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December 4, 2003 Updated (Tues, Thurs, Fri, & Sat)

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And the race is on...
In the traditional Democratic party "walk-over", incumbents and challengers gathered at the Liberty County courthouse early yesterday morning to file their intentions to run for office in the March 2004 primary. County Democrats have made it a practice to meet together on the first day of filing and, in a party "show of strength", have their names listed with their party chair. Yesterday saw 10 Democratic candidates publicly state their intentions to run for office. Incumbents Sheriff Greg Arthur, County Attorney Jack Hartel, County Tax Assessor Mark McClelland, County Commissioners Melvin Hunt (Pct. 3) and Todd Fontenot (Pct. 1), and Constables Warren DeSpain (Pct. 5), Royce Wheeler (Pct. 6), Jimmy Belt (Pct. 2), and Tim Allison (Pct. 1) all filed for primary re-election. Jim Talkington, former Pct. 1 Deputy Constable, filed to challenge Allison for his Constable position. Henry Patterson, Cleveland's Assistant police chief, filed for Arthur's position as Sheriff. Filing deadline for both parties for the March primary election is 6 p.m. January 2, 2004.

Christmas rules in Liberty County With Country Christmas in Liberty held Tuesday night, and Dayton tonight, and Cleveland's own SantaFest beginning Friday and stretching into Saturday, you won't have to look far for a holiday celebration this week. The Country Christmas event in Dayton will start with a lighted parade at 6 p.m., and include live entertainment, wagon rides, and refreshments. Cleveland's SantaFest begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday with the Taste of Cleveland Christmas at Austin Memorial Library and the annual Food Fest beginning at 4:00 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Organization. Festivities pick up again at 9 a.m. Saturday morning in downtown Cleveland and last all day, ending with the annual parade at 4 p.m., and include arts and crafts vendors, concession stands, musical entertainment all day, games with prizes for kids of all ages - and, of course, pictures with Santa Claus.

Cleveland veteran dies Charlie "Chuck" Foster, one of Cleveland's well-known and loved " characters", passed away unexpectedly this week while visiting his son in Arizona. Foster was perhaps best-known for his years of activity in the American-Legion and veterans' affairs in Cleveland. Service arrangements are pending through Pace-Stancil Funeral Home in Cleveland.

Funeral Services --Kenneth Black; Memorial services Saturday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. at Pace-Stancil/Probst Chapel. --William McCaver; services Thursday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m., Pace-Stancil/Probst Chapel, with interment at Pruitts Chapel Cemetery in Hornbeck, Louisiana. Arrangements are pending for Charlie "Chuck" McCoy Foster; Edna Murphy; and C. L. Griffin through Pace-Stancil Funeral Home.

Police Report Over the past two days, police have arrested Pedro Guerra Jr. on a capias warrant for no drivers' license and no insurance; Jose' Gerardo Pesina for speeding; and Dan Dale Burch for theft.

On Tap at the Texan Tonight at 7 p.m. is the Disney animated movie, "Brother Bear", rated G. Beginning Friday night, at 7 and 9 p.m., will be the comedy "Elf" with Will Ferrell. Admission is $2 for children aged 3-11, and $4 for those aged 12 and older.

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