Thank you Rickey Freeland

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Just wanted to give the community a heads up about my dome neighbor, Rickey Freeland (pic attached). In the 3 months since he moved to Italy, Rickey has logged over 30 hours cleaning and maintaining Upchurch Field (after games), and he has logged over 50 hours cleaning up the “Secret Garden” dome community behind the laundromat. He has done this simply out of the kindness of his heart, asking for no recognition or compensation.

A Cancer Crusader

Image: Zina Guthrie knows how important finding a cure for cancer really is. She is raising money for this year’s Relay for Life as a part of the First State Bank team.

Zina Guthrie has supported the American Cancer Society through Relay for Life for several years with donations. She is employed by First State Bank of Rice in Italy, so when the bank decided to create a team for the Ennis Relay, she did not hesitate to join.

Saying Goodbye to an Ellis County Icon

Image: Doris Mitchell was an icon in Ellis County. She changed the lives of so many residents. The Italy community is a better place because she was here. The Italy community is not the same now that she is gone.

When someone passes away, the loss is felt by their family and friends. Other times when a person dies, because they are well known and loved throughout Ellis County, the loss is magnified.

Battling Cancer the Crownover Way – Faith, Family and Friends

Image: Dale and Julie Crownover with their son, Dan.

Dale Crownover has been thankful all his life for the relationship he had with his parents. Roy and Bernyce Crownover were wonderful parents. They taught him to work hard, be honest and rely on his faith during adverse times. The Crownovers also taught him to give back, be humble and never take anything for granted.

Issac Garcia, Published Brigade

Image: Isaac Garcia holding the May/June issue of Texas Trophy Hunters Magazine where his article is published

About a year ago, Isaac Garcia, an 8th grade student from Italy ISD, became involved in the Texas Brigades, a state-wide group that promotes wildlife conservation and leadership skills.

City of Italy honors Altha McNeely

Image: The City of Italy honored local resident, Altha McNeely, on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the annual Christmas parade and festival. Mrs. McNeely was chosen as this year’s Grand Marshall for the Christmas parade and Mayor James Hobbs presented her with a Key to the City and proclaimed December 6, 2014 Altha McNeely Day. She was also the named Citizen of the Month.

The City of Italy honored local resident, Altha McNeely, on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the annual Christmas parade and festival. Altha moved to Italy when she was in the 4th grade. She is a long time member of First Baptist Church.

Randy Compton is in the fight of his life

Image: Randy and Vicki Compton

When Randy Compton graduated from Italy High School in 1972, he had many plans and dreams. He loved to hunt and fish and hang out with his friends. He never dreamed that life’s road would take him where it has brought him to today, fighting cancer for the third time.

IHS Cheerleader performs in Macy’s Parade

Image: Taylor Turner sports a big smile after spending 7 days in New York City.

Most people in Italy, Texas sit in front of the television and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Thanksgiving Day, but for one Italy High School senior that did not happen this year. Taylor Turner could not watch the parade on television this year because she was in New York City participating in the parade.

Reid Jacinto becomes member of UT Longhorn Band

Image: Reid Jacinto — UT Longhorn band member

Reid Jacinto was a “big man on campus” at Italy High School, graduating as valedictorian for the class of 2013. He played sports, was in the National Honor Society, Student Council and was an important part of the Gladiator Regiment Band.

Appreciation/Fundraiser event planned in honor of Barry Byers, Sept. 27, 2013

Several community members have come together with the goal of having a “Barry Byers Day.” Our hopes in having this event is #1 to let Barry Byers know how much we ALL appreciate what he does for our children and our community, #2 to have a fun community event that can unite our families with food, etc. and finally, and most importantly, #3, to raise funds to purchase Barry a really nice sports camera, lens, etc.

Man of the Hour: Gus Allen

Image: Gus Allen, 2013 IHS graduate, will be attending Navarro College in the fall with hopes of transferring to TCU later.

Italy resident, Gus Allen, graduated from IHS this year. Parents Leslie and Brian Allen are very proud of their son. Gus didn’t leave empty handed when he left that campus in May. He received several scholarships. The Shelley Nance Memorial Art scholarship, band scholarship and theater scholarship from Navarro College in Corsicana.

A new place to call home

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When Christina Ward and her husband, Bryan, began to search for a new place to live, they had never heard of Italy. After looking in the northern part of Ellis County, their realtor told them she wanted to show them a house in Italy.

Margie Davis retires after 38 years of teaching

Image: Here is Margie holding up a big ‘Thank You’ card from her students!

Italy High School is going to miss Mrs. Margie Davis. After teaching our junior high and high school students for 18 years, she is going to be sorely missed. “My end of the hallway won’t be half as exciting without me,” Margie laughingly said.

Appreciation reception for Frank Jackson

Image: Frank Jackson was honored for his 14 years of service as mayor for Italy.

Thursday evening Italy Boze Community Center was packed with citizens of Italy to thank Frank Jackson for his last 14 years of service as Mayor. City council members, friends and family were there to celebrate Jackson for the work he had done for the city.

Citizen of the Month for March

Image: Joe Tovar is honored to be selected as Citizen of the Month.

The ‘Citizen of the Month’ for March has lived here his whole life! He loves Italy, loves the people and is right at home in his rocking chair on his front porch waving at all who passes! Yes, I am talking about Joe Tovar.

Lou Martina retires from the City of Italy

Image: Lou Martina loved Italy. He father was from Sicily so he thought Italy would be a good place to live.

After twelve years of service, Lou Martina retires from the City of Italy. I know everyone know who he is! Lou could be seen every morning around 5:30 AM in his red pick up truck in downtown Italy sweeping streets and picking up trash. He loved his job and took it very seriously but always had a smile for those passing by.

Teaching English and Softball-a winning hand

Image: Coach Wayne Rowe is one of the newest teachers hired at Italy High School.

Coach Wayne Rowe, one of the newest members of the Italy High School staff, has been teaching for 15 years and wants to put IHS on his resume. Coming from Scurry Rosser ISD, Rowe teaches English and coaches softball. Eager to begin the school year in Italy, Coach Rowe has plans of preparing the students in and out of the classroom.

He broke my heart for the people of Africa

Image: Debra Erwin missionary for Africa. Debra taught the people of Africa how to make jewelry.

For nine years Debra Erwin was a missionary in Africa. You ask how did she come to Italy, Texas? Due to some health challenges Debra had to come back to the states and live with her son who resides in Frost. She realized it was going to take more time than she realized to bring her back to good health so she found a place to rent in Italy and is waiting until she can go back and help the people of Africa again.

2005 Italy High School graduate completes his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree

Image: Patrick Roberts, an Italy graduate from the Class of 2005.

Patrick Roberts graduated with his Doctorate of Pharmacy degree this past Sunday in Lubbock at the United Spirit Arena, on the campus of Texas Tech University. Patrick was the valedictorian at Italy High School in 2005. He received his Associate Arts degree in Pre-Pharmacy at Navarro College and was accepted into the Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Pharmacy in 2008.

Dan Crownover continues his path of successes

Image: Dan with his parents, Dale and Julie Crownover

When Dan Crownover graduated from Italy High School in 2010, unlike some graduates that were undecided, he knew what path he wanted to travel. He did not, however, realize that path would take him “down under”.

Local boy graduates from Harvard!

Daniel Nazar, who attended Milford High, recently graduated from Harvard Law School in the top of his class. Daniel, who currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will take the bar exam in June and has already been offered a job with a prestigious law firm in New York City. He plans to make New York his home, but has fond memories of the good times in Milford, Texas.

Local Entrepreneurs make the Channel 10 News

Image: Patty Hernandez and Alice Compton will be on Channel 10 News (Waco) May 15th at 4:00 PM.

Patty Hernandez (Avalon) and Alice Compton (Italy), creators of Patty’s Perfect Pocket will be on Channel 10 News out of Waco. They will be interviewed about their cell phone pockets that attach to belt loops, and undergarments.

Citizens of the Month Brian and Karen Mathiowetz

Image: Karen and Brian Mathiowetz are very proud to be selected as Citizens of the Month

I think everyone knows Brian and Karen Mathiowetz. Karen has lived in Italy for most of her life and Brian has lived here for seventeen years. They are both very active members in this small town community of Italy. They can be spotted at the Uptown cafe, seen at most of the high school ball games and at the nursing home visiting the residents to make them smile and to catch a hug or two. It is no wonder that they were selected as Citizens of the Month.

Dianne Jaynes Fundraiser—a success

Image: The show must go on. 
(L-R) David Harness, Jason Herrin

It was very, very cold the night of Dianne Jaynes fundraiser. But the citizens of the small community of Italy, Texas was not going to let a little bad weather bother them and as usual came out in full to support one of their own, Dianne Jaynes and her family.

Save our planet and wildlife

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Meagan Hooker is a sixteen year old junior at Italy High School with a burning desire to help preserve our wildlife and to help conserve our world that we live in. So much so that she wants to tell others what she has learned and how others can gain knowledge to help the cause.