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OVER A DOZEN EMPLOYEES NO LONGER EMPLOYED WITH DE QUEEN MEDICAL CENTER        8/31/17

 

KDQN has learned that 16 employees of the De Queen Medical Center are no longer employed as of Wednesday, August 30th.

 

According to a report, Jerramy Icenhower, Britney Icenhower, Teslee Icenhower, Debra Icenhower, Rachel Icenhower, Christy Richardson, Robert Richardson, Lisa Clenney, Taylor Gentry, Brenda Clift, Brad Hartridge, Brittany Hartridge, Kevin Redden, Lisa Redden, Leigh Starwalt and Hunter Talent are no longer employees of the De Queen Medical Center.

 

According to that same report, Brad Patterson has been named the new Director of Nursing.

 

One person reported, the new hospital owners are moving the hospital's administration, payroll and HR to a centralized corporate office that manages their other hospitals.

 

A statement from the De Queen Police Department said officers were asked to be present in the building; however, officers did not have any contact with the former employees. Police Chief Scott Simmons also reported there is no investigation involving any current or former employees of the hospital.

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR BREAKING INTO A STUDENT'S VEHICLE       8/31/17

 

Monday, August 28th, the De Queen Police Department was informed that a black male, wearing a red and blue shirt with khaki pants was trying to get into some vehicles by the De Queen High School rock gym.

 

When Officer Gary Cunningham arrived he found a suspect matching the description near Cub Drive and identified him as 24-year-old Cameron Stinnett of De Queen.

 

While speaking with Stinnett, Cunningham asked if he had been around some vehicles near the rock gym and he said he had leaned up against one. Cunningham also asked Stinnett if he had any weapons on him. While patting Stinnett down, Cunningham found a knife that was about eight and three-quarters inch long with about one-inch of the blade bent, allegedly from prying on something.

 

According to the incident report, the school security cameras showed Stinnett leaned into a white car and looked inside a bag. He allegedly told Cunningham that he was looking for money, but he didn't find any.

 

Stinnett was charged with two counts of breaking or entering a vehicle.

 

 

DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT TOP SCORING SCHOOL IN HOWARD COUNTY       8/31/17

 

Dierks Superintendent Holly Cothern announced the Dierks School District's ACT Aspire test scores ranked 67th out of the total 248 school districts in the state.

 

Cothern said the Dierks Board of Education voted to allow students in the fourth through the seventh grade who scored proficient or advance on the ACT Aspire test to go bowling in Texarkana.

 

Cothern also mentioned the board approved the purchase of 90 Chromebooks. She said the district now has a one-to-one student to Chromebook ratio.

 

During the principal’s report, board members were informed that the district participated in an active shooter workshop. Cothern said she feels the training was very valuable to the teachers and administrators.

 

Cothern said the district also said farewell to Karen Kitchens. Kitchens served on the Dierks School Board for 15-years and decided not to seek re-election this year.

 

Board members also voted to approve the FMLA leave for Ashley Arnold and they hired Sharon Keasterson as a certified long-term substitute.

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT MAKES APPEARANCE IN FEDERAL COURT        8/31/17

 

A De Queen man accused of selling methamphetamine from his home made an appearance in a Texarkana federal court, this week.

 

Thirty-year-old Randy Hayes was arrested August 23rd for allegedly selling methamphetamine. He then appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in Texarkana Division of the Western District of Arkansas on the following day.

 

According to court records, the FBI, the Arkansas State Police and South Central Drug Task Force conducted two controlled buys of large quantities of meth from Hayes at his home on De Queen Avenue on May 30th and June 1st.

 

A CI working with law enforcement officials allegedly made arrangements to purchase approximately 20 grams of meth from Hayes on May 30 with money supplied by the FBI.

 

The following day, a CI allegedly arranged to purchase 14 grams of meth from Hayes at his home.

 

Court records also show Hayes has been charged in Sevier County Circuit Court with delivery of a controlled substance, meth.

 

 

LOCAL FLOOD RELIEF EFFORTS         8/31/17

 

Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herrings announced Thursday morning that the Sevier County 4-H clubs were teaming up with Chris Hale, Bailey Discount Building Supply and Matt and Grover Hill to collect donations for the flood victims in south Texas.

 

Herring said the Hill's have donated the use of a tractor-trailer and area residents are being encouraged to fill the trailer with supplies, including bleach and pet food.

 

Herring said residents affected by the flood will need lots of bleach when they start to clean up after the water recedes. He also said county 4-H members are asking for donations of dog and cat food.

 

Herring said they will be collecting diapers, bottled water, non-perishable can food items, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, toiletry items, bleach, pet food and paper towels. He said they are not able to accept any clothing donations at this time.

 

Herring said items may be dropped off at the college during regular business hours and he reminded area residents that the college will close at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon and it will not reopen until Tuesday, September 5th. He said donations may be dropped off at Hale's home on the enclosed porch at 924 West Haes Street in De Queen.

 

Herring said 4-H clubs from the surrounding area will also be collecting items. For more information, call the Extension Office 584-3013.

 

Supplies will also be collected Friday night at the Dierks-Horatio High School football game.

 

 

JOIN THE DE QUEEN ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB        8/31/17

 

The De Queen Athletic Booster Club is currently seeking new members, while raising funds for the De Queen High School athletic programs. Toney Stowers of the booster club said there were several different booster club levels, starting at $125 a year.

 

Stowers said the booster club is hosting a benefit chicken dinner, September 8th at 4 p.m., a cancer awareness night on September 19th, Homecoming on October 13th, and Senior Night on November 3rd.

 

Stowers also mentioned several things the booster club does in the community, including cleaning the area around the football field and painting paw prints on Ninth Street. He said they also fund a scholarship for one male and one female athlete.

 

For more information contact a booster club member. 

 

 

BROOKSHIRE GROCERY COMPANY SHIPS 250,000 BOTTLES OF WATER TO AREAS AFFECTED BY HURRICANE HARVEY     8/31/17

 

Brookshire Grocery Company announced it is donating a quarter of a million bottles of drinking water for people in south Texas who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Company 18-wheelers left the distribution center in Tyler, Texas about 3 p.m. Wednesday. The trucks were headed to the Houston Food Bank and the City of Angleton.

 

All Brookshire's, Super 1 Foods, Spring market and FRESH by Brookshire's stores have scan coupons available for customers who want to make donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

 

Brookshire Grocery Company is also partnering with the Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana to assist in its relief efforts. More than a dozen BGC stores in the Shreveport area and in East Texas are collecting donations of food and household supplies. In addition to Shreveport, participating stores are located in Bossier, Benton, Minden, and Mansfield. The Texas store locations include Overton, Kilgore, Longview and Hallsville.

 

 

STUDENT SELECTED TO PLACE WREATH AT TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER     8/30/2017

Submitted by Melanie Wade of the Pulse News

Visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. is one of the most reverent and somber occasions one can attend, and for one Polk County student, that occasion turned into something much bigger. Gaitlynn Brady, a member of UA-Rich Mountain’s Upward Bound Program, actually took part in a ceremony in which she was able to place a wreath representing UARM at the Tomb. “It was very surreal,” said Brady.

She admitted to being shocked when she was picked for the once-in-a-lifetime honor. Upward Bound had planned their trip to D.C. as a part of their summer academy enrichment program and the group of 30 students was chosen to place the wreath, but only one student could take part in the ceremony. To choose who that student would be, the program held an essay contest. “I had to write an essay on what the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier means to me, what the tomb represents, and how I feel about it,” she explained. “It was very shocking when I first heard I was picked. There were a lot of smart people that did it and it was a really special moment.”


Brady said she was “very nervous,” but that the soldiers help her to stay at ease. One described the ceremony and

showed her a chart of where to go. “Two congressmen went before me and that helped,” she laughed. “When I got to the top of the stairs, the soldier was very nice and polite and he helped me through it.”

Upward Bound had many “eventful days” according to Brady, who said they saw many of the memorials and museums in the nation’s capital. They also met Arkansas’ own Congressman Bruce Westerman and listened in on a legislative session as well.

But for Brady, the ceremony she took part in at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier takes the cake. “Words cannot describe it. It’s something that changes your perspective.”

Below is Gaitlynn Bailey’s essay:

                                                               Gaitlynn Brady

                                                               June 23, 2017

                                                              Unknown Heroes

More than a tomb, and more than a man’s last resting place. This burial or an unknown hero from early 1900’s is a place where families of unidentified fallen loved ones can receive peace. Where America can show recognition for the brave men and women of America for their courage through some of America tough times.

To lay a wreath on the tomb, although just a simple circle of flowers, is such an honorable opportunity. For students like me who come from a town with just a school, a few churches, an E-Z Mart, and a small Dollar General just being able to visit the nation’s capital is such an amazing chance to experience new scenery and culture. On top of that to possibly be able to represent nationwide in a ceremony of remembering the lost lives of the unknown of the unknown would be a life changer. Not only are we remembering the fallen, but we are remembering the living in a way that reminds us not to get caught up in our “first world problems”. In a way we are not just celebrating the unfortunate ones who were unable to receive a nameplate or stone in remembrance of their lives, we are celebrating the lives we have today because of these brave men and women who sacrificed their own for ours, who sacrificed their own identity so we can keep ours. A great opportunity it is, very much a privilege and an honor to express gratitude for these fallen heroes. The ceremony of placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a great way to show appreciation for the brave and selfless men and women of America.

In conclusion, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier represents more than just an unknown man’s resting place, it is a place where America can remember all of the impressionable lives lost to keep ours safe. Unidentified lives, yet not forgotten.
 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FARMERS COOPERATIVE MEETING     8/30/2017

Around 300 members of the Sevier County Farmers Cooperative enjoyed a BBQ beef meal with all the trimmings and music from Bill Powers & The Poor Boys Band before settling in to hear the annual report Tuesday evening in the De Queen High School Cafeteria.

At the 69th annual meeting last evening, Coop Manager Darrell Payne reported that sales in the past fiscal year totaled over six-point-eight million dollars. However, the Coop suffered a net loss of $82,556. Because of the loss, no dividends will be paid to members in December this year. Besides major truck expense and equipment breakdowns, Payne said the mild winter really hampered feed sales.

Payne says that fall shipments of rye grass and wheat have arrived early this year. He expects a shortage of rye grass, and noted that the price has already increased to over thirty dollars a sack. Coop Vice-President Wayne Williamson reported to the membership that the board was looking at utilizing possible new vendors in order to keep prices on tires, feed, and other items competitive. Coop Manager Darrell Payne predicted a good year ahead for the farmers and cattlemen of our area.

Richard Ruth of De Queen, Kenneth Currence of Lockesburg, and Gerald Youngblood of Horatio were re-elected to the Coop’s Board of Directors. Twenty dollar door prizes were handed out to ten lucky winners in attendance last evening. The Sevier County Farmers Cooperative, now in its 69th year of service, has 25 employees at its stores in De Queen, Lockesburg, and Broken Bow. The Farmers Coop has approximately 3,500 members in the area.
 

 

HURRICANE HARVEY COLLECTION     8/30/2017

 

The Dierks and Horatio schools are joining in an effort along with the Nashville Rotary Club and Cossatot Community College to collect supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey at the football game between the two schools on Friday in Dierks. There will be a trailer inside the fence that will serve as a collection station. Please bring the following items for donation for our struggling neighbors.

Diapers
Bottled Water
Non-Perishable Can Food Items
Cleaning Supplies
Hygiene Products
Toiletry Items
Bleach
Paper Towels
NO CLOTHES!!
 

 

DE QUEEN CHURCH OF CHRIST FOOD PANTRY NAMED 'NEW PANTRY OF THE YEAR' BY HARVEST TEXARKANA       8/29/17

 

Last week, the Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana announced their new pantry of the year recipient was the De Queen Church of Christ in Sevier County. 

 

The Harvest Regional Food Bank has been helping fight hunger for the past 26 years in 10 counties throughout Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas through local food pantries.

 

This morning, Toney Stowers and Scott Standridge of the De Queen Church of Christ stopped by the KDQN studios and talked about seeing a need in the community and how the started their pantry last April.

Stowers said they expected to help about 50 families a month, but the ministry has grown and they are now serving over 180 families a month.

 

Standridge said the food pantry is also serving about 15 new families a month.

 

Stowers said between 15 or 20 volunteers help operate the pantry, but the churches teenagers help whenever they can.

 

Standridge said the church distributes food on the first and third Tuesday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Stowers said they are providing meat, produce, bread and other commodities.

 

Standridge said it's been incredible to work with the Harvest Regional Food Bank, but he and Stowers agree there's a need for more church pantries in the area.

 

Stowers and Standridge attended the awards banquet this morning and received the award for being the "New Pantry of the Year" in the Harvest Regional Food Banks service area.

 

 

HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF EFFORTS ARE UNDERWAY      8/29/17

 

Hurricane Harvey has brought devastating amounts of rain to southeast Texas, which has led to flooding and at least seven people have died. Many South Texas residents are evacuating and moving north.

 

Here locally, efforts are underway to collect relief items. If you would like to donate, you may drop off items at the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library, the Crosspoint Cowboy Church in Nashville, the Foreman School District and the Harley Davidson store in Texarkana.

 

The Foreman School District is collecting flood relief items until Friday, September 1st. They are collecting water, non-perishable food items, laundry soaps, personal hygiene products, diapers, paper towels, toilet paper and first aid supplies. Items may be dropped off at the Foreman High School or Oscar Hamilton Elementary School offices.

 

KDQN is also collecting monetary donations at the station. Donations will be donated to the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army to help with the relief efforts.

 

And, the Waterin' Hole Cowboy Church in Garvin, Oklahoma has offered to house about 60 evacuees at their church.

 

The Salvation Army of Arkansas and Oklahoma are also busy serving those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. According to a press release, the Salvation Army's Incident Command Team has been deployed to Corpus Christi to oversee the disaster response operations in that area. Multiple feeding units and crews are also being deployed to help feed the first responders and those being effected by the flooding.

 

Salvation Army Officers and staff are being deployed from Conway, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Pine Bluff and Springdale, Arkansas as well as Ardmore, Lawton, Oklahoma City and Shawnee, Oklahoma.

 

A total of 42 mobile kitchens are being staged in the Dallas and San Antonio area in preparation for deployment. Eight of those units are from Arkansas and Oklahoma.

 

To make a donation to the Salvation Army go online at www.helpsalvationarmy.org; call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or 1-800-725-2769 or text STORM to 51555.

 

 

COLLEGE TO HOST SENIOR CITIZEN EVENT      8/29/17

 

The Center for Student Success at UA Cossatot will host a Seniors On the Go! event for community members who are over the age of 50.

 

The free event will be held on the each campus and will highlight services that the college offers to senior adults.

 

Seniors On The Go! will be held on the Ashdown campus on Tuesday, September 12th at 1:30 p.m., on the De Queen campus on Wednesday, September 13th at 1:30 p.m. and on the Nashville campus on Thursday, September 14th at 1:30 p.m.

 

Information about veteran serviceS, college courses, financial aid, personal development courses, and nutrition education will be shared. There will also be light refreshments and a UAC Rocks rock painting activity.

 

Attendees should RSVP by 4 p.m. on Friday, September 8th by calling 870-584-1133.

 

 

TEXARKANA RESIDENT CHARGED WITH DWI IN SEVIER COUNTY       8/29/17

 

August 20th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Kristen Reed was told to be on the lookout for a maroon car that was driving erratically and swerving back and forth on Highway 71.

 

When Reed located the vehicle, she witnessed it pass another vehicle, so she activated her lights, but the suspect didn't stop, so she then activated her siren.

 

When the driver pulled over, Reed noted 35-year-old James Samuels of Texarkana, Texas, was not wearing a seat belt.

 

Samuels failed the field sobriety test and was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. While interviewing Samuel, he allegedly informed Reed that he had used some meth earlier that day and that he had taken some Xanex pills.

 

Samuel was cited for driving left of the center line, driving on a suspended license, for not wearing a seat belt, for not have proof of insurance, driving while intoxicated on drugs and refusal to submit to a chemical test.

 

 

STATEWIDE MASS FLU VACCINE CLINICS ANNOUNCED       8/29/17

Sevier County's Mass Flu Clinic is September 27th

 

Wednesday, September 27th, the Sevier County Health Unit of the Arkansas Department of Health will offer flu vaccinations at the Sevier County Health Unit at 304 North Fourth Street in De Queen from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Curbside service will be available for those who may need assistance. People should bring their insurance cards with them to the flu vaccine clinic. If they do not have insurance, or the insurance does not cover flu shots, the vaccine will be available at no charge.

 

Deborah Hedge is the administrator for the Sevier County Health Unit and she said she wants Sevier County residents to stay healthy this flu season and their best line of protection from the flu is getting a yearly flu vaccination. Hedge said the health department is encouraging everyone to stop by the mass flu clinic on September 27th or anytime to get a flu shot.

 

Even though new observations about the flu vaccine continue to be made, experts continue to recommend annual flu vaccinations for children and adults. The flu virus changes from year to year, and this year's vaccine protects against the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this flu season.

 

One official with the Arkansas Department of Health reported the flu should not be taken lightly. They said everyone should get a flu shot to help protect themselves and their families. Officials say it is hard to predict in advance how severe the flu season is going to be.

 

People of all ages can get the flu. Certain people are more likely to have serious health problems if they get the flu. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes.  Therefore, the department of health recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine. It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine, to not only protect themselves but also to help decrease the possibility that they might expose the people that they love and care for to the flu.

 

The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. Some people may have mild soreness and redness near the site of the shot. They may also run a low fever or have a slight headache. There are very few medical reasons to skip the flu vaccine. These include life-threatening allergic reactions to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine. People with allergies to vaccine ingredients can often receive the vaccine safely, if it is given in a doctor's office where they can be monitored.

 

The flu is easily spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching something, such as a door knob, with the virus on it and then touching their nose or mouth. So good hand washing habits are important in preventing the flu. However, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine.

 

For more information, go to www.healthy.arkansas.gov or www.flu.gov.

 

 

DRUGS AND FIREARMS DON'T MIX        8/29/17

 

On the morning of August 21st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Harper initiated a traffic stop after observing a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed at the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 24 East.

 

During the traffic stop, the driver, 48-year-old Randy Abney of Lonoke, Texas handed Harper his vehicle registration and a credit card.

 

According to Harper, Abney asked him to hurry up and write the ticket so he could be on his way. Harper then asked for a K9 unit to be dispatched to his location.

 

Before the K9 unit arrived, Abney informed Harper that he had a firearm in the vehicle. As Abney was getting out of the vehicle, Harper noticed a small wooden container that is commonly used to conceal drug paraphernalia. When Harper opened the box, he discovered a metal smoking pipe and some marijuana.

 

Abney then told Harper that there was a loaded syringe in the glove box.

 

Abney was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.

 

Abney is currently being held in the Sevier County jail on a $50,000 bond.

 

 

SUSPICIOUS PERSONS ESCORTED OUT OF SEVIER COUNTY     8/28/17

 

Saturday evening about 6:50, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies, Greg Harper, Matt Webb and Thomas Jackson were dispatched to Davis Road in the Falls Chapel area in reference to a suspicious person.

 

When deputies arrived at the residence, Veronica Shelton informed the deputies that an Asian man approached her and told her she didn't have to buy anything.

 

Shelton said she immediately went into her home and called the sheriff's office. Dispatch then received a phone call stating the occupants of a van had stopped at a house on Highway 71 South and asked for directions to Ben Lomond.

 

The suspect's vehicle was then located at a residence in Ben Lomond.

 

The driver was identified as 24-year-old Jeremy Ly of Fairbanks, Alaska and the passenger was identified as 24-year-old James Maiden of Eudora, Arkansas.

 

According to a background check, the two men were not wanted on any warrants. After refusing consent to search their vehicle, De Queen Police Officer J.J. Lopez and his K9 officer Kilo were dispatched to conduct a free air sniff search of the vehicle. When Kilo did not alert to anything in the vehicle, the two men were informed to leave Sevier County and not to return.

 

 

ASHDOWN WILL KICKOFF THE 2017 FOOTBALL WITH A TAILGATE PARTY THIS FRIDAY AT 6         8/28/17

 

High school football kicks off statewide this Friday night in Arkansas and the Ashdown Panthers will start the season at home against the Monticello Billies at 7 p.m., but all Panther fans are invited to a tailgate party inside Dick Hayes Stadium at 6.

 

Head Coach Matt Richardson said this year's team as a lot of experience and he wants to introduce them to the community with a big party and some fanfare.

 

Richardson said this year's theme is respect and he said they hope to create an atmosphere of respect not only on this team, but in the entire community of Ashdown.

 

Richardson also explained what RESPECT stands for: rare, enthusiasm, sacrifice, perseverance, excellence, consistent, and toughness.

 

Richardson said they are not only trying to coach a winning team, but he and his coaching staff are training the members of this team to be good men and he feels this is something the whole community can get behind.

 

The tailgate party begins at 6 p.m. There's going to be free hot dogs, free water and inflatables for the kids inside Dick Hayes Stadium. Jim Pinson and Jim Cross will also be broadcasting live this Friday night starting at 6:30 p.m. on Your Number One Country 92.1.

 

 

AMERICAN RED CROSS SHELTERS OPENED IN ARKANSAS       8/28/17

 

The American Red Cross has set up two shelters in Arkansas for people who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The shelters include the First Baptist Church of Malvern and the Second Baptist Church in Arkadelphia.

 

To contact the American Red Cross, call 501-623-9321.

 

The American Red Cross is also working with individuals in the Hope area to set up an additional shelter if the Arkadelphia and Malvern shelters reach capacity.

 

 

TWO MEN ARRESTED IN SEVIER COUNTY, DRIVING STOLEN VEHICLE      8/28/17

 

Saturday evening, two men were arrested in Sevier County and charged with theft by receiving and possession of drug paraphernalia after being arrested while driving a stolen vehicle.

 

Around 6 p.m. Sevier County Sheriff's deputies Greg Harper and Thomas Jackson were dispatched to the Falls Chapel area near Lockesburg in reference to a stolen vehicle.

 

While Harper and Jackson were en-route to the scene, Arkansas Highway Patrolman Cameron Petross and Arkansas State Trooper Josh Broughton located the vehicle and made contact with the driver.

 

The driver was identified as 46-year-old Donald Vanderbilt who is listed as homeless and a passenger in the vehicle was identified as 53-year-old Duane Edwards of Texarkana, Texas.

 

According to police records, the vehicle was reported stolen out of North Little Rock.

 

According to a statement from one of the suspects, they witnessed a black man running from the police in Texarkana. They said the man dropped the keys to the 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer, so they picked them up and went back for the car the next day.

 

Another suspect said they were traveling to Lockesburg to pick up some money.

 

While searching the vehicle, deputies found a black eyeglasses case that contained four syringes and a cigarette. They also found another black case that contained one glass pipe that is commonly used to smoke meth, one syringe, one blood vile and a cigarette lighter.

 

Edwards and Vanderbilt are being held in the Sevier County jail and the case is still under investigation.

 

 

BROTHERS KEEPERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB RAISES $1,000 FOR SEVIER COUNTY RESCUE UNIT'S TOYS FOR TOTS PROGRAM     8/28/17

 

Saturday morning, 37 bike rolled out of the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen for a scavenger ride to help raise funds for the Sevier County Rescue Unit's Toys for Tots program. The ride was sponsored by the De Queen chapter of the Brother's Keepers Motorcycle Club and they raised about $1,000.

 

Club President, Jerry Ligon said chapters from Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana all joined the De Queen chapter to support the Toys for Tots charity.

 

Magnolia President, Danny Cheatham, Secretary/Treasurer Tom Fenske and Sergeant at Arms Jimmy Holt presented Ligons a $100 donation, along with the Natchitoches and Longview chapters.

 

Saturday afternoon, club members representing Natchitoches, Louisiana; Shreveport, Louisiana; Texarkana, Texas; Longview, Texas; Magnolia, Arkansas and De Queen rode over 90-miles to raise funds for the Toys for Tots program and to help needy families in Sevier County have a Merry Christmas.

 

SEX OFFENDER NOTICE     8/28/2017

Edwin James (Level 4 sex offender)

606 North 2nd Street

De Queen, AR 71832

HIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.

This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public will be safer. Information is available through many resources, including the state website maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. Citizens abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass offenders will be not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement's ability to share this information with the public. If notification ends, the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.

Four community notification levels apply. The higher the level assigned, the broader the notification to the community. Level 1 (low) warrants minimal notice to the community (usually other law enforcement and/or members of the offender's household only). Level 2 (moderate) warrants limited notice to specific groups. Level 3 (high) warrants notification of all community members likely to encounter the offender. Level 4 is reserved for offenders who have a habitual or serious pattern of offending and are deemed sexual violent predators.

The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff's Office are releasing information pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. This act authorizes law enforcement to inform the public of sex offenders presence when the release of such information will enhance public safety and protection. Individuals appearing on these notifications have been convicted of an offence requiring registration with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

 

SEX OFFENDERS NOTICE     8/28/17

Jeremy Cheatham (Level 3 sex offender)

Works at Pilgrim's

De Queen, AR 71832

THIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.

This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public will be safer. Information is available through many resources, including the state website maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. Citizens abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass offenders will be not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement's ability to share this information with the public. If notification ends, the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.

Four community notification levels apply. The higher the level assigned, the broader the notification to the community. Level 1 (low) warrants minimal notice to the community (usually other law enforcement and/or members of the offender's household only). Level 2 (moderate) warrants limited notice to specific groups. Level 3 (high) warrants notification of all community members likely to encounter the offender. Level 4 is reserved for offenders who have a habitual or serious pattern of offending and are deemed sexual violent predators.

The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff's Office are releasing information pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. This act authorizes law enforcement to inform the public of sex offenders presence when the release of such information will enhance public safety and protection. Individuals appearing on these notifications have been convicted of an offence requiring registration with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

 

UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA ANNUAL GUN RAFFLE       8/25/17

 

Members of the UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA have started selling tickets for their annual gun raffle. Tickets are $10 each or six tickets for $50. FFA advisor, Kelli Harris, stated when you purchase a ticket for the gun drawing, you’ll also get to enjoy all the chili you can eat during the FFA chili supper.

 

Harris said you do not have to be present at the chili supper to win a gun, but if the name of a person who is present, that person will have their choice of the five guns.

 

Harris said the proceeds from the gun raffle are used to provide scholarships for FFA members and to fund community service projects.

 

Harris said the guns in the raffle this year, include: a Remington Model 700 SPS 270, Remington V3 Field Sport Semi-Auto 12 Gauge Shotgun, Taurus 38 Special Revolver, FN America 40SW Semi-Auto Pistol, and a Bushmaster Semi-Auto 5.56 NATO/223 Rifle.

 

Harris said for more information, email her at kharris@cccua.edu or call 870-584-1218. Harris said you may purchase tickets from any FFA member.

 

 

ONE MINERAL SPRINGS BANK ROBBERY SUSPECT PLEADS GUILTY       8/25/17

 

A suspect who helped rob the Diamond Bank in Mineral Springs, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and theft of property and was sentenced to 30-years in prison.

 

Twenty-three year-old Jomari Bradford accepted a plea agreement in the Howard County Circuit Court in Nashville, for his participation in the armed robbery.

 

Bradford was sentenced to 30 years and he must pay $9,888 in restitution to Diamond Bank.

 

Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir reported Bradford also agreed to testify against the other three defendants.

 

Diamond Bank was robbed about 3 p.m. on Monday, July 25th, 2016 when the suspects entered the bank, collected the money and exited the building within about two minutes.

 

Since the robbery, the Mineral Springs City Council agreed to move the police station to the bank to help deter future bank robberies.

 

Tatyann McBee and Bobby Padillow have been charged with aggravated robbery and theft of property. McBee's trial is scheduled for December 12th, and Padillow's trial is scheduled for October 17th.

 

No trial date has been set for the fourth suspect, Byron Coleman.

 

 

SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINES        8/25/17

 

Jamie Marshall is the field director of the Southwest Region of the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund. She said single parents can apply for a scholarship by going to the website, www.aspsf.org and clicking on your county of residence.

 

Marshall also mentioned the Single Parent Scholarship Fund will be hosting a Job Skills and Career Readiness Conference for single mothers on Saturday, September 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Nashville campus of UA Cossatot.

 

The deadline to register for the conference is Wednesday, September 20th.

 

For more information, email Marshall at jmarshall@aspsf.org.

 

 

WALK ACROSS ARKANSAS REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY       8/25/17

 

The fall edition of Walk Across Arkansas begins September 17th and runs through November 18th.

 

Lisa Washburn is an associate professor of health for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and she reported that over the last decade, thousands of Arkansans have made Walk Across Arkansas their opportunity to start or continue a fitness program.

 

She said while people are not literally walking across the state, they can form teams and join thousands of other people by committing to eight weeks of exercise.

 

Washburn said many of the participates have credited Walk Across Arkansas with making fitness a permanent part of their daily routine.

 

Registration begins September 5th. For more information about Walk Across Arkansas or other extension fitness programs, contact the Little River County extension office at 870-898-7224 or visit www.uaex.edu.

 

 

NEW FISHING REGULATIONS APPROVED BY THE AGFC        8/25/17

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission voted unanimously during their August meeting to approve the list of recommended fishing regulations for 2018. The regulations will become effective January 1st, 2018.

 

Commissioners voted to remove the 13- to 16-inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass at Dierks Lake. They voted to change the catfish creel limits on Millwood Lake to the statewide limits. And, they removed the 15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass on Caddo Pond in Montgomery County and Shady Lake in Polk County.

 

Additional regulations concerning commercial fishing and alligator gar harvest may be found at www.agfc.com/code. 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: FENDER BENDER FACTS       8/25/17

 

According to the Arkansas State Police, there were 60,947 crashes on Arkansas public roads in 2014.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said the first and most important tip is to stay calm. She said vehicle accidents are unfortunately a common occurrence, but most Arkansans are unaware of the steps to take and their rights in the moments after the wreck.

 

Rutledge released the following tips for people to do following a vehicle accident: stay calm; call an ambulance if anyone is injured; be aware of and warn oncoming traffic of the situation by turning on your hazard warning lights; if there is significant property damage, injury or death, call the police; immediately write down or take a photo of the involved vehicle's license plate numbers; exchange information such as name, address, contact details, driver license number and auto insurance information; obtain statements and contact information from witnesses; take photos of all vehicle damage, all physical injuries and evidence that shows road and or weather conditions; do not admit fault; and contact your insurance company.

 

For more information and tips on how to avoid scams and other consumer related issues, call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

111TH STATE FAIR OF LOUISIANA ANNOUNCES THEME FOR 2017      8/25/17

 

The State Fair of Louisiana, recently, announced its theme for the 2017 state fair, which is scheduled for October 26th through November 12th. This year's theme is "Memories on the Midway."

 

Since 1906, the State Fair of Louisiana has been a tradition with many families in the area. Many wonderful memories were made throughout the generations, on the Midway.

 

The State Fair of Louisiana is one of the top Fairs in the United States and attracts some of the best food vendors in the country. It also offers a state of the art carnival, combined with a long list of great attractions and concerts.

 

The State Fair of Louisiana draws an average of 425,000 people through the gates every year and has a $24 million dollar economic impact on the local economy. The fair also provides over 300 temporary jobs each year.

 

For more information, visit the website, www.statefairoflouisiana.com.

 

 

2017 SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS BUSINESS & ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE II    8/25/17

“BUILDING ARKANSAS:  EFFECTIVE TOOLS TO MOVE RURAL ARKANSAS FORWARD”

Rebuilding and retooling rural communities are hot topics in Arkansas these days and will be thoroughly discussed at an upcoming regional conference to be held in Hope, Arkansas.  Funded by Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Human Development Corporation and United States Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, the 2017 Southwest Arkansas Business & Enterprise Development Conference II, will bring together approximately 20 private, state, federal and nonprofit organizations with a singular goal of equipping small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools, skills and resources needed to start and expand their businesses.

Hosted by the Arkansas Human Development Corporation (AHDC), Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC), Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, University of Arkansas Community College of Hope (UACCH), and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the conference will be held Friday, September 15, 2017 from 8:30am – 2:00pm in Hempstead Hall, located on the campus of UACCH, AR-29, Hope, Arkansas 71802.  Topics will include but are not limited to, building effective partnerships, securing capital, developing business plans and selling goods and services to the government.

Join us at 8:30 am for a “Lenders Roundtable Breakfast,” where participants will network with local, regional and statewide lenders. Organizations invited to participate include Arkansas Capital Corporation Group, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Communities Unlimited, Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District, FORGE, Bancorp South, Bank of the Ozarks, Diamond Bank, Farmers Bank and Trust, Regions Bank, Hope Credit Union…and MORE! Lunch will also be provided.

Current business owners and those just getting started, youth entrepreneurs, business and technical school students, apprentices, veterans and community and economic development professionals, are invited to attend this unique opportunity. You will engage with other business owners, receive help with research and business planning, learn how to increase your networking results and learn to do more business with government and private industry. U.S. Small Business Administration newly appointed Arkansas District Deputy Director David Moody will be the luncheon speaker.  He brings a wealth of experience as a serial business owner, where he consulted with high growth and technology companies, and 13 years of aerospace experience, including with NASA.

Don’t miss the opportunity to help your community create needed small businesses and JOBS by learning the tools, skills and resources available to help your small business GROW!

AN INVESTMENT OF TIME IS THE COST TO ATTEND BUT REGISTRATION IS ENCOURAGED.

You may register by calling Arkansas Human Development Corporation at (800) 482-7641 or online at
http://tinyurl.com/yblydokl.

 

 

ARKANSAS EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION NETWORK SEEKING VIETNAM WAR STORIES     8/25/17

submitted by mypulsenews.com

 

The Arkansas Educational Television Network is seeking stories from people who experienced Vietnam War events.

Stories with videos, photographs or a written account may be submitted through social media outlets with #VietnamStoriesPBS or the “Share Your Story” tool at aetn.org/thevietnamwar.

Stories must include the name of the storyteller, who they are such as a veteran or a student, and the location.

AETN also suggests that veterans consider submitting stories to The Library of Congress Veterans History Project, which collects and preserves personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.

The project provides a field kit to collect the stories and complete submission guidelines at loc.gov/vets.

This event is in conjunction with the local initiative AETN Salutes Arkansas Vietnam Veterans and the premiere of Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series, will premiere on AETN at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 and features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses and Vietnamese combatants.

 

 

TRAVEL CHANNEL ANNOUNCES DATES OF LOCALLY FILMED EPISODE 8/25/17
submitted by mypulsenews.com

 

The Travel Channel has announced the dates of a series of episodes in Josh Gates’ latest adventures that includes a segment recorded locally, at the Board Camp Crystal Mine. Orville and Cheryl Murphy, owners of Board Camp Crystal Mine, recently invited a few close friends and the local media to witness some of the phenomena that has been taking place at their mine that has attracted investigators from MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network), as well as Gates, the host of “Expedition Unknown” on the Travel Channel.


The four-week special event, Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials, will begin on October 4th at 8 p.m. central time. Gates’ mission took him on an epic journey across North America, South America, Africa and Europe, searching for evidence of life beyond our planet and the truth behind longstanding extraterrestrial legends.


Board Camp Crystal Mine is one of the locations Gates visited due to recent phenomenon happening on the property, such as unexplained mysterious orbs of light and what appears to be rock movement and levitation.


In a press release submitted by the Travel Channel, Gates said, “This is by far the most extraordinary expedition I’ve ever been on. Like many, I’ve long been obsessed with the question of whether we’re alone in the universe. Now, with incredible access to state-of-the-art scientific facilities, top secret sites and shocking new evidence, we may finally find out. It’s an expedition into the ultimate unknown.”


In addition to the phenomena happening at Board Camp Crystal Mine, the four-episode series will include Gates’ visits to Easter Island, Chile’s Atacama Desert, and the wilderness of Zimbabwe.


The Murphy’s story and scientific results of the MUFON investigation is also expected to be reported on in the November 2017 issue of the MUFON Journal. Visit TravelChannel.com for show extras including behind-the-scenes photos, UFO factoids, and exclusive videos from Josh Gates.


To learn about how you can view the phenomena happening at Board Camp Crystal Mine and their new Unexplained Tours, visit their website, BoardCampCrystalMine.com
 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY WOMAN KILLED IN SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT      8/24/17

 

Wednesday morning about 3:30 a.m., a Sevier County woman was killed in a single vehicle accident on Highway 371 east of Lockesburg.

 

Forty-four year-old Angela Stewart was pronounced dead at the Howard Memorial Hospital after she and 38-year-old James Stewart, both of Lockesburg were involved in a single vehicle accident.

 

According to Arkansas State Trooper Travis Hale, the 2002 Chevy Trailblazer left the roadway and traveled into the ditch where the vehicle struck a tree and overturned.

 

Hale reported the highway was wet, which may have been a contributing factor in the accident.

 

 

GILLHAM VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT WORKING TO LOWER ISO RATING FOR WHOLE DISTRICT       8/24/17

 

Last year, the Gillham Volunteer Fire Department was able to get the ISO rating lower from a 9 to a 6 for residents in the fire district who live within a 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant and Fire Chief Marc Rosson announced the department is working to get the ISO rating lower for the rest of the district.

 

To help lower the district's ISO rating, Rosson said members of the department are building a tanker truck to increase the department's water supply. He said they are also raising funds to purchase some needed equipment.

 

Rosson also stated he wanted to remind the residents in the Gillham Fire district to contact the American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter and sign up for the free smoke detectors. He said you can call or text the American Red Cross at 501-520-3533. Rosson said you could also contact him or any other member of the Gillham Fire Department. He said members of the Gillham Fire Department will install the smoke detectors for free on Saturday, September 9th..

 

Rosson said if you live within a thousand feet of a hydrant, you should contact your home insurance provider, because the lower ISO rating will save you money on your home insurance.

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS MAN SENTENCED TO 18 MONTH IN FEDERAL PRISON          8/24/17

 

A Mineral Springs man was sentenced to 18-months in federal prison this week by a federal judge in Texarkana for mailing letters to seven mayors in Arkansas threatening to hang them if they did not meet his demands in 2015.

 

Fifty-six year-old Maverick Dean Bryan has served about 16-months in jail and received credit for time served. Following his release from federal prison, Bryan will serve three-years of supervised probation.

 

Bryan agreed to a plea agreement in January of this year, in which he plead guilty to seven counts of mailing threatening communications. He was sentenced to 18-month terms for each count, but they will be served concurrently.

 

In January of 2015, Bryan mailed handwritten letters to the mayors of De Queen, Ashdown, Nashville, Hope, Lewisville, Prescott and Murfreesboro promising to hang them from trees on the courthouse lawn if they didn't put prayer and the Ten Commandments back in school and eliminate the Common Core curriculum.

 

During his detention hearing last year, Bryan admitted to penning the letters and to being the author of an advertisement that ran in the Thrifty Nickel seeking a $23 million dollar loan to fund a Christian army to overthrow the U.S. government.

 

 

TWO DRUG TRAFFICKING SUSPECTS APPEAR IN LITTLE RIVER CIRCUIT COURT            8/24/17

 

Two suspects that have been accused of trafficking drugs appeared in the Little River County Circuit Court and had trial dates set for October 16th.

 

Twenty-seven year-old Clarence Johnson of Pine Bluff and 38-year-old Byann Blakeney of Big Sandy, Texas have been accused of trafficking meth that was valued at $140,000.

 

The third suspect, 40-year-old Jerry Delony of Ashdown had his trial date continued and will return to the Little River County Circuit Court on September 19th.

 

The three suspects were arrested on August 5th after police stopped a vehicle being driven by Johnson in Ashdown.

 

While searching the vehicle, officers found more than 240 grams of methamphetamine and Johnson was taken into custody.

 

As the investigation continued, officers obtained a search warrant for an apartment in Ashdown. During the execution of that warrant, officers found an additional 145 grams of crystal meth and 1,020 grams of liquid meth in the apartment.

 

At the apartment, officers arrested Blakeney and Delony.

 

Delony and Johnson are being held in the Little River County jail in Ashdown and Blakeney is in custody in the Sevier County jail in De Queen.

 

 

DIERKS ATHLETIC BOOSTER CLUB RAISING FUNDS FOR OUTLAW SPORTS        8/24/17

 

The 2017 school year is underway and that means high school football is right around the corner.

 

Supporters of school athletics understand there are a lot of extra expenses when a young person joins a team and many of them organize booster clubs to help offset some of the cost.

 

Dierks Athletic Booster Club member Tony Dinger reminded area Outlaw fans that the booster club is selling tickets for their 52 for 50 gun drawing. He said a total of 1,000 tickets will be sold for a chance to win a gun, every week, starting the first Saturday of 2018. Dinger said the winning numbers will be chosen by the Arkansas Lottery Cash 3 game.

 

Dinger said you may purchase tickets from any booster club member or at various business locations in Dierks. He said tickets are $50 each.

 

Dinger said you can join the Dierks Athletic Booster Club by contacting a booster club member.

 

The Dierks Outlaws will travel to Mansfield on Friday for a scrimmage game and then kickoff the 2017 season at home against the Horatio Lions.

 

 

FREE JAZZ CONCERT AT THE CLINTON BIRTHPLACE HOME IN HOPE THIS SATURDAY        8/24/17

 

The National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior will be hosting a free jazz concert this Saturday night at 6 p.m. at the President William Jefferson Clinton birthplace home in Hope.

 

The Trap Jazz Giants Band from Little Rock and the Arrowhead Jazz Band from New Orleans will celebrate Clinton's birthday, which was August 19th and the creation of the National Park Service with an evening of Jazz, Blues and Zydeco music.

 

Admission is free and will take place on the grounds of Clinton's birthplace home at 117 South Hervey Street in Hope. For more information, call 870-777-4455

 

 

ARKANSAS LOWERS FOOD INSECURITY RATE AMONG SENIORS      8/24/17

 

Arkansas once had the highest rate of senior hunger in the country, but a new study says that is changing. The rate of Arkansans over the age of 60 who report they don't always have enough food has fallen from 25 percent to less than 20 percent.

 

A coalition made up of the state Department of Human Services and six Feeding America food banks and the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance began working on the issue in 2014. Nancy Conley with the alliance says they focused on getting people signed up for food assistance programs such as SNAP, which is also known as food stamps.

 

Out this month is a study about senior hunger in America and it found that almost 10 million people over the age of 60 face the threat of hunger on a regular basis and that number has increased by more than a third since 2001. The study says members of minority groups in southern states are most at risk.

 

Conley says her group's volunteers have found that seniors often aren't sure whether they're eligible for food assistance.

 

She says older Arkansans who are still working, often at menial jobs, are vulnerable until they become eligible for retirement related benefits.

 

Conley adds that caring for grandchildren becomes a major factor for some.

 

Conley says poverty is the main driver of food insecurity in Arkansas, particularly among seniors. She believes lawmakers need to expand, rather than continually cutting benefit programs, and require employers to pay a living wage.

 

 

DHS BAND RAISING FUNDS FOR INSTRUMENTS AND BAND FEES     8/23/17

 

Members of the De Queen High School band announced this week that they are conducting a fundraiser to help purchase instruments and to help students cover their band fees.

 

Perla Cervantes, Jamile Navarrete and Gesille Montiel announced band members are selling tumblers, cookies and other food items. Tumblers are $20 each and there is a wide variety of logos to choose from, including the De Queen Leopards or your favorite college team.

 

Navarrete stated the band fees cover the rental of an instrument and the purchase t-shirts, shorts, and shoes.

 

Montiel said this year's marching band will be presenting a syfy halftime show.

 

Band Director Jeff Attaway reported the De Queen High School band program continues to grow. He said they started with 37 students when he arrived, but this year, there will be 76 students representing De Queen High School every Friday night at the half of the varsity football games.

 

 

16TH ANNUAL HOO RAH FESTIVAL BEAUTY PAGEANT SEPTEMBER 16TH     8/23/17

 

Registration for the 16th Annual Hoo Rah Festival Beauty Pageant is underway. The pageant is set for Saturday, September 16th at the De Queen High School auditorium.

 

Pageant organizer, Jackie Gonzalez, said the pageant is a fundraiser for the Sevier County Museum. She said there are eight age divisions  and contestants will have the option to compete in three categories.

 

The age divisions include: 0 to 11 months, 12 to 23 months, 2 to 3 year olds, 4 to 5 year olds, 6 to 9 year olds, 10 to 12 year olds, 13 to 15 year olds and 16 and up. Contestants can compete in the Beauty category, the outfit of choice category and the photogenic category.

 

Gonzalez said they will crown eight divisional Queens, two Mini Supreme Queens, three Ultimate Grand Supreme Queens and one Mega Ultimate Grand Supreme Queen.

 

Registration on the day of the pageant is from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and the pageant will start at 11 a.m. Gonzalez said contestants may leave following their last competition, but everyone will need to return to the auditorium by 2:15 p.m. for the crowning ceremony, which will begin at 2:30.

 

Gonzalez said you can contact her if you have a child that is interested in competing in this year's Hoo Ray Festival Beauty Pageant. She said you can call her at 870-279-1787, email her at jackie.gonzalezroq@gmail.com or message her from the pageant's Facebook page, Facebook.com/hoorahdayspageant01.

 

Winners will also attend the 2017 Hoo Rah Festival parade at 10 a.m. on October 7th.

 

 

GOVERNOR APPOINTS LOCAL RESIDENTS TO STATE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS        8/23/17

 

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently announced the appointments of some local residents to state boards and commissions.

 

The appointments from Southwest Arkansas include: Rafael Figueroa Jr. of De Queen was appointed to the Department of Humana Services State Institutional System Board. The appointment expires June 30th, 2018.

 

Ronnie Dorsey of De Queen was appointed to the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Licensing Board. The appointment expires June 30th, 2021.

 

Bryan Chesshir of Nashville was appointed to the Interagency Task Force for the Implementation of Criminal Justices Prevention Initiatives. The appointment expires July 1st, 2019.

 

And, Matt Keil of Texarkana was appointed to the Pawnbroker Licensure Commission. The appointment expires August 1st, 2020.

 

 

$6 MILLION DOLLAR ROAD TO SHADY LAKE COMPLETE        8/23/17

submitted by mypulsenews.com

 

A road leading into a long beloved place that covers part of two counties has been paved. Shady Lake Recreation Area visitors will now travel on a comfortable $6 million road that will also deter dust that leaves area residents in lingering clouds of haze as travelers flock to the area during the summer months.

 

Polk County Road 64, which is also known as Shady Lake Road, has been in the works since 2008 and since then, approximately $6 million dollars has been poured into the project.

 

Construction began in 2013 and was completed in August of 2017. The project covered a two-mile stretch and was completed through a partnership that included the U.S. Forestry Service, Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division, Federal Highway Administration, Arkansas Department of Transportation and Polk County. Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison said Polk County's portion was simply an acceptance of right of way.

 

The purpose of the project was to provide a safe, long-lasting driving surface for visitors and Forest Staff. The new entrance road alignment has been modified to minimize impacts to the environment.

 

 

ARVEST TO ACQUIRE BEAR STATE BANK FOR $391M        8/22/17

 

According to a press release that was jointly released by Bear State Bank and Arvest Bank, the two banks announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Arvest to acquire Bear State in an all-cash transaction that is valued at approximately $391 million dollars, or $10.28 per share of Bear State common stock.

 

The agreement and plan of organization was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 or the first quarter of 2018 and is subject to customary conditions, including both regulatory approval and approval by the Bear State Bank's shareholders.

 

Clients of Bear State Bank and Arvest Bank will not notice any immediate changes, and both banks will continue to conduct business as usual. At a later date, Bear State Bank's branding will change to Arvest Bank, with the full conversion of systems expected to occur in 2018.

 

Bear State Bank operates 42 branches including branches in De Queen, Ashdown, Nashville, Dierks, and Murfreesboro.

 

Arvest Bank has more than 250 bank branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.

 

 

TEST SCORES ARE UP IN THE ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT       8/22/17

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders informed the Ashdown Board of Education that test scores improved on the ACT Aspire exams for 3rd through 10th graders.

 

Sanders said the district's goals are academics, conduct and having success in everything that they do and he said the district's test scores reveal how hard the teachers and students are working to be successful. He said the district's scored improved in every major area on the ACT Aspire test.

 

Sanders also mentioned the district will be hosting some town hall meetings to discuss the district's millage proposal.

 

Sanders hosted a meeting Monday night in Ogden and he will be hosting a meeting tonight in Richmond. He said he will be explaining the district's plan and answer any questions patrons may have about the proposal.

 

The Ashdown Board of Education will host town hall meetings on Monday, August 28th in Ben Lomond and in the Barbara Horn Civic Center on Tuesday, August 29th. The final town hall meeting will be on Monday, September 18th in the Ashdown High School cafeteria.

 

 

ROJAS SEEKS TO ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF STUDENTS    8/22/17

 

Victor Rojas Jr. of De Queen is a member of the Arkansas Coalition of Juvenile Justice Board and he recently asked the State Board of Education to consider establishing an advisory council that would address the mental health needs of students in Arkansas' public schools.

 

Rojas said the School Mental Health Advisory Council would include broad stakeholder representation to advise the Arkansas Department of Education about current issues and unmet needs concerning mental health in public schools and to develop active communication and partnerships with schools, communities, and policymakers.

 

Rojas stated he is committed to working with the board of education on this initiative. He said he believes mental health is an important issue that deserves more attention.

 

Rojas said our society must work to end the stigma that is associated with seeking mental health services. He said we must emphasize the importance of seeking mental health and to do more to meet the needs of students in our public schools.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY 4-H TEEN LEADERS CLUB INVITES AREA YOUTH TO JOIN 4-H     8/22/17

 

Earlier this week, several members of the Sevier County 4-H Teen Leaders club invited area youth to join the County Extension's 4-H program.

 

Teen Leader club president, Ethan Wolcott explained what 4-H is about, while vice-president, Amber Morris mentioned the club's goals  and reporter, Brennen Seymour talked about how you can join 4-H.

 

Teen Leader treasurer, Aubrey Seymour said the county 4-H clubs do community projects throughout the year. Brennen Seymour said they are currently selling chances on a side of beef and a port-a-cool fan. Morris stated if you have a project that you would like for the county 4-H members to help with, contact the Sevier County Extension Office.

 

Wolcott said the Teen Leaders club meets the second Monday of each month and their next meeting is Monday, September the 11th in the Adams building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.

 

For more information, call 870-584-3031.

 

 

42ND ANNUAL ROD RUN IS FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY IN MENA      8/22/17

 

The 42nd Annual Rod Run will roll into the town of Mena and the Queen Wilhelmina State Park this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Ashley Smith said this year's event will feature hundreds of hot rods, antique cars/trucks, muscle cars and street rods. She said the event is a partnership between the chamber and the Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission.

 

The event will kick off on Friday in downtown Mena when the A&P Commission presents the Rod Run Show and Shine from 6 to 8 p.m. along North Mena Street. Smith said approximately 200 hot rods and street rods are expected to be displayed.

 

On Saturday, Smith said the hot rods will travel to the top of Rich Mountain for a Show and Shine event inside the Queen Wilhelmina State Park.

 

Saturday night, the rods will return to South Mena Street for the Rod Run Street Dance and Concert, featuring the Richie Owens band at 7 p.m.

 

Smith said Sunday the Rod Run event will come to end following a worship service and the awards presentation.

 

For more information or to register for the event, Smith said you can call the chamber or visit the website www.queenwilhelminarodrun.com.

 

For information about Mena and chamber of commerce check out the website, www.visitmena.com or call 479-394-8355.

 

 

TYSON FOODS NASHVILLE PROVIDES MEAL FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS     8/21/17

 

Tyson Foods, Inc. of Nashville sponsored meals for Colt Kicker new student orientation events at the University of Arkansas Cossatot.


The Tyson Foods Nashville Hospitality Team provided smoked chicken to over 350 UA Cossatot new students, staff, and faculty for the orientation week. Tyson Foods Broiler Account Hayden Luker (pictured) led the cooking efforts.


“Food is the way to the heart of college students,” UA Cossatot Admissions Coordinator Olivia Webb stated.


“We are so thankful that Tyson Foods in Nashville helped us welcome our new students on each campus with a delicious meal!”

 

Pictured is Tyson Broiler Accountant Hayden Luker,

who personally smoked the chicken for the meals.

Tyson Foods Nashville recently began a UA Cossatot partnership with paid internship opportunities for Industrial Technology students. The program provides infield training for students learning industrial electricity programmable logistics controls, and more. For more information about this program, visit
www.cccua.edu/tyson.
 

 

 

YOU ROCK IT!     8/21/17


Kim Frachiseur, 4-H Program Assistant with Sevier County Extension Service, presented a “You Rock It” educational meeting for Sevier County 4-H’ers and other county youth. The youth learned about the rock cycle and how to characterize the three distinct sorts of rocks in an engaging and flavorful way.


Jake Martin & Jake Seymour used Rice Krispies to demonstrate how sedimentary rocks change into metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rocks are made when sand, mud, and pebbles get laid down in layers and eventually harden. When heat and pressure are added, the rock changes from sedimentary to a metamorphic.


Veronica Rivas made chocolate covered bananas to represent how igneous rocks solidify.


Youth also learned about the Kindness Rock Project. They put Sevier County 4-H on the map by placing a marker on the website and painted their own rocks to join in on the fun. To learn more about the Kindness Rock Project visit
www.thekindnessrockproject.com.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


 

ASHDOWN FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH RECEIVES HELP FROM STUDENTS     8/21/17

 

Several students from L. F. Henderson Intermediate School helped volunteers and Bro. Jim Cross at the Ashdown First United Methodist Church to pack boxes of food to help people in our community. Pictured are: Kutter Dollarhide, Walt Jones, Da'quavion Martin, Rezell Ellis, Layla Forbes, Lynlee Williams & Bro. Jim Cross. 


       

 

 

ROJAS SEEKS TO ADDRESS MENTAL HEALTH NEEDS OF STUDENTS     8/21/17

 

Victor J. Rojas of De Queen, a member of the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board, recently encouraged the State Board of Education to consider establishing an advisory council tasked with addressing the mental health needs of students in Arkansas’ public schools.

     The School Mental Health Advisory Council, proposed by Rojas, would:

          •Include broad stakeholder representation

          •Inform the Arkansas Department of Education of current issues and unmet needs concerning mental health in public schools.

          •Develop active communication and partnerships with schools, communities, and policymakers.

Rojas is committed to working with the State Board on this initiative. He believes mental health is an important issue that deserves greater attention.

“We must work to end the stigma associated with seeking mental health services, continue to emphasize the importance of mental health, and do more to meet the needs of our students,” said Rojas.
 

 

DR. COLE AND WIFE DONATE TO LEGACY 2020     8/21/17

 

The Legacy 2020 Campaign, a capital fundraising project of UA Cossatot Foundation, received a donation from University of Arkansas Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole and his wife Leslie Cole.

Room 610 in the Adams Building on the De Queen Campus is now the Dr. Steve and Leslie Cole Hall.

“The gift made by Dr. and Mrs. Cole is a great way to support new programs and inspire others to invest in the communities in Southwest Arkansas,” said UA Cossatot Coordinator of Development Dustin Roberts.

The Legacy 2020 Campaign allows Southwest Arkansas community members to invest in the growth of the college on all three campuses through naming opportunities. Contributing to the Legacy 2020 campaign ensures that the donor’s name is seen on a UA Cossatot campus for years to come.

“Leslie and I believe that a local college is not only the fabric of the community but also the provider of education at an affordable price. Education is the great equalizer. We feel supporting our local college is something we must do to build our community,” said Dr. Cole.

“One of the great aspects of the Legacy 2020 campaign is the flexibility,” said Roberts.

“We have businesses and individuals who are investing an amount in total and others who are paying out annually.”

More information on the Legacy 2020 Campaign is available on the college’s website at www.cccua.edu/legacy2020.
 

 

MORE STUDENTS ARE APPLYING FOR THE ARKANSAS LOTTERY SCHOLARSHIP       8/21/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the subcommittee that oversees the Arkansas lottery for the Arkansas Legislative Council received a report that shows 30,883 applications were submitted this year for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship, which is a 21 percent increase from 2016.

 

The committee also received a report from the Department of Higher Education that states 4,859 Arkansans have applied for the new Arkansas Future Grant scholarship.

 

The Arkansas Future Grant was created this year to increase the education and skills of Arkansas' workforce in an affordable manner. The grant applies to students enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or other regional high demand areas of study. The grant will cover tuition and fees for qualifying certificate and Associate degree programs at Arkansas' public institutions for eligible students.

 

Vaught said the legislature hopes to not only help more students attend college but to also help them lower their student debt after they graduate. The Institute for College Access and Success reported 55 percent of college graduates in Arkansas have more than $25,000 in student debt when they graduate.

 

Arkansas ranks in the top 20 states in the nation for the percentage of high school grads who attend college. However, the state lags behind when it comes to degree completion.

 

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION AT UA COSSATOT        8/21/17

 

Zebbie Launius is the Continuing Education Coordinator at UA Cossatot and she recently announced the college released its Fall continuing education schedule. She said the schedule includes for fun classes, for profit classes and courses to help students get a job or get a promotion.

 

Launius said they offer some classes for free and Cossatot has opened a virtual career center to help area residents who are seeking employment.

 

Launius said the college is also offering classes in cake decorating, quilting, yoga and essential oils.

 

Launius said for more information, visit the college's website cccua.edu and click on the community education tab and then select continuing education.

 

For more information, call 870-584-4471 and ask to speak with the continuing education department.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY WILL HOLD A LOW-COST SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC SEPTEMBER 5-7        8/21/17

 

Martha Fines and Juanelle Gage announced the Sevier County Humane Society will hold its third spay and neuter clinic of the year, September 5th through the 7th at the humane society's building on Haes Street across from the Herman Dierks Park.

 

Fines said the cost is $65 for dogs and $40 for cats.

 

Gage and Fines said area residents can bring their cats to the clinic beginning at 7 a.m. each day and dogs at 8 a.m. They said the humane society also needs volunteers to sit with the animals until they wake up.

 

For more information, call 870-584-9096.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: WINNERS LOSING BIG      8/21/17

 

Reports have been received by the Attorney General's office that Arkansans are being told that they have won an international lottery, but these are scams, stealing thousands of dollars from innocent victims. Con artists are contacting consumers through direct mail, email and phone calls, requesting a small fee in order to process a cash prize.

 

Typically, the scammer contacts the winners to inform them that they have won a sum of money, a car or an expensive trip. All the consumer has to do to claim their prize is submit a small payment or their personal financial information. These fees are referred to as processing fees or customs charges.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge offered the following tips for anyone who receives any communication about a foreign lottery or prize: She say consumers should never pay for something that they won; she said be cautious if someone asks that a fee be paid through a pre-paid credit card or by wiring money; she said it's a violation of federal law to play in an international lottery through the mail or over the phone; she also said people who accept these offers become targets of other scammers; and you should never provide any financial information to any unknown person over the phone.

 

For more information and for tips to avoid scams and other consumer related issues, contact the attorney general's office by calling 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

SMITH SAID SCHOOL IS OFF TO A GOOD START AT HORATIO        8/18/17

 

Monday, members of the Horatio Board of Education met and earned two hours of professional development while discussing the district's finances with Jason Holsclaw of Stephens, Incorporated.

 

Board members voted to change the district's athletic attendance policy to state, a student must attend a half day of school to be eligible to participate in extra curricular activities that night. Superintendent Lee Smith said the new policy will mirror that of other districts in the area.

 

Smith also reported the board changed the district sick and personal leave policy for all employees. He said the new policy will allow employees to take 12 leave days without distinguishing between sick and personal.

 

Smith reported things have been going well this week. He also reminded our listeners that the state approved the district's School on Innovation application, but the district will work off it's plan for the next few years.

 

Board members also approved the purchase of 20-foot trailer for the band.

 

 

BROTHERS KEEPERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB HOLDING A SCAVENGER RIDE AUGUST 26TH TO HELP RAISE FUNDS OF SEVIER COUNTY TOYS FOR TOTS PROGRAM       8/18/17

 

Brother's Keepers Motorcycle Club members, Tim and Jay Litchford, announced Friday morning that the club will be hosting a scavenger ride on Saturday, August 26th to help raise funds for the Sevier County Toys for Tots program.

 

Registration will begin that morning at 9 a.m. in the Herman Dierks Park. The first bike will leave at 10 a.m. The last bike out is scheduled for 11. The last bike in is 4 p.m.

 

The cost is $15 per rider and $10 for an extra rider.

 

Tim Litchford stated the club decided to donate the proceeds to the Toys for Tots program because it helps so many kids in Sevier County.

 

Jay Litchford said the club is made up of fire fighters and former fire fighters and each chapter selects charities in the area to support. He  said they support other chapter's burn runs, but wanted to help this worth cause in De Queen.

 

The Litchford's said everyone is invited to the park after 2 p.m. to enjoy a pulled pork sandwich or to make a donation to the Toys for Tots program.

 

For more information call 903-949-9000 or 870-784-6283.

 

 

LOCAL OPTOMETRIST LISTS DANGERS OF ENJOYING SOLAR ECLIPSE       8/18/17

 

Monday, the United States will experience it's first solar eclipse since 1979 and many parks, schools and libraries are planning solar eclipse parties, but a local optometrist is warning folks about the dangers of looking at the sun during the eclipse.

 

Earlier this week, KDQN reported that you could protect your eyes while viewing the solar eclipse by wearing a welder's mask or by using welder's glasses, but Dr. Peter Bako of Broken Bow reported you will need to make sure that you are using a #14 welder's mask or darker.

 

Bako also mentioned how you can make sure your solar glasses that you ordered are certified by NASA. He said if you put on your solar eclipse glasses inside your home, everything should be blacked out, even the lights. He said when you put on the eclipse glasses outside, everything, but the sun should be blacked out. He said if they are certified, they will say ISO certified on the leg of the glasses.

 

Bako said he also urged area school district's to not purchase eclipse glasses. He said the safest way to watch the eclipse is online or on television.

 

If you would like to enjoy the eclipse join the Sevier County Library staff this Monday from noon to 1:45 p.m.

 

 

WOODMEN LIFE DONATES TO UA COSSATOT     8/18/17

 

The Woodmen Life organization donated 150 desktop flags, four sets of auditorium flags for use at University of Arkansas Cossatot campuses, new American and state flags for the Lockesburg campus flagpole, and $250 to the UA Cossatot Lockesburg campus restoration project.

The UA Cossatot Lockesburg campus project includes the restoration of the closed high school. The projected completion date is August 2018, just in time to host fall classes onsite.

The donated flags are for display in classrooms and lobbies of each campus, including the newly refurbished Lockesburg Gymnasium.

“It has been many years since new flags were placed throughout our campuses,” UA Cossatot representative Tommi Cobb stated.

“With the addition of new classrooms and some new facilities, they were needed. These new flags will be displayed proudly. We thank Woodmen Life organization for their generosity.”

Ms. Cobb coordinated the efforts with Woodmen Life representatives Jeff Price, Dudley Slaton, and Vivian Slaton to have the flags and donations delivered to UA Cossatot.

 

 

DE QUEEN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL FACULTY     8/18/17

 

      Photo & Information by Tammy Whatley

De Queen Junior High School faculty for 2017-2018 is under the leadership of Bill Huddleston.  Mr. Huddleston is in his eighth year as the principal.  Prior to that, he was the assistant principal for several years.

Front row L to R: Terri Carver, Esther Hendershot, and Carol Moore.

Row 2 L to R: Payton Covington, Beau Mc Castlain, Joseph Parson, Tracy Nealy, and Erick Smith.

Back row L to R: Sue Smith, Sara Bingham, Anita Simmons, Dawn Serigne, Camryn Mitchell, Stephanie Neal, Kelly Williams, Neshia Rogers, Brittnie Irvin, Wanda Smith , Jill Brinkley, Jeff Holcombe, Janet Dunson, Sandy Moore, and Bill Huddleston. 

Not pictured John Frachiseur.

 

 

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR DHS TEACHERS     08/18/17

 

                   Photo and information by Tammy Whatley

De Queen High School’s faculty met last week for professional development led by Mr. Bryan Blackwood. This is Blackwood’s third year as principal.

Row 1 L to R: McKenzie Bonds, Ramona Hill, Kelly Mills, Betty Stone, Sandra Baker, Jason Barker, and Stephen Sloan.

Row 2 L to R: Chad Lites, Todd Pinkerton, Brian Walthour, Thomas Sweeten, Becci Price, Michelle Attaway, and Jeff Attaway.

Row 3 L to R: Casey Hunter, Anita Caudle, Jordan Mc Mellon, Jarah Russell, Lesley Simmons, Leona Martin, Mary E. Davis, Jessica Pruitt, and Amy Wedehase.

Row 4 L to R: Misty Gentry, Sally Hennard, Jennifer Collier, Stefani Jones, Caitlin Collins, Tina Braden, and Angelina Ward.

Row 5 L to R: Bryan Blackwood, Carrie Rivas, Meagan Chum, Steve Lester, Bob Ward, Jane Moore, Lori Chambers, Tuffy Neely, and John Amerson. Not pictured Ryan Hanney and Morgan Frachiseur.

 

42ND ANNUAL MENA ROD RUN ANNOUNCES DATES & EVENTS      08/25-08/27

      Story By Melanie Wade  Photo Property of Polk County Pulse

 

The 42nd Annual Rod Run will roll into town August 25-27 and will fill downtown Mena and Queen Wilhelmina State Park with hundreds of hot rods, antique cars/trucks, muscle cars, and street rods. The event is a partnership between the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce and the Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission (A&P).

The event will kick off on Friday, August 25 in downtown Mena when the A&P Commission presents the Rod Run Show and Shine from 6 – 8 p.m. along North Mena Street. Approximately 200 hot rods and street rods are expected to be displayed. “In addition to beautiful cars, enjoy D.J. music and concessions during this family-friendly, fun event,” says A&P Festival Coordinator, Donnie Crane.

On Saturday, the Chamber of Commerce will host the event atop Rich Mountain inside Queen Wilhelmina State Park where visitors can admire the cars and visit with other enthusiasts.

Saturday night, the rods will make their way to South Mena Street for the A&P’s Rod Run Saturday Night Street Dance and Concert. This year’s concert will feature the rock ‘n’ roll music of The Richie Owens Band at 7 p.m. Concessions will be available.

The event will wrap up on Sunday with morning services and various awards and presentations.

This annual event is a longtime favorite for locals and great fun for all ages. For more information on the event, visit http://queenwilhelminarodrun.com, or call 479-394-2912. For information on visiting the local area, www.visitmena.com or 479-394-8355.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HOST FIVE TOWN HALL MEETINGS TO DISCUSS PROPOSED MILLAGE INCREASE          8/17/17

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced the Ashdown School District will host five town hall meetings throughout the district over the next several weeks to discuss the proposed millage increase.

 

In June, members of the Ashdown Board of Education voted to hold a special election on September 19th to ask the district voters to approve a proposed 3.9 mill increase. If passed the district's millage would increase from 35.7 mills to 39.6.

 

Sanders said the millage increase would finance several construction needs within the district. One of the projects would be adding space to the current L.F. Henderson Intermediate School and consolidating the three elementary campuses.

 

Sanders said the district will host a town hall meeting on Monday, August 21st at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Ogden at 6 p.m. and a second town hall meeting in the fellowship hall of the Richmond Methodist Church in Richmond on Tuesday, August 22nd at 6 p.m.

 

Town hall meetings will be held on Monday, August 28th at 6 p.m. in the Ben Lomond Community Center and on Tuesday, August 29th at 6 p.m. in the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot.

 

Sanders said the final town hall meeting will be held on Monday, September 18th at 6 p.m. in the Ashdown High School cafeteria.

 

If any district patron's have any questions about the proposed millage increase, they may contact the district’s administration office at 870-898-4495.

 

 

DE QUEEN BRANCH OF SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY HOSTING SOLAR ECLIPSE EVENT ON MONDAY        8/17/17

 

Monday, August 21st, the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library will be hosting an event during the solar eclipse from noon to 1:45 p.m.

 

Librarian Carolyn Jones announced Roger Mills will conduct a free demonstration about how you can enjoy and view the eclipse without glasses, by using a white piece of paper. She also stated the library is giving away 50 pairs of eclipse glasses starting at noon to the first 50 people to sign-in at the library.

 

Jones said the library staff will close the building from 12:45 to 1:45 and set up a table outside during the eclipse. She said they will also be giving away door prizes.

 

For more information about the solar eclipse program at the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library, call 870-584-4364.

 

 

SUMMER MOVIE SERIES PRESENTATION OF BEAUTY AND THE BEAST IS SATURDAY        8/17/17

 

This Saturday, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce will host their final movie in the 2017 Summer Movie Series at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater at 8:30 p.m.

 

UA Cossatot marketing coordinator and chamber board member Daniel Martinez said the UA Cossatot Student Diversity Association will be operating the concession stand, this Saturday night as a fundraiser.

 

Martinez said about 400 people attended the first two movies and the chamber has plans to offer some movies this fall and continue the Summer Movie Series next year.

 

Emily Newlin is the Director of Institutional Advancement and she said the event is free to the public and someone will win the Beauty and Beast DVD after the movie. Newlin recommended you check UA Cossatot's or the chamber's Facebook pages for updates about the movie, if it rains on Saturday.

 

Gates open at 8 p.m. and the movie will start at 8:30 this Saturday night at the amphitheater on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.

 

 

ARKANSAS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL COMMISSION APPROVES PERMITS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF TWO LIQUOR STORES IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY          8/17/17

 

Wednesday, the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission approved two permits for the construction of liquor stores in Little River County.

 

The commission approved the applications of Geraldine Haskins and Ralph Brainerd Jr.

 

Haskins is the owner of Jerry's Drive-In on South Constitution Avenue Jerry's Drive-In sells fast food and ice cream products. Haskins said the liquor store will be in the building and the restaurant will be behind it.

 

Brainerd plans to open Bogey's at 125 Webster Drive in Ashdown, just a couple blocks west of the Ashdown Police Department.

 

Little River County voters approved the sell of alcohol last November by almost 1,000 votes. With the passage of the measure, retail stores such as E-Z Mart, Walmart, Brookshire's and others wanting to sell beer and wine may apply for permits from the ABC commission.

 

Under Arkansas law, only one permit may be issued for every 5,000 county residents for the construction of liquor stores and Little River County only qualified for two.

 

 

DE QUEEN TACKLE FOOTBALL OPEN PRACTICE IS MONDAY        8/17/17

 

Chris Hale is the activities director of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department and he said registration for tackle football will end on Wednesday, August 23rd, but coaches have decided to have an open practice on Monday, August 21st for players who want to meet the coaches and learn some drills.

 

Hale also said he will be in the park office Monday afternoon to register players.

 

Hale said the coaches will meet on Thursday, August 24th for their draft and they will start scheduling practices and games after that.

 

Hale also reminded area parents that if they can't afford the $35 registration fee and the $45 jersey fee to please check with him, because scholarships are available.

 

Hale said all of the games will be played on Saturdays, starting September 16th.

 

For more information, call the park office at 870-642-4140.

 

 

OKLAHOMA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL WANTS STATE REGULATORS TO DISMISS PREAPPROVAL CASE FOR WIND FARM        8/17/17

 

Oklahoma's attorney general has asked state regulators to dismiss a preapproval case for a utility that wants to build a $4.5 billion dollars wind farm.

 

The motion against the Public Service Company of Oklahoma's Wind Catcher project was filed last week by Attorney General Mike Hunter's public utility division and the motion argues that the utility didn't follow competitive bidding rules and hasn't shown a need for the generation of new power.

 

The motion said PSO's customers are at risk of bearing the cost of the Wind Catcher project if the commission grants the relief that PSO has requested.

 

PSO released a statement that says the project would save customers money, promote investment in the state and provide additional diversity to its generation fleet.

 

Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Company are planning to purchase the project but are still awaiting regulatory approvals. The utilities serve more than a million customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

 

 

 

 

LOCKESBURG FIRE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS NEW FIRE STATION         8/16/17

 

Tuesday night, several members of the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department attended the monthly meeting of the Lockesburg City Council to present the department's bylaws and standard operating guidelines.

 

Volunteer fire fighter TJ Newton then read a statement from the members of fire department asking the city council to consider building a new fire station. Several fire fighters spoke on the issue, but they did not have any cost estimates for a new building, a suitable size or a possible location.

 

Newton stated the current building houses eight trucks and the equipment for 27 fire fighters. She also stated the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department has the highest call rate of any fire department in the county.

 

Aldermen discussed ways to finance the construction of a new fire station, including the possibility of asking the citizens of Lockesburg to approve a sale tax increase. Aldermen also asked the fire department to apply for grants.

 

Mayor Danny Ruth reported on the walking trail project in the city park. After reviewing the estimated cost of the project, aldermen voted to table the project.

 

Mayor Ruth also reported several trees have been planted throughout the city. He said the trees were purchased with a beautification grant.

 

Aldermen then voted to enter into a contract of services with the Sevier County Senior Citizens Center in Lockesburg in the amount of $1,500. Aldermen were informed the center is delivering 10 to 15 meals a day Monday through Wednesday.

 

Aldermen passed an ordinance to allow the City of Lockesburg to conduct business with aldermen Roger Ridley and they asked the city attorney to clarify the duties of the city's deputy clerk.

 

City Attorney Erin Hunter informed the council that the city will not be required to get an easement from the railroad company, because they are replacing a bridge, but the bridges height will need to be raised to 24-feet above the railroad tracks.

 

  

WEST NILE VIRUS IDENTIFIED IN ARKANSAS LAST WEEK       8/16/17

 

Health officials say two cases of West Nile virus were identified last week in Arkansas, marking the first time this year that the illness has been confirmed in the state.

 

The Arkansas Department of Health says most are infected with the virus from June through September, with the number of infections peaking in mid-August. The illness is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes.

 

Health officials say the best way to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellants and wearing long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors.

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported this week during his around town report that the city of De Queen has larvacide tablets available to city residents for the treatment of standing water to help eliminate mosquitoes around their homes.

 

According to preliminary data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 159 cases of the illness have been reported so far this year. Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have the highest number of confirmed and probable cases.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT CENTERS ARE STILL SERVING MEALS TO AREA SENIOR ADULTS        8/16/17

 

Joyce Short is the site manager of the Sevier County Senior Citizens Center and she reminded area senior adults that the center is still serving meals every Monday through Wednesday.

 

Short said the center prepares a hot meal every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for senior adults who visit the center. She also said they deliver about 30 hot meals to home bound clients every week, as well as frozen meals for those who need them, Thursday through Sunday.

 

Short said the De Queen Senior Citizens Center is also running a bus within the city limits. She said they also provide transportation senior adults to the Post Office and doctor's appointments.

 

Short said the centers are funded based on participation and she encouraged anyone 60 and older to please join them for lunch. She said they ask for a $3 donation, but they will not turn anyone away, even if they don't have the $3.

 

For more information or to sign up for the free home delivered meals, contact the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas by calling 870-234-7410.

 

 

FOUR SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENTS FORMALLY CHARGED IN LITTLE RIVER CIRCUIT COURT ON TUESDAY       8/16/17

 

Three adult suspects and one juvenile was formally charged Tuesday in the 9th Circuit Court of Little River County for the fatal shooting of an Ashdown teenager.

 

Twenty year-old Joshua King, 19-year-old Brady Winship and 18-year-old Tenescha Wilkerson and a juvenile were arrested several hours after two Ashdown teens were shot on July 16th.

 

Nineteen year-old Desmond Smith died of a gunshot wound to the chest, while 19-year-old Samari Covington was wounded in the arm.

 

King was charged with murder in the second degree, battery in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle. Winship was charged with being an accomplice to murder in the second degree, battery in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and Wilkerson was charged with being an accomplice to murder in the second degree, battery in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle.

 

The juvenile was also charged as an accomplice.

 

A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for November 14th along with a trial date of November 27th.

 

King is being held in the Little River County jail, while Winship and Wilkerson remain in custody in the Sevier County jail. The juvenile is being held in the White River Detention Center near Batesville.

 

 

TRIAL DATE SET FOR POLK COUNTY MURDER SUSPECT        8/16/17

Submitted by The Polk County Pulse

 

A trial date of April 16th was set for a Polk County quadruple murder suspect in the Polk County Circuit Court on Monday.

 

Thirty-seven year-old Brian Travis faces four counts of capital murder in the deaths of 2-year-old Acelynn Wester, 9-year-old Reilly Scarbrough, their mother, 43-year-old Bethany Wester and her uncle 66-year-old Steven Payne.

 

Monday, court appointed attorneys representing Travis filed 10 motions of continuance, which were all granted by Polk County Circuit Court Judge Jerry Ryan. The motions will allow Travis' defense team some additional time to collect data, evidence, and to investigate the case.

 

Judge Ryan also issued a gag order in the case, which prohibits any party from making statements about the case, including the defense team, defendant, prosecution, and witnesses.

 

 

ARKANSAS CONNECTS HIGH-SPEED INTERNET IN ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS      8/16/17

 

As Arkansas students and teachers return to the classroom this fall, they'll find a broadband Internet connection in every school in the state. In the last two years, the Arkansas Departments of Education and Information Systems worked together to install 200-megabit-per-second connections in every school district. Arkansas is now one of only six states in the country with every school connected at or above the federal target speed of 100-megabits.

 

Cathy Koehler is the president of the Arkansas Education Association and she says the high-speed networks will better prepare students for the modern world.

 

When state officials began the upgrade in 2015, only 58-percent of schools had true broadband connections. Koehler says the new networks provide enough bandwidth to allow students to take online courses, do research and participate in Internet-based class projects, such as coding and virtual field trips.

 

Koehler says, however, many of the newly-wired schools still lack the hardware, like, computers, monitors, printers and so on, to properly take advantage of the high-speed connections.

 

Koehler adds that many students, mostly in poor, rural areas, are still at a digital disadvantage. She says state officials should be working to close that gap, as well.

 

She says Arkansas, which is ranked 39th in education among the states by U.S. News and World Report, is moving in the right direction, but thinks lawmakers need to boost education standards and funding to make more headway.

 

PEO SPONSORS ADKISON TO GIRLS STATE 2017     8/16/17

“Girls State helped me develop more confidence and leadership skills,” states Ashdown High School senior Madeline Adkison about her experience as a representative to the 75th  annual Arkansas Girls State program.  The 2017 camp celebrated 75 years of the American Legion Auxiliary-sponsored program since its initiation in 1942.

Sponsored locally by Chapter BA of the Ashdown PEO organization, Adkison is the third generation of her family to serve as a Girls State representative.  Her mother Angela Adkison and grandmother Carole Mashburn were also Girls State representatives the summer before their senior years at Ashdown High School and Sylvan Hills High School in North Little Rock, respectively.  Angela and Carole are both members of PEO Chapter BA.

Arkansas Girls State was held on the campus of Harding University and was attended by about 900 girls from across the state who will all be seniors in Arkansas high schools this year.  The purpose of the patriotic youth program has always been to educate young women about the basic ideals and principles of American government and citizenship.

Adkison spoke to the members of Chapter BA about her experiences of living together in mythical cities and counties as self-governing citizens.  She was assigned to the city of “Holliday” and was elected first as City Treasurer and then as County Treasurer, an experience that allowed her to be part of the campaign for State Governor which was won by a fellow resident of her city.  “It was pretty cool,” she stated, “because our City was recognized for many things.”

During the week-long sessions, a number of speakers visited to talk about state government issues and their duties in their positions.  Among them was DeAnn Vaught, Arkansas State Representative for District 4, which includes Little River County.  Rep. Vaught spoke about her responsibilities in the legislature and posed for pictures with Adkison and other girls from her area. 

In addition, the girls were given special tours of the State Capitol and offices of the state legislature. Adkison reports that “lots of new friends and memories were made at my week at Girls State.”

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROPRIATES $272,347 TO THE COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE BUDGET         8/15/17

 

Monday afternoon, the Quorum Court of Sevier County voted to appropriate $27,620 to the county's Solid Waste Fund for the purchase of 13.81 acres of land.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported the land was adjacent to the county's landfill and transfer station, which should make it easier to get permitted as the future site of the county landfill.

 

Justices of the Peace also appropriated over $250,000 to the county's Criminal Justice Budget for projects at the county jail.

 

County Judge Greg Ray said $146,171 was for the new roof on the jail and a new generator, which was needed to stay in compliance with state jail standards. He said another $33,000 was for a new smoke alarm system at the jail and $89,000 was from a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Grant from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

 

Sheriff Robert Gentry said the county received the substance abuse grant because they were already offering complementary programs at the jail. He said the jail is partnering with the Southwest Mental Health Center to provide a residential substance abuse treatment program.

 

Gentry said the jail also received a grant from the Department of Workforce Services in the amount of $3,601 for the purchase of tables, chairs and laptop computers from the Southwest Arkansas Planning District and a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $575 for the purchase of a new portable radio.

 

 

CITY OF DIERKS WAITING ON PERMIT FROM ADEQ FOR NEW CITY PARK        8/15/17

 

Monday night, Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts told KDQN that about 2,000 people attended Saturday night's bull riding event at the Pine Tree Festival. He said in the near future, the city council will need to decide if they are going to build a new arena at the new city park or keep the Pine Tree Festival at the old park.

 

Mayor Mounts told the aldermen of the Dierks City Council that the city is currently waiting on a permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality so they can start moving some dirt at the new city park location.

 

Mounts also reported he filed his last report with ADEQ concerning the city's new sewer lagoon. He said ADEQ will terminate the city's construction permit because the project has been officially completed and approved.

 

Monday night, aldermen approved a resolution establishing what items need to be added to the city's fixed asset list. Mounts said the new resolution states any item that cost more than $2,500 and has a service life of more than a year will be added to the list.

 

Mounts informed the council that the city had received one bid for the police department's used Crown Vic. After opening the bid, the council voted to reject the bid.

 

 

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT GETTING READY FOR HOLIDAY DRUNK DRIVING CRACKDOWN          8/15/17

 

One last blast of summer fun too often turns into death and tragedy caused by drunk drivers traveling across state roads and highways and that is why the Labor Day holiday period is among the most deadly travel periods on Arkansas highways.

 

Beginning August 18th and continuing through September 4th, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers. The objective is to reduce the number of drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to endanger others and themselves.

 

The consequences of drunk driving are severe and life changing. Drunk or drug impaired drivers run the risk of jail time, loss of drivers license, installation of ignition interlocks on their vehicles and court ordered community service. The financial impact is also considerable, including higher vehicle insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of a job or job prospects.

 

The Arkansas State Highway Safety Office recommends the following tips: always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol, by designating a sober driver; if you've been driving, call a taxi, take a bus or call a sober friend or family member; promptly contact law enforcement to report drunk drivers that you see on the roadways; always wear your seat belt and if you're on a motorcycle, use protective safety equipment.

 

For more information, call 501-618-8136.

 

 

COTTON SEEKING FALL INTERNS        8/15/17

 

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton's office in Washington, D.C., is currently seeking fall interns to help serve the people of Arkansas. Interns will have the opportunity to help with the daily operations of the office and witness the legislative process firsthand.

 

Depending on their university's requirements, students may be able to receive academic credit for their service. Internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

 

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Part-time and full-time internships are available. The length of the internship will vary based on the applicant's schedule and the number of spots that are available. To apply, submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you want to intern at internships_cotton@cotton.senate.gov.

 

 

ASHDOWN TEENAGE JUMPS OFF BRIDGE        8/14/17

 

Early Friday morning, a 16-year-old girl died after jumping from an Ashdown bridge.

 

Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin reported the young woman who jumped from the north side of the Arkansas Highway 32 overpass; fell onto the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks.

 

Ardwin said dispatch received a call about 3:53 a.m. The caller said someone was going to jump from the overpass. He said a patrolman drove to the location and saw the person jump as he was getting out of his car.

 

Little River EMS was dispatched to the scene and officers loaded the teen into the ambulance. She was transported to the Little River Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead by a physician that was on call.

 

The body was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for an autopsy.

 

 

THREE INDIVIDUALS WILL APPEAR IN LITTLE RIVER COUNT CIRCUIT COURT ON TUESDAY FOLLOWING DRUG BUST       8/14/17

 

Three individuals will make an appearance in the Little River County Circuit Court on Tuesday after being arrested for drug trafficking.

 

August 5th, officers with the Ashdown Police Department and the South-Central Drug Task Force discovered and seized about $140,000 worth of methamphetamine following a traffic stop.

 

The driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Clarence Johnson of Pine Bluff, was arrested when officers found 240 grams of meth in his vehicle.

 

Following the traffic stop, authorities obtained a search warrant for an apartment in Ashdown. During the execution of the warrant, officers found 145 grams of crystal meth and 1,020 grams of liquid meth.

 

Authorities arrested 40-year-old Jerry Delony of Ashdown and 38-year-old Byann Blakeney of Big Sandy, Texas.

 

All three face the charge of trafficking a controlled substance.

 

 

DE QUEEN TACKLE FOOTBALL REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY       8/14/17

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced the park is accepting registration forms for the 2017 tackle football program until August 23rd. The registration amount is $35 and there is a $45 fee if a player needs a jersey.

 

Hale stated the park purchases about 10 new helmets, pads, and chin straps every year, so the players who register early will get the newer equipment. He also stated parents who do not turn in the park's equipment after the final game will be charged a $150 fee.

 

Hale said if a family cannot afford to participate, to please contact him because some scholarships are available. For more information or to register, call the park office at 870-642-4140.

 

 

FREE SMOKE ALARMS     8/14/17

 

Across America, on average, six people lose their life each day from home fires. In the average house fire, you have as little as two minutes to evacuate your home. So along with a plan, the best protection a family can have is a working smoke alarm.

 

Sevier County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Walter Smith announced the American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter is donating free smoke alarms to residents throughout Sevier County through the county's volunteer fire departments.

 

De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt said residents can sign up to receive four free smoke alarms and county fire fighters will install the alarms for free.

 

Smith said you can call your local volunteer fire department to sign up or you can contact the American Red Cross by calling or texting 501-420-3533. He said you will need to leave your name, address and phone number, along with the name of your fire district's fire department. He said you can also email the American Red Cross at redcrossalarms@gamil.com.

 

Smoke alarms will be installed on Saturday, September 9th.

 

 

ARKANSAS HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY APPLICATIONS FOR CULTIVATION OR DISTRIBUTION SITES        8/14/17

 

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration officials reported the agency has received no applications to grow or distribute medical marijuana.

 

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance and Administration said there are regulations that limit where greenhouses and distributors can operate. While setting up the rules for licensing, legislators said growers must be at least 3,000 feet from churches, schools or daycares, while dispensaries must be 1,500 feet away. Officials said those restrictions will make it difficult for some towns and small cities to have a marijuana operation.

 

The department plans to award five cultivation licenses and 32 dispensary licenses.

 

Officials say despite the lack of submissions for licenses, there has been some interest in using medical marijuana. The Department of Finance and Administration reported they have received and approved 404 applications from people seeking to use medical marijuana.

 

A spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Health said they projected around 30,000 people would apply for a medical marijuana card, based on the states population and the types of qualifying conditions.

 

According to the Department of Health, there are several documents that applicants have to gather in order to complete an application.

 

Applicants who want to obtain an ID card must have a physician fill out a form certifying that they have a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use.

 

The ID cards cost $50 and must be renewed yearly. 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: COOLING OFF THE UTILITY BILLS       8/14/17

 

Even though this summer has not been as hot and dry as prior years, utility costs and rates are going up as utility companies invest and improve their infrastructure.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge provided the following tips for ways to avoid high-cost utility bills: she said consumers should invest in making their home or business as energy efficient as possible; consider level or flat billing options; make sure to change the filters each month on heating and cooling units; keep interior lights turned off during the day; keep the drapes and blinds closed during the day to keep out the sun's heat; and, turn ceiling fans off when a room is not occupied.

 

The Attorney General represents the interests of Arkansas's utility customers through her Consumer Utility Rate Advocacy Division.

 

In addition, some Arkansans may qualify for the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which offers assistance in paying utility bills. Most of the money is allocated to low-income elderly consumers and individuals with disabilities.

 

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

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT WELCOMES NEW STAFF    8/14/17

 

 

Pictured (l-r) front row: Hayden Rybiski, Shawnda Chester, Jessica Gallagher, Meagan Garrison, DeeAnn Ward, Sonia Caskey and Amy Madden
Pictured (l-r) back row: David Murray, Trad Williams, Anthony Roe, Brittany Northcross, Tammy Phillips, Linda Thompson, Hannah Neal, Karlie Smith, Maegan Baker, Gail Wade, and Chris McFadden. Not Pictured: Josh Thomas
 

Hayden Rybiski comes to Ashdown as a teacher/coach at AJHS and AHS. He will be teaching PE, Health & Wellness and coaching football and baseball. He earned a B.S. degree in Exercise Science from Southern Arkansas University. He enjoys weightlifting and fitness in his spare time and he hopes to promote a positive image of health and physical activity for his students.

Shawnda Chester has been in the Ashdown school District for the past thirteen years working with math remediation, computer technician and bus driver, but will now be teaching 5th grade math and science at LFH She has a B.A.A.S. degree from TAMU- Texarkana and working on her MAT from SAU. About her family, she says, “I am blessed to be part of a blended family of 6 children and 1 grandchild. Two have graduated from AHS, 1 in Heaven, and 3 currently attending AHS.” She enjoys learning new things and sharing the knowledge she has. She is excited to be teaching math and science this year and plans for an engaging year for all her students.

Jessica Gallagher will be teaching 6th grade math at AJHS, she earned a BSE degree from the University of Arkansas and is currently working on her MAT at SAU. She previously taught Elementary Music at Foreman and was a substitute. She is married to Ashdown Agri teacher, Cody Gallagher. She enjoys singing and playing instruments, baking, cooking, shopping and working with livestock. She said, “with God on our side, we can accomplish anything. We are going to have a great year.”

Meagan Garrison will be teaching business education and JAG at AHS. She has a Mass Communication degree from Texas A & M, Texarkana and has taught Special Education at Arkansas High and 4th grade writing in New Boston. She is married to Jace Garrison and has two daughters. Elise is a student in the Ashdown School District and Ryleigh is a student at Main Street Preschool located in Ashdown. Mrs. Garrison is a photographer, runner and loves spending time with family. “The future of the world is in my classroom,” said Garrison.

DeeAnn Ward will be teaching 7th grade English at AJHS. She has a BSE in Middle School Education from Southern Arkansas University and her past teaching experience was at North Heights Junior High and Paulette Smith Middle School (Fouke). Mrs. Ward and her husband, Will have one daughter Leila Faye. Her parents are TeriLynn & David Day and in-laws DeeDee & Steve Ward, all of Ashdown. Her interests are her family, photography, and working with kids.

Sonia Caskey will be teaching 2nd grade at Ashdown Elementary after teaching first grade at Foreman for the past two years. She has an Early Childhood Education Degree. Caskey said, “This is going to be a super year! I am glad to be coming back home!” Her family is from Alleene, her great grandfather was living there in the 1800s. Her second cousin is Hazel Walker, famous Ashdown basketball player. She has a son (Dakota Caskey) and a daughter in Heaven (Caitlin Caskey). She enjoys canoeing, shopping, sight seeing, and movie watching.

David Murray will be teaching physical science at AHS, he has a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries from Texas A & M and comes to Ashdown with 26 years teaching experience in Texas. He has three children with his wife, Kim. He enjoys spending time with family, camping, hunting, and fishing and hopes to have a productive year and have fun doing it.

Tammy Phillips will be Self-Contained Special Ed at AHS, she has her BSE from the University of Arkansas and MSE in Special Ed from Henderson State University. She has 25 years SpEd K-12 (retired) from public school and has taught at Springdale, Nevada, Prescott, TASD, Morehead State University (Instructor), Mississippi State University-Starkville, MS (Tutoring Program & Substitute Instructor), and Riverview high School Classroom (TDT). She has a daughter and son and three grandsons. She enjoys reading and crafts and believes that all kids have a right to the best education possible.

Hannah Neal will be teaching PE, softball, jr/sr. volleyball, jr. girl’s basketball at AJHS and AHS. She has a Bachelors in Kinesiology (k-12) from the University of Arkansas. She has been PE Assistant at Monitor Elementary in Springdale. She has come to Ashdown leaving her parents, sisters, and other family in northwest Arkansas. She plays on a women’s travel softball team, and enjoys coaching, hanging with family and friends and is a big Saint Louis Cardinal’s fan.

Karlie Smith will begin her teaching career at Ashdown Elementary as a 2nd grade teacher. She student taught at AES and worked at Mil-Way FCU while working on her BSE in Elementary Education from Southern Arkansas University. She is married to Joey Smith and the daughter of Donnie and Tammy Hile. She enjoys reading, fishing, crafting, and spending time with her husband. Mrs. Smith said, “I hope to make a difference in young student’s lives and shape the next generation into making a difference in our community/world.”

Meagan Baker will be teaching 3rd grade at L.F. Henderson this year and earned a Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A & M - Texarkana. Her family is from Ashdown and her dad is a coach at Ashdown. She is involved with various church activities and enjoys spending time with friends and family. Ms. Baker is really excited for this year!

Gail Wade is coming to Ashdown to teach 10th grade English after teaching 10 years in Foreman. She has a BA Degree from Texas A & M - Texarkana. She has taught 7th grade, 10th grade and 12th grade students. Her daughter, Jennifer Walker is a teacher at AHS. Her daughter Emily lives in Ashdown and her son, Jonathan was recently hired by the city of Texarkana, TX as an engineer for the city. She enjoys gardening, reading, and watching grandkids. She hopes to have an excellent year. She says, “I believe we do all we can to achieve our goals, and the rest is in God’s hands.”

Christopher McFadden was a long term substitute last year in the AHS Math Department and will be a full time teacher at AHS in math and football. He has a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology Degree from the University of Arkansas and glad to be home in Ashdown where his immediate family lives. His hobbies include sports, traveling and spending time with family.

Trad Williams will be head junior high boys basketball coach and teach Health & PE along with being assistant football and assistant baseball coach. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Central Baptist College. His dad coaches at NHS, mom works at DeQueen-Mena Coop and his wife works at State Farm in Mena. He has an 8 year old step son and an 8 month old. Mr. William’s interests are basketball, baseball, football and loves to bow hunt and bass fish. Duck hunting is one of his favorite things to do.

Josh Thomas has a BAS Technology degree from the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and will teach math at AHS this year. He was previously self-employed with 8 years architectural and engineering work. He has been married for 12 years and has 3 daughters. He enjoys music and physics. He wants his students to learn how to learn and expects students to use their heads!
 

 

ASHDOWN STUDENTS ATTEND BAND CAMP    8/14/17

 

Ashdown band students had the opportunity to attend Henderson State University Band Camps over the summer.

 

Reagan Burden, AJHS student attended Junior Camp I and after trying out on the prepared music, made first band first chair on the euphonium. After practicing from June 20-24, she as able to participate in a concert to end the week of camp.

During Junior 2 week (June 27-July 1), AJHS Clarinet Player, Ariel Shumake made 3rd band, 10th chair. Tristen McCandless made 1st band 1st chair on tuba and John Henry Thomas made 2nd band 4th chair on trumpet.

At Senior Camp (July 9-15), Xavier Daniels made 2nd band, 1st chair on the tuba, Anthony Knudson made, 2nd band, 1st chair on trumpet, and on trombone, Noah Pounds made 3rd band 3rd chair.
 

       Reagan Burden                 Ariel Shumake                  Tristen McCandless           John Henry Thomas            Xavier Daniels, AnthonyKnudson

& Noah Pounds            

 

 

BACK TO SCHOOL BREAKFAST AT ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT     8/14/17

 

The Margaret Daniel Foundation presented $ 5,303.98 to three Ashdown School District teachers during their “Back to School Breakfast” on Monday, August 14th. The Foundation sponsors a dinner and silent auction each year to raise money to support “out of the box” innovative ideas that Ashdown teachers can receive through grant applications.

 

Ashdown Elementary teacher, Lonnie Dollarhide was awarded $1,253.90. She will use the money to purchase a micro mini potbelly pig to help teach her students what it is like to take care of something other than themselves. It will teach them responsibility, how to trust, be caring and compassionate. Mrs. Dollarhide said, “research has shown that micro minis, which can from from 15-20 years, help kids with special needs, kids with autism or Down Syndrome and ones that have trouble with sensory verbalizing. They build a trust with the pig and it helps them tremendously."
 

AHS Theatre teacher, Jennifer Walker was awarded $2050.00 to take third year theatre students to see “The Lion King” in the newly remodeled Robinson Center in Little Rock. Mrs. Walker said, “it will offer the students a chance to experience, first hand, the best live, Broadway musical often referred to as the World’s #1 Musical. The goals are to expand and deepen students understanding and familiarity with Broadway."
 

AHS Art teacher, Melanie Cobb was awarded $2000 to purchase art supplies for her classroom. For the 2017-2018 school year, Melanie will be teaching art full time.

 

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI 11TH ANNUAL BANQUET     8/14/17

 

The Ashdown High School Alumni Committee and Officers are pleased to announce the 11th annual Alumni Banquet. The banquet will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the High School Cafeteria. The honored guest this year will be Kent Wells an AHS class of 1981 graduate and a veteran musician, songwriter, performer and acclaimed producer who has toured and recorded with Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Brooks and Dunn, Travis Tritt, Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood and Keith Whitley. Kent is the son of Coylene Wells Cates and the late Billy Jack Wells. Kent is married to Donna Gwin Wells, also a 1981 AHS graduate.

Tickets for the banquet will be $25.00 per person. This “includes” your Alumni dues of $10.00 for the coming year. You must be an Alumnus to buy banquet tickets. Tickets will go on sale August 14, 2017 at 1:00 PM. Ticket sales will end September 20, 2017 at Noon. By popular request, we will be offering tables of eight (8), as well as individual tickets. Doors will open at 4:30 and dinner will be served at 6:00. Four hundred tickets will be available. When all the tickets are sold, sales will be closed. Don’t’ wait……..

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS can be purchased locally at Castle Antiques (120 Rankin St.), Betty Ruth McDowell Kidd (115 Elm Street, Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-8391); Sandra Shackelford Furlow (P. O. Box 158, Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-6803, sandrabobfurlow@gmail.com or Susan Setliff Simmons (1021 Rankin St, Ashdown, AR 71822, 870-898-3851, ashdownsusan@sbcglobal.net).

TO PURCHASE TABLES OF 8 contact Diane McLarty (870-898-6179, clmclarty1961@att.net). Designate one person to collect the money. The table will be reserved when the money ($200.00) is received by Diane. Make all checks payable to AHS Alumni Association.

This will be an extra special evening for the Class of 1967. They will be celebrating their 50th graduation anniversaries. This will be our 11th Anniversary of the AHS Alumni Association Banquet.

RECOGNITION BRICKS: You may purchase these bricks at the banquet.

The Ashdown High School Homecoming game and parade will be Friday, September 29, 2017. I hope to see all of you there.

 

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO UPDATE      8/11/17

 

Thursday night, area young people competed in the 80th Annual Sevier County fair beef show and fair board member Linda Frachiseur reported the names of the winners to KDQN.

 

Frachiseur said the fish show and bottle calf show are both Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and young showman will also compete in the Jr. Showmanship contest.

 

Fair Manager Sandra Nunn reported this year's rodeo Friday and Saturday night will feature bucking Shetland ponies, mutton bustin', Pork Chop the biggest, little man in Pro Rodeo and trick rider, Rose Phipps from Wright City, Oklahoma.

 

Friday morning Phipps and her dad visited with the Morning Brew on Your Number One Country 92.1 and she described how she got into trick riding.

 

Phipps said she really enjoys interacting with the crowd during her performances and she will be visiting with rodeo fans following her performances.

 

Phipps said she and her horse Blue will be entertaining the crowd both Friday and Saturday nights.

 

Tonight is arm band night from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Carnival and the exhibit will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.  

 

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION MAKES FINAL PERSONNEL MOVES DURING SPECIAL CALLED MEETING        8/11/17

 

Monday night, members of the Foreman Board of Education held a special called meeting to make some final personnel decisions for the 2017-2018 school year.

 

Board members accepted Superintendent George Kennedy's recommendation to hire James Blanton as a history teacher. Blanton will also coach basketball, softball and football.

 

New high school principal, John Hall, resigned from the position of bus driver and board members hired Pennie Lansdell as a new bus driver.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER FAIR - LAMB AND CATTLE SHOW RESULTS      8/11/17

 

Thursday night, the Little River County Fair concluded its livestock shows with the lamb and cattle shows.

 

Little River County Fair board member Lacie Beason also said the fair board will be hosting activities next week also. She said they will hold a kids night on Tuesday, a volleyball tournament on Wednesday, the Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin on Thursday and the 75th annual Little River County Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, August 18th and 19th.

 

For more information, contact a Little River County fair board member.

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES HANDBOOK CHANGES      8/11/17

 

Cossatot River School District Superintendent, Donnie Davis reported the school board met recently to approve changes to the student handbooks and to make a few personnel decisions.

 

According to the minutes of the special called meeting, board members approved some changes relating to graduation requirements and Computer Science internships and independent studies.

 

Board members voted to accept the resignation of Kenny Tabler as the Umpire basketball coach. They then hired Jeff Glover as the head basketball coach at Umpire.

 

Board members also hired Jennifer Lawrence to teach social studies at Cossatot River High School.

 

 

ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PROMOTES SCHOOL BUS SAFETY         8/11/17

 

To promote school bus safety, the Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation launched their fifth annual school bus safety campaign: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.

 

While the three-week campaign began this week and concludes on August 25th, school bus safety is important year-round. This school year more than 7,000 school buses will transport approximately 350,000 Arkansas students to and from school and school-related activities.

 

Motorists are reminded that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing, as students are present. On April 26th, 2016 school bus drivers in 100 Arkansas school districts reported 706 instances of motorists illegally passing a school bus.

 

Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac's Law, increased the fines, penalties, and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus.

 

 

HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL THIS THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY            8/11/17

 

The president of the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, Mitch Bobo informed KDQN that Saturday night's concert featuring Joe Diffie has been moved to Hempstead Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Hope.

 

Bobo said the festival is free, but it cost $5 to park. Admission to the concert Saturday night is $15 general admission in advance and $20 on the day of the event, children are $6 and reserved seats are $40. He said the doors will open at 6 p.m. and tickets are available at the Hempstead Hall box office until 6 p.m. today and Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of the concert.

 

For more information, visit the website www.hopemelonfest.com.

 

 

 

IF SEEN PLEASE CALL 911        8/10/17

A report from the Little River County Sheriff's office states a federal inmate at the Choctaw County Jail in Hugo escaped Monday evening through the gymnasium ventilation system about 9:40 p.m.

 

Thirty-eight year-old Aaron Victory was being held in the Choctaw County Jail for a scheduled hearing in the U.S. District Court in Muskogee.

 

Victory had pleaded guilty in May to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of a stolen firearm, according to federal records.

 

Victory has felony convictions in Oklahoma dating back to 2003, including convictions for possession stolen property, false impersonation, second-degree burglary and eluding a police officer.

 

According to the Oklahoma Department of corrections, Victory was on a 25-year probation stemming from a 2005 conviction. He was convicted in 2016 for escaping from confinement in 2012 in Woodward County.

 

Area residents are being asked to contact local law enforcement if they see Victory, however, they do not suggest you try to detain him because he is considered armed and dangerous.

 

Victory is a white male. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 209 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair. He has a tattoo on his left shoulder that say #1 Dad, a tattoo on his back of the name Eureca in a heart and a tattoo on his right leg.

 

If you have any information, call the Security and Investigations Fugitive Apprehension Unit at 405-425-2570 or contact your local law enforcement agency.


WANTED

VICTORY, AARON PAUL DOC# 457957
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
3400 Martin Luther King
P.O. Box 11400
Oklahoma City, OK 73136-0400
WANTED FOR ESCAPE FROM DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS
NAME: Victory, Aaron Paul
ALIAS: Victory, Aaron P
ALIAS: Victory, Aaron
RACE: White
SEX: Male
DOB: 01/28/1979
HGT: 6'0"
WGT: 209 LBS.
HAIR: Brown
EYES: Brown
TATOOS: TAT L SHLD( #1 DAD, LOVE HEART ), TAT BACK (HEART W/EURECA), TAT R LEG (WA)
MARKS: None Known

If you have any information, please call:
SECURITY AND INVESTIGATIONS
FUGITIVE APPREHENSION UNIT
(405) 425-2570
 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR - RESULTS      8/10/17

 

Due to the weather Monday morning, some activities at the Sevier County Fair are running one-day behind schedule, but fair board member Linda Frachiseur said they are having a great week and she provided KDQN with the results from the lamb, goat and swine shows, which were held Wednesday evening.

 

Frachiseur said the cattle show will start today at 5 p.m. and the fair parade is tonight at 6. She said parade participates will line up at the De Queen football field about 5:45. Frachiseur also reminded area businesses and individuals that the annual Premium Sale is Friday at 10 a.m. She said if you want to make a donation or give a little added money to please contact a fair board member.

 

Frachiseur also stated the rodeo is still scheduled for Friday and Saturday night, but the barrel racing has been moved to Sunday. She said the exhibition will start at 2 p.m. and the barrel racing will start at 3.

 

The exhibit building and the midway are open. Friday night is arm band night at the carnival, for more information, call 870-642-6073. 

 

 

 

HUTCHINSON SET TO PARDON FORMER SEVIER COUNTY JUDGE       8/10/17

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson's office announced the governor plans to grant 21 pardons, which includes a former Sevier County judge who was found guilty of public servant bribery in 1987.

 

William F. Pogue of Horatio has asked the governor for a pardon of being found guilty in October of 1987 by a Sevier County jury.

 

An additional 55 clemency requests were denied and four had no action taken, according to a news release from the governor's office.

 

These requests were from both inmates and non-inmates.

 

According to the governor's release, this notice is issued  based on the date of conviction of 1987 in Sevier County, the fact that all terms of the applicant's sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The news release also stated there were no law enforcement objections to the application.

 

Pogue and equipment dealer Randall Rogers were found guilty of public servant bribery by a jury and both men were fined $10,000 each. Neither man served any probation, jail or parole time.

 

A grand jury indicted the two men in March of 1987. During the trial, the prosecutor alleged Rogers paid Pogue $10,000 in exchange for the county purchasing a 1979 Caterpiller scraper from Rogers' business.

 

Pogue and Rogers testified the $10,000 check was for half interest in a mobile home park project in Valliant, Oklahoma.

 

The applicants intended for pardons have fulfilled all of the requirements and paid all of the fines and fees that were related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before any final action is taken. 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY TO OPEN TIME CAPSULE THIS SATURDAY      8/10/17

 

Former Little River County District Judge and current Little River County Historical Society president, John C. Finley III announced the society will be opening a 25-year-old time capsule that was buried in the Little River County Courthouse lawn this Saturday at 10 a.m.

 

The time capsule should contain a variety of historical items. The capsule was forged by paper mill workers and was sealed in 1992.

 

The capsule was buried as a part of the joint celebration of "Two in 92," where Ashdown celebrated its 100th anniversary and Little River County honored its 125th anniversary. A second time capsule is encased in some brick above ground and is not scheduled to be opened until April of 2136.

 

Finley said they wanted to have one capsule that they could open while some of them were still alive.

 

Finley said the capsule will be retrieved Saturday morning by Tom Knighten and taken by procession to the courthouse where it will be opened. Finley said the public is invited to attend the event.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR RESULTS      8/10/17

 

Activities are underway this week, in Foreman during the 75th Annual Little River County Fair and fair board member Lacie Beason gave KDQN the results of the livestock shows that have been held so far this week, by announcing the winners of the rabbit, goats and swine shows.

 

Beason said the fair board postponed the volleyball tournament, rodeo, Tiny Tots contest, mutton bustin and Little Britches rodeo until next week due to the possibility of inclement weather. But, the lamb and cattle shows are tonight and the premium sale is Friday at noon.

 

To sign up for the volleyball tournament, contact Dusty Hobbs at 903-278-9601.

 

 

AGFC LISTING VEHICLES AND OTHER ITEMS FOR SALE      8/10/17

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission currently has many used vehicles and other items available for sale on the website govdeals.com. As part of the commission's ongoing efforts to remove outdated equipment, the agency has developed a new model to remove inventory that has outlived its expected useful lifespan by using the online auction site.

 

Leonard Dean is the operations and facility manager for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and he reported these items have been deemed too expensive to repair or are at the end of their serviceable life. He said some of the items still have some years left in them, but buyers are warned that these items are sold as-is and they typically need some sort of repair work now or will need some in the near future.

 

Dean says the current list of inventory on the auction website, includes several vehicles, some of which have spent more than a few hours on the back roads of the Natural State.

 

Dean said the money raised through these auctions will help offset the cost of purchasing new equipment, thereby helping save the taxpayers of Arkansas some money.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO SUPPORT THE MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT      8/9/17

 

Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen heard an update on the water department's meter installation project, approved a resolution to accept an audit of the city's proprietary accounts and passed a resolution supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act.

 

Water Department foreman, Darrin Higgins, informed the De Queen aldermen that the city's contractor had installed about a thousand water meters. He also reported three-city employees were sub-contracting with the contractor to help install meters.

 

Higgins said the water department read about 750 meters this month, using the new system. He said it took them about 35-minutes to read three routes, which would have normally taken about a week.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said after a slow start on the project, he hopes it will be completed on time.

 

Aldermen passed a resolution to accept the water, sewer and sanitation audits. McKelvy said there were no findings on the audits and all three accounts made a profit in 2016.

 

Aldermen also passed a resolution supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act. McKelvy said the Arkansas Municipal League asked all of the cities in Arkansas to pass the resolution, which asks the Arkansas Legislature and the U.S. Congress to pass the Act. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online companies to collect local and state sales tax.

 

McKelvy also informed aldermen that a company called Mobilitie asked if they could install a 120 foot standalone steel pole on Robinson Road near the Sevier County jail. A representative from Mobilitie reported the pole would improve backhaul solutions for broadband internet connectivity in the area.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen City Council was scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th at 6 p.m. in the De Queen City Hall.

 

 

ARKANSAS RESIDENT KILLED IN OKLAHOMA ACCIDENT        8/9/17

 

Law enforcement officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported an Arkansas woman was killed in an accident Monday morning east of Eagletown on U.S. Highway 70 in McCurtain County.

 

The accident report stated 58-year-old Angelina Hernandez was riding in a car headed west on Highway 70, when the driver of the vehicle slowed down for a turning car and was rear ended by a pickup.

 

Hernandez and the driver of the vehicle were taken to an Arkansas hospital where Hernandez died from her injuries. The driver was treated for injuries to their head, arm and leg.

 

The driver of the truck was not hurt, but troopers say the driver's inattention may have caused the accident.

 

 

FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES TWO NEW COACHES       8/9/17

 

Over the past several weeks, the Foreman Board of Education have held several special called board meetings as they prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.

 

On July 26th, the Foreman Board of Education accepted the recommendation of Superintendent George Kennedy to hire Adrian Ivory as a high school coach and elementary physical education teacher and Joshua Flemming as a high school coach and History teacher.

 

Board members also accepted the bid from Young's Thriftway to provide bread this year and the bid from Hiland Dairy Foods to be the district's milk provider.

 

The district held a special called meeting Monday night to discuss some personnel matters.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE      8/9/17

 

More than 1,100 pieces of legislation were signed into law earlier this year and many of those pieces of legislation that were passed contained an emergency clause, which allows the bill to become effective the moment it is signed by the governor.

 

Other pieces of legislation have an effective date written into the text. For example, tax measures typically take effect on January 1st.

 

But, bills that do not contain a specific effective date or an emergency clause become effective on the 91st day following the adjournment of the General Assembly. That means more than half of the legislation that was passed this year, took effect last week.

 

These bills impacted everything from highways to classrooms.

 

One of the changes that you may have noticed is the new name of the state highway department. The highway department was known as the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is now the Arkansas Department of Transportation or ArDOT for short.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught also wanted Arkansas drivers to be aware of the penalty increase for texting and driving. One of the pieces of legislation that took effect last week allows a person to be fined up to $250 for their first offense of texting and driving. The law also states that posting on social media while driving is also prohibited.

 

Arkansas can also purchase lottery tickets with their debit card now, however the law does not require retailers to accept a debit card for the purchase.

 

Legislators also passed a bill that allows the state to opt out of a federal program that prohibits individuals with a felony drug conviction from receiving federal public benefits including SNAP.

 

According to research, 90 percent of the individuals who are released from prison do not have reliable access to food, so several states including Georgia and Texas have opted out of this restriction in hopes of reducing the rate of those who reoffend.

 

For more information, visit the website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

 

TEXARKANA COLLEGE AWARD JET GRANT        8/9/17

 

The Texas Workforce Commission has awarded Texarkana College in Texarkana, Texas a $304,006 Jobs and Education for Texans grant.

 

According to the workforce commission, the grant will help the college purchase and install equipment to provide 170 students with training for careers in the nursing profession.

 

The JET program provides funding for equipment to eligible educational institutions for the purpose of developing career and technical education courses and may include course offering dual-credit and technical education programs. However, the equipment must be used to train student in high-demand occupations that included registered nursing.

 

Texas Workforce Commission Employer Commissioner Ruth Hughs will present a check to representatives of Texarkana College on Friday at 11 a.m. in the college's Health Science building.

 

 

ARKANSAS STATE POLICE LOOKING FOR RECRUITS TO FILL 2018 ACADEMY CLASS        8/9/17

 

Arkansas State Police Recruiters are looking for candidates who are interested in enrolling in the 2018 academy class. Thirty-five recruits will be selected to enter the academy early next year.

 

Colonel Bill Bryant is the Director of the Arkansas State Police and he said if you meet the minimum qualifications and are ready to excel in earning the badge of an Arkansas State Police.

 

Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Arkansas State Police web site at asp.arkansas.gov and watch the recruiting video that offers a view into the world of a state trooper. The recruiting page also provides applicants a means to directly contact a recruiter.

 

The minimum qualification to be considered are: must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age. Must possess a medical release to participate in a physical fitness test. Must possess a current and valid driver license. Must be a certified high school graduate or possess a GED. Must meet visual acuity requirements. Never convicted of a felony criminal charge. Never convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Pass a comprehensive background check, and have no tattoos that are visible on an applicants body that could be seen if wearing the uniform of an Arkansas State Trooper.

 

Recruits begin earning a salary after being offered a position by the Director of the Arkansas State Police and reporting to the academy. 

 

Benefits include: health insurance, retirement contributions, uniform and equipment are furnished, and opportunities for overtime duty.

 

Vacancies to be filled in Southwest Arkansas include: Lafayette, Nevada, and Pike.

 

 

DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT OUTPERFORMS 203 DISTRICTS ON TEST SCORES      8/8/17

 

Monday night, De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported to the De Queen Board of Education that he was pleased with the district's test scores.

 

Hill said the district outperformed most districts in the area. He said the district ranked 45th out of 248 districts in the state. Hill reported the Mena School District ranked 60th, the Dierks School District ranked 67th, and Nashville ranked 79th.

 

Board members voted to accept the resignations of two teachers and then voted to hire Barbara Valentine of Idabel as a music teacher and Jessica Pruitt as a high school English teacher.

 

Hill also reported the bathroom renovation project at the old elementary building is almost finished and work on the Middle School roof has started.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR - UPDATE      8/8/17

 

Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur livestock is arriving at the fairgrounds and the weigh-in will be held tonight at 8 p.m.

 

The lamb, goat and swine shows will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the cattle show is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday. The Premium Sale will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday.

 

Frachiseur said the carnival midway will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday night is arm band night.

 

The fair parade is Thursday at 6 p.m. and the rodeo is Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. However, the 4D barrel race has been rescheduled for Sunday. There will be an exhibition at 7 p.m. and the 4D races start at 8.

 

  

HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL THIS THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY            8/8/17

 

Mitch Bobo is the president of the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce and he said the 41st Annual Hope Watermelon Festival is this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Hope Fair Park.

 

Bobo said the Mexican Folklore Dancers of De Queen will be performing Saturday and the gates will open at 6 p.m. for Saturday night's concert, featuring Joe Diffie.

 

Bobo said there's going to be some seed spitting contests and a politically correct watermelon eating contest. Bobo said Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton is the two-time defending watermelon eating champ and he is the favorite to take the title again this year.

 

Bobo said ice cold watermelon will be for sale all three days.

 

Bobo said the festival is free, but it does cost $5 to park. Admission to the concert Saturday night is $15 general admission in advance and $20 on the day of the event, children are $6 and reserved seats are $40.

 

For more information, visit the website www.hopemelonfest.com.

 

 

ROJAS REAPPOINTED TO STATE JUVENILE JUSTICE BOARD     8/8/17

 

Victor Rojas Jr. of De Queen has been reappointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. He was first appointed to the board in January of 2014 by then Governor, Mike Beebe.

 

The board is responsible for overseeing the distribution and use of federal juvenile justice funds to support youth development programs and improvements to the state's juvenile justice system. Additionally, the board makes recommendations to policymakers and ensures the state is in compliance with the core requirements of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preventive Act.

 

Rojas said he was thankful for the opportunity to continue serving the state of Arkansas and will continue to support programs and services that produce positive outcomes for young people and their families.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR ON HOLD DUE TO RISING WATER       8/8/17

 

Monday morning, Sevier County Fair Board members voted to suspend fair activities for most of the day. Fair board member Linda Frachiseur informed KDQN the livestock barns were flooded and the board voted to postpone the arrival of the show animals until Tuesday. She said weigh-in Tuesday night is at 8 p.m.

 

About 8 a.m., Monday morning the fair parking lot was under water and fair board members and volunteers moved all of the show supplies and equipment to higher ground.

 

About noon, fair board members announced they would move the livestock shows back one day. The lamb, goat and swine shows will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the cattle show is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. Frachiseur said the Premium Sale will be held on Friday at 10 a.m.

 

Frachiseur said the carnival will set up and open on Wednesday at 6 p.m. She also mentioned the rodeo is still scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights, however 4K barrel race has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 13th.

 

Stay tuned to KDQN for updates about the Sevier County Fair. You can also following KDQN on Facebook at KDQN921 for further updates.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO UPDATE      8/8/17

 

The Little River County Fair has also adjusted their schedule due to the amount of rainfall that fell in the area.

 

County residents can enter their home economic exhibits this morning from 8 to 10 a.m. and the judging will begin at 10:30. The exhibit building will open to at 4 p.m.

 

Little River County fair board members announced the livestock shows and the premium sale will go on as scheduled. The swine judging contest is Wednesday at 7 p.m. The lamb judging is Thursday at 7 p.m. and the cattle judging is at 8. The premium sale will be held Friday at noon.

 

However, the Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin, the Tiny Tots Contest and the Little River County Rodeo have been postponed until Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 17th, 18, and 19th.

 

UNMASK YOUR POTENTIAL – 4-H STATE O’RAMA     8/7/17

More than 500 Arkansas 4-H members from all over the state, who qualified through county and district competitions, gathered on the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas on July 25-27 for one of the biggest gatherings of 4-Hers' in the state. The theme for this year's State O'Rama was "Unmask Your Potential". The 4-H Youth Development program is operated by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the Division of Agriculture.

Three Sevier County youth competed in a variety of events after winning competitions on the county and district level.  This event is a fun filled learning experience where the 4-Hers’ make their best even better.

Brennen Seymour competed in Animal Science and placed fifth in Tractor Driving, which included a written test, and driving test.  He was also instated as 4-H Ambassador.  This will provide him with leadership opportunities to help plan activities for other 4-H’ers throughout the state.

Amber Morris competed in Health in her first year at State O’Rama.  She also attended a 4-H Vet Science workshop.

Marcus Rosson walked away with a third place ribbon in Reel into Sport Fishing, which required him to pass a written test along with ability to tie a variety of knots.  Marcus also attended Communications Skills for Leaders and Archeological-Digging 4-H workshops.

Miss America, Savvy Shields, and motivational speaker, Fred Grooms, inspired 4-Hers' with their positive messages. Shields, a University of Arkansas student, brought a positive message about her platform, "Eat Better, Live Better."

Fred Grooms, a third-generation Army veteran, rose to the rank of major despite the difficulties of being dyslexic. after leaving the military, Grooms went on to earn master's degrees in marketing and education. Grooms travels the country teaching youth about leadership and the lessons that can be learned from failure. His topic at O'Rama was "B.A.S.I.C Student Leadership - Lead Because Others Won't."

For more information about 4-H, contact Sevier County Extension 870-584-3013 or visit www.uaex.edu.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex. gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

WHO ARE EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS (EHC)     8/7/17

EHC members are just like you! They work, shop, and sit next to you at ballgames. They like to learn everything from A to Z to better themselves for their families, neighborhoods and for our community. They are young and old, working moms and dads, married or single men and women, and grandmothers and grandfathers, working or retired. They come from diverse backgrounds and have varied experiences. They like to savor new experiences, enjoy fellowship and embrace opportunities to make a difference in their homes and communities.

Being an Extension Homemaker means belonging to one of the largest adult volunteer organizations in Arkansas. The mission of Extension Homemakers is to empower individuals and families to improve their quality of living through continuing education, leadership development and community service. Sevier county Extension Homemakers help extend the resources of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service into their communities through educational opportunities and community service projects.

It is the mission of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Association to strengthen families through continuing education, leadership development and volunteer community support. As an Extension Homemaker, you have opportunities to...

 

LEARN . . .

Meet with friends and neighbors in educational and social settings

Share experiences and information

Keep up-to-date on new knowledge and research

 

GROW . . .
Experience personal growth and develop skills
Form lasting friendships while sharing leadership responsibilities for programs and projects
 

CARE . . .
Make a difference in today's world.
Support projects that help children and families live better lives
 

 

Extension Homemaker clubs (EHC) in Sevier County are seeking new members. We currently have three clubs and encourage new clubs to organize.


De Queen EHC – meets 2nd Wednesday of the month at REA Building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m.


Gillham EHC – meets 2nd Friday of the month at De Queen Mena Coop in Gillham at 10:00 a.m.


Seam Rippers EHC – meets every other Thursday at the Sr. Citizen’s Center in De Queen at 6:30 p.m.

For more information please contact Janet Cantrell, Sevier County Extension Agent - Family and Consumer Sciences at 870-584-3013 or
jcantrell@uaex.edu .

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please

contact the Sevier County Extension Office as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

 

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR ON HOLD DUE TO RISING WATER       8/7/17

 

Monday morning, Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur informed KDQN that rising water was forcing the farm board to postpone the arrival of this year's show animals.

 

About 8 a.m., Frachiseur reported the fair parking lot was under water and the hog and goat barns were starting to flood. By 10 a.m., water had started entering the cattle barn and all show supplies were moved to higher ground.

 

Fair President Leroy Nunn informed KDQN that has of now the fair activities have been suspended.

 

Nunn said the fair board will be entering home economic exhibits today from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Tuesday from 7 to 9 a.m. The home economic exhibits will be judged Tuesday about 10:30 a.m.

 

Frachiseur stated Monday morning that the fair board will not be checking in any livestock this evening and the breeding goat, market goat, breeding sheep, market lamb and swine shows are all on hold as of today.

 

Stay tuned to KDQN for updates about the Sevier County Fair. You can also following KDQN on Facebook at KDQN921 for further updates.

 

 

ASHDOWN STUDENT ATTENDS NATIONAL FBLA CONFERENCE      8/7/17

 

An Ashdown High School senior recently attended the national FBLA conference in Anaheim, California.

 

Isaac Thomas attended the FBLA National Leadership Conference along with Ashdown High School FBLA Advisor, Shauna Tipton in Anaheim June 28th through July 2nd.

 

Thomas is a State Vice-President and represented the State Officer team and District IV. Thomas is the current District IV President and the state team presided over the Arkansas planning meeting, participated in the Regional meeting, attended workshops and other activities with the State Officer team and advisors.

 

Thomas will be attending the FBLA National Fall Leadership Conference in New Orleans in November as a state representative.

 

  

AREA SENATOR PRESENTED ARKANSAS FAMILY COUNCIL'S 2017 STATESMAN AWARD      8/7/17

 

Arkansas Senator Larry Teague of Nashville was selected as one of the recipients of the Arkansas Family Council's 2017 Statesman Awards.

 

Lawmakers earn letter grades based on how they vote on 25 bills that are identified by the state family council that include topics such as right-to-life, education, family, marijuana and marriage.

 

A spokesperson for the organization said they wanted to recognize legislators for their hard work and good votes.

 

The Family Council Action Committee is a conservative, pro-family, Christian 501 C4 organization that is based in Little Rock.

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK TO HOST A NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AUGUST 19TH       8/7/17

 

There are countless subjects and settings to appreciate in photography, but one of the most fun and challenging is taking pictures at night. Night photography offers many opportunities for creative compositions and helps the photographer to better understand the relationship between lighting and timing.

 

On Saturday, August 19th from 7 to 9:30 p.m. the Crater of Diamond State Park will host a workshop for anyone interested in learning more about night photography. Participants should have a working knowledge of manual DSLR camera settings, including shutter speed and aperture. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a DSLR camera, a tripod, and a flashlight. Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said participants should not bring a point-and-shoot cameras.

 

Cox said dark-colored clothing and a remote shutter release would be helpful but they are not required. He said during the evening, they'll discuss the basics of nighttime digital photography and light drawing before they go outside for some hands-on practice.

 

The Workshop cost is $20 per person, including a non-refundable $10 registration fee that's due by Friday, August 11th, the remaining $10 will be due at the visitor center on the day of the workshop. Space is limited and a minimum of three participants is required.

 

For more information or to register, call the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113.   

 

 

ARKANSAS WILL WITNESS FIRST MAJOR ECLIPSE IN NEARLY A CENTURY NEXT MONTH       8/7/17

 

On Monday, August 21st, the state of Arkansas will experience a total solar eclipse as the sun, moon and Earth will be aligned in such a way that the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, temporally blocking out some or all of the sun, depending on where you're watching from. Arkansas is slightly south of the path of totality, but the state is closer than many places.

 

According to the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department, this is the first total eclipse that has been visible to the continental United States in 38 years, and it's been nearly a hundred years since one of this magnitude was visible in Arkansas. The next total solar eclipse in 2024 will cross Arkansas diagonally from the southwest corner to the northeast, placing a large swath of the state in the path of totality.

 

No matter where you are in the state, you'll be able to see the sun almost completely blocked by the moon, especially if you're in the north and northeast, which lies closest to the path of totality and will see 95 to 97 percent coverage. The eclipse will begin at approximately 11:43 a.m. in the northwest corner of the state and will be over by approximately 2:50 p.m. in the southeast, with peak totality occurring between 1:13 to 1:22 p.m.

 

When viewing an eclipse, proper eye protection, in the form of specially designed eclipse glasses or #14 arc welder's glass, is imperative.

 

Dr. Clay Sherrod of the Arkansas Sky Observatory on Petit Jean Mountain said you should never look directly at the sun, which can cause permanent eye damage, even though the sun will be between 89 and 97 percent covered in Arkansas.

 

The Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department will host watch parties at Petit Jean, Lake Catherine, Mississippi River, Mount Magazine and other.

 

Dr. Sherrod also shared several ways that you can safely enjoy the eclipse if you don't have glasses.  He said create a pinhole projector using the instructions on the Arkansas Sky Observatory site. He also said you could place a mirror, covered except for a small circular hole, in a north-facing window to project an image of the eclipse onto a wall.

 

 

SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTED IN SEVIER COUNTY        8/4/17

 

Thursday, August 3rd, the South Central Drug Task Force, deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, officers with the De Queen Police Department and the Arkansas State Police executed a search warrant at a residence on Highway 41 just south of De Queen.

 

Five subjects were inside the residence at the time the search warrant was initiated.

 

After further investigation and interviews, Juan Diego and Ambrosio  Hernandez were charged with possession of a controlled substance - meth, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. The two suspects are being detained in the Sevier County Detention Center at this time.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT FULLY STAFFED FOR 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR       8/4/17

 

Members of the Ashdown Board of Education met Thursday night to accept a proposal on a new security camera system for the high school and to hire one more staff person.

 

During a special called meeting on July 26th, board members accepted a TIPS-TAPS bid from Raney Electronics for a new basketball scoreboard, a COENCO cooling system for the junior high gym, and two HVAC units for the junior high office and the L.F. Henderson library. Last night, the board also accepted a TIPS-TAPS bid for a new security system at the high school.

 

Superintendent Jason Sanders said some of these proposals were budgeted, but a few were unexpected expenses this summer.

 

On July 26th, board members voted to hire Josh Thompson as a long-term sub. They also voted to hire Meagan Garrison as the high school business teacher and to pay Cody Gallagher both stipends of $3,000 each for teaching both junior high and high school Agri.

 

Thursday night, the board approved the employment of former Ashdown teacher, Jan Eckert, for a part-time position. Sanders said after Thursday's meeting that the district was fully staffed.

 

Ashdown Elementary will be holding a Meet the Teacher event on Thursday, August 10th from 2 to 7 p.m. and classes will start on Monday, August 14th.

 

 

80th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 5TH THROUGH 12TH         7/21/17

 

The 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo will kickoff on Saturday morning with the fair pageant and Rodeo Queen contest at 10 a.m. This year's contestants for the Little Miss Rodeo Queen contest are jaycee Platt, Sunni Mason and Raylee Kate Hundley. The Princess contestants are MacKenzie Nevels and Kaylee Wollcott. The winners of the Little Miss and Princess contests will be announced Saturday night, August 12th during the rodeo.

 

The chicken judging and rabbit judging will held on Saturday, at 6 p.m.

 

Sevier County residents can enter their home economic exhibits in the educational building from 2 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, or on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Commercial booths can also be set up from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday or from 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday.

 

All livestock will be checked in on Monday, August 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. and weigh-in begins at 8.

 

Horticulture, flower and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the judging of the educational items will beginning at 10. The Commercial Booth building and the exhibit building will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

The breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb shows and the swine shows will start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8th and the cattle show is Wednesday, August 9th at 5 p.m.

 

The carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with arm band night being on Friday.

 

The fair parade is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. The books for the 4D barrel race will open at 6 p.m., the grand entry for the public, the youth barrel race and the 4D barrel race will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday night.

 

The premium sale is Friday, August 11th at 10 a.m. and a dinner for the premium sale buyers will be held at noon. And the Professional Dodge Rodeo will start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

 

The fish show, the bottle calf show, the Jr. Showmanship and the open showmanship contests will be featured on Saturday, August 12th. and the livestock will be released at 11 p.m.

 

Admission to the 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is $2. Admission to the rodeo is $6 for anyone 13 and older and $3 for children 6 to 12.

 

The Udder Guys will be in charge of the concession stand this year. Please click here for The Morning Feed Menu and the Lunch Menu.

 

 

ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN SEVIER COUNTY       8/4/17

 

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Sevier County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation officials.

 

The purpose of this project is to resurface 7.8 miles of county road 35, which is also known as Bellah Mine Road and 1.6 miles of county road 236, which is the Gillham Lake Road.

 

Marion County Paving of Summit was awarded the contract in the amount of $365,761.55.

 

Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting and is expected to be completed in late 2017.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO STARTS SATURDAY       8/4/17

 

The 75th annual Little River County Fair and Rodeo starts Saturday with the fair and rodeo parade at 6 p.m. followed by the youth rodeo at 7:30 p.m.

 

Monday, county residents can register their home economic exhibits from 3 to 6 p.m. and the rabbit show is at 6.

 

Registration of the home economic exhibits will continue on Tuesday from 8 to 10 a.m. and then exhibits will be judged at 10:30. The exhibit building will open to visitors at 4 p.m. All livestock will be in place in the show barn by 5 p.m. and Tuesday night is also Kids Nite. The goat show is scheduled to start at 7.

 

The exhibit building will be open Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Wednesday night will feature the swine judging contest and a volleyball tournament at 7 p.m.

 

Thursday is Senior Citizens Day and anyone 65 and older will get free admission to the fairgrounds. Thursday night, the lamb judging contest will begin at 7 a.m. and it will be followed by the beef judging at 8. The Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin will start at 7:30.

 

The Premium Sale luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday morning and it will be followed by the Premium Sale at noon.

 

The Tiny Tot Contest will be held at 7 p.m. Friday night and it will be followed by the rodeo at 8. Rodeo tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. Advanced tickets are $5.

 

The Little River Fair and Rodeo will wrap up on Saturday, August 13th. The winners of the Tiny Tots contest will be announced at 7 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8 p.m. with a calf scramble and money drop. There will also be a dance in the fair barn at 10 p.m. and the livestock will be released at 11.

 

 

UA COSSATOT RELEASES 2020 STRATEGIC PLAN      8/4/17


UA Cossatot published a plan guiding the college's purpose and operations through the year 2020.

 

The strategic plan outlines the goals and tactics by which the college will address accreditation guidelines, stakeholder needs, and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the college. UA Cossatot administrators created the plan by seeking input from students, employees, and all external stakeholders in the UA Cossatot service area.

 

The plan focuses on five areas including: helping students learn, meeting student and other key stakeholder needs, valuing employees, planning and leading, and using data for resource management.

 

UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said, quote, "Our 2020 Strategic Plan will be how we judge our success and direction for the next three years." unquote.

 

UA Cossatot has the third highest graduation rate in the state of Arkansas among community colleges and the third smallest budget in the state among all colleges and universities.

 

Cole added, quote, "It is this kind of intentional planning and focus that helps us achieve these types of results." unquote. He went on to say the faculty is a large part of the colleges success and the administration believes the faculty is doing what they do best and the 2020 initiatives, will help Cossatot be number one in graduation rates very soon.

 

To read the plan in detail, visit the website www.cccua.edu/2020 or call 1-800-844-4471 to request a printed copy.

 

 

ABC BOARD SELECTS TWO APPLICATIONS FOR LIQUOR LICENSE IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY        8/4/17

 

Two applicants, Geraldine Haskins of Jerry's Drive-In at 1210 South Constitution Avenue in Ashdown and Ralph Brainerd Jr. of Bogey's at 125 Webster Driver in Ashdown, are scheduled to present their applications to the Alcoholic Beverage Control board this month.

 

Haskins and Brainerd will present their applications to the ABC Board, but either application is denied a third applicant will get a chance to present their application.

 

According to Arkansas law, the ABC Board will issue one liquor permit for every 5,000 people living in the county and Little River County is eligible for two liquor stores according to the 2010 census.

 

 

AGFC TO VOTE ON PROPOSED FISHING REGULATIONS AUGUST 17TH      8/4/17

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has had the first reading of proposed changes to fishing regulations at its July meeting. These regulations will be presented for a final vote during the Commissioner's August meeting and, if passed, will become effective January 1st, 2018.

 

A complete list of proposals and public comment summaries is available at www.agfc.com.

 

Some regulations being considered are: Millwood Lake catfish creel limits changed to statewide limits.

 

The removal of the 13 to 16 inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass on Dierks Lake.

 

The reduction of the number of rods that will be permitted from two rods to one per individual on the Narrows Tailwater on the Little Missouri River below Narrows Dam.

 

The Commission also heard the first reading of proposed changes to fishing regulations concerning the movement of live wild-caught baitfish. If passed, the proposed change would make it illegal to use any live baitfish, including crayfish, unless it was: caught within the same body of water where it is being used, caught in a tributary entering upstream of the waterbody where it is being used or purchased from a licensed dealer selling only certified farm-raised baitfish.

 

The Commission is expected to vote on these regulations at its meeting on August 17th in Little Rock.

 

 

2ND ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT EVENT A BIG SUCCESS      8/3/17

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry stated he felt the 2nd Annual Sevier County Night Out event was a big success, even though it rained during most of the event, and the temperatures were a little cooler than expected.

 

The sheriff's office estimated over 2,500 people attended Tuesday's event and they handed out more than 800 drawstring backpacks to school age children. Gentry said the backpacks contained various school supplies that were purchased with donated funds from various individuals and businesses.

 

Gentry said he appreciated Smiles of Arkansas Dental and Tres Agaves for partnering with the De Queen Police Department and the sheriff's office again this year. He also thanked Pilgrim's Pride for donating and cooking hot dogs and the De Queen Chamber of Commerce for donating the buns. He also wanted to thank the following for either cash donations or support;

 

John Helms at Tri Lake Services, Legacy Academy, Bakers Sales and Service, De Ann Vaught, De Queen Regional Medical Center, 1st State Bank, CASA, Humane Society, Lifeshare Blood, Country Girls, Smith Quick Lube, JE Bonding, De Queen School District, NA and AA, Ranch House, Salena Pruitt (Centry 21), Gentry's Chevrolet, Beacon Hill Motorcycle, Seventh Day Adventist Church, De Queen Ford, Bounce Party, Royal Family Inn, Corps of Engineers, Howard County Memorial, Bill Lee, Southern LP, Horatio VFD, MaryPops, Manya Wood, Don's EZ Storage, Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club, Sanchez Construction, Discount Tire, Greg Ray, Kim and Mike Martin, Ramona Scaggs (Bank of Beauty), Huber, Loenbro, Tires Plus, Jack Wray and the many volunteers that worked very hard to make this event possible.

 

Gentry said the citizens of Sevier County showed their appreciation by standing in the rain to get a backpack, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs and participated in the games with big smiles on their faces.

 

Gentry said LifeShare Blood Center also collected 21 units of blood during the event.

 

 

STATE OF ARKANSAS ADDRESSING NEED FOR MORE CIVICS IN THE CLASSROOM       8/3/17

 

According to research by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, civic knowledge leads to increased civic participation. However, only 23 percent of 8th graders nationwide scored at a level of proficiency in civics.

 

A report from the Council of State Governments states there is a direct connection between civic education and partisanship.

 

The CSG report suggests the lack of civic knowledge not only leads to greater political divide, but it also has an impact on voter turnout. The United States ranked 31 out of 35 countries for voter turnout among the nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught stated the state of Arkansas is one of a few states that are addressing the need for more civics education.

 

During the Regular Session, the Legislature passed Act 478, which requires students to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test, which is used by immigration services, before they can receive their high school diploma. The bill would also require the student to answer at least 60 of the 100 questions correctly; however students will be allowed to take the test as many times as needed to pass.

 

Vaught said Act 478 goes into effect for the 2018-2019 school year, but many schools are preparing students this year.

 

 

DE QUEEN TACKLE FOOTBALL REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY       8/3/17

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced the park is accepting registration forms for the 2017 tackle football program until August 23rd. The registration amount is $35 and there is an extra $45 fee if a player needs a jersey.

 

Hale stated the park purchases about 10 new helmets, pads, and chin straps every year, so the players who register early will get the newer equipment. He also stated parents who do not turn in the park's equipment after the final game will be charged a $150 fee.

 

Hale said there is a coaches only meeting on Tuesday, August 7th at the park office where they will be discussing some possible changes to the program.

 

Hale said if a family cannot afford to participate, to please contact him because some scholarships are available. For more information or to register, call the park office at 870-642-4140.

 

 

AREA RESIDENTS RECEIVE ALLIGATOR PERMITS       8/3/17

 

This week, 101 individuals throughout Arkansas were informed that they received an alligator permit for the 2017 alligator season, which is September 15 through the 18th and September 22nd through 25th.

 

All permit winners must attend a hunter orientation class before they issued their temporary tags. The mandatory orientation classes will be held on August 19th in Hope and Monticello and August 26th at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission headquarters in Little Rock.

 

Successful private land at-large applicants must provide written permission from the landowner and a map of their proposed hunt area.

 

Permit winners are allowed up to three assistants during the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon, and dispatch the alligator. Arkansas alligator hunters must completely subdue the gator before finishing it with a shotgun or shotgun shell-loaded bang stick, using a shot no larger than number 4 common shot.

 

Once dispatched, all alligators must be tagged with a temporary possession tag and may be checked in online. 

 

The 2017 alligator permit winners include: Zone 1 - Private Land At-large - Tony Dinger of De Queen, Mark Fielding of Horatio, Michael Foster of Hope, Michael Hale of Mineral Springs, Ashley Hale of Nashville, Taylor Moody of Hope and Marlin Terry of Ashdown.

 

Zone 1 - Little River - Lakota Hoover of Murfreesboro and Amy Miller of Hope.

 

Zone 1 - Millwood Lake - Cynthia Blankenship of Ashdown, Cody Friday of Ashdown, Philip Redfearn of Ashdown and Ryan Whitlow of Foreman.

 

 

45TH ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL TO FEATURE MINI BULLS AND CBR BULL RIDING        8/3/17

 

The 45th annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival will feature the Tuff-N-Nuff Mini Bull Riding event on Friday night and the CBR Bull Riding and PRCA Bull Fighting event on Saturday night.

 

Stacy Janes of the Dierks Chamber of Commerce stated Saturday night's event will begin with mutton bustin' at 6 p.m. and the CBR bull riding event will start at 8 in the rodeo area at the Dierks City Park.

 

Janes said Don 'Hollywood' Yates will be this year's funny man for the bull riding event.

 

Janes also explained the difference between bull riding and bull fighting from the perspective of the rodeo clown.

 

Tickets for the Mini Bull Riding event on Friday are $5 each for anyone 7 and up. Tickets for the CBR Bull Riding and Bull Fighting event are $5 for children 7 to 12 and $10 for anyone 13 and older.

 

 

PASSED OUT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD     8/3/17

 

About 12 a.m. Sunday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chet Stubbs noticed a Ford Ranger pulled over on the side of the road with one individual standing outside the truck and another individual slumped over in the driver's seat.

 

Stubbs reported 31-year-old Shaun Noah of Battiest, Oklahoma was sitting unconscious in the driver's seat. He noted the truck was not running but the keys were in the ignition.

 

After trying to revive Noah, Stubbs dispatched Southwest EMS to the scene, because Noah would not respond to questions or the sternum rub.

 

Noah was transported to De Queen Medical Center. Bond was also taken to the ER because he was complaining of possible high blood pressure.

 

While searching the truck, Stubbs discovered a partially empty bottle of vodka and Noah was citied for drinking in public and for not having a valid driver's license.

 

About 24 hours later, Stubbs noticed a Ford Mustang partially blocking the Pilgrim's Hatchery plant driveway.

 

Stubbs noted the engine of the Mustang was off, but there was a white male laying down in the driver's seat with the windows rolled up. Stubbs reported he knocked on the window several times and when the driver woke up, he told Stubbs he thought he was in Hatfield.

 

Stubbs witnessed a Shiner Bock beer in the center console.

 

58-year-old Jerry Burns of Hatfield failed a field sobriety test. He was charged with public intoxication.

 

 

ARKANSAS REMINDED TO OBEY ALL TRAFFIC SIGNS       8/2/17

 

A new law took effect on Tuesday that authorizes speeds up to 75 miles per hour on some major highways, but state highway officials are saying, "not so fast."

 

According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, engineers are still studying road designs and traffic patterns to determine whether Arkansas should join 18 other states with speed limits of at least 75 mph. According to ARDoT, they are studying the terrain of each highway, the volume of tractor-trailer traffic, the population through which the highway runs and they are trying to determine whether the area is rural or non-rural.

 

Officials say it's possible that no part of the state's 16,432-mile highway system can handle speeds over 75 mph. They said there's even a chance that some speed limits may be lowered because of high traffic volume.

 

The speed limit bill passed the House by a 92-1 vote and was passed in the Senate unanimously, but Governor Asa Hutchinson let the bill become a law without his signature.

 

Eighteen states allow motorists to drive at least 75 miles per hour, while drivers in Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Washington can reach 80. Texas has authorized an 85 miles per hour speed limit, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

 

The U.S. adopted a 55 mph speed limit in the 1970's, seeking to optimize fuel efficiency. Congress repealed the national speed limit in the 1990s and in the years since, 38 states have set speed limits at 70 or higher.

 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas all have higher speed limits than Arkansas.

 

A highway official said the law does not require an increase in the speed limit; it just gives the Department of Transportation permission to increase the speed limit. Area law enforcement officials have said, unless you see a sign that says you can go 75. Then you can't.

 

So, far the speed limit has not been increased in any part of the state on any type of highway.

 

 

WARRANT ISSUED FOR SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENT FOR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE         8/2/17

 

About 2:30, Saturday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Nicole Nealy took a report from Crystal Robinson about the unauthorized use of her vehicle.

 

Robinson reported she bought a car from her boyfriend's sister on the 27th day of July. She said her boyfriend, 34-year-old Derrick Stockdale of Horatio, drove her car to De Queen to get an oil change and some new headlights, but he never returned her vehicle.

 

Robinson reported she tried to contact Stockdale through a female friend. Robinson said the woman told her that Stockdale was her boyfriend and that they were living together in Hot Springs. Robinson told Nealy that she asked them to give her the title or her money back.

 

Saturday night, Robinson contacted the sheriff's office and informed them that she had located the vehicle in Hot Springs. She said an officer with the Hot Springs Police Department told her if Stockdale didn't give her the car back, then he could be charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

 

On Sunday, the Sevier County Sheriff's office was informed Stockdale was still in possession of Robinson's car.

 

Monday morning, a warrant was issued for Stockdale's arrest. 

 

 

COACH BAKENHUS ENCOURAGING LADY LION FANS TO DONATE TO SCOREBOARD FUND       8/2/17

 

The Horatio Lady Lions had a successful season in 2017 and head coach Dustin Bakenhus wants to upgrade the facilities at Lady Lion Yard by replacing the scoreboard.

 

Bakenhus said the current scoreboard is over 25 years old. He said it's 5X3 and it's just about unrepairable and needs to be replaced.

 

Bakenhus stated they are trying to build an elite softball program in Arkansas. He said the Lady Lions are working hard to become elite players and they deserve an elite ballpark to play in.

 

Bakenhus said Lady Lion Yard is a special place, and a new scoreboard would help elevate the atmosphere.

 

To make a donation, contact Bakenhus at 870-784-1090 or contact the Horatio High School.

 

He also invited area Lady Lion fans to follow the team on Facebook.

 

 

MAKING A LITTLE EXTRA GREEN           8/2/17

 

Last Friday, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies arrested an Oklahoma resident for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

 

July 27th, Deputy Wendell Randell and Deputy Chet Stubbs were patrolling on Highway 24 West, when they observed a Dodge truck drive left of the center line and cross the fog line several times.

 

When deputies made the traffic stop, they noted the driver, 38-year-old Jeffery Davis of Eagletown, Oklahoma was fidgety and appeared to be nervous.

 

Deputies reported they found a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine in a pouch behind the driver's seat.

 

When deputies asked about the drugs, Davis allegedly told them that he was having some financial trouble and was selling a little meth every week to help make the ends meet.

 

According to the report, Davis was in possession of about 5 grams of meth at the time of his arrest.

 

 

4-H POOL PARTY WITH RYAN'S CALL FOUNDATION     08/01/2017
Story and Photo Submitted by Kim Frachiseur, 4H Program Assistant

 

Sevier County 4-H had their annual pool party July 24. While youth gathered to have fun and soak up some sun, a guest speaker from Amity, Christy Swain of the Ryan’s Call Foundation, spoke to youth about water safety. She told her story of how she lost her 17 year old son, Ryan, to a drowning incident. In September 2013, Ryan and three friends left for a hunting trip to a public lake, just 15 minutes from home. From the bank, the boys shot a duck which landed in the water. Ryan took off his boots and carefully left his wallet, cell phone, and pocket knife on the bank. Ryan entered the water to retrieve the duck and for unknown reasons, went under in only six feet of water. He did not resurface. Several hours later, he was recovered by a search and rescue team. Ryan was 6’ 2” tall and an excellent swimmer.


Mrs. Swain demonstrated the correct way to wear a life vest, as well as educated youth on the weight limits, and why those limits are placed.


Ryan’s Call Foundation was founded to honor Ryan’s life, to educate and increase water safety awareness, and to assist families facing injuries related to outdoor recreational accidents. Regardless of age or physical abilities, no one is immune to the dangers of water. For more information about the Ryan’s Call Foundation or to schedule Mrs. Swain for a speaking engagement, you can visit
www.ryanscall.org.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

 

ARKANSAS TAX FREE WEEKEND IS THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY       8/1/17

 

The State of Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday this Saturday beginning at 12:01 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

 

State and local sales tax will not be collected during this 48-hour period on the sale of clothing and footwear, including diapers, receiving blankets, wedding apparel, gloves, aprons, hats, neckties, coats and jackets, if the sales price is less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment, such as cosmetics, hair accessories, handbags, sunglasses, wallets, and watches if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies are limited to clay and glazes, paints, paintbrushes, sketch and drawing pads and watercolors; and school instructional materials including textbooks, workbooks and references.

 

State officials announced computers and software are not tax exempt.

 

Officials said stores can reduce the price of an item, such as 20 percent off sales, however, a manufacturer’s coupon, such as 20 percent off a pair of $110 jeans, does not actually lower the sale price and therefore would still be subject to sales tax.

 

State officials said there is no limit on the number items that you purchase and if one item does not meet the criteria, all of your other items will still be exempt.

 

For more information, contact a customer service representative by calling 501-682-7104 today through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

  

KINDRED HOSPICE LAUNCHES FOOD DRIVE TO BENEFIT HARVEST REGIONAL FOOD BANK       8/1/17

 

Staff members from Kindred Hospice will be blanketing the Southwest Arkansas area throughout August, distributing food collection bags and gathering donations for Harvest Regional Food Bank, which is one of the many benefactors of Kindred's 13th Annual Food Drive.

 

Employees at Kindred Hospice and their associates across the Kindred Hospice and Kindred at Home family of home healthcare services are placing the food collection bags at healthcare and other facilities in their respective communities and will collect their "harvest" during the entire month of August.

 

Holly Rucker is the executive director of Kindred Hospice and she said Kindred employees are in touch with the community's resources and they are aware of the fact that area food banks, pantries, and other charitable organizations are facing increasing demands for assistance.

 

According to research, one in eight U.S. households are 'food insecure,' and Kindred Hospice is helping agencies provide good, healthy food to those in need.

 

Kindred Hospice is collecting food in Southwest Arkansas for the Harvest Regional Food Bank because they both serve people in Pike, Sevier, Howard, Little River, Miller, Hempstead, Nevada and Lafayette counties.

 

Local residents can drop off non-perishable food items like, canned foods, Hamburger Helper, snacks, cereal bars and boxes of cereal, at the KDQN studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive or at the De Queen Medical Center at 1306 West Collin Raye Drive.

 

All donated items will also help the Chalice Cupboard in De Queen because they have partnered with Harvest Regional Food Bank to help the residents of Sevier County.

 

  

(L to R) Bonita Smith and Carolyn Maurer of KDQN, Dr. Jason Lofton of The Wellness Center and The Gentry Family at Gentry's Chevrolet 

 

45TH ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL IS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IN DIERKS         8/1/17

 

The 45th annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival is this Friday and Saturday and chamber vice-president Jerry Mounts said over 40 vendors have pre-registered for this year's event.

 

Mounts said there's going to be a lot of activities for the kids and several of those activities will be free of charge. He also said the lumberjack events will start around noon on Saturday.

 

Mounts said the chamber added a new event this year. He said Ashley Turner, Ashley Janes and Cyndal Cisneros organized a 5K Color Run/Walk and the proceeds will be donated to the Howard County Foster Association.

 

Turner told KDQN that they’re excited about the 5K. She said they were expecting about 50 runners, but about 70 runners have pre-registered, so they order some more T-shirts.

 

Turner also said they will be giving milk shakes to the kids and medals to the winners of eight age categories.

 

Mounts also stated the chamber will be giving away $500 on Friday night and $500 on Saturday night to one lucky ticket holder.

 

For more information about the 45th annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival, call the Dierks City Hall at 870-286-2671.

 

 

FAIR JUDGING SCHOOL REPORT       8/1/17

 

The University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture Extension, held a district Fair Judging School on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot, last week. Over 75 volunteers attended the all-day event including Catherine Smith and Dianne Rosson of Sevier County. Some of the attendees were experienced judges wanting to take a refresher course and there were some who wanted to learn the basics of fair judging.

 

Area family and consumer sciences agents planned and presented the school including Janet Cantrell of Sevier County. Other instructors were Carla Myane with the Little River Arts Council and Sherry Beaty-Sullivan who is the Little River County agriculture agent and staff chairperson.

 

Participates learned the main goal of county fairs has always been educational, as in sharing information and learning from each other in a healthy competitive fashion. Participants were also encouraged to keep the fair atmosphere positive by speaking and writing positive comments.

 

The Sevier County Fair will begin taking entries in the Education Building on Sunday, August 6th from 2 to 5 p.m. and on Monday, August 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. Horticulture, flowers and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the judging will begin at 10.

 

If you need registration sheets or a fair tabloid, contact the Sevier County Extension office at 584-3013.

 

 

STATE TROOPERS NOW HAVE PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE TO MODERATE OPIOID OVERDOES       8/1/17

 

Arkansas State Troopers are routinely the primary first responders across Arkansas involving incidents of substance abuse and addiction and now they have a new tool to combat the ever increasing crisis that is Opioid overdose.

 

The U.S. Office of the Attorney General issued a memorandum calling the opioid epidemic a public health crisis in September of 2016. The memorandum called for the use of a prescription medicine called Narcan to prevent overdose deaths.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson has been at the forefront of this campaign, seeking, statewide support in fighting the opioid addiction problem. Hutchinson said he applauds the Arkansas State Police's effort in stemming the tide of overdose deaths by expanding access to the life-saving drug Narcan and ensuring a pathway to treatment and recovery for those struggling with addiction.

 

Narcan can be administered to anyone since there are no negative side effects from the drug. The prescription medication will only have an effect on someone who is suffering an opiate overdose, due to its ability to attach to the opiate receptor in the brain.

 

Each state trooper is being trained and issued two doses of Narcan nasal spray, giving people suffering from an opiate overdose a greater chance of survival.

 

 

2ND ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT IS TOMORROW      7/31/17

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry asked KDQN to remind area listeners that the 2nd Annual Night Out Event is tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. at the De Queen Sportsplex.

 

Gentry said the event is free and nothing will be sold.  He said the sheriff’s office and the De Queen Police Department will be handing out backpacks full of school supplies to school age children.

 

Gentry said he expects as many or more businesses to set up booths for this year’s event. He said there's going to be a kid's area where they can have some fun and some booths will be giving away food and water.

 

Gentry said the National Night Out Event is an anticrime effort that has led to improved quality of life in many areas where the event has taken place.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT PROVIDING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS       7/31/17

 

Last week, Tommi Cobb of UA Cossatot discussed ways the college tries to eliminate barriers that keep non-traditional students from going back to college to earn a degree or certification.

 

Cobb said non-traditional students are those students who have been out of school for a few years, but want to learn a new trade or earn a degree or certification.

 

Cobb said some non-traditional students are intimidated by classes. She said UA Cossatot is opening a Student Success Center this year to help students who are struggling with certain classes.

 

She also stated non-traditional students who have not earned a bachelor's degree can qualify for financial aid, including Pell grants, scholarships and grants like the AR Futures grant.

 

Cobb said to qualify for the AR Futures grant, students had to graduate from an Arkansas public, private or home school, earned their GED or verify they have lived in the state for the past three-years.

 

If you are a non-traditional student and would like to receive more information about attending UA Cossatot, call 870-584-4471 and speak with someone in the Student Services Department.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FARM BUREAU MEMBERS ATTEND69TH ANNUAL OFFICERS AND LEADERS CONFERENCE       7/31/17

 

Sevier County Farm Bureau members were among the almost 500 people who attended Arkansas Farm Bureau's 69th annual Officers and Leaders Conference July 24th and 25th at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

 

Tanya Stark, Allen Stark, Robert Martinez, Earl Pepper, Greg Wright, Bill Soden, Sandra Jackson and Sevier County President and State Board member, Bruce Jackson attended last week's convention.

 

The theme for this year's conference was "Innovation Generation." A variety of workshops and speakers addressed issues that are important to farm and ranch leaders.

 

Highlights included comments from Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach and the keynote speakers of Troy and Stacy Hadrick who are ranchers from South Dakota who are pioneers in the agricultural advocacy movement. 

 

Workshops at the conference covered topics such as pesticide container disposal, worker protection standards, the 2017 legislative session, implementing successful young farmers and ranchers and women's programs, livestock and crops policy development and the new Arkansas Farm Bureau Foundation.

 

Farm Bureau also recognized the state's Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award winners, Austin and Amber Kennon of Mountain View and the state Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award winners, Chris and Breanne Damron of Jonesboro.

 

 

NEW LAWS TO TAKE EFFECT THIS WEEK      7/31/17

 

A stack of new state laws will take effect this week, including laws concerning guns, schools, and wine.

 

One new law will allow concealed carry license holders to keep their gun on their employer's property. Act 1071 states Arkansans with the permits can store their guns in their cars, out of sight and under lock and key, in a private employer's parking lot.

 

According to the law, the holder doesn't have to put the gun in a lockbox until he or she gets out of the car. However, private employers can prohibit non-employees from storing guns in their cars but can only prohibit employees under rare circumstances.

 

The law, however, does give employers other rights, such as the ability to fire or sue employees if they flagrantly display their gun in plain sight. Employers will also not be liable for any damages, injury or death that results from an employee keeping their guns in a car.

 

Another new law allows school districts to avoid making up snow days by assigning students work online.

 

Arkansas Commissioner of Education Johnny Key is currently accepting applications through September for district's alternative instruction plans for the 2017-2018 school year. If approved, schools could get up to 10 student attendance days that they would otherwise lose to inclement weather or other circumstances.

 

 

Also beginning August 1st, is a new law that states level-three sex offenders will be allowed at schools for events if they are related to a student and if they give the district a 24-hour written notice.

 

Arkansans will also be able to buy lottery tickets by using their debit cards and receive shipments from small farm wineries, beginning Tuesday.

 

 

FEDERAL COURT ORDER BLOCKS FOUR NEW ARKANSAS ABORTION LAWS      7/31/17

 

A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing four new abortion restrictions that were passed earlier this year by state lawmakers. The laws included a ban on a common second-trimester procedure, allowed a partner or family member to block a planned abortion, forced doctors to save "evidence" and report the procedure to the local police, and required doctors to obtain what so called unnecessary medical records.

 

Some of the restrictions were set to take effect tomorrow, but Bettina Brownstein, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Arkansas, says the injunction blocks laws that violate the rights of Arkansas women to obtain a safe abortion.

 

She says the ACLU, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the regulations on behalf of Doctor Frederick Hopkins and the abortion clinic, the Little Rock Family Planning Services. A spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she disagrees with the ruling and plans to appeal.

 

Brownstein accused Arkansas lawmakers of passing the same "cookie-cutter" laws that the courts have already stuck down in other states, including Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Alabama.

 

She says despite recent Supreme Court rulings upholding a woman's aright to an abortion, groups such as the ACLU and others must fight to keep it that way.

 

Last week, a federal appeals court lifted a lower-court order blocking a 2015 Arkansas law limiting doctors who administer abortion pills. That law requires abortion providers to maintain a contract with a physician who has admitting privileges at a local hospital.

 

 

 

COSSATOT PREPARING STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE FIELD      7/28/17

 

Tommi Cobb is the director of the R.A.M.P. program, which stands for Regional Advanced Manufacturing Project and she said students in the Industrial Maintenance pathway at UA Cossatot can earn up $50,000 a year with a two-year degree.

 

Cobb said the RAMP grant program was designed to build a pipeline to secondary schools in an attempt to make students aware of job opportunities in Southwest Arkansas.

 

Cobb said about 4,000 students throughout the region have been reached with information about the RAMP program.

 

Cobb said Cossatot and the other community colleges in the consortium have developed targeted educational pathways to address the needs of area industries.

 

Cossatot offers evening classes, hands-on training, and Cossatot works with local industries to ensure students are prepared to apply for jobs at Domtar, Weyerhaeuser, Ash Grove Cement, Tyson, Pilgrim's and Husqvarna.

 

Cobb also said Tyson has developed 10 intern positions in maintenance and refrigeration for Cossatot students.

 

Cossatot will be holding orientation on the Ashdown campus on Tuesday, August 8th from 5 to 8 p.m.; on the Nashville campus on Wednesday, August 9th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and on the De Queen campus on Thursday, August 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  

 

80th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 5TH THROUGH 12TH         7/28/17

 

The 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo will kickoff on Saturday, August 5th with the fair pageant and Rodeo Queen contest at 10 a.m. The chicken judging and rabbit judging contest will begin at 6 p.m.

 

County residents can enter their exhibits in the educational building between 2 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 6th. Commercial booths can also be set up from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

 

All livestock must be checked in on Monday, August 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. and the weigh-in begins at 8.

 

Horticulture, flower and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the judging of the educational items will begin at 10. The exhibit building and the commercial booth building will open on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and will remain open until 9.

 

The breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb shows and the swine show will start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8th and the cattle show is Wednesday, August 9th at 5 p.m.

 

The carnival midway will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

 

The fair parade is Thursday, August 9th at 6 p.m.

 

Books will open for the 4D barrel race at 6 p.m., and the youth 16 and under barrel race will start at 6 and the 4D barrel races will begin at 6:30. The grand entry for the public will begin at 8 p.m.

 

The premium sale is Friday, August 11th at 10 a.m., and the rodeo will start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

 

The fish show, the bottle calf show, the Jr. Showmanship and the open showmanship contests will be featured on Saturday, August 12th.

 

 

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER HOLDING BLOOD DRIVES IN AREA      7/28/17

 

LifeShare Blood Center is holding several blood drives next week to help alleviate a blood supply shortage in the area. LifeShare officials reported the center experiences a shortage of blood during the summer because there are traditionally fewer donations, but usage remains constant.

 

Next week, LifeShare will hold a blood drive at the Sevier County National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 1st at the De Queen Sportsplex from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; at Pilgrim's Pride processing plant in De Queen from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 3rd; and on Friday, August 4th at the De Queen Walmart from 2 to 7 p.m.

 

LifeShare officials say about one in seven people who enter a hospital will need some type of blood product and one blood donation, which is approximately one pint of blood, can save up to three lives.

 

Officials say it takes between 30 minutes to an hour to donate. For more information, visit the website lifeshare.org.

 

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

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: BACK TO SCHOOL CREDIT CARDS      7/28/17

 

Finding out you cannot get a loan for your first house or car because of bad credit from a college credit card can be shocking. Signing up for a credit card may seem like the perfect solution for those back-to-school expenses, but it is important to understand that credit cards are not free and come with a cost and many new credit card users find themselves struggling with long-term issues from easily avoidable mistakes.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge provided the following advice to people who are considering applying for a credit card.

 

Rutledge said Arkansans should submit payments on time; pay the balance owed if at all possible and do not max out the credit card.

 

Rutledge said you should not respond to every tempting credit card offer and make sure you read the fine print because some cards include annual fees and higher interest rates in exchange for other incentives.

 

To combat the high-pressure solicitations and students getting burdened by credit card debit, the Arkansas General Assembly enacted legislation in 1999 that restricts the practice of marketing credit cards on college campuses.

 

In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which restricts on-campus credit card marketing nationwide. Under this law, the marketing of credit cards within 1,000 feet of a college campus or related event is prohibited. Credit card marketers are also forbidden from using gifts such as T-shirts and magazine subscriptions to entice a young consumer into applying for a card.

 

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

 

 

TALLMAN REPORTS OTHER AGENCIES WILL HELP PROVIDE SERVICES IN AREA       7/27/17

 

Former Sevier County Judge Dick Tallman has been serving on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Arkansas Development Council for many years and was the chairman of the board when they voted to cease operations last Friday.

 

Tallman informed KDQN that the customers of SWADC will still be able to receive services in the 12 county area that the agency served for 48 years.

 

Tallman said a sister agency, the Central Arkansas Development Council in Benton will assist in Southwest Arkansas and assume the functions of the agency, including the non-emergency medical transportation program. He said the agency are also negotiating the take over of the home energy assistance program.

 

Tallman reported it was one of the most difficult decisions he and the board had to make, but the agency simply did not have the funds to continue operation.

 

Tallman said 166 individuals lost their jobs last Friday, but he hopes the other entities that assume the operation of these critical programs will re-hire some, if not all of them.

 

The Southwest Arkansas Development Council served Miller, Hempstead, Nevada, Lafayette, Little River, Howard, Sevier, Dallas, Calhoun, Union, Ouachita and Columbia counties.

 

 

UA COSSATOT UTILIZING LOCKESBURG TO REACH STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE PROGRAM      7/27/17

 

Tommi Cobb is the director of UA Cossatot's R.A.M.P. program, and she said Cossatot has been busy this summer from hosting professional development events to holding a grand opening and open house for the newly restored UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium. She also said Cossatot is still registering students for the fall semester.

 

Cobb said classes start on August 14th, so students still have time to speak with an advisor to determine their educational pathway and get scheduled for classes.

 

To enroll for classes, students will need to provide a driver's license or government issued photo ID, social security card, immunization record, assessment scores, and official transcripts. Cobb said if you have any questions, contact the Student Services Department at 870-584-4471.

 

Cobb also reported UA Cossatot has received a grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission for the renovation of the old Lockesburg High School. She said Cossatot plans to restore the classrooms and move the Industrial Technology classrooms and shops to Lockesburg by the fall semester of 2018.

 

Cobb said Cossatot's mission is to provide programs that will help students earn good paying jobs, here in their service area.

 

Cossatot will be holding orientation on the Ashdown campus on Tuesday, August 8th from 5 to 8 p.m.; on the Nashville campus on Wednesday, August 9th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and on the De Queen campus on Thursday, August 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

 

CHARGES STILL PENDING IN CASE AGAINST SEVIER COUNTY SUSPECTS         7/27/17

 

Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan informed a trio of suspects from Sevier County that charges are still pending concerning a fatal drive-by shooting in Ashdown.

 

According to court records, the three adult suspects will be held in custody until they return to court next Tuesday.

 

20-year-old Joshua King, 19-year-old Brady Winship and 18-year-old Tenescha Wilkerson and a fourth suspect who is a juvenile are all from Sevier County. All four are being accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Desmond Smith and wounding 19-year-old Samari Covington, both of Ashdown.

 

According to 9th Circuit Prosecutor Bryan Chesshir, arrest affidavits should be filed by next Tuesday.

 

King is currently being held in the Little River County jail, while Winship and Wilkerson are being held in the Sevier County jail. The juvenile suspect is being held in the White River Detention Center near Batesville.

 

 

REGISTER FOR COSSATOT FUN DAY       7/27/17

 

Sevier County Extension has a new 4-H program assistant and Kim Frachiseur is busy planning some new and exciting events for the children in Sevier County.

 

Frachiseur is planning a Cossatot Fun Day for Friday, August 4th at the Wickes Visitor Center at the Cossatot River State Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Area residents can call the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 to sign up by Tuesday, August 1st. Frachiseur said you do not have to be a member of the Sevier County 4-H program to attend, but you will need to pre-register.

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreter, Shelley Flanary, will be presenting programs about black bears, snakes, and other animals.

 

There is no charge for the event, but you will need to take a sack lunch. This event is for kids and adults and everyone will learn how animals survive in nature and they will get to know a little bit about their diet. 

 

 

ACTIVITIES AT THE COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK      7/27/17

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary said the park is a great place to visit and learn about local wildlife or just get out and enjoy the great outdoors. She said they have daily programs that include feeding the park critters and snorkeling.

 

Flanary said the park is holding a photography contest this August. She said the theme is "A River for All Seasons." She said everyone can enter photos that have been taken in the Ouachita Mountains or at the Cossatot River State Park - Natural Area to celebrate the beauty of the Cossatot River.

 

Flanary said there will be four categories including: landscape, water, wildlife and other. The 8X10 matted photos will be displayed in the visitor center from August 5th through August 12th and they will be judged by the public after 2 p.m. on the 12th.

 

Prizes will be awarded and the cost to enter a photo is $10.

 

Flanary said water levels are currently low, so there are no canoe or rafting activities at this time, but several hiking trails are available.

 

This Saturday, the park will host a snorkeling exploration event from 9 to 10:30 a.m. For more information, contact the visit center by calling 870-385-2201.

 

 

COMMISSIONER OF STATE LANDS ANNOUNCES NEW EXHIBIT       7/27/17

 

Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston announced the opening of a new exhibit in his Capitol office this week.

 

Making Tracks Across Arkansas features images and artifacts from the state's railroad history. Thurston said the exhibit explores facets that many people might not know about trains, like the railroad industry's involvement in creating time zones, or that a training camp was established in Arkansas to teach soldiers how to run trains during World War II.

 

The exhibit includes items that range from a conductor's uniform to railroad china, from telegraph equipment to signal lanterns and railroad tools.

 

The Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff loaned most of the artifacts fro the exhibit. Thurston said the museum offers a fascinating, in-depth look at Arkansas railroads.

 

Photographer Dick Hovey provided several images of historic trains and the Union Pacific Railroad yard in North Little Rock supplied the components of a sample track, which is in the office's vault.

 

The "Making Tracks Across Arkansas" exhibit will be on display in Room 109 of the State Capitol through the end of the year. Visitors may view the exhibit from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

 

 

 

SWADC HAS CEASED OPERATIONS          7/26/17

 

Southwest Arkansas Development Council Chairman, Dick Tallman of De Queen, announced the Board of Directors voted to cease operations as of Friday, July 21st.

 

Tallman said the non-profit community action agency employed 166 individuals in 12 counties, including Miller, Hempstead, Nevada, Lafayette, Little River, Howard, Sevier, Dallas, Calhoun, Union, Ouachita and Columbia. He said SWADC had been providing services to the elderly and low-income residents of Southwest Arkansas for the past 48 years.

 

Tallman said it was an emotional decision to close the agency, but declining revenues and rising operating costs made it very difficult for the agency to continue serving the area. He said the board tried reducing the staff, outsourcing some operations, and several other cost-saving initiatives, but they simply did not have enough revenue to continue.

 

Tallman stated the board of directors contacted several Arkansas legislators. Legislators stated they were aware of the circumstances that were affecting the agency, but they indicated there were no state funds available to help alleviate the agency's financial crisis.

 

Over the past 8 to 10 years, the agency has faced numerous challenges, including the loss of several major programs, like the loss of the Southwest Arkansas' Head Start early education program and the loss of the Department of Energy's weatherization program.

 

According to a press release another contributing factor to the agency's closure was changes that were made to the Medicaid-funded Non-emergency Medical Transportation program.

 

In an effort to curb losses that were associated with the operation of the agency's 17 senior adult centers, the board of directors terminated the agency's contract with the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas in October of 2016. But, despite this cost saving initiative, the agency's revenues continued to decline to the point where continued operations were unsustainable.

 

Tallman said the agency laid-off all of its operation employees as of last Friday, but a few administration employees will remain with the agency until all of the agency's facilities are shut down. The board will now consolidate the agency's remaining assets for an eventual sale and disposition.

 

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION LOOKING TO FILL SEVERAL POSITIONS BEFORE THE START OF THE SCHOOL YEAR      7/26/17

 

Monday night during a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, board members accepted several resignations and voted to promote the district's athletic director to high school principal.

 

Board members voted to accept the resignations of softball coach, elementary PE teacher and assistant football coach, Richard McMillian, baseball coach, History teacher and assistant football coach, Mark Hill and high school principal, Kim Cody.

 

Board members also voted to promote Foreman High School athletic director John Hall to the position of high school principal; however, Hall's promotion is contingent upon his completion of the Arkansas Department of Education's Administration Licensure Completion Program and other licensure requirements.

 

During a previous special called meeting, the board hired Lori Shelton as a high school English teacher.

 

 

THREE SUSPECTS, ONE ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES       7/26/17

 

Monday night, Sevier County Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle and Investigator Brian Hankins observed a blue Taurus drive left of the centerline on Mount Pleasant Road. Deputies then observed the drive activate the hazard lights and pull off the road into a field.

 

Dowdle and Hankins approached the vehicle on opposite sides and Hankins witnessed a male passenger who was identified as 20-year-old Josh Arbour attempt to conceal something under his leg when Dowdle asked for IDs from the three occupants.

 

Deputies also noted the occupants appeared nervous and were constantly moving around.

 

When Arbour got out of the vehicle, Deputy Dowdle found a half burnt marijuana cigarette in the passenger seat. Dowdle also found a clear plastic bag that contained suspected methamphetamine in the center console.

 

At the Sevier County Sheriff's office, all three individuals provided different statements concerning the drugs.

 

Arbour was then charged with possession of a controlled substance because the vehicle was registered in his name.

 

 

WICKES MAN ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING IN COVE       7/26/17

Submitted by MyPulseNews

 

A Wickes resident has been apprehended in connection with a shooting that occurred on Friday, July 21st, just before 6 p.m. in Cove.

 

Last Friday evening, Polk County deputies Jim Smith and Clint Bell interviewed a female victim who informed them a man that she identified as Jayden drove up into her yard while she was burning trash behind the house. She reported she tried to take a picture of the truck as it backed out of her yard.

 

The victim said the truck then pulled back into her yard and that is when the man got out of the truck carrying a gun. She said the man said, "prove yourself or you can die." The victim reported she jumped into her car and crouched down, as the man starting shooting at her car.

 

Deputies recovered three shell casings at the scene about 30 feet from the victim's car. They reported two of the casings were birdshot and the other was buckshot.

 

After identifying the suspect, another female victim reported 20-year-old Jayden Scott More-Brown asked if he could stay at her house for awhile because he had shot up someone's car. After she informed him that he could not stay there, Brown allegedly threatened to burn her house down.

 

Authorities were able to locate More-Brown on Sunday at his residence in Wickes and he was taken into custody without any further incident.

 

More-Brown is being held in the Polk County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond. He has been charged with terroristic threatening, committing a terroristic act and possession of a firearm by a certain persons. 

 

 

AUTHORITIES THINK THEY'VE IDENTIFIED A BODY FOUND ON FEDERAL LAND         7/26/17

 

Authorities say they believe they know the identity of a burned body that was discovered by a birdwatcher on federal land.

 

According to the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office, a birdwatcher was in a remote area near the Sherwood community about 18 miles north of Broken Bow when they discovered a body in a burned van.

 

The body was found on federal forest service land and therefore, the McCurtain County Sheriff's office is receiving assistance from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

 

The remains were sent to the Oklahoma medical examiner's office for identification and to determine the cause of death, but authorities say they think the body is that of Fred Romine who has been missing since early May.

 

McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy said it could take up to six-months to positively identify the body. He also said his office suspects foul play to be involved.

 

Romine was last seen on May 6th in the Broken Bow area. He was driving a 2005 brown Honda Odyssey to Paris, Texas, where he was suppose to officiate a college baseball game. Game officials say Romine never arrived.

 

 

TREE SEEDLINGS FOR 2018 PLANTING SEASON NOW AVAILABLE      7/26/17

 

The Arkansas Forestry Commission is accepting tree seedling orders for the 2018 planting season of January through March.

 

The commission will sell tree seedlings in quantities as small as 25, allowing for Arkansas landowners to purchase high quality seedlings at affordable prices and manageable quantities. In 2016, the commission sold over 4 million hardwood seedlings and over 2 million pine seedlings to landowners. Tree seedlings are grown for one growing season and then they are lifted and packed "bare root" for shipment across Arkansas.

 

A variety of hardwood and pine species are available including bald-cypress, black walnut, blackgum, pecan, red mulberry, redbud, sugarberry, sweetgum, sycamore, water hickory, as well as a variety of oak and pine species. Pine and some oak seedlings are available in improved varieties, which mean they have been tested and bred to be superior in growth and genetic gain. Other popular options are Wildlife Bundles and Beautification Bundles, which feature small assortments of tree species that have been chosen for their ability to attract wildlife or their blooms and color.

 

To order seedlings online go to www.aad.arkansas.gov/order-seedlings or call 501-907-2485 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

 

PAINTING WITH NANCY     08/24/2017

Sevier County 4-H leaders hosted a painting class recently with local artist Nancy Youngblood. Over 40 people gathered for the event at De Queen Church of Christ. Everyone learned to paint a pig and each one got to add their own special “twist” to their art.

Four-H is open to all children ages 5 to 19 and offers many fun and life-learning activities and competitions. If you’re interested in joining 4-H, contact the Sevier County Extension office at 870-584-3013.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
 

Photo's Submitted by Kim Frachiseur

Left Picture:                                                                                   Right Picture:

L-R Autumn, Tracy and Brandi Frachiseur                                             Lance and Heidi Hardaway

 

 

49th ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO IN GRANNIS IS THIS WEEKEND      7/25/17

 

Shelly Johnson is the chairperson of the 49th Annual Championship Rodeo in Grannis, but she informed KDQN that the Grannis Trail Riders Association has been around since 1966. She said they started the rodeo to help fund the activities of the association.

 

Johnson said the Grannis Trail Riders ride every weekend from May to October, except for the first weekend of each month.

 

Johnson said this year's livestock provider is Ringgold and Sons. She said they'll have muttin bustin both nights at 7 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8. She said the rodeo will also feature mini broncs and jr. bulls.

 

Johnson said cowboys and cowgirls will compete in just about every rodeo event imaginable.

 

Johnson said admission is $6 for everyone five and older, but Friday night is senior night and senior adults get in for half-price.

 

Johnson also said GTR member Mark Duggan will be in attendance.

 

 

TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG ARREST       7/25/17

 

Friday night, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies made a traffic stop on Highway 41 because of defective equipment, but when Deputy Chet Stubbs approached the vehicle, he reported he could smell marijuana.

 

Deputy Stubbs and Deputy Wendell Randell made contact with the driver who was identified as 30-year-old Thomas Romero of Horatio and he allegedly admitted that there was marijuana in the vehicle.

 

Deputies discovered two large glass containers of marijuana cigarettes that Romero allegedly told them he was going to sell for $500 to $600 dollars.

 

Romero was interviewed at the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and he reportedly told deputies that he grew, processed and packaged marijuana at his residence in Horatio.

 

While searching the home, deputies found 30 small bags that contained processed marijuana, two glass jars containing marijuana, several sets of digital scales and other drug paraphernalia.

 

Romero also allegedly provided a written statement admitting to selling marijuana off and on for over a year.

 

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

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - BIKING IN ARKANSAS       7/25/17

 

At one time, all bicycles were, really, dirt bikes. In cycling's earliest days, wheelmen and women followed uneven gravel roads and rough paths to get from point 'a' to point 'b' or for the sheer joy of the ride.

Today, however, many cyclists have rediscovered the fun and challenges of unpaved riding, and Arkansas's state parks offer a variety of such opportunities.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported there are trail rides for people of all skill levels, including everything from good beginner mountain bike trails like the Fern Hollow Trail at White Oak Mountain State Park to an advanced technical trail in Central Arkansas. The Delta Heritage Trail is a crushed limestone rail-to-trail path that when completed will offer a nearly 85-mile "gravel grinding" ride through the historic and scenic heart of the state's southeastern quarter.

 

Vaught said two staffers at Devil's Den State Park helped organize the state's first mountain bike gathering, the Ozark Mountain Bike Festival, at Devil's Den in 1989. Today, the state has a popular series of mountain bike races through the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series.

 

Vaught said visitors to the state capitol are reminded of the state's mountain biking history. She said, this summer, the Capitol's first-floor galleries feature an exhibit called, "Let's Ride: Mountain Biking in the State Parks of Arkansas," which is a celebration of cycling around the Natural State.

 

According to Vaught, the exhibit includes scenes from and information about trails statewide. The exhibit also includes one cycle that was used in the 1989 Devil's Den event.

 

Vaught said the exhibit will remain on display through Labor Day.

 

 

YOU BOUGHT A STOLEN TRUCK         7/25/17

 

Early Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies, Chet Stubbs and David Stinson were doing surveillance on a residence on Highway 24 West after the department received some information about possible drug activity and stolen property.

 

While conducting surveillance, deputies ran the tags on a truck that was sitting in the front yard. Dispatchers with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office informed Stubbs and Stinson that the truck was reported stolen out of Oklahoma.

 

Deputies then went up to the residence to speak with the occupants.

 

35-year-old Nathan Wilson was reportedly visiting a relative who lived at the house. He told the deputies that he paid a man in McAlester $300 down and that he still owes him $300.

 

Wilson told the deputies that he drove the truck from McAlester along with his wife to visit some family.

 

Wilson was taken into custody and charged with theft by receiving.

 

 

CENTRAL FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL FISH FRY IS SATURDAY        7/25/17

 

Saturday night, the Central Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual fish fry fundraiser at the Central Community Building. Volunteer fire fighter, Bretney Lynch informed KDQN that they will start serving fish at 6 p.m. She said the auction will begin at 7 p.m.

 

Lynch said the fish fry is the department's main fundraiser for the year. She said residents of the fire district can pay their $25 dues, while enjoying the music of the Cross Point Cowboy Church band.

 

Lynch also said the department is signing fire district members up for some free smoke alarms that will be donated to the volunteer fire departments in Sevier County by the American Red Cross. She said you can contact her at 870-784-0786, Ginger Sutton at 870-784-0892 or leave a message on the department's Facebook page.

 

Walter Smith is the director of the Office of Emergency Services in Sevier County and he said county residents can also sign up by calling the American Red Cross at 501-420-3533 or by emailing the Red Cross at redcrossalarms@gmail.com.

 

 

NATURAL STATE JACKPOT AT ITS BIGGEST EVER      7/25/17

 

In March, the Natural State Jackpot was changed so it would have bigger and faster-growing jackpots and now players are seeing this in action as the Natural State Jackpot has grown to its biggest jackpot amount ever, at $420,000.

 

This jackpot has been growing since the end of May.

 

In March, the lottery commission changed the Natural State Jackpot game. Since then, the jackpot amount has grown by $10,000 per roll after the jackpot reaches $150,000 or more. And, the starting jackpot now begins at $50,000, instead of $25,000.

 

The Natural State Jackpot is an Arkansas-only draw game that is similar tot he multistage draw-game, Powerball. Drawings are held every Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. in Little Rock. And, it only cost $1 to play. Five numbers between 1 and 39 are drawn; if a player's numbers match those that are chosen, the player wins the jackpot.

 

 

 

HORATIO'S SCHOOL OF INNOVATION TAKING SHAPE      7/24/17

 

Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith reported the board hired a couple of new teachers this month to fill some positions that were related to the district's new School of Innovation. He said they hired Bridgett Emerson from the Eagletown School District to teach English and Heather Sheppard from the Ashdown School District to teach business.

 

Smith said the Horatio School of Innovation is starting to take shape and last week teachers discussed the new flexmod schedule with teachers from the Fayetteville School District.

 

Smith invited parents to visit the district's Facebook page to learn the new School of Innovation terminology.

 

Smith also reported the board approved the purchase of new MacBooks for the districts new elementary teachers.

 

Board members also approved the student handbooks for the elementary and high school.

  

 

ANNUAL DAY OF SERVICE FOR NEXT TEEN CAMP MEMBERS      7/24/17

 

Jason Carlton of the Memorial Baptist Church reported over 150 young people who are attending the Next Teen Camp at Boggs Springs this week will be participating in the camps annual Day of Service, this Wednesday from noon until 3 p.m.

 

Carlton said this is the fifth year, the camp has partnered with Memorial Baptist Church to work in the city of De Queen.

 

Carlton said young people will be divided into teams and they will conduct various acts of service in De Queen, Broken Bow and Lockesburg. He said campers will once again be conducting a totally free car wash for the public at Bailey's Discount Building Supply.

 

Carlton also mentioned several other projects around De Queen including a movie day at Bear Creek Nursing and Rehab, some landscaping work in Herman Dierks Park, a car wash for the emergency personal of Sevier County and campers will be helping teachers in the De Queen School district move furniture back into their classrooms.

 

Carlton said they've also added a few new projects, like, helping the college clear a walking path and helping the Corps of Engineers at the De Queen Lake by picking up trash.

 

Carlton said the Day of Service projects allow young people to do some positive things in our communities.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $18,550.81     7/24/17

 

The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Little River County collected more than $18,000, according to the Commissioner of State Lands office.

 

The Land Commissioner's office recently conducted the auction of delinquent properties, which drew 11 bidders and sold six parcels, for a total of $18,550.81 for Little River County and state government.

 

The Land Commissioner's office conducts one tax-delinquent sale per county each year to dispose of land which has been certified with taxes that are past-due.

 

Commissioner John Thurston said his office auctions off a small percentage of parcels that are certified because in most cases, the original owner redeems the delinquent property by paying the back taxes.

 

While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls.

 

Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at the land sales is free and upon the sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.

 

Thurston's office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale to the county taxing unit just as if the taxes had been originally been collected there.

 

Thurston said, last year, that his office returned more than $18 million dollars to school districts and county governments. He said Little River County received over $23,000 last year.

 

If you would like more information about tax-delinquent land auctions, visit the Commissioner of State Lands website, www.cosl.org, to view the public auction catalog, a listing of properties that's being offered at auction, or the post-auction sales list of properties that did not sale at the auction.

 

 

MEN'S FELLOWSHIP MEETING AT FBC FOREMAN THIS SATURDAY       7/24/17

 

Little River County Judge and Southern Sportsmen Foundation member, Mike Cranford, invited area men and boys to the annual Men's Fellowship at the First Baptist Church of Foreman, this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

 

Cranford said they will be serving fish with all the trimmings and Phillip Vanderpool will be the guest speaker. He said Vanderpool has over 40 years of hunting experience and has appeared on various television hunting shows.

 

Tickets are on sale now for $15, but they will be $20 at the door. To purchase a ticket, contact Cranford at 903-826-3318 or Audie Dawson at the Winthrop First Baptist Church at 903-278-1985.

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES ATHLETIC TICKET PRICES        7/21/17

 

Thursday night, the Ashdown Board of Education discussed the district's proposed millage increase and they approved the athletic ticket prices for the 2017-2018 school year.

 

Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the district has updated some classrooms on the junior high campus. The board approved Sanders recommendation to purchase two 5-ton air conditioning units for the PE gym, a 15-ton mini-split air conditioning unit for the field house and a turf mower for the athletic department.

 

Sanders informed the board that the construction cost of the elementary project, which would be financed with the proposed millage increase, is about $20 more per square foot than it was two-years ago.

 

Sanders also reported if the millage is passed, it should provide an economic boost to the local economy by providing about 121 full-time jobs over the course of two years.

 

Board members also approved the district's athletic pass program. Sanders said passes are currently being sold in the administration building.

 

Board members approved the district's student catastrophic insurance bid, along with the milk, bread and fuel bids. Board members also accepted Sanders recommendation to renew the district’s contract with K-12's Culinary Connection for another year.

 

Board members also voted to hire four new coaches including Hayden Rybiski, Trad Williams, Tracy Forte and Mary Neal. Sanders said Bradley Day will serve as the district's volunteer head softball coach.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY 14-U ALL STARS ARE STATE CHAMPS       7/21/17

 

The Sevier County 14-U All -Stars recently won the state title and will now represent the state of Arkansas in Hilton Head, South Carolina in the World Series, August 3rd through 6th.

 

Friday morning, players Easton Leonard, Blake Pickett, and Dylan Williamson stopped by the KDQN studios to mention several ways that area residents can help them travel to South Carolina.

 

Leonard said players will hold a car wash on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the First State Bank. He said they will also be selling chicken dinners on Friday, July 28th at the De Queen Church of Christ Family Life Center from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for $8 a plate. Leonard said delivery is available to local businesses. He said you can also place your order in advance by calling 870-582-3340.

 

Pickett said players are selling chances on a rifle for $1 each or six for $5. They will also be selling chances at Bailey Discount Supply, this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

 

Williamson said they are also selling chances on $100 in cash for $1 each or six for $5. He said they will be drawing the winner for the cash and the rifle on Friday, July 28th during the benefit chicken dinner.

 

For more information or to order a chicken dinner, call 870-582-3340.

 

  

80th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 5TH THROUGH 12TH         7/21/17

 

The 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 5th through the 12th. This year's rodeo will feature the rodeo stock of the Ringgold and Sons Company and the fair with feature the midway of Johnson's Rides and Concessions.

 

According to the fair board, all livestock will need to be pre-registered this Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon.

 

The fair will kickoff with the fair pageant and Rodeo Queen contests on Saturday, August 5th at 10 a.m. and the chicken judging and rabbit judging will begin at 6 p.m.

 

County residents can enter their exhibits in the educational building and commercial booths may be set up from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 6th.

 

All livestock will be checked in from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, August 7th and weigh-in begins at 8 p.m.

 

Horticulture, flower and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The educational items will be judged beginning at 10 a.m. and the exhibit building and commercial booth building will both be open from 4 to 9 p.m.

 

Tuesday will also feature the breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb shows and the swine show at 5 p.m.

 

The cattle show is Wednesday, August 9th at 5 p.m. and the carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.

 

Thursday will feature the fair parade at 6 p.m. and the books will open for the 4D barrel race, and the youth 16 and under barrel race at 6 and the barrel races will begin at 6:30. The grand entry for the public will begin at 8 p.m.

 

The premium sale is Friday, August 11th at 10 a.m. The carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8.

 

Saturday will feature the fish show, the bottle calf show, the Jr. Showmanship and the open showmanship contests. The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. and displays may be taken down in the livestock barn and commercial booth building at 10 p.m.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: DOORBELL DEALINGS      7/21/17

 

Door-to-door salespeople are trying to take advantage of Arkansans in their homes. Summer is a popular time for home solicitors to hit the streets, selling home improvement projects, home security systems, newspapers, magazines and more. And, they frequently use high pressure sales tactics to make the deal and sometimes consumers regret the purchase.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips for those who may be faced with a salesperson at their door: She said consumers should always be prepared to say no. Rutledge said some cities require door-to-door salespersons to obtain a license or certification prior to engaging in sales.

 

In the city of De Queen, door-to-door solicitors must register with city hall. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said solicitors can purchase an individual permit for $100 or a corporation can purchase a permit for multiple employees for $250. He said the permits are good for one-year.

 

Rutledge said consumers should take a few days to consider the offer and they should never allow a salesperson to install any product on the same day as purchase. She said consumers should also be wary of free installation or equipment offers.

 

Rutledge said you should never give into to high-pressure sales pitches and never let a salesperson into your home unless they have provided the proper identification.

 

The Arkansas Home Solicitation Act applies to purchases of $25 or more and requires a salesperson to verbally inform consumers of their cancellation rights at the time of the sale. The seller must also leave the customer with two copies of the cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt. One exception is if a consumer requests a home visit for immediate repair of personal property, such as heating and cooling systems or appliances.

 

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

 

 

2017 SEVIER COUNTY FAIR PAGEANT AND TALENT CONTEST     7/20/17

 

Linda Frachiseur of the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo announced registration is underway for the 2017 Sevier County Fair Pageant and Talent Contest.

 

Frachiseur said this year's pageant will feature eight age categories including Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Miss and Little Miss and four age categories for boys including, Little Mister Tiny Baby, Little Mister Baby, Little Mister Petite and Little Mister.

 

The winner of the Fair Queen and Princess divisions will represent Sevier County in the State Fair competition. The Little Miss winner and the runner-up in the Queen and Princess divisions will represent the county at the District Fair in Hope.

 

Frachiseur said contestants can sign up by picking up a registration form at the KDQN studios or at the First State Bank in De Queen. She said fair board members will be at the fairgrounds Friday to accept applications, beginning at 5 p.m.

 

Frachiseur said there will also be a junior and senior division talent contest. The winners will represent the county at the state fair and the runner-up winners will represent Sevier County at the district fair.

 

The entry fee is $40 for the pageant and $20 to enter the talent contest. Frachiseur said there are other optional categories that are $5 each.

 

For more information, call 870-584-9592, Stephanie Haarmeyer at 870-784-0133 or Katrina Frachiseur at 870-642-5569.

 

 

ROAD WORK CONTINUES IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       7/20/17

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford informed KDQN that county crews are still working to repair roads that were damaged during the recent flash flooding that occurred in the county.

 

Cranford said Little River County received about 10-inches of rain in the northern part of the county and four to five-inches in the southern part. He said they hope to have all the roads repaired by the end of July, so crews can start chip and sealing some roads.

 

Cranford also expressed his appreciation for the patience of county residents.

 

Cranford said he will announce which roads are being chipped and sealed as crews begin working on that project.

 

 

SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2017 HUNTS        7/20/17

 

Southern Sportsmen Foundation member Mike Cranford announced the foundation is accepting applications for the 2017 hunts for whitetail deer. He said about 175 men, women and children have participated in the previous hunts. Cranford said these two hunts are for individuals who have a severe mobility impairment and or a life-threatening illness.

 

The youth "Hunt of a Lifetime" will once again be held at the Starch Creek Hunting Club near Mineral Springs, October 27th through October 29th. Cranford said the youth hunt is for anyone 5 to 19.

 

Youth hunters will arrive by 3 p.m. on October 26th for a pre-hunt orientation and the hunter must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.

 

Cranford said the adult hunt has been nicknamed the "Redneck Safari" and will be held near Foreman, November 15th through 17th.

 

He said hunters will arrive by 11 a.m. on November 15th and they can bring a non-hunting companion. Cranford said the foundation will select six disabled hunters and two alternates to participate in the Redneck Safari. He also said they will be notified by September 30th if they have been selected.

 

Cranford said the foundation provides lodging, meals and license for all of the hunters. He said if anyone would like to donate, they can contact him or attend the foundation's banquet, which is in September.

 

For more information, email Cranford at mike.cranford@sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

 

ASHDOWN SHOOTING SUSPECTS MAKE FIRST APPEARANCE IN LITTLE RIVER CIRCUIT COURT TUESDAY         7/19/17

 

The four suspects who allegedly killed an Ashdown man Sunday morning in a drive-by shooting appeared in the Little River County Circuit Court on Tuesday.

 

The three adults and one juvenile were informed by Judge Tom Cooper that their charges were related to the death of 19-year-old Desmond Smith and the shooting of 19-year-old Samari Covington, both of Ashdown. Covington is reportedly recovering from his injuries in a Texarkana hospital.

 

The three adult suspects have been identified as 20-year-old Joshua King of De Queen, 19-year-old Brady Winship and 18-year-old Tenescha Wilkerson, both of Sevier County.

 

According to 9th Circuit Court Prosecutor Bryan Chesshir, he believes the shooting was gang related.

 

According to the incident report, a red Dodge Charger containing several persons stopped by a residence on Washington Street in Ashdown, looking for someone who lived at the address.

 

According to Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin, they were told to leave by a relative of the person that they were looking for. Then two guests, Smith and Covington, went outside and multiple shots were fired from the vehicle, striking the two men and two parked cars.

 

When the police arrived, an eye witness provided the name of one of the occupants in the car.

 

The vehicle was stopped in Sevier County by Sevier County Sheriff's deputies and a De Queen Police officer near the city limits of De Queen, several hours after the shooting.

 

All four occupants in the car were taken into custody without further incident.

 

King is currently being held in the Little River County jail, while Winship and Wilkerson are in custody in the Sevier County jail. The juvenile is being held in the White River Detention Center near Batesville.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL APPROVES AMENDED BUDGET        7/19/17

 

Tuesday evening, the De Queen City Council met and approved an amended budget that contained several expenditures that aldermen had approved throughout the first half of the year.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said the largest expenditure was the water meter project. He said the total cost is going to be about $715,000 and the council did not budget for that project when they passed the budget earlier this year. He said the contractors have installed about 425 of the 2,500 meters, so far.

 

Police Chief Scott Simmons informed aldermen that Nevada and Lafayette counties have dropped out of the South Central Drug Task Force. He said the five remaining counties have been asked to pay an additional $2,500 of the task force's portion of a matching grant.

 

McKelvy also handed out copies of the city's water, sewer and sanitation audits. He said the audits were good, but aldermen will review them and approve them in August.

 

Aldermen also spent some time reviewing the Municipal Leagues recommendations concerning drug testing of non-CDL employees. McKevly said the council needs to consider passing a new drug testing policy before the medical marijuana issue arises.

 

Aldermen also appointed Clayton Yates and Brandon Winer to the De Queen Fire Department. 

 

 

THREE PEOPLE IN CUSTODY IN CONNECTION WITH DEATH OF MCCURTAIN COUNTY MAN          7/19/17

 

The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation announced three people are in custody and are being charged with murder in connection with the death of a McCurtain County man whose body was found in a well last week.

 

The body of 41-year-old Harold Jones was found about 15 feet down a well on Church Street off Oklahoma Highway 3 just outside of Broken Bow by a McCurtain County Sheriff's deputy, last week after he received information that a man’s may have been beaten and thrown into a well.

 

Jones had been reported missing by his sister on July 5th. She also reported his truck was missing.

 

Officers in Mount Pleasant, Texas found Jones' truck during a traffic stop. The driver informed the police that he had bought the vehicle from a guy in Clarksville, Texas on July 3rd.

 

Investigators say the information helped them locate a suspect who provided them with details that led to the discovery of Jones' body.

 

Murder in the second degree charges have been filed in the McCurtain County District Court against 42-year-old Marvin Earl Baty of Clarksville, Texas, 31-year-old Heather Melancon and 25-year-old Bo Greenwood, both of Idabel.

 

Authorities say Melancon and Greenwood were arrested on Friday and Baty was arrested on a murder warrant out of McCurtain County at his home in Clarksville.

 

Baty is currently being held in the Red River County Jail in Clarksville. Meancon and Greenwood are being held in the McCurtain County Jail. 

  

 

AARP ARKANSAS HOSTING SMART DRIVER COURSE ON SUNDAY IN LOCKESBURG    7/19/17

 

Jerry Conatser of AARP Arkansas reported insurance companies in Arkansas are required by law to give policy holders who take an AARP Smart Driving Course a discount.

 

He invited area residents to attend the AARP Defensive Driving Class that he and his wife will be hosting on Sunday, July 23rd, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Lockesburg Senior Adult Center on Hickory Street.

 

The cost is $15 for AARP members or $20 for non-AARP members. To register for the class, call 870-292-3355.

 

 

REVELS & CO. CONTRIBUTES TO LEGACY 2020 CAMPAIGN     07/19/17

 

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation has received a Legacy 2020 capital campaign donation from Greg Revels and Revels & Company Certified Public Accountants in De Queen.

 

As a result of the donation, the foyer in the Leeper Building located on the De Queen Campus will be renamed the Revels & Company CPAs Foyer.

 

“Mr. Revels and Revels & Co. have invested in our college for years, from serving on both the UA Cossatot and the UAC Foundation Boards to being a scholarship donor,” said Dustin Roberts, UA Cossatot Coordinator of Development.

 

“We hope other small business and individuals will follow Revels’ example and support enhancing the education and experience of our students.”

 

Greg Revels, owner of Revels & Co. said, “We chose to make a contribution to the Legacy 2020 campaign, because we believe in the education and economic opportunities available to our community through the college.”

 

The UA Cossatot Foundation Legacy 2020 campaign focuses on community members that wish to invest in the development of the college on all three campuses. For every donation amount, a naming opportunity exists for those who wish to leave a visible legacy in the donor’s community.

 

“One of the great aspects of the Legacy 2020 campaign is the flexibility,” said Roberts.

“We have people who invest an amount at one time and others who pay out a commitment annually.”

 

More information about the Legacy 2020 is available on the college’s website at www.cccua.edu /legacy2020.

 

 

 

TWO SEVIER COUNTY TEENS ATTEND TEEN CHEF ACADEMY     07/19/17


Two Sevier County teens, Kaylee Hames and Laci Stancil, attended the recent four-day Teen Chef Academy held in Ashdown. Sevier County Farm Bureau Federation and Sevier County Arkansas Extension Homemakers Clubs (AEHC) sponsored the girls. Area Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agents with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, including Sevier County FCS agent, Janet Cantrell, taught the class in the culinary kitchen on the Ashdown UA Cossatot Campus.

 

Eighteen teens learned basic skills such as kneading, chopping, measuring, paring, and simmering. FCS agents emphasized basic kitchen and food safety. The group was taught place setting and basic dining etiquette, which they practiced each day after making a complete meal. Some of the menu items included Pizza, Caesar Salad & Croutons, Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges, Focaccia Bread, Vanilla Ice Cream with Apple Tarts, all made from scratch. “Laci has already cooked supper two or three times,” said Laci’s mom, Julie Stancil. Each participant received a basket of cooking supplies, certificate and a personalized apron.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

 

CARVER RECEIVES TYSON SCHOLARSHIP     07/18/2017

 

 

 

Kaylea Carver of Lockesburg, AR was the 2017 recipient of the Tyson Foods, Grannis/Broken Bow Complex Grower Scholarship. Kaylea will be attending the University of AR in Fayetteville this fall with a major in biology; she is the Daughter of Tyson Contract Growers David and Miesha Carver. Tyson Foods Live Production Manager, Richard Pearce presented the $1000 check to Kaylea and her father, David Carver on July 17th. Tyson Foods applauds the educational goals of area students to achieve their chosen career paths.
 


 

 

COUNTY 4-HERS ATTEND STAR COUNTY CAMP     07/18/2017


Six Sevier County 4-H’ers assembled at Timber Lodge Ranch in Amity for the annual 4-H Star County Camp formerly Quad County Camp. The camp included 4-H’ers from Howard, Little River, Miller, Sevier and the newly added Pike County 4-H clubs.


The three-day camp consisted of classes and workshops on owls, BB shooting, tracks and furs, astrology, knot tying and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Campers also enjoyed canoeing and swimming in their down-time. Ryan’s Foundation of Glenwood was generous in giving a life jacket to each 4-H’er present.
4-H’ers attending from Sevier County included Megan Midgett, Amber Morris, Jake Sawyer, Blake Sawyer, Jake Seymour and Kaydee Cowling served as lifeguard for the camp. County Extension agents attending from Sevier County were Rex Herring, Staff Chair-Ag and Janet Cantrell-FCS.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT AT 6 P.M.       7/18/17

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy announced the De Queen City Council will be meeting this evening at 6 p.m. after canceling last week's meeting due to the lack of a quorum.

 

In a letter to the aldermen of the De Queen City Council, McKelvy reported the contractors are installing new water meters throughout the city. He said contractors must to turn off each customer’s water while they install the new meter, but the water will not be cut-off very long.

 

Tonight, aldermen will be asked to approve the mid-year budget adjustment. McKelvy said the main thing that needs to be added to the budget is the water meter project, which totals about $715,000.

 

McKelvy informed KDQN that the city had to purchase new lids for the meter boxes to increase the meter range and to provide more protection for the meter's antenna.

 

Aldermen will also consider amending the city's drug testing policy to include non-CDL employees. McKelvy presented the council with suggestions from the Arkansas Municipal League concerning this change. He said the city already does random drug tests on employees who have a commercial driver's license.

 

McKelvy said he will provide aldermen with the audit of the city's proprietary funds.

 

 

2ND ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT IS AUGUST 1ST       7/18/17

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry announced the upcoming 2nd Annual Night Out is Tuesday, August 1st at the De Queen Sportsplex from 6 to 9 p.m.

 

Gentry said the event is free for the community and nothing will be sold that night.  Gentry said his department and the De Queen Police Department are planning to hand out backpacks full of school supplies and they need the assistance of local business owners, community organizations and volunteers to help make this year's event even bigger and better than last year.

 

Gentry said he is inviting area businesses to be a part of the largest crime prevention and community building event in the country. He said businesses can provide gift certificates or small gifts for contest prizes, food donations, entertainment or supplies for the children's activity area, trinkets with their business logo on them or school supplies that will go into the backpacks.

 

Gentry said the National Night Out is an anticrime effort that has led to improved quality of life in many areas where the event has taken place.

 

Gentry said if you are interested in making a donation, contact Beth Hughes at 870-584-8227 or Dana Gentry at 870-279-0499 and the sheriff's office will make arrangements to pick up the donations.

 

 

CENTRAL FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL FISH DINNER         7/18/17

 

Central Fire Department members will be hosting their annual fish dinner on Saturday, July 29th at the Central Community Building in the Central Community beginning at 6 p.m.

 

Central volunteer firefighters, Bretny Lynch and Ginger Sutton announced this year's dinner will also feature a cake and pie auction and musical entertainment by the CrossPoint Cowboy Church band.

 

Sutton said fire district members can also pay their $25 fire dues. Lynch said the fish dinner is by donation only and they will be auctioning off cakes, pies and homemade crafts.

 

Lynch said the proceeds will be used to update equipment for fire fighters and help maintain the department's vehicles.

 

For more information, contact a member of the Central Volunteer Fire Department.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE      7/18/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the Arkansas Tax Relief and Reform Task Force met last week for the third time since it was created during the last legislative session. She said the purpose of the task force is to identify areas of potential reform within the state's tax laws and to make recommendations to the legislature for their consideration during the 2019 Regular Session.

 

Vaught said the task force is considering proposals to hire consultants to research the implications of tax overhauls in other states.

 

Vaught reported the state currently receives 37.5 percent of its revenue from the state's General Sales Tax and 23.4 percent from individual income taxes. The other 39.29 percent comes from corporate income taxes, property taxes, selective sales tax on fuel and tobacco, as well as other items.

 

Most of the states around Arkansas receive 31.3 percent of their revenue from property taxes, 23.3 percent from General Sales Tax and 22.9 percent from individual income taxes.

 

In Arkansas, personal income tax is divided into six brackets depending on a person's income. In Mississippi, the personal income tax has only three brackets and Missouri has 10 tax brackets.

 

When it comes to selective taxes, Arkansas ranks just below the U.S. median by charging almost .22 cents per gallon on motor fuel, while Tennessee charge's .25 cents a gallon, but Oklahoma only charges .17 cents.

 

One area of study for the task force will be the implementation of tax cut triggers. Vaught said tax triggers only take effect when the state's revenues meet an established threshold. Tax triggers are used by states including Missouri and North Carolina.

 

 

MEET COACH ROBERT COLLUM AT HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL       7/18/17

 

For the second time in three years, the Horatio Lions will have a new head football coach, but this season, it's a familiar face.

 

Following the resignation of Coach David Bennett, the Horatio Board of Education promoted Assistant Football Coach Robert Collum to head coach. Coach Collum said he's been coaching in the Horatio School District for seven of the last eight years.

 

Collum said the Horatio Lions will work hard and be prepared, every Friday night. He said the Lions will go back to the Flexbone offense, but convert to the 3-4 defense.

 

Collum said defensively, the Lions may be a little undersized, but they have a lot of senior leadership, he said the offense will be triggered by four-year starter, Senior Zach Izzo.

 

The Horatio Lions will start the 2017 season on the road at Dierks where Coach Collum hopes to kick-off his head coaching career with a victory.

 

 

ONE PERSON KILLED IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN ASHDOWN         7/17/17

 

One person is dead and a second is recovering after a drive-by shooting that occurred early Sunday morning in Ashdown.

 

According to the Ashdown Police Department, two people were shot around 1 a.m. Sunday on Washington Street. The victims were identified as 19-year-old Desmond Smith and 19-year-old Samari Covington.

 

Both victims were from Ashdown and they were taken to the Little River Memorial Hospital by private vehicle, where one died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The other victim was transferred to a Texarkana hospital where he was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.

 

Authorities with the De Queen Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office have detained four suspects. The suspects range in age from 17 to 22 and one suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Joshua King of De Queen. They were reportedly riding in a red Dodge Charger.

 

The suspects are believed to be residents of Sevier County, however the vehicle they were riding in, is allegedly registered to a resident in Howard County.

 

According to the Ashdown Police Department, no weapons have been found, but all four suspects are being held in the Sevier County Jail.

 

According to a press release, deputies with the Little River County Sheriff's Office and wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission assisted the Ashdown Police Department with crowd control at the hospital. Police Chief Mark Ardwin reported the body was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab in Little Rock for an autopsy. 

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL INNOVATION TAKING SHAPE         7/17/17

 

Last month, the Horatio School District was informed by the Arkansas Board of Education that their School of Innovation application had been approved.

 

Superintendent Lee Smith said the district is now working to design the district's school of innovation on the high school campus. He also introduced Lisa Kraus as the district's School of Innovation facilitator.

 

Monday morning, Kraus said the goal is to make school more relevant and fun.

 

7th grade English teacher, Becky Fawcett said the new program will help some students be workforce ready when they graduate from high school or be better prepared for college.

 

Kraus described Horatio's new schedule as a flex-mod schedule, which includes eight-25 minute mods. She said students who need extra help will be able to receive individual learning time during their pod time.

 

Fawcett said it will allow teachers to help students who are struggling, because they will actually be in the classroom more.

 

Kraus and Fawcett said the new School of Innovation will be a work in progress. However, Kraus said the elementary will not be using the flex-mod schedule, but they will be doing more blended-learning, which uses on-line resources.

 

If you have any questions about the Horatio School District's new School of Innovation, contact Kraus at the high school 870-832-1900.

 

 

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL MEETING       7/17/17

 

Aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council approved the purchase of a freezer for the Lockesburg Senior Citizens Center, but tabled a request for the city to make a monetary donation to the center.

 

Last week, Frances Brakeville attended the Lockesburg City Council meeting on behalf of the Lockesburg Senior Adult Center. She reported the center was receiving donations of meat for the Lockesburg Meals for Seniors project and they needed a freezer to store the food.

 

Council members voted to purchase a freezer and donate it to the center, but Brakeville also asked the council to make a monetary donation to the center, which the aldermen tabled until their August meeting.

 

Aldermen heard a report from Robin Rice of the A.L. Franks Engineering firm in Texarkana. She stated the city was waiting on verification from the railroad company concerning the height of the walking bridge before they start the sidewalk project.

 

Rice also presented a bid from RBIS, LLC in the amount of $395,959 for the city's Waste Water project. Aldermen voted to accept the bid, but the approval is contingent on the approval of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

 

Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth gave the council report about the city's Fireworks in the Park program. She said there were more vendors this year and they had a wonderful fireworks display.

 

Aldermen voted to seek bids for the renovation of the Lockesburg Library, including the replacement of a door to the mayor's office.

 

Aldermen were also informed that the city's Water-Sewer audit contained no instances for non-compliance.

 

   

STATE EARNS OVER $57 MILLION DOLLARS ON INVESTMENTS       7/17/17

 

Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan reported the state treasury department earned $57.5 million dollars on its investment of more than $3 billion dollars during the past year, which is most the state has earned in about a decade.

 

In 2016, Arkansas' treasury earned $48.9 million dollars.

 

According to records from Milligan's office, the treasury had an average of $3.4 billion dollars to invest this past fiscal year, which was up from $3.2 billion during the 2016 fiscal year and $2.8 billion during the 2015 fiscal year.

 

Milligan's office says the investments include $3.28 billion in bonds, about $277,500 in demand accounts and about $155,000 in money market accounts.

 

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN SIX STATES READY TO CRACKDOWN ON SPEEDING VIOLATORS       7/17/17

 

Law enforcement authorities in Arkansas and five other states will concentrate their patrol assignments on speeding violations this coming weekend.

 

"Obey the sign or pay the fine," is a multijurisdictional enforcement operation plan that is designed to crack down on speeding offenses and make highway travel safer across, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

 

According to the latest data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. during 2015. More than 9,500 lives were lost in speed related accidents. In Arkansas, there were 531 total traffic fatalities, of which 17 percent were speed related.

 

Federal highway safety experts consider a motor vehicle accident to be speed related if the driver is charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or if the driver was driving too fast for conditions at the time of the crash.

 

The risk of a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality as on a road with a 45 to 50 mph speed limit.

 

The Arkansas State Police released a notice that during the "Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine" operation, state troopers will intensify their speed enforcement patrols and will ticket anyone caught speeding.

 

 

BAD CREDIT CAN MEAN HIGHER AUTO INSURANCE RATES      7/17/17

 

If you have a good driving record but think your car insurance is too high, a new survey says your credit score could be the problem. A report by the online marketing firm WalletHub found five of the largest insurance companies that write auto policies use credit ratings as a factor in determining insurance premiums. And the difference between good credit and bad can be substantial, in Arkansas, a low credit score can increase premiums as much as 73 percent.

 

WalletHub's Jill Gonzalez explains low credit doesn't mean companies think a person is more likely to be in an accident.

 

The report shows the effect a credit score can have on the cost of an auto policy varies widely. Gonzalez says they found companies such as Farmers and Allstate weigh credit scores heavily in calculating premiums, while for GEICO and Progressive, low credit is much less of a factor.

 

She says costs also vary between states. The survey found bad credit in New Jersey can raise rates as much as 100 percent, while in California, poor credit adds very little to the cost of a policy. Some critics say using credit scores to rate policies can unfairly raise insurance rates for lower-income families and communities of color.

 

Gonzales says avoiding accidents and tickets will do the most to keep insurance rates down. But paying bills on time can help, too.

 

She says some companies are more transparent than others about how they use credit scores. Check the fine print on an insurer's website or call the company and ask them directly.

 

 

STATE TEST SCORES ARE UP          7/17/17

 

According to state education officials, Arkansas' third through 10th graders scored higher on the state-required ACT Aspire tests this spring than they did in 2016.

 

More than 287,500 students participated in the state's testing program for the second year by taking an online test in English, math, science, reading and writing.

 

Results showed students improved in most grades and subjects, except for sixth grade science, fifth grade English and third grade writing.

 

Education officials said students in sixth and eighth grade improved in math while students in fourth through eight grade improved in writing.

 

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key said the scores are a positive reflection of the work that is being done by local educators.

 

But, he said there is still room for improvement and the results will be used to develop academic improvement plans for students who didn't score the ready or better levels on any of the tests.

 

Arkansas is currently using the ACT Aspire testing program to comply with the federal Every Child Succeeds Act, which calls for states to hold schools and their district's accountable for student learning.

 

 

 

 

BODY RECOVERED IN MCCURTAIN COUNTY THAT OF MISSING OKLAHOMA MAN        7/14/17

 

A body has been recovered from a well in McCurtain County off Oklahoma Highway 3 just outside of Broken Bow.

 

Divers and other members of the Broken Bow Fire Department's rescue team worked Thursday afternoon and into the evening to get the remains out of an old well on Church Street.

 

Authorities have yet to say whether the discovery is related to the disappearance of a man who was reported missing last week. But, according to the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office, a deputy found the body shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday about 15 feet down in the well.

 

Authorities with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation say the body may have been beaten and thrown into the well, but no motive has been determined at this time.

 

Investigators think the remains could be those of 41-year-old Harold Jones, whose sister reported him missing on July 5th. She told law enforcement that she hadn't seen him since June 29th in the Broken Bow-Idabel area. She also reported his truck was missing.

 

According to authorities, Jones' truck was stopped in Mount Pleasant, Texas on July 8th. The driver told police he had bought the truck from a guy on July 3rd in Clarksville, Texas. Authorities say that information led investigators to a person who provided them with details that led to the body in the well.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SHOOTING SPORTS BOOSTER CLUB HOLDING CLEAN UP DAY AT SHOOTING RANGE         7/14/17

 

JP Atkins of the Sevier County Shooting Sports Booster Club announced this morning that the club will be conducting a clean up day at the shooting range on Saturday.

 

Atkins said they will be changing the locks and handing out ID cards to all booster club members. He said it's $35 for current members and $45 for new members.

 

Atkins said club members are also selling chance for a rifle. He said they will give the rifle away by the end of the Sevier County Fair.

 

Atkins said if you would like to help clean up the shooting range or join the booster club, stop by the shooting range tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. The shooting range is located on Highway 71 across from Avon Cemetery.

 

 

LOENBRO ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES TO HOLD A BENEFIT GOLF TOURNAMENT FOR TRACY STEWARD SATURDAY, JULY 22        7/14/17

 

Shane Haarmeyer of Loenbro Environmental Services announced Friday morning that the employees of the company have planned a benefit golf tournament for Tracy Steward. He said the benefit will be held at the De Queen Country Club on Saturday, July 22nd and there's going to be an auction, live music, a gun give away, chicken lunches and fish dinners.

 

He said registration for the golf tournament is at 7 a.m. on the 22nd and there will be two flights. One flight will tee-off at 8 a.m. and the other flight will tee-off about 1 p.m. Haarmeyer said it is a four-man scramble and the entry fee is $200 per team.

 

He also said there's going to be prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin and every golfer will receive a certificate for a free golf club.

 

Haarmeyer said the cost of the lunches and dinners are by donation only, but they are selling chances for the gun give away for $5 each or 5 tickets for $20 dollars.

 

For more information, visit the website www.tracystewardbenefit.com or the Facebook page Tracy Steward Benefit.

 

  

ACTIVITY REPORT FOR SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE      7/14/17

 

Thursday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry released the monthly activity report for the deputies of Sevier County Sheriff's office.

 

Gentry reported deputies conducted a total of 268 traffic stops, issued 256 warnings and wrote 16 citations, while patrolling a total of 26,052 miles throughout the county. He said they also worked 26 accidents and made 24 arrests.

 

Gentry said a total of 93 inmates were booked into the county jail and June’s community service took place around the jail because the Community Service Deputy was attending the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy in Camden.

 

Gentry also said several identity theft type of complaints have been made to his office and some county residents have reported their debit or credit card was used outside the immediate area. Gentry is encouraging county residents to keep an eye on their financial accounts to make sure there hasn't been any unauthorized use.

 

 

UA HOPE-TEXARKANA ADDS MOBILE WELDING CLASSROOM       7/14/17

 

The University of Arkansas at Hope-Texarkana recently added a mobile welding classroom to the methods of instruction that is being offered by the college.

 

The mobile welding classroom was fabricated from a 26-foot enclosed aluminum trailer by UA Hope-Texarkana welding instructors Charlie Scoggins and Eddie Thomas. The trailer is equipped with eight Miller Trailblazer 325 welders, individual workstations, and all of the required safety equipment.

 

The mobile classroom will be used to offer three types of welding instruction: MIG, TIG and SMAW/Stick welding, on location at high schools, industry, and for the general public.

 

UA Hope-Texarkana offers several welding certificate programs, some of which prepare students for jobs in as little as six weeks.

 

The mobile welding classroom is part of the Workforce Initiative Act of 2015 Regional Workforce Grant Program.

 

Five community colleges within the University of Arkansas System formed a workforce alliance to address workforce needs in the regions that are served by these colleges.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: SNAPCHAT SCARE      7/14/17

 

With Snapchat releasing a new tracking feature for their app, users need to be aware of some new risks. Snapchat is a mobile messaging app that allows users to send and receive pictures that are displayed on screen for, at most, 10 seconds. The new update Snap Map now allows Snapchat friends to track others' locations when the app is open.

 

Although the update was only introduced recently, GPS  tracking apps are already concerning law enforcement officials because of the potential safety issues. Officials worry that location-based services on apps make children and teens more vulnerable to predators. Snapchat has also implemented a Ghost Mode for users to hide from the map feature which can be turned on by pinching the screen when the camera is open in the app, tap the settings icon in the top right corner and swipe to enable the feature.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to protect children from online predators: She recommends parents talk to their children about the potential dangers online, utilize parental controls and blocking software on mobile devices, tell children to keep their passwords, pictures and personal information to themselves, remind children to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they first met online, teach them to not post anything online that they would not want others to see, help them to remember people they meet online are not always who they say they are, tell them not to respond to inappropriate messages, encourage them to tell someone if they ever encounter a problem online and consider disabling all location-based services on mobile devices.

 

The Attorney General's office is hosting an internet safety webcast on Wednesday, August 2nd. Rutledge's office also provides a technology tip card for consumers, information for parents on how to spot cyberbullying and a parent's guide to internet safety.

 

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

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS BEING ACCEPTED FOR CULVERT PROJECT IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      7/14/17

 

A proposed amendment to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's Statewide Transportation Improvement Program for the federal fiscal years of 2016 through 2020 is now available for public comment.

 

The amendment would add a new project to the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, by replacing a drainage structure for Hurricane Creek on state Highway 234 to the west of Winthrop in Little River County with a concrete box culvert. The structure was damaged during flooding events.

 

The public is invited to review and comment on the amendment's contents by July 27th. The proposed amendment may be reviewed at the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department office, The State Clearinghouse or the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District Office. For more information or to request a copy of the amendment by mail, call the department of transportation's Program Management Division at 501-569-2262.

 

Comments should be mailed to Program Management Division, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, P.O. Box 2261, Little Rock, AR 72203.

 

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO OPEN THREE POLLING SITES FOR SPECIAL SCHOOL ELECTION IN DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT        7/13/17

 

Thursday morning, the three commissioners of the Sevier County Election Commission met to conduct business concerning the upcoming September 19th Special School Elections in Sevier County.

 

Commissioner Barbara Hoyt informed KDQN that the Horatio School District's school election will be held by early and absentee voting only because there are no contested Board of Education races in the district.

 

Hoyt said the commission voted to open three polling sites for the De Queen School District's school election, in which district voters will consider a proposed 4.9 mill increase for the construction of a new high school. She said the commission will open one polling site in De Queen at the Church of Christ, one in Gillham and one in Lockesburg.

 

De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill and board president, Randy Hedge attended the commissioner's meeting and Hill stated the district was in support of the commissioner’s decision.

 

 

DIERKS RESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO RAPE       7/13/17

 

A Dierks man plead guilty to rape Tuesday in the Howard County Circuit Court.

 

Tuesday, 48-year-old Howard Clinton Holder changed his plea to guilty on the charge of rape and he must now register as a sex offender.

 

According to court records, Holder was convicted of an incident that occurred on May 1st of 2014 after a minor female reported there had been multiple encounters that continued for several months.

 

Holder was sentenced to 30-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with 5-years suspended. The state also dismissed an amended charge of incent in exchange for Holder's guilty plea.

 

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION DENIES STUDENT TRANSFER REQUEST        7/13/17

 

Members of the Foreman Board of Education denied a student's transfer request to the Horatio School District during a special called meeting on June 29th.

 

Board members approved the amended high school handbooks and approved the technology consultant contract for Bill Brown.

 

Following an executive session, board members voted to hire Jennifer Sanders as an elementary teacher and Pam Smiley as the GT facilitator. They also accepted the resignation of high school teacher, Gail Wade.

 

 

DRIVER WALKED AWAY FROM ACCIDENT        7/13/17

 

Early Sunday, July 9th, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a single vehicle accident on De Queen Lake Road near the Glen Canyon Park entrance.

 

When Deputy Matt Webb arrived, he discovered a gold Chevy Impala sitting in the parking lot with some heavy damage to the front of the vehicle after striking the retaining wall of the parking lot. The front and rear passenger tires and rims were also broken off the vehicle.

 

Webb noted the vehicle was locked but no one was around.

 

Webb estimated the vehicle skidded over 262 feet in the north bound lane ditch before striking the retaining wall. He also estimated the vehicle traveled another 70 feet before it came to a stop.

 

Witnesses reported the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed on the De Queen Lake Road. They described the driver as being a white male with sandy red or blond hair. They said he was about 6 feet tall and was wearing a gray short sleeve shirt and tan shorts.

 

Deputy Nicole Neely went to the residence of the car owner and they her that their husband had driven the car to town but had not returned yet.

 

About 5:30 Sunday afternoon, 44-year-old Jamie Baker contacted the sheriff's office and informed Deputy Webb that he had left the scene of the accident because he was disoriented. Baker said the vehicle was pulling to the right and he lost control causing him to struck the retaining wall.

 

Baker was cited for leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage. He will appear in the Sevier County District Court in August.

 

 

HORATIO SOFTBALL SCOREBOARD FUND       7/13/17

 

Horatio High School Head Softball Coach Dustin Bakenhus announced the softball team is raising funds for a new scoreboard for Lady Lion Yard.

 

Bakenhus said the current scoreboard has been there for over 25 years and he wants to upgrade the field with a 15X25 foot scoreboard. He said it won't be cheap, but it will be something the community will be proud of.

 

Bakenhus explained they’re building an elite team in Horatio and he doesn't feel they should settle for average, even in their equipment and facilities. He said Lady Lion Yard is an incredible place to watch softball and he wants it to be one of the premier softball fields in Arkansas.

 

To make a donation, Bakenhus said you can contact him at 870-784-1090 or contact the Horatio High School. He said you can also contact them through the Lady Lion Softball Facebook page.

 

Bakenhus said he hopes everyone will help them create a special atmosphere for the Lady Lions to play and he hopes everyone will come out and watch them play.

 

 

 

BATES INTRODUCED AS NEW OUTLAW HEAD FOOTBALL COACH       7/13/17

 

Following the resignation of Vince Perrin after one season at Dierks High School, the Dierks Board of Education hired Jonathan Bates as the new head football coach.

 

Bates said he was familiar with the 7-2A conference and its tradition of being brutal in football.

 

Bates said his philosophy was to focus on the fundamentals and hard work. He said as far as Xs and Os. He plans to play power football and run right at their opponents, while playing gap control defense.

 

The Outlaws will open the 2017 season at home against the Horatio Lions. 

  

 

UPCOMING AREA BLOOD DRIVES         7/13/17

 

LifeShare Blood Centers announced they will be conducting several blood drives in the area over the next several weeks to help eliminate the current blood supply shortage.

 

This Saturday, July 15th, LifeShare will hold a blood drive at the Tractor Supply in Ashdown from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

On Monday, July 17th, LifeShare will hold a blood drive at the De Queen Medical Center in De Queen from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and at the De Queen Wal-Mart from 4 to 7 p.m.

 

LifeShare will also be holding a blood drive at the Domtar mill in Ashdown on Monday, July 17th from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

LifeShare Blood Center officials stated a blood supply shortage always seems to happen during the summer months, due to fewer donations, however the usage remains constant. Therefore, LifeShare officials are asking local residents to please donate at one of the blood drives.

 

Officials say an average blood donation takes about 30 minutes to an hour and could save up to three lives.

 

For more information, visit the website www.lifeshare.org or call 903-794-3173.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT HEARS PRESENTATION ABOUT CODE RED EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM         7/12/17

 

Monday afternoon, members of the Sevier County Quorum Court listened to a presentation from Jill Mason of the Code Red Emergency Notification System.

 

Mason informed the Quorum Court the Code Red system would notify county residents of severe weather, if they signed-up on-line for the weather notifications. She also stated the system could be modified to meet other needs in the county, or participating cities.

 

Mason reported the Code Red system would cost the county $7,101 per year.

 

JPs passed a resolution supporting the Sevier County Airport Commission. Sevier County Judge Greg Ray stated the quorum court was required to pass the resolution so the airport board could receive a grant from the FAA. JPs then approved a request from the airport for the appropriation of those grant funds. Ray said the funds will be used to rehab the west apron at the airport.

 

After discussing several different options, Ray said the Quorum Court voted to appropriate $15,000 for the repair of the generator at the Sevier County jail.

 

Ray said the JPs then approved the formation of a County Jail Committee and appointed Quorum Court members Roger Whitmore, Michael Archer and Greg Wright to the committee.

 

JPs also approved appropriations for the purchase of two portable radios, an air conditioning unit and a new computer for the county jail.

 

Sheriff Robert Gentry reported Homeland Security will reimburse the county for the cost of the radios and the replacement cost of the A/C unit and the computer will be reimbursed by the county's insurance company.

 

Quorum Court members also appointed Jemna Stinnett to the County Equalization Board to represent the county schools.

 

 

MAN WHO DISCONNECTED A TRAIN CAR WAS SENTENCED THIS WEEK          7/12/17

 

The man who hopped on a Kansas City Southern freight train in Texarkana and rode to Winthrop before disconnecting a train car was sentenced to probation in the Little River County Circuit Court by Ninth Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan.

 

31-year-old Robert Andrew Foster changed his plea to guilty and will be required to pay $3,950 in restitution for damages to the train. Foster was also sentenced to 36-months probation. He was also ordered to pay a $750 fine, $200 in court costs, a $20 booking fee, $250 for a DNA sample fee and the $250 public defender attorney fee.

 

According to the incident report, Foster rode the train 40 miles from Texarkana to Winthrop on March 4th.

 

The conductor said the train was traveling north and abruptly came to a stop because the brakes locked up. KCS authorities reported when they inspected the rail cars, they saw a silhouette of an individual looking out of one of the cars.

 

Foster told the Little River County Sheriff's office that he disconnected the train because it was going too fast for him to jump off.

 

The disconnected section of the train stopped about a mile north of Alleene, while the rest of the train continued north about six-miles near Winthrop. 

 

 

OUTLAW KICKOFF THIS SATURDAY IN DIERKS HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA       7/12/17

 

The Dierks Athletic Booster Club will be hosting the second annual Outlaw Kickoff Special on Saturday at 6 p.m. in the High School Cafeteria. Kiero Small, a former Razorback will be the guest speaker. Booster Club President Jason Icenhower says the event will also include a meet and greet for the new coaches on staff.

 

Brian Fox is a member of the Outlaw Athletic Booster Club and he said they still have some gun raffle tickets to sell.

 

All funds raised at the event will be used to support Outlaw athletics.

 

 

CORPS REMINDS RESIDENTS THAT HIGHWAY 32 ACROSS MILLWOOD DAM TO CLOSE JULY 16 FOR INSPECTION       7/12/17

 

Corps of Engineers officials are reminding residents that Highway 32 across Millwood Lake will close at 7 a.m. and will remain closed until 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 16th while the gate conduits at the base of the spillway are inspected. During the inspection, a crane and other heavy equipment will block the bridge across the spillway.

 

The closure has been coordinated with local emergency and law enforcement agencies. Officials from the Corps of Engineers Millwood Office said they regret any inconvenience this may cause. They ask motorists to drive slowly on the alternate route because some drivers may not be familiar with the roads, and they are urging motorists to plan around the closing and allow extra time to reach their destinations. 

 

People traveling on Highway 32 west toward Ashdown, will not be allowed beyond the Beard's Bluff Park turnoff. For those traveling east from Ashdown, the road will be closed beyond the Millwood State Park.

 

For more information, call the 870-898-3343.

 

 

SECOND ANNUAL DE QUEEN AND EASTERN - TEXAS, OKLAHOMA AND EASTERN RAILROAD GATHERING IS SATURDAY        7/12/17

 

The Second Annual De Queen and Eastern - Texas, Oklahoma and Eastern Railroad Gathering is Saturday, July 15th from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Blue Rooster restaurant in Hochatown, Oklahoma.

 

Friends, family, retirees, current Patriot Rail and Weyerhaeuser friends of the railroad are all welcome to attend.

 

The DQE was chartered on September 22, 1900 and the extension to the TOE at Valliant was added in 1910. The DQE-TOE had been in operation for over 100 years and it was once known as the biggest little railroad in the south. It is now the Patriot Railroad.

 

The gathering is Dutch treat and everyone can order off the menu. There will be door prizes and if you have a door prize to give away, take it to the event.

 

According to gathering organizers, more than 75 people attend last year's event and they are expecting over a hundred this year.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - DEANN VAUGHT        7/12/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported many states are facing budget shortfalls for the first time since the end of the recession, however, Arkansas is not one of them.

 

Vaught said 22 states are addressing budget shortfalls, but the state of Arkansas ended the fiscal year with a surplus of $15.7 million dollars. She said this is the seventh year in a row that the state has ended with a surplus.

 

According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, the state's gross general revenue totaled $6.5 billion dollars in 2017. They reported after tax refunds and special expenditures, the net general revenue totaled $5.3 billion, which is $19 million dollars below last year.

 

Vaught reported the state received $3.2 billion dollars from individual income taxes, which was $66.5 million more than last year. The state received $2.33 billion from the sales and use tax, which was $48 million dollars more than last year. But, the state only received $4.3 billion from the corporate income taxes, which was $52.9 million less than last year.

 

Vaught said these numbers tell legislators that the residents of Arkansas are doing better financially this year than they were last year. She said they also show them where the legislature can improve policies that help ensure families continue to get the services that they need without being overburdened by taxes.

 

 

LOTTERY EXCEEDS FISCAL YEAR PROJECTIONS     7/12/17

 

The numbers are in and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery beat projections for June, and has come in well over budget for its fiscal year, according to a new report that was released to the Arkansas Legislature's Lottery Oversight Committee.

 

That means more money for lottery-funded scholarships for Arkansas students. While budgeting for $80.0 million, the lottery actually made $85,277,000 in total proceeds for the fiscal year, which is a difference of more than $4.3 million dollars.

 

Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley said there is still room for improvement, but the lottery commission is pleased with the numbers. He said by keeping the Arkansas lottery fun for the players, they were able to maximize the revenue for the Arkansas college scholarship fund.

 

Larry Walther of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration stated these numbers are good news for any Arkansas student who hopes to receive a lottery-funded scholarship.

 

 

DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT PROPOSED MILLAGE INCREASE MONDAY NIGHT        7/11/17

 

Monday, De Queen resident, John Hickel presented the De Queen Board of Education with 11 questions about the board's proposed millage increase. Board president, Randy Hedge then addressed those questions Monday night during the board’s regular monthly meeting.

 

One of the first questions that Hickel asked was about the estimated cost of building a new high school. Hedge reported the total cost of the project is estimated at $14.2 million dollars. He said the state awarded the district $1.7 million dollars, the district is using $1.1 million from the district's general fund and then $11.8 million from the proposed millage increase.

 

Hickel stated the estimated cost of the new high school last year was $12 million dollars and he asked why the new estimate was over $14 million. Hedge stated construction costs have gone up in the past year and he used the Middle School roof as an example.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill reported the cost of metal roof for the Middle School building was estimated at $600,000 last year, but this year the cost is closer to $750,000.

 

Hill also reported the district will be repairing the roof on the 9th Street gym after a tree limb fell on the building last week, causing significant damage.

 

Board members also accepted the resignations of Sarah Matlock and Derrek and Keisha Aynes. They also voted to hire JonDavid Amerson to be the defensive coordinator for the high school football team, De Queen native Bryan Shelton as a junior high coach and science teacher, Ashley Shelton as the RTI coordinator at the Middle School and Krystal Minchew as the GT coordinator.

 

Board members also approved Hill's recommendation to pay bus drivers $50 for each unused sick day at the end of the school year.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen Board of Education is Monday, August 7th at 5 p.m. in the administration building.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING A BREAK-IN ON THE ASHDOWN CAMPUS OF UA COSSATOT       7/11/17

 

According to the Little River County Sheriff's Office, a suspect triggered a surveillance camera Sunday night on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot during an apparent break-in.

 

Officials with UA Cossatot and the sheriff's office took inventory Monday of items that may be missing, but Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said there isn't much to steal from a college campus, but the suspect did several thousand dollars worth of damage to the building.

 

Cole reported the security cameras provide a clear photo of the suspect and authorities have a good description of a suspect as he is seen moving the camera and switching it from night mode to day mode.

 

Cole said the worst part is, the suspect cost the residents of Arkansas and Little River County money, because they damaged a state building.

 

If you have information concerning this incident, contact the Little River County Sheriff's Office at 870-898-5115 or the Ashdown Police Department at 870-898-5640. 

 

 

2017 SEVIER COUNTY FAIR PAGEANT AND TALENT CONTEST     7/11/17

 

Linda Frachiseur of the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo Committee announced registration is underway for the 2017 Sevier County Fair Pageant and Talent Contest. Click Here for a Registration Packet

 

Frachiseur said this year's pageant will feature eight age categories including Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Miss and Little Miss and four age categories for boys including, Little Mister Tiny Baby, Little Mister Baby, Little Mister Petite and Little Mister.

 

The winner of the Fair Queen and Princess divisions will represent Sevier County in the State Fair competition. The Little Miss winner and the runner-up in the Queen and Princess divisions will represent the county at the District Fair in Hope.

 

Frachiseur said contestants can sign up by picking up a registration form at the KDQN studios or at the First State Bank in De Queen. Fair board members will also be at the fairgrounds on Friday, July 21st to accept applications.

 

Frachiseur said there will also be a junior and senior division talent contest. The winners will represent the county at the state fair and the runner-up winners will represent Sevier County at the district fair.

 

The entry fee is $40 for the pageant and $20 to enter the talent contest. Frachiseur said there are other optional categories that are $5 each.

 

For more information, call 870-584-9592, Stephanie Haarmeyer at 870-784-0133 or Katrina Frachiseur at 870-642-5569.

 

  

DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR PAROLE VIOLATIONS        7/11/17

 

Friday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb was contacted by officers with the Arkansas Department of Probation and Parole concerning a parolee that lived on Chapel Hill Road in De Queen.

 

When Webb arrived, Officers Philip Ray and Mark Herndon informed him that while conducting a home visit with 54-year-old James Burton Culp they discovered a couple of parole violations.

 

According to the officer’s report, they found a 10-22 long rifle in Culp's bedroom, along with a prescription bottle that contained suspected methamphetamine and a set of digital scales that had suspected meth residue on them.

 

Culp was arrested and taken to the Sevier County jail. While being interviewed by Webb, Culp reportedly stated the rifle belonged to his mother and he didn't know who the drugs and scales belonged to.

 

Culp was charged with possession of a firearm by a certain person and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in the Sevier County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

  

 

11TH ANNUAL TWO RIVERS MUSEUM GALA IS SATURDAY, AUGUST 5TH        7/11/17

 

The Two Rivers Museum in Ashdown is having their 11th Annual Two Rivers Museum GALA on Saturday, August 5th at the Texarkana Country Club and Cole Vosbury of Shreveport will provide the entertainment.

 

The doors will open at 5 p.m. and the event will start at 6. Everyone should wear Black or White or a combination of the two. Tickets for the event are $50 each and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at the Two Rivers Museum, the Castle Antiques and Heavenly Sweets Flower Boutique in Ashdown.

 

Vosbury is a singer-songwriter and he competed on the fifth season of NBC's The Voice in 2013, where his instrumental versatility and ability to infuse any song in any style with a sweet country funkiness made him a fan favorite. Vosbury made it to the semifinals that year and six of this singles from his Voice experience hit the Billboard download chart.

 

The Texarkana Country Club is located at One Country Club Lane in Texarkana, Arkansas. For more information, call 870-898-7200.

 

 

SENATOR BOOZMAN VISITS UA COSSATOT        7/10/17

 

Friday afternoon, U.S. Senator John Boozman toured the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot and visited with Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole.

 

Dr. Cole reported UA Cossatot has four-campuses in De Queen, Ashdown, Nashville and now, Lockesburg and they operate those campuses with the third smallest budget in the state.

 

Cole also informed Boozman that UA Cossatot has the third highest graduation rate in the state. When Boozman asked what Cossatot was doing to maintain such a high graduation rate. Cole explained the college hired full-time enrollment specialists to help students from registration to graduation. He said they also instituted mandatory attendance and the college created Education Resource Centers on the De Queen, Nashville, and Ashdown campuses where students can receive tutoring.

 

Boozman also asked Cole about the college's public-private partnerships with companies, like Domtar in Ashdown.

 

Cole said Domtar has been a partner of Cossatots for the past 12 years. He said they have donated over $1 million dollars to the college to help fund and develop the college's Industrial Technology Department.

 

Cole said students who graduate from Cossatot with an Industrial Technology degree can apply for well-paying jobs with Ashgrove Cement, Tyson, CertianTeed, Weyerhaeuser, Pilgrim's Pride, and Husqvarna.

Cole told Boozman that many former Vo-Tech schools have distanced themselves from their roots by embracing more liberal arts programs, but Cossatot is embracing its roots and providing students with the skills they need to get good paying jobs.

 

Following a tour of the De Queen campus, Boozman told KDQN there were a lot of issues that need to be addressed, but he was pleased with Cossatot. He even said Cossatot is a model for other 2-year colleges.

 

Dr. Cole also asked Boozman to consider making the summer pell program a permanent part of the federal budget, which would allow students to receive Federal Pell Grants, so they can attend summer sessions, and graduate on time.

 

 

45TH ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL IS AUGUST 4TH AND 5TH       7/10/17

 

Dierks Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Jerry Mounts informed KDQN that the 45th annual Pine Tree Festival is August 4th and 5th. He said they expect 40 or more vendors, selling everything from food to homemade crafts.

 

Mounts said there will be a lot of activities for kids, including free bounce houses, a train ride, and a sawdust scramble. He said the chamber offers has many activities as they can for free, so area families can attend the Pine Tree Festival and have a good time. Mounts also said the lumberjack events will start about noon on Saturday, August 5th.

 

Friday night will feature the mini bull riding event. Mounts said the cost to attend Friday night's event is just $5 for anyone 7 and up.

 

Then Saturday night's bull riding event will feature the cowboys of the Cowboy Bull Riding Association in Weatherford, Texas and the bull fighters of the Professional Bull Riding Association. Mounts said the cost is $10 for anyone 13 and up, $5 for 7 to 12 year olds and anyone 6 and under is free.

 

Mounts said the chamber will also be drawing for $500 on Friday and Saturday night.

 

For more information about the 45th annual Pine Tree Festival, call the Dierks City Hall at 870-286-2671.

 

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL URGING FCC TO ADOPT RULES CONCERNING ROBOCALLS      7/10/17

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is urging the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules that would allow telephone providers to block illegal robocalls that use Caller ID spoofing technology.

 

The FCC has requested public comments on rules that would allow providers to block several types of spoofed calls, in which a call appears to be coming from one number but is actually coming from a different number. Rutledge's office reported they routinely receive reports about scammers using spoofed numbers to hide their identity so they can trick consumers into believing that their calls are legitimate. 

 

Regulatory roadblocks currently prevent telecommunications companies from blocking many illegal robocalls. If the new rules are adopted, providers would be allowed to block calls coming from invalid numbers, unallocated numbers and numbers whose owners have requested to be blocked.

 

The letter supports the FCC's proposal to remove the regulatory roadblocks and raises the alarm that these types of calls are growing in number with many of them coming from overseas, making it increasingly difficult to locate and prosecute the offenders.

 

Rutledge's consumer alert this week warned against a scam that is using Caller ID spoofing technology. The Arkansas Department of Human Services has received at least four reports of a scammer calling Medicaid Savings Program clients claiming to work for DHS. The caller reportedly asks questions about the client's insurance then asks for their credit card number to continue their service or they offer other special discounts through the program, but they request a $500 processing fee.

 

Rutledge has been joined on the bipartisan letter by attorneys general from 29 other states, including Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

 

 

RAIN HAMPERED CONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAY 41 BRIDGE      7/10/17

 

Last week, flooding on the Little River hampered work on the state Highway 41 bridge near the border of Little River and Sevier counties, but now construction is back to full speed ahead.

 

District 3 engineer for the Arkansas Highway Department stated the rain slowed the work down, but construction is back underway. He said the project is about 29 percent complete.

 

The Highway 41 bridge is a $15 million project that is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

 

The new bridge will be two feet longer than the existing bridge and it will be 40 feet wider, with two 12-foot lanes and eight-foot shoulders. The existing bridge was built in 1961.

 

The original bridge is about half a mile long and links Sevier County on the north side to Little River County on the south side. About 2,200 vehicles travel across the bridge daily.     

 

 

SOME ROADS REMAIN CLOSED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY     7/7/17

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced Thursday afternoon that several roads were still closed in the county due to the amount of rain that fell this week. He said the roads that are still closed include: Little River County roads 62, 1 and 129.

 

Cranford said the list continues to change throughout the day. He said some roads will be passable and some will remain impassable.

 

Cranford said he appreciated the patience of county residents and reminded them not to drive through water that is over the roadway. He said for more information, visit the website IDriveArkansas.com.

  

 

DIERKS PINE TREE FESTIVAL 5K COLOR RUN        7/7/17

 

The 45th annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks is less than a month away, but event organizers are already signing up participates for the first ever Pine Tree Festival 5K Color Run, which will be held on Saturday morning, August 5th.

 

Ashley Turner of the Dierks Chamber of Commerce said the registration fee is $25 if you sign up by July 21st. She said you can pick up a registration form from several locations in Dierks, De Queen, Nashville or you may print a registration form from the KDQN.net website.

 

Turner said the proceeds will benefit both the Howard County Foster Association and the Dierks Chamber of Commerce, but for more information, you can contact her or Ashley Janes.

 

Turner said runners will leave the Dierks City Park and run to the high school and back.

 

She also said medals will be presented in eight age divisions.

 

For more information, about the Dierks Pine Tree Festival Color Run 5K, call Turner at 870-451-3642.

  

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT        7/7/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the legislature passed a bill that's designed to increase the amount of locally grown food that is purchased by the state.

 

Vaught said the Local Food, Farms and Jobs Act sets a goal for all state agencies, colleges, and universities that receive $25,000 from the state for the purchase of food. The goal is that by 2018, 10 percent of all food purchased by an agency be either grown or packaged in Arkansas. The goal increases to 20 percent in the following years.

 

This summer, the legislature is also inviting state residents to increase the amount of local food that they purchase by visiting an area farmers' market.

 

Farmers' markets connect consumers with where and how their food is grown. They also create economic opportunities for producers and help draw young people back to rural communities.

 

There are over 400 local makers and producers who sell their produce across the state. From Arkansas strawberries to locally made honey, Arkansans can purchase a variety of produce practically grown in their backyard.

 

Farmers' markets also foster appreciation for Arkansas's farms and ranches.

 

One study shows that shoppers have three times as many social and informational encounters at farmer's markets than at national chain grocery stores.

 

They also help the local economy. Growers selling locally create 13 full-time jobs per $1 million in revenue they earn. Those not selling locally only create three jobs.

 

Locally owned retailers, such as farmers' markets, return three times as much of their sales to the local economy as their chain competitors and 25 percent of farmers' market vendors derive their sole source of income from the market.

 

The Sevier County Farmers' Market is open every Wednesday from 7 a.m. to about 11 a.m. and every Saturday from 7 a.m. to about 2 p.m. at the park pavilion in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.

  

 

BENEFIT SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT FOR EAGLETOWN BASEBALL     7/7/17

 

Mike and Kyle Willis announced they will be hosting a benefit co-ed softball tournament on Saturday, July 15th at the Eagletown baseball field to raise funds for the Eagletown High School baseball team. Kyle Willis said the last year Eagletown High School had a fall and spring season team was in 2010. He said they started a junior high team last year and 18 kids participated. Kyle said 12 players have signed up to play baseball this fall.

 

Kyle said they will be playing with a 1-1 count with a courtesy foul, no SR or Ultra bats. He said the guys will use a .44 core softball and the women will use any yellow ball. Willis said there will be a halo rule and the girls can float. He also stated they will only allow three homeruns per team, per game, but men can buy a band for $10 which will allow them to hit an unlimited number of homeruns.

 

Kyle said six teams have signed up as of Friday morning. He said all games will be played on the Eagletown baseball field if there are nine teams or less, however, if there are ten teams or more, they will play games on both the Eagletown baseball and softball fields.

 

Kyle and Mike said the deadline to register is at noon on Friday, July 14th, but for more information, call 870-784-1716 or 870-784-1304.

 

The registration fee is $150 per team and games will begin at 9 a.m. on July 15th.

 

 

TREASURE HUNT CONTINUES AT CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK      7/7/17

 

The 23rd Annual Treasure Hunt continues this month at the Crater of Diamonds State Park, with two orange-painted bottles yet to be found in the diamond search area. Both bottles contain a certificate for prizes that have been donated by local businesses.

 

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said the finder of bottle #2 will win a depth finder, an emerald cut 5.28 carat smoky quartz, an insulated tumbler, two gift certificates, and free admission to the Dino Dig.

 

Cox said the finder of bottle #4 will receive an emerald cut 1.84 carat peridot, a copy of Glenn Worthington's book about diamonds that have been found in Arkansas, a gemstone box, a $20 gift certificate, two adult passes to the Indian burial grounds and a free admission to the Dino Dig.

 

To help narrow the search, Cox said he will provide clues each week until the bottles have been found.

 

Cox said bottle #2 is located just north of a fork in the road, on the north end of the diamond search area and bottle #4 can be found within 20 feet of the First Diamonds marker shovel, near the south end of the search area.  

 

Prize packages are limited to one per family. Cox said if you find one of the treasure bottles to take it to the Diamond Discovery Center to receive your prizes.

 

Sarah Mauldin of Delight found bottle #3.

 

 

ARKANSAS ARTS COUNCIL SEEKS NOMINATIONS FOR ANNUAL GOVERNOR'S ARTS AWARDS       7/7/17

 

The Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, is now accepting nominations for the 2018 Governor's Arts Awards. The annual awards recognize Arkansas artists, arts patrons, arts educators and corporations for their outstanding contributions to the arts community.

 

The deadline for nominations is Friday, August 4th. Nominees must be current Arkansas residents or Arkansas-based corporations. Governor's Arts Awards nomination forms are available online at www.arkansasarts.org or by calling 501-324-9767.

 

Nominations are accepted in seven categories: Arts Community Development, Arts in Education, Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts, Individual Artist, Folklife, Patron and Lifetime Achievement.

 

A distinguished panel from the Arkansas arts community reviews the nominations, and the award winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in the spring. Each nomination will be judged on the significance of the contributions made, the range of the individuals and groups served and the length of time and degree of the activity or contributions.

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL OF INNOVATION APPLICATION APPROVED       7/6/17

 

Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith reported the state board of education approved the district's school of innovation application. He said the district will now start working to implement the new program.

 

Smith said the district started considering other options to help eliminate absenteeism, but decided the School of Innovation path was the best choice for the district.

 

Smith stated the district received several waivers from the State Board of Education, but the main waiver concerns the amount of time that students are required to spend in the classroom.

 

Smith said the School of Innovation is going to be a work in progress, but they will eventually find what best meets the needs of the students in Horatio.

 

Smith also reported the Horatio Board of Education will hold a workshop in August to prioritize the district's facility needs. He said there are about 20 projects that need attention all across the district.

 

The board will hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, July 10th at 6 p.m. in the administration building.

 

 

SWADC SUMMER COOLING PROGRAM TO BEGIN JULY 10      7/6/17

 

Southwest Arkansas Development Council announced their Home Energy Assistance Program will beginning accepting applications for its Summer Cooling Program on Monday, July 10th for Arkansas residents only. Applications will be accepted for regular and crisis intervention with electric bills only.

 

To qualify for the Summer Cooling Program, applicants must apply in the county that they reside in and the following days of operation for each county is listed as follows: in Sevier County, applications will be accepted every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene at 129 West Locke Avenue in De Queen; in Little River County, applications will be accepted every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Freewill Baptist Church at 791 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard in Ashdown; and in Howard County, applications will be accepted every Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Legion Hut Building at 301 West Dodson Street in Nashville.

 

Applicants will need to provide an ID, social security numbers for all household members, proof of household income for all members 18 and older for the month prior to the month of application, and a current gas and electric bill. If applicants do not have current bills, their application may be delayed or denied.

 

For more information, contact SWADC by calling 870-773-5504.

 

 

MIDSUMMER ART SHOW OPENS NEXT WEEK, INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT        7/6/17

 

The 15th annual Midsummer Art Show, sponsored by the Little River Arts Council, will open on Thursday, July 13th, in the Barbara Horn Civic Center on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot and will remain open until Saturday, July 15th. Admission to the art show is free to the public. The exhibit hours, which will feature both youth and adult categories, are from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday. A reception and awards presentation for the artists, sponsors and visitors will be held in the Civic Center beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15th.

 

New to the annual show this year will be an exhibit of photographic art by local photographers. Photographs will be exhibited during the show for no entry fee this year and are limited to three entries per participate. Photographs must be original, framed for hanging in frames no larger than 16X20, and taken within the past three years. The display will not be competitive this year, but the council is hoping to gauge the interest in this art form for inclusion as a future prize-earning category.

 

Competition categories in the show will continue to include adult and youth divisions and cash prizes will be awarded for both. The categories in the adult division are abstract/contemporary, genre, landscape, animal, floral, still life, portrait and 3-dimensional. The youth division will be divided and judged into age groups: 8 and 9, 10 and 11, 12 and 13, 14 and 15, and 16 to 18.

 

The Little River Arts Council encourages artists of all mediums to be a part of the annual art show. Artwork, including photography, will be registered between 1 and 6 p.m. on Monday, July 10th at the college on Highway 71 North in Ashdown. The entry fee for adult entries is $10 and the youth entry fee is $1 per entry.

 

The Little River Arts Council also invites everyone to find a time during the 3-day show to visit the Civic Center and admire the artwork that will be displayed by dozens of talented artists from the surrounding 4-states area, all free of charge to the viewing public.

 

For more information, call 870-898-5200.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: SCAMMER TARGETING ARKANSAS MEDICAID RECIPIENTS      7/6/17

 

A state agency has received reports of someone posing as an employee of the agency, making unsolicited calls and asking for the credit card information of Arkansans. This is a scam and Arkansans must beware.

 

The Arkansas Department of Human Services has received at least four reports of a scammer claiming to work for the DHS calling Medicaid Savings Program clients. The callers reportedly asks questions about the client's insurance then asks for their credit card number to continue their service or they offer other special discounts through the Medicaid Savings Program, many times requesting a $500 processing fee.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge offered the following tips for anyone who receives this call or a similar one: Be cautious if someone asks that a fee be paid through a pre-paid credit card or by wiring money. People who accept these offers become targets of other scammers when their information is shared or sold to others. Never provide any financial account information to an unknown person or entity. And, if the call appears to be from a government agency, consider hanging up and calling the agency back on a phone number found on their website.

 

DHS encourages Arkansans who receive this call to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office, and if there are any questions, DHS can be contacted at 501-682-1001. Arkansans should be mindful that con artists do not follow the law, so they disregard the do-not-call registry. And technological advances allow the Caller ID spoofing, so that scammers can disguise the source of the calls.

 

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

 

 

TEXARKANA COLLEGE HOLDING ENROLLMENT EVENT JULY 14TH      7/6/17

 

Texarkana College will hold an enrollment event called Summerfest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 14th on their campus at 2500 North Robison Road in Texarkana.

 

Summerfest is designed to be a fun environment for potential students to bring their families and friends with them while speaking with school representatives about the enrollment process. Students can complete forms and applications to TC or the university of their choice through the school's Education Opportunity Center. The federally-funded program provides access to trained advisers to assist potential students in completing online financial aid applications; identifying a career pathway and helping them find programs that meet their needs.

 

Chaddrick Moore is the Education Opportunity Center coordinator and he said the goal of the program is to help first time-college students start off on the right track as they begin their pursuit of a college degree.

 

The event will also provide information about earning a GED, as well as, information for veterans who are seeking college credit.

 

The event will also feature food, door prizes, children's activities and a $1,000 money booth that will be sponsored by TEXAR Federal Credit Union.

 

Lydia Barnhart of Texarkana College said once you complete one of the enrollment processes like apply, turn in a transcript, complete the financial aid packet, or register for classes, you will be eligible to step into the money booth and grab cash while it's being blown around inside a telephone booth-sized cube.

 

For more information about Summerfest or the Education Opportunity Center, visit the website www.texarkanacollege.edu or call 903-823-3012 to speak to an advisor.

 

 

MORNING RAIN CAUSES AREA ROAD CLOSINGS        7/5/17

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced this morning that there are several county roads closed in the county, due to the amount of rainfall the area received over the past 24-hours. Here at Your Number One Country studies, we received 3-inches of rain.

 

Cranford stated Little River County Roads 63, 55, 18, 38, 40, 1, 13, 75, and 129 are listed as currently closed, but the is changing hour by hour as weather conditions improve throughout the county. He said road crews are assessing the damage, and a crew is scheduled to work tonight to take calls and provide assistance to county residents.

 

Cranford said the Winthrop Library is closed today. He said both roads into Winthrop were flooded, but the roads are now passable, but he urged residents to use caution, until county crews can assess the roads.

 

Cranford said Arkansas Department of Transportation employees are also working to ensure the roads are safe. He said you can check the website IDriveArkansas.com for the latest road conditions.

 

Cranford said if you see water over the roadway to not drive through it. He said it may look safe, but you can't see any road damage under the water. Remember Don't Drown, Turn Around.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY DEPUTIES WITNESS SUICIDE       7/5/17

 

About 8:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, Deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the Oak Grove Landing at the De Queen Lake in reference to a man that had a gun. They were notified the man was in a green truck and was threatening to shoot himself.

 

When Investigator Brian Hankins and Deputy Kevin Cross arrived they witnessed a man get out of a green truck and walk to the front of the truck, while holding a 9mm pistol in his hand.

 

Hankins reported when the man noticed he was approaching the truck in his patrol vehicle, the man pointed the gun at his head and took his own life.

 

Southwest EMS was dispatched to the scene, but they could not find a pulse, so Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams was contacted.

 

Williams pronounced 70-year-old Henry Williams of Nashville dead at the scene at about 9:20 a.m.

 

Deputies later found a letter on the dash of the truck that requested his body be taken to the Bunch-Singleton Funeral Home in Broken Bow.

 

  

LITTLE RIVER LEADERSHIP CLASS        7/5/17

 

Little River County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fonda Hawthorne announced the deadline to sign up for the 2017 Little River Leadership class is August 1st and classes will start August 24th. She said this is the 12th year that Little River County has held a leadership class and many of the past participates have gone on to serve on school boards, city councils and other public offices.

 

Hawthorne said the mission of the Little River Leadership class is to identify, train and motivate current and emerging leaders who live or work in Little River County.

 

Hawthorne said the 2017 leadership class will select a class project during their overnight retreat to the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Conservation Center. She said they will also get to know one another and participate in some team building activities.

 

Hawthorne said the registration fee is $350. She said you can download an application from the county's website, www.littlerivercounty.net or call the chamber office for more information at 870-898-2758.

 

  

ARKANSAS NEEDS TOUGHER LAWS TO PREVENT DEATHS AND INJURIES      7/5/17

 

When it comes to protecting people from preventable injuries and death, a new study ranks Arkansas among the worst states in the country. A National Safety Council report finds that the number of fatalities from car crashes, falls, fires, drownings and drug overdoses, which the council considers preventable deaths, is increasing rapidly in Arkansas and across the country.

 

The Council, which graded all 50 states on overall safety, didn't give any state an "A" but did give 11 states, including Arkansas, an "F." Tatyana Warrick with the Safety Council says they evaluated states in areas where strong public policies could do the most good.

 

Warrick cautions that the grads were not based on the actual number of deaths and injuries in a state, but on whether appropriate policies were in place to protect its citizens. The study found that Arkansas, which came in 43rd out of the 50 states, has regulations in place in just 19 of the 59 areas that the Council deems critical to ensuring public safety.

 

Warrick says the survey found Arkansas had no laws protecting child passengers in vehicles, no common-sense gun-safety regulations, and provided appropriate protections in only three out of 11 workplace safety categories. She says the rankings are not meant to condemn states, but to encourage public officials to look at better regulations.

 

The study found that, nationally, more than 146,000 people died last year from preventable accidents, a seven-percent increase over 2014. It also counted 40 million serious preventable injuries. The Council says it will issue its "State of Safety" report every year to track progress in developing safety regulations.

 

 

TWO GROUPS INTERESTED IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA CULTIVATION CENTER IN HOPE         7/5/17

 

According to city officials in Hope, two groups have shown interest in opening a medical marijuana cultivation center, which could be used in agricultural research and possibly provide as many as 35 jobs in the area.

 

Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery said he knows of two groups that are currently filling out applications. He said one group has looked at the cultivation center to provide some economic development with the Southwest Arkansas Agricultural Research Center.

 

As of Monday morning, state officials said no applications to grow or sell marijuana had been received from Southwest Arkansas. The deadline to submit an application is September 18th.

 

The Arkansas Legislature allowed for 32 dispensaries statewide, which will be divided equally among eight geographical zones, four in each zone. Texarkana, Ashdown, De Queen and Hope are all located in Dispensary Zone Eight, which is a 14-county area of Southwest Arkansas. Only five cultivating centers will be allowed to operate anywhere in the state.

 

The City of Texarkana has received about 80 inquiries about opening a medical marijuana cultivation center, however, no inquiries have been made in Ashdown or De Queen.

 

De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the city has not received any inquires. He also stated the state law does not allow a city council or a county Quorum Court to outlaw a center.

 

 

AREA FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS       7/3/17

 

The City of De Queen hosted a successful Let Freedom Ring program Saturday night with the Midnight Hurricanes and several local performers. 

 

De Queen Parks and Recreation's activities director Chris Hale announced the winners of the first Let Freedom Ring beauty pageant that was organized by Blaire Harp. Harp said the winners were: The Ultimate Grand Supreme Queen - Klansey Lowrie, 0 to 3 year-old Grand Supreme Queen - Brylee Tollett, 4 to 9 year-old Grand Supreme Queen - Tenlie Brown, 10 and up Grand Supreme Queen - Rhyen Martin, 0 to 11 month old Queen - Creedence Rogers, 12 to 23 month old Queen - Leighton Jackson, 2 to 3 year old Queen - Payten Stinson, 4 to 5 year old Queen - Bentleigh Vincent, 6 to 7 year old Queen Myleigh Marshall, 8 to 9 year old Queen - Autumn Frachiseur, 10 to 12 year old Queen - Raylee Van Voast, 13 to 15 year old Queen - Halley Gentry, 16 and up Queen - Kaylee Morgan, Sweetheart Firecracker Queen - Brylee Tollett and the People's Choice Queen - Raylee Van Voast.

 

 

Several other communities will be hosting their annual Fourth of July celebrations on Tuesday.

 

In Ashdown, the non-profit organization, Ashdown Matters will host their 2nd annual Food, Fun and More on July Four at the Ashdown City Park at 4 p.m.

 

According to event organizer Eric Cross every thing is free, except for t-shirts, which will cost $5 each. He said there will be bounce houses, a dunking booth for kids and face painting, along with some free giveaways.

 

Cross said there will also be a 7-on-7 football tournament in conjunction with the Southwest Arkansas Elite Sports and Recreation.

 

Cross said the night will end with the City of Ashdown fireworks display at dark.

 

The City of Wickes will host their annual Fourth of July celebration at the Wickes Elementary at 7 p.m. with the band Harmony and fireworks at dark.

 

The Lockesburg Fireworks in the Park program is set to begin at 7 a.m. with the Freedom from Blindness 10K. Park commissioner Sheila Ruth said there's also going to be a co-ed softball tournament and a natural pageant.

 

Ruth also said the Cross Point Cowboy Church band will be performing about 6:30 p.m. and the fireworks display is at dark.

 

And, the New Hope Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual Fourth of July celebration beginning at 5 p.m.

 

Tim Reed said the fire department will be serving chicken dinners starting at 5 p.m. for $7 a plate. He said there will be a bounce house, face painting, a gun raffle and a live and silent auction, along with the fireworks at dark.

 

Reed said for more information, call 870-828-4579.

 

 

ED BANKS ACCESS AREA CLOSED AT THE COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK      7/3/17

 

Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Victoria Carson announced Friday afternoon that effective today, the Ed Banks Access Area at the park in Wickes is closed to the public for 60-days while the Ed Banks Bridge undergoes construction for repairs.

 

Carson said no vehicle traffic, camping, swimming, hiking or other activities will be permitted in the area.

 

Carson also explained that due to the construction of the Ed Banks Bridge, the north section of the River  Corridor Trail from the trail head at Highway 246 east of Vandervoort to the Cossatot Falls parking lot is also closed. However, the south section of the River Corridor Trail from the Cossatot Falls to the Visitor Information Center off Highway 278 east of Wickes will remain open for visitor use.

 

If you have any questions, contact the Cossatot River State Park Natural Area by calling 870-385-2201.

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS MILEAGE INCREASE        7/3/17

 

Last Thursday night, the Ashdown Board of Education held a special called meeting to discuss the proposed millage increase.

 

On June 12th, the board voted to hold a special election on September 19th to increase the district's millage by 3.9 mills, raising the current millage from 35.7 to 39.6. According to Superintendent Jason Sanders the district is requesting the increase to finance some district improvements, which includes consolidating the district's three elementary campuses into one building by adding space to the L.F. Henderson Intermediate School.

 

The total cost of the project is expected to be around $15.4 million dollars.

 

If the proposal passes, the district will receive $810,000 from the state of Arkansas in partnership funds.

 

In 2016, district voters rejected a similar proposal by 38 votes.

 

During last week's meeting, Sanders outlined a grassroots, parent-led plan, which includes board members hosting meetings throughout the district. Sanders said he plans to schedule the meetings during the month of August.

 

 

DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT TO PLACE 911 ADDRESSES ON HOMES WITHIN THE CITY OF DE QUEEN      7/3/17

 

Last month, the De Queen City Council passed an ordinance requiring all homes and business to display their 911 address. The ordinance states the letters must be at least 3-inches tall and the city would prefer the numbers be reflective.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy announced Monday morning that the De Queen Fire Department will be going from house to house offering to display the 911 address for free.

 

Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt said firefighters will spend a fire meeting this summer helping city residents comply with the new ordinance.

 

McKelvy said the city had to find the 1957 ordinance that described the street numbering system within the city. Ordinance 334 states Stilwell Avenue is the North/South boundary line and First Street is the East/West boundary line. It also states that odd numbers will be assigned to the left side of a street and even numbers will be assigned to the right side of the street.

 

McKelvy also reported the city water department has started the process to replace the water meters in De Queen with meters that can be read remotely from a city truck. He said a contractor will be installing the new meters throughout the city.

 

McKelvy said the work may take up to three months to complete because the city has about 2,500 meters to replace.

 

 

TIMOTHY OLIVER RE-SENTENCED UNDER ACT 539        6/30/17

 

Thursday morning, Judge Charles Yeargan re-sentenced 40-year-old Timothy Allen Oliver in the Sevier County Circuit Court to two life sentences with the possibility of parole after serving 30-years, because he was convicted of two counts of murder when he was 15-years-old.

 

Oliver was initially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in the deaths of Bobby and Charlene Friend around March 21st of 1992.

 

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without parole when they heard the case Miller vs. Alabama, thus striking down 56 sentences in the state of Arkansas, including Oliver's.

 

Earlier this year, the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 539 that abolished the sentence of life in prison without parole for juvenile's who were convicted of murder. Act 539 states, juveniles who are convicted of murder may only be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after serving 30 years.

 

Thursday, Oliver's lawyer Jessica Johnson argued that Act 539 did not apply to her client because he was convicted before the law was passed. She said Act 539 established the sentencing guidelines for future cases involving juveniles and she asked for a new sentencing hearing so she could present evidence supporting a lesser sentence. The state, however, argued Oliver should not receive a new sentencing hearing because Act 539 was intended by the legislature to deal with these 56 cases.

 

Oliver's lawyer also argued that Oliver's two sentences should run concurrently, so he would be eligible for parole in about 5-years. The state argued that Oliver's sentences should run consecutively, thereby making Oliver eligible for parole in about 35 years.

 

After hearing from both attorneys, Judge Yeargan re-sentenced Oliver to two life sentences with the possibility of parole after serving a total of 60-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

 

Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir informed KDQN that Oliver's case may be appealed because two circuit court judges in Arkansas have ruled Act 539 as being unconstitutional.

 

  

CONSUMER ALERT: SAFETY FIRST FOR FIREWORKS       6/30/17

 

Fireworks can cause serious injury or even death if not used properly. Arkansans need to keep this in mind as they prepare for their Independence Day festivities.

 

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports four fatalities and an estimated 7,600 injuries were related to fireworks last year.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who are planning their own holiday firework shows: She said only buy fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area. Read and follow all warnings and instructions. Supervise children at all times and make sure adults light every firework. Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never relight a malfunctioning firework. Don't shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container and keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in the case of a fire.

 

Arkansas's Fireworks Act restricts the types of fireworks that can be sold in the state and the amount of explosive material that each firework may contain.

 

Firework vendors are required to have a state license and they may not sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. Municipal ordinances may also restrict or regulate fireworks sales and use.

 

In De Queen, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported there is an ordinance that prohibits the sell of fireworks within the city limits and residents can only explode fireworks July 3rd, 4th and 5th for Independence Day.

 

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

 

 

TWO ASHDOWN RESIDENTS ARRESTED IN DE QUEEN      6/30/17

 

Thursday, June 28th, De Queen Police Officer Justin Gentry initiated a traffic stop at the First Assembly of God Church and made contact with two Ashdown residents.

 

Gentry reported while searching the two individuals, he discovered .24 grams of suspected methamphetamine and a clear glass devise with suspected methamphetamine residue on 49-year-old Selay Dyer. He also found 2.66 grams of methamphetmine, 25.42 grams of suspected marijuana, 6.38 grams of suspected Hydrocodone pills, multiple empty baggies and a digital scale in the possession of 54-year-old Karen Sossamon.

 

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

 

Sossamon was arrested and charged with possession of meth or cocaine with the purpose to deliver, possession of a schedule I or II controlled substance that's not methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver, possession of a schedule VI controlled substance with the purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing governmental operations.

 

 

UPCOMING ACTIVITIES AT THE DE QUEEN BRANCH OF SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY       6/30/17

 

Amy Zuniga of the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library stated the summer reading program for the younger children ended this week, but the library will be holding a reading contest for older children starting July 1st.

 

Zuniga also reported the De Queen Fire Department will present a fire safety program at the library on Wednesday, July 5th at 10 a.m. and Twinkle the Tooth Fairy is scheduled to be at the library on Monday, July 24th at 10 a.m. She said they will be reading the book, "The Tooth Book." She also said the library as activities for adults every Wednesday at 10 a.m.

 

The Sevier County Library System will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th, but will re-open for normal hours of operation on Wednesday.

 

 

WICKES FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION     6/30/17

 

Lynn and Retta Smith announced Friday morning the city of Wickes will be holding their annual Fourth of July celebration on Tuesday, July 4th. Lynn said this year's fireworks display is expected to be bigger and better than ever and Harmony will be performing at 7 p.m.

 

The Smith's also stated there will be several food and craft vendors attending this year's event.

 

The Wickes Fourth of July celebration is Tuesday at the Wickes Elementary.

 

 

DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO LEASE BUS        6/30/17

 

Members of the Dierks Board of Education reviewed a proposal by Superintendent Holly Cothern to lease a bus from Midwest Bus Sales for three-years at a cost of $12,750 per year. Cothern reported the district would use the 2018 Thomas built 77-passenger bus for some athletic trips, but it would mainly be used on a regular bus route within the district.

 

Board members also voted to hold the district's annual school election by early voting or absentee voting only through the Howard County Clerk's Office.

 

Board members also passed a resolution to revise the contract of current Dierks High School teacher Bradley Bray to include the additional duties of assistant football coach. Board member Brad Garner recused himself from the vote because Bray is his brother-in-law.

 

Cothern explained to KDQN that the hire will have to be approved by the Arkansas Department of Education.

 

Cothern said the board also hired Caleb Garrick as an assistant baseball coach, assistant football coach and teacher at the high school and Samantha Manasco as an elementary teacher.

 

During JoAnn Walters Elementary Principal Carla Byrn's report she said she was pleased with the Kindergarten through second grade scores on the Iowa Test.

 

High School Principal Jody Cowart reported 54 students were enrolled through the Virtual Arkansas program for concurrent courses.

 

Board members also vote to extend the principal's secretaries contracts from 190 days to 220 days starting this fall.

 

 

DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER    06/30/17

 

 (LITTLE ROCK) – The celebration of our nation’s birthday during the coming week will lead thousands of families onto the state highways and local streets. Their travels will take them to cookouts, family reunions, picnics and other summer festivities.


Inevitably some won’t return home. The bad choices that lead to drinking and driving will end with injury, death and lasting consequences inflicted on many innocent families.


During the Fourth of July holiday period, beginning Friday, June 30 and continuing through Tuesday, July 4, Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation.


Stepped-up patrols among state, county and city law enforcement agencies will have officers on the lookout for drunk drivers. Motorists should expect to see more sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols involving a unified police force working to keep the highways and streets safe.


“If you choose to drink and drive the chances are greater that you will be caught during the upcoming holiday,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Making the choice to drink and drive can be deadly. It’s irresponsible behavior, and we will be out in full force to put a stop to it.”


Statistics show that drunk driving is a deadly epidemic in our nation. During 2015 there were more than 10,250 people killed in alcohol related crashes. These deaths accounted for almost a third of nationwide traffic fatalities nationwide.


It is illegal in every state to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher, yet people continue to break the law and drive drunk.


The consequences of a DWI arrest are staggering. On average the cumulative costs can range upwards of $10,000 or more. Drunk drivers who are arrested face jail time, vehicle towing and impoundment fees, attorney fees, court costs and fines, and lost wages from employment. A conviction routinely leads to the loss of a driver license and higher vehicle insurance costs once driving privileges are restored.


The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving. There are plenty of safe ways for you to get to your destination if you plan on drinking alcohol. The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving:


It’s never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation to get to your destination safely. Plan a safe way home before you leave.

If you’ve have been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911.

If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

Buckle up, always. Your seat belt is your best defense against the drunk driver.


For more information on the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. Information about Arkansas' ongoing "Toward Zero Deaths" campaign to eliminate preventable traffic deaths can be found at www.TZDarkansas.org
 

Cole Signs Business Transfer Agreement with Texas A&M  06/30/17 

 

University of Arkansas Cossatot and Texas A&M University Texarkana now have an agreement that will allow UAC business graduates to transfer with junior standing to business programs.

 

UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole and Texas A&M Dean of the College of Business, Engineering, and Technology Gary Stading signed an articulation agreement on June 21st that will allow UA Cossatot students graduating with an Associate of Science in Business to enter the university’s College of Business.

 

Programs that UAC’s Associate of Science in Business will articulate to are Accounting, Finance, General Business, Management, Management of Information Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management.

 

This kind of agreement is a first for Texas A&M and University of Arkansas.

 

“In the College of Business, Engineering, and Technology, we look to partnering with UA Cossatot more in the coming years,” explained Stading.

 

More information about the Associate of Science in Business and completing the degree online or in class can be found at www.cccua.edu.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: Safety First for Fireworks    06/30/17

LITTLE ROCK – Fireworks can cause serious injury or even death if not used properly. Arkansans need to keep this in mind as preparations are underway for Independence Day, which is just a few short days away.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports four fatalities and an estimated 7,600 injuries related to fireworks in the U.S. in 2016.

“Fireworks are fun to watch and are a traditional part of many July Fourth festivities,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “As some across the State put on their own fireworks displays rather than attending one of the larger displays taking place, I urge extreme caution. The improper use or malfunctioning fireworks can lead to fires, serious injury or even death.”

Attorney General Rutledge released the following tips for consumers who are planning their own holiday fireworks show:
Only buy fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand.
Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area.
Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
Supervise children at all times and make sure adults light every firework, including sparklers, which can reach 2,000 degrees.
Make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
Never relight a malfunctioning firework. Soak the duds in water and throw them away.
Do not shoot fireworks from metal or glass containers.
Keep a water hose or bucket of water nearby in case of a fire.
Arkansas’s “Fireworks Act” restricts the types of fireworks that can be sold in the State and the amount of explosive material that each firework may contain.

Firework vendors are required to have a State license. They may not sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or to anyone who appears to be intoxicated. Municipal ordinances may also restrict or regulate fireworks sales and use.

State law only allows exploding fireworks to be sold each year from June 20 to July 10 and from Dec. 10 to Jan. 5. Non-exploding items, such as sparklers and snakes, may be sold throughout the year.

Also consider securing pets during local fireworks displays as many get scared of the loud noises and may try to find a way to get away and seek shelter.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.
 

 

HIGHWAY 32 ACROSS MILLWOOD DAM TO CLOSE JULY 16 FOR INSPECTION    06/30/17

 

ASHDOWN, Ark. – Highway 32 across Millwood Lake will close at 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, July 16 while the sluice gate conduits at the base of the spillway are inspected.  During the inspection, a crane and other heavy equipment will block the bridge across the spillway.

 

The closure has been coordinated with local emergency and law enforcement agencies.  Officials from the Army Corps of Engineers Millwood Project Office said they regret any inconvenience this may cause.  They ask motorists to drive slowly on the alternate route because some drivers may not be familiar with the roads.  Also, they urge motorists to plan around the closing and allow extra time to reach their destinations.

 

People traveling on Highway 32 west to Ashdown, will not be allowed beyond the Beard’s Bluff Park turnoff.  For those traveling east from Ashdown, the road will be closed beyond Millwood State Park.

 

For more information about Millwood Lake call 501-870-898-3343.  Recreation information can be found on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/littlerockusace, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/usacelittlerock.

 


 

 

 

4-H BAKE SALE FRIDAY AT WALMART        6/29/17

 

Sevier County 4-H leader Linda Frachiseur reported the 4-H clubs will be hosting a bake sale on Friday starting at 9 a.m. at the De Queen Walmart. She said the 4-H members were trying to raise funds to help the Sevier County Fair Board.

 

Last year, the fair board was forced to cancel the rodeo due to inclement weather and they lost a lot of money. Frachiseur said all of the bake sale proceeds will be used as added money during the 2017 Sevier County Fair Premium Sale.

 

Frachiseur said they will have pies, cookies, cakes, cobblers and more. If you have any questions call her at 870-584-9592 or you may also call Stephanie Harrmeyer or Katrina Frachiseur.

 

Frachiseur also reported the 4-H clubs raised over $900 during their last bake sale and was able to secure a trick rider for this year's rodeo.

 

 

LET FREEDOM RING THIS SATURDAY         6/29/17

 

De Queen Parks and Recreation activities director Chris Hale announced the park's annual Let Freedom Ring program is this Saturday at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater. He said the gates will open at 6 p.m. and the local talent hour is scheduled to begin at 7.

 

Hale said there is going to be a large variety of items being sold by local non-profit organizations, including some craft items.

 

Hale said they will also announce the winners of the 1st ever Let Freedom Ring pageant that was held on June 24th. He said pageant organizer Blaire Harp has already started working on the 2nd annual Let Freedom Ring Pageant.

 

For more information, contact the park office at 870-642-4140.

 

  

STAND UP FOR AMERICA IS SATURDAY IN NASHVILLE      6/29/17

 

Mike Reece is the executive director of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and he informed the KDQN listeners that the gates will open at 5 p.m. this Saturday at the Nashville City Park for the 28th Annual Stand Up for America celebration.

 

Reece said the chamber added an hour and a half of local entertainment this year, featuring Ethan Kuntz and the band Download.

 

Reece said the patriotic portion of the show will begin about 6:30 and Barrett Baber is scheduled to take the stage at 7:30 and he will perform for about 2 hours.

 

Baber told KDQN that he was excited to be performing in Nashville for their Fourth of July celebration.

 

For more information, contact the Nashville City Park at 870-845-7405.

 

 

CORPS ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SPECIAL DEER HUNTS      6/29/17

 

The Army Corps of Engineers will be accepting applications through September 1st for the 2017 special deer hunts that provide accessibility for disabled military members and mobility impaired hunters.

 

Applicants can apply for up to three different hunting locations throughout Arkansas. Eligible applicants with paralysis, amputation of a limb, or have at least a 50 percent disability rating are eligible to apply and they are not required to be retired military personnel. Active duty military with the Wounded Warrior Program are also eligible to apply for these hunts.

 

Applicants must submit a completed application form and send it along with a doctor's letter verifying their disability to be eligible. A drawing will be held in September to select the hunters.

 

The mobility impaired hunt at Lake Greeson is scheduled for October 5th and 6th and it will be a muzzleloader hunt. To apply, contact Marty Reynolds at 870-285-2151 extension 5003.

 

 

FIRST GRADUATION HELD IN UA COSSATOT BANK OF LOCKESBURG GYMNASIUM   6/29/17

 

University of Arkansas Cossatot held the 2017 Licensed Practical Nursing pinning ceremony in the UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium on June 23rd at 6:00 p.m.


The event commemorated the completion of all state and college requirements for UAC nursing students.


While providing opening remarks during the evening, UA Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said, “I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for nurses and EMTs.


I am appreciative to the doctors that provided care, but the first responders and nurses are the ones who saved my life.”


The LPN Pinning Ceremony featured 25 graduating nurses and accommodated their family and friends.


Kim Dickerson, Medical Education Division Chair at UA Cossatot thought the ceremony was perfect, “You couldn’t ask for a better group of students. Our faculty and staff set the bar pretty high in all of our medical programs and our students always respond.


We are doing all we can to fill the critical shortage of medical personnel in our region.”


UA Cossatot plans to hold all future graduations at the Lockesburg campus.


For more information about renting the UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium or Conference Room, please visit the Community Facilities page at
www.cccua.edu

 

Pictured from left to right are: Front row: Danaisa Robinson of Amity, Ashely Meyers of Lockesburg, Olga Alvarez of De Queen, Miriam Pallares Bahena of De Queen, Yaneth Montes of DeQueen, Yesssenia Sanchez of De Queen, and Elizebeth Downs of DeQueen. Middle row: Felicia Green of Broken Bow, OK, Contessa May of De Queen, Dakota Vance of Dierks, Cloris Hopkins of Texarkana, Tiffany Dossett of Allene, Ark., Keely Tedder of Newhope, JoDee Turner of Murfreesboro, Marisol Rodriguez of De Queen, Linda Carlisle of De Queen, Cassidy Jones of Foreman, and Yadira Saldana of Murfreesboro. Back row,: Abigail Salinas of Umpire, Angelica Padilla of De Queen, Darcy Neff of Ashdown, Melissa Ray of Nashville, and Kryshnna Munoz of De Queen. Not pictured: Shanett Leeks of Ashdown
 

 

COLE SIGNS BUSINESS TRANSFER AGREEMENT WITH TEXAS A&M     6/29/17

 

University of Arkansas Cossatot and Texas A&M University Texarkana now have an agreement that will allow UAC business graduates to transfer with junior standing to business programs.


UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole and Texas A&M Dean of the College of Business, Engineering, and Technology Gary Stading signed an articulation agreement on June 21st that will allow UA Cossatot students graduating with an Associate of Science in Business to enter the university’s College of Business.


Programs that UAC’s Associate of Science in Business will articulate to are Accounting, Finance, General Business, Management, Management of Information Systems, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management.


This kind of agreement is a first for Texas A&M and University of Arkansas.


“In the College of Business, Engineering, and Technology, we look to partnering with UA Cossatot more in the coming years,” explained Stading.


More information about the Associate of Science in Business and completing the degree online or in class can be found at www.cccua.edu.

 

 

 

B.A.C.A. MEMBERS ATTEND TRIAL IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      6/28/17

 

Tuesday afternoon, a Little River County jury found 44-year-old Michael Friday of Foreman guilty of two counts of rape and sentenced him to life in prison plus 44-years.

 

One of the victims in the case was a minor and members of the Texarkana B.A.C.A. motorcycle club were on hand to support one of their family members.

 

B.A.C.A. President Squirrel stated B.A.C.A. stands for Bikers Against Child Abuse. He said their club exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. He said the club exists to help empower children so they are not afraid to tell their stories.

 

He said B.A.C.A. is a referral only program. He said after an initial visit with the family and a follow-up visit with the child, two members are assigned to be the child's primary contacts if they choose to join the B.A.C.A. family.

 

He said B.A.C.A. members accompany the child to court and interviews and he said they offer both a physical presence but also emotional support to the child.

 

B.A.C.A. members also maintain a therapy fund to help children who need further assistance. For more information, contact the Texarkana B.A.C.A. chapter at www.BACATexarkana@gmail.com.

 

 

128TH ANNUAL VANDERVOORT 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION      6/28/17

 

Organizers of the 128th annual Vandervoort 4th of July Celebration announced this year's event will held on Saturday, July 1st at the Vandervoort Picnic Grounds.

 

Activities will begin on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. with the cake walk and quilt auction. This year's quilt was made and donated by Tinker Watkins.

 

At 9 p.m. Friday night, the Midnight Hurricanes will be performing for a dance at the picnic grounds.

 

Organizers also announced runners can sign up for the annual 5K beginning at 6:30 a.m. and the 5K run/walk will start at 7. At 8 a.m. registration for the 3 on 3 basketball tournament will get underway and at 8:30 participates in the Vandervoort parade will start to line up.

 

After the parade events and games will begin on the ball field.

 

Saturday night, a Little Miss and Mister Vandervoort pageant will be held at 7 p.m. The pageant will be followed by a dance at 8:30 p.m. with the Page 1 band and the fireworks are set to go off at 10 p.m.

 

 

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS UNIFED MESSAGE FOR JULY 4TH DRIVERS: DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER         6/28/17

 

The celebration of our nation's birthday during the coming week will lead thousands of families onto the state highways and local streets. Their travels will take them to cookouts, family reunions, picnics and other summer festivities.

 

However, some won't return home. The bad choices that lead to drinking and driving will end with injury, death and lasting consequences inflected on many innocent families.

 

During the Fourth of July holiday period, beginning Friday, June 30th and continuing through Tuesday, July 4th, Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation.

 

Stepped-up patrols among state, county and city law enforcement agencies will have officers on the lookout for drunk drivers. Motorists should expect to see more sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols involving a unified police force working to keep the highways and streets safe.

 

The consequences of a DWI arrest are staggering. On average the cumulative costs can range upwards of $10,000 or more. Drunk drivers who are arrested face jail time, vehicle towing and impoundment fees, attorney fees, court costs and fines, and lost wages from employment. A conviction routinely leads to the loss of a driver license and higher vehicle insurance costs once driving privileges are restored.

 

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving. There are plenty of safe ways for you to get to your destination if you plan on drinking alcohol. The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these alternatives to drinking and driving: It's never okay to drink and drive. If you've have been drinking, call a taxi or someone who is sober to get you home. If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911. If you know someone who is about to drive or operate a motorcycle or any other vehicle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely, and buckle up. A seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.

 

For more information, contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at 501-618-8136.

 

 

4-H’ers Compete at District 4-H O’Rama in Malvern     06/28/2017
 

Twelve Sevier County 4-H’ers competed against 4-H’ers from across the state at the District 4-H O’Rama at Malvern High School on June 20. To qualify for district level, they had to compete at the local County 4-H O’Rama.


The winners in the Senior Division (ages 14-19) were as follows:


Amber Morris placed 3rd in Health, Brennen Seymour placed 3rd in Animal Science, and Marcus Rosson placed 1st in Reel into Sportfishing.


All 1st – 7th place senior winners are eligible to compete and represent Sevier County at the State 4-H O’Rama to be held at the University of Arkansas Campus in Fayetteville in July.


Junior Division (ages 9-13) winners were as follows: Attalee Frachiseur placed 6th in Fashion Revue-Purchased-Dressy, Aubrey Seymour placed 2nd in Human Development, Brayden Frachiseur placed 5th in Reel into Sportfishing, Evin Frachiseur placed 9th in Animal Science, Hunter Frachiseur placed 3rd in Gun Safety, Jacob Seymour placed 1st in Health, Jade Bivins placed 2nd in Bicycle, Macy Lexy Rosson placed 6th in Performing Arts: Vocal, and Makade Bivins placed 10th in Baitcasting & Game Fish ID.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


 

Front row left to right: Brayden Frachiseur, Evin Frachiseur, Makade Bivins, Jacob Seymour, Hunter Frachiseur, and Jade Bivins. Back row left to right: Attalee Frachiseur, Amber Morris, Aubrey Seymour, Brennen Seymour, Marcus Rosson, and Macy Lexy Rosson.

 

 

ROAD CLOSED IN SEVIER COUNTY      6/27/17

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced Tuesday morning that Bear Creek Cutoff Road will be closed on Wednesday, June 28th from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for repair of the railroad crossing.

 

Judge Ray said he’s sorry for any inconvenience this closure may cause county residents. 

 

 

ARKANSAS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ANNOUNCES $5.5 MILLION IN FAA GRANTS FOR AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS        6/27/17

 

U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford`, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman announced 11 Arkansas airports will receive $5.5 million dollars from the Federal Aviation Administration to support facility upgrades and expansions.

 

According to a press release, the congressmen reported these funds will be used to strengthen infrastructure in Arkansas. It said local airports are valuable assets for communities across the state and this critical funding will help provide these airports with the resources that they need to upgrade their safety features and support local economic growth and development.

 

The J. Lynn Helms Sevier County Airport will receive $82,581 to rehabilitate the apron.

 

The Mount Ida Airport will receive $232,696 to rehabilitate the apron.

 

The Hope Municipal Airport will receive $90,000 to conduct a study to identify solutions to improve airport drainage.

 

The Dexter B. Florence Memorial Airport in Arkadelphia will receive $49,500 to conduct a study to identify options for improving drainage on the airport.

 

The Bentonville Municipal Airport will receive $1,496,258 for taxiway construction.

 

Drake Field in Fayetteville will receive $135,000 to widen the taxiway.

 

The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport in Little Rock will receive $2,250,498 to construct new runways and reconstruct runway lighting systems.

 

The Magnolia Municipal Airport will receive $338,531 to construct a runway and install runway lighting systems.

 

The Morrilton Municipal Airport will receive $312,848 to rehabilitate the runway.

 

Kirk Field in Paragould will receive $161,511 to acquire eight acres of land and an additional grant of $180,000 will be used to conduct a master plan study to show current and future needs of the airport.

 

And, the Ozark-Franklin County Airport will receive $168,891 to construct a taxiway.

 

  

WILKERSON FUNERAL HOME GIVING OUT FREE FLAGS        6/27/17

 

The staff of Wilkerson Funeral Home in De Queen informed KDQN that they will be giving away American Flags for the Fourth of July this Thursday and Friday.

 

This Thursday and Friday, Wilkerson Funeral Home will give a 3X5 American Flag along with the pole and mounting hardware, so area residents can display the Red, White and Blue, this Fourth of July.

 

To receive your free flag, stop by Wilkerson Funeral Home at 403 Stilwell Avenue in De Queen during regular business hours this Thursday or Friday.

  

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES ELEMENTARY HANDBOOK       6/27/17

 

During the monthly meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Oscar Hamilton Elementary Principal Pat Tankersley presented the elementary handbook for the board's approval. After reviewing the handbook, board members voted to approve the elementary handbook, however, they tabled the approval of the high school handbook after discussing some possible changes.

 

Superintendent George Kennedy presented a report on the Legislative Audit findings for the year ending June 30th, 2016. He also recommended the district keep the Foreman tuition paid pre-school open for the 2017-2018 school year.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of elementary teacher, Sonia Caskey and they hired Jonathan Peacock as the District Technology Coordinator and Jennifer Sanders as the Art and Gifted and Talented facilitator.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEETING        6/27/17

 

Members of the Little River County Quorum Court met earlier this month on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot for their regular monthly meeting.

 

Justices of the Peace passed a resolution to provide matching funds for a grant on behalf of the Yarborough Community. According to the resolution, the grant will be used to air condition the Yarborough community building.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford informed the Quorum Court that the courthouse now has electronic doors at all entrances and a lift to access the restrooms. He said the work was designed to make the courthouse more handicap accessible. Cranford said the project was being funded by a Historic Preservation Grant.

 

Cranford informed the Quorum Court that the courthouse will be closed Monday, July 3rd. He said a company is refinishing the floors on the first level, and the courthouse will re-open on Wednesday, July 5th.

 

Cranford also reported the courthouse's communication system has been upgraded. He said the upgrade included a 50 megabyte fiber-optic connection with AT&T. He said the county is no longer paying for long distance phone calls and it lowered the monthly bill.

 

Cranford told the JPs that he hopes to start chip and sealing county roads in July. He said a list of the roads to be chip and sealed will be available before the work begins, so county residents can take an alternate route, if necessary.

 

JPs also received a report from Darrell Coker of the Little River Intermodal Authority. Coker informed the Quorum Court that the authority has applied for an EDA Grant and asked the court if they would be interested in selling some county property that would be used as a part of the proposed site.

  

 

HOWARD COUNTY AND CITY OF ARKADELPHIA RECEIVE ASBESTOS ABATEMENT GRANTS       6/27/17

 

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's Director Becky Keogh will present checks for asbestos abatement grants to the City of Arkadelphia and to Howard County on Wednesday.

 

The presentation for Howard County will take place at 10:15 a.m. at the Howard County Courthouse in Nashville, then at 1:30 p.m. the City of Arkadelphia will receive their grant during a presentation at the former Clark County Hospital.

 

Howard County will be awarded $13,500 for asbestos abatement activities at the former Howard Memorial Hospital. The City of Arkadelphia will be awarded $92,503 for asbestos abatement activities at the former Clark County Hospital.

 

ADEQ's asbestos abatement grant program was created to provide funding assistance to eligible cities and counties for the assessment, stabilization and abatement activities for an eligible structure. Projects that are selected to be funded must engage in the removal of friable asbestos materials from a city or county owned structure that has unexpectedly collapsed, is at imminent risk of collapsing, or has failed in its structural integrity.

 

ADEQ has $150,000 available to award to asbestos abatement projects each fiscal year.

 

 

LET FREEDOM RING PROGRAM IN DE QUEEN IS JULY 1ST      6/26/17

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department said he wanted to remind area listeners that the park's annual Let Freedom Ring program will be held this Saturday at 6 p.m. at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater next to the De Queen Sportsplex.

 

Hale said they will be bringing back the talent hour and water sprinkler, this year. He also stated non-profit groups can set up a booth and sell something as a fundraiser. He said if you want to participate in the talent hour or if you are a non-profit organization and would like to set up a booth, contact the park office at 870-642-4140 by 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 28th.

 

Hale also said the Midnight Hurricanes will be performing this year and the fireworks display will begin at dark.

 

 

LOCKESBURG FIREWORKS IN THE PARK IS JULY 4TH        6/26/17

 

Lockesburg Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth announced the City of Lockesburg will be hosting their annual Fireworks in the Park program on Tuesday, July 4th in the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park.

 

Ruth said activities will begin on the Fourth of July at 7 a.m. with the Lockesburg Lion's Club Freedom from Blindness 10K. She also reported there's going to be a co-ed softball tournament beginning at 9. Ruth also said there's going to be a Natural Pageant at 10 a.m. and lots of activities for the children.

 

Zebbie Launius of the Lockesburg Lion's Club said the registration fee is $30 and every runner will receive a goody bag. She also stated all of the proceeds will be used to purchase glasses for needy children.

 

Ruth said at 4 p.m. the park commission will hold a live auction and the Cross Point Cowboy Church band will start performing around 6:30. She said during intermission, they will recognize the local veterans and announce the pageant winners and the Lockesburg
Volunteer Fire Department will ignite the fireworks at dark.

 

Ruth said the proceeds from the Fireworks in the Park event will be used to build a walking track and restrooms in the park.

 

 

HUSQVARNA BUILDING A SOLAR FARM IN NASHVILLE      6/26/17

 

Husqvarna announced it is building a solar power generating facility at its Nashville plant.

 

According to company officials, construction is set to begin in the third quarter of this year and the plant should be operational by the year's end.

 

The solar farm will cover about 5 acres at the plant and the company plans to sell any unused electricity back to SWEPCO. The new solar farm is expected to reduce coal-based carbon dioxide emissions by about 2,100 tons in the first year of operation and approximately 52,000 tons over the expected 25-year life of the plant.

 

The new solar power plant will be capable of producing 1.3 megawatts of solar power, which will allow the Husqvarna Group to increase its share of electricity from renewable sources of energy and reduce the environmental impact of greenhouse gases and other emissions.

 

The solar facility will result in jobs during the construction phase, which is being handled by Today's Power, a solar power construction company. However, the solar facility will not result in any permanent positions for Husqvarna after construction.

 

Husqvarna is the first forest and garden company to build a solar power generating plant and according to company officials represents the company's commitment to contributing to a low-carbon future. Officials say the plant will generate about 25 percent of the annual power requirements for the company's injection molding facility.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: RED FLAGS IN TIMESHARE RESALE      6/26/17

 

Some Arkansans have found themselves trapped in a bad timeshare deal. They are unable to get rid of the property and have contacted the Attorney General's office seeking help. The idea of a guaranteed vacation location, upscale lodging accommodations and the ability to exchange shares for other properties could seem like the perfect vacation solution, but timeshare 'owners' may be surprised by expensive annual maintenance fees, difficulty exchanging weeks or locations and finding the property value that they assumed would remain steady or even increase has remained the same or decreased.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips for Arkansans who are looking to resell their timeshare. She said owners should beware of timeshare resellers who contact you unsolicited with a promise to resell your timeshare. She said if they say they have willing buyers, it is probably a lie. Rutledge said you should never pay a substantial advance fee for resale assistance. She said a reputable seller will charge a commission paid only upon sale, like a normal real estate transaction. Rutledge said an advance fee may be called a marketing fee, a listing fee, an internet advertising fee or other related fee. Rutledge said you should get an independent appraisal from a licensed appraiser before agreeing on any resale assistance contract and you should only deal with licensed agents.

 

The timeshare industry has become a popular platform for a number of operations to take advantage of 'owners' who are desperate to sell. They claim to offer assistance in selling the timeshare and take away the burden of the continuing costs of ownership. These operations collect hundreds or thousands of dollars in so-called deed transfer or marketing fees but rarely complete the sale.

 

Consumers who have concerns about their timeshares should file a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General's office.

 

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

 

 

2nd ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT      6/26/17

 

Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry announced the 2nd Annual Sevier County Night Out event will be held on Tuesday, August 1st from 6 to 9 p.m. at the De Queen Sportsplex.

 

Gentry said the sheriff's office will be taking donations of school supplies for backpacks that will be giving away to area students.

 

Gentry said if you would like to set up a booth at the event, you should contact Dana Gentry at 870-279-0499 to reserve a spot.

 

Gentry said this is a free event for the community and nothing will be sold during the event.

 

The sheriff's office is partnering with Smiles of Arkansas Dental, Tres Agaves restaurant and the De Queen Medical Center. Other partners may be announced at a later date.

 

Gentry said his office will accept any and all donations and volunteers will be needed to ensure this year's Night Out event is as big a success as last year's.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE    6/26/17

 

July 1st is the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state government of Arkansas. District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the June Revenue Report is expected to be released sometime this week and it will reflect the end of year totals.

 

Vaught said from previous months reports, state officials have a good indication of what will be reflected. At the end of May, the available general revenue was $4.7 billion dollars. That's $49.1 million dollars or 1 percent below the general revenue level at this time last year.

 

Arkansas's two largest sources of general revenue are collected from a portion of the state sales and use tax and from the Arkansas individual income tax. Other forms of general revenue include: taxes on alcohol and tobacco products; severance taxes on oil, mineral, gravel and natural gas; corporate franchises and corporate income and real estate transfers.

 

Vaught said so far this year, individual income taxes and sales tax have generated more revenue than the previous year, however, corporate income taxes are down.

 

The Official General Revenue Forecast was revised on May 2nd that resulted in a reduction of $70 million dollars in the year end amount for Net Available revenue to $5.263 billion dollars. Vaught said although revenue fell behind what was originally forecasted, the state was able to fund all essential services.