Thank you…

The Italy Neotribune shut down on June 4, 2018. For sixteen years, we’ve published thousands of stories and photographs of the people and events of this wonderful town. Thank you to all the contributors, reporters, photographers, and editors who made this possible. Thank you to all the board members, council members, students, companies, and people we covered. And finally, a big thank you to everyone for reading the Neotribune.

We will keep an archive of this site online for as long as possible. All original photographs can be downloaded from their individual photo pages. We encourage you to save your favorites.


Way back when – The Incredble Dr. Dykes

Image: A photo taken from the July 16, 1971 issue of the Italy News Herald of Dr. A. O. Dykes.

I don’t think you will ever find a child that truly likes to go to the doctor. I cannot imagine any child enjoying getting a shot. When I was a child way back when, I can remember not wanting to go to Dr. Dykes here in Italy. What made it easier was the drawer full of double bubble that I knew he had. I knew if I behaved I could reach in and get that sweet, sugary bubble gum.

Way back when – Life on Hwy 77

As my 68th birthday approaches, I have been thinking a lot about my past, especially my childhood here in Italy and the things and people that made it special. I now call this “way back when” which tells me I might just be getting old.

Apology to Italy Police Department


Hey, I just wanted to apologize for causing y’all a huge problem with the rat nesting. I had no idea or even crossed my mind that I was contributing to the delinquency of rats. So as soon as I was made aware by Chief Taylor I stopped and tried to clean up food on the ground and donate rat traps.

My friend Tom

Image: Happy Birthday to Tom Little, who is 92 years young today.

I have so much to be thankful for these days. I think it has always been that way, but I never slowed down enough to notice. Now, as I get older, that has changed. I have tried to slow down.

That Ugly Old Lid

Image: Doris Mitchell called this “that ugly old lid”.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world. No, strike that. I am blessed. I am blessed to have been born into the family I have. I also have been blessed with the greatest friends.

Bonding over Gravy

One of my favorite things to do is cook. I enjoy feeding my friends and family members when I can. The majority of them like to eat what I cook which makes me happy.

Land of Lost Socks – Chapter Two

“Land of Lost Socks” is a story I wrote for my daughter Amy. Amy passed away from Multiple Sclerosis almost two years ago so the story is fiction. But, the amount of love I had for her is real.

Land of Lost Socks – Chapter One

Land of Lost Socks is a story I wrote for my daughter Amy. Amy passed away from Multiple Sclerosis almost two years ago so the story is fiction. But, the amount of love I had for her is real.

Starting a new chapter

I appreciate the folks at Neotrib allowing me to submit articles, especially Karen’s Korner. It has given me a way to share my opinion or write about people that are important to me. It has also given me a platform to vent when things bother me. It has been a rewarding experience to say the least. I have also covered the school, city and happenings around town. I love to write.

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.

Karen’s Korner – Sometimes Knights wear shorts

I think that most of you that truly know me will admit that I am very outspoken. There are times that after the fact I regret opening my mouth. But there are other times I need to say things and have chosen to do that in a Karen’s Korner column. I appreciate Neotribune for allowing me to do just that. Just to set the record straight these are always MY opinions and nothing else. You have the right to agree or disagree with me and can read or not read these columns.

The Act Of Giving

Today was a big payoff. For many years now, we have collected wheelchairs and other types of medical equipment. We do this in order to donate to people that may need it, or are not able to afford it. I invite others that are not in need of their old wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, nebulizers, oxygen machines, etc to bring it to us here at Monolithic, or we will pick it up from you.

Comments enabled for stories

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A Veteran’s daughter’s memories

Image: Mike Maida was a proud Marine who was wounded on Hill 660.

Growing up in the Maida household consisted of strict discipline, forced sharing with two sisters, garden veggies, fried bologna and war stories to name a few. My mother met my father in San Diego during WWII. She was from Italy, Texas stationed at Camp Pendleton in the Navy – he was a Marine from Syracuse, New York that had been wounded on Hill 660 and was also at Pendleton. Daddy was born in the country of Italy and had come to America when he was a year old.

Restoring my faith in humanity

In my 64 years on this earth, God has blessed me beyond measure. His goodness is very evident. One of my special blessings is my best friend, Donna Cate. She is always there when I need something or someone. I try to do the same for her. We don’t talk every day – we don’t have to. We laugh together and we cry together. One of the sweetest things she has done for me is share her life and family with me including her four amazing grandchildren. I thank God for Donna Cate.

October is a tough month

Image: Rodney Shaw was a Gladiator through and through. He died tragically in October of 1990.

October is a very tough month for me. In October of 1990, I lost one of the most important people in my life to a drowning accident. My life has never been the same since that night in October. Losing Rodney Shaw changed my life forever. I miss his smile, his laugh, his jokes and our serious conversations about something or our daily discussions about nothing at all. The truth be told, I miss everything about him. But, at least I know what happened to him and could get closure by attending his funeral. I have friends that have not been given that opportunity to grieve like I did.

It is for you to decide

My mama taught me many things as I was growing up. Several of her lessons I learned the hard way via a plum tree switch or her hand. Others she drove home in other ways via things like grounding. Needless to say she was strict.

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Is following the law important?

It is my choice to attend city council meetings. I have been doing that for a very long time. I like to hear things first hand. I try to keep up with what is going on and be informed. Because of this, I hear things that sometimes cause red flags to go up. Other times, something might be said that hits home with me for various reasons. The latter happened at a council meeting recently, hence the reason for this writing.

Karen’s Korner – Just my opinion

Image: This sign on Park Street has been leaning for several months. Children must go around it to pass on their way to school. Not sure what the wire is that is tied around it.

It has been a while since I have written one of these. My opinion is way too strong on a lot of things. I recognize that is one of my faults. But, on the other hand, sometimes, things need to be brought to light to fix them.

Letter to the Editor: A return to common courtesy

I am a native Texan. I have always been proud that Texas is generally considered a friendly state. We are very serious about our laws and I absolutely have no problem with obeying our laws and paying the penalty for not having done so. I am also a strong believer in good manners, honesty, and integrity. If nobody says anything about the abuse of power at your [Court Clerk’s] office many will be subjected to this judgement and misuse of position to punish people let alone, the disrespect issue.
If we want to live in a better place we have to be willing to be a voice for the betterment.

Thoughts on our upcoming elections

I felt like I needed to write something about our upcoming election and the turmoil that surrounds our city government. I didn’t quite know what to say, until my brother in law, Gary Clark, brought a quote to our staff meeting.

Letter to the Editor: Valid Italy City Council issues

I would encourage everyone that is interested to watch the video from the last council meeting. You will see that the City Council stated that Department Heads have operational control of their departments. In the case of the Police Department, the Chief has operational control which includes determining who is on the wrecker rotation. The only business discussed was wrecker service for the Police Department when they needed a vehicle towed.


Letter to the Editor

Before I filed to seek a seat on the Italy City Council, I had prayed about it, thought about it and talked to several people I respect and trust including my husband, Brian.

Letter to the Editor: Questionnaire suggestion

I have noticed that the candidates for School Board Members rarely if ever, mention their responsibility to the tax payer, it the ones that through their propery tax make the School District possible. It seems to me that the questions for the candidates and current School Board members should be expanded to include something similar to the below.

Karen’s Korner — Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is a very touchy subject and understandably so. Government entities, municipalities and even non-profit utility corporations can exercise eminent domain when they need to “take possession” of someone’s land for public use. But, there are legal guidelines that must be followed for this to happen.

From the Editor: Questions to the Italy Chief of Police

Its easy for Italy citizens, with limited information, to jump to conclusions one way or the other regarding the bickering of our city leaders. On the Neotribune, we are trying to get more information about what is going on at City Hall, but its difficult. People in the city administration are not happy, the citizens are confused, and the bickering has no end in sight. I was able to talk to Chief Hill with the Italy Police Department this weekend, and he was able to answer a few of our questions. We encourage citizens to send us comments and questions, and we will continue to try and provide answers.