News

Fri
06
May

Commissioners say no to shorter rail timeline

Landowner Charles Little, standing, was among 50-60 Limestone County residents who attended the commissioners court’s specially called meeting to express their opposition to the Texas Central Railroad.
Map showing various routes being considered by Texas Central Railway.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Nearly 60 Limestone County residents showed up to a specially called meeting of commissioners court Thursday to express opposition to a high-speed railroad company’s latest plans to acquire land.
On April 19, attorneys for Texas Central Railroad and Infrastructure and Texas Central Railroad asked the federal Surface Transportation Board to rule on its request within 90 days, to speed up the approval process. TCRI said this would keep potential landowner litigation from slowing down its schedule. The Surface Transportation Board is under the Department of Transportation and oversees economic regulation of railroads and certain other transportation venues.
A separate filing the same day asked the board to exempt the company’s construction and operation from prior approval requirements and from ongoing regulation after construction is complete and passenger service begins.

Fri
06
May

Voters decide races for cities, school boards

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Voters who didn’t take advantage of early voting hours head to the polls today to decide local school board and city elections.
Elections for Mexia City Council and Mexia ISD take place today, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Mexia Civic Center, 101 S. McKinney.
In the Mexia City Council election, District 2 incumbent Laura Rothrock faces Blanca Rivera, while District 6 member Bobby Jack Liles faces Stephen Friday and Colby Archibald.
At Mexia ISD, Place 1 incumbent Lee Banks faces David Klosterman; Place 2 incumbent Cheryl Cockrell is opposed by Benjie Reed, and William Lowry is running against Place 3 incumbent Culetta Beachum.

Fri
06
May

Three-vehicle wreck on U.S. 84 kills four

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Four people are dead following an horrific accident Wednesday evening near Teague.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said the wreck took place at 5:17 p.m. May 4, one mile east of Teague, on U.S. 84.
Michael James Jackson, 30, of Teague was driving a 2003 Mercury Sable sedan eastbound at what the DPS said was an “unsafe speed.” He lost control of his car and entered the westbound lane, striking a 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. Linda Nichols Huffman, 76, was driving the SUV, and had two passengers with her: Janice Sartor Turner, 78, and Martha Brown Turner, 80. All three were Teague residents.

Fri
06
May

County may settle with Labor Board on review

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners may resolve a matter that has arisen from a recent Department of Labor compliance review at their meeting next Tuesday, May 9.
Also Tuesday, the court plans to arrange for funding to establish flood levels at Lake Mexia, approve delivery of an oil-sand mixture to the city of Kosse, schedule a public hearing on closing a portion of LCR 747, approve holding a sale of surplus Road and Bridge equipment, and approve an agreement to accept overflow inmates from McLennan County.
Regarding the Labor Board review, the court held an executive session, which is closed to the public, at a specially called meeting, on April 28.
When the court returned to open session, however, no discussion took place and no action was taken. Since the item is on the agenda again, with a mention of a possible settlement, the matter may be resolved at Tuesday’s meeting.

Wed
04
May

Courthouse repairs done, new problem arises

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners received the final report on courthouse repairs made through a grant from the State Historical Commission last year, but they also learned of a new serious problem.
Maintenance Supervisor Sam Callis wrote the report, which is required as part of the grant that financed repairs to the courthouse’s staircase assemblies and driveway.
After County Judge Daniel Burkeen presented the report for Callis, who was not at the meeting, he reported on a new situation requiring repair in the basement, in the room that used to house the Department of Public Safety but now is used for District Clerk Carol Jenkins’ very large filing cabinet system.
“The floor was moving down there before, and it’s moving again,” Burkeen told the commissioners. “Sam has had several people look at it; he’s looked at several different options to fix it.”

Wed
04
May

Downtown festival honors Puebla victory

An attendee at the 2014 Cinco de Mayo celebration purchases tickets from volunteers Ana and Norman Orellana, at left. This year’s event is Saturday, May 7.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Mexia’s downtown will be the center of a Cinco de Mayo festival this coming Saturday, May 7, with the entire 200th block of East Commerce closed to traffic.
Both sides of the street there will be lined with booths and tables offering freshly made Mexican food like tacos, gorditas and roasted corn on the cob; and other treats, like icy, fruit-flavored drinks, hamburgers, popcorn and candy. Other tables and tents will sell toys and memorabilia and offer games.
Cinco de Mayo – which means Fifth of May – celebrates a victorious battle of Mexican soldiers over invading French troops, that took place in the city of Puebla de Los Angeles in the Mexican state of Veracruz on May 5, 1862.
Two raffles will run concurrently during the festival: one with first, second and third prizes of $100, a set of dishes and $50, respectively; and which ticket holders do not have to be present to win.

Wed
04
May

Two weeks left to seek FEMA aid

Texans who suffered damage or losses from the March 7-29 severe storms, tornadoes and flooding – including Lake Mexia residents – only have until Wednesday, May 18, to register for FEMA assistance.
“We do not want to see anyone lose the opportunity to receive money that they are due,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Kevin Hannes, who is in charge of FEMA’s operations in Texas. “But as we deal with multiple disasters here in Texas, FEMA must ask survivors to meet this deadline so that we can start the next steps in the recovery process.”
To register, people can go online anytime at DisasterAssistance.gov. Survivors also can register with FEMA by phone (voice, 711 or video relay service) at 800-621-3362 (FEMA), TTY 800-462-7585. The toll-free lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available.

Mon
02
May

Early voting for city, ISD spots ends today

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Today is the last day of early voting for local school board and city elections that will be decided in the May 7 general election.
In the Mexia City Council election, District 2 incumbent Laura Rothrock faces Blanca Rivera, while District 6 member Bobby Jack Liles faces Stephen Friday and Colby Archibald. Early voting for this election takes place at the city office, 101 N. McKinney 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3. Election day voting is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 7 at the Mexia Civic Center, 101 S. McKinney.

Mon
02
May

Having a fine time!

Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight
Dr. Anna Pat Alpert, center, and her daughter, Samantha Murphy, listen as Clint Flatt speaks to them during the social hour.
Navarro College South Professor Harold Mulholland, right, shares a moment with his wife, Judy, and Arthur Hadden, at the Navarro College South gala.

Attendees at the Navarro College South gala fundraiser, including, l-r, Raquel Sanders, Sabrina Jacobs and Alvis Minter, all of Mexia, enjoy appetizers during the social hour preceding dinner at the campus’ Administration Building Saturday evening, April 23. Click the arrow to see more photos from this event.

Mon
02
May

Born to preach: Prairie Hill’s Pastor Fred Sain

Fred and Sally Sain enjoy each other’s company on the porch of their home in Prairie Hill.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
The Rev. Fred Sain, pastor of Limestone County’s Prairie Hill Baptist Church for more than 66 years, can’t say exactly when he got the call to preach. That’s because some of his earliest memories are preaching on an overturned apple box in the back yard of his family’s home. That was in Garza County, south of Lubbock, in the mid-1930s, when he was five or six years old. Back then, his audience was his parents, John and Ruth Sain, his grandparents and baby brother, Johnny.
Young Fred answered the call on a formal basis years later. By then his family had moved to Slayton, where his father was a cotton gin operator.

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