News

Mon
26
Oct

County burn ban continues

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Despite heavy and widespread rain in Limestone County over the weekend, the commissioners court agreed Monday to keep the county burn ban in place for now.
County Judge Daniel Burkeen told the court at its Oct. 26 meeting that he had been getting telephone calls since Saturday from residents wanting to know if the burn ban had been canceled.
“We have a recommendation that because of the excessive dead vegetation that provides fuel for fires, which is still there, has not gone away – all that tends to happen in these situations is the fire trucks get stuck trying to get to it – that we keep the burn ban on,” Burkeen told the court.
Recommendations on the burn ban come from Emergency Management Director Matt Groveton.

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

Mon
26
Oct

Break welcome after area flooding

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Mexia escaped the outrageous rain totals experienced both north and south of town since Thursday, receiving just over 6 inches during slow and steady showers from Thursday through Sunday.
Forecasters warn, however, that another round of rains is expected to begin later this week. Emergency responders throughout the area stayed busy with calls of stranded vehicles and roads under water.
On Friday, tornado sirens in Mexia went off, but that was caused by malfunctioning equipment. Mexia police Saturday closed access to Hwy. 171 for about four hours because of flooding outside of Coolidge and Hubbard, causing Mexia State Supported Living Center staff to use U.S. 84 and FM 2838 to get to work.
To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The Mexia News, or subscribe to our online edition.

Mon
26
Oct

Rain or shine

Residents from all across Limestone County walk together along an indoor track marked by luminarias at Saturday’s Relay for Life. The annual American Cancer Society fundraiser was moved to Mexia Junior High School gym due to rain.

Mon
26
Oct

Sheriff’s Office awards raises, receives donation

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer

Raises for four Limestone County Sheriff’s Office employees were approved by county commissioners court at their Oct. 12 meeting. The court also approved three new hires, accepted a donation from a former county resident and approved invoices for the Limestone County Detention Center, the county-owned private prison, which has been empty since June 2013.
The court approved salary adjustments for:
• Deputy Rashad Smith – six-month probation pay raise.
• Jailer Nancy Costilla – five-year step raise.
• Jailer Anetta Anglin – five-year step raise.
• Jailer Celia Garrison – three-year step raise.
Step raises are awared when Sheriff’s Office employees attain three and five years employment in a bid to keep employees longer.
Six-month raises are standard for all county employees, but County Judge Daniel Burkeen noted the raise for the deputy was not standard.

Wed
21
Oct

Bowled over

VFW Post 4694 bartender Zack Zerkle, left, of Wortham, tries several different entries in the chili cook-off, held Saturday, Oct. 17. At right, Grace Bereman serves chili from another entrant.

To see more photos from this event, pick up a copy of Thursday's edition of The Mexia News, or subscribe to our online edition.

Wed
21
Oct

County take-home vehicle policy reconsidered

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners court restored, at its Oct. 12 meeting, the take-home vehicle to 911 Address Supervisor Robbie Pettigrew and confirmed the take-home vehicle of Fairgrounds Manager Kenneth Ellis. The county has also adjusted how it taxes employees with take-home vehicles to avoid having to collect a $3 daily fee required by the IRS.
A formal vehicle policy was established for the first time at the court’s Sept. 28 meeting, with all law enforcement officers allowed to take home their vehicles as allowed by law. Initially, however, only four Road and Bridge Department employees were authorized to take home county-owned vehicles: County Engineer Ted Kantor, Road Foreman Jerry Herrin, Bridge Foreman James Trantham and Shop Foreman Robert Rader.
Three employees who had previously had permission to take home their county-owned vehicles had the permission withdrawn and could no longer use them for commuting.

Wed
21
Oct

Rain may final come starting Thursday

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Mexia and North Texas have their best chance in months of significant rainfall starting today.
Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop Thursday afternoon into the evening hours and will spread across all of North Texas Thursday night into Friday,” the National Weather Service Dallas/Fort Worth office has forecast. “Widespread moderate to heavy rainfall can be expected. Showers and thunderstorms will continue across the region on Saturday before tapering off Saturday night.”
In their hazardous weather outlook notice for the weekend, NWS meteorologists said the main threat today through saturday is the potential for very heavy rainfall.
“Many areas will receive between 2 and 5 inches of rainfall which could lead to localized flash flooding,” the notice states.

Mon
19
Oct

Too close for comfort

A grass fire Saturday afternoon moseyed up the driveway and came within a few feet of the front door of this FM 39 house and the home next door, but firefighters stopped the blaze before either residence received serious damage. Wildfires have sprung up all over the county in the last few weeks, in spite of a burn ban, due to lack of rainfall and crispy-dry vegetation. The Keech Byram Drought Index for Limestone County averaged 711 Monday, on a scale of 800, with 800 meaning bone-dry.

Mon
19
Oct

Survivor Janecka sparks hope in those fighting cancer

By Roxanne McKnight
Staff Writer
Cancer was the last thing on Cindy Janecka’s mind in August 2005. She was not supposed to get breast cancer. She was only 37, healthy, felt great and had no cancer in her family – but she had gotten a mammogram and received the dreaded report from the medical test that yes, it was cancer.
Janecka’s life was filled with everything she had wanted; she was a wife, mother to three children, had a home, a successful career as an individual and family therapist, taught Sunday school.
“I was stunned; I was shocked,” Janecka said. “I felt I had too much going on in life. This couldn’t possibly be happening. I don’t have time to have cancer. I’m too busy to have cancer. And I had no symptoms – there was nothing that gave me any indication I was sick or there was anything wrong with me.

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

Mon
19
Oct

Early voting begins for constitutional changes

By Brenda Sommer
Managing Editor
Early voting for the Nov. 3 Election began yesterday and continues through Friday, Oct. 30, but there are no Mexia issues on the ballot.
The election will decide the fate of seven amendments to the Texas constitution. Groesbeck ISD voters will also decide whether to issue $8 million in bonds for construction and renovation of school buildings and to buy buses and technology.
There are two polling sites for early voters: the county courthouse in Groesbeck or the courthouse annex in Mexia.
For voting at the annex in Mexia, located at 205 S. McKinney St., the hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, Oct. 20-23, and Monday-Friday, Oct. 26-30.
The schedule for voting at the courthouse at 200 W. State St. in Groesbeck is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, Oct. 20-23, and Monday-Friday, Oct. 26-30.

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