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May 2004

-VOLUME 19 NO. 100, FRIDAY, MAY 28TH, 2004-

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A Liberty County Grand Jury has indicted a Dayton woman in connection to an auto accident in February that injured her two young children. Denise Kay Vekios was allegedly intoxicated when she turned into oncoming traffic on Hwy 90 in Liberty. The charges against her are Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Driving Intoxicated with a Child Passenger and two counts of Intoxication Assault. Denise Vekios remains in the Liberty County Jail and her two children are still in the custody of Children’s Protective Services.

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The Liberty School Board met Wednesday night and approved the appointment of Mitzi Tull, currently Assistant Principal at Travis Elementary in Baytown as the new Principal for Liberty Elementary School. Ms. Tull has been a public school teacher since 1986, starting her career as an instructional aide before earning her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake Campus. She succeeds Mary Weaver who is leaving LES to take a similar position in the Splendora School District.

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Registration is going on now for summer programs offered by the Liberty County YMCA including the “Y”’s Summer Day Camp, Teen Camp, Basketball and Flag Football. YMCA representatives will be at the Liberty Wal-Mart Store from 9 a.m. to noon tomorrow accepting registration for all of these programs or call 936-257-2888 for more information.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in both Liberty and Dayton are closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Garbage service will not run in either city on Monday. Post offices and banks are also closed for the holiday.

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FUNERALS: Edith Lucille Musgrove, 92, formerly of Liberty, Services Sunday at 2 p.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Ina Hafer, 84, of Conroe, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Clayborn Theodore Leonard, 67, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. Sunday at 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty. ** Louis Arceneaux, Sr., 78, of Raywood, Services at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood. ** Norma Jean Rivers Carter, 61, of Anahuac, Services at 1 p.m. today at 1st Missionary Baptist Church of Anahuac. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.38 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 99, THURSDAY, MAY 27TH, 2004-

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Acting on a tip, Dayton Police and the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department set up surveillance of the Thriftee Food Center Grocery Store in Dayton Tuesday night to prevent a possible burglary. Believing someone had hidden inside the store after closing time, officers of both police agencies entered the store after hours. They discovered Daniel William Jackson Jr., of Dayton inside the closed business with what appeared to be burglar tools in his possession. Jackson was arrested and charged with Burglary of a Building.

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At Tuesday night’s Liberty City Council Meeting, City Manager Allen Barnes presented council with a contingency plan in the event Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital closes in the near future. As reported, the failure of the proposed Hospital District in the May 15th election could mean the hospital would be financially unable to remain open. Barnes’ plan consists of hiring a full-time EMS Supervisor to oversee day-to-day operations while also hiring 3 part-time medics and 3 part-time paramedics. The City Manager said the additional personnel would ease the anticipated burden of city ambulances making 3 to 4 hour hospital runs to Beaumont or Baytown. After lengthy discussion, Council tabled any action on the plan at this time.

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According to Assistant DA Dan Bradley, the sentencing of former Chambers County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Dearl Hardy has been rescheduled yet again. Hardy’s sentencing on a perjury conviction in Judge Carroll Wilborn’s 344th District Court in March has now been reset for June 3rd. The sentence, of up to 1 year in jail and/or a maximum $4,000 fine was to be handed down tomorrow before this latest rescheduling.

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The deadline for Liberty County property owners to file a protest of their 2004 appraisals is this coming Monday May 31st. Chief Appraiser Allen Conner said the protests must be in written form and the Central Appraisal District would accept faxes or letters containing the necessary information, as well as the official “protest form”. For more information call the CAD Offices in Liberty at 936-336-5722.

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FUNERAL: Enrique Chavez, 60, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.93 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 99, TUESDAY, MAY 25TH, 2004-

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Trial dates have been scheduled for two Liberty County murder cases. Michael Rogers, 42, of Tarkington goes on trial for the August 2001 shooting death of his roommate, Timothy Lloyd Herring, 36, on June 8th. The murder trial of 22-year-old Kevin Frederick Brown is set for July 12th. Brown is accused of shooting and killing John Justin Hoot, 20, of Onalaska in July of last year, and burying the body at his residence on Tree Monkey Road near Romayor. Both cases are to be tried in the 253rd District Court of Judge Chap Cain.

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Liberty Police say 61-year-old Enrique Mata Chavez of Liberty was crossing Hwy 90 on foot around 9:45 Sunday night when he was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by Martin A. Maes, 71, of Hardin. The driver told police he had swerve to try and avoid the pedestrian, but struck him with the vehicle’s passenger side mirror. Enrique Chavez was probably killed instantly.

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Law enforcement agencies continue to search for George Banning, 24, who escaped police custody at Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital Friday night. The man fled the hospital wearing nothing but a hospital gown. He is described as a white male, 5’11”, 135 lbs., with brown hair, hazel eyes, fair skin and tattoos on his arm, back, chest and hand. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact the nearest police agency. Banning is facing numerous charges.

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The 8th Annual Cowboy Classic Golf Tournament is Saturday June 26th at Liberty’s Magnolia Ridge Country Club. Sponsored by the Liberty County Metro Go Texan Committee, the tournament benefits the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Scholarship Fund. Cost is $100 per player and the deadline to enter is June 15th. For more information, call 936-298-2406.

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FUNERALS: Eldridge Joseph Meche, 91, of Devers, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Willie “Joe” Smith, 70, formerly of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Ernest Bevil Hunt, 80, of Silsbee, Services at 2 p.m. today at Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee. ** Alma Louise “Sister Cotton” Foster, 81, of Batson, Services at 10 a.m. today at 1st Baptist Church of Batson. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2000CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.16 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 98, MONDAY, MAY 22ND, 2004-

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Liberty Co. Chief Appraiser Alan D. Conner, says property values will, for the first time, top $3 billion this year. The preliminary estimated total value of Liberty County property is three billion, one hundred-forty million dollars. Mr. Conner estimates the figure would decrease by roughly 2 to 3 % after property owner protests have been heard and settled. As most property owners here know Liberty ISD saw a healthy increase in value over last year when the district’s property was appraised at approximately $560 million. This year’s total is nearly $612 million, an increase of roughly $25 million.

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In recent years, Southeast Texas has become a hot spot for the West Nile Virus. The disease, transmitted by mosquitoes to humans and some other animals, can cause serious illness or, in some cases, death. Horse owners are urged to have their animals vaccinated against the disease. Everyone is reminded to try and eliminate areas of standing water where mosquitoes breed, reduce outdoor activity at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and use mosquito repellent containing “deet”.

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The Liberty Rotary Club honored graduating Liberty High School seniors with a whopping $10,000 in scholarship money this year. These grads will get $1,000 Rotary Scholarships. Kimberly Adams, Janie Broussard, Jackie Butler, Brandon Clawson, Allison Edwards, Melinda Howard, Morgan Lafour, Kathrine McCarty and Donna Taylor. Liberty Rotary $500 awards go to Kory Earp and Lacy Taylor.

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The Liberty City Library’s Annual Summer Reading Program starts June 1st and features an activity day each Thursday at the library. That part of the summer provides kids with six weeks of programs and prizes, with visits from musicians, magicians, blacksmiths and more. Early registration is urged to avoid lines on June 1st. The program is free to Liberty residents, very inexpensive for non-residents. School teachers say they can tell the students who were in summer reading programs when school begins again. To register call 936-336-8901.

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, 40, formerly of Dayton, next Sat. May 29 @ 2 at Sterling F. H. in Dayton. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2000CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.15 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 97, FRIDAY, MAY 21ST, 2004-

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District #18 State Representative Dan Ellis said there is still no solid information on when lawmakers will return to Austin for a second special legislative session on school finance reform. Ellis said committees are at work now in each house to examine possible options for generating enough revenue from new taxes and increased sales tax to replace the current “Robin Hood” funding method, while lowering ad valorem property taxes. Ellis said the hotly debated proposal of installing video lottery terminals or VTLs in state racetracks and Native-American reservations will probably make a comeback in the next session. No changes are expected for this coming school year. Districts across the state will still be using “Robin Hood” while the search goes on for a new system for the 2005-2006 school year.

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The typical hurricane season is between June 1st through November 31st and experts are predicting more than the average amounts of hurricanes this year. National Weather Service Officials say the outlook is for 12 to 15 tropical storms, with 6 to 8 of those becoming hurricanes and from 2 to 4 developing into major hurricanes. Information from weather experts, hurricane survival tips, disaster supply lists and localized coastal information is all available on our web site at kshn.com.

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The Dayton Rotary Club has named four DHS graduates as recipients of $500 each in Rotary Scholarships. They are Dominic Morais, Krysti Witcher, Aimee Cerrato and Ashley Edwards. The winners were selected from 30 to 40 applicants.

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The 18th Annual Batson Oil Patch Festival is June 3rd through the 5th in downtown Batson. The festival features tours of the first oil gusher site, along with photo exhibits plus live music, contests, food and the Oil Patch Festival Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday June 5th. Call 936-262-8439 for more information.

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Advance tickets for tomorrow night’s “Humps and Horns” Pro Bull Riding at the TVE Fairgrounds on FM 563 in Liberty are still on sale today at FLNB in Liberty and Dayton, Baskins and Tractor Supply in Liberty, and at the Fairgrounds Office. . Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children. Gate tickets tomorrow night will be $3 more each. The bull riding events get underway at 8 p.m. in the TVE Arena.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.94 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 96, THURSDAY, MAY 20TH, 2004-

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The recipients of this year’s TVE Scholarships have been announced. 12 graduating seniors in Liberty and Chambers Counties will receive a total of $35,000. Those seniors receiving $4,000 each are Sarah Smesny and Ashley Edwards of Dayton High School, Megan Walker of East Chambers High School, Ryan Murray of Barbers Hill High, Lauren Cox and Amanda Johnson of Tarkington High School and Andrew McClusky of Hull-Daisetta High. East Chambers High School’s Megen Murrell and Hardin High’s Dustin Collins will get $2,000 each. $1,000 each goes to Casey Campbell and Cody Boothe of Liberty High School and Josh Phillips of Hull-Daisetta High.

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Tuesday night, the Liberty School Board approved a major change in the dress code at Liberty Middle School as students move into the new campus on Jefferson Drive in the fall. The updated dress code will have each grade wearing a different color shirt. Middle School Principal David Faulkner said 6th Grade Students will wear white shirts, 7th Graders will dress in gray, while 8th Grade Students will be wearing black. LISD Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said all students will receive written copies of the new dress code to take home to parents before the end of this school year.

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The District 21-4A Baseball Coaches have announced their All-District Selections and four Dayton Broncos were named to the 1st Team. Pitchers Josh Evans and Jacob Trahan, as well as Shortstop Tim Romhill and Outfielder Garrett Street were 1st Team Picks. Garret Street was also named Most Valuable Offensive Player, Bronco Robby Merkal was tagged as Most Valuable Defensive Player and Josh Evans was named Overall Most Valuable Player in District 21-4A.

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The Liberty Rotary Club and the local Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter will honor all Liberty-Dayton Area Veterans of World War II at a special lunch on Tuesday May 25th at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. There is no charge for lunch and World War II Vets are asked to call Bob Ford at 936-336-6990 to register in advance.

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FUNERAL: Glenn Ray David, 39, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.17 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 95, WEDNESDAY, MAY 19TH, 2004-

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A jury in Judge C.T. “Rusty” Hight’s 75th District Courtroom deliberated for just over an hour before finding Matthew Dillon Whitmire guilty of attempting to hire someone to kill DPS Trooper Brian Nichols. That same jury set punishment for the 34-year-old Liberty man at two concurrent life-sentences. The actual convictions are for Criminal Solicitation of Capital Murder and Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder. While he will serve the two life terms at the same time, Whitmire had been paroled on a 25-year prison sentence from Harris County at the time of this latest arrest and will have to complete that sentence before even beginning this latest prison term.

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Anahuac Mayor Bruce Corner dropped a surprise on that city’s council Monday night when he resigned after 6 years in office. The announcement was doubly surprising since Corner had just been re-elected without opposition for another term on Saturday. Anahuac Mayor Pro-Tem Guy Robert Jackson is serving as mayor of the small city that serves as the Chambers County Seat, until the council decides if they will leave the spot vacant with Jackson as Acting Mayor or appoint someone to the position. Reportedly, Bruce Corner has been productive as mayor, but disagreed with council on the limits of his authority.

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State Representative Dan Ellis said the Liberty County Cities of Dayton, Devers, Ames and Cleveland have been given Community Development Block Grants totaling $969,000 from the State Office of Rural Community Affairs. The grant funds are awarded to rural communities for use in housing, drainage, flood control, economic development and other related activities.

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The 2nd Annual PBR “Humps and Horns” Pro Bull Riding is this Saturday at 8 p.m. at the TVE Fairgrounds on FM 563 in Liberty. TVE Facilities Manager James Bricker said this year’s event would also feature a free concert with country music artist Kevin Fowler after the bull riding performance. Advance tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children and available at Baskins and Tractor Supply in Liberty, FLNB locations in Liberty and Dayton as well as at the Fairgrounds Office.

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FUNERAL: Barbara Jean Turner, 78, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.17 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 94, TUESDAY, MAY 18TH, 2004-

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Under cross-examination by District Attorney Mike Little yesterday, Matthew Whitmire testified that he had not, as alleged, tried to have DPS Trooper Brian Nichols murdered. Whitmire did say that he believed his wife, Lisa Whitmire, did. The most shocking statement made by the defendant, however, was when he said he intended to buy cocaine from Todd Fontenot. The Precinct #1 Commissioner said no one was more shocked than he was, since he had no recollection of knowing the four-time convicted felon and felt it was unfortunate the man pulled his name out of a hat to try to “take the heat off himself”. The Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder Charge against Matthew Dillon Whitmire is expected to go to the jury today.

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Witnesses said 72-year-old Hughey Fred Meshell appeared to be ill just prior to plowing his vehicle into the rear of a parked pickup truck on Navigation Street in Liberty yesterday morning. The impact sent both vehicles across the street and into some heavy growth, where they came to rest bumper-to-bumper. Lifeflight air ambulance transported the man to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. At least some thought his condition was due more to an illness than to any injuries he may have suffered in the wreck. There is no word on his condition.

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Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said six middle school boys have been suspended after frightening a female student last Friday. Dr. Shafer said the boys surrounded the girl and forced her to endure what she called “inappropriate touching”. All six were paddled to the extent that is within school policy and have each been given three-day suspensions. The offenders will also be removed from mainstream class and spend the balance of the school year in the Alternative School.

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Reservations are still available for tomorrow’s Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. This month’s guest speaker is Bill Read, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Houston-Galveston Office of the National Weather Service. Lunch is chicken spaghetti for $7 a plate. Make your reservations by calling 936-336-5736.

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FUNERAL: Hebert Walker, Jr., 55, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at Eastgate Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 26,200 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.17 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 93, MONDAY, MAY 17TH, 2004-

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Voters turned down the Liberty Co. Hospital Dist.#1 Saturday, AGAINST 1,749 FOR 1,652. For Liberty City Council: Inc. Mike McCarty won a third term. Then both Charles McGuire and Mark Beausoleil were handed first terms. Incumbent Dayton Council members Jay Tadlock and John Simmons each got a new two year lease in office while Bill Gay won his first term. In the single contested Hardin ISD trustee race James”Bubba” Campbell was re-elected. In Devers challenger Edna Johnson knocked Mayor Donna Traywick out of office after one term. ..

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DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said 36-year-old Deena Carter, who had only recently moved to Dayton from San Jacinto Co., may have been under the influence of alcohol and that may have lead to her death on Hwy 321 north of Dayton Friday night. The woman was walking along the highway when she was struck, probably by several vehicles in the dark. Sgt. Arthur said it is possible some drivers did not even realize what happened.

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The prosecution rested in the “murder-for-hire” trial of Matthew Whitmire last Friday. The first defense witness called was the accused himself. He testified his conversations with a federal agent posing as a “hit man”, was an attempt to hire the man to repossess a car, not commit a murder. Whitmire admitted he threatened to assault DPS Trooper Brian Nichols, but insisted he never wanted to have him killed. Whitmire’s cross-examination by District Attorney Mike Little, is today in 75th District Court.

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Co-owner Mike Franklin said the new Liberty-Dayton GM Auto World Dealership will be accepting employment applications beginning tomorrow for the 20 plus jobs to be filled. Franklin, who with NBA great Elvin Hayes, bought what was the Bob Bomer GM Dealership in Liberty said they need people in sales, & mechanics as well as those trained in parts and body work. The new dealership is expected to open by the end of the month.

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FUNERALS: Mary M. Blanchard, 87, Dayton, Svcs today at 10-Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** John E. Clark, Sr.-57, Kenefick, Svcs10 today at Whispering Meadows Baptist Church -Dayton. * Peggy Moore,69-Daisetta, Svc today at 2 p.m. at the New Life Assembly of God Church-Batson.** Garry Snyder,of Old River, Memorial at Pace-Stancil Fun.Home-Dayton,6-9pm. .

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*LAKE RELEASE: 39,400 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 27.34 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 93, FRIDAY, MAY 14TH, 2004-

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The fourth day of testimony in the “murder-for-hire” trial of Matthew Whitmire was devoted to prosecution witness Alan Fotvoye, the ATF agent who posed as a “hit man” during taped conversations with Whitmire and wife, Lisa. Mrs. Whitmire is charged as a co-conspirator in the alleged plot to have DPS Trooper Brian Nichols murdered. Agent Fotvoye told jurors he was offered weapons and a car as payment for killing the officer who had arrested Matthew Whitmire weeks earlier. Fotvoye’s testimony was interspersed with the taped evidence of his discussions with the Whitmires. On cross-examination by defense attorney Alvin Sines, the federal agent admitted the Whitmires had never actually asked him specifically to kill Trooper Nichols.

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According to information from Liberty County Sheriff’s Sgt. Investigator Chip Fairchild, the arrest of 31-year-old Davida Elmore and Ronald Bunton, 41, both of Dayton, could clear up more than 30 recent burglaries of lawn and garden equipment in the area. The two suspects were arrested last Saturday night on Hatcherville Road in Chambers County after being pursued by County Sheriff Greg Arthur and Mont. Belvieu Police Officer Asa Cole. The pair reportedly stole a lawnmower from the East Gate area the evening of their arrest..

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Liberty High School students graduating with honors this year are Valedictorian Janie Broussard and Salutatorian Allison Edwards, as well as Kayla Leonard, Julie Pietak, Ebone Zeno, Kory Earp, Steven Havard, Katherine McCarty, Joscelyn Garrett and Melinda Howard. Other LHS Honor Grads are: Donna Taylor, Jackie Butler, Sara Rader, Kimberly Adams, Kandis Dugat, Curtin Reeves, Amber Havener and Benjamin Takach.

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Due to yesterday’s rains, the first game of the Dayton Broncos Area Play Off series against the Bay City Black Cats has been moved to tonight at 7:30 in Dayton. Game two is tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Bay City. If the series goes to three games, that one is at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Pearland High School. All Nine Sports will broadcast tonight’s game live beginning shortly before 7.

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FUNERAL: Manford Goodeaux, 66, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. Monday at the Abundant Life Apostolic Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 29,500 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.15 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 92, THURSDAY, MAY 13TH, 2004-

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As testimony continued yesterday in the murder-for-hire trial of Matthew Whitmire, jurors heard from ATF Special Agent Quo Mitchell who testified she videotaped two meetings between Lisa Whitmire, the defendant’s wife and alleged co-conspirator, and an undercover agent posing as a hired killer. Jurors heard a portion of a taped conversation between Lisa Whitmire and the “hit man”, actually ATF Senior Agent Alan Fotvoye. Mrs. Whitmire indicates the intended victim is a DPS Trooper who lives in Dayton and works at the Liberty Office. As reported, the Whitmires are charged with plotting to have someone murder DPS Trooper Brian Nichols. Testimony resumes today.

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The Liberty City Council met Tuesday and agreed to go out for bids for the proposed construction of a “Water Park” to replace the city’s existing swimming pool, now closed due to its deteriorated condition. City Manager Allen Barnes said the cost of such a water park would be around $150,000, while repairing the present city pool and bringing it up to state standards was projected to cost around $381,000. Barnes did not rule out some sort of swimming pool at the Municipal Park in the future.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is this coming Wednesday at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. The guest speaker will be Bill Read, Meteorologist-In-Charge for the Houston-Galveston Area Office of the National Weather Service. Lunch is $7 a plate, catered by the Country Emporium and Diner. Call the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce for reservations at 936-336-5736.

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The Hardin High School’s Class of 2004 Honor Graduates are: Valedictorian Daniel G. Balch, Salutatorian Dusty Wayne Collins, Melissa S. May, Matthew L. Quinn, Ashley Danielle Viator, William H. Howse, Robert Todd Tanner, Jamie L. Huddleston, Hunter S. Arthur and Laura Gutierrez.

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The first game of the Dayton Broncos Area Play Off series against the Bay City Black Cats is tonight at 7 in Dayton. Game two is tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Bay City. If the series goes to three games, that one is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Pearland High School. You can listen to tonight’s game live beginning shortly before the 7 o’clock start here on KSHN Radio.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 27,300 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.35 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 91, WEDNESDAY, MAY 12TH, 2004-

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Testimony ended for the day in the 75th District Courtroom in the trial of Matthew Whitmire for Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder, with an appearance by Michael Swisher, the fellow Liberty County Jail inmate that the Liberty man allegedly asked to find someone to murder DPS Trooper Brian Nichols. Swisher told the court he was approached by Whitmire to find out “how much it would cost to have a cop killed”. Swisher testified that he informed law enforcement officials of Whitmire’s plan and agreed to wear a recording device to tape several more conversations with Matthew Whitmire about plans to have the DPS Trooper murdered. Trial testimony continues today.

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Early voting ended yesterday and according to Liberty County Clerk Delia Sellars, a total of 794 South Liberty County voters cast early ballots in Saturday’s proposed Hospital District Election. 317 voted early in Liberty ISD on whether or not to establish a tax levy to fund emergency medical services. In the Dayton ISD there were 251 votes cast early, 136 in the Hardin ISD, 56 in the Hull-Daisetta ISD and 34 in the Devers ISD. Polls will be open this Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. All Nine News will have live coverage of the hospital district voting returns as well as returns for local city and school board races.

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and approved a new single family mortgage revenue bond program offered by the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation. Liberty County will participate with 19 other government entities for a portion of $35 million for qualifying first time homebuyers. The funds should be available by mid-June. For more information, call the Liberty County Judge’s Office at 936-336-4665.

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The 23rd Annual Hull-Daisetta Mayhaw Festival is this weekend in downtown Daisetta. Events include the Beauty Pageant, Barbecue Cook Off, 42 Tournament, gospel singing, carnival rides, parade on Saturday morning and the Mayhaw Street Dance Saturday night with the Brady Hanson Band. All proceeds provide scholarship monies for graduating Hull-Daisetta High School Seniors.

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FUNERAL: Howard Moore, 86, of Hankamer, Services at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Mary Baptist Church in Hankamer. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 27,300 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.35 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 90, TUESDAY, MAY 11TH, 2004-

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New Liberty Wal-Mart Store Manager Bob Diaz has confirmed information from reliable local sources that the retail giant is planning on locating one of their popular “Super Centers” here. The 11-year-Wal-Mart employee said it is difficult to say at this point when construction could begin. Right now, the company is planning for 2006, but hope to bring that forward to 2005.

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Testimony is expected to begin today in the trial of 35-year-old Mathew Whitmire of Liberty for Conspiracy to Commit Capitol Murder. Whitmire and his wife, Lisa, are accused of attempting to hire someone to kill DPS Trooper Brian Nichols in June of last year. Whitmire was being held in the Liberty County Jail following his arrest in connection with a high-speed chase during which he reportedly tried to “run down” a police officer. Jury selection ended yesterday in the 75th District Courtroom.

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A fire that destroyed an unoccupied home at the Derrington Mobile Home Park Sunday night may have been the work of an arsonist. Alma Villareal, Manager of the Mobile Home Park off FM 563 south of Hwy 90, said the 14 by 70-foot home was valued at from $8,000 to $9,000. A witness told Sheriff’s Department investigators they heard breaking glass and a car speeding away before the fire was discovered.

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A mistake in Sunday’s Houston Chronicle Newspaper “City and State” section needs correcting. The paper claimed there is no Dayton School Board Election on May 15th, which is, of course, wrong. The name of an incumbent school board member was also incorrectly reported in the Houston paper. In fact, the contested race is between Incumbent Dale Brown and Challenger Paul Kelly for Position #2 on the DISD Board.

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The Dayton Broncos Baseball Team enters the Area Round of the Playoffs with a best-of-three series against the Bay City Black Cats. Game one is Thursday at 7 p.m. in Dayton, the second game is Friday night at Bay City, also at 7. If a third game is needed that will be Saturday at 1 p.m. at Pearland High School. You can hear the games live on All Nine Radio.

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FUNERAL: A.E. Archer, 82, of Dayton, Memorial Service at 6 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 28,400 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.35 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 89, MONDAY, MAY 10TH, 2004-

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The investigation into the police shooting death of burglary suspect, Cody Lee Coffman, 27, of Channelview last Thursday is continuing. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur accused Coffman and two other men of burglarizing the home of Geneva Thompson, east of Raywood, when the homeowner caught them in the act. Two Daisetta Police Officers were first to overtake the suspects’ pick up truck. The vehicle was stopped at a residence on FM 770, Reports indicate Coffman fled on foot and was shot to death. The other suspects, David Roberts, 26 and Lloyd Lowe, 28, both of Houston are jailed on a $250,000 bond each, charged with burglary of a habitation with more charges probable. Sheriff Arthur believes the trio might be connected to from 15 to 20 other area burglaries. Sheriff Arthur said details of the police shooting of Cody Lee Coffman will go to the District Attorney’s Office for possible presentation to a grand jury.

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Early voting ends tomorrow in all city council and school board elections in Liberty Co. Tomorrow is also the last early voting day in Dayton, Devers, Hardin, Hull-Daisetta and Liberty School Districts in the election to decide the fate of the Liberty County Hospital District proposal. Election Day is this Saturday.

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Liberty Police report arrests of two teens and one adult last Thursday for several burglaries, including the recent break-in at the Liberty City Park. The suspects were arrested on FM 563 in possession of a three-wheeler and a go-cart, as well as numerous tools and other items, said to be stolen. Police say the two juveniles admitted the thefts. The two led police to the home of a an accomplice, 20-year-old Jimmy Jordan of Moss Bluff. More items alleged to be stolen was then recovered. Jordan was arrested on weapons charges, the two teens are charged with burglary of a habitation, and one charge of evading arrest.

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The Dayton Broncos Baseball Team took the first two games of their bi-district series with Sharpstown advancing to Area in the Playoffs against Bay City. Details of that match up should be available today. Meanwhile, the Liberty Panthers ended their season over the weekend, losing two straight of their best of three play off series against the Hamshire Fannett Longhorns, 4-2 and 7 –3. The Barbers Hill Eagles’ enter the playoffs against Navasota. Details are yet to be determined.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 28,400 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.35 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 88, FRIDAY, MAY 7TH, 2004-

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An officer-involved shooting death in the Raywood Area yesterday afternoon remains under investigation. According to Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur preliminary information indicates that a Precinct #2 Deputy Constable and Daisetta Police Officers were involved in a chase of three home burglary suspects that ended in gunfire at a residence near the intersection of FM 770 and Hwy 160. One suspect was shot and killed. Two others were taken into custody. No police officers were injured. Texas Ranger Frank Huff and Sheriff’s Dept. Sgt. Investigator Chip Fairchild are heading up the investigation.

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Early voting for the proposed South Liberty County Hospital District Election continues through next Tuesday for registered voters in the Dayton, Devers, Hardin, Hull-Daisetta and Liberty School Districts. Election Day is May 15th. KSHN Radio will feature two more panel discussions on the hospital district issue on Wednesday May 12th at 8:30 a.m. on the All Nine Party Line Program and at 5:30 that evening.

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“Trinity Valley Trade Days” starts May 15th and 16th and continues each weekend for five months at the TVE Fairgrounds in Liberty. Vendors with wares of every kind will be set up for buyers, sellers, collectors and browsers. Booth spaces range from $20 to $70 depending on location and whether or not electricity will be needed. RV spaces are also available for venders. For more information, call 936-336-7455.

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The Valley Players and the Charlie Graybien Dance Band present “The Colgate Music Hour Radio Music Theater” tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the Humphrey’s Burson Theater in Liberty. The show is a live recreation of classic 1943 radio entertainment with music, skits and World War II era news broadcasts. Tickets are $5. Call 936-336-6699 for reservations.

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The Liberty Panthers are at Barbers Hill Eagle Field in Mont Belvieu tonight at 7 for the first game of their best-of-three bi-district baseball playoff series against the Hamshire Fannett Longhorns. The second game is at noon tomorrow and if the series goes to three games, the third will be at 3 p.m. tomorrow. All Nine Sports will broadcast the first game tonight beginning shortly before the 7 o’clock start.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 27,300 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.89 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 87, THURSDAY, MAY 6TH, 2004-

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State Representative Dan Ellis said some political arm-twisting by GOP leaders prompted enough Republicans who voted against the House School Finance Bill Tuesday to either change their vote or not vote at all when the bill was reconsidered. That bill, which raises the state sales tax rate to one of the highest in the nation, while lowering ad valorem property taxes only slightly, now goes to the Texas Senate for amendment. Democrat Dan Ellis said he expects those changes will be significant, since in its current form, the legislation doesn’t even generate enough revenue to pay for it’s provisions. Lawmakers are now roughly halfway through this 30-day special session called to address funding public schools in Texas.

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The 51st Annual Magnolia Ridge Invitational Golf Tournament is set for May 13th through the 16th with plenty of great golf, good food and the dance on Friday the 14th with the Mark Saunders Band. A $60 sponsorship button covers attendance at all events except actual golf play. For more information, call Bob Walker at 936-258-7507.

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The Annual Letter Carriers National Food Drive is this Saturday. Donations of non-perishable food should be left in or near mailboxes for pick up or dropped off at local post offices. For more information, call 936-336-6182.

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The American Red Cross Sporting Clay Event, postponed from an earlier date, is Saturday at 8 a.m. at Pecan Meadows Sporting Center in Hardin. Volunteer Coordinator Daniel Pratt said shooters could call 936-336-8088 to pre-register.

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The Dayton Lady Broncos Softball Team advances to the area round of the state playoffs tonight as they meet the Angleton Lady Wildcats at LaPorte High School at 6:30. All Nine Sports will broadcast the game live starting shortly before the 1st pitch.

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FUNERALS: Jessie Doyle Hall, 81, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty. ** Daniel J. Cope, 48, of Anahuac, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at 1st United Methodist Church in Anahuac. ** Christine Bush Walker, of Ames, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. **

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*LAKE RELEASE: 27,300 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.28 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 86, WEDNESDAY, MAY 5TH, 2004-
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The Liberty Panthers enter the bi-district round of the High School Baseball Playoffs this weekend against the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns in a best-of-three series at Barbers Hill Eagle Field in Mont Belvieu. Game one is at 7 p.m. Friday, game two is at noon Saturday and any third game would be at 3 p.m. Saturday. Meanwhile, the Dayton Broncos are in their own series against Sharpstown this weekend. The first game is Thursday night at 7 in Dayton, the second is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sharpstown High School. If the series goes to three games, number three will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Dayton.
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The Dayton City Council met Monday, deciding in a unanimous vote that residents in areas recently annexed by the city could not vote in the upcoming city council election unless council receives a pre-clearance letter from the U.S. Justice Dept. giving final approval to the annexations.
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The Annual Law Enforcement and Public Safety Memorial and Recognition Service is Wednesday May 12th at 7 p.m. at 1st Baptist Church in Liberty. Sponsored by the Liberty Rotary Club, the service will feature bagpipers, a color guard, a salute to fallen officers, taps and a 21-gun salute. The public is invited.
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According to Hardin City Secretary Roberta Fregia, the City has now moved into their temporary location at the old Lions Club Building on Hwy 146. Gatlin Construction Co. demolished the former Hardin City Hall building April 27th. Construction is now in progress at that site for the new 2,100 square foot Hardin City Hall. Boyd Arnold Builders is building the new facility at a cost of $96,300 and should be finished in about 4 months.
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Totals from this year's Relay for Life continue to climb. Sandra Sterling who is Volunteer Treasurer for the American Cancer Society Fundraiser said the amount of money raised has grown from the original $89,600 to $92,055 and donations and funds raised continue to come in.
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FUNERALS: Chad Thompson, 30, of Oak Island, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac. ** Harvey "Joe" Hanson, Jr., 42, of Conroe, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **
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*LAKE RELEASE: 26,200 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.16 ft ASL

-VOLUME 19 NO. 85, TUESDAY, MAY 4TH, 2004-

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Co-owner Mike Franklin has confirmed that he and partner, NBA Hall of Fame Member Elvin Hayes are now the official franchise dealers for GM in Liberty. Franklin said ownership of the former Bob Bomer Dealership on Main Street has been transferred to he and his partner although it will still be another week and a half before they are ready to begin accepting employment applications. The new opening date for Liberty Dayton GM Auto World is expected to be in about three weeks.

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Dayton Police said 51-year-old Billy Ellison of Crosby was pulling onto Hwy 90 west of Dayton from FM 1413 yesterday afternoon when he pulled into the path of a vehicle driven by Januari Lowery, 22, of Dayton. Ellison told police his view of Lowery’s car was blocked by another vehicle. Both drivers and a two-year-old child who was a passenger in Lowery’s vehicle went to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital with injuries that were not believed life threatening.

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Liberty County is now on-line with the Texas Victim Information and Notification Everyday or “VINE” program. Sheriff Greg Arthur said a call to 1-877-894-8463 would provide callers with information on registering for the program that provides crime victims and concerned citizens with custody and court information on offenders who have been arrested. The system updates every 15 minutes and provides information access 24 hours a day. For more information call 936-336-4500.

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Motorists traveling Hwy 90 in Liberty can expect alternate lane closures beginning today at the East Street Railroad Crossing while TxDot crews work to overlay that section of 90. It is expected the project will be finished this week.

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With the Trinity River expected to crest near 26 feet above sea level in Liberty today, the Liberty County Emergency Management Office warns residents, especially motorists, to use caution since some low lying roads will experience flooding.

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Tomorrow’s All Nine Party Line Program at 8:30 a.m. will feature discussion and information about the proposed South Liberty County Hospital District. Another program devoted to the issue is set for Wednesday May 12th at 8:30 a.m.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 26,200 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 25.16 ft ASL*

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 84, MONDAY, MAY 3RD, 2004-

The second week of early voting is underway for the proposed Liberty County Hospital District #1. Properly stated a tax of .0654 cents is being proposed. That’s just over six and a half cents per $100 value. For example an $80,000 property value would result in an annual tax of $52.32 to support the hospital district in South Liberty County. The district committee proposes a homestead exemption for those over 65. If voters o.k. the new district on May 15th, Liberty Co. Commissioner’s then appoint a board to manage the district and consider payment of emergency costs for hospital and ambulance services when local residents fail to pay. That board would make the rules on exemption and set polices. Future boards are elected. Voters in the Liberty, Dayton, Hardin, Devers and Hull-Daisetta School Districts can vote early at school central offices through May 11th. The next two Wednesday’s at 8:30am KSHN will feature discussion by experts who will also answer questions from callers on the topic.

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Saturday Dayton’s 400 meter man Justin McQueen & Lady high jump star Megan Denman qualified for 4A state track meet in Austin May 14th . Quinn Wood is their coach.

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The Liberty Panthers and Barbers Hill Eagles finished their regular seasons in a tie for the 22-3A District Baseball Championship. They will meet tonight at 6 in Mt Belvieu in a game to decide who enters post season #1 and who is #2.The two are officially co-champs. We will broadcast that game.

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The Annual Dayton FFA Livestock Show and Rodeo is this Thursday through Saturday at Dayton’s Anson Rigby Arena on Texas State Hwy 321. Rodeo performances are at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children. The livestock auction is Saturday at 1. Tim Gassiott: has info at 936-258-2510.

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in Daisetta with a carnival, barbecue cook off, arts/crafts, parade, photo contest, volleyball and basketball tourneys, horseshoe and washer pitching contests, and more. Street Dance is Saturday @ 8 p.m. in the Best Food parking lot w/Brady Hanson Band.

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FUNERALS: Arminda Parsley Whitehead, 89,Liberty, held Saturday. ** “Gus” Clotio, 72,Dayton, held Saturday**Jack Dawson, 61, Services Wed. at 10 at Pace-Stancil in Dayton

* LAKE RELEASE: 26,200 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 24.18 ft ASL*

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