Christmas Shoeboxes Make Everlasting Smiles

Image: Shoebox Gifts — Shoebox gifts make children smile…and bring with them the possibility of creating an “everlasting” smile by opening a door to share the love of Jesus Christ.

The First Baptist Church Women’s Missionary Auxiliary (WMA) is collecting items for Christmas Shoebox Gifts, a project of Children Helping Children, a division of Baptist Medical Missions International (BMMI).

Homecoming 2010—1960 Class Reunion

Emails and letters have been mailed to the nine living members of the 1960 graduating class of Italy High School about Homecoming this fall. Here’s hoping that Anne Bearden Himes, Peggy Brown McDaniel, Garlin Bell, Sue Davis Batte, Margaret Feaster Epperson, Eddie Green, Annette Ince Hooser, Elaine Norcross Alexander, and Glynda Thomas Underwood will be able to attend. We will look forward to visiting with friends from other classes as well.

Local beauty, Taylor Turner, NAMiss Texas Pageant state finalist

Image: Taylor Turner enters the National American Miss Texas Pageant — Italy’s own Taylor Ashlee Turner, age 14, has been chosen as a State Finalist in the National American Miss Texas Pageant to be held Sunday, July 11 and Monday, July 12 at the beautiful Hotel InterContinental in Dallas.

Miss Taylor Ashlee Turner age 14, daughter of Ronda and Paul Cockerham of Italy, has been chosen as a State Finalist in the National American Miss Texas Pageant to be held Sunday, July 11 and Monday, July 12 at the beautiful Hotel InterContinental in Dallas, Texas. The pageant is held for girls ages 13 through 15.

Ervin Byers celebrates 80th birthday with family and friends

Image: Opening cards — Sporting a party hat that makes him look 10 years younger, Ervin opens a few of his birthday cards during his 80th birthday party.

Ervin A. Byers, once the dentist in Italy between 1960 and 1992, celebrated his 80th birthday with family and friends at the Doris Mitchell owned and operated Uptown Cafe in Italy, Texas. Also celebrating a birthday on “Doc’s” special day was his fifth born son, Brentley Byers.

Caution urged in use of fireworks

With soaking rains a strong possibility for the week, Ellis County Commissioners took no action on a proposed burn ban during Monday night’s meeting, opting instead to urge citizens to exercise caution in the use of fireworks during the upcoming holiday weekend.

Central Baptist Youth bake sale

The youth of Central Baptist Church will be holding a bake sale on Friday, July 2nd and Saturday, July 3rd from 10:30am-1:00pm each day at the Uptown Cafe. All the money raised will go toward youth camp for the summer.

The Beekeeper

Bees are necessary to our Eco system and human survival. Ehow.com says, “According to the Great Plains Nature Center, honey bees perform an estimated ten billion dollars worth of work for humans by pollinating one-fourth of the plants that produce fruit for humans to eat.” Backyardbeekeepers.com says “Agriculture depends greatly on the honeybee for pollination. Honeybees account for 80% of all insect pollination.

Agenda: Italy EDC Public Hearing and Meeting, June 28, 2010

Image: EDC Agenda: page 1

There will be a public hearing and regular meeting of the Italy Economic Development Corporation on Monday, June 28 at 7:00pm. The meeting will be held in the council chambers of the Italy Municipal Building, 105 Main Street. The agenda items have primary focus on a proposed property purchase in the downtown area of Italy and items pertaining to a Community Center.

Sing Along at Trinity Mission

Image: Play It Again Sam — Residents were singing along and asking to sing some of the songs twice.

Every Thursday afternoon, Vivian Brooks and Bonnie Watson come to Trinity Mission and lead the residents in song. They pass out the words to all the songs so the residents can sing along. They sing songs like, Onward Christian Soldiers, The Old Rugged Cross, I Come To the Garden, Jesus Loves Me and many more of the old traditional hymns.

Bond Oversight Committee concludes

“On time. Under budget.” County Engineer Joe White and Jones Lang LaSalle Vice President Jon Vidaurri repeated the usual refrain in the final meeting of the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee on Monday evening.

Local student focuses on the environment

Image: Cadet Meagan — "One of the things we did was march, in keeping with the “brigade” theme.  We would separate into groups and march to cadences-some we made up.  We had a little friendly rivalry going between the groups" Meagan explained.

Italy High School freshman, Meagan Hooker, was selected as one of 30 students to participate in the South Texas Buckskin Brigade camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas this June. Learning about wildlife, natural resources and land preservation, this 14 year old developed her leadership skills and refined her knowledge about conservation in Texas.

Letter to the Editor: The Korean War

60 years ago the Korean War began and cost over 30,000 American lives. While the war has never officially ended we have allowed it to be forgotten by many Americans. In some cases it’s not even a footnote in the history books.

Tour d’ Italia circles the countryside

Image: Can you say recumbent? — A small handful of recumbent cyclists traveled through the countryside in a prone position.

Approximately 1300 bicyclists, young and old, converged upon Italy High School and rode the 25th Annual Tour d’ Italia bicycle event on Saturday. This cycling event happens every year in Italy and the cyclists enjoy the countryside and the warm welcome from Italy residents.

Avalon ISD “Recognized” for five years standing

Image: Avalon Administrative Staff — Pictured above are: Margaret Day (elementary Principal), Neva DelBosque (school Counselor), David DelBosque (Superintendent) Chris Marshall (high school Principal) and Jody Tinnery (assistant high school principal).

Preliminary TAKS testing results for Avalon ISD are, once again, projecting the AEIS rating from the Texas Education Agency for 2009-2010 to be that of a “Recognized” district. Official and final district and campus ratings will be published by TEA on Friday, July 30th. This will be the fifth consecutive year that Avalon ISD will have the distinction as a recognized district. The graduating class of 2011 achieved a 100% passing rate in all areas.

Italy girls’ basketball camp scheduled for June 28-June 30

Image: Waiver

Lady Gladiator head coach Stacy McDonald will be conducting a summer skills basketball camp in late June. Coach McDonald will be assisted by current and former Lady Gladiators during this three day camp. The Lady Gladiators are coming off of their first play-off win in 18 years. Girls entering grades 3rd through 9th are urged to come and be a part of that success.

IYAA teams climb the brackets in tournament play

Image: Double denied — Madison Galvan rushes in from centerfield to make the tag as Grace Payne steps back to give Galvan room.

The IYAA baseball/softball and t-ball teams have finished their regular seasons and are currently competing in the division tournaments. So far, IYAA teams have accounted for three division tournament championships and two second place finishes in the division tournaments with more games still to pay.

Gladiator Band — State Finalist!

Congratulations, once again, to the Italy Gladiator Regiment Band for their continued success in the state Honor Band Competition. On Tuesday, June 22, the Area E hearing was held in San Antonio. The Italy band’s recording was selected as one of three to represent Region 8 and Area E at the state level of Honor Band.

Watermelon Feast at Trinity Mission

Image: Watermelon Anyone? — Carolyn Powell (activities director) is ready to serve up the watermelon.

There was plenty of watermelon slices for everyone at Trinity Mission on Friday afternoon. Tables were filled with watermelons and the dining room was filled with happy residents enjoying watermelon to celebrate Father’s Day.

Italy HS and JHS cheer tryout schedule

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Cheer tryouts for the Italy High School and Junior High School squads are just around the corner. Parents are asked to attend a meeting on Thursday, June 24 at 7:00pm in the High School library. Information regarding tryout schedule, tryout rules and guidelines along with other pertinent information will be covered at this meeting.

Agenda: Italy ISD School Board Meeting, June 21, 2010

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On Monday, June 21 the Italy ISD Board of Trustees will have their regular monthly meeting. The meeting will be held in the Band Hall of the Italy High School campus (300 College) and will begin at 7:00pm. Agenda items include consideration of surplus property bids and a budget amendment. Personnel recommendations will be considered during an executive session during the meeting.

Our fathers before us

Image: David and Melinda South — Melinda has great memories of growing up with her father.

Father’s Day is a time to remember your Dad and the good times you shared. It is a day to honor him. Father’s Day (this Sunday, June 20th) is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in fifty-five countries.

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Agenda: Italy EDC Meeting, June 18, 2010

Image: Agenda

There will be a regular meeting of the Italy Economic Development Corporation on Friday, June 18 at 6:00pm. The meeting will be held in the council chambers of the Italy Municipal Building, 105 Main Street. The agenda slates that the meeting will immediately go into executive session for discussion and consideration of necessary action(s) regarding Real Property. (Texas Government Code, Section 551.072.)

New minister at Italy’s Methodist church

The Italy United Methodist Church welcomes Reverend Krista Ingram as its new pastor this Sunday. Rev. Krista grew up in Denton and is moving to Italy from Onley, Texas. Members and visitors alike are invited to hear her first sermon as leader of the Italy United Methodist Church at 10:50 a.m. Sunday.

Letter to the Editor: Conducting the public business in private

The promoters who have been pushing a likely economically catastrophic jail proposal on Italy, have become more secretive in recent years, especially since one of their disasters, the poorly designed failed jail at Hardin, Montana, made international headlines. It wasn’t the first nor the last of their many schemes to go bust, merely the most notorious.

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Ms. Stars and Stripes

Image: The Trinity Mission Team — Carolyn Powell, Chris Baker, Willie Inman and Evelyn Jenkins are pictured above.

Did you know that we have two beauty contestants at Italy’s Trinity Mission? Well, we do, they are Willie Inman and Evelyn Jenkins. They were chosen to represent Trinity Mission in the Ms. Stars and Stripes senior citizen beauty pageant held in downtown Waxahachie at the Texas Theater on July 1st at 2:30 pm.

Camp “Hoop it up’ with Rich & Ro” is a slam dunk

Image: Rossa and Richards — Kaitlyn Rossa and Megan Richards teamed up to put on the “Hoop it up’ with Rich and Ro” basketball camp for the next generation of Lady Gladiators.

Several aspiring young basketball players recently participated in the “Hoop it up’ with Rich and Ro” girls basketball camp this past week coached by Italy High School juniors, and current members of the Lady Gladiators basketball team, Megan Richards and Kaitlyn Rossa. Fueled by their own teams recent momentum, Richards and Rossa hope to keep the Lady Gladiators continuing forward for years to come.

Support for troops evident at the highway

Image: Support for our nation — Church in the Wildwood Ministries hung this sign on the highway for passersby to see and acknowledge.  One person certainly did.

Church in the Wildwood Ministry has a message for all the troops. If you drive south on I-35E, you will notice a red, white and blue sign hanging on the fence that says, “PRAY FOR OUR TROOPS”. Alvin and Mayme Onstad try to fly their flag on the appropriate days and pray for our soldiers every day.

Italy Gladiator Band successes continue

Although school is out, the Italy Gladiator Regiment band is not finished. For the first time ever, the band’s UIL concert recording from early March was submitted to this year’s Texas Music Educator’s Association Honor Band competition. The recording was selected as one of the two that will advance to the area round of competition.