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August 2010

VOLUME 25 NO. 165 TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010

 

Property Tax: With the U.S. economy continuing to sputter, local governmental entities are feeling the pinch, too. KSHN reported earlier this month that sales tax dollars to cities in Liberty County are down 15.14 percent year to date. Now, we can also report property tax collections are also off with the Liberty County government experiencing a 4 percent decline in payments. Tax Collector Mark McClelland said the state of the economy is having its impact on tax collections both locally and across Texas. In real dollars, that is $450,000 off income at this point just for the county. At the same time, most area cities and school districts are also seeing drops in property tax payments. ****************************************************

Social Security Scam: Scam artists attempting to cheat folks out of their money grows daily. Many of these swindles involve someone pretending to be from the Social Security Administration. David Bowman with the Beaumont Office of Social Security said giving out personal information if you initiated contact with the agency is one thing, but anytime someone contacts you trying to get your information, alarm bells should be going off. For information about Social Security, you can quickly link to their website by going to ours, www.kshn.com.

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Hunger Busters: The Hunger Buster program ended its second year in Liberty School District with the start of school. Jay Barnes, one of the volunteer leaders said in all, they served more than 47,000 meals and over 45,000 snacks to kids just in the Liberty Independent School District where the program was offered. More than 100 volunteers staff Hunger Busters, with food prepared by the Liberty School District food service staff. It is funded by a grant from the federal government.

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Liberty Masonic Lodge: The Liberty Masonic Lodge has named Macy L. Davis as their recipient from Liberty High School of a $1000 scholarship. Class of 2010, Macy will attend Lamar University as pre-nursing major. Her goal is to become a pediatric registered nurse.

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Obituaries: Barbara Ruth Spencer, 76 of Baytown. No services planned. Henry James Gilfillian, Sr., 82 of Daisetta. Graveside service tomorrow 10 a.m. at Guedry Cemetery in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.36 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 164 MONDAY, AUGUST 30, 2010

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Local Death: A well-known local banker has died. Henry Gilfillian, 82, chairman of Hull State Bank, was stricken at home at 8 a.m. Sunday. He was transported by Liberty County EMS to Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead by J.P. Pct. 1 Bobby Rader. An autopsy was ordered to determine which of several health issues caused his death. Services pending for Gilfillian at Allison Funeral Service.

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Shauberger Indicted: Eddie Shauberger, 54, has been indicted by a Liberty County grand jury for aggravated perjury. The charge is related to a much-reported civil court case brought against Mr. Shauberger by the owners of Immanuel Home Health Care. Liberty County D.A. Mike Little said Shauberger gave conflicting testimony under oath. Shauberger allegedly claimed he did not own a company called L.C.S.T. during court proceedings in Harris County. Then, in another hearing held here in Liberty County, Shauberger reportedly said he owned 50 percent of that corporation The district attorney said those conflicting statements can not both be true.

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Young Sentenced: A jury in 75th District Court Judge C.T. Rusty Hight's courtroom has found Joshua Young, 37, guilty of five courts of aggravated assault on a peace officer but not guilty on two other counts. On Friday, Judge Hight sentenced Joshua Young to five consecutive life sentences. The judge made one life sentence to come after Young has served a previous 20-year prison sentence. The district attorney said he believes the heightened courthouse security in place last week will be less intense now that Joshua Young's trial is over.

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Football: The high school gridiron season started over the weekend with Dayton losing a close game to Fort Bend Elkins 8-3. The Hardin Hornets stung Liberty 56-28. The Panthers look to rebound this Friday when they host Huntington at 7:30 in Memorial Stadium. In other action, Hull-Daisetta topped Kountze 20-13. Tarkington downed Huntington 20-8 while Caney Creek squeaked by Cleveland 24-22.

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Obituaries: Glenn McGowan, 85 – Service is 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Linney Cemetery under direction of Sterling of Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.3 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 163 FRIDAY, AUGUST 27, 2010

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Fitzgerald In Then Out: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald made the surprise announcement Wednesday that he was entering the race for county judge as a write-in candidate. Then yesterday, the judge said he would withdraw his name after learning about a court precedent that states a person cannot be a write-in candidate after losing a primary race for that same elected office in the same election cycle. County Clerk Delia Sellers said she has confirmed that state law in fact prohibits it.

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Football: The Dayton Broncos are on the road at Fort Bend Elkins tonight. Kickoff is 7 p.m. The Liberty Panthers travel to Hardin today to clash with their next-door neighbors. That game begins at 7:30 p.m. Hull-Daisetta hosts the Kountze Lions, also at 7:30 tonight. Barbers Hill is at home against Santa Fe this evening at 7:30. The Liberty and Dayton games can be heard on KSHN 99.9 and on the internet at www.kshn.com. Turn your balance control to the right for Dayton and adjust the control to the left for Liberty. Listen to the Hull-Daisetta and Barbers Hill games on the internet only. Just click on your team's logo under Teamline at the top of our homepage at www.kshn.com.

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New Game Warden: Liberty County has a new game warden on the job. Adam Broll joined longtime Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Danny Diaz. Adam Broll is an Austin native who graduated from the Texas Game Warden Academy in July. He has been on the job here since mid-August.

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Burglary Arrest: Cleveland Police Department has charged Brady Cheyenne Lloyd of Dayton with burglary of a building. Investigators say they responded to a 911 call at 321 Mini-Storage this past Sunday and found the suspect with stolen items. Burglary of a building is a state-jail felony.

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CPD Seeks Tips: Cleveland police are seeking the public's help locating the person or persons who smashed their way into Cleveland Jewelers Tuesday around 2:30 a.m. Missing were multiple watches and rings. Anyone with information is asked to call Cleveland PD at 281-592-2622.

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Obituaries: Billy Dean Maxwell, Sr., 57 of Dayton. Services Saturday 3 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.24 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 162 THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2010

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Grant to County: Liberty County has been awarded a $17,584 grant from the Department of Justice to help prevent crime. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced the funding Wednesday. The money comes through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. Liberty County Community Development Coordinator and FEMA Liaison Dennis O'Dell said the county's law enforcement has new received more than $300,000 in JAG funding during the past two years.

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Football: We are pleased to announce that kshn.com will begin, with tomorrow night's opening high school football, broadcasting Barbers Hill Eagle Football Games on our website, www.kshn.com. New Eagles Head Coach Ron Gage will open their season against the Santa Fe Indians. Click on the large Teamline box, then click on the Barbers Hill Eagle and follow directions. We will also enter our third year of www.kshn.com broadcast of the Hull Daisetta Bobcat games, who also open tomorrow night. Again, go to our website, www.kshn.com and click on Teamline.

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School Enrollment: There were 13,903 students enrolled in school on the first day of classes this past Monday at the seven school districts throughout Liberty County. The biggest numerical change is in Dayton, which increased by 91 students over last year. The largest percentage increase is at Devers, up 12. Hardin also increased their enrollment up by 25, while Hull-Dasietta is up 1 student from last year. Liberty dropped by 39 students, and Cleveland dropped by 6. The biggest drop was in Tarkington, down 42 students when compared to the first day of school last year.

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Dayton Buys Tanker: Dayton City Council Monday night approved a financing agreement between the city and the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department, which will allow the firefighters to order a new pumper truck. The department would cover the first payment of $45,000 in Oct. 2011, after that the city of Dayton would cover the next nine payments.

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Obituaries: Billy Dean Maxwell, Sr., 57 of Dayton. Services Saturday 3 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.29 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 161 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 25, 2010

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Subpoenas: Prior to Tuesday's, Liberty County Commissioners Court meeting, three of the four commissioners were summoned to appear before a federal grand jury in September. We have confirmed Precinct #1 Commissioner Todd Fontenot, Pct. #3 Commissioner Melvin Hunt and Commissioner Pct. #4 Norman Brown as well as Lisa Fregia, Office Coordinator for Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald received subpoenas to appear before a federal grand jury at the U.S. Eastern District Courthouse in Beaumont on September 15. Those we talked with about the grand jury summons said they believe it relates to the 16-month ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct by some county officials over Hurricane Ike debris removal. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald told us he hoped this court action meant the investigation here in Liberty County was ending and he looked forward to those questions being resolved.

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Trial: The trial of a Hardin man charged with shooting at police continued yesterday under the watchful eyes of significantly enhanced courthouse security. Josh Young, 28, is being tried on charges of attempted capital murder of a police officer in the 75th District Courtroom of C.T. "Rusty" Hight. Coinciding with the start of that trial, all doors to the courthouse except one entrance on the west side were locked. Liberty County Sheriff's Deputies and metal detectors greet those entering through that one set of open doors. In addition, no cell phones are being allowed into the courthouse. The Sheriffs' Public Information Officer told KSHN the tightened measures were just an experiment to see how courthouse security is working. However, reliable sources tell KSHN that tight grip is directly related to the Josh Young trial and threats made against local officers who are testifying.

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Woman Stabbed: Liberty County Sheriffs Department Public Information Officer Steve Greene said around 11:15 Monday night, Alice Keene, 47 went to a neighbors house with a knife protruding from her abdomen. Alice Keene told the neighbor someone knocked on her door. When she answered, they stabbed her and ran away. Life Flight Air Ambulance took her to a Houston hospital. PIO Steve Greene said investigators are looking into other scenarios as well.

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Obituaries: Dennis Fair, 63 of Dayton. Services at a later date.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.28 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 160 TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010

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Morrison Stays On Ballot: At a press conference Saturday, Liberty County Democratic Party Chair Nancy Archer said County Judge Candidate Kenneth Morrison would remain on the November General Election ballot in spite of questions raised about his residency eligibility. Mrs. Archer was responding to a written complaint from incumbent County Judge Phil Fitzgerald. Mrs. Archer said she could not remove Morrison from the ballot without a legal court challenge. Fitzgerald disagreed with that assertion but said it was Mrs. Archer's decision to pursue the issue and she had made it. Last Friday marked the end of the period to appoint a replacement candidate.

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No Cell Phone Zones: A new law went into effect last September banning the use of hand held cell phones or wireless communication devices while operating a vehicle within a school zone. House Bill 55 states that it is an affirmative defense to prosecution if the call is for emergency response service or if the required signage banning the use of these devices is not posted. Officials in Liberty, Cleveland, Devers and Hull-Daisetta say signs are posted. In Hardin, the signage is only in place on S.H. 146. Tarkington only has signs on FM 163. Officials in Dayton say they do not have signage. Nevertheless, it is always safer to put down the cell phone and keep your eyes on the road, especially in school zones where kids are nearby.

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Eagle Project: Jon-Luke Lambright is working on his Eagle Community Project for Boy Scouts to design and construct an outdoor learning center at the historic Rosenwald School on Colbert Street in Dayton. The 1,750-square-foot fenced space will include landscaping, benches, trees, and flagstone paths. You can donate to this project at FLNB Dayton or Liberty.

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Press Box: Liberty ISD trustees toured the new, almost completed press box at Memorial Stadium last Tuesday. The old one was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Workers are nearly through with the 480-square-foot enclosed press box with an upper deck for filming. LISD officials say the box will be operational when the Panthers host their first home game on September 3.

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Obituaries: Grady Glen Davis, 69, of Votaw. Service is 10 a.m. Wednesday at Faith & Family.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.38 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 158 FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2010

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Fire: The cause of a fire that destroyed a manufactured home east of Moss Hill yesterday is under investigation. The Hardin volunteer fire department was first on the scene at the 28 x 80 home on CR 2070 off State Hwy 105, followed by Hull-Daisetta, and the City of Liberty. Homeowner Pascal Thornton said he and his family were in the process of moving into the home when the fire started. Some of the young family's furniture and household items had not yet been unloaded off trailers. As is often the case of fires in rural areas of the county, fire fighters were hampered by lack of available water.

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Claim It Texas: The State of Texas is holding more than $2 billion in unclaimed money and property, and some of that could belong to you. Each year, the state comptrollers' office publishes a listing of the names of thousands of unclaimed property owners. Examples of unclaimed property include dividend, payroll or cashier checks, stocks, bonds and mutual fund accounts, plus utility deposits and other refunds. More examples include insurance proceeds, dormant bank accounts and abandoned safe deposit box contents. If you are wondering if you have any unclaimed property being held by the state of Texas, you can check all listings from past years by going to our homepage, www.kshn.com and click on the claim it Texas link.

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Chambers Co. Murder Trial: Charged in the 2008 murder of Melina Perry's guardian David Davis in Winnie, Devon Meeks was found guilty by a jury yesterday. Melina Perry plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. It was in 2008 when David Davis was found in his burning home, but it was soon determined he had been stabbed to death. Devon Meeks who was 19 at the time of the crime, and his girlfriend Melina Perry who was 16, were arrested and charged with the man's murder. Both are to be sentenced on Oct. 7th. Meeks faces up to a life sentence and Melina Perry is looking at from 2 to 20 years. Chambers County DA Cheryl Lieck said she will be asking for the maximum for both.

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DAR: The Libertad Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution will sponsor a lineage research and new member workshop tomorrow at 1 p.m in the Price Daniel Meeting Room behind the Partlow House on Grand Ave. in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.47 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 157 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2010

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Liberty School Board: Liberty ISD trustees adopted a tax rate and approved the district's 2010-2011 budget during Tuesday's board meeting. The approved tax rate remains unchanged from recent years at $1.0551 per $100 of valuation. The adopted 2010-2011 budget includes total expenditures of $20.326 million. That is a decrease in spending of $1.6 million from last year's adopted budget. As reported, the new budget slashes 19 ½ jobs by not re-hiring for positions vacated through retirement and resignations, by reassigning some staff and reducing the Pre-K program to half day. The new budget goes into effect September 1.

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Fire: Three fire departments battled a mobile home fire on Arkansas Street in Daisetta yesterday afternoon. Hull Daisetta responded first and quickly called for mutual aid from the Hardin and Liberty fire departments. The 28 x 80 doublewide manufactured home is owned by Ronnie Morrow and is occupied by him and his two sons. The fire heavily damaged the property with towering flames through the roof. Fire officials say they believe the fire started in the area of the stove in the back of the home.

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Tax Free: The state's annual tax-free weekend starts tomorrow at one minute after midnight and runs through Sunday midnight with most clothes, shoes and school supplies exempt from all sales tax. At the Liberty Palais Royal Store, Manager Jayna Swarthout said her store has already started the tax-free sales early to attract shoppers who want to beat the weekend crowds. Baskins Store Manager Bill Kyle said they will have lots of special back to school sale items starting Friday morning. At the Liberty Shoe Show, they'll be open extended hours. Most retail business will be having specials to entice shoppers during this tax-free weekend. For information on what is and is not tax exempt, go to our website, www.kshn.com for a link to the state comptrollers' web site.

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Dayton School Board: The Dayton School board met Tuesday night and approved the ad valorem tax rate for the new fiscal year. The Dayton ISD tax rate remains unchanged at approximately $1.20 per $100 of assessed property value. The districts new fiscal year budget is $34.962 million.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.42 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 157 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2010

Dayton High Improvements: Of special note to the recently reported state accountability ratings was the Dayton High School. Last year we reported Dayton High had received an unacceptable rating from the Texas Education Agency. That is the lowest rating given by the T.E.A. This year, the state rating for Dayton High jumped a notch to acceptable, however, according to Dayton High Principal Travis Young, his campus came with in a few percentage points of achieving a "recognized rating. He said the goal is for Dayton High to hit the mark this year with at least a recognized rating.

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Dayton Hunting and Fishing Expo: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce will hold its Hunting and Fishing Expo Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Dayton Community Center. They will have exhibitor booths that highlight the hunting and fishing industry. Also participating is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge. Admission to the outdoor extravaganza is $7 for adults and $3 for children up to 12 years old. For information or advance tickets, call the Dayton Chamber at 936-257-2393.

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Hardin Football: The Hardin Hornets and rival Hull Daisetta Bobcats scrimmage tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Hardin. The Hardin Hornets are in the newly formed District 10-2A Division 1 this fall. That district includes perennial state powerhouse Newton along with East Chambers, Anahuac, Buna, Woodville Kountze and Warren. That makes Thursday night's scrimmage the one chance for bragging rights between the two schools.

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Bone Marrow Registry: Most people have at least heard of the Bone Marrow Registry, however many don't know that donation of bone marrow, can be the last hope for someone with a blood disorder such as Lymphoma, Leukemia and others. Bonita Davis recruiter for the Gulf Coast Marrow Donor Program said only 25 % of the patents needing a bone marrow transplant will match a sibling or other family member. The other 75 % look to non-related donors for help. To learn more about being a donor, call 713-791-6697.

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Obituaries: Elizabeth Faye "Beth" Allison, 89 of Liberty. Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at First United Methodist Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.46 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 156 TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2010

Fire Death: A mother and son died in a fire last Friday night, at their home just over the Liberty County line in Montgomery County on Goode City Lane off Hwy 105 in Splendora. Information gathered from several sources indicates that 41-year-old Serena Marie Dunn and her 12-year-old Dylan Lula perished. Serena Dunn's other son, Dustin Dunn, 14, escaped the fire through a bedroom window and notified neighbors who called the fire department. Dustin Dunn was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with injuries described as minor burns and some smoke inhalations. One newspaper report said Serena Dunn's husband, Joseph Lula died of cancer in January.

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Sales Tax YTD: Sales tax payments to cities in Liberty County have shown improvement the past two months, although collections are still down for the month by about 1 percent. Statewide, sales tax receipts were up for the fourth month in a row after 14 months of decline. Locally, cities posting increases in sales tax revenues for August include Dayton, Ames and Devers. Those with decreases in sales tax collections are Liberty, Cleveland, North Cleveland, Kenefick and Plum Grove.

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Chamber Luncheon: The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly noon luncheon tomorrow at the Liberty City Center. The speaker will be U.S. Congressman Ted Poe. Lunch will be catered by Ken Owens Catering. To make reservations for this month's luncheon, call the Chamber office at 336-5736. Tickets are $8.

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Fire: Around 11:0 Sunday night, someone furiously knocking on his door awakened the Fire Chief of the Tarkington Volunteer Fire Department Paul Gregory. A man told Gregory there was as major fire in the backyard. The chief's own storage shed was engulfed in flames. Tarkington Volunteer firefighters arrived quickly to knock the fire down, however the building was a complete loss. All the contents were destroyed. Liberty County Fire Marshal Jim Wilson's preliminary investigation points to an accidental fire.

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Obituaries: Jo Ann Brummett, formerly of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. in First United Methodist Church. Paul Demartin Pierson Jr. of Baytown. Funeral services will be held at a later date.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.46 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 155 MONDAY, AUGUST 16, 2010

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Electrocution: A Liberty man was electrocuted Friday afternoon. According to JP Pct. 5 Cody Parrish, 46-year-old James Scott McNevin of Liberty was pronounced dead at the home of a friend in the Knight's Forest Subdivision. Judge Parrish said it appeared the man was attempting to illegally connect electricity from a power pole to the friend's home when he got the fatal shock. A second man, 55-year-old Gary Prchozka, received an electrical shock and burns while trying to help his friend. He was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston described then as in critical condition.

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Bishop Recovering: Bonnie Bishop, a dispatcher for the Liberty County Sheriff's Department, was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital after a tree fell through the roof of a mobile home in Hardin Saturday. She is the wife of Liberty Police Officer Hugh Bishop. That falling tree hit Bonnie, who sustained two breaks to her spine, two broken ribs and a gash to her head. Hugh Bishop was not hurt. He said his wife is expected to remain hospitalized for a few days.

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Chamber Banquet: The Liberty-Dayton Chamber Steak Dinner, Auction and 500 Drawing has been hailed a roaring success by organizers who say more than 500 mouth-watering steaks were served to the large crowd gathered at the Dayton Community Center. One of the big parts of the night is the 500 Drawing. This year's big winner was Ron Kubala of Chambers County. His ticket was the 500th drawn to walk away with a prized Limited Edition John Deere Luxury ATV.

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LISD Budget: Liberty ISD will hold a public hearing tomorrow evening on the proposed 2010-2011 tax rate. Then, Liberty school trustees anticipate adopting the district's tax rate, budget and compensation plan during their regular meeting. The proposed budget slashes 19 ½ positions through attrition and reduces expenditures by $1.8 million. The proposed tax rate is unchanged at $1.0551 per $100 valuation The public is also invited to a tour of the new press box at Memorial Stadium. That begins tomorrow evening at 5:30.

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Obituaries: Jimmy Curry, 64, of Dayton. Service is 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.62 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 154 THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2010

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Winnie Hospital Closes: KSHN News learned yesterday afternoon that the Winnie Hospital owned and operated by former Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center owners Frontier Health Care, closed Wednesday morning. Information is the Winnie Stowell Hospital District Board met in emergency session last night. We will update this story as information becomes available.

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Trinity Gardens: The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning at the future site of a senior living complex called Trinity Garden Apartments. Mark Caldwell, with the development group building the facility, said they expect equipment on site within the next couple of weeks to begin site preparation. He said the 76-unit complex should begin renting apartments by summer next year. Anyone interested in learning more about getting on the waiting list can call 713-877-0100.

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Panther Pep Rally: Panther fans are invited to a citywide pep-rally to meet the Liberty High School football team tomorrow evening. This Liberty Booster Club sponsored event begins at 5:30 p.m. on the south steps of the courthouse. Everyone is invited to meet the football players and coaches, listen to the band, plus watch the cheerleaders and Prancers. There will be free balloons and water. The senior class will be selling sausage on a stick while the boosters will be selling spirit items.

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Liberty Dayton Area Chamber 500: Tomorrow night the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual fundraiser Steak Dinner, Auction, and 500 drawing. Chamber President Mary Anne Campbell said there are still a limited number of 500 tickets available. The tickets are $75 and include a steak dinner as well as a chance to win one of the fabulous prizes. The event will be held at the Dayton Community Center starting at 6 p.m. The fundraiser also features live, Chinese and silent auctions. Tickets for just the steak dinner are $25. For ticket information, call the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce office at 936-336-5736.

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Obituaries: Katherine Zelma Crouthers, 85 of Hardin. Services today 2 p.m. at the Apostolic Tabernacle of Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.46 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 153 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2010

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners voted to table a resolution asking to change the county from the Beaumont District of the Texas Department of Transportation to the Houston District. Commissioner Pct. #4 Norman Brown, who made the motion to table, suggested a workshop session where all of the pros and cons could be discussed. Commissioners also voted to leave the tax rate at its current rate of 0.56 cents, with two public hearings set for August 24 and August 31 at 8:30 a.m. in the second floor courtroom of the Liberty County Court at Law. Finally, the commissioners voted to name to old Wal-Mart store, which will be remodeled for use as an annex building, the "A.J. "Jack" Hartel" building in honor of retired Liberty County Attorney Jack Hartel.

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Sales Tax Holiday: The State's Annual Back to School tax-free weekend is just nine days away. The tax holiday is set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday August 20 and end at midnight Sunday August 22. Tax saving apply to school supplies like book bags, calculators, and note books, as well as clothing items that cost less than $100. For a full list of tax-exempt items, go to www.kshn.com and click on the link "Sales Tax Holiday".

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Chambers Co. Trial: In 2008, David Davis was found, stabbed to death in his burning home in Chambers County. Chambers Co. Sheriff Joe LaRive said the daughter of a deceased friend; Melina Perry was missing and was thought to be with Devon Meeks, identified as her boyfriend. A few days later, both were found in Oklahoma. Devon Meeks, now 21 and Melina Perry age 18 are both charged with the murder of her guardian David Davis. That trial is set to begin on Monday in the 344th District Court of Judge Carroll Wilburn. The two have remained behind bars since their arrest in July 2008. Devon Meeks has a $100,000 bond and Ms. Perry bonds total $225.000.

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Fugitive: Fugitive Ricke Lampson is in custody. The Liberty County Sheriffs Department arrested the man who has been called a dangerous felon who has been on the run since Saturday night. The arrest came Monday night in a Mont Belvieu motel around 8:30, by Sheriffs Sgt. Investigator Michelle Watson with assistance from officers of the Mont Belvieu Police and Baytown City Police Departments.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.46 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 152 TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2010

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Kelley-More Missing Guns: The Federal Prosecutor who announced the grand jury indictment against Liberty County Sheriff's Captain Harry Kelley is asking for the public's assistance in locating other weapons that may have been stolen. U.S. Attorney John Bales said most of the 107 indictments involve a weapon that has been recovered, however the prosecutor said he believes other guns were stolen and is asking anybody with information on the whereabouts of those firearms to contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The number of the ATF Field Division office in Houston is 281-372-2900.

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Winnie Man Sentenced: A Winnie man, Christopher Chapa, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. Chapa pled guilty before 344th District Judge Carroll Wilburn to shooting and killing Derek Munoz at a residence in Winnie in May 2009. Chambers County District Attorney Cheryl Lieck said Chapa's guilty plea was not a part of a sentencing agreement, and he essentially threw himself on the mercy of the court.

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Shred It: You might want to mark you calendars. The City of Liberty has scheduled another community shred it event, Saturday September 11. The last event in May had to shut down early since the mobile shredding truck had reached its capacity. So the city is sponsoring another one coming in September.

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Burnham Classic: The 21st annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament was held this past weekend at Magnolia Ridge Country Club. In the championship flight, Kyle Jerome and Chris Rieve took the top prize. In the presidential flight, the top team was Matt and Mitch O'Neal. First flight winners were Brian Otto and Jake McCallister. Second flight winners were Richie Rector and Dean Anderson. Third flight honors went to Bobby Pope and Lloyd Pierce. While the total funds raised at this year's event are not yet known, over the past 20 years, it has raised more than $400,000 for Tri-County MHMR.

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Obituaries: Donny E. Darbonne, 60 of Liberty. Memorial service 11 a.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church of Liberty. Thomas Jefferson Bridges, II, 67 of Liberty. Services tomorrow 10:30 a.m. at Houston National Cemetery.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.45 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 151 MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 2010

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Wanted: Liberty County Sheriff's Department is asking for the public's help to locate a Liberty County man who ran from deputies following a routine traffic stop Saturday. Sheriff's spokesman Steve Green said they are looking for 36-year-old Ricke Lampson. He is described as 6 feet tall and 235 pounds with shaved brown hair and hazel eyes. Ricke Lampson is wanted for probation violation and stalking. He is considered dangerous. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at 936-336-4500, ext. 0.

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Kelley Indictments: Sheriff's Captain Harry Kelley has been indicted on 103 counts of possession of a stolen firearm, two counts of possession of a firearm without serial numbers, two counts of possession of stolen ammunition, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. In a related case, Gary Lee, owner of Sportsman's Outlet in Humble, has already pled guilty to withholding information on a crime and is awaiting sentencing. That is an indication Gary Lee is cooperating with prosecutors and providing evidence for their case against Capt. Kelley. Last Thursday, Harry Kelley pled not guilty to all 107 charges. His attorney, Jack Zimmerman of Houston, says they will fight the allegations in court.

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Chamber Event: The Liberty-Dayton Chamber of Commerce Steak Dinner, Auction and 500 Drawing is this Friday at 6 p.m. in the Dayton Community Center. There's still time to get a 500 ticket for you chance to win a Limited Edition John Deere ATV or any one of the 12 prizes with a total combined value of more than $20,000. Liberty-Dayton 500 tickets are $75 – that includes entry into the drawing plus a large steak dinner with all the trimmings. A ticket just for the steak dinner is $25. For information, call the Liberty-Dayton Chamber at 936-336-5736.

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4-H Success: The Liberty County 4-H Club Shotgun Team recently competed at the Texas 4-H Shooting Sports Competition in San Antonio. Jacob Hill of Dayton shot in the Junior Division. He placed first in sporting clays, second in what is called whiz bang, and third in American skeet. That strong performance gave him the junior high-point overall average.

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Obituaries: Donnie Darbonne, 60, of Liberty. Pending AFS.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.57 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 150 FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, 2010

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Sheriffs Captain Indicted: In a press conference held yesterday afternoon at the Federal Courthouse in Beaumont, the announcement was made of the indictment of Liberty County Sheriffs Captain Harry Leroy Kelley on more than 100 separate charges involving firearms once held as evidence at the Cleveland Police Department. U.S. Attorney John Bales classified the alleged crimes as a massive theft of evidence that was breathtaking in scale. Kelley was indicted on 107 counts involving the theft of firearms, possession of stolen ammunition and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. All of these charges stem from his work at the Cleveland Police Department prior to joining the Sheriffs Department in 2009. Liberty County Sheriff's Department Public Information Officer Steve Greene, said as a result of the indictment Harry Kelley has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

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Local Author: A Dayton woman will become a published author this coming Monday. That is the official release date of a novel written by Amber Curtis. Amber describes her book as a paranormal romance full of vampires, shape-shifters, and magic set in southeast Texas. According to the Dayton resident, there is a slight twist that makes the book stand out, her lead character has cerebral palsy. Amber Curtis said she drew on her own personal experience with that physical condition to write her first book. The novel, "What Fresh Hell is This" can be purchased through most book retailers.

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Beaumont Fraud Alert: The Beaumont Police Department is issuing an alert on a ticket scam. Beaumont Police said scammers appear to have orchestrated a fake car show and concert, and these thieves are busy pre-selling tickets and show registrations. There is even a slick poster advertising the event. Police say pre-tickets are being sold by individuals for $20 each and car entries are going for $50. If you have fallen victim to this fake concert and car show fraud, contact your local police department to make an offense report.

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Obituaries: Deidre Manisha Jackson, 23 of Baytown. Services Saturday 2 p.m. at Mount Olive Baptist church in Dayton. Trummy Jackson, 50 of Dayton. Service Saturday 1 p.m. at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.57 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 149 THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, 2010

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Cleveland Officer Injured: Spencer Templeton, 41 of Dayton, a long time Emergency Medical Tech and Firefighter, but now a Cleveland Police Officer was injured in a wreck Tuesday night while on his way to work. He was riding his motorcycle from Dayton to Cleveland on State Highway 321 when he collided with a car. One report indicates the other driver pulled out of a side road into his path. Family Members told KSHN, Spencer's injuries were numerous, with a fractured collarbone, crushed shoulder, all the ribs on his right side are broken, and he has a lacerated liver. Family members say he is a patient in the trauma intensive care unit at Memorial Hermann, in stable condition.

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Liberty Co. Moving? Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said there would be a resolution for discussion and / or approval on next commissioner's court agenda requesting Liberty County be moved from the Beaumont District of the Texas Department of Transportation to the Houston District of TxDot. The County Judge said, of the counties surrounding Harris County that make up the Houston Galveston Council of Governments, only Liberty and Chambers Counties remain in a different TxDot district. In addition, Phil Fitzgerald said funding is going to the Houston District much more than the Beaumont District. He added, in conversations he has had with State Rep. John Otto, he has been led to believe there is a good chance the move will be approved.

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Parks Sentenced: An Idaho judge has sentenced Silas Parks to 40 years in prison, the maximum allowed under that state's law. Silas Parks is the man who pled guilty earlier this year to two counts of manslaughter for the death of his wife, Dayton native Sarah Sheffield Parks and their unborn child. Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson told KSHN Mr. Parks must serve at least 20 years before being considered for parole.

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LCDC: The Liberty Community Development Corporation Board met Tuesday night at city hall. The board gave their approval to a resolution detailing their 2010-2011 budget. The budget is based on projected revenues of $852,000 and expenditures of $701,000.

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Obituaries: Bobby Ray Colvin, 69 of Batson. Graveside services tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Saratoga City Cemetery.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.56 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 148 WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2010

Hospital Sells on Courthouse Steps: Called a non-judicial foreclosure sale, the physical property of the Liberty Dayton Hospital, sold yesterday to the Liberty County Hospital District for $350,000. That bid topped the bid by the lien holder, Potomac Valley Hospital of West Virginia, Inc. by $50,000. Paul Henry, Vice President of the Hospital District Board bid on the entities behalf. While the expectation was that negotiations to get the licenses, furniture and fixtures would be completed in the next couple of days, that was actually accomplished late yesterday afternoon. The deal was struck yesterday that sells the federal and state licenses including the all-important critical access designation to the local hospital. The Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center now owns the licenses, fixtures, furniture and equipment.

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Dayton City Council: It was a busy meeting Monday night for the Dayton City Council. Council approved an engineering contract with the O'Malley Engineering Firm of Brenham for the Winfree Street improvement project. The council action allows that firm to proceed with design plans for the project, which will extend from Clayton to Waring. Preliminary projections are that the overall price tag will be around half a million dollars.

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Liberty Bell: After months of renovation and expansion, the Liberty Municipal Library is now occupying the entire area that includes the remodeled out section and the new addition. That means access is again through the front doors and foyer. In addition, the Liberty Bell that has hung in the big bell tower behind the cultural center until Ike damaged it is back from the refurbishing job and on display in the foyer of the Geraldine Humphrey's Cultural Center.

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Burnham Classic: Sponsorships are still available for the 21st Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament this weekend at Liberty's Magnolia Ridge Country Club. The event benefits the Tri-County services, which is a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services for children and adults with mental illness and intellectual disabilities. For information on becoming a sponsor, call 936-776-6453 or 936-336-7135.

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Obituaries: Bobby Ray Colvin, 69 of Batson. Graveside services tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Saratoga City Cemetery.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.49 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 147 TUESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2010

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Heat Advisory: The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures reaching near 100 degrees nearly every day this week, with heat indices nearing 110 degrees. Liberty County is under a hazardous weather outlook due to the extreme heat, and a heat advisory is in place to our east. Tips for avoiding heat related illnesses include staying out of the sun, wearing lightweight, light colored clothing, and drink lots of water. Those with illnesses are urged to stay in air conditioning, and keep a close eye on the elderly and very young.

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More T.E.A Ratings: Texas Education Agency has released its 2010 Accountability Ratings, and its good news for school districts in Chambers County. Barbers Hill earned the state's top rating, exemplary. Both Anahuac and East Chambers are second best at recognized.

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Health Expo: The 1st Annual Road to Health and Wellness Expo is Saturday. It will be at the Liberty Middle School on Jefferson Drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hosted by the Liberty County Health Awareness Coalition, the expo features health monitoring and education free to all ages. There will be blood pressure monitoring, nutrition evaluation, cholesterol and glucose screenings, bone density testing, vision and hearing checks, and much more. This is the big part; immunizations for kids going back to school are also free of charge. There will be entertainment, music, dancing and even a moonwalk. For information, call Alexis Cordova at 336-4558 ext. 221.

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Mounted Drill Team: It has been another great year for the heralded Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team. The group of local youngsters recently won the state championship in both fast freestyle and precision riding. That comes on the heels of a national championship in freestyle theme and two district titles. That gives the equestrians five championship titles this year. Local youths, who love horsemanship and are interested in becoming a member of this celebrated 4-H group, can contact Drill Master Tommy Small at 936-402-3902 or the Liberty County Agrilife Extension Service at 936-336-4558, ext. 221.

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Obituaries: Rickey Reed, 56, of Dayton. Service is 10 a.m. Thursday at Pace-Stancil in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.54 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 146 MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2010

Suicide at Jail: A U.S. Marshal Service inmate, held at the Liberty County Jail, was pronounced dead at the Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center Friday evening. He was identified as 34-year-old Noe Santos, thought to be of Houston. According to Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Bobby Rader, the dead inmate reportedly was discovered hanging in his cell by another prisoner. Noe Santos is said to have left behind a suicide note. JP Rader ordered an autopsy. Numerous efforts to get more information from the sheriff's department were unsuccessful.

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House Fire: Fire destroyed a mobile home Friday on C.R. 4875 in Dayton. The home's resident, Georgia Story, a longtime employee of the Liberty-Dayton Hospital, and several family members were in the home at the time of the blaze, but nobody was injured. The Liberty County fire marshal is investigating.

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T.E.A. Ratings: The Texas Education Agency released its 2010 accountability ratings Friday afternoon. Leading the way among school districts here in Liberty County was Devers ISD. Once again, that district is rated 'exemplary' – the top academic rating given by the state. Five Liberty County school districts are second best at recognized. That includes the districts of Dayton, Hardin, Hull-Daisetta, Liberty and Tarkington. Finally, Cleveland ISD was graded academically acceptable.

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Liberty Utilities: Liberty City Council will consider a new utility ordinance at their August 10 meeting. City Manager Gary Broz said, if approved, the new ordinance will require a deposit from any of its utility customers who are placed on the city's disconnect list twice in a 12-month period.

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Road Work: A TxDOT contractor begins work today on a three-mile stretch of FM 223 between Dolen here in Liberty County and the San Jacinto County line. Officials remind motorists to pay extra attention in the work zone.

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Tax Holiday: The state's annual back-to-school tax-free holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday, August 20. It ends at midnight Sunday, August 22. During this three-day period, the state grants shoppers a break from both state and local sales taxes on certain items. Many retailers also offer special sales during this same three-day period, providing shoppers with even more savings.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.53 ASL*

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