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September 2005

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 186, FRIDAY SEPT. 30TH, 2005-

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Power to homes and businesses in the Liberty-Dayton Area continue to be restored on a daily basis allowing for major retailers such as Wal-Mart, Brookshire Brothers and HEB Foods as well as local banks to re-open. The supply of fuel to our area continues to increase. The Liberty and Dayton School Districts re-open Monday. All other county schools are still closed. While most of Liberty County still remains in the dark, emergency shipments of food, water and ice continue to arrive for distribution to those without electricity. Entergy Officials say it could still be weeks before the entire area has power restored.

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The Liberty City Council met in special called session last night and voted unanimously to approve the new Fiscal Year tax rate of 59.9 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Due to a new state law, the vote was recorded, with each council member voicing his vote after his name was called. In other action, Council agreed to table what would have been a routine budget amendment before Hurricane Rita. City Manager Allen Barnes said the City’s un-budgeted expenses post-Rita would have to be tallied and added to the amendment.

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Representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be at the Liberty County Courthouse again today from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. registering those storm victims requesting assistance. You can also register by calling 800-621-FEMA.

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Experts agree that all electrical appliances should be plugged directly into a generator. Never connect a generator to a home or businesses’ electrical system. In addition to the threat of lethal harm to lineman trying to restore power, the generator or wiring could also be damaged. Also, never run a generator indoors due to the danger presented by carbon monoxide fumes.

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There is no high school football on KSHN tonight since five of the six Liberty County teams have the week off. The Dayton Broncos play tomorrow night in Channelview at 7 p.m.

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FUNERALS: John W. “J. W. “ Clark of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Jessie Smith Hood, 91, Services at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** ****************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.71 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 185, THURSDAY SEPT. 29TH, 2005-

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has authorized cash assistance for residents in the southeast Texas counties of Chambers, Galveston, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, and Tyler listed in Gov. Rick Perry's Disaster Declaration. It is essential to register with FEMA. FEMA case workers will be at the Liberty County Courthouse on the 3rd floor in the 75th District Courtroom starting this morning at 7 AM. You can also register by phone at 1 800 621 FEMA.

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In Dayton, school administrators, maintenance, custodians, and office staff area all back to business today. The teachers are due back on Friday and the students get to work on Monday. That is also the schedule for Liberty Schools as best as we can determine.

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The Dayton Broncos varsity Game against the Channelview Falcons will be played this weekend, but several changes. The game is at Channelview, on Saturday at 7 PM. All sub-varsity games in Dayton are cancelled. You can hear it line on All Nine Sports beginning at around 6:50 Saturday night. Dayton is the only Liberty County team that has a game scheduled for this weekend. All the others have the week off.

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The city of Hardin Mayor Alan Tidwell said somewhere around midnight last night the Hardin sewage service was slated to be operational. A generator attached to that services hopefully began the pumping action for lift stations. Not many giant steps towards recovery to report, but a great many baby steps move south Liberty County towards recovery. ****************************************************

The Trinity Valley Exposition Board of Directors has decided to turn their 2005 TVE Kick Off Dance Saturday night into a free night out with family and friends. Admission to the event is now free to everyone. Gates open at 8 PM. The dance starts at 9 with the Texas Music of Jason Allen and Wade Bowen. Anyone who purchased an advance ticket can have he money refunded at the gate Saturday night on request. The TVE Fairgrounds are on FM 563 1 mile south of Hwy 90 in Liberty.

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FUNERALS: ** Louise Vera Bazzon, 86, of Santa Fe. Graveside services Saturday at 10 AM at Montague Cemetery in Cleveland. ** Bertha Sara Costello, 56 of Hardin. Graveside Services Saturday at 9 AM at Concord Cemetery, Rye. ** Jim F. Thompson, 74 of Daisetta. Memorial service will be held at a later date. ** Thelma Waggoner Richard, 81 of Tarkington Prairie. Graveside Services Friday at 10 AM at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Houston. ** *************************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 19.05 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 182, TUESDAY SEPT. 27TH, 2005-

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Electric power has returned to some areas of the City of Liberty, though City Manager Allen Barnes said it might still be some time before the entire city is restored. Mayor Bruce Halstead said an alternate supplier was found to bypass Entergy’s damaged power delivery system. Crews continue to work to restore electricity to all areas of Liberty, but some areas could still be without power for weeks.

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DPS Trooper Hank Boykin said a truck driven by James Robinson of Hull was northbound on Main in Liberty yesterday when he moved into the center turn lane at the same time as Liberty Police Officer Janie Villatoro. In spite of the emergency lights on Officer Villatoro’s patrol car being in operation, Robinson did not see her and moved to complete his turn. The patrol car was forced into a utility pole, rolled over and landed on its roof. Officer Villatoro was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with non-life threatening injuries. James Robinson was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle.

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Investigators have identified the couple found dead in their Knight’s Forest home on Sunday as 43-year-old Thomas Lucer and Bertha Costilla, age 56. As reported Hurricane Rita’s rampage Saturday morning caused a tree to crash through the roof of their home, killing both instantly as they slept. JP #3 Phil Fitzgerald’s inquest determined the incident was accidental.

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County Officials say employees at the Liberty County Courthouse and the Courthouse Annex in Liberty should plan on reporting to work tomorrow. All others working at county offices that have electricity by then should also return to work. Anyone who isn’t sure should call the head of their department.

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This Saturday’s 2005 TVE Kick Off Dance is still on, in hopes that the power will be too. Gates out at the Fairgrounds on FM 563 open at 8 p.m. and the music starts at 9 with featured artists Jason Allen and Wade Bowen. Advance tickets are $8 each. Gate tickets are $10. For more information, call the TVE Office at 936-336-7455 or link to the TVE web site from kshn.com.

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FUNERALS: ** John Louis Kalenda, 56, of Dayton, Graveside Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Eastgate Protestant Cemetery. ** **************************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.34ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 182, TUESDAY SEPT. 27TH, 2005-

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According to Precinct #3 Constable Chip Fairchild, a man and woman were found dead in the two-story frame home in Hardin’s Knights Forest Subdivision on Sunday. Investigators believe the middle-aged couple was killed instantly when a tree that crashed through the roof of their home while they were sleeping. It is believed the tree fell during the hurricane this past weekend. The couple has not yet been identified.

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After the massive damage done to the infrastructure of Entergy’s power system and transmission lines, estimates remain 2 to 4 weeks before electricity is restored to Southeast Texas. Entergy’s Susan Gilley said, as of Monday, there are still more than 261,000 customers without power. She said the company is exploring every option to restore this region as soon as possible.

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National Guard troops with the FEMA will be distributing more food, water and ice today. The effort continues at the Thrif-tee Food Center Parking Lot in Dayton and at Liberty’s Memorial Football Stadium. Emergency supplies will also be distributed at the old Raywood Auction Barn on Hwy 90, the North Liberty County Fire Department in Romayor at the 787 and 2610 intersection, the Kenefick VFD, the Hardin Football Field and the Hull-Daisetta High School Parking Lot.

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The Liberty and Dayton Post Offices have resumed service. Garbage service is running again in both Liberty and Dayton, but only for normal residential and commercial trash- no storm debris. Liberty and Chambers County School Districts will remain closed until further notice.

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The toll-free number for Hurricane Rita victims to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for assistance is 800-621-3362. That’s 800-621-FEMA. You will need to provide your social security number, a telephone number where you can be reached, the address of any damaged property, a brief description of your losses and insurance information. It can take from 24 to 48 hours for some information to be processed. You can also register on line at www.fema.gov.

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FUNERALS: Mary Nan Davis, of Liberty, Graveside Services at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Liberty Catholic Cemetery. Memorial planned for a later date. ** **************************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 26.41ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 181, MONDAY SEPT. 26TH, 2005-

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Hurricane Rita’s blast through Southeast Texas early Saturday morning has left most of Liberty and other nearby Counties without electrical power. With no power, gasoline in short supply and most businesses closed, City Manager Allen Barnes is asking all evacuees from Liberty not to return at this time. Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin has instituted a dusk to dawn curfew effective until further notice. Those who are out within the City’s limits after dark will be subject to consequences ranging from a warning to arrest.

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The massive damage done by Hurricane Rita to Entergy’s ability to transmit electrical power to their customers in affected areas of Southeast Texas means power outages caused by the storm could go on for weeks. State Representative John Otto said the word from the office of Governor Rick Perry is that priority status will be given to getting Gas Producing Facilities in the Gulf up and running before the fuel shortage experienced here spreads to other areas of the country. Representative Otto said it could take from two to four weeks for electricity to be restored throughout this area, though, hopefully, less.

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According to Spencer Karr of the Trinity River Authority, the discharge rate at the Lake Livingston Dam was decreased from 80,000 cubic feet per second late yesterday with further decreases planned over the next 24 to 48 hours. Damage caused by Hurricane Rita to the dam, prompted the discharge increase to lower the lake level enough for repairs to be made. The Trinity River is estimated to crest at the Liberty Bridge near 29 feet above sea level late tonight or tomorrow. Those living in low-lying areas prone to flooding along the river are being asked to leave for high ground. Liberty Mayor Bruce Halstead has issued a mandatory evacuation of the South Liberty Oil Field Area and the River Bend Trailer Park while the river is high.

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Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham said the Liberty County Courthouse would remain closed until further notice. All Liberty and Chambers County School Districts will be closed at least until Wednesday. Waste Management has suspended residential garbage service in Liberty and Dayton until further notice. The company hopes to secure enough fuel to resume commercial service here in the near future.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 50,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 21.53 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 180, THURSDAY SEPT. 22ND, 2005-

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Hurricane Rita is still expected to strike the Texas Coast early Saturday. Liberty County Emergency Management Officials have requested a voluntary evacuation of the entire county. In Chambers County, Judge Jimmy Sylvia has ordered a mandatory evacuation of all areas of that county throughout the day today. The Evacuation Routes are Hwy 321 north to Hwy 59 and Hwy 146 north to 59. In spite of rumors to the contrary, both north and southbound traffic flow will be allowed during the evacuation. Southbound lanes would not be closed. Anyone who does not have transportation can call the Liberty County Sheriff’s Dept at 936-336-4500 or Liberty City Hall at 936-336-336-3684 for bus transportation to evacuation shelters. In Chambers County, those needed help in evacuation can call the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office at

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Liberty County School Districts are closed today and tomorrow due to the threat of Hurricane Rita. All seven county school districts expect to re-open on Monday. The Liberty County Courthouse is also closed the rest of this week. There will be no garbage service in Liberty or Dayton today, Friday or Saturday.

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Dayton School Trustees met Tuesday and approved the purchase of 5 acres of land adjacent to the Dayton FFA Rodeo Arena on Hwy 321. Board President Dr. Luke Chachere said the land purchase- for $153,000 from the Friedman Family- is the first major step in a long-range plan to upgrade the arena. A study committee appointed by trustees to explore those renovations concluded additional acreage was needed to expand parking and otherwise make improvements to the facility.

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U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady said Congress has passed legislation to shield Hurricane Katrina Evacuees from unintended tax increases and provides those who have helped with rent-free housing in their own homes for a least 60 days a $500 tax deduction for each dislocated person up to $2,000.

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DUE TO RE-ROUTED TRAFFIC IN LIBERTY, TODAY’S RADIOGRAM WILL NOT BE DELIVERED.

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FUNERALS: Mildred Faye Grubbs, 65, of Huffman, Services at 10 a.m. Friday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.02 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 179, WEDNESDAY SEPT. 21ST, 2005-

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With Hurricane Rita still expected to make landfall on the Texas Coast, Emergency Officials in Liberty and Chambers Counties continue to monitor the storm’s progress. No final decision has been made on Liberty County School closures. That is expected after a 10:30 meeting this morning. Officials say when more is known about the storm’s path and intensity evacuation decisions can be made for Liberty County. However, in Chambers County, Judge Jimmy Sylvia has ordered a voluntary evacuation of the county’s low-lying areas. Included are Smith Point, Oak Island, Double Bayou, Cedar Point, Walker Subdivision, Cove and all areas south of FM 1985. Anyone living in manufactured housing anywhere in Chambers County is also included. Latest predictions show Rita’s landfall near the Matagorda Bay area sometime early Saturday morning.

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Weeks of controversy over the DCDC budget came to another public showdown Monday when the Dayton City Council voted 3 to 2 to adopt a new budget that includes salary cuts for DCDC President Sue Priddy and her Administrative Assistant Susan Harlan. The budget as approved slashes Mrs. Priddy’s annual salary from $70,000 to $36,000. Ms. Harlan’s annual pay drops from $26,000 to $18,000. Council Members John Simmons, Jay Tadlock and “Frosty” Pruitt voted in favor of approving the new budget, Bill Gay and Barbara Zaruba voted “no”. Mayor Steve Stephens also opposed the salary cuts, saying he doubted if Mrs. Priddy or Susan Harlan would agree to stay at the reduced pay.

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The number of candidates seeking to fill the un-expired term of Liberty School Trustee Carl Hight has grown to two. Yesterday, James Harris filed to replace Mr. Hight who resigned his seat last month. The 49-year-old Harris is a High School Counselor with the Barbers Hill ISD. The filing deadline is October 11th. The Special Election is set for November 8th.

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All Hurricane Katrina Evacuees in Liberty County are being asked to self-evacuate to Lufkin as Hurricane Rita continues to pose a threat to the area. Emergency shelters have been established there and transportation will be provided to any evacuee in need of it. Call the Liberty County Emergency Management Office at 936-336-5448, ext. 239 or the Liberty Fire Department at 336-8118 for transportation.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.03 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 178, TUESDAY SEPT. 20TH, 2005-

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Emergency Officials in both Liberty and Chambers Counties are urging residents to be prepared in the event Tropical Storm Rita makes landfall in this area. The tropical storm is continuing to increase in strength and some forecasts predict it will be a hurricane that could strike the Galveston Area sometime late Friday or early Saturday. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Leroy Hanel said now is a good time to begin making preparations for a place to stay if an evacuation is ordered. Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia reminds residents there to take any evacuation instructions seriously.

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The Liberty City Council met in a special called session last night to hear a report from Attorney Mike Fielder on collection of the city’s delinquent taxes. Fielder has been responsible for collecting most of the roughly $40,000 in delinquent taxes recovered this year. In other action, Council heard comment from one resident concerned the recent construction of new city facilities would have a negative effect on the ongoing street renovation project. City Manager Allen Barnes assured him the same amount budgeted for street improvements last - $150,000-is the same amount budgeted this year.

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The Liberty VFW Post will continue to provide free noon meals for Hurricane Katrina Evacuees through Friday of this week. Volunteers at the VFW have been serving free meals to storm victims everyday during the past weeks since Katrina struck. With the number of those taking advantage of the meals growing smaller, volunteers feel it is time to bring the effort to a close.

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The BBQ Cook Off Weekend that kicks off the 36th Annual Texas Rice Festival is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Winnie-Stowell Park in Winnie. In addition to great barbecue, visitors can enjoy live music and the Carnival. Unlimited ride armbands are available for $20 each. The full slate of Rice Festival activities begin on Wednesday September 28th. For more information, call 409-296-4404.

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FUNERALS: Elsie Mae Johnston, 76, of Cleveland, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland. ** Tommie Marie Lockard, 96, of Florida, Services at Noon Friday at the Linney Cemetery in Dayton. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.07 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 177, MONDAY SEPT. 19TH, 2005-

Rumors of numerous Staph infections in Liberty Schools are not true but Dr. Steven Ellerbe says the 4 or 5 cases call for he and the school district to work. Soap and Water, not using the same towel as athletes do on the sideline and showers after contact sports will go a long way against this tough strain of MSRA infection. Reported cases are about as ususal.

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The crash of a light plane in Liberty County Thursday night resulted in the deaths of all three on board. DPS Sgt. Chuck Havard said the plane crashed about off CR # 301 which intersects with Hwy 321 between Dayton and Cleveland. Dead is the pilot, Ispvan Mac Sai, 43, of the Woodlands, Bryan Duncan, 46, of Splendora and his 13-year old son, Dillon Duncan from Kingwood. The FAA is investigating the crash.

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Sheriff Greg Arthur has confirmed the identity of the human remains found on Sept. 11 near Fostoria. The body is that of 14-year-old Krista Leigh Dorsey a runaway from Cleveland. No word on cause of death and no arrests so far.

****************************************************Liberty Council met Friday morning to award a contract to build the new city hall to L.D.F.Contractors of Spring, for $2 million. That’s the company building the City’s new Fire and EMS Station. Council also ok’ed the new budge, about $18.5 million.

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Entries are being accepted for the 2005 TVE Baby Parade on Saturday Oct. 15th at 10 a.m. in Liberty. Entry is $10 and forms are at the Clip Joint and Sterling Realty, both on North Main in Liberty. Deadline is Wed. Oct.12th. For info, call at 334-9687.

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Friday night High School Football: Liberty Panthers lost in overtime to Stafford 25-19. Rosenberg-Terry beat Dayton 47-21. Hardin over New Waverly 17-6 while Hull-Daisetta lost to West Hardin 18 to 14. Tarkington- now 4-0- beat Huntington 53 to 36.

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FUNERALS: James C. Blanchard, 75, of Raywood, Serv. at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception in Liberty. ** Rebecca Sue Hatcher, 53, of Dayton, Serv.were Sun.** Arthur Thompson Jr., 55, of Liberty, Services 11am. today at Mt. Rose Bapt.in Liberty. ** Dena McMillen, 97, of Liberty, Serv.-2 pm today in Mt. Enterprise. **Louie Anderson, 55, of Dayton, 2 p.m. today Magnolia Park Cemetery..

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.07 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 176, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2005-

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said while he is not ready to release a name, his department is almost certain they know the identity of the female whose remains were found in the woods near Pin Oak Rd. last Friday. Sheriff Arthur also said some information is coming forward about the other discovery, a boot, sock, and the skeletal remains of a foot found on a sandbar in the Trinity River near FM 787 on Sunday. He said the initial report indicated the foot was that of an African American male. That is no longer conclusive and other evidence is leading investigators towards a possible identification.

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Leslie Torrey, long time veteran of the Dayton Police Department has resigned her post, and September 23rd will be her last day on the job. Her 22 plus years makes her’s the longest tenure of service to the department. She will move into a new career with the State of Texas in their Department of Children’s Protective Services.

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Enrollment figures across Liberty County show that 143 kids from the evacuation areas of Hurricane Katrina are attending classes in one of the 7 districts in the county. Liberty ISD has the largest number with 53 evacuee students, Dayton had 43, Cleveland 29, Hardin 9, Hull-Daisetta and Tarkington 4 each, and Devers has one evacuee student.

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Bond has been set for Gerald Wells, 33, charged in the shooting death of James Vestal. Yesterday, bond was set by Precinct #3 Judge Phil Fitzgerald at $500,000. Wells remains in the Liberty County Jail in lieu of bail.

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Friday Night Football has the Liberty Panthers on the road against the Stafford Spartans. The Dayton Broncos travel to Rosenberg-Terry to take on the Rangers. Hull-Daisetta hosts West Hardin. Hardin travels to New Waverly. Cleveland is on the road at Livingston and Tarkington travels to Huntington. Listen to Dayton or Liberty live on FM 99.9.

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Funerals: James Arthur Vestal, 28 of Hull. Services tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Wells Funeral Service in Liberty ** Thomas L. LaFrance, 78 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.14 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 175, THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2005-

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Gerald Wayne Wells, 33, is now in the Liberty County Jail facing murder charges. Wells told police he shot and killed James Arthur Vestal, 28 of Hull, when the man was breaking into the home the shooter shared with Sarah Hart about 3 miles north of Moss Hill in the early morning hours of Tuesday. Liberty Co. Sheriffs Department Sergeant Investigator Mark Ellington said physical evidence, the preliminary autopsy results, and a report Wells was about to leave the area prompted his arrest. Justice of the Peace for Precincnt #1 Bobby Rader confirmed he issued an arrest warrant for Wells.

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Tuesday night, Liberty City Council passed a Sexual Predator ordinance prohibiting known predators from living within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, video arcades, churches and other places children are known to gather. City Manager Allen Barnes said the ordinance would cover about 50-60% of the city’s land area.

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Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said after complaints from business in the area of West MLK Dr. about suspected activity by prostitutes, an officer was sent in, in street clothes. Minutes later he had been propositioned, twice. Arrested on charges of prostitution were Jan Kurkendall, 40 of Liberty and Carla Whatley, 28 of Hardin.

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Liberty Co. Commissioners decided Tuesday morning not to provide funding for the extra staff necessary to have a county tax collector or county clerks branch office in the new Dayton annex. Both County Clerk Delia Sellers and Tax Collector Mark McClelland said they want offices in the annex, but only if they can provide the same services offered in Liberty and Cleveland. Commissioner 2, Lee Groce said they have been trying to get a courthouse annex in Dayton for 10 years, and they will wait a little longer to get it fully operational.

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Gatorfest is this weekend at Fort Anahuac Park in Chambers County. There will be plenty of great food, fun rides, and live entertainment and of course, alligators. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students. Seniors and kids under five get in free.

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Funerals: James Arthur Vestal, 28 of Hull. Services Pending at Wells Funeral Service in Liberty.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.12 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 174, WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 14TH, 2005-

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The Liberty County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the shooting death of 28 year old James Arthur Vestal. According to Sheriff’s Department Captain Billy Tidwell, officers were called at 2:30 yesterday morning to the home north of Moss Hill, of Sarah Hart and Gerald Wells, who told sheriff’s deputies Vestal was trying to break in when Wells shot him. JP 3 Phil Fitzgerald ordered an autopsy.

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Liberty County Commissioners set a tax rate of 56.73 cents per $100 of assessed value yesterday in their regular meeting. They also approved the budget for the 2006 fiscal year, which allows for a little over $900,000 dollars in revenues above expenditures. ****************************************************

Keith Alfred Randall, 29 of Beaumont was sentenced to just over 19 years in federal prison for the armed robbery of the U.S.Post Office in Raywood last year. Randall was found guilty earlier this year of armed robbery and using a handgun during a crime of violence. He was found to have entered the Raywood Post Office on January 2nd 2004, held up a clerk at gunpoint and left with money, blank postal money orders, and a postal money order imprinting machine.

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On Friday evening, the Liberty County Sheriff Department was notified the family’s dog had found a human skull. Investigators searched the area near Pin Oak Rd and found further skeletal remains. The Jefferson County Medical Examiners Office reports the remains appear to be the body of a female and are working with dental records and missing persons’ reports in an attempt to identify the body.

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Sunday afternoon, a man wading in the Trinity River near FM 787 found the skeleton of a human foot, still inside a sock and shoe at the river bank. The foot appears to be that of an African American male. Sheriff’s Capt. Billy Tidwell said agencies north of Liberty County have been notified since there are no reports of missing African American males in Liberty County.

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Funerals: Mary Louise Bagwell Tulley, 60 of Hull. Services today at 10 am at Allison Funeral Service Liberty. ** Dorothy Mae Pitts Salter, 70, of Houston, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.96 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 173, TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2005-

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Former Hardin Middle School Teacher, Sharisa Sprinkle was indicted in July by the Liberty County Grand Jury on 2 counts of sexual assault. The charges stem from sexual relationships the former teacher is alleged to have had with two separate teenage boys. In March of this year, the Hardin teacher who was 25 at the time was removed from the classroom after allegations she had a physical relationship with a Hardin High School Student. Following her indictment, she was arrested in August and is currently free on $20,000 bonds.

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The Department of Building Inspections in Dayton shows the city has nearly doubled the building valuation for single family homes over the past year. Last year through the month of August, building permits issued in Dayton had a value of a little over $3,610,000. This year’s values topped $6,790,000 for single family structures.

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We are trying to get word to as many Hurricane Katrina victims as possible, the Red Cross has a new phone number to call for monetary assistance for survivors of Katrina. That number is 1-800-975-7585. This number became effective Sunday morning.

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Wednesday, September 21st the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold their monthly business luncheon in the Fellowship Hall of the 1st United Methodist Church – Liberty. Guest speakers will be Fay Brett, President of the Trinity Valley Exposition, Vice-president Baret Stephenson, and Facility’s Manager James Bricker. Cost is $8 for Barbecue Sandwiches. Make reservations by calling 936 336 5736.

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Kathryn Walker with the Beaumont office of Social Security said there is still a lot of misunderstanding about the Medicare Prescription Drug Card Program. One of those is that the card is only available to those with low or limited income. Kathryn Walker said while there may be a fee charged the program is open to anyone eligible for Medicare. For more information call the Beaumont office of Social Security at 1-409-924-6413, or learn more at www.medicare.gov.

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Funerals: Ronny William Jenkins, 62 of Liberty. Services will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ****************************************************

***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.96 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 172, MONDAY SEPT. 12TH, 2005-

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62-yr. old Ronny William Jenkins of Liberty died Sat. night. when his classic car left FM 563 and turned over in a deep ditch.

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A Liberty man, Thomas G. James, 21, suffered critical head injuries early Sunday when he wrecked his motorcycle at a high speed where MLK meets US 90 on the east side of Liberty. Life Flight flew him to Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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A jury in the 75th District Court took five hours Friday to sentence 57 year old Cris Badall to 55 years in prison murdering Frank’s Tire Shop owner Ram Durgapersad. The Baytown man’s attorney, Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, said his client will appeal the verdict. Badall, has been incarcerated since the day after he shot the Liberty businessman to death in January 2004. That 21 months applies to his sentence. He will be transferred to state prison this week. DA Mike Little said the killer must serve 27 ½ years before being considered for parole.

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Last week, Precinct 4 JP Glenn Pruitt and Precinct 4 Constable Charles Martin, as well as a branch of the Liberty County Probation Department moved into offices in the County Dayton Annex Building on FM 1960. Pct 4 Commissioner Norman Brown said no time frame is set for a formal opening. Some work and phone line hook-ups remain before the building will be completely ready. The long-anticipated County Annex in Dayton will eventually have C.A.D. and Co. Clerk branch offices. The new number for the Probation Office in Dayton is 258-4702.

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Texas Gatorfest is this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Fort Anahuac Park in Chambers Co. Besides food booths, airboat and riverboat rides, add in the Great Alligator Round-Up, petting zoo and carnival rides galore. There is also live musical performers. Some of each ticket sold goes to Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina survivors. For more call 409-267-4190 or link to the Gatorfest web site from kshn.com.

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Liberty whipped Hamshire-Fannett 22-7. Dayton lost to Friendswood 49-42. Warren over Hull-Daisetta 36 to 0. Hardin lost to Kelley 39-0. Tarkington over Deweyville 19 to 13.

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FUNERALS: Ruth Carol McGowan75-Dayton, Services Sat,

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.03 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 171, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9TH, 2005-

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During Tuesday night’s Dayton City Council Meeting, several questions were addressed to City Attorney Neil Iverson by Dayton Mayor Steve Stephens, concerning his work on drafting the amendment to the DCDC’s articles of incorporation, and who authorized him to do that. City Attorney Iverson said in his 31 years, there has always been an informal arrangement where not just the mayor but any council member and some department heads could meet with him to discuss legal matters. Council approved a motion by John Simmons to keep the procedure as it now stands, the vote was 4 to 1. Council Member Barbara Zaruba cast the lone dissenting vote.

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As of September 1st, more that 20 new traffic laws went into effect several of which place new restrictions on young, inexperienced drivers. One prohibits any driver under 18 from using a wireless communication device for the first 6 months after getting their license. The law also prohibits any bus driver from using cell phones while transporting minors, except in an emergency or when the bus is stopped.

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San Jacinto Elementary on Grand Ave. in Liberty will hold their “official” ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. Principal Donna Eckols said the students and staff invite everyone to come out and join them on this special day.

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Liberty County High School football tonight includes the Cleveland Indians hosting the Shepherd Pirates. While the Dayton Broncos go on the road to meet the Friendswood Mustangs, that game time is 7 p.m. The Hardin Hornets are at home against the Beaumont Kelly Bulldogs. Hull-Daisetta also plays at home against the Warren Warriors. Liberty Panthers are will host the Hampshire-Fannett Longhorns. The Tarkington Longhorns are home against the Deweyville Pirates. You can listen to the Dayton game on our split channel sports starting at 6:50 tonight, and the Liberty game at 7:20.

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Any veteran of foreign wars displaced by Katrina that needs a ride to the VA hospital in Houston can call the local VFW Hall at 936-336-6832 and they will make arrangements for transportation. You can also stop by the VFW on Main in Liberty. That is were lunch is served each day to evacuees.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.86 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 170, THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2005-

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The case against Chris Badaahl, accused in the January 2004 murder of Franks Tire Shop owner, Ram Durgapersad was given to the jury just before 3 p.m. yesterday. An hour 1 ½ later, the jury came back with a verdict, guilty. The jury was dismissed until 9 a.m. this morning when they will return to the courtroom of 75th District Judge C.T. “Rusty” Hight for the punishment phase of the trial. The Baytown man faces from 5 years to life.

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The Dayton City Council split three - two Tuesday night in approving an amendment to the articles of incorporation for the Dayton Community Development Corporation. The amendment gives the city council the unilateral authority to set and establish each element of the DCDC budget in any given year, providing a new budget has not been approved prior to September 1st. Since that is the situation this year, council will now be doing just that in the next few days. The three council members voting for the amendment were Jay Tadlock, John Simmons and Frosty Pruitt. Voting against the measure were Barbara Zaruba and Bill Gay.

****************************************************The Liberty Independent School District is now accepting filing applications for candidates to fill the un-expired term of School Trustee Carl Hight. As reported, Mr. Hight recently resigned from the LISD board to allow his wife, Charlotte to accept a teaching position with the district without violating state laws against nepotism. Candidate filing applications are available now at the LISD Administration Offices on Grand Ave. The deadline to file is Oct. 11th, the Special Election is Nov. 8th.

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Leroy Hanel with the Liberty County Office of Emergency Management said it is vitally important for those effected by Hurricane Katrina to register with both the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He said you must be registered in order to receive any disaster benefits. To register by phone with FEMA call 1 800 621 3362. With the Red Cross, call the Baytown office, at 1-281-424-1300.

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Funerals: John (Johnny) Bastiste Darbonne III. 56, of Liberty. Graveside services were held yesterday in Liberty. ** Eddie Haley, 80 of Liberty. Visitation will be tomorrow from Noon until 8 p.m. at Wells Funeral Home in Liberty. Services will be Saturday in McNeil, Arkansas.

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.86 ASL***

-VOLUME 20 NO. 169, WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 7TH, 2005-

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A 2-vehicle wreck in front of the Liberty Wal-Mart store on August 29th, is now a fatality. Jason Eugene Moody, 20 succumbed to his injuries Monday morning at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. The young man was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash and was ejected on impact.

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This Saturday is the Dayton Rotary Club’s fund-raiser, “Blast from the Past” Car and Bike Show. The annual event takes place in the parking lot of Woodrow Wilson Jr. High on Hwy. 146 in Dayton. There is no admission to come and admire the wide variety of classic automobiles. Cost is $15 to pre-register your vehicle in one of the 11 available classes. Pre-registration ends Friday. As a part of the day’s events the Rotary Club will hold a Barbecue. B-B-Q plates will be $6 or whole briskets are available for $30. To order a whole brisket, or register your vehicle for the event, call Brooks Hiller at 936 258 8040 or Dr. Alvin Richard at 396 334-0004.

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Yesterday we reported about 2 year old Austin Morgan and his near drowning incident at a Labor Day family outing in the Forest Hills Subdivision of Liberty. On some reports we incorrectly reported where the accident occurred. Most important is that everyone reacted quickly, and according to his father – Hardin Coach Mike Morgan, his son will recover. Austin Morgan was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston and will remain there for a couple of days.

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A new web site organized by the Partnership of Southeast Texas and the chambers of commerce and economic development organizations in the area offers a chance for business people to connect with displaced business operators. POST President Steve Buser said the web site, http://getbackinbusinessfast.com is designed for both those with room and those who need it. Buser said property owners should think outside the box, offering shorter leases instead of the typical long-term lease.

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Funerals: Kenneth G. Geisendorff, 79 of Liberty. Services will be this morning at 10 am at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Stephen Douglass Sipes, 68 of Houston – formerly of Dayton. A memorial service will be at 10:30 Thursday at St. John’s Vianney Catholic Church in Houston. **

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***LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.84 ASL***

 

-VOLUME 20 NO. 168, TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 6TH 2005-

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A two vehicle wreck sent Adam Yarbrough and Geraldine DeBlanc, both of Liberty to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital as a precaution. Liberty Police officer Sheree Peak said Adam Yarbrough pulled off Briar St. onto FM 563 and into the path of north bound DeBlanc. Yarbrough was cited for failure to yield right of way, while Geraldine DeBlanc was charged with driving while intoxicated.

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The big blue "DREAMS" ambulance along with its crew is now in Louisiana. Liberty County EMS Director Mike Koen said the unit has proven invaluable in streamlining the process of "triage". That's when doctors sort through a large number of patients to determine those most in need of immediate care. The technologically advanced prototype ambulance is seeing it's first fully operational use in the field during what has become one of the worst disasters in US history. Mike Koen said it is so advanced in what it offers, two TV news crews have done feature reports on the ambulance and crew, Mike Ross and Joyce Vaclavik, to demonstrate the highest level of treatment is in use.

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Liberty County has a new Department of Public Safety Sergeant. DPS Sgt. Chuck Havard replaces Ryan Arthur who recently go a premium appointment to DPS Special Crimes Division in Angleton. The 30 year old Havard comes from nearby Sa Jacinto County. Sgt. Havard is currently involved in hurricane relief efforts in Harris Co. but hopes to be here by Thursday.

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The annual Liberty County EMS Sporting Clay Shoot is this Saturday at Pecan Meadow Sporting Center in Hardin. Registration stars at 9 am. Pre-register by calling 298 3611. Proceeds benefit Explorer Post #1911 and the Liberty County Bicycles for Christmas program. ****************************************************

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 167, FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 2ND, 2005-

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Liberty County EMS Director Mike Koen is one of several local residents who have seen, first hand, the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. The Hardin man was one of those who answered the call for help in storm ravaged areas of Louisiana. The veteran emergency medical care worker said the sight of literally thousands of displaced families was unlike anything he had ever seen. Some estimate as many as 100,000 people were are still inside of New Orleans when Katrina hit. Local relief efforts continue and a bulletin board has now been posted on the Southeast Corner of the Courthouse Square in Liberty to provide evacuees with relief information. Also all evacuees who have not yet registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for future damage claims need to call 1-800-621-FEMA.

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The Liberty City Council met in workshop session Wednesday night and decided on a proposed tax rate of 59.9 cents per $100 of property value. That’s a good bit lower than the 63.67-cent rate Council decided to publish in the newspaper. While City Manager Allen Barnes recommended a rate of 61 cents, Council Members J. C. Burnham and Mike McCarty strongly advocated the lower rate in order to keep taxes down.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in both Liberty and Dayton will be closed Monday in observance of the Labor Day Holiday. There will be no garbage service in either Liberty or Dayton on Monday. All banks and post offices will also be closed for the holiday.

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All Nine Sports first Split Channel High School Football Broadcast is tonight. The Liberty Panthers are at Bridge City to face the Cardinals and the Dayton Broncos host the Willis Wildkats. Turn the balance control on your stereo radio all the way to the left for Liberty vs. Bridge City or all the way to right for Dayton vs. Willis. You can also listen to the game of your choice live on line at kshn.com. The broadcasts begin at 7:20, kick off for both games is 7:30 p.m.

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FUNERALS: Ray Bulay, 82, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Ella Johnston Beyt, 99, of Port Arthur, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. James Catholic Church in Port Arthur. **

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

-VOLUME 20 NO. 166, THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2005-

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The effort to provide relief for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina in Liberty County continues to grow with numerous donations drop-off sites established in Liberty, Dayton, Hardin, Cleveland, Batson and Moss Hill. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Leroy Hanel is urging evacuees to contact the American Red Cross for shelter assistance at 1-866-GET-INFO. The State of Louisiana is not allowing those who fled the storm’s destruction to return at this time.

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75th District Judge C. T. “Rusty” Hight has issued a “gag order” for those involved in the murder trial of Chris Badaahl. Judge Hight said the order was issued over possible threats to the safety of witnesses who are inmates in the Liberty County Jail. Under the judge’s order, no one involved with the trial is to talk to reporters. Badaahl is on trial for murdering a former businesses associate, Ram Durgapersad in 2004. The Prosecution completed their case on Monday and Defense Attorney Richard “Racehorse” Haynes has begun calling witnesses as he continues to try and build a case for self-defense.

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Liberty School Trustee Carl Hight resigned from the board – for the second time-at Tuesday’s meeting. The reason was so his wife, Charlotte, could accept a teaching position with the LISD without violating state laws against nepotism. Mr. Hight first resigned to work overseas a few years ago. He returned and was elected to the Liberty School Board once again.

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The Dayton City Council voted 3 to 2 Monday to keep the City’s current tax rate of 68.8 cents per $100 of assessed value. John Simmons, Jay Tadlock and “Frosty” Pruitt voted for that rate, Barbara Zaruba and Bill Gay voted against it. City Manager Andy Helms had provided council with 4 different proposed tax rates ranging from 65 to 68 cents. A public hearing on the proposed tax rate and budget is set for Tuesday at 7 p.m. A formal vote setting the tax rate will be held later this month.

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FUNERALS: Drafton Rufus Bazzoon, 87, of Tarkington, Services held Tuesday. ** Collene English Weber, 62, of Shepherd, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland. ** Madalyn King, 76, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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

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