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December 2004

-VOLUME 19 NO. 247, FRIDAY DEC. 31ST 2004-

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Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Billy Tidwell said 29-year-old Jason Enloe of Cleveland went to his former girlfriend’s home around 4 a.m. yesterday and shot at her male friend. He missed, but the man received minor cuts and abrasions from shattered glass. Enloe reportedly fled into the woods with two weapons and search began involving the Sheriff’s Dept., a DPS search helicopter and the Baytown S.W.A.T. team, among others. After phone conversations with his ex-girlfriend and a Baytown hostage negotiator, Enloe surrendered peacefully to authorities at the Plum Grove City Hall just before 1 pm yesterday. Jason Enloe was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault.

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According to information from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, Arthur L. Jones was recaptured by Houston Police and Precinct #6 Harris County Constables yesterday morning. The Dayton man, who had been on the run since escaping from the Liberty County Jail early Christmas Day, was apprehended at Manchester and Broadway in Houston after a foot chase and aerial assistance from an HPD helicopter. Jones is being returned to Liberty County Sheriff’s Department custody.

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Longtime Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Joan Meadows will retire from that position at the end of the year. The Cleveland Advocate Newspaper reported Mrs. Meadows submitted a resignation letter to the Greater Cleveland Chamber Board on December 16th. She will continue to serve as a consultant to the board until her successor is selected. Joan Meadows has served as Executive Director as for the Greater Cleveland Chamber for almost 13 years.

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For those wishing to help the South Asian tsunami victims, the Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management is advising that cash, in any amount, is the best way. There are several organizations participating in this effort. Here are two of the largest. Contact the Salvation Army at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or on line at 1800salarmy.org. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-HELP-NOW or at their web site, www.redcross.org.

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FUNERALS: Helen Pegues, 73, Services pending at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Bobby Heathman, 64, of Liberty, Services to be held at a later date. ***

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** Lake Release 4,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 13.18 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 246, THURSDAY DEC. 30TH 2004-

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Some 50 residents of the area near the Moss Bluff Gas Storage Facility on FM 563 have filed suit against Duke Energy Gas Transmission in connection with the explosions and fire at that facility August 19th and 20th. Dozens of residents near the blasts were evacuated until the one damaged gas storage cavern burned itself out on August 25th. The suit is seeking payment for health and property damage losses, allegedly caused by the event and related toxic dust and related consequences. Duke officials said they were unaware of the lawsuit until this report. We recently reported that the Texas Railroad Commission said the Moss Bluff facility operators had violated regulations regarding maintenance and record keeping in the matter and the company could face penalties up to $75,000.

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The search for Liberty County Jail escapee Arthur Lavel Jones led Sheriff’s Deputies to a residence at the corner of Trinity and Carter Streets Monday night. They discovered signs of illegal drug activity including crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia. With assistance from Liberty Police, deputies arrested eight people at the home on charges ranging from drug possession to revocation of probation. Law officers also snared $1100 in cash and 91’ Cadillac. Arthur Jones remains at large however, missing since his escape on Christmas morning.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce has elected new members to serve on the Chamber Board of Directors. From Dayton, they are Ron Holcomb, Kenneth Flournoy, Donna Greak Smith and Jeff Fitzgerald. From Liberty, they are Brenda Cone, Chris Walker, Jo Anne Smith and Todd Fontenot. Advancing to Board Chairmanship is Eliza Mae Guidry, Gary Vandeventer moves to Past Chairman, John Wright is new Vice-Chair and Jimmy Hardin is new Secretary/Treasurer.

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When the University of Texas Longhorns take on Michigan in the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day, two former Liberty High School Band members, Julie Pietak and Ebone Zeno, will be part of the UT Band. Also, former LHS Drum Major Kim Adams will be at the Cotton Bowl on January 1st as part of the Fighting Aggie Band as A&M vs. the University of Tennessee. KSHN Radio will broadcast the Longhorns vs. Wolverines Rose Bowl Game live beginning with the pre-game at 2:30 p.m.

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** Lake Release 5,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 13.18 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 245, WEDNESDAY DEC. 29TH 2004-

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DPS Trooper Tommy Chase said 64-year-old James Robert Heathman was southbound on FM 563 yesterday afternoon when, for reasons still unknown, he was unable to negotiate a curve in the roadway. His vehicle traveled some 800 to 1,000 feet on and off the roadway, before striking a tree. Liberty County EMS performed CPR en route to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital but the Moss Bluff Area man was pronounced dead there. Trooper Chase said the cause of his death remains under investigation.

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Following a ruling by the 9th District Court of Appeals to overturn two of former Liberty County Treasurer Janet Harrelson’s four criminal convictions, her attorney Dr. Joe Willie of Houston said he will continue the appeals process on the two remaining convictions. Even if that process leads to the U.S. Supreme Court. As long as any of the convictions stand, Ms. Harrelson cannot hold the office of County Treasurer.

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Starting in January, those receiving social security benefits will get a 2.7 % cost of living increase, however, Medicare premiums are also increasing. Social security law prevents the Medicare deduction from being more than the cost of living increase, so if your Medicare premium jumped by more then the cost of living increase, only the cost of living increase would be deducted from the monthly benefit check, leaving no net increase or decrease.

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Both the Liberty County Court House and Liberty City Offices will be closed Monday for the New Years Holiday. However, the Dayton City offices will be closed on Friday. Garbage service in both Liberty and Dayton will run as scheduled except Saturday, New Years Day. Area banks will be open normal business hours both Friday and Monday. Those banks with Saturday hours will be closed on New Year’s Day.

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Donations of clothing, food and household goods are being collected for the Ray Musselwhite Family of Daisetta who lost everything in a house fire Saturday night. Donations can be dropped off at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department anytime now through Friday. The Liberty Worship Center will collect items Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Trinity and Austin in Liberty. Call 936-336-3261 or 936-346-5087 for more information.

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** Lake Release 5,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 14.73 ASL**

-VOLUME 19 NO. 243, MONDAY DEC. 27TH 2004-

Dec. 22nd 9th Dist. Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the appeal of former Liberty Co. Treasurer Janet Harrelson’s 2003 conviction on four charges. That Court overturned two convictions, one for abuse of official capacity and one for tampering with records. The judges ordered her acquittal on those two. The court affirmed two other convictions: forgery and another charge of tampering with an official record. DA Mike Little was surprised that one charge was overturned. The sentences were concurrent so the 10-year probated sentence stands. However, the only jail time for Janet Harrelson was 60 days on the abuse of office which was overturned. Mr. Little said he-and was sure Janet Harrelson also, will consider whether to go to the Criminal Ct. of Appeals in Austin for review of this 9th District ruling. Little said with two convictions upheld Harrelson is still a convicted felon removed from elected office.

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Christmas morning two inmates on work detail in the visitors lobby of the old Liberty County Jail kicked open a door and fled. Soon Liberty P.D. officer Scott Mouton stopped a truck in the South Liberty Oilfield with four occupants-including the two fugitives. Anthony Fowler, 20, of Dayton was recaptured, but Arthur Lavel Jones, age 32 ran into the woods and remains at large. He is described as a black male, dark complexion, 5’, 11”, 195 lbs, with a tattoo on his chest and another on his right arm. s.

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11-year-old Zack Flint of Liberty remains in critical condition with some signs of slight improvement. The 5th Grader was injured in a 4-wheeler accident on a hunting trip with family Wednesday. After surgery to relieve pressure on the brain doctors told family swelling has eased slightly. He remains in a coma but responds to certain stimuli. He is in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. His parents are Tim and Angela West of Liberty..

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The Ray Musselwhite family of Daisetta lost their home and all contents in a Christmas night fire. Clothing, food, or household goods are needed. Donations can be delivered at the Sheriff’s office in Liberty through Friday or call 336-3261 or 336-5087.

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, 81, of Liberty, Services 2pm today @Guedry

** Lake Release 10,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 15.15 ASL**

-VOLUME 19 NO. 242, THURSDAY DEC. 23RD 2004-

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JMerry Christmas from the staff of

KSHN J

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Daisetta Police responding to a report of an attempted robbery at residence located at 302 Dakota on Tuesday Dec. 7th ended up arresting the homeowner on drug possession charges. Daisetta Police Chief Mike Parrish said 38-year-old Kenneth Bernard Shirley told officers people were trying to steal his Jet Ski, but the man’s odd behavior during that investigation led police to request permission to search his house. Inside they discovered substances believed to be marijuana, cocaine and prescription painkillers as well as security cameras and a .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Shirley was arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance with additional charges possible.

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With temperatures expected to fall into the mid-twenties tonight, experts recommend a review of cold weather preparations. Water pipes in Southern homes are particularly vulnerable to freezing due to a lack of sufficient insulation. Local plumbers advise wrapping any exposed pipes with some sort of insulation. Give outdoor pets a dry place to sleep with protection from the wind and some extra-food. Wrap especially tender vegetation and give hardier plants additional water on cold nights.

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The Liberty City Council met in workshop session Monday night with architect Richard Edwards to begin serious discussion on the $4 million new buildings program. Those buildings include a city hall, fire station, animal control shelter, as well as expansion of the existing library. As currently envisioned, the new 17,000 square foot city hall would go up where the city hall auditorium and council chambers now stand.

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So far, 55 million people have put their home numbers on the federal “No Call” list to prevent tele-marketers from contacting them. Cell phone numbers can also be put on the list. To register a number call 800-922-0204 or visit www.nocall.gov.

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FUNERALS: Kenneth Vernon Ray, 89, of Devers, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Dixie Meyers, 66, of Moss Hill, Services at 2 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** George Howard Nail, 79, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today. **

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** Lake Release 10,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 15.83 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 241, WEDNESDAY DEC. 22ND 2004-

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Dayton Police Officer Keith Fuller said 64-year-old Nelda Loftin of Goodrich, was apparently attempting a U-turn on Hwy 90 west at Hwy 146 in Dayton yesterday when her car was hit by a pick up driven by John Parker, 32, of Hull. The woman was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from her vehicle. Nelda Loftin was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston by air ambulance. At the time of this report, her condition was unknown. John Parker was not injured.

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The Dayton City Council met last night and voted four-to-one to amend the articles of incorporation for the Dayton Community Development Corporation. The amendments specify that, among other things, all DCDC employees serve at the will of Council unless otherwise authorized by Council itself. We reported that the DCDC Board of Directors recently awarded Executive Director Sue Priddy a three-year contract, without offering any prior notice to City Council. Dayton Mayor Larry Harris said the City’s attorney felt Council already had power of approval over any DCDC expenditures and a contract certainly fits the criteria. So far, Council has not put its stamp of approval to Mrs. Priddy’s contract.

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and set early voting for the Feb. 5th Hospital District Election. Voters can cast early ballots for or against the Hospital District from Jan. 21st through Feb. 1st from 8 to 5 at the Liberty County Courthouse, from 8 to 4 at Hardin High School and from 3 to 7 at FLNB’s Dayton Financial Center. Voting on Election Day will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at those three locations as well as at the Hull-Daisetta ISD Business Office and the Devers School

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The Liberty Rotary Club’s 53rd Annual Oyster and Fish Fry Supper is set for January 14th from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Liberty City Hall. Tickets are $13 for all you can eat or use the drive through take-out line on the West Side of City Hall. Tickets are available now from any Liberty Rotary Member.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is today at noon at the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Luke Russell and Karla Burris will perform. Tickets are $7. Call the Chamber for reservations at 936-336-5736.

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** Lake Release 10,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 17.87ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 240, TUESDAY DEC. 21ST 2004-

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At last week’s meeting, the Liberty City Council voted to hire the Buxton Group Economic Development Consultant Firm to help the city recruit and retain retail development at a cost of $18,500. The majority of council members felt the firm could provide valuable assistance and information to Economic Development Director Jerry Grooms. Cost of engaging the Buxton Group is covered by the $20,000 allocated for economic development expenses in the City’s 2005 Fiscal Year Budget. Council also voted to drain and collapse the now-closed Liberty City Swimming Pool. City Manager Allen Barnes said the new Spray Park that replaces it should be finished by year’s end.

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Liberty Fire Chief Fred Collins said Alejandro Escobar of Conroe parked his truck at his job site in Liberty around 6:30 yesterday morning. It was around 10 when he noticed smoke. Firefighters put the fire out quickly but not before the truck was destroyed. An electrical short is the suspected cause.

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Director Liz Harlan said members of the Liberty High School Choir have been invited to help sing the National Anthem as part of the pre-game activities at Thursday night’s San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball Game. The game is at 7 p.m. at the SBC Center in San Antonio. The Spurs game is scheduled for local television broadcast on TNT.

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The Liberty County Courthouse will close at noon tomorrow and remain closed until Monday December 27th for the Christmas Holiday. All City Offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday. Garbage service will run as scheduled in both Liberty and Dayton with the exception of Saturday – Christmas Day. All post offices will be closed Saturday only. Most area banks are closing early on Friday, to reopen on Monday December 27th.

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FUNERALS: Johnnie Caleph Campbell, 75, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty. ** Wynona Mae Bible, 47, of Porter, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home of Dayton. ** Francis Zenith Elliott “Shorty” Baldwin, 82, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton. **

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** Lake Release 10,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 18.49ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 239, MONDAY DEC. 20TH 2004-

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The first fire fatality in the City of Liberty in at least a decade occurred Friday night. Fire Chief Fred Collins said, around 9:30 a fire was reported at the home of Chuck Snyder, Ave. J in Layl Sub. He was not at home, but shortly after going to bed, Tara Janette Mahaffey realized the 70 x 14 mobile home was filling with smoke. She fled with her 4-yr-old son, Kendrick, but could not reach her mother, sleeping on the couch. Firefighters found the body of 47-year-old Terry Mahaffey in the rubble of the burned mobile home. Chief Collins thinks a spark from a fireplace in the room next to where the victim was may have ignited the fire. Then at 5:30 Saturday morning hot spots rekindled in dramatic fashion nearly igniting a home next door. Hardin Volunteers helped City firefighters to drive flames away from threatened homes before dawn.

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Chambers Co. Sheriff Chief Deputy Rod Yarbrough said Friday afternoon a man robbed the Prosperity Bank drive through teller in Winnie. He reportedly displayed a gun while demanding money. The suspect, Michael Ray Cooper, fled with an undisclosed sum but was apprehended by Chambers Co. Deputies in about 20 minutes. The Houston man is charged with Aggravated Robbery. The money and a gun were recovered.

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The Liberty City Council has taken the steps to start a Team City Program. The program, promoted by Entergy Power Co., focuses on economic development and quality of life issues. Entergy’s Team City organizer Kim McMurray said as a member of the Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency, Liberty had previously been ineligible but recent annexations brought 1,500 Entergy customers into the Liberty City Limits.

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The Texas Dept. of Health is reporting an increase in the amount of influenza vaccine now available to doctors and clinics around the state. Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, the State Health Services Commissioner, says those in high-risk categories who have not yet had their flu shots should be able to get them now For instance flu shots will be available at the Liberty Health Clinic on Palmer Street tomorrow beginning at 8:30 a.m.

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@ 2 Hardin Chapel Cem.**

** Lake Release 14,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 18.91ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 238, FRIDAY DEC. 17TH 2004-

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The final audited total of money allegedly stolen from Allison Funeral Service by former Manager Jim Watson is now reportedly at $57,000. We reported that Watson has resigned from Allison’s and also stepped down as Liberty Rotary Treasurer after it was determined another $6,000 was missing from that local service club. Liberty County Sheriff’s Investigator Shannon Bowdoin said Jim Watson has admitted to the theft in both cases and his attorney Gary Bunyard said full restitution would be made. The results of the investigation will be turned over to the DA’s Office for possible criminal prosecution. The thefts would constitute a 3rd degree felony punishable upon conviction by up to 10 years in prison.

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Tuesday night the Liberty School Board heard a report from High School Principal David Taylor on the TAKS test results for LHS Seniors. Taylor said of the 154 seniors tested, as many as 29 are at risk of not graduating due to failing at least one portion of the TAKS. The new, more difficult exit test requires students to pass each of the four individual tests in order to graduate. Taylor said remediation classes are being formed to help these students. In other action, Liberty School Trustees also approved a $16, 875 contract with local concrete contractor Lois Brooks to build the much-discussed new sidewalk along Jefferson Drive. The 1500-foot walk will start just west of the middle school, and run in front of the high school, ending at Panther Lane.

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Dayton School Trustees met in executive session Tuesday to conduct the annual performance review and evaluation of School Superintendent Greg Hayman. Trustees will consider an extension of Hayman’s contract at their January meeting. Trustee Luke Chachere said the closed door session Tuesday also dealt with any contract renegotiations with Hayman, who was appointed Dayton Superintendent roughly 1 year ago.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is Wednesday at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. This month’s holiday theme luncheon will feature a performance by 11-year-old singer and actor Luke Russell of Hardin. Lunch is chicken & sausage gumbo catered by Fontenot’s Cajun/Creole Catering for $7. Call the Chamber of Commerce Office for reservations at 936-336-5736.

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** Lake Release 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 19.49 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 237, THURSDAY DEC. 16TH 2004-

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Tuesday night Liberty City Council voted to table a request by residents of the Briargate Subdivision to amend the City’s No Manufactured Housing Zone. Those residents were asking council to include their subdivision, located on FM 563 as well as some surrounding areas in the zone to block manufactured homes from being installed near their residences. Council approved a motion by Councilman Mark Beausoleil that they hold a workshop on the subject, not only to address the Briargate request but also to review the city’s manufactured housing ordinance as a whole. Mayor Bruce Halstead said he felt that in light of the City’s recent annexations, that ordinance was probably in need of Council’s examination. The workshop session was tentatively set for early next week.

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The “Bikes for Christmas” Program has been extended to Monday morning. Kids 1st through 8th grade can still write a letter to Santa Claus asking for a new bike. Drop off those letters at Milam Discount Tire or the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce in Liberty, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce in Dayton or the Liberty County EMS Offices in Daisetta. Include a phone number so you can be contacted if you win.

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On December 10th, the Dayton Rotary Club honored Jo Defoor by naming her a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest tribute the worldwide service club can pay to anyone. Mrs. Defoor was presented the award for her work with husband, Ken, on the local club’s annual car show. Jo Defoor was presented with a framed certificate, medallion and lapel pin. The award is named for Rotary International Founder Paul Harris.

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The Sixth Annual Black History Month Calendar is now on sale. A joint project of the Liberty County Historical Commission and the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, the calendars contain no less than 39 pictures of faces and places from a bygone era in Liberty County. The cost is $5 each and they are available at the Sam Center and the Liberty Library.

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FUNERALS: Una D. “Peggy” Faulkner, 79, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church of Dayton. ** Jack Coleman, 66, of Houston, Services held at a later date, Visitation from 6 to 9 tonight at Sterling Funeral in Dayton. **

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** Lake Release 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 19.97 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 236, WEDNESDAY DEC. 15TH 2004-

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and authorized public notice of their intent to issue Certificates of Obligation in the amount of $6 million to be used strictly for roads, not salaries or equipment. County Judge Lloyd Kirkham said the intention was to use the majority of the bond money in the Southern Part of the County. Commissioners agreed on a basic plan to split some of the money evenly among the 4 County Precincts and distribute the remaining funds according to need. Commissioners also heard from County Auditor Harold Seay, who said, if nothing unusual happens, the County should have a fund balance at the end of Budget Year 2005 of around $1.8 million. That’s a little more than initially projected.

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The 7TH Annual Liberty County Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration is Saturday January 15th at Dayton High School starting at 1 p.m. The DHS Choir will perform and guest speaker for the event is Iraqi War Vet Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Briscoe of Ames. There will be a gospel concert at 3 p.m. that same afternoon at Cornerstone Church on the Hwy 146 Bypass in Liberty. Advance tickets for the concert are $10 each. Tickets at the door that Saturday night will be $12.

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Distribution day for recipients of the Spirit of Sharing’s Operation Noel Program is this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The location has changed this year. Gifts will be distributed at 2720 N. Main behind Texas State Optical in Liberty. For more information, call the SOS at 936-336-6602.

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The University of Texas Longhorns take on Michigan in this year’s Rose Bowl Game on New Year’s Day. All Nine Sports live Rose Bowl broadcast begins with the pre-game at 2:30 p.m. January 1st. Kick off is 3:30.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Christmas Open House is tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited to stop by the Chamber Offices on Trinity Street in Liberty to visit and enjoy some good food. For information, call the Chamber Office at 936-336-5736.

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FUNERALS: Robert Louis Douglas, 84, of Nome, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Douglas Cemetery in Nome. **

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** Lake Release 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 20.27 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 235, TUESDAY DEC. 14TH 2004-

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The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures will drop well below the freezing point this week. While expert’s say this is not a “hard freeze”, everyone is reminded to take needed precautions. Those precautions include wrapping exposed water pipes, make sure that outside pets have a dry covered place they can use to get out of the cold wind and take steps to protect any tender plants and vegetation.

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According to Dayton Broncos Head Coach Jerry Stewart, former Dayton Football Star Brandon Payne has been named Second Team All-American Defensive Back at the University of New Mexico. Information indicates Payne leads the nation in passes defended at 23 and set a school record with 17 pass deflections and six interceptions this past season. Another former Bronco, Chris Louvier is a First Team and Second All-American and All-Southland Conference Lineman at Sam Houston State.

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The Cleveland Regional Medical Center is one of 79 hospitals across Texas recognized by State Attorney General Greg Abbott for their efforts to help establish the paternity of newborn infants at that facility. The statewide average for hospitals with birthing facilities reporting child paternity is 68%. The Cleveland Hospital, as well as the others recognized, report at least 73% of unmarried parents legally acknowledging their child’s paternity at the time of birth. Under Texas Law, a child of unmarried parents has no legal father, and is ineligible for many benefits and programs unless the identity of the father is established.

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Tomorrow is the deadline for the “Bikes for Christmas Program”. Local children 1st through the 8th grade are asked to write a letter to Santa Claus telling him why they would like a new bike. Send letters to 1020 Hwy 90, Liberty, TX. , 77575 or drop it off at the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber or Dayton Chamber of Commerce Offices by tomorrow. 115 bikes will be given to area kids this year on Thursday December 23rd.

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FUNERALS: James Vernon Pate Sr., 81, of Oak Island, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Palms Memorial Park Cemetery in Dayton ** Minnie Durham Rhodes, 53, of Houston, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Bibleway Baptist Church in Houston. ***

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** Lake Release 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 20.85 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 234, MONDAY DEC. 13TH 2004-

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At a special called meeting, Thursday afternoon, the Dayton Community Development Corporation Board of Directors voted to give Sue Priddy a three-year contract to continue as DCDC Executive Director. Information indicates that the Dayton City Council was not given advance notice of the board’s decision to put Mrs. Priddy under contract, although Council has oversight over the sales tax-funded economic development organization. Council members we talked with said they expect the DCDC will present the terms of the contract to Council for approval. Dayton Mayor Larry Harris said the question of whether or not Council approval is legally required is open to interpretation.

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Chambers County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information on the murder of 19-year-old Courtney Megan Coco of Alexandria, LA. The young woman’s body was found in an abandoned building just of I-10 in Winnie on the morning of October 4th. Anyone with information is asked to call 409-267-3233. Callers may remain anonymous.

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According to information from the Hardin Lions Club, the Liberty County Community has pitched in to help the Elvis and Regina Fregia Family, whose home was destroyed by fire last Tuesday. The Hardin Lions have set a goal of $1,250 to raised and then matched through the service organizations fund-matching program for a total of $2,500. Donations for the Fregias are reportedly getting close to that goal. To make donation, call 936-298-9423 or 298-2689.

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The public is invited to the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Open House Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is welcome to stop in at the Chamber Office on Trinity Street in Liberty, to visit and enjoy refreshments. For more information, call 936-336-5736.

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FUNERALS: Harrison Kirk “Buddy” Finley, Jr., 69, of Hardin, Services were Sunday. ** Steven J. Brothers, 31 of Silsbee. Services Wednesday 2 PM Pace-Stancil Dayton **Thelma Lee DuBose Freeman, 71 of Hull. Services this afternoon 2 PM at Central Baptist Church ** Bennie H. Williams, 89 of Dayton. Services Tuesday 2 PM at Woodlawn Garden of Memories in Houston. **

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** Lake Release 16,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 22.20 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 232, THURSDAY DEC. 9TH 2004-

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The cause of a fire the destroyed a beautiful two-story home on FM 1960 yesterday afternoon remains under investigation. The home of the Danny R. Meyer Family, located just west of the Huffman Auction Barn, was reported to be fully involved in flames when Dayton Volunteer Firefighters arrived around 12:30. Personnel from the Kenefick, Huffman, Crosby and Houston Fire Departments were soon on the scene with more water and manpower. A neighbor had spotted flames on the roof and got the homeowner and her two granddaughters-who at first were reluctant to believe their home was actually burning-- out of the house without injury. The house was a total loss.

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DPS Trooper Tommy Chase said Dayton Police Officer Elmer Clark was northbound on Cleveland Street, responding to an emergency call when another motorist hit him. Witnesses confirmed that Officer Clark’s emergency lights and siren were activated as he turned onto Hwy 321 from Cleveland, where his vehicle was struck by a pick up truck operated by 45-year-old David Kelly of Hardin. Trooper Chase said damage to the Dayton Police car was extensive, but neither driver was injured. David Kelly was cited for failure to yield the right-of-way.

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The “Canterbury Chorale” of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty will present the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah” on Sunday at 7 p.m. The public is invited and a reception in the Fellowship Hall will follow the performance. The church is on the corner of Trinity and Fannin Streets.

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KSHN Radio’s popular “Find Santa” Game returns for its 22nd year on Monday. Listeners will be calling in for a chance to guess at which of our sponsors Santa Claus is shopping that hour. The jackpot starts at $5 and grows by another $5 each time we play until we have a winner. By the time “Find Santa” ends we will have played 100 times and given away $500.

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FUNERALS: Mary Lou Tilton, 86, of Old River-Winfree, Services at 10 a.m. Saturday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Douglas Pilgreen Jr., 35, of Daisetta, Services at 2:30 p.m. today at 1st United Pentecostal Church of Mont Belvieu. ** Zelder Leona Hester, 72, of Daisetta, Services at 11 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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** Lake Release 23,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 25.82 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 232, THURSDAY DEC. 9TH 2004-

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An investigation by All Nine News has discovered evidence that a local import shop, “Choi Fashions and Beauty”, has, for some time, been actively selling a product called “Fresh Look Color Blends” contact lenses without the benefit of the state license or doctor’s prescription that the law requires. Medical experts we spoke with confirm the lenses, used to change a person’s eye color, are not intended for sale. A KSHN staff member purchased a set of the lenses for $20 at the Liberty business that are clearly marked not for sale and for prescription use only.

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DPS Trooper Henry Boykin said Windell Frizzell, with a Liberty address, was northbound on Hwy 146 in Hardin yesterday morning when witness report the pick up he was driving began drifting across the center lane of traffic. The vehicle then rolled into a ditch and hit a concrete culvert at CR # 2363. Mr. Frizzell was taken to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital for precautionary reasons. Trooper Boykin said the man apparently fell asleep behind the wheel.

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The Liberty Wal-Mart Store has donated money to both the Liberty Police and Liberty Fire Departments to buy Christmas gifts for needy kids this year. While the amount of the donation was not disclosed, Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said representatives from both departments went shopping yesterday and would go again on Dec. 14th. The “Friends in Deed” Program of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty will help in distributing the gifts.

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The Hardin Lions Club is spearheading a donation drive to benefit the Elvis and Regina Fregia Family who lost all of their possessions in a house fire on Tuesday. Clothing and household items are needed. The family has two children: an eight-year-old boy and a five-year-old girl. Donations are being collected at the Hardin City Hall Storage Building. Call Cora Bechtel at 936-298-9423 or Dorothy Nettles at 298-2689 so someone can be there at the storage building when donations are dropped off.

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FUNERALS: Tonie Smikal Janik, 72, of Eastgate, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Patsy Lee Nugent, 60, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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** Lake Release 25,100 CFS Liberty Bridge: 25.85 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 231, WEDNESDAY DEC. 8TH 2004-

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A Newton County Grand Jury has indicted former Dayton High School Band Director James Allen Pelloat on two counts of Sexual Assault and two counts of Improper Conduct Between an Educator and Student. The 57-year-old Pelloat, who has served as Band Director for the Newton ISD since 2001, has admitted to sexual relations with male students over a period of years, including the student and former student named in the indictments. Both were under 17 at the time the alleged assaults took place. Misty Weeks, the Assistant Criminal Prosecutor for Newton Co. said Pelloat remains jailed on a $1.5 million bond.

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Firefighters from Hardin, Liberty and Hull-Daisetta were called to fight a fire that completely destroyed a home on CR # 2066 in the Tanner Settlement yesterday afternoon. The cause of the fire at the home of Elvis and Regina Fregia remains under investigation but neighbors reported hearing a loud booming sound. The house was ablaze when firefighters arrived. The family lost everything and had no insurance. A drop off location for donations will be announced soon.

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Sandy Pickett of Liberty was notified this week that the U.S. Senate has unanimously confirmed her nomination to serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board. Mrs. Pickett, who has a long record of public service, currently serves as a Commissioner and Chair of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. President George W. Bush nominated Sandy Pickett and 6 others to the 20-member National Board last summer. The Senate confirmed all 7 nominations last month.

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The Dayton City Council met Monday night and voted to annex the 1st and smaller of two tracts of land on FM 1960. Council is expected to vote on the larger tract in the next few weeks. Together, the two additions create a 1,000-foot strip along the South side of the 1960 roadway.

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The deadline to drop off gifts for the Spirit of Sharing’s Operation Noel Program is this Friday. Christmas Trees containing the names and holiday gift wishes of one needy child are still up at 1st Liberty National Bank and the Liberty Wal-Mart Store through Friday. SOS Volunteers say last minute emergencies always pop up so extra gifts are needed.

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** Lake Release 30,600 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.15 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 230, TUESDAY DEC. 7TH 2004-

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The Texas Railroad Commission is charging Duke Energy with violating state maintenance standards in connection with the explosions and fire at the Moss Bluff Gas Storage Facility in August. A review of the incident by State Regulatory Officials has led to charges that Moss Bluff Hub Partners, a Duke subsidiary, did not properly maintain a pipeline that ruptured, causing the six-day hazardous materials event. Resulting fines to Duke Energy if the company is ultimately found to be in violation of regulatory standards could go has high as $75,000.

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Liberty Elementary School is holding an Ident-A-Kid Identification Program tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Participating children will be fingerprinted, have a color photograph taken and have their height and weight recorded. LES Principal Mitzi Tull said the information is placed, with the child’s birth date and home address on an index card for parents to keep in the event the child is ever missing. The information taken is kept strictly confidential and only given to parents. Cost per child is $6. .

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Several Dayton City Officials as well as local media, County and State Tourism Officials met Friday with Tom Bergman of Bergman Communications and Dan Gundrum the World Water Park Board of Directors who will be doing the feasibility study for the proposed multi-million dollar water park in Liberty County. According to the Henderson family, who are spearheading the effort, the recreation facility will be called “Aqualand U.S.A.”. The feasibility study is intended to determine construction cost, operating expenses, profit potential and what entertainment elements the park should contain. The study is expected to be complete by January 15th.

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Dayton ISD is again accepting nominations for the annual additions to the Wall of Fame, honoring former Dayton educators. Anyone can nominate someone for this honor. Nominees need to have been employed by the Dayton School District for at least 5 years, but cannot have worked there for at least 5 years prior to nomination. Nominations must be submitted the Superintendent’s Office by Feb. 1st, 2005.

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FUNERAL: Wiley Wright Stuckey III, 61, of Dayton, Services held Monday. **

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** Lake Release 35,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.22 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 229, MONDAY DEC. 6TH 2004-

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The Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s 4th Annual “Hometown Holidays” Celebration is tomorrow night on Bryan Street. Starting at 5 p.m., events include the cookie contest, live holiday musical entertainment, food vendors, free pictures with Santa Claus and the lighting of the huge 48-foot-Christmas Tree. The event wraps up with a fireworks display. While some seating will be available, visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. For more information, call 936-257-2393.

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Liberty County Sheriff’s Investigator Sgt. Chip Fairchild said 28-year-old James Earl Cutsinger of Crosby was arrested Thursday in Mont Belvieu and charged with the murder of Crystal Beach businessman Daniel Kohlofer. The 51-year-old Kohlofer was found dead in a field near Hwy 87 on the Bolivar Peninsula on Sunday Nov. 28th. The Liberty County Sheriff’s Department became involved in the investigation when the victim’s missing truck was found the following day in the Eastgate area. Sgt. Fairchild said it is believed that Mr. Kohlofer gave the hitchhiking Cutsinger a ride, only to be robbed and shot to death by the suspect. Cutsinger is jailed in Galveston County, on a $500,000 bond, charged with Capital Murder.

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U.S. Postal Officials say all Christmas packages sent by Parcel Post will need to be mailed no later than Dec. 12th if they are to reach their destinations by the 25th. Priority Mail packages need to be sent by the 18th or 19th. Parcels sent after the 21st will have to be mailed using Express Mail to arrive on time.

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The winners from last Tuesday’s Liberty Country Christmas Parade are, Best Walking- Liberty Middle School, Best Riding- Little Miss Texas, Best Float- Liberty Co. YMCA and Best Overall- Mr. Money Pawn. In Dayton, Best Walking-DHS Marching Band, Best Riding-Bobby Joe Lunceford, Best Float- Webelos #2 and Best Overall – Brownie Troop 5100. The Liberty Co. 4-H Mounted Drill Team won Best Decorated Horse in both the Liberty and Dayton Parades.

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FUNERALS: Ina E. Williams Clegg, 82, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at the Hebron Baptist Church in Broaddus, TX. ** John Louis Altman, 94, of Anahuac, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac. **

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** Lake Release 35,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.22 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 228, FRIDAY DEC. 3RD 2004-

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With only one month left in 2004, the murder rate in Liberty County totals very close to last year’s unusually high number. There were 9 homicides in the county in 2003 and since January of this year, there have been 7. In five of those cases, there are suspects either charged or under indictment. The stabbing death of David Sanchez, 19, of Houston, whose body was found in the woods near the Liberty-Montgomery County Line on August 30th remains under investigation. There have also been no arrests to date in the murder of Shawna Marie Welford, 27, of Conroe. Her body was discovered west of Cleveland on March 6th.

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Two Dayton Broncos were named to the 19-4A All District Football Team. According to Head Coach Jerry Stewart, Michael Dugat was named Co-Defensive MVP and Andy Tackett was recognized for his excellence in punting. The Second Team All-District picks from Dayton are Wide Receiver Matt Conn, Offensive Tackle Wes Skrla, Linebacker Danny Gaskamp and Justin McQueen in the Defensive Secondary.

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Open enrollment for Medicare-approved prescription drug discount cards continues through December 31st. Anyone with Medicare who does not have outpatient prescription drug coverage through Medicaid are eligible to enroll in a discount drug program. Those who want to renew their current cards or sign up for a new card can do so now before a new coverage period begins on January 1st. For more information, call 1-800-Medicare or visit www.medicare.gov.

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The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Santa Fest Celebration is today and tomorrow with holiday fun for the entire family at Stancil Park in Cleveland. “Food Fest” offers table after table overflowing with holiday food from 4 to 7 p.m. today. There’s live entertainment, vendors and more. Included will be a concert with Roy Head at Southside Elementary School tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call the Greater Cleveland Chamber at 281-592-8786.

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FUNERALS: Mary Latham Holcombe, 95, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church in Liberty. ** Desra Blue, 84, of Hankamer, Services at Noon Monday at John Chapel Baptist Church in Hankamer. **

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** Lake Release 35,000 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.72 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 227, THURSDAY DEC. 2ND 2004-

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This year’s “Bikes for Christmas” Program will be providing at least 115 deserving Liberty County boys and girls with brand new bikes this year. Started a few years back by an anonymous local businessman, the program continues to grow through efforts of numerous volunteers. Kids in the 1st through the 8th grade are invited to write a letter to Santa Claus, telling why they would like a new bike. Send letters to Santa c/o Milam’s Discount Tire, 1020 Hwy 90, Liberty, TX, 77575 or drop them off at either the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce on Trinity St. in Liberty or the Dayton Chamber on Bryan Street in Dayton, by the December 15th deadline.

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The trial of former Dayton High School Teacher Michael Kilby Stuckey for the sexual assault of a 16-year-old DHS student is set to begin on Monday in the 253rd District Court of Judge Chap Cain. Stuckey was arrested in February of last year after the alleged victim told authorities the teacher had her perform a sex act on campus in exchange for better grades. Stuckey was released shortly after his arrest on a $10,000 bond.

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The Texas Department of Health Services will be administering flu shots to those considered to be in high risk groups at their Liberty Clinic Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those at high risk are children 6 to 23 months, adults 65 and over, those with chronic medical conditions, women pregnant during flu season residents of long term care facilities and children 6 months to 18 years who are on aspirin therapy. Also included are health care workers who provide direct patient care plus caregivers and household contacts to children who are under 6 months old. A $10 donation will be charged, but no one in these groups will be turned away. The Liberty Health Clinic is on Palmer Street.

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The Valley Players will present “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” tomorrow and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Humphreys Burson Theater in Liberty. Tickets to the holiday play are $5 each. Call 936-336-6699 for reservations.

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FUNERALS: Larry James Sanders, of Daisetta, No formal services planned. ** Dorothy St. Julian, 79, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dayton. **

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** Lake Release 38,300 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.80 ASL**

 

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 226, WEDNESDAY DEC. 1ST 2004-

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Liberty County Commissioners met in special session yesterday and granted a petition requesting a second election on a proposed South Liberty County Hospital District. The issue of creating a taxing district to raise funds that would offset the annual losses in unpaid Emergency Care costs being borne by Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital and local EMS services narrowly failed last May. Commissioners set February 5th as the date for the new Hospital District Election.

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Only three residents of the affected areas turned out for a public hearing Monday night on the Dayton City Council’s planned annexation of the larger of two tracts of land on the South side of FM 1960. Mayor Larry Harris said Council had held hearings on that tract back in November, an error on the posted agenda prompted additional hearings. Council plans a formal vote on both tracts on 1960 next Monday night.

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Investigators say well-known Crystal Beach businessman Daniel Kohlofer was found dead by passing motorists in a field near Hwy 87 on the Port Bolivar Peninsula on Sunday. The murdered man’s missing pick up truck was located early Monday morning, parked on Wolfe Island Road inside the Liberty County Line. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said his department secured the scene around the vehicle until Galveston County Sheriff’s Investigators arrived. It is believed the 51-year-old Grocery Storeowner was shot to death but autopsy results are pending.

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The Liberty Panthers placed 13 names on the 23-3A All District Team plus Head Coach Jeff Stewart was named Co-Coach of the Year alongside John Baker of Huffman. Senior Liberty Quarterback Shane Smart was named MVP while Defensive MVP honors went to Linebacker Andrew Moss. Brian Beene was named 1st Team All-District Center and Jeremy Swift was the unanimous pick for the All-District Running Back.

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Country Christmas comes to Dayton tomorrow night starting with the lighted parade at 6 p.m. Then there’s live entertainment, refreshments, wagon rides through the illuminated areas of town and pictures with Santa Claus. It’s free to public, courtesy of the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and their sponsors. For information on entering the parade, call 936-336-5736.

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** Lake Release 38,300 CFS Liberty Bridge: 26.90 ASL**

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