Local News Archive

SEVIER COUNTY CATTLEMAN’S ASSOCIATION TO MEET DECEMBER 16TH 11/29/19

The Sevier County Cattleman’s Association is hosting a Christmas event on Monday December 16th at the Adam’s building of UA Cossatot’s De Queen Campus. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and all members are encouraged to attend. A meal consisting of steak, potatoes, salad and a roll will be served and all who plan to attend must RSVP to the extension office by no later than December 6th. A “mean santa” game will also be played and attendees are encouraged to bring a gift valued at no more than $15. There will also be a dessert auction and a separate auction to raise money for the operating fund. The meeting will be sponsored by De Queen Auto group and Arvest bank. For questions, email windyarkon@gmail.com.

 

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS LEGISLATION TAKING EFFECT IN 2020 11/29/19

Typically when a bill is passed in the state legislature, if it does not have an emergency clause, it will take effect 90 days after we adjourn. But there are occasions when a specific date is written into the bill. This year, there were several bills passed that will take effect January 1, 2020. These impact everything from auto insurance to tax brackets.

Legislation going into effect at the beginning of the year includes:

ACT 182 reduces the top income tax rate from 6.9% to 6.6%. This will lower again to 5.9% in 2021.

ACT 869 requires the implementation of the online insurance verification system by January 1, 2020. In a routine traffic stop, the new online verification system allows the officer to confirm in real time whether the vehicle is insured. Under the current system, the insurance data accessed by the officer may be up to 30 days old.

ACT 1063 provides that a tow facility may tow heavy-duty motor vehicles as part of a law enforcement program if the tow facility is licensed by the Arkansas Towing and Recovery Board, passes safety inspections, and complies with state and federal laws.

ACT 564 requires the annual publication of the county budget and the annual financial report of the county.

ACT 653 prohibits state funding of human cloning and destructive embryo research.

ACT 866 prohibits a business that is subject to a business closure order by the Department of Finance and Administration from contracting or doing business with the state.

ACT 822 extends the net operating loss carry-forward period to eight years for losses occurring in the tax year starting Jan. 1, 2020.

ACT 988 amends the law concerning the reemployment of certain retired members of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System. The act applies to a member of the system who on or after January 1, 2020, elects to participate in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, retires from the system as a participant in the Local Police and Fire Deferred Retirement Option Plan, or retires from the system.

ARKANSAS DEER SEASON UPDATES FROM AGFC 11/29/19

With the first two weeks of modern gun deer season behind us, Arkansas hunters have checked more than 140,000 deer throughout the state — and there’s still plenty of time to get out and participate.
To put things into perspective, Arkansas hunters have already checked more deer than the total harvest for any year before 1995 in The Natural State. The total harvest is slightly lower than at this point in the last two seasons, but there’s still close to a month of prime hunting opportunity left in many parts of the state to make up the difference.

Anyone who has visited the woods this year will attest to the abundant food available for deer from oak trees. Soft mast also produced well this year, meaning deer did not have to go far to find a meal. Food plots and other sources of feed have not come into play as much as usual during this season with all the natural groceries on the ground in the cover of wooded areas.
Hot temperatures at the beginning of archery and several rainy days during muzzleloader seasons also may have caused early excitement to wane.

The buck-to-doe ratio so far falls in favor of buck harvest, but only slightly so. So far, about 43 percent of the harvest has been does. A decade ago, nearly twice as many bucks would be harvested as does at this point in the season, but liberalized limits and a special antlerless-only hunt on private lands has kept the ratio more balanced.

Arkansas’s record deer harvest was 213,487 deer, taken in 2012. But the last seven seasons have ended with harvest totals exceeding 200,000. Last year’s harvest of 210,065 was an increase of nearly 5,000 from the year prior.

The current deer harvest numbers are available on the AGFC’s licensing page at www.agfc.com. Click the green button at the top of the page labeled, “Buy Licenses | Check Game.” The next page will show an option to view Harvest Reports. This function is only available for laptop or desktop computers however. Current harvest reports are not available in a mobile-friendly format.
To read summaries of previous years’ deer harvest reports, visit www.agfc.com/deerharvest.

 

ASHDOWN ORGANIZATIONS WIN CAREGIVER AWARDS 11/27/19
The Arkansas Health Care Association and Arkansas Assisted Living Association (AHCA/AALA) honored 13 honorees at the 15th Annual Caregiver Awards. This annual event was held during National Caregiver Month to recognize caregivers who were nominated for the exceptional care they provide to patients and families across the state.
“The Caregiver Awards are the core of what we do as an organization,” said Rachel Bunch, Executive Director of the Arkansas Health Care Association and Arkansas Assisted Living Association. “It’s our promise to be like family when family can’t be there, and these professionals set the standard for our mission and our purpose.”
The awards were presented at a ceremony on November 19, 2019, in Little Rock. Local winners include Little River Beauty Salon, and Little River Nursing & Rehab in Ashdown for the group volunteer of the year award.

CLICK IT OR TICKET CAMPAIGN REMINDER 11/27/19

During the Thanksgiving holiday, Arkansas law enforcement officers from local, county and state departments are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign began Monday, November 25th and continues through Sunday, December 1st. The goal is to reduce the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up. If you’re spotted not buckled up by Arkansas State Troopers or other law enforcement officers, you risk getting a ticket. The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by making sure all Arkansas drivers and passengers get the message to wear their seat belts. The campaign combines powerful messages about seat belt safety with stepped-up patrols by law enforcement officers, many of them working exclusively to identify seat belt law violators. In addition to patrolling all U.S. and state two-lane highways, Arkansas State Troopers will participate in an intensified enforcement operation along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday from 10 AM to 10 PM on Wednesday, November 27th and Sunday, December 1st.

MILLER COUNTY ELEMENTARY STUDENT FACING FELONY CHARGES 11/27/19
An Elementary Student is Facing Multiple Felony Charges after Allegedly Making Threats While Holding a Knife at Fouke Elementary.

On Wednesday November 20th, 2019 at approximately 3:40 p.m., Miller County Deputies were dispatched to Fouke Elementary School in reference to a juvenile student making threats while displaying a knife.

According to a police press release, upon arrival deputies were advised the juvenile student was detained by school staff and the weapon had been secured. Miller County Deputies and the Fouke School Resource Officer made contact with the Juvenile. The Juvenile, a 10 year old male was taken into custody on charges of Aggravated Assault and Battery 2nd Degree, all Felony Charges. No injuries associated with the knife were sustained during this incident. The preliminary investigation revealed that after becoming involved in an altercation with family, the Juvenile produced a knife and threatened school staff before throwing the knife. At that time the juvenile was detained by staff until the Fouke School Resource Officer and MCSO Deputies arrived.
While the Fouke School Resource Officer has primary jurisdiction on the campus, the Miller County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division has assumed responsibility for the investigation.
The juvenile student was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center where he was booked without further incident. The investigation is ongoing.

ARKANSAS AG JOINS NATIONAL LAWSUIT 11/27/19

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced today that Arkansas, as part of a national settlement, has resolved allegations that Avalign Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiary Instrumed International, Inc. (“Defendants”) violated the Federal and State False Claims Acts. The companies were buying and selling medical devices that were not approved or cleared by the FDA. These unapproved devices were then used by medical providers in medical procedures, and the providers submitted claims for reimbursement to Medicaid. As a result, the Defendants paid the participating states and federal government $9.5 million, of which Arkansas received $76,393.54.

The United States, Arkansas and other participating states had previously reached a settlement with CareFusion in which CareFusion agreed to pay a total of $3.3 million to the United States and participating states. The company admitted to selling devices that wrongly claimed to qualify for the pre-amendment exception to FDA regulations. Arkansas received $26,536.70 in the CareFusion settlement.
Arkansas’s recovery through the national multi-state settlements announced today is $102,930.24.
Arkansas joins the lawsuits along with neighboring states, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and a host of others.

WOMAN FOUND WITH METH IN DE QUEEN 11/26/19
A woman is facing drug related charges after authorities reportedly discovered methamphetamine on her person in De Queen last week.
A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that Sergeant Wayne Baker was dispatched to East Vandervoort street in De Queen Monday, November 18th in reference to a woman “causing problems” and “talking to herself.”
Upon arriving at the scene, Sergeant Baker made contact with a woman by the name of Sandra Luna who reportedly claimed she had been off her medications.
Upon further investigation, an outstanding warrant for Luna’s arrest was discovered, along with a syringe and a white crystal substance believed to be methampethamine.
Luna was placed in to custody and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and felony drug paraphernalia.

 

LOCKESBURG CHRISTMAS PARADE DECEMBER 7TH 11/26/19

The City of Lockesburg would like to invite community groups and organizations out to the annual Christmas parade Saturday, December 7th. All participants have been asked to meet at the city park by 3:30 p.m. on Saturday December 7th. The parade will start by 4:00 p.m. The judges will be located in front of Lockesburg City Hall and all participants are asked to stop in front of city hall to have their float judged. Participants will receive a number that must be placed on the entry.

Prizes will be presented immediately after the parade at The Bank of Lockesburg in the parking lot. The bank will also provide hot chocolate and host Santa Claus beginning at 3:30 p.m. Entry forms must be submitted by December 6th to be judged as a contestant in the parade.

For information call 870-289-3261.

SEVIER COUNTY HOLIDAY SHOPPING CONTEST 11/26/19

The Sevier County Tourism Committee has partnered with The office of Dr. Randy Walker to present the “love shop local” campaign for the 2019 holiday season.

Keisha McKinney stopped by KDQN studios to announce the campaign details on November 22nd and to inform the community how prizes can be won, along with the benefits of shopping locally.

The contest will begin November 30th, on Small Business Saturday and all participants have a chance to win a wellness gift basket and a cash prize.

There will be four different $100 cash prizes given away, every week for four weeks.

To participate, follow Lisa Taylor’s Sevier County Economic Development page on Facebook for information. You can also visit the local news page of KDQN.net or email Keisha at mckinneymediasolutions@gmail.com for information.

DIERKS CHRISTMAS PARADE SET FOR DECEMBER 16TH

Community groups and organizations in the area are encouraged to participate in the upcoming Dierks Christmas parade. The parade will be presented by The Dierks Chamber of commerce on December 16th.

The categories for floats include: Churches, Civic Organizations, school groups and businesses. The winner of each category will win a $75 cash prize.

After the parade, there will be 5 $100 cash prize drawings and drawings for a gift to be given to one lucky boy and girl. There will also be food, music, a Christmas tree decorating contest and a visit from Santa Claus. Tickets can be found through local Dierks businesses. To enter in the parade, call Kenya Heifner at 870-784-4207.

CITY OF HORATIO TO CLOSE FOR THANKSGIVING 11/26/19

The City of Horatio will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday November 29th in recognition of the Thanksgiving day holiday. All services for Horatio will be suspended until Monday, December 2nd.

Mayor Rich Dorsey would like to wish all residents a safe holiday.

MISDEMEANOR ASSAULT REPORTED AT BURGER KING IN DE QUEEN 11/26/19

A man landed in the Sevier County Jail after police responded to an incident at Burger King last week on November 19th.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that officer Jarrin Platt  was dispatched to Burger King in De Queen in reference to a person in the store grabbing an employee and trying to bite them in the face.

Officer Platt was given information about the suspect and identified a man who fit the description walking down Colin Raye drive. The man was identified as Richard Martinez, age 23 of De Queen. Martinez was placed into custody for misdemeanor assault in the 3rd degree and transported to the Sevier County Jail.

 

DE QUEEN MAN FACING MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER FLEEING TRAFFIC STOP SUNDAY 11/25/19

A De Queen man is facing multiple charges after a traffic stop was conducted in De Queen over the weekend.

A report released by The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department states that on Sunday, November 24th 2019 at approximately 2:47 a.m. Deputy Alvarado initiated a stop on a black, 4-door vehicle on Robinson Road for a traffic violation.

The driver of the car was identified as Mayra Cristobal of De Queen and the passenger provided the deputy with the name “Carlos Hernandez.”

Deputy Alvarado knew the passenger’s true identity to be Mr. “Nefi Gomez”, age 22 of De Queen based on previous involvement with him at The Sevier County Jail.

Deputy Alvarado noted Gomez had two outstanding warrants for his arrest and asked him to exit the vehicle. Gomez reportedly stated he wasn’t “going to jail” and allegedly took off on foot in an attempt to flee the scene but was taken down by Deputy Chris Wolcott Jr.

Gomez reportedly resisted the arrest before being taken into custody at The Servier County Jail. There, Gomez was served the two outstanding warrants and was charged with obstructing Government operations and resisting arrest.

CORPS TO EXTEND CLOSURE OF OKAY LANDING 11/25/19

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office will extend the closure of the Okay Landing Recreation Area while repairs to Okay Levee are being made.

Depending on weather, the repairs should be completed by Dec. 20, 2019. Due to safety concerns, public access to the area will not be allowed during the closure period.

Officials at the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office regret any inconvenience this may cause.

For further information, please call the Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office at 870-898-3343.

Recreation information can be found on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/littlerockusace, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/usacelittlerock.

CHRISTMAS AND CANDLELIGHT AT HISTORIC WASHINGTON STATE PARK 11/25/19

Join the staff of Historic Washington State Park for its 32nd Annual Christmas and Candlelight which will be held December 7 & 14, 2019. The park will be open from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. both days, but to enjoy the thousands of luminaries and special music you may want to wait until later in the afternoon to pay a visit. Tour locations and homes will be adorned in 19th century style decorations including natural handmade wreaths and swags tailored by park staff and volunteers the week of the event. Evening programming and tours begin at 1:00 P.M., lighting of the luminaries will take place at dark, and music from groups and choirs throughout the region will begin at 5:00 P.M.

William’s Tavern Restaurant will serve a Christmas Buffet for both lunch and dinner so you don’t have to miss out on that tasty tradition no matter what time you arrive for the event. Whether you choose to stroll the boardwalks or take a ride on the horse drawn surrey, you don’t want to miss bringing in the Christmas Season the old fashion way at Historic Washington State Park. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for children (6 -12) plus tax.  Begin your own Christmas tradition by joining Arkansas’s Premier Historic State Park only eight miles off I30 from Hope Arkansas.  For more information contact Historic Washington at 870-983-2684, or HistoricWashington@Arkansas.com.

SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE PENDING IN DE QUEEN 11/25/19

Information regarding an ongoing investigation of sexual assault was released by The De Queen Police Department this week.

A press release provided to KDQN by DPD states that on Wednesday, November 13th Captain Sonny Kimmel received a report of sexual assault on a ten-year-old female. During the course of the investigation police made an arrest on 28-year-old Rogelio Gomez-Santiago of De Queen, Arkansas.

The suspect was charged with rape, computer exploitation of a child, sexual assault in the 2nd degree, and distributing, possessing or viewing matter depicting sexual conduct involving a child.

Rogelio Gomez-Santiago appeared in The Sevier County Circuit Court Thursday, November 21st and his bond was set at $250,000. The investigation is ongoing at this time and as of Monday afternoon, November 25th the suspect was still being held in the Sevier County jail.

ARKANSAS TURKEY WEEK TO BE PROCLAIMED BY GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON 11/25/19

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and Governor Asa Hutchinson will proclaim November 24-30 to be Arkansas Turkey Week. The proclamation will take place on Tuesday, November 26, 10:00 a.m on the Arkansas State Capitol Steps in Little Rock.

 The Arkansas Department of Agriculture, and Governor Hutchinson will be joined by representatives from the Poultry Federation, Cargill, and Butterball to recognize Thanksgiving and the contributions turkey producers bring to the state’s agriculture industry. Arkansas ranks 5th in the nation in turkey production. In 2018, 595,350 pounds of turkey were produced in Arkansas poultry farms. In fact, turkey production creates more than 14,000 jobs in the state.

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT CONSIDERING NEW ORDINANCES    11/22/19
by KDQN Staff

The Sevier County Quorum Court will considering passing three new ordinances when they meet again in December.

These ordinances will deal with real and personal property tax millages, establishing a new fund for residential substance abuse treatment grant money, and establishing a fund as a sub fund of the County Road Fund to track the revenues and expenditures of the wholesale tax on gasoline
and diesel.      Click here for a copy of the proposed ordinances.

DEANN VAUGHT THANKSGIVING REPORT 11/25/19

As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s important that we show our gratitude to our farmers.  A thanksgiving feast would not be the same without the contribution of Arkansas agriculture.

Arkansas is also the 5th largest producer of sweet potatoes. There were 4,800 acres of sweet potatoes harvested last year.

Although few go shopping for actual soybeans for Thanksgiving, there is a very good chance the soybean plays a significant part in your feast.  This year Arkansas ranked as 11th in the nation in soybean production.

Soybean oil is used in cooking and frying foods.  Margarine is a product made from soybean oil.  Salad dressings and mayonnaises are made with soybean oil.  It is also used for animal feed for farm animals.

And don’t forget about the rice. Whether mixed with broccoli and cheese or butternut squash, this side dish most likely began its journey on an Arkansas farm.  More than 40% of all rice in the United States is grown in our state.

Arkansas farmers may have contributed to your dessert menu as well, especially when it comes to the pies.

We are one of 15 states to grow pecans. There were more than 15,000 acres of pecans harvested in Arkansas last year. And while we are proud to be home to many pumpkin patches across the state, we do not produce enough to support every supermarket.  Arkansas pumpkins however can be found at your local farmers markets or pumpkin patch.

With 42,500 farms in our state, farmers are the backbone to our economy. Arkansas consistently ranks in the top one-third of the nation for agricultural cash farm receipts.

Rain or shine, our farmers work early mornings and late nights.

So this holiday season, thank a farmer.  And look for the “Arkansas Grown” label at your local supermarket as another way to show your appreciation.

DE QUEEN BIOLOGY STUDENTS BUILD ECOSYSTEMS 11/25/19

 

De Queen High School biology students built self-sustaining ecosystems to study photosynthesis and cellular respiration. During this project, students built a biome, collected data on the biotic and abiotic factors in the system, and developed a model to explain how energy and matter flowed through the system. They then presented the results to their peers. 

 

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT DISCOVERS HEROIN, METH AND FIREARM DURING TRAFFIC STOP WEDNESDAY 11/22/19

The following press release was provided by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office on Friday, November 22, 2019:

“Wednesday, November 20, 2019 Sgt. Davignon and Deputy Gentry initiated a traffic stop on Main Street in Horatio.  The vehicle traveled approximately 150 yards before pulling over for the officers. The stop was on a dark colored Chevrolet pickup with Oklahoma tags that had expired tags and other violations.  Deputies approched the vehicle and come in contact with 23 year old Bryson J. Rasmusson of Haworth, Oklahoma.  Bryson was asked to step out of the vehicle for officer safety.  Bryson became argumentative and would not listen to officer commands and kept refusing to exit the vehicle after being asked several times.  Bryson finally exited the vehicle.  Upon a pat down for officer safety, officers found knives in scabbards on Bryson’s person and a gun holster in the back belt line of Bryson’s pants.  Upon a search of the vehicle a loaded 380 pistol was located, white substance believed to be methamphetamine, brown powder substance believed to be heroin and glass smoking pipes known to used in smoking methamphetamine.  Bryson was arrested and charged with Drug Paraphernalia B of Schedule I or II Control Substance Class C Felony.  Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms Class Y Felony.  Bryson is currently being held in the Sevier County Jail.  Bond set at $25,000.”

 


UPDATE IN SEVIER COUNTY DRUG TRAFFICKING CASE 11/22/19

More information regarding a drug trafficking case in Sevier County Arkansas has been released this week.

According to the docket report listed on The Arkansas Courts website, Mr. Lonny Lee of De Queen Arkansas was served an arrest warrant on Thursday November 21st, 2019.

Lee, age 61, was pulled over in Horatio by The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department earlier this month on November 11th, and 840 grams of suspected methamphetamine were reportedly discovered after the traffic stop. In addition to the substances found, members of the 9th West Judicial Drug Task Force and The Arkansas state Police also reportedly located $7,500 in U.S currency in Lee’s possession. The suspect was charged with trafficking and held in The Sevier County Jail.

The docket report states that Lee plead “not guilty” to the trafficking charge and a pre-trail date has been set for April 9th, 2020 with a Jury Trial date to follow on April 29th. Bail for Lee was set at $100,000 and as of today, November 22nd, Jail staff report that Lee is still being held at The Sevier County Jail in De Queen.

The case will be heard in The Sevier County Circuit Court, 9th West Division.

ALL ABOARD THE KCS HOLIDAY EXPRESS      11/21/19
by KDQN Staff

The KCS Holiday Express is a festive, six-car train that brings Santa Claus and his elves to communities throughout the company’s U.S. rail network at scheduled stops. Guests to the train can visit with Santa Claus and walk through three cars filled with holiday displays. Each event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required.  The only stop in our area will be in De Queen on Tuesday, December 10th at 4 pm.

In addition, at each scheduled stop, a charitable contribution is made to the local Salvation Army to provide warm clothes and other necessities for children in need.

The Holiday Express was created in 2001 as volunteers dedicated more than 8,000 hours to transform retired rail cars. Today, these cars feature a smiling tank car named Rudy; a flatcar carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; the elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose.

ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU RECOGNIZES PURPLE CIRCLE INDUCTEE     11/21/19
by KDQN Staff

Kix Lee of Gillham was recently inducted into the Arkansas Purple Circle Club. Lee had the Grand Champion Charolais Heifer and the Junior Commercial Heifer Showmanship at the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show. Arkansas Farm Bureau Commodity & Regulatory Affairs Vice President Evan Teague presented the awards.
The Purple Circle Club is an awards program recognizing junior livestock exhibitors who earned championship honors at the Arkansas State Fair. It is sponsored by Arkansas Farm Bureau a nonprofit, private farm and rural advocacy organization of more than 190,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.

 

NOVEMBER LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SPOTLIGHT: MELISSA BRECHEISEN 11/20/19

Once a month, KDQN provides a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of our local law enforcement representatives in the Sevier County area. KDQN has been granted access to sit down one-on-one with employees of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department to offer a close-up look at those who help keep the community safe.

For the month of November, we’re spotlighting Melissa Brecheisen, a detention officer with The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in De Queen. This November, Melissa rolled into her one-year work anniversary at The Sheriff’s Department with a promotion to a shift Supervisor position, as announced by Jail administrator Chris Wolcott on October 21st.

Melissa is a Mena High school graduate, wife and mother of two children who spent time as a volunteer firefighter and worked as a C.N.A. before beginning her career with law enforcement in De Queen. In April of 2016, Melissa married her husband, Jacolby and the couple live near Eagletown, Oklahoma with two children who are 13 months a part. Melissa and Jalcoby’s kids include a three-year-old son and a daughter who is 18 months.

We asked the Mena native what her favorite part of working in law enforcement is and she says she enjoys getting to help people in a constructive way, as she feels as though being a detention officer allows her to give a “kick in the butt” to community members who may be struggling and need help to get their lives on the right track.

For fun, Melissa enjoys fishing, going to the lake, hunting and going out to eat at Texas Roadhouse with her family. She says she and Jacolby prioritize spending quality time with their children and they do a lot as a family. As far as family goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Melissa’s mother worked as a jailer and cop out in California and her father spent time in the medical field as an owner of Liberty Emergency Medical Services for several years. Something she wishes people on the outside looking in at Law Enforcement understood is that “police aren’t bad” despite the reputation they have in some communities. Melissa also feels that there are misconceptions about the jail staff and many people dismiss detention officers as “baby sitters” to the inmates, but she says “you can’t let your guard down” as a jailer because it is their responsibility to uphold the law behind bars by keeping their eyes open and paying close attention to their surroundings.

In terms of the future of her career, someday Melissa hopes to move up in the ranks and become a deputy or city officer. She says her end goal is to become a game Warden someday.

For more law enforcement spotlight stories like Melissa’s, keep listening to the local newscasts on 92.1 FM and check out KDQN.net online.

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 11/21/19

COUNCIL HEARS MORE BUDGET PRESENTATIONS AT TUESDAY MEETING 11/20/19

The 2nd half of city department budget presentations for 2020 were delivered at the De Queen City Council meeting this week. The parks and recreation department, along with sanitation/sewer, water and street department budget lists were all heard by the aldermen and Mayor Jeff Brown Tuesday night.

Before diving into the presentations, time was allotted for public comments and Lisa Taylor made a series of announcements about economic development in the local area.Taylor reported that in addition to the new Taco Bell and NOAH Aquaponic farm companies coming to De Queen, more new businesses are on the way as well. When addressing the council, Taylor emphasized the importance of staying within the laws as regulations change surrounding Hemp and CBD products. As new companies come to the area, Lisa will work directly with the business owners to make sure all legal requirements are met.

The budget presentations were the only item on the agenda and Mayor Brown delivered the administration presentation to the council, announcing the city will be going up $45,000 in expenses compared to the previous year. The council questioned a $1,000 increase from $4,000 to $5,000 to be provided to The Sevier County Museum. Alderman Teresa Bunyard noted fundraising could help cover museum expenses and these efforts have been successful in years past. However, Alderman Rick Pruitt informed the council that attendance at recent fundraising events for the museum this year were very low in participation.

Another increase in the admin budget was listed in the economic development section. The city previously provided $5,000 towards the local Economic Development Department, and the proposed increase for 2020 calls for a total of $10,000, including an additional $5,000. Currently, five separate agencies are sharing the cost of expenses, resources, planing and traveling required for Lisa Taylor to lead the efforts that bring new businesses to the area and strengthen economic development opportunities in De Queen. Those agencies include The City of De Queen, The Rural Development Authority, UA Cossatot Community College, Sevier County (Quorum Court) and the De Queen industrial board. Lisa Taylor reported that the college has been paying the majority of the expenses for the economic development department, however the additional agencies are now being asked to contribute more financial support.

The council heard the increase requests regarding the admin budget, and with no action taken the aldermen then moved on to the next department presentation. A few changes are in order for the street and sanitation department as new dumpsters and a new trash truck are in order for next year. The new truck to be purchased will include cameras for liability purposes in the event of accident claims and safety precautions. Mayor Brown noted that Chief Simmons had multiple police officers document all street lights around De Queen that have burned out and those will be replaced to improve the city’s lighting in town.

A major issue to be addressed regarding the city streets includes crosstrails road. Mayor Brown says an excessive amount of complaints are called into city hall due to the poor condition of the road and new water lines are in order for the area next year, affecting both the city street and water department’s responsibilities. South 9th street to the sewer plant is also due for paving and good news may be in order for the city as state aid for paving city streets will be voted on in February with money becoming available to De Queen in 2021 if awarded.

The total budget increase for the street and sanitation departments next year will be roughly $3,000.

The Parks Department will be receiving a new truck, updates to the concession stand and the pool house is getting a new paint job, as Gathea Bakenhaus presented the recreational budget needs for the city. The department was in need of a new air conditioner for the park office and the old Ennis building had a 2016 model that has been donated, as the vacant building was to be torn down earlier this year by the council.

The parks and recreation department is also increasing the 4th of July celebration expenses for fireworks and to pay the band a performance fee.

At the cemetery, books and maps of the burial plots will become an in-house project, as reported by City Clerk Donna Jones. The project was previously contracted out and updated every seven years. The council and the mayor also discussed a pavilion area to provide wheelchair accessible, dry area for funeral attendees to gather in for services.

Lastly, the city water department budget was presented by water superintendent, Darren Higgins. Higgins revealed that salary costs have gone down because higher paid employees who had been working there a while have left the department, thus decreasing personnel expenses. The major item announced during Higgin’s budget presentation was the water tank painting project, which is reported to cost an estimated $750,000 and the process will begin later this month. The city will also be updating software used to list inventory for supplies and parts needed for the De Queen Water Department.

Mayor Jeff Brown says he is hoping the 2020 budget will be approved at the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 3rd 2019.

The public is welcome to attend all De Queen City Council meetings, taking place at city hall at 5:30 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.

AG LESLIE RUTLEDGE ISSUES SUGGESTIONS FOR SMART HOLIDAY SHOPPING 11/20/19

As the most popular shopping days of the year are upon Arkansans, scam artists are proactively searching for opportunities to steal your identity, money and personal information. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has identified best practices that will be rolled out throughout the week for consumers that can be used during the entire holiday season.

Read and understand return, refund and shipping policies before you make your purchase.
Keep personal information private. Do not disclose personal information – address, telephone number, Social Security number, bank account number or email address – unless you know who is collecting the information, why they are collecting it and how they will use it.
Be cautious when buying gifts from an online auction. Understand how the auction works and check out the seller’s reputation before bidding. Always ask about terms of delivery and return options. Never wire money for the purchase; use some other form of payment.
Keep records of online transactions and check for emails from merchants while doing business. Merchants may email important.

According to the National Retail Federation, 55 percent of consumers cited online shopping as the most popular shopping destination this year. They also expect holiday sales to increase 4.1 percent over last year. That means consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,007.24 this year on gifts.

Also, research companies before finalizing the online purchase to ensure it is a credible merchant, and check the anticipated delivery date to make sure it will be delivered in time for the holidays.

For more information about consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@ArkansasAG.gov or visitArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

UA RICH MOUNTAIN ADULT EDUCATION RECOGNIZED FOR SUCCESS 11/20/19

The Adult Education Program provided through UA Rich Mountain was recently recognized by the State of Arkansas’ Division of Workforce Services for exceeding specified benchmarks designed to gauge success of programs. For the 2018-2019 program year, UA Rich Mountain’s Adult Education performed 10 percentage points beyond the Measurable Skill Gains minimum.

The Adult Ed Program is also the recipient of a two-year Alternative Sentencing grant. The Smart Sentencing Program, SSP, offers innovative pre-trial and pre-sentencing sanctions and services for offenders who are accepted into the program. Law enforcement, the judiciary, prosecution, defense, probation and community service providers, working together, guide the administration and operation of the program as it works to enhance public safety, hold offenders accountable and develop competencies in offenders such as that they can become productive, contributing members of society.

One goal pertinent to the Adult Ed program is to increase competencies in offenders through educational and vocational training, mental health management, drug treatment and other basic life-skills training so that they are better equipped to live crime-free lives.

For more information on the Adult Ed program and its resources, please visit the Abernathy Building on the campus of UA Rich Mountain or call 479.394.7622 ext. 1380.

A PRECAUTIONARY BOIL ORDER NOTICE ISSUED    11/19/19
by KDQN Staff

The Department of Health issued a “Boil Water” notice on Monday, November 18, 2019.  This notice was issued by Arkansas Department of Health for the entire system of Foreman Waterworks in Little River County.  This order was issued as a precaution measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of a complete loss in normal system pressure.

Under the “Boil Water” order, all affected customers must be advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption, and water used for drinking or food preparation must be boiled briskly for one (1) minute prior to use.  all ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water used for making ice.

This “precautionary boil water notice” will remain in effect until the problem has been corrected, an adequate disinfectant level is established throughout the distribution system, and a bacteriological survey shows that the water is safe to drink.

The Boil Water Order was due to a main break.

SEVIER COUNTY HOSPITAL BOARD MEETS WITH ARCHITECTS FOR DESIGN PLANS MONDAY 11/19/19

The structural design for a New Sevier County Hospital building is now well under way, as The Board of Governor’s met with an architectural firm at a lengthy meeting in De Queen Monday afternoon.

After a few housekeeping items regarding policy adoptions were addressed, the board focused on details of the potential layout for the new medical center in a discussion lasting more than three hours.

Board president, Dr. Steve Cole reported sales tax revenue for the construction and operation of the facility will begin to generate January 1st of 2020 and access to those funds will become available in April. Cole says it’s very important to have the hospital design completely finalized at the time access to the money is available.

WD&D Architectural firm of Little Rock attended the meeting to go over the contracts for the project and hear the input of the board. The building will be 35,000 square feet and hold 12 beds, E.R waiting rooms, five exam rooms, X-Ray and Ultra-sound area, a nurses station, isolation area, and a laboratory, plus many more areas necessary for the services that the facility will provide. ADA accessible rooms, a chapel, gift shop, and vending machine area were also listed in the discussion. With a new facility, the board agreed to implement new filing methods at the hospital as all paperwork will be kept digitally and no physical documents will be kept in storage.

Cole noted that having experienced medical professional professionals contribute to the design was “priceless” in nailing down a solid floor plan.

The community will have an opportunity for public input before the floor plans are finalized in January, as all Sevier County Hospital Board meetings are open to the public.

Throughout the building project of the center, WD&D architects will be overseeing the construction process in four phases and actively communicating with the board to relay new information as it develops.

KDQN will continue to report updates on The Sevier County Hospital building process as details become available.

QUORUM COURT PONDERS NEW TIME CLOCK PUZZLE IN SEVIER COUNTY 11/19/19

A full list of agenda items were addressed during Sevier County Quorum Court meeting at the courthouse in De Queen Monday afternoon, November 18th.

The first item discussed was the Sevier County Jail’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program grant fund, to be established through an ordinance. The item, along with the proposed Tax Levy ordinance for the taxable year of 2019 were both approved before the quorum dove into a deep discussion regarding a new state implemented time keeping system for all county employees, excluding elected officials.

The proposed system will require agencies, including Deputies, police, clerks, firefighters, road, sewer and trash departments as well as library employees and all county government employees to clock-in and out of all shifts using a digital method through computer or cell phone app to log the hours worked.

The discussion sparked a variety of reactions and response from the supervisors responsible for tracking employee time, as a concern for overtime regulations was brought up to the quorum.

A major concern with the proposed system was the issue of emergency response time for local police and paramedics. Mayor Jeff Brown said he doesn’t want the city police officers spending time worrying about punching a clock when their focus should be on getting to the scene of an emergency as quick as possible.

After a lengthy discussion absorbed the majority of the meeting, JP Roger Whitmore proposed the item be tabled for further conversation. The Quorum Court will continue to weigh the pros and cons of the issue before making a decision at the January meeting.

After tabling the time clock discussion, The Quorum re-appointed Roger Mills to The Sevier County Library board and re-appointed Scott Simmons to The Sevier County airport board. The JP’s then approved a Request to transfer funds for the 2019 Road department budget in the amount $133,000 and lastly, the quorum approved funds transfers for the legal fees and services related to the Sevier County hospital. Judge Ray says The County will be reimbursed for these payments after the hospital bonds take effect in the Spring of 2020.

ANIYA POLITE SERVES AS FALL CORRESPONDENT FOR KDQN  11/19/19
by Ronda Pounds
Ashdown High School Senior Aniya Polite is serving as the KDQN Correspondent for the fall semester.
 
At AHS, she serves as Historian for Beta Club, Vice President of National Honor Society, Skills USA Reporter, Student Council President, a member of Project Prevent Youth Coalition (PPYC), National Tutor Association and co-captain of the Ashdown Pom Squad.
 
Outside of her busy schedule at AHS, she is a Youth Action Leader at her church (Frontline Christian Ministries in Nashville) and also is a part of packing gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
 
After high school, she plans to attend UCA and major in nursing. Her goal is to earn her doctorate’s degree and become a neonatal intensive care unit travel nurse.
 
Polite said, “I am honored to have been chosen to be the KDQN Correspondent. I am ecstatic to begin this new adventure and learn new things that I can carry with me for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to represent Ashdown High School and the Ashdown community as a whole.”

DE QUEEN COACH TO FOCUS ON SOCCER PROGRAMS 11/19/19

A statement regarding the resignation of football coach Stephen Sloan has been released by De Queen Schools Superintendent Jason Sanders this morning:

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL QUIZ BOWL TEAM PLACES FIRST AT TOURNAMENT 11/19/19

The De Queen High School Quiz Bowl team competed at the Ashdown Invitational Tournament in Little River County over the weekend of November 16th. The team went undefeated in the competition and placed first out of 11 total teams. The closest win was by 100 points.

 

LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FEATURING ‘SHOP LOCAL’ CAMPAIGN 11/19/19

On average, every dollar we spend with local businesses becomes $7 that can  be used towards the local economy. To continue promoting small businesses and shopping local during the holiday season,The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce is re-vamping their Shop Local campaign this year with an adult version of “Elf on the Shelf.”
The Chamber would like to introduce the community to the newest members Cash and Dolly, the Chamber elves. Cash and Dolly will be traveling to various chamber businesses from November 25th through December 21st, except for Sundays. Clues as to Cash and Dolly’s whereabouts will be posted on the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page daily.

Shoppers will have the opportunity to figure out and find the business that has been elfed for that day. Businesses will be running their own special on the days they are visited by the Chamber elves and allow shoppers to spend local dollars while earning entries into the drawing for the Chamber’s Ultimate Gift Basket Give Away valued at over $1500. The drawing for the gift basket will be on December 23rd at 10:00 am via Facebook Live.

Make sure to keep a lookout for the first clue that will premier early morning on November 25th to begin your “Shop Local” experience.

For more information please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 870-584-3225 or dqchamber@gmail.com.

AGFC EMPLOYEE OF NEARLY 30 YEARS PROMOTES MILWOOD LAKE FEATURES 11/19/19

 

Duck counts show the southwest portion of Arkansas attracts many hunters during the annual migration.

Griffin Park has been with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for more than 29 years and grew up in the Hope region, where he’s worked since college, and he’s as familiar as anyone about the waterfowl in the area.

He’s also seen many changes to waterfowl hunting in his region over 29 years, including management of greentree reservoirs and the development of moist-soil acreage, which has grown from next to nothing to nearly 500 acres. Park also began an annual millet-planting program on Millwood Lake in 2014, in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers and the region’s water district, in which the lake is drawn down by 2 feet to allow 7,500 pounds of millet to be planted on 500 acres at the edges of the lake. It has proven quite attractive to migrating ducks, not to mention attracting more hunters.

The 2-foot lake drawdown, he adds, is good for shore birds and the fishery as well. “It promotes natural wetland vegetation to grow, also. It gets the vegetation going on those shores. It also helps with siltation. Millwood is a real shallow lake.”

Park’s family is from Columbus near Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA and about 16 miles from Hope. He first attended Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and earned a wildlife and fisheries degree from the University of Arkansas-Monticello, then began work immediately with the AGFC as a habitat biologist/forester.

Park is proud of what southwest Arkansas offers the outdoors fans. He grew up hunting, trapping and fishing in the area. “We have a little bit of everything for the outdoorsman. Even in my region, you can duck hunt, alligator hunt, and bear hunt in a seven-county area. We’re not dominated by just one species.”

(full story on AGFC.com)

CLICK IT OR TICKET CAMPAIGN LAUNCHING FOR HOLIDAYS 11/19/19

During the Thanksgiving holiday, Arkansas law enforcement officers from local, county and state departments are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign set to begin Monday, November 25th and continuing through Sunday, December 1st.  The goal is to reduce the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up.  If you’re spotted not buckled up by Arkansas State Troopers or other law enforcement officers, you risk getting a ticket.The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by making sure all Arkansas drivers and passengers get the message to wear their seat belts. The campaign combines powerful messages about seat belt safety with stepped-up patrols by law enforcement officers, many of them working exclusively to identify seat belt law violators.In addition to patrolling all U.S. and state two-lane highways, Arkansas State Troopers will participate in an intensified enforcement operation along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday from 10 AM to 10 PM on Wednesday, November 27th and Sunday, December 1st.

 

HEISMAN SCHOLARSHIP FINALISTS ANNOUNCED   11/18/19
by KDQN Staff

The Heisman High School Scholarship school winners for 2019 were announced on Tuesday, November 12th.  Among those eligible to compete for the state and national scholarship include these local student-athletes from:

De Queen High School – Ashlyn Chambers and Weston Harp.
Foreman High School –  Kenzie Cowan
Centerpoint High School – Kaydra Fox
Murfreesboro High School – Madison Humphry
Dierks High School – Hallie Mounts

School winners continue to compete for the chance to become State Winners, National Finalists or National Winners.  State Winners receive a $500 college scholarship, National Finalists receive a $1,000 college scholarship and the male and female National Winners will each receive a $5,000 college scholarship and a trip to New York City to attend the 2019 Heisman Trophy ceremony and 85th annual Heisman Dinner Gala.

State winners were announced on Wednesday, November 13th.  Kenzie Cowan of Foreman High School and Noah Smith from Lake Hamilton High School were chosen to represent the State of Arkansas.

National Finalists will be announced on November 18th and National Winners on December 4th.

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS NEW IDENTIFICATION REGULATIONS 11/18/19

On October 1, 2020, anyone who boards a domestic flight or enters a federal building will either need a REAL ID driver’s license (DL) or Identification Card (ID) or will need to provide a regular identification and additional accepted forms of identification.

Arkansas is taking part in the federal nationwide initiative to improve the security of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, which will help fight terrorism and reduce identity fraud.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 adopted the recommendations of the 911 Commission. The REAL ID Act prohibits the federal government from accepting driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by states that do not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act. This includes but is not limited to commercial air flights and federal buildings.You can upgrade to REAL ID at any time by having a duplicate license issued at a REAL ID office. The following Revenue Offices issue the REAL ID: Arkadelphia, Batesville, Bentonville, Conway, El Dorado, Fayetteville, Forrest City, Fort Smith (6515 Phoenix Avenue), Greenwood, Harrison, Hot Springs (200 Woodbine), Jonesboro, Little Rock (Three State Police Plaza Drive), Little Rock (1900 W. 7th Street), Little Rock (9108 North Rodney Parham), Monticello, Mountain Home, Paragould, Russellville, Searcy, Sherwood, Springdale, Texarkana, West Memphis, and White Hall.

An individual applying for Real ID must provide more documentation than an individual applying for a regular driver’s license or State ID.The federal government requires Arkansans to confirm proof of residency, legal presence and identity and Social Security number through the following documentation:

Passport or birth certificate
Two proof of address documents such as utility bills or bank statements
Social Security card
Name change linking documents, example: Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, Court Order

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) recently launched a website, www.ar.gov/REALID, allowing Arkansans to list the documentation that will be presented at the Revenue Office to obtain a REAL ID. The website confirms the documents meet all requirements or specifies which document is missing.The cost to obtain a REAL ID does not differ from the cost to obtain or renew a license or ID.

LOCAL COLLEGE PROGRAM GRANTED ACCREDITATION 11/18/19

The UA Cossatot Physical Therapist Assistant Program was recently notified the Program has been granted accreditation for an initial five-year length.

The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) granted the Program accreditation effective October 29, 2019, following a comprehensive self-study and onsite visit conducted in the spring of 2019.

“Accreditation is extremely important as it ensures the educational quality our students receive,” reports Jennifer Sanderson, Program Director for the PTA Program. “We are excited to see our program grow and flourish,” says Sanderson. Graduation from a CAPTE-accredited program is required for graduates to sit for the national examination.

The UA Cossatot Physical Therapist Assistant Program boasts a comprehensive curriculum and recently graduated their first cohort in August 2019 while matriculating a second cohort with an anticipated graduation in August 2020. Applications for admission into the 2020-2021 Program will be open on December 1, 2019. Program information and link to application can be found at https://www.cccua.edu/programs-of-study/medical-education.

ARKANSAS AG HOSTS DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION SUMMIT IN HOT SPRINGS 11/18/19

HOT SPRINGS – Thursday, November 14th, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed nearly 1,300 people from throughout Arkansas and 14 states to the eighth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The Summit served as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, treatment specialists, pharmacists and educators. Participants heard from experts regarding prescription drug abuse training, prevention and treatment.

Those who gathered for the all-day Summit heard remarks from the Attorney General, Governor Asa Hutchinson and U.S Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas Dak Kees. Breakout sessions were held on safe and effective alleviation of pain, dangerous drug combinations, neonatal abstinence and life in recovery.

The afternoon sessions included Naloxone co-prescribing educational training, tactical diversion, opioid prevention efforts and statewide advances in peer recovery.

Plenary sessions included a presentation about drug-endangered children by Dr. Cheryl May, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute and Thornton, Colorado Police Department Sgt. Jim Gerhardt. The day was closed out discussing overcoming the stigma with speakers Jimmy McGill, State Opioid Response Coordinator with the Division of Behavior Health, Gina Allgaier, Executive Director of Speakup About Drugs, Chris Dickie, CEO of Natural State Recovery Centers and Paula Cunningham whose family was impacted by the opioid crisis.

The Attorney General’s Office also partners with local law enforcement to host take back events atmobile offices around the State. Since 2016, 620 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected and safely disposed of– keeping them out of the hands of children and those with addictions.

Rutledge has taken a multi-faceted approach of education, prevention and litigation to end the opioid crisis. In 2018, Rutledge filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers that created the crisis in Arkansas for violations of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA) and the Arkansas Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act. In April 2019, Rutledge filed a separate lawsuit against distributors Cardinal Health, McKesson Corporation and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation for violations of the ADTPA as well as for negligence, creation of a public nuisance and being unjustly enriched by their business practices.

On the educational front, Rutledge’s first-in-the-nation Prescription for Life program is offered at no cost to all high school students in the State to help them understand the dangers of prescription drug misuse and how to prevent abuse. To date, the program has reached 73 counties and almost 18,900 students.

ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION ANNOUNCE WATERFOWL REPORTS TO BEGIN THIS WEEK 11/18/19

The Waterfowl Report will begin reporting water and habitat conditions from the AGFC’s Wildlife Management Areas and greentree reservoirs on a weekly basis beginning with the report on Wednesday, Nov. 20.

Waterfowl season begins in Arkansas 30 minutes before sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 23. WMA managers and biologists provide a weekly update on the habitat conditions, such as availability and type of food for the migrating waterfowl, and the water levels. When a WMA or GTR is listed as “70 percent flooded,” this means there is 70 percent coverage of water on that particular WMA (30 percent of that WMA has no water at that time). A 100 percent flooded WMA means it has total coverage of water, but it DOES NOT mean that flood conditions exist or that the water is too high to navigate or walk. Water levels are also listed from the source feeding the WMA/GTR. When conditions reach a point where the amount of water could be hazardous for hunting or boating through a WMA, this will specifically be noted in the Waterfowl Report.

Listings of all WMAs and GTRs that have been managed for waterfowl, including maps, can be found athttps://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/where-hunt/. Also, pick up a 2019-20 AGFC Waterfowl Hunting Guidebook at sporting goods stores and other locations in Arkansas where outdoor goods are sold and where licenses and duck stamps may be purchased. The annual guidebook is also available online, providing easy reference to the WMAs and waterfowl hunting regulations, by visitinghttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1_DFgpTb6fmQ3ZuSm9ot7wSp4iqNufLDV/view.

The Waterfowl Report will continue weekly through the second Youth/Veterans Hunt on Feb. 8, 2020. Regular waterfowl hunting concludes at sunset Jan. 31, 2020.

LOCAL COLLEGE OFFERING COSMETOLOGY SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC 11/15/19

UA Cossatot’s Cosmetology Program is an educational opportunity offered at the college, but it is also a business with several services and low prices. The cosmetology program is located on the backside of the Nashville Campus. The program is here to provide services to our community while perfecting the skills of the students in the program.

The UA Cossatot Cosmetology Program offers daily specials Monday through Thursday. All current UA Cossatot students receive half price on all services. This includes haircuts, manicures, waxes, and chemical services with a UA Cossatot Student ID. UA Cossatot faculty and staff members also receive half-price on all services.

The services provided by the UA Cossatot Cosmetology Program are available Monday through Friday from 9:30 A.M. until 4:30 P.M. Students are supervised by a licensed instructor.

The UA Cossatot Cosmetology Program also has a Facebook page where the public can view the latest news in the program and see pictures of current cosmetology students, including their clients.

To view the prices and full list of services, please visit www.cccua.edu/cosmetology. For appointments or more information, please call 870-845-5976. Walk-in customers are also welcome.

MAN FACING DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGE AFTER STOP IN SEVIER COUNTY 11/15/19

A man is facing a felony drug trafficking charge after authorities conducted a stop in Horatio Monday November 11th. A report released by The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department states that Deputy Wendall Randell came in contact with the driver of the vehicle and identified him as Lonnie Lee, age 61.

After further investigation, members of the 9th West Judicial Drug Task Force and The Arkansas state Police located roughly 840 grams of methamphetamine and $7,500 in U.S currency. Lee was transported to the Sevier County jail in De Queen and charged with trafficking, a class Y felony.

ARKANSAS TOURISM WINS NATIONAL AWARD 11/15/19

Arkansas Tourism has been honored by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International with a Gold Adrian Award for digital marketing excellence for the state’s official travel website, Arkansas.com.  The annual Adrian Awards is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious travel marketing competitions.

Out of more than 1,100 entries submitted this year, Arkansas Tourism’s work was judged to be exceptional by experts in hospitality, travel, tourism and media. Judges were asked to evaluate each entry based on its own merit and success in achieving its objectives.

Featuring inspirational photography and content, Arkansas.com provides resources and other information to help travelers plan a trip to The Natural State. The site also features a monthly digital publication titled “Discover Arkansas,” which highlights events, activities and trip ideas.

At Arkansas.com, you can also view previous editions of “Discover Arkansas,” order print publications to help plan your next vacation and sign up for monthly emails that feature deals and coupons for attractions across The Natural State.

 

 

INNOVATION IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING AWARD  11/14/19

Janet Cantrell, Sevier County Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension Agent, was honored recently at the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) 85th annual session, whose theme was “Nurturing the Richness of Lifelong Learning”. She was a member of a team of neighboring county FCS agents that received the First Place National and First Place Southern Region for the NEAFCS Innovation in Youth Programming Award at the conference held September 30 – October 3, 2019 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

In receiving the award, Cantrell and teammates were recognized for planning and implementing a program focused on teaching students practical food preparation skills, learning to read and follow a recipe, hands-on cooking and clean up, table setting and etiquette. Of course, the team taught MyPlate and Dietary Guidelines each day to stress the importance of choosing a healthy diet.

The Innovation in Youth Programming Awards was established in 2019 to recognize innovation and accomplishment in the design and implementation of a Family and Consumer Sciences program for a youth target audience. The award was sponsored this year by the NEAFCS membership and awards fund. Cantrell‘s commitment to meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities is exemplary.

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.

 REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT RECEIVES LEADERSHIP AWARD 11/14/19

(From left) Arkansas State Chamber President & CEO Randy Zook presents State Rep. DeAnn Vaught with a 2019 Business Matters Leadership Award.

State Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R-Dist.4 – Horatio) received an Arkansas State Chamber/Associated Industries of Arkansas 2019 Business Matters Leadership Award on Wednesday, November 13 at the Arkansas State Chamber building in Little Rock. Vaught was recognized with the award for supporting positive business initiatives during the 92nd General Assembly.

The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas is the leading voice for business at the State Capitol and serves as the primary business advocate on all issues affecting Arkansas employers. The State Chamber/AIA’s mission is to promote a pro-business, free-enterprise agenda and contest anti-business legislation, regulations and rules.

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL COACH RESIGNS 11/14/19

Coach Stephen Sloan submitted his resignation Wednesday as head football coach at De Queen High School. In his three year tenure at De Queen, Coach Sloan had an overall record of 6-24. After a 5-5 record in his first season in 2017, the Leopards slumped to a 1-9 record in 2018 and De Queen finished 0-10 this year. Prior to taking on the senior high job, Coach Sloan had a very successful run as the junior high coach.

KDQN will have more details as information from the De Queen School district becomes available.

 

MAN JAILED AFTER TRAFFIC STOP SATURDAY 11/14/19

A man landed in the Sevier County Jail after a traffic stop was conducted by authorities in Sevier County over the weekend. A report released by The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department states that  Deputy Chet Stubbs observed a vehicle with expired tags traveling south on Highway 41 Saturday November 9th. Deputy Stubbs pulled the car over and identified the driver as 23-year-old Shade Threadgill.

Deputy Stubbs noted observing the smell of suspected marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. After further investigation, Deputy Stubbs reportedly discovered plastic bags with  a substance believed to be marijuana inside the car.

Threadgil was taken into custody for possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and held at the Sevier County Jail in De Queen.

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT TO MEET MONDAY 11/13/19

The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting will be held at 2:00 P.M. Monday, November 18th, 2019 in The Sevier County Courthouse Conference Room.

Time will be allotted during the meeting for Stephanie Barrett, Candidate for District 4, Position 2, Court of Appeals to address the JP’s.                                                New business items to be addressed include:

  1. Proposed Ordinance establishing the RSAT Grant Fund – Fund number 3503.
  2. Proposed Tax Levy Ordinance for the taxable year of 2019.
  3. Proposed Ordinance requiring use of state approved time keeping system for all county employees with exception to elected officials and incorporating change into county employment policy.
  4. Re-appointment of Roger Mills to the Sevier County Library Board.
  5. Re-appointment of Scott Simmons to the Sevier county Airport Board.
  6. Request to transfer funds in the 2019 Road dept. budget. $29,000 from line 3100, Other Misc. Services, $54,000 from line 4004, Machinery & Equipment, $25,000 from line 4008, Arkansas Highway Dept., and $25,000 from line 2026, Culvert & Pipe. The total of these being $133,000 to line 4005, Vehicles for purchase of a dump truck and bed.
  7. A request to transfer funds within the Quorum Court budget for 2019. $40,000 from line 3100, Other Misc. Services to line 3009, Other Professional Services. This is to make payment of legal fees related to matters concerning the former hospital and the new County Hospital.
  8. Request for an additional appropriation of $10,000 to line 3009, Other Professional Services in the Quorum Court Budget for 2019. This is to make payment of legal fees related to matters concerning the former hospital and the new County Hospital.

DE QUEEN MAN FACING DRUG CHARGE FOR MARIJUANA 11/13/19

A De Queen man is facing a charge for possession of drug paraphernalia after authorities conducted a traffic stop in Sevier County Saturday.

According to a report released by The De Queen Police Department, Officer Kristopher Hundley observed a vehicle with a headlight out traveling West on Colin Raye Drive in De Queen Saturday, November 9th.

Officer Hundley reportedly initiated a traffic stop on the car and made contact with the driver, identified as Austin Helms, age 24 of De Queen. Officer Hundley noted the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle and conducted a search of the car. During the search officer Hundley reportedly discovered a glass smoking device with marijuana reside inside the pipe. Helms was placed in custody and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor.

DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY CELEBRATE RECOVERY PROGRAM SEEKING DONATIONS 11/13/19

This month, DFA Celebrate recovery will be accepting donations for a new ministry opportunity. The organization is collecting socks and T-shirts for the inmates of The Sevier County Jail. If you, or someone you know is interested in being a part of this ministry, please visit dequeenfirstassembly.org or text “giving” to 870-280-2070, choose other, and under the notes put”shirts and socks.” You can also donate by mail at PO Box 146 De Queen, Arkansas 71832. All donations need to be received by Friday, November 22nd. For Questions, call 870-594-3435. All donations are appreciated.

FOREMAN SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET NEXT WEEK 11/14/19

The Foreman Board of Education will meet for their regularly scheduled meeting next week on Tuesday, November 19th in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary School library beginning at 6:00 p.m. Reports from the principals and superintendent will be deliverer and new business items will be addressed.

Agenda items include:
1.Reorganization of the Board/Election of Officers
2. Formal proposal to provide construction management services for Foreman School District
3. Approve the district’s health insurance contribution rate for 2020
4.Approve ASBA policy updates
5.Executive session – personnel
6.Current enrollment – First Quarter Average
7.Approval of minutes –regular meeting of October 15, 2019, special meeting of November 4, 2019
8. Financial reports

The meeting will be open to the public.

DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD MEETING HELD MONDAY 11/13/19

Monday, November 11, the Dierks Board of Education held the regular monthly board meeting.

Superintendent Jody Cowart reported the district’s revenue was down from this time last year, but expects an increase in revenue this month to offset that difference.

Joann Walters Elementary Principal Lori Finley reported the elementary campus is using several friendly competitions to improve attendance, grades and conduct. She stated the blue board competition rewards students for upholding the district’s code of conduct.

High school principal, Todd Finley, reported the district is researching the possibility of starting a robotics program.

Cowart also announced both the elementary and the high had been awarded grants from Weyerhaeuser for technology upgrades.

Board members also approved a $1,000 incentive bonus for all district employees.

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOLS PRESENT VETERANS WITH DIPLOMAS AT CEREMONY MONDAY 11/12/19

Veterans of Little River County were honored in a big way at a ceremony held during The Ashdown Public School Board meeting Monday night at the districts administration building.

Superintendent Casey Nichols presented former service members who attended Ashdown schools but did not receive certificates with honorary diplomas as a tribute to them for their sacrifice. Those honorees left school early to protect our nation by serving in foreign wars.

The veterans were allotted time to pose for photos with their families and visit in the lobby of the admin building after the ceremony on the evening of Veteran’s day.

Superintendent Nichols says the presentation was long over due, but an honor to be a part of.

After the board meeting was called back to order, a host of other agenda items were addressed and an executive session was held.

The board also acknowledged Ashdown’s outstanding students and presented them with certificates of achievement for their hard work and success.

In the superintendent’s report, Mr. Nichols revealed that representative DeAnn Vaught has partnered with Ashdown schools to help route paths to improve interactions with DHS and bids for the Ashdown elementary renovation project will be opening this month.

Board member Rosa Bowman has been nominated for Arkansas School Board president elect and her fellow board members, along with Superintendent Nichols expressed support for Rosa in regards to the announcement.

Payments, stipend list, financial reports and the previous meetings minutes were all approved.

Before adjourning, two personnel additions were announced. Michelle Haskins has been hired as the cafeteria manger and Shelby Shlomer has been hired as a part time employee, effective Tuesday November 12th.

 

ARKANSAS AG TO HOST DRUG PREVENTION SUMMIT THIS WEEK 11/12/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will host the eighth annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday November 14th, at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

The luncheon will feature a keynote address by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

The summit will include four breakout tracks: Clinical, Criminal Justice, Education/Prevention and Counseling/Recovery.

This is a free educational training opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators. Members of the general public may also attend and will have the opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office, the Summit is being sponsored by the Arkansas Board of Pharmacy, Arkansas Division of Behavioral Health Services, Arkansas State Board of Nursing, Arkansas State Police, Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Office of the State Drug Director, Rotary Clubs of Arkansas, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth School of Social Work.

This event has been approved for 5 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) and 6 hours of Law Enforcement Standards (CLEST).

Attendees can register on site at the summit by visiting the help desk prior to 8:30 a.m.

For questions, contact Rachel Ellis at 501-682-3645 or rachel.ellis@arkansasag.gov.

FOREMAN WORKING TO OBTAIN NEW FACILITIES 11/11/19

Jessie Smith of The Little River News has reported Foreman Mayor Bill Harp announced that the State Forestry Commission donated a 500-gallon tanker trunk and a 1,500-watt generator to the Foreman Volunteer Fire Department last month. The department’s current tanker truck is so heavy that it cannot drive over wet land, so this smaller truck will be more functional.County Judge Mike Cranford and Park Commissioner Tommy McDonald traveled to Jacksonville, Arkansas, on Oct. 31 to present a grant proposal to the Arkansas Parks and Tourism meeting.

If Foreman is chosen for the grant, the $250,000 and a matching donation from a private foundation would fund a concession stand, restrooms and lighting for the ball field. “I have a vision of finishing the baseball fields and just having an all around place for youth to go and make the quality of life here in Foreman just better,” McDonald said.

“We already have a walking trail that many people use that is just outstanding, and it’s great.”McDonald said the number one goal is to finish the baseball fields, and he said Michael Adcock has been working hard on them.

The parks department has not received a response from Arkansas Parks and Tourism yet. The city council also reviewed the September patrol reports from the sheriff ’s department. The deputies responded to 111 calls for service, and they made five misdemeanor arrests and two felony arrests.

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION NOVEMBER MEETING HELD 11/12/19

Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, November 11 in the old elementary building.

The board toured the improvements made to the classrooms by the special education staff. Elementary special education program is now located in old elementary building.

The board approved Request for Proposals for purchase of solar energy and approved policies3.7 and 8.4 for licensed personnel bus driver drug testing.

Horatio Schools received grant from state for purchase of gas convection steamer for elementary cafeteria.  The board accepted bid from Central Restaurant Products of $14,658.95 for the steamer.

Board approved routine reports.

Reports were given by Lee Smith, superintendent and Susan Nelson, elementary principal.

HORATIO LIBRARY CHOSEN FOR PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT 11/12/19

Arkansas photographers Don House and Sabine Schmidt have included the Horatio Public library in their project Remote Access, which highlights small libraries across the State, and the people who rely on them. The photographers will be in Horatio on Saturday, December 7th during regular library hours of 8:30-12:00am. All library patrons are encouraged to drop in and have their photo taken as part of the project. No cost of any kind is involved. For more information about the project and the photographers go to: www.schmidtandhouse.com or call 479-643-4074.

Remote Access is the second collaboration between Schmidt and House.  Born of a love of libraries and the role they play in communities, the photographers have chosen to focus on 25 of the smaller of the 235 public libraries in Arkansas. In conjunction with Dr. Robert Brady Cochran II, of the Center for Arkansas and Regional Studies at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, the collection of photographs will coalesce as a book and traveling exhibition.

 “All libraries serve similar roles in their communities that go far beyond providing reading material, and these are roles and services that often don’t end up in mission statements, but are critical in the lives of the patrons.” says Sabine Schmidt, “A safe warm space, with critical internet access, a research center, a home away from home, with the librarian acting as researcher, grant writer, vocational counselor, cook, family relationship coach, child welfare monitor, community organizer, tutor, visitor information officer, living bulletin board, a friendly face, and a patient listener.”

Schmidt, whose work often deals with idea of home, will concentrate on the physical community – the architecture, buildings, streets, businesses, schools, churches, and of course, the library itself. “There is obvious beauty in the buildings and facilities of large urban libraries, and that has been documented in several collections of photographs over the years, but I find great beauty in the small rural library that has to make do with limited resources, often in a building that was never intended for the purpose, relying heavily on volunteers, often with a librarian only funded with a part time salary, and space restrictions that can seem daunting. The beauty that comes from labors of love, and that is exactly what drives so many smaller libraries, is tangible, palpable, and photographable.”

House is foremost a portrait photographer, and his interest is in the people who come to the library, who use the space and the services. He will set up his backdrop and lights and photograph anyone who uses the library (and is willing) during normal business hours on December 7th. According to House, the process is quick and casual. “I’m interested in the people, their personality, what they’re wearing, what they’re carrying, why they are there. There is no posing, no pre-conceived notions. When I’m done, if I’ve been successful, I have opened a window on the community, the people who make it what it is.” As a thank you for participation, each person will receive a complimentary copy of their photograph.

For more information on the project and the photographers.

 

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ADVISES FREEZING TEMPERATURES COMING FOR LOCAL AREA 11/11/19

The National Weather Service in Shreveport Louisiana has released a hazardous weather outlook report for many counties in the KDQN listening area, including Sevier, Howard, Little River, Hempstead, and Miller counties in Arkansas, McCurtain County in Oklahoma and Bowie county of Northeast Texas.

The outlook was released at 5:24 a.m. Monday, November 11th.

The weather service reports a strong cold front will be pushing through the region today with showers, periods of rain, and winds up to 30 mph to be expected this afternoon and evening. Wind chills during the overnight hours will range from the low teens to low 20’s. Tonight a chance of wintry mix west is possible but no accumulations expected. For much of the area, a return to colder, freezing temperatures will start after the precipitation ends. The service also recommends protecting pets, plants, and pipes from this cold weather.

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS LEGISLATION SUPPORTING VETERANS 11/11/19

Representative DeAnn Vaught reports Arkansas is home to over 219,000 Veterans. They live and work in every community throughout our state.

In 2017, the General Assembly passed Act 141, which exempts military retirement benefits from state income tax.This year, we continued our effort to improve veteran affairs in our state with various legislation.

ACT 820 of 2019 provides automatic licensure for active duty service members, returning military veterans, the spouses of active duty service members, and the spouses of returning military veterans. This eliminates red tape for our military and veterans by allowing those individuals to engage in an occupation if they are in good standing of an equivalent occupational license issued by another state.

ACT 66 of 2019 allows a person applying to obtain a veteran designation on a driver’s license or identification card to provide different types of military discharge documents to show that he or she had a discharge status of “honorable” or “general under honorable conditions”.

According to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention annual report, 6,139 veterans died by suicide in 2017, 97 of whom were Arkansans. The Arkansas Department of Veteran’s Affairs (ADVA), the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), the Arkansas Veteran’s Coalition and the Central Arkansas Veteran’s Healthcare System’s (CAVHS) Suicide Prevention Program have formed a partnership to address the issue of veteran suicide in the state. This Veterans Day, the department wants current and former service men and women to know there is help and hope.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 1-800-273-TALK(8255). Veterans can access the Veteran Crisis Line by calling the national line and pressing 1. The committees will continue to study veteran affairs throughout the year, and file a written report with Legislative Council by December 1, 2020.  Recommendations will be considered in the 2021 Regular Session.

The House currently has 14 members who have served the country.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR 2020 KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO FESTIVAL 11/11/19

The Kiamichi Owa-Chito is currently looking for volunteers to help with the 2020 festival to be held April 24 & 25th at Beavers Bend State Park.  Anyone wanting to get involved with the Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival is invited to attend a meeting that will be held on Wednesday, November 13th at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce at 5pm.   Contact the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce at 580-584-3393 or go towww.owachitofestival.com for more information.

UA COSSATOT FFA GUN RAFFLE  DEEMED A SUCCESS 11/11/19

Kelli Harris, UA Cossatot FFA sponsor would like to thank everyone who supported the FFA students by purchasing gun raffle tickets and dining at the recent chili supper November 7th. Kelli says they have had a great year and raised more money than ever before!

The winners this year’s gun raffle include:

Michael Morphew – Prize #1: Remington V3 Field Sport Semi-Auto 12 Gauge Shotgun
Doug Simpson – Prize #2:  Ruger American Predator .308 Rifle
Kevin Sweeden – Prize #3:  Diamondback Semi-Automatic Davidsons Exclusive 5.56 NATO/223
Matt Carter – Prize #4:  Glock Gen 4 Semi-Automatic 9MM Pistol

The majority of the money raised at the annual FFA chilli supper is used for scholarships that directly benefit the students.

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY NOVEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS 11/11/19

November is here and that means it is time for the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive and Food for Fines with the Sevier County Libraries.

November 1 through November 30 local residents are asked to drop off gently used or new sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, or anything that can help keep someone warm this winter. Donations can be taken to any branch of the library in Gillham, Horatio, Lockesburg or De Queen. To donate to the Food for fines drive, bring any nonperishable food item to any branch library then, receive a one-dollar reduction per item in existing overdue fines. Food accepted for fines on returned library materials only, not for replacement fees of lost or damaged items. All items collected in November will help out each library community in the county.

The De Queen Library will also feature the Thanksgiving Story November 20th, at 4pm.

 

AG RUTLEDGE EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR VETERANS 11/11/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today released the following statement in recognition of Veterans for their service to the United States.

“America is the land of the free because of the brave men and women who for centuries have honorably served our country in war and peacetime,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansas is home to 219,000 veterans. Today and always I want to thank our veterans and their families for their service, commitment and sacrifice to ensuring the United States has the greatest military ever seen in the world.”

 

‘SHOP WITH A COP’ DONATIONS BEING ACCEPTED IN SEVIER COUNTY 11/11/19

The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Department have teamed up for the annual “Shop with a Cop” initiative to benefit the children of Sevier County.Last year, more than 100 children were able to shop for Christmas gifts because of the donations made to the program by area citizens.Donations are to be submitted by December 2nd and all checks can be made out to “Shop with a Cop.”

Checks may be submitted to:
The De Queen Police Department, PO Box 730, De Queen Arkansas, 71832
or The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, 137 W. Robinson Road, De Queen Arkansas, 71832.

Sheriff Gentry and Chief Simmons would like to thank everyone who makes a donation to the Shop with a Cop program.

 

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD APPOINTS NEW MEMBER AND NEW OFFICERS 11/08/19

The De Queen School Board has shaken things up with the election of officers and the swearing in of a new member during Thursday nights meeting.

Following the resignation of longtime board member and president Randy Hedge last month, the board approved Barry Reed to fill the seat for zone five and they selected Dr. Kenneth Martin to serve as president, Sandy Huntsberger as Vice president and Gloria Caldwell as secretary. County Clerk Debbie Aikin conducted the swearing in of Barry Reed and the board quickly dove into a lengthy discussion about the closing documents on a bond issue.

Michael Dobbs of First Security Beardsley addressed the board to present information about changes in the financing options and what that means for the districts financial future. Superintendent Jason Sanders says the change will provide more open cash availability for De Queen schools each month. The change is similar to refinancing a home and has allowed the district to save more than $300,000 over the life of the bond.

After the bond issue was addressed, the previous meetings minutes were approved and the financial statement was presented. Superintendent Sanders said he feels good about the district’s current financial status despite local property tax revenue being down roughly $200,000 than what was anticipated for this time of year. In the superintendent report, Mr. Sanders revealed some major renovations are in order for the future, including new roofs, repairs to the rock gym, old primary and multiple projects at the Jr. high.Overall ,the projected cost of the needed renovations is an estimated $1.25 million dollars.

Before adjourning an executive session was held and Superintendent Sanders reminded the board that the annual senior citizens luncheon  will be held at 12:00 p.m. November 21st in the elementary school cafeteria.

INTRODUCING  N.O.A.H. FARM         11/7/19
by KDQN Staff

Sevier County Economic Development director, Lisa Taylor arranged a luncheon to introduce Richard Tyler, owner of Noah Farm to the business community.

Tyler and his wife Jackie are owners of Noah Farm in Vian, Oklahoma.  They also operate Vian Peace Center, a non-profit food pantry that supplies food to 780 families per month.

Between 50 & 75 people attended the luncheon sponsored by the Rural Development Authority to learn more about the operation.  Attendees included State Representative DeAnn Vaught, Sevier County Quorum Court members, Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown, Sheriff Robert Gentry, Chief of Police Scott Simmons, De Queen City Council and De Queen Industrial Board members, school officials, business owners, as well as representatives from many other organizations.

Noah Farm, which is the acronym for Native Oklahoma Aquaponic Harvest, has purchased the 165,000 sq ft Husqvarna building in De Queen.  They are a commercial aquaphonic farming operation which sells a variety of vegetables, fish, and, yes, hemp and cbd oil.    Cannabidiol, better known as CBD is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments including arthritis, diabetes and PTSD. CDB oil is legal and does not contain the high level of THC found in marijuana.

Tyler explained that he chose De Queen as the site for expanding his operation because of the close proximity to major power grids, railway access, and the fact that De Queen encouraged new businesses to locate here.

In addition to his hemp production, Tyler said he hopes to turn the De Queen plant into a research and testing facility that will also offer small hemp farm opportunities to area land owners.  Hemp fiber can be used to replace wood pulp in many applications such as wood pulp, fireplace pellets, flooring, and much more.

The operation should be up and running around the first of the year and  projects having between 25 and 50 full time employees.

LOCAL FOOD SOURCING WORKSHOP TO BE HELD IN DE QUEEN THIS MONTH 11/08/19

The Henderson State University Small Business and Technology Development Center has partnered with the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce and UA Cossatot to bring Small Potatoes owner, Martin Butts to De Queen for the presentation of “Sourcing, Serving, and Marketing Local Cuisine”. This hands-on workshop is designed to help food businesses define what “local” means to their community so they can effectively build a brand that embraces their local identity and develop a messaging strategy that effectively communicates their values and why local purchasing is important.

The event will be held:

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

Skilled Trades Bldg. – Weyerhaeuser Room

UA Cossatot, De Queen campus 12:30 PM – 4:00 PM

**This program is being offered at no cost, but pre-registration is required.**

Registration here. or call Suzanne at 870-584-3225. You can also email dqchamber@gmail.com with names of attendees and phone number.

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY UPDATES 11/08/19

Judge Mike Cranford has provided KDQN with updates on what’s been happening in the Little River County Community this fall. The judge announced that a vacancy has been declared for district 6 following the passing of a justice of the peace on the Quorum Court. The declaration was made during the October Quorum Court meeting. Other items addressed during that meeting include a report from Sheriff Bobby Walraven and an ordinance permitting business between the county and JP Chuck Davis. The judge says the item had been in the books since 2007 but was in need of being updated.

Another update revealed by Judge Cranford is the completion of renovations to the columns outside the courthouse in Ashdown. Updates have also been made to the county’s annex building as well.

A reminder to Little River County residents has been announced for the veteran’s day holiday. All area citizens are invited out to the courthouse for the Little River County Veteran’s Day Celebration at 11:00 a.m. Everyone is welcome.

The quorum court has moved their meeting from 9:00 a.m. Monday November 11th to 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, November 12th. All meetings are open to the public.

 

HEMPSTEAD SHERIFF APPOINTED TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVISORY BOARD 11/08/19

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson has appointed Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton to the Criminal Justice Advisory Board for a term to effective until January of 2023.

The Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) is a campus of the University of Arkansas System that serves a unique population of non-traditional students—certified law enforcement professionals who are actively employed within our State’s police departments and sheriff’s offices. The Institute is committed to making communities safer by supporting law enforcement professionals through training, education, resources, and collaborative partnerships.

Utilizing both classroom-based instruction and practical, hands-on application, CJI provides an educational experience designed to enhance the performance and professionalism of law enforcement in progressive areas of criminal justice, including law enforcement leadership and management, crime scene investigation, computer applications, traffic safety, illicit drug investigations, and school safety.

FORMER RRAD EMPLOYEE PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING GOVERNMENT PROPERTY 11/08/19

A former Red River Army Depot mechanic pleaded guilty Wednesday before a federal judge in Texarkana to theft of government property involving nearly $7,000 in tools and equipment.

Frederick Eugene Morgan, 54, appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven with Longview, Texas, attorney Charles Van Cleef for arraignment in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Morgan pleaded guilty to an information charging him with theft of government property.

Court documents state that Morgan stole tools and other equipment worth $6,968.76 which he sold at pawn shops beginning in 2015 and ending in the fall of 2018. Morgan has agreed to pay that amount in restitution to the U.S. government. Morgan’s plea documents include a table with examples of the equipment he stole from RRAD.

Morgan will return to court for sentencing in several months. He faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Morgan is currently free on a $5,000 bond.

 

SENATOR LARRY TEAGUE ANNOUNCES SCHOOL FUNDING REPORTS 11/08/19

Senator Larry Teague reports adequately funding public schools is one of the most complex, time-consuming and important duties of the legislature.

Based on scores made by Arkansas students on the ACT Aspire tests administered during the 2017-2018 school year, only 30 percent of low income students scored at grade level, compared to 57.2 percent of non-low income students.

Scores in reading and math show similar achievement gaps.

The state provides bonus funding to school districts according to a formula that accounts for the number of low income students enrolled. The bonus funding category used to be called NSL, for National School Lunch, because eligibility for free and reduced price lunches indicates a student’s low income status. Now, the bonus funding is called ESA, for Enhanced Student Achievement funding.

About 60 percent of Arkansas students are eligible for free or reduced price school lunches. Schools with a higher percentage of low income students receive a higher rate of ESA bonus funding.

Last year, Arkansas schools received almost $234 million in ESA funding, which was about four percent of their total revenue.

Research indicates that students from low income families face obstacles to learning such as a lack of nutritious food, a lack of resources in the household, unsafe neighborhoods and a lack of adult role models. During a recent meeting of the Senate and House Education Committees, when legislators worked on the state’s ESA policy, they heard comments from advocacy groups that focus on improving education.

They included the Walton Family Foundation, the Walton Personal Philanthropy Group, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the Arkansas Rural Education Association and the Arkansas School Boards Association.

When the legislature convenes in regular session in January of 2021, legislators will have put in countless hours on the difficult challenge of closing the achievement gap between poor students and those growing up with more advantages.

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 11/07/19

 

FIRST MEETING OF NEW SEVIER COUNTY HOSPITAL BOARD HELD MONDAY 11/06/19

The first meeting of the recently established Sevier County Hospital Board of Governors was held Monday November 4th at the county courthouse in De Queen.

On October 28th, the new members were appointed to their positions by The Sevier County Quorum Court, as arranged by Judge Greg Ray.

Board members appointed include Dr. Johnathon Hoyt, Greg Revels, Skip (Felix) Bell,  Dr. Steve Cole, Brad Patterson,  Erika Buenrrostro, and Jimna Stinnett. Though appointed, Buenrrostro will not fill the seat and a 7th member will be chosen in her place soon.

Legal counsel from the Friday Firm in Little Rock attended the meeting to provide updates regarding the lingering clean-up process of closing the old De Queen Medical Center building.

Under the first item of business, Judge Greg Ray and County Clerk Debbie Aiken facilitated the selection of a chair, vice chair and secretary. Board members elected Dr. Steve Cole as chair, Greg Revels as vice-chair, and Felix (Skip) Bell as secretary.

Following the swear-in process, term lengths were decided by drawing numbers. It was determined Dr. Jonathan Hoyt will serve one year, Jimna Stinnett will serve two, Felix Bell will serve three, Chairman Steve Cole will serve four, the open position to be determined will serve five, Patterson will serve six years and Revels will serve for seven.

The board agreed to hold meetings at the courthouse in the conference room at 1:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month, with specially called meetings to be held as needed. An annual meeting will take place on the first Thursday in April with reports to the Quorum Court and officers will be elected during this time as well.

Attorney, Lynda Johnson of The Friday Firm announced her suggestion of purchasing insurance plans, including malpractice insurance as soon as the hospital begins to operate.

In January, the bond will be funded and important financial decisions will have to be made by the board. Vice-Chair and CPA Greg Revels will be collecting estimates and determining possible bid collections as well.

The topic of hospital utilities was addressed as Chairman Cole revealed that there is water access already available on the property near De Queen Lake Road. For electricity, SWEPCO will provide the power source needed for the facility to function. Jay Quebedeaux, chairman of Mena Regional Health System, attended the meeting to further report how Mena Regional will be partnering with the new center. Quebedeaux says Mena regional will initially get the new hospital going before Sevier County locals take over the operational responsibilities.

Attorney Lynda Johnson reported that the final steps in completing the old facilities closure are under way. A major problem still lingering is the development of mold growing inside the old De Queen medical center building. Johnson also noted a surplus of medical records stored in boxes that are still inside the facility as well, which has caused great safety concern.

Johnson told the board she believes owner Jorge Perez would sell the medical records on the dark web for profit, putting many local residents at risk of having their social security numbers exposed and facing possible identity theft and similar risks.

The solution to the security risk issue was to hire a contractor to destroy the records and also keep the newly established board from being liable for any security breaches in the event that the records were stolen.

Another issue that presented itself was the concern over computers in the old center that still have employee information stored in them, as the computers will be turned over to Perez after the official receivership is ended. Due to concerns of looting, Judge Greg Ray said that the county is going to take the responsibility of finding a solution for the computer storage problem.

The next meeting will include a visit from Chad Young with WDD architect firm on Monday, November 18th at 1:00 PM in the conference room of the courthouse. The purpose of the meeting will be to make decisions regarding the design of the new Sevier County Hospital layout. This meeting and all Hospital Board meetings will be open to the public.

DRUG RELATED ARRESTS MADE IN DIERKS 11/06/19

Three Dierks residents have been arrested on unrelated drug cases as the result of undercover operations conducted this year by law enforcement personnel in Howard County. 68 year old James Keaster and 28-year-old Macon Sullivan are each charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance—Hydrocodone and 38-year-old Adam Ward is charged with Delivery of a Controlled Substance—Methamphetamine or Cocaine. Keaster was released from jail. Sullivan’s bond is set at 50 thousand dollars and no bond has been set for Ward.

MAN KILLED ON ROADWAY IN TEXARKANA THURSDAY MORNING 11/06/19

A Texarkana man was struck and killed early this morning after getting out of his vehicle on 369/Jarvis Parkway to retrieve an item that had fallen off his vehicle while he was driving down the road.

Police received the call around 6:00 a.m. today, Thursday November 6th and the man was identified as Charles French, age 41 of Texarkana.

According to police on the scene, he and his wife were in the process of moving from Texarkana to Queen City, when French heard something fall from the vehicle.

He went out and tried to get the item while his wife was in the vehicle at the time he was hit.

Charles French was pronounced dead at the scene this morning.

ASHDOWN BAND EXCELS AT LITTLE ROCK MARCHING CONTEST 11/06/19

Congratulations to the Ashdown High School (Purple Pride Marching Band) PPMB on receiving a First Division rating at the Arkansas State Marching Contest held on Monday, November 4th at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.  The PPMB was one of 23 bands marching in the Class 4A classification and placed 7th overall.  The band is led on the field by Drum Major Ariel Shumake.  Directors are Mark Pounds, Tim Avery, and Nick Palmissano.

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL HEARS DEPARTMENT BUDGETS 11/07/19

Despite listing only two items on the agenda, Mayor Jeff Brown described Tuesday night’s council meeting as a lengthy. After approving the previous meeting’s minutes and permitting time for citizen comments, the two new business items were addressed.

The council discussed the resolution to make additional payments on the RDA and ANRC loans. The resolution was approved and the city is set to make the additional payments that Mayor Jeff Brown says will help get the amount down on the outstanding balances for the loans.

The final item addressed was the department head presentation of budgetary requirements. Mayor Brown says the council was receptive of the various departments needs and certain agencies have only had to make minor changes to their budgets for the upcoming year while others are in need of much financial support. For example, the district court is only seeking small budget adjustments to cover office supplies, while the De Queen Police Department is seeking additional cameras for interview rooms and a speed detector that will cost $15,000. However, a grant will be applied for to offset the cost of the new equipment. The De Queen Fire Department is seeking new turnouts and the Wastewater Department is in need of a new roof.

The remaining department heads will present their budgets at the next meeting scheduled for later this month. Both Darren Higgins with the Water Department and Gathea Bakenhous with the parks and recreation office will be included in the next round of presentations. No action was taken to grant or deny the requests and the next meeting is set for Tuesday November 19th at 5:30 p.m. in city hall.

The official budget for 2020 will be finalized in December. All De Queen City Council meetings are open to the public.

 

 

ARKANSAS AG COMPLETES EVENTS IN ALL 75 COUNTIES 11/06/19

On October 31st, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge completed the final Rutledge Roundtable of 2019. The event concluded the fifth consecutive year Rutledge hosted roundtable meetings as well as mobile offices in all 75 counties around the State, connecting individually with nearly 10,000 Arkansans.

“Visiting all 75 counties yearly is an opportunity to have authentic face-to-face conversations with Arkansans in their hometowns,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Meeting people where they live helps to truly understand the many issues communities are facing, whether it’s the vaping epidemic in our schools, overcrowding in our prisons or regulations stifling economic growth.”

Since taking office in 2015, Rutledge has hosted 384 Roundtables with over 4,300 participants. Each meeting has included officials from local businesses, local and State government, farmers, faith leaders, educators and representatives from various other industries.

In addition to the Roundtables, Rutledge had a record year in 2019 with 2,232 Arkansans visiting an Attorney General Mobile Office throughout the State. The mobile office initiative was created in 2015 to provide a county-by-county location to personally assist consumers in filing consumer complaints and answer questions about the full range of services provided by the Attorney General’s Office. After the success of the initiative in 2015, Rutledge expanded to include Prescription Drug Take Back boxes during each visit. The office collaborates with local law enforcement agencies across the State to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Since the addition of this service, the boxes have allowed authorities to properly dispose of nearly 620 pounds of old or unused medications.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

QUILT SHOW THIS WEEKEND IN LOCKESBURG 10/15/19

The Lockesburg Quilters and Crafters Guild will host their 2019 Quilt Show on Saturday, November 9th, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many beautiful quilts will be on display at the  Lockesburg Gymnasium on East Main Street (Hwy 371). There will be vendors, door prizes and homemade refreshments.  If you would like to enter a quilted item to be displayed, drop it by the First Baptist Church in Lockesburg on Thursday, November 7th, between 6 and 8 p.m. or at the Gym on Friday, November 10th, between 3 and 7 p.m.  There is a $3 charge per entry.  Categories include: hand quilted, machine pieced & quilted, children’s or baby, first quilt, retreat, applique, antique and miscellaneous.  Admission to the show is free.  The Guild will accept donations at the show and uses the money to help local under privileged children at Christmas time.  Guests will be able to vote on their favorite quilt, chat with the quilters, and purchase quilted items, supplies and fabric.  Come see the beautiful fabric art created by people in this area!!  If you have questions about entries or would like to be a vendor, please call 870-287-5178 or 870-784-4388.

UA COSSATOT RECOGNIZES FIRST GENERATION STUDENTS 11/06/19

UA Cossatot will recognize first-generation students by celebrating First-Generation Student Week through November 8. During this week, current first-generation students will be recognized and acknowledged for their educational accomplishments.

A first-generation college student is a student whose parents did not graduate from college. This fall semester UA Cossatot’s total enrollment was 1,521 students. 74% of those students are first-generation students.

UA Cossatot Admissions and Recruitment Specialist, Addison Hill is the coordinator for First Generation Student Week. Addison Hill said, “I want to celebrate the success of first-generation college students, faculty, and staff on our campuses so they know how special they are. I, myself, am a first generation student and I look forward to meeting students who have overcome the same barriers as me. Recognizing first generation students is something that doesn’t need to be celebrated one week out of the year, but every day because our number of first generation students is steadily increasing.”

Hill added, “Students need to take pride in being first generation because they are inspiring someone else to step out and better their future with education.”During the celebration week, Student Services will also be on the Ashdown, Nashville, and De Queen Campuses for anyone seeking information about how they can start pursuing post-secondary education at UA Cossatot. Walk-ins are welcome, and Student Services can also be reached at 870-584-447

ASHDOWN SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED BY OEP 11/06/19

Ashdown High School has been recognized by the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas as a school where students demonstrated high growth on the ACT Aspire!  According to a press release, “The OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards where we recognize schools with high student academic growth.  We think growth is the best indicator of the positive impact that your school is having on students.

Ashdown Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “I am so proud of our students and staff at Ashdown High School!  Our staff is always working so hard to improve student achievement and to prepare our students to be very successful even after graduation.  This growth on the ACT Aspire, just proves that all their hard work is paying off!”

Ashdown High School received the following awards:

High Overall Growth: High School Level (Southwest Region)
High Math Growth: High School Level (Southwest Region)
High ELA Growth: High School Level (Southwest Region)

Awards are based on the 2019 content growth score calculated by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. These growth scores reflect how much students at AHS improved from 2018 compared to how much they were expected to grow considering prior achievement. Schools were recognized based on overall growth, as well as for growth in Math and English Language Arts separately. 

“Ashdown High School students and teachers are working hard to improve in all areas.  Many new innovative programs and opportunities are being added constantly to help all students whether college or career bound,” AHS Principal Kay York Wortham added.

 

AREA EVENTS TO HONOR VETERANS      11/05/19
by KDQN Staff

Several events that will be held in the surrounding area to honor veterans:

The Eagletown School held their annual Veterans Day Breakfast this morning, November 5th,  at 8:30 AM in the school cafeteria.

Bank of Lockesburg will be honoring veterans all day with refreshments on Friday, November 8th. All veterans are welcome and encouraged to stop by.

The Cossatot River High School FFA program is hosting a Veteran’s appreciation breakfast at 7:00am to 10:00am in the Ag building on Monday, November 11th.

Ricky Hendricks with VFW Post 54 in De Queen reminded #1 Country listeners of the Veteran’s appreciation breakfast that will be held Monday, November 11th at 8:30 a.m. in the Skilled Trades Building on the De Queen Campus of UA Cossatot. For details, email Tommi Cobb at Tcobb@CCCUA.edu.

And, don’t forget, #1 Country is saluting our veterans by postingg their photos online. E-mail to numberonecountry@yahoo.com or drop by our studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive in De Queen

 

TOYS FOR TOTS FUNDRAISER HELD     11/04/19
by KDQN Staff

The annual Toys For Tots benefit was held Friday, November 1st at the Sevier County Fairgrounds in De Queen.  Bill Powers and Poor Boys provide music while attendees enjoyed their meal of smoked chicken, beans, potato salad, cole slaw, rolls and cake.

 Ira “Mac” McDaniel was recognized for his contribution to the Sevier County Toys for Tots organization at this year’s fundraiser. Jimmy Ray and Bud Gentry with Gentry Corporation, long-time supporters of Toys for Tots,  presented Mac with a plaque to commemorate his years of service to the Sevier County Rescue Unit and Toys for Tots.

The Sevier County Rescue Unit had already been gathering new and good used toys for distribution to needy children in Sevier County when Mac joined the unit in 1980.  By 1992, it became evident that the need was greater than the supply.  He and Russell Higgins came up with the idea of holding a fundraising dinner and auction to help provide the funds needed to purchase more gifts.  After 27 years, Mac announced Friday night that this would be his last year to cook for the benefit.  

Judge Greg Ray was on hand and presented plaques to Mac and Jerry Davis who has worked tirelessly for years alongside Mac to prepare the food and gather donations.

Brothers Keepers Motorcycle Club will be the Toys for Tots sponsor beginning in 2020.  They will implement several new ways to raise the funds to provide gifts for the children, so please support them as you have the Rescue Unit fundraisers in the past.

Applications for this year’s toys will be available beginning Monday,December 9th.  As in years past, they will be available at the radio station. Applications must be turned in by noon, Monday, December 16.  Distribution will be on Friday, December 20th at the Armory.

DE QUEEN WOMAN FACING CHARGES AFTER DOMESTIC DISPUTE 11/05/19

A woman is facing multiple charges after authorities responded to an incident in De Queen over the weekend.

According to a report released by The De Queen Police Department, officers were dispatched to a residence on West Locke in reference to a domestic dispute Sunday, November 3rd. Upon arriving on the scene Sergeant Wayne Baker and Pfc. Kris Hundley noted observing a female, identified as Jasmine Sullivan, age 18, of De Queen “screaming” in the front yard of the home.

After placing Jasmine into custody, a bottle of brandy was reportedly discovered and is believed to have fallen from the suspect’s pocket.

While speaking with Mikayla McCoy, officers reported observing markings and a bruise that McCoy claimed were caused by Jasmine during the altercation.

Williams was transported to The Sevier County Jail where she was charged with Domestic Battery in the 3rd degree and minor in possession.

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR CENTER SEEKING DONATIONS 11/05/19

The Sevier County Senior Citizen’s Center is currently seeking donations for prizes to be distributed at their weekly bingo game.

Needed donations include laundry detergent, dish soap, cleaning supplies, towels, blankets, Kleenex, hand sanitizer, hand soap and similar household items.

Many senior citizens are on a fixed income and are unable to make purchases beyond their food and medication budgets, and winning the prizes through bingo helps our local seniors earn what they need.

Area businesses that would like to make a gift card donation are appreciated, as many seniors cannot go out to eat at restaurants because of set budgets.

The weekly bingo game at The Senior Center takes place every Tuesday morning from 9:45 to 11:00 a.m.

Please contact Joyce Short to arrange a donation at 870-584-3995.

 

AGFC RELEASES HUNTING TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL DEER SEASON 11/05/19

According to the Quality Deer Management Association’s 2019 Whitetail Report, approximately 60 percent of Arkansas deer hunters each year check at least one deer. This success rate is the fourth-highest for deer hunters in the nation. Considering more than 350,000 deer hunters take the woods each year, that success rate is pretty impressive. Even so, some deer hunters are destined to walk away from the woods empty-handed, especially on public land. Here are  tips from Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deer Program Coordinator Ralph Meeker to up your odds this season.

Hunters should research both the size of the area and historical harvests of both bucks and does for the public area they intend to hunt. This will provide hunters with a rough idea of the local deer population and hunting pressure. Deer harvest reports can be found at www.agfc.com/deerharvest. Also, hunters should thoroughly read the regulations for the area they intend to hunt and understand that wildlife management areas are their own deer zone. Each WMA has a web page devoted to season dates and regulations at www.agfc.com/en/hunting/where-hunt.

QUORUM COURT BUDGET COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS 11/05/19

The Sevier County Quorum Court Budget Committee will meet on Thursday and Friday between 10:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. November 7 and 8, 2019. This meeting will be held at the Sevier County Courthouse Conference Room. This meeting is open to the public.

The Budget Committee will potentially meet each day of the week starting November 12 through November 15. These meetings will be between 10:00 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. All these meetings are open to the public.

DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY TO GIVE AWAY THANKSGIVING BLESSINGS 11/05/19

De Queen First Assembly of God Church will be giving away Thanksgiving Grocery Blessings on Sunday, November 24th at 10:30 a.m. to local families in need.

In order to receive a grocery blessing, it will be required to get a ticket at the information center as you arrive, and the groceries will be given out after service. No deliveries are available.

Call 584-3435 for additional information.

 

YORK FAMILY FARM INDUCTED INTO ARKANSAS CENTURY FARM PROGRAM     11/04/19

Governor Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward have inducted 46 Arkansas farms into the Arkansas Century Farm Program in 2019, including the York Family Farm in Little River County.

The Arkansas Century Farm Program recognizes Arkansas farms of 10 acres or more owned by the same family for at least 100 years. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture began the Century Farm Program in 2012 to highlight the contributions of these families to the agriculture industry as well as their overall contributions to the state.

The York Family Farm in Little River County was established in 1897. Also on the 2019 induction list were the Chambers Farm, established in 1862 in Howard County, and the Wiles Family Farm, established in 1889 in Polk County.

Agriculture is Arkansas’ largest industry, contributing more than $21 billion to the state’s economy annually and providing one in every six jobs in the state. Arkansas consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally in the production of more than 15 agricultural commodities.

“How reassuring that we are adding more families to the Arkansas Century Farm Program”, Governor Hutchinson said. “Families who have held onto their farms for generations lend a sense of continuity in a time of frequent change. These families pass down more than the knowledge of farming. They are handing down love of family and an ethic of hard work as well as a love for the land.”

Applications for the 2020 Century Farm Inductees will open in February.

 

DE QUEEN QUIZ BOWL TEAM COMPETES IN CENTERPOINT 11/04/19

The De Queen Quiz Bowl Team competed in the Centerpoint Tournament Saturday, November 2nd.

Team adviser Thomas Sweeten told KDQN the students lost a close match in the semi-finals to the 6A Russelville High School team.

De Queen defeated Bauxite in the conciliation game for a 3rd place finish.

Earlier this semester, the DQHS Quiz Bowl team competed at the Genoa Tournament Thursday, October 24th featuring an “A” team and a “B” team.

The “A” Team went undefeated and beat out a talented 6A Benton squad by one question in the finals. The “B” team finished in 4th place.

In addition to being the reigning 5A state Quiz Bowl Champions, De Queen High school was also ranked #1 for the 5A conference in a recent preseason poll.

VETERAN’S APPRECIATION BREAKFAST MONDAY NOVEMBER 11TH IN DE QUEEN 11/04/19

A Veteran’s appreciation breakfast will be held Monday, November 11th at 8:30 a.m. in the Skilled Trades Building on the De Queen Campus of UA Cossatot.

All local veterans and a family member are invited to attend this event. The De Queen High School Show Choir will be performing under the direction of Stephanie Jones and the local legion post will be participating. This is the 8th year the college has hosted the breakfast to honor area veterans.

For details, email Tommi Cobb at Tcobb@CCCUA.edu

 

FILING PERIOD FOR MARCH ELECTIONS BEGINS THIS WEEK 11/04/19

The filing period to be listed on the ballot for the March 2020 School Board, non-partisan judicial and preferential primary elections is being held this week, Monday November 4th at noon through noon on November 12th.

To file for candidacy with De Queen and Horatio school boards visit the Sevier County Clerk’s office.

Filing requirements include political practices pledge, an affidavit of eligibility and a petition of nomination signed by 20 qualified electors.

For De Queen, a school board position is open for school zone 5. In Horatio, zone three is up for re-election.

The municipal filing will be held in the last week of July 2020.

Contact the Sevier County Clerk’s office for more information by calling Phone (870) 642-2852

 

WOMAN FACING TRESPASSING CHARGE IN DE QUEEN 11/04/19

A woman is facing a trespassing charge in De Queen after authorities were dispatched to a report of an incident at Wal-mart on Collin Raye drive last week.

A press release provided by the De Queen police Department states that on Friday, November 1st officers were advised that Haley Kesterson, also known as Haley Taylor had reportedly trespassed the store on September 17th 2019.

Officers made contact with Kesterson and reportedly showed her a trespass order. The suspect was then transported to The Sevier County jail where she was charged with Criminal trespass and bond was set at $500.

 

REGISTRATION FOR SPRING 2020 GOING ON NOW AT UAHT 11/04/19

Registration for spring classes at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana is open now through January 10, 2020. The college will hold extended hours registration on January 6, and 7 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Classes begin on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.

UAHT offers a textbook rental program where students can rent college textbooks for only $20 per credit hour. The school Foundation offers students over one hundred twenty privately funded scholarships. There are also numerous financial aid opportunities, institutional scholarships, and work-study programs available.

A variety of certificate and degree programs such as Diesel Technology, HVAC, Power Technologies, Industrial Maintenance and Electricity, and Welding are available through online, hybrid, and evening classes. Students can earn certificates and degrees through a variety of avenues. UAHT also has campuses in Hope and Texarkana, Arkansas, so students have two convenient locations to earn a degree around their busy schedules.

For more information or to enroll at U of A Hope-Texarkana, call 870-777-5722 or visit www.uaht.edu today.

 

 

ARKANSAS HUNTERS CAN APPLY FOR ALLIGATOR GAR PERMITS 11/01/19

Arkansas Anglers interested in hooking into a trophy of epic size can apply for a 2020 Alligator Gar Trophy tag beginning today, Friday November 1st.

Alligator gar is the second largest species of freshwater fish in North America and occurs in many of Arkansas’s large rivers. The species can grow longer than 7 feet from tail to snout and often weigh more than 200 pounds. The largest fish ever caught in Arkansas was an alligator gar in the Red River that weighed 241 pounds.

Anyone may fish for alligator gar on a catch-and-release basis with an Alligator Gar Permit (AGP), but a trophy tag (AGT) is required to keep an Alligator Gar longer than 36 inches.

Interested anglers can enter the free online drawing from November 1 through December 31 for one of 100 Alligator Gar Trophy tags for the 2020 season. Applications are available under the “Fishing License” section of the AGFC’s online license system at https://ar-web.s3licensing.com.

The drawing will occur Jan. 2, 2020.  Applicants will be notified of the results by email.

 

DE QUEEN MAN ARRESTED FOR DOMESTIC BATTERY 11/01/19

A De Queen man is facing a domestic battery charge after authorities responded to a call on cottonwood drive Sunday.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that Ptl. Doug Johnson was dispatched to the home on cotton wood drive Sunday, October 27th in reference to a domestic dispute.

A woman in the home reportedly told officer Johnson that Jason Coleman, age 36, of De Queen had hit her in the face with a closed fist. Officer Johnson noted observing markings on the woman’s face and Coleman was placed in custody for 3rd degree battery, then transported to the Sevier County Jail where his bond was set at $1500.

 

HARVEST FESTIVAL APPROACHING 11/01/19

The 1st Horatio Harvest Festival is being presented by Hometown Connections next month.

The festival is set for November 9th from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. A pageant will be held the night before the big events on Friday November 8th and Saturday’s activities will begin with a flag ceremony and national anthem at city hall. A pancake breakfast to honor veterans will be held and the museum will be open for the day.

An art show, basketball shootout, basket raffle, car show, corn hole tournament, 5K, food trucks, Fire Department membership drive and bingo will all be featured.

A kiddie corner and open stage for local bands to perform will also be available. Area residents of all ages are encouraged to come out for the street dance Saturday night and everyone is welcome.

For more information about The Harvest Festival, visit Horatio Hometown Happenings on Facebook, Instagram and snapchat @hometownconnect.

Call 870-279-0942.

BROADBAND SURVEY PARTICIPATION NEEDED IN SEVIER COUNTY 11/01/19

UA Cossatot’s Economic Development department is working with the broadband provider Aristotle Unified Communications (AUC) to disseminate a survey that will assist in identifying the need and feasibility of deploying new broadband service in Sevier County. In order to receive useful quality data, members of Sevier County are being asked to complete an online survey to benefit the community.

Broadband Internet provides high-speed Internet. With broadband, Sevier County schools, businesses, and residents will be able to use the Internet in a faster amount of time with fewer technical difficulties. The prosperous economic growth of Sevier County, more excellent customer service and work production, and use of more technologies in local school systems are just a few benefits of this service.

AUC is committed to providing broadband to unserved and underserved rural communities and urban neighborhoods by eliminating barriers to broadband deployment. Research obtained from this market survey will be reviewed and assessed. For Sevier County to receive quicker Internet, AUC needs survey participation.

To complete this online survey, click here.

For more information, please contact UA Cossatot Economic Development Director, Lisa Taylor, at

ltaylor@cccua.edu or 870-584-1184.


DE QUEEN PROCLAIMED KNIFE-MAKING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD 10/30/19

Earlier this month, The City of De Queen was officially established as The Knife Making Capital of The World, as Mayor Jeff Brown signed a proclamation during the annual Hurrah! Festival October 5th.

Local Knife-making leader Logan Pierce is in the process of developing The World Knife-makers association in De Queen and many other related projects are under way for the community at this time. During recent city council and Sevier County Quorum Court meetings in October, Logan announced that there are more master level knife-makers in the local area than anywhere else in the world.

The possibility of a television show filming in De Queen is also in the works as Logan recently revealed that The Discovery Channel is considering documenting the growing knife-making community in De Queen.

Area residents interested in learning more about Knife-making as an art form can attend community meetings held at Riverside Machine Shop on the 2nd Thursday of every month beginning at 5:30 p.m.

 

DE QUEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL EARNS RECOGNITION 10/30/19

De Queen middle school has been recognized by the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas as a school where students demonstrated high growth on the ACT Aspire!  The OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards where they recognize schools with high student academic growth.  Growth is considered the best indicator of the positive impact that a school is having on students. To learn more about how the OEP award winners and to see the full list of award recipients, you can view the report here.

DEQUEEN MIDDLE received the following awards:

High Overall Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

High Math Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

De Queen Middle School also recently received an “A” rating on the 2019 Federal and State Accountability Report.
The Arkansas Department of Education’s Division of Elementary and Secondary Education released the 2019 federal and state accountability reports for public schools. The reports include data from the 2018-2019 school year, including 2019 ACT Aspire results.

NEW SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY ANNOUNCED AT UA COSSATOT 10/30/19

De Queen resident, Julie Brown, donated $25,000 to the UA Cossatot Foundation to establish the Cathy Sennett Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is to honor the memory of long-time Southern LP Gas employee, Cathy Sennett. The scholarship is for Sevier County college students attending UA Cossatot. Eligible applicants will need to have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have financial need. The scholarship will award one applicant $1,250 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Brown said, “Cathy was a dedicated employee with Southern LP Gas for nearly 40 years. I am honored to be able to provide a gift that will leave a lasting memory of Cathy while helping local college students.”

The UA Cossatot Foundation exists to create awareness of the need for scholarships while focusing efforts on raising resources to meet the need and furthering UA Cossatot’s institutional development.

UA Cossatot Foundation Director, Dustin Roberts said, “Ms. Brown has been a big supporter of our foundation and its mission. We are pleased to receive this gift to honor the memory of Ms. Sennett and to provide scholarship opportunities for our students.”

For more information on how to support UA Cossatot Foundation, please contact Dustin Roberts at 870-584-1172 or droberts@cccua.edu.

 

LOUISIANA STATE FAIR CANCELLED FOR TODAY WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 30TH 10/30/19

Due to inclement weather conditions today Wednesday October 30th, the State Fair of Louisiana will not be opening. All scheduled Fair events will be cancelled. However, the Ark-La-Tex Agricultural Council Junior Livestock Sale is still going on as scheduled at. Admission to the livestock sale is free. Fair organizers apologize for any inconveniences, but attractions, carnival rides, and concerts cannot operate in the heavy rain. The Fair will reopen Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 10:00 a.m, and will be back on schedule.

For in formation contact russell@statefairoflouisiana.com, 318-635-1361.

 

SEVIER COUNTY 4H BANQUET HELD SATURDAY 10/30/19

Sevier County 4H held a Banquet at First Baptist Church in De Queen Saturday, October 26th. Amber Morris and Kaydee Cowling served as the emcees and many awards were given out to 4H members for their achievements over the last year. A chicken dinner meal was served to all in attendance and graduating seniors were recognized. There was also a silent auction held during the event to raise funds for the organization. The mission of 4-H is to provide meaningful opportunities for youth and adults to work together to create sustainable community change. This is accomplished through Citizenship, Healthy living and Science.

More information about Sevier County 4H can be found at: https://www.uaex.edu/4h-youth/activities-programs/

 

LIBRARY SNIPPETS FOR NOVEMBER 10/30/19

BY: JOHNYE FISHER

November is here and you know what that means. It is The Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive and Food for Fines month!

November 1 through November 30. Please drop off gently used or new sweaters, coats, hats, gloves, anything to keep someone warm this winter at any branch library. Food for fines bring any nonperishable food item to any branch library for a one-dollar reduction per item in existing overdue fines. Food accepted for fines on returned library materials only, not for replacement fees of lost or damaged items. Sorry we cannot accept out of date items. All items collected in November will help out each library community in the county.

The De Queen Library will kick off the Sweater Drive with a Story time with Clifford the Big Red Dog November 6th, at 4 pm Come on out bring a sweater and meet Clifford. Our Thanksgiving Story will be November 20th, at 4pm.

Don’t forget those Domino games going on Wednesdays at 10am for any of you folks that would like to come in and join in the funYou can contact us by calling 870-584-4364 or visiting our Facebook page www.facebook.com/seviercountylibrary

Amy at Horatio Library says, Gobble,  Gobble, Gobble.   We hope you are enjoying this cooler weather.   We will only have one children’s program in November.  On November 9th Horatio will be having the Harvest Festival.   There will be a street dance, car show, art show, vendors and lots of activities.  We will have table’s set up outside the library with lots of fun activities for kids.  At 9 a.m. we will have a coloring contest for ages 3 to 5 and ages 5 to 7.   They will be judged at 9:45 with a prize given to the winners.   The Library Scarecrow will be here and who knows the exciting things the scarecrow has up their sleeve.   At 10 a.m. we will have a story time on How to Catch a Turkey by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton.  At 10:30 will do a craft for the first 45 children. We will be doing the Turkey Hokey Pokey and a Turkey Dance. Bring your kids and enjoy the fun. Don’t forget about our Domino game on Thursday at 9 a.m. and the GED class at 1 pm.   Have a safe and happy holiday season.

The Lockesburg Library has been designated a 4-H Partner Library. Our library resources and three Game Changers materials’ boxes are currently available for clubs in our area.

There will be no book club discussion in the month of November at the Lockesburg Library, however the Arkansas State Library has provided twelve copies of the book “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier for our patrons. December’s book club selection will be available to pick up.A presentative from Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center, Inc. will give a short program outlining their available services on Saturday, November 16 @ 10.

Remember the Reading Treasure chest each child may choose a prize from the Treasure chest upon returning their library books.

Contact Wendy Clay at 870-289-2233 for more information concerning programs, books and activities at the library.

The Gillham Library will have their regular Story Time and Craft Day Saturday November 16th, 2019 at 2:00 P.M. We have on the shelf the new Toy Story 4 DVD and the new Navada Barr book, What Rose Forgot.  We have recently received several book donations. Some will go on the shelf and some are for sale.Open Tuesday and Saturday 9-5 Closed 12 to 1:00 for lunch. For more information, you can contact Susie at the Gillham Library at 870-386-5665 or you can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary

PESTICIDE APPLICATOR TRAINING OFFERED IN ASHDOWN      10/30/19

Jennifer Sansom, Little River County Extension Agent, is offering a P.A.T. class for those who need to re-certify or apply for a first-time private applicator restricted use pesticide license.

The class will be held Monday, November 4, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at UA Cossatot-Ashdown campus in the Millwood Room (located at the back of the college).  For more information or to pre-register for the class, you can call the Extension office at 870-898-7224 or e-mail jsansom@uaex.edu.

If you do not currently have a private restricted use pesticide license and would like to become certified, plan to attend one of these training sessions.  For more information contact the Extension office at 898-7224 or e-mail sbeaty@uaex.edu.

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK PROGRAMS ANNOUNCED FOR NOVEMBER 10/30/19

Sunday, November 03

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Autumn Hike (1 hour) Join a park interpreter to enjoy a short hike on the River Corridor Trail. Join a park interpreter to learn some tips that will help you identify many of the trees that are found along the trail.

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.            Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.            Cossatot Craft Corner (1 hour) Do you enjoy being creative? Would you like to begin earning an explorer badge? Join a park interpreter to use your creativity, have fun, and discover something special that can be found in the park.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

Saturday, November 09

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Leaf Creations (1 hour) Join a park interpreter for a fun nature craft. We will be creating animals using colorful autumn leaves and twigs.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Autumn Hike (1.5 hour) Join a park interpreter to enjoy a short hike on the River Corridor Trail. We will discover how trees play an important role in protecting the Cossatot River. We will also learn some tips that will help you identify many of the trees that are found along the trail.

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

 Sunday, November 10

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Owl’s Last Supper (1 hour) Are you inquisitive and brave? If so, try to stomach this fascinating, hands-on activity. We’ll search for clues to solve the mystery of an owl’s last supper by dissecting an owl pellet. All materials are provided for this sanitary discovery opportunity.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.            Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.            Tracks and Trace (1 hour) Do you know what the first thing to discover about tracking is? Can you identify whose foot print is whose and where they were going?   Join a park interpreter in this fun activity and make an animal track craft to take home.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

Saturday, November 16

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Autumn Hike (1 hour) Join a park interpreter to enjoy a short hike on the River Corridor Trail. We will discover how trees play an important role in protecting the Cossatot River. We will also learn some tips that will help you identify many of the trees that are found along the trail.

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.            Skins and Skulls (1 hour) Have you ever felt the fur of an otter, or seen a foxes’ skull? Meet a park interpreter to discover more about the furry animals here at Cossatot River State Park.

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 Sunday, November 17

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.            Morning Stroll (1 hour) Join a park interpreter for this moderate hike along the River Corridor Trail. Feel free to bring binoculars; who knows what we will see or stir up.

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.            Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.            Bundle Up! (1 hour) It is getting cold outside and it is the time of year for us to break out our coats and make hot cocoa to stay warm.   Join a park interpreter to learn about the animals that live here and how they stay warm to survive the winter.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 Saturday, November 23

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Cast Iron Breakfast Demonstration (1 hour) Cast iron cookware has been used for centuries and is a popular method of cooking outdoors today. Join a park interpreter to learn more about cooking with cast iron and taste a sample of a Cast Iron breakfast.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.            Dutch Oven Dessert Demonstration (1 hour) Cast iron cookware has been used for centuries and is a popular method of cooking outdoors today. Join a park interpreter to learn more about cooking with cast iron and taste a sample of a Cast Iron dessert.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 Sunday, November 24

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.            Pioneer Games and Toys (1 hour) The past times enjoyed a century ago are not so different from the ones we enjoy today. Join a park interpreter to learn about a few of the pioneers’ favorite past times.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.            Feed the Critters (1 hour) It’s dinner time and the critters are hungry! Come and watch them eat and learn about the animals here at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.            Plant to Pantry (30 mins.) The Grist Mills used in communities surrounding Cossatot River State Park- Natural Area provided food to Arkansans by taking grains from the plant to the pantry. Visit with a park interpreter to see a grist mill and learn how it operates.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

Saturday, November 30

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.            What If You Had Animal Hair (1 hour) “What if one day when you woke up, the hair on your head wasn’t yours?   What if, overnight, a wild animal’s hair grew in, instead?” Join a park interpreter to discover why the wild animals living at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area have the hair they do and how it helps them survive.

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.            Bird Feeder Craft (1 hour) It is winter time and our feathered friends need some help to survive winter. Join a park interpreter to make bird feeders.

 

 

 

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 10/24

 

SEVIER COUNTY HOSPITAL BOARD APPOINTED DURING QUORUM COURT MEETING MONDAY 10/28/19

Following the passing of a hospital tax and bond issue during a specially called election October 8th, Sevier County is now set to build a new Hospital North of De Queen to provide 24-hour emergency services.

Because the hospital project has been given the green light to move forward, Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and the Justices of The Peace have established a seven-member hospital board who will be responsible for overseeing the administrative aspects and operations of the facility. Each JP was asked by Judge Ray to provide the names of two Sevier County residents who would be adequate to serve on the board. Today, the Quorum voted on those potential members and The Board members were officially appointed.

The Sevier County Hospital Board of Governors appointment includes the following appointees:

1. Dr. Johnathon Hoyt, a retired Doctor who formerly owned a medical practice in De Queen.

2. Greg Revels, owner of Revels and Company, a certified public accounting firm in De Queen.

3. Skip (Felix) Bell, a De Queen School Board member who holds the Lockesburg seat and is a medical professional in Howard County.

4. Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor of UA Cossatot and Chairman of The Sevier County Rural Development Authority

5. Brad Patterson, a current RN employed at The office of Dr. Randy Walker and a former hospital administrator at The De Queen Medical center.

6. Erika Buenrrostro, Coordinator of the Center for Student Success at UA Cossatot

7. Jimna Stinnett, of The De Queen Abstract Company

The selected members are required to meet within 10 days of the board’s establishment. In addition to overseeing operations and logistics for the Hospital, the board will also be responsible for hiring administrative staff. No financial compensation will be received in exchange for serving on The Board of Governors and all meetings will be open to the public.

The hospital Board will be required to report to The Sevier County Quorum Court with updates regularly.

 

FATAL CRASH REPORTED IN LOCKESBURG TODAY 10/28/19

A fatal car accident that occurred on Provo road in Lockesburg, Arkansas Monday morning has been reported by state police.

According to the report from Arkansas State Police, the single-vehicle crash occurred at 7:54 a.m. on Monday, October 28th 2019.

Kendall Jamerson, age 18 of Lockesburg is listed as the driver of a 2002 Chevrolet tahoe. An unnamed male minor is listed as the passenger in the vehicle.

The narrative in the report states that the tahoe was headed Northbound on Provo road when the car left the roadway, overturned and struck a tree. The minor passenger in the car was pronounced dead on the scene at 8:35 a.m.

Jamerson was transported to Howard county Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the accident.  Weather conditions are listed as rainy and road conditions were described as wet at the time of the accident.

The family of the deceased have been notified.

 

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 10/17

 

 

 

MORE THAN $8.8 MILLION IN COMMUNITY GRANTS AWARDED   10/28/19

Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission presented grants totaling more than $8.8 million to 78 Arkansas communities and counties at a ceremony on Thursday, October 24th at the Arkansas State Capitol.

The grants fall into one of four programs administered by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC): Arkansas Community and Economic Development Grant Program, Rural Services Block Grants, Rural Community Grants, and County Fair Building Grants.

The City of De Queen received a grant for $200,000 to be used for a water tank from the Arkansas Community and Economic Development Grant funds. These funds originate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To be eligible for this program, communities must have a population of less than 50,000, and at least 51 percent of the persons benefiting from the project must be of low-to-moderate income. De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown, Heather Brown, Water Department Superintendent Darren Higgins, Alderman Teresa Bunyard, District Four State Representative DeAnn Vaught, and AEDC Commissioner Jay Bunyard attended the grant presentation.

The City of Foreman received a $200,000 grant for waste water. And the City of Ogden received a $166,000 grant for a water project.

The next cycle deadline for the Rural Community Grant Program and County Fair Building Grant Program begins March 5, 2020. For more information about grants administered by AEDC, visit www.ArkansasEDC.com or call 1-800-ARKANSAS.

 

ASHDOWN JUNIOR HIGH RECOGNIZED BY OEP FOR ACT ASPIRE RESULTS 10/28/19

The Ashdown Junior High School has been recognized by the Office for Education Policy (OEP) at the University of Arkansas as a school where students demonstrated high growth on the ACT Aspire!  The OEP creates an annual report entitled the Outstanding Educational Performance Awards where schools are recognized for high student academic growth.

AJHS received the following awards:

High Overall Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

High Math Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

High ELA Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

Mr. James K. Jones, AJHS Principal says, “The teachers and staff are committed to student academic success as well as making AJHS a place where students expect to succeed and do so.  Our improved growth in student test scores for the last several years indicate that we have excellent teachers in English/Language Arts, Math and other key core subjects who work together as a team.”

Awards are based on the 2019 content growth score calculated by the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. These growth scores reflect how much students at the school improved from 2018 compared to how much they were expected to grow considering prior achievement.

Ashdown Public School Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “We are extremely excited about the direction our campuses are going and we could not be more proud of the awards AJHS has received and for all of the hard work and commitment that our students and staff have put forward to making this positive growth happen.”

 

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS FARM-TO-SCHOOL LEGISLATION FOR ARKANSAS STUDENTS 10/28/19

Childhood obesity is a serious problem across the country. Surveys indicate 1 in 5 children are now obese.

Several studies have shown that students will eat more fruits and vegetables when they have easy access to a variety of high quality fresh items. And one way to provide more healthy options is through Farm-to-School programs.

October is National Farm-to-School Month. Farm-to-School programs connect Arkansas’s growers and local food producers to learning environments in the community.

The three main farm-to-school practices are local food procurement, nutrition education, and school gardens.

Students, farmers, and communities all win when they participate in this program.

Buying from local producers and processors creates new jobs.

Top products for the farm to school sales in Arkansas are apples, watermelon, berries, sweet potatoes, and lettuce.

In the most recent legislative session, we sought to strengthen the program with Act 506. This legislation establishes a Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program and creates a Farm to School and Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator Position within the Arkansas Agriculture Department to administer the program. This expansion will help to children to develop healthy eating habits even earlier.

In Arkansas, 47 school districts are using farm to school practices.  That’s an impact on 95,605 students. But there are thousands more who could still benefit.

Making local food purchases do not require any extra paperwork on the part of the farmer or the school. The best way to get started is to find out who is interested in farm to school in your area. You can do so by visiting www.farmtoschool.org.

 

DE QUEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL OCTOBER GOOD CITIZENS 10/28/19

October Good Citizens for De Queen Middle School
Katherine Peppers, Jeremiah Coto, Noah Varela & Perry Nickerson

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL QUIZ BOWL TEAM SCORES TWO TROPHIES AT RECENT COMPETITION 10/28/19

The De Queen Quiz Bowl team competed at the Genoa Tournament last week on Thursday, October 24th. A total of 18 teams from 16 districts were represented at the match.

The De Queen Quiz Bowl team had two teams compete, including an “A” team and a “B” team.

The “A” Team went undefeated and beat out a talented 6A Benton squad by one question in the finals. The “B” team finished in 4th place. The Genoa Tournament was the first time the De Queen Quiz Bowl Team has received two trophies at one tournament.

In addition to being the reigning 5A state Quiz Bowl Champions, De Queen High school was also ranked #1 for the 5A conference in a recent pre-season poll.

 

DE QUEEN MAN FACING DRUG CHARGES AFTER TRAFFIC STOP SATURDAY 10/28/19

A De Queen man is now facing drug-related charges after local authorities conducted a traffic stop over the weekend.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states Sergeant Bucky Sawyer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle at 13th and Locke on Saturday, October 26th. Sergeant Sawyer reportedly noted the smell of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. The driver of the car was identified as Shane Vasquez, age 31 of De Queen.

During the traffic stop sergeant Sawyer also reported discovering three pills listed as Hydrocodone painkillers. Vasquez was placed in custody for possession of a controlled substance and transported to The Sevier County Jail.

 

DETAILS RELEASED REGARDING DEPUTY INVOLVED SHOOTING IN SEVIER COUNTY 10/25/19

Arkansas State Police have identified a man who reportedly attempted to hit a deputy with a car earlier this week, resulting in the officer firing his weapon.

According to state police, Sevier County deputies arrested John Douglas Carver, age 44 of DeQueen after he allegedly resisted arrest and tried to flee the scene . Authorities say he nearly hit  one of the officers with a car, and it resulted in one of the deputies firing his gun at the vehicle. Carver is facing multiple charges, including 2nd-degree battery, felony fleeing, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and felony terroristic threatening.

Deputies responded to a call on Farm to Market Road Tuesday, October 22nd, after receiving information about Carver allegedly harming a resident in the area. Police say Carver began to resist, then fled to a nearby vehicle and nearly hit a deputy, who then fired multiple gunshots in the direction of the vehicle. Carver reportedly crashed the car before he abandoned the vehicle to flee on foot and was ultimately apprehended.

Arkansas State Police say both Carver and a sheriff’s deputy were treated for minor injuries, none were listed as serious.

 

MAN SUSPECTED TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR BURGLARIES NOW IN CUSTODY 10/25/19

A suspect believed to be responsible for the recent series of break-ins in the local area is now in custody.
The De Queen Police Department, along with The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and Little River County Sheriff’s Department executed a search warrant for a vehicle involved in the theft cases Wednesday, October 23rd. Officers recovered several items that had been reported stolen and a male subject is now facing criminal charges. The investigation is ongoing at this time.

 

ASHDOWN TEACHERS AWARDED GRANTS 10/25/19

Congratulations to Ashdown Elementary teachers Marshun Starks and Shonda Redfearn on receiving ($1200 each) Margaret Daniel Foundation Grants to purchase Cricut Machines and $2500 to Ashdown Agri on receiving a grant to go towards purchasing a plasma cutter.

Photo 1: Board Member Thad Bishop and Brenda Tate, Jaden Crawford, Clay Harris, Landry Patrick, Justin Smith, Nyasia Maxie and William Gentry
Photo 2: Board Members Thad Bishop, Brenda Tate, Kari Harger, Marshun Starks, and Board Member Mallory Wharton
Photo 3: Board Members Mallory Wharton, Brenda Tate, Kari Harger, and Shonda Redfearn and Board Member Thad Bishop

 

ASHDOWN RESIDENT APPOINTED TO BOARD BY GOVERNOR 10/25/19

This week, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced several appointments to boards and councils through out the state.

Including the appointment of Ashdown resident Keri Cody, to the Arkansas Board of Podiatric Medicine. The appointment expires August 31, 2022. Cody will be replacing Susan Green.

 

ARKANSAS RESIDENT FINDS 3RD LARGEST DIAMOND OF THE YEAR 10/25/19

65-year-old Pat Choate and her husband John made the two-hour drive from their home in Jacksonville, Arkansas to search for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. Originally from the Murfreesboro area, the couple has visited Arkansas’s diamond site numerous times over the years and have found five diamonds, but Choate made her biggest discovery yet on Tuesday, October 22.

The couple entered the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area around 2 p.m. Pat Choate had been surface searching on Canary Hill, in the southwest part of the search area, for about 30 minutes when she made her find.
Choate says she knew she had found a diamond right away and showed it to a few other visitors who were nearby. She carried it in a pill bottle to show her husband before taking it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where park staff registered it as a brown diamond weighing 3.29 carats.

According to Assistant Superintendent Meghan Moore, “Mrs. Choate’s diamond is about the size of a chickpea, with a sparkling metallic luster and a beautiful hue similar to brandy. Like many larger diamonds from the park, it appears to be fractured and contains a few inclusions, which gives it a unique appearance.”

Choate’s gem is the third-largest diamond found in 2019, so far. It is the largest brown gem found at the park in more than two years, since a teenager from Centerton, Arkansas discovered a 7.44-carat brown diamond in March 2017.

As of this writing, 426 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2019, weighing more than 84 carats.; 15 diamonds registered this year have weighed at least one carat each.

 

DIERKS TRUNK OR TREAT EVENT THURSDAY 10/25/19

The third annual Dierks Trunk or Treat will be held on October 31st at the Dierks City Park at 6 p.m. Laura Eckert says any group or organization that would like to participate is welcome.

Several churches will be participating in the trunk or treat and all youth are invited to the event next week.

Contact Laura Eckert for more information or to signup at 870-557-3040.

 

MILLER COUNTY RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR ENDANGERING WELFARE OF A MINOR 10/25/19

Miller County Sheriff’s Office Investigators arrested 28-year-old Danielle Mitchell of Miller County Friday morning for Endangering the Welfare of a Minor, 1st Degree. The charge follows the drowning of her one-year-old daughter this summer.

On July 9, 2019 at 7:30pm, Miller County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a residence on County Road 40 in reference to a drowned toddler with CPR in progress. Upon arrival, The victim was transported by Life-Net EMS to Christus St. Michael emergency room where she was pronounced deceased.

Members of the Miller County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division investigated the incident. The suspect, Danielle Mitchell was apparently caring for three (3) toddlers inside the residence when the drowning occurred.

Mitchell was taken into custody and booked into the Miller County Detention Center this morning where she is currently being held without bond pending her 1st Judicial Court Appearance.

 

 

 

TRIAL DATE SET FOR MAN CHARGED WITH NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE IN SEVIER COUNTY 10/24/19

The driver charged with three counts of negligent homicide and one count of battery following a fatal car accident in Sevier County October 12th has been given a jury trial date set for early next year on January 29th, 2020. Pre-trial has been scheduled for January 9th, 2020. An Arkansas State Police report lists Justin Blake Williams, age 25, of Texas as the driver of a 2016 Dodge Ram truck that crossed the center line on Hwy. 41 Saturday, October 12th and struck a 2013 Buick Enclave, driven by Jessica Baig, age 32, of Horatio.

Passengers in the car included Mirza Baig, age 35, and Lillian Baig, age 10, who were also were killed in the crash. A 7-year-old girl, Roselynn was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock for treatment from injuries sustained in the accident.

The charges were filed against Williams on Tuesday, Oct. 15th and he was arrested two days later on Oct. 17th He was released the same day he was arrested after posted a $100,000 bond. An affidavit in the case states that Williams admitted to police that he consumed “a few” drinks but would not state how many. His speech was described as “slow and slurred” and the smell of alcohol was reportedly coming off his person while being interviewed after the accident. Williams allegedly admitted to attempting to pass another vehicle in a no pass zone at the time of the collision.

All charges filed are listed as class B felonies. Attorney Erin Hunter in The 9th West Judicial Circuit before Judge Charles Yeargan will prosecute the case.

Williams reportedly has pleaded not guilty to all charges. If convicted, he faces a prison term of up to 20 years for each negligent homicide charge and the battery charge, as well as a $15,000 fine for each count.

 

WANTED CRIMINAL IN MENA ARRESTED TUESDAY 10/24/19

The Mena Pulse has reported On Tuesday, October 22nd the Mena Police Department arrested 33-year-old Joshua Fernandez on a warrant. At the time of the arrest, Joshua Fernandez was in possession of $46,321.00 dollars in cash. With the assistance of the US Secret Service, and after contacting the New Orleans Police Department, it was found that Joshua Fernandez was being sought by NOPD for Larceny. It was also discovered that Fernandez was involved in a burglary in New Orleans and a warrant had been requested. After receiving a copy of the NOPD offense report, a hold was placed on Joshua Fernandez. He was held in the Polk County Jail, pending extradition.

 

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR AMHC SCHOLARSHIPS 10/24/19 

ASHDOWN SCHOOLS SPECIALLY CALLED MEETING 10/24/19

The Ashdown Board of Education will have a special called school board meeting today, October 24, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. at the Administration office, 751 Rankin Street.  Agenda items will include personnel.

 

DEPUTY-INVOLVED SHOOTING IN SEVIER COUNTY TUESDAY 10/23/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department has confirmed a shooting involving a Deputy took place in Sevier County Tuesday evening.

No injuries reported and a suspect is in custody.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the incident at this time.

More details will be released as information becomes available.

 

LOUISIANA STATE FAIR KICKS OFF THIS WEEK 10/23/19

The 113th edition of the Louisiana State Fair is set to kick off this week, on Thursday October 24th and will continue through November 10th. Hours of operation are 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The fair will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

The admission price is $12 and armbands are available. The cost of a P.O.P gate admission and carnival armband is $47 and a Funpass for all 14 days of the fair will be $100.

Free Fair days will be featured on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m plus, discount Wednesdays have been announced with gate admission at just $5 after 3:00 p.m. and armbands are $20.

On Thursdays, parking and admission price is just $2 and carnival rides are only $2 from noon to close.

Many free attractions are offered during the Lousiana State Fair as well, including the state fair Zoo, Circus Hollywood, Hydro Flying Circus, Paul Bunyan’s Lumber Jack show, the Kenya Safari Acrobats and more.

Fiesta at the State Fair is scheduled for Sunday November 3rd. A low rider car show, latin foods and live music by latin bands will be featured. Each night a concert will be held to showcase live entertainment. All concerts are free with gate admission and a different artist will perform each evening.The LRCA Finals rodeo is set for Thursday, October 31st, Friday November 1st and Saturday November 2nd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. at the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum.

Tickets can be won for free by listening to Number One Country, 92.1 or purchased at statefairoflouisiana.com

Find out more at Facebook.com/TheStateFairofLouisiana

 

UAHT ALUM OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED 10/23/19

The 2019 U of A Hope-Texarkana Outstanding Alum of the Year, Maurice Henry, was recently recognized at the Annual Arkansas Community College’s Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. The annual outstanding alumnus is someone who renders special and outstanding service to the College, brings distinction to the College, and/or brings recognition to the College through outstanding service and significant contributions to his or her community, state and/or nation.

Henry graduated in 1982 with a certificate in HVAC from then Red River Vocational Technical School, and has been employed at the Hope Public School District ever since. He began his career working in the school district bus garage, he then transferred to the grounds and maintenance department, he later became the department supervisor in custodial services, and now serves as Director of Facilities and Transportation. He has been a pillar at the district working under seven different superintendents. Henry also serves as the Pastor of Corinth Baptist Church and works as a Hempstead County reserve sheriff’s deputy.

Maurice has been active professionally on the state and national levels, serving as president of the Arkansas School Plant Managers Association in 2007 and president of the National School Plant Managers in 2012. He holds an Arkansas State Facilities Director Certification, has served as Vice Chairman of the Arkansas Public Employee Retirement System for ten years and is a member of the State Fire License Protection Board. He also serves as Vice President of the Hempstead County Labor Board at Fulton and has recently been appointed to serve on the Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce.

 

CAR TRUCK AND MOTORCYCLE SHOW SATURDAY 10/23/19

Car, truck, and motorcycle enthusiasts are invited to the 2nd annual October Cruise Over event, which will be held at the Lockesburg City Park this Saturday, October 26th. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the cost to enter the show is $20. There are several categories to enter and each winner will receive a trophy. There will also be a concession stand, entertainment, and other activities. All of the proceeds will assist the local Masonic scholarship funds and Arkansas Children’s Hospital. For more information contact Rodney Whisenhunt at 870-451-3273 or Mark King at 870-200-1337.

 

FOREMAN SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER TO HOST BINGO THURSDAY 10/23/19

The Foreman Senior Citizen Center has announced a game of Bingo will be played at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 24th. Mrs. Shandi will be calling bingo and all seniors are welcome.

 

ARKANSAS AG JOINS INVESTIGATION INTO FACEBOOK 10/23/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a bipartisan investigation by 47 state attorneys general into Facebook for antitrust violations. The multistate investigation will concentrate on potential anti-competitive business practices stemming from Facebook’s dominance in the industry.

“Major tech platforms like Facebook have thrived on the public’s willingness to share their personal information and preferences,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This investigation is a deeper dive into the business practices used by Facebook to determine whether it has committed any violations of antitrust laws.”

In September, Attorney General Rutledge announced an antitrust investigation into whether Google conducts its business practices in accordance with State and federal antitrust laws. A bipartisan coalition of 50 attorneys general plan to collaborate with federal authorities to investigate the tech giant’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may constitute anti-competitive behavior that harms Arkansas consumers.

Attorney General Rutledge joins the bipartisan investigation being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The investigation now includes the attorneys general of Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, , Tennessee, Texas, the District of Columbia, the territory of Guam, and a number of other states that cannot confirm participation due to pending investigations.

ANGEL TREE APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED AT LOCKESBURG BANK 10/23/19

The Lockesburg Lions Club has announced that “angel tree” applications are now being accepted.

Applications may be filled out for lockesburg area children age 17 or younger.

Forms can be picked up at Bank of Lockesburg, Nadine’s Café, The Lockesburg Post Office, Lockesburg City Hall, and Lockesburg Grocery.

All applications must be submitted to The Bank of Lockesburg by November 20th, 2019.

 

LEGACY ACADEMY SCHOLAR INDUCTION HELD IN LOCKESBURG 10/22/19

 On Wednesday, October 16th Legacy Academy, Lockesburg, Arkansas, for the first time formally recognized its students and charged them to live up to their calling as Legacy students. The school was divided into four groups: Rookies (kindergarten, first and second grades), Protégés (third-sixth grades), Apprentices (seventh-ninth grades), and Scholars (tenth-twelfth grades).

Each group of students gathered and pledged to honor their teachers, respect their parents, and complete their schoolwork diligently. Rookies received a certificate; Apprentices received a badge; and Protégés received a coin inscribed with the Latin phrase “Viribus, Virtus, Excellencia” or “Strength, Virtue, Excellence” the motto of the school.

The Scholars each declared and signed their pledge symbolizing their commitment to be recognized as a Legacy Scholar – a leader within the student body, who has personal integrity, excellence in all their endeavors, and those who faithfully follow the word of God and the leadership given to them – and lit their own candle from the group, representing the passing on of the responsibility to them as well. Parents of the Scholars placed a Legacy blazer on their shoulders, symbolizing their shouldering of responsibility to be excellent role models for the other students. The Legacy Honor Scholars of 2019 are JJ Stegall, Joseph Hossenlopp, Andrew Tucker, Grace Tucker and Ana Gutierrez.

School founder Chad Gallagher said, “This was an excellent celebration of the journey of these students through Legacy Academy and their growth into young men and women of honor, but it was also a celebration of the many more lives to come, each of whom will be taught in the ways and values of Legacy Academy and who will become standard-bearers in all aspects of their lives in the wider community. We are so proud of our 2019 Scholars and look forward with expectancy to the bright futures before them.”

Legacy Academy is a Christian school and a member of the Association of Classical Christian Schools, located in Lockesburg serving Sevier and surrounding counties.

 

SEVIER COUNTY ROAD DEPARTMENT CLEAR DEBRIS AFTER SUNDAY STORM 10/22/19

The Sevier County Road Department has seen a significant increase in calls this week, as storm Damage swept through the area Sunday night into Monday morning, October 21st.

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray told KDQN reports of trees down, and debris throughout county roads have been called in to his office this week.

Many roads seeing aftermath from the storm include crosstrails, Rink, Coulter Lane, Red Bridge Road and several roads throughout the county.

It was also reported that a camper shed blew over and chicken houses were damaged as a result of the storm.

The road Department worked to clear the debris and trees quickly for safety of area residents in Sevier County.

Judge Ray’s office can be reached at 870-642-2425 For questions can inquiries.

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING THIS WEEK 10/21/19

The De Queen High School Student Council announces the 2019 DHS Homecoming Court. The De Queen Leopards Football team will be playing their homecoming game against the Lakeside Rams on October 25, 2019. Homecoming festivities will kick-off
with spirit week beginning on October 21 going through October 25. Spirit days include: Mix Match Macaw Day (wear mix matched clothes), Hunter vs. Prey Tuesday (wear camouflage or animal print), Senior Citizens Gone Wild Wednesday (dress as a senior citizen), Tribal Wars Thursday (dress in your designated class color), and King of the Jungle Friday (dress to impress or dress in black and gold). Homecoming festivities will continue with a Homecoming Parade downtown at approximately 1:40 p.m. on October 25 themed “Welcome to the Jungle”. The parade will continue to the High School at approximately 2:10 p.m. An afternoon ceremony and pep rally will begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the De Queen High School Coliseum. Evening Homecoming ceremonies will begin at 6:30 pm at Leopard Stadium and the game will follow at 7:00 p.m.

POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION REPORTS FROM DEANN VAUGHT 10/21/19

On average, an Arkansan with a bachelor’s degree will earn $700,000 more in a 30 year career than those who drop out of college.  The gap climbs to $1.5 million for those with a doctorate.

This information is included in the 2018 Economic Security Report which was presented this week to the Arkansas Legislative Council Higher Education Sub-Committee.

The report makes clear that the cost to obtain any certificates or degrees at an Arkansas public postsecondary institution is significantly lower than the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in additional average career earnings.

Not including living expenses, the estimated cost in Arkansas for an associate’s degree is $10,000. The estimated cost for a bachelor’s degree $30,000.

Each level of educational achievement provides a boost in earnings power. In fact, the report shows a significant difference in earnings just the first year. On average, first year earnings for Arkansans with a bachelor’s degree are $31,800. Average first year earnings for high school graduates are $11,900.

Employment rates are also impacted by levels of education. First year full-time employment rates for college dropouts is 29%. The rates climb to 44% for Arkansans with a Certificate of Proficiency and 58% for those with an associate’s degree.

In most cases, what you study matters more than where you study. For those with an associate’s degree, science technology and health professionals make the most in average first year earnings. For those with bachelor’s degrees, engineering students make the most in average first year earnings.

Studies of health professions are the most popular over all degree areas in Arkansas as well as being the most popular choice for Certificates of Proficiency, Technical Certificates, and First Professional degrees. The most common Bachelor’s degree programs are in Business, Management, and Marketing.

Although each graduate’s success will reflect a variety of factors such as the local job market, where they choose to live, and what area they chose to study, the Economic Report provides valuable information as students and parents consider education and career choices. We have posted the report on our websitewww.arkansashouse.org.

HARVEST FESTIVAL IN HORATIO NOVEMBER 9TH

The 1st Horatio Harvest Festival is being presented by Hometown Connections next month.

The festival is set for November 9th from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.
A pageant will be held the night before the big events on Friday November 8th and Saturday’s activities will begin with a flag ceremony and national anthem at city hall. A pancake breakfast to honor veterans will be held and the museum will be open for the day.

An art show, basketball shootout, basket raffle, car show, corn hole tournament, 5K, food trucks, Fire Department membership drive and bingo will all be featured.

A kiddie corner and open stage for local bands to perform will also be available.

Area residents of all ages are encouraged to come out for the street dance Saturday night and everyone is welcome.

For more information about The Harvest Festival, visit Horatio Hometown Happenings on Facebook, Instagram and snapchat @hometownconnect.

Call 870-279-0942.

LOCAL COLLEGE TO BEGIN REGISTRATION MONDAY OCTOBER 28TH 10/21/19

On Monday, October 28, 2019, UA Cossatot’s spring registration for classes will be available. Students will be able to enroll in courses by contacting a Student Services Advisor to begin or continue their education at UA Cossatot.

The college’s Student Services department has Admissions and Recruitment Specialists at the Ashdown, Nashville, and De Queen Campuses. To sign up for classes or to learn about educational opportunities, they can be reached at 870-584-4471 or studentservices@cccua.edu. Walk-in visits are welcome from 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday.

The Spring 2020 semester includes available courses in general studies, student personal development, accounting, biology, business, child development, fine arts, criminal justice, health and safety, political science, Spanish, English, and sociology, to name a few.

The college also offers courses in specific programs, including nursing, welding, radio-television broadcasting, industrial electricity and technology, automotive services, diesel technology, cosmetology, the physical therapist assistant program, and the occupational therapy assistant program. Medical pre-requisites are available to take, and UA Cossatot will also be offering EMT classes this upcoming semester at the Nashville Campus.

UA Cossatot has four campuses and will be offering classes for students to take in-class, online, during the day and evening. The college also provides AV courses.

Students are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to enroll in the courses they need. The final day to register for the spring 2020 semester is January 14. Spring 2020 classes begin at UA Cossatot on January 13.

 

OCTOBER REPORTS FROM DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT 10/18/19

The De Queen Fire Department has provided reports for recent calls the agency has responded to this month.

On Saturday, October 12th at 6:29 a.m. 11 members of the department responded to a call about an electric line in a tree in the alley behind 305 North 3rd street. No trucks were utilized in the call and no injuries were reported. The department left the scene by 6:49 a.m.

On Saturday, October 12th at 4:24 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to 487 Highway 41 South in Sevier County in response to a car wreck.

The department provided a motor vehicle accident extrication of Texas resident Justin Blake Williams, the driver of a 2016 Dodge Ram. According to the report, 13 members of the department and one truck responded to the all-call alarm and left the scene by 5:42 p.m.

 

FREE COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIRS IN OCTOBER 10/18/19

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Center for Student Success will host a free health fair on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, at the UA Cossatot De Queen Campus. This event will take place in the Skilled Trades Building from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. Another free health fair will also take place at UA Cossatot’s Nashville Campus in the atrium from 2:00 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 30, 2019.

The UA Cossatot Health Fair is an annual event held at the college to promote healthy living in our local area. At the fair, free flu shots, glucose monitoring, blood pressure readings, and body mass index (BMI) calculations will be available.

This event is open to the public, students, and UA Cossatot employees and is in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health.

For more information, please contact the Center for Student Success Coordinator, Erika Buenrrostro at 870-584-1133 or ebuenrrostro@cccua.edu.

 

AGFC OFFERING CWD DEER TESTING SITES 10/18/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is rolling out additional opportunities for hunters to get their deer tested for chronic wasting disease throughout the state this deer season.

More than 130 testing locations have been established through regional offices, drop-off locations and participating taxidermists. All of these options are free to the hunter and are completely voluntary.

Many of the free testing locations available to hunters are voluntary drop-off freezers that allow hunters to drop off samples with their contact information. Many of these locations are available 24 hours a day. The AGFC began implementing this network of freezers last deer season, and many hunters took advantage of the opportunity.

It is easy to get a deer tested through a drop-off location. Simply bring the deer’s head with 4 to 6 inches of the neck attached and any antlers removed to the location and place it in one of the provided plastic bags with your name and contact information on the card provided. The AGFC will collect these samples and have them analyzed by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission laboratory. Testing results should be available within two to three weeks.

Test results will be posted through a secure system at www.agfc.com/cwd.

Drop-Off Containers:

Dequeen City Shop – East Haes Ave Entrance 
613 E Haes Ave.
Dequeen, AR. 71832
877-777-5580

Little River County Sanitation Department
1318 Little River 11
Ashdown, AR. 71822
877-777-5580

 

DRIVER IN HOMICIDE CASE ARRESTED AND RELEASED AFTER MAKING BOND 10/18/19

Justin Blake Williams, the driver charged with negligent homicide and 1st degree battery after an accident on Highway 41 Saturday October 12th was arrested today, Thursday October 17th, and held in the Sevier County Jail.

According to The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, Justin was released after posting a $100,000 bond this afternoon.

 

 

DE QUEEN POLICE REPORT FINDING METH DURING TRAFFIC STOP SUNDAY 10/17/19

Two area residents were detained in The Sevier County Jail after police conducted a traffic stop in De Queen Sunday, October 13th.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that Sergeant Wayne Baker conducted a traffic stop on an SUV on 3rd street after observing multi-colored lights flashing under the vehicle.

According to the report, the driver of the SUV was identified as a male named Luis Rosas Quintana, age 24, of De Queen. A male passenger in the car was identified as Ricardo Villeda, age 21 of Washington, Arkansas. The driver of the vehicle reportedly agreed to allow Sergeant Baker to search the car and during that search, a clear plastic bag with a white crystal substance was allegedly discovered in the passenger side door pocket.

Villeda and Quintana were read their Miranda rights and reportedly agreed to answer questions. Though Quintana denied having knowledge of the suspected methamphetamine, both he and Villeda were transported to The Sevier County jail for possession of a controlled substance.

 

SWEPCO FILES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN REQUEST FOR NEW RATES 10/17/19

Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO), an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, filed a settlement agreement in its request for new rates at the Arkansas Public Service Commission (APSC) this week.

If approved, the settlement agreement provides a net annual increase of $24.1 million in non-fuel base rates. New rates would go into effect with the first billing cycle of January 2020. Under the settlement, an Arkansas residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month would see an overall bill increase of approximately $8.54 per month, or 8.8%.

SWEPCO had originally sought a net annual increase of $45.6 million plus $12 million for additional vegetation management.

Base rates refer to the costs of building, maintaining and operating SWEPCO’s electric system, including power plants, transmission and distribution lines and facilities to serve customers. Base rates do not include the fuel portion of the customer’s bill, which pays for fuel and purchased power and is a pass-through to customers with no profit to the company.

A settlement hearing is scheduled for Oct. 21 at the APSC building in Little Rock. Public comment hearings are scheduled for Oct. 24 in Ashdown, Ark., and Oct. 29 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Under the settlement, $28.9 million for costs currently recovered through separate charges, or riders, on customers’ bills will be moved into base rates. These existing costs include additional power plant environmental controls completed between 2013 and 2016 to meet federal mandates and construction of the high-efficiency, combined-cycle Stall natural gas plant, completed in 2010.

The settlement agreement includes approval of a formula rate plan for a five-year term.

SWEPCO serves 536,300 customers in three states, including 119,800 in Arkansas.

 

LANSDELL FAMILY CLINIC OPENING NEW LOCATION AND FEATURING NEW HOURS 10/17/19

Lansdell family clinic has announced they will be breaking ground on a new location in Lockesburg by the end of October 2019. Last month, the clinic hosted a grand opening and chamber of commerce ribbon cutting to celebrate new services being offered and added hours of service.

The clinic is located inside Pruett’s Foods in De Queen, at 500 East Collin Raye Drive. They can be reached at 870-584-1053.

Now open seven days a week, Lansdell accepts walk-ins and appointments from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays 12:00 p.m. through 5:00 p.m. All insurances and self-pay patients are welcome.

Services include:

-Ultrasounds

-Flu Shots

-EKGs

-Women’s exams

-DOT physicals

-splints/castings

-Xrays

-Cryo and IV therapy

-Pulmonary tests

-and more

Lansdell family clinic can also be found on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/Lansdellclinic/

 

 

TEXAS MAN FACING CRIMINAL CHARGES FOLLOWING DEATH OF THREE LOCAL RESIDENTS 10/15/19

The driver of a vehicle that struck and killed three Horatio residents and injured another Saturday evening is now facing criminal charges.

Justin Williams, age 25, of Abilene, Texas has been charged with three counts of Negligent Homicide by operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Williams also faces one count of 1st degree battery. The felony case was opened today, Tuesday October 15th through the Sevier County Court system.

An Arkansas State Police report lists Williams as the driver of a 2016 Dodge Ram truck that crossed the center line on Highway 41 and collided with another vehicle around 4:20 p.m. Saturday, October 12th.

The vehicle struck by the dodge was a 2013 Buick Enclave driven by Jessica  Baig, with Mirza Baig and two female minors as passengers. The collision caused the enclave to overturn several times before “coming to a final resting place upright.”

Deputy Coroner Jeff Marshall pronounced Jessica, Mirza and a female minor dead at the scene. An additional female minor received injuries from the wreck and was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Justin Williams was taken to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texas.

A signed affidavit in the case states that Williams admitted to police that he consumed “a few” drinks but would not state how many. Williams speech was described as “slow and slurred” and the smell of alcohol was reportedly coming off his person while being interviewed after the accident. Williams allegedly admitted to attempting to pass another vehicle in a no pass zone at the time of the collision.

A warrant for the arrest of Justin Williams was filed at 2:54 p.m. today, Tuesday October 15th.

All charges filed are listed as class B felonies and the case will be prosecuted by Attorney Erin Hunter in The 9th West Judicial Circuit before Judge Charles Yeargan.

 

QUORUM COURT TO APPOINT HOSPITAL BOARD MEMBERS AT SPECIALLY CALLED MEETING 10/16/19

The appointment of a Hospital Board to oversee the development and operation of the new Sevier County emergency medical center is now in the works, as Judge Greg Ray made a request for the JP’s at the start of Monday’s Quorum Court meeting.

Judge Ray has asked that each Justice of The Peace provide the names of recommended board members by the specially called meeting set for October 28th

The board will consist of seven members and it will be required that all representatives be residents of Sevier County.

Once the recommendations are submitted the appointment process will begin.

The Quorum then addressed a few old business items not listed on the agenda, including an announcement from Judge Ray regarding the Sevier County Airport.

Ray reported that Senator John Boozeman contacted him to report a grant in the amount of $6,500 will be provided for improvements to be made to the Sevier County Airport Runway.

All agenda items in the new business category were approved. These items include a request for funding from Lisa Taylor, Sevier County Economic Development Director. The quorum agreed to provide $700 to be used to development and maintain a “tourism hub” website that will be feature lodging and attraction information for out-of-town visitors.

The Quorum also approved a name change in the contract with the Division of Environmental Quality and granted a request for an additional $529 to the extension office for the correction of an error made when sending out the approved budget.

Before adjourning the council heard from local Knife-making leader Logan Pierce, who provided an update on the establishment of The World Knife-makers association in De Queen and the success of the recent ‘forged in fire’ event at the Hurrah Festival. Pierce says he’s currently seeking a location to set up the association headquarters. The possibility of a television show filming in De Queen is also in the works as Logan announced The Discovery Channel is considering documenting the growing knife-making community in De Queen.

The next meeting will be held October 28th at the courthouse in De Queen.

ASHDOWN MAN ARRESTED FOR REPORTED INCIDENT INVOLVING A GUN IN TEXARKANA 10/16/19

The Texarkana Texas Police Department arrested Cody Graf, 26, of Ashdown, Arkansas, for Deadly Conduct late last week after he pointed a gun at another motorist during a road rage incident.

The victim told officers that a man, later identified as Graf, started following her while honking his horn after she inadvertently changed lanes into his path. After she stopped in the Central Mall parking lot, Graf pulled up beside her vehicle and pointed a handgun at her. The victim said she immediately sped away with Graf chasing her while he held the gun out of the window of his truck. When the victim saw an officer on a traffic stop on Richmond Road and pulled in behind her patrol unit, Graf continued driving past and left the area.

Graf called 911 several minutes later to report that his vehicle had been hit during the incident and asked officers to meet him on the Central Mall parking lot. When asked, he told officers that he had pointed the gun at the woman in the other vehicle only because the passenger had pointed one at him. However, officers had already determined that the only people in the other vehicle were the victim and her three young children in the back seat. The victim allowed officers to search her vehicle, and no pistol was found. Authorities found no damage to either vehicle.

Graf was arrested and transported to the Bi-State Jail. He was released on Friday after posting a $5,000 bond. A pistol and ammunition found in his truck were seized as evidence.

 

ARKANSAS STATE TREASURER’S OFFICE TEAMS UP WITH AGENCIES TO LAUNCH EDUCATION PROGRAM 10/15/19

Earlier this month, Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan announced his team has partnered with The Arkansas Student Loan authority, Arkansas Department of Education and the 529 Education Savings Plan to launch an online education-readiness program, found at ARCollegeSaver.org.

Treasurer Milligan provided KDQN with an interview to break down the plan’s details and explain the goals of this academic support program. The treasurer says state tax deductions will be provided for all residents of Arkansas who open an account with the 529 Savings plan. The money saved through the plan can be used to fund the cost of traditional colleges as well as technical schools and other qualifying institutions.

The name 529 refers to the Internal Revenue code section that lists this type of savings tool. All Arkansas residents age 18 and older with a valid physical address are eligible to open an account. There are also resources available though the website, that are designed to help families navigate the college financing process.  Parents can find scholarship information, savings guidelines,  loan estimates and more at ARCollegeSaver.org.

Milligan says he’s most excited about teaming up with the partnering organizations to help combat the debt crises many Arkansans have been facing. He also hopes for future members of the Arkansas workforce to be able to stay in the Natural State for their careers. Milligan believes education is key for that type of success.

Since Dennis Milligan was elected Arkansas treasurer in 2015, the Arkansas 529 plan’s assets have grown by $344 million.

More information about college financing resources, visit ARCollegeSaver.org.

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL LITTLE MERMAID PRESENTATION NOVEMBER 16-19 10/16/19

The Ashdown High School Drama presents The Little Mermaid!

 

Community performances are Saturday, November 16th at 6 p.m. and Sunday, November 17th at 2 p.m.  Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

 

 

 

 

WESTERMAN WEEKLY WITH WILEY (AND JAY) 10/15/19

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL BAND EXCELS AT MARCHING CONTEST IN LITTLE ROCK 10/15/19

 

The Ashdown High School Purple Pride Marching Band (PPMB) marched at the Showcase of Bands Marching Contest held at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 12th. The band performed a show featuring the music of Queen, which included Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Will Rock You, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

PPMB received all first division ratings at the Showcase Marching Contest (percussion, colorguard, drum major and band). They also received Outstanding Colorguard (Class 4A), Outstanding Musical Performance (Class 4A), Outstanding General Effect (Class 4A), Outstanding Marching (Class 4A) and Outstanding Band for Class 3A-4A

Director Mark Pounds also received his 7th Brandon Award given in memory of Raymond and Ruth Brandon. This award was given to the director for the best musical performance of the day for Class 2A – 4A. He received the first one given at the contest in 2003. Mr. Pounds said, “I am proud of our PPMB, I didn’t play a single note, march a spot, or spin a flag, but the young folks in this great group sure did!”

The band is assisted by Tim Avery and Nick Palmissano.

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1964 REUNION 10/15/19

Left to right. Back row: Tony Beltrani, Ben Carpenter, Richard Wright, Spencer Logan, Ernie Merrill, Fletcher Christian, Larry Higgins, Bobby Miller. Middle row: Sandra Emerson Chandler, Lynda Emerson Beltrani, Ruby Noey Vallee, Linda Tollett Power, Colleen Hill Curtis, Jimmy Priest. Front row: Imagean Davis Packnett, Glenda Wilson Culp, Jimmy Athey Huskey, Jane McVay Bennett, Judy McGown Sullivan, Neal Johnson.

 

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER OF NEARLY 20 YEARS RESIGNS 10/15/19

De Queen School Board President Randy Hedge has announced his resignation. Mr. Hedge has served the board for nearly 20 years and the announcement came during the October board meeting held last week. The resignation was accepted and the board expressed their appreciation for Mr. Hedge’s dedicated years of service.

According to Randy, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the children, faculty, and residents of the De Queen school system”

An election to fill the position will be held in March of 2020. Potential Candidates must live with in the zone and file with the courthouse during the filing period, November 4th-12th of 2019.

Other items of business approved during the October meeting include an addendum to the 2019-2020 handbook. Superintendent Jason Sanders informed the board that the new minimum graduation requirements are set at 22 units for students participating in smart core or core curriculum.

Sanders also requested approval on expenditure items valued at more than $25, 000. One of those items was a bid accepted for band equipment costs, totaling $49,887.88 The other expenses include renovations at the 9th street gym in the amount of $48,835. The cost covers the all-weather flooring, painting interior and a concrete quote for $30,910. The total estimated cost of the project is $117,895.00. The expenses were unanimously approved.

After approving a motion to retire fixed assets and AD&D insurance, bids were taken for a truck and tractor. The bid in the amount of $550 was accepted.

The board then approved the decision to pay hourly for a bus route to transport students to and from the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Program, Before adjourning Skip Bell was selected as the delegate for the ASBA annual conference in Little Rock and a GT plan for 2019-2020 was approved.

The previous meeting’s minutes, September financial statement and expenditures were all approved.

The next De Queen School Board meeting has been set for November 7th, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

 

TWO DWI ARRESTS MADE BY SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT OVER THE WEEKEND 10/15/19

 

 

 

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION UPDATES 10/15/19

Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, October 14th in administration building.

Board approved minority recruitment plan, athletic facility usage, and policy 4.35F6 emergency stock of ephiniphrine, albuterol, and anti-opiod.

The board accepted resignation of Jessica Tallant, special ed aide and hired Christy Ayers as special education aide.

Principals, Susan Nelson and Stephanie Rowe and transportation supervisor, Tim Mason reported to board.

The board approved routine reports and financial statements.

 

QUILT SHOW ANNOUNCED IN LOCKESBURG 10/15/19

The Lockesburg Quilters and Crafters Guild will host their 2019 Quilt Show on Saturday, November 9th, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many beautiful quilts will be on display at the  Lockesburg Gymnasium on East Main Street (Hwy 371). There will be vendors, door prizes and homemade refreshments.  If you would like to enter a quilted item to be displayed, drop it by the First Baptist Church in Lockesburg on Thursday, November 7th, between 6 and 8 p.m. or at the Gym on Friday, November 10th, between 3 and 7 p.m.  There is a $3 charge per entry.  Categories include: hand quilted, machine pieced & quilted, children’s or baby, first quilt, retreat, applique, antique and miscellaneous.  Admission to the show is free.  The Guild will accept donations at the show and uses the money to help local under privileged children at Christmas time.  Guests will be able to vote on their favorite quilt, chat with the quilters, and purchase quilted items, supplies and fabric.  Come see the beautiful fabric art created by people in this area!!  If you have questions about entries or would like to be a vendor, please call 870-287-5178 or 870-784-4388.

 

 

IDENTITIES OF LOCAL RESIDENTS WHO DIED IN FATAL CAR ACCIDENT RELEASED BY STATE POLICE 10/13/19

The details regarding a car wreck that took the lives of three people in Sevier County Saturday have been reported by Arkansas State Police.

A report from Arkansas Police states that the accident occurred at 4:20 p.m. Saturday, October 12th, 2019 on Highway 41 South, around De Queen. Jessica Baig, a woman, age 32, of Horatio is listed as the driver of a 2013 Buick Enclave. Mirza Baig, a man, age 35, of Horatio and two unidentified female minors are named as the passengers of the Buick in the report.

Justin Williams, age 25, of Taylor, Texas was reported as the driver of a 2016 Dodge Ram truck.  The narrative states that the Northbound Dodge ram crossed the center line on Highway 41 South and struck the front of the Buick Enclave, causing the vehicle to overturn several times before “coming to a final resting place upright.”

Deputy Coroner Jeff Marshall pronounced Jessica, Mirza and a female minor dead at the scene at 5:05 p.m. An additional female minor received injuries from the wreck and was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Justin Williams was taken to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texas.

The families of the deceased have been notified.

Road conditions are described as dry, and the weather is reported to have been clear at the time of the accident.

 

FATAL CRASH REPORTED NEAR DE QUEEN SATURDAY EVENING 10/12/19

Arkansas State Police have confirmed a fatal car accident occurred earlier today off Highway 41 South, approximately a mile and a half outside of De Queen. As of 8:00 p.m. authorities were still on the scene. Sevier County Sheriff’s Department is assisting with routing traffic. Names of the deceased will not be released until after next of kin is notified. KDQN will provide details as information becomes available.

 

DE QUEEN MAN JAILED FOR THEFT AT LOCAL BUSINESS 10/14/19

A De Queen resident is facing a theft of property charge after authorities responded to a call at an area business last week.

A report released by The De Queen police Department States that captain Sonny Kimmel was dispatched to Bailey Discount Building Supply on Thursday October 10th in reference to a shoplifting incident.

Captain Kimmel was reportedly informed that a Hispanic male had stolen three faucet handles valued at $10.00 per handle. Video surveillance confirmed the statement and the male suspect was identified as Juan Bahena, age 67 of De Queen.

At the police station, Officer Gilberto Elizondo translated the Miranda rights and Bahena reportedly agreed to answer questions. Bahena denied the allegations before being transported to The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and processed for Theft of Property. A court date for Bahena has been set for November 12th, 2019 at The Sevier County Courthouse.

 

DEADLINE FOR CITIZENSHIP CLASS TODAY AT 6:00 P.M. 10/14/19

UA Cossatot’s Adult Education department will be offering an eight-week course to help individuals receive assistance with the U.S. naturalization application, interview, and civics exam. This free U.S. Citizenship class is an eight-week course offered from 3:00 P.M. to 4:30 P.M. on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning on October 15, 2019.

Students wanting to take this class must register for the course in person by 6:00 P.M. on October 14. This course is offered through UA Cossatot’s Adult Education department at the Howard County Campus in Nashville.

The U.S. Citizenship class is for permanent residents who are planning to apply for U.S. Naturalization. It will prepare applicants for the naturalization interview and civics test. Assistance with filling out the N-400 Application for Naturalization is also available.

The classes are at Nashville, but anyone can register for the U.S. Citizenship class at any UA Cossatot Adult Education site. UA Cossatot’s Adult Education office is open from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. for anyone that would like to register.

For more information, please call UA Cossatot’s Adult Education department at 870-584-1318.

 

AINSLEY’S ANGELS CONTINUES INCLUSION EFFORTS IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS THIS FALL 10/14/19

Local non-profit group “Ainsley’s Angels of Southwest Arkansas” continues to promote inclusion in local communities through a series of events being held this fall.

The local chapter of the organization has been providing opportunities for special needs athletes to be involved in 5K’s and fun events in the area throughout the year since launching in February of 2019. So far, our area ambassadorship has participated in over a dozen 5ks and a triathlon.

Nationwide, the Ainsely’s team is its 9th year, rolling in 60 cities across 32 states with no plans of slowing down soon.

Last month in De Queen the group held a successful “Dinner and 5K fundraiser” that included 22 angel riders and earned $2,000 dollars towards the purchase of equipment and a trailer for future races.

Up next the athletes plan to participate in two races for the month of October, including the Little Heroes 5K in De Queen on October 19th and the Super Heroes 5K in Nashville on October 26th. They also plan to march in the De Queen Christmas Parade and do the Santa Sprint 5K in Texarkana.

Many volunteers, community members, area runners and local businesses have contributed time and efforts to the Southwest Arkansas chapter in support of inclusion and new supporters are always encouraged to get involved.

Tessa Dean, Southwest Chapter ambassador, can be reached at swarkansas@ainsleysangels.org and more information about Ainsely’s Angels can be found online at ainselysangels.org

 

 

 

ARKANSAS AG FILES LAWSUITS AGAINST E-CIG COMPANIES 10/14/19

Last week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge pursued legal action against three online e-cigarette retailers for violating State laws. By selling and shipping nicotine products and devices, including e-cigarettes, to Arkansas children without age verification, the companies are in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).

Those lawsuits were filed against Utah-based BuyVapor.com, Arizona-based The Vape Co. and Minnesota-based Mystic Juice USA, LLC. While all three companies sold and shipped vape products to customers in Arkansas and failed to confirm the consumers’ ages, which are violations of state law, Mystic Juice also utilized eBay.com to avoid the legal-minimum-age-to-purchase requirements and used deception to bypass eBay’s own policy of not selling tobacco products on its platform. Rutledge sent a letter to eBay earlier this week demanding the removal of all electronic nicotine devices and products from its website.

Each ADTPA violation is subject to a fine up to $10,000 per occurrence. To report online retailers in violation of ADTPA or learn more about the dangers of youth vaping, visit ArkansasAG.gov.

 

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS BULLYING LEGISLATION FOR ARKANSAS 10/14/19

A 2017 study titled “Indicators of School Crime and Safety,” published by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education, reported that 20% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the previous school year.

The same study also reported that about 33% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year.

The persistence of school bullying has led to instances of student suicide across the country, including Arkansas.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is when someone hurts or scares another person repeatedly. It can include name calling, inflicting physical pain, exclusion, public humiliation, hurtful pranks and defacing property.

The Arkansas legislature began passing anti-bullying legislation in 2003. This year we strengthened those laws in an effort to reduce the instances of bullying in our schools.

In 2019, the General Assembly passed Act 1029, an Act to Amend the State Anti-Bullying Policy.

It requires parents of the victim of bullying be notified as soon as reasonably practicable. It requires schools to investigate and write a report on the complaint within 5 school days. The act also requires the school notify the parent or legal guardian of the student who is determined to have been the perpetrator of the incident of bullying.

In addition, it requires the superintendent to annually update the school board on the number of incidents of bullying reported and the actions taken.

Act 1029 states the Department of Education shall require 2 hours of professional development for licensed public school personnel in bullying prevention and recognition of the relationship between incidents of bullying and the risk of suicide.

This General Assembly also passed Act 190 which requires school counselors to spend at least 90% of his or her working time providing direct and indirect services to students.

The legislature will continue to study the issue of bullying but there are things we can all do.

Help children understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure they know how to get help.

And finally we can all model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

SHOOTING REPORTED IN LOCKESBURG 10/11/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department has reported a shooting occured in Lockesburg during the early morning hours of Friday October 11th. Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle says the incident is currently being worked as a self defense case. More information will be released as details become available.

 

 

TOUR DE QUEEN BIKE RIDE IN DE QUEEN COMING NOVEMBER 2ND 10/10/19

The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce has announced today, Thursday October 10th is the deadline for inclusion in sponsor advertising for the 2019 Tour De Queen. Forms can be obtained and submitted at the Chamber office in Downtown De Queen. Suzanne Babb would like to thank members have sent in sponsorships and volunteered to help with the event. Thanks to the sponsors, the Tour De Queen will now offer event t-shirts, a children’s trike ride around the Courthouse Square, vendor booths, and events that the whole family can enjoy.

The Tour De Queen is set for November 2nd and will offer five routes of different lengths, including a new 38-mile gravel and paved combination. Riders of all levels will experience a scenic trek through the countryside or up by the lake.

Routes include a 15-mile, 25-mile, 36-mile, 38-mile, and 47-mile ride. Families and children are welcome and the youngest riders can bring their tricycles and ride in the Pop-cycle Trike Ride around the courthouse square (with a cool treat at the end)!

For more information, contact the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce at dqchamber@gmail.com .

 

TEXARKANA DOCTOR ARRESTED IN DRUG CASE BY FEDERAL AGENTS, DEA AND FBI 10/10/19

Federal agents with the DEA and FBI raided Primary Care Specialists in Texarkana, Arkansas on Tuesday and arrested Dr. Lonnie Parker. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Dr. Parker on nine counts of Prescribing Without a Legitimate Medical Purpose Outside the Scope of a Professional Practice. He is alleged to have over-prescribed several controlled
substances, according to a complaint that described a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient.
According to the Indictment, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and
Diversion Groups initiated an investigation into Dr. Parker of Texarkana, Arkansas in 2018. The investigation revealed Dr. Parker
was an over-prescribing controlled substances; include opiates, benzodiazepines, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup. In the two-year period analyzed, Dr. Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opiates, to around 1,500 patients. Dr. Parker also prescribed 16 gallons of Promethazine cough syrup to 29 patients during the same time period.

U.S. Senator John Boozman released a statement concerning the arrest, stating that the work of the U.S. Attorney and authorities to identify and now act to hold over-prescribers responsible sends a clear message as to their intention to
crack down on this behavior in order to end the plague of opioid addiction in Arkansas.

 

YOUTH FISHING DERBY IN COLUMBUS ARKANSAS THIS SATURDAY 10/10/19

Youth Fishing Derbies for youth 15 and younger have been announced for this weekend at The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831.
Saturday, October 12th, 2019 from 9:00 through 11:30 a.m.

All children ages 15 and under are welcome to participate in these derbies.
– Bring your pole and some bait, and fish for catfish in the education pond.
-A limited supply of poles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
-Only one pole per participant please.
– Prizes will be given for the largest and smallest catfish caught.
-This is a free program.
For more information about this or any other program, please contact AGFC.

 

LOW COST SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC NEAR FOREMAN NOVEMBER 5TH-7TH 10/10/19

Friends Furrever Animal Rescue will be holding their last low cost spay and
neuter clinic of 2019.

The clinic is scheduled for November 5th , 6th and 7th at Miller Community Church
just North of Foreman, Arkansas.
Services for cats will cost $40 and two prices are set for dogs.Dogs under 65lbs are $65 and dogs over 65lbs will be $75
The cost of the rabies Vaccine is also included in the price.

It is not required that participants be a Little River County resident to obtain services and animal rescues are welcome.
Please call 903-280-2341 to make an appointment in advance.

 

SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENTS VOTE YES FOR NEW HOSPITAL FACILITY 10/08/19

After nearly half a year without a hospital inside the Sevier County line, local leaders of the South Arkansas community rejoiced in handshakes, hugs and smiles at the courthouse in De Queen Tuesday night, October 8th.

As the results of the specially called election quickly rolled in to the eager hands of local media and anxious citizens, a pattern developed with each sheet of new paper laid across the table. That pattern was success. Success for the elected officials and local organizers, who planned, prepared, prayed and persisted in educating residents about the process required to secure a new and improved hospital for Sevier County after The De Queen Medical Center closed in May, 2019.

For nearly a year, a series of town hall meetings, community forums, press conferences, news articles, television, radio and newspaper coverage have circulated far and wide with questions and commentary surrounding the shaky emergency services situation in De Queen. In the fall of 2018, lay offs, missed paychecks, delinquent notices, bankruptcy and similar downfalls all factored into the eventual demise of The De Queen Medical Center, despite relentless efforts to regain local control and release the center from the hands of Corporate owner Jorge Perez. Though the old hospital closed, teams of determined residents have worked diligently to put a plan for a new emergency facility into action, as the local quorum court agreed to put the question of funding to the voters of Sevier County.

The 1% “sunset” tax and bond secure the required funding for construction, operation and maintenance of a new hospital facility to be built 4 miles north of De Queen, at an estimated cost of $24,250,000. The results gathered from 17 total precincts show the tax passed with 83.81% of the vote in favor, and 16.19% against.The bond numbers proved similar as 84.20% of the votes were for, 15.80 votes were against. A total of 1,906 ballots were cast in the specially called election and the results are set to be certified Monday, October 14th at the county courthouse.

Sevier County Judge, Greg Ray has been working closely on the project of bringing a hospital back to the county since bad news first began surrounding the local medical center. After speaking with local leaders, politicians and working alongside legal counsel, the judge still credits the people of Sevier County for making the new hospital possible. Leading up to the election, many area residents utilized local radio as a way to relay their support for the new facility, including representative Dee Ann Vaught, Sevier County Economic Development Director Lisa Taylor, De Queen Schools Superintendent Jason Sanders and several other prominent figures in the community. The judge says it wasn’t just one voice responsible for the success, as he states so many local residents worked together to achieve one goal of healthcare in Sevier County.

**

Many local parents shared stories of children who require emergency services due to medical conditions that can pose life-threatening situations. Council member Jeff Holcombe announced on KDQN that the distance could be a factor in saving his son’s life. Without a local hospital, the nearest emergency room from varying locations in Sevier County would be as far as 32, 45 or even a one-hour ambulance ride away to Nashville, Mena or Texarkana, which could be the difference between life and death.

Though the issue and bond passing is considered a victory for many, Mayor Jeff Brown notes that the work has just begun as now planning for the construction phase will involve input from him and The De Queen City Council.

**

The New Sevier County Hospital is projected to open in the Summer of 2021. Updates on the construction will be announced on throughout the development process. Keep listening to KDQN for information and announcements.

 

KDQN NOW FEATURING MORE WIDESPREAD COVERAGE 10/09/19

The signal for KDQN 92.1 has now increased, providing a more clear sound in fringe areas and widespread coverage to reach new listening locations in Southwest Arkansas.

The change in coverage has been made possible by changing to a new auxiliary transmitter allowing for reliable signal strength up to 75 miles out in each direction.

Online listening remains available through KDQN.net as well.

 

HORATIO CITY COUNCIL TALKS FESTIVAL, POSSIBLE PURCHASE OF LAND AT OCTOBER MEETING 10/09/19

A variety of agenda items were addressed during the regularly scheduled Horatio City Council meeting Monday night at city hall.

The meeting opened with local resident Adriana Gonzalez addressing the council members about a possible billing discrepancy, noting her recent water bill has more than doubled from the average cost. The council relayed the issue to City Superintendent Llyod Hardaway, who discovered and resolved a leak in the residents home. Citizens of Horatio are welcome to discuss possible billing discrepancies with the council during scheduled meetings.

Emilee Vaught from Hometown Connections provided an update on the upcoming Fall Festival set for November 9th. The 1st annual event will begin with a 5K at Horatio first Baptist church, followed by a 9:00 a.m. flag ceremony and National Anthem at city hall to kick off the festival.

A car show, corn hole tournament, pageant, street dance, kiddy corner, live music, Fire Department membership drive and art show will all be featured during the event. A video featuring old photos from around the city will be run at the museum during the event and a veteran’s breakfast will collect donations for museum upkeep.

The council passed the resolution for levying millage rates on taxable property as well as the resolution authorizing the recorder/treasurer to deposit the ½ cent sales and use tax into the general fund and street fund equally for the immediate future.

Mayor Rich Dorsey addressed the council about the possibility of purchasing 18 acres on Richard Road for $31,000. The land would be used to build a new city shop. Mayor Dorsey will continue discussing the matter with the landowner, Jason Richardson and report back to the council with new information as soon as possible.

Dorsey also reported recent purchases by the city including the water/street/sanitation departments as well as animal control. A 2008 Chevy truck was bought for $5,500 from the state of Arkansas as well as a diesel Lincoln Welder in the amount of $400 to be used at the city shop for all departments.

The final items discussed before adjourning included an agreement to purchase new Christmas decorations to decorate the city with during the holiday season and Debbi Neal reported that city hall is set to host a Breast Cancer Awareness “Meet and Greet” October 15th from 9-11am. Cookies, coffee and information will be featured at the meet and greet and the community is encouraged to attend.

The city will also support the Horatio Lions Football team by organizing a sponsored meal on the 18th.

The next Horatio City Council meeting has been set for Monday November 4th at 6:30 p.m. in city hall. The public is always welcome to attend.

 

DE QUEEN QUIZ BOWL RANKED NUMBER ONE IN PRESEASON POLL 10/09/19

Conway, Russellville, DeQueen, Arkadelphia, Centerpoint, Haas Hall-Fayetteville and Haas Hall-Rogers top their respective divisions, from 7A to 1A, respectively, in a preseason poll of participating Arkansas Governor’s Quiz Bowl Association (AGQBA) coaches.

The poll was administered by Arkansas Friends of Quiz Bowl, a nonprofit organized comprised of alumni, coaches and others who support quiz bowl in Arkansas by, among other things, funding annual scholarships for quiz bowl players.

“Much like teams in athletic competitions, schools who participate in quiz bowl have reputations and expectations that rise and fall based on graduating seniors and up-and-coming freshmen,” said Spencer Watson, president of the Friend of Quiz Bowl board of directors. “Coaches are keenly aware of these changes in the makeup of other teams and have a pretty good idea what the strength of their competition will be.”

Polls were taken in September in which all AGQBA coaches were asked to rank their divisional opponents, as determined by their classification in the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA). Weighted points were assigned to higher rankings. A composite score was generated from those weighted points to determine the highest ranking teams in each division.

Quiz bowl is an academic competition governed by the AGQBA under the administration of the AAA. During games, players answer questions on a variety of academic topics such as literature, art, music, history, science and math to earn points. Games are structured such that teams must work collaboratively to answer some questions and must rely on the individual knowledge of each player to answer others. State championships will be played in April and broadcast live on the Arkansas Education Television Network.

5A rankings include:

 

    1. DeQueen

 

    1. Morrilton

 

    1. Little Rock Christian

 

    1. Watson Chapel

 

    1. Harrison

 

DE QUEEN GOLF TEAM BOASTS TWO PARTICIPANTS AT STATE TOURNAMENT IN HEBER SPRINGS 10/09/19

Senior Jared Hickson at his final match in Heber Springs at 4A state tournament (Tuesday, October 8th)

Sophomore Tucker Brown competes during his first appearance at the  4A State Tournament in Heber Springs (Tuesday, October 8th)

 

 

Coach Lance Weeks and members of the De Queen High School Golf team made an appearance at the 4A state championship this week. The tournament was held at Red Apple Inn Golf Course Tuesday, October 8th. Senior, Jared Hickson shot 87 in a 3-way tie for 23rd out of the 71 participants at his final high school match. Hickson hopes to play at the collegiate level after graduation. In his debut tournament, Tucker Brown shot 115 and was supported by his father, Mayor Jeff Brown who traveled from De Queen to attend.

 

Parents of students on the golf team have expressed thanks to Coach Weeks for a great season and look forward to more golf to come.

 

 

 

LOCAL COLLEGE ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR 10/08/19

 

 

Current and prospective UA Cossatot students can apply for scholarships and grants for the 2020-2021 academic year by completing online applications. All federal, state and local scholarships and grants are now available to view and complete.

 

Students can apply for UA Cossatot Foundation scholarships that are available now through April 1, 2020. This opportunity will allow applicants the chance to apply and have access to a variety of local awards for the next academic year.

 

Some scholarships are semester specific. The overview and qualifications can vary, but all can be viewed at https://cccua.awardspring.com/ . Students can also complete the online scholarship application to be eligible to receive a UA Cossatot Foundation scholarship on this webpage.
State scholarships and grants can also be viewed at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) website, https://scholarships.adhe.edu/ . General information about each financial aid opportunity will be listed, including deadlines, requirements, and award amounts.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application is open for the 20-21 academic year and can be viewed at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.

 

Completing the FAFSA will allow the government to determine if a student is eligible
for federal financial aid. UA Cossatot’s Financial Aid department encourages all UA Cossatot students to complete the FAFSA.

 

During this fall semester, Financial Aid employees at the college will also be hosting FAFSA Fridays to give students the opportunity to complete the FAFSA with a Financial Aid Specialist. FASFA Fridays will take place at the De Queen, Nashville, and Ashdown Campuses from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on October 18, October 25, November 8, November 22, and December 13. To make an appointment for a FAFSA Friday meeting at the Ashdown Campus, please contact Tiffany Maurer at 870-584-1127. Nashville Campus appointments for FAFSA Friday can be made by contacting Monica Clark at 870-584-1364. To make an appointment for FAFSA Friday at the De Queen Campus, please contact Denise Hammond at 870-584-1118.

ASHDOWN NOW OFFERING PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAM 10/08/19

Ashdown High School is proud to announce an addition to the Health Science program for the 2019-2020 school year. The new Pharmacy Technician program is a full year course that covers Pharmacy Practice as well as Pharmacology and Medications. Ashdown High School is working to provide career opportunities for students based on the current workforce demand. Eight of the 10 fastest growing careers in Arkansas for 2019 are within the healthcare field. The goal of adding this program is two fold. The first will be to provide students with the opportunity to be career ready upon graduation if they choose Pharmacy Technician as a life-long career. The second is to provide students with the opportunity to utilize this as a stepping stone while furthering their education in the healthcare field. The program will provide students the opportunity to receive an annual income of over $32,000 starting out with an hourly wage averaging $16.36 per hour.

 

Jobs in this field have increased and continue to be in demand. According to Principal Kay York, “We continue to work on connecting our students with training that fits their interests, skills, and passions in order to leave AHS with job opportunities and steps for even high paying careers.” The Pharmacy Technician students and Instructor, Mrs. Amy Silva, would like to thank the community and local pharmacies for their support in getting our program up and going. We have created a Faux Pharmacy in our classroom that provides the students with an atmosphere similar to a real pharmacy. This allows students the opportunity to simulate the job of a Pharmacy Technician in a safe environment. We at AHS are actively seeking opportunities for our students to become job and career ready, whether through gaining leadership and soft skills or through gaining education and certifications. We thank you for supporting our AHS Health Science Program.”

Ashdown Public School Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “We are so excited to offer such an amazing opportunity for our students at Ashdown, they will be employable in this career field immediately upon graduation. At Ashdown, we are always striving to provide our students with the best education possible.”

WOMAN FOUND DEAD AT RESIDENCE IN TEXARKANA 10/08/19

Texarkana, Arkansas Police have opened an investigation after a woman was found dead in her house last week. Police say it is possible the woman has been dead for as long as 2 years. Authorities believe the woman is 40-year-old Christy Himes.

On Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 2019, TAPD arrested the caregiver and 63- year-old brother of Himes for an unrelated warrant. Arkansas Adult Protective Services conducted a welfare check on Christy Himes at their residence on Martha Street in Texarkana, AR on Thursday.

A search warrant obtained by authorities later revealed a decomposed body in one of the houses. The body was too badly decomposed for a positive identification and was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab to obtain more information.

TAPD is in the process of conducting the criminal investigation into the matter at this time.

ASHDOWN TV PRODUCTION CLASS SECURES NEW TRAILER FOR EQUIPMENT 10/07/19

The Ashdown High School TV Production class now has a state of the art trailer to make events at Dick Hays Stadium flow seamlessly as they continue to learn the art of live/video production for the video board.

According to TV Production teacher, Terry Snead, “I realized three years ago when Jeanne Jackson started the program that the press box was not where the students needed to be. After speaking with Mr. Nichols last year, he told me to start getting prices on enclosed trailers. Ashdown’s Technology Directory David Billingsley began a search and finally settled on the Wells Cargo 7×16 enclosed trailer Model CW 1622-102 custom-built for Panther Productions. He drove to Dallas/Ft. Worth area and has outfitted it with all the technical and electrical equipment in it today. According to Mr. Billingsley, “We purchased this model because it allowed me to configure the trailer for optimal video production use. It gave us the ability to add air conditioning, heating, custom desk, 50 amp power throughout the trailer, outside scene lighting and data cable access door.”

The main purpose for the studio is to allow students to operate our Newtek Tricaster (control board for the football video board) with dual 32-inch wall-mounted monitors that can access videos made by the TV Production class through a shared network drive. Everything that is seen on the video board is generated from that room. The three cameras, videos, stills,
graphics, and more, which are mostly produced by students in the classroom and studio under the guidance of Alicia McCormack and Mr. Snead. Video and live camera feeds are sent from the trailer to the video board and stadium sound system via underground fiber optics. In addition to the Tricaster video control system for game nights, the tv production trailer can play DVD/Blu-ray videos for movie nights, which has been useful for student organization fundraising events.
Being an enclosed trailer hinders the operator’s views of live events at Dick Hays Stadium. To solve this issue, the school technology department added fixed security cameras to the top of the press box and Helen Parker Gym. The new security cameras add a bird’s eye view for the tv production operators and continuous security surveillance. Without the help of Casey Nichols, the Ashdown School Board and Administration, this would not have been possible and the Television Production Department is very appreciative. Also, the hard work and dedication of David Billingsley, who has and continues to go above and beyond his I.T. duties, deserves high praise from all those involved,” said Terry Snead.

David Billingsley said, “I would like to thank Casey Nichols and the Ashdown School Board for supporting this wonderful addition to the TV Production class. Additionally, I want to thank Eddie Meeks, owner of North Texas Trailers and an Ashdown High School Alumni, for discounting the trailer purchase price and donating the exterior custom vinyl graphics.”

The T.V. Production students look forward to utilizing the studio to full capacity for many years to come.

 

REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS FLU VACCINE IMPORTANCE 10/07/19

Last flu season, 113 influenza related deaths were reported in Arkansas.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), 71% of the adults who died were unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccine history. ADH also reported that 28 schools closed briefly due to the flu last season. While only moderate in severity, the 2018-2019 season was record-breaking in duration, with flu activity remaining elevated for 21 weeks. The 2017-2018 flu season was the most severe in a decade, with 228 deaths in the state.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to get your flu vaccine. Last week, the ADH began its yearly mass flu vaccine clinic effort, which involves mass vaccine clinics in every county at no cost. Clinics will continue through the
beginning of November. The department will also offer the vaccine at every public school.

People of all ages can get the flu, but certain people are more likely to have serious health problems with it. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes. Therefore, ADH strongly recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine. It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine. The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions,

ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients. Overall, CDC estimates show that flu vaccination coverage has increased over the past decade. Vaccination among kids across all ages was almost 63 percent. Vaccination coverage among adults is around 45%, leaving more than half of adult Americans unprotected from flu each season.
We have posted the schedules of the mass clinics and school visits on our website, www.arkansashouse.org .

SEVIER COUNTY JUDGE ELECTED TO NEW CJAA POSITION 10/07/19

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray was elected Treasurer/Secretary of the County Judge’s Association of Arkansas last month. He was sworn in during their fall conference Wednesday, September 25th in Benton. The officers are nominated and elected by Arkansas County Judges.

WESTERMAN WEEKLY WITH WILEY (AND JAY!) 10/04/19

 

MAN FOUND DEAD IN DE QUEEN HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED 10/04/19

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons has reported the body found on 11th and W. De Quincy, Wednesday night has been identified.

As previously reported on KDQN, the body of a black male, approximately 50 years old was discovered  just after 6:00 p.m. Wednesday October 2nd, and authorities arrived on the scene shortly after the call came in.

Chief Simmons says the man has been identified as Curtis Hatchett, age 50 of Foreman, Arkansas.

The family of Mr. Hatchett has been notified and Police believe the cause of death to have been a bicycling accident. No foul play is suspected.

ASHDOWN POLICE REPORT MAN FOUND DEAD ON HIGHWAY 71 10/04/19

Local police have released a report that involves information about a man found deceased on Highway 71 in Little River County last month.

An area resident reported seeing what appeared to be a human body in the roadway and called 911.

A report from The Ashdown Police Department states around 4:00 a.m. authorities were dispatched to Highway 71 South under the bypass in regards to a male subject believed to have jumped from the bypass Thursday, September 17th.

Ashdown Police and The Little River County ambulance service blocked traffic in the southbound lanes and detectives were called in to further investigate.

The victim was identified as Austin Davis, age 24 of Ashdown, Arkansas. Police took photographs of the scene and collected evidence before the body was secured and turned over to the coroner’s office.

The scene was cleared by 5:17 a.m. and Ashdown Police Chief Boyd Kennemore says the family has been notified of the victims passing.

 

DOMTAR MILL IN ASHDOWN TO LAY OFF 79 WORKERS 10/04/19

Domtar corporation announced Thursday October 3rd that it will permanently shut down two of its paper machines with one of the closures being in Ashdown, Arkansas. The other closure will be in Port Huron, Michigan.

The company said these measures will reduce its annual uncoated freesheet paper capacity by approximately 204,000 short tons and will result in a workforce reduction of nearly 100 employees.

The closure of the Ashdown paper machine will be effective immediately and the closure of the Port Huron machine by mid-November.
The Ashdown mill will continue to operate one paper machine with an annual uncoated freesheet paper production capacity of 200,000 short tons and employ approximately 725 people.

OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS ANNOUNCED BY COUNTY 10/04/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge hosted the 2019 Law Enforcement Summit at the Benton Event Center Tuesday October 1st, where a record 672 law enforcement personnel from across the State attended the 17th annual summit and heard from experts on recent issues facing the law enforcement community, including medical marijuana and eyewitness identification.

County Officers of the Year

Hempstead County Corporal Jeffery Neel, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Howard County Sergeant John Partain, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Little River County Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Miller County Detective Brian Tribble and Detective Jason White, Texarkana Police Department

Pike County Sergeant Ronnie White, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Polk County Chief Deputy Sheriff Randy Jewell, Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Sevier County Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

WILDLAND CLASS TO BE OFFERED IN PROVO 10/04/19

A mandatory wildland class for firefighters will be offered in Provo this month. The class will be held on October 14th and October 15th from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Provo Volunteer Fire Department. There is no pre-registration required and the class will be conducted by Bill James of the Arkansas Forestry commission. Meals, snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase both nights to benefit the fire department. For more information call Jamie Harberson at 870-584-6465.

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER TO HOST DRIVES ON UA COSSATOT CAMPUSES 10/04/19

Lifeshare Blood Center in Texarkana has organized several community blood drives scheduled to take place during October. Three of these blood drives will take place at UA Cossatot. The college’s De Queen, Ashdown, and Lockesburg Campuses will be hosting individual blood drives for anyone who would like to donate blood.

The De Queen Campus blood drive will take place on October 7 from 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. The Ashdown Campus will be hosting their blood drive on October 14 from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. On the same day, October 14, the Lockesburg Campus blood drive will occur from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. that evening.

Lifeshare Blood Center employees have stated that there is a big need for people to give blood and that blood supplies are low throughout the region. To donate blood or to learn more information about these upcoming blood drives, please call 903-794-3173.

 

FORMER EMPLOYEE ACCUSED OF STEALING FROM RRAD 10/04/19

Federal court records accuse a former Red River Army Depot employee of stealing more than $1,000 worth of equipment “beginning in or after January 2015, and ending in or about July 2018.”

Frederick Eugene Morgan is named in an information document filed Tuesday in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. The information accuses Morgan of taking seven different pieces of property belonging to the depot in 2016 and 2018. A chart listing the equipment in the information includes a description of the item, its value and the date it was sold at a pawn shop.

The values range from less than $25 to more than $350.

According to the case docket, Morgan has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

A notice of penalty states Morgan faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000 or twice any pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim

 

ESCAPED INMATE LOCATED BY SEVIER COUNTY JAIL ADMINISTRATOR 10/10/19

The search for a missing inmate who escaped from The Sevier County Jail last week has
come to a close. The Sheriff’s Department announced that Jail administrator Chris Wolcott took the escapee, named Cameron Stinnett of De Queen, into custody without incident Sunday evening. Cameron ran from the De Queen-based detention facility Wednesday afternoon and Sheriff Deputies continued the search for five days. Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle reported that Cameron now faces an additional charge for escape in the 3rd degree.

 

BODY FOUND IN DE QUEEN WEDNESDAY                         10/03/19

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons has reported a body was  found on 11th and De Quincy, Wednesday October 2nd.

The body found was a black male, approximately 50 years old. Authorities received a call about the victim just after 6:00 p.m. and arrived on the scene shortly after.

Police believe the cause of death to have been an accident and no foul play is suspected at this time.

The body is being sent to the crime lab in Little Rock for positive I.D.

The incident is under investigation pending autopsy report. No name will be released until after the family is notified.

 

NASHVILLE MAN JAILED FOR SHOPLIFTING IN DE QUEEN 10/03/19

A Nashville man was jailed in Sevier County after De Queen police responded to a shoplifting call the evening of Tuesday, September 17th.

A report released by the De Queen Police Department states that officers Kris Hundley and Sergeant Bucky Sawyer arrived at the wal-mart in De Queen around 7:30 p.m. and made contact with an employee who says a person in a dressing room was believed to be stealing items. A white male identified as Devon Goins of Nashville, Arkansas was taken into custody, read his rights and reportedly agreed to answer questions.

Goins was cited for Theft of Property, less than $1,000 and processed in the Sevier County Jail.

 

POLK COUNTY JUDGE ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF CJAA 10/03/19

Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison has been elected by his peers to serve as president of the County Judges Association of Arkansas (CJAA). The election took place Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at the judges’ fall conference, held in Benton, Ark. Ellison will serve a two-year term.

Members of the CJAA also re-elected Judge Ellison to serve as a Western District representative on the CJAA Executive Board. They also re-elected him to represent the judges on the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) Board of Directors, a board on which he serves as Vice-President.

Judge Ellison is a native of Mena. In addition to serving as president of the CJAA and as AAC Board of Directors Vice-President, Judge Ellison holds an elected seat on the seven-member AAC Risk Management Fund Board of Trustees. Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Judge Ellison to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board in June of 2016.

Judge Ellison was an integral member of the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Working Group, which succeeded in getting state legislation passed to create an avenue for counties undertaking unpaved roads projects to receive grants from the state.

The Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program was established in 2013 to formulate cost-effective and proactive solutions to manage eroding roads that otherwise would wash harmful sediment in streams, rivers and lakes. For his “commitment and dedication to fish and wildlife conservation,” Judge Ellison received the Regional Director’s Conservation Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region in 2016.

Judge Ellison has held Polk County’s highest seat since 2011.

 

TELEVISION SHOW ‘FORGED IN FIRE’ TO BE FILMED DURING HURRAH! FESTIVAL IN DE QUEEN 10/03/19

An entertainment and art form making noise in De Queen will take center stage for area residents, television cameras and local media this weekend as “Forged in Fire” and a cutting competition commence during The 30th annual Hurrah! Festival Saturday October 5th.

Local Knife making community leader Logan Pierce is bringing on the event for local residents to be entertained and learn about knife making as an art form. Forged in Fire will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the cutting competition will take place from 2:00-4:00 at The Sevier County Museum. Community members of all ages are encouraged to watch master blade smiths test their skills in these two major competitions. De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown is also set to sign a proclamation that will name De Queen as the official Knife making capitol of the world during the festival.

Prior to the competitions, the De Queen Rotary club will serve a breakfast fundraiser from 7:30-9:30 and a book signing and photo session with John T. Wayne will be held at the museum. John T. Wayne is the grandson of actor John Wayne and information about his work is available at JohnTWayne.com

An open car and truck show along with a talent show, spelling bee, chilli cook-off, craft vendors and more will be featured at the event as well.

For questions about the Hurrah Festival contact the Sevier County Museum 870-784-0039 or stop by 717 Walter J Leeper Drive.

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEETING AGENDA                 10/03/19

2:00 P.M. October 14, 2019, Sevier County Courthouse Courtroom on 2nd floor

CALL TO ORDER

ROLL CALL

PRAYER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

DISPOSITION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING

COMMITTEE AND OTHER REPORT

OLD BUSINESS

NEW BUSINESS

1. request for funds for Economic Development marketing in the amount of $700.

2. A proposed Resolution Authorizing a Contract of Obligation with the Division of Environmental Quality.

3. Request for an additional $529 to the Extension Office 2019 Budget – 1000.0801.3009

An error was made when sending out approved budget.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ADJOURNMENT

 

JAIL ESCAPEE ALERT      10/02/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department is searching for a jail escapee this afternoon, Wednesday, October 2nd.    Cameron Stinnett, age 27, was last seen around 3:00 Wednesday afternoon. Stinnett is described as a black male, 5′ 10″ tall, weighing 145 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.  When he was last seen, he was wearing blue shorts, a white shirt and black shoes.  If you know the whereabouts or happen to see Cameron Stinnett, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

ARVEST BANK DONATES TO DE QUEEN SCHOOLS                 10/02/19

Arvest bank, De Queen Branch has donated $8,000 towards the purchase of new computers for De Queen Elementary School. Patti Boone and J Bigham of Arvest are pictured above, presenting the donation check to Superintendent Jason Sanders and Elementary Principal Terri Phillips.

Students Tabatha Rodriguez, Thomas Brewer and DaNashia Briggins were able to check out the new computer models during the Arvest visit to campus today, Wednesday October 2nd.

 

SEVIER COUNTY OFFICER OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED 10/02/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today awarded the Sevier County Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Rutledge presented the county winners at the annual awards and recognition luncheon during the 2019 Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit at the Benton Event Center.

“It’s my honor to recognize our law enforcement officers from around the state for their dedication to protecting Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Every day, these brave men and women leave their families without knowing if they will safely return home. Today’s recipients have gone above and beyond for all of us and we are grateful for their dedication and sacrifice.”

In addition to the statewide and regional Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards, Rutledge recognized an Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer winner from counties around the State. Recipients were selected based on recommendations for their dedicated service to Arkansans and can hold law enforcement positions at a college or university, municipal, county, federal or State level. Nominations were provided to Attorney General Rutledge from police chiefs, county sheriffs, county judges, mayors, prosecutors and other State law enforcement leaders from across Arkansas.

 

DEADLINE FOR RURAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS ASSISTANCE GRANTS 10/02/19

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division is now accepting applications for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant for Wildfire Suppression Kits until October 4, 2019.

More than 80 Wildfire Suppression Kits will be awarded this year across the state to rural volunteer fire departments.  More than 300 kits have been distributed since 2014.
Volunteer Fire Departments are the Forestry Division’s primary partner in wildfire response and suppression.  The kits will provide volunteer fire departments the specialized equipment needed for safe suppression, including up to ten wildfire-resistant coveralls, ten pairs of wildland gloves, two backpack leaf blowers, two collapsible backpack water pumps, and six leaf rakes.

Rural volunteer fire departments interested in applying may submit an application to their District Forester. Applications are scored according to specific criteria to include the population of the fire district, the number of square miles covered, the average number of wildfires a department responds to annually, and other factors. The selected departments will be notified in October, and kits will be delivered in in March of 2020.
The program is administered by the Forestry Division’s Rural Fire Protection office, with funding provided by the United States Forest Service. Additional information and the application can be found at www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/rural-fire-program.

Contact Kathryn Mahan-Hooten at Kathryn.Mahan@agriculture.arkansas.gov<mailto:Kathryn.Mahan@agriculture.arkansas.gov> or (501) 679-3183 with questions or to be added to the Rural Fire Program email distribution list.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT CELEBRATED IN DE QUEEN TUESDAY 10/02/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and local agencies hosted the annual National Night Out Celebration Tuesday, October 1st at The Sportsplex in De Queen. Several local agencies including the De Queen Fire Department and many vendors provided free entertainment, fun and food for kids and families in the area. The event is designed to bring together law enforcement representatives and community members under positive circumstances.

Shown Left:  Firefighter Max Jones and Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry at National Night Out Tuesday.

 

TYSON FOODS DONATES MILLIONS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS IN NEED 10/02/19

Tyson Foods has announced a donation of almost 170,000 pounds or nearly 700,000 meals for Feeding America food banks and their partner agencies throughout Arkansas. The company has donated a total of 3.8 million pounds of product in its home state this year.

Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana will receive 19,800 lbs for use in the nine southwest Arkansas counties and one northeast Texas county it serves.

In Arkansas, more than half a million people struggle with hunger and one in four are children.

 

REPORTS OF SHOOTING IN DE QUEEN SUNDAY 10/01/19

KDQN reached out to De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons for comment regarding a shooting that took place Sunday, September 29th and the following information was provided Tuesday morning, October 1st.:

*UPDATE: A personal friend of one of the victims contacted KDQN at 8:00 A.M. Tuesday October 1st with a report. The friend of Hugo Hernandez, a 2017 graduate of De Queen High School says the shooting “happened out of no where” and he is in a lot of pain but is experiencing no serious injuries and is expected to recover.

 

ARKANSAS BETTER DADS AND HANNAH’S GIFT PROGRAM IMPACTING SEVIER COUNTY JAIL 10/01/19

Earlier this month, KDQN was invited to the Sevier County Jail in De Queen for a first hand look at the services being provided to help rehabilitate county inmates and facilitate opportunities for better lives in the future. A new program called “Arkansas Better Dads” and its sister program, “Hannah’s Gift” are making a major impact on the inmates of Sevier County this year. County Jail administrator Chris Wolcott and roughly 20 inmates allowed KDQN to sit in on a meeting of the group’s regular session to learn the ways in which more than 20 people are working to become better parents and better member of their communities.

Arkansas Better Dads began when a grant was awarded to the group by the “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families” (TANF) organization in November 2018. That grant provides funding and resources that help facilitators implement the goal of all Arkansas children having stable, involved parents in the home.

The program is a product of The First Assembly of God church in North Little Rock, AR, ABD also works with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS) and the Governor of the State of Arkansas. The program specifically works with dads in the state of Arkansas who are in substandard situations due to drug or alcohol abuse, legal troubles and similar setbacks.

According to Jail Administrator Wolcott, the program doesn’t just benefit people in legal trouble and it doesn’t just benefit men. Many of the program participants say over all, it helps you become a better person.

Back in June of 2019, Wolcott attended the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Summit on Fatherhood, an event that brings together state and local leaders, as well as dads from across the state, and discusses the importance of access to training and resources for improved parenthood.

During the summit Wolcott says he realized many men have never been shown what it is like to be a good father simply because they didn’t have one of their own, and this program is working to break the cycle of neglect in parenting.

After the event, The Sevier County Jail implemented new programming in July 2019 that helps the inmates who have children become more responsible parents so that when their sentences are over, additional motivation is instilled in them to be more involved with their kids and set healthy examples. Wolcott believes the program also helps less children get into trouble themselves once they can see their own parents leading by example and making healthier life choices.

*

 

The group meets once a week, and the program uses faith-based books as a guide to provide structured lessons for the participants to learn new strategies for patience, responsibility and spiritual leadership. The groups have been introduced to the 33 series and books, including “authentic manhood” that helps with perspective and support.

Many of the program participants say the books have helped them with self-realization.

Brian Cunningham says the program has helped understand his roles as both a father and a man in the community.

*

In addition to fatherhood improvement, a focus on motherhood improvement is developing in The Sevier County Jail as well.

The Arkansas better Dads program is supported through grant money but “Hannah’s gift” is provided by Administrator Wolcott and community members who have pulled together their own resources. Wolcott and these supporters believe the focus on improving motherhood is just as important for the inmates at the jail, so that overall parenting of children in Arkansas improves.

Racheal Weathers has expressed appreciation for the volunteers who support the program as she says it is an emotional, but wonderful experience to be apart of

*

Jail administrator Chris Wolcott also volunteers his own personal time on to help lead the program, because he believes in its message so much.

His hope is that services like these will help less children end up in the jail, to begin with.

More information about services offered for rehabilitation of inmates at the county jail and volunteering inquiries can be referred to Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott at the county jail.

(870) 642-2125. 

You can also visit Arbetterdads.com for more information.

 

ARKANSAS SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY CELEBRATES 10 YEARS 10/01/19

On September 28, 2009, the first Lottery ticket was sold in Arkansas for the purpose of funding higher education scholarships for students in the state. Since that time, the Lottery has raised more than $889 million in scholarship funding.

Arkansas voters approved a ballot measure to establish the Lottery in November 2008. The Academic Challenge Scholarship provides tuition assistance to students at every state university and two-year college, both public and private. Applicants include new high school graduates, students already enrolled in college and non-traditional students who wish to further their education. The scholarship can also be combined with other financial aid programs.

In 10 years of operation, $2.9 billion has been awarded in prizes to players. Additionally, retailer commissions are approximately $257 million, and state and federal tax revenue has exceeded $128 million.

The numbers continue to grow annually. Fiscal year 2019 set records in scholarship proceeds – $98.4 million – and sales of more than $516,236,823, which is $16 million higher than the previous fiscal year.

 

DEER HUNTING ZONE REGULATIONS ANNOUNCED 10/01/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have announced Deer Zone 13 and 14 dates, limits and regulations this week.

Zone 13 includes Sevier, Howard and Pike Counties.

Archery: Sept. 28, 2019-Feb. 29, 2020
Private Land Antlerless Only Modern Gun Deer Hunt: Oct. 12-16, 2019
Muzzleloader: Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 29-31, 2019
Special Youth Modern Gun Deer Hunt: Nov. 2-3, 2019 and Jan. 4-5, 2020
Modern Gun: Nov. 9-Dec. 15 and Dec. 26-28, 2019

statewide Bag Limit

Six deer, of which no more than two may be bucks. The statewide seasonal bag limit may be taken in any combination of zones or methods, as long as zone bag limits are not exceeded.

Zone Bag Limit

Four deer, which may include:

 

    • Two bucks with archery, muzzleloader or modern gun;

 

    • Four does with archery;

 

    • Four does with muzzleloader and modern gun combined.

 

 

Special Regulations:

 

 

    • Dogs allowed for deer hunting Nov. 9-Dec. 15. Up to two dogs may be used to blood trail wounded deer.

 

    • Legal bucks must be button bucks or have at least three points on one side of their rack.

 

 

ARKANSAS AG COMING TO PIKE COUNTY 10/01/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced mobile office locations for October.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans. In 2019, Attorney General Mobile Offices have already served over 1,600 Arkansans.

The Offices assist Arkansans with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices. Another 168 pounds of medications have been collected so far this year.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007.

The upcoming mobile office schedule includes a stop in: Pike County

Tuesday, October 8th, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Glenwood Senior Activity Center

229 Betty Street Glenwood, AR 71943

 

PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE OCTOBER 15TH 10/01/19

Little River County Sheriff and Collector Bobby Walvren has issued a reminder to residents that Tuesday, October 15th is the deadline to pay personal property taxes. A 10% penalty will be assessed after the 15th. Payments can be made in person at the Collectors office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays, including Columbus Day Monday October 14th.

Payments can also be made online through information available on Arkansas.Gov

 

For questions call 870-989-7217.

 

DEADLINE FOR FLEX COURSES AT CCCUA IS OCTOBER 4TH 10/01/19

UA Cossatot has released the class schedule for available October flex courses. These eight-week classes will begin on October 7 and end on December 6. The last day to sign up for one or more of these classes is October 4, 2019.
Flex courses allow students to take classes in a faster amount of time rather than in a traditional sixteen-week semester. They also enable students to take more courses and graduate sooner.
The October flex classes include several welding courses at Lockesburg, Nashville, and De Queen. The college will also be offering online courses in Accounting II, Micro Computer Apps, and Databases. Other available courses include Intermediate Algebra in Ashdown and Anatomy and Physiology II in Nashville.
To view the full class schedule, please visit www.cccua.edu. To sign up and enroll in an October flex course, please contact Student Services at 870-584-4471 or studentservices@cccua.e

 

SPRINGFIELD ARKANSAS WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DWI IN DE QUEEN 09/27/19

A woman is facing multiple charges after a traffic stop was conducted by local law enforcement in De Queen last week.

A report from the De Queen Police Department states that Sergeant Wayne Baker responded to a call about a reckless driver heading westbound toward De Queen around 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 21st.

Ptl. R. King assisted Sergeant Baker with the call by locating the vehicle and conducting a traffic stop. Deputy Greg Harper of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department also arrived on the scene and reportedly told the officers he suspected the driver, identified as Brenda Keller of Springfield, Arkansas to be intoxicated. Officers noted finding a can of beer on the floorboard of the car and Keller was asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests and reportedly complied.

A Breathalyzer test revealed the driver to have a blood-alcohol level of .15, over the legal limit of .08.

Keller was transported to The Sevier County Jail where she was jailed for Driving While Intoxicated as well as a refusal to submit a chemical test.

 

DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT HANDLES SEMI-TRUCK BLAZE 09/27/19

The De Queen Fire Department responded to a fire in the South lot on Fourth Street at pilgrim’s pride last week.

A report from the department states that a semi-truck fire was called in at 8:19 a.m. Wednesday, September 18th. The 2006 peterbuilt truck was owned by S Easley Trucking Company in Texas.

Crews arrived on the scene at 8:22 a.m, just 3 minutes after being dispatched to the fire.

Two engines and 11 firefighters responded to extinguish the flames by use of foam and water.

Firefighters with the Department say the truck driver had been sleeping in the truck with the engine running just before the fire began.

The crew successfully put out the flames and left the scene by 9:05 a.m. and no injuries were reported.

 

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT FAIR CONTINUES IN HOPE 09/27/19

The Southwest District Fair in Hope is going on now. This fair brings together 15 counties of Southwest Arkansas and features many family friendly events and activities through Saturday, September 28th.

Live music will take place tonight, as South Down Main will perform this evening at 6:00 p.m. in front of the coliseum. Amusements and attractions also open at 5:00 p.m. Roughstock Productions presents Bulls, Broncs, and Barrels tonight and tomorrow evening at 7:30. The open cattle, steers, breeding beef, and commercial heifers judging will be held starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and a Mexican band will perform at 7:00 p.m. in front of the coliseum.

Gate Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older, $3 for ages 6 and younger and all children age five and younger get in free of charge.

More information can be found at http://www.southwestarkansasdistrictlivestockshow.com/ and the address of the fairgrounds is 800 Mockingbird lane, Hope Arkansas.

 

LAST SATURDAY SHOOT IN COLUMBUS ARKANSAS SEPTEMBER 28TH 09/27/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is hosting the ATA Registered “last Saturday Shoot” in Hempstead County this weekend.
The shoot will be held at:
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N Columbus, AR 71831

Saturday, Sept. 28th, 2019 at 9 a.m.

9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Local residents can join the range staff on the last Saturday of the month from April through October for an ATA registered shoot.

All targets will be registered and each discipline requires at least three shooters.
Singles will start at 9 a.m. with handicap and doubles to follow.
Admission fee varies.
Registration is not required.

For more information about this or any other program visit AGFC.com

 

AINSLEY’S ANGELS DINNER AND 5K SATURDAY 09/27/19

Ainsley’s Angels of Southwest Arkansas is hosting a dinner and 5K fundraiser in De Queen this Saturday, September 28th. Registration will begin around 3:30 p.m. at Herman Dierks Park and the cost is $30. The cost includes the race registration, T-Shirt, and smoked chicken dinner plate with dessert and a drink. Supporters of Ainsley’s Angels who would like to attend but not participate in the race can purchase a meal for just $5 and all proceeds go towards the purchase of equipment and transportation for the organization.

Ainsley’s Angels aims to build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.

The Southwest Arkansas chapter is seeking funds to purchase a trailer for transporting equipment to each race. All race fees and proceeds from Dinner and 5k will go towards this purchase.

 

For more information, or to make a donation, call Tessa Dean at 479-214-0942

 

UA COSSATOT SEES ENROLLMENT INCREASE 09/27/19

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has announced the statewide colleges and universities fall 2019 preliminary enrollment numbers. The data shows that from fall 2018 to fall 2019, UA Cossatot had the highest post-secondary enrollment increase for all public two-year colleges and four-year universities in the state of Arkansas.

Since the beginning of the academic year in August of 2018, the college has achieved a 14.8% increase for post-secondary students. This increase surpasses the community college total average of 0.6 % and the four-year university average of – 2.5%.

UA Cossatot’s overall student enrollment percentage combined for concurrent and post-secondary students saw a 4.0% increase in enrollment beating the community college average in Arkansas, which is 1.4%. The four-year university average in Arkansas for total enrollment is -2.4%, which UA Cossatot exceeded as well.

UA Cossatot has also announced that the college has reached a total enrollment of 1,521 students for the fall 2019 semester, which is UA Cossatot’s largest enrollment since 2014, and the eighth highest of the 22 two-year colleges in Arkansas.

 

 

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER LOCAL DRIVES 09/26/19

LifeShare Blood Centers has the following community blood drives scheduled for October:

 

    • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 2 at Tyson’s Grannis, 8489 Highway 71, Grannis, Arkansas

 

    • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 4 at Walmart, 1710 South 4th Street, Nashville, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. October 7 at UA Cossatot, 183 Highway 399, De Queen, Arkansas

 

    • 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. October 10 at Center Point Community Center, 210 North Center Point Street, Nashville, Arkansas

 

    • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 11 at Walmart DeQueen, 926 East Collin Raye Drive, De Queen, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 12 at Prescott Fall Festival, 116 2nd Street South, Prescott, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 14 at UA Cossatot – Ashdown, 1411 North Constitution Avenue, Ashdown, Arkansas

 

    • 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 14 at UA Cossatot – Lockesburg, 128 East Main Street, Lockesburg, Arkansas

 

    • 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. October 15 at Pilgrim’s Pride, 401 South 3rd Street, De Queen, Arkansas

 

    • 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 15 at Big Jakes Bar-B-Que, 603 West Commerce, Hope, Arkansas

 

    • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. October 20 at Sunset Church of Christ Nashville, 1420 West Sunset Street, Nashville, Arkansas

 

    • 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. October 22 at Prescott High School, 736 Martin Street, Prescott, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. October 28 at Domtar, 285 Old Highway 71, Ashdown, Arkansas

 

    • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 29 at Brentwood Industries, 118 Industrial Park, Hope, Arkansas

 

    • 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. October 31 at Horatio High School, 1101 Metcalf, Horatio, Arkansas

 

 

LifeShare Blood Centers is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. To sign up to donate or for more information, call 903-794-3173. The new center location is 4020 Summerhill Road, Texarkana, Texas.

LIBRARY SNIPPETS              09/26/19
By:  Johnye Fisher

Hey Y’all its Fall and Halloween is just around the corner. Do you know where Halloween comes from? It orginated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain over 2,000 years ago, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Sahain, the evening before was know as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween envolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.

Guess who is coming back to the De Queen Library? The Library witch. Yes she will be back with good stories and fun. October 30th at 4:00 p.m. Stop in and see what she has planned. Wear your costumes and receive some sweet treats.

Don’t forget those Domino games going on Wednesdays at 10am for any of you folks that would like to come in and join in the fun.  You can contact us by calling 870-584-4364 or visiting our Facebook page www.facebook.com/seviercountylibrary

Amy at Horatio Library says, Happy Fall Y’all.   We are finally getting some relief from all this hot weather it would be a perfect time to come by the Horatio Library.  We have got lots of good books to read and most of the bestsellers.  If we don’t have it we can get it for you.   Why pay $30 plus when you can come by the library and check it out for free.   We have some spooktacular things going on this month. On the 5th of October we will have a children’s Halloween program.   We will have games, candy and read a story.   On October the 19th we will have another kids program with special guest Kick Griffen about bulling and a demonstration by Kick.   The children’s programs start at 10a.m. and they are every other Saturday.   We have a Mexican Train Domino game and a Double 15 Domino game every Thursday morning.  We also have Adult Education classes every Thursday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.   They offer GED prep, College prep, Career Assistance, Job Skills, Computer Skills and financial literacy.   All of these services are free to the public.   We encourage you to take advantage of these classes.   Have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the upcoming cooler weather.

On Saturday, Oct. 12th at 10 AM the “That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ to It” Book Club will meet at the Lockesburg Library to discuss the novel, “Mom and Me and Mom” by Maya Angelou. Next month’s reading selection will be available to pick up at this time.

A Kids’ STEM catapult program is planned October 19 @ 10. This will be a fun hands-on guided activity with each child creating their own catapult treats will be served.

Parents, as an incentive for your child to read, Mz. Wendy has loaded up the Reading Treasure chest again. Each child may choose a prize from the Treasure chest upon returning their library books.

Contact Wendy Clay at 870-289-2233 for more information concerning programs, books and activities at the library.

The Gillham Library has “Muted” by Leanne Owens and a new author for us William Kent Krueger, “Manitou Canyon” and “Sulfur Springs”.  You can check the Gillham Library Facebook page to see news books as they come in.  We have not set a date for Story time for October as yet.  Open Tuesday and Saturday 9-5 Closed 12 to 1:00 for lunch. For more information, you can contact Susie at the Gillham Library at 870-386-5665 or you can visit their Facebook   page at www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary

12TH ANNUAL “GREAT CLEAN-UP” AT CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK 09/26/19

Crater of Diamonds State Park is hosting their annual cleanup event, in conjunction with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s fall Great Arkansas Cleanup campaign.

Volunteers can sign up beginning at 8 a.m Saturday, October 12th in the visitor center to help pick up trash around the park.

Trash bags and gloves are provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be given away, while supplies last. Volunteers should wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.

Refreshments will be served, and a prize drawing will be held immediately after the event.

For more information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at (870) 285-3113, or email CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com.

GUN USED IN SHOOTING OF DE QUEEN RESIDENT REPORTED TO BE STOLEN 09/25/19

A follow up investigation in the Sunday night shooting of a De Queen resident has revealed that the gun used had been reported stolen to the Dallas Police Department in Texas. The shooting occurred in Dekalb in the evening hours of September 22nd. A warrant for Theft of a Firearm was obtained and served on Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda. The bond for his original charge of Aggravated Assault has been set at $250,000. In addition to the stolen gun and assault charges, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also placed a hold on Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda as it appears he entered the United States illegally.

The victim, De Queen resident Saleni Rojas Duran, was found to have a single gunshot wound to her chest area after a bullet intended for a security guard struck her. Life Net airlifted her to St. Michael’s Hospital where she was treated has been reported to be in stable condition.

 

OFFICE OF ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL COMING TO DE QUEEN 09/25/19

The mobile office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will be in De Queen next month.

The Sevier County AG mobile office day will take place Thursday, October 17th at The De Queen Senior Citizen’s Center. The center is located at 605 E Hayes Avenue.

The mobile office will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry will serve as the prescription drug take back partner for law enforcement.

An identify theft presentation will also be offered during the events.

Local residents are encouraged to attend the event to ask questions and receive information on identify theft and scam prevention, as well as to properly dispose of expired prescription medications.

Find out more on ArkansasAG.gov

HORATIO SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW AND OLD BUSINESS 09/25/19

The Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, September 9, in the administration building. All board members were present.

The board approved an old business item from last month, student transfer from DeQueen to Horatio.

Board members appointed Kristi Scott, disbursing officer, and Jeffrey Irvan, alternate disbursing officer, for the district.

The board approved Annual Financial report for 2018-19 and 2019-20 Budget, Statement of Assurances for 2019-20 school year, agreement with Snowflake Technologies dba Living Tree for services with online fundraisers, addition to 4.35 policy for student medications, contracted services provider list for 2018-19, and routine reports.

 

NASHVILLE STILL IN NEED OF REPAIRS AFTER SUMMER FLOODING 09/25/19

City of Nashville officials recently met with the governor’s office to make a plea for funding to repair the city lake spillway. The structure was undermined during the flash flooding this summer and city leaders warn that the issue could lead to a dangerous situation if not properly repaired. Mayor Billy Ray Jones says repairs to the spillway will be costly, with an estimate of just under $200,000 to return it to pre-flood condition. However, he and Public Works Director Larry Dunaway recommend mitigation repairs that would fix the spillway in a manner that the undermining would not re-occur.

Dunaway says any of the fixes would include repairs and improvements to the intake as well.

The city has turned in other flood repair costs and bids to the insurance company. Several police cars are currently being repaired and they expect to receive about $35,000 for the flood damaged vehicles.

Materials for new bridges at Mount Pleasant Drive and 8th Street should arrive in a couple of weeks, with engineering designs and construction to follow.

The council also approved a total of $6,900 to assist two firefighters whose vehicles were damaged in the flood and not covered by insurance. The funding will be taken out of the fire department’s depreciation fund.

 

CROP INSURANCE AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL FARMERS 09/25/19

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers to review available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the crop deadline.

Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.

The application deadline is September 30, 2019 for:

Barley             (Grazing)
Oats                (Grazing)
Rye                 (Grazing)
Rye, Annual    (Grazing)
Wheat             (Grazing)
Strawberries Turnips, Hybrid (Barkant)

Producers can determine if crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP by visiting https://webapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/ActuarialInformationBrowser2018/CropCriteria.aspx.

For more information on NAP, service fees, sales deadlines, contact the Little River County FSA office at 870-898-3611 ext. 2 or visit the web atwww.fsa.usda.gov/nap

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT SHOT IN DEKALB SUNDAY       09/24/19

A suspect is in custody after a De Queen resident was shot in the chest Sunday near DeKalb in Northeast Texas.

The suspect, Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda has been charged with aggravated assault.
On Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 authorities were dispatched to a shooting in the 1200 block of Farm to Market 992 DeKalb, Texas.

The victim, identified as De Queen resident Saleni Rojas Duran, was found to have a single gunshot wound to her chest. Life Net airlifted her to St. Michael’s Hospital where she was treated and listed in stable condition.

Reports state security had to forcibly remove the suspect from the event, then he drove back through the area fired multiple shots intended for the security guard of the club. None of the bullets struck the intended person but one bullet struck Duran.

A description of the suspect and his vehicle was broadcast to all law enforcement in the area. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Nathan Lavender located a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s not far from this location. Game Warden Lavender stopped this vehicle and found it was being driven by Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda who was confirmed to be the suspect in this shooting. Bowie County Deputies responded to Game Warden Lavender’s location and arrested Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda. He was transported to the Bi-State Jail where he was booked in for Aggravated Assault.

According to social media posts Duran is in stable condition at a Texarkana hospital.

 

ROTARY CLUB DONATES TO SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER           09/24/19

De Queen Rotary Club President Lisa Taylor presented a $500 contribution to the Sevier County Senior Citizens Centers at Monday’s noon meeting of the club. Local Director, Joyce Short, and Regional Director, Sheila Nash, accepted the donation on behalf of the local centers.

Sheila Nash, who operates ten centers in Sevier, Little River, Howard, Lafayette, and Columbia Counties in southwest Arkansas, says the cooking in Sevier County is done at the Horatio center, since it has a commercial kitchen. The meals are then transported to centers in De Queen and Lockesburg.

Last month in Sevier County, 645 meals were served to senior citizens visiting the centers. Another 1,245 senior citizens received meals through the Home Delivery program.
Nash says that local contributions are important because their contract with the State of Arkansas limits how many senior citizens can be served. Since they don’t want to turn
anybody away, Nash says the local donations go straight to the program to provide needed meals.

SEVIER COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY SETS FEES              09/24/19

The Sevier County Democratic Party recently held a meeting to set filing fees for local offices that will appear on next year’s ballot.

For the office of Justice of the Peace, the fee to file is $60. For the office of Constable, the fee to file is $10. Both of these offices have a term length of two years.

Party Chairman Victor J. Rojas informed those in attendance that the party filing period will begin on November 4 and end on November 12. Rojas also encouraged attendees to participate in the special election to be held on October 8.

 

LOVE LOCAL CAMPAIGN ADDRESSED AT DE QUEEN ROTARY CLUB MEETING            09/24/19

Keisha McKinney of McKinney Media Solutions encouraged members of the Rotary Club Monday to post positive reviews of local restaurants and shops on free social media platforms in
order to increase tourism in the area. The Love Local Campaign is designed to encourage area
residents to use Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other free social media platforms to post positive reviews to help promote local businesses.

McKinney says the area will see an uptick in tourists over the next couple of months as visitors travel to Northwest Arkansas to enjoy the fall colors. These travelers will look up reviews of
restaurants and local shops to determine where they might stop to visit. If Sevier County has many great local reviews on the various social media platforms, McKinney predicts the
tourists will plan to stop, shop, dine, or even stay and play locally.

She encouraged businesses to respond to reviews and interact with people who have posted. Encourage others to share a positive review of a local restaurant or shop. McKinney concluded by saying that your thoughts about your favorite hometown places will encourage others to visit and experience Sevier County for themselves. So be an advocate for our community and participate in the Love Local Campaign.

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL CONTINUES PROJECT PREVENT YOUTH COALITION    09/24/19

Ashdown High School’s tobacco prevention chapter of Project Prevent Youth Coalition (PPYC) is beginning it’s second year on the AHS Campus. The chapter is funded through a grant by Stamp Out Smoking and Arkansas Children’s Hospital for seven years. According to their website, “Project Prevent is a youth tobacco prevention initiative of Stamp Out Smoking. By exposing the truth about Big Tobacco and arming you and your peers with knowledge, tools, and power to make informed choices, our goal is to prevent Arkansas youth from smoking or using tobacco products. Project Prevent works year-round to provide events and programs to engage you and your friends in new ways.” Project Prevent Youth Coalition is “aiming for a happy, healthy, and tobacco-free Arkansas.”

The mission of PPYC will provide youth with action-oriented activities that address social norms about tobacco and nicotine.

Throughout the year students will have two advocacy projects which may include providing signage around campuses to inform that it is illegal to smoke on campus grounds and read age appropriate books to elementary students on the unhealthy effects of smoking.

More information can be found at sosprojectprevent.com.

BANNED BOOKS WEEK RECOGNIZED AT SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARIES     09/24/19

 

Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

Banned books were showcased at the 1982 American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California. At the entrance to the convention center towered large, padlocked metal cages, with some 500 challenged books stacked inside and a large overhead sign cautioning that some people considered these books dangerous.

First OIF Director Judith KrugDrawing on the success of the exhibit, ABA invited OIF Director Judith Krug to join a new initiative called Banned Books Week, along with the National Association of College Stores. The three organizations scrambled to put something together by the September show date and ended up distributing a news release and a publicity kit, hoping that with their combined membership of 50,000 people, they could continue to spark a conversation about banned books.

The initiative took off. Institutions and stores hosted read-outs, and window displays morphed into literary graveyards or mysterious collections of brown-bagged books. Major news outlets such as PBS and the New York Times covered the event, and mayors and governors issued proclamations affirming the week.

ALA is currently part of a national coalition to promote Banned Books Week, along with 14 other contributors and sponsors. Krug led the Banned Books Week efforts as OIF director until her unexpected death in 2009. Her legacy lives on in the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, a grant awarded to nonprofits to host Banned Books Week events.

Today, Banned Books Week coverage by mainstream media reaches an estimated 2.8 billion readers, and more than 90,000 publishing industry and library subscribers. The Banned Books page remains one of the top two most popular pages on the ALA website.

Locally, displays and information about banned book week can be found at the De Queen, Gillham, Lockesburg, and Horatio libraries in Sevier County through September 28th.

 

 

THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN GRANT MONEY AVAILABLE FOR SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COUNTIES 09/23/19

Schools and education groups throughout Arkansas will have additional funding for conservation education thanks to fine money collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Commissioners unanimously approved all fine money collected from wildlife fine violations in 2019 to be transferred to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Division of Rural Services.

The Division of Rural Services distributes the fine money through grants for which any teacher, principal or other educator may apply. These grants can enhance learning opportunities for youth, especially in some of the rural areas of Arkansas. Many grants help promote programs such as Archery in the Schools, Project WILD and the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program. Many educators also use the grants to fund expenses for field trips to nature centers and hatcheries.

All fine money collected in a county goes back to these education grants for that county.
Southwest Arkansas Counties could receive several thousand dollars respectively.

In Howard county $4,294.87 is available.
Little River may apply for $4,502.04
Miller is eligible for $5,795.89
Hempstead could be awarded $6,591.58
Polk has $7,985.20 available
Sevier County is eligible to receive up to $13,707.62
And Pike county has $14,723.83 dollars that could be granted.

A downloadable application is available at the Division of Rural Services website,  https://www.arkansasedc.com/Rural-Services
All area schools and education programs are encouraged to apply for the available grant money.

CLUB DONATES TO TEXARKANA AGENCIES FOR EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT PURCHASES 09/23/19

The Arklatex 100 Club awarded over $40,000 in grant money for life-saving equipment to Law Enforcement and fire agencies in Bowie and Miller Counties this month.
The mission of the Club is to raise funds for the dependents of local first responders who are lost in the line of duty. Remaining funds are available as grants for local agencies to purchase unbudgeted but necessary life-saving equipment and fund training.
The Club awarded

$3,000 to the New Boston Police Department for purchase of a K-9 and handler training
$3,000 to the Miller County Office of Emergency Management for repairs to its emergency response trailer
$3,000 to the Texarkana Arkansas Fire Department for rescue helmets, a gas detector, safety belts and more
And $6,650 to the Miller County Sheriff’s Office for Level IV plates for vests
The Arklatex 100 Club generates funds through an annual membership drive, and an annual Pull for Heroes Sporting Clay Tournament held in March of each year. The club is currently promoting its membership drive through the month of September.

Funds raised this September will be available throughout the year to aid the families of first responders killed in the line of duty. Remaining funds will be available to local agencies during the next grant cycle. The club will accept grant applications in June and July of 2020.

To learn more about its mission,  visit thearklatex100club.org.

SWEPCO DONATES TO UA COSSATOT FOUNDATION 09/23/19

The UA Cossatot Foundation has received a donation of $1,500 from AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company.

AEP SWEPCO has provided funding for UA Cossatot scholarships since 2010. The company chose to donate again this year to help local college students receive financial aid and support the work of the UA Cossatot Foundation.

AEP SWEPCO External Manager, Jennifer Harland presented UA Cossatot Foundation Director, Dustin Roberts with the donation.

This donation will be administered to students who apply through the UA Cossatot scholarship application. The application is available at www.cccua.edu/pay-for-college/scholarships from October 1 to April 1 of each year.

VETERANS FORUM ANNOUNCED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 09/23/19

All veterans of Little River County and surrounding areas are invited to a Veteran’s Forum on Friday 27th September 2019 at 12:00pm. It will be held at the Millwood Room and the U of A Cossatot Ashdown Campus. Burgers will be served at 11:30am, meeting will start at 12:00pm. There will be opening remarks followed by a question and answer session for all veterans.
Attendees: ➢ Col (Ret) Nathaniel “Nate” Todd – Secretary of AR Department of Veteran Affairs
➢ Gina Chandler – Assistant Director AR Department of Veteran Affairs
➢ Mike Cranford – Judge Little River County
➢ Eric Siddons – District 6 Manager AR Department of Veteran Affairs
➢ Paul Foster – Little River County Veteran Service Officer

REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGISLATION UPDATES 09/23/19

In Arkansas, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men will be the victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime. In 2018, 44 Arkansans died as a result of domestic violence.

Domestic violence occurs among all types of families, regardless of income, profession, region, ethnicity, educational level or race.
Last week, a rally was held inside the Capitol to raise awareness as we approach Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The Governor and legislators also recognized the work of the 32 domestic violence shelters across the state assisting 18,000 Arkansans last year.

In the 2019 Regular Session we passed the following bills addressing domestic violence:
ACT 499 creates a privilege of communication between a victim of domestic violence and the personnel of a domestic violence shelter or center and makes confidential certain communications between a victim and a victim advocate.
Act 498 reconciles the differences between the offenses of domestic battering in the first degree and battery in the first degree and increases the penalties for battery offenses under certain circumstances.

Act 324 allows for an additional sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison if certain offenses are committed in the presence of a child. The offenses include murder, aggravated robbery, felony assault or battery, and rape. Domestic violence is the leading predictor of child abuse.

Act 113 helps ensure that the $25 fee added to domestic violence convictions is directed to fund domestic violence shelters.

Act 908 amends the Arkansas code concerning orders of protection to align with federal code.

24-hour crisis lines include:
Women and Children First – (800) 332-4443
Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault – (800) 656-4673
Arkansas State Police Child Abuse – (800) 482-5964
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
National Human Trafficking Resource Center – (888) 373-7888 .

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL GRAD COMPETES WITH COLLEGE CROSS COUNTRY TEAM 09/23/19

Mena-based college UA – Rich Mountain recently competed in the 2019 Bob Gavett Invitational cross country meet at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. The team finished fourth overall and placed higher than Central Baptist and University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Jordan Foster paced the Bucks by finishing 17th with a time of 28:12.1. Foster earned 17 points for UA – Rich Mountain.

2018 De Queen High School graduate Asael Sanchez and teammate Robert McIntyre crossed the finish line seconds apart with times of 29:53.6 and 29:59.5, respectively. Sanchez earned 22 points and McIntyre earned 23 for the Bucks.

Tarleton State won the meet with a score of 15, followed by Southern Arkansas University with a score of 51 and Harding University with a score of 57.

The Bucks finished in fourth with a score of 111. Central Baptist earned a score of 162 and the University of Arkansas-Monticello finished with a score of 163.
Up next the team will compete at the Chile Pepper Classic  October 5th before the Junior College Division I region II Cross Country Championship October 12th.

ARKANSAS AG ANNOUNCES FIRST EVER VAPING SUMMIT 09/23/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the State’s first Youth Vaping Summits will be held Monday, October 7 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and Wednesday, October 9 at Bentonville High School with support from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS). The Summits are open to the public, particularly educators, parents, healthcare providers, lawmakers and law enforcement eager to gain educational information to assist and protect Arkansans from the dangers of e-cigarettes.

The first Vaping Summit will be held in Little Rock at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hall on October 7, and the second will be at Bentonville High School on October 9. Speakers for each event will include doctors representing UAMS, educators, legislators and representatives from the Attorney General’s Office.

For more information or to register for the Youth Vaping Summit at either location, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at 800-482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SPOTLIGHT: Sheila Piearcy, September 

Once a month, KDQN provides a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of our local law enforcement representatives in the Sevier County area. KDQN has been granted access to sit down one-on-one with employees of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department to offer a close-up look at those who help keep the community safe.

For the month of September, we’re spotlighting Sheila Piearcy, a dispatcher with The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in De Queen.

Sheila is an Albuquerque, New Mexico native who moved to Umpire, Arkansas at age six and later graduated from Umpire High School in 1985.

In addition to being a dispatcher, Sheila has also been a wife to Paul Piearcy for 16 years and together, the couple have four children and two grandchildren. Piearcy says she is in law enforcement because she likes helping people and “loves the feeling you get when you know you have helped save a life.”

When she’s not at work, Sheila enjoys shopping and visiting her grandkids. She says her favorite food is Alfredo and her favorite place to go out to eat is Olive Garden.

With four older brothers who all went into the military, selflessness and service seem to run in the family, as Sheila spent time volunteering for an ambulance service before beginning her career in law enforcement at The Howard County Sheriff’s Office back in 2001. Today, Sheila has put 17 total years in to law enforcement and 14 of those years have been spent with Sevier County. The wife and mother doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon either. When asked about her goals for the future, Piearcy says she loves the job so much she doesn’t even want to retire. She plans to continue working in her department with the dispatchers, who she calls ” the unseen heroes” of law enforcement, because they are always the first call placed in any emergency, no matter what the situation is.

“It’s not just about catching bad guys.” She says, “It’s about helping people.” Though Sheila didn’t start working in law enforcement until she was in her thirties, she says once she began, she “couldn’t get enough of it.”

“I love the feeling you get when you help save someone’s life.” Sheila recalls times she faced tough emergency calls, like children being trapped in a hot car, and a wife performing CPR on an unresponsive husband. Those difficult examples are why she calls dispatchers “the unseen heroes” and why she wishes people on the outside looking in at law enforcement could see the much hard work and heart that is put behind the scenes.

Sheila told KDQN that if she weren’t working for the Sheriff’s Department she would have gone to FBI school and become an investigator. Her favorite thing about her career is that “every day is something different” and everyone at The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has each other’s back. She describes The Sheriff’s Department as a “tight-knit” family.

Sheila’s family of co-workers proved just how much they have her back this summer after she had a medical scare while on vacation. On June 10th Sheila unexpectedly suffered a heart attack while out of town and was transported to a nearby hospital by way of ambulance for emergency bypass surgery. Because her recovery time exceeded her paid time off, Sheila’s co-workers donated their extra time off so that she never missed a paycheck.

In addition to having a team of co-workers who support her, Sheila also says her husband and kids are very proud of her for working in law enforcement.

We asked Sheila if there was anything she wished people on the outside looking it at law enforcement knew, and she said she wishes everyone could see that there is much more to the job than throwing bad guys in jail and that the Sheriff’s Department is here to help people.
Keep listening to KDQN to find out more about law enforcement representatives in the local area and check out next month’s local law enforcement spotlight.

TOUR DE QUEEN BICYCLING EVENT ANNOUNCED FOR NOVEMBER 09/20/19

The Tour De Queen cycling event will be held on November 2nd locally town, with participation expected to grow this year.
A new, 40-mile gravel route has been added to give cyclists from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma other areas a choice of five rides of different levels through the countryside. A banner with sponsor logos will mark the race start, and goodie bags with sponsor information will be given to all participants. Also new this year – vendor spaces will be available to set up on the square.
All sponsor forms need to be returned to the Chamber by October 11th.
Interested vendors should call the local chamber of commerce at 870-584-3225

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR SIGNS HUNTING AND FISHING PROCLAMATION 09/20/19

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a special proclamation Thursday in the Governor’s Conference Room at the state capitol recognizing Sept. 22-28, 2019, as Arkansas Hunting and Fishing Week. He also proclaimed Sept. 28, 2019, as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and its partners have organized many special activities to recognize the week and the contributions hunting and fishing make to people’s daily lives.
The Big Catch community fishing event will kick things off at 8 a.m., Sept. 21, at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. AGFC and Community First Alliance expect well over 3,000 attendees to this fun-filled day surrounding the outdoors.
“We’ve stocked hundreds of hungry catfish in the pond, and everyone in the family can come join in the fun,” said Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program. “Anyone 16 and older must have a fishing license to participate, but youth under 16 fish free, just like always in Arkansas.”
Visit www.agfc.com/naturecenters to find a location near you and plan a visit. Each center has its own Facebook page where they will post planned events as well as updates from daily activities.
The week wraps up on Sept. 28, which the Governor also has recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas. The opening of archery deer season also falls on Sept. 28, enabling hunters their first shot at a white-tailed deer for the season on this celebration of hunting and fishing’s contribution to conservation.
Visit www.agfc.com for details.

ASHDOWN ART CLASSES RECEIVE DONATION FOR SUPPLIES 09/20/19

The Ashdown High School Art Department recently received a contribution from a local bank for the purchase of supplies. The ceramics class students were surprised with a substantial monetary gift which will be used to purchase equipment that will enhance the creative experience for these students. Mrs. Melanie McGraw, AHS Art Instructor, has worked hard over the past few years to generate excitement in her department for the love of art. Her hard work has paid off with enrollment in her classes almost tripling over the last three years.

The Ashdown High School Art Department will utilize the $5,000.00 to purchase a pugmill-mixer and an extruder for the Ceramics Program. The department uses commercially available clays that have already been mixed and pugged. The recycling of left-over clay scraps and pieces can now be accomplished by the use of the pugmill. Having this piece of equipment will allow students to reclaim clay scraps safely and properly for reuse and reduce clay waste. The life expectancy of a pugmill is approximately thirty years. Utilization of this piece of equipment, for that period of time will save tremendously on the cost of clay for student use.

The second piece of equipment that will be purchased is a clay extruder. An extruder is a tool that passes clay through a tube to form various types of coils used in constructing all types of hand-built vessels. It is a key piece of equipment in the Ceramics Curriculum. At this time, the AHS Art Department has one extruder. However, the number of students taking this class has increased sharply as it is has become quite popular. Ceramics enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year has doubled, facilitating the need for an additional extruder.
The Ashdown High School Art Department Faculty and Students wish to gratefully thank everyone who made this gift possible for Ashdown schools.

SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH 09/20/19

Suicide rates are climbing, with the highest numbers reported in rural counties across the United States. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the number of suicide deaths had increased in Arkansas, however declined last year due to awareness efforts and a new prevention lifeline.
The month of September is Suicide Prevention Month and ADH Injury and Violence Prevention Section Chief Mandy Thomas says Arkansas is one of few states to have a call center funded and operated by a state government agency. Anyone in crisis or that needs to talk to someone is welcome to call the 24 hour phone number at 1-800-273-TALK.
The Arkansas Department of Health Suicide Prevention Program is working to provide educational programs that encourage people from all walks of life to become knowledgeable about suicide prevention. Thomas says the education is provided free of charge to schools or other groups/organizations.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, one person dies by suicide in Arkansas every 16 hours.
Thomas says warning signs of suicide include depression, withdrawing from family, and giving away prized possessions. While teenagers are more frequently at risk of suicide, the highest numbers include middle aged men.
If you know of someone going through a crisis, Arkansas Department of Health officials encourage people to open a dialogue with that individual and help them seek assistance.
For more information, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

DE QUEEN AND COSSATOT FIRE DEPARTMENTS HANDLE BRUSH FIRE TUESDAY 09/20/19

The local Fire Department handled a brush fire East of De Queen earlier this week.
A report released by De Queen Fire chief Dennis Pruitt states that 14 firefighters responded to the all-call alarm around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday September 17th. Foam and water were used to extinguish the flames in roughly two hours. The fire occurred at a residence located on Highway 71 East and Country Club Estates. Crews arrived on the scene by 4:51 p.m., just six minutes after the call came in.

Two trucks were sent to the scene and the Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department provided DFD with assistance. No smoke detector was reported to be present and the property owner was identified as Bento Camarillo.

Chief Pruitt says at least six acres of land were damaged as a result of the fire, but no people were reported injured.
Crews left the scene at 7:19 p.m.

FLEX COURSES IN OCTOBER AVAILABLE AT UA COSSATOT 09/20/19

UA Cossatot has released the class schedule for available October flex courses. These eight-week classes will begin on October 7 and end on December 6. The last day to sign up for one or more of these classes is October 4, 2019.
Flex courses allow students to take classes in a faster amount of time rather than in a traditional sixteen-week semester. They also enable students to take more courses and graduate sooner.
The October flex classes include several welding courses at Lockesburg, Nashville, and De Queen. The college will also be offering online courses in Accounting II, Micro Computer Apps, and Databases. Other available courses include Intermediate Algebra in Ashdown and Anatomy and Physiology II in Nashville.
To view the full class schedule, please visit www.cccua.edu. To sign up and enroll in an October flex course, please contact Student Services at 870-584-4471 or studentservices@cccua.edu.

 

HOW IS EHC DIFFERENT FROM OTHER ORGANIZATIONS?       08/26/19

Education!  It’s a character builder!  A lifelong process that is never finished. Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council (AEHC) members keep up to date in these rapidly changing times through lessons on all phases of family living and special interest topics presented by speakers, educators and other club members.  While other organizations may be primarily social or service clubs, EH club member’s main goal is education. And, of course, we like to have fun, too!

Extension Homemakers Club (EHC) members gain knowledge and skills through monthly program topics, special interest workshops and project activities. Members come up with ideas for programs, which are developed cooperatively with the Extension agent to meet interests!  In addition, individual clubs choose a yearly volunteer service project according to their interests.

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 their community. They are young and old, men and women, working or retired. They come from diverse backgrounds and a rich history.  They’ve come a long way from the home demonstration era of the 1900’s.

Gather your friends and give us a call.  We currently have two clubs that would love to have new members, but we would be happy to start a new club just for you and your friends!  Their meeting schedules are

De Queen EHC – 2nd Wednesday each month – REA Building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m.
Gillham EHC – 2nd Friday each month – members’ homes in Gillham at 10:00 a.m.

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

FLOOD REPAIR EFFORTS WELL UNDER WAY FOR ARDOT 08/26/19

The Arkansas Department of Transportation has continued to make both temporary and permanent repairs across several counties in District 3, following the July 16th flash flood event caused by rainfall from Hurricane Barry. KMTB’s Jonathan Canaday in Nashville reports that District Engineer Steve Frisbee says many roadways, bridges and culverts were damaged throughout Howard, Pike, Hempstead and Nevada Counties. According to Frisbee, about 80 percent of the temporary repairs have been completed at this time. He also says thanks to the long hours and hard work of the local inspection and maintenance crews, all of the highways were repaired to safely open to traffic within one to four days. Additional staff, equipment, and materials from the other counties in the district was acquired to quickly get roadways open following the flooding.

However, a significant amount of additional work involved large quantities of riprap stone to shore up bridge and culvert ends, along with gravel and other aggregates to fill and reshape many washouts along roadway shoulders, ditches, and driveways. ARDOT has exceeded $750,000 in repair costs so far, and will continue to make repairs through the rest of the year.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutinson also visited a Farm Bureau event in Nashville last week, where he announced $150,000 would be dispersed to assist in funding the repair process.

Frisbee says this type of damage puts them behind in normal maintenance work, including: mowing, ditching, pavement repairs, surface sealing, and leveling. Recent dry weather has helped in efforts to catch up on normal operations.

ASHDOWN ALUMNI TICKETS 08/26/19 
Ticket sales for the Ashdown Alumni Banquet will end on Thursday, September 5th.  Tickets are $30.00 per person and the banquet will be held at Ashdown High School on Saturday, September 14.  Doors will open at 4:30.  Individual tickets can be purchased at the Castle, or from Sandra Furlow, or Susan Simmons.  To purchase a table of eight, please contact Diane McLarty at 870-898-6179.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES HIT NEW LOW IN ARKANSAS 08/26/19

DeAnn Vaught has reported Arkansas recently set a new record low for unemployment. The unemployment rate for July was 3.4 %, breaking the previous record of 3.5% last month. There are 19,200 more jobs in our state than this time last year.

But the story of our work force does not end there.  As we approach Labor Day, it’s worth taking a look at our state’s largest occupations, what occupations are in demand, and what occupations are paying the most.

This information is released annually in the Department of Workforce Services Arkansas Labor Market and Economic Report.

Retail salespersons was estimated to have the most employees across the state with 37,050 employed in 2017 with an average wage of $24,990. Combined food preparation and serving workers was the second largest occupation with 35,520 employed, earning an average wage of $19,620.

When it comes to occupations in demand, the report is divided into three categories: high skill, moderate skill, and basic skill.

The most in-demand high skill occupations in our state are operations managers, registered nurses, clergy, elementary school teachers (except special education), accountants and auditors.

The most in-demand moderate skill occupations are truck drivers, nursing assistants, bookkeeping and auditing clerks, teacher assistants, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses.

The most in-demand basic skill occupations are food preparation and food serving workers, cashiers, retail sales, farmers and other agricultural managers.

Internists topped the occupations paying the most list with an annual salary of $247,280. Obstetricians and Gynecologists, with an average annual salary of $235,130 ranked second.

The entry wage estimate for employers of all sizes was $20,160 for 2017. The median wage estimate for employers with 250-499 employees was $32,317, while wages for experienced workers averaged $50,710 for employers in all size categories. Our labor market is expected to continue to grow. You can find more detailed information on the labor market in various regions of the state by reading the report we have linked on our website www.arkansashouse.org.

 

UA COSSATOT GRADUATE EARNS JOB AT HEART HOSPITAL IN PLANO 08/26/19

Caleb Burrow is a former Sevier County resident and UA Cossatot nursing student who graduated from UA Cossatot’s RN program in 2015. This summer, Caleb started a new chapter when he and his wife moved to Plano, Texas where Caleb was hired to work as a Cardiovascular ICU nurse at the Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital. Caleb grew up in De Queen, Arkansas and graduated from a Northwest, Arkansas private school in 2012. He decided to go to college at UA Cossatot it was a more cost-effective choice. He also decided to major in nursing because he wanted to help people and make a difference in their lives. In the fall of 2012, Caleb was accepted into the eleven month LPN day program at the De Queen Campus.

Burrow says “My time in the LPN program was probably the most challenging and most rewarding time in my nursing education and experience. With classes and clinicals, the whole program challenged me to put what I had learned into practice in both long term and acute care settings.” After graduating from the LPN program in 2014, Caleb continued his nursing education at UA Cossatot by enrolling in the college’s RN nursing program. For this program, Caleb attended classes at UA Cossatot’s Nashville Campus. Caleb then graduated with an Associate of Applied Science RN nursing degree from UA Cossatot in 2015.

After gaining an LPN and an RN degree from UA Cossatot, Caleb transferred to Arkansas Tech University. He was accepted into the school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, where he took classes online. While taking classes at Arkansas Tech University, he also worked full-time in the ICU setting at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Texas. In 2017, Caleb graduated from Arkansas Tech University with a BSN degree. After working three and a half years at Christus St. Michael Health System in Texarkana, Caleb has chosen to take a job in the Cardiovascular ICU at the Baylor Scott and White Heart Hospital in Plano, Texas. The application deadline for the eleven-month LPN day program is March 1st of each year at UA Cossatot. The application deadline for the eighteen-month evening LPN program and the one year RN program at UA Cossatot is August 31st of each year. To learn how to apply for one of these programs at UA Cossatot, please visit the college’s medical education page at www.cccua.edu to schedule an advising appointment.

FREE CITIZENSHIP CLASSES ANNOUNCED 08/26/19

A free citizenship class will begin at the UA Cossatot Adult Education Center in De Queen on Thursday, August 29. The class will be from 5:00 PM-6:30 PM and last 8 weeks.

The Adult Education Center in Nashville will offer a citizenship class beginning September 24. It will be from 1:00 PM- 2:30 PM.

Topics will include completing the N-400, gathering the required documentation, 100 civics questions, and participating in mock interviews. Interested individuals should register before classes begin. Call 870-584-1185 for more information.

POWER OUTAGE HITS SEVIER COUNTY THURSDAY AFTER TRANSFORMER CATCHES FIRE 08/23/19

Several local business were required to close early unexpectedly in Sevier County following a widespread electricity outage Thursday, August 23rd. The outage affected the De Queen, Gillham, Horatio and Lockesburg areas beginning around 4:45 p.m and more than 5,000 residents are estimated to have lost power. Swepco customers were originally informed that the outage would last several hours until at least 9:00 p.m. Thursday night, however crews continued to work on restoring electricity services much later than initially expected.

Nic Garza, KDQN AM program director reported live from the scene around 10:00 p.m. Thursday evening and spoke to SWEPCO crew members at the scene who reported that the outage was caused by a “piece of equipment that went bad” and “blew up.” Local agencies assisted in working the incident as The De Queen Fire Department was seen heading towards the site in South De Queen near the County Fairgrounds around 4:50 p.m. The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department also posted a Facebook Live video from the scene at 5:53 p.m. and informed residents to expect power to remain out for the coming hours.

More information about what caused the transformer to blow up will be released as information becomes available.

PRO BONO LEGAL SERVICES FOR VETERANS NOW AVAILABLE IN ARKANSAS 08/23/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Governor Asa Hutchinson announced their offices will be allocating $750,000 for a total of $1.5 million to create Veterans Legal Services Clinic for Arkansas veterans. This is the first clinic of its kind in Arkansas, and the program will enable enrolled students to provide legal services to veterans throughout the State at no charge.

Veterans in all areas of the state are encouraged to utilize the new services, which will be centered at the University of Arkansas Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law.

The legal clinic will serve as the only pro bono services center for veterans in the state of Arkansas, which is home to over 250,000 past, and present service members. Under the supervision of a clinical facilitator, enrolled students will be trained to represent veterans on various legal issues. The clinic will also provide free continuing legal education for practicing attorneys on veteran specific legal issues, and establishing partnerships between participants with veterans in need of legal assistance.

Attorney General Rutledge is requesting consumers with questions, or to file a consumer complaint to visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER ANNOUNCEMENTS 08/23/19

Changes are happening in Little River County at the Foreman and Ashdown Senior Citizen Centers.  The Foreman Senior Citizen Center has new hours.  They are now open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 – 1:00.   and Bingo is held every Tuesday at 10:15 and lunch is served lunch at 11:30.

The Ashdown Center is having a Quilt Raffle.  A quilt made by the Senior Citizens is being raffled, tickets are $1, and the winner will be announced during their quilt show on September 27 and 28th.

Both Centers are having a cereal drive to get boxes of cereal to our homebound seniors in Little River County.  Boxes can be dropped off at either center and  the Little River County Courthouse.  If you have any questions, call Paula at 870-898-2808.

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL TALKS PROJECTS AT AUGUST MEETING 08/22/19

The Lockesburg City Council met in regular session, Tuesday, August 13th, in the Council Room of City Hall. Daniel Martinez and Brenda Sullivan represented the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce and addressed the Council to announce several activities planned in the City of Lockesburg and invited the Council to attend their monthly chamber meetings.

Park Commissioner Shelia Ruth addressed the Council and introduced Brenda  as the newest member of the Park Committee and provided a report on the Market in the Park, which will now be held every month. She also reported an update on the walking trail project.

Mayor Danny Ruth then addressed the Council with an update on the inside of the new Senior Citizens Building. Ruth reported the walls and ceiling are in place, the floor should be finished soon and the baseboards should be put down later this month. As soon as all is completed, plans will be made to complete the kitchen area.

A sidewalk project is in the early stages as Ruth informed the Council that an engineer is going to advertise for bids to collect estimates for the project.

Mayor Ruth also informed the Council the little bush hog had been in the shop most of the summer hindering the mowing of the right of ways and the city’s big side boom tractor would have to be shared with the City of Horatio.

The Council briefly discussed a USDA RD WWW Loan to complete the replacement of the old sewer system in town. The item was tabled until next month so all the Council Members could read the entire packet.

Deputy Municipal Clerk JoAnna Giusti requested to attend the Municipal Clerks Institute in Fayetteville this September. The council agreed to apply for a scholarship so Giusti can attend next year.

City Attorney Erin Hunter informed the Council that Chad Gallagher from Legacy Academy approached the Mayor about changing the name at the Elementary School Drive from Darter Circle. After investigating what all would be involved in changing the name, Gallagher decided to leave it as is.

Prior to adjourning the council approved the financial report, bills and July 2019 meetings minutes with one correction.

The next Lockesburg City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 10th at 6:30 p.m.

 WILDLIFE GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL COUNTIES 08/22/19

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission Division of Rural Services has announced the Wildlife Conservation Education Grants Program application period is open now through Oct. 4th. More than $678,000 is available and funds for these grants come from fines collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

AGFC Chief of Education Tabbi Kinion says the grants can really enhance learning opportunities for youth in rural areas of Arkansas, where education dollars are at a premium.

Programs eligible for funding include, the study of general fish and wildlife conservation issues, Project WILD Workshops, Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program, Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program, Fishing in the Natural State, Arkansas Stream Team, School Yard Habitat Site Development, and specialized AGFC conservation education/educator training workshops and similar programs. Funds may also be used for field trips to AGFC Nature Centers, Conservation Education Centers and Wildlife Management Areas.

In southwest Arkansas,
Sevier County is eligible for $13,707.62
Little River County can receive $4,502.04
Howard County could get $4,294.87
Hempstead County could be granted up to $6,591.58
Pike County can apply for up to $14,723.83
Polk County is eligible for as much as $7,985.20

www.arkansasedc.com/Rural-Services/division/grants/wildlife-education-grant

CONGRESSMAN WESTERMAN HOLDING MOBILE OFFICES IN LOCAL COUNTIES 08/22/19

U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman’s office will host a mobile office in southwest Arkansas on September 5th. These offices are ideal for constituents who live further away from the primary district offices to meet with staff and discuss any issues that they’re having with the government (including foreign adoptions, passports, federal aid, etc.) Times on September 5th include the Pike County Courthouse in Murfreesboro from 8 to 9 a.m., Howard County Courthouse in Nashville from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., Sevier County Courthouse in De Queen from 11 a.m. to noon, and the Hempstead County Courthouse in Hope from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.

You can reach Congressman Westerman’s Washington office at 202-225-3772 and the Hot Springs office number is 501-609-9796. You can also visit https://westerman.house.gov/

SEVIER COUNTY SPECIAL ELECTION DETAILS ANNOUNCED 08/21/19

The Sevier County Election Commission has announced details for the upcoming specially called election set for Tuesday October 8th. The purpose of the election and polling locations have been included in the announcement, provided by County Clerk Debbie Akin.

The purpose of The Election is to vote for or against the adoption of a 1% sales and use tax within Sevier County. Collections from which shall only be used to “acquire, repair, expand, equip, furnish, operate and maintain” a new Sevier County Hospital facility and to pay and secure the repayment of bonds approved by the voters for financing hospital facilities.

The hospital is estimated to cost up to $24,250,000.

Voters from all precincts in Sevier County will be allowed to vote at any voting center. Locations include:

  • De Queen Church of Christ
  • Kern Heights Baptist Church
  • Herman Dierks Park (Community building)
  • De-Queen Mena Co-Op in Gillham
  • Geneva Baptist Church
  • J. Walker Fellowship Hall in Horatio
  • Ben Lomond Community Church
  • and Lockesburg Methodist Church.

All polling places will be open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on election day, Tuesday October 8th with absentee voting to be conducted at the Sevier County Courthouse from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Friday August 23rd and Early voting will take place Tuesday October 1st at 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on Monday October 7th.

Precinct information and other special election questions can be referred to The Sevier County Clerk’s office at 870-642-2852.

MENA CITY COUNCIL APPROVES FAA AGREEMENT 08/22/19

Members of Mena City Council approved an agreement with the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration on a grant allocating $149,400 to be used for the design phase of Runway 17-35’s Surface Rehabilitation at the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport.

The City of Mena will add an additional $16,600 for its share of the project.

Council also directed the Mena Airport Commission to enter into a contract with Garver Engineers to design, oversee, and closeout the project; on behalf of the city.

CITY OF TEXARKANA ADDRESSES PLANS FOR COLLAPSED BUILDING 08/22/19

The city of Texarkana, Arkansas. expects an emergency declaration this week, from the state regarding the roof collapse of a downtown building last week, news source KTAL reported Tuesday.

A portion of the Regency House on Broad Street collapsed onto the sidewalk and though no one was injured a portion of the road in front of the building was blocked off. City officials said the building has been condemned for years and repeated attempts to get in touch with the owners have been unsuccessful.

City Manager Kenny Haskin said the state will likely auction off the building and they are prepared to submit a sealed bid this week. Haskin said if the city purchases the building, back taxes would have to be paid. Local officials are also seeking estimates for costs of tearing down the structure.

 

BROKEN BOW JUNIOR CHAMBER SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT 08/22/19

The Broken Bow Junior Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Co-Ed Benefit Softball Tournament Will be held Saturday, September 21st at the Choctaw Nation Softball Fields beginning at 9:00 A.M. Each team will need to sign up at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce office before Wednesday, September 18th. The cost is $150 per team. All team names and contact information must be included at the time of sign up and if your team needs to drop out, please contact the chamber as soon as possible. Space is limited to the first 10 teams and brackets will be posted the day before the tournament. First and Second place will both receive T-Shirts and the first place winner will receive a 2019 Easton ghost bat.

For more information contact Kyler Wheat – 940-256-2315, or Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce – 580-584-3393

DE QUEEN MAYOR LOOKING AT COST TO DEMOLISH ENNIS BUILDING DOWNTOWN 08/21/19

The De Queen City Council met for their only meeting this month on Tuesday, August 20th at City Hall.

During the public comment portion of the night, Economic Development Director Lisa Taylor announced that she is in the process of assisting in planning public forums that will help clear up misinformation regarding the new Sevier County Hospital building. Five total meetings will be scheduled throughout the county for local residents to present questions to a panel of community leaders who have been working closely on the project. Dates and times for the public meetings will be announced as the information becomes available.

The first item of old business was a continuation of the discussion on The Ennis Building. Council members Troy Cravens and Rick Pruitt both expressed concern over safety issues for citizens and fear of liability factors for the city as the structure condition continues to worsen and remains unusable. During the July 30th meeting, Mayor Jeff Brown revealed the deteriorating building is stricken with asbestos and will cost roughly one million dollars to fully repair. Brown also noted that the market value of the structure currently sits at $20,250. After an extensive discussion the council agreed the best step to take next would be for Mayor Brown to gather estimates on what it would cost to have the building torn down. Brown says he would like to have those estimates collected within the next month.

Following the Ennis building discussion, The council heard the Mid-Year budget ordinance as presented by City Attorney Erin Hunter. This was the 3rd reading of the budget and the council approved the item as-is.

The first item under the new business category was a visit from De Queen Schools superintendent Jason Sanders. Sanders presented both Mayor Brown and Police Chief Scott Simmons with plaques of appreciation for their partnership with the district. Brown and the council approved a request from the district earlier this year that permitted The De Queen Police Department to provide training for armed staff in support of The De Queen Schools Emergency Response team.

The next agenda item addressed was a discussion with Sevier County Judge Greg Ray. Ray informed the council he has been working with Lisa Taylor to plan the public forums regarding the new Sevier County hospital building. Ray announced he has already sought support from the Horatio City council and plans to attend public events like High School football games in an effort to address the community about the importance of emergency healthcare access in Sevier County. Mayor Jeff Brown says he and the De Queen City council are all in support of the new hospital. If the proposed 1% sales tax to fund the building passes October 8th, the city will work to provide funding to build a sewer line for the medical center.

The last item discussed Tuesday night was a resolution to apply for a $50,000 grant that would provide funds for The De Queen Fire Department. Those funds would be used to pay for equipment that will remove carcinogens from the Firefighters Turnouts, which may help reduce their risk of occupational cancers.

The next De Queen City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 3rd at 5:30 P.M. in city hall.

TEXAN FINDS 3.72-CARAT DIAMOND AT LOCAL STATE PARK 08/21/19
Largest find of the year discovered after a one-hour search

On Friday, August 16, 27-year-old Miranda Hollingshead of Bogata Texas, visited Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park for the first time. But according to Hollingshead, that wasn’t her original plan. “I was just going to pick up a transmission that day, but my siblings were in town and wanted to do something fun together.”

After searching for about an hour, Hollingshead found the diamond at the base of a hill on the northeast side of the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area. “I was sitting in the shade, watching a YouTube video on how to find diamonds. I looked over at my kid for a second, and when I looked down, I saw it mixed in with other rocks.”

Hollingshead noted she was pretty sure she had found a diamond when she first saw the stone. “I shook my hand across it to make sure what it was, picked it up, and yelled across the field to my mom, ‘I think I got one!’” After showing her mom and siblings, Hollingshead carried her find to the Diamond Discovery Center, where park staff registered it as a 3.72 ct. yellow diamond. It is the largest registered at the Crater of Diamonds since March 2017, when a teenager from Centerton, Arkansas found a 7.44-carat brown gem. It is the largest yellow diamond since a visitor from Oklahoma City found a 3.85-carat jewel there in October 2013.

About one in every 10 diamonds are found on the top of the ground by observant visitors. Park personnel plow the diamond search area, the eroded surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic pipe, periodically to loosen soil and assist with natural erosion.

When asked whether she plans to sell her gem or keep it as a souvenir, Hollingshead said if she doesn’t sell it, she’ll probably have it mounted in a ring. As of this writing, 319 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2019, weighing a total of 63.49 carats. 13 diamonds registered this year have weighed at least one carat each.

In total, over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed at the Crater of Diamonds since the first diamonds were discovered in 1906 by John Huddleston, a farmer who owned the land long before it became an Arkansas State Park in 1972.

Crater of Diamonds State Park is located on Arkansas Highway 301 in Murfreesboro. It is one of 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage, and Tourism.

For more information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113, emailCraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com, or visit www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.

 

GOVERNOR AWARDS FUNDS TO HOWARD COUNTY FOR FLOOD DAMAGE REPAIRS 08/21/19

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke at Tuesday’s annual Howard County Farm Bureau membership dinner.  The governor said that he had signed an emergency declaration Tuesday (8/20) for $150,000 to start bridge repairs and other needed infrastructure repairs in Howard County, following flash flooding in Nashville and Dierks.

The governor also spoke on topics of agriculture and high speed rural broadband.

Howard County Farm Bureau President Dennis Ritchie recognized the Greene Family of the Umpire area as the Howard County Farm Family of the Year.  They have advanced as one of eight district winners in the 72nd annual Arkansas Farm Family of the Year Program.  The state winner will be announced December 6th.

Outgoing board members receiving recognition included Ritchie, Ray Rogers, F Gibson and the late Joey Jamison.

Other guests included Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward, Livestock and Poultry Commission Director Patrick Fisk, State Representative Justin Gonzales and State Representative Deann Vaught.

 

HOWARD COUNTY FAIR SET FOR SEPTEMBER 08/21/19

The Howard County Fair is scheduled for next month. The festivities will be held at The Howard County Fairgrounds in Nashville Arkansas September 2nd through 7th. Livestock Exhibits, a cattle show, Pie and Cupcake contests, A BBQ chicken contest, kiddie carnival, craft, horticulture and photography exhibits and more will all be showcased during the event.

All livestock is to be in place by 7:00 p.m. on Monday September 2nd and the hog and sheep show will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 3rd.

The Howard County Fair Parade is set for 9:00 a.m. September 7th beginning at The Nashville High School Parking lot and concluding at cash savers. Everyone is invited to have a float, tractor, horse or vehicle in the parade. Prize money will be awarded in the Hay Bale decorating contest and the competition is open to all 4H clubs, FFA chapters, Boys and Girls clubs and churches.

There is no cost for admission into the fair and all events are family friendly. Find out more by contacting Linda Kitchens at 870-583-6104.

 

STATE REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT SEEKING RE-ELECTION 08/20/19

Today, State Representative DeAnn Vaught announced she will seek another term in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Serving since 2015, Vaught has been advocating for rural voices at the capitol and her focus includes farmers rights, 2nd amendment support and bringing awareness to mental health issues and child abuse.

Vaught represents district 4, which includes parts of Howard, Sevier, and Little River Counties. She has worked with local leaders to continue efforts for job growth and economic development in the 4th district.
Agriculture is a community close to her heart, as she says “District 4 is full of amazing farmers who care for their livestock and the environment, they do not need more red tape keeping them from doing what they love and we all need them to keep feeding the world. “
Vaught serves as Vice-Chair of Executive Audit, a member of the Education Committee, Insurance and Commerce, House Management, and House Rules. She also serves on The Arkansas Legislative Council and the PEER review chair and is a mother to three grown daughters. DeAnn and her husband, Jon reside on a farm outside Horatio and are members of First Baptist church, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Cattleman’s Association and Arkansas Pork Producers.
Vaught says “I am grateful for everyone’s support and hope to continue to serve as your District 4 state representative.”
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS TO CELEBRATE GRANDPARENTS DAY SEPTEMBER 6TH 08/21/19
Three Ashdown schools are inviting grandparents to their campus on Friday, Sept. 6, to celebrate Grandparents’ Day with their grandchildren. Ashdown Schools recognizes the importance of parental support, including grandparents, in the success of its students and wishes to honor their contributions.
Ashdown Elementary School (Margaret Daniel Building), kindergarten through second grade invites their grandparents to join them in their classrooms from 1:30-2:30 that afternoon. Refreshments will be served in their classrooms.
L. F. Henderson Intermediate grades 3-5 welcome grandparents from 9-10 a.m. Grandparents will have snacks and activities in their grandchild’s homeroom class. At Ashdown Junior High School (grades 6-8), grandparents may enjoy breakfast with their grandchild from 7:45-8:45 in the cafeteria. Grandparents will eat free. The menu will be sausage biscuits, muffin, milk and juice.

 

VENDORS FOR BLUE DARTER TRADE DAYS BEING ACCEPTED NOW 08/20/19

Vendor registration forms for the 3rd annual Blue Darter Days are now being accepted.

Blue Darter Days is a 2-day event at The Lockesburg Gymnasium that is sponsored by The Lockesburg Lions Club and UA Cossatot Foundation. Art, jewelry, clothes, tools and similar vendors are encouraged to participate and apply soon. Vendor forms are now available for pick-up at The Bank of Lockesburg or front desk of any UA Cossatot Campus. The event is family friendly and all entrepreneurs are welcome.

The Blue Darter Trade Days will be held Friday and Saturday, September 27 and 28, 2019 from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. each day.

Student Ambassadors will also be hosting the Fall Fest on Saturday, September 28 beginning at noon.  Activities include a pumpkin patch, hayrides, petting zoo, games, and more. Old fashion Lockesburg bingo will begin at 2:00 P.M

For vendor information or questions about the Blue Darter Trade Days, please call UA Cossatot Continuing Education Coordinator, Zebbie Launius at 870-584-9966.

FREE BEEKEEPERS CLASS IN SEPTEMBER 08/20/19

The Southwest Arkansas Beekeepers Association is offering a free basic beekeeping course September 9th. The  course is for those who have never kept bees but think they would like to try. Participants will learn everything they need to get started – basic concepts and costs of beekeeping, equipment and supplies required and where to purchase, as well as long-term costs and time required.

The free class will be taught by Southwest Arkansas Beekeepers Association President Fred Douville. Refreshments will be served. Classes will be September 9, 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Cossatot Community College in Nashville, Room 101. Although the class is free, pre-registration is required to insure adequate handouts and refreshments. For more information about the course and to register, contact Debra Bolding at (870) 557-2352.

 

FOREMAN SCHOOL BOARD TALKS PERSONNEL CHANGES AT SPECIAL MEETING 08/20/19

Last week The Foreman Board of Education met in Special Session to discuss several agenda items, August 12th.

Superintendent Tankersly presented a student transfer request from The Foreman District to Horatio Schools. After a discussion the board agreed to deny the motion with a unanimous vote of 4-0.

The board did decide to approve a notice of special election for September 10th, 2019 before an executive session was held for roughly 30 minutes.

After the executive session concluded the board moved on to the topic of personnel and accepted a resignation letter from High School teacher Leslie Walker. Christine Adams was also hired as a long-term, substitute bus driver and Terri Kelli was approved for a 3 hour bus route for the 20-19-2020 school year.

In other personnel news Robert Easter’s three hour bus route resignation and the hire of High School science Teacher Joshua Bengston were both accepted.

The next meeting will be held at 6:00 in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary library Tonight, Tuesday August 20th.

 

ARKANSAS LEGISLATION UPDATE 08/19/19

During any given day in the school year, there are 350,000 children riding a bus on Arkansas roadways.

This week, legislators joined the Governor, Education Secretary Johnny Key, and state police in reminding drivers that Flashing Red means Kids Ahead. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus whenever its red lights are flashing, as students are present. The law requires drivers to stop on 2 lane and 4 lane highways in both directions, even those with a middle lane. Drivers cannot attempt to pass in any direction until the school bus has finished receiving or discharging passengers and is in motion again, and yet, Arkansans violate this law routinely.  Back in April, Arkansas school bus drivers reported 884 instances of motorists illegally passing stopped school buses in one day. Twelve of those instances occurred on the right side of the bus, where students enter and leave the bus.

The penalties and punishment for anyone found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus were increased dramatically by Act 2128 of 2005, also known as Isaac’s Law. The legislation was named in honor of Isaac Brian, an elementary school student in the Bryant School District who was struck and killed when a driver illegally passed his school bus while students were exiting the vehicle.  The legislature increased the fines in Isaac’s Law again this year with Act 166. Drivers can now face up to a $2,500 fine for a violation.

Isaac’s father, William Brian, spoke at the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, “I’m encouraging you to take your responsibility as a driver seriously. I’m asking you eliminate distractions and have a heightened sense of awareness anytime you see flashing red lights.” Everyone has a responsibility to ensure students arrive to and from school safely. Remember: Flashing Red. Kids Ahead. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.flashingredkidsahead.org.

DEPUTY FINDS TWO RESIDENTS WITH DRUGS NEAR TEXARKANA LAST WEEK 08/19/19
Two traffic stops resulted in drug arrests early Thursday for a Miller County deputy.

News outlet TXK today reports that while on routine patrol Thursday August 15th, Deputy Stephen Rhyne conducted a traffic stop on a Toyota truck just off of Hightway 237 in Miller County for a traffic violation. The driver of the truck was identified as Christopher Orand, age 38 of Texarkana, Arkansas. The driver reportedly consented to a search and 1.1 grams of suspected Methamphetamine was discovered in the vehicle. Mr. Orand was arrested for felony Possession of a Controlled Substance and was booked into the Miller County Detention Center.

Later that morning around 4:07 a.m., Deputy Rhyne conducted another traffic stop on a Toyota Camry near South State Line Avenue for a traffic violation. The driver was identified as Howard Nielson, age 56 of Bowie County Texas. Nielson was found to be in possession of approximately 4.4 grams of suspected Methamphetamine and a small amount of suspected Marijuana. Mr. Nielson was arrested on a Felony charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance and Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance then booked into the Miller County Detention Center.

 

ARKANSAS HUNTERS CAN RENEW LICENSE ONLINE 08/19/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission would like to remind hunters and anglers that licenses can be renewed online. The new site offers a convenient, one-stop shop for hunting and fishing licenses, permits, game checking, merchandise and other important information about outdoor recreation in Arkansas.

Digital copies of licenses are available through the AGFC mobile app, which can be downloaded from the Play Store or the Apple Store.

Harvest reports, donation options and gift certificate information are also available through the site.

Find out more about renewing your hunting or fishing license by visiting AGFC.com

 

BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU WARNS ARKANSAS RESIDENTS OF SCAM 08/19/19

The Better Business Bureau has announced a scam making its way around Arkansas. This scam has targeted local business owners in attempts to gain financial information. The Bureau is asking all local businesses to be on alert for this activity and use extreme caution when dealing with consumers from outside of the area.

Business owners and employees have received texts and electronic quotes from a consumers claiming to be moving to Arkansas soon but are currently out of the state. The business is given an address and asked to provide an estimate. Once the business provides the estimate, the “customer” usually requests financial information in order to wire transfer the deposit or they will actually send a check for the deposit amount.

Another tactic that used is to send an “over-payment” of the deposit, in hopes that someone will send back the amount that was over paid. In this way, they end up with a legitimate check and the business is left with a fake one.

The BBB has provided advice for dealing with these scams and preventing fraud.

  1. If you receive text messages, quote requests via email, or calls that start to follow the pattern above, stop engaging. (The scammers will usually start the conversation by digital means such as email, text, or an automated quote system.)
  2. If you are unsure of who you are dealing with, proceed with extreme caution. Do not give any financial information for wire transfers, do not deposit any checks, and do not perform any work up front until you can verify the requesting party is who they say they are.

And, use extra caution when dealing with consumers that are not from the area and also when corresponding with them online. More information is available at BBB.org.

DE QUEEN LEOPARDS SENIOR BREAKFAST 08/19/19

On August 16th, a large group of hungry DHS Seniors crowded the fellowship hall of First Baptist Church for breakfast to kick off the 2019-2020 school year. The parent-sponsored Senior Breakfast was also attended by De Queen Schools’ superintendent, Jason Sanders and De Queen mayor, Jeff Brown.

BLM WILD HORSE SALE TODAY AND TOMORROW AUG 16TH, 17TH 08/16/19

The Bureau of Land Management is holding a wild horse and burro event in Idabel, Okla., today and tomorrow, August 16th and 17th, at the Idabel Rodeo Arena.  The two-day event features 65 wild horses and burros, is going on now Friday, August 16 and will continue through 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 17.  Animals are eligible for direct purchase to a good home or for adoption.  Inquire with BLM staff onsite for more information.

As part of the effort to find every horse and burro a good home, the BLM now offers up to $1,000 to adopt an untrained animal.  This adoption incentive will be offered for every animal in Idabel.

The animals offered at the event are adult and yearling horses and burros that once roamed free on public lands in the West.  The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range in order to maintain healthy herds and to protect other rangeland resources.  The adoption and sale program is essential for achieving these important management goals.  Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 235,000 of these animals in approved homes across the country.

BLM staff will approve applications onsite.  To qualify to adopt or buy, one must be at least 18 years old, with no record of animal abuse.  Qualified homes must have a minimum of 400 square feet of corral space per animal, with access to food, water, and shelter.  A six-foot corral fence is required for adult horses; five feet for yearlings; and four-and-a-half feet for burros.  All animals must be loaded in covered, stock-type trailers with swing gates and sturdy walls and floors.  BLM staff will be on hand to assist with the short application process.

The Idabel Rodeo Arena is located at 1001 NW 9th Street, Idabel.  For more information, call toll-free 866-468-7826 or visit www.blm.gov.

 

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL COMING TO HOPE 08/16/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced a Mobile Office location scheduled for Southwest Arkansas next month.

Rutledge will be visiting Hope on September 19th for The Hempstead County Mobile Office Initiative. The event will be held at The Hope Senior Citizen’s Center, 102 South Main Street beginning at 10:00 a.m. This is an opportunity for area residents to voice concerns and ask questions for the The AG.

The Attorney General’s office will also be partnered with Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton to provide the community with an organized drug take back event. Residents are encouraged to bring any expired, unused prescription medications to this event from 10:00 to 11:30 A.M.

An identity theft and Scam presentation will be held from 11:00 to 11:30 and everyone is welcome to attend.

Find out more about the Attorney General’s mobile office initiatives and other upcoming events online at ArkansasAG.gov

CORPS SEEKS VOLUNTEERS FOR CLEANUP AT GILLHAM LAKE 08/15/19

GILLHAM, Ark. – Gilliam Lake will host a shoreline cleanup as part of the Great
Arkansas Cleanup, on September 14, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cleanup will be held in cooperation with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas State Parks, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and many other government and local agencies.
Volunteers interested in assisting should check in at 8 a.m. at Big Coon Creek Park. Gloves and bags will be provided, volunteers are asked to please bring their own trash grabbers and life jackets. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m.

Participants will be taken by boat to various locations on the lake. State parks will be providing a large 30 passenger boat as well as two dozen kayaks for participants. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be there with their boat for safety, as well as bringing ATVs.

Boat owners will not have to use their boats to transport the recovered trash around the lakeshore. The Corps has made arrangements for contractors to pick up trash left by the volunteers along the shoreline. To facilitate contractor pick-up, volunteers should leave the bagged trash in conspicuous locations around the shoreline.

Free camping will be offered the night before for volunteers, as well as free day use the day of the event. For more event information, please contact the DeQueen Project Office at 870- 584-4161.

 

FOREMAN SCHOOLS TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING MONDAY 08/16/19

A public meeting will be held for Foreman Schools on Monday, August 19th. The public is asked to gather in the Foreman High School auditorium at 6:00 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the proposed design for the new High School building.

There will be a short presentation featured and time for questions and answers will be provided.

Everyone in The Foreman Community is encouraged to attend this public forum.

BEAR HUNTING WORKSHOPS IN HOT SPRINGS, LITTLE ROCK 08/15/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced upcoming Bear Hunting workshops. AGFC large carnivore program coordinator, Myron Means will host the series of seminars throughout various locations in Arkansas. The events will be focused on hunting black bears in August and September.
Means will present every aspect of hunting Natural State bears from scouting and bear behavior, to preparation for the hunt and care of harvested bears.

He will also help hunters use this knowledge to increase their chances of harvesting a bear, with tactics developed for private and public land hunters. The seminar also will address what to do if your new knowledge pays off, as many hunters can be intimidated by the idea of earning a massive bear and not knowing what to do to take care of the trophy.

Hunters seeking bears should have plenty of sharp knives and rope waiting in the truck if they do hit their mark. Acting quickly to skin, quarter and cool the bear is the key to great meals later.

Seminars will be held at multiple locations around the state, including August 27th at National Park College in Hot Springs and The AGFC Headquarters in Little Rock. Call 479-478-1043 for more information.

 

DIERKS TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING REGARDING MILLAGE EXTENSION 08/15/19

The Dierks School District will hold a public meeting on Monday, August 19th at 6 p.m. to discuss a millage extension. A special election will take place on September 10th and the goal of the extension is to provide approximately $1,900,000 for constructing and equipping an elementary school classroom addition. The proposed six classroom wing will add in excess of 6,000 square feet.

The extension does not increase the current millage rate. The requested rate of 43 mills represents the same rate presently being collected. The 11 debt mills are being requested to be extended through 2049.

Other funds generated by the millage extension will be utilized by the Dierks School District for HVAC replacement, roof repairs, parking lots, safety improvements and other building maintenance.

For further questions or concerns, feel free to contact the district office at 870-286-2191.

TEXARKANA JAILER CAUGHT WITH CONTRABAND 08/15/19

A Bi-State jailer in Texarkana has been arrested for attempting to smuggle contraband into the jail.

Texarkana Today reports that on Tuesday Captain Robby McCarver received a call from Texarkana Texas Police Officer Colton Johnson regarding an employee possibly bringing contraband into the jail.

Jailer Brandy Coulter was searched for contraband Wednesday morning and discovered to be in possession of marijuana and tobacco that was hidden inside a pair of leggings underneath her uniform.

Coulter was arrested for Prohibited Substance in a Correctional Facility and booked into the jail. She has reportedly declined to cooperate with the investigation and her bond has been set at $75,000.

 

ASHDOWN HOLDS BACK TO SCHOOL BREAKFAST 08/14/19

Board Members of the Margaret Daniel Education Foundation presented grants to Ashdown educators during their Back to School Breakfast on Tuesday, August 6th.

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.

Grants were provided to purchase a Cricut Maker, a T-shirt press, Playa Way Library, Dash and Dot Mini Ipads, and Grammar Planet for a total of $10,235.57.

SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE NETS OVER 10,000 ITEMS      08/14/19
Employees of the office of Dr. Randy Walker collected over 10,000 school supplies for area students.  They had three teams collecting supplies which were distributed on Tuesday, August 13th to De Queen and Horatio Elementary students in grades 3 through 5.

Team 3 won with a total of 5,591 supplies.  Team 1 collected 2,881 supplies and Team 4 collected 1,710.  Prizes awarded to each member of the team was 1st place – 40 hours vacation time; 2nd place – 30 hours vacation time; and, 3rd place – 20 hours vacation time.

Thanks to Dr. Randy and Angie Walker for rewarding their employees for their community involvement.

 

HORATIO MAN KILLED IN TRACTOR-TRAILER OVERTURN NEAR WICKES   08/13/19
KENA Radio News

A 34 year old Horatio man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 71 South on Tuesday morning near Wickes.

Jonathan C. Smith was travelling South on US 71 when he drifted to the left and crossed the center line and tried to regain control and overturned in the process.

The 2010 Mack semi was hauling a load of chickens, thus creating an extensive cleanup of the roadway and surrounding properties.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene and it was the 286th fatality in Arkansas during 2019 alone.

 

TEXARKANA RESIDENT FACING CHARGES FOR DWI AND DRUG PARAPHERNALIA IN DE QUEEN 08/14/19

A Texarkana woman is facing DWI and Drug Paraphernalia charges after authorities responded to a call in De Queen Saturday.

A report from The De Queen Police Department states that officer Doug Johnson arrived at the former De Queen Hospital to assist Southwest EMS with a call from a woman who was seeking medical help for her boyfriend, who had allegedly been beaten up in Oklahoma, around 8:15 p.m. Saturday, August 10th.

The woman was identified as Kayci Rasnick, age 19, of Texarkana. Upon arriving at the scene,   Officer Johnson noted smelling intoxicants coming from the vehicle and reported the woman’s boyfriend had a black eye and pop knot.

Rasnick was given a series of field sobriety tests before being taken into custody for suspicion of DWI. A metal pipe with marijuana residue was reportedly discovered in Rasnick’s purse and she was transported to The Sevier County Jail. There, she was read her rights and agreed to take a Breathalyzer test, which showed a result of .105. Rasnick was turned over to jail staff for processing on the DWI and Drug paraphernalia charges.

 

ARKANSAS AG FILES SUIT AGAINST GLENWOOD, BONNERDALE RESIDENTS 08/14/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has filed a consumer-protection lawsuit in Garland County Circuit Court against the Hot Springs-based company Timeless Memories, LLC and its owners, Brittany Brown of Bonnerdale and Karen Annette Tidwell Monet of Glenwood, for advertising false, misleading and deceptive vacation rental properties on popular travel-booking websites.

The Complaint alleges that Brown, Monet and Timeless Memories advertised vacation rental properties on various travel-booking websites, including VRBO and Airbnb. Their rental property descriptions falsely advertised exclusive amenities like hot tubs and lake access that the properties did not have. Defendants also encouraged some consumers to pay outside of the online booking sites, which voided the sites’ online payment protection guarantees.

The Attorney General’s Office discovered at least eight affected consumers impacted by the deception perpetrated by Brown, Monet and Timeless Memories. Consumers report they tried to contact the defendants to obtain refunds with no success. According to the Complaint, consumer losses are valued at $18,911.93.

Rutledge is asking the court to impose civil penalties, restitution and attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, she seeks to stop Brown, Monet and Timeless Memories from operating their vacation rental home business in Arkansas.

Victims of these business practices should file a consumer complaint on ArkansasAG.gov or call (800) 482-8982.

 

FIRST STATE BANK DONATES TO DE QUEEN PUBLIC SCHOOLS 08/14/19

Earlier this month, First State Bank in De Queen donated a 40-second clock for football games at Leopard Stadium. The clock will be used for the first time when the Leopards scrimmage Mansfield August 20th.

Pictured above, left to right: De Queen Athletic Director Bob Sikes, FSB CEO and Vice-Chairman Gary Golden, FSB President of Sevier County Division Noel Bard and De Queen superintendent Jason Sanders.

 

ANNUAL ROD RUN IN MENA SET FOR AUGUST 23RD-25TH 08/14/19

The 44th annual Wilhelmina Rod Run is scheduled for August 23rd-25th in Mena Arkansas. The three-day event will begin with registration from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. followed by the “Hot Rod” parade at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, August 23rd. Families and children are welcome and a morning worship service will take place at 10:00 a.m. at Queen Wilhelmina State Park Sunday morning. There will also be a “show-n-shine”, poker run, food vendors, a kid’s corner, door prizes and an awards ceremony on Saturday. The cost for single car registration is $25 and directions are available online. Find out more by visiting QueenWilhelminaRodRun.com.

DE QUEEN FOOTBALL COACH PREVIEWS 2019 SEASON FOR ROTARY CLUB    08/13/19

De Queen head football coach Stephen Sloan told the Rotary Club Monday that there are 57 athletes out for the 2019 season, including 23 seniors.

The Leopards will hold a Black-Gold intra-squad scrimmage Friday night at 7:00. The De Queen junior and senior high squads host Mansfield for a preseason scrimmage on Tuesday, August 20th starting at 5:30.

The Leopards open up at Mena on August 30th at 7:00. Follow De Queen football all season long on Your Official Leopards Station-102.1 The Good Path!

 

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO VISIT ASHDOWN TODAY 08/13/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will be in Little River County this week. On Tuesday, August 13th beginning at 10:30 a.m. Rutledge will be hosting her mobile office initiative in Ashdown at the Senior Citizen’s Center, located at 1321 Gordon street. The Attorney General will be available to answer questions and a identity theft presentation will take place at 11:30. All residents are welcome to attend and more information is available online, visit ArkansasAG.Gov

 

FINAL DAY TO REGISTER FOR FALL CLASSES AT UA COSSATOT 08/13/19

The last day to sign up for fall semester classes at UA Cossatot is Tuesday August 13th.  Fall classes include Accounting, English, Child
Development, Diesel Technology, Business, Welding, Physical Science, Cosmetology, Spanish, and General Studies.

UA Cossatot has four campus locations, Ashdown, De Queen, Lockesburg and Nashville.  General Education courses are available on campus in or online.  The college also provides programs at specific sites. UA Cossatot offers several associate degrees, technical certificates, and certificates of proficiency.  Most associate degrees can be completed in two years or less, and some certificates can take only one or two semesters to complete.

Visit the Financial Aid department to learn about assistance while going to school, and visit with someone in Career Pathways and the Center for Student Success for questions.

To see the full list of available classes or to learn about other educational opportunities at UA Cossatot, please visit the college website at www.cccua.edu.  visit the De Queen, Nashville, or Ashdown Campus.

 

BROKEN BOW CHAMBER ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR JUNIOR LEADERSHIP PROGRAM 08/13/19

The Broken Bow Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for their Junior Chamber Leadership Program.  The program is open to area high school students.  Applications can be picked up at the Broken Bow Chamber office or at the Broken Bow High School Counselors office.    Deadline to apply is August 22, 2019.

The purpose of the Broken Bow Junior Chamber Leadership Program is to provide opportunities for community-based education and leadership development to high school students in the area.  One of the main goals of this program is to teach students how to give back to the community in which they live through volunteering and doing service projects to help others.  This leadership program strives to produce capable student leaders who are equipped with the education and experiences necessary to become productive citizens of their communities.

For more information, an application, or detailed criteria please contact the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce at 580-584-3393.

CORPS CLOSURES HAVE BEGUN THIS WEEK 08/13/19

The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office have temporarily closed access to River Run East Recreation Area. The closure is active as of Aug. 12th and the purpose is to make repairs to the Millwood Lake stilling basin. Depending on weather, the work should be completed by Sept. 10th.

Because of safety concerns, access to the campground, boat launch ramp and bank will not be allowed during the closure.

Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office regret any inconveniences this may cause and ask the public to exercise caution while boating.

The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office also temporarily closed access to Paraloma Recreation Area at 10 a.m. Aug. 12th to make repairs to the roadway. No completion date for the repairs has been announced.

Because of safety concerns, access to the campground, boat launch ramp and bank will not be allowed during the closures.

For more information about Millwood Lake call 870-898-3343.

 

JANET CANTRELL TO HOST LUNCH-AND-LEARN THURSDAY 08/13/19

On Thursday, August 15, 2019, the Sevier County Coalition’s Live Well Sevier County Committee and UA Cossatot will be co-hosting a Lunch-n-Learn on home canning at UA Cossatot’s De Queen Campus.  The presentation will begin at 12:00 noon in the Weyerhaeuser room, located in the Skilled Trades Building, and will conclude at 12:40 p.m.

Presenter Janet Cantrell of De Queen will be presenting tips on successful canning methods for prized fruits, vegetables and meats.  She will also advise how to prevent jars from breaking, help lids to seal and calm fears about botulism.

Cantrell is the Sevier County Extension Agent.  She attended Henderson State University and graduated with an Education degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.  Upon graduation from HSU, she taught elementary school and raised her family in Camden, Arkansas, then returned to Sevier County to be near family and work for the University of Arkansas Extension Office.

Everyone is invited to bring a lunch and join Mrs. Cantrell for this free event.  For more programs, visit the Sevier County Coalition website at www.seviercountycoalition.com or call UA Cossatot’s Continuing Education Services at (870) 584-4471.

 

MENA WOMAN FACING DRUG FELONY DRUG CHARGES 08/12/19

A Mena woman is facing drug charges after interacting with Sevier County deputies earlier this month.

A report from The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department states that Sergeant Greg Davignon and Deputy Chris Wolcott, Jr. were on patrol Friday August 2nd when they noticed a white Chevrolet Truck pull into two different residences in a suspected attempt to avoid law enforcement.

Upon making contact with the vehicle, the officers reportedly discovered that neither of the two occupants of the truck lived at the residence or knew anyone who lived there. The driver and passenger were identified as Melissa Mettie, age 32, of Mena, and Robert Castillo. Deputies also noted discovering that Mettie dropped a clear plastic bag containing a white crystal substance believed to be methamphetamine, as well as a cut plastic straw that contained suspected methamphetamine residue.

Mettie was charged with drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance, both class D felonies.

 

AUGUST: WATER QUALITY MONTH REPORT FROM DEANN VAUGHT 08/12/19

Representative DeAnn Vaught has reported in Arkansas, there are on average 71 billion gallons of water flowing in rivers, 4.8 trillion gallons in lakes and 200 trillion gallons in the ground.

Our state is abundant with water resources and much of our economy depends on it. It is estimated Arkansans use 157 gallons of water every day. August is National Water Quality Month.  It reminds us to take a look at what our households and communities are doing to protect sources of fresh water.

The Clean Water Act, passed in 1972, establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants and regulating quality standards for surface waters. But most people are unaware of the little ways they can pollute their water.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends using and disposing of harmful materials properly. When hazardous waste is dumped on the ground it can contaminate the soil. Contaminated soil then contaminates the ground water or nearby surface water. A number of products used at home contain hazardous or toxic substances that can contaminate ground or surface waters, such as:

  • Motor oil
  • Pesticides
  • Leftover paints or paint cans and similar items.

Next, don’t overuse pesticides or fertilizers. Many fertilizers and pesticides contain hazardous chemicals which can travel through the soil and contaminate ground water.

It is also recommended to keep yard waste off the streets, sidewalks, and driveways, and gutters. If yard waste such as grass clippings and leaves enters our storm drains, it flows untreated directly to creeks, streams, and lakes. As yard waste breaks down, nutrients that are released can lead to water pollution.

Overall, Arkansans have access to good quality water.  But it is not a resource to take for granted.  The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension has extensive material on how to best protect conserve and protect our water atwww.uaex.edu.

 

KEEP ARKANSAS BEAUTIFUL YOUTH POSTER CONTEST 08/12/19

The Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission (KAB) announced the introduction of a new youth poster contest to engage elementary-age students in litter-awareness education, to increase involvement in the cleanup initiative statewide and to educate the public about the importance of a litter-free community during KAB’s fall Great Arkansas Cleanup.

Teachers can utilize the free, printable Great Arkansas Cleanup Youth Poster Contest coloring sheet online at http://bit.ly/KABContest. The contest is open to all elementary-aged, grades K-5, students in Arkansas. One poster per class should be submitted for statewide judging.

The winning classroom will receive a guest appearance by Otto the Otter to their classroom, as well as Otto the Otter swag including coloring books, bookmarks, stickers and t-shirts. The winning poster and honorable mentions will also be featured on KAB’s Facebook page.

Entries are due Monday, September 30, by mail or delivery to Keep Arkansas Beautiful, 1 Capitol Mall, Suite 4A-007, Little Rock, AR 72201. Additional information about contest rules and entry is available at http://bit.ly/KABContest, by emailing info@keeparkansasbeautiful.com or by calling 888-742-8701 toll-free.

Visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com for more information.

 

ASHDOWN ALUMNI BANQUET TICKETS AVAILABLE 08/12/19

The thirteenth annual Ashdown High School Alumni Association Banquet will be on Saturday, September 14 and held in the Ashdown High School cafeteria.

The 1965 AHS Co-Valedictorian Dr. Tom Fomby will the honored guest.

Tickets for the dinner will be $30.00 per person. This “includes” your Alumni dues of $10.00 for the coming year. You must be an Alumni to buy dinner tickets. Tickets will go on sale Monday, August 5, 2019. Ticket sales will end Monday, September 2, 2019 at Noon. By popular request, we will be offering tables of eight (8), as well as individual tickets. Doors will open at 4:30 and dinner will be served at 6:00.

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS can be purchased locally at Castle Antiques (120 Rankin St.), Sandra Shackelford Furlow or Susan Simmons

TO PURCHASE TABLE OF 8 contact Diane McLarty to get a form. Designate one person to collect the money. The table will be reserved when the information form and money ($240.00) is returned to Diane. Make all checks payable to AHS Alumni Association.

This will be an extra special evening for the Class of 1969. They will be celebrating their 50th graduation anniversaries.

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD UPDATES AUGUST 2019 08/09/19

The De Queen School Board met for their regularly scheduled meeting Monday, August 5th at the District Administration building. Board members Gloria Bennett and Sandy Huntsberger were absent from the meeting however, a number of agenda items were still addressed under both the new and old business categories.

During the Superintendent report, time was allotted to recognize both the De Queen School District Emergency Response Team as well as the officers who helped train the selected staff. Superintendent Jason Sanders presented the De Queen Police Department with a plaque to express appreciation for their time and dedication to student safety. Also during the Superintendent report, representatives from The Arkansas Retired Teacher’s Association attended the meeting to present 2nd grade teacher Megan Daley with a $2,000 scholarship grant. Daley was selected out of 42 total applicants and was described by Superintendent Sanders as a “tremendous person.”

During the financial report and expenditures discussion, Superintendent Sanders noted that he feels good about De Queen Schools current financial status. A conversation about changing the format for handling quarterly financials reports was briefly addressed, but the decision to approve any changes has been tabled until all members are present. Superintendent Sanders says the board is considering assessing the financial reports on a monthly basis as opposed to quarterly.

The item will be addressed at the next meeting with all board members present, which has been scheduled for September 9th.

Another big item discussed was the push for selling off school busses that are no longer in use. The Superintendent says selling the buses will help with school safety, beautification of the district campuses as well as generate revenue to purchase textbooks.

After holding an executive session, the board approved student transfers and discussed personnel changes. Newly added staff members include Graciele Aguilar to the custodial department and Lydia Razo as a special education para. New bus drivers include Lacey Parson and Miranda Coto.

The next scheduled De Queen School Board Meeting has been announced for Monday, September 9th at 5:30 p.m. in The District administration Building.

 

CITY OF HORATIO PASSES LEASH LAW FOR PETS 08/09/19

A new law for pet owners has been established following a decision made by The Horatio City Council Monday night.

All domesticated animals are now required to be leashed or contained with secure fencing to prevent running at large within the city limits of Horatio. The law went into immediate effect upon the unanimous approval from the City Council. Failure to comply with the ordinance can result in a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum of $2,000. The ordinance also states that any domesticated animal who attacks a human without provocation shall be impounded by the Code Enforcement Department or acting member of law enforcement. Though the new leash law has already gone into effect, Mayor Rich Dorsey says the city will allow a 30 day grace period before fines will begin to be issued for failure to comply with the new rule.

The council also discussed plans for ensuring all residents participate in the upcoming 2020 census. The city council is working to ensure the Latino population of Horatio is included in these efforts. Debbie Neel says plans have already been made to advertise census information on all water bills distributed to Horatio residents, and informational literature will be handed out during “Sidewalk Saturday” events next month in September.

Mayor Rich Dorsey announced he is set to meet with Horatio Schools Superintendent Dr. Lee Smith and a Solar Panel Company soon. The meeting time has not been announced but the possibility of establishing solar panels on Horatio School grounds is currently in the works. The panels will serve as a cost saving source of energy for the city.

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray attended the meeting to propose two items of business to The Horatio City Council. For financial and logistics reasons the judge suggested the council consider shared use of a Boom Hog with the City of Lockesburg. No decision was made but the council is considering the proposal and will continue the discussion at the next meeting. Judge Ray also provided materials for the council to show the new Sevier County Hospital design. Ray asked for council support in educating Horatio residents on the issue and announcing the sales tax item for the October 8th special election. The Horatio City council expressed their support for a new Hospital in Sevier county and will continue to work with the Judge on the issue as the election draws closer.

The council also approved business transactions between the city council and Dorsey’s Heating and air businesses and addressed an issue with a residents water bill.
The next Horatio City Council meeting has been scheduled for Monday September 9th, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall in Horatio. 

UA COSSATOT SUMMER 2019 GRADUATES ANNOUNCED 08/09/19

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Office of the Registrar releases names of summer 2019 graduates and names of those graduating with honors.

34 students graduate with a certificate of proficiency, technical certificate, or associate degree. Some students earned multiple certificates and degrees, allowing for 47 summer 2019 awards.

10 students graduate with Summa Cum Laude honors, meaning that they graduate with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.9 to 4.0. 4 students graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors meaning that they graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 to 3.89. 4 students graduate with Cum Laude honors meaning that they graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.74.

Students Graduating Summer 2019 with Summa Cum Laude Honors:
Reece Black of Horatio; Kennedy Blue of Conway; Michaela Caudle of Horatio; Kylie Cowan of Foreman; Isaac Cross of Ashdown; Alicia Harris of Gillham; Jacie Henderson of Murfreesboro; Loren Icenhower of Murfreesboro; Austin Richards of Dierks; and Cody Tilley of Texarkana

Students Graduating Summer 2019 with Magna Cum Laude Honors:
Corina Green of Dierks; Camry Stewart of Mineral Springs; Cidny Tipton of Mineral Springs; and Kaitlyn Wakley of Umpire

Students Graduating Summer 2019 with Cum Laude Honors:
Sarah Chesshir of Nashville; Savanna Hill of De Queen; Sammi O’Connor of De Queen; and Lorena Tena of De Queen

UA Cossatot Students Graduating Summer 2019 Include (Listed with Highest Degree(s) Earned):

Ashdown: Isaac Cross, Associate of General Studies; and Kayla Garner, Associate of General Studies

Columbus: Stormi Wheeler, Associate of General Studies

Conway: Kennedy Blue, Technical Certificate: General Studies

De Queen: Savanna Hill, Technical Certificate: General Studies; Yenifer Leija, Technical Certificate: Health Professions; Kaylee Morgan, Associate of Arts; Sammi O’Connor, Associate of Science: Criminal Justice; and Lorena Tena, Associate of Science: Teaching K-6

Dierks: Corina Green, Associate of Arts; and Austin Richards, Technical Certificate: General Studies

Foreman: Kylie Cowan, Technical Certificate: General Studies; Hannah Gauldin, Technical Certificate: Cosmetology; Bailee Houser, Associate of Science: Business; and Martha Johnson, Certificate of Proficiency: Medical Transcription

Gillham: Alicia Harris, Technical Certificate: Health Professions

Horatio: Reece Black, Associate of General Studies; Michaela Caudle, Technical Certificate: General Studies; and Kaylee Murry, Technical Certificate: Health Professions

Lockesburg: Dillion Baldwin, Associate of Science: Business; Marlee Carver, Technical Certificate: Cosmetology

Mineral Springs: Camry Stewart, Associate of Science: Teaching K-6; and Cidny Tipton, Technical Certificate: Health Professions

Murfreesboro: Jacie Henderson, Associate of Science: Teaching: K-6; and Loren Icenhower, Associate of Science: Medical Sciences

Nashville: Rachel Barfield, Associate of Science: Psychology; Sarah Chesshir, Associate of General Studies; Denetra Noble, Technical Certificate: Health Professions; Timya Sanders, Technical Certificate: General Studies; and Shania Swift, Associate of General Studies.

Texarkana: Cody Tilley, Associate of General Studies

Umpire: Kaitlyn Wakley, Associate of General Studies

Winthrop: Samantha Cowen, Associate of General Studies; Jade Johnson, Technical Certificate: Health Professions

 

VICTIM OF PLANE CRASH NEAR DE QUEEN IDENTIFIED 08/08/19

The Arkansas Democrat Gazette has reported on Wednesday officials released the identities of a man who was killed and another man who was injured in a plane crash West of De Queen on Sunday.

According to Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams, John Tackett of De Queen died after a fixed wing multi-engine Cessna crashed about 4:40 p.m. in a pasture on private property west of town. Tackett was 67-years-old.  Joe Greer, age 77, of Horatio was taken by Southwest Emergency Medical Services to an area hospital in serious condition.

Greer was taken off a ventilator on Tuesday and his condition appeared to be improving, officials said.

Williams said that, though he expects Greer to recover, he was initially “pretty banged up,” with a number of broken bones and cuts.

“He’s got a long road of ahead of him,” he said.

An FAA crash report listed Tackett as the plane’s crew and Greer as its passenger, though Williams said it was not immediately clear who was flying the plane at the time of the crash.

CORPS ANNOUNCES CLOSURE AT MILLWOOD LAKE 08/08/19

ASHDOWN, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office is temporarily closing access to River Run East Recreation Area at 8 a.m. Aug. 12 to make repairs to the Millwood Lake stilling basin.  Depending on weather, the stilling basin work should be completed by Sept. 10.

Because of safety concerns, access to the campground, boat launch ramp and bank will not be allowed during the closure.
Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office regret any inconveniences this may cause and ask the public to exercise caution while boating.

For more information about Millwood Lake call 870-898-3343.  Recreation information can be found on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at

www.facebook.com/littlerockusace, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/usacelittlerock.

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATES 08/08/19

Ashdown superintendent, Casey Nichols introduced new faculty and staff members to The Ashdown School District during a back-to-school breakfast event served by Ashdown Food Service and K-12 Culinary the morning of Tuesday, August 6th. Nichols also presented results on the ACT Aspire, which showed growth in reading, math and science over the 2018 scores. In the area of reading, Ashdown Public Schools had the 7th highest percentage gain in the state. Following the welcome, the staff heard a presentation from Eric Sheninger, a ‘Senior Fellow and Thought Leader’ with the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). He was also an award-winning Principal at New Milford High School.

Over the summer the maintenance department ground’s crew stayed very busy due to steady rainfall over the summer with keeping all the grass mowed and trimmed. Around the district, there was a wall constructed in the AHS weight room to divide the room into a film room and a grounds storage room, and a roll up door and walk thru door were also installed. At L.F. Henderson additional downspouts and gutter sections were rebuilt as well as other drainage improvements around the campus. Due to recent renovations at Ashdown Elementary, only normal summer cleaning was needed. Maintenance Supervisor, Dean Lillard said, “A big thank you to our maintenance staff and summer help for completion of these projects.”

The biggest summer project for the district was a renovation of the Ashdown Junior High campus. At the end of the school year, teachers and staff completely packed their classrooms up and everything was placed in storage containers in order to replace the ceilings, floors, windows and paint all walls. The entrance and office area were redesigned in order to provide even more security for our staff and students beyond just being “buzzed” into the building. Superintendent Nichols said, “This renovation has resulted in a facility that our students, staff, and community can all be very proud of, which was a project completed with limited funds. The remodel also incorporated additional safety features, while also providing a clean and updated interior appearance that is conducive to the educational process.”

On the technology front, new campus servers were added at Ashdown Elementary and L.F. Henderson, there was a Chromebook Lab installed at AHS, and the AHS TV Production team will have a mobile studio trailer. The Food Service Department will continue to work with K-12 Culinary in order to provide nutritious meals for students. Parents are welcome to enjoy lunches with their children. Menus and pricing are posted on the district website (www.ashdownschools.org). Parents need to sign in at their child’s school office.

In sports news, athletic passes may be purchased at the Administration Building located at 751 Rankin Street from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. each workday. The Ashdown Senior Citizen Pass is free to any Ashdown Resident who is 60 or older. The Ashdown Panther Family Pass is $250 (pass for a family

Students will return to the classroom on Tuesday, August 13th.

ARKANSAS OUTDOOR HALL OF FAME INDUCTION THIS MONTH 08/08/19

The 2019 Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame is coming up Saturday, August 24 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. This year marks the 28th anniversary of this celebration of the outdoors and the men and women who have stepped up to promote Arkansas’s natural resources.

The Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet is hosted by the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the outdoors that serves as the fundraising adjunct to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

This year’s class of inductees include: MaryAnn King of London, Catherine and Tommy Murchison III of Cabot, Woody Futrell of Nashville and the McCollum Family of Stuttgart.

Futrell was an avid boat racer in the 1950s and took over the family business, Futrell Marine, which his father Dan Futrell established in 1948. He has since become one of the most well-known and respected businessmen in retail boating.

Tickets are $125; tables of ten are available for $1,250 each. The night will include dinner, live and silent auctions and induction ceremony.

Proceeds from the event support the year-round work of the Foundation, which helps introduce hundreds to the outdoors every year. AGFFs mission supports AGFC initiatives, particularly those aimed at getting young people unplugged and engaged in Arkansas’s outdoors.

For tickets or information, call (501) 223-6468 or email agff@agff.org.

WILD HORSE ADOPTION AND PURCHASING AUG. 16TH&17TH 08/08/19

Wild Horses will be available for adoption or purchase at The Idabel Rodeo Arena August 16th and 17th. Bring home your own wild horse or Burro, at 1001 NW 9th street from 10am-6pm Friday and Saturday 8am-noon.

There will be 65 wild horses available with fees starting at $25. Information about earning up to $1,000 when adopting an untrained wild horse or burro is available. Find out more at BLM.gov/whb or call 866-468-7826.

Visit the Wild Horse and Burro Program on Facebook to view available horses.

CENSUS OUTREACH TRAINING IN HOPE AUG. 16TH 08/08/19

Omar Gallardo of Arkansas Complete Counts Communications Subcommittee has provided a link to the Arkansas Counts website for local residents. http://arkansasimpact.org/arkansas-counts/

There is a regional outreach training in Hope, AR on August 16. Residents can attend the upcoming census outreach training to learn everything you need to know to ‘Get Out the Count’ during the 2020 U.S. Census. You can Register now and the training will be held at The University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana on August 16, 9 – 11:30am.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeJypw-U8od4TClgQVnmTpUacSWkMXi-qcaq5_pw2oYnHOBpg/viewform

There is also an grant opportunity:
Arkansas Counts invites you to apply for a grant to support your organization’s 2020 U.S. Census outreach efforts to ensure individuals in your community, specifically hard-to-count populations, participate in the census.Visit http://arkansasimpact.org/arkansas-counts-rfp/

 

HORATIO SCHOOLS UPDATES ANNOUNCED 08/07/19

Superintendent Lee Smith has provided KDQN with an update on The Horatio School District as we head into the new school year. Dr. Smith reflected on a successful 2018-2019 school year in a recent newsletter distributed to parents and families this summer. In the newsletter Smith noted state tournament appearances by the Baseball and Softball teams as well as the districts first ever computer coding team, who was one of 16 teams in Arkansas to make the state finals.

Staff changes were announced as Horatio said farewell to Gwen DeVasier, Janet Potts and long-time baseball coach Lance Spigner, all of whom are pursuing other opportunities. New faces have joined the district at both the elementary and High School level. Casey Long, Donna Gabbard, Jessica Tallant and Kelly Tallman have been added to the elementary faculty team and Roy Backus, Ethan Crocker and Sabrina Cooper have been added to Horatio High School staff.

Good news has been announced for the elementary school as recess has been increased from 30 minutes to 40 minutes and the school has been chosen from over 140 applicants to receive the Rethink Your Drink: Choose Water grant program, supported by the Delta Dental of Arkansas. The grant provides a water bottle filling station to promote oral hygiene and a healthy weight by encouraging students, staff and faculty to drink water instead of sugary beverages.

Meet the Teacher is Aug. 12, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m. The theme is Disney and positive character quotes. Transportation staff will be available to answer questions about bus routes and pick-up and drop-off times. The first Day of School for the Horatio District will be Tuesday August 13th.

 

PUBLIC MEETING AUG 20TH FOR HIGHWAY WIDENING PLANS 08/07/19

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) will hold a public involvement meeting in DeQueen to present and discuss the proposed plans to widen 5.43 miles of U.S. Highway 71 to five lanes with a shoulder and replace two structures between the Cossatot River and DeQueen. The meeting will be held Tuesday August 20th from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Everyone in the community is encouraged to attend the meeting to ask questions and contribute comments.

For more information, contact the ArDOT’s Public Information Office at 501-569-2000 or info@ardot.gov.

UA COSSATOT DACA STUDENT FIRST TO RECEIVE IN-STATE TUITION 08/07/19

On July 1, 2019, Act 844 went into effect in Arkansas, allowing DACA students in Arkansas to receive in-state tuition. On August 6, 2019, UA Cossatot announced that Johana Martinez is the first student at UA Cossatot to receive in-state tuition as a DACA student.

Johana Martinez graduated from De Queen High School in 2017. After graduating, she enrolled at UA Cossatot as a post-secondary student. Johana is currently taking pre-requisite courses so that she can apply for UA Cossatot’s PTA program.

Johana Martinez said, “1 Peter 5:7 is a verse in the bible that says to cast all your cares on him because he cares for you! This verse and this opportunity to get in-state tuition is evidence that God is taking care of me and all of my fellow DACA recipients”.

UA Cossatot has been named a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education. The college is also the first and only Hispanic-Serving Institution in the state of Arkansas.

According to UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, “Our community has been involved in getting this law changed for many years and we are so thankful that our state now has this legislation.  ACT 844 is a life-changing law and, for our diverse community, it will open thousands of doors”.

DACA students who would like to learn more about receiving in-state tuition can contact Student Services at 870-584-4471.

 

CHILD ABDUCTION RESPONSE TEAM EFFORTS ANNOUNCED IN ARKANSAS 08/07/19

Representative Dee Ann Vaught has reported that in 2018, there were 161 Amber Alerts issued nationwide.  5 of those originated here in Arkansas.

Those first minutes and hours after a child has been reported missing are crucial for law enforcement.  That is why this General Assembly took an extraordinary and first of its kind step to help ensure law enforcement has all the available resources when seconds count.

In the most recent legislative session, we passed Act 913 with a unanimous vote. The legislation states that the following agencies shall collaborate in an effort to rescue abducted or endangered children:

•Arkansas Attorney General
•Department of Arkansas State Police
•Criminal Justice Institute
•Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission
•Arkansas Sheriffs’ Association
•Arkansas Department of Emergency Management
•Arkansas Association of Chiefs of Police
•Department of Community Correction
•Office of the Prosecutor Coordinator

CART teams greatly expand the resources that are available when a child is missing or abducted and also ensures rapid deployment of critical resources and personnel. Just last month, Arkansas is the first state in the country to successfully obtain national statewide certification for Child Abduction Response Teams (CARTs), ensuring that all children in Arkansas are better protected if abducted, missing, or endangered.

National CART certification is awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice, AMBER Alert and Technical Assistance Program.

Twelve CARTs have been formed across Arkansas. These teams are pre-organized and practiced to respond, substantially saving time and increasing the likelihood of the successful recovery of a missing, endangered or abducted child.

In order to earn certification, members of the 12 teams formed attended a series of AMBER Alert classes. Each CART was also required to implement a Memorandum of Understanding with local law enforcement agencies and other key agencies and organizations. The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and the Criminal Justice Institute developed a full call-out exercise built around a realistic child abduction scenario. AMBER Alert assessors evaluated the ability of each of the 12 CARTs to meet 47 standards covering 12 operational areas included in the developed exercise.

The legislation passed ensures this collaboration will continue.  We would all be relieved if the CART teams never have to work on a real life scenario, but knowing these teams are ready is the next best option.

LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SPOTLIGHT: GREG DAVIGNON AUGUST, 2019

Once a month, KDQN provides a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of our local law enforcement representatives in the Sevier County area. KDQN has been granted access to sit down one-on-one with employees of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department to offer a close-up look at those who help keep our community safe.

For the month of August, we’re spotlighting Greg Davignon, a Sergeant with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in De Queen.

Greg is a Sevier County native who graduated in 2005 from Lockesburg High School. In addition to being former Jailer and Deputy, the Sergeant has also spent significant time in the military. Davignon says he always wanted to be in law enforcement, and he credits growing up in the Provo Community outside Lockesburg, a place he affectionately called “cop alley” as the reason for his aspirations to become an officer. He says “In the 90’s when I was growing up it seemed like everybody that lived out there was either a cop or kin to a cop.” Davignon told KDQN that men like former Sheriff Benny Simmons, along with Current Officers Bobby Bagley and Chad Bradshaw all lived within a few miles from his house and he was always seeing those men in uniform and “meeting cop cars on provo road.”

At age 18 Greg Davignon entered the military in the active duty army branch for five years. While in the army, Davignon was a military police officer overseas, including a 15 month deployment to Iraq in 2007.

A current Sergeant for Sevier county and a former Sergeant in the military, Greg still finds time lead a special team of people: his children.

Greg is a father to three children, ages five, seven and nine, who all live in De Queen.

Those children are part of Davignon’s inspiration for working so hard to get narcotics off the street. “If I bust somebody, then that is one more person who is not going to be able to give dope to my kids.”The father of three also acknowledges his mentality has changed some over the years because he’s been able to understand that “Some people need more help than just going to prison.”

Davignon also spent a year in the drug task force before returning to The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in 2014. It was in the drug task force that he discovered he had a natural ability to understand people and detect when someone is lying.

For fun, Greg says he enjoys fishing, hunting and spending time with his kids. If he had to choose any type of hunting as his favorite, he’d choose turkey season. Though Turkey hunting is his passion Greg says he gets excited about all bird hunting and loves the outdoors.

If he wasn’t in law enforcement, Greg Davignon says he would be teaching history at the junior High level. Education is an apparent priority to the sergeant as he has already completed an Associate’s degree and has plans to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in teaching.

For people on the outside looking in at law enforcement, Davignon says he wishes more people understood that Law Enforcement members are human too, and humans are prone to making mistakes. “The thing about law enforcement is, is that our mistakes are in the public eye. He says, “Lets say you have a local job here in De Queen, maybe at a bank or at pilgrim’s or something… If you make a mistake at your job, that’s going to be a localized, in-house mistake, and you are not going to get a lot of public attention for it. Maybe you miscounted your drawer at the bank or maybe you hit the wrong button on your line at pilgrim’s and some of the product got messed up… But if we make a mistake, lives are at risk.”

Davignon also described the responsibility of being in the public eye as an officer of the law as a “heavy burden.” But the Burden is one the sergeant is willing to carry. The former military sergeant and father is passionate about what he does and he told KDQN he has no plans to go anywhere other than The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department.

In fact, Davignon spent some time working at a tire store in Texarkana making $22 an hour in the air conditioning, but left to come back to law enforcement as a jailer. That move required Greg to take a 50% pay cut, as jailers at that time only earned around $11 per hour.

Sergeant Greg Davignon isn’t in law enforcement for money, or bragging rights. After interviewing him, it became very clear to KDQN that he is a person who is passionate about making his community better and keeping people safe. Davignon is aware that he has a reputation around town for being harsh, but he claims he is a lot more approachable than people may think and he is actually open to being asked any questions related to law enforcement.

Lastly, The sergeant hopes people in the community will make an effort to let their children know that they should not fear law enforcement or tell them things like “Don’t be bad, or cops will arrest you.” Davignon doesn’t want kids to be afraid of going to jail simply because they didn’t eat vegetables.

If any child ever needs a police officers help, Sergeant Greg Davignon wants to be someone they can approach.

Keep listening to KDQN to find out more about law enforcement representatives in the local area and check out next month’s featured Law Enforcement Spotlight.

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT AGREES TO PROPOSE SALES TAX FOR NEW HOSPITAL 08/06/19

During the August 5th Sevier County Quorum Court meeting at the Sevier County courthouse,  the JP’s agreed to hold a special election for voters to approve or disapprove a 1% percent sales tax for the creation of revenue for the new hospital construction project and future hospital operations.

The special election will be held October 8th for registered voters of Sevier County to decide.

The total cost of the new hospital is now estimated to cost more than $24 million dollars. The proposed new facility would be built 4 miles North of De Queen and would initially be partnered with Mena Regional Health system.

 

COSL ANNOUNCES SEVIER COUNTY TAX AUCTION RESULTS   08/06/19 

 LITTLE ROCK – The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Sevier County raised over $5,000, the Commissioner of State Lands announced.

The auction drew 16 bidders, who purchased 5 of the 9 available parcels for a total of $5,515.94 for county and state government.

The Land Commissioner’s office holds one auction in each county each year to return tax-delinquent land to active status.

“Most property certified to our office does not go to auction,” Commissioner Tommy Land said. “The vast majority of owners redeem their property by paying the delinquent taxes. Of course we always prefer that property be redeemed, but it is vital that the parcels return to the county’s active tax rolls.”

Delinquent owners have 10 business days after the auction date to redeem the property, before the COSL office issues a Limited Warranty Deed to the buyer.

The COSL office forwards taxes and interest to the county, whether that money is collected through redemption or sale.

“Last year, this office sent more than $16 million to school districts and county governments,” Land said. “Of that, $212,713.99 went to Sevier County, helping fund everything from roads to schools.”

Property that did not sell at auction will be available after 30 days and can be reviewed through the Post-Auction Sales List at www.cosl.org.

43RD ANNUAL HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL COMING UP 08/06/19

The 43rd annual Hope Watermelon Festival is set for Thursday August 8th through Saturday August 10th. All of the official festival events will take place at Hope’s Fair Park over the three day period. Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Director Beckie Moore says, “The Hope-Hempstead County Chamber is looking forward to the 43rd Annual Hope Watermelon Festival. Without volunteers, sponsors, festival chairs, board members and ambassadors, the festival would not be possible. Based on calls, interviews, festival marketing and the fact that hotels are booked, we feel this year’s festival will draw thousands upon thousands of tourists to Hope and Hempstead County. All who join us this year, will see quite a few new activities, events, vendors and concessions. Here’s to #43! May we be blessed with nice weather and a wonderful weekend of fun!”

The festival officially opens at noon on August 8th. The concession, vendors, exhibitors, Verizon Village, and Kidz Zone all open. There will be photo-op cutouts in the Kidz Zone and vendors in the coliseum Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Diamond Rio Tickets are available online at uacch.edu and can be purchased at the Chamber office. Advance Diamond Rio general admission tickets are $15 for adults and $6 for youth 4 to 10. These tickets are $20 on Saturday August 10th. Reserved seats are $40. Global 1 Pro Wrestling tickets are available at the Chamber office or at the gate. These tickets are $15 in advance or $20 day of event for adults. Children 12 and under get in for $6.

If you have questions on any festival activities, phone the Chamber of Commerce at 777-3640.

 

SECOND SATURDAY YOUTH FISHING DERBIES IN COLUMBUS 08/06/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced the 2nd Saturday Youth Fishing Derbies to continue through October 12th. All derbies will be held at :

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831

Aug. 10 | Sept. 14 | Oct. 12

All children ages 15 and under are welcome to participate in these derbies.

  • Bring your pole and some bait, and fish for catfish in the education pond.
  • A limited supply of poles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Only one pole per participant please.
  • Prizes will be given for the largest and smallest catfish caught.
  • This is a free program.

PLANE CRASH WEST OF DE QUEEN SUNDAY AFTERNOON 08/05/19

A small airplane crashed Sunday afternoon in a pasture in the Chapel Hill community just west of De Queen.

The crash was reported to authorities at 4:45 Sunday afternoon. According to witnesses at the scene, the plane apparently caught fire. The crash site was less than a mile from the Sevier County Airport near Highway 70 West.

The extent of the injuries of the occupants are unknown at this time, but at least one unidentified 79 year old man suffered injuries according to witnesses at the scene.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, The De Queen Fire Department and various other County fire departments, Southwest EMS, and other emergency personnel responded to the crash site Sunday afternoon.

KDQN contacted Arkansas State Police, The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and The De Queen Fire Department for comment on the plane crash and all agencies said no information could be released at this time. More information will be announced as information becomes available.

LEGACY ACADEMY BUYS OLD LOCKESBURG ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUILDING 08/05/19

A local private school announced plans to move to a new location last week.
Legacy academy has been offering a faith-based education for Pre-k through 12th grade students in De Queen since 2007. On Thursday August 1st the school closed the deal on a   purchase of the Former Lockesburg Elementary School building 12 miles east of De Queen. The 34.7 acre property was sold from The De Queen Public School District to Legacy Academy owners, Chad and Jessica Gallagher for $275,000. The neutral location of Lockesburg will create a centrally accessible private, Christian school option for students in the 5 surrounding communities of Ashdown, De Queen, Horatio, Nashville, and Dierks.

An informational meeting for new and returning students was held Friday, August 2nd at the “new” gym. After the meeting Gallagher told KDQN the purchase has been in the works for more than a year, as the school had previously utilized the gymnasium for basketball games. Gallagher says The use of the gym was the catalyst for the idea to buy the property.

Despite the lack of use in recent years, Gallagher says the building is actually in good shape and no major renovations will be needed prior to school starting this fall.

The first day of school for Legacy Academy will be Tuesday, September 3rd and parents of potential students have a variety of ways to find out more about the school.

The tuition cost for Legacy Academy is $4,500 per year and scholarships are available. Find out more at Legacywarriors.org

IMPROVEMENTS COMING TO POLK COUNTY ROADS 08/05/19

POLK COUNTY (8-1) – The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to roadways in Polk County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials.

The purpose of this project is to overlay 4 miles of County Roads 61 near Board Camp and 63 near Yucanna.

Blackstone Construction, LLC of Russellville was awarded the contract at $493,297.62. Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in late 2019.

Travel information can be found at IDriveArkansas.com or ArDOT.gov. You can also follow on Twitter @myARDOT.

LEOPARD BACK TO SCHOOL KICK OFF AUG. 16TH 08/05/19

The Leopard Back To School Kick-off has been announced for De Queen High School football fans.

The community pep rally and leopard scrimmage will kick off the 2019 season on August 16th at 7:00 p.m. The event will be held at leopard stadium and all De Queen fans are encouraged to come out and support the leopards.

This is also a chance for young future leopards to meet their favorite football player, cheerleader and band members. The leopard cheer squad will be selling taco dinners and admission to enter is $3.00.

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL VISITS DE QUEEN FOR RSAT GRADUATION THURSDAY 08/02/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and KDQN news Director Murriel Wiley introduced by Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry Thursday at the RSAT graduation ceremony.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was greeted with a round of applause from an audience who rose to their feet as she took the podium at De Queen First Assembly of God Church for the RSAT graduation ceremony Thursday night.

Rutledge is the chief law enforcement representative in the State of Arkansas and was sworn into office in 2015. She is the first woman in the state Arkansas to be elected to the position. Rutledge has announced her support of the Sevier County treatment program and agreed to speak at the event after meeting with Sheriff, Robert Gentry at a recent roundtable event.

RSAT stands for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment and Thursday, August 1st marked two years since the recovery program first began. The program has gained state-wide attention and was recognized at The State Capitol in Little Rock during the 92nd General assembly earlier this year

The inmates of the jail who are accepted into the treatment program are given support to rehabilitate themselves through classes like anger management, narcotics anonymous, parenting, nutrition and other substance abuse help.

Sheriff Robert Gentry and Jail administrator Chris Wolcott have seen success from the treatment plan as they’ve reported just 6% of the program participants return to jail after graduating.

A total of 20 graduates received their certificates during Thursday night’s ceremony, including 13 who are moving on to Aftercare and 6 who are included in aftercare group 5. The certificates are physical proof of the emotional and spiritual journey that the graduates have completed during their recovery process.

During her speech, AG Rutledge congratulated the graduates on their success and told the audience she thinks the RSAT program can help people get their lives back on track.

KDQN radio was granted an interview with the Attorney General before the service and she reported that she believes RSAT is helping save peoples lives, and she is excited to be a supporter of the program.

Rutledge also told KDQN she is in support of the program being implemented at a statewide level.

Two personal testimonies of the program were also provided by Brandon Coulter and Michael Brent Barnard, who both said they would be lost with out the help they have received through RSAT.

Michael says the services through the program were different because in the past prison taught him how to be a better criminal, but this program has helped him heal.

Brandon feels the program is important because it is helping him become a better father and believes he would be in prison today without RSAT and the help of the volunteers and Sheriff’s Department’s support.

All RSAT graduation ceremonies are held every three months at the 1st assembly of God Church on Thursday nights and each service features a different guest speaker. Everyone in the community is always welcome to attend and information about RSAT and each of the services it provides is available by contacting The Sheriff’s Department at 870-642-2125

GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON ANNOUNCES $8.24 MILLION FOR VOTING EQUIPMENT 08/02/19

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced $8.24 million was provided this week to the Secretary of State’s Office to allow Arkansas counties to improve voting equipment, programming, and maintenance. The funds were transferred from the Property Tax Relief Fund to the Secretary of State’s Office, which will issue the funds through the County Voting System Grant Fund.

The funds are provided as a result of Act 808 of 2019. The Act, which increased the Homestead Property Tax Credit to $375, also required this one-time transfer if adequate funds were in place. If the Property Tax Relief Fund exceeded the amount required for distribution the following year by at least $8.24 million, the transfer was to be made on or after July 1.

“In the November 2018 general election, 54 Arkansas counties offered new, improved voting equipment,” said Governor Hutchinson. “Through this significant commitment to the Secretary of State’s Office, there will be increased resources to provide up-to-date, secure voting equipment in our elections.”

There are approximately 1.78 million registered voters in Arkansas.

CONTACT: Press Shop (press@governor.arkansas.gov or 501.682.3642)

STREET IMPROVEMENTS COMING FOR HOWARD COUNTY 08/02/19

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for
improvements to roadways in Howard County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials.
The purpose of this project is to resurface 1.6 miles of selected sections of various city streets in Mineral Springs to include Crawford Street, Holcomb Street, Lewis Street, Mercer Street, and McClendon Street; and .9 miles of selected sections of various city streets in Nashville to include Leslie Street and Sypert Street.
Tri State Asphalt, Inc. of De Queen was awarded the contract at $502,582.60.
Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in late 2019.
Travel information can be found at IDriveArkansas.com or ArDOT.gov. You can also follow us on Twitter @myARDOT.

ARCHERY TOURNAMENT IN COLUMBUS SATURDAY 08/02/19

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831

Aug. 3, 2019 – Sept. 7, 2019

3-D Archery Tournaments

Event Flyer

Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center invites you to the first Saturday of the month 3-D Archery Tournament.
Bring the family and brush up your skills or learn a new sport. Awards will be given to the first three places in each division.

Competition Divisions
Open • Unlimited • Known
Senior Hunter (ages 50+) • Senior Open (ages 50+)
Novice • Women’s Open
Women’s Bowhunter • Women’s Novice
Hunter • Traditional • Young Adult (ages 15-17)
Youth (ages 13-14) • Senior Eagle (ages 11-12)
Eagle (ages 9-10) • Junior Eagle (ages 8 and under)

Entrance Fees
All Eagles……………………………. $5
Youth………………………………….. $5
Young Adult…………………………. $5
Adults…………………………………. $10
Families………………………………. $20

Call Caleb Coulter, 870- 826-8193, to register or for more information about this or any other program.

There is no fee for this program thanks to your support of the 1/8 Cent Conservation Sales Tax.

 

TRUCK COLLIDES WITH TRAIN WEDNESDAY MORNING IN DE QUEEN 08/01/19

A collision between a truck and train caused an unexpected traffic detour for residents of De Queen Wednesday morning.

KDQN radio received a phone call from De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday July 31st. The chief reported the accident occurred where Dogtown road meets the railroad tracks west of De Queen and drivers in the area were encouraged to pursue alternate routes.

According to reports from the De Queen Fire Department and Arkansas State Police public information officer, Bill Sadler, a 2007 Chevrolet pick-up truck was traveling north on Dogtown road at the same time the train was traveling eastbound on the tracks.

The driver of the pick-up truck was identified as Augustin Balderas of Horatio Arkansas.

Sadler confirmed the cause of the wreck listed in the report is the driver’s failed attempt to turn away from the train prior to impact, and the truck collided with one of the trains cars.

The Fire Department arrived on the scene at 7:28 a.m. with 17 firefighters responding.  Balderas’s injuries were described in the report as “minor” and he left the scene by private transportation. Emergency crews left the scene by 7:50 a.m.

Photos courtesy of OEM Coordinator, Walter Smith. 

UA COSSATOT WELDING STUDENT LANDS JOB IN WISCONSIN  08/01/19
by Ben Renfrow

Ashley McBroom is a resident of De Queen, Arkansas, and a former UA Cossatot welding student.  On July 31, 2019, Ashley and her husband drove sixteen hours to their new home in Hartford, Wisconsin.  Ashley is now employed to work as a laser welder for Steel Craft Corporation in Hartford where she will begin her new career as a welder.

Ashley took college credit courses while she was a high school student.  As a high school junior, she enrolled in welding courses through UA Cossatot’s Secondary Career Center.  The Secondary Career Center gives high school students the chance to get a head start on college and learn new skills for their trade.  In the afternoon, she would leave high school and then go to UA Cossatot’s welding shop for her college courses.

Two years later, McBroom graduated from De Queen High School in May of 2019.  That same month she graduated with a Certificate of Proficiency in SMAW Welding from UA Cossatot.  She actually received her college certificate two days before her high school diploma.

Ashley McBroom said, “I believe UA Cossatot’s Secondary Career Center is an all-around great idea!  It is a great program that gave me the head start I needed, and I don’t know that I would have pursued this career without this opportunity.  To have graduated from high school and college, at the same time, feels great!  It makes me feel like I have accomplished so much more!”

The job demand for welders and the creativity that they are allowed in their work inspired Ashley to major in welding.  Ashley felt that UA Cossatot was the perfect place to receive her welding education.

Ashley McBroom said, “I chose to come to UA Cossatot because of the location, the opportunity to take college classes while I was in high school, and because of the great things I had heard about the college.”

Ashley added, “Having been a student in the welding program at UA Cossatot, I can say the welding program is great! The classes were extremely hands-on, and I felt prepared for my tests.  The learning environment was great!  My instructors were able to communicate effectively with us, and all of the students were able to ask questions.”

When asked why she chose to take this job in Wisconsin, Ashley said, “This job is a great opportunity to get a foot in the door into the welding community.  I would love to stay at this job long-term and work my way up.  I also feel like I’ll pursue a welding career throughout my life because I enjoy it so much!”

The welding courses Ashley took at UA Cossatot were all located at UA Cossatot’s De Queen Campus.  In the fall of 2019, UA Cossatot will be offering secondary welding courses through the Secondary Career Center at the college’s De Queen, Nashville, and Lockesburg Campuses.  Post-Secondary welding students will be able to take welding classes in either Nashville or Lockesburg.

Anyone interested in learning more about UA Cossatot’s welding program can contact Pat Earnest at pearnest@cccua.edu.

High School students interested in learning more about the welding program offered through the Secondary Career Center can contact Julie Rhodes at jrhodes@cccua.edu

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS DONATE TO AINSLEY’S ANGELS OF SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 08/01/19

In the past week, organizations both public and private have given over $2,000 to Ainsley’s Angels of Southwest Arkansas-an organization who provides special needs athletic equipment and running volunteers to make sure that EVERYONE can participate in our area wide endurance events. The Arkansas Pride Softball team, De Queen 4H, De Queen Rotary Club, and Tres Agaves Mexican Restaurant have all given donations to help buy equipment that is used by community members with disabilities. In the past five months, over twenty athletes with different abilities have been supported by over one hundred runners in seven 5ks around Southwest Arkansas and Southeast Oklahoma.

“This is not possible without community support. We are a 100% volunteer-based nonprofit, the ten pieces of equipment owned by our community ambassadorship cost over $10,000… and were bought purely through donations from people who believe that everyone deserves to belong,” says Southwest Arkansas Ainsley’s Angels Ambassador, Tessa Dean.

Now, the most immediate need for the nonprofit is a trailer to haul all of this equipment, which they hope to raise enough funds for in their upcoming fundraiser at Herman Dierks Park on September 28th: Dinner and 5k, which will feature Argenbright band performing live, a smoked chicken supper, and snowcones. Upcoming events for Ainsley’s Angels, free registration for athletes, runners, and volunteers, or ways to sponsor  can be found on their website www.ainsleysangels.org, or by emailing Tessa Dean at swarkansas@ainsleysangels.org.

OZAN MAN SENTENCED FOR DRIVING WHILE ON METH 08/01/19

A Miller County jury Wednesday sentenced an Ozan, Ark., man to 20 years in prison for causing the death of a 24-year-old husband and father in 2017.

Forrest Rector Stewart Jr., 64, was high on methamphetamine Nov. 2, 2017, when he crossed more than seven feet into the oncoming lane of traffic on Highway 67 in Miller County. James Crowe’s small Hyundai Accent was struck nearly head on. James Crowe died at the scene.

It took the jury less than half an hour to find Stewart guilty of negligent homicide while intoxicated. During closing remarks, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Cotten reminded the jury of testimony from law enforcement, first responders and medical personnel regarding Stewart’s behavior after he smashed his pickup.

A toxicology expert from an Indianapolis, Indiana, lab testified Tuesday that Stewart’s blood showed a high level of methamphetamine,.

Kristen Crowe told the jury she turned 21 the day before her husband was killed. She was supposed to begin a new job the day of the crash and that when she heard there had been a fatality on the highway.

“I will be an old woman in love with a man who never made it past 24,” Kristen Crowe said. “He was my best friend, my soul mate. He was so good and now he’s just gone because you chose to do what you did.”

Stewart took the stand during the punishment phase of his trial and apologized to the Crowe family.

In addition to a maximum 20-year prison sentence, the jury also assessed a maximum $15,000 fine.

MARKSMANSHIP SATURDAY IN COLUMBUS AUGUST 3RD 08/01/19

Marksmanship Saturday will be held Saturday, August 3rd at: Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831.

Event Flyer

  • 8-9 a.m. Shotgun Shooting
  • 9-10 a.m. Archery Target Shooting
  • 10-11 a.m. BB Gun Range
  • 11 a.m.-noon 3d archery

Participants who take part in three or more programs will receive a limited edition hat pen!

8 a.m.- Noon
3D Archery Tournament
$5 youth
$10 adults
$20 whole family

Tournament will include 15 divisions. Awards will be given to the top three in each division.

For more information about this or any other program, please contact the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center at 870-983-2790.

There is no fee for this program thanks to your support of the 1/8 Cent Conservation Sales Tax.