LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SPOTLIGHT: Sheila Piearcy, September
Once a month, KDQN provides a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of our local law enforcement representatives in the Sevier County area. KDQN has been granted access to sit down one-on-one with employees of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department to offer a close-up look at those who help keep the community safe.
For the month of September, we’re spotlighting Sheila Piearcy, a dispatcher with The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in De Queen.
Sheila is an Albuquerque, New Mexico native who moved to Umpire, Arkansas at age six and later graduated from Umpire High School in 1985.
In addition to being a dispatcher, Sheila has also been a wife to Paul Piearcy for 16 years and together, the couple have four children and two grandchildren. Piearcy says she is in law enforcement because she likes helping people and “loves the feeling you get when you know you have helped save a life.”
When she’s not at work, Sheila enjoys shopping and visiting her grandkids. She says her favorite food is Alfredo and her favorite place to go out to eat is Olive Garden.
With four older brothers who all went into the military, selflessness and service seem to run in the family, as Sheila spent time volunteering for an ambulance service before beginning her career in law enforcement at The Howard County Sheriff’s Office back in 2001. Today, Sheila has put 17 total years in to law enforcement and 14 of those years have been spent with Sevier County. The wife and mother doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon either. When asked about her goals for the future, Piearcy says she loves the job so much she doesn’t even want to retire. She plans to continue working in her department with the dispatchers, who she calls ” the unseen heroes” of law enforcement, because they are always the first call placed in any emergency, no matter what the situation is.
“It’s not just about catching bad guys.” She says, “It’s about helping people.” Though Sheila didn’t start working in law enforcement until she was in her thirties, she says once she began, she “couldn’t get enough of it.”
“I love the feeling you get when you help save someone’s life.” Sheila recalls times she faced tough emergency calls, like children being trapped in a hot car, and a wife performing CPR on an unresponsive husband. Those difficult examples are why she calls dispatchers “the unseen heroes” and why she wishes people on the outside looking in at law enforcement could see the much hard work and heart that is put behind the scenes.
Sheila told KDQN that if she weren’t working for the Sheriff’s Department she would have gone to FBI school and become an investigator. Her favorite thing about her career is that “every day is something different” and everyone at The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has each other’s back. She describes The Sheriff’s Department as a “tight-knit” family.
Sheila’s family of co-workers proved just how much they have her back this summer after she had a medical scare while on vacation. On June 10th Sheila unexpectedly suffered a heart attack while out of town and was transported to a nearby hospital by way of ambulance for emergency bypass surgery. Because her recovery time exceeded her paid time off, Sheila’s co-workers donated their extra time off so that she never missed a paycheck.
In addition to having a team of co-workers who support her, Sheila also says her husband and kids are very proud of her for working in law enforcement.
We asked Sheila if there was anything she wished people on the outside looking it at law enforcement knew, and she said she wishes everyone could see that there is much more to the job than throwing bad guys in jail and that the Sheriff’s Department is here to help people. Keep listening to KDQN to find out more about law enforcement representatives in the local area and check out next month’s featured Law Enforcement Spotlight.
ASHDOWN ALUMNI BANQUET HELD 09/16/19
(Ashdown High School Class of 1969)
On, Saturday, September 14th, the Thirteenth Annual Ashdown Alumni Association Banquet was held at the Ashdown High School Cafeteria. AHS Class of 1965 Dr. Tom Fomby was the honored guest for the evening. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri and is currently Professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He is Co-editor of Advances in Econometrics an annual college book of econometric techniques as applied to problems in economics, finance, marketing and forecasting.
The Class of 1969 was accepted in the “Golden Circle Club” as they celebrated 50 years since graduation. 1941 AHS Graduate Ethel Mae Ford Skieff was the oldest female graduate in attendance and 1946 AHS Graduate Tony Spigner was the oldest male graduate at the banquet. After a delicious meal prepared by the Ashdown Public Schools Food Service, served by AHS Skills USA, there was entertainment provided by 1969 graduates Larry Bennett, Sue Ellen Fawcett Taylor, Gail Tabler McKeller, and Paco Ritter. The evening ended with the graduates, family and friends singing the Ashdown High School Alma Mater.
DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS CENSUS IMPORTANCE 09/17/19
By April 1, 2020, each of you will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Representative DeAnn Vaught has reported responding to the census this year will be easier than ever, as this will be the first time you can respond online.
The Constitution mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.
The Governor recently announced the formation of the Arkansas Complete Count Committee. The 30 member task force includes two state senators and two state representatives who have agreed to help promote statewide participation in the 2020 Census.
When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
The census tells us much more than just the population of our state and our communities. It tells us about the makeup of those populations, from ages and races to how many people own their home.
Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories and offices. Developers use the census to build new homes.
Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. The data can help inform where your community needs a new fire department, more funding for school lunches, or new roads.
The census helps determine how many representatives each state gets in Congress. The information is also used redraw state senate and house district boundaries. Redistricting counts are sent to the states by March 31, 2021.
The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.
For more information visitwww.2020census.gov .
FFA OFFICERS ANNOUNCED AT LOCAL COLLEGE 09/17/19
UA Cossatot’s Collegiate FFA organization announces the fall 2019 FFA officers. These officers will serve for a term of one semester, and be active leaders in UA Cossatot’s FFA.
The officers include President, Dusty Kesterson; Co-Vice President, Hadley Philamlee; Co-Vice President, Kinley Wright; Secretary, Raven Revels; Treasurer, Cody Chandler; and Reporter, Codie Jamison.
Being a member of UA Cossatot’s FFA provides students scholarship opportunities; leadership, communication, and networking skills; and the chance to build friendships with other FFA members. Students pursuing a technical certificate in agriculture or an associate’s degree in agriculture business, agriculture science, agriculture education, or natural resources can join UA Cossatot’s Collegiate FFA.
This fall, UA Cossatot’s FFA will be taking part in numerous activities, projects, and field trips to enhance students’ in-class experience. FFA sponsor, Kelli Harris, reported that members took part in the Gillham Lake clean-up project September 14th. They are also organizing an FFA Gun Raffle and Chili Supper to raise money for scholarships November 7th at the De Queen Campus. For additional information about UA Cossatot’s Collegiate FFA, please contact Kelli Harris at 870-584-1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOUR STATES FAIR GOING ON NOW 09/17/19
The 75th annual four states fair and rodeo is going on now through September 22nd in Texarkana.
Activities include the rodeo, Demolition Derby, livestock shows, carnival games, rides, vendors and exhibits.
Live performances during the fair include country music artist Mark Wills, who will take the stage Wednesday, September 18th at 8:00 p.m. The RAM PRCA Rodeo begins on Thursday and continues through Sept. 21st at 7:30 each night.
The admission price is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Gates open at 5:00 each evening. The fairgrounds are located at 3700 East 50 Street, Texarkana Arkansas 71854. For more information visit fourstatesfair.com.
ARKANSAS STATE POLICE DRIVER LICENSE PREP APP NOMINATED FOR AWARD 09/12/19
The Arkansas State Police Highway Patrol Division, Driver License Testing Section has been recognized as a runner-up for the Arkansas Digital Pioneer Award.
The award is presented each year by the Arkansas Information Network.
The state police was nominated for the award based on its development of a driver license practice app and the voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant (Amazon Alexa & Google Home).
Since the practice test app and voice-controlled assistant went live this year, more than 21,000 Arkansans preparing to take their driver test have used the app and voice software. The Arkansas State Police is a division of the Arkansas Department of Public Safety.
FLU CLINIC ANNOUNCED IN SEVIER COUNTY 09/12/19
On Friday, Sept. 27, the Sevier County Health Unit of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will offer flu vaccinations at the De Queen Fire Department, 220 N 2nd Street, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. This is a drive-through flu clinic. Wear short sleeved shirts. Forms may be picked up at the Sevier County Health Unit before the flu clinic.
Bring your insurance cards with you to the flu vaccine clinic. If you do not have insurance, or your insurance does not cover flu shots, the vaccine will be available at no charge.
“We want Sevier County residents to stay healthy this flu season and getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best line of protection,” said Deborah Hedge, Sevier County health unit administrator. “We encourage everyone to come to the mass clinic or the local health unit to get their flu shot.”
Annual flu vaccination is recommended for most adults and children six months and older. The flu virus changes from year to year, and this year’s vaccine protects against the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this flu season.
“The flu should not be taken lightly,” said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, medical director for Immunizations at ADH. “We are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their families because it is hard to predict in advance how severe the flu season is going to be.”
People of all ages can get the flu. Certain people are more likely to have serious health problems if they get the flu. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes. Therefore, ADH strongly recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine. It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine—not only to protect themselves but also to decrease the possibility that they might expose the people they love and care for to the flu.
The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. Some people may have mild soreness and redness near the site of the shot and a low fever or slight headache. There are very few medical reasons to skip the flu vaccine. These include life-threatening allergic reactions to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine. People with allergies to vaccine ingredients can often receive the vaccine safely, if it is given in a doctor’s office where they can be monitored.
The flu is easily spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching something, such as a door knob, with the virus on it and then touching their nose or mouth. Good hand washing habits are important in preventing the flu; however, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine.
This drive-through clinic is made possible through collaboration with Office of Emergency Services, De Queen Fire Department, Dr. Randy Walker’s Clinic, Dr. Jason Lofton, Department of Human Services, and the Sevier County Health Department.
DE QUEEN SENIORS RECEIVE INFORMATION FOR COLLEGES TUESDAY 09/12/19
On Tuesday De Queen seniors met with Bradley Byers with Arkansas Rehab, filled out TRIO forms and received How to Pay for College booklets.
Karla Fernandez is showing the booklet provided by Arkansas Division of Higher Education.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY TO BUILD NEW HIGH SCHOOL AND NEW JAIL FACILTY AFTER PASSING SALES TAX PROPOSALS 09/11/19
Two new facilities are in order for the future of Little River County as the results of a specially called election have been announced. Both a new jail facility and a new High School in Foreman are now in store for the southwest Arkansas county.
As previously reported on KDQN, voters of Little River County hit the polls to cast their ballots on an important three-part sales tax issue Tuesday, September 10th. The purpose of the tax proposal was to generate funds for the construction and operation of a new Jail facility in Ashdown. Due to number of deficiencies and limited space, the county's current Detention center was set to be shut down until a corrective plan of action was established. The plan to build a new facility has been given the green light now that the sales tax proposals have been voted in and the county can move forward in constructing the new jail.
County Judge Mike Cranford says bids for the project will begin being accepted as early as April of 2020 and the process is expected to take 18-24 months to complete.
Judge Cranford also thanked the citizens of the area for their hard work and the role they played in passing the taxes that he says will fund the future of little River County.
In addition to voting in the sales taxes for the new jail, voters also said “yes” to FHS, as The Foreman School District voted to pass a millage tax that will fund the development of a new high school building. County clerk Deeanna Sively told KDQN 385 votes were cast in favor of the millage tax and 140 votes were cast against it. The quarter-cent sales tax to operate the new jail passed with 1,159 votes in favor of and 824 votes against. The jail tax construction item passed with 1,136 votes over the 839 votes against, and the jail and law enforcement facilities bond passed with 1,154 votes to 825 votes.
BODY OF MISSING LOCKESBURG MAN FOUND IN CREEK 09/11/19
The body of a missing Southwest Arkansas man has been discovered by The Sevier County Sheriff's Department this week.
Lockesburg resident Tony Martz was reported missing by his fiancé, Christine Mann on September 5th. A silver alert post was shared widely throughout social media pages and locals news sources in an effort to find the missing man over the last week.
The Sevier County Sheriff's Department issued a press release to local media Tuesday September 10th stating that Martz's body had been found in a local creek, bringing an end to the near week-long search.
Martz's truck was located by his family members on a Weyerhouser lease road Monday September 9th.
The report states that Martz was found deceased in the creek approximately half a mile from the spot where his truck had been found. No official cause of death was stated in the press release and Martz's body has been sent off to the Arkansas state crime lab for further investigation.
HOUSING OPTIONS DISCUSSED AT LOCAL COLLEGE BOARD OF VISITORS MEETING 09/11/19
On September 9, 2019, UA Cossatot held their bi-monthly Board of Visitors meeting at the college’s Lockesburg Campus. At the meeting, division reports were given, announcements were made, the board passed nine new and edited policies, and UA Cossatot Chancellor, Dr. Steve Cole spoke about the possibility of the college having dorms in the future.
At the beginning of September, the college published a student housing survey that went out to over fifteen hundred current and potential UA Cossatot students. Almost three hundred surveys were completed, and the results were shared at the meeting. The three most positive pieces of the housing survey were that 79% of those polled indicated they would definitely live in on-campus housing, they would prefer to live on campus year round, and De Queen (62%) and Nashville (31%) were the campuses where students would be most interested in living. The feedback will be used in the college’s decision-making process as UA Cossatot moves forward with student housing plans. More research will take place this fall to uncover accounting and legal issues so that the college can possibly make student housing an option for students at UA Cossatot.
Other information discussed at the Board of Visitors meeting included the college beginning new development on a strategic plan for 2025. The college has selected an employee strategic planning committee, and surveys will be released to stakeholders and shareholders of the college very soon.
Lauren Volarvich was recently hired as an English instructor at UA Cossatot. The first PTA class graduated this summer from UA Cossatot’s PTA program. Also, the enrollment report revealed fall enrollment this semester at UA Cossatot was higher than last year, showing an 8% increase over last fall.
The college also invited UA Cossatot Student Ambassador, Jessica Aguilar and Miss UA Cossatot 2019, Perri Lowrey to attend the Board of Visitors meeting as special guests. The next UA Cossatot board of visitors meeting is scheduled to take place on November 4, 2019.
SEVIER COUNTY FARM BUREAU ANNUAL MEETING HELD TUESDAY 09/11/19
Around 200 Sevier County Farm Bureau members attended Tuesday’s annual meeting at the De Queen School Cafeteria. Steve Cole, Chancellor at U of A Cossatot, opened the meeting and spoke in support of the proposed one cent county sales tax to be voted on October 8th , in which the proceeds would be used to construct a new hospital north of De Queen.
Farm Bureau Agency Manager Allen Stark gave the insurance report and introduced the staff. Stark encouraged members to sign up for electronic bank drafts in order to pay their premiums. Members can also sign up for paperless billing. Stark also encouraged farmers to stop by the office on Collin Raye Drive to ask about the broader and better insurance coverage available under the Ag Promise program.
Farm Bureau President Bruce Jackson presented the Farm Family of the Year award to the Josh Morris family of Gillham.
Elected to the Sevier County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for the 2019-2020 year include: Bobby Bailey, Charles Morris, Dennis Patterson, Phillip Vanvoast, Wayne Williamson, Robert Martinez, Don Naney, Earl Peppers, Monte Davis, Rusty Wilkerson, Bruce Jackson, Kenneth Currence, Alan Lee, Kenneth Kemp, Bill Soden, John Nix, Brian Walker, Greg Wright, Will Bailey, and Patricia Maben. The voting delegates at the State Convention will be Earl Peppers, Monte Davis, and Bill Soden.
Elizabeth Walker introduced Rachel Bradshaw with the County Farm Service Agency who outlined some of the Agency’s programs available to farmers, and $20 cash door prizes were handed out to ten lucky winners to conclude Tuesday night’s Sevier County Farm Bureau annual meeting.
DE QUEEN POLICE HANDLE INTOXICATED MAN AT WAL-MART 09/10/19
A Louisiana man is facing a charge of public intoxication after officers responded to a call at Wal-mart in De Queen last month.
A report from the De Queen Police Department states that officer Doug Johnson was dispatched to Wal-mart on Colin Raye Drive in reference to a suspicious person on Sunday, August 31st around 11:30 p.m. Officer Johnson noted finding a shirtless man, later identified as Nicholas Barrow near the coke machines outside the store. Barrow was reportedly asked if he was in need of an ambulance or was hurt and he did not respond, but he exhibited behavior that caused the officer to suspect something was wrong with him.
Officer Johnson also noted observing the suspect to have dilated pupils and was “pouring sweat.” Barrow was restrained in handcuffs and placed in the back of the patrol unit while witnesses were interviewed. Bystanders in the parking lot reported seeing Barrow kicking, screaming and punching the store building. The officer then transported the suspect to The Sevier County Jail and medical assistance was requested to assess the suspect's condition. After being issued a ticket for public intoxication, it was advised that Barrow needed medical attention and he was transferred to Howard County Memorial Hospital for treatment.
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COUNTIES UNDER BURN BANS TODAY 09/10/19
Wildfire risks continue to increase in the area as seven counties in Southwest Arkansas have burn bans in effect as of Tuesday, September 10th. The Arkansas Forestry commission has included Howard, Pike, Hempstead, and Miller on that list. Outdoor burning is prohibited in these counties until further notice and updated information is available day to day on Arkfireinfo.org
DEANN VAUGHT WEEKLY REPORT 09/10/19
Representative DeAnn Vaught has reported The second week of September has been declared Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.
In 2017, the legislature passed Act 811 which mandated that calls made from Arkansas to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline be operated by the Arkansas Department of Health. This has allowed callers in crises to be able to speak to someone who has a strong understanding of resources available nearby.
In the 2019 Regular Session, the legislature passed Act 551 which requires the House Committee on Aging, Children and Youth, Legislative and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs to examine veteran issues within Arkansas, including the occurrence of suicide among the veteran population in Arkansas. The act also requires the committees to file a written report with Legislative Council by December 1, 2020.
This General Assembly also passed Act 962 which creates the offense of encouraging the suicide of another person and makes the offense a Class D felony. If you or someone you know is in crisis now, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Veterans can access the Veteran Crises line by calling the number and pressing 1. Anyone can also text the crisis line by sending TALK to 741741, or chat online at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
ONLINE TOURISM CAMPAIGN FOR SEVIER COUNTY ANNOUNCED 09/10/19
This fall, the Sevier County Tourism Committee, the Chamber of Commerce and the Sevier County Economic Development Director are asking for the community’s support as they launch a “Love Local” online tourism review campaign. This campaign will involve everyone’s input from local community members to visitors of Sevier County.
The county leaders are challenging residents of Sevier County to speak up and share reviews online about local dining, shopping, events, attractions, and service-related businesses in Sevier County. By leaving an online review through Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google, or another online platform, Sevier County will receive more promotion. Individuals who blog or write in any platform are also encouraged to share more about why they love Sevier County and highlight specific locations.
The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness of Sevier County restaurants, attractions, entertainment venues, and service organizations and attract new and returning visitors throughout the fall travel season. For more information about the “Love Local” online tourism review campaign, please e-mail Lisa Taylor at email@example.com
SPECIAL ELECTION IN DIERKS TODAY 09/10/19
A special election is being held today, Tuesday (September 10) in Dierks to request approval from voters to extend the current Dierks School District millage rate of 43 mills to provide additional funding for the district.
The extension does not increase the current millage rate. The requested rate of 43 mills represents the same rate presently being collected. The 11 debt mills are being requested to be extended through 2049.
The goal of the extension is to provide approximately $1,900,000 for constructing and equipping an elementary school classroom addition at the Dierks Joann Walters Elementary School campus. The proposed six classroom wing will add in excess of 6,000 square feet. Other funds generated by the millage extension will be utilized by the Dierks School District for HVAC replacement, roof repairs, parking lots, safety improvements and other building maintenance.
Election day is being held at the Dierks Community Center from 7:30a.m. to 7:30p.m. tonight.
NINTH WEST DISTRICT JUDGE ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AFTER 24 YEARS 09/10/19
Ninth West Judicial District, Division Two circuit judge Charles Yeargan of Glenwood has announced that he plans to retire next year, after 24 years on the bench.
Yeargan’s announcement came in the form of a public letter distributed to sheriffs, court personnel and community members.
Yeargan is a native of Pike County and Glenwood High School graduate. He attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration in 1973 as well as a Juris Doctor degree from law school in 1976. He has presided over the Ninth West Judicial Drug Court since December of 2003.
Prior to being elected Circuit Judge, he served six years as Pike County Municipal Judge, 10 years as Pike County deputy prosecuting attorney, nine years on the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission, and 17 years as city attorney for Glenwood.
Judge Yeargan and his wife Donna Kay reside in Glenwood and have three children and five grandchildren.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY VOTERS TO PASS OR REJECT SALES TAX FOR NEW JAIL TUESDAY 09/08/19
Little River County, Arkansas voters are set to head to the polls this Tuesday, September 10th to cast their ballots for an important three-part tax issue that relates to a major public safety concern. The Southwest Arkansas County will pass or reject the adoption of a sales tax increase that would fund the construction and operation of a new jail facility in Ashdown.
The proposed tax increase was recommended by a committee of local citizens who reviewed all the possible options for generating revenue to fund the project, then presented the recommendation to the county Quorum Court. The Quorum Court then agreed to present the tax to voters for the county to decide. Due to a number of deficiencies, the current detention facility was set to be shut down until a plan of corrective action was established. KDQN spoke with Little River County Judge Mike Cranford, who explains what the issues entail, how the proposal came about and why voters are being asked to hit the polls.
(Listen to Little River County Judge, Mike Cranford explain the proposed sales tax increase here:) *
Other options for generating revenue to fund the new facility were considered but it was discovered that those routes could possibly result in the loss of other important agencies in the county, including the local college and hospital. Reallocating existing funds would leave those agencies without sufficient support, and they would eventually have to close down. Judge Cranford says the proposed sales tax increase was the last option for funding the new jail.
(Listen to Little County Judge Mike Cranford explain the committee's decision here:)
If the ballot items pass, the new detention facility would hold up to 70 prisoners, a number more than twice as much the maximum capacity of the current jail which is just 24. The new facility would also have a budget cap of $8.5 million for the construction and initial operation costs. If the items do not pass, the county could face a major public safety risk as suspects arrested for crimes would be released after 24 hours, transferred to another county's facility, or simply set free.
(Listen to Little River County Judge Mike Cranford list the options for prisoners if the sales tax increase do not pass here:)
Monday, September 9th is the final day for early voting on these issues. The special election will be held Tuesday, September 10th, 2019. A complete list of voting locations has been listed below.
The results of the election will be announced on KDQN as information becomes available.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY VOTING LOCATIONS FOR SPECIAL ELECTION SEPTEMBER 10TH 09/08/19
Locations are open 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 10th. Locations include: Southern Crossroads Baptist Church Foreman Baptist Church Little River Election Center Millwood Baptist Church Wilton Baptist Ogden Community Center
ARKANSAS GOVERNOR TO VISIT FOREMAN HIGH SCHOOL WEDNESDAY 09/09/19
Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced his Fall 2019 Computer Science Tour, his ninth tour of Arkansas schools since he took office in January 2015. Governor Hutchinson has visited more than 70 Arkansas schools to promote computer science education and to encourage students to enroll in computer science and coding courses. Schools, dates, and times are listed below. “This is my ninth computer science tour, and it seems like the teachers’ and students’ enthusiasm for computer science increases each and every tour,” Governor Hutchinson said. “Computer science and tech innovation have become a movement throughout Arkansas in the past four years, and I look forward to what this next year will bring as we continue to lead the nation in computer science education.” Governor Hutchinson’s Fall 2019 Computer Science Tour includes a stop in Southwest Arkansas this week, at: 1:00 p.m. Foreman High School 700 Rocky Comfort Road Foreman, Arkansas
WESTERMAN WEEKLY WITH WILEY AND JAY 09/09/19
Each Week, Arkansas 4th District U.S Congressman Bruce Westerman calls “The Morning Brew” on KDQN for an interview to discuss what is happening around the district and in congress. An edited version of the interview has been made available online. Take a listen!
LF HENDERSON SCHOOL ROCK STAR READERS ANNOUNCED AT ASHDOWN SCHOOLS 09/09/19
LF Henderson August Rock Star Readers 3rd grade- Daegon Ford 4th grade- Adalie Aylett 5th grade- Gracyn Blankenship
SENATOR LARRY TEAGUE ANNOUNCES GRANT FOR RURAL HEALTHCARE PROGRAM 09/09/19
The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences received a grant of $4.6 million to boost its program to encourage primary care physicians to practice in rural areas.
UAMS, the state’s main medical school, has eight regional campuses around the state. They will partner with the UAMS College of Medicine and its Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. The dean of the college noted the importance of retaining primary care physicians in rural areas, saying “Arkansas still has one of the worst physician shortages in the nation and we’re among the states projected as most likely to have serious primary care shortages by 2025.”
The rural population is relatively older, and therefore has a higher demand for medical services. With the grant money, the college will recruit more medical students from under-served areas because they are considered more likely to return to their hometowns to practice medicine. The college will increase the number of clinical sites available to teach medical students, and increase training and faculty opportunities at those sites.
The grant will be used also to strengthen relations with Community Health Centers, the Arkansas Rural Health Partnership, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Philander Smith College in Little Rock, which are historically black colleges.
The state Health Department considers 50 of the 75 counties in Arkansas as meeting the definition of an under-served area, due to the lack of health professionals available to serve the population. More than 500,000 people, or a sixth of the states’ total population, live in those areas.
Legislators working on health care recently heard a presentation from officials at UAMS and the Arkansas Hospital Association. There are 23 counties in Arkansas that do not have a local hospital and there are 39 counties with only one hospital.
Of the 105 hospitals in Arkansas, 17 are at the highest level of financial risk. The number used to be 18 until the hospital in De Queen, which was on the list, closed.
Twenty-five counties and cities levy a tax to support their local hospital.
“Getting to a doctor is a huge challenge in rural areas,” the chancellor of UAMS told legislators. Rural areas are in need of more trained nurses, especially in specialty fields such as critical care and labor and delivery. The shortage is expected to worsen because about a third of nurses are older than 50, and many will retire within the next decade.
One reason for the nursing shortage is a lack of faculty at nursing colleges. In 2017, according to the Arkansas Center for Nursing, 3,905 nursing students were accepted into one of the 56 nursing programs in the state while 1,954 were turned away because of a lack of faculty or clinical space.
Of the 949 faculty at nursing programs, 614 were older than 50 in 2017. Many are expected to retire within 10 or 15 years. They will be more difficult to replace because in general, faculty must have a master’s or a doctoral degree.
The number of male nurses has gone up, but only slightly. In 1960, only 2 percent of nurses were male and today the ratio is 13 percent.
USDA AND GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON ENTER STEWARDSHIP FOR ARKANSAS AGRICULTURE 09/06/19
Governor Asa Hutchinson and United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Shared Stewardship Wednesday during a ceremony at the Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
The MOU establishes a framework for the participating agencies to work more closely together to accomplish mutual goals, further common interests, and effectively respond to ecological challenges and natural resource concerns in Arkansas. A key component of the shared-stewardship strategy is to prioritize investment decisions on forest practices to protect communities and create resilient forests and landscapes.
The state agencies participating in the shared-stewardship strategy are the Arkansas Department of Agriculture and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. The federal participating agencies are the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. The MOU signed today marks the first such agreement in the southern United States and is the first one in the nation to include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The USDA Forest Service announced the new strategy of shared stewardship in August 2018 after the release of “Toward Shared Stewardship across Landscapes,” a report that outlines the agency’s plans to work more closely with states to identify landscape-scale priorities for targeted practices in areas with the highest forest health opportunities. Copies of the report are posted to AGFC.com
KIRBY RESIDENTS DONATE $5,000 SCHOLARSHIP TO LOCAL COLLEGE 09/06/19
Kirby residents, Dewayne and Janice Mack, donated $5,000 to help fund the UA Cossatot Foundation’s summer scholarship initiative. This donation helped non-traditional students seek financial assistance during the summer of 2019.
The scholarship was limited to twenty recipients and awarded one free summer course. The only requirements to be selected for this scholarship was that the student must be 25 years of age or older, must complete at least one fall course at UA Cossatot in 2019, and be willing to provide a copy of their most current unofficial transcript and identification.
Dewayne Mack is a foundation board member and a longtime supporter of the UA Cossatot Foundation. Mack said, “We feel blessed to be able to help local college students achieve their educational goals.”
The UA Cossatot Foundation exists to create awareness of the need for scholarships while focusing efforts on raising resources to meet the need and furthering UA Cossatot’s institutional development.
UA Cossatot Foundation Director, Dustin Roberts said, “Janice and Dewayne are truly amazing people. Because of their passion and commitment to helping others, many students were able to take classes during our summer semester.”
For more information on how to support UA Cossatot Foundation, please contact Dustin Roberts at 870-584-1172 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
UAHT LPN PROGRAM ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS 09/06/19
The application for admission to the Evening Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Program at the University of Arkansas Texarkana is now open. Students can apply online through November 1, 2019.
The Evening LPN program is a full-time, 11-month, selective admission program leading to a Technical Certificate in Practical Nursing. The program prepares students for licensure through the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-PN). The program meets the requirements for accreditation by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing.
Accepted applicants will begin the program in January 2020. Interested students should contact an advisor today for admission criteria or to enroll in any needed pre-requisite courses. For more information, please call the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana Health Professions Department at 870-722-8289
ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING COURT 2019 09/06/19
Keaylon Sanders, Tyler Murchison, Austin Henry, Joseph Paredes, Delrae Smith, Christian Biddle, Cole Smith, Raleigh Grimes, Ashlyn Harger, Lannah Huddleston, Davina Gaines, Kylie Rae Cross, Chloe Anderson, Ebony Hawkins, Sydney Hurd, Rylee Burden, Rileigh Day, Makayla Dixon, Brett Bond, Carter Bowman, Kevin Starks, Dakota Delozier , Jordan Rives, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Russell.
Christian Biddle, Dakota Delozier , Jordan Rives, Logan Russell, A.J. Hopkins, Joseph Paredes, Brett Bond, Delrae Smith, Cole Smith, Carter Bowman, and Kevin Starks.
Front: Rileigh Day, Ebony Hawkins, Chloe Anderson, Rylee Burden Middle: Sydney Hurd, VonJoy Thomas, Kylie Rae Cross, Davina Gaines Back: Lannah Huddleston, Ashlyn Harger, Raleigh Grimes, and MaKayla Dixon
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL REPORT 09/04/09
The De Queen City Council met in regular session Tuesday evening (9/3/19) at the De Queen City Hall. In action items, the Council passed a resolution to sell Fire Truck number six – 1 2006 Ford F-350, according to De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown.
The only other action item on the agenda for the De Queen City Council last evening was discussion about the possible purchase of some property adjacent to the water treatment plant on Bennett Street. The Council decided to decline the opportunity to acquire the property at this time. If the upcoming sales tax passes to construct a new hospital, the City will be looking at a major cost of extending sewer service to the new facility that would be located some four miles north of town. The Council decided to hold onto their monies at this time in anticipation of that expenditure.
Mayor Brown reported that a local bank had recently given the City a $4,500 grant. Mayor Brown says the grant money will be used to help purchase the new drug dog for the police department.
The Aldermen were handed a 2018 audit report for a couple of city departments to review, but no action was taken last evening.
The next regularly scheduled De Queen City Council meeting will be Tuesday, September 17th at 5:30 at De Queen City Hall.
GOVERNOR HUTCHINSON NAMES ARKANSAS CENSUS COMPLETE COUNT COMMITTEE 09/03/19
“It’s important for residents to participate in the U.S. Census, and the state of Arkansas is already preparing for Census Day on April 1st, 2020. Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau surveys the United States to determine the nation’s population. The Federal Government allocates funding back to the states based upon population counts. An undercount of just one percent could cost Arkansas $990 million over the next decade. And, Governor Asa Hutchinson says that history emphasizes the importance of an accurate census, as it determines the number of representatives Arkansas has in the U.S. House of Representatives:”
“Governor Hutchinson issued an Executive Order last week establishing the Arkansas Census 2020 Complete Count Committee. De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown was appointed as one of the 30 committee members. Governor Hutchinson says this committee will promote statewide participation in the 2020 Census:”
“The Committee will meet monthly and submit progress reports to Governor Hutchinson. So plan now for you and your family to participate in the 2020 Census. Your City, your county, and your state are counting on you.”
ASHDOWN TRAFFIC FATALITY 09/03/19
An Ashdown man was killed last week in a one vehicle accident after his pickup caught fire. 25 year old John Keith Jackson of Ashdown was driving a Ford F-150 on Little River County Road 51 shortly before 11 P.M. on Wednesday, August 28th when he drove off the road and then over-corrected to the left. Jackson’s truck hit a utility pole and a tree before catching fire. Police said Jackson was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:00 A.M. on Thursday, August 29th.
CONTROVERSIAL P.A.C. CHAIRED BY HOWARD COUNTY MAN 09/03/19
A Draft Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Arkansas Political Action Committee, that has made national news headlines this week, is chaired by a Howard County resident records show.
The mastermind of the P.A.C., who lives in West Virginia, has never stepped foot in Arkansas and doesn’t even know the Huckabees. The Committee has not been authorized by Sanders. Friends of the former White House press secretary and potential gubernatorial candidate are cautioning potential donors to be careful.
Regardless of whether Sanders runs for Governor, Patrick Krason of West Virginia – the new PAC’s treasurer – stands to benefit financially.
On June 13th, President Trump announced that Sanders would be leaving the White House to return to Arkansas. During his comments, the President also encouraged Sanders to run for Governor. One day later, Krason filed paperwork to create the PAC. Krason then focused on finding an Arkansan to lead the group, turning to social media for help.
Howard County resident Jarrad Shelton accepted the position of Chairman and designated agent of the PAC. The Nashville father of two, who has never run for office or volunteered for a campaign, says he’s convinced that Sanders would make a great Governor.
Since its launch, the pro-Sanders PAC has collected less than $10,000. Krason predicts that figure will rise, noting the heavy publicity it’s receiving.
Sanders hasn’t commented on the new committee. Earlier this week, her father – former Governor Mike Huckabee – texted a message saying that there are better uses for money than donating to the Draft Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Arkansas Political Action Committee, such as the 2020 election cycle, not 2022.
CHALICE CUPBOARD – AUGUST REPORT 09/03/19
During the month of August, the Chalice Cupboard in Sevier County reports assisting 41 families totaling 135 people, including 78 adults and 57 children.
Food added to the pantry in August weighed 1,458 pounds. This included 1,161 pounds of purchased food, plus the donation of 297 pounds of food by local churches, individuals, and the Sevier County Library. A total of 1,358 pounds of food was distributed. One clothes rack and two shopping carts were also donated to the Chalice Cupboard in August.
Individuals residing in Sevier County who need food may receive assistance at the Chalice Cupboard, located at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons from 2:00 til 3:15.
The Chalice Cupboard reports the need for cereal and canned fruit, if you or your group or church would like to contribute items this month. Cash donations are also accepted, and will go to purchase food.
MINIMUM AGE TO BUY TOBACCO GOES TO 19 09/03/19
The minimum age to buy tobacco in Arkansas rose on Sunday, September 1st. Tobacco buyers must be 19 years old or close – born on or before December 31st, 2000 – under a new state law that took effect Sunday. The minimum age will rise to 21 by the end of 2021. Act 580 of 2019 that was passed by state lawmakers also increases the minimum markup on cigarettes, raises taxes on cigarette papers, and repeals the reduced border city tobacco tax rate, all to raise revenue to help the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences obtain designation from the National Cancer Institute.
ASHDOWN SCHOOLS SEEKING VETERANS FOR DIPLOMA PRESENTATIONS 09/03/19
Ashdown Public Schools is looking for veterans of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War who were not able to receive their diplomas due to military service.
The Arkansas State Board of Education allows these diplomas to be granted pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 6-16-133 and 6-16-134.
To be eligible, veterans who left high school before graduation to serve in World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War, were honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States of America, be a resident of the State of Arkansas, and have served a minimum of eighteen (18) consecutive months’ active duty or been discharged with a service-connected disability during one of the following:
-For veterans of World War II, between September 16, 1940, and December 31, 1946, -For veterans of the Korean War, between June 1, 1950, and January 1, 1954; or -For veterans of the Vietnam War, between July 3, 1965, and May 15, 1975.
A veteran shall present to the school district’s board of directors any of the following documentation of honorable discharge as evidence of eligibility under this Rule: -A War Department Adjutant General’s Office Form (WD AGO); -A Naval Personnel discharge document (NAVPERS); -A Report of Separation from Active Duty; or -A DD Form 214 (DD-214)
Veterans may present this information to the Ashdown Public Schools Administration Building at 751 Rankin Street or call 870-898-3208 for more information. Diplomas will be presented during the November Board Meeting.
UA COSSATOT FFA CHILLI SUPPER FUNDRAISER 09/03/19
The 2019 UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA Gun Raffle and Chili Supper will take place at UA Cossatot’s De Queen Campus in the Adams building on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at 6:30 P.M. The UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA is selling raffle tickets to raise money for scholarships, while also giving the community the chance to support local students and the UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA. The gun raffle will include four guns as prizes. Tickets will be sold for the chance to win a Remington V3 Field Sport Semi-Automatic 12 Gauge Shotgun, a Ruger American Predator.308 Rifle, a Diamondback Semi-Automatic Davidsons Exclusive 5.56 NATO/223, and a Glock Gen 4 Semi-Automatic 9MM Pistol. Winners need not be present to win, prizes will be awarded by choice in order of names drawn, with preference given to those who attend the chili supper. Tickets are available for $10.00 each or six tickets for $50.00. Tickets can be purchased from any agriculture student or by contacting UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA sponsor, Kelli Harris, at email@example.com or 870-584-1218.
Everyone who buys a ticket is invited to dine free at the annual chili supper. For those who would like chili, no raffle ticket, there will be chili available for purchase beginning at 4:30 pm the day of the chili supper. For more information about the UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA Gun Raffle and Chili Supper, please contact Kelli Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 870-584-1218.
3D ARCHERY TOURNAMENT IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS SEPTEMBER 7TH 09/03/19
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831 Sept. 7, 2019 at 8 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Event Flyer
Bring the family and brush up your skills or learn a new sport. Awards will be given to the first three places in each division.
COMPETITION DIVISIONS Open • Unlimited • Known Senior Hunter (ages 50+) • Senior Open (ages 50+) Novice • Women’s Open Women’s Bowhunter • Women’s Novice Hunter • Traditional • Young Adult (ages 15-17) Youth (ages 13-14) • Senior Eagle (ages 11-12) Eagle (ages 9-10) • Junior Eagle (ages 8 and under) ENTRANCE FEES All Eagles……………………………. $5 Youth………………………………….. $5 Young Adult…………………………. $5 Adults…………………………………. $10 Families……………………………….$20 Visit AGFC.com for more information.
DEANN VAUGHT WEEKLY REPORT 09/03/19
Representative DeAnn Vaught has reported that during the 2019 Regular Session, the General Assembly passed several pieces of legislation concerning elections.
One of those pieces of legislation will change the date of primaries.Arkansas will join 13 other states holding a March 3, 2020 primary. Only 4 other states will hold their caucus or primary before March 3.
Act 545 provides for a March preferential primary election in the years in which the office of President of the United States is voted on and a May preferential primary election in the years in which the office of Governor is voted on.
The general election for non-partisan races, which includes judges and prosecutors, will also be held on March 3 of next year.
Early voting will begin on February 17, 2020. The deadline to register for the primary is February 3.
Act 545 also makes changes to the timing of fiscal sessions. Fiscal sessions have been held on the second Monday in February on even-numbered years. Act 545 states that on years in which the preferential primary is held in March, the General Assembly will instead meet for a fiscal session on the second Wednesday of April.
Other legislation passed this year concerning elections include:
· ACT 199 which allows the election officials at a polling site with fifteen (15) or more ballot styles to post the sample ballots on a public website and in bound volumes. · ACT 664 which provides ten (10) minutes for a voter to mark his or her ballot. · ACT 684 which allows digital photographic identification cards to be used as the voter identification required to vote. · ACT 949 which provides for a modification in the law concerning the number of voting sites in a city of the first class. · ACT 328 which allows high school students to volunteer as election officials.
For more information about voting dates and deadlines visit www.sos.arkansas.gov
INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS FOR HOSPITAL SALES TAX IN SEVIER COUNTY ANNOUNCED 08/30/19
Sevier County residents will be asked to vote on the 1% Hospital Sales Tax in the special election to be held October 8, 2019. Sevier County Economic Development officer Lisa Taylor and De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Director Suzanne Babb told #1 Country listeners There are several opportunities to get information and have questions answered at scheduled public meetings:
All meetings are open to the public and begin at 6 p.m. Sept 9, Monday, De Queen School Cafeteria Sept 10, Tuesday, Horatio Elementary School Cafeteria Sept 16, Monday, In Spanish, De Queen School Cafeteria Sept 17, Tuesday, De Queen Mena Coop Conference Room, Gillham Sept 30, Monday, Lockesburg Senior Citizens Center
Contact Chamber of Commerce office by calling 870-584-3225.
LOCAL CHURCHES RECEIVE TRAINING ON AEDS 08/30/19
On Thursday, August 29th, Members of First Baptist Church, De Queen Church of Christ, Memorial Baptist Church, First Assembly of God and St. Barbara's Catholic Church in De Queen received training how to use their new Automated External Defibrillators that were donated by Simple Simon's Pizza and Dr. Randy Walker.
Instructor Jay Litchford also provided Stop the Bleed training.
RAINFALL TO AFFECT OPENING OF DOVE HUNTING SEASON 08/30/19
With several inches of rain falling in many areas of the state in the last week, dove hunters looking for options on opening day this Sunday are encouraged to scout ahead to ensure recent storms didn’t saturate their chances at a good dove hunt. A couple of fields prepared by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission saw substantial precipitation, preventing them from being prepared before opening day. Steve N. Wilson Raft Creek Bottoms and Ed Gordon Point Remove WMAs will not be available.
“We’ve really been geared up to get some doves out there for opening day on many of our public lands this year but this last round of rain hurt a handful of fields,” said AGFC Assistant Chief of Wildlife Management Garrick Dugger. “Fields that may have been topsown with wheat seed may see some of the seed sprouting early, and disked, prepared fields that were still to be seeded may now be too wet to access with the tractors and equipment needed. We also typically burn fields with some standing cover crops on them to expose the seeds, and the wet conditions will hamper that effort.”
Dugger says many fields will be ready, but it’s always a good idea to scout ahead to get the best idea of opening morning conditions and where to set up for the most success.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a bipartisan, public/private coalition, with every state attorneys general and the District of Columbia and 12 phone companies, agreement to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls. This agreement sets the framework of prevention and enforcement by protecting phone users from illegal robocalls and making it easier for attorneys general to investigate and prosecute bad actors.
Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:
Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers, Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools, Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source,
Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic,
Assisting attorneys’ general anti-robocall enforcement by,
Knowing whom their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated,
Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general,
Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls,
Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.
The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.
SEVIER COUNTY FARMER'S CO-OP TO RE-OPEN LOCKESBURG LOCATION 08/30/19
Around 300 members of the Sevier County Farmers Cooperative enjoyed a BBQ beef meal with all the trimmings, along with music from Bill Powers & the Poor Boys Band at the Coop’s 71st annual membership meeting Tuesday evening in the De Queen High School Cafeteria.
Addressing questions from the audience, Coop President Wayne Williamson says there are plans to re-open the store in Lockesburg in the near future. Coop President Wayne Williamson reported that several personnel changes and operations improvements have been made in the past fiscal year. Josh Cooley is the new Operations manager. Julia Halter is the new Inventory Control Manager. Renee Brenneman is the new Accounting Manager. Williamson said that inventory practices and processes have been adjusted and brought up to current standards. These inventory updates have helped the Coop financially. Williamson also pointed out that the Coop has switched from a bank in Colorado to banking locally at First State Bank of De Queen. This switch has meant better interest rates and terms, along with a $300,000 line of credit for working capital needs. The Sevier County Farmers Coop had gross sales of over $7.2 million dollars in the past fiscal year.
Tommy Wagner, Franklin Janes, and Charles Morris were re-elected to the Coop’s Board of Directors. Numerous door prizes were handed out to lucky winners in attendance last evening. Coop President Wayne Williamson thanked the members for their business.
The Sevier County Farmers Cooperative, now in its 71st year of service, has 24 employees at its stores in De Queen and Broken Bow. The Farmers Coop has approximately 3,500 members.
GUIDEBOOKS AVAILABLE ONLINE AS ARKANSAS HUNTING SEASONS APPROACH 08/29/19 With a month left before the opening day of archery deer season, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is busy distributing this year’s hunting guidebook. Copies will begin arriving in sporting goods stores and AGFC regional offices throughout Arkansas in the next few weeks. But for folks who want to get the inside line on hunting seasons and regulations, an online version is available to view and store on your phone.Each year, avid hunters begin calling in July asking when the guidebook will come out with the latest regulations and season dates. Although most regulations are passed by June, and the official Code of Regulations is updated, the printed version of the guidebook is not published until the end of August each year. Hunters can use any material they wish to tag a deer, and wildlife officers have seen everything from duct tape to notebook paper used. The tags in the regulations books, however, do offer a durable, water-resistant material that is easy to write on for hunters to stick in their wallet if they wish to use them. Visit www.agfc.com/guidebooks to view and download a digital copy of the 2019-20 Arkansas Hunting Guidebook
RHONE VISITS ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL COMPUTER SCIENCE CLASS 08/29/19
Anthony Rhone – a recent Economics graduate of SMU came back to Ashdown to his dad Earnest Rhone's alma mater to speak with the students of Mrs. Stephanie Ringgold's Ashdown High School Computer Science class. This is the second year for students at AHS to have the opportunity to take Computer Science courses. Anthony spoke with students about the opportunities and jobs that require computer skills and knowledge. Mrs. Ringgold received her computer science certification two years ago and is taking additional courses in mathematics that are needed to move the AHS Computer Science program in the direction of Data Science. In order for our students to manage and analyze data, they will be learning programming languages Python and R. Dr. Tom Fomby, a graduate of Ashdown High School, and Hendrix University teaches Economics at SMU and has provided Mrs. Ringgold with a great amount of support and guidance along with Mr. Rhone. Ashdown students are fortunate to have a wealth of resources to help them reach their goals and knowledge to be successful in jobs and careers.
ARKANSAS AG WARNS RESIDENTS OF MEDICARE SCAMS 08/29/19
Arkansans eligible for Medicare and Medicaid should beware of scam artists attempting to steal their new individual Medicare card number. Thieves are actively targeting older Arkansans by spoofing their caller ID numbers—making the calls appear to be from a government agency—and luring seniors into sharing their Medicare card numbers.
“Medicare will never call asking for your Medicare card number because they already have it,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “If you receive a call claiming to be with Medicare, hang up and call the phone number listed on your account statement.”
In 2018, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid started issuing beneficiary cards with unique identifying numbers in place of the cardholders’ Social Security Number. The transition period to Medicare Beneficiary Identifier numbers for all participants is set to conclude by December 2019.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued the following tips to help Arkansans protect themselves.
Never give out or confirm sensitive information, such as a bank account, credit card or social security numbers unless the caller is trusted and his or her identity has been confirmed.
Be cautious of callers using organizational or familiar-sounding names similar to existing agencies. Scammers use internet technology to spoof area codes, so although it may seem that a call is from Washington, D.C., it could instead originate from anywhere in the world—even from scammers.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid and other government agencies have warned about these scams. If contacted, hang up and call the government agency directly at a trusted number.
If someone asks you for your information, for money, or threatens to cancel your health benefits if you don't share your personal details, then hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visit www.medicare.gov/fraud.For more information on other tips to avoid being scammed and other consumer-related issues, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at 800-482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.
BLOOD SUGAR MONITORING PRESENTATION SET FOR SEPTEMBER 08/29/19
On Tuesday, September 17, 2019, the Sevier County Coalition’s Live Well Sevier County Committee and the office of Dr. Randy Walker will be co-hosting a Lunch-n-Learn titled “Taking the Madness Out of Monitoring” at UA Cossatot’s De Queen Campus. The presentation will begin at 12:00 noon in the Weyerhaeuser room, located in the Skilled Trades Building, and will conclude at 12:40 p.m.
Presenter Beth Polo Beckel, will be discussing the benefits of blood sugar monitoring, misconceptions regarding the frequency of testing, common testing errors that affect the accuracy of test results, specific times to check blood sugar, how to use results to change blood sugar management decisions, and the appropriate times to take a holiday from blood sugar testing.
Beckel is Registered Dietician, Licensed Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator, owner of Unique Health Solutions and a member of the Dr. Randy Walker Family Practice and Allergy Clinic medical team. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Dietetics from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
Everyone in the community is invited to bring a lunch and join Ms. Beckel for this free event. For more on Lunch-and-Learn programs, visit the Sevier County Coalition website at www.seviercountycoalition.com or call UA Cossatot’s Continuing Education Services at (870) 584-4471.
DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN TEXARKANA, AR WEDNESDAY 08/29/19
The Texarkana Arkansas Police have issued a press release regarding a double homicide reported Wednesday.
The release states that on Wednesday, August 28th, at approximately 10:00 pm, TAPD responded to 2400 East 24th Street in reference to a 911 call of possible shooting. Upon arrival, Officers located 3 male individuals inside an apartment with apparent gun shot wounds. Two of the victims were pronounced dead on scene, one victim was transported to Wadley hospital for life-threatening injuries. Texarkana, Arkansas police criminal investigation division is currently searching for Justin Dalton Wilson, a reported 5'8 black male weighing 150 pounds. Anyone with information is urged to call TAPD 903-798-3154 or CRIMESTOPPERS at 903-793-7867.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INCIDENT IN DE QUEEN 08/29/19
A man is facing an assault charge after authorities responded to a call about a possible domestic violence incident earlier this month. A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that Sergeant Bucky Sawyer was dispatched in reference to the possible domestic at the 4-way EZ mart in De Queen Monday, August 12th. A woman identified as Destiny Butler reportedly told the sergeant she and her ex-boyfriend, Robert Smith, age 21, had an altercation on the highway and the man had been seen heading West in a Ford vehicle. The two were reportedly arguing over an item belonging to Smith and the woman claimed he threatened to have her killed if the item wasn't returned. The woman also stated that Smith attempted to wreck the vehicle and she admitted to striking him in the face.
Sergeant Sawyer noted going over the Domestic Violence Lethality Screening with Butler and asked her to write a statement. Smith was reportedly located at a residence on West DeQuincey by officer Doug Johnson and then taken into custody. Sawyer reports that Smith was read his rights and agreed to answer questions before being charged with aggravated assault on a family or household member.
ASHDOWN SCHOOL BOARD UPDATES 08/29/19
The Ashdown School Board approved many agenda items and made some personnel changes during the August School Board meeting. The board met August 12th as scheduled and all members were present for the meeting.
An effort to honor veterans was initiated at the start of the meeting as Superintendent Casey Nichols received consensus of the board to award honorary High School Diplomas to military members who went off to war before receiving their certificates.
The previous meetings minutes from July 15th and August 1st meetings were the only item discussed in the old business category and they were approved. Under the new business category both the De Queen Mena Co-op fee of $31,810.00 and the application for payment from CR Crawford in the amount of $690,448.17 were approved as well. Superintendent Nichols recommended the board deny a student transfer to the Foreman School District and they agreed. The motion was denied and then the topic of a new partnership was presented. Mr. Nichols recommended the district enter an agreement with Cornerstone Counseling Clinic inc. for the 2019-2020 school year and the board approved.
Ashdown schools has also made a mental health agreement with Arkansas Counseling and Psycho-Diagnostics inc. as well as am agreement for Health Services with Family Medical Associates to allow Ashdown school nurses to maintain and administer Albuterol and Epinephrine to students during life threatening situations.
The final items discussed were financial reports and personnel. The financial reports were approved as presented and two changes in the staff department were made. The resignation of Hardy Gibbons was accepted, effective October 5th and Crystal Foley has been hired as the Special Ed Paraprofessional. The next Ashdown School board meeting will be held September 9th at 6:00 at The Ashdown administration building and the public is welcome.
ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING SET FOR SEPTEMBER 13TH 08/28/19
Ashdown Public Schools will celebrate “Sn”APP”ing With the Panthers’” on Friday, September 13, for their 2019 Homecoming theme.
The week will kick off with a bonfire on Sunday, September 8th at 8 p.m. at the AJHS field. During that week, students will have “dress up” days as a way of promoting school spirit which will lead up to #filterfriday (Purple & Gold Day) on the 13th. On Tuesday, September 10 at 6:30 p.m., the AHS Student Council will have their annual Powder Puff Game at Dick Hays Stadium. Admission is $3 for everyone (this includes all staff and participants) as this is a fundraiser.
The AHS Homecoming Pep Rally will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Dick Hays Stadium. The parade, led by Grand Marshal Carmen Sansom will be at 2 p.m. Mrs. Sansom retired from Ashdown High School in 2019. Students will be released at Ashdown Elementary at 1:00 p.m.; L.F. Henderson – 1:28 p.m.; AHS – 1:43 p.m. and AJHS at 2:04 p.m.
Anyone wanting to have a float/vehicle in the parade, please Contact Carla Alexander at 870-898-3562 between September 9 – September 12. A parade number will be assigned at that time. Parade lineup will be on East Richmond St. The parade will travel the same route as in 2018 and will proceed down Locust, turn on Hagan Drive, S. Ellen, E. Locke and back to AHS.
The evening Homecoming Festivities and Coronation of the 2019 AHS Homecoming Queen will begin at 6:50 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., the Panthers will kick off as they take on Hope. On Saturday, September 14th, the Ashdown Alumni Association will host their 13th Annual Alumni Banquet where they will honor AHS 1965 Graduate Dr. Tommy Fomby.
ARMY RECRUITERS VISIT DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL 08/28/19
Army recruiters SFC Smith and SFC Vasquez visited with De Queen students Tuesday during lunch Tuesday August 27th.
WEYERHAEUSER SEEKING NON-PROFITS TO APPLY FOR GRANTS 08/28/19
Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund is seeking funding opportunities in the area.
The Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund offers grants to support programs in local Weyerhaeuser locations. These grants seek to help cultivate promote sustainable communities, and nurture quality of life in Weyerhaeuser communities.
The grants support communities in a number of ways, including: Affordable Housing and Shelter Education and Youth Development Environmental Stewardship Human service, Civic and Cultural Growth
Weyerhaeuser communities range from rural to metropolitan, with unique priorities and needs – these focus areas allow flexibility for a variety of giving across our different communities. Employees across Weyerhaeuser locations establish specific funding priorities for local giving within this giving framework.
The company is encouraging non-profit organizations to review the guidelines and if they feel they qualify, complete the grant request online. They accept request applications throughout the year. All final Grant applications are due by October 1st.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery today announced the launch of a new Razorback-themed lottery ticket. The ticket is the first of its kind in Arkansas. The scratch-off ticket costs $5 and includes three top prizes of $100,000. Players can win varying amounts of money up to 15 times on a single ticket. Tickets will feature either Razorbacks football, basketball or baseball.
“This year marks the 10-year anniversary of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, and partnering with the Arkansas Razorbacks to raise scholarship funds is the perfect way for us to celebrate,” said Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. “There’s no brand more important to the state of Arkansas than the Razorbacks, and we believe this will help raise more funding for scholarships all over the state.”
Since its inception in 2009, the Lottery has provided funding for more than half a million scholarships totaling more than $859 million. At the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville alone, more than $182 million has been awarded for approximately 98,000 scholarships.
“We are excited that thanks to our relationship with the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, students from around the state will have access to valuable educational opportunities,” said Hunter Yurachek, vice chancellor and director of athletics at the University of Arkansas. “As Arkansans we rally behind the Razorbacks. Now, we can use that same passion to make a meaningful investment in the lives of Arkansas students.”
Tickets are now available for purchase at all Lottery retailers. Arkansans must be 18 or older to play. For more information, visit MyArkansasLottery.com/Razorbacks.
TWO ARRESTS MADE IN HEMPSTEAD COUNTY LAST WEEK 08/28/18
HOPE – On August 20, at approximately 8:20 p.m., officers of the Hope Police Department arrested Susana Valdez, 25, of Hope, and charged her with two counts of forgery in the 2nd degree. The arrest occurred in the 500 block of East Hayward Street in Hope, Arkansas. Valdez was transported to the Hempstead County Detention Facility and held for a first appearance.
On August 21, at approximately 1:55 a.m., officers of the Hope Police Department arrested Mario Martinez Jr., 40, of Springfield, Arkansas and charged him with possession of a controlled substance –methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, expired vehicle tags, and driving on a suspended driver license. The arrest occurred in the 1100 block of North Hervey Street, in Hope, Arkansas. Martinez was transported to the Hempstead County Detention Facility and held for a first appearance.
LOCAL BUSINESS OWNER DONATES TO NEW LIBRARY 08/27/19
(Local McDonald's owner, Celia Montgomery on the left pictured with Librarian Courtney McNeil. Photo by HopePresscot News)
A De Queen business owner has made a contribution to a new library in Southwest Arkansas this week. Celia Montgomery is an owner and operator of the local McDonald's store in De Queen and this month she has used her business platform to give back to the community. Montgomery has provided free books and McDonald's Ice cream certificates for local children under age 12 to be given away during the Grand-Opening of the new Hempstead County Library today, August 27th. The library opened at 10 am today and continues the giveaway until 5:00. p.m. The new Hempstead county library is located at 500 South Elm street in Hope and will be open Mondays from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and closed on Saturdays and Sundays. More information can be found by calling (870) 777-4564 or visit https://www.hempcolib.org/
LOCKESBURG RESIDENTS JAILED AFTER DEPUTIES RESPOND TO SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORT 08/27/19
Two Lockesburg residents are facing drug related charges after The Sevier County Sheriff's Department responded to a call Saturday.
A report from the department states that Deputy Greg Harper responded to a residence on Thornton Road in Lockesburg after a call was placed Saturday, August 24th. The reporting party claimed a small maroon or red pick up was involved in “suspicious activity.” Deputy Greg Harper noted observing a maroon Toyota truck at the intersection of HWY 71 and Thornton road. The driver was identified as 45-year-old Jason Sherck and the passenger was 29-year-old Laken Mcwhorter, of Lockesburg.
After running a search on both suspects, it was reportedly discovered that McWhorter had a felony arrest warrant for Forgery in Sevier County. Harper placed McWhorter under arrest and requested to search the vehicle. The report states that Sherck agreed to the search and Harper found drugs and paraphernalia consistent with methamphetamine use. Both McWhorter and Sherck were transported to The Sevier County Jail. Sherck was charged with drug paraphernalia (class D felony) and possession of marijuana, (class A misdemeanor). McWhorter was charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver (class B felony) and drug paraphernalia, (class D felony).
BENEFIT GUN RAFFLE FOR FAMILY OF JONATHAN SMITH 08/27/19
A benefit gun raffle has been announced to help support the family of Jonathan Smith. Smith was a Horatio resident who passed away in a Trucking accident earlier this month and the purpose of the raffle is to raise funds to assist Jonathan's family and assist with funeral expenses.
The gun up for raffle is a Browning .308 lever action riffle with a walnut crack. Tickets can be purchased in De Queen at Napa Auto parts, Southeast Feed, Ligon Oil Company and Baker's Pawn and Gun. In Horatio tickets can be found at Napa Auto Parts, The Horatio Library and The Pitstop.
The drawing will be held at Baker's Pawn and Gun in De Queen with a Facebook live video on Saturday, September 7th. The cost per raffle ticket is $5 each or 5 for $20 dollars and all expenses go towards the Smith family. Call Shay for more information at 870-582-4579.