ARKANSAS LEGISLATION UPDATES 01/31/19
The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee advanced legislation that will allow a former prison facility to be transferred to a non-profit group helping veterans.The Arkansas Department of Community Correction owns the former site of the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center in Pine Bluff. The facility has been vacant since 2015, but there are costs to maintain the site.
HB1249 would allow the agency to donate the building to a non-profit group serving veterans released from incarceration. According to testimony in committee, there are currently 1,200 veterans house in the Department of Correction. There was testimony in committee that this new facility could also assist homeless veterans and those returning from war zones.The legislation states the transfer must be approved by the Governor.
The State Agencies Committee also passed legislation changing the date for run-off elections of county and municipal offices. Currently, run-off elections are held three weeks following the date of the general election. HB1246 extends it to four weeks after the general election. The House Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee passed HB1264. This legislation allows a chiropractor, who is trained to work with animals, to provide services to animals without the immediate supervision of a veterinarian.
The House Insurance and Commerce Committee advanced a bill changing the financial reporting date for charitable organizations. Currently, charitable organizations must file financial reports with the Secretary of State’s office on August 1st of every year. HB1247 changes the deadline to 180 days after the last date of the organization’s fiscal year.
The House Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs Committee advanced legislation aimed at opening more childcare facilities in the state. HB1128 requires the Department of Human Services to post all the regulations and necessary information to start a child care facility in one central location on the agency’s website.The committee also passed HB1022 which states that a mandated reporter who in good faith notifies the Child Abuse Hotline is immune from civil and criminal liability.The House convenes on Thursday at 11am.
FORKLIFT CERTIFICATION TRAINING TO BE HELD AT UAHT 01/31/19
A forklift certification training class will be held at the University of Arkansas Hope campus on Saturday, February 23, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Technical & Industrial Building room 160. The class is $75 per person and is limited to a maximum of 15 participants. The class is instructed by Iry T. Rice, owner of Rice Safety Consultants. The class is compliant with OSHA specifications and provides a three-year certification.
For more information or to register, contact Edessa Walton at 870.722.8162 or email@example.com.
AGFC REGULATION CHANGES TO BE PRESENTED AT FEBRUARY MEETING 01/31/19
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will hold a public meeting to present an update on proposed regulation changes concerning importing, breeding, selling and keeping of captive wildlife species and educational animals in the state. This update presentation will be immediately followed by a question and answer session to further clarify these proposed regulation changes. Anyone who is interested in these regulations or has questions about these regulations is encouraged to attend. The meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7 in the AGFC auditorium at 2 Natural Resources Drive in Little Rock.
The regulations changes originally were presented during the Commission’s September and October meetings. Modifications to the regulations were made based on public comment, and the final proposals were presented to the Commission at its Jan. 17 meeting. A complete list of regulations changes and link to provide comments is available at www.agfc.com/code. Comments also may be made by email at AskAGFC@agfc.ar.gov with the subject line “Regulations Proposals.” These proposals are expected to be voted on at the Commission’s Feb. 21 meeting
ARKANSAS AG MOVES TO PROTECT RESIDENTS FROM UTILITY RATE INCREASES 01/31/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a settlement with Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) to protect ratepayers from over $3.1 million in unjustified anticipated rate increases, with the company making several major monetary and non-monetary concessions.
On October 1, OG&E requested a $6.4 million increase in rates under its formula rate plan – a 6% increase in retail rates for all major rate classes. Rutledge challenged the requested increase in filings made December 28, as did the general staff of the Arkansas Public Service Commission and the Arkansas River Valley Energy Consumers group, an affiliation of several large business customers.
- The increase is reduced to $3.3 million – a reduction of more than $3.1 million, or 48%, from the requested increase – and the increase is now 3% for all major rate classes.
- As urged by the Attorney General, OG&E is required to report and document how its proposed investments in grid modernization will benefit all of its customers.
- OG&E is required to report and document how its proposed investments in transmission assets will be reimbursed by other states through its regional transmission organization, the Southwest Power Pool.
A hearing on the settlement is set for February 7, but all parties have requested that the Commission waive the hearing. The Commission is required to rule by March 12, and the increase will be effective with April bills.
AR-TEX REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT GROUP ANNOUNCES NEW CEO 01/31/19
Sonja Yates Hubbard, of the AR-TX Regional Economic Development, announced the appointment of Robert Sitterley as the organization’s first President and CEO on Wednesday.
The organization’s mission to build a stronger economy for southwest Arkansas and northeast Texas.
Hubbard is on the AR-TX group’s Board of Directors which consists of community leaders from both Bowie and Miller Counties. The organization began the search for a CEO last year in 2018. AR-TX REDI organizers launched the organization’s quest to hire a president at a community event in September 2018. Governors from both sides of the state line participated in support of AR-TX REDI’s initiative. Texarkana Arkansas Mayor Allen Brown said that collaborating with AR-TX REDI is top on his list as he begins his term of office.
Bowie County Judge James Carlow said the success of AR-TX REDI is the predictor of the future prosperity of the entire region.
INJURED TROOPER MOVED TO REHAB FACILITY 01/31/19
An update has been announced on the condition of Arkansas State Trooper, Corporal Clayton McWilliams who suffered serious injuries in an accident while responding to the scene of a wreck in Sevier County earlier this month. Last week McWilliams was transferred from a Little Rock hospital to TIRR Memorial Hermann Rehab and Research Hospital in Houston, Texas.
Corporal Clayton McWilliams, 32 was driving to the crash scene along U.S. Highway 71 near Wilton when his vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Weather conditions are believed to have contributed to the cause of the crash.
McWilliams was transferred to the Houston rehab center on Jan. 22. The center is ranked third in the nation for medical rehabilitation and research.
An additional fundraiser to help the McWilliams family offset medical costs has been planned for Thursday, February 7th at Little River Nursing and Rehab center from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
DEPUTIES FIND DRUG PARAPHERNALIA IN TRAFFIC STOP 01/30/19
A man is facing Felony drug possession charges after being pulled over by Sevier County Deputies in De Queen Tuesday.
A report from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department says Sergeant Greg Davignon and Deputy Justin Gentry observed a small white car pull up several feet over the stop line at the intersection of Highway 71 and Colin Raye drive while on patrol January 29th.Sergeant Davignon reportedly turned his patrol unit around to conduct a traffic stop on the driver of the vehicle and noted the driver took longer than expected to come to a complete stop.
The driver of the car was identified as Jason Wells. According to the police report Sergeant Davignon says digital scales were discovered in the rear floorboard of the driver’s seat, which caused the suspicion that other possible drugs and paraphernalia could be located inside the vehicle.
Wells was asked to step out of the vehicle for a pat down and complied. Reports state that during a search, The digital scales were found to contain a white residue and red straws cut in half. A taser and a glass smoking pipe with residue were also discovered in Wells’ possession. Sergeant Davignon reported that his training and experience lead him to believe the items were consistent with Methamphetamine use. Jason Wells was transported to the Sevier County Jail where he was charged with Drug Paraphernalia class D felony. A court date has been set for Thursday, January 31st at The Sevier County Court House.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS HIGH SCHOOLS MEET TO DISCUSS CAREER CENTER PROGRAM UPDATES 01/30/19
School officials from Arkansas High, Ashdown, Blevins, Fouke, Genoa, Hope, Lafayette County, Nevada, Prescott, and Spring Hill School Districts met today at Hempstead Hall to discuss opportunities for students at the new Secondary Career & Technical Education Center at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana (UAHT).
The UAHT Secondary Career & Technical Education (CTE) Center is an area secondary career center located on U of A Texarkana Campus, Arkansas High School Campus in Texarkana, and the U of A Hope Campus. The Center provides area high school juniors and seniors with the unique opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school at no charge. The center’s curriculum serves as an extension of the high school curriculum offerings by providing students with hands-on experiences in a variety of career fields taught by UAHT Faculty.
Areas of study in the Center will include:
• Industrial Equipment Technologies
• Medical Professions – General Health Option
• Medical Professions – Certified Nursing Assistant Option
• Welding Technology
Students will also have the opportunity to graduate high school with certificates of proficiency in the following:
• Certificate of Proficiency in Industrial Maintenance Technology
• Certificate of Proficiency in Certified Nursing Assistant
• Certificate of Proficiency in Basic Welding
Prospective students apply for admission to the UAHT Secondary Career & Technical Education Center programs through their local high school counselors. Please see your high school counselor as soon as possible to sign up for fall classes.
For more information, contact Mikki Curtis, Secondary Career Center Director, at 870-722-8133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLLEGE IN MENA BEGINS NEW SOCCER PROGRAM 01/30/19
UA Rich Mountain has a new Soccer program and the university has hired Bryan Byrd as its first coach. Coach Byrd comes to UARM by way of Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas. Before Byrd’s arrival at Coastal Bend the team only won one game in 14 years. In his 5 years at Coastal Bend, Byrd led the program to the regional semi-finals or finals every year. UARM Athletic Director, Morris Boydstun says that the school has landed “The best candidate we had” and that he was surprised that a coach with trips to multiple divisional and state playoffs championships plus four Championship Cups was interested in the position.
Being a new program, Coach Byrd says he has already contacted FC Dallas to inquire about potential recruits. The recruiter for the Major League Soccer club is putting together a list of athletes who would be a good fit for UARM. Byrd has also reached out to the director of Sporting Kansas City to seek out the best athletes who have not committed to a club as yet Coach Byrd has designated February 17th as a day for local tryouts. “Bucks Athletics” can be followed on social media for more information.
CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL FUNDRAISER SCHEDULED IN HOT SPRINGS 01/30/19
The 15th annual Chocolate festival has been announced for this weekend.
The event will be held at the embassy suites hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas on Sunday, February 3rd 2019. The chocolate festival serves as a fundraiser for the Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic. Admission is $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door, $50.00 VIP and all proceeds benefit the medical, dental, and vision clinics for the Bridges out of Poverty Getting Ahead programs Bakers may enter their chocolate treats in a competition to take place during the event. Any person interested in volunteering the day of event, donating sponsorship, or participating in the silent auction may contact Lynn at 501-318-1153
ASHDOWN SENIOR HIGH STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN REGION CLINIC 01/30/19
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY EVENTS FOR FEBRUARY ANNOUNCED 01/30/19
Events and programs for the Sevier County Library system have been announced for the month of February.
The De Queen Branch will be hosting a valentine’s story and fun with Klondike event on February 13th at 4:00 p.m. The first 30 children will get to make valentine’s with Klondike for the local senior living facility. Little Bear story time for the kids will be held Wednesday, February 20th at 10:00 a.m. Call the De Queen Branch at 584-4364 for more information.
The Horatio library will be hosting a valentine’s program on February 2nd at 10:00 a.m. and a teddy bear clinic for kids on February 16th. Children are invited to bring their teddy bear to the library as Klondike the bear will talk with kids about going to the doctor. The Horatio library offers free WI-FI, magnified books for the visually impaired, notary services and they will continue to hold their regular dominoes game on Thursdays at 10:00 a.m throughout the month of February.
On Saturday, February 9th the “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it” book club” will meet at the Lockesburg Library at 10:00 a.m. This book discussion will be about Agatha Christie’s novel “and then there were none.” A new program called “momsit” designed for moms with children under age 2 is scheduled for Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. An adult painting program called “painting without a twist” is planned for February 23rd at 10:00 a.m. The program is limited to 10 participants and all supplies are provided. Call 870-289-2233 for more information about the Lockesburg library programs.
The Gillham Library will host story time and crafts on Saturday February 9th at 2:00 p.m. Robert B. Parker’s Blood Feud by Mike Lupia and Nora Roberts is now available to be placed on hold. Call 870-386-5665. The Gillham Library can be found on Facebook.com/gillhamlibrary.
CHANGES AT DE QUEEN AND DIERKS LAKES LISTED IN NEW AGFC GUIDEBOOKS 01/30/19
The latest edition of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s fishing and trout fishing guidebooks are being distributed to AGFC offices and license dealers around the state. The guide is free and contains a few changes from 2018.
Changes in the 2019 guides include:
- Removal of the restriction on common carp as bait on Dierks Lake in Howard County and De Queen Lake in Sevier County.
- Reduction of sport fish daily creel limits on Lake June in Lafayette County during its renovation.
- Application period for 2020 trophy alligator gar tags (required for harvesting an alligator gar longer than 36 inches) will be Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2019.
- Addition of the White Hall Community Pond in Jefferson County and the Arkansas State University Pond in Craighead County to Family and Community Fishing Program daily limits and restrictions.
- Prohibiting all possession of live Asian carp.
HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT CANCELS CLASSES FOR REMAINDER OF THE WEEK 01/29/19
The flu virus has impacted the Horatio School district significantly this week. The district has reported more than 300 students out absent today, Tuesday January 29th. In an effort to prevent further illness and loss of instructional time, the district announced the release of students at noon and will be closing all campuses for the remainder of the week.
Tonight’s game against Murfreesboro has been cancelled as well. Any additional changes to the rest of the week’s games will be posted at a later time.
Horatio school district plans to resume classes as normal on Monday, February 4th. The days out this week will be AMI or Digital Days.
Again, Horatio Schools have released as of today at noon and will resume classes on February 4th.
LEGACY INITIATIVES RECEIVES GRANT TO ASSIST LAID-OFF DE QUEEN MEDICAL CENTER EMPLOYEES 01/29/19
De Queen, ARK– Legacy Initiatives, a 501c3 in Sevier County that focuses on community development projects announced that it has received a $35,000 grant to assist employees recently impacted by layoffs at the De Queen Medical Center. Recent financial challenges have caused the hospital and some of its employees hardship, creating a wave of concern throughout the community.
This grant will help provide some immediate assistance and relief to families who
were caught off-guard with an unexpected job loss.
“Walmart has long proven its committed to continue Sam Walton’s love for communities and people through their charitable giving. We are very grateful for their assistance and partnership.”said Chad Gallagher, Legacy Initiatives founder. “We are especially grateful to Kevin Sherry, with our local Walmart, who worked hard to ensure these funds became a reality.
We appreciate his leadership and partnership.” he continued.
The funds were awarded through Walmart’s Strategic Initiatives Program. Through this program Walmart is positively impacting communities all across the world.
“Our hospital is a tremendous asset to our community and we have excellent healthcare workers. I am pleased to see Walmart and Legacy partner together for these families. This is a perfect example of proactive efforts making a difference.” said Dr. Jason Lofton, Sevier County Health Officer and a director with Legacy Initiatives.
Legacy Initiatives focuses on community development projects in the areas of healthcare, historic preservation, economic development, and the arts. Other current Legacy Initiatives projects include: the development of the FUSION Art Center downtown, new biking trails at the De Queen Lake, a free annual health screening clinic, a minority tobacco cessation program, and the restoration of the Historic Presbyterian Church.
“A bright future for our community will require proactive and creative partnerships and efforts. It also includes a thriving healthcare operation. There’s no doubt that together we can overcome any obstacle.” Gallagher said.
Former employees of De Queen Medical Center laid off should contact Whitney Tatum at email@example.com or by calling Legacy Initiatives at 870.642.8937 to make application for assistance.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ANNOUNCES PROJECTS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 01/29/19
The Arkansas State Highway Commission has approved a bid for improvements to roadways in Little River County, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) officials. The purpose of this project is to resurface approximately 2.9 miles of selected sections of various city streets in Ashdown to include:
Byrne Street, W. Cowling Street, W. Richmond Street, E. Main
Street, N. Wallace Drive, Belmont Avenue, Dove Street, Bryan Avenue, Deerwood Drive, and S. Beech Street.
Tri State Asphalt, Inc. of De Queen was awarded the contract at $496,701.00.
Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in early 2019. Travel information can be found at IDriveArkansas.com or ArDOT.gov. You can also follow us on Twitter @myARDOT.
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ANNOUNCES PROJECTS IN POLK COUNTY 01/29/19
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 resurface .6 miles of selected sections of various city streets in Grannis to include Frachiseur Road and Line Road.
Tri State Asphalt, Inc. of De Queen was awarded the contract at $249,148.57.
Construction is scheduled to begin in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion isexpected in mid 2019. Travel information can be found at IDriveArkansas.com or ArDOT.gov. You can also follow us
on Twitter @myARDOT.
ARKANSAS AG OFFICE ARRESTS DENTIST FOR MEDICAID FRAUD 01/29/19
Monday Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a North Little Rock dentist for making false statements on billing records to the Arkansas Medicaid Program
Dr. Brian Moore, 47, of Maumelle, is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services not rendered between January 24, 2016 and December 31, 2017, totaling about $9,000. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Moore was arrested today at his North Little Rock business. He is charged with two counts of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony and a Class A misdemeanor.
Records indicate Moore submitted false dental information on patients between the ages of 2 and 21 so that the recipient’s dental conditions appeared they needed to receive, and were eligible for, various dental services, such as amalgam and resin composite fillings in order to bill the Medicaid program.
This investigation is being conducted in cooperation with the two State dental managed care companies, Delta Dental of Arkansas and Managed Care of North American, and the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General.
Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEYOND BOW WORKSHOP FOR WOMEN PLANNED IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 01/29/19
A workshop for women interested in learning to trap furbearing animals has been schedueld for this weekend in Southwest, Arkansas. This event will take place at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center and surrounding WMA on Friday, February 1st 2019 at 4 p.m. through Feb. 3, 2019 at noon.
The event is called Beyond BOW and will guide participants through learning regulations, teaching how to set traps for each furbearing species, processing fur and more. Participants will have the opportunity to set traps and check for a catch.
Lodging and meals will be provided by the education center. Space is limited to 25 participants and admission is free . To register or for more information, call 870-983-2790.
WOMAN FACING MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER LOCKESBURG WRECK 01/28/19
A woman and two female minors were hospitalized for injuries after a single-car wreck on Highway 24 in Lockesburg last week. The accident occurred around 4:10 p.m. on Tuesday, January 22nd at 7 Up Ranch Road. Police arrived on the scene around 4:30 p.m.
Arkansas State Police reports state Lockesburg resident Wendy Michelle Burge was traveling west in the rain in a 1990 Ford truck when she attempted to pass another car in a no passing zone and she lost control of her vehicle. Reports state her vehicle crossed the center line and left the road on the north side. The truck rolled over in a ditch and then crashed into a tree.
Inside the vehicle alcohol containers were found scattered around which has lead police to believe alcohol may have factored into the cause of the crash. An 8-year-old passenger in the vehicle was transported to Wadley Regional Medical Center in Texarkana by Southwest EMS and another female minor passenger was transported to De Queen Medical Center. Burge is now facing charges of DWI, endangering the welfare of a minor, improper passing and not wearing a seat belt. Burge was also found operating a vehicle without a license or insurance and caused an estimated $500 in property damage to a fence.
FATALITY IN LOCKESBURG WRECK SUNDAY 01/28/19
Arkansas state police reports indicate that Bobby Smith was driving a 2010 Ford Fusion traveling North on Highway 71 when his vehicle crossed the center line into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a 2017 Volvo tractor-trailer.
Smith died at the scene.
The accident occurred at approximately 4:45 p.m. Sunday January 27th.
Weather and road conditions were described as clear and dry at the time of the accident.
GILLHAM MAN FACING DOMESTIC BATTERY CHARGES 01/28/19
A Sevier County man is facing domestic battery charges in the 3rd degree after police responded to a 911 call on Thursday January 24th in Gillham.
A report from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department says a woman called deputies to report that her husband, Joe Nemeth, had been abusing her and holding her against her will at their Gillham home on Clinton Crossing. Deputies Wendell Randall and Matt Webb spoke with Nemeth in the front yard upon arrival at the residence.
Webb reportedly spoke with Nemeth about the incident while Randall made contact with the victim who placed the call. The report states that the woman informed deputies that she was getting ready for a doctor’s appointment and her husband became angry that she wasn’t getting ready fast enough. According to the police report the victim claimed her husband starting putting his hands on her neck and was choking her and at one point pushed her up against the wall of their house.The victim reportedly told the deputies that incident had occurred before on other occasions. The report states that the victim said she was able to get out of the room and go outside, but her husband kept trying to get in front of her so she could not leave the residence. The woman also told deputies that her husband scratched her on the stomach and on her back. She reportedly informed the deputies that she did want to press charges.
Deputy Webb took pictures of her injuries as well as photos of the home where the incident occurred. Joe Nemeth was taken into custody and transported to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office where he was read his rights and he acknowledged that he understood.
Nemeth reportedly told deputies that he did not choke his wife or put his hands on her in any other way. When asked about why he barricaded his wife in a room of their house, he claimed the incident did not happen. Upon completion of the interview, Randall asked Nemeth if he would write a statement as to what had happened but Nemeth said that he did not wish to write a statement but rather explain his case to a judge.
Nemeth was booked into the jail for domestic battery in the 3rd degree and will appear before a judge at the next available court date.
HOUSE WRAPS UP SECOND WEEK OF REGULAR SESSION 01/28/19
The House has now wrapped up the second week of the Regular Session. More than 250 bills have been filed in the House so far. And more than 150 have been filed in the Senate. Committees heard proposals on everything from restructuring our state government to rules about sunscreen use in schools. The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee started reviewing the government transformation legislation.
HB1070 contains the general provisions for the transformation. It creates 15 departments.If passed, a secretary will serve as the executive head of each department. The secretaries will be appointed by the Governor. Currently, there are 42 agencies reporting directly to the Governor.
The House Judiciary Committee advanced legislation to reduce the costs of a concealed carry license. HB1036 reduces the costs of the initial application from $100 to $50. It reduces the costs of the renewal fee from $35 to $25.Ultimately, 16 pieces of legislation will be filed. After each proposal is vetted by the committee, the sponsor will consolidate all the changes to one comprehensive bill for a vote. A posted chart of the proposed changes is online at www.arkansashouse.org.
ARKANSAS AG HOLDS OVERDOSE INVESTIGATION TRAINING 01/28/19
Last week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge partnered with the National Association of Attorneys General Training and Research Institute to host the Overdose Death Investigation and Prosecution training. More than 300 law enforcement officers, coroners and prosecutors attended.
“We are losing too many of our friends and loved ones to opioid addiction,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “It is imperative those on the front lines know how to address and examine the information at the scene. While the number of overdose deaths is absolutely heartbreaking, I fear the numbers are even greater as people may be unaware of the tell-tale signs of heroin and fentanyl deaths.”
The training covered drug overdose death investigation techniques, discussed legal requirements and issues involved in drug overdose death investigations. The training also addressed drug safety awareness particular to heroin and fentanyl and highlighted proper evidence handling and protocols.
The purpose of the training was to change the mindset from accident to homicide in responding to and investigating drug overdose deaths, including what evidence to look for, documenting the death scene, electronic evidence, witness and suspect interview techniques, search and seizure issues, legal theory and case development, intelligence gathering and sharing, officer safety with dealing with drugs like fentanyl, and case analysis.
UA COSSATOT ENROLLMENT UPDATES ANNOUNCED 01/28/19
UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole gave an update on enrollment and upcoming new programs at Wednesday’s meeting of the Nashville Rotary Club.
The college currently has 1,390 students enrolled this semester, about a one percent decrease from last year. However Cole said the college has seen a four percent increase in full time equivalent students.
New programs at UA Cossatot include the industrial maintenance institute at Lockesburg. College administrators are exploring offering collision repair and computer technologies on the Nashville campus. Another program looking at expanding with other nearby colleges is the truck driving course.
DE QUEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL RECEIVES ROBOTICS GRANT 01/28/19
Dr. Scott White, SAU, and Mary Lowrey, De Queen Middle School Science Teacher,co-authored a grant for 10 Arduino Hummingbird Robotics Kits through SAU STEM Center. The grant specifically required funds be used to further the interest and education of middle school students in building and designing through technology. The grant was accepted and the kits were purchased and delivered to De Queen Middle School this past week. Pictured with the Hummingbird kits are DMS science teachers: Mary Lowrey, Stacy Faulkenberry and Adam Matthews; along with DMS principal, Lance Pinkerton, and assistant principal, Brandon Lindly.
CLINTON BIRTHPLACE HOME NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE RE-OPENS 01/28/19
Hope, AR – With enactment of the continuing resolution, staff at President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site has resumed regular operations as of 1/27/2019 at noon. Please visit www.nps.gov/wicl for updated information about the historic site.
President Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site employees are happy to be back at work, serving people and welcoming visitors to their national parks.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees who care for America’s 418 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.
BODY FOUND IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 01/25/19
Authorities said Thursday they discovered the body of a 58-year-old Amity man.
Clark County Sheriff Jason Watson said in a news release that police found the body of John Ratton near Norris Road, a few miles north of Amity.
The sheriff’s office said two people were in custody, but the individuals haven’t been formally charged.
Ratton’s body will be taken to the State Crime Lab, Watson said.
Watson said authorities are still investigating.
Amity is located about 33 miles southwest of Hot Springs.
ARKANSAS LEGISLATION UPDATES 01/25/19
On Thursday, the House passed legislation aimed at protecting employees when it comes to microchip technology. HB1177 provides rights for employees including the right to refuse an implant, have it removed, and access to the data collected. The bill also ensures that the employer is responsible for costs incurred. The bill passed with a vote of 84-4.
In a vote of 97-0, the House passed HB1016. This legislation reduces the amount of time that a petition to seal a criminal record can be open before a court can act upon it. It reduces the time from 90 days to 30 days. The sponsor of the legislation explained this reduction could be beneficial to offenders who have served their sentence and are attempting to reintegrate into society.
The House also passed HB1076 which amends the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. This program allows Arkansans with disabilities to save up to $15,000 in an account without impacting eligibility for many public benefits. HB1076 ensures that in the event of a death, the money in that savings account cannot be seized by Medicaid but can instead be transferred to a designated beneficiary.
The Education Committee passed HB1167 which allows students to apply their own sunscreen at school or on field trips. Currently, sunscreen can only be applied in school by a school nurse since the FDA considers it an over the counter medication.
The House Revenue and Tax Committee advanced HB1005. This bill seeks to clear up confusion for retailers regarding the sales tax on candy and soft drinks. The legislation requires DF&A to either provide a list of products to be taxed or not subject a retailer to penalties if the retailer demonstrates a good faith effort to collect and remit the tax payments.
The House will reconvene on Monday, January 28 at 1:30pm.
NEW ARKANSAS AG MOBILE OFFICE LOCATIONS ANNOUNCED 01/25/19
This week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced mobile office locations for February.
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.
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.
The upcoming mobile office schedule for February includes stops in:
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 10:30 a.m. to noon, CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs Senior Center
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Saline County, Thursday, Feb. 7, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Central Arkansas Development Center Benton Senior Wellness and Activity Center
Benton, AR 72015
Visit ArkansasAG.gov for more information.
UAHT KIDS COLLEGE TEACHERS BEING ACCEPTED 01/25/19
Teaching proposals for Kids’ College at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana are being accepted now. If you are interested in teaching, please submit a detailed class proposal for each age group, each week, and each class you wish to teach by 3:30 p.m. on February 1, 2019. Class topics will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis from proposals as they are received. Applicants must be team players and have prior teaching experience. A teaching license is preferred, but not required.
Kids’ College dates and times for 2019 include:
Morning sessions: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., for students entering 1st and 2nd grade (6-10 students per class)
Afternoon sessions, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., for students entering 3rd and 4th grade (12-15 students per class)
Morning sessions: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., for students entering 1st and 2nd grade (6-10 students per class)
Afternoon sessions: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., for students entering 3rd and 4th grade (12-15 students per class)
Morning sessions: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., for students entering 5th and 6th grade (6-10 students per class)
Afternoon sessions: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., for students entering 5th and 6th grade (12-15 students per class)
For more details and to submit a proposal, visit http://www.uacch.edu/business-community/kids-college/kids-college-employment-opportunities/. For more information contact Edessa Walton at 870-722-8102 or email@example.com.
AGFC TO HOST TROUT FISHING CLINIC 01/25/19
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a special trout-fishing derby and clinic in Little Rock next week for through its Family and Community Fishing Program.
One thousand rainbow trout from the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery will be stocked at MacArthur Park Pond in Little Rock and the FCFP will hold a special fishing derby for all ages from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 26.
Youths do not need a license or trout stamp to fish in Arkansas, and the derby is free. Anglers 16 and older are welcome to fish as well, but they must have a valid AGFC fishing license and trout stamp, available to purchase at www.agfc.com.
Anglers must bring their own bait and tackle, and chairs or coolers to sit on are strongly encouraged.
Call 501-907-0636 to register for the clinic. Registration is not required for the derby.
Visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing for more information on the AGFC’s Family and Community Fishing Program.
ARKANSAS TOURISM HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES TO BE RECOGNIZED AT GOVERNORS CONFERENCE 01/26/19
Bill Barnes, president of the Tri-Pennant Family of Resorts, and Robert Moore, a farmer and politician, will be inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during a noon luncheon Monday, Feb. 25, during the 45th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The conference will be held in Hot Springs on Feb. 24-26, 2019.
The Hall of Fame honor is presented annually to an individual or individuals who have been actively involved in tourism for many years and who have made substantial contributions to the betterment of the industry as a whole.
Born in Wyoming in 1948, Barnes graduated from Hot Springs High School and studied hotel and restaurant management at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, at Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma, and at Forest Park College in Missouri. He was also inducted into the Arkansas Hospitality Hall of Fame in 1999.
An Arkansan who loves music, writing, bicycling and outdoor recreation, Moore was born in Dumas in 1945. He graduated from Ouachita Baptist University and obtained a degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in Fayetteville. He served in the U.S. Army Infantry and the Vietnam War. He currently resides in Arkansas City.
For information on the Hall of Fame Awards, contact Leigha Jones at 501-682-1676.
For information on the 45th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism or to register to attend, contact the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism at 501-682-1926.
ASHDOWN ELEMENTARY CELEBRATES 100TH DAY OF SCHOOL 01/25/19
Mrs. Tate’s 100-year-old mom “Dear” read to students at Ashdown Elementary school in celebration of the 100th day of school, Thursday January 24th. Mrs. Green was born and raised in Ashdown.
ADE VISITS ASHDOWN SCHOOLS 01/23/19
Crystal Beshears from the Arkansas Department of Education School of Innovation and Cindy Hogue from the Department of Education visited Ashdown High School in order to assist and instruct AHS in being designated a School of Innovation. The ladies met throughout the day with students, staff, administrators, school board members, community members, business partners and staff from area universities to discuss the benefits of the changes as well as ways that the program could be improved.
They were even treated to coffee from the AHS Serenity Cafe coffee shop and entertained by the AHS Choir. AHS students and staff were very open with the team in discussing the positive changes they have seen this year in the addition of advisory time with teachers,1:1 ratio of students-Chromebooks, and the additions of LIMI (Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute) and CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) programs.
According to AHS Principal Kay York, “The team from the ADE left our school with lots of positive comments about us being well on our way to having a designation site visit. The outpouring of support and encouragement from the students, community, and staff has been over the top.”
Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “Our passion is for our kids, we want to be innovative and think outside of the box in order to serve them in the best way possible to provide them all the opportunities that they will need to graduate from Ashdown High School and either continue their education in college, trade school, or the workforce.”
NEW LEGISLATION MOVING FORWARD IN ARKANSAS 01/23/19
Representative DeAnn Vaught has provided KDQN with an update announcing Two pieces of legislation addressing the opioid crises in Arkansas moved forward Tuesday.
With a vote of 97-0, the House voted to advance HB1013 to the Senate. This bill adds podiatrists to the list of healthcare providers subject to rules regarding schedule II narcotics.
The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee advanced HCR1003. This resolution encourages collaboration among healthcare providers, law enforcement, educators, public officials, and the Arkansas community in battling prescription drug abuse.
Also advancing in the Public Health Committee is a bill to require newborn screenings for spinal muscular atrophy. HB1074 also requires insurance policies to cover the screening. According to testimony presented in committee, there is a new treatment available if it is detected early.
The same committee advanced HB1076 and HB1177.
HB1076 amends the Achieving a Better Life Experience Program. This program allows Arkansans will disabilities to having a savings account up to $15,000 without impacting eligibility for many public benefits. HB1076 ensures that in the event of a death, the money in that savings account cannot be seized by the state but can instead be transferred to a designated beneficiary.
HB1177 concerns microchip implantation of employees. Currently, there are no laws governing this technology. HB1177 provides rights for employees including the right to refuse an implant, have it removed, and access to the data collected. The bill also ensures that the employer is responsible for costs incurred.
A bill now making its way to the Senate addresses the large animal veterinary shortage in the state. HB1124 creates certifications for veterinary technologist and technician specialist. It passed the House with a vote of 96-0.
The House convened again today, Wednesday January 23rd at 1:30pm.
VICTOR ROJAS NAMED CHAIRMAN OF SEVIER COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY 01/23/19
During a Tuesday meeting, members of the Sevier County Democratic Party unanimously elected Victor J. Rojas to fill the role of chairman.
“It is an honor to serve as chairman for this new two-year cycle,” said Rojas. “Humbled by the trust placed in me, I am committed to bringing new energy and ideas — with a bold vision for the future.”
In 2018, Rojas was a candidate for District 6 Justice of the Peace. His past political experience includes serving on the state party’s platform committee and volunteering for various campaigns. Last year, Rojas was presented with the Emerging Leader Award from the Democratic Party of Arkansas.
KDQN INTERVIEWS SENATOR BALLINGER ABOUT MINIMUM WAGE BILL 01/23/19
Arkansas State Senator Bob Ballinger last week introduced Senate Bill 115, which would add exceptions to the States original minimum wage law, as well as subsequent minimum wage legislation, including last November’s Initiated Act 5, which would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $11.00 an hour by 2021.
The Bill, if passed, would provide exceptions to the minimum wage law for individuals under eighteen, educational institutions, employers with fewer than fifty employees, and nonprofit organizations, as well as amend the law impacting Initiated Act 5 Of 2018.
The Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee will hosted a hearing on this Bill, Wednesday, January 23rd at 10am.
CAR FIRE HANDLED IN DE QUEEN MONDAY 01/23/19
The De Queen Fire Department responded to the scene of a car fire on E Vandervoort Monday Morning.
Ten firefighters and two trucks assisted in containing the fire that occurred around 7:40 a.m. near parkhill pre-school. A firefighter with the department says the fire was fully involved when they arrived on the scene, just three minutes after being dispatched.
The car on fire was discovered to be a 2013 Lincoln Navigator owned by William Anderson of De Queen. The crew extinguished the flames with water and foam in approximately 40 minutes and left the scene by 8:20 a.m.
Reports say the owner does have insurance and no injuries were reported.
DIERKS SCHOOLS EXTEND SUPERINTENDENT CONTRACT AT JANUARY MEETING 01/23/19
The Dierks School Board met Monday, January 21st and extended Superintendent Jody Cowart’s contract through the 2022 school year. Cowart reported during the financial report that several line items saw an increase in revenue above last year. He received approval from the school board to move forward with a fiber project that would be funded partly by e-rate funding, if the application is accepted. In a related technology agenda item, the board approved the purchase of 46 Chromebooks to be used by the elementary school at a total cost of $11,382.
Other technology purchases did not require board approval, since those costs were below $10,000. Both school campuses recently received $10,000 grants from Weyerhaeuser and the elementary school also received a $5,000 grant from Arvest for technology upgrades.
High school principal Jeff Jones says he is working towards having the campus one to one, providing a device for each student, next school year. Board members also approved raising the classified substitute teacher pay from $65 per day to $70 to stay in line with the minimum wage increase.
The board approved the following substitute hirings: Alayna Morphew, Aide K Soto Sanchez, Terry Helms, Gayla Rowe and Lina Goodner.
28 INMATES BAPTIZED AT SEVIER COUNTY JAIL TUESDAY 01/23/19
A baptism ceremony was held at the Sevier County Jail in De Queen Tuesday afternoon. The ceremony was facilitated by Joe and Hattie Vance of the Celebrate Recovery program and 28 inmates participated in the service.
Pastor Ray Reynolds of De Queen First Assembly of God Church conducted the baptisms and of the 28 inmates baptized there were 22 men and 6 women in the ceremony.
The inmates were presented certificates after the baptisms were held and pictures were taken after the event. The baptisms are a part of the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program, also known as RSAT.
Joe and Hattie Vance will be facilitating a Graduation Ceremony for the RSAT program on Thursday, January 31st at De Queen First Assembly at 6:00 p.m. The guest speaker for the event will be Representative Dee Ann Vaught. The public is welcome to attend.
ASHDOWN ELEMENTARY STUDENTS COMPETE IN CHESS TOURNAMENT 01/23/19
Hayden Altenbaumer placed 2nd in 4th grade
DIERKS RESIDENT RECEIVES AGRICULTURE AWARD 01/22/19
The Arkansas Agriculture Department recently recognized several forestry commission employees for their years of service. Shane Booth, District 2 Forester at Dierks received his 20 year service award. Prior to Dierks, he worked for 17 years at the AFC Stuttgart office. Booth has also been selected to receive the District Forester of the Year award, which he will receive on February 14th.
The forestry commission also recently announced several other awards. Rodney Haney of Pike County received the District Employee of the Year award. Jerry Huff in Polk County recently received a Masonic Community Service Award.
ASHDOWN BAND STUDENTS PERFORM IN TEXARKANA 01/22/19
AGFC TO HOST STATEWIDE WORKSHOPS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS 01/22/19
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in cooperation with Quail Forever and the Arkansas Forestry Association, will be hosting special workshops for land managers on how and when to use fire to promote better wildlife habitat on their property. Workshops are scheduled in a variety of cities across Arkansas and the locations will be announced at a later date. The current list of scheduled workshops includes dates in Malvern, Mountain View and Ash Flat in the next few weeks
With proper conditions and supervision, fire can be a very valuable tool for a landowner to increase valuable wildlife habitat on his or her property.
During the workshop landowners also will be able to meet with private lands biologists in their area and learn about some of the programs available.
The workshops all will be held in a classroom setting, and lunch will be provided to all attendees who register in advance. The following workshops are being sponsored by the AGFC, Quail Forever, and the Arkansas Forestry Association.
Feb. 14, 2019
Malvern 4H Center
1407 MLK Blvd., Malvern AR 72104
Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/learn-to-burn-tickets-malvern
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL RELEASES STATEMENT ON DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY 01/22/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a statement Monday in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day of service.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for all Americans to reflect on the work of a man who was tireless in his dedication to freedom and justice for all,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Communities around Arkansas will pause today to reflect and celebrate Dr. King and his dream of equality for citizens across the country. But today is not only a day of remembrance; it is also a day to honor his memory by giving back and serving our communities where it is needed most.”
Rutledge attended the Arkansas Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission’s Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at the Saint Mark Baptist Church in Little Rock.
ASHDOWN NIGHT LIBRARY SCHEDULES ANNOUNCED 01/22/19
Ashdown Elementary Night Library will meet each Monday when school is in session. It begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 6:30 and will be located in the C.D. Franks Library located next to the Margaret Daniel Building. Mrs. Tami Cross and Mrs. Phyllis Veazey will be managing FNL.
Students will be able to read books and take Accelerated Reader (AR) tests on those books.
Accelerated Reader (AR) is the most popular and successful reading product of all time. AR’s advanced technology helps teachers:
• Make essential reading practice more effective for every student
• Personalize reading practice to each student’s current level
• Build a lifelong love of reading and learning
FNL is a great opportunity for parents and students to spend quality time together ready.
Students at L.F. Henderson Intermediate are invited to “Think Big Thursday” Night Library. They are able to read, take AR Tests, and get help with other homework. Night Library is from 4-6:30 p.m. on the following Thursdays.
January: 24, 31
February: 7, 21, and 28
March: 7, 14, 28
April: 4, 11, 18, 25
May: 2, 9, 16
All students at AJHS are welcome to attend Night Library to make up work, take tests, study, homework, get math tutoring, or take A.R. tests. Night Library is held in the AJHS Library Media Center on Mondays & Tuesdays from 3:30pm-4:45pm.
Math & Literacy Tutoring are on Mondays & Tuesdays from 3:30pm-4:30pm.
Students will sign in and out, but are not required to stay the entire time. A phone is available for students to use as parents are responsible for transportation home. Students MUST be picked up by 5:00pm
January 22, 28, 29
February 4, 5, 11, 12, 19, 25, 26
March 4, 5, 11, 12, 25, 26
April 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
May 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21
Dates are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, students will be notified at school of any changes.
The Program Coordinator is Karen Vice and she can be reached at 870-898-5138 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Students at Ashdown High School are able to arrive early each school morning and go to the library to read, make up work and check out books. Mrs. Dixie Ardwin opens at 7:15. Mrs. Carmen Sansom is available during that time for math tutoring.
Students are also able to spend Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons each week from 3:30-5 p.m. in Night Library held in the AHS Library. This is facilitated by Mrs. Sandy Smith. They are able to take make up tests, research, study, and have use of computers.
Mrs. Stephanie Ringgold, AHS math teacher, along with trained students provide tutoring every morning from 7:15-7:45 and in the afternoon Tuesday thru Thursday from 3:30-4:30. Tutoring is offered in Algebra 1,2, and 3, Geometry and English.
Dates are posted at www.ashdownschools.org in the district calendar.
CORPS ANNOUNCES SUMMER POSITIONS OPEN 01/22/19
The Little Rock District, Corps of Engineers is accepting price
quotations for 2019 summer gate and park attendant positions.
If you are interested in summer gate or park attendant positions, solicitations are posted at https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?s=opportunity&mode=list&tab=list&_nfound=1
There is one solicitation for all positions within the Little Rock District. More than 35
positions are available throughout the district.
Gate and park attendants play a vital role in keeping Corps parks in top shape. Park
attendants are responsible for cleaning the parks and surrounding areas. Gate attendants, who greet visitors, are among the Corps’ more visible contractors. The gate attendants, who reside within the park, are primarily responsible for collecting fees, providing information to park visitors, and assisting Corps staff.
For more information about park attendant solicitations contact, Contract Specialist
Ashanti Brown at Ashanti.D.Brown@usace.army.mil or by phone at 501-340-1257.
Little Rock District news and 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
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TO RETURN TO HOPE THIS SPRING 01/21/19
The Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce has announced details of their upcoming annual meeting & banquet. President Bill Clinton will return to Hope, his birthplace, on Saturday, April 6, 2019 to serve as the 2019 Keynote Speaker.
The evening at Hempstead Hall begins with a silent auction and concludes with the announcement of the highly anticipated Citizen, Educator & Business of the Year Awards.
Chamber Director Beckie Moore says several goals have been set this year to revitalize downtown Hope and recruit new businesses. She also hopes to grow the Watermelon Festival and offer programs pertaining to workforce.
For sponsorship or ticket information call 870-777-3640.
FORESTRY SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR OKLAHOMA STUDENTS 01/21/19
The Forest Heritage Center Museum has announced they will be offering scholarships to college students and graduating high school seniors, as well as stipends for forestry program educators. Forestry’s impact on the economy in Oklahoma provides more than 19,000 jobs and $1 billion in wages statewide. The foresters and community leaders who make up the Forest Heritage Center’s Board of Directors want to help Oklahoma’s youth take advantage of the opportunities that the industry provides, and in 2018 introduced the Forest Heritage Center Scholarship Program.
The Fred Dierks Educational Scholarship offers a $1500 scholarship to a college undergraduate student. The scholarship is available to all students currently enrolled as second semester freshmen or higher grade level. Students must be enrolled in a forestry program in one of Oklahoma’s institutions of higher education, with a minimum of a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.
For graduating high school seniors the Quintus Herron Educational Scholarship provides $500 to an Oklahoma student enrolling in a college level forestry program in an Oklahoma institution for higher learning.
A $1000 stipend is available for both formal and informal educators who wish to implement forestry curriculum in their program. Leaders of youth organizations and teachers can take advantage of this opportunity to introduce youngsters to the endless possibilities that the forest and forestry industry provide.
To learn more or to receive an application, call the Forest Heritage Center Museum at 580-494-6497 or e-mail email@example.com
ASHDOWN SENIOR CHOSEN AS KDQN CORRESPONDENT 01/21/19
Ashdown High School Senior Aliyah Anderson was selected to be the spring 2019 KDQN Panther Correspondent. She will report on Ashdown sports scores and other news around the high school campus. She said, “I am so honored to have been chosen to be the KDQN Correspondent. I am excited to begin this new adventure that I can apply to my degree plan in college. I can’t wait to represent Ashdown High School!”
After graduation, Anderson plans to major in marketing with a minor in broadcasting. Her ultimate goal is to become a marketing executive. She is currently the local President, District IV Secretary and a national competitor for FBLA, President of National Honor Society, Vice President of the AHS SkillsUSA chapter, senior captain of the Ashdown Varsity Quiz Bowl team and senior captain of the Ashdown Varsity cheer squad.
Ashdown Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “We are so proud of Aliyah being chosen as the student correspondent for the KDQN radio station. Our partnership with KDQN allows for the broadcast of our sporting events and an avenue for our surrounding communities to see all the wonderful things we are doing in the Ashdown School System for our students.”
U.S NAVY CONCERT BAND COMING TO TEXARKANA 01/21/19
The United States Navy Concert Band from Washington, D.C. will present a free concert in Texarkana next month. The performance will be held at the Sullivan Performing Arts Center and John Thomas Theatre in Texarkana on Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.
The Concert Band is the United States Navy’s premier wind ensemble and includes 56 performers on flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, horn, euphonium, trombone, tuba, string bass, harp, and percussion. The band is lead by Capt. Kenneth Collins and the group has been performing public concerts and been showcased at events for more than 85 years.The concert is free but tickets are required to attend. Tickets may be picked-up at Texarkana Independent School District (TISD) Administrative Offices, 4241 Summerhill Road, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Additionally, you may contact TISD via phone at 903.794.3651 ext. 1013 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org they will mail tickets directly to you.
Any unclaimed seats will be available to non-ticket holders just prior to concert time.
BEST CARE CHILDCARE PROFESSIONAL TRAINING THIS WEEKEND 01/21/19
The University of Arkansas Extension Service has partnered with The Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education to provide Best Care programming for childcare providers in The Southwest Arkansas area this month.
On Saturday, January 26th from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. professional training sessions will be held at the Howard County Extension Homemaker Center, 425 Second Street in Nashville, Arkansas.
This years topics include safe food handling and picky eating, opioids and early childhood, illness prevention and accidents, grace under pressure, making a clean sweep, STEM in early childhood, creative art and addressing challenging behavior.
All professionals who work in childcare and early childhood development are encouraged to attend the best care event.
Contact Janet Cantrell, 870-845-7500 or email Jcantrell@uaex.edu for registration and more in formation.
ASHDOWN STUDENT WINS CHESS TOURNAMENT AT CO-OP 01/21/19
FLU CASES ON THE RISE IN SEVIER COUNTY 01/18/19
Dr. Jason Loftin is the Sevier County Health Commissioner and the primary doctor at the wellness center in De Queen. Dr. Loftin stopped by KDQN studios to announce a recent rise in local flu cases this winter. Area residents are encouraged to get themselves checked and to receive proper medical care to manage the illness.
If a person suspects they may have the flu it is important to avoid spreading it to others by staying home from school or work.
The flu shot is a common method for preventing the virus and Dr. Loftin revealed that he recommends the shot for his own family as well as area community members. Flu shots can be administered by the wellness center in downtown De Queen.
Dr. Loftin can be reached at the wellness center by calling 870-642-4000 with questions regarding flu concerns.
ARKANSAS TO BE AWARDED SETTLEMENTS 01/18/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has reached two settlements in the form of consent judgments requiring Fiat Chrysler and auto supplier Bosch to pay a total of $171.2 million nationwide for their roles in selling and leasing diesel vehicles equipped with illegal and undisclosed defeat device software.
Following a nearly two-year investigation, Rutledge, with 51 jurisdictions nationwide, filed suit against Fiat Chrysler and its subsidiaries, for having installed unlawful defeat device software and undisclosed auxiliary emissions control devices in several models of its diesel vehicles. The attorneys general found that Fiat Chrysler cheated on federal and state emissions tests by calibrating the software to conceal that vehicles emitted higher than permitted levels of harmful nitrogen oxides in real-world driving conditions, and misled consumers by falsely claiming some vehicles were environmentally friendly.
After a separate but related investigation, Rutledge, along with 49 other jurisdictions, filed suit against Bosch which is the engineering company that supplies Fiat Chrysler and other automobile manufacturers with electronic control units housing the complex software that controls nearly all aspects of an engine’s performance, including emissions systems. The investigation concluded that Bosch facilitated the implementation of the defeat device software in more than 600,000 Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler vehicles over a period of more than 10 years.
Under the terms of the two settlements, Fiat Chrysler will pay a total of $72.5 million to the litigating jurisdictions for consumer and environmental violations, with Arkansas receiving $763,750. Bosch will pay $98.7 million, with $737,100 for Arkansas.
AGFC MEETING ADDRESSES REGULATION CHANGES 01/18/19
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission heard the first official reading of amended regulations concerning importing, breeding and selling of captive wildlife species and educational animals in the state at this week’s regularly scheduled meeting.
The regulations changes originally were presented during the Commission’s September and October meetings, and have been circulated to the public for comment. During the October 18, 2018 meeting, the Commission voted to table the first regulation proposals until January 2019. Modifications to the regulations were made based on public comment, and the final proposals were presented to the Commission . A complete list of regulations changes is available at www.agfc.com/code for review. These proposals again are available for public comment and are expected to be voted on at the Commission’s next meeting, Feb. 21.
As a result of the final proposals being submitted, the AGFC voted to amend the current temporary suspension on the issuance of importation permits for venomous or poisonous wildlife species to allow persons to apply for temporary importation permits for short-term public exhibition of such species, provided they meet certain criteria:
- The permit applicant is capable of complying with all existing regulations applicable for such captive wildlife species;
- The permit applicant agrees to voluntarily comply with the proposed regulations concerning possession of venomous reptile species, including caging and handling requirements, and
- The duration of the visit will be no longer than seven calendar days.
A video of the meeting is available at https://www.youtube.com/user/ArkansasGameandFish.
FSA LOCATIONS IN HOWARD, SEVIER LITTLE RIVER COUNTIES OPEN 01/18/19
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced that many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will reopen temporarily in the coming days to perform certain limited services for farmers and ranchers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has recalled about 2,500 FSA employees to open offices on Friday, January 18, in addition to Tuesday, January 22, during normal business hours. The offices will be closed for the federal Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 21.
In almost half of FSA locations, FSA staff will be available to assist agricultural producers with existing farm loans and to ensure the agency provides 1099 tax documents to borrowers by the Internal Revenue Service’s deadline.
Local FSA offices that will be open will include the Hempstead County, Little River County, and Sevier County Service Centers.
UPDATES FROM REGULAR SESSION ANNOUNCED 01/18/19
Representative Dee Ann Vaught announced there are a few bills now making their way to the House floor as the first week of the Regular Session is wrapping up..
Thursday the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee advanced HB1013 which adds podiatrists to the list of healthcare providers subject to rules regarding schedule II narcotics. Schedule II narcotics include most opioid prescriptions.
The Judiciary Committee advanced HB1016 which reduces the waiting period that a court may grant a petition to seal a criminal record. The legislation reduces that period from 90 to 30 days.
Also making its way the House, is a bill advanced on Wednesday in the Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee. HB1124 creates certifications for veterinary technologist and technician specialist. This legislation was drafted to address the shortage of large-animal veterinarians in the state.
The House will not meet on Monday as Arkansas honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The group will reconvene on Tuesday at 1:30 pm.
ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING HELD FOR JANUARY 01/18/19
The Ashdown Board of Education held their regularly schedule meeting this week.
All board members were present and after the pledge of allegiance and prayer the superintendent and principal reports were presented.
The previous meetings minutes were approved and superintendent Casey Nichols acknowledged that January is school board appreciation month and thanked the board members for their efforts. Nichols also announced that all board members have completed the required six hours of training for 2018.
The free and reduced lunch application procedure update was approved as was a payment in the amount of $58,314.00 to C.R Crawford for the AES wall panel project.
The board also approved the 2020-2021 budget and a contract with Bunyard Broadcasting.
Prior to going into an executive session the board also approved a school choice transfer application and the financial reports as presented.
The executive session lasted approximately one hour and a half though no action was taken during the session.
After the session personnel issues were discussed.
Mr. Nichols made a recommendation to accept the resignation of Deyanira Rodriguez in food service, which was approved. Mr Nichols also recommended the approval of compensation for Anna Tillery for working a conference period during the spring semester and the motion carried.
The last items discussed during the meeting were approval of the MOU for the Ashdown Rotary Club and the Little River Chamber of Commerce as presented and the addendum to the superintendents contract to pay dues to the organizations. Both motions carried and the meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.
SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK IN ARKANSAS 01/18/19
National School Choice Week in Arkansas will be celebrated January 20th – 26th. The dates have been declared official school choice week by Governor Asa Hutchison. The Reform Alliance has organized events throughout Arkansas including the sponsoring of the “Partner With Me,” Community Meeting, January 21st, 6:00 pm – 8:00pm at Friendship Aspire Academy, 3615 W. 21st St., in Little Rock. Panelist for the evening will include Sidney and Takisha Moncrief. They will engage the community in a discussion on school reform in Arkansas.
Sidney and his wife Takisha own a professional development company called Game Changer. Sidney Moncrief is a 5X NBA All-Star, and his wife Takisha is a former classroom teacher. For over 20 years she taught K-12 eduction serving children, teachers and parents. The purpose of the Non-profit organization is to develop important skills for children and families with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Sidney and Takisha use their organization as a platform for bringing awareness for the right for parents to choose educational paths for their children including home school, private school, charter schools and religious based learning centers.
The Reform Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting school choice opportunities for all students in Arkansas. More information can be found online at thereformalliance.org
DE QUEEN CHEER SILENT AUCTION TONIGHT 01/18/19
The De Queen High School cheerleaders have announced a fundraiser taking place this evening, Friday, January 18th.
A silent auction is being held at Leopard Coliseum during the basketball games against Eagletown. The auction items include a Husqavarna chainsaw and a weedeater.
The game starts at 5:00 and the winner will be announced at halftime.
The purpose of the fundraiser is to raise money for uniforms, travel expenses, camps and outfits for the De Queen cheer squad.
All members of the community are welcome to attend the game, participate in the auction in support of De Queen cheerleaders.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY UPDATES ANNOUNCED 01/17/19
Representative Dee Ann Vaught has provided KDQN with updates on the 92nd General assembly.
Wednesday, Ms. Vaught reported that in every session, one of the first pieces of legislation to be considered by the House is the resolution to adopt House Rules. Rules of the House guide members on everything from how a bill can be amended to when a member can ask a question. In the rules adopted Wednesday, members approved eliminating a bill filing deadline for non-appropriation bills. In previous sessions, more than 20% of all bills were filed on the deadline.
The House also approved a resolution proclaiming January 16, 2019, as “Religious Freedom Day”. Close to 300 bills have now been filed. Committees began reviewing bills Wednesday morning and will be continuing today, Thursday January 17th. The House convened at 10am.
1ST ANNUAL ARKANSAS CHAMPIONSHIP GOOSE HUNT 01/17/19
A new, friendly competition has been planned to bring awareness to a conservation issue and help feed needy families in Arkansas this February. The first World Championship Snow Goose Conservation Hunt competition will take place, Feb. 9-10 at Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart, Arkansas.
The competition enables teams of 10 hunters each to harvest as many snow geese as possible during the two days, with the chance to win thousands of dollars in hunting gear. All geese harvested will be donated to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry to provide meals for needy families in The Natural State. All proceeds from the competition will be donated to Ducks Unlimited, Delta Waterfowl and AHFH.
Look to the skies and you’ll see there’s no shortage of snow geese in east Arkansas. Hundreds of thousands of these waterfowl migrate to and through Arkansas each year, playing havoc on winter wheat fields and other agricultural crops. Snow geese are so abundant, they actually are damaging their breeding grounds near the Arctic Circle. To combat this population explosion, in 1999 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opened a special hunt to encourage hunters to take as many of the geese as possible.
Visit https://www.mackspw.com/snow-goose-conservation-hunt for more information on the competition.
REGIONAL FOOD BANK RECEIVES $30,000 GRANT 01/17/19
Harvest Regional Food Bank of Texarkana, received a grant from the Blue & You foundation in the amount of $30,000 to support Harvest’s Mobile Pantry program this week. A check presentation was held on Monday, January 14, 2019.
Several of the nine Arkansas counties served by Harvest Regional Food Bank lack enough pantries or agencies to distribute enough food to meet the hunger relief needs of the community.
In 2011, Harvest established the Mobile Pantry program to provide food directly to those communities with the fewest hunger relief options. The food bank began quarterly distributions to Lafayette and Pike Counties and have increased mobile distributions to include Columbia, Howard and Sevier, and Hempstead Counties. The funds received from the Blue & You Foundation will help provide an additional 300,000 pounds of fresh and shelf stable food to approximately 14,000 food insecure individuals.
Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield established the Blue & You Foundation in 2001 as a charitable foundation to promote better health in Arkansas. This year, the Blue & You Foundation has awarded $2.7 million to 42 health improvement programs in Arkansas.
NEW MEMBERS ON DIERKS CITY COUNCIL 01/17/19
Dierks Mayor Ronnie Cogburn conducted his first city council meeting on Monday. The new mayor says he also welcomed three new council members including Quinn Revels, Jaron Tipton and Kevin Dinger. The council approved a cell phone allowance for three employees in the water and sewer departments. Council members also hired a new police officer, Zack Shankles…who has previously served as sheriff’s deputy for Howard County.
ANNUAL BOAT, SPORT, AND RV SHOW STARTS TOMORROW 1/18 01/17/19
The 7th Annual Boat, Sport, and RV Show begins tomorrow and will continue through January 20th at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds. The hours are Friday 10am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 7pm, and Sunday 10am – 6pm. Close to 400 Boats, RV’s, ATV’s and Side by Sides will be on display from the regional area. Attendees will have the opportunity to shop and compare many different lines of Boats, RV’s and ATV’s in a competitive environment. This event officially kicks off their season with the dealers offering discounts and special Show pricing.
The show will feature a large kid’s area for family-friendly activities and some of the top 2018 State Fair food vendors will be on hand providing concessions the show.
This year the show will also host two Bass Tournaments that will begin the tournament season for the Bayou Outdoor BOSS Tournament Trail and the North Louisiana High School Fishing League. Between 250-300 teams will be participating. Both weigh-ins will take place Saturday afternoon at the show.
For more information on the State Fair of Louisiana Boat, Sport, and RV Show, you can visit www.statefairoflouisiana.com.
LOCKESBURG RESIDENT ATTENDS FARM BUREAU CONVENTION 01/17/19
Arkansas Farm Bureau state board member Bruce Jackson of Lockesburg served as a voting delegate for the business session Jan. 15 at the 2019 Annual American Farm Bureau Convention in New Orleans, La.
As a voting delegate, Jackson was among 351 delegates from across the country who worked to set 2019 policy positions on issues important to the organization’s 6 million members.
The 2019 convention marks the 100th anniversary American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest agricultural advocacy organization.
CITY COUNCIL TALKS PROJECTS AND ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AT JANUARY MEETING 01/16/19
The De Queen City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting at City Hall Tuesday, January 15th. All city council members were present for the meeting.
The meeting was called to order at a new start time of 5:30 p.m. and after the pledge of allegiance and opening prayer were held Mayor Jeff Brown opened up the floor for public comments.
Sevier County Economic Development Director Lisa Taylor spoke during the public comment time and provided updates for the council about efforts being made through a new program called “create bridges” which is designed to strengthen businesses, tourism and economic advancement of rural counties. Taylor announced that the first tri-state phone call with partnering communities was held on Monday, January 14th and a meeting has been planned for February 11th to discuss tourism development in Sevier County. Taylor also revealed she is working on an economic development summary with documented updates and accomplishments achieved in the last year.
Mayor, Jeff Brown announced a possible project on the horizon for the city as an updated roof is required at the Ennis building downtown. The project will cost an estimated $18,000 but the mayor revealed the city could qualify for grant money of up to $250,000 from the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District. A visit has been planned with a representative from the district for later this month to further discuss the topic.
In the new business category the council re-visited the contracts of services with the Sevier County Humane Society, the senior center, Sevier County Museum, Economic Development and the Imagination Library-Sevier County chapter. Each contract had previously been discussed by the council and the financial amounts to be dispersed were agreed upon at the December meetings. Those amounts were finalized and approved Tuesday.
The final item addressed before the council entered a scheduled workshop was the topic of attendance requirements for the council members. No documented policies or guidelines are currently in place to mandate the number of meetings council members must attend, nor have any repercussions been established in the event that a member must miss a meeting for illness, vacation or prior obligation. The council held a discussion about establishing official attendance requirements and agreed to finalize the attendance policy by next month.
The next City Council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 5th at city hall.
92ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY UPDATES ANNOUNCED 01/16/19
Representatives DeeAnn Vaught has provided KDQN with updated reports from the House Chamber as all newly elected constitutional officers took the oath of office this week.
Among those swearing in were Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, Secretary of State John Thurston, Treasurer Dennis Milligan, Auditor of State Andrea Lea, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Commissioner of State Lands Tommy Land and Governor Asa Hutchinson.
After taking his oath, the Governor addressed the legislature outlining his agenda for this session.
He called for a third phase of tax cuts he referred to as the “2-4-5.9 plan”. It would lower income tax rates to 2% for people who earn up to $8,000 a year, 4% for those who earn between $8,001 and $18,000 a year and 5.9% for people who earn more than $18,000 a year. He is also asking the legislature to increase public safety funding for more state troopers and increase minimum teacher salaries by $1,000 a year.
More than 250 bills have already been filed. Committees will begin meeting Wednesday morning at 10am. The House will convene at 1:30pm on Wednesday.
As a reminder, the House streams all meetings on our website atwww.arkansashouse.org.
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL LESLIE RUTLEDGE BEGINS 2ND TERM 01/16/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement following having been sworn in for her second term as Attorney General Tuesday, January 15th.
Attorney General Rutledge said:
“As we begin the next four years, I remain committed to increasing economic and educational opportunities for our families and keeping our most vulnerable children and seniors safe from predators. I will continue making the State more efficient and effective by expanding services and accessibility while decreasing the budget. On behalf of Boyce, Julianna and me, thank you, Arkansas families, for trusting me with these great responsibilities.”
Rutledge took the oath of office in the Chamber of the Arkansas State Capitol House of Representatives while her parents Keith and Nancy Rutledge, her brother Alan Rutledge and niece Kylie Rutledge as well as several other family members and friends observed from the House Gallery. She was escorted onto the House floor by her husband, Boyce Johnson who held their five-month old daughter Julianna and the family Bible.
In December 2015, Rutledge announced her marriage to Johnson and in July 2018, Rutledge announced the birth of their daughter, Julianna. Rutledge is the first constitutional officer of Arkansas to give birth while holding office, and also the first female and first Republican elected to the Office of Attorney General in Arkansas.
DE QUEEN MCDONALD’S DONATES TO LOCAL COLLEGE 01/16/19
The University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation received a donation of ten canvas artwork sets that highlight various Sevier County landmarks from McDonald’s of De Queen.The artwork is being showcased in UA Cossatot’s Center for Student Success on the De Queen Campus.
“We helped create these canvas pieces highlighting De Queen and after the recent McDonald’s remodel, wanted the artwork to be displayed where the public could enjoy,” said Celia Montgomery, Owner of McDonald’s in De Queen. “We are happy to donate these pieces to the college and love where they are being
The UA Cossatot Foundation accepts a variety of donations including financial instruments, property, bequests, and artwork.
“We absolutely love the landmark artwork and truly appreciate McDonald’s of De Queen gifting us this collection,” said Dustin Roberts, Coordinator of Development.
More information on how you can give can be found at www.cccua.edu/give or by contacting Dustin Roberts at email@example.com or 870-584-1172.
TURKEY HUNTING APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW FOR ARKANSAS HUNTERS 01/16/19
Turkey season will open at the beginning of April, but The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission says now is the time to begin planning for a successful season.
Officials have urged Arkansas hunters to apply for The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s wildlife management area turkey hunt permits early, as the deadline is next month.
Many good public turkey hunting opportunities exist, particularly on the large cooperative WMAs owned by the U.S. Forest Service. However, turkeys and turkey hunters need room to spread out, which can lead to conflicts between hunters on some smaller WMAs. To increase the quality of the hunt on some of the most popular public areas, the AGFC restricts the number of hunters allowed during turkey season through random drawings.
Only permit holders may hunt on the WMA during the permit hunt. However, a permit holder can have a friend alongside them to call for them. Friends and family may camp with permit holders at designated campsites on the WMA.
Applications are taken electronically through www.agfc.com, from Jan. 15 through Feb. 15, and winning applicants will be notified via email.
Applications require a $5 nonrefundable processing fee. Winning applicants are not required to pay any additional fees beyond the purchase of their hunting license.
DE QUEEN PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES SOCCER REGISTRATION 01/16/19
Shelby Liggin is the Youth Sports Director for the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department. Shelby stopped by KDQN studios to announce soccer registration for Pre-K through 6th grade students is ongoing now. The fee is $25 and children are not required to live withing De Queen city limits. Forms are available at the park office in Herman Dierks Park.
Shelby is also seeking parents to volunteer in coaching positions as well. Forms must be turned in by January 30th and Shelby can be reached at 870-642-4140 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD TALKS BUILDING UPDATES AND SUPERINTENDENT CHANGES AT JANUARY MEETING 01/15/19
The De Queen School board met for their regular meeting Monday, January 14th at the district administration building. All school board members were present and lengthy list of agenda items were discussed.The previous meetings minutes, bills and old business items were addressed and approved.Joe Valley offered an update for the board regarding maintenance issues within the district. The updates include new lighting at the De Queen Elementary school, a recently repaired fire alarm at the middle school and the installation of new water fountains at the middle school as well.
The board also approved the financial statement, which Superintendent Bruce Hill noted has included an increase on costs in textbook purchases and the board approved the errors and omission insurance item prior to breaking for executive session. Student transfers and personnel changes were also discussed. The board agreed to hire a nurse at beginning salary to assist in covering shifts for nurses who may be out for vacation, or sick days as well as helping serve as extra staff for special events.
Mr. Kenneth Davis will be hired in as a bus driver with the district and the retirement of maintenance personnel Johnson was approved.Lastly, the board agreed to accept the resignation of superintendent Bruce Hill. The change will take effect June 30th with Jason Sanders filling the superintendent position on July 1st, 2019. Paul Shelton will remain assistant superintendent for De Queen schools.
Jason currently serves on the De Queen school board and has been working closely with Clark construction during the new high school building project. Jason announced that the project is still on track and the building is expected to be complete within 16 months and will be open in the fall of 2020.The next De Queen School board meeting will be held February 11th at the administration building.
DEPUTY DISCOVERS MAN WITH WARRANT, SUSPECTED DRUGS IN LOCKESBURG 01/15/19
A man is facing drug possession charges after a traffic stop was conducted by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in Lockesburg Sunday.
According to the report from the Sheriff’s Department Deputy Greg Harper was tracking drivers speeds at the intersection of Provo road and North Azalea street around 9:15 p.m. when he observed a ford truck travel at a rate of 37 miles per hour in area with a limit of 25.Deputy Harper reportedly conducted a traffic stop on Provo road and as he was exiting the patrol car a person described as an older white male exited the driver’s side of truck at the same time. The man identified himself as Mike Dixon, age 56 of Lockesburg.
The police report states that Deputy Harper requested a query from the dispatcher to discover further information about Dixon and it was discovered that the man had an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Sevier County. Deputy Harper reported noticing Dixon turn away from him as though he was trying to discard something. Harper then questioned the suspect if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and asked if he could conduct a search.
Dixon agreed to the search and Harper reported observing a plastic bag containing suspected illegal substance on the ground underneath the truck where the suspect was standing. Dixon was then placed under arrest and advised of his Miranda rights. The suspect reportedly agreed to speak with the deputy without a lawyer present and when questioned about the bag he claimed it did not belong to him.
Dixon’s vehicle was released to Justin Dixon upon request and he was transported to the Sevier County Jail where the warrant was served and he was booked by the jail staff. The contents of the bag were sent to the crime lab in Hope for analysis. Dixon will appear in circuit court on Thursday, January 17th at the Sevier County Courthouse.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS RECOGNIZED 01/15/19
Ashdown School District joins districts across the state to celebrate School Board Member Recognition Month in January. More than 1500 Arkansas school board members are being honored for their service and dedication to public education.
The members serving on the Ashdown School Board are Chuck Davis, Dorothy Henderson, Michael Turner, Ricky Ward, Glenda Smedley, Raymond Latson, and Rosa Bowman.
Governor Asa Hutchinson and the Arkansas State Board of Education issued a proclamation and a resolution recognizing the boards for their contributions.
As publicly elected school leaders, Arkansas school board members set policy for their respective districts. Under state law, they are empowered to hire and evaluate the superintendent, oversee district finances, approve the budget, and determine the vision and mission of the district. School boards must also approve the curriculum and ensure the district maintains adequate facilities for teaching and learning.
In addition to their board duties, state law requires Arkansas school board members to earn a minimum of six hours of professional development each year in areas related to their role and responsibilities.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY CHAMBER BANQUET SET FOR FEBRUARY 01/15/19
The Little River County Chamber Banquet will be held on Thursday, February 7, 2019. They will be honoring individuals, businesses and teachers of the year selected in 2018.
Performing guests will be the Ashdown Drama Club. Individual tickets are $30 each or 2 for $50. Table sponsorships (with seating for 8) are also available by calling the Jana Smith at the chamber office at 870-898-2758 or e-0mail email@example.com.
You may decorate your own table for a chance to win Best Table Decorator or a centerpiece will be provided for you.
MCCURTAIN COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY BANQUET ANNOUNCED 01/15/19
The McCurtain County Historical Society will be hosting their annual banquet at the Kiamichi Technology Center in Idabel on Friday, January the 25th at 6:00 P.M. Keynote speaker for the event will be Mr. Jeff M. Moore, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s OKPOP project.
The Oklahoma Historical Society will begin construction of the OKPOP Museum in Tulsa this year. The museum will be located across the street from the historic Cains Ballroom and will include many exhibits telling the story of Oklahoma natives in American pop culture.
The museum facility will also include a large events area and even a balcony overlooking Cains Ballroom and downtown Tulsa’s Arts District. Jeff will speak to the organization about the OKPOP project and highlight some of the artists from McCurtain County who will be featured in the new museum such as Harold Stevenson and Mae Axton
Admission is free and everyone is invited to attend. A pot luck dinner will be held before Jeff gives his presentation and attendees are urged to bring a covered dish. Memberships to the McCurtain County Historical Society will be available for purchase and existing annual memberships will be due the night of the banquet. The Historical Society will also have two of their books; McCurtain County Cooks and McCurtain County Pictorial History Vol. II available for purchase as well.
The organization will also honor one member with the society’s Distinguished Service Award, which has not been awarded in the last 3 years. For more information please call Kenny Sivard at (580)212-3639.
DE QUEEN QUIZ BOWL TEAM WINS TOURNAMENT 01/15/19
The De Queen High School Quiz bowl team won the DMEC/SWAEC tournament held in Nashville, Arkansas Tuesday, January 8th. The team went 6-0, winning by an average of 250 points and the closest win was by 165 points. A total of 12 teams participated. The De Queen Quiz bowl team will be competing at Nationals in Washington D.C this summer.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER TO ATTEND NSBA EVENT IN WASHINGTON D.C 01/14/19
Ashdown School Board Member Rosa Bowman will travel to Washington D.C. in January to represent the Arkansas School Board Association. She currently serves as Vice-President for the State Association. This trip is part of of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) Advocacy Institute 2019.
Mrs. Bowman has served on the Ashdown School Board since 2006 and is a retired teacher. She is excited to travel to the nation’s capitol, and said, “I’m honored to have the privilege to meet with our national legislators concerning the upcoming legislation. This will be a great opportunity to consider the proposed federal mandates and to discuss the impact that they will have on the students of our state and community.”
While in Washington, D.C., she will have two days of meetings and workshops focused on IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Act), Delivering Workforce Readiness, School Safety and to hear about current legislation. On the third day, she will have the opportunity to meet one on one with Arkansas Legislators serving the state of Arkansas. This will give Mrs. Bowman the opportunity to communicate to them the important issues of our local schools.
Ashdown Superintendent, Casey Nichols said, “We are so excited for Mrs. Bowman to have the opportunity to represent both our Ashdown School District and the entire state of Arkansas in order to voice the needs for our district and state to the legislators who serve us in Washington.”
DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT REGISTRATION DATES 01/14/19
De Queen High School Pre registration for the 2019-2020 school year dates have been announced:
Thursday, January 17 – juniors (next year’s seniors)
Tuesday, January 22 – 9th grade (next year’s sophomores)
Thursday, January 24 – 10th grade (next year’s juniors)
All meetings will take place at 6 PM in the high school cafeteria. Faculty will discuss requirements for Pre-AP and AP courses. Parents and students are encouraged to attend.
ART CONTEST ANNOUNCED FOR ARKANSAS YOUTH 01/14/19
The Arkansas Wildlife Federation and Creative Ideas, a Little Rock-based nonprofit organization, are accepting entries into the 2019 “Wildlife of Arkansas” student art contest to help promote conservation awareness through the arts. Entries will be accepted through Feb. 15, 2019.
The art contest is open to all school-aged youths from kindergarten through 12th grade level. A panel of professional artists will select 4 winners in each grade level based on creativity, skill and interpretation of the theme. All artwork must be focused on wildlife and the natural world, however, it is not limited to animals. Wildflowers, landscapes and other natural features may be the focus of the piece. A special category will focus on monarch butterflies and other pollinatinator species to help bring awareness to their declines.
Winning entries will earn the artist a cash prize as well as a certificate of achievement at the AWF Annual Conservation Awards Banquet. All winning artwork also will be displayed at Arkansas Game and Fish Commission nature centers across the state throughout the year.
Teachers and other educators can find further information on the contest and entry forms at the AWF’s website, www.arwild.org.
CHILI SUPPER AND AUCTION COLLECTS $55,000 AND COUNTING FOR INJURED TROOPER 01/14/19
A Fundraiser was held at Ashdown High School over the weekend to assist the family of Arkansas State Police Trooper corporal Clayton McWilliams, 32, of Little River County. The purpose of the fundraiser was to help offset the cost of medical expenses for the McWilliams family.
As KDQN previously reported McWilliams was injured in an accident earlier this month while en route to the scene of a crash in Sevier County. Wet road conditions have been believed to have contributed to the accident.
Fundraiser organizer Johnny Brown said the event was a success as an estimated 600 people attended the fundraiser and more than $50,000 were raised for the injured trooper. As of 10:00 a.m Monday, January 14th donations were still coming in.
Brown also said the auction portion of the fundraiser was a success as a variety of different items were submitted. He also wanted to express thanks to all the people who came out to the fundraiser and those who assisted in organizing the event.
A social media post made by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department Sunday offered an update for McWilliams’ supporters regarding his condition. The post announced that the trooper was recently removed from a ventilator and is now breathing on his own.
Persons interested in donating to help the family with medical expenses can donate cash or check to an account that has been set up at Diamond Bank in Ashdown, Arkansas.
92ND GENERAL ASSEMBLY BEGINS 01/14/19
The regular session of the 92nd General Assembly is beginning today, Monday, January 14th. Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchison mentioned last week that this would be “one of the most historic and transformative” of his lifetime, as he plans to initiate multiple key pieces of his recent re-election campaign.
Legislative leaders said the full agenda for the session calls for remaining focused to avoid the session taking an excessive amount of time.
The longest regular session documented in modern history was the 89th General Assembly back in 2013, which started January 14th and concluded May 17th. The Arkansas Constitution states, regular sessions are confined to a maximum of 60 days (days off, including weekends, are counted) unless extended to up to 75 days by a two-thirds vote of each chamber. Members may also agree to meet past 75 days by a three-fourths vote.
Regular sessions begin the second Monday in January in odd-numbered years, after November general elections. In even-numbered years, lawmakers meet in fiscal sessions to approve funding bills. The first fiscal session was in 2010.
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS COMPETE IN QUIZ BOWL 01/14/1
FIRE CAUSED BY CHILD PLAYING WITH LIGHTER IN DE QUEEN 01/11/19
The De Queen Fire Department responded the call of a structure fire on Harvey Drive Wednesday, January 9th around 3:40 pm.
Two trucks and 12 fireman arrived on the scene within 5 minutes of being dispatched to the residential home. The occupants of the home made it out safely and the cause of the fire was identified. A child in the house was playing with a lighter when a towel caught fire and the flames spread.
The Department contained the fire and left the scene within one hour of arriving. Chief Dennis Pruitt credited the daylight as a factor in the department’s quick response time to the home. He also says he hopes the department will be able to shorten response on night calls as well.
The owner of the home was identified as Sergio Gomez of De Queen and the house is covered by insurance. No injuries were reported.
HORATIO CITY COUNCIL TALKS RATE CHANGES AND NEW PURCHASES AT JANUARY MEETING 01/11/19
The Horatio City Council met Monday, January 7th for their regular meeting.This was the first meeting of the year with new Mayor Rich Dorsey, who was sworn in last week at the Sevier County Courthouse in De Queen.
The previous meeting’s minutes wee approved and a motion was made to pay all outstanding bills. The motion carried and a discussion was also held about the purchase of a lawnmower for the street department. A decision was made to purchase a Husqvarna 61” cut from Baker’s saw shop.
The council also agreed to purchase three signs from R&J sports in De Queen. One for the Fire Department, one for City Hall and one for the Museum.
The next item on the agenda was the topic of raising water and garbage utility rates for Horatio residents. The council agreed to raise the rates at the next meeting in February with the increase going into effect by March.
During the meeting Mayor Dorsey also presented four names to the city council for approval of membership in the Horatio Volunteer Fire Department. The names include Ben Mooneyham, Adam Mooneyham, Jason Vanhoose, and the transfer of Tyler Jones from Dierks VFD. The motion carried.
Mayor Dorsey also met with Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry on Monday to discuss the Horatio Law Enforcement Department. The Mayor recommended that ticket books be purchased for the department as well as an upgrade be made to the reporting system computer program. In February Mayor Dorsey will meet with the Quorum Court to discuss fee for dispatch calls in the city of Horatio. The city will also be checking in with De Queen city officials concerning an ordinance on leash laws for dogs.
The Next Horatio City Council Meeting will be held February 4th at City Hall.
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE UPDATES ANNOUNCED 01/11/19
De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Director Suzanne Babb announced the annual chamber Banquet will be held next month in De Queen on February 28th. The banquet is a tradition lasting more than 70 years and it is not required that attendees be chamber members to attend. Suzanne can be contacted for information about purchasing tickets to attend the event.
Suzanne Also announced that the chamber and other local groups are working with a new program called “Create Bridges” in the Southwest Arkansas area. The purpose of the program is to strengthen local businesses, tourism efforts, entertainment options and other areas of opportunity in local, rural communities.
The De Queen/Sevier Chamber of Commerce is located in Downtown De Queen and Suzanne available to answer questions. To receive information about tickets to the upcoming chamber banquet or to find out more about the Create Bridges Program, call 870) 584-3225.
AGFC LAUNCHES NEW SKILLS PROGRAM 01/11/19
A new Outdoors Skills Program created by The Arkansas Game and Fish commission will reward beginner and veteran hunters and anglers with a special patch for their accomplishments in the outdoors.
When a person attends one of many workshops the AGFC’s Education Division provides, they become eligible to receive an attractive patch to place on their favorite piece of outdoors clothing. The initial patch labels them a beginner in one of 10 outdoor disciplines. From there, participants can complete different tasks for each discipline to “level up” through intermediate, advanced and expert rankings, each with its own rocker to accompany the initial patch.
Patch categories include archery, conservation leadership, fishing, game-calling, hunting, paddle sports, rifle marksmanship, shotgun marksmanship, trapping and watchable wildlife. Some of the categories crossover and lead into others, while some are independent of the rest.
Eric Maynard, AGFC assistant chief of education, says the new program will be available through all AGFC education centers, nature centers and regional educators this year.
Visit www.agfc.com/outdoorsskills or visit your local nature center for more information.
NEW HEMPSTEAD HALL DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED IN HOPE 01/11/19
Amanda Lance has been named the new Director of Hempstead Hall and Workforce Development at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana. Lance brings over a decade of hospitality experience to the role and previously served as the Advertising and Publications Coordinator for the college. She is a 2003 graduate of Hope High School, a 2016 graduate of UAHT, and is currently completing her bachelor’s degree through the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
“The impact of Hempstead Hall has been tremendously positive on Hope and all of Southwest Arkansas, and I am honored and humbled to continue the legacy started by Dolly Henley,” said Lance. “Our community’s culture is greatly enriched through the performing arts brought through Hempstead Hall, and I am thrilled to be a part of broadening that scope of opportunity. It will also be exciting to work with our industry and community partners to continue to offer the best training facility in our region.”
For more information, contact Amanda Lance at 870.722.8566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWEAR-IN CEREMONY HELD AT SEVIER COUNTY COURTHOUSE 01/02/19
A formal swear-in ceremony was held in the courtroom of the Sevier County Courthouse Wednesday, January 2nd for elected officials of the county.
Law enforcement members, the Quorum Court JP’s, county coroners, treasurer, clerk, and city mayors were all present at the ceremony where they were sworn in by Judge Monya Wood and Judge Greg Ray.
All deputies and elected officials were also required to sign documents recognizing their obligations to the county.
After the ceremony the first Quorum court meeting of the 2019 year was held in the conference room at the courthouse. All JP’s on the quorum court have previously served out terms and were re-elected to their positions. Judge Ray says he felt the swear-in ceremony was successful and he has confidence in the county’s elected officials.
There were only two items on the agenda, the first item to discuss was the ordinance for establishing the meeting times and dates for the quorum for all of 2019. All meetings will be held the 2nd Monday of each month at 2:00 p.m. in the conference room of the courthouse with the exception of November, due to a holiday the meeting will be held the 3rd Monday.
The 2nd and last item discussed was the appointment of Debbie Brotherman to the Sevier County Library Board. Debbie is replacing Lecretia Walker, who resigned from the position.
The next Quorum Court meeting is scheduled for February 11th at 2:00 p.m. at the Courthouse in De Queen.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY PRE-TRIAL HEARING HELD TUESDAY 01/10/19
An update on current cases in the Little River County Court System has been provided by the Little River County Circuit Clerk, Lauren Abney.
A pre-trial hearing was held Tuesday, January 8th 2019.
Vincent Bradley, -Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Controlled Substance. $750 fine and 3 years probation.
Gary Graves- Possession of Firearms by certain person. $1,000 fine and 3 years
Stephen Owens- Possession of controlled substance, Trial set for January 28th
Jaquenda Sims, No contest plea to child endangerment charge. $1,000 fine and 3 years probation
Jamaal Starks- Possession with purpose to deliver, 10 years and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, 6 years.
Todd Wade- Theft By Receiving , Trial set for January 28th
Additional cases scheduled on January 8th have been granted continuance, dismissed or awaiting evidence.
KDQN will continue to provide updates on pending cases in Little River and Sevier Counties.
DE QUEEN FIRE CHIEF ANNOUNCES FIRE SAFETY REMINDERS 1/10/19
De Queen Fire Department Chief Dennis Pruitt visited KDQN studios Thursday to issue a reminder for local residents to educate their children about the importance of fire safety at home. The reminder was inspired by a recent structure fire that was caused by a child who was playing with a lighter.
Chief Pruitt also clarified the policies in place for controlled burning of leaves and twigs on personal property. Though it is not illegal to conduct a controlled burn in a residential yard it is recommended that residents wait until leaves are dry before burning and monitor the smoke while being courteous of neighbors.
The Chief also reminded residents about proper locations for use of Turkey Fryers and similar heat-based cooking methods. He urged locals to not use these products inside an enclosed space like a garage. The chief also encouraged parents to reach out to the Fire Department for information about how to talk to kids about fire safety education. They can be contacted at 870-584-7224.
ASHDOWN JUNIOR HIGH WINS QUIZ BOWL TOURNAMENT 01/10/19
DIABETES-FRIENDLY COOKING CLASS SCHEDULED AT UAHT 01/10/19
The University of Arkansas Hope will host “Living Well with Diabetes” a Diabetic Cooking Class beginning on Thursday, January 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Hempstead Hall. The class will be taught by Terrie James, County Extension Agent at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research & Extension Agency. The class will consist of four sessions on the following dates; January 17, January 31, February 7, and February 21. It is not necessary to attend all sessions. The cost is $10 per session.
The classes will offer tips for managing blood glucose, blood cholesterol and blood pressure, simple meal planning strategies, cooking demonstrations and tasting, hands-on activities, and class discussions. Recipes and materials are provided during each class.
For more information, contact Edessa Walton at 870-722-8102 or email@example.com.
AGFC HOLDS ALLIGATOR GAR TAG DRAWING 01/10/19
One hundred lucky anglers and bowfishermen were successful in drawing this year’s allotment of Alligator Gar Trophy Tags last week. These tags are required to take an alligator gar 36 inches or longer in Arkansas.
Applications for tags were available through the AGFC’s licensing system from Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. Applications and tags for successful applicants are completely free. Each applicant should have received an email notifying them of their results. The successful applicants should log into the licensing system to claim their tag. Â At that point it will appear on their license, which they can reprint.
As part of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s effort in conserving and promoting this once popular trophy sportfish, fishing for alligator gar 36 inches and longer is only allowed on a catch-and-release basis without a trophy tag.
Alligator gar, the second largest species of freshwater fish in North America, occurs in many of Arkansas’s large rivers. The species frequently grows longer than 7 feet from tail to snout and can weigh more than 200 pounds. The largest fish ever caught in Arkansas was an alligator gar in the Red River that weighed 241 pounds, over 100 pounds more than the next largest Arkansas record fish, a 116-pound blue catfish that once held a world record.
Unfortunately, dams placed in many warmwater streams have blocked gar from their spawning areas and degraded spawning habitat. For many decades, indiscriminate killing of trophy gar, which tend to be females, also took its toll on this slow-growing species. The AGFC has been involved in a recovery and conservation effort for these large fish for the last decade. The Alligator Gar Permit and Alligator Gar Tags enable biologists to contact anglers who pursue the species and work with them to learn more about Arkansas’s remaining population and remnants of spawning grounds anglers may have knowledge of.
ARKANSAS AGRICULTURE HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES NEW INDUCTEES 01/10/19
The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame has announced plans to induct five individuals whose leadership and service have brought distinction to the state’s largest business sector.
The newest class includes retired University of Arkansas educator Dr. L.B. (Bernie) Daniels of Fayetteville; Ed Fryar of Rogers, the founder of Ozark Mountain Poultry; UA professor Dr. Donna Graham of Fayetteville; UA distinguished professor Dr. Terry Siebenmorgen of Fayetteville; and David Walt of Dumas, a retired soybean farmer.
The group will be honored with an induction luncheon, set for 11:30 a.m. on March 1 at Little Rock’s Embassy Suites Hotel.
The new selections will bring to 169 the number of honorees in the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, encompassing 32 classes of inductees.
The mission of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame is to build public awareness of agriculture and to formally recognize and honor individuals whose efforts have led to the prosperity of local communities and the state.
Luncheon tickets are $35 each. Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available by calling (501) 228-1609 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARKANSAS FALLEN OFFICERS FUND ACCEPTING DONATIONS 01/10/19
A statewide effort that started last year to support families of fallen law enforcement officers has started this year’s fundraising drive. The Arkansas Families of Fallen Officers, Inc. provides support to the families of all first responders who are killed or die in the line of duty. No law enforcement officers died in Arkansas during 2018. The 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization donated $1,000 to Arkansas State Police Trooper Kyle Sheldon’s recovery (K Troop Hot Springs).
In 2017, Arkansas lost 3 firefighters and 3 law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
Arkansas Families of Fallen Officers President Richard Curry of Nashville says the 2019 goal is to collect enough donations to be able to pay for the cost of funerals for the families. All funds raised are used for the families of responders, including law enforcement, firefighters and EMS. Organization volunteers do not receive any pay. Several fundraising efforts are planned for 2019. Curry says they have received support from several County Sheriffs offices across the state.
For more information, contact Curry at 870-557-6813 or make checks to:
Arkansas Families of Fallen Officers, Inc.
NEW ARKANSAS COMMUNITY COLLEGES BOARD DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED 01/09/19
T.J. Tubbs, Director of Physical Plant Operations at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana, has been elected to serve as the 2019 President-elect for the Arkansas Community Colleges (ACC) Board and as President for the year 2020. Tubbs began serving at UAHT in 2012 as a full-time faculty member in the Technical & Industrial Division and became the Director of Physical Plant Operations in 2017. He recently earned a Master of Science in Operations Management Degree from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville is currently working toward a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership.
ACC is a non-profit association representing all twenty-three public community colleges in Arkansas. The Association facilitates the sharing of ideas, resources, and opportunities among its members, and advocates on behalf of members’ students. Tubbs has served as a member of the ACC Board for three years.
Each of the twenty-three community colleges has at least one representative from their school serving on the ACC Board. An election among these members is held each year to elect a new president to represent and lead the board
ARKANSAS AG ANNOUNCES ARREST OF WOMAN FOR MEDICAID FRAUD 01/09/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the arrest of a mental health therapist at Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH) this week.
Kandice Robinson, 33, of Bartlett, Tenn., is accused of billing the Arkansas Medicaid Program for services not rendered between August 15 and November 1, 2017, totaling about $4,950. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Robinson turned herself in at Pulaski County District Court. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class C felony.
“Robinson is another PFH employee accused of lying and charging Medicaid for services she did not provide,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “People cheating the Medicaid system are stealing from taxpayers and hurting the system, which is designed to protect Arkansas’s most vulnerable. I will not tolerate this behavior as the Attorney General.”
Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. To report Medicaid fraud or abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, contact the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or email@example.com
ASHDOWN CHEERLEADERS TRAVEL TO LONDON FOR NEW YEAR’S PARADE 01/09/19
Ashdown High School Senior Cheerleaders Aliyah Anderson and Autumn Hoffman performed with more than 800 high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the U.S. who represented Varsity Spirit in the world famous London New Year’s Day Parade.
The individuals invited to perform in the parade qualified for the trip after being selected as an All-American at a summer camp hosted by one of the Varsity Spirit camp brands, which include Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), Universal Dance Association (UDA), National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), National Dance Alliance (NDA) and United Spirit Association (USA).
All-Americans are selected to try out based on superior cheerleading, dancing and leadership skills at camps across the country. Only the top 12% of the more than 325,000 cheerleaders and dancers who attend the 5,000 Varsity Spirit summer camp sessions earn the chance to march in the holiday spectacular.
Cheerleaders, dancers, marching bands, acrobats and more made up the 10,000 performers representing 20 countries worldwide in the 2019 parade. Established as one of London’s biggest events, the parade is seen by nearly 300 million people around the world. In addition to cheering in the parade, All-Americans were able to celebrate the holiday’s European style with the chance to tour some of London’s most historic sites during their seven-day stay.
FREE WEEKEND ACTIVITIES AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 01/09/19
A variety of free, family-friendly activities have been planned at Cossatot River State Park in Wickes this weekend, Saturday January 12th and Sunday, January 13th.
On Saturday at 3:30 p.m. a one hour informational session about birds will be held in the legacy room of the visitor’s center. The program is titled “Birds, it’s cold outside” and park interpreters will educate attendees about birds who stay in the local area for the winter. A one hour “guess who’s coming to dinner” program will be held in the wildlife viewing area of the visitor’s center at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Park interpreters will have participants identify animals by the foods they eat.
At 2:00 p.m. park visitors can meet at the natural area to feed the critters until 3:00 p.m. Park interpreters will also provide educational information about the animals while visitors observe the animals in their habitats.
The final weekend activity will be held at 3:30 p.m. as park interpreters lead visitors through a “primal paints” program. Attendees will be able to paint images of the park’s animals in a natural setting.
All activities at Cossatot River State park planned for January 12th and 13th welcome visitors of all ages and are free of charge.
The park is located in Polk County at 1980 Hwy 278 West, Wickes Arkansas. More information at (870) 385-2201 or visit www.arkansasstateparks.com
FUNDRAISER SCHEDULED FOR INJURED TROOPER 01/09/19
An upcoming Fundraiser has been announced for this weekend to assist the family of Arkansas State Police Trooper corporal Clayton McWilliams, 32 of Little River County. The purpose of the fundraiser is to help offset the cost of medical expenses for McWilliams’ family.
As KDQN previously reported McWilliams was injured in an accident last week while en route to the scene of a crash in Sevier County. Wet road conditions have been believed to have contributed to the accident. A chili dinner auction and fundraiser have been planned for Saturday, January 12th at 5:00 p.m. at The Ashdown High School cafeteria. The cost is by donation only and the Auction will start at 6:30 . Persons wishing to contribute an item to the auction can donate in advance by contacting Johnny Brown at 903-748-6846. Items will be accepted at the door as well.
ASHDOWN FOOTBALL SENIOR PLAYS IN ALL AMERICAN BOWL 01/08/19
Cody Barton, a Senior at Ashdown High School was named an Offense-Defense All-American at Camp this past Summer, and received an invitation to participate in the 13th Annual Offense-Defense Bowl Week festivities that took place in December in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cody’s team SSC1 won their game 24-12.
Cody Barton plays nose guard and defensive tackle for Ashdown High School. He was was selected for this opportunity from an outstanding group of thousands of athletes across the country and played well representing Ashdown, easily validating the Bowl Selection Committee’s choice in tabbing Cody for the All-American tilt. This is Cody’s 3rd year to earn honors to play in the O-D All American Bowl playing previously in Atlanta, GA (2016) and New Orleans, LA (2017).
UMPIRE MAN FACING CHARGES IN PIKE COUNTY 01/08/19
An Umpire man is facing felony charges in Pike county following a traffic stop by deputies. Authorities say 52 year old Robert Faulkner is charged with felony counts including Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrod Reid observed a pickup truck being driven by Faulkner on December 19th.
Knowing Faulkner had a suspended drivers license, the deputy conducted a traffic stop on Faulkner’s vehicle. While searching Faulkner, Deputy Reid said he discovered a piece of aluminum foil that had been folded numerous times. Police say the foil contained a white powdery substance believed to be meth cocaine. Authorities also said they recovered a zip lock bag containing several other smaller bags. In addition to the items found on Faulkner, reports said other drug related items were found beside the driver’s seat of the pickup.
UPDATE ON ARKANSAS STATE TROOPER INJURED IN CRASH 01/08/19
An Arkansas State Police trooper injured in a car accident on U.S. 71 remains in serious but stable condition in a Little Rock hospital.
Cpl. Clayton McWilliams, 32, of Ashdown was undergoing surgery Monday morning, according to his mother-in-law, Deanna Sivley.
“He has been stable enough to have surgery,” Sivley said. “The state police have been outstanding and have been to the hospital every day.
“We appreciate all the prayers and support we’ve been getting. This teaches us humility.”
McWilliams was taken to a Little Rock hospital after initially being taken to CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System on Thursday.
While driving to a crash scene on U.S. 71, McWilliams’ patrol vehicle left the roadway after hydroplaning and struck a tree.
Heavy rainfall in the area is believed to have contributed to the cause of the crash.
The accident happened at 12:50 p.m. Thursday near Wilton in Little River County, according to a news release. McWilliams was responding to a crash scene in Sevier County where a logging truck had overturned.
POLK COUNTY SHERIFF ISSUES STATEMENT ON MURDER SENTENCING 01/08/19
Brian Travis, age 39, pled guilty to four counts of Capital Murder in Polk County Circuit Court today. Travis admitted guilt in the April 2017 deaths of Bethany Wester, age 43, Acelynn Wester, age 2, Reilly Scarbrough, age 9, and Steven Payne, age 66. Travis was sentenced to 4 Life without the Possibility of Parole sentences.
Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said “He will spend the rest of his life in prison and after today I will never mention his name again. Though this case was initially pursued as a death penalty case, ultimately Prosecutor Andy Riner allowed Travis to plead guilty to 4 Life w/o sentences. There are many reasons why Mr. Riner made this decision, which by the way I support 100%, but ultimately this is the sentence that the family of the victims requested. Travis was transported to ADC Varner Supermax after being sentenced. Please remember our victims and their wonderful family in your prayers”.
RAINFALL CALCULATED FOR DE QUEEN 01/08/19
Rainfall totals for 2018 in De Queen reached 69.20 inches. De Queen’s yearly average rainfall is about 51 inches, based on a 30-year average.
Periods of “just prolonged rainfall events” occurred in 2018’s final months, said meteorologist Travis Shelton at the National Weather Service in north little Rock. Rainfall in December totaled 8.94 inches in De Queen. The highest monthly rainfall in De Queen occurred in February when 12.23 inches of rainfall was recorded.
There is a good chance for higher-than-normal rainfall to continue for at least the early part of 2019, according to the National Weather Service three-month outlook for February through April, Shelton said. Temperatures, meanwhile , are expected to be in the normal range that time of the year, he said. That will follow below-normal temperatures for the latter half of January, according to the latest National Weather Service forecast for the next four weeks.
UA COSSASTOT SPRING SEMESTER ANNOUNCEMENTS 01/08/19
UA Cossatot student ambassadors Alondra Galvez, Saleni Rojaas and Johanna Martinez stopped by KDQN studios Monday, January 7th to announce upcoming dates and events happening for the Spring semester at the college campuses.
The ambassadors reminded area students that classes will begin January 14th with registration available until January 15th. Scholarships and financial aid information are still available online at cccua.edu. There will also be required new student orientation “colt kickers” in De Queen, Ashdown and Nashville this week.
More information about enrollment and the spring semester can be found at cccua.edu
THE 7TH ANNUAL BOAT, SPORT, AND RV SHOW ANNOUNCED 01/07/19
The State Fair of Louisiana will host the 7th Annual Boat, Sport, and RV Show January 18,-20 at the Louisiana State Fairgrounds. The hours are Friday 10am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 7pm, and Sunday 10am – 6pm. Close to 400 Boats, RV’s, ATV’s and Side by Sides will be on display from the regional area. Attendees will have the opportunity to shop and compare many different lines of Boats, RV’s and ATV’s in a competitive environment. This event officially kicks off their season with the dealers offering discounts and special Show pricing.
The show will feature a large kid’s area for family-friendly activities and some of the top 2018 State Fair food vendors will be on hand providing concessions the show.
This year the show will also host two Bass Tournaments that will begin the tournament season for the Bayou Outdoor BOSS Tournament Trail and the North Louisiana High School Fishing League. Between 250-300 teams will be participating. Both weigh-ins will take place Saturday afternoon at the show.
For more information on the State Fair of Louisiana Boat, Sport, and RV Show, you can visit www.statefairoflouisiana.com. KDQN will be giving away tickets this week during the morning brew show from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Listen for your chance to win.
UAHT ANNOUNCES FUNDRAISER SET FOR FEBRUARY 01/07/19
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana will hold the 13th Annual Beads, Bags, and Bangles Kids’ College fundraiser on Thursday, February 28, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at The Venue at Twelve Oaks. The Venue at Twelve Oaks is located at 4177 Highway 29 North, Blevins, AR, just six miles north of Hope.
The theme of this year’s event is “Big Hats and Bow Ties.” Featured this year will be southern fare, mint juleps, horse racing, live music, and shopping. Wear your best big hat or your most charming bow tie.
Proceeds raised at the 13th Annual BBB event will be used for scholarships and supplies to benefit the 2019 Kids’ College and Camp Save-A-Life programs. These programs are designed for students who will be in first through eighth grade. The 2018 programs served over 250 children from Hope, Texarkana, and the surrounding communities. A portion of the funds will also benefit UAHT’s Camp Save-A-Life program which serves approximately 50 students in seventh and eighth grade on the Hope and Texarkana campuses.
Tickets to the BBB Big Hats and Bow Ties event are $35. For more information or to buy your tickets, contact Anna Powell, UAHT Foundation Executive Director, at 870-722-8516 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DE QUEEN DOCTOR WINS AWARD FOR PREVENTIVE VACCINE INITIATIVES 01/07/19
Dr. Floyd Gonzalez of De Queen is Arkansas’ 2018 HPV Vaccine is Cancer Prevention Champion Award Winner.
The Award is given annually by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society, and Association of American Cancer Institutes The award recognizes doctors, clinics, practices, groups, and health systems that are going above and beyond to foster HPV vaccination in their communities.
This year, one Champion from each of the 50 U.S. states, 8 U.S. Territories and Freely Associated States, and the District of Columbia was recognized.
Dr. Floyd Gonzalez is a private practicing pediatrician in the city of De Queen, Arkansas, and has been a practicing pediatrician for more than 20 years.
Dr. Gonzalez received his medical training at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Tec Salud in Monterrey, Mexico and has achieved high vaccination rates through effectively communicating the benefits of vaccination and answering parents’ questions in both English and Spanish. He educates parents about vaccines and explains the that it can help prevent children from developing certain types of cancer as they get older.
Dr. Gonzalez answers parents’ questions and concerns and provides written information about the vaccine in both English and Spanish to ensure all of the parents in his practice have the information they need to feel comfortable in their decision to vaccinate their child.
Dr. Gonzalez has been recognized on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/champions/2018-winners.html
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL TO MEET THIS WEEK 01/07/19
The Lockesburg City Council has announced the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8th at 6:30 p.m. in the Lockesburg, City Hall.
The meeting’s agenda includes allotted time for visitor contributions and public comment. There will also be a report form the mayor.
Actions for council members will include swearing in of Alderman members, addressing the 2019 budget and setting future council meetings dates and times.
They will also discuss a request for synchronizing well #1 and well #2 as well as a building permit issue and the approval of the December meeting’s minutes and approval of the December budget, bills and the council’s financials.
LOCAL RESIDENT DONATES TO COLLEGE CAMPAIGN 01/07/19
The University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation received a Legacy 2020 capital campaign donation from Ms. Julie Brown of De Queen.
Classrooms 305 and 307 in the Science and Arts Building on the De Queen campus is now named after Brown’s mother, Eddie Lou Watson and grandmother, Lou Gray to recognize the gift.
The UA Cossatot Foundation’s Legacy 2020 campaign focuses on community members and businesses that wish to invest in the growth of the college on all four campuses; De Queen, Nashville, Ashdown, and Lockesburg. For every contribution, a naming opportunity exists for those who want to leave a visible legacy in
the donor’s community.
“Naming a room in honor of a loved one is a great way to leave a legacy and help local college students” said UA Cossatot Development Coordinator Dustin Roberts.
“We greatly appreciated Julie’s generosity and support of our college.”
More information about the Legacy 2020 is available on the college’s website at www.cccua.edu/legacy2020.
ARKANSAS AG ANNOUNCES STATE TO RECEIVE $75,000 01/07/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the for-profit education company, Career Education Corp. (CEC) has agreed to change its recruiting and enrollment practices and forgo collecting more than $493.7 million in debts owed by 179,529 students nationally. In the settlement with Arkansas and 48 other attorneys general, affected Arkansas students will receive $1.8 million in debt relief through student loan forgiveness, and the State of Arkansas will receive a payment of $75,000.
The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance caps a five-year investigation. CEC agreed to forgo any and all efforts to collect amounts owed by former students living in the states participating in the agreement.
CEC is based in Schaumburg, Ill., and currently offers primarily online courses through American InterContinental University and Colorado Technical University. CEC has closed or phased out many of its schools over the past 10 years. Its brands have included Briarcliffe College, Brooks Institute, Brown College, Harrington College of Design, International Academy of Design & Technology, Le Cordon Bleu, Missouri College and Sanford-Brown.
A group of attorneys general launched an investigation into CEC in January 2014 after receiving several complaints from students and a critical report on for-profit education by the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The attorneys general alleged that CEC pressured its employees to enroll students and engaged in unfair and deceptive practices. These practices included making misleading statements or failing to disclose information to prospective students on total costs, transferability of credits, program offerings, job placement rates, and other topics. As a result, some students could not obtain professional licensure and incurred debts that they could neither repay nor discharge. CEC denied the allegations of the attorneys general but agreed to resolve the claims through this multi-state settlement.
BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT IN MINERAL SPRINGS THIS WEEK 01/07/19
One of the oldest basketball tournaments in the state begins Monday January 7, the Southwest Arkansas Invitational Basketball Tournament will be held at Mineral Springs High School. The tournament originally started and was held for many years at Saratoga. Superintendent Thelma Forte has confirmed that the games will be held in the brand new arena, located in the new Mineral Springs school building that has been under construction since early 2017. Superintendent Forte says the new gymnasium seats roughly 1640 people. There are 510 bucket seats.
Girls teams participating in addition to the Hornets include: Ashdown, Murfreesboro, Horatio, Bradley, and Fouke.
DEPUTIES CATCH MAN ATTEMPTING TO FLEE IN DE QUEEN 01/04/19
A man is facing charges of drug possession and fleeing after Deputies from The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about an attempted burglary in De Queen last week.
A report from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department says Deputy Chett Stubbs was dispatched to a residence on Dunn Road December 28th for the attempted burglary call when he observed a truck leave the area at a high rate of speed. Deputy Stubbs reportedly initiated emergency lights and attempted to conduct a traffic stop when the vehicle stopped and a passenger in the car took off on foot. In the report Deputy Stubbs stated that the passenger was wearing a black mask and camouflage jacket.
Stubbs reported issuing multiple commands to get the suspect to stop but he continued running before he was detained in a field behind a residential home. The suspect was identified as Keith White and he was placed into custody. Upon conducting a search on White, Deputy Stubbs reported finding what was suspected to be a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine.
Deputies also reported finding a white substance suspected to be methamphetamine, a leafy substance suspected to be marijuana, a syringe, 4 25 milligram alaprazolam pills, a tube containing suspected methamphetamine and plastic zip-lock bags consistent with the repacking and sales of controlled substances.
White was transported to the Sevier County Jail where he was charged with possession of controlled substance schedule 2 with purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing. A court date has been set for January 10th at The Sevier County Courthouse.
STATE TROOPER HOSPITALIZED AFTER CRASH IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 01/04/19
ADEQ TO HOST PUBLIC MEETING THIS MONTH 01/04/19
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will host a public meeting on January 22, 2019, from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at ADEQ headquarters, 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock, to kick-off the Air Regulatory Efficiency and Streamlining Effort (EASE) Collaborative. The EASE Collaborative will bring together interested Arkansans and ADEQ staff to develop solutions to achieve regulatory streamlining goals and establish permitting guidance to assist the regulated community, as well as develop recommendations for streamlining four Arkansas Pollution Control & Ecology Commission (APC&EC) regulations.
The EASE Collaborative was formed in response to comments and feedback received by ADEQ on the pre-proposal draft of the Air Integrated Regulation Streamlining Project and the group is open to the public. The purpose of the kick-off meeting is to select workgroup members for two smaller task-focused workgroups—Regulatory Streamlining and Permitting Guidance—which will meet regularly to develop solutions to present at quarterly meetings. The kick-off meeting will include discussion of a work plan to develop proposed revisions to streamline current APC&EC air regulations.
Further information about the EASE Collaborative, related public meetings, and historical documents for this effort can be viewed from the EASE webpage athttps://www.adeq.state.ar.us/air/planning/streamlining/.
PLUNGE FOR LIFE 01/04/19
WeeCare Pregnancy Resources, Inc., a non-profit, faith based pregnancy crisis center will be hosting the 10th Annual PLUNGE for Life on Saturday, February 2nd at 1:00 p.m. The event will take place at Area D, Stephens Gap of Broken Bow Lake. The theme this year is “TOO CHICKEN TO PLUNGE.” Youth Organizations and Church Groups are encouraged to register for the Battle of the Plunge. The group with the largest donations will receive a travel trophy and pizza party for their group.
Other prizes and awards will be presented at event. Plungers are encouraged to dress up in costumes or as chickens! If you would like to participate, please contact the center at 580-286-5390 or by email at email@example.com. You may also pick up a participant packet at our center located on 110 E Main St, Idabel, OK.
LISTED BELOW ARE SOME OF THE FREE SERVICES OFFERED TO CLIENTS REGARDLESS OF ECONOMIC STATUS:
- PREGNANCY TESTS
- CHILD BIRTHING CLASSES
- CPR/FIRST AID CLASSES
- PARENTING CLASSES
- MATERNITY CLOTHES
- BABY CARE ITEMS
- TUTORING & MENTORING PROGRAMS
- POST-ABORTION SUPPORT
- ADOPTION EDUCATION
- LOVE & SUPPORT
“Of all the things we do at UAC, Student Ambassadors is one of my favorites,” Dr. Cole addressed the Ambassadors.
Your Name, Address, Phone Number, then the NOMINIEE’S NAME, Addres and Phone Number and A description of “WHY” you believe this individual should be Broken Bow’s Citizen of the Year.
Nomination forms are due January 11th Nominations can be mailed, emailed, or dropped off to the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, 113 West MLK, Broken Bow, OK 74728.
Jeff Brown is the new Mayor of De Queen at New Years time. Mayor Brown and four new Aldermen were administered the Oath of Office by Judge Monya Wood during swearing in ceremonies Tuesday evening at De Queen City Hall.
Mayor Brown won over two other candidates in the November general election to become Mayor of De Queen. Previously, he had served as head of the Water Department for the City.
New Council members Jeff Holcomb, Dr. Jason Lofton, Troy Cravens, and Rick Pruitt were also sworn in along with returning Aldermen Teresa Bunyard and Kathy Richards, as well as City Clerk Donna Jones.
In the only action item at Tuesday’s meeting, the Council set their regular meeting dates and time as the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 at City Hall.
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL’S FIRST TERM IN REVIEW 01/02/19
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is closing out her first term as the state’s chief legal officer with the announcement she has reached almost 90,000 Arkansans in person since taking office in January 2015, including over 21,000 in 2018.
Rutledge had hosted 306 roundtable meetings and 313 mobile offices to meet face-to-face with thousands of Arkansans. In 2016, Rutledge began partnering with local law enforcement to collect unused and expired prescription medications at mobile offices.
Rutledge also hosts numerous outreach and training events, including the annual Law Enforcement Summit, Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit and the Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event to recognize Arkansas’s missing persons. In addition to annual events, the Attorney General’s Office increased outreach efforts by hosting webcasts on topics including avoiding common scams, the Freedom of Information Act and teen dating violence prevention. During her first four-year term, Rutledge hosted 68 large training events and the Attorney General’s staff has presented to 1,291 groups.
LAST YOUTH MODERN GUN HUNT OF THE SEASON JAN 5TH-6TH 01/02/19
The second modern gun deer hunt for youth hunters will take place across Arkansas this Saturday and Sunday. Only hunters who are 6 to 15 years of age may pursue deer with modern guns on this last chance of the season.
Incorrect dates for the hunt were listed in a previous press release before the Christmas Holiday, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission apologizes for the error.
All private land deer zones are open during the youth hunt. Some wildlife management areas are not open to the special modern gun youth hunt. Visit https://www.agfc.com/en/hunting/where-hunt/wildlife-management-areas for season date information on WMAs.
During the youth hunt, youths who have completed Hunter Education may hunt on their own if their parent or guardian feels that they are responsible enough to do so. Youths who do not have Hunter Education must be under the direct supervision of a mentor who is at least 21 years old. Mentors may not hunt any species while accompanying the youth.
All deer taken during the hunt count toward the youth’s seasonal bag limit and the bag limits for the zone where they are hunting. Deer taken during the youth hunt must be checked to the youth hunter’s name and not the mentor or parent. Deer may be checked via phone, internet or the AGFC’s smartphone app.
To check by phone, call 877-731-5627. Checking via internet is available at www.agfc.com. The smartphone app is available for Android or iPhone through the Google Play and iTunes app stores.
WAGE INCREASES FOR ARKANSANS WITH NEW YEAR 01/02/19
Thousands of Arkansans will get a pay raise soon, compliments of a ballot measure approved by voters in November to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2021.
The first stage — an increase from $8.50 to $9.25 — kicked in Tuesday January 1st.For an employee working 40 hours a week, that’s a weekly pay increase of $30, from $340 to $370, not including deductions for taxes and other withholdings. For a year’s work, that translates into an increase from $17,680 to $19,240, before taxes and other withholdings.
Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and other groups that supported the passage last November of Issue 5 said 300,000 workers — or one-fourth of the state’s workforce — will benefit as the measure takes full effect over the next couple of years. It’s the second time since 2014 that Arkansas voters approved a minimum-wage increase. Both measures won with more than 60 percent of the vote.
The $9.25-an-hour wage will increase to $10 a year in 2020 and to $11 on Jan. 1, 2021. “Tipped wages” remain unchanged, at $2.63 an hour, at places where tips are expected to equal or exceed the $9.25 an hour. If that level of pay isn’t reached, the employer is required to make up the difference.
NEW YEAR BRINGS NEWS TAX CUTS FOR ARKANSANS 01/02/19
The new year brings tax cuts to Arkansans, one for grocery shoppers and the other for lower-income people. On the first day of 2019, the state sales tax on groceries will drop from 1.5 percent to 0.125 percent and the individual income-tax rates for people who make less than $21,000 a year in taxable income will be cut.
The grocery tax cut is the final step of former Gov. Mike Beebe’s bid to make good on a 2006 campaign pledge. He had proposed to incrementally trim the tax from 6 percent to 0.125 percent. Beebe served as governor from 2007-2015. The cut for low-income Arkansans will be the second in individual income-tax rates to take effect in recent years. They were proposed by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson and enacted by the Legislature.
In 2015, the Legislature enacted Hutchinson’s plan to trim individual income-tax rates for people who make between $21,000 and $75,000 a year in taxable income. Then in 2017, the Legislature approved his second cut proposal, for people with less than $21,000 a year in taxable income. Governor Hutchinson hopes to continue his tax cutting in the regular session that starts Jan. 14. The governor is asking for the Legislature’s approval of his plan to gradually cut the top individual tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5.9 percent.
ARKANSAS AG ANNOUNCES STATE TO RECEIVE $1,298,019 IN WELLS FARGO SETTLEMENT 12/31/18
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Friday, December 28th that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. will pay $575 million to resolve claims that the bank violated state consumer-protection laws. The settlement is the result of multiple investigations by all 50 states and the District of Columbia of allegations that Wells Fargo was engaging in a number of unfair and deceptive business practices. The State of Arkansas will receive $1,298,019.
The settlement resolves claims the bank violated state consumer protection laws by opening millions of unauthorized accounts and enrolling customers into online banking services without their knowledge or consent, improperly referring customers for enrollment in third-party renters and life insurance policies, improperly charging auto loan customers for force-placed and unnecessary collateral protection insurance, failing to ensure that customers received refunds of unearned premiums on certain optional auto finance products, and incorrectly charging customers for mortgage rate lock extension fees.
Wells Fargo identified more than 3.5 million accounts where customer accounts were opened, funds were transferred, credit card applications were filed and debit cards were issued without the customers’ knowledge or consent. The bank has also identified 528,000 online bill pay enrollments nationwide that may have resulted from improper sales practices at the bank. In addition, Wells Fargo improperly submitted more than 6,500 renters insurance or simplified term life insurance policy applications and payments from customer accounts without the customers’ knowledge or consent. To date, this settlement represents the most significant engagement involving a national bank by state attorneys general acting without a federal law enforcement partner. Wells Fargo has agreed to provide more than $385 million to approximately 850,000 auto finance customers.
The remediation will include payments to over 51,000 customers whose cars were repossessed. Wells Fargo will create and maintain a website for consumers to use to access the program and will provide periodic reports to the states about ongoing restitution efforts. More information on the redress review program, including Wells Fargo escalation phone numbers and the Wells Fargo dedicated website address for the program will be available on or before February 26, 2019.
JOURNALIST RETURNS TO SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS TO RECEIVE AWARD 12/31/18
Hosea Sanders is a long-time broadcast journalist from Arkadelphia Arkansas, who recently came back to his alma mater, Henderson State University where he graduated in 1979. This month, Sanders was honored with an achievement award for his longstanding career in broadcasting. Sanders began his career in the late 1970s. Sanders’ friend and former classmate, Greg Harris, presented a plaque to Sanders that reads: “In recognition of HSU alumnus Hosea Sanders for his outstanding career in broadcast journalism which all began at Henderson State University’
Sanders spoke to Henderson’s current broadcast journalism class before the presentation. The plaque was then placed on KSWH studio wall in the Garrison Center. Sanders anchors the primetime newscast for Chicago’s ABC 7, provides regular reports for evening newscasts on issues important to Chicago neighborhoods, and covers key disability related stories. He also hosts the Emmy Award winning series “Heart and Soul,” which showcases Chicago’s vibrant African-American community. Prior to joining ABC 7, Sanders worked at TV stations in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Little Rock.
He has won 12 Emmy Awards, gaining honors for live coverage, spot news, entertainment reporting, news writing, programming, and overall news achievement. He has received more than 100 awards throughout his career from various churches, civic and community organizations for his community service.
SEVIER COUNTY JP’S TO BE SWORN IN THIS WEEK 12/31/18
The Sevier County Quorum Court will host their first meeting of the 2019 year next week.
All current JP’s have been re-elected to serve an additional term. Both the swear-in and meeting are open to the public. Sevier County Judge Greg ray says scheduling of the future time and dates for meetings throughout the year, as well as the appointment of a new Sevier County library board member will be discussed during Wednesday’s meeting.
The judge noted that financial issues have surfaced recently as the county jail facing a budget deficit and concerns at The De Queen Medical center. The judge spoke confidently about the JP’s and their abilities to manage the county’s money.
Wednesday, January 2nd 2019 at 9:00 a.m. The Justices of the Peace will be sworn in at the Sevier County courthouse in De Queen. After the swear-in ceremony the first meeting of the year will be held in the conference room of the court house at 10:00 a.m. The public is welcome to attend.
LOCAL STUDENTS MAKE CHANCELLOR’S LIST FOR FALL 2018 12/31/18
University of Arkansas Cossatot Office of the Registrar released fall Chancellor and Vice Chancellor’s lists.
109 students were named to the Chancellor’s list, maintaining a minimum of a 4.0 semester GPA while taking a minimum of 12 college credit hours. 78 students were named on the Vice Chancellor’s list, maintaining a minimum of a 3.50 semester GPA while taking a minimum of 12 college credit hours.
Students named to the Chancellor’s list include:
De Queen: Sanjuana Alvarez, Eduardo Benitez, Matthew Chandler, Jesus Cisneros, James Edward, Maria Dominguez, Aida Gallardo, Sandy Chandler, Jennifer Garibay, Sean Harding, Aracely Hernandez, Andrea Herrera, Glen Lovell, Toni Manzella, Delfina Martinez, Jamnel Mejia, Carlos Pallares, Emmanuel Escobedo, Leslie Gutierrez, Jessica Hernandez, Merline Hernandez, Jaqueline Marrufo, Elvia Martinez, Daniel Montero, Anel Montiel, Jessica Rios, Carlos Santiago, Courtney Stancil, Sydney Talkington, Kelsie Easlon, Richard Ethridge, Sadie Haury, Jesse Power, Abraham Arellano, Laiken Emerson, and Allan Ramirez
COMMITTEE SELECTIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED JAN. 14TH 12/31/18
There is a new rule taking effect this session which changes the way our many of our committees are formed.
The House consists of 10 standing committees, 7 select committees and 3 special committees. A vast majority of legislation introduced in the Regular Session is assigned to a standing committee.
The new House rules give the Speaker the authority to appoint the membership of all committees. The Speaker will announce committee selections on the first day of session, January 14. The Speaker also selects who will serve as chair and vice-chair of each committee and sub-committee.
Committees are where the lawmaking process begins. It is where bills are first considered and publicly debated before a bill makes its way the House Chamber. Committees provide an opportunity for the public to speak for or against a proposal.
The Speaker assigns each bill to a committee germane to the subject matter. In 2017, more than 3,000 bills were introduced. Less than 1,200 actually became law. Many of those bills did not get the needed votes from the committee to advance any further in the law making process.
Each member serves on one “A” standing committee and one “B” standing committee. House Rules state the Speaker must select five members from each of the four House District Caucus. House District Caucuses are divided along the same geographical boundaries as our state’s congressional caucuses.
Standing committees are as follows:
Class A Education, Judiciary, Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Public Transportation
Revenue and Taxation
Class B Aging, Children & Youth, Legislative & Military Affairs
Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development City, County, & Local Affairs
Insurance & Commerce State Agencies & Governmental Affairs
Once the committee selections are announced, we will post the lists on our website. As a reminder, the House live streams all standing committee meetings and House floor proceedings during the Regular Session. Visit www.arkansashouse.org for more information.
CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL FUNDRAISER SCHEDULED IN HOT SPRINGS 12/31/18
The 15th annual Chocolate festival has been announced for early next year.
The event will be held at the embassy suites hotel in Hot Springs, Arkansas on Sunday, February 3rd 2019. The chocolate festival serves as a fundraiser for the Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic. Bakers may enter their chocolate treats in a competition to take place during the event. Any person interested in helping, being on the planning committee, volunteering the day of event, donating sponsorship, or participating in the silent auction may contact Lynn at 501-318-1153
DECEMBER WEATHER SUMMARY 12/31/18
The December weather summary collected by the NOAA Weather Observer, Jay Bunyard, at the Number One Country studios in De Queen is as follows:
December Weather Summary
Hottest afternoon 70 degrees recorded on the 1st
Coldest morning 25 degrees recorded on the 6th
Rainfall for the month 8.94″
2018 Weather Summary
Hottest afternoon 102 degrees recorded on July 21st and 22nd
Coldest morning 6 degrees on January 17th
Rainfall for year 69.20″
The average annual rainfall is 51 inches, so we had a very wet year. The 69.20 inches recorded in 2018 is the most in a calendar year since 82.57 inches of precipitation was recorded in 2015.
JACKIE ICENHOWER, KPYN-ATLANTA 2018 WOMAN OF THE YEAR 12/31/18
Jackie (Frachiseur) Icenhower was chosen 2018 Atlanta, TX Woman of the Year by KPYN Radio station. The following article was reprinted with permission:
Jackie Icenhower, Director of the Atlanta Public Library for more than 13 years has been named KPYN Radio’s 2018 Atlanta Woman of the Year.
Robert DelGiorno, KPYN’s owner announced that Icenhower was named the woman of the year today (12/29/18).
Jackie Icenhower is not only a successful grant writer, but also a fantastic “Sugar” to her two granddaughters. During her time at the library, the number of people coming to the library annually has risen by 10,000. Mrs. Icenhower taught for 16 years in both public and private schools, so teaching classes on computer use, knitting, or quilting came naturally.
“When our family relocated to Atlanta over 13 years ago it was about the same time that Jackie became the director of the library.” Robert DelGiorno said. “In the past 13 years I’ve noticed that the Atlanta Public Library has set the bar for the highest standards and is probably one of the best libraries in the country.”
It’s obvious that Atlanta’s Library is another benifit in the Atlanta community and it’s another reason why Atlanta is a great place to live and operate a business. Jackie Icenhower deserves a lot of the credit for the libraries success.
Jackie Icenhower has impressive credentials
Jackie. Icenhower received her Master’s degree in Library Science from Texas Woman’s University in 2009. She also has a Master’s degree in English and Psychology and a B.S. in Education. She regularly attends conferences and seminars and subscribes to library discussion groups to stay abreast of the latest trends in Librarianship. From those continuing education exercises came the ideas for the 3D printer, the heirloom seed collection, digitizing our newspaper collection, and lending the Wi-Fi hotspots. Other innovations at the library during her tenure include a public garden, the aforementioned classes, National designation as a Family Place Library, family game nights, CD/DVD repair, and an expanded genealogical collection.
Jackie Icenhower has a strong family and she’s got talent.
Mrs. Icenhower has been married to Kenny Icenhower for 36 years and has three children. She enjoys quilting, knitting, tatting, cross-stitch, smocking, playing the piano, and making outfits for her granddaughters. She sings with Four States Fusion Chorus, a part of Sweet Adelines International barbershop quartet style four part harmony for women.
The De Queen Medical Center remains open. Community leaders and hospital officials made that clear at a community meeting Thursday night at The Legacy Center in Downtown De Queen. An estimated 100 people attended the meeting organized by Dr. Jason Lofton and Chad Gallagher , leaders of a local non-profit organization working at providing information to the public concerning future of the hospital. A number of reports, many of them unsubstantiated, have suggested the hospital will soon close.
Gallagher told KDQN that the hospital is still open despite rumors of the closure and he believes working together as a community is crucial at this time.
Dr. Jason Lofton also serves as the Sevier County Health officer and is on the medical board for the hospital. He joined City Council members, local healthcare employees, Quorum court members, both the retiring and newly elected mayor of De Queen, the county judge, police chief, Representative Dee Ann Vaught and several community church pastors for a discussion about the questions circulating around the hospital’s future. Missed paychecks, questions of closure, 15 confirmed lay-offs and confusion about leadership are all issues that inspired Legacy Initiatives to call the meeting. Gallagher lead the meeting’s attendees through a power point presentation and provided information about conversations that have been held with the state health board, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison and as the Hospital’s private owner, Jorge Perez.
Gallagher explained the history of the hospital’s background and noted that ownership has shifted multiple times over the past several decades and has alternated between private and public ownership since the 1980’s. Currently the De Queen Hospital is privately owned by Jorge Perez and Empower HMS.
Gallagher told the attendees that they cannot currently say whether or not Perez will sell the hospital. The possibility of shifting leadership into local control has been explored but the process would leave Sevier County without a critical access healthcare facility for a period of up to 2 years or more. Legally there can only be one critical access facility every 35 miles within a rural area.
Gallagher also told the group that he and Lofton have been working with large corporate partners in the private sector who would like to help families displaced due to loss of employment. Throughout the meeting Gallagher encouraged residents to utilize the hospital for services and refrain from spreading false information or rumors about the shutting down soon. Through all of the turmoil and confusion many hospital employees continued to show up for work to ensure the patients were cared for and they chose to work not knowing if they would ever be paid for the hours they put in. The group applauded the employees and expressed appreciation for their dedication to this community.
After the power point presentation, Gallagher took questions from the public. Many healthcare providers in De Queen utilize the hospital and refer patients there for x-rays, ultrasounds and similar services but now have to question if the staff will be present to perform the services needed. Gallagher maintained a theme of positive positioning and encouraged communication in telling patients what we do know, not what we don’t.
Gallagher noted that area residents have a responsibility to continue to plan for the future and urged them to continue using the hospital services offered. Gallagher also says working with the current owner is important for keeping the local critical access facility open.
State representative De Ann Vaught encouraged local residents to support the hospital and the employees who still show up to work despite the questions surrounding the hospital’s future.
Many Sevier County leaders will be continuing to have conversations with organizations who can offer resources and help in resolving the concerns about healthcare in Sevier County and KDQN will offer updates and announcements as new plans are formulated and more information is released.
STRUCTURE FIRE HANDLED IN DE QUEEN 12/28/18
The De Queen Fire Department says a Thursday morning fire caused minor damage at a west Heynecker street residence. Fire Department units responded to a call about a fire shortly before 6:00 a.m. Fire officials said the heavy rain at that hour may have helped limit the damage caused by the structure fire.
Two engines and one truck responded to the call. The Fire Department spent about 45 minutes on the scene. Fire officials say the structure was insured. 17 firefighters responded. No injuries were reported.
GAS LEAK IN HOWARD COUNTY 12/28/18
A significant natural gas leak in the Chapel Hill area will continue to keep that area of Mt. Pleasant Drive closed for several days. Howard County Judge Kevin Smith says the leak occurred due to corrosion in the line and that traffic will continue to be diverted until the leak is repaired, which could take 3 or 4 days.
Traffic traveling north on Mt. Pleasant is being rerouted on Chapel Hill Road West to Highway 26…while traffic coming south on Mt. Pleasant is being diverted to Aylett Road & onto Cornith Road. Citizens are asked to not go around the barriers, unless you are a resident of the area.
LIBRARY ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR JANUARY RELEASED 12/28/18
Johnye Fisher of The De Queen Library Branch has released reminders and announcements about events and changes for the Sevier County Library system.
To check out any item at any of the Sevier County Libraries you will need:
A valid Government Issued photo ID, Proof of address, a local phone number, and a personal reference who does not live with you and their local phone number. The libraries offer a variety of items available for check out.
The De Queen Library staff hopes everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New year! The De Queen branch will be having two story time and fun days January 16th at 4pm with Ms LaDonna and her dog Josie and again January 30th at 4pm the story will be about snow and the children can make snowflakes.
“Activities” are held every Wednesday at 10 a.m including Dominos, games, cards, coloring and more. Call the De Queen Branch at 584-4364 for more information.
The Horatio Library will be having two children’s programs in the month of January. January 5th will be Hiccupatoamus by Aaron Zenz and January 19th The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith. The Horatio branch has a variety of services like Fax, copies, lamination, notary, DVD check out and free WIFI with computer access for public use. They also have Dominoes’ Thursday Mornings at 10 am and Bridge at 1 pm.
On Saturday, January 12th the “That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ to It” Book Club will meet at the Lockesburg Library to discuss the novel, “The Other Alcott” at 10 am. Ms. Wendy says that the Children’s library programs planned on Thursdays at 1pm in January will be: “One Snowy Day”, “Germs Make Me Sick!”, “Passports / Egypt” and “Our Skeletal System”. Visit the Lockesburg Library on Facebook or call Ms. Wendy at 870-289-2233 for more information.
The Gillham Library has new books on the shelf including Liar, Liar, by Lisa Jackson and Liars, Leakers, and Liberals by Judge Jeanine Pirro. All new December DVDs and Books should be in after the new year. A Story Time and Craft will be held January 19th, 2019. Beginning January 1, 2019 the new Gillham Library Hours will be Tuesday 9-5 closed from 12-1 for lunch and Saturday 9-5 closed from 12-1 for lunch.
For more information, call Susie at 870-386-5665 or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary.
SHOP WITH A COP DECEMBER 2018 HELD 12/28/18
Local law enforcement representives, The De Queen Fire Department, and Southwest EMS as well as local volunteers including VFW, Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club and individuals helped children choose their Christmas gifts for the 2018 shop with a cop program.
This young man made the statement, “This is the best day of my life!”.
ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS TOY DISTRIBUTION
The annual Toys for Tots toy distribution was held Thursday, December 20th at the De Queen Armory. Two hundred fifty-four children had a merrier Christmas this year after their parents or guardians were allowed to choose three gifts from the huge variety of toys that were on display. Children over two also received a bag with fruit and candy that was packed by Ethel Wommack, Charles Krudwig, and Carolyn Maurer.
December 20th was the culmination of an effort that began in October. The committee, was lead by Mac McDaniel and Jerry Davis with assistance from Jerrel Jones and Laura Ambriz from First State Insurance, contacted local businesses and individuals asking them to donate items to be auctioned on November 2nd at the annual fund-raising chicken dinner, dance and auction at the fairgrounds. Bill Powers and the Poor Boys for provided the music and Jimmy Ray Gentry conducted the auction. Pilgrim donated chicken and cash donations were received from Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club, De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce, and Arvest Bank. De Queen High School students who were exempt from semester tests helped with the toy distribution.
Toys for Tots is an ongoing endeavor. Volunteers are always welcome and donations to the fund may be made year round by mailing your check to: Toys for Tots, P.O. Box 884, De Queen, AR 71832.
De Queen Mayor, Billy Ray McKelvy sat down with KDQN staff Wednesday for an interview to reflect on his time in office and discuss his upcoming retirement plans set to begin in 2019. McKelvy was elected as the mayor of De Queen in May of 2005 and has served the city for 13 and a half years.
McKelvy is retiring as the year ends and a new Mayor, Water Department Superintendent Jeff Brown will begin his time as an elected official for the city January 1st. During the interview, Mckelvy acknowledged the sewer plant built back in 2008 and the new raw waterline east of town as positive accomplishments completed during his time as mayor. Both projects were achieved through financially resourceful methods that did not create added money woes for De Queen residents.
Mayor McKelvy also discussed how he and his wife, Robbie plan to spend their time once he retires. The McKelvys have two grandchildren they look forward to spending more time with and the couple plans to travel more, though they will continue living in De Queen.
The advice Mckelvy would like to pass on to Jeff Brown is the importance of cooperation and working together with council members and city leaders to achieve goals. McKelvy also expressed appreciation for the city council and city employees and their dedication to public service.
Jeff Brown will be sworn in as The new Mayor for The City of De Queen on Tuesday, January 1st at 6:00 p.m. in city hall. A retirement reception will be held in Mayor McKelvy’s honor Friday, December 28th from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Herman Dierks Park community building. The public is welcome.
FIRE DEPARTMENT LAUNCHING NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR CITY CODES, PERMITS AND CITIZEN ENGAGEMENT 12/26/18
The De Queen Fire Department is in the process of launching new technology that will eliminate paper files and provide an online information management system through a software system called “iWorQ” The iWorQ software will help the department manage code enforcement, permit management and citizen engagement matters.
Code enforcement officer Jay Litchford says the paper work will be stored in a database that allows tracking for issues like property liens and code violations. The purpose of the new technology is to provide more efficient communication methods between the Fire Department and local officials like the mayor and city attorney.
The citizen engagement aspect of the software will allow residents of De Queen to go online and notify the city about issues occurring in town, like potholes needing to be fixed, or loose dogs running through neighborhoods. The communication method will be connected to the city of De Queen’s website and a mobile app option will be available. The system has already been successfully implemented in Sheridan, Malvern and Arkadelphia Arkansas. The new technology was approved at the December 11th city council meeting and has been factored into the budget for 2019.
For questions contact the De Queen Fire Department at (870) 584-7224
COMMUNITY MEETING FOR DE QUEEN HOSPITAL QUESTIONS SCHEDULED 12/26/18
Dr. Jason Lofton and Chad Gallagher of Non-profit organization Legacy initiatives have announced a community meeting scheduled for tonight. The topic of discussion is the future of health care in Sevier County and concerns about De Queen hospital. The meeting will be held on tonight, Thursday, Dec. 27, beginning at 6:30 p.m., at the Legacy Center, 121 S. 3rd Street in De Queen.
Along with the meeting’s announcement, Gallagher also released a statement about the meeting’s purpose. He says “Our aim is to widen community involvement, discuss solutions, and solicit input from those we might not otherwise consider reaching out to,” “I am confident that by working together, we will overcome the current challenges and build a brighter future for Sevier County.” All members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend the meeting.
TEXARKANA MAYOR ISSUES FAREWELL STATEMENT 12/27/18
Texarkana Arkansas Mayor Ruth Penney-Bell posted a farewell message to the residents of the city. The post was published after her final board meeting last week.
Ruth Penney-Bell was the first woman mayor elected to serve the city of Texarkana, Arkansas and she began her time in office back in 2014.
The statement was posted to facebook December 17th and more than 80 comments have posted from area residents acknowledging her departure.
In the post, Penney-Bell says:
“This Monday Night, was my last board meeting as your Texarkana, AR Mayor. I would like to express my gratitude to our citizens for allowing me to represent you these last 4 years. I have tried to make myself available to hear your concerns and have heard your voices when you felt I could have done better! I wish the best to our new incoming Mayor on Jan. 1st and will always wish the best for our city. Thank you again for your support and encouragement as your first female mayor.”
Sincerely, Ruth Penney Bell
New Mayor, Allen Brown was uncontested in the mayoral race this year as Mayor Ruth Penney Bell opted to not run for re-election. Brown will be sworn in January 1st, 2019.
KNITTING WORKSHOP TO BE HELD IN IDABEL NEXT MONTH 12/27/18
The Museum of the Red River will host a beginner-level knitting workshop on January 19, 2019. The class is scheduled for 10 am to 3 pm and will break at noon for lunch. Attendees will learn how to create a scarf using 6mm knitting needles. Cost is $45; all supplies are provided. The class will be led by Pat Owens, a local weaver with over six decades of experience, with help from Katie Vick.
Owens started knitting at age six using chicken feathers as needles. Later in life, when she saw something expensive in the store, she would, “copy it and make it [herself]…sweaters, scarves, you name it.” She noted, “when you know how to knit, you can do a lot of things.”
Knitting does not require large equipment like looms, which made it attractive to non-agrarian societies. Today, most knitwear is made using semi-autonomous or autonomous machines. Nonetheless, hand-knitting remains a popular pastime throughout the world.
Registration is available at https://www.museumoftheredriver.org/product/knitting-workshop or over the phone, (580) 286 – 3616.
DIAMOND MINING 101 SESSIONS TO BE HELD IN MURFREESBORO 12/27/18
The Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas is hosting multiple Diamond Mining educational sessions this month.
All sessions will be hosted by a park interpreter in the Diamond Discovery Center and attendees will learn mining tips and view a demonstration of diamond searching methods.
The park is one of the only places in the world where the public can search for real diamonds in their original volcanic source. Visitors to the park search a 37-acre plowed field, for a variety of rocks, minerals, and gemstones – and any rock or mineral found may be kept. Attendees may bring their own mining equipment to search with but no battery-operated or motor driven mining tools are allowed. Tools may also be rented from the park.
Park staff also provide complimentary identification or rocks and minerals found at the park. The cost is free for children age under age 6, $6 for children age 6-12 and $10 for ages 13 and older. Sessions will be held Friday, December 28th at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 29th at 10:00 am at 2:00 p.m.
Crater of Diamonds state park is located at 209 State Park Rd, Murfreesboro, and can be contacted by calling (870) 285-3113.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COURT SYSTEMS RECEIVE NEW TECHNOLOGY 12/26/18
The Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, Detention Center and the two Court Room at the Hempstead County Courthouse has been equipped with the Justice Bridge Program, from The Arkansas Association of Counties.
The system is a Video /Audio communication tool for Law Enforcement, State Prisons, and the Judiciary. The program improves courtroom safety and efficiency while providing potential advancements in parole and probation processes. Hearings can be accomplished via teleconference. Results include improved communication between county officials and law enforcement: less travel for investigators interviewing inmates in distant facilities; and streamlined communication between judges and prosecutors.
The benefits of the Justice Bridge Program will be reduced time, fuel and vehicle maintenance cost to counties due to reduction in inmate transports to court hearings. Reduced liability to counties for vehicular accidents, inmate assaults and medical cost while the inmate is in custody. Reduced amount of contraband due to fewer transports, and reduced escape potential, resulting increased public safety.
Hempstead County was able to obtain the system from the Association of Arkansas Counties Risk Management Fund of which Hempstead County is a member.
This will be a tool that will help save on the transportation of inmates from the Department of Correction facilities. It also allows the sheriff to contact other sheriff’s who are part of the system by video conference.
Instead of going after an inmate in the state prison system for court hearings the Judge will be able to use this system and have the hearing by video from the prison to the courtroom.
LOCAL NATIVES MAKE UAHT CHANCELLOR’S LISTS 12/26/18
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana has released the Chancellor’s and Vice Chancellor’s Honor Roll list for the fall of 2018. Local residents include:
Vice Chancellor’s List Fall 2018
Chancellor’s List Fall 2018
DEER IN SCOTT COUNTY TESTS POSITIVE FOR CWD 12/26/18
WALDRON – Chronic wasting disease has been found in Scott County, Arkansas. A hunter-harvested white-tailed deer harvested north of Waldron tested positive for the disease, according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The buck, sampled through the AGFC’s network of partnering taxidermists, was confirmed as CWD-positive by the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Madison today.
Although Scott County currently is outside the AGFC’s CWD Management Zone, Ballard does not expect any changes to deer-hunting regulations to take place for the remainder of the 2018-19 deer hunting season.
Hunters who wish to have their deer tested for CWD can voluntarily take the head of the deer with about 6 inches of neck still attached to one of the AGFC’s network of participating taxidermists to have a sample tested for free. They may also drop the head off at one of dozens of CWD-testing Collection Stations positioned throughout the state. Visit www.agfc.com/cwd for a list of testing locations.
CWD was first detected in Arkansas Feb. 23, 2016. Since the first detection, AGFC has sampled and tested over 18,000 deer and elk from around the state with more than 16,000 of those samples coming from hunter-harvested animals. To date, 570 deer and elk have tested positive for the disease in Arkansas.
Research indicates CWD is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion that is transmitted through feces, urine and saliva, and can survive for years in soil and plants. CWD can have an incubation period of at least 16 months, which means infected animals may not show signs of disease immediately.
CWD prions accumulate throughout the body and affect an animal’s nervous system. The disease prions cause normal cellular proteins to misfold into abnormal shapes, which accumulate until neural cells cease to function. Infected animals begin to lose weight, lose their appetite and develop an insatiable thirst. They may separate from their herds, walk in repetitive patterns, carry their head low, salivate, urinate frequently and grind their teeth.
Visit www.agfc.com/cwd for more information.
COLLEGE BUSINESS COMPETITION ANNOUNCES WINNERS 12/26/18
Ouachita Baptist University’s Hickingbotham School of Business hosted its 10th annual Business Plan Competition this month on Dec. 5. Cole Jester, a senior Christian studies/biblical studies major from Benton, Ark., placed first in the competition with his business plan for Bone Dri and received a $4,000 cash prize. Jester was advised by Bryan McKinney, dean of the Hickingbotham School of Business, associate professor of business law and university counsel.
Bone Dri is based on a product designed to dry wet hunting waders and boots. A hunter himself, Jester said he “wanted to build a business on what I knew and understood.”
Immunovate earned second place in the competition. Immunovate, which seeks to develop a better test for screening prostate cancer, was presented by Joey Dean, a senior biology major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Joshua Lantzsch, a junior finance major from Rogers, Ark.; and Sykes Martin, a senior biology major from Sheridan, Ark. They were advised by Dr. Blake Johnson, assistant professor of biology, and received a $3,000 cash prize.
Kailee Jones, a senior biology major from Redwater, Texas, and Mallory Tabler, a senior biology major from Bentonville, Ark., received third place for their business, Quikgive; they were advised by Jeanie Curry, assistant professor of accounting. Quikgive is an online platform that helps connect donors with homeless shelters in order for donors to give exactly what the shelters need. Jones and Tabler received a $2,000 cash prize.
These three teams will advance to compete against the winners of Henderson State University’s competition during the OBU/HSU Business Plan Competition, which will take place in February
For more information, contact Bryan McKinney at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5513.
FIRST HIKE OF THE YEAR AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK
Cossatot River State park has announced the first hike of the year set for Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. All participants will meet at the visitor’s center. This family-friendly 3hour hike of the Harris Creek Trail will lead to Goat’s Bluff, one of the most scenic views in the park.
Afterwards, hot chocolate, S’mores, Cider and Hot tea will be served to attendees. Leashed pets are welcome. The park is located at 1980 US-278, Wickes, AR. Contact the park at 870-385-2201 for more details.
CHRYSLER PRESENTS SERVICE AWARD TO LOCAL DEALERSHIP 12/21/18
De Queen Auto Group was honored on Thursday by Chrysler Corporation with a 25-year service award. Presenting the award to Jay and Mary Ellen Dooley were Brent Burrows, Derrik Arozco, and Joe Brooks with Chrysler Corporation from the Southwest Business Center in Dallas.
Mr. Burrows stated that there were few Chrysler dealers that received such a prestigious award and that it was a testament to De Queen Auto Group’s stability. They commended De Queen Auto Group for their loyalty and for staying with Chrysler thru the movement of the car industry and the thick and thin of the company’s different issues over the years.
The staff at De Queen Auto Group was treated to a pizza lunch from Chrysler.
THIRTY-FIVE AHS STUDENTS CERTIFIED IN WISE! FINANCIAL LITERACY 12/21/18
Photo #1 (l-r)
Front Row from left: Bandara Price, Ansleigh Patrick, Cade Hinton, Jukarra Greenlee, and Railee Schmidt. Back Row: Caillou Quintal, Kohl Kervin, Braden Gentry, Braden Jackson, Dustin Green, Joseph Clark, and Vonee Thomas
#2 Front l to r – Jayla Sanders, Addison Smedley, Sara Huddleston. Back – Devonte Carpenter, John Henry Thomas, Vontre O’Guinn, Nick Karambellas, and Cole Spigner Not Pictured: Faith Gray, Trenyce Hemphill, Ellie Loosier, and Robin Roy
#3 – Front l to r – Micah Stafford, Brayden Cross, Kaila Sullivan, and Keely Turner. Back: Kyle Burnham, Adarrius Hamilton, Angelina McGinn, and Blake Ritter. Not pictured: Cove Nixon and Amy Newton
#4 Memphis Holland
AGFC STOCKS MILLIONS OF FISH IN AREA WATERS 12/21/18
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocked 7,451,885 fish to supplement The Natural State’s waters and provide increased opportunity for anglers in 2018.
According to hatchery reports compiled by the AGFC Fisheries Division’s Aquatic Culture Section, 18 fish species were produced on AGFC hatcheries and nursery ponds. These fish weighed an approximate 690,171 pounds, which was spread out among dozens of fisheries in Arkansas. Three size ranges of fish were stocked throughout the year — fingerlings, which measure 1 to 3 inches, yearlings, which are larger than 3 inches, and adults, which are catchable-size and usually are retired brood stock that were used for hatchery and nursery pond production.
While the numbers are impressive, Tommy Laird, assistant chief of fisheries, says it’s important to look at the relative size of the fish stocked in addition to the total number.
In addition to the sportfish stocked in Arkansas waters, hatcheries produced 2.1 million forage fish of different species to give stocked fish a jump start on growth and to boost the productivity in less fertile fisheries.
Threadfin shad stockings have increased in recent years to help boost forage populations, with roughly 232,000 threadfin shad stocked directly into Arkansas reservoirs, either through hatchery trucks or through nursery ponds connected to the lakes.
Stockings play a vital role in boosting populations in smaller bodies of water and those that lack the amount of spawning habitat available to withstand extreme
Another area where stocked fish shine is through the many fishing events and promotions the AGFC does to introduce new anglers to the world of fishing. More than 271,000 catchable-size catfish and 597,575 catchable-size rainbow trout were stocked in 2018, most of which were placed in smaller bodies of water specifically to hook new anglers with some fast success during the year.
The AGFC has also stocked catchable-size trout in tailwater fisheries below Lakes Ouachita, Greeson, Hamilton and Catherine for anglers to trout fish without driving all the way to the White or Little Red rivers.”
ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES MOBILE LOCATIONS FOR 2019 12/21/18
On Thursday, December 20th Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the first round of mobile office locations set to be held in January 2019.
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 are held in all 75 counties of the State each year.
Rutledge says she believes face-to-face conversations are the best way to hear from Arkansans. The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents 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.
At the mobile office events 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 her mobile offices.
Rutledge will be visiting Southwest Arkansas on Thursday, Jan. 31 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Arkadelphia Senior Adult Activity Center located at 1305 N. 10th Street. Additional dates will be released and the mobile office location schedules are posted online at ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007.
ASHDOWN STUDENTS COMPETE IN CHEF SHOWDOWN 12/21/18
As a part of the transfer, UAHT will offer career and technical classes for qualifying high school students from the Arkansas High, Fouke, Genoa, and Ashdown School Districts on the U of A Texarkana campus and at TASD facilities currently in operation. Additionally, the operational transfer will expand career education opportunities across southwest Arkansas with the opening of a new CTE Center on the Hope campus this Fall. The center on the U of A Hope campus will offer classes to qualifying high school students from the Hope, Blevins, Spring Hill, Prescott, Nevada, and Lafayette County School Districts.
Secondary career and technical education centers are a part of the Arkansas Department of Career Education’s mission to prepare a job-ready, career-bound workforce to meet the needs of Arkansas employers. The goal is to provide the necessary academic and technical skills for high-quality jobs, to offer Arkansans of all ages the options to pursue a wide range of career choices and to supply employers with validation of skills through certifications and licenses.
UAHT will offer classes in a variety of career and technical fields including:
• Industrial Equipment Maintenance
• Medical Professions
• Welding Technology
For more information, contact Mikki Curtis, Secondary Career Center Director, at 870-722-8133 or email@example.com.
SEVIER COUNTY LEADERS ADDRESS HOSPITAL CLOSURE QUESTION 12/20/18
On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, a group of Sevier County community leaders met to discuss options for the continuation of services in the event of a hospital closure. Meeting attendance included representation of elected officials, the medical community, emergency responders, civic organizations, and major employers in the county.
“In light of the facts related to the financial woes of our local hospital, community leaders felt it necessary to develop a contingency plan for access to healthcare in Sevier County in the event of a hospital closure” said Lisa Taylor, Sevier County Economic Development Director.
During the meeting, officials discussed topics ranging from access to emergency services to assistance for displaced workers. While the loss of a local hospital will affect many lives in and around Sevier County, officials feel the community would recover in given time.
“People are worried, as they should be. However, there are a few rumors flying around that need to be cleared up.”, said Taylor. One such rumor is related to the loss of our region’s largest employers should the hospital close. “We have verified with our major employers that the loss of our local hospital would not impact their operations, as they each have contingency plans in place.” said Taylor.
“I encourage our community members to check the facts before they share rumors. False information often leads to increased stress. If youneed help verifying something, please reach out to me or one of our community leaders for assistance.”
Above all else, the group concluded that the hospital remaining open is the priority. However, if it is not possible, local leaders are ready to take action to ensure that Sevier County will have the very best access to a local critical access hospital.
In 2018, many rural communities are facing the same challenge as Sevier County. Becker’s Hospital Review stated that across the US, more than 600 rural hospitals are vulnerable to closure, according to an estimate from iVantage Health Analytics, a firm that compiles a hospital strength index based on data about financial stability, patients and quality indicators. Research from the North Carolina Rural Health ResearchProgram also found that eighty-nine rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and those closures are spread across 26 states.
“Our local leaders are taking this matter very seriously and soon should have all the data necessary to move forward in bringing excellent hospital services and health care jobs back to Sevier County”, according to Taylor. For questions or assistance, please feel free to contact Lisa Taylor, Sevier County Economic Development Director at (870) 279-5937.
STATEWIDE HOLIDAY DEER HUNT ANNOUNCED BY AGFC 12/20/18
Deer hunters using modern guns have one more chance to collect on their scouting time and tag a trophy. The statewide modern gun Holiday Deer Hunt is Dec. 26-28.
As Arkansas’s deer population has grown, this opportunity was added to help manage the deer herd and offer hunters another reason to get together during the holidays for some fellowship and fun. Deer program coordinator Ralph Meeker says many of the deer processors he has talked to have been very busy, and many deer are being taken throughout the state. He expects that trend to remain strong during the upcoming hunt.
The large number of does typically taken during the holiday deer hunt help balance the buck-to-doe ratio in the state, which helps maintain a healthy deer herd. The Holiday Hunt is structured identically to the regular modern gun hunts with the exception that no dogs are allowed anywhere in the state. All deer taken during the hunt count toward a hunter’s seasonal bag limit for the zone where they are hunting. Some wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges are closed to modern gun hunting during the hunt, but many will be open.
Also ahead is the second Youth Hunt, Jan. 3-4. This is also statewide with no dogs allowed. Hunters under 16 years old can go after deer with modern guns, muzzleloaders or archery gear. If youths have hunter education certificates, they may hunt on their own. If they do not have hunter education certificates, they must be accompanied by a person 21 or older. The adult mentor cannot carry a firearm.
Visit www.agfc.com/en/hunting/big-game/deer for more information on deer hunting in Arkansas.
AJHS STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN JOB SHADOWING PROGRAM 12/20/18
Maddie Huddleston at Ashdown Dental Clinic
Ashdown Junior High School 8th grade students participated in the job shadowing program on December 11th around Ashdown. Students “shadowed” teachers around the Ashdown School District, Ashdown Veterinary Clinic, Domtar, Family Medical Associates, King Medical Clinic, Cutting Edge Hair Salon, Kevin Robinson Construction, Memorial Medical Clinic, Ashdown Dental Clinic, and Little River Memorial Hospital.
Dal Ringgold at Ashdown Veterinary Clinic
Job Shadowing is a learning tool that allows students to get a first-hand look
at a specific career, ask questions, and obtain hands-on experience.
The students chose the various careers to shadow based on their own personal interest areas.
AJHS teacher Virginia Spain said, “I appreciate very much the people and businesses that support and allow these students the opportunity to spend the day out in the workplace to get a first-hand look at a career they are interested in. The success of our Job Shadowing Program is due to the willingness of these businesses to participate and be so accommodating to our students! A big thanks to all the people and businesses who hosted a student this year and in years past!”
Story and photos submitted by Ronda Pounds
INMATE RECEIVES CHARGE AFTER ALTERCATION AT SEVIER COUNTY JAIL 12/20/18
An inmate at the Sevier County Jail is facing an additional charge after refusing a mandatory medical test issued by a corrections officer on Friday, December 14th.
According to a report from The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department Marcus Johnson fell out of a bunk and Tower Operator Barbara Salazar notified Officer Isaac Alvarado. Alvarado reported that Johnson had refused the breakfast tray offered to him and was unresponsive when asked questions. The officer verified Johnson was awake and alert by waving an ammonia inhalant to Johnson’s nose and instructed him to lay on this bunk.
Alvarado reported that Johnson did not cooperate and fell on the ground and began to yell about a back injury. Johnson reportedly denied medical attention from the jail staff but asked for an ambulance. It was also reported that Johnson used foul language when speaking to jail staff about their attempts to check his blood sugar. A mandated court order states that jail staff are to use force to assess the medical needs of Marcus Johnson when necessary. De Queen Police Officer JJ Lopez responded to the scene to offer assistance and Johnson refused Lopez’s attempts to check his blood sugar.
Alvarado and Lopez attempted to handcuff Johnson so he could be placed in the restraint chair but Johnson resisted and did not comply with orders. Reports from the Sevier County Sheriff’s department state that Johnson claimed he would rather go unconscious than comply. Officer Lopez informed Johnson he would be using a taser if Johnson refused to comply with the orders. Johnson still refused and Officer Lopez issued the taser twice and the officers were able to handcuff him and place him in the restraints.
Officer Megan Linzy attempted to check Johnson’s blood sugar but Johnson again, refused. Officer Lopez prevented Johnson from biting her and she was able to get a blood sugar reading from Johnson’s forearm. Johnson was still confined to the restraint chair and stated how he was not planning to comply in the future when he stated, “Don’t even bring no tray, I bet I go out then”. Johnson reportedly stated he was waiting for them to come with a needle to make them stick themselves.
Lopez, Alvarado and Linzy waited until Johnson appeared calm and they rolled him to the bunk. When they began to remove him from the chair, Johnson pulled his arms away from the officers and reportedly claimed he was going to keep the handcuffs. As officer Linzy removed the cuffs from Johnson’s hands, he was asked to unclench his fist and face forward. Reports state that Johnson became aggressive and verbally threatened Officer Linzy.
Officer Linzy was stepping away after she got the cuffs back, Johnson threw a bag containing vomit which he had received from the De Queen Emergency Center a day before and kept in his cell. The vomit bag that Johnson threw hit against Officer Linzy’s left lower leg and exposed her to the vomit. Johnson, is in jail for chargers of controlled substance delivery, burglary and assault. He is now facing an additional charge of aggravated assault on a correctional officer.
NEW TECHNOLOGY COMING FOR DIERKS SCHOOLS 12/20/18
The Dierks School Board met this week and approved additional technology purchases. A motion by Wendell Garner and seconded by Jeffrey Mounts passed unanimously to accept STS Education’s bid of $18,540 for five Promethean smartboards with mobile stands and a three year warranty.
Both Dierks elementary and high school received ten thousand dollar grants last week by the Weyerhaeuser Company to upgrade and purchase additional chrome books. In other agenda items, the board approved participation in the Workers Compensation Trust program. Board members also approved a motion to sell an acre of land at the appraised value of $1,850. The board adopted a resolution choosing the date to hold the 2019 annual school election on November 5, 2019.
SUSPECTS FOUND WITH PARAPHERNALIA IN DE QUEEN 12/19/18
Reports from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department say Sergeant Greg Davignon and Deputy Brian Hankins were traveling on 9th street in De Queen Friday, December 14th when they observed two individuals walking in the middle of the road.
The suspects were identified as Kenneth Williams and Deeana Broomsey. According to the sheriff’s department Williams was found with an open beer can in his hand and the smell of alcoholic beverages was present on both suspects. The officers performed a search of the suspects and patted them both down to check for weapons. During the search Sergeant Davignon reportedly discovered a glass smoking pipe with a white crystal substance in Broomsey’s pocket.
Broomsey was placed in custody and advised of her Miranda rights. She was transported to the Sevier County Jail where she was processed. Broomsey was charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.
SHOP LOCAL CAMPAIGN DRAWING HELD 12/19/19
The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce “Love Your Local” campaign winner has been announced. The winner is Crystal Olvera of De Queen. More than 3,000 names were entered in the drawing. Every receipt that was dropped in one of the white boxes at a participating merchant was entered in the drawing for a chance to win a $1,000 value basket with gifts and gift certificates.
Crystal made a purchase at Baker’s Bargain House and her name was drawn Wednesday December 19th during The Morning Brew on number one country 92.1. The purpose of promoting local businesses is to maintain jobs and economic development in Sevier County. Chamber of Commerce Director Suzanne Babb and chamber members Daniel Martinez and Callie Miller assisted in the campaign.
CHRISTMAS GIFT SHOW IN MENA GOING ON NOW 12/19/18
The annual Christmas gift show is going on now in Polk County, Arkansas.
The Mena Art Gallery is hosting their yearly Christmas gift show featuring art work and displays created by residents in the local area. The ongoing event began October 31st and is continuing until December 29th. All art work turned into the show is for sale and the show is neither a contest nor competition as there is no formal judges evaluating the entries.
The show is an opportunity for local artists and creators to be paid for their work. If a submitted item sells, the gallery receives a 25% profit of the sale and the artist receives 75%. Items currently featured at the gallery are family friendly and include paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and related items within the art and media field. The gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. They can be contacted at 479-394-3880 for questions.
WEYERHAEUSER DONATES TO LIMI 12/19/18
Weyerhaeuser donated $10,000 to the University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation for the development of a pump transfer training system for the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute (LIMI)
Division Chair of Skilled and Technical Programs, Steve McJunkins says “$7500.00 previously received from Weyerhaeuser helped purchase parts and supplies to launch construction of the trainer and the funding received today will be used to complete the project, enabling us to develop further skill sets required by our business and industry partners in preparing our students for jobs within the pathway of instrumentation” The UA Cossatot LIMI opened for industrial technology classes in August 2018.
The institute provides training for local industries such as Weyerhaeuser, Tyson, Ashgrove, Domtar, and SWEPCO. Chancellor Cole says, We’re honored that they are helping with this groundbreaking program in Lockesburg.” “This program helps hundreds of students that will be working towards high-wage, high- skill jobs in the industrial maintenance field, which is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to economic development for our area.” For more information about Industrial Technology programs, visit www.cccua.edu/IndMaint
LOCAL PRINCIPAL’S COURT DATE RESCHEDULED IN BATTERY CASE 12/18/19
New details have been released in the Mineral Springs High School Principal Battery case. Clint Jones was arrested after a football game against Hampton on November 16th of this year after allegedly engaging in an altercation with the mother of a mineral springs student.
Jones reportedly attempted to break up a fight after the game which resulted in the accusation and his arrest. Jones was charged with third-degree battery and had a court date set for December 11th.
The principal was placed on administrative leave and has had his court date moved to February because the Calhoun County judge set to hear his case has experienced health issues. Tracy Forte has been filling to cover administrative responsibilities while Jones is on leave. More information will be released as reports become available.
LOCAL RESIDENTS MAKE ACADEMIC LISTS AT SAU 12/19/18
Several local students have been named to the President’s List or Dean’s List for the fall 2018 semester at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
President’s List (4.0 GPA)
Blevins, Ark.—Isabella Capetillo
Dierks, Ark.—Kaitlin Kitchens
Lockesburg, Ark.—Mallory Miller
McCaskill, Ark.—Tristan Nivens
Nashville, Ark.—Abby Williams
Dean’s List (3.5 GPA)
Blevins, Ark.—Michael Parker
Dierks, Ark.—James Bobo and Alison Kitchens
Lockesburg, Ark.—Erica Erwin and Sarah Sharp
Nashville, Ark.—Danielle Jessie, Miguel Padilla, Breanna Peebles and John Raulerson
Saratoga, Ark.—Jada Fricks
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL TO MEET FOR DECEMBER 12/19/18
The Lockesburg city council meeting has been rescheduled for tonight, Wednesday, December 19th at 5:30 p.m. in the Lockesburg City Hall.
Items to be discussed in Mayor Danny Ruth’s report will include a Weyerhaesuer grant for the senior center, a sewer lift station for generator hook-ups and an update on the walking bridge.
Actions for the council members will include addressing the 2019 proposed budget and employee raises, Christmas bonuses and request for unused vacation time pay and building permits.
The council will also address a preliminary engineering report on the wastewater collection system, approval of the previous meetings minutes as well as the approval of the November budget and financial report.
SEVIER, HOWARD AND LITTLE RIVER COUNTIES INCLUDED IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM 12/18/18
University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Extension Community and Economic Development announces the selection of two multicounty regions in the state for participation in CREATE BRIDGES, a program designed to build up rural economies. CREATE BRIDGES was recently launched in Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas with the help of a $2.7 million grant from Walmart to the Southern Rural Development Center.
The Little River, Howard and Sevier region is working together to elevate CREATE BRIDGES businesses. This area is home to popular natural tourism spots, with heavy interstate traffic because of its proximity to major highways. This region’s steering committee is comprised of county judges and county extension agents, with a history of working together to conduct agricultural and leadership programming, and has the support of University of Arkansas Cossatot for potential training and educational opportunities.
Economic Development leaders will work with state partners to facilitate a retail academy for regional leaders and a business retention and expansion program. They also will coordinate with regional workforce investment boards to identify opportunities for workforce training focused on incumbent and new workers. The program also will look at workforce solutions to retain workers and promote from within.
For more information about CREATE BRIDGES, visit https://uaex.edu/createbridges and contact Julianne Dunn at 501-671-2158 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOMAN FACING CHARGES AFTER DOMESTIC DISPUTE IN DE QUEEN 12/18/18
Reports from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department say Sergeant Greg Davignon was dispatched to a residence on Chapel Hill road in De Queen on Sunday, December 16th after a call was received about a domestic disturbance.
Sergeant Davignon reported being familiar with the home because he had responded to multiple disputes at the address in the past. Upon arriving on the scene Sergeant Davignon reportedly made contact with the occupant of the home who claimed his ex-wife had been staying at the residence because she had no where else to stay. Reports say the woman allegedly slapped, hit and began choking the man during an incident.
The woman was identified as Regina Easlon of De Queen. According to police reports the man had visible marks on his neck which indicated signs of assault and Sergeant Davignon explained that a formal eviction would have to take place for Regina to be removed from the residence. The man reportedly did not want to press charges and the Sergeant began to leave the residence before he was called back because the man changed his mind.
Regina was placed in custody and transferred to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department where she was advised of her Miranda rights and charged with 3rd degree assault on a household or family member.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD DECEMBER MEETING HELD 12/18/18
The Ashdown School Board met for their regular board meeting at the administration building last week. Superintendent Casey Nichols reported enrollment in the district is currently at 1,420 students, which is up from the previous number of 1,369. Superintendent Nichols also announced a new partnership with the City of Ashdown and Pee Wee basketball.
Mr Nichols noted the superintendent evaluation set for January and board elections scheduled in May. He also announced the food service audit has been completed. Keith Fricks presented Panther pride awards to students Lily Chauncy, Kylee Crow and Halleigh Joe Williams for their participation in the state fair.
In old business items, the previous meetings minutes and a new substitute teacher policy were approved. A recommendation by Casey Nichols was made to approve the purchase of Chromebooks and Licenses for the High School and Elementary schools in the amount of $38,446.90 The motion was approved. Mr. Nichols also made recommendations to accept the change order for the high school gym bleacher rails, approve the school improvement plans presented and approve board disclosures. All the recommendations were approved and the motions were carried.
In new business items the topic of additional costs for new band uniforms was addressed . The extra cost in the amount of $426.66 was approved because the tax had not been factored into the original bid.
The financial reports were also approved and a closed session took place for roughly one hour during the meeting. The final item addressed was personnel. The retirement of Sheila Vaughn was accepted and Mark Pounds hire as bus driver was approved. Roy Burton will transfer from a three hour bus route to a four hour route. Abby Williams and Tia Farmer were also approved as long term substitute teachers and Anna Tillery will transfer to Junior High business teacher on January 1st.
SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY REPORT RELEASED 12/18/18
A report of all activity conducted by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department for the month of November, 2018 is in.
The report shows 1,827 hours were spent on duty with 1,905 miles driven.
In De Queen, 662 hours were spent addressing 50 complaints, six accidents and 21 building checks were conducted. A total of 8 warnings were issued, five arrests made and 10 traffic stops conducted.
In Horatio Deputies spent 415 hours were spent addressing 27 complaints, two accidents and 304 building checks. A total of 13 traffic stops were conducted with 13 warnings issued and no arrests or citations.
In Lockesburg 180 hours were spent addressing 40 complaints, three accidents and 24 traffic stops with 135 building checks. Three arrests were made, three citations issued and 22 warnings were given.
In Gillham 159 hours were spent addressing 27 complaints, 13 traffic stops and 146 building checks were conducted with 11 warnings issued and three arrests made.
UA RICH MOUNTAIN HOSTS CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE 12/18/18
More than 600 guests attended the ‘Jingle and Mingle’ Christmas Open House hosted by UA Rich Mountain in Mena last week. The event featured musical performances by area choirs including Acorn, Waldron, and Cossatot River’s ‘Noteworthy’. Guests also experienced performances by pianist Benjamin Mooren from Wickes and the Ouachita Strings.
The event is held in UA Rich Mountain’s 13,000 s.f. Ouachita Center, that was constructed in 2014, and attracts hundreds of community members each year. Chancellor Dr. Phillip Wilson said that the Christmas Open House is truly one of his favorite annual events since it brings everyone together… faculty, staff, students, business, and community, to celebrate this time of year, and another opportunity to showcase the Ouachita Center.
The facility hosts a caterer’s kitchen with commercial warming ovens, convection oven, sinks, refrigeration, and dishwasher. The Dick and Frances Carver Grand Hall is used for large scale events and can be divided into smaller spaces for smaller gatherings. The facility is also equipped with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment.
For more information about the Quachita Center contact Jessie Barr at 479-394-7622 ext. 1221.
HORATIO SOFTBALL TEAM SEEKING SPONSORS 12/17/18
- Dustin Bakenhaus is the Softball coach at Horatio High School. Coach Dustin stopped by KDQN studios Friday to announce that the team is currently seeking sponsors for the 2019 season. Funds are needed to cover the cost of future facilities, equipment and related expenses.
Coach Bakenhaus says the local community has provided needed support for the team in the past but the time has come for new and current businesses to renew or sign up for sponsorship agreements.
The cost to sponsor the Horatio High School Lady Lions Softball team is $100 per year and a sign for the business will be placed on a billboard near the scoreboard for all fans in attendance to see. Interested sponsors can call the district at 870-832-1900 for more information or visit the Horatio Softball team’s facebook and twitter page. The first game of the season is set for February 25th, 2019.
ASHDOWN TEACHERS OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED 12/17/18
The Ashdown School District celebrated their campus Teachers of the Year, who were selected by their peers. The district Teacher of the Year award winner was announced during the December School Board Meeting. Jennifer Richardson was selected for Ashdown Elementary; Kendall Day, L.F. Henderson; Jessica Gallagher, Ashdown Junior High, and Connie Anderson, Ashdown High School. Connie Anderson was selected for the District Teacher of the Year.
Mrs. Richardson has taught 2nd grade for 5 years at Ashdown Elementary and student taught on the campus as well. She has two children, Olivia, who is in 1st grade and Brooks, who is 2. She is married to Matt Richardson, AHS Head Football Coach. She serves on Multiple committies and can often be found at football games supporting the team. She also participates in activities with the Methodist church and spends time with her family.
Mrs. Day has taught 3rd and 4th grade in her 4 years at L.F. Henderson. She is a graduate of Ashdown High School and Texas A&M University Texarkana. She is married to Jacob Day and has a son, Beaux. Her hobbies are spending time with her family, being outdoors, and working in her yard.
Mrs. Gallagher has taught 6th-grade math for 2 years in the Ashdown School District. She was the Valedictorian of the Foreman High School class of 2011. She attended the University of Arkansas and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Jessica married Cody in 2016 and graduated with a Master’s Degree from SAU in 2018.
Mrs. Anderson has taught AP U.S. History, AP American History, and AP Human Geography during her 13 years in the district. She graduated from Ashdown High School and has a degree from SAU. She has three children that have all graduated from Ashdown Schools. AHS Principal Kay York said, “Not only does she encourage students, but many teachers and staff have given examples of how she has encouraged them Many students that have graduated and gone on to college have often mentioned that Mrs. Anderson was the teacher who prepared them for the rigor and expectations of college.”
LOCAL NATIVES COMPETE IN COLLEGE MUSIC COMPETITION 12/17/18
Several college students and natives of local cities in the Southwest Arkansas area competed in a music competition held at Ouachita Baptist University earlier this month.
The 13th annual W. Francis and Mary McBeth Wind and Percussion Concerto Competition took place Friday. December 7th.
Students who competed this year include Sierra Westberg, an instrumental music education major from Arkadelphia, Arkansas. The senior earned second place for her alto saxophone performance, along with an award of $300. Morgan Taylor, is a senior music industry major from Hot Springs, Arkansas who received third place and an award of $200 for her saxophone performance.
First place went to Junior Richie Blosch of Fort Worth, Texas. He performed “Concerto for Marimba – I. Despedida” by Ney Rosauro. He received a monetary award of $500 and may be featured as a soloist with the Ouachita Wind Ensemble in the 2018 spring semester.
Other locally based students who competed include Cayli Campbell, a trombone player and a senior instrumental performance major from Texarkana, Texas; and Blake Turner, trumpet player and a senior instrumental music education major from Malvern, Ark.
Pianists accompanying the students throughout the performance were Kristen La Madrid, Sunday Monroe and Elsen Portugal.
For more information about the competition and similar programs, contact Dr. Carlos Feller, visiting assistant professor of music, at email@example.com or 870-245-4160.
2018 ARKANSAS FARM FAMILY OF THE YEAR INDUCTEES 12/17/18
Governor Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Agriculture Secretary Wes Ward and State leaders will honor 42 representatives from 25 counties across the state as they are inducted into the 2018 Arkansas Century Farm Program during a ceremony to be held on Wednesday, Dec. 19th.
Arkansas Century Farm recognizes Arkansas farms that have been owned and farmed by the same family for at least 100 years. Since 2012, when the Arkansas Agriculture Department program started, 418 farms have been inducted.
The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the State Capitol building in Little Rock.
A full list of 2018 Arkansas Century Farm inductees by county and farm name, can be found online at www.aad.arkansas.gov/arkansas-century-farm-program.
DIERKS CHRISTMAS PARADE RE-SCHEDULED FOR DEC. 21ST 12/17/18
The Dierks Christmas parade has been moved from December 10th to This week on December 21st. The change was made due to scheduling conflicts with the High School and Pee-Wee basketball games.
The parade will be held at 6:00 p.m. pm on Friday, December 21st with line-up at the school. After the parade Santa Claus will be set-up in front of the Methodist church with toys for the children. There will be prizes awarded as well. Five $100 cash prizes will be distributed for persons age 13 and up, and an air-powered hockey table and ESPN foosball table will be given away to two children under age 12.
Any person interested in singing Christmas carols following the parade can contact Jerry Mounts by calling 870-557-7298 for more information.
HEMPSTEAD COUNTY BICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION SATURDAY 12/14/18
The Hempstead County Bicentennial celebration will be held Saturday December 15th in Hope, Arkansas. Festivities will begin at 10:00 a.m. at Hempstead Hall. Speakers will include Mack McLarty, Lavenski Smith, Joe Purvis, and Ellen Turner. Past county officials will be honored and county veterans will be remembered in a ceremony.
At 1:00 p.m. the Bicentennial parade will start at the current Hempstead County Courthouse and make its way through downtown Hope. After the parade, 2nd street downtown will host “the best of Hempstead County event with vendors, business information booths, and food trucks.
Live performances will be featured by Shelley Keith, Arnetta Bradford, the Dancetastics troupe, the Beryl Henry Elementary Choir, Brady Rhodes, the Trapp Jazz Giants, and the Night Hawk Band. At 6pm cake will be served by the EHC ladies and the whole day will conclude at 6:00 p.m. with a fireworks show. For more information visit hempstead200.com.
DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD TO MEET NEXT WEEK 12/14/18
The Dierks school board will meet for their December meeting next week.
The meeting will be held at The Dierks High School Library at 6:00 p.m. and the public is welcome.
The agenda calls for the approval and signing of the previous meetings minutes adn reports of the personnel policy committees.
There will also be a report presented by the superintendent and principals and bills and financial statements will be addressed.
The board will also address a land sale item issue in the unfinished business category.
In terms of new business, the board is set to discuss board election resolution, renewing participation in workers compensation trust, technology purchases and personnel issues.
ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL ORGANIZES DRIVE 12/14/18
The Ashdown High School Student Council sponsored a campus wide toy drive to help give children in our community a better Christmas this year. The students and faculty collected an estimated $6,500.00 worth of toys and clothing which will go to area children in need this holiday season. The drive was organized by the StuCo officers and each class president. Student council representatives include Hannah Denton, Caden Hunter, Kaylee Silva, Autumn Hoffman, Rileigh Day, Mrs. Melanie McGraw, Chance Redfearn, Mrs. Sandy Smith, Braylee Lansdell, Braden McKean, Mackenzie White, Aniya Polite & Lanyce Hemphill.
SHOP LOCAL CAMPAIGN DRAWING NEXT WEEK 12/14/18
The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce “Love Your Local” campaign is ongoing now. Every receipt dropped in one of the white boxes at a participating merchant will be entered in a chance to win a weekly drawing and a $1,000 value basket with gifts and gift certificates. The purpose of promoting local businesses is to maintain jobs and economic development in Sevier County.
To enter the” Love Your Local” Drawings, stop by one of the local merchants, and put your contact information on a receipt and put it in the box for the drawing.
Tyson Company Store
Bailey Discount Building Supply
Ranch House Café
Simple Simon’s Pizza
De Queen Auto Group
D. Bradley & Company
Diana’s & Shoe Depot
De Queen Health & Wellness Pharmacy
Southern Girls Flowers & Gifts
Harris Drug Store
Cutting Room & Company
Baker’s Bargain House
Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts
Moyer Equipment Sales & Rentals
Grand Prize Drawing will be held December 19th.
SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPT AND LOCAL COLLEGE TEAM UP FOR NEW PROGRAM 12/14/18
The University of Arkansas Cossatot is now offering a new Criminal Justice Technical Certificate Program. The program prepares students to enter into the Criminal Justice field as a dispatcher/jailer. This program was developed in conjunction with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office with input documenting need from other counties in the UAC service area and with the Arkansas Office of Jail Standards.
Upon successful completion of the two-semester program, students may obtain certification which will allow them to work anywhere in the state.
“We are glad to have developed this program with the local Sheriff’s Office to prepare fully trained individuals who are ready for the workforce,” says Barbara Lacefield, Division Chair.
“Collaborating with our local college to provide training and education for future dispatchers and jailers has been tremendous and we cannot wait to hire future graduates” says Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry.
The annual median wage for Correction Officers/Jailers in Arkansas is $33,810 per year and $28,720 per year for Police/Fire/Ambulance Dispatchers. Enrollment for the program is currently underway, and classes are available after 6:00 pm on Monday and Wednesday and at 9:30 am on Tuesday with some available online, set
to begin on January 14, 2019, on Ashdown, De Queen, and Nashville campuses.
For more information visit www.cccua.edu or call the University of Arkansas Cossatot at 1-800-844-4471.
ARKANSAS FORESTRY COMMISSION AND ASHDOWN SCHOOL PLANT TREES 12/13/18
Shane Booth, Brandon Hall, Todd Gore, and Eric Myers with the Arkansas Forestry Commission helped staff and students at L.F. Henderson Intermediate School plant trees to shade their playground. The school had completed an application for the STOP Program through the Forestry Commission to plant the trees and were contacted by Mr. Myers.
Mr. Booth worked with Mrs. Brenda Hill on the best location for the trees to be planted and the best date to plant them. Mr. Myers spoke with the students on how to plant them and take care of them. The students even took an oath that they would protect and take care of the trees. Each student was able to participate in the planting.
The district expressed appreciation to Ashdown Mayor Sutton for allowing the street department to dig the holes as well as the street department for digging and Wes Horn for helping to plant the trees.
EVENTS AND CHARITIES MAKE FOR BUSY SEASON AT DE QUEEN LIBRARY 12/13/18
The De Queen Branch of The Sevier County Library is having a busy holiday season this year. In addition to normal activities and events, the library has hosted two special charity drives to help the local community stay warm and fed.
Johnye Fisher is the head librarian at the De Queen library branch and has announced that the outcomes of both the Mr. Rogers Sweater Drive and the food for fines program were successful last month in November.
Johnye says more than 100 pounds of food were collected and more than 400 items of clothing were received.
For the month of December the De Queen library will be hosting a Cocoa with Mrs Claus event. The special activity will feature a story time for kids and Johnye says there will be special treat for the children who arrive early.
Cocoa with a Claus starts at 11:00 am Saturday December 15th and all children and families are welcome to attend.
Contact the De Queen Library at 870-584-4364 for questions.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA SATURDAY 12/13/18
Sevier County 4H teen leaders are hosting a Breakfast with Santa event this weekend.
On Saturday, December 15th area kids and families of all ages are invited to the UA Cossatot De Queen campus at 9:00 a.m. The breakfast will cost $3 and will continue until 11;00 a.m. The menu includes two pancakes, sausage, eggs and a drink. The purpose of the event is to raise money that will be used for community service projects lead by the Sevier County 4H teen leaders. Any person who brings a food item that can be donated to the chalice cupboard will receive $1 off the price of breakfast.
Contact the extension office at 870-584-3013 for questions
NEW SCHOLARSHIP OFFERED AT UAHT 12/13/18
A new scholarship opportunity became available at a local college in Southwest Arkansas this week.
The Randall Sanders Memorial Endowed Scholarship has been established at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana because of donations by family and friends of the late Randall “Randy” Sanders.
Randy was a member of the technical and industrial faculty at UAHT for thirty-four years before retiring in 2016. Sanders time at the college began at Red River Vo-Tech as a student in the CETA Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program from 976-77. He then took a job at Red River Vo-Tech as the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Instructor in July of 1982. In his time at the college, he served and excelled as a full-time instructor and Dean of the Technical and Industrial Professions division. Sanders was responsible for the growth and success of the T&I division for many years and worked hard to bring to light the importance of career and technical education.
The Sanders family said they would like to give “Special thanks to the UAHT Foundation; their tireless effort in the fundraising campaign made the difference in its success. Helping students learn a trade or skill to better themselves and their families is a wonderful way to continue our dad’s legacy. That mission was truly his passion, and now that will continue with this scholarship. We are forever grateful to the kind and giving people in this community as well as those that surround us.”
For more information about scholarships at UAHT, contact Anna Powell at 870-722-8516.
DE QUEEN SCHOOLS BREAK GROUND ON NEW HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING 12/12/18
On Monday, December 10th members of the De Queen School Board attended a ground breaking ceremony for the new High School Building construction project that began this month.
Phase one has officially begun and board member Jason Sanders says the expected completion date has actually moved up. The original projected time frame was an 18 month project but now the board believes the total construction time will be just 16 months. Phase two will take place when the contractors are ready to begin the demolition process on the current facilities.
The project is also under the estimated budget as the board hoped the building would cost no more than $14.7 million dollars but has been estimated to cost a total of $13.7 million. The new facility will be a 2-story building that will have 38 academic rooms as well as library, counseling and administrative areas and will be a total of 73, 410 square feet in size.
The new building is on track to open in Spring of 2020.
WEEKEND ACTIVITIES PLANNED AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK 12/12/18
Several weekend events and activities have been planned at Cossatot River State park December 15th and 16th. The park is located at 1980 Highway 278 West, Wickes, Arkansas. On Saturday, Dec. 15 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. attendees can visit with a park interpreter and learn about the birds who spend their winter in the area instead of flying farther South. The session will be held in the Visitor Center’s Legacy Room. From 10:00-11:00 a.m. an educational program about animal hair will be lead by park interpreters at the Visitor Center’s Wildlife Viewing Area.
From 2:00-3:00 p.m. visitors can learn about the park’s evergreens and create a one of a kind wrapping paper featuring some of nature’s own patterns. The session will be held in the Visitor Center’s Legacy Room. At 3:00 a one hour hot cocoa and animal information program will be held. A park interpreter will teach attendees about the animals that live in Cossatot River’s natural area and how they stay warm to survive the winter time. The Meeting place will be the Visitor Center’s Amphitheater.
On Sunday, Dec. 16th from 10:00-11:00 a.m. Local residents are invited to a one hour “morning Stroll.” The stroll will be lead by a park interpreter for a guided hike on the Harris Creek Trail. Attendees are encouraged to bring binoculars for sightseeing. The group will meet at the Harris Creek Trailhead a few minutes before 10:00 a.m. The final activity for the weekend will be a one hour critter feeding session from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Attendees will meet at the park’s visitor center and can learn about the eating habits of animals who live in the park’s natural area. Contact the park at (870) 385-2201 for questions.
RESIDENTS FACE MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER TRAFFIC STOP IN DE QUEEN 12/12/18
A traffic stop resulted in multiple criminal charges for two De Queen residents found in possession of drug paraphernalia Saturday.
Deputy Justin Gentry of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department observed a Nissan Xterra with non-working brake lights on Lakeside drive in De Queen on Saturday, December 8th. The deputy pulled the driver of the vehicle over at Christopher Homes apartments and discovered the man did not have a driver’s license on him and his car insurance was expired. The man claimed his name was Daniel Steffler of De Queen and a passenger in the vehicle was identified as Magen Gilbert. The Deputy became suspicious of the driver because he was familiar with a man by the name given and his appearance did not match.
Officer JJ Lopez arrived on the scene to assist Deputy Gentry and the driver was asked if he had anything illegal in the vehicle. The driver claimed there was nothing illegal in the car but he said didn’t feel comfortable consenting to a search of the car because he did not own the vehicle. Officer JJ Lopez retrieved his K9 dog to conduct a free air sniff of the car for illegal substances.
The K9 unit discovered something inside the car. Upon further investigating conducted by Officer Kris Hundley it was discovered that a photo of Daniel Steffler in the system did not match the person driving the car. The man’s real name was revealed to be Micah Steffler , who had a parole warrant. The man was placed under arrest and Officer Lopez discovered Magan Gilbert was in possession of Methamphetamine and a smoking pipe.
Two clear glass pipes and one plastic bag with suspected methamphetamine were recovered from the vehicle. Both suspects were transported to the Sevier County Jail to be interviewed where they were read their Miranda rights and questioned about the incident. Micah claimed none of the illegal items found in the car belonged to him but he admitted to giving the Deputy a fake name because he was aware of active warrants out for his arrest.
Magen Gilbert was booked in the county jail and charged with possession of a controlled substance for methamphetamine and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. Micah Steffler was booked for the outstanding warrants, charges of obstructing Governmental Operations and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. The evidence collected was submitted to the state crime lab in Hope, Arkansas and a court date has been set for December 18th, 2018 at the Sevier County Courthouse.
FINAL COUNCIL MEETING OF THE YEAR IN DE QUEEN TUESDAY 12/12/18
A specially called City Council meeting was held at City Hall in De Queen Tuesday, December 11th. The meeting was also the last scheduled meeting of the 2018 year and the final meeting for council members David Krantz, Gary Casey and Walter Smith.
(Left to right, Aldermans Krantz, Casey and Smith accept proclamations for their final meeting on Tuesday, December 11th at City Hall in De Queen)
During the meeting Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy addressed the council to explain a recent legal issue that has arisen for employees of the city of De Queen and Sevier County. A request was made for the council to approve the writing of a check in the amount of $3,000 to fund the cost of the municipal legal defense program for the city employees being faced with a lawsuit. The council approved the cost and a meeting with the defense program and select city employees has been scheduled for this week. The main item of discussion was an issue the council had not been faced with before as the new De Queen Mayor-elect Jeff Brown proposed a unique question for the council.
A current personnel policy for the city of De Queen states that in the event that a city employee retires or passes away their accumulated unused sick and vacation time will be paid out, however Jeff Brown will be leaving the water department Superintendent position because he has become an elected official with the city, and is not deceased or retiring. Elected officials sick time and vacation are not tracked by the city De Queen. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy says he and the council will be consulting legal advice before making a decision for Brown’s situation or making changes to the city’s personnel policy.
The final item addressed was the approval of the 2019 budget. The budget was established in the December 4th meeting and the council members were given one last opportunity to go over the finalized list of projected expenses and the official budget was unanimously approved.
Before adjourning, alderman Casey, Krantz and Smith were thanked for their time and service with the city council and Mayor McKelvy presented them with proclamations and hats as tokens of appreciation.
CHIEF METEOROLOGIST VISITS ASHDOWN JUNIOR HIGH 12/12/18
LOCAL FIGHTER PREPARING FOR TOURNAMENT IN GEORGIA 12/10/18
Antonio Baca is a Southwest Arkansas native who has been involved in the competitive fighting scene since 2009. The De Queen resident has a background in Mixed Martial Arts and spends his time training for kick-boxing tournaments. Most recently, the former state title holder traveled to Wisconsin in November to compete. Though the fighter travels long distances for fighting matches he trains locally and is involved in the Sevier County community.
On Friday, December 7th Antonio stopped by KDQN studios to update the community on his recent Kickboxing tournament and provide background information to the public about his career. During the interview, Antonio revealed that in his near 10 year career, he has only experienced one loss to date.
The sponsorship required to compete and travel in the tournaments comes from support based in Southwest Arkansas, as he trains at a local gym in De Queen.
Antonio also volunteers his time with a local support group called “celebrate recovery.” The program is designed to help individuals who are struggling with hurts, habits and hang-ups like anger management issues or drug and alcohol dependencies. Antonio volunteers with the group because he received help from the program personally.
The next fight on the fighter’s schedule is set for May 4th in Georgia. If Antonio wins the match he will go on to represent the United States at a tournament in Bosnia. Antonio welcomes supporters to follow him on face book.
ROLL OVER CRASH RESULTS IN DWI CHARGES FOR MAN IN DE QUEEN 12/10/18
A man is facing DWI-related charges after an incident involving a roll-over crash in De Queen Friday.
At approximately 10:20 p.m. Friday, December 7th Deputy Thomas Jackson of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department responded to 9th Street to address reports of a car accident. Upon his arrival on the scene Deputy Jackson was informed by De Queen police officers that the driver of the vehicle had admitted to consuming alcohol and claimed he had drank four beers prior to operating the car. Deputy Jackson identified the driver as Roy Garza and asked if he needed medical attention. Garza claimed he was not hurt and Deputy Jackson asked if he would agree to take a portable breathalyzer test.
Garza agreed to take the test and the result was a .12, which is above the legal limit of .08. Deputy Jackson placed the suspect in custody to be taken to the Sevier County jail. Upon arriving at the jail, Garza reportedly stated he was experiencing pain in his leg but also refused to go to the hospital. Deputy Jackson performed more sobriety tests but was not able to complete all exams because the suspect claimed he was experiencing leg pain.
Garza was taken to the hospital to be checked out by medical staff and was later cleared with a bruised leg. Garza was brought back to the Sevier County jail and was held on DWI and DWI refusal to submit chemical test. He has a court date set for December 18th, 2018 at the Sevier County Courthouse.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD DECEMBER MEETING ANNOUNCED 12/10/18
The Ashdown School Board will meet Tuesday, December 11th at 6:00 p.m. in the district’s administration building. A meal will be served at 5:00 p.m. and the Teacher of the Year award winners will be honored at 5:45 p.m. During the meeting the board will address principal and superintendent reports as will as approve the previous meetings minutes and discuss any other business not closed.
In the new business category the board will discuss policy updates, expenditure approvals, gym bleacher changes, a school improvement plan and any other new business items that arise.
The meeting will conclude with a financial report and personnel discussions including resignations, terminations, hires and transfers. The office of the superintendent can be reached at 870-898-3208 for questions.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL TO MEET FOR DECEMBER 12/10/18
The Lockesburg city council meeting has been announced for Tuesday, December 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the Lockesburg City Hall.
Items to be discussed in Mayor Danny Ruth’s report will include a Weyerhaesuer grant for the senior center, a sewer lift station for generator hook-ups and an update on the walking bridge.
Actions for the council members will include addressing the 2019 proposed budget and employee raises, Christmas bonuses and request for unused vacation time pay and building permits.
The council will also address a preliminary engineering report on the wastewater collection system, approval of the previous meetings minutes as well as the approval of the November budget and financial report.
FLAG RETIREMENT CEREMONY IN COLUMBUS SATURDAY 12/10/18
A flag retirement ceremony will be held at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center this weekend. When a Unites States Flag becomes outdated or torn a ceremony is often held to properly retire the old flag and raise a new, updated one.
The event will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, December 15th at the Center in Columbus, which can be found in Hempstead county 15 miles outside of Hope, Arkansas. Community members have been invited to participate in the ceremony to retire their old flags as well as witness the raising of the center’s new flag. Interested participants can call 870-983-2790 for questions.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL HONORS VETERANS ON PEARL HARBOR DAY 12/10/18
On Friday, December 7, in observance of Pearl Harbor Day, Brookshires’ Store Manager Shannon Matthews along with Veterans Mr. Otis Bell and Mr. Howard Tollette spoke with students at L.F. Henderson Intermediate about their service in the Marine Corps.
Mr. Matthews started the presentation with a slideshow of the 17th WWII Heroes Flight that is sponsored by Brookshires/Super 1. He had the privilege of escorting Mr. Bell in November to Washington D.C. where they were able to see National Memorials and meet other veterans. The Heroes Flights occur twice a year, Memorial Day (May) and Veteran’s Day (November). On this Heroes Flight, there were 19 WWII Veterans and 4 Korean War Veterans.
The students were very attentive and they were given the opportunity to ask questions of the veterans. Students asked how long they served our country, where they served, where they lived and their ages (both gentlemen are 93 years young). One student raised her hand and said she did not have a question but wanted to thank them for their service, which led the other students and staff to a round of applause.
HIGHWAY EXPANSION HEADED TO HOT SPRINGS 12/07/18
This week, an announcement was made by Senator Tom Cotton regarding transportation project funds for Arkansas. Funding has been awarded to transportation officials in Arkansas to finance interstate expansion for highways in The Natural state.
In Southwest Arkansas, plans to clear up heavy traffic in The Downtown Hot Springs Area are under way as $20 million dollars has been granted to the state for the extension of the Hot Springs East-West Bypass from U.S. 70 east of Hot Springs to the Arkansas 5 Arkansas 7 intersection north of the city. The funding has been provided by The U.S Department of Transportation.
Cotton published a statement on his website, (cotton.senate.gov) about the projects. The senator said “This announcement is great news for the greater Hot Springs community and Arkansas as a whole. This extension will help Hot Springs continue to grow.”
The U.S. Department of Transportation has also supplied a $25 million grant to for the completion of a near five-mile section of Interstate 49 in Missouri by the Arkansas border. The Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission applied for the grant to make the project possible.
The news of the transportation funds was called in to Senator Tom Cotton by the department Thursday Morning.
HORATIO EDUCATION BOARD TO MEET FOR DECEMBER 12/07/18
The Horatio Board of Education has announced their regular monthly meeting will be held next week. The board will meet on Monday, December 10th at 6:00 p.m. in the Administration building. The agenda items include superintendent and building reports, approval of the previous meetings minutes and approval of financial statements, bills and enrollment.
There is no old business to discuss at this time but in the new business category the board is set to discuss the new minimum wage requirements and the discussion of possible bonuses. There will also be a personnel session in which a superintendent evaluation and an employee resignation will be discussed. The public is welcome to attend the meeting.
RAFFLE SET TO FUNDRAISE FOR LOCAL YOUTH TRIP 12/07/18
Stacy Faulkenberry of De Queen is chaperoning a youth trip for students in the southwest Arkansas the summer of 2019. The purpose of the trip is to provide an opportunity for Junior High and High school students to expand their horizons and experience different cultures in American cities.
The 2019 trip destinations include Washington D.C. and New York city. The trip is open to all students in the 6th-9th grades and will take place June 10, 2019 – June 13, 2019. The cost is $1,998 for a student and $2,298 for an adult, which includes airfare, bus travel, hotel, food and entrance fees. Sites that will be visited include the Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial Mount Vernon, Holocaust Museum, The Capital, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, a Broadway show, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
A raffle is being held to help raise the funds for the trip expenses. The students are selling raffle tickets for a prize drawing on Friday, December 14th. Tickets cost $5 each, or five tickets can be purchased for $20. The winner will have an option to choose between a custom built fire pit, $300 cash or marlin 243 with bushnell and sling blade package.
Contact Stacy Faulkenberry, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (870) 784-0357 for questions.
ASHDOWN CHEER AND POM SQUADS HIT NATIONAL COMPETITION 12/07/18
Members of the Ashdown High School Varsity cheerleaders and Pom Squad were selected and participated with more than 800 high school
cheerleaders and dancers from across the country that represented the camp brands of Varsity Spirit in the fourth annual Varsity Spirit Spectacular at the Walt Disney World®Resort in Orlando, Florida from November 28 thru December 1, 2018.
The individuals invited to perform in the parade were part of a select group of 10th to 12th grade captains, co-captains, officers, and All-American cheerleaders who attended a Varsity Spirit summer camp this summer hosted by Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), Universal Dance Association (UDA), National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), National Dance Alliance (NDA) and United Spirit Association (USA).
The cheerleaders and pom squad performed in an exclusive pre-parade performance through Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park before hundreds of fans. Besides enjoying a sunny trip to Orlando, performers had the opportunity to meet cheerleaders and dancers from across the nation and enjoy holiday season at Walt Disney World® Resort parks.
FREE THEATRE ARTS PROGRAM AT OBU 12/07/18
Ouachita Baptist University’s Department of Theatre Arts will host its annual student-directed One-Act Play Festival Friday, Dec. 7th at 7:30 p.m. As the name suggests, the One-Act Play Festival will feature the performances of several plays, but each with their own director, cast and crew. Unlike in years’ past, this year is unique because the student-directed plays are by the same playwright: Tennessee Williams.
The ‘The Long Goodbye‘ play will be directed by Stephen Vaughn, a senior theatre arts major from Hot Springs.
The One-Act Play Festival is the final project for Ouachita theatre students who are enrolled in a class led by Joe Hernandez, the school’s Assistant director of theater arts. Students are responsible for all production components, which include recruiting a cast and crew, designing sound and lighting, compiling research for their show, taking line notes, taking acting notes and creating schedules.
The performance is free and open to the public.
Thousands of rainbow trout have been stocked around the state in the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program locations. Among these fish, 300 will be fitted with fluorescent pink tags that can be redeemed for a special prize from the AGFC.
Clint Coleman, FCFP assistant coordinator for the AGFC. says “Anyone who catches one of these fish can return the tag for one of many randomly selected gifts we have available.”
The gifts range from tackle boxes and tackle to much larger items.
Coleman said. They’ll win that prize, and they’ll be entered into the grand prize drawing at the end of the winter stocking season for much larger items,” “The big prize for the year will be an overnight stay and fishing trip at Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center. They have fishing lakes with monster bass in them as well as trap and skeet shooting and other fun outdoors activities. It’s a great family getaway.”
The prizes are limited to one per angler.
All tags must be mailed to the AGFC and postmarked by Feb. 28, 2019, to be eligible for the drawing.
Southwest Arkansas stocked ponds include:
|Glenwood||John Benjamin Glenwood Community Pond |
|Hope||*Mike and Janet Huckabee Youth and Senior Pond |
|Hot Springs||Entergy Park |
|Hot Springs||Family Park |
|Texarkana||Lake Dieffenbacher |
For more information visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing or call the stocking hotline at 866-540-3474.
PIKE COUNTY ELECTION RESULTS 12/06/18
Pike County voters elected Travis Hill as the county’s next sheriff/collector in a run off Tuesday. Final, but unofficial totals show Hill receiving 1,212 votes to Roger “Bimbo” Flemens’ 893.
Following his win Tuesday, Hill thanked his supporters & the people of Pike County.Hill, currently serves as the sheriff department’s chief deputy, and says officer training and the need for a K9 unit are among his top priorities.
He will become the new sheriff/collector in January. Also Tuesday, Tom Wilson defeated Valerie Wingfield for an alderman’s position in the city of Delight.
SERGEANT ARRESTS FELON FOR GUN POSSESSION 12/18/18
On Wednesday, December 5th at approximately 9:45 pm Sergeant Greg Davignon of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department was on patrol in Horatio when he observed a known suspect walking near the intersection of Williams and Main Street. Sergeant Davignon reported that the suspect crossed the street in an avoidance attempt upon noticing the presence of law enforcement. Upon making contact with the suspect Davignon asked his name and he claimed his last name was Marrufo but he was later identified as Jorge Yanez.
Davignon reported noticing a large Bulge in the front of the suspect’s waistline and the smell of alcohol coming from his person. Davignon asked Yanez if he was in possession of any weapons and he admitted to having a gun on him. When the sergeant ordered the suspect to lay face down on the ground he did not comply. Sergeant Davignon reportedly repeated commands six times and Yanez did not comply. The suspect reportedly told the Sergeant he would have to shoot him. Davignon held the suspect at gunpoint for a few minutes before getting on top of the suspect and placing his hands behind his back for him.
The suspect was read his rights and Sergeant Davignon removed a .40 caliber Hi-point hand gun from his waistline. Yanez stated that his girlfriend kicked him out and that was his reason for walking. Upon further research Sergeant Daivignon discovered the suspect has prior felony convictions that prevented him from possessing a firearm. Yanez was taken to the Sevier County Jail and processed for possession of firearms by certain persons.
MEETING PLANNED FRIDAY TO HELP VETERANS IN MENA 12/06/18
Efforts are being made in Polk County to help the community establish ways to help Military veterans in the area who may be struggling with mental health issues, suicide risk and other concerns. A Community Engagement Partnership Meeting has been scheduled for Friday December 7th.
The meeting will start at 11 a.m. in the Ouachita Center at The UA Rich Mountain college campus. The VA is asking for members of the community to help establish resources that would assist local veterans who may be facing hard times. The goal of the meeting to compose a leadership panel that will identify needs of the local community and ways to help local military veterans.
The meeting has been planned by the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Suicide Prevention Program and is open to all members of the community. Education, input from the community and a meal will all be featured during the program.
1st Place Goin Showin 4-H
2nd Place Happy Face 4-H
1st Place Elf on the Shelf
2nd Place Rusty Relics
3rd Place Larry Hutson
1st Place Old Time Gospel
2nd Place First United Methodist Church
3rd Place First Baptist Church
1st Place Baker’s Towing & Recovery
2nd Place B & H Trash Service
The De Queen City Council met at city hall for their regular meeting Tuesday December 4th. During the meeting Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy distributed an announcement from Vyve Broadband services revealing an upcoming rate increase for area customers. Additional fees will be added to customers service plans beginning January 1st 2019. Vyve can be reached at 405-395-1184 for questions.
The majority of the council meeting was spent discussing the budget for 2019 and department heads from all city departments and area organizations were present to request funding or had previously made requests.
Mayor Mckelvy informed the council that positive changes have been made at the Sevier County Senior Citizen center since Kathy McMahon and Sheila Nash began leading the center and the attendance numbers have reportedly nearly doubled this year. The council granted their request for $10,000 in funding for 2019.
The local Humane Society was also granted the amount of money they requested as the council will disperse $2,500 to fund the spay and neuter clinics as well as other various expenses as needed. Although the Sevier County Museum asked for their funding amount to be increased to $5,000 the council agreed to supply them with their regular annual budget of $4,000. ZZ Kamruddin attended the meeting to help breakdown the Imagination Library’s Sevier County chapters budget based on the number of children in the area and the costs to supply books for kids through the program. The council will assist the new chapter with $2,500 to serve 100 area children at $25 each for one year.
The council also agreed to disperse funding towards economic development efforts being made by Lisa Taylor. Taylor’s role in the community is to organize efforts that will create sustainable and successful organizations in Sevier County. The council unanimously agreed to supply $5,000 to The Sevier County Economic development department.
Each of the city department heads addressed the council to provide a breakdown of the expenses and budget needs for the 2019 year.
Gathey Bakenhaus spoke to the council on behalf of the parks department and revealed that a new air conditioner and pressure washer will need to be purchased in the upcoming year. Gathey also noted that the cost of space rentals at community buildings will increase in the future but the cleaning deposits required would be eliminated. Other future goals for the De Queen Parks and recreation department include a new office building and a splash pad that would provide entertainment for community children, though these items will not be in the 2019 budget.
District Judge Monya Wood told the council there are little changes needed for the department’s 2019 budget. The biggest expense will be changes to their computer system structure in order to comply with auditor requirements and maintain protection of residents personal information. Dennis Pruitt and Jay Litchford notified the council about expenses for updates in equipment and technology advances for the De Queen Fire Department. Pruitt informed the council that a new communication system called “Epage” that will alert the Firefighters about emergencies through their cell phones. The department currently has pagers that sometimes do not work in certain areas and the “Epage” system will provide more a reliable source of communication. Jay Litchford also distributed information about a new software program that connects city officials and local residents for code enforcement, permit management and citizen engagement. Residents would be able to inform the city about safety concerns and code violations through a mobile app.
Chief Pruitt also requested specialty washing machinery that would allow the firefighters to cleanse their gear of any carcinogens that may be collected during a fire. The council agreed that the Fire Department would benefit from many of the technology updates and new equipment but the washing machinery would not be in the budget at this time.
The biggest financial endeavor the council discussed during the meeting is the cost of two major projects that the water department must handle within the next year. The water department has to replace a water line at the pilgrim’s chicken plant and painting the water tank behind the local hospital. Mayor McKelvy says collectively the two projects will cost the city more than $950,000.
The city council will continue to assess the budget as 2019 approaches and a special meeting will be held December 11th at city hall.
FUNDRAISER THURSDAY FOR ASHDOWN SHOP WITH A COP PROGRAM 12/05/18
Little River Nursing and Rehab is sponsoring an Indian Taco Lunch to support The Ashdown Auxiliary Police Department’s “Shop With A Cop” program.
The lunch will be held Thursday, December 6 at the Ashdown Police Department from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The cost is $7.00 a plate and delivery is available for orders of 5 or more. The program was founded by Pete Price in 2006 and was created to help underprivileged children in Little River County receive the gifts of Christmas. Both Ashdown Police Department and the Little River Sheriff’s office have been working together to make the event possible. Last Year the community helped more than 200 children shop for Christmas gifts.
The Shop With A Cop event is set for December 15, 2018 at Wal-Mart in Ashdown.
Donations can be made to:
- Ashdown Police Department – P.O. Box 703 Ashdown, Ar. 71822
- LR Co Collector- 351 N 2nd street Ste 2 Ashdown, Ar. 71822.
- Checks should be made out to Shop with a Cop
Call 903-293-6276 or 903-278-4482 for questions about the Taco Fundraiser.
SCHOOL FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR RRAD LAID OFF EMPLOYEES 12/05/18
Area residents who have been laid off from Red River Army Depot or one of its contractors within the last year may qualify to receive funding to attend a workforce training program at Texarkana College in Spring 2019.
Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas may be able to assist with the costs of approved books, tuition, and fees for programs leading to careers in high-demand occupations.
To be eligible for this funding, residents must:
· Have been Laid off from Red River Army Depot or one of its contractors within the last year
· A U.S. citizen or legal resident alien
· Registered with Selective Service (if male)
Texarkana College programs covered include :
· Computer Technology & Networking
· Electronics Technology/Instrumentation
· Construction Technology
· Electrical Technology
· Air Conditioning/Heating & Refrigeration Technology
· Automotive & Diesel Technology
· Nursing & Health Careers
· Business Administration
· Office Careers
Workforce Solutions Northeast Texas and Texarkana College have scheduled intake sessions for laid off workers who meet those criteria to begin the college enrollment process.
Call Shannon Goodrum at (903) 794-4163 ext. 129 for more information.
CHRISTMAS FESTIVITIES IN FOREMAN AND ASHDOWN 12/05/18
The Foreman christmas parade will be held this weekend, Saturday December 8th. Perry young will be the parade Grand Marshall and a reception will be held in his honor at the Episcopal Church after the event. The Foreman public Library and The Rock Comfort Museum will be open 5:00-7:00 p.m. and Prince of Peace church will serve refreshments from 5:00-7:30.
Santa Will be at the Foreman Community Center after the parade to visit with the kids and a dance will be held at the Little River County Barn. Proceeds from the ance will go towards the LRC rodeo Queen Contest.
On Monday, December 10th the Ashdown Christmas parade will be held at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday December 15th The Little River Chamber of Commerce will host a snow day event. Activities will start with the Jingle Bell 5K at 8am and Breakfast with Santa. The HoHo parade will start at 9:00 a.m and the snow play area will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) announced today that it is accepting proposal submissions for its Reduce Emissions from Diesels Program (Go RED!). In 2005, Congress passed the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). DERA stipulates that 70 percent of the funds it appropriates annually be used for national competitive grants. The remaining 30 percent of funds are allocated to the states to reduce diesel emissions.
ADEQ distributes funds in Arkansas through the Go RED! Program. Funding from this program reimburses agencies, businesses, cities, counties, and schools for a percentage of expenses for projects that reduce or eliminate diesel emissions on medium and heavy-duty vehicles and equipment or for replacements of those vehicles and equipment.
Locally, the Horatio School District Replaced One School Bus as Recipients of DERA funds in Arkansas through the Go Red! Program in 2017. For the 2018 program year, ADEQ has been awarded $649,494 in DERA funds to distribute to governmental, private, and nonprofit entities. Eligible projects will reduce diesel emissions in Arkansas through exhaust controls, engine upgrades, idling reduction technology, engine replacements, or vehicle/equipment replacements.
The first of this round of deadlines for funding requests is December 31, 2018. The next deadline will be January 31, 2019, with subsequent deadlines on the last day of each following month until all funds are awarded, or until April 30, 2019, whichever comes first.
For more information about the GoRED! Program, visithttp://www.adeq.state.ar.us/air/planning/gored/. For help with applying for funding, contact Deiona McKnight at email@example.com or 501-682-0641.
MAINTENANCE PROJECT IN BROKEN BOW 12/04/18
Maintenance is being conducted to the downstream low flow sluice gate on the Broken Bow Spillway. As a part of this maintenance project there will be a crane on the spillway structure. As of December 4 at 10:00 am officials will be temporarily closing the Broken Bow Spillway to through traffic to set and operate this crane. This temporary road closure will begin at 10:00 am and will reopen later in the afternoon around 4:00 pm.
It is estimated that in about a month from now, officials will have to set the crane on the spillway structure again, temporarily closing traffic across the spillway. Officials will release an expected date as the time draws closer.
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS GET ENVIRONMENTAL UPGRADES 12/04/18
As part of the partnership between Ashdown School District, SWEPCO, and Clear Energy, the Ashdown School District recently completed a district-wide LED lighting retrofit and HVAC controls upgrade project. As a result of this project, Ashdown Schools will recognize significant savings through the cost avoidance in utility bills, for years to come.
In addition, SWEPCO extended an incentive check to the Ashdown School District for the project, in the amount of $63,046.60. Ashdown Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “It is truly a blessing to have such great partners like SWEPCO and Clear Energy.
As a result of this project, we are able to reduce our carbon footprint and redistribute our savings directly to our classrooms to positively impact the educational process for our children. We are blessed to have such an opportunity to improve our economic efficiencies, and be great stewards of our tax payers’ dollars.”
SHOPLIFTING INCIDENT AT WAL-MART IN DE QUEEN 12/04/18
On Friday, November 30th at approximately 2:58 p.m. Officer Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Wal-mart store on Colin Raye Drive in De Queen. Upon arriving on the scene Officer Sawyer spoke with Lexie Bimansha in the asset protection department who informed him that a white female had been seen bagging items without scanning them in a self-check out lane. The Officer collected an official statement from Bimansha as well as photo and video evidence of the theft.
The female was identified as Laurie Broach, age 45 of Lockesburg Arkansas. Broach was placed into custody and transported to the Sevier County jail. Broach was read her Miranda rights and agreed to answer questions. Broach admitted to scanning certain items and not scanning others.
When asked if she had money to pay for the items she claimed she did but wasn’t sure of the funds at the time. After checking out Broach reportedly felt guilty and claimed she went to the ATM and found she had enough money to purchase the items. She declined to write an official statement and has been charged with theft of property and has a court date set for January 8th 2019 at the Sevier County Courthouse.
DECEMBER ACTIVITIES AT SEVIER COUNTY MUSEUM 12/04/18
The Sevier County Museum has announced family friendly activities planned for the month of December. On Saturday, December 8th from 10am to 12pm a Kids day with frosty event will be held. A $5 donation per child is requested and crafts, music and games and lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is required by calling Karen at 870-784-0039.
On Thursday, December 20th from 6pm to 7:30 the Sevier County Museum Christmas open house and tour will take pace with refreshments served and entertainment provided by the museum youth choirs. Find out more by contacting the museum directly at 870-642-6642.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL RECOGNIZES ROCK STAR READERS 12/04/18
LF Henderson Rock Star Readers for November
3rd Grade-Adalie Aylett
4th Grade-Jackson Hamby
5th Grade-Tucker Wilson
As additional information may become available, it will be distributed by the Arkansas State Police Public Affairs Office.
The 2018-2019 Horatio Marketing/Junior Class is hosting the “Crafting with Claus; A Handmade Christmas” event on Thursday December 20, 2018 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Horatio High School Practice Gym. All proceeds will be going to the 2019 prom. There will be an entry fee of $3 per person, which will include one free ticket to a craft of your choice. Any ticket after that is $1, most crafts are one ticket ($1), and a photo with Santa and Mrs. Clause is 2 tickets ($2).At this event there will be a live auction, where there will be bidding on a variety of different goodies including cakes, pies, cookies brownies. There will be a large variation of crafts for all ages! Some examples include: salt dough hand print, a felt Christmas tree, pine cone owl, candy cane reindeer, and much more.
Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce will be conducting a Christmas Home and Yard Decorating Contest. Entries will be judged on Design, Overall Presentation, and Creativity.
WINNER WILL WIN $100 & BRAGGING RIGHTS!
- Ø Any home located within the Broken Bow Area will be eligible for entry
- Ø Only the front of properties will be judged
- Ø Lights and décor must be visible from the road.Some exclusion may apply contact the Broken Bow Chamber staff for more information. Nominations may be made by submitting the home, the home owner, and detailed instructions to the home to the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 580-584-3393, and the chamber’s Facebook Instant Messenger. You may nominate you home or neighbors.
All entries will be put on a list of others to view your hard work. All nominations must be received by 4:00p.m. on December 3, 2018. For more information call Charity O’Donnell, Chamber Director, at 580-584-3393.
NEW PATROL CAR FOR CAMPUS POLICE OFFICER IN ASHDOWN 11/30/18
The Little River County Sheriff’s Office purchased a new patrol car for Ashdown School Resource Officer Stephanie Boyer using a grant they received after purchasing two other patrol vehicles. The cost of the new “smart car” along with customization matched the grant. Sheriff Bobby Walraven knew it was a “no-brainer” to use the grant for the car purchase and save the county money at the same time.
Sheriff Walraven came up with the idea while trying to replace county vehicles with the most efficient use of taxpayer money possible. Other officers thought it was a joke, but after driving the car and learning the price would be covered by the grant, he knew it would be a great way to provide Officer Boyer an efficient and economical way to travel between campuses and show school spirit for the Ashdown Schools.
Boyer travels between the four campuses daily and is enjoying the customization of purple and gold lights and Panther “growl” provided by Pro Com and the “wrap” by Digital Effects. The Ashdown students and staff love the car and help to make an officer more approachable by the younger students. When not working as the resource officer, Officer Boyer will drive other county patrol vehicles.
Superintendent, Casey Nichols said, “we value our partnership and the support of our local law enforcement and everything that they do each day to help keep our students safe. Our number one priority, along with the LRC Sheriff’s Office is for the safety of our students.”
NEW FIRE TRUCK IN DAISY ARKANSAS 11/30/18
The Daisy Volunteer Fire Department has a new tanker truck, a 2010 freight-liner, that will improve fire fighting abilities. Fire Chief Scotty Frazier says the tanker will allow more than 3,000 gallons of water to be used in one minute and a 4″ fill valve that can load over 3,000 gallons of water in 3 minutes.
This will allow the tanker to deliver over 12,000 gallons of water per hour from a fire hydrant over a mile away to a structure fire. Frazier also says the tanker truck has a drop tank that will hold over 2,500 gallons of water.
CHRISTMAS PARADE IN MCCURTAIN COUNTY 11/30/18
The 48th Annual McCurtain County Christmas Parade will get underway at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 10th. The theme is “I’m dreaming of.” The Parade will start at the Broken Bow High School and end at the Broken Bow Post Office.
Anyone interested in entering this year’s parade can pick up an entry form at the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce at 113 W Martin Luther King Drive. The deadline for entries will be December 10th at 1:00 p.m..
All floats, parade entries, and participants riding on floats will need to report to Charity at the Rector Johnson Middle School parking lot for line up assignments.
The McCurtain County Christmas Parade was the first one held in the county. The Broken Bow Chamber would like to invite everyone to come enjoy this year’s parade.
Quick was placed in custody and a wrecker service retrieved her vehicle while she was transported to the Sevier County jail. When asked if she had any controlled substances or drug paraphernalia in her possession she claimed that she did not. Quick was transferred to book-in procedures conducted by Detention Officer Megan Lizzy. Officer Lizzy searched the suspect and discovered a green crown royal bag that contained a used glass pipe that is commonly associated with the consumption of methamphetamine.
The pipe was found to contain residue of methamphetamine inside it. Deputy Stubbs later read Quick her rights and she agreed to an interview during which she admitted to using the pipe to smoke the methamphetamine. The evidence was collected and sent off to the state crime lab in Little Rock for processing. Quick has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and her outstanding warrant for arrest with the city of De Queen.
HORATIO CHRISTMAS PARADE AND CITY WIDE GARAGE SALE 11/29/18
The City of Horatio is holding their Christmas parade and Main street event on Saturday, December 1st. The city wide garage sale will begin at 8am and the parade stars at 2:00. the Horatio museum committee will also be hosting a bake sale during the event.
All floats and entries will be judged during the parade and announced next week. All floats will line up at the Horatio football field parking lot in front of the stadium off Highway 41 South and in front of the school cafeteria. Signs will be posted to direct traffic. ushers will lead each group in for the line up and there are cash prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. Categories include business, religious and organizations.
The 1st place winner will receive $100 cash prize, 2nd will receive $75 and 3rd place will be awarded $50. Golf carts, ATVs and pet parade participants are welcome as well. All pets must be on a controlled leash and dressed in Christmas attire. Contact James Dobbins at 870-582-1962 for more information.
LOGAN’S LOVIES 5K WALK/RUN SET FOR DECEMBER 11/29/18
Logan’s Lovies 5K Walk and Run will be held on Saturday December 15th. Check in begins at 10:00 a.m. and The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. The 5K is sponsored by the Horatio CYCLE program and is being held in honor of Logan Winton, who passed away in an accident this year. The purpose of the event is to keep Logan’s memory present and to provide stuffed animals and small blankets for local children who experience traumatic situations. Donations of stuffed animals are appreciated and monetary contributions can also be made at Horatio State Bank and the Horatio Elementary School.
Christina Winton is organizing the event and is the mother of the child who passed away. She started the foundation in Logan’s honor to help other local children in the event of an emergency and traumatic issue. The cost to participate is $25 and all proceeds will go towards the foundation. Attendees are not required to run in the 5K as walking and simply making a donation are appreciated as well. For more information about the 5K contact Christina Winton at 870-582-4803.
MAMMOGRAM VAN COMING TO DE QUEEN 11/29/18
Cynthia Kesterson is the registered nurse at Dr. Jason Loftin’s Wellness Center in De Queen. Cynthia stopped by KDQN studios Thursday to announce that CHI St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs will be sending a mobile Mammogram van to conduct screenings for women is Sevier County and the Surrounding area on Thursday December 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Spots are limited and appointments should be made in advance. Call 501-622-2174 to schedule an appointment. Insurance typically covers the cost of a mammogram for women age 40 and older but there are options for those without health insurance through the local health departments. Cynthia says women can attend the session at 203 De Queen avenue on December 6th but an additional date will take place in January at the Walker clinic.
For questions contact 870-642-4000.
New scholarship opportunities were established at a local college in Southwest Arkansas this week.
The Huett brothers, Ronald and Michael, of Prescott, Arkansas, donated $75,000 to the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Foundation to create three new endowed scholarships. The donation was made in memory of their parents and grandparents
Two of the scholarships, the Deward and Allie Collier Endowed Scholarship, and the Hamp and Pearl Huett Endowed Scholarship, are established in memory of the Huett’s grandparents. The Deward and Allie Collier Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a nontraditional student in the health professions division with preference given to students from Hempstead or Nevada County public schools.
The Hamp and Pearl Huett Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a first-generation college student in the technical and industrial field with preference given to students from Hempstead or Nevada County public schools.
One of the scholarships, the Raymond and Louise Huett Endowed Scholarship, was established in memory of the Huett’s parents. This scholarship will be awarded to a first generation student with preference given to graduates of Prescott High School.
For more information about scholarships or the UAHT Foundation, contact Anna Powell at 870-722-8516 or email@example.com.
NEW WORKFORCE TRAINING CENTER IN TEXARKANA 11/29/18
Texarkana College opened its new Workforce Training Center Wednesday, November 28th and dedicated the building in memory of Betty and Buddy Ledwell. The Ledwell family has been a part of economic development in the regional area since establishing their business in 1946. Ledwell manufactures custom-made trailers, trucks, bodies and parts for the transportation industry.
TC president James Henry Russell said students who enroll in these programs can expect to work in classrooms with new equipment and to be trained by faculty who have years of experience in the field. TC’s workforce training programs have an enrollment of more than 670 students, with close to 100 of these students currently enrolled in either the Industrial Maintenance or Construction Technology courses. Classes are offered during the day and evening.
Anyone who is interested in touring the building or meeting any of the instructors who teach the programs, can contact the college and make arrangements.
Registration is now open for the 2019 spring semester at Texarkana College, and students wanting to enroll in the Industrial Maintenance or Construction Technology programs located in the new building should contact TC’s Enrollment Services office to make an appointment with an advisor. More information about the programs and how to get started with the enrollment process can be found online at www.texarkanacollege.edu or call 903-823-3012.
FREE HUNTER EDUCATION COURSE IN COLUMBUS 11/28 18
The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center in Columbus, Arkansas has announced the Arkansas Hunter Education Course set for Saturday, December 1st from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is required and interested persons can enroll in the course online. Visit www.register-ed.com to register.
Attendees are asked to bring their own lunch, as a meal will not be provided.
Anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1969, is required to complete a hunter education course and carry a valid hunter education card to hunt in the state of Arkansas. Children under 16 may hunt without hunter education as long as they are under the direct supervision of an adult who is 21 years old, or older.
There is no specific age requirement to enroll in hunter education however, the educational material is based on a sixth-grade reading level. Arkansas recognizes hunter education cards from other states. Arkansas’s hunter education program is recognized in all states as well as in Canada and Mexico.
There is no fee for this program thanks to the support of the 1/8 Cent Conservation Sales Tax. For more information, please contact the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center at 870-983-2790.
CHAMBER MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT BUSINESS CARDS 11/28/18
As the holidays approach and events are coming up in Sevier County, Chamber of Commerce director Suzanne Babb has announced area chamber members in Sevier County are invited to drop off business cards for inclusion in the Welcome Bags for out-of-town visitors, and for future opportunities in the Relocation and Tourism Packets that will be mailed out.
This Saturday, December 1st a group of ATV riders will be participating in this year’s Christmas Parade. Many are from out of town, and even out of state. Suzanne says this is a great opportunity for retail, service and restaurant chamber members to be represented in the Welcome Bags that will be given to them.
Members are asked to drop off business cards at the Chamber downtown 315 W. Stilwell avenue in De Queen.
Chamber office will be CLOSED Thursday, November 29th for a Chamber Professional Training but will open Friday November 30th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Call 870-584-3225 for questions.
TEXARKANA MAN DIES IN FIRE 11/28/18
A 62-year-old disabled man died early Tuesday in a house fire in Texarkana, officials said. Firefighters were dispatched around 2:54 a.m. to a home on Preston Street, said Fire Chief David Fletcher.
“When they arrived, it was a fully involved house. It was burning.” he said. Investigators do not immediately know the cause of the fire, but foul play is not suspected. The man’s body was found in the front bedroom and has been sent to Little Rock, Arkansas for an autopsy.
Conditions at the scene were reportedly burned so badly there is a distinct possibility that the cause of the fire may never be known, according to Chief Fletcher.
POLICE CATCH DWI SUSPECT IN DE QUEEN 11/28/18
On Monday, November 26th at approximately 8:41 p.m. Sergeant Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to a store on Colin Raye drive in De Queen. A report was made to the department about a person who appeared to be sleeping in a Van at the EZ mart store parking lot.
Upon officer Baker’s arrival on the scene he discovered a female sleeping in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The woman was identified as Edna Barron. When Barron opened the door to the vehicle Sergeant Baker noted the woman had bloodshot eyes and reportedly smelled of alcohol.
Baker arrested Barron at the scene for DWI and she was transported to the Sevier County jail.
DE QUEEN ELEMENTARY STUDENTS GET SURPRISE GUEST 11/28/18
Technical Sargeant Erick Angeles was a Mystery Reader for De Queen Elementary fourth grade students last week. Students were given clues each day to try to figure out who the mystery reader would be. Angeles, who is stationed with the US Air Force in the Middle East, read the book The Bossy Gallito, a Cuban folktale by Lucia M. Gonzalez. This event was a special surprise for Angeles’ son, Gael, a De Queen Elementary fourth grader. Photo credits: Jason Carlton
HUNTING ACCIDENT AT POND CREEK WMA **UPDATE** 11/27/18
New information has been released regarding an update on a hunting accident that occurred at the Pond Creek Wildlife management area on Tuesday, November 20th just outside Horatio. Randy Zellers is the assistant chief of Communications at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
The accident happened within the Arkansas Game and Fish Commissions jurisdiction and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and Volunteers from the Horatio Fire Department, Arkansas State police and Southwest EMS assisted the AGFC with the call.
Zellers said Shane Stone, age 27 of Nashville Arkansas received injuries after a fall that was caused by an equipment issue while climbing into position to hunt. Southwest EMS transported Stone from the scene to receive medical attention at Saint Michaels Hospital in Texarkana where he received treatment for torn ligaments and a torn calf muscle.
Zellers said the accident is an example of the importance of exercising safety and caution while hunting. Stone was released on Friday, November 23rd and is in recovery.
LOCAL 4H TEENS ATTEND NATIONAL EVENT 11/27/18
Howard County 4-H members, Codie Jamison and Katilynn Hanney were chosen from youth across the state to attend National 4-H Congress this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Codie is the daughter of Gary and Stacy Jamison of Nashville. Katilynn is the daughter of Michael and Christie Hanney of Nashville. Both are members of the Howard County 4-H Teen Leaders.
While at the conference, they participated in leadership and community service activities including volunteering at local schools, museums, cleaning parks and cemeteries. The group also toured some of the local sites.
Both Jamison and Hanney were recognized for their 4-H career and accomplishments this past summer at the State 4-H Achievement Awards Program held on the U of A campus in Fayetteville. According to Jean Ince, County Extension Agent-Staff Chair, “This is the highest recognition for any 4-H member. These members have put in countless hours of community service and leadership throughout their years in 4-H in order to achieve at this level. I am extremely proud of both Codie and Katilynn.”
Achieving at this level opens the door for them to receive 4-H college scholarships. Codie is currently a student at UACCC. Katilynn is a senior at Nashville High School.
4-H is the youth organization of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. If you are interested in learning more about 4-H, contact the Howard County Extension Service at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
FREE CAROL OF LIGHTS EVENT AT HENDERSON 11/27/18
Henderson State University will present the annual Carol of Lights holiday program on Monday, Dec. 3. The sidewalks of the south lawn will be lined with hundreds of luminaries, creating a seasonal scene, and a variety of musical groups will perform. The program is free and open to the public.
The festivities will begin at 5:45 p.m. with Opera Workshop carolers performing on the front steps of Arkansas Hall, followed by students from the Davis-Baker Preschool Choir.
At 6 p.m., herald trumpets will mark the beginning of the program inside Arkansas Hall, and a flute choir will perform in the lobby as guests make their way into the auditorium.
The program includes performances by the Horn Choir/Tuba Choir, Henderson Dance Company, Clarinet Choir, NuFusion Jazz Ensemble, Opera Workshop, Angelic Voices of Christ, Perritt Primary School Nickelodeon Choir, and the Ouachita Honor Choir.
Dr. David Thompson will recite “The Night Before Christmas” with children invited to join him on stage.
After the gingerbread house winners are announced, the program will conclude with the University Chorale and Nickelodeon Choir singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” All community members in the area are welcome to attend.
FATALITY IN THREE CAR WRECK MONDAY 11/27/18
21 year old Texarkana man died after a 3 vehicle accident around 5:25 Monday morning (11-26) near Ozan on US278.
According to the Arkansas State Police, Jaylen C. Willis was westbound in a 2011 Hyundai when he apparently lost control, crossed the centerline, and struck an eastbound Chevy Silverado truck driven by 58 year old Myra Conway of Hope. The Conway vehicle then crossed into the westbound lane and struck a Nissan Frontier driven by 61 year old Lena P. White of Washington.
The injured were taken to Howard Memorial Hospital in Nashville and UAMS in Little Rock. Willis was pronounced dead by deputy coroner David Peters at the scene. The body was held at Brazzel-Oakcrest. Trooper Darren Henley investigated for Troop G of the Arkansas State Police.
arson Scholars Fund’s National Reading Day Celebration, Ashdown’s L.F. Henderson intermediate school teachers dressed up as their favorite book characters.
This event was formerly known as the Ben Carson Reading Day and is a celebration held in conjunction with American Education Week. Teachers at LFH went to different grade level classrooms and read books.
There was also a parade through the building so all the students could see the teachers. Students were treated to a video of Candy Carson reading the book, Stellaluna by Janell Cannon and a guest reader in the library who read the book, Dream Big by Kat Kronenburg. Ashdown school participate in the recognition of education week every year.
nnounced the arrest of a Southwest Arkansas woman for Medicaid fraud.
Tonashae Echols, 33, of Garland County, is the Therapy Manager of Little Bitty City Therapeutic Services in Hot Springs. Echols is accused of making false statements regarding her family’s income in order to receive Medicaid benefits for her children and billing Medicaid through the business for services provided to the children from November 2015 through July 2017. Following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, Echols has been arrested and charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a Class B felony.
“Echols is accused of lying to collect benefits she was not entitled to receive,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “When people cheat Medicaid, they steal from taxpayers and hurt a system designed to help the most vulnerable.
Medicaid fraud occurs when providers use the Medicaid program to obtain money to which they are not entitled. Residents can report Medicaid fraud, abuse or neglect in residential care facilities, by contacting the Attorney General’s Medicaid fraud hotline at (866) 810-0016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DONATIONS SOUGHT FOR LOCAL SHOP WITH A COP PROGRAM 11/26/18
Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry and De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons have released an announcement regarding funding needs for the local “Shop with a cop” program that provides area children with gifts for Christmas. Last year the program assisted more than 50 children in the community for the holiday season.
During the November De Queen City Council meeting it was revealed by police chief Scott Simmons that funding for the charity event is down for 2018. In previous years the departments were equipped with $2500 in funding to provide toys for children in the area. This year the program budget is currently only $500. Fundraising from the community is needed to supply the program with resources.
The “shop with a cop” program allows children to bond with a local law enforcement officer while also receiving a gift for the holidays. Residents who are able to contribute may do so by making monetary or gift card donations to The De Queen Police Department, P.O Box 730 De Queen, Arkansas 71832. Or The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, 137 West Robinson Road, De Queen, Arkansas 71832. Checks can be made out to “shop with a cop.” The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and De Queen Police Department have expressed appreciation to residents who are able to donate.
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR DECEMBER 11/26/18
The Sevier County library wishes to thank everyone who donated items for the sweater drive and the items for food for fines. With all the donations we will have some warm and happy people this holiday season.
The ladies of the De Queen Library wish all patrons a safe and happy holiday. To celebrate Christmas from December 3rd through 17th, each time a book is checked out, names will be placed in a drawing to win a $100.00 gift card from Walmart.
December 15th will be the 3rd annual Cocoa with Mrs Claus. There will be a story time and fun at 11:00 a.m. There will be cocoa and goodies for the first 30 children and there may be a surprise visitor. December is the month for Christian Fiction and the De Queen Library will have a Christmas themed books on display.
“Activities” are held every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. They offer dominoes, games, cards, coloring and more. Call the De Queen Branch at 584-4364 for more information. The Horatio Library will be having an open house called Cocoa and Cookies with Mrs. Claus on December 22nd from 9:00 a.m until 12:00 p.m.
Mrs. Claus will be there at 10 am to read a story to the children. There will be games, crafts and other activities for the kids. At 11 am there will have stockings full of goodies for the first 25 kids who arrive. There will also be hourly door prize drawings and refreshments served. They’ll host dominoes at 10 a.m. and a bridge game a 1:00 p.m. on Wednesdays for adults.The Horatio branch also announced the food drive will continue through the month of December. Any non-perishable item can be dropped off during regular hours.
The Lockesburg Library will host Christmas Tea between 10:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8th Attendees should bring their own teacup and prizes will be awarded for the most interesting cups brought. Children’s Christmas programs planned in December will be Thursday, December 13 at 1:00 pm and Saturday, December 15 at 10:00 am. A special display of “Christmas Books” has been set up at the Lockesburg Library.
The Gillham Library has new books in stock. the new Mary Higgins Clark book, “You Don’t Own Me” and “Alaskan Holiday” by Debbie Macomber are now available for check-out. They will have a “Story Time and Craft Day” on Saturday December 8th and Young Mason Hobbs is going to present the program . A movie day will be held on Saturday December 15th. For more info: 870-386-5665 or visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary
BROKEN BOW JR. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HOLDING COAT DRIVE 11/26/18
The Broken Bow Jr. Chamber of Commerce is hosting a coat drive to help community members who are in need of warm clothing during the cold winter season. The drive is not limited to just coats and jackets, as scarves, mittens, gloves, hats, socks, and other similar items will also be accepted.
Rachel Wallace is a member of the Broken Bow Jr. Chamber of Commerce and has taken a leadership role in this years coat drive. Rachel says KDQN studios and the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce office will serve as drop-off sites for the donations. KDQN studios is located at 921 W. Collin Raye Drive in De Queen.
The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce is located at 113 West Martin Luther King Drive. Donations will be accepted through November 30th and distribution to local schools and charitable organizations will begin December 3rd. Contact KDQN studios at 870-642-2446 or the Broken Bow Chamber of commerce at 580-584-3393 for more information.
ADDITIONAL LAND OPEN FOR HUNTING IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 11/23/18
This week, the AGFC announced Southwest Arkansas currently has one of the most dense deer populations of anywhere in the state, and public access areas in this part of Arkansas are more accessible because of special leased lands opportunities offered by the AGFC. This year, an additional spur of 3,500 acres is available near the town of Amity, to help hunters find a tree for their deer stand.
Garrick Dugger, assistant chief of wildlife management, says the AGFC leases more than a quarter-million acres each year to open them up for hunting and trapping.
Leased lands WMAs are still considered public hunting areas in regard to regulations concerning seasons and bag limits. Each WMA has its own set of regulations regarding harvest of all game species. For deer, they typically follow the same dates and bag limits as the private land deer zone surrounding them, but they do require the hunter to check their deer to the WMA zone number instead of a private land zone number.
“We take in about 20 percent of the program’s cost through the permits,” Dugger said. “The AGFC pays for the rest of it, so people have an affordable option to go hunting. We can’t provide AGFC-owned land everywhere, but we can help make it a little easier to get your deer without spending a bunch of money in the process.”
Leased lands in Southwest Arkansas include:
- Gum Flats WMA – Little River County
- Howard County WMA – Howard County
- Jack Mountain WMA – Hot Spring County
- Jim Kress WMA – Cleburne County
- Lafayette County WMA – Lafayette County
- Lake Greeson WMA – Howard and Pike counties
- Provo WMA – Sevier County
More information is available on AGFC.com
WILDFIRE SAFETY PROGRAM OPEN FOR AREA FIRE DEPARTMENTS 11/23/18
The Arkansas Forestry Commission is encouraging local fire departments to participate in the Arkansas Firewise program. The program is a wildfire-safety initiative that works through fire departments to educate and protect communities from wildfires. County Forester Justin Mallett says Firewise provides additional funding for departments and assists homeowners in wildfire mitigation.
In Arkansas, many homes are built in the wildland/urban interface (communities with both homes and natural areas in close proximity to one another), which makes them at a higher risk for wildfire damage. The Firewise USA program outlines specific strategies for improving the defensible space around homes – through fire department efforts – to improve community-wide wildfire danger awareness.
For more information, contact the Dierks forestry office at 870-286-2137.
LOCKESBURG CHRISTMAS PARADE ACCEPTING FLOAT ENTRIES NOW 11/23/18
The Lockesburg Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, December 1st, at 4:00 P.M. The city is currently accepting entries from organizations interested in participating in the parade. All participants are asked to meet at Ida Margaret Coulter park by 3:30p.m. on the afternoon of the parade. The Judges will be located in front of the Lockesburg City Hall. Participants are asked to stop in front of the judges panel for them to view each entry. Organizations may register at City Hall and will be given a number that. must be visible in large print on the left side of the float. Float categories include Business/ Commercial, Organization, Religious, and Recreational.
Prizes will be presented immediately following the parade at Bank of Lockesburg’s parking lot. The bank will be serving hot chocolate starting at 3:30 P.M. Santa will be visiting with children at the bank immediately following the parade. Participants are asked to submit their organization name, address, phone number and entry category to City Hall by Thursday, November 29th in order to be judged as a contestant in the parade.
Everyone is welcome to participate, but participants will not be judged if not registered. For more information, contact Lockesburg City Hall 870-289-3261.
A hunting accident occurred at the Pond Creek Wildlife management area on Tuesday, November 20th just outside Horatio. Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry told KDQN the call came in late afternoon after 4:00 p.m. Tuesday.
The accident happened within the Arkansas Game and Fish Commissions jurisdiction but the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and Volunteers from the Horatio Fire Department assisted the AGFC with the call. Reports indicate that a hunter attempted to climb up a tree and fell over back wards which caused him to suffer injuries to his legs. The man was required to be airlifted from the scene to receive medical attention.
More information will be released as details become available.
UNRESPONSIVE CHILD AND CAR ACCIDENT IN DE QUEEN 11/23/18
On Tuesday, November 20th at approximately 7:20 p.m. Katheryn Ledesma of De Queen was attempting to drive her unresponsive six month-old baby to the De Queen medical center in a 2004 Toyota Forerunner.
While attempting to turn off Colin Raye Drive onto North 14th street where the medical center is located, Ledesma ran into the curb. After hitting the curb she continued into a ditch on the West side of North 14th street.
Ledesma reportedly ran from the vehicle at the scene of the accident to the medical center one block away with her baby in her arms. Ledesma’s mother, Kathy Leon was reportedly still in the vehicle at the scene. First responders were called to the crash and got Leon out of the vehicle and into an ambulance. De Queen police have no further updates on the case at this time.
HOUSE FIRE NEAR DE QUEEN 11/23/18
On Tuesday, November 20th at approximately 1:15 p.m. Members of the De Queen Fire Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to a residence just outside the city limits on Craig Lane in response to reports of a structure fire.
Twelve firefighters responded to the all call alarm and arrived on the scene just three minutes after the report came in. Upon arrival at the house, responders reported the back of the house was engulfed in flames.
The crew worked for more than an hour to put out the fire and left the scene at 2:37 p.m. The De Queen Fire Department reported that smoke detectors in the home were present and functioning properly. The owner of the home was identified as Jason Formby. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire has not been released.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEETING UPDATES 11/21/18
The Little River County Quorum Court’s November meeting was held last week at the county courthouse. During the brief meeting a few agenda items were discussed and upcoming events were announced. In terms of finances, the budget chairman provided updated copies of the 2018-2019 budget for the quorum and announced a budget workshop has been scheduled for Monday.
Mike Cranford said good news is in order for all full time county employees as the judge announced $1,000 bonuses for Christmas will be distributed this week, in time for Holiday shopping.
The quorum was addressed by resident Wanda Duckett who revealed that work conducted by the city years ago has caused drainage problems on her property recently. Judge Cranford agreed to send professional out to assess the situation for Miss Duckett and the report will be reviewed was completed.
A reminder for the annual lighting of the Courthouse was also announced during meeting as well. The lighting took place Tuesday, November 20th in time for the Winter Holiday season. Another annual occurrence is the levy ordinance adoption. The ordinance is addressed each year around the same time and requires assess the current milage for city and county roads. Judge Cranford said there were no changes to note since last year.
The next Little County Quorum Court Meeting will be held Monday, December 10th at the county courthouse at 9:00 a.m. The public is invited.
NEW BUILDING PROJECTS ON TRACK FOR DE QUEEN SCHOOLS 11/21/18
De Queen school district Superintendent Bruce Hill announced a special school board meeting was called Tuesday, November 20th at the district’s administration building. The purpose of the meeting was to take bids for the new construction projects on both the new High School building and the primary school’s physical education building.
Superintendent Hill described the session as a “Five Minute meeting” in which the bids were accepted. The High school building construction project will cost $13.7 million dollars, which is less than the school board anticipated paying.
The expected cost was to pay no more than $14.5 million for the project. The primary school’s physical education building met the exact expectation in costs. The building’s price tag will be $1.3 million, which is the same amount the board planned to pay. Both projects will begin December 3rd as planned.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT UPDATES 11/21/18
The Sevier County Quorum court met for their November meeting Monday the 19th. The meeting was moved from the 12th as the courthouse was closed for Veteran’s day. During the meeting agenda items discussed include a report from the budget committee, the approval of a new library board member, appropriation of funds and the discussion of possibly supplying I-pads for the quorum court members.
Angie Walker is both a Justice of the Peace and member of the budget committee. Walker said working through the failure of the proposed tax for the Sevier County Jail is has been a topic of discussion for the budget committee. Although the issue may be put to vote for county residents again, it is required that a 6 month time period pass before it can be proposed again.
The appointment of Kathryn Coulter to the Sevier County library was unanimously approved by the quorum court during the meeting.
An appropriation for funds transfer was also addressed during the meeting. The quorum agreed to move existing funds for equipment repair purposes. Angie Walker says the money is already in the budget, it simply needed to be moved to a different category.
The idea of supplying the Quorum court with I-pads to manage paperwork and agenda items was addressed. Angie says the I-Pads would help with efficiency and would even assist the budget committee in managing documents and information.
The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting will be held December 10th at the county courthouse in De Queen.
NOVEMBER CITY COUNCIL MEETING UPDATES FOR DE QUEEN 11/21/18
The De Queen City Council met for their regular meeting Tuesday, November 20th at city Hall in De Queen. Several agenda items were addressed during the meeting but Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy says the main item of discussion was focused on the new retirement plan for city employees. An ordinance to adopt the new plan requiring a 10% contribution from the city passed during the meeting. Mayor McKelvy says he believes this plan will better serve the city’s employees. An ordinance was also passed to dissolve the old plan, but it will require approval from the IRS.
The new plan will be implemented in January of 2019.
The Fire department was recently granted $5,000 from Arvest Bank for equipment purchases and the council passed the resolution to appropriate the funds. The department will use the money to provide additional safety equipment for the fire fighters. The police department chief Scott Simmons announced that funding is down this year for the city’s shop with a cop program. Each year the department provides a shopping experience for 25 children in need during the holiday season. The De Queen police will need to raise additional funds to help make up the deficit.
The council agreed to allow the new city council members to discuss the details of attendance and residency requirements when they begin their terms next year. Budget requests were also made by city departments. The main issue proposed was the water tower painting Project. Mayor McKelvy says the tower’s interior has not been painted since it was built in the 1960’s.
An announcement was also made about an upcoming auction in De Queen. On Wednesday, November 28th two equipment items will be up for auction at noon at the city shop. Items will include a backhoe and a dozer will open for bids.
The final announcement made regards the code red alert system. The sanitation routes will be changed in observation of the Thanksgiving Holiday. Mayor Mckelvy says the system offers reminders for local residents.
The next De Queen City Council meeting will be held December 4th at 6:00 p.m. in city hall.
POLICE ASSESS ASSAULT CASE IN DE QUEEN 11/21/18
On Thursday, November 8th Officer Kristopher Hundley of the De Queen police Department was dispatched to a call on North 9th street regarding a report of a domestic disturbance. Upon the officer’s arrival on the scene contact was made with Manual and Isabel Rodriguez of De Queen in the Kern Heights Baptist church parking lot.
A woman named Maria Ocampo reported that Isabel had been using drugs and running off. Isabel has been told not to leave the residence and after the words were exchanged Isabel reportedly spit on Maria. Officers placed Isabel into Custody and transported her to the Sevier County Jail. At the Jail Isabel was placed into custody and jailed for assault on a family or household member in the 3rd degree. Bond was set at $1,500.
COSSATOT RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT CHOIR UPDATES 11/20/18
Nearly 600 students from the Southwest Arkansas regional area auditioned for the opportunity. Out of the 600 students, 34 of those singers auditioning were from CRHS. Of the 34, 29 students and 3 alternates earned chairs in the Choir.
The students also performed a live concert on Friday, November 9th at Lake Hamilton High School in Pearcy, Arkansas. The Cossatot river High School choir will put on an additional live concert Tuesday, December 11th at 7:30 pm in the Holbert Auditorium.
The Cossatot River Choirs are under the direction of Susan Brewer and more information can be found online at www.cossatot.us
MINERAL SPRINGS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL FACES BATTERY CHARGES 11/20/18
Third degree misdemeanor battery charges have been filed against Mineral Springs High School Principal Clint Jones, following an altercation at Friday’s football game at Hampton.
According to the Hampton Police Department, an altercation between football players broke out at the conclusion of the game.
Authorities say Principal Jones stepped in to break up the fight and allegedly threw punches at a Mineral Springs student and a parent. Officer Cody Wilson reported that the parent became involved because she was concerned that the players were getting hit by the principal.
The police department says the investigation is ongoing and that individuals involved have been cooperative in providing information. Jones was also previously accused of assault while working at a Texarkana, Arkansas school. Administrators with the Mineral Springs School District declined to comment on the incident.
ANNUAL SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS FUNERAL SERVICES CONFERENCE SET FOR DECEMBER 11/20/18
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Departments of Industry Outreach & Community Education and Funeral Services will hold the annual Southwest Arkansas Funeral Services Conference on Tuesday, December 4, 2018, at Hempstead Hall in the Washington Suite from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The conference is open to Funeral Service Directors and Embalmers to obtain their required compliance credits for the year. This conference will award 6 hours of continuing education credit.
This year’s presenters include:
- Robert Akers, Board Director Funeral Service Division
- Gerald Curtis, Funeral Home Liaison with ARORA
- Holly Rucker, Executive Director for Kindred Hospice Texarkana
Topics this year include:
- ARORA Organ and Tissue Donation
- Finding Meaning in Bereavement
- The New Arkansas Funeral Board and its Effects on the Industry
The registration fee of $40 includes lunch, door prizes at breaks, and recording of credit to the Arkansas State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. Payment may be made by phone, mail, or on the day of the event. Registrations are encouraged to be completed by Friday, November 23.
To pre-register for the conference, contact Edessa Walton, Industry Outreach Director at 870-722-8102 or email@example.com.
DE QUEEN POLICE OFFICER CATCHES DUI SUSPECT 11/20/18
On Saturday, November 17th at approximately 9:45 p.m. Officer JJ Lopez of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the area of Coulter drive in reference to a person who reported hearing a loud noise that sounded like a vehicle had crashed.
Upon officer Lopez’s arrival on the scene he discovered a Black Chevrolet Silverado in the ditch on the South side of Coulter Drive. Officer Lopez identified the driver as Juan Pablo Duran Hernandez, age 25 of De Queen. While speaking with the suspect Officer Lopez reported noticing an odor consistent with alcoholic beverages coming from his person. Hernandez admitted he had consumed alcohol earlier while attending a party.
Officer Lopez had Hernandez perform several field sobriety tests and he did not pass the requirements. Lopez also administered a breathalyzer on the suspect and the result showed 0.143, which is higher than the legal limit of .08. Hernandez was placed in custody and transported to the Sevier County Jail where he was processed and charged with DWI 2. Bond was set at $2500.
AGFC TO STOCK PONDS FOR WINTER 11/20/18
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Family and Community Fishing Program is kicking off winter in style by releasing hundreds of rainbow trout in program ponds throughout the state.
Each year, rainbow trout raised at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery in Mammoth Springs are delivered to community ponds across the natural state once the water temperatures have cooled enough to accommodate cold-water fish. According to AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program Coordinator, Maurice Jackson, the fish began to be delivered last week, and all program ponds scheduled for trout should have fish swimming in them in time for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Southwest Arkansas ponds stocked with the trout include the John Benjamin Glenwood community pond in Glenwood, the Mike and Janet Huckabee Senior Youth Pond in Hope, the Entergy and Family parks in Hot Springs, and Lake Dieffenbacher in Texarkana.
Visit www.agfc.com/familyfishing to learn more about the Family and Community Fishing Program and to find the complete list of ponds participating in the winter trout stocking schedule.
ARKANSAS STATE POLICE TO INCREASE ENFORCEMENT DURING HEAVILY TRAVELED THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY 11/20/18
The Thanksgiving holiday is typically one of the more dangerous and deadliest times for highway or local street travel. Whether the trip is across town or across the county, distance makes no difference, safety belts and child restraints save lives.
The Arkansas State Police will be working alongside law enforcement agencies across the state during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday period November 19 – 25 looking for motorists who are not using their vehicle safety belts. State troopers, local police officers and sheriff’s deputies are reminding all motorists to “Click It” or risk getting a ticket.
An intensified enforcement emphasis will be noticed along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday and violators will be ticketed.
During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period (November 23rd – 28th), 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Nearly 50 percent of those killed were not buckled-up.
Arkansas state law requires that all front seat passengers, not just drivers, be buckled up. It requires all children under fifteen years of age to be properly secured in the vehicle. A child who is less than six years of age and who weighs less than sixty pounds shall be restrained in a child passenger safety seat. If the driver has a restricted license, all passengers in the vehicle must be properly buckled up.
For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visitwww.trafficsafetymarketing.gov or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136. For more on Arkansas’ ongoing Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities, visit www.TZDArkansas.org.
Two local High School students signed letters of intent to join athletic programs at Southwest Arkansas area colleges last week. Isael Sanchez and Hector Hernandez are seniors at De Queen High School who will be competing on collegiate cross country running teams beginning in the fall of 2019.
Sanchez signed with U of A Rich Mountain in Mena, Arkansas and Hector Hernandez signed with Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. Both boys signed letters of intent with their respective schools on Friday, November 16th at KDQN studios in De Queen.
Coach Samantha Shores of UA Rich Mountain described Isael Sanchez as a team player who excels in both academics and athletics. Sanchez says he enjoys the social aspects of the sport but also likes beating out the competition during races.
Coach Shores noted that elevating from High School level races to collegiate cross country requires running longer distances and adding additional forms of training.
Hector Hernandez has already begun to set goals for his athletic career at SAU. The runner said he would like to win a conference title with the Muleriders as a freshman.
Friends, family, coaches and teammates joined the boys to celebrate the signing day event November 16th. Pictures of the signing are available in our photo album.
NEW REGULATIONS ANNOUNCED AT AGFC MEETING 11/19/18
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously approved new regulations during the monthly commissioner’s meeting held last week. One agenda item approved was the agreement to regulate and more closely monitor the commercial harvest of aquatic turtles across the state of Arkansas. The approved regulations changes are:
- To cap the sale of annual commercial turtle harvest-related permit holders to 150 per year for 2019-2021;
- Require submission of at least one report per harvester per year in order to renew a commercial harvester or dealer permit;
- Close the Gulf Coastal Plain to commercial aquatic turtle harvest;
- Close the St. Francis River in Greene and Clay counties to commercial aquatic turtle harvest;
- Prohibit the harvest of razorback musk turtles, and
- Clarify that anyone holding wild caught aquatic turtles for commercial transfer purposes must have an Aquatic Turtle Dealer Permit. The regulations will be effective Jan. 1, 2019:
In other business, the Commission:
- Announced the Arkansas Wildlife Officer of the Year Award as Wildlife Officer Supervisor Keith Eaton of Lonoke County.
- Authorized AGFC Director Pat Fitts to enter into a purchase agreement for 0.53 acres adjacent to Lake Elmdale in Washington County to complete work essential to repair the lake’s spillway discharge, which was damaged by extensive flooding in 2017.
- Authorized an increase of $260,381 to the previously approved marine fuel tax project of the McCallie Access to the Mississippi River in Desha County. The project will include construction of two boat ramps and parking areas to accommodate boaters and anglers on the Mississippi River in southeast Arkansas. The overall cost of the MFT project is $1,318,000.
- Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with an original cost of $488,104.65 and a current net book value of $117,780.29.
CRISIS CENTER NEEDING DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS IN DE QUEEN 11/19/18
The Southwest Arkansas Crisis Center in De Queen is seeking donations so that they can continue to provide services to the area. They are also seeking volunteers.
They provide a number of services to the area including crisis intervention and prevention services, outreach, housing, counseling, financial assistance, criminal justice advocacy, and emergency food and clothing.
They also staff a 24/7 crisis hotline at 1-800-338-9844. Call 870-584-3441 for more information or learn more at www.arcrisiscenter.org.
TUTORING PROGRAM OPEN IN NASHVILLE 11/19/18
Lifeline Ministry After School Tutoring Program is featuring an after school tutoring program that will continue through May 2019. Sessions will be held every Tuesday from 3:30-5:00 P.M.
There will be a $5 registration fee for each child and they are located at the Fellowship Hall, 116 East Sypert, in Nashville, Arkansas. If you have or know a child who is in need of extra help with school work you are encouraged to bring them by. For more information contact the Director Mrs. Shelia Edwards at (870) 845-1878.
The teachers who will be working with the children are (Director) Mrs. Shelia Edwards, Mrs. Latasha Flowers, Mrs. Shanika Lofton and Mrs. Paula Alvarez. Staff members have obtained Early Childhood Development Degrees.
HOPE STATE TROOPER PROMOTED TO INTERNET CRIMES UNIT 11/19/18
Three state troopers were approved for promotions last week based on recommendations presented to the Arkansas State Police Commission by, state police director Colonel Bill Bryant . A Southwest Arkansas Native is among the troopers who were recently promoted into new positions.
Special Agent (Corporal) Russ Rhodes, age 46, of Garland County, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. His most recent assignment has been with the department’s Criminal Investigation Division, Company C based in Hope, Arkansas.
Sergeant Rhodes is a 21 year veteran of the department and has been promoted into a supervisor position within the CID Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
The promotion was effective immediately and Rhodes began work in his role Thursday, November 15th.
Sergeant Chris Goodman, 43, of Pope County and Corporal Aaron Easley, 36 of Lawrence County are the additional state troopers who recently received promotions. Goodman is now assistant troop commander to Highway Patrol Division, Troop H in Fort Smith and Easley has been assigned as a post supervisor to Highway Patrol Division, Troop C in Jonesboro.
More information about the Arkansas state police and trooper recruiting is available online at asp.arkansas.gov.
NRA DONATES TO SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COLLEGE SPORTS SHOOTING CLUB 11/16/18
Friends of the NRA is a grassroots fund-raising program that fosters community involvement to organize and, with help from NRA field staff, plan community events for firearms enthusiasts. All net proceeds from Friends of NRA events are allocated to The NRA Foundation, the leading charitable organization in support of shooting sports. Through NRA Foundation grants for equipment, training materials, range improvements, and more, qualified local, state, and national programs receive aid to involve and inspire a new generation of competitive shooters.
For more information about the Piney Woods Friends of the NRA Chapter #AR28, call 870-331-9975.
OBU TO HOST CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCES 11/16/18
Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present its annual A Festival of Christmas performances on Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, both at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing arts center. Ouachita’s choral ensembles, including Concert Choir, Ouachita Singers, Women’s Chorus and Sounds of the Season (previously known as Ouachita Sounds), will perform throughout A Festival of Christmas. Additionally, children from the Arkadelphia DancePraize studio will perform “The Waltz of the Flowers” from The Nutcracker.
A few songs the audience can expect to hear this year include “O Holy Night,” “Mary Did You Know?,” “Grown Up Christmas List,” “The Christmas Waltz” and “Holly Jolly Christmas.”OBU Students and faculty begin working to produce A Festival of Christmas nearly six months in advance each year.
Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased in the JPAC Box Office or online at www.obu.edu/boxoffice. The box office is open weekdays from 1-5 p.m. For more information, call the box office at (870) 245-5555 during business hours.
SHOPLIFTING CASE AT DOLLAR GENERAL IN HORATIO 11/16/18
The Sevier County Sheriff’s department received a call regarding a shoplifting occurrence on Friday, November 9th at the Dollar General store in Horatio. Deputy Wendell Randall spoke with store manager, James Welch who reported that he had viewed security footage of a man putting medicine in his pockets without paying. The man was identified as Shane Davis.
Davis took flonase, razor blades, zyrtec and a wireless phone charger valuing $53 total without paying and later returned to the store to redeem the items for a card that could be used to make an additional purchase. Welch told Deputy Randall he wished to press charges against Davis for shoplifting. Deputy Randall viewed the security camera footage and collected a statement from Welch.
On Monday, November 12th Davis turned himself in to the Sevier County Sheriff’s department where he was informed of his Miranda rights and agreed to speak with officer Randall. Davis admitted to taking the items and described his actions as a last resort, as neither he nor his girlfriend are currently employed. Davis was issued a citation for the shoplifting and is not permitted at the Horatio Dollar general store by request of the store owner. Davis has a court date set for December 18th at the Sevier County Courthouse.
FARM BUREAU SURVEY SHOWS THANKSGIVING COSTS UP 11/16/18
The average cost of the traditional Thanksgiving meal this year is higher than in 2017, according to Arkansas Farm Bureau’s 33rd annual survey of food items typically included in the holiday feast. And, for the first time, the survey includes ham, russet potatoes and green beans. This year’s meal will cost $52.93 for a family of 10, up $8.35 from last year’s average of $44.58, but still a bargain at $5.29 per person.
Travis Justice, chief economist for Arkansas Farm Bureau says this year’s survey reflects an “unprecedented” third consecutive year of lower retail food prices.
“Despite the fact three new items were added to the shopping list, retail prices in Arkansas reflect a 10 percent decline from last year,” said Justice. “In the protein sector, 2018 marks the fourth year in a row of record total meat production,” he added. “Despite strong domestic consumer demand, these record tonnages of meat, along with declines in pork exports, particularly to China, have pressured consumer meat prices lower.”
The statewide average is based on responses from members of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee and other volunteers who surveyed food prices at eight grocery stores and supermarkets across the state. They were asked to report the “best in-store price” of 15 items included in the meal and are allowed to take advantage of advertised specials, excluding discount coupons and purchase requirements.
Arkansas food prices continue to remain more affordable than elsewhere. American Farm Bureau’s national survey of price trends for the holiday feast, including the three new menu items, revealed an average of $61.72.
“America consumers will benefit this year from another record supply of poultry and pork products,” said Arkansas Farm Bureau president Randy Veach. “We are blessed with the most abundant and affordable food supply in the world and, as we do each Thanksgiving, many families and charitable organizations will share the meal with those who are not as fortunate. That is truly reason to give thanks.”
Veach said the fact consumers continue to enjoy the holiday meal for a little more than $5 a person, on average, is a result of the efficiency of the nation’s food production system.
“Grain prices continue to remain low and our farmers are feeling the effects of the tariff war with China,” he said. “As in most years, the weather affected crop production and harvest, but despite this, because of research and the latest technological advancements, they are able to hold down their cost of production,” Veach said.
Though unscientific, the survey is intended to be a snapshot of actual prices across Arkansas and the nation. The survey period was Oct.26 – Nov. 6.
The average cost of a 16-pound young tom turkey was $13.88 or 87 cents per pound. That’s down from $1.08 per pound in 2017. American Farm Bureau’s national survey reported an average of $21.71 or $1.36 per pound for the whole bird. A new item on the list is a four-pound half bone-in ham at $6.59 or $1.65 per pound. Turkey and ham are centerpiece items in most dinners and drive the cost of the meal.
Other new items in the shopping list this year are a 5-pound bag of russet potatoes which cost $5.07 or $1.01 per pound, and a 16-ounce package of green beans which cost $1.32. The average cost of a gallon of whole milk dropped 37 cents to $2.64.
The remaining items surveyed included a package of fresh cranberries, three pounds of sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, frozen green peas, pie shells, stuffing mix, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie mix and a ½-pint carton of whipping cream.
Arkansas Farm Bureau is a nonprofit, private advocacy organization of more than 192,000 families throughout the state working to improve farm and rural life.
SPRING CLASSES AT UA COSSATOT SET FOR JANUARY 14TH 11/16/18
Spring 2019 classes and financial aid are open for enrollment for new and continuing students at the University of Arkansas Cossatot in Ashdown, De Queen, Nashville, and online. Registration for classes beginning January 14, 2019, will continue through January 15; however, classes are filling quickly. Persons interested in enrolling should see Student Services at any UA Cossatot campus or call 870-584-4471. A schedule of classes is available at www.cccua.edu/spring.
Federal financial aid may be available to students upon the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Complete the FAFSA at the Federal Student Aid website, fafsa.ed.gov. Current students receiving Pell grant for the 2018-2019 academic year do not need to re-apply for spring.
For more information about financial aid and scholarship opportunities at UA Cossatot, please visit www.cccua.edu/FinAid.
The ArFuture grant provided through the Arkansas Department of Higher Education is also open for spring 2019. Students wishing to declare the following majors may qualify for the ArFuture grant:
Associate of Science – STEM, Associate of Science – Criminal Justice, Associate of Science – Natural Resources, Diesel Technology, EMT, Medical Assisting, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Radio Broadcasting, and
Welding.To apply for the ArFuture grant, students must complete the FAFSA in addition to the YOUniversal online application at www.scholarships.adhe.edu. The deadline for spring 2019 ArFuture applications is January 1, 2019.
Students are encouraged to visit UA Cossatot to enroll in spring courses before campuses close in observance of the holidays on December 19, 2018.
FIVE SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENTS WIN FIRST PLACE IN PHOTO CONTEST 11/16/18
The Southwest Arkansas Planning & Development District (Southwest) and Sevier County Economic Development announce winners of a recent contest featuring photographs that showcase Sevier County in Southwest Arkansas.
The contest was open to all photographers who reside in, work in, or visit Sevier County, Arkansas, and had five categories. First, second and third place winners in each category are:
“Faith in Sevier”
First place: Beautiful Old Church by Sydney Bailey; Second place: Fall for Faith by Annabelle Lindsey; Third place: Serenity Point by Keisha McKinney
“Sevier Natural Treasures”
First place: De Queen Lake at Sunset by Lorrie Stubbs; Second place: First Day of Fall by Angel Espinoza; Third place: Quiet Afternoon by Keisha McKinney
“Sevier Roads and Structures”
First place: Sunday Drive by Annabelle Lindsey; Second place: Commercial District by Keisha McKinney; Third place: Johnson Bridge by Sydney Bailey
First place: Looking Out by Keisha McKinney; Second place: Farm Life by Sidney Bailey; Third place: Railways by Keisha McKinney
“Sevier Work and Play”
First place: Poultry in Motion by Annabelle Lindsey; Second place: Fun at the De Queen City Pool by Shelley Taylor; Third place: Sibling Rivalry by Annabelle Lindsey
First place winners of each category receive a $20 gift certificate to Tres Agaves Restaurant in De Queen. First, second, and third place winners receive certificates of their accomplishment, as well as publication on the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District Facebook page.
“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in this Photo Quest with the Southwest Planning and Development District.” said Lisa Taylor, Economic Development Director. “Photos submitted during the contest will be used to promote our area for various economic development opportunities.”
Winners may contact Lisa Taylor, Economic Development Director, at 870-279-5937, or they may stop by UA Cossatot, 183 College Drive, De Queen, to pick up their prize.
The boat ramps have been closed since a major renovation began in 2017, a common practice to rejuvenate aging reservoirs in Arkansas. Aquatic vegetation had taken over much of the shallow lake, and fisheries supervisors scheduled the drawdown to reduce the vegetation and allow the silt layer to compact and dry, while also reducing the number of undesirable fish species found in the Bayou.
Cutting boat lanes, marking navigation channels, and creating fish attractions are also part of the plan in the renovation project. However, unusually wet weather has kept the Sulphur River high enough to refill the Bayou, despite the water control structures being opened. In an effort to let hunters make the best use of the public hunting and fishing area, lake managers will reopen the gates at the boat ramps and allow people to launch boats for hunting and fishing purposes when natural water levels allow.
The water-control structures on Mercer Bayou will remain open to prevent any further delay in the renovation when water levels recede. So, interested duck hunters and anglers should pay close attention to the lake level to determine if the ramps are usable. Boats will be allowed, but no other motorized vehicles may be used on the WMA.
HISTORIC WASHINGTON STATE PARK HOSTING CHRISTMAS EVENT 11/15/18
Community residents are invited to Join the staff of Historic Washington State Park for its 32nd Annual Christmas and Candlelight which will be held December 1 & 8, 2018. The park will be open from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. both days. Luminaries and special music will be featured in the evenings.
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 and attendees can eat when they see fit. There will be boardwalks to stroll and horsedrawn surreys. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $6.00 for children (6 -12) plus tax. The Historic State Park is only eight miles off I30 from Hope Arkansas. For more information contact Historic Washington at 870-983-2684, orHistoricWashington@Arkansas.com.
DIERKS EDUCATION BOARD UPDATES 11/15/18
Monday night, the Dierks Board of Education met and approved the renewal of the Arkansas School Board Association business trip accidental death and dismemberment coverage for all school employees and bus drivers for the calendar year of 2019.
Board members voted to remove Terry Bo Ray and Janet Bobo from the district’s Arvest safety deposit box and to add Superintendent Jody Cowart and District Treasurer Kayla Jones.
Board members passed unanimously motion to allow Cowart to pursue selling some district property.
The board also voted to pursue a fiber optics project and also approved a non-recurring $1,000 bonus for all certified and classified staff as a Christmas bonus. According to the unofficial minutes, the bonus will be paid in the November payroll process.
OFFICERS HANDLE CRIMINAL TRESPASS IN DE QUEEN 11/15/18
On Monday, November 12th at approximately 6:00 a.m. officer Wendell Randall was dispatched to a De Queen residence in response to a report of a domestic disturbance. While en route to the address, Deputy Chet Stubbs assisted officer Randall by checking the involved parties for outstanding warrants.
Stubbs and Deputy Justin Gentry arrived at the scene first and awaited Officer Randall’s arrival. The suspects, identified as Denver Strang and Sarah Swain were found to have trespassed the address despite making claims that they had permission to be there. Deputy Stubbs was advised by officer Randall to take the suspects into custody while he spoke with the reporting party, Mickey Strang.
Strang stated his son, Denver and Sarah Swain had arrived at the house uninvited that morning and refused to leave after an argument occurred. Upon arriving at the Sheriff’s office Officer Randall informed the suspects of their Miranda Rights and the suspects said Denver’s mother, Kristi had given the two permission to be at the address.
Officers told Kristi that in order to have the trespassing charges dropped she would be required to write a statement declaring that she no longer wished to pursue the issue. The suspects were given citations for trespassing and assigned court dates for December 18th at the Sevier County Courthouse.
HORATIO SCHOOL BOARD MEETING HELD THIS WEEK 11/15/18
Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, November 12th in the administration building. The board members approved emergency response team policy, athletics’ events concession policy, and agreement with Central Payment for acceptance of debit/credit cards.
Board members appointed Elizabeth Walker as the legislative liaison for the school district, adopted resolution for annual election to be held May 21, 2019 and approved Act 1120 for the 2017-18 school year.
The board approved student-successes awards, with principals determining the successes of students, approved transfer of students into district, and approved long term substitute for maternity leave of teacher.
Reports were given by superintendent, elementary and high school principals, financial statements, and routine reports were approved.
SEVIER COUNTY 4H STEM FAIR HELD AT UA COSSATOT 11/14/18
If you would like more information on 4-H and how to join, please contact the Sevier County Extension Office at (870) 584-3013.
Learning for Life, a division of Boy Scouts of America hosted a Career Day at Ashdown’s L.F. Henderson Intermediate School for fourth and fifth graders on November 8. Community leaders and business owners spoke to the students about their specific fields, so that students would hear about “a realistic image of the workplace.” Students listened to professionals who worked in the field of nursing, education, law enforcement, and engineering.
The committee refined and consolidated policy proposals into a set of formal recommendations to be considered by voting delegates during the business session of the Arkansas Farm Bureau State Convention, Nov. 28-30 at the Little Rock Convention Center.
Pictured (l-r)Kevin Scott, Ernie Merrell, Caleb Blankenship, Bella Easley, Bannon Price, Luke Barnes, Ella Bowman, Rylie Youngblood, & Audrey Kate Bishop
Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Week is November 12th – 19th, 2018. Volunteers have been transforming empty boxes into gifts filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and articles of clothing for children in need worldwide.This year is the 25th anniversary of the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry with at least 157 million children and their families learning of Jesus Christ through this Christian organization. The project is made possible by the help of volunteers and donations.
First Baptist church in Horatio is a drop off location for Operation Christmas child and collection times will be available throughout the week:
Tuesday, November 13th, 5-7 p.m .
Wednesday November 14th, 4-6 p.m.
Thursday November 15th, 5-7 p.m.
Friday November 16th, 5-7p.m.
Saturday November 17th, 9-11 a.m.
Sunday, November 18th, 3-5 p.m.
Monday November 19th, 9-11 am.
For suggestions about what can be packed in shoeboxes, drop-off sites, collection dates, hours, and directions to drop-off sites, go to samaritanspurse.org/occ. Contact Liz Trimble at 870-279-1219 for more information.
SWEATER DRIVE CONTINUING THROUGH NOVEMBER 30TH AT LIBRARIES 11/13/18
The Arkansas Educational Television Network and The Sevier County Library, De Queen Branch have partnered to Sponsor a Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive as a tribute to Fred Rogers and his example of being a caring neighbor. The drive will continue through November 30th with donation sites at more than 30 libraries participating in total.
Members of the community are asked to donate new or gently worn sweaters at 200 West Stilwell Avenue in De Queen. A box to collect the sweaters will be located inside the library. The items collected will be distributed to local residents in need by the Sevier County Housing Authority, De Queen School District, the 4C cowboy church youth group, and the Sever County Sheriff’s department. A complete list of participating libraries and additional information is available at aetn.org/sweaterdrive.
FREE THANKSGIVING DINNER IN BROKEN BOW 11/13/18
The caring hands community will be providing a free Thanksgiving dinner for elderly residents, individuals experiencing financial burdens and anyone who may be alone or without a meal on the holiday. The meal is scheduled for Thursday, November 22nd from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Broken Bow Investment Center, east of Broken Bow.
Event organizers are currently seeking donations for the meal. They are in need of cooked turkeys, sides, desserts and drinks to be donated. Little Dixie Transit will provide free transportation for anyone in the Broken Bow, Oklahoma area who is in need of a ride to attend the meal. Contact Little Dixie at 580-584-6033 before 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21st.
To donate or volunteer, call Joy at 580-306-0512.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD TALKS MINIMUM WAGE AT NOVEMBER MEETING 11/13/18
A brief De Queen School board meeting was held Thursday, November 8th at the district’s administration building. In addition to approving the previous meetings bills and minutes, old and some new business items were discussed. The main agenda item was the adjustment in salaries for the school district’s employees in accordance with new state requirements based on the minimum wage raise that passed in the 2018 midterm election November 6th.
Superintendent Bruce Hill says the school board agreed to meet the new minimum requirements nut will hold off on making additional changes until they can confer with representatives of the state regarding funding assistance. Superintendent Hill also noted that the district is excited about the new basketball seasons beginning for girls and boys programs at the high school.
Hill said a good turn out for team participation and quality coaching staff should make for an improved season. The board also confirmed that the construction project for the new high school building is on track. The superintendent told KDQN that the district is still set to break ground at the new site in December.
The University of Arkansas Cossatot honors Marvin Terrell, of Nashville, as 2018 Outstanding Faculty and Christine Vertiz, of De Queen, as 2018 Outstanding Staff at an award ceremony held at the annual Arkansas Community Colleges conference at the Little Rock Marriott.
Staff and faculty at UA Cossatot nominate and vote for the ultimate winner of both of these awards annually. Outstanding Staff and Faculty honorees provide standout service to students and employees that are accounted for when elections are held each year.
Before joining UA Cossatot as faculty, Terrell worked for over 25 years in several roles in the welding field but always dreamed of teaching. He gained that opportunity 12 years ago when he joined the UAC team. Terrell was extremely dedicated and was instrumental in building the UA Cossatot Welding program into what it is today. During his time at UAC, Terrell changed the lives of hundreds of students not only through teaching, but also through his sincere passion for his students. He elected to retire in May 2018 to spend more time with his wife and grandchildren.
Vertiz worked 25 years in the poultry industry until her young daughter’s battle with cancer forced her to leave work. Vertiz’s own health then declined, landing her in a nursing home for two years. During that time, she began classes at UA Cossatot while also working as a part-time tutor. She completed her Associate of Arts degree and then a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Vertiz now works as UAC’s Testing Coordinator. She loves making students feel a little more at ease as they come in to take an exam. Always wearing a smile, Vertiz strives to make a difference in whatever way she can.
UA COSSATOT HONORS 2018 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI AND ACADEMIC ALL STAR 11/12/18
The University of Arkansas Cossatot honors Fernando Balderas, of De Queen, as 2018 Outstanding Alum and Andrea Jones, of Foreman, as 2018 Academic All-Star at an award ceremony held at the annual Arkansas Community Colleges conference at the Little Rock Marriott.
Each community college in Arkansas selects one alum and one current student to honor.
Balderas is a 2011 graduate of De Queen High School. He attended UA Cossatot the next semester, serving as a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2014 with an Associate of Science in Business. Through an internship opportunity at UA Cossatot with Revels & Company CPAs, he decided he wanted to pursue a career in accounting. Balderas completed his Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting at Henderson State University in 2016. He currently is employed with Revels & Company as an accountant. He was recently featured in a UA Cossatot alumni spotlight video on Facebook and gave the keynote address at UA Cossatot 2018 Commencement.
Jones is a Medical Sciences major with plans to transfer to UA Fort Smith and pursue a career in radiography. She is very involved in the UA Cossatot community, serving as a student ambassador, member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and member of the Student Diversity Association. Off campus, Jones is involved in church, volunteering, organizing fundraisers, and kids’ summer camps. Her educational experience is greatly influenced by her grandmother, who attended UA Cossatot in the 1980s earning an LPN degree as a widow raising two children. Her grandmother’s success proved to Jones that if you set your mind to a goal, you can accomplish anything.
SCAM AWARENESS WEBCAST PLANNED FOR DECEMBER 11/09/18
AARP Arkansas and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge are hosting a special webcast focusing on scams that target senior citizens. It will be available online Tuesday, December 4th from 9:00-10:00 a.m. It is free and open to the public. Click HERE to register and receive your event password.
Webinar guests Dustin Etheredge and Lou Tobian with AARP Arkansas will answer questions about tactics that scam artists use to manipulate residents. This webcast will provide participants with the tips to protect themselves and their families from financial criminals.
Chuck Harder is the Deputy Attorney General for Public Protection in the Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Chuck will talk about recent enforcement efforts against companies that target senior citizens and will detail the Attorney General’s efforts to inform consumers about their rights under the law.
Justin was charged with Domestic Battery 3rd Degree and Domestic Battery in the 2nd Degree.
LOCAL COLLEGE REGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR SPRING SEMESTER 11/09/18
Registration for spring classes at the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana is open now through January 11, 2019. The college will hold extended hours for registration on January 7 and 8 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Classes begin on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
UAHT offers a textbook rental program allowing students to rent college textbooks for only $20 per credit hour. The UAHT Foundation offers students over one hundred twenty privately funded scholarships and financial aid opportunities, institutional scholarships, and work-study programs are available to students. UAHT also offers the “U Can Scholarship” which may qualify students to take a free three-hour course.
Several new degree options are available including Surgical Scrub Technician, Online Funeral Service Education, Evening LPN, and Industrial Technology. With the availability of online, hybrid and evening classes at UAHT, students can earn certificates and degrees through a variety of avenues. UAHT has campuses in two locations, Hope and Texarkana, Arkansas. More information is available by calling 870-777-5722 or visit www.uacch.edu today.
QUIZ BOWL FUNDRAISER ANNOUNCED AT DHS 11/09/18
The De Queen High School quiz bowl team is holding a fundraiser next month. On Saturday, December 8th a chili supper and auction will be held at the De Queen High School cafeteria. The meal serving will start at 4:00 p.m. and the cost is $6 per bowl. An auction will begin at 5:00 p.m. and All proceeds benefit the DHS quiz bowl team in covering expenses for a trip to a national competition. The food served will be homemade and all auction items have been provided by local businesses. For more information about the fundraiser, contact Thomas Sweeten at 870-584-6504.
DEADLINE TO ENTER BIG BUCK CONTEST NOVEMBER 9TH 11/09/18
The Deadline to enter to Gillham Volunteer fire department’s big buck contest is TODAY Friday November 9th. All participants who enter will also be placed in an additional drawing for the chance to win more prizes. Gillham Volunteer Fire Department Chief Marc Rosson says participants will be divided into three separate divisions.
The divisions include: Kids, for ages 16 and under, Women’s and Men’s.
The cost to enter is $10 and all proceeds of the event serve as a fundraiser for the Gillham Volunteer Fire Department for supplies, expenses and equipment. It is required that deer be legally killed and tagged in Arkansas during the 2018-2019 season by the participant entered and brought to the GVFD to be scored. The winner must have their own cape in good mounting condition.
Contact Marc Rosson to enter the contest and find out more information at 870-584-9434.
DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT CONTINUES FIRE SAFETY MONTH WITH SCHOOL PROGRAMS 11/09/18
October was National Fire Safety Month and The De Queen Fire Department participated in the Nationwide awareness event by providing education to the Youth in area schools around the city of De Queen. Code enforcement officer Jay Litchford said the department decided to continue bringing awareness and fire safety education to local schools through November, as the event often rolls over to the following month. This week, the De Queen Fire Department visited Park hill pre-school and De Queen Primary school. The department provided the kids with safety tips, demonstrated proper smoke detector use and taught the students about firefighter safety equipment. The De Queen Primary ESL students in 3rd-5th grade also participated and learned about the department’s fire trucks and equipment.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS PLANNED AT STATE PARKS THIS WEEKEND 11/08/18
A variety of activities and events have been planned at state parks throughout the Southwest Arkansas region this weekend. Crater of Diamonds state park in Murfreesboro will be holding two separate “Diamond Mining 101” sessions on Saturday, November 10th. The early program starts at 10:00 am and the afternoon session will begin at 2:00 p.m. Both sessions will be lead by park interpreters who will help attendees learn about techniques for uncovering diamonds in the park’s search area. Adults admission costs $10, children under age six get in free. De Gray Lake resort state park in Bismarck is featuring an eagle watch cruise at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Park interpreters will lead boat passengers on a tour around the lake as different birds including eagles, ducks, herrings and other birds are spotted. Park staff recommend warm clothing, binoculars and arriving at the marina 15 minutes early. The cost is $12 but there is no charge for children under age six. At Queen Wilhelmina state park in Mena park interpreter Melissa will lead a Wonder House tour as visitors can explore one of the areas oldest vacation homes, originally built in the 1930’s. The tour begins at 2:00 and will be held both Saturday November 10th and November 17th.
For more information about state park events visit www.arkansasstateparks.com
Superintendent Casey Nichols announced that plans to purchase the devices were under way during the October Ashdown School Board meeting. Local sponsors of the bags include Arvest Bank who provided bags for 10th grade, bancorp South Bank supplied the bags for 9th grade, Diamond Bank provided for 11th graders and AHS Senior students bags were provided by the district.
Students will be responsible for their bags and chrome books throughout their time at AHS. The Ashdown High School faculty and students expressed appreciation for the sponsors.
TRADE DAYS SCHEDULED AMITY IN NOVEMBER 11/07/18
The monthly Trade Days event in Amity is set for this weekend. The Giant Flea market event is a Southwest Arkansas shopping experience occurring once a month in Amity Arkansas. The outdoor shopping market is typically three days long and has been happening once a month since it began in March of 2015.
The next trade days will be held November 9th, 10th and 11th at 843 South Mountain Road in Amity Arkansas. The market is open from 9am to 5pm Friday and Saturday, and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. A $2.00 fee is charged for parking in the event’s assigned lot, but the event is free to enter. There is no charge for admission to enter the Amity trade days as community members of all ages are invited and welcome to participate in this Southwest Arkansas bargain hunting experience. Pets are not allowed but vendors are always welcome.
Types of vendors encouraged to set up on site include antiques, furniture, art and pottery, farm implements, tools, home, garden and outdoor décor, sporting goods, jewelry, wood working, crafts, and any similar products other than used clothing. Farmers will also be offered a place to sell their produce during harvest. Amity Arkansas is located 26 miles Northeast of Murfreesboro, Arkansas.
Shoppers and vendors have reported traveling more than three hours driving distance to participate in the event. Interested vendors can get details about securing a spot by contacting Russell or Kim Jones to request an application by calling (870) 223-6185 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org The face book page is also online at facebook.com/amitytradedays.
OPENING DAY SET FOR SATURDAY 11/07/18
Opening day of modern gun deer season is Saturday, Nov. 10, and the start of waterfowl hunting season follows on Nov. 17. With the main events of Arkansas’s hunting seasons finally upon us, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will host a special live Facebook feed from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.Thursday to offer a forecast and update hunters on the latest news from the field.
Trey Reid, AGFC assistant chief of communications, will host the live feed to offer some pre-season excitement. Various experts from AGFC’s staff will join the show to talk about several topics of interest to hunters in The Natural State.
“We’ll talk to experts on deer, waterfowl and habitat management,” Reid said. “We’ll also visit with some of our staff who have been working on chronic wasting disease and will share the latest news with hunters, as well as explain some new options for hunters to have their deer tested for CWD.”
In addition to live interviews, staff will be busy monitoring the feed for questions to ask presenters as time allows. Staff also will provide answers to those last-minute questions from viewers that may not be covered on the air.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/ARGameandFish at 10:30 a.m. to view.
INMATES ESCAPED FROM SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS CORRECTIONS FACILITY CAPTURED 11/06/18
Two inmates of the Southwest Arkansas Community Corrections Center in Texarkana, Arkansas bolted from the facility while taking the trash out Monday, November 5th in the early evening.
Reports state that taking out the garbage was a regular responsibility of the inmates as they are kitchen workers for the center. The inmates, Justin Jordan, 30 and Sammy Tinsley, 19 were captured by authorities roughly one mile from the facility around 10 p.m on Monday night without incident.
Jordan is serving time in the center for a drug possession charge while Tinsley is in for breaking and entering as well as theft of property charges.
FIRE DEPARTMENT SEEKING DUES 11/06/18
The De Queen Fire Department has announced that dues in the amount of $50 are currently being sought from residents who have yet to pay this year. The dues apply to anyone outside the city limits but who still reside within the district. Dues can be delivered to 220 North 2nd street, De Queen Arkansas 71832.
DEADLINE TO ENTER BIG BUCK CONTEST NOVEMBER 9TH 11/06/18
The Deadline to enter to Gillham Volunteer fire department’s big buck contest is this Friday November 9th. All participants who enter will also be placed in an additional drawing for the chance to win more prizes. Gillham Volunteer Fire Department Chief Marc Rosson says participants will be divided into three separate divisions.
The divisions include: Kids, for ages 16 and under, Women’s and Men’s.
The cost to enter is $10 and all proceeds of the event serve as a fundraiser for the Gillham Volunteer Fire Department for supplies, expenses and equipment. It is required that deer be legally killed and tagged in Arkansas during the 2018-2019 season by the participant entered and brought to the GVFD to be scored. The winner must have their own cape in good mounting condition.
Contact Marc Rosson to enter the contest and find out more information at 870-584-9434.
FREE FALL CONCERT ON OBU CAMPUS 11/06/18
The Ouachita Baptist University Wind Ensemble will present a concert on Monday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.
The concert will begin with “A Moorside Suite,” including movements “Scherzo,” “Nocturne” and “March,” by Gustav Holst and arranged by Denis Wright. The Wind Ensemble will continue with “One Life Beautiful” by Julie Giroux and four dances from West Side Story, including “Scherzo,” “Mambo,” “Cha-cha” and “Cool (Fugue),” by Leonard Bernstein and arranged by Ian Polster. “Psalm for Band” by Vincent Persichetti and three songs from “Foster’s America,” including “A Penny for Your Thoughts,” “Beautiful Dreamer” and “If You’ve Only Got a Mustache,” by David R. Gillingham also will be performed. Dr. Craig Hamilton, Ouachita’s Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands, will be conducting the concert.
“There are a lot of very challenging pieces, and it’s amazing to see how well we as a band were able to come together and learn them,” said Sarah Rush, a sophomore Spanish major and flute player from Little Rock, Ark. “I’m really proud of the results of our work and our awesome sound. There is a wide variety of styles in our pieces, from upbeat and intense to quiet and beautiful.”
TOUR dE QUEEN WRAP-UP 11/06/18
Suzanne Babb, Executive Director of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce reported that Michael Prewitt from Mt. Pleasant, Texas finished the Tour de Queen 47-mile ride in 2 hours 37 minutes! They had 29 entries, with most riders on the 25 & 47 mile routes.
Babb stated, “The event went smoothly, and feedback was very positive with many expressing a desire to come ride again next year.” Twelve riders registered as locals, with 17 from out of county or state.
All received goody bags with information on our local chamber members. Those from out of county also received hotel and restaurant information.
PESTICIDE APPLICATOR TRAINING OFFERED 11/06/18
Sherry Beaty-Sullivan, Little River County Extension Agent, is offering classes required for those who need to re-certify or apply for a private applicator restricted use pesticide license. The first class will be Tuesday, November 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the Foreman High School Agriculture Building, Foreman, AR. The next classes will be held Tuesday, December 11 at UA Cossatot-Ashdown in the Millwood Room at 2:00 p.m. and at 5:30 p.m. You do not have to pre-register to attend these classes.
There will be a $20 registration fee for the training classes in addition to the cost of your 5-year license which is $45.00. You will only have to attend a class once every five years.
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 email@example.com.
MCDONALDS IN DE QUEEN RE-OPENING 11/05/18
Celia Montgomery, owner of McDonald’s in De Queen announced the restaurant will be open with new renovations this week and kicking off the remodel reveal with a grand re-opening celebration on Tuesday, November 13th .The celebration will feature KDQN live from the lobby from 9:30am to 11:30am and a Chamber Ribbon Cutting at 2pm.
There will also be giveaways for McDonald’s trivia throughout the day as well as a raffle for the chance to win 25 free meals or a Blu-ray player. The Montgomery family invites community residents to attend the celebration and visit the new lobby as well as the new play place for children. There are new Kiosks that will be available for ordering convenience. The McDonald’s staff has expressed appreciate to customers for their patience with the construction during the renovation time.
ARKANSAS DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION SUMMIT HELD IN HOT SPRINGS 11/05/18
On Thursday, November 1st Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, the Arkansas Office of the Drug Director, Arkansas State Board of Pharmacy and the UofA Criminal Justice Institution hosted the seventh annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The Summit serves as a free training and educational opportunity for law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators which gives participants an opportunity to hear from experts regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment.
The Arkansas Attorney General’s office announced that roughly 1,000 people attended the summit. The all-day event began with remarks from the Attorney General, Governor Asa Hutchinson and U.S Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Cody Hiland followed by breakout sessions about medication-assisted treatment options from Commander Karen Hearod, regional administrator with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and e-prescribing from Ken Whittemore Jr., the senior vice president of Professional and Regulatory Affairs for Surescripts.
The afternoon session included an Arkansas impact panel with Dr. Johnathan Goree, assistant professor in the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Department of Anesthesiology and Director of Chronic Pain Division. The afternoon session also included presentations from Lieutenant Detective Patrick Glynn with the Quincy, Mass., Police Department; Trevor Villines with the Razorback Action Group; Joe Martin with the Arkansas Department of Health discussing Dose of Reality; and a survivor’s panel.
Plenary sessions included a presentation about over-the-counter medications by Dr. Keith McCain, associate professor at the UAMS Department of Pharmacy Practice. A family panel closed out the day.
DR. STEVE COLE PRESENTS AWARD TO UAHT STUDENT 11/05/18
The 2018 U of A Hope-Texarkana Academic All-Star Award was recently presented to Brandy Flowers of Columbus, Arkansas, at the Annual Arkansas Community College’s Conference in Little Rock. The purpose of this program is to recognize the scholarly and service achievements of Arkansas’ two-year college students. Each All-Star will receive a $500 scholarship for his/her final semester at their college of attendance and a full tuition transfer scholarship to any Arkansas public four-year university.
The award was presented to Brandy by Arkansas Community College board president, Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor of UA Cossatot.
In her time at UAHT, Brandy has made the Vice Chancellors list four semesters, been awarded the Hope Water & Light Scholarship three semesters, been appointed President of the TRiO Club, and was named the 2018 TRiO Hall of Fame Award recipient. “Growing up I did not ever think about attending college, in fact, I barely made it out of high school,” said Flowers. “I never dreamed of going back to school at the age of forty-three, but I did, and I have done pretty well.”
Flowers is currently pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree with a focus in accounting at UAHT. Her future plans include transferring to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to pursue a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business Administration. After completing her education, Brandy plans to become a business instructor at a community college. “Business has been a passion of mine for years, but I believed that I was too old to go back to school,” said Flowers. “However, now I am in college and well on my way to earning my Degree in Business Administration.”
KALLI SMITH INDUCTED INTO ARKANSAS PURPLE CIRCLE CLUB 11/05/18
Kalli Smith of Gillham was recently inducted into the Arkansas Purple Circle Club. Smith had the Grand Champion AOB – English Bull at the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show. Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach presented the award. 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
KADE SMITH INDUCTED INTO ARKANSAS PURPLE CIRCLE CLUB 11/05/18
Kade Smith of Lockesburg was recently inducted into the Arkansas Purple Circle Club. Smith had the Grand Champion Charolais Heifer at the Arkansas State Fair and Livestock Show. Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach presented the award.
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.
AFC DONATES TO LOCAL FIRE DEPARTMENT 11/2/18
The Tollette Fire Department has received $500 from the Arkansas Forestry Commission for re-certification through the Firewise program. County Forester Justin Mallet says this is a yearly re-certification that requires assessments and education.
The department must also complete a mitigation project to assist homeowners in protecting their homes against the threat of wildfire. Funds received through the program and other grants may be used for wildland fire fighting equipment. If a local department is interested in participating in the firewise program, they may contact John Crump at the AFC Regional Office at Dierks. Keenan Langston accepted the funds presented by Justin Mallet and John Crump.
SEVIER COUNTY SERGEANT CATCHES SUSPECT WITH WARRANTS 11/2/18
On Wednesday, October 31st Sergeant Greg Davignon of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department was at wal-mart in De Queen when he noticed a man on site who was known to have active felony and misdemeanor warrants. The man is known the officer as Everett Gene Crow. Upon seeing sergeant Davignon notice him, Crow began to flee from the store.
Sergeant Davignon stepped out of his patrol unit to pursue Crow on foot and ordered him to stop running and get on the ground. Crow ignored the commands and continued to run away from the store. During the pursuit, Sergeant Davignon observed Crow reaching for his waistband and looking over his shoulder, which lead the sergeant to believe the suspect was armed. Sergeant Davignon was able to close in on the suspect and Crow fell to the ground.
The suspect was ordered to put his hands behind his back but did not comply and continued to reach for his waistline. Sergeant Davignon used pepper spray to subdue the suspect and took him into custody Crow was found to be in possession of plastic bags containing methamphetamine and pills.
The bags were found to contain 9 grams of methamphetamine and multiple hydrocodone pills. The evidence was photographed and secured. Crow was booked on his active warrants for misdemeanor shoplifting and felony absconding and also charged with possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.
RSAT GRADUATION HELD IN DE QUEEN 11/2/18
The RSAT graduation ceremony was held Thursday, November 1st in De Queen. The services were held in 2 parts with the first portion hosting a banquet, meal and guest speaker at first Baptist church. The 2nd part was held at De Queen First Assembly of God church with music, speeches, certificate presentations and a reception. RSAT is an acronym for Residential Substance Abuse Treatment, and is the program offered through the Sevier County Jail that allows qualifying inmates to receive rehabilitation services including celebrate recovery, bible study, narcotics anonymous, alcoholics anonymous, parenting classes and workforce development courses to improve their habits and develop skills.
During the first portion of the ceremony, Wes Ware, guest speaker of the event delivered a testimonial about how recovery services and treatment programs have helped him heal from a battle with addiction while a community meal was served.
The 2nd half of the graduation ceremony was opened with a prayer by pastor Ray Reynolds , music and the welcoming and opening words were delivered by Jail administrator Chris Wolcott and Sheriff Robert Gentry. Previous graduates of the program gave speeches and testimonials about how RSAT has helped them turn their lives around in many different positive ways. Gentry, Wolcott and Kimberle Hundly of the Sevier County Department presented the graduates with their certificates and listed the graduates achievements.
The 13 Graduates of group 5 include Josh Burcham, Jessica Dunn, Randy Fox, Clifford Hill, Trevor Hodges, James Jewell, Charlie Ligon, misty Lundberg, April McGehee, Angelina Medina, Jessica Melton, Justin Powell and Gala Richardson. The Aftercare completion graduates in group two include Besty Dunn, Casey hill, Savannah Helms, Cody Nava, Alan Pierce, Joel Weaver and Tammy Love. The ceremony concluded with music, a closing prayer and reception. The next RSAT graduation will be held in February 2019. Persons interested in the Celebrate Recovery program can contact Joe and Hattie Vance at the De Queen First assembly church (870) 584-3435.
The meetings take place at 6:00 p.m. with a meal each Friday evening.
ARTS CELEBRATION IN POLK COUNTY 11/2/18
The 5th annual Ouachita Arts Celebration will be held Saturday, November 3rd in Polk county. The festival will feature a variety of entertainment, dance, arts, musicians, and activities for kids in downtown Mena beginning at 10:00 am.
There will be a cake decorating competition, performances by the Fancifeet cloggers and choirs from Acorn and Mena High Schools as well as face painting, games a quit show and multiple vendors on site. Next Generation Dance Studio and The Ouachita Strings Ensemble will also be performing and there will be many options for food, drink and entertainment. The event is family friendly and will continue until 4:00 p.m. More information about the event can be found on facebook, by searching Ouachita arts celebration.
CATTLEMAN’S ASSOCIATION RAFFLE WINNER ANNOUNCED 11/2/18
The Sevier County Cattleman’s association has held an ongoing fundraiser to assist with scholarships and expenses for members of the organization. The fundraiser consisted of a raffle for a gun give-away. the winner was announced Friday, November 2nd. Al Wright will be the recipient of a mossberg patriot gun, $400 cash equivalent or an option to receive free tires from tires plus in De Queen.
Sevier County Cattleman’s association president Greg Wright says the raffle tickets help members with expenses required within the organization. The association is also currently seeking new members and interested persons can contact Greg at 870-584-9679. The group meets the 3rd Monday of each month and $50 in dues are required each year. More information can be found by visiting The Sevier County Cattleman’s association facebook page.
FREE PET VACCINES AT REGIONAL EVENT SATURDAY 11/01/18
A free vaccination clinic for pets will be held in Texarkana this weekend. The annual Bark at the Park event will be held Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. The free community rabies vaccination clinic for dogs and cats will take place at the pavilion near the Kylee Sullivan Dog Park at Spring Lake Park.
The vaccinations will be good for three years and a Free city registration will be offered for dogs and cats residing inside Texarkana city limits. No payments will be required for vaccines but donations are appreciated and accepted. Micro-chipping and other vaccinations will be available for a fee. All cats should be in a carrier.
Participants can also enter to win door prizes and vendors will be on site to offer information and resources about pet health.
For more information, contact the Animal Control Services Department at 903-798-3535.
UA COSSATOT MEDICAL SIMULATION LAB IS RENAMED IN HONOR OF DONATION 11/01/18
The University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation received a Legacy 2020 capital campaign donation from UA Cossatot Medical Education Instructor Kay Trotta of De Queen.
In a reception at the college on October 31, 2018, the Medical Education Skills and Simulation Lab in the Allison Building on the De Queen Campus was named the Berner-Trotta Medical Skill and Simulation Lab. The name was chosen in honor of Trotta’s donation and in memory of her mother, Shirley Berner.
“My parents grew up during the Great Depression and taught me and my sister the value of a dollar and the importance of education,” said Trotta.
“Because I was taught how to be frugal, I am now able to pay it forward and invest in the lives of UA Cossatot students.”
Trotta has been with UA Cossatot for 10 years, training students who will enter the workforce as nurses.
Speaking of her contribution to the college and students, UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole said, “Most of Kay’s students know her affectionately as ‘Mama Kay.’ That speaks volumes as to what Kay means to medical education and this college. She is a wonderful person and a tremendous mentor. Her contribution means the world to every student that will learn in this lab.”
The UA Cossatot Foundation Legacy 2020 campaign focuses on community members who wish to invest in the development of the college on all four campuses: De Queen, Nashville, Ashdown, and Lockesburg. For every donation amount, there is a naming opportunity for those who want to leave a visible legacy in the donor’s community.
“Kay is a much-loved member of the UA Cossatot family and her passion for students is truly inspiring,” said UA Cossatot Development Coordinator Dustin Roberts.
“Kay works hard and puts many hours into the lab – from building it, to stocking it and maintaining it. She is such a great asset to the college and is one of many people in our community who is making a positive impact in Southwest Arkansas.”
More information about the Legacy 2020 is available on the college’s website at www.cccua.edu/legacy2020.
BOOMTOWN OPRY TO PERFORM IN EL DORADO 11/01/18
The Nov. 10, 2018, edition of the Boomtown Opry will be held at the El Dorado Municipal Auditorium, located at 100 West 8th Street in El Dorado, Arkansas, at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door for only $10 general admission while children 12 and under are admitted for free.
The Boomtown Opry is a family friendly event with no alcohol sold during the show.
The Boomtown Opry features a house band led by BJ Kyle, who has toured professionally with Colt Ford, Craig Morgan, Tracy Lawrence, and Kellie Pickler. Local actor/singer Steve Harrell is the MC and local country duo Southern Koast (Keith Owens and Susan Tolin) will provide background vocals.
Featured performers for this show include Lacie Carpenter, Jesse Middleton, Carl Jackson, Bruce Murray, Rebecca Rainwater, the Silver Kickers dance group and the comedy by Mike Means and Charley Hankins.
Lacie Carpenter was born and raised in the great state of Texas and now resides in Nashville, Tennessee and plays the fiddle. She has been named “The artist to watch out for in Texas.”
Jesse Middleton has opened for artists such as Mel McDaniel, Vern Gosdin and Ray Price and was a regular on the Oaklawn Opry in Texarkana, Texas.
Carl Jackson is from Hope, Arkansas, and does a great job with his Charley Pride songs.
Bruce Murray and Rebecca Rainwater are from El Dorado and are making their first appearance.
The Silver Kickers are a line dance group from El Dorado that are a joy to watch.
Charley Hankins and Mike Means are members of the local improv comedy troupe “Gimme A Second” and set to provide comedic routines for attendees.
A portion of the proceeds from each Boomtown Opry show will benefit the El Dorado Boys & Girls Club.
Follow and www.facebook.com/boomtownopry for more information.
RENOVATIONS UNDER WAY FOR MCDONALD’S IN DE QUEEN 11/1/18
De Queen McDonald’s owners Steve and Celia Montgomery have announced upgrades that customers can expect to see at the restaurant this fall. The location is currently under construction while renovations to the lobby, drive-through set-up, and other changes take place.
Celia says the renovations are a follow-up on a promise they made to customers when the Montgomery family first took ownership of the store in 2016.
Technology upgrades are one of the many changes customers will see as a result of the renovation process as new ordering systems will be featured inside the De Queen location.
A second drive-through lane and new kiosks are currently being developed.
An expanded lobby and new play-place for kids are also a major part of the store remodeling project and the Montgomery’s have announced a grand re-opening is scheduled for November 5th, 2018.
McDonald’s staff also expressed thanks to customers for their patience during the construction period.
AUTO DEALERS ELECT GAN NUNNALLY CHAIRMAN 11/01/18
Gan Nunnally, George Nunnally Chevrolet, Bentonville, has recently been elected Chairman of the Board of the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association. Other officers elected were: Brian Holt, Holt Auto Company, Crossett, Chairman-Elect; Hunter Bale, Bale Chevrolet, Little Rock, Treasurer; John Magie, Magie Ford-Lincoln, Morrilton, Regional Vice-Chairman-Region II; and Joe Schluterman, Paris Ford, Paris, Regional Vice-Chairman-Region IV.
Also elected were the following association directors: Jimmy Arnold, Arnold-Baker Chevrolet, Magnolia; Chris Byrd, Southwest Auto Group, Arkadelphia; Jay Dooley, DeQueen Auto Group, DeQueen; Dee Everett, Everett Chevrolet, Benton; Lannie Lancaster, Holly Chevrolet, Marion; and David Welch, Welch Motor Company, Pine Bluff.
AADA is a trade organization representing over 220 Arkansas franchised automobile and truck dealers.
DOMESTIC DISTURBANCE NEAR LOCKESBURG FRIDAY 10/31/18
On Friday, October 26th Deputy Chet Stubbs of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a residence on Highway 317 in reference to a domestic disturbance call. Prior to arriving Deputy Stubbs was informed that the reporting party had changed locations following the incident due to safety concerns.
Deputies Thomas Jackson and Matthew Webb arrived at the location first. The reporting party stated that her son, Levi Durham had caused a disturbance in her home and made multiple comments about suicide. Durham attempted to reach for a gun located in a closet but was stopped by the reporting party despite attempts to push her down.
The reporting party attempted to get into a vehicle and vacate the residence but Durham blocked the car door and threw an object threw the driver’s side passenger window. Durham went inside the residence while the reporting party left the scene and contacted authorities. The Deputies attempted to contact Durham by announcing themselves and knocking but he did not answer the door so a welfare check was conducted.
Deputies found Durham lying on the floor in what appeared to be an unconscious state and attempted to speak with him but he did not respond. Deputies called an ambulance and Durham began to communicate while awaiting the arrival of medical assistance. Deputy Stubbs located prescription pill bottles in the room and multiple shot gun shells as well. Though Durham was uncooperative he was placed in custody for assault on a family member in the 3rd degree and criminal mischief in the 1st degree.
Durham was transported to the De Queen regional medical center where he refused treatment and was transported to the Sevier county jail. The reporting party decided to press an additional charge against Durham for the Broken window. Durham has been assigned a court date for November 27th at The Sevier County Court house.
SPECIAL CITY HALL MEETING HELD IN DE QUEEN 10/31/18
The De Queen City Council met Tuesday, October 30th at city hall in De Queen. The meeting was moved to the lobby due to the remodeling process that is currently underway. A brief list of agenda items were discussed and the approval of the October 16th meetings minutes is pending as the item was tabled until the November meeting.
The first item discussed was an ordinance to waive competitive bidding on a case dozer for the city. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the council that a 2016 model dozer with approximately 1600 hours of use time on it has been selected to be purchased for city use. The equipment is currently located in Little Rock and costs around $59,000. The dozer would be serviced and delivered to De Queen. The motion to accept the ordinance and waive other competitive bids was unanimously approved.
A resolution to dispose of obsolete equipment was also adopted during the meeting. Any items that are considered city property but have been found to no longer be of functional use are to be sold, salvaged or disposed of. These items include a backhoe and crown Victoria vehicles used by the police department.
The final item discussed was an update on the 2019 budget. Mayor McKelvy announced that the budget is roughly halfway complete. Many factors in composing the budget will include salaries for elected officials, contract of services with local organizations, equipment costs and renovation projects like painting the city’s water tanks. All necessary items are being considered in the budget’s development and the council will continue to evaluate the financial needs of the city at upcoming meetings.
The next city council meeting will be held November 20th at city hall.
SUMMER TRIP ANNOUNCED FOR SW ARKANSAS YOUTH 10/31/18
Stacy Faulkenberry has announced a youth trip for students in the southwest Arkansas area is being planned for the summer of 2019. The purpose of the trip is to provide an opportunity for Junior High and High school students to expand their horizons and experience different cultures in American cities.
The 2019 trip destination is Washington D.C. and New York city. The trip is open to all students in the 6th-9th grades. Students are not required to attend De Queen schools in order to go, but will be required to provide a will need a letter of recommendation from a current teacher if youth do not attend DQ school.
The Trip date is June 10, 2019 – June 13, 2019 and the cost of is $1,998 for a student and $2,298 for an adult. The cost includes airfare, bus travel, hotel, food and entrance fees. Scholarships are available on a first come, first served basis and monthly payment plan options are available too. Sites that will be visited include the Arlington National Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial Mount Vernon, Holocaust Museum, The Capital, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, a Broadway show, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
A Parent information meeting is scheduled for this Thursday, November 1st at 6:00 pm for any one who is not signed up and would like to learn more information about the trip. Stacy will provide fund raisers information and answer questions. Interested youth and chaperones can still sign up now and are encouraged to attend the informational meeting.
Contact Stacy Faulkenberry, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (870) 784-0357 for questions. The trip is not sponsored by De Queen Schools.
IMAGINATION LIBRARY GROWS FUNDING WITH ARVEST DONATION 10/31/18
Parents of children age 5 and under are encouraged to sign kids up for the Imagination Library’s Sevier County chapter. The organization was presented a donation of $5,000 from Jay Mark Bingham of Arvest Bank in De Queen on Monday, October 29th.
ZZ Kamruddin accepted the donation on the chapter’s behalf. The money will provide funding for the nation-wide program’s local chapter.
Imagination Library of Southwest Arkansas is an early childhood BOOK GIFTING program for children Birth to age Five. The children will receive an age appropriate book, monthly, at no cost to the parents, for children of Sevier County.
The organization supplies resources for families to help children develop strong reading skills at an early age, as research show children show stronger academic skills when literacy is established in the early years.
To register for the Gifting Program, forms may be picked up at KDQN studios, De Queen Auto Group or at any Sevier County Library or you can register at www.imaginationlibrary.com.
For more information, please call Z.Z. at 870-642-4886, Mary Ellen Dooley 870-584-8663, Melanie Marshall at 870-784-2882 or For Spanish information call Erika Buenrrostro at 870-784-5154.
SCHOLARSHIP CEREMONY HELD AT SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COLLEGE 10/31/18
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Foundation awarded 106 scholarships to 95 students at the Fall Foundation Scholarship Ceremony. The total dollar amount of these scholarships exceeded $48,500. “The UAHT Foundation is fortunate to have donors that believe in the students they support and that they can ultimately make a difference in the lives of others in our communities,” said Anna Powell, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We cannot extend enough gratitude to these donors for everything they do to improve the educational journey for so many of our students.”
“Ten years ago we awarded just 28 scholarships,” said Chris Thomason, UAHT Chancellor. “The increase in the number and dollar amount of scholarships that our Foundation is offering students now is a testament to the generosity of our donors and the strong belief they have in this institution to provide our students with the best education available.”
“The increase in scholarship support has also supported historic enrollment numbers and graduation rates for UAHT students over the last five years,” said Thomason. The College welcomed 1,563 students, the largest enrollment in the 53- year history of the institution, to the Hope and Texarkana Campuses this semester. The college has experienced a steady rise in enrollment over the past five years with an increase of 15% from fall 2014.
Additionally, the number of graduates at UAHT has risen each year over the past five years, and the total number of graduates has increased by 69% from 2014. The total number of degrees and certificates awarded have also risen with a 52% increase from 2014. “The success of our students has elevated our campus to being a top performer under the outcomes-based funding model in Arkansas,” said Thomason. According to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, UAHT has increased from number six among the twenty-two Arkansas two-year colleges in the funding based formula last year to number two among all two-year colleges in the state this year.
For more information about UAHT Foundation Scholarships, contact Anna Powell at 870-722-8516 or email@example.com .
FREE JAZZ CONCERT AT OUACHITA BAPTIST UNIVERSITY MONDAY 10/31/18
Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will present its Jazz Band in concert on Monday, Nov. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center on Ouachita’s campus. The concert will be open to the public, and admission is free.
“The audience will enjoy an evening of great music,” said Dr. Craig Hamilton, Lena Goodwin Trimble Professor of Music and director of bands said “The concert will consist of jazz tunes with a variety of styles including samba, swing, funk, rock and roll, ballads and more.”
At the concert, the Jazz Band will begin the performance with “Strike Up the Band” by George and Ira Gershwin and arranged by Sammy Nestico, The band also will play “Toe Rings” by Robert Skiles and arranged by Paul Baker, “Listen Here” by Eddie Harris and arranged by Zachary Smith and many other well known jazz favorites.
Members of the Jazz Band include many students with ties to southwest Arkansas, including Sierra Westberg, a senior instrumental music education major from Arkadelphia, Morgan Taylor, a senior music industry major from Hot Springs, Cayli Campbell, a senior instrumental music performance major from Texarkana, Tyler Sanders, a senior music industry major from Arkadelphia, and Beaux Schmidt, a senior music industry major from Arkadelphia.
The concert will also be livestreamed from online at https://livestream.com/obu/. For more information about Ouachita bands, visit www.obu.edu/band or contact Dr. Craig Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-245-5137.
FIRE AT HOME IN DE QUEEN WEDNESDAY 10/30/18
The De Queen Fire Department responded to an all call alarm on the morning of Wednesday, October 24th.
Firefighters were dispatched to a rent house on Piney Road in De Queen at approximately 10:47 a.m. with two engines and 7 responders.
At the time of the structure fire, the occupants of the home were present. No smoke detectors were found in the home.
Wilmon Morris was identified as the home owner and responders spent roughly one hour on site extinguishing the fire and ensuring the occupants’ safety.
No injuries were reported and the owners do have insurance on the home. The cause of the fire has not been released to the public.
THEFT AND FLEEING SUSPECT APPREHENDED IN GILHAM 10/30/18
Officer Greg Davignon of the Sevier County Sheriff’s department was on patrol in Gillham on Thursday, October 25th when he observed a suspicious-looking Toyota pick-up truck parked at the EZ-mart store.
Officer Davignon reported finding the vehicle to be suspicious because the truck looked like it had recently been given a poor paint job. The officer checked the registration and found the tags on the truck to be assigned to a 1981 black Chevrolet
The driver of the vehicle quickly exited the store and failed to stop at a stop sign upon seeing the officer park on site. The car then ran another stop sign at the intersection of 5th and Braley so Officer Davignon signaled his lights in an effort to pull the vehicle over.
The driver increased in speed and then began driving recklessly towards highway 71. Officer Davignon continued active pursuit with lights and sirens on but the driver continued fleeing and ran another stop sign and drove recklessly down Mineral Road.
The driver finally lost control of the truck on Stemple Road and collided with a large tree which caused the driver to be partially ejected from the vehicle out the driver’s side window.
After the crash the driver continued an attempt to flee by trying to run from Officer Davignon on foot. After being apprehended, the suspect, identified as Christopher Ray Chandler, tried to physically fight the officer but ultimately was restrained. An ambulance was called to evaluate his injuries received in the crash.
Further research revealed that the vehicle had been reported stolen from Pike County Arkansas the same day. The owner of the truck was identified as Mike Prince of Glenwood. Deputy Chett Stubbs assisted in the case by following the ambulance containing the suspect to the hospital while officer Davignon waited on the wrecker service to collect the truck. Once Chandler was medically cleared he was transported to the Sevier County jail where he was charged with theft and fleeing.
LOUISIANA STATE FAIR GOING ON NOW 10/30/18
The 112th annual State Fair of Louisiana has begun and will continue through November 11th in Shreveport, LA.
A variety of entertainment is scheduled throughout the fair and many attractions are free with the purchase of gate admission.
Concerts, performers, shows, livestock, vendors, displays and attractions will be featured during the event.
Country music shows will be held on Friday, November 2nd as ole Whiskey Revival will perform live in concert at 7:00 p.m., followed by Cody Cooke and The Bayou Outlaws at 9:00.
The following night will feature hip-hop artists 69 Boyz at 8:00 p.m. followed by the Ying Yang twins at 9:30.
Family entertainment is scheduled for Wednesday November 7th as the gospel fest is on the agenda from 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tributes to music legends Tina Turner, Prince and Michael Jackson will be featured November 10th beginning at 7:00 p.m. and the musical performances will conclude on the final night o the fair November 11th at 5:30 p.m.
More information about the Louisiana State Fair can be found online at statefairoflouisiana.com or call 318-635-1361.
FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES DONATION FROM ARVEST 10/30/18
A donation of $5,000 was awarded to the De Queen Fire Department on Monday, October 29th for the purchase of new equipment and supplies. The donation was made by Arvest bank during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening event in De Queen. Fire Department chief Dennis Pruitt and code enforcement officer Jay Litchford attended the ceremony to accept the donation from Jay Mark Bingham and Arvest bank representatives.
Plans are to use the money to buy 2 positive pressure fans and equipment that can detect heat in power lines by evaluating voltage levels. Fire department Chief Dennis Pruitt said he and his fellow firefighters are very appreciative of the donation and mentioned the money was offered without the department’s request.
Purchases of new equipment for the fire department will begin within the next two weeks. The De Queen Fire Department can be reached at 870-584-7224 with questions and concerns regarding fire safety.
MINERAL SPRINGS PROJECTING BUDGET SURPLUS FOR 2019 10/30/18
The City of Mineral Springs is on track to see a budget surplus next year. Council members held a special budget meeting on Monday to discuss next year’s operating budget and expect additional housing to increase revenue in the water/sewer budget. No rate increases are expected next year. The council also placed additional funding in the police department for salary and police car maintenance.
Councilman James Jeanes proposed a three percent raise for regular city employees, not including elected officials. His proposal also included a fifty cent an hour raise for two sanitation workers and no raise for two new employees who have been on the job for a couple of months. He also proposed a Christmas bonus of $500 and then $250 for the new employees next year…plus the option for the employees to sell two weeks of vacation back to the city. The budget will continue to be discussed and can be approved at next month’s regular council meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, November 13th at 5 p.m.- due to the observance of Veterans Day.
UA COSSATOT HEALTH FAIR SERVES 250 COMMUNTIY RESIDENTS 10/29/18
250 students and community members were served during the University of Arkansas Cossatot’s Center for Student Success two-hour health fair providing free flu shots and health education held on October 18, 2018 at the De Queen campus and on October 25 at the Nashville campus.
The event was in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health and services included free flu shots, and blood pressure, body mass index, and glucose level readings.
The Arkansas Department of Health has already reported sporadic flu activity in our area and across Arkansas.
“As we prepare for flu season we felt it was important to host our second annual flu shot clinic to help fight the battle. Such an event doesn’t only benefit students but is also an opportunity to invite the community on campus to learn about our programs,” said UA Cossatot Center for Student Success Coordinator and event organizer Erika Buenrrostro.
Personal health education is also important for student success. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), school health programs reduce the prevalence of health risk behaviors among young people and have a positive effect on academic performance.
Other health and wellness vendors included the US Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Arkansas Human Development, the Office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, Dr. Randy Walker, and the Dolly Pardon Imagination Library.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING ADJUSTED FOR CITY HALL RENOVATIONS 10/29/18
The De Queen City Council is holding their regularly scheduled meeting this week at city hall in De Queen. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy has announced that due to the current renovations underway at the city hall building, the meeting will be held in the lobby. A brief list of agenda items will be addressed on Tuesday.
Items on the agenda include the proposal of an ordinance to waive competitive bidding on a case dozer for the city, a resolution to dispose of obsolete equipment and an update on the 2019 budget. As always time for public comments will be allotted at the beginning of the meeting prior to discussing agenda items. All public comments require a three minute time limit.
The meeting will begin at 6pm with the pledge of allegiance and prayer lead by the mayor. City Hall can be contacted at 870-584-3445 for questions or concerns regarding city council matters.
FINAL FALL TRAP LEAGUE SESSION IN COLUMBUS 10/23/18
The last session of the 2018 Fall Trap League will be held Tuesday, October 30th in Southwest Arkansas. The league is sponsored by the Nashville Trap Booster Club and sessions have been held at The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center every Tuesday between 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. throughout the month of October in Columbus, Arkansas.
A one-time registration fee of $25 and a nightly range fee of $8 are required. $20 of the registration fee goes towards a prize money pool that will be split for the top finishers in the adult and youth divisions.
$5 of the registration fee goes to the Nashville Trap Booster club fundraiser. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff member Caleb Coulter says the top 4 scores for each shooter will be totaled for the results at the end of the 6 week program.
Each participant will shoot 50 shots per night for score.
FFA FUNDRAISER SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY 10/29/18
The annual chili supper and raffle will be held at UA Cossatot’s De Queen campus this. On Tuesday, October 30th beginning at 4:30 p.m. residents can attend the all-you-can-eat fundraiser for $5 to dine in and $3 for a to-go bowl. The supper serves as a fundraiser for UA Cossatot’s FFA organization. All proceeds go towards scholarships for members of the FFA program to help with tuition, textbooks and educational expenses.
Kelli Harris is an FFA Sponsor at UA Cossatot and organizer of the chili supper and raffle. Kelli says this years event will be different than previous years as three big prizes will be awarded in the raffle drawing. Prizes include a gun, cash and a free stay at a cabin in Hochatown, Oklahoma. Any person who purchases a raffle ticket will not have to pay the dinner fee.
Serving will begin around 4:30 p.m., and prizes will be drawn around 6:30. The cost includes toppings and a drink and there is no limit to the number of bowls that can be consumed per person. Kelli says locally sourced meat produced by area FFA supporters will be used in the food provided at the fundraiser.
COLLEGE AND CAREER FAIR AT UA COSSATOT NASHVILLE CAMPUS THURSDAY 10/29/18
The University of Arkansas Cossatot will host a job fair and college information session in the atrium of the Nashville Campus at 1558 Hwy 371 West, Nashville, AR on November 1, 2018 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Medical, banking, poultry, paper, trucking, and other industries from Howard, Little River, and Sevier Counties will be represented to discuss part-time and full-time employment and internship opportunities.
Representatives from the following groups are scheduled to attend: Wadley Health, Manpower
Employment Services, Tyson of Nashville, Dierks Nursing & Rehab, Howard Memorial, Lasalle Corrections, the Arkansas National Guard, Weyerhaeuser, Arkansas Rehabilitations Services, Red River Credit Union, Missions Plastics, Area Agency on Aging, Christus Health, Healthcare Express, Community Compassion of Nashville, Employment Express, Husqvarna, UA Cossatot Career Pathways, Domtar, and McElroy Trucking.
There will be information about enrolling in college courses, GED courses at UA Cossatot. All
attendees will be entered to win a $250 UA Cossatot tuition waiver.
For more information, please contact UA Cossatot Continuing Education and Workforce Development at 870-584-4471.