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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.

 

Vaught said state officials were given a report that says the state expects revenue to increase by 3.6 percent or $190 million dollars. Vaught said this report is based on the assumption that new and expanded industrial projects including steel production and food processing will bring economic gains to areas outside the state's larger cities. 

 

According to state officials, the state will begin the new fiscal year with a record unemployment rate in the state, with the highest number of employed Arkansans since 2008. The state's current unemployment rate is 3.4 percent. The national unemployment rate is 4.3 percent.

 

Vaught said with more Arkansans working, the economic forecast for the state is positive.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT ASKING VOTERS FOR 3.9 MILL INCREASE       6/23/17

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the Ashdown Board of Education approved his recommendation to seek a 3.9 mill increase from the Ashdown School District voters.

 

Sanders told KDQN the district asked the voters for a millage increase two years ago, but it was defeated by a total of 36 votes.

 

During the regular meeting of the Ashdown Board of Education, Scott Beardsley of First Security Financial - Beardsley informed the board that a 3.9 mill increase would raise about $15.8 million dollars for new construction. Therefore, the board voted to hold a special election for school improvements on September 19th.

 

Sanders stated the district plans to consolidate the elementary campuses into one and add over 60,000 feet of new space. He said they also want to purchase new furniture for the building and do some renovation at the junior high school.

 

Sanders also reported the district was awarded $810,000 by the Arkansas Department of Education for the construction project.

 

Board members accepted the resignation of assistant basketball coach Cody Wilmath and the retirement of head softball coach Wiley Cunningham. They also hired Sonia Caskey has an elementary teacher.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY, DE QUEEN BRANCH, HOSTS SUMMER READING PROGRAM      6/23/17

 

The De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library system is hosting its annual Summer Reading Program to help keep kids learning all summer long with resources and reading contests.

 

According to several studies, summer can be a time of academic enrichment for children or a time of learning loss. Unless students continue reading or join engaging programs, children risk losing two to three months of reading skills over the summer.

 

Arkansas libraries work to reduce summer reading loss by offering reading activities during the summer months. This year, the De Queen Library is teaming up with Jamie Walters from the Arkansas Educational Television Network for their Summer Reading Program. AETN provides educational programming on both AETN and their new 24/7 channel AETN PBS KIDS. AETN has provided the De Queen Library with activity booklets, bookmarks, pencils, t-shirts and Frisbees to keep children busy this summer.

 

AETN also offers PBS KIDS educational resources to help families in Arkansas close the gaps in summer learning and overall achievement. Summer activities, reading charts, coloring sheets and other materials are available at the website, aetn.org/kids.

 

The De Queen Library reading contest is for children 3 to 8. The Summer Reading Contest is for children 9 to 15 and it will kick off on July 1st and go through July 31st. There will be three age groups; 9-10, 11-12, and 13-15. The child who reads the most books in each age category will win a backpack full of school supplies.

 

The De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library System is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 to noon. For more information, call 870-584-4364.

 

 

BARRETT BABER TO PERFORM AT STAND UP FOR AMERICA JULY 1ST     6/23/17

 

Barrett Baber is headlining the Stand Up for America show in Nashville on Saturday, July 1st. Baber was in the top three of Season 9 on The Voice and he said he's been working hard since then.

 

Last year, Baber released the album "A Room Full of Fighters" and it debuted in the Top 10 on iTunes Top 100 Album charts and he formed a partnership with Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola to help keep his brand in front of country music listeners.

 

July 1st, Baber will be performing in Nashville during the Stand Up of America celebration. Mike Reese said they will open the gates at 5 p.m. this year with some local talent performing for the first hour and a half.

 

Reese said they will have a patriotic portion of the show at 6:30. And, Baber told KDQN that he was excited to perform in Arkansas, next Saturday.

 

For tickets contact the Nashville Chamber of Commerce at 870-845-1262.

 

 

BENEFIT FOR EAGLETOWN BASEBALL     6/23/17

 

Mike and Kyle Willis 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.

 

Willis 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 and Mike said the deadline to register is Friday, July 12th at noon, but for more information, call 870-784-1716 or 870-784-1304.

 

Willis said Eagletown High School has not had a baseball team for the past three years, but they are trying to have a team for the 2017-2018 school year.

  

 

JUNE MEETING SCHEDULED FOR STORAGE TANKS ADVISORY COMMITTEE      6/23/17

 

The Arkansas Petroleum Storage Tank Advisory Committee will meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 27th, at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality headquarters in North Little Rock.

 

Items on the agenda include a report concerning the financial status of the Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund and to consider requests for reimbursement from the city's of Wickes, Texarkana, Van Buren, Blytheville and Benton for the cleanup operations involving petroleum releases.

 

 

OKLAHOMA STATE BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION INVESTIGATING FATAL OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN MCCURTAIN COUNTY     6/22/17

 

Wednesday afternoon, the McCurtain County District Attorney's Office asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate an officer-involved shooting in Millerton.

 

The shooting occurred when a McCurtain County Sheriff's deputy and a Valliant police officer responded to a domestic altercation call on Chickasaw Road. When officers arrived, they encountered 37-year-old Daniel Francisco Valenzuela who had forced his way into the residence.

 

Valenzuela was armed with a knife and ignored the officer's commands. According to the incident report, Valenzuela threatened the officers with the knife and advanced toward them.

 

One officer shot Valenzuela. He was transported to the McCurtain Memorial Hospital where he died from his injuries. 

 

 

AMNESTY PROGRAM STARTS JULY 1ST IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      6/22/17

 

The Ashdown Police Department and the Little River County Sheriff's Office announced they will be conducting an amnesty program to help residents with old fines, July 1st through July 31st.

 

According to a press release, anyone who has an outstanding warrant or is on a payment plan for fines and has fallen behind can contact the District Court Clerk and take advantage of the amnesty program. Anyone paying their old fines during this period will be eligible to have the warrant fee's dropped. Anyone who is behind on payments or has neglected to pay a fine may also contact the District Court Clerk in the Little River County Courthouse and participate in the program.

 

Organizers with both the Ashdown Police Department and the Little River County Sheriff's Office said this program will help those who want to catch up on their fines and hopefully it will help both agencies collect the fines without having to arrest anyone and hold them in jail.

 

For more information about the program, call the District Court Clerk at 870-898-7230.

 

 

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL EXPECTED TO RAISE FIRE PROTECTION FEES FOR CITY RESIDENTS       6/22/17

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the 2016 Legislative audit is underway and the Dierks city council had to pass an amended budget to satisfy an audit requirement this month. He also mentioned the council is expected to increase the fire protection fee for city residents from $2 a month to $4 a month.

 

Mounts said the Dierks Volunteer Fire Department would like to purchase a newer truck, which could help lower the city's fire rating.

 

Mounts said work is underway on the new city park, which is north of town. He said Clifton Ward has donated manpower and equipment to help clear the 30-acre property. Mounts said an engineer from Texarkana is developing plans for the new park.

 

Mounts also announced the city received the Four Star Municipality Award during the 83rd Annual Convention of the Arkansas Municipal League. He said the award is presented to municipalities who have exhibited excellence in loss control while participating in the Municipal Health Benefit Fund, the Municipal Vehicle Program, the Municipal Legal Defense Program and the Municipal Workers Compensation Trust.

 

Mounts said only 16 municipalities were selected to receive the award, this year.

 

 

FATHER ARRESTED FOR DRUG POSSESSION       6/22/17

 

About 8:30 p.m. on Father's Day, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Jackson pulled a vehicle over for crossing the center line on several occasions.

 

After Jackson received permission to search the vehicle, he discovered a metal socket that contained some burnt marijuana. Deputy Greg Harper assisted Jackson in the search and he found a glass pipe, rolled up in a blue shop towel.

 

At first, both the driver, 53-year-old Thomas Parr and the passenger, Thomas Parr's daughter, stated the pipe and marijuana did not belong to them, however, after Harper found a bag of suspected methamphetamine, Parr finally admitted the drugs were his.

 

Parr was taken into custody and charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS APPLIES FOR STATE FUNDING FOR STREET PAVING PROJECT      6/22/17

 

The city of Mineral Springs is working to get several streets paved this summer. Mayor Bobby Tullis reported the city public works department paved north Crawford Street this month and they used the used road grader that the city purchased in April to help the city save money.

 

Tullis said they've paved north Crawford Street and they are working on south Mercer Street and Center Street. He said they hope to pave 10 to 15 blocks by next year.

 

Last year, the city received $250,000 from the state's highway department. Tullis said the city has applied for another street paving grant, but he wants to pave as many streets as possible with city funds.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT TO ADDRESS HOUSE NUMBER ISSUE       6/21/17

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday night requiring every building within the city limits of De Queen to display the number that was assigned by the 911 emergency system.

 

The ordinance states numbers should be placed where they can be clearly seen from the street. The letters should be at least 3-inches in height for residential structures and 6-inches in height for non-residential structures.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the city council that the fire department has agreed to go house to house and place 911 numbers on homes for free.

 

Aldermen also adopted an ordinance prohibiting the use of engine compression brakes. McKelvy said the Jacobs Vehicle Systems company informed the city that they could not use the term 'Jake Brake' in their city ordinance or display the term on signage in the city because it's a copyrighted term. So, Tuesday night the De Queen City Council adopted a new ordinance that omitted the term 'Jake Brake'.

 

McKelvy reported the street paving project is underway and aldermen approved a request to increase the street paving budget by $25,000 so they can have the parking lanes paved on Stilwell Avenue.

 

McKelvy also reported Vyve Broadband informed the city that they will be dropping the Esquire and Universal HD channels because they are ceasing their network operations. He said Vyve also reported they will be increasing their subscription prices by $3 a month for customers with the non-promotional bundle packages with video services.

 

The letter also states that some customers in De Queen were not being charged the standard broadcast TV fees, and they will start assessing those fees on the affected customer's bills, starting in July.

 

McKelvy also pointed out that the city's sales tax collection increased in May since Amazon started collecting sales tax on their online sales in March.

 

Aldermen also voted to move the council meeting that was scheduled for July 4th to July 11th at 6 p.m.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HOSTS SUCCESSFUL ARKANSAS YOUTH FISHING TEAM TRAIL CHAMPIONSHIP         6/21/17

 

Arkansas Youth Fishing Association President Chuck Philips reported this year's Arkansas Youth Fishing Team Trail Championship was the best event ever. He said the largest sack of fish weighed during the high school tournament set a new record at 26.86 pounds.

 

Philips reported over 400 fish were caught and released back into the Tri-Lakes. He said over 140 fish were caught on day one.

 

Philips said there were some concerns about dead fish. He said the anglers were told to keep the dead fish in their boats. He said there were 10 dead fish on the first day, 14 on the second day and eight on the third day, which is less than 10 percent of the total number of fish that were caught.

 

Philips said all of the dead fish were filleted and donated to a needy family in the area.

 

Philips reported 35 teams brought their families to the area for last weekend’s tournament and about 400 people attended the weigh-in each day.

 

The winners of the tournament won almost $6,000 in scholarship money.

 

 

SUSPICIOUS PERSONS REPORTEDLY IN LOCKESBURG      6/21/17

 

Early Saturday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chet Stubbs was informed that there were two suspicious persons going in and out of the EZ-Mart store in Lockesburg.

 

An EZ-Mart employee provided a clothing description of the two suspects and informed Deputy Stubbs that the pair left in a silver Pontiac.

 

Stubbs was able to locate the vehicle on Highway 70 at the Cossatot River. He reported the vehicle was traveling 39 miles per hour in 55 miles per hour speed zone. He also witnessed the driver make an improper lane change.

 

While conducting a traffic stop, Stubbs noticed a devise that he suspected was being used to smoke marijuana.

 

Stubbs then took 19-year-old Benjamin Bevill of Lockesburg into custody for possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license.

 

Bevill was also cited for not wearing a seatbelt. And, he was given a warning for impeding the flow of traffic and for an improper lane change.

 

The passenger, a minor female, was allowed to drive Bevill’s vehicle to her residence.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT TO HOST SAFETY BABY SHOWER       6/21/17

 

The Sevier County Health Department is hosting a Safety Baby Shower on Tuesday, July 18th beginning at 5 p.m. The shower is open to any pregnant woman or postpartum woman up to a year after their baby is born. Space is limited so call 870-642-2535 to make a reservation.

 

The shower will include education on home safety, safe sleep, shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma, and child passenger safety in a festive, shower-themed atmosphere, complete with refreshments, decorations, games and prizes. Shower gifts will include various home safety projects, instructional DVDs on infant crying and shaken baby syndrome and convertible child safety seats. Participants will meet with a trained Child Passenger Safety technician to receive the child safety seat and they will receive individual instruction on how to install the car seat correctly.

 

Fathers and grandparents are also invited to attend.

 

The Safety Baby Shower is being presented in partnership with the Sevier County Health Unit, the Sevier County coalition and other community partners. For more information or to sign up, call 870-642-2535.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: ONLINE PREDATORS WORKING OVERTIME DURING SUMMER MONTHS       6/21/17

 

Online predators target children during the summer months when school is out and children spend more time on the internet.

 

Parents and adults can protect children while they are accessing online resources and having fun on social media.

 

Attorney General Leslies Rutledge released the following tips for parents to implement this summer while their children are home on summer vacation. She said you should make sure children keep passwords, pictures and personal information private and only share that information with their parents or guardian.

 

Rutledge also said parents should remind their children to never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet online. She said parents should teach children not to post anything on the internet that they would not want others to see.

 

Rutledge said you should let children know that they should not say anything online that they would not say in public and tell them not to respond to messages from people they do not know or to messages that are inappropriate.

 

Rutledge said parents should also encourage their children to tell an adult if they ever encounter a problem online.

 

The Attorney General's office is hosting an internet safety webcast on August 2nd and the AG's office also provides a tip card for consumers, information about how to spot cyberbullying, as well as a Parent's Guide to Internet Safety.

 

For more information contact the Attorney General's office by calling 1-800-482-4882 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT VOTES TO PURCHASE NEW ELECTION EQUIPMENT       6/20/17

 

Monday afternoon, the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court held a special called meeting to discuss the purchase of new election equipment. Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin reported the old equipment was purchased in 2006.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported the total cost of the equipment is going to be $211,263.79. He said the Arkansas Secretary of State's office is going to provide $106,027.45 and the county is responsible for the remaining $105.236.35. Ray said the county will use funds from a reserve account to cover the county's portion of the cost.

 

Ray said the Sevier County Election Commission reduced the number of polling places in the county, which saved the county some money.

 

Akin also reported the new equipment should be delivered in time for the September 19th School Election.

 

 

BAILEY FAMILY OF DE QUEEN NAMED 2017 DISTRICT FARM FAMILY OF THE YEAR      6/20/17

 

The eight district winners in the 70th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program have been selected, including Will and Sydney Bailey of De Queen.

 

The district winners will now be judged to determine the state winner which will be announced December 7th at the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.

 

The district winners are:

Will and Sydney Bailey of De Queen in Sevier County for the West Central District. The Baileys have a hay operation, a cow/calf operation and raise broilers. They have two children, Lynnlee and Benjamin.

 

Luke and DeeDee Alston of Mena in Polk County were selected the District Farm Family for the Western District. The Alston family has a diversified operation ranging from strawberries and sweet corn, to cattle, broiler houses and even honeybees. They also have a six-acre corn maze. The Alstons have two children, Ryan and Drey.

 

Chris and Heather Tharp of Floral in Independence County, Gittlein Farms in Maysville in Benton County, Eddie and Annette Wray of Trumann in Poinsett County, Brandon and Jessica Chapman of Scott in Pulaski County, Cedar Corner Farm of Stuttgart in North Arkansas County and Rocking CK Farms of Garland in Miller County.

 

According to Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach, these farm families represent a great cross-section of Arkansas agriculture, from row-crops to livestock to fresh produce and honey production.

 

The Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of the top farm families in each county and culminates with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year who will represent the state at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the year. Arkansas has had two Southeastern Farmers of the year, Brian Kirksey of Clark County in 2008 and Wildy Family Farms in Mississippi County in 2016. All winners are judged on their farm production, efficiency, management, family life and rural/community leadership.

 

 

DISTRICT POULTRY BBQ CONTEST RESULTS     6/20/17

 

 

 

Winners from the Sevier County 4-H Poultry BBQ contest were given an opportunity to compete at the District 4-H Poultry BBQ contest in Arkadelphia on May 4th.

 

Each participant was provided either two chicken halves or two turkey breast filets for barbecuing and was allowed two hours of cooking time. Contestants were scored for barbecue skills, sensory evaluation and presentation by three sets of judges. Contestants were required to provide a recipe or preparation outline cards describing the sauce, rubs, ingredients, or other treatments that were associated with the cooking of the poultry.

 

Hunter Frachiseur received first place in the junior division; Trey Mason received third place in the junior division and Amber Morris received third place in the senior division. All three prepared turkey breast in the contest. Others who competed from Sevier County were: Blake and Jake Sawyer, Brayden Frachiseur, Megan Midgett, Brady Haarmeyer and Kaedon Davis.

 

Front row, left to right: Brayden Frachiseur, Hunter Frachiseur, Brady Haarmeyer, Kaedon Davis, and Jake Sawyer, Back row, left to right: Trey Mason, Megan Midgett, Blake Sawyer, and Amber Morris.

 

 

 

ALONG FOR THE RIDE      6/20/17

 

Friday night, Sevier County Sergeant Greg Davignon was patrolling on Provo Road in Lockesburg when he observed a Chevy SUV traveling at a high rate of speed.

 

Davignon reported he smelt a strong odor of alcohol when he approached the vehicle and the driver, Aaron Mooreland informed him that the passenger, 36-year-old Lakisha Britt had been drinking.

 

When Davignon asked Britt how much she had consumed, she allegedly told him that she had been drinking and that she had smoked some weed earlier.

 

Davignon reported when he asked Britt to step out of the vehicle he noticed she grabbed her purse. After getting permission to search the purse, Davignon found a bowl that is commonly used to smoke meth.

 

Davignon then released Mooreland and arrested Britt for possession of drug paraphernalia.  

 

 

WOLF OF AMERICAN GLADIATOR FAME NAMED BARREL MAN FOR PINE TREE FESTIVAL     6/20/17

 

It's less than two-months from the Dierks Pine Tree Festival and Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Stacy Janes announced the 5th annual Ultimate Bull riding event is being sanctioned by the Championship Bull Riding Association from Weatherford, Texas. He said the cowboys will be competing for points to qualify for the CBR finals in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

 

Janes also stated the bull fighting event is going to be sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the three bull fighters will be earning points for the PRCA finals in Las Vegas.

 

Janes said Friday night will feature the miniature bull riding event again this year, but he expects more participates and a bigger crowd, this year.

 

Janes also announced Don Yates, who is also known as Wolf of the American Gladiators is going to be the barrel man this year, during Saturday night's bull riding event.

 

For more information about the Pine Tree Festival, contact the Dierks Chamber of Commerce at 870-286-2671.

 

 

ALLIGATOR HUNT PERMIT APPLICATIONS CAN BE MADE THROUGH JUNE 30 IN ARKANSAS       6/20/17

 

Applications for the 2017 Arkansas alligator season are available at agfc.com, and the deadline to apply is midnight on Friday, June 30th.

 

This is the 11th season of modern-day alligator hunting in Arkansas. The largest alligator that has been taken to date was 13-feet, 10-inches. It was captured in 2015 by James Pelt of Camden.

 

State biologists finished their alligator surveys within the last month, and 101 permits will be available in this year's drawing, according to Mark Barbee who is a regional biologist at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's Monticello office.

 

Private-land at-large tags will represent 60 of the 101 permits; 20 permits will be available for public land in Zone 3, in Southwest Arkansas. Private-land at-large tags are available through the regular draw application process, but people who are drawn must provide written permission from the landowner, along with a map of their hunt area during the mandatory orientation meeting.

 

Each permit authorizes the harvest of one alligator, which must be at least 4-feet long. Alligator hunting is allowed 30-minutes after sunset until 30-minutes before sunrise, September 15th through the 18th and September 22nd to the 25th.

 

Each permit holder may have up to three assistants with them on the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon or dispatch the alligator.

 

Applicants must be at least 16 years old on the day the hunt begins, and only Arkansas residents or holders of an Arkansas Lifetime Sportsman's Permit may apply.

 

Successful hunters will be able to check their alligator online instead of the mobile check stations that were required when the hunts began.

 

Alligator-hunt applicants must pay a $5 nonrefundable processing fee at the time of their application. The purpose of the fee is to curtail frivolous applications that historically reduced the chances that more avid hunters would draw permits.

 

 

10-YEAR-OLD GIRL DROWNS IN RED RIVER SOUTH OF IDABEL      6/19/17

 

A 10-year-old Texas girl drowned in the Red River about 30-miles south of Idabel over the weekend. Oklahoma Highway Patrol said the girl's body was recovered around 11 p.m. Saturday night.

 

A trooper reported the girl was wading in the rapids when she slipped and went under the water just before 6 p.m. The incident report says the girl never resurfaced and she was not wearing a life jacket.

 

Emergency crews dragged the river for her body and made the recovery in 6 feet of water about 30 yards from the Oklahoma shore.

 

Hayworth, Garvin, Broken Bow, Idabel and Tom fire departments assisted the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's Marine Enforcement Division, along with the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office, the Little River County Sheriff's Office and the Wright City Police Department.

 

 

UA COSSATOT BANK OF LOCKESBURG GYMNASIUM OPEN HOUSE      6/19/17

 

Saturday, UA Cossatot held an open house for the newly renovated UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium to allow the community to see the restored building.

 

UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole stated the gymnasium is going to be for public use and community events.

 

Cole said the college has also received a grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission for the renovation of the high school building. He said it will include a museum, along with classroom space.

 

University of Arkansas System President Dr. Donald Bobbitt attended Saturday's Open House and he stressed how important community college's are to the state of Arkansas.

 

Dr. Bobbitt informed KDQN that he and the University of Arkansas System is thrilled with the results at Lockesburg.

 

Dr. Cole also stated the UA Cossatot Foundation is currently collecting donations so the sidewalks can be restored and maintained. And the Lockesburg Alumni Association donated $4,800 for the purchase of furniture in the gymnasium in the classroom and conference room.

 

 

 

 

11 PEOPLE APPLIED FOR TWO LIQUOR LICENSES IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       6/19/17

 

According to Arkansas law, only one liquor permit may be issued for every 5,000 people living in a county as of the last census. And according to Mary Robin Casteel of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board of Arkansas, 11 individuals applied for one of the two permits that will be issued in Little River County.

 

Casteel said individuals on the list will be eligible to participate in a drawing that will be held in Little Rock sometime in July. The drawing will determine the order by which the eligible applicants may present their applications to the ABC Board at their August meeting.

 

Casteel explained that number one and two will go first and if either of those applicants is denied for any reason, then number three will have an opportunity to appear before the board after the appeal process of the denied applicant is exhausted.

 

Applications were accepted from April 1st to May 30th

 

The following individuals have applied for the two permits:

1. Ralph C. Brainerd, Jr. with Bogey's at 125 Webster Drive in Ashdown

2. Deana Dawson with Hooked Up Bait and More on Highway 32 East, Ashdown

3. Richard Fawcett with Little River Liquor at Highway 32 Business, in Ashdown

4. Geraldine Haskins with Jerry's Drive-In at 1210 South Constitution Avenue in Ashdown

5. Natasha Henderson with Haystack at 714 U.S. Highway 71 South in Ashdown

6. Lifford Luthringer with Little River Liquor at South Constitution Avenue in Ashdown

7. Tammie Luthringer with Tammielu's at 816 First Avenue in Foreman

8. Tonja Parker with Ashdown Liquor at Elsoton Drive in Ashdown

9. James Pickett with Highline Liquor at 774 U.S. Highway 71 South, in Ashdown

10. Jerry Pickett with Pickett Up Liquor at 614 U.S. Highway 71 South in Ashdown

11. Rachelle Pickett with Tipsy Turtle Liquor at 806 U.S. Highway 71 South in Ashdown.

 

Voters approved the proposal to sell beer and wine in retail stores in November of 2016.

 

With voters’ approval, retail stores such as E-Z mart, Wal-Mart, Brookshire's and others wanting to sell beer and wine can apply to get permits from the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

 

  

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - VAUGHT      6/19/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported there are currently more than 50 highway construction projects taking place in the state with work zones in every corner of Arkansas.

 

Vaught said highway work zones can be potentially dangerous for motorists who drive through the complex array of signs, barrels, and lane changes. She said it's also dangerous for workers who build and maintain our streets, bridges and highways.

 

Vaught said you can visit the website, idriverarkansas.com, for updates about construction projects. She said you also find alternate routes around accidents and work zones.

 

Vaught said when you click on the icon with the photo of a construction cone, users can also find detailed information about every project. She said you'll see when the project started, when it is expected to end, how much the project is expected to cost, and the name of the contractor in charge of the project.

 

Vaught said at the top of the screen there's an icon with the words "construction programs" and you can see exactly how tax dollars are being spent through the Connecting Arkansas Program and the Interstate Rehabilitation Program.

 

The Connecting Arkansas Program was approved by voters in the 2012 general election and provides a temporary half-cent sales tax to fund continued construction of four-lane highways to connect all four corners of the state, including the widening of existing four-lane highways to help ease congestion.

 

The Interstate Rehabilitation Program was made possible when the citizens of Arkansas voted in 201 to allow the Arkansas Highway Commission to issue up to $575 million in GARVEE bonds to help finance improvements and repairs to existing Interstates in Arkansas.

 

You can also find information about Arkansas Welcome Centers, highway rest areas, weight restricted roads and bridges and commuter park and ride lots on the IDrive Arkansas website.

 

 

SUSPECT ATTEMPTS TO DESTROY EVIDENCE      6/19/17

 

Thursday, June 15th, a person driving a silver Pontiac van stopped next to a Sevier County patrol vehicle on Crosstrials Road. Deputy Greg Harper and Sergeant Greg Davignon noted the vehicle had one working headlight and the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

 

Deputies asked the driver, 52-year-old Kenneth Shope to step out of the vehicle, but he refused. Eventually, Shope stepped out of the van and deputies watched him step on a glass smoking device that had fallen out of the van in an attempt to destroy it.

 

Deputies took Shope into custody and discovered his license had been suspended and he had an active warrant in Little River County.

 

While searching the vehicle, deputies found a bag of suspected methamphetamine on the dash.

 

Shope was charged with possession of a controlled substance - meth and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

CONSTRUCTION ON MINERAL SPRINGS BUILDING PROJECT IS UNDERWAY       6/19/17

 

Work has started on the Mineral Springs School District building project.

 

Dirt work is continuing toward the east side of the site and the pad has been built for the elementary wing, student dining hall and the physical education classroom. Other sections will be ready for concrete work this week as work progresses west to east.

 

The Mineral Springs Board of Education approved the 2016 audit during their recent board meeting and outgoing Superintendent Curtis Turner informed the board that it was the cleanest audit he had ever seen. He said there were no findings in the 2016 audit.

 

Board members approved leasing three buses at a cost of $48,000 and they hired Stacey Gaddis to teach 6th grade math; Lana Burney to teach 6th grade literacy; and Drake Staggs was hired as a coach and science teacher. The board also changed the contact of Chad Freeman from a 10-month contract to a 12-month contract.

 

 

UA COSSATOT LOWERS TUITION      6/19/17

 

The University of Arkansas Cossatot lowered college tuition for out-of-state and non-resident students from $179.50 per credit hour to $100 per credit hour starting in the fall of 2017.

 

The rate is now the lowest in the state and the college hopes the $79.50 decrease will bring in more students from surrounding states.

 

UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole said, historically, UA Cossatot has had one of the highest out-of-state tuitions of any community college in the state. He said Cossatot found itself with a tuition that was 100 percent higher than the state average. Cole said they felt the high tuition rate was creating some additional barriers for their out-of-state students. And, he said Cossatot is in the business of eliminating barriers and not maintaining them.

 

Now, a student who is not a resident of Arkansas can attend UA Cossatot full-time for about $1,700 per semester verses $2,600. Students who are classified as out-of-state students may also be eligible for scholarships and border-county tuition exemptions, which will further lower the cost of attending Cossatot.

 

An Arkansas resident from the college's service area pays only $71 per credit hour, which is the fourth lowest college tuition rate in the state.

 

To enroll in fall classes, visit the website www.cccua.edu/fall or call 1-800-844-4471.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SEARCHING FOR TEXARKANA RESIDENT WITH OUTSTANDING WARRANTS       6/16/17

 

The Little River County Sheriff's Office is searching for 25-year-old Arion D. Walker of Texarkana for outstanding felony warrants.

 

Walker is wanted for residential burglary, commercial burglary, breaking and entering, theft of property and criminal mischief in Little River County.

 

Walker is an African-American male who stands 5'9" tall and weighs 160 pounds.

 

If anyone has information about Walker's whereabouts, contact the Little River County Sheriff's Office at 870-898-5115.

 

Authorities say Walker may also be armed with a firearm, so he should be considered armed and dangerous.

  

 

AARP ARKANSAS HOSTING SMART DRIVER COURSE ON SUNDAY, JUNE 25TH IN DE QUEEN      6/16/17

 

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.

 

Conatser said he and his wife will be offering an AARP Defensive Driving Class on Sunday, June 25th from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Senior Citizen Center on Haes Avenue in De Queen.

 

The cost is $15 for AARP members or $20 for non-AARP members. To register for the class, call 870-292-3355.

 

Conatser also reminded area listeners that they are trying to open a Welcome Center in De Queen at the Sevier County Museum. He said if you are interested in volunteering at the new Welcome Center; contact Karen Mills at 870-642-6642.

 

Conatser said the state will provide all of the brochures and signage for the Welcome Center.

 

 

I CAUGHT THE THEFT ON CAMERA       6/16/17

 

Tuesday evening about 6 p.m., Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Jackson took a report at the Sevier County Sheriff's office from Rachel Lovell who reported she was having problems with a neighbor.

 

Lovell stated she put up some game cameras and she had pictures of someone taking items out of a shed that sat behind her house, which burned down on June 10th.

 

The next day, Sergeant Greg Davignon interviewed 27-year-old Travis Pressley of De Queen about the incident. According to the incident report, Pressley allegedly admitted to taking the items. He also allegedly informed Davignon that the items were still at his house.

 

Pressley was charged with breaking and entering, theft of property and criminal trespass.

 

 

GETTING LOST IN BEN LOMOND RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST       6/16/17

 

Wednesday night, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy David Stinson was patrolling Highway 27 in the Ben Lomond area when he observed a vehicle turn into the driveway of a chicken farm in what he suspected was an attempt to avoid him.

 

When the vehicle returned to the highway, they discovered Stinson was sitting in his patrol vehicle at the end of the driveway. Stinson reported when the driver saw him, she got out of the vehicle and approached him.

 

Stinson said she informed him that she was lost, but kept changing her story. Stinson said he also suspected she was under the influence of drugs.

 

Stinson said the individual did not have any identification but provided him with the name Cary Murry of Vandervoort. He discovered Murry had several active warrants in Little River County, the state of Texas and that her driver's license was suspended.

 

Stinson was assisted by Sevier County Sergeant Greg Davignon and Deputy Greg Harper. While searching the car, they discovered a glass smoking devise with suspected methamphetamine residue in it, under the car where Murry was standing.

 

At the jail, Stinson found a small metal box in Murry's purse. He reported it contained a bag of suspected meth.

 

Murry was charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled substance - meth and a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

LITTLE RIVER LEADERSHIP CLASS        6/16/17

 

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.

 

Hawthorne said this is one of her favorite things to do with the chamber.

 

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 many past participates have gone on to serve on several boards and commissions.

 

Hawthorne said the 2017 leadership class will select a class project during their overnight retreat at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Conservation Center. She said they will get to know one another and learn team building skills

 

For more information or to register, call the Little River County Chamber office at 870-898-2758.

 

 

THURSDAY NIGHT PRELIMINARY WINNERS ANNOUNCED      6/16/17

 

The 80th Annual Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant is being held at the Robinson Center in Little Rock this week and the Thursday night preliminary winners were announced, including the winners of the Miss Arkansas Alpha Awards, which are presented to first-time Miss Arkansas contestants that garnered the most points in their respective group.

 

Thursday night, Miss Henderson State University Olivia Moore was presented the Bringing Beauty to Life Award. The award was judged by an independent marketing agency and given to the contestant who most effectively marketed the EcoTools brand on social media.

 

Moore is the 19-year-old daughter of Patricia and Robert Moore of Gurdon. She attends Henderson State University and will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

 

The Sharon Evans Bale "We Are More" Award was presented to Miss Greater Little Rock Brooke Cornelius of Hope. The award is given to the contestant who demonstrates that they are more than just a pretty face, and who represents strong character and a passion for serving others.

 

Cornelius is the 23-year-old daughter of Robyn and Chad Cornelius of Hope. She is a graduate of Henderson State University and is a current student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law.

 

The competition will continue Saturday with the crowning of the 2017 Miss Arkansas at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

BILL BLACKWOOD'S LIFE REMEMBERED      6/15/17

 

Former Superintendent of the De Queen School District, Bill Blackwood, passed away early Wednesday morning.

 

Blackwood served 55 years in the De Queen School District. He served as a math teacher, junior high principal, high school principal and was the superintendent of the district for 31 years. He retired from the district in 2012.

 

When Blackwood took over as the superintendent, the De Queen School District was in financial trouble. In 2012, Blackwood said the district was using it's certificates of deposit to make payroll, but over the next several years, the district was able to build up its balance.

 

In 1986, district patrons voted down a bond issue to build classrooms. So, Blackwood and the De Queen Board of Education started building three or four classrooms at a time, as the district could afford the construction.

 

The district used district employees to build the buildings, install the heating and air, painting, and cabinet work.

 

Under Blackwood's leadership, the district was recognized for its quality of education. In 2010, two De Queen schools were among the top 20 schools in the state in math achievement and the middle school and junior high school were ranked number 10 and number 11 on the state's Outstanding Educational Performance list.  

 

Blackwood helped navigate the De Queen School District and the City of De Queen through many changes and his legacy will never be forgotten.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT CONSIDERING EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION SYSTEM      6/15/17

 

Members of the Sevier County Quorum Court heard a presentation about an emergency notification system from AlertSense. According to Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, the system would provide severe weather alerts to county residents. However, he said it would only help if people signed up for the service.

 

Judge Ray also reminded county residents to sign up for free smoke detectors that the American Red Cross is donating to the county in September.

 

Ray also reported County Clerk Debbie Akin informed the JPs that the county needs to upgrade its voting equipment. He said Akin told the JPs that it would cost about $210,000 to replace the equipment, but the county could apply for a state grant in the amount of $106,000.

 

JPs approved an ordinance amending the county's 2016 Operating Budget and they approved an appropriation in the amount of $700 for telephone service for the Veteran's Affairs Officer's office.

 

And, Debbie Pickering was appointed to the Sevier County Equalization Board.

 

 

LET FREEDOM RING PROGRAM IN DE QUEEN IS JULY 1ST      6/15/17

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced they will be adding a Let Freedom Ring Pageant to this year's program. He said the pageant is being organized by Blaire Harp and it will be held in the De Queen High School Auditorium at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 24th.

 

Harp said the pageant is a glitz/glamour pageant and there are several categories.

 

She said Cody Lites and Sammy O'Conner will be the emcees and there will be entertainment. Harp also mentioned the deadline to pre-register is this Sunday, June 18th. She said she will be at the community building in the Herman Dierks Park Community Building this Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.  Late registration will be accepted through the day of the pageant, but will be $15 higher.  Registration form.

 

Harp said funds will be used to help children participate in organized sports activities through the park system.

 

Hale said the Let Freedom Ring program will start at 6 p.m. 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 642-4140.

 

Hale said the Midnight Hurricanes will be performing and the fireworks show will begin at dark.

 

For more information about the pageant, contact Harp by calling 870-279-0444 or email her at blaire.harp@yahoo.com.

 

 

FREEDOM FROM BLINDNESS 10K THIS FOURTH OF JULY IN LOCKESBURG        6/15/17

 

Zebbie Launius of the Lockesburg Lion's Club announced this morning that Friday is the deadline to sign up for the club's Freedom from Blindness 10K this Fourth of July if you want to receive a free t-shirt.

 

She said the annual fundraiser is Tuesday, July 4th at the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park in Lockesburg beginning at 7 a.m.

 

Launius said the registration fee is $25 if it's received by Friday or $30 after Friday. She also said you can donate $25 as a virtual runner to help the club purchase glasses for children.

 

To register, Launius said you should call Terry Chapman at 479-234-1676, drop off a registration form at the Bank of Lockesburg or go online at getmeregistered.com.

 

In the event of weather conditions that present an imminent danger to the runners, the race will be cancelled and no refunds will be given.

 

 

ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN SEVIER COUNTY      6/15/17

 

Officials with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department announced the Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Sevier County.

 

The purpose of the project is to resurface 5.1 miles of U.S. Highway 70 from the Oklahoma State Line extending eastward.

 

R.K. Hall of Paris, Texas was awarded the contract at $1,761,467.07.

 

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

 

For travel information on Arkansas' highways visit the websites IDriveArkansas.com or ArkansasHighways.com.


 

 

 

FOREMAN HIGH SCHOOL NAMED ONE OF THE HIGHEST-PERFORMING SCHOOLS IN ARKANSAS         6/14/17

 

The Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas announced Foreman High School as been named one of the highest-performing schools in Arkansas based on the 2014-2015 PARCC assessments.

 

Superintendent George Kennedy reported the high school was named a High Achieving High School for the Region Overall, in Math and in English Language Arts. He said the Office for Education Policy measures a schools assessment scores and then creates a school grade point average and the schools with the highest GPAs are presented High Achieving Awards.

 

Kennedy said the district received its annual Accreditation Report from the State Board of Education's Standards Committee. He said the Oscar Hamilton Elementary is accredited and the high school is accredited, but cited.

 

Kennedy also announced Ash Grove Cement is donating $150,000 to the district to upgrade the Foreman High School softball facilities.

 

Members of the Foreman Board of Education voted to hire Lisa Carver as a 7th through 12th grade English teacher and Sarah Blackman as an elementary teacher. They also extended the contract of Lacey Hall from 205 days to 215.

  

 

EXPIRED TAGS LEAD TO DRUG ARREST       6/14/17

 

About 1:30 Sunday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chet Stubbs noticed the tags were expired on a red Dodge pickup truck as it traveled south on Lakeside Drive.

 

When Stubbs made a traffic stop, he discovered the driver, 50-year-old Elizabeth Higgins of De Queen had an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She was taken into custody and Stubbs informed the passenger, Jimmy Moore that he would need to contact someone to drive his pickup truck because his license was suspended.

 

Stubbs also received permission from Moore to search the truck, since it belonged to him.

 

While searching the truck, Stubbs found a brown hand bag that contained a small plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine. He also found a glass smoking devise that contained suspected meth residue in it inside a bag that contained women's clothing.

 

Higgins allegedly admitted to purchasing $60 dollars worth of meth in Oklahoma, earlier that day. She was charged with a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia. 

 

 

4-H CLOVERBUD - JR. DAY CAMP NEWS      6/14/17

 

Sevier County Cloverbud and Jr. 4-H'ers learned what they should do if they ever find themselves in an unfamiliar place and not sure which direction to turn.

 

Shelley Flanary is a park interpreter at the Cossatot River State Park and she presented a beneficial program explaining all the steps of survival if you're ever lost in the woods. 4-Her's were given a whistle and water bottle to add to their survival bags when they're enjoying the outdoors.

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Wildlife Officers Sydney Grant and Cody Standifer held a question and answer session with the 4-H'ers. And, they explained how they were available to assist people in the community with various problems and the importance of following the laws.

 

4-H'ers ended the program by exploring the Game and Fish truck, along with all the tools that wildlife officers have available to them to help people and animals that are in trouble.

 

4-H'ers also enjoyed a hike to the dam and 4-H teen leaders received some valuable leadership experience by serving Walking Tacos to the group for lunch.

 

The 4-H Cloverbud-Jr. Day Camp is held each year for Sevier County 4-H'ers ages 5 to 13 and their parents at Cossatot Reefs State Park. If you are interested in joining the Sevier County 4-H, call the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 or email Janet Cantrell at jcantrell@uaex.edu.

 Photo by Janet Cantrell

 

MISS ARKANSAS ALPHA AWARDS PRESENTED TUESDAY NIGHT      6/14/17

 

Tuesday night, the Miss Arkansas Alpha Awards were presented during the opening night of the 80th Annual Miss Arkansas Pageant at Robinson Center in Little Rock. Alpha Awards are presented to first-time Miss Arkansas contestants that garner the most points in their respective groups each night.

 

The Savvy Shields Alpha Interview Award was presented by the Miss America Homecoming Celebration Committee to Miss Central Arkansas Hannah Burrow.

 

Burrow is the 24-year-old daughter of Chad and Rachelle Burrow of Foreman and she attends the University of Central Arkansas. Burrow will also receive a $250 scholarship.

 

The Healthy Lifestyles Platform Award was presented to Miss Texarkana/Twin Rivers Kathryn Barfield.

 

Barfield is the 22-year-old Daughter of Robin and Glenn Barfield of Texarkana, Texas and she attends the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Pharmacy. She will receive a $500 scholarship.

 

And, Miss Southwest Arkansas Suzie Gresham of Hope received a $1,000 Social Media Promotions Scholarship. She is the 23-year-old daughter of Ben and Jamie Gresham of Hope. She is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University.

 

This year's Miss Arkansas Pageant features 44 contestants from around the state and they are competing for over $167,000 dollars in scholarships.

 

Preliminary competitions will continue today and Thursday at 7 p.m. The final competition for the Outstanding Teens will be on Friday. The crowning for Miss Arkansas 2017 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

  

 

MINERAL SPRINGS CITY COUNCIL       6/14/17

 

Monday night, the Mineral Springs City Council debated an ordinance that would require the mayor, aldermen and/or department heads to recuse themselves from any decisions where there was a conflict of interest. Mayor Bobby Tullis said the policy was already being used by the council; however aldermen felt the policy needed to be in writing.

 

A motion to introduce the ordinance passed on a 2 to 1 vote with aldermen James Jeanes and Charles Deloney voting for the motion, while aldermen Vera Marks voted against it.

 

Aldermen approved the destruction of three different groups of affidavits from 2007 and 2008 and they approved the water/sewer audit. Tullis also announced the city's legislative audit for 2016 has been completed.

 

Aldermen then discussed some additional street paving work, but will wait to see if the recent paving project on North Crawford Street holds up to some heavy rain.

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK HOSTING 7TH ANNUAL PROSPECTORS' GEMBOREE THIS SATURDAY       6/14/17

 

The Crater of Diamonds State Park is hosting the 7th Annual Prospectors' Gemboree this Saturday and the event is going to feature a treasure hunt in the 37.5 acre diamond search area.

 

According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, this year's festival will include family games and prizes. He said a complete schedule of activities can be picked up at the park's visitor center on Saturday.

 

The 11th Annual Famous Crater Diamonds Exhibition will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Diamond Discovery Center. Guests will be able to meet Crater diamond finders and collectors, as well as hear the stories behind the finds.

 

All Prospectors' Gemboree games and activities are free with the purchase of mine admission, which is $10 for anyone 13 and older; $6 for ages 6-12 and ages five and under are free. For more information, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113.

 

 

ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN HOWARD COUNTY      6/14/17

 

Officials with the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department announced the Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Howard County.

 

The purpose of the project is to resurface 2.3 miles of selected sections of County Road 1 near Mineral Springs.

 

C&F Construction of Smackover was awarded the contract at $249,473.20.

 

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

 

For travel information on Arkansas' highways visit the websites IDriveArkansas.com or ArkansasHighways.com.

 

 

HARGROVE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND SEEKS APPLICANTS      6/14/17

 

Nursing and pharmacy students are encouraged to apply for a $1,000 scholarship that is being offered through the Nicky Hargrove Memorial Scholarship fund. Each applicant must be an accepted or current student in a registered nursing program or a doctor of pharmacy program and they or their parents must be a member of Arkansas Farm Bureau.

 

The recipient will receive $1,000 and may reapply in year. The recipient will be notified by July 15th.

 

The family of Nicky Hargrove established the scholarship fund to honor Hargrove's years of service to Arkansas Farm Bureau and all of Arkansas agriculture. He was a rice, soybean and wheat farmer from Stuttgart and he served as president of Arkansas Farm Bureau from 1976-1986 and was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame in 1999.

 

Hargrove passed away in 2011 at the age of 79, and his family wanted to find a way to honor the people who cared for him throughout his years of illness while also ensuring his name is never forgotten.

 

Scholarship applications can be requested by emailing hargrovescholarship@gmail.com. Applications, along with a resume, are due by July 1st and should be emailed to hargrovescholarship@gmail.com or mailed to 2001 S. Prairie Street, Stuttgart, Arkansas 72160.

 

 

 

Shavings for animal show pens 2017 Fair and Livestock Show   06/14/17

 

Tyson Foods, Grannis/Broken Bow Complex recently assisted the Sevier Co. Fair and Live Stock Association in their efforts to provide pine shavings for the 2017 Fair & Livestock Show's animal pens.

 

Tyson Foods Live Production Manager, Richard Pearce presented a check for $998.00 to (L- R) Sevier Co. Fair Board members: Sandra Nunn and Donna Rivas.

 

Tyson is a proud supporter in the agricultural interests of our area youth.
 

 

 

 

 

CHAMBER KICKS OFF SUMMER MOVIES SERIES THIS SATURDAY NIGHT       6/13/17

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce board member, Daniel Martinez, informed KDQN Tuesday morning that the chamber board as a lot of plans for the upcoming year and they are starting things off with the Summer Movie Series.

 

He said the chamber and UA Cossatot will be kicking off the Summer Movies Series this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. with a free screening of Moana at the UA Cossatot amphitheater. He also said the UA Cossatot OTA students will be operating the concession stand.

 

Martinez said the chamber plans to show two more movies this summer, on July 15th and August 12th.

 

To learn the movie titles visit the chamber's Facebook page, Facebook.com/DeQueenSevierCountyChamberofCommerce.com.

 

 

UA COSSATOT BANK OF LOCKESBURG GYMNASIUM OPEN HOUSE IS SATURDAY 10 TO 1         6/13/17

 

Emily Newlin of UA Cossatot announced the college will be holding an Open House on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium on the old Lockesburg High School campus. She said refreshments will be served at 11 and Dr. Steve Cole will make some remarks and a special presentation at noon.

 

Newlin said all community members who are interested in stepping back into the 1950s are encouraged to attend. Lockesburg High School graduate, Daniel Martinez, stated several former students are also planning to attend.

 

Newlin reported the UA Cossatot Foundation will also be accepting donations on Saturday to help preserve the Lockesburg High School sidewalks.


Newlin also stated the college has received a grant to restore the old high school. She said they are also planning to create a Lockesburg School District museum, as well as create classrooms for educational functions.

 

The UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium restoration project started in the summer of 2016 with the help of an Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council grant.

 

 

SHOPLIFTING IN FRONT OF A COP      6/13/17

 

Friday evening about 6 p.m., off-duty Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Kristyn Reed was shopping in Wal-Mart when she witnessed a woman acting suspicious in the sporting goods section. A little while later, Reed noticed the woman and a man returning some items at the service desk.

 

Later Reed noticed the woman's purse was empty when the man and woman walked past her. She then witnessed the woman putting items in her purse, while the man stood behind her.

 

At that point, Reed approached the pair at the self-check out counter and identified herself as a sheriff's deputy and advised them that they were under arrest for shoplifting.

 

At the Sevier County jail, the woman, 40-year-old Misty Lathem of Texas and the man, 22-year-old Dylan Rohsner of Texas allegedly admitted to stealing some items and returning them for cash.

 

Lathem and Rohsner were cited for shoplifting. 

 

  

CONSUMER ALERT: SKIMMING SCAMS TARGETING ARKANSANS     6/13/17

 

Nashville and Hope police have recently reported finding skimmers on gas station card readers and police in Little Rock and Stuttgart have reported skimmers on ATMs and at gas stations. Skimmers allow criminals to clone the consumer's credit card to purchase other items. Credit and debit card users should take extra steps to protect their account information as multiple reports of skimming have hit Arkansas this year.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to help Arkansans avoid falling victim to skimming: check for obvious signs of tampering; wiggle everything, including the card reader; cover your hand while entering the PIN number; use ATMs in busy locations; and always review account statements for any suspicious activity.

 

Unfortunately, the chip-enabled cards are not currently protected from this scam because most are also equipped with the magnetic stripe which holds the data that these scammers are looking for.

 

Consumers who believe they have been victims of skimming should contact their local law enforcement and card provider or bank to report the fraud.

 

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

 

 

EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS COUNCIL CONVENTION HELD   06/13/17

HOT SPRINGS –  “Volunteering: It's What We Do” was the theme for the 2017 state meeting of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council, on June 6-8 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The Council is a volunteer organization associated with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service that provides its members opportunities for education, leadership development and community service.

Between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016, the most recent period for which statistics are available, Arkansas Extension Homemakers gave 644,735 hours of volunteer service. The Division of Community Service and Nonprofit Support (formerly the Division of Volunteerism), an agency of the Arkansas Department of Human Services, uses $21.36 as the value of each volunteer hour. The value of their service is $13,771,539.60.

Dianne Rosson and Judy Vann-Hamilton (shown left), both members of the Sevier County Extension Homemakers Council, were among the more than 600 Extension Homemakers, their guests, vendors and exhibitors and Division personnel who gathered for the event, which showcases the accomplishments of the more than 4,000 members.

The opening session included Beth Anne Rankin as the keynote speaker. Rankin, a former Miss Arkansas, has experience in government and politics, radio and television and as a small business owner. At present, she is the associate director of Development and Major Gifts at Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia, where she continues to combine her love of education and for the State of Arkansas.

Rankin's topic was "Fingerprints of Leadership" and focused on the attributes and characteristics that have comprised the heart and spirit of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council's members' leadership and volunteerism through the years.

Attendees had the opportunity to attend a series of how-to, education, subject matter and creative skills classes during the two day event.

Sevier County EH Council and Gillham EHC were both recognized for outstanding participation and preparation of Project Books.

An “Anything Goes” talent competition was held and Judy Vann-Hamilton (shown right) from Gillham EH Club was named Annual State Talent Show Winner and presented the traveling trophy for her impression of Elvis.

A memorial service was held including two members from Gillham EH Club. Those remembered during the memorial service from Sevier County were Geraldine Vann and Marjorie Pell.

A display of cultural arts was shown throughout the meeting. Each county Extension Homemakers Council was asked to submit one table runner, which was displayed. The councils were also asked to donate the runners to be used in a fundraising project for the meeting of the National Volunteer Outreach Network, which the state Council will host in Springdale in 2019.

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER HIGH SCHOOL DESIGNATED SCHOOL OF INNOVATION       6/12/17

 

Last week, Cossatot River Superintendent Donnie Davis announced Cossatot River High School’s School of Innovation application has been approved. Davis said starting this fall; students will be able to choose between the School of Innovation or traditional pathway toward graduation.

 

Davis also announced the Cossatot River School District received a grant to provide telemedicine for students on all four campuses through the Arkansas Children's Hospital. He said he thinks it will help parents who are unable to get off work to take their children to a doctor.

 

Davis also said the Cossatot River High School EAST lab was awarded a grant which will allow students to create replicas of artifacts that are being stored at the Arkansas State House Museum.

 

 

AMERICAN RED CROSS TO OFFER FREE FIRE ALARMS IN SEVIER COUNTY THIS SEPTEMBER      6/12/17

 

On average, six people lose their life each day from home fires. It's estimated that you have as little as two minutes to evacuate your home during a fire. So, along with having a plan, the best protection your family can have is working smoke alarms.

 

Last month, the American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter announced they will be donating free smoke alarms to the volunteer fire departments in Sevier County in September and area fire departments will be installing the smoke alarms for free on Saturday, September 9th.

 

De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt said the American Red Cross will distribute the fire alarms to the county volunteer fire departments on September 2nd and county firefighters will install the alarms on Saturday, September 9th.

 

Pruitt said the De Queen Fire Department has been providing and installing free fire alarms for years and he said it has drastically reduced the number of house fires within the city of De Queen.

 

Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith said your can sign up now for the free fire alarms by calling the American Red Cross at 501-420-3533 or you can email the Red Cross at redcrossalarms@gmail.com. He said remember to leave your name, address and phone number and you should also provide the name of your district fire department.

 

If you have any questions about the free fire alarm program, contact the Sevier County OEM office at 870-584-3182.

 

  

BRIDGE REOPENED IN LOCKESBURG      6/12/17

 

During a special called meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen voted to have the bridge on North Park Street reopened with a load limit of five-tons.

 

Randy Allen provided the council with several options of how to fix the bridge, but after a lengthy discussion, aldermen decided to have the bridge inspected by the state. They also voted to patch the bridge and change the load limit of the bridge to five-tons.

 

The bridge has been reopened to local traffic.

 

Aldermen then voted to accept a bid from Jeff Heifner in the amount of $900 for the removal of some trees in the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park.

 

Aldermen also went into executive session to conduct interviews but no action was taken.

 

 

ARGUMENT LEADS TO ARREST FOR PUBLIC INTOXICATION        6/12/17

 

Sunday night about 11:30 p.m., Corporal James Gilbert of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to an apartment in reference to a man and woman arguing in front of an apartment complex on Fourth Street.

 

When Gilbert made contact with the couple, they allegedly informed him that the female, 48-year-old Tamara Sherrill of Fort Smith was intoxicated. She also informed Gilbert that she was staying in one of the apartments, but she didn't live in the complex.

 

Sherrill was arrested and charged with public intoxication after she fell down in the parking lot and wouldn't get up.

 

 

SPANISH LANGUAGE CHILD DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES AVAILABLE FOR PARENTS ACROSS ARKANSAS       6/12/17

 

Better Beginnings is Arkansas's Quality Rating Improvement System through the Arkansas Department of Human Services and they have made a library of Spanish-language resources available to Arkansas families. The library includes more than 20 individual resources with checklists for choosing childcare, developmental milestone trackers and activities that can be done at home to support early learning.

 

Beverly Wright is the program manager of child care licensing and Better Beginnings at the Arkansas Department of Human Services and she says research shows maximum brain development during the first five years of a child's life. Wright said children need opportunities for quality learning as early as possible. She said having these resources available to Spanish-speaking families in Arkansas will provide those parents with extra tools to nurture their child's development at home.

 

In addition to the Family Resource Library, Better Beginnings offers a Choosing Child Care Checklist to assist families with finding a high quality child care program. The checklist, which is made to use on a smart device while touring a child care facility, is available online. Better Beginnings also offers a database of child care providers, searchable by zip code on its website, ARBetterBeginnings.com, where families can also view the Better Beginnings Spanish Resource Library.

 

 

MISS ARKANSAS PAGEANT WEEK BEGINS WITH OFFICIAL ARRIVAL CEREMONY/NAMES AWARD FINALISTS  06/12/17

 

LITTLE ROCK - Forty-four of the state’s best and brightest young women begin competition this week for the title of Miss Arkansas 2017 and the chance to represent the Natural State at Miss America in Atlantic City this September. At the end of the week-long competition one of these lucky ladies will have her life forever changed and walk away with a $30,000 scholarship, the largest in the pageant’s 80-year history, plus over $75,000 in prizes. This year contestants will receive over $167,000 in scholarships thanks to our generous sponsors and the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation. Each of our contestants will receive a $400 scholarship just for competing this week.

To kick off pageant week the Official Arrival Ceremony was held yesterday at the Arkansas State Capitol and were followed by a chance for family, friends and fans to meet the contestants at the traditional autograph session. Emcee for the Official Arrival Ceremonies was Miss Arkansas 2015, Loren McDaniel. She finished in the Top 15 at Miss America 2016. This Van Buren native is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and won the title of Miss Arkansas as Miss Northwest Arkansas. She currently lives in New York City and is attending The Stella Adler Professional Conservatory. She is a 2nd year graduate student pursuing an emphasis in acting.

For the first time in the pageant’s history the Miss Arkansas Pageant is being held jointly with the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant. The 34 most talented and intelligent teens were a part of the Official Arrival Ceremony Saturday in the capital city. These teens are competing for nearly $24,000 in scholarships and the chance to represent Arkansas in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando later this summer.

On hand to greet our miss and teen contestants were Miss Arkansas 2016 Savannah Skidmore and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2016 Emily Brewer.


During the Arrival Ceremonies the Miss Arkansas Marketplace Interview Scholarship Winners were announced. A separate panel of local professionals who excel in their chosen field interviewed applicants in May at the contestant meeting. These interviews were designed to be like a job interview and contestants were scored on their experience and potential in their chosen field. This is the first year these awards were given and were a fantastic opportunity for the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Foundation to further promote their mission of empowering young women to achieve their academic and professional goal. The 2017 Marketplace Interview Scholarship Winners are as follows:
· Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers Kathryn Barfield received the $2,500 Medical Field Professions scholarship sponsored by Dr. Allyson Moulton. Barfield is from Texarkana and attends the University of Arkansas for Medical Science, College of Pharmacy. She would like to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and become a Pharmacist.
· Miss White River Claudia Raffo received the $1,500 STEM Professions scholarship sponsored by Dr. Ashlen Thomason & Family. Raffo is from Jonesboro and attends Arkansas State University. She plans to obtain a Doctorate of Pharmacy and work in retail pharmacy.
· Miss Heart of the Ozarks Ashton Yarbrough received the $1,500 Education Professions scholarship in memory of Marty Walker by Chris Walker & Family. Yarbrough is from Gravette and attends the University of Arkansas. She would like to obtain a Masters in Educational Leadership and run for public office.
· Miss Southwest Arkansas Suzie Gresham received the $1,500 Business Professions scholarship sponsored by Stacy & Brad Hudgens. Gresham is from Hope and attends Ouachita Baptist University. She plans to obtain a Juris Doctorate degree and become Legal Counsel for Pafford Medical Services.
· Miss Gateway to the Ozarks Jacey Winn received the $1,500 Law Professions scholarship (to be used for Law School) sponsored by Friday, Eldredge & Clark Law Firm. Winn is from Wynne and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas. Her career ambition is to go into Entertainment Law.
· Miss Northeast Arkansas Bailey Moses received the 1,000 Journalism & Mass Communications Professions scholarship sponsored by KATV. Moses is from Cabot and attends Arkansas State University. She will graduate in the spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications with a double emphasis in Public Relations and Social Media Management. She plans to pursue a Masters Degree in Communication.
· Miss Apple Blossom Reagan Wheelis received the $1,000 Accounting Professions scholarship sponsored by Thomas & Thomas Accounting Firm. Wheelis is from Melbourne and attends the University of Arkansas.
· Miss Grand Prairie Taylor Jaggers received the $1,000 Fine Arts Professions scholarship sponsored by Susan & Lou Siegel. Jaggers is from Rison and attends the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She plans to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance and would like to open her own dance studio.

Also awarded at the Arrival Ceremonies were the Top Five Children’s Miracle Network Fundraisers for both the Miss and the Outstanding Teen contestants. Children’s Miracle Network is the official national platform for both the Miss America and Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageants. Since 2007 contestants on a local, state and national level have raised funds for the more than 170 children’s hospital that make up the Children’s Miracle Network. Arkansas Children’s serves as this state’s CMN hospital and this May our Miss Arkansas contestants had a chance to tour the hospital in Little Rock to see how their dollars are being used to help kids in our area. The top fundraiser for Miss Arkansas will be named on Wednesday and will receive a $1000 scholarship. The remaining four finalists will receive a $500 scholarship. These awards are courtesy of the Miss America Foundation. Collectively, the 44 Miss Arkansas contestants raised over $34,000 this year. The 2017 Miss Arkansas CMN Miracle Maker Top Five Fundraisers are (listed in alphabetical order by title):


· Miss Apple Blossom Reagan Wheelis. She attends the University of Arkansas and is from Melbourne.
· Miss Grand Prairie Taylor Jaggers. She attends the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and is from Rison.
· Miss Greater Little Rock Brooke Cornelius is a graduate of Henderson State University and a 1L at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William Bowen School of Law. She is from Hope.
· Miss Northwest Arkansas Raygan Sylvester. She attends the University of Arkansas and is from North Little Rock.
· Miss University of Arkansas Darynne Dahlem. She attends the University of Arkansas and is from Greenwood.
On Friday the Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Miracle Maker will be named. She will receive a $200 scholarship courtesy of Justin Harper. Collectively the 2017 Outstanding Teen contestants raised almost $17,000. The 2017 Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen CMN Miracle Maker Top Five Fundraisers are (listed in alphabetical order by title):
· Miss Apple Blossom’s Outstanding Teen Anna Claire Hay. She is from Springdale.
· Miss Diamond Lake’s Outstanding Teen Madeline Adams. She is from Jonesboro.
· Miss North Central Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Zoe Cimino. She is from Mountain Home.
· Miss Northwest Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Isabella Udouj. She is from Fort Smith.
· Miss Petit Jean Valley’ Outstanding Teen Claire Lambert. She is from Conway.
 

The Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant also named the Top Five Finalists for the Teens in Action Award. This award recognizes a contestant who has excelled in bettering her community, promoting her platform and taking action to improve the lives of those around her. This winner will be announced on Friday and will receive a $200 scholarship courtesy of Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2016 Emily Brewer. The finalists are (listed in alphabetical order by title):
· Miss Greater Little Rock’s Outstanding Teen Katelynn Tyner. Her platform is “Promote the Vote.” She is from Cabot.
· Miss Heart of the Ozark’s Outstanding Teen Sara Gardner. Her platform is “Pledge to Patriotism.” She is from Russellville.
· Miss Lake Dardanelle’s Outstanding Teen Aubrey Reed. Her platform is “STAR: Empowering America’s Youth.” She is from Russellville.
· Miss Northeast Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Izzy Baughn. Her platform is “Eye on the Storm: Be Prepared and Ready.” She is from Jonesboro.
· Miss Ouachita River’s Outstanding Teen Camille Cathey. Her platform is “Proudly Volunteer.” She is from Wynne.
Lastly, the Miss Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Top Five Finalists for Scholastic Achievement were also named at the Arrival Ceremonies. This award is judged by a separate panel of judges who are in the education field. It recognizes the academic achievements of the contestants, as well as their school involvement. Cumulatively the 2017 Teen contestants have a GPA of 3.8! The winner will be named on Friday and will receive a $250 scholarship given by Ashton Campbell Gill. Gill was Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2011 and Miss Arkansas 2014. She finished 2nd Runner Up to Miss America in 2015. The finalists are (listed in alphabetical order by title):
· Miss Greater Jacksonville’s Outstanding Teen Payton Wortsmith. She is from Little Rock and attends Pulaski Academy.
· Miss Heart of the Ozark’s Outstanding Teen Sara Gardner. She is from Fayetteville and attends Fayetteville High School.
· Miss Natural State’s Outstanding Teen Brooke Bradford. She is from Shirley and attends Clinton High School.
· Miss Northeast Arkansas’ Outstanding Teen Izzy Baughn. She is from Jonesboro and attends Jonesboro High School.
· Miss River Delta’s Outstanding Teen Phoebe Harris. She is from Paragould and attends Green County Tech.
 

Competition begins Sunday and Monday with a Private Interview with our Judges Panel.


Preliminary competition begins Tuesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. at Robinson Center in Little Rock. Additional preliminary competition will also be held Wednesday and Thursday nights, beginning at 7 p.m. each night. Winners for Artistic Expression in Talent and Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit will be presented at the end of each night’s preliminary competition.


The culmination of a week’s worth of competition and activities will happen over two days. On Friday, June 16, the new Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen will be crowned. And on Saturday, June 17 we will crown Miss Arkansas 2017. Tickets are still available for the 13th Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen Pageant and the 80th Miss Arkansas Pageant and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling Robinson Center directly.

Emcees for this year’s show are KATV’s Chris Kane and Miss Arkansas 2009 Sarah Slocum Collins. Kane is a Little Rock native who currently anchors Daybreak for KATV Channel 7 (ABC Affiliate). He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida who again calls Arkansas home with his wife Chelsea. This is the 4th year for Chris to emcee the Miss Arkansas Scholarship Pageant. Collins currently works as the Vice President, Government Relations for Roberts Group. She is a founding ambassador of the Miss America State Titleholders Association. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arkansas Law School. As Miss Arkansas, Collins finished in the Top 15 at Miss America. This Sheridan native now makes her home in Rogers with her husband, Ryan and their three-year old son Beckett.
The newly crowned Miss Arkansas 2017 and Miss Arkansas Outstanding Teen 2017 will be available immediately following the crowning in their first official press conference. This will take place Saturday night, June 10th, in the BLT Room in Robinson Center. All media are invited and encouraged to attend.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

ACTIVITY REPORT FOR SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE      6/9/17

 

Thursday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry released the monthly activity report for the deputies of the Sevier County Sheriff's office.

 

Gentry reported deputies conducted a total of 296 traffic stops, issued 272 warnings and wrote 16 citations, while patrolling a total of 30,033 miles throughout the county. He said they also worked 27 accidents and made 24 arrests.

 

Gentry said a total of 99 inmates were booked into the county jail and this month's community service took place around the jail because the Community Service Deputy is currently attending the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy in Camden.

 

 

ARKANSAS YOUTH FISHING TEAM TRAIL CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE HELD IN SEVIER COUNTY JUNE 16-18              6/9/17

 

Chuck Philips is the president of the Arkansas Youth Fishing Association and the Arkansas Youth Fishing Foundation and he announced Sevier County is hosting the Arkansas Youth Team Trail state championship tournament June 16th through June 18th.

 

Philips said teams are competing in two age divisions for scholarship money. He said teams from all four-corners of the state will be competing on the area’s Tri-Lakes.

 

Philips said teams will fish on Gillham and Dierks lakes Friday and Saturday and then the top 20 teams will compete on De Queen Lake Sunday for a chance to win the championship.

 

Philips said the event will have a Bass Masters feel and everyone should come to the weigh-ins on Friday, Saturday and especially on Sunday at the Sportsplex, beginning at 2 p.m.

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce members will also be hosting several activities for the fishermen and their families. The tournament is expected to draw 80 youth fishermen.

 

Philips said you will start seeing fishermen on Monday as they pre-fish the area lakes. 

 

 

45TH ANNUAL KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO FESTIVAL IS JUNE 16TH AND 17TH       6/9/17

 

The 45th Annual Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival is scheduled for June 16th and 17th in Beavers Bend State Park.

 

On Thursday, June 15th the Forestry luncheon will be held at the Museum of the Red River at 11:30 a.m.

 

Friday night, the Miss Choctaw Owa-Chito pageant will kick-off the festival at 4:30 p.m. at the Beavers Bend amphitheater. Later, Jerry Tims, Clear Creek Blues Band and Charlie Farley will be performing.

 

Saturday, June 17th will begin with the 5K run at the Beavers Bend Swim Beach. Vendors will be set up on Saturday only from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Several events like the talent show, student art show, stickball, bingo, canoe races, casting contest, archery shoot, horseshoes and spelling bee will all take place on Saturday.

 

The 2nd annual Bike Show will be held at the Beavers Bend Nature Center and the BMX Unites Freestyle Stunt Team will be performing throughout the day and music will be provided by Victory Underground.

 

Saturday night, the winners of the talent show performing prior to the opening act, 2 Gun Justice will be followed by this year's headliner, Stoney Larue.

 

For more information, contact the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce at 580-584-3393 or visit their website www.brokenbowchamber.com.

 

 

MEGA SPORTS CAMP AT FIRST ASSEMBLY IN DE QUEEN STARTS THIS SUNDAY       6/9/17

 

The De Queen First Assembly of God Church is hosting a Mega Sports Camp this Sunday through Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. each evening.

 

Children's minister Dan Nemlowill said they will be offering instruction in basketball, soccer and cheerleading. He also stated there is no cost to attend the camp.

 

Kyle Willis is one of the camp instructors. He and Nemlowill said the camps will combine basic sport principles with Bible study times.

 

Camp participates are being asked to bring a basketball or soccer ball, but if parents need more information, they can call the church at 584-3435.

 

 

LOCKESBURG RESIDENT CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL MISCHIEF       6/9/17

 

Monday, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Webb was dispatched to a residence in Lockesburg in reference to a disturbance that was in progress.

 

When Deputy Webb arrived, the reporting party informed him that 24-year-old Kevin Williams had been waiving a knife around and was inside the residence with her mother, Zanneckia Bell.

 

According to Bell, Williams was mad because she would take him to Nashville. She said he damaged her car and her daughter’s car with a knife and that he had thrown it into the woods.

 

Webb reported the rear passenger tire on Bell's daughter's car had been cut and the front driver's side tire had been cut on Bell's car. The gas cap had also been torn off and there were scratches on Bell's car.

 

Deputy Wendell Randall recovered the knife and Williams allegedly admitted to causing the damage to both vehicles. He was then charged with criminal mischief in the second degree.

 

 

WESTERMAN PRESENTED A MANUFACTURING LEGISLATIVE EXCELLENCE AWARD         6/9/17

 

U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman is both an engineer and a forester and his constituents showed him last week that both occupations have served him well.

 

The National Association of Manufactures presented Westerman with its Manufacturing Legislative Excellence Award during an awards ceremony that was hosted by the Domtar paper mill in Ashdown.

 

Upon accepting the award, Westerman thanked the mill employees, the association and the residents who had gathered at the event, saying he was both surprised and humbled by the award. He said manufacturing plays an integral role in the economy of Arkansas, and there exist opportunities for expansion in the manufacturing sector. Westerman said that is why he has worked to pass legislation that supports manufacturing jobs through smart regulation and pro-growth policies.

 

Westerman said Domtar is a great example of what he likes to see all across his Fourth District. He said sometimes, the state gets labeled as not caring about the environment; however, it's just the opposite. He said forests need to be healthy and the forestry industry makes sure that it is.

 

 

4H BAKE SALE FRIDAY AT WAL-MART        6/8/17

 

Friday, the Sevier County 4-H clubs will be hosting a bake sale at Wal-Mart beginning at 9 a.m.

 

4-H member Hunter Frachiseur said the 4-H clubs are trying to raise money to sponsor a trick-rider for the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo, this August.

 

Frachiseur listed several items that they will be selling, but he also mentioned there is an online auction on Stephanie Stewart Haarmeyer's Facebook page. He also said you can place a special order by calling a 4-H club leader.

 

For more information, call Linda Frachiseur at 870-642-7466.

 

 

ARKANSAS ACADEMIC CHALLENGE SCHOLARSHIP        6/8/17

 

Thursday morning, Director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Dr. Bishop Woosley, provided Bunyard Broadcasting with an overview of the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship lottery.

 

Woosley stated over the past seven and a half years the lottery has awarded nearly $700 million dollars in scholarships. He said they award approximately 30,000 scholarships per year.

 

Woosley said the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship helps students of all ages succeed in higher education, whether they are seeking a four-year undergraduate degree or a two-year associate’s degree. He also stated the Lottery Scholarship can now be applied towards a graduate-level or professional degree.

 

Woosley said the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and every time someone plays the lottery, they are investing in students of all ages.

 

Woosley also stated the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship can be combined with other financial aid programs.

 

Woosley said this is the time of year that lottery employees and players are reminded why they play and support the lottery.

 

The deadline to apply for an Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is June 15th. Visit the Department of Higher Education's website, scholarships.ADHE.edu and complete an application.

 

 

CAR CRASHES INTO HOME SUNDAY MORNING       6/8/17

 

About 3 a.m. Sunday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy David Stinson investigated an accident on Highway 41 South involving a car and a manufactured home.

 

Deputy Stinson reported 16-year-old Christian Anderson of Pittsburg, Texas was apparently traveling South on Highway 41 South when he failed to negotiate a curve and left the roadway, striking a manufactured home at 1367 Highway 41.

 

Stinson said the vehicle traveled 163 feet and struck a utility pole. He said it then traveled another 47 feet before it struck the north end of the house.

 

Stinson reported the house was pushed back two-feet, causing damage to the frame. He said some windows were broken and some of the doors could not be opened.

 

Anderson was taken to the De Queen Regional Medical Center by Southwest EMS, along with Debra Martin who was sleeping in the master bedroom at the time of the accident.

 

Anderson was citied for failure to maintain control of a vehicle.  

 

 

DOG SHOW IN TEXARKANA CANCELLED DUE TO VIRUS       6/8/17

 

The American Kennel Club dog show that was scheduled for June 17th and 18th in Texarkana has been cancelled due to a highly contagious canine influenza virus that has infected dogs in other states.

 

The virus, which started in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina has infected dogs at shows in Louisiana within the last two weeks, according to the secretary of the Texarkana chapter of the American Kennel Club.

 

According to one website, the virus is not life-threatening, if it is detected and treated early. Dogs may also be immunized for the virus; however, if left undetected, it can be painful for the animal.

 

 

TURNER OF ASHDOWN PLACES 4TH IN ARKANSAS DAIRY FOODS CONTEST       6/8/17

 

Caylee Turner of Ashdown placed fourth in the main dish competition of the 60th annual Arkansas Dairy Foods Contest, which was held on May 31st at the state fairgrounds in Little Rock.

 

Luke Baker of Siloam Springs and Zarah Dean of Ozark were the winners.

 

The contestants were judged on the use of dairy products, originality, availability of ingredients, serving technique and craftsmanship of the dish.

 

Turner served a loaded broccoli and cheese soup dish.

 

The event was sponsored by the Arkansas Farm Bureau.

 

 

MEDICAL MARIJUANA COMMISSION FINALIZES APPLICATION PROCESS        6/8/17

 

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission has finalized the process for accepting applications for medical marijuana growers and sellers.

 

According to a press release, the five-member commission developed a detailed application scoring method this week.

 

The method breaks down 100 points that applicants can earn into sections. More than half the total points are in a section that is focused on operating marijuana facilities in compliance with laws and rules. Other sections include qualifications, financial disclosure and an operations plan.

 

An attorney for the Department of Finance and Administration said a detailed scoring breakdown was necessary to avoid possible lawsuits over the distribution of the licenses.

 

Commissioners James Miller and Travis Story voted against the proposal. Story said commissioners should be able to weigh each section differently.

 

The application period will open June 30th and will continue for 90-days. The commission will distribute 32 dispensary licenses and five cultivation facility licenses.

 

Arkansas is one of 29 states that now allows comprehensive public medical marijuana programs.

 

 

TWO DE QUEEN RESIDENTS ARRESTED IN DIERKS FOR RESIDENTIAL BURGLARY       6/8/17

 

Two De Queen residents have been arrested for residential burglary after temporarily living in a Dierks house. 

 

Investigator John McKee of the Dierks Police Department noticed an open window at a home on the corner of Massey and Sixth Street in Dierks during a recent patrol. McKee reported he knew the homeowner was currently living in an apartment elsewhere and asked Officer Jason Icenhower for assistance in checking the residence. 

 

Officers identified two people inside as 20-year-old Kaitlynn Elizabeth Roberts and 31-year-old Larry Dale Roberts, both of De Queen.

 

Kaitlynn Roberts confessed that the two had been living there for over a week and she also stated that Larry Roberts had been abusive. 

 

Investigator McKee noticed bruises on her arms and legs. Kaitlynn Roberts also said that she had been tied up against her will for a two hour period at one point. 

 

Allegedly, Larry Roberts confessed that he had tied up his wife and is has also been charged with 2nd degree false imprisonment.

 

 

DE QUEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION ASKING VOTERS FOR 4.9 MILL INCREASE IN SEPTEMBER        6/7/17

 

Members of the De Queen Board of Education voted Tuesday night to seek a 4.9 mill increase from the voters of the De Queen School District for the construction of a new high school.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill reported the state approved the construction of a new high school and will provide $1.7 million dollars to complete the project. He said the district has $1 million dollars in its building fund, but the district will need to pass a millage increase of 4.9 mills to construct a new high school.

 

Hill said the district is not tearing down any portion of the existing building that they can use, but they need to build new classrooms and an office area.

 

Ray Beardsley of First Security Financial stated even with the millage increase the district will be 5.5 mills below the state average. Hill said the district's millage will remain the bottom 20 percent in the state.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of four teachers and the retirement of Winnie Welch who is a 55 year veteran of the district.

 

Hill announced the district hired seven teachers, but the district is still looking for an assistant football coach.

 

Board members also approved a bid from Tri-State Asphalt for the paving of the administration parking lot and a new phone system from Blue Sky Technologies.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen Board of Education is Monday, July 10th at 5 p.m.

 

  

CITY OF DE QUEEN ACCEPTS BID FOR AUTOMATED METER READING SYSTEM       6/7/17

 

Tuesday afternoon, De Queen City officials opened bids for an automated meter reading system for the water department. Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council accepted a bid from Southern Pipe in the amount of $591,096.78 for the Neptune System. Aldermen also accepted a bid from Goslee Contracting in Royal, Arkansas in the amount of $99,344 for the installation of the system.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported the city will use funds from their reserve account to pay for the project.

 

Aldermen also passed an ordinance to raise the sanitation rates for the collection of solid waste. McKelvy said residents will see a $1 increase in the sanitation bill each month. He also reported it will provide about $39,000 in new revenue for the city's sanitation department.

 

Alderman also discussed the city's ordinance that concerns the use of engine compression brakes. They also discussed a new ordinance that would require city residents to display their house numbers as assigned by the county's 911 emergency system.

 

McKelvy said aldermen also passed a resolution authorizing the city's auditing firm to proceed with the process of converting the city's retirement plan from it's defined benefit plan to a 457 retirement plan.

 

McKelvy reported aldermen also accepted a proposal from Doug Simpson to dispose of the 1940's House which is located at 718 Walter Leeper Drive in the Herman Dierks Park.

 

McKelvy also informed the aldermen that Steve Sharp has been contracted to upgrade the downtown street lights with LED bulbs.

 

The next meeting of the De Queen City Council is Tuesday, June 20th at 6 p.m. in the council room of the De Queen City Hall.

 

 

MISS CHOCTAW OWA CHITO PAGEANT       6/7/17

 

The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce announced the deadline for the Miss Choctow Owa Chito Pageant has been extended to Friday, June 9th.

 

Jessica Shank of the Broken Bow Chamber said applications can be downloaded from the chambers website, www.brokenbowchamber.com or you may stop by either the Idabel or Broken Bow Chamber offices. All entries can be turned into the Broken Bow or Idabel Chamber offices or the Choctaw Nation Field Office.

 

The pageant is Friday, June 16th at 4:30 p.m. on the Beavers Bend Amphtheatre stage.

 

This year's pageant will feature three age divisions. They are Little Miss for 8 to 10 year olds, Junior Miss for 11 to 13 year olds and Senior Miss for 14 to 18 year olds.

 

For more information, contact the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce at 580-584-3393.

 

 

SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 15       6/7/17

 

Since 2009, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has provided nearly $700 million dollars for more than 235,000 scholarships to Arkansas students at 51 colleges, universities and technical schools in the state.

 

Yet, while the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery largely funds the scholarships, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education administers them and the department of higher ed, recently announced the deadline for students to apply for scholarships has been extended to June 15th.

 

All eligible traditional and non-traditional college-bound students in Arkansas are being encouraged to apply. Applicants can be new high school graduates, students who are already enrolled in school, older students who want to continue their education and those attending technical schools.

 

Scholarships begin at $2,000 for the first year of a four-year school and increases by $1,000 annually for students who keep it; for two-year schools, the amount is $2,000 for both years.

 

For more information, visit the website www.scholarships.ADHE.edu.

 

 

HAULING UNSECURED LOADS POSE DANGEROUS THREAT ON STATE HIGHWAYS            6/7/17

 

Arkansas State Police and other law enforcement agencies are looking to stop drivers who are hauling unsecured loads. Forty-two states have agreed to help educate the public on the importance of properly securing a load when traveling across a highway or a local street.

 

A 20-pound object that falls from a vehicle that hits another vehicle that is traveling 55 miles per hour creates a force of 1,000 pound at impact. According to a recent study, more than 200,000 crashes in the past four years have been attributed to road debris.

 

Unsecured loads also create another problem. Debris leaves a trail of litter along the nation's roadways from individuals and companies who are hauling trash and other materials from home, construction sites and other locations. The cost of removing that litter is $11.5 billion dollars nationwide.

 

The Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division issued over 700 citations and warnings for spilling loads on the highway since 2013.

 

Arkansas State Police suggest you secure the load before hauling any load including, debris, supplies or equipment. They suggest you tie down the load with rope, netting or straps; tie large objects directly tot he vehicle or trailer; cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting; don't overload the vehicle; and always double check the load to make sure it is secure.

 

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

 

 

YORK GARY DONATES TO LEGACY 2020 CAMPAIGN     6/6/17


York Gary Autoplex of Nashville has donated to the UA Cossatot Foundation’s Legacy 2020 capital fundraising campaign.


Because of the donation, Room 101 located on the Nashville UAC Campus will be renamed the York Gary Autoplex Hall.


“York Gary Autoplex has been a supporter of our community for years,” said Dustin Roberts, UA Cossatot’s Coordinator of Development.


“The investment made by York Gary Autoplex not only demonstrates the commitment to our college, but also to local students.”


UA Cossatot Foundation’s Legacy 2020 Campaign focuses on donors and businesses that wish to invest in the growth of the college. For every donation amount there is a matching naming opportunity for donors who wish to leave a legacy for current and future students on a UA Cossatot campus.


“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 at one time and others who are paying out a commitment annually.”


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

Pictured are UA Cossatot Coordinator of Development Dustin Roberts, York Gary Salesman Rick Copeland, York Gary Owners Gary Dan and Donna Futrell, York Gary Finance Manager Brian Fox, York Gary Salesman Arturo Perez, York Gary Saleswoman Derenda Butler, UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole, and York Gary Salesman Mike Ponder.

 

 

ARMYWORMS DETECTED IN SEVIER COUNTY         6/6/17

 

Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring announced Tuesday morning that armyworms have been detected in Sevier County. Herring said this was the earliest that armyworms have ever been detected in the county.

 

Herring encouraged area farmers and ranchers to scout their fields for armyworms and to contact the Sevier County Cooperative Extension Office to report any armyworm sighting or for more information.

 

Herring said armyworms can damage a field overnight, because the armyworm larvae have been feeding on the grass for a week or more. Herring said because armyworms are so destructive and because they compete with livestock for forage, producers should diligently scout susceptible fields for armyworm activity.

 

Herring said to scout for armyworms, farmers and ranchers should look for larvae in and around areas of dead grass or where birds are feeding. He said armyworms primarily feed at night, so farmers will need to dig around in the thatch and at the base of the plants to see any armyworms.

 

Herring said farmers should start spraying for armyworms when they discover three or more worms per square foot. However, he said if a hay field is heavily infested, but the grass is ready to be harvested, they should consider cutting and bailing the grass as soon as possible, instead of making an insecticide application.

 

For more information, call Herring at 870-584-3031.

 

 

VANDERVOORT PICNIC GROUNDS BENEFIT THIS SATURDAY       6/6/17

 

Carla Wolcott announced Tuesday morning that the Vandervoort Picnic Grounds will be hosting a benefit this Saturday to raise funds for the upkeep of the grounds and the community's Fourth of July celebration.

 

Wolcott said the Vandervoort Picnic Grounds committee will be holding a poker run for area bikers this Saturday. She said registration begins at 3 p.m. and the last rider will leave no later than 4. The cost is $15 per bike or $25 for a couple. Registration forms are available in Mena, Cove, Hatfield, Vandervoort and De Queen at the Plaza 66 gas station and De Queen Motorsports. She also stated there's going to be a dance at the picnic grounds starting at 9 p.m.

 

For more information, visit the Facebook page Vandervoort Picnic Association.

 

 

BURROW TO COMPETE IN MISS ARKANSAS PAGEANT THIS SATURDAY       6/6/17

 

Miss Central Arkansas Hannah Burrow is getting set to head to Little Rock this week to compete in the Miss Arkansas pageant.

 

Activities for Burrow will begin Saturday at 2 p.m. at the State Capitol as Burrow and the other contestants will be formally introduced. This event will be followed by an autograph session in the Rotunda of the Capitol.

 

Next week, contestants will attend rehearsals, rotary club meetings, and a luncheon at the governor's mansion. On Saturday, June 17th, the public is invited to attend the Show Me Your Shoes parade in downtown Little Rock.

 

The pageant will be held at the Robinson Performance Center at 7 p.m. each evening. Burrow will be competing in poise and presence in evening gown and onstage question competitions on Tuesday, June 13th, the talent competition on Wednesday and the lifestyle and fitness competition on Thursday. The pageant will conclude on Saturday, June 17th with the top 10 contestants being announced and moving through each category of the competition to determine who will be crowned the next Miss Arkansas.

 

The final night of the competition will be televised on KATV Channel 7. Tickets to the pageant are still available through the Robinson Center box office and at ticketmaster.com.

 

For more information, visit the website missarkansas.org.

 

 

RECKLESS DRIVING LEADS TO DRUG ARREST         6/6/17

 

On Saturday, June 3rd, Sergeant Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department received a report concerning a reckless driver.

 

Baker located the van at the Murphy's gas station in De Queen and identified the driver as 59-year-old Joel Weaver of Mena. While interviewing Weaver, Baker was given consent to search the vehicle.

 

During the search, Baker located a small amount of suspected marijuana in a medication bottle along with a black glasses case that contained a plastic bag of suspected methamphetamine, as well as a white plastic box that contained another bag of suspected methamphetamine. He also found another box that contained a digital scale and four large plastic bags of suspected marijuana.

 

Weaver was charged with a felony count of possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver, a felony count of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance with the purpose to deliver and a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

FOREMAN MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH AN ILLEGAL GAMBLING BUSINESS IN TEXARKANA      6/6/17

 

Three people were arrested last week in Texarkana, Texas when police executed a search warrant of an illegal gambling business on Texas Blvd.

 

Detectives arrested 44-year-old Jeffrey Spraggins of Wake Village, who is believed to be the owner of the business. The operation's manager, 69-year-old Paul Dean Holmes of Foreman and 42-year-old Melissa Nash of Texarkana, Texas.

 

A police spokesperson said the business had been open for about a month and after they received information about it being an illegal gambling business, undercover officers paid to play games of chance on eight machines.

 

Spraggins has been charged with keeping a gambling place, possession of gambling device and promoting gambling. Holmes has been charged with possession of gambling device and promoting gambling. Nash was charged with gambling.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $84,656.76       6/6/17

 

The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Sevier County collected over $84,000 according to the Commissioner of State Lands office.

 

The Land Commissioner's office recently conducted the auction of delinquent properties, which drew 23 bidders and sold seven of the nine available parcels of land for $84,656.76 for Sevier 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 past-due.

 

Commissioner John Thurston said the state only auctions off a small percentage of parcels that are certified to his office. He said in most cases, the original owner will redeem the delinquent property by paying the back taxes.

 

While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston noted how important it was to auction off inactive parcels in order to get them back on the county and state tax rolls.

 

Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at land sales is free. 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 money had been originally collected there.

 

Thurston said last year, his office returned more than $18 million dollars to school districts and county governments. Last year, Sevier County received $41,000.

 

Interested Arkansas residents may visit the Commissioner of State Lands website, www.cosl.org, to view the public auction catalog, to review the list of properties that will be offered at upcoming auctions or the post-auction sales list of properties that did not sell at auction.

 

 

DE QUEEN REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER NOW OFFERING REDUCED LUNCHES FOR AREA SENIOR ADULTS        6/6/17

 

Cristal Lipsey and Daniela Aguilar of the De Queen Medical Center recently announced the hospital started offering noon meals to area senior adults at a reduced amount.

 

Aguilar said the hospital started offering noon meals to senior adults who are 65 and older, Monday through Friday for $3 a meal.

 

Aguilar said other changes are being made and area residents may have noticed some remodeling taking place in the hospital as well as new signage and a new logo.

 

For more information, call the hospital at 870-584-4111.

 

 

AREA STUDENTS AWARDED AG SCHOLARSHIPS      6/6/17

 

Two area students recently received scholarships for their interest in agriculture.

 

Kayla Martin of De Queen was awarded the 2017 Sevier County Cattlemen's Scholarship in the amount of $500.

 

Martin plans to attend Southern Arkansas University and major in Animal Science. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Jennifer Martin.

 

Molly Parker of Ashdown was awarded the Marcos Borges Jr. Memorial Scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Arkansas and then transfer to Colorado State University where she plans to purse a degree in veterinary medicine.

 

Parker helped raise, show and sell Red Brangus breed cattle while in high school.

 

 

BODY OF WHITNEY McDONALD BELIEVED TO BE FOUND     06/05/17

Branson, Missouri police report a body found in Bull Shoals Lake Saturday morning is likely to be that of 31 year old Whitney McDonald of Nashville. McDonald has been missing since a flash flood near Cooper Creek Resort in Branson swept away the vehicle she was driving on May 28th.

People fishing on the lake called police at about 6:30 Saturday morning to report spotting a body in the water, just downstream from Powersite Dam. The body was recovered by the Western Taney County Fire Protection District water rescue team, and turned over to the Taney County Coroner. Branson Police Chief Stan Dobbins says he hopes the discovery will bring some comfort to the Nashville family that has waited a week for news on McDonald’s disappearance.

Meanwhile, funeral services were held over the weekend for 37 year old Antonio Finley and 17 year old Kaliea Munn in Nashville. Both were passengers in the car, and their bodies were recovered from Cooper Creek in Branson in the early morning hours of May 29th. Two other passengers in the vehicle were able to escape to safety. The National Weather Service says five inches of rain fell in about a two hour period in Branson on the evening of May 28th causing the flash flooding. The Nashville residents were attending a basketball tournament in Branson Memorial Day weekend.

ELECTION COMMISSION MEETING     06/02/17

The Sevier County Election Commission will meet Monday, June 5th at 9:00 A.M. in the County Clerk’s Office in the Courthouse to begin preparations for the September 19th school elections.

June 11th is the first day that candidates may circulate petitions for signatures to run for a school board position. Petitions must contain signatures from at least 20 registered voters who are residents of the school district.

School Board positions to be voted on in the De Queen School District: Zone 2 currently held by Sandy Miller-Huntsberger. School Board positions to be voted on in the Horatio School District: Zone 2 currently held by Dana Vance; and At-Large Position 2 currently held by Pollyanna Smith.

Filing period for candidates desiring to be placed on the September 19th school election ballot is from 12 Noon on July 5th through 12 Noon on July 11th.

For more information on the September 19th school elections, contact the Sevier County Clerk’s Office at 642-2852.

Also at the Monday, June 5th meeting of the Sevier County Election Commission in the County Clerk’s Office, the Commissioners will discuss Vote Centers and Election Equipment.
 

 

 

 

ArFuture Grant Opens New Funding for UA Cossatot Students  06/02/17

 

Students pursing high-demand or STEM degrees at University of Arkansas Cossatot may now complete the Arkansas Future (ArFuture) grant program application.

 

ArFuture was created to promote higher education, increase the skills and education of Arkansas’s workforce, and attract students to high-demand, high-wage occupations.

 

This grant will cover tuition and fees for eligible students in qualifying associate and certificate programs at public higher education institutions.

 

This grant is significant because it covers some programs that are not eligible for Federal Student Aid.

 

Students seeking the following degrees need to apply for ArFuture by July 1:  Associate of Science – STEM, Criminal Justice, Emergency Medical Technology (EMT), Medical Assisting, Natural Resources, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Radio Broadcasting.

 

The grant is open to every person who has graduated from an Arkansas high school, Arkansas homeschool, GED program, or anyone who has a high school diploma and has lived in Arkansas for the last three years, regardless of financial need. Only students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree are eligible.

 

Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at https://fafsa.ed.gov and apply through ADHE’s online YOUniversal scholarship portal at http://scholarships.adhe.edu.

 

 “The great thing about ArFuture,” said ADHE Director Dr. Maria Markham, “is that it is available to both part-time and full-time students. Also, students directly out of high school and Arkansans who have been out of school for years can qualify.”

 

The grant program has mentoring and community service requirements. Research shows a greater chance of success if students are engaged in their professional fields and communities.

 

ArFuture will be awarded on a first come, first serve basis and the application period has been extended until July 1. Deadlines for other programs, such as the Arkansas Challenge Scholarship, have been extended until June 15.

 

Sevier County 4-H club makes long haul for Pocahontas donations   06/02/17

DE QUEEN, Ark. –  As definitions of “neighbor” go, the 280-plus miles gap between De Queen and Pocahontas, Ark., might push the envelope for some folks looking to lend a helping hand. But for members of the Lakeside 4-H Club, based in De Queen, responding to calls from those in need after natural disasters has become almost reflexive.

After collecting and delivering donations to tornado survivors in Moore, Oklahoma in 2013 and Mayflower/Vilonia in 2014, doing the same for flooding survivors in the northeastern Arkansas town only seemed like an obvious call to service.

In early May, many Pocahontas residents had to evacuate their homes as torrential rains caused nearby rivers to top their banks, flooding wide swaths of Randolph and other counties. Agronomists with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture estimated that the flooding had caused approximately $175 million in crop loss related damaged, destroying about 360,000 acres of rice and other crops.

On Wednesday, Sevier County Cooperative Extension Service Staff Chair Rex Herring delivered a 20-foot horse trailer of donated clothing, canned food and other supplies to the Randolph County Nursing Home, which is currently serving as the area’s primary emergency shelter. He was accompanied by Alec Turner, 13, and Brennen Seymour, 16, both members of the Lakeside 4-H Club.

Herring said that after Randolph County Cooperative Extension Service Staff Chair Mike Andrews issued a list of needed supplies to Extension offices across the state in mid-May, he offered to provide transportation for whatever donations members of the local 4-H club could muster.

“I told them that if they put the donations together, I would get them to Pocahontas,” Herring said. “And the 4-H’ers stepped up. They made it happen.”

Raul Blasini, a volunteer with the Ministerial Alliance currently helping to run the shelter, said the city had received an overwhelming number of donations.

“Right now, we have 35 pallets of water, 20 pallets of clothing and 40 pallets of canned goods and other food,” Blasini said. “And that after weeks of distributing the donations. I’m very proud of this community and everything they’ve done for the people in need here.”

As of last week, local media in Randolph County reported more than two-dozen displaced residents were still living at the shelter.

Individuals wishing to donate funds to the City of Pocahontas for recover efforts can call the mayor’s office at 870-892-3924, or visit http://cityofpocahontas.com/flood/.

To learn about 4-H Clubs, contact Sevier County Cooperative Extension Service at 870-584-3013 or visit www.uaex.edu.

 

Ashdown School Board Special Called Meeting     06/01/17

 

The Ashdown School Board met in a special called session late last week.

   

After a 15 minute executive session, the Ashdown School Board approved the following personnel matters for the 2017-2018 school year:

*Accepted resignation from second grade teacher Amy Smith.

*Employed David Murray as high school physical science teacher.

*Employed Shawnda Chester as 5th grade teacher, conditional upon securing a provisional license by July 1st.

*Employed Megan Baker as 3rd grade teacher.

   

In other personnel matters, the Ashdown Board approved the employment of Rosalind Fricks and Angie Cook at the L.F. Henderson campus this summer, and Chris Alexander for summer maintenance help.

   

The Ashdown Board voted to add a Technology Facilitator as a new job position.

    

Part B Funds for Special Education and Related Services Assurances and Agreements were approved.

    

The Ashdown Board voted to purchase Saxon Phonics and Spelling Student kits and refill packages at a cost of $10,851.

    

Finally, the Ashdown School Board accepted an offer of $81,000 to sell the property the school district owns at 460 Northwest Front Street in Ashdown.

    

The Ashdown School Board special-called meeting late last week took place in the Administrative Office Building.

 

 

BREATHE Youth Conference at Iron Mountain    06/01/17

The first ever BREATHE two day youth conference will be held at Iron Mountain, just south of Mena this weekend, with the hope to “breathe life” into today’s youth to become tomorrow’s warriors for Jesus Christ.

Church youth groups from as far away as Georgetown, Texas have pre-registered for the event. Registration begins at 4:00 on Friday, and the conference gets underway at 6:30. A dance party will be held following Friday night’s conference. The conference resumes at 10:00 Saturday morning, and concludes Saturday night with evangelist Arden Bevere of Colorado speaking. Other noted speakers during the two day conference include: Vanessa Martin, Anna Buckley, Emma Mae Jenkins, Nathaniel Martin, Taylor Schuller, and Victor Rowell.

The conference is free to area youth. A free lunch will be served on Saturday. An optional $5 pizza party will be served Saturday evening. 75 youth have pre-registered to date, but more than 400 sixth to twelveth graders are expected to attend the BREATHE conference this weekend at Iron Mountain, just south of Mena. For more information, call Emmye Rowell at 479-216-4224 or visit the website: breatheconference.net

Dierks School Board Meeting    06/01/17

The Dierks School Board met in special session Tuesday evening at the Dierks high school library, and approved several personnel matters.

The Dierks Board accepted the resignation of Dustin Bissell.    

After a 41 minute executive session, the Dierks Board hired the following personnel for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year:

*Jonathan Bates as head football and head track coach.

*Jarrod Fannin as head baseball and assistant football coach.

*Candice Bates as elementary special education teacher.

*Caitlin Lites as elementary teacher.

*Melanie Gadbury as a para-professional at the high school.

 

U of A Tuition and Fee Increases for Upcoming Year    06/01/17

The University of Arkansas system Board of Trustees approved an increase in tuition and fees at colleges and universities in the U of A system, during their meeting late last week.

The increases come as the schools become more reliant on tuition and fees as state appropriations drop. The proposed increases for the 2017-2018 school year range from 2.75 percent for the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to 8.02 percent at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

At the University of Arkansas Cossatot, which has campuses in De Queen, Nashville, and Ashdown, the increase on undergraduate tuition and mandatory fees for the 2017-2018 school year will be 5.73 percent. The increase is projected to provide new revenues of $349,698 for U of A Cossatot.

University of Arkansas System President Donald Bobbitt says the campus chancellors began discussing higher rates in January. The campuses are required to put one-half of any tuition and fee increase into a system software project that will hold all student-services, financial, and human-resource information.

Veterans Affairs District Office Opens in Hope    06/01/17

A ribbon-cutting was held this week for the new Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs District 8 Office in Hope. Governor Asa Hutchinson was on hand to cut the ribbon. The new office is located at the Arkansas Workforce Center in Hope, located on Smith Road off Highway 29 north just north of I-30.

The new office will serve Sevier, Howard, Little River, Hempstead, Clark, Columbia, Lafayette, Miller, Nevada, and Pike Counties in Southwest Arkansas. The new office is the last of nine such district offices to open around the state.

The District 8 Veterans Services Officer is Jim Williams, and he says he will be working hard to support the county veterans services officers.