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July 2005

-VOLUME 20 NO. 145, FRIDAY JULY 29TH, 2005-

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Two people are dead in what law enforcement is calling a murder / suicide. Dead is 74 year old Ramiro Sanchez and his wife Alice Marie Sanchez, 67. Liberty County Justice of the Peace Precinct #1 Bobby Radar said a neighbor approached the house and from the front door saw Mr. Sanchez lying dead on a recliner chair. When law enforcement made entry they found Alice Sanchez shot to death several feet away. Judge Radar said it appeared Mr. Sanchez shot his wife before turning the gun on himself, but the Sheriff’s Department investigation does continue. The couple was found in their remote Westlake area home late Wednesday night.

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The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team, known as the Rebel Riders, Tuesday captured first place in free style in state competition with a score of 99 out of a possible 100. Drill Leader Debbie Cain said the Liberty County kids focused their winning program on horsemanship and their effort paid off. The Liberty County Rebel Riders also brought home second place honors for their work in mounted precision drill.

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There will be a new TVE Event this October, the Little Miss Rodeo TVE and Little Mister Rodeo TVE Pageant. It is open to boys and girls ages 3 to 6 years old by pageant day who live in Liberty, Chambers, Jefferson, Hardin, Polk, San Jacinto, Montgomery or Harris Counties. In addition to a buckle, crown, and more the winners will ride in the Rodeo Grand Entry Saturday Oct. 22nd. There is an entry fee of $30, and proof of age must be in by Sept. 25th. Call the TVE office at 3367455.

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The Dayton Outlaw’s Baseball team, age 10 and under bowed out of the USSSA Division 10-AA world series in Knoxville Wednesday afternoon with a 7 to 6 loss. Todd Oubre of the Dayton Youth Sports Association said the team from Dayton went 2 and 2 and finished 7th overall in Tennessee.

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FUNERALS: Charles Robert Noe, 44 of Dayton. Services Saturday at 2 PM at 1st Baptist Church of Dayton. ** Robert Jenkins, Sr., 83 of Liberty. Services Saturday 10 am at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames. ** David “Dutch” Deshayes, 61 of Dayton. Services 10 am at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.66 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 144, THURSDAY JULY 28TH, 2005-

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Texas DPS Sergeant Ryan Arthur said the Child Safety Seat requirements have been adjusted. If a child is under five years of age or under 36 “ tall, by Texas law they must be in an age and size appropriate safety seat when riding in any vehicle. Before a child can legally be moved to a regular seat belt the child must be both over age 5, and over 36” tall.

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Dayton Community Development Corporation President Sue Priddy said she had no comment about our most recent news report on the ongoing dispute between the DCDC and Vindicator Newspaper Editor/Publisher Brad Harrington over alleged open records violations by the sales-tax supported entity. In that report, Harrington also called into question the journalistic ethics of Dayton News Editor Mike George. George’s only comment in response to the accusation was the he intended to “take the high road” in this matter and felt secure he was doing so.

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Liberty City Council met Monday night and awarded the construction contract for the new Liberty Fire and EMS complex to LDF Construction. The Spring TX, company submitted the low bid of $1.2 million dollars. City Manager Allen Barnes said the construction company had a sound reputation and construction will begin almost immediately with the new facility completed by March or April 2006. As a part of the complex, there will be a concrete helipad adjacent to the fire station. In other action council approved a bid of just over $63,000 from CST Environmental to begin demolition of the old city hall and the city council chambers. That work should begin Aug 8th, with interior asbestos abatement.

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The 10th Annual Future Dayton Bronco Football Camp starts Monday and continues through Wednesday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at Dayton High School. The camp is free and all incoming 7th, 8th and 9th grade Dayton football players are invited to come study the fundamentals of the game with the Dayton High Coaching Staff. No pre-registration is required. Players should just show up with a water bottle, wearing T-shirt and shorts.

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FUNERALS: Clarence Garland Fregia, 78, of Daisetta. Funeral service today at 10 am at Central Baptist Church in Daisetta **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.95 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 143, WEDNESDAY JULY 27TH, 2005-

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Precinct #3 Constable Chip Fairchild said 23-year-old Randy Tanner of Hull was pulled over for a traffic violation in the Snake River Area Monday night. Arrested on an outstanding warrant by Daisetta Police, the man reportedly tried to flee. He was subdued by police after a struggle, but a bit later ran away again. The second time, Tanner managed to elude police in the woods---still wearing handcuffs. The suspect allegedly hit and kicked one officer during the initial escape attempt. The officer was not seriously hurt, but Randy Tanner is wanted for Assault on a Public Servant, Criminal Mischief and Escape.

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The 16th annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament is Aug. 5th – Aug. 7th at the Magnolia Ridge Country Club. Sponsored by the Burnham Family, the event has, over the years, raised more the $350,000 for kids with special needs in South Liberty County. To be a part of the event, call Bruce Burnham at 713-907-5772 or BJ Ford at 936-336-2215.

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Liberty City Manager Allen Barnes said the city is going to auction hundreds of surplus items at the city hall auditorium. Included will be numerous vehicles, machinery, and hundreds of surplus materials, as well as items seized by the Liberty Police Department. The public can inspect the items Friday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m., with the auction starting Saturday at 8 am.

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The Dayton 10 and under boys baseball team, won their first round of double elimination play, 13-5, yesterday morning in the world series being played in Knoxville TN. Todd Oubre with the Dayton Youth Sports Association said they would play Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. In other sports news, supporters of the State Champ Liberty Ponytails are holding a pancake supper tonight at 5 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church to raise money for their trip to Dothan Al and the World Series.

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Retailers are busy planning for the annual Sales Tax Holiday set for Aug. 5th – Aug. 7th. Most clothing and footwear priced at less than $100 will be exempt from state and local tax. ****************************************************

FUNERALS: Cecil Edgar Vance, 91 of Batson. Graveside services Friday at 10 am at the South Park Cemetery in Pearland under the direction of Allison Funeral Service in Liberty **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.95 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 142, TUESDAY JULY 26TH, 2005-

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According to Dayton Police Sergeant Doug O’Quinn, a bicyclist hit by a pick up truck near Daniel Park on FM 1008 in Dayton Sunday night around 8:30, has died. Sgt. O’Quinn, who is in charge of the investigation, said it appeared that 45-year-old Charles W. Noe was operating his bicycle in the proper manner when he was struck by the pick up. The driver, Charles Gould, age 41, was arrested and charged with Intoxication Manslaughter. Charles Noe was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, where he died of his injuries later that night. Both men are reportedly residents of the FM 1008 area.

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Dayton Volunteer Fire Chief Terry Boyett said two tank-type rail cars derailed yesterday morning at the Union Pacific Rail Yard off Hwy 146 in Dayton. The yard is located adjacent to the CMC Rail Yard. The two cars carried corrosive acid but Dayton Firefighters determined there were no leaks and took the additional precaution of fashioning a small dam around the cars just in case leaks developed while getting them back on the tracks. A Houston hazardous materials operation was contacted to further evaluate what happened.

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Brad Harrington, Editor and Publisher of the Vindicator Newspaper said he plans to handle his dispute with the Dayton Community Development Corporation over requests for public information more aggressively in the future. Harrington said it has come to light recently that while the DCDC is requiring his information requests in writing they have supplied the Dayton News with information without a written request. The law clearly prohibits treating one request differently from others. The Vindicator Publisher said the Dayton News has, in essence, become a “mouthpiece” for the sales tax supported entity. Both the County Attorney and the State Attorney General have agreed with Brad Harrington about the public information law violations attributed to the DCDC.

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The family and supporters of the State Champion Liberty Ponytail 11 and 12- year- old Softball Team are having a Pancake Supper to raise funds for the girls’ trip to the World Series in Dothan, Alabama. The supper is tomorrow at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Liberty. The girls’ World Series effort in Alabama starts Friday.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.03ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 141, MONDAY JULY 25TH, 2005-

Our radio news today has a lengthy report on The Vindicator newspaper’s battle with DCDC on access to public information.

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Last week saw the end of one special legislative session in Austin and the start of another. Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick has reappointed District 18 State Representative John Otto to a five-member Select Committee to handle continuing negotiations with the Senate of School Finance and Property Tax Reform. The Select Committee is made of those five lawmakers initially picked for the House Conference Committee on these issues shortly before the end of the 1st Special Session last week.

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Assistant Dayton School Superintendent Bob Parker said he is extremely frustrated by the slow construction pace on the project to expand the Dayton High School Cafeteria. Mo-Bill Construction of Spring got the contract in May with the low bid of $687,000. Parker estimates the company, that has a record of finishing on time and under budget, is about three weeks behind schedule. The contract requires the interior work be completed by August 1st. After that a penalty would be assessed.

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Tickets are on sale now for the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce first “Casino 500” on Saturday August 27th at the TVE Fairgrounds. The event combines the Chamber’s Annual Liberty-Dayton 500 Fundraiser with the Annual Teachers Reception while adding casino games and a dance. This year’s raffle drawing features prizes that include shopping certificates for groceries, gas and with a combined value of hundreds of dollars. The top prize is a 52” Big Screen TV from Golden’s Furniture in Liberty valued at $2,000. Raffle tickets are $20 each. Call the Chamber at 936-336-5736.

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The State Champion Liberty 11 and 12-Year-Old Girls Softball Team is moving on to the World Series in their team age group in Dothan, Alabama, this coming week beginning on Friday July 29th. If you can make a contribution to help with the cost of food, lodging and transportation for the trip, call Team Manager Mary Jane Leonard at 936-334-5222 or 336-6728.

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FUNERALS: Joshua Honea,24-Dayton, Memorial at later date** Ethel Nevels,85-Liberty-10amWed.@ Wells Funeral **Alida Darby Como 82 – Dayton, 11am Wed.@St. Joseph’s Catholic Ch. (Sterling)

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.34ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 140, FRIDAY JULY 22ND, 2005-

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Sheriff Greg Arthur said just because two Liberty County women accused in separate cases of theft of public funds are on his department’s “10 Most Wanted List”, does not necessarily mean they have fled. Cheryl Ann Holstein, 42, was arrested in July of last year for allegedly embezzling an estimated $12,000 while she worked at the County Clerk’s Office. Angela Marie Johnson, 22, is accused of committing a similar crime while she worked at the Dayton Municipal Court. Both women were considered low flight risks and released on personal recognizance bonds. There is no evidence either woman has violated any of the conditions of their bonds. Anyone on the “Most Wanted List” should contact the Sheriff’s Department.

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According to Royce Wheeler, Liberty Co. Environmental Officer, before any outdoor burning can take place in Texas, there must be permission granted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The TCEQ must be notified prior to any burning in Texas, and if the county has a burn ban in place, the TCEQ will defer to that restriction. The number to call for permission prior to burning, 1-713-767-3730.

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Liberty Co. District Attorney, Mike Little was a surprise visitor at Monday night’s meeting of the Dayton City Council. He said he came to the meeting for one reason, that was to praise Dayton Police Chief Pete Douzat and his department for their assistance in the investigation of the June 17th accident that claimed the lives of 3 children. The DA said Douzat even brought in a lift truck with a boom in order to get the best possible photographs of the skid marks on the highway. Little said ground level photos would not have captured the entire scene. George Douglas Richardson has since been charged with 3 counts of intoxicated manslaughter.

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Liberty Panther Season Football Tickets go on sale beginning Tuesday August 2nd at the Administration Offices on Grand Ave. Cost for tickets to the five Liberty Home Games is $25.

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FUNERALS: Derek Cormier, 40, of Ames, Services at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames. ** Terry Annell Smith, 56, of Cleveland, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Ryan Cemetery in Tarkington. ** ****************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.32 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 139, THURSDAY JULY 21ST, 2005-

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Liberty Police Officer Mike Doyle said Michael Bay of Dayton, Naomi Sanders of Silsbee, and Lewis Taylor, of Lumberton were arrested last Thursday, charged with drug possession and theft. A routine stop in Liberty turned up marijuana, meth-amphetamines and merchandise allegedly stolen from Wal Mart. Also, the truck the trio was in, had been reported stolen to the Mont Belvieu police department.

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Dayton School Trustees, Tuesday night awarded a contract to G.T.T., Inc. from Conroe to build the new classroom wing at Dayton High School. Their bid was $1.2 million, and was approved unanimously. Trustees also approved promoting Geri Maxwell to new Assistant Principal at Richter Elementary. Linda Harris was promoted to Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator and Mary Ellen Conner is the new Mathematics Curriculum Coordinator.

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Two Cleveland are men are in critical condition following a one vehicle rollover wreck Sunday Morning. Texas DPS Trooper Enrique Uribe said Javier Resendiz, 31, was highly intoxicated when the vehicle he was driving struck a telephone pole on FM 1010 around 9:30 Sunday morning. Trooper Uribe said tests show the man’s blood alcohol was 3 ½ times the legal limit when the accident happened. Resendiz and a passenger in the car, David Tranquilino, 25, were flown to Houston and Galveston respectively in critical condition.

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DA Mike Little said the case of former Dayton High School Drafting Teacher Michael Kilby Stuckey had an unusual outcome. Stuckey was arrested in 2003 after allegedly getting a 16-year-old student to perform a sex act on campus in exchange for better grades. At the request of the victim and her family, the defendant agreed to what is called a “pre-trial intervention ”. If Stuckey meets informal probation requirements agreed upon for one-year the charge against him would be dismissed.

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FUNERALS: Vera Rollins, 60, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. Sat. at Community Valley Church in Liberty. ** Larry Wayne Nichols, 43, of Houston, Services at 10 a.m. today at the Hardin Chapel Cemetery. ** Bertha Ford, 85, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. Sat. at Mt. Rose Baptist Church in Liberty. ** **************************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.25 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 138, WEDNESDAY JULY 20TH, 2005-

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A Cleveland man Nicholas Hurst, 21, was arrested Sunday charged with Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon after the shooting of his former girl friend, Miranda Jeffus. Cleveland Police Detective Sonny Hardy said Miranda Jeffus was taken by life flight air ambulance to Hermann Memorial Hospital with a single gunshot wound, where she was treated and released. Nicholas Hurst and Miranda Jeffus are the parents of a 2-year-old child who was at the residence at the time of the shooting. The child was not injured.

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The Dayton City Council Monday night approved three items pertaining to the planned expansion of the existing wastewater treatment plant. One item closed the current contract between the city and the O’Malley Engineering firm. The 2nd established a new contract with the same firm, and the third item authorized the city to make a loan application to the Rural Development Administration for financing of the expansion project. City Manager Andy Helms said the Rural Development loan offers a 40-year pay out plan rather then the 20 or 30 year payouts other loans offered.

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This year’s Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine picks Dayton to finish at the top of District 19-4A. In District 23-3A, Barbers Hill is favored for the top spot, with Liberty coming in 3rd. In District 24-2A, Hardin, along with East Chambers and West Hardin are all expected to be chasing the number two spot behind Newton. Moving on to District 23-1A, Texas Football Magazine says Hull-Daisetta may be a young team, but expect them to make it to the playoffs as the number 3 team.

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Residents of the City of Devers will be without water this Saturday from 8 am until 8 pm. City officials say there is a leak at the Devers City well that must be repaired.

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The Dayton Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the annual “National Night Out Against CrimeAug. 2nd from 7 to 10 p.m. Neighborhoods throughout Dayton are encouraged to participate. For information call the Dayton Chamber 257-2393.

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FUNERALS: Vera Rollins, 60 of Liberty. Services Pending at Wells Funeral Service of Liberty.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.13 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 137, TUESDAY JULY 19th, 2005-

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Liberty County Sheriff’s Investigator Mark Ellington, reports a 23-year-old New Caney man drowned in the Trinity River Sunday. Sheriff’s department reports indicate Wayne Henry Hairston and his brother were swimming in the river in Mason Lake Estates off FM 787, when Wayne Hairston disappeared. His body was recovered around 2:30 Sunday afternoon. Justice of the Peace Burl Thomas held an inquest at the scene, but did not order an autopsy. Investigator Ellington said there was no alcohol involved, it was just a tragic accident.

**************************************************** Randy Meche with Computer Solutions said if you’ve been receiving emails warning your email account is going to be closed if you don’t reply by opening the attachments, don’t believe it. He said it is just another way people are attempting to steal your personal information. Don’t open the attachment, delete it. If you’re not sure, call your Internet service provider. To help block SPAM mail from getting to your in box in the first place, he suggested a program called “Curb”. The program can be downloaded from www.qurb.com

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The Liberty County Health Awareness Coalition, a group of local citizens concerned about health issues in the county will hold a strategic planning meeting next week. According to County Extension Agent Barbara Evans, the coalition wants to get ideas from the public on what health issues they feel are most important. The meeting will be Tuesday, July 26th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the 1st Liberty National Bank Community Room in Liberty.

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Reservations are still available for tomorrow’s Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon. The speaker will be Terrie Looney, a Marine Extension Agent for Chambers-Jefferson Counties. The luncheon will be at noon at the Fellowship Hall of the 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. Call 936-336-5736 for reservations.

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FUNERALS: Belle Thibodeux, 84, of Liberty. Funeral Service will be Wednesday 10 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty. * Mae Elizabeth Ardeneaux, 75 of Dayton. Memorial Services Saturday at 10 am at Pace Stancil Funeral Home Chapel in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.27ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 136, MONDAY JULY 18TH, 2005-

In April we aired reports critical of the Liberty County Juvenile Probation Dept.. It came from local educator Larry Wadzeck. Most criticism was pointed at Juvenile Probation Director Carolyn Loftin. Now Liberty Sheriff Greg Arthur, a member of the Co. Juvenile Probation Board, wants the director evaluated by the board and asks the Co. Judge to add three members to the Juvenile Probation Board, He wants some to be educators,

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The Texas Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting tomorrow at Cleveland High School to discuss the proposed I-69 or Trans-Texas Corridor. The projected path of roadway is from the Texas/Mexico Border all the way to Canada passing through far northwest Liberty Co. TxDot’s Marc Shepherd said this is for the public to ask questions, and to learn more about the proposal and the accompanying environmental study. The open house-style meeting is from 5 to 8 p.m.

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District 18 State Representative John Otto of Dayton received a huge appointment late last week. He was picked for a 5-member House Conference Committee to work out a compromise plan with the Senate on school finance. The Dayton Republican, along with Rep. Jim Keffer (Eastland), Rep. Warren Chisum (Pampa), Rep. David Swinford (Amarillo) and Rep. Charlie Geren (Ft. Worth) were to meet with five Senate counterparts over last weekend. Only one week remains in the special legislative session on school finance reform.

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The 7th Annual Sales Tax Holiday is Friday Aug 5th thru Sunday Aug 7th. That’s when state law exempts most clothing and footwear, priced under $100, from sales tax. The State Comptroller indicates shoppers will save about $8 for each $100 they spend in that 3-day period. For information call 800-252-5555 or link to the Comptroller’s Web Site from kshn.com.

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Congressman Ted Poe said he is among those members of Congress who disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision on “public domain” that allows municipalities to take private land to be used for economic development. Congressman Poe, a former district judge, said that violates constitutional safeguards. He said Washington lawmakers want laws to keep entities that do that from receiving any federal funding.

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: Tressie Kellogg, 81 @10-Tues.-Hardin Baptist Church. (AFS)

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.47ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 135, FRIDAY JULY 15TH, 2005-

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According to Dayton Realtor Bob Edwards, the property ownership transfer of the 26 acres for the new Wal-Mart Super Center on the Hwy 146 Bypass in Liberty was completed yesterday. Negotiations to locate the more than 200,000 square foot retail store on property owned by the Enzminger Estate began in early 2004. Mr. Edwards, who assisted in the transaction for the Enzminger Family, said it was a very complex and difficult task that led to a closing on the sale of the land Wednesday. According to various sources, Wal-Mart paid $2, 057,000 for the land or roughly $1.75 per square foot. Construction on the Super Center is expected to start in August.

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Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said Moi Le a 49-year-old clerk at “V-Nails” Convenience Store on Hwy 90 at Virginia Street was arrested for furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor. Police said Le admitted to selling beer to a 16-year-old male who then gave it to a 17-year-old waiting outside the store. The teens involved also face Class C Misdemeanor charges. Chief Griffin said the case is being referred to the County Juvenile Probation Department for prosecution.

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Local school districts are gearing up to open a bit earlier this year. In Dayton ISD, teachers report on August 8th, while students return to classes on Wednesday August 10th. Hull-Daisetta ISD campuses open to students on August 11th, while Hull-Daisetta Teachers also return on August 8th. Monday August 15th is “back-to-school” time for students in both the Hardin and Liberty School Districts. Teachers report on August 5th in Liberty, August 8th in Hardin.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is Wednesday at noon at 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. This month’s guest speaker is Terri Looney, Marine Extension Agent for Chambers and Jefferson Counties. Lunch will be a “salad bar” with a variety of salads prepared by Chamber Directors and Members for $8. Call the Chamber Office to make reservations at 936-336-5736.

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FUNERALS: George Wallace Ford Sr., 72, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.05 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 134, THURSDAY JULY 14TH, 2005-

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Fire destroyed a singlewide mobile home in the Snake River Subdivision west of Hwy 146 early yesterday morning. According Assistant Hardin Fire Chief Mark Neal, the home of Segar Lopez was completely engulfed in flames when his department arrived. Hardin Volunteer Firefighters extinguished the blaze with help from the North Liberty County and Hull-Daisetta Volunteers, but the home and all of its contents were lost. County Fire Marshall Jim Wilson said it appears the fire was electrical in nature. No one was injured in the blaze.

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The Liberty City Council met Tuesday to consider a rate increase request from Center Point Energy. If approved, the change would add another $2.56 a month to residential rates. Council took the recommendation of City Manager Allen Barnes and voted to impose a 90-day moratorium on that proposal. That triggers a public hearing to be scheduled in the next 90 days. In other action, Council met with Consulting Engineer Ed Barlow about long-range drainage problems in the Whittington Addition and Oak Forest Subdivision. Council is interested in a drainage study of undeveloped areas of the city.

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The Liberty Rotary Club honored two of their own Tuesday for going beyond just being good members by naming them Paul Harris Fellows. The award, named for the founder of Rotary International, went to local attorney and longtime community active Barbara Norwood, as well as to outgoing Club President Brad Harrington, who discovered the much-publicized theft of Rotary funds by a former club member.

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Over the next six months, the main entrance road to the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge will be undergoing some major improvements. The refuge’s Michelle Whitbeck said the Federal Highway Administration is funding work to raise and resurface the roadway between FM 1985 and the Visitor Information Center now through December to protect it from flooding. No one will be prevented from visiting the Anahuac Refuge, but unannounced lane closures could result in some delays. For more information, call the Refuge at 409-267-3337.

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FUNERALS: Wildon P. Guidry, 86, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. today at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dayton. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.14 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 133, WEDNESDAY JULY 13TH, 2005-

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Liberty County Commissioners voted yesterday to lift the ban against outdoor burning that has been in place for about the last two weeks due to dry conditions and the threat of wildfires. Recent rains have provided enough relief to allow the burn ban to be rescinded. According to information from Chambers County, the outdoor burning ban there is still in place.

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The Dayton City Council met in a budget workshop session Monday night and received the first preliminary draft of the City’s 2005-2006 Fiscal Year Budget. Preliminary data indicates the new budget is based on holding the tax rate at the current 68.81 cents per $100 of Assessed Property Value. Using a preliminary taxable property base of $490 million, that’s an increase of $93 million over last year. Reportedly, a large part of that increase is from Bill Sjolander’s Railroad Yard.

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Chambers County Sheriff Joe Larive said 46-year-old Homer Lee Brown Jr., used a homemade rope to climb from the recreation yard, to the roof, then over a Chambers County Jail fence Monday afternoon. With help from other agencies, Chambers County Officers searched the woods near the jail all night with no success. It was early yesterday morning when the fugitive was spotted less than 200 yards from the jail fence. Sheriff Larive said Brown was treated for the broken leg he sustained while escaping as well as numerous bites from mosquitoes, fire ants and other insects.

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The Texas Department of Transportation will host a public meeting in the Commons Area of Cleveland High School on Tuesday July 19th from 5 to 8 p.m. The meeting will be used to discuss the proposed I-69 Trans-Texas-Corridor and the public is invited to give their comments and ask questions.

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FUNERALS: James William Craig, Jr., 72, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. Friday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Hannah Grace Yoder, age 4, Services at 2 p.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Victoria K. Collins, Infant Daughter of Valencia and Taurean Collins of Cleveland, Services at 10 a.m. today at the Cleveland Cemetery. ** Elizabeth D. “Beth” Meadors, 23, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Lighthouse Church of God in Moss Hill. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.96 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 132, TUESDAY JULY 12TH, 2005-

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Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Billy Tidwell said the Amber Alert issued for 14-year-old Krista Leigh Dorsey has been canceled. Investigators have been in contact with the Cleveland teenager and are assured she is not in any danger. While her exact location is not yet known, it has been established she is missing from home voluntarily. The alert was issued last Thursday and it now appears that the missing girl and the suspect in her disappearance, Alfredo “Freddie” Tristan, are no longer together. Captain Tidwell said charges are pending against Tristan while the investigation is ongoing. Krista Dorsey is now being considered a runaway and efforts are continuing to locate the girl and bring her home.

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In spite of scattered showers and thunderstorms over the past few days, the bans against outdoor burning in Liberty and Chambers Counties remain in place. The burn bans in both counties have been in effect roughly two weeks and will remain in force for 30 days or until sufficient rainfall is received to lower the threat of wildfires. Emergency Officials say the amount of rain that has fallen recently just isn’t enough.

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The Texas Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria commons area of Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Dayton. TxDot Representatives will provide general project information on the project to widen Hwy 146 from Dayton to the Chambers County Line. The plan includes converting the two-lane highway to four lanes. Cost for widening the 11-mile stretch is estimated at $20 million. TxDot personnel will also respond to the public’s questions and comments during the meeting.

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Tonight’s Liberty City Council meeting will be the first held in the new temporary meeting location in 1st Liberty National Bank’s Community Room. Council will continue to hold their meetings there while the new City Hall is under construction. Tonight’s meeting starts at 7 and is open to the public.

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FUNERALS: Lewis Greer, 84, of Dickinson, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Mae Elizabeth Ardenaux, 75, of Dayton, Memorial Services at a later date. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.96 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 131, MONDAY JULY 11TH, 2005-

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The latest local tragedy came just after midnight Sunday morning. A 23-year old Humble woman, Jennifer Rose Macy, was struck and killed by a truck while walking across SH 321 near Dayton. The driver of Cleveland, Tyler Papp, 49, was said not to be at fault by an investigator for the DPS, Trooper Nathan Pearce. A blood test was taken of the victim. Investigators say she may have been intoxicated.

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Fire claimed the life of a 5-year-old child early Friday morning in the small community of Dayton Lakes. Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Billy Tidwell said William Yoder awoke around 5 a.m. and smelled smoke. He and wife, Dorothy, with their youngest child, age 3, escaped. Hannah Yoder, age 5, was in another room and did not get out. Both parents sustained burns to their arms and backs, in attempts to reach the child through the smoke and flames. Captain Tidwell said it appears the fire was an accident. JP Glenn Pruitt ordered an autopsy.

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Information from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, says a man and woman were jailed last Wednesday charged with kidnapping. In custody are Chelsea Sprouse, 23, of Cleveland and James Myers, 25, of San Jacinto Co. They are accused of abducting 18-yr.old Darrell Wilson of Dolen, and holding him in the trunk of their car. The victim escaped and was not seriously hurt. Both Chelsea Sprouse and James Myers were jailed.

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The Dayton Youth Sports Association is hosting a second Dixie League Baseball Tournaments in as many weeks. Competition continues today in the State Tournament for the 7/8 year-old Pitching Machine Division at the Daniel Park in Dayton. The DYSA leader Todd Oubre said the state championship round of the tourney is expected Thursday. Last week Dayton was site of the Dixie League District #7 Tournament for 9 and 10 year-olds.

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-85 of Hull- 10 today @ Pace-Stancil-Dayton.**

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.96ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 130, FRIDAY JULY 8TH, 2005-

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Information indicates that 39-year-old Liberty County Jail Inmate Kelly Alexander is facing a 3rd Degree Felony Assault Charge after allegedly attacking a nurse at the CCA Jail Facility. The Dayton Lakes woman is reported to have kicked, punched and scratched Terry Lucky, claiming there were “demons in her head”. The jail employee is said to have received scratches and a knee injury. Ms. Alexander was already behind bars for Evading Arrest and other outstanding warrants from Chambers County. The bond for this latest offense is set at $50,000.

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According to Dayton Water Department Supervisor Red McDaniel, the current water consumption in that city is averaging 1.3 million gallons per day- just slightly higher than normal. Mr. McDaniel said it is not the time to waste water while the area experiences drought conditions, but it would take another 30 days to 2 months before his department would consider requesting water rationing. Liberty Water Department Supervisor Sammy Hood said Liberty’s water situation is much the same. Both cities have excellent water wells and can take a prolonged period of drought before any kind of conservation would be requested in Liberty or Dayton.

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Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said increased night patrolling of the remote Texaco Road area following multiple theft reports at nearby Samson Resources Corporation, netted two arrests Tuesday night. Chief Griffin said Franklin Dwayne Weaver, 24, and Matthew Kevin Jackson, 28, - both of Raywood- were caught on Samson Resources property carrying tubing, valves and copper wire alleged to belong to the oil field company. Both men are jailed on charges of Criminal Trespass and Theft.

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Two local girls youth teams are headed for state competition—one in baseball, the other in softball. The Liberty Ponytail Girls Baseball Team won the District 3 Tournament and now head to state in Dennison July 15th – the 18th. Also, the Dayton Angels Girls 10 and under won their District Title and move on to the State Tournament in Sherman, also on July 15th. This is the first Dayton Angels Team to make it to state.

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FUNERALS: Isaac Humphrey, 82, of Anahuac, Services pending at Wells Funeral Service of Liberty. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.87 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 129, THURSDAY JULY 7TH, 2005-

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said 26-year-old Amanda Rodriguez was arrested yesterday in connection with the murder of her husband. Rico Rodriguez, age 35, was discovered in the couple’s home in the Pebble Creek Subdivision of Northwest Liberty County, dead of multiple gunshot wounds to the head. Precinct #1 JP Bobby Rader has ordered an autopsy.

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Investigators have identified the woman whose body was found dumped on a county road off Hwy 90 in Dayton last Friday as 42-year-old Tina Maria Marx of Houston. Officials at the Jefferson County Medical Examiners Office said she was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. Information indicates that Tina Marx has reportedly been missing since Monday June 27th. Investigators believe she was killed elsewhere.

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With the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals recessed for the summer, the final disposition in the case of the State vs. Janet Harrelson will have to wait until September. The elected Liberty County Treasurer was ousted after her conviction on several crimes relating to abuse of office. A higher court threw out two of those four convictions. However, according to her attorney Dr. Joe Willie, Ms. Harrelson must win appeal on the other two cases in order to get her elected position back. Appointed Interim County Treasurer Linda Leonard continues to serve in that position and says she intends to run for her own term when Harrelson’s expires in 2006. Meanwhile, DA Mike Little has filed to have the overturned convictions, reinstated.

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The Dayton City Council met Tuesday to discuss an emergency contract to begin cleaning and rebuilding the City’s Maintenance Facility on North Winfree that was largely destroyed by fire on June 15th. George Cheshire of Spiral Development told Council his firm has determined most of the steel framework on that building was undamaged. Their bid to rebuild it would be just over $174,000. Council instead voted to table the matter for two weeks to explore the possibility of expanding the maintenance facility instead of simply replacing it.

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FUNERALS: Ronald Joe “Joey” McDaniel Jr., 26, of Anahuac, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Anahuac Cemetery. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.87 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 128, WEDNESDAY JULY 6TH, 2005-

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Liberty Police Officer Elaine Taylor said 17-year-old Orren Tyler Hebert of Ames was eastbound on Hwy 90 just after 6 a.m. Tuesday when he crossed the center lane and into oncoming traffic. The driver of an Entergy “Bucket Truck”, Norman Gene McCauley, 47, of Daisetta, was unsuccessful in trying to avoid colliding with the smaller vehicle. The impact caused the power company truck to flip over. Orren Hebert was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with multiple injuries that were not thought to be life threatening. Norman McCauley was not injured. The accident remains under investigation.

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As drought conditions persist in Southeast Texas, the threat of wildfires continues to grow. The Texas Forest Service predicts the drought index in this area will rise above the 700 mark over the next 14 days. The drought index is how the Forest Service evaluates the fire danger by measuring soil moisture. As reported, when conditions register over 700 on the index the risk of fires becomes extreme. As of yesterday, Liberty and Chambers Counties have a drought index above an average 630 with high readings up to 705. Both, along with 60 other Texas counties remain under bans against outdoor burning.

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Liberty City Manager Allen Barnes said since the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality took over the investigation into the cause of the gasoline found in the city sewer system, there have been no more such reports. It was roughly a month ago when the gas was discovered. Mr. Barnes said the TCEQ apparently found a leaking storage tank at a local gas station and ordered repairs be done. TCEQ engineers helped remove the gasoline from the city wastewater plant before any permanent damage could be done to the system.

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The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team recently competed in Katy and brought home two 1st Place Awards. Now, the Drill Team is headed for the state wide 4-H Horse Competition in Abilene the last week in July. An exhibition / fundraiser is Monday July 11th at the TVE Fairgrounds. It’s the team’s dress rehearsal and the public is invited.

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FUNERALS: Carmen LaVerne Mansfield, 82, of Dayton, Services pending at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.87 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 127, TUESDAY JULY 5TH, 2005-

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Information from the Jefferson County Morgue indicates the woman whose nude body was found on a county road off Hwy 90 near Dayton died of a single gunshot wound to the head. A man operating a mowing machine on Seaberg Rice Farm property early last Friday afternoon discovered the body in a clump of brush. At that time, it was thought she had been dead about a week. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said the only description of the murder victim at this time is that she is a white female, somewhere between 15 and 35 years old, 5’, 7” from 100 to 140 lbs with dark brown hair. A regional teletype sent out by the Sheriff’s Department, found two missing persons reports on adult females from Harris County and one from Grimes County. Sheriff Arthur said it is likely the murder was committed elsewhere and the body dumped here.

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As temperatures continue to climb, City of Liberty EMS Medical Director Dr. Steven Ellerbe, reminds those who work outside to drink lots of water, A person can lose up to a quart of water while sweating in only an hour. Take frequent rest breaks in the shade and check on elderly neighbors or relatives to see that they are taking in enough water and that their air conditioning systems are working correctly.

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The third week of the Special Legislative Session finds Texas Lawmakers continuing to wrangle over a school finance reform plan. State Representative John Otto said the plan put forth by Gov. Rick Perry has no workable long-term goal.

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Liberty County residents are reminded that the ban on outdoor burning remains in effect, even though some rain was received over the weekend. The burn ban was signed by County Judge Lloyd Kirkham on Monday June 27th and will remain in force for at least 30 days or until sufficient rainfall is received.

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FUNERALS: David Lee McCune, 49, of Dayton, Services held Monday. ** Evelyn Mae Mathis, 75, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Edrie Claire Smith Bridges, 88, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Laurie Lynn LaTour, 26, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Eastgate. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.87 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 126, FRIDAY JULY 1ST, 2005-

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The Department of Public Safety will be stepping up patrols on Texas Highways over the upcoming 4th of July Weekend, targeting speeders, drivers who have been drinking alcohol and those not wearing seatbelts. DPS Sgt Ryan Arthur reminds motorists to designate a driver if they have been drinking and make sure every person in their vehicle is “buckled up”. Small children should be properly secured in car safety seats. Also, be sure to observe the posted speed limit and allow extra travel time since traffic will be heavier over the holiday weekend.

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With the risk of wildfires increasing daily, word from the Texas Forest Service is that budget cuts have limited that agency’s ability to provide assistance in the form of manpower and equipment to local departments during a major fire outbreak. The forest service’s Mahlon Hammetter said the number of personnel available now in the event of a wildfire emergency such as occurred in North Liberty County in 2000 is down significantly. Liberty, Chambers and 60 other Texas Counties are currently under orders banning outdoor burning.

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The 9th Annual Cowboy Classic on June 25th raised roughly $3,600 for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund. The Liberty County Metro GO-Texan Committee’s Sherry Beasley said the total is down only slightly from last year’s event. Winners in the 1st Flight- Gross are Ken Rieve and Joe Calloway, 1st Flight – Net- Bruce Halstead and son, Christopher. The 2nd Flight Gross Winners are Jackie and Angelika Davis, Pat Chapman and Sandy Fatheree finished 1st in the 2nd Flight –Net. For information on joining the Metro Go Texan Committee here in Liberty County, call 936-298-2406.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all City Offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed Monday for the 4th of July Holiday. Only commercial garbage service will run in Liberty and Dayton on Monday. Residential trash pick up will be on the next scheduled service day. All banks and post offices will also be closed in observance of Independence Day. All offices re-open Tuesday July 5th for their regular hours.

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FUNERALS: Wanda Taylor, 82, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Central Baptist Church in Daisetta. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.63 ASL***

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