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This is an update on a developing story from our sister station KENA in Mena.

The identity of a body found near Cove has been confirmed by the Polk County Sheriff's Department as 43-year-old Bethany Jo Scarbrough Wester of Mena.


The body was discovered on Tuesday, April 25th after the Sheriff's Office received a call about a "suspicious object" in a creek southeast of Cove.


The body was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for identification and to determine the cause of death. The cause of death has not been released at this time.


In what Sheriff Scott Sawyer described as a 'rapidly developing' case, additional crime scenes have continued to be identified throughout the week.


On Wednesday, April 26th, a search was conducted at 1110 Seventh Street in Mena. Wester is listed as one of the owners of that property. Authorities have not confirmed what evidence, if any, was collected at that scene.


On Wednesday night, a Morgan Nick Alert was issued for Wester's two children, 10-year-old Reilly James Scarbrough, and his sister 2-year-old Acelynn Carrie Wester. Both children were last seen around April 21st or April 22nd and are listed as Missing or Endangered.


On Thursday morning, April 27th, the Polk County Sheriff's Office collected a search team of approximately 35 members to conduct a search near  Cove for Wester's missing children.


If you have any information as to the whereabouts of Reilly or Acelynn, please contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 479-394-2511.


A second body has also been found in Polk County this week just south of Hatfield.


Thursday afternoon, Sheriff Sawyer confirmed that a second body was discovered this week, however, his office has not officially released the identity of the deceased.





Early Thursday morning about 1:30 a.m., Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy John Stinson was patrolling Highway 371 East of Lockesburg after the sheriff's office received information from the Howard County Sheriff's office about a residential burglary suspect that was seen driving a silver 4-door passenger vehicle.


Stinson reported he observed a vehicle that matched the description from Howard County and attempted to pull up behind the vehicle to check the license plate number. However, as Stinson approached the vehicle, it sped away at speeds over 80 miles per hour.


Stinson reported the vehicle then pulled into the driveway of a house on East Main Street. He said two passengers jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot behind the house.


Stinson was assisted by Sevier County Sergeant Greg Davignon and De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez and his K9 partner, Kilo in searching for the two suspects.


Officers reported Kilo alerted in a wooded area east of the residence and began to track one of the suspects. Officers reported they located one of the suspects hiding on the porch of a nearby abandoned mobile home. He was then taken into custody without any further incident.


Kilo then helped officer find the second suspect, who surrendered to officers without any further incident.


The two suspects were identified as Brandon Harvey of Texarkana and Delano Polite of Mineral Springs. Officers reported both suspects appeared to be intoxicated and they were charged with fleeing and public intox. They are currently being held in the Sevier County jail.


Sevier County Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle reported a third suspect has not been apprehended. If you have any information concerning this incident, contact the Sevier County Sheriff's Office at 870-642-2125.





The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved some bids for improvements to roadways in Sevier and Polk counties.


The purpose of the project in Sevier County is to resurface 1.4 miles of various city streets in De Queen including: 9th Street, Gilson Avenue, Stilwell Avenue, Wallace Avenue and Driver Avenue.


The contract was awarded to Tri-State Asphalt, Inc. of De Queen for the amount of $318,157.25.


The purpose of the projects in Polk County is to resurface various streets within the cities of Hatfield, Cove and Wickes.


Crow Paving, Inc. of Morrilton was awarded these contacts for a total amount of $737,542.09.


Crow Paving will resurface half-a-mile of Mershon Drive in Hatfield; 1.5 miles of various city streets in Cove including: Lewis Street and Barton Avenue; and 1.3 miles of various city streets in Wickes including: Oak Grove Road and Old Highway 71.


Construction on these projects is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in mid-2017.


For travel information visit the websites, or





Foreman Superintendent George Kennedy informed the Foreman Board of Education that the state was requiring the school district to raise its lunch prices by .10 cents. He stated the state has required a .10 cent increase every year for the past couple of years. So, Kennedy then suggested they raise the lunch price .20 cents, so they won't have an increase next year. Board members then voted to increase the lunch price to $2.30 for the 2017-2018 school year.


Kennedy also reported the board rehired the district's classified staff, but they are still looking for a few new maintenance people.


Kennedy informed KDQN that the fire alarm system has been replaced in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary gym, but they won't install a new fire alarm system in the fieldhouse until this summer.


Board members also voted to accept eight school choice applications.





Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Arkansans can help save lives by cleaning out our medicine cabinets and turning the expired and unused medications over to law enforcement during the upcoming prescription drug take back event on Saturday, April 29th.


The Sevier County Sheriff's Office will be participating in this year's event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 29th at the Sevier County jail and Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry announced his department will also be collecting donations of non-perishable food items. He said the food donations will given to the Chalice Cupboard in De Queen to help needy families throughout the county.


Chalice Cupboard volunteers repeatedly reported they have a desperate need for food donations. They stated the Cupboard has helped over 75 families so far this month.


Rutledge reported Arkansans can drop off expired or unused opioids, stimulants, depressants, and other prescription medications, along with expired or unused over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medication, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medicines that are in glass or leak-proof containers and medical samples.


Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.


Rutledge said by properly destroying these medications, it saves lives and protects the environment. She said medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting the water, which could contaminate our food and water supplies. Rutledge said by turning these medications in at the Take Back Day events, it also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, senior adults or pets.


For more information about the Drug Take Back event in Sevier County or to find out how you can make a donation to the Chalice Cupboard, contact the Sheriff's office at 870-642-2125.  





Sevier County 4-H held its annual Dairy Foods Contest on April 25th, which is sponsored by the Arkansas Farm Bureau. Seven 4-H'ers competed by bringing their dishes already prepared. They presented their dish to the judge and then answered questions about their dish. 4-H'ers also must be at least 9-years-old to compete.


There are two categories in which to compete: Main Food and Party Ideas.


The winner of the Main Food category was Oaklee Lofton with Pizza Bites and the winner of the Party Ideas was Heidi Hardaway with Heidi's Fruit Dip. The winner of each category had their recipe submitted to the State Dairy Foods Contest that will be held on May 31st in Little Rock.


Others that competed were: Brady Haarmeyer, Jacob Seymour, Abbi Stinson, Alley Stinson and Alyssa Hackney.


Sevier County 4-H would like to thank Sandra Jackson from Sevier County Farm Bureau Women's Committee for judging the contest.


If you are interested in joining 4-H, contact the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013.





Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher recently announced that Amy Zuniga of De Queen has been hired as the new children's librarian at the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library. Friday morning, Zuniga stopped by the KDQN studios to introduce herself to our area listeners.


Zuniga said she is planning a special program for Mother's Day, on May 10th at 4 p.m. She said the first 25 children will receive a gift to give to their moms.


The De Queen Library will also be holding a summer reading program this year, every Wednesday at 10 a.m. during the month of June. Zuniga said they will have special guest and she is working on some new programs to help encourage children to read.


For more information about the children's programs at the De Queen Library, contact Zuniga at 870-584-4364.





The Polk County Sheriff's Office issued a Morgan Nick Amber Alert for two children from Polk County and is asking the public's assistance in locating two children from the Mena/Polk County area.


The missing children are 10-year-old Reilly James Scarbrough and his sister 2-year-old Acelynn Carrie Wester.  Both children were last seen around Friday, April 21st and Saturday, April 22nd.


Reilly and Acelynn have been listed as Missing or Endangered. If you have any information concerning their whereabouts, contact the Polk County Sheriff's Office at 479-394-2511.





De Queen Primary School Counselor Krista Smith announced the primary school will have Kindergarten Pre-Registration on Tuesday, May 2nd in the Primary School cafeteria from noon to 5 p.m.


Smith said students must be five years old on or before August 1st to be eligible to attend kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year.


She also stated parents or guardians will need to provide the child's birth certificate, social security card, immunization record, proof of residence, such as a utility bill. Smith said students will also be required to have a physical before they can start school in August, but parents can bring a copy of their child's physical if they have already had one.


For more information, call 870-642-3100.





This weekend, the Cossatot River State Park will be holding a hike along the Harris Creek Trail, a program about wildflowers and a program about what plants are edible and which ones are good for what ails you on Saturday.


Sunday, Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary will led an adventure through the park; hunting, collecting and identifying items in the park. She will also be conducting a program about how plants and animals defend themselves.


Flanary also stated it's not too early to start planning for Mother's Day. She said the park will host a Mother's Day Adventure Tour on May 13th and 14th. She said the cost is $95 per person and space is limited.


The park is also preparing for its summer camps. Flanary said children 6 to 8 need to sign up for the Kid's Nature Camp by May 29th. She said the camp is June 7th, 8th and 9th and the cost is $40 per camper.


For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, contact Flanary or Park Interpreter Victoria Carson by calling 870-385-2201.





On May 9th, the Ashdown School District will honor seven employees who will be retiring from the district at the end of this school year.


From 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9th, the Ashdown School District will honor Marilyn Sue Brown, Nathaniel Deloney, Debra Garrett, Sarah Hadaway, Jeanne Jackson, Denise Schwartz and Jan Ueckert in the district's administration building on Rankin Street.


These seven district employees have over 169 years of service.


Brown worked in the district's food service department for 17 years. Deloney has served as a bus driver in the district for 13 years, with 15 years of experience. Garrett has 36 years teaching experience and has worked in the Ashdown District for nine. Hadaway has taught in Ashdown for 28 years. Jackson spent 26 years teaching in the Ashdown district. Schawartz taught 18 in the district. She has a total of 27 years of teaching experience. And, Ueckert has spent 37 years in the district teaching and working in the special education department.


The public is invited to attend the reception.





Early Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Harper responded to a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Highway 70 and the 70 Business District.


When Harper arrived, he observed damage to the front of vehicle that was in the ditch facing north. According to his report, the vehicle failed to negotiate the curve and slid off the highway. The vehicle then slid between the two highways and came to a stop in the ditch.


The driver, 21-year-old Janet James of New Boston, Texas, allegedly admitted to drinking after Deputy Harper noticed an open can of beer in the center console.


James was arrested and cited with driving while intoxicated.





The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Lake Greeson have developed a new policy for campsite usage and camping equipment. Officials say the new policy has been adopted in the interest of providing equal recreational opportunities to the visiting public.


A number of the Lake Greeson Class A campsites have been designated for use by either RV or tent. These campsites are designated by white site marker post, with RV or TENT Reservable displayed on it. These campsites are reservable through the National Recreation Reservation System.


The remainder of the Class A electrical campsites have been designated for RV use only. These campsites are designated by brown site marker post, with RV ONLY displayed on them. RV only sites are first come, first served campsites.


The new campsite usage policy will be strictly enforced and unauthorized placement of tents on RV only sites will result in the removal and impoundment of the prohibited equipment, forfeiture of the use of the campsite and a citation may be issued for failure to comply with the policy.


For additional information that's related to this policy or Title 36 Rules and Regulations, call the Lake Greeson Field Office at 870-285-2151.





Secretary of State Mark Martin is reminding Arkansas businesses that their annual franchise taxes must be filed by midnight on Monday, May 1st with the Secretary of State's Business and Commercial Services division.


Every incorporated business, whether domestic or foreign, pays an annual fee to do business in Arkansas. Corporations and LLCs may file their franchise taxes online, 24 hours a day, by visiting the Secretary of State's website at


The easy-to-use system provides automatic calculations, e-mail confirmations and copies of each completed filing. Credit cards and electronic checks are accepted.


Revoked entities continue to accrue franchise taxes annually until the business is formally dissolved or withdrawn. Nonprofit corporations are not subject to state's franchise tax.


Corporations can also pay in person at the Business and Commercial Services offices which are located in the Victory Building in Little Rock, or by mailing their tax forms to PO Box 8014, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-8014.


The Business and Commercial Services office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information, call the Business and Commercial Services office at 1-888-233-0325.





Domtar shared books through First Book Grant with First Grade teacher Donna Green's class at Ashdown Elementary on April 18th. Domtar employees delivered books, students selected from those books, divided up and read books to the employees. Students were very excited to learn that they would be taking a new book home. The remaining new books were added to Mrs. Green’s classroom library. The partnership between Domtar and First Book is aimed at ending illiteracy and supporting schools.

As part of its Powerful Pages campaign, Domtar has partnered with First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books to children in need, since 2012 to provide more than half a mission dollars in grants to schools and programs in towns that are home to Domtar facilities. Domtar’s grants provide funding to educators to purchase books through the First Book Marketplace, a website available exclusively to First Book programs, and then the school’s children are able to bring home the new books.

“We’re proud to have provided hundreds of thousands of brand-new books to children from low-income families across North America, in partnership with First Book,” said Domtar Corporate Responsibility Manager, Heather Alverson Stowe. “Domtar is committed to promoting literacy by putting books in the hands of children in need in the communities in which we operate—it’s a cause that is close to our hearts and core to our business.”

“Access to books is transformational in the lives of our children and the educators who serve them,” said Kyle Zimmer, First Book president and CEO. “Domtar’s work with First Book has opened up a world of opportunities to children who might not otherwise have books at home.”



Rhonda Pounds




BODY FOUND IN COVE       4/26/17


According to our sister station, KENA in Mena, the Polk County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a body was discovered in Cove on Tuesday.


According to a statement from the sheriff's office, they received a call at about 1:20 p.m. that there was a suspicious object in a creek southeast of Cove.


When deputies arrived, they discovered the body of an unidentified white female. The Polk County Sheriff's office and the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were on the scene collecting evidence and recovering the body.


The body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab to determine the identity and cause of death.





Local law enforcement officers are currently looking for a male suspect that has a warrant for his arrest for failure to comply with community services and theft of property.


On March 29th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Wendall Randall and Deputy Kristen Reed received a tip that the suspect, 25-year-old Joshua McCollum was working at the Burger King in De Queen.


Deputy Reed identified McCollum to Deputy Randall and then went toward the back of the building. When she got to the rear of the business, she discovered McCollum climbing the ladder on the back of the building. She reported when McCollum saw her, he jumped down and ran back into the building.


Reed said she went into the building; McCollum ran out the back door and crossed a field toward Magnolia Street.


Officers with the De Queen Police Department and deputies with the sheriff's office assisted in the chase, but when the K9 unit lost his scent, officers called off the pursuit.


If you have information as to the whereabouts of McCollum contact the Sevier County Sheriff's Office at 870-642-2125.





The 13th annual Little River County Senior Citizen Celebration and Health Fair has been scheduled for Thursday, but organizers announced if it is raining, they will move the event to Thursday, May 4th.


Vicki Keener of the Little River Health System reported they will be taking labs from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Ashdown City Park. The health fair and celebration is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


This year's event will feature food, games, entertainment, drawing for prizes and giveaways. Prizes will be given away to the oldest man, oldest woman and the longest married couple, but both must be present and registered by 11:30.


Keener said attendees should register at the registration table when they arrive, so they will be eligible for prizes. She said lunch will be served at 11:30.


Area senior adults should bring their lawn chairs and enjoy this year's senior citizen celebration and health fair tomorrow, but for more information, call 870-898-5011, ext. 3135.





The Wickes Elementary School is currently holding pre-registration and screening for next year's 2017-2018 Kindergarten classes.


If you have a child, or if you know of a child who will be five on or before August 1st, stop by the Wickes Elementary office and register them for school. Applications will be accepted today and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the elementary office.


Parents or guardians will need to provide a copy of the child's birth certificate, their social security card and their current shot record. Children entering the Kindergarten for the 2017-2018 school year will also be required to have a current physical on file.


Students who are attending the Wickes Pre-K program will be screened during the school day; however, students who are not currently enrolled in the program will need to be screened when they register.


Friday is the Wickes Elementary's Pre-K Day and next year's Kindergarten students will be allowed to attend school from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Lunch will cost $3 for students who are not enrolled in the Wickes Pre-K program.


If you have any questions, call the Wickes Elementary office at 870-385-2346.





Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne informed KDQN this week that the 2017 Whistlestop Festival will be this Saturday, rain or shine.


Hawthorne said this year's festival will begin at 7 a.m. Saturday morning with the registration for the annual 5K run/walk. She said the vendors will open at 9.


Hawthorne said entertainment will begin on the stage at the corner of Keller and Commerce at 10 a.m. and the chamber will start serving fish dinners and loaded baked potatoes at 11.


Hawthorne said they are also expecting antique cars and tractors. She said the Two Rivers Museum and the youth art show will open at 9 a.m.


To sign up for the wild hog hunt, stop by the Little River County Chamber of Commerce office by 2 p.m. on Friday. The hunt will begin at 3.





On May 3rd, the De Queen Lions Club will team with Fred's Department Store for a recycle your old eye glasses day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Store manager David Glass said he contacted the Lions Club about partnering with the store because he had been a member of the Lions Club in Prescott for a couple of years.


Glass said Lions Club members will be at the store collecting old eye glasses and prescription sunglasses, including unwanted reading glasses. Glass said the Lions Club will refurbish the old glasses and then give them to children and adults who can't afford new glasses.


Glass said they will also be given away some door prizes during the event on Wednesday, May 3rd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fred's Department Store in De Queen.









Sunday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Jackson was patrolling on Highway 71 North, when he noticed a Hispanic male walking on the side of the road.


Jackson identified the individual as Alfredo Arcos Jr. and checked the department's ACIC and NCIC data bases to see if Arcos had any active warrants.


Jackson discovered Arcos was wanted on a warrant out of Carroll County and took Arcos into custody. While searching Arcos, Jackson discovered a zip lock bag that contained suspected marijuana in his pocket.


Arcos was arrested on the warrant and charged with possession of a controlled substance - marijuana in Sevier County.





Saturday night, Sevier County deputies were dispatched to Red Bridge Road in reference to a hit and run accident.


According to the report, Chad Gallagher was traveling towards Highway 41 on Red Bridge Road when he met a white pickup traveling at a high rate of speed near the red bridge. Gallagher stated he almost  had to drive off the side of the road to avoid hitting the truck head-on, however, the pickup side swiped his 1972 Chevy truck.


Gallagher stated he followed the truck about a half a mile to 869 Red Bridge Road and contacted the sheriff’s office.


While being interviewed, the driver, James Vincent Alexander of De Queen stated he didn’t know he hit another vehicle. After asking Alexander if he had been drinking and he allegedly admitted to having a mixed drink a few hours earlier.


Alexander was taken into to custody for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.





Tawana Newton and Courtney Thomas of the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department announced the department will be holding their annual Fish Fry and Auction on Saturday at 5 p.m. The cost is by donation only.


Newton said the event is a fundraiser to help purchase equipment for the department.


Thomas said they have several items to bid on including two or three different tool set and lots of pictures.


Thomas also said local residents can also pay their membership dues while attending the fish fry.






Sevier County Humane Society President Juanelle Gage and Treasurer Martha Fines announced Tuesday morning that the society will be holding a spay and neuter clinic May 9th, 10th and 11th at their building on Haes Street, across from the Herman Dierks Parks in De Queen.


Fines said the cost is $65 for dogs and $40 for cats and that includes a rabies shot. She also stated you will receive a $20 discount if you live in the city limits of De Queen or in Sevier County.


For more information or to reserve a spot for your dog or cat, call 870-584-9096.






District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported there were more than 3,000 deaths and more that 400,000 injuries caused by distracted driving in 2014. She said since summer was right around the corner, she wanted to remind her constituents about some new laws that are hitting the books that will affect Arkansas highways.


Vaught said the Legislature passed Act 706 which changes the wording of the 2009 law known as Paul's Law, to include any use of a wireless device to write, send or read a text-based communication and access, read, or post to a social networking site.


She said a driver is not in violation if he or she reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in a wireless device for the purpose of making a telephone call. She said there is also an exemption for drivers using a navigation system.


Act 706 also gives judges the discretion to fine a violator u to $250.


Vaught said Act 615 addresses the issue of leaving the scene of an accident that involves property damage. She said the bill states a driver must take reasonable steps to locate the property owner if their vehicle is in an accident that causes damage to someone else's property.


Act 1097 will allow the highway commission to increase the speed limit on interstates to 75 miles per hour and on other highways to 65 where permissible.


And Act 157 allows the Office of Driver Services to issue a digital copy of an Arkansas Driver's License for a $10 fee.


For more information on driving laws and safety measures on the road visit the website,





Aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council approved the 2017 street paving project during their regular monthly meeting. Aldermen voted to repave a section of North Park from Hilltop to Shady Lane, the bridge and apron on both sides of West Pine in front of the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park.


Aldermen also voted to take $50,000 from the city's street CD to finance the project.


Council members authorized Mayor Danny Ruth to contact SWEPCO about moving a street light that sets on Fisk Lane that is not working. They also asked Ruth to get the price for removing some dead trees from the park.


Utility worker Justin Ruth updated the council about the installation of the city's sewer pump and the council voted to replace a culvert at the corner of Azalea and Walnut streets by the post office.


Jazmine Roberts was appointed to the park committee and Melvin Ruth submitted his resignation from the position of Coulter Cemetery mower. Aldermen then hired Scott Gilbert to maintain the cemetery.





Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith reported this month that the district has not received any new information concerning the district's School of Innovation application, but he feels the district has a strong application.


Smith also reported the board of education tabled two athletic proposals this month, after voting to purchase a tarp for the softball field. He said the district received one bid for the refurbishment of the gym floor and the board is considering installing LED lights at Lane Field..


Smith said the school board will be meeting this June to prioritize the district's facility needs.


Board members also voted to hire Stephanie Haarmeyer as the elementary librarian. Magan Dorsey was hired to be the elementary counselor and Tiffany Cassady was hired for a full-time position.





De Queen High School seniors Logan Hall and Reagan Wilkerson have been awarded scholarships for the upcoming fall semester.


Hall was awarded the Distinguished Scholarship from the University of Central Arkansas. The scholarship is valued at $34,000. Hall has also been named to the UCA Track and Field team. He is currently a member of the National Honor Society, FFA, Future Teachers of America, Gifted and Talented, yearbook staff, the drama club and the Leopard football and track teams.


Hall is the son of Charles and Kristy Hall and plans to major in history and coaching.


Wilkerson has been awarded a $28,000 Excellence Scholarship from the University of Central Arkansas.


Wilkerson is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Teachers of America, Gifted and Talented as well as the Lady Leopard basketball, soccer and track teams.


Wilkerson is the daughter of Rusty and Terri Wilkerson and is a member of the Memorial Missionary Baptist Church.






Monday morning, the 2017 Rotary Crystal Award winner, Martha Mosqueda, signed a letter of intent to run cross country for Henderson State University at the KDQN studios.


Mosqueda has a high grade point average and ACT score. She earned the Rotary English award this year and the Chemistry award, last year. She is also a standout on the De Queen track, cross country, soccer, archery, and tennis teams. Mosqueda said cross country is one of her favorite sports.


Mosqueda stated she's excited about running for the Reddies, but she was thinking about attending Henderson, even before they offered her a cross country scholarship.


Mosqueda was joined Monday morning by her parents, Jesus and Maria Mosqueda.









According to the Arkansas State Crime Lab and Medical Examiner's Office, Arkansas has a prescription drug epidemic. In 2016, 335 Arkansans died from drug overdoses.


Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge stated these numbers are staggering and should be a wakeup call to all Arkansans. She said it's important to know that the first time teens usually use prescription pain killers, they steal them from a family member's medicine cabinet. Rutledge said we can help save lives by cleaning out our medicine cabinets and turning the expired and unused medications over to law enforcement during the upcoming prescription drug take back event on Saturday, April 29th.


The Sevier County Sheriff's Office will be participating in this year's event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday at the Sevier County jail.


Rutledge reported Arkansans can drop off expired or unused opioids, stimulants, depressants, and other prescription medications, along with expired or unused over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medication, medicated ointments and lotions, inhalers, liquid medicines that are in glass or leak-proof containers and medical samples.


Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.


Rutledge said by properly destroying these medications, it saves lives and protects the environment. She said medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting the water, which could contaminate our food and water supplies. Rutledge said by turning these medications in at the Take Back Day events, it also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, senior adults or pets.


For more information about consumer related issues, call the Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website  





If you are looking for a creative way to show off the rocks and minerals that you found at the Crater of Diamond State Park, then you should consider using them in a decorative project such as wire crafting.


Wire crafting is the ancient practice of making ornamental figures and sculptures of wire and other components. Many crafters incorporate outdoor elements, such as rocks, crystals, sticks and more, into their designs.


The process may seem complicated, but through practice and patience, almost anyone can make beautiful creations that are inspired by nature.


From 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13th, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host a fun, hands-on wire crafting workshop.


Participates will learn about wire sculpturing and then make a 6-inch wire tree out of copper or brass, beads and a rock base from park.


Attendees may also bring their own beads or other decorations to add to their creations. The cost of the workshop is $30 per tree, including a non-refundable $15 registration fee due by Friday, May 5th; the remaining $15 will be due on the day of the workshop. Participants may also bring a guest, free of charge, to help with crafting and assembling the tree.


Supplies are limited, and a minimum of three participants is required. For more information or to register, call the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113.





Domtar announced that trained volunteers from the Ashdown mill and others from the local business community will visit the Ashdown Junior High on May 12th to teach the Junior Achievement curriculum.


Domtar manager of communications and government relations, Tammy Waters, reported a total of 30 volunteers from the mill and the local business community were trained to teach the Junior Achievement curriculum, which is an economic education program that provides students with the knowledge and skills that are needed to own their own economic success, by focusing on work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy.


Waters said Domtar's employees' work with Junior Achievement is a great example of how you can build that important bridge between the workplace, the classroom and the community.


Waters said Domtar has provided the Junior Achievement program since 2002 when it started with just the second graders. Since then Domtar has added one grade level each year. Last year, the mill volunteers piloted the Junior Achievement in A Day program where they covered the entire curriculum in a single day. And according to Waters, it was a huge success.





The Great War: Arkansas in World War I is a free traveling exhibit that tells the story of Arkansas's role during World War I at home and on the battlefields. It will displayed at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Old Washington from April 25th to May 6th from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


The traveling exhibit consist of 12 panels that showcase images from the Arkansas State Archives' holdings, including original documents, photographs, posters, maps and historical objects, giving a first-hand look at the lives of Arkansans during the war.


State Historian and Arkansas State Archives' Director, Lisa Speer said she was glad the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives was sharing The Great War: Arkansas in World War I with their visitors and the community. Speer stated the exhibit was created to commemorate the centennial anniversary of America's entry into World War I. She said it memorializes the impact that World War I had on the 65 million people who were immobilized, including the 70,000 soldiers from Arkansas.


For more information about the exhibit call 870-983-2633.





The man that was convicted of killing a De Queen woman avoided execution Thursday night when the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay of execution on Wednesday for 47-year-old Stacey Eugene Johnson who was convicted for the 1993 murder of 25-year-old Carol Heath.


In a 4-3 ruling on Wednesday, the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay and ordered a new hearing in a lower court.


According to Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the state Supreme Court rejected an identical argument that was brought by Johnson in 2004, but on Wednesday the court voted to block the execution. Rutledge said the court did not provide any legal explanation for their decision.


Heath who died sometime between the night of April 1st and the morning of April 2nd in 1993, was murdered while her 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son hid in a closet.


Heath's death was caused by a cut to her throat, strangulation and blunt-force head injuries, according to an associate state medical examiner who worked for the State Crime Lab.


According to court records, hair fibers were found on Heath's body matched Johnson's DNA.


Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death, but the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 1996 because a police officer testified that the victim's daughter identified Johnson as the killer. Johnson was then retried and convicted and sentenced to death for a second time in 1997. In 2000, the high court upheld the second conviction.





De Queen High School seniors Carrie Craver, Randee Toye, MaKyla Jackson, Savanah Nickerson and Josie Vaught have all been awarded scholarships to attend various colleges in Arkansas.


Craver has been awarded the Top Ten Percent Scholarship, which is valued at $26,400 from Southern Arkansas University.


Craver is an honor grad and she is a member of the De Queen High School track team, trap shooting team, the National Honor society and an FFA officer for four consecutive years. She plans to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.


Craver is the daughter of Joe and Jill Brinkley and she said she gives all of her accomplishments to God for He holds her future in His hands.


Toye has been awarded a $24,000 Achievement Scholarship from the University of Central Arkansas.


Toye is a member of the De Queen High School softball team, the golf team, Gifted and Talented, FBLA, the drama club and the National Honor Society. She plans to earn a Biology degree and further her education in the medical field of pediatrics.


Toye is the daughter of Ronnie and Dee Toye.


Jackson has been awarded the Razorback Bridge Scholarship from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, which is valued at $14,000.


Jackson is a 2017 Honor Grad, a member of the Gifted and Talented, National Honor Society, Interact, yearbook staff, and Future Teachers of America. She is also a member of the Lady Leopard tennis and softball teams. She plans to pursue a degree in Business Administration.


Jackson is the daughter of Michale and Kristy Jackson.


Nickerson has been awarded a $28,000 Women's Cross Country Scholarship from Henderson State University.


She is a member of the cross country team, track and field, cheer squad, the drama club, FCCLA and FBLA. She plans to major in communication disorders.


Nickerson is the daughter of Chad and Tami Nickerson.


Vaught has been awarded an $8,000 University of Arkansas Leadership Scholarship.


Vaught is a member of the Lady Leopard softball team, cheerleading squad, Family Career and Community Leaders of America, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Gifted and Talented as well as the drama club. She plans to double major in kinesiology and sports medicine.


Vaught is the daughter of Jon and DeAnn Vaught.





Friday morning, Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and the mayors of De Queen, Lockesburg and Gillham signed proclamations declaring April 23rd through the 29th as Sevier County Cancer Survivor Week and Friday, April 28th, as Cancer Survivor Day.


Judge Ray, Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth, Gillham Mayor Lester Overturf and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy, all signed proclamations stating that cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States with more than 600,000 people diagnosed with cancer each year.


The proclamation also states the Sevier County Cancer Survivor Dinner Committee will be hosting a cancer survivor dinner on Friday, April 28th at 6 p.m. at the Rocky Hill Ranch in Horatio.


Committee member Linda Frachiseur announced survivors need to RSVP by noon on Monday. She said cancer survivors may call a committee member or they can call 870-832-6575 and leave a message.


Frachiseur said any remaining funds will be used to purchase gas cards for cancer patients. She said anyone that wants to make a donation can deposit the funds in the committee’s account at Diamond Bank.


Frachiseur also stated the committee will be hosting a 5K color run on Saturday, April 29th. The run will start at Amp Fitness. She said the cost is $25 and everyone should wear a white shirt.


For more information, call Frachiseur at 870-584-9592.





Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary announced the Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Pollinator day this Saturday. She said activities will begin at 9 a.m. with a cross pollinator game at the visitor center's amphitheatre.


At 10:05 a.m. participates can join Flanary to create a garden that will attract pollinators in the park's Legacy Room and then go on a macro hunt at 11:15 with Interpreter Victoria Carson to discover how the park helps ensure a healthy environment that supports pollinators.


Saturday afternoon, interpreters will be leading a workshop about bee hives and how to care for them at 1:25. From 2:30 to 3:15, Flanary will lead a hike to see what wildflowers help create food for the park's wildlife and then at 3:20, they discuss the life cycle of monarch butterflies.


Carson said the park is also getting ready for this summer's nature camp for children 6 to 8 years old on June 7th, 8th and 9th. She said campers need to be registered by May 29th.


For more information about upcoming programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201 or visit the website



A&M-Texarkana to host Texarkana Symphony Orchestra chamber music concert    04/21/17

Texas A&M University-Texarkana will host a Texarkana Symphony Orchestra chamber music concert Monday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in the Tri-State Iron & Metal Atrium on the third floor of the University Center on the A&M-Texarkana campus, 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.

The concert will feature two trios, with the first performing contemporary work by Eric Ewazen and the second performing selections by 19th century composer Johannes Brahms.

“As part of our ongoing vision to enrich the Texarkana community with great symphonic music the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra is pleased to bring this chamber music performance to the A&M-Texarkana campus,” said R. Andrew Clark, executive director of the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra.

The first half of the evening will highlight Jeremy McBain, trumpet, violinist Diana Norwood and pianist Susan Hoffman, performing Ewazen’s 1990 Trio for Trumpet, Violin and Piano.

Following a brief intermission, horn player David Renfro, Norwood and pianist May Tsao-Lim will perform Brahms’ Horn Trio in E-flat Major.

“We are thrilled to have these wonderful ensembles from the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra on campus to share their music with the students, faculty, staff and community,” said President Emily Cutrer of A&M-Texarkana. “We recognize and value the importance of arts education and are excited to be a part of the orchestra’s community engagement program.”

The concert is being underwritten by Angela and Andrew Clark, Drs. Emily and Tom Cutrer, Remica and Danny Gray, and Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

Admission is free and open to the public.



CONSUMER ALERT: Statewide Prescription Drug Take Back is April 29              04/21/17

Arkansas has a prescription drug epidemic. According to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory and Medical Examiner’s Office, 335 Arkansans died from drug overdoses in 2016, with nearly 40 percent of those deaths from Pulaski, Sebastian and Washington counties.

“These numbers are staggering and should be a wakeup call to us all,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “It is important for Arkansans to know that oftentimes teens first use prescription pain killers by stealing the pills right from a family member’s medicine cabinet. By cleaning out our medicine cabinets and turning the expired and unused medications over to law enforcement during a prescription drug take back event, lives can be saved.”

Attorney General Rutledge is reminding all Arkansans about the many drop-off locations available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29.

Rutledge released the following list of medications that will be accepted at these events across the State:
Opioids, such as OxyContin
Stimulants, such as Adderall
Depressants, such as Ativan
Other prescription medications
Over-the-counter medicines
Pet medicines
Medicated ointments and lotions
Liquid medicines in glass or leak-proof containers (up to 12 ounces)
Medicine samples
Medications may be returned in the original bottle or in any other container for increased privacy.

Properly destroying these medications protects the environment. Medicines that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting waters, which could contaminate food and water supplies. Many medicines are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems. Turning over these medications at Take Back Day events also reduces the risk of accidental poisonings by children, seniors or pets, as well as reduces the risk of drug abuse.

To find event sites and year-round drop-off locations near you, visit the updated The Attorney General’s office also hosts take back events at mobile offices around the State.

Rutledge is partnering on the Prescription Drug Take Back with the Arkansas Department of Health, Department of Human Services, Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Rotary Clubs, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy, FBI, Office of the State Drug Director, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and over 130 additional law enforcement and government agencies, community organizations and public health providers.

For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or or visit or






Prescott Police are still searching for a Prescott woman who was reported missing in mid-December, according to Police Chief Joey Beavers.


According to Beavers, 18-year-old Mercedes Toliver was last seen at her residence in Prescott about 2 a.m. on December 17th. Toliver is an African-American woman who is 5-foot-4-inches tall and she weighs about 115 pounds. She was last seen wearing a yellow shirt and pink pajama pants.


Beavers said the department has received some leads, but so far none of them have produced anything.


If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Toliver, contact the Prescott Police Department at 870-887-6779 or contact the Arkansas State Police at 870-777-4641.





The Sevier County Survivors Dinner committee is seeking the contact information of area cancer survivors for the upcoming Survivor's Dinner, which has been scheduled for Friday, April 28th at the Rocky Hill Ranch event center in Horatio.


Committee members Gloria Caldwell, Katrina Frachiseur and Linda Frachiseur are asking cancer survivors to please contact them by calling 870-279-1810, 870-642-5569, or 870-584-9592.


Frachiseur said the committee needs the information so they can send out invitations. She said family members can attend the dinner with the survivor but they need to RSVP, so the committee will know how many steaks to prepare. She said there is no cost for the survivor and their caretaker, but all other family members will need to pay $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.


The committee is also asking area churches to please contact one of the committee members with the names and contact information of any cancer survivors that attend their church.


Frachiseur also said the committee is sponsoring a 5K on Saturday, April 29th. If you would to run in the 5K, contact one of the committee members for more information.


Frachiseur said to get to the Rocky Hill Ranch, you will turn right on Highway 24 West between the Horatio State Bank and the Napa building on Main Street in Horatio and follow the signs.



UA COSSATOT RODEO APRIL 27-29      4/20/17


Emily Newlin is the new Director of Institutional Advancement at UA Cossatot. Wednesday morning, she announced the 7th annual UA Cossatot College Rodeo is April 27th, 28th and 29th at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana.


Colt team member, Madasan Muse said this year's team as four members, Rachael Bradshaw of Lockesburg, Scout Smith of Smithville, Oklahoma and Morgan Sweeden of De Queen. She also stated the team is coached by Valerie Stone.


Muse is a 2014 graduate of Dierks High School and has been rodeoing since before high school. She said she competed on the Southwest Rodeo Circuit and won a couple of saddles and a lot of buckles.


Newlin said they have a new clown this year and there's going to a UA Cossatot photo booth.


Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students. If you would like to order advance tickets, call 1-800-844-4471.





De Queen High School Athletic Director Bob Sikes announced Thursday morning several student-athletes from De Queen are signing letters of intent to play soccer and run cross country in college.


Leo Dominguez signed a letter of intent to play soccer for Central Baptist College in Conway.

Thursday morning, Dominguez was joined by his mother, Luz Maria Sotelo, his sister Suri Dominguez and his brother, Joshua Dominguez has he signed his letter of intent at the KDQN studios.


Dominguez said he was he was happy to be continuing his soccer career in college.


Head Soccer Coach Stephen Sloan said Dominguez is a fine sweeper and he gave him credit for leading the Leopards to some early season wins.


Coach Sloan said he really couldn't describe how happy he was to see another Leopard continue their soccer career in college.


Thursday morning, Savanah Nickerson signed a letter of intent to run cross country for Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. She was joined by her mom and dad, Tami and Chad Nickerson and her litter sister, Perry.


Nickerson said she never imagined she would running in college, but one day her coach told her there was a scout there to see her run, so she showed up and showed out.


Coach Dennis Chaney said he was very lucky to have such talented runners here at De Queen and Savanah was among a very special group of seniors.


Martha Mosqueda will sign her letter of intent to run cross country with Henderson State University on Monday morning, here at the KDQN studios.


                   (More photos)



A CASE OF FUNNY MONEY        4/20/17


Two Glenwood residents have been accused of forgery for allegedly possession about $7,000 in counterfeit money.


Thirty-one year old James Sample and 28-year-old Victoria Sample have been charged with felony counts of first-degree forgery and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Both Samples are currently free on bond, but they are scheduled to appear in the Pike County Circuit Court in Murfreesboro on June 29th.


According to court records, the investigation started when James Sample reported his wife, Victoria, was on drugs and asked a Glenwood Police Officer to check on the children.


While James Sample was being interviewed, he handed Officer Justin Babbitt a counterfeit $100 bill and told him the fake money was for a Monopoly game.


According to the Glenwood Police Department, the bill was a computer-generated copy of an actual $100 bill. They also reported there was no indication that the bill was a copy.


The next day, officers obtained a search warrant and found stacks of $100 bills in the master bedroom, the master bathroom, the living room, in the garage and in James Sample's truck.


James Sample said he ordered the money online to help teach his kids how to count denominations of money. Victoria also said the bills were play money for the children. The couple also allegedly admitted James Sample handed out counterfeit bills to the students in their child's Head Start school class.


Authorities say they also found several drug paraphernalia items, including syringes, razor blades, a glass pipe and two sets of digital scales during the execution of the search warrant.




Legacy Academy's Third Annual Spring Follies was a HUGE hit! Students performed for a full house of friend and family members this past Thursday night. Skits ranged from stand-up comedy to the Legacy Academy PE staff sharing how they come up with their lesson plans!


"We want to thank all of our teachers and students for all of their hard work to host this event. At Legacy Academy, it is important for us to craft an environment where students work hard, but can have fun and play hard too!", said school administrator Jessica Gallagher.


To learn more about Legacy Academy, please call the office at (870) 642-8937 or visit the school at 314 Gilson Ave. De Queen, AR, to request an information packet. Additional material can also be found online at





Tuesday night, the De Queen City Council accepted bids for two capital improvement projects. One of the projects is at the city's water treatment plant and the other project is at the wastewater treatment plant.


The bid for the replacement of the water plant filter media came in at $105,952 from Crossland Heavy Contractors of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The bid for the new screw lift pump was $166,000 that bid was submitted by Four-Thirteen, Inc. of Texarkana.


Aldermen also approved the construction of a shed over the city's river intake pump. McKelvy said Tri-Lakes of Gillham will build the shed at a cost of $13,625.


McKelvy also reported Tri-State Asphalt of De Queen was awarded the bid for the city's street paving project. He said the council increased the city's budget to cover the total cost.


McKelvy also informed the council that the fence around the highlift station was damaged last week, during the heavy rain. He said it will cost the city about $5,000 to replace.


Aldermen also discussed an ordinance to increase the city's sanitation rates, but no action was taken on the issue.




Submitted by KMTB


Pike County based Guardian E.M.S. has been granted a contract to provide 911 emergency coverage to sections of Howard County.


Representatives of the company were in attendance at Monday's Howard County Quorum Court meeting and said, with the county's approval, they would begin serving the citizens of North Howard County as soon as possible.


JPs approved the contract unanimously and Guardian will provide emergency care coverage for all areas north of Highway 26 in Howard County.


Company officials say they plan to locate an ambulance within the city of Dierks. They also explained that during times when the ambulance is unavailable, Guardian will bring an ambulance from Glenwood and station it in the New Hope area to provide coverage.


Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins said AT&T representatives will need to remap the 911 service so dispatchers will be able to send the Dierks ambulance to the northern portions of the county.


Company representatives said they don't have a firm start date yet, but are working with the officials of Dierks about a suitable location to house the ambulance.





Late Friday night, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Harper was patrolling in the West Line and Kornegay Road area when he witnessed a vehicle cross the yellow line on several occasions.


Harper identified the driver as Shelia Flournoy and the two passengers as Clinton Moss and Hubert Gammons.


After searching Flournoy and Moss and not finding anything, Harper discovered a syringe in the pocket of Gammons. Harper then searched the vehicle and found two bags of suspected methamphetamine.


Gammons was then taken into custody and transported to the Sevier County jail. At the jail, Gammons reportedly said his name was really Laredo Nichols, but jailers then discovered his name was Jesus Nichols.


Nichols was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.


A few hours later, Harper had his second encounter with Flournoy and Moss at a residence on Dog Town Road.


About 2:40 a.m., deputies were dispatched to Dog Town Road in reference to a physical altercation. When Harper and De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez arrived, they made contact with Flournoy who informed them that there were three people standing the woods and her domestic partner Moss was looking for them.


When Deputy Harper and Officer Lopez located Moss he was standing in the woods wearing nothing but his underwear. While they were speaking to him, Moss allegedly stated he could see some lights and could hear people running toward him. Moss then took off running in the woods.


After taking Moss into custody, he was transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center for a medical evaluation.


Officers then prepared to take Flournoy someplace to stay for the night, when they discovered she had packed a red tin in her clear overnight bag.


When officers searched the tin, they discovered a homemade pipe, a white pipe, a bag containing suspected marijuana, rolling papers, a metal scissors, a marijuana grinder and a wooden pipe. They also found two glass pipes in her purse.


While searching Flournoy at the jail, officers found a bag of meth on her person.


Flournoy was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.






This afternoon, the De Queen Leopard baseball team will be hosting the Lake Hamilton Wolves in conference action and the baseball moms decided to serve free chicken dinners to say thank you to everyone that has supported the team this season.


Head Coach Beau McCastlain stated this year's team is currently in second place in the conference and tonight is a big game. He said the team will host the Dierks Outlaws Thursday for senior night and their final home game.


Leopard mom, Blair Harp, said the appreciation dinner was for everyone that's supported the team this season.


Tonight's game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. at Leopard Field on the campus of De Queen High School.





Sunday night, Deputy Matt Webb and Sergeant Greg Davignon attempted to conduct a traffic stop after observing a small vehicle roll through a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 24. However, the driver sped off traveling south on Highway 41.


Davignon reported the driver turned left onto Millwee Street in Horatio and failed to stop at several stop signs before turning onto Central Road. Deputies reported the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and was in the wrong lane at times.


At 492 Central Road, a male suspect jumped out the vehicle and starting fleeing on foot. Deputies chased the suspect, back across Central Road.


Davignon then deployed his taser and caused the suspect to fall to the ground. He was then taken into custody and identified as 38-year-old Clifton Roberts of Horatio.


Roberts informed the deputies that he had a felony warrant and that was why he was running.


Roberts was booked into the Sevier County jail on the active warrant and charged with fleeing.





An official with the state Veteran Affairs office reported Little River County Judge Mike Cranford was within his rights when he fired the county veteran service officer, James Oden.


According to Sarah Jones of the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs, county judges have the authority to hire and fire veteran affairs officers. She said the veteran affairs officer serves at the pleasure of the county judge.


Oden was fired following a disagreement about the relocation of the veteran affairs office to the second floor of the Little River County courthouse.


Oden was reportedly upset with Cranford for moving the veterans affairs office to the second floor of the courthouse from the county's annex building. He was the stairs might deter access to some veterans because they were unable to climb the stairs.


Cranford explained the veteran affairs office, the Office of Emergency Management, the state police trooper's office and the circuit judge's office were also moved from the annex building to the second floor of the courthouse after the USDA agreed to lease the annex building for $30,000 a year.


Little River County veterans who need assistance may contact Jim Williams in Hope by calling 870-826-4899. Williams is also the District Veteran Service Officer.





The Foreman Board of Education voted to accept the resignations of High School teacher, Karen Smith and Art and GT teacher, Shirley Broomfield. They then accepted Superintendent George Kennedy's recommendation to rehire the district's licensed staff.


Board members also voted to accept the school choice applications and approved the 2017-2018 school calendar.


Kennedy also informed the board that the district will need to install a fire alarm system in the fieldhouse. He also reported the fire alarm system in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary gym will also need to be replaced.





Ashdown School District Superintendent, Jason Sanders, and three other area educators were recently inducted into the Educational Leadership Hall of Fame at Southern Arkansas University.


Sanders was joined by Magnolia School District Superintendent John Ward, Kilpatrick Elementary in Texarkana principal, DeMarcus Green and Washington Middle School in El Dorado principal Jody Vines.


During the ceremony, Associate Director of Development at SAU, Beth Anne Rankin explained the Hall of Fame recognizes the achievements of educators who support the education of their students.


Sanders earned a Bachelor of Science and a master's degree in Education from SAU. He has served as the principal of Foreman High School before becoming the superintendent in 2014.


Ashdown High School was recognized in 2014 and 2015 by U.S. News and World Report as one of the "Most Challenging High Schools in the United States" because of its success with Advanced Placement test participation and achievement. The district currently has 1,400 students.


Ward received his bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M-Texarkana and in Educational Leadership from Henderson State University. He earned a master's degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from SAU.


Ward served as principal of Winthrop Elementary School from 2003-2007 and as superintendent of the Horatio School District until 2014, when he became the superintendent of the Magnolia School District. The district has 2,913 students.


Green earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a master's degree in Education from SAU.


Vines earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a master's degree in Educational Leadership from SAU.





The Texas Connection of Houston are returning to host the Native American events during the 2017 Scout-O-Rama. The Texas Connection is well known and respected throughout the United States in Native American dance competitions and craft.


Scout-O-Rama Director of Programming, Richard Sexton, said the Texas Connection Singers are a Southern Indian singing group who perform at Pow Wows throughout Texas and Oklahoma and make their expertise available in training and crafts to Boy Scout Order of the Arrow Lodges and Councils across the country. He said they have traveled to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas and New York.


The group provides music as well as instruction in various Indian crafts and lore: like, dance styles, drum stick making, medicine bags, and Pow Wow etiquette.


All of the members of the Texas Connection have ties to Scouting and many of them have been recognized as Vigil Honor Members in the Order of the Arrow. Most of the men and young people are Eagle Scouts and several of the adults are Silver Beaver Award recipients.


The Texas Connection will be performing Saturday from noon until 4 p.m.


If you have any questions about the Scout-O-Rama call the Scout Service Center at 903-793-2179 or visit the website





The Boy Scouts of America Caddo Area Council will be hosting their annual 4 State Scout-O-Rama at the Spring Lake Park in Texarkana. Program Director Richard Sexton, formerly of De Queen, said this is a major event with over 1,000 scouts already registered.


Sexton also mentioned the girl scouts from the Diamonds Council of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma will be participating in this weekends event.


Sexton reported the event started as a local event, but has grown into the largest O-Rama in the 4-states area. He said they will also be putting together a time capsule this year.


Sexton said Friday and Sunday activities are reserved for scouts only, but it is open to the public on Saturday, beginning with a 5K. He also said scouts will be selling tickets for the International Chili Society's "Home Style" Chili Cook-off. Tickets are $5 each and the chili will be ready to serve by 12:30, Saturday afternoon.


Sexton said this year's speaker is Anthony Escobar who is the new Scout Executive for the Boy Scouts of America Caddo Area Council.


He also said it’s not to late to register, for more information, call 903-793-2179.





Sixty-three year-old Abelardo Bahena-Solano reported the theft of a .38-caliber handgun to the De Queen Police Department on July 1st, of 2016, which according to a criminal compliant filed in the Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas, caught the attention of an agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


The investigation revealed Solano had been convicted of transporting illegal aliens by a federal court in the Eastern District of Arkansas in 1987. In 2002, he was allegedly charged with discharging a firearm within the city limits in the Sevier County Circuit Court and ordered to leave the country. Solano was allegedly removed from the country again in 2005 and in 2007.


A federal agent and De Queen Police Lieutenant Chad Bradshaw reportedly went to Solano's home on March 29th. The officers asked Solano if he had any other weapons in the home. He allegedly showed them a long gun inside his van in the driveway and a Ruger Super Blackhawk that he kept under the sofa in the living room and another pistol that was loaded in his bedroom dresser.


The officers also noticed two glass pipes, one contained a residue, a plastic straw, pieces of foil and a clear plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine.


Solano is currently being held in the Miller County Jail.


Thirty-four-year-old Alejandro Aguilar-Sanchez is also being held in the Miller County jail after he was transported there from the Sevier County jail after officials realized he was likely in the country unlawfully.


Sanchez was previously removed from the United States in 2009.


Sanchez was allegedly arrested in Bowie County, Texas in 2011 for felony driving while intoxicated and sentenced to a five-year prison term. He was allegedly arrested again for illegal entry twice in 2013.


Neither man's case has been presented to a federal grand jury yet for their formal indictment. Both men face prison time and deportation.





Domtar employee volunteers will visit the Ashdown Elementary School from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday to donate and read new books to the school's children as part of its partnership with the nonprofit organization, First Book.


Domtar Corporate Responsibility Manager Heather Stowe said the event is part of the company's "Powerful Pages" campaign. She said First Book helps provide grants to schools. Stowe said the grants help purchase books for the kids to take home.





A federal judge blocked Arkansas from using one of its three lethal injection drugs on Saturday, saying the men have the right to challenge a drug protocol that could expose them to "severe pain."


The state has appealed U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker's order.


Manufacturers of the lethal drugs say they object to states using their drugs in executions. However, one of the drug manufacturers dropped their lawsuit after they claimed the state obtained the drug under false pretenses.


Governor Asa Hutchinson said he will meet with the state's lawyers and its prison officials today to discuss Arkansas' next moves as it attempts to conduct executions for the first time since 2005.


In her order, Baker said there was a significant possibility that the inmates could successfully challenge the state's execution protocol. She said that while the state demonstrated that it does not plan to torture the inmates, the inmates had a right to challenge the method of execution in an attempt to show it "creates a demonstrated risk of severe pain."


The Arkansas attorney general's office said the decision by Judge Baker strayed from previous cases before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.


Prior to Baker's ruling, one of the eight executions was set aside because Arkansas didn't allow for a full 30-day comment period after the inmate won a clemency recommendation. The state Supreme Court also issued a stay of execution for another inmate so that his mental health could be assessed.


Arkansas hasn't executed an inmate in more than 11 years because of drug shortages and legal challenges. Arkansas hasn't carried out a double execution since 1999.





On March 3rd and 4th, the South Pike County Archery Teams competed in the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament in Hot Springs.


The South Pike County Elementary team placed fourth in the state; the junior high placed 8th and the senior high team placed 5th. All three teams qualified for the National Archery in the Schools Program 2017 National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky on May 11th through the 13th.


Students from South Pike County School District will compete against some of the best NASP shooters in the United States.


To help cover the cost of the trip, the parents established the Murfreesboro Archery Parent Booster Club and they are currently seeking donations to help the students attend the national competition. All donations will be used for travel, lodging and registration for the 48-archers and coaches.


All monetary donations will be used to cover their cost, while product, service and merchandise donations will be placed in a silent auction or raffle.


For more information, call Jack Manlove at 870-925-0793. 





De Queen Lady Leopard softball players, Randee Toye, Lexi Taylor, Reisa Bakenhus and Josie Vaught, announced this morning that the team will be holding two fundraisers today at Lady Leopard Field on the campus of De Queen High School.


The team will be selling chicken dinners starting at 3 p.m. Plates are $6 each and they will be holding a Home Run Derby at 6 p.m.


For more information, contact a member of the De Queen Lady Leopard softball team.





Nancy Hobbs of the Pentecostals of De Queen announced the church will be presenting "The Messiah" tonight, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. each evening.


Hobbs said they have added some additional scenes from the Old Testament and it will bring the stories of the Bible to life.


Hobbs said the program is free, but you can call 870-642-2312 to make a reservation for large groups. The church is located at 1515 West Coulter Drive in De Queen.





De Queen First Assembly of God Church children's pastor, Dan Nemlowill stated Friday morning the church will be hosting its annual 10,000 Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt Saturday at 10 a.m. and the hunt will begin at 11. The event is for children 1 to 12 years of age.


The church will be having Easter Services Sunday starting with Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:30.


The church is located at 1440 West Collin Raye Drive but for more information, call the church at 870-584-3435.





Several former and current members of the De Queen Fire Department have formed a chapter of the Brother's Keepers Motorcycle Club in De Queen. De Queen firefighter and club member Tim Litchford explained club President Jerry Ligon helped form the De Queen chapter.


Ligon said he had been a member of the Texarkana, Texas chapter and after two years was able to form the De Queen chapter. He explained the purpose of the Brother's Keepers is fellowship and charity work.


Litchford said the club plans to help several local organizations.


Litchford is also a veteran and a former member of Charlie Company. He said the Brother's Keepers is going to start their community service by cleaning up the armory grounds, while the unit is serving in Africa.


If you would like to help send care packages, you may drop off socks, games, cards, non-perishable snacks and other items at the Bear State Bank. Or mail one direct to a specific soldier by sending it to :  Charlie Company 1-153rd, PSC 831, Box 0077, FPO AE 09363.


Ligon also announced members of the De Queen chapter will be riding next week in the Burn Run in Shreveport. He said funds will be used to send children who are burn victims to the "I'm Still Me" summer camp.


Pictured above: Tim Litchford, Jerry Ligon, & Sol Wagner




On March 3rd, the Arkansas House of Representatives passed a motion made by District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught to present Sevier County Judge Greg Ray with a citation for being named the recipient of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce's 2017 Community Service Award.


According to the citation, Judge Ray received the honor for going above and beyond when it comes to making Sevier County a better place to live.


Judge Ray is the director of the Tri-Lakes Water District. He serves on the board of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Board of Counseling and Mental Health Centers and he works with the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce to organize the annual Tri-Lakes Bass Tournament and senior citizen day.


Judge Ray also volunteers to cook meals for several groups including the Single Parent Scholarship Fund and he has worked with the Sevier County Senior Adult Center to ensure meals are served to area senior adults on Friday, since the Area Agency on Aging had to cut back to four-days a week due to budget constraints.




On April 7th, De Queen High School Counselors Misty Gentry and Ramona Hill, along with the UA Cossatot Career Coach, Gabriela Balderas, hosted a "Real World Day" for the 2017 graduating class.

The event was designed to give the seniors a fun learning experience to help prepare them for the "real world." The event included many volunteers, businesses, and industry partners to help with the different sessions that were available for students.

A Freshman Wellness session was presented by Valerie Graham who serves as the high school nurse. Graham discussed the typical changes that happen when students transition from high school to college.

Julie Rhodes from UA Cossatot led the dress for success/mock interview session, which included tips for students whenever they are applying and interviewing for a job.

Terry Hart of Bancorp South informed students about the different banking options that will be available to them and how to build their credit and apply for loans.

Gentry's Chevrolet representatives demonstrated how to change a tire and check the oil.

Chance Lyle with the Arkansas National Guard brought an inflatable obstacle course to illustrate military training and Melinda Pounds taught CPR.   (Photos)





Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry reported Thursday morning that deputies drove 20,730 miles while patrolling the county during the month of March. He said they also conducted 227 traffic stops, which resulted in 28 citations and 202 warnings.


Deputies also worked 26 accidents and made 44 arrests.


Gentry also reported a Certified Jailer Class was held in March to keep the jail staff in compliance with state Jail Standards. He said they also had a 110 hour Specialized Officer training class for four members of the jail staff, so they can assist on armed transports with inmates.


Gentry said inmates picked up trash on East Magnolia, South Park, Ridgeway, Melrose, De Queen Lake and Central roads.


Gentry also reported one deputy attended the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy in Camden in March.





Monday night, Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts informed the Dierks City Council that the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality completed the final inspection of the new sewer lagoon and the city's sewer samples are all in compliance.


Mounts reported the council voted Monday night to replace the two raw water pumps that set below the dam, because they are starting to loose pressure. He said this will ensure enough water for the City of Dierks and the North Howard Rural Water Association.


Mounts said the new pumps will cost about $11,000 and he expects delivery of the pumps within the next month.


Mounts also reported the Dierks Chamber of Commerce met Tuesday night to discuss the upcoming 45th annual Pine Tree Festival. He said vendors are starting to sign up for the August event.


If you would like to be a vendor, contact the chamber president, Damon Mounts after 6 p.m. by calling 870-451-3015.





Tonight, Legacy Academy will host its Third Annual Spring Follies at 6 p.m. in the Legacy Academy auditorium at the corner of Fourth Street and Gilson Avenue in downtown De Queen.


Each year, Legacy students put together a variety show full of knee-slapping comedy and unforgettable satire. Students of all ages participate and it is sure to entertain.

The public is invited to attend and there is no admission cost. Guest should enter through the large wooden doors facing Gilson Avenue or the side double doors facing Fourth Street.





De Queen High School Counselor Ramon Hill announced De Queen senior Tessa Walthour has been awarded the University Centurium Scholarship, which is worth $26,000 from Henderson State University.


Walthour is the daughter of Brian and Chrystal Walthour. She is a member of the De Queen High School Show Choir, the yearbook staff and the National Honor Society.


Walthour plans to major in English and creative writing.





Tuesday night, the Dierks Board of Education voted to approve the district salary schedules and they will now be sent to the district's Personnel Policy Committee for their review and approval.


Board members accepted the resignation of Patricia Bissell and voted to hire Lena VanCamp as a 11th and 12th grade English teacher, Miranda Johnson as a 7th and 8th grade English teacher and Ali Whisenhunt as the new girls’ basketball coach.


Board members were informed the seventh through tenth graders will take the ACT Aspire exam April 17th through the 21st and third through sixth graders will take the exam April 25th and 26th.





One lucky miner at the Crater of Diamonds State Park will take home a cut and set .57-carat diamond engagement ring on Earth Day.


The Diamond Lakes Diamond Ring Dig will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 22nd and will continue until the prize is found or until the park closes at 5 p.m. If the ring is not found on April 22nd, the contest will continue until it is uncovered.


A decoy vessel is an engraved cut diamond-like glass and it will be buried somewhere in the park's 37.5 acre diamond search area. The first eligible participate to find it will receive the .57 carat white gold diamond ring, which is valued at $3,500.


Crater of Diamonds Park Superintendent James Howell said this is an opportunity to introduce the Crater of Diamond State Park to people in Arkansas and throughout the region who may have never visited the park before. He said the Earth Day event should help generate some appreciation for the park.


The diamond ring will be awarded on an "as is" basis. Alterations, such as resizing, are not included in the prize and the prize may not be substituted for another ring or money.


Visitors Diamond Search Area admission plus tax

Ages 13 & up


Ages 6 – 12


Ages 5 & under


20 Admission Pass


Tickets are good for entire day.




The Boy Scouts of America, Caddo Area Council and Girl Scouts Diamond Council of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas will be hosting the 4-states regional Scout show on the weekend of April 21st.


Friday, April 21st and Sunday, April 23rd are for scouting units only, but the Scout O'Rama is open to the public on Saturday, April 22nd from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the showcase of scouting.


The Scout O'Rama will open to the public on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the opening ceremonies will begin at 11.


Boy Scout Troops, Venture Crews, Webelos, Cub Scout Dens, Girl Scouts and more will travel from far and wide to participate by camping Friday through Sunday in Spring Lake Park in Texarkana, to show off their scout skills. The theme for the 2017 Scout O'Rama is "Be Prepared."


Troops will pick some kind of Scout craft that they do well and show it off. Scouts can also take part in or have fun watching other demonstrations, like, patch trading, pinewood derby racing, fishing, car derby racing, skits, tomahawk throwing, Native American dancing, blacksmithing, canoeing and cowboy shootout reenactments.


This year's keynote speaker will be Anthony Escobar.


Escobar is the Boy Scouts of American Caddo Area Council Scout Executive and he joined the council earlier this year.


Escobar said the Scout O'Rama is the single largest Boy Scout show in the four states area. He said it brings thousands of scouts, families and members of the community to Spring Lake Park.


If you have any questions about the Scout O'Rama call 1-903-793-2179 or visit the website






De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons released a statement on Tuesday afternoon concerning an arrest that was made following a domestic incident that occurred on March 30th.


Simmons reported officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to a residence on Coulter Drive in reference to a person being run over by a vehicle. Upon the arrival of the officers, they found a female who was later identified as Tiffany Staggers lying on the porch of the residence.


Staggers allegedly advised the officers that her husband, 32-year-old Brian Stagger's had ran her over with his car.


According to the incident report, Staggers had visible injuries to her hand and arm. She was transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center and then airlifted to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.


A short time later, officers initiated a traffic stop on Brian Stagger's vehicle and he was taken into custody without incident.


Brian Staggers was charged with Domestic Battery in the First Degree, which is a Class B felony.





Last week, the Arkansas Legislature dealt with their final pieces of legislation for the 2017 Regular Session. District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported they will reconvene on May 1st to consider any vetoes by the Governor and address the final orders of business.


This year's Regular Session lasted 85 days and they passed more than 800 bills, including an income tax reduction for families who make less than $21,000.


Vaught said the Legislature passed several bills aimed at creating jobs and ensuring the state's workforce is ready. She said Act 166 creates a state matching grant for small businesses that have received a federal Small Business Innovation Research grant. They also passed Act 165, which is the Arkansas Business and Technology Accelerator Act, which creates a $2 million accelerator grant program to help startup companies.


Vaught said the Legislature restructured the Arkansas Future Grant program and they created a way for any Arkansas student who pursues a STEM field of study to obtain their associate's degree tuition free.


Vaught said Governor Asa Hutchinson, however, has indicated the Legislature will return for an Extraordinary Session in May to address health care. 





If your a mom-to-be and would like to learn more about protecting our baby from injury, you're invited to a Safety Baby Shower on Thursday, April 13th at 5 p.m. at the Sevier County Health Unit at 304 North 4th Street in De Queen. The shower is open to any pregnant woman or postpartum woman up to a year after the birth of their child. Space is limited so please call 870-642-2535 to make a reservation and Spanish interpretation will be available.


The shower will include education on home safety, safe sleep, shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma, and child passenger safety in a festive, shower-themed atmosphere, complete with refreshments, decorations, games and prizes.


Shower gifts will include various home safety products, instructional DVDs on infant crying and shaken baby syndrome and convertible child safety seats. Participants will meet with a trained Child Passenger Safety technician to receive the child safety seat and individual instruction on its correct installation and use.


Fathers to be and grandparents are also encouraged to attend.


The Safety Baby Shower is presented in partnership with the Sevier County Health Unit, the Sevier County Coalition and many community partners. For more information, visit the Sevier County Coalition Facebook page or the Sevier County Health Unit's Facebook page.





Little River County Extension Agent Sherry Beaty-Sullivan announced she will be conducting a Private Applicator Training on Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Millwood Room on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.


Sullivan said the training is for anyone whose Private Applicator Training license has expired or those who do not have a license and need to be certified to purchase restricted products for farm or ranch. For more information, call the Little River County Extension office at 870-451-3624.


Sullivan said you do not need to pre-register to attend.





Producers in Little River County are now eligible to apply for the 2017 Livestock Forage Disaster Program on small grains like wheat, rye and oats and annual ryegrass in an attempt to improve winter grazing.


Little River County Executive Director Dylan Bowman of the Farm Service Agency reported applications will be accepted until January 30th of 2018.


Bowman explained the Livestock Forage Program provides compensation to eligible livestock producers who suffered grazing losses for covered livestock due to drought on privately owned or cash leased land. He said eligible livestock must have been owned, purchased, or entered into contract to purchase during the 60-days prior to the beginning date of the qualifying drought and must have been maintained for commercial use.


Bowman reported the date of November 15th, 2016 will be used as the beginning date of the drought.


Bowman said eligible livestock types under the Livestock Forage Program includes alpacas, beef cattle, dairy cattle, deer, elk, emus, equine, goats, llamas, poultry, sheep or swine that have been or would have been grazing on the eligible grazing land or pastureland.


Bowman said all forms must be completed no later than January 30th, 2018. For more information, visit the Little River County Farm Service Agency office at 1021 North Constitution Ave in Ashdown or visit the website,





Cossatot River State Park Interpreters Shelley Flanary and Victoria Carson recently announced several upcoming events at the park and they explained how they work with area teachers by providing an outdoor classroom.

This Saturday, Flanary will host a silent hike from 9 to 10 a.m. She said participates will search for cards along the trail and then follow the instructions that are on them.


Flanary will also present a program about pollinators in the Visitor Center's Legacy Room from 2 to 3 p.m. She will be discussing what pollinators do at night. Sunday morning from 10 to 11 a.m., she'll discuss what pollinators are in the Center's Amphitheatre.


For more information about upcoming programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201 or visit the website





Monday night, a severe storm system passed through the area, dumping over eight and a half inches of rain in De Queen. The storm caused flash flooding of streets, homes and the De Queen High School.


De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported his department received the first call around midnight. He said about seven homes received flood damage in the Tall Pines area.


De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill canceled school for Tuesday. He said between 12 and 14 classrooms at the high school were flooded and some students and teachers were unable to get to school due to flooded streets and roads.


Assistant Superintendent Paul Shelton reported students will return to class on Wednesday. He said maintenance crews were able to clean up the flooded rooms. Shelton also said students would have school on Friday, since they missed school today.


Tuesday morning Highway 41 South and Highway 329 were closed, but by 10 a.m. Highway 41 had been reopened to one lane of traffic.


The Sevier County Sheriff's Office also reported Highway 24 from Horatio to Lockesburg remained open and Highway 24 West towards Oklahoma and Central Road were open.





Monday afternoon, the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court voted to appropriate $106,171 to replace the roof on the Sevier County jail.


Sevier County Judge Greg Ray informed the JPs that the county received a bid for over $400,000 for a metal roof. He stated R.B.T. Construction's bid includes a 15-year warranty and they will start the project in about two-weeks.


Ray also informed the JPs that the Mental Health Building in Texarkana has this type of roof on it and several other companies recommended it for the jail.


JPs also amended the 2017 Solid Waste Department budget by transferring $68,000 from the Miscellaneous Services line-item to the Capital Outlay line-item for the purchase of a new walking floor trailer.


Ray said the old trailer's bed rusted out due to the liquid household waste that the county transports to the Upper Southwest Arkansas landfill in Howard County. He said he will be able to reuse several parts off the old trailer, but it was cheaper to buy a new trailer than have the old one repaired.


JPs also gave Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry permission to apply for a grant that will help provide services to inmates through the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program. The members of the Quorum Court will also hear a presentation in May concerning the Code Red emergency alert system that is currently being used in some surrounding counties.



AREA BLOOD DRIVES      4/11/17


LifeShare Blood Center of Texarkana is having a blood drive this Friday from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at the De Queen Wal-Mart on the LifeShare bus and on Tuesday, April 18th on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Volunteer blood donation is vital to many treatments that are needed by patients, including those with cancer, blood disorders and accident victims.


LifeShare Blood Centers supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas, including the De Queen Regional Medical Center, the Little River County Memorial Hospital and the Howard Memorial Hospital.





Ashdown is preparing for it's annual Whistlestop Festival this month and Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne announced the chamber is sponsoring a spring clean-up day this Saturday to get the city ready for Easter and the festival.


Hawthorne said the annual Whistlestop Festival pageant is April 22nd at 3 p.m. at the L.F. Henderson School. She said they've opened the contest up to area young ladies, but the deadline to enter is this Saturday.


Hawthorne said this year's Whistlestop Festival will feature food and craft vendors, as well as the traditional pancake breakfast, fish dinners and local entertainment.


New this year, is a wild hog hunt. Hawthorne said you will need to register by 2 p.m. on Friday, April 28th and the hunt will begin at 3 p.m.


There will also be a car show, a Rusty Relic Show and a kids corner. For more information, call the chamber office at 870-898-2758.      





The Lockesburg Spring Festival is this Saturday starting at 11 a.m. in the Lockesburg City Park.


According to park committee members, there will be a bouncy house and the concession stand will be open all day. Vendors are welcome, but they must sign up at the Lockesburg City Hall. Non-electric vendors are $10 each and vendors needing electricity or a food vendors are $25.


Local talent is scheduled to start performing at 11 a.m. and the Natural beauty pageant is at 1 p.m.


The deadline to enter the Mister Hippity Hoppity and Miss Sunshine Natural Pageant is Thursday, April 13th. The entry fee is $25 and $10 to enter a photogenic photo.


Hanna Webb stated the pageant is a natural pageant so little to no makeup will be allowed and the dress should be an Easter Sunday theme dress or spring outfit. She said there will be no pageant style dresses.


There are six age categories including the Baby Division for 0 to 11 months old; the Tiny Division for 1 to 2 year olds; the Mister and Petite Division for 3 and 4 year olds; the Mini Miss Division for 5 to 7 year olds; the JR Miss Division for 8 to 10 year olds and Miss Division for 11 to 16 year olds.


The cut off age for the little mister's will be 4. If you have any questions about the pageant, call Webb at 870-200-3923.


The Easter bunny is scheduled to arrive at the park at 3:30 and the egg hunt will begin at 4.


For more information, contact the Lockesburg City Hall at 870-289-3261.





This Saturday, the First Assembly of God Church in Broken Bow will host its 6th annual Great Egg Hunt - Plus at 10 a.m. just east of the Broken Bow Sports Complex.


The event will feature over 10,000 eggs and there will be other activities and inflatables for the kids to play on.


Children's Pastor Crystal Hoover reported the church is expecting hundreds of kids from Broken Bow and the surrounding area to attend this year's egg hunt. She said the event is for children 2 to 11 years of age and all children must be accompanied by an adult.


Hoover also reported there is no cost for any part of the event. She said the event is made possible by donations from local businesses, corporations; private donations from individuals and the First Assembly of God Church in Broken Bow.



Creeks Out of Banks,

Roads & Business Closed Tuesday morning Due to Weather

 Eagle Trail Creek on 1st and 4th Streets

Wright Acres

Sevier County Fairgrounds

North 9th Street (North of Collin Raye Drive)

Coulter & Rockefeller

5th Street and De Queen Ave.

Creek going into Tall Pines

13th and Coulter

Wilson Creek

Johnson Bridge Road

Dogtown/Treating Plant Road

Red Bridge Road coming into De Queen

Hwy 41

Hwy 329 (Old Lockesburg Hwy)

Farm to Market Road

Bear Creek Cutoff



De Queen Public Schools

ABC Preschool

Wee Care

Pentecostal Church on Coulter Drive

Mary and Martha Center


De Queen Soccer, Track, Baseball and Softball All Cancelled Tonight

Horatio Lions vs Dierks Outlaw baseball in Horatio cancelled tonight






Jacob Bryant Bunyard

Jacob is the son of Jay and Teresa Bunyard.






De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President Patrick Massey announced the chamber will be hosting its annual Egg Hunt this Saturday at the De Queen Sportsplex on Highway 70 West beginning at 2 p.m. He also stated the hunt is free and the Easter Bunny will be on hand to pose for photos with the children.


Massey said the hunt will be divided into three age groups: children walking age through two years; age three through five; and age six through the third grade and all children must hunt for eggs by themselves.


If you or your business would like to donate items such as filled Easter baskets, stuffed animals, or bags of candy to give away as prizes, drop them off at the De Queen Bee office or the KDQN studios by this Friday.


Massey also invited chamber businesses to attend a lunch and learn event at UA Cossatot next week.


Massey also mentioned some upcoming events, including the Diversity Fest at UA Cossatot and the Tri-Lakes Big Bass Tournament. He also mentioned the chamber office is open every Monday, Thursday and Friday from 7 to 10 a.m.


For more information, call the chamber at 870-584-3225.





De Queen First Assembly of God Church children's minister, Dan Nemlowill announced the church will be hosting its annual 10,000 Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 15th. He said registration will begin at 10 a.m. and the hunt will follow at 11.


Nemlowill said about 400 people attended last year's event and he's hoping more attend this year because they have over 1,000 prize eggs, inflatables and snacks.


The church is located at 1440 West Collin Raye Drive, but for more information, calls the church at 870-584-3435.





All students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to "Get on Board" the Whistlestop Festival Youth Art Show to be displayed during the 2017 Whistlestop Festival in Ashdown on Saturday, April 29th.


Cash prizes will be awarded in three categories: 4-5 grades; 6-8 grades; and 9-12 grades. Entries for the art show will be accepted on Tuesday, April 25th from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 21 East Main Street, next door to the Two Rivers Museum, and the show will be open to the public for viewing at that location and will continue during the Whistlestop hours.


Artwork must be on paper, preferably matted, and ready to hang with clamp style clips that will be provided by the Little River Arts Council. No frames, glass, or wet paint will be included, and work must be at least 5X7, but no larger than 18X24.


Young artists may enter two pieces of art, and there are no entry fees. Each may choose his or her own subject and medium.


Registration and entry packets can be picked up at the Two Rivers Museum on the corner of East Main and Highway 71 North in Ashdown or from the art teachers at Ashdown, Foreman, Mineral Springs, De Queen or Horatio.


For more information, contact Carolyn Henderson at 903-826-5627.





Saturday, April 29th the Crater of Diamonds State Park will hold a Photography in the Park class about the basics of photography and composition for digital photography enthusiasts ages 13 and up from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Participates will learn about camera settings, useful accessories and techniques that will help you take better photographs. Participates can use their own cameras, tripods, and other gear for a mid-day park excursion to practice their newly learned skills.


Space is limited to 10 participates, with a minimum of three required.


Admission is $20 per person and that includes a $10 registration fee that is due by April 26th. To register or request more information, call the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113, or email


Novices and professionals alike are invited to hone their skills, share ideas, and meet other photographers during the Photography in the Park event.





After an alarming jump in the number of suicides in recent years, state lawmakers have approved a bill to create and fund an Arkansas Suicide Prevention Hotline. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 577 suicides in Arkansas in 2015, moving the state from 16th to 10th place in suicides per capita by state.


Wendy Thompson with the Arkansas office of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says it's critical for callers to reach a hotline that has staff and resources in Arkansas.


Thompson says the national hotline has been the only option for Arkansans looking for assistance. She says callers often found that national operators were effective in providing counseling, but couldn't always refer them to local resources. State officials say the Arkansas hotline will be in operation by this fall.


The new hotline will be operated by the Arkansas Department of Health Suicide Prevention Program. In passing House Bill 1775, the Legislature approved funding for the first two years; after that, the hotline becomes eligible for federal grants. Thompson says future calls from Arkansas to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will be routed back to the Arkansas call center.


Arkansas and Montana have been the only two states without their own hotlines for suicide prevention. The CDC found that in 2015, Arkansas had a suicide rate of just over 19 people per 100,000, well above the national rate of almost 14.





It's springtime in the South, and that means severe weather is routinely passing through the Natural State and scam contractors are also traveling around to take advantage of homeowners who are seeking repairs. Severe storms have been causing damage to homes and businesses across the state and the Attorney General's office is reminding Arkansans that con artists may seek to take advantage of these severe weather victims by promising services and not following through, leaving you to still pick up the pieces from your property damage and with less money in your wallet.


Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to help Arkansans avoid falling victim to con artists:

She suggests you find a reputable contractor by asking for recommendations; consider contacting the Arkansas Contractor's Licensing Board to verify that a contractor is licensed; avoid any home repair solicitor who asks for an upfront payment and who will not provide a written contract; get at least three written estimates; check at least three references; obtain a written and detailed contract that includes the grade, quality, name brand and quantity of any materials that will be used; avoid paying for the entire job up front; and make sure all warranties and guarantees are in writing.


Rutledge also reminded Arkansans that all contracts that result from a door-to-door sale includes a buyer's right to cancel within three business days after the contract is signed.


For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website






Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council met and discussed regulations for tiny houses that may be moved within the city limits of De Queen.


According to Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy, he had received some questions from residents about a small house that is located on West Elberta Avenue that sets on two empty lots. He said the house was actually too big to be considered a tiny house because it was over 400 square feet.


However, De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt informed the council that the house was legal. Pruitt stated he even drove to Broken Bow before the home was delivered and reported it was up to De Queen city code. He said it just looks different than the other homes in the neighborhood.


Aldermen also heard a presentation from Jason Holsclaw of Stephen's Inc. about refinancing the city's sewer bonds. Following Holsclaw presentation, aldermen elected to table the proposal.


Aldermen did pass a resolution to sell two old pickups and a tilt top trailer and two resolutions to shred some old city hall and old district court records.


Aldermen voted to amend the 2017 budget by $3,600 for the police department. According to McKelvy, the police department purchased some ammo last year, but the invoice did not arrive until 2017 and the department purchased a drug dog for $1,800.





Charles Morris is the chairman of the Sevier County Survivors Dinner committee and he invited area cancer survivors to the annual cancer survivors dinner on Friday, April 28th at 6 p.m. at the Rocky Hill Ranch event center in Horatio.


Morris said family members can attend the dinner but they will need to RSVP. He said the cost for everyone other than the survivor and their caretaker is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. He also mentioned the committee is seeking the contact information of all cancer survivors in Sevier County. Morris suggested you call 870-832-6575 and leave the information. He said they will then receive a mailed invitation.


The committee is also asking area churches to please contact Morris at 870-832-6575 with the names and addresses of cancer survivors in their congregation.


Morris also said it's not too late to volunteer to serve on the committee. He said they will be meeting on Tuesday, April 11th at 11:30 a.m. at the Tres Agaves restaurant.


Committee members are also selling t-shirts and sponsoring a 5K on Saturday, April 29th. Any funds left over after the dinner will be used to purchase gas cards to help cancer patients travel to and from doctors’ appointments. For more information or to make a donation, call 870-832-6575.





Wednesday afternoon, Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith held an emergency preparedness class for area firefighters, law enforcement, EMTs and local government officials to develop a plan of action in the case of a disaster at the Sevier County Airport.


Smith said he decided to call the meeting after authorities thought a med-flight airplane was going to make an emergency landing at the airport. Smith said the plane eventually landed near Rattan, Oklahoma, but emergency personal discovered they did not have the codes to open the gates at the airport and they weren't able to remotely turn on the runway lights.


So, Wednesday afternoon, Smith provided the De Queen Fire Department with the proper codes and they visited the airport to locate key locations within the airport. They were shown the location of the fuel tank shut-off values and the breaker boxes that contains the manual override switches for the operation of the runway lights.


Authorities also discussed who would be allowed inside the airport if a plane ever crash landed and communication protocol, along with who would be stationed at the communication command center.


Smith stated he hoped they never have to use the information they've learned, but it's important that everyone knows what to do in the case of an emergency.





Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced earlier this year that he would be updating the phone and data systems, which would provide the courthouse with state-of-the-art technology and save the county money.


Cranford said the old system was installed in the 1980's and since then, the phone bill has doubled. He said the new system will save the county about $4,000 a month.


Cranford also announced the county plans to move some county offices from the annex building to the second floor of the courthouse.


According to Cranford the USDA agreed to rent the annex building for $30,000 a year. Cranford said the USDA staff has been commuting from Nashville since the old USDA building in Ashdown was condemned due to black mold about six months ago.


Cranford said the county will use the USDA's rent money to cover the expenses of the annex building. He said it will pay the heating and cooling bill, the cleaning cost and the building's insurance premiums.


Cranford also reported the Veterans Affairs office, the Little River County Circuit Court Judge's office, the county Office of Emergency Services, and the Arkansas State Police trooper's office will all be relocated from the annex building to the second floor of the courthouse.





Members of the Dierks Board of Education voted to employ the certified staff of the district for the 2017-2018 school year and they approved the staff for the JoAnn Walters Elementary School summer school.


Summer school is set for July 10th through the 28th. Katrina Pickett, Deborah Reel and April Kappus will serve as teachers and Karla Bray was hired as the summer school bus driver.


Board members accepted the resignation of the elementary librarian Jane Smith and they approved a leave of absence for LeAnn Reel.


According to Elementary Principal Karla Burne, the 6th grade Battle of the Books team won the competition at the De Queen/Mena Educational Coop and 3rd through 6th grade students will be taking the ACT Aspire exam on April 25th and 26th.





Little River County Genealogy Society is excited to have Melissa Nesbitt as the guest speaker for this month's meeting.


Nesbitt is the Archival Manager at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington. She will be conducting a program entitled, Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives: a Guide to Historical and Genealogical Resources.


Nesbitt grew up in Saline County but has made Texarkana her home for over 20 years. Prior to joining the staff at Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives, she worked for the Texarkana Museums System as the curator of the Ace of Clubs House. Nesbitt graduated from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. She's also had a lifelong interest in family history and has actively worked on her own genealogy for over 15 years.


The Genealogy Society meeting will be held on Tuesday,  April 11th in the Millwood Room on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.


Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 6. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, call 903-278-0681.





Members of the Ashdown Panther Theatre will present the play the Jungle Book, April 23rd-25th in the Ashdown High School Auditorium.


Ashdown Media Relations Director Rhonda Pounds also announced the Ashdown High School Scholarship committee will be awarding scholarships to 2017 graduates on Sunday, April 30th at 2 p.m. in the Ashdown High School cafeteria.


If you would like to contribute to a scholarship or create a new one in memory of or in honor of someone or a graduating class, checks will need to be mailed or dropped off to the Ashdown School District Central Office at 751 Rankin Street in Ashdown.





De Queen City Park activities director, Chris Hale, announced the park's department is starting to make plans for the 16th annual Let Freedom Ring program at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater on Saturday, July 1st.


Hale said the Midnight Hurricanes will be the featured entertainers; however, the park is bringing back the talent show again this year, because last year was such a huge success. He also mentioned they will have about a dozen vendors selling one item each.


If you would like to sign up for the talent show or sign up to be a vendor, call the park office at 870-642-4140.





Runnels Road and part of New Bethel Road will be closed until further notice for replacement of a bridge on Runnels Road.




This Sunday night, the De Queen Church of Christ will be hosting an area-wide youth event at 5 p.m. Pastor Tony Stowers announced Thursday morning that there's going to be food, music and he will give his testimony.


Members of the De Queen Church of Christ youth group, Cody Lites, Dayne Parson and Carter Faulkenberry, invited area youth to attend.


For more information, call the church at 870-584-3226.


Pictured Left to Right:  Kim Morris, Carter Faulkenberry, Matthew Ruth, Amber Morris, Pastor Tony Stowers, Dayne Parson, Cody Lites and Kane Faulkenberry.





Ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas that have been affected by wildfires have been given a temporary suspension of grazing restrictions.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture authorized emergency grazing on Conservation Reserve Programs lands earlier this week.


The agency says wildfires in Kansas burned about 630,000 acres with estimated livestock losses of between 3,000 and 9,000 cattle. The agency said about $36 million dollars worth of fencing was also destroyed.


In Oklahoma, nearly 390,000 acres was burned and an estimated 3,000 head of cattle were lost. Structure losses were estimated at $2 million dollars along with $22 million dollars in fencing losses.


Texas ranchers lost at least 3,000 head of cattle and 1,900 swine when some 550,000 acres burned.


Acting Secretary of Agriculture Mike Young says ranchers are facing devastating conditions and economic calamity and need some relief.


Sevier County Cattlemen President Greg Wright informed KDQN that agencies are now accepting donations of fencing supplies and monetary donations to purchase supplies to help ranchers rebuild.


For more information, contact Wright at 870-584-9479.





Dawn Leeper is the Sevier County Extension 4-H Program Assistant and she announced Sevier County 4-H activities are underway, but young people between the ages of 5 and 19 can still sign up. She also mentioned they need more 4-H leaders.


Leeper reported Blake Sawyer, Amber Morris, Megan Midgett, Jake Sawyer, Trey Mason, Kaedon Davis, Kyler Maben, Brady Haarmeyer, Brayden Frachiseur, and Hunter Frachiseur will represent Sevier County during the upcoming District 4-H BBQ cook-off in Arkadelphia on May 4th. She also said 4-H members will be touring the Sevier County jail on Monday.


Leeper said 4-H members are also collecting recipes for a cookbook that they hope to have printed by August. She said you may drop your recipes off at the extension office, which is in the Adams Building on the De Queen of UA Cossatot.


For more information about the Sevier County 4-H program, contact Leeper at the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013.





If your a mom-to-be and would like to learn more about protecting our baby from injury, you're invited to a Safety Baby Shower on Thursday, April 13th at 5 p.m. at the Sevier County Health Unit at 304 North 4th Street in De Queen. The shower is open to any pregnant woman or postpartum woman up to a year after their birth of their child. Space is limited so please call 870-642-2535 to make a reservation and Spanish interpretation will be available.


The shower will include education on home safety, safe sleep, shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma, and child passenger safety in a festive, shower-theme atmosphere, complete with refreshments, decorations, games and prizes.


Shower gifts will include various home safety products, instructional DVDs on infant crying and shaken baby syndrome and convertible child safety seats. Participants will meet with a trained Child Passenger Safety technician to receive the child safety seat and individual instruction on its correct installation and use.


Fathers to be and grandparents are also encouraged to attend.


The Safety Baby Shower is presented in partnership with the Sevier County Health Unit, the Sevier County Coalition and many community partners. For more information, visit the Sevier County Coalition Facebook page or the Sevier County Health Unit's Facebook page.





According to the President and CEO of the Southwest Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation REA, Wayne Whitaker, three winners have been selected to participate in the 2017 Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C.


Whitaker announced Esmeralda Hernandez and Kammi Pollard, both of De Queen High School, and Addie Womack of Spring Hill High School, as winners of the essay-writing contest to determine who would represent the local cooperative on the Youth Tour.


The trip is all expense paid and will involve approximately 45 other youths from across Arkansas. From June 9th through June 15th, the tour will visit the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson monuments; the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, and other sights in Washington, D.C.


In addition, the winners will be eligible to compete to represent Arkansas on the National Rural Cooperative Association's Youth Leadership Council. Arkansas' representative will be selected by the tour directors and will attend the NRECA's national meeting and participate in a variety of other cooperative activities throughout the year.







The annual Arkansas Gives day is tomorrow and local nonprofit organizations are encouraging you to make a donation.

One of the groups that are seeking donations on Thursday is the CASA of the Ouachita Region. Becky Hendrik stated the CASA of the Ouachita Region serves as advocates for children in Sevier, Polk and Montgomery counties.

Sevier County Volunteer Coordinator Yuliza Stubbs said anyone over the age of 21 can be a CASA volunteer.

And, CASA of the Ouachita Region Program Director Cynthia Martin reported the program operates off grants and donations. She said Thursday gives area residents the opportunity to donate by visiting the website

During this one-day event, each donation you give will help your favorite nonprofit organizations qualify for additional bonus dollars from Arkansas Community Foundation. All participating nonprofits will receive a portion of a pool of bonus dollars provided by Arkansas Community Foundation; the more a nonprofit raises, the more of the bonus dollars it will receive. All donations are tax deductible.

Dustin Roberts of the UA Cossatot Foundation stated the Cossatot Foundation not only provides scholarships for students, but they help purchase equipment for the college.

Other registered organizations that serve Sevier County include The First Choice Pregnancy Resource Center, Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas, Harvest Regional Food Bank, Legacy Academy, Legacy Initiatives, the Mary and Martha Center, and the Single Parent Scholarship fund of Sevier County.

You can find more information at




Last week, the park interpreters from Cossatot River State Park visited area schools and presented a program about butterflies. Shelley Flanary and Victoria Carson also left five caterpillars in each class room for students to watch as they become butterflies.


This Saturday, Carson will be leading a GPS Scavenger Hunt from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said anyone wanting to participate can meet her at the visitor center. Carson said you'll find hidden caches throughout the park.


Carson said for more information; call the visitor center at 870-385-2201.


Sunday, hikers are invited to take their cameras on a hike near the Cossatot Falls to get a picture perfect shot from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and then you should hang around and help the park staff feed the critters in the visitor center from 2 to 3 p.m.


Carson also mentioned the upcoming guided kayak tours.


For more information about upcoming programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201 or visit the website





The annual McCurtain County Spring Garden Festival will be held this Saturday, April 8th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Honey Bear Ranch at 897 Redwood Road in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.


The festival is free and will feature several speakers including:

Dr. Jim Shrefler is an Extension Horticulture Specialist for the Southeast District from Durant and he will be discussing cultural practices in the garden.


Brad Bain is the Extension Agriculture Educator for the McCurtain County Extension Office in Idabel and he was be discussing the do's and don'ts of container gardens.


And, Dr. George Driever is an Extension Horticulturalist from Shawnee and he will talk about vegetable pest and disease prevention.


To get to the Honey Bear Ranch take Highway 3 2.5 miles out of Broken Bow to Redwood Road. Turn North and travel 1 mile. Honey Bear Ranch will be on the left. For more information, call 580-584-6022.





The Sevier County Health Unit of the Arkansas Department of Health is observing National Public Health Week and the public is being encouraged to visit the health unit to learn more about Sevier County's health and the services that are provided by the health department.


Public Health Week is observed during the first full week of April each year. During the week, health professionals connect with individuals and communities to show them how public health helps Arkansans improve their own health, protects them from epidemics and provides preventive health services in their communities. This year's national theme is, "Healthiest Nation 2030," and will focus on the steps it will take to make the US the healthiest nation in one generation, by 2030. The Arkansas Department of Health is honoring this theme by highlighting the six areas in the Department's strategic plan that will help make Arkansas a healthier state. Those steps include: increasing immunization rates; lowering childhood obesity rates; addressing hypertension; helping Arkansans quit smoking; addressing mental health issues such as suicide; and lowering teen birth rates.


Sevier County Health Unit Administrator Deborah Hedge said Public Health Week is a great time to commit to being more physically active and eating more fruits and vegetables. She said it is also a great time to stop using tobacco.


Hedge said if everyone commits to moving more, eating better and being good health role models for our children, we can make a big impact on the overall health of Sevier County, and make it a healthier place for our children to grow.


According to the 2017 County Health Rankings, Sevier County ranks 30th out of 75 counties as the healthiest in Arkansas. The major factors contributing to this ranking include: tobacco use, obesity, physical activity, lack of access to healthy foods, lack of access to health care, low educational level, high child poverty and unemployment.


For more information about National Public Health Week 2017 in Arkansas, visit the website,





Monday night, the De Queen Board of Education accepted Superintendent Bruce Hill's recommendation to hire Brandon Lindly of Antlers, Oklahoma to be the new Middle School assistant principal.


Hill also recommended the district move the ABC program from Lockesburg to De Queen. He explained the Lockesburg ABC has 20 spots available for De Queen students and some of them are going unfilled, but the De Queen ABC has a waiting list of over 30 students. He said it will save the district some money, but more importantly, it will allow more children attend pre-school.


Board members also approved a lease agreement with a haz-mat company for $1,200 a month for one-year for the vo-ag building on the old Lockesburg campus.


Hill reported the district also voted to purchase some property across the street from the south-end of Blackwood Stadium. He said they plan to use the space to park visiting buses during athletic events.


High School Principal Bryan Blackwood reported this year's graduation will be at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 15th at the football field. Hill said they will shuttle parents and guests from the high school gym to the stadium to help with parking.


Board members also voted to allow the high school show choir to start raising funds for a trip to Washington D.C. next spring to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Show Choir Director Stefani Jones informed the board the choir ranked third out of 47 choirs that attended this year's America Sings event in Orlando.





Members of the Ashdown Board of Education voted to renew the contracts of all campus principals and certified directors during their March meeting.


Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the appraisal of the district's former Support Center has been completed and the property has been listed with Smith and Mounts Realty. He also stated the district is negotiating with the USDA about leasing the old administration building.


Board members approved the purchase some new technology equipment and supplies for the district's EAST Lab. Sanders said the district's EAST Lab uses technology to develop solutions for problems and issues in the district and the community.


Sanders also reported the board approved selling the district's shooting sports firearms to the Southern Sportsmen Foundation for $250 each for a total of $1,700.


Sanders said students and area residents will be able to purchase the firearms from the Southern Sportsmen Foundation because they are a register firearm's dealer.


Board members also approved the transfer of Susan Surber from Elementary Art teacher to 2nd grade teacher. They also hired Karley Hile as a 2nd grade teacher, Chris McFadden as a high school math teacher and Amy Madden as an Art teacher for the elementary and L.F. Henderson campuses.





Arkansas law enforcement agencies have joined the national "U Drive, U Text, U Pay" campaign to stop distracted driving. Agencies have pledged their support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone on the road.


During 2014 the National Highway  Traffic Safety Administration reported 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.


During the coming days and weeks, Arkansans will be exposed to television, radio and social media messages that have been created to remind drivers of the dangers that are associated with distracted driving.


Anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard. Texting while driving only increases the risks because the process combines all three types of distractions: visual, manual and cognitive.


Regardless of the driver's age, Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand-held mobile device for texting, emailing or accessing the internet while driving. It is also a primary offense law, which means a law enforcement officer can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.


All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Driver 18 to 20 years of age are required to use a hands-free device.


For more information, visit the website





Little River County Extension Agent Sherry Beaty-Sullivan reported the 3rd Annual Southwest Arkansas Grazing School is this Friday at the Hope Experiment Station. She said they will be discussing the results from the extension's winter demonstration plot.


Sullivan said area ranchers and farmers can register by contacting their county extension office or by calling the Little River County Extension office at 870-898-7224. She said the cost is $15 on the day of the workshop.


Sullivan announced she will also be holding a Private Applicator Pesticide Training class on Thursday, April 13th at 2 p.m. in the Millwood Room on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.


Sullivan also reminded Little River County residents about the 4-H’s annual rabies clinic on Tuesday in Foreman and on Friday in Ashdown from 3:30 to 5 p.m. both days..


For more information, call the Little River County Extension Office at 870-898-7224.





Sevier County 4-H held their annual Chicken BBQ on March 27th. They had 17 kids competing for a chance to go on to the District contest. Each 4-h'er cooked a whole chicken, cut in half, on a charcoal grill. the 4-H'er could use the seasoning of their choice and they were judged on how well they could start a charcoal fire, control the fire, food safety and handling, and how well they cooked the chicken. When the chicken was done, they picked their best half to be judged on appearance, color, doneness and taste.


Sevier County 4-H would like to thank Richard Pearce from Tyson Foods, Patrick Massey from the De Queen Bee and Sandra Jackson from the Sevier County Farm Bureau Women's Committee for judging the competition.


The top 10 4-H'ers will compete at the District Poultry BBQ competition that will be held at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Arkadelphia on May 4th. They will be given the choice to cook either a chicken or a turkey breast.


The following Cloverbuds competed in the Sevier County event: they were Raegan Frachiseur, Rustin Frachiseur and Gavin Carver.


The top 10 winners were: Blake Sawyer, Amber Morris, Megan Midgett, Jake Sawyer, Trey Mason, Kaedon Davis, Kyler Maben, Brady Haarmeyer, Brayden Frachiseur, and Hunter Frachiseur. The alternates are Abbi Stinson, Sydney Hill, Matthew Maben and Alley Stinson.





The Arkansas House of Representatives wrapped up last week's session by passing a budget that devotes nearly 50 percent of the state's revenue to education. It also included increases in spending for health care, foster care and the criminal justice system.


According to District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught the $5.49 billion budget includes an increase of $163 million dollars in spending from the current fiscal year. She said that is a 3.1 percent increase.


Vaught explained that $112.8 million dollars is directed to the Department of Human Services. She said $75 million dollars will be used to match the federal Medicaid dollars. It also includes a $26 million increase for foster care and $4.5 million to fund mental health crisis stabilization centers. Vaught said these centers were created in the criminal justice reform measure that passed earlier in the session.


The budget also includes a $3 million increase in Pre-K funding and $2.4 million for computer science courses.


Vaught said the House also passed a bill to put funds in the state's Rainy Day Fund. This distribution includes: $90 million to Medicaid, $10 million to the Department of Correction, $30 million to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission for economic development incentives, $60 million for school facilities, and $20 million to help match federal highway grants.


Vaught said the General Assembly has cut taxes, reformed the state's criminal justice system and opened doors to higher education for more Arkansans. She said they also passed legislation to give military retirees a tax cut and provide the National Guard with a scholarship.


Vaught said the General Assembly also strengthened the state's domestic violence laws, implemented regulation and safety measures for the use of medical marijuana and established programs to spur economic development.


Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed more than 750 pieces of legislation into law this session and more bills are now heading to his desk as the state legislature wraps up this year's regular session.





De Queen High School's quiz bowl team took first place at the Murfreesboro tournament on March 9th and both De Queen High School teams made it to the quarter finals.


De Queen High School then finished in second place in the regional tournament and competed in the state tournament in Maumelle this past Saturday.


The quiz bowl coaches are Thomas Sweeten and Susan Hartness and they have been working with the quiz bowl teams for the past two years.


Sweeten is a De Queen High School graduate and teaches biology and Hartness teaches AP biology, pre-AP biology and physics. Sweeten said the team was defeated Saturday by Magnolia in the quarter finals, but he was proud of their effort.


The team met almost every day during their lunch and some days after school to prepare for upcoming meets. They competed in 10 tournaments against students from 4A to 7A schools


De Queen High School entered the state tournament as the number two seed.


Noah Reed and Misty Goings were named to the Quiz Bowl All-Star team and coach Sweeten said he felt they will both be named to the State Quiz Bowl team later this week. He said they will compete against other All-Stars at a meet on May 6th.





The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is asking the public to provide feedback on the state's proposed 2017-2018 hunting season regulations.


The online survey can be found at


The following regulation changes are among those being considered:

1. Replace the Sweet 16 permit with a free general use permit that is required to hunt, fish, trap or camp on any Wildlife Management Area.

2. Allow feral hogs to be taken with archery tackle on certain WMAs during bear, deer and elk seasons from November 1st through December 31st.

3. Restrict adults during youth hunt from carrying a firearm or archery equipment while mentoring a youth hunter.

4. Permit only one weapon of the hunter's choice during antlerless private land modern gun deer hunt.


A complete list of changes is available on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's website at Comments will be accepted until May 15th.





With the GOP trying to resuscitate its plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, the debate in Arkansas and elsewhere over how to fix the health0care system is heating up again.


While partisan divides remain deep, Glenn Pearson who is the former president of Physicians for a National Health Program, says the failure of the American Health Care Act presents a unique opportunity for President Donald Trump to make good on a campaign promise for more coverage and better benefits by moving beyond for-profit models.


Pearson notes the Medicare for All Act, which was introduced by Representative John Conyers of Michigan, would provide coverage to all Americans by expanding Medicare, the single-payer program currently for people age 65 and older. Critics say it would be too costly, but research shows most U.S. households would pay less than the current system of insurance premiums, deductibles and co-pays.


Pearson, while not a fan of the ill-fated Trumpcare proposal, notes the Affordable Care Act still leaves many without coverage and channels billions of taxpayer dollars to private insurance companies. He says a majority of Americans, including Republicans, support a system where money currently going to administrative overhead and private profits is spent on patient care instead.


He says even though more people have insurance since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, nearly 2 million Americans go bankrupt each year because of healthcare expenses. A National Day of Action calling for universal health care is set for April 8th, the first day of the congressional recess.