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June 2010

VOLUME 25 NO. 124 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2010

 

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Mercy Hospital: The old 1935 Mercy Hospital building on Travis Street may soon be coming down after Liberty County Commissioners agreed to a cost-sharing plan already approved by the City of Liberty and Liberty ISD. Yesterday, commissioners gave their approval to a Liberty Economic Development Corporation plan to demolish the building with the LCDC paying half of the $114,000 cost of the demolition and asbestos removal. The county and school district have each agreed to pay 25 percent. With all three governmental entities in agreement, officials can move forward with the legal steps necessary to demolish the old Mercy Hospital, but they are on a deadline with a state permit and the $114,000 bid.

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Dayton Council: The Dayton City Council approved a new 5-year contract with Waste Management for solid waste collection. City Manager David Douglas said the company had the lowest of three bids submitted, fully $22,000 below the next lowest bid.

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Golf Tournament: The Second Annual Ryan "Batman" Williams Golf Tournament is Saturday, July 10, at the Tour 18 Golf Course in Humble. The tournament raises funds for the fight against pediatric cancer in honor of Ryan Williams who lost a brave battle against neuroplastoma at the age of five. Hole sponsorships are still available. For more information, call 936-336-0027 or link to the foundation's website by going to www.kshn.com and clicking on the organizations tab.

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Founder's Day: The second Old River-Winfree Founder's Day Celebration is set for July 16 and 17 on the fairgrounds behind the Old River-Winfree City Hall on FM 565. Activities include a 5K walk/run, a trail ride, a motorcycle parade, a dog parade, baking contests and a photography contest. There will also be plenty of activities for children, like a water slide, face painting and pony rides. Founder's Day organizers say there will also be both food and merchandise vendors.

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Obituaries: Stacy "Butterfly" Davis, 46, of Dayton. Service 10 a.m. Thursday at Pace-Stancil Dayton. Curtis Allen Proctor, 60, of Jacinto City. Service 10 a.m. Thursday at Sterling Funeral Home Dayton. Alice Loree Henderson, 83, of Hull. Service 1 p.m. Friday at Allison Funeral Service in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.67 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 123 TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2010

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Moss Bluff Fire: Fire destroyed a 30-foot travel trailer in the Moss Bluff area early Sunday morning. Moss Bluff Fire Chief John Wayne Wilson said the unoccupied trailer was located at the corner of County Roads 1333 and 1335. The trailer and all its contents were destroyed. Liberty County Fire Marshall Jim Wilson is investigating the cause of that fire.

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500 Drawing: Mark your calendars for this year's Liberty-Dayton Chamber of Commerce Steak Dinner, Auction and 500 Drawing set for Friday, August 13, at 6 p.m. in the Dayton Community Center. In the meantime, make sure to get a 500 ticket for your chance to win a John Deere limited edition all-terrain vehicle or any one of the 12 prizes with a total combined value of more than $20,000. These 500 tickets are $75 – that includes a chance to win one of the 12 prizes plus a platter-sized steak dinner and all the trimmings. Tickets for the dinner only are $25. For information, call the Liberty-Dayton Chamber of Commerce at 936-336-5736.

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4-H Drill Team: The celebrated Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team will hold its annual dress rehearsal at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, July 6, at the TVE Fairgrounds. The public is invited to see the reigning state champions in freestyle as they prepare for this year's state finals in Abilene. The 4-H Mounted Drill Team will also hold a sandwich sale this Friday in conjunction with the City of Liberty's Independence Day celebration and fireworks show. They will be selling barbecue and pork loin sandwiches beginning at 4 p.m. Friday in the Tractor Supply parking lot in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center.

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Social Security On Line: One of the many services provided free-of-charge at the Social Security Administration web site is printable forms for a number of purposes. Social Security's William Lewis said watch out for web sites providing the same forms for a fee. You can link to the Social Security web site from www.kshn.com.

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Obituaries: Ruby Fae Salinas, 91 of Crosby. Services today 2 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. Floyd Dell Robinett, 75 of Raywood. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. in Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.03 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 122 MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010

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LISD Budget: Liberty school trustees are struggling to adopt a balanced budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year after two years of deficit spending has reduced the general fund balance by 35 percent. During last Tuesday's board meeting, Liberty trustees discussed dropping their expenditures by cutting staff, even more than through attrition, to get the budget balanced. When trustees compared nine area school districts, Liberty ISD has one of the higher numbers on their staff per 1,000 students. The district's payroll accounts for more than 75 percent of its budget. With that in mind, the Liberty school board directed administrators to compile information on ways to reduce that force for discussion at their next meeting on July 12.

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Liberty's Independence Celebration: The annual City of Liberty Independence Day celebration is set for this Friday, July 2, at Liberty Municipal Park. It consists of a patriotic program and then fireworks. Keynote speaker is Retired Rear Admiral Bill Pickavance Jr. The Invincible Eagle Band will provide entertainment. The music and program start at 7:45 p.m. this Friday with fireworks beginning around 9 p.m.

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Fiery Wreck: A Liberty man was injured in a fiery wreck at 4 p.m. Friday on US 90 between Raywood and Devers. DPS Trooper Chris Richmond says 64-yr-old Tennie Dagle of Liberty was westbound on Hwy. 90 when he drifted into oncoming traffic. He collided with an oncoming vehicle, then his truck rolled over and caught fire. Mr. Daigle was rescued from the burning truck by passing motorists. Later he was airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital with arm and head injuries. His injuries were not thought to be life-threatening,. Two men in the other vehicle were taken to Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

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Hunger Busters: The Liberty Hunger Busters Youth Summer Lunch Program is off to what is described as a fantastic start. Volunteers have already served 11,800 free meals to Liberty school age kids in the first three weeks. For information or feeding locations, call 936-336-4558, ext. 221.

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Obituaries: Charles "Buddy" Weaver, Jr 30, Dayton. Service 3 p.m. today at Faith and Family Funeral Services in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 4,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12.76 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 121 FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010

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Lawsuit: A lawsuit filed on behalf of around 100 former employees of Frontier Health Care, Liberty Dayton Hospital and Albert Schwarzer personally, has concluded with a default judgment in favor of the employees. Houston Attorney Michael Todd Slobin said the suit is to recover unpaid wages, overtime not paid to employees, and insurance premiums withheld from employee's checks but never paid to the insurance companies. He said right now they are gathering the information on a total dollar amount to present to Judge Marcia Crone. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Beaumont in December 2009.

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Dayton FD: The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department's Annual Barbecue and Auction is tomorrow at the firehouse on the corner of Cook and Winfree. The long running fundraiser provides some of the money needed to help run the county's largest VFD. The $8 BBQ plate includes brisket, beans, and green rice. The lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow.

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LISD: Liberty ISD Trustees have hired the law firm of Attorney Rick McGuire to represent them in negotiations with the district insurance company over storm damage claims following Hurricane Ike. The insurer is Lexington Insurance, which is owned by Chartis – formerly known as A.I.G. Superintendent Cynthia Lusignolo said the board is concerned over the company's apparent reluctance to pay costs related to replacing the press box at Memorial Stadium. The district has been working to recoup the cost of a state required elevator, which is adding an estimated $100,000 to the price of the new press box. LISD Trustees have hired local Attorney McGuire to represent them in not only negotiations but possible legal action as well.

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Band Search: The very popular Invincible Eagle Band will be presenting an exciting program of patriotic music again this year at the Liberty Independence Day Celebration. Right now, they are looking for new members. Band Leader Jim Sterling said they need all types of instruments, but especially drummers, trombone and woodwind players. For information, call Jim Sterling at 336-5464.

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Obituaries: Lloyd Mashaw, 76 of Batson. Services tomorrow 10 a.m. at Faith and Family Funeral Service in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.45 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 120 THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010

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LISD: Liberty Trustees approved a new drug testing policy during Tuesday night's board meeting. This new policy requires 7th through 12th grade liberty students to submit to drug testing in order to participate in any extracurricular activity or to apply for a parking permit at the high school. The new drug policy impacts students participating in activities like sports, band, choir, drama, FFA, academic teams, cheerleading, service groups, and many more. The first year cost of this program is estimated to be $15,000 to $20,000. That comes as Liberty Trustees are considering staff reductions to reduce expenses.

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IRS Scam: Beware of e-mails promising money. The latest in a string of email scams making the rounds claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service and says you have a refund due you. All you need to do to collect the money is give the sender your social security number, credit or debit card number, pin number, name on card, and so on and so on. Remember, the IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, and never give out personal information to someone who initiated the contact with you.

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Liberty City: The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night, with Police Chief Billy Tidwell opening the meeting by presenting a special community hero award to Joshua Childs. Back on June 9, Mr. Childs was shopping at the Wal-Mart Supercenter when he saw a man grab a woman's purse and make a run for it. He chased down the man and held him until he police could get on the scene and take him into custody. The council and the audience in attendance gave Mr. Childs a standing ovation.

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Wreck: There were no injuries and very little damage when a Dayton woman was involved in a wreck at Potetz Home Center in Liberty yesterday afternoon. According to police, Ruby Vyoral was parking in a spot in front of the store just before 2 p.m. when her foot slipped off the brake and hit the accelerator. The car lurched forward, hitting a chain link fence that encloses the garden area. Liberty police said Ms. Vyoral was not hurt, nor was there serious damage to the car. The store's fence and some new trashcans and lawn chairs for sale were damaged.

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Obituaries: Margaret L Smart Volker, 77 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 8,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.72 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 119 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2010

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Fitzgerald and the TCEQ: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald has entered into what is called an agreed order assessing administrative penalties for environmental violations at his personal equipment yard at the corner of state highways 146 and 105 in Moss Hill. The agreement between Phil Fitzgerald and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is on the TCEQ board agenda for final approval on June 30. According to both the settlement documents and Phil Fitzgerald, he has not admitted wrongdoing. The Liberty County Judge has signed an order agreeing to pay an administrative assessment of $1,000 and clean up his facility. Phil Fitzgerald said those two requirements have already been met. Now, the TCEQ board is set to approve this agreement on June 30.

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Hardin Principal: The Hardin School Board Monday night named Richard Ressler of Dayton, as the new principal of the Hardin Intermediate School He is currently an assistant Principal at Dayton High School.

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Hunting: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce has rescheduled its hunting and fishing expo. Originally planned for July 10, their outdoor extravaganza is now set for Saturday Aug. 21 at the new Dayton Community Center on South Cleveland Street. Deadline to sign up for vendor space is August 6. Dayton Chamber President Tammy Pratka said they will have exhibitor booths that highlight the hunting and fishing industry in this area. Tickets to the expo are $7 for adults and $3 for kids. For information or booth space, call the Dayton Chamber of Commerce at 936-257-2393.

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Correction: Yesterday we incorrectly reported the name of a man jailed for theft of Pay-Per-View services. Jason L. Smith – 23, a Liberty man who is said to operate a local lawn mowing service is accused of stealing Pay-Per-View services in homes he entered illegally. Bond is $10,000 after he was caught, in one home, watching adult movies. Jason L. Smith allegedly used the Pay-Per-View service in all the homes he entered for access to pornography. KSHN Radio regrets the error on his name.

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Obituaries: Donna Gail Jenkins, 61 of Alvin. Services tomorrow 10 a.m. at the Klein Funeral Home in Tomball.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.49 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 118 TUESDAY, JUNE 22, 2010

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Burglary Arrest: According to police, Jason L. Smith, 23, of Liberty was arrested and charged with burglary of a habitation after he was caught in a home watching adult Pay Per View movies on the homeowner's satellite TV. IN addition to the breaking into the homes, KSHN news confirmed with the family of one victim, that the man was, in fact, masturbating in the homes while watching the adult movies. His bond has been set at $10,000 on each of the two warrants. Anyone with information about mysterious PPV adult movie charges on their bill is asked to call the police department at 336-5666.

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Murder Trial: Testimony began Monday in the trial of a Winnie man charged with murder in Chambers County last year. Christopher Chapa allegedly shot and killed Derek Munoz at a residence in Winnie on May 23, 2009, following a long-running feud between the two men. The trial of Christopher Chapa for the murder of Derek Munoz is under way in Judge Carroll Wilburn's 344th District Court in Anahuac.

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County Budget: It's county budget time once again, and Liberty County commissioners are working toward adoption of the 2010-2011 fiscal year budget before Sept. 30. As Liberty County Judge, Phil Fitzgerald is required by law to file a recommended budget. He expects that will be completed by July 30. Then, it's up to commissioners to make any changes before adopting a final version. Commissioner Lee Groce said one of the biggest challenges for this year's budget is the state of the economy. The commissioner said it is his personal goal to adopt a budget that does not increase the tax burden on local residents.

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Social Security: The most commonly asked questions of Social Security staff are about online services – that according to Christy Dearing, a claims representative with the Beaumont office of Social Security. She says the Social Security website is a great tool for handling many Social Security questions and requests. The site even allows the initial application for retirement or disability benefits to begin. To access the Social Security website, go to www.kshn.com and click on the government tab to find a link to Social Security. The Beaumont Social Security office is located at 8455 Dishman Road. The toll-free number for the Beaumont office is 866-613-2864.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.95 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 117 MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2010

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LHS Recognized: It's big news for Liberty High School. According to Principal Bruce Lacefield, preliminary results on the Texas Assessment of Academic Knowledge and Skills test indicate LHS has achived 'Recognized' status. Bruce Lacefield, who was princpal at Liberty Middle School before moving to the high school last year, said that is a big imprvement from being what the state calls Stage 1 of AYP for failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress. He praised students, teachers and staff for their hard work. These results are preliminary and can be impacted by things like drop-out rates. The state will release final campus accountability ratings on July 30.

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Mercy Hospital: Liberty ISD trustees have approved a plan to demolish the old Mercy Hospital. The city of Liberty had already approved that proposal, which has Liberty Economic Develop Corporation paying 50 percent of the $114,000 cost and the school district and county both paying 25 percent each. Assuming the county approves the plan, demolition can begin. The three entities are on a deadline with both a state-issued asbestos abatement permit and the $114,000 bid.

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Unemployment: The unemployment rate for both Liberty and Chambers counties continues to be higher than both the state and national averages. Unemployment statewide is 8.3 percent, and the national rate is 9.7 percent. Texas Workforce Commission reports the May unemployment here in Liberty County was 11.2 percent – that is an increase from April's 10.9 percent. The unemployment rate in Chambers County is 10.4 percent.

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Dam Discharge: Recent rain north of the Lake Livingston has resulted in a rise of the lake level and subsequent increases in the discharge rate from the lake's dam. According to lake Project Manager Bill Holder, the water level on the north side of the reservoir appears to have stabilized. If so, he said the discharge rate should only increase slightly, if at all, over the current 21,000 cubic feet per second.

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Obituaries: Joseph F. Svoboda, 87, of Dayton. Service is 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church under direction of Sterling Funeral Home. Prentice O. Philgreen, 70, of Dayton. Service is 2 p.m. Tuesday at SFH Chapel.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 21,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 20.74 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 116 FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010

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Otto on Oil: While the environmetal toll from the British Petroleum oil drilling disaster is still being assessed, Liberty County's State Representative thinks the federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling is just adding to the problem. Dayton Republican John Otto said the massive oil spill is bad enough, without adding and economic disaster for familys whose livelihoods depend on that drilling. He said instead of calling a halt, the government should inspect the safety features on the rigs then allow the drilling to go on.

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New Services: The Liberty Dayton Regional Hospital has since its reopening last October, been working toward upgrading the services and equipment at the local facility. According to administrative staff the hospital now offers ultra sounds three days a week, free blood pressure screenings on Tuesdays, new radiology equipment, and computerized X-ray equipment. In May they added a sleep study program to the services offered at the facility. The Liberty Dayton Regional Medical Center is one of only 11 critical access hospitals across the state that is joint commission accredited.

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All District Softball: Seven Lady Panthers, Two Cleveland Lady Indians, and Two Tarkington Lady Longhorns have been named to the 22-3A All District Softball Team. From Liberty, earning first team honors are Taylor Kaderli and Amanda Leonard. Liberty Girls named to the second team are Katherine McAdams and Haili Beam. Also pegged for second team are Cleveland's Shelby Glenn and Alyssa Holly. Tarkingtons's Lauren Whitmire and Destiny Kennedy were named second team all district. Honorable mention went to Lady Panthers Kirby Taylor, Shelby VanDeventer and Allison Meche.

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Fire Ants: Hot weather means the return of fire ants! Experts say the best way to rid your yard is the "two-step method". Step one: spread or broadcast fire ant bait with a spreader lightly over the entire area. Step two, treat individual fire ant mounds.

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Obituaries: Harold W. Savage, 87 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Dayton. Mary L. Lenormand, 83 of Daisetta. Services today at 10 a.m. in First Baptist Church of Hull.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 17.87 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 115 THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2010

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LISD Budget Woes: Liberty Independent School District Trustees expect deficit spending of $1.2 million for this current fiscal year after they approved more than 25 budget amendments Tuesday night. That comes on the heels of what was already a $600,000 budget deficit for the previous fiscal year. As a result, the district's fund balance has decreased by about 35 %. The Texas Education Agency recommends a fund balance to cover three months of total expenses. Based on projected expenditures of about $18.6 million for the 09-10 budget, the state suggested fund balance should be $4.65 million, well above LISD's expected fund balance of $3.5 million at the end of this fiscal year, August 31.

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Community Garden: Efforts to organize a Liberty Community Garden on the grounds of the old San Jacinto Elementary School continue. Those behind the project will hold an organizational meeting next Thursday, June 24, at 5:30 pm in the Liberty County Annex on Cos Street. Plans for the garden call for numerous plots that individuals or groups could rent, for a small fee, to grow vegetables, flowers and other plants. Tracy Williams, who is spearheading the effort, said it could also be a great learning experience for local kids since each school could have its own plot. Any one interested is invited. For information, call the extension office at 336-4558, Ext. 221.

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Sears-New Owner: The Sears Store in Liberty has changed hands and the new ownership is totally local. Charlie Rice who has owned the Sears' Store in Cleveland since August of 2007 took over ownership of the Sears in Liberty on Monday and is now operating what is called a Sears Hometown store in the Jefferson Square Shopping Center. This has been a deal several months in the making. Charlie had worked in the oilfield most of his life, before making the switch to retail business.

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Sand Dune Bridge: Liberty Area TX Dot Engineer Cory Taylor said after several years of being closed to motor traffic, the contract to rebuild Sand Dune Bridge on Sand Dune Rd in Liberty has been awarded and work should begin in late July or early August. Once under way, the work should take about 30 days to complete, weather permitting. The contract was awarded to Forde Construction out of Houston at a cost of $265,000.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 18,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 16.49 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 114 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010

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House Fire: Shortly after 9:30 Monday night, the City of Liberty Fire Deparment responded to a house fire just north of the city limits on CR 1666. The small frame home adjacent to the Monroe Fregia Cemetery was owned by the family of Janelle Fregia Dennison. The home has been vacent for some four or five years. Mrs. Dennison said she and other family members have reported vagrants living in the house, and the sheriffs department has confronted several people trashing the old house. The abandoned house burned to the ground but there is no word that its cause is suspicious.

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Wreck: Life Flight took a Cleveland area man, Joseph Bay, to Memorial Hermann Hospital following a Sunday morning wreck. DPS Trooper Chris Cash said the 50-year-old Cleveland man apparently fell asleep at the wheel. The vehicle left the roadway and rolled onto its top. Trooper Cash said 50-year-old Joseph Bay is now in stable condition and remains hospitalized.

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Hurricane Workshop: Here is another reminder. Residents are invited to the 2010 Public Hurricane Awareness Workshop tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the Liberty Center at city hall. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said speakers at the workshop will include officials with the National Weather Service and the Red Cross. They will address issues of importance regarding the current hurricane season. For additional information, call the Liberty County Emergency Management office at 936 334 3219.

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BBB Warning: In the wake of any disaster, many reach for their checkbooks to donate money to various aid and rescue organizations. The Better Business Bureau is urging caution, the oil spill in the gulf is unlike previous disaster, and as a result, the BBB is offering specific advice. Look for established organizations with environmental expertise or experience aiding gulf communities. The BBB has a list of national charities that meet BBB standards and currently need help for the gulf effort. For information go to www.BBB.org, or call 1-800-685-7650.

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Obituaries: Janice M. Hughes Jackson, 63 of Dayton. Services Friday 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 14.25 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 113 TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2010

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Firefighter Recovering: Clayton Evans, the 22 year old Cypress Lakes Volunteer Firefigher who was critically injured in May has been released from the hosptial. Married with one daughter and one on the way, the family does not have insurance to cover his medical bills. Every fire deparment in the county will host some type of fundraiser on June 19th to benefit Evans. In additon, Evans worked for Liberty Lakes Resort on Hwy 105, and the resort will host a free concert on July 4th, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. featuring the Buck Yeager band. Also as a part of the July 4th event, will be a BBQ with proceeds benefiting Evans.

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Bridgehaven-DARE Golf: The deadline to sign up for the 15th Annual Bridgehaven-DARE Golf Tournament is this Friday with golf play set for the following Friday, June 25, at the Eagle Pointe Golf Course in Mont Belvieu. The tourney raises critically needed funds for both the Bridgehaven Children's Advocacy Center and the local Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program. It is a four-man scramble and golfers can sign up for $80 per person or $300 for a four-person team. To sign up or become a sponsor, call Bridgehaven Children's Advocacy Center at 936-258-0400.

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High Island Super: Dr. D'Ann Cathriner-Vonderau served her last day as Hardin's Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations yesterday, and now becomes Superintendent at the High Island Independent School District. Dr. Cathriner-Vonderau served at Hardin ISD for the past three years.

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Dayton VFD: The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department will hold what they are calling, the "First Annual Hose Down Dance", next month on Friday July 30, at the Dayton Community Center. The Dayton Firemen are already selling tickets for the dance that will feature both the Southern Breeze Band and the Philip Griffin Band. Doors open at 7 p.m. with the bands set to start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door. Reserved tables with seating for 10 are $125, in advance only. For information, call 936-402-6706.

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Obituaries: James H. Sandlin Jr., 80 of Anahuac. Services today 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Anahuac. Pending: Vera Speights, 82 of Hankamer.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 15,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12.14 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 112 MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010

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Indecency: A 24-year-old Liberty man is in jail, charged with indecency with a child. Liberty PD Public Information Officer Hugh Bishop said 24-year-old Joseph Montoya was arrested last Thursday. According to Officer Bishop, a woman called police to report another family member says she walked into a room where Joseph Montoya was touching a partially disrobed 8-year-old girl. J.P. Pct. 1 Bobby Rader set the man's bond at $100,000.

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Theft Arrest: Beaumont police arrested a local man early Friday morning for theft after he was found in the Old Baptist Hospital building with copper tubing. That person apparently was misidentified in a police press release. Jail records indicate the man in custody is actually Russell Orin Randolph, 51, of Hardin. He's charged with felony theft. Bond is set at $10,000. Jefferson County Jail records also show he must serve 180 days for an earlier possession of a controlled substance conviction.

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Hurricane Workshop: Area residents are invited to the 2010 Hurricane Awareness Workshop this Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Liberty Center at City Hall. Liberty County Emergency Management Coordinator Tom Branch said speakers will include officials with National Weather Service and Red Cross plus others directly involved with helping in such community emergencies. They will address issues of importance regarding what experts believe will be an active hurricane season.

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Old Wal-Mart Building: Liberty County Commissioners are moving forward with renovation plans for the old Wal-Mart buidling on Main Street in Liberty. Commissioners court agreed to purchase that facility back in June 2008. They issued Certificates of Obligations totaling $5 million. The county used $1.8 million to purchase the property and slated the remaining $3.2 million for building renovations. Then in May, the county was awarded a $2.7 million federal grant to construct an emergencey shelter in the facility. Commissioner Lee Groce said the building will serve as an annex, housing most non-judicial offices now in the courthouse along with three other buildings. Consutrution is expected to begin in September or October.

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Obituaries: Nora Runyon, 77, of Cleveland. Service is 10 a.m. Tuesday in Big Creek Cemetery under direction of NFH.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.46 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 111 FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010

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State Budget Process: With Texas lawmakers facing a budget shortfall estimated as high as $18 billion during the next legislative session in January, State Representative John Otto said he feels some changes should be made to the budget process. Representative Otto said while the economic recession bears the blame for Texas budget woes, the situation would not be as bad if legislators had not allowed the state budget to grow so large in years past. State Representative John Otto said he believes lawmakers will have to tap into the state's rainy day fund to help balance the budget in 2011.

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Boomerang Job Fair: The new local pipe mill industry, Boomerang Tube, will hold a job fair tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Baytown Community Center. Boomerang Tube has opportunities in a number of areas including heavy equipment operations, welding plus mill, slitter, ERW and bucker operations. The Baytown Community Center is at 2407 Market Street in Baytown. The similar job fair last week in Dayton drew an estimated 400 applicants.

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Sales Tax: For the second month in a row, sales tax receipts are up statewide following 14 months of decline. Even so, when compared to historical data, this month's allocations are still below those from June 2008. In Liberty County, sales tax collections are mixed. Liberty, Cleveland, Ames and North Cleveland all continue to see declines, but at a much lower rate than in months past. On the positive side, Dayton increased for the month, although still down for the year. Daisetta also increased, as did Kenefick in sales tax allocations for June. Those were collected by the state in May for April sales.

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Dayton Concert: There is still time to get tickets to tonight's performance at the Dayton Community Center of James Dupre. The concert kicks off at 8 p.m. in the grand ballroom, tickets are $17. For information, call the Dayton Chamber at 936-257-2393.

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Liberty – Dayton Chamber: The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce monthly Luncheon is next Wednesday at noon at the Liberty Center. This month's speaker is Cory Taylor, TxDot Resident Engineer for Liberty and Chambers counties. Call 336-5736 for reservations.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 6,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.15 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 110 THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2010

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Liberty City Council: The Liberty City Council Tuesday night awarded a bid on the sale of the old police station at 323 San Jacinto. The only bid received was from Frank Biehunko, who offered $51,000 for the building, which suffered serious damage during Hurricane Ike in September 2008. City Manager Gary Broz said Biehunko would like to locate his Southeast Texas Air and Heat business in that building. He has been working out of his home.

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Taste of Dayton: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce's Sixth Annual Taste of Dayton is this Tuesday, and Dayton Chamber Executive Director Tammy Pratka said the event is sold out with 36 local businesses renting booth space. For those who have not attended the event in the past, Tammy Pratka said a wide variety of business will be providing not only information about their services, but also tasty selections of food. Admission is $3 and the Taste of Dayton will feature music and raffle prizes as well as door prizes for visitors. The event is Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dayton Community Center.

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Child ID Kits: The Liberty County Sheriff's Department has 500 National Child Identification program ID kits to distribute to Liberty County Residents. The kits provide the opportunity to maintain a photograph, a set of fingerprints and keep up with the most modern technology, a DNA sample. The parents will keep all the information. They are available at the sheriffs department, 2400 Beaumont Ave. in Liberty between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Coushatta Trip: Reservations are being taken for a June 24 charter bus trip to Grand Coushatta Resort and Casino in Kinder, Louisiana. The round trip bus ride is $15, but space is limited. To reserve your seat, call the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce at 936-336-5736.

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Obituaries: Betty Jo Westmoreland Jackson, 84 of Dayton. Services 10 a.m. Friday at Pace Stancil Funeral Home – Dayton. Clifford Wayne Waller, 64 of Dayton. Graveside service tomorrow 10 a.m. at Palms Memorial Park – Dayton. William Alton Knight, 93 of Hull. Services today 2 p.m. at Faith and Family Funeral Home in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 7.69 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 109 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010

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Commissioners: Liberty County Commissioners yesterday lifted the ban on outdoor burning in the unincorporated areas of Liberty County. In addition, they approved a ban on aerial, or missile type, fireworks in the county. This ban does not cover all fireworks, only those aerial types. In other action, commissioners approved a bid for $136,000 by Liberty County Roofing to replace the roof on the main courthouse building.

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Tax Protests: The deadline to file a protest on property tax appraisal was May 31. Liberty County Chief Appraiser Alan D. Conner said the number of property owners filing protests this year increased 4.65 percent from last year's numbers. 3,349 Liberty County property owners filed appraisal protests. If historical trends hold true, about 330 property owners will take their appeal before the appraisal review board with the remaining 3,000 resolving their concerns one-on-one with the central appraisal district's staff.

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Dayton City Council: Monday night, Dayton City Council members approved a contract with Technology Consultants for online payments for municipal court and utility billing payments. Finance Director Chris Contreras said there will be no costs to the city, but customers who pay online will be assessed a 6 percent fee that will go to the company.

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L-D 500: Tickets will be on sale soon for the Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Steak Dinner, Auction and "500" Drawing, Friday August 13th at 6 p.m. at the new Dayton Commmunity Center. "500" prizes range from $150 gift cards from Thrif-Tee Food Center, to a John Deere Gator – XUV, valued at $15,500 donated in part by Foster's Eastex Farm and Home. Dinner tickets are $25 and "500" tickets are $75 and include the steak dinner. Call 336 5736 for information.

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Obituaries: Elvin Brown, 66 of Dayton. Services tomorrow 10 a.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton. James Reeves, 55 of Winnie. Services Saturday June 19, at 2 p.m. at the Winnie Park Pavilion. Marjorie L. Harrison, 85 of Dayton. Services today at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Dayton. Josephine Gailes, 90 of Liberty. Services today 11 a.m. at Mt. Rose Baptist Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.34 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 108 TUESDAY, JUNE 8, 2010

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Man Dies in Vehicle: An autopsy has been ordered in the death of a Dayton Man, Elvin Brown 66, found dead in his vehicle east of Devers. According to Investigating Department of Public Safety Trooper Rob Willoughby, around 10 a.m. yesterday, Elvin Brown was about 2 miles east of Devers on Hwy 90 when his van veered off the road into a guardrail. Trooper Willoughby said damage to the vehicle was minor and the evidence indicates Elvin Brown died prior to the wreck, possibly of a longstanding medical condition.

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Kountry Weekend: The third annual Kenefick Kountry Weekend is this Friday and Saturday. The community event raises money for both the Kenefick Civic Center and the Kenefick Volunteer Fire Department. It kicks off with a BBQ Cook off Friday night at the civic center. Saturday morning starting at 11 a.m. at the Kenefick VFD, there will be BBQ plates for $8. There will also be a baking contest, live band and more. For information, call 258-8645.

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I Scream - You Scream: It has been a number of years since an ice cream truck has been seen on the streets of south Liberty County, however, a Mont Belvieu couple is changing that. Jerry and Nancy Grammer said it's a joy to see the smiles on the faces of their customers, and not surprisingly, they said adults have been known to act a bit like kids when the ice cream truck stops. So grab your quarters and head to the curb when you hear that familiar sound.

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Sons of the Republic: Local Assistant District Attorney Michael Mark was recently confirmed and accepted as a member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. Requirements say any male person of good moral character, who can be confirmed as a direct descendant of a loyal resident of Texas that lived here after March 2 1836 but prior to Texas' merger with the U.S. on Feb. 19 1846 is elegible. Michael Mark's qualifying ancestor was born in Texas in 1843, his great great grandmother, Charlotte Wade Mark. Here, the Hugh B. Johnston Chapter of the Sons of the Republic has as its president, Dozier Partlow.

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Obituaries: James R. Reeves, 55 of Winnie. Services will be held at a later date.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.11 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 107 MONDAY, JUNE 7, 2010

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Extrication: The Kenefick Volunteer Fire Department along with Highway 321 volunteers and Liberty County EMS were involved in a prolonged extrication Saturday night following a one-vehicle accident on FM 2797. It took rescuers nearly 50 minutes to remove 46-year-old Bob Tucker of Liberty from his SUV without causing added injury. Mr. Tucker was taken by Life Flight air ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital with what were considered non life-threatening injuries.

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Property Taxes: The state of the national economy appears to be having an impact on local property tax collections. Liberty County Tax Collector Mark McClelland said local property tax collections are falling short of historical trends. He said it appears those who still have not paid are those property owners who are financially strapped. For those who still owe their property taxes, Mark McClelland said June is the time to take care of the delinquent amount or pay as much as you can before higher interest and attorney fees get added to the total bill starting in July. For information, contact Mark McClelland's office at 936-334-4633.

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Press Box: The press box at Memorial Stadium should be completed by July 15. The old 280-square-foot press box was torn from atop the stadium by Hurricane Ike back in 2008. Robert Ward, director of maintenance and operation for LISD, said the new 480-square-foot press box will have five separate rooms inside plus a top deck for filming the games. It will be covered outside in gold stucco. There also will be a state-required elevator. The press box will cost about $550,000. The district is working with its insurance company and FEMA to help recover as much of those expenses as possible.

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Hunger Buster: The Liberty Hunger Busters Youth Summer Lunch Program beings today. This program provides free lunches to kids from 1 to 18 years old Mondays through Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. In addition to serving lunch at San Jacinto Elementary on Grand Avenue and Liberty Middle School on Jefferson Drive, there are nine satellite feeding locations throughout the Liberty school district. That way, kids without transportation can get a free meal in their own neighborhoods. For information, call Alexis Cordova at 936-336-4558, ext. 221.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.13 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 106 FRIDAY, JUNE 4, 2010

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Sleepy Thief: A Liberty man was arrested Thursday after falling asleep on the job, that job just happens to be burglary. When employees of the Hardin ISD Maintenance Department arrived at the districts transportation barn around 7 Thursday morning, they found several vehicles had been broken into and a man sleeping in one of those trucks. The Deputies with the Liberty County Sheriffs department arrested 20-year-old Larry Monticolo Jr, and charged him with criminal mischief, burglary of a vehicle and criminal trespass. He was taken to the Liberty County Jail where he was allowed to continue his nap.

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Trial Date: Both Martina Sellers and Gerald Nugent, parents of little Brook Nugent, who was 8 weeks old when she was horribly injured in 2005, and died two years later of those injuries, are set to go to trial on charges of "injury to a child". DA Mike Little said those trials should be held this fall.

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DHS Graduation: Dayton High School graduation exercises will be held Saturday at 8 p.m. at Bronco Stadium in Downtown Dayton. For those who prefer to be inside, the Nottingham Auditorium will be open with live video of the exercises from the stadium. In case of inclement weather, graduates have been given three tickets for admittance to the ceremonies, which will be moved into the high school gymnasium.

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Texas vs. EPA: State Representative John Otto said the recent controversy between the state of Texas and the Environmental Protection Agency has the potential to affect the jobs of 350,000 Texans. According to Otto, while the EPA did take over the permitting process of a Corpus Christi refinery; they have not alleged any wrongdoing on the part of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in permitting that facility. The TCEQ has been permitting such facilities since 1994 with what is called flex-permitting, which allows some areas of the plant to be above the legal levels of emissions as long as overall, the facility remains at or below the emissions level. According to Otto, the EPA is now threatening to take over the permitting process of many other plants across the state.

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Obituaries: John Mearns – of Liberty. Services 2 p.m. Saturday at 1st United Methodist Church in Liberty.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.30 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 105 THURSDAY, JUNE 3, 2010

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FEMA and Ike: Hurricane Ike was one of the costliest and most destructive tropical cyclones in U.S. history. Estimates place total damage from the 2008 storm in excess of $35 billion. Looking at some of the costs absorbed by the U.S. government, FEMA reports they sent $2.94 billion just into the state of Texas. That money went to the state plus local governmental entities and individuals in 51 counties in southeast Texas. About half that total - $1.5 billion – went to Galveston and Harris counties. Here in Liberty County, FEMA reports expenditures of $58.2 million. In Chambers County, FEMA says the federal government has sent $104.5 million.

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Liberty EDC: The Liberty Community Development Corporation met Tuesday and approved on a 6 to 1 vote a proposal for the LCDC to pay half the $114,000 cost of tearing down the Mercy Hospital building with Liberty County and the Liberty ISD paying the rest. The plan will now be submitted to the county and school district for consideration.

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Community Garden: A number of groups have been working together to plan a Liberty Community Garden to be planted at the former San Jacinto Elementary campus at the corner of Grand and Texas. Spearheaded by local State Farm Agent Tracy Williams, the project involves Liberty Rotary Club, the Liberty school district, Liberty County Master Gardeners, and the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, just to name a few. Once completed, those interested could pay a small fee for a plot of land to grow their own items. Anyone interested in being on the committee to help plan and build this community garden can call Tracy Williams at 936-336-2226.

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Music Fest: The Fourth Annual Texas Children's Music Festival is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Stancil Park in Cleveland. This annual fund-raiser includes a day of music, entertainment, food, games, carnival rides, and lots of fun. It all benefits the Community and Children's Impact Center, which is planning to build a youth center on its land along U.S. 59.

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Obituaries: Dora Lee Swanner Kelley, 82. Service is 10:30 a.m. Friday at Daisetta United Pentecostal Church under direction of Allison Funeral Service.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 5,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.49 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 104 WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2, 2010

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Hunger Buster: The Liberty Hunger Busters Youth Summer Lunch program officially begins this coming Monday; however, there is a special event this Saturday to kick off the program. There will be a volunteer orientation at 8 a.m. at San Jacinto elementary, and then from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday they will be serving hot dogs to both kids and parents with the first 100 youth getting a free T-shirt. The program provides free lunches to kids through 18 years old starting Monday and continuing through August 13.

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Free Fishing: There are two local opportunities for family fun during the state's free fishing day this Saturday. The Trinity River and Anahuac national wildlife refuges are hosting events as part of the state's annual free fishing day that allows anglers to fish or crab without a license throughout Texas. Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is located off FM 1985 in Chambers County. The Trinity River Wildlife Refuge, Champion Lake public use area is off FM 1408 south of Dayton. Stuart Marcus said their annual free family-fishing day is Saturday at Champion Lake from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. At Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, they will have hands-on fishing and crabbing demonstrations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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What's Your Bid?: For more than two decades KSHN Radio has featured a program every summer called "What's Your Bid" and it begins again this Saturday morning. It will be on the air from 9 a.m. until noon for the next 12 or 13 Saturdays and hopefully will bring fun and savings to our listeners.

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New Opry: In mid April, the popular Liberty Opry on the Square came under new ownership. The Opry, which draws crowds from all over Southeast Texas to live music shows every Saturday night is now owned by Jay Cantu, along with mother and daughter Nina and Stephanie Holland. In addition to the regular lineup of Saturday night country, gospel, 50's rock n' roll and "legends" shows, plans are to bring back Friday night shows possibly with special Christian comedy and variety show nights. The 400 plus seat Park Theatre on Sam Houston Street will also be available for rent by businesses and organizations. For tickets or more information call 1-877-729-9103 or visit www.libertyopry.com.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 7,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.51 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 103 TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010

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War Memorial: All Liberty Countians who have given their lives as members of the U.S. Military in service to their county during WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam are listed on the memorial monument at Liberty's War Memorial Stadium. All were men who called Liberty County home. The Liberty Lions Club has quietly added the two Liberty County men killed in combat in the most recent War on Terror, which is still under way, to the marker. Jeremy Burris of Liberty and Shawn Tousha of Hull-Daiestta are both now inscribed on that very special marker at the High School Football Stadium in Liberty.

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City Survey: The City of Liberty is asking for your opinion on various aspects of life in Liberty. On their recently upgraded webpage, you will find a link to a city survey. For those not comfortable with the internet, copies of the survey are at the utility desk at city hall. Either way it will take only a very few minutes to complete. April Reiss, Administrative Assistant, said questions pertain to garbage service, and recycling. She said they ask you to rate services from various departments and how responsive city administration is to your question.

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Hardin Principal Retiring: A longtime administrator with the Hardin School district will be retiring at the end of the current school year. Dr. Mike Bearden, Principal of the Hardin Intermediate School recently announced his plans to retire. Dr. Bearden has been with the district for the past fifteen years, including as a teacher, assistant elementary principal and as principal for both the junior high and intermediate campuses. The school board is expected to approve a new principal later this month.

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Hurricane Season: It's official, today is the start of the 2010 hurricane season. For tips and access to weather information, go to our website – www.kshn.com – and click on the disaster preparedness link on our front page. From there, you can link to the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, supply tips and lists plus other disaster preparedness links.

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Tax Protest: Today is the deadline to file tax protest. Protests received by the end of business today will be accepted. For more information call the C.A.D. at 936-336-5722.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 7,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.65 ASL*

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