Sunday, December 8, 2019

Local News

Today's News

SEVIER COUNTY HOSPITAL BOARD MEETING HELD THURSDAY 12/06/19

The Sevier County Hospital Board met Thursday December 5th at the courthouse in De Queen to continue the process of moving forward with the development of the new medical facility. Sales tax revenue for the construction and operation of the new facility will begin to generate on January 1st of 2020 and access to those funds will become available in April.

The board approved the previous meeting minutes before hearing from Michelle Kitchens of ACHI (Association for Community Health Improvement) regarding required guidelines, policies and important regulations the board will need to be informed for insurance purposes and business logistics.

Board President, Dr. Steve Cole reported that the land to be used for the center is being surveyed this week and details regarding the road to the facilities are being discussed with county judge Greg Ray, the road department and the current owners of the property. An additional update on the results of the land survey will be revealed at the January meeting.

Board member Greg Revels reported that he has been working with D and O insurance and will have more information at the next meeting.

The last item discussed included the sewer project for the hospital, which Judge Ray says he and the Mayor are working to collect financial numbers that the board can look at for the projected sewer line total cost.

In a final item of business, The board began a conversation involving WDD&D architectural firm about the preliminary floor plan drawing of the new facility and working out both practical and financial logistics for a medical center designed to serve the county and the needs of both employees and patients who will utilize the facility.

The next meeting will be held January 2nd, 2020 at the Sevier County Courthouse.

A full look at Sevier County Medical Board meeting can be found on the facebook page for KDQN 92.1 FM

https://www.facebook.com/KDQN921/

 

CITY HALL IN DE QUEEN GETS FESTIVE AS LIGHTS GO UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS 12/06/19

 

Christmas lights have been put up around the exterior of city hall in De Queen for the holiday season. The ladies of Southern Girls flowers and gifts put in a team effort to help decorate, along with assistance from employees of the city and fire department. The final touches were completed today, Friday December 6th.

 

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT PUTS OUT GRASS FIRE BEHIND KDQN STUDIOS THURSDAY 12/06/19

The De Queen Fire Department responded to a grass fire at KDQN studios after a controlled burn quickly spread from a neighboring yard on to the radio station property Thursday, December 5th.

Calvin Zackaraias was identified as the renter of the home where the fire began. That  home, located at 915 North 9th street is also owned By KDQN radio station manager, Mr. Jay Bunyard. The occupants of the house reportedly began a small fire of trash and tree branches that got out of control and spread to the grass field behind KDQN studios next door.

The fire department arrived on the scene by 3:53 p.m., just 4 minutes after being dispatched by an all-call alarm.

A total of 15 firefighters and three trucks responded to the extinguish the fire by using foam and water. No injuries nor damage to any structures were reported as a result of the fire.

The department left the scene by 3:42 p.m.

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES PARDONS 12/06/19

Wednesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his intent to grant 11 pardons and one firearm rights only. An additional 41 clemency requests were denied and five had no action taken upon them. These include requests from both inmates and non-inmates.

The applicants intended for pardons have completed all jail time, fulfilled all parole and probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. There is a 30-day waiting period to receive public feedback on the notices before final action is taken.

A local pardon includes that of:

Anthony W. Ebert (Broken Bow, OK): Possession of Meth, 2 counts (C Felony) (CR 97-7).

This notice is issued based on the date of conviction (1998 – Little River County), all terms of the applicant’s sentence have been completed and there have been no further criminal-law violations. There are no law enforcement objections to the application.

 

Previously Reported

MAN AND WOMAN FACING DRUG AND GOVERNMENT OBSTRUCTION CHARGES 12/05/19

Two people were charged for possession of drug paraphernalia and obstructing government operations after authorities conducted a traffic stop in De Queen late last month.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that officer King pulled over a vehicle on November 30th for not properly using a turn signal. The driver of the car reportedly claimed her name was Julie McMellon and the passenger was Juan Carlos Flores.

The report states that Julie was driving because Flores had been drinking. When officer King searched for the woman’s name in the system, no information could be found matching the date of birth and last name given.

Julie later admitted to giving a false name due to having warrants out for her arrest, as her true identity was Julie Wells.

She was detained in officer King’s patrol unit and Flores reportedly consented to a search of the car.

During the search a white crystal substance believed to be methamphettamine was found inside a straw, along with a clear glass pipe and a clear plastic bag with more of the substance. Both Flores and Wells claimed the items did not belong to them.

The two were taken to the Sevier county jail, there they were charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia and a misdemeanor for obstructing government operations.

LOCAL COLLEGE TO OFFER STUDENT MEAL PLANS IN SPRING SEMESTER 12/05/19

UA Cossatot will continue to offer meal plan options for students during the spring 2020 semester. By completing a Colt Bucks form, UA Cossatot students will be able to set up meal plan options through the UA Cossatot Campus Café.

The University of Arkansas Cossatot has two Campus Cafés that are located on the De Queen and Nashville Campuses. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday 7:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. for the spring 2020 semester.

Students who purchase a meal plan will receive a UA Cossatot Colt Bucks card. The Colt Bucks card can contain four different meal plan options.

The Gold Plan is $300, the Silver Plan is $200, and the Bronze Plan is $100. Students can also add a custom amount to fit their needs.

Students can purchase a Colt Bucks meal plan at any time. If students wish to use financial aid for a meal plan, they must complete a Colt Bucks form by January 28, 2020. Forms are available in the Business Office on the De Queen Campus and at the front desk in the Atrium at the Nashville Campus.

Students who purchase a meal plan for the spring semester are also able to use that meal plan amount in the summer of 2020 until the 2019-2020 academic year is completed on July 31, 2020.

For questions or concerns regarding UA Cossatot meals plans, please contact UA Cossatot at 870-584-1113 or 970-584-1215 or e-mail askbusinessoffice@cccua.edu.

To sign up for classes next semester, please contact Student Services at 870-584-4471

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL REPORT 12/05/19

The Lockesburg City council addressed several updates and announcements during the November meeting held at city hall last month.

Lockesburg Mayor, Danny Ruth informed the council about repairs completed on the city’s boom hog used for maintenance and announced additional repairs needed to be made on one of the city’s wells. As far as updates go Mayor Ruth also revealed that two new residential water meters and one commercial water meter had recently been installed.

More updates in the city are on the way as well, as the council discussed the need for replacing the restroom doors at the concession stand in Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park.

New Businesses are in the works for Lockesburg as well. The council approved building permits for Tanya Lansdell of Lansdell family clinic. The clinic will be located at 101 West Main Street in Lockesburg.

A building permit was also granted for Mark Crawford to build a shop at 145 Park Avenue.

The council then approved a Resolution Of The City of Lockesburg Levying Milage Rates On Taxable Property Within city limits, by title only before going into executive session.

After the session concluded, the council approved the hire of Mr. Matt Webb as the new waste water superintendent for the city of Lockesburg.

Logistics for the city Christmas parade were addressed during the meeting as well. The Lockesburg Christmas parade is set for Saturday December 7th at 4:00 p.m. The parade will feature four categories of floats and everyone in the community is welcome to participate.

Before adjourning, the council approved the previous meeting’s minutes and financial statements.

The next Lockesburg City Council meeting has been scheduled for December 10th at 6:30 p.m. in city Hall.

ASHDOWN SCHOOLS ALL-STAR READERS 12/05/19

November All-Star Readers 3rd Grade-Daegon Ford 4th Grade-Adalie Aylett 5th Grade-Erin Crow.

TEXARKANA MAN FOUND STEALING TELEVISIONS GIVEN PROBATION 12/05/19

A man who was found stealing televisions from hotels in the Texarkana area has been sentenced to probation for the offenses.

James Jerell Robinson, age 25, was arrested October 22nd after authorities pulled over a silver Volkswagon being driven by Robinson, and discovered two TV sets in the back seat and later found three more in the trunk.

Robinson plead guilty to theft, three counts of burglary of a building and three counts of bribery. Monday he was sentenced to a five-year deferred adjudication probation by 202nd District Judge John Tidwell after Tidwell confirmed that Robinson has never been before convicted of a felony. If Robinson successfully completes probation, he will not have a felony conviction on his record.

Tidwell ordered Robinson to complete an in-patient treatment program, an employment program and other classes while on probation. Tidwell ordered a $2,500 fine and court costs and ordered Robinson to complete 240 hours of community service.

Robinson was represented at the hearing by Assistant Public Defender Clayton Haas.

 

 

DRINKING AND DRIVING LANDS MAN IN SEVIER COUNTY JAIL 12/04/19

A man was detained in the Sevier County Jail after authorities conducted a traffic stop in De Queen last week.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that Officer King observed a white Toyota swerving while traveling West down Colin Raye Drive on Thursday, November 28th. 

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Gustavo Bahena Ortiz. Officer King noted Ortiz to have bloodshot eyes and smelled the odor of intoxicants coming from inside the car. Ortiz did not have a driver’s license but was able to provide valid insurance. When asked how much he’d had to drink, Ortiz allegedly claimed he’d consumed two alcoholic beverages.

Deputy Alvarado assisted authorities in communication with Ortiz and it was later reported that the driver admitted to consuming at least five alcoholic drinks. A field sobriety test was administered and the result showed Ortiz to have a .089 blood alcohol content level. Ortiz was transported to the Sevier County Jail in De Queen and charged with a misdemeanor for drinking on the highway. 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL PASSES 2020 BUDGET 12/04/19

The De Queen City Council passed the 2020 budget at the meeting Tuesday night, December 3rd at city hall.

The 2020 budget was the only item on the agenda for the evening and just one minor adjustment was made to the financial allocation list before passing the final version. The police department portion of the budget was listed incorrectly as showing training costs to be $4,500 when the correct number was $12,000. City clerk Donna Jones corrected the issue before attorney Erin Hunter read the ordinance and the council approved the final budget as presented.

The total budget for all De Queen City administration and associated departments for the year 2020 is $8, 813,761.

A break down of all department budgets has been listed in the November 2019 KDQN council meeting report. This information is available online at KDQN.net

PESTICIDE APPLICATOR TRAINING DECEMBER 10TH 

*Rex Herring of The UA Extension office has announced there is incorrect information circulating regarding the pesticide applicator training class scheduled for this month.
There is no class offered this week, however the training will take place Tuesday, December 10th at 2:00 p.m. OR 5:00 p.m. For questions, contact Rex Herring at 870-584-3013.*

CHRISTMAS ON MAIN IN HORATIO THIS SATURDAY 12/04/19

Christmas on main in Horatio is taking place this Saturday, December 7th from 10am-3pm.

Vendors will begin setting up by 9:00am and Christmas on main begins at 10:00am. The Christmas cookie contest starts at 11:00am and a pulled pork sand which fundraiser will be held from 11:00am to 2:00pm at Horatio City Hall. All proceeds from the fundraiser are going to benefit the Horatio museum.

Santa will also be at the pit stop for pictures beginning at 11:00 and free bags for kids will be given out, plus .99 cent hot dogs will be available as well. The cookie contest judging starts at noon and the winners will be announced by 1:00. The parade will kick off at 2:00

There is no cost to enter in the parade and everyone is welcome to participate.

 

 

DOMESTIC BATTERY CASE REPORTED IN DE QUEEN 12/03/19

A local Man is facing a battery charge after police responded to a call in De Queen last week.

A report released by The De Queen Police Department states that Officer Barnes and Officer Elizondo were dispatched to a home on North Cleveland Wednesday November 27th in reference to a domestic dispute.

The officers took a statement outside the home from a woman who said her son had hit her. Police entered the house and found a man identified as David Gonzalez San Juan to be “rambling” and “not making sense.”

The man was taken into custody by authorities and the police then collected statements from family members.

Officers noted finding redness on the victim’s face and knots on her head. Another family member was found to have markings on her lips and scratches on her hands. David was transported to The Sevier County Jail and charged with 3rd degree domestic battery.

As of Tuesday December 3rd jail staff reported David was still incarcerated at the jail, located in De Queen.

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD DECEMBER MEETING HELD MONDAY 12/03/19

A brief De Queen School Board meeting was held Monday, December 2nd at the district administration building and a short list of agenda items were discussed.

The previous meetings minutes, bills and financial statements were all approved during the meeting.

Mr. Micheal Dobbs of First Security Beardsley addressed the board to discuss an option to do a 2nd lien bond, which would provide funds to be used for more updates and improvements to be made to properties around the district. The board voted to submit an “application for a permit to issue bonds” with related documents for $3,540,00 in construction bonds to the state department of education. The board also agreed to employ First Security Beardsley as fiscal agent as well authorizing Superintendent Sanders to accept or reject the best bid submitted in connection with the public sale of the proposed bonds.

Amendments to the district drug testing policies were accepted before Mr. Jason Sanders delivered the Superintendent report.

During the report, Sanders announced grades for the district have been released.

Primary/Elementary: “B”

Middle/Jr. High: “A”

High School: “C”

Principals have submitted plans to Sanders regarding plans for what to work on in the future. Sanders also reported that the schools voted on “leopard pride” and “Once a Leopard always a leopard” as the official slogans for the De Queen Schools.

Before adjourning, an executive session was held and the resignation of Katelyn Norris, Special Ed Para was accepted. The next meeting has been set for Monday January 13th 2020, at 5:30 p.m. in the District admin building.

 

PILGRIM’S PRIDE PLANT PROMOTES COMMUNITY SERVICE IN DE QUEEN 12/03/19

De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown and Sevier County Judge Greg Ray stopped by KDQN studios Tuesday morning, December 3rd to give a public ‘shout out’ to Pilgrim’s Pride Chicken Plant in De Queen for their community service efforts last month.

The week before Thanksgiving, Pilgrim’s Pride Plant in De Queen Shut down for upgrades at the facility to made. The plant managers arranged for employees to receive pay upon completion of trash pick up and other acts of service around De Queen and Sevier County.

This act allowed employees to not have to go a week without pay leading up to the holiday, and it also provided some needed clean-up efforts to remove litter around town. Employees also painted guardrails and hung Christmas lights at the county courthouse as well.

Mayor Brown emphasized the importance of cleanliness and pride in the town as outside visitors travel through De Queen and Sevier County during the holiday season.Both Brown and Ray would like to express many thanks to the folks at Pilgrim’s for their dedication to the community and the people who reside here locally.

LIBRARY SNIPPETS BY: JOHNYE FISHER 12/03/19

Merry Christmas from the ladies at the De Queen Library we hope all have safe travels and journeys.

Thank you to the community for having such giving hearts. The food for fines and Mr. Rogers Sweater Drive was a great success once again. We collected so many items to be distributed locally for the community we haven’t had time to count them. We collected 147lbs all together for food for fines.

We will be having a story time with Tammy Smith of the De Queen School System on December 4th at 4 pm. The book will be read aloud while she uses American Sign Language to convey the story to the children.

The De Queen Library will kick off its 10th annual Christmas program with the 5th annual Cocoa and story with Mrs. Claus Saturday December 14th at 10 am. There will be lots of fun, songs stories and goodies for the first 30 Children.

Don’t forget those Domino games going on Wednesdays at 10am.You can contact us by calling 870-584-4364 or visiting our Facebook page www.facebook.com/seviercountylibrary

Tis the season to be jolly.   Speaking of Jolly we have some exciting news.   Photographers Don House and Sabine Schmidt has included the Horatio Library in their Remote Access project.  Horatio was one of the 25 library’s chosen out of the 235 public library’s in Arkansas.  The project highlights the small libraries across the state and the people who rely on them.   They will be visiting the library on Saturday, December 7th from 8:30 til 12:30.  House states ” I’m interested in the people, their personality, what they’re wearing, what they’re carrying, why they are there.   There is no posing, no pre-conceived notions.   When I’m done, if I’ve been successful, I have opened a window on the community, the people who make it what it is.”    The collection of photo’s will be put in a book and be a part of a traveling exhibition.   No cost of any kind is involved.  As a thank you for participation each person will receive a complimentary copy of their photo.  Mrs. Amy received a letter from Santa and Mrs. Claus last Friday saying they will be stopping by the library on December, 21.   There will be a story time at 10 a.m. and first 30 kids will receive a stocking full of goodies. Boys and Girls make sure you are on your best behavior because Santa will want to know.  We look forward to seeing you here.   We hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

At the Lockesburg Library there will be a book club discussion of December’s selection “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn”, by Betty Smith at 10:00 Saturday, Dec. 14. January’s book club selection will be available to pick up at this meeting.

A Come and Go Open House is planned Saturday, December 21 from 10:00 until 11:30. Stop by to help complete our new StickTogether winter poster and for refreshments at the Lockesburg Library.

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

The Gillham Library will have their regular Story Time and Craft Day Saturday in December check our facebook page for details.  New on the shelf : Mystery of Julia Episcopa by John Rigoli the Vatican Chronicles Book 1 and Noel Street   by Richard Paul Evans. We have another donation of Diane Palmer books, which are for sale.Open Tuesday and Saturday 9-5 Closed 12 to 1:00 for lunch. For more information, you can contact Susie at the Gillham Library at 870-386-5665 or you can visit their Facebook   page at www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary

 

TWO MEN REPORTED TO BE IMPERSONATING POLICE OFFICERS IN SEVIER COUNTY MONDAY MORNING 12/02/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department has reported that an incident involving two white males impersonating police officers occurred early Monday morning.

A report released by the department states that deputies were dispatched to a residence on Sycamore road at 12:44 a.m. Monday December 2nd to asses a report involving a person who was pulled over by someone who turned out to not be an active member of law enforcement.

The victim of the incident reported being stopped on Highway 24 East by a Black Dodge Charger with a blue dome light on the dash. The person who approached the pulled over vehicle was a white male who gave the name “Johnson” but did not provide which department he worked for. A second white male with a dog then approached the truck and the two claimed the vehicle was stolen and stated that they were going to search the truck.

The victim then reported realizing the men were not officers of the law and drove away from the scene. The men in the charger then followed the victim until his vehicle broke down at the intersection of Beacon Hill and Lone Oak Road and allegedly attacked the victim. After a brief fight the two men got back in the charger and fled the scene. The incident is currently under investigation and a BOLO advisory (Be On The Look Out) has been issued to all area law enforcement agencies.

The description of the two males includes:

  1. White male, estimated 5’10, in height, age: mid-late 20’s with no facial hair, hair color black or brown and last seen wearing a blue button up shirt with blue jeans.
  2. White male, estimated 5’10 in height, age: mid-late 20’s with facial hair, last seen wearing Blue Jeans and a black shirt.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department does not have any unmarked black dodge chargers nor do they use blue dome lights in  any of their vehicles. All department units are white with the exception of one black charger which is marked but not used on patrol.

Anyone who has any information relating to the incident is asked to call The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department at 870-642-2125.

FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS TO INCIDENTS AT NEIGHBORING PROPERTIES IN SAME WEEK 12/02/19

The De Queen Fire Department responded to two fires at houses next door to each other within one week late last month.

The first report states that firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 522 West Gilson avenue on Friday, November 22nd at 8:11 p.m. Members of the department worked the incident, arriving on the scene within one minute of being dispatched. Three trucks and 19 total firefighters responded to the all-call alarm and extinguished the blaze with water.

The owner of the home was found to be Maria Hernandez. No smoke detectors were  found in the home and no injuries were listed in the report. Firefighters left the scene by 10:32 p.m.

Four days later on Tuesday, November 26th the department was dispatched to a tree fire at 518 West Gilson street, next door to where the house fire occurred.

Nine firefighters responded to the all-call alarm and arrived on scene by 10:53 p.m. Foam and water were used to put out the flames and no injuries were reported. The department left the scene by 11:25 p.m.

 

SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGING NOW THROUGH CHRISTMAS EVE 11/29/19

The Salvation Army is raising money to help families in need during the holiday season through bell ringing at Wal-Mart in De Queen.  Friday November 29th St. Barbara’s Catholic Church staff kicked off the fundraising effort to help local families. The church is very active and often involve in community events. Local residents are asked to donate change on their way in or out of the store when shopping.

Saturday, November 30th Williamson Community Church volunteered to ring the Salvation Army Bell all day and will be filling in several vacancies throughout the month of December. Williamson Church is also very involved in the community and hosts many youth events.

100% of the money donated stays in the local community to help area families.

 

AGFC WATERFOWL REPORTS IN FOR SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 12/02/19

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff conducted the November 2019 aerial waterfowl survey report  on November 19th in southwest Arkansas. A report from the AGFC states that the southwest Arkansas total duck count was 17,193, including more than 8,000 mallards.

The trend of slightly lower total ducks on average and about normal in mallards was also found in the River Valley observations, with the highest mallard and total duck estimates in the Frog Bayou survey zone. About half the ducks observed in southwest Arkansas were mallards, and observers noted most ducks along the Red River habitat corridor.

“Anecdotally, unmanaged habitat appeared to be high (in duck numbers) during the 7-10 days before surveys began and following extreme cold temperatures and obvious migration events,” Luke Naylor, the AGFC waterfowl program coordinator, said. ” Duck numbers reflect this habitat availability: estimates were high in the north Delta while noticeably low south of a line that roughly corresponds with U.S. Highway 64, including regions that are historic strongholds for ducks and duck habitat.”

AGFC survey observers were J.J. Abernathy, Jason Carbaugh, Jason Jackson, Cameron Tatom and Alex Zachary. Staff will conduct the next aerial waterfowl survey the week of Dec. 16.

 

FUGITIVE EXTRADITED FROM CANADA TO FACE CHARGES IN POLK COUNTY 12/02/19

Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer announced that Chad Voelkel is back in the Polk County Detention Center. Voelkel was extradited from Canada and flown to the Bentonville, Arkansas airport Friday by the US Marshal’s Service. According to a  report by KENA, The Polk County Sheriff’s Office took custody Voelkel. He will await trial in the Polk County Detention Center on Rape and Failure to Appear.

Voelkel was arrested for Rape on January 3rd, 2019. While out on bond he failed to appear for his jury trial last May, a warrant was issued for Failure to Appear.

Voelkel fled the Arkansas with his wife, Stephanie Voelkel, and four of his minor children. She had a warrant was issued for Permitting Abuse of a Minor.

The Voelkels fled over 1,200 miles to Canada and were eventually in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada. Their 4 children were turned over to the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Stephanie Voelkel has not yet returned to Arkansas and is still in Canadian custody awaiting extradition to face charges of Permitting the Abuse of a Minor.

Sheriff Scott Sawyer thanked his Deputies and the US Marshal’s Service for their hard work. “Without the involvement of the US Marshal’s Service, we might still be looking for them”. Sheriff Sawyer also wanted to thank US Attorney Dak Kees, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Border Services, the Arkansas Department of Human Services, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for their assistance. “This was a team effort. Everyone involved was focused on finding the Voelkel children and making sure that Chad and Stephanie Voelkel were brought back to face justice.”

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARKANSAS DEER SEASON UPDATES FROM AGFC 11/29/19

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

CLICK IT OR TICKET CAMPAIGN REMINDER 11/27/19
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Arkansas law enforcement officers from local, county and state departments are teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a high-visibility Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign began Monday, November 25th and continues through Sunday, December 1st. The goal is to reduce the number of fatalities that occur when drivers and passengers fail to buckle up. If you’re spotted not buckled up by Arkansas State Troopers or other law enforcement officers, you risk getting a ticket. The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by making sure all Arkansas drivers and passengers get the message to wear their seat belts. The campaign combines powerful messages about seat belt safety with stepped-up patrols by law enforcement officers, many of them working exclusively to identify seat belt law violators. In addition to patrolling all U.S. and state two-lane highways, Arkansas State Troopers will participate in an intensified enforcement operation along Interstate 40 during the most heavily traveled hours of the Thanksgiving holiday from 10 AM to 10 PM on Wednesday, November 27th and Sunday, December 1st.

MILLER COUNTY ELEMENTARY STUDENT FACING FELONY CHARGES 11/27/19
An Elementary Student is Facing Multiple Felony Charges after Allegedly Making Threats While Holding a Knife at Fouke Elementary.
On Wednesday November 20th, 2019 at approximately 3:40 p.m., Miller County Deputies were dispatched to Fouke Elementary School in reference to a juvenile student making threats while displaying a knife.
According to a police press release, upon arrival deputies were advised the juvenile student was detained by school staff and the weapon had been secured. Miller County Deputies and the Fouke School Resource Officer made contact with the Juvenile. The Juvenile, a 10 year old male was taken into custody on charges of Aggravated Assault and Battery 2nd Degree, all Felony Charges. No injuries associated with the knife were sustained during this incident. The preliminary investigation revealed that after becoming involved in an altercation with family, the Juvenile produced a knife and threatened school staff before throwing the knife. At that time the juvenile was detained by staff until the Fouke School Resource Officer and MCSO Deputies arrived.
While the Fouke School Resource Officer has primary jurisdiction on the campus, the Miller County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division has assumed responsibility for the investigation.
The juvenile student was transported to the Juvenile Detention Center where he was booked without further incident. The investigation is ongoing.

ARKANSAS AG JOINS NATIONAL LAWSUIT 11/27/19

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

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

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

 

 

LOCKESBURG CHRISTMAS PARADE DECEMBER 7TH 11/26/19

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

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

For information call 870-289-3261.

SEVIER COUNTY HOLIDAY SHOPPING CONTEST 11/26/19

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

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

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

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

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

DIERKS CHRISTMAS PARADE SET FOR DECEMBER 16TH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

DEANN VAUGHT THANKSGIVING REPORT 11/25/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DE QUEEN BIOLOGY STUDENTS BUILD ECOSYSTEMS 11/25/19

 

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

 

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 11/21/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Boil Water Order was due to a main break.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

(full story on AGFC.com)

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS NEW IDENTIFICATION REGULATIONS 11/18/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

LOCAL COLLEGE PROGRAM GRANTED ACCREDITATION 11/18/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ARKANSAS TOURISM WINS NATIONAL AWARD 11/15/19

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

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

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

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

 

 

INNOVATION IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING AWARD  11/14/19

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

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

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

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

 REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT RECEIVES LEADERSHIP AWARD 11/14/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MAN JAILED AFTER TRAFFIC STOP SATURDAY 11/14/19

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The meeting will be open to the public.

DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD MEETING HELD MONDAY 11/13/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOREMAN WORKING TO OBTAIN NEW FACILITIES 11/11/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Board approved routine reports.

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

HORATIO LIBRARY CHOSEN FOR PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT 11/12/19

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on the project and the photographers.

 

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

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

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

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

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS LEGISLATION SUPPORTING VETERANS 11/11/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The winners this year’s gun raffle include:

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

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

SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY NOVEMBER ANNOUNCEMENTS 11/11/19

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

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

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

 

AG RUTLEDGE EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR VETERANS 11/11/19

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The event will be held:

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

Skilled Trades Bldg. – Weyerhaeuser Room

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

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

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

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY UPDATES 11/08/19

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Scores in reading and math show similar achievement gaps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 11/07/19

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DRUG RELATED ARRESTS MADE IN DIERKS 11/06/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charles French was pronounced dead at the scene this morning.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUILT SHOW THIS WEEKEND IN LOCKESBURG 10/15/19

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

UA COSSATOT RECOGNIZES FIRST GENERATION STUDENTS 11/06/19

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

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

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

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

ASHDOWN SCHOOLS RECOGNIZED BY OEP 11/06/19

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

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

Ashdown High School received the following awards:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEVIER COUNTY SENIOR CENTER SEEKING DONATIONS 11/05/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

QUORUM COURT BUDGET COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS 11/05/19

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

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

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

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

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

Call 584-3435 for additional information.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

HARVEST FESTIVAL APPROACHING 11/01/19

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

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

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

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

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

Call 870-279-0942.

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

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

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

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

To complete this online survey, click here.

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

ltaylor@cccua.edu or 870-584-1184.


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

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

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

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

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

 

DE QUEEN MIDDLE SCHOOL EARNS RECOGNITION 10/30/19

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

DEQUEEN MIDDLE received the following awards:

High Overall Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

High Math Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

LIBRARY SNIPPETS FOR NOVEMBER 10/30/19

BY: JOHNYE FISHER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PESTICIDE APPLICATOR TRAINING OFFERED IN ASHDOWN      10/30/19

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

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

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

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

Sunday, November 03

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

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

Saturday, November 09

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Legacy Room.

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

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

 Sunday, November 10

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

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

Saturday, November 16

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

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

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

Meeting Place: Sandbar Picnic Area.

 Sunday, November 17

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

Meeting Place: Cossatot Falls Parking Lot.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 Saturday, November 23

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center’s Amphitheatre.

 Sunday, November 24

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

Saturday, November 30

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

Meeting Place: Visitor Center.

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

 

 

 

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 10/24

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Jimna Stinnett, of The De Queen Abstract Company

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

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

 

FATAL CRASH REPORTED IN LOCKESBURG TODAY 10/28/19

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

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

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

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

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

The family of the deceased have been notified.

 

WESTERMAN WEEKLY 10/17

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

AJHS received the following awards:

High Overall Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

High Math Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

High ELA Growth: Middle Level (Southwest Region)

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Buying from local producers and processors creates new jobs.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

ASHDOWN TEACHERS AWARDED GRANTS 10/25/19

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

DIERKS TRUNK OR TREAT EVENT THURSDAY 10/25/19

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

WANTED CRIMINAL IN MENA ARRESTED TUESDAY 10/24/19

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

 

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

ASHDOWN SCHOOLS SPECIALLY CALLED MEETING 10/24/19

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

 

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

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

No injuries reported and a suspect is in custody.

Arkansas State Police are investigating the incident at this time.

More details will be released as information becomes available.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more at Facebook.com/TheStateFairofLouisiana

 

UAHT ALUM OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED 10/23/19

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

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

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

 

CAR TRUCK AND MOTORCYCLE SHOW SATURDAY 10/23/19

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

 

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

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

 

ARKANSAS AG JOINS INVESTIGATION INTO FACEBOOK 10/23/19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 
 
 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HARVEST FESTIVAL IN HORATIO NOVEMBER 9TH

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call 870-279-0942.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

FREE COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIRS IN OCTOBER 10/18/19

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

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

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

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

 

AGFC OFFERING CWD DEER TESTING SITES 10/18/19

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

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

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

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

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

Drop-Off Containers:

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Services include:

-Ultrasounds

-Flu Shots

-EKGs

-Women’s exams

-DOT physicals

-splints/castings

-Xrays

-Cryo and IV therapy

-Pulmonary tests

-and more

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Once the recommendations are submitted the appointment process will begin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ashdown High School Drama presents The Little Mermaid!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

The band is assisted by Tim Avery and Nick Palmissano.

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION UPDATES 10/15/19

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

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

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

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

The board approved routine reports and financial statements.

 

QUILT SHOW ANNOUNCED IN LOCKESBURG 10/15/19

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

The families of the deceased have been notified.

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tessa Dean, Southwest Chapter ambassador, can be reached at swarkansas@ainsleysangels.org and more information about Ainsely’s Angels can be found online at ainselysangels.org

 

 

 

ARKANSAS AG FILES LAWSUITS AGAINST E-CIG COMPANIES 10/14/19

Last week, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge pursued legal action against three online e-cigarette retailers for violating State laws. By selling and shipping nicotine products and devices, including e-cigarettes, to Arkansas children without age verification, the companies are in violation of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (ADTPA).

Those lawsuits were filed against Utah-based BuyVapor.com, Arizona-based The Vape Co. and Minnesota-based Mystic Juice USA, LLC. While all three companies sold and shipped vape products to customers in Arkansas and failed to confirm the consumers’ ages, which are violations of state law, Mystic Juice also utilized eBay.com to avoid the legal-minimum-age-to-purchase requirements and used deception to bypass eBay’s own policy of not selling tobacco products on its platform. Rutledge sent a letter to eBay earlier this week demanding the removal of all electronic nicotine devices and products from its website.

Each ADTPA violation is subject to a fine up to $10,000 per occurrence. To report online retailers in violation of ADTPA or learn more about the dangers of youth vaping, visit ArkansasAG.gov.

 

DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS BULLYING LEGISLATION FOR ARKANSAS 10/14/19

A 2017 study titled “Indicators of School Crime and Safety,” published by the United States Department of Justice and the United States Department of Education, reported that 20% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the previous school year.

The same study also reported that about 33% of students who reported being bullied at school indicated that they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the school year.

The persistence of school bullying has led to instances of student suicide across the country, including Arkansas.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Bullying is when someone hurts or scares another person repeatedly. It can include name calling, inflicting physical pain, exclusion, public humiliation, hurtful pranks and defacing property.

The Arkansas legislature began passing anti-bullying legislation in 2003. This year we strengthened those laws in an effort to reduce the instances of bullying in our schools.

In 2019, the General Assembly passed Act 1029, an Act to Amend the State Anti-Bullying Policy.

It requires parents of the victim of bullying be notified as soon as reasonably practicable. It requires schools to investigate and write a report on the complaint within 5 school days. The act also requires the school notify the parent or legal guardian of the student who is determined to have been the perpetrator of the incident of bullying.

In addition, it requires the superintendent to annually update the school board on the number of incidents of bullying reported and the actions taken.

Act 1029 states the Department of Education shall require 2 hours of professional development for licensed public school personnel in bullying prevention and recognition of the relationship between incidents of bullying and the risk of suicide.

This General Assembly also passed Act 190 which requires school counselors to spend at least 90% of his or her working time providing direct and indirect services to students.

The legislature will continue to study the issue of bullying but there are things we can all do.

Help children understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure they know how to get help.

And finally we can all model how to treat others with kindness and respect.

SHOOTING REPORTED IN LOCKESBURG 10/11/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department has reported a shooting occured in Lockesburg during the early morning hours of Friday October 11th. Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle says the incident is currently being worked as a self defense case. More information will be released as details become available.

 

 

TOUR DE QUEEN BIKE RIDE IN DE QUEEN COMING NOVEMBER 2ND 10/10/19

The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce has announced today, Thursday October 10th is the deadline for inclusion in sponsor advertising for the 2019 Tour De Queen. Forms can be obtained and submitted at the Chamber office in Downtown De Queen. Suzanne Babb would like to thank members have sent in sponsorships and volunteered to help with the event. Thanks to the sponsors, the Tour De Queen will now offer event t-shirts, a children’s trike ride around the Courthouse Square, vendor booths, and events that the whole family can enjoy.

The Tour De Queen is set for November 2nd and will offer five routes of different lengths, including a new 38-mile gravel and paved combination. Riders of all levels will experience a scenic trek through the countryside or up by the lake.

Routes include a 15-mile, 25-mile, 36-mile, 38-mile, and 47-mile ride. Families and children are welcome and the youngest riders can bring their tricycles and ride in the Pop-cycle Trike Ride around the courthouse square (with a cool treat at the end)!

For more information, contact the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce at dqchamber@gmail.com .

 

TEXARKANA DOCTOR ARRESTED IN DRUG CASE BY FEDERAL AGENTS, DEA AND FBI 10/10/19

Federal agents with the DEA and FBI raided Primary Care Specialists in Texarkana, Arkansas on Tuesday and arrested Dr. Lonnie Parker. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Dr. Parker on nine counts of Prescribing Without a Legitimate Medical Purpose Outside the Scope of a Professional Practice. He is alleged to have over-prescribed several controlled
substances, according to a complaint that described a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient.
According to the Indictment, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Little Rock District Office (LRDO), Tactical Diversion and
Diversion Groups initiated an investigation into Dr. Parker of Texarkana, Arkansas in 2018. The investigation revealed Dr. Parker
was an over-prescribing controlled substances; include opiates, benzodiazepines, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup. In the two-year period analyzed, Dr. Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opiates, to around 1,500 patients. Dr. Parker also prescribed 16 gallons of Promethazine cough syrup to 29 patients during the same time period.

U.S. Senator John Boozman released a statement concerning the arrest, stating that the work of the U.S. Attorney and authorities to identify and now act to hold over-prescribers responsible sends a clear message as to their intention to
crack down on this behavior in order to end the plague of opioid addiction in Arkansas.

 

YOUTH FISHING DERBY IN COLUMBUS ARKANSAS THIS SATURDAY 10/10/19

Youth Fishing Derbies for youth 15 and younger have been announced for this weekend at The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831.
Saturday, October 12th, 2019 from 9:00 through 11:30 a.m.

All children ages 15 and under are welcome to participate in these derbies.
– Bring your pole and some bait, and fish for catfish in the education pond.
-A limited supply of poles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
-Only one pole per participant please.
– Prizes will be given for the largest and smallest catfish caught.
-This is a free program.
For more information about this or any other program, please contact AGFC.

 

LOW COST SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC NEAR FOREMAN NOVEMBER 5TH-7TH 10/10/19

Friends Furrever Animal Rescue will be holding their last low cost spay and
neuter clinic of 2019.

The clinic is scheduled for November 5th , 6th and 7th at Miller Community Church
just North of Foreman, Arkansas.
Services for cats will cost $40 and two prices are set for dogs.Dogs under 65lbs are $65 and dogs over 65lbs will be $75
The cost of the rabies Vaccine is also included in the price.

It is not required that participants be a Little River County resident to obtain services and animal rescues are welcome.
Please call 903-280-2341 to make an appointment in advance.

 

SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENTS VOTE YES FOR NEW HOSPITAL FACILITY 10/08/19

After nearly half a year without a hospital inside the Sevier County line, local leaders of the South Arkansas community rejoiced in handshakes, hugs and smiles at the courthouse in De Queen Tuesday night, October 8th.

As the results of the specially called election quickly rolled in to the eager hands of local media and anxious citizens, a pattern developed with each sheet of new paper laid across the table. That pattern was success. Success for the elected officials and local organizers, who planned, prepared, prayed and persisted in educating residents about the process required to secure a new and improved hospital for Sevier County after The De Queen Medical Center closed in May, 2019.

For nearly a year, a series of town hall meetings, community forums, press conferences, news articles, television, radio and newspaper coverage have circulated far and wide with questions and commentary surrounding the shaky emergency services situation in De Queen. In the fall of 2018, lay offs, missed paychecks, delinquent notices, bankruptcy and similar downfalls all factored into the eventual demise of The De Queen Medical Center, despite relentless efforts to regain local control and release the center from the hands of Corporate owner Jorge Perez. Though the old hospital closed, teams of determined residents have worked diligently to put a plan for a new emergency facility into action, as the local quorum court agreed to put the question of funding to the voters of Sevier County.

The 1% “sunset” tax and bond secure the required funding for construction, operation and maintenance of a new hospital facility to be built 4 miles north of De Queen, at an estimated cost of $24,250,000. The results gathered from 17 total precincts show the tax passed with 83.81% of the vote in favor, and 16.19% against.The bond numbers proved similar as 84.20% of the votes were for, 15.80 votes were against. A total of 1,906 ballots were cast in the specially called election and the results are set to be certified Monday, October 14th at the county courthouse.

Sevier County Judge, Greg Ray has been working closely on the project of bringing a hospital back to the county since bad news first began surrounding the local medical center. After speaking with local leaders, politicians and working alongside legal counsel, the judge still credits the people of Sevier County for making the new hospital possible. Leading up to the election, many area residents utilized local radio as a way to relay their support for the new facility, including representative Dee Ann Vaught, Sevier County Economic Development Director Lisa Taylor, De Queen Schools Superintendent Jason Sanders and several other prominent figures in the community. The judge says it wasn’t just one voice responsible for the success, as he states so many local residents worked together to achieve one goal of healthcare in Sevier County.

**

Many local parents shared stories of children who require emergency services due to medical conditions that can pose life-threatening situations. Council member Jeff Holcombe announced on KDQN that the distance could be a factor in saving his son’s life. Without a local hospital, the nearest emergency room from varying locations in Sevier County would be as far as 32, 45 or even a one-hour ambulance ride away to Nashville, Mena or Texarkana, which could be the difference between life and death.

Though the issue and bond passing is considered a victory for many, Mayor Jeff Brown notes that the work has just begun as now planning for the construction phase will involve input from him and The De Queen City Council.

**

The New Sevier County Hospital is projected to open in the Summer of 2021. Updates on the construction will be announced on throughout the development process. Keep listening to KDQN for information and announcements.

 

KDQN NOW FEATURING MORE WIDESPREAD COVERAGE 10/09/19

The signal for KDQN 92.1 has now increased, providing a more clear sound in fringe areas and widespread coverage to reach new listening locations in Southwest Arkansas.

The change in coverage has been made possible by changing to a new auxiliary transmitter allowing for reliable signal strength up to 75 miles out in each direction.

Online listening remains available through KDQN.net as well.

 

HORATIO CITY COUNCIL TALKS FESTIVAL, POSSIBLE PURCHASE OF LAND AT OCTOBER MEETING 10/09/19

A variety of agenda items were addressed during the regularly scheduled Horatio City Council meeting Monday night at city hall.

The meeting opened with local resident Adriana Gonzalez addressing the council members about a possible billing discrepancy, noting her recent water bill has more than doubled from the average cost. The council relayed the issue to City Superintendent Llyod Hardaway, who discovered and resolved a leak in the residents home. Citizens of Horatio are welcome to discuss possible billing discrepancies with the council during scheduled meetings.

Emilee Vaught from Hometown Connections provided an update on the upcoming Fall Festival set for November 9th. The 1st annual event will begin with a 5K at Horatio first Baptist church, followed by a 9:00 a.m. flag ceremony and National Anthem at city hall to kick off the festival.

A car show, corn hole tournament, pageant, street dance, kiddy corner, live music, Fire Department membership drive and art show will all be featured during the event. A video featuring old photos from around the city will be run at the museum during the event and a veteran’s breakfast will collect donations for museum upkeep.

The council passed the resolution for levying millage rates on taxable property as well as the resolution authorizing the recorder/treasurer to deposit the ½ cent sales and use tax into the general fund and street fund equally for the immediate future.

Mayor Rich Dorsey addressed the council about the possibility of purchasing 18 acres on Richard Road for $31,000. The land would be used to build a new city shop. Mayor Dorsey will continue discussing the matter with the landowner, Jason Richardson and report back to the council with new information as soon as possible.

Dorsey also reported recent purchases by the city including the water/street/sanitation departments as well as animal control. A 2008 Chevy truck was bought for $5,500 from the state of Arkansas as well as a diesel Lincoln Welder in the amount of $400 to be used at the city shop for all departments.

The final items discussed before adjourning included an agreement to purchase new Christmas decorations to decorate the city with during the holiday season and Debbi Neal reported that city hall is set to host a Breast Cancer Awareness “Meet and Greet” October 15th from 9-11am. Cookies, coffee and information will be featured at the meet and greet and the community is encouraged to attend.

The city will also support the Horatio Lions Football team by organizing a sponsored meal on the 18th.

The next Horatio City Council meeting has been set for Monday November 4th at 6:30 p.m. in city hall. The public is always welcome to attend.

 

DE QUEEN QUIZ BOWL RANKED NUMBER ONE IN PRESEASON POLL 10/09/19

Conway, Russellville, DeQueen, Arkadelphia, Centerpoint, Haas Hall-Fayetteville and Haas Hall-Rogers top their respective divisions, from 7A to 1A, respectively, in a preseason poll of participating Arkansas Governor’s Quiz Bowl Association (AGQBA) coaches.

The poll was administered by Arkansas Friends of Quiz Bowl, a nonprofit organized comprised of alumni, coaches and others who support quiz bowl in Arkansas by, among other things, funding annual scholarships for quiz bowl players.

“Much like teams in athletic competitions, schools who participate in quiz bowl have reputations and expectations that rise and fall based on graduating seniors and up-and-coming freshmen,” said Spencer Watson, president of the Friend of Quiz Bowl board of directors. “Coaches are keenly aware of these changes in the makeup of other teams and have a pretty good idea what the strength of their competition will be.”

Polls were taken in September in which all AGQBA coaches were asked to rank their divisional opponents, as determined by their classification in the Arkansas Activities Association (AAA). Weighted points were assigned to higher rankings. A composite score was generated from those weighted points to determine the highest ranking teams in each division.

Quiz bowl is an academic competition governed by the AGQBA under the administration of the AAA. During games, players answer questions on a variety of academic topics such as literature, art, music, history, science and math to earn points. Games are structured such that teams must work collaboratively to answer some questions and must rely on the individual knowledge of each player to answer others. State championships will be played in April and broadcast live on the Arkansas Education Television Network.

5A rankings include:

 

    1. DeQueen

 

    1. Morrilton

 

    1. Little Rock Christian

 

    1. Watson Chapel

 

    1. Harrison

 

DE QUEEN GOLF TEAM BOASTS TWO PARTICIPANTS AT STATE TOURNAMENT IN HEBER SPRINGS 10/09/19

Senior Jared Hickson at his final match in Heber Springs at 4A state tournament (Tuesday, October 8th)

Sophomore Tucker Brown competes during his first appearance at the  4A State Tournament in Heber Springs (Tuesday, October 8th)

 

 

 

Coach Lance Weeks and members of the De Queen High School Golf team made an appearance at the 4A state championship this week. The tournament was held at Red Apple Inn Golf Course Tuesday, October 8th. Senior, Jared Hickson shot 87 in a 3-way tie for 23rd out of the 71 participants at his final high school match. Hickson hopes to play at the collegiate level after graduation. In his debut tournament, Tucker Brown shot 115 and was supported by his father, Mayor Jeff Brown who traveled from De Queen to attend.

 

Parents of students on the golf team have expressed thanks to Coach Weeks for a great season and look forward to more golf to come.

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL COLLEGE ANNOUNCES SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR 10/08/19

 

 

 

Current and prospective UA Cossatot students can apply for scholarships and grants for the 2020-2021 academic year by completing online applications. All federal, state and local scholarships and grants are now available to view and complete.

 

Students can apply for UA Cossatot Foundation scholarships that are available now through April 1, 2020. This opportunity will allow applicants the chance to apply and have access to a variety of local awards for the next academic year.

 

Some scholarships are semester specific. The overview and qualifications can vary, but all can be viewed at https://cccua.awardspring.com/ . Students can also complete the online scholarship application to be eligible to receive a UA Cossatot Foundation scholarship on this webpage.
State scholarships and grants can also be viewed at the Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) website, https://scholarships.adhe.edu/ . General information about each financial aid opportunity will be listed, including deadlines, requirements, and award amounts.
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application is open for the 20-21 academic year and can be viewed at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa.

 

Completing the FAFSA will allow the government to determine if a student is eligible
for federal financial aid. UA Cossatot’s Financial Aid department encourages all UA Cossatot students to complete the FAFSA.

 

During this fall semester, Financial Aid employees at the college will also be hosting FAFSA Fridays to give students the opportunity to complete the FAFSA with a Financial Aid Specialist. FASFA Fridays will take place at the De Queen, Nashville, and Ashdown Campuses from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. on October 18, October 25, November 8, November 22, and December 13. To make an appointment for a FAFSA Friday meeting at the Ashdown Campus, please contact Tiffany Maurer at 870-584-1127. Nashville Campus appointments for FAFSA Friday can be made by contacting Monica Clark at 870-584-1364. To make an appointment for FAFSA Friday at the De Queen Campus, please contact Denise Hammond at 870-584-1118.

ASHDOWN NOW OFFERING PHARMACY TECHNICIAN PROGRAM 10/08/19

Ashdown High School is proud to announce an addition to the Health Science program for the 2019-2020 school year. The new Pharmacy Technician program is a full year course that covers Pharmacy Practice as well as Pharmacology and Medications. Ashdown High School is working to provide career opportunities for students based on the current workforce demand. Eight of the 10 fastest growing careers in Arkansas for 2019 are within the healthcare field. The goal of adding this program is two fold. The first will be to provide students with the opportunity to be career ready upon graduation if they choose Pharmacy Technician as a life-long career. The second is to provide students with the opportunity to utilize this as a stepping stone while furthering their education in the healthcare field. The program will provide students the opportunity to receive an annual income of over $32,000 starting out with an hourly wage averaging $16.36 per hour.

 

Jobs in this field have increased and continue to be in demand. According to Principal Kay York, “We continue to work on connecting our students with training that fits their interests, skills, and passions in order to leave AHS with job opportunities and steps for even high paying careers.” The Pharmacy Technician students and Instructor, Mrs. Amy Silva, would like to thank the community and local pharmacies for their support in getting our program up and going. We have created a Faux Pharmacy in our classroom that provides the students with an atmosphere similar to a real pharmacy. This allows students the opportunity to simulate the job of a Pharmacy Technician in a safe environment. We at AHS are actively seeking opportunities for our students to become job and career ready, whether through gaining leadership and soft skills or through gaining education and certifications. We thank you for supporting our AHS Health Science Program.”

Ashdown Public School Superintendent Casey Nichols said, “We are so excited to offer such an amazing opportunity for our students at Ashdown, they will be employable in this career field immediately upon graduation. At Ashdown, we are always striving to provide our students with the best education possible.”

WOMAN FOUND DEAD AT RESIDENCE IN TEXARKANA 10/08/19

Texarkana, Arkansas Police have opened an investigation after a woman was found dead in her house last week. Police say it is possible the woman has been dead for as long as 2 years. Authorities believe the woman is 40-year-old Christy Himes.

On Wednesday, Oct. 2nd, 2019, TAPD arrested the caregiver and 63- year-old brother of Himes for an unrelated warrant. Arkansas Adult Protective Services conducted a welfare check on Christy Himes at their residence on Martha Street in Texarkana, AR on Thursday.

A search warrant obtained by authorities later revealed a decomposed body in one of the houses. The body was too badly decomposed for a positive identification and was sent to the Arkansas Crime Lab to obtain more information.

TAPD is in the process of conducting the criminal investigation into the matter at this time.

ASHDOWN TV PRODUCTION CLASS SECURES NEW TRAILER FOR EQUIPMENT 10/07/19

The Ashdown High School TV Production class now has a state of the art trailer to make events at Dick Hays Stadium flow seamlessly as they continue to learn the art of live/video production for the video board.

According to TV Production teacher, Terry Snead, “I realized three years ago when Jeanne Jackson started the program that the press box was not where the students needed to be. After speaking with Mr. Nichols last year, he told me to start getting prices on enclosed trailers. Ashdown’s Technology Directory David Billingsley began a search and finally settled on the Wells Cargo 7×16 enclosed trailer Model CW 1622-102 custom-built for Panther Productions. He drove to Dallas/Ft. Worth area and has outfitted it with all the technical and electrical equipment in it today. According to Mr. Billingsley, “We purchased this model because it allowed me to configure the trailer for optimal video production use. It gave us the ability to add air conditioning, heating, custom desk, 50 amp power throughout the trailer, outside scene lighting and data cable access door.”

The main purpose for the studio is to allow students to operate our Newtek Tricaster (control board for the football video board) with dual 32-inch wall-mounted monitors that can access videos made by the TV Production class through a shared network drive. Everything that is seen on the video board is generated from that room. The three cameras, videos, stills,
graphics, and more, which are mostly produced by students in the classroom and studio under the guidance of Alicia McCormack and Mr. Snead. Video and live camera feeds are sent from the trailer to the video board and stadium sound system via underground fiber optics. In addition to the Tricaster video control system for game nights, the tv production trailer can play DVD/Blu-ray videos for movie nights, which has been useful for student organization fundraising events.
Being an enclosed trailer hinders the operator’s views of live events at Dick Hays Stadium. To solve this issue, the school technology department added fixed security cameras to the top of the press box and Helen Parker Gym. The new security cameras add a bird’s eye view for the tv production operators and continuous security surveillance. Without the help of Casey Nichols, the Ashdown School Board and Administration, this would not have been possible and the Television Production Department is very appreciative. Also, the hard work and dedication of David Billingsley, who has and continues to go above and beyond his I.T. duties, deserves high praise from all those involved,” said Terry Snead.

David Billingsley said, “I would like to thank Casey Nichols and the Ashdown School Board for supporting this wonderful addition to the TV Production class. Additionally, I want to thank Eddie Meeks, owner of North Texas Trailers and an Ashdown High School Alumni, for discounting the trailer purchase price and donating the exterior custom vinyl graphics.”

The T.V. Production students look forward to utilizing the studio to full capacity for many years to come.

 

REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS FLU VACCINE IMPORTANCE 10/07/19

Last flu season, 113 influenza related deaths were reported in Arkansas.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), 71% of the adults who died were unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccine history. ADH also reported that 28 schools closed briefly due to the flu last season. While only moderate in severity, the 2018-2019 season was record-breaking in duration, with flu activity remaining elevated for 21 weeks. The 2017-2018 flu season was the most severe in a decade, with 228 deaths in the state.

If you have not already done so, now is the time to get your flu vaccine. Last week, the ADH began its yearly mass flu vaccine clinic effort, which involves mass vaccine clinics in every county at no cost. Clinics will continue through the
beginning of November. The department will also offer the vaccine at every public school.

People of all ages can get the flu, but certain people are more likely to have serious health problems with it. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes. Therefore, ADH strongly recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine. It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine. The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions,

ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients. Overall, CDC estimates show that flu vaccination coverage has increased over the past decade. Vaccination among kids across all ages was almost 63 percent. Vaccination coverage among adults is around 45%, leaving more than half of adult Americans unprotected from flu each season.
We have posted the schedules of the mass clinics and school visits on our website, www.arkansashouse.org .

SEVIER COUNTY JUDGE ELECTED TO NEW CJAA POSITION 10/07/19

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray was elected Treasurer/Secretary of the County Judge’s Association of Arkansas last month. He was sworn in during their fall conference Wednesday, September 25th in Benton. The officers are nominated and elected by Arkansas County Judges.

WESTERMAN WEEKLY WITH WILEY (AND JAY!) 10/04/19

 

MAN FOUND DEAD IN DE QUEEN HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED 10/04/19

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons has reported the body found on 11th and W. De Quincy, Wednesday night has been identified.

As previously reported on KDQN, the body of a black male, approximately 50 years old was discovered  just after 6:00 p.m. Wednesday October 2nd, and authorities arrived on the scene shortly after the call came in.

Chief Simmons says the man has been identified as Curtis Hatchett, age 50 of Foreman, Arkansas.

The family of Mr. Hatchett has been notified and Police believe the cause of death to have been a bicycling accident. No foul play is suspected.

ASHDOWN POLICE REPORT MAN FOUND DEAD ON HIGHWAY 71 10/04/19

Local police have released a report that involves information about a man found deceased on Highway 71 in Little River County last month.

An area resident reported seeing what appeared to be a human body in the roadway and called 911.

A report from The Ashdown Police Department states around 4:00 a.m. authorities were dispatched to Highway 71 South under the bypass in regards to a male subject believed to have jumped from the bypass Thursday, September 17th.

Ashdown Police and The Little River County ambulance service blocked traffic in the southbound lanes and detectives were called in to further investigate.

The victim was identified as Austin Davis, age 24 of Ashdown, Arkansas. Police took photographs of the scene and collected evidence before the body was secured and turned over to the coroner’s office.

The scene was cleared by 5:17 a.m. and Ashdown Police Chief Boyd Kennemore says the family has been notified of the victims passing.

 

DOMTAR MILL IN ASHDOWN TO LAY OFF 79 WORKERS 10/04/19

Domtar corporation announced Thursday October 3rd that it will permanently shut down two of its paper machines with one of the closures being in Ashdown, Arkansas. The other closure will be in Port Huron, Michigan.

The company said these measures will reduce its annual uncoated freesheet paper capacity by approximately 204,000 short tons and will result in a workforce reduction of nearly 100 employees.

The closure of the Ashdown paper machine will be effective immediately and the closure of the Port Huron machine by mid-November.
The Ashdown mill will continue to operate one paper machine with an annual uncoated freesheet paper production capacity of 200,000 short tons and employ approximately 725 people.

OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS ANNOUNCED BY COUNTY 10/04/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge hosted the 2019 Law Enforcement Summit at the Benton Event Center Tuesday October 1st, where a record 672 law enforcement personnel from across the State attended the 17th annual summit and heard from experts on recent issues facing the law enforcement community, including medical marijuana and eyewitness identification.

County Officers of the Year

Hempstead County Corporal Jeffery Neel, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Howard County Sergeant John Partain, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Little River County Wildlife Officer Cody Standifer, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Miller County Detective Brian Tribble and Detective Jason White, Texarkana Police Department

Pike County Sergeant Ronnie White, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Polk County Chief Deputy Sheriff Randy Jewell, Polk County Sheriff’s Office

Sevier County Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

 

WILDLAND CLASS TO BE OFFERED IN PROVO 10/04/19

A mandatory wildland class for firefighters will be offered in Provo this month. The class will be held on October 14th and October 15th from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Provo Volunteer Fire Department. There is no pre-registration required and the class will be conducted by Bill James of the Arkansas Forestry commission. Meals, snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase both nights to benefit the fire department. For more information call Jamie Harberson at 870-584-6465.

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER TO HOST DRIVES ON UA COSSATOT CAMPUSES 10/04/19

Lifeshare Blood Center in Texarkana has organized several community blood drives scheduled to take place during October. Three of these blood drives will take place at UA Cossatot. The college’s De Queen, Ashdown, and Lockesburg Campuses will be hosting individual blood drives for anyone who would like to donate blood.

The De Queen Campus blood drive will take place on October 7 from 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. The Ashdown Campus will be hosting their blood drive on October 14 from 10:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. On the same day, October 14, the Lockesburg Campus blood drive will occur from 3:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. that evening.

Lifeshare Blood Center employees have stated that there is a big need for people to give blood and that blood supplies are low throughout the region. To donate blood or to learn more information about these upcoming blood drives, please call 903-794-3173.

 

FORMER EMPLOYEE ACCUSED OF STEALING FROM RRAD 10/04/19

Federal court records accuse a former Red River Army Depot employee of stealing more than $1,000 worth of equipment “beginning in or after January 2015, and ending in or about July 2018.”

Frederick Eugene Morgan is named in an information document filed Tuesday in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. The information accuses Morgan of taking seven different pieces of property belonging to the depot in 2016 and 2018. A chart listing the equipment in the information includes a description of the item, its value and the date it was sold at a pawn shop.

The values range from less than $25 to more than $350.

According to the case docket, Morgan has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

A notice of penalty states Morgan faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000 or twice any pecuniary gain to the defendant or loss to the victim

 

ESCAPED INMATE LOCATED BY SEVIER COUNTY JAIL ADMINISTRATOR 10/10/19

The search for a missing inmate who escaped from The Sevier County Jail last week has
come to a close. The Sheriff’s Department announced that Jail administrator Chris Wolcott took the escapee, named Cameron Stinnett of De Queen, into custody without incident Sunday evening. Cameron ran from the De Queen-based detention facility Wednesday afternoon and Sheriff Deputies continued the search for five days. Chief Deputy Chad Dowdle reported that Cameron now faces an additional charge for escape in the 3rd degree.

 

BODY FOUND IN DE QUEEN WEDNESDAY                         10/03/19

De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons has reported a body was  found on 11th and De Quincy, Wednesday October 2nd.

The body found was a black male, approximately 50 years old. Authorities received a call about the victim just after 6:00 p.m. and arrived on the scene shortly after.

Police believe the cause of death to have been an accident and no foul play is suspected at this time.

The body is being sent to the crime lab in Little Rock for positive I.D.

The incident is under investigation pending autopsy report. No name will be released until after the family is notified.

 

NASHVILLE MAN JAILED FOR SHOPLIFTING IN DE QUEEN 10/03/19

A Nashville man was jailed in Sevier County after De Queen police responded to a shoplifting call the evening of Tuesday, September 17th.

A report released by the De Queen Police Department states that officers Kris Hundley and Sergeant Bucky Sawyer arrived at the wal-mart in De Queen around 7:30 p.m. and made contact with an employee who says a person in a dressing room was believed to be stealing items. A white male identified as Devon Goins of Nashville, Arkansas was taken into custody, read his rights and reportedly agreed to answer questions.

Goins was cited for Theft of Property, less than $1,000 and processed in the Sevier County Jail.

 

POLK COUNTY JUDGE ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF CJAA 10/03/19

Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison has been elected by his peers to serve as president of the County Judges Association of Arkansas (CJAA). The election took place Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, at the judges’ fall conference, held in Benton, Ark. Ellison will serve a two-year term.

Members of the CJAA also re-elected Judge Ellison to serve as a Western District representative on the CJAA Executive Board. They also re-elected him to represent the judges on the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC) Board of Directors, a board on which he serves as Vice-President.

Judge Ellison is a native of Mena. In addition to serving as president of the CJAA and as AAC Board of Directors Vice-President, Judge Ellison holds an elected seat on the seven-member AAC Risk Management Fund Board of Trustees. Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Judge Ellison to the Arkansas Workforce Development Board in June of 2016.

Judge Ellison was an integral member of the Arkansas Unpaved Roads Working Group, which succeeded in getting state legislation passed to create an avenue for counties undertaking unpaved roads projects to receive grants from the state.

The Arkansas Unpaved Roads Program was established in 2013 to formulate cost-effective and proactive solutions to manage eroding roads that otherwise would wash harmful sediment in streams, rivers and lakes. For his “commitment and dedication to fish and wildlife conservation,” Judge Ellison received the Regional Director’s Conservation Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Region in 2016.

Judge Ellison has held Polk County’s highest seat since 2011.

 

TELEVISION SHOW ‘FORGED IN FIRE’ TO BE FILMED DURING HURRAH! FESTIVAL IN DE QUEEN 10/03/19

An entertainment and art form making noise in De Queen will take center stage for area residents, television cameras and local media this weekend as “Forged in Fire” and a cutting competition commence during The 30th annual Hurrah! Festival Saturday October 5th.

Local Knife making community leader Logan Pierce is bringing on the event for local residents to be entertained and learn about knife making as an art form. Forged in Fire will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and the cutting competition will take place from 2:00-4:00 at The Sevier County Museum. Community members of all ages are encouraged to watch master blade smiths test their skills in these two major competitions. De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown is also set to sign a proclamation that will name De Queen as the official Knife making capitol of the world during the festival.

Prior to the competitions, the De Queen Rotary club will serve a breakfast fundraiser from 7:30-9:30 and a book signing and photo session with John T. Wayne will be held at the museum. John T. Wayne is the grandson of actor John Wayne and information about his work is available at JohnTWayne.com

An open car and truck show along with a talent show, spelling bee, chilli cook-off, craft vendors and more will be featured at the event as well.

For questions about the Hurrah Festival contact the Sevier County Museum 870-784-0039 or stop by 717 Walter J Leeper Drive.

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEETING AGENDA                 10/03/19

2:00 P.M. October 14, 2019, Sevier County Courthouse Courtroom on 2nd floor

CALL TO ORDER

ROLL CALL

PRAYER AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

DISPOSITION OF MINUTES OF LAST MEETING

COMMITTEE AND OTHER REPORT

OLD BUSINESS

NEW BUSINESS

1. request for funds for Economic Development marketing in the amount of $700.

2. A proposed Resolution Authorizing a Contract of Obligation with the Division of Environmental Quality.

3. Request for an additional $529 to the Extension Office 2019 Budget – 1000.0801.3009

An error was made when sending out approved budget.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

ADJOURNMENT

 

JAIL ESCAPEE ALERT      10/02/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department is searching for a jail escapee this afternoon, Wednesday, October 2nd.    Cameron Stinnett, age 27, was last seen around 3:00 Wednesday afternoon. Stinnett is described as a black male, 5′ 10″ tall, weighing 145 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.  When he was last seen, he was wearing blue shorts, a white shirt and black shoes.  If you know the whereabouts or happen to see Cameron Stinnett, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

 

ARVEST BANK DONATES TO DE QUEEN SCHOOLS                 10/02/19

Arvest bank, De Queen Branch has donated $8,000 towards the purchase of new computers for De Queen Elementary School. Patti Boone and J Bigham of Arvest are pictured above, presenting the donation check to Superintendent Jason Sanders and Elementary Principal Terri Phillips.

Students Tabatha Rodriguez, Thomas Brewer and DaNashia Briggins were able to check out the new computer models during the Arvest visit to campus today, Wednesday October 2nd.

 

SEVIER COUNTY OFFICER OF THE YEAR ANNOUNCED 10/02/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today awarded the Sevier County Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to Wildlife Officer Sydney Grant of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Rutledge presented the county winners at the annual awards and recognition luncheon during the 2019 Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit at the Benton Event Center.

“It’s my honor to recognize our law enforcement officers from around the state for their dedication to protecting Arkansans,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Every day, these brave men and women leave their families without knowing if they will safely return home. Today’s recipients have gone above and beyond for all of us and we are grateful for their dedication and sacrifice.”

In addition to the statewide and regional Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards, Rutledge recognized an Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer winner from counties around the State. Recipients were selected based on recommendations for their dedicated service to Arkansans and can hold law enforcement positions at a college or university, municipal, county, federal or State level. Nominations were provided to Attorney General Rutledge from police chiefs, county sheriffs, county judges, mayors, prosecutors and other State law enforcement leaders from across Arkansas.

 

DEADLINE FOR RURAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS ASSISTANCE GRANTS 10/02/19

The Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division is now accepting applications for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant for Wildfire Suppression Kits until October 4, 2019.

More than 80 Wildfire Suppression Kits will be awarded this year across the state to rural volunteer fire departments.  More than 300 kits have been distributed since 2014.
Volunteer Fire Departments are the Forestry Division’s primary partner in wildfire response and suppression.  The kits will provide volunteer fire departments the specialized equipment needed for safe suppression, including up to ten wildfire-resistant coveralls, ten pairs of wildland gloves, two backpack leaf blowers, two collapsible backpack water pumps, and six leaf rakes.

Rural volunteer fire departments interested in applying may submit an application to their District Forester. Applications are scored according to specific criteria to include the population of the fire district, the number of square miles covered, the average number of wildfires a department responds to annually, and other factors. The selected departments will be notified in October, and kits will be delivered in in March of 2020.
The program is administered by the Forestry Division’s Rural Fire Protection office, with funding provided by the United States Forest Service. Additional information and the application can be found at www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/rural-fire-program.

Contact Kathryn Mahan-Hooten at Kathryn.Mahan@agriculture.arkansas.govKathryn.Mahan@agriculture.arkansas.gov> or (501) 679-3183 with questions or to be added to the Rural Fire Program email distribution list.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT CELEBRATED IN DE QUEEN TUESDAY 10/02/19

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department and local agencies hosted the annual National Night Out Celebration Tuesday, October 1st at The Sportsplex in De Queen. Several local agencies including the De Queen Fire Department and many vendors provided free entertainment, fun and food for kids and families in the area. The event is designed to bring together law enforcement representatives and community members under positive circumstances.

Shown Left:  Firefighter Max Jones and Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry at National Night Out Tuesday.

 

TYSON FOODS DONATES MILLIONS FOR LOCAL RESIDENTS IN NEED 10/02/19

Tyson Foods has announced a donation of almost 170,000 pounds or nearly 700,000 meals for Feeding America food banks and their partner agencies throughout Arkansas. The company has donated a total of 3.8 million pounds of product in its home state this year.

Harvest Regional Food Bank in Texarkana will receive 19,800 lbs for use in the nine southwest Arkansas counties and one northeast Texas county it serves.

In Arkansas, more than half a million people struggle with hunger and one in four are children.

 

REPORTS OF SHOOTING IN DE QUEEN SUNDAY 10/01/19

KDQN reached out to De Queen Police Chief Scott Simmons for comment regarding a shooting that took place Sunday, September 29th and the following information was provided Tuesday morning, October 1st.:

*UPDATE: A personal friend of one of the victims contacted KDQN at 8:00 A.M. Tuesday October 1st with a report. The friend of Hugo Hernandez, a 2017 graduate of De Queen High School says the shooting “happened out of no where” and he is in a lot of pain but is experiencing no serious injuries and is expected to recover.

 

ARKANSAS BETTER DADS AND HANNAH’S GIFT PROGRAM IMPACTING SEVIER COUNTY JAIL 10/01/19

Earlier this month, KDQN was invited to the Sevier County Jail in De Queen for a first hand look at the services being provided to help rehabilitate county inmates and facilitate opportunities for better lives in the future. A new program called “Arkansas Better Dads” and its sister program, “Hannah’s Gift” are making a major impact on the inmates of Sevier County this year. County Jail administrator Chris Wolcott and roughly 20 inmates allowed KDQN to sit in on a meeting of the group’s regular session to learn the ways in which more than 20 people are working to become better parents and better member of their communities.

Arkansas Better Dads began when a grant was awarded to the group by the “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families” (TANF) organization in November 2018. That grant provides funding and resources that help facilitators implement the goal of all Arkansas children having stable, involved parents in the home.

The program is a product of The First Assembly of God church in North Little Rock, AR, ABD also works with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (ADWS) and the Governor of the State of Arkansas. The program specifically works with dads in the state of Arkansas who are in substandard situations due to drug or alcohol abuse, legal troubles and similar setbacks.

According to Jail Administrator Wolcott, the program doesn’t just benefit people in legal trouble and it doesn’t just benefit men. Many of the program participants say over all, it helps you become a better person.

Back in June of 2019, Wolcott attended the Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Summit on Fatherhood, an event that brings together state and local leaders, as well as dads from across the state, and discusses the importance of access to training and resources for improved parenthood.

During the summit Wolcott says he realized many men have never been shown what it is like to be a good father simply because they didn’t have one of their own, and this program is working to break the cycle of neglect in parenting.

After the event, The Sevier County Jail implemented new programming in July 2019 that helps the inmates who have children become more responsible parents so that when their sentences are over, additional motivation is instilled in them to be more involved with their kids and set healthy examples. Wolcott believes the program also helps less children get into trouble themselves once they can see their own parents leading by example and making healthier life choices.

*

 

The group meets once a week, and the program uses faith-based books as a guide to provide structured lessons for the participants to learn new strategies for patience, responsibility and spiritual leadership. The groups have been introduced to the 33 series and books, including “authentic manhood” that helps with perspective and support.

Many of the program participants say the books have helped them with self-realization.

Brian Cunningham says the program has helped understand his roles as both a father and a man in the community.

*

In addition to fatherhood improvement, a focus on motherhood improvement is developing in The Sevier County Jail as well.

The Arkansas better Dads program is supported through grant money but “Hannah’s gift” is provided by Administrator Wolcott and community members who have pulled together their own resources. Wolcott and these supporters believe the focus on improving motherhood is just as important for the inmates at the jail, so that overall parenting of children in Arkansas improves.

Racheal Weathers has expressed appreciation for the volunteers who support the program as she says it is an emotional, but wonderful experience to be apart of

*

Jail administrator Chris Wolcott also volunteers his own personal time on to help lead the program, because he believes in its message so much.

His hope is that services like these will help less children end up in the jail, to begin with.

More information about services offered for rehabilitation of inmates at the county jail and volunteering inquiries can be referred to Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott at the county jail.

(870) 642-2125. 

You can also visit Arbetterdads.com for more information.

 

ARKANSAS SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY CELEBRATES 10 YEARS 10/01/19

On September 28, 2009, the first Lottery ticket was sold in Arkansas for the purpose of funding higher education scholarships for students in the state. Since that time, the Lottery has raised more than $889 million in scholarship funding.

Arkansas voters approved a ballot measure to establish the Lottery in November 2008. The Academic Challenge Scholarship provides tuition assistance to students at every state university and two-year college, both public and private. Applicants include new high school graduates, students already enrolled in college and non-traditional students who wish to further their education. The scholarship can also be combined with other financial aid programs.

In 10 years of operation, $2.9 billion has been awarded in prizes to players. Additionally, retailer commissions are approximately $257 million, and state and federal tax revenue has exceeded $128 million.

The numbers continue to grow annually. Fiscal year 2019 set records in scholarship proceeds – $98.4 million – and sales of more than $516,236,823, which is $16 million higher than the previous fiscal year.

 

DEER HUNTING ZONE REGULATIONS ANNOUNCED 10/01/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission have announced Deer Zone 13 and 14 dates, limits and regulations this week.

Zone 13 includes Sevier, Howard and Pike Counties.

Archery: Sept. 28, 2019-Feb. 29, 2020
Private Land Antlerless Only Modern Gun Deer Hunt: Oct. 12-16, 2019
Muzzleloader: Oct. 19-27 and Dec. 29-31, 2019
Special Youth Modern Gun Deer Hunt: Nov. 2-3, 2019 and Jan. 4-5, 2020
Modern Gun: Nov. 9-Dec. 15 and Dec. 26-28, 2019

statewide Bag Limit

Six deer, of which no more than two may be bucks. The statewide seasonal bag limit may be taken in any combination of zones or methods, as long as zone bag limits are not exceeded.

Zone Bag Limit

Four deer, which may include:

 

    • Two bucks with archery, muzzleloader or modern gun;

 

    • Four does with archery;

 

    • Four does with muzzleloader and modern gun combined.

 

 

Special Regulations:

 

 

    • Dogs allowed for deer hunting Nov. 9-Dec. 15. Up to two dogs may be used to blood trail wounded deer.

 

    • Legal bucks must be button bucks or have at least three points on one side of their rack.

 

 

ARKANSAS AG COMING TO PIKE COUNTY 10/01/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has announced mobile office locations for October.

Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to increase office accessibility for all Arkansans, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties each year during her first term, assisting 3,300 Arkansans. In 2019, Attorney General Mobile Offices have already served over 1,600 Arkansans.

The Offices assist Arkansans with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents.

Rutledge continues her partnerships with the Cooperative Extension Service and local law enforcement across Arkansas. Law enforcement officials will be on hand to collect unused and expired prescription medications to ensure they are secured and properly disposed. Arkansans are encouraged to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office. During Rutledge’s first term, over 618 pounds of medications were collected at mobile offices. Another 168 pounds of medications have been collected so far this year.

For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007.

The upcoming mobile office schedule includes a stop in: Pike County

Tuesday, October 8th, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Glenwood Senior Activity Center

229 Betty Street Glenwood, AR 71943

 

PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE OCTOBER 15TH 10/01/19

Little River County Sheriff and Collector Bobby Walvren has issued a reminder to residents that Tuesday, October 15th is the deadline to pay personal property taxes. A 10% penalty will be assessed after the 15th. Payments can be made in person at the Collectors office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays, including Columbus Day Monday October 14th.

Payments can also be made online through information available on Arkansas.Gov

 

For questions call 870-989-7217.

 

DEADLINE FOR FLEX COURSES AT CCCUA IS OCTOBER 4TH 10/01/19

UA Cossatot has released the class schedule for available October flex courses. These eight-week classes will begin on October 7 and end on December 6. The last day to sign up for one or more of these classes is October 4, 2019.
Flex courses allow students to take classes in a faster amount of time rather than in a traditional sixteen-week semester. They also enable students to take more courses and graduate sooner.
The October flex classes include several welding courses at Lockesburg, Nashville, and De Queen. The college will also be offering online courses in Accounting II, Micro Computer Apps, and Databases. Other available courses include Intermediate Algebra in Ashdown and Anatomy and Physiology II in Nashville.
To view the full class schedule, please visit www.cccua.edu. To sign up and enroll in an October flex course, please contact Student Services at 870-584-4471 or studentservices@cccua.e

 

SPRINGFIELD ARKANSAS WOMAN ARRESTED FOR DWI IN DE QUEEN 09/27/19

A woman is facing multiple charges after a traffic stop was conducted by local law enforcement in De Queen last week.

A report from the De Queen Police Department states that Sergeant Wayne Baker responded to a call about a reckless driver heading westbound toward De Queen around 7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 21st.

Ptl. R. King assisted Sergeant Baker with the call by locating the vehicle and conducting a traffic stop. Deputy Greg Harper of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department also arrived on the scene and reportedly told the officers he suspected the driver, identified as Brenda Keller of Springfield, Arkansas to be intoxicated. Officers noted finding a can of beer on the floorboard of the car and Keller was asked to perform a series of field sobriety tests and reportedly complied.

A Breathalyzer test revealed the driver to have a blood-alcohol level of .15, over the legal limit of .08.

Keller was transported to The Sevier County Jail where she was jailed for Driving While Intoxicated as well as a refusal to submit a chemical test.

 

DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT HANDLES SEMI-TRUCK BLAZE 09/27/19

The De Queen Fire Department responded to a fire in the South lot on Fourth Street at pilgrim’s pride last week.

A report from the department states that a semi-truck fire was called in at 8:19 a.m. Wednesday, September 18th. The 2006 peterbuilt truck was owned by S Easley Trucking Company in Texas.

Crews arrived on the scene at 8:22 a.m, just 3 minutes after being dispatched to the fire.

Two engines and 11 firefighters responded to extinguish the flames by use of foam and water.

Firefighters with the Department say the truck driver had been sleeping in the truck with the engine running just before the fire began.

The crew successfully put out the flames and left the scene by 9:05 a.m. and no injuries were reported.

 

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT FAIR CONTINUES IN HOPE 09/27/19

The Southwest District Fair in Hope is going on now. This fair brings together 15 counties of Southwest Arkansas and features many family friendly events and activities through Saturday, September 28th.

Live music will take place tonight, as South Down Main will perform this evening at 6:00 p.m. in front of the coliseum. Amusements and attractions also open at 5:00 p.m. Roughstock Productions presents Bulls, Broncs, and Barrels tonight and tomorrow evening at 7:30. The open cattle, steers, breeding beef, and commercial heifers judging will be held starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and a Mexican band will perform at 7:00 p.m. in front of the coliseum.

Gate Admission is $5 for ages 13 and older, $3 for ages 6 and younger and all children age five and younger get in free of charge.

More information can be found at http://www.southwestarkansasdistrictlivestockshow.com/ and the address of the fairgrounds is 800 Mockingbird lane, Hope Arkansas.

 

LAST SATURDAY SHOOT IN COLUMBUS ARKANSAS SEPTEMBER 28TH 09/27/19

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is hosting the ATA Registered “last Saturday Shoot” in Hempstead County this weekend.
The shoot will be held at:
Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center 1685 CR35N Columbus, AR 71831

Saturday, Sept. 28th, 2019 at 9 a.m.

9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Local residents can join the range staff on the last Saturday of the month from April through October for an ATA registered shoot.

All targets will be registered and each discipline requires at least three shooters.
Singles will start at 9 a.m. with handicap and doubles to follow.
Admission fee varies.
Registration is not required.

For more information about this or any other program visit AGFC.com

 

AINSLEY’S ANGELS DINNER AND 5K SATURDAY 09/27/19

Ainsley’s Angels of Southwest Arkansas is hosting a dinner and 5K fundraiser in De Queen this Saturday, September 28th. Registration will begin around 3:30 p.m. at Herman Dierks Park and the cost is $30. The cost includes the race registration, T-Shirt, and smoked chicken dinner plate with dessert and a drink. Supporters of Ainsley’s Angels who would like to attend but not participate in the race can purchase a meal for just $5 and all proceeds go towards the purchase of equipment and transportation for the organization.

Ainsley’s Angels aims to build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.

The Southwest Arkansas chapter is seeking funds to purchase a trailer for transporting equipment to each race. All race fees and proceeds from Dinner and 5k will go towards this purchase.

 

For more information, or to make a donation, call Tessa Dean at 479-214-0942

 

UA COSSATOT SEES ENROLLMENT INCREASE 09/27/19

The Arkansas Department of Higher Education has announced the statewide colleges and universities fall 2019 preliminary enrollment numbers. The data shows that from fall 2018 to fall 2019, UA Cossatot had the highest post-secondary enrollment increase for all public two-year colleges and four-year universities in the state of Arkansas.

Since the beginning of the academic year in August of 2018, the college has achieved a 14.8% increase for post-secondary students. This increase surpasses the community college total average of 0.6 % and the four-year university average of – 2.5%.

UA Cossatot’s overall student enrollment percentage combined for concurrent and post-secondary students saw a 4.0% increase in enrollment beating the community college average in Arkansas, which is 1.4%. The four-year university average in Arkansas for total enrollment is -2.4%, which UA Cossatot exceeded as well.

UA Cossatot has also announced that the college has reached a total enrollment of 1,521 students for the fall 2019 semester, which is UA Cossatot’s largest enrollment since 2014, and the eighth highest of the 22 two-year colleges in Arkansas.

 

 

LIFESHARE BLOOD CENTER LOCAL DRIVES 09/26/19

LifeShare Blood Centers has the following community blood drives scheduled for October:

 

    • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 2 at Tyson’s Grannis, 8489 Highway 71, Grannis, Arkansas

 

    • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 4 at Walmart, 1710 South 4th Street, Nashville, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. October 7 at UA Cossatot, 183 Highway 399, De Queen, Arkansas

 

    • 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. October 10 at Center Point Community Center, 210 North Center Point Street, Nashville, Arkansas

 

    • 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 11 at Walmart DeQueen, 926 East Collin Raye Drive, De Queen, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 12 at Prescott Fall Festival, 116 2nd Street South, Prescott, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 14 at UA Cossatot – Ashdown, 1411 North Constitution Avenue, Ashdown, Arkansas

 

    • 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 14 at UA Cossatot – Lockesburg, 128 East Main Street, Lockesburg, Arkansas

 

    • 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. October 15 at Pilgrim’s Pride, 401 South 3rd Street, De Queen, Arkansas

 

    • 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. October 15 at Big Jakes Bar-B-Que, 603 West Commerce, Hope, Arkansas

 

    • 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. October 20 at Sunset Church of Christ Nashville, 1420 West Sunset Street, Nashville, Arkansas

 

    • 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. October 22 at Prescott High School, 736 Martin Street, Prescott, Arkansas

 

    • 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. October 28 at Domtar, 285 Old Highway 71, Ashdown, Arkansas

 

    • 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. October 29 at Brentwood Industries, 118 Industrial Park, Hope, Arkansas

 

    • 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. October 31 at Horatio High School, 1101 Metcalf, Horatio, Arkansas

 

 

LifeShare Blood Centers is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. To sign up to donate or for more information, call 903-794-3173. The new center location is 4020 Summerhill Road, Texarkana, Texas.

LIBRARY SNIPPETS              09/26/19
By:  Johnye Fisher

Hey Y’all its Fall and Halloween is just around the corner. Do you know where Halloween comes from? It orginated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain over 2,000 years ago, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints. Soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Sahain, the evening before was know as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween envolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.

Guess who is coming back to the De Queen Library? The Library witch. Yes she will be back with good stories and fun. October 30th at 4:00 p.m. Stop in and see what she has planned. Wear your costumes and receive some sweet treats.

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

Amy at Horatio Library says, Happy Fall Y’all.   We are finally getting some relief from all this hot weather it would be a perfect time to come by the Horatio Library.  We have got lots of good books to read and most of the bestsellers.  If we don’t have it we can get it for you.   Why pay $30 plus when you can come by the library and check it out for free.   We have some spooktacular things going on this month. On the 5th of October we will have a children’s Halloween program.   We will have games, candy and read a story.   On October the 19th we will have another kids program with special guest Kick Griffen about bulling and a demonstration by Kick.   The children’s programs start at 10a.m. and they are every other Saturday.   We have a Mexican Train Domino game and a Double 15 Domino game every Thursday morning.  We also have Adult Education classes every Thursday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.   They offer GED prep, College prep, Career Assistance, Job Skills, Computer Skills and financial literacy.   All of these services are free to the public.   We encourage you to take advantage of these classes.   Have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the upcoming cooler weather.

On Saturday, Oct. 12th at 10 AM the “That’s My Story and I’m Stickin’ to It” Book Club will meet at the Lockesburg Library to discuss the novel, “Mom and Me and Mom” by Maya Angelou. Next month’s reading selection will be available to pick up at this time.

A Kids’ STEM catapult program is planned October 19 @ 10. This will be a fun hands-on guided activity with each child creating their own catapult treats will be served.

Parents, as an incentive for your child to read, Mz. Wendy has loaded up the Reading Treasure chest again. Each child may choose a prize from the Treasure chest upon returning their library books.

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

The Gillham Library has “Muted” by Leanne Owens and a new author for us William Kent Krueger, “Manitou Canyon” and “Sulfur Springs”.  You can check the Gillham Library Facebook page to see news books as they come in.  We have not set a date for Story time for October as yet.  Open Tuesday and Saturday 9-5 Closed 12 to 1:00 for lunch. For more information, you can contact Susie at the Gillham Library at 870-386-5665 or you can visit their Facebook   page at www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary

12TH ANNUAL “GREAT CLEAN-UP” AT CRATER OF DIAMONDS STATE PARK 09/26/19

Crater of Diamonds State Park is hosting their annual cleanup event, in conjunction with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s fall Great Arkansas Cleanup campaign.

Volunteers can sign up beginning at 8 a.m Saturday, October 12th in the visitor center to help pick up trash around the park.

Trash bags and gloves are provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be given away, while supplies last. Volunteers should wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather.

Refreshments will be served, and a prize drawing will be held immediately after the event.

For more information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at (870) 285-3113, or email CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com.

GUN USED IN SHOOTING OF DE QUEEN RESIDENT REPORTED TO BE STOLEN 09/25/19

A follow up investigation in the Sunday night shooting of a De Queen resident has revealed that the gun used had been reported stolen to the Dallas Police Department in Texas. The shooting occurred in Dekalb in the evening hours of September 22nd. A warrant for Theft of a Firearm was obtained and served on Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda. The bond for his original charge of Aggravated Assault has been set at $250,000. In addition to the stolen gun and assault charges, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also placed a hold on Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda as it appears he entered the United States illegally.

The victim, De Queen resident Saleni Rojas Duran, was found to have a single gunshot wound to her chest area after a bullet intended for a security guard struck her. Life Net airlifted her to St. Michael’s Hospital where she was treated has been reported to be in stable condition.

 

OFFICE OF ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL COMING TO DE QUEEN 09/25/19

The mobile office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge will be in De Queen next month.

The Sevier County AG mobile office day will take place Thursday, October 17th at The De Queen Senior Citizen’s Center. The center is located at 605 E Hayes Avenue.

The mobile office will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sevier County Sheriff Robert Gentry will serve as the prescription drug take back partner for law enforcement.

An identify theft presentation will also be offered during the events.

Local residents are encouraged to attend the event to ask questions and receive information on identify theft and scam prevention, as well as to properly dispose of expired prescription medications.

Find out more on ArkansasAG.gov

HORATIO SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES NEW AND OLD BUSINESS 09/25/19

The Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, September 9, in the administration building. All board members were present.

The board approved an old business item from last month, student transfer from DeQueen to Horatio.

Board members appointed Kristi Scott, disbursing officer, and Jeffrey Irvan, alternate disbursing officer, for the district.

The board approved Annual Financial report for 2018-19 and 2019-20 Budget, Statement of Assurances for 2019-20 school year, agreement with Snowflake Technologies dba Living Tree for services with online fundraisers, addition to 4.35 policy for student medications, contracted services provider list for 2018-19, and routine reports.

 

NASHVILLE STILL IN NEED OF REPAIRS AFTER SUMMER FLOODING 09/25/19

City of Nashville officials recently met with the governor’s office to make a plea for funding to repair the city lake spillway. The structure was undermined during the flash flooding this summer and city leaders warn that the issue could lead to a dangerous situation if not properly repaired. Mayor Billy Ray Jones says repairs to the spillway will be costly, with an estimate of just under $200,000 to return it to pre-flood condition. However, he and Public Works Director Larry Dunaway recommend mitigation repairs that would fix the spillway in a manner that the undermining would not re-occur.

Dunaway says any of the fixes would include repairs and improvements to the intake as well.

The city has turned in other flood repair costs and bids to the insurance company. Several police cars are currently being repaired and they expect to receive about $35,000 for the flood damaged vehicles.

Materials for new bridges at Mount Pleasant Drive and 8th Street should arrive in a couple of weeks, with engineering designs and construction to follow.

The council also approved a total of $6,900 to assist two firefighters whose vehicles were damaged in the flood and not covered by insurance. The funding will be taken out of the fire department’s depreciation fund.

 

CROP INSURANCE AVAILABLE FOR LOCAL FARMERS 09/25/19

The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) reminds producers to review available USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the crop deadline.

Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including perennial grass forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, syrup, bioenergy, and industrial crops.

The application deadline is September 30, 2019 for:

Barley             (Grazing)
Oats                (Grazing)
Rye                 (Grazing)
Rye, Annual    (Grazing)
Wheat             (Grazing)
Strawberries Turnips, Hybrid (Barkant)

Producers can determine if crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP by visiting https://webapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/ActuarialInformationBrowser2018/CropCriteria.aspx.

For more information on NAP, service fees, sales deadlines, contact the Little River County FSA office at 870-898-3611 ext. 2 or visit the web atwww.fsa.usda.gov/nap

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT SHOT IN DEKALB SUNDAY       09/24/19

A suspect is in custody after a De Queen resident was shot in the chest Sunday near DeKalb in Northeast Texas.

The suspect, Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda has been charged with aggravated assault.
On Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 authorities were dispatched to a shooting in the 1200 block of Farm to Market 992 DeKalb, Texas.

The victim, identified as De Queen resident Saleni Rojas Duran, was found to have a single gunshot wound to her chest. Life Net airlifted her to St. Michael’s Hospital where she was treated and listed in stable condition.

Reports state security had to forcibly remove the suspect from the event, then he drove back through the area fired multiple shots intended for the security guard of the club. None of the bullets struck the intended person but one bullet struck Duran.

A description of the suspect and his vehicle was broadcast to all law enforcement in the area. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Nathan Lavender located a vehicle matching the description of the suspect’s not far from this location. Game Warden Lavender stopped this vehicle and found it was being driven by Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda who was confirmed to be the suspect in this shooting. Bowie County Deputies responded to Game Warden Lavender’s location and arrested Pedro Alarcon-Sepulveda. He was transported to the Bi-State Jail where he was booked in for Aggravated Assault.

According to social media posts Duran is in stable condition at a Texarkana hospital.

 

ROTARY CLUB DONATES TO SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER           09/24/19

De Queen Rotary Club President Lisa Taylor presented a $500 contribution to the Sevier County Senior Citizens Centers at Monday’s noon meeting of the club. Local Director, Joyce Short, and Regional Director, Sheila Nash, accepted the donation on behalf of the local centers.

Sheila Nash, who operates ten centers in Sevier, Little River, Howard, Lafayette, and Columbia Counties in southwest Arkansas, says the cooking in Sevier County is done at the Horatio center, since it has a commercial kitchen. The meals are then transported to centers in De Queen and Lockesburg.

Last month in Sevier County, 645 meals were served to senior citizens visiting the centers. Another 1,245 senior citizens received meals through the Home Delivery program.
Nash says that local contributions are important because their contract with the State of Arkansas limits how many senior citizens can be served. Since they don’t want to turn
anybody away, Nash says the local donations go straight to the program to provide needed meals.

SEVIER COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY SETS FEES              09/24/19

The Sevier County Democratic Party recently held a meeting to set filing fees for local offices that will appear on next year’s ballot.

For the office of Justice of the Peace, the fee to file is $60. For the office of Constable, the fee to file is $10. Both of these offices have a term length of two years.

Party Chairman Victor J. Rojas informed those in attendance that the party filing period will begin on November 4 and end on November 12. Rojas also encouraged attendees to participate in the special election to be held on October 8.

 

LOVE LOCAL CAMPAIGN ADDRESSED AT DE QUEEN ROTARY CLUB MEETING            09/24/19

Keisha McKinney of McKinney Media Solutions encouraged members of the Rotary Club Monday to post positive reviews of local restaurants and shops on free social media platforms in
order to increase tourism in the area. The Love Local Campaign is designed to encourage area
residents to use Trip Advisor, Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other free social media platforms to post positive reviews to help promote local businesses.

McKinney says the area will see an uptick in tourists over the next couple of months as visitors travel to Northwest Arkansas to enjoy the fall colors. These travelers will look up reviews of
restaurants and local shops to determine where they might stop to visit. If Sevier County has many great local reviews on the various social media platforms, McKinney predicts the
tourists will plan to stop, shop, dine, or even stay and play locally.

She encouraged businesses to respond to reviews and interact with people who have posted. Encourage others to share a positive review of a local restaurant or shop. McKinney concluded by saying that your thoughts about your favorite hometown places will encourage others to visit and experience Sevier County for themselves. So be an advocate for our community and participate in the Love Local Campaign.

 

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL CONTINUES PROJECT PREVENT YOUTH COALITION    09/24/19

Ashdown High School’s tobacco prevention chapter of Project Prevent Youth Coalition (PPYC) is beginning it’s second year on the AHS Campus. The chapter is funded through a grant by Stamp Out Smoking and Arkansas Children’s Hospital for seven years. According to their website, “Project Prevent is a youth tobacco prevention initiative of Stamp Out Smoking. By exposing the truth about Big Tobacco and arming you and your peers with knowledge, tools, and power to make informed choices, our goal is to prevent Arkansas youth from smoking or using tobacco products. Project Prevent works year-round to provide events and programs to engage you and your friends in new ways.” Project Prevent Youth Coalition is “aiming for a happy, healthy, and tobacco-free Arkansas.”

The mission of PPYC will provide youth with action-oriented activities that address social norms about tobacco and nicotine.

Throughout the year students will have two advocacy projects which may include providing signage around campuses to inform that it is illegal to smoke on campus grounds and read age appropriate books to elementary students on the unhealthy effects of smoking.

More information can be found at sosprojectprevent.com.

BANNED BOOKS WEEK RECOGNIZED AT SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARIES     09/24/19

 

Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have all been targeted for removal or restriction in libraries and schools. By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship.

Banned Books Week was launched in the 1980s, a time of increased challenges, organized protests, and the Island Trees School District v. Pico (1982) Supreme Court case, which ruled that school officials can’t ban books in libraries simply because of their content.

Banned books were showcased at the 1982 American Booksellers Association (ABA) BookExpo America trade show in Anaheim, California. At the entrance to the convention center towered large, padlocked metal cages, with some 500 challenged books stacked inside and a large overhead sign cautioning that some people considered these books dangerous.

First OIF Director Judith KrugDrawing on the success of the exhibit, ABA invited OIF Director Judith Krug to join a new initiative called Banned Books Week, along with the National Association of College Stores. The three organizations scrambled to put something together by the September show date and ended up distributing a news release and a publicity kit, hoping that with their combined membership of 50,000 people, they could continue to spark a conversation about banned books.

The initiative took off. Institutions and stores hosted read-outs, and window displays morphed into literary graveyards or mysterious collections of brown-bagged books. Major news outlets such as PBS and the New York Times covered the event, and mayors and governors issued proclamations affirming the week.

ALA is currently part of a national coalition to promote Banned Books Week, along with 14 other contributors and sponsors. Krug led the Banned Books Week efforts as OIF director until her unexpected death in 2009. Her legacy lives on in the Freedom to Read Foundation’s Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund, a grant awarded to nonprofits to host Banned Books Week events.

Today, Banned Books Week coverage by mainstream media reaches an estimated 2.8 billion readers, and more than 90,000 publishing industry and library subscribers. The Banned Books page remains one of the top two most popular pages on the ALA website.

Locally, displays and information about banned book week can be found at the De Queen, Gillham, Lockesburg, and Horatio libraries in Sevier County through September 28th.

 

 

THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN GRANT MONEY AVAILABLE FOR SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS COUNTIES 09/23/19

Schools and education groups throughout Arkansas will have additional funding for conservation education thanks to fine money collected by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Commissioners unanimously approved all fine money collected from wildlife fine violations in 2019 to be transferred to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Division of Rural Services.

The Division of Rural Services distributes the fine money through grants for which any teacher, principal or other educator may apply. These grants can enhance learning opportunities for youth, especially in some of the rural areas of Arkansas. Many grants help promote programs such as Archery in the Schools, Project WILD and the Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program. Many educators also use the grants to fund expenses for field trips to nature centers and hatcheries.

All fine money collected in a county goes back to these education grants for that county.
Southwest Arkansas Counties could receive several thousand dollars respectively.

In Howard county $4,294.87 is available.
Little River may apply for $4,502.04
Miller is eligible for $5,795.89
Hempstead could be awarded $6,591.58
Polk has $7,985.20 available
Sevier County is eligible to receive up to $13,707.62
And Pike county has $14,723.83 dollars that could be granted.

A downloadable application is available at the Division of Rural Services website,  https://www.arkansasedc.com/Rural-Services
All area schools and education programs are encouraged to apply for the available grant money.

CLUB DONATES TO TEXARKANA AGENCIES FOR EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT PURCHASES 09/23/19

The Arklatex 100 Club awarded over $40,000 in grant money for life-saving equipment to Law Enforcement and fire agencies in Bowie and Miller Counties this month.
The mission of the Club is to raise funds for the dependents of local first responders who are lost in the line of duty. Remaining funds are available as grants for local agencies to purchase unbudgeted but necessary life-saving equipment and fund training.
The Club awarded

$3,000 to the New Boston Police Department for purchase of a K-9 and handler training
$3,000 to the Miller County Office of Emergency Management for repairs to its emergency response trailer
$3,000 to the Texarkana Arkansas Fire Department for rescue helmets, a gas detector, safety belts and more
And $6,650 to the Miller County Sheriff’s Office for Level IV plates for vests
The Arklatex 100 Club generates funds through an annual membership drive, and an annual Pull for Heroes Sporting Clay Tournament held in March of each year. The club is currently promoting its membership drive through the month of September.

Funds raised this September will be available throughout the year to aid the families of first responders killed in the line of duty. Remaining funds will be available to local agencies during the next grant cycle. The club will accept grant applications in June and July of 2020.

To learn more about its mission,  visit thearklatex100club.org.

SWEPCO DONATES TO UA COSSATOT FOUNDATION 09/23/19

The UA Cossatot Foundation has received a donation of $1,500 from AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company.

AEP SWEPCO has provided funding for UA Cossatot scholarships since 2010. The company chose to donate again this year to help local college students receive financial aid and support the work of the UA Cossatot Foundation.

AEP SWEPCO External Manager, Jennifer Harland presented UA Cossatot Foundation Director, Dustin Roberts with the donation.

This donation will be administered to students who apply through the UA Cossatot scholarship application. The application is available at www.cccua.edu/pay-for-college/scholarships from October 1 to April 1 of each year.

VETERANS FORUM ANNOUNCED IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 09/23/19

All veterans of Little River County and surrounding areas are invited to a Veteran’s Forum on Friday 27th September 2019 at 12:00pm. It will be held at the Millwood Room and the U of A Cossatot Ashdown Campus. Burgers will be served at 11:30am, meeting will start at 12:00pm. There will be opening remarks followed by a question and answer session for all veterans.
Attendees: ➢ Col (Ret) Nathaniel “Nate” Todd – Secretary of AR Department of Veteran Affairs
➢ Gina Chandler – Assistant Director AR Department of Veteran Affairs
➢ Mike Cranford – Judge Little River County
➢ Eric Siddons – District 6 Manager AR Department of Veteran Affairs
➢ Paul Foster – Little River County Veteran Service Officer

REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT REPORTS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEGISLATION UPDATES 09/23/19

In Arkansas, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men will be the victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime. In 2018, 44 Arkansans died as a result of domestic violence.

Domestic violence occurs among all types of families, regardless of income, profession, region, ethnicity, educational level or race.
Last week, a rally was held inside the Capitol to raise awareness as we approach Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. The Governor and legislators also recognized the work of the 32 domestic violence shelters across the state assisting 18,000 Arkansans last year.

In the 2019 Regular Session we passed the following bills addressing domestic violence:
ACT 499 creates a privilege of communication between a victim of domestic violence and the personnel of a domestic violence shelter or center and makes confidential certain communications between a victim and a victim advocate.
Act 498 reconciles the differences between the offenses of domestic battering in the first degree and battery in the first degree and increases the penalties for battery offenses under certain circumstances.

Act 324 allows for an additional sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison if certain offenses are committed in the presence of a child. The offenses include murder, aggravated robbery, felony assault or battery, and rape. Domestic violence is the leading predictor of child abuse.

Act 113 helps ensure that the $25 fee added to domestic violence convictions is directed to fund domestic violence shelters.

Act 908 amends the Arkansas code concerning orders of protection to align with federal code.

24-hour crisis lines include:
Women and Children First – (800) 332-4443
Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault – (800) 656-4673
Arkansas State Police Child Abuse – (800) 482-5964
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence – (800) 799-SAFE (7233)
National Human Trafficking Resource Center – (888) 373-7888 .

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL GRAD COMPETES WITH COLLEGE CROSS COUNTRY TEAM 09/23/19

Mena-based college UA – Rich Mountain recently competed in the 2019 Bob Gavett Invitational cross country meet at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. The team finished fourth overall and placed higher than Central Baptist and University of Arkansas at Monticello.

Jordan Foster paced the Bucks by finishing 17th with a time of 28:12.1. Foster earned 17 points for UA – Rich Mountain.

2018 De Queen High School graduate Asael Sanchez and teammate Robert McIntyre crossed the finish line seconds apart with times of 29:53.6 and 29:59.5, respectively. Sanchez earned 22 points and McIntyre earned 23 for the Bucks.

Tarleton State won the meet with a score of 15, followed by Southern Arkansas University with a score of 51 and Harding University with a score of 57.

The Bucks finished in fourth with a score of 111. Central Baptist earned a score of 162 and the University of Arkansas-Monticello finished with a score of 163.
Up next the team will compete at the Chile Pepper Classic  October 5th before the Junior College Division I region II Cross Country Championship October 12th.

ARKANSAS AG ANNOUNCES FIRST EVER VAPING SUMMIT 09/23/19

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the State’s first Youth Vaping Summits will be held Monday, October 7 at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and Wednesday, October 9 at Bentonville High School with support from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS). The Summits are open to the public, particularly educators, parents, healthcare providers, lawmakers and law enforcement eager to gain educational information to assist and protect Arkansans from the dangers of e-cigarettes.

The first Vaping Summit will be held in Little Rock at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hall on October 7, and the second will be at Bentonville High School on October 9. Speakers for each event will include doctors representing UAMS, educators, legislators and representatives from the Attorney General’s Office.

For more information or to register for the Youth Vaping Summit at either location, call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office at 800-482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov.

LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SPOTLIGHT: Sheila Piearcy, September 

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

For the month of September, we’re spotlighting Sheila Piearcy, a dispatcher with The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department in De Queen.

Sheila is an Albuquerque, New Mexico native who moved to Umpire, Arkansas at age six and later graduated from Umpire High School in 1985.

In addition to being a dispatcher, Sheila has also been a wife to Paul Piearcy for 16 years and together, the couple have four children and two grandchildren. Piearcy says she is in law enforcement because she likes helping people and “loves the feeling you get when you know you have helped save a life.”

When she’s not at work, Sheila enjoys shopping and visiting her grandkids. She says her favorite food is Alfredo and her favorite place to go out to eat is Olive Garden.

With four older brothers who all went into the military, selflessness and service seem to run in the family, as Sheila spent time volunteering for an ambulance service before beginning her career in law enforcement at The Howard County Sheriff’s Office back in 2001. Today, Sheila has put 17 total years in to law enforcement and 14 of those years have been spent with Sevier County. The wife and mother doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon either. When asked about her goals for the future, Piearcy says she loves the job so much she doesn’t even want to retire. She plans to continue working in her department with the dispatchers, who she calls ” the unseen heroes” of law enforcement, because they are always the first call placed in any emergency, no matter what the situation is.

“It’s not just about catching bad guys.” She says, “It’s about helping people.” Though Sheila didn’t start working in law enforcement until she was in her thirties, she says once she began, she “couldn’t get enough of it.”

“I love the feeling you get when you help save someone’s life.” Sheila recalls times she faced tough emergency calls, like children being trapped in a hot car, and a wife performing CPR on an unresponsive husband. Those difficult examples are why she calls dispatchers “the unseen heroes” and why she wishes people on the outside looking in at law enforcement could see the much hard work and heart that is put behind the scenes.

Sheila told KDQN that if she weren’t working for the Sheriff’s Department she would have gone to FBI school and become an investigator. Her favorite thing about her career is that “every day is something different” and everyone at The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has each other’s back. She describes The Sheriff’s Department as a “tight-knit” family.

Sheila’s family of co-workers proved just how much they have her back this summer after she had a medical scare while on vacation. On June 10th Sheila unexpectedly suffered a heart attack while out of town and was transported to a nearby hospital by way of ambulance for emergency bypass surgery. Because her recovery time exceeded her paid time off, Sheila’s co-workers donated their extra time off so that she never missed a paycheck.

In addition to having a team of co-workers who support her, Sheila also says her husband and kids are very proud of her for working in law enforcement.

We asked Sheila if there was anything she wished people on the outside looking it at law enforcement knew, and she said she wishes everyone could see that there is much more to the job than throwing bad guys in jail and that the Sheriff’s Department is here to help people.
Keep listening to KDQN to find out more about law enforcement representatives in the local area and check out next month’s local law enforcement spotlight.

TOUR DE QUEEN BICYCLING EVENT ANNOUNCED FOR NOVEMBER 09/20/19

The Tour De Queen cycling event will be held on November 2nd locally town, with participation expected to grow this year.
A new, 40-mile gravel route has been added to give cyclists from Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma other areas a choice of five rides of different levels through the countryside. A banner with sponsor logos will mark the race start, and goodie bags with sponsor information will be given to all participants. Also new this year – vendor spaces will be available to set up on the square.
All sponsor forms need to be returned to the Chamber by October 11th.
Interested vendors should call the local chamber of commerce at 870-584-3225

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR SIGNS HUNTING AND FISHING PROCLAMATION 09/20/19

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a special proclamation Thursday in the Governor’s Conference Room at the state capitol recognizing Sept. 22-28, 2019, as Arkansas Hunting and Fishing Week. He also proclaimed Sept. 28, 2019, as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and its partners have organized many special activities to recognize the week and the contributions hunting and fishing make to people’s daily lives.
The Big Catch community fishing event will kick things off at 8 a.m., Sept. 21, at MacArthur Park in Little Rock. AGFC and Community First Alliance expect well over 3,000 attendees to this fun-filled day surrounding the outdoors.
“We’ve stocked hundreds of hungry catfish in the pond, and everyone in the family can come join in the fun,” said Maurice Jackson, AGFC Family and Community Fishing Program. “Anyone 16 and older must have a fishing license to participate, but youth under 16 fish free, just like always in Arkansas.”
Visit www.agfc.com/naturecenters to find a location near you and plan a visit. Each center has its own Facebook page where they will post planned events as well as updates from daily activities.
The week wraps up on Sept. 28, which the Governor also has recognized as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas. The opening of archery deer season also falls on Sept. 28, enabling hunters their first shot at a white-tailed deer for the season on this celebration of hunting and fishing’s contribution to conservation.
Visit www.agfc.com for details.

ASHDOWN ART CLASSES RECEIVE DONATION FOR SUPPLIES 09/20/19

The Ashdown High School Art Department recently received a contribution from a local bank for the purchase of supplies. The ceramics class students were surprised with a substantial monetary gift which will be used to purchase equipment that will enhance the creative experience for these students. Mrs. Melanie McGraw, AHS Art Instructor, has worked hard over the past few years to generate excitement in her department for the love of art. Her hard work has paid off with enrollment in her classes almost tripling over the last three years.

The Ashdown High School Art Department will utilize the $5,000.00 to purchase a pugmill-mixer and an extruder for the Ceramics Program. The department uses commercially available clays that have already been mixed and pugged. The recycling of left-over clay scraps and pieces can now be accomplished by the use of the pugmill. Having this piece of equipment will allow students to reclaim clay scraps safely and properly for reuse and reduce clay waste. The life expectancy of a pugmill is approximately thirty years. Utilization of this piece of equipment, for that period of time will save tremendously on the cost of clay for student use.

The second piece of equipment that will be purchased is a clay extruder. An extruder is a tool that passes clay through a tube to form various types of coils used in constructing all types of hand-built vessels. It is a key piece of equipment in the Ceramics Curriculum. At this time, the AHS Art Department has one extruder. However, the number of students taking this class has increased sharply as it is has become quite popular. Ceramics enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year has doubled, facilitating the need for an additional extruder.
The Ashdown High School Art Department Faculty and Students wish to gratefully thank everyone who made this gift possible for Ashdown schools.

SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION MONTH 09/20/19

Suicide rates are climbing, with the highest numbers reported in rural counties across the United States. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the number of suicide deaths had increased in Arkansas, however declined last year due to awareness efforts and a new prevention lifeline.
The month of September is Suicide Prevention Month and ADH Injury and Violence Prevention Section Chief Mandy Thomas says Arkansas is one of few states to have a call center funded and operated by a state government agency. Anyone in crisis or that needs to talk to someone is welcome to call the 24 hour phone number at 1-800-273-TALK.
The Arkansas Department of Health Suicide Prevention Program is working to provide educational programs that encourage people from all walks of life to become knowledgeable about suicide prevention. Thomas says the education is provided free of charge to schools or other groups/organizations.
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, one person dies by suicide in Arkansas every 16 hours.
Thomas says warning signs of suicide include depression, withdrawing from family, and giving away prized possessions. While teenagers are more frequently at risk of suicide, the highest numbers include middle aged men.
If you know of someone going through a crisis, Arkansas Department of Health officials encourage people to open a dialogue with that individual and help them seek assistance.
For more information, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

DE QUEEN AND COSSATOT FIRE DEPARTMENTS HANDLE BRUSH FIRE TUESDAY 09/20/19

The local Fire Department handled a brush fire East of De Queen earlier this week.
A report released by De Queen Fire chief Dennis Pruitt states that 14 firefighters responded to the all-call alarm around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday September 17th. Foam and water were used to extinguish the flames in roughly two hours. The fire occurred at a residence located on Highway 71 East and Country Club Estates. Crews arrived on the scene by 4:51 p.m., just six minutes after the call came in.

Two trucks were sent to the scene and the Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department provided DFD with assistance. No smoke detector was reported to be present and the property owner was identified as Bento Camarillo.

Chief Pruitt says at least six acres of land were damaged as a result of the fire, but no people were reported injured.
Crews left the scene at 7:19 p.m.

FLEX COURSES IN OCTOBER AVAILABLE AT UA COSSATOT 09/20/19

UA Cossatot has released the class schedule for available October flex courses. These eight-week classes will begin on October 7 and end on December 6. The last day to sign up for one or more of these classes is October 4, 2019.
Flex courses allow students to take classes in a faster amount of time rather than in a traditional sixteen-week semester. They also enable students to take more courses and graduate sooner.
The October flex classes include several welding courses at Lockesburg, Nashville, and De Queen. The college will also be offering online courses in Accounting II, Micro Computer Apps, and Databases. Other available courses include Intermediate Algebra in Ashdown and Anatomy and Physiology II in Nashville.
To view the full class schedule, please visit www.cccua.edu. To sign up and enroll in an October flex course, please contact Student Services at 870-584-4471 or studentservices@cccua.edu.