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August 2007

 

** Volume 22 NO. 169 FRIDAY August 31ST, 2007 **

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At Tuesday’s Liberty City Council meeting, council members discussed at length the raising of the base rate for both water and sewer, commercial and residential. The proposed rate increase would be stepped up, reaching the rate of $16.99 for residential water and $17.74 for sewer in two years. If the increase were passed, it would be the first in more than 10 years. The increase is being proposed to cover the debt obligation on the $8.1 million dollar loan the city now has for the renovation of the city’s sewer and water system.

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First day enrollment numbers show Dayton ISD, the largest district in the county has dropped slightly, with 4552 on the first day, last year’s first day totals had 4669. Dayton ISD officials fully expect to catch up after the Labor Day holiday. By the second day of school, Dayton had already gained 202 kids. In Hardin, their first day enrollment was 1251. Liberty ISD jumped up a bit this year over last. 2343 students enrolled on August 27th, while last years first day was 2159, a first day increase of 184 students for Liberty.

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The 100 Club has come to the aid of a public service organization in Liberty County again. Ken DeFoor Liberty County 100 Club Director said a lightning strike destroyed the dispatcher’s radio system at the Liberty Police Department. The 100 Club has approved the funds to replace the system. Ken DeFoor said over the years, the 100 Club has provided hundreds- of-thousands of dollars to Liberty Co. in equipment and financial help for the families of fallen officers.

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Texas Department of Public Safety Sergeant Chuck Havard said driving over the Labor Day holiday is pretty simple, Drink – Drive – Go to Jail. Last year, during the holiday weekend, DPS Troopers across Texas arrested 887 for DWI.

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The battle between the Shaubergers, Ray Akins and the Palmarez Brothers continues. Yesterday the police were called to Signature Home Health Care on N. Main on a report the office was being robbed. In fact the Palmarez brothers were moving the business to a Baytown location. Liberty Police Officer Jeff Smith said the Palmarez brothers were within their rights based on the Judges order, and no action by the police was required.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.39 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 168 THURSDAY August 30TH, 2007 **

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Progress in both Liberty and Dayton has been really jumping. The old location of CVS Pharmacy in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center in Liberty will soon house two new national chain retail stores. Nelson Billups, Managing partner of the company that owns that shopping center said he still does not have signed contracts, but he is confident enough to begin the total rehab of the space. Also the owner of the space that was once occupied by the Goodwill Store, Billups said that 6,000 square feet would soon house a commercial finance office. Yesterday, Snow Flake Donuts of Baytown, closed on the purchase of the old Penny Distributing Warehouse on US 90 in Liberty. Paul Young, owner of Jax Hamburgers in Downtown Liberty said his family owns the donut franchise and will move their product mixing facility to Liberty.

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Monday is Labor Day. Liberty County Courthouse, and the City Offices of Dayton and Liberty will be closed. There will be no garbage pick up, and all banks and post offices will be closed. All will be open for their regular hours on Tuesday.

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Rep. John Otto said, while at a National Legislators Conference he learned more on the problems facing other states, which like Texas, are dealing with property tax issues. He cited the situation in Florida where property tax increases are capped at 3% following the fifth year of home ownership. The problem he said is when the homeowner tries to sell the property. The property tax is then reset to reflect the current value, which can mean a substantial property tax bill for the new owners. Otto said Texas has to watch that this state doesn’t end up with a similar situation.

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High School Football kicks off this weekend. The Liberty Panthers @ Bridge City – Dayton Broncos @ West Orange Stark – Hull Daisetta @ Houston Westbury – Hardin Hornets host Tarkington Longhorns – Cleveland host Kirbyville - Barbers Hill @ Wharton in Pearland on Saturday.

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Funerals: Eugenia Bequita Patterson, 86 of Cleveland. Services Saturday at 11 AM at Pace Stancil Funeral Home – Cleveland. * Mervyn Collins, 69 of Dayton. Services will be 2 PM tomorrow at Calvary Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.69 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 167 WEDNESDAY August 29TH, 2007 **

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Yesterday, Liberty County Commissioners approved the new fiscal year budget but voted down proposed pay increases for county employees of from 3% to 24% based on individual duties. On a motion by Precinct #2 Commissioner Lee Groce, Commissioners passed a budget amendment allowing a 5% maximum pay increase for employees with the actual percentage left to the discretion of the department hands. Commissioner Groce said he agreed with increased salary based on extra responsibility but felt department heads should qualify these raises in writing.

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The restraining order against Eddie and Cynthia Shauberger and F. Ray Akins was extended through September 4th yesterday by 55th District Court Judge Jeff Brown in Harris County. The order was issued in connection to a civil suit alleging Akins and the Shaubergers committed numerous illegal acts and bars them from any contact whatsoever with Immanuel Home Health Care of Liberty, it’s clients, customers, employees and premises. A criminal investigation is also underway. Eddie Shauberger was in court Monday. Akins’ whereabouts are unconfirmed.

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At this week’s Liberty Rotary Club meeting, four of the local service club’s members were presented the prestigious Paul Harris Award, named for the founder of Rotary International. New Paul Harris Fellows are dentist, Dr. David Arnold, LISD Trustee Matt Harris, Assistant DA Michael Mark and Steven Dugger with Edward Jones Investments in Liberty.

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The next “Hot Dogs and a Movie” will be on Saturday September 8th in Liberty’s Sam Houston Plaza Parking Lot. Sponsored by the City of Liberty and the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the free family event moves from the first to the second Saturday of the month due to the Labor Day Holiday Weekend.

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All Nine Sports begins another season of Texas Longhorns Football this Saturday as U. T. hosts Arkansas State. The pre-game show starts at 5 p.m., kick off is at 6.

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Funerals: James Edward Kubes, 61 of Dayton. Memorial Service at 6 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 7,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.90 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 166 TUESDAY August 28TH, 2007 **

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Liberty County Hospital District #1 Board members last night ordered the required public hearings on their budget and tax rate for the fiscal year of Oct. 1st, 2007 through September 30th, 2008. The tax rate proposed is $.09 per $100 of assessed value. The draft budget shows a projected income of $2,285,069. The budget has $1 million dollars for the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital for both contractual obligations towards the hospital and securing of agreement for building a new hospital. Another $300,000 is budgeted for hospitals outside the district, and $375,905 for Physicians services. The first public hearing on the tax rate is Monday September 17th at 6:30 PM, the second is Sept 21st. The public hearing on the budget is September 27th.

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This Friday night marks the start of KSHN Radios 16th season of broadcasting both Liberty & Dayton high school football games, through the split channel sports system. This allows us to broadcast both games by splitting the stereo signal. Liberty is on the left side and Dayton on the right. This Friday night, Liberty is at Bridge City, and Dayton is also on the road to take on West Orange Stark. Kick off for both games is 7:30 PM, our broadcast begins shortly before that at 7:20 PM.

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In yesterday’s news, we incorrectly identified the number of Texas counties included in the Federal Disaster Declaration. There are, in fact, 39 counties listed as disaster areas following the heavy rains of early August. Liberty County has been included in that list. According to Billy Penn with FEMA, so far 20 Liberty County families have registered for aid. Residents of the county who have damage to their homes are asked to call the Federal Emergency Management Agency to register. That number is 1 800 621 FEMA, 1-800-621-3362.

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of 4-H clubs in Texas. Initially conceived as an agricultural based program for youth, it has grown to include computer technology, aeronautics, automotive and more. For more information on joining one of Liberty County’s 4-H clubs, call the Extension Office at 336-4558 ext. 221 or 281-593-0405, also ext. 221.

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Funerals: Ruby McMcreight Jones, 95 of Devers. Services 2 PM Wednesday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.82 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 165 MONDAY August 27TH, 2007 **

Tomorrow at 8:30AM, is the pubic hearing on the new Liberty Co. Budge. It features significant changes. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said this proposal is much different than in years past. Some departments are eliminated, some merged, and new positions created. Fitzgerald said much of the new budget changes job descriptions. His own staff is taking on major new tasks, increasing their salary while absorbing a full department.

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Dayton City Mgr. David Douglas said the planned bond election to fund a new library/community center would – if approved by Dayton voters- increase the tax rate by roughly 10 cents. That estimate assumes the city’s property values would not increase over the next 20 years allotted to pay off the bonds. Douglas said it is a virtual certainty the city’s tax base will increase allowing for a lower tax rate. The Dayton City Council is expected to set Nov. 3rd as the election date when they meet tomorrow. The bond issue- totals nearly $14 million in 3 separate issues. Mr. Douglas said homesteads of those 65 and over are not affected by tax increases and won’t change if these three issue pass.

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Liberty Co. is one of 16 Texas Counties to get federal disaster assistance. Liberty Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor said 16 homes are listed as damaged by flooding between June 16th and August 1st. Those who have not reported flood damage can still call the emergency management office at 936-334-3219 or FEMA at 1-800-621-3362.

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You may need ICE in your cell phone. If you need help but can’t talk emergency experts know to look in your cell phone for ICE listing. (in case of emergency) Put the next of kin number there.

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Dayton Supt. Greg Hayman reminds citizens to be aware that some Dayton streets are one-way part of the school day Just look for signs on streets where Dayton schools are located.

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The Liberty Dayton Chamber needs at least four more adults for bus trip to Grand Casino Resort in Louisiana to confirm a SECOND luxury bus on Sept.13th …. Round trip fare is $10

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,Dayton@10 -Tues graveside at Palms Cem.-Dayton ****************************************************

*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.80 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 164 FRIDAY August 24TH, 2007 **

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The Hull Daisetta Volunteer Fire Department was called to a structure fire yesterday afternoon behind Greak Water Well Service on Highway 90 on the east edge of Ames. The city of Liberty Fire Department was called in for mutual aid. By the time Liberty Fire Fighters arrived, the north end of the structure was fully involved in flames. Liberty Fire Chief Fred Collins said fire fighters were able to quickly stop the fire, and no one was injured, but the singlewide manufactured home was seriously damaged. No one was home at the time and the cause is under investigation.

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The Dayton School Board met Tuesday night. Trustees approved the selections or transfers of 3 new assistant principals, and one new counselor. John Urban, facility director for DISD, will return to his old job as Assistant Principal at the High School. Jennifer Motschman, for several years with Liberty ISD, is the new counselor at Nottingham elementary. The new assistant principal at Kimmie Brown will be Paul Parker, who comes to the post with 7 years as a public school teacher. The new Stephen F. Austin Assistant Principal is Mary Cantrell. She has 11 years experience at West Hardin and Hull Daisetta.

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Texas Gatorfest 2007 is coming up and its more “Gatorie” then ever. The annual event is held at Fort Anahuac Park in Chambers County, and starts Friday September 14th through Sunday September 16th. The annual festival features adult and kid carnival rides, petting zoo, assorted vendors for foods of all types, arts and craft booths, and fun of all kinds. There will also be 4 stages of entertainment. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, kids under 5 get in free. Festival tickets are available at the Fort Anahuac Park Gate or on line. Go to www.kshn.com and click on upcoming events.

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This week, the Dayton Rotary Club received $5,000 to help fund their annual car show. Dayton City Councilman and Rotarian Ricky Brown presented the check at the weekly luncheon. The funds came from the city’s hotel / motel taxes. Ken DeFoor is chairman of the annual classic car show.

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Funerals: Loyce Hill, 88 of Devers. Graveside services will be 4:30 PM Saturday at Cooke Cemetery in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.97 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 163 THURSDAY August 23RD, 2007 **

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The Dayton City Council is scheduled to meet on Tuesday August 28th. At that time Council is expected to vote to call a bond election for November 3rd, asking Dayton voters to approve financing for a new library/community center. Proposition #1 is for $11, 920,000 for construction of the building and grounds. Proposition #2 is for $795,000 in roadwork to ease traffic congestion near the facility. Proposition #3 is for $1.2 million to extend water and sewage to areas surrounding the building. The new 45,350 square foot library and community center would be located on S. Cleveland Street.

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The Liberty School Board of Trustees, Tuesday night approved the tax rate and budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Trustees set the tax rate at $1.1953 per $100 of valuation. The approved expenditure budget is $20,292,048 with a projected revenue budget of $20,317,896. Trustees also approved a new insurance policy that would raise the limit from $20 million dollars in coverage for named storms to $45 million. The increase added approximately $23,000 in premiums.

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Hardin High School received as a gift from Saint Jude Medical Corporation- an Automatic External Defibrillator. A new state law requires all Texas high schools have at least one AED on campus. The average cost it $2300. St. Jude’s Medical Division, based in Austin, is providing the devices at no charge to 48 schools statewide. Principal Tammie Marberry said she was very grateful for the gift and hopes to get more of the devices for the Hardin School District.

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Liberty County EMS Director Mike Koen said their state-of-the-art Dreams Ambulance crew was assigned to the Texas Task Force One Rescue Team that staged in San Antonio earlier this week in preparation for a strike by Hurricane Dean. Koen said it appears they will be permanently assigned to the task force and deployed in future emergency and rescue operations.

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Several attempts both Tuesday and Wednesday to reach F. Ray Akins for comment on the civil suit filed against him and Eddie Shauberger alleging various criminal activities were unsuccessful. A call to Eddie Shauberger Wednesday was not returned.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.07 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 162 WEDNESDAY August 22ND, 2007 **

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A restraining order barring Eddie Shauberger, his wife Cynthia and Ray Akins from any contact with Immanual Home Health Agency, it’s clients or customers, was issued Monday in the 55th District Court in Harris County. The order stems from a lawsuit filed by Shauberger's partners in the home health care agency alleging the 3 defendants were involved in various illegal activities including forgery, tampering with bank documents, strong arm tactic, threats, intimidation, and impersonating a law enforcement officer. While the Shaubergers were served Monday with the restraining order, Ray Akins left on a plane for Portland OR before the paperwork could be served. The allegations in the suit have prompted a criminal investigation into Ray Akins and Eddie Shauberger that include impersonating an officer, mismanagement of funds and conspiracy to commit theft. Texas Ranger Frank Huff, working with the Liberty County Sheriffs Department is leading that investigation.

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The Dayton City Council met Monday night and took final steps toward calling a bond election for November 3rd. Dayton voters would be asked to approve three propositions for construction of a new city library and community center, roadwork to make the facility more accessible as well as utilities and drainage for areas surrounding it. The total estimated cost is just under $14 million. Council is expected to call the election by August 28th.

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The UIL has ordered high school football officials to strictly enforce a rule that requires coaches and players stay at least 6 feet from the sideline and between the 30-yard lines during a game. Football Official Jonathan Klegg said the sideline rule has gone largely un-enforced in the past. The change came after a sideline collision that left a San Antonio area coach in a coma.

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Frequent rains mean the grass along state highways has grown high and TxDot District Engineer John Barton said budgetary constraints limit mowing to 4 times each year. Anyone with knowledge of an area where high grass presents a safety hazard or a drainage problem should contact the local TxDot office.

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FUNERALS: Dr. Jimmie Lee Clemmons, 61, of Liberty, Memorial services 6:30 p.m. Friday at North Main Baptist Church- Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.14 ASL*

** Volume 22 NO. 161 Tuesday August 21st, 2007 **

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DPS Trooper Chad Blackburn said the driver of an 18-wheel tractor trailer rig swerved to avoid hitting a dog on FM 1960 west of Dayton yesterday afternoon. Instead, the big truck hit an unoccupied disabled passenger car parked on the eastbound shoulder of 1960. That sent both careening across CR #609 into separate ditches. Trooper Blackburn said the driver Johnny Medina of San Antonio refused any medical treatment. Both vehicles were virtually destroyed in the wreck. No one was hurt. Except for a brief lane closure during the clean up, FM 1960 remained open to traffic.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce charter bus going to the Grand Casino Resort in Louisiana on September 13th is now full. However an attempt is being made to fill a second bus. The Chamber already has a waiting list of those interested but need to get at least 40 reservations before Wednesday August 29th. Round trip on the luxury tour bus is $10. To get your name on the waiting list for the second bus call the Chamber Office at 936-336-5736.

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The Houston Galveston Area Council - Agency on Aging, will hold a nutrition and medication management class Saturday August 25th at the Liberty Senior Activity Center. The 4-hour session goes from 10 AM till 2 PM and covers topics like food and drug interaction, signs and symptoms of concern and more. Register by calling 1 877 747 1542. The course is free, snacks will be provided, bring a lunch if you wish.

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Susan Lamb with SNAP- the Spay and Neuter Assistance Program- said two breeding female cats and their offspring could produce over 13 million cats in just nine years. She said that’s why it is so important to catch those feral cats that have wandered into your back yard and have them spayed or neutered. The SNAP program will be in Liberty Monday September 24th at Tractor Supply. The service is free to low income families. For more information, go to our website, www.kshn.com and click on the SNAP link, or call 713 862 3863.

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FUNERALS: James Truitt Sutton, 59, of Cleveland, Graveside services at noon Wednesday at Peebles Cemetery in Goodrich, TX.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.35 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 160 Monday August 20th, 2007 **

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After a year on active duty, Air Force Colonel Mark McClelland said he should be back to resume his elected office as Liberty County Tax Assessor/Collector in early October. Doris Jones –Deputy Tax Collector for several years has served as Interim Tax Collector in McClelland’s absence.

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Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said 19-year-old Christopher Andrew Johnson and 17-year-old Benjamin Jeffrey Harkins, both of Dayton, are charged with aggravated robbery. The two teens allegedly beat and robbed a Chambers County man, George Redmon, 43, on August 8th. Both remain in the Chambers County Jail, held on $50,000 bond each.

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Before recent allegations against pro football player Michael Vick heightened awareness about the vicious practice of dog fighting the Texas Legislature had already passed tougher penalties for the crime. District Attorney Mike Little said being involved in dog fighting has gone from a Class A Misdemeanor to a State Jail Felony. It is also illegal to even attend a dogfight. That charge goes from a Class C to a Class A Misdemeanor.

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Liberty Co.4-H will offer “Quality Counts” education tomorrow night at 6:30 in the Special Events Auditorium at Liberty High School. All those who plan to show market animals in the TVE Youth Livestock Show in October are required to attend the program by September 7th. There is no charge to attend. call Gary Witt at the Extension Office at 936-336-4558, Ext. 221.

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Liberty Dayton Area Chamber has six seats remaining on a luxury tour bus to Grand Casino Resort in Louisiana. Chamber officials say the bus leaves Thursday Sept. 13th at 8 am and returns at 7 pm that day with six hours at the Grand Casino. Round trip to reserve a seat is $10. Call the Chamber ****************************************************

217 Men attended the L-D Community Hospital and KSHN Radio prostate screening clinic Saturday. It was the most ever and hospital officials say it moved smoother than past years.

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Funerals: Rev. Jerry Dwain Johnson, 66, of Liberty, Service was Sunday. ** C. W. “Wayne” Taylor, 71, of Hardin, Services held Saturday. ** Frank S. Kelly, 75, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. Thursday at Crosby Church. **

*Lake Release: 9,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 14.74 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 159 Friday August 17th, 2007 **

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As Hurricane Dean continues its advance, experts remind residents of the Texas Gulf Coast to monitor the situation over the weekend.

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At their meeting Tuesday, Liberty County Commissioners gave their stamp of approval for the hiring of longtime local attorney Gary Bunyard as an Assistant to County Attorney Jack Hartel. In other action, Commissioners approved issuing certificates of obligation in the amount of $9 million to be used for equipment and road repair countywide.

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A report in the Beaumont Enterprise Newspaper said the Houston-based Gulf Ethanol Company has purchased about 20 acres of land at the corner of U. S. 90 and Turner Road in China as the site of a new ethanol fuel production plant. Company Vice President Bill Carmichael said putting the facility in the small Jefferson County community would mean 20 to 30 permanent jobs as well as contracting with local farmers for 60,000 acres dedicated to growing the sorghum used in ethanol production. The final decision is pending an environmental study.

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The 11th Prostate Screening Clinic at Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital is tomorrow from 8 a.m. to noon. All men age 45 or older—or younger with a family history of prostate cancer- are urged to take advantage of this free testing. No registration is required. The testing will be done in the main wing of the hospital; enter at the hospital’s main entrance off the Magnolia Street Parking Lot in Liberty.

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A day of high school orientation called “Fish Camp” will be Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Liberty High School. LHS Career and Technology Director Benecia Bendele said it is a chance for incoming freshmen to meet with teachers, find their classrooms and make new friends. Parents are invited to attend between 1:45 and 3 p.m.

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The Liberty Panthers host their first football scrimmage of the year tomorrow evening. The Varsity Team plays at 7 p.m.

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Funerals: Henry Randall Hazlip, 40, of Moss Hill, Graveside services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Fairlawn Cemetery in Liberty.

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*Lake Release: 12,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 19.17 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 158 Thursday August 16th, 2007 **

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While Tropical Storm Dean continues to advance toward the Gulf of Mexico, experts say conditions are ripe for the development of a major storm. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor reminds residents to prepare now in case a hurricane should threaten the Texas Coast. County residents with special needs are urged to register by calling the Emergency Management Office at 936-334-3219. For Cleveland Area callers the number is 281-593-0405. City of Liberty residents call 336-3922.

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The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and set a public hearing on the proposed new fiscal year budget and tax rate for Tuesday August 28th at 6 p.m. A second public hearing on the tax rate alone will be on Tuesday September 4th. The proposed budget would provide a 5% across the board pay increase for all city employees. The proposed tax rate remains unchanged at 56 cents per $100 of appraised property value.

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The Annual Sales Tax Holiday starts at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow and continues through midnight Sunday. During that period, most clothing and footwear priced under $100 is exempt from state and local sales tax. For the first time this year, backpacks are included on the list of non-taxable items. Also, any eligible items placed on store layaway plans are tax- free. For a complete list of those items that are and are not taxable this weekend go to www.kshn.com and click on the “sales tax holiday” link.

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Due to the threat of heavy rain across the area today and tomorrow, the Liberty County Bikes for Christmas Committee has postponed their fund raiser golf tournament until September 7th. Spaces are still available for both players and sponsors. For more information call Mike Koen with Liberty Co. EMS at 936 536 3080 or David Milam with Milam Discount Tire at 334 9500.

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Funerals: Raymond Lee Porter, 65, of Cleveland, Services at 10 a.m. today at Highway Tabernacle Church in Cleveland. ** Erika m. Stewart, 59, of Raywood, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Miles Missionary Baptist Church in Ames. ** Frenzella Green, 78, of Dayton Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton. **

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*Lake Release: 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 21.85 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 157 Wednesday August 15th, 2007 **

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Developers of a proposed industrial park, called County Line Industrial Park, situated mostly in Liberty County took the first step yesterday with Liberty Co. Commissioners submitting an application for tax abatements on improvements. Owned by the Speers Family of Chambers County, the property is one of 5 sites under consideration for a Union Pacific Rail Road switching yard. The requested abatement would be on improvements to the property that would include lying 11,000 feet of rail from the main line of UP Rail that runs along side Highway 146 between Dayton and Mont Belvieu. Henry Adair, working as a consultant for the Speers family said they have already had serious conversations with several industries’ interested in locating in the industrial park. The first phase of the development would be just over 19 acres.

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With the soaring temperatures, comes the increased risk of heat related illness. The Liberty Senior Activity Center in Liberty has opened their doors as a cooling station for folks who don’t have access to air conditioning. Alma Lucas, Director for the Senior Center said their doors are open for everyone 60 and over who are having problems in the heat. The Senior Activity Center is on Panther Drive off Jefferson.

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SNAP, a Spay and Neutering Assistance Program is coming to Liberty, Monday September 24th at the Tractor Supply Location on North Main in Liberty. The program is for low-income families to have their companion animals, cats and dogs, spayed or neutered free of charge. For more information, go to www.kshn.com and click on the “SNAP” link, or call 713 862 3863. The income guidelines are on their website.

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This Friday, the Liberty County Bikes for Christmas committee is holding a fund raiser golf tournament at the Eagle Pointe Golf Club in Mont Belvieu with an 8:30 AM shot gun start. There is still room for players and sponsors. For more information call Mike Koen with Liberty Co. EMS at 536 3080 or David Milam with Milam Discount Tire at 334 9500.

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Funerals: Regina D. “Gina” Mitchell – Wiggins, 57 of Dayton. Services are 10 AM tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*Lake Release: 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 21.85 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 156 Tuesday August 14th, 2007 **

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Liberty Police believe a family dispute Sunday night resulted in 17-year-old Mario Guillen stabbing his stepfather with an 8” kitchen knife and injuring his mother at the Shenandoah Apartments. Liberty Police Lt. Kenneth Taylor said Gullen was stopped for speeding in his stepfather’s stolen truck in Harris County but initially released. Moments later, it was learned Liberty Police were looking for the young man and he was taken back into custody. Mario Guillen is charged with Aggravated Assault. His stepfather, is said to be in serious condition at Hermann Hospital. His mother suffered a cut forearm. The investigation is ongoing.

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A Sunday swim in the Trinity River ended when Raul Vega, 38, who recently moved to Dayton, drowned in the murky waters. According to Liberty Police Officer Frank Longoria, some of those in the group about 6 PM Sunday, jumped into the river from the large concrete blocks that support the bridge pilings, and Vega, did not come up. His stepson, George Lopez, 27 dove into the river, finding Mr. Vega after an underwater search. City of Liberty EMS took the victim to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital where JP Cody Parrish pronounced him dead. Officer Longoria said alcohol was likely a contributing factor. An autopsy has been ordered.

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The strip center development on the Westside of the Super Walmart in Liberty should begin construction any day. According to Michael Contello of Mulligan-McCarble Inc, they already have their largest tenant lined up, The Texas Worksource Commission, an agency of the State of Texas. That organization will occupy 7,000 of the 10,350 square feet of the Liberty Crossing Center, as it will be called.

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The Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department moved a fire truck and booster truck into a second station this month. Fire Chief Paul Gregory said adding this second firehouse will cut precious minutes off of his department’s response time.

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Funerals: Raymond Hill, 69 of Dayton. A memorial service this evening at 6 PM at Central Baptist Church of Daisetta. * Llton Brett Davis, 42 of Dayton. Funeral services tomorrow at 10 AM at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*Lake Release: 19,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 22.33 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 155 Monday August 13th, 2007 **

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District Attorney Mike Little said the 80th Texas Legislature made a significant change in what is commonly known as legal self-defense. He said the legislation allows for the use of force if someone is protecting him or herself from an unprovoked attack by a person who committing a crime such as burglary. The law assumes the use of force is reasonable under those circumstances. The action does not necessarily need to take place on a person’s own property to be considered self-defense. The DA said he foresees the change causing some problems in prosecuting but believes hat will be worked out in the court.

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The Liberty County 4-H and the Texas Cooperative Extension will host the “Quality Counts” Program on Tuesday August 21st at 6:30 p.m. at the Special Events Auditorium at Liberty High School. The program teaches young livestock exhibitors about keeping animals free of unhealthy food additives and chemicals. “Quality Counts” education is required every year for those showing market animals at the TVE. There is no cost to attend. For more information, call the Extension Office in Liberty at 936-336-4558, Ext. 221.

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With what has become known as “West Nile Virus Season” underway, the Texas Department of Health Services recommends taking precautions against mosquito bites. Experts recommend keeping insect repellent with the ingredient “DEET” near the front and back doors of your home as a reminder to use it before going outdoors. Also, check door seals and window screens to make sure your home is mosquito proof. Be sure to drain any standing water in empty cans, tires, flowerpot bases, etc. The virus can be fatal to horses and humans.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is Wednesday at noon at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church’s Marian Hall. This month’s luncheon features representatives from the Texas Bowl, with information about the event coming up in December. Lunch is “Texas Bowl” Salad Bar catered by Ken Owens for $8. To make reservations call the chamber office at 936-336-5736.

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Funerals: Leonard Lee Dickerson, 58, of Hardin, Graveside services at 2 p.m. today at Centerview Cemetery in Bronson, Tx.

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*Lake Release: 22,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 22.62 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 154 Friday August 10th, 2007 **

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Thursday morning around 3 AM, 17 year old Amanda Mead of Dayton fled Liberty Police Officer Aaron Venegas after he attempted to stop her for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. The chase, that eventually involved Liberty PD, Dayton PD and Harris County Precinct 3 Constables office, went through Dayton and into Crosby at speeds topping 110 miles an hour. Liberty Police Lt. Kenneth Taylor said Mead lost control of the van, coming to a stop at the intersection of Highway 90 and FM 2100 in Crosby. Lt. Taylor said Mead was not intoxicated, and told police she was afraid of getting a ticket for no drivers license. She is now charged with a state jail felony.

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Two student pilots from Conroe made an emergency landing at the Liberty Municipal Airport yesterday morning after the engine in their small Cessna aircraft failed. According to Liberty Police Officer Rolando Aguilar, the pilot Nikhil Bagrao 18 of Conroe, said the plane lost power while they were heading to Beaumont. The young pilot contacted Houston Air Traffic Controllers, who notified the City of Liberty Police of the problem. The student pilots were able to safely coast into a landing at the Liberty airport, and no one was injured.

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TxDot District Engineer John Barton said the first phase of the project to widen State Highway 146 South of Dayton should begin next spring. He said once the contract is awarded, it is usually about 60 days from that point to when the public will start seeing equipment moved in and dirt moving. The project will be done in two phases, starting at Highway 90 in Dayton, going South to FM 1413. Once that section is completed, the second phase, from FM 1413 working South to the Chambers County line should start. The expected completion date of the first phase is within 14 to 18 months of the start date.

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Liberty County Commissioner Precinct #1 Todd Fontenot says County Road 133 North will be closed Monday and Tuesday for major road repairs. Residents of the Moss Bluff and Lake Granada areas use caution and use County Road 133 South.

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Funerals: Edith Donatto, 88 of Ames. Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 AM Tuesday at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames.

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 23.52 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 153 Thursday August 9th, 2007 **

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The Dayton City Council approved changes to the city’s employee retirement package Monday. City Manager David Douglas said under the new plan, the city will now match two-to-one the amount paid into retirement funds by employees. Council members also voted to reduce the retirement eligibility requirements from 25 years to 20 years. The changes are intended to help attract good employees and keep them longer.

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Work will start soon to expand a 12-mile stretch of State Highway 105 from State Highway 321 East to the Trinity River Bridge. The project involves adding 10 foot shoulders and passing lanes, and four passing zones to allow motorists to pass with out crossing into oncoming traffic. TxDot District Engineer John Barton said work should start in late fall. The projected completion date is fall 2009.

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Tuesday night, Liberty City Council and Mayor Carl Pickett spent a little over 2 hours in executive session reviewing some thirty resumes sent them from the Mercer Group, the Executive Search Firm hired last spring to conduct the search for a new city manager. Mayor Pickett said Philip Robertson of the Mercer Group would be in town next week to meet with council in another closed-door session. He said the council has a tentative list of 6 candidates who they will consider naming as the semi finalists, next week.

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Monday night, Bob Parker, new Hardin Superintendent, told school board members of a major reshuffling of administrators at nearly every campus in the district. High School Principal Dr. D’Ann Cathriner moves to the administration building where she will be working with Parker and Assistant Superintendent Marvin Stewart. The new High School Principal is Tammie Marberry, moving from Junior High where she had been a counselor. Former Assistant Principal at the elementary, Silas Hare, becomes the new Junior High Principal, and Michael Bearden will remain as Principal of the Intermediate campus.

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Funerals: Richard “Richie” Ceppi, 57 of Humble. Services set for 10 AM Saturday at Pace-Stancil Cleveland. * Bernard Keith Havard, 71 of Cleveland. Services set for 10 AM Friday at Pace Stancil Cleveland.

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 23.66 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 152 Wednesday August 8th, 2007 **

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A former Liberty Co. Official, Leon Randolph of Hardin, was indicted and charged with theft. Liberty County District Attorney Mike Little said Randolph was indicted by the Liberty Co. Grand Jury for the alleged theft of an Ameri-Trail Trailer said to be the property of Jimmy Hendrix, address unknown. Leon Randolph served with the Sheriffs Department for some time, then was elected Constable in the Hardin Moss Hill area. He did not seek re-election after one 4-year term in office. The accusation of theft came after his period of elected service was over. Leon Randolph, 35 was arrested after his indictment and released on personal recognizant bond.

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Liberty Co. Hospital District #1 Board met Monday night and discussed at great length building a new hospital. Board Member Charles Kaemerling said the advantage is the rent charged to whatever hospital management company runs the facility, is reimbursed to that company from the Federal Government, as long as the facility maintains it’s “Critical Access” status. The Liberty Dayton Community Hospital, through the efforts of Frontier Health Care Services was given that designation some time back.

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Monday night, the Dayton City Council proposed a new tax rate for the coming fiscal year of .6349. That is approximately 63 and ½ cents per $100 of appraised property value and one cent lower than last year’s tax rate. Dayton City Manager David Douglas said the decrease in the tax rate is a bit misleading. With an increase in appraised values over last year, more revenue will be generated for the city than last year’s rate.

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Next Wednesday is the monthly Liberty Dayton Chamber Luncheon. Make reservations by calling the Chamber office at 936 336 5736. Speaker will be a representative of the Texas Bowl set for Dec. in Reliant Stadium.

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Funerals: James Alan Gajdosik, 52 of Dayton. Memorial services 11 AM Saturday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. * Ruby Jewell Cherry Shelley, 76 of Rye. Services 2 PM Friday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Livingston. Services Pending at Wells Funeral Service: Edith Donatto, 88 of Ames Blanche M. Whittington 75 of Anahuac.

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 23.80 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 151 Tuesday August 7th, 2007 **

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A young Dayton woman, now living in Dallas was murdered in late July. The body of Michelle Suzanne Smikal, 22 was found in a utility closet in the apartment of Paul Ceja in Far East Dallas. Authorities said their investigation began after Ceja’s girlfriend told a friend, that he said a stranger had forced him at gunpoint to take Ms. Smikal up the 3 flights of stairs and dump her body in a closet at Ceja’s apartment. The friend then reported it to police. Wednesday August 1st, Dallas Police arrested Paul Ceja, 21, for the strangulation death of Michelle Smikal, formerly of Dayton. The investigation is ongoing.

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Bruce Burnham, Organizer of the 18th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament said they had a great turn out for this years event. While the numbers are not all calculated, he guessed the tournament made roughly $25,000. In tournament play the winners were, in the Championship Flight: Culley Howard & David Ortego. Presidential Flight: Robert Corbello & Ben Sherod. 1st Flight: Scott Calloway & Mark Johnson. 2nd Flight: Doug Budro & Chris Martin. 3rd Flight: Mike Howland & Troy Hunter. 4th Flight: Ernie Watson & Jay Gautier.

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John Barton, District Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, said TxDot will award the contract to build the long talked about Highway 105 Loop around the city of Cleveland in North Liberty County, in November of this year. He said while it does vary among projects, it usually is about 60 days from contract to seeing crews on site.

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The Beaumont Office of Social Security has had several reports of people not receiving their social security benefits. A supervisor with that office said they are working with regional office to try and find the problem and correct it. The problem seems to only be effecting mailed checks, and not direct deposit. If you have not received your benefit check call 409 924 6413.

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Funerals: Billie Louise Mizell Rutherford, 70 of Deer Park. Services Thursday at 10 AM Pace Stancil Funeral Home Cleveland* Theophil “Tip” Tibodeaux, 82 of Liberty. Services were yesterday.* Don Wesley Lee, 26 of Dayton. Services were yesterday. Craven Lindsay Capps, 53 of Splendora. Services tomorrow at 10 AM at Pace Stancil Cleveland.

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 24.03 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 150 Monday August 6th, 2007 **

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Speaking at a Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Luncheon last Thursday, State Senator Tommy Williams recommended Liberty County establish its own toll road authority. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald heard the senator’s remarks and said county officials are already moving in that direction. He said it is possible the Hwy 105 Bypass in Cleveland could be the county’s first venture into toll roads. That would mean the bypass, totally funded by TxDot would provide income to Liberty County almost entirely from pass-through traffic.

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Liberty Co.Att.Jack Hartel wants local attorney Gary Bunyard as his new assistant.. Hartel will have Bunyard-53, to focus on county level prosecution. Another assistant Tommy Chambers will work-with Jack Hartel-as counsel to the Co. Commissioners as their main focus. Commissioners will consider hiring
Bunyard at their next meeting.

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The National Night Out Against Crime is tomorrow 7 to 10 p.m. Residents of Dayton will hold neighborhood block parties with visits from Dayton Police, Liberty County Sheriff’s Department and Dayton Fire Department personnel. For more information, call the Dayton Chamber of Commerce at 257-2393.

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Liberty Ponytail girls softball team got a huge surprise when they returned from the Dixie League World Series last week. That’s when they learned they were picked to receive the tournament’s treasured sportsmanship trophy. The girls learned this at a team celebration at Liberty City Park Friday night. The 11-12 yr. old girls won the Texas Championship, then went four games deep in the World Series held in north Florida.

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The newest business in Liberty-Dayton opens today. Tiremax on N.Main@Bypass-Liberty sells tires, custom wheels with support service. It’s the 8

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71 Service Tuesday 10am @Central Baptist.–Daisetta

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 24.21 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 149 Friday August 3rd, 2007 **

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DPS Investigators said 56-year-old Perry Billiott of the Westlake Area was northbound at 3 p.m. yesterday when his pick truck failed to negotiate the sharp turn at the Dead Man’s Curve Bridge on FM 1409. His truck careened of a guardrail and hit an oncoming pickup nearly head-on. The impact forced both trucks into the northbound lane. A southbound van was grazed and damaged. Perry Billiott was pronounced dead at the accident scene by JP #4 Glenn Pruitt. The two other drivers were transported by ground ambulance to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital as a precaution. The wreck closed that portion of FM 1409 for several hours yesterday afternoon.

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The Texas Education Agency released their academic accountability ratings for school districts across the state. All Liberty County Districts as a whole were given an acceptable rating. However, some individual campuses were rated as Academically Unacceptable. Those included the Hardin High and Junior High Schools, Hull-Daisetta High School, and Dayton’s Nottingham Elementary. DISD Superintendent Greg Hayman said a clerical error caused the rating for Nottingham and they plan to appeal. We hope to talk with representatives of the other districts in tomorrow’s news.

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A 14-year-old Liberty boy, Jordan Childress, was taken by Life Flight Air Ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after he rode his bike into the side of a westbound pick up truck on Hwy. 90 in Raywood yesterday. DPS Trooper Lonnie Hauck said it is not a safe place for kids to ride, adding the young man was not wearing a helmet. Childress’ injuries were not thought life threatening.

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Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor said officials will be Liberty County Tuesday to asses damage by recent flooding. Individual assistance teams from the State, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration will inspect the damage to homes, but only if that damage has been reported to the Liberty County Emergency Management Office. To report damage call 936-334 3219.

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Funerals: Leroy Hughes, 75 of Hardin. Services will be tomorrow at 11 AM at Hardin United Methodist Church.

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 25.29 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 148 Thursday August 2nd, 2007 **

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A law tweaked, so to speak, by the Texas Legislature increases the punishment range upon conviction of sexual contact between juveniles and employees of state juvenile facilities. Whether that contact is consensual or not, that crime goes up from a 2nd degree, or state jail felony to a 3rd degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison. That law has also been expanded to include Juvenile Probation Department employees and minors. District Attorney Mike Little said sexual contact between adult inmates and employees remains a state jail 3rd degree felony charge. Another law where punishment has been increased is interference with a police service animal. It moves up to a 2nd degree felony punishable with up to 20 years in prison.

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Tomorrow kicks off the 18th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament sponsored by the Burnham family, it has always benefited the physically handicapped and mentally retarded of Liberty County though Tri-County Mental Health Retardation Services. Sponsorships are still available at $100 and $200. For more information call 336 2215.

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Tuesday August 7th from 7 PM to 10 PM, is National Night Out Against Crime. The Dayton Chamber of Commerce is again sponsoring the event and has planning information available for helping put together a neighborhood block party. The event is designed to stress the importance of citizens and emergency services working together to build safer communities. For more information call the Dayton Chamber Office at 257 2393.

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When the Texas Legislature set the mandatory school start date of Aug. 27th, school officials began making changes in their school calendars. Dayton ISD Superintendent Greg Hayman said rearranging allows the first semester exams scheduled before the Christmas break. He added, while the number of school days in the first semester is technically shorter than the second, so much of the second semester is devoted to TAKS testing rather than instruction, it tends to even out.

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Funerals: Jeanette Elizabeth Dillon, 80 of Kenefick. Services tomorrow at 10 AM at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. * Bryclen James Rivon, 22 of Double Bayou. Services 2 PM Saturday at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Double Bayou.

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*Lake Release: 24,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 25.77 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 147 Wednesday August 1st, 2007 **

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A new law passed by the Texas Legislature has curtailed the exchange of information on property sales between Central Appraisal Districts and real estate appraisers. Liberty County Chief Appraiser Alan Conner the law restricts CADs from giving out sale information on property to anyone but a property owner who has filed protesting a county appraisal of that property. The Chief Appraiser said the legislation has proven so troublesome that he foresees it being changed or eliminated when the Legislature meets in two years. The CAD has been a valuable information source for realtors and appraisers working to buy and sell property here.

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Due to recent flooding on Monday, Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald requested a State Disaster Declaration for Liberty County. Floodwaters damaged many homes in the lower Trinity River Basin, and caused damage to several county roads. Anyone that has not reported home flooding should contact the Liberty Co. Office of Emergency Management at 936 334 3219.

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The annual Free Prostate Cancer Screening Clinic at the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital is set for Saturday August 18th. A few changes this year include men not being required to sign up in advance, just come in on a first come - first served basis. This year, the clinic will be held in the main hospital wing. Exams start at 8 AM and should be finished by noon.

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Liberty Health Care Center is holding a free certification training course for nursing assistants. Patricia Edgell, Director of Nursing said nursing assistants are in high demand. State certified nursing assistants could work at health care facilities statewide. The course lasts about 6 weeks, and participants are not obligated to work for Liberty Health Care. Registration goes on through August 8th. For information call 336 7247.

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The Liberty Fire Department was called to a house fire Monday evening around 9 PM, on Pecan Loop in the South Liberty Oil Field. Fire Chief Fred Collins said it turned out to be a trash fire near the residence. The nearby residence was not damaged.

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Funerals: Wyona Marie Mizell, 80 of Liberty. Services will be tomorrow at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*Lake Release: 26,200 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.37 ASL*

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