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July 2002


-VOLUME 17 NO.143, WEDNESDAY, JULY. 24, 2002-

According to information from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, 19-year-old Jeremy Joseph Spears entered the Spin N’ Market convenience store on FM 1409 south of Dayton around 5:47 yesterday morning. The man reportedly asked to borrow money and when the store clerk refused, he displayed a weapon and demanded money. The suspect was arrested by Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Longoria on FM 1409 not long afterward and an automatic handgun was allegedly recovered from his car. Jeremy Joseph Spears, at last report remains in the Liberty County Jail awaiting bond on aggravated robbery charges.

The 2nd Annual Dayton Historical Society Auction, simulcast on KSHN FM and LDTV is set for Thursday August 8th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Once again this year, radio listeners and television viewers can bid on a wide range of merchandise including CD’s, water skies, best-selling books, electronic organizers and much more. All proceeds will go toward the restoration of the Old School Building in Dayton. To donate items for the auction or to make a cash donation, call 258-5259 or 258-3386.

The Dayton City Council met Monday night and unanimously approved an ordnance for the issuance of half-a-million dollars in tax notes to fund the purchase and renovation of the Dayton Masonic Lodge to serve as the new Dayton City Hall. The tax notes will also finance the refurbishing of the current city hall into a new Dayton Police Station.

Results are in from July 12th’s Annual DARE Golf Tournament and for the first time in the event’s history, a team from Liberty County took first place in the low gross category. The team consisted of Precinct #3 Commissioner Melvin Hunt, Doug Calame of Houston, Sean Nelson and Robert Howell, both of Cleveland. District Attorney Mike Little said this year’s tournament was a huge success and all proceeds will benefit the Drug Abuse Resistance Program in area schools.

The Liberty Dixie Debs 16-to-18-year-old Girls Softball team finished in third place at State Tournament in Sulfur Springs this past weekend. The Liberty girls, reportedly one of the youngest teams in the tournament, suffered a 3 to 1 loss to Titus County Sunday night, a team they had defeated in an earlier match-up.


-VOLUME 17 NO.142, TUESDAY, JULY. 23, 2002-

Liberty Police Officer Hugh Bishop said 18-year-old Keith Ryan Burch of Dayton was eastbound on Hwy 90 between Liberty and Dayton around 7:45 yesterday evening, when he apparently blacked out at the wheel. The vehicle hit the edge of a guardrail and flipped onto its roof across both westbound lanes. The young man was taken by Life Flight air ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in stable condition. Three passengers in the vehicle did not suffer serious injury.

The Dayton City Council met last night to consider a proposed tax rate that is slightly higher than that first offered by City Manager Robert Ewart. Mr. Ewart told council information from the Central Appraisal District shows $4 million in taxable property still being contested by owners. While some of that value may still make it on to the tax rolls, Mr. Ewart said the safest choice was set the tax rate at $.695 cents per $100 of property value rather than his initial proposal of $.6404. Council is expected to vote on the tax rate in early in September.

Liberty Police Officer Matt Custer said Leonard Stanek, 22, of Huffman was rear-ended at the intersection of Hwy 90 and Bowie by a vehicle driven by Michael Medlin, 41, of Dayton yesterday afternoon. Mr. Stanek and two passengers, 9-months pregnant Rebecca Stanek, 19, and Stephen Anderson, also 19, of Houston all suffered minor injuries. Michael Medlin was not only cited for failure to control speed, but was arrested at the scene for having no valid driver license or proof of insurance.

Some players’ spots are still available for the 13th Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament over the weekend of August 2nd through August 4th at Magnolia Ridge Country Club in Liberty. All proceeds from the popular event benefits the South Liberty County State Center Child and Adolescent program that provides assistance and services to children with severe mental or emotional disorders. Tournament sponsorships are also still available for $80 or $100. For more information, call Bruce Burnham at BJ Ford Mercury, 936-336-2215.

7/23 FUNERAL: Brunson Ellis "Punkin’" Williamson, 64, of Hardin, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty


-VOLUME 17 NO.141, MONDAY, JULY. 22, 2002-

DPS Trooper Steven Hebert said around 4 p.m. Sunday, William Fuchs of Baytown was eastbound on CR 6474 in the West Woodland Hills neighborhood north of Dayton when the front wheel of his motorcycle locked while he applied the brakes. Trooper Hebert said the motorcycle left the road, causing the 22-year-old to be thrown off. Mr. Fuchs suffered nasty scrapes and abrasions. He was brought to L/D Hospital in stable condition.

The Dayton School Board met Thursday night and adopted a resolution to give public notice the district will accept bids to sell their administration building on Hwy 90. We have reported that trustees voted to sell, to an unnamed business, who plans to tear down the building and put a retail business on the 1.4-acre tract. The price offered is $925,000. Of course, they must first be the preferred bidder. Trustees also hired the PBK architectural firm to design a proposed new elementary campus expected to go before voters, in the fall, for approval.

We have it from an irrefutable source that Jake Honea is no longer Superintendent of the Hardin ISD, having reached a separation agreement with Hardin School Trustees. Although Honea’s three years at the helm has seen Hardin schools enjoying a higher academic rating and better financial condition than before, there have been rumors of conflict with trustees over his management style. Mr. Honea reportedly accepted a buy out of his contract and resigned. District Business Manager Craig Ringer is Interim Superintendent.

Firefighters from Ames, Hull-Daisetta and Raywood were needed to contain a fire that damaged much of a manufactured home belonging to Danny and Sonya Lambert Friday morning. Hull-Daisetta Fire Chief Lynn Wells said the residents were not at the home, located on FM 2830 in Raywood, when the fire started, apparently in or near the laundry room.

7/22 FUNERALS: Marjorie May Hancock, 77, of Batson, Services at 2 p.m. today at 1st Baptist Church in Batson.

Jack Lloyd Carter, 46, formerly of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

Horace Baldwin, 79 of Liberty, Services Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Trinity Valley Baptist Church in Liberty.

Hanson Nugent, Jr., 55 of Hardin, Services at 11 a.m. today at Guedry Cemetery in Batson.


-VOLUME 17 NO.140, FRIDAY, JULY 19, 2002-

An article in the Northwest Florida News newspaper reported the murder of a former Chambers County resident, allegedly by his 15-year-old nephew. Jack Lloyd Carter was reportedly found at his sister’s home in Beulah, Florida dead of multiple stab wounds Tuesday night. Charged in the case is Daniel Carter, 15, who police say admitted to the murder, but has not said why. Jack Carter moved to Florida 7 years ago. You may recall that his sister, Sharon Carter, was severely burned in a dramatic pipeline explosion in Moss Bluff several years ago.

The campaign for the office of Texas State Comptroller led Democratic Candidate Marty Akins of Marble Falls through Liberty yesterday to touch base with friends and supporters, including Liberty County Judge Lloyd Kirkham, District Judge Chap Cain and Liberty Mayor Bruce Halstead. Akins hopes to unseat Incumbent Republican Carole Keeton Rylander in November and said if he does so, one priority will be making the right decisions to reduce the state’s $7 billion debt.

A third local team is heading to a state tournament this weekend. The Liberty Dixie League 11 and 12-year-old Major Boys Team will be leaving for Henderson, Texas tomorrow with the first game of the 10-round double elimination tournament set for 7:30 p.m. against the Longview Nationals. We have already reported both the Liberty Dixie Bells 13 to 15-year old Girls and Dixie Debs 16 to 18-year-old Girls Softball Teams will also be competing in state tournament play this weekend.

The Dayton Town Square Committee has re-scheduled the plant sale and auction that were rained out last week for tomorrow at noon. All proceeds will be used to pay for architectural designs for the new Dayton Town Square and the event will be at the proposed site, accessible on Depot Street. Barbecue sausage links will also be available for purchase.

7/19 FUNERALS: Ellis M. Quinn, Jr., 80, of Liberty, Services at 10:30 a.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Helen Marie Thibodeaux, 83, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty. ** Esther Lorraine Frizzell Fortune, 76, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **


-VOLUME 17 NO.139, THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2002-

It was around 10 a.m. yesterday when Chambers County Sheriff Monroe Kreuzer fired his long-time Chief Deputy Dearl Hardy. Mr. Hardy’s attorney, Greg Cagle, said while Sheriff Kreuzer did not say so, he believes the firing is the result of this week’s indictments against three Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputies for offenses ranging from tampering with government documents to sexual misconduct. Mr. Cagle said Dearl Hardy testified before the grand jury last week on 15 separate allegations lodged against him, but was not indicted on any of them. Greg Cagle said his client, Mr. Hardy, is currently considering possible legal action over his firing.

Construction is expected to begin soon on the City of Hardin’s first sewer system that, according to Mayor Bill Haynie, will serve some 404 homes in and around Hardin when completed. The city has received more than $3 million in grant and loan money from the Texas Division of the USDA Rural Development Department to install the wastewater collection and treatment system. The department’s State Director Bryan Daniel said hooking up a central sewer system would be better for the city’s growth and the environment.

The Liberty ISD Board of Trustees met Tuesday night and received an update from Assistant Superintendent Tommy Davis on the plans for the construction of the new Liberty Middle School. Mr. Davis said electrical, mechanical and structural engineers are currently adding their designs to the building plans, which should be finalized for review in September.

Not one but two Liberty Dixie League Teams will be competing for a state title this weekend. The Dixie Belles 13 to 15 year old Girls Softball Team leaves tomorrow for this weekend’s competition in Mount Vernon, Texas. The Belles play their first game Saturday night at 8. Meanwhile, The Liberty Dixie Debs 16 to 18 year-old Girls head for a state tournament in Sulfur Springs, starting tomorrow at 6 p.m. against Fannin County.


Hugh McCall Meyer, 76, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

Daisy Douzar, 84, of Dayton, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO.138, WEDNESDAY, JULY. 17, 2002-

According to District Attorney Mike Little, all charges against Vernon Coates will be dropped in the wake of grand jury indictments against Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputies for allegedly falsifying information concerning the Anahuac man’s arrest last September for DWI and evading detention. We have reported the many allegations of misconduct against the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office including those made over his alleged attempt to run down Deputy Frank Saye in March 2001.

Deputies John Joslin and Brett Hulsey were indicted for tampering with government records and Deputy Joslin also faces charges of official oppression and aggravated perjury. Also indicted is Deputy Crystal Shoppe for alleged sexual misconduct with a jail prisoner. DA Mike Little said emphatically that the grand jury investigation against Chambers County Sheriff’s Department personnel is continuing.

DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Gordon Bean was northbound on San Jacinto Street in Liberty around 3 p.m. yesterday when his patrol car was struck by a westbound vehicle driven by Charles Dolan of Liberty. Deputy Gordan was not hurt and Charles Dolan was treated for minor injuries, before being arrested for DWI and an outstanding warrant for probation violation.

Liberty ISD Superintendent Dr. Douglas Moore said the district entered into an agreement yesterday that allows the non-profit "Mo-To-Go" Armadillo College Foundation to solicit grants and scholarship aids for students to attend Prairie View A&M University. The cooperative effort between the school district, the foundation and the university is to help LISD grads who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend the college.

The Dayton City Council met with their financial advisor Harry Granbury Monday night to set the stage for the sale of some $500,000 in tax notes to finance the remodeling of the Dayton Masonic Lodge into a new city hall, and the current city hall into a new police station. The adoption of the ordinance to initiate that sale is expected at the council’s meeting next Monday.

7/17 FUNERALS: Viola Bolds, 89, of Hardin, Services at 1 p.m. Saturday at Olive Bethel Baptist Church in Hardin.


-VOLUME 17 NO.137, TUESDAY, JULY. 16, 2002-

Devers Volunteer Fire Department Chief Darrin Traywick said firefighters made a return trip on Sunday night to a house on FM 1410 where they had been called on Saturday night. Chief Traywick said the vacant home of Clint and Christi Ayers caught fire around 8 p.m. Saturday, possibly due to a lightning strike, sustaining only minor damage. However, when the blaze rekindled Sunday firefighters from three departments were unable to prevent the home from being completely destroyed.

According to a report in Saturday’s Baytown Sun Newspaper, a Chambers County Grand Jury has handed down sealed indictments against some Chambers County Sheriff’s Deputies. While the names of those indicted were not available, the report said Chief Deputy Dearl Hardy has been under investigation for allegedly ordering deputies to falsify documents. We have reported that Deputy John Joslin has been accused of sexual misconduct by fellow deputy, Crystal Shoppe who is now herself accused of the same sort of misconduct towards a prisoner. Texas Ranger Frank Huff is leading the investigation, who along with Sheriff Monroe Kreuzer and DA Mike Little would not comment about the indictments to the Baytown Sun.

Organizers for the Liberty County YMCA Founders Campaign report the effort to bring the "Y" after school and teen programs to the area has collected $150,000 in two year pledges. That is one half of the $300,000 to fund the programs initially. To pledge a donation to the YMCA Founders Campaign, call 336-6418 in Liberty, 258-8236 in Dayton, or 592-2611 in Cleveland.

The 19th Annual National Night Out Against Crime" is on Tuesday August 6th. From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. That night, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce is encouraging Dayton residents to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights and spend the evening outdoors with neighbors and law enforcement personnel to help heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. For more information, call the Dayton Chamber at 257-2393.

7/16 FUNERALS: Larry Allan Dugat, Sr., 63, of Old River, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Mont Belvieu Assembly of God Church.

Vena Cochran, Memorial Service at 2 p.m. today at 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO.136, MONDAY, JULY. 15, 2002-

Two Dayton women were injured in a one-vehicle accident around 9:50 Sunday morning on FM 1960 about 2 miles west of Dayton. DPS Trooper Nathan Pierce said Evette Stockdale may have blacked out while driving. Her vehicle veered off the road and hit a culvert. Trooper Pierce said one passenger, Dorice Chambers, was ejected after the vehicle went airborne and hit a nearby fence. Ms. Chambers was transported by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with severe lacerations to her arm. The driver went by Liberty County EMS to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown with minor injuries.

Dayton School Trustees voted last Tuesday night to sell the district’s school administration building on Hwy 90 to an as-yet-unnamed retail concern for $925,000. The vote was 5 to 1 with Trustee Buddy Janacek voting "no." Reportedly, he felt the board should have held out for a higher price. Superintendent Nancy Fuller said there is a lot to do before the building can be sold, but the first major steps have been taken. The board is expected to order the required bidding process this week. This un-named buyer has said they are only interested in the location. If they are the high bidder the 25 year old structure, originally home to the defunct Southeastern Savings, that has been the school administration building since 1991, would be demolished.

Memorial Hermann Hospital officials report the condition of Steven Aron Taylor of Liberty has been upgraded from critical to fair. The 24-year-old Liberty man remains in the Houston hospital’s intensive care unit since being air lifted there on Saturday July 6th. Reportedly, Mr. Taylor lost control of his car in Hardin and struck some trees. The Liberty man suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries.

The Hardin Volunteer Fire Department was called to a manufactured home fire on County Road 2087 near Hardin late Saturday night. Hardin Fire Chief Sean Webb said the house was heavily involved in flames when they arrived and eventually was destroyed completely. Chief Webb said the home was owned by Gary and Terry Skaiens of Dayton, and was being rented by Cody and Sandy Prichard. They recently moved so the home could be remodeled. The Liberty and Hull-Daisetta Fire Departments joined the Hardin Volunteers in the battle. The fire will be investigated by Fire Marshall Jim Wilson and the Sheriff’s Department. Firefighters said the cause is suspicious.


-VOLUME 17 NO.135, FRIDAY, JULY. 12, 2002-

The City of Liberty has cancelled the city -wide power outage planned for tonight. According to information from the city electrical department SRMPA crews were able to make the necessary repairs to the new sub-station switcher yesterday morning without having to turn the power off.

According to family members, 20-year-old Rebecca Smart Faircloth has improved to stable condition and been transferred from Memorial Hermann Hospital’s Shock Trauma ICU to a private room. Two weeks have passed since the two-vehicle wreck on FM 563 in Moss Bluff that critically injured the young Hardin woman and cost the life of her near-term infant. Mrs. Faircloth’s condition is reportedly continuing to improve.

Liberty Police Officer Gary Martin said 45-year-old Daphne Blackshire of Liberty was crossing Main Street yesterday afternoon when she hit a northbound pickup truck driven by Glenn Smallwood, 42, of Lufkin. The collision spun Mrs. Blackshire’s vehicle around and it struck another vehicle, driven by Sheila Hempel, 16, of Liberty. Wanda Joyce, 51, a passenger in Mrs. Blackshire’s vehicle, was taken to Liberty-Dayton Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Daphne Blackshire was arrested for driving without a license.

Sempra Energy officials told a gathering of Dayton citizens and political leaders Tuesday that in spite of the current downturn in the energy market, the planned Cedar Power Project is still a high priority. Jim Sehagen, Project Development Supervisor for the estimated $200 million power plant to be built off FM 1960, said the construction start date is set for early next year and the 500 megawatt plant should be producing power by 2005.

The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting to welcome Abner and Jill Casas as the new owners of the McDonalds restaurant on Hwy 90 at Hwy 321 in Dayton is tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event was originally set for last month, but was rescheduled due to bad weather.

7/12 FUNERAL: Wayne William Wertz, Jr., 29, of New Caney, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty


-VOLUME 17 NO.134, THURSDAY, JULY. 11, 2002-

Liberty County Sheriff’s Detective Jim Cooper said 77-year-old Rosa Berrera is in stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after being accidentally shot by her husband, Francisco Berrera, 54. Reportedly, the couple was moving items out of a family member’s house in the Bar-D Subdivision between Rye and Romayor yesterday morning when Mr. Berrera mishandled a .22-calibur revolver. Mrs. Berrera was shot in her leg and abdomen. No charges have been filed.

Yesterday’s report on the Liberty County Commissioners approval of a contract with Government Services Automation for computer services failed to include an important point: the contract in question is an extension of the current one while the county’s new computer service Net Data converts county files to their programs. County Auditor Harold Seay said the county has paid GSA roughly $17,000 a month for several years, but now, just for the extension, GSA is charging close to $40,000 a month because the county has no choice. Mr. Seay said he would let other counties know of what he called, GSA’s price gouging.

The Dayton Community Development Corporation will have a barbecue and auction Saturday to raise funds for a proposed "Dayton Town Square". The brainchild of Dayton City Manager Robert Ewart, the square is planned to be located in the vacant area between Main and Cook Streets and Saturday’s fundraiser will be held there from noon to 6 p.m. Barbecue will be $5 a plate and the auction starts at 3 p.m.

The Liberty City Council Tuesday night voted to table a proposed franchise agreement with Reliant Energy Entex until further negotiations on a franchise fee. The former 25-year-old contract with the city recently expired and Entex’s proposal is to maintain the current fee of 2% of gross receipts or roughly $30,000 to the city. City Manager Allen Barnes said he would like to see that fee increased to 4% or roughly $60,000 per year.

Here’s another reminder about tomorrow night’s city- wide planned power outage in the City of Liberty. The power will be turned off at midnight Friday for approximately 5 hours while work is done on a switcher at the new SRMPA substation. Power should be back on by 5 a.m. Saturday at the latest.


-VOLUME 17 NO.133, WEDNESDAY, JULY. 10, 2002-

Liberty County Commissioners met yesterday morning and approved, after a lengthy debate, a revised contract with Government Services Automation to install new computers and software in the Liberty County Courthouse. Precinct #1 Commissioner Todd Fontenot had favored tabling the issue in the absence of the county’s lead negotiator on the contract, Precinct #2 Commissioner Lee Groce. Commissioner Groce was absent due to his wife’s illness. The contract as approved offers the county a reduced cost if the installation is done in less than ninety days. In other action, appointments were finalized to the Citizens Committee on Air Quality that will consist of Tom Miksch of Hardin, T.W. Garrett of Cleveland, Sandra Pickett of Liberty, Ed Brantley of Moss Bluff and Sue Smart of Dayton.

The Dayton City Council held a budget workshop Monday night to wrestle with the numbers that will eventually comprise the Fiscal Year 2003 Budget. The city’s financial advisor Harry Granberry was on hand to discuss the best way to finance the planned renovation and remodeling of the Dayton Masonic Lodge into a new Dayton City Hall. That project is to be followed by the remodeling and renovation of the present city hall into the new Dayton Police Station. Preliminary estimates of the total cost of the projects are around $500,000.

According to information from the Liberty County YMCA Founders Campaign, the effort to bring after-school and teen programs here took a major step forward with a $20,000 pledge from Sempra Energy. Development Coordinator Dr. Kellie Buchanan said pledges now total $126,000 and it is hoped the effort will reach the half way mark in the $300,000 goal by the end of this week. Two- year pledges to the effort can be made monthly, quarterly or annually. For more information, call 336-6418 in Liberty, 258-8236 in Dayton or 592-2611 in Cleveland.

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Liberty Blood Drive is tomorrow from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 1st Liberty National Bank. Coordinator Dorothy Nettles said donations at the drive can be designated as replacement units for Rebecca Smart Faircloth of Hardin and Steven Taylor of Liberty, both still stable but critical at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, recovering from recent auto accidents. For more information, 936-298-2689.


-VOLUME 17 NO.132, TUESDAY, JULY. 09, 2002-

DPS Trooper Brian Nichols said Gay Neal of Dayton was stopped on FM 1960 waiting to make a left turn around 11:30 a.m. yesterday when Linda Chandler, also of Dayton rear-ended her vehicle. The impact forced Ms. Neal’s car into the eastbound lane where it collided head-on with a pickup truck driven by Renee Boyett. Gay Neal was air lifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in serious condition with multiple fractures. Mrs. Boyett and her toddler age grandson were taken to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown with minor injuries. Linda Chandler declined medical treatment and was cited both for failing to control speed as well as for driving with expired registration and inspection stickers.

Liberty Police say security personnel at the Liberty Wal-mart interrupted a pair of thieves in the process of leaving the store parking lot with a stolen riding mower late last Friday afternoon. Alisa Germaine Anthony, 33, of Houston, reportedly fled in a U-Haul truck containing the mower, causing minor injury to one member of store security who was hit with the truck’s driver’s side mirror. Liberty Police Officer Scott Mouton located the U-haul truck, out-of-gas, on FM 770 in Raywood shortly thereafter and the Houston woman is now charged with 2nd Degree Robbery. Police said her male accomplice remains at large.

Liberty Police say evidence indicates that Deborah Haynie, 45, of Liberty was traveling at a high rate of speed when she lost control of her pickup truck and slammed it into a utility pole at the Main/Texas Ave. intersection around 10:30 last Friday night. Unhurt in the wreck, Ms. Haynie was arrested and charged with public intoxication and cited for failure to control speed.

The City of Liberty still has a city wide power outage planned for the early hours of this coming Saturday. The power will be cut-off in Liberty at midnight Friday until around 5 a.m. Saturday so that critical work can be done on a switcher at the new Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency sub-station.


Anna Bell Taylor Parker, 85, of Liberty, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Memory Gardens in Baytown

Nina Cochran, 78, of Dayton, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO.131, MONDAY, JULY. 8, 2002-

Steven Taylor of Liberty is in critical condition after crashing his vehicle into a tree on CR 2089 near Hardin Saturday night. DPS Trooper Nathan Pierce said Mr. Taylor’s vehicle went into a sideways skid after entering a curve at a high speed, sending the car into a tree. Impact was on the driver’s side. The victim went by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Liberty Police suspect the hit and run driver who hit and killed 21-month-old Aron Mata on Texas Ave, Saturday June 29th has fled the area. City Police Detective Bill Griffin said the suspect’s vehicle has been impounded since the day after the incident. The investigation continues. However, the suspected driver of that pickup truck has not been found. If you have information about the hit-and-run accident please call the LPD at 336-5666.

available for the Liberty-Dayton 500 Raffle. The event is this Thursday sponsored by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. The Annual Raffle, BBQ and Auction is Thursday at the Liberty VFW Hall. Only 500 raffle tickets are sold @ $20 each and twelve of those ticket-owners will win great prizes including a TV-VCR-DVD combo and a 50" Big Screen TV valued at more than $1,600. The event also features Live and Chinese auctions, plus a dinner from Brick’s BBQ. For tickets, call the Liberty-Dayton Chamber Office at 336-5736.

Mary K. Weaver of Humble is the new principal at Liberty Elementary School, replacing David Taylor who moves to Liberty High School to take over as principal from the retired Don Lorenz. Most recently principal of Maplebrook Elementary in Humble, Ms. Weaver’s experience includes a working knowledge of curriculum, instruction and supervision.


Bessie M. Roland, 66, of Dayton, Services were held Saturday.

Joseph Freddy Plummer, 65, of Raywood, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood.

Mary Constance Folsom Westmoreland, 99, formerly of Dayton, Graveside services were held Saturday.

Frances Elaine Peebles, 83, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at First United Methodist in Liberty.

Mervin Sanford, 74, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

Shirley Jean Cormier, 57, of Westlake, 10pm. Tuesday at Sterling F.H. in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO.130 FRIDAY JULY 05, 2002-

Liberty County Fire Marshall Jim Wilson said evidence indicates the fire that killed a Dayton man Monday night was started by a burning cigarette when the victim fell asleep while smoking. Benny J. Keene suffered severe burns and smoke inhalation before being carried from his burning camper trailer by a neighbor. Mr. Keene died of those injuries at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on Wednesday.

A blood drive for Rebecca Smart Faircloth is set for this coming Tuesday from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at the Bob Bomer Pontiac-Buick Dealership on I-10 in Baytown where the 20-year-old Hardin woman works. Mrs. Faircloth suffered critical injuries in a wreck on FM 563 last week that cost of the life of her unborn child. All donations at the drive will go to replace the more than 20 units of blood the young woman has used since the accident. Rebecca Faircloth remains in critical but stable condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

Dayton Volunteer Firefighters arrived at the manufactured home of Hipolito Garcia and Betty Conde around 12:45 p.m. yesterday and found smoke billowing from the doors and windows. Fire Captain David Taylor said the fire at the home in the Fairfield Addition was confined to the front portion of the structure but did significant damage. The cause is under investigation.

This year’s annual Sales Tax Holiday is set for the weekend of August 2nd through the 4th with most clothing items priced under $100 each exempt from state or local sales tax. State Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander estimates Texans will save some $42 million on back to school shopping this year. In the past three years, the Sales Tax Holiday has saved Texas shoppers an approximate total of $108.2 million. Items exempt from sales tax include children’s clothes and school uniforms, adult clothing and work uniforms, sleepwear and most shoes.

7/5 FUNERALS: Benny J. Keene, 45, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Spring Ridge Cemetery in Pleasant Hill, LA. **Rosalie Marie Rogers, 61, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. today at Eastgate Church in Dayton. ** Bird Dee Hill, 89, of Hardin, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Life Fellowship Church in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO.129 WEDNESDAY JULY 03, 2002-

According to officials at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, 40-year-old Benny Keene remains in critical condition after suffering severe burns in a camper-trailer fire west of Dayton off Sawmill Road Monday night. Dayton Fire Chief Terry Boyette said a neighbor smelled smoke, found the Dayton man lying unconscious inside the 20-foot camper trailer and carried him outside. Chief Boyette said Mr. Keene suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns and was airlifted to the Houston hospital. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Dayton City Council met Monday night and discussed future plans for acquiring and remodeling the Dayton Masonic Lodge to serve as the new Dayton City Hall Complex. City Manager Robert Ewart told council he had received a proposed deed from the Lodge covering the terms of the conveyance for City Attorney Neal Iverson’s inspection. Mr. Ewart said he wants to secure an architect to plan the remodeling of the lodge, as well as the current city hall as a new Dayton Police Station now, while the next fiscal year budget is in development.

Precinct #1 Liberty County Commissioner Todd Fontenot is hosting an Independence Day Tent Party at his residence on FM 160 in Raywood this Saturday starting at 5 p.m. The public is invited to bring their golfing and fishing gear, coolers with drinks, 4-wheelers and lawn chairs for a day of food, games, music and fireworks after dark. Admission is free.

Spaces are still available to play in the 8th Annual DARE Golf Tournament on July 12th at the Chambers County Golf Course in Anahuac. DARE Officer Ronnie Bennett said the cost to enter is $50 per player and all proceeds benefit the Drug Abuse Resistance Program in area schools. For more information, call 336-4610 in Liberty or 267-8273 in Anahuac..

The City Offices in Liberty and Dayton and the Liberty County Courthouse will be closed tomorrow in observance of the Independence Day Holiday. Garbage service will not run in either city tomorrow, trash will be picked up on the next scheduled service day. There will also be no Brazos Transit Bus Service tomorrow in either Liberty or Dayton. All banks and post offices will be closed. All offices reopen on Friday July 5th.


-VOLUME 17 NO.128 TUESDAY JULY 02, 2002-

Liberty Police are continuing to search for the person driving what was described as a maroon pick up truck with a black snap on bed cover in connection with the hit and run death of a small child Saturday, but now for a different reason. Police Chief Billy Tidwell said although investigators believe a vehicle fitting that description was northbound on Texas Ave. at around 7:40 p.m. Saturday, it was a different, southbound vehicle that struck and killed 21-month-old Aron Mata. Police now hope the driver of the maroon pickup, who Chief Tidwell stressed is not a suspect, did witness the incident and can provide valuable information to their investigation. The driver of that maroon pickup along with anyone else who has information on the accident is urged to call the Liberty Police Department at 336-5666.

Family members report that Rebecca Faircloth, 20, of Hardin, remains stable but critical at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston after last Thursday’s two-vehicle accident that cost the life of her unborn son. Jeffrey Fregia, 38, was cited for failing to yield right of way in that wreck and DPS Sgt. Ryan Arthur said his department is conferring with the DA’s Office to determine if more serious charges will be filed against the Batson man.

DPS reports indicate Trooper Brian Nichols stopped a late model pick up truck on Hwy 90 in the River Bottom in Dayton shortly after midnight on June 12th to inform the driver of an obstructed license plate. Evidence in the vehicle led Trooper Nichols to request and receive permission to search it. Allegedly, 20 ounces of crack cocaine were found in a potato chip bag and on the person of the driver, 25-year-old Curtis Herman of Raywood, who was placed under arrest.

The City of Liberty’s Annual Independence Day Fireworks Display is tomorrow night at dark in the Liberty City Park. The professional display is free to the public and everyone is also invited to tune radios to 99.9 FM for patriotic music to accompany the fireworks show tomorrow night.

7/2 FUNERALS: Olive Elizabeth Bush, 86, of Raywood, Services were held yesterday. ** Ruby Hazel Locke, 91, of Hull, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton


-VOLUME 17 NO.127 MONDAY JULY 01, 2002-

A 21-month-old child was killed Saturday evening by a hit and run driver in a pickup truck around 7:30 p.m. on Texas Avenue in Liberty. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call the LPD at 336-5666. A reward of up to $1,000 is offered. You may remain anonymous.

When we reported Saturday longtime Liberty County Treasurer Winn Skidmore will quit her job four months early her successor did not even know it was coming. However, Ms. Harrelson says she will be ready on August 31st when Mrs. Skidmore says she will step down instead of waiting until the end of December, Skidmore is recommending County Commissioners appoint her successor, Janet Harrelson, to fill the remainder of her term.

continues into the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a vacant building on Main Street @ Webster in Liberty last Thursday morning. Liberty Fire Chief Jamie Galloway said firefighters found flames through the roof when they were called at 2AM. That building and another next door was recently purchased by David and Sylvia McCartney of Baytown. They operate an insurance agency in the smaller structure. Chief Galloway said Sunday that he is not finished with his investigation but arson is the most likely cause. The building, has been unused for years except for storage.. .

According to a family member, 20-year-old Rebecca Faircloth remains in critical but stable condition in the Shock Trauma Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. The Hardin woman was in a wereck last Thursday afternoon on FM 563 near Moss Buff. Mrs. Faircloth reportedly suffered multiple fractures, internal injuries and massive blood loss. Her injuries resulted in the death of her near-term infant son. She underwent several hours of additional surgery on Sunday. Her family told us doctors say that went very well. Those who wish to donate replacement blood for Rebecca Faircloth can do so tomorrow at the Liberty-Dayton Hospital from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Calgary Lee Faircloth, infant son of Shannon and Rebecca Faircloth of Hardin, Graveside service held yesterday at Moss Hill Cemetery. ** Aron Mata, 21-month-old of Liberty. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Allison F.H.** Bessie Roland – services pending @ Sterling-Dayton


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