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TODAY'S NEWS:  
 

CHAMBER PRESENTS SUMMER MOVIE SERIES        5/26/17

 

The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce announced this week that the chamber will present a Summer Movie Series this summer.

 

Chamber member Daniel Martinez said the chamber is planning to show three movies this summer on June 17th, July 15th and August 12th at 8:30 p.m. each evening. He said they will announce what movies will be showing when they get 500 likes on the chambers Facebook page.

 

Martinez said the chamber was partnering with UA Cossatot. He said everyone should bring their lawn chairs or blankets. Martinez also stated Cossatot student organizations will be operating the concession stand.

 

For more information, visit the chamber's Facebook page.

 

 

REFUGE HOSTS YOUTH FISHING DERBY       5/26/17

 

Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge will host a youth fishing derby on Saturday, June 10th from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Little Bell Lake. Little Bell Lake is located along Central Road between the Nobles Mound entrance road and the Tram entrance road.

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will provide 300 catchable size channel catfish to provide a better opportunity for the fishing derby participants.

 

Little Bell Lake will be closed to the public for fishing from June 6th until 9 a.m. June 10th. Only youth less than 16 years of age will be permitted to participate in the event. Children participating in the event must be accompanied and supervised by an adult 18 years of age or older.

 

The event is free of charge, however all participants are being asked to check-in with refuge staff before beginning to fish. All participants are also asked to comply with State regulations and fish limits and they must bring their own fishing gear.

 

There will be prizes given at the end of the event.

 

And, Little Bell Lake will be open to the public with a valid fishing license after the youth event. For more information, call the Pond Creek National Wildlife Refuge Office at 870-289-2126.

 

 

SUMMER READING PROGRAM AT THE DE QUEEN BRANCH OF THE SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM        5/26/17

 

The Sevier County Library System is hosting a summer reading program entitled; Build a Better World during the month of June.

 

The dates for the program in Horatio are June 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th at 10:30 a.m. each day. The dates for the summer reading program in Lockesburg are June 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th at 10 a.m. each day. And, the dates for the summer reading program in Gillham are June 3rd, 10th, 17th and 22nd at noon each day.

 

Amy Zuniga of the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library System said the dates for the De Queen Summer reading program are June 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th at 10 a.m. She said they will have special guests and lots of fun activities.

 

Zuniga said they will also have some reading contest and children will have the chance to win some prizes.

 

For more information about the Sevier County Library's summer reading program, contact your local library.

 

 

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER BLOOD DRIVE AT PILGRIMS      5/26/17

 

LifeShare Blood Center is having a blood drive on Friday, June 2nd at the Pilgrim's Pride plant in De Queen from 2 to 8 p.m., on the LifeShare bus.

 

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

 

For more information, go to lifeshare.org or call 903-794-3173.

 

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

 

 

FREE FISHING WEEKEND JUNE 9-11      5/26/17

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson recently proclaimed that anyone may fish in Arkansas without a fishing license or trout stamp from noon on Friday, June 9th, through midnight on Sunday, June 11th.

 

The free fishing weekend is an annual tradition of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the free fishing weekend provides a lot of citizens and visitors to the state an opportunity to enjoy the amazing fishing that Arkansas has to offer.

 

Chris Racey of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said the free fishing weekend is a great time to introduce someone new to fishing. He said it's also a good time to get the family out and enjoy the opportunity to share the experience.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: BOOKING TRAVEL ONLINE COULD INCLUDE UNWANTED BAGGAGE       5/26/17

 

Booking vacations online can be very challenging because it can be difficult for consumers to verify what they are actually purchasing. Arkansans value their vacation time and want to make sure their hard-earned money is well spent. While most vacation booking websites are legitimate, there are a few sites that will scam users out of their money by accepting payment for a hotel or house rental that does not actually exist.

 

The Federal Trade Commission released the following tips to help consumers protect themselves from these fake sites:

 

They suggest you ask friends and family for recommendations of vacation spots, booking agents and travel sites. You should call to verify the accommodations for each part of your trip, including travel, hotel, rental car and excursions, even when booking through a travel agent and make sure you write down the confirmation numbers. You should consider purchasing cancellation insurance and get a copy of the company's cancellation policy. And, you should pay with a credit card so that the charges can be disputed in an instance that you are not happy with the services.

 

Travel scams can come in the form of a fake sweepstakes and only require a small processing fee or a credit card number verification, or sometimes scammers will send a robocall or cold-call to consumers claiming they have been chosen for a vacation.

 

Consumers who believe they have been victims of a travel scam should file a complaint with the Arkansas Attorney General's office. For more information, call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

HOWARD COUNTY AUTHORITIES LOOKING FOR MISSING JUVENILE       5/25/17

submitted by KMTB

 

The Howard County Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a missing juvenile female. 16 year old Miriam Marquez was last seen by her mother around 2 o’clock Wednesday afternoon, May 24th at the family’s residence, which is located on Liberty Hill Road between Dierks and Umpire.

 

Authorities say they have checked with several of Marquez’s friends, but no one has reported having any contact with the teenager since she went missing.

 

Marquez is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds, and has brown eyes and black hair. If you have any information about Marquez, please contact the Howard County Sheriff’s Department at 870-845-2626.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY POOL WILL HOLD A FREE SWIM ON MEMORIAL DAY      5/25/17

 

Callie Miller announced the De Queen City Pool will officially start the summer with a free swim on Memorial Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. She said the pool will be open on Tuesday at its regular time from 1 to 5 p.m. Miller also said you could receive information about pool hours, special events and weather closings on the pools Facebook page, Facebook.com/De Queen City Pool.

 

Admission is $3 per person or you can purchase a season pass for $50 per person or a family pass for $200 for a family of four or more.

 

Pool parties are $125 for two hours, $250 for four hours, and $400 for six hours. All pool parties must be booked through the De Queen City Park office. The pool may be reserved for a pool party Monday, Tuesday or Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Fridays from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. or 8 to 10 p.m. and on Saturdays from 3:30 to 5:30; 6 to 8; or 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.

 

Miller said there is also a senior swim time from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. that is free of charge, but no children will be allowed in the pool area during this time.

 

Miller also mentioned that it's not too late to sign up for the De Queen Dolphin Swim Team.

 

She said there is no age requirement, but team members must be able to swim the length of the pool.

 

For more information, call the park office at 870-642-4140 or call the city pool at 870-642-5512.

 

 

DAISY STATE PARK        5/25/17

 

Daisy State Park staff members have planned several interpretive activities for the Memorial Day weekend, starting on Friday.

 

From 1 to 1:30 Friday afternoon, park staff will introduce participates to the exciting world of snakes in the visitor center. You'll learn how many different types of snakes you might encounter in Arkansas and how to identify them.

 

From 1:30 to 2:30, the park will be site for a nature scavenger hunt. And, you can join a park interpreter from 3:30 to 4:30 on a kayak test drive.

 

Friday evening from 6:30 to 7, you can learn the secrets of Daisy State Park and then from 7 to 8, you can learn about the animals that only come out at night.

 

Saturday and Sunday, park guests can take a relaxing cruise on Lake Greeson from 1 to 3 p.m. Participates will tour the lake by boat and learn about the history and the natural features of the lake.

 

Seating is limited, so sign up at the visitor center by 8 p.m. Friday night. The cost is $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6 to 12 and children six and under is free.

 

Saturday afternoon, you can learn how to identify the trees in the park from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and from 8 to 9 p.m. you can take a walk on the Daisy Creek Nature Trail and search for owls.

 

Sunday evening, the park will host a sunset kayak tour from 7 to 9 p.m.

 

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

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - TAX REFORM AND RELIEF ACT      5/25/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported several members of the legislature will take the first steps in crafting some new tax reform legislation, next week.

 

Vaught said the legislature passed the Tax Reform and Relief Act of 2017, but it only reduced taxes for low-income families. However, that act laid the ground work for future tax cuts and reform.

 

The act also created the Tax Reform and Relief Legislative Task Force. They will examine and identify areas of potential reform within the tax laws of the state and then make recommendations for the 2019 General Assembly to consider.

 

The task force is made up of eight senators and eight representatives.

 

They will recommend legislation to modernize and simplify the Arkansas tax code; make the Arkansas tax laws competitive with other states in order to attract businesses to the state; create jobs and ensure fairness to all individuals and entities that are impacted by the tax laws of the State of Arkansas.

 

Vaught said by simply changing tax structures every year or every other year, states may miss an opportunity for reform that reflects structural economic change.

 

The task force is required to file their first preliminary report by December 1st and their final report by September 1st, 2018.

 

  

VISITOR FROM MONTANA FINDS 2.78-CARAT DIAMOND      5/25/17

 

Ever since he was a child growing up in Arkansas, Wendell Fox wanted to search for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Now he's retired and living in Montana and this month he and his wife, Jennifer got the chance and discovered a 2.78-carat diamond.

 

On their second day at the park, Wendell and Jennifer were surface searching in the East Drain of the diamond search area when he spotted a large brown gem near a marker that indicates where one of the park's many well-known diamonds was found in 1990.

 

According to Fox, he was 80 to 90 percent sure that he had found a diamond. So, he took it to the Diamond Discovery Center, where a member of the park staff confirmed that he had found a 2.78-carat diamond.

 

Fox's diamond is described as being about the size of an English pea, with an oval shape and a champagne brown color.

 

Wendell and Jennifer Fox named their diamond, Way Out Yonder, as a tribute to their home in Montana. It is the 11th diamond that's been found on the surface of the search area this month.

 

 

AMERICAN RED CROSS TO OFFER FREE FIRE ALARMS IN SEVIER COUNTY THIS SEPTEMBER      5/25/17

 

Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith and De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt announced this week that the American Red Cross has announced that they will be providing free fire alarms to Sevier County residents in September.

 

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 for county residents. He said you can sign up for the free fire alarms by calling your local fire department or by contacting the American Red Cross.

 

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

 

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.

 

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

 

 

DE QUEEN OFFICER INJURED APPREHENDING BURGLARY SUSPECT      5/24/17

 

On Tuesday, May 16th De Queen Police Sergeant Gary Cunningham was slightly injured while attempting to apprehend a burglary suspect in the Whispering Pines trailer park.

 

According to the incident report, Destiny Haney reported a man with tattoos all over his body exposed himself to her as he ran toward her. She said she pushed the man away and went inside her house to call the police. She also reported the man started walking toward Highway 71.

 

Haney described the man as Hispanic. She said he wasn't wearing a shirt and he had tattoos all over his chest and black shorts.

 

While interviewing Haney, Cunningham was informed that a resident in the Whispering Pines trailer park wanted to file a report about a Hispanic man who had broken into her trailer.

 

When Cunningham arrived at the trailer park, Tina Bailey reported a man with tattoos broke down her back door and she ran out the front door and went to a neighbor's house.

 

When Cunningham and Sevier County Sheriff's Sergeant Greg Davignon entered the trailer, they located the subject on the floor of the back bedroom between the bed and the wall.

 

Officers reported the suspect would not comply with their commands and Cunningham cut his hand while attempting to apprehend the suspect.

 

The suspect was identified as 38-year-old Adrian Sierra of De Queen. He has been charged with residential burglary, criminal mischief in the second degree and resisting arrest.

 

 

911 ADDRESS PROGRAM       5/24/17

 

De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt and Sevier County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith informed area residents that it’s vitally important for every home to have a 911 address clearly displayed on their mailbox or home.

 

Smith said county emergency personnel are still having problems locating homes because the resident has not put their 911 address on their home or mailbox.

 

Pruitt said the De Queen Fire Department is implementing a program where they will purchase the 3-inch letters and numbers and display them on homes within the city limits.

 

Pruitt also said he has spoken to Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy about passing an ordinance that will require all homes within the city of De Queen to display their 911 address.

 

911 addresses must be displayed on the house or mailbox in 3-inch letters and numbers. The numbers and letters can be purchased at just about any retail location in De Queen. 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FARMERS MARKET IS NOW OPEN       5/24/17

 

The Sevier County Farmers Market opened for business today for the start of the 2017 growing season.

 

Angela Smith reported the market will be open every Wednesday and Saturday through October or the end of the growing season. She said they changed the hours of operation to 7 to 11 a.m. on Wednesdays and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

 

Smith also said it's not too late to sign up as a vendor. She said it's $50 for the whole season or just $5 per day.

 

For more information, stop by the Herman Dierks Park Pavilion any Wednesday or Saturday.

 

 

CORPS OF ENGINEERS PREPARING FOR HOLIDAY WEEKEND      5/24/17

 

The Army Corps of Engineers is reminding visitors to the Millwood/Tri-Lakes area that the lakes are open for business as visitors from the region plan for a fun Memorial Day holiday weekend at the lake.

 

But Army Corps of Engineers officials caution visitors that high lake levels have made boating and swimming more hazardous and a small number of campsites at Jefferson Ridge Park have been affected by the higher lake level on the Dierks Lake.

 

Officials say when you are on a lake, no matter how high the water is, to be sure and wear a life jacket. You should also remember to use the boat's kill switch and slow down to watch for submerged debris, like signposts, picnic tables, trees, stumps and other obstructions that are normally on dry ground.

 

Boaters should also use caution when launching because high water can make ramps tricky. Boaters will also need to be patient while launching or loading their boat, due to the number of boats on the water.

 

Rangers are also urging everyone to obey boating laws. Statistics show that more than half of all people who drown consume alcohol before their accident.

 

Boaters should also check their tow vehicle, trailer and boat to ensure they are all in working condition; check the safety equipment; let friends know where you will be boating; check the weather forecast; and don't swim for a boat that is drifting away, get another boater to retrieve it.

 

Swimmers should never swim alone; never rely on toys like inner tubes or water wings; never dive into lakes from cliffs or ledges; swim only in designated areas and have a designated child watcher when children are in the water.

 

 

MISSING TEXARKANA MAN LOCATED IN NEW ORLEANS        5/24/17

 

Tuesday, the Texarkana, Texas Police Department issued a missing person report on a 74-year-old Texarkana man that was last seen on Sunday morning as he was leaving his residence.

 

Family members of Harry Parker told police that he was last seen driving a maroon 2000 modal Chevy truck with Texas license plate number DRV-6007 with a yellow bumper sticker that reads "I love camping at Albert Pike." Family members felt Parker may have gone to the casinos in Bossier City, but they said it was unlike him to be away from home overnight.

 

According to a family spokesperson, shortly after authorities in Texarkana released the missing person alert, the department was notified by the New Orleans Police Department that they had impounded Parker's truck in New Orleans and that he was registered in a local motel.

 

Family members were informed that Parker has checked out of the motel but they feel he is alive and physically okay and they are traveling to New Orleans to help locate Parker.

 

 

40th ANNUAL LUM AND ABNER FESTIVAL JUNE 2ND AND 3RD IN MENA        5/24/17

 

The Mena Advertising and Promotion Commission would like to invite you to the 40th Annual Lum and Abner Festival June 2nd and 3rd.

 

This year's festival will feature music from 12:30 to 10 p.m. Award-winning country group, Ricochet will present a free concert on Friday at 8:30. Opening for Ricochet is Lana Gail and Gail Force at 6:30.

 

Saturday nights headliner is The Crumbs, who are a bluegrass and folk trio. Saturday night's opening act is the Warevolves. They mix red-dirt, country, blues and jazz into their own unique sound.

 

Saturday will also feature the annual Lum and Abner Car, Truck, Corvette and Motorcycle Show from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3rd. No pre-registration is required, but the registration fee is $20. All of the proceeds from the car show will benefit the Polk County Developmental Center.

 

New this year is the Swifty Swine Swimming and Racing Pig Show at 11 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday. The Outlaws Gunfighter Group will thrill the audience with their comical old west cowboy show, both Friday and Saturday.

 

This year, you can also meet Donnie Pitchford who is the Lum and Abner comic strip writer, cartoonist and voice actor at the historic cabin in Janssen Park.

 

Craft, artisan and food vendors will be set up in and around the Union Bank of Mena's Big Arts and Crafts Tent.

 

And, Arkansas Helicopters will be back this year on Friday and Saturday. So, make plans to get a bird's eye view of the Lum and Abner Festival and Mena on one of their scenic rides.

 

There will also be other events like the 5K run/walk, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, a fishing derby, a baby crawling contest, the kiddie korner and a quilt show.

 

For more information, contact Donnie Crain at 479-394-8355.

 

 

BLACK AND GOLD SPRING SCRIMMAGE TONIGHT AT LEOPARD FIELD     5/23/17

 

Head Leopard Football Coach Stephen Sloan invited area Leopard football fans to tonight's Black and Gold spring scrimmage at the Leopard football field at 6 p.m. Coach Sloan said admission is a towel, but if you don't have a towel, come watch the scrimmage anyway.

 

There's a buzz around Leopard football this spring with the promotion of Coach Sloan to head coach, but he says there's a buzz around Leopard sports all around the state.

 

Sloan said he was excited about what Leopard athletes have accomplished this year and he can’t wait to see what they can accomplish in the future.

 

Tonight's Black and Gold scrimmage is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Leopard Field.

 

 

DE QUEEN TRACK AND FIELD MEMBERS SELLING RAFFLE TICKETS TO CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS         5/23/17

 

Tuesday morning, De Queen Leopard track Coach Jonathan Lindsey expressed how he felt about the members of the 2017 track and field team. He said they were not only good track athletes but good students and young men.

 

Logan Hall and Hunter Earney represented the team Tuesday morning. Hall said he was proud of what the team accomplished and Earney said it was an honor because most people don't have the opportunity to win a state championship.

 

Coach Lindsey said the members of the De Queen Leopard championship track and field team are selling raffle tickets for a weekend getaway to raise funds for their championship rings.

 

Lindsey also said the team will be selling chicken dinners this Friday from 11 to 1 at the De Queen Baseball field for $6 each.

 

Lindsey also expressed his appreciation for the community's support.

 

To purchase raffle tickets or to purchase a chicken dinner, contact any track and field athlete or the middle school office.

 

 

COOL NIGHTS SLOWING BERMUDAGRASS GROWTH       5/23/17

 

According to the Sevier County Extension Office, this spring has been full of variable weather conditions, which are mostly unfavorable for bermudagrass growth. However, the warm winter fueled expectations of an early spring and quick forage growth.

 

The 15-day forecast for late May shows warming night temperatures in the 60-plus degree range for central and south Arkansas, but night temperatures for the higher elevations in north Arkansas are still forecast to be in the 50's with a few nights forecast to be in the upper 40's.

 

Bermudagrass is a warm season grass that needs warm day and warm night temperatures. It begins greening up after warm days, but never really produces significant growth until night temperatures are 60 degrees for about a week or more. The grass will try to grow on warm days, but cool nights shuts down the internal machinery which basically negates any sustained growth. When a string of warm nights occurs, the grass is ready to begin sustained growth as spring temperatures continue to warm till summer.

 

Fertilizing bermudagrass before night temperatures have reached the 60 degree mark results in lower fertilizer efficiency. The grass may green up but other cool season grass and weeds will out-compete the languishing bermudagrass for the nutrients.

 

For mixed pastures with fescue and bermudagrass, the fescue will continue to grow through this cool weather and the bermuda will finally catch up as summer temperatures arrive. Remember to soil test to get fertilizer recommendations especially for hay production. Pasture fertilizer recommendations are generally much lower than for hay due to recycling of nutrients.

 

In recent years, many hay producers have neglected to apply sufficient potassium fertilizer for hay production and bermudagrass stands have thinned significantly as a result. Bermudagrass hay fertilization recommendations are designated by production level so requesting recommendations for the desired production level at the time of soil sample submission will help you get the optimum recommendations.

 

For most producers, hay yield levels of either 2 to 4 tons per acre are sufficient for the soil and environment. In most cases, yield levels of 6 tons per acre would be on the high end for dryland hay production and yield levels of 8

tons per acre are usually under irrigation or exceptional growing conditions.

DE QUEEN MEDICAL CENTER NEW OWNERSHIP          5/23/17

“As of April 1st, a new ownership group closed on the purchase of De Queen Medical Center. The group, headed by George Perez and his brothers Ricardo and Carlos, is based out of Miami, Florida. Originally from Cuba, the Perez family moved to the United States in the 1960’s and started a hospital billing company. They now own over 30 hospitals in rural areas, and are acquiring more at a tremendous pace. Local Hospital Administrator Jeremy Icenhower has held the post at De Queen Medical Center for over five years now. Icenhower told the De Queen Rotary Club Monday that he’s excited about the new ownership group:”

“The new ownership group has not made any public statements to date. Icenhower says their philosophy is to do what they say they’re going to do before getting into the public spotlight. But Icenhower says the new owners have already invested a half million dollars on new lab equipment, and is investing over a million dollars this week on upgrading the heating and cooling system at the hospital:”

“As most of the upgrades and new additions are now being kept quiet, Icenhower did say that an in-patient rehab center is in the early stages of development. A rehab unit for de-tox of patients suffering from alcohol and drug abuse is on the drawing board. And, Icenhower says the hospital will be expanding a wing too offer kidney dialysis in the near future:”

“Icenhower says the hospital has employed ten new people in the past week, and has more hiring to do. He says the new ownership is increasing pay scales and adding benefits. The new hospital ownership group is also focusing on diversity, and plans to staff Admissions and the E.R. with bi-lingual people.

MAN WANTED IN HOWARD COUNTY ARRESTED IN POLK COUNTY       5/22/17

 

The Polk County Sheriff's Office reported they arrested a man that was wanted for aggravated assault last Thursday night after they received a BOLO call from the Howard County Sheriff's office. When deputies arrested 44-year-old Richard Heifner for allegedly committing aggravated assault at the Umpire High School, they also found drugs and a firearm in Heifner's vehicle.

 

Howard County authorities reported Heifner was last seen driving a white Ford flatbed truck and they suspected he was headed towards Polk County. Around 10:15 p.m., Polk County deputies located the suspect on Highway 246 East of Vandervoort.

 

During the traffic stop, officers found a large amount of methamphetamine and a .40 caliber handgun.

 

Heifner is currently being held in the Polk County Detention Center awaiting formal charges and arraignment.

 

Heifner is being charged in Polk County with at least two felonies for simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and possession of methamphetamine with the purpose to deliver. He also faces a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.

 

Heifner is being charged with aggravated assault in Howard County.

 

 

COSSATOT CONSERVATION CAMP JUNE 1ST AND 2ND         5/22/17

 

Robin Stacy of the Cossatot Conservation Office announced Monday morning that the conservation district is partnering with the Rich Mountain Conservation District to host the 2017 Cossatot Conservation Camp this June 1st and 2nd at the Cossatot Reefs on the Gillham Lake. She said the two-day camp is open to students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades from both districts.

 

Stacy said students will set up camp at 8 a.m. on June 1st. At 9:30, students will learn how to identify animal skulls and furs, check the health of the lake, enjoy a movie, and learn how to survive in the outdoors.

 

Stacy said students will need to pre-register because they limit the camp size to about 20 students. She said the deadline to register is Friday, May 26th.

 

Registration forms may be picked up at the Cossatot Conservation District office at 309 West Collin Raye Drive in De Queen or call 870-584-3111 ext. 101. You may also download the forms from our website: KDQN.net.

 

  

ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE DESIGNATES $2.5 MILLION TO UA DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE        5/22/17

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge's office announced she has designated $2.5 million dollars of her office's lawsuit settlement funds to the University of Arkansas' Division of Agriculture Research and Extension.

 

Over the past two and a-half years, Rutledge's office has distributed lawsuit settlement funds to an array of state programs, including $2 million dollars to the state Department of Career Education for education and training grants; $1 million dollars to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law for its Business Innovation Legal Clinic and $850,000 dollars to the state Department of Education for panic buttons in public schools.

 

Rutledge said she decided to allot the money to the Agriculture Division because she saw a need and because the division's programs reach statewide.

 

According to the Division of Agriculture's website, their primary mission is to help producers and processors of food, fiber and fuels by providing access and use to appropriate technologies. The division also includes the Cooperative Extension Service, which helps other people by addressing food-safety and security, health and nutrition and natural resource conservation. The division also sponsors and promotes 4-H and other programs that serve youth, families and communities.

 

A spokesperson for Rutledge's office said these funds will come from an accumulation of settlement proceeds that were not designated for a specific use in those settlements.

 

Rutledge said she wanted to make sure that the division would continue to offer good services in all 75 counties, and build on what they are offering. She said she intends for the Division of Agriculture to help educate Arkansans about issues that her office covers, including preventing youth dating violence and domestic abuse through the Break the Cycle program, as well as combating identity theft, metal theft, opioid abuse, scams against senior adults and other programs.

 

Mary Hightower of the Division of Agriculture said the division has more than a century of consumer education experience, and that their programs will line up nicely with Rutledge's Break the Cycle program and her efforts to target prescription drug abuse, senior scams, ID theft and Internet safety.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: SWEEPSTAKES SCAMS STEALING ARKANSANS MONEY       5/22/17

 

Scam artists are making unsolicited phone calls and sending unsolicited emails to convince Arkansans that they've won a sweepstakes or lottery. But there is a catch, winners, must first wire a processing fee or fill out a form to provide banking information to the con artists so the money can be deposited into your account. But!, it's a scam.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to help consumers spot one of these scams.

 

She said consumers should not try to collect winnings from a sweepstakes that they did not enter. She said you should never give out personal financial information. She said don't pay any money up front in an attempt to claim a prize and you should always remember, if it looks or seems too good to be true, it mostly likely is.

 

Scammers often use the name of legitimate business, like Publishers Clearinghouse or a similar name to trick consumers into turning over their information.

 

Consumers should ignore all unsolicited sweepstakes prize notices and immediately contact the Attorney General Office to report the call or email.

 

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

 

 

AUTHORITIES NEED HELP FINDING A MISSING MCCURTAIN COUNTY MAN     5/19/17

 

The McCurtain County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in finding a man who was last seen headed to Paris to officiate a college baseball game on May 6th.

 

Officials say Fred Romine was last seen in the Broken Bow area. Reports say he was driving a 2005 brown Honda Odyssey and he was headed to Paris, Texas.

 

However, college officials say Romine never arrived and he hasn't been seen or heard from since.

 

If you have information concerning the whereabouts of Romine, contact the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office at 580-286-5570.

 

 

AUTOPSY  REVEALS CAUSE OF DEATH OF NASHVILLE WOMAN      5/19/17

 

The Arkansas Crime Lab ruled 43-year-old Gracie Haddox of Nashville died from "sharp force trauma" by being stabbed to death, according to the Howard County Sheriff's Office.

 

According to the report, Haddox was stabbed several times by a kitchen knife by 47-year-old Gerald Martin who later hanged himself in a closet in a house on Meadow Lane in Nashville.

 

The incident is being called a murder-suicide by local authorities.

 

According to the prosecuting attorney's office, Haddox's time of death was about 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 10th. Martin hung himself some time after 4 a.m. on Thursday, May 11th.

 

Prosecuting Attorney Bryon Chesshir reported surveillance video shows Martin purchased a set of knives from Wal-Mart on the morning of May 10th. He said officers found the package in the back seat of his car at the house, with one knife missing.

 

Chesshir said investigators found the knife next to Haddox's body.

 

The bodies of Haddox and Martin were discovered by Haddox's 16-year-old child after opening the bedroom door on Friday, May 12th. The police were notified at about 7:35 a.m.

 

Haddox and Martin lived together on Meadow Lane along with three of her children and one grandchild. Martin was originally from Mineral Springs, but had lived with Haddox for about two years.

 

Chesshir said Martin had been convicted in 1993 for killing a woman in Texas and sentenced to life in prison. Martin was paroled in 2013 and moved back to Arkansas.

 

 

28TH ANNUAL TRI-LAKES BIG BASS FESTIVAL       5/19/17

 

The 28th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is about two weeks away and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce and a host of volunteers are putting the final touches on this year's tournament.

 

Judge Ray said there's over $14,000 in prize money and door prizes and some lucky angler is going to have a chance to win a new Ford pickup during the award ceremony at the De Queen Sportsplex.

 

Ray said boat checks begin at 5 a.m. on all three lakes.

 

Ray said there will hourly prizes on each lake and there's a grand prize of $1,500 for the largest fish overall. The registration fee is $45 per person through Friday, May 26th or $50 a person the day of the event. He also stated the chamber office on Stilwell Avenue will be open on Thursday, May 25th and Friday, May 26th for registration.

 

Each year the Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival draws hundreds of fisherman to the area to fish on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes.

 

Entry forms can be obtained by calling 870-584-3225, from the chamber website at www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com or on the KDQN website, KDQN.net.

 

 

STATE LAUNCHING HOTLINE FOR IDEAS TO IMPROVE GOVERNMENT      5/19/17

 

Arkansas is launching a hotline and a website where the public can submit ideas to improve state government and make it more efficient.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the launch of the MyIdea project on Thursday. He said the project will include a hotline and a website that will be staffed by the Department of Finance and Administration. The department will then determine which agency is best equipped to handle an idea that's submitted and then forward it to that agency. Hutchinson says agencies will have 30-days to evaluate and report back on the idea that was submitted.

 

Those submitting ideas can do so anonymously or they can leave their contact information for any follow-up from the state.

 

The public can submit ideas online at www.myidea.arkansas.gov, or by calling 844-769-4332 or 501-683-4332.

 

 

36TH ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT APPRECIATION DAY      5/19/17

 

The 36th Annual Sevier County Senior Adult Appreciation Day is Friday, May 26th at the Sevier County fairgrounds. This year's theme is a patriotic and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray said there will be several special moments honoring the veterans of the county.

 

Committee member Patti Sharp reported over 20 vendors are currently signed up to participate and she mentioned some of the services that will be provided free of charge to the senior adults of Sevier County next Friday.

 

Judge Ray said senior adults can start registering at 8 a.m. and they will also vote on the location of next year's event when they register.

 

For more information or to donate a door prize, contact the County Judge's office at 870-642-2425.

 

 

CONTINUING EDUCATION AT UA COSSATOT        5/19/17

 

Continuing Education Coordinator Zebbie Launius announced what new classes will be offered this summer through UA Cossatot's Continuing Education program.

 

Launius said continuing education courses are non-credit courses that are open to the public. She said there are course to help someone find a job or just learn something new.

 

Launius said there's going to be a women's self-defense class, a concealed handgun class and lots of fun classes on all three UA Cossatot campuses.

 

To register, Launius said visit the website www.cccua.edu and click on the continuing education tab for a complete list of courses and class times and dates.

 

For more information, call UA Cossatot at 870-584-4471.

 

 

 

Boozman Continues to Push VA to Improve Services for Female Veterans   05/19/17

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), the lead Republican sponsor of the Deborah Sampson Act, continued his advocacy on behalf of female veterans by pushing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support the hiring of more women’s health providers and enhance data tracking of female veterans during a Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing.

The hearing focused on pending legislation before the committee, including the Deborah Sampson Act, a bipartisan bill that Boozman introduced with U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) to improve services and access at the VA for women veterans.

Boozman expressed gratitude for VA’s strong support of several of the bill’s provisions. He noted that he is particularly grateful for VA’s support of the bill’s efforts to create a pilot program for peer-to-peer assistance for women veterans and to expand support programs for female veterans who are homeless.

But while VA has indicated support for a large majority of what the bill sets out to accomplish, it has expressed reservations about two provisions in particular—one that requires at least one full time or part time women’s health primary care provider in each facility and a second provision that aims to improve data collection on the health care needs of female veterans.

Boozman stressed the importance of achieving these goals to the first panel’s lead witness, Dr. Jennifer S. Lee, the Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Policy and Services at VA. He encouraged VA to rethink its opposition to these provisions and asked Dr. Lee to elaborate on what efforts are currently being undertaken to address these concerns.
 

Watch the entire exchange here:



--Boozman pushes VA to embrace important changes to enhance care for female veterans--



The Deborah Sampson Act addresses gender disparities at the VA to ensure that women veterans are getting equitable care. This legislation will provide enhanced access to VA care and ensure women veterans are getting the benefits they have earned through their service.

Additionally, this bill will address the needs of women veterans who are more likely to face homelessness, unemployment, and go without needed health care.

The Deborah Sampson Act does the following:

Empowers women veterans by expanding peer-to-peer counseling, group counseling and call centers for women veterans;
Improves the quality of care for infant children of women veterans by increasing the number of days of maternity care VA facilities can provide and authorizing medically-necessary transportation for newborns;
Eliminates barriers to care by increasing the number of gender-specific providers and coordinators in VA facilities, training clinician and retrofitting VA facilities to enhance privacy and improve the environment of care for women veterans;
Provides support services for women veterans seeking legal assistance and authorizes additional grants for organizations supporting low-income women veterans;
Improves the collection and analysis of data regarding women and minority veterans, and expands outreach by centralizing all information for women veterans in one easily accessible place on the VA website.

The bill is endorsed by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), The American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), American Veterans (AMVETS), Jewish War Veterans (JWV), Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), National Military Families Association (NMFA), Commissioned Officers Association of the U.S. Public Health Service (COA), U.S. Army Warrant Officers Association (USAWOA), Marine Corps Reserve Association (MCRA), Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA), the Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP).

The Deborah Sampson Act gets its name from Deborah Sampson, a woman who disguised herself as a man in order to serve in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. She was wounded in 1782 and spent half of her life fighting to be recognized for her service. She is one of a small number of women with a documented record of military combat experience in the Revolutionary War.

 

 

 


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GILLHAM VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL BBQ FUNDRAISER IS SATURDAY        5/18/17

 

The Gillham Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting their annual BBQ dinner fundraiser on Saturday at the fire station.

 

Fire Chief Marc Rosson and Assistant Chief, Karen Russell announced they will start serving meals at 3 p.m. The auction is at 6 and the band Harmony is providing the entertainment. Russell said they'll have the event, rain or shine.

 

Rosson stated the department has been working to lower the district's fire rating. He said they've gotten it lowered from a 9 to a 6 for some residents.

 

Russell said Saturday's event will help the department buy equipment, which should help lower the district's fire rating some more.

 

For more information, contact Rosson at 870-584-9434 or Russell at 870-582-1102.

 

  

ASHDOWN JUNIOR AND SENIOR SHOOTING SPORTS TEAMS ADVANCE TO STATE        5/18/17

 

Ashdown junior and senior high shooting sports teams competed in the Arkansas youth Shooting Sports Program south regional tournament  May 12th and 13th in Jacksonville and advanced to state. The state tournament will be held in Jacksonville on June 3rd.

 

In the senior high division, the two Ashdown teams advanced to state by placing 4th and 12th out of 144 teams.

 

The Ashdown Senior Team One placed fourth and the members are Trevor Meyers, John Michael Molock, Alex Simmons, Koda Aylor and Jake Day. They placed fourth. The Ashdown Senior Team Two placed 12th and the members are Logan Russell, Hunter Lewis, Taylor Schmidt, Colby Dellinger and Kenzie Bishop.

 

At state, the teams will be seeded 1 through 64 and will be pitted in one-on-one team matches. Teams will need to win six matches, with 250 traps per match, to win the state championship.

 

In the junior division, competitors will fire at 25 traps each, for a maximum team score of 125. The Ashdown Shooting Sports junior team number one finished third with 109 points, just one point behind the top two teams.

 

The members of the junior team are Braden Jackson, Braden Gentry, Chico Markle, Jacob Formby and Drake Abney.

 

 

KCS RAILWAY INVESTING $24 MILLION ON IMPROVEMENT        5/18/17

 

Kansas City Southern Railway Company is investing $24.6 million dollars this year on construction and improvement projects in our region.

 

The work is expected to kick-off later this month and will continue through August. KCS will be making improvements in De Queen, Ashdown, Texarkana and other cities in Texas, Arkansas, and Missouri, as well as areas in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

 

KCS officials described the work as routine, saying, KCS does this sort of work all year long. The company said these projects are a capital investment that will expand the railway's network capacity to handle more and more rail traffic, keep maintenance to a regular and healthy cycle and enhance the safety of the system.

 

In all, the project will see the replacement of about eight miles of track and about 90,000 cross ties as well as improvements to more than 130 rail road crossings.

 

KCS officials say the country's economy is expanding and they anticipate more rail traffic.

 

 

DE QUEEN WAL-MART BLOOD DRIVE MAY 27TH        5/18/17

 

LifeShare Blood Centers is having a public blood drive on Saturday, May 27th at the De Queen Wal-Mart from 2 to 7 p.m., on the LifeShare bus.

 

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

 

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

 

For more information, call 903-794-3173.

 

 

KIDS TO PARKS DAY IS SATURDAY         5/18/17

 

'Kids to Parks Day' is a nation-wide call for parents and grandparents to engage their children in outdoor living. It's an opportunity to be nature mentors to children or grandchildren, so they can experience first-hand how inspiring the natural world can be, as well as connecting them to the heart-healthy activities that are available in Arkansas state parks.

 

The natural world is a world of wonder, and the Arkansas state park system administers over 54,000 acres that include 143 trails totaling 400 miles to explore and enjoy. The 52 state parks are a living legacy that teach and inspire generation after generation. Studies show that children who have experiences in nature are better students and make better citizens.

 

The National Park Trust started Kids to Parks Day in 2011 as a way to urge children across the country to discover science, history, nature and adventure in a neighborhood park right around the corner or just across town. Last year, Kids to Parks Day had more than 730,000 participants in all 50 states and Washington D.C. This year, the goal is to have 900,000 people enjoy Kids to Parks Day all across the country.

 

In addition to the many recreational opportunities and self-guided activities that can be enjoyed by visitors in Arkansas' state parks daily, state park interpreters around Arkansas will offer a wide range of special activities and programs on Saturday.

 

At the Cossatot River State Park, Interpreter Victoria Carson will be leading guided kayak tours on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Cossatot River State Park will also hold a snorkeling scavenger hunt on Sunday from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Guests can also help feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday in the park's visitor center.

 

Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary also reminded area children that the park is offering three summer camps this year. She said the first camp is a day camp, called the Kids Nature Camp. It's June 7th, 8th and 9th and it's for children ages 6 to 8. The cost is $40 per camper.

 

The deadline to register for the Kids Nature Camp is Monday, May 29th.

 

Park Interpreter Victoria Carson said the park is also holding a 4-Day Ecology Camp day-camp, June 20th through the 23rd from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said the cost is $50 per camper and it's for children ages 9 to 13.

 

The deadline to register for the Ecology Camp is Monday, June 12th.

 

Flanary said the final camp is an overnight camp and it will include a tour of several Southwest Arkansas State Parks. The SWAT camp is scheduled for July 24th through the 27th and it costs $125 per camper. Flanary said the camp is for 9 to 13 year olds.

 

The deadline to register for the SWAT Camp is Monday, July 17th.

 

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

 

 

STAY SAFE ON THE WATER AND SAVE A FEW DOLLARS      5/18/17

 

Boat Ed is the vendor who provides the online version of Arkansas' Boating Education Course, will be offering a special discount to anyone who completes the program between May 20th and May 26th to help promote National Safe Boating Week.

 

Participants will just need to enter a code in the discount code section when they pay their course fee at www.boat-ed.com. The code is NTNLSFBTNGWK2017.

 

Alex Hinson is the Boating Education Coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and he said it's important for program participants to know that everyone who takes the course must still pass an in-person exam at a testing site. Testing sites and times are available at https:register-ed.com/programs/arkansas/37.

 

Hinson said the state still offers free instructor-led classes all over the state for people who want to complete their boater education course the traditional way. He said the online component just makes it a little more convenient for people who can't make it to a class.

 

Anyone born on or after January 1st, 1986, and of legal age to operate a motorboat or sailboat, must have successfully completed an approved Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Boating Education Course and carry proof while operating a motorboat or sailboat on Arkansas water. 

 

 

DE QUEEN TRACK AND FIELD MEMBERS SELLING RAFFLE TICKETS TO CHAMPIONSHIP RINGS         5/17/17

 

Members of the De Queen Leopard championship track and field team are selling weekend getaway raffle tickets to raise funds for their championship rings.

 

According to Coach Jonathan Lindsey, track members will only be selling 300 tickets for $20 each and the winner will get to chose one of three destinations. Destination number one is a sports getaway to Dallas for two-nights, a $50 gas card, $100 in spending money and four tickets to a Texas Rangers baseball game. Destination number two is an entertainment getaway to Branson for two-nights, four tickets to a show, $50 gas card and $100 in spending money. And, destination number three is a relaxing weekend in Hochatown.

 

The travel dates are flexible and will be based on availability of tickets and hotels rooms. The drawing will be held on Friday, May 26th at 7 p.m. live on Facebook.

 

For tickets contact any track and field athlete, the middle school office or Coach Lindsey at jlindsey@dequeenleopards.org.

 

  

NO OFFICIAL MEETING HELD TUESDAY NIGHT BY DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL       5/17/17


No official business was conducted Tuesday night during the De Queen City Council due to a lack of a quorum, but the three aldermen that attended the meeting heard a presentation from the city's accounting firm about converting the city's retirement fund into a defined contribution plan.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said there were 38 city employees who are eligible to participate in the city's retirement plan and there are currently 16 former employees drawing a retirement check from the city's current plan, which is a defined benefit plan.

 

McKelvy reported the city's current retirement plan was established in the 1980's. He said if the council voted, at a later date, to replace the city's defined benefit plan with a defined contribution plan, it would save the city some money and provide a better retirement package for city employees.

 

Police Chief Scott Simmons informed those in attendance that his department had hired Tyler Slomer as a new patrolman. Slomer is a former deputy with the Little River County Sheriff's Office and is a certified officer.

 

Mayor McKelvy also reported the city received some positive feedback from the state health department during the city's Sanitary Survey this week.

 

Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt told aldermen that his department had purchase some basic medical equipment to help check the blood pressure, pulse ox levels and blood sugar levels of city employees. He also reported Truck 5 has a broken axle and it is being rebuilt by Rockwell. He said the truck should be back in operation within the next eight weeks.

 

 

STUDENTS ASK DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD TO ADD GIRLS VOLLEYBALL         5/17/17

 

De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported several students attended the May meeting of the De Queen Board of Education. He said they asked the board to consider offering girls volleyball.

 

Hill said the students made several valid points, but the biggest drawback to offering volleyball is travel and the number of schools that field volleyball teams.

 

Board members also voted to leave the De Queen-Mena Education Co-op. He said the co-op will return the district's Carl Perkins Funds and those funds will be used by the district to provide career and technical education in the high school.

 

Hill said the board also voted to increase the district's lunch prices. He said adult breakfast meals will increase to $2.25 and student lunches will increase from $1.50 to $1.75.

 

Hill also announced report cards will be available on Tuesday, May 30th at 1 p.m.

 

 

NATIONAL SALVATION ARMY WEEK        5/17/17

 

It's National Salvation Army Week and it's a time to remember what the Salvation Army does in Sevier County.

 

William Booth established the Salvation Army in 1852 in London to allow him to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute, while forgoing the concept of the traditional church. Booth's work has since expanded into 127 countries.

 

Today, the Salvation Army is the second largest charity in America and the organization continues to minister to those in need by providing food and shelter programs, disaster relief and in some locations even rehabilitation services.

 

The local Salvation Army accepts furniture, house ware and clothing donations and then sells the items at it’s store on Stilwell Avenue. Those funds and money raised through the red kettle campaign are then used to help area residents.

 

Tammy Simmons of the Salvation Army Store in De Queen said they assist local residents with their utility bills. She said they give out gas vouchers to help people travel to doctor's appointments. Simmons said they also distribute free food when it’s donated to the store and they provide free clothing to people who can't afford to buy it.

 

This week, the local Salvation Army has promoted Salvation Army week with several special events, like serving donuts on Wednesday morning. Simmons said they will have some special sale prices  in the store on Thursday and Friday, they will be serving free hot dogs.

 

For more information about the local Salvation Army, call 870-642-3463 or stop by the store on the corner of Third and Stilwell Avenue in downtown De Queen.

 

 

WAL-MART HOSTING OPEN CALL FOR NEW U.S. MADE PRODUCTS      5/17/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported Wal-Mart in Bentonville is hosting an Open Call for new U.S. made products at their corporate office on June 28th.

 

Michael Lindsey is the director of public affairs and government relations for Wal-Mart and he reported Wal-Mart is leading an American renewal through its commitment to purchase an additional $250 billion dollars in products that are made, sourced or grown in the United States by 2023.

 

The open call event is open to both current and potential U.S. suppliers. Lindsey said buyers will be on hand to meet one on one with selected companies and manufacturers can also apply to participate in the open call to pitch their products.

 

For more information or to apply to participate, visit the website www.walmart.com and search Open Call 2017.

 

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER INCREASE IN SANITATION RATES         5/16/17

 

Tonight, aldermen of the De Queen City Council will hear a presentation about what it will take to switch the city's defined contribution retirement program to the city's current retirement plan. Aldermen will also consider an ordinance to increase the city's sanitation rates.

 

The ordinance includes new policies on brush and yard waste pick-up, as well as dumpster abuse.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed aldermen that the city's request for proposals for an automated meter reading system should be published on Sunday, May 21st in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and the city street department is getting ready for the city's street paving project.

 

McKelvy also reported a contractor is currently working on south Fourth Street installing crossing gates on the KCS railroad crossing.

 

 

ROAD CLOSED IN LOCKESBURG UNTIL BRIDGE IS REPAIRED         5/16/17

 

Aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council met with Randy Allen who is a bridge builder about the condition of the bridge on North Park Avenue during their regular monthly meeting on May 9th. Aldermen asked Allen what steps were needed to reconstruct the bridge, replace a culvert on Pine Street at the entrance of the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park and other improvements.

 

Allen prepared a proposal and presented it to the council Monday night during a special called meeting.

 

Aldermen also authorized Mayor Danny Ruth to close North Park Avenue between Elm Drive and Hilltop Road to all traffic, except emergency vehicles, until the project is completed.

 

Mayor Ruth said the project may take several weeks.

 

Ruth also reported the park committee is talking about accepting bids for the construction of new restrooms. He said the park committee is also getting an estimate to see how much it would cost to repair the walking trail.

 

Aldermen accepted a bid from A2Z Construction and voted to pay the initial down payment so work can begin on City Hall.

 

A2Z Construction has 60-days to put vinyl siding on the building along with new gutters. They will also replace the roof and columns in front of the building. 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT TORCH RUN IS MONDAY, MAY 22       5/16/17

 

     Monte Stringfellow of the UA Cossatot campus police announced this week that local law enforcement officers were going to participate in the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Arkansas Special Olympics on Monday, May 22nd. He said the Torch Run will end up in Searcy on Thursday, May 25th for the Opening Ceremonies of the Arkansas Special Olympics.

 

Stringfellow said the public is invited to participate in the run. He also said if you don't want to run but you work or live on the route to please encourage the runners and show your support for the Special Olympics of Arkansas as they pass by your business or home.

 

Stringfellow said the Special Olympics of Arkansas will begin on Friday, May 26th in Searcy on the campus of Harding University and he plans to volunteer on Saturday, May 27th during the closing ceremonies.

 

For more information, contact Stringfellow at 870-582-5639 or just meet the local law enforcement officers at the De Queen City Hall on Monday at 9 a.m.

 

 

SEVERAL ASHDOWN STUDENTS SIGN LETTERS OF INTENT        5/16/17

 

Ashdown School District Media Relations Director Ronda Pounds reported several Ashdown High School seniors signed letters of intent to play football and perform in marching bands at university's in Arkansas.

 

Charlie Trammell signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

 

Trammell will graduate on Thursday with high honors and he was named to the 7-4A All-Conference Second-team. He is the son of Chad and Virginia Trammell.

 

Ashdown High School band member Cole Deloney signed a letter of intent to perform in the Henderson State University marching band. He was also awarded a 4-year Band Scholarship that's valued at $4,000.

 

Deloney has been a member of the Ashdown Purple Pride Marching Band for seven years and was selected for the Four-States Bandmaster Clinic. Deloney is the son of Teresa and Jimmy Deloney.

 

Senior band member Cody Tilley also signed with the Henderson State University marching band and will receive a $10,000 HSU Band Scholarship.

 

Tilley made Junior High All-Region for two years, senior high All-Region for three years and was a member of the Four States Honor Band for three years.

 

Tilley is the son of Natalie Tilley.

 

Senior band member and drum major Jacob Purifoy signed a letter of intent with the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and is receiving a band scholarship that's valued at $8,000.

 

Purifoy made junior high All-Region four years, senior high All-Region for three years, Four States Honor Band for two years and was named the Outstanding Drum Major in Class 3A for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 marching season.

 

Purifoy is the son of Clint and Nicole Young.

 

 

SENIOR ADULT APPRECIATION DAY IS MAY 26 IN SEVIER COUNTY      5/16/17

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Senior Adult Appreciation Day committee member Patti Sharp reported the 36th annual Sevier County Senior Adult Appreciation Day is Friday, May 26th at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.

 

Judge Ray said there will be door prizes for senior adults who visit the vendors and have their health report card filled out. He also thanked everyone who helps make the event a success every year.

 

Sharp said they have over 20 vendors signed up. She also reported the Sevier County Sheriff's Office will be collecting unused, expired and unwanted medications during the event.

 

This year's Senior Appreciation Day is on Memorial Day weekend and Judge Ray said there will be several patriotic parts to this year's event.

 

For more information or to donate a door prize, contact the County Judge's office at 870-642-2425.

 

 

TEEN CHEF ACADEMY BEING OFFERED BY COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE      5/16/17

 

The motto for the upcoming Teen Chef Academy is 'Food is essential to life, therefore, make it good' and area Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agents from six counties are coming together to provide an opportunity for local teens to learn the techniques of the pros, like: whip, simmer, fold, knead, emulsify, sear and more.

 

In addition to hands-on cooking experience, they will receive a cookbook, cooking utensils, a Teen Chef apron and the confidence to prepare meals at home for their family and friends.

 

Classes will be taught in the Culinary Arts Lab on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot for youth between the ages of 13 and 19 from each participating county. The academy will be held on Tuesday, June 27th through Friday, June 30th, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the cost is $125. A $50 deposit is required at the time of registration.

 

Students will learn new recipes, make new friends and experience new tastes and skills. For more information, contact the Sevier County cooperative Extension Service in the Adams Building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot. You may also call 870-584-3013.

 

 

A PAROLED MAN APPARENTLY KILLED GIRLFRIEND IN NASHVILLE BEFORE TAKING HIS OWN LIFE        5/15/17

 

A man who was on parole for a 1990s murder apparently killed his girlfriend last week in Nashville, before taking his own life, according to the officials with the Howard County Sheriff's Office.

 

The bodies of Gracie Haddox and her live-in boyfriend, Gerald Martin were discovered by Haddox's 16-year-old daughter. She informed the sheriff's deputies that she found her mother in a bedroom at their home on Friday. the incident has been ruled a murder-suicide.

 

Haddox was the mother of seven children and shared the house on Meadow Lane with three of her children, one grandchild and Martin.

 

According to authorities, Martin was originally from Mineral Springs and had lived with Haddox for about two years.

 

According to Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir, Martin was arrested in Texas for the killing of his girlfriend in 1991. He said Martin was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 1993, but he was paroled in 2013.

 

Chesshir also stated there is something wrong with the system when someone who is sentenced to life in prison for murder is let out early.

  

 

AREA HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATIONS         5/15/17

 

144 De Queen High School seniors will graduate tonight at 8 p.m. at the Leopard football field and Superintendent Bruce Hill announced the district will be busing family members from the Junior High School parking lot to the football field beginning at 6:15 p.m.

 

Hill said family members can also bring a lawn chair and set it up on the track, however, he said no chairs will be allowed on the football field.

 

38 seniors will be graduating from Dierks High School tonight at 7 p.m. in the Dierks High School gymnasium.

 

57 seniors will be graduating from Horatio High School on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Lions Stadium.

 

80 seniors will be graduating from Ashdown High School on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Dick Hayes Stadium.

 

Umpire High School graduation is scheduled for Thursday and Nashville High School graduation is Sunday at 2 p.m. in Scrapper Arena.

  

 

ANOTHER FEATURE ADDED TO THE 28TH ANNUAL TRI-LAKES BIG BASS FESTIVAL        5/15/17

 

The 28th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is set for Saturday, May 27th from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported there's over $14,000 in prize money this year; including a grand prize of $1,500 for the largest fish overall. He said there's also going to be hourly prizes on each lake for first through fifth place.

 

Registration is $45 per person through May 26th or $50 per person on the day of the event. Ray said the chamber office will be open on Thursday, May 25th and Friday, May 26th.

 

Ray said boat check will begin at 5 a.m. at the Oak Grove and Rolling Fork boat ramps on De Queen Lake, Coon Creek and Little Coon on Gillham Lake and Jefferson Ridge on Dierks Lake.

 

At the awards ceremony, the chamber will be drawing for numerous door prizes at 2 p.m. at the De Queen Sportsplex. Ray said during the awards ceremony, De Queen Auto Group will give participating anglers a chance to win a 2017 Ford F-150 through a 60-foot bean bag toss challenge.

 

Entry forms may be obtained by calling 870-584-3225 or from the chamber's website www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com.

 

  

TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR SEVIER COUNTY      5/15/17

 

The public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Sevier County will be held at the Sevier County Courthouse on Wednesday, May 31st at 1 p.m. according to Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands, John Thurston. Registration will begin at 12:30 p.m.

 

The Commissioner of State Lands offers an online Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, which contains the current statutes governing the sales, auction dates, times, locations and other pertinent information regarding parcels that are being offered. The catalog can be found on the Commissioner's website at www.cosl.org, and it provides current information resources about each parcel.

 

Thurston said the bidding begins at the amount of taxes and fees that are due. He said owners of delinquent parcels should also remember that they have only 10 business days to redeem their property if it sells at an auction.

 

Delinquent property owners may call the commissioner's office at 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the Commission of State Lands website and print it from there.

 

 

CAMPUS NEWS FROM ASHDOWN       5/15/17

 

Ashdown School District Media Relations Director Ronda Pounds reported the Ashdown Junior High School has been awarded another $5,000 Lowe's Grant for their "Outdoor Classroom" this year.

 

She said employees from Lowe's, Ashdown Junior High School teachers, Lacie Shamsie and Ed Williams and students worked together earlier this month to build flower beds and put picnic tables, umbrellas and other outdoor furniture together.

 

Lowe's supports public education through their Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant program, which is funded by Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation.

 

Pounds also reported the third grade students from the L.F. Henderson campus traveled to Camp Preston Hunt for a Character Camp on May 4th.

 

She said students hiked around the camp and participated in a number of activities including rockets, archery, rain gutter regatta, pirate ship and camp race.

 

Pounds said the program was sponsored by Learning for Life, which is under the direction of Linda Willis.

 

Pounds also mentioned Ashdown High School senior Jacob Purifoy was on the First-place Arkansas All-State quiz bowl team, which went undefeated. He received a check for $100 and a patch for his letterman's jacket.

 

 

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR SEAT BELT LAW VIOLATORS        5/15/17

 

As Arkansas families begin to make plans for summertime road trips and vacations, law enforcement officers urge motorists to buckle up. State, county and city law enforcement officers will begin devoting additional patrols May 22nd through June 4th as part of the "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement campaign.

 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half of the drivers and passengers killed in vehicle crashes during 2015 were not wearing a seat belt. The percentage of fatalities in this category increases during the nighttime hours.

 

The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office urges everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time, day and night, especially during the upcoming holiday when more motorists will be on the road.

 

Arkansas state law requires all front seat passengers, not just drivers, to buckle-up. The law requires all children, under 15-years of age, to be properly secured in the vehicle. A child who is less than 6-years of age, and who weighs less than 60-pounds shall be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. If the driver has a restricted license, then all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE      5/15/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported extensive research shows that obtaining a college degree results in higher earnings and lower unemployment rates. She said research says the median income for young adults with a college degree is 50 percent higher than those with a high school diploma.

 

Vaught said she also wanted to remind area students that the deadline to apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge Scholarship is June 15th. The scholarship is funded by the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery and provides tuition assistance to students at every Arkansas college, university or two-year technical school, both public and private.

 

Vaught said the Academic Challenge Scholarship is available to every student that qualifies. She said eligibility requirements are simple: the student must be a traditional incoming freshman, a current college student or a non-traditional student; they must have a minimum ACT score of 19; they must be in pursuit of their first degree; and they must maintain a 2.5 GPA.

 

Scholarships are awarded based on a tiered system. Students who are enrolled in a four-year institution can receive $1,000 for the first year, $4,000 their sophomore and junior years and $5,000 their senior year. At two-year institutions and approved nursing schools, students receive a $1,000 for the first year and $3,000 for the second.

 

To date, more than 235,000 scholarships have been awarded to Arkansas students seeking both four and two-year degrees.

 

Applications can be found at the Department of Higher Education's website, which is scholarship.adhe.edu. There is also a free app for your phone.

 

 

DECLINING ENROLLMENT A PROBLEM AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN MENA        5/12/17

 

Declining enrollment at community colleges has led at least two two-year schools to submit improvement plans to the state's Department of Higher Education.

 

Northwest Arkansas Community College, which is the state's largest public community college, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Rich Mountain in Mena fell below the minimum score in performance-based funding.

 

The Bentonville-based Northwest Arkansas Community College scored 2.65 points out of the maximum 10, while Rich Mountain scored just below the minimum-performance score of six points at 5.93. East Arkansas Community College in Forrest City scored 4.82 points but recently changed its database reporting system and will resubmit its numbers to the Department of Higher Ed.

 

The scores are based on mandatory measures, which can give a community college up to six points, and regional or mission measures that can give a two-year school up to four points. The mandatory measures are based on credentials, including certificates of proficiency to associate degrees to progression to graduation and course completion.

 

Normally, falling below the minimum score means a college or university could lose a portion of its funding from the state, however, no universities fell below the minimum score this year. Schools now must submit an improvement plan, including a budget dedicated solely to fixing its deficiencies, to the Department of Higher Education.

 

A committee of Higher Education Department staff and college and university leaders will then determine if all or a part of the funding should remain in the hands of the underperforming institution. If the plan is insufficient or if the institution falls below the minimum score for a second year consecutive year, it loses its funding.

 

Colleges and universities get their funding mostly from three sources, including student tuition and fees, state appropriations and private donations. For years, the state funded its public higher education institutions based largely on enrollment.

 

 

RUSTY RELICS TRACTOR SHOW       5/12/17

 

The Rusty Relics will be holding its 14th annual Antique Tractor and Engine Show on Saturday, May 20th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

All tractors are welcome, whether they've been restored or they just came out of the field. There's going to be a tractor parade, tractor games, concession stand and food vendors, as well as kids activities.

 

The Rusty Relic Tractor Club will also be raffling off a restored Allis Chalmers C with belly mower. Tickets are $5 each or 6 for $25 and they are on sale now. To purchase a ticket, contact a Rusty Relic Tractor Club member or call Roger White at 870-845-2769 or Bob White at 870-845-4631.

 

The tractor and engine show will be at the home of Roger and Lesley White, to get to the show take Highway 371 West for five miles, turn right on Highway 355 North and go three miles. The show will be located at the corner of Highway 355 and York Chapel Road.

 

 

2ND ANNUAL BEACON HILL BIKERS BENEFIT RIDE FOR THE SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS CRISIS CENTER       5/12/17

 

Beacon Hill Biker Motorcycle Ministry President Newman Hance and Secretary Carla Wolcott announced the ministry will be hosting its 2nd Annual Motorcycle Rally and Chicken Dinner to benefit the Southwest Arkansas Crisis Center on May 21st.

 

Wolcott said they will start serving chicken dinners at 11:30 a.m. and the cost is $8.50 a plate. She said the ride will start at 2 p.m. and it's $10 for one rider and $15 for two.

 

Hance said the ride will start in the Ranch House Cafe parking lot and go over to Broken Bow, up and over Mena and back to De Queen.

 

Last year's event raised over a $1,000 for the Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center. The center provides information and assistance to women in abusive relationships.

 

 

HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT MEETS WITH DEPARTMENT OF ED ABOUT SCHOOL OF INNOVATION APPLICATION       5/11/17

 

Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith informed patrons of the Horatio School District and members of the Board of Education that he and some other district administrators met with the Department of Education concerning the district's School of Innovation Application. He stated the district has not been approved yet, but they are very optimistic.

 

Smith also reported the district hired Brittany Allen, Falon Johnson, Jessica Baig, Elizabeth Bowman, Paul Morrow and Steve Sprick to fill open teaching positions and the board accepted the resignation of Sharon Johnson.

 

Smith said the elementary and high school robotics teams attended Tuesday's meeting and demonstrated how their robots work and how they program them.

 

Smith said the board also renewed the contract with K-12 Culinary Connection for the district's food service needs.

 

 

2.65-CARAT DIAMOND FOUND AT ARKANSAS STATE PARK      5/11/17

 

Victoria Brodski visited the Crater of Diamonds State Park for a special birthday celebration. The 25-year-old had known about the park for years and finally decided to visit after hearing about a 7.44-carat diamond that was found in March.

 

Brodski and her family drove from Tulsa on Saturday, May 6th and bought tickets to enter the diamond field at 9 a.m. A few minutes later, she was sitting with her daughter and brother by a culvert near the mine entrance when she picked up what she thought was a pretty piece of glass. Noting its shine, she put it in a plastic bag and continued searching.

 

A couple hours later, Brodski walked to the park's Diamond Discovery Center to see what real uncut diamonds look like and it was there that she realized she may have found more than just a piece of glass. A short time later, a park staff member informed her that she had found a brown diamond.

 

Brodski's diamond was one of three found on the surface on May 6th. It is the second largest diamond found this year. It is described as being about the size of a bead, with a dark brown color, like raw honey. It also has a smooth, rounded surface and appears to be free of blemishes, inside and out.

 

Brodski named her diamond the Michelangelo Diamond, because her family had decided to use the names of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as code words, in case any of them found a diamond.

 

Brodski says she plans to sell the diamond and split the money with her family because they had also made a contract to split anything they found.

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES        5/11/17

 

Cossatot River State Park is offering three summer camps this year for children and registration is now open. Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary said the first camp is the Kids Nature Camp. She said it's for children 6 to 8 years of age and the cost is $40 per camper. Flanary said it's a day camp June 7th, 8th and 9th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

 

The deadline to register for the Kids Nature Camp is Monday, May 29th.

 

Park Interpreter Victoria Carson said the park is also holding a 4-Day Ecology Camp, June 20th through the 23rd from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said the cost is $50 per camper and it's for children 9 to 13.

 

The deadline to register for the Ecology Camp is Monday, June 12th.

 

Flanary said the final camp is an overnight camp and it will include a tour of several Southwest Arkansas State Parks. The SWAT camp is scheduled for July 24th through the 27th and it costs $125 per camper. Flanary said the camp is for 9 to 13 year olds.

 

And, the deadline to register for the SWAT Camp is Monday, July 17th.

 

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

 

 

FORMER DE QUEEN RESIDENT GRADUATING FROM ARKANSAS STATE HONORS COLLEGE        5/11/17

 

Katy Smith of De Queen will be graduating from the Honors College at Arkansas State University.

 

The Honors College is also hosting its eighth annual Honors Recognition Ceremony and Reception on Friday at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the Cooper Alumni Center.

 

The 4 p.m. ceremony is for graduates from Agriculture, Engineering and Technology, Liberal Arts and Communications, and Nursing and Health Professions. The 6 p.m. ceremony is for graduates from Business, Education and Behavioral Science, Sciences and Mathematics and Undergraduate Studies.

 

A record 171 graduating honors students will be recognized in the company of their parents, families, guests and university dignitaries.

 

Smith is 'Graduating in Honors'. She has completed a minimum of 18 credit hours in Honors coursework and is graduating with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS RECEIVED 15 AWARDS DURING THE RECENT CACA ART SHOW AND SALE        5/11/17

 

Last weekend, 15 De Queen High School students earned recognition during the 46th annual Cossatot Arts and Crafts art show and sale.

 

McKenna Caudle, Molly Smith, Tori Parker, Joel Guerrero and Alma Puga received a Special Merit Award.

 

Emily Rodriquez, Maria Campos and Magali Cornelio earned first place honors. Kammi Pollard and Belen Gomez earned second place honors. Miriam Rodriguez, Patricia Hernandez, Gerardo Rojas, and Avery Johnson earned third place awards and Reana Roberson earned an honorable mention award.

 

 

STAND UP TO STIGMA - LET'S TALK ABOUT SUICIDE AWARENESS      5/11/17

 

You may not realize it, but Arkansas ranks 10th in the nation in the number of suicide deaths and there are more than double the number of suicides in Arkansas than homicides.

 

Statistics tells us, suicide is the second leading cause of death for Arkansans 25 to 34, the third leading cause of death for Arkansans between the ages of 15 and 24 and the fifth leading cause of death for Arkansans 10 to 14. And, most people don't want to talk about it.

 

In Arkansas, there were 444 deaths from suicide in 2010, which increased to 571 deaths by 2015.

 

According to the Center for Disease Control, men who work in farming, fishing or forestry are more likely to commit suicide and considering one in six jobs in Arkansas is related to agriculture, this is a very relevant issue for our community.

 

On Tuesday, May 16th, the Sevier County Coalition and the Harbor House Prevention Providers will be hosting a community conversation entitled: Stand Up to Stigma: Suicide Awareness from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stilwell's Restaurant in De Queen.

 

Organizers are also hoping to offer a three-hour training class called SafeTALK Suicide on Thursday, May 25th in the conference room of the Sevier County Health Unit, to teach people how to become aware of suicide. The SafeTalk training is free and anyone 15 and over can attend.

 

For more information or to RSVP, call 870-642-2535.

 

 

FILL YOUR HEART AND YOUR HOME, BECOME A FOSTER CARE PARENT         5/10/17

 

Laura Lindly is the Attorney Ad Litem for Sevier and Howard counties and earlier this week she explained to the KDQN listeners how she works with the local DHS office.

 

In Sevier County, there are only three foster homes and when those homes are full, children must be placed in other counties or in group homes in Fort Smith and Little Rock. Lindly stated if there were more foster care homes in Sevier County, those children would be allowed to stay in their schools and communities.

 

Lindly said the perfect foster family is one that loves children and is willing to open their hearts and home to a child in need.

 

She also stated that it's not going to always be easy, but it's rewarding when you see a child start thriving in their new surroundings.

 

Lindly also said the ultimate goal of the foster care system is to provide all children with a forever home.

 

To find out more about the foster care system and to learn how you can help, join the Morning Brew Crew from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday at the Sevier County DHS office.

 

 

ACTIVITY REPORT FOR SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE      5/10/17

 

Tuesday morning, Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry released the monthly activity report for the deputies of Sevier County.

 

Gentry reported deputies conducted a total of 271 traffic stops, issued 258 warnings and they wrote 15 citations, while patrolling a total of 20,559 miles throughout the county. He said they also worked 19 accidents and made 45 arrests.

 

Gentry said a total of 104 inmates were booked into the county jail and inmates picked up trash on Johnson Bridge, Red Bridge, Melrose and Central roads.

 

Gentry reported two deputies left the department and the department hired Kevin Cross and David Stinson to serve has new deputies.

 

Gentry also reported members of the Horatio Volunteer Fire Department, AirEvac, Chandler Funeral Home, Southwest EMS, and the Arkansas State Police partnered with his department to reenact a major accident scene for the students of the Horatio High School on the Friday before prom. Investigator Brian Hankins helped organize the event with the assistance of Deputy Nicole Nealy who is the department's resource officer.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE AWARDS OVER $25,000 IN LOCAL SCHOLARSHIPS       5/10/17

 

The annual Ashdown Scholarship Tea was held on Sunday, April 30th. Forty-eight scholarships worth $25,725 were awarded to 32 Ashdown High School seniors.

 

The Scholarship Committee has awarded over 100 percent of all donated moneys for some time due to investments and they plan to continue that trend in the future. A committee spokesperson said they will continue to recognize the needs of local students and to reward them for their hard work and high aspirations.

 

Last year, the committee awarded 52 scholarships with a total value of $27,211. That means the committee has awarded over 577 scholarships to 1,045 students over the course of the committee's 31-year history.

 

The committee has also authorized an alumni fund that former students of Ashdown High School, businesses, or other individuals may contribute to the program in any amount, at any time of year. Contributions may by made in honor of someone or in memory of someone. Scholarships are tax deductible and may be sent to the Ashdown Scholarship Committee at the administration building on Rankin Street.

 

 

MAN CHARGED WITH ANIMAL CRUELTY PLEADS GUILTY       5/10/17

 

A man that was initially rescuing animals plead guilty to charges of animal cruelty Tuesday for allegedly shooting eight dogs.

 

Sevier County District Court Judge Manya Wood ordered 25-year-old Brian Moore of Sevier County to pay a $1,600 fine and ordered him to serve 20 hours of community service after he plead guilty to four counts of animal cruelty. Wood also dismissed four other counts.

 

According to the incident report, some of the animals had microchips from a Fort Worth, Texas animal shelter. The dogs were found dead at the house where Moore and his girlfriend, Whitney Smither, lived.

 

Smither moved to Indiana and has not been interviewed, arrested or charged in the incident.

 

Moore told law enforcement that he killed the animals because they were getting aggressive. He said they had killed a calf, some cats and some other dogs.

 

Investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office said they were notified about the dead animals on December 3rd of 2016 by the executive director of Ark-La-Tex Animal Rescue in Texarkana.

 

Whitney Harrison said she was contacted by a Sevier County resident about some dogs running loose in the area. Harrison reported when she went to the residence, she found animal bones littering the yard along with at least eight dead animals.

 

Harrison said the couple, Moore and Smither, had been approved to foster dogs by her agency in April of 2016 and they had pulled several animals from shelters in Fort Worth.

 

After interviewing Moore in December of 2016, he was charged with eight misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR APPRECIATION DAY IS MAY 26      5/10/17

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Patti Sharp announced the annual Sevier County Senior Adult Appreciation Day has been scheduled for Friday, May 26th at the Sevier County fairgrounds.

 

Sharp said they have over 20 vendors currently signed up and they will be providing a variety of services during the event.

 

Ray said this year's theme is "Shoot for the Stars.

 

 

SISTERLY LOVE         5/10/17

 

Friday night, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputies Wendell Randall and Kevin Cross were patrolling on Highway 24 East when they noticed two vehicles in the parking lot of the Lone Oak Church.

 

When the deputies pulled into the parking lot, they noticed a white female standing beside the driver's side door while another white female was sitting in the driver's seat.

 

When the women were asked what they were doing, 29-year-old Regina Trusley of Horatio stated she was there to pick up her sister, Elizabeth Trusley.

 

Deputy Randall reported both women appeared to be nervous, so he asked Elizabeth Trusley if she had anything illegal on her person and she said no. He also asked Regina Trusley if he could search her vehicle, and she agreed.

 

During the search, Deputy Randall reported he found a clear glass devise that contained suspected methamphetamines residue.

 

Regina Trusley was then arrested and taken to the Sevier County jail where they found a small pouch for reading glasses inside her clothing that contained a glass pipe with suspected methamphetamine residue inside it. Jailers also found an Altoid tin that contained a clear bag of suspected methamphetamine, along with six round Methadone pills and two used Q-tips.

 

Regina Trusley was charged with two counts of felony possession of a controlled substance - meth and a felony count of possession of drug paraphernalia.   

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT VOTES TO ALLOW SHERIFF APPLY FOR DF&A GRANT          5/9/17

 

Monday afternoon, the Sevier County Quorum Court passed a resolution authorizing Sheriff Robert Gentry to apply for an Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration grant to provide residential substance abuse treatment to county inmates.

 

Sheriff Gentry stated the county is currently providing church services, AA, NA and other programs for inmates and it has made a noticeable difference in the behavior of the inmates.

 

Justices of the Peace also approved a request by Sheriff Gentry to use a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant to purchase some portable radios, a docking station and a new computer for the booking room.

 

JPs re-appointed Jerry Davis to the Sevier County Housing Authority. They also re-appointed Bill Blackwood and Billy Foster to the Sevier County Equalization Board.

 

Florence Metcalf was appointed to the Sevier County Library Board to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Debbie Pickering.

 

JPs also voted to transfer some funds from the county road department's capital outlay - vehicles fund and capital outlay - machinery fund to the capital outlay - improvements fund for the replacement of bridges on Valley Road, Runnels Road and Johnson Lane.

 

County Judge Greg Ray also announced the Regional Veteran's Affairs Officer from Hope will hold office hours in Sevier and Little River counties on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Ray said Jim Williams will be in Little River County from 9 a.m. to noon and in Sevier County from 1 to 4 p.m. 

 

 

DIERKS VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT ASKS COUNCIL TO RAISE FIRE PROTECTION FEE          5/9/17

 

Monday night during the Dierks City Council, the chief of the Dierks Volunteer Fire Department informed the aldermen that his department would like to purchase a newer truck in the near future, but they needed the council to increase fire protection fee for residents inside the city limits of Dierks.

 

Chief Mike Noel said currently in-town residents pay $2 a month or $24 a year on their water bills for fire protection. Residents who live outside the city limits who are in the Dierks Fire Protection area pay $3.33 a month or $40 a year.

 

Noel then asked the council to consider increasing the in-town rate by $1.33 to match the out-of-town resident rate. He said the department had not received an increase in the fire protection rate in over 20 years.

 

Noel explained the department needed the increase to help secure financing for a newer truck. He said the newest truck in the department's fleet was 17 years old.

 

Mayor Donnie Mounts said the council will consider adjusting the fire protection rates over the next few months.

 

Mounts also reported that the raw water pumps are due to be delivered any day now and he hopes they will be installed before the water usage increases this summer.

 

Mounts also said the city was given a few citations from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Control for some minor issues concerning the city's sewer system. He said ADEQ informed him that the city needed signage at the city's lift stations and they need some new rock in the city's reed-rock filter. He said some of the issues have already been addressed while others will be corrected within the next month or so.

 

Mounts also reported the city's insurance rate will remain the same for another year.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - ARKANSAS WORKS       5/9/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported Governor Asa Hutchinson has signed several pieces of legislation that was passed by the General Assembly during the 1st Extraordinary Session of 2017.

 

Vaught said the session was called to address health care and the state's long term reserve fund.

 

She said Act 3 directs the Arkansas Department of Human Services to request a federal waiver allowing the state to make changes to the state's expanded Medicaid program, Arkansas Works.

 

One of the changes lowered the income eligibility level from 138 percent of the federal poverty level to 100 percent. Vaught said those making between 100 and 138 percent of the federal poverty level who do not have affordable employer sponsored insurance, would be directed to the health insurance marketplace. She said those individuals would be eligible for federal subsidies and their premiums would be capped at 2.04 percent of their income.

 

Vaught explained Arkansas is currently paying 5 percent of the cost for the Arkansas Works program. She said that amount will gradually increase to 10 percent by the year 2020. The Department of Human Services estimates this change will save the state between $67 and $93 million dollars over the next 5 years.

 

Act 3 also establishes a work requirement for anyone enrolled in Arkansas Works. She said this requirement is identical to the work requirement for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

 

Act 3 also directs the Department of Human Services and the Department of Workforce Services to study and analyze small employer health insurance coverage to determine how to strengthen employer-sponsored insurance and to help small business owners to offer more affordable coverage to their employees.

 

Act 4 provides more oversight to the health insurance marketplace and it calls for a study examining the future of the marketplace.

 

Vaught said the other item they addressed was the creation of a long-term reserve fund. She said Act 7 will transfer $105 million dollars from the Healthy Century Trust Fund to a reserve fund to help improve the state's bond rating. She said this will lower interest rates and reduce cost for state projects.

 

 

FAMILY ALTERCATION LEADS TO DRUG ARREST       5/9/17

 

Sunday morning, Southwest EMS was dispatched to a residence on Chapel Hill Road to assist an elderly patient who had fallen and had possibly broken her hip. However, when EMTs arrived they discovered the elderly patient had been pushed down by her granddaughter, so, they requested assistance from the Sevier County Sheriff's Office.

 

Deputy Matt Webb reported the granddaughter who was identified as 27-year-old Kathleen DeAnne Higgins appeared to be under the influence of some type of drug when he arrived. He said she was having trouble speaking. He said she was unable to stand still and she was having trouble putting her shoes on.

 

Webb said he also found a straw in Higgins' front pocket that he suspected was used to take some form of drug.

 

A witness informed Webb that she and Higgins got into a physical altercation, and Higgins accidentally knocked the victim down. The witness and the victim both told Webb that Higgins did not mean to harm anyone and they did not want to press charges.

 

However, Higgins was arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.  

 

 

BISMARCK WOMAN ARRESTED IN FOREMAN         5/9/17

 

Authorities with the Little River County Sheriff's Office arrested a Bismarck woman after they received a tip concerning a suspicious vehicle that was parked near the Shady Creek Apartments in Foreman.

 

According to the incident report, officers found 34-year-old Lyndsey Holcomb asleep in the vehicle and after speaking to her, they discovered she had a key to an apartment of a woman living in the Shady Creek Apartments.

 

Officers also found a bag of methamphetamine along with several prescription drugs in a bottle with another person's name on it.

 

According to a Little River County spokesman, Holcomb allegedly used the key to sneak into the apartment and take medication while the resident was asleep.

 

Holcomb also had a loaded firearm in her possession.

 

Holcomb has been charged with residential burglary, possession of a schedule 1 controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

TWO DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS AWARDED SCHOLARSHIPS       5/9/17

 

De Queen High School counselor Ramona Hill announced De Queen honor grad, Cody Lites has been awarded the Presidential Scholarship with a housing allowance from Henderson State University. She said the scholarship is valued at $38,500.

 

Lites is a member of the FBLA, National Honor Society, Interact, quiz bowl, show choir, student council, and basketball and golf teams. Lites was also chosen to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Camp and Arkansas Boys State.

 

Lites is the son of Chad and Tammy Lites and he plans to major in accounting.

 

Hill said senior Karla Angeles has been awarded the Chancellor's Leadership Corps scholarship, which is valued at $16,000 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She also received a Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation STEM Scholarship worth $1,800 and a $1,200 stipend for a summer research institute opportunity.

 

Angeles is a member of FBLA, FCCLA, FTA, Interact, Change Agents and Student Council.

 

She is the daughter of Imelda Lipsey and Pedro Angeles.

 

 

DHS TO HOST INFORMATIONAL MEETING ABOUT FOSTER CARE SYSTEM IN SEVIER COUNTY         5/8/17

 

Janet Lewis Beasley of the Arkansas Department of Human Services represents Area 4 in Southwest Arkansas and she announced the department is working to recruit foster families in Sevier County by hosting a live remote on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and by hosting an informational meeting on Monday, May 15th from 5 to 7 p.m.

 

Beasley said there are currently 300 children in the foster care system and 75 foster homes in Area 4 and that includes 14 foster children from Sevier County. She said last week they had five foster homes in Sevier County, but that number has been reduced to three, this week.

 

Beasley said there is a huge need for foster families that are willing to take children who are 10 and older, have special needs or sibling groups.

 

Beasley said DHS will also be hosting an informational meeting on Monday, May 15th from 5 to 7 p.m. to provide more information about how someone can become a foster parent or simply volunteer to help care for the children in the foster care system.

 

For more information, contact the Sevier County Department of Human Services office at 870-642-2625.

 

  

ARREST MADE IN LAUNDRY- MAT THEFT          5/8/17

 

On March 3rd, the owner of a laundry-mat on East Stilwell Avenue told Sergeant Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department that a thin man with facial hair and wearing a checkered shirt, broke into two vending machines.

 

Later that same day, the business owner, Gabriel Figueroa, provided the police department with a copy of the surveillance video that showed an African-American man breaking into the vending machines. Figueroa also reported $80 was stolen from the machines and that there was approximately $1,100 dollars in damage.

 

On May 5th, officers were dispatched to a residence on East Heynecker Street where a male suspect was attempting to break in. The suspect was described as a man wearing a red ball cap with a red shirt with white stripes.

 

A short time later, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Wendell Randall located a man matching the description. Randall picked the suspect up and transported him to the De Queen Police Station, where he was questioned about the attempted break-in and the laundry-mat thefts..

 

During the interview, 24-year-old Cameron Stinnett of De Queen allegedly admitted to breaking into the vending machines at the laundry-mat so he could buy food. Stinnett was charged with theft of property and breaking or entering.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT HONORING RETIRING STAFF MEMBERS      5/8/17

 

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

 

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

 

These seven district employees have over 169 years of service.


Brown worked in the district food service department for 17 years. Deloney served as a bus driver in the district for 13 years. Garrett taught in the Ashdown School District for nine years. Hadaway taught in Ashdown for 28 years and Jackson spent 26 years teaching in Ashdown. Schawartz taught 18 years in the district, and Ueckert spent 37 years in the district teaching and working in the special education department.

 

The public is invited to attend the reception.

 

 

AARP DEFENSIVE DRIVING CLASS IN ASHDOWN MAY 11        5/8/17

 

Jerry and Donna Conatser are members of AARP Arkansas and they announced they would like to establish a new AARP chapter in Sevier County to help provide some service opportunities for area residents who are 55 and older.

 

Conatser said he spoke with Karen Mills at the Sevier County Museum and discussed the possibility of opening a Welcome Center at the museum with the help of AARP volunteers.

 

Conatser will also be leading a Smart Driver Course in Ashdown on Thursday, May 11th from 1 to 5 p.m. at the senior adult center in the Ashdown City Park.

 

He said participates don't have to take a driving test and the cost is only $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.

 

If you have any questions about joining AARP, volunteering at the Welcome Center or about the Smart Driver Course, call 870-292-3355 and leave a message.

 

 

LIBRARY SNIPPETS      5/8/17

 

Amy Zuniga has joined the staff of the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library. She is a native of De Queen and graduated from De Queen High School in 1990. She also graduated from UA Cossatot with an associate’s degree in general studies in 2003.

 

Zungia has two children and five grandchildren and has worked with children for more than 20 years.

 

Zungia will host a children's program on Wednesday, May 10th at 4 p.m. for Mother's Day. She said the first 25 children will receive a special gift for their mom. There's also going to be a story time on Wednesday, May 24th at 4 p.m. about ants.

 

Zungia said the summer reading program will begin June 7th at 10 a.m. with Linda Goodner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

 

Joan at the Horatio Library reported she wants to start a once a week game of dominoes or a movie on Saturdays, but if you have anything you would be interested in doing, please contact her at 832-6882.

 

The Lockesburg Library has received some book bags from Susie Thompson and they are on sale for $7 each. For more information about the Lockesburg Library book club, call 289-2233.

 

Susie said the Gillham Library is starting a pre-reading contest as they prepare for the "Build a Better World" summer reading program.

 

 

 

IT'S NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH         5/5/17

 

Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity for people all across the nation to focus their attention on the year-round needs of America's children and youth who in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about foster care and encourages people to get involved in the lives of these young people, whether they volunteer to serve as foster parents, volunteers, mentors, or by making monetary donations to help provides things that foster care children need.

 

There are currently 14 children in foster care from Sevier County and there are only five foster care homes. That means some children from Sevier County who have been taken into the foster care system were not only removed from their families but taken away from their teachers and classmates, as well.

 

This month, the Sevier County Department of Human Services is hosting a couple of events to help recruit foster care parents and other volunteers. Thursday, May 11th, the Morning Brew Crew - Jay and JP will be hosting a live remote at the DHS office. There's going to be food and prizes, including the Number One Country Treasure Chest.

And everyone here at Bunyard Broadcasting wants to encourage you to stop by to see how you can help the foster children of our county.

 

Jerry and Donna Contaser were foster parents and were led to adopt their foster daughter.

 

DHS will also be holding an informational meeting on Monday, May 15th from 5 to 7 p.m. to discuss the foster care needs in Sevier County.

  

 

ARKANSAS LEGISLATURE PASSES CHANGES TO ARKANSAS WORKS/MEDICAID EXPANSION PROGRAM       5/5/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the state legislature passed some changes to the Arkansas Works/Medicaid expansion program during a special session this week.

 

Vaught said under the current program, the number of participants was unsustainable. She said the new legislation will provide coverage to Arkansans who are at 0 to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. She said currently anyone from 0 to 138 percent of the federal poverty level can enroll in the Arkansas Works program.

 

She said the Department of Human Services will remove approximately 5,000 a month from the Arkansas Works program and shift them to the federal exchange, starting in July.

 

Vaught also stated the maximum premium that residents in the 100 to 138 percent range will pay on the federal exchange is about 2.04 percent of their salary. She also pointed out that those Arkansans will be eligible for subsidizes and health coverage won't cost them anymore than it does now and their co-insurance costs won't go up.

 

Vaught also stated the changes include a work requirement for all able bodied adults.

 

The Arkansas Legislature passed the proposed changes and Governor Asa Hutchinson is expected to sign the bill, but Vaught pointed out that these changes will not take effect if they are not approved by the federal government.

 

If approved, the change will save the state about $60 million dollars over the next three years.

 

  

ANNUAL CASA ART SHOW AND SALE IS THIS WEEKEND AT THE HISTORIC KING SCHOOL BUILDING        5/5/17

 

The Cossatot Arts and Crafts Association's 46th annual art show and sale is Saturday and Sunday at the historic King school building. The art show and sale will be open public from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

 

The main two story brick building, which is referred to as the old King School, houses the adult categories for art, including genre, landscape, portrait, floral, still life, animal, abstract/contemporary, old barns/Western, and Cossatot Country, as well as four categories in the photography division.

 

The newer building houses the youth and children's art, along with the concession stand where they will be selling food and home baked goods.

 

The Art Center is located in King about 7-miles North of De Queen, a mile east on Highway 71.

  

  

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES        5/5/17

 

Cossatot River State Park is offering several programs this month including a special Mother's Day Adventure Tour on Saturday, May 13th and Sunday, May 14th. Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary said she recommends you call and make a reservation by Monday, May 8th. She said the cost is $95 per person, but that includes the gear rentals, food and guides. She said participates will kayak, backpack, hike, camp, fish and cook in a Dutch oven.

 

Flanary said she will also be leading a cast iron pizza pan outdoor cooking workshop on Saturday, May 27th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. She said the cost is $40 per person if they want a cast iron pizza pan or $15 if they just want to enjoy the meal.

 

Park Interpreter Victoria Carson said the park plans to offer guided kayak tours May 20th and 21st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She said the cost is $30 per person or $25 if you have your own kayak. She said the fee includes shuttle transportation, a guide service, and use of a kayak, paddle and lifejacket.

 

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

 

 

28TH ANNUAL TRI-LAKES BIG BASS FESTIVAL IS MAY 27TH       5/5/17

 

The 28th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is set for Saturday, May 27th from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray said the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce is paying out over $14,000 in prize money with five hourly prizes on each lake, each hour including a grand prize of $1,500 for the biggest fish overall.

 

Registration is $45 per person through May 26th or $50 per person if registering at the lake on the day of the event at the Oak Grove boat ramp on the De Queen Lake, Little Coon and Coon Creek ramps on the Gillham Lake and at the Jefferson Ridge boat ramp on the Dierks Lake.

 

The Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is hosted annually by the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce and entry forms can be obtained by calling 870-584-3225 or from the Chamber website: www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com. 

 

 

MAY 7-14 IS NATIONAL MUSIC WEEK       5/5/17

 

KDQN and the Foreman Thursday Music Club are joining the nation in observing National Music Week through Sunday, May 14th. This year's theme is "Music...An Adventure for Life" and it encourages us to explore the far-reaching effects of music in our lives and to discover the added dimension it can bring to the world around us. The National Federation of Music Clubs is a prominent organization of musicians and music lovers and they sponsor National Music Week.

 

Music is a natural part of the inner man because it is a natural means of communication. Early historical records prove that there has always been some form of music. National Music Week was organized to help express the public's interest in music.

 

Music has been important throughout history. It exerts a strong influence on our everyday lives and has become a powerful means to deepen our worship, express patriotic fervor and add a joyous atmosphere to happy occasions.

 

So join KDQN and the Foreman Thursday Music Club as we celebrate National Music Week.

 

 

ARREST MADE AFTER COMPLAINT FILED WITH SHERIFF'S OFFICE       5/5/17

 

Sunday, April 30th Jason Roberts of Lockesburg contacted the Sevier County Sheriff's Office to file a complaint about someone driving through his yard.

 

Roberts said a maroon colored Chevy pickup drove through his yard. He said they spun their tires and did some damage to one of his vehicles and left ruts in the yard. He also identified the driver as 32-year-old Jared Marabel of De Queen.

 

Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Thomas Jackson met a vehicle matching the description of Marable's truck traveling at a high rate of speed on Highway 70, just East of De Queen.

 

Deputy Jackson advised the De Queen Police Department about the vehicle and officers with the De Queen Police Department were able to make a traffic stop within the De Queen city limits.

 

When Marable was pulled over, officers found an open container of beer in his truck and he was cited for criminal mischief, driving under the influence, refusal to submit to chemical test and resisting arrest.

 

 

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON TO SPEAK AT DIVERSITY FEST        5/4/17

 

UA Cossatot Foundation Director Dustin Roberts announced Thursday morning that Governor Asa Hutchinson will be speaking
Saturday at noon during the foundation's annual Diversity Fest at the Cossatot Amphitheater.

 

Roberts said there's going to be lots of activities for the family from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there's also a 5K Saturday morning at 9:30.

 

All funds raised during the annual Diversity Fest will help provide scholarships for UA Cossatot students.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY OFFICIAL PROCLAIMS HISTORIC PRESERVATION MONTH       5/4/17

 

Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth is among 114 officials in 63 counties who have declared May as Historic Preservation Month and Arkansas Heritage Month.

 

Department of Arkansas Heritage Director Stacy Hurst said as we enjoy these month-long celebrations of our Arkansas heritage, we hope all of the people of Arkansas will take time to reflect on the importance of their local historic sites, especially those listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Ruth's proclamation says, historic preservation is an effective tool for managing growth, revitalizing neighborhoods, fostering local pride and maintaining community character while enhancing livability. It also states that it's important to celebrate the role of history in our lives and the contributions that have been made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped us as a people.

 

For more information, call the AHPP at 501-324-9880.

 

  

28TH ANNUAL TRI-LAKES BIG BASS FESTIVAL IS MAY 27TH       5/4/17

 

The 28th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is set for Saturday, May 27th from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes. Boat checks will begin at 5 a.m.

 

The prize fund this year is huge with over $14,000 in prize money and door prizes to be paid out with five hourly prizes on each lake, each hour. A grand prize of $1,500 will paid for the largest fish overall, $1,000 for second place, $750 for third, $500 for fourth place and $300 for 5th place overall.

 

Registration is $45 per person through May 26th or $50 per person if registering at the lake on the day of the event. The Chamber office will be open Thursday, May 25th and Friday, May 26th for registration.

 

The Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival is hosted annually by the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.

 

Entry forms can be obtained by calling 870-584-3225 or from the Chamber website: www.dequeenchamberofcommerce.com. 

 

 

ASHDOWN MAN DIES IN TREE TRIMMING ACCIDENT       5/4/17

 

About 11:30, Tuesday morning, an Ashdown man was killed in a tree trimming accident.

 

Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin reported emergency crews were summoned to a residence on Pecan Street regarding a man who had fallen from a bucket truck. Ardwin said first responders found 68-year-old Tommy Green lying near a topped-off tree.

 

Ardwin reported the bucket lift was about 45 to 50 feet in the air resting against a large pine tree that had the top cut off. He said a witness reported Green was in the bucket lift with a chain saw and after the treetop was cut, it started to fall and hit other trees. The witness said the treetop rebounded and struck the boom on the truck, which caused Green to be ejected from the bucket.

 

Little River EMS crews gave aid to Green, but he was unresponsive and was pronounced dead at the scene by Little River County Coroner Roddy Smith.

 

 

THREE DE QUEEN SENIORS AWARDED SCHOLARSHIPS        5/4/17

 

De Queen High School seniors Kayla Martin, Emily Rodriguez and Josue Castellanos were recently awarded scholarships for the 2017 fall semester.

 

Martin has been awarded the Blue and Gold Scholarship at Southern Arkansas University, which is valued at $26,400.

 

Martin is the FFA President, a member of the Livestock show team, the livestock judging team, trap shooting team, National Honor Society, student council, and cheer squad. She is also a HOBY alumni.

 

Martin plans to pursue a Master's degree in Animal Science and is the daughter of Kenneth and Jennifer Martin.

 

Rodriguez was accepted into the Engineering Career Awareness program at the University of Arkansas. The program is designed to recruit students who are underrepresented in the field of engineering, and to give these students the support they need to feel comfortable, confident and ready to succeed. The ECAP program provides financial assistance to qualifying students, covering all costs as a full-ride to attend the University of Arkansas.

 

Rodriguez was also awarded the Razorback Bridge Scholarship, which is worth $14,000.

 

Rodriguez is the Student Council President, the National Honor Society Secretary, Editor of the Yearbook, and a four year member of Future Farmers of America. She is also a member of the Future Teachers of America and the Spanish Club. Rodriguez was a 2016 Arkansas Girls State delegate and a People to People International Student Ambassador Alumni where she served in Western Europe.

 

Rodriguez plans to major in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Secondary Education. She is the daughter of Denise and Victor Sanchez.

 

Castellanos has been awarded an Academic Achievement Scholarship and the Chancellor's Leadership Corps Scholarship, which is valued at $32,000 from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

 

Castellanos is a 2017 Honor Graduate, a Heisman School winner, National Rural Electric Youth Tour winner, Algebra II Rotary Award and Rotary Student of the Month. He is the senior class president, a member of the Spanish Club, student council, National Honor Society, quiz bowl, Interact, tennis and show choir.

 

He is the son of Abel Castellanos and Rosa Barba.

 

 

AARP DEFENSIVE DRIVING CLASS IN ASHDOWN, MAY 11        5/4/17

 

Jerry Conatser announced he will be leading an AARP Smart Driver Course in Ashdown on Thursday, May 11th from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Ashdown Senior Adult Center in the Ashdown City Park.

 

Conatser said participates do not have to take a driving test and they can save money on their car insurance if they take the class.

 

The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members, but if you have any questions or if you would like to sign up for the class, calls 870-292-3355.

 

 

TONY ALAMO DIES IN FEDERAL CUSTODY       5/4/17

 

Evangelist Tony Alamo died Tuesday in a federal medical center in North Carolina, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

 

82-year-old Alamo was serving a 175 year sentence after being convicted in July of 2009 in a Texarkana federal court for taking five girls across state lines for sex.

 

Alamo and his followers lived on communal properties in Fouke and Fort Smith.

 

A cause of death for Alamo has not been confirmed, however, during his trial in 2009, witnesses that he suffered from diabetes and other age-related illnesses.

 

Alamo's death provides closure to a number of people, including the community of Fouke.

 

Fouke Mayor Terry Purvis said the community finally has closure.

 

Purvis who witnessed the rise and fall of the Alamo influence in the community said the victims now have closure knowing that this guy will not hurt anyone every again.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL CONTINUES TO DISCUSS SANITATION RATE HIKE         5/3/17

 

Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council continued their discussion about a possible sanitation rate hike.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy presented the council with a proposal that included a $1 dollar increase for residential customers; a $2 dollar increase for commercial customers without a dumpster; and a $7.50 increase for commercial customers with a dumpster.

 

McKelvy said the proposal also includes a $20 fee for the collection of yard waste after the first pickup and a $50 fee for each additional load of brush after the first load.

 

Section 6 of the proposed ordinance also makes it unlawful to dispose of personal trash in a dumpster that belongs to a local business. It also states a person can be fined for digging in or removing items from any dumpster that belongs to the City of De Queen.

 

Alderman visited the Stillwell Ave High Lift Station to inspect the new pumps and building. (Photo's Below)

 

McKelvy also reported the city street paving project should begin in about three-weeks and Chris Hundley is a new officer with the De Queen Police Department.

 

Police Chief Scott Simmons said Hundley is a former deputy with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and he's a certified officer.

 

Aldermen voted to amend the 2016 budget and they voted not to refinance the city's sewer plant bonds.

 

 

SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION           5/3/17

Christopher Green

 

The De Queen Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office is notifying the public that Christopher Green is a level 3 sex offender and is currently living at 611 East Fort Towson Avenue in De Queen.

 

De Queen Assistant Chief of Police Sonny Kimmel stated this notification is not intended to increase the public's fear, but it's the department's belief an informed public will be a safer public. Kimmel said this information is available through many resources, including the state website that's maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

 

However, Kimmel warned against the abuse of this information by the citizens of De Queen and Sevier County. He said the department will not tolerate someone threatening, intimidating or harassing any sex offender, because such abuse could potentially end law enforcement's ability to share this information with the public. Kimmel said if these notifications end, then only the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.

 

Green is a level 3 offender and that warrants the notification of all community members who are likely to have contact with him.

 

Kimmel said the De Queen Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office are releasing this information in pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, which is known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. Kimmel said Green has been convicted of an offense that requires him to register as a sex offender with the Arkansas Crime Information Center, but he is not currently wanted by law enforcement.

 

 

HUSQVARNA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BUILD NEW WAREHOUSE IN NASHVILLE        5/3/17

 

Husqvarna Group is a global manufacturer of outdoor power equipment and they announced this week that they are going to expand its operations in Nashville with the construction of a 350,000-square-foot warehouse facility.

 

According to company officials, they plan to begin working on the building in the third quarter of this year and they expect the facility to be fully operational by the end of 2018.

 

According to a company press release, the facility will serve primarily as a warehouse, staging and storage and it will be located adjacent to the company's current manufacturing facilities in Nashville where they make chainsaws, trimmers, blowers, pole saws, and hedge trimmers for Husqvarna, Poulan Pro, and Weed Eater brands.

 

The company officials also announced that once the new facility is operational, they will consolidate the current warehouse operations in Shreveport and De Queen to the new facility in Nashville. They said the new warehouse will result in the addition of several full-time positions in Nashville and employees from De Queen and Shreveport will be giving the opportunity to transfer to the new facility.

 

Husqvarna Group has more than 13,000 employees in 40 countries.

 

Company officials say this will improve the company's operational efficiency.

 

 

RECKLESS DRIVING RESULTS IN DRUG ARREST         5/3/17

 

Saturday, April 29th, the Sevier County dispatchers were advised that there was a reckless driver on Lakeside Drive in De Queen. According to the caller, the vehicle pulled into the De Queen City Park and Sevier County Deputy Kristyn Reed reported she witnessed the vehicle pulling out of the park.

 

Reed reported she got behind the vehicle and witnessed it travel left of center and then cross the fog line.

 

Reed identified the driver as 48-year-old Anthony Fondren of De Queen.  She also discovered that Fondren's license had been suspended.

 

During a search of the vehicle, Reed found a partially smoked marijuana cigarette between the driver's seat and the middle console and another one in the driver's side door pocket.

 

Fondren was taken into custody and cited for possession of a controlled substance - marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving left of center, and driving on a suspended or revoked driver's license.

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION PREPARING TO BUILD ATHLETIC FIELDS       5/3/17

 

Cossatot River Superintendent Donnie Davis reported the Cossatot River School District has started moving dirt on the high school campus for the construction of some athletic fields. Davis said Gene Hawk is working with the district to help design a soccer field, as well as baseball and softball fields.

 

Davis said the district also plans to paint some rooms on the Van-Cove Elementary campus with a fire retardant paint to satisfy a facilities recommendation from the State Board of Education.

 

Davis reported board members voted to discontinue the Umpire-Duckett bus route because it is not economically feasible to continue the route.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of Sheila Johnson and voted to hire Brenda Brown as the district's nurse.

 

 

DOMTAR SHARES BOOKS THROUGH FIRST BOOK GRANT      5/3/17

 

Domtar employees distributed books through the First Book Grant program with first grade students in Donna Green's class at the Ashdown Elementary School on April 18th.

 

Domtar employees delivered the books, and students selected, divided up and read the books to the employees. Students were also allowed to take a new book home with them. All of the remaining books were added to Green's classroom library.

 

The partnership between Domtar and First Book is aimed at ending illiteracy and supporting schools.

 

As part of the Powerful Pages campaign, Domtar has partnered with First Book, which is a nonprofit social enterprise that provides books to children in need. Domtar grants also provide funding to educators so they can purchase books through the First Book Marketplace.

 

Domtar's Corporate Responsibility Manager, Heather Stowe said Domtar is proud to have provided hundreds of thousands of brand-new books to children from low-income families across North America through their partnership with First Book.

 

Kyle Zimmer is the president and CEO of First Book said Domtar's work with First Book has opened up a world of opportunities to children who might not otherwise have books at home.

 

 

SWADC CLOSING LI-HEAP CRISIS INTERVENTION PROGRAM        5/3/17

 

The Southwest Arkansas Development Council's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for Crisis Intervention will close this Friday, May 5th. Applications will be accepted for residents who have not received Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program assistance this winter.

 

To apply, you must be Arkansas residents, provide proof of income received in the month of April for everyone that lives in the home, that's over the age of 18, check stubs with a pay date in April, awards letter from SSI/SSA, TEZ or any other unearned income and a photo ID. You must also provide your electric and gas bill, and your shut-off notice must be due within 7-days from the date that you apply.

 

Applications will be accepted in Sevier County at the De Queen Church of the Nazarene on Locke Avenue on Thursday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, call 870-773-5504.

 

 

FOREMAN MAN SHOT IN BY MCCURTAIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY     5/2/17

 

The McCurtain County Sheriff's Office has asked the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate an officer-involved shooting of a Foreman resident on Sunday near Tom, Oklahoma.

 

According to a statement by Jessica Brown of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, 32-year-old Devin Hawkins of Foreman was shot by McCurtain County officers who were responding to a call about a man walking down a road near Tom with a gun. The caller informed the McCurtain County Sheriff's office that the man was threatening to kill people.

 

Brown said when deputies arrived, they were told the suspect had run into the woods and deputies started patrolling the area. She said a deputy then noticed a pickup truck leaving a home on Jasper Hollow Road, near the last know location of the subject.

 

When the deputy pulled the vehicle over, the driver stated that he lived at the residence and he was just giving his passenger a ride, but he didn't know him.

 

The deputy asked the passenger if he had a gun and the subject showed him a gun that was in his waistband. Allegedly, the subject grabbed the gun and put it to his head.

 

Deputies tried to get Hawkins to put the gun down, but he refused and then pointed it at the McCurtain County Sheriff. Officers reported Hawkins fired the weapon, at least once and he was fatally shot by a deputy.

 

Brown announced the incident is currently under investigation and the district attorney will determine if the shooting was justified.

 

According to court records, Hawkins had several encounters with law enforcement in 2016.

 

Hawkins was arrested in March of 2016 for escape. Hawkins received  a sentence of three-years probation in March of 2017 for the 2016 felony escape charge.

 

On April 14th, 2016, Hawkins discharged an AR-15 rifle within the city limits of Foreman and then, the next day, he was involved in a standoff with law enforcement officers near the Oscar Hamilton Elementary School in Foreman. Hawkins was finally taken into custody several hours after the incident started.

 

  

TRAVIS CHARGED WITH FOUR COUNTS OF CAPITAL MURDER IN POLK COUNTY      5/2/17

 

According to our sister station, KENA in Mena, a suspect has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of two adults and two children last week and is being held in the Polk County jail without bond.

 

Thirty-seven year old Brian Bliss Travis was arraigned Monday in the Polk County Circuit Court.

 

He is charged in the deaths of 43-year-old Bethany Jo Wester, her uncle, 66-year-old Steven Payne, Wester's son, 9-year-old Reilly James Scarbrough, and her daughter, 2-year-old Acelynn Wester. Three of the bodies were found last week and the fourth body was found on Sunday.

 

Polk County Circuit Court Judge Jerry Ryan also issued a gag order in the case.

 

Travis was also charged with possession of a controlled substance, furnishing/possessing/or using prohibited articles and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY SELLING TICKETS ON A MOTHER'S DAY RAFFLE       5/2/17

 

Sevier County Humane Society President Janelle Gage announced the humane society is selling tickets for a chance to win a Mother's Day package. She said the package will include a gift certificate to an Arkansas state park, a manicure and a gift certificate from Southern Girls Flowers and Gifts.

 

Society Treasurer, Martha Fines said tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and they will be selling tickets this Saturday at the De Queen Wal-Mart. She said they will be drawing the winner on Thursday, May the 11th following the spay and neuter clinic.

 

The spay and neuter clinic is Tuesday, May 9th, Wednesday, May 10th and Thursday, May 11th at the society's building on Haes Street across from the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.

 

Fines said they normally 'fix' 110 to 125 dogs and cats per clinic. She said the cost is $65 for dogs and $40 for cats and that includes a rabies shot.  She also stated there's a $20 discount if you have proof of residence in Sevier County.

 

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

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY EXTENSION OPEN HOUSE MAY 8TH      5/2/17

 

Found out what the Sevier County Extension is this Monday, May 8th during the extension's Open House from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Adams Building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot. The event will be held to show case the programs of the county extension office and as a way to say thank you to the community for its support.

 

Whether you have a question about farming, food, fitness, finances, 4-H or EHC, the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service can help you find the answer. The extension's name includes the University of Arkansas because as a part of the Division of Agriculture, the county extension is the U of A's link to everyone in the state.

 

Cooperative means that federal, state and county governments, as well as local citizens through a County Extension Council, cooperate together to plan, develop, and finance educational programs.

 

Extension means they extend the university and its resources as well as those of the United States Department of Agriculture to all Arkansans. County agents deliver information to individuals or to groups. Their classroom is wherever they meet someone who is seeking information, whether it's in an office or meeting room, at home or in the field. Extension also provides information through direct mail, demonstrations, tours, workshops, seminars, newsletters, publications, radio, television, newspapers, videos, satellite and computer programs as well as online.

 

Service may be last in the name, but it is their first priority. Extension agents serve as educators along with the EHC and 4-H volunteers to offer programs and information in the areas of Agriculture, Economic and Resource Development, Families, Food, Fitness, Finance and 4-H Youth Education.

 

For more information, contact the Sevier County Cooperative Extension Office at 870-584-3013.

  

 

MISSISSIPPI MAN ARRESTED FOLLOWING HIGH SPEED PURSUIT        5/2/17

 

Early Sunday morning, while conducting a safety check at the Central Store, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputies Greg Harper and David Stinson observed a gold Dodge pickup, pass their location at a high rate of speed and proceeded to pursue the vehicle.

 

During the pursuit, deputies witnessed the vehicle cross the double-yellow line, while traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour. According to the deputies, they lost contact with the vehicle on Cotton Road as they approached Highway 71.

 

A few moments later, deputies were informed that a tall, white male, wearing a black shirt and pulled into a residence off Cotton Road, across from Highway 71. When deputies arrived at the residence, they found the truck in question.

 

During the traffic stop, the driver was identified as 30-year-old William Haney of Canton, Mississippi and he refused to comply with the deputy’s orders.

 

Deputies reported they removed Haney from the vehicle and placed him under arrest.

 

Haney was taken to the Sevier County jail and charged with driving while intoxicated #2, fleeing, careless and prohibited driving and refusal to submit to a breath test.

 

 

2017 COUNTY FARM FAMILIES OF THE YEAR        5/2/17

 

County winners for the 70th annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program have been selected. The county winners will be visited by a set of judges to determine the eight district winners, which is scheduled to be announced on June 19th. Those eight district winners will then be visited again by a different set of judges in July to determine the state winner, which will be announced on December 7th during the Farm Family of the Year luncheon in North Little Rock.

 

Area County Farm Family winners in the West Central District include:

for Sevier County, Will and Sydney Bailey of De Queen; for Howard County, Nathan and Nicole Hill of Newhope; and for Pike County, Chad and Kay Stewart of Kirby.

 

Area County Farm Family winners in the Western District include:

for Polk County, Luke and Deedee Alston of Mena and for Montgomery County, Jason Cranford of Sims.

 

Area County Farm Family winners in the Southwest District include:

for Little River County, Dale Sansom of Ashdown, for Hempstead County, Keaster Farms: Clovy Keaster of Ozan and for Miller County, Rocking CK Farms: Chase and Krystal Groves of Garland City.

 

Arkansas Farm Bureau President, Randy Veach said each year, the Farm Family of the Year program identifies and recognizes great farmers and ranchers across the state. He said these farm families literally power our state's largest economic engine, which is agriculture and he said Farm Bureau salutes their success, stewardship and commitment to Arkansas agriculture.

 

Molly Dykes is the coordinator of the Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program and she said the program is one of the oldest of its kind in the nation. She said the objective of the program is to give recognition and encouragement to farm families who are doing an outstanding job on their farm and in the community; to gain recognition of the importance of agriculture in the community and state; and to disseminate information on improved farm practices and management.

 

Dykes said the Farm Family of the Year program begins each year with the selection of the top farm families in each county and culminates in December with the selection of the state Farm Family of the Year who will then go on to represent Arkansas at the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year where Arkansas has had two winners.

 

 

UPDATE ON POLK COUNTY MURDER INVESTIGATION      5/1/17

 

Authorities say 36-year-old Brian Bliss Travis is in custody on unrelated charges, but Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer anticipates he will be charged with capital murder after four bodies have been found since last Tuesday.

 

Sheriff Sawyer said the body of 9-year-old Reilly Scarbrough was found Saturday afternoon with the assistance of Travis. Reilly's body was found in a heavily wooded area west of Hatfield.

 

Reilly and his 2-year-old sister Acelynn Wester were the subjects of a manhunt after they were reported missing last week. Acelynn's body was discovered in a heavily wooded area southeast of Cove.

 

The body of their mother, Bethany Jo Wester, was found last Tuesday in a creek near Cove, her body was identified on Thursday.

 

Sheriff Sawyer also reported a man's body was discovered in his Hatfield home. The man was identified as 66-year-old Steven Payne and he is the uncle of Bethany Wester. Payne's body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab.

 

Sheriff Sawyer reported over 50 law enforcement officers from the FBI, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Arkansas State Parks, the U.S. Forestry Service, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, and the Grannis Police Department assisted in searching for Reilly and Acelynn.

 

  

FORT SMITH MAN ARRESTED FOR PASSING FUNNY MONEY        5/1/17

 

A Northwest Arkansas man was arrested in Ashdown for allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a convenience store.

 

According to the incident report, officers with the Ashdown Police Department were dispatched to the EZ-Mart South store after a man attempted to pass a counterfeit bill.

 

Officers located the suspects vehicle at the EZ-Mart North location, but they were unable to find the driver. According to Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin, surveillance video showed the suspect get out of his vehicle and then flees on foot into a wooded area behind the store.

 

Later it was reported the man broke into a vacant house east of the EZ-Mart North store. However, the suspect fled out the back door when officers began to search the house.

 

Officers then found the man hiding in the woods and arrested him without incident. The suspect was identified as 37-year-old Joseph Fowler of Fort Smith.

  

 

ANNUAL CASA ART SHOW AND SALE IS THIS WEEKEND AT THE HISTORIC KING SCHOOL BUILDING        5/1/17

 

The Cossatot Arts and Crafts Association's 46th annual art show and sale is this Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, but entries must be delivered on Tuesday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

This year's art show and sale will be held at the historic King school building and this marks the 101st birthday of the historic building. The Art Center is located in King about 7-miles North of De Queen, a mile east on Highway 71.

 

The main two story brick building is referred to as the old King School, and it houses the adult categories for art, as well as a large photography division for adults.

 

First, second and third place ribbons and cash will be awarded in the following adult categories: genre, landscape, portrait, floral, still life, animal, abstract/contemporary, old barns/Western, and Cossatot Country.

 

There are four classes in the photography division for adults.

 

A newer building was built several years ago and it houses the youth and children's art.

 

Youth and children's entries do not have categories, but will be judged according to their school grade level with first through fourth place ribbons given for each grade from 1st through 12th. There is also a clothesline art division for children 0 through Kindergarten.

 

All art must have been completed within the last two years and not previously shown in the CASA art show.

 

There's also going to be food and home baked goods available on the deck of the youth building.

 

This year, there will be $8,167 awards will be given to the participates. For more information, call 870-784-2836.

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - SPECIAL SESSION STARTS TODAY      5/1/17

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the Arkansas Constitution allows the governor to call the General Assembly to the Capitol for an Extraordinary Session, which is usually referred to as a special session.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson has called a special session starting today at 2 p.m. to address health care.

 

According to the state Department of Human Services, they plan to move more than 60,000 residents off the expanded Medicaid program, which currently has more than 268,000 Arkansans receiving health care coverage through Arkansas Works.

 

 Vaught said one of the changes that the legislature will be considering is capping the income eligibility at 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Currently, anyone making at or less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level can receive coverage.

 

Vaught said a family of 4 bringing home $24,000 is equivalent to 100 percent of the federal poverty level. A family of four making 138 percent of the federal poverty level makes $33,000.

 

Vaught said the legislation will also include implementing a work requirement for able-bodied individuals on Arkansas Works. She said individuals could meet the requirement through work training or certain volunteer opportunities.

 

Vaught also mentioned these changes will need the approval of the federal government before the state could implement them.

 

You can watch all House proceedings live on the website: arkansashouse.org.

 

 

CHANGES TO ARKANSAS FISHING REGULATIONS PROPOSED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT      5/1/17

 

Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners heard proposed changes to fishing regulations for 2018 during their April commissioner’s meeting. All of the proposed changes are available for viewing and public comment via an online survey on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission's website.

 

Ben Batten is the assistant chief of fisheries for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and he said some of the changes are simply cleaning up some language in the code to help eliminate confusion, but others are the result of scientific data that been collected that indicates that there is a need for change. He said some of the changes were derived from requests from anglers, which will not hurt the state's resources.

 

There are 27 regulation changes that are being considered. Those changes include: revising the current trout regulation to ban culling of all trout species statewide. It means that once a trout on any body of water is kept on a stringer, livewell or fish basket, it must be harvested. Another regulation would require a daily harvest report from commercial anglers. And, change the opening date of hogging and noodling season south and east of Arkansas Highway 87 from June 1st to May 15th.

 

The commission is expected to vote on these changes during the August Commissioner's meeting.

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: PET OWNERS BEWARE OF RANSOM SCAMS       5/1/17

 

Scammers are hunting families with lost pets. Con artists scour social media sites looking for families who have recently posted that their beloved pet is missing. These scammers than contact the family and say they have the pet and will return it for a sum of money, but the scammer does not actually have the pet. Many families are so desperate for their four-legged family member to return home that they are willing to pay the ransom, with no questions asked. The con artist then runs away with the money, and the pet owner is left without their pet and with less money.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips to avoid falling victim to this scam:

She said be cautious if your pet is lost and receive a call from someone claiming to have the animal and asking for money in return if a reward was not initially offered. Remember to ask questions about the pet that only someone who is with the animal would know before turning over any money. Also don't pay any money until you have proof that the person has your pet. And, always offer to meet the person in a public place and never give the person your address.

 

Rutledge said this scam is being reported in communities across the state, with some families even reportedly turning over a few hundred dollars to the scammer.

 

With people and pets spending more time outside during the spring and summer months, pet scams tend to increase during this time of year, including stealing pets from unattended backyards and vehicles.

 

Scammers have even been known to steal photos of pets and try to sell them online, and some con artists will post as animal rescue charities by using similar names to reputable charities in an effort to steal your money.

 

If you believe you have been extorted, contact the local police department.

 

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

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS RESIDENT ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES FOLLOWING HIGH SPEED PURSUIT       5/1/17

 

A Mineral Springs resident was arrested Tuesday, April 25th following a high speed pursuit.

 

Authorities say 57-year-old William Ray Sossamon was the driver of a vehicle that was initially stopped in the Social Hill area by Howard County Sheriff's Deputy Dustin Wakefield. During the traffic stop, Wakefield said Sossamon drove away in his vehicle.

 

The lengthy pursuit ended on Highway 371 West, when Arkansas State Trooper Kyle Jones deployed a set of stop sticks to deflate the tires on Sossamon's vehicle. Authorities says Sossamon continued to drive with just two inflated tires, but the pursuit ended when he wrecked while attempting to turn onto Edwards Road.

 

Deputies say Sossamon had to be tazed before officers could subdue him and take him into custody.

 

Sossamon was taken to the Howard Memorial Hospital for treatment of some minor injuries and then transported to the Howard County jail.

 

Officers recovered methamphetamine, a meth pipe and some marijuana at the scene of the accident.    

 

 

 

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