News

Mon
10
Jun

Mexia High bids farewell to Class of 2013


Graduating seniors Mary Speights and Y’Keisha Stevenson, center, embrace after the graduation ceremony Friday evening at Blackcat Stadium. At left are Jose Perez, Randi Fortson and Ariel Ballard, at right Mariyah Wiley and her cousin Myron Thompson – all showing various stages of emotions along with the rest of the senior class. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
There was not a hint of the rain predicted earlier in the week for Mexia High School’s graduation ceremonies Friday night at Blackcat Stadium.
Those attending were seated on the visitors’ side of the field, and the stands were full to overflowing, with people filling the area in front of the stands and along side to the end of the field.
As the sun was setting beyond the stage, “Pomp and Circumstance” began to play over the loudspeaker and the graduates began advancing individually from the opposite side of the field.
The 125-plus grads filed into six rows of chairs arranged in three rows on either side of a stage fronted by greenery and red gladiolas. School board members and school administrators filled the platform in black graduation robes, each wearing graduation sashes of various colors around their necks.

Fri
07
Jun

County oversees prison management transition

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

County officials are expected to continue to make any needed decisions at Monday’s commissioners court meeting regarding the transition of operating companies at the Limestone County Detention Center.

The current operator of the private prison, Community Education Centers will continue to run the facility through the end of June 28, but MTC, the new operator is preparing to take over the work.

Also at the meeting, commissioners are likely to approve allowing County Auditor Debbie Watson to advertise for bids on various large commodities, as the county does each summer.

The amount of the bids accepted will be used in preparation of the annual budget in August and September before the new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Fri
07
Jun

Lightsey Farms: A family tradition


Lisa Haddon and daughter, Alyssa, 2, check the blossoms on a peach tree on Lightsey Farms, of Mexia, earlier this season.

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Giving up a teaching career to be a farmer may be unusual, but for two Mexia women, it was the perfectly natural choice – and they haven’t looked back.

Mary and Lisa Lightsey grew up the only children of their farmer father, so they learned everything they needed to know about farming helping out their dad all those years.

They each became teachers and taught school, Mary Lightsey for 10 years of economics, history, government and English as a second language, and Lisa Lightsey Haddon for 14 years of kindergarten, first grade special education and English as a second language. But they never stopped helping in the family business – Lightsey Farms.

Fri
07
Jun

MISD hopes to upgrade high school kitchen

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Mexia Independent School District board members at their May 20 meeting agreed to take steps to improve the high school kitchen.

James Slater, executive director of business and finance, presented a proposal to the board that included upgrades including adding a dishwasher, disposer, steam hood, some tables and racks. The estimated costs total $36,173, which required board approval since it exceeded $25,000.

To install a dishwasher, additional electrical work and plumbing is needed, also a vent to the outside, which means cutting a hole in the roof.

“When they redid the roof, they closed it all off,” Slater said. “Now we have to go back up and put all that through the roof again. That’s why we have to have the plumbers out and the electricians.”

Wed
05
Jun

Commencement Friday for Mexia Class of 2013

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

Weather permitting, the Mexia High Class of 2013 will pick up their diplomas at Blackcat Stadium Friday night.

Commencement ceremonies are set for 8 p.m. at the football stadium, but some forecasters are predicting rain that evening.
School administrators will make the decision on whether to move the event indoors sometime Friday afternoon. If that is the case, commencement will occur in the high school gymnasium, where seating is limited.

Each senior will receive tickets for the indoor version of the event, and those without tickets may watch the event on a live feed in the high school auditorium.

Wed
05
Jun

Court honors former senior services director Vinson


Ann Vinson, who recently retired as director of the county’s Senior Services Project, accepts a plaque of appreciation from Limestone County Commissioners court at its recent meeting. Shown here, from left, are Commissioner Jerry Allen, seated, and from left, Commissioner Bobby Forrest, County Judge Daniel Burkeen, Vinson, and Commissioners William ‘Pete’ Kirven and John McCarver. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners at last week’s meeting recognized Ann Vinson, who retired as director of the Senior Services Center in January, and also took care of some road issues.

County Judge Daniel Burkeen and the commissioners gathered around Vinson and presented her with a plaque for her years of service.

“She did a great job,” Burkeen said of Vinson. “I think our senior services program was the shining star of the HOTCOG region. What they did with the senior services, transportation and Meals on Wheels – she did just a wonderful job for us and kept that program viable.”

He noted Vinson is still active in the community as site manager of the Coolidge Senior Services Center.

Wed
05
Jun

High-pressure job

Mexia firefighters Billy Turner, left, and Michael Bell test a fire hydrant on Tyler Street recently. According to Mexia Fire Chief Clayton Shivers, the department tests the hydrants annually.
Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

Wed
05
Jun

MISD hires Ross as new superintendent


Kim Williams, Mexia ISD board president (right), presents a name plaque to Sharon Ross, the new MISD superintendent. Ross was formally hired by the board Tuesday night, and presented a number of welcoming gifts from the community. Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor

As expected, the Mexia ISD board Tuesday night formally approved hiring Sharon Ross as the district’s new superintendent.
About 40 people turned out for the four-minute special meeting, called solely to hire Ross, and to consider some other district employment issues, matters which were postponed.

Board member Rachel Hernandez made the motion to hire Ross, a move seconded by trustee Jackie Craig and approved 6-0.
The board named Ross, the Jefferson ISD Superintendent, as their sole candidate for the position on May 13, but was required by law to wait at least 21 days to officially hire her.

Mon
03
Jun

Mexia baccalaurate starts send-off for graduates


Senior Alana Holt plays ‘Viva la Vida,’ at the Mexia High School baccalaurate Sunday evening at the high school auditorium. Also performing the song were four other seniors, pictured below. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Mexia High School was the scene of the annual baccalaurate service for graduating seniors Sunday night.
The interdenominational service to honor the graduates saw the youths file into the auditorium in cap and gown to the familiar music of “Pomp and Circumstance,” played on piano by Wynona Lipsett.
Some of the grads had utterly serious expressions on their faces, while others seemed barely able to contain their joy at having attained this important milestone.
Several area pastors greeted them, including the Rev. Cleo High, of Antioch Baptist Church, who gave the invocation; the Rev. Bryan Hallmark, of Mexia First Assembly of God, who gave a short scripture reading; the Rev. Kevin Jones, of First Baptist Church, who gave the keynote address; and the Rev. Michael King, of Calvary Baptist Church, who would give the closing benediction.

Mon
03
Jun

Navarro College’s Mexia campus expanding


Linda Davis, dean of Navarro College South, examines the architects’ drawings of what the new administration building will look like when it is completed in October. Mexia News photo/Roxanne McKnight

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

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