Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The park recently purchased a new riding lawnmower and two push mowers, the first such new equipment in years. Additional hourly funding will allow the park to have part time employees work longer hours. This will help free the professional staff to focus on more important duties that will benefit visitors. The park also has additional repair funding for projects such as replacing bunk beds in the group barracks.
State investments at Fort Parker should generate a strong return for the host community, since research reported in 2005 showed the park generates an annual retail sales impact of about $1 million from employee and visitor spending, creates 27 jobs and produces an impact of $485,509 in additional income for Limestone County residents. The numbers come from Texas A&M University research that shows state parks draw outside visitor dollars into host counties.
“The state park is very important for the community, from and economic standpoint and from a recreational standpoint,” said Tom Hawkins, Groesbeck Chamber of Commerce president. “The park brings people who spend money in the area. But a lot of local community organizations and families also use the park for reunions and special events. It’s part of the area’s life. I do know that the park gets pretty full and visitors come to local towns like Groesbeck and Mexia-the park is halfway between both towns.”
The A&M study reported that Fort Parker State Park generated $143,325 in revenues and had $362,535 in operating costs in fiscal year 2004. The state’s “net” investment to operate the park was thus about $220,000. In return, the park generated a retail sales impact of more than three times that amount in Limestone County from employee and visitor spending on groceries, meals out, lodging, shopping and other expenses. If only non-local visitor spending is considered, the park still drew $621,415 in retail sales impact to the host county.
The Fort Parker findings are one example of the data gleaned from interviews conducted with more than 11,000 visitors at Texas state parks in 2002 and 2004 by Texas A&M University professor John Crompton, Ph.D., and his colleagues from the university’s Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences. The Texas Coalition for Conservation, a nonprofit umbrella group formed to support parks and natural resource conservation, commissioned the research to determine the economic value of state parks. For cost reasons, only 80 state parks were selected for the A&M study. There are currently 93 state parks in Texas.
Research revealed that economic activity associated with the 80 state parks studied generated an estimated total of $793 million in retail sales, had a $456 million impact on residents’ income and created roughly 11,928 jobs. These figures include spending by all visitors, both local and non-local, plus state park budget dollars spent in local communities.
Crompton and his colleagues also analyzed expenditures of park visitors from outside host counties, excluding spending by local residents and “casual” state park visitors attracted to the community for other reasons. For each park studied, the research consistently showed that state parks draw non-local visitors to host counties.
“Tourism is a major component of the Texas economy,” Crompton recently told members of the Texas State Parks Advisory Committee in Austin. “Attractions drive tourism and state parks operate more of these desired attractions than any other entity in the state.”
Researchers say investing money on facilities upkeep, interpretation and services to enhance the visitor experience can boost the economic value of parks.
“State parks,” Crompton contends, “are analogous to retail stores. Economic success depends on what happens inside the facility. Investments in park services and amenities mean more visitors and higher per capital expenditures, which equals higher revenues to the state and more jobs and income for local residents.”
The complete “Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks” research report, including fact sheets on each of the 80 parks studied, can be downloaded from the TPWD Web site.
Details on Fort Parker State Park, including visitor facilities, hours and fees, maps and directions, can also be viewed online.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
That’s the reason her “retirement” might fit in the well-known misnomer category, since she will continue to attend to her land. “I’m just a farm girl at heart,” she quipped while explaining that she does her shredding work with her tractor. She also likes gardening.
First Mexia thinks a lot of Carol Keys and was saddened by her departure from the work force. The bank held a reception for her, and that was attended by many of her friends, as well as family members.
At the time, she was not far removed from a European 10-day sight-seeing trip, with a friend, Helen (Schuster) Matthews, also of Point Enterprise. She loves to travel, and promises that “there will be more travel plans” in the future."
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
She had been a resident of Franklin for the past 10 years previously living in Bryan, Texas. She was a member of the Central Baptist Church in Bryan, Texas.
She is survived by: Daughter and Son-in-law: Jennifer & Marion Brown of Hurst, Texas; Son - Greg Hipp of Bryan, Texas; Mother - Willie G. McBeth of Franklin; 3 Sisters and 1 Brother-in-law: Glynda McBeth of Franklin, Texas, Lynda & Ernie Fulton of Franklin, Texas, and Cecilia Hoover of Round Rock, Texas; Brother and Sister-in-law: Will & Linda McBeth of Midlothian, Texas; 2 Grandchildren: Jordan Hipp & Makenzie Reeves; and Numerous Nieces & Nephews
Service will be held on Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 2:00 P.M. at the First Baptist Church in Franklin, Texas. Rev. Jim Manning of Franklin will officiate. Burial will be in the Henry Prairie Cemetery near Franklin."
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Mr. Fife was born January 18, 1939 in Mexia to Morris and Minnie Lee (Duke) Fife. He passed away June 6, 2008. He was a 1958 graduate of Mexia High School. He was a retired diesel mechanic for Chevron Oil Company, having worked for 35 years with them. He later worked for the Mexia ISD. Mr. Fife served his country in the U. S. Army during the Korean War. He was a member of the Pt. Enterprise Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Dolly (Vardeman); son, Joe Fife and wife, Tami of Kennesaw, Ga.; daughter, Shelli Decker and husband Jim of Longview, Texas; grandchildren, Joshua and Judson Fife, Whitney and Devann Decker; great-grandchild, Madison Leigh-Ann Fife.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Billy Fife.
Pallbearers will be Devann Decker, Josh Fife, Judd Fife, Jim Gatlin, John Gatlin, and Jordan Gatlin.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Mexia Daily News - Schuster honored for service to Farm Bureau in county, state: "Dale Brown, who retired as longtime Agriculture teacher and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter sponsor at Mexia High School, had a profound effect upon both Neil Bond and Edmund Schuster.
Recently, during a sitdown visit with all three (at the same time), Schuster and Bond told about things they learned under Dale Brown. That brought about many good memories they had together as classmates and about some gems of wisdom which came from Brown. They tealked about the discipline, enjoyable times, and of ever-changing ways in today’s education circles.
But, what did show through all of the conversation and recollections, was a common thread which was woven through their lives as they continued along life’s pathways of service.
Brown retired, but continued to “make a difference” with his writings.
Bond continued in education as an educator. So did Schuster, around whom the scheduled interview revolved, due to his dedicated service to the Limestone County Chapter of the Farm Bureau."