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June 2003

-VOLUME 18 NO. 124 MONDAY JUNE 30TH, 2003-

17-Year Old Marcus L. Hamilton was killed early Saturday Morning in a one vehicle accident. on Hwy 321 near Luce’s Bayou. the teen’s car was Southbound on Hwy 321, went off the roadway to the left and DPS Trooper Tommy Chase reported struck a utility pole. JP #5 Burl Thomas pronounced the teen dead at the scene and ordered an autopsy. No cause was cited on why the teen’s car left the roadway.

As the partisan battle over congressional redistricting heats up in Austin today, Liberty County’s U.S. Congressman Jim Turner said, in his opinion, the entire issue of redrawing U.S. Congressional lines is unnecessary and divisive. He said calling a costly special session to advance the interests of one political party over another is contrary to what legislators should be doing. Efforts by the Republican majority in Austin to redraw congressional districts to favor Republicans would eliminate many elected Democratic members of U.S. congress..

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32 year-old Lachandra Lynn Terrell, of Dayton, is recovering from minor injuries sustained Saturday night on HWY 90 between Liberty, and Dayton. Liberty Police Officer James Smith said Ms. Terrell was westbound when she swerved to miss a large Wedding Ceremony Arch lying on the road. Out of control, her pickup truck flipped over twice. Wearing a safety belt is said to have saved her from serious injuries. She was treated and released at Liberty Dayton Community Hospital

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The National No-Call Registry opened for business on Friday bringing the effort to reduce telemarketing calls nationwide. Similar to the Texas State No-Call List that has been in operation for the past year but the national registry is free. Those on the state list need to register separately for the national list since the state numbers are not being transferred. To have your telephone number on the National No-Call Registry, call 1-888-382-1222, or on line at www.donotcall.gov. ****************************************************

34,Huffman,.Graveside.Wednesday@10-Eastgate Catholic Cem.**

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Seismic Companies who asked Dayton City Council for public right-of-way access now will run test equipment cables on private property.

** LAKE RELEASE: 1,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.01 ASL* *

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 123 FRIDAY JUNE 27TH, 2003-

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Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenny Daigle said Ruben Garza left his home on Brim Road, west of Hwy 321 for only about 15 minutes Wednesday afternoon and returned to find his 16-year-old son Carlos dead of a single gunshot wound to the head. Carlos Garza was found lying in the bed of a pick up truck behind the family home and preliminary autopsy results indicate the teenager committed suicide with a .22 caliber rifle. Ruben Garza said his son had been despondent lately over family problems and the break-up with a girlfriend.

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Liberty School Trustees met Wednesday night to consider and approve the District’s more than $20 million budget for the 2003-2004 school year. Trustees acknowledged the budget would be amended several times in the next 30 to 60 days as final figures from the State and the Central Appraisal District become available. There are no staff pay increases and LISD will be starting the new school year with five fewer teachers.

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Preliminary autopsy findings indicate the death of 37-year-old Randal Mack was due to drowning. The Baytown man’s body was recovered from the Trinity River Wednesday afternoon following two days of searching by Liberty Police and Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens. A final ruling on the cause of death will come when toxicology tests are completed.

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District #18 State Representatives Dan Ellis will return to Austin on Monday with his fellow lawmakers for a special session called by Governor Rick Perry to address the controversial issue of congressional redistricting. Additionally, it is expected legislators will also be directed to work on the issue of government reorganization. Dan Ellis said a great deal was already done in regular session to cut government spending and some proposals such as privatization of the state’s prisons and trimming hundreds-of-thousands of dollars from Texas school districts would have been bad for Liberty County.

****************************************************In the second apparent suicide in Liberty County reported this week, Sheriff’s Department Investigator Jim Cooper said 54-year-old Jackie Baker shot himself in the head with a rifle at his home in Tarkington Prairie Tuesday afternoon. Baker is said to have had a history of suffering from depression.

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** LAKE RELEASE: 13,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.24 ASL* *

 

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 122 THURSDAY JUNE 26TH, 2003-

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On Monday, the Dayton School District formally closed on the sale of the present administration building to the Jonathan Kagan Company, clearing the last hurdle in bringing a Walgreen’s Store to that location on Hwy 90. Assistant Superintendent Bob Parker said longtime school attorney Mike Fielder got the district an additional $1,000 bringing the closing price up to $931,000. Now comes the critical eight-month period of constructing a new administration building and moving all offices into that new facility by late February 2004.

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens recovered the body of 37-year-old Randal Mack about 10 miles downstream from the Trinity River Bridge in Liberty yesterday afternoon. The Baytown man had been missing since entering the river on an inflatable raft last Sunday. The apparent drowning victim was found on the western bank of the river wedged against a log. JP #1 Bobby Rader ordered an autopsy performed.

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In an interview aired on KSHN Radio yesterday, “murder-for-hire” suspect Matthew Whitmire claimed he was being held in the Liberty County Jail illegally since all charges against him prior to those alleging he tried to solicit the murder of DPS Trooper Brian Nichols have been dropped. Not according to Texas Ranger Frank Huff who is a leader in the investigation that Whitmire and his wife Lisa told an informant inside the jail they wanted the trooper killed. Ranger Huff said parole violation, evading arrest, narcotics possession and attempted capitol murder charges are in place against Whitmire. Those charges stem from a chase in which Whitmire allegedly tried to hit a Daisetta Police Officer with a vehicle while fleeing.

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The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Barbecue and Auction is this Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. at the fire station next to Dayton City Hall. The auction begins around noon and all proceeds help the fire department pay for equipment and training. Barbecue is $7 a plate and deliveries are available with a two-plate minimum order by calling 258-5323.

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FUNERAL: Jackie Carroll Baker, 54, of Tarkington Prairie, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 13,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 15.24 ASL* *

 

VOLUME 18 NO. 121 WEDNESDAY JUNE 25TH, 2003-

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In an interview at the Liberty County Jail on Monday, 35-year-old Matthew Whitmire claimed charges that he and his wife, Lisa, conspired to hire someone to kill DPS Trooper Brian Nichols are false. Indictments in “murder-for-hire” plot allege the couple wanted Trooper Nichols killed because he was the arresting officer and primary witness in Matt Whitmire’s arrest as the driver of a truck that reportedly tried to hit a Daisetta Police Officer during a high speed chase. Whitmire claims he was not the driver of that truck and that while the undercover informant inside the jail talked about having a policeman killed, the suspect said he himself did not. Whitmire remains jailed on a $200,000 bond and other charges. Lisa Whitmire was released last Friday after having posted a $100,000 bond.

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has joined the search for a missing Baytown man last seen rafting near the Trinity River Bridge in Liberty. Randal Mack, 37, has not been seen since entering the river on an inflatable yellow raft last Sunday afternoon. Liberty Police said the man has no previous history of disappearing without telling family and friends. Mack is a white male, 5’ 9”, 165 lbs., last seen wearing a white t-shirt, black cut-off shorts and a baseball cap. Call Liberty Police at 936-336-5666 if you have any information on his whereabouts.

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Sergeant Ryan Arthur of the Liberty DPS Office, also a U.S. Army Reservist, was promoted from First Lieutenant to the rank of U.S. Army Captain in a ceremony yesterday at the Garcia Reserve Center in Houston. Captain Arthur is currently on active duty training Army Reserve and National Guard units deploying to the Middle East and for service in homeland defense.

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Liberty is hosting the District Round of Youth Baseball Playoffs for 7 to 10 year-olds this weekend, beginning on Saturday at the Liberty Municipal Park. Then, on July 18th literally hundreds will crowd the Liberty Park for the State Finals of Dixie Belles and Dixie Debs Girls Softball. Girls age 13 to 18 will compete for the State Championship for their respective age groups. ****************************************************

FUNERAL: Lester Cormier, Sr., 82, of Ames, Services at 11 a.m. Friday at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Ames. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 13,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 16.36 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 119 MONDAY JUNE 23RD, 2003-

44 year old James Lee Pierce of Dayton, was killed about 1 p.m. Saturday two miles South of Winnie. DPS reports indicate that Kenyan Demar Hurd of Lacomptte, Louisiana was on Highway 124 and attempted to pass a motor home on the right using the shoulder. The report said Hurd clipped the motor home, lost control, sliding across the roadway and into the path of Dayton motorcyclist, James Pierce. Debra Sherman, also of Dayton was following Pierce on another Motorcycle. She was struck by flying debris, suffering minor injuries. Hurd, and his passenger, Willy Baxter were hurt. All 3 were treated and released but. James Lee Pierce pronounced dead at the scene in Chambers Co.

Liberty Co.’s Emergency Management Office will sponsor two free Hurricane Awareness Seminars tomorrow, at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School in Dayton. One is at 1 p.m., the other at 7 p.m. Experts will be there with presentations and literature covering all aspects of Hurricane safety and pre-planning.

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The City of Liberty is planning another fireworks display on the evening of July 3rd in Liberty Municipal Park. An added attraction, this year, will be a performance by the “Invincible Eagle Band”. made up of local musicians led by Jimmy Sterling. The band was one of the highlights of the Celebrate America Rally several weeks ago. KSHN Radio will broadcast the band’s performance beginning at 9 p.m. on July 3rd, followed by recorded music to accompany the fireworks display. The show is, again, free of charge and everyone is welcome.

City of Liberty Fire Chief Jamie Galloway said his department received a total of $28,050 in equipment grants, and scholarships totaling $2600 more. The grant money was used to buy 20 sets of coats and pants that protect firefighters at most incidents, add to that, 20 set’s of wild land fire fighting coveralls, two radios,1500 feet of fire hose, and 2 self contained breathing apparatus’s with spare bottles.

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. FUNERALS: Thomas Earl Rogers, 55, of Raywood, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. **John Thomas “Tom” Poyner, 71, formerly of Liberty, No services planned. ** Mary Wells Nichols, 95, of Tarkington Prairie, Memorial services at a later date. ** Sam Whitmire,75, of Daisetta , Services today 2 p.m. **Annie Mae Jordon,of Lubbock TX, Services are pending under direction of Allison Funeral Home

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** LAKE RELEASE: 13,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 16.25 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 118 FRIDAY JUNE 20th, 2003-

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According to District 18 Representative Dan Ellis, at least part of State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn’s refusal to certify the state budget was due to a last minute addition in regular session that would allow the Governor to cut state funding himself. Liberty County’s State Representative said Mrs. Strayhorn felt the proposal is unconstitutional. The Comptroller’s decision came on the heels of yesterday’s announcement by Governor Rick Perry that legislators would be called back to Austin on June 30th for a special session on the controversial issue of congressional redistricting. Now legislators must also balance the state budget by September 1st.

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Liberty Police report break-ins at both the Cornerstone Church and the Life Fellowship Church on the Hwy 146 Bypass Thursday June 12th. Detective Gary Martin said someone entered the churches through back windows at both buildings sometime between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. A safe was stolen from Cornerstone Church, but found the next day, its contents destroyed by efforts to open it with a cutting torch. Police ask anyone with information to call 936-336-5666.

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Cleveland Police continue the search for a ‘99 tan Chevy Lumina missing from the home of 80-year-old homicide victim Vergie Waldrep last Sunday night. The Texas license number is F65-CWP. Anyone with information is asked to call Cleveland Police at 281-592-1185. You may remain anonymous.

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The public is invited to two Hurricane Awareness Meetings this coming Tuesday June 24th at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Dayton, sponsored by the Liberty County Emergency Management Office. The first is at 1 p.m., the second is at 7 p.m.

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FUNERALS: Leonia P. Jones, 89, of Dayton, Graveside services at 1 p.m. today at Greenville Cemetery in Kenefick. ** C. E. “Doc” Beasley, 84, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Liberty Church of Christ. ** Eugene Walker, Sr., 66, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. Monday at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. ** Roosevelt Barrett, 81, of Ames, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Turkey Creek Baptist Church in Liberty. * Earnest V. Porter, 83, of Cleveland, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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** LAKE RELEASE: 11,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.39 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 117 JUNE 19th, 2003-

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Memorial Hermann Hospital Officials report the condition of a Hardin area man is no longer critical. Billy Ritchey, 48, was airlifted to the Houston hospital Tuesday around noon after the jack under a pick up truck he was working under at his Mettlin Loop home gave way, leaving him trapped beneath the vehicle. Billy Ritchey is now reported in good condition.

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District 4 State Senator Tommy Williams told those attending yesterday’s Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Luncheon that legislative action taken in Austin this past session should result in a 12 to 18% drop in the cost of homeowner’s insurance in Texas. Senator Williams said lawmakers closed the legal loophole that allowed insurance companies to raise homeowner’s rates without government scrutiny.

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According to Event Coordinator Judy Glover, totals from this year’s Liberty County Relay for Life benefiting the American Cancer Society are higher than in the two previous years. The relay at Liberty’s Memorial Stadium on April 4th and 5th raised $75,144 while the first-time relay at Cleveland High School on March 28th and 29th brought in $36,826. That’s a combined total of $111,970 for cancer research raised this year.

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Monday night the Dayton City Council took the next steps in their plans to annex the site of the new Kimmie M. Brown Intermediate School under construction at FM 1409 and Brown Road. Two legally required public hearings are set for July 7th and July 21st, both at 7 p.m. and both at Dayton City Hall. City Manager Robert Ewart said the earliest a final vote could be taken on the annexation would be August 11th.

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The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Barbecue and Auction is set for Saturday June 28th at 11 a.m. at the main fire station next to Dayton City Hall. Brisket and all the trimmings will be served for $7 a plate, the auction begins at noon. and there will be live music and a dunking booth.

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FUNERALS: Charlotte Faye Rhodes, 53, of Thicket, Services at 3 p.m. today at Center Baptist Church in Thicket. ** Elizabeth Dee Graves, 53, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 9,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.76 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 116 JUNE 18th, 2003-

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According to Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Chip Fairchild, 48-year-old Bill Ritchey was working on the brakes of his pick up truck at his home north of Hardin yesterday morning when the jack holding the vehicle gave way, pinning the man between the truck’s bumper and the ground. Relatives reportedly lifted the truck off Mr. Ritchey who was transported by Lifeflight Air Ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where, at last report, he was listed in critical condition.

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The Dayton City Council met Monday night with representatives from OGM Land and Wiser Oil, two companies planning to conduct seismic survey work in and around the city. The companies are seeking permission to lay cables and measuring equipment in city right-of ways. James Fenner, speaking on behalf of the two companies, said the type of large ground-shaking machines that have prompted Council to turn down similar requests from other companies would not be used. No action was taken, but a final agreement will likely be considered at the Dayton Council’s next regular meeting.

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The Dayton School Board voted to adopt a standardized dress code for students at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in the coming school year. School Principal Oren Hamilton said basically any form of apparel that attracts undue attention, disrupts school or detracts from the learning process will be prohibited. Students not in compliance with the dress code will be sent home or isolated from other students. For any questions about the new Wilson Jr. High dress code, call 936-258-2309.

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A lightning strike this past weekend has damaged the phone system at the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Offices on Trinity St. in Liberty. Callers at the Chamber’s 336-5736 number are only getting through part of the time. The entire system will be replaced within a few days.

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FUNERALS: J.E. Shipman, 84, of Dayton, Services at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Christian Malachi Campbell, age 3, of Moss Hill, Services at 4 p.m. tomorrow at New Life Assembly of God Church in Batson. ** J.B. Rawlinson, 75, of Moss Hill, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Daisetta Pentecostal Church. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 9,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.19 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 19 NO. 115 JUNE 17th, 2003-

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According to Precinct #6 J.P. Fred Dishongh, Cleveland Police discovered 80-year-old Vergie Waldrep dead on the bedroom floor of her home in the Glen Park Subdivision late Sunday night. The elderly woman, who lived alone, had apparently been dead for more than 24 hours and there were obvious signs of trauma to the back of her head. There were reportedly no outward indications of burglary but the woman’s car was missing from the scene. Homicide investigators are searching for the tan Chevy Lumina, Texas license number F65-CWP. Anyone with information is asked to call 281-592-1185.

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The three-year-old victim of a drowning incident in Moss Hill Sunday has died at Memorial Hermann Hospital. Christian Malachi Campbell, the son of Michael and Julie Campbell was found in water four feet deep inside a trash pit at the home of his grandparents, Bobby and Connie Potter. The child responded to cardio-pulmonary resuscitation as Liberty County EMS rushed him to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital and was air lifted to the Houston Hospital in critical condition. Malachi Campbell was pronounced dead shortly after 7 last night.

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At last Tuesday’s meeting, the Liberty City Council voted to annex an additional 422 acres of land east of town, north of the City of Ames. This most recent action is the second stage of a series of annexations that will ultimately extend the Liberty City limits out to the Liberty Municipal Airport.

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According to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Beaumont, 26-year-old Orenthel James Francois pled guilty to 13 federal charges filed in Texas and Louisiana yesterday afternoon including a car jacking and double kidnapping. In March of this year, Francois reportedly struggled with a Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputy during a traffic stop on I-10 near Winnie, stole the officer’s gun and escaped. The Port Arthur man was arrested the following day in Little Rock, after a manhunt across Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

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FUNERALS: James Murrel Smith, 71, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Mary M. Tallant, 90, of Huffman, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at 1st Baptist Church of Huffman. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 9,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.14 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 114*JUNE 16, 2003-

Sunday a 3-year old child was in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after a nearly drowning at his grandparent’s home. Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. did not release the child’s name, but said the 3-year old’s parents were Michael and Julie Campbell. The toddler’s grandparents Bobby and Connie Potter of Moss Hill, lost sight of the boy for only minutes then found him in 4 feet of water in a trash pit. The grandparents began CPR while Liberty County EMS raced to help, then to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital, 12+ miles one way. EMT’s continued the effort, started by the grandparents, without response. Nearly to the hospital emergency room in Liberty the boy began to respond. Life-Flite Air Ambulance flew him to the Houston hospital. Sunday he was in critical condition. ****************************************************

A city construction permit is approved for a new motel in Liberty. Scottish Inns will build 30 rooms, on Hiway 90, west of the present Emporium Restaurant. It is a $750,000 wood and stucco, single story structure that, all agree, is much needed. Expect an August start and three months building time.

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Liberty County Treasurer Janet Harrelson surrendered at the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department Friday afternoon and is now free on new bonds of $20,000. The suspended elected official has new indictments charging multiple instances of aggravated perjury before a Liberty County Grand Jury in January when she was first indicted. Back then the allegations were document tampering, forgery and abuse of office. Also pending is a civil suit against her by other county officials that forced Ms. Harrelson’s removal from office, with pay. Now the county treasurer is free on bonds, all totaling $31,500.

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Wednesday is the L/D Chamber Luncheon with Sen. Tommy Williams at City Hall Auditorium. Meal $6, prepared by Casa Don Boni. Reservations? Call the office at 336-5736

@ Sterling, Dayton

** LAKE RELEASE: 9,870 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.30 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 113, FRIDAY JUNE 13TH, 2003-

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Mathew Dillon Whitmire, 34, of Liberty County and his 38-year-old wife Lisa Beth Whitmire were indicted on charges of both Criminal Solicitation and Conspiracy to Commit Capitol Murder for allegedly attempting to hire someone to kill DPS Trooper Brian Nichols. The charges are the result of two-week long investigation by the Liberty County Sheriff Office, Texas Rangers, the ATF, DPS, the Liberty-Chambers Counties Narcotics Task Force, Beaumont Police and DA Mike Little’s Office. Accumulated evidence indicates the couple tried to have Trooper Nichols murdered because he is the arresting officer and primary witness in the attempted capital murder case against Matthew Whitmire who has remained jailed since that incident. Lisa Whitmire was taken into custody yesterday.

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur has confirmed County Treasurer Janet Harrelson has been indicted on multiple counts of aggravated perjury stemming from testimony given before the Liberty County Grand Jury in January of this year. As has been widely reported, Ms. Harrelson is already awaiting trail on charges of abuse of office and document tampering for allegedly obtaining special treatment for her son, a convicted felon. A civil suit that resulted in her removal from office is also pending.

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The case of Catherine Renee Kegg took a stunning turn yesterday when the Liberty County woman was arrested for a parole violation on the very day she was to regain custody of six of her seven children. The story has received nationwide attention, since Mrs. Kegg was paroled after serving less than a year for physically abusing a seventh child. District Judge David Dunn had ordered all but the abuse victim returned to their mother’s custody under criticism from foster parents and court officers. Mrs. Kegg’s attorney Ed Leick said her arrest is the result of a conspiracy between the agencies involved who do not want her to have her children returned to her.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is this coming Wednesday at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Guest speaker this month is District #4 State Senator Tommy Williams. Lunch is enchiladas provided by Casa Don Boni Mexican Restaurant for $6 a plate. For reservations, call the Chamber Office at 936-336-5736.

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** LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.50 ASL* *

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 112, THURSDAY JUNE 12TH, 2003-

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Ed Lieck, the Chambers County Attorney for Catherine Renee Kegg said foster parents attempting to have his clients’ parental rights terminated are biased and the organization handling that legal action is misinformed. We reported that custody of Mrs. Kegg’s six children had been returned to her following her release on parole for physically abusing her seventh child. The case is receiving national attention and Houston’s Justice for Children Organization is attempting to block the decision of District Judge David Dunn to allow Catherine Kegg supervised custody of all but the child she pled guilty to beating. Attorney Ed Lieck said there is no evidence at all that any of the children returned to their mother’s care have ever been abused by her.

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Officials at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston report the condition of 22-year-old Daniel Thompson has been upgraded. The Dayton man had been critical, on life-support, after being trapped beneath an overturned SUV early last Sunday morning. Daniel Thompson is now reported in good condition.

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Liberty Police report that abuse of the city’s 911 Emergency Line is becoming more frequent. Detective Sgt. Hugh Bishop said using the emergency line to call for the correct time, directions to a specific address or when unsupervised children play with the phone, valuable equipment and trained personnel are kept from dealing with real emergencies. Abuse of the 911 system is against the law and violators can end up in jail.

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The Pecan Meadows Sporting Center on FM 834 hosted the Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Charity Fundraiser for the Houston Texans Football Team last Thursday and Friday. Judy and Butch Hickman, who own and operate the 125-acre shooting range west of Hardin said 497 shooters attended making it Pecan Meadow’s biggest event to date.

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FUNERALS: Gene Nelson, 77, of Anahuac, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church of Anahauc. ** Harry R. Murr, 74, of Dayton, Memorial service at a later date. ** John L. Sowell, 76, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. Friday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton ** Frank Miller III, 52, of Beach City, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Anahuac. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.50 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 111, WEDNESDAY JUNE 11TH, 2003-

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Liberty Police have concluded that their initial arrest of a juvenile suspect in connection with burglary and arson of the Dan Vandeventer home on the night of January 19th will not stand up and are asking the public for information in the case. Detective Sgt. Hugh Bishop said subsequent evidence has led investigators away from the original suspect and the charges against him have been dropped. A $500 Crime Stoppers reward is being offered from a fund maintained by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce for information leading to the arrest or indictment of those responsible. The number is 936-336-2336. Callers may remain anonymous.

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We have reported the recent decision by visiting District Judge David Dunn to return Catherine Renee Kegg’s six children to her upon her parole after serving 8 months on a two-year sentence for physically abusing a seventh child. The child Tyler Kegg age 13 remains in foster care. Randy Burton of Houston’s Justice for Children said his organization is helping foster parents who have been caring for the Kegg children in a legal action to have Mrs. Kegg’s parental rights terminated.

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Access from Hwy 90 to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Liberty will be blocked tomorrow starting at 7 a.m. and last from 4 to 6 hours while work crews pour concrete around the new drainage system under the Union Pacific railroad tracks. The ramp is expected to reopen between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. tomorrow.

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The WorkSource in Liberty is inviting the local business community to get involved in offering summer employment to local young people. Supervisor Annette Beard said her agency would help with counseling for the students, insurance coverage and in some cases will pay the student’s wages. Jobs are needed that are at least 20 hours per week for at least 6 weeks during the summer. For more information, call 936-336-8063, Ext.309.

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FUNERALS: Myrth Florence Otter, 86, of Anahuac, Services at 10 a.m. today at 1st Baptist Church of Anahuac. ** James L. Burton, 51, of Hardin, Memorial service at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Beverly J. Durden Shaver, 62, of Houston, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.43 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 110, TUESDAY JUNE 10TH, 2003-

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As of late yesterday afternoon, 22-year-old David Thompson of Dayton remained in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after an SUV he was a passenger in overturned and trapped him beneath it early Sunday morning.

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District 18 Representative Dan Ellis said he feels sure that the upcoming special legislative session on school financing will mean the end of the controversial “Robin Hood” school funding system as we know it. “Robin Hood” redistributes money from wealthier school districts to poorer ones. Liberty County’s State Representative said he is in favor of State Senator Bill Ratliff’s plan to increase state sales tax and decrease local school taxes. The last time a special session was called was in 1991. That session also concerned school funding issues.

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According to Devers Canal Rice Producers Association General Manager J.E. Sherman, 47-year-old David Caruthers was mowing canal banks near Cottonwood Road when he reportedly tried to kick debris from the mower’s brush hog blades. The rotating blades nearly amputated the heel of the Liberty man’s foot. David Caruthers is reported in stable condition after being airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

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Ashley Allison of Liberty has graduated at the very top of her class at the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. The daughter of Mike and Susan Allison completed her degree requirements with a final grade point average of 4.0 graduating number one out of 714 students from one of the nations most prestigious business schools.

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With the help of local emergency officials, KSHN has added several links to important information to help prepare for oncoming storms or deal with disasters, either natural or man-made to our web site. You can find links to the American Red Cross, the National Weather Service and the State of Texas sites as well as information on disaster plans and supplies and emergency preparedness, all at www.kshn.com.

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FUNERAL: Gerald Denman Barnhart, 72, of Hardin, Graveside Services at 11 a.m. today at Guedry Cemetery in Batson.

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** LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.55 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 109, MONDAY JUNE 9TH, 2003-

City of Liberty Municipal Judge W.E. “Sonny” Loftin was arrested Saturday night after demolishing his pick-up truck in a one car accident on FM 563. DPS Trooper Scott Folmar said results from a roadside breath test show Loftin had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system. He was jailed for DWI then freed on personal recognizance bond Sunday morning after several hours in custody. Formal arraignment is expected soon.

Daniel B. Thompson, 22, of Dayton is on life support at Memorial Hermann, after being partially ejected and trapped under an SUV. Reports indicate, Sunday about 4:15 a.m. the driver, Cora Phillips of Hardin, and Thompson were doing “donuts” in a pasture near a wedding party they attended. That’s when the vehicle overturned. .Others picked the car off the injured man but he was not breathing. CPR restored that, but he’s in critical condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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According to District 18 Representative Dan Ellis, recently passed legislation puts a limit on the amount of damages awarded to claimants for pain and suffering in malpractice suits. The amount of money awarded in such cases against individual physicians is capped at $250,000 and at $750,000 for suits against medical providers. Dan Ellis said the caps do not apply to economic damages such as lost wages, medical bills or other expenses related to the malpractice. Liberty County’s State Representative said he feels these new laws will bring some relief to skyrocketing costs of malpractice insurance in Texas.

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LHS grad Stephanie Jennings will get all her college expenses paid by the Mary Helen Campbell Foundation . Mrs. Campbell is the widow of Abe Miles and lived here for decades. Now she has remarried but wanted to really help the deserving. Stephanie Jennings father died when she was a child, her mother has been ill, she worked her way through high school and helped care for a younger brother. Now all her college expenses will be paid even if she chases her dream of being a doctor. .

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FUNERALS: Samantha Cherry, 86, of Cleveland, Private services were Fri.** Mary Jewell Ziriax, 86, of Rye, Serv.were Sun.**Delores Ann Bagley, 53, Dayton, visitation today from 5 until 9 p.m. Services tues. at 2 at First Baptist Church of Dayton**Beverly J. Shaver, 62, of Houston, Services pending at Wells Mortuary of Liberty**

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** LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.64 ASL* *

-VOLUME 18 NO. 108, FRIDAY JUNE 6TH, 2003-

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Reports in the Houston Chronicle Newspaper indicate that Governor Rick Perry may take up the politically divisive issue of redrawing congressional district lines in a special session of the legislature. District 18 Representative Dan Ellis, who was one of more than 50 House Democrats who left the state to quash re-districting in regular session said such a walkout won’t happen again. Liberty County’s State Representative said the main reason for the Democratic walkout was the fact re-districting was placed ahead of other more important issues. If it is revisited in a special session, Mr. Ellis said he for one would fight it out regardless of what the outcome may be.

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The Liberty Sears Store has new owners. 43-year-old Chuck Miller and his wife Maggie took over the local retail outlet in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center on May 11th and plan to have it completely redecorated within the next 60 days. The Millers say they also plan to expand the store’s inventory while maintaining the current full line of electronics, appliances, tools and lawn and garden equipment.

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Wetter weather in our area means more mosquitoes and increased concerns about the spread of the potentially fatal West Nile Virus. State health officials continue to urge Liberty County residents to collect and turn in any blue jay, crow, hawk or cardinal carcasses that show no sign of trauma. The specimens need to be fresh and in good condition in order to be tested. County Extension Agent Leonard Haynes said no cases of West Nile Virus have yet been confirmed in Liberty County this year.

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The Texas Gulf Coast Recovery Project and FEMA are sponsoring free crisis counseling to those who suffer from emotional distress due to flooding in October 2002. The service will be provided through November of this year. For more information, contact the Liberty County Emergency Management Office at 936-336-4558, Ext. 239.

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FUNERALS: Warren Gregory St. Julian, 82, of Ames, Services at 11 a.m. Monday at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames. ** Juanda R. Whitfill, 82, of Pasadena, Graveside services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Grandview Cemetery in Pasadena. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.68 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 107, THURSDAY JUNE 5TH, 2003-

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Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Don Neyland said deputies responding to a report of a fight-in-progress at an address in the Big Thicket Subdivision last Sunday night found 42-year-old Milton Bradley Bishop lying on the ground with severe head injuries. Investigators believe Chad Allen Hanks, 22, of Batson had badly beaten the other man during a dispute over a cell phone bill. Milton Bishop was airlifted to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston in serious condition. Chad Hanks is facing possible assault charges in connection with the incident.

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According to DPS reports 25-year-old Bryan Courville of Buna was northbound at an unsafe speed on FM 770 near Batson shortly after midnight on Tuesday when his vehicle left the roadway, hit a utility pole and rolled several times. A passenger, Elizabeth Monsey, 30, of Beaumont was pronounced dead at the accident scene. Bryan Courville is reported in stable condition at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. Information indicates neither of the two had been wearing seat belts.

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Construction begins this week on the new Kimmie M. Brown Intermediate School in Dayton. Phil Rutter of PBK Architects of League City said the 110,000 square foot building would sit at a 45-degree angle on the site at the corner of FM 1409 and Brown Road. The new 5th and 6th grade campus will cost just over $10 million to build and should be ready for occupancy August 2004.

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The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge’s Annual Free Fishing Day Celebration is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited for free fishing and hands-on demonstrations of fly-fishing, crabbing, target casting, saltwater fishing, fish identification and more. All equipment will be provided. Everyone should bring sack lunches and insect repellent. For more information, call the Anahuac Refuge at 409-267-3337.

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The Liberty County Health Awareness Coalition’s Child Safety Seat Check Up is Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the Liberty Wal-mart parking lot. Certified technicians will check the car seats for defects or problems free of charge.

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FUNERAL: Alton L. “Captain” Wilcox, 71, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.68 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 106, WEDNESDAY JUNE 4TH, 2003-

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EMS technicians on the scene said 62-year-old John Burrell of Winnie was lucky to be alive after his small crop duster crashed south of Raywood yesterday morning. Witnesses said the plane began having trouble after take off from a grass airstrip on a farm owned by Ray Stoesser of Dayton. The plane reportedly hit some trees and then began turning end over end before coming to rest in a ditch. The pilot, John Burrell, walked away from the mangled plane and since has been treated and released from St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont.

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Monday night, the Dayton City Council agreed to expand the city limits to include another 22 acres at the request of the Dayton ISD. School officials want the site of the new Kimmie M. Brown Intermediate School on FM 1409 and Brown Road annexed into the City of Dayton. The city and the school district will still need to come to an agreement on getting water and sewer to the new school property and just who is going to pay how much in providing those utilities.

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Tickets are on sale now for the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce 17th Annual Barbecue and Auction on Tuesday July 15th at the Liberty VFW Hall on Main Street. Tickets are $20 for the Liberty-Dayton 500 Drawing for a variety of prizes including a Sony camcorder and 50-inch Big Screen TV. The evening also features live and Chinese auctions, as well as barbecue dinner from Brick’s BBQ. For more information, call 936-336-5736.

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Liberty Police Officer James Smith said 33-year-old Betty Litton of Liberty failed to stop at the intersection of Holly and San Jacinto yesterday, crossing into the path of Marcus Marroquin, 27, also of Liberty. Neither driver suffered injury in the collision, but passengers James Litton, age 9, and Diyely Marroquin, age 3 were taken to Liberty Dayton Community Hospital. The children’s injuries were not thought to be serious.

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This Saturday marks the start of another season of “Whats Your Bid?” KSHN’s popular radio auction from 9 a.m. to noon. Listeners are invited to call in and bid on a variety of goods and services provided by local merchants, always sold well below the retail price of the item. “What’s Your Bid” will continue each Saturday morning though out the summer.

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** LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.62 ASL* *

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 105, TUESDAY JUNE 3RD, 2003-

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While the $1.7 million project to renovate and remove mold from the Liberty County Courthouse is underway some officials have had to shift operations elsewhere. The offices of 75th District Judge C. T. “Rusty” Hight and Interim County Treasurer Linda Leonard are moving temporarily across Main Street in Liberty back to Judge Hight’s former law offices. The 75th District Courtroom, on the third floor of the courthouse is closed for mold removal and Judge Hight is holding court in the Adult Probation Offices on Sam Houston Street. It is expected the courthouse work will be finished sometime in November.

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Severe weather yesterday afternoon kept Liberty County under a tornado warning for almost two hours, but caused little serious damage and no injuries were reported. Heavy rain, hail that ranged from pea to golf ball-sized and straight line winds recorded at 60 miles per hour pounded the Hardin-Moss Hill area and while there were numerous reports of funnel clouds and circular winds, no actual tornado damage was confirmed.

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First Liberty National Bank CEO Charles Wiggins announced Monday the purchase of a one-acre tract in Hardin at the corner of Hwy 146 and FM 834 where first an ATM Center will be located, then later a full financial services location. Mr. Wiggins said the Hardin area has seen the steady growth of new homes in the last several years and now with the addition of the city’s new sewer system, it is believed the area will see further development. While no firm timetable for moving ahead with the banking center has been set, FLNB’s new Hardin ATM site is expected to be ready by the end of the year.

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The Dayton Rotary Club is planning a large car show and swap meet Saturday September 6th on the grounds of Woodrow Wilson Junior High. The event will include a wide variety of classic cars, food, live entertainment and more. Car collectors and swap meet vendors who want to reserve a space early can contact the Dayton Rotary Club at 936-258-7994.

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FUNERALS: Molly Kathleen Olney, 62, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. today at Lakewood Church in Houston. ** Lowell Reed Nelson, 67, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral in Home in Dayton. **

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** LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.63 ASL* *

 

VOLUME 18 NO. 104, MONDAY JUNE 2ND, 2003-

Saturday was ground breaking at Kimmie Brown Int. School in Dayton. Mrs. Brown’s great-granddaugther, Jessica Brown gave a history on the veteran teachers decades of service to DISD. The $10 million school opens in 14 months.

A van, police say, was traveling westbound on Beaumont Ave. by 51 year old Brenda Guthrie of Liberty failed to stop at San Jacinto Saturday., It continued straight, jumped the curb, and crashed into the side of the old jail building, causing only minor damage to a steel security door. Brenda Guthrie told investigators her brakes failed. She was and charged with DWI, and possession of dangerous drugs.

A Police pursuit through residential streets in Liberty Saturday, ended on Highway 90, near the Trinity River. Liberty Police Officer Matt Custer said 30 year old Margaret Thain of Liberty rear ended another vehicle at Grand, and Main St. in Liberty. The other driver wanted to exchange information. That’s when Thain, reportedly, drove off. Liberty Reserve Officer John Hebert Jr., off duty at the time, witnessed her drive away and chased her in his personal vehicle. Officer Custer joined the pursuit on Highway 90, where Margaret Thain was pulled over, and charged with DWI, failure to stop and for no drivers license.

Hardin School Trustees voted 7 to 0 last Thursday to promote Offensive Coordinator Mike Morgan – 32, to the position of

Head Football Coach and Athletic Director. It was only a few days ago that Jack Parker left to become Head Coach and A.D. at Tarkington. Mike Morgan, a Hardin native, returned to Hardin four years ago after working as an assistant to Dayton Coach Jeff Stewart.. He is married with three children. His wife, Jenni, his sister Jennifer, and his mother are all Hardin teachers.

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The lack of measurable rain in Chambers County has prompted the Trinity Bay Conservation District to announce water use restrictions for Hankamer, Smith Point, Double Bayou and Oak Island. The Conservation District’s David Paulissen said unless rain arrives soon, even tougher restrictions will be instituted.

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–43,gravesde-Bayshore@Anahuac,Wed. *

** LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.59 ASL* *

 

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