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December 2003

-VOLUME 18 NO. 250, WEDNESDAY DEC. 31ST, 2003-

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Baytown Police report that Michael Louis “Bo” Nash, Jr. was northbound on Hwy 146 about 2 a.m. last Sunday when, for unknown reasons, he crossed over the center stripe and into the path of an 18-wheeler truck transport. The 30-year-old Dayton man was killed in the head on collision. The big rig’s driver, 29-year-old Filbert Watson of Louisiana was not hurt. The accident remains under investigation.

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Precinct #2 Constable Jimmy Belt said Deputy Constable Juan Alfaro noticed a speeding motorist driving on the wrong side of the road on FM 770 Monday night. An attempt to pull over the vehicle resulted in a chase that lasted nearly half an hour and hit speeds over 100 mph. It was only when he realized that he couldn’t outrun the deputy constable that 19-year-old Kyle Turner of Liberty reportedly surrendered west of Moss Hill on Hwy 105. The suspect said he ran because he had unpaid traffic tickets and did not want to go to jail. In addition to those traffic tickets, Kyle Turner now faces evading arrest charges.

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Those who have a little too much to drink while celebrating this New Year’s Eve can take advantage of a free ride home from local law officers. A call to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office at 936-336-4600 or the Liberty Police Department at 936-336-5666 will have the first available officer come to drive the caller home. Intoxicated or not, that person will not be charged.

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The Liberty County Historical Commission will celebrate the New Year by ringing the Liberty Bell at noon tomorrow. The public is invited to take part in the brief ceremony. The bell tower is on the south side of the Humphreys Cultural Center.

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The Liberty County Courthouse and all city offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed tomorrow in observance of the New Year’s Holiday. There will be no garbage service in Liberty or Dayton tomorrow, pick up will resume on the next regularly scheduled service day. All banks and post offices are also closed for the holiday. All offices re-open on Friday January 2nd.

****************************************************FUNERAL: Michael Louis “Bo” Nash, Jr., of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. today at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.09 ASL*

 

 

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 249, TUESDAY DEC. 30TH, 2003-

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Information indicates there will not be a special election upcoming to fill the rest of Janet Harrelson’s term as Liberty County Treasurer. We are told that since Ms. Harrelson’s conviction on multiple charges that include forgery, and tampering with official documents, as well as her subsequent removal from office by District Judge David Walker are under appeal, those actions are on hold pending the appeal’s outcome. Linda Leonard will continue as Interim County Treasurer in the meantime, without the need for an election.

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With the deadline to file for a spot on the March Primary Election ballots coming this Friday, Democratic Party Chair Liz Beausoleil said she is not expecting any new candidate filings for county offices. One late addition to the Republican ballot may be Russell Payne. The Dayton man has announced he plans to run for Liberty County Republican Party Chair, but so far the only candidate to file to replace Richard Pegues, who is stepping down from that office, is Lester Ray Wisegerber. Also, Will Cox of Cleveland has said he is still undecided as to whether to make a third run for Liberty County Sheriff.

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With the New Year’s Holiday getting close, Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur reminds everyone that it is illegal to use or even possess fireworks inside most incorporated cities such as Liberty and Dayton. Fines can be as high as $500. Those who use fireworks in the rural areas of the county where they are legal are urged to use them safely. Keep water handy, light only one item at a time, don’t use fireworks indoors and don’t shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.

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It’s time to renew subscriptions to the Liberty Lions Club Flag Program. For an annual $25 fee, the Lions will mount and raise an American Flag at your home or business on 6 patriotic holidays each year. Proceeds benefit the Lions Club Scholarship Program and other community projects. Since it’s inception 8 years ago, the program has grown from a small handful of flags to more than 1100 subscribers. For more information, call Art Brummett at 336-7619 or R.B. McDonald at 336-6355.

****************************************************FUNERAL: Bertie Brock, 73, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. today at the Bibleway Pentecostal Church in Liberty.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.71 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 248, MONDAY DEC. 29TH, 2003-

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DPS Trooper Kenneth Lee said 18 year old Bobby Tew II of Cleveland was killed, after being ejected from the car in which he was a passenger. The vehicle’s driver lost control and rolled 2 1/2 times on Fostoria Rd. in Montgomery Co. That driver Matthew Cloud-19.and two passengers: Misty Hoagland, 16 and Jason Sanders, all of Cleveland, went to area hospitals. They will be ok. Bobby Tew II was pronounced dead by Montgomery Co. J.P # 4 James Metts. Investigation indicates that only the driver was wearing a seat belt in the one vehicle wreck. . ****************************************************

Two Dayton Bronco football players can add All-State to their resume. Coach Jerry Stewart, calls Jacob Passmore the best defensive lineman he has coached. Passmore was picked on the Associated Press Class 4A-Second Team All-State.Jorge Carranco, who missed 2 extra points in 4 years, both due to bad snaps, is AP Hon. Mention All State kicker. Expect four to six Broncos to sign with colleges, if Stewart’s best efforts pay off. .

****************************************************A woman was hurt in a rollover wreck Saturday afternoon.. in Liberty. City Police Officer Elaine Taylor said Mary Smith, 52, of Dayton, turned off HWY 90 onto Milam. Reports indicate she turned into the path of an SUV driven by Carroll Mc Cullough, 52, of Mont Belvieu, whose vehicle rolled over 3 times. The Liberty Fire Dept. Rescue Squad used extrication devices to free the woman. She was taken, by City Ambulance, to Liberty Dayton Comm. Hospital, treated and released. Ms. Smith was cited for failure to yield right-of-way.

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Local retailers report substantial increases in sales this holiday season compared to last year’s totals. Judy Ethridge, manager of the Palais Royal in Liberty said sales were brisk, especially during the days before Christmas. Baskin’s Manager Brandon Otto said even the exchange or return of items after Christmas resulted in more sales this year. After Christmas sales continue.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Mildred Rogers, 91, of Liberty, Private services at a later date. ** Albert “Sye” Muckleroy, 98, of Wallisville, Services held last Wednesday in Silsbee. ** Myrna Loy Wolford Leftwich, 84, of Mont Belvieu, Services held yesterday**Roy Carlson –93,died Christmas eve. Memorial Service later. He’s KSHN Keleen Carlson’s father.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.71 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 247, WEDNESDAY DEC. 24TH, 2003-

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Dayton Volunteer Fire Chief Terry Boyett said Jimmy Veesee was away from his manufactured home on CR# 4902 yesterday, when neighbors spotted smoke coming from the roof. Firefighters arrived and managed to contain the flames to a small area of the structure’s ceiling, where it is believed an electrical short above the living room was the source of the fire. No one was hurt and damage to the home was minimal.

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said a recent fundraising effort by the Horseshoe Lake Estates Crime Watch Committee brought in a $2800 donation to the 100 Club of Houston. The organization that provides financial support to the families of slain police officers has also given thousands of dollars in assistance to Liberty County law enforcement agencies. 100 Club Executive Director Rick Hartley attended the event and presented the small North Liberty County community with a plaque for their support and for the progress made in ridding their area of drug and other criminal activity.

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Norman Dykes of Liberty embarks on December 31st for a whirlwind trip from Dallas to Los Angeles, to Singapore, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Hanoi and Saigon as part of Rotary International’s effort to eradicate polio worldwide. The huge organizational task includes the planned vaccination of 100,000 children in India on a single day. Norman Dykes is one of 63 Rotary District Governors honored for Distinguished Service at the Rotary’s Annual meeting held in Barcelona, Spain.

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Once again this year, KSHN Radio will present a full slate of special programming to celebrate the Christmas Holiday. Beginning tonight, we’ll have continuous holiday music through Christmas Day as well as special stories and poems for Christmas Eve. Tomorrow’s holiday programming includes a presentation of Handel’s Messiah performed by the “Canterbury Chorale” recorded on December 7th at Liberty’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. The taped broadcast is at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Margie James Peace, 76, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Herbert L. Burch, 85, of Anahuac, Services at 9 a.m. today at 1st United Methodist Church of Anahuac.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.71 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 246, TUESDAY DEC. 23RD, 2003-

****************************************************DPS Trooper Chris Callas said 38-year-old Lorrie Carrone of Dayton was northbound on FM 1409 near the Chambers-Liberty County Line when her vehicle crossed into the path of a southbound pick up driven by 48-year-old Weldon Smith, also of Dayton. Neither Ms. Carrone nor her four-year-old daughter were injured in the near head-on collision that resulted, but her son Luke, age 7, suffered injuries described as a possible broken neck and internal injuries. The child was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where he is reported in critical condition. Weldon Smith was treated and released from the Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital following the wreck.

****************************************************Lifelong Liberty resident C. L. “Bucky” Eckols has filed to have his name placed on the ballot to run for Precinct #1 Constable in the March 9th Democratic Primary Election. Currently, an officer in the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, Eckols is the son of the late “Buck” Eckols, a three-term Liberty County Sheriff. Eckols’ filing brings the number of democrats running for Constable #1 to three, with Incumbent Tim Allison and former Deputy Constable Jim Talkington also in the race.

****************************************************DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur reminds motorists that law-enforcement officers are out in force during the holidays, looking for intoxicated drivers, speeders and those not wearing seatbelts. Those driving for long distances are urged to get plenty of rest and allow enough travel-time so as not to get in such a hurry they forget to remain alert to what other drivers are doing.

****************************************************The Liberty County Courthouse will close at noon tomorrow and remain closed until Monday December 29th in observance of the Christmas Holiday. All city offices in Liberty will be closed Thursday and Friday of this week. Dayton City Offices will be closed tomorrow and Thursday, but will reopen for regular business hours on Friday December 26th. There is no garbage service in Liberty or Dayton Thursday. Trash pick up will resume on Friday. Brazos Transit Buses will not run on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday this week due to the holiday. All banks and post offices will be closed on Thursday only.

****************************************************FUNERAL: Daniel LaBuff, 69, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.07 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 245, MONDAY DEC. 22ND , 2003-

SFC Joe Briscoe of Ames has a long way to go but says he will regain most of the use of his left arm after being wounded in Iraq October 31st. He lost his right arm. Sgt. Briscoe met President and Mrs.Bush last week at Walter Reed in Washington, DC He got a presidential coin and the two Texans talked about family before the Commander- in-Chief called Briscoe’s wife, Beverly.. Hear the full interview Tuesday at 8:30 on the Party Line.

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An electrical short in a light bulb intended to keep the family dog warm is the most likely cause of the fire that destroyed the home of Chad Cox and family on Mimosa Lane in Dayton. Last Friday morning. Mr. and Mrs. Cox, their three small children and a niece escaped the fire, but their small brick home contents, including Christmas gifts, were lost. If you want to help the Cox kids have a better Christmas call Mrs.Cox mother 936-257-0663. ****************************************************

Liberty Attorney John Archer claims his fellow members of the Chambers-Liberty Counties Navigation District Board are guilt of theft over the way the district’s tax revenue is distributed. Archer said $155,000 in taxes are paid each year by property owners along the Trinity River in the two counties. Most of it goes to support Chambers Co. Rice Farmers, even though more than 50% from Liberty County property owners. John Archer is one of two reps, on the five-member board, from Liberty Co.

****************************************************DPS reports indicate 27 -year-old Traci Lee Vekios must have fallen asleep at the wheel and drifted across Highway 146,north of Hardin, going into a ditch. She hit a culvert, went airborne, landing in the next driveway some fifty feet away. Hardin Vol. Fire and Rescue Staff spent over 30 minutes, with extrication tools, to free the victim. At Hermann Hosp. Condition is Stable.

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Liberty Senior Brandon Clawson named to the Associated Press class 3-A high school All State 2nd team -defensive back. Parents are Dale and Marcie Clawson –Liberty.

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, 83,-Dayton, Serv.@3p.m. today-Pace-Stancil-Dayton**

* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.07 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 244, FRIDAY DEC. 19TH, 2003-

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Highway tragedies continued to mount yesterday. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office reported that 32-year-old Allen Coe of Dayton was alone in his truck in the pre-dawn hours Thursday morning in the 400 block of Atascocita Road when the vehicle left the roadway. The truck hit a concrete culvert, spun around striking a second culvert then caught fire. Two witnesses managed to pull the Liberty County EMS Technician from the vehicle before it exploded. Allen Coe was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

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In the fourth traffic fatality in the Dayton area in as many days, Dayton Police said Aaron William Spears, 27, eastbound on FM 1960 around 2:30 a.m. yesterday, veered to the right and struck a utility pole where the road intersects with FM 1008 and Hwy 321. Precinct #4 JP Glenn Pruitt pronounced the Dayton man dead at the accident scene and ordered an autopsy performed.

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Liberty School Trustees have scheduled a workshop for January 6th to discuss reducing the district’s expenses to save money. We have reported that state funding payments were cut to the LISD by $1.1 million. Since then, Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer has been gathering suggestions from district patrons, teachers and school employees on ways to bring expenditures down. School trustees were given packets containing those proposals to review over the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays.

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Additional donations from Liberty County EMS Director Mike Koen and others has brought the number of new bicycles to be given to children through Milam Discount Tire to 60. Kids pre-K through 8th grade can send a letter to Santa c/o Milam Discount Tire, 1020 Hwy 90, Liberty, 77575 or drop them off there by 6 p.m. on Tuesday December 22nd. A new bike will go to the 60 youngsters judged most deserving by their letters.

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FUNERALS: Brittany Michelle Tuck, 19, of Dayton, Location of services moved: Services at 10 a.m. today at the Dayton High School Gym. ** Harold Ray Bobo, Jr., 47, of Dayton, Graveside services at 1 p.m. today at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton. ** K.D. Speights, 78, of Hankamer, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at St. Mary’s Baptist Church in Hankamer. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.07 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 243, THURSDAY DEC. 18TH, 2003-

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Dayton Police Sergeant John Coleman said it was around 4:30 p.m. yesterday when a southbound pick up driven by 50-year-old Michael Thompson of Rye was attempting to pass a long line of vehicles on Hwy 146 south of Dayton. Thompson reportedly clipped one vehicle, sending it into a ditch then slammed head-on into a car driven by 30-year-old Denise Marie Weedman of Baytown. Both drivers were apparently killed instantly in that collision. The driver of the first vehicle, Thompson’s truck clipped, Laura Bennett, was not injured. Traffic was blocked at the accident scene for more than two hours.

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District Judge David Walker has denied Janet Harrelson’s appeal in its entirety. The former Liberty County Treasurer’s Appeal Attorney Dr. Joseph Willie said the next level of appeal would be a hearing before Judge Walker on January 5th. Convicted of abuse of official capacity, forgery and tampering with government documents, Ms. Harrelson is free on bond pending the end of the appeal process that could take many months.

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Dayton School Trustees met Tuesday night and named Liz Ellisor Harris as Principal of the district’s newest school, the Kimmie M. Brown Intermediate School. The longtime educator is currently the Principal at Colbert Elementary. Brown Intermediate is scheduled to open in the fall of next year. Trustees also hired 58-year-old Galena Park native Bill Chambers for the job of the DISD’s Assistant Superintendent for Student Services. Chambers replaces Greg Hayman, recently elevated to the position of Dayton Superintendent of Schools.

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Tuesday night the Liberty School Board officially voted to close down the West Liberty Discipline Alternative Education Center. The West Liberty Center houses the district’s In-School Suspension and Alternative Education Programs. Superintendent Dr. Patty Shafer said ISS facilities will be set up at both the high school and middle school and students currently in the AEP will be transferred to the Hardin-Chambers Counties School Facility.

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FUNERALS: Brittany Michelle Tuck, 19, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church of Dayton. ** Effie M. Odom, 86, of Woodville, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Woodville. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.07 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 242, WEDNESDAY DEC. 17TH, 2003-

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DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said 19-year-old Brittany Tuck of Dayton was northbound on FM 1008 near Dayton around 10 p.m. Monday when she lost control of her vehicle going through a curve in the roadway. The vehicle skidded into the southbound lane where it was struck by a pick up driven by 23-year-old Jared Tankersley of Dayton. Brittany Tuck was apparently killed instantly by the side impact to her vehicle. The popular Dayton Honor Graduate was a star softball player, graduating in 2002. Jared Tankersley and his passenger, Brandi Garrett, 21, also of Dayton were not seriously injured in the wreck.

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and approved a contract with a company called “Appriss” for a crime victim notification system. Fully funded by the State Attorney General’s Office, the system makes it easier for crime victims to stay up-to-date on the status of the suspects in those crimes such as whether the accused or convicted offender remains in jail or has been released on bond. Sheriff Greg Arthur said the new system, called “VINE” for short, will do a lot to alleviate the problem of keeping violent crime victims informed. The system should be available for use in three or four months.

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The City of Cleveland is sponsoring a Chili Luncheon tomorrow beginning at noon in Cleveland’s Stancil Park specifically to help the two police officers whose homes were destroyed in last week’s Sleepy Hollow Apartments fire. Donations of money and food for the fire victims are also still being taken at the Liberty and Dayton Police Departments, as well as at several locations in Cleveland. For more information call 281-592-2667.

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The public is invited to the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Open House tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chamber Offices on Trinity Street. Chamber President Maryanne Campbell said this year’s open house will feature a variety of special dishes prepared by area businesses and restaurants. The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber Office is across from the Fire Department in Liberty.

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FUNERAL: Carmen Ratcliff Doucette, 95, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Heights Baptist Church in Liberty. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.72 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 241, TUESDAY DEC. 16TH, 2003-

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Liberty County Democratic Party Chair Liz Beausoliel has confirmed that Odell McDuffie Sr. has filed the necessary paperwork to run for Precinct #3 County Commissioner in the March 9th Democratic Primary Election. He will be running against longtime incumbent Melvin Hunt who has also filed for another 4-year-term in the job he has held for almost 20 years.

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Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia said his county’s insurer has reached an out-of-court settlement with Vernon Coates. The Anahuac man had sued Chambers County claiming Sheriff’s deputies there had framed him on DWI charges. As has been widely reported, three former Chambers County Deputies are under indictment for allegedly filing false charges against Coates. Judge Sylvia said the settlement is $120,000 and does not reflect any responsibility by Chambers County for Coate’s allegations, calling it an economic decision. The county will pay only a $2500 deductible for the settlement. The three former lawmen, Dearl Hardy, John Joslin and Brett Hulsey who are accused of criminal misconduct in Vernon Coates’ arrest are expected to go to trial in the next few months.

****************************************************The Spirit of Sharing in Liberty is preparing to wrap up another successful Operation Noel program to provide new toys to children and gifts and food for the elderly in South Liberty County this Christmas. Operation Noel Chairperson Evelyn Coleman said the response this year was outstanding with toy donations valued at an estimated $5,000 and another $2,000 raised for food baskets for the elderly. Toys and gifts will be distributed this Thursday.

*************************************************** The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Luncheon is tomorrow at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Performers from the Liberty Opry will present a program of holiday music and lunch is either etoufee or gumbo for $6 a plate. Reservations are required. Call the Liberty-Dayton Chamber Office at 936-336-5736.

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FUNERALS: Danny R. Yocum, 70, of Hardin, Memorial services Saturday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Pearl Durham Mitchell, 93, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.72 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 240, MONDAY DEC. 15TH, 2003-

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A house fire near Dayton claimed the life of Harold Ray Bobo, Jr.-47. Liberty Co. Sheriff Greg Arthur said deputies were called to do a welfare concern check at a home on C.R. 6610 about 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Deputies found the dwelling full of smoke. When volunteers from both the 321 & Dayton Volunteer Fire Departments doused the fire a man was found dead in the kitchen. J.P. #4 Glenn Pruitt ordered an autopsy. Preliminary results from the Jefferson Co. M.E. say Harold Bobo, Jr. died from smoke inhalation. They believe it was accidental .

****************************************************Liberty Co. Sheriff’s Investigator Chip Fairchild said an unknown assailant robbed the Circle B convenience store just afternoon yesterday. 30-year old store clerk Mustafa Bukeri was knocked unconscious, and the stores cash register was taken, with an undetermined amount of cash. Lawmen are wanting to question 2 men that caused a disturbance earlier. One is described as a white male with a goat-tee, white shirt, blue jeans, and stocking cap. Last seen in a white, older model, 4 door car. Lawmen say a heavyset white male was also in the car. If you can help please call the Sheriff’s dept at 336-4500 ... ****************************************************

A local woman confessed to police that her story about being abducted at gunpoint from a parking lot Monday, was a lie. Liberty Police Detective Gary Martin said security cameras at the store show the incident did not happen the way 33-year-old Sheila Sterling said. Under questioning, police say the woman admitted she lied because she did not want her husband to know she had been to a bar, and left with a man she met there. Martin said the woman will be charged with making a false report.

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The Liberty-Dayton Area C of C elected new members to their board of directors. New directors from Dayton are Auctioneer Brady Hanson, Attorney Barbara Norwood, Chuck Williamson of Williamson LP Gas.and Denise Wilburn of Pappy’s BBQ. From Liberty Sherri Birdwell of Lewie’s, TVE Facilities Mgr. James Bricker, BJ Ford’s Partner-Robert Dunn and Attorney Bruce Mintz. Also Randall Klimitchek of Phoenix Hydrocarbons will fill remaining time for resigned board member Terri Beene.

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FUNERALS: Lenora Thibodeaux, 92, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Ames.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.72 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 239, FRIDAY DEC. 11TH, 2003-

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Some 50 firefighters fought for hours to contain a huge fire at the Sleepy Hollow Apartments in Cleveland that was reported shortly after Midnight yesterday. Cleveland Fire Chief Steve Wheeler said that effort was successful, but the homes in one full building of the apartment complex were either destroyed or suffered severe damage. Chief Wheeler called the fire “suspicious” and has requested agents of the ATF and the State Fire Marshall’s Office to assist in the investigation. Several fundraising events are slated to help those families who lost homes and/or possessions in the fire. To find out how to help, call the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce at 281-592-8786 or the Liberty Police Department at 936-336-5666. A benefit account for the fire victims has also been established at 1st Bank and Trust in Cleveland, at 281-592-4661.

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Liberty Police Detective Gary Martin said 31-year-old Michael Armstrong was arrested yesterday afternoon and charged with Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. A school counselor notified police that the Liberty man’s 16-year-old stepdaughter was accusing him of sexually assaulting her over a period of many years, according to information from police.

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Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital Administrator Sean Stricker said Dr. Kamran Khan has joined the hospital staff. A board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, Dr. Khan will serve as Director of Emergency Room Medicine at the local hospital as well as partnering with Dr. Danny Khine at a joint Internal Medicine Clinic on North Travis in Liberty. Dr. Khan’s office phone for appointments is 936-336-0720.

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The Dayton High School Band is one of 10 or 11 high school bands nationwide selected to take part in half-time festivities at the 45th Annual Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee on December 31st. Dayton Band Director John Eustace said schools are chosen by their past awards and UIL competition scores to participate in the half-time show, as well as being part of the Beale Street Parade in downtown Memphis.

****************************************************FUNERAL: Mamie May, 88, of Hardin, Services at 2 p.m. Monday at Bretenbach-McCoy-Leffler Funeral Home in Middleton, OH. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.72 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 238, THURSDAY DEC. 10TH, 2003-

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All but two county officials are expected to be back home in the Liberty County Courthouse by Monday as the almost $2 million mold removal and restoration project there nears completion. County Clerk Delia Sellars said she probably would not be able to move from her temporary location in the County Attorney’s Office until after the first of the year. After that, County Attorney Jack Hartel and staff can move back into their permanent offices. District Clerk Melody Gilmore’s Office is closed until Monday while she moves back to the courthouse.

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Liberty Police report no new developments the case of a reported abduction at gunpoint from the Liberty Wal-Mart Store parking lot Monday night. A woman told police she was kidnapped and raped by an assailant described only as a “white male” Police Chief Bill Griffin said his department has increased patrols in all public areas while the case is being investigated.

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With the supplies of influenza vaccine running short, health officials are now limiting flu shots to those most in need, such as children, the elderly or those with chronic health problems. The Texas Department of Health’s Sandra Ford said more people have protected themselves against the flu this year and the increased demand is responsible for the vaccine supply shortage.

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This coming Saturday is the deadline to have holiday packages sent by Parcel Post Delivery in the mail in time to reach their destinations by Christmas Day. After that, postal officials say other options include sending packages by Priority Mail with a two to three day delivery time or Express Mail, with guaranteed overnight delivery. Those rates are higher than Parcel Post.

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Today marks the start of the 21st year of Shine All Nine’s “Find Santa” game. Between today and Christmas Eve, KSHN will give away $500 in Christmas cash to listeners who call in and guess at which one of our sponsors, Santa Claus is shopping that hour. The jackpot grows by $5 until we have a winner.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Billy Ray Singleton, 58, of Batson, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Raywood. ** Scott “Dick” Westcott, 90, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. Saturday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 237, WEDNESDAY DEC. 10TH, 2003-

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Liberty Police Detective Gary Martin said a 33-year-old Ames woman reported to police that she was abducted at gunpoint from the Liberty Wal-Mart Store parking lot around 9 Monday night. The woman said the gunman, described only as a white male, drove her to a secluded area where he sexually assaulted her, then he drove away leaving her on the side of the road. Detective Martin said the report remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call 936-336-5666.

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Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and approved adding what is called an “occupation tax” on all amusement machines, such as pinball machines or video games, located in the county. According to Tax Assessor/Collector Mark McClelland, the tax will be a flat $15 per machine and includes those operated within the city limits of Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland. The tax is set to take effect on January 1st, 2004.

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The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Christmas Luncheon is one week from today on Wednesday December 17th at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Performers from the Liberty Opry will sing a variety of holiday favorites and lunch will be etoufee or gumbo for $6 a plate from Fontenot’s Cajun/Creole Catering. To make your reservations, call the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber Office at 936-336-5736.

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St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty will host a special holiday performance of Handel’s “Messiah” this Sunday starting at 7 p.m. Jim and Sandra Sterling have assembled the production that features an 11-piece orchestra and a select choir of 20 singers. The event is open to the public. KSHN Radio will also broadcast the event live. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is at the corner of Trinity and Fannin in Liberty.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Betty Jo Shelburne, 67, of Raywood, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Tomas “Tommy” Spurgeon, 52, of Channelview, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Barbara Jean Brooks, 63, of Anahuac, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac. ** H. T. Stoneberger, 57, of Tarkington, Graveside services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Ryan Cemetery in Tarkington Prairie. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.64 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 236, TUESDAY DEC. 9TH, 2003-

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Liberty Police Chief Bill Griffin said 30-year-old Cantonio Garcia Rodriguez has been arrested and charged with Intoxicated Manslaughter. Rodriguez allegedly ran a stop sign at the intersection of Louisiana St. and Martin Luther King Blvd. Sunday night, slamming into a vehicle driven by Melvin Donald Collins, 66, of Raywood. Collins’ passenger, 67-year-old Betty Jo Shelburne died of injuries sustained in the wreck at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston Monday morning. Chief Griffin said Cantonio Rodriguez’s blood alcohol level was found to be above .08 at the time of the wreck. Bond is set at $1 million.

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DPS Trooper Ryan Foley said 26-year-old Susan Kaye Martin of Baytown was attempting to pass another vehicle yesterday evening on FM 1409 south of Hwy 90 and hit a third vehicle nearly head on. Ms. Martin and the other driver, Abib Matawba, 32, of Houston were airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital, both were listed in stable condition.

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As befitting the District Champions, the 19-4A All District Football Team is full of Dayton Broncos. Named to the First Team Offense are Newcomer of the Year Michael Dugat, Roderick Lovell, Dion Kirton, Justin McQueen and Kicker Jorge Carranco. First Team Defense selections include Jeremy Winters, David Anderson, Dusty Snider, Brandon Edwards, Russell Calligan and Andy Tackett. Jacob Passmore is District Defensive MVP and Jerry Stewart is Coach of the Year.

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The Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Banquet is set for Thursday January 15th at the South Side Elementary School Cafetorium. Cleveland Chamber President Joan Meadows said the awards for both Citizen and Business of the Year will be announced, but this year’s banquet will have a Mardi Gras theme with a live band, costume contest and more. For reservations, call 281-592-8786.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Kenneth Hugh Strahan, 64, formerly of Liberty, Graveside services at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at Guedry Cemetery in Batson. ** Jerry Franklin Horton, 58, of Dayton, Services at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Houston National Veterans Cemetery. ** John Ira Bond, 78, of Liberty, Graveside services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Monroe Fregia Cemetery in Liberty.

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* LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.81 ASL*

 

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 235, MONDAY DEC. 8TH, 2003-

Longtime local attorney, Kenneth Trahan- 64, now of Humble died of an apparent heart attack on a hunting trip in Zapata County Saturday. Services are pending at Allison F.H. ****************************************************

Liberty PD Officer Elaine Taylor said about 6:35 Sunday night the driver of a pick-up truck on Louisiana St. ran a stop sign at MLK Blvd. and slammed into the side of a car driven by Melvin Donald Collins,66.At that intersection. he and a passenger Betty Jo Shellburne, 67, both from Raywood were injured. Fire Department Rescue Personnel used extrication devices to free her. She and the pick-up driver whose name was not released immediately were airlifted by Lifeflight helicopter to Mem. Hermann Hospital said to be in guarded condition. Mr. Collins was taken by city ambulance to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital, reported in stable condition .

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DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said the rail crossing at CR#223 north of Dolen is cleared, but it will many more days to clear all 16 derailed cars. Last Thursday night the brakes are reported to have failed on a dump truck, driven by Billy Williams-50, of Houston. He and a passenger leaped for their lives just before it hit and derailed a Burlington Northern train.. Sgt. Arthur said a property owner, near the wreck site, denied crews the use of his property for easier access to the wreckage, forcing them to work only on the rail easement. Arthur said that adds days to the job. .

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Liberty County District Clerk Melody Gilmore said her office will be closed this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as she and her staff move from their temporary quarters back home to the top floor of Courthouse. The District Clerk has been operating from next door to the Liberty-Dayton Area C of C since mold was found in that area of the courthouse.

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The Annual “Dayton Hometown Holidays” is tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. on Bryan Street. Sponsored by the Dayton Chamber, the event features the cookie contest, strolling carolers, games and activities for the kids, lighting of the community Christmas Tree and a huge fireworks display,. It’s free For more info:257-2393.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Mildred M. Martin, 81, of Crosby, Services were Saturday. ** George “Wayne” Smith, 57, of Kenefick, Services at 2 p.m. today - Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.93 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 234, FRIDAY DEC. 5TH, 2003-

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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said a disagreement that may have started in Cleveland, ended in a gunfight on Gulf Road in the Windwood Subdivision late Wednesday night that left two people hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Sheriff Arthur said he believes the incident may have been gang-related, but the names of those involved are being withheld until the case is reviewed by a grand jury. Sheriff Arthur did say the incident involved seven individuals and two firearms, one an AK-47 assault rifle.

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DPS Corporal Gary Wright and Trooper Randy Peck stopped a vehicle on Hwy 90, west of the Trinity River Tuesday afternoon for a minor traffic violation. Corporal Wright said the driver, 43-year-old Carl Ray Angus of Louisiana appeared nervous. A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of 7 ½ pounds of cocaine and 2 pounds of marijuana inside. The street value of the drugs seized is estimated at $60,000. Carl Angus was arrested on drug possession charges and is now free on $130,000 bond.

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After months of dissatisfaction, Dayton School Trustees voted unanimously yesterday to terminate their contract with Southwest Student Transportation, effective January 5th 2004. The McKinney-based transportation provider has been operating the district’s buses since January 2000 and trustees cited numerous contract violations and safety concerns as their reasons for opting out of the contract. Superintendent Greg Hayman said the district would immediately begin the transition steps to retake control of the transportation system.

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The Annual Cleveland Christmas Celebration “Santa Fest” is tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with arts and crafts, food, pictures with Santa, games and the “Santa Fest” Parade starting at 4 p.m. All activities will be in the parking lot of the First Bank and Trust in Cleveland. For more information, call the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce at 281-592-8786.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Lena Fay Coward, 77, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at 1st Baptist Church in Liberty. ** George Kirkwood, 65, of Ames, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Wells Mortuary in Liberty. ** Pet Norris Franssen, 93, of Old River, Graveside services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.93 ASL*

 

 

-VOLUME 18 NO. 232, THURSDAY DEC. 4TH, 2003-
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The first day of candidate filings for the March 9th Primary Elections ended yesterday with most Democratic incumbents having filed for new terms. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur and his democratic primary opponent Henry Patterson both filed, as did Precinct #1 Commissioner Todd Fontenot and his opponent, fellow Democrat Mike McCarty. The only other contested local Democratic Primary race, so far, is for Precinct #1 County Constable between incumbent Tim Allison and challenger Jim Talkington. Democrats who also filed for election or re-election yesterday are County Tax Assessor/Collector Mark McClelland, Precinct #3 Commissioner Melvin Hunt, County Attorney A. J. "Jack" Hartel and incumbent Constables #2, #4, #5 and #6. Respectively, they are Jimmy Belt, Charles Martin, L. W. DeSpain and Royce Wheeler. Chip Fairchild filed to run for Precinct #3 Constable. Incumbent Leon Randolph has decided not to seek another term. To date no Republican candidates have filed for local offices.
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Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said his department is working with the Houston Galveston Area Council to purchase eight new vehicles to replace the Sheriff's Office's aging fleet, at a total cost of $146,403. Liberty County Commissioners approved buying the new cars last month.
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The Youth Waterfowl Expo at the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All youth age 9 to 17 are invited for presentations on wetland ecology, hunter safety, dog training, waterfowl identification and more, free of charge. For more information, call 409-267-3337.
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All Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce members are reminded that the deadline to turn in nominations for Citizen of the Year in Liberty and Dayton, as well as ballots to vote for new board directors is tomorrow at noon. Those who have not already mailed their ballots should sign and fax them to 936-336-1159 or drop them by 1801 Trinity Street in Liberty.
****************************************************FUNERALS: Mary Dugat, 79, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. ** Kaci Dee'Ann Sthram, infant daughter of Nicki Clemmons and Keith Sthram, Services held on November 22nd. **
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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.18 ASL*


-VOLUME 18 NO. 231, WEDNESDAY DEC. 3RD, 2003-
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David Clark said he left his manufactured home in the Fairfield Subdivision, west of Dayton for just a few minutes yesterday afternoon when a neighbor saw flames coming from inside. Dayton Volunteer firefighters were called and managed to contain the blaze in the kitchen and up over the ceiling of the home. Damage was confined to those areas and no injuries were reported. The cause of the fire still remains under investigation.
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Liberty County Commissioners met in special session yesterday to discuss a change in the county's insurance provider. On the recommendation of Liberty insurance agent Jim Hall, commissioners agreed to switch from Greentree Administrators to a company called Core Source. Hall said the new company is more reliable and would save Liberty County nearly half-a-million dollars in health, dental and life insurance. The county insurance plan is scheduled to take effect on January 1st.
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On Monday, the Dayton City Council voted to award the contract for renovating the old Masonic Lodge building into the new city hall complex to J-H Premier of Houston. The company's low bid was $474,000, more than $40,000 below the next nearest bidder. The motion to award the bid included authorizing Mayor Larry Harris and the city's architects to negotiate two possible change orders on the project.
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The Valley Players Christmas Production "The Toys Take Over Christmas" is this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Humphreys Burson Theater in Liberty. Tickets are $5 each. For reservations, call Jackie Hartel at 936-336-6699.
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Country Christmas moves to Dayton tomorrow night with more holiday fun, entertainment, refreshments, Santa Claus and the lighted parade starting at 6 p.m. It's all free to the public, sponsored by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber Officials want to remind everyone that this year all the activities will be south of Hwy 90, in and around the Stephen F. Austin Elementary School on Entzminger Street due to the problems presented by heavy traffic on the highway.
****************************************************FUNERALS: Ethel Mae Herrington, 89, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Batson Prairie Baptist Church in Batson.
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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.18 ASL*

-VOLUME 18 NO. 230, TUESDAY DEC. 2ND, 2003-

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The filing period for candidates seeking office in the March 9th Democratic and Republican Primary Elections starts tomorrow and continues through January 2nd, 2004. Those county offices on the primary ballots include Liberty County Sheriff, County Tax Assessor/Collector, County Attorney, Precincts #1 and #3 County Commissioners and all six county constables. County Commissioners are also expected to add a special election to fill the remainder of Janet Harrelson’s term as Liberty County Treasurer. Liberty County’s state senate and representative seats are also on the March ballots. Pending action by the federal courts on the new congressional redistricting plan, an additional filing period could be added for U.S. Congressional candidates.

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Despite a still sluggish economy, local retailers report sales over the past weekend were better than expected. Traditionally the busiest shopping period of the year, the days following Thanksgiving brought Liberty retail outlets sales that were as good as or better than last year. According to Barney Jones, Manager of Wal-Mart, Liberty’s largest retailer, company policy no longer allows him to comment on sales figures to the public.

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Liberty County ‘s Democratic State Representative Dan Ellis confirmed that Republican Governor Rick Perry recently urged him to switch party affiliations. Dan Ellis said pressure on some lawmakers from one party or the other to change their political party is not unusual in Austin, but there has been more pressure on some legislators lately. Representative Ellis said his response to Governor Perry was a polite “no”.

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The final day for donations to the Spirit of Sharing’s Annual “Operation Noel” program is this coming Saturday December 5th. “Operation Noel” helps make the holidays brighter for needy families in South Liberty County and those who benefit the most each year are children. Any donations of new unwrapped toys should be put under the special Christmas Trees at local banks and business or brought to the Spirit of Sharing in Liberty, on Beaumont Ave. and Texas St or call 936-336-6602.

****************************************************FUNERAL: George Campbell Davis, 76, of Kerrville, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.05 ASL*

-VOLUME 18 NO. 229, MONDAY DEC. 1ST, 2003-

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Details of what caused a water main break in the 800 block of MLK Blvd. Late Saturday Night is not immediately available. The water supply to that portion of Liberty was shut down while city water crews fixed the ruptured line. Most of the 5 to 6 hours down time was during the late night hours. All service had been restored by early Sunday morning..

****************************************************Liberty Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Dryer said about 9:30 Saturday night he tried to stop a vehicle for a defective light. The driver, later identified as Kenneth Jackson, fled south on FM 563, at speeds reaching 90 to 95 MPH. Jackson abandoned his pickup truck in Chambers Co. and fled on foot into the nearby woods. Jackson’s brother, a passenger, Curtis, was arrested for public intoxication. Deputies learned the driver had outstanding warrants in Polk Co.for probation violation. . ****************************************************

Dental records confirm that the body discovered in the Sam Houston National Forest is that of 27-year-old Renee Bell of Cleveland. Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur said autopsy results indicate the missing mother of three was beaten to death, then her body was burned. 34-year-old Michael Lee Brantley, also of Cleveland, is suspected of murder in the woman’s death. He remains jailed, without bond, for alleged parole violations. Sheriff Arthur said the case may go to a grand jury this week.

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Liberty Police report Juan Jose Anaya of Liberty made a wrong turn on Carter Street around 1:15 a.m. Thursday. His vehicle became lodged on the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks. Anaya and a passenger escaped the vehicle before an oncoming train slammed into it, knocking it off the tracks. . ****************************************************

Country Christmas in Liberty is tomorrow night, starting with the lighted parade at 6. The annual holiday celebration is sponsored by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce and includes live entertainment, wagon rides, refreshments, pictures taken with Santa Claus and more. Everything is free. Country Christmas in Dayton is Thursday night, also at 6 p.m. this year around the schools on So. Cleveland St.

****************************************************FUNERALS: Pauline F. Massey Larson, 77, of Dayton, Private services at a later date. **

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* LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.05 ASL*

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