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February 2011

VOLUME 26 NO. 38 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011

 

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Fatality Accident: A Saturday evening vehicle accident in Hardin County claimed the life of a well-known woman who volunteered countless hours here in Liberty County. According to DPS reports, Judith Glover, 67, died around 6:55 p.m. when her car crossed the centerline on S.H. 105 and collided with an SUV two miles west of Sour Lake. No other injuries were reported. Judi Glover was a longtime chair of South Liberty County's Relay for Life, which benefits the American Cancer Society and local families suffering from that disease.

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Hull-Daisetta ISD: Hull-Daisetta ISD trustees have called a bond election for May 14. If approved by the district's registered voters, it would fund five new classrooms for 7th and 8th grade students plus make renovations to their current facilities. These new classrooms would allow students to move out of portable buildings and add two new science labs. Trustees promise no tax increase for 3 years, then a 4.4 cents per $100 valuation increase for four years. At that time, taxes will drop below what they are now with the payoff of old bonds set to expire.

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Two Trials: 253rd District Court Judge Chap Cain has ruled the parents accused of murder, in the death of their 2-year-old daughter, will not be tried together. Martina Sellers and Gerald Nugent are each facing charges of murder and felony injury to a child for allegedly inflicting severe injuries that led to the 2007 death of Brooke Glyn Nugent. No trial dates have been set.

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Golf Tourney: The Liberty High School Class of 2011 will hold a golf tournament fundraiser this coming Saturday at Magnolia Ridge Country Club. The two-person scramble has tee times of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Entry is $200 per team. The deadline to sign up is tomorrow. An important part of the fund raiser is hole sponsorships for $100. To sign up as a player or sponsor, call Bruce Burnham at 936-336-2634.

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Obituaries: Jon Phillip Brunson, 43. Service is today at 4 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Liberty under direction of Crespo and Jirrels Funeral and Cremation in Baytown. Judith Pelt Glover, 67, of Sour Lake. Service is 2 p.m. Tuesday at Pine Ridge Baptist Church on FM 421 in Kountze under the direction of Broussard's Mortuary in Kountze.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.84 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 37 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2011

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More Cleveland Arrests: So far, 12 Cleveland men have been charged in the alleged gang rape of an underage child, with one still at large and more indictments expected. Cleveland Police say the investigation began in early December of a sexual assault of a single victim by as many as 20 suspects. Arrested in connection with the assault were, Jared Len Cruse, 18; Timothy Daray Ellis, 19, Rayford Tyron Ellis Jr., also 19: Isaiah Rashad Ross 21: Xavier King, 17 and Glenn McPherson, 18: Kelvin Rashad King, 21: Marcus Anthoney Porchia, 26; Devo Shaun Green 20; Eric Bernard McGowan 19, was also indicted. He was already being held in the Liberty County Jail. The 11th suspect, Jamarcus Norris Napper, 18: turned himself into police, and Cedric Deray Scott, 27 was arrested in Harris County. Cleveland police suspect number 13, Carlos Bernard Ligons, 22 remains at large. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Cleveland Police at 281-592-2621.

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300-Acre Fire: Wednesday afternoon and night, 12 area fire departments and the Texas Forest Service were kept busy battling a 300-acre range fire in the Tarkington area. The blaze was along Hwy 321 south of FM 1008, near Ryan Cemetery. Tarkington Assistant Fire Chief Dalton Gregory said the blaze resulted from a burn pile that got out of control.

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Burn Ban: Dry, windy conditions have prompted Liberty County Judge Craig McNair to issue an order Thursday prohibiting outdoor burning in unincorporated areas.

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Burglary Arrests: Three Houston men, Dennis Wood, 58, Kevin Matthews, 36 and James Musella age 34, are in the Liberty Co. Jail charged with burglary of a habitation. They were captured Wednesday afternoon after fleeing from a Tarkington Prairie home. Liberty County Sheriff's PIO Captain Rex Evans said a county resident returned home to find the trio leaving the home. Capt. Evans said each of the three Houston men have extensive criminal records.

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Obituaries: Roger Dale Fregia, 57 of Hull. Memorial service Saturday at 3 p.m. at Faith and Family in Batson. Linda Nell Smith, 64 of Liberty. Services Saturday at noon at Bibleway Pentecostal Church of Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.04 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 36 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2011

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Sales Tax: Based on sales tax collections, the 2010 Christmas season was an improvement from 2009 for local retailers. Sales tax payments for February to cities in Liberty County increased 12.17 percent. Sales taxes collected in December go to the state in January and the local share gets back to cities and counties in February. So, these numbers are from the Christmas shopping season. Payment to the city of Liberty was up 9.42 percent while Dayton's share rose 30.01 percent. Cleveland increased 4.64 percent. Hardin was up a stunning 155.7 percent. Statewide, sales tax payments increased 10.04 percent. It was the tenth month in a row for improvements across Texas.

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Online Dangers: A study of children and the internet shows that kids as young as 9 years old are becoming just as capable as their parents at navigating online. Better Business Bureau officials remind parents that kids do need help identifying online threats, including both sexual and financial predators.

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Wild Game Dinner: The third communitywide Wild Game Dinner is this Saturday at 6 p.m. in the activities building of First Baptist Church in Liberty. This free event will include tasty treats, door prizes and special keynote speaker, Bink Grimes. He is a licensed Coast Guard captain and full-time freelance outdoor writer. It's all free. For information, call the church at 336-6881.

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Dayton Students: Forty-two Dayton High School students recently combined to win 74 medals at the Business Professionals of America Regional Leadership Conference competition. At that conference, Gaby Morales was elected the Area 5, Region 1 president. Next, these DHS students will head to the State Leadership Conference March 2-5 in Fort Worth.

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Obituaries: Eunice Gwendola Otter Dugas, 91 of Anahuac. Service is 2 p.m. Saturday at FBC of Anahuac (SFH). Brian Keith "Big Babe" Terrell, 43, of Liberty. Service is 11 a.m. Saturday at Mt. Rose Baptist Church (P-SFH). Kathryn Ludtke "Sugar" Locke Salas, 82, formerly of Liberty. Service is 1 p.m. Friday at St. Stephen's Episcopal of Liberty. Davin Lee Bethke, 18, of Dayton. Service is 11 a.m. today at Old River Assembly of God (SFH). Bobby Ray Eades, 75, of Dayton. Service is noon Friday at Sterling Funeral Home of Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.92 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 35 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2011

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners yesterday approved the salary for the newest Assistant County Attorney, John Peralta. The salary was set at $70,000 a year. The position became open when former Assistant County Attorney Tommy Chambers began his new duties as Liberty County Court at Law Judge. County Attorney Wes Hinch said Mr. Peralta brings more than 20 years experience in the practice of law to the office and has worked as an assistant in the Texas Attorney General's office as well as an assistant in the U.S. Attorney's office.

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Liberty Band: Thirty members of the Liberty High School Band competed in the region 10 UIL solo and ensemble event last Saturday. LHS Band Director Tom Guidry said in all, his band members brought home 24 medals and four ensemble groups will be moving on to state competition. Six first division ratings went to Liberty soloists while three of them will also be performing at the state level, which is in May.

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Lee College Financial Aid: Learning about the many financial aid programs available to college students can be a bit daunting. To help sort through the many scholarships and grants, representatives with Lee College will be in Liberty this Saturday. The Lee College Financial Aid "Mobile Go" workshop will be in Liberty this Saturday in the Wal-Mart Super Center parking lot on the bypass in Liberty. It will be there from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information, call the Lee College Financial Aid office at 281-425-6389.

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Odom Trial: Jury selection began yesterday in the trial of a Chambers County man, Ronnie Odom, charged with multiple sexual assaults. It was more than a year ago, February 3rd 2010, that the 38 year old from the Old River-Winfree area was arrested in connection with several sexual assaults of young boys. A grand jury later indicted him for a total of ten separate crimes – all related to the alleged sexual assault of multiple victims. The exact number of alleged victims as well as other details have been withheld by the Chambers County Sheriffs Department to protect the victims. Ronnie Odom is being tried in Judge Chap Cain's 253rd District Court in Anahuac. Odom has remained behind bars since his arrest on bonds totaling $825,000.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.80 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 34 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2011

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Dayton Fire: The home of Vanessa Williams on Hillcrest in Dayton was heavy damaged by fire yesterday afternoon. Dayton VFD Assistant Chief Murphy Green said it appeared the fire started in a back bedroom, spreading to the master bedroom, hall way and a bathroom as well as the attic. The Highway 321 Volunteer Fire Department assisted Dayton fire fighters. Because no obvious ignition source could be found, Liberty County Fire Marshall Jim Wilson was called in to investigate.

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2010 Census Data: 2010 Census data shows Liberty County's new population is 75,643. Back in 2000, the county officially had 70,154 residents. Those new figures show a 7.82 percent growth countywide over the decade. Taking a look at individual cities, Liberty is still the largest town with a 2010 population count of 8,397, up 4.5 percent from 2000. The city of Cleveland grew just 61 residents and now has a population of 7,666. The recently released data shows Dayton now has 7,242 residents, up a whopping 26.85 percent from ten years ago. Countywide, the Hispanic or Latino population grew 77.6 percent while the Black or African American population dropped 8.8 percent. Whites make up a 77.2 percent majority of residents in Liberty County.

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DISD Budget: As most school districts across the state, Dayton ISD is facing a cut in state funding. Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said preliminary estimates are a reduction from $3.5 to $4.7 million for this upcoming school year. Assistant Superintendent Tami Pierce said it's important to note these figures could, and probably will change before all is said and done.

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Better Living: The Texas Agrilife Extension Service is offering a free program to help make healthy eating and an active lifestyle a bigger part of your family's life. The Better Living for Texans program will be offered the last Thursday of the next three months. It's a free course to be offered at 9 a.m. in Spanish and then again at 10 a.m. in English. That's this Thursday at the Agrilife Extension office, 2301 Cos Street in Liberty. For information, call 936-336-4558, ext. 221.

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Obituaries: Trubie Samuel Smith, 97, formerly of Liberty. Service is today at 2 p.m. at AFS in Liberty. James Doyle Duff, 54, of Old River-Winfree. Service is 10 a.m. Thursday at AFS.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.74 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 33 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2011

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Census Data: U.S. Census data released yesterday afternoon shows Liberty County's population grew by 7.82 % over the past decade. Chambers County experienced a staggering 34.82 % increase in residents during the same time period. That 2010 census data shows Liberty County's new population is 75,643. Census data in Chambers County shows there is now a population of 35,096. In Texas, the Lone Star State has had a population increase of 20.6 % since the 2000 census. The census shows there were 25,145,561 people living in Texas on April 1, 2010.

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Filings: Liberty City Council member Dennis Beasley has filed for a new term on the Liberty City Council. Linda Harris has filed to run for position #5 on the Dayton School Board. Hardin School board member Jerry Ursprung, Pos. #7 has filed for reelection. Hull-Daisetta School board member Inez Echols has filed to run again for Pos. #2.

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Lawsuit against KSHN dismissed: Back in June of 2010, all nine news reported KSHN radio had been sued, along with 17 other individuals and entities, by controversial blogger F. Ray Akins of Dayton. The suit accused this radio station of libel, and slander. U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone in Beaumont has dismissed that lawsuit against us. The federal court dismissal was not based on the merits of the case as presented by Akins in his suit, but because the suit was filed in the wrong court.

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Presidents Day Closings: The municipal offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will be closed Monday for the Presidents Day holiday. The Liberty County Courthouse and all county offices will also be closed. Waste Management garbage service will run as scheduled on Monday in Cleveland, Dayton and Liberty. All banks and post offices will be closed Monday for Presidents Day.

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Obituaries: Ann E. Shipman, 87 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Kelli Mishel White May, 39 of Huffman. Services tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Frances Vyoral Jolly, 90 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.34 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 32 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2011

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New Dayton Head Coach: We reported several weeks ago, Dayton Broncos Head Football Coach Jerry Stewart would retire as head coach at the end of this school year. Tuesday night, the Dayton School board named Stewart's successor. Joel Hancock is the new head football coach for the perennial powerhouse Dayton Broncos. Hancock has been a coach for 20 years, 18 of those working with Coach Jerry Stewart. Jerry Stewart will remain in the part time capacity as athletic director.

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LISD Budget Woes: At Tuesday's Liberty ISD Trustee meeting, school administrators detailed the expected impact of the state of Texas revenue shortfall, on the local district. LISD Chief Financial Officer Margaret Lee said current estimates show the district will lose at least $1.4 million; an Austin firm of school financial experts projects an even larger cut for Liberty ISD of up to $2.4 million in state dollars. That drop in state funding means districts leaders expect to cut 18 ½ teaching positions for the 2011-2012 school year.

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PD/Accident: A Liberty man, Patrick Desmond, 23 was taken by Life Flight air ambulance to a Houston hospital after being struck by a pickup truck, driven by Audrey Williams of Houston, while walking along Berotte Street in Ames. According to Texas DPS Public Information Trooper Eric Burse the Liberty man is expected to make a full recovery. No citations were issued.

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Lee College Financial Aid: Finding financial aid for college is not a tough as some think. Coming up on Saturday February 26, representatives from Lee College will provide free financial aid counseling at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Liberty. Lee College Financial Aid Director Sharon Mullins said representatives understand the process and can help a student fill out needed forms in a timely manner. They will have the "Mobile Go" 18-wheeler in the Wal-Mart super center parking lot on the bypass in Liberty from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday February 26.

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Obituaries: Ima L. Stephens Bexley, 87 of Dayton. Services 11 a.m. Saturday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Margaret Deblanc, 61 of Ames. Services pending at Wells Funeral Service.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.25 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 31 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011

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Fire: A fire Monday morning all but destroyed the home of Clifford Simien on Paul Street in Dayton. The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department got the call around 10:15 Monday. The owner was not home but arrived there not long after the fire department. He told volunteers he knew of nothing plugged in that could have caused what was thought to be an electrical fire. Fire fighters believed it was an electrical fire, but to be sure, nothing was missed they called in Liberty County Fire Marshal Jim Wilson to investigate. The Dayton volunteer fire fighters had mutual aid assistance from the Highway 321 volunteers.

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Lee College Job Fair: The seventh annual Lee College Job Fair will be Thursday February 24 in the Lee College Sports Arena on the main campus in Baytown. The job fair will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Some of the local area employers expected to participate includes Exxon Mobil, the city of Baytown and the Harris County Department of Education. Student Career and Employment Specialist Cindy Peraza said there would be more than 30 businesses on hand to meet with potential employees. She stressed for those attending, be sure to dress professionally, and bring plenty of résumés.

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Warrior is the Child: Coming up March 5 is "The Warrior is the Child" 5K run/walk and kids 1K at the Liberty City Park. The event benefits a group called "His Grace Foundation". That non-profit organization provides assistance to patients and their families that are on the bone marrow transplant unit of Texas children's hospital. Pre-registration by this Friday is $20 for adults and $15 for kids. That fee includes a guaranteed T-Shirt. After that deadline, it is $25 for adults, kids remains the same. Registration information is available at the Branding Iron Restaurant in Dayton or at www.hisgracefoundation.com.

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Brotherhood Banquet: The 85th annual Men's Brotherhood Banquet is tomorrow night at First United Methodist Church. This year's banquet will have an excellent lineup of musical entertainment. Men of all faiths are welcome at tomorrows event starting at 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Tickets are available from the church office or any member of the First United Methodist Church Men's bible class. For information, call the church 336-6401.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.23 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 30 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2011

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Guilty: A Dayton man, Brian Dale Rodgers, 36 has been found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to 12 years in prison for attacking Liberty businessperson Benny Earp with a knife. The assault occurred on March 17 2009 at the Empty Pockets Saloon on Beaumont Ave. in Liberty. Liberty Police said a video inside the tavern showed the Dayton man attacked Benny Earp with a knife while a second man, John Kellebrew, also of Dayton held the victim. Benny Earp spent almost two weeks recovering from the assault at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. DA Mike Little said Jon Kellebrew is scheduled to face sentencing in the near future as a part of a plea agreement.

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State Library Budget Cuts: Many areas of the public and private sector are experiencing belt tightening and budget cuts. That includes the library systems in towns and cities throughout Texas. Recently, in a speech, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said part of that would include slashing state funding of community libraries down from several million, to just a few hundred thousand across the state. Locally, Liberty Library Director Dana Abshire said they have public comment forms available and is urging patrons to stop by and fill one out. She said the sooner the better for filling out the forms and she will see they are delivered to the right place in Austin.

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Rosenwald School Dedication: Friday, the Colbert Alumni Association in conjunction with Dayton ISD, will hold a dedication ceremony of the newly restored historic Annie E. Colbert Rosenwald School at 10:30 a.m. Built in 1931, the Rosenwald school is one of only a handful of the historic buildings still standing. It will serve as a historic museum and host community functions. Everyone is invited.

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Chamber Banquet: The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet is February 24 at 6:30 at the Dayton Community Center. The citizen of the year for both Liberty and Dayton will be revealed and entertainment will be Ian Varella ventriloquist and comedian. Make your reservations by calling the chamber office at 936-336-5736.

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Obituaries: Tom E. Cottrell, 61 of Dayton. Memorial services will be held at a later date.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.23 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 29 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2011

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Gas Outage: 400 to 600 customers of Bluebonnet Natural Gas Company experienced an outage over the weekend. It began Saturday evening when a subcontractor accidentally turned off a main gas line. This affected customers in the communities of Raywood, Devers, Hull and Daisetta. Bluebonnet personnel and volunteers worked to restore service, which requires someone to be at the home or business. The company left door hangers behind for those not there. All gas service has been restored to Hull-Daisetta schools.

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Fire: Fire destroyed a house on C.R. 2075 early Saturday morning. That home belonged to Charlotte Price, owner of Simply Country Café in Moss Hill. Hardin Fire Chief James Redding said the structure was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Providing mutual aide were volunteers from Tarkington, Hull-Daisetta and Cypress Lakes. The homeowner was not home at the time but reported they had left a heat lamp near some puppies. No animals were recovered, and the home and all its contents were destroyed. Liberty County Fire Marshall Jim Wilson is investigating the cause of that blaze.

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Fire Safety: Tarkington Volunteer Assistant Fire Chief Dalton Gregory said several recent fires in Southeast Texas are the result of heat lamps used to warm animals during the unusually cold temperatures. Dalton Gregory said heat lamps should be installed in a permanent location out of the reach of pets and away from materials that could ignite. This will ensure animals stay warm while also protecting homes and barns from fire.

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Brotherhood Banquet: The 85th Annual Men's Brotherhood Banquet is this Thursday at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Liberty. This year's banquet will be a little different. Instead of the usual keynote speaker, they have an excellent lineup of musical entertainment. The local Brotherhood banquet began in 1927 and is the oldest continuously held event of its kind in America. Tickets for the banquet are $8 and are available from the church office or any member of the Methodist Men's Bible Class. For information, call 936-336-6401.

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Obituaries: Hazel Kelso Morris, 96, of Baytown. Service is 2 p.m. Tuesday at Sterling Funeral Home.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.24 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 28 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2011

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Possible Link: A private surveillance video released by Dayton police may be a link to the murder of Moss Bluff resident, David Timothy Smith last December. Dayton Police Detective John Headrick said the video comes from a break in at a Dayton residence around 11:30 pm on December 28. Around 2:30 a.m. December 29, the Liberty Co. Sheriffs Dept. was called to the Smith home in Moss Bluff. The family reported three suspects entered their home, and shot and killed Mr. Smith. Detective Headrick said it is unknown if the two are related, but it would be a big coincidence if they are not. The video is on the KPRC website at www.click2houston.com. Anyone with information about the suspects in that video are asked to contact the Liberty Co. Sheriffs Dept. at 336-4500 or Dayton PD at 258-7621.

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Fire: It was around 6:30 Wednesday evening when the Westlake Volunteer Fire Department was called to a house fire on CR 4502 off FM 1409. At first, it was thought there might be people trapped inside the burning home, however a neighbor was able to get the mother and three children out of the home before fire fighters arrived. Westlake Chief J.R. Ungles said apparently, a wood stove that was being used to heat the home had been over stoked, causing the fire. The four people rescued from the home were treated for smoke inhalation by EMS but not taken to the hospital. Chief Ungles said his department along with Dayton and Highway 321 Volunteer Departments had more than 30 fire fighters working in the extreme cold Wednesday night for more than 3 hours to extinguish the blaze.

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LES Education Grants: The Liberty ISD Education Foundation announced this year's latest grant recipients, and there are eight of them, for a total of over $25,000. The largest grant of the eight was for $10,389 and went to high school choir director Christie Bean. Other grants were awarded to several teachers from each campus in Liberty ISD for various projects including fitness programs and learning about life in Texas in the 18th and 19th centuries and more.

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Obituaries: Marianne Ursula Starling, 71 of Liberty. Services today at 11 a.m. at Allison Funeral Home in Dayton. Viola Marie Whitten, 92 of Liberty. Graveside services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.26 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 27 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2011

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Bridgehaven Auction: Bridgehaven Children's Advocacy Center will hold its radio auction on KSHN FM 99.9 tonight from 6 to 9 and then again on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Tune in and get some great buys while supporting a super cause. Bridgehaven works with children in Chambers and Liberty Counties to provide services to victims of abuse. Paula Barron, Bridgehaven Executive Director said they have items of interest for everyone in the family. You can view auction items on the group's website, www.bridgehavencac.org. All proceeds benefit Bridgehaven Children's Advocacy Center. For information, or to make a donation, call 936-258-0400.

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Budget Shortfall: There have been numerous reports on the estimated billions of dollars in budget shortfall facing Texas legislators for the next two years. What is mentioned less often is the just over $4 billion shortfall in the current budget passed by lawmakers in 2009. State Rep. John Otto said several factors are responsible for the state's revenue falling short of estimates two years ago. He added while he is comfortable with taking money from the state's "rainy day" fund to cover the shortfall in the current budget, he thinks it would be a bad idea to drain the fund completely to help cover the much larger budget shortfall predicted for the new budget starting this September.

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Treasure Hunt: Liberty Municipal Airport is the starting point of the 20-11 Valentines Treasure Hunt. It's this Saturday and the public is invited. The treasure hunt is a fly – in event where pilots and passengers fly to certain airports and collect a set of treasure hunt questions. The Liberty Lions club will have a pancake and sausage breakfast available from 8 to 9 a.m. as a fundraiser for their organization. There is no admission to just attend the event as an observer, and kids will love seeing the airplanes. For information, call the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce at 936-336-5736.

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Obituaries: Mr. George P. Childress 89 and Mrs. Lena Mae Childress 81, of Raywood. Joint service Friday 1 p.m. at St. Miles Missionary Baptist Church in Ames. Kenneth Robinson, 58 of Liberty. Service Saturday 11 a.m. at St. Miles Missionary Baptist Church in Ames. Dora Ada Neuman Carmichael, 87 of Dayton. Services Sat. at 10 a.m. at 1st Baptist Church Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.35 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 26 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2011

Commissioners: Liberty Co. Commissioners approved the hiring of a court reporter for the county court at law during Tuesday morning's regular meeting. That comes with an $86,000 price tag and the decision came after contentious discussions and an executive session with new Court at Law Judge Tommy Chambers. County Judge Craig McNair said that there were concerns about funding the position during tough economic times and suggested tabling the item until more information could be gathered. Judge Chambers stated flatly commissioners had no choice and must approve the position, saying commissioners could be subject to prosecution. Newly elected Judge Chambers threatened commissioners with legal action if that position was not approved. Commissioner Norman Brown told Judge Chambers he had approached the court in an adversarial manner, and it was not appreciated. Judge McNair again suggested the decision be postponed to allow for more research. That's when Tommy Chambers, who was both visibly and vocally angry, told Judge McNair not to lecture him.

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DPS Search: Monday night, a Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper stopped an alleged traffic violator near Devers, when the passenger later identified as Jason Edward Sams of Louisiana, jumped out of the vehicle, assaulted the DPS officer and fled into the woods on the north side of U.S. 90 east of Devers. A DPS helicopter, helping with another search in the county, diverted to east of Devers and zeroed in on the fugitive hiding in the woods. The pilot talked the troopers right to the man. He was arrested and is being held in the Liberty Co. Jail. Yesterday morning, JP #1 Bobby Rader set bond at $125,000.

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Dayton City Council: Dayton City Council Monday night formally ordered the next city general election on May 14. Seats currently held by Mayor Steve Stephens and council members Frosty Pruitt and Jay Knight will be up for election. City Manager David Douglas said the filing period gets under way on February 14 and City Secretary Melinda Soliday said packets would be available by February 12 at city hall.

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Obituaries: Mildred L. Deal, 69. Services 3 p.m. Thursday at Brookside Funeral Home in Houston. Jesse Leo Kersh, 79 of Manning Tx. Services tomorrow 10 a.m. Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.31 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 25 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2011

Otto on Mental Health Center Cuts: With the state's next budget shortfall estimated to be in the billions, cuts to state spending are being proposed in virtually every area of funding. Liberty County's State Representative John Otto said there are areas where he feels strongly cuts should not be made. One area is the operational funding the mental health intervention centers in his district. That includes the Montgomery County Center Serving Tri-County MH/MR services. The Dayton Republican said the cuts being proposed to those facilities are minimal and should not prevent them from continuing to provide emergency care for those suffering from mental illness.

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Bird Club: If your interested in learning how to attract purple martin birds to your property the Lower Trinity Valley Bird Club will meet this Saturday at 10 am in the community room of First Liberty National Bank in Liberty. Urban Wildlife Biologist Diana Foss will discuss the behavior of these birds, and will cover what matins prefer in the way of housing. The meeting will start at 9:30 this Saturday.

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Wild Game Dinner: First Baptist Church in Liberty is hosting its third community wide "Wild Game Dinner". It will be held Saturday Feb. 26, at 6 p.m. in the activities building of First Baptist Church in Liberty. The dinner is free, and the choices include everything from moose to elk, turkey and even snake.

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Boots and Bandana's: The C.A.S.A., or Court Appointed Special Advocates organization will hold a "Boots and Bandanas" fundraiser Saturday February 26 at the Dayton Community Center. CASA is a community based non-profit organization that provides trained, court-appointed volunteers to serve as advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children. The benefit will feature live music, dancing and an auction. A social gathering starts things off at 6:30, followed by dinner and a live band. Tickets are $15 each or reserve a table for 10 for $150. Reserve you tickets or donate items for the auction by calling 936-334-9000.

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Obituaries: Jewell Iris Norris Schwabe, 91 of Dayton. Services today at 11 a.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Monsignor Don Golasinski, of Groves. Services pending in Groves.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.39 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 24 MONDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2011

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Home Saved: Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire early Saturday on C.R. 2268 during the prolonged deep freeze experienced in Southeast Texas. In an effort to keep his pets warm, homeowner Jake Hawthorne used a heat lamp. That device was too close to the pet's bedding, and a fire started in the front part of the house. Damage was heavy to two rooms, but volunteer firefighters kept it from spreading, saving the home and most of the family's belongings.

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House Fire: Five volunteer fire departments worked together on a house fire Saturday morning on C.R. 2651 in far northeast Liberty County. When firefighters arrived, the two-story home was fully engulfed and on the ground. The home and all its contents were destroyed. North Liberty County Fire Chief Bo Potter said there was no electricity to the house. The Liberty County fire marshal is investigating.

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Robbery: Two Humble men were arrested last week for an aggravated robbery of the Subway Restaurant in Cleveland after a responding policeman observed two suspects still inside that business. A chase ensued. Cleveland Assistant Police Chief Darrel Broussard said Deamonte Lamar Roberson, 19, and Ashely Charles Burrell, 22, are jailed on that first-degree felony. JP Pct. 1 Bobby Rader set bond at $100,000 for each.

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Redistricting: State Rep. John Otto of Dayton expects the current Texas Legislature will soon begin efforts to redraw district lines. The Dayton Republican said the process will get an earlier start than originally thought because the 2010 Census data will be available within the next two weeks. Legislative districts must be divided according to population under an often complicated set of guidelines. Rep. Otto said it is unlikely any legislator's district will retain its current make up in this process.

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Rosenwald School: The Colbert Alumni Association, in conjunction with Dayton ISD, will hold a dedication ceremony of the newly restored historic Annie E. Colbert Rosenwald School on Friday, February 18, at 10:30 a.m. That historic school on Colbert Street has undergone a complete restoration after being discovered several years ago inside another structure at Colbert Elementary. Dating back to 1931, this brick structure will serve as a historic museum and host community functions.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.62 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 23 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2011

Kelley Guilty: Shortly before noon yesterday, a jury in the federal courtroom of Judge Thad Heartfield in Beaumont, found Liberty County Sheriff's Captain Harry Leroy Kelley guilty of possession of stolen ammunition and two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. That jury also found the 56-year-old lawman not guilty on 20 other charges. Kelley faces up to 10 years in federal prison for the firearms conviction and up to five years for each of the mail fraud guilty verdicts. No sentencing date has been set. KSHN asked Sheriff Henry Patterson about Kelley's status as an unpaid sheriff's department employee on administrative leave. The sheriff said they have begun the process for additional action but are moving slowly to make sure they handle the situation properly to protect the county.

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Fitzgerald, Groce in Court: Former Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald, former Liberty County Pct. 2 Commissioner Lee Groce and businessman Mark Miksch made their initial court appearance Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Earl Hines. Represented by their attorneys, Fitzgerald and Groce both pled not guilty to a host of charges related to Hurricane Ike debris cleanup. Mark Miksch did not have legal representation and his arraignment was rescheduled for next Wednesday. All three were released on personal recognizance bonds.

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Boomerang: The good news from Boomerang Tube in Liberty continues to ring louder than those clanging pipes being stacked in South Liberty. Boomerang's Chief Executive Officer, Greg Eisenberg, was in town recently and reported the factory, which represents a $220 million dollar local investment, now has 320 workers on the job. He also reported the demand for their oilfield pipe, being manufactured here, continues to exceed their ability to produce. A third shift will be added soon.

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Schools: All school districts in both Liberty and Chambers counties are closed today. The offices in the cities of both Dayton and Liberty are open normal business hours. Both Chambers County and Liberty County offices are closed today.

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Obituaries: Preston Freeman, 55 of Devers. Service Sunday at 2 p.m. at 1st Baptist Church of Devers. Jean Majors Fregia Eakin, 81 of Batson. Service Saturday 2 p.m. at 1st Baptist Church in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.67 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 22 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2011

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Tax Appraisal Study: The Liberty County Central Appraisal District has passed the Texas Comptroller's 2010 Property Value Study for all seven school districts in Liberty County. State law requires appraisal districts undergo a property value study every two years. Chief Appraiser Alan D. Conner said the property value study compares state comptroller determined values to local appraisals. He said Liberty county values were between 96.6 percent and 99.9 percent of the state's numbers.

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Winter Storm Watch: Most of Southeast Texas is under a winter storm watch for this afternoon and into midday tomorrow. The National Weather Service is warning of the possibility of snow, sleet and freezing rain through out Liberty and Chambers Counties, with the greatest possibility being ice accumulation in the southern portion of Liberty County and into Chambers County. Due to the extreme cold temperatures, any precipitation could quickly cause roads, especially elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses, to ice. Motorists are urged to use extreme caution if out on the roads. In addition, ice accumulation could cause power outages.

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Small Town Studio: The public is invited to see Liberty High School's small town digital recording studio in operation. This evening at 7 p.m. the studio will be open for anyone interested in seeing what Bruce Wright and his students have created. The studio is in Room 117 on the first floor of LHS.

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Kitten Cruelty: Recently, a cat carrier was left at the side of the road in the area of Daniel Park on FM 1008 in Dayton. Inside was a 4 or 5-month-old kitten in poor health. Rain blew into the carrier making matters worse because the kitten could not flee to safety. When found it had been wet and cold for sometime, and could not be saved. Dayton resident Kay Carmichael is offering a reward for the name of the person who did this. The kitten was black and white, and caged in a turquoise green pet carrier. Please call either the Dayton Police or Kay Carmichael. Her number is 258-5739.

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Obituaries: Mathilda Andre'pont Fontenot, 86 of Raywood. Services tomorrow 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Raywood.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.57 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 21 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2011

Rosenwald School Dedication: The Colbert Alumni Association, in conjunction with Dayton ISD, will hold a dedication ceremony of the newly restored historic Annie E. Colbert Rosenwald School on Friday, Feb. 18 at 10:30 a.m. That historic school on Colbert Street has undergone a complete restoration after being discovered several years ago inside another structure at Colbert Elementary. The brick structure, dating back to 1931, will serve as a historic museum and host community functions. The public in encouraged to attend.

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Lewies's to Close: A local business that has become somewhat of an institution in Liberty will be closing its doors permanently in a few weeks. Lewies's in Liberty is closing on Friday February 18. Manager Sherri Birdwell said the store has been open 50 years and she feels it's time to make a change.

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TxDot: Resident Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation Cory Taylor said his crews have stocked up on supplies they need and crews are ready for the anticipated coldest winter blast of the year for our area. The greatest chance for freezing precipitation is Thursday evening and Friday morning. The winds however have already caused some problems with falling trees. One fire chief said most of the fallen trees were probably damaged by Hurricane Ike but remained standing until the high winds of this storm front.

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Rotary Dictionary Project: In 2003, the Liberty Rotary Club, under then President Diane Huddleston began a project that continues to this day. Each year, around Christmas time, third grade students at Liberty Elementary School get a free dictionary, theirs to keep. LES Principal Tom Connelly said the value of these gifts to the child's academic development could not be overstated. The dictionaries are presented at a time when kids will be taking their first state mandated test and for many, this is the first book they have owned.

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Obituaries: Kenneth Edward Turicchi, 69 of Devers. Funeral service will be held next Monday at 1 p.m. at 1st Baptist Church in Devers. Wayne Hankamer, Sr., 72 of Hankamer. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. in First United Methodist Church of Anahuac. Oscar Lee Bingham, 75 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. in First Baptist Church of Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.26 ASL*

VOLUME 26 NO. 20 TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2011

Medical ID Theft: According to Patti Nelson, Vice President of ID Theft Solutions of America, the number one identity theft is not financial information, but medical. At the January luncheon of the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, she said it is the number one theft of identification, and the most difficult to clear up. Ms. Nelson said HIPAA or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, makes the situation even worse. Once the thieves medical information is mingled with your's, HIPPA laws prevent release of that information, even to you, because they are directed by law not to release the other person's medical information. For information on ID Theft Solutions of America, call 832-860-1786.

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Hard Freeze: The National Weather Service is predicting an artic front to move through our area today, and hang around through the end of the week. A hard freeze watch remains in effect from this evening through Wednesday morning. In addition to the cold temperatures, blustery northerly winds will send wind chill values into the single digits and teens. Residents should begin their preparations for this very cold weather as soon as they can. Remember to take care of plants, pets, pipes and people.

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Houston Marathon: Several Liberty Countians were among the 20,000 plus runners in Sunday's Houston marathon. Topping the field of local contenders was 44-year-old Robert Dunn of Liberty. He finished the long distance race in 3:21:28 for 347 place among the marathoners. The co-owner of BJ Ford in Liberty has now completed more than 50 marathons.

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Chamber Business Expo: Coming up April 7, is the popular Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. Chamber Board Member Sheri Metlin said there is room for 38 businesses to set up inside the Liberty Center at City Hall to showcase their products and services to visitors. The booths are 8 x 8 with a table, chairs and a banner with the business name. That is provided for the vendor fee of $200 for Chamber members and $250 for non-members. For information, call Sheri at 936-336-9001 or the Chamber office at 936-336-5736.

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Obituaries: Patricia Ann Phipps, 69 of Liberty. Graveside services 10 a.m. Wednesday at Hardin Chapel Cemetery.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.89 ASL*

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