Thank you Italy Fire Department and Italy community

If anyone or someone in their family has ever heard a doctor say “you have cancer”, they know how important finding a cure for cancer can be. There are so many people in the Italy community that have experienced this first hand. That is why the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life are so important.

Italy High School Gladiators for 2008

Image: Italy Varsity Football Team — Back Row: 48 Darrin Moore, 85 Oscar Gonzalez, 32 Jonathan Nash, 76 Jeff Claxton, 66 Trent Morgan, 10 John Isaac, 30 Curtis Cole, 72 Tyler Boyd.
Middle Row: 36 Justin Hayes, 28 Desmond Anderson, 7 Jasenio Anderson, 63 Zach Hernandez, 55 Ross Enriquez, 60 Ivan Roldan, 24 Heath Clemons, 88 Aaron Thomas, 44 Kyle Wilkins, 56 Ryan Ashcraft.
Front Row: 50 Ethan Simon, 58 Roy Glaspy, 20 Clay Major, 9 Dontavus Clemons, 25 Diamond Rodgers, 65 Bobby Wilson, 6 Anthony Johnson.

The 2008 football season has begun. These team photos and the schedules below introduce this year’s IHS Gladiators and the times and places they will do battle. Come out and support them — the strength of faithful fans can be felt on the field.

Italy loses home opener to Palmer

Image: Palmer vs Italy — Italy Pride and the Varsity Cheerleaders mixed the spirit up and came up with this awesome group. Way to go IHS!

ITALY, Texas — The Palmer Bulldogs (2-1) traveled to Italy (0-3) Friday night and chalked up their first win of the season by defeating the Gladiators 19-7. Palmer kept Italy scoreless until late in the fourth quarter when Jasenio Anderson hit Desmond Anderson with a 14 yard touchdown pass.

Agenda: EDC and CDBG are the topics for called council meeting

Tuesday, September 16, Italy’s city council will hold a called meeting. Economic Development Council (EDC) concerns and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project funding are the topics on the agenda. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Italy Municipal Building, 101 W. Main Street. All are welcome to attend.

Bethany Matous Avalon ISD’s new fifth grade teacher

Image: Bethany Matous

This is Bethany Matous’s first year to teach school. She teaches fifth grade for Avalon ISD. Matous graduated from Ennis High School, continued her education at Navarro Jr. College for two years and graduated in 2007 from A&M Commerce at Navarro with her degree in education. She pursued education as her career field because she loves kids, “I just bond with kids and I love them.”

Grandparents Day at Stafford Elementary

Image: Thomas Crowell with grandparents

Monday, August 8, Stafford Elementary celebrated Grandparents Day by inviting grandparents to eat lunch with their grandchildren. It was quite the success. There were many smiling students with their grandparents chatting and enjoying their lunch together.

Your Right To Vote

Image: American Flags — American flags line the drive to the Veteran’s Hospital in Kerrville, Texas.  A sight to behold.

Election time for a new president is coming closer, in fact it is November 4. And the registration deadline for the October 11 Italy ISD Tax Rollback Election is today. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, keep reading!

Chamber Involuntarily Dissolved in August 2007

Image: Involuntary Dissolution letter — Letter from the Texas Secretary of State dissolving the Italy Chamber of Commerce incorporation.

Several interested citizens recently attended a meeting held in the Italy City Council chambers for those wanting to learn more about the Italy Chamber of Commerce. Susan Delephimne, chamber director, answered numerous questions regarding the local chamber. It was never disclosed any time during the meeting, however, that the chamber had been Involuntary Dissolved by the Texas Secretary of State.

No Legal Charter for Italy EDC

Image: Schwab informs Italy EDC — Carlton Schwab, President and CEO of Texas Economic Development Council provided information to the Italy EDC.

In a meeting Tuesday night, it was reported that the Italy Economic Development Corporation had not had a legal charter since 1999. This was brought to their attention this week. According to the Texas Secretary of State, the Italy EDC filed Articles of Incorporation on November 8, 1996 and had a tax forfeiture on February 12, 1999.

Are You Ready For The Weekend

Football? You bet! The Italy Gladiators are hosting Palmer at home on Friday night beginning at 7:30. This should be a great game. Go Gladiators!

Stafford Elementary Teacher’s Cookie Sale

Image: Jennifer Dickerson  — Miss Dickerson is in charge of this cookie fundraiser.

This cookie sale is a little different than most. Every time a student sells cookie dough, the profit goes 100% to that student’s teacher for use in their class, it is not shared. For instance, last year the fourth grade made enough money to purchase some recess equipment. The grades that are involved in this sale are Pre-K through the 6th grade.

IYAA Shows Their Talents Against Hubbard

Image: Fighting Equipment — This image was borrowed from the IYAA website which can be accessed at

The IYAA (Italy Youth Athletic Association) Football program kicked-off with its season opener against the Hubbard Jaguars on Saturday. Three games were played with the Italy teams A, B and C. The A team consists of 5th and 6th graders and coached by Randy Boyd and Jason Escamillia. The B team has 3rd and 4th graders and is coached by Jared Esselman, Stephen Mott and Edwin Wallace. The C team has Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders and is coached by Gary Wood and Barry Byers.

Italy City Council adopts tax rate for 2008/2009

The Italy City Council adopted a tax rate of .936728 per hundred-dollar valuation for the 2008/2009 tax year at its monthly meeting held Monday, Sept. 8. The $2 million-plus budget breaks down to $1,247,700 for water and wastewater and $1,163,983 for the general operating fund.

Doris Mitchell and her Uptown Cafe

Image: Doris Mitchell — Doris Mitchell and her Uptown Cafe.

Back in the day when Uptown Cafe was open on Friday nights, this was the hot spot for the Italy teenagers to go and “hang out.” If you visit the Uptown, you will see the walls covered with pictures of teenagers in their youth playing football, cheering at the games, kids showing their FFA animals and winning awards. A small town cafe loaded with memories.

ECEYA Fundraiser and Fun Horse Show

The Ellis County Equine Youth Association invites all area horse kids to ride in the ECEYA Fundraiser and Fun Horse Show on Saturday, September 20, at the Flying Dollar Ranch in Italy, Texas. The show begins at 9 a.m. and includes halter, western, English, leadline and speed events.

Grandparents are Celebrated on Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day is a family day. Schools, churches, and senior organizations honor grandparents with special events and programs. Grandchildren love to give gifts and cards on this day to their grandparents showing them how much they love them.

Foundation Supports Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Joe Barton Family Foundation is proud to announce that it will provide financial support to the Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties in their $3 million capital campaign to build a regional kitchen facility to serve the elderly and disabled citizens of both counties. The Foundation has pledged to raise $500,000 in support of the Meals-on-Wheels campaign.

Chilton Tops Italy 28-26

Image: Offense and defense battle — The fight between Gladiator and Pirate went on all night.

Chilton – The Italy Gladiators traveled to Chilton on Friday night to take on the Pirates and almost gave them more than they could handle. Chilton chalked up a 28-26 win, but the outcome would have been different if an Italy TD had not been called back due to a questionable ineligible receiver penalty.

Events happening around Texas

It looks like football weather has arrived. The Italy Gladiators are traveling to Chilton, Texas for a game time of 7:30 this Friday night. The Lady Gladiators also travel to Chilton for some volleyball action beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday. The Waxahachie Indians play West Mesquite at home beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 5.

Ellis County Astronomical Society

A few years ago the Starship Pegasus tried to put an astronomy club together for the people of Italy and other surrounding towns in Ellis County. As we all know it went downhill and the people who were interested were left with nothing. As a fellow amateur astronomer I am currently seeking input on starting a new club here in Italy, Texas.

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Richards Wins #25 Vintage Jersey

Image: Vintage jersey — This Gladiator vintage football jersey #25 was worn in 2001.

Thursday night saw the Italy JV Gladiators duel the Chilton Pirates at Willis Field in Italy. At halftime, the Italy Athletic Booster Club drew Gregg Richards’ name as the recipient of the vintage jersey give-away (a jersey used in 2001). Mr. Richards was not on hand to receive his new “old” jersey but his granddaughters Megan and Alyssa Richards were happy to receive the gift. Ivan Roldan, Italy Varsity Football player, was on hand to present it to the girls.

Bethlehem Revisited is just around the corner

Image: Shepherds watched their flocks — Shepherds and sheep from Bethlehem Revisited 2007.

With only three months until December, you might want to put some of your energies toward Christmas. Yes, shopping is one way, but think about having fun in a live drama about Christ. Bethlehem Revisited is fun to watch and a blast to participate in this story from out of the past.

JV Gladiators shutout by Chilton

Image: Protecting the ball — Italy Gladiators fight back the Chilton Pirates to protect the ball.

ITALY – Thursday night the JV Gladiators played host to Chilton in a game that was dominated by the Pirate’s defense. The Gladiator offense was held at bay making only two trips into Chilton territory the entire contest. The Pirates blanked Italy 22-0, handing the Gladiators their second straight loss. It was a slow and sluggish start for both teams with bad snaps, mishandled balls, turnovers, and several penalties.

The Gingerbread House: Flashback to the ’50s

The Gingerbread House (Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center) of Waxahachie is putting on a benefit dinner entitled “Flashback to the ’50s” on September 26 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. This is to raise money to help their organization help abused children.

Prize Winners – Italy Relay Team Raffle

Image: And the winner is … — Doris Mitchell pulling out the lucky prize winner ticket along with Jenna Chambers and Karen Mathiowetz.

Friday, August 29 the big raffle ticket drawing took place at the Uptown Cafe in Italy. Karen Mathiowetz was busy stirring up all the raffle tickets in a big silver bowl. Doris Mitchell then began to dip into the big silver bowl and pulled out two winning raffle tickets. The two lucky winners were: Doris Mitchell and Kelly Lewis.

Featured horse of the month: Chuck

Image: Chuck and rider — Chuck is a gentle three-year-old gelding, ready to ride.

Chuck is a gorgeous three-year-old Paint gelding that was surrendered to Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society when his owners were reported for neglect. When he arrived he was severely emaciated but has always been very calm and gentle.

Obituary: Mary Josephine Meskimen, 1965-2008

Image: Mary Josephine Meskimen, 1965-2008

Mary was a 1984 Graduate of Italy. While in school, Mary pursued a nursing career with VICA through the Waxahachie School. In 1990, Mary moved to Minnesota and took several years to finished her life long goal to become a RN. However, before she took her exit exam, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She took her exam, passing the bar, but after surgery, was labeled disabled. Mary tried for several years to regain enough energy and skill to work in the nursing field but was unable. After a nine year battle with multiple cancerous tumors, Mary lost her battle.

Italy Athletic Booster Club cares about our kids

Image: Italy Athletic Booster Club

The Italy Athletic Booster club is an organization that provides services for high school and junior high school athletes. They do many fundraisers to help the athletes with whatever they may need. Their primary focus is on raising funds for athletic scholarships. “We were able to give out eight $1,000 scholarships last year,” stated Becky Milligan, booster club president. “We usually are able to give out one or two $300 to $500 scholarships. We did a lot of work on it last year. We formed a scholarship committee to work on different fundraisers.”

Why do we have Labor Day?

Image: Italy laborers hard at work

What do you like best about Labor Day? All the “Labor Day” sales, the day off from work, picnics, parades? Today, Labor Day is a day off of work, or time to spend with the family with cookouts or picnics.

Italy youth selected for Junior Board of Directors

Image: Bailey, Bailey and Carolyn — Bailey Eubank, Bailey DeBorde and Carolyn Maevers, Stafford Elementary Principal.

Two Italy youth were selected to serve on the Junior Board of Directors for the Texas Shorthorn Association. Bailey Eubank and Bailey DeBorde were selected in the 2008 annual meeting of the Texas Junior Shorthorn Association. The information was released by the Texas Shorthorn Association in Olton Texas in an August 12, 2008 announcement.

Agenda: Council to consider resignation and budget issues

Tuesday, September 2, Italy’s city council will consider council member Jimmy Hyles’ resignation. They will also examine the Property Tax (Ad Valorem) rate for 2008, Phases 3 and 4 of sewer improvements and city employee health insurance coverage. The council will continue work on 2008-2009 budgets for the City of Italy. Meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Italy Municipal Building, 101 W. Main Street. All are welcome to attend.

Maypearl tops Italy in first game of the season

Image: Gladiators vs Panthers

The Maypearl Panthers held the Italy Gladiators scoreless in the second half of their home opener Friday night to boast a 27 -13 win. At the half, the Gladiators had a 13-7 lead over the Panthers, but that did not last long. Maypearl played with determination and force to find the end zone three times in the second half.

School district calls tax rate election

Image: Page 3

The Italy School Board of Trustees is asking voters in the district to vote on a $0.13 tax rate increase. This increase will add an additional $481,500 to the budget for the 2008/2009 school year and each year thereafter until the State Legislature changes current law. The board, however, cannot raise the tax rate without the approval of voters.

Panthers squeak by Gladiators in fourth quarter

Image: Maypearl vs Italy

In their opening game on Thursday night at Willis Field, the Italy Junior Varsity held an 8-6 lead over Maypearl until D.J. Crownover powered 56 yards into the end zone with less than three minutes remaining in the game. Ethan Eastwood’s successful 2 point conversion gave the Panthers a 14-8 win over the Gladiators.

Birth Announcement

Image: Bailey at State competition

Bailey Eubank is proud to announce that Natalie, the heifer she showed in national competition, gave birth to a bouncing baby boy calf on Sunday, August 24, 2008. Her dad helped deliver the new calf who weighed 60 to 70 pounds. Bailey is also proud to announce that mom and baby are doing fine.