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December 2002


-VOLUME 17 NO. 252, TUESDAY, DEC. 31, 2002-

Hardin ISD Interim Superintendent Craig Ringer said plans are currently underway for a major construction project that will result in a new 5th and 6th grade Intermediate School with 12 classrooms as well as an athletic facility to replace the old gym near Hardin Middle School. Also included are pre-K and kindergarten additions to the elementary school. Eighty per cent of the construction cost will be funded by state grants the Hardin ISD recently received. Mr. Ringer said the project is needed to address the growing overcrowding problems at Hardin Middle and Elementary Schools. Hardin School Trustees expect to have a total dollar amount for the project by their Jan.20th meeting with hopes of beginning construction sometime in mid-March.

As always, when celebrating with fireworks this New Year’s Eve, remember to be careful. The National Council on Fireworks Safety reports that one-third of all fireworks injuries are caused by illegal or homemade fireworks. Remember to keep a water source close by to properly extinguish the devices and also remember it is illegal to set off fireworks inside the limits of most incorporated cities including Liberty and Dayton.

The Dayton Chamber of Commerce has elected new members to their Board of Directors for 2003. According to Dayton Chamber President Sue Priddy, Lester Ray Wisegerber and Donna Kay Hall will join the board for three-year terms, while John Otto and Bill Sjolander were re-elected to serve new terms. Outgoing members are Gene Touchstone and Mike Fielder.

The Liberty County Courthouse and all municipal offices in both Liberty and Dayton will be closed tomorrow for New Year’s Day. There will be no garbage service in either Liberty or Dayton tomorrow. Garbage pick up will resume on the next regularly scheduled service day. All banks and post offices will also be closed tomorrow for the holiday. All offices will reopen for regular business hours on Thursday January 2nd.

Tune in tomorrow morning here at KSHN Radio for some New Year’s Day Football Action as the UT Longhorns take on the LSU Tigers in the 67th Annual Cotton Bowl live from Dallas. The Pre-game starts at 9 a.m. and the kick off for the ‘Horns and Tigers is set for 10 a.m. tomorrow.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 251, MONDAY, DEC. 30, 2002-

LDTV –Channel 99 cable TV operator Hershel Brannen says he will sign off Time Warner Cable January 7th in Liberty-Dayton after learning the monthly lease price for a cable channel here will jump to $210,000 after the customer service feed changes from a simple tower here to fiber optics from Houston.

Two Dayton teenagers, both 15, were in a pick-up truck on CR 602 west of Dayton when, a DPS report says, they entered a curve at a high rate of speed. The under-aged driver lost control and then overcorrected, sending the truck off the road twice before it skidded to a stop in some trees. Both juveniles, whose names were not released, were hospitalized with minor injuries. Trooper Nathan Pierce said alcohol may have been a factor.

Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., Liberty County officials elected or re-elected in the November general election take the oath of office for four-year terms. The public is invited. The ceremony is in the 3rd floor Courtroom of the Liberty County Courthouse.

Liberty Police Officer Gary Martin said Joni Lane Sims, 30, of Pineland, ran the red light at the Cook Road intersection on N. Main Street in Liberty Friday afternoon, plowing into a truck driven by Krystle Nicole Taylor, 17, of Liberty. Ms. Taylor and a passenger, Geraldine Gants, 17, of Liberty were taken to L-D Community Hospital reportedly with minor injuries. Ms. Sims was not injured, but was cited for running the red light.

Annual Cotton Bowl festivities. The Hornet Cheerleaders, along with 16 other squads from around the nation, will spend 4 days in events that include the pre-game and half-time shows at the New Years Day bowl game: UT versus LSU. The KSHN broadcast starts, with pre-game @ 9am.


  • Wayne Ener, 67,-Daisetta, Services 10 today at Central Baptist Ch.-Daisetta

  • Judy Darlene Covington, 56,- Dayton, Private service later.

  • Dean Seward, 54,-Smith Point, Services last Sat.

  • Rogers Joseph Cormier, 71, -Raywood, Serv. noon today at Lockwood Funeral Home-Houston

  • Gladys Mae Green Andress,80, of Old River, Services Sun.

  • Terri Jayne Anderson,20,-Baytown, Serv.10 Tues. at Crosby Church.

  • Catherine Beran, 96, formerly of Dayton, Serv.10:30 Tues.-St.Anne’s Catholic Ch.- Eastgate.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 250, FRIDAY, DEC. 27, 2002-

Dayton Police Officer Kenny Broyles said 29-year-old Valerie Renee Batten of Dayton was killed in a one-vehicle wreck on Hwy 146 south of Dayton Christmas evening. Officer Broyles said the woman’s small SUV apparently left the road without swerving, hit a small culvert and flipped end over end then rolled twice more ejecting the driver. Valerie Batten was taken to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown, where she was pronounced dead later Christmas night.

According to former Liberty County Democratic Party Chair John Archer, 14 elected or appointed county officials have signed a petition requesting that County Treasurer Janet Harrelson be removed from office. We have reported the accusations that Ms. Harrelson used false or misleading information to have her son, convicted felon Jeffery Paul Hale transferred from TDCJ in Beaumont to the Liberty County Jail. Mr. Archer said the legal petition asks for Janet Harrelson to be suspended until her guilt or innocence is determined so as not to jeopardize the integrity of the office or county government as a whole. John Archer said the petition would be turned over to 253rd District Judge Chap Cain for review. At this time, the county treasurer has not been charged with any crime or been found guilty of any impropriety.

DPS Trooper Ryan Foley said Tammi Lynette Payne, 39 of Westlake was northbound on FM 1409 at the area known as Deadman’s Curve around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when she was reportedly blinded by oncoming headlights and drove into a concrete barrier. The woman’s pick up truck rode the bridge railing until rolling onto the driver’s side in the roadway. Tammi Payne was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where she was treated for back and neck injuries.

In both Liberty and Dayton, the 2nd regular trash pick up day of the week has been designated for Christmas tree disposal. Trees should be set out with regular garbage for pick up. Experts warn that Christmas trees become greater fire hazards the longer they are kept and should be discarded within a month after purchase.

12/27 FUNERAL:

Hurris Fontenot, 75, of Cheek, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at St. Mary’s Baptist Church in Hankamer.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 249, THURSDAY, DEC. 26, 2002-

Liberty Fire Captain Ray Stearns said quick action by residents probably prevented a garage fire at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Register Jr. on CR#149 Tuesday night from spreading to the house. The fire is believed to have started in the bathroom inside the detached garage only about five feet from the house and caused heavy damage to the structure and its contents. Residents used garden hoses both to keep the house cool and fight the flames until firefighters arrived to extinguish it.

Entergy officials said it was not until late Tuesday before all their customers’ electricity could be restored after the widespread power outages caused by the major storm that tore through Liberty County Monday night. Damage to trees and structures at various locations throughout the county were reported with the most serious damage at the manufactured home of Mr. and Mrs. Eric Moore in Hardin. High winds turned their home completely over on to its top but the couple suffered only minor injuries. In Liberty, city crews worked diligently through the night into early morning to restore power.

Monday, the Dayton City Council approved annexing five more tracts in the proposed FM 1960 corridor as well as industrial contracts with the Huntsman and Sunbelt plants to provide the city payment in lieu of taxes following annexation of those locations. The contracts are slated to take effect on January 1st.

Beginning in January, the fees for entering children in the Liberty County YMCA After School program will drop to $35 a week per child and $30 a week for a second child, a decrease of $10 from the current cost. Initial registration will remain at $30. The program is offered 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at Liberty Elementary and Stephen F. Austin Elementary in Dayton. Children 5 to 12 are eligible. For more information or to register, call 936-257-2888.


  • Charles Edward Wakefield, 58, of Hardin, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

  • Arlene Ruth Verdier, 55, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Liberty.

  • Raymond Blair Jr., 78, of Houston, Services at noon tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 248, TUESDAY, DEC. 24, 2002-

Liberty County Sheriff’s Detective Chip Fairchild said a 58-year-old resident of the Woodway Subdivision reportedly told his wife he was going to shoot himself last Sunday afternoon. The man, whose name was not released, apparently did shoot himself in the upper left shoulder and was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston where he is listed in stable condition. Information indicates the man has a history of health problems and has made previous threats of suicide.

Police agencies throughout Liberty County are reminding holiday motorists to drive safely and legally, as they will have extra patrol units on the road during both the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Officers will be on the lookout for those violating seat belt laws and speed limits with strict enforcement against those driving intoxicated. The Department of Public Safety is again instituting Operation CARE the nationwide effort to reduce fatal accidents with all available patrols monitoring major interstate highways now through December 29th.

Tickets are available now for the Trinity Valley Exposition’s New Year’s Eve Celebration on Tuesday December 31st from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Music will be provided by local country favorite Carl Manchaca and both party favors and treats will be provided. Advance tickets are $10 each at Brick’s Cleaners in Liberty, Dayton and Anahuac or reserve a table for 10 by calling 336-7455. Tickets at the gate are $15 each or $25 a couple.

The Liberty County Courthouse will be closed tomorrow, Thursday and Friday of this week for the Christmas Holiday. The courthouse will reopen on Monday December 30th. Municipal offices in Liberty and Dayton will be closed tomorrow only. There is no garbage pick up in either city tomorrow, garbage service resumes on the next scheduled pick up day. All banks and post offices will also be closed tomorrow.


George Lee Raymer, 70, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

Edna Georgie Strown, 77, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

James Daniel Jett, 86, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. Thursday at 1st Baptist Church in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 247, MONDAY, DEC. 23, 2002-

An armed robbery over the weekend in Liberty. Police Detective Hugh Bishop said Nizar and Almas Ali, of the Spin ‘N Market, were closing at midnight Saturday when a man wearing panty hose over his face entered. He grabbed Mrs. Ali and pointed either a shotgun or a rifle at Mr. Ali demanding money. The crook took $500 and was last seen running north on Main. The only description of the suspect is a white male, possibly in his late 30’s or early 40’s, in a blue jacket with a hood and a red stripe on the sleeves. He was wearing light-colored blue jeans. Police say it’s possible he was driving an older model light-colored pick-up truck. Anyone with information, please call the Liberty PD at 336-5666.

DPS reports say Henry Hamilton, 44, of Cleveland was westbound on FM 787 just before midnight Thursday when he crossed into oncoming traffic. There he collided with a vehicle driven by 24-year-old Clinton Whitaker, also of Cleveland. A third vehicle, driven by Mathew Travis of Leggett, behind Henry Hamilton, slammed into the wreckage. Both Hamilton and Whitaker were pronounced dead at the scene. Passengers, Billy Hamilton, 24, and Earlene Smith, 44, were airlifted to a Houston hospital with serious injuries.

Liberty County Sheriff Greg Arthur suspended two deputies with pay Thursday pending an investigation into a prisoner transfer in which they were involved. Odell McDuffie and John D. Davis, both bailiffs at the Liberty County Courthouse, took part in transporting Jeffery Paul Hale from TDCJ in Beaumont here to the county jail. Hale, the son of County Treasurer Janet Harrelson is serving a 40-year sentence for two convictions of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. There are allegations of improper, possibly illegal, procedure violations in Hale’s transfer, including the prisoner’s mother being allowed to accompany transport officers in direct violation of Sheriff Arthur’s orders and then allowing Hale to enjoy lunch at Mrs. Harrelson’s Dayton home before reporting to the county jail. .


  • J.P. "Jackie" Randolph, 82, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. today at Trinity Valley Baptist Church in Liberty.

  • Maudie Howell, 70, of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. today at Hardin Chapel Cemetery.

  • Monroe "Bo" Hamilton, 55, of Stowell, Services held yesterday. **


-VOLUME 17 NO. 246, FRIDAY, DEC. 20, 2002-

Liberty School Trustees met with officials from Spaw-Glass Construction Tuesday night and approved the Houston firm’s guaranteed maximum price of $99.32 per square foot to build the new Liberty Middle School. Business Manager Tommy Davis said the district will spend around $11 million total, far less than original estimates. Construction should begin on the new school on Jefferson Drive near the high school sometime next month.

Dayton City Planner Brian LaBorde said he has held preliminary discussions with a developer interested in locating a new hotel west of the downtown Dayton area. The proposed hotel would be two stories with from 60 to 65 rooms. While talks are in the early stages, Mr. Laborde encourages residents of that area to contact him with any questions or concerns about potential drainage problems, construction, etc. at 257-2393.

Postal officials remind those who want Christmas packages to reach their destinations by the 25th they will need to ship their parcels by either Priority Mail or Express Mail. Priority Mail rates start at $3.85 and usually takes two to three days. Express Mail costs begin at $13.65 with guaranteed overnight delivery. Both rates vary with weight and distance. Post offices will be closed Christmas Day, but packages will be delivered that day.

The Liberty Lions Club is notifying subscribers to their popular "Flags Across Liberty" Program that it is time to renew their subscriptions for 2003. For $25 annually the club places American Flags in front of homes or business from dawn to dusk on six holidays: Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Veterans Day.


  • Annie Mae Jackson Lee, 63, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton.

  • Charles William Rodgers, 96, of Hardin, Graveside services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Hardin Chapel Cemetery.

  • Lester Leggett, 56, of Liberty, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at the South Liberty Oil Field United Pentecostal Church.

  • Charlie Ray Brown, 79, of Dayton, Graveside services at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Park Cemetery in Madisonville, Texas.

  • J. P. "Jackie" Randolph, 82, of Liberty, Services pending at Wells Mortuary in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 245, THURSDAY, DEC. 19, 2002-

Liberty School Trustees did not take any disciplinary action against Head Football Coach Jeff Stewart Tuesday night after hearing grievances filed by the parents of High School Senior Quincy Coleman accusing Stewart of neglecting the youngster’s football practice injury. LISD’s attorney Blake Powell said there remains some disagreement on how the injury- that turned out to be a serious neck fracture- was sustained.

Dayton Police Officer Jimmy Brannon said 51-year-old Deborah Ann Bass of Dayton was attempting a U-turn on Hwy 321 near the overpass in Dayton yesterday morning when her van was hit on the driver’s side by an 18-wheel tractor-trailer transport. Ms. Bass was taken to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital with minor injuries and will be cited for an unsafe turn and failure to show proof of financial responsibility. The truck driver, David Andrew Selby, 23, of Temple was not injured.

Dayton School Trustees met Tuesday and approved a construction schedule submitted by PBK Architects for the new elementary school district voters approved in this past Fall’s bond issue election. The schedule will dovetail the elementary school project with improvements to the Richter Elementary campus. The schedule calls for construction to begin in May with 12 to 13 months to complete.

Liberty County Commissioners met Tuesday and formally accepted the $3.2 million settlement from the Texas Association of Counties in the county’s lawsuit against the insurance company for failing in its responsibilities in cleaning up mold found in the courthouse late last year. As reported, the county will net roughly $2 million after attorney’s fees and other expenses. County Judge Lloyd Kirkham and Asst. County Attorney Michael Pinchisson thanked Houston Attorney Fred Hagans and his firm who represented the county in the lawsuit.


  • Tommy Reeves, 43, of Dayton, Graveside services at 11 a.m. today at Reeves Cemetery in Old River.

  • George Calvin Graves, 56, of Dayton, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

  • Dennis Chamberlain, 30, of Baytown, Graveside services at 11 a.m. today at Bluewater Cemetery in Livingston.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 244, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18, 2002-

The Dayton School Trustees met Monday night to vote on a new offer to sell the district administration building on Hwy 90 with a different result than the last such vote: 5 to 2 in favor of selling. We reported the board split 4 to 3 last summer in rejecting an offer from the Wicketkeeper Corp. on behalf of an unnamed retail interest. Two of the previous "no" votes had come from Dale Brown and Luke Chachere who said their initial concerns had been addressed. Monday night’s vote offers the building for sale and now bids will be accepted on the property. A new offer has come from Houston-based Jonathan Kagan Properties, a firm associated with Wicketkeeper.

The Dayton City Council voted Monday to hire the consulting firm of McKee Environmental Health, Inc. for asbestos removal in the old Dayton Masonic Lodge. We reported that the city approved the purchase of the building to become the new Dayton City Hall. The company is estimating 10 days to finish the project at a cost of approximately $4700 depending on how long the job actually takes to complete.

Five Hardin Hornets were selected for the District 21-3A All District Football Team. Hardin Quarterback Cedric Reescano was chosen on offense and defense as he also played both Cornerback and Free Safety this season. Running Back Harrision Gray, Receiver Jonathan Brown, Offensive Lineman Casey Stuart and Defensive Linebacker Mark Henry were also picked.

Online registration for the Spring Semester at Lee College of Baytown ends tomorrow at, then click on the Student Services link. Course descriptions and schedules are also available. Early on campus registration will continue through Friday, then again on January 2nd, 6th and 8th.

The public is invited to a Christmas Open House this Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Office on Trinity Street across from the fire station in Liberty. For more information, call 336-5795.


  • Ronney Joe Robinson, 52, of Liberty, Services at 11 a.m. today at Wells Mortuary in Liberty.

  • Annie Lee, 63, of Dayton, Services pending at Wells Mortuary in Liberty.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 243, TUESDAY, DEC. 17, 2002-

Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Custer said 29-year-old Jamie Kay Hagerman was leaving her residence on Blue Stem Road off Hwy 321 north of Dayton around 1:45 yesterday afternoon. The woman apparently accelerated to a high rate of speed causing her pick up truck to leave the driveway and hit a tree some 80 to 100 feet away head on. Ms. Hagerman was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston said to be in stable condition with injuries not thought to be life threatening. The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Among the items for Liberty School Trustees consideration at tonight’s meeting is a grievance against LHS Football Coach and Athletic Director Jeff Stewart over possible negligence in response to an injury to Senior Quincy Coleman. The youngster’s parents say he suffered what turned out to be a serious neck fracture in a September football practice and then received little help or follow up from the LHS coaching staff. Superintendent Dr. Douglas Moore said he did not even hear of the incident from the Athletic Department but from another source almost three months after the fact.

The Liberty City Council has scheduled January 14th and 21st for public hearings on the proposed annexation to expand the city’s limits to the north and east. City Manager Allen Barnes said the plan involves expanding to incorporate current city facilities including the Liberty Municipal Airport and a city owned water well into the city itself. A total 2,189 acres is proposed for annexation, north roughly a half-mile on FM 1011 and a half-mile north on Hwy 146, as well as east to take in the Magnolia Ridge Country Club and the Country Club Estates Subdivision.

The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is tomorrow at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Chamber members and their guests will be treated to a program of holiday entertainment from the Dayton High School Jazz Band, the Hull-Daisetta Classics Dance Group and local singers Karla Burris and Jabbo Cannon. Lunch is Chicken Parmesan for $6. Call the Chamber for reservations at 336-5795.

12/17 FUNERAL: Shelia Faye McMurtry, 51, of Hull, Services at 10 a.m. today at 1st Baptist Church in Hull


-VOLUME 17 NO. 242, MONDAY, DEC. 16, 2002-

One of Texas’ most beautiful and gracious ladies is gone. Jean Houston Baldwin Daniel died just before midnight Saturday night at the age of 86 after a long illness. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Sam Houston and widow of three-time Texas Governor Price Daniel, Sr. Mrs. Daniel co-authored two books. Visitation is Tuesday from 5-9pm at Allison Funeral Home. Services Wed. at 2pm in Liberty First Methodist Church.

A Dayton woman is in a Beaumont hospital recovering from injuries sustained in a Friday afternoon wreck on Hwy. 90 near the Devers School. DPS Trooper Ryan Foley said 30-year-old Amanda Kinsey Donnelly pulled out of a driveway and into the path of an eastbound 18-wheeler driven by Kevin Lee Griffin, 39 of Warren. Ms. Donnelly’s truck was thrown into a ditch. Volunteer firefighters from Devers and Hull-Daisetta and Liberty County EMS personnel freed her. She was airlifted to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont. Yesterday, Amanda Donnelly was reported to be in stable condition. Truck driver Kevin Griffin was not hurt. Ms. Donnelly will be cited.

Emergency repairs on the I-10 Trinity River bridge continues today. Work on the structure’s expansion joints began last Wednesday and was expected to be completed before the weekend, but contractors found more problems. As a result, eastbound traffic on the bridge is still reduced to one lane until Tuesday. Motorists traveling east through Chambers Co. to Beaumont are encouraged to take I-10 to Hwy. 146 at Mt. Belvieu. Go North to Hwy. 90 in Dayton, then head East.

A 76-year-old Dayton man was killed Thursday night when he was hit by a car on FM 1960 several miles west of Dayton. DPS reports say William Edgar Roach had been walking in the middle of the roadway, but was lying down when contact was made. Driver of the car was Roger Moore, 41 of Dayton. Mr. Roach’s vehicle was found in a ditch not far from the accident. Why he was in the middle of the road remains a mystery.

12/16 FUNERAL:

William Edgar Roach, 76, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Everman Cemetery in Everman.

Mary R. Pratt, 90, of Liberty, Services at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Godfrey Chapel Church of God in Christ in Liberty.

Eldona Marie Brock, 80, Serv.2 pm Tues- Hardin First Baptist Church. **LAKE RELEASE: 19,000 CFS*LIBERTY BRIDGE: 22.55 ASL **

-VOLUME 17 NO. 241, FRIDAY, DEC. 13, 2002-

According to information from the Liberty County Sheriff’s Dept., it was around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday when Daniel Thompson was run over while he attempted stop two men from repossessing his truck at his home in the Old Snake River Area. Reports indicate the repo man driving the vehicle backed it over Thompson’s head, shoulder and chest, then fled. Police stopped the vehicle on Hwy 59 and took Charles Ferris and Richard Usher, both of Splendora into custody. Aggravated assault charges are pending against the two. Daniel Thompson was airlifted to a Beaumont hospital and was released Wednesday.

Dayton Volunteer Fire Chief Terry Boyett said Charles Johnson woke from sleeping on his living room couch around 8 Wednesday night to find his home on Beauty St. in Dayton filled with smoke. It took firefighters just over an hour to extinguish the blaze that destroyed the back bedroom and attic and caused smoke damage throughout the rest of the house. Boyett said an electrical short in an old radio appears to be the cause of the fire.

Chambers County Sheriff Monroe Kreutzer said his department is investigating complaints by three female jail inmates alleging acts of sexual misconduct by a male employee at the Chambers County Jail. Sheriff Kreutzer said no disciplinary action has been taken against the employee, whose name was not released, at this time, but he is being kept away from all female inmates for now. Sheriff Kreutzer said he is treating the accusations seriously and any evidence of misconduct will be turned over to a grand jury or other law enforcement agencies.

The Liberty City Council formally adopted the three charter amendments approved by voters during the November 5th Election. As reported, the amendments require a one-year residency for anyone running for city council, allow for the appointment of two alternate members to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and enables council members and their family to have business dealings with city.

Due to last night’s rain, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce has rescheduled Hometown Holidays for tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. in the Dayton Shopping Center on Bryan Street. The public is invited for a full evening of free holiday fun.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 240, THURSDAY, DEC. 12, 2002-

Liberty County Republican Party Chair Richard Pegues and State Party Officials are claiming major voting irregularities at two polling places in the November 5th race for Liberty County Judge. As reported, Democrat Lloyd Kirkham won reelection by a 132-vote margin over Republican Lester Ray Wisegerber. Pegues said there is evidence that felons voted, some people voted twice, some came from other counties to vote here and at least one deceased person voted. That alleged evidence, Mr. Pegues said, is being turned over to new Attorney General Gregg Abbott with the request that an official inquiry be launched.

The Liberty City Council Tuesday night made it official by unanimously approving Bill Griffin as the new Liberty Chief of Police, upon the recommendation of City Manager Allen Barnes. With council chambers crowded with members of the Griffin family and officers of the Liberty Police Department, the new top cop took the oath of office amid rounds of applause. In other action, council set January 14th and 21st for public hearings on the proposed annexation of 2,189 acres north and east of the city.

TxDot Area Engineer Charlotte Warner said a new traffic signal would be operational on Hwy 146 and FM 834 in Hardin in about three weeks. The signal will be a four-way stop. Hardin City Officials have asked for the control light for over a year. After conducting a traffic study, Txdot agreed.

A reception is planned for Thursday December 19th at the Jean and Price Daniel Home on the grounds of the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty for the debut of the 2003 Liberty County Black History Calendar. Four years in the making, the calendar features donated photographs and images from the Sam Center archives from Liberty, Dayton, Cleveland and Devers. The calendars are $7 each and proceeds benefit the Liberty County Historical Society.

The Dayton Chamber’s Hometown Holidays is tonight starting at 5:30 in the Dayton Shopping Center on Bryan Street.

12/13 FUNERALS: Virgie Lee Moore, 86, of Ames, Services at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Turkey Creek Baptist in Liberty. ** Dora Bellard Rubin, 77, of Raywood, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at New Bethel Baptist Church in Raywood**


-VOLUME 17 NO. 239, WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2002-

The Dayton City Council met Monday night for further discussion of a compromise plan for annexing a 10 foot strip of land on FM 1960 to ease property owners’ opposition to the annexation there. State law requires homeowners to petition for annexation to do so and the city charter requires a 20-day waiting period before considering such a petition, making it impossible to accomplish the annexation by the end of the year. Council did consider approving the original 1,000-foot plan, then removing all but 10 feet at a later time, but they were unable to reach a consensus on that suggestion Monday night.

Liberty County Tax Assessor/Collector Mark McClelland has received a plaque for patriotic and faithful service from the Tax Assessors and Collectors Association of Texas. The award was presented to McClelland, who was elected county tax assessor in 1989, at the association’s recent annual statewide meeting in College Station, for his service as an U.S. Air Force Reservist during Operation Enduring Freedom in Saudi Arabia.

The University of Texas Longhorns meet the LSU Tigers in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on New Year’s Day. Two Liberty County high school football stars are on the nationally ranked ‘Horns. Dakari Pearson of Dayton is a possible Big 12 All Conference Defensive Back and Ivan Williams of Cleveland is often seen in the offensive backfield. KSHN will broadcast the game starting with the pre-game at 9 a.m. January 1st. Kick off is at 10.

The Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon is next Wednesday December 18th at noon in the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Chamber members and guests will be entertained with holiday songs from local singers Carla Burris and Jabbo Cannon, as well as the Dayton High School Jazz Band and the Hull-Daisetta Classics Dance Group. Lunch is Chicken Parmesan for $6. For reservations, call 936-336-5795.


  • Jane Perry Shauberger, 82, formerly of Liberty, Services at 1 p.m. today at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

  • Bill Dever, 83,of Tarkington, Services at 10 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

  • Pat Fortner, 65, of Hankamer, Services at 10 a.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 238, TUESDAY, DEC. 10, 2002-

Dayton Police Officer Kenny Broyles said Ann Hotaling Lampard, 45, of Daisetta was northbound on Hwy 321 in front of the Dayton Park Apartments before 7:30 yesterday morning when a second vehicle pulled out of the complex’s parking lot in front of her. The driver of the second vehicle, 17-year-old Candice Marie Trotter of Dayton, was freed from her badly damaged vehicle by the Dayton Volunteer Fire Department and she was air lifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening. Ms. Lampard was taken to San Jacinto Methodist Hospital in Baytown where she was treated and released.

Just after the first of the year, Time-Warner Cable subscribers in Liberty and Dayton will see over 200 channels added to their cable television lineup. Time-Warner Public Affairs Manager Gary Underwood said the fiber optic interconnection linking this area to the Houston Time-Warner Cable Division will also mean new technology such as HDTV, high-speed data and others will become available after the upgrade is completed. One channel will be deleted however, KFDM in Beaumont seen part-time on local cable channel 18 will be replaced by CSPAN.

Hardin City Secretary Roberta Fregia said engineers have submitted plans to the Texas Commission on Environmental Qualities- the former TNRCC-for permit approval on Hardin’s multi-million dollar sewer and wastewater treatment plant. Funding for the system, that is expected to serve more than 400 homes, was obtained through the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development. If the permitting process continues on schedule a construction contract should be awarded within the next 5 to 6 months.

KSHN Radio begins our 20th year of the popular "Find Santa" game tomorrow. When the announcement is made for listeners to call, the correct numbered caller will have a chance to win Christmas Cash by guessing at which one of our sponsors Santa Claus is shopping that hour. The jackpot begins at $5 and keeps growing each time there is no winner, up to a possible $500.

12/10 FUNERAL: Myron David Smith, 74, of Dayton, Services at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. **


-VOLUME 17 NO. 237, MONDAY, DEC. 09, 2002-

Liberty Co. won a $3.2 million damage suit last week against the Texas Assoc. of Counties Property and Casualty Self Insurance Fund. Houston attorney Fred Hagans had experience in mold insurance claims. Hagans got the suit on a fast track. It was filed in June, went through several delays and the trial began Nov. 18th. More wrangling held up testimony until last Monday in 75th District Court. Hagans completed the county’s case to the jury late Wednesday. On Thursday the Insurance Fund lawyers had their first witnesses when the trial halted and a settlement was reached. The county will net $2 million and get it all by January 15th. Hagans said that should cover the court house damage.

Liberty City Manager Allen Barnes has announced he’s selected 9-year Liberty police veteran Bill Griffin to succeed the retired Billy Tidwell as Chief of Police. Griffin, a 32-year-old Liberty native, has served as Interim Chief since Tidwell’s retirement at the end of October and was chosen over more than 70 qualified applicants for the job. It is expected that the Liberty City Council will approve the city manager’s choice tomorrow.

The owner of Houston-based Brazos Construction & Development has agreed to buy the building formerly occupied by Liberty Auto Parts, at Main and Grand, in Liberty. Robert Crenshaw’s company builds Domino’s Pizza Stores. He said Domino’s only wants 1,500 sq. feet of the 8000 sq. ft building. Once construction begins, it should take crews two weeks to complete the project.

A handcuffed man who got away from authorities Thursday is still on the loose. DPS Trooper Brian Nichols said Frankie Burnell, who had originally given a false name, was being arrested during a routine traffic stop on Hwy 90. Trooper Nichols said he was about to release the driver when he realized Burnell had disappeared. The fugitive is a black male in his early 30’s, 5’6" tall, 140 pounds, short black hair, a moustache, brown eyes, a scar on his right cheek, and tattoos on his upper left arm and chest. Call the police if you know his whereabouts.


  • Bill Koen, of Hardin, Services at 2 p.m. today at North Main Baptist Church in Liberty.

  • Robert L. Howard, 77, of Wallisville, Services held Sunday.

  • Winnie Beth Lancon, 73, of Anahuac, Services held Sunday.

  • Joseph T. Castellaci, 92 of California, Private services by Sterling-Dayton.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 236, FRIDAY, DEC. 06, 2002-

The Dayton City Council has completed closing on the Dayton Masonic Lodge Building across Church St. from City Hall, paving the way for the long-in-the-works plan to relocate Dayton City Hall in the building. City Manager Robert Ewart said remodeling of the building is set to begin as soon as the Masons have moved out to temporary quarters.

Liberty School Trustees met in special session yesterday afternoon and approved the deeding of right-of-ways to the City of Liberty to build a street and sidewalk at Liberty High School and the new Liberty Middle School site. The sidewalk and roadway are to provide for safe foot traffic and less congested vehicle traffic in that area. If all goes as planned and TxDot approves the requested grant funds, construction on both road and sidewalk would begin in the spring.

The Dayton Historical Society will have a fundraising auction to benefit restoration of the Old Dayton School Building this Sunday at David Parker’s Barn at 805 E. Houston St. one block south of Hwy 90 in Dayton. BBQ will be served for $5 per plate beginning at noon and the auction itself starts at 2 p.m. with hundreds of items up for sale. For more information or to donate to the auction, call David Parker at 936-258-5539.

The 2nd Annual Santa Fest is tomorrow with a full day of holiday fun in downtown Cleveland including live music, gift and food booths, a Christmas Parade and more. New this year is a huge snow-covered play area for small children and again Santa Clauses of every kind will compete for big cash prizes in the popular Santa Claus Contest. For more information, call the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce at 281-592-8786.


  • Gladys Laviene Stelly, 93, of Raywood, Services at 9 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Raywood.
  • Benjamin Hill, 80, of Hankamer, Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Baptist Church in Hankamer.
  • Mary L. Davis, 82, of Kenefick, Graveside services at 2 p.m. Saturday at Magnolia Park Cemetery in Dayton.
  • R. B. Deblanc, Jr., 79, of Liberty, Services at 2 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Liberty.
  • Robert L. Howard, 77, of Wallisville, Services at 2 p.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 235, THURSDAY, DEC. 05, 2002-

DPS Trooper Brian Nichols said Ruel Eugene Harold Jr., 25, of Dayton was southbound on FM 1409 near Deadman’s Curve around 6:10 p.m. yesterday when his vehicle struck 43-year-old Thomas Willard Reeves, also of Dayton who was walking across the road. Reeves was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston in critical condition with multiple fractures and internal injuries, having struck the vehicle’s windshield and been thrown more than 80 feet by the impact. One of three children who were passengers in Ruel Harold’s vehicle was treated at the scene for some minor scratches from flying windshield glass.

Hardin Volunteer Fire Chief Sean Webb said firefighters arrived at the wood-framed home of Ruben "Red" Marshall late Tuesday night to find it already engulfed in flames. Tarkington and Daisetta volunteer firefighters soon arrived for mutual aid, but the house on CR# 2107 west of Moss Hill was leveled by the blaze. "Red" Marshall was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation by Liberty County EMS after having made several trips back into the burning house to rescue some of his possessions and his dog. The fire apparently started in the back of the home, but the cause remains under investigation.

The friends of longtime 75th District Judge J.C. "Zeke" Zbranek are invited to attend a retirement party for the veteran jurist tomorrow night from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Liberty VFW Hall. Judge Zbranek has served for 12 years on the bench and served as state representative prior to that. The VFW Hall is located at 1510 North Main Street in Liberty.

Reservations are still available for the Valley Players’ production of "Song of Glory", a one-act Christmas play this weekend at the Humphreys-Burson Theatre in Liberty. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Tickets are $5 each. To make reservations call Jackie Hartel at 936-336-6699.


  • Dora Rubin, 77, of Raywood, Services pending at Wells Mortuary in Liberty.

  • Mary L. Davis, 82, of Kenefick, Services pending at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

  • Robert L. Howard, 77, of Wallisville, Services pending at Sterling Funeral Home in Anahuac.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 233, TUESDAY, DEC. 03, 2002-

DPS Trooper Gary Wright said Hardin School Bus driver Helen Denise Bush, 40, of Hardin was turning left off CR #2048 on to CR#2050 around 7:30 a.m. yesterday when a vehicle driven by 17-year-old Seth Eugene Parsons of Hardin hit the bus in the left-front panel. There were no children on the bus yet, but Seth Parsons and his sister Bessie, age 14 who was a passenger in his vehicle were air lifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, he with severe head lacerations and she with a possible leg fracture. Ms. Bush and her aide, 20-year-old Chastity Rives of Hardin were taken to Liberty-Dayton Community Hospital complaining of minor neck and back pain.

Due to the expectation of heavy rainfall tonight, the Liberty Country Christmas Parade has been cancelled and all of the activities have been moved to the Liberty Elementary School. The public is invited to an evening of holiday fun that includes live entertainment, pictures with Santa Claus, refreshments, face painting and more. All provided free of charge by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Skies are expected to be clear Thursday evening for Country Christmas in Dayton and Dayton’s lighted parade gets underway at 5:30 p.m.

The District 21-4A Head Coaches have selected 10 Dayton Broncos to the All-District First Team. They are: Quarterback Calvin Davis, Running Back Lamar Mitchell, Wide Receiver Lloyd Ligons, Defensive Backs Kendrick Wilson and Micah Peoples, Linebacker Keith Rogers, Defensive Tackle Jacob Passmore, Kicker Jorge Carranco, Offensive Guard Preston Jaynes and Offensive Tackle Kharylake Martin. Dayton’s Senior Running Back Lamar Mitchell was also named District MVP and QB Calvin Davis was honored as Offensive Player of the Year. Bronco Head Coach Jerry Stewart was honored himself as the District 21-4A Coach of the Year.

Officials at UTMB’s John Sealy Hospital report that 46-year-old Craig Jansky of Devers has been upgraded from serious to fair condition after he fell from a horse and landed on a barbed wire fence Sunday night. A ranch hand working on Hwy 61 in Devers when the accident occurred, Mr. Jansky was air lifted to the Galveston Hospital from the accident scene bleeding severely from a head wound he suffered in the fall.


-VOLUME 17 NO. 232, MONDAY, DEC. 02, 2002-

Dayton’s football season is over. The Bronco’s point machine was short circuited by injuries to the most productive scoring members of that offense. Quarterback Calvin Davis, running back Lamar Mitchell, and kicker/punter Jorge Carranco, all went down with injuries. That, and a stifling Conroe Oak Ridge defense, resulted in Dayton losing to the War Eagles 7-3 in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Thorne Stadium. Averaging more than 40 points per game Dayton led 3-0 with less than 3 minutes remaining. That’s when they gave up the games only TD to the War Eagles. Jerry Stewart’s Bronco’s ended with a 12-1 record. .

Country Christmas in Liberty is tomorrow night starting at 5:30 p.m. with the lighted parade followed by live entertainment, refreshments, pictures with Santa Claus, wagon rides through the illuminated streets and more. It’s all free sponsored by the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Country Christmas is repeated again Thursday in Dayton, with the parade at 5:30 followed by more of what makes Christmas wonderful. .

We reported over the Holiday Weekend that a Moss Bluff home was destroyed by fire early Thanksgiving morning. Moss Bluff Volunteer Fire Chief John Wilson said flames had already engulfed the home of Mike and Margaret Bird on FM 563 near FM 770 by the time firefighters got there. The owners had been living out of town caring for a sick relative and reportedly the electricity to the house had been turned back on the day before in preparation of their moving back in.

The public is invited to a special program at tomorrow’s Liberty Rotary Club Noon Luncheon at the Liberty City Hall Auditorium. Mike Little, District Attorney will present the program on ways to prevent and survive violent crime. The only charge is $6.50 for lunch. For more information call Liberty Rotary President Diane Huddleston at 336-6512.


Bobby Gene Williams, 62, of Raywood, Services at 10:30 a.m. today at Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

Frances Lunday-Wallace, 84, of Deer Park, Services at 2 p.m. today at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

Jim Small, 88 of Liberty, Private family services to be held at a later date.

Leonard A. Moore, 68 of Liberty, Services at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.



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