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August 2005

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 165, WEDNESDAY AUG. 31ST, 2005-

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A wreck in front of Wal-Mart on Main in Liberty Monday night, sent 20 year old Jason Moody of Coldspring to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by Life Flight Air Ambulance in critical condition. The young man who is living with friends in Liberty was ejected from his vehicle, landing some 50 feet away. Four other people involved in the multi-car wreck were taken to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital for minor injuries.

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Community leaders, service organizations and area churches have gathered together to offer what assistance they can to people who fled Hurricane Katrina currently staying in Liberty County. The Liberty VFW is serving lunch to evacuees this week, and tonight the 1st Baptist Church will serve dinner at 6 PM. All that is required is some form of ID showing you are from Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama. If you would like to make a donation of food or clothing, you can drop it off at Liberty’s 1st Baptist, 1st Methodist or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, as well as at the SOS Thrift Shop.

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Controversy flared at Monday night’s Dayton City Council meeting over a proposed amendment to the DCDC’s articles of incorporation. If approved, the amendment would have given council the authority to set and establish all elements of the DCDC budget if no budget had been approved prior to September 1st. Following a motion and a 2nd, Council member Barbara Zaruba pointed out the posted agenda called for an amendment to the by-laws, not the articles of incorporation. She said they couldn’t legally vote on the amendment because of the way it was listed on the agenda. Dayton Mayor Steve Stephens declared the proposed amendment a dead issue.

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The Liberty School Board met in special session yesterday at noon and adopted the 2005-2006 budget. The over $20 million dollar budget includes salary increases but few other increases. Trustees also approved a tax rate of 1.67 per $100 of value.

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All Nine Sports’ 1st Split Channel Sports Broadcast of the High School Football Season is Friday night. Turn your stereo radio’s balance control to the left for the Liberty vs. Bridge City Game or to the right for Dayton vs. Willis. You can also listen on line at kshn.com. Both game broadcasts begin at 7:20 p.m. Friday.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 164, TUESDAY AUG. 30TH, 2005-

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Dayton Town Center, owned by the Robert Harris family, is currently undergoing a growth spurt. Managing partner, Larry Harris said the current construction will add 14,000 square feet to the strip center. Once completed, the Dayton Video City will move into the new section and add 1,000 square feet to their store. Then Thriftee Food Center will grow by 6,000 square feet. Cliff Richey, who with his partner Bill Monk own that store, said a small part of that added space will be a bakery and delicatessen, the balance will be expansion of the grocery store.

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The long anticipated demolition of the Liberty City Hall Auditorium and Council Chambers started yesterday morning. The demolition company CST Environmental out of Houston took down council chambers and a large portion of the auditorium in just a matter of a few hours. From Travis Street, the front of the auditorium remains the same, Liberty City Council Chambers however, is no more then a pile of bricks and debris. The demolition will continue today.

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As Hurricane Katrina slammed into the coast of Louisiana and Mississippi, some of those fleeing the storm settled into Liberty County. A quick drive through local motel's show’s easily 8 out of every ten vehicles bore a Louisiana license plate. Liberty Director of Music Tom Guidry has invited displaced Louisiana band students to attend the Liberty High or Middle School band classes. Interested musicians from out of town call 336 6483 ext. 240 or 336 3582 ext. 4028 for information. Both the Liberty Schools are on Jefferson Drive near Brookshire Brothers Grocery. Father David Edwards of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church said that Sunday mass had several folks there to pray for the safety of their friends that stayed behind.

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A new event has been added to the Trinity Valley Exposition line up for this year. The Little Miss and Little Mister Rodeo TVE entry deadline is September 25th. Boys and Girls ages 3 to 6 years old, who live in Liberty, Chambers, Jefferson, Hardin, Polk, San Jacinto, Montgomery or Harris counties are welcome to enter. Call 936 336 7455 for more information.

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Funerals: Robert Lewis Olson, 78 of Hankamer. Services 10 a.m. Wednesday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 163, MONDAY AUG. 29TH, 2005-

Liberty Police investigate a fight that landed Randy Neal - 21,of Baytown in Hermann Hospital after a Life Flight ride. He was reportedly stabbed by Shannon Meche-34 of Liberty on Sunday morning. She is in jail and police say the victim will be there too after his recovery. Neal has arrest warrants in Houston.

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The Cris Badall murder trial enters week two today. The prosecution, led by DA Mike Little, expects to complete their case by mid-week. No word if the accused will testify. Famed defense attorney, Racehorse Haynes, thinks it will end this week.

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The Liberty County Democratic Party Executive Committee met Friday at the courthouse and voted unanimously to appoint Nancy Archer of Liberty as Interim County Democratic Party Chair. Mrs. Archer replaces Liz Beausoleil, who resigned after about two years to spend more time with her family.

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The Liberty City Council will hold the first of two public hearings on the new proposed tax rate Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Civic Room at 1st Liberty National Bank. The tax rate is proposed for 63.67 cents per $100 of assessed property value, an increase of some 10 cents. City Manager Allen Barnes said most of the increase would cover the bonded indebtedness prompted by the City’s capital improvement project now underway.

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DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said a new law Sept. 1st raises the fines up to $500 for violating regulations regarding transporting loose materials. The law expands those regs to private vehicles transporting materials like trash or dirt. Commercial vehicles must cover any load of loose materials but private vehicles are not required to do that, unless materials they haul are falling out.

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High-ranking Post Office officials will swear in new Dayton Postmaster Angela Lucero-Hayes tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. at the Post Office. She replaces long-time Dayton Post Master Gwen Alpha who quietly retired late last year. Angela Lucero-Hayes has been with the Postal Service 26 years and spent most of her life in Dayton. The public is invited to attend the Tuesday event.

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Liberty opened their football season last Friday with a 22 to 15 win over the Silsbee Tigers in Memorial Stadium. The Hardin Hornets held off a late surge by perennial rival, Hull-Daisetta Bobcats. The final was 19-13. Dayton opens this Friday.

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

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 162, FRIDAY AUGUST 26TH, 2005-

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During Tuesday’s testimony in the trial of Chris Badaahl accused in the 2004 murder of Ram Durgapersad, Texas Ranger Frank Huff told of an interview he did with county jail inmate, Jerry Riggs. That man told Huff, the accused shooter, Badaahl had promised to pay him if he would testify the victim had a gun in his belt at the time of the shooting. On Wednesday the court heard from five different witnesses primarily those involved in gathering crime scene evidence and treatment of the victim. Houston Attorney Richard Haynes said he expects the trial to be over by the end of next week.

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Liberty County Hospital District #1 Board President Bruce Stratton said they recently decided that at this point, exemptions for taxpayers in the district would be the same as allowed by Liberty County. There will be an over 65 exemption of $25,000 and a disabled exemption of $10,000. The board may consider other exemptions once their total appraised value is known. There will be a workshop Monday August 29th at the Hospital District office on Myrtle St. in Liberty. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

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A new traffic law in Texas, going into effect Sept. 1st, makes it a Class B misdemeanor to drive around a barricade put up because of any dangerous conditions, including water over the road. This law applies to all state highways, county roads, and city streets.

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Tonight is opening night of the 2005 high school football season for several Liberty County Schools. The Cleveland Indians take on Kirbyville at home. The Hardin Hornets host perennial rivals the Hull-Daisetta Bobcats at home in Hornet Stadium. The Liberty Panthers are at home against the Silsbee Tigers. All of this Friday night’s games kick off at 7:30 p.m. You can listen to the Panthers vs. the Tigers game live on Shine All Nine, or on line at www.kshn.com. Pre-game show starts at 7:20 p.m. Dayton’s first game is next Friday against Willis.

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FUNERALS: Blanche Marie Webb, 71 of Beaumont. Graveside services this afternoon at 2 p.m. at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton. ** Harley Earl Wynne, 61 of Batson. Services will be at 10 a.m. today at New Life Assembly of God Church in Batson.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 161, THURSDAY AUGUST 25TH, 2005-

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During Tuesday’s first day of testimony in the trial of Chris Badaahl, accused of murder in the death of Ram Durgapersad. Jurors heard defense attorney, Richard “Racehorse” Haynes claim in opening statements that there was a love affair between the accused man and the wife of the victim. He told the jury this alleged affair caused bad feelings between the two men, and said Badaahl came to Franks Tire shop that day in January 2004 to resolve their differences. Haynes claimed that both men had weapons that day, only the victim’s pistol jammed, while Chris Badaahl’s did not.

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A 16-year-old Dayton youth was struck by an 18 Wheel tractor-trailer rig yesterday afternoon at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and Main Street in Dayton. Dayton Police Officer Gordon Bean said Jeremy Breaux rode his bike through the red light and into the path of the truck driven by Gary Lee Faul of Groves. The young man received scrapes, abrasions and road rash. He was taken to Cleveland Regional Hospital, listed in stable condition.

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TxDot Officials announced Monday that the path of the proposed I-69/Trans-Texas Corridor has been changed, moving the planned superhighway’s eastern segment from Montgomery County to Liberty County. Some Montgomery County leaders had fought against the route coming their way. However, Precinct #4 Liberty County Commissioner Norman Brown said while nothing is certain yet, he and others had been working for some time to bring just such a transportation route here.

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With the 11th storm of this Hurricane season headed into the Gulf this weekend, experts say now is the time to make preparations. If an evacuation is called for, be sure to take with you any needed medications, non-perishable food items, and enough water for at least 3 days. Donna Greak-Smith with American National Insurance in Dayton, said most insurance companies are no longer allowed to write policies for property damage once a storm has entered the Gulf. So check with your insurance carrier now.

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FUNERALS: Rajesh “Lee” Durgapersad, 33 of Liberty. Funeral services will be Saturday at 10:30 am at Brookside Funeral Home in Houston.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 160, WEDNESDAY AUGUST 24TH, 2005-

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A Liberty man was found dead on the same day his father’s accused murderer went on trial. The body of 33 year old Rajeesh Durgapersad was found in his home on Hillcrest in the Ridgewood Subdivision Monday evening. Liberty Police Officer Johnny David said Durgapersad had been dead for some time prior to his sister finding his body. Officer David said there were no signs of forced entry. Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Bobby Radar ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death. It was reported the man had been despondent over his wife and children leaving about a month ago.

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During yesterday’s Court Meeting, Liberty Co. Commissioner Precinct #1 Todd Fontenot recommended two citizens to serve on the temporary board of the newly formed Lower Trinity Ground Water Conservation District. In the at-large position of that temporary board, Horace Whittington of Devers will serve. In what is described as the municipality representative from Liberty County, Attorney Wesley Hinch will serve.

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A 12 person jury was seated Monday in the murder trial of Chris Badaahl. The Baytown man is accused in the January 2004 murder of Ram Durgapersad, owner of Franks Tire Shop in Liberty. Celebrated Houston Attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes told those in the courtroom on Monday, 50 years ago a man was judged on the color of his skin, and he hoped this jury would judge Badaahl on the evidence in the case. Chris Badaahl emigrated from the Caribbean island of Trinidad.

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The first of two public hearings on the tax rate for the Liberty County Hospital District #1 is September 12th at 6:30 p.m. and the second will be September 19th also at 6:30. Both will be held in the Hospital District Office at 1914 Myrtle Street in Liberty. The proposed tax rate is $.09 per $100 in assessed value. That tax rate is expected to raise $1,831,793 for the district. Following the September 19th public hearing, the Liberty County Hospital District board is scheduled to vote on the tax rate.

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FUNERALS: Matthew Waldon Guillory, 21 of Devers. Services Saturday at 10 am at Sacred Heart Church in Raywood. ** Perry Jay Jones, 57 of Liberty. Funeral Services will be Saturday at 11 am at the Valley Community Church in Liberty.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 159, MONDAY AUGUST 20TH, 2005-

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Truck Driver Harry Kirschner of New Caney escaped with only a cut on one finger when a Union Pacific train struck and dragged his 18-wheel flatbed tractor-trailer rig yesterday morning. The 62-year-old said he was trying to cross the tracks on Independence at Hwy 90 in Liberty when his loaded, low- slung trailer got hung up on the tracks. A friend, fellow trucker Henry Simmons tried to push Kirschner’s rig off the tracks with his own, then used a chain to try and pull it off. Those efforts failed and the train hit just behind the truck cab. The impact also tore the crossing arms out and dragged them about 30 feet.

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At their August 30th meeting, the Liberty City Council is expected to consider passing a sexual predator ordinance presented by City Manager Allen Barnes. Fashioned after a similar ordinance in Florida, the proposed law would prohibit anyone convicted of a sex crime against children age 16 or under from living within 1,000 feet of places children normally congregate. Those areas include schools, daycares, swimming pools, playgrounds, public or private youth centers or video arcades and could be expanded to include bus stops. Barnes said those already living within 1,000 feet of those areas would not be affected if the ordinance is passed.

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The Dayton City Council heard a report from their ad hoc Transportation Committee on several possible future street construction projects at last week’s meeting. Committee Chair Carroll Lee Bagley said the committee identified an extension of South Cleveland Street as their first priority. As envisioned by the committee, S. Cleveland would be connected to Brown Rd. as way to help relieve traffic congestion from the busy Hwy 146/90/321 interchange. Council authorized the committee to gather cost figures for that project and several others.

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General Admission ($5) and Student ($2) Tickets for Friday night’s Liberty Panthers Football Season opener against Silsbee are on sale at the LISD Administration Offices. Student tickets are also available at Liberty High, Middle and Elementary Schools. Liberty is at home with a 7:30 p.m. kick off.

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FUNERALS: C. Marie West, 82, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at the Hardin Chapel Cemetery. **

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 159, MONDAY AUGUST 20TH, 2005-

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21-year old Matthew Guillory of Devers died in an early Sunday morning head-on collision on US 90, Raywood.. DPS Trooper Tommy Chase says Guillory probably fell asleep. Driver of the other car from Sequin has numerous foot fractures.

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Jury selection begins today in the trial of former Liberty businessman Chris Badaahl accused of the 2004 murder of Frank’s Tire Shop owner Ram Durgapersad. Badaahl allegedly killed the Liberty man at the tire shop on Hwy 90 in Liberty in front of the victim’s family. Houston Attorney “Racehorse” Haynes – will defend Chris Badaahl in Judge “Rusty” Hight’s 75th District Courtroom. It’s DA Mike Little for the prosecution.

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Today Liberty school officials begin significant changes in traffic patterns at San Jacinto Elementary in Liberty. School buses switch to the front of the new building while cars are routed to the back. After one week of school, officials say the vehicle route being used just wasn’t working. Long lines of cars on Grand Ave extended beyond Main Street. Transportation Director Robert Ward said personnel would be at critical points on campus to direct traffic during the adjustment period.

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Today 22-yr. old “Wally” Mason and Brandon Self, 25, will see Federal Judge Marcia Crone for sentencing. The Georgia duo confessed to transporting two minor girls across state lines for sex. Investigators said the pair used the Internet to lure two Dayton High girls to Georgia for sex. in September 2004. Each faces 15 to 30 years in prison. State charges may be added.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber “Casino 500” is Saturday at the TVE Fairgrounds in Liberty. Barbecue serving begins at 6 p.m.. School employees eat free, all others for $7.50 a plate. Casino games begin at 7p.m, then comes an auction for casino winners to bid on with their winnings. Drawing for 12 great prizes in the Liberty Dayton 500 will go on through the evening. At 9 p.m., comes a dance with Southern Breeze on the TVE grounds. For L/D 500 tickets call the Chamber,936-336-5736.

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FUNERALS: Theo Richardson, 85, of Hankamer, Services were Saturday. **Johnny Dishongh of Cleveland –visit 5 to 9 tonight at Christian Life Center–Cleveland**Matthew Guillory -21, Service pending at Wells Funeral Home.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 158, FRIDAY AUGUST 19TH, 2005-

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Yesterday, we reported the controversy revolving around allegations by a former teacher’s aide of cases of physical abuse against Liberty ISD Special Needs Students. Now, a parent of one of those students claims she has witnessed both inappropriate treatment and cases of physical abuse by a teacher. Glenda Hellyer, whose child is in the Liberty Special Ed Program said she has seen children being improperly restrained, one child’s arm twisted behind his back and another left lying on the floor of a school district bus. As reported, Superintendent Mona Chadwick said she has found nothing to substantiate allegations of abuse. To date, no charges have been filed against anyone over the incidents Mrs. Hellyer described.

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After an uncomfortable night and a check with doctors at Houston’s Methodist Hospital, it was decided Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham would undergo triple-bypass heart surgery Thursday morning, instead of waiting until next week as planned. Several friends report that the surgery was a success and the 63-year-old Kirkham was described as being in excellent condition. Prior to surgery, Judge Kirkham said it was expected he would be fully recovered in about six weeks.

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Liberty Police Officer Janie Villatoro said 33-year-old Tonia Blanton of Liberty was westbound on Hwy 90 at FM 563 when she struck the rear of a vehicle driven by 54-year-old Mary Reaux of Humble. Ms. Reaux was reportedly stopped at the red light at 563. The impact pushed her car into a third vehicle, stopped in front of her. That driver, Gerardo Soleto, 34, of Liberty was unhurt. Mary Reaux was taken to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital as a precaution. Tonia Blanton was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated after police say she failed a field sobriety test.

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Congressman Ted Poe will visit Liberty County Saturday with a stop scheduled for both Liberty and Dayton. He will stop at the 321 VFD BBQ at noon at Brookshires followed by the Anthony Dagle Benefit Fish Fry at 1 PM at the Liberty VFW Hall. The public is welcome to attend either event.

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FUNERALS: Helen G. Lavigne, 78, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. today at Earthman Funeral Home in Baytown.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 157, THURSDAY AUGUST 18TH, 2005-

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Tuesday night Liberty School Trustees up held the dismissal of former Liberty Special Education Aide Julie Fairchild after a grievance hearing where she alleged that she had been fired for reporting abuse of special education students to administrators in charge. Liberty School Superintendent Mona Chadwick vehemently denied the former aide’s claim, saying the allegations of physical abuse only came up after Julie Fairchild was fired. The LISD Superintendent added she had investigated the claims of abuse, and had found nothing to substantiate those allegations. Julie Fairchild had worked as an aide for the district for 7 months during the last school year.

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Though expected to happen early this week, the Liberty City Hall still has not been demolished. City Manager Allen Barnes said the City’s contracted asbestos abatement expert decided to finish that part of the job in both the City Hall Building and the larger City Hall Auditorium. Then demolition crews will bring down and haul away both buildings at the same time. That demolition will probably happen late next week.

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The Liberty Masonic Lodge will hold a dedication ceremony at the newly opened San Jacinto Elementary School on Grand Ave. in Liberty this Saturday at 11 am. The Grand Lodge of Texas will level a dedication stone at the campus in a Masonic tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Local Mason Mike Spears said the earliest record of the ceremony for a public building was the laying of the foundation stone of the new Royal Infirmary at Edinburgh, Scotland in 1738. The public is invited to attend.

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The Dayton School Board met Tuesday night and approved the purchase of a new cafeteria serving line for Colbert Elementary School from Equipment Preference Inc. of Southlake, TX., for a total cost of $20,091. Administrators said the current line is too tall for the kindergarten and pre-K students at that campus. Assistant Superintendent Bob Parker said the entire installation process would be completed over the Labor Day Weekend.

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FUNERALS: Barbara Loose Hotaling, 63 of Liberty. Private family services under the direction of Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Ramiro Sanchez, 74 of Dayton. Private family services later this week.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 156, WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17TH, 2005-

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Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Sean Cheshire said yesterday morning Jake Williams, who lives south of Dayton off of FM 1409 was arrested, charged with Driving while under the influence, after he drove his wrecked truck away from the accident scene. Williams had previously been advised by a Liberty County Sheriffs Deputy not to drive after he saw the man was intoxicated. DPS Reports indicate the man rolled his truck on CR. 404, causing damage to a fence around a home. When the homeowner called police, Williams managed to get the truck out of a ditch and drove it to his nearby home, where he was found by law enforcement.

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Dayton ISD Superintendent Greg Hayman said once the construction project to enlarge the cafeteria at the High School is completed, it should be about 1/3 larger then the current facility, with ability to seat an additional 50 to 100 students per lunch period. Another project at the high school campus that will start soon is the addition of 7 new classrooms, a ½ classroom, and a science lab. The smaller classroom will be used for special education students. The cafeteria construction project is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

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Kathryn Walker, Director of the Beaumont office of Social Security said using direct deposit for those who receive Social Security benefits, makes it much easier to track money if there is a problem with a payment. She said while paper checks are still issued for those who prefer them, individuals should be prepared for a longer time for replacement if it is lost or stolen. Some banks offer free checking with direct deposit, check with your financial institution..

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All four South Liberty Co. Schools will have football scrimmage games this weekend. Friday night its Hull-Daisetta vs. Concordia-Lutheran at 7:30, Liberty at Coldspring at 7 p.m. Hardin is at Colmesneil starting at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dayton travels to West Orange Stark varsity plays at 7 p.m.

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FUNERALS: Thomas Richard Orand, 80 of Liberty. Services will be Thursday at 10 am at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Theo Richardson, 85 of Hankamer. Services Pending at Wells Funeral Service in Liberty.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.69 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 155, TUESDAY AUGUST 16TH, 2005-

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District Attorney Mike Little said that there is new legislation aimed at those who produce the illegal substance meth amphetamine, or “meth”. The Chambers Liberty County DA said the change is to the language of the laws regarding arson. The new law basically creates an arson charge, if someone’s careless action starts a fire caused by the illegal activity, namely the creation of the drug meth-amphetamine. Previously an arson charge required the willful setting of a fire with the intent to do damage to property.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is tomorrow at noon in the Fellowship Hall of the 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. Guest Speaker will be Frank Jordan, whose daily radio show “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” can be heard nationwide on satellite radio. Tickets are $8. Make reservations by calling 936 336 5736.

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Liberty County Chief Appraiser Alan Conner said the Dayton ISD’s property values could go over $1 billion pending the outcome of August hearings on several million dollars in appraised value. Currently, Dayton ISD’s net taxable value is at 967 million dollars, not including the 92 million dollars that has not been certified pending the upcoming hearings. Alan Conner said the industrial values alone went up by 17% in the largest school district in Liberty County.

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With the 2nd Special Legislative Session entering its final week, District 18 State Representative John Otto has canceled plans to attend the Annual National Conference of State Legislators in Seattle, WA, this week. Representative Otto said while the possibility a compromise on school finance can be reached in Austin exists, he would remain available to cast his vote. Nevertheless, Otto said he feels it unlikely that the current Senate plan to revamp school funding will find much support in the House. The Dayton Republican said he agrees with House Speaker Tom Craddick that if the Legislature cannot do the job properly, then they should not settle for half-measures.

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FUNERALS: Gayle Ruth Middleton Delay, 49 of Dallas. A memorial service will be Saturday at 2 PM at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.69 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 155, MONDAY AUG. 15TH, 2005-

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Last Friday, officials of Sempra Energy made a parting gift of $30,000 to local charities and worthwhile efforts in which they had shown earlier interest. Over the five years since the San Diego-based Power Company announced they would build a $200,000,000 electrical generating plant in Dayton they had already made gifts of $200,000 to community causes. Last week Sempra announced that changes in the energy market had prompted cancellation of plans for the Cedar Power Project here. On Friday they gave $10,000 more to the Liberty County YMCA, $10,000 to the Dayton Chamber of Commerce for the “Memorial Mile” tree project, $2,500 went to the Dayton Historical Society and $7,500 to Liberty Co EMS for equipment and training. The new total of gifts hit $230,000 last Friday.

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Attendance totals for Wednesday’s 1st day of school in Dayton ISD were at 4,681. By Thursday, that number of students in the district had grown by 134 to 4,815 students in Dayton. The High School had the largest opening day enrollment with 1,348. On the first day of school last year Dayton had 4,728 students in class. By early November 2004, the number grew to 5,046.

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Chambers Co. Sheriff Joe LaRive said deputies, pursued a weaving vehicle on I-10 Friday. The driver reportedly sped away, nearly striking a patrol car. A high-speed chase from I-10 to near Anahuac ended when deputies fired shots at the car. Sheriff Larive said 43-year-old Gregory Scott Grimm of Beaumont seemed under the influence of some sort of drug. He’s in jail without bond for aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. He also has another charge of evading arrest.

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The Texas Education Agency has posted their rating of school districts statewide. All seven Liberty County School Districts received academically acceptable ratings. Cleveland High School was the only campus rated academically unacceptable while in Dayton, Stephen F. Austin and E. R. Richter Elementary Schools were designated as recognized. All other campuses in Liberty County were classified as acceptable.

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FUNERALS: Elmo E. Carr-82, Hull- Service Tuesday at Pace-Stancil-Dayton**Stacy Clay Driver –30 Cleveland. Service Tuesday –12:30 at Brookside Funeral Home –Houston.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 155, FRIDAY AUGUST 12TH, 2005-

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Liberty Co. Sheriff’s department is warning of yet another e-mail scam. It is an attempt to fool bank customers into giving the thieves personal information like account numbers, ATM card pin numbers and other information needed to access their account. Sheriffs Department Captain Billy Tidwell says if you have any doubts, call your financial institution, do not respond to the e-mail. Remember, financial institutions will never, under any circumstances send you an unsolicited request for your confidential banking information.

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Liberty Police are looking for an armed robber who made off with approximately $600 in cash from the 7-7-7 game room in Liberty. According to Police Detective Gary Martin, a woman entered the game room Monday afternoon, showed the clerk a gun and demanded money. The woman left with the cash and a portable phone, telling the game room attendant she would know if the police were called and would be back.

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Dayton and Hull-Daisetta are already back in school. Cleveland, Devers, Hardin, and Liberty start back Monday. Police in all of those communities remind motorists to use caution while driving through school zones. Also watch for children getting on and off of school busses. It is a class C misdemeanor to pass a school bus that has the flashing lights and retractable stop sign engaged. Tarkington will be the last Liberty County school district to go back. Roadwork in front of one campus is holding up their opening day until August 31st.

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There are still Liberty Dayton 500 tickets available. Only 500 tickets will be sold, and 12 great prizes will be awarded. Those include a $200 shopping spree at Brookshires, $250 in gasoline, a $500 gift card, and more. The top prize of the drawing will be a 52” big screen high definition television valued at $1,999. You can get your 500 ticket from any chamber board member or call the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce office at 936 336 5736. When the 500 are gone, there will be no more.

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FUNERALS: B.E. “Tommy” Thomae, 83 of Dayton. Funeral services this afternoon at 2 PM at Sterling Funeral Home Chapel in Dayton. ** Maxine Roundtree Thornton, 72 of Kenefick. Graveside services this morning at 10 AM at French Cemetery.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.68 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 154, THURSDAY AUGUST 11TH, 2005-

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Liberty Police and the Harris Co. Sheriff’s Department are searching for a man identified as Byron Eugene Landry, 28 of Houston who is alleged to have kidnapped 16 year old Robert Fitzpatrick, II, at knife point. According to Liberty Police Detective Ben Satterwhite, Fitzpatrick was stopped at the corner of Grand Ave. and Texas St. last Thursday, when the Houston man jumped in the passenger side of the car, threatened the teen with a knife, and forced him to drive to Harris Co. The car-jacker forced him to drive around the Houston area for several hours, making purchases with the teen’s credit card, and withdrawals with Fitzpatrick’s ATM card. Finally, the man took the boy’s car, leaving him in the Sheldon area. A warrant for Aggravated Kidnapping has been issued here, while Harris County has a charge of Aggravated Robbery pending there.

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A Liberty Police officer was injured slightly when, according to police reports, Clifford Freeman of Liberty resisted arrest. Police Chief Bill Griffin said Officer Elaine Taylor sustained minor scratches and a cut on her arm when the man allegedly flung her around Monday as she was attempting to serve a Revocation of Probation warrant. The 37 year old Liberty man then fled the Popeyes restaurant where he was working, but was taken into custody with out further incident a short distance away. Chief Griffin said Freeman is now in the Liberty Co. Jail, charged with Assault on a Public Servant, and Revocation of Probation. Officer Taylor returned to duty.

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Tuesday night’s Liberty City Council meeting was canceled for lack of a quorum. With three members unable to attend, Council did not have a legal majority. The meeting will most likely be rescheduled for next Tuesday.

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Liberty, Hull-Daisetta and Hardin have scrimmages this Saturday. The Panthers will scrimmage Santa Fe and Alvin, varsity takes the field Saturday following the JV game that starts at 4:30 pm. Hull-Daisetta scrimmages Saturday morning, varsity takes the field at 10 am at home against Hitchcock. The Hardin Varsity team scrimmages at Van Vleck at 11 am Saturday.

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FUNERALS: Collis Earl Beasley, 71 of Hardin. Services today at 10:30 am at Hardin United Methodist Church.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 153, WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10TH, 2005-

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Liberty County Commissioners yesterday voted 3-1 to continue allowing the county attorneys to have a private law practice, on a limited basis. While what those limits would be was not specified, Commissioner Todd Fontenot said it would be on the honor system that the private cases taken by the county attorney’s would not conflict with the duties of the county office, in either principle or time. Precinct #2 Commissioner Lee Groce was the lone no vote. Both Commissioners Todd Fontenot and Norman Brown said they felt the practice had not been disallowed. While both said they would like to see the practice stop, they said as long as the county was not paying the attorneys a salary comparative to other counties, they should be allowed the extra income provided by a private practice.

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Liberty County YMCA is collecting backpacks for kids whose families may not be able to afford one. You can drop off backpacks filled with school supplies at either the Dayton 1st United Methodist Church or the Life Fellowship Church on the By-pass in Liberty by close of business on Friday. For more information call the Liberty County “Y” at 936-257-2888.

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Dayton City Council Members’ Monday night voted down the Dayton Community Development Corporation budget. The final vote was 3-2 with Barbara Zaruba and Bill Gay voting for the budget, council Members Jay Tadlock, John Simmons, and Frosty Pruitt voted against it. Jay Tadlock said he along with other council members have repeatedly asked the DCDC board to present the 3-year contract of Director Sue Priddy to City Council for their approval and they have not done so, and he felt the salaries were out of line.

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Season tickets for the five 2005 Dayton Bronco home games go on sale for 2004 season ticket holders on Monday. A season ticket will allow Bronco fans to go to all home games at a price of $4 per game, $20 for the season package. Tickets are available at the Superintendent’s office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

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FUNERALS: Patricia Ann Mayo, 62 of Dayton. Graveside services will be tomorrow at 1 PM at Earthman’s Resthaven in Houston.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 152, TUESDAY AUGUST 9TH, 2005-

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Chief Appraiser for the Liberty County Central Appraisal District Alan Conner said industrial values in Liberty, Devers and Hull-Daisetta School District have increased. He also said in the Devers ISD, mineral values have jumped from $285 million dollars to nearly $400 million dollars in value. He credited the numerous gas wells in the Devers area for that increase.

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The Burnham Classic Golf Tournament held this past weekend at the Magnolia Ridge Country Club brought out some top-flight golfers for a good cause. Winners in the Championship flight were Bryan Rowell, and Richard Ainley. Liberty residents Colby Worthy and Allen Boles won the Presidential Flight. First Flight winners were Ken Rieve and Mike Allison. Second Flight in the Burnham Classic went to Rod Drake and Ryan Cannon. In the third flight, Ernie Watson and Jay Gautier were winners. We hope to have a report on how much money was raised for the South Liberty County State Center very soon.

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Retail store managers across South Liberty County said they were pleased with the turn out of shoppers over the 72-hour period of the annual sales tax holiday. Baskin’s Store Manager Bill Kyle said he was pleased with the business they did, and he felt his store topped last years sales over the two days of the weekend they were open. Palais Royal store Manager Linda Bradley said she was very pleased with sales at the Liberty Store over the three-day sales tax holiday, saying sales were much higher than last year.

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Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon will be next Wednesday, Aug. 17th at the 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. The guest speaker will be Frank Jordan, founder and CEO of Nutritional Scientific Corporation or NSC, whose national operations have recently relocated to Liberty. NSC produces, sells, and distributes supplements in more than 4,000 health food stores nationwide. Lunch will be catered by Ken Owens Catering, and cost is $8.00. Make reservations by calling the Chamber office at 936 336 5736

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FUNERALS: Rev. John Edward Butler, 83 of Highlands. Services will be Wednesday at 2 PM at the Sterling Funeral Home Chapel in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.81 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 151, MONDAY AUG. 8TH, 2005-

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“Liz” Beausoleil will resign as Liberty Co. Democratic Party Chair this month. She said the trust placed in her is important but she has a great family whose time together is special. At certain times of the year the job is very time consuming. With that in mind she said this is the right thing to do.

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The first day of school in Dayton is Wednesday. Hull-Daisetta kids return to class Thursday of this week. The Liberty, Hardin, and Cleveland Schools all crank up the new school year one week from today, Monday August 15th. Tarkington students have three more weeks until school opens, Wednesday Aug. 31st.

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After 5 ½ years, Cleveland School Superintendent Terry Myers has resigned. Myers is the sole finalist as Superintendent for the Mount Pleasant ISD in Northeast Texas. He submitted his resignation to trustees last Thursday night. The Cleveland School Board may name an Interim Superintendent tonight.

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The Dayton Historical Society’s 6th Radio Auction is Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. here on KSHN Radio. Listeners can call in and bid on a variety of merchandise donated by local businesses and individuals including shopping certificates, collectibles, camping gear, agricultural items, first-edition books and more. Proceeds benefit the ongoing project to renovate Dayton’s “Old School House”. To donate auction items, call 936-258-3386.

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Liberty Council meets tomorrow at FLNB Community Room at 7PM. A long agenda includes ordering demolition of nine houses said to be unsafe hazards. Council will consider their new budget and tax rate, then decide if Liberty should build an animal control shelter on their own. City Manager Allen Barnes says they can do it for almost $100,000 less than bidding it out.

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The Social Security Administration will hold a public meeting Thursday, August 18th at 11:15 at the Senior Citizen Center on Panther Lane in Liberty. Social Security experts will explain the new prescription subsidy program and for Q&A. .

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FUNERALS: Judy Moore, 56, Dayton, Services were Sunday. ** Mary Belle Moore Curry, 86, Dayton, Services are 10 a.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5:71ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 150, FRIDAY AUGUST 5TH, 2005-

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Community leaders are expressing disappointment over the decision by Sempra Energy to cancel plans to build a $200 million dollar electrical generating plant west of Dayton. Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham said it was unhappy news, but he understands the factors that prompted the California-based Power Company to abandon the project. Dayton School Superintendent Greg Hayman said with the future of school finance still in doubt, it is difficult to say how much, if any, additional tax revenue the facility would have brought to the district.

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The 6th Annual State Sales Tax Holiday started at 12:01 this morning. Between now and midnight Sunday, most clothing and footwear priced under $100 each are exempt from sales tax. Items put on layaway this weekend can be paid off later, still without sales tax. Clothing, not accessories, is tax- free. Any clothes and footwear used primarily for athletics such as golf cleats or football pads will still be taxed. For more information, link to the State Comptrollers web site from kshn.com.

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The Liberty School Board approved a motion by Trustee Carl Pickett at their Tuesday night meeting to make a new application for $1 million in Qualified Zone Academy Bonds or “Q-ZAB funds”. Assistant Superintendent Tommy Davis said, if approved, the funds would be used to upgrade and renovate the 1951 auditorium on Grand Ave. behind the new San Jacinto Elementary School, as well as for repainting the high school and for some renovations at Liberty Elementary School.

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The 16th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament gets underway tonight with a fajita dinner at Magnolia Ridge Country Club in Liberty. Golf play starts tomorrow and continues through Sunday. All proceeds benefit children with special needs in South Liberty County. Individual sponsorships for the entire weekend’s activities excluding golf are still available for $50. For more information, call 713- 907-5772.

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FUNERALS: Hubert “Hoot” Gressett, 80 of Hardin. Memorial Service will be held Saturday at 10:30 at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Alice Mary Sanchez, 67, of West Lake, Services at the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.81 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 149, THURSDAY AUGUST 4TH, 2005-

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Officials with SEMPRA Energy announced yesterday that they would not be building the Cedar Power Plant in Dayton. Charlie Neal, Project Manager cited rising natural gas prices, which would have fueled the facility as well as a softening energy market in Texas as reasons for the decision to abandon the project. Announced in late 1999, the facility was projected to cost about $200 million to build and provide 25 full time jobs as well as 200 construction jobs during the building phase. Once completed, the Cedar Power Plant was to have been capable of producing electrical power for 350,000 home in the region. No word on what the company will do with the 105 acres west of Dayton where the plant was to be located.

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Wednesday, the Texas Department of Transportation began an almost $2 million resurfacing project for Highway 146 in Liberty and Hardin. TxDOT Spokesman Marc Shepherd said the multi-phase project includes safety improvements to the highway in Hardin and resurfacing a portion of 146 as it becomes Main Street in Liberty, from the bypass to Highway 90. He said work would begin around 7 in the evening and continue over night, Sunday through Thursday. The entire project is expected to last five to six months.

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Liberty School Trustees Tuesday night appointed Robert Ward of Liberty as the school district’s new Director of Maintenance and Operations. The position has been vacant for approximately one month since Bert Vandiver resigned to become the Superintendent of the Cumby School District. Robert Ward has been with John Hebert Chevron for the last 27 years, serving most recently as the warehouse manager.

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The 9th Court of Criminal Appeals in Beaumont has upheld the murder-for-hire convictions of 34-year-old Matthew Dillon Whitmire. It was in May of last year that Whitmire was found guilty of Criminal Solicitation of Capital Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder for plotting to hire someone to kill DPS Trooper Brian Nichols. Whitmire was sentenced to two concurrent life terms behind bars.

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FUNERALS: Beatrice Zeno, 94 of Dayton. Services Saturday at 11 am at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 148, WEDNESDAY AUGUST 3RD, 2005-

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Chris Badaahl, who is charged with the 2004 murder of Frank’s Tire Shop owner Ram Durgapersad, is expected to go on trial later this month. According to DA Mike Little, Badaahl will be represented by celebrated Houston Attorney, Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, who according to some, is one of the top ten best trial lawyers in the country. Haynes has been involved in some of the most high profile murder trials in Texas including defending millionaire T. Cullen Davis, and locally, Vicki Daniel who was accused of killing her husband, Price Daniel Jr. Speaker of the Texas House. Jury selection in the Chris Badaahl case is scheduled to begin on Monday Aug. 22nd in the 75th District Court.

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Although a second special legislative session continues without results, Representative John Otto said he believes a compromise on school finance and property tax reform can be still be reached. The Dayton Republican says the problem is too many legislators focusing on their specific districts, rather then school districts and taxpayers statewide. Otto said there’s plenty of frustration and disappointment in Austin, but if school finance and property tax reform were easy, it would have been accomplished years ago.

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Monday night, Dayton City Council voted to table a bid on furnishing and installing a hot mix asphalt concrete overlay on several city streets. Only one bid was received and Dayton Street Supervisor Toby Strogther said the bid was about $12,000 more than budgeted. He told council members he thinks the company actually calculated the bid on a larger job then scheduled. City Council tabled the matter until next Monday to give the Street Supervisor time to check the figures.

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The Legend Bank / Dayton Chamber of Commerce 4th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot will be Saturday August 27th at Pecan Meadow Sporting Center in Hardin. For information on being a sponsor or a shooter call the Dayton Chamber at 936-257-2393.

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FUNERALS: Beatrice Zeno, 94 of Dayton. Services pending at Wells Funeral Home in Liberty. ** Irene Jackson-Como, 66 of Cleveland. Service will be Saturday at Noon at the Church of Christ in Cleveland. **

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 147, TUESDAY AUGUST 2ND, 2005-

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Liberty County Precinct 3 Constable Chip Fairchild said fugitive Randy Tanner was taken into custody Monday morning in the area of the Trinity River near Trinity River Lake Estates. The 23-year-old Hull resident was pulled over for a traffic violation the evening of July 25th, when he kicked and hit an officer before running into nearby woods evading officers. After an overnight search, he was arrested and taken to the Liberty County Jail charged with Assault on a Peace Officer among other felonies.

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Liberty County Commissioner Lee Groce said the confusion over whether or not Liberty County’s 1st Assistant Co. Attorney can have a private law practice would be addressed at the next commissioners court meeting. While the county did have an agreement with the former first assistant, Mark Beausoleil as well as County Attorney Hartel said there was no such agreement between commissioners and Beausoleil.

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Chief Appraiser for the Liberty County CAD, Alan Conner said the county’s certified value is $3.5 billion dollars. He also said Dayton is no longer leading the county as far as growth in manufactured homes. He said Cleveland had the highest number of permits issued for new manufactured homes. In new home construction, the Chief Appraiser said Cleveland, Tarkington, and Dayton are the fastest growing areas in Liberty County.

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East Chambers High School in Winnie has a new Head Football Coach. Tony Valastro, longtime LaGrange Head Coach has been named the new field boss for the Buccaneers. He served as an assistant coach at Dayton from 1984 to 1986.

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Remember, the State Sales Tax Holiday, is this weekend. Most clothing and footwear priced less than $100 will be exempt from sales tax. A complete list is available at the state comptroller’s web site. Link there from www.kshn.com

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FUNERALS: Lisa Studensky, 39 of Hull. Services Wednesday 2 p.m. at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton ** Donna Denise Vanlangendonck, 45 of Hardin. Services Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 146, MONDAY AUG. 1ST, 2005-

Working on another story we learned there’s confusion about if a County Attorney or assistants can do private practice law too. State law says, in rural counties, unless prohibited in writing a county attorney or assistants, or DA assistant can do private practice cases not dealt with in their public office. Additionally the County must provide office and supplies for the private practice. Co. Attorney Jack Hartel and assistants have done that legally for years. Authorities agree a rural county could never find experienced attorneys for what they are paid. A former co. assistant had a separate agreement, was paid more and did not do private practice. Comm. Lee Groce said 1st Assist. Mark Beausoleil was bound by that agreement but Jack Hartel said there is a misunderstanding. Mark Beausoleil can do private practice just as Hartel and Asst. Tommy Chamber do. Hartel and Beausoleil say no such agreement was made nor discussed.

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A former Liberty resident was murdered in her Dallas home over the weekend of July 23-24th. 49-year-old Gail Middleton DeLay was found beaten and stabbed. The victim was the daughter of the late A. B. Middleton who headed the state highway office here. Gail DeLay loved animals and active spokesperson for the Dallas SPCA. Her killer is still at large.

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After a delay, work began last week on TxDOT effort to reconstruct the intersection of Hwy 146 and US90 in Dayton. TxDOT’s Marc Shepherd said the project costs $50,000 to $60,000 and should be finished in 2-months. Once complete, the sweeping right turn will be replaced with a more typical “T”-shaped intersection and with a traffic control light added.

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State Rep. John Otto said it was the addition of amendments to House Bills 2 and 3 that sank the latest attempt at school finance and tax reform. The Dayton Republican said, as the second Special Session begins the second week, it’s the Senate’s turn to come up with a way to pay the school finance tab.

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The Liberty and Chambers Counties Extension Offices will co-sponsor a “Quality Counts” class Tuesday at 6 pm at Hardin Elementary School. Those with market animal in the 2005 TVE must complete this free course on sportsmanship and methods of keeping animals free of chemical taint. For more info call the Ext. Office at 936-336-4558 or 409-267-8347 in Chambers Co.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.63 ASL***

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