News

Wed
07
Jun

Foster Grandparents impact lives

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County retirees on a budget and looking for a meaningful activity might consider becoming a Foster Grandparent. Not only can elders make a little spending money, they will very likely find they become significant to the children with whom they interact.
That is the message of Pamela Ballentine, director of Limestone County’s Foster Grandparent Program since December, who spoke to the Mexia Lions Club recently on the program.
Ballentine saw firsthand the influence an elderly volunteer can make when her own children were growing up. She traveled a lot and never got to volunteer at her daughters’ schools – but her parents were there every day through a Foster Grandparent-type program. Her mother would go through different classes, reading to different children, while her father would work with children one-on-one, building trellises or making a scarecrow in the school garden.

Mon
05
Jun

County court clarifies policy of retirement: Workers cannot plan ahead to return

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners court voted to close what some call a loophole in the county’s retirement policy that has seen employees appear to retire, remove the cash from their retirement fund but plan all along to get quickly rehired for their old job.
The court voted to update its retirement policy on this issue at its May 23 meeting, following the recommendations of the Texas Association of Counties.
County Judge Daniel Burkeen told the court that TAC has given the county a list of updates it recommends, and for which he is writing resolutions for the court to consider and possibly vote upon, but he only had the one update prepared in time for the May 23 meeting.

Mon
05
Jun

MHS grads cross stage despite damp weather

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
When the Mexia High School graduation ceremony and threatening rain clouds collided Friday night, neither side backed down. As the ceremony began, very dark clouds covered most of the sky, and cool breezes kept temperatures pleasant, but the imminent rain held off for a while.
As the notes of “Pomp and Circumstance” faded, the last of the 144 graduating seniors took their seats on six long rows of folding chairs, three on each side of a dais, where school administrators and school board trustees sat in black robes, colorful sashes hanging from their shoulders.
Senior class officer Jaylen Gipson led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag; officer Jo’Rel Lockhart led the Pledge to the Texas flag; and officer Alanni Connor spoke a prayer of benediction for the seniors.

To read more of this story, pick up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The Mexia News. Subscribe online or call 254-562-2868.

Fri
02
Jun

Road material funds secured for precint

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners transferred money from the Contingencies Fund to the Road and Bridge Department’s Road Fund despite explanations by County Auditor Debbie Watson that there was no money “left over” from the previous budget, and that there was plenty of money already allocated for road repair and maintenance in the current (2016-17) budget.
The decision was made at the court’s May 23 meeting, when Commissioner Pct. 3 Jerry Allen and Commissioner Pct. 4 Bobby Forrest requested the funds be transferred to make up for unspent money in the previous fiscal year’s budget that had been allocated for use by Precincts 3 and 4.
The court had already voted on the matter at its Oct. 25, 2016, meeting, but it had to be placed on the May 23 meeting agenda and voted upon again.

Fri
02
Jun

Limestone 4-H horseback riders going to district

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Three Limestone County 4-H horseback riders are advancing to district competition, which long-time observers say hasn’t happened in years.
All the riders have been members of the Limestone Leaders 4-H Horse Project since Annette McCloskey started the group three years ago. Now the riders have set their sites on the 4-H Horse Show for District 8 on June 19-20 in Belton.
One rider, Sarah Foreman, 17, of Forest Glade, is taking two horses, one for riding events, and one for a futurity project, which involves taking a very young horse and raising, caring and training it. Sarah is the first in this area to attempt it, McCloskey said.
A second rider, Sarah Hall, 17, of Groesbeck, is the first student in this area in recent years to ride English and Hunter Hat, which refers to hunter-jumpers. She will also ride the same horse in four stock events: pleasure, trail, reigning and showmanship.

Wed
31
May

Limestone residents remember fallen heroes

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Dozens of Limestone County residents gathered at the courthouse Monday for a Memorial Day ceremony to honor those who have lost their lives fighting for the United States.
American Legion Post 288 hosted the event, and law enforcement officers were well represented. Legion Chaplain David Kale opened with a prayer and another participant led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag.
Near the beginning of the ceremony, two members of the American Legion Junior Auxiliary, Amanda and Fallon Burkeen, led the crowd in singing “God Bless America.”
Their father, American Legion Post Commander Daniel Burkeen, then gave the keynote address, reminding listeners why they should remember those who gave their lives and telling of the sacrifices and final acts of bravery by fallen military members from different conflicts throughout U.S. history.

Wed
31
May

Economic fund to make Fairground upgrades

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
While improvements to the Limestone County Fairgrounds have been requested for years by those who use the facility – and delayed for years because of the cost – County Judge Daniel Burkeen has suggested a source for paying for at least some of the improvements.
Burkeen brought up his idea at the commissioners court’s May 23 meeting, but asked commissioners for the OK to proceed before he and others spend time on getting prices.
He said that Arnold and Penny Gray, who worked for years on the board of the Limestone County Fair Association, gave Burkeen a list of items before their recent retirement, on things the Fairgrounds needs or could very much use.

Tue
30
May

Limestone County appoints new rabies control officer

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Although Limestone County has been without a rabies control officer for some years, a new appointee has been chosen to fill the position.
County commissioners appointed Thayla Tucker to the job at their May 23 meeting.
Tucker has plenty of experience with animals since she has been working with LARAS House animal shelter for seven years. With that organization, she sets up appointments for dogs to be spayed and neutered, takes the animals to their appointments and picks them up afterward, fosters multiple dogs in her home, volunteers at the group’s many fundraisers and also is the secretary of the board of directors.

Tue
30
May

Juneteenth club prepares for annual event

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Organizers of next month’s Juneteenth celebration are hard at work preparing Booker T. Washington Park for what they hope will be a very large crowd to mark the 152nd anniversary of the arrival in Texas of the news that slaves had been liberated.
Booker T. Washington Park’s land extends well beyond the facility’s entrance on FM 3437, the iconic dance hall, which is the two-story structure on stilts, and the large covered slab filled with pews, called the tabernacle.
The park’s total area is about 30 acres, said Dr. Sharon Kirven-Henley, who, with husband Rex Henley, is planning this year’s parade.
Members of the Limestone County Nineteenth of June Organization are using heavy machinery to clear the land across FM 3437 of trees and brush so there will be room for camping and parking vehicles.

Fri
26
May

Court takes no action on deduction request for now

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
A representative of an insurance company made a presentation at Limestone County commissioners court’s May 23 meeting, requesting the county make automatic payroll deductions to pay the insurance company’s premiums for county employees who request it, but commissioners took no action to fulfill his request.
Groesbeck’s Sam LeNoir, an independent insurance contractor for National Farm Life Insurance, made the presentation, saying that he had a payroll deduction program in Freestone County. He said he had done business with some county employees for as long as 20 years, and he wanted to make paying the premiums easier for county employees.

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