News

Fri
10
Jun

Limestone bridge to be replaced at minimal cost

The wooden bridge over LCR 250, near Wortham, is scheduled to be replaced with a concrete bridge at no cost by Texas Department of Transportation.

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
The Texas Department of Transportation is about to replace the bridge over Limestone County’s LCR 250, near Wortham, at no cost to the county, except for compensating the nearby landowner $5,000.
County Engineer Ted Kantor said that to meet the state’s current standards, the new bridge would need to be moved over onto what is now private land.
“Due to their design criterion and the geometry of the road and the creek, they can’t design and put it back where it is,” Kantor told the court. “It’s too close to the creek. We need to move it over onto David Bates’ property. Usually there is very little right-of-way acquisition in these deals; we wind up putting the bridge back where it was. You can ask the landowners to donate a little bit of land. I can’t tell you how far the bridge is moving over, but it’s moving over entirely on Mr. Bates’ property.”
The water line and fence will have to be redone, too, Kantor said.

Fri
10
Jun

Good reads

Mexia News photos/Roxanne Thompson
Eu Villaces, of Mexia, studies with interest books offered at the annual book sale at Gibbs Memorial Library on Saturday, June 4.

The Friends of Gibbs Memorial Library held their annual book sale this past weekend. Patsy Johnson, left, recalls a lifetime of going to the library as she browses books at the annual book sale at Gibbs Memorial Library on Saturday, June 4. ‘I’ve been coming to the library for 70 years,’ she said. ‘That was one place my mother let us come by ourselves.’ Next to Johnson are Michelda Brown and her daughter, Kamrye Brown.

Fri
10
Jun

Well-deserved honor

Contributed photo

Dion and Dena Looney, 604 S. Ave. D in Wortham, were recognized with the Wortham Garden Club’s Yard of the Month’s sign on June 8 at their home. Mr. and Mrs. Looney work on their large yard almost every day. Mr. Looney was on the mower when club members arrived to put the sign in the yard. The couple are shown here after accepting the club’s sign.

Fri
10
Jun

County to hear details about hiring investigator

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Two Limestone County commissioners are expected to report to commissioners court at its meeting next Tuesday on the cost and possible details about hiring a private investigator to track down missing tools and other items from the county prison
The court plans to discuss and possibly take action on this item at its June 14 meeting and also to hold an executive session to discuss a possible contract with a prison operating company to run the prison on a short-term basis. Other matters scheduled for Tuesday’s meeting are awarding a contract to provide inmate telephone service at the county jail, approving raises at the Law Enforcement Center, which includes the Sheriff’s Office, jail and dispatchers; and authorizing the county auditor to advertise for annual bids on often-used items.

Fri
10
Jun

Annual Lake Mexia boat parade coming up July 2

Get your boats ready, polished up and decorated to the hilt.
It’s time again for the Let Freedom Ring Boat Parade at Lake Mexia, sponsored by the Lake Mexia Citizens Association.
This parade takes place every year close to July 4, and this year it will kick off the holiday festivities and be held Saturday, July 2, at 2 p.m. at the Lake Mexia Recreation/Marina area.
Boats will be decorated in patriotic themes and start at the marina, circle the north portion of the lake then return past the marina and circle the south part of the lake, before returning to the marina for judging and awards.
There should be plenty of water in the lake this year so sand bars should not be a problem.
Everyone is welcome, and you don’t have to live at the lake or be an association member to participate.
There will be monetary prizes for first, second and third places, of $75, $50 and $25 respectively.

Wed
08
Jun

Mexia family adjusting to life in dome home

James and Dawn McKeand, of Mexia, relax on the porch of their dome home, which they had built on their property on FM 39, south of Mexia.
Although the shape of James and Dawn McKeands’ dome home is unique, the interior incorporates both traditional and modern furniture and flooring.
James McKeand installed strings of LED lights along the tops of the beams in the dome home he and wife Dawn built in Mexia recently.
The open house design, modern appliances and an island counter in the kitchen of James and Dawn McKeand’s new dome home.
James McKeand designed the closets in the bedroom of his dome home as units of staggered height so they could function as a built-in staircase to the large upper storage loft.
The naturally high open space above the interior of James and Dawn McKeand’s new dome home gives an open airy feel not available in most traditional houses.

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
It’s been nearly three years since Mexia’s James and Dawn McKeand started building their dome home on FM 39, a few miles south of Mexia, and they recently gave an update on it. The couple and their children moved in about August 2015, although it wasn’t finished.
Fast forward to June 2016, and they still find themselves tweaking it here and there – but they are thoroughly enjoying living in their new house.
Building a dome home started as just an idea James toyed with. He had heard of the energy-efficiency of dome homes, which use 50-75 percent less energy to heat and cool than traditional homes. The thick concrete walls and layer of polyurethane, considered by many to be the world’s best insulation, is the secret to the lower energy costs of dome structures.
“The polyurethane foam acts as a barrier to outside weather changes, while the concrete absorbs temperature fluctuations inside the home,” James said.

Wed
08
Jun

County to search for short-term prison operator

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners are looking for a company to operate the county prison on an interim basis for anticipated short-term contracts while they wait for a bigger contract to come through. Commissioners court dealt with this and other financial matters at their May 24 meeting, including discussing the need to raise fees at the Fairgrounds, accepting a financial report and making several budget resolutions; and also approving an agreement that would provide the county’s vital statistics to the state.
Commissioners voted on the decision to advertise for an interim operator for the prison after returning to open session from an executive session, which is closed to the public.
The Limestone County Detention Center is privately owned by the county and has been empty since June 2013.

Wed
08
Jun

After all that rain

Mexia News photo/Brenda Sommer

This grassfire, which happened Monday just off FM 39 near LCR 455, is a reminder that weeks of rain don’t stop the threat of wildfire. Fire crews quickly extinguished the blaze, which did not harm homes or structures. The fire consumed about two acres of pasture.

Wed
08
Jun

CHC hears updates on El Camino Real, oral histories

The Limestone County Historical Commission held its regular meeting May 3 in the Limestone County Courtroom. Members present were Linda Jordan, Bruce Jordan, Bubba McDonald, Dixie Hoover and William Reagan.
After Chairman Reagan called the meeting to order and a quorum was verified, the minutes of the previous meeting were presented, discussed and accepted by unanimous vote.
McDonald said he attended the oral history conference at Baylor but said it was geared more towards colleges developing oral history programs.
He said he did learn that Baylor has had its oral history program since 1975 and has over 6,000 oral histories of which about 70 percent are transcribed.
He said he spoke with Michelle Holland about the completion of the Limestone CHC’s final transcriptions and was told that it might be a while, but since the CHC had someone attending the conference, the Limestone County transcripts would have priority.

Wed
08
Jun

Man of the Year

Mexia News photo/Roxanne Thompson

Mexia Lions Club President Robin Green, at right, presents Lion Donald Beene with the Lion of the Year Award at the club’s May 24 meeting.

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