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July 2008

VOLUME 23 NO. 144 THURSDAY, JULY 31, 2008

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Fatality Accident: A 47-year-old man with a rural Dayton address, James Ray Constantine, was killed late Tuesday when his motorcycle collided head on with a truck inside the Dayton city limits on Highway 146 just south of FM 1413 after 10 PM. Dayton police report the motorcyclist may have swerved from his lane into the southbound lane of traffic. An autopsy was ordered, and police say alcohol may have been a factor.

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City of Liberty: Checking with the building permits department in Liberty shows such permits have been pretty sparse in recent years, but this year, January 1st through June 30th, has seen more than 19 new home permits issued. City building inspector Roy Gilliland said this is the best year for building permits inside the City of Liberty in the last several years. Regency Place and Hillside subdivisions have seen the most activity but a number of lots scattered around the city in established neighborhoods have new homes going up as well.

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Hospital in a Wal Mart?: One of the ideas being bantered about for a new hospital facility in south Liberty County is to take a portion of the now county-owned, old Wal Mart building and rehab it to house a new hospital. Hospital district board member Kathy Dagle said she at first was opposed to the idea, however she said she has been swayed to the notion by learning of other facilities refurbished into hospitals. She mentioned specifically the Kingwood hospital, which was once a shopping mall. At this point there is no agreement between Frontier Health Care and the hospital district to purchase the hospital, so these are just ideas.

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Dayton Wreck: A Dayton man, Arturo Mondragon, was taken by P.H.I. Air Ambulance to a hospital in Houston following a two vehicle wreck on Highway 146 in Dayton yesterday afternoon just after 4. Dayton Police Officer Chris Boufford said Mondragon lost control of his truck and veered into the path of an 18-wheel tractor trailer rig. It was thought his injuries were not life threatening. The truck driver was not injured. It took about three hours before the roadway was open to traffic.

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Funerals: Lula Mae (Smith) Matthews, 83 of Anahuac. Services 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Anahuac.

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

VOLUME 23 NO. 143 WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2008

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Coach Cans Broncos: Dayton Bronco Head Coach Jerry Stewart permanently removed 5 of his 7 defensive starters from the football team when it was concluded those five students had burglarized the Woodrow Wilson Junior High School of more than $10,000 in computers and TV sets. Coach Stewart said nearly all of the members of the #4 ranked team are first rate athletes, students and citizens, however, these five went in a very different direction than their teammates.

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Hospital District: The Liberty County Hospital District board met Monday night, and again on the agenda was discussion regarding negotiations with Frontier Health Care and the hospital district for possible purchase of Liberty Dayton Community Hospital and its critical access designation. After a brief executive session, again, the item was tabled. Hospital District Board President Bruce Stratton said the district board is waiting to hear from Frontier Health Care, which is, apparently, in negotiations with an unidentified 3rd party.

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Burnham Classic: While the golfing field is full, there is still time to sign up to be a sponsor for this weekends 19th Annual Burnham Classic golf tournament at Magnolia Ridge Country Club. It is always sponsored by the Burnham family, and benefits the physically handicapped and mentally retarded of Liberty County through the Tri-County Mental Health Mental Retardation services. For info, call BJ Ford at 336 2215.

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Blood Drive: Tomorrow from 4 till 7 p.m. there will be a blood drive, bone marrow registration, organ donor registration and mini health fair at the Liberty Center at Liberty City Hall. There will be folks on hand from the national bone marrow donor program as well representatives of organ donor organizations and the Lifeshare Blood Center. Recent heart transplant recipient Davis Fisher is also going to be at the event. For information, call Dorothy Nettles at 298 2689.

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Funerals: Joshua Wayne Brewer, 36 of Dayton. Services 3 p.m. tomorrow at Kenefick Southern Baptist Church. Harry G. Daves Jr., 84 of Old River-Winfree. Services Friday 10 a.m. at Navarre Funeral Home in Baytown. Pending: Barbara Cadoree, 61 of Hankamer - Wells Funeral Service.

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

VOLUME 23 NO. 142 TUESDAY, JULY 29, 2008

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Fatality Wreck: A Cleveland man, 36 year old Joshua Brewer, was killed in an early morning accident yesterday on FM 1008 near County Road 641. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Chad Blackburn said the man failed to negotiate a curve, lost control of his vehicle, and was ejected when the truck struck a ditch. An autopsy has been ordered, and Trooper Blackburn said his investigation is continuing. Alcohol may have been a contributing factor in the wreck. The accident happened around 2 a.m. Monday.

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Autopsy Results: The autopsy results are complete on Liberty Firefighter Sorrell Fregia who died unexpectedly earlier this month. Dr. Tommy Brown of the Jefferson County Medical Examiners Office indicates the young man died from what was called a gastrointestinal hemorrhage, or bleeding in the intestinal track. No reason for the hemorrhage in the 24-year-old firefighter was given in Dr. Brown’s report.

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Bronco Season Tickets: Last years Bronco’s reserved seat season ticket holders can renew those tickets starting next Monday. The 5 home game package is $30. For those who did not have season tickets last year but want them this season, their chance comes up on August 18th. Season tickets for current season ticket holders go on sale August 4th at the Dayton ISD administration building from 9 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 1-4 p.m.

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Plane Crash: Three people from Liberty, pilot Paul Kaemmerling, his wife Kim and their 14-year-old daughter received minor injuries when their single engine Cessna 172 made a crash landing in a private yard just south of the Athens Municipal Airport in Henderson County, Texas. The accident happened Saturday afternoon. Information indicates the family did not call 911, instead called a taxi to take them to the hospital. What caused the plane to go down shortly after take off is not known. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

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Funerals: Sherral E. Adams, 55 of Dayton. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Dorothy Jane Long, 82 of Dayton. Services tomorrow 10 AM at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.33 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 141 MONDAY, JULY 28, 2008

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Economic Development: Efforts continue to lure Boomerang Tube to the old pipe and tube facility in Liberty. City Councilman Frank Jordan said even with the tax abatement incentive packages being offered by the city and Liberty County, both entities stand to take in millions of dollars in tax revenues during the abatement years. The project also would bring 250 new jobs to the area with annual wages totaling $8.7 million. Frank Jordan said other efforts continue around the county to bring in new industry and business. Mr. Jordan said he is very pleased with the cooperation between economic development groups in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland and other local officials to improve Liberty County’s economic standing.

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Ford Street Work: Curb, gutter and driveway work along Ford Avenue in Dayton will begin this Wednesday. City Manager David Douglas said once the curbs and gutters are in place and the driveway aprons have been poured, the new surface will need seven days to cure. During this time, residents should park parallel along the opposite side of the street from their homes. This has been a long planned project for the city, and residents along Ford Avenue are most likely pleased to see work begin.

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Library Expansion: The Geraldine D. Humphey Cultural Center and Library expansion project continues to move forward. Liberty City Manager Ron Wood said construction should begin this fall, but first the city must conduct an asbestos study and have electrical utilities moved. Expansion plans call for doubling the size of Liberty Municipal Library. The theater also will be enlarged and improved. Most of the new space will be storage for Valley Players.

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Tax-Free Weekend: The state’s annual back-to-school tax-free weekend is only a few weeks away. Set for August 14-17, the three-day weekend will allow shoppers a break from state and local taxes on certain items, including clothing items and shoes less than $100. Many stores also offer special sales the same weekend, making the savings even greater.

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Funerals: Pearlie B. Chambers, 85, of Liberty, pending at Wells Funeral Service. Jena Patterson of Coldspring, 37, services 2 p.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.38 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 140 THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2008

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Drill Team State Champs: The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team, the Rebel Riders, recaptured the state crown in precision riding and finished second in fast drill at state competition in Abilene on Tuesday. On top of their beautiful costumes used in their performances could clearly be seen green ribbons pinned to their chests, in honor of teammate Russell McPherson whose parents were killed in a motorcycle accident this past weekend in Abilene. Drill Master Tommy Small said Russell McPherson wanted to stay and ride - his mother and father would have wanted him to.

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LISD: LISD Assistant Superintendent Randy Gunter said school districts can not offer tax abatements. However in an effort to attract the manufacturing company Boomerang Tube, LISD is working on a special program called “Payment in Lieu of Taxes”. Under this program, the district can accept a payment in lieu of taxes, and the property value is frozen for up to ten years. The district would continue getting state funding at the same level, plus the large one-time payment. The company gets the tax savings as a result of the frozen value being greater than the one-time payment. Randy Gunter said use of this program is rare because it takes a very large company to qualify.

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New Restaurant: A new restaurant is coming to Dayton, located immediately west of the Best Western Motel on US 90. The restaurant, Texas Seafood & Steakhouse, according to owner operator Chet Keo, will be open 7 days a week, and he hopes to have it open for business before the end of August.

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Home Building: The economy in South Liberty County remains strong, as witnessed by home and retail construction in Dayton. David Draz, planning director for Dayton, said the city has averaged about 50 new home building permits each year of the past 5 years, with 69 last year as the high mark. In addition, retail projects including a 7,000-square-foot add-on to the Dayton Shopping Center and an 8,500-square-foot retail building planned for the corner of Main and Bryan.

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Funerals: John D. “Monkey” Henry, 33 of Dayton. A Memorial service will be 4 PM August 2nd at Hot Rods and Hogg’s Club in Arlington.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.39 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 140 THURSDAY, JULY 24, 2008

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Liberty City Council: Liberty City Council Monday night gave their final approval to a resolution authorizing a tax abatement agreement with Boomerang Tube, a company looking seriously at the old national pipe and tube plant here in Liberty. The agreement allows 100 % abatement during the first 5 years, dropping to 75 % in year 6, down to 50% in year number 7 and 0 by the eight year. The agreement hinges upon the company spending $16.7 million in construction and renovation expenses at the facility, and another $117 million in personal property at the facility. The agreement passed on a 6-0 vote.

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Freight Shuttle System: While the specific location in Liberty County for the only demonstration site for the innovative freight shuttle system has not been revealed, plans call for construction work at the demonstration site to begin this fall. Officials connected with the project say it will take about 18 months to complete the site to allow the now conceptual idea to be proven in a real-time operational model.

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Wild Weekend: Camp Quack-A-Lot Wild Weekend is planned for August 15th and 16th at the Langetree Duck Farm Eco-Center. The weekend is for kids 10 -13 with nature activities hands on music including hand drumming lessons, campfire, singing and a camp out with campers sleeping in their own sleeping bags. There will be a cooked outside nature breakfast, going green activities, and so much more. Cost of the program is $30 per camper. Space is limited; so make reservations now! Call the Langetree Duck Farm at 936 587 4325.

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Minimum Wage: Effective today, the federal minimum wage increases to $6.55 an hour. This increase is the second of 3 provided by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. The third increase to $7.25 an hour will become effective July 24th, 2009.

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Looking for TVE Queens: The Trinity Valley Exposition would like to find former T.V.E. queens to help celebrate the 100th anniversary. As part of this year’s special celebrations, former queens will be part of the TVE Ole Time Country Fair Day on October 11th as well as be honored along with past presidents as grand marshals at the opening day parade. If you are, or have information on, a former TVE queen, call 336 3716.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.90 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 141 WEDNESDAY, JULY 23, 2008

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Freight Transport: A presentation yesterday afternoon at the meeting of the Liberty County Toll Road Authority touted a proposed system for moving freight from ports in Texas to major cities in Texas. Dr. Stephen Roop, with Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A & M, said the system would move freight containers along a guideway using an electric linear induction motor. Those involved in the project plan to build a demonstration model in Liberty Co. that will allow the shuttle system to be tested before the 2,000 miles of guideway system are constructed across the Houston to Dallas to Laredo region.

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Dayton Budget: Dayton City Council Monday night set two public hearings on the 2008-2009 tax rate and budget for August 11th and 25th. The proposed rate for the City of Dayton is .6852 cents per $100 of valuation. The current tax rate is .6359. Much of the increase in the proposed tax rate is related to the voter-approved civic center. The public hearings are part of the scheduled council meetings on those dates.

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Commissioners: Liberty County commissioners yesterday voted to dissolve, or separate, the Liberty Chambers County Narcotics Task Force effective January 1st, 2009. What is in realty more like a separation of efforts, the joint task force which has been an extension of the DA’s office, will become individual units working for their individual counties. District Attorney Mike Little has headed up the task force for the past 16 years; however, in January, Chambers County will have their own district attorney. Mike Little will no longer serve Chambers County but continue as the Liberty County district attorney.

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Hospital District: The Liberty County Hospital District board Monday night chose their newest member to assume the un-expired term of Janice Guedry, who resigned when she moved her residence from Liberty to Washington County. The board voted unanimously to name FLNB President Paul Henry to serve until the next election.

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Funerals: Dorothy Mae McCulley, 82 of Anahuac. Services 10 AM today First United Methodist Church of Anahuac. Joseph Joshua Blackmon, 64 of Liberty. Services Thursday at 1 PM at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.40 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 140 TUESDAY, JULY 22, 2008

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Wreck Kills Two: The parents of a Liberty County 4-H Drill team member were killed Sunday afternoon in Abilene where the team is defending their state title. Liberty Co. 4-H Drill Master Tommy Small said both mother and father of team member Russell McPhearson died in a motorcycle accident not far from the hotel where the team is staying. No team members or equipment were involved in the wreck. Dead are Gary Lynn and Lisa McPhearson.

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Tropical Storm Dolly: Liberty Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said his office continues to monitor Tropical Storm Dolly as she churns in the gulf. While most experts have the storm making landfall far south of the upper Texas gulf coast, Tom Branch said with tropical systems, you never let your guard down. He added, signing up now for special needs evacuation is very important. The Texas state registration number is 211, and in Liberty Co. call 936 334 3219.

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Fire: A fire late Sunday night completely destroyed a 14 x 80 manufactured home belonging to Charles Wars. The fire was reported around 11 PM Sunday, and three fire departments were called, Hull Daisetta, Hardin and Liberty. Mr. Wars said he didn’t even know of the fire until he arrived Monday morning to feed his bees. The home had only recently been moved onto the lot on FM 834 West, and not yet had electricity or gas hooked up. Liberty County Sheriff’s Investigator Kenny Dagle is handling the investigation, but he has already determined it was burglary with arson to cover the theft.

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Drug Bust: A Texas Department of Justice Corrections Officer, Angelique Citizen 20 of Liberty, has been arrested and charged with alleged drug dealing in Dayton last Thursday night. Also arrested was 25 year old Glenn Samuels, Jr. of Dayton, charged with 3 counts of possession of a controlled substance. The arrest stems from an investigation involving the Liberty Co. Sheriffs Department, Liberty Chambers Narcotics Task Force, Dayton Police and Liberty Police.

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Funerals: Telesa Lynn Brashier Attaway, 42 of Liberty. Services 10 AM Tomorrow at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Baytown. Kermit Edwin Beasley, 66. Private family services.

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

VOLUME 23 NO. 139 MONDAY, JULY 21, 2008

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LISD Legend Dies: A longtime Liberty ISD coach, teacher, business manager and newly elected board member has died. John T. “Tommy” Davis, 68, died Sunday after suffering a stroke Friday. He was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital where he underwent surgery Friday to remove a blood clot. Doctors operated again on Saturday, but on Sunday they recommended removing Tommy Davis from life-support. We are told he died quietly. In addition to his long-time work for the district, Tommy Davis also was a student/athlete when he attended Liberty High School in the 1950s.

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Crane Accident: Two Dayton men were among four killed in Friday’s giant crane accident near the Houston Ship Channel at the city limits of Houston and Pasadena. Deep South Crane and Rigging, the company that operated the crane, identified the Dayton men as John D. Henry, 33, and Daniel “DJ” Johnson, 30. The other men killed in the industrial accident were Marian “Scotter” Odom III of Highlands and Rocky Strength of Santa Fe. In addition, seven other were injured. No word yet on what caused the accident, but OSHA is looking into the matter.

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Dayton Civic Center: The City of Dayton is moving rapidly toward construction on their new multi-use center on South Cleveland Street. The 42,000-square-foot building will have a civic center that will seat 500 for dinner, a modern kitchen, an 11,000-square-foot library as well as office space for the Dayton Community Development Center and Dayton Chamber. It also will have space for a new Dayton Senior Center

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Fatal Plane Crash: A man known as an experienced pilot died in a plane crash Saturday afternoon at the Cleveland Airport. 87-year-old Bob Scott of Kingwood failed to come out of an acrobatic barrel roll after take off and crashed. Observers said Mr. Scott’s Pitt brand biplane hit the ground nose first in the tree line at the side of the runway.

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Liberty Native: Liberty native Jay Root is leaving his long-time position as Austin bureau chief for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to become a state watchdog reporter for the Associated Press. One story Jay Root wants to look into is the sinkhole in Daisetta and its implications statewide.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.48 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 138 FRIDAY, JULY 18, 2008

Judgment Against Akins: A judgment in the 55th District Court of Harris County July 7th, awards Immanuel Home Health Care $569,200 in actual and exemplary damages from LCST, LLC and Ray Akins. The court papers say due to Ray Akins failure to answer the charges made, that is as good as admitting the liability allegations. The judgment also allows the Palmarez Brothers, owners of Immanuel Home Health, the ability to trace any funds and assets, which may have been transferred to Akins LCST company. Last January John Fason, Attorney for the Palmarez Brothers, alleged $16,000 had been taken from Immanuel, and deposited into Akins LCST account.

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Stimulus Checks: US Congressman Kevin Brady said over 440,000 Texas residents have not filed tax returns that would allow them to receive the $300-$600 stimulus checks. He said its mostly senior citizens who do not have to file a tax return, because they have no income requirement to file. However, it is that return that triggers the stimulus check. You are urged to file, even if not required. Congressman Brady pointed out with the cost of virtually everything increasing, that extra money would come in handy for those on a fixed income.

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Paws for Love: The Liberty Municipal Library is going to the dogs Wednesday, July 23 and 30th. The library will host a special program that helps children learn to read better. Specially trained dogs are used to allow children the opportunity to read in a non-threatening environment. The dogs are therapy dogs and are a part of the “Paws for Love” program working in nursing homes, in schools teaching dog safety, and with this reading education assistance program. The dogs are trained and tested for health, safety, temperament and skills. To sign up, call the Library at 936 336 8901.

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Public Meeting: Liberty Co. Toll Road Authority Board is inviting the public to their regular meeting next Tuesday at 1:30 at the Liberty City Hall meeting room. There will be a presentation on a new mode of freight transportation.

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Funerals: Nicholas Daniel Garza, 27 of Crosby. Services 2 PM tomorrow at Navaree Funeral Home in Baytown. Jesse James Nugent, 87 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 10 AM at Pentecostal Tabernacle in Liberty.

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

VOLUME 23 NO. 137 THURSDAY, JULY 17, 2008

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Liberty ISD: Tuesday night, the LISD board approved an agreement with the City of Liberty for the much discussed and reported school resource officer, at a cost of $50,000 for the district’s portion with the city paying the remainder. The split is roughly the equivalent of a 75-25 cost-sharing agreement in which the district pays the larger percentage.

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners met in special session yesterday morning with 1 item on the agenda, a possible tax abatement for the potential industry Boomerang Tube. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said they passed a resolution stating the commissioner’s court willingness to grant a tax abatement to the $500 million company should they chose Liberty as their location.

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Dayton ISD: Tuesday night the Dayton school board approved a major roof repair project, affecting 3 different campuses. Those are Stephen F. Austin Elementary, Colbert Elementary and Woodrow Wilson Jr. High. Doug Coleman, assistant superintendent for Dayton ISD, said the low bidder was Jaco Construction with a bid of $652,000. Only one other bid was received, and it was some $15,000 higher. In other action, trustees appointed Shirley Sisk as the new at-risk counselor.

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New Doc: South Liberty County has a new medical doctor whose full practice is at the Liberty Medical Surgical Clinic. Dr. Don Callens has already moved with his wife and daughters to Liberty, and is seeing patients daily. Dr. Callens was invited to join the clinic here because of it’s extensive growth and because senior physician Dr. Reese Brown has significantly reduced his in-clinic hours, seeing patients 2 days a week so he can have more free time.

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Panther Football: Liberty Panther season ticket holders can pick up their ticket packs beginning August 4th. Each packet has home game tickets at $30 per seat. Any reserved season ticket packages not purchased by August 21st will be released to the general public for sale between August 22nd and 28th.

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Funerals: Billy Ray Mills, 66 of Liberty. Services will be tomorrow at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Chapel in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.52 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 136 WEDNESDAY, JULY 16, 2008

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Hospital District: Monday night, Liberty County Hospital District board members voted to hire an attorney that specializes in contract negotiations as it pertains to the purchase of the hospital and critical access designation from Frontier Health Care by the hospital district. In addition board members approved that attorney to negotiate with Critical Access Health Care for management services, should the district purchase the hospital. Monday night, the board accepted the resignation of board member Janice Guedry, however the decision on how to fill the now vacant seat was tabled.

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H-D High School Safe: Following the Monday afternoon meeting in Austin with the Texas Railroad Commission, Hull Daisetta School Superintendent Mary Huckabay said she was relieved by what she heard from geologists. She said her recommendation to trustees at their next school board meeting would be to hold school as normal. The high school campus sits only a few hundred yards from the sinkhole.

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Country Emporium Closes: Tuesday afternoon, the very popular Country Emporium restaurant in Liberty closed its doors for the last time. According to long time cashier Chuck Riley, his step daughter Janice Guedry sold the restaurant about 4 months ago to Todd Allen of Phoenix Arizona. However with the absentee ownership, the reputation faded quickly, and Tuesday was the last day. The only reason we were given was they ran out of money, with payments going to the new owner, but not the restaurants operation costs.

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Liberty Recycling: Liberty City Council last week asked Terry Woodson with Waste Management to provide the city with four different proposals for a recycling service. The proposals will be for weekly or every other week curbside service as well as the manned and unmanned drop off options.

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Correction: The Children’s Music Festival is this Saturday at Stancil Park in Cleveland.

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Funerals: Audrey Mary Broussard, 87 of Raywood. Services 10 AM Thu., Sacred Heart Catholic Church-Raywood. Ed Jouette, Jr., 81 of Dayton. Visitation 9 – 9 Thurs. Pace Stancil Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.55 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 135 TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2008

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Chambers Co. Murder Charge: A Sabine Pass teenager, Devan Meeks, 19 has been charged with the murder of David Davis who was found dead inside his burning home July 6th. Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said a juvenile suspect remains in custody pending official charges related to the murder. Last week, Sheriff LaRive said David Davis had been caring for the 16-year-old daughter of a deceased friend, and there had been an apparent ongoing disagreement between Davis and Meeks, identified as the girls’ boyfriend. Following the murder, the two teenagers disappeared in stolen truck, but were quickly arrested by police in Oklahoma. Meeks has been brought back to Texas and is currently being held, without bond in the Jefferson Co. Jail awaiting transfer to the Chambers County Jail.

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Fall Vegetables: The Texas Agrilife Extension Service and the Liberty County Master Gardeners are holding a fall vegetable program Thursday at 7 PM at the Liberty County Courthouse Annex at Cos and Fannin in Liberty. Master Gardener Ken Flournoy will present the program on the basics of fall vegetable gardening. Make reservations by calling the extension office at 936 336 4558 or 281 593 0405 ext. 221 for both numbers.

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Social Security Fraud: David Bauman with the Beaumont office of Social Security said new website’s that mimic the official Social Security web site are designed to get your personal information. He said red flags should go up if the first thing a website asks for is information such as bank account numbers or Social Security numbers. To report suspected Social Security fraud, call 1 800 269 0271.

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Children’s Music Festival: This Saturday at Stancil Park in Cleveland there is a special event being held starting at 10 AM. The Texas Children’s Music Festival will include music stars, dancing with parents or family competition, a BBQ cook off with the winners determined by children judges. There will be face painting, games and prizes, as well as some children’s talent contests. For information, call Chairperson Brenda Myers at 281 432 1007.

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Funerals: Vernon Allen Stephens Sr., 68 of Dayton. Services today at 10 AM, Magnolia Cemetery in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.62 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 134 MONDAY, JULY 14, 2008

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Hospital District: The Hospital District Board meets tonight at 6 PM to consider options as they scramble to save hospital care in south Liberty County. We know that more than one meeting has been held in the past few days with Frontier Health Care, Critical Access Health Care and Liberty County Commissioners. Several options are up for discussion tonight in executive session. The meeting will be in the Liberty County Hospital District offices in Liberty. Board Member Janice Guedry has resigned her board seat to move from Liberty County.

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Liberty Fire Fighter Dies: Sorrell Fregia, 24 a Liberty Fire Fighter/EMT died suddenly and unexpectedly while working at home on his race car. Sheriffs’ Investigator Kenny Dagle said there were no signs of trauma or foul play, and no indication of carbon monoxide poisoning. Autopsy results, ordered by JP Bobby Rader are not complete and Sgt. Dagle said his investigation would not be complete until he gets those results. A unique visitation for the public is set for this evening from 5 until 9 PM at the City of Liberty Fire Department on Lakeland drive in Liberty. Funeral is Tues. at 2 at North Main Baptist Ch.

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Apparent Suicide Attempt: Sheriffs Dept. Sgt. Investigator Kenny Dagle said around 11 Thursday night, Michael McKnight apparently shot himself in the chest with a 22/250 deer rifle. His mother, investigating the noise, found the 40-year-old man. He was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by Life Flight air ambulance. Sunday his condition was upgraded to fair.

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Hardin School Board: Last week, the Hardin School Board voted to sell $9.2 million in tax revenue bonds. Voters on May 10th overwhelmingly approved that bond issue, the first time in almost 40 years the school district’s patrons have given their stamp of approval to such a measure. Hardin ISD Financial Consultant Lewis Wilkes said the district should have the bond money in the bank sometime this week.

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Funerals: Sorrell Fregia, 24 of Hardin. Services 2 PM Tue. at North Main Baptist Church in Liberty. Evelyn C. Sthram, 64 of Batson. Services Tues. 10AM Daisetta United Pentecostal Church. George Willy Lowe, 64 of Saratoga. Services today noon at Roadside Memorial Baptist Church- Saratoga.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.65 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 133 FRIDAY, JULY 11, 2008

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State Rep - Sinkhole Meeting: State Representative John Otto invited several decision makers in the county, the City of Daisetta, Hull Daisetta School trustees and others to his office in Dayton Wednesday along with a representative of State Senator Tommy William’s office. The Dayton republican said he was not happy with the job the railroad commission has done for the citizens of Daisetta at the infamous sinkhole, adding he learned at least one study’s been completed, but with no communication to the citizens of Daisetta. John Otto said the executive director of the Railroad Commission apologized and promised communication in the future. An email was sent yesterday to the State Representative with an update of activities concerning the sinkhole from the Texas Railroad Commission. The email said at this point no determination as to the cause, and as of now, no link to the sinkhole and nearby injection wells has been made.

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Cornhusker: Dayton Head Football Coach Jerry Stewart said Bronco QB Cody Green has made a commitment to play on an athletic scholarship for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The 6’4” Green still has his senior year in front of him. He had a major early season ankle injury in 2007 and that kept him off the field almost all of his junior year. Coach Stewart said, as a sophomore Cody Green’s 40-yard dash speed was about 4.6. Stewart said he’s not likely to be at full speed this year, saying while Cody’s ankle is stable, it needs more healing time.

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FM 563: The Texas Department of Transportation said W. W. Webber Construction from Houston is working on an overly project on FM 563 from Highway 90 in Liberty to I-10 in Chambers County. The roadway will be milled and resurfaced with a 1 ½” overlay. FM 563 will be down to one lane in the work areas. However, the plan is to only work enough area of the road to be able to finish that section in one day. Traffic on FM 563 should be alert to slowdowns and stops in the work areas during daytime hours. That project should be completed, weather permitting in less than a month.

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Funerals: Ryan James Williams, 5 of Dayton. Services 10 AM Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dayton. Emmitt “Bud” Hewitt, 90 of Devers. Services 10 AM Saturday at Broussard’s in Winnie.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.73 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 132 THURSDAY, JULY 10, 2008

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City of Liberty: Liberty City Council Tuesday evening took steps toward offering a tax abatement incentive package to prospective new industry, Boomerang Tube. City Council established guidelines for its tax abatement, including a descending scale for abatements starting with 100 % and dropping to 0 % by the 8th year. City Council approved a resolution indicating intent to enter into a tax abatement agreement with Boomerang Tube, a company with projected sales of $500 million a year. As reported, Liberty and New Orleans are competing for the company.

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Fish Warning: The Texas Department of State Health Services is advising limited consumption of speckled trout and all species of catfish from Galveston Bay. The warning cites concerns about chemicals known a PCBs and Dioxins. The limited consumption is recommended to no more than 8 oz. per adult - per month. Women who are nursing, pregnant or who may become pregnant as well as children should not eat any of the fish. The advisory applies to all of Galveston Bay extending to the seaward end of the Galveston jetties. It includes the minor bays like Chocolate Bay, East Bay, West Bay and Trinity Bay.

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LCWF Sign Up: The fall semester sign up for the Liberty County Workforce Academy is Tuesday, August 5, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dayton High School cafeteria. The classes are open to junior and senior students from all school districts in Liberty County as well as adult residents of Liberty County. There are 12 different areas of study now offered at the Liberty County Workforce Academy.

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Methodist Youth: A group of Methodist youth volunteers are coming to Liberty County this month to make needed repairs to homes for people who otherwise would not have the financial means to get the work done. Anyone in all of the county who needs free assistance is asked to contact Robbie Hood with the City of Liberty at 936 334 7109.

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Funerals: Lillie Mae Meiners, 85 of Old Snake River. Services to be held at a later date. Wilbert Lee Williams, Jr. 58 of Liberty. Services 11 AM today at Wells Memorial Chapel in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.72 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 131 WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 2008

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Hospital may close: Albert Swarzer with Frontier Healthcare, owners of Liberty Dayton Community Hospital said continued losses attributable to treating the uninsured have made the current situation unworkable, and the hospital may close its doors within the next 30 days. He said during the 3 years since its formation, the hospital district has collected about $6 million in taxes but reimbursed Liberty Dayton Hospital less than $1 million. Frontier’s Albert Swarzer said without more support from the Liberty County Hospital District or a viable offer to buy the hospital, it will be impossible to continue operate.

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Boomerang: Chairman of the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee Frank Jordan has been on the cutting edge of exciting news for Liberty and the county. A company called Boomerang is considering two locations, Liberty Texas and New Orleans Louisiana. Frank Jordan said the economic impact for the entire area, should Boomerang pick Liberty, would be major. While there would be power substation expansions to handle the extra power draw, Jordan said estimates are that capital investment would be paid back in power consumption alone in roughly 8 to 9 months.

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Dayton City Council: Monday night Dayton City Council approved a preliminary plat for section one of the White Oaks Trails subdivision to be building on land fronting FM 1008. In other action, council agreed to charge off $11,502 in old unpaid water and sewer bills. City Manager David Douglas said the debts may be written off but they are not forgiven. Anyone who tries to reestablish city services will have to pay what they owe.

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Teen Found: Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said police in Oklahoma arrested Devan Meeks for auto theft. The sheriff said Melina Perry was found with Meeks and is safe. The missing truck has also been located. Sheriff LaRive said both Devan Meeks and Melina Perry are being held until Texas investigators can question the pair.

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Funerals: Debra Sue Mathews, 55. Services tomorrow 10:30 AM at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. Pearlie Ethel Barnhart, 88 of Batson. Services 2 PM tomorrow at Batson Prairie Baptist Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.75 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 130 TUESDAY, JULY 8, 2008

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Murder Chambers Co.: Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said 43-year-old David Davis of Winnie was found dead in his burning home, and it appeared the fire had been intentionally set. The investigation concluded he was killed sometime during the early morning hours of Sunday. Mr. Davis had been caring for a friend’s 16-year-old daughter, Melina Nicole Perry. She has not been seen or heard from since the murder. Officials believe Davis had an ongoing disagreement with Perry’s 19-year-old boyfriend, Devan Meeks, and law enforcement believe the young girl’s life may be in danger. Melina Perry is described as a white female with brown hair and hazel eyes. She is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. Authorities want to talk with Devan Meeks, who is also a suspect in the theft of a family member’s truck out of Port Arthur. The vehicle is a gray 2000 Chevrolet single-cab truck with Texas license plate 76y-wx5. Anyone with information is asked to call the Chambers County Sheriffs Department at 409-267-8831.

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Petition: The petition calling for an election to dissolve the Liberty County Hospital District may not, according to Texas Election Law, be valid. The copy of the petition sent to KSHN has room for a name, address and voter precinct. However, Texas law requires, in addition to the signature, the signer’s printed name, date of birth or voter registration number, the signer’s residence address, and the date they signed. Also, a signature is considered invalid if signed earlier than 180 days before the date the petition is filed.

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Chambers County Drowning: A July 4th celebration ended tragically. Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said a group of individuals were celebrating the holiday at a home on Lakeview off of FM 3180. Just after 9 p.m. Friday, they noticed a 22-month-old girl was missing. Moment’s later, Natalie Morales was found in a backyard swimming pool. She was taken to San Jacinto Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

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4-H Horsemen: The public is invited to the Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team dress rehearsal at 7 p.m. today at T.V.E.

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Funerals: Irene Mullican, 88, services tomorrow at 10 am at Sterling Funeral home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.72 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 129 MONDAY, JULY 7, 2008

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Stratton on Petition: Regarding the petition being circulated for signatures to force an election to dissolve the Liberty County Hospital District, Board President Bruce Stratton said a lot of misinformation is also being circulated. Mostly it concerns the amount of taxes as it applies to the hospital district. Bruce Stratton said, it is a fact, the current hospital district tax rate of 9 cents per $100 of taxable value cannot be increased without voter approval in a separate election.

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Property Tax Hearings: District 18 State Representative John Otto is chairman of the Texas House Interim Select Committee on Property Tax Relief and Appraisal. That committee is holding hearings to get public input on these issues. The Texas House committee hearing in Beaumont is on July 15 at 1 p.m. at the John Gray Center Auditorium on the Lamar University Campus. Rep. John Otto encourages his constituents in Liberty, Polk and Montgomery counties to attend the meeting and give their input.

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Mounted Drill Team: The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team’s annual dress rehearsal is 7 p.m. tomorrow at the TVE Fairgrounds. The public is invited to see the reigning state horseback champions in both the Fast Freestyle and Precision events as they prepare for this year’s state finals. The team is made up of 30 kids from throughout the county. From 2003 through 2006, they placed first in the state in either Fast Freestyle or Precision. Then, they won both events last year.

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Chamber Luncheon: The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon is Wednesday at noon at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church’s Marion Hall. This month’s guest speaker is energy market expert John Kennedy, who will discuss what’s happening with oil prices. Lunch is a super salad bar that includes a variety of salads provided by Ken Owens Catering for $8. Call the Chamber office at 936-336-5736 for reservations.

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Funerals: Douglas Edward Emanuel, 94, of Hull, services at 10 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Willowdene Hanchey Rawlinson, 83, of Hardin, services held Sunday. ** Ken Garrison, Jr., 74, of Liberty, services 10 a.m. tomorrow at First Baptist Liberty with visitation 5 to 9 today.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.79 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 128 THURSDAY JULY 3, 2008

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Daisetta Sinkhole Meeting: About 250 people attended Tuesday’s meeting at the Hull Daisetta High School Auditorium to hear a presentation from Jim Blackburn. The Houston attorney told the audience, in his opinion, the Texas Railroad Commission bore a lot of the responsibility for the sinkhole for not monitoring the local wells, as they should, and that the people of the area had the right to information from the governmental agency. He offered several options for governmental agencies including lawsuits against the agencies involved. Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald said he was very pleased with the turn out and the information. He said what avenue would be taken he was sure would be the subject of some discussion with County Commissioners.

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Hospital District Petition: A petition is being circulated calling for an election to dissolve Liberty County Hospital District #1. Person’s signing the petition must live within the boundaries of the hospital district and be a registered voter. State law requires there be at least 15 % of the district’s register voters who sign the petition before an election can be called. We learned from the voter registration office there are 17,311 voters in the hospital district, 15 % of the registered voters in that area would be 2596 qualified voter signatures. If petitioners were successful in getting that number, the hospital district board would have to order an election to be held within 60 days. No name of a responsible party is on the petition.

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Bell Ringing: Folks are invited to ring the Liberty Bell tomorrow at the Liberty Bell Plaza. The Liberty County Historical Commission will hold its annual July 4th bell ringing ceremony behind the Geraldine D Humphrey’s Cultural Center. The ceremony starts at 11:55 a.m., with the bell ringing at noon. Jimmy Sterling said included in the ceremony will be reading excerpts from the Declaration of Independence.

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Closed for the 4th: The Liberty County Courthouse, city offices in Liberty and Dayton, all banks and post offices will be closed tomorrow in observance of the Independence Day Holiday.

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Pending: Wilbert Lee William, 58 of Liberty. Services pending with Wells Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.79 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 127 WEDNESDAY JULY 2, 2008

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Hospital District: Following a 3 hour executive session Monday night, Liberty County Hospital District Board Members voted 3-1 to enter into discussions with Frontier Health Care, owners of Liberty Dayton Community Hospital, Critical Access Health Care, that company has shown an interest in purchasing the local hospital, and Liberty County. The motion was for negotiations to purchase or lease the hospital. Board Member Charles Kaemerling said he was voting against the motion because of reservations he had concerning some of the principals involved with Critical Access, and it was their involvement that promoted his no vote.

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LHS Physicals: Liberty football Coach Shane Deel reminds students who intend to play high school football this season that two-a-day practices starts August 4th. All players must have physicals prior to that time. Official forms can be picked up at the field house 7 a.m. till noon, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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Otto on Budget: State Representative John Otto, a member of the Select Committee on Public and Higher Education Finance, said he has been hearing a lot about the rising cost of fuel, and the growing expense of transporting students. He said adjustments for inflation would likely be part of the states new formulas used for funding school districts throughout Texas. The District 18 Representative said the Texas economy is doing well, and the state budget should be in good shape when the legislature meets in January 2009.

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Railroad in Lib. Co.: Members of the Liberty County Rural Rail Transportation District say the first step in the proposed 32 mile rail line to Cleveland, is obtaining permission to access land for an environmental study. A letter has been sent to property owners along the proposed route asking landowners to sign a statement allowing representatives from a company called Carter-Burgess access to their property. The county rail district has no taxing authority, and bonds to fund building the railroad are retired by income generated from rail users.

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July 3rd: The 8th Annual July 3rd Celebration in Liberty City Park kicks off at 7 PM tomorrow. Music, hot-dogs, a program, recognition of military veterans, and fireworks - all free.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.77 ASL*

VOLUME 23 NO. 126 TUESDAY JULY 1, 2008

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Sink Hole: Liberty County Commissioners will hold a workshop at 6:30 p.m. today at the Hull-Daisetta High School auditorium. Judge Phil Fitzgerald said it is an opportunity to hear the most current information on the dramatic sink hole that formed in early May. Judge Fitzgerald encourages local officials and citizens to attend in order to learn the latest information regarding geological research and legal options.

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Bommerang Tube: Liberty County Commissioners Court heard a presentation Monday from a company called Bommerang Tube. The company is considering locating to the City of Liberty or a location in Louisiana. Bommerang plans to begin production in the third quarter of 2009 with initial employment of 250 people and annual sales of $500 million. The company is seeking incentive tax abatements to locate here.

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Phone Scam: A Dayton resident altered us to a phone scam that got him. In this scam, the person accepts a collect call concerning information about a prisoner. The call then directs the person to phone another number. When that call is made, the crooks hijack the number and use it to make phone calls, including long distance calls that are charged to the victim’s bill.

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Vocational Training: Rep. John Otto said he has been working between legislative sessions on a variety of issues. Rep. Otto recently spoke with Texas Education Agency Commissioner Robert Scott about his desire for vocational or job skills training to be made available to Texas high school students. Rep. Otto said Commissioner Scott believes students should have access to college prep, job skills and fine arts training.

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Blood Drives: There are a number of Life Share blood drives set for July. The first will be Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. at FLNB Dayton Financial Center. A platelet drive is Saturday at both 8 and 10 a.m. at FLNB Liberty. For information, call Dorothy Nettles at 936-298-2689.

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Funerals: Loretta Freeman, 64, of Houston, pending with Wells Funeral Service. ** Buffard Leon Johnson, 83, of Dayton, services 2 p.m. Wednesday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Visitation is 5 to 9 tonight at Pace-Stancil.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS - LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.78 ASL*

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