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February 2009

VOLUME 24 NO. 39, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2009

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Arrest: A call to the Liberty County Sheriffs office Wednesday evening from an Ames resident who said there was a strange man with 2 handguns standing in their yard, led to two arrests. Sheriff’s Captain Jim Cooper said when deputies arrived, they found 2 men having some sort of altercation. Captain Cooper said both suspects, who have not been positively identified, ran from deputies. Sheriffs’ Deputy Robert Dunn caught one, while Deputy Juan Alfaro caught the other. A search of a vehicle turned up a handgun, but no second weapon was found. No charges have been filed, but Captain Cooper said one would likely be charged with unlawful handgun possession and the other facing drug possession charges.

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Ike Debris: More than 5 months following Hurricane Ike and debris is still found stacked along Liberty County roadways. County Commissioner Todd Fontenot said an agreement with TxDot is allowing that debris to be removed, however that can not go on indefinitely. The deadline for debris removal is March 27th. He suggested getting what debris is left to the roadside in the next week or so, so the locations can be identified and TxDot notified. After the March deadline, debris removal in the county will be up to the property owners and residents.

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Hurricane Season: The Atlantic Hurricane season is still 3 months away, but Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science has released its preliminary annual landfall strike probability report. It predicts both an above average tropical cyclone season and above average likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall in the United States. As far as our area goes, the report also says there is a 24.9 % chance of a named storm making landfall in the region that includes Chambers and Liberty County. Hurricane season officially starts June 1st.

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Chili Supper: The annual Hardin Lions and Leo’s Chili Supper is tomorrow night at Hardin High School. The all-you-can eat chili, rice and beans meal is $5 and comes with a drink.

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Funerals: David Tamiggi, 88, of Kenefick, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Lt. Richard Stanley Harris, 84, U. S. N. R. retired, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at All Faiths Funeral Services in Austin.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.69 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 38, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2009

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Fatality Wreck: A Dayton man was killed Monday evening in a one-vehicle rollover accident on FM 1409. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Blackburn said Jerry Wayne Willis, 46 of Dayton was southbound on FM 1409 around 10 p.m. Monday when his car left the roadway and rolled. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected. The accident happened about 9 miles south of Dayton.

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Guys and Dolls: The Valley Players theater group present “Guys and Dolls” a musical comedy first performed locally in 1983. Evening performances are Friday and Saturday February 27th and 28th and March 6th and 7th at 8 p.m. Sunday matinees are 2 p.m. March 1st and 8th. To get reservations call 936 336 3716. Tickets are $10 each.

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Tornado Drill: Spring in Texas often means severe weather. Around 10 a.m. Wednesday the National Weather Service notified Emergency Management offices of a mock tornado drill. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said it’s important to be aware of the possibility of severe weather at all times. Tom Branch said the drill went well.

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Citizen of the Year: A large crowd turned out Tuesday evening for the 33rd annual Awards Banquet of the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce held in the cafeteria of Dayton High School. Much of the attention was focused on the Dayton and Liberty Citizen of the Year awards. The Dayton Citizen of the Year was Ken DeFoor, currently serving as Chief Deputy under new Sheriff Henry Patterson. Over the past quarter of a century, DeFoor has served as Mayor of Kenefick, Chief of the Dayton Police Department, headed up security at Exxon’s Downtown Houston office, and served as Emergency Management Coordinator for Liberty County. Liberty’s Citizen of the Year award went to Tommy McMullan, who has already set a record unmatched by anyone else in the state of Texas. He has served for 56 years, so far, on the Devers School Board. A lifelong rice farmer, McMullan said he still loves serving on the school board and enjoys his weekly trips to the school to visit the students.

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Funerals: Guy Cade Jackson III, 77 of Anahuac. Services today at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Anahuac.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.70 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 37, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2009

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and approved an agreement with six other counties and TxDot that moves plans to build the “ Grand Parkway” through Liberty County forward. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said working with the other counties to develop the plan, makes the local portion of the proposed project financially viable.

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Candidates: With the filing period for candidates who plan to run in the May elections half way done, there are still positions open on May ballots without candidates. In Dayton, only Mayor Steve Stephens has filed for a new term. For the City of Liberty Council election, Al Simonson filed the paperwork to run for another term, making it a clean sweep of incumbents running for council positions in Liberty. No candidates have filed the necessary paperwork to run in the Hardin City Council election. In the Hardin School Board election, position #2 incumbent Justin Key is running again with opposition from Daniel Thompson. No candidates have filed in the City of Daisetta. Candidate filing continues through March 9th.

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LHS Golf Tournament: The Liberty High School Senior Class are holding a golf tournament at Magnolia Ridge Country Club in Liberty on Saturday March 21st Cost is $100 per person. Call 936-334-0757 or 336-9513.

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Dayton Graduation: Dayton ISD Technology Director Nathan Davis said this year’s Dayton High Graduation Ceremony in early June will again be fed over the internet to a separate location. Last year’s ceremony was held at Bronco Stadium with streaming video sent to the air-conditioned comfort of the Nottingham Elementary Auditorium. This year a second camera will be added for an even better viewing experience.

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Funerals: Linnie Jo Rhodes, 50 of Pasadena. Memorial service 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Betty Joyce Lambright, 72 of Kenefick. Memorial service today at 2 p.m. at Kenefick Southern Baptist Church. Paul W. Aalund, 71 of Liberty. Funeral mass tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty. Betty Lou Aiken, 74 of Cleveland. Funeral Service 11 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Pending: Guy C. Jackson, 77 of Anahuac.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.71 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 36, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2009

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Stimulus in Texas: State Representative John Otto recently weighed in on use of Texas’ share of the nearly $800 billion federal stimulus package. The local certified public accountant said state legislators should not look to the national stimulus money to make up the difference in recurring spending. He said the projected state budget shortfall caused by the national recession should not be repaired with the stimulus money or the state rainy day fund, rather use that money for non-reoccurring projects. Otto did say one good use for Texas’ rainy day fund would be to help U.T.M.B. Galveston recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Ike.

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Girl Scouts: Local girls scouts are looking for new members to join their ranks. Parents can sign up their girls in kindergarten through 12th grade this Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Company Coffeehouse and Book Café on S.H. 146 in Dayton, between Milentz Self Storage and Dayton Veterinary Clinic. Membership in girl scouts is $10 per year and open to girls ages 5-17. For information call Margaret Beegle at 713 292 0307.

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Relay for Life: This April 3rd and 4th is the 8th Annual Relay for Life in South Liberty County. The event raises money for the American Cancer Society for both research and support services for cancer patients and caregivers. The annual event starts Friday April 3rd at 7 p.m. with the survivor’s lap, and culminates the morning of Saturday April 4th with a victory lap. For information or to sign up a team, contact Sandra Sterling 336-3716 or Geraline Daniel at 336 6105.

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Social Security: The Beaumont Office of Social Security may be hiring this year. David Bowman Assistant Manager said qualifications would include a college degree with military service adding additional weight. For those interested in a possible position, send a resume to SSA, 3260 Eastex Freeway, Beaumont, TX, 77703 to the attention of David Bowman, Assistant Manager.

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Ole Tyme Days: The annual Dayton Ole Tyme Days festival is set for April 17th through April 19th in Downtown Dayton. For information, go to www.kshn.com; click on upcoming events to locate the link to the Dayton Ole Tyme Days website.

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

VOLUME 24 NO. 35, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009

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Brandon Vestal Found Guilty: A jury in Judge Chap Cain’s 253rd District Court took less than 20 minutes to find 23-year-old Brandon Roy Vestal guilty of injury to a child in the September 2006 death of 15-month-old Brook Erin Blackerby. The jury then took about an hour to sentence the Hull man to the maximum - life in prison with a $10,000 fine. Brandon Vestal will be eligible for parole after 30 years of good time plus actual time served.

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Homebuyer Tax Credit: The new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act authorizes a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time homebuyers who purchase a house before December 1, 2009. A first-time homebuyer is defined as someone who has not had any ownership in real property in the past three years. To get pre-qualified to purchase a home, see your favorite mortgage person at any mortgage company or bank making home loans.

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Chamber Banquet: Today is the final day to make reservations for the annual Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet. The popular event is tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Dayton High School cafeteria. This year’s featured speaker is Suzie Humphreys. Tickets are $25. For information, call the Chamber office at 936-336-5736.

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Stock Show Winners: Seven Liberty County kids did very well at the recent Fort Worth Livestock Show and Rodeo. Leading the group of local youths was Mikilia Yates of Dayton 4-H with her Grand Champion Shorthorn. Other local youngsters who’s animals placed among the very best are Wesley Walker, Jonathan Chachere, Mikenzie Yates, Scott Chachere, Emaline Robinson and Jacyln Robinson.

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Weather Awareness: Severe Weather Awareness Week in Texas began yesterday and will continue through Saturday. According to the National Weather Service in the Houston-Galveston area, their office will be involved in a regionwide tornado drill for all of southeast Texas. KSHN Radio, along with other radio and television stations, will be relaying that test tornado warning through our own emergency alert system equipment.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.38 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 34, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2009

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Murder Trial: The murder trial of a Raywood man, Leo Paul Frank Jr. has been rescheduled. DA Mike Little said the unavailability of some witnesses in the case has prompted the trial- set to start Monday- to be moved to a later date. Frank is charged in the 2008 shooting death of 25-year-old Iraq War veteran Quincy Childress. No new trial date as been announced.

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Fontenot Update: Former Hull-Daisetta School Trustee Alfred Joseph Fontenot is expected to report to U. S. Marshals Monday to begin serving a 15-month prison sentence for his federal drug conviction. We reported Fontenot pled guilty in federal court last year to taking delivery of a large quantity of marijuana. In addition to the prison sentence, the court also ordered the forfeiture of $50,00 in seized cash and assets. No word on which federal prison unit he will be housed.

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Otto: State Representative John Otto of Dayton has drawn 2 powerhouse appointments for the 81st legislative session. A week ago, Otto was named to the house appropriations committee, and the vice chair of the house committee on ways and means. Most recently, John Otto was named appropriation sub-committee chairman for two portions of the state budget, general government and natural resources. These high profile posts give the Dayton political leader significant input on both property taxes and state spending for Texas.

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Brookshire Brothers: After suffering extensive damage during Hurricane Ike, the Liberty Brookshire Brothers Grocery Store in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center is set to reopen on or about April 1st. According to Gloria McDaniel, Corporate Public Relations Officer for the Brookshire’s Home Office, 50 to 60 new employees are going to be hired to staff the remodeled store. He said it is a proto-type for what most new and remodeled Brookshire Brothers stores will be like in the future. Job applications are available at the Dayton Brookshire Brothers for the Liberty Store.

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Funerals: Ronald Adam Hoover, 64, of Dayton, Graveside services at 10 a.m. Sunday at Linney Cemetery in Dayton. Juanita LaVerne Wolford Kaderlie, 86 of Mont Belvieu. Services Saturday 2 p.m. at Sterling Funeral home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.69 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 33, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2009

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Foot Chase: A Dayton man was arrested Tuesday night charged with evading arrest after a foot chase with Liberty County Sheriffs’ Deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers. Sheriff’s Corporal Hugh Bishop said Sheriff’s Corporal Kevin Thiess tried to stop Michael Shane Linkinhoker for reckless driving on FM 1409. After a brief pursuit, the 29-year old Linkinhoker’s truck got stuck in the mud. He ran into nearby woods where law enforcement officers found him. Linkinhoker was charged with reckless driving and evading arrest.

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H-GAC: The Houston Galveston Area Council has revised their recommendation to allocate $69 million of the $814 million in HUD disaster relief funds to Chambers County with nearly $22 million allocated to Liberty County. The H-GAC’s first recommendation had both Liberty and Chambers County in a pool with 11 counties competing for funds.

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Hospital District: All three members of the Liberty County Hospital District Board up for reelection have indicated their intentions to run for office. Board President Bruce Stratton, Board member Kathy Dagle and appointed Board member Paul Henry have all confirmed they intend to be on the May ballot.

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Dayton School Board: The Dayton School Board met Tuesday night and heard a report from the Ag Arena Committee. The committee recommended building a covered rodeo arena at the facility located on State Highway 321. The projected cost could range as low as $470,000 to as high as $570,000 not including widening the arena, moving bleachers and making other recommended improvements. The board took no action on that request Tuesday night.

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Hartel Update: Recently retired County Attorney Jack Hartel has made positive strides in his recovery following a fall at home in the last week of January. His daughter Laurie Vaught said he remains in Methodist Hospital but would be moved to another ward soon. She said he still sleeps a lot but is watching some TV and loves to hear about his grandson’s basketball games.

****************************************************Funerals: Joe A. Knight, 87 of Dayton. Services 2 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.69 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 32, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2009

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Deputy Injured: Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Kimberly Rodden was injured yesterday just before noon in a car wreck. DPS Trooper Rob Willoughby said the deputy was en route to assist sheriff’s Sgt. Michelle Watson, when she lost control of her patrol car on FM 1409 near CR. 402. Trooper Willioughby said wet roads may have contributed to the accident, and his investigation is ongoing. Deputy Rodden was taken by LifeFlight Air Ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital with injuries not thought to be life threatening.

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Teens Arrested: A rash of burglaries in the Woodway Subdivision off of FM 1409 south of Dayton has been attributed to four juveniles, age 15 and 16. Liberty County Sheriff’s Office lead investigator Sgt. Michelle Watson said the teens stole chainsaws and home electronics valued at $6,000 from homes and sheds on County Roads 431, 4284 and 4292. The four juveniles were arrested Friday and sent to a juvenile detention center in Beaumont.

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H-GAC Transit: The Liberty County Transit Plan will be presented tomorrow at a public forum at the Liberty Center. The plan was developed by the Houston Galveston Area Council in cooperation with Liberty County and the Texas Department of Transportation. The meeting will be from 3-7 p.m. tomorrow at the Liberty Center on Sam Houston Street in Liberty. In Cleveland, there will be a public meeting March 10th, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the civic center on Peach Street. Citizens can view the plan by going to www.kshn.com and click on the H-GAC link.

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Severe Weather Awareness: February 22nd through 28th, has been designated severe weather awareness week in Texas. All National Weather Service offices in the state will be promoting public awareness of the potentially dangerous weather that can strike southeast Texas. Wednesday, February 25th, at approximately 10 a.m. the National Weather Service will issue a mock tornado warning for our area. That Texas warning will be broadcast here at KSHN Radio.

****************************************************Funerals: Lawrence “Papa Smurf” Orlando Dean, Jr., 63 of Hardin. Memorial service 11 a.m. Saturday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.23 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 31, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2009

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Sheriffs Department: The Liberty County Sheriffs Department has had some changes in supervisor roles with the new sheriff, Henry Patterson. Chief Deputy ken DeFoor said a new twist on the department leadership has a captain in both the north and south end of the county. Head of both patrol and detectives in the north part of Liberty County is Harry Kelly, while Jim Cooper is captain of the south end patrol and detective departments. Ken DeFoor said they are also looking at changing work schedules. He added, most of those working in the department under the previous administration have remained, however in different positions.

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Judges Object: Both Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia and Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald oppose the planned distribution of HUD approved $814 million in Hurricane Ike disaster relief which gives Harris and Galveston counties the lion’s share of the funds. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald called the plan appalling. Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia pointed out his county had more homes destroyed then the City of Houston or Harris County, yet Chambers County was put in a pool to compete with 11 other counties for the remaining $139 million. The final determination on how the funds will be distributed has not yet been made.

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Banquet: Tickets to this Thursday’s 83rd Annual Brotherhood Banquet at First United Methodist Church are available from the church office or any member of the Men’s Bible class. Tickets for the turkey and dressing dinner are $8. The speaker is former Jefferson County Judge and former sheriff, Carl R. Griffith.

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FEMA Deadline: The deadline to apply for disaster assistance through FEMA or a loan with the Small Business Administration is this Friday. Go to www.kshn.com for a link to both FEMA and the SBA.

****************************************************Funerals: Ruth Arnold Cumbie, 74 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Paul Donald Anderson, 64 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 3 p.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Lou Jean “Jeanie” Fontenot, 53 of Dayton. Services Thursday at 2 p.m. at Sterling Funeral Home of Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.56 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 31, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2009

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Judges Object: Both Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia and Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald objected to the Houston Galveston Area Council’s distribution plan for the $814 million in HUD approved Hurricane Ike disaster relief funds. Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia said Chambers County had more homes destroyed then the City of Houston or Harris County yet Chambers County was put in a pool to compete for funds while Harris County and Houston were allocated money. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald called the plan appalling, pointing out that Liberty County had twice as many homes destroyed by the storm, as were destroyed in the city of Houston. Judge Fitzgerald called the plan unacceptable. The final determination on how the funds will be distributed has not yet been made.

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FEMA Deadline: This Friday is the final day to apply for disaster assistance through FEMA or for a loan with the Small Business Administration. While the federal government has extended the deadline three times, there is no indication it will be extended again past the current deadline of Friday. Go to www.kshn.com for a link to both FEMA and SBA.

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New County Attorney: Newly elected Liberty County Attorney Wes Hinch said his office handles misdemeanor cases, and they also act as legal advisor for county officials and departments. Currently, Hinch said, they have a docket of around 5,000 pending cases in the Liberty County Attorney’s office.

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Brotherhood Banquet: The 83rd Annual Men’s Brotherhood Banquet is Thursday at First United Methodist Church. This year’s guest speaker is Carl R. Griffith, former Jefferson County Judge and former sheriff. Tickets for the traditional turkey and dressing banquet are $8 and available from the church office or any member of the Methodist men’s bible class.

****************************************************Pancakes: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty is holding their annual Pancake Supper Tuesday February 24th from 5 – 7 p.m. Pancakes, sausage and beverages will be served in the church parish hall. Tickets are $5 with kids under 12 eating free. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is located at 2041 Trinity St. in Liberty. For information call 936 336 3762.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.02 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 30, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2009

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Bomb Threat: Twice in two days bomb threats were called into the Liberty Wal-Mart Supercenter. Liberty Police Lt. Ricky Skarpa said Tuesday evening about 9:30 and again late Wednesday afternoon around 5:30 an unidentified person called the large retail store and said there was a bomb planted inside. The store was evacuated of both staff and customers as a precaution. A thorough search both times turned up nothing, and the store was reopened to customers. Police Lt. Skarpa said the crime could be prosecuted as someone making a terroristic threat with a punishment of up to 1 year in jail and a $3000 fine.

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Closed: The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed Monday in observance of President’s Day. However, garbage service will run as scheduled in both towns on Monday. All banks and post offices will also be closed Monday for the holiday.

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Candidates: Council Member Diane Huddleston Tuesday filed the paperwork to seek a new term in the May Liberty City Council election. After an unsuccessful run for the LISD Board last year, Bruce Bell has again filed to run for a trustee position.

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Chamber Banquet: The 33rd annual Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet is set for Tuesday February 24th at the Dayton High School Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. this years speaker is motivational humorist Suzie Humphreys. The Citizen of the Year for Dayton and Liberty will also be announced. Tickets are $25. Call 936 336 5736.

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Otto Assigned: State Representative John Otto has been named Vice-Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee as well as to a spot on the House Appropriations Committee. These two high profile posts give the Dayton Republican significant input on both property taxes and state spending.

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LML Book & Bake Sale: The Liberty Municipal Library’s Annual Book and Bake Sale is March 27th & 28th during the Liberty Jubilee. For donation information, call 936-336-8901.

****************************************************Funerals: George Leroy “Bo” Stubbs, 81 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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

VOLUME 24 NO. 29, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2009

H-GAC: The Houston Galveston Area Council, charged by Governor Perry to advise on the distribution of some $814 million in hurricane disaster relief funds, is suggesting 83 % of those moneys go to Galveston and Harris counties. The remaining 17 %, or $139 million, would be placed in a pool where the other 11 counties, including Liberty and Chambers County which was so badly hit by Hurricane Ike, would have to apply for the funds. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said that is just a recommendation and the final distribution of funds are not yet determined. Using FEMA’s own numbers, a higher percentage of available housing was destroyed in Chambers County then in Galveston or Harris counties. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald and Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia are both expected to attend a meeting today where they are likely to object to the H-GAC’s recommendation for distribution.

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Holiday Inn: Last year we reported that owners of a small chain of motels would build a Holiday Inn Express Motel on US 90 in Liberty. We have learned plans for that motel will be submitted to the City of Liberty sometime next week for permit approval. The partners told us originally they hoped to start building in January. Obviously they are behind schedule. Expect an April or May start date. The Liberty Holiday Inn Express, will be a 73- unit motel in a three-story building.

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Liberty City Council: Liberty City Council Tuesday night approved a resolution ordering the redemption of the series 2003 general obligation refunding bonds. Those are the remaining bonds that financed the construction of the flood control levee project in 1995. Tuesday night’s action set the process in motion to pay off those bonds early, saving money for the city and freeing up that ½ cent sales tax for other capital improvement projects. .

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Col. McClelland Retires: After nearly 37 years of service to his country, Col. Mark McClelland of Liberty has retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Also known locally as the Liberty County Tax Assessor/Collector, Mark McClelland’s retirement from the military was effective February 1st.

***************************************************Funerals: Margaret Elizabeth Glover, 73 of Daisetta. Services 2 p.m. tomorrow at Central Baptist Church in Daisetta.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.76 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 28, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2009

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Dayton City Council: Dayton City Council Monday night held their first meeting in February. Council formally accepted the resignation of City Secretary Jenny Page, who will be taking a similar job in the growing city of Frisco. The population there is over 100,000 at present. Her last day in Dayton will be Feb. 20th. Council named City Manager David Douglas as the acting city secretary. Douglas said he’d simply have to wear two hats until a successor can be named.

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Green Shirts: The Green Shirts, formerly known as the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, will be in Liberty County to conduct an assessment of remaining residential damage caused by Hurricane Ike. The Liberty County Long-term Recovery Committee, working with the Montgomery County United Way, asked the Green Shirt volunteers to provide a detailed list of total repair needs and construction estimates for homes of the elderly and disabled in Liberty County. Elderly or disabled homeowners still struggling to repair property can call Paul Graham at 936 648 6281.

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Burn Ban: Liberty County Commissioners voted yesterday to lift the county wide burn ban. Residents are reminded that all legal open burning must be done according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality guidelines. At last report, the burn ban in Chambers County remains in place.

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Boil Water: Dayton residents are being advised to boil drinking water until further notice. Information is a 6 “ water line broke yesterday afternoon. Those living in the area of Ford Road south to Kimmie Brown Elementary on FM 1409 are asked to boil water before using it for drinking or cooking.

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Candidate Files: Former Liberty ISD School Board Member Frank Davis has filed to run in May. He is a former trustee but Mr. Davis resigned from the board a few years back due to conflicting responsibilities.

***************************************************Funerals: Larry Donell Haley, 58 of Dayton. Services 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Valley Baptist Church of Liberty. Johnny Robert Smith Sr., 67 of Hardin. Services tomorrow a 10 a.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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

VOLUME 24 NO. 27, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2009

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Auto/Ped Fatality: A Dayton man was struck by a van and killed Sunday evening shortly before 7 p.m. The accident occurred on FM 1960 just off 321 in front of the Dayton Town Center. Dead is Larry Donell Haley of Dayton, he was 58 years old. The victim was said to be crossing FM 1960 in what was described as dark clothing after dark. The driver of the vehicle that struck him, Liberty businesswoman, Sherry Birdwell, while obviously upset, was not injured. JP Glen Pruitt said police did not ask for an autopsy and, based on the evidence he agreed. Judge Pruitt said it was his opinion the police would not ask for charges. An eyewitness helped conclude it was unavoidable.

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Fatality Wreck: The Texas Department of Public Safety continues to investigate a fatality accident and fire that claimed one life Sunday evening. According to DPS reports, a pickup truck going west on highway 105 near 321 lightly clipped the drivers side of an eastbound SUV, then ran head on into an 18 wheel tractor trailer rig. DPS reports indicate the driver tentatively identified as Jose Faustino Nunez, of Willis, was trapped inside the burning vehicle.

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Eminent Domain: State Representative John Otto said a bill proposed this session of the Texas Legislature is designed to protect land owners in Texas. The legislation would not allow municipalities to use eminent domain for the purpose of economic development. A 2005 US Supreme Court ruling that a Connecticut town could condemn private property for the purpose of allowing another private entity to build a hotel and office building complex sparked the bill using economic development as the reason for the use of eminent domain.

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Dronet Case: Nearly 20 months after the shooting death of 47 –year-old Robert Dronet of Hardin, the murder case against his wife is still pending. Terry Leann Dronet, age 34 was charged with murder back in May 2007, after saying she shot her husband during an argument. She remains free on $25,000 bond.

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Funerals: Josie Tevis, 106 of Liberty. Private Rosary at Immaculate Conception Church in Liberty. Willie Ray Johnson, 71 of Hull. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Mount Calvary Baptist Church Marysee of Moss Hill.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.67 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 26, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2009

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Woman Found: A Dayton woman was missing for about 12 hours after she got lost on her four-wheeler along the Trinity River Saturday evening. After an all-night search by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department and several area volunteer fire departments, Teresa McCrory was located safely, although she was described as wet, muddy and clearly upset by the ordeal.

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Hardin Fire: A barn and some equipment were destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon on County Road 2830 just off Highway 146 near Hardin. According to reports, the landowner was working cattle and stopped for lunch, parking his truck in the barn. Upon hearing a loud popping noise, Galin Duty went back outside to find his barn on fire. Also destroyed were a 4x4 Mule and a Gator A.T.V. plus a riding lawnmower.

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Brotherhood Banquet: Time is drawing near for the 83rd Annual Brotherhood Banquet, Feb. 19 at First United Methodist Church of Liberty. It is the oldest, continuously held event of its kind in the country. This year’s speaker is Carl R. Griffith, who is both a former Jefferson County judge and sheriff. Tickets for the all-faith dinner are $8 and are available at the church office.

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Flu Season: Local physician Dr. Steven Ellerbe said the number of confirmed influenza cases in Liberty County is on the rise. He said one cause of concern is that some of these flu cases are occurring in those who have already had an influenza vaccine. State and national health officials have not yet determined if there is a flu-shot resistant strain in our area. However, Dr. Ellerbe said it is still a good idea to get a flu shot, especially for the very young, very old and those who have a chronic health problem that weaken their immunity.

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Tax Collection: Liberty County Tax Assessor/Collector Mark McClelland said his office sent out tax statements totaling about $60 million for all the entities his office works for in mid-November. As of Thursday, about 80.7 percent of the total had been paid. The tax official said that is comparable to past years.

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Burn Ban: A reminder – as drought conditions continue, Liberty and Chambers counties are among 160 Texas counties with outdoor burn bans in place until further notice.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.23 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 25, FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2009

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Truancy: The long term effect of truancy, or not attending school, can range from inability of that student to get a drivers license to a higher chance of ending up in the criminal justice system. Dayton ISD Superintendent Greg Hayman said they do everything possible to keep students in school, not only for the future of the student, but the district finances as well. Districts get state and federal funding based on the average daily attendance. Hayman said statistics show students who do not graduate from high school have a much higher risk of becoming involved in criminal activity.

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Houston Cougars: Two Liberty County seniors inked deals with the Houston Cougar Football program. Dayton’s all-purpose star A.J. Dugat is headed to U. of H. In addition, Cleveland high school senior Steven Robertson is going to “Cougar-land” this fall. The University of Houston football program focused heavily on recruiting top Houston area talent, and has high hopes for the two Liberty County gridiron stars.

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Paws Workshop: There will be a workshop held on Saturday March 7th at Devers United Methodist Church for those interested in joining – with their pets- “ Paws 4 Love”. Local chapter President Joanne Russell said the program offers a variety of services to area nursing homes, schools and hospitals. For information, call 549-7613 or 258-2261.

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Liberty Football: Recently, the Liberty Panthers football program honored its own at a banquet. Among those given special recognition, Andy Beene was presented the Ricky Robinson award for all around excellence. The heart award went to Jon Erick “Bubba” Zalesak. These and many other panthers were honored for their commitment, hard work and success.

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TSN On Line: News briefs of statewide interest from the Texas State News Network can now be found on our web page. Look for the “Lone Star News” box at www.kshn.com.

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Funerals: Jimmie Randile, 45 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. Douglas Jenkins Sr., 64 of Liberty. Services tomorrow 11 a.m. at Trinity Valley Baptist Church in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.23 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 24, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2009

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Woman pleads to Kidnapping: A Liberty woman, Gloria Verginia Jenkins, 48 was sentenced to 5 years after pleading guilty to kidnapping. According to Liberty Police Det. Kenneth Taylor, Mrs. Jenkins admitted to shoplifting, yet when she left the store she found her getaway driver had already fled. It was then police say, she told a 19 year old woman, she had a gun, and forced the woman to drive her and a male companion to a corner in Ames. Once there, Gloria Jenkins is said to have allowed the victim to drive away unharmed. Lt. Taylor said the Liberty woman pled guilty to kidnapping, but would not admit to actually having a gun.

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45 years for Assault: A Dayton man, Bennett Derwin Burrell was sentenced to 45 years in prison for attacking his then girlfriend, stabbing her several times. District Attorney Mike Little said Jessica Semien of Dayton, who had been living with Burrell, began to suspect Burrell was using drugs. The DA said she ordered the man out of the apartment where she lived with her two children. An argument broke out that ended with Burrell stabbing Ms. Semien multiple times.

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Community Advisory: Liberty City Manager Ron Wood said they are reinstating the Community Development Advisory Board and are looking for interested residents to serve on the committee. The board addresses economic development and quality of life issues with suggestions and ideas from the citizens to their elected city council. Anyone interested on serving on this board should contact City Secretary Dianne Tidwell. Her email address is dtidwell@cityofliberty.org or by mail, 1829 Sam Houston St. Liberty Texas 77575.

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Liberty Co. Profile: A profile of Liberty County provided by Workforce Solutions in Liberty shows a population increase of 9.9 % over a six year period. Numbers estimated by the Texas State Data Center show Liberty County’s population was 77,075 in 2006, up from the 2000 census.

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Funerals: Melvin Clinton Sears Jr., 82 of Dayton. Memorial service is Saturday at 2 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Robert Wayne Fore, Sr. 51. Memorial services Saturday 10 a.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.23 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 23, WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2009

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Bonds: After only 14 years on a 20 year note, the City of Liberty expects to be able to pay off the nearly $5 million in bond money that was used to build the levee project following the devastating 1994 flood in April of this year. City Council man and President of the Liberty Community Development Corporation Dennis Beasley said the bonds were refinanced in 2003 saving the city roughly a million in interest, now with the early pay off, even more savings will be realized.

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Ford Road: With an apology for those who have endured the inconvenience, Dayton City Manager David Douglas said the Ford Road project will be completed by March 18th. He said after about 18 months of driving around road crews and tractors, there was light at the end of the tunnel for residents of that area. The city of Dayton is expected to award a contract for the asphalt on Monday February 9th with David Douglas saying the contractor will be on site the morning of the 10th to start laying the overlay.

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Hospital: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said something definite about whether or not the plan to redo part of the old Wal-Mart to become a new hospital should be known within 60 to 90 days. According to the agreement reached with the county, the Liberty County Hospital District, and the TI Group, the county would fund the renovation, with the cost being repaid through a lease with the hospital district, and a sublease with the owners of the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital.

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TPWD Public Meetings: The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will hold 46 public meetings across Texas to explain proposed changes to the state’s hunting and fishing regulations. In our listening area, there is a public meeting February 18th at the Port Arthur Public Library. Another is March 3rd at the Hardin County Courthouse. Then, wildlife officials will be in Liberty on March 5th at the Liberty Municipal Library. All three meetings start at 7 p.m.

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Funerals: Marie “Dot” Sandles, 76 of Dayton. Services 11 a.m. today at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton. Devin Ronald McFall, 49 of Dayton. Services tomorrow a 4 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Service in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.22 ASL*

VOLUME 24 NO. 22, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2009

LISD Education Foundation: Formed in the spring of 2007, the Liberty Independent School District Education Foundation is designed to help students through helping the teachers. Teachers with LISD can apply to the foundation for grant funds for special projects in their field of teaching that go above and beyond the traditional class room experience, yet can not be funded by the district’s annual budget. Last year, the foundation approved several grants including one to plant a garden at the elementary school and another for a mobile science lab. Board President for the foundation Leslie Herndon said currently there are in what is called a “Founders Drive” and every dollar raised locally will be matched by the “Miles Foundation”. For information call Leslie Herndon at 257 1390 or Margaret Gardzina at 336 7213.

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Ag Meeting: Farmers in Liberty and Chambers Counties are among those who may qualify for 80 % reimbursement on the cost to replace qualifying older diesel or gasoline powered farm implements with newer more efficient ones. A workshop to explain the state program, called “TARP” will be held February 9th at 2:30 p.m. at the East Montgomery County Improvement District Complex on Hwy. 59 in New Caney. For information, call 1-800-919-8377 or go to www.tdagrants.org.

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WWJH Book Fair: The Woodrow Wilson Jr. High’s annual half price book fair starts Monday February 9th and continues through February 17th. Librarian Cathy Harbour says the middle schools library theme this year is “Lights, Camera, Action, Read”. There will be books on sale for all ages, from pre-school through adult. For information 258 2309.

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Banquet Sponsors: The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has spots available for sponsorships for the upcoming Awards Banquet. The event is Tuesday February 24th at the Dayton High School. For information on sponsorships or tickets to the banquet, call the chamber office at 936 336 5736.

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FEMA: There will be a public meeting this evening at 7 PM at Daisetta City Hall. Open to all Liberty County residents, the meeting is about dealing with FEMA about Hurricane Ike assistance. Call 936 536 6761.

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Funeral Pending: Jimmy Randall, 45 of Liberty.

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

VOLUME 24 NO. 21, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2009

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Liberty County: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said the biggest challenge he expects to deal with is one that is already being addressed, the economy. He said the first signs of the country’s troubled financial times are only now being felt locally, and county officials are watching the situation closely. Judge Fitzgerald also credited the officials in office before his term for keeping the county on solid financial ground.

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Hartel Update/ Blood Drive: An update from family members reports the very popular Jack Hartel had some difficulty late Thursday but has again stabilized. The brain bleed that caused emergency surgery last week is doing well. Tomorrow, Life Share Blood Center will hold a blood drive in honor of the retired Liberty County attorney from 2-7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Liberty. Jack Hartel has had transfusions since he was hurt. Your gift of life will not only help Jack, but also others. For information, call Dorothy Nettles at 298 2689.

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Plane Crash: A Thursday afternoon airplane crash in Chambers Co. claimed the lives of three Chambers County men. Dead are the plane’s owner and pilot, 76-year-old Bill Cox of Beach City, plus 76-year-old Charles Blasingame of Beach City and 37-year-old Paul Mitchell of Mont Belvieu. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

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Suspect Caught: A Liberty man has been arrested in connection with the January 19 burglaries of Hardin Grocery and the Country Discount Grocery in Hardin. Liberty County Sheriffs Cpl. Hugh Bishop said a juvenile has also been taken into custody and a third arrest is expected. According to sheriff’s reports, a witness to the Hardin Grocery burglary saw a suspect fleeing the scene. The witness description and ensuing investigation led authorities to multiple suspects. Now, 32-year-old Christopher Lee Keaton of Liberty has been been arrested for burglary of a building. Cpl. Bishop says Chris Keaton is no stranger to Liberty County law enforcement.

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Funerals: Jimmie Lee Sisco, 62 of Liberty. Graveside services are at 3 p.m. today at Hardin Chapel Cemetery. James I. Barnett, 81 of Crosby. Services 2 p.m. Thursday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.13 ASL*

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