News

Mon
17
Oct

Who will be homecoming queen?

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

Homecoming is this coming weekend, Oct. 21-23, and one of the high points is the announcement of homecoming queen, which will happen Friday night during halftime of the Blackcat football game. 

The court is already decided, voted upon by the student body, with duchesses representing the junior, sophomore and freshman classes, and six candidates for queen from the senior class. 

Friday night will find the entire court at the game, dressed in formal attire befitting homecoming royalty. Each young woman will be escorted onto the field by her father as she is presented to those in the stands. 

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.

Mon
17
Oct

Not first time county penalized for employee-hour issues

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

According to the Department of Labor’s Dallas office, Limestone County’s violation of wage and hour standards uncovered earlier this year was not the county’s first violation.

Another violation happened 12 years ago, but there is disagreement between the Labor Department and the Sheriff’s Office on how the recent problem is viewed.

A representative of the Labor Department says that this year’s violation is a repeat or continuation of a violation that was uncovered in 2004.  

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
14
Oct

College-bound seniors urged to attend FAFSA Night

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

Mexia High School students who are interested in attending college next year – and their parents – will want to mark their calendars for Wednesday, Nov. 2, when they can get help in applying for financial aid. 

Rather than just hope the students and their families find the FAFSA (Free Application for Student Aid) website and apply before the spring deadline, the school holds FAFSA Night about this time each year to walk the students through completing their FAFSA application, which is used to determine their eligibility to receive financial aid.

The event runs 6-8 p.m. and will be held at the high school computer labs so the applications may be made that night to get the process started for obtaining financial aid. All federal financial aid requires a FAFSA application, and it must be completed each year. 

Fri
14
Oct

Building Firewise Communities

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

People who live in towns, especially small rural towns, often don’t realize that they are at risk for wildfires. Representatives of the Texas Forestry Service recently spoke about that danger and about a program to protect homes from wildfires. 

The program is called Firewise Communities and is an initiative of the National Fire Prevention Association. Begun in 2002, Firewise Communities teaches homeowners how to not only protect their own homes but how to band together to protect their neighborhoods. 

Kristin Newman, a wildland urban interface specialist with the Texas Forestry Service, spoke to the Mexia Lions Club about the program.

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
14
Oct

Two dozen county bridges slated to be replaced

By Roxanne Thompson 

Staff Writer

The Texas Department of Transportation has provided Limestone County commissioners court a list of 24 county bridges it proposes replacing between 2017 and 2022, and another three, classified as historic, may be rehabilitated or replaced. Furthermore, the county only has to pay 4.1 percent of the cost.

TxDOT usually replaces about four or five county bridges each year, said County Judge Daniel Burkeen. Before this year, the county has had to pay 10 percent of the cost, with the state paying the other 90 percent, but even that cost has been cut by more than half. 

“Last year Limestone County was re-classified as an economically disadvantaged county, as most counties around us already were, which changes the match to 4.1 percent,” Burkeen explained. “We don’t have to pay that in cash; we do our match by doing in-kind work on other approved projects.”

Wed
12
Oct

Court officially accepts Labor Department penalty

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners received notice of the amount of revenue the county will get from the tax rate the court adopted for this fiscal year. The court got the updated figure at its Oct. 11 meeting and also voted to accept a Department of Labor penalty; heard an update on the county prison and statistics for the jail and juvenile detention center; and made other decisions concerning law enforcement facilities and roads.

Regarding the tax revenue, County Tax Assessor-Collector Stacy Hall presented the final figures on the revenue the tax rolls should produce, which is $15.352 million, she told the court. Hall and her staff had worked on applying the new rate to the property values since the tax rate was finally adopted on Sept. 27, producing a more up-to-date figure than her previous estimates. 

Wed
12
Oct

Mexia residents on edge about clown sightings

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

Clown sightings, reported across the country in recent weeks, have now occurred in Mexia, and some people are worried about them.

Mexia Police investigated three reports of clown sightings on the east side of Mexia over the past week. The police, however, did not find any actual clowns.

In the first report, from Saturday, Oct. 8, about 10:30 p.m., a 29-year-old man reported seeing two people dressed as clowns in a silver or gray Toyota sedan near the Civic Center. They complimented the man on his suit and drove away, he said. The complainant said he was worried that the clowns might have meant him harm, and he called 911. The responding officers were unable to find the clowns or a car fitting the description given.

In the second report,...

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.

Mon
10
Oct

Pastor says, Don’t give up on the broken

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

A new pastor has stepped in at the First United Methodist churches in Tehuacana and Wortham: Chris Rowe, and he has plans and a testimony.

Rowe came on board July 1. Just before coming to Tehuacana, he spent a year as associate pastor at FUMC, Hillsboro, and also as college ministry director at Hill College there. For the two years before that he was college ministry director at the Wesley Foundation at Weatherford College.

This fall semester, Rowe is completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology through Tarleton State University; and he begins seminary studies in January. Rowe spoke of his background and interests to the Lions Club of Mexia recently, including how he was called to the ministry.

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.

Mon
10
Oct

Thornton church gives funds for bullet proof vests

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

A church in Thornton, hearing the many news accounts from across the country of people attacking law enforcement officers, decided to show in a very tangible way their appreciation of Limestone County law enforcement. 

First United Methodist Church of Thornton donated $1,200 to the Sheriff’s Office, enough to buy two bullet-proof vests for county deputies, many of whom have none. 

Kay Alston, chair of the administrative council of Thornton FUMC, and the Rev. Steve Nance, pastor of Thornton FUMC, appeared at commissioners court’s most recent meeting, which was Sept. 27, to present the donation, since donations are required to go through the court. 

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.

Sat
08
Oct

Padded cells need of renovation

By Roxanne Thompson

Staff Writer

Limestone County commissioners court is expected to accept a penalty of just over $5,700 imposed by the U.S. Department of Labor for non-standard computation of employee hours. 

The court will take a vote on the matter at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 11, and also accept the final version of the 2016 tax rolls, approve refurbishing padded cells at the county jail, sign off on exchanging some heavy machinery, accept a grant from the state for indigent defense and discuss a list of bridges the state is proposing replacing. 

Regarding the federal penalty, the commissioners met in executive session at their last meeting, on Sept. 27, to discuss the matter, but when they returned to open session, they realized that no action item had been listed on the meeting’s agenda, so they could not vote on the penalty at that time.

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