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July 2004

-VOLUME 19 NO. 141, FRIDAY JULY 30TH, 2004-

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Dayton Mayor Larry Harris said he has located an accounting firm that could provide an independent investigation of the Dayton Community Development Corporation, if the State Attorney General and Comptroller’s Office decline. Mayor Harris said neither he nor council expects that any wrongdoing will be found by the investigation, but see it as a method to remove any doubts about the DCDC created by the recent controversy over the organization’s apparent failure to comply with State open records laws. After a complaint by Vindicator Publisher Brad Harrington, the Liberty County Attorney’s Office has urged the DCDC to comply with those laws, now and in the future. The Dayton City Council has publicly voiced their support of the DCDC and it’s president, Sue Priddy.

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Liberty County Chief Appraiser Alan Conner said the net taxable value of county property has, for the first time, passed the $3 billion mark. While Commissioners Precinct #4 in the Dayton area has shown the greatest growth in the past several years, Precinct #1, the Liberty area has surpassed that this year. Conner said the largest growth in taxable value over the past few years has been in minerals, primarily deep-drilled oil wells. Overall, the taxable appraised value of Liberty County increased by right at 12% over last year’s appraisals.

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Marc Vandermeer, the radio voice of the Houston Texans Football Games will be guest speaker at Tuesday’s Liberty Rotary Club Luncheon. With Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware, Vandermeer has been the voice of the Texans during their short two-year history. Marc Vandermeer is also heard daily on Sports Radio 610 in Houston from 9 to 11 a.m.

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Motorists should be aware that the new traffic signal at Waco Street and FM 1960 in Dayton is now operational. TxDot finished installing the $60,000 light system in early July. It has taken about three weeks to have it completely functional.

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FUNERALS: Inez Howle Adams, 86, of Hardin, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Hardin Baptist Church. ** Raymond Rogers, 75, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Marie Watson, 62, of Hull, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Central Baptist Church in Daisetta. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.31 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 140, THURSDAY JULY 29TH, 2004-

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While the final figures on the proposed 2005 Liberty County budget are not yet available, County Auditor Harold Seay said it will be lean. A recent effort by Commissioners to keep the county’s credit rating high resulted in an agreement to build up the county’s fund balance. That means almost $670,000 that would normally go toward expenditures, would have to be budgeted on the revenue side. Harold Seay said cuts would have to be made to budget in order to do that and he would be surprised if there is any money this year for employee pay raises. County Commissioners are scheduled to meet again in a budget workshop on August 3rd. The County Auditor said the final proposed budget would be ready by then.

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Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart said his staff has already begun moving in to their new offices across the street in the new Dayton City Hall. Moving Day is set for Friday August 6th and all Dayton City Offices will be closed that day, except for emergencies. The plan is to close down that Friday except for the phones, then re-open the following Monday August 9th in the new Dayton City Hall Offices.

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According to Administrator Sean Stricker, Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital will no longer provide medical care for non-emergency conditions as of August 3rd. Stricker said patients would be screened and those with conditions that do not qualify as emergencies would be referred to other resources in the community for care. We have reported the local hospital’s struggle to absorb over $800,000 for unpaid emergency care bills last year. In May, voters defeated a proposition to create a hospital district that would have covered some of those losses.

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There are still some team spaces available for the 15th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament on August 6th, 7th and 8th at Liberty’s Magnolia Ridge Country Club. Sponsored by the Burnham Family, all proceeds from the popular tournament benefit the Tri-County Mental Health and Retardation Services. For information, call Bruce Burnham at 936-336-2215 for J.C. Burnham at 936-336-7135.

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FUNERALS: Lawrence “Pop” Burk, 89, of Devers, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.50 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 139, WEDNESDAY JULY 28TH, 2004-

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and took no action on the issue of delinquent tax collection. We have reported the decision by the Austin-based firm of McCrary, Veselka, Bragg and Allen to fire Liberty attorney John Archer, who has been responsible for local collections for the firm. Precinct #2 Commissioner Lee Groce said the county’s contract is with the McCrary-Veselka. John Archer’s agreement is with the Austin firm. County Tax Assessor/Collector Mark McClelland recently recommended Commissioners fire the Austin attorneys and hire John Archer. Nevertheless, Lee Groce said the county would continue with the Austin firm, without Archer if necessary.

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A well-known South Liberty County man has been diagnosed with a high-profile disease. Ross Giese, former owner of the “the Windmill” Restaurant in Dayton has been diagnosed with a form of vibrio, the so-called “flesh-eating virus” that he contracted in the Gulf Waters off Freeport while vacationing with his family. Now under treatment at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Ross Giese said the prognosis for recovery is good since the disease is confined to the skin around one ankle. Treatment will include skin grafts, wound and physical therapies. Mr. Giese’s family was not affected.

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Precinct #1 JP Bobby Rader said 48-year-old Mary Denese Reeves was found dead at her home by her ex-husband Monday evening. First thought to be a suicide, Judge Rader said evidence indicates the Liberty woman’s death may have resulted from an accidental drug overdose. No foul play is suspected. Judge Rader is withholding a final ruling pending autopsy results.

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Dayton Bronco Football tickets will be on sale from August 16th to the 20th for season ticket holders. First time season ticket buyers can get theirs beginning on August 23rd. The cost for tickets to the five 2004 season home games is $20. You can purchase tickets at the DISD Administration Office on Cherry Creek Rd.

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FUNERALS: Peggy Breaux, 65, of Anahuac, Services at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Anahuac. ** Ruby Witzkoski Short, 79, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. Friday at St. James Catholic Church in Spring. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.50 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 138, TUESDAY JULY 27TH, 2004-

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According to Liberty County District Clerk Melody Gilmore, it was July 9th when 22-year-old Kevin Brown of Cleveland pled guilty to the July 2003 murder of John Dustin Hoot of Onalaska. The 20-year-old Hoot had reportedly gone to meet with Brown to buy drugs, but never returned. After questioning by Sheriff’s Deputies, Kevin Brown led them to Hoot’s body, buried in a shallow grave near Brown’s residence on Tree Monkey Road. Brown said he was under the influence of drugs at the time and did not know why he shot John Dustin Hoot to death. 75th District Judge C. T. Rusty Hight sentenced Kevin Brown to 32 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

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After urging from the Liberty County Attorney’s Office to comply with state open records law, the Dayton Community Development Corporation has directed KSHN Radio to pay $1,230 to see documents legally open to the public. We have reported the difficulty faced by local media as well as the Dayton City Council in obtaining information from the DCDC. A similar request for public information by the Vindicator resulted in what that newspaper’s publisher, Brad Harrington, called an interrogation by DCDC Officials. Among the list of charges the DCDC is requesting for access to their documents includes $150 for copies, roughly $900 for 60 hours of work by their staff and another $180 for ‘office overhead”.

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Precinct #1 JP Bobby Rader said it was not long after Steve McCarthy returned home to his residence in the Sterling Subdivision on Texaco Road late Sunday afternoon that he discovered his brother, Stanley Bruce McCarthy, 48, dead of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Family members said they did not know why he would want to take his own life. Judge Rader has an ordered an autopsy performed.

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The Dayton Rotary Club’s Annual “Blast from the Past” Car Show and Swap Meet is Saturday September 11th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Dayton. Event Coordinator Ken Defoor said in addition to live entertainment, barbecue, games and a 50’s costume contest for the kids, this year’s event will feature a tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. For information on registering a vehicle in the show or vendor information, call 936-258-7994.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.60 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 137, MONDAY JULY 24TH, 2004-

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According to Dayton ISD Transportation Director Steve Bell the district has purchased 4 new air-conditioned buses and hope to have all of the long trip buses air-conditioned this year. Bell said Dayton School Buses travel some 3,500 miles in a week and the district would eventually, as needed, replace their old buses, with models that are air-conditioned. The cost for each is roughly $65,000.

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Time-Warner Cable Subscribers in this area have been informed that News Channel 24 Houston ended its service. Time-Warner Vice President for Public Affairs Ray Purser said News 24 was joint venture between his company and Belo Broadcasting that just didn’t work. After two years, employees of the localized news channel got their walking papers on Friday. Purser said C-SPAN 3 would be on Channel 24 for the time being.

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Construction has begun on the new 4,612 square foot home for the Texas Farm Bureau Office, located on the corner of Hwy 90 at Layl Dr. in Liberty at a cost of $320,000. Local Texas Farm Bureau Agent Baret Stephenson said the new building is nearly double the size of their present offices.

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Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said school trustees have approved promoting Tom Guidry to the position of Director of Music for the School District and Band Director at Liberty High School. Guidry replaces Charles Horton, who left several weeks ago for a band director’s job in Woodville.

****************************************************The Hurricane Awareness Seminars are Wednesday at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Dayton. The public is invited. ****************************************************

FUNERALS: James W. Sparkman, 61, of Stowell, Services held Sunday ** Kenneth Eaton, 64, of Saratoga, Services held Sunday ** O’Neal Tanton, Sr., 67, of Liberty, Services at 3 p.m. today at South Liberty Pentecostal Church-Liberty ** Rhonda Logsdon, 84, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton ** Joe Ed Brown, 65-Dayton. Services today 11 am at Sterling Funeral Home, Dayton ** Keith Wayne Bradley, 49, Friendswood. Services today at 11 am at Jetter’s Memorial Funeral Home-Friendswood.**

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,700 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.40 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 136, FRIDAY JULY 23RD, 2004-

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With the number of heat-related deaths on the rise in Texas, health officials are urging precautions be taken against illness brought on by high temperatures. The Texas Department of Health warns that the elderly, the very young and those with other health problems are the first to suffer in the heat. When outside on hot days wear loose light-colored clothing, take frequent breaks from activity and drink plenty non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages, preferably water.

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The Liberty Opry on the Square will re-open the historic Park Theater restored to its original 1938 appearance tomorrow afternoon for a 2 p.m. matinee performance of the Opry’s monthly 50’s show and their regular 7:30 evening show. Since 1993, the theater has been the home to the live country music, gospel and comedy shows of the Liberty Opry, owned by the Cox Family. For tickets, call 936-336-1079 or 800-248-8918.

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According to Hull-Daisetta School Superintendent Lynn Cummins, work to replace the malfunctioning sewer system at Hull-Daisetta Jr. High is on schedule and should be finished in time for the first day of school on August 9th. We reported that school trustees voted to close the campus 6 weeks before the end of school due to health hazards presented by the old system. Total cost for the new system is estimated at $150,000.

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The Emergency Management Offices of Liberty County and the Cities of Liberty and Cleveland will sponsor Hurricane Awareness Seminars on Wednesday at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Dayton. Representatives from the National Weather Service, The American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and local law enforcement agencies will be on hand with short presentations and to answer questions.

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FUNERALS: Pearl E. “Grannie-Pud” Alcorn Kindle, 83, of Mount Pleasant, Services at 4 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Willie Mae Harbour Barrow, 74, of Anahuac, Graveside services at 10 a.m. today at Barrow Cemetery in Hankamer. ** Colleen Roache Smith, 64, of Livingston, Services at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Crosby Church. ** Vera Johnson Cloud, 87, of Dayton, Graveside services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,700 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.24 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 135, THURSDAY JULY 22ND, 2004-

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According to Liberty Fire Department Captain Fred Collins, it was just after 4 a.m. yesterday when Union Pacific crews discovered one of their tank cars on the Hwy 90 tracks, containing 30,000 gallons of chlorine, was leaking vapor. While no evacuations were called for, residents within a ½ mile radius of the rail car were directed to remain inside, with doors and windows closed and air conditioners turned off. Hwy 90 and Beaumont Ave. were shut down from the Hwy 146 Bypass to FM160 in Ames while hazardous materials personnel worked on the leak, stopping it around 11 a.m. yesterday. The damaged car was transported to a facility near LaPorte for unloading.

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said one CCA correctional officer was suspended and two more have been fired over last month’s jailbreak at the Liberty County Jail. Three inmates, each considered dangerous, overpowered a guard and punched a hole through the jail wall in the early morning hours of June 22nd. The three were recaptured on June 25th but Sheriff Arthur said investigations by his department, CCA and the U.S. Marshall Service indicated the escape attempt would not have been successful if the officers disciplined had followed procedure.

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Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said Thursday August 12th has been set as the opening day for the new Liberty Middle School on Jefferson Drive. The new LMS Principal Bruce Lacefield said there would be a brief ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by a Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting. Afterward, district patrons will be able to tour the new middle school campus for the first time.

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Plans are complete for the 15th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament set for August 6th, 7th and 8th at Magnolia Ridge Country Club in Liberty. Sponsored by the Burnham Family, proceeds from the tournament benefit the Tri-County Mental Health and Retardation Services, formerly the South Liberty County State Center. The Burnham Classic is limited to the first 80 teams that sign up. For full registration details or to sponsor the event, call 936-336-7135 or 336-2215.

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FUNERAL: Mildred L. Schilling, 74, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,700 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.93 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 134, WEDNESDAY JULY 21ST, 2004-

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The Dayton City Council met in a special called session Monday night to voice a unanimous vote of confidence for the Dayton Community Development Program. Council members John Simmons and Barbara Zaruba requested a formal investigation be conducted of the DCDC to lay recent controversy to rest. While Vindicator Newspaper Publisher Brad Harrington has filed a formal complaint with the County Attorney that DCDC officials violated the law by interrogating him about an open records request, there have been no suggestions of any illegal conduct by the organization prior to that. DCDC Board President Sue Priddy has several times declined to make any comment on Harrington’s accusation of an open records law violation.

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Harris County Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Swaney said Stanley Zabodyn of Channelview was westbound on Hwy 90 just inside Harris County yesterday afternoon, driving a pick up truck pulling a lowboy trailer loaded with two tractors. Zabodyn’s truck went off the road onto the shoulder and hit a tractor drawn mower. The impact sent the mower on to Hwy 90 while the truck and trailer when into the tree line. The tractor operator and Stanley Zabodyn were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition. A passenger on the tractor went to LBJ Hospital said to be in stable condition. Both men on the tractor are from Manville, Texas.

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According to Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart, barring any last minute problems, the move into the new Dayton City Hall Building will be on Friday August 6th. Ewart said one of his major concerns has been relocating the city’s various computer systems from the old city hall to the new annex. He has lined up a computer consultant to be on hand before and during the move.

**************************************************** A report in the Baytown Sun Newspaper said Anahuac Volunteer Fire Chief and former Mayor Bruce Corner is charged with interfering with Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy Carlton Carrington at the scene of an accident on July 8th. Corner’s attorney Ed Lieck said the former Anahuac Mayor might be filing similar charges against the deputy.

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FUNERAL: Ida Zaruba, 90, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,400 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.13 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 133, TUESDAY JULY 20TH, 2004-

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As part of the effort to procure a $150,000 Downtown Revitalization Grant, Liberty’s business district is officially being designated a “blighted area”. City Manager Allen Barnes said the step was necessary to apply for the funds that can be used to put all the area’s utility lines underground and upgrade sidewalks to make them fully handicapped accessible. The designated area’s boundaries are San Jacinto Street on the East, Grand Ave. on the North, Bowie on the West and Hwy 90 on the South end. Council is expected to approve the particulars of the grant project at special meeting later this month. Barnes said the “blighted” designation would have no impact on property values or put any kind of restrictions on home and business owners.

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The Dixie League State Tournament, South Zone, continues at the Parker Baseball Complex in Dayton’s Daniel Park. Host team Dayton won big over Jacksonville on Saturday, 8 to 1. The boys lost on Sunday to Hallsville, 7 to 4 to drop into the losers bracket. Dayton plays again in the double elimination tournament tonight against the winner of today’s Palestine vs. Livingston-American Game. The tournament winner goes on to Arlington for a best-of-3 series against the North Zone Champs.

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Rescheduled last month due to bad weather, the 8th Annual Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament sponsored by the Liberty County Metro Go-Texan Committee is Saturday at Liberty’s Magnolia Ridge Country Club. All proceeds benefit the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund that gives thousands of dollars to Liberty County’s graduating seniors each year. The Metro Go Texan Committee’s Sherry Beasley said player’s spaces are still available for $100 each. For more information, call 936-298-2406.

****************************************************Former Anahuac High School Football Star Michael Ricks has signed to play for the NFL’s New York Jets. Ricks’ six –year pro career has included stints with the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and the Detroit Lions. Michael is the grandson of 30-year Anahuac City Council member Theordore Ricks, recently honored for a lifetime of community service.

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FUNERAL: Abner Lee Rives, 75, of Hardin, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.42 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 132, MONDAY JULY 19TH, 2004-

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A Dayton man is in jail, charged with evading arrest with a motor vehicle. Kelvin Jared Dugat –27, is accused of fleeing a traffic stop effort by DPS Trooper Steven Hebert and Liberty City officer Mike Doyle Sat. afternoon. The 2-mile chase ended with the pickup truck slamming into a utility pole on Louisiana St.. After a short foot chase Dugat was collared and jailed on a state jail felony charge. No reason was known why he fled.

Liberty County Tax Assessor/Collector Mark McClelland is recommending that Liberty County Commissioners terminate the contract of the Austin-based McCrary, Veselka, Bragg and Allen and return the duties of collecting delinquent taxes completely to Liberty Attorney John Archer. The firm requested Archer assist them in collecting county delinquent taxes just over a year ago, then decided on July 1st to fire him. McClelland said in a letter delivered to Commissioners last week that John Archer has been much more successful than the McCrary-Veselka Firm and the job should be his.

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The City of Dayton has hired their old finance director, Bill Martin, to replace his successor, Linda Hall. She resigned unexpectedly just over a week ago. Martin had left the position earlier this year to take over similar duties for the Liberty ISD. Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart said with Martin’s return, the job has been expanded and is more of an Assistant City Manager’s post along with the city finance responsibilities.

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The Annual Sales Tax Holiday is Friday August 6th through Sunday August 8th, when no state or local sales tax will be charged on most clothing and shoes priced less than $100. Lists of those items tax exempt, on those days, are available here at KSHN Radio, 2099 Sam Houston in Liberty or link to the Texas State Comptroller’s Web Site from ours, that’s kshn.com.

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A correction from Friday’s Radiogram.. Co. Commissioners are dealing with hiring a delinquent tax attorney not a tax collector as we reported. OOPS!.

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FUNERAL: Flossie Florence Bailey Perkins, 92, of Liberty, Graveside services at 10 a.m. today at Johnson Cemetery in Liberty. ** Glendol Ray Vines, 67, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 22.99 ft ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 131, FRIDAY JULY 16TH, 2004-

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Liberty County Commissioners met in workshop session Tuesday to discuss the dispute between attorneys that has put a halt to collection of the county’s delinquent taxes. Precinct #2 Commissioners Lee Groce said the dispute involves the decision by the Austin-based law firm that handles those collections to fire local Attorney John Archer who has contracted with that firm in recent years to handle all local tax collection efforts. Commissioner Groce said Commissioners Court will allow the two parties a brief time to solve their problem but will go out for bids for a new tax collector if they do not solve it soon.

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Everyone is invited to the Parker Baseball Complex in Dayton’s Daniel Park tomorrow for the start of the Dixie League State Baseball Tournament for 9 and 10 year olds. Ten teams from all over Southeast Texas will be vying for a chance to win a spot in the Dixie League World Series in August. The Dayton Youth Sports Association is hosting the event and Liberty County teams include Dayton, Tarkington and Cleveland. Games get underway at 3 p.m. tomorrow. The tournament is expected to continue through Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

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The Emergency Management Offices of Liberty, Cleveland and Liberty County will sponsor a Hurricane Preparedness Seminar on Wednesday at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High on Hwy 146 in Dayton. Representatives from the National Weather Service, The American Red Cross, Salvation Army, District Emergency Management Office and local law enforcement will be on hand with short presentations and to answer questions. The public is welcome.

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Liberty CPA Byron Swaim warns everyone to be alert to crooks who try to promise a way to get you out of paying taxes or provide you with larger returns, for a fee. One tactic for avoiding paying taxes is hiding income earned in a foreign country in an account outside the U.S. That is highly illegal. Failure to disclose a foreign bank account can mean substantial penalties.

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FUNERALS: Merle Lynn Hanf, 68, of Anahuac, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac. ** Richard Lee Till, 52, of Oak Island, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church in Anahuac. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.55 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 130, THURSDAY JULY 15TH, 2004-

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Liberty County Commissioners met Tuesday and approved the deputation of former Liberty Police Chief Billy Tidwell as a County Sheriff’s Deputy. We reported earlier that Tidwell had accepted the position as Training Officer for the Sheriff’s Department. Commissioners also set a County Wide auction for September 4th to be held at the Horn Auction in Nome.

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The Liberty City Council met last night and held a public hearing on a Downtown Revitalization Grant proposal that would initially seek to improve the city’s downtown business district. The city is eligible for $150,000 from the Texas Capitol Fund for infrastructure improvements to that area. City Manager Allen Barnes said the city would have to match 10% or $15,000. If approved, the grant would be used to install underground electrical lines around the courthouse and city hall area, as well as to upgrade downtown sidewalks.

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The next Dayton Historical Society Radio Auction is set for Thursday August 5th from 6 to 9 p.m. on KSHN Radio. Listeners can call in and bid on a variety of items donated by local businesses, knowing that all proceeds benefit the ongoing effort to restore the old Dayton School Building on Houston Street across from the post office. Anyone who would like to make a donation for the fundraiser can call 258-3339 or 336-6959.

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The Trinity Valley Trade Days returns to the TVE Fairgrounds this weekend from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 5 on Sunday. Co-sponsored by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Trinity Valley Exposition, this month’s event features even more vendors and new items than last month. For information on becoming a vendor, call the TVE at 936-336-7455 or link to the TVE web site at kshn.com.

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Liberty Panther Season Football Tickets go on sale August 2nd for Sections B, C and D at the LISD Administration Building on Grand Ave. Cost is $25 for five home games.

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FUNERALS: Frank J. Smikal, 71, of Crosby, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** David A. Douglass, 63, of Daisetta, Memorial service tonight at 6 at 1st Baptist Church of Daisetta. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 13,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 22.43 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 129, WEDNESDAY JULY 14TH, 2004-

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Assistant County Attorney Michael Pinchisson said the complaint alleging violations of the Texas Public Information Act filed by Vindicator Newspaper Publisher and Editor Brad Harrington against members of the Dayton Community Development Corporation is under investigation. The newspaper publisher said three DCDC officials interrogated him about his request for information on the organization’s activities. Pinchisson said on the surface the complaint appears valid, but he has yet to interview those DCDC members involved or consult with the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

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The Dayton City Council met in executive session Monday night to discuss the position of City Finance Director recently vacated by Linda Hall. Back in open session, council members voted to change the job’s salary classification to increase the salary range from $45,000 to $50,000. The motion also gives the new Finance Director supervisory control over cashiers, accounting clerks and billing clerks. City Manager Robert Ewart said he hopes to have a new finance director by the end of the month.

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Samson- Lone Star, a division of the Samson Oil Company that drills and operates oil wells has moved from their location on Main Street in Liberty into spacious new offices in the former Houston Pipeline Offices on the Hwy 146 Bypass. Lone Star Superintendent Dwight Lumpkins said the company’s other offices in the area will also be quartered in the new location.

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The Annual Sales Tax Holiday is set to run from 12:01 a.m. Friday August 6th through Midnight on Sunday August 8th. During that period most clothing and footwear items valued at less than $100 will be exempt from state and local sales tax. Included are items such as diapers, pajamas, belts, raincoats and more. Accessories such as jewelry and watches, as well as handbags and wallets are not included. For more information, call 800-252-2555 or link to the State Comptroller’s web site from www.kshn.com.

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FUNERALS: Michael Fleming Cotton, 57, of Liberty, Graveside services at 10 a.m. today at Fairlawn Cemetery in Liberty. ** Betty Calhoun, 63, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 22.99 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 128, TUESDAY JULY 13TH, 2004-

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A well-known Hardin family has suffered another tragedy. 12-year-old Corey Hanchy Jr. was injured while riding a 4-wheeler last week in Montgomery County, near Willis where he has been living with his mother and stepfather. The youth died of his injuries last Saturday night. It was back in 1997 when the teen’s father, Corey Hanchey Sr. suffered a severe electrical shock at a Baytown work site and died several days later.

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DPS Trooper Tommy Chase said 23-year-old Kacy Boone was operating an ATV not far from her home in Kenefick Sunday afternoon, when she lost control going through a sharp curve on CR #6481. The vehicle hit a mailbox and went into a ditch where it struck a heavy pipe. Mrs. Boone and her 7-year-old daughter Stevie, who was a passenger on the ATV, were both thrown from the vehicle. Mother and daughter were air lifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where they were treated for cuts and lacerations. Both have since been released.

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After numerous delays, construction crews now have site preparation underway on the new Scottish Inn Motel on Hwy 90 just west of the big flag in Liberty. Mahendra Palidar of Houston, who also owns 12 other Scottish Inn Motels, said the new motel will cost $1.2 million dollars and, if everything stays on track should be ready for occupancy by December 1st. The 31-room Scottish Inn will have a small business meeting room, but no restaurant or swimming pool in its design.

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Dayton’s Daniel Park will be a busy place this weekend as the Dayton Youth Sports Association hosts the Dixie League State Tournament for 9 and 10 year olds. According to Dixie League Representative Bobby Rice, the 10 teams vying for the number one spot are from Dayton, Cleveland, Palestine, East Montgomery County, Spring Hill, Hallsville, Coldspring, Livingston, Jacksonville and Nacogdoches. Play gets underway at 3 p.m. this Saturday and is expected to last through Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Corey Hanchey Jr., 12, of Hardin, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Addison Smith Funeral Home in Willis. ** Betty Calhoun, 63, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE­ RELEASE: 22,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.26 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 127, MONDAY JULY 12TH, 2004-

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A complaint over possible Open Records violations has been filed with Liberty County Attorney Jack Hartel against the Dayton Community Development Corporation. Vindicator Newspaper Editor and Publisher Brad Harrington said his request for details of the organization’s activities under the Texas Public Information Act resulted in what he called his “interrogation” by DCDC Officials over why he was asking for the information. Harrington said the law prohibits governmental entities from inquiring into motives behind a request for public information. The newspaper publisher said he was directed to file the complaint with the County Attorney by the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. DCDC President Sue Priddy has agreed to allow some of the information requested to be reviewed by newspaper personnel under the supervision of her staff.

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344th District Judge Carroll Wilborn sentenced 52-year-old Kenol Luxama of Brazoria to 50 years in prison for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver. DA Mike Little said Luxama was arrested in September 2001 after a routine traffic stop on I-10 in Chambers County turned up roughly 160 pounds of cocaine stashed inside some furniture in the back of the man’s truck. Luxama was convicted on May 26th.

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After 11 years as Liberty High School Band Director, Charles Horton has resigned to accept a similar position in the Woodville ISD. During his time in Liberty, the band program captured superior ratings in concert band competition, sight-reading and UIL marching competition. Charles Horton assumes his new duties this coming week. No word yet on his replacement.

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TVE Facilities Manager James Bricker announced Country Music Legend Gene Watson is set to perform at this year’s TVE Kick-Off Dance on October 2nd.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Earlie B. Cassita, 81, of Dayton, Services were Saturday*Charles Raymond Bussey, 58, of Cleveland, Services today at 10 a.m. at Sterling Funeral Home-Dayton.*Dorothy Jean Kite, 73 of Baytown. Services Tues. at 10 am at Sterling Funeral home-Dayton.*Howard Stayton, Funeral services Tues. at 10 am at Memorial Baptist Church-Baytown.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 22,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.57 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 126, FRIDAY JULY 9TH, 2004-

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The Hardin woman indicted for theft of county funds is maintaining her innocence. 43-year-old Cheryl Holstein is accused of stealing more than $12,000 from the Liberty County Clerk’s Office during the time she was employed there. Ms. Holstein said she is not guilty of the crime and criticized her former boss, County Clerk Delia Sellars for suggesting she is guilty just because she had been indicted. The former county employee referred to criticism by Ms. Sellars in yesterday’s KSHN news report on Pct. #3 JP Phil Fitzgerald’s decision to release Ms. Holstein on a Personal Recognizance Bond. Mrs. Sellars implied the bond should have been more severe for theft of public funds. Judge Fitzgerald defended his decision by pointing out that bonds cannot be legally used as a form of punishment, only to insure an accused person appears in court.

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Tuesday night, the Dayton City Council approved a new policy proposed by Councilman John Simmons to move up the cut off time for submitting items for regular council meeting agendas. Since council meets regularly on the first and third Mondays of each month, Simmons said allowing agenda items submitted as late as the previous Friday does not give council members enough time to fully study the information prior to meeting. The new deadline has been pushed back to 5 p.m. on the Tuesday prior to each regular council meeting.

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Liberty County Commissioners met in workshop session Wednesday to discuss tighter requirements for road construction in the county’s subdivisions. Precinct #3 Commissioner Melvin Hunt said commissioners agree that all future subdivision roads should be made of higher quality materials than county regulations currently call for. Commissioner Hunt said the new road construction rules should be ready for commissioners to approve in a few weeks.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Web Site was awarded second place in their division by the Texas Chamber of Commerce at that statewide organization’s annual conference held late last month in Kerrville. The award was presented to Chamber President Maryanne Campbell and several local board members on Wednesday. The Chamber web site is libertydaytonchamber.com or link to it from kshn.com.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 24,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.37 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 125, THURSDAY JULY 8TH, 2004-

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A Liberty County Grand Jury has indicted 42-year-old Cheryl Ann Holstein of Hardin for Theft of $12,000 in county funds during the time she was employed at the Liberty County Clerk’s Office. According to Sheriff Greg Arthur an investigation began September of last year when it was discovered that a great deal of money paid to the clerk’s office could not be accounted for. Ms. Holstein turned herself in to Sgt. Investigator Chip Fairchild Tuesday afternoon. Her bond has been set at $5,000. The theft charge is a State Jail Felony.

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The Dayton City Council met Tuesday night and was informed by City Manager Robert Ewart that the position of City Finance Director is vacant once again. Linda Hall has held that position since April 28th, having previously worked in New Mexico and Nashville, Tennessee. Ewart told council Ms. Hall resigned abruptly last Thursday and has since moved out of town. The City Manager asked to schedule an executive session of council next Monday to discuss the particulars of filling the position.

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As Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital continues to struggle with over $800,000 in unpaid patient emergency services annually, two doctors are being moved from offices near the hospital to offices created inside as a cost cutting measure. Dr. Danny Khine and Dr. Cameron Khan will have offices on the East End of the hospital Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling their listed phone numbers or going through the hospital switchboard.

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At the end of June, Barbers Hill ISD Superintendent Dr. Tim Sonnenberg retired after 6 years of service to the district. During his tenure on “the Hill”, the district added a new campus and grew by several hundred students. In March, school trustees hired Wayne Rotan to replace Sonnenberg as superintendent.

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The next Trinity Valley Trade Days, co-sponsored by the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Trinity Valley Exposition is Saturday and Sunday July 17th and 18th at the TVE Fairgrounds on FM 563 in Liberty. This month’s event will include musical entertainment by Jabbo Cannon, Karen Gandy and Michelle Wilburn plus a 42 Tournament, all on Saturday. For more information, call 936-336-7455.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 22,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.34 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 124, WEDNESDAY JULY 7TH, 2004-

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It was around 5 a.m. yesterday when a tractor/trailer transport truck loaded with orange juice slid off Hwy 90 and jackknifed into a ditch not far from the Liberty/Jefferson County Line. Devers Fire Department Chief Darren Traywick said it is believed the truck’s driver fell asleep in the pre-dawn hours and ran off the road. Soft road shoulders complicated the job of removing the truck from the ditch and a haz-mat team from Beaumont was dispatched to clean up spilled diesel. In all, traffic on Hwy 90 was shut down for roughly 13 hours.

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A smoke detector doing its job may have saved a home on Independence Street in Liberty yesterday. The device alerted homeowner Judy Walker to a burning haze and she called firefighters who arrived to find even heavier smoke. A large air conditioning unit in an attic crawlspace had, as one firefighter put it “fried” and most importantly, the electrical breaker had not tripped as it was designed to do. There were no flames and no damage beyond the air conditioner itself.

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According to TxDot’s Marc Shepherd, the new $60,000 traffic control light system at the intersection of FM 1960 and Waco Street in Dayton is completely installed, but it will be another three to four weeks more before it is in use. As for plans to rebuild and add a traffic control signal to the Hwy 90 and Hwy 146 intersection in Dayton, City Manager Robert Ewart said those plans have been put on hold for now.

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Liberty Accountant Byron Swaim warns of a number of scams that involve using the name of the Internal Revenue Service to get potential victims’ attention. Most involve misinterpretations of the tax code such as the suggestion that you can legally share dependents with someone else or claims that income received outside the U.S. is not taxable. If you receive any pitch requesting money in exchange for providing you with income tax benefits that are out-of-the-ordinary, talk to a tax professional. Chances are, it’s a scam.

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FUNERALS: Clarence Amos Jr., 44, of Baytown, Services pending at Wells Mortuary in Liberty. ** Thomas “Vance” Bazzoon, 91, formerly of Dayton, Services at 4 p.m. tomorrow at Montague Cemetery in Cleveland. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 27,300 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.02 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 19 NO. 123, TUESDAY JULY 6TH, 2004-

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In one of the largest fires inside the Liberty City Limits in recent years, the 12,000 square foot flea market called “Life’s Treasures” was destroyed just before dawn Sunday. The two-story metallic building in the River Bottom, owned by T.C. Terrell, had used furniture, appliances and flea market items on the ground floor and two occupied apartments upstairs. The occupant of one, 61-year-old Inez Armstrong said she and her husband were awakened by the smell of smoke around 5 a.m. Liberty firefighters spent several hours extinguishing flames. Everyone inside safely escaped, but the entire building and its contents were lost. No cause for the fire has been determined.

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Tickets are still available for the Annual Liberty-Dayton 500 Barbecue and Auction coming up on Tuesday July 13th at 6 p.m. at the Liberty VFW Post on Main Street. The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s biggest fundraiser of the year features a drawing for 12 prizes, starting as low as $100 in groceries and culminating in a Big Screen TV valued at more than $2,000. Tickets are $20 each, available at the Chamber Office on Trinity Street or from any Chamber Director.

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This year’s TVE Baby Parade is Saturday October 16th at 10 a.m. in downtown Liberty. This year’s theme is “Special Days of the Year”. All children infant through kindergarten age are invited to enter in one of five divisions: walking, riding, western riding, small floats and large floats. Entry forms are available at the Clip Joint and Sterling Realty in Liberty or contact Parade Chair Jennifer Regen at 936-334-9687. You can also link to the TVE web site from ours at kshn.com.

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The deadline to sign up for Liberty County YMCA Summer Youth Sports Camps is this Friday. Camps are available for baseball, softball, flag football and soccer for ages 6 to 13 and roller hockey and basketball for ages 8 to 13. Cost for each is $50. To sign up or for more information, call 936-257-2888. The camps begin Monday July 12th at 9 a.m.

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FUNERAL: Elma Jane “Janie” Whitely, 85, of Batson, Services at 2 p.m. today at United Pentecostal Church in Batson. ** Melvis Amos Johnson, 73, of Daisetta, Services were held Saturday. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 29,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.70 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 122, FRIDAY JULY 2ND, 2004-

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U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Briscoe returned home to a hero’s welcome yesterday afternoon in Ames. Escorted by local law enforcement, Sgt. Briscoe met with a crowd of residents, friends, family, city, county and state officials at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church about 4:30 p.m. The event marked the local man’s first time back home since suffering severe injuries during fighting in Iraq in October of last year.

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A Dayton man injured in an accident on Father’s Day is said to be in stable condition now at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston. DPS reports indicate 32-year-old David Shipman lost control of his motorcycle on FM 1409 near “Dead Man’s Curve” around 5:30 p.m. June 20th. The accident is still under investigation.

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The City of Liberty’s Annual Independence Day Celebration is tomorrow night at the Liberty City Park. A program honoring local Iraqi War veterans starts at 8 p.m. with remarks by State Representative Dan Ellis, Liberty Mayor Bruce Halstead and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient David McNerny. The Invincible Eagle Band and the Charlie Graybien Band will provide patriotic music and the big fireworks display is expected to start between 9 and 9:30. The event is free and everyone is encouraged to wear red, white and blue. KSHN Radio will broadcast the celebration live starting at 8 p.m.

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During the 10 day period between June 21st and June 30th, 8.69 inches of rain was recorded in Liberty, with a total 12.87 inches received for the entire month. At the current rate of discharge from the Lake Livingston Dam combined with local runoff, the Trinity River is estimated to crest near 28.3 feet above sea level in Liberty late tomorrow or early Sunday.

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The Liberty County Historical Commission will ring the Liberty

Bell in observance of Independence Day this Sunday July 4th at noon. The brief event is open to the public. The Liberty Bell Tower is on the south side of the Humphreys Cultural Center.

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FUNERALS: Opal Ivie Newton, 93, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church in Liberty. ** Louis Ray Marchal, 59, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 55,600 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.73 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 121, THURSDAY JULY 1ST, 2004-

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said former Liberty Police Chief Billy Tidwell has been hired as the department’s new Training Coordinator. Tidwell, who has worked as a law-enforcement consultant for many years now, will be working to make sure deputies receive the required amount of training as well as several types of special training.

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According to Houston Attorney Greg Cagle, former Chambers County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dearl Hardy has filed a notice of appeal in his conviction for misdemeanor perjury in March. Hardy was convicted of ordering two former Chambers County Deputies, John Joslin and Brett Hulsey, to falsify arrest documents and sentenced by District Judge Carroll E. Wilborn to six months in jail. Greg Cagle said his client’s conviction was obtained improperly since it was based on the testimony of Joslin and Hulsey, without corroborating evidence. Hardy remains free on a $10,000 bond pending the appeal’s outcome.

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The Dayton School Board met Tuesday night and approved the expenditure side of their 2004-2005 budget. That budget includes expenditures of $29.2 million with revenue projected at $28.9 million. That leaves a deficit of $350,000 to be covered by dipping into the district’s fund balance, projected at around $9 million. The board won’t vote on a new tax rate until August after the final tax rolls have been certified.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all municipal offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed on Monday in observance of the Independence Day Holiday. There will be no residential garbage service in Liberty or Dayton on Monday. Commercial trash pick up will run as scheduled. All banks and post offices will also be closed on Monday.

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FUNERALS: Earnest Jordan Edmonds, 70, of Dayton, Graveside services at 2 p.m. Monday at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton. ** Roy Brown Jr., 86, of Dayton, Services on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Trinity Valley Baptist Church in Liberty. ** Annie Mae Cormier, 74, of Houston, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Wells Mortuary in Liberty. ** Earl Author McGregor, 57, of Houston, Graveside services 3 p.m. today at the Anahuac Cemetery. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 55,600 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.35 ft ASL*

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