.

Making that happen, however, costs money, so fundraising is vital to fulfilling the goals. Cheryl Cockrell, community liaison for the Mexia State Supported Living Center, spoke to the Mexia Lions Club recently on the Volunteer Council’s biggest fundraiser, its annual gala and auction, which is coming up Saturday evening, Aug. 10. Doors open at 5:30, and the gala starts at 6. Tickets are $25 and are being sold now for the event, which will be held at the Christian Life Center at First Baptist Church.

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