News

Wed
16
Aug

Fairgrounds upgrades begin to take shape

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
After years of talking about improving the Fairgrounds, Limestone County commissioners court took steps at its Aug. 15 meeting to order additional horse stalls, and to have a dressing room built for the facility.
Supporters of the Fairgrounds hope the upgrades will make the venue available for larger events, thus increasing its profitability.
General Manager Kenneth Ellis found an offer on some horse stalls that the commissioners agreed they couldn’t pass up.
Ellis was not present, so County Judge Daniel Burkeen presented the information on his behalf. The deal was for 20 new portable horse stalls of top quality for $24,023, which includes a discount.

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

Wed
16
Aug

Star-gazers witness first hand Perseid meteor shower

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
The Confederate Reunion Grounds held a star-gazing party Saturday, which was also the height of the Perseid meteor shower.
According to site manager Amanda McVay, nearly 60 people attended and watched the sky for the second annual event, but they also identified many other items in the night sky.
According to nightsky.org, the Perseid meteor shower is produced each year, between July 17 to Aug. 24, as the earth crosses through the orbital path of the Comet Swift-Tuttle and is usually most visible after the first week of August. Particles of debris burn up as they hit the earth’s atmosphere. A rare few may survive and actually hit the earth, and are then classified as meteorites.

Mon
14
Aug

School supply giveaway sees hundreds equipped

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Mexia’s school supply giveaway Saturday grew well beyond last year’s efforts, with more than 400 students served.
The event was produced by a coalition of Mexia area businesses, churches and organizations called Mexia Cares that each donated 400 of one or sometimes two items from a list of school supplies requested by the Mexia Independent School District for students in pre-k through sixth grade.
Jason Ellis, a teacher and local pastor, chaired the giveaway and reported a significant increase from last year in the number of students helped.

Mon
14
Aug

County to hold first budget workshop

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County commissioners court will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 15, mainly for a budget workshop, but also to discuss and possibly take action on several items concerning the County Fairgrounds, and other matters.
This will be the first budget meeting of this year’s preparation for the new fiscal year’s budget, which must be completed by the end of September. County Judge Daniel Burkeen is working on the budget, and department heads give him input on any extra expenses they may have and want to be reflected in the budget.
In separate matter, three items related to the County Fairgrounds are on the agenda:
• Accepting a bid to buy additional horse stalls.
• Accepting donations that have been procured for the facility.
• Approving a plan to add dressing rooms at the show barn, since the people who show animals or perform often have to change clothing.

Mon
14
Aug

Commissioners court learns effective tax rate

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Limestone County Tax Assessor-Collector Stacy Hall presented to commissioners court the 2017 Certified Appraisal Values, from which she calculated the effective tax rate and rollback rate for the upcoming fiscal year.
Hall’s initial presentation was at the court’s Aug. 8 regular meeting.
The total appraised values for Limestone County this year is $3.21 billion, which she said was down $55.03 million from last year.
The taxable value after homestead exemptions and agriculture use exemptions, Hall reported, is $1.90 billion; that is down $107.23 million from last year.
“The big loss was NRG again, the $110.46 million,” Hall said. “It’s down 21.64 percent from last year.”
“Another big loss was, of course, the mineral values,” she added. “They were down $25.69 million.”

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
11
Aug

Mexia mayor Richard Duncan was guard at Camp David

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Mexia Mayor Richard Duncan recently looked back on his days as a young man in the Marines and spoke to the Mexia Lions Club about his time guarding Camp David, the presidential retreat in northern Maryland.
After he joined the Marine Corps, he went to San Diego and was selected to be considered for the position, through scoring favorably on an aptitude test.
To get a Top Secret security clearance, the Marine Corps did an intensive background check on Duncan, with investigators coming to Mexia to question those who knew him.
Once Duncan passed, he was stationed in Washington, D.C., where he was assigned to the Marine Barracks 8th & I, named for its location, and the oldest active post in the Corps.

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

Fri
11
Aug

Mexia ISD trustee arrested, cited for public intoxication

Mexia News Staff Report

Mexia ISD board member David Klosterman was arrested by Kosse patrol investigator Lou Lourcey on Wednesday, Aug. 2.
According to Kosse Police Chief Paul Ensminger, the incident happened about 2 a.m. east of Kosse on State Hwy. 7 near LCR 706.
Lourcey heard from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office to be on the lookout for a black Ford F150 pickup truck traveling westbound on State Hwy. 7 at the Limestone-Robertson county line, which he was told was possibly being driven by an intoxicated driver.
“Somebody called it in to the Sheriff’s Department, and the Sheriff’s Department called out,” Ensminger said.

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

Fri
11
Aug

Commissioners extends burn ban

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
Summary of the Aug. 8 Limestone County commissioners court meeting
Limestone County commissioners declared a county-wide burn ban at their Aug. 8 meeting, which extends the emergency burn ban that had already been declared by County Judge Daniel Burkeen on Friday, July 28.
The commissioners court also took the first steps to establish the upcoming fiscal year’s tax rate, and dealt with many other financial issues; and also learned which bridges the state plans to replace next.
Regarding the burn ban, county judges in Texas may declare a burn ban on their own if they believe conditions warrant one, but the ban is only good until the succeeding commissioners court meeting, when it will either be allowed to expire or be extended by the declaration of a regular burn ban by the whole court. That burn ban lasts 90 days unless later extended or lifted by the court.

Wed
09
Aug

Bring back that Blackcat Magic

By Timothy J. O’Malley
Managing Editor

Wed
09
Aug

LC jail investigating contraband smuggling

By Roxanne Thompson
Staff Writer
All Limestone County jail inmates, including trustees, are being kept strictly within the jail facility while Sheriff Dennis Wilson conducts an investigation into a problem with contraband that surfaced three weeks ago.
The situation was revealed at the commissioners court’s meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8, when two department heads said their respective facilities were woefully in need of yard work, something the county depends heavily on inmates to do.
“I’m trying to do everything by myself,” said Fairgrounds manager Kenneth Ellis, who relies on inmate trustees not only to cut the grass but to do much of the work needed at the show barn for its many events.

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

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