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July 2010

VOLUME 25 NO. 145 FRIDAY, JULY 30, 2010

 

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Fatality: A truck driver met a horrible fate Wednesday evening on CR 622 near 686. The driver was attempting to cross the unmarked rail crossing at CR 622 in his 18-wheeler tractor-trailer rig, when a Union Pacific train struck him. The truck sprayed diesel fuel and that fuel caught fire, as the train shoved the big truck rig down the track for perhaps a half mile. The train engineer was finally able to bring the train to a stop about 100 yards from the next crossing on FM 686. The victim has not been identified, however with limited information it was thought he was a contract truck driver for Union Pacific. KSHN has confirmed the man was from out of state.

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Burnham Classic: Sponsorships are still available for the 21 Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament, Aug. 6-8 at Liberty's Magnolia Ridge Country Club. To become a sponsor, large or small, contact Kathleen Burnham at 336-7135. Individual $100 sponsorships will also be available at the County Club during the event beginning Friday August 6.

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Dayton VFD Dance: The Dayton Volunteer Fire Department is holding a "Hose Down Dance" tonight at the Dayton Community Center. Doors open at 7 pm with the bands set to start at 8 p.m. General admission is $15 at the door.

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Season Tickets: Liberty Panther football fans, season ticket holders may pick up their ticket packages beginning this coming Monday. Each packet contains five home games at a total cost of $25 per seat. Any of the reserved season ticket packages not purchased by the first home game on September 3, will be released to the public. Season ticket holders can pick up their tickets either online, or at the administration building, 1600 Grand Ave. DHS Tickets: Season tickets for the five Dayton Bronco's home games go on sale for current season ticket holders also on Monday. Others who want reserved seat season tickets can get theirs starting August 16. Season ticket holders can pick up their tickets at the DISD Ad-min building weekdays 9 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 to 4 p.m.

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Obituaries: Victor Allen Lewis, 72 of Liberty. Memorial service Sunday at 2 p.m. at the American Legion Post 393 in Cleveland.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.78 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 144 THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010

Liberty City Council: The Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and authorized the city's financial agents to proceed with the sale of certificates of obligation for $4.8 million. The proceeds from the sale will cover the costs of replacing water and electrical meters throughout the city. The money will also be used for looping some lines in the system to improve overall pressure, making necessary repairs to two water towers, purchasing a fleet of vehicles and dump trucks for various city departments, a technology upgrade across the city hall and police department, and several other big-ticket items. City manager Gary Broz said the certificates of obligation would be combined with refinancing of some existing tax secured debt.

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Hospital District: Monday night, the Liberty County Hospital District Board accepted the resignation of board member Sissy Drake. In a letter to the board, Mrs. Drake gave no reason for her departure, but did express her desire to see a better medical facility in the community. In other action, the board voted to allow board members Paul Henry and Bruce Stratton to continue to negotiate for the purchase of the hospital.

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Clean Sweep: The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team made it a clean sweep with first place finishes in both freestyle and precision riding at the state championship in Abilene. Since 2003, the locals have won either freestyle or precision, and in 2007, they won both. This year they repeated the championship tradition.

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LISD: Liberty ISD Trustees and administrators continue to reach out to the community to seek input on the failed May bond election and the possibility for another proposal in the future. Despite those outreach efforts, the turnout of the residents continues to be very low. The latest opportunity came Tuesday night when just seven residents showed up for an LISD public hearing. Liberty School Superintendent Cynthia Lusignolo said previous public meetings and tours have drawn just 20 people. As the Liberty School District considers their options for a future bond election, they are faced with the problem of demonstrating a vital need for renovations and new construction to a public that seems uninterested in seeing it for themselves.

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Obituaries: Bobby Cassity, 49 of Moss Hill. Services pending.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.69 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 143 WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2010

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Hit & Run Suspect: Cleveland Police Chief Mark Bradshaw confirmed that the individual who was apparently driving the vehicle in last Saturday morning's hit-and-run fatality in Cleveland, is the son of a Cleveland Police Department civilian employee. Chief Bradshaw identified the driver as 26 year old Robert Foxworth of Cleveland. In response to concerns that nobody has been arrested in this case, Cleveland Police Chief Mark Bradshaw said, in order to effectively prosecute a case, law enforcement must first fully investigate the matter to determine the facts.

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4-H Champs, Again: They Did It Again! The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team won the state championship in fast freestyle drill Monday night, a repeat of last year's championship performance. The locals have been immensely successful in recent years. From 2003 though 2009 the team has won the state championship in either fast freestyle or precision, and in 2007, they were state champions in both events. The Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill team is competing this morning in the precision riding event.

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Pct 4: Liberty County Commissioners approved a $265,000 emergency budget transfer to repair sections of six roads in Commissioner Precinct 4. Commissioner Norman Brown said those roads must be salvaged due to rapid deterioration caused by excessive rainfall and heavy truck traffic.

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Dayton vs. Park Apt: Back in April, we reported the Dayton City Council had decided to take legal action over a long running disagreement between the city and the owners of the Dayton Park Apartments. That disagreement is on hold now, pending a hearing before 75th District Court Judge C.T. "Rusty" Hight. Dayton City Officials have been moving to switch to a master water meter for the complex, rather than bill each unit individually. The City of Dayton installed a master meter at the Dayton Park Apartments complex, however the apartment owners got a temporary restraining order to prevent that switchover, and Judge Hight is set to rule in December.

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Obituaries: Richard Adam Musser, 25 of Kenefick. Services will be held Thursday in Talahina, Oklahoma.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.95 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 142 TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010

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Fatality Wreck: A Kenefick man, Richard Musser, 25, was killed Sunday night in a one-vehicle wreck on Highway 90 west of Dayton. Dayton Police Sgt. Doug O'Quinn said Musser was westbound on Hwy 90 when he lost control of his vehicle. According to Sgt. O'Quinn, a witness told police the man swerved off the road, then overcorrected. Musser's vehicle then skidded off the road again, striking a tree. JP # 4 Glenn Pruitt ordered an autopsy performed, by Dayton Police say there were no signs of alcohol in the man's car.

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Mercy Falling: It was around 3 p.m. yesterday when the first portions of the old Mercy Hospital came tumbling down. With many local's in the Methodist Church parking lot keeping watch, a large piece of excavation equipment began pulling the original part of the hospital in on itself, with plans to have it and the larger red brick portion on the ground by the end of this week. An unknown water main was discovered when the excavation unit hit it, sending a geyser into the air as high as the elevator tower on the hospital. City of Liberty water department had already capped what they thought was the water line and pulled the meter, but over 60 some odd years, apparently another water line had been forgotten.

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Hit and Run: Cleveland Police have identified the victim of Saturday morning's hit and run fatality as Cleveland resident Katie Moore. According to Cleveland's Assistant Police Chief Darrel Broussard, Katie Moore had been arguing with her husband and went for a walk along Hwy 105. Prior to the accident, the victim called her husband to pick her up. Reportedly, her husband found her body in a ditch after seeing some of her possessions along the roadway. The fatal accident remains under investigation.

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Community Garden: Another reminder, the Liberty Community Garden is planning a workday this Saturday from 7 a.m. to noon. The group's president, Tracy Williams said volunteers and supplies are needed to help bring this garden to fruition. For information, call Sandy at 936-336-4558, ext. 221.

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Funerals: Geraldine Frances Spence, 91 of Liberty. Graveside services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Linney Cemetery in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 5.88 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 141 MONDAY, JULY 26, 2010

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Hit-and-Run Fatality: A 27-year-old Cleveland woman is dead after being struck by a vehicle early Saturday morning on S.H. 105 near FM 1725. The Cleveland Advocate newspaper reports the driver left the scene but has since been located by Cleveland Police Department. The investigation is ongoing, and police have not yet released the victim's name.

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Motorcycle Wreck: A Dayton man was flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Life Flight following a motorcycle accident in Liberty Saturday morning. Liberty PD Public Information Officer Hugh Bishop said 41-year-old Felix Gomez lost control of his motorcycle on Virginia Street south of Washington around 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Police say he was traveling at an unsafe speed and alcohol may have been a contributing factor. Any citations are pending investigation.

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LISD Bond Issue: Liberty Independent School District will host a town hall meeting tomorrow at 6 p.m. in the school administration board room to get public input on a bond issue to accomplish some much-needed construction, renovations, technological improvements, upgrades and repairs to various campuses in LISD. School trustees hope to hear from those both in favor and in opposition to a bond issue for Liberty ISD.

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State Champion: Leighton Chachere, 15, of Dayton captured first place statewide in the junior level of public speaking at the annual FFA Convention. She is the daughter of Matt and Alicia Chachere. Leighton begins her sophomore year at DHS this fall.

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New Principal: With the decision by longtime Gulf Coast Educational Consortium Principal Kathy Dagle to retire, Liberty ISD has hired Jim Young to take over the reins of what is best known as the alternative school on the Liberty bypass. Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lusignolo said Mr. Young comes most recently from Pasadena ISD and has a great deal of experience supervising both staff and students.

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Funerals: Nola Fae Snell, 84, of Hardin. Service is 3 p.m. Tuesday at Faith and Family. Jerry Lynn Strother, 68, of Anahuac. Service is 11 a.m. Wednesday at Calvary Baptist Church in Liberty under direction of Sterling.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 6.03 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 140 FRIDAY, JULY 23, 2010

TD #3: Hurricane forecasters are watching a tropical disturbance as it makes it way toward the Gulf of Mexico. Early predictions have the system, which is expected to become Tropical Storm Bonnie, coming into western Louisiana or southeast Texas late Sunday or early Monday. Currently, the forecast is for the storm to stay rather weak, perhaps a low category one hurricane, but likely tropical storm strength. Even though forecast models continue to move landfall to our east, experts are urging residents in our area to continue to monitor the storm as it makes it way into the Gulf of Mexico. For information go to our website, www.kshn.com and click on any of the links. National Weather Service, National Hurricane Center, supply tips and helpful lists, plus other disaster preparedness links.

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LISD: Liberty School Superintendent Dr. Cynthia Lusignolo said the Liberty School District is almost certain to receive its first district wide "recognized" rating in over a decade. Dr. Lusignolo said since the Liberty School District was only one percentage point in one demographic group away from achieving the coveted "recognized rating, the test calculations will put the district's TAKS score where they need to be to achieve that rating. The school district ratings will be officially released on Thursday July 29 at 1 p.m.

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Health Expo: Liberty County Health Awareness Coalition will host the 1st Annual Road to Health and Wellness Expo on Saturday August 7th at the Liberty Middle School on Jefferson Drive. Immunizations required of school age children will be available free of charge. Liberty County Extension Agent Alexis Cordova said the expo would feature health monitoring and education. There will be free blood pressure monitoring, nutrition evaluation, cholesterol and many other free assessments. For information, call 336-4558, ext. 221.

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Charter School: A new charter school, Premier High Schools, is breaking ground in Dayton for a 7th through 12th grade campus to open for students this fall. Stacy Ahern, part of the administration team for the local school, said Responsive Education Group, the parent company, currently has 22 schools across Texas, educating more than 7,000 students. The state accredited school is accepting applications for fall enrollment. Call 257-8017.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 1,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.43 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 139 THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2010

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Creel Deaths Homicide: Preliminary autopsy results confirm the deaths of a North Liberty County couple are a case of double homicide and the victims very likely killed one another as the result of a violent domestic confrontation. The bodies of 64-year-old Jimmy Truman Creel and his wife, Lillian Renee Creel, 50, were found in their home in the Hoop N' Holler subdivision near Rye Monday morning. The autopsy reports indicate Renee Creel died of multiple stab wounds and Jimmy Creel of a single gunshot wound to the chest. Liberty County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Steve Greene confirmed at this time investigators believe the man and woman inflicted the fatal wounds on each other, without any involvement by a third party. The investigation is ongoing.

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Dayton School Board: Tuesday night Dayton School Trustees approved suspending the policy requiring the board's approval of any budget items in excess of $10,000. Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said with a budget of $42 million it is relatively easy to exceed that spending limit and often causes delays of three or more weeks for items already approved in the budget. Trustees voted to suspend the policy for six months on a 6 to 1 vote. Board member Dr. Luke Chachere cast the lone dissenting vote.

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Cultural Center Celebration: The formal re-opening and celebration of the expanded Geraldine D. Humphreys Cultural Center is set for Wednesday August 25th from 4 to 6 p.m. The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. We have reported the cultural center is currently undergoing a major expansion and renovation project that is doubling the size of the library and renovate the existing space while adding 3,500 square feet of storage, new carpeting and renovated seating to the Humphreys Burson Theater. That project is nearing completion.

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Fallen Soldier Service: A Memorial Service for U. S. Army Sgt. Leston Michael "Tony" Winters, age 30 of Sour Lake will Tuesday at 6 p.m. at 1st Baptist Church of Sour Lake. Sgt. Winters died in combat in Afghanistan last Thursday. Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery. The public is encouraged to show support for Sgt. Winters' family by attending the memorial service.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.57 ASL

VOLUME 25 NO. 138 WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2010

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Cleveland Man Sentenced: A Cleveland man, Clarence Ray Lewis has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for felony injury to a child in the death of his one-year-old daughter, Kiyani Lashay Lewis, who died in October 2008. The child's mother, Charlsy Zareia Spencer was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison. District Attorney Mike Little said Clarence Lewis was under court order in 2008 not to allow the child's mother any contact with the little girl or the couples other children. The baby's father went on trial for what is called "reckless injury to a child", and Tuesday morning, 75th District Judge C. T. "Rusty" Hight found him guilty and handed down the 10-year sentence. At this time, the Cleveland man remains free while appealing his sentence after posting a $25,000 appeal bond set by Judge Hight. Mr. Lewis two surviving children have remained in state custody since the death of their sister.

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Community Garden: Financial support for the new Liberty Community Garden is growing but is still needed according to Tracy Williams of the Liberty Rotary Club, who is spearheading the effort. At Tuesday's Rotary Club gathering a $1,000 donation was made to the project by the Liberty County Master Gardener's, along with additional donations that will help fund the garden. The group still needs garden tools and hoses. Donations or gifts can be delivered to the County Extension office in the courthouse annex on the corner of Cos and Fannin in Liberty. A workday is set for July 31 from 7 a.m. until noon on the grounds of the old San Jacinto Elementary School. For information, call Sandy Gammon at 336-4558, ext. 221.

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Devers: Devers Independent School District has one of the highest rated campuses in all of south east Texas, and the administration for the district is putting that hard earned reputation to good use. Devers Superintendent Cody Abshire said they will again this year allow qualified students, from other districts to transfer into the Devers system, at no charge. Devers is a Pre-K through 8th grade district. Mr. Abshire said right now they have room for a few students in grades 2 through 8. For information, call 549-7591, ext. 124.

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Obituaries: Mimie Jane Jones, 82 of Liberty. Services Thursday at 11 a.m. at Mt. Rose Baptist Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.68 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 137 TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010

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Couple Dies: The Liberty County Sheriffs Department is investigating the deaths of two people in far north Liberty County. According to Steve Greene with the Liberty County Sheriffs Department, the daughter of the couple and a co-worker of the mothers went to check on them after having not heard from either of the two. They found the couple deceased. JP Cody Parrish said Jimmy Creel, 64 suffered a gunshot wound to the chest while his wife, Renee Creel 50, sustained multiple stab wounds. Law enforcement is awaiting autopsy results to determine a cause of death.

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Purple Cards: Purple Cards are the way the Dayton Schools says thanks to those who have supported public schools in Dayton. They are free to any resident of DISD who is age 60 or over, a retired DISD employee, spouse of any purple cardholder and retired DISD School Board Member who served at least two years. These purple cards allow the holder free admission to athletic, cultural and other activities sponsored by the Dayton school district. Apply for a purple card Monday through Friday 8 to 4:30 at Dayton's Will O. Moore Administration Office.

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Thank You: The family of Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth has asked KSHN Radio to convey, from the family, their deep and heartfelt gratitude to the residents of this area for the wonderful community support of the family in their time of loss. Sgt. Ainsworth's sister Rebecca Ainsworth Smith said it meant the world to their family. This also gives us an opportunity to remind you again of the savings account that has been established at FLNB to support Sgt. Ainsworth's two daughters.

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Winfree Work: According to Dayton City Manager David Douglas, the city will be redoing Winfree Street from FM 1008 north to Waring Street. Underground storm sewers in that area are caving in from long years of use and the street is caving in as well. David Douglas said the city would go out for bids in early October. He said that should take 30 or so days to get the bids back and once awarded, then construction should take 3 to 4 months. The cost of the project is about $500,000.

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Obituaries: Lutie Marine Williams, 88 of Dayton. Services today 10 a.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.53 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 136 MONDAY, JULY 19, 2010

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Tank Fire: A major fire in the South Liberty Oilfield Saturday evening took four fire departments nearly two hour's to fully extinguish. Liberty Fire Chief Fred Collins said he was certain a lighting strike touched off the fire that destroyed four oilfield tanks and consumed some 3200 gallons of crude oil. With no fire hydrants in that area, water had to be shuttled in, and Chief Collins called for both manpower and equipment from Dayton, Hardin, and Hull Daisetta.

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Another Local Soldier Killed: Funeral services are pending for Army Sgt. Leston "Tony" Michael Winters, 30, a 1998 graduate of Hardin-Jefferson High School, who was killed last Thursday in Afghanistan when insurgents detonated an IED. Sgt. Winters is the son of Carl & Cheryl Spivey of Sour Lake, and a nephew of Jimmy & Valerie Spivey of Liberty. He also leaves his wife Beth & three children. Services will be handled by Broussard's Mortuary, Kountze. He is to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service was held Sunday morning at First Baptist, Sour Lake. We will provide more on services soon.

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LISD Town Hall Meeting: Liberty Supt. Dr. Cynthia Lusignolo says LISD has applied for & has been approved for $5.9 million in zero interest Qualified School Construction Bonds. The funds can be borrowed, interest free, and used for new construction, school renovation, and equipping of schools. An important town hall meeting will be held on July 27 to get citizen input, both pro and con, plus ideas on which programs should be funded.

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Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth: Some 500 men, women, & children from all walks of life and every branch of military service attended the funeral service for Army Staff Sgt. Jesse W. Ainsworth, 24, Saturday morning. U.S. Congressman Ted Poe, the soldier's sister Shane, and his nephew Brendan shared their thoughts and emotions at the service held in the Dayton Community Center. Twenty motorcycles from the Patriot Guard, 88 cars, & numerous law enforcement agencies escorted the Dayton man to his final resting place at Houston National Cemetery.

Church Dedicates Building: Central Baptist Church, Liberty, dedicated their new building Sunday afternoon. Harry Laxton is church pastor. Bill Fabriguze delivered the dedicatory sermon.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.06 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 135 FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

Staff Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth: The airplane carrying the body of fallen Dayton soldier Staff Sergeant Jesse Wayne Ainsworth will arrive in Southeast Texas this morning around 11 a.m. After a brief ceremony at the airport, the motorcade escorting Staff Sgt. Ainsworth will travel up Hwy 146 arriving in Dayton between 11:45 and 12:15. The public is encouraged to honor this fallen hero and his family by lining up along the travel route.

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Certified ISD Values: The Liberty County Central Appraisal District's data shows the property values are up in five of the counties school districts, but have dropped in both Devers and Liberty ISD. Alan Conner said Liberty ISD's declining property values are mostly attributable to mineral and industrial values. Property values in Devers ISD dropped 7.76 percent overall. The biggest percentage decline was in personal property values with additional drops in minerals and industrial. Dayton ISD has the highest property value total among the seven school districts in Liberty County.

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New Pastor: New pastor at First Baptist Church of Dayton Dale Hill thought he had retired from the ministry, however that was not the case as Dayton's' First Baptist Church began actively recruiting the 58 year old veteran minister. Dale Hill and his wife Karen have two grown children and five grandchildren. Dale's parents are Dick and Velma Busby of Liberty, with three younger brothers who spent much of their lives in and around South Liberty County. Dale Hill and his wife Karen are in the process of moving from Austin to Dayton.

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Community Garden: Plans for the Liberty Community Garden on the site of the old San Jacinto Elementary on Grand Ave. in Liberty call for 58 plots or spaces measuring 4 by 8 feet each. Individuals or groups can rent a space for $50 a year, or $30 for six months. Organizer Tracy Williams said about 20 of the ready to plant garden beds have already been reserved. The next meeting of the Liberty Community Garden is Monday at 5 p.m. in the activities building at First Baptist Church in Liberty. For information or to become a sponsor, call Sandy at the Liberty County Extension Office at 936-336-4554, ext. 221.

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Obituaries: Ethel Margaret Fregia, 91 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.1 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 134 THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010

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Injured Suspect: According to the Department of Public Safety accident report, on June 30th, Sheriff's Deputy Nathan DeWeese was transporting a suspect, 40 year old Timothy Eugene Connell in the back seat of his cruiser, when the deputy's vehicle hydroplaned on the rain slick roadway entering a curve, going off the road, and striking a tree. The suspect in the back seat was not restrained and suffered injuries in the crash. Liberty County Emergency Medical Services took Timothy Connell to the Cleveland Regional Hospital. We have not been able to confirm the extent of his injuries or why he was arrested. Trooper Ray Sanders investigated the accident for the DPS and his report says Liberty County Sheriffs Deputy Nathan DeWeese was traveling at an unsafe speed at the time of the accident, but no information about possible citations is available.

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Utility Deposit: As we have reported several times, the Liberty City Council met Tuesday night and took up a discussion on the city's utility deposit ordinance. This particular ordinance was approved back in 2003, but has stirred up some controversy in the past few weeks. The ordinance as written allows the city to require a deposit of $160 for a residential customer if they have three late payments during a year's time. Tuesday, council authorized city manager Gary Broz to suspend the 2003 ordinance on utility deposits, refund any deposits collected during the past 60 days, and to work with the city attorney on drafting a new ordinance.

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Old River – Winfree: The second, Old River-Winfree Founders Day celebration is set for tomorrow and Saturday. The celebration includes opportunities to shop with a variety of food and merchandise, enjoy some great music, watch a parade, and learn a bit of history among other events. To learn more about the event, go to www.kshn.com for a link to Old River-Winfree Founders Day.

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Obituaries:O Army Staff Sergeant Jesse Wayne Ainsworth, 24 of Dayton. Services will be Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Dayton Community Center. Interment will follow with full military honors at Houston Veterans Cemetery. Don Doucette, 36 of Saratoga. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. in New Life Assembly of God Church of Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 8.34 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 133 WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2010

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Flags: Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald announces that at his request the office of Gov. Rick Perry is directing that all flags on public buildings in Liberty County to be lowered to half staff in tribute to Staff Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth of Dayton who lost his life in Afghanistan combat on Saturday. The public is also encouraged to pay similar recognition to Sgt. Ainsworth. The Governor's order directs flags to remain at half-staff until sundown on the day of his burial in the national cemetery in Houston. That date will be announced soon.

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Commissioners: After opening the Tuesday meeting of Liberty County Commissioners court with a prayer for the family of fallen soldier Staff Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth, , commissioners voted to sell the old Mercy Hospital building to the Liberty Community Development Corporation, clearing the way for the old structure's eventual demolition. County Attorney Wes Hinch said it was the goal to restore the property's marketability, so at some point the taxing entities could recoup some of their losses, not just give away a piece of property to the LCDC.

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LISD Budget: We have reported LISD officials expect deficit spending of $1.2 million for the current fiscal year. That on the heels of a fiscal shortfall of $600,000, for the 2008-2009 budget year. In hopes of adopting a balanced budget for fiscal year 2010-2011, Liberty ISD trustees are considering cutting 21 jobs and slashing Pre-K programs from a full day to a half day. The Liberty school board held a budget workshop Monday night prior to the regular school board meeting, and that, among other suggestions were discussed.

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Values: The 2010 property value rolls have been certified for Liberty County taxing entities. The Liberty County Appraisal District's data shows the total countywide appraised value for land, improvements, personal property, minerals and industrial has risen by 1.52 percent from last year. For a final value of more than $4 billion.

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Obituaries: Luis Suarez Rico, 66 of Dayton. Services today at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church in Dayton. Keith Alan Young, 35 of Dayton. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Pace Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12.86 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 132 TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010

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Military Death: Another man from Liberty County has died while in combat. Staff / Sgt. Jesse Ainsworth, 24, with a Dayton address, was killed this past Saturday, in Afghanistan. Staff/Sgt. Ainsworth, while serving with the U.S. Army was killed by an I.E.D., or improvised explosive device. He was married with two children. This makes the third man from Liberty County to lose his life in military action. In October 2007, Marine Lance Corporal Jeremy Burris of Liberty, and in April 2008, Army Sgt. Shawn Tousha from Hull died while in combat in Iraq. Jesse Ainsworth's body is expected back by weeks end. Funeral services will be under the direction of Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Dayton.

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Stadium Lights: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall notice for a specific brand of stadium light poles. While two Liberty County school districts are on a list of those using the light standards, administrators from both Dayton and Hull-Daisetta ISD say there is not a danger locally. H-D ISD Superintendent Mary Huckabay said the recalled poles actually blew down during Hurricane Ike and have all been replaced with a different brand of stadium light pole. In Dayton, Assistant Superintendent Doug Coleman said they were notified last year, and hired engineers to inspect the potentially dangerous footings. After that study, those engineers told DISD officials there is not a problem with the stadium light poles in Dayton.

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Hunger Buster: The Liberty Hunger Busters youth summer lunch program has added snacks along with each free lunch. Dorreen Charlton, Director of Food Services for Liberty ISD, says the program is now serving an average of 850 to 900 free meals and snacks each day. This community partnership is providing free meals and an extra snack Monday through Friday from noon to 1 p.m. at locations throughout the Liberty School District. For information, call 936-336-4558, Ext. 221.

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Chamber Luncheon: The Liberty Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon will be next Wednesday, July 21 at noon in the Liberty Center. Guest speaker will be Scott Harris, Operations Manager of Boomerang Tube. Make reservations by calling the Chamber office at 936-336-5736.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 3,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 12.12 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 131 MONDAY, JULY 12, 2010

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Shooting: Three men have bonded out of the Hardin County Jail following a confrontation that left a Liberty County man dead. According to various Beaumont area news outlets, Hardin County Sheriff Ed Cain said the confrontation began as a family argument. One of the men involved in that dispute got two others from Rye to accompany him to a Saratoga home where first they shot out a security light. The dead man, 26-year-old George Howell of Rye, reportedly was banging on the home's door, brandishing a pistol, when he was shot and killed. Wesley Langham and Martin Green of Rye are charged with burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony. The home's resident, James Ryan, is charged with theft of a firearm and possession of an illegal weapon. The matter of the shooting death of George Howell will be presented to a grand jury.

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Sales Taxes: This could be considered a positive economic sign for Liberty County. After months of large decreases in sales tax collections, payments to cities in July were only down a collective $1,089 – that is a decline of less than ¼ of 1 percent. Considering sales tax dollars are down 17.7 percent or $794,917 year-to-date, this month's much smaller drop is encouraging news. Statewide, sales tax recipients are up again for the third straight month following 14 months of decline.

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Mercy Hospital: The demolition of the old Mercy Hospital building on Travis Street in Liberty is set to begin in two weeks. Liberty City Manager Gary Broz says all of the required paperwork is filed with the state, and the accepted bidder – A.A.R. Demolition of Houston – expects to start tearing down the 1930 four-story building and its additions on July 26.

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Hardin Football: The Hardin Hornets 7-on-7 football team competed in the state tournament last Thursday and Friday in College Station where the blue and gold advanced all the way to the semi-finals in their bracket before falling in overtime. There were more than 700 teams across Texas competing in a 7-on-7 division that includes 3A, 2A and 1A teams. Only 64 squads advanced to the state tourney.

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Obituary: Wanda Aiken Croft, 69, of Tarkington. Service 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sterling Funeral Home in Dayton.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 6,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 13.38 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 130 FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010

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Oil Tank Fire: Dayton volunteer firefighters responded to a report of an oil tank on fire off FM 686 yesterday morning. Dayton Fire Chief Terry Boyett said the situation turned out to be less serious than first reported. He said a lightning strike probably ignited three fiberglass saltwater storage tanks at the Magnum Engineering Company on C.R. #615. The location of the fire was actually 3 or 4 miles from the state prison units, and no structures were ever in danger. Mutual aid requests from the Liberty and Hwy 321 volunteer fire departments turned out not to be needed. Dayton firefighters, with some help from the occasionally heavy rain, made short work of the fire.

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Utility Deposits: The City of Liberty recently began enforcing an ordinance adopted by council back in 2003 requiring utility security deposits from any residential customer who has been late paying three city utility bills within a 12-month period. Since enforcement of the ordinance was not announced, it has evoked some complaints from city residents. Liberty City Manager Gary Broz said next Tuesday's council agenda includes an item allowing discussions on the seven-year-old ordinance. Gary Broz plans to offer council some options for modifying the ordinance to be more customer friendly while still protecting the city. That council meeting is Tuesday at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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River Fishing: Texas Department of Heath Services has issued an advisory warning people not to consume any species of fish from portions of the Trinity River. However, that warning does not affect those in our area. The advisory is only for portions of the river in eight North Texas counties.

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Broncos Football: Dave Campbell's 2010 Texas Football magazine picks Dayton to once again win the District 19-4A title this season and ranks the Broncos 13th in its pre-season Class 4A poll. Among the magazine's preseason all-state first team picks is Dayton defensive lineman Darrian Wright. The Crosby Cougars are seen as finishing second in District 19-4A with Barbers Hill expected to place fourth.

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Obituaries: Darnell Oman, 59, of Batson. Service is 2 p.m. Saturday at New Life Assembly of God Church of Batson under direction of Faith and Family.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 10,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 11.5 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 129 THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2010

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Dayton City: Dayton City Council had a couple of split votes Tuesday night, namely on a question about whether or not the Dayton Senior Citizens Center could conduct legalized Bingo games at the community center. Dayton City Attorney Randy Gunter said there was a Bingo enabling statute in Texas law; however, the Senior Citizens Center could not hold Bingo games as a fund raising effort. A motion to turn down the request by the senior citizens organization and not allow bingo games failed on a 2-3 vote. A motion to allow Bingo as long as they comply with state law passed on a 3-2 vote, with an amendment that authorizes the program for a six-month period. Council will review it at the end of that time to see if it is operating within the parameters set forth Tuesday night.

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Utility Meters: KSHN has reported Liberty City Council is considering a plan to replace all of the water and electric meters. Liberty Mayor Carl Picket said it is important for the city to treat utilities like a business in order to ensure the city's cost for providing these services is being covered. City leaders invite comments on the proposed meter replacement or on any other area of concern, or praise, local residents have for the city. The city website can be accessed from ours, www.kshn.com, click on the government tab to find the City of Liberty's logo.

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Football Camp: A Liberty Panther football camp for students entering ninth grade and another for kids starting third through eighth grades is coming up July 26-29. Liberty ISD Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Shane Deel said both camps would run form 9 am until 11 am that Monday through Thursday. He said the camps are designed to teach kids the fundamental skills of football. The deadline to register is Monday July 19. The $30 registration includes a camp T-shirt plus instruction from Liberty's varsity coaches. For information, call 979-422-3026.

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Obituaries: Dorothy Louise Bobalik, 81 of Dayton. Graveside services today at 10 a.m. at Chapel of the Pines Cemetery in Crosby. Roy Clyde Campbell, 55 of Liberty. Memorial service Saturday 10 a.m. at Faith and Family Funeral Services in Batson. Rev. James Hollis Taylor, 83 of Sour Lake. Memorial service 2 p.m tomorrow at Praise Chapel of Sour Lake.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 6,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.99 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 128 WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2010

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Teen Arrested: A Raywood teenager is one of four people arrested Tuesday by Beaumont police for engaging in criminal activity and evading arrest. The men were arrested after Beaumont police were sent to a business in the 5200 block of College Street in reference to a report of theft of metals in progress. Those charged include Tydius Terreal Mouton, 19, of Raywood plus three Houston residents, ages 24 through 35.

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Burnham Classic: The 21st Annual Burnham Classic Golf Tournament is coming up August 6-8 at Magnolia Ridge Country Club. Always sponsored by BJ Ford and the Burnham family, this annual event benefits the physically handicapped and mentally challenged of Liberty County served by Tri-County MHMR. Cost for the two-man scramble style tourney is $450 per team. Sponsorships are also available. For information or to sign up, go by BJ Ford or call 336-2215. To become a Burnham Classic sponsor, call Kathleen Burnham at 336-7135.

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Liberty PD Training: The State of Texas requires an ever-increasing 650 hours training before a candidate can be certified as a Texas peace officer. The City of Liberty Police Department offers training that goes beyond with 775 hours of training. Liberty Police Officer Hugh Bishop, who is also the training coordinator of the department, said training for a law enforcement officer does not end when the academy is completed. Once an officer is hired at the Liberty Police Department, they will go though 12 weeks of training on the job, and an additional 40 hours of continuing education per year. Double the 40 hours every two years, that is required by the state of Texas.

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Hardin Football: The Hardin Hornets 7-on-7 football team has once gain qualified for the state tournament. Coach Larry Haynes said it is the fourth straight year his Hardin squad has earned their way to the state tourney in College Station. Play begins Thursday afternoon and continues Friday.

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Obituaries: W.C. "Dub" Sanders, 80 formerly of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 2 p.m. in First United Methodist Church of Liberty. Basil Terrance Tomlinson, 87 of Saratoga. Services today 10 a.m. at Faith and Family Funeral Service in Batson.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 6,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 10.77 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 127 TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2010

Resident Threatens Suicide: Liberty Police Officers were called to an area between Terrell Salvage Yard and the Trinity River Monday morning around 10 a.m. Information was a person, allegedly armed, was threatening to take their own life. Knowing the person was armed, two police units responded as well as three Department of Public Safety Units. That show of force had an apparent calming influence on the man. Liberty Police were able to convince the person to surrender. After the man was checked out at the local hospital, he was taken to the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation for evaluation. No one was injured during the incident.

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Water & Electric: The City of Liberty is considering a plan to replace all of the water and electric meters across town with new state-of-the-art meters. City Manager Gary Broz is recommending this project because, he says, the current meters are very old and are not accurately measuring usage. As a result, they are under billing customers, and therefore, losing money. If this $2.5 million project to replace meters gets council approval, it will be funded through certificates of obligation.

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Hunter Safety Class: Liberty Police Department will offer a hunter safety training course July 30-31 in Liberty. The classes will be held Friday July 30, from 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday July 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The $15 course will be held in the training room at Liberty PD on Lakeland Drive. Any person born on or after September 2, 1971, must complete a hunter education training course to be legally licensed to hunt in the State of Texas.

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4-H Horse Group: The celebrated Liberty County 4-H Mounted Drill Team will hold their annual dress rehearsal this evening at 7 p.m. in the Trinity Valley Exposition arena. The public is invited the see the reigning state champions in fast free style as they prepare for this year's state finals in Abilene. There will also be a silent auction and raffle, and concessions. There is no charge to watch and support these champions.

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Obituaries: Joe Ann Morse, 65 of Saratoga. Services 11 am today at Faith and Family Funeral Services in Batson. Vivian Walker, 84 of Dayton. Services today 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 6,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.54 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 126 FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2010

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Independence Day Celebrations: Tonight's activities at Liberty Municipal Park include a patriotic program and then fireworks. Keynote speaker is retired Admiral Bill Pickavance Jr, and Congressman Ted Poe. The Invincible Eagle Band will provide entertainment. The music and program start at 7:45 tonight with fireworks beginning around 9. The festivities will be broadcast live on KSHN with special patriotic music synchronized to the fireworks display. Liberty Police Department reminds folks at the city park, once the fireworks have ended, both lanes of Cook Road will become one-way contra- flow for vehicles exiting the park. Those leaving the park in the right lane of Cook road will be required to turn south on Main, those in the left lane must turn north.

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Silas Parks: An Idaho judge has now twice rescheduled the sentencing of Silas Parks, the man who pled guilty earlier this year to two counts of manslaughter for the death of his wife, Dayton native Sara Sheffield Parks and their unborn child. Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson said sentencing has been reset both times related to psychological testing of the confessed killer. His sentencing originally set for June 8, was moved to June 30, and that has now been set for August 3.

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Dayton Chamber: The Dayton Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly noon luncheon this coming Tuesday at the Dayton Community Center on South Cleveland Street. Guest speaker will be Amy Tinsley with Constant Contact, an e-mail marketing firm. Lunch will be catered by Pappy's Barbecue. For reservations, call the Dayton Chamber office at 257-2393.

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Cleveland Celebrates 75 Years: For a good time this holiday weekend, you need go no further than Stancil Park in Cleveland as the city celebrates their 75th Anniversary and the Fourth of July at the same time. The citywide event includes food, parades, music, barbecue, fireworks and more. For more information, call Cleveland City Hall at 281-592-2667, or visit their website. You'll find it by going to www.kshn.com and clicking on the government link.

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Obituaries: Steve Hollis Simons, 74 of Liberty. Services tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church-Marysee.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.39 ASL*

VOLUME 25 NO. 125 THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2010

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County Budget: During Tuesday's Liberty County Commissioners court meeting, County Judge Phil Fitzgerald detailed an anticipated drop in projected county revenues of about $1.5 million for the upcoming 2010-2011 fiscal year. The county's fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30 of the following year. Tuesday, Commissioners voted to budget salaries for elected officials at their current levels with the exception of the County Attorney, which was increased by $22,917 based on state law requirements. County Judge Phil Fitzgerald will file his proposed budget by the end of this month. In August, notices will be posted concerning any required public hearings on tax rates. Then Liberty County Commissioners will set the tax rate and adopt their 2010-2011 budget in September.

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Dayton Copper Theft: The Dayton Police Department recovered approximately $16,000 in copper and arrested a Liberty man for its theft. According to Dayton Police Detective John Headrick, the Amico Klemp Facility in Dayton reported they were missing two large blocks of copper, each weighing approximately 1,300 pounds. A check of a local scrap metal yard turned up the stolen copper. It had been sold allegedly by Amico employee Lawrence Raleigh, 57 of Liberty. He is charged with felony theft, and was arrested yesterday. Lawrence Raleigh is free on a $5,000 bond.

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Dayton ISD: The Dayton School board held a public hearing and special called meeting Tuesday night and adopted their new budget. The new budget is based on projected revenues of $33.5 million and expenditures of $35.9 million, and a deficit of some $2.4 million. Assistant Superintendent Tami Pierce said most of the deficit is attributed to some rather extensive capital improvement projects approved by the school board earlier this year. They will set a tax rate in August.

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Closed: Since the Forth of July falls on Sunday this year, the Liberty County Courthouse, and city offices in Liberty, Dayton and Cleveland will all be closed Monday for the Independence Day Holiday. All banks and post offices will also be closed countywide on Monday. Waste Management garbage service will run as scheduled on Monday for all three major cities of Liberty County.

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*LAKE RELEASE: 2,000 CFS LIBERTY BRIDGE: 9.51 ASL*

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