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January 2006

 

-VOLUME 21 NO. 009 FRIDAY JAN. 13TH, 2006-

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Around 2 am Thursday morning, while on routine patrol, Liberty Police Office Mike Doyle surprised two men as they were leaving Lewies Convenience store with stolen weapons. A car chase followed before the two men, later identified as William Taylor George, 24 of Batson and a 15-year-old relative, ran the car into a ditch and ran into the woods on foot. Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said the Hightower prison unit tracking dogs followed the men’s scent to Beaumont Ave. before they lost them. At 6 am a Daisetta Police officer spotted the two men walking on FM 770 and they were taken into custody. It was later learned the car the men wrecked was stolen from the area of FM 834 in Hardin. George and the juvenile are charged with evading arrest, and burglary of a building.

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The Liberty City Council voted to table proposed changes to their animal control ordinance Tuesday night. The provision requiring livestock owners to register their animals with the City’s Animal Control Officer generated the most debate. Council Members Mike McCarty and J.C. Burnham argued livestock registration would be almost impossible to carry out, but Police Chief Bill Griffin said only very general information about the animals and contact numbers for the owners would be provided to police. The information would help officers locate the owners of animals that escape pastures or pens.

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The Liberty County Metro Go-Texan Kick Off Dance, benefiting the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund is Saturday Jan. 21st from 8 to midnight at the TVE Expo Hall. Advance tickets are $10. Gate tickets are $12. Call for more information at 936-258-8324.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all Liberty City Offices will close Monday in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday. Dayton Offices will be open regular hours on Monday. Garbage service will run as scheduled in Liberty and Dayton. Banks and post offices will close Monday for the holiday.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Marvin Chester “Dick” DuBose, 80 of Devers. Services Friday at 2 pm at 1st Baptist Church in Devers. ** Robert Wayne Hanks, Sr., 76, of Hull, Services at 10 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.83 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 008 THURSDAY JAN. 12TH, 2006-

****************************************************There were no injuries or illness reported, after a Union Pacific Rail Car began leaking dangerous hydrochloric acid early yesterday morning. The pinhole size leak was discovered around 12:50 a.m. on the section of track that runs parallel to U. S. 90 in Dayton. Under extreme pressure, the leak created a cloud of gas over the highway. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Leroy Hanel said no evacuations were called for, but traffic on U.S. 90 was rerouted until just after 5 a.m. Wednesday while haz-mat experts provided by the rail car’s owner- Bayer Chemical- stopped the leak.

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Four, mostly local, longtime Liberty business have been ordered to relocate from the city block bounded by Hwy. 90, MLK, Fannin and Main Street to make way for a new $1 million CVS Pharmacy Building. The owners of Liberty Paging and Cellular, Noack Locksmith, Barrett’s Upholstery and Bail America have 30 days to find new locations. Best information indicates a company called Cedarwood Development will clear the block to build a new 11,945 square foot location and parking lot for the pharmacy chain, currently located on North Main Street.

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The 6th annual Liberty County Relay for Life, benefiting the American Cancer Society is set for April 7th-8th at Liberty’s Memorial Stadium. Candy Rucka, Co-chair says they are hoping for even more teams then last year. To enter a team, call Geraline Daniel at 936 336 6105.

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The Liberty County Unmet Needs Committee is now excepting applications. The funds are to help meet needs for assistance for victims of Hurricane’s Rita and Katrina. Apply for assistance at Operation Refuge, on North Blair in Cleveland, Mon-Tues, and Thurs.-Friday from 11 am until 1:30 pm. They will also be accepting applications at the Liberty Co. Courthouse Annex in the Lobby, on Cos St. in Liberty Monday through Friday from 9 am-4 pm. Deadline for applying is February 28th.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Austin Gilley, 6 mo. of Liberty. Services today 10 am Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton*Pamela Sue Mills, 48 of Dayton. Services will be Friday at 2 pm at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home-Dayton*Marjorie Waldrop, 80 of Dayton. Services Friday 11 am Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.64 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 007 WEDNESDAY JAN. 11TH, 2006-

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Liberty County Commissioners met in workshop session yesterday to discuss 41 pages of documents alleging various irregularities in voting and election procedures. As reported, those questions came from Assistant County Republican Party Chair Charlotte Kramer. In addition to political party members and County officials, Elizabeth Winn with the Texas Secretary of State’s Office was also at the meeting. Among the steps agreed upon to address some of Mrs. Kramer’s concerns is the development by County Clerk Delia Sellers of a written plan on how central vote counting procedures are to be handled. Another suggestion- made by Commissioner Todd Fontenot – was the County’s State mandated Election Board –made up of elected officials- should become more active than is currently the case.

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The Dayton City Council met Monday night and agreed to file an appeal seeking dismissal of the remainder of DCDC Director Sue Priddy’s lawsuit against the City. Judge Chap Cain has already dismissed much of the suit but breach- of- contract claims remain intact. The council action seeks to have the Appeals Court dismiss the rest of Mrs. Priddy’s lawsuit.

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On Dec. 30th, Spectra Group of Memphis, Tennessee’ s purchase of the 2.79 acres on the Hwy 146 Bypass in Liberty became final. The Spectra Group’s Jeff Farmer III said the size of the shopping center his company will build there next to the Wal Mart Super Center has been shrunk to 14,960 square feet, for seven tenants instead of ten. So far, Cato’s, a loan office and a shoe store are on the dotted line.

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Liberty County Commissioners voted to extend the ban on outdoor burning. Citing the continuing dry weather conditions, commissioners banned all fireworks in the county. While the incorporated cities in the county already have a permanent ban on fireworks, this covers the un-incorporated areas of the county. Commissioners said they would rescind the ban when the fire danger is reduced.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Nathan LaBove, 82 of Houston. Services at 11 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood. ** Mike L. Shipman, 36, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.64 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 006 TUESDAY JAN. 10TH, 2006-

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A 18-wheeler chemical transport tanker rolled over Monday, and set the stage for a dramatic rescue. Melody R. Scroughan, the 31-year-old driver apparently lost control of her rig as she was traveling north on FM 1409 at what is known locally as Deadman’s Curve. It was a heroic effort as Liberty County EMS and a Liberty Co. Sheriffs Deputy worked to stabilize the woman sitting on top of what was left for her sunken and destroyed sleeper cab. A Dayton Fire Department boat was used to take her from the wreckage to the bank of the creek, where she was loaded onto a Liberty Co. EMS Dreams Ambulance. From there the truck driver was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. DPS Trooper Nathan Pierce said the driver was going too fast when she and her loaded tanker truck went into the curve and over the guardrail.

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After almost 12 years the Liberty Opry House, located in the restored Park Theater on Sam Houston Street, will close its doors following the final show on January 28th. Karla Burris, part of the Cox family who has been putting on the shows since June 1993 made the announcement during the show this past Saturday. That final show will feature legendary Guitarist Randy Cornor. Reservations for either the 2 p.m., or evening show at 7:30 p.m. can be made by calling 936 336 1079

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Kathryn Walker with the Beaumont Office of Social Security says that only original documents can be used when replacing a Social Security Card, copies are not acceptable. Documents that can be used to prove identity include a Drivers License, State ID Card, Passport, US Military ID Cards, among others. However, a birth certificate can not be used as proof of identification. Applications for replacement cards can be printed off the Social Security web site, get there through our web site, kshn.com

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Dayton Volunteer Fire Department recently elected officers to serve for 2006. Re-elected as Chief - Terry Boyette. Assistant Chief is E.J. Wisegerber, Secretary – Jeff Armstrong, Treasurer -John Simmons.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Valda Delories Hickman Vanya, 68 of Liberty. Funeral services today at 11 am at New Life Assembly of God Hwy. 105 in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.82 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 009 MONDAY JAN. 9TH, 2006-

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Much of DCDC Director Sue Priddy’s lawsuit against the City of Dayton has been dismissed. The civil action that claims the city had a contract with Priddy and broke it will be litigated or mediated. District Judge Chap Cain threw out claims against Council Members John Simmons, “Frosty” Pruitt and Jay Tadlock. The judge denied Mrs. Priddy’s injunction plea that to reinstate her salary, slashed in half by council. State law says the city has final say over budget and contracts by an economic development corporation but they say frequents requests for a copy of the DCDC agreement with Priddy were ignored. We have no date on when the civil trial might begin.

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Dayton Interim City Manager Bryan LaBorde said the city’s maintenance department is moving into the newly rebuilt Maintenance Warehouse on Winfree at Linney. Six months ago the original was mostly destroyed by fire. Two juveniles were charged in the breakin and with arson at the facility. Mr. LaBorde says the building is now larger, with space for more city offices.

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TxDot Spokesman Mark Shepherd said SH 146 road work moves into the City of Liberty today from the Bypass So. to Jefferson Dr. on Main. Motorists should expect traffic delays in that area for several days. The roughly $2 million project will remove 4 inches of the old roadway replacing it with 2 inches. That should eliminate the cross street bumps. Shepherd said when it gets warmer the job will advance on Main to US 90.

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Liberty City Council meets tomorrow at 7 p.m. The agenda includes consideration of revising the animal control ordinance. City Manager Allen Barnes said the proposal includes removing the regulation that dogs on City Park property must wear a muzzle. Another proposed change requires livestock kept in the city limits be registered with Liberty Police. Owners can then be more easily located when the animals are found running loose. ****************************************************

@ 6, both he Dayton School Admin. To sign up: 936-258-2667.

- Kenefick- 2-Tues. @ Kenefick Baptist Church, under direction of Pace-Stancil.

*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.76 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 004 FRIDAY JAN. 6TH, 2006-

On Thursday, the Trinity River Authority signed a contract with Archer Western Construction for the 6 months long rehabilitation project at the Lake Livingston Dam. Most of the repair costs are being paid by FEMA while the City of Houston – part owner of Lake Livingston- is picking up the balance. Since the dam suffered damage by Hurricane Rita, the water level has been lower than the normal 131 feet above sea level elevation. The TRA’s Spencer Karr said rumors of a plan to drop the level still more while the work is being done are not true. Repairs will begin almost immediately.

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What began as a trash fire in Ames yesterday afternoon destroyed a storage shed belonging to Valentino Williams, before Liberty and Ames firefighters extinguished it. Liberty Fire Chief Fred Collins said it’s the latest in a series of grass and trash fires that have gotten out of control over the past several days. All were illegal burns. There is a ban against outdoor burning in Liberty and Chambers Counties until further notice.

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Liberty Police are investigating the theft of over $23,000 in saddles, tools and equipment from a local business. Eric Thomas, of “The Iron Pens” on FM 2684 told police someone broke into the business over the New Year Holiday, taking 15 new Western saddles valued at $1500 each and other property.

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Last week, 75th District Judge C. T. “Rusty” Hight approved the out-of-court settlement offered 17-year-old Bessie Parsons in her lawsuit against the Hardin ISD over a 2002 wreck involving a Hardin School Bus. Since the plaintiff in the case is a minor, Texas requires the court to hold a hearing to approve the settlement to ensure it is in her best interests.

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Coverage began on January 1st for those who have enrolled in the new prescription drug benefits under Medicare Part D. Information indicates roughly 21 million people nationwide have signed up for the plan. For information on enrolling, call 800-633-4227 or visit www.medicare.gov

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FUNERALS: Louie Russell Seals, 78, of El Campo, Services at 1 p.m. Sat. at Soul’s Harbor Baptist Church in Ganado, Tx., * Morris Don Moody, Sr., 73, of Moss Hill, Services 2 p.m. Sat. Earthman Funeral Home in Baytown. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.18 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 003 THURSDAY JAN. 5TH, 2006-

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Before the filing deadline ended on Monday, Phil Fitzgerald officially became the third candidate for Liberty County Judge. Raised in the Hardin Area, he has been Precinct #3 Justice of the Peace for 19 years completing over 400 hours of judicial training. One of two Democrats running for County Judge, the 46-year-old said his background as JP and as a business owner gives him the judicial and administrative experience to be a good county judge. Phil Fitzgerald is opposed in the March Democratic Primary by Bruce Halstead. The winner will face Republican Craig McNair in the November General Election.

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U.S. Postal rates go up two cents this coming Sunday. Dayton Post Master Angie Hayes said the price of a first class stamp remains thirty-seven cents until then. She reports long lines of people buying the new 39-cent stamps and 2-cent stamps to make up the difference, but those won’t be needed until after midnight on Sunday. All mail postmarked by Jan. 7th will fall under a grace period for delivery to its destination.

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On Dec. 19th, Dessie Cherry took over the duties of Warden at the C.C.A. operated Liberty County Jail. She replaces the recently promoted Robert Lacy. Warden Cherry has only worked for CCA for a few years, but her career in corrections and criminal justice spans some 33 years.

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Lifeshare Blood Center will hold platelet drives twice a month at 1st Liberty National Bank beginning this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Platelets provide the clotting factor in human blood. The second opportunity to donate is on Saturday Jan. 21st also at the Liberty bank. Call 936-298-2689 to make a reservation.

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The public is invited to the 8th Annual Liberty County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Saturday January 14th at 1 p.m. this year at Liberty’s Turkey Creek Baptist Church on FM 563. This year’s event will honor the late Rosa Parks, known as “the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement”. State Representative Dr. Alma Allen of Houston and Baseball Great Grover “Deacon” Jones will be the Keynote Speakers.

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FUNERALS: Jennifer Stubbs, 42, of Moss Bluff, Graveside Service at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Anahuac Cemetery. **

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

-VOLUME 21 NO. 002 WEDNESDAY JANUARY 4TH, 2006-

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Daisetta Police Officer Colin Hulsart stopped a car for making an illegal turn on Christmas Eve. The driver, Steven Wayne Robinson, 29, and a passenger, Jeffery Allen Robinson, 26, were arrested for outstanding warrants and for allegedly giving false information to a police officer. Daisetta Police said a search of the vehicle turned up what are commonly used as drug scales, clear plastic bags commonly used to distribute illegal narcotics and about 11 grams of a substance investigators believe to be methamphetamine. Any charges relating to that substance await the results of DPS Crime Lab Testing.

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It took 50 years, but Texas jurors have gotten a pay raise. According to Liberty County District Clerk Melody Gilmore, as of January 1st, the minimum pay for those selected to serve on county or district court juries went up from $6- the lowest rate in the nation- to $40 a day. The same law allows those who give false information in an attempt to be excused from jury duty to be held in contempt of court and fined up to $1,000. The pay increase is an attempt by lawmakers to get more of those summoned for jury duty to show up for it.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended the deadline for Hurricane Rita and Katrina victims to register for assistance until March 11th. Disaster Officials hope those living in the affected areas who need help will use the additional 60 days to apply for it. The toll free number is 1-800-621-FEMA and phone lines are answered 24 hours a day.

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Work begins today on that project to widen the West Side of one block of N. Travis between Trinity and Sam Houston in Liberty. It’s part of the new city hall and auditorium construction and will take from 3 to 4 weeks. West Side parking for that one block will be lost until the widening is completed.

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All Nine Sports will broadcast the 2006 Rose Bowl Game between the Texas Longhorns and the USC Trojans tonight beginning with the pre-game at 6 p.m. Kick off is at 7.

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FUNERALS: Anna Bell Handley, 84, formerly of Hardin, Services at 10 a.m. today at Cochran Funeral Home in Livingston. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.58 ASL*

-VOLUME 21 NO. 001 TUESDAY JANUARY 3RD, 2006-

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The last day for candidates to file for the March Primary Elections saw Republican Ray Akins file to run for Precinct #4 County Commissioner. In the Democratic Party filings, Phil Fitzgerald made his expected run for Liberty County Judge official. The number of Democratic Candidates for Justice of the Peace Precinct #3 grew to eight with the addition of Robert Sellers. Two more Democrats- Tommy Koen and James Miles join Danny Frankum on the ballot for Precinct #3 Constable and Monique McDuffie Davis and David Perry brought the number of candidates for Precinct #6 JP to a total of four.

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In the second sting operation run by the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, in cooperation with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, focused on businesses that serve alcohol, such as bar’s taverns and clubs. The goal according to Sgt. Craig Smith with the T.A.B.C. was to find businesses that continue to serve after it is clear the patron was intoxicated, or selling to minors or what is called open saloon sales. That means a private club serves alcohol even though that person is not a member. The team found 5 cases of public intoxication, 3 open saloon, and 1 sale to an intoxicated person violations.

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Mont Belvieu has put a moratorium on oil and gas expansion for 120 days. City Manager Bryan Easum said they decided on the hold after a company began expanding operations without a city permit to do so, they are currently in litigation with Enterprise Products over the drilling of a new brine well. A judge has refused to grant an injunction against the drilling and the city is waiting for an appeals court to take up the case.

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Candidate filing yesterday saw F. Len Hughes toss his hat in the ring as a democrat for Chambers County Judge. Former Chambers County Sheriff Monroe Kreuzer, Jr. filed to run against Incumbent Jimmy Sylvia in the Republican Primary. Also Republican District 18 State Representative John Otto has an opponent in November. He is Libertarian Kris Overstreet.

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FUNERALS: Ricky Eggleston, 38, formerly of Dayton, Services 10 a.m. today 1st Baptist Church-Tomball * Thomas R. M. Brannon, 67, of Liberty, Services 2 p.m. Wed. - Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.56 ASL*

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