Monday, August 20, 2018

Local News

Today's News

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL OFFERS LAW ENFORCEMENT EDUCATION EVENT 08/20/18

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced a training opportunity for law enforcement officers in Arkansas will be held on September 6. This is the second year Attorney General Rutledge is offering the training event to supplement the annual Law Enforcement Summit. This year’s event will be held at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville and will provide free training and educational opportunities for the law enforcement community.

Attorney General Rutledge said “The annual Law Enforcement Summit remains one of the most popular trainings offered by the Attorney General’s Office, but these trainings, which take place outside of central Arkansas, are important to reach more law enforcement officers. As Arkansas’s chief law enforcement officer, it is important to me to provide continued training to officers around the State.”

In March, Rutledge offered the same training program in northeast Arkansas. Attendees receive training to combat the opioid epidemic in Arkansas from the Drug Enforcement Administration Little Rock District Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Justin King and Drug Enforcement Administration Little Rock District Office Diversion Group Supervisor Irvin Reaves and DHS State Targeted Response (STR) Opioid Recovery Coordinator Jimmy McGill. Kim Arnold with the Arkansas Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will also provide training on crisis intervention.

Attorney General office attorneys will also be presenting in their area of expertise; Nurse Investigator Vicki Jones and Special Agents Dane Pedersen and Michael Thatch will discuss elder abuse, Deputy Attorney General Chuck Harder will discuss protecting Arkansans from scams and identity theft and Deputy Attorney General Will Jones will discuss cyber crime investigations.

Registration is now open for law enforcement representatives to participate in the September 6 event, which begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. Information can be found online at ArkansasAG.gov

HOO RAH DAYS PAGEANT SET FOR SEPTEMBER 08/20/18

The 17th annual Hoo Rah Days pageant has been announced. The event will take place on Saturday, September 8th at 11:00 a.m. at D e Queen High School. This pageant is open to participants from all states age newborn to 25 years old.

Registration will take place on pageant day from 8:30-9:30 a.m. This year’s host will be Kambree Haarmeyer. Prizes awarded on stage will include crowns, custom satin sashes and cash. Beauty, photogenic, and outfit of choice categories will be included in the pageant.

Spots are still available and a $50 deposit will secure a space for participants. Information on free registration is available upon request. Contact Jackie Gonzalez at 870-279-1787, or check out the facebook page at facebook.com/hoorahdayspageant01

MEMORIAL 5K PLANNED FOR THE FALL 08/20/18

The 4th annual Brooke Ackley Memorial 5k walk/run for SIDS awareness event will be held this fall in Howard County Arkansas. The fundraiser will take place October 13th at the Nashville City Park’s Dogwood Pavilion. Check in is scheduled to take place from 6:00am-7:00am with the kids race beginning at 7:30. The adult race will begin at 8:00am.

Age groups will be separated into 8 categories, including age 0-5, 6-10, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and ages 60 and older. There will be male and female categories. All participants are asked to bring a candle to be lit in memory of babies who have passed away. All proceeds from the event will be donated to families suffering from loss.

The registration fee is $25 for adults, $30 the day of, and kids age 6 and under will have a registration fee of $10 in advance, $15 the day of. T-shirts will be included in pre-registration, which is available until September 27th. Questions can be referred to Jamie Ackley at 870-356-7957.

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $40,481 08/20/18

The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Little River County collected more than $40,000, the Commissioner of State Lands announced. Nineteen bidders registered for the auction, purchasing seven of the 14 available parcels for a total of $40,481.35 for county and state government.

The Land Commissioner’s office conducts one tax-delinquent sale per county each year to dispose of land which has been certified with taxes past-due. “We auction only a small percentage of parcels that are certified to the office,” Commissioner John Thurston said. “In most cases, the original owner redeems the delinquent property by paying the back taxes.” While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls. Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions.

Registration to bid at land sales is free. Upon sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder. Thurston’s office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale, to the county taxing unit just as if the money had been originally collected there.

“Last year, we returned more than $17 million to school districts and county governments,” Thurston said. “Little River County received almost $40,000 of that amount. This is an important process, because it provides stable revenue for necessary services including public schools.” Interested Arkansas residents may visit the Commissioner of State Lands website, www.cosl.org, to view the public auction catalog, a listing of properties offered at auction, or the post-auction sales list

UNIFIED HOG CALL SCHEDULED TO KICK OFF NEW SCHOOL YEAR 08/20/18

To kick off a new year and in support of all Razorback student-athletes, Arkansas Athletics has announced the inaugural ONE Hog Call planned for Friday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. CST. The ONE Hog Call invites Razorback fans from all over the world to unite as ONE fan base and Call the Hogs in unison to show their love for Razorback athletic teams as they begin a new year.
Events open to the public will be held at locations in Northwest Arkansas and Central Arkansas. 

A social media contest will allow fans across the world to join in.
Details on the location of public ONE Hog call events in Northwest Arkansas and Central Arkansas will be announced soon. Razorback fans who aren’t able to attend the public events are encouraged to stage their own ONE Hog Call with community members, co-workers, friends and family at 1 p.m. CST.

Fans are encouraged to post photos and videos of their Hog Call on social media using #ONEHogCall. Some of the best submissions will be featured on Razorback social channels and videoboards in Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium during Arkansas’ football season opener against Eastern Illinois on Saturday, September 1st.

More information can be found by following the Arkansas Razorbacks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

 

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

BUFFALO RIVER ACTION COMMITTEE MEETING PLANNED FOR AUGUST 08/17/18

The Beautiful Buffalo River Action Committee (BBRAC) will hold its 2018 third quarter meeting at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) on August 21, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the ADEQ Headquarters Commission Room located at 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock.

Items on the agenda include a presentation by Executive Director of the Illinois River Partnership Dr. Nicole Hardiman on the Illinois River Watershed Management Plan and a presentation by ADEQ Ecologist Coordinator Tate Wentz on the history of filamentous algae in the Buffalo National River.

BBRAC was established by Governor Asa Hutchinson in 2016 to develop an Arkansas-led, non-regulatory approach to identify opportunities to protect and maintain water quality in the Buffalo River Watershed. The Arkansas Department of Health, Arkansas Agriculture Department, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, and Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality are the state agencies that comprise the committee.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Office are supporting partners. Additional information about BBRAC is available at https://bbrac.arkansas.gov/.
CONTACT: contact@bbrac.arkansas.gov or 501-682-0874

UPDATES FOR SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT 08/17/18

The Sevier County Quorum court met for their monthly meeting this week. The meeting was held Monday, August 13th at the Sevier County Courthouse. Several agenda items were discussed, including funding matters related to the local Senior Citizen center, approval for the Sevier County Edge groups advertising efforts, and a Jail tax to be voted on in the upcoming election.

JP Angie Walker says the quorum court provides a portion of funding for the Senior Center each year, and new management took over July 1st. Another item discussed included the Sevier County Economic Development for Growth and Excellence group’s request for assistance in funding an advertising campaign.

The group has designed a billboard that will stand between Broken Bow and Idabel Oklahoma to promote tourism in Sevier County. EDGE has raised much of the own money for promotion efforts and requested additional assistance from the quorum court. The request for $3,200 was approved.

The court also discussed the jail tax revenue that will appear on ballots for Sevier County voters in November. Voters will have the option to maintain a the current jail tax as is, or opt out. The next quorum court meeting will be held September 10th, 2018. All Quorum court meetings are held the 2nd Monday of each month at the Sevier County Courthouse.

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE AFTER DELIVERING CHILD 08/17/18

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today made her first public appearance since giving birth to her daughter this week. Rutledge and her husband Boyce Johnson became 1st time parents to a baby girl Friday, July 27th. The attorney general welcomed participants to the Agriculture Technology & the Law Summit: Advancing American Agriculture at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock Wednesday, August 15th.

The educational event was created in partnership with the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the National Agricultural Law Center, to bring together public and private legal experts and agriculture industry representatives to address unique legal and policy questions.

“When I became co-chair of NAAG’s Agriculture Committee three years ago, I envisioned Arkansas hosting a first-rate legal education program for state Attorneys General staff, state regulatory staff and others focused on agricultural law,” said Attorney General Rutledge.
“Today we welcome agriculture leaders and attorneys from nearly 30 states, a testament to how important agriculture is to the foundation of our great country.“

Forums over the two-day event include discussions on big data, unmanned vehicles, biotechnology, global theft of intellectual properties, pesticide regulation, rural broadband and more. Summit attendees will receive 12 hours of general Continuing Legal Education credit including 2 hours of Ethic/Professional Education credit in Arkansas.

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD TALKS UPDATES AND AWARDS AT AUGUST MEETING 8/16/18

The De Queen School board’s regularly scheduled meeting was held Monday, August 13th 2018 at the De Queen administration building. A variety of agenda items were discussed, including representatives of the Gillham alumni association requesting the De Queen school board’s assistance in composing documentation that would applies the Gillham school to be added on the Arkansas list of historical sites.

The Board approved the motion and agreed to sign off on a letter that would help in the historical site application process. Another agenda item included the ongoing facilities renovation updates as well as decisions on flooring for the layout of the New High School building. Superintendent Bruce Hill says cost effective strategies in the facilities development process is important.

The school board also addressed recognition of recent achievements within the district. The De Queen primary and elementary schools have received awards for growth and achievement in Language arts and the Jr. High has received awards in the math category on a regional and state level. Bruce Hill noted that the awards represent a defiance of expectation, considering socioeconomic factors within the district.

De Queen was also recently ranked 41st out of 268 schools in the state. The school board also approved all transfer requests and set a graduation date for the class of 2019. The commencement ceremony will take place May 13th, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. at the football field.

AGFC REPORTS SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS LAKE UPDATES 08/17/18

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has released new reports this week for updates on the lakes in the Southwest Arkansas area. As of Wednesday, August 15th, the Army Corps of Engineers reports Milwood lake’s elevation is at 257.83 feet msl. Normal conservation pool: 259.20 ms.

Mike Siefert at Millwood Lake Guide Service said the lake remains in the 24-inch draw down; lake level is currently falling at about 17 inches below normal conservation pool and lake level (as of Monday) was at 257.9 feet msl; Water temperatures have dropped over the past week.

Surface temperatures as of Monday are ranging between 83ºF to 89ºF range when under full sun, depending on location. Engineers recommend using extreme caution in navigation during ongoing draw down conditions. The most recent lake level of Millwood Lake can be found on the Army Corps of Engineers website, www.swl.usace.army.mil

As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports that Lake Greeson’s elevation was 543.84 feet msl (full pool: 548.00 feet msl). Jason Lenderman of JL Guide Service says the lake level on Tuesday had risen some due to recent rain. Water temperatures have made it into the upper 80s.

The bass have are in their summertime patterns and have slowed down considerably. Notable amounts of spotted bass have been making recent appearances. Night fishing has been reported as decent recently, by use of black Booyah Spinnerbaits or Yum Ribbontail Worms. As of Wednesday, the Army Corps of Engineers reports De Queen lake’s elevation was 437.52 feet msl with no other notable changes in fishing to report.

AMAZON HEADS TO ARKANSAS 08/16/18

World renowned online company Amazon has announced a new business location will be coming to the state of Arkansas. City officials revealed this week that an Amazon distribution center is heading to North Little Rock.

The building will be constructed at a site that was previously used for storing materials for North Little Rock High School. The physical address is 1920 North Locust Street. Norman Clifton, is chairman of the North Little Rock Planning Commission and is also owner of the property where the future Amazon building will located.

Clifton says the distribution warehouse is expected to range anywhere between 30,000-40,000 square feet. He also explained that the warehouse will serve has a catalyst for the Arkansas job market, as the site will require as many as 100 employment positions to be filled.

Construction of the distribution warehouse is set to happen in September while production could begin as early as November.

METHAMPHETAMINE FOUND ON RESIDENT SATURDAY 08/16/18

Representatives of the Sevier County Sheriff’s office responded to 911 calls about a vehicle sitting in the middle of the road on Highway 24 Saturday, August 11th at 4:30 a.m. The callers reported the car may have been involved in an accident.

Deputies John Stinson and Justin Gentry located a red Chevrolet truck obstructing two lanes and identified the driver as Barry Talley. Talley reportedly passed out with his foot on the brake while the vehicle was still running. Both deputies gave Talley multiple verbal commands and attempted to wake him up as the truck began to roll forward.

Once Talley woke up, the deputies identified themselves as members of law enforcement and were able to place the vehicle in park. After Talley was removed from the driver’s seat, a glass smoking pipe and methamphetamine were discovered inside the truck.
Talley was placed in police custody and the evidence recovered from the scene was sent off to the Arkansas state crime lab.

550 POUNDS OF MARIJUANA SEIZED IN CAMDEN 08/16/18

Arkansas authorities intercepted more than 500 pounds of marijuana from a railroad car in Camden this week. The amount reportedly holds a street value of $500,000. On Sunday, Camden police were told three people were seen on top of a railroad car.

Authorities responded and discovered a bag housing tools and materials, including rope which were suspected to be used to enter the car. On Monday evening the Camden police were notified a 2nd time regarding a person spotted driving around the same area.

On Wednesday, investigators obtained a search warrant and discovered more than 20 bundles of marijuana inside the railroad car. Police reported the bundles weighed approximately 25 pounds each, totaling approximately 550 pounds. Authorities have not released information on arrests or suspects at this time.

UA COSSATOT HONORS EMPLOYEE SERVICE 08/16/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot honored staff and faculty members for 10, 15, 20, and 25 years of distinguished service during the college’s fall in-service. Recipients are Brenda Morris, Tammy Coleman, Charlotte Johnson, Mike Kinkade, Kelly Plunk, Laura Riddle, Linda Young, Karen Arbuckle, Ashley Aylett, Crystal Bell-Hunter, Toni Wartinger, and Tim Whisenhunt.
These UA Cossatot employees have seen the college transform over the past 25 years and have had the opportunity to grow into new roles at the college.

Morris, a resident of De Queen, Arkansas, and UA Cossatot alumna, has been with the college for 25 years. Morris began her journey at UA Cossatot in 1991 when she registered for a Continuing Education computer course. The following year she enrolled as a credit-bearing student and served as Work Study Assistant in the Business Office. In fall 1994, Morris attained an Associate of Applied Science degree in Administrative Assistant, making her the first student to earn a two-year degree from UA Cossatot. That March she was hired as the one-person Student Services department, providing all services varying from recruiting, advising, enrollment, data entry, and transcripts. In 1996, she became the first Registrar at the college and remains in the role today. Morris’s knowledge makes her a valuable member of the Cossatot team. She is a vital contributor to accreditation processes and oversees the majority of college reporting.

 

 

Coleman, a resident of De Queen, has been with the college for 20 years. She began as Community Outreach Assistant, became Continuing Ed Coordinator, and today she is Director of Workforce Development & Public Services. She oversees the college’s Career Pathways Initiatives, Continuing Education, and Workforce Training. Coleman is a driving force in our workforce alliances in the region. She has built tremendous relationships with all area industries and is respected by all in the workforce training world.

 

 

Johnson, a resident of De Queen, has been with the college full-time for 20 years. Johnson began her time at the college as an adjunct business instructor, going full-time in 1998. In 2000, she became the Business/Finance Manager, which is now titled Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Services. Her tremendous talent and knowledge makes her the best CFO in Arkansas without question, according to UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole.

 

 

 

Kinkade, a resident of Nashville, Arkansas, has been with the college for 20 years. Kinkade’s first role at UA Cossatot was Dean of Technology and Workforce Development. From that role, he moved from Dean of planning and Assessment to Dean of Planning and Facilities. He still maintains the Vice Chancellor of Planning and Facilities role today while also directing the Howard County Campus. Kinkade has a wide variety of responsibilities at the college and is responsible for the look and growth of each campus. His latest project has been overseeing the development and restoration of the Old Lockesburg High School campus into the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute (LIMI).

 

 

 

Plunk, a resident of Horatio, Arkansas, has been with the college for 20 years. Plunk originally began her time at the college in 1996 as the secretary for Adult Education. In 2008, she returned to the college as an accounting tech in the Business Office. Plunk became the Director of Human Resources in 2012. She is a long-term employee who is committed to the college and cares for each employee as though they are family. Plunk has one of the most difficult jobs at the college as she deals with employee’s pay and benefits – their livelihood.

 

 

Riddle, a resident of Texarkana, Arkansas, has been with the college for 15 years. She began her time at UA Cossatot as a full-time instructor teaching music, Spanish, and education courses. In 2016, she became the Director of Distance Learning, where she facilitates Blackboard and maintains online instruction for all UA Cossatot online courses today. Riddle’s teaching experience and vision for technology aid the college’s response to the swift advancement of educational technology. Riddle received her PhD in Education with an emphasis in E-Learning and Teaching Online from Northcentral University in October 2012. Her dissertation, Infoglut: Does it hinder the online learning experience of nontraditional students, was nominated for Dissertation of the Year. In addition to her years at UA Cossatot, Riddle has been a professional musician for over 30 years, and her band Ms. Mac and the Groovetones performed around the Four States area for over 10 years. The group was especially supportive of the Toys for Tots Drive sponsored by the United States Marine Corps.

 

 

Young, a resident of Dierks, Arkansas, and UA Cossatot alumna, has been with the college for 15 years. While attending classes at the UA Cossatot, Young was a Work Study Assistant in Student Services and later in the Testing Center. After completing her Associate of Arts degree, she became a full-time Testing Center proctor where she served until becoming a Career Pathways Site Coordinator at the Nashville campus. In Career Pathways, Young helps qualifying parents overcome barriers that may otherwise have kept them earning the degrees and certificates they need to obtain jobs in high-demand occupations and improve earnings. Young manages intake and serves as the student support system contact, student advisor, and tracks student progress for the program. Her chocolate pie cannot be beat, and her care for students and staff alike make her a UA Cossatot favorite.

 

Arbuckle, a resident of De Queen, has been with the college for 10 years as a Life Science Instructor. Arbuckle was instrumental in converting Biology to an Open Educational Resource (OER) course, meaning students do not have to purchase or rent biology textbooks. She also developed several new virtual and kitchen labs for these courses. For Zoology, she completely restructured the course, and the college now offers it each fall semester because of its popularity. Arbuckle serves as a leader on UA Cossatot’s Distance Education Committee and in the Biology department where she regularly introduces fresh ideas. She makes time for anyone who steps into her office and is kind to everyone – staff and students.

 

 

 

Aylett, a resident of Ashdown, Arkansas, has been with the college for 10 years. She began her time at UA Cossatot as a full-time business instructor and became Vice Chancellor of Academics in 2016. Aylett is pursuing her doctorate and serves as Vice Chair of the Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium Governing Board. She is tenacious in her job, and she makes decisions based on what is best for the student and the college. Aylett is also pursuing her doctorate in Adult and Lifelong Learning emphasizing in community college leadership from the University of Arkansas Fayetteville.

 

Bell-Hunter, a resident of Lockesburg, Arkansas, has been with the college for 10 years as Upward Bound Coordinator, where she helped provide opportunities for high school students to succeed in their precollege performance and ultimately in their college pursuit through academic coordination, advising and implementation of the Upward Bound Program. She transitioned to Career Pathways as an advisor facilitating testing, advising, career assessment, orientation programs, and counseling for students. Today Bell-Hunter uses her experience with both grant programs and serving students as Career Pathways Director. She directs, administers, and coordinates the activities of the campus Career Pathways Program in addition to providing career support services to students. Her passion, optimism, and genuine care for UA Cossatot students allow her to go above and beyond countless times to ensure their success.

Wartinger, a resident of De Queen, has been with the college for 10 years. She began her time at UA Cossatot in Adult Education and served in that department for five years. Wartinger then transitioned to the Testing Center, where she facilitates student and community testing. She is known to greet all students and fellow staff members with a smile. Wartinger goes beyond her duties to ensure students feel comfortable when entering the Testing Center, an area of the college that often is a source of anxiety for many students. She actively serves on the Valuing Employees Committee, working to ensure all the recognition of all UA Cossatot employee milestones and achievements.

 

Whisenhunt, a resident of De Queen, has been with the college for 10 years, starting in the Building and Grounds department. His previous supervisor, Sid Steel, recognized Whisenhunt’s dependability and encouraged him to apply for the supervisor job when Steel left UA Cossatot. Whisenhunt has proven himself a good supervisor, as all of his employees will say that he does not ask anything of them he is not willing to do himself. He strives to do whatever his fellow employees ask of him, and he wants all the UA Cossatot campuses to be known for their clean buildings and well-groomed facilities. Like most employees at UA Cossatot, Whisenhunt wears many hats and keeps numerous balls in the air. His department mows and provides set-up and clean-up for events on all three campuses.

 

TEXARKANA REALTOR WHO’S VISUALLY IMPAIRED EARNS ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 8/15

Salena Pruitt of Texarkana has been named the area’s outstanding Consumer of the Year by the Department of Human Services; Division of Services for the Blind (DSB).
She has worked over 2 years as a realtor at CENTURY 21 All points Realty in Texarkana TX. Prior to this she was a college student.

DSB Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Angela Gray nominated Salena Pruitt for the achievement award because of her determination to overcome adversity and succeed at her work. She was selected from an area that includes Miller, Little River, Hempstead, Sevier, Lafayette, Nevada, Pike, Polk, and Howard Counties.

The award presentation was made at the noon business meeting of CENTURY 21 All Points Realty on Richmond Rd. in Texarkana, TX. Friday, August 10, 2018. Lunch was provided by Naaman’s BBQ of Texarkana, TX.

Mrs. Pruitt’s employer, CENTURY 21 All Points Realty, was recognized by DSB as an outstanding business partner for its commitment to promoting the employment of persons with vision impairment.

Mrs. Pruitt said she had been diagnosed with congenital nystagmus upon birth; and soon after developed retinopathy of prematurity, causing her to lose most of her vision. After moving to South Arkansas, Mrs. Pruitt referred herself to DSB, where she wanted to pursue college in order to enter into the working world. Upon eligibility, DSB assisted Mrs. Pruitt with college tuition and training. Mrs. Pruitt received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Little Rock.

“I appreciate DSB. Without these services, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go back to school to pursue a career,” Mrs. Pruitt said. DSB also provided counseling and guidance, college training, supported employment, and job services.

Mrs. Pruitt is a member of Kern Heights Baptist Church where she teaches bible study in the children’s ministry. Mrs. Pruitt is also an active volunteer at her local nursing home where she visits with the elderly there. She and her husband Rick have one daughter, Mazie. They all enjoy watching movies together, and playing chess and super Mario cart. Mrs. Pruitt and her daughter are also active in Taekwondo, where Mrs. Pruitt is a 4th degree green belt.

This is the 11th year that DSB has given Consumer of the Year awards to recognize individuals who have managed their rehabilitation plans, gained marketable skills, secured good jobs, and become role models for others. An overall state winner will be selected at the end of the year.

DSB provides vocational rehabilitation services to adults who are blind or severely visually impaired and whose goal is successful employment. The division also serves youth and older blind individuals. For information about DSB’s programs and services, visit the DSB website at https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/about-dhs/dsb, or call 1-800-960-9270, 501-682-5463, or deaf relay 711.

ARKANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT CAMPAIGN SCHEDULED THROUGH LABOR DAY 08/15/18

Over the next few weeks, Arkansas law enforcement officers will participate in the national campaign to prevent impaired driving. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over operation will run from Friday, August 17th through Monday, September 3rd.

The intensified enforcement campaign coincides with the Labor Day holiday weekend, which is one of the deadliest times of the year for drunk-driving fatalities. According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,497 lives were lost in drunk-driving crashes during 2016. Statistically, that means one person is killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation’s roads.

Over the Labor Day holiday period in 2016 there were 433 traffic crash fatalities nationwide. Of the fatal crashes, more than one-third involved drivers who were drunk. Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative said “We need motorists to understand that they must make the smart decision to drive sober – Labor Day and every day,” “Drunk driving is a crime that is totally preventable.”

During this period, law enforcement officers in Arkansas will reinforce their patrol assignments aimed at drastically reducing the number of impaired drivers who endanger themselves and others. The public will also notice an increase in state and national media messages designed to educate everyone about the dangers of drunk driving.

The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office recommends the following:
-Always plan ahead whenever you expect to drive and consume alcohol.
-Designate a sober driver before leaving and give that person your keys. If you have been drinking, call a taxi, take the bus or call a sober friend or family member to get you to your destination safely.
-Promptly contact law enforcement to report drunk drivers you see on the roadways. Always wear your seat belt.
For more information visit TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov or contact the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8136.

SEVIER COUNTY SEES POSITIVE CHANGE IN JAIL SYSTEM 08/15/18

The Sevier County Sheriff’s office has seen a variety of changes since implementing programs and services into the jail system. The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program is also know as RSAT. The program is designed to help inmates and individuals with legal issues recover from substance abuse and better themselves and the communities in which they live.
From 2016 to 2017, the number of fights in the jail per year decreased from 67 to 12.

The program is unique to the state of Arkansas and has been made possible by prosecuting attorney Bryan Chesshir, Sheriff Robert Gentry and Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott. Sheriff Gentry and Administrator Wolcott have accounted for statistics that show changes benefiting the inmates as well as the Sevier County community.

In November 2018, Sevier county residents will have the ability to vote on a proposed jail tax. Sheriff Gentry says if that residents vote no on the issue, the treatment programs could possibly be eliminated.

In addition to leading programs and services within the jail system, local law enforcement have also been organizing events for residents of the community. A block party will be held on August 28th in Lockesburg City park. All members are invited to come out and mingle with members of law enforcement in a relaxed environment. The event is family friendly and all are welcome to attend.

ARKANSAS STATE POLICE SEEKING RECRUITS 08/14/18

The Arkansas State Police is looking for eligible recruits to fill the 2019 academy class. Qualified individuals will be selected to enter the Arkansas State Police Recruit Academy, with a start date of February 24, 2019.

“If you have what it takes to become an Arkansas State Trooper, we want to meet you,” said Colonel Bill Bryant, Director of the Arkansas State Police. “If you are selected, you will find yourself on the path of one of the most rewarding careers imaginable. ”

Minimum qualifications to be considered are:
– Must be a United States citizen and at least 21 years of age.
– Must possess a medical release to participate in a physical fitness test.
– Never convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge
– Must possess a current and valid driver license.
– Must be a certified high school graduate or possess a GED equivalency.
– Never convicted of a felony criminal charge.
– Must meet visual acuity requirements.
– Pass a comprehensive background check.
– No tattoos shall be visible on an applicant’s body that could be seen if wearing the uniform of an Arkansas State Trooper.

The Arkansas State Police Recruit Academy is a 21 week intense training environment, designed to teach our recruits the job skills necessary to perform the duties of a trooper. Those selected to attend our academy will receive more than 1,000 hours of training covering all aspects of law enforcement.

Recruits begin earning a salary after being offered a position by the Director of the Arkansas State Police and reporting to the academy. The entry salary for an Arkansas State Trooper Recruit is $40,340. Following four and ½ years of service, a trooper becomes eligible for promotion to the rank of Trooper First Class, receiving a salary increase of 10% or an increase to the entry pay level of $45,010, whichever is greater.

Upon seven and ½ years of service a trooper is promoted to the rank of corporal, awarded a 10% raise or an increase to the entry pay level of $50,222, or whichever is greater.
Benefits include:
– Healthcare insurance is paid by the state for a trooper (recruit) and family
– Certificate pay up to $1,200 annually (*state police director discretion)
– Retirement contributions are paid by the state.
– Uniforms and equipment are furnished.
– Eligible for career service pay following ten years of state service.
Interested applicants are encouraged to visit the Arkansas State Police web site at www.asp.arkansas.gov, where they can find all the forms necessary to start the hiring process. The recruiting page also provides applicants a means to directly contact a recruiter.

SEWING WORKSHOP HELD FOR SEVIER COUNTY 4-H 08/14/18

In July, 2018, Sevier County 4-H members participated in a sewing workshop held by county extension agent Janet Cantrell and 4-H program assistant Kim Frachiseur. The workshop was held in the Adams building of the UA Cossatot De Queen campus and focused on getting the youth comfortable with basic sewing techniques.
Participants were required to bring their own material, cut and pin it then sew the material together and create a pot holder. Workshop leaders provided supervised practice and facilitated an opportunity for participants to get comfortable operating a sewing machine.

The 4-H members who attended the workshop were able to keep the potholders they made and can now add basic sewing to the list of skills obtained through the 4-H program.
More information about Sevier County 4-H and affiliated events can be found by contacting the extension office at 870-584-3013

SEVIER COUNTY DEPUTY FINDS PIPE BOMB IN HORATIO 08/14/18

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office discovered a resident in possession of a pipe bomb on Hazard street in Horatio over the weekend. On Saturday, August 11th at approximately 7:00 p.m.

Deputy Chett Stubbs conducted a traffic stop up discovering a red Dodge Ram without license plates. The driver was identified as Kevin Bailey, who had an outstanding warrant for arrest and was asked to step out of the vehicle.

Bailey agreed to Deputy Stubb’s request to search the vehicle and a white PVC pipe with a fuse attached was found in the passenger door pocket. Bailey first claimed a friend made the bomb then later stated he had found it on the ground in De Queen.

Deputy Stubbs notified Bailey of his Miranda rights and placed him in police custody. Bailey was booked in the Sevier County Jail and has been charged with criminal acts involving explosives.

CLEAN UP PLANNED FOR COSSATOT STATE PARK 08/14/18

The 2018 Fall River clean up is scheduled for September 29th at Cossatot River State Park. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 3:00 p.m. Volunteers can meet at the Natural area at 9:00 am for registration.

Lunch will be provided at no charge. Supplies will be available onsite, and will include trash bags, gloves and safety vests. It is recommended that participants bring water and proper footwear.

Prizes will be awarded and participants can enter to win a custom ENO hammock. More information can be found by calling 870-385-2201

AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER FOUNDATION DONATES $30,000 TO INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY TRAINING 08/13/18  
The American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation donates $30,000 to the University of Arkansas Cossatot Foundation to purchase industrial technology training equipment for the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Institute (LIMI).

AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) Customer Service Representative Paul Knowles, Turk Plant Manager Tim Gross, and External Affairs Manager Jennifer Harland presented the donation to UA Cossatot administrators. Accepting the donation is UA Cossatot Vice Chancellor of Facilities Mike Kinkade, Skilled and Technical Sciences Division Chair Steve McJunkins, Chancellor Steve Cole, Director of Public Services and Workforce Development Tammy Coleman, Ashdown Campus Director Barry Reed, and Vice Chancellor of Academic Services Ashley Aylett.

“This training equipment will provide students with the opportunity to program PLCs, operate other equipment utilizing the trainer, and gain valuable knowledge about how these systems control the electrical outputs of nearly every piece of equipment within a facility,” says Harland.

“Our goal at SWEPCO is to play an active, positive role in the communities where we live and work. The American Electric Power Foundation is honored to support the LIMI in creating a workforce that will meet the demands of local industry.”
The UA Cossatot LIMI will open for industrial technology classes on August 13, 2018. The institute will provide training for local industries such as Tyson, Ashgrove, Domtar, and SWEPCO.

Chancellor Cole says, “AEP SWEPCO has been a long-time industry supporter of UA Cossatot. We are honored that they are helping with this groundbreaking program in Lockesburg.”“This program helps hundreds of students that will be working towards high-wage, high- skill jobs in the industrial maintenance field, which is a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to economic development for our area.”

There will be an open house event later this fall. For more information about UA Cossatot Industrial Technology programs, please visit www.cccua.edu/IndMaint.

ELECTION MEETING SCHEDULED IN SEVIER COUNTY 08/13/18

An upcoming meeting of the Sevier County Election Committee has been announced. The meeting will be held Thursday, August 23rd, 2018 in the Sevier County Clerk’s office.

The county clerk’s office is located inside the Sevier County courthouse building. The purpose of the meeting is to certify candidates and referendum for the November 6th General Election.

The Ballot draw will also be conducted at this meeting to determine the ballot order for candidates.Other items pertaining to the 2018 General Election will be discussed during this meeting as necessary. The meeting will begin at 1:00 p.m. and is open to all members of the community.

CITY OF HORATIO TAKES STEPS TOWARDS PARK IMPROVEMENTS 08/13/18

The City of Horatio will be holding a specially called city council meeting this week. On Thursday night, August 16th at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be take place in the City Hall Conference room on Main street in Horatio. The purpose of the specially called session is to pass a resolution giving permission for the City of Horatio to apply for a park improvement grant from the Arkansas Department of Tourism.

If the resolution is passed, an application for the grant money will be submitted. All paperwork from previously held city council meetings, suggestions from residents and pictures will be submitted along with the application. City council members will be notified in October if Horatio is in the running for the grant money to be received.

If awarded, the city council will include a new pavilion, handicap parking, handicap accessible sidewalks, as well as new playground equipment and new signs in the improvement project. If the grant is not awarded, the city of Horatio will be permitted tom apply again 3-5 years.

The renovation process is estimated to take several months to complete if the grant is awarded and the updates can begin as projected. Members of the community are invited and welcome to attend the upcoming meeting.

SEVIER COUNTY NOW ISSUING BIRTH AND DEATH CERTIFICATES 08/13/18

Arkansas residents have a new option for obtaining copies of certificates. The Sevier County Health Unit has announced they will now distribute birth and death certificates to Arkansas-born residents for a fee.

Birth certificate copies can be obtained for $12, and additional copies will be issued for an $10. Death certificates will be issued for a fee of $10 with an $8 charge for each additional copy. Birth certificates are often required when applying for certain jobs or renewing a driver’s license.

Death certificates are often issued for the purpose of obtaining certain benefits like life insurance or social security. At this time the health unit is only accepting cash or checks and can only issue certificates to Arkansas-born residents.

The Sevier County Health Unit is located at 304 North 4th Street in De Queen. More information can be found by calling 870-642-2535. Certificates are still available in Little Rock at The Arkansas Department of Health.

BENEFIT MUSICAL SCHEDULED FOR DE QUEEN GRADUATE 08/13/18

A benefit musical for Tiffany Bennett will be held this month. Tiffany graduated with the De Queen High School Class of 2000 and is the daughter of Gloria Bennett . In 2016, Tiffany was diagnosed with stage four renal failure. She also stuffers with a traumatic brain injury and in march of 2018, Tiffany had open heart surgery.

The benefit will help with medical and care giving expenses, as well as necessities for Tiffany’s health. The benefit will be held Sunday, August 19th, 2018 at New Zion Baptist Church beginning at 3:00 p.m. The church is located at 519 South 9th Street in De Queen, Arkansas.

In addition to the benefit musical, a “go fund me” page has also been set up for Tiffany. The page has set a goal of $5,000 to be reached. The page can be found at gofundme.com by searching Tiffany Bennett of Horatio. Donations can also be made by using the paypal link at newziondequeen.org and selecting “missions.”

The family has asked that no calls be made to the immediate family of Tiffany Bennett. Benefit organizers have expressed appreciations for all donations and are thankful for the support for the community during this time.

SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE RESPONDS TO BREAK IN CALL 08/10/18

The Sevier County Sheriff’s office responded to a call about a break-in on Monday, in Lockesburg. Deputy Thomas Jackson was dispatched to the 3400 block of Camellia street at 7:45 a.m. on August 6th.

The property owners were identified as Bill and Kim Roberts. The call was made by Mrs. Roberts, who told officers items from her home were missing and out of place. Minors in the home also reported seeing a flashlight moving outside the property around 4:00 that morning.

Upon deputy Jackson’s arrival on the scene, Roberts was discovered holding the suspect at gun point while awaiting police assistance. The suspect was identified as Travis Reeves and placed into police custody. Reeves reportedly believed he had permission to be on the property, however, residents of the home disputed the statement and he was later transported to the Sevier County Jail.

Upon further investigation, Reeves was found to have prior legal issues and is currently a registered sex offender. Reeves was charged with breaking and entering, burglary and criminal trespassing.

MARIJUANA FOUND ON RESIDENT IN LOCKESBURG 08/10/18

Deputy John Cooke of The Sevier County Sheriff’s office discovered a truck without tags parked at EZ mart in Lockesburg on Monday, August 6th at 7:30 a.m. Upon approaching the parked vehicle, Cooke found a woman identified as Jessica Richard sleeping on the console in the truck with the driver’s side door ajar.

Deputy Cooke questioned Richard and she reportedly stated the truck had broken down in and she fell asleep waiting on the owner of the vehicle to return. Upon searching the vehicle deputy Cooke discovered a bag of marijuana inside.

Richard reportedly stated that the truck and all items inside of it belonged to Travis Reeves, the vehicle owner. Richard was transported to the Sevier County Jail and cited for possession of a controlled substance and later released.

FREE KIDS DAY AT GILLHAM FIRE STATION 08/10/18

The Gillham Volunteer Fire Department is hosting the 3rd annual KIDS DAY on Saturday, August 18th. The event will take place from 10am-1:00 p.m. at the Fire station off of mineral road in Gillham.

The first 125 kids will receive a free goody bag. Smokey the Bear and his handler will be on site providing educational resources and information to attendees. Firefighters will be present and available to answer safety questions and address fire hazard concerns.

Free lunch will be provided and kids will be able to view the fire trucks up close and spray water from the truck. Weather permitting, a helicopter will be on site for the event. All members of the community are invited and welcome to attend this free family friendly event. More information can be found by calling Marc Rosson at 870-584-9434.

FREE KIDS FISHING DERBY IN ARKANSAS 08/10/18

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced the 2nd Saturday Fishing Derby for kids. On Saturday, August 11th, the kids derby will be held at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center, located in Columbus, AR.

The event is free and all children age 15 and under are invited and welcome to attend. The derby will begin at 9:00 a.m. and continue until 11:30 a.m. Prizes will be awarded for the smallest and the largest catfish caught.

A limited supply of poles will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Organizers have asked that only one pole per participant be used. Additional dates for the next derby events will be held September 8th and October 13th.

More information about this and other programs, can be found by contacting the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center at 870-983-2790. Similar events can also be found on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s website, AGFC.com.

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ENROLL IN NEW MAINTENANCE PROGRAM 08/09/18  Six Ashdown Students have signed up for the Lockesburg Industrial Maintenance Program. The LIMI program will begin this fall and is a partnership with CCCUA, Weyerhauser, and Tyson. They are providing the opportunity for AHS students to take classes that will provide them with certifications in which they can use to secure high paying jobs at graduation or they can continue onto college and graduate with a 4-year degree.

Classes will be located at the Old Lockesburg High School which was renovated specifically designed for the program. Students will begin Monday, August 13 in the 2-year program which will train students to become licensed in various industries. Several industries in the area responsible for creating the program are Tyson, Weyerhauser, Domtar, Sunderland (Ash Grove), and SWEPCO.

According to AHS principal Kay York, “The pathway options are mechanical, electrical, or a combination of both. Modules will provide training in electricity, mechanical devices, hydraulics, and pneumatics, programmable logic controllers, HVAC, welding, mechatronics, instrumentation, and other needed skill sets.”

Students will be able to receive NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research) certifications such as Core Curriculum-Introductory Craft Skills, Industrial Maintenance Mechanic Level I, II, and III, OSHA 10 Training, Fastenal fasteners training certificate, Kennametal cutting tool training certificate, North abrasives training certificate and Lennox blades training certificate. Instructors for the LIMI Program are NCCER Certified instructors that are approved by the industries listed.

After completing the 2-year program, students will be afforded the opportunity to be employed by business and industry requiring skills gained or use college credits earned toward UA Cossatot’s AAS Degree in General Technology or in support areas within this degree related to Industrial Technology/Electrical.

According to information provided by CCCUA, Tyson Foods led the effort in this initiative and reached out to other companies to help support this program that is being designed to satisfy the needs of all local manufacturing and processing facilities in this area. The skills attained in this program are transferable not only from company to company but industry to industry, worldwide.

Randy Thompson from CCCUA challenged the Ashdown students “to be safe, resourceful and sought after,” while speaking to the parents, students, and staff present for the event.

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCES BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT 08/09/18 

De Queen High School has announced a back to school kick-off event set for Friday, August 10th. A community pep rally will take place at Leopard Stadium in De Queen beginning at 7:30 p.m.

All members of the community are invited and welcome to attend the event. This will serve as an opportunity for community members to meet the school football players, cheerleaders, and band members.

The cost of admission is $3 at the gate and all proceeds will benefit the De Queen High School football program. Leopard fans will also be able to purchase apparel and memberships from the athletic booster club.

The De Queen High School cheerleading squad will be selling taco dinners, t-shirts, stadium cushions and pop sockets. Fireworks will also be featured during the event.More information about De Queen High and associated athletic programs can be found online at dhs.dequeenleopards.org

WILDFIRE DANGER LEVELS DECLINE IN ARKANSAS 08/09/18

The number of counties in Arkansas under burn bans has been reduced this month. As of July 31st, four counties in the natural state were on the burn bans list. This week, only 2 counties have been placed under active burn bans. The status update is current as of today, Thursday, August 9th 2018.

The 2 counties remaining under bans include Columbia and Lafayette. Burn bans in other counties previously listed have been lifted. All county judges issue the bans and they remain in effect until further notice.

Just 7 out of the 75 counties across the state are currently listed under the “moderate” wildfire risk category. The 4 categories range from: low, moderate, high and extreme wildfire danger levels. Ouachita, Miller, Nevada, Columbia, Hempstead, Lafayette and Union counties are all currently listed under the moderate category.

No prescribed burns have been scheduled for any counties in the state of Arkansas this week.
More information about wildfire danger and the list of active burn bans can be found online at ARKfireinfo.org, or contacting the Arkansas Forestry Commission at 501-296-1940.

BACK TO SCHOOL BASH IN ASHDOWN 08/08/18

Ashdown Jr. High School will be hosting a free back to school event to finish out the summer and get ready for the new school year. The Back to School Bash will take place Saturday, August 11th from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. at Ashdown Jr. High School.

Featured events will include health and wellness activities, face painting, bus safety, crafts, free school supplies, games, prizes and free food.

There will also be appearances by local organizations within the community, including the health department, Little River EMS unit and five EMS helicopters, The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Fire Station.

The event is free and open to the public. Contact Ashdown Jr. High School at 870-898-5138.

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT AUGUST MEETING ANNOUNCED 08/08/18

The Sevier County Quorum Court has announced the date of the next regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting will take place Monday, August 13th at 2:00 p.m. at the Sevier County Courthouse in De Queen. There are a variety of items on the agenda to be discussed during the meeting.

Items include requested funds to match a Walton Family Foundation Grant for the Multi-use trail planned for De Queen Lake, a proposed resolution of contract between Sevier County and the Arkansas Department of Environmental quality in regards to the Sevier County Landfill, and a request to transfer funds for computer software support and maintenance purposes.

Other items on the agenda will include appropriation of funds for the Sevier County Economic Development for Greater Excellence billboard’ advertising plans and appropriation of funds to the Columbia County Meals Services inc. for the Senior Citizen Centers in Sevier County. Other items up for discussion and any added announcements and new business will be addressed per agenda listings.

The Quorum Court meetings take place once a month and the general public is invited and welcome to attend.

UA COSSATOT CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES SET FOR FALL 2018 08/08/18

A variety of continuing education courses will be held at UA Cossatot campuses in the fall of 2018. The programs are offered as a service to the community and allow residents to add or improve skill sets that may assist in different career paths. Classes include truck driver training, conversational Spanish, grant writing, CPR, small business start up, a home buyer’s seminar and more.

Many of the classes last approximately six to eight weeks. Continuing Education Coordinator Zebbie Launis is responsible for the program organization and development. Zebbie would like members of the community to be aware that the courses are not limited to current UA Cossatot students, as members of the community in all age groups are able to register in the continuing education programs.

A complete list of courses is available online at CCCUA.edu/conted and information can be found by contacting the college at 870-584-4471. It is recommended that persons interested in enrolling in the courses register early to secure spots in the classes.

Continuing Education courses begin in September and there are three ways participants can sign up. Registration is available online at CCCUA.edu/conted, in person Monday through Friday at the UA Cossatot De Queen campus between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or by mailing registration forms and payment to 183 College Drive in De Queen. Questions can be referred to the college at 870-584-4471.

FUN DAY IN THE PARK COMING UP IN HORATIO 08/08/18

The Horatio Park Revitalization Committee is sponsoring a “Fun Day in the Park” event this weekend. On Saturday, August 11th at the Horatio City Park, a variety of activities, features and vendors will be hosted for community residents.

The event is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. and continue until 7:00 p.m. Activities will include water slides, volleyball, basketball, bubbles, sidewalk chalk drawing, and badminton as well as an appearance from Air Evac.

Admission and participation in all activities will be free of charge, however vendors will have hot dogs, popcorn, snow cones, cotton candy and beverages for sale. All members of the community are invited and welcome to attend. The city of Horatio can be contacted at 870-832-2511.

ARKANSAS OUTSTANDING LAW ENFORCEMENT OF THE YEAR AWARD NOMINATIONS OPEN 08/08/18

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is currently accepting nominations from college/university, municipal, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies for the 2018 Outstanding Law Enforcement Officers of the Year Awards. The selection process will be based on qualified candidates who have performed admirably in the line of duty within the past 18 months.

One winner will be selected from each of the state’s 75 counties. Five regional winners will then be selected from county winners. The overall state officer of the year will be selected from among the regional winners. County and regional winners will be selected by regional judging panels comprised of city, county and state criminal justice professionals. Each regional panel will consider nominees from a different region.

County and regional officers of the year will be honored at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Summit on October 2, 2018, at the Benton Event Center. The 2018 Arkansas Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the Year will be announced by Attorney General Rutledge at the Summit luncheon.

Nominations must include a letter sharing details of the nominee’s job performance. Letters should be limited to two pages. Copies of background material, media clippings and a photograph may be submitted.
Nominations must be received no later than Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Nominations can be sent to:

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge 323 Center Street, Suite 200, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Nomination forms and more information is available online at ArkansasAG.gov

FINANCIAL ADJUSTMENTS DISCUSSED IN CITY COUNCIL MEETING 08/08/18

The De Queen City Council passed a budget amendment ordinance and approved a grant application in the regular council meeting Tuesday evening. The mid-year budget adjustment formally adopts any changes made to the budget since it was adopted last year.

The changes increase city revenue by $154,110 and expenses were increased by $196,636. A couple of retirements impacted the administration and police budgets because the retirees are being paid for sick leave and vacation time accumulated over the years.

The biggest single item was a $100,000 payment from the water department to the general fund for the first installment payment on the loan for an automated meter reading system installed in 2017. The council also approved application for a National Endowment for the Arts grant in cooperation with UA Cossatot.

If approved, the $240,000 grant would include $100,000 to develop a comprehensive plan for the City of De Queen with designs for public spaces and a plan for development. Display of art work owned by UA Cossatot would serve as in-kind matching funds.

TWELFTH ANNUAL ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL ALUMNI DINNER 08/08/18

The Ashdown High School Alumni Committee and Officers are pleased to announce the twelfth annual Alumni Dinner. The dinner will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the High School Cafeteria. The honored guest this year will be Earnest Rhone, an AHS class of 1971 graduate, who played ten seasons in the National Football League for the Miami Dolphins and in Super Bowls XVII and XIX.

Tickets for the dinner will be $30.00 per person. This “includes” your Alumni dues of $10.00 for the coming year. You must be an alumnus to buy dinner tickets. By popular request, we will be offering tables of eight (8), as well as individual tickets.

Tickets will go on sale 1:00 PM Monday, August 13, 2018. Ticket sales will end 12 PM Saturday, September 14, 2018 or when all tickets are sold. Four hundred tickets will be available. Don’t wait!!! oors will open at 4:30 and dinner will be served at 6:00.

INDIVIDUAL TICKETS can be purchased locally at Castle Antiques (120 Rankin St.), Betty Ruth McDowell Kidd (115 Elm Street, Ogden, AR 71853 903-277-7714) ; Sandra Shackelford Furlow (P. O. Box 158, Ogden, AR 71853, 870-898-6803, sandrabobfurlow@gmail.com or Susan Setliff Simmons (1021 Rankin St., Ashdown, AR 71822, 903-277-9359, ashdownsusan@sbcglobal.net).

TO PURCHASE TABLE OF 8, contact Diane McLarty (870-898-6179, mclarty61@yahhoo.com) to get a form. Designate one person to collect the money. The table will be reserved when the information form and money ($240.00) is returned to Diane. Make all checks payable to AHS Alumni Association.
This will be an extra special evening for the Class of 1968. They will be celebrating their 50th graduation anniversaries.

MEMBERSHIP DUES ONLY: See attached form. Becoming a member will keep you in the loop about what is happening with the Association and your support will be appreciated. Your membership dues of $10.00 will make a difference in providing additional scholarships for a deserving Ashdown senior of 2013. Thanks to your participation the Alumni Association provided six $1,000.00 scholarships last year.

RECOGNITION BRICKS may be purchased at the dinner.
The Ashdown High School Homecoming game and parade will be Friday, September 21, 2018.

ARKANSAS PARKS AND TOURISM STRIVE FOR MORE VISITORS 08/07/18

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism has launched two new web sites – Arkansas.com and ArkansasStateParks.com –the sites were designed to improve user experience and drive more people to visit the state of Arkansas. The sister sites have been designed and created by CJRW and Miles Partnership, and are built in formats similar to those utilized by digital magazines.

The purpose is to represent a focus on efficiency and integration within the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. Kane Webb, Executive Director of Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism said: “We couldn’t be happier with our two new sites, which more effectively integrate tourism and parks. Our agency staff, along with our partners at CJRW and Miles Partnership, invested a lot of time and energy to develop resources that we believe are easier for consumers to use.”

Complementary designs of the sites feature visual elements and user-generated content galleries. The integration of all content into the main sites creates a cohesive look and feel. Additionally, navigation functions were simplified to make the user experience more enjoyable.
Webb said “the mission is to encourage people to visit Arkansas and the sites allow the department to be better positioned than ever before to accomplish that objective.” From an operational standpoint, the new sites provide staff the ability to add, edit and manage content on the site to make certain that information is updated and relevant.

For more information, please contact Dalaney Thomas at (501) 975-7259 or Dalaney.thomas@cjrw.com

AWARD WINNING COUNTRY MUSIC ARTISTS HEAD TO HOPE 08/07/18

Award-winning country music artists Johnny Lee and Mickey Gilley will be performing live in concert at the 42nd annual Hope Watermelon Festival this summer.

Johnny Lee is best known for his number one hit “Looking For Love” and winning the Academy of Country Music award for Best New Male Vocalist of the Year in 1981. Mickey Gilley is well-known for hit songs “city lights” and “Make the World Go Away” as well as winning the Academy of Country Music Award for Male Vocalist of the Year in 1977.

Gilley and Lee will take the stage on Friday, August 10th at Fair Park in Hope Arkansas. Concert gates open at 6:00 p.m. The show is set to start at 7:00 p.m. as recording artist Buddy Jewell will open the show. Jewell is best known for winning the first season of the network television talent search show Nashville Star in 2003. Lee and Gilley are scheduled to perform at 8:30 p.m.

The cost of admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. No pets, coolers or ice chests will be permitted at the venue, however water bottles for purchase and food vendors will be available on site.

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs to the event. Tickets are available for purchase by contacting the Hope Chamber of Commerce at 870-777-3640.

ARKANSAS GAME AND FISH COMMISSION PREPARES FOR DOVE SEASON 08/07/18

For the second consecutive year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will offer the public a dove hunt on private land through a permit process. The application process will be available at https://ar-web.s3licensing.com/ from 8 a.m. Aug. 8 until midnight Aug. 22.

For a nonrefundable $5 fee, applicants can select their favorite two weekends from four possible in September, starting with the opening day of dove season, Sept. 1. Twenty permits will be issued for each weekend, making a total of 80 permits available through the draws.. A permit allows one hunter to hunt a private 30-acre field in Lonoke County managed specifically for dove hunting.

The permit winner may hunt both Saturday and Sunday and bring one guest of any age to enjoy the hunt with them. Permit winners will be notified no later than Friday, Aug. 24, giving them time to visit the field ahead of time and prepare. Winning applicants will be provided with directions to the field, which is between England and Lonoke in central Arkansas.

The 20 hunting locations will be set up in a rectangular ring around the sunflower field with hunters separated a safe distance between stations. Stations will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to permit holders on the days they are selected to hunt. Winners of permits have no other fee on top of the $5 application charge.

For those who don’t win a permit to the private field hunt, and for others seeking doves this year, the AGFC will be providing a number of free, first-come, first-served opportunities on wildlife management areas around the state throughout the year. Dove season runs statewide from Sept. 1 to Oct. 28 and from Dec. 8 to Jan. 15, 2019.

The daily bag limit for mourning dove and white-winged dove is 15, with a possession limit of 45. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit for Eurasian collared-dove.

ASHDOWN GAME PASSES AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE 08/06/18

Game passes to athletic events for the Ashdown School District are now available for purchase. Game passes can be bought at the Ashdown Administration building, located at 751 Rankin Street between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Passes can also be purchased at the upcoming open house, Thursday August 9th from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Plans include a $25 student athletic pass, a $50 student pass, a $250 pass set for a family of 4, a $150 super booster pass which includes an Ashdown polo shirt and a Golden Age pass.

The Golden Pass requires residents to live within the Ashdown School district area and be 60 years of age. More information about Ashdown athletics can be referred to the school’s website, at Ashdownschools.org

FINAL YOUTH NIGHT OF SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO THIS WEEK 08/06/18

The last Sevier County Youth Fun Night will be held during the Fair and Rodeo this week. The activities will take place on Thursday, August 9th. The age groups for the youth events will be broken down into five separate categories. Ages 1-5, 6-9, 10-13, 14-18 and 19 years and older.

The cost is $5 per event and activities begin at 7:00 p.m. each evening. Horse events will include: barrels, speed, flag race, goat tie and flags. Non-horse events include: stick horse barrels, stick horse speed, hula hoop calf dummy, goat ribbon strip and dummy roping. Participants may enter both horse and non-horse events. The youth nights will have a payback and a negative Coggins is required.

Recently added attractions include: mini donkey dressing and pig scramble. For more information about the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo youth nights, Patricia Maben may be contacted at 870-784-1740 or visit the face book page online.

SEVIER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $16,369 08/06/18

The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Sevier County collected over $16,000, the Commissioner of State Lands announced. Eight bidders registered for the auction, which sold six of the 18 available parcels for a total of $16,369.55 for county and state government.

The Land Commissioner’s office conducts one tax-delinquent sale per county each year to dispose of land which has been certified with taxes past-due. “We auction only a small percentage of parcels that are certified to the office,” Commissioner John Thurston said. “In most cases, the original owner redeems the delinquent property by paying the back taxes.”

While redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, Thurston notes the important role of land sales in returning inactive parcels to the tax rolls. Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at land sales is free. Upon sale of tax-delinquent property, the Commissioner issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.

Thurston’s office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale, to the county taxing unit just as if the money had been originally collected there.

“Last year, we returned more than $17 million to school districts and county governments,” Thurston said. “Sevier County received over $58,000 of that amount. This is an important process, because it provides stable revenue for necessary services including public schools.”

Interested Arkansas residents may visit the Commissioner of State Lands website, www.cosl.org, to view the public auction catalog, a listing of properties offered at auction, or the post-auction sales list of properties available that did not sell at auction.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL VISITS ARKANSAS 08/06/18

The office of Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge welcomed United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the state of Arkansas for a visit to the Lake Hamilton School District in Garland County this month. Chief of Staff Cory Cox and Special Investigations Department Supervisory Special Agent Jerry Keefer participated in the August 1st discussion on behalf of Attorney General Rutledge.

The Attorney General’s Office has conducted free Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training to more than 4,000 personnel, including 270 now certified as instructors, across Arkansas. The unit worked closely with the Arkansas Department of Education, the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) and the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy.

In August 2015, Rutledge provided $500,000 to fund the continuation of the CRASE program to be administered by CJI. Additionally, Rutledge supplied CJI with over $35,000 in equipment for the program.

The CRASE training curriculum was developed by the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training center at Texas State University. The CRASE course was designed to assist schools that were asking for direction and presentations on what they should do if confronted with an active shooter event. Built on the Avoid, Deny, Defend strategy, the CRASE training provides strategies, guidance and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

ANNUAL WATERMELON FESTIVAL SCHEDULED IN HOPE 08/06/18

The 42nd annual Hope Watermelon Festival is set for Thursday, August 9th through Saturday, August 11th. The event will take place at The Hope Fair Park, located at 800 Mockingbird Lane in Hope.

The festival will kick off with a children’s parade beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday August 9th at Hope Fair Park. This year’s festival will feature a variety of activities including Arts & Crafts, food, entertainment, contests and vendors. Nearly 150 Arts and Crafts booths from six different states will be set up at the festival grounds.

Local civic clubs will be holding dinners featuring locally grown smoked chicken and golden fried catfish. For activities and entertainment, a 5K race, dog show, “Watermelon Idol” talent contest, Baggo Tournament, gospel show and newly added Rock/Paper/Scissors Contest are all scheduled on the festival’s agenda.

The Watermelon Olympics, antique car show, antique engine show, seed-spitting contest and the Watermelon eating contest will also take place during the event. Attendees will be able to view large watermelons on display. Some watermelons on display reportedly weigh close to 200 pounds.

Ice-cold watermelon will be sold by the slice each day and regional melon growers will have whole melons on sale at the festival for visitors to take home. More information about the event, concerts, contests and activities can be found online at Hopemelonfest.org Or contacting the Hope Chamber of Commerce at 870-777-3640

12 ARKANSAS SITES RECOMMENDED FOR NATIONAL REGISTRATION 08/06/18

The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program recommended 12 Arkansas properties in eight counties for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

The announcement follows a meeting held August 1st, 2018. On the list of Properties recommended for nomination to the National Register include Garland Elementary School at Little Rock in Pulaski County.

The school was built in 1924 by the Little Rock School District and the building served as a school until 2001, after which it was used for administrative purposes for the Little Rock School District.

Also making this list is The Moro Bay Ferry at Moro Bay State Park in Bradley County. The towboat operated on the Ouachita River from 1965 to 1992. As of today it is the last example of the Barbour Metal Boat works products left in the state.

Additional recommendations include The Block Realty Building at Little Rock in Pulaski County, a 1965 structure designed by Gene Levy and The Thomas Gray House at Little Rock in Pulaski County, a 1963 Mid-Century Modern building designed by Gray, its owner and an architect. A recommendation in Sebastian County was made for the house of Dr. Neil Crow, Sr., a 1967 building designed by architect John Williams.

The full list of sites recommended for the National Register of Historic places can be found online at Arkansaspreservation.com

ALUMINUM CAN DRIVE COMES TO SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 08/06/18

A new community service project is currently being developed in Southwest Arkansas. Ethan Wolcott and Alec Frachiseur of Sevier County 4H have taken leadership roles in organizing “Pop-a-Top.”

The fundraiser is an aluminum can drive designed to raise money for the medical expenses of 4H youth members across the state, as well as a project to compete in the annual 4H State-o-rama event. Ethan announced the details of project and how members of the community can get involved.

A variety of volunteers and locations will be available to assist residents in helping donate to the cause. Collection sites will include the Sevier County Fair and the Extension office in the Adams building of the UA Cossatot De Queen campus.

All proceeds will go towards 4H state efforts in assisting with youth members medical expenses. More information can be found by contacting the extension office at 870-584-3013

4-H’ERS COMPETE AT DISTRICT 4-H O’RAMA IN DONALDSON 08/03/18

Eighteen Sevier County 4-H’ers competed against 4-H’ers from across the state at the District 4-H O’Rama at Ouachita High School on June 19. To qualify for district level, they had to compete at the local County 4-H O’Rama.

The winners in the Senior Division (ages 14-19) were as follows:

Amber Morris placed 2nd in Health, Brennen Seymour placed 2nd in Animal Science, Marcus Rosson placed 1st in Bait Casting & Game Fish Identification, Hunter Frachiseur placed 4th in Reel into Sport Fishing, Andrew Shelton placed 7th in Gun Safety, Aubrey Seymour placed 2nd in Human Development, Ethan Wolcott placed 1st in Public Speaking.

All 1st – 7th place senior winners were eligible to compete and represent Sevier County at the State 4-H O’Rama held at the University of Arkansas Campus in Fayetteville in July.

Junior Division (ages 9-13) winners were as follows:

Aubrey Williams placed 1st in Performing Arts-Vocal, Brady Haarmeyer placed 2nd in Consumer Economics, Jacob Seymour placed 3rd in Health, Evin Frachiseur placed 3rd in Bait Casting & Game Fish Identification, Kate Baker placed 2nd in Performing Arts-Dance, Landon Frachiseur placed 4th in Reel into Sport Fishing, Raylee Van Voast placed 3rd in Bicycle, Madison Bagley placed 5th in Veterinary Science, and Attalee Frachiseur placed 4th in Fashion Revue-Purchased/Casual. Others that competed in the Junior Division were Gavin Carver and Brayden Frachiseur.

DE QUEEN FIRST ASSEMBLY TO HOST BACK TO BACK EVENTS 08/03/18

De Queen First Assembly will be hosting back to back community events in the month of August. The first event will be a Barbeque lunch sale on Friday, August 10th at First State Insurance in De Queen. The sale is being organized by the CORE student youth group and all proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards the cost of missions.

The lunch plates will include a pulled pork sandwich, potato chips and a cookie for $5. Delivery for local businesses is available by calling 870-584-3435 or 479-774-2798.

The second event will be a “Back to School Bash” held the following day on Saturday, August 11th from 10 a.m. to noon at De Queen First assembly.

Gift card giveaways, hair cut vouchers, free school supplies, inflatable sets, popcorn and snow cones will all be featured at the event.

More information about the Back to School Bash can be found by calling 870-584-3435.

TWO FATALITY WRECK IN HOWARD COUNTY 08/03/18

Two people are dead after an accident occurred west of Nashville late Thursday morning. The wreck happened at the Highway 371/355 intersection. Arkansas State police reported the victims were traveling in a Ford F-150 pickup truck heading west on Highway 371.

Preliminary reports stated the truck was broad sided by a 2016 International tractor/trailer that was traveling north on Highway 355. Police say the 18-wheeler neglected to stop at the intersection, which caused the wreck.

The driver of the pickup truck has been identified as 33-year-old William B. Edwards of Texarkana. Both Edwards and a minor female passenger were pronounced dead at the scene by the Howard County Coroner’s office. Another passenger in the pickup, a male minor, received injuries from the accident and was transported to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

The state police report did not provide information about the driver of the tractor/trailer rig. The wreck occurred around 11:50 a.m. and was investigated by Corporal Kyle Jones.

It was the second major accident to occur at the same intersection this summer. A Houston, Texas man was also killed in early June in a multiple vehicle accident when his car ran the stop sign.

TREATMENT PROGRAM GRADUATION HELD IN DE QUEEN 08/03/18

The Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program Graduation ceremony was held Thursday, August 2nd in De Queen. The event was held in two parts. The first part began with a banquet, meal and guest speaker at the First Baptist Church, and was followed by testimonies, music, speeches and distribution of certificates during the event’s second portion at First Assembly of God.

The ceremony was the fourth graduation event for the program since it began. 20 graduates were recognized for their accomplishments at the ceremony. 13 individuals of the RSAT program graduated to aftercare and seven individuals completed the aftercare portion of the program.

During the banquet portion of the graduation, guest speaker Shree Ware announced that a new chapter of Al-Anon is coming to De Queen this month. Al-Anon is a support group for the friends and family members of people who struggle with substance abuse issues. The group has chapters in Mineral Springs, Nashville, Ashdown and multiple groups in Texarkana. The first meeting in De Queen will take place Monday, August 6th at First Baptist Church at 7:00 p.m.

Guest Speaker Shree Ware spoke highly of the support group and how it has helped her personally. The RSAT program is unique to the state of Arkansas and was made possible by prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir, Sheriff Robert Gentry and Jail Administrator Chris Wolcott as a way for inmates of the jail to rehabilitate themselves and better their lives and the communities in which they live.

CHILDREN’S HEALTH FAIR PLANNED FOR DE QUEEN COMMUNITY 08/02/18

De Queen Medical Center is hosting a children’s health fair this month. The event will be held on Thursday, August 9th at the De Queen Medical Center beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Children ages 5-9 are invited to participate in the Disney’s incredible-themed fair by dressing up as superhero characters for the event. Prizes will be awarded to children dressed up in incredible costumes.

Many organizations in the De Queen area will be attending the event as a resource to parents and to distribute school supplies. Organizations will include The Rotary club, De Queen Auto group, The Lions Club, 4H and more.

The Children’s Health Fair will be an opportunity to parents to update children on required immunizations and to ask questions related to youth medical issues and health concerns. Questions about the De Queen Children’s Medical Fair can be referred to Angie Walker, by calling 870-584-3000.

SHOP SMART FOR BACK TO SCHOOL SUPPLIES 08/02/18

On Wednesday, August 1st, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released a list of recommendations for parents to consider as back to school shopping time approaches.

Rutledge stated “Back-to-school shopping can be stressful and financially straining for Arkansans, But taking the time to compare prices, taking advantage of the best deals and only buying the necessities can save a lot of money.”

Rutledge suggests residents stick to the teacher-approved school supply list. Do not waste time and money on unlisted, impulse items that may never be used. Research prices ahead of time and use price comparison apps or websites to check best available prices. She also suggests shopping end-of-summer sales and taking note that many stores will price-match better deals from other retailers.

Consumers can check school supply deals at supermarkets and view office supply items before going to the back-to-school section, as more items could be in stock for a better price. For larger, more expensive items like sports equipment, electronics or musical instruments, the attorney General recommends considering purchasing used or refurbished products.

If shopping online, Rutledge suggests only buying items on a secure website. Security can be verified by looking for a “lock” icon in a browser’s status bar and the letters “https” at the start of the website’s URL. Lastly, the Attorney General recommends paying for online purchases with a credit card. Consumers are allowed under federal law to dispute those charges and cardholders may have no liability if a card is stolen fraudulently and used.

Arkansas’s sales tax holiday will suspend state and local tax on certain school supplies and clothing, and is set for Aug. 4 and 5. For more information and tips can be found by contacting the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or consumer@arkansasag.gov or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

RSAT GRADUATION & BANQUET TONIGHT 08/02/18

The Sevier County sheriff’s office will be holding a banquet and graduation ceremony for the jail today, Thursday, August 2nd in De Queen. The event’s purpose is to acknowledge the achievements of the County Jail’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program participants.

The graduation will be held in two parts on August 2nd. The first part will be a banquet ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at First Baptist church in De Queen. The 2nd part will take place at 6:00 p.m. at First Assembly of God Church in De Queen.

The RSAT process guides inmates through a 90-120 day program and then an additional 9 months of aftercare. The RSAT program encourages participants to better themselves and the communities in which they live. A large portion of the program’s time is focused on work skills, and obtaining a positive work ethic.

The program will be graduating more than 20 inmates at this event, a portion of whom are graduating from the 1 year program and remaining have completed the 90-120 day portion.

The graduation speaker this year will be Bryan Chesshir, prosecuting attorney from the 9th West Judicial District.

The graduation is open to the public and a meal will be provided at the banquet ceremony.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES PLANNED FOR COSSATOT STATE PARK 08/02/18

Cossatot River State Park in Wickes, Arkansas is set to host a variety of events and activities for visitors on site this weekend, beginning Friday, August 3rd.

The first activity planned for Friday will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The session is titled “Hiss Rattle and Roll.” Park interpreters will lead an educational program about how snakes in Arkansas can be identified. There will also be games and an opportunity to hold a non-venomous snake. Interested participants can meet at the visitor’s center at the beginning of the session.

The park staff will also facilitate a snorkeling program later that day starting at 1:30 p.m. Interpreters will take participants out on a section of the Cossatot River for an underwater exploration session lasting one hour. Visitors will be able to engage in the natural features of the Cossatot River water. Interested participants can meet at the Cossatot Falls parking lot. Snorkeling equipment will be provided and appropriate swim attire is required. The minimum age is for participants is 6 and the event is free of charge.

Friday’s final activity will be a snorkeling relay at 3:00 p.m. The interactive program will focus on creatures inhabiting the Cossatot River water and how to properly identify them. Visitors can meet at the sandbar parking lot at 3:00.

Questions about the Cossatot state park’s activities can be referred to park interpreters at 870-385-2201.

CHICKEN DINNER FUNDRAISER FOR LOCAL TEEN 08/02/18

The fundraiser for Layla Vega has been planned for tomorrow, Friday, August 3rd from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Church of Christ Family Center in De Queen, Arkansas. Organizer Stacey Faulkenberry is currently accepting advanced orders has requested persons interested in pre-ordering to do so by the end of the day today, August 2nd.

Layla is an 9th grader who previously attended De Queen schools and was diagnosed with occipital and trigeminal neuralgia this year. Layla was an active student and cheerleader prior to her medical issues arising. The condition has required home schooling in order for her to receive the medical assistance needed. Layla’s condition has caused four hospital stays at Arkansas children’s and LeBonheur children’s hospital in Memphis. The condition has left Layla completely disabled, unable to verbally communicate and in need of intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Laya’s mother, Jessica is a single parent of two children and is currently on a leave of absence from her job so she can care for Layla full time.

All proceeds of the fundraiser will help the Vega family with medical expenses for Layla’s care. The cost of a plate for the fundraiser is $8 and includes chicken, potato salad, baked beans, bread, dessert and a drink. Delivery to local businesses is available and all donations are welcome.

More information about Layla’s fundraiser can be found by contacting the Faulkenberry family at 870-784-0358. Orders can also be faxed to Shelter insurance at 870-642-8055.

LOCAL BLUES FESTIVAL SET FOR SUMMER IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 08/01/18

The McNab Blues festival will be held in Fulton, Arkansas August 4th. The event will be held at 3630 Highway 35 South in Fulton. Outdoor event Gates open at 12:00 p.m. and show time starts at 7:00 p.m.

A variety of performers will be featured, including Avail Hollywood, TJ Hooker, Charlie Robinson as well as Mike Young and The Blvd band. The event has been a 17-year tradition for the McNab community, but new changes will go into effect this year. Any persons under the age of 18 will not be permitted to attend the event. All residents age 18 and older will be welcome to attend the festival.

The evening will serve as an opportunity for adults to view live blues music in a community setting. Tickets are available by contacting the Hope Chamber of commerce at 870-777-3640 or the McNab community center at 870-292-5405.

ARKANSAS RANGES RECOGNIZE SHOOTING MONTH 08/01/18

August is “National Shooting Sports Month” and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be participating in the event at both the Dr. James E. Moore Jr. Camp Robinson Firing Range in Mayflower and the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Shotgun Range near Hope.

Special events include: Camp Robinson Range:
All skeet and trap is ½ price for the month of August.
Saturday, Aug. 4, all customers shoot pistol and rifle for free.
Kids ages 6 – 17 shoot free on pistol and rifle all month. (Older kids should have proof of age: driver’s license, school ID)
Any person shooting a new gun purchased in August, shoots free that day. (Must provide proof of purchase)

Grandview Prairie Range:
All skeet, trap and 5 stand is ½ price for the month of August.
For more information on the ranges, go to https://www.agfc.com/en/explore-outdoors/shootingranges/.

UPDATES FOR DE QUEEN SCHOOL DISTRICT 08/01/18

Superintendent Bruce Hill has provided the community with an update on changes and new reports occurring within the De Queen school district. De Queen Schools have been ranked 41st out of 278 for the state of Arkansas. The rankings are based on test scores, achievements and other recognizable accomplishments. Hill attributes quality faculty and staff as well as good students to the explanation for the district’s success.

Renovations to the district’s facilities include new dressing rooms for girls athletic programs at the High School, as well as a new roof and LED lights at De Queen Middle School have been completed this year. Bids for development of an updated P.E facility will begin August 9th.

The district is also preparing to begin construction on a new High School building this fall. Superintendent Hill anticipates the new High School to be built in 18 months once the construction process begins.

The first day of school for the district is set for August 13th, and the school board’s next meeting will take place the same day at the Administration building in the evening.

TAX FREE WEEKEND SCHEDULED IN ARKANSAS AND OKLAHOMA 07/31/18

Residents of Oklahoma and Arkansas will have the opportunity to buy items tax-free this weekend. Tax-free purchasing weekend begins at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 4 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday Aug. 5. Tax-free shopping in Oklahoma will be held August 3rd -5th.

The tax-free policy will be applicable for both internet purchases as well as in-store shopping. In Arkansas, the state and local sales tax will not be collected on clothing and footwear with a sales price of less than $100 per item or clothing accessories and equipment less than $50 per item.

School supplies included in the tax-free category will be considered as any binders, notebooks, pencils, pens, scissors, folders, glue, rulers, calculators and many similar materials. Oklahoma does not exempt taxes on clothing accessories.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration and The Oklahoma Tax Commission has formally stated that it is mandatory for all retail suppliers in Arkansas and Oklahoma participate in the tax-free weekend. No retail stores will be permitted to charge tax on items that are legally tax-exempt during the sales tax holiday.

NUMBER OF COUNTIES UNDER BURN BANS DROPS IN ARKANSAS 07/31/18

The number of counties in Arkansas under burn bans has been reduced this week. As of July 25th, seven counties in the natural state were on the burn bans list. This week, only four counties have been placed under burn bans. The status update is current as of today, Tuesday, July 31st 2018.

The four counties remaining under bans include Columbia, Nevada, Lafayette and Ouachita. Burn bans in Hempstead Monroe and Lee counties have been lifted. All county judges issue the bans and they remain in effect until further notice.

More than 30 of the 75 counties across the state are currently listed under the “moderate” wildfire risk category. The 4 categories include: low, moderate, high and extreme wildfire danger levels. Sevier, Little River, Howard, Polk, Miller and Pike counties are all listed under the moderate category.

A prescribed burn has been scheduled in Polk County half a mile South East of Wickes from 8:00 am until 11:59 p.m. July 31st.

More information about wildfire danger and the list of active burn bans can be found online at ARKfireinfo.org, or contacting the Arkansas Forestry Commission at 501-296-1940.

4-STATE WIND CATCHER PROJECT CANCELLED 07/31/18

The $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project approved by Arkansas regulators in May has been canceled after a July 26 decision by the Public Utility Commission of Texas to deny approval of electric transmission into that state. Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power, the parent company of Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), was behind the project which had had been approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Louisiana Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A decision was pending at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.

Wind Catcher would have been the largest wind farm in America and the second-largest in the world once operational. The planned 2,000-megawatt facility would generate power from 800 GE 2.5 megawatt turbines on 300,000 acres.

The Wind Catcher power line was planned as an approximately 350-mile, dedicated, extra-high voltage line. The line would connect a substation at the wind farm with a substation near Tulsa to deliver power across the region. The high voltage power lines would connect to Public Service Company of Oklahoma and SWEPCO customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Construction on the project began in the Oklahoma Panhandle in 2016, with electricity set to be delivered in mid-2020.

Two Texas administrative law judges, Henry Card and Wendy Harvel, had recommended approval of the project to members of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC).

While the project was supported by some big business interests like Springdale-based Tyson Foods, there was strong opposition to approval in Texas. The powerful Texas Industrial Energy Consumers lobby opposed the plan, saying the financial risk of the project was on ratepayers and not AEP. Even with concessions and adjustments made by AEP, the Texas commissioners ultimately agreed with those who argued the project was too risky for ratepayers.

PEE-WEE FOOTBALL REGISTRATION OPENS IN DE QUEEN 07/30/18

Registration for the De Queen Pee-Wee Tackle Football Program has been announced for the fall 2018 season. Parents of interested players can participate in early registration by submitting the required forms to the De Queen Parks and Recreation office.

Early registration is permitted now through August 13th and regular registration will take place August 13th-29th. The football program is open to youth who reside in or around Sevier County are entering 3rd-6th grade.

Chris Hale is the city programmer for the De Queen Parks and Recreation department and will be leading the program this year. Chris encourages parents to sign participants up early.

This year, players can expect all new equipment and safety gear for the season.

The schedule for the 2018 season will be determined at an upcoming tri-state planning meeting to be held later this summer.

The registration fee is $35 and the Jersey fee costs $45 and covers insurance, mouthpiece and equipment rental. Chris Hale can be contacted at the parks office by calling 870-642-4140 or his cell phone at 870-784-3852

18 WHEELER ROLLS OVER IN DE QUEEN 07/30/18

A commercial semi-truck and trailer was overturned in a roll over crash Friday, July 27th in Sevier County. The Sevier County Sheriff’s office was dispatched to the scene at approximately 11:45 p.m. Friday evening.

The driver of the truck was headed westbound on Highway 70B and veered off the road after attempting to navigate a curve. The driver was unable to complete the curve which caused the truck and trailer to overturn into a ditch.

The damage to the vehicle included water leakage and a large split to the front of the trailer. The truck and trailer which was loaded with processed chicken were determined to be total loss and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

No injuries were reported and the driver reportedly did not require medical attention.

TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR LITTLE RIVER COUNTY 07/30/18

The public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Little River County will be held at the Little River County Courthouse Annex on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 2 p.m. according to John Thurston, Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands. Registration will begin at 1:30 p.m.

The Commissioner of State Lands offers an online Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, which contains the current statutes governing the sales, auction dates, times, location and other pertinent information regarding parcels being offered. The catalog can be found on the Commissioner’s website at www.cosl.org, providing current information resources about each parcel.

“Bidding begins at the amount of taxes and fees that are due,” Thurston said. “Owners of delinquent parcels should remember that they have only 10 business days to redeem their property if it sells at auction.”

Delinquent property owners may call the office at 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the COSL website and print it from there.

ASHDOWN CHEER SQUADS HOST NCA CHEER CHAMP 07/27/18

The Ashdown Junior and Senior High Cheer Squads participated on the NCA (National Cheerleading Association) Cheer Camp July 23-25 held at the Helen Parker Gymnasium on the Ashdown Campus.On the AJHS Squad, Aly Mills, Gracie Young, and Allison Garner received All-American Awards, the squad received first place in the Band Chant Division and sponsors Gerina Ritter and Shonda Wrinkle received the NFHS Squad Credentialing.
The AHS Squad had the entire team nominated for All-American. Mackenzie White, Autumn Hofmann (Top Overall Cheerleader), Aliyah Anderson, Jaden Altenbaumer, Shalyn Peacock, Brylee Haskins, Colyn Grimes, Chloe Young, Amy Newton, Railee Schmidt, and Emma Wrinkle were chosen for the National Cheerleaders Association All-American Team. The squad also received the Stunt SAFE Award, Sharpness Award (Stay Sharp for Sophia), Top Team Chant, Top Team Band Chant, Most Improved Mascot – Brittany Johnson, Mascot-NCA All American Team, Herkie Award, National Championship Bid, and NFHS Squad Credentialing for sponsor Hope Sallade

F

Front row (l-r): Allison Garner, Ella Bowman, Caroline Wrinkle, Aly Mills, Hannah Denton, Billye Grace Young, Olivia Ritter, Gracie Young, and Chevi Flournoy Back row (l-r): Zoie Hurd, Taylor Howk, Ashlee Waller, Kaytlyn Brower, Danya Markham, Makayla Lawson, Audrey Kate Bishop, Kimberly Hendrix, and Nakya BradleyFront row (l-r): Aliyah Anderson, Mackenzie White, and Autumn Hofmann Middle row (l-r): Paxton Parker, Brylee Haskins, Shalyn Peacock, Jaden Altenbaumer, and Brittany Johnson
Back row (l-r): Railee Schmidt, Emma Wrinkle, Ansleigh Patrick, Ebony Hawkins, Raeleigh Grimes, Colyn Grimes, Davina Gaines, Amy Newton, Sarah Huddleston, Kaylee Welborn, and Chloe Young

ARKANSAS STATE POLICE TO RECEIVE NEW CRIME LAB 07/27/18

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced today, Friday July 27th that a $2.6 million, 10,000 square-foot crime lab will be built as a part of the Arkansas State Police Troop L’s new headquarters.

The new lab is slated to open in March 2019. The facility will be the third site for analyzing evidence in criminal cases.

The current state crime lab is located in Little Rock and the lab has a satellite office in Hope. Hutchinson says operating the lab will cost $653,000 a year.

The state crime lab currently has 11,000 cases that are waiting processing, more than a third of which come from northwest Arkansas.

FIRE REPORTED IN SEVIER COUNTY WEDNESDAY 07/27/18

The Cossatot Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call at 172 Stover Road in Lockesburg and requested mutual aid assistance from De Queen Fire Department. The De Queen Department responded to with 11 firefighters and 4 fire trucks. Brett Boatright was the first of De Queen’s personnel to arrive on the scene. Boatright reported two chicken houses on the farm were fully engulfed in flames. A windrow of hay was also on fire and it was later discovered that an additional hay field had burned. Firefighters were able to quickly contain the fire and surmised that the baler igniting the dry hay was the probable cause of the fire. The property belongs to Ronnie and Deanne Toye. No injuries were reported in the fire.

QUEEN WILHELMINA ROD RUN 07/27/18

The 43rd annual Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run is August 24th through the 26th. This year, new categories have been added to the event, as well as a pin-up contest The trophy categories include: Top Ten, People’s Choice, Ranger’s Choice, Chamber’s Choice, Mayor’s Choice, Best Unfinished, Longest Distance, Mark Campbell Award, Best Rat Rod, Best VW Bug, Best 4X4, Best 60’s through 70’s Muscle Car, Best Custom Interior and Best Import. Early registration is from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 24th at the KCS Depot/Chamber of Commerce office. The Hot Rod Parade is from 5:30 to 6 p.m. on North Mena Street and the Show and Shine event is from 6 to 9 p.m. on North Mena Street. Saturday, August 25th, the Queen Wilhelmina Rod Run will start at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park at 9 a.m. there will be a Show-N-Shine, entertainment, door prizes, a craft fair, food vendors and a kid’s corner. A Poker Run is scheduled for 4 p.m. and a street dance will be held from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on South Mena Street. Lana Gail and Gail Force will be performing Saturday night during the street dance. There will also be an awards ceremony for the Rod Run participants. Sunday, August 26th will feature a worship service, coffee and donuts and the closing ceremony from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Guests can also purchase tickets for the pedal car raffle. Vendors are needed and the deadline to register as a vendor is Tuesday, July 31st. To register or for more information, visit the website www.QueenWilhelminaRodRun.com.

GOSPEL CELEBRATION HITS HOT SPRINGS 07/26/18

A free gospel music event will take place in the Ouachita area this summer. The 30th annual Hawkins Family Homecoming Celebration will be held on Saturday, July 28th at the Hickory Hill Park Outdoor Amphitheater in Hot Springs. Performances will begin at 7:00 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets and lawn chairs for outdoor seating. The musical styles will all be gospel based but different genres including country, bluegrass and southern will be featured. There is no charge for admission as the celebration is a free event, however sodas and snacks will be available for purchase at a cafe. No chests or ice coolers will be permitted but attendees can expect drawings for free gifts and a performance by award winning gospel group “Master’s Touch.” Restrooms are available on site and there is no charge for parking. More information can be found on hawkinsfamilyministries.com or contacting Lou Tabor at 501-623-8068

INTOXICATED DRIVER PICKED UP IN LOCKESBURG 07/26/18

The Sevier County Sheriff’s office responded to a call about a reckless driver on Highway 24 E at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21st. The reports claimed the driver of a Red GMC truck had swerved into the opposite lane multiple times and ran a stop sign at the Highway 71 and 371 intersection in Lockesburg. The driver turned south on Highway 371 and pulled off the road before witnesses blocked the truck in. Upon Deputy Kristyn Reed’s arrival on the scene, the driver of the truck was identified as Lans Dale Green Jr. Deputy Reed reported that Green appeared to be under the influence of Alcohol, noting unstable balance and slurred speech. Witnesses reported seeing Green exit the truck and retrieve a beer from an ice chest prior to Deputy Reed’s arrival. Green was detained and transported to the Sevier County Sheriff’s office where his blood alcohol content was evaluated and a sobriety test was administered. Green was unable to properly complete the test requirements and was read the statement of rights and issued a citation for driving while intoxicated.

50TH ANNUAL RODEO SCHEDULED IN GRANNIS 07/26/18

The 50th Annual Championship Rodeo will be held in Grannis, Arkansas July 27th and 28th. Events will include calf roping, bull riding, jr. bulls, barrel racing, break away, jr. barrels, Mini broncs, bareback, saddle bronc, steer wresting and more. Spots are still available and interested participants can sign up on site. Activities will begin with mutton bustin’ at 7:00 p.m. and the rodeo will start at 8:00 p.m. Shelly Johnson stopped by KDQN studios with her children, Aspen and Easton, and delivered a rundown for all local residents interested in participating and watching this year’s events. The rodeo will be hosted by the Grannis Trail Riders and with stock provided by Ringgold and Sons Rodeo Company. Admission price is $6, children under age 4 will get in free and on Friday night, senior citizens admission price will be $3. For more information, contact Shelly Johnson at 870-784-3538

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR COMMUNITY COMMITTEES 07/25/18

Lisa Taylor, Sevier County Economic Coordinator has reported that committees were formed during the community planning process meetings and has announced the following schedules for the committees:
Workforce & Education – July 26 at 6 pm
Inclusiveness – July 26 at 6 pm
Facilities – August 1, time TBD
Health – August 2 at 6 pm
Events & Activities – August 2 at 6 pm
Housing – August 14 at 6 pm
Alcohol – August 14 at 6 pm
Tourism – August 16 at 6 pm
Business Retention & Expansion – August 28 at 6 pm
Beautification – August 30 at 6 pm
If you would like to join a committee or need more information, contact Lisa Taylor at UA Cossatot, 183 College Drive, De Queen, AR 71832. Or by phone at 870-584-1184 or 870-279-5937. www.cccua.edu

FREE MUSIC IN THE PARK NIGHT SCHEDULED IN AUGUST 07/25/18

A “Music in the Park” night will be held at Historic Washington State Park on Saturday August 18th. The event is set to begin at 7:30pm and is scheduled to conclude at 9:00 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets as music from the past and the present will be played. All interested participants should meet at the 1874 courthouse and visitors center. The event is free of charge and all members of the community are invited and welcome to attend. In the event of inclement weather the activities will be moved inside the visitor’s center. The park is located at 103 Franklin Street, Washington Arkansas. Map, directions and other information is available online at historicwashingtonstatepark.com or by calling 870-983-2684.

FORMER ARKANSAS FOOTBALL COACH FINDS NEW POSITION 07/25/18

Former Arkansas Razorbacks Head football coach Brett Bilema has reportedly accepted a position with the New England Patriots professional football team. Bilema will serve as a consultant to Pat’s head coach Bill Belichick. Bilema served the Razorbacks as head coach for 5 seasons and was fired last year. Bilema began working with the Pats during the NFL combine in February, assisting with pre-draft scouting. He then moved into more of a coaching role with the defensive line during rookie mini camp and OTA’s. The Patriots begin training camp this week.

GRADUATION CEREMONY PLANNED FOR SEVIER COUNTY RSAT 07/25/18

The Sevier County sheriff’s officer will be holding a banquet and graduation ceremony for the jail on Thursday, August 2nd in De Queen. The event’s purpose is to acknowledge the achievements of the County Jail’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program participants. The graduation will be held in two parts on August 2nd. The first part will be a banquet ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at First Baptist church in De Queen. The 2nd will be at 6:00 p.m. at First Assembly of God church in De Queen. The RSAT process guides inmates through a 90-120 day program and then an additional 9 months of aftercare. The RSAT program encourages participants to better themselves and the communities in which they live. A large portion of the program’s time is spent focused on work skills, and obtaining a positive work ethic. The program will be graduating more than 20 inmates at this event, a portion of whom are graduating from the 1 year program and remaining have completed the 90-120 day portion. The graduation speaker this year will be Bryan Chesshir, the prosecuting attorney from the 9th West judicial district. The graduation is open to the public and a meal will be provided at the banquet ceremony. Information about the celebrate recovery program can be referred to Joe and Hattie Vance at 870-584-3425.

NEW BURN BANS ISSUED FOR SEVEN ARKANSAS COUNTIES 07/25/18

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has released the list of Arkansas counties that have been placed under burn bans. The status update is current as of Today, Wednesday July 25th 2018. All county judges issue the bans and they will remain in effect until further notice. Counties currently under burn bans include Hempstead, Columbia, Nevada, Lafayette, Ouachita, Monroe and Lee. More than 40 counties of the 75 counties across the state are currently listed under the “moderate” risk category. The 4 categories include: low, moderate, high and extreme wildfire danger levels. Sevier, Little River, Howard, Polk, Howard, Miller and Pike counties are all listed under the moderate status. A scheduled, prescribed burn has been issued in Saline County beginning July 25th and continuing through July 26th. More information about wildfire danger and the list of burn bans can be found online at ARKfireinfo.org, or contacting the Arkansas Forestry Commission at 501-296-1940.

LOCAL LIBRARIES HOST SUMMER PROGRAMS FOR AREA YOUTH 07/24/18

The De Queen Library’s reading contest list of winners can be found on the library’s face book page. The winners will receive a backpack filled with school supplies. Each year the library holds a reading contest along with a Summer Reading Program to help children keep their readings skills sharp and to assist in preparation for school.

On August 1st at 4:00 p.m. a story time session with Merrilee will be held. Activities will include a live story reading and games. Story time with Ms. LaDonna and Milo the turtle, will take place August 22nd at 4:00 p.m. Activities are scheduled every Wednesday at 10 am. Offering Dominoes, games, cards, coloring and more, the De Queen Library branch can be contacted at 584-4364 for more information.

The Horatio Library is hosting its summer reading program, Libraries Rock, Aug 4 and 11 at 11am. There will also be a program on August 25th at 11am. The library staff has expressed appreciations for the numerous donations received last month. Community residents donated several westerns, children’s and young adult books to the library this summer. Including a book donated by Chris Garner, the son of Paul Garner who the library was named after. His book is about designing healthy hospitals. There was also a very unique donation of two school desks that have a patent date of January 5, 1883. They are made smaller than most of the other desks because they were made for first grade children. They are believed to have come from Arkinda School. Arkinda consolidated with Winthrop in 1948. Both Winthrop and Arkinda are now part of the Horatio School District.

This August at the Lockesburg Library a book club discussion of Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie’s novel, “America’s First Daughter” will be held on Saturday, August 11 at 10:00 am. Although based on personal letters this is a fictional story of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter, Patsy Jefferson. Next month’s read will be available to pass out at this meeting. The library expressed appreciation for its younger readers and noted that they strive to be kid-friendly. In the early reader section books are stored in bins for easy access. The grouping of books in a subject bin also helps young readers to key-in on their favorite books without searching stack that be considered intimidating.

Ms. Wendy and the Lockesburg Library encourage early readers to come by and view the section for youth. Mz. Wendy can be contacted at 289-2233 for more information. The Gillham Library will have a back to school book sale beginning in August. A child goody bag will be given out with the purchase of each book bag. A coloring sheet day will be held Saturday August 25th at 11:00 a.m. A variety of new books and movies will be available for check out.

The Gillham Library encourages residents to stop by and see the latest updates, or check out their Face book page for more information.

CITY COUNCIL JULY MEETING DATE SET 07/24/18

The De Queen City council will hold a meeting Tuesday, July 24th at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall in De Queen. The meeting will include an allowance of time for public comments, approval of the previous meetings minutes, resolution to sell air compressor, a manufactured home ordinance, mid-year budget adjustments and the setting of elected official’s salaries. The meeting will be led by Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy and Treasurer Donna Jones. A recent update from Mayor McKelvy elaborated on the details on the topic matters included in this meeting’s agenda items. The update includes information on each topic that will be discussed at tonight’s city council meeting. The meeting is open to the public.

STATE PARK TO HOST PROGRAM FOR AREA VISITORS 07/24/18

Cossatot River State Park in Wickes, Arkansas is set to host a variety of events and activities for visitors on site this weekend, July 27th and 28th. The 1st activity will be an interactive session on Friday July 27th from 2:00-3:00p.m. The park staff will facilitate a snorkeling program that takes participants out on a section of the Cossatot River for a scavenger hunt to locate several objects while enjoying the natural features of the Cossatot River water. Snorkeling equipment will be provided and appropriate swim attire is required. The, minimum age is for participants is 6. The event is free of charge and visitors should meet at the sandbar parking lot prior to the events start time. Also scheduled for 2:00 p.m. A “nutty squirrels” interactive game session will be led by park interpreters in the state park’s natural area. Interested participants can meet at the low water bridge below the visitor center. The activity will test visitor’s agility and will be of no charge for the general public to attend. A free “testing the waters’ program will be held at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, July 28th at the Brushy creek picnic area. Park interpreters will host an educational session about the wildlife inhabiting around the Cossatot River area and water evaluations will b e conducted. The final activity held Saturday night will be an educational spider information session. The event will begin at the Cossatot Falls parking lot from 8:30p.m. to 9:30.p.m The activity is open to all ages and will be free of charge to visitors. Questions about the Cossatot state park’s activities can be referred to park interpreters at 870-385-2201.

BURT ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR MAYOR OF DE QUEEN 07/24/18

“My name is Gerald Burt and I am running for Mayor in De Queen Arkansas. My main focus is to concentrate on bringing industry back into De Queen. My second focus will be on bettering our Police Department. Of course there are other issues that need to be addressed such as bettering our hospital, streets and education for our children. We have to make De Queen appealing to Industry so that they want to come and make De Queen their home.”

TEACHER SHORTAGES IN ARKANSAS REACH NEW LOWS 07/23/18

The Education Committee recently reviewed a report on teacher shortages in our state. The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) now says there is a critical shortage in 15 areas of study. These include Art, Chemistry, Computer Science, English/Language Arts, and Math. There is also a concern with the number of Arkansans enrolled in teacher preparation programs. The number of students studying to be a teacher has dropped from 6,161 in 2013 to 3,563 in 2018. That is a 42% decline. Since 2009, an average of 10% of new teachers did not return to the classroom after their first year of teaching. An average of 31% did not return after 5 years. The Education Committee is taking all of this information into consideration as it develops recommendations for the next session. ADE has begun implementing several initiatives aimed at recruiting more teachers. There are currently 60,317 people in Arkansas with active teaching licenses. However, during the last school year only 33,228 were employed as teachers. In an effort to bring more licensed teachers back to the profession, the number of required professional development hours has been reduced to 36 hours. Free online professional development is available through the Arkansas IDEAS portal at http://ideas.aetn.org. There are 58 schools in the state partnering with colleges and universities to recruit more young people to the profession through a program called Teacher Cadets. Arkansas Teacher Cadets targets students with exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills. It features a curriculum based, hands-on approach which educates students how to become a successful teacher and enables them to put their knowledge to work through a classroom internship. There are also several financial aid incentives including loan forgiveness and tuition reimbursement for prospective teachers. Visit arkansased.govto learn more.

ENVIRONMENTAL MEETINGS SCHEDULED IN ARKANSAS 07/23/18

The Arkansas Pollution and Ecology Commission (APC&EC) will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018, in the commission room at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Headquarters, 5301 Northshore Drive in North Little Rock. Agenda items include discussion regarding Administrative Law Judge Charles Moulton’s recommended decision in the matter of C&H Hog Farms, Inc., settled cases per Regulation No. 8 regarding El Dorado Chemical Company and Ash Grove Cement Company, and nominations for Chair and Vice Chair.

BURN BANS ISSUED IN ARKANSAS 07/23/18

Two Counties in Arkansas have been placed under burn bans as a precaution for wildfire danger. The bans were placed in effect on Sunday, July 22nd 2018. Lee and Monroe County have been issued the bans by county judges and will remain in effect until further notice. More than 40 out the state’s 75 counties have been listed at moderate risk for wildfire danger. Sevier, Little River, Howard, Hempstead, Pike and Miller counties are on the moderate list category. The 4 categories of wildfire risk include low, moderate, high and extreme danger. The state’s wildfire risk by county is updated regularly and is available for public viewing online at ARKfire.org. More information about wildfire safety can be found by contacting the Arkansas Forestry Commission at AFC State Offices at (501) 296-1940.

ARKANSAS UNEMPLOYMENT RATES REVEALED FOR JUNE 2018 07/23/18

The June 2018 Arkansas unemployment rates have been calculated and were announced last week. The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services released information revealing that the numbers for people with out jobs in the natural state has not changed since May 2018. The percentage remains the same although nearly 1,000 residents have obtained employment since the last rates were conducted. The department said there were 5,400 fewer government jobs in June due to the start of the summer break at public schools and universities. The department stated the decrease in employment opportunities was offset by a decline of more than 1300 in the civilian labor force. The construction industry added 1,900 jobs while the business and professional services sector added 1,200 employees. Arkansas’ unemployment rate remained stable at 3.8 percent in June. BLS Program Operations Manager Susan Price said in a news release: “The U.S. jobless rate increased over-the-month, putting Arkansas two-tenths of a percentage point below the national average.”

UA COSSATOT RECEIVES GRANT FOR WORKFORCE PROGRAMS 07/23/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot is home to one of 20 workforce programs around the state that has recently received substantial financial grants for training materials and resources. UA Cossatot has been granted $999,841 for the Regional Advanced Manufacturing partnership, known as RAMP program. UA Cossatot Chancelor Dr. Steve Cole said the school has been working cohesively with other area programs to make collaborative efforts in highlighting the importance of technical programs in the Southwest Arkansas. The funds received will help the university fund facilities used for industry training on the De Queen campus. Chancellor Cole said grants like these help maintain the facilities and material required for the success of the industrial training. More information about the RAMP program and technical training at UA Cossatot can be found online at cccua.edu

FREE HOMEBUYER CLASS SCHEDULED IN HOT SPRINGS 07/23/18

A free homebuyer education class will be held Saturday, July 28 from 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. at the Housing Authority of Hot Springs Community Center, located at 1002 Illinois Street in Hot Springs. The event is sponsored by the Community Development Block Grant Program. Eligible graduates may qualify for in state down payment and closing cost assistance. The one day class will educate participants about the logistics of loan programs, available financial assistance, ways to improve credit, proper budgeting techniques, real estate contracts, home inspections and other related topics. Any person who purchases a home in the state of Arkansas is required to take a home buyer education course. The class also welcomes persons who are interested in learning about home ownership but have not yet purchased a home. Lunch will be provided and registration is required by calling 372-2611.

TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE 07/20/18

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today the temporary closure of Little River 1, starting on Monday July 23 at 8 a.m. and expected to re-open on August 3, 2018 at 4:00pm. The Road will be closed for repairs to be made to the bridge located on Little River 1, approximately 1/2 a mile South of Hwy 108. The closure is expected to last approximately two weeks. Alternate route are as follows: County Road 2 to Hwy 108 and County Road 4 to 41 South. We apologize for any inconveniences and thank you for your patience. For any questions or concerns, please contact the Little River Judges office at (870) 898-7202.

DE QUEEN FAMILY FUNDRAISER PLANNED FOR AUGUST 07/20/18

A fundraiser for Layla Vega has been planned for Friday, August 3rd from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Church of Christ Family center in De Queen, Arkansas. Layla is an 9th grader who previously attended De Queen schools and was diagnosed with occipital and trigeminal neuralgia this year. Layla was an active student and cheerleader prior to her medical issues arising. The condition has required home schooling in order for her to receive the medical assistance needed. Layla’s condition has caused four hospital stays at Arkansas children’s and LeBonheur children’s hospital in Memphis. The condition has left Layla completely disabled, unable to verbally communicate and in need of intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy. Laya’s mother, Jessica is a single parent of two children and is currently on a leave of absence from her job so she can care for Layla full time. All proceeds of the fundraiser will help the Vega family with medical expenses for Layla’s care. The cost of a plate for the fundraiser is $8 and includes chicken, potato salad, baked beans, bread, dessert and a drink. Delivery to local businesses is available and all donations are welcome. More information about Layla’s fundraiser can be found by contacting Maralyn Faulkenberry at 870-784-0358. Orders can also be faxed to Shelter insurance at 870-642-8055.

AHS STUDENTS RECEIVE ADVANCED PLACEMENT AWARDS 07/20/18

A total of 15 Ashdown High School students received checks from the Margaret Daniel Education Foundation for their hard work and who scored 3, 4 or 5 on one or more of the Advanced Placement tests. The total amount given to the students was $1,650.00. This is the 3rd year that the Foundation has awarded the AP Scholars. Today board member Kari Harger, treasurer presented the checks to students at their Foundation meeting. Students that receive 3, 4 or 5 will receive college credit for the class(es). AP teachers Stephanie Ringgold and Jeannie Jackson were at the meeting to congratulate the students. Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Hopkins along with the AP teachers worked very hard along side the students to accomplish these honors.


(l-r) Alex Day, Leah Lovell, Isaac Cross, Aliyah Anderson, Isaac Thomas, Shelby Smith, Jon Michael Molock, and Bradee McKean Not pictured: Logan Henry, Garry Johnston, Alex Simmons, Crandall Gibson, Bralee Lansdell, Weston Lawrence, and Tucker Tompkins

UA HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES ANNOUNCED 07/20/18

The University of Arkansas announced new additions to the UA sports hall of honor this week. Fifteen former razorback athletes will be inducted into the hall of honor at a ceremony to be held September 14th in the Fayetteville Town center. Inductees will include representatives from 10 different sports from both men’s and women’s athletic programs. The list of inductees includes football players Ron Faurot, Greg Horne, Ivan Jordan and Bruce Lahay, Track and field athletes April Steiner Bennett and Randy Stephens, volleyball player Kim Storey Chronister, tennis players Ewell Lee, and golfer Steve Loy; Basketball players Ricky Medlock, Jonathon Modica and Sytia Messer, baseball player Nick Schmidt and Jerry Spencer of the swimming and diving team. Dana McQuillin will be the first inductee from the gymnastics program. Inductees also will be recognized during Arkansas’ football game against North Texas on September 15th.

EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING ISSUED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE 07/20/18

As temperatures rise in the southwest Arkansas area, safety concerns become a prominent issue for the health and well being of local residents. A heat advisory that was issued in the Sevier County area Thursday, July 19th evolved into an excessive heat warning as of Friday July 20th and remaining in effect until 8:00 p.m. Both the advisory and warning were issued by the National Weather Service. The systems are issued to warn residents that heat related illnesses like dehydration and heat stroke are more likely as conditions reach triple digit temperatures. Heat index values are expected to reach up to 110 degrees today. Dr. Jason Lofton visited the KDQN studios to announce concerns to local residents and offer advice of precautionary measures that can be taken to avoid heat stroke and other potential dangers. More tips on summer safety and avoiding heat related illnesses can be found on the Red Cross website at www.redcross.org

DISCOUNTED HEALTH SCREENINGS SET FOR DE QUEEN AND BROKEN BOW 07/19/18

Local residents will have the opportunity to receive health screenings at a discounted rate this summer. The Sevier County Library has partnered with physician owners to bring the Wadley scan to De Queen in July and Broken Bow in August. The Wadley scan allows participants to receive information about their health risks for heart disease and strokes. The scans will include blood pressure, pulse and BMI assessment as well as screening of each person’s individual risk for stroke, aneurysm, arterial disease and an EKG will be run for atrial fibrillation risk factors. The typical cost for the Wadley scan is around $135, but the discounted opportunities will allow participants to receive all the screenings for $39.95. The process takes approximately 10-15 minutes and results will be given back at the completion of the screenings that day. A driver’s license or valid ID is required for participation. The Wadley scan will take place in De Queen on Monday, July 23rd at the Sevier County Library from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and in Broken Bow on August 2nd at First Bank and Trust on Park Drive. Interested participants can call 1877-792-3539 to schedule an appointment or visit wadleyhealth.com for more information.

BACK TO SCHOOL VACCINES AVAILABLE NOW 07/19/18

Deborah Hedge, Sevier County Health Unit Administrator, reminds parents that even though summer vacation is in full swing, it won’t be long until your children will be returning to school. Make sure your children are up-to-date on vaccines before sending them back to school. School-age children, from preschoolers to college students, need vaccines. Making sure that your children receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things you can do as a parent to ensure your children’s long-term health—as well as the health of friends, classmates, and others in your community. Children who have turned 4, 11 or 16 will need updated immunizations before school starts back. Call the Sevier County Health Unit at 870-642-2535 to schedule an appointment. Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

REGISTRATION DATES SET FOR DE QUEEN SCHOOLS 07/18/18

Registration for the De Queen school district’s 2018-2019 school year has been announced. Students entering grades K-2nd will register at De Queen Primary and students entering grades 3-5 will register at De Queen Elementary. Both processes will take place Wednesday, August 1st from 9:00a.m.-1:00p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. All students who are new to the district will be required to bring birth certificates, social security cards, immunization records and proof or residency. The registration process will serve as a time for parents of students to fill out the various paperwork required by the district and students will have the opportunity to meet with the teacher they will have for the upcoming school year. Questions about De Queen elementary school and the registration process can be referred to the administration department at 870-584-4311

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL UPDATES FOR JULY 07/18/18

The Lockesburg City Council met Tuesday, July 10th in the council room at City Hall. A variety of items on the agenda were up for discussion including updates and renovations for the city of Lockesburg. Mayor Danny Ruth provided the council with a status update on issues related to the water tank and presented a price estimate for the improvements needed. Following the presentation, Mayor Ruth informed the council that he will seek an additional estimate to compare potential prices for the tank’s improvement costs. The council also proposed Mayor Ruth attempt to seek a grant for the purpose of replacing the sewer line. The motion passed unanimously. Mayor Ruth was then given the authority to find a grant that could cover the cost of replacing lights located on the ball field of Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park. The council unanimously agreed to allow Treasurer Becky Jegstrup the opportunity to attend the ACCRTA workshop in Morrilton August 9th and 10th. Another motion to send Lockesburg representatives to informational sessions was approved as the council voted to send Mayor Danny Ruth to a conference held at Mount Magazine State park October 4th-5th. The decision was based on information by the Arkansas Public Employers Human Resources Association. The previous meetings minutes and June 2018 financial report were approved. The next Lockesburg City council meeting will be held Tuesday, August 14th at 6:30 p.m. in city hall.

FREE FIBER ARTS SHOW HELD IN MENA 07/18/18

A month-long show to recognize and appreciate the creative aspects of fiber arts is being held in Mena, Arkansas this summer. The event takes place Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at The Mena Art Gallery. The show is highlighting the various aspects of fiber arts this month, including knitting, crocheting, twining, weaving, quilting, embroidery, sewing, macramé, lace making, rug hooking, felting, flocking, cross stitch and more. All works on display in the show have been contributed by local artists in the regional area. The show’s final date will be Saturday, July 28th. The show is free of charge and all members of the general public are invited and welcome to attend the event as spectators. Questions may be referred to Julie Vande Zande at 479-394-3880 or visit menaartgallery.com

BURN BANS ISSUED IN ARKANSAS COUNTIES 07/17/18

The Arkansas Forestry Commission has placed 7 counties in the natural state under burn bans. The update is current as of today, Tuesday July 17th 2018. The seven counties include Carroll, Clebourne, Faulkner, Garland, Lee, Saline and White counties. Each of the bans have been issued by the respective judges of the counties listed and will remain in effect until further notice. Forty-four of the state’s 75 counties are currently listed at moderate risk for wildfire danger. The 4 categories include low, moderate, high and extreme danger levels. Little River, Sevier, Howard, Polk and Hempstead counties are all under the moderate risk category. More information about the Arkansas Forestry Commission and wildfire concerns in Arkansas can be found on WWW.Arkfireinfo.org Or by calling the AFC state offices at 501-296-1940.

RAZORBACK FOOTBALL PLAYER ARRESTED 07/17/18

Arkansas freshman receiver Michael Woods was arrested Friday, July 13th. Woods is 18 years old and has been charged with driving under the influence and being a minor in possession of alcohol, and improper u-turn. A preliminary arrest report by Fayetteville police states that Michael Woods was pulled over after nearly hitting a police car driving in the opposite direction. Woods smelled of alcohol and was given a field sobriety test, then was arrested, according to police. Woods had a blood-alcohol content of .071. According to Washington county courts his bond was set at $1,100 and a hearing was scheduled for Monday, July 16. Arrangements to publicly address the issue during SEC media days in Atlanta Georgia were set. Woods originally committed to the Razorbacks during December’s early signing period. Arkansas coach Chad Morris said he will evaluate Woods’ status with the team after reviewing the arrest report’s information.

DEER HUNT PERMITS AVAILABLE IN JULY 07/17/18

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced that Leftover WMA Deer Hunt Permits will be available online on Monday, July 23rd at 8am. Each person may submit one application for each type of permit hunt (youth deer, archery deer, muzzleloader deer, modern gun deer). Youth hunters must be at least 6 years old, but no older than 15, the day the hunt begins. Permit winners will be notified by e-mail (an e-mail address must be included with each application). Applications require a nonrefundable $5 application fee per hunt type. Successful applicants no longer have to pay for permits after the drawing. For assistance with permit application, call 1-800-364-4263. For assistance after application process is complete, call 501-223-6359.

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR 07/17/18

Come enjoy the 81st annual Sevier County Fair, Livestock Show, and Rodeo August 4th – 11th at the fairgrounds in De Queen. Sevier County Youth Fun Night will be held in the Rodeo Arena on August 4th and 9th at 7:00 each evening. You’ll appreciate the air conditioned educational and commercial exhibits building. Take a tour through the livestock barns to support our future farmers and cattlemen. Enjoy Johnson’s Rides & Concessions Wednesday through Saturday nights – with arm band specials on Friday night. The parade in downtown De Queen is Friday night at six. The Ram Rodeo on Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 is bigger and better than ever before with rodeo stock producer – the Ringgold and Sons Company. It’s the Sevier County Fair, Livestock Show, and Rodeo August 4th – 11th at the fairgrounds in De Queen. Don’t miss it!

FOUR-YEAR-OLD FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN HORATIO 07/16/18

Law enforcement representatives from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about an unresponsive child Saturday. Sheriff Robert Gentry reported that the call was made by a minor at approximately 7:15 p.m. on the evening of July 14th. Officers arrived on the scene on Washington Street in Horatio as the emergency medical response team was in the process of assisting the child. The ambulance arrived shortly after the officers and the child was transported to De Queen Medical Center. Justin and Christina Winton have been identified as the parents of the 4-year-old. The child was pronounced dead and Arkansas State Police are currently investigating the case. A cause of death has not yet been determined.

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCES BACK TO SCHOOL EVENT 07/16/18

De Queen High School has announced a back to school kick-off event is set for next month in De Queen. On Friday, August 10th a community pep rally will take place at Leopard Stadium in De Queen Beginning at 7:30 p.m. All members of the community are invited and welcome to attend the event. This will serve as an opportunity for community members to meet the school football players, cheerleaders, and band members. The cost of admission is $3 at the gate and all proceeds will benefit the De Queen High School football program. Leopard fans will also be able to purchase apparel and memberships from the athletic booster club. The De Queen High School cheerleading squad will be selling taco dinners, t-shirts, stadium cushion and pop sockets during the event. More information about De Queen High and associated athletic programs can be found online at dhs.dequenleopards.org

STATE PARK OFFERS FREE ACTIVITIES FOR VISITORS 07/16/18

Cossatot River State Park in Wickes, Arkansas is set to host a variety of events on site this weekend, from July 20th-21st. The 1st activity on Friday, July 20th will be an hour-long educational session about snakes. The program is titled ‘Hiss Rattle and Roll.” Visitors will meet in the Visitor’s center’s Legacy room at 2:00pm and learn about how to identify poisonous and non-poisonous snakes . Interactive games and activities will conclude the session at 3:00pm. At 3:30pm. a Snorkeling session will take place for one hour. Attendees will meet at the Low water bridge below the visitor’s center. Park interpreters will lead and informative observation opportunity for visitors to learn about underwater activity and aquatic aspects of the state parks river. Snorkels will be provided and appropriate swim wear is required. On Saturday, July 21st a Focus factor photo session will be held at 9:00am at the Brushy Creek Picnic area. Attendees will lead an instructional workshop to assist visitors in taking clear pictures that capture wildlife within the state park. A repeat of Friday’s snorkeling session will be held at 10:30am and a craft session will follow at 1:30 p.m. The final activity of the day will be an informational session about frogs and their communication methods at 8:30pm in the sandbar picnic area. Park interpreters will lead the session for one hour until 9:30 pm. More information can be found by contacting Cossatot River State Park at 870-385-2201.

BENEFIT SET FOR 5 MONTH OLD BENJAMIN CARVER – 07/11/2018

Benjamin Jay Carver is the 5 month old son of Jay and Lisa (Jester) Carver. He was born on December 1, 2017, at UAMS in Little Rock. His adoption into this family was finalized February 5, 2018. At birth, Benjamin was unable to breathe on his own. After many tests, he has been diagnosed with brain damage and dysphasia (the inability to swallow). After 35 days total in the NICU, Benjamin was able to breathe on his own, but had to have a gastronomy tube (g-tube) for his inability to swallow. The small tube is inserted into a child’s stomach for nutrients and medicine. He also has an apnea monitor he wears 24 hours a day to track his heart and respiratory rates. Benjamin is unable to attend daycare due to his fragile immune system and requires one on one care. He is on several medications to help reduce his secretions and gets respiratory medications and treatments daily as well. He receives physical therapy, speech therapy, developmental therapy, and occupational therapy twice a week. He is followed closely by several departments at Arkansas Children’s Hospital including: High Risk Newborn Clinic, ENT, Pulmonary, Genetics, and Neurology. He is currently on day 37 at Arkansas Children’s hospital because of a virus that turned into pneumonia. Jay and Lisa also have a ten year old son and haven’t left Benjamin´s side other than going home to gather items and pick up their ten year old. Benjamin has been accepted into an Aerodigestive Program at Houston Childrenś Hospital to find ways to hopefully help his inability to swallow. To help with expenses, a benefit event has been planned in his honor. A chicken dinner, live auction and drawing will be held at the Dierks community building on Saturday, July 14th at 5pm. All proceeds will directly benefit Benjamin’s medical expenses and the carver family’s needs. More information can be found by calling Joe at 870-825-0835

ASHDOWN SCHOOL REGISTRATION – 7/11/2018

All elementary schools in the Ashdown School District – Ashdown Elementary (kindergarten-second grade) and L.F. Henderson Intermediate (third-fifth grades) will register new and returning students July 30/31-August 1st and 2nd from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Students registering at Ashdown Elementary will need to go to the C.D. Franks Building. New students will need to bring shots records, birth certificate, and social security card. Students can meet their teachers on Thursday, August 9th from 2-7 p.m. Ashdown Junior High students (grades 6-8) will begin registering new students in the district on August 1st. All returning students may come August 9th during Open House from 2:00 – 7:00 to update all registration paperwork and pick up their schedules. If you are unable to come during Open House, the AJHS Office will be open between 8-3:30 Monday-Thursday to make the updates. Ashdown High School students (grades 9-12) can register July 25th, 26th,30th or 31st from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. This is returning students and new students to the district. Any schedule change must be done during these days. Schedules can be picked up on Thursday, August 9th from 2-7 p.m.District-Wide Open House/Meet the Teacher will be on Thursday, August 9th from 2-7 p.m. This will be held at the individual campuses. Information will be posted soon on school supplies. The Purple/White game will follow at 7 p.m. in Dick Hays Stadium. Donations of Gatorade and water will be admission to enter the game. The first day of school for Ashdown Public Schools will be Monday, August 13th.

GRANNIS TRAIL RIDERS RODEO – 7/11/2018

The 50th annual championship rodeo is set for July 27th and 28th in Grannis Arkansas. The event will be held at 199 Arena Lane, Grannis Arkansas. The cost of admission is $6 per person and children under age 4 can enter free of charge. On Friday, July 27th, Senior Citizens cost of admission is $3. Events will include calf roping, barrel racing, team roping, bull riding, break-away, bull riding, Jr. Barrels, Mini broncs, jr. bulls, ranch bronc, bareback, saddle bronc and steer wrestling. Mutton bustin will begin at 7:00 p.m. and the Rodeo will start at 8:00. A calf scramble and money drop will take place each night. The Texarkana Quadrille and Wild Willie Cline will be featured at the rodeo. Negative Coggins is required for participation. The championship rodeo is sponsored by The Grannis Trail Riders and Ringgold & Sons rodeo company. Interested sponsors can contact Leona at 87-582-3721.Rodeo organizers would like to invite any past Rodeo and Club Royalty to participate in the parade of royalty by way of horse back or walking. More information can be found by calling 580-244-3635 or visiting the Grannis trail riders face book page online.

SEVIER COUNTY YOUTH FUN NIGHT 07/13/18

A Sevier County Youth Fun Night will be held during the Fair and Rodeo this summer. The activities will take place on Saturday, August 4th and again on Thursday, August 9th. The age groups for the youth events will be broken down into five separate categories. Ages 1-5, 6-9, 10-13, 14-18 and 19 years and older. The cost is $5 per event and activities begin at 7:00 p.m. each evening. Horse events will include: barrels, speed, flag race, goat tie and flags. Non-horse events include: stick horse barrels, stick horse speed, hula hoop calf dummy, goat ribbon strip and dummy roping. Participants may enter both horse and non-horse events. The youth nights will have a payback and a negative Coggins is required. Recently added attractions include: mini donkey dressing and pig scramble. For more information about the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo youth nights, Patricia Maben may be contacted at 870-784-1740 or visit the face book page online.

COSSATOT RIVER SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING 07/13/18

Members of the Cossatot River Board of Education met Thursday, July 12th for their regular monthly meeting. Board members voted to offer the Van-Cove Alumni Association a long-term lease on the on Cove building, which houses memorabilia from the Van-Cove School District. The school board also agreed to turn on the electricity and pay the initial hook-up fee. However, the alumni association will be responsible for the monthly electric bill. According to Superintendent Jim Tankersly, the lease will be for $1 a year for 99 years. Principals from all four campuses reported on their ACT Aspire test scores. Umpire Principal Walter Strode reported one 5th grade student scored 100 percent on the ACT Aspire test. Wickes Elementary Principal Jana Richardson, Vandervoort Elementary Principal Judy Joiner and Cossatot River High School Principal Dewayne Taylor reported students scored highest on the English portion of the ACT Aspire test on their campuses. Taylor also reported one high school student scored a 5 on an AP class test, which is the highest score possible. “We received our test scores from the state. Some of the areas we did improve in some of the areas overall from this year to last year,” Tankersly said. “Obviously, there is still work to do and that is what we plan to focus on this year.” Tankersly informed the board that the construction contract will be signed Monday and he expects work on the new ball fields to begin very soon. The contract states the company has 120 days to complete the project. Tankersly and Taylor reported there is a hump on the gym floor at the high school that must be repaired before basketball season. The gym floor was installed five years ago and had a one-year warranty. School officials are speaking with the district engineer in an attempt to resolve the issue. Taylor also informed the board that the high school lockers are on backorder and the new door locks are currently being installed. Principals presented a list of changes to the student handbooks. One change involves the length of shorts, skirts and dresses. Principals recommended a finger length policy instead of a dollar bill length. They recommended a change to the tardy policy due to the excessive number of students being late for class. Principal asked the board to change the policy to include 1-day of ISS for every 5-tardys. The policy also includes possible Saturday school if students are habitually tardy. However, the policy that received the most discussion concerned cellphones during instruction time. Principals recommended the policy to be changed to include state that if a student is caught using their phone during class time that the phone will be confiscated. A parent must retrieve the phone from the office and pay a $10 fine for the first offense and a $25 fine for the second offense. Tankersly informed the board that he had implemented this policy in a previous district and it was very effective. Board members approved the sell of two buses to the Foreman School District, the milk bid from Hiland Dairy and the bread bid from Flowers Bakery. Board members approved a stipend for Sandra Trinidad for her English as Second Language duties. They accepted the resignation of Elizabeth LeAnn Johnson as the elementary art teacher. They voted to hire Sheila Johnson as the elementary art teacher, Becky Hooper as the elementary music teacher and Ricky Cottle as the Cossatot River High School Special Education teacher.

LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT SWEEP UP CRIME IN SEVIER COUNTY

During the Month of June, Local law enforcement representatives carried out multiple search warrants that resulted in the seizing of various illegal substances, firearms and drug paraphernalia in Sevier County. On June 15th, members of The Sevier County Sheriff’s office, De Queen Police Department and South Central Drug Task Force were granted a warrant to search the home of Dalton Kitchens located on Fischer road in Horatio. Upon entering the home, several firearms were found, approximately 11.4 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Kitchens’ is charged with Possession of Methamphetamine with purpose to deliver, as well as Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms and Drug Paraphernalia. On June 20th, 2018, members of the Sevier County Sheriff’s office, De Queen Police department and South Central Drug Task Force were granted a search warrant to search the residence of Richard Brian Simpson located on Buzzard Roost Road in De Queen. Upon execution of the search warrant, 295 grams of methamphetamine, 62 grams of cocaine, 1070 grams of marijuana, 2 pistols, 3 rifles, one shotgun and a total $29,996 in cash was found. Simpson has been charged with Trafficking a controlled substance, Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms and Drug Paraphernalia. On Friday, June 29th local law enforcement representatives executed a search warrant at a residence on Riverside Drive near Horatio, Arkansas. Bruce Parks is the person of interest in regards to the warrant. Inside the home, 285 grams of methanphetamine, a set of digital scales and a firearm were discovered on site. Parks has been charged with trafficking a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The sheriff’s office tip line can be reached at 870-642-2125.

SEVIER COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO SET FOR SUMMER 2018

The 81st annual Sevier County Fair and Livestock show dates have been announced for 2018. Events and activities will begin on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 and continue through Saturday, August 11th. The rodeo will be held at the Sevier County Fairgrounds in De Queen, Arkansas. The festivities will be family friendly and open to all residents of Sevier County and its surrounding communities. The cost of general admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children under age 12. Ride in grand entry is $3 and children 5 and under are free. Events will include Bareback Bronc Riding, Bull Riding, Cowgirl’s Barrel Racing, Cowgirl’s Breakaway Roping, Junior Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc Riding, Team Roping, Tie Down Roping and more. A variety of rides, attractions, games and concessions will be featured as well as live entertainment and exhibits. The events will kick off with the Little Miss and Little Mister Stickaroo fair pageant at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 4th. Each day a variety of different activities, exhibits and booths will be available and open to attendees including a parade at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 10th Local residents who are interested in participating in the livestock show must pre-register from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 21st. More information regarding registration and fair policies can be found by calling 870-584-6281 or visiting the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo facebook page.

SEVIER COUNTY YOUTH FUN NIGHT

Sevier County Youth Fun Night will be held during the Fair and Rodeo this summer. The activities will take place on Saturday, August 4th and again on Thursday, August 9th. The age groups for the youth events will be broken down into five separate categories. Ages 1-5, 6-9, 10-13, 14-18 and 19 years and older. The cost is $5 per event and activities begin at 7:00 p.m. each evening. Horse events will include: barrels, speed, flag race, goat tie and flags. Non-horse events include: stick horse barrels, stick horse speed, hula hoop calf dummy, goat ribbon strip and dummy roping. Participants may enter both horse and non-horse events. The youth nights will have a payback and a negative coggins is required. Recently added attractions include: mini donkey, dressing and pig scramble. For more information about the Sevier County Fair and Rodeo Youth Nights, Patricia Maben may be contacted at 870-784-1740 or visit the facebook page online.