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January 2003

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 18, TUESDAY, JAN. 28, 2003-

Liberty Police Officer Kenneth Taylor said around 7:05 last night, Mary Louise Guillory, 20 of Liberty, was eastbound on Hwy. 90 at FM 563 when she turned right from the center lane into the Chevron Station parking lot. Her car was struck by another driven by Tommy Earl Martin, 50 of Liberty. Mr. Martin was not hurt, but Ms. Guillory was hospitalized with minor injuries. She was cited for a right turn from the wrong lane. Her passenger, Kandael Latrail Ford, 18 of Liberty, was arrested for outstanding warrants from both the Liberty PD and Liberty Co. Sheriff’s department.

Hardin ISD Interim Superintendent Craig Ringer says Compass Builders of Coppell and NR2 Architects and Associates of Dallas are still drawing up plans for a major construction project for the school district. Drawings were originally supposed to be finished this month so trustees could approve the plans and then advertise for bids, but Mr. Ringer said that has been postponed until February 24th. Included in the proposed project is replacing the old gym with a new multi-purpose facility for P.E. classes, a 5th and 6th grade campus, and improvements and additions to Hardin Elementary School. Construction is expected to begin in late April and is estimated to take 14 to 16 months to complete.

While Saturday night’s fire in Northeast Liberty Co. near the Hardin Co. line was a serious fire, it turned out to be not as bad as originally thought. The Hardin Volunteer Fire Department was en route when they requested help from four other local departments. Eventually, Liberty and Tarkington were canceled, and Devers, Hull-Daisetta, and Hardin fought the fire on CR 2075 off Hwy. 105. Flames devoured a utility building, a detached laundry room structure, and heavily damaged a motor home parked next to Philip Cox’s house. Although they came close, the flames never reached Mr. Cox’s manufactured home.

Early Friday morning, the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department, with help from Kenefick Volunteer Firefighters, fought a house fire on FM 1413. Dayton Fire Chief Terry Boyett said when his men arrived, about half of the double-wide manufactured home was on fire. Homeowner Jack Kegg works out of town and was not home when the fire started around 1 a.m. Friday. Chief Boyett said Mr. Kegg’s neighbors think it was intentionally set. Liberty County Fire Marshal Jim Wilson is investigating.

* * LAKE RELEASE: 1,370 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.02 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 17, MONDAY, JAN. 27, 2003-

A 39-year-old Ames man died in a one-car accident Friday night. DPS Trooper Stephen Hebert said Ronald James David was traveling alone when his car went out of control on FM 160 near FM 1909. The car ended up in a roadside ditch. At an inquest JP #1 Bobby Rader ordered an autopsy. The accident occurred after 9:30 Friday night.

The small home of Lasonya Braxton at 502 Garret in Liberty was heavily damaged by a fire Saturday morning. Liberty Fire Captain Fred Collins said Ms. Braxton had an aromatic candle burning on a dresser. One of her three children was building a tent and apparently tossed a blanket over the dresser, not knowing the candle was there. Most of the contents in the home were destroyed. There were no injuries.

Shortly before 10 a.m. Friday, the Hardin Volunteer Fire Department fought a house fire on CR 2110 off Hwy. 105 in Moss Hill. The manufactured home of Ronnie and Cindy Evans was destroyed but no one was at home. Hardin Fire Chief Sean Webb said the fire started near a wood-burning stove heater.

Sergeant Ryan Arthur leaves today for active duty in the U.S. Army Reserve. The DPS supervisor for Liberty County has been assigned to a training support group to prepare National Guard and Reserve Army units being shipped overseas. The 30-year-old Army 1st Lieut. is told the initial call up is for one year. Ryan Arthur and his wife are expecting a son in February. It’s not expected that his unit will leave the country

Saturday a computer virus affected local Internet users. It took hours to find the trouble but local server IMS president Randy Meche said once found it was fixed quickly.

1/27 FUNERALS:

  • Charles Hubert Hansbro, 80, of Tarkington Prairie, Services held Saturday.

  • Thurman Williams, 62, of Old River, Services at 2 p.m. Tues. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

  • Jessie Ella Mae Prater, 86, of Dayton, Services held yesterday.

  • Dave L. Pringle, 71, of Hankamer, Services held yesterday.

  • Esther Flora Manley, 87, of Dayton, Services at 3 p.m. today at Hill of Rest Cemetery in Baytown.

  • Ronald James David, 39, Ames, Services at 11 a.m. Feb. 1st at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames.

LAKE RELEASE: 1,370 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.56 ASL

-VOLUME 18 NO. 16, FRIDAY, JAN. 24, 2003-

With two school districts, Hull-Daisetta and Hardin, having cancelled classes today due to the spread of a virus causing flu-like symptoms, local doctors are urging parents to keep sick children home from school until they are better. Dr. Steven Ellerbe, the Liberty County Health Authority, advises those who catch the virus to wash hands frequently to keep from spreading it to others. Bed rest, drinking plenty of liquids and taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen are still the best methods of getting through the worst of the symptoms. Those with symptoms that persist beyond two or three days are advised to see their doctor.

Two longtime Liberty School Trustees say they will not be seeking re-election on May 3rd. Fifteen-year veteran Gary Willoughby said he would step down after five terms and twelve-year veteran Dr. David Arnold has also decided not to run again. Dr. Allen Griffin, the third Liberty School Board member whose term is expiring said he is undecided at this point about running again. On the Dayton School Board, Ken Speck said he would not be seeking re-election after serving 10 years on the DISD Board, while Gerald Kolarik and Larry Wadzeck both confirm they will be running for new 3-year terms in May.

Hull-Daisetta School Trustees decided Tuesday to hire 51-year-old Lynn Cummins as their new school superintendent. Cummins, the former Hull-Daisetta Junior High Principal, has served as Interim Superintendent since Gary Gazaway left to accept a position in a larger district. Fred Freeman has been hired to replace Cummins as Hull-Daisetta Junior High Principal. Freeman has held the post of Principal at Colbert Elementary in Dayton since 1997.

The Dayton High School Project Prom will host their 11th Annual Bronco Stampede 5K Run and Walk tomorrow at Woodrow Wilson Junior High on Hwy 146. The event starts at 9 a.m. and entries are $15 each before tomorrow, $20 each tomorrow morning. For more information, call 258-2510.

1/24 FUNERALS:

  • James Edward Sias, 66, of Liberty, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Lily of the Valley Baptist Church in Liberty.

  • Joseph Bellard, 47, of Raywood, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames.

* * LAKE RELEASE: 1.370 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.77 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 15, THURSDAY, JAN. 23, 2003-

There are no classes in the Hull-Daisetta ISD today or tomorrow after numerous cases of students with flu-like symptoms. New School Superintendent Lynn Cummins said the decision was made due to the high rate of absenteeism and is expected that classes will resume as normal on Monday. While local doctors say there have been very few actual cases of influenza diagnosed, they recommend that children with flu-like symptoms be kept home from school to prevent spreading the illness to other students. Hull-Daisetta is the only Liberty County school district where classes are cancelled.

The Dayton School Board met Tuesday and voted 5 to 2 to accept a bid of $930,000 from Jonathan Kagan Properties of Houston for the land where the District Administration Building is located. Superintendent Nancy Fuller said the company confirmed many long standing rumors that a Walgreens Pharmacy and Retail Store will be built on the approximately 1.8 acres on Hwy 90. Under the agreement, the district has up to 13 months to relocate the administrative offices.

Precinct #2 Liberty County Commissioner Lee Groce has asked for an investigation into allegations made against County Courthouse Maintenance Supervisor Buddy Craig after a county jail inmate reportedly suffered a minor injury while loading pipe on a work detail. The inmates were allegedly loading the county-owned property at Buddy Craig’s home and if true, the investigation is to determine why. Craig reportedly told one official the pipe was being kept at his home to save the county money on storage.

Tomorrow is the deadline to sign up for a three-session Parenting Workshop sponsored by the Liberty County Extension Office. The program will be on January 30th, February 12th and February 20th from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Dayton Financial Center. Topics discussed will include child development, parental roles and more. Cost is $15 per person or couple. Call 936-336-4558or 281-593-0405 by 5 p.m. tomorrow to register.

1/23 FUNERAL: Lonnie Ray Williams, 74, of Liberty, Services on Saturday at the Lawton-Ritter Funeral Home in Lawton, Oklahoma.

* * LAKE RELEASE: 2.870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.42 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 14, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 22, 2003-

A Dayton Police investigation into the theft of $20,000 in tools and equipment from a Triple B Services truck parked near Hwy 90 Sunday night led to the arrest of 36-year-old Thomas Dewayne Blanchard of Dayton. Officer Tommy Nail said most of the stolen tools were recovered from residences in Pasadena and South Houston. Blanchard allegedly gave the tools to friends with the intention of selling them. The Dayton man is charged with Burglary of a Motor Vehicle, a Class A Misdemeanor.

The Dayton City Council met Monday and voted to make a one- time exception to the city’s existing tax abatement policy. The existing policy, dating back to the early 1990’s does not allow council to grant abatements to hotels or motels, but council approved 4 to 0 a change allowing that in the case of Satgur Investments, a company hoping to build a Best Western on Hwy 90. Satgur also plans to add a major restaurant and truck stop in conjunction with the motel. Council tabled any other action until the company’s application for tax abatement was in hand.

Tx Dot Assistant Area Engineer John Sudela said major roadwork at two of Dayton’s busiest intersections is to begin in late March. The estimated $322,000 project involves widening the turning radius on FM 1960 at Hwy 321 and Hwy 90 at Hwy 321 intersection, allowing more room for large transport vehicles to turn. Work on both sites is expected to begin at the same time with completion expected sometime late in June.

Bus reservations are still available for Liberty County Day in Austin on Monday February 24th. One bus will depart from Memorial Stadium in Liberty and a second will leave 1st Baptist Church in Cleveland, both at 5 a.m. The buses are expected to leave Austin around 5 p.m. and return to Liberty County around 9 that night. Bus seats are $25 per person with pastries and beverages included. To make reservations call the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce at 936-336-5795 or the Greater Cleveland Chamber at 281-592-8786.

1/22 FUNERALS: Billy Joe McCarty, 66, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at North Main Baptist Church in Liberty.

Clemmie Thacker, 84,of Dayton, Graveside services at 2 p.m. today at Palms Memorial Park in Dayton.

* * LAKE RELEASE: 2.870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.43 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 13, TUESDAY, JAN. 21, 2003-

Although the investigation is ongoing, information from the Liberty Fire Department indicates burglary and arson were the cause of a fire that damaged the home of Dan and G.G. Vandeventer early yesterday morning. Liberty Fire Captain Ray Stearns said extensive damage was done to two rooms of the 1600 to 1700 square foot house on Holly Street and the fire appeared to have more than one point of origin. The Vandeventers were out of town for the weekend, and at this point, investigators have good reason to believe thieves broke into the home, robbed it and set it on fire.

Dayton Police Officer Gordon Bean reportedly observed a near-accident on Hwy 90 on the edge of Dayton around 10:30 Sunday night and pulled over one of the vehicles involved. Officer Bean said a passenger in that vehicle, 20-year-old Glenn Samuels, Jr. of Liberty confessed to owning approximately two pounds of marijuana found inside. Samuels was arrested and charged with 4th Degree Felony Marijuana Possession.

The Texas Department of Health will be giving meningitis vaccinations to those between the ages of two through nineteen unable to be at last week’s vaccination opportunities tomorrow and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Health Department’s Cleveland Clinic at 300 Campbell. Again, this opportunity is for residents of the Cleveland ISD only and while a $20 donation is being asked to help offset the cost of the vaccine, no one will be turned away. For more information, call 281-592-6714. More than 3400 Cleveland area youngsters were vaccinated last week following three confirmed cases of the virus in just three months.

The Dayton Chamber of Commerce 2nd Annual Banquet is Thursday in the Dayton High School Cafeteria starting at 6 p.m. with registration. The keynote speaker is Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. She will take the podium at 7:15 sharp in order to keep some strict travel commitments. Dinner will be steak, catered by The Party Company. Tickets are $20 each. Call the Dayton Chamber at 936-257-2393 for reservations.

1/21 FUNERALS: Billy Allison, 78, formerly of Liberty, Services held yesterday. ** Doris Smith Calhoun, 86, of Dayton, Services held Sunday. **

* * LAKE RELEASE: 3.870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.45 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 13, MONDAY, JAN. 20, 2003-

The Liberty City Council will hold the second public hearing on the controversial annexation proposals tomorrow night at 7:00 in Council Chambers. The plan is to extend city limits about a half-mile to the north off FM 1011 and Hwy. 146, and one mile east to include both the Still Meadows and Country Club Estates Subdivisions. City Council will also hold a regular meeting where, among other things, they will give the city manager their feedback on changing City Hall hours again.

For those unable to get meningitis vaccinations in Cleveland last week, the Texas Department of Health is offering make up sessions this Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Health Clinic at 300 Campbell in Cleveland. The vaccinations are only for those ages 2 through 19 living in the Cleveland ISD. TDH officials are asking for a $20-dollar donation, but no one will be turned away. For more info., call 281-592-6714.

Last week, Liberty County Commissioners agreed to purchase the old Human Services building at the corner of Beaumont Avenue and Independence in Liberty to use as additional office and storage space. Under the contract the county will, as long as they get negative test results for mold and foundation cracks, pay a little over $150,000 for the 12,816 sq. ft. structure. That’s slightly more than $11 dollars per sq. ft. Earlier, Commissioners rejected a presentation by Liberty City Manager Allen Barnes to consider the City Hall block for as much as 1 3/4 million dollars.

The 2nd annual Dayton Chamber of Commerce Banquet is this Thursday in the Dayton High cafeteria. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and a steak dinner catered by The Party Company will be served promptly at 6:45. The keynote speaker is State of Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn. She’ll take the podium at 7:15 p.m. sharp in order to keep some strict travel commitments. To reserve your $20 tickets, call 936-257-2393.

1/20 FUNERALS: Billy Allison, 78, formerly of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Liberty. ** Charlotte Ann Brown Lunceford, 52, of Old River, Services held Saturday. ** Doris Smith Calhoun, 86, of Dayton, Services held Sunday. ** Benjamin Allen Futch, 38, formerly of Moss Hill, Services held Saturday. **

* * LAKE RELEASE: 3,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.91 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 11, THURSDAY, JAN. 16, 2003-

Almost 50 people were on hand Tuesday for the first of two public hearings on the City of Liberty’s proposed annexation of slightly more than 3.4 square miles that would expand the city’s limits to the north and east. Most of those attending were totally opposed to their properties being annexed, citing reasons such as additional taxes and being subject to city ordinances banning activities such as outdoor burning and discharging firearms. Mayor Bruce Halstead stressed that council had not yet made a decision on the annexation. The second hearing is next Tuesday January 21st at 7 p.m. at Liberty City Hall.

While a Liberty County Grand Jury continues to review evidence in deciding if any criminal charges will be brought against Liberty County Treasurer Janet Harrelson, the deadline for Ms. Harrelson to file a response to the civil action that prompted her removal from office is January 27th. As we have reported, 253rd District Judge Chap Cain ordered the county treasurer ousted from office until allegations of misconduct are resolved. Judge Cain said a trial date should come soon in the civil suit, which is separate from any possible criminal charges.

Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart said a block of North Winfree Street between Hwy 90 and Cook Street would remain closed to traffic while crews finish utility work for the new Jack in the Box Restaurant. The road was closed initially when Entex workers accidentally broke a water line, but a drainage line still needs to be installed. Weather permitting, the work should be finished and the road reopened tomorrow afternoon.

The Liberty Rotary Club’s 51st Annual Oyster and Fish Supper is tomorrow night from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Tickets are $12 each for all the fried fish, oysters and trimmings you can eat and are available at the door, from any Rotary Club member or here at KSHN Radio.

1/16 FUNERALS: Katherine Alexander, 70, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Greater Parkhill Church in Houston. ** Jack Vincent Edwards, 89, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at Turkey Creek Baptist Church in Liberty. ** Joseph Durio Jr., 94, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dayton. **

* * LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.10 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 10, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 15, 2003-

According to Liberty County Health Authority Dr. Steven Ellerbe the Texas Department of Health is offering vaccinations against meningococcal meningitis to all persons between the ages of 2 and 19 living within the boundaries of the Cleveland Independent School District. Cleveland area health officials have confirmed three cases of the same strain of the disease since late October. One child has died. Vaccinations will be administered between 3 and 8 p.m. today and tomorrow at Cleveland Jr. High School. A $20 donation is being asked for each shot, but is not required. No one will be turned away.

Dayton School Trustees met Monday night and voted 6 to 0 to open negotiations with Norman Brown over the possible purchase of property on the corner of Brown Road and FM 1409 as the site of the district’s new 5th and 6th grade campus. Prior to that vote, trustees met in executive session with Phil Rutter of PBK Architects of Houston, the firm designing the new school and were brought up to speed on possible site locations by members of the site and long range planning committees.

Dayton Police received word Monday that a vehicle reported stolen from North Winfree Street was involved in a hit-and-run accident in Montgomery County. Police later stopped the suspect vehicle on Hwy 321 in Dayton and arrested the driver, Charles Edward Hutchins. A paroled sex offender, Hutchins was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, as well for failure to register his new address in Dayton with police as State sex offender registration law requires. Additional charges may be forthcoming from Montgomery County.

Liberty City Councilman Bruce Wright has announced he will not be seeking re-election in the May council election. The 41-year-old Wright, who has served on the Liberty Council for the past 6 years said he wanted to time announcing his intentions early enough so that those considering running for city council could have plenty of time and information to come to a decision.

FUNERALS: Velma Eunice Jackson Buie, 80, of Conroe, Graveside service at noon today at Ryan Cemetery in Tarkington Prairie. ** Eunice Burton Burrell, 66, of Hardin, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at Olive Bethel Baptist Church of Hardin. **

* * LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.49 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 09, TUESDAY, JAN. 14, 2003-

Dayton Police Officer Keith Fuller said around 2:40 yesterday afternoon, a southbound van on State Hwy. 146 in South Dayton crossed into oncoming traffic for unknown reasons. It collided head-on with an 18-wheeler flatbed truck operated by Roy Lynn Robinson, 52 of Mineola. Robinson was not hurt, but the woman driver of the van, whose name was still not available at midnight, died at the scene. JP #4 Glenn Pruitt ordered an autopsy to be done at the Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office. Both vehicles were demolished and Hwy. 146 was closed until after 5pm yesterday afternoon for investigation and cleanup. Relatives of the deceased have been notified. .

Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin has named Hugh Bishop Detective Sergeant. Liberty’s new chielf of police said Bishop is in charge of detectives, dispatchers, animal control, and the evidence inventory. In November Bishop was promoted from Patrol Officer to Detective. Chief Griffin said Bishop’s previous experience as a supervisor in other career fields helped qualify him for this latest promotion to Detective Sergeant. Hugh Bishop’s 12-year anniversary at Liberty P.D. is this week.

The Dayton School Board met with School Attorney Mike Fielder, in executive session last night, to address the bidding process on the much discussed possible sale of the Administration Building. Once back in open session, trustees voted 5-2 in favor of a resolution authorizing public notification that the district will accept bids for the purchase of the property. After the bidding process is over, the board will decide again whether to sell the property at the corner of Hwy. 90 and 321.

Liberty Co. Red Cross Volunteer Alice Wells was honored in December by the Houston Area American Red Cross with what is called their "Exceptional Volunteer Award". The award recognizes any volunteer whose contribution to the local Red Cross effort exceeds the original commitment. The recipient must have demonstrated superior performance over a period of years. The citation noted Alice Wells has volunteered for 12 years to keep the local Red Cross office open.

FUNERALS: Joseph Durio, Jr., 94, of Dayton, and Vincent Edwards, 89 of Liberty, Both services pending. At Wells**

* * LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.99 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 08, MONDAY, JAN. 13, 2003-

Liberty Police reports say around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, Josh Creel, 16 of Hardin, was westbound on Hwy. 90 and drove his pick up truck off the road, grazed the side of a light pole and then plowed into the service garage of Frank’s Tire Shop. The Hardin teen suffered minor injuries, and was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor. He told police he fell asleep at the wheel. The front and part of one side of Frank’s work bay is demolished. The shop is closed until repairs are made.

Friday, the Liberty City Council agreed to adopt an ordinance that should result in saving the city money. Council decided, because of low interest rates, now is a good time to refinance bond payments for the city’s levee debt. Now they will pay off by 2015, 5 years earlier than planned. By avoiding five years of interest, Liberty could save $1.4 million.--Also, the first of two public hearings on the proposed annexation is tomorrow night at 7:00 in Liberty Council Chambers. The plan, annex an area off FM 1011 and Hwy. 146 North, plus the Magnolia Ridge Country Club and Country Club Estates Subdivision into the city limits.

LISD Superintendent Dr. Doug Moore says the Sun Oil Company Pipeline that runs under the site for the new Liberty Middle School has been lowered to the required depth. Construction on the new building will begin later this month. Liberty ISD is spending around $11 million dollars on the new middle school expected to be open in 18 months. That wold be in time for the 2004 school year.

The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon is Wednesday at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Representatives from the Univ. of Texas Health Center in Houston will talk about a project founded by Dr. Red Duke that will result in the Liberty Co. EMS getting a new, first ever, state-of-the-art ambulance. You are invited to come hear about this technological medical breakthrough while enjoying sausage and chicken gumbo served by Fontenot Cajun/Creole Catering. Cost is 6 dollars per plate. Call 336-5736 to reserve your spot.

FUNERALS: Neva Mae Yarbrough, 83, of Conroe, Services at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Dennis Scott, 65, of Hardin, Services held Saturday. **

* * LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.05 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 07, FRIDAY, JAN. 10, 2003-

Dayton Police Officer Tommy Nail said John Calvin Berry, 55, of Liberty was westbound on Hwy 90 in Dayton around 6 yesterday morning when he was hit on the passenger side by a vehicle driven by Arturo Solis at the Waco St. intersection. Extrication devices were needed to free Mr. Solis from his heavily damaged car and he was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, listed at last report in fair condition. John Berry was not injured in the two-vehicle wreck.

344th District Judge Carroll Wilborn has set a trial date for one of four former Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputies. The trial of Brett Hulsey for falsifying a government document in the arrest of an Anahuac man, Vernon Coates for drunk driving is set to begin on February 24th. Two others indicted over that incident, Dearl Hardy and John Joslin, are scheduled to appear in court again on March 5th to set their trial dates, as is former deputy Crystal Shoppe, who is charged with improper sexual conduct with a Chambers County Jail prisoner.

TxDot reports the $1 million re-paving project on Hwy 146 from Hwy 90 south from Dayton for two miles is nearing completion. The project that has resulted in traffic delays for some time should be finished sometime this month.

The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is next Wednesday at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Representatives from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston will discuss the Interact Program that will provide state-of-the-art digital technology to Liberty County EMS. Lunch will be gumbo and rice from Fontenot’s Cajun/Creole Foods for $6 a plate. For reservations, call the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber Office at 336-5736.

FUNERALS: Edward Burleson Cannan, Sr., 87, of Willis, Memorial service at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Cannan Elementary School in Willis. ** Louis Roberson, Jr., 49, of Liberty, Graveside services at 11 a.m. today at Bingham Cemetery in Hardin ** Fred Fatheree, 64, of Humble, Memorial service at 5 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Margaret Lucas of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. Sunday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

* * LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.43 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 06, THURSDAY, JAN. 09, 2003-

Liberty Police report two more in what has become a series of motor vehicle burglaries in the city in recent weeks. On January 3rd, Ron Leonard reported various power tools taken from his truck parked overnight in the Oak Forest Subdivision. On January 5th, police said a radio was stolen from a truck belonging to Marvin Stewart from where it was parked in a secure lot at Willie T’s Auto Repair on Beaumont Ave. These latest thefts bring the total to at least 14 vehicle burglaries in the last 30 days.

The 77th Annual Men’s Brotherhood Banquet at 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty is set for February 20th at 7 p.m. The event is open to men of all faiths and this year’s featured speaker is Ray F. Martins, past president of Concordia Lutheran College in Austin. Tickets are $7 each and available from any member of the 1st Methodist Church Men’s Bible Class or from the church office on Main at Cos in Liberty.

Chambers County investigators continue the search for the driver of a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident early last Sunday morning that killed 18-year-old Richard Earl Olmsted. The incident reportedly occurred sometime between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. on Bayside Drive in Oak Island south of Anahuac. The driver is believed to be a resident of that area. Chambers County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver responsible for the fatality. Anyone with information is urged to contact Chambers County DPS Sgt. Jim Holland at 409-267-8231.

Marc Shepherd of TxDot in Beaumont said the new traffic signal at the intersection of Hwy 146 and FM 834 in Hardin should be fully operational in the next few days. The signal light is currently flashing yellow and red, but once crews have completed painting stripes at the site, it will be in operation.

The Valley Players will hold auditions for their spring musical production of "The Music Man" this Sunday from noon to 2 p.m. and on Monday starting at 7 p.m. at the Humphreys-Burson Theatre in Liberty. Adults and children who are at least in the third grade are invited to audition. The popular local theatre group is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year. For more information, call Jackie Hartel at 336-6699.

* * LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.63 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 05, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 08, 2003-

An early morning fire yesterday destroyed the home of Marvin and Pearl Smith located some 12 miles south of Hwy 90 on FM 563 near Moss Bluff. Firefighters from the Moss Bluff, Devers, Hull-Daisetta and Liberty Fire Departments fought the blaze that appears to have started in the attached garage. Mr. Smith said he and his wife were awaked by the home’s smoke detector and managed to escape unharmed through their bedroom window. The fire destroyed the brick home, all of its contents, the garage and the couple’s recently purchased Ford Excursion.

DPS Trooper Stephen Hebert said Yvonnede Kay Curtis, 52, of Liberty was turning left off Hwy 146 onto CR #2263 near the overpass in Hardin yesterday afternoon when her SUV was hit from behind by a vehicle driven by Bradley Scott McDaniel, 33, of Hardin. The woman’s vehicle was pushed into a roadside ditch, then head first into a utility pole. Yvonnede Curtis was transported to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital with minor chest and back injuries. Bradley McDaniel was not hurt.

The Dayton City Council met Monday night and voted to deny a request by two property owners to have some their property removed from the FM 1409 corridor the city annexed in early December. Councilman Jay Tadlock said he felt granting that request would set a dangerous precedent for the city’s future growth. Council is expected to hear a similar dis-annexation request from FM 1960 homeowners in the next few months.

Dayton City Planner Brian LaBorde said one block of North Winfree Street will be completely closed to traffic most of, if not all day tomorrow to allow crews involved in the construction start up for the new Dayton Jack in the Box access to underground utilities. The job of connecting the site to utilities has already closed one lane of N. Winfree between Hwy 90 and the Dayton Fire Station and tomorrow, both lanes will be closed.

FUNERALS: Phyllis Gwendolene Hill, 87, of Dayton, Graveside services at 2 p.m. today at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton. ** Betty Davis, 87, of Lake Jackson, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Home in Liberty. ** Richard Earl Olmsted, 18, of Wallisville, Services at 2 p.m. today at 1st Methodist Church in Anahuac. **

**LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.73 ASL **

-VOLUME 18 NO. 04, TUESDAY, JAN. 07, 2003-

Investigators are searching for the driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a Liberty man then left the scene early Sunday morning. DPS Trooper Brent Henry said 18-year-old Richard Olmsted was walking along the roadway on Bayside Drive in Oak Island south of Anahuac around 3 a.m. when he was hit by the unidentified vehicle. Dense fog covered the area and the man’s body was not immediately discovered.

According to the latest information from Time-Warner Cable, the planned switchover to the Houston fiber optics service area, set for early this month, has been delayed and will occur somewhere between mid-January and month’s end. We have reported the changeover will bring a larger channel selection plus other services and improvements once completed. Also, the latest word is that LDTV will continue on the air for Liberty and Dayton cable subscribers but will move from Channel 99 to another channel, yet to be announced. Initial information was that the local lease access station would sign off due to prohibitive cost increases by Time-Warner, but information is that an agreement was reached for their service to continue.

Liberty County Sheriff’s Detective Jim Cooper said he was called to the West Woodland Hills home of Paul Wayne Bayless Sunday night and found the 46-year-old dead of a gunshot wound to the head that was apparently self-inflicted. Detective Cooper said it is not known for what reason the Dayton area man would have wanted to take his own life.

The City of Liberty has set the first of two public hearings on proposed annexations for next Tuesday January 14th at 7 p.m. The city plans to expand to the north and east and City Manager Allen Barnes said all those residents of the areas affected are encouraged to attend the hearing at Liberty City Hall to voice their concerns and ask questions. The second annexation hearing is scheduled for January 21st.

Devers City officials are urging residents who are served by the city’s water supply to boil all drinking water for about the next 48 hours. The reason is a reported problem with the system’s chlorine booster pump. Boiling all water before drinking will need to be done through this Thursday afternoon.

**LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.67 ASL **

-VOLUME 18 NO. 03, MONDAY, JAN. 06, 2003-

says they will go off the air on Jan. 7th because of skyrocketing charges to Time Warner Cable over $200,000 a month. LDTV operators say Time Warner officials weren’t aware of the community programs televised here. The LDTV staff urges you to write, fax, and/or email Time Warner’s public affairs official and tell them what you like about the Liberty – Dayton cable channel .The email address is: ray.purser@twcable.com. The fax number is 713-895-1239. Send letters to Ray Purser–Vice President for Public Affairs-Time Warner Cable–8400 Tidwell–Houston, TX 77040.

The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department recently elected Terry Boyett as Chief for the 5th time. The Dayton Volunteer’s new Assistant Chief is Jimmy Pike. In Hardin their volunteer fire chief remains the same for the ninth year. Sean Webb was also rewarded for a job well done and re-elected by his peers for another term. Assistant Hardin Fire Chief again is Craig Powell.

Liberty County Commissioners accepted a contract by ARCON Architects Inc. of League City to develop preliminary plans for a new adult/juvenile probation building at last Tuesday’s meeting. Currently, the county is paying almost $3200 a month in rent for the offices located at Travis and Sam Houston in Liberty. Plans are to locate the new building, with similar square footage as the current office space, next to the Liberty County Jail

The first of two public hearings in Mt. Belvieu regarding a $24 million bond issue for water and sewer improvements is this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Mt. Belvieu City Hall, located on Eagle Drive. The second meeting is Thursday, January 16th at the same time and place. The purpose of these meetings is to allow City of Mt. Belvieu residents the chance to learn more about the bond issue before voting February 1st. Early voting for residents of that Chambers County community begins January 15th through the 28th. The $24 million in bonds would finance a new wastewater treatment facility, among other things.

1/6 FUNERAL: Issack Quenton "Archie" Cooper, 66, of Dayton, Services held Sunday. ** Estelle Lawson, 79, of Dayton, Services 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Dayton. **

**LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.70 ASL **

-VOLUME 18 NO. 02, FRIDAY, JAN. 03, 2003-

District Attorney Mike Little said his office is working in conjunction with Texas Ranger Frank Huff in the investigation of possible misconduct by County Treasurer Janet Harrelson and it is expected the evidence will be presented to a grand jury this coming week. We have reported Ms. Harrelson’s removal from office by 253rd District Judge Chap Cain while the investigation is ongoing into allegations that include mishandling government documents in connection with bench warrants used to have her son transferred from the TDCJ to Liberty County. Mr. Little said it is possible but very unlikely the grand jury would reach any decision on the matter this coming week.

Liberty Police are investigating the burglary of the auto repair shop owned by Red Osbourne early last Sunday morning. The local mechanic said items totaling around $500 were stolen from the shop on Hwy 90 near the Trinity River Bridge including a rifle, two shotguns and a cellular phone. Osbourne told police he saw a man he described as white, overweight and not very tall, with curly brown hair leaving the building early that morning.

Chambers County Sheriff Monroe Kreuzer said it is now up to a grand jury to review the evidence and determine if any charges will be filed against a Chambers County Jail employee accused of sexual misconduct by three female inmates. The written complaints were filed in early December and Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Mike Wheat led the internal investigation of the matter. Sheriff Kreuzer would not release the name of the man accused in the case, but said there has never been a complaint of any kind filed against the man prior to this incident.

The Liberty County YMCA Program has a Parents Night Out planned for Friday January 10th from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and a Parents Day Out set for Saturday January 11th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The purpose is to give parents some time together without having to worry about the kids. Games and activities for children 5 to 11 will be at the "Y", 512 North Main in Dayton. Cost for Friday night is $9 per child and $11 per child on Saturday. For information or to register, call 936-257-2888 by Wednesday.

1/3 FUNERAL: Billie Richards, 83, of Dayton, Memorial service at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

**LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 21.65 ASL **

-VOLUME 18 NO. 01, THURSDAY, JAN. 02, 2003-

253rd District Judge Chap Cain has ordered Liberty County Treasurer Janet Harrelson removed from office while allegations of misconduct against her are investigated. We have reported accusations Ms. Harrelson used deceptive and possibly illegal means to have her son transferred from the TDCJ to the Liberty County Jail and the petition signed by 15 county officials requesting her temporary suspension as treasurer. Former County Democratic Party Chair John Archer presented the civil action to Judge Cain, who selected Linda Leonard of the Central Appraisal District Office to act as Interim Treasurer until such time as the allegations against Janet Harrelson are resolved.

According to Liberty Police, it was around 5:45 a.m. last Sunday when a woman claiming to be an employee of the Dayton McDonald’s Restaurant asked to be let in to the Liberty McDonald’s on Hwy 90 claiming to need supplies. Once inside, the woman, joined by a second woman and a man, forced Manager Mary Brown to open the safe from which they took some $2,000. The suspects, one black male and two black females are all three described as being in their early twenties and are believed to have fled in a red late model Geo Metro.

According to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, Linda Moore, a clerk at the Happy Chap’s Convenience Store in Raywood was found unconscious behind the counter around 10 a.m. Tuesday after being struck in the back of the head by an unknown object. Two men reportedly stole around $230 from the cash register and left. One suspect is described as a Hispanic male, about 5’ 5", approximately 140 lbs. with shoulder-length dark brown hair. The second is a white male, slightly taller with a slender build and short dark hair with blond highlights.

Tickets are now available for the Dayton Chamber of Commerce Banquet on January 23rd at 6 p.m. at Dayton High School. Guest speaker is State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander and tickets are $20 each. To reserve tickets, call 936-257-2393.

1/2 FUNERALS:

Oma Dee Chandler, 83, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Heights Baptist Church in Liberty.

Joyce Johnston, 77, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

**LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 21.91 ASL **

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