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February 2007

** VOLUME 22 NO. 40 WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 28TH, 2007 **

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The City of Liberty has filed a civil lawsuit against the Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital for $8,618.03 in past due property taxes. The attorney in the tax collection action, Mike Fielder said it is a forgone conclusion that the Liberty School District, Liberty County and other taxing entities would join the suit on behalf of the city against the local hospital, to protect their lien position. As reported last week, the hospital is also past due some $175,000 in utility bills to the city and owes a total $43, 213.69 in past due property taxes to all taxing authorities.

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and discussed hiring a records management consulting firm to go through the massive volumes of paper records in the County Clerk’s Office to determine which of those must be retained and how long documents must be kept. Commissioners decided that type of service could be utilized through every county department and felt each department’s budgeted record management funds could be used to be pay for it.

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur has confirmed his department is investigating a criminal case of tampering with government documents at Hardin High School. The tampering apparently has to do with student records though reliable sources confirm the suspects are not teachers, administrators or students. School officials became suspicious when Hardin High teachers called their attention to possible document changes.

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Local marathoner Robert Dunn is planning to be among the more than 20,000 runners taking to the streets of Boston, Massachusetts on April 16th for the 111th running of the Boston Marathon. We reported last week the Liberty man had qualified to run in the big race, but felt he probably wouldn’t enter until 2008. Robert Dunn said concerns that he might not be in as good physical condition next year as this year prompted the change.

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Funerals: Charles Ray Berry, 60 of Dayton. Services will be at 11 am today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Mark Steven Tripp, 38 of Dayton. The family will have a private memorial service at a later date. ** Elizabeth Anne Olecki, 56 of Atascocita. A gathering of family and friends will be Friday 10 am – noon at the Navarre Funeral Home in Baytown.

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LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.52 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 39 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 27TH, 2007 **

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According to TVE Board Chair Barry Whitaker, the search for a new facilities manager for the TVE Fairgrounds continues. Whitaker said some duties of the position may be redefined because previous manager James Bricker had assumed so much of the work there, it may be more than a newcomer could be expected to do. The TVE doubled in size of non-fair events and revenue during the time Bricker managed operations here. Those interested in the position can call 936-336-7455.

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The annual switch to Daylight Saving Time is three weeks earlier this year and ends a week later. An energy conservation bill signed by President Bush in 2005 mandates that clocks be set ahead one hour for the first time this year on March 11th, then set back an hour on November 4th. Many electronic devices that automatically adjust for the time change will have be reprogrammed, since they are still set to make the switch on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.

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An agreement has been reached to sell one of the two remaining commercial building pads on the Wal-Mart Super Center property in Liberty. Michael Contello of Mulligan & McCarble Real Estate of Houston said his company has a written purchase agreement to construct a 10,350 square foot building to accommodate as many tenants as space will allow. No estimated construction start time was provided.

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Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive recently announced he is switching political parties. Elected in 2004 as a Democrat, the Sheriff announced during Chambers County Day in Austin that he would make the change to the Republican Party. LaRive’s move is less than a year after the Chambers County Judge, Treasurer and County Attorney all changed their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Sheriff Joe LaRive is not up for reelection until 2008.

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Funerals: Mary Susan Roberts, 88 of Baytown, formerly of Hardin. Services will be tomorrow at 2 pm at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Patti Kahn, 65, of Moss Hill, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Trinity Valley Baptist Church. ** Lloyd Garner, 58, of Dayton, No public services scheduled. ** Jean Thomas Altum, 80, of Saratoga, Services held Sunday. **

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LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.72 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 38 MONDAY FEBRUARY 26TH, 2007 **

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The murder trial of a Dayton man who is charged in a shooting spree at the Raceway Convenience Store has been delayed. Jury selection was to begin today in the 75th District Courtroom in the trial of Roy Smith, who allegedly shot and killed a Houston man - Mike Aydelette - and wounded two other people at the store on Hwy 90 in Dayton in October 2005. No new trial date has been announced yet.

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**The Hardin Lady Hornets super basketball season ended Friday. The Hardin girls, coached by Danny Balch, bowed out of the state playoffs after reaching the “Sweet 16”. They lost to Winona 49 to 43. The girls finished with a 26 and 6 record.

**The Dayton Broncos boys basketball team had reached the area playoffs but lost Friday to Lamarque in a super game 84-79. Coach Geoff McCracken’s Bronco’s finished with a 20-9 record.

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The IRS warns taxpayers not to fall for schemes from or by unscrupulous tax preparers. Most tax professionals are honest and reputable. Use an expert recommended by someone you trust. Taxpayers can be steered in the wrong direction at the risk of penalties, interest and maybe even criminal prosecution.

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At last Thursday’s Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber Banquet, Houston TV News Anchor Art Rascon reminisced about his career in journalism. Longtime Dayton Fire Chief Terry Boyett was named Citizen of the Year from Dayton and the honor went to Sandra Sterling as Liberty Citizen of the Year.

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The Friends of the Liberty Library’s Annual Book and Bake Sale is Friday March 23rd and Saturday March 24th during the Liberty Jubilee. The sale features thousands of gently used books, paperbacks and magazines plus homemade cakes, pies, cookies, casseroles and more. Library Director Dana Abshier this year’s sale will help support ongoing library programs as well as furniture and other fixtures needed for the upcoming expansion of the library and cultural center. For more information or to make a donation, call 936-336-8901.

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Funerals: Jolynn Scarbrough, 59, of Dayton, Graveside services at 2 p.m. today at Hardin Chapel Cemetery. ** Taylor Hendon, 14, of Dayton, Services held Sunday.

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LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.74 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 37 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 23RD, 2007 **

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A 3 ½ year old child was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston said to be in serious condition, yesterday morning after he was thrown from a vehicle involved in a traffic accident. Dayton Police Officer Danny Carr said 34 year old Trisha Robinson and her two sons, Tristen and Seth, age 7 were going south of FM 1008 when she crossed the center line and into the path of an oncoming cement truck. Both Ms. Robinson and the truck driver, Mary Johnson of Hull, moved to the shoulder to avoid the accident, however, it was the same shoulder. Tristen Robinson was ejected from the pick up. Officer Carr said Ms. Robinson would be cited for failure to secure a child in a safety seat, as well as failure to control speed. More citations may be added as the investigation continues.

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A 14-year-old Kenefick boy is dead of asphyxia, apparently from suicide. Liberty County Sheriffs Sergeant Kenny Dagle said Taylor Hindon was found hanging in a tree in the woods near the home he shared with his grandfather. A noose had been fashioned from an electrical extension cord and was thrown over a tree limb. Sgt. Dagle said every thing he could learn about the boy implied this could not happen, and while a final ruling has not yet been made, Sgt. Dagle said he feels sure the medical examiner will rule the boy intentionally took his own life.

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A Liberty woman was killed yesterday in an early morning traffic accident on Hwy. 90 in Raywood. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Sean Cheshire said Vicki Richardson Vinson for an unknown reason left US 90 near Raywood, crossed all the way to the wrong side of the roadway, tried to take corrective action and came back into the path of an 18 wheel truck transport rig. Vickie Richardson Vinson is said to have died on impact.

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The Lady Hornet Basketball Team has advanced to regional by winning a close game against Woodville. The final score was Hardin 53, Woodville 51. The Hardin Lady Hornets play tonight at 5 PM against Winona at Tyler Junior College.

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Funerals: Vicki Richardson Vinson, 53 of Liberty. Funeral services will be Saturday at 10 am at the First Baptist Church in Liberty.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.97 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 36 THURSDAY FEBRUARY 22ND, 2007 **

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The Dayton City council met in special session Tuesday night and, acting on the advise of City Manager David Douglas declared the required repair of a collapse sewer line on Winfree Street an emergency allowing them to award a contract for repairs rather then go through the normal bidding process. An emergency contract was awarded to Brystar Construction for $38,260 to install 520 feet of sewer line. David Douglas said work should begin almost immediately.

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The Liberty School Board met Tuesday night and heard a report on the progress of the Auditorium remodeling job. Robert Ward, Building Maintenance and Transportation Director said the project is moving along well, and excluding any unforeseen problems, would be ready on time to host the first event scheduled for April 24th. In her report on enrollment and attendance at the district, Superintendent Mona Chadwick said enrollment figures remain steady at around 2,275 students with an average daily attendance of 95.28% district wide.

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Dayton School Trustees met Tuesday and approved a series of election orders that more or less reiterates their January action with one key change. All voters in the city of Dayton will vote at city hall for both the school board and city elections this year, but that affects only those who live in the Dayton city limits. An action last year by the Texas Legislature requires school district have joint polling places on Election Day with municipalities located within the boundaries of such districts.

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The local YMCA is signing up now for the spring Youth Sports programs. Registration is going on until March 7th for Volleyball for ages 8-17 and soccer for ages 3-17. Adult volunteers are also needed. Sports Director for the East Cluster of YMCA, Troy Stehle said you don’t have to be a sports star to be a volunteer coach, they have a program in place that teaches the program in a step by step manner. He said all you need is time and lots of energy. For more information on becoming a volunteer or to sign up a child for one of the programs, call the Liberty County YMCA at 936 257 2888.

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Correction: In yesterday’s radiogram, we identified businessman Al Simonson as owner of Southwest Quikrete in Raywood. He in fact the General Manger. We regret the error.

LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.31 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 35 WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 21ST, 2007 **

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The fundraising committee for the expansion of the Humphrey’s Cultural Center and Liberty Library is has made significant progress. Chairman of the Committee Paul Henry said the total raised to date to help fund the expansion is more than $300,000. Paul Henry said last Saturday’s dance featuring the Billy Ledbettter Orchestra raised a big chunk of that total, at roughly $25,000. The expansion fundraising committee is planning more fund-raisers over the next few months trying to reach the goal of $1.4 million. The estimated cost for the project is $2.4 million, with $1 million from the City of Liberty.

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While speaking to Liberty Rotarians on Tuesday, US Congressman Kevin Brady said he recently received a report on the first year of the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. He said in the first year, 9 out of 10 qualified Texans have signed up for the program, with an average monthly cost of $24 rather than the $35 anticipated when the program was designed. He also said Medicare Part “D” in its first year, cost taxpayers about 1/3 less then originally thought.

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The number of candidates for three at-large positions on the Liberty City Council on May 12th is now three. Local businessman Al Simonson has joined incumbents Dennis Beasley and Diane Huddleston on the ballot. Simonson is owner of Southwest Quick Crete in Raywood. Incumbent J. C. Burnham has not yet filed to run for another council term, though the period to do so continues until March 12th.

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The Liberty County Hospital District Board met Monday night and set May 12th as Election Day for the 3 of the five board members up for re election. They are Eliza May Guidry, Kathy Dagle, and Board President C. Bruce Stratton. Board members also scheduled a workshop session, next Monday night at 6:30 at the Parrish Hall of the Episcopal Church in Liberty. Attorneys’ well versed in hospital districts and indigent care matters will be on hand. The public is welcome to attend.

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Funerals: Owen Joseph Jackson, 57 of Raywood. Services will be at 10 am Friday at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames * Ocie Brown, 95 of Houston Services will be 10 AM Thursday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: “n/a” ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 34 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 20TH, 2007 **

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A ceremony renaming the Cleveland Post Office will be held tomorrow from 10 am until noon. It will be henceforth known as the “Lance Corporal Robert A. Martinez Post Office Building”, in honor of the 20 year old marine, a 2003 graduate of Cleveland High School, who was killed while serving in Iraq in December 2005. The Post Office is at 1213 E. Houston Street. The public is invited to attend this very special event.

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Sunday, the 8th Annual Liberty County Black History Celebration will again award several Black Heritage Awards. Three of those to be honored are veterans of the Second World War, Freddie Donatto of Ames, Wilbert Wycliff of Dayton and Luther T. Wells Jr. of Liberty. One veteran from the Korean Conflict, Eural Pruitt of Dayton will also be honored. The program, sponsored by the Liberty County Historical Commission, will be from 3 PM to 5 PM this Sunday, in the Liberty Center.

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The Dayton City Council last week authorized Mayor Steve Stephens to proceed with efforts to raise some $10,000 necessary to erect a 60 foot flag pole near the intersections of State Highway 146 and U.S. Highway 90.

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Local marathoner Robert Dunn has realized a personal dream when he finished the AT & T Austin Marathon fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. He said since the big race in Boston is held each April, it may take a year of training before he goes. He plans to run in the 2008 Boston Marathon.

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The Get Motivated Seminar, set for March 13th in Houston, features well known motivator Zig Ziglar, General Colin Powell, Presidential Candidate and former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, and Heavyweight Boxing Champ George Foreman, among others. Through a special arrangement with the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the total cost to attend for 10 people is only $49. For reservations call 1 800 217 1339.

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Funerals: Justin Riggins, 21 of Baytown. Services at 11 AM today at Crespo & Jirrels Funeral Home in Baytown. ** Jewel D. Fowler Umfrid, 64 of Dayton. Funeral services 10 AM tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.36 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 33 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 16TH, 2007 **

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A Liberty County Grand Jury has indicted a Tarkington Area man for the murder of his wife. District Attorney Mike Little said 51-year-old Rodney Strickland was indicted for murder on Wednesday for the January 19th shooting death of his wife Mary at their North Liberty County home. Sheriff’s deputies found the 46-year-old woman dead after a call- allegedly by Rodney Strickland himself- that he had shot two of his family members. Mary Strickland’s 17-year-old daughter, Barbara, was injured by gunfire but is recovering. Rodney Strickland remains in the Liberty County Jail, held on a $1 million bond.

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Information indicates some jars of the “Peter Pan” and “Great Value” brand peanut butter, recalled by the FDA for possible salmonella contamination have turned up in some local stores. All of the store managers we talked to, said they have pulled all Peter Pan Peanut Butter from their shelves, and Wal Mart has pulled their own brand, Great Value as well. Additionally, every store we have checked with said they will refund customers money on any and all peanut butter purchases at their store, going beyond what is recommended. No illness has been reported.

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A well-known South Liberty County man has thrown his hat in the ring to run for the Hardin School Board in the May 12th Election. Wallisville Heritage Parker Director and local news reporter Kevin Ladd, 52, filed to run for position #5 on the Hardin ISD Board, since longtime incumbent Billy Yarbrough is not running again. Position #3 and #5 Incumbents Bubba Campbell and Charlotte Warner – respectively- have each filed for new terms. The filing period continues through Monday March 12th.

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A criminal case in Polk Co. has prompted House Bill 872, filed by State Representative for District 18, John Otto. He said 872 if passed would raise the level of criminal charges for tampering with evidence if that evidence is a corpse. Rep. Otto said this bill would raise the charges in such cases from a 3rd degree felony to a 2nd degree. The bill is currently in committee. To follow any bill filed in the Texas Legislature, go to www.kshn.com click on the government link, and then Representative John Otto’s page. His web page has a link available for searching all bills filed.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.39 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 32 THURSDAY FEBRUARY 15TH, 2007 **

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Two young men from Hardin, Weston Jones 18 and Dustin Beasley, 22 were both taken by life flight air ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston said to be in critical condition following a one-vehicle wreck on FM 1011 yesterday afternoon. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jamie Nault said it appears the driver, Weston Jones, was traveling too fast when his truck went off the road. Trooper Nault said he overcorrected, lost control and hit a tree. While the investigation is ongoing, it appears neither of the two men was wearing a seat belt at the time of the wreck.

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During Liberty County Commissioners Tuesday meeting, commissioners voted to offer the developers of Aqualand, the waterpark proposed to be built in Dayton, a graduated five-year tax abatement. There was some question in the commissioners meeting, as to what tax abatement had been offered by the City of Dayton. Dayton City Manager David Douglas said the developers were offered a five-year abatement, with the verbal agreement that if and when the city developed a 10-year abatement policy, the City of Dayton would give the developers the longer period should they request it.

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There are now three candidates running for the three open positions on the May 12th election ballot for the Liberty School Board. Longtime educator Rick Schultz filed to run for the year remaining on the term of recently resigned Board Member Frank Davis. Schultz, 55, worked as teacher for the LISD for 11 years and is currently employed with the Dayton School District. As reported, Incumbent LISD School Trustees June Jackson and Lloyd Pierce have both filed for reelection. The filing period for local city and school board elections ends on March 12th.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed Monday for the Presidents Day Holiday. Garbage pick up in both cities will run as scheduled. All banks and post offices will also be closed Monday.

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Funerals: Sonya Fredricka Ellison Cooper, 56, of Dayton, Memorial Service at 4 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** David L. Boatman, 39, of Huffman, Graveside Services at 10 a.m. Saturday at Huffman Cemetery.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.39 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 31 WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 14TH, 2007 **

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Liberty County Sheriffs Department is investigating the armed robbery Monday afternoon of the Star Mart convenience store on Hwy. 321 at New Salem Road. Sheriff’s Captain Billy Tidwell said no one was hurt but the suspect did make off with several hundred dollars in cash. The suspect is described as a slender white male, wearing a blue ski mask, black shoes, a blue denim shirt, and a black white and blue plaid jacket. He left the scene in a white passenger car. Anyone with information is asked to call the Liberty Co. Sheriff’s Department at 936 336 4500.

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday morning and approved a contract with Jefferson County and Galveston County for the short term housing of Liberty County Juveniles. The Jefferson County and Galveston County jails would be used only if the Montgomery Co. Jail was out of space for housing the underage offenders. In other action, Commissioners, responding to a request by Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald, re-appointed Norman Brown the voting member of the H-GAC Transportation Policy Council, and Todd Fontenot to the General Assembly Board of Directors. Judge Fitzgerald said he was still in the learning curve and felt more comfortable as the alternate at this time.

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On Monday, the first day to file for election for school or city positions, Liberty ISD Trustee June Jackson filed for reelection. In Dayton, Mayor Steve Stephens has also filed for a new term. For Dayton ISD Board of Trustees, Farm Bureau Agent for Liberty and Chambers County, Barret Stevenson has filed for Election to Position #2.

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Registration is going on now for walking teams for the 7th Annual South Liberty County Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society. The 2007 Relay is from 7 PM Friday April 13th to Saturday morning April 14th. All through the night, at least one team member must be on the track. Last years event featured 52 walking teams, and organizers hope for more this year. To enter a team, or sign up to walk on a team, call Judy Glover at 936 298 2938.

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Funerals: Lewis Eley “Bo” Driggers, 84 of Moss Hill. Services today at 2 PM at North Main Baptist Church – Liberty.

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LAKE RELEASE: 6,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12.35 ASL

** VOLUME 22 NO. 30 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 13TH, 2007 **

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A major revelation, Dale Brown, who has been on the Dayton School Board for 12 years, will not seek another term. He said he has had a super experience in service to Dayton ISD, only he felt 12 years on the school board is enough. Brown holds Position #2 as a Dayton ISD Trustee until he is replaced by May 12th voting. As of late Monday, no one has filed for that seat. Dr. Luke Chachere, the Position #1 incumbent has filed for a third term. In Liberty, where voting is at large, Lloyd Pierce filed Monday to run again.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is taking applications now for their 1st Liberty Dayton Business Expo scheduled for Wednesday April 11th from 2 PM until 6 PM. To be held at the Liberty Center, Chamber President Mary Anne Campbell said it’s a chance for businesses to show off their product and services or launch a new business. Cost for a booth is $200 for chamber members, $250 for non-chamber members. The Liberty Dayton Business Expo will be free for the public. For more information, call the Chamber office at 936 336 5736.

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Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald and District Attorney’s Office Crime Prevention Officer Hugh Bishop will be the speakers at the next Hardin – Moss Hill Area Crime watch meeting. Crime Watch President Russell Fairchild said one focus of the meeting would be discussion of a proposed Liberty County Juvenile Curfew ordinance. Also up for discussion is joining the Crime Stoppers USA program. The meeting will 7 PM Monday February 19th at the Hardin Vol. Fire Department.

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Mona Chadwick reminds students that Monday, February 19th is regular school day. The Liberty ISD Superintendent said an old calendar has that day as a staff development day. However, the amended calendar, which is available on line, lists Monday as a regular school day. To access the LISD calendar go to www.kshn.com and click on schools.

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The 81st Annual Methodist Men’s Brotherhood Banquet is this Thursday at 7 PM at the 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. Tickets are available from any member of the men’s bible class or at the church office. The speaker will be Liberty County District Attorney Mike Little.

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

**VOLUME 22 NO. 29 MONDAY FEBRUARY 12TH, 2007-**

A man, with a Cleveland address, became the 4th South Liberty County traffic fatality in the past week. Saturday morning DPS Trooper Mary Phillips said 34-year-old William Cook was on FM 563 near the Chambers County line at 4:22 a.m.. A small pick up truck crossed the center line and collided head-on with Cook’s passenger van. Witnesses told Trooper Phillips the truck was traveling at a high rate of speed and evidence indicates the driver made no effort to brake. William Cook died at the accident scene. JP #1 Bobby Rader ordered an autopsy. It took rescue teams more than two hours to free the other driver- Brice Broussard 18, of Hankamer, in critical condition at Hermann.

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Today’s the first day to file in local city council and school board elections set for May 12th. Mayor Steve Stephens, Council members “Frosty” Pruitt and Barbara Zaruba have terms ending in Dayton. In Liberty J. C. Burnham and Dennis Beasley plus Diane Huddleston, who was appointed to fill John Meche’s unexpired term, have council terms ending. Filing ends 3/12. Dayton school trustees with expiring terms are Pos. #1-Luke Chachere and Pos. #2 -Dale Brown. Liberty Trustees June Jackson and Lloyd Pierce have terms ending. Pierce will file today and a special election is being held to replace Frank Davis. He resigned with one year remaining on his 3- year term.

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Less than 50 tickets remain for this coming Saturday’s Valentine’s dance to help fund the Humphreys Cultural Center expansion project. The event is at the Liberty Center 7 to 11 p.m. with the “big band” sounds of the Billy Ledbetter Orchestra. Tickets are $100 each and include food and beverages. Call 936-346-1609 or 936-336-8901, but time and tickets are limited.

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The Liberty Co.Historical Comm. 2007 Black History Calendars are late this year, but on sale now for $5. They are available at the Sam Houston Center in Liberty and at the Liberty City Library. The calendars feature numerous photos depicting the Black History of Liberty County. Those who have photos that might be good for next year’s calendar can contact Sandra Burrell at 936-336-8821. Photos will be copied and returned.

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FUNERALS: Johnny Fay Downs, 74, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Lois Annette Fregia, 42, of Carrolton, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.04 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 28 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 9TH, 2007-****************************************************

George Douglas Richardson of Hull was sentenced to three 12- year prison sentences yesterday- one for each count of Intoxication Manslaughter resulting from the deaths of three small children in a 2005 traffic crash he caused. DA Mike Little said those sentences would run concurrently or at the same time. Richardson pled guilty to the charges in November, without a plea agreement. Courtroom observers said the sentence given by visiting Judge David Walker did not appear to please either Richardson’s family who hoped for a lighter sentence or the family of the deceased children who hoped he would get the maximum 60 years in prison.

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State Representative John Otto said House Bill 10-98, which he co-authored, would essentially overturn the governors executive order requiring all girls in the 6th grade receive the vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus, thought to cause cervical cancer in later years. Representative Otto said while he did not necessarily disagree with the Governors decision, he did feel the executive order did away with the process of how Texas government was supposed to work.

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Liberty Dayton Chamber President Mary Anne Campbell is encouraging folks to make reservations now for the upcoming Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet February 22nd at 7 PM at the Dayton High School. Keynote Speaker will be Channel 13 News Anchor and Reporter Art Rascon. Tickets are $20 each. Call 936 336 5736.

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Advance tickets are still available for the Liberty County Metro Go-Texas Committee’s Annual Kick Off Dance Saturday from 8 PM to midnight in the TVE Expo Hal featuring Jake Hooker and The Outsiders. Advance tickets are $10 and available at Pesco in Liberty, Dayton Farm and Ranch and All about Fun in Dayton, and at the TVE Office. Tickets at the gate are $12.

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FUNERALS: Darlene Markham Hoyt, 81 of Dayton. Services are 10 am Tuesday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton * Lester Clarence Smith, 84 of Liberty. Services 2 PM Saturday at Allison Funeral Services in Liberty * Hazel Porter, 87 of Cleveland. Services today at 11 am at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.45 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 27 THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8TH, 2007-****************************************************

A wreck on Hwy. 146 about 5 miles south of US 90 in Dayton took the lives of two women, thought to be a mother and daughter yesterday morning. Dayton Police Officer Kenny Broyles said Anita Thomas from Baytown, age 63 and the other victim thought to be her mother, Josefa Amaya 82 of Hull, were both killed instantly when they hit a Waste Management Roll-Off truck. The two women were going south when apparently their car blew a tire, and Anita Thomas, who police believe was the driver, lost control. JP #4 Glenn Pruitt pronounced the two woman dead. The driver of the Waste Management truck was taken to Liberty Dayton Hospital as a precaution. Highway 146 was closed for 4 hours during the investigation.

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The Liberty School Board met in special session Tuesday night to officially call the Special Election on May 12th that will fill the remaining year on the term previously held by Frank Davis. That election will be held in conjunction with the regular election to fill seats currently held by June Jackson and Lloyd Pierce. The first day candidates may file is next Monday.

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The City of Austin took on a decidedly scouting feel this past Saturday as scouts from all over Texas went to the capital city to report to state officials on scouting activities from the past year and plans for the future. Chad Srader, District Executive of the Three Rivers Council took 18 delegates to the state capitol including Jon-Luke Lambright, a Life Scout from Dayton who gave the report to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot about scouting activities in this area. While he admitted he was a little partial, Chad Srader said his council’s report was the best of all.

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An agreement has been reached to sell one of the more talked about business locations in South Liberty County. The former Wheat Law Office Building at the corner of Main St. and Grand Ave. in Liberty will be the new headquarters of Media Publishing. Owner Staci McGuire said closing is in a few days on the 4500 square foot office building owned by Nixon Wheat, now of Houston. Moving day for Media Publishing to their new location is set for March 1st.

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FUNERALS: Virgil Howard Parker, 91, of Liberty, Graveside services at 10 a.m. today at Memory Gardens in Baytown. **

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.64 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 26 WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 7TH, 2007-****************************************************

Local CPA Byron Swaim said last minute changes in tax law resulted in the IRS printing forms without a place for certain deductions. One of those is the State and Local sales tax deduction. To claim this deduction as well as higher education tuition and educator out of pocket classroom expenses, taxpayers will need to know where to put the deduction on Form 1040, and what notation goes beside it. Byron Swaim said for example, the state sales tax deduction goes on Schedule A, Form 1040, line 5, with the notation of ST on the left to indicate you’re claiming the state and local sales tax deduction instead of the deduction for state income tax. The www.irs.gov web site has more information, once there, click on “key tax laws”.

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The City of Liberty is gearing up for a major community development project aimed at replacing aging sewer lines in the Davidge Subdivision area of town. City Manager Allen Barnes said they would be meeting with engineers on this project this week, and go out for bids later this month. Construction on the project should start around April 1st. Allen Barnes said the overall price tag would be between $300,000 and $400,000, with most of it funded through a community development grant.

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The Liberty County YMCA is registering for both youth and adult spring sports programs. The youth co-ed volleyball program for ages 8 through 14 and youth co-ed soccer program for ages 3 though 17 is taking registrations through March 7th. The adult programs, volleyball and flag football, the deadline to register for those programs is March 28th. For more information call the Liberty County YMCA at 257 2888.

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The 22nd Annual Liberty Jubilee is a little over 6 weeks away and spaces are available now for arts and crafts as well as food booths. Each 10 x 10 space rents for $75, without electricity. Booth spaces with electrical hookups are $95. Applications and registrations forms are available by calling the Liberty City Hall, 936 336 3684. The Liberty Jubilee is set for Friday, March 23rd and Saturday, March 24th in downtown Liberty.

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FUNERALS: Shae Donovan Stahl, 14 of Devers. Funeral services will be Thursday at 2 PM at First Baptist Church of Devers.

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.91 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 25 TUESDAY FEBRUARY 6TH, 2007-****************************************************

The murder trial of a Dayton man who allegedly went on a shooting spree at the Raceway Gas Station in Dayton is set for Monday Feb. 26th. Police say an argument between Roy Smith and Mike Aydelett of Houston in October 2005 ended when Smith pulled a pistol and began firing. Aydelett was killed and two passengers in his car were injured by gunfire. Dayton Police Officer Gordon Bean arrived on the scene and shot Roy Smith in the shoulder. Smith remains in the Liberty County Jail.

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The filing period for the May 12th, City and School Board Elections starts Saturday and continues through March 12th. Since business offices are closed Saturdays, the first day to actually submit ballot applications is Monday Feb. 12th. The Liberty City Council seats held by J. C. Burnham, Dennis Beasley and Diane Huddleston are up for reelection. In Dayton, Mayor Steve Stephens and Council Members “Frosty” Pruitt and Barbara Zaruba are all up for reelection.

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The Anahuac City Council voted Friday to suspend City Administrator Stephone Taylor with pay after Council Member Cheryl Sanders filed a complaint against him with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office. Ms. Sanders alleges Taylor - City Administrator since April ’03 - did not seek competitive bids in the $58,000 renovation of an old garage bay into a meeting room for executive council sessions.

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Free counseling services available to residents of Liberty, Montgomery and Walker Counties after Hurricane Rita will end on Feb. 15th. Disaster Counseling Teams helped form the Liberty County Long-Term Recovery Committee that meets monthly to plan recovery efforts for future disasters. For more information, call 936-536-3555.

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FUNERALS: Lorrie Marie Lynn Fountain, 35, of Moss Hill, Services at 3 p.m. tomorrow at New Covenant Worship Center in Saratoga. ** Jerry Wayne Leonard, 50, of Liberty, Graveside services at 10:30 a.m. today at Fairlawn Cemetery in Liberty. ** Ruth Brown, 69, of Cleveland, Services at 10 a.m. today at Neal Funeral Home in Cleveland. ** Irene Edwards, 95, of Raywood, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. **

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.30 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 24 MONDAY FEBRUARY 5TH, 2007-****************************************************

A 14-year old Devers boy died when investigators said he failed to stop at the intersection of Highway 61 & CR 112 south of Devers. He struck into the side of a passing dually truck Sunday afternoon at 3:30. Dead is Shay Donovan Stahl who was riding a dirt bike. He was pronounced dead by JP #2 Ronnie Davis. No autopsy was ordered. The truck driver was Dr. Michael Reves-55 of Hankamer. Devers School Superintendent Larry Wadzeck said counselors and ministers will be at the school Monday in case any student wants to talk with them. Shay Stahl was in the 8th grade. No citations were issued.

Liberty Fire and EMS Department held their Annual Banquet Saturday. Honored as Fire Fighter of the Year was Sean Matula. First Asst. Chief Larry Hajovosky was honored for responding to the most calls. Chris DeDear is Rookie of the Year. Fire Chief Fred Collins has now served the city for 30 years. Mayor Carl Pickett thanked members of the department for their service.

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State Representative John Otto said the State’s current good financial condition is based on several situations that provide only one-time – not long-term – income sources. The Dayton Republican said one of those is the growth of personal income created by Texans refinancing their homes. He said it creates a one time bump in individual income, often used to purchase taxable items. As reported, Rep. Otto has been named to the State House Ways and Means Committee this session.

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Local CPA Byron Swaim said courts have decided the excise tax on long distance phone bills is not proper and the federal government is refunding that money. Both businesses and individuals will get refunds through a tax credit starting with this year’s income tax returns. The credit will be added to the refund of those who do not owe any income tax.

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KSHN Radio’s “African American Firsts” series continues until the end of February. The annual series profiles the lives and achievements of Black Americans that have been too often overlooked in our nation's history. . ****************************************************

, 63, Dayton, Serv.@2 Mon., Kenefick Southern Bapt.**

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LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.73 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 023 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 2ND, 2007-

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Separate bomb threats caused the evacuation of both Dayton High School and Hardin High School yesterday afternoon. The first was Dayton, when a teacher discovered a note that said there was a bomb at the high school. Superintendent Greg Hayman said they followed established procedures by evacuating the counties biggest school. Mutual aid assistance came from law enforcement in Harris County, using dogs trained to search for explosives. The Hardin High School threat was called in at noon yesterday. That school was also evacuated, and thoroughly checked by law enforcement. No explosive devices of any kind were found in either school. Dayton High was given the all clear about 1 PM yesterday, and Hardin was cleared around 3 PM. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said the bomb threat is a felony crime.

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The IRS has a new online tool to help Texans planning to deduct their state and local sales taxes from their federal income taxes. U. S. Congressman Kevin Brady said a sales tax deduction table is now available to help folks itemize these deductions. Go to www.irs.gov and type in “sales tax table”.

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The Liberty Municipal Library Expansion Fundraising Committee is holding a fundraising dance Saturday, February 17th at ht he new Liberty Center Auditorium. The Billy Ledbetter Orchestra offers a wide range of music styling, from swing to rock, from pop to Sinatra. This popular 20-piece orchestra is known as one of the best big bands in Texas. Tickets are $100 each with food and beverages included. For tickets contact Paul Henry or the Liberty Liberty at 336 8901.

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The La Bahia Market, sponsored by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce returns this Saturday and each Saturday thereafter from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Courthouse Square in Downtown Liberty. Popular demand resulted in the monthly event becoming weekly. For information on becoming a vendor call the Chamber Office at 936-336-5736.

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Funerals: Ruth Ann Moore, 61 of Liberty. Cremation services were held earlier * Lee Roy Condrey, 57 of Navasota, formerly of Hull Daisetta. Graveside services this afternoon at 2 PM at Oakland Cemetery in Navasota.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS * LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.94 ASL

-VOLUME 22 NO. 022 THURSDAY FEBRUARY 1ST, 2007-

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Chambers and Liberty Counties Narcotics Task Force Investigators stopped an SUV on I-10 in Winnie Tuesday night for traffic violations. The vehicle turned out to have almost half-a-million dollars in cash hidden inside. A search of the underside of the vehicle located a hidden compartment with $499,360 that investigators believe was intended for use in a large narcotics purchase. District Attorney Mike Little said the driver, Rafael Nieves, of Indianapolis, Indiana was arrested and charged with money laundering.

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The 81st Annual Men’s Brotherhood Banquet will be Thursday February 15th at the 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. The keynote speaker for this great tradition in Liberty County will be District Attorney Mike Little. For 81 consecutive years, hundreds of men of all religious faiths in this community have gathered in the spirit of brotherhood. Dinner is turkey, dressing and all the trimmings. Tickets are on sale for $8 and are available from men of the church and at the church office on Main at Cos in Liberty. The phone number is 936 336 6401

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Liberty City Council Tuesday night approved a project agreement with the US Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service for Hurricane Rita related damage to the Port of Liberty. Port Commission Member John Hebert said the agreement is needed for the city to receive a grant for over one million dollars from a special fund set aside for Hurricane Rita damages. If approved, the project would make way for major repairs at the port to enhance the appearance of the cut from the river to the port.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce 31st Annual Awards Banquet will be Thursday February 22nd at Dayton High School. The speaker will be Emmy award winning Channel 13 News Reporter and Anchor, Art Rascon. Incoming Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Jimmy Hardin said they would be presenting the award for citizen of the year for both Dayton and Liberty that night as well. Tickets are $20 each. Reservations are required. Call the Chamber at 936 336 5736.

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Funerals: Lewis Vales, Jr. 91 of Liberty. Services are at 10 AM today at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS * LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.01 ASL

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