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DON'T FORGET TO WEAR BLUE ON FRIDAY       4/5/18

 

Child abuse is a prevalent problem in this area, and CASA of the Ouachita Region is on a mission to raise awareness of the issue during the month of April, which is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

 

Yuliza Stubbs is a volunteer coordinator for CASA and she stated people would be surprised to know what happens in the house next door or just down the street. She stated it happens in the best of families and the worst of families. Stubbs said child abuse and neglect happens here in Sevier County and throughout the entire surrounding area.

 

Stubbs said the community can get involved by volunteering at CASA of the Ouachita Region. She said Court Appointed Special Advocates are recruited and trained to advocate for children when they've been removed from their home and placed in state care. She said these children are sometimes placed far away from their loved ones, but CASA volunteers are a reliable adult presence for the children.

 

Stubbs said by becoming a CASA volunteer you go beyond just being aware to doing your part to help break the cycle for future generations. She explained when children are pulled from their home and put in a new environment they're often scared and lonely and they don't know who to trust. Stubbs said a CASA volunteer is somebody that's there for them and they can change the life of a child by just being there for them.

 

In addition to volunteering, Stubbs and CASA of the Ouachita Region is asking everyone to wear blue on Friday in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month. She said you can post photos of you and your co-workers wearing blue on their Facebook page and have a chance to win a pizza lunch.

 

To report a suspected case of child abuse, call 1-800-482-5964. If you need more information about CASA of the Ouachita Region, call 870-518-4026.

  

  

STATE REVIEW BOARD RECOMMENDS LOCKESBURG GYMNASIUM FOR NOMINATION TO NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES       4/5/18

 

The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recommended 18 Arkansas properties in 13 counties, including the Lockesburg Gymnasium at Lockesburg in Sevier County for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places when it met on Wednesday.

 

According to the Lockesburg Gymnasium's nomination application, the gym was built using a simple, plain architectural style commonly found at rural schools during the 1950s with flat, unornamented walls on all four sides. Since the 1950s this gym has served as the educational, social, and cultural hub of the community through various educational, athletic, and community events. The building was used as the school's gymnasium until 2010 when the Lockesburg School was closed due to low student enrollment. The gym is again in use as an educational and community event space under the ownership of UA Cossatot.

 

The review board also recommended the Washington Street Historic District Boundary Increase at Camden in Ouachita County, the Nevada County Courthouse at Prescott in Nevada County, the Goodwin Field Administration Building at El Dorado in Union County and Farm #226 the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home at Dyess in Mississippi County.

 

The board also listed the Dierks Lumber Company Building at Mountain Pine in Garland County on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places along with five other historically significant properties that do not meet the requirements to be on the National Register.

 

 

UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA GREENHOUSE PROJECT AND SALE      4/5/18

 

UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA advisor, Kelli Harris reported her students have been working on the greenhouse since last semester and now they are reaping the fruit of their labor.

 

Harris said students will also be landscaping some yards this semester as a part of their final exam.

 

Hunter Bollard announced this morning that the greenhouse is open Monday through Friday.

 

Karter Castleberry said the proceeds from the plant sale helps Ag students take field trips and attend conferences.

 

For more information, call Harris at 870-584-1218.

 

 

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER HIGH SCHOOL AG BOOSTERS SPONSORING DONKEY BASKETBALL GAME THIS FRIDAY       4/5/18

 

Thursday morning Raymond Jewell and Phillip Frachiseur announced it was not too late to sign up to participate in the Cossatot River High School Ag Booster Club donkey basketball game this Friday at the Cossatot River High School. Frachiseur said booster club members will be selling Indian tacos beginning at 5 p.m. and the game will start at 7.

 

Kristy Frachiseur reported earlier in the week that Chance Dearing, Courtney Gaston, and Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer will be participating Friday night, but if you want to sign up contact Philip or Raymond.

 

Frachiseur said all of the proceeds will benefit the Cossatot River High School Agri students.

 

For more information, visit the Cossatot River Ag Boosters Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

 

WAR MEMORIAL STADIUM LAUNCHES NEW WEBSITE, BRAND AND VETERANS TRIBUTES      4/5/18

 

War Memorial Stadium is announcing the launch of a new website, logo, and stadium branding as it heads into the next phase of development under the supervision of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

 

War Memorial Stadium's newly redesigned website is www.wmstadium.com and will improve online interactions. The new interface provides a user-first experience, taking into consideration the athletic and community events that the audience will attend at the stadium. With a newly integrated program, members of the community can now find event information, policies, and tailgating reservations all in one place.

 

The new War Memorial Stadium logo has been implemented in several high-exposure locations on the exterior and interior of the stadium. Exterior banners, concourse graphics, and field-level graphics will prominently display the new brand mark.

 

Ron Salley is the assistant manager of War Memorial Stadium and he discussed the fact that the stadium is a very personal place for many Arkansans.

 

War Memorial Stadium will host the 2018 Arkansas Razorback Red-White Game this Saturday at 1 p.m. The day begins with a spring game fan fest from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in parking lot 5, on the east side of stadium. This family friendly event will feature inflatables, a visit from Tusk, music, and much more. Admission and parking are free. 

 

Additionally, War Memorial Stadium is now the home for two wall murals that pay tribute to the veterans who have served our country. They are located on the concourse inside Gate 1, the murals salute the Medal of Honor recipients with Arkansas ties.

 

 

HELP AG&F TRACK MONARCH BUTTERFLIES         4/5/18

 

Millions of monarchs spent all winter clinging to fir trees in just a few acres in the mountains of central Mexico. Now they are moving north across the eastern United States and several have already been spotted in south and central Arkansas. Learning where they take a breather during this migration is vitally important to conservationists and biologists throughout the nation, and the public can help.

 

As these butterflies migrate they'll be looking for nectar from flowering plants to help fuel their journey. Some may stop and breed where they can find available milkweed plants. Conservationists say the loss of milkweed plants has been attributed to the decline of the monarch populations.

 

Populations of monarch butterflies have been declining during the last decade. The most recent winter estimates show a 15 percent decrease from the previous year. Data gathered from this project will help identify important breeding areas and migration corridors for monarchs. It also will shed light on the timing of both spring and fall migrations. Armed with this knowledge biologists can tailor conservation and management strategies for the species.

 

Allison Fowler is the Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish and she said the Arkansas Game and Fish is working other partners to restore native prairies and open woodlands to provide nectar and milkweed for monarchs and pollinators. She said these habitat restoration projects will benefit many other species, including songbirds, quail, turkey and deer. She said the commission is encouraging everyone to plant native plants in their yards and/or flower gardens for monarchs and other pollinators.

 

Fowler said the viceroy mimics the monarch and beginners may need help distinguishing the two. She said the most noticeable difference is the presence of a black line across the veins on the hind wing of the viceroy that is absent in the monarch. Fowler said the viceroy is also noticeably smaller than the monarch, but it may be difficult to discern the difference without seeing the two side-by-side.

 

To report your sightings, visit the iNaturalist website and create a free account. Then navigate to the Arkansas Monarch Mapping Project page. Click on the red banner that says "add observations" and complete the information fields. You may also upload a picture, if you have one.

 

For more information, contact Fowler by calling 501-470-3650.

  

 

UA COSSATOT TO HOST SENIOR CHATS AT DE QUEEN AND FOREMAN      4/4/18

 

UA Cossatot announced they will be hosting a Senior Chat at the De Queen High School on Tuesday, April 10th and Wednesday, April 11th and at Foreman High School on Thursday, April 12th to enroll current seniors in summer and fall 2018 classes. Coordinator of Admissions, Olivia Webb, stated several staff members including student ambassadors will be in attendance to help answer any questions students may have.

 

The event will begin each day at 8 a.m. with a casual chat time and then academic advisors and financial aid counselors will be available to help students enroll.

 

Students will be able to enroll as full-time college students with UA Cossatot before they graduate high school in May 2018. Webb list some of the degree programs that Cossatot offers.

 

Webb said students enrolling in summer or fall classes during the Senior Chat events will receive a new college student welcome gift.

 

De Queen students will need to see Career Coach Gabriela Balderas to sign-up for an appointment, while Foreman students will need to make an appointment by signing up with their counselor, Michelle Young.

 

UA Cossatot class schedules are posted on their website www.cccua.edu/summer.

  

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - WORK REQUIREMENT FOR ARKANSAS WORKS RECIPIENTS       4/4/18

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the federal government informed state officials that the state had been approved to add a work requirement as part of the state's Arkansas Works - Medicaid program.

 

According to Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas will be the first state in the country to actually implement this requirement.

 

As of March 1st, there were about 284,000 Arkansans receiving health coverage from Arkansas Works. Arkansas Works enrollees ages 19 to 49 will be subject to the requirement. Vaught said if you are one of them, you will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services outlining the steps you need to take to continue your coverage.

 

Vaught said this requirement is not designed to reduce the number of Arkansans who are receiving coverage, but rather it is to help move people up the economic ladder.

 

The requirement requires Arkansas Works beneficiaries who are 19 to 49 to work, go to school, do job training/searching/certificate classes, or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week, or 80 hours a month, in order to keep their health care coverage. One hour of most educational classes will count for more than one hour toward the requirement.

 

People who have dependent children in the home, who are disabled, who already work the equivalent of 80 hours a month, who are caring for an incapacitated person, or those in drug or alcohol treatment programs are exempt from having to report work activities. If you have an exemption, it is important that you report to the DHS which exemption applies to you at access.arkansas.gov.

 

There are ways the state can help individuals find jobs or activities to meet the work requirement. You can get free job search help at any Arkansas Workforce Center across the state. Arkansas JobLink lets you post your information and skills for employers to see and search for current openings at www.arjoblink.arkansas.gov. There are also job training, certificate programs and other assistance available.

 

During 2018, work requirement does not apply to anyone who is 29 or younger. Enrollees who are 19-29 year olds will be phased in 2019.

 

Those who are subject to the work requirement will have to begin reporting based on their renewal month. Clients will receive a notice the month before their requirement takes effect. The first 9,100 will be notified in May. If you receive a notification, you will need to report your work activity by July 5th and then the 5th day of every month from then on. Vaught said if you fail to report your work activities for three months in a calendar year, you will lose your coverage.

 

For additional information, call 1-855-372-1084.

 

 

SCOUT-O-RAMA 2018 RETURNS TO SPRING LAKE PARK APRIL 28TH     4/4/18

 

Scout-O-Rama returns to Spring Lake Park in Texarkana, Texas and the Boy Scouts of America, the Caddo Area Council and Girl Scouts - Diamonds of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas Council are inviting the whole family to join them for a day of Scouting fun on Saturday, April 28th.

 

Scouts will be swarming the park all weekend but Saturday the public is invited to stop by and learn more about Scouting in all of its many forms and have some fun. Scout-O-Rama will be open to the public on Saturday, April 28th from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. This year, the theme is "You Can Be A Star."

 

Scout troops, Venture Crews, Sea Scouts, Webelos, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and more will come from all over the Four State area for this regional Scout show and will be demonstrating what they've learned through Scouting.

 

Guests can purchase a bowl of chili for $5 during the 3rd annual ICS sanctioned chili cook off. Chili will be served from noon to 3 p.m..

 

Activities for guests will include the Pinewood Derby racing, fishing, soap box derby racing, scout crafts, tomahawk throwing, blacksmithing, bladesmithing and more.

 

If you have questions about Scout-O-Rama, call 903-793-2179 or visit the website 4statessor.com.

 

 

NEW APRIL GAMES SPRING UP       4/4/18

 

The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery's new games for April launched on Tuesday. The five new instant games are the $1 Three Times Lucky; the $2 Super 777; the $3 Match 7's; the $5 Platinum Doubler; and Bonus Payout, which is a $10 game. The new instant games offer top prizes ranging from $3,333 to $200,000.

 

If you like tic-tac-toe, you'll enjoy the Three Times Lucky game, where uncovering three 3's in a row, column or diagonal line mean you could win one of four $3,333 top prizes. Overall odds of winning any prize in this game are 1 in 4.74.

 

You can win up to 10 times on the $2 Super 777 ticket which features multipliers, auto win symbols and a top prize of $20,000.

 

Three $70,000 top prizes are available in the Match 7's scratch off. This ticket offers nine bingo-type games for players who enjoy a more extended playing experience.

 

The Platinum Doubler tickets come in three color options. You can win up to 15 times on these tickets, and they're loaded with prize doublers. Three top prizes of $100,000 are up for grabs on these $5 tickets.

 

And finally, the newest $10 scratch off ticket, the Bonus Payout, has four bonus spots, multipliers, and an auto win feature that offers a top prize of $200,000 and the possibility of winning up to 24 times. Overall odds are 1 in 2.9.

 

Players in Arkansas have been on a winning streak on instant tickets in 2018; in March alone, players from Warren, Benton, Hamburg, Beebe, Camden, North Little Rock, Osceola, Van Buren, Maumelle, Wynne, Stephens, Little Rock, Jacksonville, Marked Tree, Paragould, Des Arc, and Hot Springs have won amounts ranging from $10,000 to $250,000.

UA COSSATOT TO HOST SENIOR CHATS AT DE QUEEN HS   4/4/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot will be at De Queen High School on April 10 and 11, 2018 to enroll current seniors in summer and fall 2018 classes.

Students will be able to enroll as full-time college students with UA Cossatot before they graduate high school in May 2018.

The event will begin at 8:00 am on both days. Academic advisors for every degree and financial aid counsel will also be available.

Students enrolling in summer or fall classes during Senior Chat events will receive a new college student welcome gift.

Students need to see De Queen High School Career Coach Gabriela Balderas to sign-up for a Senior Chat appointment.

UA Cossatot class schedules are posted at cccua.edu/summer.

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TONIGHT        4/3/18

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall for a regular meeting.

 

According to a letter that Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy sent to the council members, aldermen will be asked to pass a resolution endorsing a new company in the area called AMS Global Inc. so the company can participate in the Tax Back Program.

 

The Tax Back Program refunds local sales and use tax to companies for the purchase of building materials and machinery for projects that create new jobs.

 

AMS Global Inc. purchased the old Phoenix building at 107 Mitchell Lane in De Queen.

 

McKelvy stated the property is not in the city limits, but the law requires both the city and the county governments to pass the resolution.

 

McKelvy is also asking the council to dispose of a dozer as a trade-in on a 2012 Caterpillar D4 dozer. He said the purchase price is $61,000 from Riggs in Jonesboro, but they've offered the city $8,000 for the old dozer as a trade-in.

 

Aldermen will also review some maps that were prepared by the city's engineer concerning areas for possible future annexation.

 

 

 

PEARLS OF WISDOM - WOMEN'S CONFERENCE IN SATURDAY       4/3/18

 

Sally Hennard of the First Baptist Church of De Queen announced the church will host their annual Ladies event this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. She said this year's theme is "Pearls of Wisdom.”

 

This year's guest speaker is Ann Rice, but several ladies from the area will also be sharing their Pearls of Wisdom, including: Joyce Arnold of First Baptist Church of Horatio, Terri Brackett Carver of Rock Hill Baptist Church in Lockesburg, Katie Herweck of First Baptist Church of De Queen and Hattie Vance who is the director of the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program.

 

Hennard said the cost is $20 and that includes a light breakfast, a catered sandwich lunch and a gift bag.

 

Hennard said the church was providing child care this year at no extra charge. She said the children will receive a chicken nugget and French fries lunch.

 

For more information or to pre-register, call the church at 870-642-2151.

 

Rotary Presents Community Service Awards    04/03/18

The De Queen Rotary Club honored law enforcement officials and firefighters during their weekly meeting Monday.

County Judge Greg Ray presented the rural Firefighter of the Year award to Joey Vaught, who has served in the Central Fire Department for over twenty years. The Central Fire Department members voted for Vaught to receive the honor.

In a new award presented for the first time this year, Judge Ray presented a Dispatcher of the Year award to Sheila Pearcy. Judge Ray was complimentary of the dispatchers who answer 9-1-1 calls, and direct officers and first responders to accidents and incidents.

Sheriff Robert Gentry presented the County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award to Wendall Randell. Sheriff Gentry says that Deputy Randell often gets called out at 6:30 A.M., but rarely clocks in until 8:00 A.M.

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy presented the De Queen Firefighter of the Year award to Brandon Winer. Mayor McKelvy says that Winer has shown great potential in his nine months with the Fire Department. Winer, a lineman with R.E.A., was unable to attend the awards presentation because he was called out for a power outage in Ashdown. Mayor McKelvy and Judge Ray emphasized that the firefighters in the city and county do much more than just respond to fires, and are always available to assist with everything from storm damage to lost children.

Police Chief Scott Simmons presented the De Queen Police Officer of the Year award to Beth Hughes. An eight year veteran of the Police Department, Hughes works in the office as well as in the role of reserve officer since 2012. Chief Simmons says that Hughes gets things done, and participates in numerous operations with the Department.

Rotarian Ira “Mac” McDaniel organized and emceed the awards presentation for the De Queen Club Monday.


Firefighter of the Year Joey Vaught & Judge Greg Ray



Dispatcher of the Year Sheila Pearcy with Sheriff Robert Gentry & Judge Greg Ray


Sheriff Robert Gentry & County Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Wendall Randel


De Queen Police Officer of the Year Beth Hughes & Chief Scott Simmons
 

Jay Litchford accepted the De Queen Firefighter of the award from Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy on behalf of Brandon Winer

 

 

CHALICE CUPBOARD REPORT FOR MARCH       4/3/18

 

During the month of March, the Chalice Cupboard assisted 42 families including 75 adults and 41 children, totaling 116 people.

 

A total of 955 pounds of food was added to the pantry shelves, including 788 pounds of food that was purchased with donated funds. The First United Methodist Church and the Saint Barbara Catholic Church donated 89 pounds, individuals donated 18 pounds and KDQN donated 60 pounds.

 

Volunteers gave out a total of 1,252 pounds of food.

 

Individuals living in Sevier County who need food may receive help at the Chalice Cupboard at 315 North 5th Street in De Queen on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Food is given to those requesting assistance once each three-month period of the year.

 

This month, cupboard volunteers reported they need donations of non-perishable food items. All monetary donations will be used to purchase food.

 

 

ARKANSANS CAN  NOW REGISTER VEHICLES ONLINE     4/3/18

 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a new way Arkansans may register vehicles with the State of Arkansas.

 

While registration previously required a trip to the Revenue Office, Hutchinson says vehicles may now be registered online at mydmv.arkansas.gov. The website walks visitors through the steps of registration, paying sales tax on the vehicle purchase amount and purchasing or transferring a plate.

 

More than 643,000 vehicles were registered at Revenue Offices throughout the state in 2017.

 

 

STUDY FINDS ONE IN THREE US SPECIES AT RISK OF EXTINCTION      4/3/18

 

A new report warns that as many as one-third of wildlife species in America are in crisis but with funding, their recovery is possible. The report, released jointly by the National Wildlife Federation, the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society, finds that more than 150 U.S. species have already gone extinct and 500 additional species have not been seen in decades and could be extinct.

 

Bruce Stein is the chief scientist with the National Wildlife Federation and he says while there are other causes, loss of habitat is the main reason many species across America are disappearing.

 

The groups are backing the Recovering America's Wildlife Act, which is a bipartisan measure that's pending in Congress that would dedicate $1.3 billion dollars a year to fund state Wildlife Action Plans. Under the legislation, the Arkansas Wildlife Plan would receive about $9 million dollars a year toward the conservation needs of 377 species and their habitats.

 

Trey Buckner is with the Arkansas Wildlife Federation and he says restoring the depleted habitat of a single species can set off a chain of improvements for other wildlife species.

 

Stein says the effects of climate change pose a major threat to habitat and wildlife.

 

Funding for the Recovering America's Wildlife Act would come from an existing tax on energy and resource industries for the right to develop on federal lands.

 

 

DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MONTH UNDERWAY: U DRIVE - U TEXT - U PAY       4/3/18

 

Law enforcement officers across Arkansas have pledged their united support by participating in the national awareness campaign to stop Distracted Driving. "U Drive - U Text - U Pay" is both an educational initiative and enforcement effort to keep distracted drivers off the road.

 

Distracted drivers aren't just a threat to themselves; they're a danger to everyone else on the road. Safe driving means driving without distractions. Any activity that takes your attention from driving is a hazard. Such distractions as talking or texting on a phone, eating, drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, adjusting the navigation or audio systems are among the most common distractions.

 

Distracted driving research confirms it only takes a few seconds for a child to run into the street or for a driver to miss a red light or stop sign leading to a crash that may leave someone dead. During April, drivers will see an increased law enforcement presence on the roadways. Anyone who is caught texting and driving will be stopped and a citation will be issued.

 

Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand-held cell phone for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver's age. It is also a primary offense law, which means a state trooper, police officer or sheriff's deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation.

 

The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education.

 

Drivers should be aware of all state laws related to distracted driving, particularly related to the prohibition of using a hand-held cell phone while traveling through school or highway work zones. All drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers 18 to 20 years of age are required to use a hands-free device.

 

 

ARDOT REMINDING CANDIDATES ABOUT LAWS GOVERNING CAMPAIGN SING PLACEMENT      4/2/18

 

Officials with the Arkansas Department of Transportation are reminding political candidates and their supporters about laws governing campaign sign placement.

 

Scott Bennett is the ArDot Director and he stated there are several Arkansas statutes addressing encroachment and the placing of signs or other objects on highway right of ways.

 

According to ArDot officials, it is illegal to put campaign signs on highway right of way in Arkansas. Only official directional, informational or regulatory highway signs are permitted on state-owned highway property. All other signs are removed by the local Area Maintenance Office. These statutes apply to all unauthorized signs, not just political campaign signs.

 

Small yard signs that are placed on the right of way will be removed by ArDot personnel. Owners of large billboard type signs will be notified and given an opportunity to remove them before the transportation department does. Owners can pick up the signs during normal business hours at the nearest Area Maintenance Office.

 

Bennett said the Arkansas Department of Transportation encourages everyone to keep these right of way rules in mind and keep the roadsides clear in order to keep our highways as safe as possible.

 

 

HOWARD COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SEEKING PUBLIC'S HELP IN LOCATING MISSING TOLLETTE RESIDENT      4/2/18

 

The family of 53-year-old Alvin Dennis Thomas of Tollette reported him missing to the Howard County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, March 27th.

 

According to the missing person report, Thomas lives with his mother, Catherine Thomas, a sister Denise, a brother Allen and a nephew Keenan. Catherine, Denise and Allen all went out of town on Friday for the weekend. According to them, Keenan and Thomas stayed at home and were there when they left, but Thomas was not home when they arrived Sunday evening around 6. Allen reported Thomas' car was parked in the yard and the windows were down. He said it appeared to be in the same place it was Friday when they left.

 

Authorities discovered Tuesday that Thomas works at Husqvarna in Nashville but he did not report to work on Monday or Tuesday. Officials with Husqvarna reported Thomas did not call-in or schedule to be off those days. Co-workers and supervisors reported they tried to contact Thomas because it was out of character for him to miss work.

 

Thomas' nephew, Keenan reported he saw Thomas late Saturday night lying on the couch watching TV.

 

Family members also reported Thomas like to run for exercise and would run several miles at a time, leaving his house and taking different routes, but often running on Highway 355.

 

 

Law enforcement members and volunteers were searching an area between Mineral Springs and Tollette when a passer-by, who knows Thomas reported they saw him running just south of the Mine Creek Bridge, Sunday evening. An extensive search was then conducted of that area, including the water ways.

 

According to the Howard County Sheriff's Office, Thomas is still missing and anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Thomas is being asked to contact the Howard County Sheriff's Office at 870-845-2626.

 

 

WEAR BLUE DAY IS FRIDAY, APRIL 6TH           4/2/18

 

Volunteers with the CASA of the Ouachita Region are asking everyone to wear blue on Friday, April 6th to show that you are committed to preventing child abuse in Arkansas.

 

Volunteer coordinator Yuliza Stubbs announced you can show your commitment to preventing child abuse and win a pizza party for your office by simply wearing blue this Friday.

 

Stubbs said to win the pizza party; you will need to submit a photo of everyone in your office wearing blue to the CASA Ouachita Region Facebook page and by using the hashtag #WearBlueDay.

 

Stubbs said one winner will be picked from participates in Sevier and Polk counties. She said the winner will be determined by their uniqueness and originality.

 

For more information about becoming a CASA volunteer or about the wear blue day event, call 870-518-4026.

 

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER HIGH SCHOOL AG BOOSTERS SPONSORING DONKEY BASKETBALL GAME THIS FRIDAY       4/2/18

 

Kristy Frachiseur announced the Cossatot River High School Ag Booster Club is sponsoring a donkey basketball game this Friday. Booster club members will start selling Indian tacos at 5 p.m. and the game will start at 7 at the Cossatot River High School gym.

 

Frachiseur reported Chance Dearing, Courtney Gaston, KENA's Shane Haarmeyer and Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer have already volunteered to mount up for this good cause, but if you would like to participate or if you would like to purchase tickets call Philip Frachiseur at 870-582-2929 or Raymond Jewell at 870-582-2930.

 

Frachiseur said all of the proceeds will benefit the Cossatot River High School Agri students.

 

For more information, visit the Cossatot River Ag Boosters Facebook page.

 

Shown left:  Kolby, Kelcie, Kristi, & (front) Kamp Frachiseur

 

 

 

 

DUELING CASINO MEASURES COULD DOMINATE AIRWAVES      4/2/18

 

Competing proposals to legalize casinos in four Arkansas counties may guarantee that voters will be inundated with ads on the issue, but the focus likely won't be whether the state needs another gambling option. The debate instead could hinge on what type of casinos would be palatable to the residents of Arkansas.

 

Arkansas Wins in 2018 Inc. filed paperwork last week with the Arkansas Ethics Commission to campaign for a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize casinos in Benton, Boone, Miller and Pulaski counties.

 

It's the second effort to put expanded gambling before voters this fall. Another group, Driving Arkansas Forward, is trying to put a separate proposal on the November ballot that would legalize casinos in Jefferson and Pope counties, while allowing casinos at the Oaklawn horse track in Hot Springs and at the Southland greyhound track in West Memphis. Both tracks already offer electronic games of skill.

 

The attorney general must sign off on a proposed constitutional amendment's language before supporters can begin gathering the thousands of signatures that will be needed to qualify for the November ballot.

 

The competing proposals set the stage for a reprise of the fight seen two years ago, when a casino legalization measure was struck from the ballot by the state Supreme Court. One of the officers for Arkansas Wins in 2018, the latest casino legalization effort, was connected to the 2016 proposal that was struck down by the court.

 

The lawsuit challenging the 2016 measure was filed by a group that was funded by Southland and Oaklawn, which would benefit if the Driving Arkansas Forward measure is approved. The argument against the Arkansas Wins in 2018 proposal is similar to what opponents said about the 2016 measure: that it's an effort by out-of-state interests to write themselves into Arkansas' constitution.

 

According to former state Representative Nate Steel who represents the Driving Arkansas Forward campaign, the Driving Arkansas Forward amendment gives communities a real voice in the process and ensures a transparent, merit-based selection of casino operators. He said it also recognizes and protects two great Arkansas institutions, Oaklawn and Southland, that have created hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.

 

Both proposals appear to be aimed at winning voters over by calling for the bulk of net casinos proceeds going toward the state's highway needs.

 

In 2016 supporters and opponents of the casino measure spent more than $2 million dollars on television ads.

 

The fight between the two groups will focus on what is the best approach for introducing casinos in a state that already has plenty of gambling options. Arkansans can currently buy lottery tickets, play video poker, participate in charitable bingo and bet at the tracks.

 

Jerry Cox of the Family Council Action Committee stated you have two groups of people attempting to make money off poor people while dressing up their proposals by claiming they are going to improve the state's highway system. He said the reality is these groups are just looking to make money at the expense of Arkansas residents.

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS TAKE EPA TO COURT OVER CLEAN AIR ACT     4/2/18

 

Clean-air advocates want the federal courts to stop a new rule that would allow major polluters to turn their pollution controls off. Since 1990, the Clean Air Act has required major sources of pollution to reduce their emissions by the maximum amount possible.

 

Tomas Carbonell is the lead attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund and according to him a new rule that was issued in January allows those major polluters to reclassify themselves as smaller sources.

 

The EPA claims the rule is required by its new interpretation of the Clean Air Act. But environmental groups say Congress intended tighter emission controls to be permanent. There are currently five coal-fired power plants in Arkansas that would be affected by the EPA changes.

 

Under this new interpretation of the Clean Air Act, Carbonell says, once polluters achieve the required emission reductions, they may be subject to weaker standards, or none at all.

 

The Environmental Integrity Project estimates the loophole will allow a dozen large industrial facilities that they've studied to more than quadruple their emissions of toxic pollutants.

 

Carbonell points out that 11 years ago, the EPA proposed a similar interpretation of the Clean Air Act and the EPA's own staff and regional offices submitted comments raising concerns about the change.

 

The lawsuit was filed last week in the Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

 

UA COSSATOT TO HOLD BASKETBALL TRYOUTS   4/2/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot will hold Men’s Club Basketball tryouts on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Old Nashville High School gymnasium at 1301 Mt. Pleasant Drive, Nashville, AR.


Persons trying-out should visit cccua.edu/basketball and complete an Athletic Information Request form and the Club Sports Tryout Release Waiver. They should bring the waiver to the tryout.


For more information, please visit cccua.edu/basketball.
 

LR COUNTY GENEALOGY SOCIETY MEETING   4/2/18

Little River County Genealogy Society will meet Tuesday, April 10 at 5:30 p.m. at UA Cossatot in Ashdown. Sheila Nichols, Manager of the Welcome Center at Red River employed by the Arkansas Division of Parks and Tourism, will present a program on the Sultana Maritime Disaster. She will also talk about the genealogy research, museums and archives available in Arkansas.

The wreck of the ship Sultana April 27, 1865 on the Mississippi River near Marion, AR and Memphis, TN led Confederate veterans to risk all for Union lives. It was the worst maritime disaster in US History, killing about 1800 people…more than died on the Titanic. Everyone is welcome to attend this meeting to learn more about Arkansas history.

 

4-H RABIES CLINICS SCHEDULED   4/2/18

 

Little River County 4-H will host two Rabies Clinics in partnership with Dr. Martin at Ashdown Veterinary Clinic. These clinics will be held Tuesday, April 10 at the Fairgrounds in Foreman and Friday, April 13 at Tractor Supply in Ashdown beginning at 3:30 p.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m. each day.

“Ashdown Vet Clinic pairs up with Little River County 4-H each year to hold the clinics to make it easier and more affordable for owners of pets to have them vaccinated,” said Bethany Barney, Little River County 4-H agent.

Reduced prices for Rabies, DAPP (Parvo/Distemper), Corona, Lepto, Fvrcp, and Feluk will be offered. For every Rabies Shot given this week, a donation will be made to the local 4-H program.

Barney said, “Bring your dogs on a leash and cats should be in a kennel. This will help with the handling of the pets and will limit the chance of any escaping and/or getting hurt.”

The Vet clinic will also take appointments during the week at the clinic, if you would rather go there than one of the outdoor clinics.

For more information about the clinics, call Little River County 4-H at 870-898-7224 or Ashdown Vet Clinic at 870-898-5181.

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY/ALUMNI PROM     4/2/18

 

The Ashdown High School ‘Practice' Gym will be the setting for the Community/Alumni Prom on Friday night and Saturday Night for the “Masquerade” AHS 2018 Junior/Senior Prom. Please enter through the high school main entrance at 171 South Locust.

The Community/Alumni Prom will be on Friday, April 6th from 7-8:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. There will be music playing from each decade. Dancing is welcomed. This is your opportunity to see the transformation of the gym and enjoy an evening of dancing and reminiscing. Come see what the students and sponsors did to create this magical night. Admission Friday night is free.

Please call 903-824-7043 to request music from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.

 

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE DAY OF CHANGE HELPS FAMILIES STAY CLOSE TO THEIR CRITICALLY ILL CHILDREN       3/30/18

 

On Thursday, April 5th, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas will celebrate a Day of Change. From 7 to 9 a.m., Patty Boone of Bear State Bank, Patty Sharp of Bunyard Broadcasting and JP of the Morning Brew will be collecting change in the drive-thru lines at the De Queen McDonald's restaurant.

 

The spare change that is collected will help parents remain close to their children who in the Arkansas Children's Hospital, plus provide them with a comfortable place to sleep, dinner every night, free laundry facilities and heartfelt connections with other families who are going through similar situations.

 

Throughout 2016, coins donated locally through the donation box program totaled more than $140,000 to help families with children who must receive specialized treatment at Central Arkansas hospitals. Many of those families live many miles away and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas serves those families who would otherwise have to drive hours to reach the hospital.

 

Last October, De Queen area residents raised hundreds of dollars by donating their change during the Day of Change event at the De Queen McDonald's restaurant.

 

So stop by the De Queen McDonald's on Thursday, April 5th between 7 to 9 a.m. and say farewell to JP of the Morning Brew while you donate your change for this Day of Change.

 

  

CHAMBER EGG HUNT IS SATURDAY, MARCH 31ST       3/30/18

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President, Megan McMahen announced the chamber egg hunt is Saturday, March 31st at the Sportsplex at 2 p.m. She also stated they will have three age divisions: walking to age 2; 3 to 5; and 6 to third grade.

 

McMahen said there will be at least 2,000 eggs per age group. She said the egg hunt is a way for the chamber to say thank you and give back to the community.

 

McMahen said for more information, contact the chamber office at 870-584-3225 or stop by the chamber office on Stilwell Avenue in Historic Downtown De Queen and visit with Mickey Johnson from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

You can also visit the chamber's Facebook page at De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

IMPACT 2018 WALKING FOR CHRIST EVENT IN ASHDOWN      3/30/18

 

Jim Cross is the minister of the First United Methodist Church in Ashdown and Richland. He also is a huge supporter of the Ashdown community and for the past five years he has walked 30 miles each year to raise funds for several charities and programs in the community.

 

Cross said over the past five years, he has raised over $95,000, and this year, the Impact committee has added a co-ed softball tournament to the Impact 2018 event, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st.

 

Cross said all of the funds will be used to benefit the Harvest Food Bank in Texarkana, the Arkansas Children's Hospital, the Two Rivers Museum, the Ashdown City Park, the Ashdown branch of the Little River County Library and to provide funds for the Ashdown Fourth of July Celebration. He said they also fund scholarships and free camps for Ashdown students.

 

Cross said he couldn't do this without the support of so many people.

 

Cross said if you would like to make a donation, you can send your donation to the Ashdown First United Methodist Church 145 East Commerce Street Ashdown 71822 or join the fun on April 21st at the Ashdown City Park.

 

Cross said with everyone working together, we can make an IMPACT.

 

 

TYSON FOODS TO HOST JOB FAIR      3/30/18

 

Tyson Foods will be hosting a job fair on Wednesday, April 4th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Workforce Center at 2102 Southeast Washington Street in Idabel.

 

Tyson Foods will be taking applications for hourly production workers to staff its Broken Bow, Oklahoma processing plant.

 

The job fair is Wednesday, April 4th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Workforce Center in Idabel where you will be able to apply online for employment opportunities for the Tyson Plant in Broken Bow.

 

 

HORATIO PEEWEE CHEERLEADERS TO HOLD BINGO FUNDRAISER      3/30/18

 

The Horatio PeeWee Cheerleaders will host a Bingo fundraiser on Saturday, April 14th at the Horatio Elementary cafeteria. The doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and the first game will begin at 5.

 

Kim Cleghorn informed KDQN that players can win prizes that range from $10 to $300.

 

Cleghorn said Bingo cards are $10 each. She said you can still reserve a table for 8 for $10, reserve a parking spot for $5 and reserve a single seat for $2. For more information or to make a reservation, call 903-490-5865.

 

Cleghorn said the proceeds will be used to purchase uniforms for the PeeWee Cheerleaders and to help all of the young ladies attend camp this summer.

 

Concession will be available.

 

 

AG&F STAFF MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO COMMISSIONERS FOR THE 2018-2019 HUNTING SEASON       3/30/18

 

Biologists and staff with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission offered the first reading of recommendations for the 2018-2019 hunting season to commissioners this week. In addition to wording clarifications and season date changes, many recommendations centered on removing hunting restrictions and offering increased hunting opportunities.

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Director, Pat Fitts stated more than 40 percent of the staff recommendations expand hunting opportunities, and 46 percent are clarifications to code language. He said the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wants to offer more to hunters and remove some of the roadblocks to hunting.

 

Biologists recommended the legalization of big-bore rifles that meet certain criteria for white-tailed deer during modern gun season.

 

And, since additional cases of chronic wasting disease were discovered during the 2017-2018 deer hunting season, biologists with the Research, Evaluation and Compliance Division recommended the following modifications to regulations, including: the addition of Benton, Washington, Crawford, Franklin and Sebastain counties to the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone. They also recommended removing the antler restrictions and the three-point rule within the Wildlife Management Areas in the Chronic Wasting Disease   Management Zone.

 

In addition to staff recommendations, commission asked for a waterfowl-hunting recommendation to be included in the public comment survey. From communications with waterfowl hunters on public land, commissioners offered the following package to be submitted for public opinion: The removal of shell restrictions and the removal of reduced waterfowl bag limits on Wildlife Management Areas.

 

These recommendations will be offered to the public through an online survey at agfc.com to gather input for the next month, and commissioners will thoroughly review the results before any action is taken at the regularly scheduled Commission meeting on May 17th.

 

As part of expanding opportunity for hunters, the Commissioners authorized Fitts to enter purchase agreements for three properties totaling 4,890 acres of new hunting access. They approved the purchase of 975 acres adjacent to Cypress Bayou Wildlife Management Area in White County, 311 acres in the Gene Rush Wildlife Management Area in Newton County and 3,604 acres adjacent to Beryl Anthony Lower Ouachita Wildlife Management Area in Union County.

 

Commissioners also authorized the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to provide legal defense for an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer who is involved in a civil suit.

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR NAMED TO THE 2018 ARKANSAS TIMES ACADEMIC ALL-STARS         3/29/18

 

Since 1995, the Arkansas Times has been naming the Academic All-Star Team to honor students who are often the silent majority. They are those students who go to school, do their homework, graduate and go on to be contributing members of our society.

 

This year, the Arkansas Times Academic All-Star team includes De Queen High School senior, Jorge Luis Gonzales.

 

Gonzales and 20 other high school academic all-stars will be honored at a reception on Friday, April 27th from 3 to 4 p.m. in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's Student Services Center Auditorium.

 

Each student will be recognized and presented a plaque in his or her honor. They will also receive some prize money.

 

For more information or to RSVP, contact Kelly Jones at 501-375-2985. 

 

 

AARP SMART DRIVER SAFETY COURSE BEING OFFERED THIS FRIDAY AT THE SENIOR ADULT CENTER IN DE QUEEN          3/29/18

 

AARP Driver Safety Trainer Jerry Conatser announced he will be leading a driver safety course this Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the De Queen Senior Adult Center, across from the Herman Dierks Park.

 

Conatser said 92 percent of the people who take the AARP Driver Safety Course say they would recommend it to a friend.

 

Conaster said Friday's class is being sponsored by Farmer's Insurance and you can call 870-642-2328 to pre-register so they will know how many people to expect. He said if a church or another organization would like to host a class, they can contact him or Donna at 501-229-5911.

 

Conaster said the class is designed for older drivers but any driver would benefit by taking the class. He said drivers who are 50 or older receive a discount on their insurance for three-years after taking the class.

 

The cost is $15 for an AARP member and you will need to provide your AARP membership number or $20 for non-members.

 

 

OFFICIALS INVESTIGATING THE THEFT OF HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS      3/29/18

 

About 9 a.m., March 22nd, a deputy with the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office was dispatched to the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives on Highway 195 South to take a report about some stolen property.

 

Melissa Nesbitt is the Manager of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington and she reported at least 21 items of historical literature and Confederate currency had been removed from the Archives. She also reported she found the items in Little Rock.

 

Nesbitt identified the items by using the manuscript numbers. She explained that she was looking on the internet and searching the Archive Center in Little Rock and discovered some Confederate money and numerous civil war letters that were supposed to be in Old Washington. Nesbitt said she went to find the items, she discovered they were missing. She reported someone could have taken the items anytime between 2011 and now.

 

Nesbitt explained there are markings on the currency and the letters that show they are the property of Old Washington.

 

Investigators are trying to determine the value of the missing items and the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office asked the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division to assist them in the investigation.

 

 

DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD EGGSTRAVAGANZA IS SATURDAY AT 11 A.M.        3/29/18

 

Dan Nemlowill of the De Queen First Assembly of God Church announced the church will host their annual eggstarvaganza on Saturday at 11 a.m. He said the event will feature 10,000 candy filled eggs along with several cash filled eggs.

 

Nemlowill said the church is hosting the event to give back to the community and they are giving away a total of $500, bicycles and toys. He said the event will be held indoors if the grounds are still wet.

 

The event is for children ages 3 through the 6th grade, but for more information, call the church office at 870-584-3435.

 

 

UA COSSATOT CALLS FOR FIESTA FEST VENDORS       3/29/18

 

UA Cossatot is now accepting vendor applications for its Cinco de Mayo Festival, Fiesta Fest, which was formerly known as Diversity Fest.

 

The event will be on May 5th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater and the De Queen City Sportsplex. The event draws more than 800 attendees from Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma.

 

Fiesta Fest celebrates the Hispanic heritage of the Southwest Arkansas community with food, fun and cultural performances. The festival will kick-off with a Car and Tractor Show and there will be a talent show for De Queen School District students at noon.

 

There will be a free family movie shown at the amphitheater at 8:30 p.m. on May 4th for Pre-Fiesta Fest event. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, Concessions will be available.

 

Food, craft, community groups, sales, information, and demonstration vendors are all welcome to apply. Visit cccua.edu/fiesta for vendor application forms or call Dustin Roberts at 870-584-1172.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: HACKERS TARGET SOCIAL MEDIA 'FRIENDS'      3/29/18

 

Hackers are attempting to infiltrate social media accounts in order to target friends of account holders by posing as the person and pushing programs that allege to provide financial assistance. The hackers prey upon trusting relationships between friends and family by claiming that completion of a simply application will allow them to help with a variety of expenses, ranging from paying bills to starting a new business.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to help Arkansans keep their personal information secure on social media:

 

She said you should use a unique password for each social media site you use. Be sure to set privacy settings to the most secure setting available and if you receive a friend or follow request from an individual who you think you are already connected with, double-check your friends or followers list.

 

Rutledge said if your profile is publicly viewable, do not post information that would let someone know that your house was empty or that you are home alone and she said you should think carefully about what information you post online.

 

For more information, contact the Attorney General's office at 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER PROGRAM SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 28TH, MARCH 30TH AND MARCH 31ST          3/28/18

 

DeAnn Vaught of Horatio announced she and about 50 other individuals from all across Southwest Arkansas  have joined together to present a program entitled "The Truth About Forever" tonight, Friday night and Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. in the De Queen High School auditorium.

 

Vaught said the event is a non-denominational outreach program and is free to the public. She said the event is for people who believe in God and those who are don't.

 

She said there are volunteers from Gillham, De Queen, Foreman, Ashdown and Horatio participating in the program.

 

For more information, visit the Facebook page, The Truth About Forever.

 

 

WINTHROP VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT PLANNING A FUNDRAISING DINNER APRIL 28TH        3/28/18

 

The Winthrop Volunteer Fire Department will host a fundraising dinner on April 28th at 5 p.m. to help pay for repairs to the department's building and to purchase additional equipment and training.

 

According to the spokesperson for the department, Susan Lansdell, they will also have a silent auction.

 

Lansdell said they will be serving smoked chicken, hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw and dessert.

 

The cost is $7 a plate and $3.50 for children 10 and under.

 

 

BOOZMAN HIGHLIGHTS ARKANSAS AIR FORCE INSTALLATIONS AND STATE'S CYBER CAPABILITIES DURING AIR FORCE SECRETARY'S VISIT      3/28/18

 

U.S. Senator John Boozman is the co-chairman for the Senate Air Force Caucus, and he welcomed Air Force Secretary Dr. Heather Wilson to Arkansas and touted the missions of the Little Rock Air Force Base, the 188th Wing in Fort Smith and the important national security role of the state's cyber security programs.

 

As threats against our country and its interest evolve, the Air Force is leading the development of cyber capabilities to enhance its air superiority. Boozman helped procure a cybersecurity mission at the Little Rock Air Force Base to train more cyber warriors. Last year, the Air National Guard Cyber Skills Validation Course graduated its inaugural class of students.

 

Boozman stated he was looking forward to working with Secretary Wilson to examine how the Air Force and Arkansas can partner together to provide cybersecurity training and expertise.

 

Arkansas is home to the only cyber skills validation course in the nation and the state is playing a vital role in training tomorrow's military and industry leaders.

 

The state of Arkansas continues to strengthen its role in support of national security with increased development of cyber programs. UCA received a $500,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education in 2017 to help launch its cyber range, educating students to identify potential cyberattacks and to stop them before they begin. On Tuesday, Boozman, Secretary Wilson and Congressman French Hill joined UCA leaders to learn more about the program and how its partnership with the Center for Cyber Futures is advancing cyber education.

 

 

CALDWELL IS SEEKING REPUBLICAN NOMINATION FOR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE        3/28/18

 

Batesville native, Randy Caldwell is officially seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Representative seat from Arkansas' 4th Congressional District.

 

Caldwell will face incumbent U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman in the Republican Primaries.

 

In a video announcing his bid, Caldwell discussed what he's seen during his life, traveling the country preaching the Word of God, which compelled him to come home to Arkansas and run for office. He stated he has met people from all walks of life, and he's seen first-hand just how badly the federal government is failing the people and that's why he came home to Arkansas, and decided to run for Congress in the fourth district.

 

During his comments, and through his website, Caldwell laid out eight core issues upon which he plans to focus: "draining the swamp in Washington, fighting for traditional values, supporting veterans, defending the Second Amendment, fixing healthcare, securing our borders, ensuring a strong national defense, and standing with Israel.

 

Caldwell said he's running for office because he thinks we can do better than the current state of affairs in our nation's capital.

 

To learn more about Caldwell, visit the website www.rc4ar.com.

 

 

ANOTHER GROUP ATTEMPTING TO PUT CASINOS ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT IN ARKANSAS         3/28/18

 

A group is trying to put a measure on the November ballot in Arkansas that would legalize casinos in four counties. According to the Arkansas Ethic Commission, this is the second effort to put expanded gambling before voters this year.

 

Arkansas Wins in 2018 Inc. filed paperwork this week with the ethics commission to campaign for a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize casinos in Benton, Boone, Miller and Pulaski counties. The proposal was also filed with the Arkansas Attorney General's office.

 

Another group, Driving Arkansas Forward, is trying to put a separate proposal on the November ballot that would legalize casinos in four counties with a percentage of the proceeds being used to improve Arkansas highways.

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT COMMITS TO SUPPORT UA COSSATOT'S LOCKESBURG INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE INSTITUTE         3/27/18

 

During the March meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, Micah Cassady conducted a presentation about the district's drone program.

 

Superintendent Lee Smith reported all of the students who are currently enrolled in the drone program are committed to participating in the program next year. He said students will be certified if they complete all three years of the program.

 

Smith said board members also voted to commit to a minimum of six students attending the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute with UA Cossatot.

 

Smith reported the 2018-2019 school year will begin on August 15th, 2018 and the last day will be May 28th, 2019.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY SNIPPETS       3/27/18

 

National Library Week will be observed April 8th through the 14th and this year's theme is "Libraries Lead." The first National Library Week was in 1958 and it’s sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April. It's a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation's libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.

 

Celebrations during National Library Week include: National Library Workers Day and it will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 10th; National Bookmobile Day will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 11th and Take Action for Libraries Day is Thursday, April 12th.

 

De Queen Librarian Carolyn Jones announced the De Queen Library will hold a come and go open house on Monday, April 9th. She said there will be snacks and some goodies.

 

April 15th through the 21st is National Volunteer Week. It's an annual celebration that promotes and shows appreciation for volunteerism and volunteering. National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and many organizations will hold events encouraging people to volunteer in their local communities.

 

Jones said Tammy Smith will join her on Wednesday, April 18th at 4 p.m. for a program on American Sign Language. Jones said she will read a book by Isaac Millman while Smith signs.

 

The Horatio Library offers children's programs every other Saturday at 10 a.m. April 14th's program is entitled "Who took the Cookie" and April 28th's program in entitled, "One Fish, Two Fish.”

 

The Lockesburg Library book club will meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 7th to discuss the novel "Vinegar Girl" by Anne Tyler. On April 12th, there will be a "Kids Garden at the Library" program at 1 p.m. Head Librarian Johnye Fisher said they will be planting a pizza garden with tomatoes, peppers, onions, and herbs. The children's STEM program is Thursday, April 19th at 1 p.m.

 

The Gillham Library recommends you pick up the "If I Run" series by Teri Blackstock. They will have a garden craft and story time on Saturday, April 18th at 10 a.m.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION VIOLATED STATE CONSTITUTION      3/27/18

 

Ruling the Medical Marijuana Commission violated the state Constitution and its own rules, a circuit court judge has declared the commission's decisions to award five applicants with licenses to cultivate marijuana, null and void.

 

The judge ruled in an appeal that was filed by an unsuccessful applicant. The judge ruled that two Commissioners had an appearance of bias because they had monetary relationships with applicants who were to receive licenses.

 

The Constitution and the Commission's own rules state a cultivation facility shall not be located within 3,000 feet of a church, school or day care. The judge found the Commission failed to verify whether any of the winning applicants met that requirement. In fact, the Commission did not verify the distance requirement for any of the 95 applicants. 

 

The Commission is also supposed to consider the financial background of the people who applied for a license to cultivate medical marijuana. Two of the applicants are partly owned by people who have been officers in defunct corporations, or corporations whose charters have been revoked, because of past due franchise taxes that are owed to the state.

 

However, the Commission apparently did not evaluate applications with an eye to the applicants' experience in managing a business that has not had its license revoked, and the judge stated this was a "blatant irregularity in the Commission's evaluation process."

 

The judge cited a well-established axiom in legal cases that "an agency is bound by its own regulations" and in this case the Commission failed to follow its own rules.

 

The Commissioners scored applicants and an attorney and a physician on the Commission gave higher scores to entities with which they had a business relationship.

 

The attorney's law firm represented the applicants in several corporate filings, and the physician referred patients to a specialist who applied for a license to cultivate medical marijuana. These applicants were on the verge of being granted licenses, but the judge issued a restraining order.

 

The judge wrote that these relationships provide enough proof to create a reasonable suspicion of unfairness and therefore, the licensing decisions in which the attorney and the physician participated "cannot stand."

 

The defendants state the applicants' names and other information that would identify them were kept hidden from the Commissioners, but the judge ruled that the Medical Marijuana Commission and the agency in which it operates, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, "proceeded in a manner that defies due process, and the rule of law, rather than in a manner that respects it."

 

 

4-H HOLDS COUNTY INDOOR O'RAMA     03/26

Sevier County 4-H held its annual Indoor O’Rama competition on March 12. Indoor O’Rama consists of speeches, performing arts, and fashion review. They had 17 4-H’ers competing, making it the largest Indoor O’Rama in the past 20 years according to Staff Chair, Rex Herring. The winners in the junior and senior divisions will be able to compete against others in the District O’Rama in June held at Malvern.

Megan Smith from The Shipping Place and Jay Litchford with The Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club volunteered their time as judges for the 4-H competition.

Those competing and the categories they competed in are as follows:
Cloverbuds – ages 5 to 8: Aubrey Williams – Performing Arts – Vocal, Asher Morris - Fashion Review, Kix Lee - How to Rope a Goat, RJ Smith - How to Ride My Bike, Johannah Swan - Fashion Review, Leighton Frachiseur - Fashion Review

Juniors – ages 9 to 13: Bella Baker - Fashion Review, Kate Baker - Performing Arts-Dance, Alec Frachiseur - Animal Science - Flush Water Lines, Brady Haarmeyer - Consumer Economics - Snicker Cupcakes, Jake Seymour - Health, Attalee Frachiseur - Fashion Review, Madison Bagley - Veterinarian Science

Seniors – ages 14 to 19: Brennen Seymour – Animal Science, Amber Morris – Demonstrative Speech – Rethink Your Drink, Aubrey Seymour - Human Development - Child Safety, Ethan Wolcott - Public Speaking - GMO’s
 

Picture Left: Johannah Swan competes in Fashion Review at the 4-H Indoor O’Rama. Johannah tells the judges what her dress is constructed from and where she might wear the garment.   Picture Right: 4-H O’Rama judges, Megan Smith and Jay Litchford, scores each participant of the 4-H Indoor O’Rama on articulation, time, and presentation along with other criteria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARGES FILED AGAINST FORMER LITTLE RIVER CHAMBER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR       3/26/18

 

Formal charges were filed by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Al Smith in the Little River County Circuit Court on March 13th against the former Little River County Chamber of Commerce executive director.

 

Fonda Hawthorne has been charged with theft of property of $5,000 or more. The charge is a Class C felony which carries a penalty of 3 to 10 years in prison or a fine not to exceed $10,000 or both prison time and a fine.

 

Hawthorne is being accused of using the Chamber's debit card to make personal purchases totaling more than $16,000.

 

According to court records, Bear State Bank in Ashdown notified a chamber board member about some suspicious activity on the chamber's debit card. Hawthorne was later terminated from her position at the chamber and an investigation was opened.

 

Hawthorne made her first court appearance on January 18th in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper. During that court appearance, Cooper set Hawthorne's bond at $7,500 and told Hawthorne that she needed to return to Ashdown and turn herself in at the Little River County Sheriff's Office.

 

Hawthorne is being represented by Jeff Harrelson and her trial date was set for July 23rd.

 

 

HOME IMPROVEMENT WEEK       3/26/18

 

It's Home Improvement Week in Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting area home improvement businesses.

 

Today, we spoke with Zebbie Launius of Jim's Boot Shop in Lockesburg where they offer a variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees to spruce up your yard. Launius said you'll get personalized service at Jim's Boot Shop and they'll help you get the best plants for a particular part of your yard.

 

Launius announced Jim's Boot Shop offers planters, larger trees and 3-gallon bushes. She said they also sell the Knock-out Roses and the Encore Azaleas.

 

Launius said she'll also help you by visiting your home and by making some suggests for your landscaping needs.

 

Jim's Boot Shop is located in the big red building on Highway 71 in Lockesburg. You can contact them by calling 870-289-5231 or visit their Facebook page.  

 

 

TWO MCCURTAIN COUNTY WOMEN ARRESTED IN TEXARKANA      3/26/18

 

Officers with the Texarkana, Texas Police Department arrested two McCurtain County women Wednesday, March 21st and booked them into the Bi-State Jail on several charges.

 

Officers reported they found 29-year-old Meghann Cook and 31-year-old Kasie Robberson sleeping in a vehicle at Wells Fargo Bank on 7th Street. Both women are from Idabel, Oklahoma.

 

Officers were dispatched to the bank about 8:15 Wednesday morning after bank employees discovered the women sleeping in a Pontiac Grand Prix. The car was parked in the ATM lane and they were unable to wake them up.

 

Cook told the officers that she did not have her ID with her but said her name was Jennifer Cantrell. After officers questioned her about several inconsistencies in her statements, she finally admitted that she gave them a false name because she had several outstanding warrants for her arrest.

 

Cook was wanted on two felony warrants from McCurtain County for endangering others while eluding and attempting to elude police.

 

Officers found two rifles inside the car. One of the rifles was reported stolen in Oklahoma. They also discovered crystal methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, along with several credit cards and IDs belonging to other people.

 

Cook was arrested and is being charged with failure to identify, theft of a firearm, fraudulent possession of identifying information, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. A judge set her bond at $41,271. Authorities in Oklahoma also placed a body hold on Cook on the felony warrants.

 

Robberson was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $2,271.

 

Both women are currently in the Bi-State jail.

 

 

CITY OF LOCKESBURG TO OPEN BIDS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS BUILDING ON TUESDAY        3/26/18

 

Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth announced the City of Lockesburg will be opening bids on Tuesday at 2 p.m. for the construction of the new senior citizens building.

 

Ruth reported the new aerator has been installed at the city's wastewater plant and Tri-State Asphalt was awarded the bid to replace the old walking trail in the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park. The cost of the walking trail project is $42,150.

 

Aldermen voted to contact the city's engineering firm, A.F. Franks Engineering in Texarkana concerning a sewer line that was left uncovered in a pasture that is being leased by Dean Tollett. .

 

In the council's letter to Franks Engineering, they asked them to have contactors haul in dirt to fill the trench and to plant Bermuda grass. Aldermen stated this project should be made a top priority and repaired immediately.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - FEMALE LAWMAKERS        3/26/18

 

This year was the first year that the number of female legislators reached 25 percent, nationwide. There are now 1,866 women serving in legislatures nationwide and 18 of them serve in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

 

It's Women's History Month and here are a few women who have made history while serving the residents of Arkansas.

 

In 1917, the Arkansas General assembly gave women the right to vote in primary elections. In 1919, Arkansas became the 12th state in the nation and the second in the South to approve the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote in all elections.

 

Frances Hunt of Pine Bluff was the first woman to serve in the Arkansas legislature. She was appointed by Governor Thomas McRae to fill a vacancy in the House in 1922.

 

From 1919 to 1982, only 25 women held seats in the Arkansas House.

 

The first woman to chair a committee in Arkansas was Bernice Kizer. Representative Kizer served from 1959 to 1973 and was the first woman to serve on the Arkansas Legislative Council.

 

Vada Sheid was the first woman elected to serve in both the House and the Senate.

 

Irma Hunter Brown was the first African American woman to be elected to serve in both the House and the Senate. She served in the House from 1981 to 1999 and she was sworn in as a State Senator in 2003.

 

In all, 120 women have served in the Arkansas House. Last year, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught of Horatio became the first woman to chair the House Management Committee.

 

For more information, visit the website ArkansasHouse.org.

 

 

COSSATOT FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL FISH FRY AND MEMBERSHIP DRIVE IS SATURDAY, MARCH 31ST        3/26/18

 

The Cossatot Fire Department will hold their annual membership drive and fish fry on March 31st beginning at 5 p.m. Firefighter, Roy Stover stated the event will feature a live and silent auction and live music by the band Harmony.

 

Volunteer firefighter, Kendall Johnson said a membership is $40 and that includes three fish plates. He said a plate is $6 and will include fish, hushpuppies, fries, coleslaw and pinto beans.

 

Johnson said this event provides the department with operating funds. He said they are also raising funds to expand the fire station and buy new equipment for new volunteers.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Ashley Johnson at 870-784-1360 or Marion Emerson at 870-584-9753.

 

 

SEARCH OF SUPERINTENDENT CONTINUES AT FOREMAN       3/23/18

 

A representative from McPherson and Jacobson attended the March meeting of the Foreman Board of Education and updated the board on the firms search for a potential superintendent of the Foreman School District.

 

The representative informed the board that they had met with the district's Focus Group Committee and asked the board to elect someone to be a host for prospective applicants when they visit the campuses. The board elected Elbert Bradley to serve as the host.

 

It was also announced that a representative from McPherson and Jacobson will attend the board's March 29th, special called board meeting.

 

Board members voted to re-hire the classified and licensed staff for the 2018-2019 school year.

 

Superintendent George Kennedy updated the board on the work that is underway on the girls' athletic facility. He also reported a roofer inspected all the buildings for leaks. Kennedy said he will provide the board with a copy of the roofer's report in April.

 

Oscar Hamilton Elementary Principal Mrs. Tankersley reported the elementary has received three $1,000 grants. She said they received a grant from E-Z Mart, Blue and You Foundation and the Arkansas Community Foundation. Tankersley said Kristie Smith wrote the grants for E-Z Mart and Blue and You Foundation, while Mrs. Smiley wrote the grant for the Arkansas Community Foundation.

 

Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Mark King updated the board on various fundraisers and donations that the district is doing to raise funds for the purchase of state championship rings. He said the Gator Booster Club is hosting a fish fry on April 8th.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY 4H MEMBERS ARE STAYING BUSY       3/23/18

 

Amber Morris of the Sevier County 4H reported members of the Sevier County 4H program will be participating in several upcoming activities. She said they will be helping with the Sevier County Top Shot competition on Saturday by conducting a BB gun competition for children 12 and under. Morris said 4H members will also be conducting a car wash on April 7th from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First State Bank, serving at the Howard County 4H Banquet and sponsoring a Hero Supper for area first responders on April 28th.

 

Sevier County 4H Assistant Kim Frachiseur said 4H'ers will also do a farm to you program at area schools.

 

J.P. Atkins stated the Top Shot Competition will be held rain or shine, unless it's a real hard rain. He said the entry fee is $20 and they will start shooting about 9 a.m. and the competition will end about noon, but they will have a blanket shoot after the Top Shot Competition if everyone brings a prize. He said all of the firearms will be provided for the competition.

 

All of the proceeds from the Top Shot Competition will benefit the Sevier County 4H program. For more information about 4H, contact the Extension office at 870-584-3013.

 

 

DE QUEEN BRANCH OF THE SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY        3/23/18

 

Librarian Carolyn Jones of the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library reported the library staff appreciated the De Queen Fire Department for presenting a safety program and announced there will be several upcoming events at the library.

 

The library’s Easter program is Wednesday, March 28th at 4 p.m. April 8th through 14th is National Library Week and the De Queen Library will host an open house on Monday, April 9th. Jones said she and Tammy Smith of the De Queen School District will conduct an American Sign Language Program on April 18th at 4 p.m.

 

She also announced the Horatio Library is conducting their Easter program this Saturday morning at 10 a.m. She said they offer programs for children every other Saturday.

 

For more information about programs and services at the county libraries, call 870-584-4364.

 

  

BAKERS SAW SHOP IN LOCKESBURG      3/23/18

 

This week is Home Improvement Week in Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting area home improvement businesses.

 

Today, the owner of Baker's Saw Shop, Rodney Jones mentioned some of the equipment that's for sale at Baker's Saw Shop. He also discussed the importance of having your equipment serviced before the mowing season starts.

 

Jones also mentioned Baker's Saw Shop will host their annual Customer Appreciation event on Friday, March 30th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. He said they'll be serving tamales and making deals. Jones said everyone that stops by and signs up will have a chance to win a new blower from Red Max.

It's home improvement week, so stop by Baker's Saw Shop, south of Lockesburg on Highway 71. 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: PREDATORS EXPLOITING APP POPULAR WITH CHILDREN      3/23/18

 

A seemingly innocent mobile application is now being used by child predators to exploit children. Recent news reports explain a dark side of the lip syncing app, Musical.ly, where predatory users manipulate keywords and hashtags to create secret video groupings of app users, often children, engaging in inappropriate behavior at the encouragement of other users.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips for children and families to remember when posting online and using apps.

 

Do not respond to messages that are inappropriate. Parents and guardians should consider using available parental controls offered at no cost by most providers and/or downloading a monitoring service app that allows them to view the child's smartphone activity.

 

Children should never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they met online, as they may not be who they say they are. Follow the "Front Page Rule," which reminds social media users not to put anything on a social media site that they would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper.

 

Assume that status updates, photos and videos that are posted on social networks are permanent. And, make a unique password for every social media site.

 

Musical.ly is a popular app that boasts use by millions of people around the world every day. Users can create 15 to 60 second videos, adding music and filters to post on the site and for others to comment or like.

 

In 2016, Rutledge teamed up with Common Sense Media and AT&T to adopt the Digital You training program, which offers tools, tips, apps and guidance about staying safe online for people of all levels of online experience. Digital You training is available to parents and teachers across the state to teach them the latest internet safety tips, and encourage the implementation of lessons about staying safe online.

 

Concerned parents are encouraged to report instances of online exploitation of children, including unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child and misleading words on the internet, to the Cyber Tip-line at www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/cybertipline.

 

For more information, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION RE-HIRES FACILITY AND STAFF     3/22/18

 

Members of the Ashdown Board of Education voted to re-hire the administrators and certified and classified staff during their March board meeting. They also voted to accept the resignations of Tyna Armstrong and Susan Surber.

 

Board members approved Superintendent Jason Sanders recommendations for the following changes to the salary schedule for the district secretaries and bookkeepers. He suggested a .75 cent increase for the District Bookkeeper/Superintendent Administrative Assistant, a .50 cent raise for the Special Education Secretary and a .25 cent increase for the Central Office Secretary I and II positions.

 

Representatives from Clear Energy presented information and made recommendations for improvements to the current LED lighting, HVAC and natural gas systems. Board members voted to table the issue until they can review the information and address it in April.

 

Board members will also consider an agreement between the Ashdown School District and the City of Ashdown concerning the district using the ballparks in the city park.

 

 

CHAMBER EGG HUNT IS SATURDAY, MARCH 31ST       3/22/18

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President, Megan McMahen announced the chamber egg hunt is Saturday, March 31st at the Sportsplex at 2 p.m. She also stated they will have three age divisions: walking to age 2; 3 to 5; and 6 to third grade.

 

McMahen said there will be at least 2,000 eggs per age group. She said the egg hunt is a way for the chamber to say thank you and give back to the community.

 

McMahen said for more information, contact the chamber office at 870-584-3225 or stop by the chamber office on Stilwell Avenue in Historic Downtown De Queen [and visit with Mickey Johnson from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also visit the chamber's Facebook page at De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

ARKANSAS COUNTIES AND CITIES FILE JOINT LAWSUIT AGAINST OPIOID DRUG MANUFACTURERS      3/22/18

 

In a unified and unprecedented approach against the opioid drug industry, the state of Arkansas, Arkansas counties and Arkansas cities announced that together they have filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Crittenden County.

 

This unique litigation approach is unlike any others in the country and will represent 90 percent of Arkansas's population, with 72 counties and 210 cities participating. It is believed that it will cost billions to stop the Arkansas opioid epidemic and that this money should come from the companies that caused the problem instead of taxpayers.

 

According to the Association of Arkansas Counties, lawsuits have been filed in federal courts across the nation, but Arkansas is the only state that has united in this fashion.

 

The epidemic is real and has ravaged Arkansas families for years. While the U.S. experiences more than 42,000 fatal overdoses a year, Arkansas experiences over 400, a number that has increased nearly 300 percent since 2000 and conincides with opioid sales quadrupling. Additionally, Arkansas ranks second in the nation for ages 12 to 17 in misuse of opioids behind Alabama, which is also the only other state with a higher opioid prescribing rate than Arkansas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

In 2017, there were more opioid prescriptions than people, enough for every man, woman and child to have 80 pills per year. Hospitals and rehabilitation systems cannot keep pace with the influx of victims.

 

The executive director of the Arkansas Municipal League, Don Zimmerman said Arkansas's one-voice approach to this lawsuit is one that gives the state a seat at the table. He said neither the state or any county or city is big enough alone and this litigation approach ensures that recovered damages remain in Arkansas.

 

The surrounding counties of Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Montgomery, Pike, Polk, and Sevier are participating in the lawsuit, along with the cities of Ashdown, Cove, De Queen, Foreman, Hatfield, Hope, Horatio, Mena, Mineral Springs, Murfreesboro, Ogden, and Wickes.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - PBMS        3/22/18

 

Last week, the legislature completed its special session after addressing all of the issues that were on its agenda.

 

But, the bill that has garnered the most attention will require pharmacy benefit managers to be licensed by the state Insurance Department.

 

PBMs negotiate contracts between health insurance companies and local pharmacies. Since the beginning of the year, local pharmacists have been hit hard by reduced reimbursements from the managers and several neighborhood pharmacists testified during legislative hearings that in some cases they were not even getting paid enough to cover the cost of filling prescriptions.

 

According to State Senator Larry Teague, legislators were concerned by reports that PBMs reimbursed independent pharmacists at a lower rate than they reimbursed drugstores with which they had a corporate affiliation. According to Act 900 of 2015, that practice is not allowed by law and enforcement of the prohibition will be strengthened by passage of the legislation requiring PBMs to be licensed.

 

Opponents of the legislation pointed out that PBMs are hired to control inflation of the price of prescription drugs. They said by negotiating volume discounts for health insurance companies, they help hold down the cost of premiums.

 

Opponents also said the bill amounted to interference by the government into business transactions that are carried out between private sector companies. A spokesperson for the PBMs told the Senate Insurance and Commerce Committee that the costs of pharmaceuticals accounts for 22 percent of the cost of insurance premiums.

 

The Senate passed the measure by a 30 to 2 vote. Teague said veteran senators predicted the legislation will need to be tweaked during the 2019 regular session due to the complexity and financial importance of the bill.

 

Teague said consumers will benefit from the new law because it prohibits PBMs from writing gag rules into their contracts with pharmacists. That means pharmacists will be able to advise customers on how to purchase alternative prescriptions that are equally effective but not as expensive.

 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, six states already prohibit gag clauses in contracts between pharmacies and PBMs, and Arkansas was one of 20 states considering a prohibition of them. When Arkansas's new law regulating PBMs takes effect in September, Arkansas will be the first state in the country to regulate PBMs.

 

 

TYSON FOODS RECENTLY MADE A COUPLE DONATIONS      3/22/18

 

Tyson Foods recently made a couple of donations to area agencies.

 

On March 17th, the Tyson Foods, Broken Bow Plant donated chicken to the SOS for Families shelter in Idabel.

 

SOS stands for Southeastern Services for Families and the shelter provides domestic abuse services to approximately 25 women and children each month. Abused or neglected women and/or children are provided housing and services for up to 30-days at the shelter. If victims are still unable to leave the shelter, extensions are granted.

 

Tyson has been a supporter of the SOS Shelter for many years.

 

And, Tyson Foods, Grannis/Broken Bow Complex participated in the 2018 Sevier County Extension's annual 4H BBQ cooking contest. 48, local 4H'ers competed in the chicken BBQ cooking contest on March 26th. Tyson provided 48, 3 pound chickens for the 4H'ers to prepare in the cook-off.

 

Sevier County 4H Program Assistant, Kim Frachiseur stated four District Broiler BBQ activities are held each year prior to the state contest which is held in June at the Annual Poultry Festival. 4H district activities are held at Batesville, Fayetteville, Little Rock and Arkadelphia and each county may send five Juniors (ages 9-13) and five Seniors (ages 14-19) to compete. State Senior winners for broiler and turkey will represent Arkansas at the National contest that will be held in November at the National 4H Poultry and Egg Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

 

Tyson Foods is a proud supporter of local 4H students.

 

 

 NATIONAL AGRICULTURE WEEK - FORESTRY      3/22/18

 

It's National Agriculture Week and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting the agriculture industry. Today, we will look at the forestry industry in Arkansas.

 

More than half of the state is forested and 42 percent of all woodland is made up of oak or hickory forest types. Private landowners own over 58 percent of the timberland in the state and many actively manage their woodlands.

 

The forest products industry includes the pulp and paper industry provides over 64,000 jobs and represents a labor income of $3.6 billion dollars a year.

 

For more information about the forestry industry in Arkansas contact the Arkansas Forestry Commission.

 

 

LAMBERT LUMBER        3/22/18

 

This week is Home Improvement Week in Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting area home improvement businesses.

 

Today, we spoke with Cameron at Lambert Lumber in Idabel and she provided KDQN with a list of items that they have to offer at Lambert Lumber.

 

Cameron stated Lambert Lumber also carries a huge assortment of paints and painting supplies.

 

Cameron said if your building a new home or remodeling your current home, you can purchase everything you need at Lambert Lumber and they have a return policy on certain construction items.

 

Cameron said if you have any questions about your home improvement project, you should contact Lambert Lumber.

 

It's home improvement week, so stop by Lambert Lumber in Broken Bow.

 

 

 

 

 

STATE REVIEW BOARD TO CONSIDER LOCKESBURG GYMNASIUM FOR NOMINATION TO NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES   3/21/18

LITTLE ROCK—The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will consider 18 Arkansas properties in 13 counties—including the Lockesburg Gymnasium at Lockesburg in Sevier County—for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places when it meets beginning at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4, at the Department of Arkansas Heritage Building at 1100 North Street in Little Rock.


The Lockesburg Gymnasium at 128 East Main Street was built around 1953 and is designed in a simple, unornamented style.


“There is no known architect or designer associated with the gymnasium in the surviving historic record,” according to the National Register nomination. “It is known that local craftsmen, including carpenters from Lockesburg and De Queen constructed the building. The building is typical of the time-period in its concrete block and wood construct and simple shallow gable roof form. The building includes many handmade features including an improvised roof truss and brace system as well as an improvised personal foul counter constructed from individual light sockets behind a section of pierced holes in the original horizontal wood board wall of the gymnasium.”


Other properties to be considered for nomination to the National Register are Mosaic Templars State Temple and Fulk-Arkansas Democrat Building at Little Rock and the and Carmichael House in the Landmark community in Pulaski County; Cleveland Arms at Hot Springs in Garland County; Washington Street Historic District Boundary Increase at Camden in Ouachita County; Schumaker Naval Ammunition Depot Barracks Buildings and Schumaker Naval Ammunition Depot Administration Building at East Camden in Calhoun County; Mount Salem Church and School near Paris in Logan County; C.A. Stuck and Sons Lumber Office Building at Jonesboro in Craighead County; Nevada County Courthouse at Prescott in Nevada County; Goodwin Field Administration Building at El Dorado in Union County; Eureka Springs Cemetery at Eureka Springs in Carroll County; Carpenter Building at Gentry in Benton County; Deepwood House at Fayetteville in Washington County; Prairie Grove Commercial Historic District and North Mock Street Commercial Historic District at Prairie Grove in Washington County, and Farm #266 (Johnny Cash Boyhood Home) at Dyess in Mississippi County.
The board will consider Lines Cemetery near Preston in Faulkner County, Petit Jean Mountain Cemetery near Winrock in Conway County, Dierks Lumber Company Building at Mountain Pine in Garland County, Schumaker Naval Ammunition Depot Laundry Building at East Camden in Calhoun County, Ellis Building at Fayetteville and Harrell Cemetery near Cincinnati in Washington County for listing on the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. The Arkansas Register recognizes historically significant properties that do not meet National Register requirements.


The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage division that identifies, evaluates, registers and preserves the state’s cultural resources. Other divisions are the Arkansas Arts Council, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Delta Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY TOP SHOT COMPETITION TO BENEFIT 4H      3/21/18

 

Area shooting sports enthusiasts are being invited to shoot against some of the best shooters in Sevier County during the Sevier County Top Shot competition this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at the 4H shooting range on Highway 71 North. The cost to enter the contest is $20.

 

J.P. Atkins works with the 4H shooting sports club and he said everyone is invited to test their skills against Wes Tudor and Monte Bartek, while raising funds for the Sevier County 4H program. He said everyone will shoot multiple firearms including a .22 rifle, .22 pistol, 9mm pistol, shotgun and a crossbow.

 

Atkins said participates will have a chance to win prizes including scholarships from UA Cossatot.

 

Atkins said everyone should also bring something that they would like to win and at the end of the Top Shot competition, they might have a blanket shoot for bragging rights.

 

Kids 12 and under will also have their own BB competition. Food and drinks will be available and there could possible be a bounce house.

 

For more information, call Bartek at 870-279-5439 or visit the Facebook page, Sevier County 4H Shooting Booster Club. 

 

 

ASHDOWN POLICE DEPARTMENT WELCOMES NEW OFFICER TO FORCE       3/21/18

 

On March 12th, the Ashdown Police Department introduced their newest officer, K9 officer ROLO.

 

ROLO will be used to fight the war on drugs in Ashdown as well as assisting surrounding agencies as requested, according to Ashdown Police Sergeant Zane Butler.

 

ROLO is a two-and-a-half year old Belgian Shepherd that was trained at the Little Rock K9 academy. He has been trained to detect the odors of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. ROLO will be partnered with Butler.

 

According to Butler, he worked with ROLO when he served on the South-Central Drug Task Force, before he was hired by the Ashdown Police Department.

 

 

APPLICATIONS FOR FARM BUREAU MASH CAMPS NOW AVAILABLE     3/21/18

 

Applications are now available to high school students for the summer MASH camps. MASH stands for Medical Applications of Science for Health. These camps will be located at 34 medical facilities throughout Arkansas. The two-week MASH camps are designed to expose rising high school juniors and seniors to healthcare related vocations.

 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the MASH program in the state. During those 30 years, close to 9,000 students have participated in the program.

 

According to Jennifer Victory who is the director of Rural Health for Arkansas Farm Bureau, the MASH program gives students an inside look at various medical professions and is designed to spark students' interest in the medical field. She said a large number of camps are held at rural medical centers and attract local students with a rural background.

 

Victory said the idea is that future medical students from a rural background are more likely to return to their roots.

 

Applications are available through school guidance counselors, by contacting the MASH director in this area or by visiting the website, www.arkansashealthcareers.com/summer-camps.

 

Area MASH camps will be held in Mena from June 11th through the 22nd, and Nashville from June 18th through the 29th.

 

County Farm Bureau organizations and the MASH Partnership sponsor students so they may attend the camps at no cost. The partnership includes the University of Arkansas for Medical Science's Regional Centers, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Arkansas Farm Bureau and Baptist Health. For more information on the MASH program contact Amber Marshall with UAMS at 501-686-6188 or Victory of Arkansas Farm Bureau at 501-229-1269.

 

 

ASHDOWN SETS DATE FOR THE 7TH ANNUAL PROM GRAND MARCH      3/21/18

 

The Ashdown High School junior class announced the 7th annual Prom Grand March will be held on Saturday, April 7th at 5 p.m. on the steps of the Little River County Courthouse.

 

The first Grand March was held in 2012 when 2012 graduate, Miranda Hopson created the event as a project in her EAST class. She said her friends in Texarkana hosted a promenade before the prom and thought it would be something the students of Ashdown would enjoy.

 

With the help of her classmate, Olivia Mize, they set in motion the steps to get the Prom Grand March approved by school officials. Today, the march is a tradition that utilizes the grounds of the historic courthouse as the photo setting.

 

The Grand March is for Ashdown High School juniors and seniors in the prom finery and it's the perfect photo op for family and friends.

 

The Prom Royalty Court will consist of 10 seniors. The senior class will elect the King and Queen along with four attendants. The court will be presented at the march and the king and queen will be announced at the prom.

 

In the event of rain, the Grand March will be cancelled and not rescheduled.

 

Those attending the Grand March are encouraged to bring a lawn chair for comfort and enjoyment.

 

The Ashdown High School practice gym will be the setting for the community/alumni prom on Friday night and it will be the setting for Saturday night's 2018 Junior/Senior Prom. This year's theme is "Masquerade."

 

The Community/Alumni Prom will be on Friday, April 6th from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome to attend. There will be music playing from each decade and dancing is welcomed. Admission is free Friday night.

 

On Saturday night, there will be free valet parking provided by community volunteers, refreshments will be provided by the First Methodist Church and a bag and coat check will be available. The Ashdown High School Prom will be from 9 p.m. to midnight. The cost is $20 per person or $30 per couple. A free photo booth will be provided by the school.

 

 

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE WEEK - CATTLE       3/21/18

 

It's National Agriculture Week and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting the agriculture industry. Today, we will look at the cattle industry in Arkansas.

 

The beef industry has been apart of Arkansas since before the area became an American territory. And, even though the beef industry is not as prominent in the state as the poultry industry, the beef industry has an estimated $1.4 billion annual economic impact on the state.

 

Beef cattle can be found in every county of Arkansas, but the industry is largely centered in the northwestern counties of the state.

 

Arkansas is primarily a cow-calf state, which means that producers largely raise calves for sale to buyers who then grow them until they are ready to enter the feedlot for later slaughter.

 

Some of the breeds that raised in Arkansas include Shorthorn, Hereford, Angus, Brahman, Simmental, Limousin and Texas Longhorn.

 

According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, there were approximately 23,442 farms with 822,222 cows and heifers that have calves in Arkansas. The average herd size is 35 head with 80 percent of the farms having less than 50 head. And, about 97 percent of the beef cattle farms are family owned and operated.

 

The industry advocacy organization in the state is the Arkansas Cattlemen's Association. The Cattlemen's Association members are devoted to improving the cattle industry. Arkansas also has a non-profit organization called the Arkansas Beef Council that promotes an understanding of the beef industry and works to maintain a positive marketing climate.

 

 

 

 

SKYWARN CLASS BEING OFFERED THIS THURSDAY IN ASHDOWN      3/20/18

 

A free Skywarn weather-spotting class will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday at the Little River County Courthouse in the annex building in Ashdown.

 

Skywarn is a National Weather Service volunteer program with 350,000 to 400,000 trained severe-weather spotters. The volunteers help keep their communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

 

The main responsibility of a Skywarn spotter is to identify and describe severe local storms. In the average year, 10,000 severe thunderstorms, 5,000 floods and more than 1,000 tornadoes occur across the United States.


The National Weather Service encourages anyone with an interest in public service and access to communication such as ham radio to join the Skywarn program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, emergency medical service workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Those affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches, or nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are also encouraged to become spotters.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY 4-H COUNTY OUTDOOR O'RAMA HELD   3/20/18


Sevier County 4-H held its annual County Outdoor O’Rama on February 19. The Outdoor O’Rama is made up of four outdoor activities: Gun Safety & BB Shooting, Reel into Sportsfishing, Baitcasting, and Bicycle. Any 4-H’er ages 5 to 19 can compete at the county level and 4-H’ers ages 9 to 19 go on to represent Sevier County at the District 4-H O’Rama that is held in June each year. The 4-H’ers are classified into three age groups of Cloverbuds (ages 5-8), Juniors (ages 9-14), and Seniors (ages 15-19). Even though the weather was wet and rainy the turnout was numerous. The winners are as follows:
 

Bait Casting Division:
Junior winners: Evin Frachiseur, Brayden Frachiseur, Brady Haarmeyer, Landon Frachiseur, and a three-way tie between Madison Bagley, Raylee VanVoast, and Gavin Carver

Senior winners: Marcus Rosson, Veronica Rivas, Hunter Frachiseur, Andrew Shelton, and Ethan Wolcott
 

BB Gun Division:
Junior winners: Brayden Frachiseur, Attalee Frachiseur, Landon Frachiseur, Matthew Maben, and Jake Seymour Senior winners: Andrew Shelton, Hunter Frachiseur, Ethan Wolcott, Amber Morris, and Veronica Rivas
 

Bicycle Division:
Junior winners: Dori Bartek, Evin Frachiseur, Raylee VanVoast, James Bartek, and Gavin Carver

Senior winner: Veronica Rivas


Reel Into Sportsfishing Division:
Junior winners: Evin Frachiseur, Landon Frachiseur, Brady Haarmeyer, Raylee VanVoast, and Brayden Frachiseur

Senior winners: Hunter Frachiseur and Marcus Rosson
 

If you’d like more information about 4-H and how to join, please contact the Sevier County Extension Office at (870)-584-3013. (Pictued: Dori Bartek with Legacy 4-H Club participated in the Baitcasting division of the County 4-H Outdoor O’Rama held last month.)

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - SPECIAL SESSION ENDS         3/20/18

 

Last week, the House officially adjourned the Fiscal Session, elected the Speaker-designate, convened for a special session and sent more than a dozen bills to the Governor's desk.

 

Shortly after adjourning the 2018 Fiscal Session, House members elected Representative Matthew Shepherd of El Dorado as Speaker-designate. Shepherd is serving his fourth term in the House and currently chairs the House Judiciary Committee.

 

During the session, the following bills were passed by both chambers: House Bill 1001 prevents Arkansas from losing millions in federal highway funding by aligning state law with federal law when it comes to open containers of alcohol in motor vehicles.

 

House Bill 1003 addresses when the operator of an ATV can use a public street or highway. The new bill loosens the restrictions when the driver is trying to get from one off-road trail to another or back to their property.

 

House Bill 1007 addresses liquid animal waste management system permits that are issued by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Control. The bill states an existing state permit that is in good standing is not subject to review or third-party appeal for location issues that were not raised during the review or appeal period at the time the permit was issued.

 

House Bill 1008 makes changes to the 529 savings plan in an effort to make it more compatible to the federal code. The new federal tax plan allows funds to be withdrawn for K-12 education in private schools.

 

And, House Bill 1010 creates a licensing process for pharmacy benefit managers who do business in Arkansas. This bill allows the Arkansas Insurance Department to regulate the industry. PBMs process prescription claims for insurance companies and often determine the rate of reimbursements.

 

For a complete list of bills, visit the website arkansashouse.org.

 

 

HORATIO PEEWEE CHEERLEADERS TO HOLD BINGO FUNDRAISER      3/20/18

 

The Horatio PeeWee Cheerleaders will host a Bingo fundraiser on Saturday, April 14th at the Horatio Elementary cafeteria. The doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and the first game will begin at 5.

 

Kim Cleghorn informed KDQN that players can win prizes that range from $10 to $300.

 

Cleghorn said Bingo cards are $10 each. She said you can still reserve a table for 8 for $10, reserve a parking spot for $5 and reserve a single seat for $2. For more information or to make a reservation, call 903-490-5865.

 

Cleghorn said the proceeds will be used to purchase uniforms for the PeeWee Cheerleaders and to help all of the young ladies attend camp this summer.

 

Concession will be available.

 

 

NATIONAL AGRICULTURE WEEK - POULTRY      3/20/18

 

It's National Agriculture Week and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting the agriculture industry. Today, we will look at the poultry industry in Arkansas.

 

Arkansas leads the nation in poultry production, which includes domestic fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks, ostriches, emus, quail, pigeons, pheasants and geese that are raised for meat or eggs. But, the most common poultry in the state is chickens.

 

Broilers are chickens that are raised for meat and laying hens are chickens that are raised for their eggs.

 

Several poultry companies call Arkansas home including Tyson and Butterball.

 

Tyson is headquartered in Springdale and is the largest poultry producing company in the world. Pilgrim's Pride is not based in Arkansas, but is a major contributor to the Arkansas economy with several plants and feed mills in Southwest Arkansas.

 

Arkansas produces 5.7 billion pounds of broiler meat and there are more then 2,400 broiler farms in the state.

 

Poultry production accounts for one in four agriculture jobs and companies that produce and process chicken employ about 37,000 people. There are another 70,000 jobs that provide services and supplies to the poultry companies.

 

 

LIGHT HOUSE AND FLOORING GALLERY       3/20/18

 

This week is Home Improvement Week in Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma and Bunyard Broadcasting is spotlighting area home improvement businesses.

 

Today, Chris Nichols of Light House and Flooring talked about what they offer. He said granite and vinyl plank flooring are hot items, but they also offer a wide variety of decorative lighting.

 

Nichols said homeowners realize they can add value to their homes by remodeling a room or two. He said Light House and Flooring is so busy doing bathroom remodels that they hired new installation crews.

 

Nichols suggested you stop by and starting planning your remodeling project about four to six weeks before your ready to start.

 

For more information, contact the Light House and Flooring Gallery by visiting their Facebook page or stop by their store in Texarkana.

 

It's home improvement week, so let the Light House and Flooring Gallery help you update the look of your home. 

 

 

PARK FAMILY DONATES TO UA COSSATOT FOUNDATION       3/20/18

 

UA Cossatot Foundation received a memorial gift from Monika Park and her family in memory of the late Donald W. Park.

 

Park served in various academic support and student services roles at Cossatot from 1993 to 2006. He saw the school evolve from a vocational school to become part of the University of Arkansas system.

 

Room 204 on the De Queen campus is now the Donald W. Park classroom.

 

The family has also established a scholarship in Park's name. The scholarship will award $500 to its first honoree in the fall of 2018.

 

To apply for UA Cossatot scholarships, visit the website www.cccua.edu/scholarships.

 

 

 

 

LOCAL AUTHORITIES ARREST 120 PEOPLE IN  ROOSTER FIGHTING RAID      3/19/18

 

Saturday morning at 11:56 a.m., agents with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the De Queen Police Department, the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the  U.S. Forestry Agency, the U.S. Wildlife Service, and Homeland Security executed a search and seizure warrant on Whistlestop Road and booked a total of 137 people into the Sevier County jail.

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry reported the investigation started about 18-months ago when his department received some calls from agencies in Texas and North Arkansas about a  rooster fighting ring in the county. Gentry said other agencies learned about the illegal activity while conducting interviews with subjects who had been arrested for drugs.

 

Gentry said 86 suspects were charged with misdemeanor counts of unlawful animal fighting, which carries a possible $2,500 fine. Thirty-four suspects will be charged with felony counts of unlawful animal fighting.

 

Gentry said suspects were from as far away as New Jersey. He said others were from Mount Pleasant, Pittsburgh and San Antonio, Texas; Westen and Tulsa, Oklahoma; as well as, Fort Smith, Pine Bluff, Little Rock and Alma, Arkansas.

 

 

REWARD OFFERED FOR INFORMATION ABOUT FIRES IN MCCURTAIN COUNTY        3/19/18

 

Firefighters in Eagletown, Oklahoma are seeking information about several suspicious fires that have been set recently.

 

Anyone with information about the fires is being asked to call the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office at 580-286-3331 or the arson hotline at 1-888-662-7766.

 

Rewards are being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the act of arson on southeastern Oklahoma forestlands.

 

Firefighters are concerned about the risk to responders and people who live nearby.

 

 

COSSATOT FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL FISH FRY AND MEMBERSHIP DRIVE IS SATURDAY, MARCH 31ST        3/19/18

 

On March 31st, the Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department will hold their annual membership drive and fish fry starting at 5 p.m. Fire fighter, Roy Stover stated the event will feature a live and silent auction and live music by the band Harmony.

 

Volunteer firefighter, Kendall Johnson said a membership is $40 and that includes three fish plates. He said a plate is $6 of fish and will include fish, hushpuppies, fries, coleslaw and pinto beans.

 

Johnson said this event provides the department with operating funds. He said they are also raising funds to expand the fire station and buy new equipment for new volunteers.

 

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Ashley Johnson at 870-784-1360 or Marion Emerson at 870-584-9753.

 

 

SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTED IN LOCKESBURG        3/19/18

 

On March 2nd, Sevier County Deputy Matt Webb was patrolling in Lockesburg when he witnessed a suspect with an active warrant sitting on the front porch of a residence on East Main Street.

 

Webb pulled into the driveway, but the suspect, 36-year-old Curtis Ayers of Lockesburg ran into the house. Webb knocked on the door, but Ayers would not come to the door.

 

Webb contacted the sheriff's office and Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle obtained a search warrant for the residence. Other deputies were dispatched to the house to ensure the suspect did not flee.

 

At 10:40 a.m., Dowdle arrived with the warrant and deputies executed the warrant by knocking the door down after no one would open the door. Inside the house, deputies made contact with Ashley Ayers who was taken into custody and charged for hindering apprehension.

 

Curtis Ayers was found in the bedroom and was taken into custody without any further incident. Curtis Ayers was arrested on the active warrant and then charged with fleeing #2.

 

After his arrest, a hold was put on Ayers by the Howard County Sheriff's Office for an outstanding warrant in their county.

  

 

HOMELAND SECURITY MAKES LARGE DRUG BUST       3/19/18

 

March 6th, Sevier County Investigator Jeff Wahls and Lieutenant Chad Bradshaw of the De Queen Police Department assisted agents with Homeland Security with a federal search and seizure warrant for a residence on Mercer Street in Horatio.

 

Officers executed the warrant about 1 p.m. and located one suspect, 27-year-old Yayserh Navarette in the house.

 

Officers located a loaded AR-15 rifle, a loaded Glock 9mm pistol, parts for an AR-15, ammunition and about a pound of suspected methamphetamine and about an ounce of suspected cocaine. Officers also confiscated packaging material, a tire and wheel that appeared to have been used to transport contraband and numerous cell phones. 

 

Navarette reportedly told agent Jermy Ridenour of Homeland Security that he would travel to Dallas once or twice a month to pick up meth and cocaine. He allegedly said he put the drugs in the dash of his truck, but once he picked up a tire that contained drugs.

 

Navarette also allegedly confessed to selling drugs to people in Sevier County and Oklahoma.

 

Navarette has been charged with simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, trafficking a controlled substance, possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

HOME IMPROVEMENT WEEK IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS      3/19/18

 

This week, KDQN will be featuring area home improvement businesses and today, we spoke with Bill Lee of the Bill Lee Company in De Queen.

 

Lee explained that the heating and cooling system in your home could mean the difference between you being comfortable or not. He stated there are several components in your home that contribute to the comfort system.

 

He also said technology is improving the efficiency of comfort system.

 

If you are tired of paying high utility bills, contact the Bill Lee Company and let him do an energy efficiency review of your home, call 870-642-7127 or visit his Facebook page, Facebook.com/Bill Lee Co, LLC.

 

 

NATIONAL AG WEEK      3/19/18

 

March is National Agriculture Month, which is a time when producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America recognize and celebrate the abundance of food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced in the nation.

 

This month, the Agriculture Council of America hopes to help every American understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced. They also want Americans to understand the essential role agriculture plays in maintaining the country's economy. And, for Americans to learn to appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

 

Everyone here at Bunyard Broadcasting salutes all of you, the farmers and ranchers of southwest Arkansas.

 

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER RECEIVES APPRECIATION AWARD   3/19/18

 

 

AHS teacher, Dixie Ardwin was nominated by a student to receive the Teacher Appreciation award from Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA). This is the first year teachers around the state are being recognized “for having inspired or impacted students in a positive light. This award is dedicated to you for the guidance, character, patience, knowledge and wisdom that you have bestowed upon our students.”
 

 

 

DRUG ARREST MADE AT HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL     3/16/18

 

About 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, March 15th, deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and Officer J.J. Lopez and his K9 partner, Kilo of the De Queen Police Department conducted random vehicle sniffs in the parking lot of the Horatio High School.

 

While sniffing around a black Mustang, Kilo hit on suspected drugs.

 

The vehicles owner, 18-year-old Jonathon Gonzalez of Horatio was retrieved from a classroom and escorted to the parking lot by a school employee and questioned about the K9's alert.

 

Gonzalez allegedly stated he had smoked marijuana in his car that morning and that was probably the reason the dog hit on his vehicle.

 

Deputies then searched the vehicle and discovered a plastic bag containing suspected marijuana along with several small Ziplock bags and an E-vape smoking devise with THC oil in it.

 

Gonzalez was charged with possession of a controlled substance with the purpose to deliver.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO AMEND THE CITY'S CURRENT RETIREMENT PLAN       3/16/18

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council voted to amend the city's current retirement plan during their meeting on March 13th.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said the council listened to a presentation by the city's actuary, Dennis Decoursey. He said aldermen then passed a resolution to amend the plan to allow former employees who are vested in the plan to withdraw their funds out of the plan. He said the council is still thinking about changing the city's retirement plan to a defined contribution plan.

 

McKelvy also reported the city will hold a special clean up campaign during spring break. He said the city code enforcement officer has tagged 100 properties since January 1st.

 

McKelvy stated local groups, churches and individuals can volunteer at the city park to participate in the city's Keep Arkansas Beautiful campaign.

 

To volunteer, call the park office at 642-4140. 

 

 

AREA STATE PARK ACTIVITIES       3/16/18

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary announced the park has some special activities planned for next week.

 

Flanary said they will have activities and programs everyday during Spring Break. She said they'll be offering hikes, games, star gazing and geo-caching activities.

 

For more information, Flanary said you can visit the website www.arkansasstateparks.com, email her or call the park at 870-385-2201.

 

Daisy State Park will also have some activities during spring break, including a scenic lake cruise on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

 

For more information, about the Daisy State Park, call 870-398-4487.

 

The Crater of Diamonds State Park offered the following tips to help make the most of your time at their park.

 

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox suggests you check the weather forecast as you pack. He said temperatures can range from the 40s to the 70s this time of year. Cox recommended guests wear hats and apply lots of sunscreen. He also suggested a pair of rubber gloves and rubber boots to keep your hands and feet dry and warm.

 

The diamond search area is open until 4 p.m. Sunday through Saturday and tickets that are purchased after 3 p.m. are good for the following day.

 

The park rents equipment and sells small hand tools, but guests can take their own buckets, shovels, and screens. No battery-operated or motor-driven mining equipment is allowed in the search area.

 

For more information, visit the park's website www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: SHINING LIGHT ON FOIA DURING SUNSHINE WEEK       3/16/18

 

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act helps ensure government transparency and allows the public to hold government officials accountable for their actions. In conjunction with National Sunshine Week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge highlights the FOIA to educate Arkansans about their rights when it comes to government accountability.

 

Arkansas' FOIA was enacted by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Winthrop Rockefeller in 1967. It is considered one of the strongest and most comprehensive open-records and open-meetings laws in the United States.

 

The law gives Arkansas citizens broad access to public records and public meetings, with limited exceptions. A public record is defined as any writing, sound recording, video or electronic or computer-based information that is required by law to be kept or is otherwise kept that reflects the performance or lack of performance of official functions.

 

All records maintained by public employees within the scope of their employment are presumed to be public records, although several exemptions may shield a record from disclosure. Government entities generally have up to three working days to provide a record that is requested under the FOIA. Custodians of records may only charge for the actual costs of reproducing public records, plus mailing expenses.

 

When a governing body meets to conduct the people's business, the meeting is a public meeting and is subject to the open-meeting provisions of the FOIA. Notice of public meetings must be provided to anyone who has asked to be notified, and two-hour notice of special or emergency meetings must be provided to members of the news media.

 

Governing bodies may only enter into closed meetings, which are also known as executive sessions, for the limited purposes of considering employment, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation of an individual officer or employee. However, if any action is to be taken, the governing body must reconvene in public and take a formal vote on the matter.

 

For more information about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

MC QUEEN FILES WITH ARKANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE FOR U.S. HOUSE SEAT, ARKANSAS, DISTRICT 4       3/16/18

 

Lee McQueen of Texarkana has announced she filed with the Arkansas's Secretary of State Office on February 27th to run as a candidate for the 4th Congressional District of Arkansas office in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

McQueen is an Independent Progressive candidate who intends to run her grassroots-inspired campaign free from corporate money and influence all the way to Tuesday, November 6th.

 

She publicly announced her candidacy in October of last year and since last fall, she has traveled and campaigned all across the Fourth District. She has visited Texarkana, Hope, Arkadelphia, Magnolia, El Dorado, Pine Bluff, Hot Springs and Camden, plus town in-between in an attempt to learn about citizen concerns and citizen requirements from a congressional representative.

 

McQueen's progressive policy platform includes single payer healthcare, free education, and affordable housing; good jobs with living wages; responsible business and strong tax base; renewable energy development and infrastructure modernization; safety and security with respect to civil liberties; foreign policy with respect for diplomacy and human rights; integrity and trust in the electoral process; plus active civic engagement.

 

 

STATE POLICE COMMISSION OK’S DIRECTOR’S RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROMOTION    03/16/18


The Arkansas State Police Commission has approved the recommendations of Colonel Bill Bryant, state police director, to promote six veteran state troopers. The promotions occurred Thursday, March 15th, 2018 during a regular monthly commission meeting. 

 

Among those receiving promotions was: Corporal Kyle Peek, 38, of Hempstead County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He is a thirteen year veteran of the department.  Sergeant Peek will assume new duties as a post supervisor within the Highway Patrol Division, Troop G.
 

 

 

 

CITY OF DE QUEEN TO HOLD SPECIAL CLEAN UP CAMPAIGN      3/15/18 

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy announced this month that the City of De Queen will hold a special city-wide clean-up campaign during the week of Spring Break and he asked clubs, groups and churches to volunteer.

 

Any interested groups should contact the De Queen City Park to sign up to pick up litter. Park Program Director, Chris Hale said the city employees have already been picking up litter and they've already collected 30 - 50-gallon bags.

 

The city's clean-up campaign is registered with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful program. Hale said the park has safety vests, trash bags and pick-up tools available for volunteers.

 

Anyone who feels the City of De Queen needs to clean up, can now volunteer to help during Spring Break by calling 642-4140. 

 

 

 

 

UA HOPE-TEXARKANA ANNOUNCES WINNERS FOR THE 11TH ANNUAL PULLING FOR EDUCATION TRAP SHOOTING EVENT      3/15/18

 

The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana held its 11th annual Pulling for Education Trap Shoot on Marcy 9th and 10th at the Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center in Columbus. The event was sponsored by AEP/SWEPCO and Farm Bureau for the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Foundation.

 

The following were winners from the community shoot and the high school shoot.

 

In the Junior High Division, the winner was Ashdown Junior High Team 1. The Jr. Panthers scored 112 points and Drake Abney was the top shooter with a perfect score of 25 out of 25. Second place went to Pulaski Academy and third place went to the Nothing but Dust team from Nashville.

 

In the Senior High Division, Ashdown Senior team 1 took first place with a score of 234. Jon Michael Molock was the top shooter with a perfect score of 50 out of 50. Ashdown Senior team 2 took second and SWARK Shooting Sports of Nashville took third.

 

In the Community Shoot: UAHT team 1 took first place, UAHT team 2 took second and Senator Larry Teague's team placed third. The individual high point winner was Austin Johnston and Logan Crawford was the runner up. 

 

 

AGFC HONOR 20 WILDLIFE OFFICERS      3/15/18

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission honored 20 wildlife officers for their dedicated service to the natural resources and the people of Arkansas during their 5th annual Enforcement Awards Banquet. The banquet recognizes officers from across the state who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during the previous year.

 

Wildlife Officers Sydney Grant and Cody Standifer from the Hope Regional Office were both honored with the Warden's Star. The Warden's Star is given to officers for acts of heroism involving an unusual situation, that required immediate action and the use of good judgment, ingenuity and exceptional tactics to prevent an incident from escalating.

 

Grant and Standifer were the first on the scene at Millwood Lake on November 18th, 2017, when winds up to 70 miles per hour and a temperature shift of nearly 40 degrees caused extreme conditions during the opening day of waterfowl season.

 

Many avid duck hunters attempted to launch on the lake that morning, despite the life-threatening conditions. Grant and Standifer responded to a report of a boating accident on the lake in their boat. Once at the area where the incident was believed to occur, they were unable to locate any victims. Their own boat was in danger of becoming disabled from the wind and waves, so they were forced to make their way to the nearest boat ramp. Once at the ramp, they heard and saw an individual clinging to a stump about 600 yards from the bank. They and officer Corporal Keith Teague jumped back in the boat and pulled the victim from the water. Due to their quick actions and attention, the victim escaped the deadly situation with only stiff legs from the cold water.

 

Sergeant John Partain, Sergeant Ronnie White, Corporal Jeff Neel, Corporal Dennis Hovarter, Corporal Blake Broomfield, Corporal Keith Teague and Wildlife Officer Andrew Watson from the Hope Regional Office were also recognized for their efforts that resulted in the rescue of eight individuals from three separate boating accidents on Millwood Lake in one day.

 

 

2018 HENRY AWARDS PRESENTED AT ARKANSAS GOVERNOR'S CONFERENCE ON TOURISM       3/15/18

 

Arkansas tourism partners from across the state honored the 2018 winners of the annual Henry Awards during a ceremony at the 44th Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism, Tuesday night in West Memphis. The Henry Awards honor individuals and organizations that have made important contributions to the state's tourism industry in the preceding year.

 

Madison Murphy was named the Tourism Person of the Year. AY Magazine of Little Rock was presented the Media Support Award. Visit Hot Springs and 61 Celsius was given the Bootstrap Award. The town of Wilson was presented the Arkansas Heritage Award. Warfield Concerts of Helena-West Helena was named the Grand Old Classic Special Event Award winner. Keep Arkansas Beautiful was named the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. The City of Batesville was presented the Community Tourism Development Award. and the Natural State Award went to the Murphy Arts District of El Dorado.

 

 

SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY JACKPOTS      3/15/18

 

This week, jackpots for the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery have climbed over $300 million dollars for both the Powerball and the Mega Millions and the director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Bishop Woosley, stated changes have been made to the metrics of the Mega Millions game to help increase jackpots quicker.

 

Woosley stated more people play the lottery when jackpots get this large and 39 Powerball tickets have won a $1 million prize in 2018 alone and another seven tickets have won $2 million. So, the lottery is making millionaires in the state.

 

Woosley stated the lottery has helped increase the number scholarships that are available to students in Arkansas and it also helped reduce the debt that students incurred while attending college.

 

Woosley said the scholarship lottery has a new ad campaign with testimonies from graduates who benefited from earning a lottery scholarship.

 

 

JUDGE TEMPORARILY BLOCKS STATE FROM AWARDING MARIJUANA GROWING LICENSES       3/15/18

 

An Arkansas judge temporarily blocked the state from awarding its first licenses for companies to grow medical marijuana in response to some complaints about the state's process for reviewing the applications for the facilities.

 

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued a temporary restraining order preventing the state from issuing permits to five companies that had qualified to grow marijuana.

 

Arkansas voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana for patients with certain condition. The commission is expected to license up to 32 dispensaries to sell the drug later this year.

 

Griffen issued the order in response to a lawsuit that was filed by Naturalis Health LLC, which was one of the companies that was not awarded a license.

 

The lawsuit claims the state's process for awarding the cultivation licenses has been flawed, saying the applications for the winning companies shoed wide-ranging discrepancies and outright violations of the rules. Other unsuccessful applicants have sent letter to the commission in recent days with similar complaints.

 

Last month, the commission announced the top five applicants from the 95 applications that it received. All five of those companies have paid the $100,000 licensing fee and posted the $500,000 performance bond that is needed to receive the licenses.

 

The lawsuit contends that the state caused a complete distrust in the newly implemented medical marijuana industry.

 

Arkansas has already approved 4,410 applications for patients to use medical marijuana and will issue registry cards about a month before the drug is expected to be available legally.

 

 

FERAL HOG WORKSHOP AT HORATIO ELEMENTARY THURSDAY NIGHT      3/14/18

 

The County Extension offices of Little River and Sevier counties are hosting a free Feral Hog Control Workshop Thursday night at 6 p.m. in the Horatio Elementary School cafeteria.

 

Little River County Extension Service Agent Sherry Sullivan said they will discuss the natural history, damage identification and rules and regulations regarding feral hogs.

 

Sullivan said after a generation of two in the wild, domesticated hogs appear untamed, with thickened fur and tusks. Sows produce an average of six piglets per litter when 8 to 13 months of age and they have 1 to 2 litters per year for a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. She said other than hunters; research indicates feral hogs have few predators once they are over 10 to 15 pounds.

 

Sullivan said the feeding and wallowing behaviors of feral hogs create a number of problems, including agriculture crop loss, pasture damage, wildlife loss, water pollution and transmission of diseases.

 

Controlling feral hogs has proven to be difficult because they are adaptive and learn to avoid hunters and traps.

 

Signs of feral hogs include rooting, tracks, wallows, nests or beds and tree and post rubs.

 

Shooting a few feral hogs in a group does little to control their numbers and typically educates the survivors to avoid humans.

 

Corral trapping captures multiple hogs in a sounder or bachelor group at one time and is considered the most effective method for removing feral hogs.

 

Baiting hogs with corn is a common practice for surveillance and trapping and snaring can be used to supplement corral trapping. Snares can be placed around corral fences and along trails. Landowners are advised to check snares often because they can capture non-target wildlife. They should also contact a local wildlife officer to discuss Arkansas law regarding snares.

 

It is legal to shoot or trap feral hogs day or night on privately owned land, however, public lands, which include federal refuges and Wildlife Management Areas, have different rules about feral hogs; so check the rules before you plan to go hunting.

 

It is also illegal to possess, sell, transport or release hogs into the wild.

 

For more information, contact the Little River County Extension Office by calling 870-898-7224 or the Sevier County Extension Office by calling 870-584-3013.

 

 

TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST      3/14/18

 

Tuesday afternoon, Patrolman Josh Luman of the De Queen Police Department conducted a traffic stop after witnessing a truck turn right onto Gilson Avenue without stopping at the stop sign and without using the turn signal.

 

The driver was identified as Gregory Harris who stated he did not stop or use his turn signal because he was in a hurry to get his passenger back to work. The passenger was identified as 43-year-old Edward Kilcollins of De Queen.

 

After speaking to Kilcollins, Luman retrieved a backpack from the truck that allegedly belonged to Kilcollins. While searching the bag, Luman discovered three syringes and a clear plastic container of suspected marijuana.

 

Kilcollins was taken into custody and charged with a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia and a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA GREENHOUSE PROJECT AND SALE      3/14/18

 

UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA advisor, Kelli Harris announced this week that students are working in the greenhouse and getting ready for their annual plant sale by taking a couple of trips before Spring Break. She said students will visit Garvin Gardens in Hot Springs on Thursday.  And, students will tour the University of Arkansas at Monticello campus on Friday. She said students will be learning more about the forestry degree that UA-Monticello offers.

 

Harris reported students started working on the greenhouse in December and they're getting ready for the plant sale.

 

Harris said she'll be leading a continuing education class in April about plant propagation and students will be landscaping some yards in the area as a part of their final exam.

 

The plant sale starts March 26th and the greenhouse will be open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. She said they will post all of their hours of operation on the door of the greenhouse.

 

For more information, call Harris at 870-584-1218.

 

 

HEMPSTEAD AND NEVADA COUNTIES ESTABLISH NEW DRUG TASK FORCE         3/14/18

 

8th North Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen, Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton, Nevada County Sheriff Danny Martin, Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson and Prescott Police Chief Joseph Beavers are combining forces to establish a new drug task force that will focus on Hempstead and Nevada counties.

 

The unit will focus on the distribution, sale and transportation of illegal narcotics in and through the 8th North Judicial District. McQueen said they will not only focus on large scale dealers but also on street-corner dealers. She said the task force will also work together on major crimes that are committed within the district.

 

Part of the funding for the task force will come from monies seized by officers during drug arrests and forfeited by court order to the 8th North Judicial District Drug Control Fund that is administered by the prosecuting attorney's office.

 

The 8th North Judicial District had been a part of the South-Central Drug Task Force for the last 15 to 20 years. The South-Central Drug Task Force included Howard, Sevier, Little River, Hempstead and Nevada counties until the law enforcement agencies in the 8th North Judicial District decided their resources could be better used, and the citizens of Hempstead and Nevada counties could be better served, by establishing a new task force.

 

According to McQueen, federal funding for the South-Central Drug Task Force has been reduced each year, leaving the funding for the task force in question. She said over the past several years, there has only been one supervisor and two agents covering five counties and two judicial districts.

 

The newly formed 8th North Task Force will have a director and four agents to cover one judicial district and two counties. The task force will be governed by a board of directors consisting of McQueen, Singleton, Martin, Beavers and Wilson. The board will oversee the daily operations of the task force.

 

The task force is set to begin operations March 15th. 

 

 

PBM REGULATION ADVANCED OUT OF THE HOUSE INSURANCE AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE        3/14/18

 

An Arkansas House panel advanced a proposal to regulate pharmacy benefit managers Tuesday as lawmakers began a special session that will focus primarily on addressing a cut in reimbursement rates for pharmacies.

 

The House Insurance and Commerce Committee endorsed a proposal that would allow the state Insurance Department to require the PBMs to license with the state. PBMs run prescription drug plans for employers, government agencies and insurers, among other clients. They use their large purchasing power to negotiate prices.

 

The legislation was spurred by complaints from pharmacists around the state concerning cuts in reimbursements that they receive for generic drugs. Under the proposal, the state insurance commissioner may review and approve a PBMs compensation program with a health plan to ensure pharmacists' reimbursements are fair and reasonable.

 

The proposal would also ban PBM "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from discussing the total price of a drug or cheaper alternatives. The House is expected to vote on the proposal today, and more than three-fourths of lawmakers in that chamber and the Senate have signed on as co-sponsors. An identical measure is pending in the Senate. Governor Asa Hutchinson has also said he supports the measure.

 

A national group representing the PBMs says the measure goes to far. They say the mandate would enrich drugstore owners at the expense of patients and the employers who provide prescription drug coverage.

 

The anti-tax group Americans for Tax Reform says it also opposes the measure. The group's president, Grover Norquist, stated in a letter that was sent to lawmakers that the proposal is a misguided piece of legislation that would unnecessarily insert state government into certain business-to-business transactions.

 

The proposal is among several other items on the agenda for this week's special session. Lawmakers are also considering changes to the state's open container law that officials say are needed to protect highway funding and a measure allowing 529 college savings funds to be used for K-12 education expenses at public and private schools.

 

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCES 2018 PROM     3/14/18


The Junior Class of Ashdown High School would like to invite the public to the 7th annual Prom Grand March on Saturday, April 7, at 5 p.m. on the steps of the Little River County Courthouse. The first Grand March originated in 2012 by 2012 AHS graduate, Miranda Hopson as a result of creating a project in her EAST class. She stated, “that her friends in Texarkana hosted a promenade before the prom and thought the idea would be something the students in Ashdown would participate.” With the help from her classmate, Olivia Mize, they set in motion the steps to approve the promenade. Now, the march has become a tradition utilizing the beautiful grounds of the historic courthouse as a favorite photo setting. The promenade of AHS juniors and seniors in all their prom finery is the perfect “photo op” for friends and relatives to view the procession. The Prom Royalty Court will consist of ten AHS seniors. The senior class will elect a King and Queen with four attendants. The court will be presented at the march and the king and queen announced at the prom.


In the event of rain, the Prom March will be cancelled and not rescheduled.

Those attending the Prom March are encouraged to bring a lawn chair for comfort and enjoyment.

The Ashdown High School ‘Practice' Gym will be the setting for the Community/Alumni Prom on Friday night and Saturday Night for the “Masquerade” AHS 2018 Junior/Senior Prom. Please enter through the high school main entrance at 171 South Locust.

The Community/Alumni Prom will be on Friday, April 6th from 7-8:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend. There will be music playing from each decade. Dancing is welcomed. This is your opportunity to see the transformation of the gym and enjoy an evening of dancing and reminiscing. Come see what the students and sponsors did to create this magical night. Admission Friday night is free.

On Saturday night, there will be free valet parking provided by community volunteers, refreshments provided by First United Methodist Church, and a bag/coat check available. The AHS Prom will be from 9:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The cost is $20 per person or $30 per couple. A free photo booth will be provided by the school.
 

 

BARKER RESIGNS AS GIRLS HEAD BASKETBALL COACH       3/13/18

 

Monday night, the De Queen Board of Education voted to approve a mock car crash re-enactment program and accepted the resignation of several district employees.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill reported the board approved a request by the De Queen High School Student Council to hold a prom night mock car crash re-enactment for high school students on April 13th. He said members of the De Queen Police Department, the fire department, the sheriff's office; Southwest EMS, Air Evac and Chandler Funeral Home will be participating in the re-enactment.

 

Hill said the board discussed hiring an athletic trainer, but did not take any action on the matter.

 

Board members also voted to approve the addition of another step to the Certified and Classified salary schedules along with some minor changes to the classified salary schedule. Hill said the board added a 23rd year to the certified salary schedule.

 

Hill announced the board accepted the resignation of two teachers and the superintendent's secretary. He also said Jason Barker also resigned as the girls head basketball coach.

 

Board members also upheld the expulsion recommendations of the campus administrators for three students. 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROVES GRANT APPLICATION FOR SHERIFF'S SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROGRAM       3/13/18

 

Monday afternoon, Justices of the Peace for the Sevier County Quorum Court approved several additional appropriations for the County Treasurer's office, the Sheriff's office and the county road department.

 

JPs approved an additional appropriation in the amount of $12,185 to the Treasurer's budget, so retiring treasurer; Risa Krantz can train the Treasurer-elect, Heather McDonnell.

 

JPs also approved the appropriation of $500 from the county general fund-county grants in-aid account to the Sevier County Citizens Appreciation Day account. Judge Greg Ray explained, SWEPCO made a $500 dollar donation to the county for the annual Senior Citizens Day event, but the quorum court had to appropriate the funds to the proper account.

 

JPs also approved an additional appropriation of $3,500 for the purchase a 13 GPS modules for the sheriff department’s patrol vehicles and $1,200 for the purchase of two portable radios.

 

Sheriff Robert Gentry stated the GPS modules will help dispatchers dispatch the closest deputy possible and to allow him to keep track of deputies patrol activities.

 

Gentry said the modules and the radios will be purchased with the proceeds from the department’s firearm and vehicle auctions.

 

JPs voted to payment $120 a month for a dedicated internet line so the county can provide video arrangements for prisoners in the Arkansas Department of Correction and the county jail. The dedicated line will be installed by Windstream.

 

Sheriff Gentry reported it costs the county about $500 for a deputy to transport a prisoner from the ADC.

 

JPs also voted to allow Sheriff Gentry to re-apply for a grant to fund the department's Residential Substance Abuse Program. Gentry said 23 inmates have been through the program and it currently has a 91 percent success rate.

 

The Quorum Court also voted to purchase a new sweeper for the road department at a cost of $46,000.

 

 

DREW, MILLS INDUCTED INTO ARKANSAS TOURISM HALL OF FAME     3/13/18

 

Cathy Drew is the executive director of the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council and Mike Mills is the owner of the Buffalo Outdoor Center and they are both new members of the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame.

 

The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole. 

 

Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote, the Ozark Gateway. She was born in Batesville and worked for Media Market Inc., which is the former ad agency that handled the Ozark Gateway Tourist Council account. In this role, Drew helped design the region's tabloid publication. She later worked at WRD Entertainment in marketing and graphic design and in 2000 began her career with Ozark Gateway.

 

Drew's many contributions to the tourist council include converting the traditional tabloid-style publication into a magazine-format regional guidebook, attending several AARP tradeshows to represent the state as a travel and relocation destination, opening a 24/7 welcome center for the region, creating a new regional motorcycling pocket map and guide and significantly improving the region's website.

 

Mills is an Arkansan through and through. He grew up on a farm west of Lowell and later graduated from Rogers High School, Hendrix College and the University of Arkansas Graduate School, and served in the United States Marine Corps. Mills founded the Buffalo Outdoor Center in 1976 and expanded it into Arkansas' first log cabin resort in 1985. With 44 years in the business, he has clocked in over 150,000 hours for the tourism industry and has served more than 3 million guests. Mills has also served 36 years on the Arkansas Travel Council, 36 years on the Arkansas Tourism Development Foundation, 22 years on the Ozark Mountain Region board of directors and 18 years on the Arkansas State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission. He was the Director of the Arkansas Tourism from 1982 to 1986.

 

For information on the Annual Governor's Conference on Tourism, contact the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at 501-324-1521.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION CERTIFIES STATE CANDIDATES FOR THE PRIMARY ELECTION AND NON-PARTISAN JUDICIAL GENERAL ELECTION         3/13/18

 

The members of the Sevier County Election Commission met Friday, March 9th to certify the state candidates for the Primary Election and Non-partisan Judicial General Election. They also designated the voting places that will be open on May 22nd for the purpose of voting for or against candidates whose names appear on the ballot for the following offices.

 

County Clerk Debbie Akin reported the following candidates filed with the Republican Party:

 

U.S. Congress District 4 - Randy Caldwell and Representative Bruce Westerman

Governor - Governor Asa Hutchinson and Jan Morgan

Attorney General - Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

State Treasurer - Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan

State Representative District 20 - Representative John Maddox

State Representative District 4 - Representative DeAnn Vaught

Secretary of State - State Representative Trevor Drown and John Thurston Commissioner of State Lands

Lieutenant Governor - Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin

Commissioner of State Lands - Tommy Land

Auditor of State - Auditor Andrea Lee

 

Akin reported the following candidates filed with the Democratic Party:

 

U.S. Congress District 4 - Hayden Shamel

Governor - Jared Henderson and Leticia Sander

Attorney General - Mike Lee

State Senate District 10 - Senator Larry Teague

Secretary of State - Susan Inman

Lieutenant Governor - Anthony Bland

Commissioner of State Lands - Larry Williams

 

Akin reported the following candidates filed for the Non-partisan Judicial Election:

 

State Supreme Court Associate Justice, Position 3 - Judge Kenneth Hixon, David Sterling and State Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson

Prosecuting Attorney, District 9-West - Bryan Chessir

 

Akin announced absentee and early voting will be held in the county clerk's office in the courthouse, and the following vote centers will be open on May 22nd:

De Queen Community Building in Herman Dierks Park, Geneva Baptist Church, Ben Lomond Community Building, Central Community Building, J.L. Walker Fellowship Hall, Kern Heights Baptist Church, De Queen Church of Christ, De Queen/Mena Education Co-op in Gillham and the Lockesburg Methodist Church.

 

Akin said voters from all precincts are allowed to vote at any vote center. All regular polling places will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on election day.

 

Absentee voting will be conducted at the Sevier County Clerk's office from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Friday, April 6th. Early voting will be conducted at the Sevier County Clerk's office beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, May 7th and will continue until 5 p.m. on Monday, May 21st. Extended hours for early voting are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays during the early voting period.

 

Absentee ballots will be opened, processed and canvassed beginning at 5 p.m. on May 22nd in the conference room of the Sevier County Courthouse. All ballots will be counted after 7:30 p.m. on May 22nd, in the office of the county clerk.

 

 

SENIOR AT DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ARRESTED FOR TERRORISTIC THREATENING         3/12/18

 

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons released the following press release Saturday morning.

 

The De Queen Police Department responded to a call at approximately 5:50 p.m. Friday, March 9th in reference to a threatening message that was sent over social media.

 

Officers of the De Queen Police Department made contact with the complainant and they reported they received a message pertaining to the De Queen School. During the course of the investigation a suspect was developed. 

 

Lieutenant Chad Bradshaw and Sergeant Bobby Bagley were able to make contact with the suspect, 18-year-old Alfredo Jair Ruiz of De Queen. Ruiz was placed into custody and transported to the police department and questioned about the message. Ruiz admitted to sending the message as a joke or a prank.

 

Ruiz was taken into custody a few hours after the message was sent.

 

Ruiz is currently being held in the Sevier County Jail for Terroristic Threatening which is a Class D Felony.

 

The De Queen Police Department was assisted by the Arkansas State Police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

 

The De Queen Police Department and the De Queen School District appreciates the help from the students, parents, and concerned citizens that helped them resolve this incident, very quickly.

 

Chief Simmons stated these incidents are taken extreme serious and will not be tolerated.

 

 

GOVERNOR EXPECTED TO CALL SPECIAL SESSION TODAY 3/12/18

 

Arkansas law makers are expected to wrap up the 2018 Fiscal Session today and Governor Asa Hutchinson has stated that he plans to call a special session to address pharmacy reimbursement rates, highway funding and other issues.
The special session is expected to begin Tuesday.

Local pharmacist, Renee Logan of Harris Drug and Gifts, explained legislators will consider a measure to regulate the pharmacy benefit managers. She said PBMs serve as a middle man on every prescription that someone has filled. Logan said PBMs determine what medications a pharmacy can distribute, the dosage amount and how much a patient's co-pay will be, while also determining how much the pharmacies will be reimbursed by the insurance companies.

Logan said PBMs often bill the insurance companies a different amount than what they pay the pharmacy. She said this amount is called the spread.

Logan said residents of Southwest Arkansas can help get this legislation passed by contacting their state legislators and encouraging them to vote for the regulation of pharmacy benefit managers.
 

You can follow the House floor proceedings on the Arkansas House of Representative's website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

 

TRAIL DELAYED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      3/12/18

 

A drug trial that was scheduled for today in Little River County has been delayed indefinitely, according to the Little River County Circuit Clerk's office.

 

Attorneys for 54-year-old Steven Snyder of Ashdown asked for a continuance and no new trial date was set.

 

Snyder has been charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Agents with the South Central Drug Task Force, the Arkansas State Police and the Little River County Sheriff's Office executed a search and seizure warrant on May 1st of 2017 at a residence on Powerline Road in Ashdown.

 

Officers seized 52 marijuana plants, marijuana smoking devices, digital and postal scales and chemicals that are used to grow marijuana and an assortment of other items that are used to grow marijuana.

 

Officers also discovered a commercially manufactured marijuana grow room and processed marijuana.

 

 

ACTIVITY REPORT FOR SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE      3/12/18

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry released the monthly activity report for the deputies of the Sevier County Sheriff's office on Monday.

 

Gentry reported deputies conducted a total of 260 traffic stops, issued 134 warnings and wrote 6 citations, while patrolling a total of 25,179 miles throughout the county. He said they also worked 16 accidents and made 21 arrests.

 

Gentry said a total of 78 inmates were booked into the county jail. Community service picked up trash along South Park, Horatio area, Dike Road, Piney Road, Kornegay, the landfill, Johnson Bridge Road and Rink Road. He said community service program also provided workers for the courthouse, the Salvation Army Store and the county library.

 

Gentry reported the School Resource Officer managed 13 complaints on the high school campus, 11 on the elementary campus and numerous complaints concerning bus riders.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: STATE PASSES BALANCED BUDGET      3/12/18

 

Friday, state legislators approved the state budget. The $5.6 billion dollar balanced budget includes a $172.8 million, or 3.1 percent increase in spending.

 

The increases include $1.3 million dollars for the public school fund, $3.5 million for the Department of Correction, $1.7 million for the Department of Community Correction, $12 million for 2- and 4-year colleges, $7.3 million for the foster care system, $4 million for county jail reimbursements, $8 million for performance raises for state employees and $137 million for the traditional Medicaid program and the Arkansas Works program.

 

The majority of the Medicaid increase is for the traditional Medicaid program. There are close to 700,000 Arkansans on the traditional Medicaid program and most of them are children.

 

There are 285,000 Arkansans on the Arkansas Works program and the federal government approved the state's request to implement a work requirement for Arkansas Works enrollees.

 

Enrollees who are 19 to 49 years old will be subject to the work requirement. The requirement will be phased in on the 30 to 49 year old first over a four-month period beginning this June. Individuals who are subject to the requirement must report 80 hours of work activity every month or show that they are exempt. Work activity can include job training, job searching, school, health education classes, or volunteering. Activity must be reported online.

 

There are also several exemptions, including those who are medically frail, going to school full time, or those caring for young children in the home.

 

 

TRADE WAR OVER TARIFFS COULD COST ARKANSAS FARMERS MILLIONS      3/12/18

 

If President Donald Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports start a trade war, Arkansas could take an almost $400 million dollar hit it its economy. Agricultural economists at the University of Arkansas say if the state's major trading partners retaliate with similar import taxes on commodities such as soybeans, rice, corn and grain sorghum, the value of those products could drop drastically.

 

Eric Wailes is a professor of agribusiness at the U of A, and he says the state is vulnerable because it is a major player in the global markets.

 

Wailes estimates a trade war could cause Arkansas agriculture to lose almost 45,000 jobs and reduce labor income by $261 million dollars. He adds that the loss of output could cost the oilseed farming sector $244 million dollars and another $191 million in the grain farming sector. Wailes and other economists at the University of Arkansas issued the analysis late last week.

 

Wailes says the United States is among the largest exporters of rice, corn, soybeans, and sorghum in the world, and Arkansas ranks among the top producing states. He adds that the state ships grain to almost every corner of the globe.

 

He says the impact of a trade war would extend beyond the farm belt to all of Arkansas.

 

Wailes says markets lost to trade wars can take decades to rebuild, as numerous other countries, such as Brazil, Argentina and Australia, stand ready to jump in and sell their commodities.

 

 

 

NEW EXHIBIT AT THE ARKANSAS STATE CAPITOL FOCUSES ON WORLD WAR I  3/12/18

 

War, Collections, Memory: The Great War in the Arkansas State Archives

 

(LITTLE ROCK, ARK.) – When, in 1917, the United States entered the world war, Arkansans in all walks of life stepped forward. Over 70,000 Arkansans, black and white, served in uniform. By war’s end, nearly 4,000 had died or were seriously wounded.

Within months after the Armistice, the World War became the stuff of memories; the Arkansas History Commission (today’s Arkansas State Archives) partnered with Louis C. Gulley, an enthusiastic battlefield collector, to assemble a significant array of artifacts, memorabilia, documents and curiosa related to the war. This trove, augmented by government documents, personal papers and other artifacts, remains one of the Archives' largest and richest collections.

For many years, items from the Gulley collection were displayed in the Arkansas Capitol as the “Museum of the World War.” This spring, the Great War returns to the Capitol: “War, Collections, Memory” features significant and memorable artifacts, photographs and documents from the State Archives related to “the war to end war.” The exhibit is not a comprehensive history of Arkansans in the war; instead, it samples the materials collected and preserved in order to preserve the stories of the conflict. These range from predictable battlefield trophies such as bayonets and helmets, to fragments of buildings damaged by shell fire and items sewed by Arkansas women for the American Red Cross. A bullet-riddled helmet, mess cup and iron body armor attest to the dangers of facing modern small-arms fire, while playing cards and a chess set improvised by German prisoners of war represent soldiers’ attempts to set aside the horrors of the field, if only for a little while. The home front is represented by a box of bandages rolled by Arkansas women for use in field hospitals overseas, and by identification photographs of resident German nationals who were required to register as enemy aliens in 1917.

Nearly a century has gone by since the cease-fire of November 11, 1918, but in the Arkansas State Archives and, through August, the halls of the Capitol, the echoes of that heartbreaking conflict remain.

“War, Collections, Memory: the Great War in the Arkansas State Archives” will remain on display in the first floor galleries of the Arkansas Capitol through August 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

WOMEN OF GOD - LIVING LOVED       3/9/18

 

The women's ministry of the First Assembly of God Church of De Queen is hosting a women's conference on Friday, March 16th at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 17th at 9:30 a.m.

 

Jenetta Adams stated the conference was designed to help women feel glamorous and loved.

 

Tammy Allen said the guest speaker will be BJ Pons and the activities will begin Friday night with a meal in the hospitality hall at 6:30 p.m. and on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. for a light breakfast. The cost is $25 and women can register by calling 870-584-3435.

 

 

MCCASKILL MAN CHARGED WITH THEFT OF PROPERTY AND FLEEING       3/9/18

 

A McCaskill man who attempted to outrun five law enforcement agencies while driving a stolen car has been charged with theft of property and fleeing in Howard County.

 

Thirty-four year old Antonio Garner is currently being held in the Howard County jail on a $100,000 bond and is facing a felony count of theft of property for allegedly stealing a 2016 Chrysler 300 C model from York Gary Auto in Nashville.

 

The incident started about 8:50 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27th, when Garner asked York Gary Auto salesman Arturo Perez for a test drive.

 

After leaving the dealership and driving east on Leslie Street, Garner stopped the car near the old Howard Memorial Hospital property and told Perez to get out of the car. Garner then drove away and York Gary Auto reported the car stolen.

 

A short time later, Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins and Nashville Police Officer Greg Parker located the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, but Garner fled and the pursuit started.

 

The chase included officers from the Nashville Police Department, the Howard County Sheriff's office, the Arkansas State Police, the Little River County Sheriff's office and the Sevier County Sheriff's office.

 

The report states Garner drove on the wrong side of the roadway, passed vehicles in curves and forced oncoming traffic into the ditch. The pursuit traveled from Nashville to Mineral Springs, then onto U.S. Highway 71 south to Ashdown.

 

Officers laid down spike strips near Ashdown and were finally able to bring the pursuit to an end with no injuries. The pursuit lasted about 30 minutes and reached speeds of 140 miles per hour.

 

 

44TH ARKANSAS GOVERNOR'S CONFERENCE ON TOURISM STARTING SUNDAY IN WEST MEMPHIS            3/9/18

 

Tourism partners from across the state will meet at the 44th Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism starting Sunday at Southland Park Gaming and Racing in West Memphis. Christina Puckett of the Arkansas Tourism Department said this year's theme is "Natural Connections.”

 

Puckett said the annual gathering of Arkansas' tourism industry offers sessions on a variety of topics such as musical heritage, marketing to a diverse audience, social media and more.

 

She said the opening keynote speaker is former Austin, Texas, Mayor Will Wynn. Puckett said Governor Hutchinson will also present the Tourism Hall of Fame Awards to Cathy Drew and Mike Mills.

 

Puckett said the conference will conclude with the announcement of the 2018 Henry Award winners.

 

The first Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism was held at Dogpatch, U.S.A. in 1975. 

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT: TOP 10 COMPLAINTS OF 2017      3/9/18

 

In conjunction with national Consumer Protection Week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the Top 10 most common complaints the Attorney General's office received in 2017.

 

The top 10 most common complaint categories from 2017 were:

Sales of goods and services.

Automobile sales, service, financing and repair.

Credit repairs and other financial services.

Satellite, cable and internet service providers.

Home repair, construction and maintenance.

Landlord/tenant and real estate.

Health care.

Wireless and landline telephone services.

Utilities.

And, travel and timeshares.

 

For the first time in five years, automobile-related transactions were not the most common type of complaint reported to the Attorney General's office. The sales of goods and services was the top complaint category and brought in 1,383 complaints. These types of complaints often involved problems with purchasing goods both in store, and online, along with door-to-door sales.

 

The most common scam reported to the Attorney General's office was the Internal Revenue Service scam, in which scam artists intimidate Arkansans by posing as the IRS and demanding payment immediately. to protect themselves, Arkansans need to remember that the IRS will never call and demand payment, require taxes to be paid in a certain way, ask for credit or debit card numbers or threaten to bring police or other agencies to make an arrest for unpaid taxes.

 

In total, Rutledge's office resolved 7,229 formal complaints in 2017. To file a complaint online, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov. For more information, call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THESE 'LADYBUGS'       3/9/18

 

Arkansas is home to many varieties of multicolored beetles known as ladybugs, but here recently a multicolored Asian ladybug is causing concern among Arkansas residents.

 

Arkansas Agriculture Department pest specialists have received numerous inquires about a larger than normal population of Asian lady bugs that are making their way inside homes, vehicles, campers, barns, storage units and other areas uncommon for beetle populations.

 

Jake Bodart of the agriculture pests program said as temperatures rise, the population of lady bugs inside homes will likely decrease. He said these ladybugs are migrating anywhere they can find warmer temperatures. He said they are also attracted to light and shiny surfaces.

 

Bodart said Asian lady bugs are not poisonous but they do exude a foul-smelling, yellow defensive chemical, which will sometimes stain walls and other surfaces. While the odor of their defensive mechanism should create only a minor nuisance, some people are reporting a mild allergic reaction to it.

 

Bodart said there is no way to keep the Asian beetles out because they can fit through the tiniest crack or surface opening, but to prevent their movement indoors, homeowners can use a good quality silicone or silicone caulking to seal doors, windows, pipes, chimneys and other openings. He suggested homeowners repair damaged screen doors and vents. Bodart said the quickest remedy to get rid of the ladybugs is a vacuum cleaner.

 

For information about methods to control the multicolored Asian lady beetles visit on the website www.aad.arkansas.gov.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ISSUES NOTIFICATION OF SEX OFFENDER    3/8/18

 

SEX OFFENDER: Robert Rubio Garza. LEVEL: 3
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/11/1987 HAIR: Black EYES: BROWN
ADDRESS: 305 College Street Gillham AR 71841
CHARGES: Sexual Indecency with a Child (2 Counts)
HE IS NOT WANTED BY THE POLICE AT THIS TIME. THE NOTIFICATION IS NOT INTENDED TO INCREASE FEAR; RATHER, IT IS OUR BELIEF THAT AN INFORMED PUBLIC IS A SAFER PUBLIC.
 

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department is releasing the following information pursuant to Section 13 of Act 989 of 1997. The Sex and Child Offender Registration and the Community Notification Guidelines promulgated by the Commission on Child Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence, which authorize law enforcement agencies to inform the public of a sex offender’s release when the release of such information will enhance the public safety and protection.


The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of an offense that requires registration with the Arkansas Crime Information (ACIC). Further, his/her previous criminal history places him in a classification level that reflects the potential to be a repeat offender.


This offender has advised the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department that he/she will be living on the location below. HE/SHE IS NOT WANTED BY THE POLICE AT THIS TIME. THE NOTIFICATION IS NOT INTENDED TO INCREASE FEAR; RATHER, IT IS OUR BELIEF THAT AN INFORMED PUBLIC IS A SAFER PUBLIC.


Sex offenders have lived in our community but it was not until passage of the Sex Offender Registration Act that law enforcement even knew where they were living. Depending on Risk Level law enforcement is now able to share certain Sex Offender information with you. Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders will not be tolerated. Further, such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to do community notification. We believe the only person who wins if community notification ends is the sex offenders. Since sex offenders derive their power through secrecy.


Act 989 of 1997 requires community notification to all institutions, agencies, establishments or residents that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized or that are likely to encounter the offender. Neighborhood notification to a private residence indicates the offender lives within a three-block proximity of each notified home.
 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY ANNOUNCES LOCAL CANDADATES FOR THE 2018 PRIMARY ELECTIONS, SCHOOL ELECTIONS AND NONPARTISAN JUDICIAL GENERAL ELECTION       3/8/18

 

Little River County Clerk Deanna Sivley announced the local candidates that filed for office in Little River County for the 2018 Primary Elections, School Elections and Nonpartisan Judicial General Election.

 

Sivley reported the following candidates filed to run for office with the Democratic Party.

Justice of the Peace, District 6 - Gene Smithson

Justice of the Peace, District 7 - Charles Henderson

Justice of the Peace, District 8 - Phillip Penny

Constable for Caney - Wesley Tudor

Constable for Wallace/Richland - Anthony Bowman

Constable for Arden - Marcus Pullen

Constable for Jackson - Ladell Hinton

Constable for Lick Creek - Austin Ardwin

Constable for Franklin - Larry Phillips

Constable for Johnson - T.J. Badgett

Constable for Red River - Brandon Kennemore

 

Sivley reported the following candidates filed to run for office with the Republican Party.

County Judge - Don Lamon

County Sheriff and Collector - Bobby Walraven

Justice of the Peace, District 1 - Al Austin

Justice of the Peace, District 2 - Jeff Neeson

Justice of the Peace, District 4 - Billy Bob Pounds

Justice of the Peace, District 6 - Susan Carroll

Justice of the Peace, District 9 - Beverly Glanville

 

Sivley reported the following candidates filed to run for office as Independents.

County Judge - Mike Cranford

County Clerk - Deanna Sivley

Circuit Clerk - Lauren Abney

County Treasurer - Dayna Guthrie

County Assessor - Allie Rosenbaum

County Coroner - Roddy Smith III

Justice of the Peace, District 1 - Larry Broomfield

Justice of the Peace, District 2 - Larry Cowling

Justice of the Peace, District 3 - Keith Pullen

Justice of the Peace, District 4 - Ricky Bowman and Mark Ardwin

Justice of the Peace, District 5 - Chuck Davis

Justice of the Peace, District 9 - Bobby Furlow

Foreman School Board, Zone 3 - Elbert Bradley Jr. and Sandra McDonald

 

For more information, call the county clerk's office at 870-898-7210.

 

 

DE QUEEN BASEBALL ALUMNI GAME IS RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY        3/8/18

 

De Queen Head Baseball Coach Beau McCastlain informed KDQN that the De Queen Leopards have rescheduled their 3rd annual alumni baseball game and home run derby for Sunday at 2 p.m. at Leopard Field due to the possibility of rain on Saturday.

 

McCastlain stated the Annual Leopard Alumni game and home run derby are big fundraisers for the team. He said there will be players for the past couple of decades including some former Leopards who played minor league baseball.

 

McCastlain said admission is a donation of cash, a case of water or some bottles of Gatorade. He said the donations will help the team attend the Gulf Shores Classic Tournament in Alabama over Spring Break.

 

The Leopards are 4-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play and they will travel to Hot Springs this Friday to face-off with the Lakeside Rams at 4:30 p.m. You can follow the Leopards on the Leopard Network 102.1 the Good Path, weather permitting.

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENTS REPORT CALLS SEEKING PHONY FIRE DEPARTMENT DONATIONS      3/8/18

 

De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt informed KDQN that area residents have been receiving calls from people claiming to be representing the De Queen Fire Department.

 

Pruitt said a local resident was informed that the caller was a member of the fire department and they were seeking donations.

 

Pruitt stated the department does accept donations for the purchase of smoke alarms that they install for city residents, but they do not call residents and ask for donations.

 

Pruitt said if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the fire department, to contact the De Queen Fire Department or the De Queen Police Department, but you should not make a donation.

 

For more information, contact the De Queen City Hall at 870-642-2123.

 

 

DISPUTE OVER ARKANSAS 529 COLLEGE SAVINGS PROGRAM HOLDS UP STATE TREASURER'S BUDGET       3/8/18

 

The budget for the Arkansas Treasurer's office has stalled in the Legislature over a dispute over the state's 529 college savings plan.

 

Legislators are debating whether to allow taxpayers with a 529 college savings plan to withdraw funds for education expenses at public, private or religious K-12 schools.

 

The Arkansas House voted 74 to 15 in favor of the treasurer's budget, which is one vote shy of the 75 votes that needed to advance the measure. It's the second day in a row that the proposal has failed before the House.

 

The budget bill also includes a provision that's intended to mirror a change in the federal tax law that was recently enacted. Supporters say the change in state law is needed to ensure Arkansans don't face state tax penalties if they withdraw funds from their 529 college savings plan for educational expenses related to K-12 schools.

 

 

HOUSE APPROVES ARKANSAS WORKS BUDGET       3/8/18

 

Arkansas lawmakers voted Wednesday to keep the state's Medicaid expansion for another year after federal officials announced the state can require people on the program to work or volunteer in order to keep their coverage.

 

The Arkansas House approved the budget for the state's Medicaid program and the hybrid expansion by a 79 to 15 vote. The measure needed at least 75 votes to pass. It will head to Governor Asa Hutchinson's desk for his signature.

 

More than 285,000 people are on the program, which uses federal and state funds to purchase private insurance for low-income residents. The Arkansas Works program was created as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.

 

The Trump administration approved Arkansas' request to require thousands on the expansion program to work or volunteer. Arkansas is the third state that has been allowed to impose a work requirement on Medicaid.

 

The bill cleared a major hurdle on Tuesday in the Senate, where vacancies had created uncertainty about the program's future. The proposal passed without a vote to spare in that chamber. The measure passed in the House without any debate.

 

Arkansas' work requirement will affect non-disabled, childless adults on the plan who are 19 to 49 years old. People affected by the change will be required to work or participate in other activities such as volunteering or vocational training for 20 hours a week. Arkansas' requirement will not affect people on its traditional Medicaid program, which covers more than 645,000 people statewide.

 

 

STATE REPORTING A TOTAL OF 184 FLU RELATED DEATHS       3/8/18

 

The number of deaths due to the flu rose by five in the past week to bring the total number to 184 in what was already the state's deadliest flu season since the state Department of Health began tracking the deaths in 2000.

 

The previous record of 110 deaths was recorded during the 2014-2015 flu season.

 

Dirk Haselow of the Arkansas Department of Health reported earlier this week that it appears the flu season has peaked and should end in about five weeks.

 

Haselow said influenza B has now surpassed influenza A as the most common type of flu in the state.

 

Most of the season has been dominated by the influenza A virus which is also known as H3N2. Health officials stated this strain of the flu tends to cause more illness than the other flu viruses.

 

 

A WILTON MAN DIED MONDAY IN ACCIDENT IN NEW MEXICO       3/7/18

 

A Wilton man died in an accident in New Mexico on Monday according to the New Mexico State Police.

 

The accident happened about 11:30 a.m. Monday morning on State Road 128 around mile maker 30. According to the accident report, a 2001 Dodge pickup rear-ended a 2003 Peterbilt tractor-trailer.

 

The report states the Peterbilt had slowed down to make a left-hand turn, but it is not known why the Dodge pickup did not slow down.

 

The pickup's driver, 22-year-old Matthew Rosenbaum of Wilton, was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured, but the accident is still under investigation.

 

The report states that alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

 

 

DESCENDANTS OF BABE RUTH TO ATTEND DEDICATION OF HOT SPRINGS HISTORIC BASEBALL TRAIL         3/7/18

 

Descendants of baseball's immortal Babe Ruth and other Major League legends will interact with the public March 23rd and 245th when Hot Springs completes its internationally famous Historic Baseball Trail.

 

Hot Springs will host a baseball weekend to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's historic 500-foot home run that he during spring training at Whittington Park in Hot Springs. Steve Arrison said there will be a dedication of two Baseball Trail markers honoring Arkansas-born catcher Bill Dickey and pitcher Lefty Grove.

 

Arrison said Hot Springs will dedicate the final two plaques in the Historic Baseball Trail to honor the scores of pitchers and catchers who trained in Hot Springs.

 

On Saturday, three generations from the Babe Ruth family will be on-hand to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's 500-foot home run at Whittington Park. Arrison said there will also be a screening of the documentary, "The First Boys of Spring," a panel discussion by baseball historians and a panel discussion with Ruth's family.

 

The Historic Hot Springs Baseball Trail traces the locations, activities and information about the hundreds of Major League baseball players and staff who trained in Hot Springs long before spring training became associated with places like Arizona and Florida.

 

For more information, visit the website www.hotspringsbaseballtrail.com. 

 

STACY TO RUN FOR SEVIER COUNTY TAX ASSESSOR  03/06/18

Robin Stacy of Lockesburg announced today that she will be a candidate for Sevier County Tax Assessor, subject to the May 22nd Democratic Primary election.

Robin Stacy, 53 is a 38 year resident of Lockesburg, AR.  She is a granddaughter of Herman and Bertha Christian from De Queen,  youngest daughter to Russell Wayne Christian, Lockesburg, AR and is greatly supported by her Aunt Alma Hunter.  She was born in Torrance, CA and relocated to Lockesburg, AR the latter part of her high school years to help her parents with the family farm.  She has provided the following statement in support of her candidacy:

“I have learned the value of hard work, integrity and responsibility which led to making this decision to run for public service. If I am fortunate enough to be elected for County Assessor, I assure the citizens of Sevier County that I will never think that the office belongs to me. I understand that it belongs to the taxpayers and voters of Sevier County who should always have the right to choose who receives the privilege to hold this important office.”

My career began at the Cossatot Conservation District office in De Queen for the last 23 years.  I currently hold the position of District Manager and Water Quality Technician.  Some of my duties include visiting the land owners, collecting soil samples, educating farmers and making recommendations. It also includes working closely with Natural Resource Conservation Service at the Federal level to assist the local farmers to take advantage of any Federal cost share programs.  As the manager I do all the bookkeeping, financial statements and reports due to our State agency. I also, have worked with the county tax assessor’s office to publish the ownership maps/books for the county.

I am dedicated to my family, husband Keith of 35 years and two wonderful daughters, Sarah and Erica. I enjoy spending time with my family, camping, fishing, hunting, gardening, and canning.  I volunteer my extra time at church, fairs, assisting with school activities.

My name is on the upcoming election ballot for the County Tax Assessor position for Sevier County, May 22nd, 2018.  I’m honest, hardworking, and would appreciate your vote.

 

CHRISTUS ST. MICHAEL DONATES $20,000 TO UA COSSATOT        3/6/18

 

Christus St. Michael Medical Center in Texarkana, Texas donated $20,000 through the Christus Fund to UA Cossatot in support of the Center for Student Success.

 

The Christus Fund provides resources to not-for-profit agencies and groups whose vision, mission and goals are consistent with Christus Health's mission, values and philosophy of a healthy community. According to the Christus Fund, quote "by working together, we can make a profound difference in the quality of people's lives and create sustainable, positive change in our communities" unquote.

 

Center for Student Success Coordinator Erika Buenrrostro stated, donations like this one are an integral part of every community and they help change the lives of people within the community. She said Cossatot was excited to work alongside Christus St. Michael in helping to promote healthier living and building a healthier community.

 

Signage for the Center for Student Success will carry the Christus St. Michael name to commemorate the hospital's dedication to Southwest Arkansas communities.

 

The Center for Student Success provides support, resources, motivation, and assistance to all students of the college, including women, veterans, Asians, African-Americans and Hispanics as they progress through their educational experience at UA Cossatot. According to the press release, the center will work alongside Angela MacDonald, Christus Fund program manager, to ensure the donation will fund monthly community and student workshops through January 2020 supporting healthy lifestyles, unity and diversity and collaboration with the regions' industry to promote higher education.

 

Find more information about the Center for Student Success events and services on their Facebook page at Facebook.com/CSSatUAC.

 

 

ANNUAL TRAP SHOOT FRIDAY AND SATURDAY      3/6/18

 

The 11th annual University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana's Pulling for Education Trap Shoots will be held this Friday and Saturday at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center in Columbus.

 

The community team shoot will begin at 9 a.m. Friday for three-man teams. A Henry .22 rifle will be raffled and lunch will be provided by Farm Credit Services.

 

The school teams shoot will begin at 8 a.m. Friday. It has a 45 team limit for five-man teams in junior and senior high. A gun raffle will be held and concessions will be available.

 

For more information, call the UA Hope-Texarkana Foundation at 870-722-8516.

 

 

ARKANSAS GETS OK TO ADD WORK REQUIREMENT FOR MEDICAID RECIPIENTS      3/6/18

 

Arkansas officials say they will soon begin requiring most Medicaid recipients to work, but advocacy groups say it's just another burden on people whose lives are already difficult.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the approval of a federal waiver allowing Arkansas to implement the work requirement on participants in the state's Arkansas Works program on Monday. But Marquita Little with Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families says the work requirement is a costly and punitive political move designed to kick people who need health care out of the program.

 

Arkansas is the third state to be granted the waiver, but Hutchinson says it will likely be the first to implement the regulation, starting on June 1st. It would apply to the 285,000 enrollees in the Arkansas Works program. The waiver does not, however, approve a requested provision to lower eligibility to 100 percent of the federal poverty level from the current 138 percent level.

 

Hutchinson maintains that the work requirements are designed to help, not hurt, Medicaid recipients.

 

The requirement for 20 hours of work, volunteering, or vocational training would affect about 40,000 people on the program. But Little says adding a punishment will only serve as a disincentive to people who are already struggling.

 

Approval of the work requirement is seen as a key to winning support for reauthorizing the budget for the Medicaid expansion in Arkansas, which is currently pending in the state Legislature.

 

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER PROGRAM SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 28TH and MARCH 30TH AND 31ST          3/6/18

 

Recently, DeAnn Vaught of Horatio announced she and about 50 other individuals from all across Southwest Arkansas joined together to present a program entitled "The Truth about Forever."

 

She stated the group will present the free program on Wednesday, March 28th, Friday, March 30th and Saturday, March 31st at the De Queen High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. each evening.

 

Vaught said the event is a non-denominational outreach program. She said the event is for people who believe in God and those who don't.

 

She said there are volunteers from Gillham, De Queen, Foreman, Ashdown and Horatio.

 

For more information, visit the Facebook page, “The Truth about Forever.”

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE TO OFFER PRIVATE APPLICATOR LICENSE CLASS MARCH 20TH        3/6/18

 

The Little River County Extension Office will offer a class for residents who need a license to buy restricted products to spray their fields and crops.

 

Little River County Extension Agent Sherry Beaty-Sullivan said you can take this class if you've never had a license or if your license has expired. The license are issued by the Arkansas State Plant Board.

 

The first class is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on March 20th and the second class will begin at 5:30 on the same day.

 

Classes will be held on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot. Sullivan said you do not have to pre-register for the class, but if you need more information, call 870-898-7224 or email her at sbeaty@uaex.edu. 

 

 

 

GILLHAM VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT IMPROVES AREA WILDFIRE SAFETY    03/6/18

Gillham firefighters have worked with the Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) and Firewise USA to complete a large-scale wildfire prevention effort across their fire district. As part of recognition requirements, Gillham crew members completed wildfire safety assessment surveys on structures in their fire district and developed a Community Wildfire Preparedness Plan, which outlines wildfire mitigation projects and concerns in the next three-year window (residents may request a copy).

“The Gillham Fire District is at risk for wildfire,” said Arkansas Firewise Coordinator, Travis Haile. “With the type of terrain and overgrowth, fires can spread quickly. It is a great place to focus defensible space and wildfire safety efforts. The Arkansas Forestry Commission is proud this fire department is so willing to make wildfire prevention a part of local concerns.”

The primary mission of the Firewise USA initiative is to improve a community’s defensible space, or the area closest to homes (up to 300 feet from structures) that should be treated for wildfire-resistance. Gillham crew members are also looking to educate community members on Firewise USA goals and principles, distributing fire safety information at various events. The AFC encourages citizens to be informed and to get involved in local fire prevention efforts.

So, what are the primary wildfire concerns for residents in Gillham and Sevier County – and very importantly, what can homeowners do to help firefighters make homes safer?

• Spacing between Vegetation and Homes: The area up to 300 feet from homes should contain lean, clean and green vegetation of all kinds – this includes landscaping, grass, trees and shrubbery. Homeowners primary focus should be directed to the Immediate Zone (0-5 feet from the home). Keep grass mowed short and provide water, making it very resistant to fire embers. Trim trees so limbs do not touch the roof, windows or deck areas; also work to keep limbs trimmed at least six feet up from the ground so a small surface fire is not transferred to treetops. Finally, keep dead vegetation like leaves, twigs and pine needles cleared from the roof, porches, vents and structure walls. These dead plant materials spread flames between vegetation and homes.


• Think of the yard as the primary defense against wildfire: Any debris, trees, vehicles, fences, workshops, doghouses, RVs, barns or otherwise that could carry wildfire from the surrounding wildland area to your home should be considered a hazard. Any cleared area that could be used to stop a fire is helpful.


• Be mindful of burn bans and high fire weather: Though it’s not always convenient for homeowners during burn bans, they are declared by county judges when conditions are too dangerous to burn. Firefighters encourage residents to stay informed about burn bans via radio announcements, television, or by visiting arkfireinfo.org for an up-to-date statewide map of burn bans. Additionally, it’s important to remember even without burn bans, when winds are high and humidity is low, burning is still very dangerous. Don’t leave trash, leaves, or brush unattended while burning at anytime, but especially when the weather is ripe for high wildfire danger.


• Mailbox Lettering: It’s easy enough for firefighters to find a home when smoke is billowing from all sides, however, it becomes very difficult to locate emergencies and possible victims in the middle of the night or during rain when nature has no way of pinpointing a scene. While everyone understands posting reflective letters may take some time, Gillham firefighters encourage everyone to get correct addresses posted in 4-inch letters as soon as possible to allow for the quickest possible response time.


The leading causes of wildfire in Arkansas are burning debris and arson. Debris fires include a broad list of accidents related to trash, brush pile and leaf burns, while arson fires are those lit intentionally. Homeowners often light fires when conditions are too windy, during burn bans, or in areas that are not appropriately separated from the surrounding wildland area. Firefighters hope homeowners begin to make better decisions about using fire and encourage residents to call anytime they hope to burn so that should a situation change, fire trucks can arrive quickly.

Many times homeowners take for granted that a fire department could save every home from fire; this is not a reality. What is a reality, however, is that residents can take active steps to ensure that their home could be saved in the event of a wildfire by keeping defensible space maintained and accessible to fire crews and water. The Gillham community has a dedicated fire team protecting families and structures.

The Gillham Fire Department and the AFC hope to support you in all efforts to reduce wildfire risk. Call 501-813-2554 for more information about Firewise, or visit the website at www.aad.arkansas.gov/arkansas-firewise1. Remember to call 911 to report wildfires or emergencies in your area.

 

 


Donations Given to Ashdown School District to Display National Motto 3/5/17

Brother Jim Cross and the Ashdown and Richmond First United Methodist Church donated money which enabled the Ashdown School District to purchase posters and frames to display “In God We Trust” in each classroom in the district. After the posters and frames were purchased, the balance was donated to the Margaret Daniel Foundation for teacher grants.

Bro. Jim said, “We are excited to be able to show our trust in God to our students and faculty with this powerful reminder that God is with us. Ashdown and Richmond United Methodist Churches are proud of the Ashdown School District while trusting that God’s protective hands will cover our schools daily.”

DeAnn Vaught, State Representative for District 4 was a strong supporter of Act 911 2017 which allows the display of our National Motto in classrooms. Vaught said, “At the Capitol we tend to have to make some very tough votes! But the vote to allow the 'In God We Trust' in all public buildings was a super easy vote! What a great way to bring God back into our schools and a sense of patriotism! Something this country truly needs! Thank you Ashdown Schools for participating in this overwhelming movement in Arkansas!"

Ashdown Superintendent, Jason Sanders said, “I would like to thank Brother Jim Cross for helping us with the financial donations for our posters. We are excited to put the Arkansas flag, United States flag, and the ‘In God We Trust’ motto in each classroom in our school district."



CHANDLER-WISHARD FAMILY MAKES SECOND DONATION TO LEGACY 2020 CAMPAIGN 3/5/18
 
The UA Cossatot Foundation received a second Legacy 2020 capital campaign donation from the Chandler-Wishard family.
 
Computer lab 506 in the Allison Building on the De Queen campus is now the Chandler-Wishard Computer Lab to recognize the $8,000 donation.
 
Marian Chandler, Lawrence Allen Wishard, Andrea Wishdard, and Stephanie Chandler-Wishard presented the donation to the foundation. The Chandler-Wishard family own and operate the Chandler Funeral Home in De Queen.
 
Funeral Home Manager, Lawrence Allen Wishard stated, a world of opportunities can open through education. He said he and his family hope their contribution will make it possible for individuals to attend college in the future.
 
The UA Cossatot Foundation Legacy 2020 campaign focuses on community members that wish to invest in the development of the college in Sevier, Howard, and Little River counties. A naming opportunity is available to donors who want to leave a visible legacy in their community.
 
UA Cossatot Coordinator of Development Dustin Roberts stated it was exciting that the Chandler-Wishard family has decided to make a second donation to the Legacy 2020 campaign. He said their commitment to higher education and to Cossatot's students is truly inspiring.
 
Roberts said it was exciting to see the area communities supporting UA Cossatot students and campuses by investing in the future of the college.
 
For more information about the Legacy 2020 Campaign visit the college's website at www.cccua.edu/legacy2020.
 
 
DE QUEEN BASEBALL ALUMNI GAME IS SATURDAY 3/5/18
 
Head Coach Beau McCastlain reported the De Queen Leopards haven't had a full-team practice this season, but they've opened the season 2-1 with victories over Foreman and Danville.
 
McCastlain stated the Leopards will host their 3rd Annual Leopard Alumni game this Saturday at Leopard Field. He said admission is donations only and the proceeds will help the team attend the Gulf Shores Classic Tournament in Alabama over Spring Break and help make other program improvements. He said the Leopards will host an alumni Home Run derby, between the two alumni games.
 
McCastlain said last year the Leopards were 9-2 following the trip to Gulf Shores and this year, several teams from Arkansas and Oklahoma are making the trip.
 
This week, the Leopards will open conference play at home against Hope and travel to Hot Springs to face the Lakeside Rams on Friday.
 
You can follow the Leopards on the Leopard Network 102.1 the Good Path, Tuesday and Friday, weather permitting.
 
 
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - FISCAL SESSION 3/5/18
 
As of this week, Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed nearly 200 budget bills into law and the legislature could vote on all remaining bills over the next several days.
 
Last week, the House addressed budget items that impact public safety.
 
The House approved an increase of $3.5 million dollars in general revenue for the Department of Correction.
 
The House also approved an amendment to the appropriation for the Department of Community Correction, which adds $203,000 to their appropriation for three new positions and a drug court in Franklin County.
 
Members also approved a re-appropriation for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission which includes $800,500 to fund the panic button system in public schools. The system provides classroom teachers, principals, and other school personnel with a console enabling them to alert first responders to crises including an active shooter, medical emergency, fire or on-site disruption. It can also guide designated emergency personnel to the precise location of the event.
 
Members also approved a supplemental appropriation of $17,000 for the University of Arkansas of Monticello and a supplemental appropriation of $13,000 for Arkansas State University in Beebe. The funds for both of these supplemental appropriations come from the Educational Excellence Trust Fund to fulfill scholarship obligations for this fiscal year.
 
The House has approved several appropriations for state offices including those for the State Board of Election Commissioners, the Office of Attorney General, the Department of Information Services, and the Department of Health, however, those appropriations do not include any increases in funding.
 
Arkansans can watch the Speaker-designate election and all House proceedings live on the website ArkansasHouse.org.
 
 
50TH ANNUAL JONQUIL FESTIVAL IN OLD WASHINGTON STATE PARK 3/5/18
 
Jonquils are in bloom at Historic Washington State Park and a tremendous line-up of entertainment and fun await those who will be visiting the park on March 16th through the 18th for the 50th Annual Jonquil Festival. In celebrations of their 50th anniversary, the park has added a several new events including Dutch oven cooking demonstrations, a parade, a fish fry, a custom car show, and a free concert. Of course they'll still have their crafters, food concession and music.
 
Everyone is invited to stroll the board walks, watch the children playing in the jonquils, picnick on festival food and enjoy the music under the entertainment tent. You can also shop for handcrafted items and tour the Weapons Museum, the Print Museum and the Blacksmith Shop.
 
Friday's lineup includes Iron munchers at the Blacksmith shop, the Arkansas Dutch Oven Cooking demonstrations, Fish fry fundraisers by the Hempstead County volunteer fire departments, and an evening parade celebrating the Jonquil Festival's 50th anniversary in conjunction with Hempstead County's 200th birthday.
 
Saturday's lineup includes a 5K run hosted by the Hope Evening Lions club, a custom car show, Dancetastics studio, a Karaoke competition and a free evening concert.
 
Sunday's lineup includes horseshoes next to the print museum and a town ball game on block 6.
 
Parking is $5. Admission to the crafts and outside areas is free. Tours of the park museums and historical sites will be at regular price of $9 for adults, and $5 for children ages 6 to 12.
 
The festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 9 to 4 on Sunday.


AG SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK IS MARCH 4-10       3/5/18
 
Farm Bureaus across the country are making safety a top priority this spring through the Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As a part of ASAP, March 4th through the 10th has been designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week.
 
This year's theme, "No One Can Take Your Place," will highlight a different safety focus each day of the week. Tuesday will focus on fire safety; Wednesday will focus on impaired driving; Thursday will focus on hearing protection and Friday will focus on respiratory safety.
 
When the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor and other organizations are examined, it's easy to see why the awareness of safety in these areas is important.
 
In 2014, there were over 16,000 deaths in Arkansas due to heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. In 2015, 401 farmers and farm workers died in work-related accidents. In 2017, there were 32 homes fires fatalities reported by the news in Arkansas.
 
Jason Kaufman is the education coordinator for Arkansas Farm Bureau and he said this year's theme, No One Can Take Your Place, was chosen because farmers fill such important roles in their communities, businesses and families. He said it's critical that they take time to ensure their safety and good health.
 
For more information about Ag Safety Week, visit the Education section of Arkansas Farm Bureau's website, www.arfb.com.

 

SEVIER COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION CERTIFIES LOCAL CANDIDATES FOR THE 2018 PRIMARY ELECTIONS, SCHOOL ELECTIONS AND NONPARTISAN JUDICIAL GENERAL ELECTION       3/2/18

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced the Sevier County Election Commission met this morning at 10 a.m. to certify the local candidates for the 2018 Primary Elections, School Elections and Nonpartisan Judicial General Election.

 

Akin reported the following candidates filed to run for office with the Democratic Party.

Sheriff and Collector - Robert Gentry

County Judge - Greg Ray

County Clerk - Debbie Akin

Treasurer - Heather McDonnell

Assessor - Sheila Ridley and Robin Stacy

Circuit Clerk - Kathy Smith

Coroner - Rusty Williams

Justice of the Peace, District 1 - Earl Battiest

Justice of the Peace, District 2 - Charles Keels

Justice of the Peace, District 3 - Roxy Stephens

Justice of the Peace, District 4 - David Wright

Justice of the Peace, District 5 - Roger Whitmore

Justice of the Peace, District 6 - Victor Rojas

Justice of the Peace, District 8 - Kenneth Currence

Constable, Monroe Township - Kim Culp

 

Akin reported the following candidates filed to run for office with the Republican Party.

 

Justice of the Peace, District 9 - Greg Wright

 

Akins reported the following candidates filed to run for office as Independents.

 

Justice of the Peace, District 6 - Angie Walker

Justice of the Peace, District 7 - Michael Archer

De Queen School Board Director, Zone 4 - Kenneth Martin

Horatio School Board Director, Zone 5 - Greg Litchford.

 

Atkin said state candidates will be certified during a meeting of the county election commission at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 9th.

 

Akin also mentioned county residents have until April 23rd to register to vote in the Primary, School Elections and Nonpartisan Judicial Election in May.

 

Akin also reported Sevier County now has vote centers and registered voters may vote at the center of their choice.

 

For more information, call the county clerk's office at 870-642-2852.

 

 

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL RESIDENTS       3/2/18

 

Thursday afternoon, Governor Asa Hutchinson's office announced the appointment of 55 Arkansans.

 

Victor Rojas of De Queen was reappointed to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. His appointment will expire August 1st, 2019. And, Linda Walker of Ashdown was appointed to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. Her appointment will expire August 1st. 2018.

 

Blake Montgomery of Hope was appointed to the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. He replaces Eugene Bramblett and his appointment expires July 1st, 2022.

 

Chief Bob Harrison of Texarkana was reappointed to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. His appointment expires January 14th, 2025.

 

Denise Sweat of McCaskill was reappointed to the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. Her appointment expires January 14th, 2022.

 

And, Dennis Massey of Mount Ida was appointed as a Justice of the Peace for the Montgomery County Quorum Court, District 3. His appointment expires December 31st, 2018. He is replacing Lydon Spivey.

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK - A RIVER FOR ALL SEASONS      3/2/18

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary reported the Cossatot River changes on a regular basis and that is why they call it a river for all seasons.

 

Flanary said the current river level is 5.4 feet. She said that means bridges are covered by water and park visitors are being encouraged not to cross them.

 

Flanary said the river level was 11.5 Thursday. She said the water level depends on the amount of water that they release in the Gillham Lake. She said you can check the rivers level at www.waterdata.usgs.gov.

 

Flanary reported the park is going to be offering some new programs this month, like Cossatot's Cover-up, Regurgitation Situation and Town Ball.

 

Flanary said they will also have activities and program everyday during Arkansas' Spring Break. She said they'll be offering hikes, games, star gazing and geo-caching activities.

 

For more information, Flanary said you can visit the website www.arkansasstateparks.com, email her or call the park at 870-385-2201.

 

The park is also offering programs beginning at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL ALERT - TAX TIME TRICKS FROM THIEVES      3/2/18

 

With tax season in full swing, scammers are ramping up efforts to steal data from tax professionals and scam their clients. The IRS recently issued an identity theft warning indicting that thieves hack into a tax professional's files, steal sensitive client information and file a tax return in that person's name. While the money may go to your personal account, reports indicate some amounts are as much as $20,000, the scammer then has plans to impersonate the IRS and collect that money later.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said some victims receive threats of being turned over to the IRS collection agency, while others have been told that their social security number would be blacklisted. These are both scams and the IRS asks consumers who receive an erroneous refund to follow the established procedures listed below.

 

If the erroneous refund was a direct deposit: you should contact the Automated Clearing House department of the bank or financial institution where the direct deposit was received and have them return the refund to the IRS, or you can call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 to explain why the direct deposit is being returned.

 

If the erroneous refund was a paper check and has not been cashed; you should write the word void in the endorsement section on the back of the check. Submit the check immediately to the local IRS location. do not staple, bend or paper clip the check and include a note stating, return of erroneous refund check because and provide a brief explanation of why the refund check is being returned.

 

If the erroneous refund was a paper check and you cashed it: submit a personal check or money order to the appropriate IRS location for the amount deposited by the scammers. If you no longer have access to a copy of the deposited check, call the IRS toll-free at 1-800-829-1040 and explain to the IRS assistor that you need information to repay a cashed refund check. Write on the check or money order: payment of erroneous refund, the tax period for which the refund was issued and your social security number. Include a brief explanation of the reason for returning the refund and be aware that repaying an erroneous refund in this manner may result in interest due to the IRS.

 

The IRS has also encouraged tax preparers to increase their own security measures to avoid these data breaches. Tax preparers should consider consulting with a reputable data security consultant or provider in order to give greater protection to their customers.

 

The IRS also encourages Arkansans with any questions about owed taxes to contact their office directly by calling 1-800-829-1040.

 

For more information, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       3/1/18

 

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Little River County.

 

The purpose of this project is to resurface approximately 6.7 miles of County Road 21 starting at State Highway 32 South and continuing westward.

 

C & F Construction of Smackover was awarded the contract at $514,394.92.

 

Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected by mid-2018.

 

According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, they opened bids on a total of 32 projects.

 

The largest single project, which was bid at $28.9 million dollars, was to widen U.S. Highway 167 for 7.2 miles, from two lanes to four, in Calhoun County.

 

Under the governor's proposed balanced budget for next year, $16 million dollars from the state's surplus would go to the Transportation Department. In order for the state to qualify for about $200 million dollars in matching federal highway funds, the state must come up with about $50 million dollars by the end of the summer.

 

For the five year period from 2016 through 2020, the Transportation Department budget will average about $990 million dollars a year. That comprises $455 million in state generated revenue, which comes from the motor fuels taxes and fees on heavy trucks, and $535 million in federal funds.

 

For travel information visit the websites IDriveArkansas.com or ArDot.gov.

 

 

OVERNIGHT RAIN FORCES SCHOOL CLOSINGS AND ROAD CLOSURES        3/1/18

 

Wednesday night and Thursday morning, Sevier County received almost five-inches of rain and flooded several county roads, forcing the De Queen and Horatio School District's to cancel classes.

 

De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported he canceled school Thursday because he would rather error on the side of caution.

 

Hill stated Thursday night's Math and Literacy Night event and the practice track meet at Lake Hamilton were also canceled.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported water was over several county roads and reminded people to use caution and to turn around and not drown when they discover water over the roadway. He said people who remove caution tape or warning signs put others in danger.

 

Sevier County Officer of Emergency Services, Walter Smith reported the De Queen Police Department had to evacuate some homes in De Queen. He said they also had to rescue a woman that drove off into some high water.

 

Water is receding, but Judge Ray stated the Little River has not crested yet.

 

 

HIGH SPEED PURSUIT ENDS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       3/1/18

 

Tuesday morning, law enforcement officers from Howard County were involved in a high speed pursuit that ended in Little River County, near Ashdown.

 

According to the incident report, 33-year-old Antonio Garner visited the York Gary Autoplex in Nashville about 9 a.m. and inquired about a vehicle. Garner and the salesperson, Arturo Perez left the dealership in a Chrysler 300, however, as Garner approached the old Howard Memorial Hospital property on Leslie Street, he stopped the vehicle and ordered Perez to get out.

 

The dealership reported the incident to the Nashville Police. A short time later, Howard County Sheriff Bryan McJunkins and Nashville Police Officer Greg Parker located the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, but Garner sped away.

 

Garner left Nashville and traveled south through Mineral Springs and eventually turned south onto Highway 71. Once the chase neared Ashdown, officers deployed stopsticks in an effort to deflate the car's tires. Police say two tires were affected by the spikes, but the vehicle continued to travel south into Ashdown where an Arkansas State Police trooper conducted a PIT maneuver, forcing the vehicle to come to a stop.

 

Garner was arrested at the scene and was transported to the Howard County Jail. He is being charged with felony counts of theft of property and fleeing and could face charges in Little River County.

 

Authorities say the pursuit sustained speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour during the half hour pursuit.

 

 

FIRST EVER 15TH ANNUAL WORLD'S SHORTEST ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE IN HOT SPRINGS         3/1/18

 

A dancing dinosaur, roller derby ladies, and the Budweiser Clydesdales will join returning favorites for the First Ever 15th Annual World's Shortest St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 17th in downtown Hot Springs.

 

Steve Arrison is the CEO of Visit Hot Springs and one of the parade founders and he said there will be Irish Elvis impersonators, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and Irish belly dancers in this year's parade.

 

He said there will also a dancing dinosaur from the Mid-America Science Museum and the Sassy Shorty Ladies who are a team of roller derby skaters and a pack of marching Irish duchshunds.

 

Arrison said their packing 98 miles of solid fun into the 98-foot-long Bridge Street parade route, but he also stated the fun starts on Friday.

 

Arrison said there will be 40 entries, including the grand marshal Joey Fatone of NSYNC and the official starter is Jon Heder of Napoleon Dynamite fame.

 

The parade will begin at 7:30 p.m.

 

For more information, call 501-321-2027.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - TRADE EXPORTS       3/1/18

 

The World Trade Center Arkansas has compiled the first listing of companies in Arkansas that export products to foreign markets and it's over 110 pages long.

 

The goal of the Trade Center is to strengthen the ties between the Arkansas business community and the international business community.

 

Later this year, the center will lead Arkansas delegations on trade missions to the Netherlands, the Caribbean and China. At a conference in Jonesboro earlier this month, trade center representatives spoke on the importance of Canada and Mexico as markets for Arkansas rice.

 

At the same conference, the governor and trade officials emphasized the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement for Arkansas companies that export their products.

 

In the past five years, Arkansas firms exported more than $33 billion dollars worth of products. Arkansas is first in exports of rice, fourth in broilers, sixth in cotton, and tenth in soybeans. It would be fair to say Arkansas is leading the United States in efforts to normalize trade with Cuba, which is seen as a good market for rice and poultry.

 

Exports also support almost 350,000 Arkansas jobs.

 

After Canada and Mexico, the countries that buy the most Arkansas exports are Japan, France and Singapore. In all, Arkansas companies ship products to 181 countries. About 2,345 Arkansas companies either ship goods or sell services overseas, and almost 80 percent of them are small to medium in size.

 

two years of sales tax data  03/01/18

 

Mayor billy Ray McKelvy prepared a document comparing two full years of city and county sales tax revenue. At the county level, sales tax was up almost 5 percent over 2016. Most cities were in the 3 to 4 percent range.

Sales tax figures are presented as a general indicator of retail trends for the county.
 

Click here for full report