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December 2010

VOLUME 25 NO. 245 THURSDAY, DEC. 30, 2010

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Murder: At 1:05 a.m. yesterday morning, the Liberty County Sheriffs Department received a 911 call from the wife of David Timothy Smith, 52, that they had been the victim of a home invasion and her husband had been shot. Mr. Smith subsequently died from his wounds and was pronounced dead by Justice of the Peace Bobby Rader. His wife and two teenage children suffered minor injuries during the home invasion and received treatment on the scene. Liberty County Public Information Officer Steve Greene confirmed that three male suspects were involved in the early morning fatal shooting, and those three suspects are still at large. The Liberty County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate and would ask anyone with information regarding this crime to contact the Sheriffs Department at 936-336-4500.

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Regional Musician Dies: Many local folks know of a regional Texas Blues Rocker musician who performs under the name of Mean Gene Kelton. Tuesday night, Gene Kelton died in a much-reported vehicle crash in Crosby on FM 2100. Investigators told news media that Gene Kelton, whose real first name is Sydney was northbound on the two-lane farm to market road 2100 at around 8:20 Tuesday night. Another vehicle ahead of him reportedly stopped to make a left turn. Kelton steered into the southbound lane, apparently to avoid hitting the rear of the vehicle ahead of him. A Crosby school bus carrying Crosby high school's ninth grade girl's basketball team was in that lane. The entertainer known as Mean Gene Kelton struck the school bus head on. Investigators say he died at the scene. Several students were taken to the East Houston Regional Medical Center where they were treated and released for minor injuries. The accident remains under investigation by the Harris County Sheriffs Department's Traffic Enforcement Division. No word yet on funeral arrangements for the regional music star.

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Dayton Chamber Lunch: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce will have their monthly luncheon on Tuesday January 4 at noon at the Dayton Community Center on South Cleveland St. Guest speaker will be Ron Borski, Labor Market Analyst for the Houston Galveston Area Council of Governments. Mr. Borski will provide updated information regarding the labor market. For information or reservations, call the Dayton Chamber of Commerce at 936-257-2393.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.94 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 244 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29, 2010

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Returning Christmas: The Christmas shopping season is over, and the process is reversed with folks returning merchandise in large numbers to local retailers. Estelle Ramirez, at the Liberty Wal-Mart's Customer Service desk said the deadline to return merchandise depends on the item. Most can be returned or exchanged within 90 days, but with some electronics and appliances, the return period is only 15 days. Also, most retailers we talked with said those returning merchandise for a refund, should be sure to have a receipt. Most will exchange with out a receipt. Also, most retailers we talked with allow gift cards to be used for merchandise only, not cash.

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Liberty Dayton Chamber: The membership of the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has elected a new slate of directors to the 2011 board. Newly elected to serve three year terms to represent the Dayton area are Arlene Langham – Security State Bank – Dayton Branch, Dr. David Beeler of Berkeley Eye Center, Jeff Lambright for Dayton Trading Post and Todd Arnold at Allsurance Agency. Also newly elected is Alma Lopez Liberty County Farm Bureau to fill the vacancy created by Carol Nethery of the Vineyard who has been elevated to Chamber Board Secretary-Treasurer. Then elected to represent the Liberty area is Amy Fitzgerald –Hilltop Inn & RV Park, Diane Huddleston, FLNB Liberty, Nan Gilmore-Golden's Furniture Showroom and Skeet Raggio - Raggio Publishing.

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Closed for New Year's: New Year's Day falls on Saturday this week. The various holiday schedules for local government offices is confusing. All city offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will be closed Friday, New Year's Eve for the holiday. However, the Liberty County Courthouse and all county offices will be open for regular hours Friday, but closed on Monday January 3rd. The Post Offices in Liberty. Dayton and Hardin will close at noon Friday. Waste Management garbage service will run as scheduled Friday and Monday in Cleveland, Dayton and Liberty. Most banks will be open regular hours Friday and Monday. The exception is Security State Bank in Liberty, Dayton and Anahuac. They will close at 2 p.m. Friday.

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Obituaries: Marge Ruth Johnson, 86 of Brookshire Tx. Services Thursday 1 p.m. at Allison Funeral Home in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.33 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 243 TUESDAY, DEC. 28, 2010

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Swearing In: On Tuesday January 4, Liberty County will hold the swearing in ceremony for all those elected to new terms, or those elected for the first time to office. The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. in the 75th District Courtroom on the third floor of the Liberty County Courthouse. Craig McNair, who will be sworn in as Liberty County Judge said the public is welcome to attend and then stay for refreshments afterwards.

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Street Signs: According to Liberty Street Department Supervisor Harvey Joiner, the new stop signs are in place on Panther Lane. Although Panther Lane is a city street, over the years drivers have treated it more like a long driveway. However, with the development and construction well underway for the new Trinity Apartments, traffic control has become an issue. There are three new signs at each of the parking lot exits from the Senior Citizens Center onto Panther Lane as well as one sign at the high school driveway exiting onto Panther Lane. Street department officials say they hope this proper signage will help avoid accidents.

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Fireworks Ban: Just a reminder, an order banning aerial fireworks and outdoor burning is still in place for the unincorporated areas of Liberty County. Continuing dry, windy conditions have prompted Liberty County Commissioners to ban the sale and use of all fireworks classified as "skyrockets with sticks" and "missiles with fins". This order does not affect smaller fireworks or those that are not designed to fly through the air. However, all fireworks are prohibited within the city limits of Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland.

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Census: As we have already reported, Texas will gain four congressional seats based on the population shift documented by the 2010 census. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke said the trend is a movement of seats away from the northeast and mid-west of the country to the south and west.

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Obituaries: James Garland Thomas Reily, 74 of Daisetta. Visitation Wednesday from 5 to 9 pm at Faith and Family Funeral Services in Batson. Patrick E. Patterson, 67 of Liberty. Graveside services 10 am Thursday at Cooke Cemetery in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.87 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 242 MONDAY, DEC. 27, 2010

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Domestic Dispute: Liberty Police were dispatched at 2 a.m. Sunday for a reported home invasion in the 600 block of Fannin. Liberty PD Public Information Officer Josh Cummins said the call proved to be a domestic disturbance between Ashley Jackson, 26, and her boyfriend Henry Demond Dugat, 36, of Houston. Ms. Jackson was transported to Houston by helicopter for treatment of her injuries. Dugat was arrested and bond set at $50,000 by Pct 6 JP Peggy Dunn. Family friends report Ms. Jackson will recover from her injuries.

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Father Ted Smith: The congregation of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church last week held a double ceremony – with the ordination of Father Ted Smith as a new priest and his installation as Rector at that church. Father Ted was a minister for another faith for several years but underwent three years of retraining, testing and development. The Right Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Episcopalian Bishop of Texas, presided along with Liberty native Rev. Dr. Ann Dennison Normand. She's the Bishop's Chief of Staff..

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MLK Celebration: The 13th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 at Turkey Creek Baptist Church on FM 563. This year's keynote speaker is Rev. A.K. Thomas, that church's pastor. The Turkey Creek Baptist Church Choir will provide music. The event pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the renowned Civil Rights leader who was assassinated in April 1968 at Memphis, Tenn. For more information call Dr. Henry L. Dugat at 936-336-7393 or Martha Braxton at 936-336-6601.

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Trinity River Christmas Bird Count: The Annual Trinity River Christmas Bird Count is set for tomorrow. Stuart Marcus, Trinity River Wildlife Refuge Mgr, says those participating should gather at 7 a.m. at the Valero Gas Station on State Hwy 321 at the intersection with State Hwy 105. He recommends bringing a lunch and shoes that you won't mind getting wet. There will be a countdown dinner at 5 p.m. at the Plantation Restaurant on Hwy 321 near Cleveland.

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Obituaries: John H. Urban, 64, of Dayton. Services at 10 a.m. today at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Dayton. Berthelle Barnard Dees, 81, of Dayton. Services at 2 p.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home Chapel in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.19 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 241 THURSDAY, DEC. 23, 2010

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Stand Off: A short-lived standoff between a Hardin man, Mark Pittman and law enforcement ended peacefully yesterday morning. According to Liberty County Sheriffs Department Public Information Officer Steve Greene, deputies were responding to a 9-1-1 call where Mr. Pittman said he was armed and invited law enforcement to come take those weapons away. When deputies arrived, he pointed a rifle at the deputies and threatened to shoot. One of the first deputies to arrive contacted the man on his cell phone. Mr. Pittman allegedly told the deputy to leave immediately or he would reload and start firing. Then he hung up. A short time later, Mark Pittman reportedly called the deputy and soon, thereafter, surrendered. Mark Pittman was taken to Cleveland Regional Medical Center for evaluation.

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Holiday Safety: The crunch is on! Christmas is Saturday. The Liberty Police Department is advising, even if you are in a rush, keep safety in mind. Prior to heading out to do that last minute shopping lock all valuables in the trunk of the vehicle. Don't leave a purse, wallet, cell phone or GPS in plain view. That is a real invitation to the bad guys. In addition, Liberty police say watch for people who may be following you; police say this can happen inside and out. If you're uncomfortable, report it to security. Finally drive defensively, traffic is heavier and drivers may have indulged in too much holiday spirits.

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LISD: Those who have not visited the Liberty Independent School District web site recently will find a wealth of information available there. Carol Seay, with the Liberty High School Counseling center said parents of LHS students in particular could find helpful tips for preparing their kids for graduation and beyond. To visit the Liberty ISD web site, go to www.kshn.com, click on "schools" and the Liberty ISD link.

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Double Strike on Find Santa: Yesterday, twice in one day, Linda Mayhood managed to be the Find Santa player. While folks have managed to play twice or even more in a single day, something we cannot remember happening before, she managed to win both times.

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Obituaries: Luther T. Wells, 88 of Liberty. Services were held yesterday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.37 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 240 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 22, 2010

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Census: One in five Texas residents were born or moved to the state within the past decade - that according to the U.S. Census data released Tuesday. As of April 1, 2010, the census shows there were 25,145,561 people living in the Lone Star state. That is a population increase of 20.6 percent since 2000. Nationally, the 2010 census places the U.S. population at more than 308 million. That is a growth rate of 9.7 percent across America. Eighteen states either gained or lost one of more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Texas was on the plus side of that ledger, gaining four congressional seats. That is the largest increase in representation among states.

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FM 1960 Overpass: The Texas Department of Transportation will begin a project in January to build a railroad overpass at the rail crossing on FM 1960. TxDot officials say the new overpass at the Union Pacific railroad tracks will eliminate the crossing and make traveling between Harris and Liberty counties much safer. TxDot reports roughly 7,000 vehicles travel over those tracks every day. According to TxDot District Engineer Randy Redmond, the project involves building a new overpass approximately 100 feet to the south of the current crossing. The $8.6 million project should take about two years to complete.

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Burn Ban: As the dry and windy conditions continue, Liberty County Commissioners have extended the burn ban for unincorporated areas of the county until at least January 11.

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Airport Poker Run: A very popular event is returning to Liberty this year. The airport poker run will draw pilots from all over the area to the Liberty airport to compete for prizes while at the same time raising money for charity. Chief organizer and local pilot Linda Street-Ely said the February 12 event would highlight the City of Liberty's airport, which is even now undergoing numerous upgrades. The Liberty Lions club will be serving a pancake breakfast, and just as last year, the entire community, pilots and non-pilots are invited out for a good time. For more information, call the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce at 936-336-5736.

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Obituaries: Fannie May Watson, 93 of Daisetta. Services tomorrow at 10 am at Daisetta United Methodist Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.31 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 239 TUESDAY, DEC. 21, 2010

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Property for Sale: The City of Liberty is accepting sealed bids from those interested in buying any of five different city-owned properties. Those five properties up for sale include 521 Travis Avenue where the old Mercy Hospital once stood, the water department tract and building on Beaumont Avenue, plus the city's maintenance building on Trinity Street. Also up for sale are 60 acres near Dragon east of Ames, which formerly was the city of Liberty's landfill, and 3.97 acres along the levee near Edgewood and Bowie streets. The City of Liberty will open the sealed bids for these five properties on Tuesday, January 4, at 10 a.m. All bids must be received in the office of the city secretary before that time.

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Social Security: Are you planning a visit to a Social Security office? Officials with Social Security say the busiest times for field offices and the agency's toll-free phone numbers are early in the week and early in the month. The same holds true for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. Instead of visiting in person, they recommend using the agency's online site for quicker service. To access that Social Security website, go to www.kshn.com and click on the government tab to find the Social Security logo and link. If you prefer talking to someone one-on-one, the Beaumont office is located at 8455 Dishman Road. That office's toll-free number is 866-614-2744.

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Closed for Christmas: The Liberty County Courthouse and city offices in Liberty will be closed Friday, Dec. 24, and Monday, Dec. 27, for the Christmas holiday. The city offices in Dayton and Cleveland will close Thursday and Friday of this week.

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Bird Count: The annual Trinity River Christmas Bird Count is next Tuesday. Those interested will meet at 7 a.m. at the Valero Gas Station at the intersection of State Highways 321 and 105. A countdown dinner will follow around 5 p.m. at the Plantation Restaurant on S.H. 321 near Cleveland. Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch and wear shoes capable of getting wet. For information, call 936-336-9786.

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Obituaries: Shelby Jean Moore Godby, 65, of Liberty. Service is 2 p.m. Wednesday at Liberty Church of Christ under direction of Pace-Stancil Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.28 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 238 MONDAY, DEC. 20, 2010

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Sex Charges: Three Cleveland area residents have been charged with sexual performance with a child. Liberty County Sheriff's Public Information Officer Captain Steve Green said the arrests stem from an ongoing 2005 death investigation. Charged with sexual performance with a child are Adelina Banuelos, 40, Jimmy Lechinger, 49, and Ana Hutson, 40. Adelina Banuelos also is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. All three live on C.R. 379 near Cleveland. Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Bobby Rader set bond at $100,000 for each sexual performance with a child charge and $250,000 for aggravated sexual assault. All three were in the Liberty County Jail at last report.

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Unemployment Rate: The unemployment rate in Liberty and Chambers counties continues to be higher, or worse, than the state and national averages. Texas Workforce Commission reports the unemployment rate across the state is 8.2 percent. That is better than the national unemployment rate, which is 9.2 percent. Taking a look locally, Texas Workforce Commission reports unemployment in Liberty County is 11.1 percent and in Chambers County is 10 percent.

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Bikes for Christmas: Liberty County Bikes for Christmas celebrated the holidays Sunday afternoon at the Dayton Community Center by distributing bikes, toys, clothes and school supplies to more than 800 local kids. The annual event is organized by David Milam and Mike Koen, and they praised the Dayton Senior Citizens who offered lots of help this year. As always, Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand to pass out the gifts to all the smiling children.

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Burn Ban: Liberty and Chambers counties are among 130 counties across Texas with a burn ban in place. The current fire danger in Liberty and Chambers counties is in the moderate range; however, weather patterns of increased winds, low humidity and little precipitation are all increasing the threat of wildfires here locally and across the state.

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Obituaries: Luther T. Wells, 88, service is 11 a.m. Wednesday at Immaculate Conception under direction of Wells Funeral Service of Liberty. J.D. Farris, 83, of Tarkington Prairie. Service is 11 a.m Tuesday at Pace-Stancil in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.23 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 237 FRIDAY, DEC. 17, 2010

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Wal-Mart Employees Arrested: On Wednesday, the Liberty Police Department arrested three Liberty Wal-Mart employees for felony theft. Those charged are 23 year old Harry Barnes, 20 year old Carez Carter both of Dayton and Daniel Marsh age 20 of Shepherd. Liberty PD Public Information Officer Josh Cummins said the internal thefts totaled several thousand dollars. Justice of the peace Bobby Rader issued warrants for felony theft, and they were taken to the Liberty County Jail where a $10,000 bond was set for each of the accused.

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Hardin Man Sentenced: A 42-year-old Hardin man, Robert Boothe, has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for firearms violations. According to U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, court testimony showed on November 17 last year, Boothe tried to reclaim a shotgun he had pawned the previous month. The pawnshop notified law enforcement after becoming suspicious that Boothe was a convicted felon. An investigation found the Hardin man had been convicted of evading arrest in Liberty County in 2004. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition. Robert Booth pleaded guilty earlier this year and was sentenced on Thursday.

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Electric Load OK: Two weeks ago, a series of power failures in a single day, led City of Liberty officials to confirm one of the two big transformers in the Beaumont Ave. substation had failed. Randy Wiggins, City of Liberty Electric Superintendent said while the building and replacing the failed substation is the responsibility of SRMPA, he and his crew do the maintenance on those systems. Mr. Wiggins said while the failed transformer is due to be replaced late next week, the current system is absolutely stable.

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Liberty ISD: Liberty school district trustees have approved refunding $4.17 million in outstanding bond debt. Mark McLiney Senior Vice President with Southwest Securities, told the Liberty School Board Tuesday night the move will save the district more than $260,000 over the remaining life of that debt. LISD has $4 million in bond debt scheduled to be paid off between now and August 2018. Because of the historically low interest rates, the district is able to refund that debt and save more than $260,000 while paying off the debt slightly quicker.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.33 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 236 THURSDAY, DEC. 16, 2010

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Liberty City Council: The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and voted to reject all seven bids submitted for installation of the new water and electric meters in the city. A company called East Texas Meters had the low bid for installing the meters, however before a vote was called on awarding the bid, council heard from Lee Gregory owner of RG3 Utilities who had a higher bid to install the meters. He said the bid specs called for the work to be finished in approximately 90 days. Mr. Gregory said the lower bid promised to complete the work in from 90 to 105 days. Lee Gregory said had he known there was leeway; he could have planned to use fewer employees and bid lower. Council members voted to re-bid the installation project and revisit the issue at their next meeting. This is to give Mr. Gregory and all the other companies an equal understanding of the period to complete the work.

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Dayton School Board: The Dayton School board met Tuesday night and formally accepted the resignation of Craig McNair, who will take over as County Judge on January 1. Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said the school district researched the question of whether or not McNair could continue to serve in both positions, and state law clearly held that he could not. The incoming county judge thanked his fellow board members and DISD administrators for teaching him the ins and outs of the school district.

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LISD: Justin Thacker presented Liberty Independent School District Trustees with the 2009-2010 annual audit Tuesday. He is with the accounting firm Hereford, Lynch, Sellars and Kirkham. The auditor provided the district with what is called an unqualified opinion. That means the district's records are complete and include accurate disclosures that comply with the standard accounting practices and procedures. During his presentation, Justin Thacker singled out Liberty ISD Chief Financial Officer Margaret Lee for praise, saying Mrs. Lee wants the records right and does a great job for the district.

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Obituaries: Anthony Roberts, Sr., 49 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Allison Funeral Service of Liberty. Harry Ray Coplin, 77 of Daisetta. Services 2 p.m. Saturday at Central Baptist Church in Daisetta.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.33 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 235 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 15, 2010

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Ellington Faces More Charges: We reported a Harris County Sheriffs Deputy, George Ellington, formerly of Tarkington and with family in Liberty County was indicted and arrested for bribery and other charges. Now more charges have been lodged against him including aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute the drug ecstasy, and accepting bribes in return. An additional charge has been filed against his wife, Katrise Tania Ellington. George Ellington has also been charged with carrying and possessing a firearm during the trafficking offenses.

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners met Tuesday and approved a ban on aerial fireworks through, at least, the New Year's holiday. The order prohibits the sale or use of any projectile-style fireworks. That includes rockets fired from sticks and missiles with fins. That prohibition against aerial fireworks is for all unincorporated areas of Liberty County until further notice.

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Messiah Sing-Along: First Baptist Church of Liberty invites the community to Handel's Messiah this Saturday. Organizer Rick Brady said the twist is, everyone is encouraged to sing-along. He emphasized, this is not a performance but rather a time of communitywide worship to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Those interested in singing along can get the music ahead of time. Rick Brady said he would e-mail a copy of the music just send a request to Richard@thebradyfirm.com

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Liberty County 4-H: For those who missed the winning performance of the Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill team when they went to Oklahoma in November to challenge the Oklahoma State Champion Drill team, a montage of that performance is now on line. Go to www.americashorse.tv the video is posted on their front page. Be patient, it takes a while to load. The Liberty team is the first team featured followed by the Oklahoma team riding as pirates.

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Obituaries: Wilma Brown, 78 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Mt. Rose Baptist Church of Liberty. Hilda Faye Johnson. Services Saturday 11 a.m. at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.31 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 234 TUESDAY, DEC. 14, 2010

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Tractor-Trailer Fire: Sunday night, the Hull-Daisetta Volunteers and Liberty Fire Departments responded to an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer transport fire on U.S. 90 at CR 2830. Hull-Daisetta Fire Chief Alan Gardner said the trailer's brakes first caught fire which then ignited the trailer but not the semi-tractor itself. The fire chief said the semi-truck was unhitched from the trailer and pulled to safety. However, the trailer and its cargo were damaged by the blaze and had to be towed off by a large wrecker.

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Burn Ban: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald issued an order Monday prohibiting outdoor burning in unincorporated areas. Of course, outdoor burning is prohibited within towns by city ordinance. KSHN reported a severe winter wildfire season predicted for Texas and officials say the public should be aware of the potential threat to their homes and businesses. Current weather patterns of increased winds, low humidity with little precipitation are increasing the threat of wildfire locally and across Texas.

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Find Santa Winner: Yesterday, Cynthia Davie of Raywood was our first winner of the year when she correctly guessed Santa was shopping for Christmas gifts at the Vineyard in Dayton. The jackpot was at $20. In total, KSHN Radio will give away $500 in Christmas cash over the 10-day period the game is played. It started yesterday and will continue each weekday through December 24.

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K2-Spice: Marketed under names like K2 and Spice as potpourri or incense, these substances are actually being smoked to produce a marijuana type high. However, Terry Hughes, an investigator with the Liberty Co. DA's office said the effects are stronger and may last longer. In most cases, these products are legal; however, officials say they can be dangerous when smoked. Police say a very few area stores carry the products. Efforts are under way on the state level to ban these products.

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Obituaries: Lawrence Michael Huelsebusch, 64 of Humble. Memorial service Thursday at 2 p.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. Cade Cameron Cavalier, 18 of Liberty. Graveside services Friday 2 p.m. in Fairlawn Cemetery.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.35 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 233 MONDAY, DEC. 13, 2010

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Fatality Wreck: A Liberty teenager died in a one-vehicle accident on FM 563 Saturday evening. Justice of the Peace Pct. 3 Cody Parrish identified the man killed as 18-year-old Cade Cameron Cavalier of CR 1332 in Liberty. Trooper Nathan Godfrey's report indicates the young man lost control of his vehicle in a curve near FM 770 and overcorrected. The van went airborne, striking a limb that came through the windshield and hit Cade Cavalier in the head, killing him instantly. The roadway was closed for about three hours.

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Fire Danger: A severe winter wildfire season is predicted for Texas, and officials say the public should be aware of the potential threat to their homes and businesses in this area. The current weather patterns of increased winds, low humidity and little rain are increasing the threat of wildfires in Liberty County and across Texas. As a result, Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch encourages residents to pay attention to weather reports and avoid burning until condi-tions improve. No burn ban is in effect, but caution is urged.

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Sales Tax Payments: After more than a year of downturns in retail sales tax collections, payments made to cities in Liberty County have now been up four months in a row. Statewide, sales tax receipts are up 8.7 percent compared to a year ago. It's the 8th straight month for increases for the state. As a reminder, sales taxes collected in October go to the state in November and arrive at cities and counties in December. Looking at individual towns in Liberty County, the city of Liberty is up 15.18 percent for December. Dayton rose 10.39 percent. Cleveland fell by less than 1 percent. Countywide, sales tax payments were up 9.14 percent for the month.

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Find Santa: One of KSHN Radio's most popular annual programs returns today for the 28th year. "Find Santa" continues through Dec. 24. We will be giving away $500 in Christmas cash to lucky listeners. When the announcer says it is time to play, be the numbered caller for your chance to guess where the Jolly Elf is shopping. Listen to FM 99.9 for your chance to win.

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Obituaries: Bobby John Connor, 81, of Cleveland. Service is 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Pace-Stancil Chapel in Cleveland.

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VOLUME 25 NO. 232 FRIDAY, DEC. 10, 2010

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Utility Meters: Because the City of Liberty is losing water and electricity that is not being accurately measured by current meters, Liberty City Council has approved new state-of-the-art utility meters, at a cost of nearly $2.2 million, funded through certificates of obligation. This coming Tuesday's council agenda includes an item to award the bid for installation of these devices. That work is expected to begin in January and take less than ninety days to complete. That meeting is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Liberty City Hall.

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Chamber Luncheon: The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will ring in the holidays at its monthly noon luncheon next Wednesday, Dec. 15, at the Liberty Center. The Christmas cheer starts with a performance by Ken and Jo DeFoor who will be dancing to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". Also performing will be Liberty Opry Owner Jay Cantu and Opry favorite Karla Cox Burris. Sharon Jenkins and Queen Wings will cater the traditional turkey and dressing dinner. Make reservations by calling the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce at 936-336-5736.

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Dayton Community Center: Dayton City Council Monday night agreed to modify the current security policy at the Dayton Community Center to allow Police Chief Pete Douzat greater discretion in expanding the number of police officers required for security during community functions. Dayton City Manager David Douglas said events with large crowds, where alcohol is being served, would mean probably from as many as four to five officers, but again, the police chief could assign the number of officers he felt would be needed.

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Pounds Open House: The East Liberty County Historical Society invites the public to attend an open house Sunday at the G.W. and Nettie Canter Pounds house. This historic home, on FM 770 between Raywood and Daisetta, will be open from 2 to 4 p.m. They will be serving cookies and wassail. It is all free, but the society would appreciate any donations to help with their preservation and restoration work of this historic house.

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Obituaries: Howard Joseph Trahan, 62. Services Saturday 11 a.m. at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Beaumont.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.43 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 231 THURSDAY, DEC. 9, 2010

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Injury Accident: Three people were taken by ambulance to area hospitals following a two-vehicle accident Tuesday around 1 p.m. on Old Beaumont Road in Liberty. Liberty Police Officer Josh Cummins said 20-year-old Joshua Exline was traveling westbound when he drifted into oncoming traffic. The driver of the other car, Charles Williams of Liberty, and his passenger, Robert Kirkwood, along with Joshua Exline were all taken to area hospitals. Officer Cummins said the accident is under investigation but alcohol may have been a factor.

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Liberty Power Problem: Most residents of Liberty know of the several power outages in the city back on Nov. 26. Liberty City Manager Gary Broz said those outages were caused when a large Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency electrical transformer went kaput. SRMPA is disassembling that transformer and working to locate a new one for installation. Much of the city of Liberty's power is routed through two SRMPA transformers on Beaumont Avenue. In the meantime, officials are keeping their fingers crossed that the one good transformer doesn't experience trouble. If that happens, officials say all of Liberty would be without electricity and it could take awhile to restore power.

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Synthetic Marijuana: There is a growing chorus of concern among law enforcement officers and lawmakers over a synthetic substance sold as incense. The problem is these products mimic the effects of marijuana when smoked, but some believe the effects are even stronger. These substances are marketed under names like K2 and Spice. Terry Hughes, an investigator with the Liberty County District Attorney's Office, said parents and the community at large need to be aware of these potentially dangerous products since kids understand, in most cases at least for now, it is not illegal to use these substances.

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Gift of Knowledge: All 170 third-grade students at Liberty Elementary School recently received a special gift to help them learn more about words. Liberty Rotarians gave each of the L.E.S. third-graders a dictionary. The Liberty Rotary Club began this project back in the 2002-2003 school year. In the past nine school years, the club has now presented 1,773 local kids with this special gift of knowledge. President of the Liberty Rotary Club this year is Tracy Williams.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.49 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 230 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 8, 2010

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Liberty PD PIO Resigns: A highly visible member of the Liberty Police Department has tendered his resignation effective December 20. Liberty Police Officer Hugh Bishop is stepping down to pursue different interests according to a press release from Liberty Police Chief Billy Tidwell. Hugh Bishop began his career with Liberty PD in 1991 as a patrol officer and has over the years become well known as the public information officer for the department. The announcement came from Police Chief Billy Tidwell.

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Dayton Legal Action: Monday night, Dayton City Council gave their approval to whatever course their attorneys chose in a long running disagreement with the owners of the Dayton Park Apartments over water billing. Over the past, two years, city officials have been moving to switch the complex to a master water meter. In April, the apartment complex owners were granted a temporary restraining order against the city preventing them from turning on the master meter, which is already installed. Then, in November 75th District Judge C.T. "Rusty" Hight ruled against the city preventing Dayton from turning the water meter on. Now, City Manager David Douglas said council has agreed to follow the advice of their attorneys, should that include appealing the judgment or pursuing other legal action.

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Chambers Co. Fatality: A two-vehicle accident in Chambers Co. Monday left one dead, Harry File Jr., and injured Dr. Gayle Woodall, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services at Barbers Hill ISD. DPS Trooper Thomas Norsworthy's report said Mr. File was standing behind his pickup, which was parked in the road on FM 2354. The trooper reports Gayle Woodall was traveling northbound in the same lane when her vehicle crashed into the back of that truck. Dr. Woodall was taken by ground ambulance to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, said to be in serious but stable condition.

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Obituaries: Howard Joseph Trahan, Jr., 62. Services Saturday at 11 a.m. at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames. Bud Doolittle Jr., 75 of Dayton. Services today at 10 a.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Dennis Keith Fulkerson, 69 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.44 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 229 TUESDAY, DEC. 7, 2010

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Reward for Arsonists: The Liberty Fire Department and the City of Liberty is posting a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for three fires set to abandoned structures in the South Liberty Oil Field. All three fires took place the same day, last week, November 29. Asst. Fire Chief Brian Hurst said the department has clues but needs additional hard evidence to make an arrest. If you have information, call Assistant Fire Chief Brian Hurst at 336-3922.

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Dayton Projects: The City of Dayton has more than $2.5 million in public works projects slated for next year. City Manager David Douglas said some of those projects planned, but not yet bid, include repairs to the city's water and sewer infrastructure. The City of Dayton has already bid a project to improve drainage along Waco Street, and the Dayton City Manager said plans for the summer of 2011 include the resurfacing of a section of Winfree Street, and if the money holds out, also repaving the full length of Brown Rd. from S.H. 146 to FM 1409.

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Rusk to Wake Forest: Ashlee Rusk of Liberty has agreed to play volleyball at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Head Volleyball Coach Heather Holmes said Ashlee is one of five student athletes signed for the class of 2015. Ashlee Rusk is a 6 foot 1 inch middle blocker, who played for Barbers Hill High School where her mother taught school. Ashlee has been named academic all district twice, and first team all district once. She is the daughter of Benny and Linda Rusk of Liberty.

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Grief: Hospice Chaplain in Houston, Pat Savage said when trying to support friends who have lost loved ones, its best to remember it's not about you. Pat Savage said let the person talk about the loved one, and be careful not to judge. Do not tell them they should not feel one way or another, but rather let them express their grief and anger without judgment.

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Obituaries: Edgar Jerrell Groce, 74 of Cleveland. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church in Cleveland. Charlie Tolar, 86 of Daisetta. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.54 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 228 MONDAY, DEC. 6, 2010

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Chamber Board: The deadline is near for members of the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce to get their board member ballot checked off and returned to the Chamber office. This is also the time to make nominations for Citizen of the Year honoring a resident from both Liberty and Dayton for long-running volunteer efforts not associated with their job. Board ballots and Citizen of the Year nominations should be turned in to the Liberty-Dayton Chamber office by noon Friday.

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Christmas Under the Stars: North Main Baptist Church will hold its fourth annual Christmas Under the Stars this Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 9 nightly. This free event features thousands of lights, a live nativity in a recreated area of Bethlehem, music, stage performances, a snowfield, a winter wonderland, family portraits, cookies, hot chocolate, and much more. It all takes place on the church grounds on State Highway 146 in far north Liberty this weekend.

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Valley Players: Liberty's popular theatre group, The Valley Players, is staging two one-act plays featuring young children this weekend. "A Christmas Wizard of Oz" and "Jingle Bells Jury" will be presented Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with a matinee Sunday at 2 p.m. For reservations, call 936-336-6699.

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Jingle Bell Ball: The Liberty Elks Fifth Annual Jingle Bell Ball is Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. Organizers are asking for volunteers and donations to help spread the holiday cheer to physically and mentally challenged children, teens, adults and their families. Organizers are registering special-needs participants through Thursday. For information, call Margie Powell at 936-334-2678.

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Toy Drive: The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department is collecting donations for its annual toy drive. They will be delivering gifts on Saturday, Dec. 18. With that in mind, they are asking folks to turn in new, unwrapped toys by Friday, Dec. 17. Donated items can be dropped off at the Dayton Police Department, 111 North Church Street.

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Obituaries: Carrie Lynn Vantassel Nichols, 46, of Liberty. Service is today at 10 a.m. in Bethel Assembly of God Church of Liberty under direction of Faith and Family Funeral Service.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.95 ASL

VOLUME 25 NO. 227 FRIDAY, DEC. 3, 2010

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Major Wreck: DPS Trooper Boyd Lamb said Tony Williams, 21, of Houston was attempting a u-turn in the middle of Hwy 146 north of Hardin Wednesday night when a pick up truck hit his tractor-trailer rig. The driver of the smaller vehicle, John Vestal, 32, of Hull and his passenger, William Schafer, 25, went to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by air ambulance. Their conditions were not available. Trooper Lamb said Tony Williams was cited for making an unsafe turn.

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Cleveland Hometown Christmas: Gather your friends and family for a holiday visit to Cleveland tomorrow for their Hometown Christmas celebration. Enjoy holiday music, and shop for the holidays at several vendors booths. There will be a lighted Christmas parade beginning at 6 p.m. following the lighting of the community Christmas tree. A free Christmas concert by Bill and Renee Morris will start at 7:30 p.m. at the civic center. For more information, call at 281-592-2667.

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Radiology at the Hospital: As the Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center continues to add to and improve services offered locally, one of those improvements includes a multi-slice CT scanner. Dr. Marc Miller, a practicing radiologist, is also president and CEO of the company that came to Liberty from Wisconsin to train the radiology technicians here on the use of this new and very high tech Toshiba scanner. He said CAT scanning could be used for vascular disease, spinal problems, brain issues and so many more. This new CT scanner brings the most modern CT scan technology available at even the largest hospitals and medical universities to South Liberty County.

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Cody Green: We have reported before on the collegiate football career of Cody Green of Dayton. He is the 19-year-old sophomore quarterback with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Cody got the call to start in the Big 12 North division title game last Saturday against Colorado. Against the Colorado Buffaloes, Nebraska put some points on the board in the 45-17 Husker win.

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Obituaries: Michael Douglas Dugat, 62 of Dayton. Graveside service tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Dugat Cemetery on CR 460 in Dayton. Ronald Ross, 62 of Hull. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. in First Baptist Church in Hull.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.92 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 226 THURSDAY, DEC. 2, 2010

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Fatality Wreck: A two-vehicle wreck on FM 1960 Tuesday shortly before 5 p.m. claimed the life of 20-year-old Humble resident, Tony Dean Steadman. Two others, Carl Wayne Johnson, 62 and Jeffery Wayne Rhoades, 28, both of New Caney were taken by Life flight air ambulance to a Houston hospital. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Nathan Godfrey said Mr. Steadman was attempting to pass another vehicle when the crash occurred. Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Bobby Rader conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy at the request of Trooper Godfrey. FM 1960 was closed for over three hours.

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What A Burger Catches Fire: Liberty Fire Fighters were called out to What-A-Burger on Highway 90 late Tuesday night and then again early Wednesday morning when the restaurant filled with smoke. Liberty Fire Captain Eric McDaniel said, on the first trip Tuesday night around 10:30, they thoroughly checked out the building, both physically and using thermal imaging equipment. Both methods failed to turn up a problem. Firefighters concluded it was smoke from overheated grease, and vented the smoke from the building. Then Wednesday at 12:35 a.m., they got another call reporting the restaurant was filled with even more smoke. This time, Captain McDaniel said they found the source of the problem was a small fire inside a duct in the main heating unit on the roof.

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Court Date Reset: A new date will be set for 253rd District Judge Chap Cain to rule on a motion for Gerald Nugent and Martina Sellers, which requests the two be tried together on the charge of murder. The couple is charged with inflicting the injuries that eventually resulted in the death of their daughter Brooke Nugent. The child, only a few weeks old at the time, was severely injured in October 2005, but lived for two years, blind and disabled, in the custody of Children's Protective Services until her death in November 2007. Judge Cain was scheduled to rule on whether the couple would be tried together yesterday, however Martina Sellers defense attorney was hurt in a fall and unable to appear in court.

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Obituaries: Theresa Ann Thibodeaux, 70 of Dayton. Services today at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.03 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 225 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1, 2010

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Kaemmerling Resigns: After five years on the board of the Liberty Dayton Hospital District, and one of only two original members, Charles Kaemmerling has submitted his resignation. Board President Bruce Stratton said he has not read the letter from Mr. Kaemmerling so is not aware of the reasons for that resignation, but he did say the board will address the issue at their next board meeting. Bruce Stratton said as far as filling Mr. Kaemmerling's position, the district board would appoint someone who will fill the seat until the term of Charles Kaemmerling expires, which would be in 2012.

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LISD Canvasses Votes: The Liberty School Board met Monday night to canvass the results of the November 2 bond election. That makes it official, district voters rejected all five propositions that asked for a total of $18.874 million for improvements and new construction.

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All District 19-4A: You might imagine the District 19-4A gridiron champion Dayton Broncos dominated this season's all-district selections. Twenty-one Dayton Broncos joined their head coach as honorees. Also picked by the 19-4A coaches for all district recognition were 12 Barbers Hill Eagles and 7 Crosby Cougars. Dayton Coach Jerry Stewart was named district Coach of the Year while Broncos senior Darrian Wright was selected as the District 19-4A Most Valuable Player. Offensive MVP is Dayton's Jakari Delasbour while Defensive MVP honors go to his teammate, Xavier Baldwin.

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Infant's Death: We reported in September on the death of infant Emberlee Jayce Craft, daughter of Rosemary Montes and Eric Craft. In the state required autopsy, Dr. Tommy Brown with the Jefferson County Medical Examiner's Office lists the cause of death as sudden unexpected death in infancy, which is different from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. According to Dr. Brown's report, the manner of death is undetermined. Liberty police continue to investigate.

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Obituaries: Adele Barbara Denny Kerr, 84 of Liberty. Memorial gathering today 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. First United Methodist Church in Liberty. Dillie Mae Smith, 83 of Daisetta. Service today at 2 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.47 ASL*

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