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March 2005

-VOLUME 20 NO. 64, THURSDAY MAR. 31ST, 2005-

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A Daisetta man, missing in the woods for several hours overnight, was found Wednesday morning and taken to a Kingwood hospital for a psychological evaluation. Daisetta Police Sgt. Les Hulsey said 38-year-old Vorice Scott Baucum’s father found the man sleeping in the back yard around 5 a.m. yesterday. Concerns over Mr. Baucum’s state of mind, brought officers to the residence, where the distraught man threatened to harm himself- first with a gun, then with a knife. Chief Mike Parrish eventually convinced Scotty Baucum to surrender the weapons and go to Tri-County MHMR for evaluation.

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According to a family member, while there is still a long recovery period ahead, Dayton Police Officer J. D. Heard is improving. The veteran law officer was critically injured in a wreck on Hwy 321 on March 19th. Officer Heard is now said to be communicating through notes and hand signs with doctors and family in the Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He reportedly spends several hours each day off the ventilator that now keeps him alive.

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This weekend marks the annual start of Daylight Savings Time. The time change officially begins at 2 a.m. Sunday. Since it is time to “spring forward”, remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night. Experts recommend this is also a good time to check smoke detector batteries.

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The Liberty Lions Club’s Annual Jubilee Fish Fry is tomorrow night from 5 to 8 p.m. in Sam Houston Plaza at the corner of Sam Houston and Main Streets. Plates of fish and all the trimmings are $7 each and all proceeds benefit the Lions Club’s many community projects. The Jubilee Fireworks Display starts after the fish fry around 8 p.m. tomorrow.

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The Dayton Broncos Baseball Team is on the road tomorrow night for a district match up with the Jaguars at Forest Brook. The game starts at 7 p.m. Friday. All Nine Sports live broadcast of Dayton Broncos Baseball begins around 6:50.

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FUNERALS: Clarence John Baldwin, 64, of Dayton, Services at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wells Funeral Home in Liberty. ** Larry Charles Porche Jr., 31, of Liberty, Services were yesterday.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.81 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 63, WEDNESDAY MAR. 30TH, 2005-

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A 2nd Dayton resident was killed in last Wednesday’s explosion at the BP Amoco Refinery in Texas City. 43-year-old Kimberly Ann Smith was the Office Manager at the petrochemical company. In all, 15 people were killed and 100 more were injured in that explosion. We have already reported on Ryan Rodriquez who grew up in Hardin and lived in Dayton, until his death in the Texas City blast last Wednesday.

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U.S. Congressman Ted Poe will hold a series of community meetings at various locations within his 2nd Congressional District on Saturday. Congressman Poe will be in Liberty County from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the 75th District Courtroom of the County Courthouse during the Liberty Jubilee. The Congressman and his staff will be at each meeting to answer questions from the public and summarize the actions of the 109th Congress including legislation he introduced.

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The cause of a fire that destroyed a doublewide manufactured home off Hwy 321 Monday afternoon is still under investigation. Fire Officials on the scene said no one was home when the fire broke out at the Ronald and Rebecca Najera residence and speculation is that the blaze may have started in the kitchen area. Firefighters from the Hwy 321, Dayton, Kenefick and one from the Westlake Volunteer Departments fought the flames for hours. No one was injured in the fire, but several family pets were lost.

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The Annual Liberty Jubilee Parade is Saturday morning at 10 in Downtown Liberty. This year’s theme is “My Favorite Day” and categories include Walking, Small Floats, Pets n’ Pals and Decorated Bikes. No horses or large animals will be allowed. Entry forms are available at Liberty City Hall, Liberty Elementary and Middle School. Call 936-336-5449 for more information on the Liberty Jubilee Parade.

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FUNERALS: Kimberly Ann Smith, 42, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at 1st Baptist Church in Dayton. ** Clarence John Baldwin, 64, of Dayton, Services pending at Wells Mortuary of Liberty. ** Marjorie Ann Bean Jurecka, 71, of Raywood, Services at 10 a.m. Friday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12.43 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 62, TUESDAY MAR. 29TH, 2005-

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A second lawsuit has been filed in an attempt to dissolve the voter-approved Liberty County Hospital District. Unlike last month’s lawsuit filed in federal court, this action is a state lawsuit filed in the 75th District Court in Liberty County. Plaintiffs Paulette Williams and Pete Gunter contend in the suit that the Feb. 5th Election was illegally held since petitioners brought the issue to the voters under the wrong chapter of the Texas Health and Safety Code. Assistant Liberty County Attorney Mark Beausoleil said his office is preparing a legal response to this latest suit. A court date on the first, federal lawsuit filed against the hospital district is set for April 30th.

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DPS reports indicate that Cheryl Weeks was southbound on FM 770 near Daisetta yesterday afternoon when she said, it appeared the vehicle in front of her had stopped. In taking evasive action, she lost control of her vehicle and struck a northbound van causing it to flip over. That van’s driver, Bobby Adams of Kountze and Cheryl Weeks were taken to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital for treatment. Ms. Weeks’ son Jimmy, age 13 or 14, was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital with a head laceration and possible concussion

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Yesterday afternoon, 75th District Judge C. T. “Rusty” Hight agreed to reduce the bond of former Cleveland Baptist Church Music Director Andrew Argent from $500,000 to $125,000 on a charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. DA Mike Little said Judge Hight imposed stringent conditions to go along with the bond reduction. Argent cannot go anywhere near a minor child while released on bond and must report his current address, residence and employment to Adult Probation each week.

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Advance tickets are on sale now for this Friday night’s Annual Liberty Jubilee Street Dance, starting at 8 p.m. with Johnny Dee and The Rocket 88’s. Tickets are $10 in advance at Liberty City Hall and the Liberty Fire Station. Gates tickets will be $15 each. Call 936-336-7361 for more information.

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FUNERALS: Ann White, 79, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the Houston National Veterans Affairs Cemetery in Houston. ** Kenneth Doyle Hunt, 58, of Silsbee, Services at 2 p.m. today at the Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.52 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 60, MONDAY MAR. 28TH, 2005-

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Four Chambers County officials, elected as Democrats, went to Austin last week to formally change their party affiliation to the Republican Party. County Judge Jimmy Sylvia, District Clerk Bob Scherer, Co. Atty. Cheryl Lieck and Co. Treasurer Carren Sparks made the switch in a meeting with GOP Gov. Rick Perry.

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A local man was among the 15 people killed in the explosion that leveled the BP Amoco Refinery in Texas City last Wednesday. Ryan Rodriquez, 28, formerly of Hardin, now of Dayton, died in that refinery blast with 14 others.

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A ruling today by 75th District Judge C. T. “Rusty” Hight could lower the $500,000 bond set for former Cleveland Baptist Minister Andrew Argent. The 39-year-old was free on $25,000 bond for indecency with a child, but arrested again for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Both charges are against a boy allegedly 12 when the offenses were committed. Judge Hight delayed ruling on bond reduction while investigators pursued other victims. DA Mike Little said one additional victim may be in the Fort Worth area where Argent once served.

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Last Monday Dayton City Council approved grant requests from the Dayton Community Development Board, making alterations of their own in the process. Council attached a motion that compels attorney Wes Hinch to repay the full amount of his $30,000 grant if he sells the building he is restoring within a year. Council also approved a grant for $89,000 to Graphics Express, but added a second lien for five years on the building that Dayton business is renovating on Main St.

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The Liberty Panthers baseball team hosts the Splendora Wildcats tomorrow night at 6 p.m. All Nine Sports will broadcast the game. Our next broadcast of Dayton Broncos baseball is Friday when Dayton is at Forest Brook at 7 p.m.

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FUNERALS: Ryan Rodriquez, 28, Dayton, Services at 10 am tomorrow at Navarre Funeral Home-Baytown.**Gregory L. Williams, 58, Dayton, Services at 10 today at 1st Baptist Church -Dayton** Audrey Gertrude Barrow, 94, of Liberty, Service at 10 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **Margaret Shields, 88, at 10 am Tuesday at Sterling Funeral Home.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 26,000CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.91ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 59, FRIDAY MAR. 25TH, 2005-

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State Representative John Otto announced yesterday a $20 million project to widen Hwy 146 to four lanes from Hwy 90 in Dayton south to the Chambers County Line would begin immediately. Otto told a standing room only crowd at the Dayton City Hall the project would in no way affect the other state highway construction projects scheduled for Liberty County. TxDot’s District Manager John Barton said an engineering firm had already been hired and, best case scenario construction would begin in 36 months.

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Former Dayton High School Band Director James Allen Pelloat appeared in a Newton County Courtroom yesterday and pled guilty to 2 counts of Sexual Assault of Child and 2 counts of Improper Relationship between Teacher and Student. Newton County Criminal Prosecuting Attorney A. W. Davis said, under a plea bargain, Pelloat received the maximum 20 years in prison on each charge. Two of those 20-year sentences are to be run consecutively or back to back. The 57-year-old Pelloat will have to serve a minimum of 20 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole consideration. James Pelloat was arrested in November and faced six charges relating to sexual misconduct or assault of his underage male students.

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Reports indicate 83-year-old Robert Jenkins of Liberty was climbing up on a tractor with the engine running yesterday and accidentally pushed the gearshift causing the machine to lurch forward. Jenkins ended up being flung to the ground, struck by a tractor lever in the process. The man suffered a fractured upper leg bone, but escaped more serious injury.

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The 68th Annual Ames Easter Rodeo is Sunday at 3 p.m. at the TVE Fairgrounds. Events include calf tie-down, steer wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding. A dance with Brian Jack and the Zydeco Gamblers follows the rodeo. Advance tickets are $7 for adults, $3 for kids. Call 936-587-4407. Tickets at the gate on Sunday will be $1 more each

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FUNERALS: Jeanne Leger Daigle, 71, formerly of Beaumont, Services at 11 a.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland. ** Eppsie Aslee Campbell, 68, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at 1st United Methodist Church in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 12,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15. 47 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 58, THURSDAY MAR. 24TH, 2005-

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State Representative John Otto is planning to make a major announcement about a roadway project priced near $20 million today. Representative Otto said he has been working on this project since he got to Austin and promises it will not delay any of the other road projects already announced for this area by TxDot. The Dayton Republican said he will announce details today at 2 p.m. at Dayton City Hall.

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Family members say Dayton Police Officer J. D. Heard is now listed as being in critical but stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. Officer Heard tried to avoid a pick up truck that pulled into the path of his own vehicle on Hwy 321 early Saturday morning. His own truck rolled over several times. Reports indicate Officer Heard is suffering a compound leg fracture, numerous fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, damaged knees and five fractured vertebrae. He remains in a medication- induced coma. Doctors believe, in time, he will recover.

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Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said two Anahuac men have been arrested for the January 2004 murder of 20-year-old Christopher Russell. The victim was discovered in the front seat of his car at an Anahuac trailer park, shot to death. Investigators believe Leon Joseph King, 22, and Jehonathan LeBlanc, 24, shot and killed Russell during a robbery. Both suspects are currently held without bond on Capital Murder Charges.

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A benefit for 11-year-old Zach Flint of Liberty will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Computer Solutions in Liberty. The benefit includes a fish fry, an auction at 1 p.m., moonwalks and kids’ bingo. Zach was seriously injured in a 4-wheeler accident in December. Proceeds will help Zach’s family with medical expenses. Call 936-336-4124 for more information.

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FUNERALS: Christena M. Murphy, 77, formerly of Huffman, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Estelle Shockley, 80, of Tarkington Prairie, Services at 2 p.m. today at County Line Cemetery near Willis. ** Maurice Anthony Plummer, 42, of Houston, Services at 11 a.m. Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood. ** Mary Frances Lay Caloway, 77, of Splendora, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 12,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14. 86 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 57, WEDNESDAY MAR. 23RD, 2005-

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday to determine how the $6 million in Certificates of Obligation would be divided among the County Commissioners Precincts. As reported, the money is to be used strictly for Road and Bridge repair and rebuilding, not for equipment. Commissioners voted to allot $1.5 million to Precinct #1, $2 million to Precinct #2, $500,000 for Precinct #3 and $2 million for Precinct #4. The vote also specified each Commissioner would keep detailed reports of how that bond money is spent.

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The Dayton City Council voted 3 to 1 to appoint Jay Knight to fill the seat on the Dayton Community Development Corporation Board left vacant by the recent resignation of Arlene Langham. Councilman “Frosty” Pruitt cast the lone “no” vote and Barbara Zaruba was absent. In other action, Council agreed to put off interviewing candidates for the City Manager’s job until after the Easter Holiday. Interim City Manager Norman Dykes said of the ten possible candidates they had selected, he had received confirmation from seven that said they were still interested and would take part in the first round of interviews.

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LMS Teacher Joe Slack is back on the job after a brief suspension involving a complaint of assault on a 15-year-old student. Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said the district’s investigation concluded the popular teacher might have shown poor judgement in punching the student as part of a game kids call “flinch”, but had no intention of injuring the child. Liberty Police Detective Gary Martin said the boy’s arm was bruised and the County Attorney’s Office would decide if the complaint would result in any actual charges.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all municipal offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday. Garbage service will run as scheduled in both Liberty and Dayton Friday. All post offices and banks will be open for regular business hours on the holiday.

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FUNERALS: Lajuana Joy Loftin, 67, of Thicket, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Votaw Baptist Church. ** Maggie Van Dorn Cessna, 92, of Hardin, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Hardin Baptist Church. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12. 92 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 56, TUESDAY MAR. 22ND, 2005-

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U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, who represents most of Liberty County, introduced the “Child Predator Act” in Congress last week to impose tougher sentencing and federal monitoring of child sexual predators. Congressman Poe said the bill would create a federal database of all those convicted of Sexual Assault of a Child age 13 or under, instead of relying on current State Sex Offender Registration Laws. That National Database would be available on a free access web site. The act would also make it a federal offense to fail to register as a child sex offender.

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Daisetta Police Chief Mike Parrish said Officers Tim Moody and Josh Cummins began investigating a tip received several days ago that a woman was selling prescription drugs in an apartment on Main Street in Daisetta, across from the high school. In a cooperative effort with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Narcotics Division and Precinct #3 Constable Chip Fairchild, an undercover operation resulted in Tracy Lynn Herndon’s arrest last Friday afternoon on a charge of Delivery of a Controlled Substance in a Drug Free Zone, a second degree felony.

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The Liberty Lady Panthers Track Team finished 5th overall in the Gid Campbell Relay in Anahuac on Friday with a total of 59 points. That overall score included a 2nd place finish by Amber Bruno in Discus, as well as a second place finish by the 4 x 200 Relay Team of Tayshell Dugat, Sherry Nelson, Dominque Baldwin and Tiffany Baldwin. Next, the Liberty Girls will be competing at Splendora on Thursday.

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Entries are still being accepted for the 20th Annual Liberty Jubilee Cook-Off Contest on April 1st and 2nd. Contest Chair Aneisha Nugent said this year’s competition includes a new Fajitas division, as well as the Brisket, Ribs, Chef’s Choice and Margaritas Categories. Cooking Team spaces are going fast and prospective teams are urged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Cost to enter is $25 or $85 to compete in four categories. Call 936-336-3684 for more information.

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FUNERALS: Kaydon Douglas Carson, Infant son of Sheriff’s Capt. James and Dr. Toilynn Carson of Dayton. Family will receive friends 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11. 20 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 55, MONDAY MAR. 21ST 2005-

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Dayton Police Officer J. D. Heard was enroute home, after his shift Saturday. Reportedly a vehicle crossed in his path on Hwy 321 in front of the Ponderosa Tavern. The Dayton Policeman missed that vehicle but lost control of his truck rolling several times. Officer Heard was ejected and critically injured. He was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. He has at least a leg fracture, broken ribs, collapsed lungs and a dislocated shoulder. Heard had surgery Sunday and is expected to survive. a tip led police to the vehicle that fled and arrested the driver. .

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The public is invited to a reception for Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer Wednesday from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Boardroom of the LISD Administration Building. Dr. Shafer is leaving the district to accept the Number 2 job at the Region Four Education Service Center in Houston. Interim Supt Dr. Hugh Hayes told trustees Tuesday night that, to date, he has received eight resumes from those interested in becoming the next Liberty Superintendent. Dr. Hayes expects somewhere around 30 candidates before the April 22nd application deadline.

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Dayton Justice of the Peace Glenn Pruitt forced his way into the home of his own son Saturday and found- Michael Glenn Pruitt-35 dead. JP Bobby Rader suspects the gunshot was self-inflicted and ordered an autopsy. There was no note or other indication as to why the local man might have taken his own life.

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The 22nd Shine-All-Nine Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday morning at Liberty Municipal Park. The event is for kids 9 and under. They will be hunting for 5,000 plastic eggs filled with candy plus 90 prize eggs, specially marked.. Three grand prize eggs are good for two new bicycles. The third is for a wagon. The start signal is at 10 am Saturday, but crowds tend to be large, so get there early. There is no charge, just fun galore for kids 9 and under. .

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All Nine Sports will have Dayton Lady Softball live tomorrow at 6:30.They host C. E. King. Our first Liberty Panthers Baseball broadcast, is Thursday VS Tarkington at 7 p.m.

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FUNERALS: Michael Glenn Pruitt-35 2PM Tuesday at First Baptist of Dayton (Sterling)**William V. Abernathy, 51, of Liberty, Services were Sunday**Sadie Kathleen Blue Wisdom, 100, of Cleveland, Services Sunday. **

*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.10ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 54, FRIDAY MAR. 18TH 2005-

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Liberty Police Detective Ben Satterwhite said 51-year-old William Abernathy was driving along Hwy 90 between Liberty and Dayton yesterday around 6 a.m. He apparently felt badly and stopped beside the road, got out of his vehicle at some point, and collapsed. Detective Satterwhite said Mr. Abernathy had a known heart ailment and it is believed he died of natural causes, pending autopsy results from Jefferson Co. Morgue.

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The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has commuted the death sentence of David Wayne DeBlanc to life-imprisonment. We have reported that DA Mike Little predicted the court’s action, following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that it is “cruel and unusual” to execute persons that are mentally retarded. The Liberty County man meets the criteria of that decision. David DeBlanc was convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of Father Henry Bouche during a robbery in 1983.

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A district judge in Newton County has denied former Dayton High School Band Director James Allen Pelloat a change of venue in his trial for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. Despite defense arguments that aggressive media coverage of the former educator’s case could have prejudiced potential jurors, Judge Monte D. Lawlis ruled last week that Pelloat’s trial will go forward as scheduled on Monday March 28th in Newton County. James Pelloat faces five more felony charges, all relating to illegal sexual relations with his male students while he was Band Director at Newton High School.

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A new addition to this year’s Dayton Ole Tyme Days Festival is an antique tractor display and parade on Sunday April 17th. Vintage tractors will be on display on Main Street in Dayton starting at 9 a.m. with the parade set to begin at 3:30 that afternoon. Anyone who would like to enter a tractor in the event can call 936-258-8282 for more information.

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FUNERALS: Elizabeth “Liz” Wallace, 55, of Dayton, Memorial service at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Family Home in Dayton. ** Neva Faye Templin, 61, of Cleveland, Services at 2 p.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland. ** Christopher Wade Wise, Infant son of Calvin and Leslie Wise of Cleveland, Services held yesterday. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.38 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 53, THURSDAY MAR. 17TH 2005-

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Dayton Police Officer Gordon Bean said it was around 7:45 Wednesday morning when 22-year-old Krystal Kylberg of Dayton hit the back of a vehicle driven by Anna Manning, 59, also of Dayton on Hwy 90. The impact sent Ms. Manning’s vehicle in to the median, it rolled over several times. Anna Manning was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in serious condition. Krystal Kylberg was cited for failure to control speed.

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Liberty School Trustees met Tuesday night and voted unanimously to name Dr. Hugh Hayes as Interim School Superintendent after Dr. Patty Shafer’s departure on March 24th. Hayes, a Liberty native, is a well-known figure in public education who served in various capacities in the Liberty ISD from 1964-74 including Assistant Superintendent. He held Superintendent jobs in Katy, Odessa and Pascagoula, Mississippi. Dr. Hayes is the current Director of Superintendent Search Services for the Region IV Education Service Center and will handle the search for Dr. Shafer’s permanent successor.

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According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Don Neyland, a drug sting in the parking lot of the Liberty Food Mart on Hwy 90 Tuesday night ended in three arrests and the seizure of approximately $1,000 in crack cocaine. Loretta Kirk, 46, and Kenya Burnell, 31, are charged with the Manufacture and Distribution of a Controlled Substance, while Luke Wells, 48, was arrested for Delivery of a Controlled Substance. All three remain jailed in lieu of $75,000 bond each.

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The 6th Annual Thunder on the Trinity Motorcycle Rally is this weekend at the TVE Fairgrounds on FM 563 in Liberty. Tomorrow night is Casino Night with Las Vegas style games of chance, while Saturday’s activities include a Poker Run, the Bike Show, Bike Games, live music, vendors, food and more. Proceeds benefit the Liberty Rotary Club.

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After a 2 to 1 win over Forest Brook Tuesday, the Dayton Broncos Baseball Team is now 2 and 0 in District Play. Tomorrow night, Dayton hosts C. E. King with first pitch set for 7 p.m. All Nine Sports’ live broadcast starts at 6:50. Our first broadcast of Dayton Softball is set for Tuesday at 6:20 p.m. as the Lady Broncos host the C. E. King Lady Panthers.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.21 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 51, TUESDAY MAR. 15TH 2005-

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March 8th, Edwards Eugene Sheets pled guilty to the November 2003 murder of his wife Martha, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison by 75th District Judge C. T. “Rusty” Hight. DA Mike Little said Sheets’ sentence was part of a plea bargain and the man will have to serve at least 15 years behind bars before being eligible for parole. The skeletal remains of Martha Sheets were found off Hwy 90 on Texaco Road in June 2004.

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Family members said Marsella Pineda was asleep in her manufactured home on Hwy 321 Saturday afternoon when she was awakened by a muffled explosion nearby. She got out, ahead of flames that covered the 80 x 14 home by the time firefighters arrived. The Hwy 321, Dayton and Kenefick Volunteer Fire Departments fought the blaze. A big sports utility vehicle was saved from the flames, but the home burned to frame. There were no injuries.

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State Representative John Otto, whose District 18 includes Liberty County, has found himself pulled into a key role in the Texas House debate over House Bill #3. The Dayton Republican spent four hours at the front microphone of the House Floor in Austin Thursday—an unusual honor for a freshman House member. Information indicates that because Otto is a CPA, he has been taking questions and explaining details relating to proposed provisions of HB#3—as it relates to the business franchise tax-- to fellow lawmakers.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is Wednesday at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. This month’s guest speaker is Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer. Tickets are $7 each. Call the Chamber Office at 936-336-5736 for reservations.

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KSHN Radio’s new season of High School Baseball begins today. As in year’s past, we will broadcast Liberty and Dayton District Baseball Games as well as some Dayton Softball Games. Tonight, the Dayton Broncos host Forest Brook with the first pitch at 7 p.m. All Nine Sports live broadcast starts at 6:50.

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FUNERALS: David Roule Ott, 29, of Cleveland, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 7,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.23 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 50, MONDAY MAR. 14TH 2005-

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Andrew Argent, former minister of music at 1st Baptist Church in Cleveland was free on $25,000 bond accused of indecency with a child but was re-arrested Friday afternoon. The new charge against the 39-year-old Argent is aggravated sexual assault of a child. This time it is a first-degree felony relating to a different offense but against the same victim—a 12-year-old boy. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in 1999 or 2000. Argent’s new bond is $500,000, according to JP Bobby Rader.

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Pct #3 Justice of the Peace Phil Fitzgerald has withdrawn as a candidate for the Liberty County Hospital Board, after learning he cannot run while serving as JP. As a matter of fact he may have forfeited his JP office by filing for the Hospital Board spot. Fitzgerald was ok’ed to be appointed on the interim Hospital District Board, but was unaware a state law makes him ineligible to seek election for that same unpaid post. We are told that he automatically ceased to be the elected JP when he filed to run. Until it is resolved his authority continues as “holdover judge”.

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One of former Dayton High School Band Director James Pelloat’s alleged victims has filed a civil lawsuit against the former educator and against the Newton ISD. The now 19-year-old plaintiff claims that school officials knew about what the suit calls Pelloat’s “propensities” and were “deliberately indifferent”. The suit seeks in excess of $100,000 in damages for mental anguish, plus legal fees. James Pelloat was arrested in November on charges ranging from sexual misconduct to aggravated sexual assault of a Child involving three former male students at Newton High School. He’s set for trial on the first of six felonies March.28th. Pelloat taught 12 years in Dayton some time ago.

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The City of Ames will be taking applications for grant funds from the Office of Rural Community Affairs to help rehabilitate the homes of low-income homeowners tomorrow from 8 a.m. to Noon at City Hall. Call 936-336-7278 for more information.

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, 60-Liberty, Serv @ 3 today - Pace Stancil-Dayton.**

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*LAKE RELEASE: 9,000CFS* LIBERTY BRIDGE: 16.59ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 49, FRIDAY MAR. 11TH 2005-

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The Liberty Rotary Club will sponsor the 6th Annual “Thunder on the Trinity” Motorcycle Rally Friday March 18th and Saturday March 19th. The event concludes with a morning worship service on Sunday March 20th. More than a thousand motorcycle riders and enthusiasts will roar on to the TVE Fairgrounds for two days of fun. Liberty Rotary President Brad Harrington said “Thunder on the Trinity” has raised over $72,000 for local and international Rotary projects in its first five years. For more information, call 936-336-3611.

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Liberty City Manager Allen Barnes said the City has been notified that 2004-2005 Entitlement Funds are being made available for use at the Municipal Airport. The federal funds, administered through TxDot, means $200,000, specifically for use in constructing or renovating the City’s airplane hangers. Barnes said it is his hope to tear down the old hangers and replace them with 15 to 20 new ones. He said that would depend on just how expensive the work turns out to be at current prices.

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Anahuac’s Appointed Mayor, Guy Robert Jackson has no opposition to serve out the remaining year left on the term of former Mayor Bruce Corner. We reported that Corner shocked fellow city officials by resigning right before he was to be sworn in for a new term. Barring a write-in candidate, Jackson will continue to serve as Mayor after May 7th. Ottmar Schimek, a former Anahuac Mayor himself, was appointed to fill Jackson’s seat as Position #4 Alderman, but did not file to run for that seat by the Monday filing deadline. Candidates Joey Defusto, Robert Holub, Cheryl Sanders and Grant Smith are running for Pos.#4.

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The Annual Dayton Ole Tyme Days BBQ Cook Off is set for Saturday April 16th in Downtown Dayton. Barbecue Cooking Teams will be competing for trophies in chicken, pork ribs, beef fajitas, beans, brisket, cook’s choice and dessert categories. The popular Junior Chili Cook Off, for teens will also be held that Saturday morning. For information on signing up for the BBQ Cook Off, call Bill Gray at 281-413-1661. To enter the Junior Chili Cook Off, call Pam May at 281-576-2640.

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FUNERALS: Gladys Prater Bass, 84, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 13,000 CFS* LIBERTY BRIDGE: 21.76 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 48, THURSDAY MAR. 10TH 2005-

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The former Music Director at the Cleveland First Baptist Church was arrested Tuesday on Indecency With a Child charges. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said 39-year-old Andrew Argent allegedly committed indecency with a 12-year-old child from that church. The suspect resigned his post there in mid-February. The crime allegedly occurred back in 1999. Cleveland Police put together the case against Argent, but since some events in the charge happened outside the city limits, the Sheriff’s Department was called in. Andrew Argent is currently being held in the Liberty County Jail, in lieu of a $25,000 bond. Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 936-336-4500.

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The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and heard from law firms interested in taking over the city’s delinquent tax collection service. City Manager Allen Barnes said Council received proposals from four different firms. Ultimately, Council Members voted to hire a Dayton law firm, Attorneys Mike Fielder and Randy Gunter, who have the contract for delinquent tax collections with the Dayton ISD.

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The Texas Department of Public Safety reminds Spring Break motorists that a state law requires any driver approaching an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing, to slow down to 20 mph below the posted speed limit. Motorists also have the option to move over into the next lane if the road has multiple lanes traveling in the same direction and they can do so safely. A violation of this law is punishable by a maximum fine of $200 or up to $500 if property damage occurs.

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Two Liberty County women are among the soldiers being honored with a “Welcome Home” Parade by the City of Beaumont tomorrow. Army Specialist Wendy Hargroue of Hardin and Staff Sgt. Mary Bonnetti of Moss Hill are attached to the 644th U.S. Army Transportation Co. recently returned from a year of active duty in Iraq. The parade starts at noon tomorrow on Main St. in Downtown Beaumont, to be followed by a special ceremony at the Beaumont Civic Center. The public is welcome.

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FUNERALS: Gladys Prater Bass, 84, of Dayton, Services pending at Wells Mortuary in Liberty. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS* LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.31 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 47, WEDNESDAY MAR. 9TH 2005-

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Liberty County Commissioners met Tuesday and voted to approve contracts with Davis Custom Drywall and Painting, Dayton Ceramic Tile and Carpet, Eddie Fregia Roofing and Biazillion Flooring for repair and remodeling work to the Dayton Annex Building on FM 1960. Precinct #4 Commissioner Norman Brown said he hoped the new annex building would be open for county business within the next 4 months.

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In a 4 to 1 split vote, the Dayton City Council approved a request from HIB Corp. to use hotel-motel tax funds to finance a two-part study for the proposed ”water park” to be located on Hwy 321. The Henderson Family wants $10,000 to pay for a geo-technical study and $5,000 for an environmental study. Interim City Manager Norman Dykes said the city only has $12,100 available so the action will deplete that fund. Councilman “Frosty” Pruitt cast the lone “no” vote against granting the request. Under questioning by Councilman Jay Tadlock, Janice Henderson’s daughter, Deborah Iley admitted the family has also been negotiating with Cleveland about possibly moving their planned water park to that city.

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According to information from the Newton County DA’s Office, the trail of former Dayton High School Band Director James Allen Pelloat will be rescheduled. Pelloat was due to go on trail Monday in Newton County on one of five charges relating to alleged sexual abuse of his underage male students when he was band instructor at Newton High School. The trial judge has granted a motion by Pelloat’s attorney allowing the defense more time to prepare for trial. No new trial date has been set yet.

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The 3rd Annual BPR Bull Riding Competition is on Friday May 6th in the TVE Arena. This year’s event is the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Challenger Tour with $10,000 in prize money. Some of the nation’s top bull riders are expected. $15 advance tickets go on sale April 1st. Gate tickets will be $17.50. For more information, call the TVE Office at 936-336-7455.

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FUNERALS: Daryl Webb, 49, of Houston, Services at 10 a.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Corine Mae Beene, 71, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 20,000 CFS* LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.78 ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 46, TUESDAY MAR. 8TH 2005-

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The final day of May 7th Election filings ended with 5 candidates for 3 at-large positions on the Liberty City Council. Incumbents Dennis Beasley, J.C. Burnham and John Meche are joined in the race by retired U.S. Navy Aviator J. Newborn and Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Danny Diaz. The three-way race for Mayor in the City of Dayton is between Incumbent Larry Harris, Insurance Agent Steve Stephens and Businessman Jesse Barton. The four candidates for two open positions on Dayton City Council are Incumbents “Frosty” Pruitt and Barbara Zaruba, new candidates Todd Oubre and David Parker. The Dayton School Board has only Incumbent Thomas Payne for Position #3. Position #4 Incumbent Buddy Janacek did not file. That race is between Paul Kelly and Robert Pickle.

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The 13 candidates who filed to run for a place on the Liberty County Hospital District Board are: Kim Anderson, Jim Barker, Teddy Boyer, LaDonna Cain, Kathy Dagle, Cissy Drake, Phil Fitzgerald, Eliza Mae Guidry, Bill Johnson, Charles Kaemmerling, Tom Miksch, Herman Semien and C. Bruce Stratton. The election is on Saturday May 7th.

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District Attorney Mike Little said a legal loophole would probably prevent former Hardin ISD Teacher Sharisa Sprinkle from being charged with Inappropriate Relationship between Educator and Student. Ms. Sprinkle resigned last week after accusations she had a sexual relationship with a Hardin High Student. Since the teacher and student had been at different schools enforcement of that law might not be possible. However, investigators have determined the alleged incident may have occurred when the boy was 16 years old. In such cases, the charge could be Sexual Assault of a Child.

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The Annual Liberty Jubilee Street Dance is set for Friday night April 1st. This year’s entertainment will be provided by one of Texas’ most popular bands: “Johnny Dee and the Rocket 88’s”. Advance tickets will be on sale soon for $10 each. Tickets at the gate will be $15. Reservations for tables for up to 10 people are $150 in advance. For more information, call 936-336-7361.

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FUNERALS: Betty Lou Fregia, 66, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 24,000 CFS* LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.78 ft ASL*

VOLUME 20 NO. 45, MONDAY MAR. 7TH 2005-

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Deadline for candidates seeking election to the 5-member Liberty Co. Hosp. District Bd. is at 5 today. State Hospital District Statute permits a later deadline but State Election Code supercedes that. It’s the second time that Election Code and Hospital District Law have conflicted. Applications are at the office of C. Bruce Stratton, Attorney at Law, 609 Travis Street in Liberty. Candidates must be at least 21, live in the hospital district and meet requirements for public office. Through Sunday Cissie Drake of Hull and Kathy Dagle of Liberty have filed. Six others have applications with the deadline today. .

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Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said an investigation into the death of a Liberty teenager last week indicates the youth died of an accidental drug overdose. Joseph Wayne Hodge-16, complained of nausea at home on Industrial Place, Tuesday. . The boy’s mother later found him unconscious in the bathroom. JP#1 Bobby Rader ordered an autopsy.

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Liberty Police arrested a juvenile girl at Liberty High School last Thursday for possession of dangerous drugs and possession of a controlled substance. Concerned students apparently tipped off administrators at LHS. A search of the 14-year-old girl by a female teacher discovered both Ritalin and Phenergan She was taken to Montgomery Co. Juvenile Detention Center A hearing will determine if she will be held or released to her parents.

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Liberty Masonic Lodge presented their Annual Branch Awards to top local educators Thursday. For 2005 they went to San Jacinto Elementary’s Jessica Haidusek, to Brenda Leonard from L.E.S., From Liberty Middle School-Leigh Davis and LHS Teacher Patsy Munson, earned her second Branch Award.

Cleveland Lady Indians lost in Class 3A State Title game to now, three time champs, Canyon Lady Eagles 64-48.

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FUNERALS: Roy A. Seaberg 91-Dayton, Serv 2pm Tuesday at Dayton Methodist Ch**Joseph Hodge, 16, of Liberty, Services Sunday**Jim Brown, 70,Dayton, Serv.Sunday.*Earl Wayne Payne, 51, formerly of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. Wed. at Mt Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton* Annie Johnson-92 of Hull. Service at 10 Tues. at United Pentecostal Ch.–Daisetta**Bettye Neal Huntley of DaytonTues. Slocum, Tx.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 26,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 23.65ft ASL*

-VOLUME 20 NO. 44, FRIDAY MAR. 4TH 2005-

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A part-time employee of the Dayton Municipal Court has been arrested in connection with the alleged theft of $860 in court fines. Since 22-year-old Angela Johnson was a city employee she is charged with Abuse of Official Capacity. Investigators say an alert city employee noticed what appeared to be money missing from one city account in early February, prompting the investigation. The Dayton woman is alleged to have accepted payments for city court fines, occasionally giving handwritten receipts for the money, instead of entering the payment into the city’s computer, then erased the account and kept the money.

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Five Liberty-Dayton Area Businesses were honored at Tuesday night’s 4th Annual Monument Awards Banquet in Baytown. The awards are sponsored by Lee College’s Small Business Development Center. The Country Emporium and Diner in Liberty won Business of the Year honors. The Service Industry Award went to the Liberty Gazette Newspaper with the Cedar Grove RV Park as runner-up. Chiropractic First finished first in the “Rising Star” Category, while top honors in the Retail-Wholesale Industry went to The Vineyard Florist in Dayton.

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The 2nd Annual Police and Firemen Appreciation Dinner sponsored by the Dayton Chamber of Commerce and the Dayton Financial Center is at 7 p.m. on Thursday March 10th at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High. Guest Speaker is DHS Graduate Vance Elliott, a Kerr County J.P. and Pastor of Yancey United Methodist Church. Tickets are $10 from any member of the Dayton Chamber Board or the Chamber Office on Bryant Street.

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Entries are being accepted for the 20th Annual Liberty Jubilee Barbecue Cook-Off on April 1st and 2nd. The contest was expanded last year to from 16 to 22 teams, competing in the Brisket, Ribs, Chef’s Choice, Fajitas and Margaritas categories. Cooking team spaces are going fast and prospective teams are urged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Call Liberty City Hall at 936-336-7361 for more information.

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FUNERALS: Leo C. Blake, 88, formerly of Devers, Services at 10 a.m. today at the Stringer and Griffin Funeral Home in Colmesneil. ** O. C. Sanders, 69, of Corpus Christi, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 26,200 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 21.53 ft ASL*

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