A Truffle or a “Cake Bite”?

Image: Stacey Tolliver — Stacey Tolliver showing off her famous “Cake Bites”.

The talent for cooking must run in the Mitchell Family. Doris Mitchell owns Uptown Cafe downtown Italy, her granddaughter Amber Hudson has her own catering business, Lady Ella Catering and now Ricky Whitney’s (Doris’s grandson) sister in law Stacey Tolliver makes her own creation, “Cake Bites.”

The Great Cosmic Coincidence of February 24, 2009

What are the odds? On Tuesday, Feb. 24th, Saturn and Comet Lulin will converge in the constellation Leo only 2 degrees apart. At the same time, Comet Lulin will be making its closest approach to Earth—the comet at its best!— while four of Saturn’s moons transit the disk of the ringed planet in view of backyard telescopes. Oh, and the Moon will be New, providing dark skies for anyone who wishes to see the show.

Varsity Boys regroup against Waxahachie

Image: Senior Dontavius Clemons #5 — Senior Dontavius Clemons #5 has no problem winning the opening tip-off in his last regular season game as an Italy Gladiator. Italy went on to win the contest 68-41 over the Waxahachie Advantage Eagles as they prepare for the playoffs.

Seniors Dontavius Clemons, Darrin Moore and Diamond Rodgers helped close the books on another successfull regular season of Italy Gladiators’ basketball. Head Coach Kyle Holley has his squad primed for the playoffs as they play Monday, February 23, for the Bi-District Chamionship in West, Texas.

Agenda: Italy ISD School Board Meeting, February 26, 2009

Image: February 26 Italy School Board Meeting Agenda

The IISD Board will meet Thursday, February 26 in the administration offices at 300 South College, Italy. Poll location, early voting preparation and the agreement of joint city and school board elections will be considered. There will be two, 2-year term board trustee positions up for election. Other items on the agenda include review of 2009-2010 school calendar and contract renewals for Director of Special Programs, Principal(s) and Athletic Director. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is invited to attend.

Italy youth receives local DAR award

Image: DAR Luncheon — Left to Right: Vivian Moreland, Tina Richards, Tyler Boyd and Marjorie Bridge

On Sunday, February 8, 2009, the Ellis County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) recognized seniors from each school in Ellis County. Tyler Boyd, son of Ricky and Monica Boyd, is the Italy High School student that was selected as one of the recipients of the award this year.

Lewis Shoots For the Moon

Image: Keland Lewis — Keland Lewis recently graduated cum laude from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston.

One of the newest members of the State Bar of Texas is Italy resident Keland D. Lewis. Nephew of Mayor Frank Jackson and son of Gerald Jackson of Italy and Doretha Jackson of Lancaster, Lewis worked hard to be where he is today with the support and endorsement of his family and friends. Perhaps not the first lawyer hailing from Italy, Texas but certainly a fine representative to watch.

Agenda: Italy EDC Meeting, February 23

Image: Italy EDC Agenda

The next regular meeting of the Italy Economic Development Committee meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 23. Agenda items include a sub-committee review of the EDC bylaws and hiring of an EDC professional. The Italy EDC will meet in the city council chambers behind the police station, next to city hall. It begins at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Events in Texas

Traveling around Texas is educational and entertaining. Take a look at what you can do in the Lone Star State.

Milford Lady Bulldogs in Playoffs

Image: Huddle — Coach Larry Williamson rallies the girls for the last few seconds of the game.

It was five years ago when the Lady Bulldogs were in the basketball playoffs. Under the coaching direction of Larry Williamson, this year the girls ended the district season in second place and will once again make a playoff appearance.

Lady Gladiators experience the playoffs

Image: The Italy student body gives the Lady Gladiators a Pep-Rally — The Lady Gladiators were given love and support by the Italy High School student body before their big game against the Valley Mills Lady Eagles to decide who would be the Bi-District Champions.

Bi-District Championship Game in West, Texas – After a Tuesday afternoon Pep-Rally wishing the Italy Lady Gladiators luck, students and fans traveled to West, Texas to support the team as they competed for a Bi-District Championship against the Valley Mills Lady Eagles.

Eubank competes at Ft. Worth Stock Show

Image: Bailey Eubank and “T-Bone”  — Bailey and “T-Bone” in the show ring at the Fort Worth Stock Show.

Bailey Eubank, daughter of Larry and Sandy Eubank of Italy, competed at the Ft. Worth Stock Show this year. She also proved that she is still a fierce competitor. Bailey is a 6th grade student at Stafford Elementary in Italy.

Valentines for Meals on Wheels

Image: Stafford Elementary Second Graders — Stafford second graders made beautiful Valentines for the Meals on Wheels recipients in Italy.

Stafford second graders were really in the spirit of spreading love around for Valentines Day. Not only were the halls filled with beautiful Valentine’s Day decorations but they also had Valentines to hand out. The second graders all made beautiful Valentines for Meals on Wheels recipients in Italy.

Italy’s JV Boys clinch the Championship

Image: 15-A Junior Varsity District Champions 2009 — The Italy Gladiators JV Boys sealed the deal against Itasca and secured the 15-A Junior Varsity District Championship by winning 75-35.

The Italy Gladiators JV put the finishing touches on an incredible basketball season. A two-for-one deal, the win over Itasca Friday allowed Italy’s JV to wrap up the 15-A Junior Varsity Championship with a 15-1 record. And secondly, Head Coach Larry Mayberry finally got to smile.

A Story of Unwavering Faith and Survival

Image: Alysa Kirton

When Alysa Kirton’s mother passed away from cancer, she hoped then she would never be faced with the disease. But her hopes were dashed in 1994 when the doctor told her she had breast cancer. If that news was not bad enough, the doctor also told her that she would need a mastectomy.

IHS Baseball-Ready To Run

Image: Coker and Ward taking care of business — Gladiator baseball is well underway and the team could use some uniforms and equipment.  Can you help?

Head Coach Matt Coker and Assistant Coach Josh Ward assembled baseball parents for a meeting last Thursday night. It is the beginning of Gladiator Baseball and the coaches wanted everyone on board. “I am excited about the upcoming season and we are ready for the program,” Coker explained.

A Win for the Lady Gladiator Softball Team

Image: “Hey you, on two” — The Lady Gladiators took on the Rice Lady Bulldogs Monday night that resulted in a win for Italy!

Rice, Texas — Monday night the Lady Gladiator Softball team opened up their regular season in Rice. The Lady Gladiators took on the Rice Lady Bulldogs and came out of the game with a mark in the win column. The score at the end of 7 innings was Italy 5, Rice 3.

City to repair Park Street; tables White Street

The Italy City Council approved the repaving of Park Street at a work session held Monday evening. The council approved the refurbishing of the south end of Poplar Street at its regular meeting held in February. They group tabled repairs to Park Street and White Street until the work session.

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A new pastor and a bowl of chili

Image: New pastor at Methodist Church — Jane Reeves welcomes Rev. Eric and Donna Smith to Italy.

First United Methodist Church of Italy hosted a chili supper fundraiser on Saturday night and also took the opportunity to introduce the interim pastor for the church to the community. Rev. Eric and Donna Smith, recently moved to Italy from San Antonio, also enjoyed a bowl of homemade red.

Jump Rope for Heart

Image: Jumping with Heart — Students are raising money for the American Heart Association by jumping rope for as long as they can.

Wednesday, February 11th in the gymnasium at Stafford Elementary third grade through sixth grade students were found jumping rope. But this time they were not just jumping for fun. This time they were participating in the program, “Jump Rope for Heart.”

Passing on the love of Christ in a Hurting World

Image: Italy Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry — The Italy Ministerial Alliance food pantry has changed their hours to 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm on first Monday of the month.  Ruth Tarrent, Bill Youngblood and Karen Mathiowetz work the pantry.

With the new year, the Italy Ministerial Alliance has made some changes to the schedule for the local food pantry. Beginning in March, the food pantry located at 124 Harpold (the First United Methodist Church), will be open the first Monday of the month (March 2) from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Meals on Wheels Volunteer Forum held at Monolithic

Image: Meals on Wheels Co-Ordinators — Shanna Dunn and Lisa Hicks brought lots of information to the Meals on Wheels volunteers along with breakfast.

Tuesday morning, February 10th, Meals on Wheels of Johnson and Ellis County had a forum at the Monolithic Offices. Shanna Dunn (Ellis County Volunteer Co-Ordinator for Meals on Wheels) and Lisa Hicks (Community Division Co-Ordinator for Meals on Wheels) brought breakfast to the Monolithic Domes for all the Ellis County Volunteers.

Italy Lions Club giving away a cruise for two

Image: Italy Lions Club Cruise Raffle — The Italy Lions Club will be out in the community on Saturday, February 14, selling raffle tickets for a $2,000 cruise.

The Italy Lions club will be out at various locations in Italy Saturday the 14th selling raffle tickets for a cruise for two. The value of the cruise is $2,000. The winner will work with a travel agent to pick a destination and make all the arrangements.

Texas events for the weekend

The weekend is almost and here. Valentine’s Day might be a reason to have some fun traveling. Do you want to know what’s happening around Texas? Just read on and you might find something you like.

Varsity Boys show Dallas Faith Family no mercy

Image: Getting fired up — The Italy Gladiators form their team circle at center court. Italy went on to beat Dallas Faith Family 75-27…bring on Itasca!

Once again, Italy’s #2 Heath Clemons shouldered the load for the Gladiators, at point guard, against Dallas Faith Family. Jasenio Anderson rested his sprained ankle for another game. The rematch against Itasca is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night at the Italy Coliseum. Let’s “Pack The Dome” Gladiator fans!

Varsity Girls take momentum into Playoffs

Image: Congrats from Coach — Coach Sollers congratulates the Seniors and wishes them the best of luck as they move forward. Becca DeMoss, Shanta Thomas and Blanca Figueroa represent Italy High School with class.

3…2…1…Dallas Faith Family shoots the 3-pointer! It misses! It rolls off! The Lady Gladiators have done it! Italy wins 45-43 and invites Mr. Momentum to escort them into the playoffs riding a two game winning streak. This is the Lady Gladiators’ first opportunity to go to the “big dance” since 2006.

Scholarship Meeting for IHS Seniors

On Tuesday, February 17th there will be a Scholarship Meeting at the Italy High School. All seniors and their parents/guardians are invited and urged to attend. Representatives from the entities that award scholarships each year to Italy’s seniors will attend the meeting as well.