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This Week's News:
LOCKESBURG FIRE DEPARTMENT REQUESTS NEW FIRE STATION 8/16/17
Tuesday night, several members of the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department attended the monthly meeting of the Lockesburg City Council to present the department's bylaws and standard operating guidelines.
Volunteer fire fighter TJ Newton then read a statement from the members of fire department asking the city council to consider building a new fire station. Several fire fighters spoke on the issue, but they did not have any cost estimates for a new building, a suitable size or a possible location.
Newton stated the current building houses eight trucks and the equipment for 27 fire fighters. She also stated the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department has the highest call rate of any fire department in the county.
Aldermen discussed ways to finance the construction of a new fire station, including the possibility of asking the citizens of Lockesburg to approve a sale tax increase. Aldermen also asked the fire department to apply for grants.
Mayor Danny Ruth reported on the walking trail project in the city park. After reviewing the estimated cost of the project, aldermen voted to table the project.
Mayor Ruth also reported several trees have been planted throughout the city. He said the trees were purchased with a beautification grant.
Aldermen then voted to enter into a contract of services with the Sevier County Senior Citizens Center in Lockesburg in the amount of $1,500. Aldermen were informed the center is delivering 10 to 15 meals a day Monday through Wednesday.
Aldermen passed an ordinance to allow the City of Lockesburg to conduct business with aldermen Roger Ridley and they asked the city attorney to clarify the duties of the city's deputy clerk.
City Attorney Erin Hunter informed the council that the city will not be required to get an easement from the railroad company, because they are replacing a bridge, but the bridges height will need to be raised to 24-feet above the railroad tracks.
WEST NILE VIRUS IDENTIFIED IN ARKANSAS LAST WEEK 8/16/17
Health officials say two cases of West Nile virus were identified last week in Arkansas, marking the first time this year that the illness has been confirmed in the state.
The Arkansas Department of Health says most are infected with the virus from June through September, with the number of infections peaking in mid-August. The illness is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes.
Health officials say the best way to prevent the disease is to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellants and wearing long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors.
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported this week during his around town report that the city of De Queen has larvacide tablets available to city residents for the treatment of standing water to help eliminate mosquitoes around their homes.
According to preliminary data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 159 cases of the illness have been reported so far this year. Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have the highest number of confirmed and probable cases.
SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR ADULT CENTERS ARE STILL SERVING MEALS TO AREA SENIOR ADULTS 8/16/17
Joyce Short is the site manager of the Sevier County Senior Citizens Center and she reminded area senior adults that the center is still serving meals every Monday through Wednesday.
Short said the center prepares a hot meal every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for senior adults who visit the center. She also said they deliver about 30 hot meals to home bound clients every week, as well as frozen meals for those who need them, Thursday through Sunday.
Short said the De Queen Senior Citizens Center is also running a bus within the city limits. She said they also provide transportation senior adults to the Post Office and doctor's appointments.
Short said the centers are funded based on participation and she encouraged anyone 60 and older to please join them for lunch. She said they ask for a $3 donation, but they will not turn anyone away, even if they don't have the $3.
For more information or to sign up for the free home delivered meals, contact the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas by calling 870-234-7410.
FOUR SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENTS FORMALLY CHARGED IN LITTLE RIVER CIRCUIT COURT ON TUESDAY 8/16/17
Three adult suspects and one juvenile was formally charged Tuesday in the 9th Circuit Court of Little River County for the fatal shooting of an Ashdown teenager.
Twenty year-old Joshua King, 19-year-old Brady Winship and 18-year-old Tenescha Wilkerson and a juvenile were arrested several hours after two Ashdown teens were shot on July 16th.
Nineteen year-old Desmond Smith died of a gunshot wound to the chest, while 19-year-old Samari Covington was wounded in the arm.
King was charged with murder in the second degree, battery in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle. Winship was charged with being an accomplice to murder in the second degree, battery in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle and Wilkerson was charged with being an accomplice to murder in the second degree, battery in the first degree and unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle.
The juvenile was also charged as an accomplice.
A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for November 14th along with a trial date of November 27th.
King is being held in the Little River County jail, while Winship and Wilkerson remain in custody in the Sevier County jail. The juvenile is being held in the White River Detention Center near Batesville.
TRIAL DATE SET FOR POLK COUNTY MURDER SUSPECT 8/16/17
Submitted by The Polk County Pulse
A trial date of April 16th was set for a Polk County quadruple murder suspect in the Polk County Circuit Court on Monday.
Thirty-seven year-old Brian Travis faces four counts of capital murder in the deaths of 2-year-old Acelynn Wester, 9-year-old Reilly Scarbrough, their mother, 43-year-old Bethany Wester and her uncle 66-year-old Steven Payne.
Monday, court appointed attorneys representing Travis filed 10 motions of continuance, which were all granted by Polk County Circuit Court Judge Jerry Ryan. The motions will allow Travis' defense team some additional time to collect data, evidence, and to investigate the case.
Judge Ryan also issued a gag order in the case, which prohibits any party from making statements about the case, including the defense team, defendant, prosecution, and witnesses.
ARKANSAS CONNECTS HIGH-SPEED INTERNET IN ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS 8/16/17
As Arkansas students and teachers return to the classroom this fall, they'll find a broadband Internet connection in every school in the state. In the last two years, the Arkansas Departments of Education and Information Systems worked together to install 200-megabit-per-second connections in every school district. Arkansas is now one of only six states in the country with every school connected at or above the federal target speed of 100-megabits.
Cathy Koehler is the president of the Arkansas Education Association and she says the high-speed networks will better prepare students for the modern world.
When state officials began the upgrade in 2015, only 58-percent of schools had true broadband connections. Koehler says the new networks provide enough bandwidth to allow students to take online courses, do research and participate in Internet-based class projects, such as coding and virtual field trips.
Koehler says, however, many of the newly-wired schools still lack the hardware, like, computers, monitors, printers and so on, to properly take advantage of the high-speed connections.
Koehler adds that many students, mostly in poor, rural areas, are still at a digital disadvantage. She says state officials should be working to close that gap, as well.
She says Arkansas, which is ranked 39th in education among the states by U.S. News and World Report, is moving in the right direction, but thinks lawmakers need to boost education standards and funding to make more headway.
PEO SPONSORS ADKISON TO GIRLS STATE 2017 8/16/17
“Girls State helped me develop more confidence and leadership skills,” states Ashdown High School senior Madeline Adkison about her experience as a representative to the 75th annual Arkansas Girls State program. The 2017 camp celebrated 75 years of the American Legion Auxiliary-sponsored program since its initiation in 1942.
Sponsored locally by Chapter BA of the Ashdown PEO organization, Adkison is the third generation of her family to serve as a Girls State representative. Her mother Angela Adkison and grandmother Carole Mashburn were also Girls State representatives the summer before their senior years at Ashdown High School and Sylvan Hills High School in North Little Rock, respectively. Angela and Carole are both members of PEO Chapter BA.
Arkansas Girls State was held on the campus of Harding University and was attended by about 900 girls from across the state who will all be seniors in Arkansas high schools this year. The purpose of the patriotic youth program has always been to educate young women about the basic ideals and principles of American government and citizenship.
Adkison spoke to the members of Chapter BA about her experiences of living together in mythical cities and counties as self-governing citizens. She was assigned to the city of “Holliday” and was elected first as City Treasurer and then as County Treasurer, an experience that allowed her to be part of the campaign for State Governor which was won by a fellow resident of her city. “It was pretty cool,” she stated, “because our City was recognized for many things.”
During the week-long sessions, a number of speakers visited to talk about state government issues and their duties in their positions. Among them was DeAnn Vaught, Arkansas State Representative for District 4, which includes Little River County. Rep. Vaught spoke about her responsibilities in the legislature and posed for pictures with Adkison and other girls from her area.
In addition, the girls were given special tours of the State Capitol and offices of the state legislature. Adkison reports that “lots of new friends and memories were made at my week at Girls State.”
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROPRIATES $272,347 TO THE COUNTY CRIMINAL JUSTICE BUDGET 8/15/17
Monday afternoon, the Quorum Court of Sevier County voted to appropriate $27,620 to the county's Solid Waste Fund for the purchase of 13.81 acres of land.
Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported the land was adjacent to the county's landfill and transfer station, which should make it easier to get permitted as the future site of the county landfill.
Justices of the Peace also appropriated over $250,000 to the county's Criminal Justice Budget for projects at the county jail.
County Judge Greg Ray said $146,171 was for the new roof on the jail and a new generator, which was needed to stay in compliance with state jail standards. He said another $33,000 was for a new smoke alarm system at the jail and $89,000 was from a Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Grant from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
Sheriff Robert Gentry said the county received the substance abuse grant because they were already offering complementary programs at the jail. He said the jail is partnering with the Southwest Mental Health Center to provide a residential substance abuse treatment program.
Gentry said the jail also received a grant from the Department of Workforce Services in the amount of $3,601 for the purchase of tables, chairs and laptop computers from the Southwest Arkansas Planning District and a Homeland Security Grant in the amount of $575 for the purchase of a new portable radio.
CITY OF DIERKS WAITING ON PERMIT FROM ADEQ FOR NEW CITY PARK 8/15/17
Monday night, Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts told KDQN that about 2,000 people attended Saturday night's bull riding event at the Pine Tree Festival. He said in the near future, the city council will need to decide if they are going to build a new arena at the new city park or keep the Pine Tree Festival at the old park.
Mayor Mounts told the aldermen of the Dierks City Council that the city is currently waiting on a permit from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality so they can start moving some dirt at the new city park location.
Mounts also reported he filed his last report with ADEQ concerning the city's new sewer lagoon. He said ADEQ will terminate the city's construction permit because the project has been officially completed and approved.
Monday night, aldermen approved a resolution establishing what items need to be added to the city's fixed asset list. Mounts said the new resolution states any item that cost more than $2,500 and has a service life of more than a year will be added to the list.
Mounts informed the council that the city had received one bid for the police department's used Crown Vic. After opening the bid, the council voted to reject the bid.
ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT GETTING READY FOR HOLIDAY DRUNK DRIVING CRACKDOWN 8/15/17
One last blast of summer fun too often turns into death and tragedy caused by drunk drivers traveling across state roads and highways and that is why the Labor Day holiday period is among the most deadly travel periods on Arkansas highways.
Beginning August 18th and continuing through September 4th, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively targeting their patrols in search of drunk drivers. The objective is to reduce the number of drunk drivers getting behind the wheel of a vehicle to endanger others and themselves.
The consequences of drunk driving are severe and life changing. Drunk or drug impaired drivers run the risk of jail time, loss of drivers license, installation of ignition interlocks on their vehicles and court ordered community service. The financial impact is also considerable, including higher vehicle insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of a job or job prospects.
The Arkansas State Highway Safety Office recommends the following tips: always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol, by designating a sober driver; if you've been driving, call a taxi, take a bus or call a sober friend or family member; promptly contact law enforcement to report drunk drivers that you see on the roadways; always wear your seat belt and if you're on a motorcycle, use protective safety equipment.
For more information, call 501-618-8136.
COTTON SEEKING FALL INTERNS 8/15/17
U.S. Senator Tom Cotton's office in Washington, D.C., is currently seeking fall interns to help serve the people of Arkansas. Interns will have the opportunity to help with the daily operations of the office and witness the legislative process firsthand.
Depending on their university's requirements, students may be able to receive academic credit for their service. Internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Part-time and full-time internships are available. The length of the internship will vary based on the applicant's schedule and the number of spots that are available. To apply, submit a resume and cover letter explaining why you want to intern at email@example.com.
ASHDOWN TEENAGE JUMPS OFF BRIDGE 8/14/17
Early Friday morning, a 16-year-old girl died after jumping from an Ashdown bridge.
Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin reported the young woman who jumped from the north side of the Arkansas Highway 32 overpass; fell onto the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks.
Ardwin said dispatch received a call about 3:53 a.m. The caller said someone was going to jump from the overpass. He said a patrolman drove to the location and saw the person jump as he was getting out of his car.
Little River EMS was dispatched to the scene and officers loaded the teen into the ambulance. She was transported to the Little River Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead by a physician that was on call.
The body was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab for an autopsy.
THREE INDIVIDUALS WILL APPEAR IN LITTLE RIVER COUNT CIRCUIT COURT ON TUESDAY FOLLOWING DRUG BUST 8/14/17
Three individuals will make an appearance in the Little River County Circuit Court on Tuesday after being arrested for drug trafficking.
August 5th, officers with the Ashdown Police Department and the South-Central Drug Task Force discovered and seized about $140,000 worth of methamphetamine following a traffic stop.
The driver of the vehicle, 27-year-old Clarence Johnson of Pine Bluff, was arrested when officers found 240 grams of meth in his vehicle.
Following the traffic stop, authorities obtained a search warrant for an apartment in Ashdown. During the execution of the warrant, officers found 145 grams of crystal meth and 1,020 grams of liquid meth.
Authorities arrested 40-year-old Jerry Delony of Ashdown and 38-year-old Byann Blakeney of Big Sandy, Texas.
All three face the charge of trafficking a controlled substance.
DE QUEEN TACKLE FOOTBALL REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY 8/14/17
Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced the park is accepting registration forms for the 2017 tackle football program until August 23rd. The registration amount is $35 and there is a $45 fee if a player needs a jersey.
Hale stated the park purchases about 10 new helmets, pads, and chin straps every year, so the players who register early will get the newer equipment. He also stated parents who do not turn in the park's equipment after the final game will be charged a $150 fee.
Hale said if a family cannot afford to participate, to please contact him because some scholarships are available. For more information or to register, call the park office at 870-642-4140.
FREE SMOKE ALARMS 8/14/17
Across America, on average, six people lose their life each day from home fires. In the average house fire, you have as little as two minutes to evacuate your home. So along with a plan, the best protection a family can have is a working smoke alarm.
Sevier County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator Walter Smith announced the American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter is donating free smoke alarms to residents throughout Sevier County through the county's volunteer fire departments.
De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt said residents can sign up to receive four free smoke alarms and county fire fighters will install the alarms for free.
Smith said you can call your local volunteer fire department to sign up or you can contact the American Red Cross by calling or texting 501-420-3533. He said you will need to leave your name, address and phone number, along with the name of your fire district's fire department. He said you can also email the American Red Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smoke alarms will be installed on Saturday, September 9th.
ARKANSAS HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY APPLICATIONS FOR CULTIVATION OR DISTRIBUTION SITES 8/14/17
Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration officials reported the agency has received no applications to grow or distribute medical marijuana.
A spokesperson for the Department of Finance and Administration said there are regulations that limit where greenhouses and distributors can operate. While setting up the rules for licensing, legislators said growers must be at least 3,000 feet from churches, schools or daycares, while dispensaries must be 1,500 feet away. Officials said those restrictions will make it difficult for some towns and small cities to have a marijuana operation.
The department plans to award five cultivation licenses and 32 dispensary licenses.
Officials say despite the lack of submissions for licenses, there has been some interest in using medical marijuana. The Department of Finance and Administration reported they have received and approved 404 applications from people seeking to use medical marijuana.
A spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Health said they projected around 30,000 people would apply for a medical marijuana card, based on the states population and the types of qualifying conditions.
According to the Department of Health, there are several documents that applicants have to gather in order to complete an application.
Applicants who want to obtain an ID card must have a physician fill out a form certifying that they have a qualifying condition for medical marijuana use.
The ID cards cost $50 and must be renewed yearly.
CONSUMER ALERT: COOLING OFF THE UTILITY BILLS 8/14/17
Even though this summer has not been as hot and dry as prior years, utility costs and rates are going up as utility companies invest and improve their infrastructure.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge provided the following tips for ways to avoid high-cost utility bills: she said consumers should invest in making their home or business as energy efficient as possible; consider level or flat billing options; make sure to change the filters each month on heating and cooling units; keep interior lights turned off during the day; keep the drapes and blinds closed during the day to keep out the sun's heat; and, turn ceiling fans off when a room is not occupied.
The Attorney General represents the interests of Arkansas's utility customers through her Consumer Utility Rate Advocacy Division.
In addition, some Arkansans may qualify for the federally funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which offers assistance in paying utility bills. Most of the money is allocated to low-income elderly consumers and individuals with disabilities.
For more information, call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT WELCOMES NEW STAFF 8/14/17
Pictured (l-r) front row: Hayden Rybiski, Shawnda Chester,
Jessica Gallagher, Meagan Garrison, DeeAnn Ward, Sonia Caskey
and Amy Madden
Hayden Rybiski comes to Ashdown as a teacher/coach at AJHS and
AHS. He will be teaching PE, Health & Wellness and coaching
football and baseball. He earned a B.S. degree in Exercise
Science from Southern Arkansas University. He enjoys
weightlifting and fitness in his spare time and he hopes to
promote a positive image of health and physical activity for his
ASHDOWN STUDENTS ATTEND BAND CAMP 8/14/17
Ashdown band students had the opportunity to attend Henderson State University Band Camps over the summer.
Reagan Burden, AJHS student attended Junior Camp I and after
trying out on the prepared music, made first band first chair on
the euphonium. After practicing from June 20-24, she as able to
participate in a concert to end the week of camp.
Reagan Burden Ariel Shumake Tristen McCandless John Henry Thomas Xavier Daniels, AnthonyKnudson
& Noah Pounds
BACK TO SCHOOL BREAKFAST AT ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT 8/14/17
The Margaret Daniel Foundation presented $ 5,303.98 to three Ashdown School District teachers during their “Back to School Breakfast” on Monday, August 14th. The Foundation sponsors a dinner and silent auction each year to raise money to support “out of the box” innovative ideas that Ashdown teachers can receive through grant applications.
Ashdown Elementary teacher, Lonnie Dollarhide was awarded
$1,253.90. She will use the money to purchase a micro mini
potbelly pig to help teach her students what it is like to take
care of something other than themselves. It will teach them
responsibility, how to trust, be caring and compassionate. Mrs.
Dollarhide said, “research has shown that micro minis, which can
from from 15-20 years, help kids with special needs, kids with
autism or Down Syndrome and ones that have trouble with sensory
verbalizing. They build a trust with the pig and it helps them
AHS Theatre teacher, Jennifer Walker was awarded $2050.00 to
take third year theatre students to see “The Lion King” in the
newly remodeled Robinson Center in Little Rock. Mrs. Walker
said, “it will offer the students a chance to experience, first
hand, the best live, Broadway musical often referred to as the
World’s #1 Musical. The goals are to expand and deepen students
understanding and familiarity with Broadway."
AHS Art teacher, Melanie Cobb was awarded $2000 to purchase art
supplies for her classroom. For the 2017-2018 school year,
Melanie will be teaching art full time.
ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI 11TH ANNUAL BANQUET 8/14/17
The Ashdown High School Alumni Committee and Officers are
pleased to announce the 11th annual Alumni Banquet. The banquet
will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the High School
Cafeteria. The honored guest this year will be Kent Wells an AHS
class of 1981 graduate and a veteran musician, songwriter,
performer and acclaimed producer who has toured and recorded
with Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, Brooks and Dunn,
Travis Tritt, Oak Ridge Boys, Lee Greenwood and Keith Whitley.
Kent is the son of Coylene Wells Cates and the late Billy Jack
Wells. Kent is married to Donna Gwin Wells, also a 1981 AHS
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO UPDATE 8/11/17
Thursday night, area young people competed in the 80th Annual Sevier County fair beef show and fair board member Linda Frachiseur reported the names of the winners to KDQN.
Frachiseur said the fish show and bottle calf show are both Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and young showman will also compete in the Jr. Showmanship contest.
Fair Manager Sandra Nunn reported this year's rodeo Friday and Saturday night will feature bucking Shetland ponies, mutton bustin', Pork Chop the biggest, little man in Pro Rodeo and trick rider, Rose Phipps from Wright City, Oklahoma.
Friday morning Phipps and her dad visited with the Morning Brew on Your Number One Country 92.1 and she described how she got into trick riding.
Phipps said she really enjoys interacting with the crowd during her performances and she will be visiting with rodeo fans following her performances.
Phipps said she and her horse Blue will be entertaining the crowd both Friday and Saturday nights.
Tonight is arm band night from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Carnival and the exhibit will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION MAKES FINAL PERSONNEL MOVES DURING SPECIAL CALLED MEETING 8/11/17
Monday night, members of the Foreman Board of Education held a special called meeting to make some final personnel decisions for the 2017-2018 school year.
Board members accepted Superintendent George Kennedy's recommendation to hire James Blanton as a history teacher. Blanton will also coach basketball, softball and football.
New high school principal, John Hall, resigned from the position of bus driver and board members hired Pennie Lansdell as a new bus driver.
LITTLE RIVER FAIR - LAMB AND CATTLE SHOW RESULTS 8/11/17
Thursday night, the Little River County Fair concluded its livestock shows with the lamb and cattle shows.
Little River County Fair board member Lacie Beason also said the fair board will be hosting activities next week also. She said they will hold a kids night on Tuesday, a volleyball tournament on Wednesday, the Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin on Thursday and the 75th annual Little River County Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, August 18th and 19th.
For more information, contact a Little River County fair board member.
COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES HANDBOOK CHANGES 8/11/17
Cossatot River School District Superintendent, Donnie Davis reported the school board met recently to approve changes to the student handbooks and to make a few personnel decisions.
According to the minutes of the special called meeting, board members approved some changes relating to graduation requirements and Computer Science internships and independent studies.
Board members voted to accept the resignation of Kenny Tabler as the Umpire basketball coach. They then hired Jeff Glover as the head basketball coach at Umpire.
Board members also hired Jennifer Lawrence to teach social studies at Cossatot River High School.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PROMOTES SCHOOL BUS SAFETY 8/11/17
To promote school bus safety, the Arkansas Department of Education and Arkansas Association of Pupil Transportation launched their fifth annual school bus safety campaign: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead.
While the three-week campaign began this week and concludes on August 25th, school bus safety is important year-round. This school year more than 7,000 school buses will transport approximately 350,000 Arkansas students to and from school and school-related activities.
Motorists are reminded that it is illegal to pass a stopped school bus when its red lights are flashing, as students are present. On April 26th, 2016 school bus drivers in 100 Arkansas school districts reported 706 instances of motorists illegally passing a school bus.
Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac's Law, increased the fines, penalties, and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus.
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL THIS THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY 8/11/17
The president of the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce, Mitch Bobo informed KDQN that Saturday night's concert featuring Joe Diffie has been moved to Hempstead Hall on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Hope.
Bobo said the festival is free, but it cost $5 to park. Admission to the concert Saturday night is $15 general admission in advance and $20 on the day of the event, children are $6 and reserved seats are $40. He said the doors will open at 6 p.m. and tickets are available at the Hempstead Hall box office until 6 p.m. today and Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of the concert.
For more information, visit the website www.hopemelonfest.com.
IF SEEN PLEASE CALL
Thirty-eight year-old Aaron Victory was being held in the Choctaw County Jail for a scheduled hearing in the U.S. District Court in Muskogee.
Victory had pleaded guilty in May to being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and possession of a stolen firearm, according to federal records.
Victory has felony convictions in Oklahoma dating back to 2003, including convictions for possession stolen property, false impersonation, second-degree burglary and eluding a police officer.
According to the Oklahoma Department of corrections, Victory was on a 25-year probation stemming from a 2005 conviction. He was convicted in 2016 for escaping from confinement in 2012 in Woodward County.
Area residents are being asked to contact local law enforcement if they see Victory, however, they do not suggest you try to detain him because he is considered armed and dangerous.
Victory is a white male. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 209 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair. He has a tattoo on his left shoulder that say #1 Dad, a tattoo on his back of the name Eureca in a heart and a tattoo on his right leg.
If you have any information, call the Security and Investigations Fugitive Apprehension Unit at 405-425-2570 or contact your local law enforcement agency.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR - RESULTS 8/10/17
Due to the weather Monday morning, some activities at the Sevier County Fair are running one-day behind schedule, but fair board member Linda Frachiseur said they are having a great week and she provided KDQN with the results from the lamb, goat and swine shows, which were held Wednesday evening.
Frachiseur said the cattle show will start today at 5 p.m. and the fair parade is tonight at 6. She said parade participates will line up at the De Queen football field about 5:45. Frachiseur also reminded area businesses and individuals that the annual Premium Sale is Friday at 10 a.m. She said if you want to make a donation or give a little added money to please contact a fair board member.
Frachiseur also stated the rodeo is still scheduled for Friday and Saturday night, but the barrel racing has been moved to Sunday. She said the exhibition will start at 2 p.m. and the barrel racing will start at 3.
The exhibit building and the midway are open. Friday night is arm band night at the carnival, for more information, call 870-642-6073.
HUTCHINSON SET TO PARDON FORMER SEVIER COUNTY JUDGE 8/10/17
Governor Asa Hutchinson's office announced the governor plans to grant 21 pardons, which includes a former Sevier County judge who was found guilty of public servant bribery in 1987.
William F. Pogue of Horatio has asked the governor for a pardon of being found guilty in October of 1987 by a Sevier County jury.
An additional 55 clemency requests were denied and four had no action taken, according to a news release from the governor's office.
These requests were from both inmates and non-inmates.
According to the governor's release, this notice is issued based on the date of conviction of 1987 in Sevier County, the fact that all terms of the applicant's sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. The news release also stated there were no law enforcement objections to the application.
Pogue and equipment dealer Randall Rogers were found guilty of public servant bribery by a jury and both men were fined $10,000 each. Neither man served any probation, jail or parole time.
A grand jury indicted the two men in March of 1987. During the trial, the prosecutor alleged Rogers paid Pogue $10,000 in exchange for the county purchasing a 1979 Caterpiller scraper from Rogers' business.
Pogue and Rogers testified the $10,000 check was for half interest in a mobile home park project in Valliant, Oklahoma.
The applicants intended for pardons have fulfilled all of the requirements and paid all of the fines and fees that were related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before any final action is taken.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY TO OPEN TIME CAPSULE THIS SATURDAY 8/10/17
Former Little River County District Judge and current Little River County Historical Society president, John C. Finley III announced the society will be opening a 25-year-old time capsule that was buried in the Little River County Courthouse lawn this Saturday at 10 a.m.
The time capsule should contain a variety of historical items. The capsule was forged by paper mill workers and was sealed in 1992.
The capsule was buried as a part of the joint celebration of "Two in 92," where Ashdown celebrated its 100th anniversary and Little River County honored its 125th anniversary. A second time capsule is encased in some brick above ground and is not scheduled to be opened until April of 2136.
Finley said they wanted to have one capsule that they could open while some of them were still alive.
Finley said the capsule will be retrieved Saturday morning by Tom Knighten and taken by procession to the courthouse where it will be opened. Finley said the public is invited to attend the event.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR RESULTS 8/10/17
Activities are underway this week, in Foreman during the 75th Annual Little River County Fair and fair board member Lacie Beason gave KDQN the results of the livestock shows that have been held so far this week, by announcing the winners of the rabbit, goats and swine shows.
Beason said the fair board postponed the volleyball tournament, rodeo, Tiny Tots contest, mutton bustin and Little Britches rodeo until next week due to the possibility of inclement weather. But, the lamb and cattle shows are tonight and the premium sale is Friday at noon.
To sign up for the volleyball tournament, contact Dusty Hobbs at 903-278-9601.
AGFC LISTING VEHICLES AND OTHER ITEMS FOR SALE 8/10/17
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission currently has many used vehicles and other items available for sale on the website govdeals.com. As part of the commission's ongoing efforts to remove outdated equipment, the agency has developed a new model to remove inventory that has outlived its expected useful lifespan by using the online auction site.
Leonard Dean is the operations and facility manager for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and he reported these items have been deemed too expensive to repair or are at the end of their serviceable life. He said some of the items still have some years left in them, but buyers are warned that these items are sold as-is and they typically need some sort of repair work now or will need some in the near future.
Dean says the current list of inventory on the auction website, includes several vehicles, some of which have spent more than a few hours on the back roads of the Natural State.
Dean said the money raised through these auctions will help offset the cost of purchasing new equipment, thereby helping save the taxpayers of Arkansas some money.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO SUPPORT THE MARKETPLACE FAIRNESS ACT 8/9/17
Tuesday night during a regular meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen heard an update on the water department's meter installation project, approved a resolution to accept an audit of the city's proprietary accounts and passed a resolution supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act.
Water Department foreman, Darrin Higgins, informed the De Queen aldermen that the city's contractor had installed about a thousand water meters. He also reported three-city employees were sub-contracting with the contractor to help install meters.
Higgins said the water department read about 750 meters this month, using the new system. He said it took them about 35-minutes to read three routes, which would have normally taken about a week.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said after a slow start on the project, he hopes it will be completed on time.
Aldermen passed a resolution to accept the water, sewer and sanitation audits. McKelvy said there were no findings on the audits and all three accounts made a profit in 2016.
Aldermen also passed a resolution supporting the Marketplace Fairness Act. McKelvy said the Arkansas Municipal League asked all of the cities in Arkansas to pass the resolution, which asks the Arkansas Legislature and the U.S. Congress to pass the Act. The Marketplace Fairness Act would require online companies to collect local and state sales tax.
McKelvy also informed aldermen that a company called Mobilitie asked if they could install a 120 foot standalone steel pole on Robinson Road near the Sevier County jail. A representative from Mobilitie reported the pole would improve backhaul solutions for broadband internet connectivity in the area.
The next meeting of the De Queen City Council was scheduled for Tuesday, September 5th at 6 p.m. in the De Queen City Hall.
ARKANSAS RESIDENT KILLED IN OKLAHOMA ACCIDENT 8/9/17
Law enforcement officials with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported an Arkansas woman was killed in an accident Monday morning east of Eagletown on U.S. Highway 70 in McCurtain County.
The accident report stated 58-year-old Angelina Hernandez was riding in a car headed west on Highway 70, when the driver of the vehicle slowed down for a turning car and was rear ended by a pickup.
Hernandez and the driver of the vehicle were taken to an Arkansas hospital where Hernandez died from her injuries. The driver was treated for injuries to their head, arm and leg.
The driver of the truck was not hurt, but troopers say the driver's inattention may have caused the accident.
FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES TWO NEW COACHES 8/9/17
Over the past several weeks, the Foreman Board of Education have held several special called board meetings as they prepare for the 2017-2018 school year.
On July 26th, the Foreman Board of Education accepted the recommendation of Superintendent George Kennedy to hire Adrian Ivory as a high school coach and elementary physical education teacher and Joshua Flemming as a high school coach and History teacher.
Board members also accepted the bid from Young's Thriftway to provide bread this year and the bid from Hiland Dairy Foods to be the district's milk provider.
The district held a special called meeting Monday night to discuss some personnel matters.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE 8/9/17
More than 1,100 pieces of legislation were signed into law earlier this year and many of those pieces of legislation that were passed contained an emergency clause, which allows the bill to become effective the moment it is signed by the governor.
Other pieces of legislation have an effective date written into the text. For example, tax measures typically take effect on January 1st.
But, bills that do not contain a specific effective date or an emergency clause become effective on the 91st day following the adjournment of the General Assembly. That means more than half of the legislation that was passed this year, took effect last week.
These bills impacted everything from highways to classrooms.
One of the changes that you may have noticed is the new name of the state highway department. The highway department was known as the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department is now the Arkansas Department of Transportation or ArDOT for short.
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught also wanted Arkansas drivers to be aware of the penalty increase for texting and driving. One of the pieces of legislation that took effect last week allows a person to be fined up to $250 for their first offense of texting and driving. The law also states that posting on social media while driving is also prohibited.
Arkansas can also purchase lottery tickets with their debit card now, however the law does not require retailers to accept a debit card for the purchase.
Legislators also passed a bill that allows the state to opt out of a federal program that prohibits individuals with a felony drug conviction from receiving federal public benefits including SNAP.
According to research, 90 percent of the individuals who are released from prison do not have reliable access to food, so several states including Georgia and Texas have opted out of this restriction in hopes of reducing the rate of those who reoffend.
For more information, visit the website www.arkansashouse.org.
TEXARKANA COLLEGE AWARD JET GRANT 8/9/17
The Texas Workforce Commission has awarded Texarkana College in Texarkana, Texas a $304,006 Jobs and Education for Texans grant.
According to the workforce commission, the grant will help the college purchase and install equipment to provide 170 students with training for careers in the nursing profession.
The JET program provides funding for equipment to eligible educational institutions for the purpose of developing career and technical education courses and may include course offering dual-credit and technical education programs. However, the equipment must be used to train student in high-demand occupations that included registered nursing.
Texas Workforce Commission Employer Commissioner Ruth Hughs will present a check to representatives of Texarkana College on Friday at 11 a.m. in the college's Health Science building.
ARKANSAS STATE POLICE LOOKING FOR RECRUITS TO FILL 2018 ACADEMY CLASS 8/9/17
Arkansas State Police Recruiters are looking for candidates who are interested in enrolling in the 2018 academy class. Thirty-five recruits will be selected to enter the academy early next year.
Colonel Bill Bryant is the Director of the Arkansas State Police and he said if you meet the minimum qualifications and are ready to excel in earning the badge of an Arkansas State Police.
Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Arkansas State Police web site at asp.arkansas.gov and watch the recruiting video that offers a view into the world of a state trooper. The recruiting page also provides applicants a means to directly contact a recruiter.
The minimum qualification to be considered are: must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age. Must possess a medical release to participate in a physical fitness test. Must possess a current and valid driver license. Must be a certified high school graduate or possess a GED. Must meet visual acuity requirements. Never convicted of a felony criminal charge. Never convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. Pass a comprehensive background check, and have no tattoos that are visible on an applicants body that could be seen if wearing the uniform of an Arkansas State Trooper.
Recruits begin earning a salary after being offered a position by the Director of the Arkansas State Police and reporting to the academy.
Benefits include: health insurance, retirement contributions, uniform and equipment are furnished, and opportunities for overtime duty.
Vacancies to be filled in Southwest Arkansas include: Lafayette, Nevada, and Pike.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT OUTPERFORMS 203 DISTRICTS ON TEST SCORES 8/8/17
Monday night, De Queen Superintendent Bruce Hill reported to the De Queen Board of Education that he was pleased with the district's test scores.
Hill said the district outperformed most districts in the area. He said the district ranked 45th out of 248 districts in the state. Hill reported the Mena School District ranked 60th, the Dierks School District ranked 67th, and Nashville ranked 79th.
Board members voted to accept the resignations of two teachers and then voted to hire Barbara Valentine of Idabel as a music teacher and Jessica Pruitt as a high school English teacher.
Hill also reported the bathroom renovation project at the old elementary building is almost finished and work on the Middle School roof has started.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR - UPDATE 8/8/17
Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur livestock is arriving at the fairgrounds and the weigh-in will be held tonight at 8 p.m.
The lamb, goat and swine shows will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the cattle show is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday. The Premium Sale will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Frachiseur said the carnival midway will open at 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday night is arm band night.
The fair parade is Thursday at 6 p.m. and the rodeo is Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. However, the 4D barrel race has been rescheduled for Sunday. There will be an exhibition at 7 p.m. and the 4D races start at 8.
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL THIS THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY 8/8/17
Mitch Bobo is the president of the Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce and he said the 41st Annual Hope Watermelon Festival is this Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Hope Fair Park.
Bobo said the Mexican Folklore Dancers of De Queen will be performing Saturday and the gates will open at 6 p.m. for Saturday night's concert, featuring Joe Diffie.
Bobo said there's going to be some seed spitting contests and a politically correct watermelon eating contest. Bobo said Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton is the two-time defending watermelon eating champ and he is the favorite to take the title again this year.
Bobo said ice cold watermelon will be for sale all three days.
Bobo said the festival is free, but it does cost $5 to park. Admission to the concert Saturday night is $15 general admission in advance and $20 on the day of the event, children are $6 and reserved seats are $40.
For more information, visit the website www.hopemelonfest.com.
ROJAS REAPPOINTED TO STATE JUVENILE JUSTICE BOARD 8/8/17
Victor Rojas Jr. of De Queen has been reappointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson to the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board. He was first appointed to the board in January of 2014 by then Governor, Mike Beebe.
The board is responsible for overseeing the distribution and use of federal juvenile justice funds to support youth development programs and improvements to the state's juvenile justice system. Additionally, the board makes recommendations to policymakers and ensures the state is in compliance with the core requirements of the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Preventive Act.
Rojas said he was thankful for the opportunity to continue serving the state of Arkansas and will continue to support programs and services that produce positive outcomes for young people and their families.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR ON HOLD DUE TO RISING WATER 8/8/17
Monday morning, Sevier County Fair Board members voted to suspend fair activities for most of the day. Fair board member Linda Frachiseur informed KDQN the livestock barns were flooded and the board voted to postpone the arrival of the show animals until Tuesday. She said weigh-in Tuesday night is at 8 p.m.
About 8 a.m., Monday morning the fair parking lot was under water and fair board members and volunteers moved all of the show supplies and equipment to higher ground.
About noon, fair board members announced they would move the livestock shows back one day. The lamb, goat and swine shows will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and the cattle show is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. Frachiseur said the Premium Sale will be held on Friday at 10 a.m.
Frachiseur said the carnival will set up and open on Wednesday at 6 p.m. She also mentioned the rodeo is still scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights, however 4K barrel race has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 13th.
Stay tuned to KDQN for updates about the Sevier County Fair. You can also following KDQN on Facebook at KDQN921 for further updates.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO UPDATE 8/8/17
The Little River County Fair has also adjusted their schedule due to the amount of rainfall that fell in the area.
County residents can enter their home economic exhibits this morning from 8 to 10 a.m. and the judging will begin at 10:30. The exhibit building will open to at 4 p.m.
Little River County fair board members announced the livestock shows and the premium sale will go on as scheduled. The swine judging contest is Wednesday at 7 p.m. The lamb judging is Thursday at 7 p.m. and the cattle judging is at 8. The premium sale will be held Friday at noon.
However, the Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin, the Tiny Tots Contest and the Little River County Rodeo have been postponed until Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 17th, 18, and 19th.
UNMASK YOUR POTENTIAL – 4-H STATE O’RAMA 8/7/17
More than 500 Arkansas 4-H members from all over the state, who qualified through county and district competitions, gathered on the Fayetteville campus of the University of Arkansas on July 25-27 for one of the biggest gatherings of 4-Hers' in the state. The theme for this year's State O'Rama was "Unmask Your Potential". The 4-H Youth Development program is operated by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the Division of Agriculture.
Three Sevier County youth competed in a variety of events after winning competitions on the county and district level. This event is a fun filled learning experience where the 4-Hers’ make their best even better.
Brennen Seymour competed in Animal Science and placed fifth in Tractor Driving, which included a written test, and driving test. He was also instated as 4-H Ambassador. This will provide him with leadership opportunities to help plan activities for other 4-H’ers throughout the state.
Amber Morris competed in Health in her first year at State O’Rama. She also attended a 4-H Vet Science workshop.
Marcus Rosson walked away with a third place ribbon in Reel into Sport Fishing, which required him to pass a written test along with ability to tie a variety of knots. Marcus also attended Communications Skills for Leaders and Archeological-Digging 4-H workshops.
Miss America, Savvy Shields, and motivational speaker, Fred Grooms, inspired 4-Hers' with their positive messages. Shields, a University of Arkansas student, brought a positive message about her platform, "Eat Better, Live Better."
Fred Grooms, a third-generation Army veteran, rose to the rank of major despite the difficulties of being dyslexic. after leaving the military, Grooms went on to earn master's degrees in marketing and education. Grooms travels the country teaching youth about leadership and the lessons that can be learned from failure. His topic at O'Rama was "B.A.S.I.C Student Leadership - Lead Because Others Won't."
For more information about 4-H, contact Sevier County Extension 870-584-3013 or visit www.uaex.edu.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex. gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
WHO ARE EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS (EHC) 8/7/17
EHC members are just like you! They work, shop, and sit next to you at ballgames. They like to learn everything from A to Z to better themselves for their families, neighborhoods and for our community. They are young and old, working moms and dads, married or single men and women, and grandmothers and grandfathers, working or retired. They come from diverse backgrounds and have varied experiences. They like to savor new experiences, enjoy fellowship and embrace opportunities to make a difference in their homes and communities.
Being an Extension Homemaker means belonging to one of the largest adult volunteer organizations in Arkansas. The mission of Extension Homemakers is to empower individuals and families to improve their quality of living through continuing education, leadership development and community service. Sevier county Extension Homemakers help extend the resources of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service into their communities through educational opportunities and community service projects.It is the mission of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Association to strengthen families through continuing education, leadership development and volunteer community support. As an Extension Homemaker, you have opportunities to...
LEARN . . .
Meet with friends and neighbors in educational and social settings
Share experiences and information
Keep up-to-date on new knowledge and research
GROW . . .
CARE . . .
Extension Homemaker clubs (EHC) in Sevier County are seeking new members. We currently have three clubs and encourage new clubs to organize.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please
contact the Sevier County Extension Office as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR ON HOLD DUE TO RISING WATER 8/7/17
Monday morning, Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur informed KDQN that rising water was forcing the farm board to postpone the arrival of this year's show animals.
About 8 a.m., Frachiseur reported the fair parking lot was under water and the hog and goat barns were starting to flood. By 10 a.m., water had started entering the cattle barn and all show supplies were moved to higher ground.
Fair President Leroy Nunn informed KDQN that has of now the fair activities have been suspended.
Nunn said the fair board will be entering home economic exhibits today from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Tuesday from 7 to 9 a.m. The home economic exhibits will be judged Tuesday about 10:30 a.m.
Frachiseur stated Monday morning that the fair board will not be checking in any livestock this evening and the breeding goat, market goat, breeding sheep, market lamb and swine shows are all on hold as of today.
Stay tuned to KDQN for updates about the Sevier County Fair. You can also following KDQN on Facebook at KDQN921 for further updates.
ASHDOWN STUDENT ATTENDS NATIONAL FBLA CONFERENCE 8/7/17
An Ashdown High School senior recently attended the national FBLA conference in Anaheim, California.
Isaac Thomas attended the FBLA National Leadership Conference along with Ashdown High School FBLA Advisor, Shauna Tipton in Anaheim June 28th through July 2nd.
Thomas is a State Vice-President and represented the State Officer team and District IV. Thomas is the current District IV President and the state team presided over the Arkansas planning meeting, participated in the Regional meeting, attended workshops and other activities with the State Officer team and advisors.
Thomas will be attending the FBLA National Fall Leadership Conference in New Orleans in November as a state representative.
AREA SENATOR PRESENTED ARKANSAS FAMILY COUNCIL'S 2017 STATESMAN AWARD 8/7/17
Arkansas Senator Larry Teague of Nashville was selected as one of the recipients of the Arkansas Family Council's 2017 Statesman Awards.
Lawmakers earn letter grades based on how they vote on 25 bills that are identified by the state family council that include topics such as right-to-life, education, family, marijuana and marriage.
A spokesperson for the organization said they wanted to recognize legislators for their hard work and good votes.
The Family Council Action Committee is a conservative, pro-family, Christian 501 C4 organization that is based in Little Rock.
CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK TO HOST A NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP AUGUST 19TH 8/7/17
There are countless subjects and settings to appreciate in photography, but one of the most fun and challenging is taking pictures at night. Night photography offers many opportunities for creative compositions and helps the photographer to better understand the relationship between lighting and timing.
On Saturday, August 19th from 7 to 9:30 p.m. the Crater of Diamond State Park will host a workshop for anyone interested in learning more about night photography. Participants should have a working knowledge of manual DSLR camera settings, including shutter speed and aperture. Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring a DSLR camera, a tripod, and a flashlight. Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said participants should not bring a point-and-shoot cameras.
Cox said dark-colored clothing and a remote shutter release would be helpful but they are not required. He said during the evening, they'll discuss the basics of nighttime digital photography and light drawing before they go outside for some hands-on practice.
The Workshop cost is $20 per person, including a non-refundable $10 registration fee that's due by Friday, August 11th, the remaining $10 will be due at the visitor center on the day of the workshop. Space is limited and a minimum of three participants is required.
For more information or to register, call the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113.
ARKANSAS WILL WITNESS FIRST MAJOR ECLIPSE IN NEARLY A CENTURY NEXT MONTH 8/7/17
On Monday, August 21st, the state of Arkansas will experience a total solar eclipse as the sun, moon and Earth will be aligned in such a way that the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, temporally blocking out some or all of the sun, depending on where you're watching from. Arkansas is slightly south of the path of totality, but the state is closer than many places.
According to the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department, this is the first total eclipse that has been visible to the continental United States in 38 years, and it's been nearly a hundred years since one of this magnitude was visible in Arkansas. The next total solar eclipse in 2024 will cross Arkansas diagonally from the southwest corner to the northeast, placing a large swath of the state in the path of totality.
No matter where you are in the state, you'll be able to see the sun almost completely blocked by the moon, especially if you're in the north and northeast, which lies closest to the path of totality and will see 95 to 97 percent coverage. The eclipse will begin at approximately 11:43 a.m. in the northwest corner of the state and will be over by approximately 2:50 p.m. in the southeast, with peak totality occurring between 1:13 to 1:22 p.m.
When viewing an eclipse, proper eye protection, in the form of specially designed eclipse glasses or #14 arc welder's glass, is imperative.
Dr. Clay Sherrod of the Arkansas Sky Observatory on Petit Jean Mountain said you should never look directly at the sun, which can cause permanent eye damage, even though the sun will be between 89 and 97 percent covered in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department will host watch parties at Petit Jean, Lake Catherine, Mississippi River, Mount Magazine and other.
Dr. Sherrod also shared several ways that you can safely enjoy the eclipse if you don't have glasses. He said create a pinhole projector using the instructions on the Arkansas Sky Observatory site. He also said you could place a mirror, covered except for a small circular hole, in a north-facing window to project an image of the eclipse onto a wall.
SEARCH WARRANT EXECUTED IN SEVIER COUNTY 8/4/17
Thursday, August 3rd, the South Central Drug Task Force, deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, officers with the De Queen Police Department and the Arkansas State Police executed a search warrant at a residence on Highway 41 just south of De Queen.
Five subjects were inside the residence at the time the search warrant was initiated.
After further investigation and interviews, Juan Diego and Ambrosio Hernandez were charged with possession of a controlled substance - meth, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. The two suspects are being detained in the Sevier County Detention Center at this time.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT FULLY STAFFED FOR 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR 8/4/17
Members of the Ashdown Board of Education met Thursday night to accept a proposal on a new security camera system for the high school and to hire one more staff person.
During a special called meeting on July 26th, board members accepted a TIPS-TAPS bid from Raney Electronics for a new basketball scoreboard, a COENCO cooling system for the junior high gym, and two HVAC units for the junior high office and the L.F. Henderson library. Last night, the board also accepted a TIPS-TAPS bid for a new security system at the high school.
Superintendent Jason Sanders said some of these proposals were budgeted, but a few were unexpected expenses this summer.
On July 26th, board members voted to hire Josh Thompson as a long-term sub. They also voted to hire Meagan Garrison as the high school business teacher and to pay Cody Gallagher both stipends of $3,000 each for teaching both junior high and high school Agri.
Thursday night, the board approved the employment of former Ashdown teacher, Jan Eckert, for a part-time position. Sanders said after Thursday's meeting that the district was fully staffed.
Ashdown Elementary will be holding a Meet the Teacher event on Thursday, August 10th from 2 to 7 p.m. and classes will start on Monday, August 14th.
80th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 5TH THROUGH 12TH 7/21/17
The 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo will kickoff on Saturday morning with the fair pageant and Rodeo Queen contest at 10 a.m. This year's contestants for the Little Miss Rodeo Queen contest are jaycee Platt, Sunni Mason and Raylee Kate Hundley. The Princess contestants are MacKenzie Nevels and Kaylee Wollcott. The winners of the Little Miss and Princess contests will be announced Saturday night, August 12th during the rodeo.
The chicken judging and rabbit judging will held on Saturday, at 6 p.m.
Sevier County residents can enter their home economic exhibits in the educational building from 2 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, or on Monday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Commercial booths can also be set up from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday or from 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday.
All livestock will be checked in on Monday, August 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. and weigh-in begins at 8.
Horticulture, flower and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the judging of the educational items will beginning at 10. The Commercial Booth building and the exhibit building will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb shows and the swine shows will start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8th and the cattle show is Wednesday, August 9th at 5 p.m.
The carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with arm band night being on Friday.
The fair parade is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. The books for the 4D barrel race will open at 6 p.m., the grand entry for the public, the youth barrel race and the 4D barrel race will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday night.
The premium sale is Friday, August 11th at 10 a.m. and a dinner for the premium sale buyers will be held at noon. And the Professional Dodge Rodeo will start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
The fish show, the bottle calf show, the Jr. Showmanship and the open showmanship contests will be featured on Saturday, August 12th. and the livestock will be released at 11 p.m.
Admission to the 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is $2. Admission to the rodeo is $6 for anyone 13 and older and $3 for children 6 to 12.
ARKANSAS HIGHWAY COMMISSION APPROVES BID FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN SEVIER COUNTY 8/4/17
The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to a roadway in Sevier County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation officials.
The purpose of this project is to resurface 7.8 miles of county road 35, which is also known as Bellah Mine Road and 1.6 miles of county road 236, which is the Gillham Lake Road.
Marion County Paving of Summit was awarded the contract in the amount of $365,761.55.
Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting and is expected to be completed in late 2017.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO STARTS SATURDAY 8/4/17
The 75th annual Little River County Fair and Rodeo starts Saturday with the fair and rodeo parade at 6 p.m. followed by the youth rodeo at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, county residents can register their home economic exhibits from 3 to 6 p.m. and the rabbit show is at 6.
Registration of the home economic exhibits will continue on Tuesday from 8 to 10 a.m. and then exhibits will be judged at 10:30. The exhibit building will open to visitors at 4 p.m. All livestock will be in place in the show barn by 5 p.m. and Tuesday night is also Kids Nite. The goat show is scheduled to start at 7.
The exhibit building will be open Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wednesday night will feature the swine judging contest and a volleyball tournament at 7 p.m.
Thursday is Senior Citizens Day and anyone 65 and older will get free admission to the fairgrounds. Thursday night, the lamb judging contest will begin at 7 a.m. and it will be followed by the beef judging at 8. The Little Britches Rodeo and Mutton Bustin will start at 7:30.
The Premium Sale luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Friday morning and it will be followed by the Premium Sale at noon.
The Tiny Tot Contest will be held at 7 p.m. Friday night and it will be followed by the rodeo at 8. Rodeo tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. Advanced tickets are $5.
The Little River Fair and Rodeo will wrap up on Saturday, August 13th. The winners of the Tiny Tots contest will be announced at 7 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8 p.m. with a calf scramble and money drop. There will also be a dance in the fair barn at 10 p.m. and the livestock will be released at 11.
UA COSSATOT RELEASES 2020 STRATEGIC PLAN 8/4/17
The strategic plan outlines the goals and tactics by which the college will address accreditation guidelines, stakeholder needs, and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the college. UA Cossatot administrators created the plan by seeking input from students, employees, and all external stakeholders in the UA Cossatot service area.
The plan focuses on five areas including: helping students learn, meeting student and other key stakeholder needs, valuing employees, planning and leading, and using data for resource management.
UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said, quote, "Our 2020 Strategic Plan will be how we judge our success and direction for the next three years." unquote.
UA Cossatot has the third highest graduation rate in the state of Arkansas among community colleges and the third smallest budget in the state among all colleges and universities.
Cole added, quote, "It is this kind of intentional planning and focus that helps us achieve these types of results." unquote. He went on to say the faculty is a large part of the colleges success and the administration believes the faculty is doing what they do best and the 2020 initiatives, will help Cossatot be number one in graduation rates very soon.
To read the plan in detail, visit the website www.cccua.edu/2020 or call 1-800-844-4471 to request a printed copy.
ABC BOARD SELECTS TWO APPLICATIONS FOR LIQUOR LICENSE IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 8/4/17
Two applicants, Geraldine Haskins of Jerry's Drive-In at 1210 South Constitution Avenue in Ashdown and Ralph Brainerd Jr. of Bogey's at 125 Webster Driver in Ashdown, are scheduled to present their applications to the Alcoholic Beverage Control board this month.
Haskins and Brainerd will present their applications to the ABC Board, but either application is denied a third applicant will get a chance to present their application.
According to Arkansas law, the ABC Board will issue one liquor permit for every 5,000 people living in the county and Little River County is eligible for two liquor stores according to the 2010 census.
AGFC TO VOTE ON PROPOSED FISHING REGULATIONS AUGUST 17TH 8/4/17
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has had the first reading of proposed changes to fishing regulations at its July meeting. These regulations will be presented for a final vote during the Commissioner's August meeting and, if passed, will become effective January 1st, 2018.
A complete list of proposals and public comment summaries is available at www.agfc.com.
Some regulations being considered are: Millwood Lake catfish creel limits changed to statewide limits.
The removal of the 13 to 16 inch protective slot limit on largemouth bass on Dierks Lake.
The reduction of the number of rods that will be permitted from two rods to one per individual on the Narrows Tailwater on the Little Missouri River below Narrows Dam.
The Commission also heard the first reading of proposed changes to fishing regulations concerning the movement of live wild-caught baitfish. If passed, the proposed change would make it illegal to use any live baitfish, including crayfish, unless it was: caught within the same body of water where it is being used, caught in a tributary entering upstream of the waterbody where it is being used or purchased from a licensed dealer selling only certified farm-raised baitfish.
The Commission is expected to vote on these regulations at its meeting on August 17th in Little Rock.
2ND ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT EVENT A BIG SUCCESS 8/3/17
Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry stated he felt the 2nd Annual Sevier County Night Out event was a big success, even though it rained during most of the event, and the temperatures were a little cooler than expected.
The sheriff's office estimated over 2,500 people attended Tuesday's event and they handed out more than 800 drawstring backpacks to school age children. Gentry said the backpacks contained various school supplies that were purchased with donated funds from various individuals and businesses.
Gentry said he appreciated Smiles of Arkansas Dental and Tres Agaves for partnering with the De Queen Police Department and the sheriff's office again this year. He also thanked Pilgrim's Pride for donating and cooking hot dogs and the De Queen Chamber of Commerce for donating the buns. He also wanted to thank the following for either cash donations or support;
John Helms at Tri Lake Services, Legacy Academy, Bakers Sales and Service, De Ann Vaught, De Queen Regional Medical Center, 1st State Bank, CASA, Humane Society, Lifeshare Blood, Country Girls, Smith Quick Lube, JE Bonding, De Queen School District, NA and AA, Ranch House, Salena Pruitt (Centry 21), Gentry's Chevrolet, Beacon Hill Motorcycle, Seventh Day Adventist Church, De Queen Ford, Bounce Party, Royal Family Inn, Corps of Engineers, Howard County Memorial, Bill Lee, Southern LP, Horatio VFD, MaryPops, Manya Wood, Don's EZ Storage, Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club, Sanchez Construction, Discount Tire, Greg Ray, Kim and Mike Martin, Ramona Scaggs (Bank of Beauty), Huber, Loenbro, Tires Plus, Jack Wray and the many volunteers that worked very hard to make this event possible.
Gentry said the citizens of Sevier County showed their appreciation by standing in the rain to get a backpack, cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, hot dogs and participated in the games with big smiles on their faces.
Gentry said LifeShare Blood Center also collected 21 units of blood during the event.
STATE OF ARKANSAS ADDRESSING NEED FOR MORE CIVICS IN THE CLASSROOM 8/3/17
According to research by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, civic knowledge leads to increased civic participation. However, only 23 percent of 8th graders nationwide scored at a level of proficiency in civics.
A report from the Council of State Governments states there is a direct connection between civic education and partisanship.
The CSG report suggests the lack of civic knowledge not only leads to greater political divide, but it also has an impact on voter turnout. The United States ranked 31 out of 35 countries for voter turnout among the nations that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught stated the state of Arkansas is one of a few states that are addressing the need for more civics education.
During the Regular Session, the Legislature passed Act 478, which requires students to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test, which is used by immigration services, before they can receive their high school diploma. The bill would also require the student to answer at least 60 of the 100 questions correctly; however students will be allowed to take the test as many times as needed to pass.
Vaught said Act 478 goes into effect for the 2018-2019 school year, but many schools are preparing students this year.
DE QUEEN TACKLE FOOTBALL REGISTRATION IS UNDERWAY 8/3/17
Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced the park is accepting registration forms for the 2017 tackle football program until August 23rd. The registration amount is $35 and there is an extra $45 fee if a player needs a jersey.
Hale stated the park purchases about 10 new helmets, pads, and chin straps every year, so the players who register early will get the newer equipment. He also stated parents who do not turn in the park's equipment after the final game will be charged a $150 fee.
Hale said there is a coaches only meeting on Tuesday, August 7th at the park office where they will be discussing some possible changes to the program.
Hale said if a family cannot afford to participate, to please contact him because some scholarships are available. For more information or to register, call the park office at 870-642-4140.
AREA RESIDENTS RECEIVE ALLIGATOR PERMITS 8/3/17
This week, 101 individuals throughout Arkansas were informed that they received an alligator permit for the 2017 alligator season, which is September 15 through the 18th and September 22nd through 25th.
All permit winners must attend a hunter orientation class before they issued their temporary tags. The mandatory orientation classes will be held on August 19th in Hope and Monticello and August 26th at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission headquarters in Little Rock.
Successful private land at-large applicants must provide written permission from the landowner and a map of their proposed hunt area.
Permit winners are allowed up to three assistants during the hunt, but only the permit holder is allowed to snare, harpoon, and dispatch the alligator. Arkansas alligator hunters must completely subdue the gator before finishing it with a shotgun or shotgun shell-loaded bang stick, using a shot no larger than number 4 common shot.
Once dispatched, all alligators must be tagged with a temporary possession tag and may be checked in online.
The 2017 alligator permit winners include: Zone 1 - Private Land At-large - Tony Dinger of De Queen, Mark Fielding of Horatio, Michael Foster of Hope, Michael Hale of Mineral Springs, Ashley Hale of Nashville, Taylor Moody of Hope and Marlin Terry of Ashdown.
Zone 1 - Little River - Lakota Hoover of Murfreesboro and Amy Miller of Hope.
Zone 1 - Millwood Lake - Cynthia Blankenship of Ashdown, Cody Friday of Ashdown, Philip Redfearn of Ashdown and Ryan Whitlow of Foreman.
45TH ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL TO FEATURE MINI BULLS AND CBR BULL RIDING 8/3/17
The 45th annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival will feature the Tuff-N-Nuff Mini Bull Riding event on Friday night and the CBR Bull Riding and PRCA Bull Fighting event on Saturday night.
Stacy Janes of the Dierks Chamber of Commerce stated Saturday night's event will begin with mutton bustin' at 6 p.m. and the CBR bull riding event will start at 8 in the rodeo area at the Dierks City Park.
Janes said Don 'Hollywood' Yates will be this year's funny man for the bull riding event.
Janes also explained the difference between bull riding and bull fighting from the perspective of the rodeo clown.
Tickets for the Mini Bull Riding event on Friday are $5 each for anyone 7 and up. Tickets for the CBR Bull Riding and Bull Fighting event are $5 for children 7 to 12 and $10 for anyone 13 and older.
PASSED OUT ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD 8/3/17
About 12 a.m. Sunday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Chet Stubbs noticed a Ford Ranger pulled over on the side of the road with one individual standing outside the truck and another individual slumped over in the driver's seat.
Stubbs reported 31-year-old Shaun Noah of Battiest, Oklahoma was sitting unconscious in the driver's seat. He noted the truck was not running but the keys were in the ignition.
After trying to revive Noah, Stubbs dispatched Southwest EMS to the scene, because Noah would not respond to questions or the sternum rub.
Noah was transported to De Queen Medical Center. Bond was also taken to the ER because he was complaining of possible high blood pressure.
While searching the truck, Stubbs discovered a partially empty bottle of vodka and Noah was citied for drinking in public and for not having a valid driver's license.
About 24 hours later, Stubbs noticed a Ford Mustang partially blocking the Pilgrim's Hatchery plant driveway.
Stubbs noted the engine of the Mustang was off, but there was a white male laying down in the driver's seat with the windows rolled up. Stubbs reported he knocked on the window several times and when the driver woke up, he told Stubbs he thought he was in Hatfield.
Stubbs witnessed a Shiner Bock beer in the center console.
58-year-old Jerry Burns of Hatfield failed a field sobriety test. He was charged with public intoxication.
ARKANSAS REMINDED TO OBEY ALL TRAFFIC SIGNS 8/2/17
A new law took effect on Tuesday that authorizes speeds up to 75 miles per hour on some major highways, but state highway officials are saying, "not so fast."
According to the Arkansas Department of Transportation, engineers are still studying road designs and traffic patterns to determine whether Arkansas should join 18 other states with speed limits of at least 75 mph. According to ARDoT, they are studying the terrain of each highway, the volume of tractor-trailer traffic, the population through which the highway runs and they are trying to determine whether the area is rural or non-rural.
Officials say it's possible that no part of the state's 16,432-mile highway system can handle speeds over 75 mph. They said there's even a chance that some speed limits may be lowered because of high traffic volume.
The speed limit bill passed the House by a 92-1 vote and was passed in the Senate unanimously, but Governor Asa Hutchinson let the bill become a law without his signature.
Eighteen states allow motorists to drive at least 75 miles per hour, while drivers in Montana, South Dakota, Utah and Washington can reach 80. Texas has authorized an 85 miles per hour speed limit, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The U.S. adopted a 55 mph speed limit in the 1970's, seeking to optimize fuel efficiency. Congress repealed the national speed limit in the 1990s and in the years since, 38 states have set speed limits at 70 or higher.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas all have higher speed limits than Arkansas.
A highway official said the law does not require an increase in the speed limit; it just gives the Department of Transportation permission to increase the speed limit. Area law enforcement officials have said, unless you see a sign that says you can go 75. Then you can't.
So, far the speed limit has not been increased in any part of the state on any type of highway.
WARRANT ISSUED FOR SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENT FOR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF A VEHICLE 8/2/17
About 2:30, Saturday afternoon, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Nicole Nealy took a report from Crystal Robinson about the unauthorized use of her vehicle.
Robinson reported she bought a car from her boyfriend's sister on the 27th day of July. She said her boyfriend, 34-year-old Derrick Stockdale of Horatio, drove her car to De Queen to get an oil change and some new headlights, but he never returned her vehicle.
Robinson reported she tried to contact Stockdale through a female friend. Robinson said the woman told her that Stockdale was her boyfriend and that they were living together in Hot Springs. Robinson told Nealy that she asked them to give her the title or her money back.
Saturday night, Robinson contacted the sheriff's office and informed them that she had located the vehicle in Hot Springs. She said an officer with the Hot Springs Police Department told her if Stockdale didn't give her the car back, then he could be charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.
On Sunday, the Sevier County Sheriff's office was informed Stockdale was still in possession of Robinson's car.
Monday morning, a warrant was issued for Stockdale's arrest.
COACH BAKENHUS ENCOURAGING LADY LION FANS TO DONATE TO SCOREBOARD FUND 8/2/17
The Horatio Lady Lions had a successful season in 2017 and head coach Dustin Bakenhus wants to upgrade the facilities at Lady Lion Yard by replacing the scoreboard.
Bakenhus said the current scoreboard is over 25 years old. He said it's 5X3 and it's just about unrepairable and needs to be replaced.
Bakenhus stated they are trying to build an elite softball program in Arkansas. He said the Lady Lions are working hard to become elite players and they deserve an elite ballpark to play in.
Bakenhus said Lady Lion Yard is a special place, and a new scoreboard would help elevate the atmosphere.
To make a donation, contact Bakenhus at 870-784-1090 or contact the Horatio High School.
He also invited area Lady Lion fans to follow the team on Facebook.
MAKING A LITTLE EXTRA GREEN 8/2/17
Last Friday, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies arrested an Oklahoma resident for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.
July 27th, Deputy Wendell Randell and Deputy Chet Stubbs were patrolling on Highway 24 West, when they observed a Dodge truck drive left of the center line and cross the fog line several times.
When deputies made the traffic stop, they noted the driver, 38-year-old Jeffery Davis of Eagletown, Oklahoma was fidgety and appeared to be nervous.
Deputies reported they found a plastic bag containing suspected methamphetamine in a pouch behind the driver's seat.
When deputies asked about the drugs, Davis allegedly told them that he was having some financial trouble and was selling a little meth every week to help make the ends meet.
According to the report, Davis was in possession of about 5 grams of meth at the time of his arrest.
4-H POOL PARTY WITH
RYAN'S CALL FOUNDATION 08/01/2017
Sevier County 4-H had their annual pool party July 24. While youth gathered to have fun and soak up some sun, a guest speaker from Amity, Christy Swain of the Ryan’s Call Foundation, spoke to youth about water safety. She told her story of how she lost her 17 year old son, Ryan, to a drowning incident. In September 2013, Ryan and three friends left for a hunting trip to a public lake, just 15 minutes from home. From the bank, the boys shot a duck which landed in the water. Ryan took off his boots and carefully left his wallet, cell phone, and pocket knife on the bank. Ryan entered the water to retrieve the duck and for unknown reasons, went under in only six feet of water. He did not resurface. Several hours later, he was recovered by a search and rescue team. Ryan was 6’ 2” tall and an excellent swimmer.
ARKANSAS TAX FREE WEEKEND IS THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 8/1/17
The State of Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday this Saturday beginning at 12:01 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.
State and local sales tax will not be collected during this 48-hour period on the sale of clothing and footwear, including diapers, receiving blankets, wedding apparel, gloves, aprons, hats, neckties, coats and jackets, if the sales price is less than $100 per item; clothing accessories and equipment, such as cosmetics, hair accessories, handbags, sunglasses, wallets, and watches if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies are limited to clay and glazes, paints, paintbrushes, sketch and drawing pads and watercolors; and school instructional materials including textbooks, workbooks and references.
State officials announced computers and software are not tax exempt.
Officials said stores can reduce the price of an item, such as 20 percent off sales, however, a manufacturer’s coupon, such as 20 percent off a pair of $110 jeans, does not actually lower the sale price and therefore would still be subject to sales tax.
State officials said there is no limit on the number items that you purchase and if one item does not meet the criteria, all of your other items will still be exempt.
For more information, contact a customer service representative by calling 501-682-7104 today through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
KINDRED HOSPICE LAUNCHES FOOD DRIVE TO BENEFIT HARVEST REGIONAL FOOD BANK 8/1/17
Staff members from Kindred Hospice will be blanketing the Southwest Arkansas area throughout August, distributing food collection bags and gathering donations for Harvest Regional Food Bank, which is one of the many benefactors of Kindred's 13th Annual Food Drive.
Employees at Kindred Hospice and their associates across the Kindred Hospice and Kindred at Home family of home healthcare services are placing the food collection bags at healthcare and other facilities in their respective communities and will collect their "harvest" during the entire month of August.
Holly Rucker is the executive director of Kindred Hospice and she said Kindred employees are in touch with the community's resources and they are aware of the fact that area food banks, pantries, and other charitable organizations are facing increasing demands for assistance.
According to research, one in eight U.S. households are 'food insecure,' and Kindred Hospice is helping agencies provide good, healthy food to those in need.
Kindred Hospice is collecting food in Southwest Arkansas for the Harvest Regional Food Bank because they both serve people in Pike, Sevier, Howard, Little River, Miller, Hempstead, Nevada and Lafayette counties.
Local residents can drop off non-perishable food items like, canned foods, Hamburger Helper, snacks, cereal bars and boxes of cereal, at the KDQN studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive or at the De Queen Medical Center at 1306 West Collin Raye Drive.
All donated items will also help the Chalice Cupboard in De Queen because they have partnered with Harvest Regional Food Bank to help the residents of Sevier County.
(L to R) Bonita Smith and Carolyn Maurer of KDQN, Dr. Jason Lofton of The Wellness Center and The Gentry Family at Gentry's Chevrolet
45TH ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL IS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IN DIERKS 8/1/17
The 45th annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival is this Friday and Saturday and chamber vice-president Jerry Mounts said over 40 vendors have pre-registered for this year's event.
Mounts said there's going to be a lot of activities for the kids and several of those activities will be free of charge. He also said the lumberjack events will start around noon on Saturday.
Mounts said the chamber added a new event this year. He said Ashley Turner, Ashley Janes and Cyndal Cisneros organized a 5K Color Run/Walk and the proceeds will be donated to the Howard County Foster Association.
Turner told KDQN that they’re excited about the 5K. She said they were expecting about 50 runners, but about 70 runners have pre-registered, so they order some more T-shirts.
Turner also said they will be giving milk shakes to the kids and medals to the winners of eight age categories.
Mounts also stated the chamber will be giving away $500 on Friday night and $500 on Saturday night to one lucky ticket holder.
For more information about the 45th annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival, call the Dierks City Hall at 870-286-2671.
FAIR JUDGING SCHOOL REPORT 8/1/17
The University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture Extension, held a district Fair Judging School on the Ashdown campus of UA Cossatot, last week. Over 75 volunteers attended the all-day event including Catherine Smith and Dianne Rosson of Sevier County. Some of the attendees were experienced judges wanting to take a refresher course and there were some who wanted to learn the basics of fair judging.
Area family and consumer sciences agents planned and presented the school including Janet Cantrell of Sevier County. Other instructors were Carla Myane with the Little River Arts Council and Sherry Beaty-Sullivan who is the Little River County agriculture agent and staff chairperson.
Participates learned the main goal of county fairs has always been educational, as in sharing information and learning from each other in a healthy competitive fashion. Participants were also encouraged to keep the fair atmosphere positive by speaking and writing positive comments.
The Sevier County Fair will begin taking entries in the Education Building on Sunday, August 6th from 2 to 5 p.m. and on Monday, August 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. Horticulture, flowers and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the judging will begin at 10.
If you need registration sheets or a fair tabloid, contact the Sevier County Extension office at 584-3013.
STATE TROOPERS NOW HAVE PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE TO MODERATE OPIOID OVERDOES 8/1/17
Arkansas State Troopers are routinely the primary first responders across Arkansas involving incidents of substance abuse and addiction and now they have a new tool to combat the ever increasing crisis that is Opioid overdose.
The U.S. Office of the Attorney General issued a memorandum calling the opioid epidemic a public health crisis in September of 2016. The memorandum called for the use of a prescription medicine called Narcan to prevent overdose deaths.
Governor Asa Hutchinson has been at the forefront of this campaign, seeking, statewide support in fighting the opioid addiction problem. Hutchinson said he applauds the Arkansas State Police's effort in stemming the tide of overdose deaths by expanding access to the life-saving drug Narcan and ensuring a pathway to treatment and recovery for those struggling with addiction.
Narcan can be administered to anyone since there are no negative side effects from the drug. The prescription medication will only have an effect on someone who is suffering an opiate overdose, due to its ability to attach to the opiate receptor in the brain.
Each state trooper is being trained and issued two doses of Narcan nasal spray, giving people suffering from an opiate overdose a greater chance of survival.
2ND ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT IS TOMORROW 7/31/17
Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry asked KDQN to remind area listeners that the 2nd Annual Night Out Event is tomorrow from 6 to 9 p.m. at the De Queen Sportsplex.
Gentry said the event is free and nothing will be sold. He said the sheriff’s office and the De Queen Police Department will be handing out backpacks full of school supplies to school age children.
Gentry said he expects as many or more businesses to set up booths for this year’s event. He said there's going to be a kid's area where they can have some fun and some booths will be giving away food and water.
Gentry said the National Night Out Event is an anticrime effort that has led to improved quality of life in many areas where the event has taken place.
UA COSSATOT PROVIDING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS 7/31/17
Last week, Tommi Cobb of UA Cossatot discussed ways the college tries to eliminate barriers that keep non-traditional students from going back to college to earn a degree or certification.
Cobb said non-traditional students are those students who have been out of school for a few years, but want to learn a new trade or earn a degree or certification.
Cobb said some non-traditional students are intimidated by classes. She said UA Cossatot is opening a Student Success Center this year to help students who are struggling with certain classes.
She also stated non-traditional students who have not earned a bachelor's degree can qualify for financial aid, including Pell grants, scholarships and grants like the AR Futures grant.
Cobb said to qualify for the AR Futures grant, students had to graduate from an Arkansas public, private or home school, earned their GED or verify they have lived in the state for the past three-years.
If you are a non-traditional student and would like to receive more information about attending UA Cossatot, call 870-584-4471 and speak with someone in the Student Services Department.
SEVIER COUNTY FARM BUREAU MEMBERS ATTEND69TH ANNUAL OFFICERS AND LEADERS CONFERENCE 7/31/17
Sevier County Farm Bureau members were among the almost 500 people who attended Arkansas Farm Bureau's 69th annual Officers and Leaders Conference July 24th and 25th at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Tanya Stark, Allen Stark, Robert Martinez, Earl Pepper, Greg Wright, Bill Soden, Sandra Jackson and Sevier County President and State Board member, Bruce Jackson attended last week's convention.
The theme for this year's conference was "Innovation Generation." A variety of workshops and speakers addressed issues that are important to farm and ranch leaders.
Highlights included comments from Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach and the keynote speakers of Troy and Stacy Hadrick who are ranchers from South Dakota who are pioneers in the agricultural advocacy movement.
Workshops at the conference covered topics such as pesticide container disposal, worker protection standards, the 2017 legislative session, implementing successful young farmers and ranchers and women's programs, livestock and crops policy development and the new Arkansas Farm Bureau Foundation.
Farm Bureau also recognized the state's Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture Award winners, Austin and Amber Kennon of Mountain View and the state Young Farmers and Ranchers Achievement Award winners, Chris and Breanne Damron of Jonesboro.
NEW LAWS TO TAKE EFFECT THIS WEEK 7/31/17
A stack of new state laws will take effect this week, including laws concerning guns, schools, and wine.
One new law will allow concealed carry license holders to keep their gun on their employer's property. Act 1071 states Arkansans with the permits can store their guns in their cars, out of sight and under lock and key, in a private employer's parking lot.
According to the law, the holder doesn't have to put the gun in a lockbox until he or she gets out of the car. However, private employers can prohibit non-employees from storing guns in their cars but can only prohibit employees under rare circumstances.
The law, however, does give employers other rights, such as the ability to fire or sue employees if they flagrantly display their gun in plain sight. Employers will also not be liable for any damages, injury or death that results from an employee keeping their guns in a car.
Another new law allows school districts to avoid making up snow days by assigning students work online.
Arkansas Commissioner of Education Johnny Key is currently accepting applications through September for district's alternative instruction plans for the 2017-2018 school year. If approved, schools could get up to 10 student attendance days that they would otherwise lose to inclement weather or other circumstances.
Also beginning August 1st, is a new law that states level-three sex offenders will be allowed at schools for events if they are related to a student and if they give the district a 24-hour written notice.
Arkansans will also be able to buy lottery tickets by using their debit cards and receive shipments from small farm wineries, beginning Tuesday.
FEDERAL COURT ORDER BLOCKS FOUR NEW ARKANSAS ABORTION LAWS 7/31/17
A federal judge has blocked Arkansas from enforcing four new abortion restrictions that were passed earlier this year by state lawmakers. The laws included a ban on a common second-trimester procedure, allowed a partner or family member to block a planned abortion, forced doctors to save "evidence" and report the procedure to the local police, and required doctors to obtain what so called unnecessary medical records.
Some of the restrictions were set to take effect tomorrow, but Bettina Brownstein, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Arkansas, says the injunction blocks laws that violate the rights of Arkansas women to obtain a safe abortion.
She says the ACLU, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights, challenged the regulations on behalf of Doctor Frederick Hopkins and the abortion clinic, the Little Rock Family Planning Services. A spokesman for Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she disagrees with the ruling and plans to appeal.
Brownstein accused Arkansas lawmakers of passing the same "cookie-cutter" laws that the courts have already stuck down in other states, including Louisiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Alabama.
She says despite recent Supreme Court rulings upholding a woman's aright to an abortion, groups such as the ACLU and others must fight to keep it that way.
Last week, a federal appeals court lifted a lower-court order blocking a 2015 Arkansas law limiting doctors who administer abortion pills. That law requires abortion providers to maintain a contract with a physician who has admitting privileges at a local hospital.
COSSATOT PREPARING STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE FIELD 7/28/17
Tommi Cobb is the director of the R.A.M.P. program, which stands for Regional Advanced Manufacturing Project and she said students in the Industrial Maintenance pathway at UA Cossatot can earn up $50,000 a year with a two-year degree.
Cobb said the RAMP grant program was designed to build a pipeline to secondary schools in an attempt to make students aware of job opportunities in Southwest Arkansas.
Cobb said about 4,000 students throughout the region have been reached with information about the RAMP program.
Cobb said Cossatot and the other community colleges in the consortium have developed targeted educational pathways to address the needs of area industries.
Cossatot offers evening classes, hands-on training, and Cossatot works with local industries to ensure students are prepared to apply for jobs at Domtar, Weyerhaeuser, Ash Grove Cement, Tyson, Pilgrim's and Husqvarna.
Cobb also said Tyson has developed 10 intern positions in maintenance and refrigeration for Cossatot students.
Cossatot will be holding orientation on the Ashdown campus on Tuesday, August 8th from 5 to 8 p.m.; on the Nashville campus on Wednesday, August 9th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and on the De Queen campus on Thursday, August 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
80th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 5TH THROUGH 12TH 7/28/17
The 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo will kickoff on Saturday, August 5th with the fair pageant and Rodeo Queen contest at 10 a.m. The chicken judging and rabbit judging contest will begin at 6 p.m.
County residents can enter their exhibits in the educational building between 2 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 6th. Commercial booths can also be set up from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
All livestock must be checked in on Monday, August 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. and the weigh-in begins at 8.
Horticulture, flower and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and the judging of the educational items will begin at 10. The exhibit building and the commercial booth building will open on Tuesday at 4 p.m. and will remain open until 9.
The breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb shows and the swine show will start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8th and the cattle show is Wednesday, August 9th at 5 p.m.
The carnival midway will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
The fair parade is Thursday, August 9th at 6 p.m.
Books will open for the 4D barrel race at 6 p.m., and the youth 16 and under barrel race will start at 6 and the 4D barrel races will begin at 6:30. The grand entry for the public will begin at 8 p.m.
The premium sale is Friday, August 11th at 10 a.m., and the rodeo will start at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
The fish show, the bottle calf show, the Jr. Showmanship and the open showmanship contests will be featured on Saturday, August 12th.
LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER HOLDING BLOOD DRIVES IN AREA 7/28/17
LifeShare Blood Center is holding several blood drives next week to help alleviate a blood supply shortage in the area. LifeShare officials reported the center experiences a shortage of blood during the summer because there are traditionally fewer donations, but usage remains constant.
Next week, LifeShare will hold a blood drive at the Sevier County National Night Out event on Tuesday, August 1st at the De Queen Sportsplex from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; at Pilgrim's Pride processing plant in De Queen from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 3rd; and on Friday, August 4th at the De Queen Walmart from 2 to 7 p.m.
LifeShare officials say about one in seven people who enter a hospital will need some type of blood product and one blood donation, which is approximately one pint of blood, can save up to three lives.
Officials say it takes between 30 minutes to an hour to donate. For more information, visit the website lifeshare.org.
LifeShare Blood Centers supplies blood components to 117 medical facilities throughout Louisiana, East Texas and South Arkansas, including De Queen Medical Center, Howard Memorial Hospital the Little River Memorial Hospital.
CONSUMER ALERT: BACK TO SCHOOL CREDIT CARDS 7/28/17
Finding out you cannot get a loan for your first house or car because of bad credit from a college credit card can be shocking. Signing up for a credit card may seem like the perfect solution for those back-to-school expenses, but it is important to understand that credit cards are not free and come with a cost and many new credit card users find themselves struggling with long-term issues from easily avoidable mistakes.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge provided the following advice to people who are considering applying for a credit card.
Rutledge said Arkansans should submit payments on time; pay the balance owed if at all possible and do not max out the credit card.
Rutledge said you should not respond to every tempting credit card offer and make sure you read the fine print because some cards include annual fees and higher interest rates in exchange for other incentives.
To combat the high-pressure solicitations and students getting burdened by credit card debit, the Arkansas General Assembly enacted legislation in 1999 that restricts the practice of marketing credit cards on college campuses.
In 2009, Congress passed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which restricts on-campus credit card marketing nationwide. Under this law, the marketing of credit cards within 1,000 feet of a college campus or related event is prohibited. Credit card marketers are also forbidden from using gifts such as T-shirts and magazine subscriptions to entice a young consumer into applying for a card.
For more information, call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website ArkansasAG.gov.
TALLMAN REPORTS OTHER AGENCIES WILL HELP PROVIDE SERVICES IN AREA 7/27/17
Former Sevier County Judge Dick Tallman has been serving on the Board of Directors of the Southwest Arkansas Development Council for many years and was the chairman of the board when they voted to cease operations last Friday.
Tallman informed KDQN that the customers of SWADC will still be able to receive services in the 12 county area that the agency served for 48 years.
Tallman said a sister agency, the Central Arkansas Development Council in Benton will assist in Southwest Arkansas and assume the functions of the agency, including the non-emergency medical transportation program. He said the agency are also negotiating the take over of the home energy assistance program.
Tallman reported it was one of the most difficult decisions he and the board had to make, but the agency simply did not have the funds to continue operation.
Tallman said 166 individuals lost their jobs last Friday, but he hopes the other entities that assume the operation of these critical programs will re-hire some, if not all of them.
The Southwest Arkansas Development Council served Miller, Hempstead, Nevada, Lafayette, Little River, Howard, Sevier, Dallas, Calhoun, Union, Ouachita and Columbia counties.
UA COSSATOT UTILIZING LOCKESBURG TO REACH STUDENTS FOR INDUSTRIAL MAINTENANCE PROGRAM 7/27/17
Tommi Cobb is the director of UA Cossatot's R.A.M.P. program, and she said Cossatot has been busy this summer from hosting professional development events to holding a grand opening and open house for the newly restored UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium. She also said Cossatot is still registering students for the fall semester.
Cobb said classes start on August 14th, so students still have time to speak with an advisor to determine their educational pathway and get scheduled for classes.
To enroll for classes, students will need to provide a driver's license or government issued photo ID, social security card, immunization record, assessment scores, and official transcripts. Cobb said if you have any questions, contact the Student Services Department at 870-584-4471.
Cobb also reported UA Cossatot has received a grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission for the renovation of the old Lockesburg High School. She said Cossatot plans to restore the classrooms and move the Industrial Technology classrooms and shops to Lockesburg by the fall semester of 2018.
Cobb said Cossatot's mission is to provide programs that will help students earn good paying jobs, here in their service area.
Cossatot will be holding orientation on the Ashdown campus on Tuesday, August 8th from 5 to 8 p.m.; on the Nashville campus on Wednesday, August 9th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and on the De Queen campus on Thursday, August 10th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
CHARGES STILL PENDING IN CASE AGAINST SEVIER COUNTY SUSPECTS 7/27/17
Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan informed a trio of suspects from Sevier County that charges are still pending concerning a fatal drive-by shooting in Ashdown.
According to court records, the three adult suspects will be held in custody until they return to court next Tuesday.
20-year-old Joshua King, 19-year-old Brady Winship and 18-year-old Tenescha Wilkerson and a fourth suspect who is a juvenile are all from Sevier County. All four are being accused of fatally shooting 19-year-old Desmond Smith and wounding 19-year-old Samari Covington, both of Ashdown.
According to 9th Circuit Prosecutor Bryan Chesshir, arrest affidavits should be filed by next Tuesday.
King is currently being held in the Little River County jail, while Winship and Wilkerson are being held in the Sevier County jail. The juvenile suspect is being held in the White River Detention Center near Batesville.
REGISTER FOR COSSATOT FUN DAY 7/27/17
Sevier County Extension has a new 4-H program assistant and Kim Frachiseur is busy planning some new and exciting events for the children in Sevier County.
Frachiseur is planning a Cossatot Fun Day for Friday, August 4th at the Wickes Visitor Center at the Cossatot River State Park from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Area residents can call the Sevier County Extension Office at 870-584-3013 to sign up by Tuesday, August 1st. Frachiseur said you do not have to be a member of the Sevier County 4-H program to attend, but you will need to pre-register.
Cossatot River State Park Interpreter, Shelley Flanary, will be presenting programs about black bears, snakes, and other animals.
There is no charge for the event, but you will need to take a sack lunch. This event is for kids and adults and everyone will learn how animals survive in nature and they will get to know a little bit about their diet.
ACTIVITIES AT THE COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 7/27/17
Cossatot River State Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary said the park is a great place to visit and learn about local wildlife or just get out and enjoy the great outdoors. She said they have daily programs that include feeding the park critters and snorkeling.
Flanary said the park is holding a photography contest this August. She said the theme is "A River for All Seasons." She said everyone can enter photos that have been taken in the Ouachita Mountains or at the Cossatot River State Park - Natural Area to celebrate the beauty of the Cossatot River.
Flanary said there will be four categories including: landscape, water, wildlife and other. The 8X10 matted photos will be displayed in the visitor center from August 5th through August 12th and they will be judged by the public after 2 p.m. on the 12th.
Prizes will be awarded and the cost to enter a photo is $10.
Flanary said water levels are currently low, so there are no canoe or rafting activities at this time, but several hiking trails are available.
This Saturday, the park will host a snorkeling exploration event from 9 to 10:30 a.m. For more information, contact the visit center by calling 870-385-2201.
COMMISSIONER OF STATE LANDS ANNOUNCES NEW EXHIBIT 7/27/17
Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston announced the opening of a new exhibit in his Capitol office this week.
Making Tracks Across Arkansas features images and artifacts from the state's railroad history. Thurston said the exhibit explores facets that many people might not know about trains, like the railroad industry's involvement in creating time zones, or that a training camp was established in Arkansas to teach soldiers how to run trains during World War II.
The exhibit includes items that range from a conductor's uniform to railroad china, from telegraph equipment to signal lanterns and railroad tools.
The Arkansas Railroad Museum in Pine Bluff loaned most of the artifacts fro the exhibit. Thurston said the museum offers a fascinating, in-depth look at Arkansas railroads.
Photographer Dick Hovey provided several images of historic trains and the Union Pacific Railroad yard in North Little Rock supplied the components of a sample track, which is in the office's vault.
The "Making Tracks Across Arkansas" exhibit will be on display in Room 109 of the State Capitol through the end of the year. Visitors may view the exhibit from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
SWADC HAS CEASED OPERATIONS 7/26/17
Southwest Arkansas Development Council Chairman, Dick Tallman of De Queen, announced the Board of Directors voted to cease operations as of Friday, July 21st.
Tallman said the non-profit community action agency employed 166 individuals in 12 counties, including Miller, Hempstead, Nevada, Lafayette, Little River, Howard, Sevier, Dallas, Calhoun, Union, Ouachita and Columbia. He said SWADC had been providing services to the elderly and low-income residents of Southwest Arkansas for the past 48 years.
Tallman said it was an emotional decision to close the agency, but declining revenues and rising operating costs made it very difficult for the agency to continue serving the area. He said the board tried reducing the staff, outsourcing some operations, and several other cost-saving initiatives, but they simply did not have enough revenue to continue.
Tallman stated the board of directors contacted several Arkansas legislators. Legislators stated they were aware of the circumstances that were affecting the agency, but they indicated there were no state funds available to help alleviate the agency's financial crisis.
Over the past 8 to 10 years, the agency has faced numerous challenges, including the loss of several major programs, like the loss of the Southwest Arkansas' Head Start early education program and the loss of the Department of Energy's weatherization program.
According to a press release another contributing factor to the agency's closure was changes that were made to the Medicaid-funded Non-emergency Medical Transportation program.
In an effort to curb losses that were associated with the operation of the agency's 17 senior adult centers, the board of directors terminated the agency's contract with the Area Agency on Aging of Southwest Arkansas in October of 2016. But, despite this cost saving initiative, the agency's revenues continued to decline to the point where continued operations were unsustainable.
Tallman said the agency laid-off all of its operation employees as of last Friday, but a few administration employees will remain with the agency until all of the agency's facilities are shut down. The board will now consolidate the agency's remaining assets for an eventual sale and disposition.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION LOOKING TO FILL SEVERAL POSITIONS BEFORE THE START OF THE SCHOOL YEAR 7/26/17
Monday night during a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, board members accepted several resignations and voted to promote the district's athletic director to high school principal.
Board members voted to accept the resignations of softball coach, elementary PE teacher and assistant football coach, Richard McMillian, baseball coach, History teacher and assistant football coach, Mark Hill and high school principal, Kim Cody.
Board members also voted to promote Foreman High School athletic director John Hall to the position of high school principal; however, Hall's promotion is contingent upon his completion of the Arkansas Department of Education's Administration Licensure Completion Program and other licensure requirements.
During a previous special called meeting, the board hired Lori Shelton as a high school English teacher.
THREE SUSPECTS, ONE ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES 7/26/17
Monday night, Sevier County Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle and Investigator Brian Hankins observed a blue Taurus drive left of the centerline on Mount Pleasant Road. Deputies then observed the drive activate the hazard lights and pull off the road into a field.
Dowdle and Hankins approached the vehicle on opposite sides and Hankins witnessed a male passenger who was identified as 20-year-old Josh Arbour attempt to conceal something under his leg when Dowdle asked for IDs from the three occupants.
Deputies also noted the occupants appeared nervous and were constantly moving around.
When Arbour got out of the vehicle, Deputy Dowdle found a half burnt marijuana cigarette in the passenger seat. Dowdle also found a clear plastic bag that contained suspected methamphetamine in the center console.
At the Sevier County Sheriff's office, all three individuals provided different statements concerning the drugs.
Arbour was then charged with possession of a controlled substance because the vehicle was registered in his name.
WICKES MAN ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING IN COVE 7/26/17
Submitted by MyPulseNews
A Wickes resident has been apprehended in connection with a shooting that occurred on Friday, July 21st, just before 6 p.m. in Cove.
Last Friday evening, Polk County deputies Jim Smith and Clint Bell interviewed a female victim who informed them a man that she identified as Jayden drove up into her yard while she was burning trash behind the house. She reported she tried to take a picture of the truck as it backed out of her yard.
The victim said the truck then pulled back into her yard and that is when the man got out of the truck carrying a gun. She said the man said, "prove yourself or you can die." The victim reported she jumped into her car and crouched down, as the man starting shooting at her car.
Deputies recovered three shell casings at the scene about 30 feet from the victim's car. They reported two of the casings were birdshot and the other was buckshot.
After identifying the suspect, another female victim reported 20-year-old Jayden Scott More-Brown asked if he could stay at her house for awhile because he had shot up someone's car. After she informed him that he could not stay there, Brown allegedly threatened to burn her house down.
Authorities were able to locate More-Brown on Sunday at his residence in Wickes and he was taken into custody without any further incident.
More-Brown is being held in the Polk County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond. He has been charged with terroristic threatening, committing a terroristic act and possession of a firearm by a certain persons.
AUTHORITIES THINK THEY'VE IDENTIFIED A BODY FOUND ON FEDERAL LAND 7/26/17
Authorities say they believe they know the identity of a burned body that was discovered by a birdwatcher on federal land.
According to the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office, a birdwatcher was in a remote area near the Sherwood community about 18 miles north of Broken Bow when they discovered a body in a burned van.
The body was found on federal forest service land and therefore, the McCurtain County Sheriff's office is receiving assistance from the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.
The remains were sent to the Oklahoma medical examiner's office for identification and to determine the cause of death, but authorities say they think the body is that of Fred Romine who has been missing since early May.
McCurtain County Sheriff Kevin Clardy said it could take up to six-months to positively identify the body. He also said his office suspects foul play to be involved.
Romine was last seen on May 6th in the Broken Bow area. He was driving a 2005 brown Honda Odyssey to Paris, Texas, where he was suppose to officiate a college baseball game. Game officials say Romine never arrived.
TREE SEEDLINGS FOR 2018 PLANTING SEASON NOW AVAILABLE 7/26/17
The Arkansas Forestry Commission is accepting tree seedling orders for the 2018 planting season of January through March.
The commission will sell tree seedlings in quantities as small as 25, allowing for Arkansas landowners to purchase high quality seedlings at affordable prices and manageable quantities. In 2016, the commission sold over 4 million hardwood seedlings and over 2 million pine seedlings to landowners. Tree seedlings are grown for one growing season and then they are lifted and packed "bare root" for shipment across Arkansas.
A variety of hardwood and pine species are available including bald-cypress, black walnut, blackgum, pecan, red mulberry, redbud, sugarberry, sweetgum, sycamore, water hickory, as well as a variety of oak and pine species. Pine and some oak seedlings are available in improved varieties, which mean they have been tested and bred to be superior in growth and genetic gain. Other popular options are Wildlife Bundles and Beautification Bundles, which feature small assortments of tree species that have been chosen for their ability to attract wildlife or their blooms and color.
To order seedlings online go to www.aad.arkansas.gov/order-seedlings or call 501-907-2485 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
PAINTING WITH NANCY
Photo's Submitted by Kim Frachiseur
Left Picture: Right Picture:
L-R Autumn, Tracy and Brandi Frachiseur Lance and Heidi Hardaway
49th ANNUAL CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO IN GRANNIS IS THIS WEEKEND 7/25/17
Shelly Johnson is the chairperson of the 49th Annual Championship Rodeo in Grannis, but she informed KDQN that the Grannis Trail Riders Association has been around since 1966. She said they started the rodeo to help fund the activities of the association.
Johnson said the Grannis Trail Riders ride every weekend from May to October, except for the first weekend of each month.
Johnson said this year's livestock provider is Ringgold and Sons. She said they'll have muttin bustin both nights at 7 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8. She said the rodeo will also feature mini broncs and jr. bulls.
Johnson said cowboys and cowgirls will compete in just about every rodeo event imaginable.
Johnson said admission is $6 for everyone five and older, but Friday night is senior night and senior adults get in for half-price.
Johnson also said GTR member Mark Duggan will be in attendance.
TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO DRUG ARREST 7/25/17
Friday night, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies made a traffic stop on Highway 41 because of defective equipment, but when Deputy Chet Stubbs approached the vehicle, he reported he could smell marijuana.
Deputy Stubbs and Deputy Wendell Randell made contact with the driver who was identified as 30-year-old Thomas Romero of Horatio and he allegedly admitted that there was marijuana in the vehicle.
Deputies discovered two large glass containers of marijuana cigarettes that Romero allegedly told them he was going to sell for $500 to $600 dollars.
Romero was interviewed at the Sevier County Sheriff's Office and he reportedly told deputies that he grew, processed and packaged marijuana at his residence in Horatio.
While searching the home, deputies found 30 small bags that contained processed marijuana, two glass jars containing marijuana, several sets of digital scales and other drug paraphernalia.
Romero also allegedly provided a written statement admitting to selling marijuana off and on for over a year.
He has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - BIKING IN ARKANSAS 7/25/17
At one time, all bicycles were, really, dirt bikes. In cycling's earliest days, wheelmen and women followed uneven gravel roads and rough paths to get from point 'a' to point 'b' or for the sheer joy of the ride.
Today, however, many cyclists have rediscovered the fun and challenges of unpaved riding, and Arkansas's state parks offer a variety of such opportunities.
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported there are trail rides for people of all skill levels, including everything from good beginner mountain bike trails like the Fern Hollow Trail at White Oak Mountain State Park to an advanced technical trail in Central Arkansas. The Delta Heritage Trail is a crushed limestone rail-to-trail path that when completed will offer a nearly 85-mile "gravel grinding" ride through the historic and scenic heart of the state's southeastern quarter.
Vaught said two staffers at Devil's Den State Park helped organize the state's first mountain bike gathering, the Ozark Mountain Bike Festival, at Devil's Den in 1989. Today, the state has a popular series of mountain bike races through the Arkansas Mountain Bike Championship Series.
Vaught said visitors to the state capitol are reminded of the state's mountain biking history. She said, this summer, the Capitol's first-floor galleries feature an exhibit called, "Let's Ride: Mountain Biking in the State Parks of Arkansas," which is a celebration of cycling around the Natural State.
According to Vaught, the exhibit includes scenes from and information about trails statewide. The exhibit also includes one cycle that was used in the 1989 Devil's Den event.
Vaught said the exhibit will remain on display through Labor Day.
YOU BOUGHT A STOLEN TRUCK 7/25/17
Early Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's deputies, Chet Stubbs and David Stinson were doing surveillance on a residence on Highway 24 West after the department received some information about possible drug activity and stolen property.
While conducting surveillance, deputies ran the tags on a truck that was sitting in the front yard. Dispatchers with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office informed Stubbs and Stinson that the truck was reported stolen out of Oklahoma.
Deputies then went up to the residence to speak with the occupants.
35-year-old Nathan Wilson was reportedly visiting a relative who lived at the house. He told the deputies that he paid a man in McAlester $300 down and that he still owes him $300.
Wilson told the deputies that he drove the truck from McAlester along with his wife to visit some family.
Wilson was taken into custody and charged with theft by receiving.
CENTRAL FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL FISH FRY IS SATURDAY 7/25/17
Saturday night, the Central Volunteer Fire Department will host their annual fish fry fundraiser at the Central Community Building. Volunteer fire fighter, Bretney Lynch informed KDQN that they will start serving fish at 6 p.m. She said the auction will begin at 7 p.m.
Lynch said the fish fry is the department's main fundraiser for the year. She said residents of the fire district can pay their $25 dues, while enjoying the music of the Cross Point Cowboy Church band.
Lynch also said the department is signing fire district members up for some free smoke alarms that will be donated to the volunteer fire departments in Sevier County by the American Red Cross. She said you can contact her at 870-784-0786, Ginger Sutton at 870-784-0892 or leave a message on the department's Facebook page.
Walter Smith is the director of the Office of Emergency Services in Sevier County and he said county residents can also sign up by calling the American Red Cross at 501-420-3533 or by emailing the Red Cross at email@example.com.
NATURAL STATE JACKPOT AT ITS BIGGEST EVER 7/25/17
In March, the Natural State Jackpot was changed so it would have bigger and faster-growing jackpots and now players are seeing this in action as the Natural State Jackpot has grown to its biggest jackpot amount ever, at $420,000.
This jackpot has been growing since the end of May.
In March, the lottery commission changed the Natural State Jackpot game. Since then, the jackpot amount has grown by $10,000 per roll after the jackpot reaches $150,000 or more. And, the starting jackpot now begins at $50,000, instead of $25,000.
The Natural State Jackpot is an Arkansas-only draw game that is similar tot he multistage draw-game, Powerball. Drawings are held every Monday through Saturday at 8 p.m. in Little Rock. And, it only cost $1 to play. Five numbers between 1 and 39 are drawn; if a player's numbers match those that are chosen, the player wins the jackpot.
HORATIO'S SCHOOL OF INNOVATION TAKING SHAPE 7/24/17
Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith reported the board hired a couple of new teachers this month to fill some positions that were related to the district's new School of Innovation. He said they hired Bridgett Emerson from the Eagletown School District to teach English and Heather Sheppard from the Ashdown School District to teach business.
Smith said the Horatio School of Innovation is starting to take shape and last week teachers discussed the new flexmod schedule with teachers from the Fayetteville School District.
Smith invited parents to visit the district's Facebook page to learn the new School of Innovation terminology.
Smith also reported the board approved the purchase of new MacBooks for the districts new elementary teachers.
Board members also approved the student handbooks for the elementary and high school.
ANNUAL DAY OF SERVICE FOR NEXT TEEN CAMP MEMBERS 7/24/17
Jason Carlton of the Memorial Baptist Church reported over 150 young people who are attending the Next Teen Camp at Boggs Springs this week will be participating in the camps annual Day of Service, this Wednesday from noon until 3 p.m.
Carlton said this is the fifth year, the camp has partnered with Memorial Baptist Church to work in the city of De Queen.
Carlton said young people will be divided into teams and they will conduct various acts of service in De Queen, Broken Bow and Lockesburg. He said campers will once again be conducting a totally free car wash for the public at Bailey's Discount Building Supply.
Carlton also mentioned several other projects around De Queen including a movie day at Bear Creek Nursing and Rehab, some landscaping work in Herman Dierks Park, a car wash for the emergency personal of Sevier County and campers will be helping teachers in the De Queen School district move furniture back into their classrooms.
Carlton said they've also added a few new projects, like, helping the college clear a walking path and helping the Corps of Engineers at the De Queen Lake by picking up trash.
Carlton said the Day of Service projects allow young people to do some positive things in our communities.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $18,550.81 7/24/17
The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Little River County collected more than $18,000, according to the Commissioner of State Lands office.
The Land Commissioner's office recently conducted the auction of delinquent properties, which drew 11 bidders and sold six parcels, for a total of $18,550.81 for Little River County and state government.
The Land Commissioner's office conducts one tax-delinquent sale per county each year to dispose of land which has been certified with taxes that are past-due.
Commissioner John Thurston said his office auctions off a small percentage of parcels that are certified because in most cases, the original owner redeems the delinquent property by paying the back taxes.
While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls.
Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at the land sales is free and upon the sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.
Thurston's office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale to the county taxing unit just as if the taxes had been originally been collected there.
Thurston said, last year, that his office returned more than $18 million dollars to school districts and county governments. He said Little River County received over $23,000 last year.
If you would like more information about tax-delinquent land auctions, visit the Commissioner of State Lands website, www.cosl.org, to view the public auction catalog, a listing of properties that's being offered at auction, or the post-auction sales list of properties that did not sale at the auction.
MEN'S FELLOWSHIP MEETING AT FBC FOREMAN THIS SATURDAY 7/24/17
Little River County Judge and Southern Sportsmen Foundation member, Mike Cranford, invited area men and boys to the annual Men's Fellowship at the First Baptist Church of Foreman, this Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Cranford said they will be serving fish with all the trimmings and Phillip Vanderpool will be the guest speaker. He said Vanderpool has over 40 years of hunting experience and has appeared on various television hunting shows.
Tickets are on sale now for $15, but they will be $20 at the door. To purchase a ticket, contact Cranford at 903-826-3318 or Audie Dawson at the Winthrop First Baptist Church at 903-278-1985.
ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES ATHLETIC TICKET PRICES 7/21/17
Thursday night, the Ashdown Board of Education discussed the district's proposed millage increase and they approved the athletic ticket prices for the 2017-2018 school year.
Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the district has updated some classrooms on the junior high campus. The board approved Sanders recommendation to purchase two 5-ton air conditioning units for the PE gym, a 15-ton mini-split air conditioning unit for the field house and a turf mower for the athletic department.
Sanders informed the board that the construction cost of the elementary project, which would be financed with the proposed millage increase, is about $20 more per square foot than it was two-years ago.
Sanders also reported if the millage is passed, it should provide an economic boost to the local economy by providing about 121 full-time jobs over the course of two years.
Board members also approved the district's athletic pass program. Sanders said passes are currently being sold in the administration building.
Board members approved the district's student catastrophic insurance bid, along with the milk, bread and fuel bids. Board members also accepted Sanders recommendation to renew the district’s contract with K-12's Culinary Connection for another year.
Board members also voted to hire four new coaches including Hayden Rybiski, Trad Williams, Tracy Forte and Mary Neal. Sanders said Bradley Day will serve as the district's volunteer head softball coach.
SEVIER COUNTY 14-U ALL STARS ARE STATE CHAMPS 7/21/17
The Sevier County 14-U All -Stars recently won the state title and will now represent the state of Arkansas in Hilton Head, South Carolina in the World Series, August 3rd through 6th.
Friday morning, players Easton Leonard, Blake Pickett, and Dylan Williamson stopped by the KDQN studios to mention several ways that area residents can help them travel to South Carolina.
Leonard said players will hold a car wash on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the First State Bank. He said they will also be selling chicken dinners on Friday, July 28th at the De Queen Church of Christ Family Life Center from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for $8 a plate. Leonard said delivery is available to local businesses. He said you can also place your order in advance by calling 870-582-3340.
Pickett said players are selling chances on a rifle for $1 each or six for $5. They will also be selling chances at Bailey Discount Supply, this Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Williamson said they are also selling chances on $100 in cash for $1 each or six for $5. He said they will be drawing the winner for the cash and the rifle on Friday, July 28th during the benefit chicken dinner.
For more information or to order a chicken dinner, call 870-582-3340.
80th ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO AUGUST 5TH THROUGH 12TH 7/21/17
The 80th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 5th through the 12th. This year's rodeo will feature the rodeo stock of the Ringgold and Sons Company and the fair with feature the midway of Johnson's Rides and Concessions.
According to the fair board, all livestock will need to be pre-registered this Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon.
The fair will kickoff with the fair pageant and Rodeo Queen contests on Saturday, August 5th at 10 a.m. and the chicken judging and rabbit judging will begin at 6 p.m.
County residents can enter their exhibits in the educational building and commercial booths may be set up from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 6th.
All livestock will be checked in from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, August 7th and weigh-in begins at 8 p.m.
Horticulture, flower and baked items will be entered on Tuesday, August 8th from 8 to 9:30 a.m. The educational items will be judged beginning at 10 a.m. and the exhibit building and commercial booth building will both be open from 4 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday will also feature the breeding goats, market goats, breeding sheep, market lamb shows and the swine show at 5 p.m.
The cattle show is Wednesday, August 9th at 5 p.m. and the carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m.
Thursday will feature the fair parade at 6 p.m. and the books will open for the 4D barrel race, and the youth 16 and under barrel race at 6 and the barrel races will begin at 6:30. The grand entry for the public will begin at 8 p.m.
The premium sale is Friday, August 11th at 10 a.m. The carnival will be open from 6 to 11 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8.
Saturday will feature the fish show, the bottle calf show, the Jr. Showmanship and the open showmanship contests. The rodeo starts at 8 p.m. and displays may be taken down in the livestock barn and commercial booth building at 10 p.m.
CONSUMER ALERT: DOORBELL DEALINGS 7/21/17
Door-to-door salespeople are trying to take advantage of Arkansans in their homes. Summer is a popular time for home solicitors to hit the streets, selling home improvement projects, home security systems, newspapers, magazines and more. And, they frequently use high pressure sales tactics to make the deal and sometimes consumers regret the purchase.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released the following tips for those who may be faced with a salesperson at their door: She said consumers should always be prepared to say no. Rutledge said some cities require door-to-door salespersons to obtain a license or certification prior to engaging in sales.
In the city of De Queen, door-to-door solicitors must register with city hall. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said solicitors can purchase an individual permit for $100 or a corporation can purchase a permit for multiple employees for $250. He said the permits are good for one-year.
Rutledge said consumers should take a few days to consider the offer and they should never allow a salesperson to install any product on the same day as purchase. She said consumers should also be wary of free installation or equipment offers.
Rutledge said you should never give into to high-pressure sales pitches and never let a salesperson into your home unless they have provided the proper identification.
The Arkansas Home Solicitation Act applies to purchases of $25 or more and requires a salesperson to verbally inform consumers of their cancellation rights at the time of the sale. The seller must also leave the customer with two copies of the cancellation form and a copy of the contract or receipt. One exception is if a consumer requests a home visit for immediate repair of personal property, such as heating and cooling systems or appliances.
For more information, visit the website ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982.
2017 SEVIER COUNTY FAIR PAGEANT AND TALENT CONTEST 7/20/17
Linda Frachiseur of the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo announced registration is underway for the 2017 Sevier County Fair Pageant and Talent Contest.
Frachiseur said this year's pageant will feature eight age categories including Queen, Princess, Junior Miss, Miss and Little Miss and four age categories for boys including, Little Mister Tiny Baby, Little Mister Baby, Little Mister Petite and Little Mister.
The winner of the Fair Queen and Princess divisions will represent Sevier County in the State Fair competition. The Little Miss winner and the runner-up in the Queen and Princess divisions will represent the county at the District Fair in Hope.
Frachiseur said contestants can sign up by picking up a registration form at the KDQN studios or at the First State Bank in De Queen. She said fair board members will be at the fairgrounds Friday to accept applications, beginning at 5 p.m.
Frachiseur said there will also be a junior and senior division talent contest. The winners will represent the county at the state fair and the runner-up winners will represent Sevier County at the district fair.
The entry fee is $40 for the pageant and $20 to enter the talent contest. Frachiseur said there are other optional categories that are $5 each.
For more information, call 870-584-9592, Stephanie Haarmeyer at 870-784-0133 or Katrina Frachiseur at 870-642-5569.
ROAD WORK CONTINUES IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 7/20/17
Little River County Judge Mike Cranford informed KDQN that county crews are still working to repair roads that were damaged during the recent flash flooding that occurred in the county.
Cranford said Little River County received about 10-inches of rain in the northern part of the county and four to five-inches in the southern part. He said they hope to have all the roads repaired by the end of July, so crews can start chip and sealing some roads.
Cranford also expressed his appreciation for the patience of county residents.
Cranford said he will announce which roads are being chipped and sealed as crews begin working on that project.
SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 2017 HUNTS 7/20/17
Southern Sportsmen Foundation member Mike Cranford announced the foundation is accepting applications for the 2017 hunts for whitetail deer. He said about 175 men, women and children have participated in the previous hunts. Cranford said these two hunts are for individuals who have a severe mobility impairment and or a life-threatening illness.
The youth "Hunt of a Lifetime" will once again be held at the Starch Creek Hunting Club near Mineral Springs, October 27th through October 29th. Cranford said the youth hunt is for anyone 5 to 19.
Youth hunters will arrive by 3 p.m. on October 26th for a pre-hunt orientation and the hunter must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.
Cranford said the adult hunt has been nicknamed the "Redneck Safari" and will be held near Foreman, November 15th through 17th.
He said hunters will arrive by 11 a.m. on November 15th and they can bring a non-hunting companion. Cranford said the foundation will select six disabled hunters and two alternates to participate in the Redneck Safari. He also said they will be notified by September 30th if they have been selected.
Cranford said the foundation provides lodging, meals and license for all of the hunters. He said if anyone would like to donate, they can contact him or attend the foundation's banquet, which is in September.
For more information, email Cranford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASHDOWN SHOOTING SUSPECTS MAKE FIRST APPEARANCE IN LITTLE RIVER CIRCUIT COURT TUESDAY 7/19/17
The four suspects who allegedly killed an Ashdown man Sunday morning in a drive-by shooting appeared in the Little River County Circuit Court on Tuesday.
The three adults and one juvenile were informed by Judge Tom Cooper that their charges were related to the death of 19-year-old Desmond Smith and the shooting of 19-year-old Samari Covington, both of Ashdown. Covington is reportedly recovering from his injuries in a Texarkana hospital.
The three adult suspects have been identified as 20-year-old Joshua King of De Queen, 19-year-old Brady Winship and 18-year-old Tenescha Wilkerson, both of Sevier County.
According to 9th Circuit Court Prosecutor Bryan Chesshir, he believes the shooting was gang related.
According to the incident report, a red Dodge Charger containing several persons stopped by a residence on Washington Street in Ashdown, looking for someone who lived at the address.
According to Ashdown Police Chief Mark Ardwin, they were told to leave by a relative of the person that they were looking for. Then two guests, Smith and Covington, went outside and multiple shots were fired from the vehicle, striking the two men and two parked cars.
When the police arrived, an eye witness provided the name of one of the occupants in the car.
The vehicle was stopped in Sevier County by Sevier County Sheriff's deputies and a De Queen Police officer near the city limits of De Queen, several hours after the shooting.
All four occupants in the car were taken into custody without further incident.
King is currently being held in the Little River County jail, while Winship and Wilkerson are in custody in the Sevier County jail. The juvenile is being held in the White River Detention Center near Batesville.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL APPROVES AMENDED BUDGET 7/19/17
Tuesday evening, the De Queen City Council met and approved an amended budget that contained several expenditures that aldermen had approved throughout the first half of the year.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy said the largest expenditure was the water meter project. He said the total cost is going to be about $715,000 and the council did not budget for that project when they passed the budget earlier this year. He said the contractors have installed about 425 of the 2,500 meters, so far.
Police Chief Scott Simmons informed aldermen that Nevada and Lafayette counties have dropped out of the South Central Drug Task Force. He said the five remaining counties have been asked to pay an additional $2,500 of the task force's portion of a matching grant.
McKelvy also handed out copies of the city's water, sewer and sanitation audits. He said the audits were good, but aldermen will review them and approve them in August.
Aldermen also spent some time reviewing the Municipal Leagues recommendations concerning drug testing of non-CDL employees. McKevly said the council needs to consider passing a new drug testing policy before the medical marijuana issue arises.
Aldermen also appointed Clayton Yates and Brandon Winer to the De Queen Fire Department.
THREE PEOPLE IN CUSTODY IN CONNECTION WITH DEATH OF MCCURTAIN COUNTY MAN 7/19/17
The Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation announced three people are in custody and are being charged with murder in connection with the death of a McCurtain County man whose body was found in a well last week.
The body of 41-year-old Harold Jones was found about 15 feet down a well on Church Street off Oklahoma Highway 3 just outside of Broken Bow by a McCurtain County Sheriff's deputy, last week after he received information that a man’s may have been beaten and thrown into a well.
Jones had been reported missing by his sister on July 5th. She also reported his truck was missing.
Officers in Mount Pleasant, Texas found Jones' truck during a traffic stop. The driver informed the police that he had bought the vehicle from a guy in Clarksville, Texas on July 3rd.
Investigators say the information helped them locate a suspect who provided them with details that led to the discovery of Jones' body.
Murder in the second degree charges have been filed in the McCurtain County District Court against 42-year-old Marvin Earl Baty of Clarksville, Texas, 31-year-old Heather Melancon and 25-year-old Bo Greenwood, both of Idabel.
Authorities say Melancon and Greenwood were arrested on Friday and Baty was arrested on a murder warrant out of McCurtain County at his home in Clarksville.
Baty is currently being held in the Red River County Jail in Clarksville. Meancon and Greenwood are being held in the McCurtain County Jail.
AARP ARKANSAS HOSTING SMART DRIVER COURSE ON SUNDAY IN LOCKESBURG 7/19/17
Jerry Conatser of AARP Arkansas reported insurance companies in Arkansas are required by law to give policy holders who take an AARP Smart Driving Course a discount.
He invited area residents to attend the AARP Defensive Driving Class that he and his wife will be hosting on Sunday, July 23rd, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Lockesburg Senior Adult Center on Hickory Street.
The cost is $15 for AARP members or $20 for non-AARP members. To register for the class, call 870-292-3355.
REVELS & CO. CONTRIBUTES TO LEGACY 2020 CAMPAIGN 07/19/17
The University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation has received a Legacy 2020 capital campaign donation from Greg Revels and Revels & Company Certified Public Accountants in De Queen.
As a result of the donation, the foyer in the Leeper Building located on the De Queen Campus will be renamed the Revels & Company CPAs Foyer.
“Mr. Revels and Revels & Co. have invested in our college for years, from serving on both the UA Cossatot and the UAC Foundation Boards to being a scholarship donor,” said Dustin Roberts, UA Cossatot Coordinator of Development.
“We hope other small business and individuals will follow Revels’ example and support enhancing the education and experience of our students.”
Greg Revels, owner of Revels & Co. said, “We chose to make a contribution to the Legacy 2020 campaign, because we believe in the education and economic opportunities available to our community through the college.”
The UA Cossatot Foundation Legacy 2020 campaign focuses on community members that wish to invest in the development of the college on all three campuses. For every donation amount, a naming opportunity exists for those who wish to leave a visible legacy in the donor’s community.
“One of the great aspects of the Legacy 2020 campaign is the flexibility,” said Roberts.
“We have people who invest an amount at one time and others who pay out a commitment annually.”
More information about the Legacy 2020 is available on the college’s website at www.cccua.edu /legacy2020.
TWO SEVIER COUNTY TEENS ATTEND TEEN CHEF ACADEMY 07/19/17
Eighteen teens learned basic skills such as kneading, chopping, measuring, paring, and simmering. FCS agents emphasized basic kitchen and food safety. The group was taught place setting and basic dining etiquette, which they practiced each day after making a complete meal. Some of the menu items included Pizza, Caesar Salad & Croutons, Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges, Focaccia Bread, Vanilla Ice Cream with Apple Tarts, all made from scratch. “Laci has already cooked supper two or three times,” said Laci’s mom, Julie Stancil. Each participant received a basket of cooking supplies, certificate and a personalized apron.
CARVER RECEIVES TYSON SCHOLARSHIP 07/18/2017
Kaylea Carver of Lockesburg, AR was the 2017 recipient of the
Tyson Foods, Grannis/Broken Bow Complex Grower Scholarship.
Kaylea will be attending the University of AR in Fayetteville
this fall with a major in biology; she is the Daughter of Tyson
Contract Growers David and Miesha Carver. Tyson Foods Live
Production Manager, Richard Pearce presented the $1000 check to
Kaylea and her father, David Carver on July 17th. Tyson Foods
applauds the educational goals of area students to achieve their
chosen career paths.
COUNTY 4-HERS ATTEND STAR COUNTY CAMP 07/18/2017
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT AT 6 P.M. 7/18/17
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy announced the De Queen City Council will be meeting this evening at 6 p.m. after canceling last week's meeting due to the lack of a quorum.
In a letter to the aldermen of the De Queen City Council, McKelvy reported the contractors are installing new water meters throughout the city. He said contractors must to turn off each customer’s water while they install the new meter, but the water will not be cut-off very long.
Tonight, aldermen will be asked to approve the mid-year budget adjustment. McKelvy said the main thing that needs to be added to the budget is the water meter project, which totals about $715,000.
McKelvy informed KDQN that the city had to purchase new lids for the meter boxes to increase the meter range and to provide more protection for the meter's antenna.
Aldermen will also consider amending the city's drug testing policy to include non-CDL employees. McKelvy presented the council with suggestions from the Arkansas Municipal League concerning this change. He said the city already does random drug tests on employees who have a commercial driver's license.
McKelvy said he will provide aldermen with the audit of the city's proprietary funds.
2ND ANNUAL SEVIER COUNTY NIGHT OUT IS AUGUST 1ST 7/18/17
Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry announced the upcoming 2nd Annual Night Out is Tuesday, August 1st at the De Queen Sportsplex from 6 to 9 p.m.
Gentry said the event is free for the community and nothing will be sold that night. Gentry said his department and the De Queen Police Department are planning to hand out backpacks full of school supplies and they need the assistance of local business owners, community organizations and volunteers to help make this year's event even bigger and better than last year.
Gentry said he is inviting area businesses to be a part of the largest crime prevention and community building event in the country. He said businesses can provide gift certificates or small gifts for contest prizes, food donations, entertainment or supplies for the children's activity area, trinkets with their business logo on them or school supplies that will go into the backpacks.
Gentry said the National Night Out is an anticrime effort that has led to improved quality of life in many areas where the event has taken place.
Gentry said if you are interested in making a donation, contact Beth Hughes at 870-584-8227 or Dana Gentry at 870-279-0499 and the sheriff's office will make arrangements to pick up the donations.
CENTRAL FIRE DEPARTMENT ANNUAL FISH DINNER 7/18/17
Central Fire Department members will be hosting their annual fish dinner on Saturday, July 29th at the Central Community Building in the Central Community beginning at 6 p.m.
Central volunteer firefighters, Bretny Lynch and Ginger Sutton announced this year's dinner will also feature a cake and pie auction and musical entertainment by the CrossPoint Cowboy Church band.
Sutton said fire district members can also pay their $25 fire dues. Lynch said the fish dinner is by donation only and they will be auctioning off cakes, pies and homemade crafts.
Lynch said the proceeds will be used to update equipment for fire fighters and help maintain the department's vehicles.
For more information, contact a member of the Central Volunteer Fire Department.
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE 7/18/17
District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the Arkansas Tax Relief and Reform Task Force met last week for the third time since it was created during the last legislative session. She said the purpose of the task force is to identify areas of potential reform within the state's tax laws and to make recommendations to the legislature for their consideration during the 2019 Regular Session.
Vaught said the task force is considering proposals to hire consultants to research the implications of tax overhauls in other states.
Vaught reported the state currently receives 37.5 percent of its revenue from the state's General Sales Tax and 23.4 percent from individual income taxes. The other 39.29 percent comes from corporate income taxes, property taxes, selective sales tax on fuel and tobacco, as well as other items.
Most of the states around Arkansas receive 31.3 percent of their revenue from property taxes, 23.3 percent from General Sales Tax and 22.9 percent from individual income taxes.
In Arkansas, personal income tax is divided into six brackets depending on a person's income. In Mississippi, the personal income tax has only three brackets and Missouri has 10 tax brackets.
When it comes to selective taxes, Arkansas ranks just below the U.S. median by charging almost .22 cents per gallon on motor fuel, while Tennessee charge's .25 cents a gallon, but Oklahoma only charges .17 cents.
One area of study for the task force will be the implementation of tax cut triggers. Vaught said tax triggers only take effect when the state's revenues meet an established threshold. Tax triggers are used by states including Missouri and North Carolina.
MEET COACH ROBERT COLLUM AT HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL 7/18/17
For the second time in three years, the Horatio Lions will have a new head football coach, but this season, it's a familiar face.
Following the resignation of Coach David Bennett, the Horatio Board of Education promoted Assistant Football Coach Robert Collum to head coach. Coach Collum said he's been coaching in the Horatio School District for seven of the last eight years.
Collum said the Horatio Lions will work hard and be prepared, every Friday night. He said the Lions will go back to the Flexbone offense, but convert to the 3-4 defense.
Collum said defensively, the Lions may be a little undersized, but they have a lot of senior leadership, he said the offense will be triggered by four-year starter, Senior Zach Izzo.
The Horatio Lions will start the 2017 season on the road at Dierks where Coach Collum hopes to kick-off his head coaching career with a victory.
ONE PERSON KILLED IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING IN ASHDOWN 7/17/17
One person is dead and a second is recovering after a drive-by shooting that occurred early Sunday morning in Ashdown.
According to the Ashdown Police Department, two people were shot around 1 a.m. Sunday on Washington Street. The victims were identified as 19-year-old Desmond Smith and 19-year-old Samari Covington.
Both victims were from Ashdown and they were taken to the Little River Memorial Hospital by private vehicle, where one died of a gunshot wound to the chest. The other victim was transferred to a Texarkana hospital where he was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries.
Authorities with the De Queen Police Department and the Sevier County Sheriff's Office have detained four suspects. The suspects range in age from 17 to 22 and one suspect has been identified as 20-year-old Joshua King of De Queen. They were reportedly riding in a red Dodge Charger.
The suspects are believed to be residents of Sevier County, however the vehicle they were riding in, is allegedly registered to a resident in Howard County.
According to the Ashdown Police Department, no weapons have been found, but all four suspects are being held in the Sevier County Jail.
According to a press release, deputies with the Little River County Sheriff's Office and wildlife officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission assisted the Ashdown Police Department with crowd control at the hospital. Police Chief Mark Ardwin reported the body was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab in Little Rock for an autopsy.
HORATIO SCHOOL INNOVATION TAKING SHAPE 7/17/17
Last month, the Horatio School District was informed by the Arkansas Board of Education that their School of Innovation application had been approved.
Superintendent Lee Smith said the district is now working to design the district's school of innovation on the high school campus. He also introduced Lisa Kraus as the district's School of Innovation facilitator.
Monday morning, Kraus said the goal is to make school more relevant and fun.
7th grade English teacher, Becky Fawcett said the new program will help some students be workforce ready when they graduate from high school or be better prepared for college.
Kraus described Horatio's new schedule as a flex-mod schedule, which includes eight-25 minute mods. She said students who need extra help will be able to receive individual learning time during their pod time.
Fawcett said it will allow teachers to help students who are struggling, because they will actually be in the classroom more.
Kraus and Fawcett said the new School of Innovation will be a work in progress. However, Kraus said the elementary will not be using the flex-mod schedule, but they will be doing more blended-learning, which uses on-line resources.
If you have any questions about the Horatio School District's new School of Innovation, contact Kraus at the high school 870-832-1900.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL MEETING 7/17/17
Aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council approved the purchase of a freezer for the Lockesburg Senior Citizens Center, but tabled a request for the city to make a monetary donation to the center.
Last week, Frances Brakeville attended the Lockesburg City Council meeting on behalf of the Lockesburg Senior Adult Center. She reported the center was receiving donations of meat for the Lockesburg Meals for Seniors project and they needed a freezer to store the food.
Council members voted to purchase a freezer and donate it to the center, but Brakeville also asked the council to make a monetary donation to the center, which the aldermen tabled until their August meeting.
Aldermen heard a report from Robin Rice of the A.L. Franks Engineering firm in Texarkana. She stated the city was waiting on verification from the railroad company concerning the height of the walking bridge before they start the sidewalk project.
Rice also presented a bid from RBIS, LLC in the amount of $395,959 for the city's Waste Water project. Aldermen voted to accept the bid, but the approval is contingent on the approval of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.
Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth gave the council report about the city's Fireworks in the Park program. She said there were more vendors this year and they had a wonderful fireworks display.
Aldermen voted to seek bids for the renovation of the Lockesburg Library, including the replacement of a door to the mayor's office.
Aldermen were also informed that the city's Water-Sewer audit contained no instances for non-compliance.
STATE EARNS OVER $57 MILLION DOLLARS ON INVESTMENTS 7/17/17
Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan reported the state treasury department earned $57.5 million dollars on its investment of more than $3 billion dollars during the past year, which is most the state has earned in about a decade.
In 2016, Arkansas' treasury earned $48.9 million dollars.
According to records from Milligan's office, the treasury had an average of $3.4 billion dollars to invest this past fiscal year, which was up from $3.2 billion during the 2016 fiscal year and $2.8 billion during the 2015 fiscal year.
Milligan's office says the investments include $3.28 billion in bonds, about $277,500 in demand accounts and about $155,000 in money market accounts.
LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN SIX STATES READY TO CRACKDOWN ON SPEEDING VIOLATORS 7/17/17
Law enforcement authorities in Arkansas and five other states will concentrate their patrol assignments on speeding violations this coming weekend.
"Obey the sign or pay the fine," is a multijurisdictional enforcement operation plan that is designed to crack down on speeding offenses and make highway travel safer across, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
According to the latest data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, speeding was a contributing factor in 27 percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. during 2015. More than 9,500 lives were lost in speed related accidents. In Arkansas, there were 531 total traffic fatalities, of which 17 percent were speed related.
Federal highway safety experts consider a motor vehicle accident to be speed related if the driver is charged with exceeding the posted speed limit or if the driver was driving too fast for conditions at the time of the crash.
The risk of a crash on a road with a speed limit of 65 or greater is more than twice as likely to result in a fatality as on a road with a 45 to 50 mph speed limit.
The Arkansas State Police released a notice that during the "Obey the Sign or Pay the Fine" operation, state troopers will intensify their speed enforcement patrols and will ticket anyone caught speeding.
BAD CREDIT CAN MEAN HIGHER AUTO INSURANCE RATES 7/17/17
If you have a good driving record but think your car insurance is too high, a new survey says your credit score could be the problem. A report by the online marketing firm WalletHub found five of the largest insurance companies that write auto policies use credit ratings as a factor in determining insurance premiums. And the difference between good credit and bad can be substantial, in Arkansas, a low credit score can increase premiums as much as 73 percent.
WalletHub's Jill Gonzalez explains low credit doesn't mean companies think a person is more likely to be in an accident.
The report shows the effect a credit score can have on the cost of an auto policy varies widely. Gonzalez says they found companies such as Farmers and Allstate weigh credit scores heavily in calculating premiums, while for GEICO and Progressive, low credit is much less of a factor.
She says costs also vary between states. The survey found bad credit in New Jersey can raise rates as much as 100 percent, while in California, poor credit adds very little to the cost of a policy. Some critics say using credit scores to rate policies can unfairly raise insurance rates for lower-income families and communities of color.
Gonzales says avoiding accidents and tickets will do the most to keep insurance rates down. But paying bills on time can help, too.
She says some companies are more transparent than others about how they use credit scores. Check the fine print on an insurer's website or call the company and ask them directly.
STATE TEST SCORES ARE UP 7/17/17
According to state education officials, Arkansas' third through 10th graders scored higher on the state-required ACT Aspire tests this spring than they did in 2016.
More than 287,500 students participated in the state's testing program for the second year by taking an online test in English, math, science, reading and writing.
Results showed students improved in most grades and subjects, except for sixth grade science, fifth grade English and third grade writing.
Education officials said students in sixth and eighth grade improved in math while students in fourth through eight grade improved in writing.
Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key said the scores are a positive reflection of the work that is being done by local educators.
But, he said there is still room for improvement and the results will be used to develop academic improvement plans for students who didn't score the ready or better levels on any of the tests.
Arkansas is currently using the ACT Aspire testing program to comply with the federal Every Child Succeeds Act, which calls for states to hold schools and their district's accountable for student learning.
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