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Commissioners hear from United Way

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Diana Buckley
Ellis County Communications
WAXAHACHIE - Nicole Mansell, representing the United Way of West Ellis County, sparked smiles in the courtroom when she made an enthusiastic presentation to the Ellis County Commissioners' Court during a regular meeting on Oct. 8.

'I am so excited about the United Way campaign for 2008,' Mansell said.

'Our theme is ‘Together we can give wings to angels' - all of us have wings, but some need more help getting off the ground than others!'

Mansell said the organization has set a lofty goal this year, after raising $386,000 in the 2007 campaign.

'I said, let's make a difference - so we set a goal of half a million dollars,' she told the court.

'We would love to have your support and we hope you will endorse the campaign.'

The payroll process for Ellis County employees allows for employees to make United Way contributions via payroll deduction, for both the Greater Ennis United Way
and the United Way of West Ellis County.

Commissioners approved an action item allowing the United Way of West Ellis County to contact department heads in order to make presentations to county employees.

Commissioners also declared the month of October as Czech Heritage Month in Ellis County.

'The Ellis County Commissioners' Court recognizes that citizens of Czech descent have made significant and lasting contributions to our County's prosperity, heritage and cultures,' said Commissioner Bill Dodson, pct. 2, reading from the court's proclamation. '(They) take great pride in sharing… their contributions in the areas of art, music, literature, food, folklore, and many other fine customs.'

‘No TV Week' will be celebrated in Ellis County this year, as well, from Nov. 5 through Nov. 9.

'The Honorable Judge Adams asked me to make this presentation, as his daughters attend school where I teach,' said Will Probst of Mt. Peak Elementary School in Midlothian. 'There are a number of reasons we are doing this (again this year).'

Probst told the court that too much TV time:
* Takes away from sports, music, art and other activities that require practice;
* Discourages and replaces reading, which requires more thinking and is better for brain development;
* Encourages inactive lifestyles and sets bad habits;
* Contributes to poor results in school; and
* Limits the development of creativity.

'Studies suggest that your metabolic rate drops even lower while watching TV than during rest,' Probst concluded.

'So you burn fewer calories watching TV than sitting still doing nothing.'

Mt. Peak Elementary School will host a number of activities throughout the week which encourage families to enjoy other activities together during that week.

'Last year on game night, our gym was full of kids playing, and in the cafeteria we had all the tables out with board games,' Probst said. 'Every single game was being
used. It was very successful last year, and we are anticipating the same outcome this
year.'

In other business, commissioners:
* Added two vehicles to the order authorizing certain sheriff's department vehicles to be exempt from the inscription requirement in the Transportation Code;
* Directed all money that otherwise would be deposited in a salary fund to be deposited into the general fund of Ellis County, following the end of fiscal year 2006/2007;
* Nominated Linda Alvarez and Johnny Johnson as candidates for the Board of Directors of the Ellis Central Appraisal District for the term of 2008-2009;
* Approved presiding and alternate judges and the number of election clerks for the November 6 election;
* Took no action on a proposed interlocal agreement with the
Waxahachie Independent School District to share the expense of a truancy officer;
* Authorized the County Judge to sign a letter of intent to HDR Architects to begin programming work while the details of the final contract are being reviewed; and
* Approved several items under the Department of Development.

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Nelson Propane

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