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June 2002

-VOLUME 17 NO.126 FRIDAY JUNE 28, 2002-

DPS Trooper Ryan Foley said Jeffrey Fregia, 38, of Batson, was southbound on FM 563 in Moss Bluff after 1:30 p.m. yesterday and turned his vehicle into the path of one driven by Rebecca Faircloth, age 20. Trooper Foley said the Hardin woman, who is 8 months pregnant, took evasive action but was hit by Fregia’s car. Rebecca Faircloth was taken to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown where, at last report, she was being treated for multiple fractures and blood-loss. Jeffrey Fregia suffered minor injuries and was cited for failure to yield right-of-way.

The 13th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament benefiting the South Liberty County State Center for children with emotional or mental disorders is set for the weekend of August 2nd through the 4th at the Magnolia Ridge Country Club in Liberty. Entry is $350 per team and sponsorships are available for either $80 or $200. For more information, call Organizer Bruce Burnham at BJ Ford-Mercury in Liberty: 336-2215.

Liberty County will be the focus of a new public affairs program airing on KTRK TV Channel 13 in Houston this Sunday at 11 a.m. The program "County Line" highlights individual counties surrounding Harris County. Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham, Economic Development Coordinator John Hebert, Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart, Economic Development Consultant J. Rice and the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber Of Commerce’s Mary Ann Campbell and Mabel McKnight will all appear on the 30-minute program Sunday.

Just a reminder: New postal rate increases take effect on Sunday June 30th. The U.S. Postal Service is raising the price of mailing letters and other 1st Class Packages weighing one ounce from 34 to 37 cents. Certified, priority, express mail and post office box rates will also increase beginning on Sunday.


Maggie Lynn Carlisle Abercrombie, 79, of Sugarland, Services at 11 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

Arthur Glynn Burrell, 50, of Liberty, Services at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at Trinity Valley Baptist Church in Liberty.

Hiawatha Gale Pyle, 94, of Conroe, Graveside service held Monday.

Beverly O. McManus, 64, of Anahuac, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at 1st Baptist Church in Anahuac.


-VOLUME 17 NO.125 THURSDAY JUNE 27, 2002-

TxDot spokesman Marc Shepherd said that in spite of the necessary traffic delays, the six-month, $1.3 million project to reconstruct the Trinity River Bridge on FM 787 west of Romayor is going well. The project, begun on April 19th, is an effort to lengthen the bridge to prevent it from being covered by water and suffering structural damage during heavy rains. The work has reduced traffic on the bridge to just one lane, but is expected to be completed within the next few months.

The City of Liberty has scheduled a planned citywide power outage from midnight on Friday July 12th until 5 a.m. on Saturday July 13th. The City Electrical Department reports the power will be turned off so critical work can be done on a circuit switcher at the new SRMPA sub-station. Those who need electricity for medical equipment are urged to take precautions.

With the number of dead birds in the Harris County Area that tested positive for the West Nile Virus having jumped from 2 to 13 in the past week, Texas Department of Health Officials continue to monitor the situation. So far the potentially dangerous disease has not spread to neighboring counties. County Extension Agent Ron Holcomb said in spite of the fact that West Nile Virus is rarely dangerous to humans, people here need to remain extra cautious in protecting themselves from mosquitoes and horses should be vaccinated against the virus.

The Steering Committee for next year’s "Liberty County Day in Austin 2003" held their second meeting this month and finalized some plans for the trip scheduled for Monday March 3rd. This will mark the third time a delegation of Liberty County residents visited Austin to serve lunch to and visit with state legislators. Anyone interested in helping with the event can call Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham’s Office at 336-4665.

Registration for the Valley Players’ Summer Student Workshop for students in the 3rd to 12th grades is tomorrow and Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to noon at the Humphreys-Burson Theater in Liberty. For more information, call 336-6699.

6/27 FUNERALS: Arthur Baldwin, 50, of Liberty, Services pending at Wells Mortuary in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO.124 WEDNESDAY JUNE 26, 2002-

Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Chip Fairchild said 20-year-old Sydney Robertson of Daisetta was southbound on FM 770 near Oak Dale Cemetery late yesterday afternoon and lost control of his vehicle, which rolled over several times before coming to rest in a ditch. Deputy Fairchild said the man suffered head and facial lacerations as well as a possible neck injury. Sydney Robertson was air lifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in what was described as stable condition.

Hardin Volunteer Fire Chief Sean Webb said firefighters arrived at the home of Robert McNulty on Hwy 105 in Moss Hill late Sunday night to find flames already shooting through the roof. Mutual aid came from Tarkington and Hull-Daisetta and roughly 15 firefighters battled the blaze until just before 4 the next morning. Mr. McNulty said his dog woke him in time to escape the flames, but the fire gutted most of his home.

Liberty Police responded to a domestic disturbance at the Oaks Apartments on Neyland Drive around 10 Monday night and found 37-year-old Clay Butler reportedly angry and refusing to come out of his house. Officer Hugh Bishop said the man was involved in an argument with his common law wife, Sherry Loper, 34, and would not let her leave the apartment. Police forced their way in and used pepper spray to subdue the man who now faces three separate charges for assault, against Ms. Loper and two of her friends who had arrived during the dispute.

Liberty County Commissioners again tabled any appointments to a citizens committee for air quality strategy at yesterday’s meeting. Commissioners have planned for more than a month now to form the committee to help find alternatives to tailpipe testing for the TNRCC’s clean air plan, but now report difficulty in finding people willing to serve on such a committee.


Connie Jeane Nicol, 63, of Tarkington, Graveside services at 2 p.m. today at Scholobohn Cemetery in Humble.

Roy Brown, 47, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Dayton.

Rachel M. Guidry, 64, of Baytown, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Miles Baptist Church in Ames.

Era Lois Perry, 93, of Cleveland, Services at 5 p.m. Saturday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland.


-VOLUME 17 NO.123 TUESDAY JUNE 25, 2002-

DPS Trooper Gary Wright said Michael John Haggarty was westbound on Hwy 105 at the Trinity River Bridge west of Moss Hill early yesterday afternoon, when the car in front of him slowed to make a left turn. Haggarty slowed down and was hit from behind by a motor home driven by Claude Vernon Harris of Montgomery County. The impact knocked Haggarty’s vehicle into a tractor-trailer in the eastbound lane. He and a passenger, whose name was unavailable, were treated for non-life threatening injuries. Traffic was blocked for just over an hour.

Houston Police Sgt. Andres Reza, 37, and an accomplice, Gloria Rodriguez, 48, were arrested at the Motel 6 on Hwy 146 in Mont Belvieu early last Friday morning and charged with the aggravated kidnapping of Pasadena businesswoman Maria Medeles. Houston Police said the pair abducted the 52-year-old woman from the Katy Freeway area last Thursday and attempted to obtain some $50,000 in ransom money from her boyfriend, also an HPD Officer. Houston Police and the FBI traced the kidnappers’ cell phone signals to the motel. Reza and Rodriguez were arrested and Ms. Medeles was released, suffering only a minor leg injury in the 18-hour ordeal. The suspects are reported still in custody in lieu of a half-million dollar bond each.

Tomorrow is the final day of the second sign up period to be placed on the Texas No-Call List to block annoying telemarketing calls to your home or business. For a fee of up to $5 the program, sponsored by the Texas Public Utilities Commission, has signed up more than half-a-million numbers. To register, call 1-888-896-6225 or visit

The Dayton Chamber of Commerce is initiating a flag program for Dayton similar to the Liberty Lions Club "Flags Across Liberty ". Dayton Chamber President Rick Sparks said U.S. Flags would be set up at homes or businesses in Dayton on the seven patriotic holidays for just $25. Call the Dayton Chamber at 257-2393 to sign up or to get more information.

6/25 FUNERALS: Maurice B. Steger, 88, of Dayton, Graveside services at 11 a.m. today at Oates Cemetery in Leggett, Tx.

Clifford Dean Hotaling, 70, of Dayton, Services at noon Thursday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton


-VOLUME 17 NO.122 MONDAY JUNE 24, 2002-

Liberty County Sheriff’s Captain Don Neyland said 46-year-old Ronald Dale McKenzie arrived at the home of Paula Ficklin in the Pebble Creek Subdivision near Cleveland around 8 p.m. Friday, reportedly angry and possibly intoxicated. A fight ensued between McKenzie and Floyd Vickery Jr., 28, that ended with McKenzie dead from a stab wound to the neck inflicted by an ornamental sword allegedly wielded by Floyd Vickery. An investigation is ongoing to determine if any charges will be filed.

According to Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia, the long battle by county officials and residents to prevent a landfill being located in the western part of the county may finally be over. The Texas Supreme Court last week upheld an appeals court decision denying TSP Development of Kingwood any legal ground to challenge the county’s landfill ordinance that prohibits their proposed site from being built there. Chambers County had already won a substantial victory last month when a federal judge banned the TNRCC from giving TSP a landfill permit until regulatory guidelines had been created. Now, Judge Sylvia said this latest ruling should protect the county from any future unwanted industrial waste sites being installed.

The Liberty County YMCA Founders Campaign got off to a good start at Thursday night’s Kick-Off Banquet at 1st United Methodist Church of Dayton. We have reported the ongoing effort to bring YMCA after-school programs to Liberty and Dayton, as well as a teen program to Cleveland. The campaign chairs report that they have already received pledges totaling one-third of the $300,000 goal to fund operating expenses and YMCA Program Scholarships. For more information on contributing to the effort, call 336-6418 in Liberty, 258-8236 in Dayton or 281-592-2611 in Cleveland.

The Dayton Chamber of Commerce will host a patriotic concert by the internationally known Air National Guard Band of the Gulf Coast on Monday July 1st at Woodrow Wilson Junior High School. Dayton Chamber President Rick Sparks said the concert is free to the public. For more information, call 257-2393.

6/24 FUNERAL: Marvin L. Fregia, Sr., 76, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO.121 FRIDAY JUNE 21, 2002-

District Attorney Mike Little said he is concerned over the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday prohibiting state executions of mentally retarded criminals. The High Court ruled that the execution of persons with an I.Q. below 70 is unlawful. Mr. Little said he certainly does not favor executing the severely mentally retarded, but feels many with only mild retardation still understand the consequences of their choices. Mr. Little said he is not yet sure if the ruling will affect any death sentences from Liberty County, but the most recent of those sentences, given to Robert Bryce Morrow for the murder of Lisa Allison, would not be affected.

The Liberty School Board met Tuesday night and received an update from B.L.G.Y. Architects in Austin and Spawglass Construction on the progress of pre-construction plans for the new Liberty Middle School. Trustees were told the plans were still on track to stay within $9.9 million budget and, at the present pace, the first of LISD’s two new campuses should be completed by May 2004. In other action, school trustees voted unanimously to hire James David Faulkner of Round Rock as Liberty Middle School Principal.

The Texas Department of Health is asking residents of Harris and surrounding counties, including Liberty County to report dead birds, specifically bluejays or crows, not killed by injury or trauma to be tested for the West Nile Virus. Two birds infected with the disease have already been found in the area. The mosquito-transmitted virus rarely causes serious illness in humans. To report this information, call 713-767-3300.

The Dayton School Board gave the Liberty County YMCA Program a big boost at their Tuesday night meeting, voting to endorse the program on an after-school basis for the next school year. Superintendent Nancy Fuller said a survey conducted within the district showed 144 parents interested in enrolling their children in the YMCA after school program.

6/21 FUNERALS: Curtis J. Morris, 49, of Liberty, Service location corrected to 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Paul Baptist Church in Liberty. ** Barbara Jamison, 71, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO.120 THURSDAY JUNE 20, 2002-

Health officials in Southeast Texas are urging residents to take precautions against the spread of the West Nile Virus in this area, after two dead birds found in Harris County were found to have been infected with the disease. Experts say that though the virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, causes serious illness in less than 1% of those infected, 9 people have died of the disease since its arrival in the U.S. in 1999. Health officials suggest wearing long sleeves and pants when outdoors between dusk and dawn, and use mosquito repellent containing 35% of the ingredient "deet" on exposed skin.

The Dayton School Board met Tuesday night and moved a step closer to a possible bond issue election this fall. Financial Advisor Harry Granberry told trustees this is one of the best possible times for calling a bond issue with interest rates still in what is called "the low cycle". Superintendent Nancy Fuller said figures from the Bay Architectural Firm suggest the cost of a new elementary campus could be anywhere between $9 million and $11 million. Under the state election code, the earliest date for such an election would be September 21st.

According to statistics provided by Erin Kerly of the Texas Tourism Development Board, tourism revenues brought more than $28 million to Liberty County last year, part of the more than $5 billion tourism brought to the Southeast Texas area. Ms. Kerly spoke at yesterday’s Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon on how to improve prospects for future tourism here. Ms. Kerly pointed to community support, beautification programs, increased advertising and, most of all, perseverance as major areas to focus on.

There’s still time to sign up to play in the 8th Annual Dare Classic Golf Tournament set for Friday July 12th at the Chambers County Golf Course. Entry fee is $50 per person and sponsorship slots range from $150 to $1,000. All proceeds benefit the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in area schools. Applications are available at all local law enforcement offices or online at

6/20 FUNERAL: Edna Marie Sims, 97, of Hardin, Services at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO.119 WEDNESDAY JUNE 19, 2002-

The date for this year’s Liberty-Dayton "500" Barbecue and Auction is getting closer and Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce President Mary Anne Campbell said there are still tickets remaining for the big drawing on Thursday July 11th at the Liberty VFW Hall. Only five-hundred tickets are sold for $20 each and twelve will be drawn for great prizes including $100 in free groceries, a TV-DVD-VCR combo and a 50" big screen TV valued at more than $1,600. The event also features live and Chinese auctions, plus barbecue dinner by Brick’s BBQ. For more information or for tickets, stop by the Liberty-Dayton Chamber Office on Trinity Street or call 336-5736.

Liberty Panther Baseball Star Craig Rader has been named to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s All State Team. The son of Bobby and Marsha Rader of Liberty was part of the 1999 team that played for the Class 3A State Championship and finished his senior year with a .571 batting average. That is good enough to be ranked 4th in the Houston Chronicle’s tally for all schools Class 4-A and under in the Houston area. Craig Rader said he is still looking for a college but does want to play baseball next season.

The Dayton City Council met Monday night and gave their stamp of approval to three formal letters to the Texas Department of Transportation seeking two traffic signal studies and a feasibility study on a Hwy 90 loop. Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart said Area Engineer Charlotte Warner and other TxDot officials are already familiar with the city’s proposals, but protocol requires the city to make formal written requests.

The Liberty County Worksource Gulf Coast Careers Office has relocated from Sam Houston Street in Liberty to the Project On Aging Building on Panther Lane behind the Eckerd Drug Store. The agency moved to the new location about a month ago and still offers a variety of employment search services as well as veterans’ services and unemployment insurance information. For more information, call Site Manager Annette Beard at 336-3166, Ext. 302 or visit www. Theworksource.Org.

6/19 FUNERAL: Curtis J. Morris, 49, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at Wells Funeral Home in Liberty. **


-VOLUME 17 NO.117 MONDAY JUNE 17, 2002-

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center held a full day of celebration Saturday to mark its 25th Anniversary and the opening of a new exhibit about the history of oil in Southeast Texas. A ribbon-cutting ceremony also took place for the re-opening of the newly restored 1898 St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church building, donated to the library in 1994. The church building will be used as a visitor’s orientation center as well as a meeting place for non-profit organizations and civic clubs.

Hardin Volunteer Firefighters provided mutual aid to the Big Thicket and North Liberty County VFDs around 10:30 last Thursday night to a house fire. The home, owned by Clifford Rhodes, was engulfed in flames. Assistant Hardin Fire Chief Craig Powell said no one was inside the house on CR 2117 in the Trinity River Lake Estates. In the early stages neighbors entered the burning building and saved some belongings. Tarkington firefighters were also called. However, the house, being rented by Angie Johnson, was completely destroyed. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is holding two public hearings this week to discuss the expansion and management plans of the Anahuac, McFaddin, Moody and Texas Point National Wildlife Refuges. The first meeting will be Tuesday from 1 PM to 10 PM at White’s Park in Hankamer. A second meeting will be Thursday from 1 PM to 10pm at the John Gray Center at Lamar University in Beaumont.

The Dayton Police Department will be distributing gunlocks and educational materials free of charge as part of the Firearm Safety Program sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation through a $500,000 state grant. Dayton Police Chief Pete Douzat warns that because guns are stored out-of-sight in cabinets or drawers it does not mean children won’t find them. These gunlocks have been tested and approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for effectiveness. For more information call the Dayton Police Department at 258-7621.


William Zachary Brister, 15, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. today at 1st Baptist Church in Dayton.

J.B. Smith, Sr., 58, of Dayton, Services held Saturday.


-VOLUME 17 NO.116 FRIDAY JUNE 14, 2002-

DPS Trooper Stephen Hebert said Jordan Pierce, 16, of Dayton was westbound on West Woodland Hills Road just north of Dayton around 8:45 a.m. yesterday when he lost control of the SUV he was driving attempting to negotiate a curve in the roadway. The vehicle rolled over twice, ejecting one passenger, 15-year-old William Zachary Brister. The Dayton youth was unresponsive at the scene and died shortly thereafter at Liberty-Dayton Hospital. Jordan Pierce and two other passengers, Roderick Lovell and Eric Hager, both 15 years old, were taken to the Liberty hospital with minor injuries. Trooper Hebert said the four Dayton teens had been going to a football workout at Dayton High School when the accident occurred.

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty will host a full day of celebration tomorrow to commemorate the facility’s 25th Anniversary and the opening of the newly restored 1898 St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Activities begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. at the church, followed by open house tours, as well as the official opening of the Sam Center’s newest exhibit "The Legacy of Spindletop: A Century of Oil in Southeast Texas. " All activities are free and open to the public. The Sam Houston Regional Library is on FM 1011 off Hwy 146 in far North Liberty.

Tuesday night the Liberty School Board voted unanimously to accept a bid of $42,097 from Computer Solutions of Liberty for 43 new computers for Liberty Elementary School. Superintendent Dr. Douglas Moore said the funds were made available through a state telecommunications grant and the new computers are specifically for the use of LES students.

The Hardin Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual BBQ Fundraiser is tomorrow starting at 11 a.m. at the fire station on Hwy 146. Plate lunches are $6.50, whole chickens $6 and whole briskets $25. Assistant Fire Chief Craig Powell said the proceeds from this year’s fundraiser are going toward the purchase of a new fire truck for the department and the equipment to go with it. For more information, call 298-2828.

6/14 FUNERAL: Jimmie Daviss, 91, of Liberty, Services at noon tomorrow at Greater New Hope Baptist Church in Navasota.


-VOLUME 17 NO.115 THURSDAY JUNE 13, 2002-

According to Liberty Police, 18-year-old Patricia Marie Small was dropped off by a relative at Liberty High School in mid-May and has not been seen since. The young Liberty woman is described as 5’ 6" tall, weighing 115 lbs. with blond hair just below her shoulders in length and blue eyes. Investigators say there is no indication of foul play at this time, but ask anyone with information on the missing woman’s whereabouts to contact Liberty Police at 336-5666.

The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and set August 1st as the deadline for delinquent taxpayers to get their unpaid taxes resolved or else they could see their names published in the Vindicator Newspaper. The motion by Councilman Dennis Odell authorizes new City Manager Allen Barnes and his staff to formally notify those individuals of the impending public notice and thereby give them the opportunity to avoid having their names published. Excluded would be delinquent taxpayers over age 65 and those who have already established a payment plan.

DPS Trooper Nathan Pierce said Lewanna Gradney, 28, of Liberty was eastbound on FM 1410 a few miles east of Hwy 61 early Wednesday morning when she lost control of her SUV, overcorrected her steering and left the roadway. The vehicle reportedly flipped twice before coming to rest. Ms. Gradney and two passengers Joanne Hancock, 29, of Mississippi and Jessica Thornton, 15, of Winnie were treated and released from the Winnie Hospital and a third passenger, Alex Morris, 21, of Devers refused medical treatment. An investigation is underway to determine if alcohol was a factor in the wreck.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging Texas property owners who purchased flood insurance in the wake of Tropical Storm Allison to be sure and renew their policies, and not be fooled into thinking such a devastating disaster can’t happen again. FEMA statistics show that while policies increase dramatically in the aftermath of a major flood event, those same policyholders are likely to let their coverage lapse after a year has passed since the disaster occurred.

6/13 FUNERAL: Francis M. Coughlin, Sr., 66, of Liberty, Services pending at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton


-VOLUME 17 NO.114 WEDNESDAY JUNE 12, 2002-

DPS Trooper Gary Wright said 27-year-old Nicole Alexander was southbound on Hwy 146 near Hardin yesterday afternoon and attempted to turn left onto FM 2830. Reports indicate the Hull woman did not signal the turn, and a truck driven by Brian Duane McDaniel, 21, of Anahuac slammed into the back of her car. The impact sent the car skidding into the improved shoulder of the roadway. Ms. Alexander and her 19-month-old daughter, who was secured in a child safety seat, were taken to Liberty-Dayton Hospital for precautionary reasons. Mr. McDaniel did not require medical treatment. Trooper Wright said Nicole Alexander was cited for failing to signal a left turn.

Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday and decided it will be another two weeks before announcing those who will be selected to serve on a committee designed to devise a strategy for cleaning up the air quality in Liberty County. As we reported, the creation of said committee is to appease the TNRCC by coming up with approved alternatives to instituting strict emissions testing. Commissioners plan to announce who will serve on that committee at their meeting on June 25th.

According to Liberty County Health Authority Dr. Steven Ellerbe, the new strain of Type E Hong Kong Flu has reached Southeast Texas, with cases reported in the Houston-Galveston area. No cases have yet shown up in Liberty County, but Dr. Ellerbe said the potential for an outbreak exists, even though the official flu season ends in May. This year’s flu vaccine is not effective against the new strain and keeping hands washed is the best prevention since that is how flu is most often transmitted.

The Grand Opening of the new Magnolia Ridge Country Clubhouse is tomorrow from 5 to 7 p.m. While smaller than the old country club building- destroyed by fire almost two years ago- construction officials said the new facility uses space more efficiently than the original. Other improvements include refurbished tennis courts and lifeguards on duty at all times at the club pool. Food and drinks will be served and the public is invited to attend the Ribbon-Cutting and Open House tomorrow.

6/12 FUNERAL: Dorothy E. Bradley, 78, of Anahuac, Graveside services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Anahauc Cemetery.


-VOLUME 17 NO.113 TUESDAY JUNE 11, 2002-

DPS Trooper Wes Doolittle said a westbound vehicle on Hwy 90 around 6 a.m. Sunday drifted into the eastbound lane, hit a mailbox and a deflector pole, then blew out a front tire before heading into a sideways skid. The vehicle reportedly flipped three times, ejecting the male driver, before slamming into the railroad tracks. The unconscious man, who’s name was not available, was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, and Trooper Doolittle said it appeared he fell asleep at the wheel. Meanwhile, information from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office indicates the blue 86’ Cutless involved in the wreck was reported stolen from Devers, adding that the driver will be arrested once he’s released from the hospital.

An interruption of Entergy’s electrical power feed to Liberty and Dayton yesterday morning resulted in a more-than three hour power outage for Liberty. Entergy’s Sam Bethea said an automatic override switch cut power to parts of Dayton and virtually all of Liberty around 11:15 a.m. While Dayton’s power was back on after about an hour, more problems including a fallen tree limb and a malfunctioning rerouting switch kept Liberty without power for another hour-and-a-half.

DPS Sergeant Ryan Arthur said an investigation is ongoing to determine if charges will be filed against 21-year-old Shauna Marie Tanton in connection with the two-vehicle collision last week that claimed two lives. Reports indicate the Hardin woman was southbound on Hwy 146 south of Dayton last Thursday night, when she entered oncoming traffic and struck another vehicle head-on. A passenger, Kelly Kathleen Tanton, age 31, of Oak Island and the other driver, Chester Rogers, 52 of Onalaska were both killed in the wreck. Shauna Marie Tanton was transported from the accident to Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston where she is now listed in good condition.

Tomorrow is the deadline to sign up for Friday’s Fourth Annual Liberty County EMS Golf Tournament at the Eagle Pointe Golf Course in Mont Belvieu. Proceeds from the event will be used to help purchase automatic external defibrillators, some to be placed in Liberty County EMS Ambulances. Cost to enter is $85 per person or $340 per four-person team. For more information or to enter the tournament, call 536-3080.


-VOLUME 17 NO.112 MONDAY JUNE 10, 2002-

Department of Public Safety Sergeant Ryan Arthur said it was around 10 PM Thursday Night when Shauna Marie Tanton, 21 of Hardin was Southbound on Hwy 146 about 2 miles south of Dayton, and reportedly crossed into the northbound lanes. Her vehicle struck nearly head-on with one driven by John Chester Rogers, 52 of Onalaska. Mr. Rogers and a passenger in Ms. Tanton’s vehicle, Kelly Kathleen Tanton, 31 of Oak Island, were pronounced dead at the scene by Justice of the Peace for Precinct #1 Bobby Rader. Shauna Tanton, of Hardin, was taken to San Jacinto Memorial Hospital in Baytown with injuries not thought to be life-threatening.

It was around 6 PM Saturday Night when neighbors reported flames and smoke from behind the Jim Maxwell’s family home on CR 676 off Hwy 321. By the time the night was over, the home was completely gutted by flames, and 4 local fire departments were called to contain the fire. Mr. Maxwell’s daughter, Mary Maxwell from Houston said her parents were out of the country on vacation, and she was staying at the home. She said she was away on errands at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation by Fire Marshal Jim Wilson.

J.R. Pickens, of Liberty signed a contract last night to forego his senior season at the University of Mississippi to play professional baseball. Pickens, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in last week’s baseball draft, signed a contract to play with their Class A franchise, the Vancouver Canadiens. J.R. had a sore arm at the end of the college baseball season, but said doctors prescribed cortisone injections, and he has not experienced pain and has been throwing hard ever since.

A new postmaster for the City of Liberty Post Office will be sworn in this week. Ralph Linkenhoker has been in the Liberty Office since March 4th, but his inauguration ceremony will be this Friday at noon. Linkenhoker comes to Liberty from the Friendswood Post Office and has been with the USPS since 1976. He said he’s working on providing a greater variety of commemorative stamps to be available for purchase.

6/10 FUNERALS: Kelly Kathleen Tanton, 31 of Oak Island. Services will be today at 3 PM at the Oak Island Baptist Church.


-VOLUME 17 NO.111 FRIDAY JUNE 07, 2002-

According to Houston Attorney Mike Stafford, it is difficult to estimate when drivers in the eight counties ordered to slower speed limits may be able to drive 70 mph again. We reported the TNRCC is now recommending the speed limits they ordered lowered to 55 mph to improve air quality be changed back for most vehicles. Stafford is just one of many who argued against the change in the first place, questioning its effectiveness. The TNRCC will hold public hearings on the matter next month, and Mr. Stafford estimated the soonest motorists in Liberty, Chambers, Harris and surrounding counties can go 70 again would be between January and Spring of next year.

The Dayton City Council met Monday night and voted to authorize City Manager Robert Ewart to develop formal requests to TxDot for traffic signal studies for Hwy 90 at Hwy 146, as well as FM 1960 at Waco Street. Mr. Ewart said council also directed him to begin formally developing a feasibility study for a possible loop between Hwy 90 west and Hwy 90 east, south of Dayton, to help ease congested traffic conditions there.

Monday’s All Nine Partyline Program at 8:30 a.m. will feature Dan Murph, author of the recently published biography "Texas Giant: The Life of Price Daniel". Mr. Murph’s grandfather, the legendary three-term Texas Governor was elected to more high offices than anyone in the state’s history. Following the program, Mr. Murph will be signing copies of the book from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sam Houston Regional Library in Liberty.

The second Saturday of the month arrives tomorrow and with it the popular La Bahia Market. Visitors can once again shop among the wide variety of arts and crafts, homemade foods, antiques and more from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Courthouse Square in downtown Liberty. The cost to become a vendor is only $5. For more information, call 336-5736.

6/7 FUNERALS: Howard Fred Standley, 75, of Double Bayou, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Oak Island Baptist Church. ** Bill Smith, 71, of Dayton, Services at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dayton. ** Russel Paul Trick, Sr., 63, of Dayton, Services at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO.110 THURSDAY JUNE 06, 2002-

After TxDot spent millions of dollars changing speed limit signs to 55 mph in Harris and surrounding counties including Liberty, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission is recommending changing those speed limits back to 70 mph for cars and light trucks. Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham said the TNRCC has determined the lower speed limit is doing nothing to reduce toxic emissions in the area, but nothing will be final until a series of public hearings are held next month.

Chambers County Judge Jimmy Sylvia said an anonymous male caller phoned the Chambers County Courthouse in Anahuac yesterday morning threatening to detonate a bomb in the building. Some 50 employees and around 60 visitors were evacuated. A Baytown Police Bomb Squad swept the building inside and out. Nothing suspicious was found and the courthouse is expected to be open for normal business hours today.

The Valley Players will present Agatha Christie’s "The Mousetrap" at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Humphreys-Burson Theatre in Liberty. Tickets are $5 each. For reservations, call Jackie Hartel at 336-6699.

A memorial book for Liberty County Sheriff’s Corporal David King, who was killed in an auto accident Tuesday morning, has been placed in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Dept. on Beaumont Ave. today and tomorrow. Afterwards, the book will be presented to Corporal King’s family.

Yesterday’s Shine All Nine Radiogram misreported the last name of Christy Brown, a tenant at the Park Forest Apartments in Liberty. We apologize for that error.


Marshall Edwin Walker, 80, of Cleveland, Services held Wednesday.
Lois Louise Moore-Low, 73, of Crockett, Graveside services at 10 a.m. today at Linney Cemetery.
Kelly McCoy, 17, of Beach City, Services at 11 a.m. today at Holy Trinity Mission Catholic Church in Mont Belvieu.
Mary Devlin, 89, of Hardin, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.
Minnie Olar Mullinex, 96, of Magnolia, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO.109 WEDNESDAY JUNE 05, 2002-

Flags are flying at half-mast at the request of Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham in honor of Sheriff’s Deputy Corporal David King who died in a car accident responding to an emergency call shortly after 2 Tuesday morning. Sheriff Greg Arthur said Corporal King’s patrol car collided with a horse that was roaming loose on FM 1960 near Dayton. Taken by air ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, the 32-year-old Dayton lawman was pronounced dead there a few hours later. David King is the sixth Liberty County Law Officer to die in the line of duty since the county’s creation in 1836.

Liberty County Commissioners met in a budget workshop session yesterday and discussed a new proposal from the Siemans Co. to perform the work to repair toxic mold damage to the County Courthouse. County Judge Lloyd Kirkham told commissioners the company was proposing a three phase project to repair the mold damage and proof the courthouse from future water damage, at an estimated cost of just over $1 million. The original estimate had been more than three times that amount.

According to information from the manager of the Forest Grand Apartments on Lakeland Drive in Liberty, a new tenant, Christy St. Julian was using candles for lighting until her electricity was turned on. One of those candles fell to the floor and ignited a fire in the apartment just after midnight Tuesday. While a neighbor poured water on the burning wall and carpet, others alerted those living in nearby apartments. Liberty Firefighters arrived to find the fire out, but used ejector fans to clear the smoke. There were no injuries and damage was reported as being minimal.

Another increase in postal rates is planned for the end of this month. Dayton Post Master Gwen Alpha said the Postal Service is raising the price of mailing letters and other 1st Class Packages weighing one ounce from 34 cents to 37 cents effective June 30th. There will also be price hikes for certified, priority and express mail as well as post office boxes and parcel postage.

6/5 FUNERALS: David King, 32, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. Friday at 1st Baptist Church in Dayton. ** Lois Moore, 74, of Crockett, Graveside services Thursday at 10 a.m. at Linney Cemetery in Dayton.


VOLUME 17 NO.108 TUESDAY JUNE 04, 2002-

DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said Kelly McCoy, age 17, an offensive lineman for the Barbers Hill Eagles Football Team, was on his way to work out at the high school yesterday afternoon when he was involved in a two-vehicle wreck on FM 3180 in Chambers County. Precinct #6 J.P. Larry Cryer pronounced the young man dead at the scene. The driver of the second vehicle, William Black, 16, of League City was injured, but not critically and taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston for treatment.

Liberty County Sheriff’s Corporal Mark Davison said 59-year-old Joe Allen, described as suffering from a mental illness, had been pulled over for a routine traffic stop, then taken to Liberty-Dayton Hospital. The Richmond man allegedly fled the hospital and attempted to evade custody in his vehicle, pursued by authorities. The chase ran through the Travis Park Subdivision in Liberty, with the fleeing man reportedly ramming a Sheriff’s Department patrol car with his own. DPS Troopers used road spikes to puncture the fugitive’s tires. No serious injuries were sustained in the chase or the struggle to place Joe Allen under arrest that followed. The Richmond man will be transferred to Tri-County MH/MR for observation.

Liberty Police Detective Bill Griffin said 52-year-old Bill Curtis gave a man a ride from the Brookshire’s Parking Lot in Liberty to the parking lot of the old Snappy’s Grocery where he fell victim to a strong arm robbery. The Dayton man was not injured but his passenger and an accomplice stole his wallet and fled on foot. The first suspect is described as a black male, roughly 6 ‘ tall, between 140 and 150 lbs. in his late 50’s. The second is a black male, just over 6’, between 180 and 200 lbs. Anyone with information is asked to call Liberty Police at 336-5666.

This coming Saturday marks the beginning of the 20th season of KSHN’s popular radio auction, "What’s Your Bid? ". From 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday throughout the summer, listeners are invited to call in and bid on a great variety of merchandise and services from area businesses as they are described live on the air. Items are always sold well below the retail price.

6/4 FUNERALS: William Louie Moran, 75, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at the Liberty Church of Christ.


-VOLUME 17 NO.107 MONDAY JUNE 3, 2002-

Homeowner Bobbie Ballard said he was burning trash Sunday afternoon at home on FM 1011 when he became hot and went inside. Ballard thought the fire was out, but knew immediately what had happened once he heard a loud bang. It took members of the Hardin, Hull-Daisetta and City of Liberty Fire Departments to keep it from spreading into the nearby woods. Assistant HVFD Chief Craig Powell said a tractor and back hoe was used to dig under the trash pile to be sure the fire was out.

Department of Public Safety Trooper Bryan Nichols said Dianna Shaw, 42, of Rye was turning into the Hardin Middle School parking lot Friday morning when she collided with a vehicle driven by James Barker, Jr., 38, of Cleveland. Ms. Shaw and two children, Nathan Clifton, 9 months, and Darla Shaw, age 13, were taken by Liberty County EMS to Liberty-Dayton Hospital with minor injuries.

Popular Dayton High School Band Director Gary Monroe is leaving to accept a similar position in the Mesquite School District, in the Dallas area. He’s been the band director for the award winning Bronco Band for 8 years, and previously worked for 12 years at Hardin High.

The Liberty Municipal Library will host the first event of this summers reading program event Thursday at 10 AM. Kids will hear from "Julian Franks Wild West Reading Show." Franks is an educational entertainer specializing in bringing Texas History to life. The event is free for city residents in the summer reading program. For more information, call the Library at 336-8901.

5\31 FUNERAL: Sonya M. "Sissy" Abshire, 32 of Hankamer. Funeral services will be tomorrow at 2 PM at the First Baptist Church in Anahuac.

Oscar Bernard, Sr., 79 of Double Bayou. Funeral services will be today at 11 AM at the St. Paul Methodist Church in Double Bayou.

M.B. Coward, 92 of Hardin. Funeral services will be tomorrow at 10 AM at Allison Funeral Home in Liberty.

Eleanor Novelle Day, 81 of Double Bayou. Funeral services will be today at 2 PM at the Assembly of God Church in Double Bayou.

James E. McNew II, 44 of Hardin. Funeral services were held yesterday at the Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.


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Videos are available for playback at the bottom of this page

  • July 19, Texas AgriLife Extension Service
  • July 18, Partyline Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of  Commerce
  • July 11, Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center Symposium


Partyline Schedule
Mon: 7/22 Liberty Police Dept. National Night Out
Tue: 7/23  TRWR Moth Night Out
Wed: 7/24 Dayton ISD
Thur: 7/25 Open
Fri: 7/26 Open 
Mon: 7/29 Open
Tue: 7/30 Open
Wed: 7/31 Liberty ISD

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