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December 2011

VOLUME 26, NO. 247 FRIDAY, DEC. 30, 2011

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New Chamber Directors: The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce full membership recently voted on the new chamber board members that will begin their three year term starting January 23. New directors representing Dayton are Donna Brown, Alma Lopez, Tami Pierce and Bryan Reynolds. Elected to represent the Liberty area were Howard W. Brister Mike Jerome, Rachel Odell, and Denise May.  For the executive board, Sherry Mettlen moves up to Chairman of the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Alan D. Conner moves to Past Chairman. Jeff Lambright is the New Vice Chairman of the Board and Adam Ott is the new Secretary Treasurer of the organization.

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Tree Disposal: It’s about time to get rid of this year’s Christmas tree. In Cleveland, Dayton and Liberty, Waste Management will pick up your Christmas trees for disposal on customers’ regular residential trash day. Trees longer than four feet should be cut so as to fit in the waste management trucks. Cleveland residents also have the option of taking their trees to the city’s debris site at the east sewer plant on Hwy 321 at New Salem Road.

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Grief: Starting on January 10, Hospice Social worker Patti Savage and her husband, Hospice Chaplain Pat Savage will begin a 6 week series of instructional programs on working through grief.  Patti Savage said it is not a support group but a training program to teach the tools for coping with the loss of a loved one. Call Patti Savage at 832 434 3232 for info.

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Liberty Community Garden: Local Master Gardeners Al and Nancy Brandli said while there are many 4 x 8 spaces already in use at the Liberty community garden, there are still some available for your own garden, for flowers or veggies. The Liberty Community Garden is on the grounds of the old San Jacinto school in Liberty at San Jacinto and Texas St. Call 334-3230 for information.

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Obituaries: Correction: William Arthur Nason, 87 of Liberty. A memorial service is set for Saturday January 7 at 11 a.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. Joe Nelson, Jr. 75 of Smith Point.  Services will be tomorrow at 11 a.m. at 1st Baptist Church of Anahuac.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.11 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 246 THURSDAY, DEC. 29, 2011

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Deputy Constable: Information from Precinct #2 Constable Les Hulsey’s office is that Liberty County Deputy Constable, Dwayne Marcolesco is doing fine at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. Marcolesco reportedly has no broken bones, just some scrapes and abrasions as a result of the Tuesday afternoon wreck. DPS Corporal Rob Willoughby is lead investigator on the accident. The veteran trooper said this investigation centers around whether Deputy Constable Dwayne Marcolesco was in emergency mode with his patrol car, emergency lights in operation when he made the U-turn.

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Tax Deadline: The deadline on paying taxes is about 30 days away, and according to Interim Tax Collector Ricky Brown, there are more ways to pay those property taxes.  He said you can pay on line or in person using credit or debit cards, and there are new computer stations available in the lobby area of the tax office where you can pay with out having to wait for the line to a clerk to clear out. Of course, mailing in you tax payment is always acceptable according to Ricky Brown.  The deadline to pay 2011 property taxes is January 31, 2012. After that penalties and interest accrue on any unpaid balances.

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Livestock Extravaganza: The Texas AgriLife Extension Service is sponsoring the 2012 Southeast Texas Livestock Extravagance January 7 at the Winnie Stowell Park in Winnie. There will be a wealth of information available for those involved in youth livestock exhibitions and those interested in getting started. A catered lunch will be provided. Cost is $15 per person and the registration deadline is Tuesday. To register call the Liberty County office at 334-3230.

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Solid Gold Sunday: The very popular oldies specialty program aired between 6 and 9 p.m. every Sunday here at KSHN radio, Solid Gold Sunday, aired for the final time last week.  Its creator and host, Andy Waldrop is pursuing an opportunity in Kansas. He said making the move to Kansas was a tough decision and he will miss his many friends and loyal listeners here.

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Obituaries: William Arthur Nason, 87 of Liberty. A memorial service is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.  

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.24 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 245 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 28, 2011

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Constable Hurt: Liberty County Deputy Constable Dwayne Marcolesco was taken by Life Flight air ambulance to Memorial  Hermann Hospital in Houston following a two vehicle accident yesterday afternoon. It was just after 3 p.m. when the deputy constable’s car was struck, in what is commonly referred to as a “T-Bone” on the passenger side. One witness to the accident said the Deputy made a sudden U turn and was struck by the on coming SUV.  The family in the Jeep SUV are said to have refused medical treatment. The accident is being investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

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Liberty City Council: In a joint noon meeting with the Liberty Community Development Corporation board, Liberty City Council members yesterday approved the purchase of a small track of land on the southeast side of the Liberty Municipal Airport for a cost of $20,000.  Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett said this is one of four pieces of property in that area the city has wanted to buy for some time. In addition, council approved City Manager Gary Broz and another city employee to travel to Colorado to inspect, and possibly buy, a set of fuel tanks for both general aviation and jet fuel for the Liberty Municipal Airport. Mayor Carl Pickett said the used fuel farm is on a regional airport near Telluride Colorado and would cost $30,000 plus the expense of moving it to Liberty. Mayor Pickett said new, such a fuel farm as they are called, could cost around $200,000.

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Closed For New Years: New Year’s Day falls on Sunday this year, and government offices will be closed the following Monday for the holiday.  The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will be closed Monday. Most Banks and all post offices will be closed Monday, garbage service will however, run as scheduled in all three cities over the weekend.

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Obituaries: P.D. Hankamer, 70 of Hankamer. Services 2 p.m. Thursday at 1st United Methodist Church of Anahuac. Mary Jean Jackson Abshier, 83 of Anahuac. Services 10 a.m. Today at 1st United Methodist Church of Anahuac. Maxine Youngblood, 79, formerly of Liberty. Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cooke Cemetery in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.48 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 244 TUESDAY, DEC. 27, 2011

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Post Holiday Shopping: Local retailers report brisk sales that started prior to Christmas, are continuing in the post holiday sales period. At the Liberty Sears, Manager Jim McGowan said on Monday, traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, they had a busy day with new purchases, not only the expected returns and exchanges of holiday gifts.  Refunds and exchange policies vary among the various retailers we spoke with, but most say they are willing to work with the customer to ensure a satisfactory outcome.

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Weekend News: Here are some of the stories we reported over the holiday weekend. We reported the arrest last Friday of 24 year old Cody Fatheree by Liberty Police after he led officers on a chase by vehicle and on foot before a taser was used to subdue him. In other news over the weekend, Hardin athletic Director and Head Football Coach Larry Haynes is one of the twelve educators who accepted that school district’s financial incentive for an early resignation at the end of this school year. We reported Hardin ISD had offered that incentive to help offset a budget deficit estimated between $800,000 and $900,000.

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Meningitis Vaccine: A new state law requires Texas college students to have a bacterial meningitis vaccine or booster to enroll in classes starting this spring. As of January 2012, students entering public, private or independent institutions of higher learning must provide documentation that they have received the vaccine or booster during the past five-year period. However, that booster must take place at least 10 days before the first day of classes. There are exemptions including students age 30 or older, those who cannot take the vaccine for medical reasons or reasons of conscience, including religious belief, and those who are taking on-line courses only.

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Holiday Bowl: The University of Texas Longhorns take on the California Golden Bears in the annual Holiday Bowl Wednesday night. You can listen to the game live from San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium starting with the pre-game at 6 p.m. tomorrow on KSHN FM. Kick off is at 7 p.m.

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Obituaries: Mrs. P.D. Hankamer, of Hankamer. Funeral services pending at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.67 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 243 FRIDAY, DEC. 23, 2011

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Merry Christmas!

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EMS Service: Liberty County Emergency Medical Services has taken the first step toward creating what will be a program designed to lower the cost of ambulance service to county residents. Liberty County EMS Director Mike Koen said it’s a membership program for families who opt to pay an annual fee of $75 plus those with Medicare or private insurance. In return, those individuals and families would be offered a number of ambulance transports at no charge for participating in that membership program. Liberty County Commissioners unanimously voiced their support for the idea during Tuesday’s final meeting of the year.

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Fire Safety: It’s still a couple of days until Christmas, but now is the time to remember basics of holiday tree safety. Too often, holiday decorating leads to tragedy. With that in mind, Liberty Fire Department officials recommend keeping live trees in water at all times. Check needles regularly to make sure they do not fall off easily, and don’t leave live trees up longer than two weeks. The fire department also warns against overloading electrical outlets. Also, use only non-flammable decorations placed safely away from heating vents. Never leave lit candles unattended, and certainly, don’t use candles on a Christmas tree.

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Bird Count: The annual Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge’s bird count is this coming Tuesday. Refuge Manager Stuart Marcus said those participating will meet Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the Valero Gas Station on S.H. 321 at the intersection of S.H. 105. Mr. Marcus recommends bringing lunch and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. After the outing, there will be a countdown dinner starting around 5 p.m. at the Plantation Restaurant on Highway 321 near Cleveland.

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Live Nativity: Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this Sunday. To commemorate this historical event, First United Methodist Church of Liberty will be holding its annual live nativity tomorrow evening from 5:30 to 7:30. That’s in the courtyard of the church facing Main Street. Also tomorrow on Christmas Eve, the Methodist congregation will host a communion service starting at 6 p.m.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.08 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 242 THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 2011

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New State Rep. Candidate: A Cleveland man, Dwayne Stovall has signed up as a Republican to run against incumbent District 18 State Representative John Otto.  In another race of interest, Senator Robert Nichols, the Republican incumbent of Texas Senate District #3 has also drawn an opponent from his own party. Candidate Tammy Blair of Bullard Texas is running against Senator Nichols for election. We have reported the latest redistricting map places Liberty County in district #3 but that is not definite until the 2013 legislative session begins.

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Find Santa: It’s been a while since anyone at KSHN radio can remember a jackpot in the Find Santa game that went over $200, but the pot ran all the way up to $280 before Maggie Allmand of Dayton found the Jolly Ol Elf shopping at Potetz Home Center in Liberty. Our Find Santa game continues through Friday.

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Holiday Fun: Now would be a great time to go to the Liberty Municipal Library and check out the book “Holiday Crafting and Baking” full of ideas for holiday treats for your holiday season.  Library Director Dana Abshire said the book has a number of kid friendly crafts and its’ a way to bring the family together. 

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Christmas Closings: Since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday this year, the county and municipal offices are following an unusual holiday schedule.  The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will be closed tomorrow and again on Monday for the holiday. All banks and post offices will be closed on Monday Dec. 26th only. Garbage service will run as scheduled over the weekend.

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Chambers County: There are several candidates in Chambers County who have no opposition in the upcoming election. Brian Hawthorne is the lone candidate for county sheriff in either party. The same is true for Dennis Hutter. She has filed for Chambers County Tax Collector. Butch Bean Incumbent Constable Precinct #4 is running without opposition. Both Commissioner Precinct #3 Gary Nelson and DA Cheryl Lieck also will run with no opponent on either side of the ticket.

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Obituaries: Wilbur Edwards, 86 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Trinity Baptist Church in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.68 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 241 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 2011

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Lengthy Prison Sentence: Ashley Burrell of Houston has been found guilty of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 74 years in prison by a jury in Judge Mark Morefield’s 75th District Courtroom. Liberty County District Attorney Mike Little said the 22-year-old was convicted for a robbery at the Cleveland Subway restaurant back in January of this year. The punishment range for that crime is 5 to 99 years. According to court testimony, Burrell has been convicted of four misdemeanors and five felonies since turning 17. Ashley Burrell was on parole at the time of the January armed robbery of that Cleveland eatery.

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Holiday Closings: Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, the county and local municipal offices are following an unusual holiday schedule. The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will be closed both this Friday and again on Monday. All banks and post offices will be closed on Monday only. Garbage service will run as scheduled over the weekend.

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Refuge Dedication: Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge’s new headquarters building will not be complete this month as planned. However, refuge Manager Stuart Marcus said they’ll still hold a dedication ceremony in January. That $1 million project includes a 3,200-square-foot administrative building plus an adjacent storage/maintenance facility on FM 1011. While the headquarters is not expected to be complete until February, Mr. Marcus said the storage building should be finished soon. The public is invited to that dedication on January 4 at 11 a.m.

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Helipad: Dayton City Council Monday night gave their approval for City Manager David Douglas to continue working with Dayton Rotary Club on the possible construction of a new helipad near the new community center. Rotarian Ken DeFoor, who is chairing the club project, said everything is still in a preliminary planning stage, but a very rough estimate places the helipad’s cost at $30,000. Mr. DeFoor said those funds would be raised through donations and Rotary fund raisers. Council’s authorization to proceed is the first step in the process.

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Obituaries: Patricia “Pat” O’Neal, 67, of Dayton. Service is 2 p.m. Thursday in Grace Community Baptist Church of Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.41 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 240 TUESDAY, DEC. 20, 2011

Candidate Filing Ends: Monday marked the end of the candidate filing period for the 2012 party primary elections. As reported, the election date has been moved to April 3rd. Juan Alfaro, signed up on Monday as a Republican candidate for the office of Precinct #2 constable. Also signing up on the Republican ticket was Will Cox of Cleveland. He is running for Liberty County sheriff.

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Recycling: At their meeting last Tuesday night, Liberty City Council members heard a proposal from Waste Management that would add curbside recycling to the city’s garbage service. Terri Woodson with Waste Management presented four different plans to consider. Each would add regular recycling pick up to the city’s solid waste disposal service. Terri Woodson explained there are now very few materials that cannot be recycled.  Liberty council members agreed to put a recycling plan on hold for now, with more discussions to come.

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Hardin: Facing an 8-to-$900,000 budget deficit, Hardin ISD offered a $5,000 resignation incentive to the district’s teachers. Hardin School Superintendent Bob Parker said 12 educators have taken advantage of that incentive. He added, it’s still too early to tell how much the district will save from those 12 resignations effective at the end of this school year.

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Advent Service: St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty will hold a special advent taize service tomorrow evening.  Advent is observed in many Christian churches as a time of prayer and preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Rev. Ted Smith said it’s a quiet candlelight service, and if you need a break from the craziness of the holiday season, then join his congregation for this peaceful and relaxing worship experience. The service will be at 7 p.m. at the church on Trinity Street in Liberty. That’s just off Main Street behind Prosperity bank.

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Obituaries: Roger Dale Simons Sr., 62 of Huffman. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Kyle James Folk, 26 of Orangefield. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. Ollie L. Sivils, 87 of Hull. Services today at 10 a.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. Dr. Nylds Hinch, 73 of Liberty. Services 1 p.m. today at First Baptist Church in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.18 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 239 MONDAY, DEC. 19, 2011

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Election Dates: The 2012 Democrat and Republican primary elections have been moved back to April 3. According to State Rep. John Otto of Dayton, party officials made that decision Friday morning. It’s hoped the election day move from March 6 to April 3 provides more time for courts to work out Texas redistricting. The deadline for candidates filing to be on the ballot in either of those party primaries is today at 6 p.m.

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Employment Up: The employment rate continues to show improvement locally, statewide and nationally. The national jobless rate improved from 9.0 percent in October to 8.6 percent in November. That’s the latest reporting period for employment data. The statewide unemployment rate also dipped from 8.4 percent in October to 8.1 percent for November. Texas Workforce Commission reports the unemployment rate for Liberty County is 10.0 percent. That is a slight improvement, down from 10.1 percent in October. Turning to Chambers County, the unemployment rate there for November was 8.6 percent, an improvement from 9.2 percent the previous month.  

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Winfree Street: A totally rebuilt section of Winfree Street in Dayton, between FM 1008 and Waring Street, was reopened Friday afternoon. That project started back in July. The city replaced storm sewers, water lines plus sewer lines and then repaved the road’s surface. Dayton City Manager David Douglas said city workers completed the project, which saved the city both money and time. He said that project cost about $535,000, a savings of $235,000 over the lowest outside bid.  

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Angel Tree: The Liberty Fire Department continues its Angel Tree Toy Drive. With the help of the community, they are collecting new toys and other gifts for kids living in the City of Liberty. It’s simple – just stop by the fire department on Lakeland Drive and select and angel off the tree. On each angel is the age and wish list of a child. The deadline for dropping off new, unwrapped toys is tomorrow. Then, those gifts will be delivered by Santa Claus and Liberty fireman on Wednesday. 

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Obituaries: Nylds Hinch, 73, of Liberty. Services pending Pace-Stancil - Dayton. Michael Anthony Vaclavik, 50, of Devers. Funeral service is 10 a.m. Tuesday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.16 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 238 FRIDAY, DEC. 16, 2011

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Soldier Surprise: Christmas came early for a kindergarten student at Stephen F. Austin Elementary in Dayton. Five year old Kaylee Patchett got her best gift yesterday morning, when during a school assembly, her father Army Staff Sergeant Chris Patchett surprised her with an unannounced return from overseas for a holiday reunion. The two have not seen each other since May. In the last 2 years of his service, Staff Sgt. Chris Patchett has served in Afghanistan and Germany.  Kaylee is the daughter of Chris Patchett and Dayton resident Nikki Bishop.

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Another Filing: Another candidate has made it official filing paperwork to run in the democrat primary election in Liberty County.  County Party Chair Nancy Archer said Kenneth Gray will run for Precinct #5 Constable. He has no democrat opponents at this time. The deadline for candidates to file has been extended through 6 p.m. on Monday. The offices on the primary ballot include district attorney, county attorney, county tax collector and county sheriff.  Commissioners for precincts’ #1 and #3 are also up for election as are all six county constables plus the unexpired time remain on Bobby Rader’s term as JP #1.

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Singing Cadets: The fabulous Texas A & M University Singing Cadets will be in Liberty County not once, but twice in January. The Aggie Singing Cadets will be on tour in early January through South East Texas. The first stop in Liberty County will be January 6th at the Cleveland Civic Center.  Tickets are $10 with kids under 10 free. Just a few days later on January 14th, as their tour continues, the cadets will be in the City of Liberty for a performance at Liberty ISD’s 707 seat auditorium on the grounds of San Jacinto Elementary school. Get your tickets early; the Singing Cadets nearly always play to a packed house. In Cleveland they are on sale at the civic center and here in Liberty tickets are available from any member of the A & M Mothers club or call Shelli Ellerbe at 334-2874. Liberty tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students.

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Sing A Long: Tomorrow night is the annual Christmas Sing A Long at the First Baptist Church in Liberty.  Bring your music, your voices and your Christmas spirit to join in with Handel’s Messiah. Dress is casual, the setting is informal.  Everyone is invited to sing a long tomorrow night starting at 7 p.m.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.36 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 237 THURSDAY, DEC. 15, 2011

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Commissioners: Tuesday, commissioners approved the lease of a 24 X 60 building that will be set up on the site of the precinct 2 barn in Hardin.  According to Commissioner Charlotte Warner it will house the JP #3 office that is currently in the Hardin City Hall.  The temporary building lease is $865 per month, plus some $4,000 delivery and set up fee. Currently the county is paying $1200 per month with includes electricity.

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Dayton School Board: The Dayton School Board held their last meeting before the Christmas Holidays Tuesday night. The board approved an upgrade of the Stephen F. Austin Gymnasium for $88,000.  Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said the board had set the renovation as a capitol improvement project during budget deliberation this summer.

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North Winfree Ribbon Cutting: The City of Dayton is planning a ribbon cutting for the public tomorrow.  The Dayton Chamber of Commerce and the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a joint ribbon cutting for the new and improved Winfree St. It will be at 2 p.m. Friday on the corner of North Winfree and Kay St., just north of Clayton on 10-08.

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Liberty School Board: On Tuesday, Liberty ISD Trustees approved a list of facilities projects for completion using the recently board-approved bond funds plus monies from the district’s fund balance. Among the projects approved is renovation of the Liberty High School science wing, a new gymnasium at Liberty Elementary School. Other money will fund renovations to L.E.S.  including a new fire alarm and public address system. Memorial Stadium’s parking lot will be repaired among other projects.

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City of Liberty: LibertyCity Council’s meeting Tuesday was dominated by discussion of various financial issues.  Council decided to take no action on an ordinance allowing what are called goods in transit to be taxed as tangible personal property.  The ordinance would apply to goods warehoused within the city limits. The Texas Legislature has passed on the decision of taxing such merchandise to individual cities. Information from the Central Appraisal District indicates there is no one within the city limits who would be affected by such a tax anyway.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.30 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 236 WEDNESDAY, DEC. 14, 2011

FILING DEADLINE: Tuesday afternoon both democrats and republicans agreed to change the filing deadline to December 19th. The primary election day could also change.  

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Commissioners: Commissioners voted 3 – 2 yesterday to hire the Dayton Law Firm of Fielder and Gunter as the county’s delinquent tax collection firm. Two other firms also presented proposals to the county, Linebarger, Goggin, Blair and Sampson, and Perdue Brandon Firms – both with offices in Houston. In the proposals, Fielder offered a flat fee of 15% of collected delinquent taxes, while the other two firms listed the standard 15 % for accounts from 2000 and older, with a fee of 20% for those dating from 2001 forward. Also on the proposals, the firm of Perdue Brandon offered to reimburse the county up to $30,000 for an employee to work in the tax office, up to $10,000 in computer upgrades, and up to two part time employees during peak tax time at the tax office. Linebarger also offered additional staffing assistance but did not go into detail in their proposal.  County Judge Craig McNair, who made the motion to select Fielder and Gunter, and Commissioners Norman Brown and Charlotte Warner voted for the Dayton firm. Commissioners Todd Fontenot and Melvin Hunt voted no.

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New GOP Candidate: Republican Party Chair Ken Coleman said Debbie Glenn, of Dayton, has filed to run for the GOP nomination for the office of Liberty County Tax Collector. Ricky Brown, is also running for a full term also as a republican.

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Find Santa: KSHN had our first “Find Santa” winner yesterday when Karen Dunn of Anahuac found Jolly Ole Saint Nick shopping at Liberty County Tack.  She was the winner of $85 in Christmas cash.  Find Santa runs through Friday December 23.

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Democrat Party Chair: Liberty County Democrat Party Chair Nancy Archer announced yesterday she will not be a candidate for a new term in the upcoming democrat primary election.  So far, no one has filed to run for that job.

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Obituaries: Betty Jane Grissom, 67 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. First United Methodist Church in Liberty. Walter Harold Hughes, 68 of Votaw. Services today at 2 p.m. in Votaw Worship Center.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.26 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 235 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2011

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More GOP: Another has filed to run in the March 6th Liberty County Republican party primary election.  Bobby K. Lum is the fourth to enter the GOP primary race for precinct #3 County Commissioner.  He joins Chance Ward, Eddie C. Lowery and David Whitmire in seeking their party’s nomination for that Cleveland area county commissioner precinct. Longtime Democratic Incumbent Melvin Hunt is running for a new term, but so far has no opposition from his own party. The filing period for primary election candidates ends at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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Sales Taxes: Sales tax payments to cities across Liberty County are up 14.56 % for the month of December. For 2011, payments countywide ended the calendar year up a total of 10.31 % with seven of the 10 incorporated cities in Liberty County posting gains. As a reminder, for these monthly reports, sales taxes collected by retailers back in October go to the state in November and then arrive back with each city’s share in December. So, this reflects two month old sales totals but it is the final payment for the 2011 calendar year.

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Local M.R.I.: A new diagnostic imaging service is being offered by the Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center.  Hospital Radiology Manager Amanda Thornton said the local facility is now offering, one day a week, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, best known as M.R.I. tests.  Amanda Thornton said the machine is far too expensive for a small town hospital to purchase, especially as high a quality piece of equipment as they will be using, so they will truck one in weekly on Sunday for use on the following Monday.  However, if that one day turns out not to be enough, they will add a second day to offer the service.

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Nugent Trial: A trial date has been set for Gerald Nugent, charged with murder and with inflicting injuries to his then infant daughter, Brooke Glyn Nugent, that lead to her death some two year later.  The trial is set to begin Monday January 9th, 2012. The little girl’s mother, Martina Sellers - 29, is also charged with murder but no trial date has been set for her.  Both parents have been free on bond awaiting trail.

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Obituaries: Randy Kyle Rose, 45 of Daisetta. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Faith and Family Funeral Service.

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

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 234 MONDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2011

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More Candidate Filings: Late Friday the GOP race for JP # 1 picked up a fourth candidate in Roy D. House.  He joins Darla Smith Diaz, Lawrence Wagnon and John Wayne Wilson in the crowded field. Incumbent JP #1 Bobby Rader resigned in order to seek the Republican nomination for Sheriff. Runoffs in that race and three other GOP contests are possible. So far 3 candiates—Incumbent Chad Pafford, Robby Thornton and Leroy Hanel are running for Constable #4.  In the Constable #3 race, Incumbent Danny Frankum faces Tommy Koen and Darrell Elliott. Another runoff is possible in Pct. 3 Commissioner where Chance Ward, Eddie Lowery and David Whitmire have all filed. The filing deadline for the March 6 primaries is 6pm Thursday.

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Fourth Juvenile Pleads in Cleveland Rape: Asst. County Attorney Karen McNair confirmed a fourth juvenile boy entered a guilty plea in the alleged gang rape of an 11 year old Cleveland girl last year. The 16 year old youth pled guilty late Friday in a hearing before County Court-at-Law Judge Tommy Chambers. Two more underage boys are yet to be dealt with in the court system.  Isaiah Ross, one of 14 adults charged, pled guilty on Dec. 5th before 75th District Judge Mark Morefield.

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Otto Sells Practice:  In a major business development, two well known CPA firms are merging. Dayton CPA John Otto has sold or merged his firm with what had previously been Swaim Hanagriff & Associates.  The firm is now known as Swaim-Brents & Associates.  Effective Jan. 1, Otto’s Dayton office will become part of the new firm. Tanya Rich, CPA, who has been associated with Otto for the past 3 years, will operate the Swaim-Brents office in Dayton. The principal partners in the new firm are Byron Swaim and Lee Ann Brents.

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Imaging Services: Imaging services are expanding at Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital. Ultra sound imaging tests is now available to 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. Also a new service is added – obstetric ultra sound for pregnant mothers was not previously offered at the regional medical center.

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Obituaries: James Edward “Bubba” Crouthers, 78 of Liberty. Services today at 2 p.m. at Wilderness Church of God in Liberty.  

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.92 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 233 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011

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Police Warning: Liberty Police are warning about what they call an emerging dangerous trend among teenagers, soaking the popular “Gummy Bear” candy in vodka and then eating that concoction. Officer Josh Cummins said the danger is there’s no way to know just how much alcohol is being ingested. Liberty Police warn that can result in alcohol poisoning, a serious medical condition that can be fatal.  For information on this or other teenage related issues, contact Officer Jennifer Bowles with the Liberty Police Department at (936) 336-5666.

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Dictionaries: For nine years now, the Liberty Rotary Club has been providing dictionaries to every student in the third grade at Liberty ISD.  Just yesterday the club handed out 192 dictionaries and within the next few days will expand the program to include, for the first time, seventh grade students, as well as ESL dictionaries to LISD students and to adult classes as well learning English as a second language.  Diane Huddleston who chairs the annual dictionary project said including this year’s donations, they should be right at 2,000 dictionaries given away.

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Valley Players: The Valley Players, “I’ll be Cloned for Christmas”will be on stage tonight and tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. and again Sunday at 2 p.m. Call 336-6699 for reservations.

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Tree Ornament: A Dayton artist’s decorated ornament is now hanging on the official Christmas tree at the state capitol in Austin. Each year, members of the Texas House of Representatives are asked to provide a decorated ornament that best represents their district.  This year, Rep. John Otto of Dayton selected fellow Dayton resident Janice Bodenhamer to design and paint an ornament for District 18. Her dual-sided ornament depicts the City of Liberty’s exact replica of the Liberty Bell. The other side of the ornament identifies District 18 represented by John Otto.

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Obituaries: Frank Allen Thomas, 76 of Moss Hill. Services tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Moss Hill. James D. Boutin, Sr., 75 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Pace-Stancil in Dayton. William Morgan Brocco, 34 of Liberty. Services today at 2 p.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.  

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.93 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 232 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2011

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Drought: KSHN monitors the official records for the U.S. Weather Service for South Liberty County. Despite the recent rains, we are seeing historically low rainfall this year. In fact, the dry spell goes back into 2010, when we ended the year 15.68 inches below normal.  The National Weather Service reports the average rainfall for Liberty from January through November is 56”. However, so far this year alone during that time period, we are down more than 60 % for a normal year. In fact, to avoid setting a new annual record low, it would take another 6.01 inches of rain during the next three weeks. So, when you take the past 23 months into account, we are now a staggering 49.93 inches behind the normal rainfall total for that period.

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Proposed Rate Increase: The proposed 22% rate increase for customers of Entergy Power Company has the city managers of both Dayton and Liberty voicing their objections.  Dayton City Manager David Douglas said he thought the timing for asking for such an increase was just wrong and he would ask Dayton City Council’s approval to object to the proposed rate increase to the Texas Public Utilities Commission.  While all of Dayton is served by Entergy Power Company, small sections of Liberty are also served by Entergy. Liberty City Manager Gary Broz said he also did not think now was the time, and would also request from his own council their approval for going on record as being in opposition to the proposed rate increase.

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Shipping Holiday Deadlines: If you want to be sure holiday packages arrive by Christmas day, sent priority mail to most military addresses worldwide, that deadline is December 10th. That’s also the deadline to get cards and letters to there military destinations by Christmas. Express mail delivery by Christmas is also available to selected military post offices all the way through December 17th. The Express mail deadline for holiday packages and letters to non-military destinations in Africa, Central America or South America is also Dec. 10th. Those sending Priority mail packages to Canada, the Caribbean, Europe or the Middle East have until Dec. 12 to mail those.

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Obituaries: Kandice Michelle Strokos, infant. Remembrance service Friday 1 p.m. at New Life Assembly of God Church in Batson. Benito Flores, 59 of Anahuac. Services were yesterday.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,200 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.99 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 231 WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2011

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Guilty Plea: One of those 14 adult suspects in the Cleveland gang rape case entered a guilty plea late Monday. Isaiah Rashad Ross pled guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child before 75th District Court Judge Mark Morefield. That is a lesser charge than the original indictment of sexual abuse of a child continuous with a victim under the age of 14. That original charge carried a possible sentence of life in prison. Judge Morefield said Monday’s plea deal to the lesser charge involves a potential 15-year sentence and requires the defendant’s assistance in the investigation and his truthful testimony against the others charged in this case. Isaiah Ross is scheduled for sentencing on February 6, 2012.

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Angel Tree Toy Drive:  The Liberty Fire Department has taken on a project to benefit local children. The department is holding an Angel Tree Toy Drive and, with the help of the community, are collecting new toys and other gifts for kids living in the City of Liberty. It’s simple, stop by the Liberty Fire Department on Lakeland Drive and pick out an angel hung on their tree. Each angel has the age and wish list of a child. Once you found that perfect gift for your angel, return the unwrapped present to the fire department before December 20. The gifts will be delivered to Liberty kids by Santa Claus and Liberty fireman on Dec. 21.

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More Candidates File: Two candidates filed yesterday to runforLiberty County Commissioner Precinct #1. Incumbent Democrat Todd Fontenot will seek a fourth term in the March 6 Democrat Primary Election. Also, yesterday Mike McCarty filed to run as a republican for Precinct #1 Commissioner. McCarty will have at least one opponent in the primary. Herbert Oreschnigg is also a Republican candidate for Precinct #1 Liberty County Commissioner. The candidate filing period continues through Thursday, December 15.        

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Burn Ban Lifted: Both Liberty and Chambers Counties have lifted their burn bans.  Chambers County lifted theirs a few days ago, while Liberty County Judge Craig McNair only lifted the Liberty County ban yesterday.  Recent rains have lowered the drought index sufficiently to again allow outdoor burning. Remember, you are responsible if your fire gets out of control and damages other people’s property.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,200 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.98 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 230 TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2011

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Suspects in Court: Yesterday, 75th District Judge Mark Morefield rescheduled 13 out of 14 of the adults charged in the alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old Cleveland child to appear back in his courtroom on January 5. He told defendants and their attorneys that he plans to begin setting trial dates at that time. The other adult was set for this Friday’s docket, at which time he will likely be set to appear on January 5, too.  Those 14 adult suspects are Jared Cruse, Isaiah Ross, Timothy Ellis, Rayford Ellis, Jr., Jared McPherson, Kelvin King, Marcus Porchia, Devo Green, Xavier King, Eric McGowen, Carlos Ligons, Jamarcus Napper, Cedric Scott and Walter Harrison.

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Liberty Power: The Sam Rayburn Power Agency, the co-op that provides power to the cities of Liberty, Jasper and Livingston, announced they have made arrangements for adequate power to serve Liberty through 2034. Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett said the new contract is important in two ways, in helping insure that folks in the city of Liberty have a competitive rate on their electricity and that power is available when needed. The City of Liberty is a partner in the SRMPA. 

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Linkinhoker: The man indicted in the hit-and-run death of a Dayton teenager, 15 year old Charlie Gore, was in court yesterday to enter a not guilty plea. Michael Shane Linkinhoker appeared before 75th District Judge Mark Morefield for arraignment on two felony charges, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and causing an accident involving personal injury or death. Sheriffs Department investigators say the Dayton girl was run down and killed by a vehicle on CR #443 in south Liberty County on April 16th. Michael Linkinhoker was allegedly at the wheel of that vehicle. 

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JP # 1 Candidates: Today is the first day for candidates to file to run for JP #1 as a democrat or republican in the March 6th primary elections. State law says when Bobby Rader filed to run for Liberty County Sheriff, he resigned as JP.  He continues to serve in that capacity until a replacement is either appointed or elected. The period for candidates to file ends on December 15th.    

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Obituaries: Cecil D. Williams, 66 of Kenefick. Services tomorrow 10 a.m. at Pace Stancil in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,200 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.78 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 229 MONDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2011

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Rape Suspects: The adult suspects charged in the shocking Cleveland rape case are scheduled to appear today in the 75th District Court of Judge Mark Morefield. Fourteen of the Cleveland residents are being tried as adults in the alleged sexual assault of a then 11-year-old girl over a two-month period. Six others are being tried as juveniles, including one who became an adult since the alleged gang rape. Their cases are under the jurisdiction of Liberty County Court at Law Judge Tommy Chambers. One of those juveniles entered a plea last week to aggravated sexual assault. Two other juveniles previously entered pleas. Because those cases occurred in juvenile court, the records are not available. When the 14 adult suspects last appeared in court back in early October, lawyers from the district attorney’s office told Judge Morefield they were still awaiting the results of DNA testing in the sexual assault case. No word if any of the adult suspects will be given a trial date today, but that could happen if those results are available.

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Traffic Accident: A two-vehicle accident last Thursday sent two people to an area hospital by air ambulance. Now, Liberty police have identified those injured as Kristanya Owens, 28, of Crosby and David Baker, 30, of Dayton. Police say that accident occurred when Owens drove her small SUV into an 18-wheeler. Liberty PD is looking at the possibility alcohol may be in use by the SUV driver. The driver of the tanker truck was not hurt. 

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Filing Deadline: Because of changes made on redistricting by court rulings, please note - the deadline for candidates to file for the Democrat and Republican March primary elections is Thursday, December 15.

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

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Obituaries: Jose Antonio Chavez, 61, of Anahuac. Service is 10 a.m. today in Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Anahuac.  

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,200 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.61 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 228 FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2011

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Major Wreck: The Liberty Fire Department spent more than an hour cutting an injured man from the SUV he was a passenger in. The accident was at the corner of South Liberty Oilfield Road and FM 3361.  According to Liberty Police, an 18-wheel tanker was turning north onto Oilfield Road from FM 3361 when a white SUV traveling south, slammed into the tanker at a high rate of speed.  The smaller sport utility vehicle was wedged under the large truck, trapping both the driver and the passenger.  The driver of the big rig, Michael Swisher, 50 of Moss Hill was not injured.  Both the driver and the passenger in the SUV were taken by Life Flight Air Ambulance to a Houston hospital with injuries described as serious. The accident that happened just after midnight Thursday is under investigation.

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LHS Holiday Programs: The Liberty High School Choir and Liberty High School Band will present their annual holiday concerts next week.  The LHS Choir’s Christmas Concert is this coming Tuesday December 6th, at 7 p.m. in the Liberty ISD Auditorium. The LHS Band will be performing on Thursday night December 8th, also at 7 p.m. but that concert is in the Liberty High Gym. Both concerts are free and everyone is welcome to come enjoy holiday musical favorites.

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Shred It: Another reminder tomorrow is your chance to foil identity thieves and shred those sensitive documents free of charge. The City of Liberty’s latest free “shred it and forget it” event is tomorrow from 9 a.m. to noon, or until the truck fills up.  It will be held in the Liberty City Hall parking lot.

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Dayton Chamber: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s monthly noon luncheon is this coming Tuesday at the Dayton Community Center. Make reservations by calling 257-2393.

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Obituaries: Elouise Foley Dennison, 94 of Liberty. Services Saturday 2 p.m. First United Methodist Church in Liberty. Beulah J. Copeland Eaton, 76 of Tarkington Prairie. Graveside services today at 1 p.m. in Ryan Cemetery in Tarkington Prairie. Everett Delain Laird, 66 of Thicket. Services 11 a.m. today at Faith and Family Funeral Service. Gracie Randolph, 77 of Dayton. Services are tomorrow at 11 a.m. in Pleasant Hill Baptist Church of Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,200 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.48 ASL*

 

VOLUME 26, NO. 227 THURSDAY, DEC. 1, 2011

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LISD Facilities: Liberty ISD trustees held a facilities workshop Tuesday to prioritize projects for completion using the recently board-approved bond funds plus monies from the district’s fund balance. The LISD board discussed using the $2.446 million in Qualified School Construction Bond funds for renovations plus another $1.084 million from the district’s fund balance for mostly new construction. That’s a total of $3.53 million in local funds for improvements across the district. LISD also has a $340,000 grant for infrastructure improvements to its computer wiring, cabling and wireless system. There’s also another $170,000 in FEMA funds. That means the district has $4.04 million for improvements like a new science wing at the high school and a new gym at Liberty Elementary School. A complete list of projects is expected to be on the December 13 LISD board meeting agenda for trustee approval.

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Employment Numbers: The employment rate for both Liberty and Chambers counties shows improvement again. However, the percentage of those who are jobless locally is still worse than both the statewide and national numbers. Texas Workforce Commission reports the national unemployment rate is 9.0 percent while the statewide jobless number is 8.4 percent. That is for October, the latest reporting period for job numbers. Here in Liberty County, the unemployment rate is 10.1 percent – that’s improved, down from 10.7 the previous month. Turning to Chambers County, the jobless rate for October is 9.2 percent, improved from the 10.3 percent in September.

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Hardin Anniversary: The City of Hardin has been in existence for 40 years, and that anniversary will be celebrated Monday, December 5, from 1 to 6 p.m. with an open house at city hall. A special ceremony also will be held during the Hardin City Council meeting at 7 Monday evening.  

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More filings: Logan Picket has filed to run on the Republican Primary ballot for district attorney. Also, Darrell Elliott has filed to run for Pct. 3 constable in that March 6 G.O.P. Primary.

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Obituaries: Oscar Griffin, Jr, 78, of New Waverly, formerly of Liberty. Mass of Christian burial Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in New Waverly.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,200 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.37 ASL*

 

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