Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Local News

Today's News

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.

 

 

Previously Reported

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.

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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.

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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
  2. Morrilton
  3. Little Rock Christian
  4. Watson Chapel
  5. 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.

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING ANNOUNCED 10/07/19

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.

 

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.