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May 2008

VOLUME 23 NO. 104 FRIDAY MAY 30TH, 2008

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Train vs. Truck: Yesterday just after 11 AM, a Dayton resident was struck by an east bound Union Pacific train as he crossed the track on CR. 615. According to DPS Trooper Jamie Neault Louis Ceja, was going south on CR. 615 when he failed to stop for the oncoming train. The 18-year-old Dayton man was taken by Life Flight air ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital with serious, although not thought to be life-threatening, injuries.

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Sinkhole Update: Scientists continue to collect data on the now infamous Daisetta Sinkhole. At a meeting yesterday between state and local officials and researchers, it was reported studies show a 3 ½ to 5- inch drop in the road surface of FM 770 between May 13th and May 21st, though the cause of the drop hasn’t been determined. TxDot officials plan to keep the roadway closed for the foreseeable future. Experts said the longer the site goes without growth, the less likely it is to occur.

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PD Community Meeting: The Liberty Police Department will host a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday June 12th at the Liberty Center. Police Chief Mike Cummings said it will give citizens an opportunity to meet him and discuss crime and prevention solutions with officers. Chief Cummings said citizen input on these issues makes for a safer community.

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Dayton Luncheon: This month’s Dayton Chamber/Team City Luncheon is Tuesday at noon at a new location ---the 1st United Methodist Church on S. Cleveland in Dayton. Representatives from the H-GAC will have information on new small business loan programs. Call 936-257-2393 for reservations.

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Corrections: Yesterday we reported the wrong court in which the Latonya Martin case was heard. Visiting Judge James Keeshan of Montgomery County heard the case for 253rd District Judge Chap Cain who was hearing another case. Our apologies for the error. H-GAC: Mr. Kari Hackett of H-GAC was spokesperson before the Liberty County Commissioners regarding the Liberty Co. Transit plan. Our apologies for the error on his name in early reports.

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Funerals: Beth Ann “BeBe” Stanford Dick, 76, Services were Thursday.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.68 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 102 THURSDAY MAY 29TH, 2008

Martin Pleads: In April, Moe Martin pled guilty to charges she stole more than $16,000 from Devers School District tax receipts. District Attorney Mike Little said the plea bargain agreement requires Ms. Martin pay, at the time of sentencing the amount stolen plus 10%, for a total of $19,383. In addition, she will be required to pay court costs, and a fine, as well as serve 250 hours of community service. Add to that, Latonya Nicole “Moe “ Martin will never be allowed to work again for a governmental entity. If she completes the conditions of her probation, 5 years, she will not have a felony conviction on her criminal record.

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Wreck: Following the Tuesday night Hardin bonfire, 3 Hardin seniors were taken to the hospital with injuries received in a traffic accident. DPS Trooper Rob Willoughby said the driver, Rebecca Brown was the most seriously hurt and was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where she is said to be in stable condition. Passenger Dianna Shaw was taken to San Jacinto in Baytown and Danielle Mastalez to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital. The accident remains under investigation.

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Fire Cause: The cause of last Thursday’s fatal house fire in the Knights Forest Subdivision has been ruled accidental. Information from the sheriffs department indicates the cause of death for homeowners Roger and Kathy Legg was carbon monoxide and smoke inhalation. The investigation by Sheriffs Department investigator Kenny Dagle, with assistance from Liberty Fire Marshall Sean Matula, determined the fire was started by an electrical problem.

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Hope Flies: This Saturday, at the Liberty Municipal Airport, there will be a benefit BBQ to help the family of DPS Trooper Jamie Neault. The public is urged to attend this unique event. Called a “fly in”, pilots from across Texas will be making the trip to Liberty. With BBQ plates for $8, a silent auction, a live auction, and some rare airplanes for the public to see. That’s this Saturday from 11 to 3 PM. For information call 336 5793.

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Funerals: Milton R. Lowe, 76 of Dayton. Services 2 PM today Sterling Funeral Home – Dayton. Dorothy Laverne Puckett, 74 of Liberty. Services 10 AM Saturday at Allison Funeral Home.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.10 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 101 WEDNESDAY MAY 28TH, 2008

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Hospital: Yesterday morning, hospital district board members voted to reinstate the agreement that pays the hospital $175 per month per client enrolled in the hospital district. If the rolls remain at current numbers on June 1st, that amount will be $50,050. At noon, Liberty City Council met and at the conclusion, voted to rescind the direction to cut off city utilities to the hospital. An agreement was reached between Frontier Health Care, Black Hawk Health Care and the city of Liberty where Frontier would pay $50,000 yesterday towards the past due amount, and Black Hawk agreed to guarantee the remainder. According to Mayor Pro-Tem Mike McCarty, the $50,000 was handed to the city manager following the meeting and a written agreement with Black Hawk is expected by Tuesday evening.

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Commissioners: Commissioners heard a report yesterday on the Liberty County Transit Plan. Program Manager for the H-GAC transportation department Kari Hackett said census data from 2000 shows 10.4 percent of Liberty County residents are elderly and 18.8 percent are disabled. She said those numbers are higher than the average for other counties in the region. She said that indicates a need for expanded public transportation options in Liberty County.

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Theft Arrest: Dayton police say 36 year old Curtis Tarver of the Liberty area has been arrested in connection with the mid May theft at Taylor Pipeline Company in Dayton. Taken during the burglary was a new pickup that had been loaded with stolen equipment. Police Sgt. Doug O’Quinn said Tarver has been cooperative in assisting police with recovering much of the stolen property.

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Free Fishing Day: The State of Texas is offering a free fishing day Saturday June 7th and the Trinity River and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuges are hosting events. The day allows anglers to fish or crab without a license throughout Texas. Free fishing will be available that day at the Champion Lake public use area from 9 am to 11 am and Anahuac from 9 am to 1 PM.

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Funerals: Parker Brent Hood, 28 formerly of Liberty. Services tomorrow 1 PM at Johnson Funeral Home in Lake Charles, LA. Pending: Dorothy Geneva Rogers Green, 74 of Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.57 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 100 TUESDAY MAY 27TH, 2008

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Weekend Wreck: Three 15 year old girls, Casey Bethea, Lindsey Holzapfel, and Paige Kay were taken by Life Flight Air Ambulance following an ATV wreck on CR. 6502 Saturday afternoon. DPS Trooper Kevin Hussey said the three girls were riding the ATV when it rolled over. The three were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, mostly as a precaution.

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High School Graduations: Most South Liberty County High Schools will hold graduation ceremonies this weekend. The exception is Hardin, who will hold commencement ceremonies June 6th at 8 PM at Hornet Stadium. This Friday, May 30th, both Hull Daisetta and Liberty will have graduation. Hull Daisetta at 7 PM at the H-D Auditorium and Liberty at 8 PM at War Memorial Stadium. Dayton will hold graduation at 7:30 PM Saturday May 31st, at Bronco Stadium.

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Energy Star Weekend: Local retailers report a spike in sales of energy related products over the memorial day weekend as a result of the statewide sales tax holiday on those items. Morgan McDaniel, owner of the Liberty Sears, said they experienced a 55 percent increase as compared to the same weekend last year. Goldens Furniture and Wal Mart report increases as well

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Hurricane Season: Hurricane season begins this coming Sunday. It is predicted activity in the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico will be normal to above normal. Experts say now is the time to get ready for the onset of the season. For information go to www.kshn.com and click on the disaster preparations and weather links.

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Hospital Saved? : An agreement could be reached today to keep the utilities from being turned off at Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital. The Liberty City Council has given hospital owner Frontier Health Care until 5:30 p.m. to pay past due utility bills near $230,000 and past due taxes around $300,000. Board President Bruce Stratton said the Hospital District would consider resuming taxpayer payments to Frontier on condition the company made a substantial payment on past utilities and Blackhawk Health Care- the company planning to buy the hospital will guarantee the rest. Liberty City Council must also approve the agreement.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.71 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 99 FRIDAY MAY 23RD, 2008

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Fire Fatality: Two people were killed in an early morning house fire in the Knights Forest subdivision. Liberty County Sheriffs Department reports the call came in of a fully involved house fire on CR. 2517 just before 5 AM Thursday. Once the fire was put out investigators discovered the bodies of a man and woman not far from the door. They are said to be the homeowner and his wife, a Harris County Sheriffs Deputy who works at the Harris County Jail. While no foul play is suspected, the fire is under investigation.

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Sales Tax Holiday: Saturday 12:01 AM, through Monday, shoppers in Texas get a break from state and local sales taxes when they buy energy efficient appliances. The Energy Star Sales Tax holiday gives extra incentive to replace old appliances with energy efficient models bearing the “Energy Star” label.

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LHS Honor Grads: Top graduating seniors of the 2008 class from Liberty High School include Valedictorian Ethan Wade Ballinger and Salutatorian Shan Aaron Duff. LHS is graduating 146 seniors this year on May 30th, at Memorial Stadium.

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From Wence We Came: African American education and businesses in Liberty and Liberty County is chronicled in a book titled “From Wence We Came”. Copies of the book are available at the Liberty Library, Sam Houston Regional Library and the Liberty High School Library. Those interested in ordering one can call John or Barbara Wright at 336 6390.

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Investing During a Recession: Local financial advisor Leslie Herndon said people should not be afraid to develop an investment plan and place funds in the stock market despite the talk of recessionary economic conditions. She said stock markets have actually risen in 7 of the last 11 recessions since 1945.

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Liberty FD: Liberty Volunteer Fire Department will hold a Spaghetti Dinner / silent auction tonight from 5:30– 9.

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Funerals: Joi Gayle Abbott Shaver, 48 of the Woodlands. Services will be 10 AM tomorrow at Pace Stancil – Dayton. Roy Dale Shackelford, 59. Services tomorrow 10 AM Twinland Missionary Baptist Church - Houston.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 16.85 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 98 THURSDAY MAY 22ND, 2008

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HLSR Scholarships: 7 Liberty County high school seniors and 5 Chambers County seniors have learned they will receive a $15,000 college scholarship from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. From Anahuac, Stoney Burke, Caroline Chavez and Mildred Palangan. From Barbers Hill, Chris Bradshaw and from East Chambers, Kaitlyn Hale. From Liberty County, Cleveland’s Juergen Overton was awarded one of the Houston Livestock Show Scholarships. From Dayton $15,000 goes to both Kaley Jagnanan and Laura Thibodeaux. Hardin High Schools Krystal Scott earned one of the scholarships and Liberty High School seniors Shane Duff and Lacy Jones each will get $15,000 for their accomplishments.

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Drug Bust: A Liberty woman, Kenya Brunell, 34, was arrested on drug charges after police found 14.5 grams of crack cocaine. It was around 9 Monday evening when the Chambers Liberty Counties Narcotics Task Force, with assistance by Liberty and Dayton Police Departments served a search warrant at a house on Grand Street in Liberty. Kenya Burnell remains in the Liberty County Jail on $150,000 bond charged with possession of a controlled substance.

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LISD Resource Officer: After months of negotiation, Liberty ISD appears no closer to an agreement with the City of Liberty for staffing a resource officer. Tuesday night, trustees again addressed the issue, agreeing their most recent offer to pay $50,000 a year was more than generous, rejecting the city’s interlocal agreement because it would have the district paying 75 % of all costs, which is more than the $50,000. The school trustees unanimously agree a police officer is needed on school campuses, and asked staff to set up a joint meeting between school board and city council to resolve the financial part of the arrangement. Trustees said the city plan has the school paying a higher than normal share of expenses when compared to similar agreements across the country.

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Memorial Day Closures: The Liberty County Courthouse, all city office in Liberty and Dayton, as well as banks and post offices will be closed Monday for the Memorial Day Holiday.

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Funerals: Samuel Boudreaux, 75 of Dayton. Services noon Saturday at Maranatha Church in Mont Belvieu.

*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.83 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 97 WEDNESDAY MAY 21ST, 2008

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Public Transportation Plan: Public input is being sought on a new and expanded transportation plan for Liberty County residents developed by officials with the county, the H-GAC and TxDot. Kari Hackett, with H-GAC said the public comment period runs through 5 PM Monday, June 16th. Following Tuesday’s commissioner’s court meeting a workshop will be held at the Juvenile Probation office on Trinity in Liberty. Both commissioners’ court and the workshop are open to the public. To learn more about the plan, go to www.kshn.com.

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Memorial Day Service: The 29th Annual Memorial Day Service at Palms Memorial Park south of Dayton will be Monday at 11 AM. Hosted by Sterling Funeral Home and Palms Memorial Park, the annual event pays tribute to military personnel who lost their lives in American wars. Mike Page, managing partner of Sterling Funeral Homes says this year’s service will include patriotic music by Karla Burris and students from Dayton ISD. The featured speaker is Frank Jordan and there will be an F-16 Fly-over. Palms Memorial Park is south of Dayton on Hwy 146.

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DCDC: After many years of planning, the proposed water park on Highway 146 north of Dayton is still not under construction. Several extensions have been given to the organization planning the park, on the grant of $35,000 awarded to the HIB Family by the DCDC. Now, another grant extension has been given, this time with time specific provisions. DCDC Executive Director Earl Joy said if those provisions are not met the DCDC Board has the option of extending the grant agreement, take the loss, or ask for the $35,000 in grant money be returned.

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Dayton Honor Grads: Dayton High School will send 243 graduating seniors across the stage to receive their high school diplomas. Among the very best of the best will be the 2008 Valedictorian Erik Kolarik and Salutatorian Kimberly St. Julian.

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Funerals: Clement Claud Measles, 75 of Moss Hill. Graveside services were yesterday. Dr. Edmond Alexander Henderson, 85 of Galveston. Memorial service today, 10:30 AM, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty. Jerald Abshier, 51 of Cleveland. Services today 10 AM Pace Stancil Funeral Home – Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 14,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.61 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 96 TUESDAY MAY 20TH, 2008

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Hardin 7 on 7 Football: The Hardin high school 7 on 7-football team was the big winner in Saturday’s state qualifying tournament. The championship match up pitted Hardin against Jasper, and the Hornets earned both the top spot and a trip to state with a decisive 45 to 27 victory. Eight teams competed Saturday in the state-qualifying tournament, Hardin and Jasper were the locals who now advance to the state tournament July 10-11, in College Station. Hull Daisetta may still make the trip if a division 2 team chooses to compete in division 1. Then the Bobcats would slide into that division 2 opening.

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Summer Reading: Sign up is going on now for the summer reading program at the Liberty Municipal Library. There is no charge to participate, the only requirement is a valid library card. Library Director Dana Abshire said the first day is June 5th, and this year, the program has a Texas theme. For information on this or any of the other services offered at the Liberty Library, call 936 336 8901.

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DCDC Move: The city of Dayton, and the Dayton Community Development Corporation has agreed to a housing arrangement that will put the DCDC Offices in the new civic center once built. Executive director of the DCDC Earl Joy said the cost to the tax funded organization would be a prorated cost of utilities and some assistance with staffing.

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Looking for History: The TVE and Historian Robert Schaadt are trying to locate an A.B. Lawrence trophy to photograph or possibly display at this years TVE Livestock Show and Rodeo. These special trophies, with a gold or silver Brahma Bull atop a large base, were presented during the 1950’s to winners of the calf and non-calf scrambles. Anyone with information can call the Sam Houston Regional Library at 936 336 8821.

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Good Morning America: Dayton resident Willie Williams will be featured on the Memorial Day addition of Good Morning America on ABC. The Viet Nam war vet will be telling his story of spending years attempting to get federal disability benefits for health problems caused by exposure to the dangerous chemical known as “Agent Orange. Thanks to efforts of the organization Project Salute, Mr. Williams is now receiving those benefits.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.31 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 94 THURSDAY MAY 15TH, 2008

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Workforce Academy Registration: Tuesday, the Liberty County Workforce Academy will hold registration for the fall semester. Shirley Sisk said the countywide sign up would be from 4-7 PM Tuesday in the Dayton High School Cafeteria. Students will be required to complete an entrance exam, know their social security number and have a photo ID such as a driver’s license.

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Help for Myanmar: Recently returned from the devastated country of Myanmar, First Baptist – Dayton Pastor Randy Piatt said there is a way to help the citizens of that storm-ravaged country. There when the cyclone struck, Randy Piatt said the plan is for his brother in law, Tom Radigan to return to Myanmar and put whatever help can be raised directly into the hands of Christian pastors there. Those who would like to help with the relief effort can call 1st Baptist Church in Dayton at 936 258 8231.

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Click it or Ticket: The city of Liberty Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in an intensified campaign aimed at drivers who are not wearing seat belts. Chief Mike Cummings said his department would be out in force May 19th through June 1st, as a part of this “Click It or Ticket” statewide effort.

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LISD Board: At the Wednesday noon meeting of LISD Board Members, New Athletic Director Shane Deel told trustees that the school and stadium field houses and weight rooms were in poor condition, with holes in the walls, and lockers missing doors. He added the roof of the stadium field house is leaking, the weight equipment was rusted and in some cases held together with duct tape. Superintendent Mona Chadwick said she had never been told about the poor conditions of those facilities and had not been asked for assistance to rectify the problem.

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Funerals: Ethel Lucille Douglas, 74 of Hardin. Services 10 AM tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church – Liberty. Jennifer Aguilar, 8 of Dayton. Services are 2 PM tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Bernice Tanner Darbonne, 86 of Liberty. Memorial service today 3 PM at Allison Funeral Service – Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.98 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 94 THURSDAY MAY 15TH, 2008

City Council: Liberty City Council heard Tuesday night from Bruce Stratton, Board President of the Liberty County Hospital District. Stratton told council members, payment of past due utility bills and taxes by the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital was a matter of public trust essential to the hospital. He added, it was his opinion, that the hospital district board would allow no more money be paid from district funds, until these debts were addressed. He also said the agreement to pay the hospital $175 per month based on the number of clients enrolled with the district ended as of the May payment of $47,000. The current owners of the hospital, Frontier Health Care, owe back taxes over $319,000 and in past due utilities to the City of Liberty, more than $246,000.

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Pro-Bull Riding: The high-flying action of the professional bull riding is coming to the Trinity Valley Exposition tonight and tomorrow. TVE Spokesman Dave Chessher said the action gets underway at 8 PM with some of the best cowboys and bulls from around the nation. A number of great seats are still available. General admission adult tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the gate. Seniors and kids at $10 in advance. Tickets are available at Baskins in Liberty, and FLNB – Liberty and Dayton. For information call the fair grounds at 936 336 7455.

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Daisetta Sinkhole: According to Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch, the size of the mammoth sinkhole in Daisetta remains unchanged now for several days. The hole is believed to be 600 feet long, north to south, and 525 feet across, east to west. The depth is between 150 to 200 feet and the edge of the hole to FM 770 remains unchanged, at about 80 feet at the closest point. He also said the fencing around the sinkhole is now in place and folks are reminded, not only is the area a dangerous place but it is private property as well. Those caught crossing the barrier will be arrested. No word from TxDot on how much longer FM 770 will remain closed.

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Funerals: James Pierce Aiken, 75 of Dayton. Services 11 AM today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Clarence Joseph Blanchard, 83 of Hardin. Services 10 AM tomorrow Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Jess Ray Kaps, 71 of Dayton. Services 10 AM today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.06 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 93 WEDNESDAY MAY 14TH, 2008

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and approved a local declaration of a state of emergency. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said this is needed for the request submitted last week to the governor’s office for the state disaster declaration. The requested declaration from Gov. Perry, as of late yesterday, had not been approved. State Representative John Otto has also requested an investigation into the cause of the Daisetta sinkhole by the Texas Railroad Commission.

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Liberty Lions: Recently the Liberty Lions Club awarded $20,000 to eight Liberty High School seniors. The recipients of $4,000 scholarships were Callie Montez and Laura Hernandez. Four $2500 scholarships went to Miguel Sierra; Chelsie Pursley; David Blalock and Kayla Herrington. High school seniors Dante Winters and Michael Welps were each awarded a $1000 scholarship from the local service club.

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Sinkhole: Now a week old, the Daisetta sinkhole has been the subject of some considerable attention. Material to fence off the area was delivered yesterday and work should begin today to get it in place. Liberty County Corporal Hugh Bishop said the Sheriffs department has now scaled back their presence at the site, however, people are reminded the 600 by 600-foot crater is on private property, and trespassing laws do apply.

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Chamber Luncheon: The monthly luncheon of the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is Wednesday May 21st at Immaculate Conception Church’s Marion Hall. This month’s speaker is NBA Hall of Famer, Elvin Hayes. Los Compadres will cater lunch. Make reservations by Monday, by calling the chamber office at 936 336 5736.

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Hull Daisetta Band: The Hull Daisetta Bobcat Band and Flagline returned from state competition this past weekend with five new trophies for their display case. The Bobcat Band musicians received three first division “superior” ratings, and named runner up for the best band in class 1-A. in a separate part of the competition, the Hull Daisetta Flagline earned 3 first division “Superior” ratings, and also a Best in class trophy. The Bobcat Band will be presenting their spring concert at 6:30 Monday in the Hull Daisetta High School. The public is invited.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.37 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 92 TUESDAY MAY 13TH, 2008

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Theft: The Dayton Police Department is investigating the theft of some $34,000 in equipment taken from Taylor Pipeline Company on highway 146. Dayton Police Sgt. Doug O’Quinn said his department received a call early Sunday morning that a new pickup truck, along with other pieces of equipment had been taken from the business sometime over this past weekend. The theft is under investigation.

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Drowning: A young man from Liberty, 22 year old Robert Dangerfield, drowned late last week while fishing in a pond near Kinder, Louisiana. The Kinder Courier newspaper reports Dangerfield was fishing last Thursday when he slipped under the water surface. Divers with the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office recovered his body Friday morning.

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Daisetta Sinkhole: The large sinkhole that formed last week at the north edge of Daisetta is still under the watch of Liberty County Law Enforcement. Yesterday afternoon, officials with the USGS were on site to measure the hole to make sure it had not increased in size. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said they are working now to fence off the area surrounding the crater.

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Direct Express Card: Federal officials continue to encourage social security recipients using the postal service to change to direct deposit. This helps safeguard those funds against both theft and fraud. Now the department of the treasury is offering folks without bank accounts the same level of protection through what is called “Direct Express Card”. This is a new prepaid debit card from social security. It is designed as an alternative to paper checks, and David Bauman with the Social Security Office in Beaumont said it is a safe and convenient way to receive federal benefits. For information, call the Treasury Department’s toll free line at 877 212 9991.

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Funerals: Gordon Milton Hardy, 64 of Tarkington Prairie. Services tomorrow 11 AM at Rural Shade Baptist Church in Tarkington Prairie. Edith Hobbs Hearnsberger, 66 of Dayton. Services 2 PM Thursday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Robert Deon Dangerfield, 22 of Liberty. Services 11 AM tomorrow at Mt. Rose Baptist Church in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 18.61 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 91 MONDAY MAY 12TH, 2008

Election Results: Unofficial results from Saturday’s special election to fill an un-expired term on the Liberty ISD Board saw Tommy Davis elected with 248 votes, Bruce Bell 165, Connie Paintsill 148. In the South Liberty Co. Hospital District board election Sissy Drake 430, Charles Kaemmerling 374- those two incumbents were re-elected. Mark Neal 127 votes and 167 for Chuck Lange. In the City of Hardin, voting for the Position 3 council seat saw Morris Nelms Jr. win with 97 votes versus Russell Fairchild’s 58. For Position 4 on Hardin City Council, Laverne Ladd wins with 79 to Julie Terry’s 71. The proposed 1% sales and use tax for the city of Hardin failed 69 to 58.

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Sinkhole: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald made a request Friday for a disaster declaration to Texas Governor Rick Perry regarding the mammoth sinkhole in Daisetta. Also, additional security along FM 770 by the Department of Public Safety was approved in Austin on Friday. The site remains closed to the public, and anyone attempting to sneak onto the property will be subject to arrest.

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Hardin ISD Bond Issue: Hardin ISD’s $9.2 million bond issue passed by a wide margin Saturday. The vote count unofficially shows 384 votes in favor of both parts of the issue with 135 votes against Proposition 1 and 136 votes opposing Prop. 2.

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War Funding: Rep. Kevin Brady said congressional foot dragging over $180 billion in funding for U. S. military forces in the Mid-East has resulted in roughly a two-week deadline before money to pay combat troops overseas runs out.

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Dayton Livestock Show: The Dayton FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo Youth Auction Sale totaled $171,050 including resale and was called close to a new sale record. Richard Campbell of Campbell Fishing and Tool was the volume buyer at Saturday’s sale. Misty Vidrine had a big day – she sold the grand champion pen of broilers and was named Dayton Rodeo Queen.

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Funerals: Robert Powledge, 93, services at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Grimes County. Visitation is 5-8 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Home. Dennis Freeman, 49, services at 4 p.m. Tuesday at West Hardin School. Visitation is 4-9 p.m. today at First Baptist Church of Batson. Omie Callaway, 91, services at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Pace-Stancil in Dayton. Visitation is 5-9 p.m. today.

*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 19.03 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 90 FRIDAY MAY 9TH, 2008

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Daisetta: The sinkhole on the north edge of Daisetta that has occupied the attention of most of the country since Wednesday appears to have slowed it’s growth, and may be stabilizing. Daisetta Mayor Lynn Wells said emergency officials continue to monitor the situation. The event has brought nationwide attention, including a live segment of NBC nightly news originating from the sinkhole at the north end of Daisetta. At last estimate the mammoth hole had reached nearly 200 feet deep and stretched about 450 feet east and west and around 900 feet north and south. Residents with questions are urged to call Daisetta City Hall at 536-6761.

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Chamber Bus Trip: The next Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce bus trip to Kinder Louisiana is set for May 22nd. The round trip ride is $10 and seats are limited. Reserve your seat by calling the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber Office at 336 5736.

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Hardin ISD Bond: Tomorrow the Hardin ISD is holding a $9.2 million bond election. Registered voters within the district can cast their ballots from 7 AM to 7 PM at Hardin High School, the Pentecostal Church in Moss Hill, the Fire Station in Romayor and the voting building in Rye.

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Hospital District Voting locations: Residents who live inside the hospital district can cast ballots tomorrow from 7 AM to 7 PM. Voters in box 10, 22, 26 and 31 vote at FLNB Dayton Financial Center. Precinct #2 votes at Moss Hill Pentecostal Church. Box #3 is Hardin High School. Box number 4 votes at Devers School. Precincts #5, 19, 21, 28, 35 and 36 are at the Humphreys Cultural Center in Liberty, while box 6 votes at Bethel Assembly of God Church on FM 563. Box 11 voters cast ballots at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood and Precinct #13 voting box cast ballots at Hull Daisetta High School. While box 17 votes at Hull Daisetta Elementary. Finally box 18 voters go to St. Miles Missionary Baptist Church. Polls are open tomorrow from 7-7.

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Funerals: Dale R. Conner, 63 of Crosby. Services 10 AM today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Lawrence Fain Blanscet, 75 of Crosby. Services today at 11 AM at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 17,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 19.19 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 89 THURSDAY MAY 8TH, 2008

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Daisetta Sinkhole: What started as a 20 foot or so deep hole within just a couple of hours had deepened to more than 100 feet and spread more than 200 yards across and around 250 yards long, and still growing. A nearby resident said he heard the rumble early yesterday morning when the sinkhole first started to develop, before 10 AM. By 6 PM, the hole had grown to about 300 yards across, and nearly 200 feet deep. New Liberty Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said it’s pretty much a wait and see situation, as there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. Crews continue to monitor the situation.

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Hospital Sale: The owners of Liberty Dayton Community Hospital have an agreement in principal to sell to Blackhawk Health Care of Rockdale. Jeff Madison of Rockdale told those at a Tuesday meeting of an aggressive plan including updating technology and physician acquisition to begin an immediate reversal of the fortunes of the local hospital. Dr. John Weed, a member of Blackhawk’s board, said while Frontier will retain 49 % ownership, they would have no say in the operation. The deal is expected to be complete in less than 120 days.

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Public Transit Plan: New and expanded public transportation for Liberty County is in the final planning states. Now a public meeting on the Liberty County Transit Plan is set for 3 – 5 PM next Wednesday at the Courthouse. The plan, developed by officials with Liberty County, H-GAC, and TxDot, addresses the urgent need for better transportation for residents who have transportation related challenges, such as the elderly, disabled, low-income individuals and commuters. The public meeting will be in the Liberty County Courthouse’s 75th District Courtroom.

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Early Voting in Hardin: At the end of early voting, in the Hardin ISD bond proposal, 225 votes were cast early. There were 79 votes cast in the Hardin city election.

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Funerals: Watson Ledbetter, Jr. 83 of Crosby. Services Monday 10:30 AM Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Atascosita. Jean Wright Capps, 71 of Dayton. Services 2 PM tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Catherine Guidroz, 37 of Saratoga. Services 3 PM tomorrow at First Baptist Church in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 17,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 19.21 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 88 WEDNESDAY MAY 7TH, 2008

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Piatt in Myanmar: Completely surrounded by death and devastation, Dayton First Baptist Church Minister Randy Piatt is alive and well in Yangon, the capitol of Myanmar, the southeast Asian country struck by the horrible storm that has claimed thousands of lives. He and three other missionaries all survived the storm, and are now trying to get out of that country. However, travel is at a stand still and the country’s military rulers have been very slow to allow outside help.

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Dayton City Council: Dayton City Council Monday night was presented a report on what was described as possible mitigation of an environmentally contaminated area. Mayor Steve Stephens told council of 3 or 4 homes that do not have either water or sewer, in dilapidated condition. An even more serious problem according to the mayor was a large pit nearby containing raw sewage, old tires and other trash. Although the mayor clearly felt the public health risk prompted immediate action, council approved a motion for City Attorney Randy Gunter to review all possible actions before the city proceeds.

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2nd Tax Free Holiday: During the Memorial Day Weekend, shoppers in Texas will get a break from state and local sales taxes when they purchase certain energy efficient appliances. Called the “Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday” it gives Texans an extra incentive to replace old appliances with models bearing the “Energy Star” label. The tax break weekend is May 24th through May 26th. For information go to www.window.state.tx.us

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DCDC: The Texas Economic Development Council has honored the Dayton Community Development Corporation. During the spring conference held recently in El Paso, the DCDC was presented with the “Economic Excellence Award”. Earl Joy, Director of the DCDC said the award recognizes the DCDC as one of the top economic development groups in the state.

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Wreck: DPS reports indicate, Robert Rice, of Tarkington was driving to fast when he lost control of his truck, wrecking on CR. 3011 Monday night. Tarkington Vol. Firefighters freed him from where his arm was pinned under his overturned vehicle. He was taken to Cleveland Regional Hospital. He was cited for failure to control speed and not wearing a seat belt.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 17,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 19.27 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 87 TUESDAY MAY 6, 2008

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Tax Audit: The State of Texas recently required the Liberty County Central Appraisal District to defend its 2008 appraisals of minerals and properties within the Hull Daisetta School district, claiming the properties were undervalued by the local C.A.D. Chief Appraiser Alan Conner said his office has won that debate. He said the housing market in that area is among the weakest in the county, and the number of homes in those cities has fallen by 60 from 2003 to 2007. Alan Conner cited economic data showing the median family income in the city of Daisetta is 23 percent lower than the countywide figure.

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Food Safety Class: The Texas Agrilife Extension, Better Living of Texas and the Pregnancy Care Clinic of Dayton are jointly holding free nutrition classes the second Tuesday of each month. For reservations or information call 936 336 4558 or 281 593 0405, in both cases the extension is 221.

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Chambers County Youth: This week is the Chambers County Youth Project Show. Tyler Fitzgerald, County Extension agent, said folks who come to see the exhibits will get to see a variety of the best Chambers County youth have to offer. The Chambers County Youth Project show starts Wednesday and continues through Saturday. The culmination of the week is the youth auction Friday evening at 7 PM. Whites Park is off I-10 in Anahuac in Chambers County.

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Tree Trimmers: Trees Inc., is currently in the city of Liberty trimming trees along the main feeder lines of the city’s electrical grid. Electric Department Supervisor Randy Wiggins said this is the first step in helping reduce the severity of power outages. The tree-trimming project is expected to take from 30 to 60 days, depending on the weather.

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Self-defense: Saturday, the Woman’s Street Smart Self Defense Team be in Anahuac at the American Legion Hall to teach a class on self defense. Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said the information offered in this course, could save a life. There will be information on parking lot safety, car-jacking, home security, rape prevention, and identity theft. The class will be held from 1 to 4 PM. Cost is $20 for one, $35 for 2 family members. For information contact Tammy Hale 409 267 2286.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 17,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 18.80 ASL*

 

Volume 23 NO. 86 MONDAY MAY 5, 2008

Fire Destroys Home: A manufactured home on FM 1960 and most of its contents were destroyed by fire Sunday afternoon. The homeowner, Sidney Deteige, was sitting outside when a passing motorist stopped to tell him the other end of the house was on fire. Nobody was injured in the blaze.

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Storm Drill: The 2008 hurricane season is less than a month away, and local emergency officials held a two-day preparedness drill last week at the Liberty Fire Department. New Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said a lot of effort went into the simulation. He said the drill pointed out better coordination with state agencies is needed to evacuate those with special needs who can’t leave on their own.

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Guard Investigated: Sheriff Greg Arthur said a woman who was working as a correctional officer at Liberty County Jail is under investigation for allegedly having sex with a male inmate. The guard was employed by CiviGenics, the company contracted by the county to run the jail. She resigned following an interview with investigators on April 29. The sheriff said the district attorney’s office has accepted the case, and the grand jury could indict the female employee for violating the civil rights of a person in custody, a state-jail felony.

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Boys Camp Applicants: Local American Legion Commander Jim Sterling said there are still three openings for expense paid opportunities to attend Boys State in Austin June 7-13. The program teaches boys who have completed their junior year in high school basic principles of democracy and government. Funds are available to send one young man each from Dayton, Liberty and Hardin. Contact high school counselors or call Jim Sterling at 936-336-5464. The application deadline is tomorrow.

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Postal Food Drive: The National Association of Letter Carriers Annual “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive is Saturday, May 10. Just put a bag of non-perishable food near your mailbox, and your letter carrier will pick it up. All food donated goes to the Spirit of Sharing in Liberty and the Food Pantry in Dayton.

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Funerals: Hilda Sue Knupple Lefevre, 49, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Virgil Ray “Big J” Jackson, 75, of Dayton, Services 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton. Visitation 9 a.m. until service tomorrow at the church.

*LAKE RELEASE: 17,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.46 ASL*

Volume 23 NO. 85 FRIDAY MAY 2, 2008

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Fire: A singlewide manufactured home was destroyed by fire yesterday afternoon in south Liberty. James Leonard, the owner, said it was rented to Mike Lawiski who is in Mississippi having surgery. In his absence, friends of Lawiski’s were staying in the home. The building and most its contents were destroyed. Liberty Fire Chief Fred Collins said the heavy winds yesterday contributed to the fast movement of the flames. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Dayton Chamber Luncheon: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce / Team City - Dayton will hold their monthly luncheon Tuesday at noon, at Trinity Baptist Church on FM 1960. The featured speaker is Leslie Herndon of Edward Jones Investments. Her topic will be planning for retirement in the current economic climate. Kapalski’s Café of Dayton will cater lunch, tickets are $8. Reservations need to be made by close of business Monday. For information or reservations call the Dayton Chamber of Commerce at 257 2393.

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Hull Daisetta ISD: Faced with declining enrollment, and the resulting decrease in state funding, Hull Daisetta officials say they are looking at all avenues to generate additional revenues. Superintendent Mary Huckabay said that prior to the Tuesday vote to close one campus, they were facing a $750,000 shortfall next fiscal year. While that closing is expected to save money, the district’s deficit next budget year still would be $250,000 to $450,000 if nothing else changes.

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Spring Festival: The Immaculate Conception “Mayfest” or spring festival is this weekend, starting 6 PM Saturday and continuing Sunday at noon on the grounds of the Catholic Church. There will be live entertainment, a stew cook off, games for kids, sweet shop, live and silent auction, and more. Father David Edwards said it is an opportunity for parishioners and community to come together. For information on this weekend’s Mayfest at Immaculate Conception, call 336 7267.

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Funerals: Alton Lee Pitre, 69 of Liberty. Services 10 AM Monday at Moss Hill Cemetery. Lenhart John Janik, 84 of Eastgate. Services 10 AM tomorrow at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Eastgate.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.22 ASL*

Volume 23 NO. 84 THURSDAY MAY 1, 2008

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Hull Daisetta JR High: Known to many locally as the old Woodson School, trustees voted Tuesday night to close the Hull Daisetta Jr. High School at the beginning of next school year. Superintendent Mary Huckabay said the action was based solely on financial considerations. She said much of the school funding comes from the state based on student enrollment, and the district is facing declining numbers. Trustee Burke Dagle said the district this year has a $450,000 deficit. Officials said closing the school would save $300,000 to $500,000 a year.

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Woman Burned: A Dayton woman suffered severe burns to her upper body and arms over the weekend. As best we can learn, Dina Nelson, 35 had a grease fire in her kitchen and threw baking soda on the blaze. Experts’ say that would have worked only if there was enough baking soda to completely cover the flames in this case there was not and the powder itself ignited. Dina Nelson then tried to carry the pan outside, but tripped splashing the scalding grease on her. She was taken to Memorial Herman Hospital, said to have serious burns.

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Pole Theft: A temporary utility pole, valued between $800-$1000 was stolen from its 112 Bryan St. location during last weekends Dayton Ole Tyme Days. Organizers say the cost to replace this stolen utility pole is one scholarship that now may not be awarded. Anyone with information is asked to call Dayton Police Department at 936 258 7621.

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Dayton FFA Parade: Entries are still being accepted for the Dayton FFA Rodeo parade at 10 AM Saturday. This year’s theme is “Deep in the Heart of Dayton”. There is no entry fee. Trophies will be awarded in five categories, best walking, best riding, best band, best float and best overall youth entry. For information on being a part of the parade, call Julie Campbell at 936 258 2510. The Dayton FFA rodeo / livestock show is the week of May 7th through 10th.

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Hardin ISD Early Voting: As of Tuesday evening, a total of 69 early votes had been cast in the Hardin ISD bond election. Remember that early voting in Hardin has extended hours today and Saturday. Vote early at Hardin ISD until 8 PM today and on Saturday May 3rd, 7 AM - 7 PM. Election Day is May 10th.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.23 ASL*

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