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July 2007

 

** Volume 22 No. 146 Tuesday July 31st, 2007 **

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New laws going into effect Sept. 1st will require a 25 year minimum sentence to anyone convicted of sexual abuse of a child under age 14, if there were two or more assaults in a 30 day period. According to District Attorney Mike Little, cases where there are multiple victims could be grouped together to require the longer minimum sentence. Another change in criminal law in Texas allows for the death penalty in aggravated sexual assault of a child cases. If the victim of the sexual assault is under age 6. Or if the victim is under age 14 and the assault includes a threat of violence, and it is a person’s second conviction of such a crime. That then allows for life in prison or the death penalty.

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The Liberty County Bikes for Christmas committee is holding a golf tournament to raise funds for the bike giveaway. Last year, kids in Liberty County received over 1600 bikes and tricycles, and over 6,000 toys. The August 17th tournament at the Eagle Pointe Golf Club in Mont Belvieu is an 8:30 AM shotgun start. Sponsorships are available for $200. To play in the tournament is $60 per person. That fee includes green fees, range balls, Burrito Buffet Breakfast and Deli Lunch. Golfers need to register by Friday. To sign up for the tournament or as a sponsor, call Mike Koen at 563 3080 or David Milam at 334 9500.

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Caseworkers from US Congressman Ted Poe’s District Office will be at the Dayton Chamber of Commerce Office Thursday August 16th from 9 AM to 10 AM. Citizens are invited to take advantage of this opportunity.

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Late Saturday evening the Big Thicket Volunteer Fire Department, with assistance from North Liberty County VFD, Woodpecker VFD, and South Polk County VFD, battled a home fire in the Big Thicket Lake Estates. In spite of the efforts of those volunteers, the home of Andy & Lisa Wood was destroyed by fire. No one was injured, and the Polk County Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating the blaze.

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Funerals: Hellen Sue Lawrence, 89 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 10 AM at Pace Stancil Funeral Home – Dayton. David Lee “Jay” Pringle, Jr. 48 of Hankamer. Services today at 2 PM at First Baptist Church – Anahuac.

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*Lake Release: 26,200 CFS Liberty Bridge: 27.20 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 145 Monday July 30th, 2007 **

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The Liberty Dixie League Pony Tail girls softball team, already 11-12 year old Texas Champions are now among the six remaining teams still in the World Series. The tourney is in Marianna, Florida for the World Series. Liberty plays tonight versus Florida at 6. Saturday they defeated Arkansas 2-1, lost Sunday morning 1-0 to Louisiana, then beat Mississippi 2-1 in extra innings yesterday afternoon.

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Friday, Liberty Co. Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor and Pct-1 Comm. Todd Fontenot surveyed flood damage to three subdivisions from a DPS Helicopter. Those with home flood damage are urged to call Emergency Management in Liberty at 334-3219. Mr. DeFoor meets with Co. Judge Phil Fitzgerald to discuss asking for a state disaster declaration.

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The Liberty City Council met Friday and approved purchase of 8 patrol cars. Bids from local dealerships BJ Ford and Liberty-Dayton Chrysler were considered but council accepted a bid from the Houston Galveston Area Council. City leaders stressed they preferred to buy local, but time constraints prevented that. Police Chief Mike Cummings said 12 officers share 4 patrol cars now. These new vehicles will be delivered in 2 weeks.

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Representatives of Liberty Co. Workforce Academy were invited to do a presentation on the academy at a statewide career & technology and guidance counselors conference in San Antonio earlier this month. Program Director Tim Gassiott said the idea is much needed and was well received.

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Register for Liberty Co. YMCA after school programs in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland. The program creates a fun, safe, supervised environment for kids in kindergarten thru 12-yrs old across the county, Monday-Friday from school release to 6:30 p.m. Children work on homework, have snacks, arts, crafts and games. Cost is $42 a wk, with a one-time $10 “Y” membership. YMCA phone is 936-257-2888 or 512 N. Main St. in Dayton.

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Funerals: Buster Bricker –86 Liberty. Serv. 10am Allison F.H.**Tristan Ray Jones, 25, of Baytown, Services at 11 a.m. today at Trinity Valley Baptist Church. ** James J. “Chuck” Roark Sr., 91, of Eastgate, Services held Saturday. **

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*Lake Release: 28,400 CFS Liberty Bridge: 27.86 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 144 Friday July 27th, 2007 **

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Heywood “Frosty” Pruitt spoke to Liberty Rotarians Tuesday on the often-overlooked problem of adult abuse. The longtime Dayton City Council Member is a specialist in the adult protective services’ field who talked about the various kinds of abuse directed at dependent adults. “Frosty” Pruitt urged citizens who become aware of abuse against the elderly or disabled to report it. Incidents of such abuse can be reported 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling the Abuse Hot Line at 1-800-252-5400. For life threatening or emergency situations call local law enforcement or 9-1-1.

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The Big Band Showcase featuring the music of the Charlie Gray Band is tomorrow with performances at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Humphreys-Burson Theater in Liberty. The fundraiser for the Geraldine D. Humphreys Cultural Center Expansion features the sounds of the 1940’s “Big Band” Era through the 1970’s. Tickets are $10 each. KSHN Radio will broadcast the 7 p.m. show live. For information call 336 6699.

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Season tickets for both Dayton and Liberty home football games go on sale Monday, August 6th. Dayton season ticket holders will want to check out the seating arrangement for the new stadium before deciding on a spot. Tickets for the 5 home Bronco games are $30. Tickets for the 5 home Panther games are $25. Get tickets at the DISD Administration building on Cherry Creek, or at the LISD Administration building on Grand Ave. during normal business hours.

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In September 2003 Liberty County Sheriff’s Department began an investigation of county employee Cheryl Ann Holstein of Hardin. County Clerk Delia Sellers had detected missing funds and asked for the investigation of moneys overseen by Holstein. Early this month, Cheryl Ann Holstein pled guilty to felony theft charges. She was sentenced to five years probation plus full restitution of the money stolen, plus interest. She was also assessed fines, fees and court cost. DA Mike Little said if she meets all of her sentencing requirements, at the end of the 5 years, her felony conviction would be wiped from her record.

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Funerals: Denny Michael Roiter, 34, of Anahuac, Services at 1 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac. **

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*Lake Release: 44,900 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.79 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 143 Thursday July 26th, 2007 **

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Some critics have said the Liberty County Hospital District #1 budget calls for a million dollars to go to the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital. However, with two months left in the fiscal year budget of the hospital district, it has collectively paid and obligated itself for over $540,000 for the local hospital. They have paid to the hospital for services rendered to district clients and through the monthly contract of $175 per district client per month, $296,056. The hospital district has also approved the purchase of $244,000 in equipment purchases for the hospital’s use. This budget year ends September 30th, 2007.

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Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor reminds residents to contact his office if their homes are flooded. Defoor reports 15 to 20 homes in the Westlake Subdivision South of Dayton on FM 1409 have water in them. All Liberty County residents should report flood damage to the Emergency Management Office by calling 936-334-3219.

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The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team Rebel Riders took 1st Place in both the Fast Drill and the Precision Riding Events at this year’s State 4-H Horse Show in Abilene. The Liberty County Team has scored top honors in the state competition for the past four years in a row.

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After Hurricane Rita came through the area in 2005, property insurance became very expensive. Liberty County’s largest school district, Dayton ISD, was hit very hard with buildings and contents valued at $100 million, their insurance cost more than tripled. However, Chief Financial Officer Tammy Pierce said this year, the situation is improving and the district’s insurance premiums have gone down by about $160,000 over last year. She said fewer damage claims have resulted in the lower premiums, and those costs should continue to drop over time.

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In August, “Hot Dogs and a Movie” will be on Saturday the 11th, because of a scheduling conflict on the first Saturday of the month. Free hot dogs, popcorn and drinks will be served in the FLNB Parking Lot in Liberty- also known as Sam Houston Plaza starting at 6:30. The kid friendly movie starts at “dark-thirty”. Everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair, family and enjoy. For more information call the Chamber Office-336 5736.

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*Lake Release: 53,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.81 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 142 Wednesday July 25th, 2007 **

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Self inflicted gun shot wounds kill one man, critically injure another. Dead is Keith Dunn, 52. Monday evening family members saw the man lying on a bed through a window of his CR. 6022-A home. Pct. #4 JP Glenn Pruitt ordered an autopsy. Liberty Co. Sheriffs Deputy William Knox said results confirm Keith Dunn died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He’s reportedly threatened suicide on several occasions, having recently undergone back surgery that left him in extreme pain.

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In a separate, and unrelated incident, Sheriff’s Captain Chip Fairchild said Don Lee, 26, shot himself in front of officers. Deputies had been called to the West Woodlands Hills area home about 2:30 Tuesday morning, and tried to talk to him down. He was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital via LifeFlight Air Ambulance with a gunshot wound to the head. As of early Tuesday morning, he was listed in critical condition.

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In Tuesday’s meeting, Liberty County Commissioners approved the proposed tax rate of 56 cents per $100 in property values. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald’s recommendation was to set the tax rate at that point, but once the numbers are in for next year’s budget, the actual rate may be lower. The public hearings on the tax rate will be August 16th and 21st. Commissioners also approved a 5% pay raise for elected officials.

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Liberty County EMS will hold a PALS, or Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification training class August 3rd and 4th at the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital. The course is offered to professionals in the health care field, and is being taught by a Certified Instructor. Register before the close of business Tuesday, - Dana Holst at 936-402-0999. There is a $175 charge. ****************************************************

Funerals: Josephine Fregia, 78 of Hull. Services today at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. Jimmy Lynn Olson, 65 of Old River. Services today at 4 PM at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Mont Belvieu. Jimmie Odessa Wheeler, 88 of Cleveland. Services 10 AM today at Pace-Stancil Cleveland. Dr. Rick Kelly, 54. A memorial service will be tomorrow 2 PM at 1st United Methodist Church Cleveland Winona Elise Theriot Youngblood, 93 of Liberty. Graveside services tomorrow 11 AM at Fairlawn Cemetery in Liberty.

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*Lake Release: 60,800 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.78 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 141 Tuesday July 24th, 2007 **

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The Dayton City Council met in special session Friday and voted to shoot for November 3rd as the date for a referendum election to finance construction of a new library and community center. Dayton City Manager David Douglas said Phil Rutter of the PBK Architectural Firm provided Council with “very rough” cost figures for the project between $7 million and $10 million. The final deadline for the Dayton Council to officially call the election for this year is September 7th.

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Social Security’s David Bauman said some underage children are eligible for Social Security Benefits. If a living parent is eligible for retirement or disability benefits, then the underage child can receive 50 % of that monthly amount. In the case of a child surviving a parent, that figure can go up to 75 % of what the parent would have received. Benefits for underage kids go up to age 19 or to graduation from high school. There is a family maximum, so a family with several eligible children would not receive the full amount. For information, call 409 924 6413.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce is working to organize bus trips to the casinos in Louisiana, starting at the end of August. These would be day trips, leaving early in the mornings, returning that evening. Right now they are trying to get feed back on community interest. Call the Chamber Office at 936 336 5736 and tell them if you’d be interested.

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The State Comptroller’s Office has announced a second tax-free holiday to begin in May 2008- not for clothing, but for energy efficient appliances. During next year’s Memorial Day Weekend, certain home appliances with a federal energy star rating will be tax exempt including washing machines, programmable thermostats, ceiling fans, air conditioners priced under $6,000 and refrigerators priced under $2,000. This year’s back-to-school tax holiday is August 17th – 19th.

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FUNERALS: Julie Ann Smith, 48 of Wallisville. Services today at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Service – Liberty. * Inez Watters Banks, 98 of Anahuac. Graveside services today at 2 PM at Anahuac Cemetery. * Jodi Griffin Maddox, 30 of Dayton. A memorial services will be 2 PM Thursday at 1st Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*Lake Release: 60,800 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.78 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 140 Monday July 23rd, 2007 **

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The Trinity River-Liberty has crested, 28.76 ft. a.s.l.. Emergency Management Coordinator Ken Defoor said if rains hold off, there are no discharge increases planned at Lake Livingston. The Red Cross Shelter at North Main Baptist Church in Liberty remains open. One family of five was using the shelter Sunday.

Last week we reported on the Grand Jury indictment of Leeann Dronet for the murder of her husband. We used the opportunity to check on an old case. Back in July 2006 Latonya Nicole Martin was indicted, arrested, and charged with theft of over $16,000 from the Devers School Dist. where she then worked. 253rd Dist. Judge Chap Cain said it is not yet scheduled for trial because Liberty Co. courts want to work off their case load of cases against those in jail and for violent crimes. Judge Cain said that is saving money but delaying trials for other cases. .

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The first of what will be quarterly Liberty Co. Government summits was last Tuesday. Leaders from all over the county met at Kapalski’s Café in Dayton. Co. Judge Phil Fitzgerald said Mayors of Ames, Cleveland, Dayton and Liberty, School Supt’s of Liberty, Dayton, Hardin, Tarkington and Devers Schools were there to discuss working together for the future of Liberty County. Chambers of Commerce will host future summits.

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Union Pacific spokesperson Joe Arbonna said a damaged trestle pier at the bridge north of US 90 in Kenefick, has resulted in the rail that runs through Hardin, Hull and Huffman being closed. That train traffic is rerouted on UP’s line that runs through Liberty/Dayton. Repairs may take as much as two weeks.

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The Big Band Showcase featuring the Valley Players and the Charlie Gray Band- directed by Charlie Grabein- will be Sat. July 28th at Humphreys-Burson Theater in Liberty. Two shows are scheduled, that day one at 2 p.m., the second at 7. Tickets are $10. Call 936-336-6699 for reservations. Proceeds benefit the Humphreys Cultural Center Expansion Project.

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FUNERALS: Willie Arcenaux, Jr., 68, Houston, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames.**Josephine “Jo” Luton Johnston, 90, Dayton, Services 10 today at Sterling Funeral Home-Dayton*Linda Woods Bartell-57 Service. Tuesday. at 2 PM at Allison Funeral Service.

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*Lake Release: 60,800 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.76 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 139 Friday July 20th, 2007 **

****************************************************Wednesday, 34 year old Terry Leeann Dronet, was indicted by the Liberty County Grand Jury on murder charges in the shooting death of her husband, Robert Dronet. We reported at the time, she shot and killed her TugBoat Captain husband at the couple’s Hardin home Tuesday May 29th. Terry Leeann Dronet called the sheriff’s department and reported the shooting. She was not arrested at the time. However, within days, investigators felt they had sufficient evidence and she was arrested and jailed on a charge of murder. The same day, she was freed on a $25,000 bond set by District Judge Chap Cain. Wednesday’s indictment is the next step in the legal process to trial, and there is no change in the bond. No trial date has been set.

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Last week, having narrowed the field of applicants for the job of Assistant Superintendent at Dayton ISD, 6 people were interviewed. Tuesday night, Dayton ISD Board Members voted to hire Douglas Coleman, a 30-year veteran of the educational field for the position. Superintendent Greg Hayman said Coleman was most recently at Judson ISD, where he supervised around 300 people. Douglas Coleman is expected on the job in Dayton Aug. 6th. He replaces Bob Parker who resigned to accept the Superintendent’s position at Hardin ISD.

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“Make a Plan, Take a Stand, Prepare for the Unexpected” Information Fair is tomorrow at the San Jacinto Campus on Grand Ave. in Liberty. Booths with vital information will be set up in the cafeteria and programs and skits will be in the auditorium across the driveway. The informational fair starts at 10 AM and runs till 2 PM. For more information call the Liberty County Extension Agency at 336-4558 ext. 221.

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Mona Chadwick, Liberty ISD Superintendent said the district has a new Director of Special Education. Jackie Powers is a teacher and special education teacher, ESL certified, a diagnostician, and has worked as a special education supervisor. Jackie Powers first day with the district will be Monday.

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Dayton Bronco Ford Smesny, has been awarded a scholarship to McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. Ford Smesny, all -state defensive back with the broncos will be a senior this year. He has already verbally committed to attend McNeese.

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*Lake Release: 60,800 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.50 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 138 Thursday July 19th, 2007 **

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The annual sales tax holiday is set for the third weekend in August this year. The yearly break from state and local taxes on most clothing and shoes priced under $100, had in previous years, been scheduled for the 1st weekend in the month. According to the State Comptrollers Office, many school districts are starting school later, and pushing the sales tax holiday back, brings it closer to the first day of school. The popular tax-free weekend starts at 12:01 AM Friday August 17th, and continues through midnight on Sunday August 19th.

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Tuesday night, the Liberty Independent School District, Board of Trustees discussed the calendar for the 2007-2008 school year. Start day for students will be Monday, August 27th. Superintendent Mona Chadwick said the first semester would be a short one so students can take end of semester tests before the holiday break instead of after they return. In other action, trustees approved the demolition of the oldest portions of the old San Jacinto Elementary Campus on Grand Ave. The classrooms facing Grand, the old gym facing Texas, and the classrooms behind the gym are newer and will be spared the wrecking ball.

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The American Red Cross has again opened a shelter at the North Main Baptist Church in Liberty for folks evacuating the low-lying areas around the Trinity River. Bring personal items, bedding, medications and snacks. The Red Cross does not allow pets in their shelters, for pet shelters, call the Animal Issues Committee at 336 4558 ext. 221.

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An emailed statement from corporate headquarters of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Louisville KY indicates the franchise owners of the Liberty and Livingston stores made a decision to close the restaurants for economic reasons. Those two restaurants closed early last week. The corporate news release indicates they do not plan to reopen either store. It is not known if the businesses in Liberty or Livingston are for sale. The corporate web page, www.kfc.com has information about franchise availabilities.

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Funerals: Henry Loyd Green, 85 of Liberty. Services will be tomorrow at 10 AM at the First Church of the Nazarene in Terrell, TX. * Services pending at Wells Funeral Services for Willie Arceneaux, 68 of Houston.

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*Lake Release: 60,800 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.26 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 137 Wednesday July 18th, 2007 **

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Chief Appraiser Allen Conner said final taxable values for Liberty County show continued growth over last year. The net taxable value for the entire county for 2007 is over $4 billion, 19 million. That’s an increase of approximately 6.78% over last year’s total countywide property values.

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The Dayton City Council met Monday night, and after almost two years paved the way for Stallion Oil to locate on Hwy. 90 in Dayton. Initial negotiations between the oil well company and the city broke down completely about a year and a half ago. Dayton City Manager David Douglas said, while he was not on the job at the time, the major sticking point was the almost $85,000 the city intended to charge Stallion for extending water and sewer to the facility. Douglas said this time around, the city was able to reduce that cost down to $15,000. Council members voted Monday night to give Stallion Oil a 100 % tax abatement on improvements for 5 years.

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With a 6-4 win over Dayton Monday night, the Liberty 11 & 12- year old girls Dixie League Softball team won the state championship in their age group. Now the Liberty Ponytail Girls move on to the national competition in Florida in 2 weeks. The Liberty girls finished the double elimination state tournament in Dayton undefeated. Memori Meche coaches the girls.

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It was an exhausting search, for those on foot, but also a futile one. Monday night, the Liberty Co. Sheriff’s Department got a call from Union Pacific Railroad dispatchers that their train had struck a person on the tracks. The location gave searchers no easy access, because of the flooded Trinity River. Liberty Co. Emergency Medical personnel, on foot, got on the tracks at the River Bend Trailer Park by the river and walked west toward the rear end of the stopped train. Searchers determined there was no victim. Liberty Police Officer Mark Davison said he suspects the train engineer did see someone on the track, but they likely jumped clear of the passing train.

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Funerals: F. E. “Cowboy” Meshell, 54 of Hardin. Services are set for 10 AM Saturday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. * Dianna Lynn Bertothy, 43, of Anahuac. Graveside services will be at 11 AM Saturday at Anahuac Cemetery.

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*Lake Release: 60,800 CFS Liberty Bridge: 28.13 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 136 Tuesday July 17th, 2007 **

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Bill Holder, Project Manager at Lake Livingston, said they are starting to see the rate of rise slow down at the north end of the lake, meaning they are reaching the top end of the water flowing into the Lake Livingston reservoir. With that he said while they may increase the discharge rate, it should only be slight increases. However, with the lake at its current high level, B ill Holder said just 2” of rain on the lake itself, or to its north could change that. There is rain in the forecast for Southeast Texas for the first part of this week.

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A manufactured home on CR 2354 in Hardin was destroyed by fire Saturday night. Hardin Fire Chief Craig Powell said when his department arrived, the home was engulfed in flames. The Hardin and Hull Daisetta Fire Departments spent about 3 hours extinguishing the blaze. Around 7 am Sunday, Hardin Volunteers were called back to the same home where the fire had rekindled. No one was injured, but the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harryman, and all of its contents, were destroyed. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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A storage tank belonging to Texas American Resources Company on FM 1409 caught fire yesterday afternoon around 2:15. Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia, whose oil field pumping service takes care of the facility, said some gas from the distillate stored in the tank was ignited by static electricity in the air, causing the flash fire. Dayton Volunteer Fire Department Personnel quickly had the fire out. No one was injured. FM 1409 was closed for about 30 minutes.

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The Liberty Library Summer Reading Program wrapped up last week, and Library Director Dana Abshire said they had 366 kids participate. Together the kids read a whopping 21,647 books. The Teen Summer Reading program starts tomorrow and runs through August 18th.

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Funerals: Irma L Bearden, 94 of Huffman. Services tomorrow at 3 PM at First Baptist Church – Huffman. * Alvin Joseph Vignes, MD, 86 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Service Liberty. * Lois Evelyn Tanner Beasley, 93 of Hardin. Services Thursday at 10 AM at Hardin Baptist Church.

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*Lake Release: 55,600 CFS Liberty Bridge: 27.95 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 135 Monday July 16th, 2007 **

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Information indicates the accident that caused a methanol alcohol container at the new Agri Bio Fuels Plant in Dayton to explode in flames last Friday morning occurred during the transfer of the highly volatile material from one tank to another. The tank apparently filled much faster than expected. Enough of the methanol/alcohol was spilled onto the floor to be ignited by an electric fan. Dayton Firefighters had the fire put out quickly and there were no injuries. Repairs could leave the facility unable to operate for up to 30 days.

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DPS Sgt. Chuck Havard said there have been an unusually large number of traffic fatalities on Liberty County roads in the past year. Through June 30th of this year there have been 24 wrecks that claimed 27 lives. Sgt. Havard said most of those killed were in their 20’s. The deadliest month was just last month, when DPS Troopers investigated 6 fatal wrecks. Sgt. Havard said most of these tragic accidents were caused by carelessness and could have been avoided.

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This fall, for the first time, Tarkington High School will offer a class on fire fighting to juniors and seniors. Tarkington Volunteer Fire Dept. Assistant Chief Dalton Gregory will teach the course that combines classroom instruction with various hands-on exercises including work with rescue ladders and fire hoses. Dalton Gregory said he hopes the effort will provide students an early start on a career in fire fighting as well as create a pool of potential volunteer fire department recruits.

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The Liberty Municipal Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program starts Wednesday and continues through August 18th. Young Adult Librarian Nancy Chambers said the program is filled with fun activities, special guests, movies and more for teens 13 to 18. The program is on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 5 and on two Saturdays. There is no charge, but an up-to-date library card is required. For more information, call the Liberty Library at 936-336-8901.

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Funerals: Lexie Burlene Rayburn, 91, of Hardin, Services held Saturday. ** Tommy Eugene Jagers, 61, of Dayton, Graveside services at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Palms Memorial Park in Dayton. **

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*Lake Release: 53,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 27.82 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 134 Friday July 13th, 2007 **

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The Dayton City Council voted to transfer $25,000 earmarked for Daniel Park on 1008 and add it to the $50,000 budgeted for the Henderson Day Park on Luke Street Monday night. City Manager David Douglas that $75,000 would be used to finish creation of a walking/jogging trail and basketball court at the park off FM 1409 South with playground equipment to be added next year. That would fulfill all the requirements of a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant that will reimburse the city half the expenditures. Douglas said the $25,000 allocated for resurfacing the walking trail already in use at Daniel Park would have only covered a small portion of that work estimated to cost $100,000.

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The District 19-4A High School Football Coaches have picked the Dayton Broncos to win the District Championship this upcoming season. Dayton Head Coach Jerry Stewart said at least one poll, ranks the Broncos among the top 10 teams statewide. Other polls put them in the top 20.

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Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor said Red Cross has opened a shelter in the North Main Baptist Church for those evacuating due to the high waters of the Trinity River. Those who will use the shelter need to bring blankets, pillows, any needed medications, and personal hygiene items. Pets are not allowed at this shelter. For more information call the Emergency Management Office at 334 3219.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce reports some local businesses have been getting calls from a company representing themselves as working with the chamber to develop a map of Liberty County. Chamber President Mary Anne Campbell said DFW Marketing is the only map company they have been working with and while the Chamber is not suggesting who to do business with, she wants the facts to be clear. Anyone who gets calls from another company claiming to be affiliated with the Chamber should know that is not true.

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Funerals: John Brince Clark Pickett, 59 of Daisetta. Services have been held. * Steve Sadler, 66 of Eagle Pass. Services 10 AM Saturday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland. * Wanda Geraldine Sanders, 85 of Anahuac. Services will be this evening at 7:30 at Sterling Funeral Service in Anahuac.

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*Lake Release: 47,100 CFS Liberty Bridge: 27.53 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 133 Thursday July 12TH, 2007 **

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The Dayton City Council has scheduled a workshop meeting on Friday July 20th with representatives of the PBK Architectural Firm to discuss preliminary cost estimates for the planned new Library and Community Center. As reported, the facility would be located on property the city has purchased on the corner of S. Cleveland and Entzminger, but first Dayton voters must approve a referendum to finance it’s construction. City Manager David Douglas said council would like to have the issue before voters in November, but time is short to work out details before the state mandated September 7th deadline to call an election.

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The Hull Daisetta High School has a new Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. The new grid boss is himself a former highly honored Hull-Daisetta student, Joe Allen Slack. He has worked as Assistant Coach in Liberty and most recently, Hardin. Monday night the Hull Daisetta School Board met for the second time on picking a new coach, and on a 6-0 vote, with one abstention, Joe Allen Slack, age 31 was given a 2 year contract by the trustees in Bobcat Country. He will work as both Coach and Athletic Director. This is Joe Slack’s first head coaching assignment. He replaces Daryl Barbay, who left recently to take over head coaching duties in Anahuac.

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The July, Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is Wednesday at noon in Marion Hall at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty. This month’s guest speaker will be Andrew McClusky, founder of the Get A Grip Student Leadership Retreats. Andrew’s mission is to guide young leaders to develop skills for success with a focus on the process to get results. Lunch is catered by Cookie’s Kitchen in Liberty for $8 a plate. Call the Chamber Office for reservations at 936-336 5736.

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Here’s your chance to sail the seas aboard a 130-year-old ship. The 19th century square rigged sailing ship, the Elissa, docked in Galveston will have a crew orientation Saturday July 21st from 1 to 5 PM. There will be information about the seamanship-training program and a tour of the ship, designated by the National Parks Service as a historic landmark. For more information about becoming a member of the Elissa's Crew, call the Galveston Historic Foundation at 409 765 7834.

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*Lake Release: 47,100 CFS Liberty Bridge: 27.40 ASL*

** Volume 22 No. 132 Wednesday July 11TH, 2007 **

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A Hardin area man, Prentice J. Scott Jr., a week shy of his 47th birthday, was killed Monday night when he apparently stepped into the path of a North bound SUV on State Highway 146. Liberty Police Officer Frank Longoria said the accident happened at about 11 PM Monday. Scott was apparently picking up aluminum cans along the highway when he was killed. Police believe he died on impact. The driver of the SUV was taken to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital to be checked out. Crystal Ann Randolph, of Hardin was not thought to be injured, though very distraught after the accident. JP #1, Bobby Rader has ordered an autopsy.

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Liberty County Commissioners yesterday voted to purchase 20 radar units for the Liberty County Sheriffs Department at a cost of $30,200. Commissioners Lee Groce and Melvin Hunt voted against the purchase, both saying they did not like getting into the jail fund, while Todd Fontenot and Norman Brown voted for the purchase. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald cast the tie-breaking vote in favor. In other action, Commissioners agreed to allow county employees to carry over vacation time from one year to the next up to a total of 120 accrued vacation hours. Once that level is reached, the vacation time must be taken or lost.

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Hospital District Board members and officials with the Liberty Dayton Community Hospital held a round table discussion about the hospital in a workshop session prior to Monday night’s meeting. Dan Fox with Frontier Health Services said the hospital continues to see 600 to 700 patients a month in the emergency room, although in-patients use of the hospital has fallen off. During the regular meeting board members approved a payment to the hospital of $38,675 for the month of July.

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The Dayton City Council met Monday night and as expected, voted to remove the city from the provisions of HB 671. That’s the legislation that exempts “goods in transit” from ad valorem taxes. CMC Rail Yard fits that definition, but the bill allows local municipalities the option to void it, which the Dayton City Council did at Monday’s meeting.

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Funerals: Kara Ann Alston, 19 of Dayton. Services will be 11 AM Friday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 47,100 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.11 ASL*

** VOLUME 22 NO. 131 TUESDAY JULY 10TH, 2007 **

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With the Trinity River estimated to crest at 27.9 feet above sea level tomorrow morning, flooding of some low-lying subdivision roads along the river is expected. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald and County Emergency Management Coordinator Ken DeFoor are asking for a voluntary evacuation of these areas prone to flooding. Access roads to these subdivisions could become impassable. Anyone needing shelter is asked to the Emergency Management Office at 936-334-3219. After 5 p.m., call the Sheriff’s Office at 936-336-4500.

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When talking about benefits through Social Security and Medicare, it is common to discuss those two federal agencies as if they were one. Idolina Gonzalez of the Beaumont Office of Social Security said while sometimes the services do overlap, Social Security doesn’t have all the answers to questions about Medicare. She said information about Medicare is available by phone at 1-800-MEDICARE or online at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security help, their contact station will be at the Humphreys Cultural Center noon to 3 PM this Wednesday.

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In the first year of small school competition, 1A-3A, for 7 on 7 football, the Hardin Hornets will be sending a team to the State Tournament in College Station this week. Thursday all teams will play 3 games with the 1st round of single elimination starting at 5 PM. Hardin will take on Graham, Navasota, and Sundown in round robin type of pool play on Thursday. Hardin Football Coach Larry Haynes said of the 545 1A, 2A and 3A teams in the state, only 32 qualify for the Tournament. Congratulations to the Hardin Hornets. For more information on the tournament, go to www.state7on7.com .

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Recent rains mean an increase in the mosquito population and in the danger of mosquito borne diseases such as West Nile Virus. Eliminate any standing water where mosquitoes can reproduce, limit outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active and use repellents that contain the ingredient “deet”.

For more information call 936-336-4558, Ext. 221.

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Funerals: George Nelson Frauenberger, 83 of Raywood. Services this afternoon at 2 PM at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 47,100 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.60 ASL*

** VOLUME 22 NO. 130 MONDAY JULY 9TH, 2007 **

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A one-vehicle wreck on FM 2797 in Kenefick early Saturday morning resulted in the death of a 19-year-old Dayton area woman. DPS Trooper Rob Willoughby said his investigation indicates Kara Ann Alston was traveling too fast when she hit a sweeping westbound curve in the roadway around 12:30 a.m. The vehicle left the roadway, struck a culvert and rolled several times. Precinct #4 JP Glenn Pruitt pronounced the young woman dead at the accident scene and order an autopsy.

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Beginning this coming school year, the Dayton ISD will take over management and operation of the district’s special education program for learning disabled. Dayton, along with other county school districts has, for many years, contracted those operations to the Liberty County Special Education Cooperative. Superintendent Greg Hayman said Dayton school enrollment has grown to where the decision was made to take over special ed classes for Dayton students in the program. .

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Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett said new temporary City Manager George Shackleford will be on the job tomorrow morning. City Council chose the longtime Texarkana City Manager from three candidates recommended by the Texas First Group to be city manager here temporarily until a permanent city manager is hired. That should happen by early September.

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San Jacinto Elementary in Liberty will host “Make a Plan, Take a Stand”- a free information fair on preparing for the unexpected Saturday July 21st. The event will be at the school cafeteria on Grand Ave. and at the auditorium across the driveway. The event is a way to help folks be prepared in case of a disaster. For more information, call the co.-agent 936-336-4558, Ext. 221.

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The Valley Player’s Summer Student Workshop will present “The Cactus Wildcat” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, then 2 p.m. Sunday at the Humphreys Burson Theater in Liberty. Tickets are $5 at the door. Proceeds benefit the cultural center expansion.

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, 74, Winnie, 2 pm. today @ Immaculate Conception-Liberty.**

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*LAKE RELEASE: 47,100 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.79 ASL*

** VOLUME 22 NO. 129 FRIDAY JULY 6TH, 2007 **

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Deb Swan, with the Liberty County Juvenile Probation Department said kids don’t realize a juvenile record stays with them. If a child does not commit another crime prior to reaching their 21st birthday, those records remain although access is restricted. A second offense and the records become a permanent part of that child’s’ life. She said staff with Juvenile Probation would soon be going into the classroom at Dayton’s Woodrow Wilson Jr. High to educate kids on the permanence of a juvenile record. She said they hope to make kids think twice before doing something that will follow them into adulthood.

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In the next couple of months, Liberty County becomes only the 3rd county in Texas served by SNAP, or Spay Neuter Assistance Program. Director of Development Laura Welch said funding for the free spay and neuter program comes from the Texas Animal Friendly License Plate Fund. She said those who meet income guidelines could have their pets fixed at no cost to them. The mobile clinics will be able to take care of up to 30 pets in a single day’s operation. The first clinic will be in late August or early September. For more information on the SNAP clinics, go to www.snapus.org or call 713-862-3863.

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The Dayton Community Development Corporation board recently approved the completion of a hotel feasibility study that was started several years ago. New DCDC Executive Director Earl Joy said the purpose was to determine need for hotels in the Dayton area. He said should the study find there is a need for more hotel space, the DCDC would use that to help entice hotel developers to Dayton.

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There is still time for kids age’s 6-12 to sign up for Camp “Quack-A-Lot” held Monday through Friday July 16th-July 27th at the beautiful Langetree Duck Farm and Eco Center in Raywood. There will be programs on health, gardening, art, plus plenty of music, nature science reading and more. Cost is $100 per week and partial scholarships are available. Kids can attend one or both weeks, activities will be different each week. For information call the Langetree Duck Farm at 936 587 4325.

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Funerals: Lane Ellis Jones, almost 2, of Newport, AK. Local visitation today at North Main Baptist in Liberty from 5-8 PM.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 30,700 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.69 ASL*

** VOLUME 22 NO. 128 THURSDAY JULY 5TH, 2007 **

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A little boy just a few weeks from his second birthday is dead after falling in a swimming pool. Lane Ellis Jones is the son of Kimberly and Dorsey Jones, formerly of Liberty, now of Newport Arkansas. The family was here visiting for the holiday. Family members say Lane Jones and his 6-year-old brother, Garret, were playing out side when the little boy fell in the water. Garret pulled his baby brother from the pool, and family members started resuscitation efforts almost immediately, while waiting the few minutes for EMT’s to arrive. However, those efforts were unsuccessful and the baby was pronounced dead at Liberty Dayton Community Hospital. Justice of the Peace Pct. #1 Bobby Rader said it is standard procedure to order an autopsy in such cases of small children.

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With the temperatures rising, its important to take precautions against heat related illness. The elderly, children and those with chronic illnesses suffer first. Those working or playing in the heat need to drink plenty of fluids, especially water. Avoid alcohol and drinks with caffeine or heavily sweetened. Kids should drink at least 4 oz every 15 minutes when playing outside in high temperatures. Plan any strenuous physical outdoor activity for early morning or evening when it’s a little cooler.

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Another new industry is making plans to locate in Dayton. Mayor Steve Stephens said a company has purchased 25 acres on FM 1960 with plans to build facilities there. Mayor Stephens said he was not yet ready to release the name but did say the company rebuilds turbines and is moving from Houston to Dayton due to space needs. He said the company plans to begin construction on FM 1960 in 6 months to a year.

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This Saturday night it’s Hot Dogs and a Movie. Co-Sponsored by the City of Liberty and the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, folks are invited out to the Sam Houston plaza on the corner of Main and Sam Houston in Liberty for free hot dogs, drinks and a kid friendly movie. Food service starts at 6:30, the movie starts at dark-thirty.

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FUNERALS: Ronald Bryant Colley, 60, of Hankamer, Services at 10 a.m. today at Assembly of God Church in Anahuac.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 24,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.08 ASL*

** VOLUME 22 NO. 127 TUESDAY JULY 3RD, 2007 **

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Liberty Mayor Carl Pickett announced yesterday, Assistant City Manager Michael Ramirez would not be staying on with the city as a consultant. Mayor Pickett said the city will consider the services of a company “Texas First” that assists smaller communities with temporary guidance when positions of higher-level city management are vacant. Yesterday was Michael Ramirez’ last day with the City of Liberty. He resigned in mid June to accept a position with Pelco Construction.

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During next Monday’s Dayton City Council meeting, council members are expected to address House Bill 621, a bill that would exempt CMC Rail yard from the City collecting ad valorem taxes. City Manager David Douglas said the bill that makes “in transit” goods exempt from ad valorem taxes would take about 35 % from the city’s ad valorem budget. The bill does have what Douglas called a back door, which allows for communities to overrule the bill by a local vote.

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Liberty County Department of Public Safety Sergeant Chuck Havard said his department will have all available troopers on the roadways this Fourth of July looking for motorists who may have had too much to drink, speeders, and those who don’t have kids buckled in approved safety seats. So far this year there have been 14 fatality accidents on Liberty County roadways. Sgt. Havard said a conservative estimate is about 80 % could be attributed to alcohol, speeding or not wearing seat belts. Of that 80 %, he said probably half was alcohol related.

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City offices in both Liberty and Dayton will be closed tomorrow in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Garbage service will not run tomorrow in either city. The Liberty County Court House as well as all banks and post offices will be closed.

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The City of Liberty’s Annual Independence Day Celebration is tonight in the Liberty Municipal Park. The live patriotic music courtesy of the Charlie Graybien Big Band and the Invincible Eagle Band starts at 7:30. The fireworks begin at 9 PM.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Wanda Busceme Reeves, 54, of Liberty, Services moved to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church today at 10 a.m.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 24,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.05 ASL*

** VOLUME 22 NO. 126 MONDAY JULY 2ND, 2007 **

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A Tarkington area woman died in one car accident Saturday afternoon on CR. 301 near her home. DPS Cpl. Sean Cheshire said that Terrie Jane Moore–44 may have fallen a sleep hit a ditch and rolled her car several times. Cpl. Cheshire said the victim was not wearing a safety belt and was ejected from the car. JP#5 Burl Thomas did not order an autopsy.

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Today is the last day to pay property taxes without being assessed 18 % penalty and interest plus attorney’s fees. Interim Liberty County Tax Collector Doris Jones said her office will accept mailed payments without penalty that are postmarked no later than today. For those who cannot pay the entire amount Ms. Jones recommends paying what you can to save some expense.

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The National Weather Service River Forecaster Greg Waller says the volume of water that will be released from the Lake Livingston dam, because of the extraordinary rains in North Texas, will not change -to any great extent- from what it is now. The river elevation is not expected to change up or down from it is now for several days.

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The Annual Independence Day Celebration in the Liberty Municipal Park is tomorrow night, that’s Tuesday, starting with patriotic music at 7:30 PM. The Charlie Grabien Big Band along with the Invincible Eagle Band is providing patriotic music. The city park basketball pavilion is the stage. The Zambelli family is again producing a spectacular fireworks show. That starts at 9 PM. It’s park is always packed so get there early.

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County Commissioner Todd Fontenot is having his annual Independence Day Celebration at his farm in Raywood and everyone is invited to attend. This year the event is Saturday July 7th,. For everyone’s convenience. Sky divers at 7 PM, Fireworks at 9 PM, food, music, a live band, begins at 5 PM.

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Funerals: Otha Sexton Ford, 64, Dayton. Service Tuesday at St. Miles Missionary Baptist Church*Kenneth Paul Jenkins Jr., 35, Liberty. Memorial Service was Saturday. *Wanda Busceme Reeves, 54 of Liberty. Service tomorrow at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Service. *Bob Atkinson, 77 of Liberty. Service today, 10 am at First Baptist Church in Liberty (AFS).

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*LAKE RELEASE: 24,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.07 ASL*

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