Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Local News

Today's News

EARNEST RHONE FEATURED AT ASHDOWN ALUMNI BANQUET 09/25/18

On Saturday, September 22, Ashdown High School hosted nearly 400 alumni, family and friends of Banquet Honoree and 1971 Ashdown High School Graduate Earnest Rhone. Ashdown Alumni Association President, Susan Simmons welcomed everyone to the twelfth annual alumni banquet. Association Secretary Ronda Pounds announced that Tony Spigner (one day shy of 90 years old) was the oldest male graduate in attendance and Ethel Mae Ford Skeiff was the oldest female graduate at the young age of 96. Carolyn Fennell Terrill traveled the farthest from Mesa, Arizona and the Class of 1968 won the spirit stick with the most graduates in attendance at the banquet.

The class of 1968 was recognized as they celebrated their 50th year since graduation and their induction into the special “Golden Circle Club.” All graduates with 50 or more years since graduation were also inducted into the club. Beth Provence introduced Ashdown’s new superintendent Casey Nichols, who provided background information on Earnest Rhone as they had previously worked together for sixteen years.

Mr. Rhone grew up in Ogden, Arkansas and enrolled in AHS with the “Freedom of Choice” and was named the first African American captain of the team by his teammates. He was coached by Dick Hays and Johnny Toombs. After graduation, he attended Henderson State University and was offered a full scholarship by Coach Sporty Carpenter after his first season where He was named the captain of the Reddie football team.

After college, he signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins and played ten years for the team. He played in two super bowls with them. As a starter in 1981, he led Miami with 171 tackles, six QB sacks and was voted the teams’ Outstanding Linebacker by the Southern Florida media. He set a Dolphin record for most quarterback sacks by a linebacker in a single game against Richard Todd and the NY Jets. Franky Jones provided the entertainment for the event, Don Hale gave the closing remarks and Mark Pounds led the alumni in the singing of the Alma Mater as the official banquet closed.

FALL TRAP LEAGUE BEGINS IN COLUMBUS 09/25/18

The 2018 Fall Trap League begins today in Southwest Arkansas. The league is sponsored by the Nashville Trap Booster Club and sessions will be held at The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center every Tuesday between 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. until October 30th in Columbus, Arkansas.

A one-time registration fee of $25 and a nightly range fee of $8 will be required. $20 of the registration fee will go towards a prize money pool that will later be split for the top finishers in the adult and youth divisions. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission staff member Caleb Coulter says the top 4 scores for each shooter will be totaled for the results at the end of the 6 week program. 

Each participant will shoot 50 shots per night for score. It is not required that participants attend every session during the 6 week program to be considered for the prize pool. The community of Columbus is located 15 miles northwest of Hope. Contact the Arkansas game and fish commission for more information.

25TH ANNUAL GOLDEN GATHERING AT NASHVILLE CITY PARK 09/25/18

The 25th Annual Golden Gathering is scheduled for October 4th from 9:00 a.m. until 12 p.m. The event will be hosted by Nashville Parks and Recreation.
This free program is designed for senior citizens and features activities, games and entertainment for residents ages 55 and older.

There will be more than 30 booths set up to give away free information and prizes! Entertainment on stage will be “Shake, Rattle, & Roll,” plus a special performance by Elvis and under the big tent Bingo and prizes will be provided by Farmer's Insurance.

Sponsored lunch by Pilgrims and Tyson's will be provided to everyone in attendance! Winners of all prizes will be announced at noon and recipients must be present to win. Contact the Nashville Parks and Recreation department at: (870) 845-7405 for questions.

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR ARKANAS AGRICULTURE HALL OF FAME 09/25/18

This week, The Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame announced they are currently seeking nominations from the general public for its next class. The deadline to nominate an Arkansas resident showing leadership in Agriculture is November 1st 2018. The Agriculture Hall of Fame recognizes Arkansans who have contributed significantly to Agriculture, the state’s largest industry, while also spotlighting their contributions to the state’s economic development. Since its first class was selected in 1987, a total of 164 men and women have been inducted.

Butch Calhoun, chairman of the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame, says anyone can nominate a person believed worthy of the honor. Calhoun is a former state legislator and Arkansas Agriculture Secretary. He said Agriculture is the heart and soul of the state of Arkansas,” “And we know that heart and soul is reflected by countless men and women from every corner of Arkansas. The Farm Bureau Center in Little Rock houses the Agriculture Hall of Fame, which is sponsored by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Farm Bureau.

Additional information and online nomination forms are available at www.arkansasaghalloffame.org. Forms can also be requested by calling Cindra Bell at 501-228-1609.The induction ceremony for the next class will be March 1, 2019 in Little Rock

 

 

 

 

PREVIOUSLY REPORTED

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS STUDENTS CHOSEN FOR SENATOR’S CABINET 09/24/18

Arkansas high school students are lending their voices to discussions of federal policies as members of U.S. Senator John Boozman’s (R-AR) Congressional Youth Cabinet. The program is in its second year and seeks to expose students to the legislative process and opportunities for advocacy and civic engagement.

The group of 30 students from all four congressional districts met for the first time in Little Rock on Friday, September 21. The Congressional Youth Cabinet is a nonpartisan initiative that allows students to gain first-hand experience with engaging in the democratic process. Participants will attend several meetings throughout the school year.

As part of the program, they will research a national issue they select and present policy solutions and recommendations to Boozman at the final meeting in April in Little Rock. Senator Boozman described the group as “enthusiastic” and said he is looking forward to receiving their feedback on national issues of interest to them and their peers.
Students who were selected from each of Arkansas’s four congressional districts were chosen based on community involvement and leadership experience. Youth chosen to represent Southwest Arkansas from the 4th congressional district include:

Jack Bunyard – De Queen
Joshua Earl – Jessieville
Camden Jones – El Dorado
Hayden Rogers – Magnolia

UA COSSATOT INSTRUCTOR HONORED WITH BLACKBOARD EXEMPLARY AWARD 09/24/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot and University of Arkansas System’s eVersity is pleased to announce that UA Cossatot Occupational Therapy Assistant Program Director Tamla Heminger has been named a winner in Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program (ECP). The awards program recognizes faculty and course designers from schools, colleges, and universities around the world who develop engaging and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Heminger, along with eVersity’s Instructional Designer Ramesh Muthukumarana, have won for their eVersity course “Medical Terminology.” In addition to their UA Cossatot courseloads, many UA Cossatot instructors also teach through the UA System’s eVersity online university platform. eVersity was established by the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees in March 2014. Recognized by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, eVersity is the only 100% online University of Arkansas System institution.

The course demonstrated excellence in four areas:
• Course Design: the elements of instructional design, such as its structure, learning objectives, and
instructional strategies.
• Interaction and Collaboration: the level of engagement offered by the course and the level of student
interaction and collaboration
• Assessment: the evaluation of student work toward the achievement of learning outcomes and the
quality and type of student assessments
• Learner Support: the resources made available to students, which may be accessible within or external to
the course environment.
For 17 years, the ECP has recognized instructors and course designers whose courses demonstrate best
practices. Since its founding, thousands of instructors, teachers, and designers have used the ECP to evaluate
and improve their courses with recognized best practices. To be considered for the honor, applicants must be a user of Blackboard’s learning management systems. Submitted courses are evaluated by other course developers, instructional designers, teachers, and professors using the ECP Rubric.

“I’m proud to recognize Tamla and Ramesh for their commitment to creating engaging, innovative courses that maximize learning outcomes,” said Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, CEO and President of Blackboard. “We look forward to continuing to partner with eVersity and other members of the educational community to drive student success.”
Heminger and Muthukumarana will be honored alongside other outstanding recipients on the
Blackboard website as well as in the Blackboard Community, a platform where the largest organized network of Blackboard users connect, collaborate and learn from their peers.
To learn more about the Exemplary Course Program, visit community.blackboard.com/community/ecp,
and to learn more about eVersity, please visit eversity.edu.

RODEO FUNDRAISER FOR PROVO VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT SET FOR OCTOBER. 09/24/18

The 34th annual Provo Kid’s Rodeo is scheduled for next month on Saturday, October 6th on provo road around Lockesburg. Lunch will begin at noon, with barbeque plates for $8 each. The event will feature live music, a tractor show, barrel rides, a gun raffle and rodeo events for kids 1-16 years old. Books open at noon and close when the events start.

Wannell Bradshaw is an organizer of the Provo Kid’s Rodeo and has been involved in planning the event since 1984. Wannell says the event is a fun activity day for kids and a recently added parade will be featured at the event again this year.
Rodeo events for the kids include horse speed races, calf scramble, mutton bustin’, barrel races, calf riding, a cow bingo and more. Live Gospel music will be performed on site and vendors will be able to set up for $10. There is no cost of admission to attend the event, however an entry fee will be charged for each rodeo activity children participate in.

All proceeds from the Rodeo and Barbeque sale will directly benefit the Provo Volunteer Fire Department. Wannell says the event is an unconventional, fun day for families to spend with their children. The Provo Kid’s Rodeo will take place on Provo road, about five miles East of Lockesburg, Arkansas. Interested vendors and participants can contact Emmy Bailey at 870-784-3053 for more information.

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING ANNOUNCED 09/24/18

Football Bearer Tate Collier and Crown Bearer Mia Lindsey Front row: (left to right) Sr. Maid Antonette Worthey, Sr. Maid Rose Tinajero, Sr. Maid Katelyn McDougal, Sr. Maid Abby Dykes, Queen Ashley Dykes, Sr. Maid Nubia Buendia, Sr. Maid Bailey Ward, Sr. Maid Dania Castillo 2nd row: (left to right) Soph. Maid Edith Garcia, Soph. Maid Sara Victoriano, Sr. Maid Julie Gomez, Sr. Maid Pamela Delgado, Sr. Maid Dennise Tellez, Sr. Maid Marisol Gonzalez, Jr. Maid Ivette Gonzalez, Jr. Maid Valentina Munoz 

The De Queen High School Student Council has announced the 2018 DHS Homecoming Court. The De Queen Leopards Football team will be playing their homecoming game against the Hot Springs Trojans on Friday October 5, 2018. Homecoming festivities will kick-off with spirit week beginning on October 1st through October 5th.

Spirit days include: “Dreaming of Trampling the Trojans Monday”, where students will dress in their favorite pajamas. “Dreams Do Come True Tuesday” when students will dress for their future careers, “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Wednesday”, students will find a partner and dress alike. On “Battle of the Classes Thursday” students will dress in a designated class color, and the week will conclude with “Black and Gold Friday” in which everyone will wear the school colors to show leopard pride.

Homecoming festivities will continue with a Parade downtown at approximately 1:30 p.m. on October 5 themed “Once Upon a Homecoming”. The parade will continue to the High School at approximately 2:00 p.m. An afternoon ceremony and pep rally will begin at approximately 2:30 p.m. in the De Queen High School Coliseum. Evening Homecoming ceremonies will begin at 6:30 pm at Leopard Stadium and the game will follow at 7:00 p.m.

OFFICIAL CLEAN-UP WEEK SCHEDULED IN DE QUEEN 09/24/18

The week of Oct. 8-12 has been designated as fall clean-up week in the City of De Queen.
City residents are encouraged to pick up trash and debris before the change of seasons.
“The Code Enforcement Office has made a concentrated effort to clean up problem areas around De Queen this summer, including property owned by the city,” said Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy. “It will take an effort by all city residents to make a real difference in the appearance of our city.”If you are aware of an area that needs attention, you are welcome to report it by calling City Hall or the Code Enforcement office, the mayor said.

The city will again be collecting old electronics items for recycling. Computers, printers, cell phones, televisions and similar items will be collected at the De Queen Fire Station during the week of Oct. 8-12 only. Items delivered before or after clean-up week will not be accepted.
Old paint will also be collected at the fire station for disposal.

Any one who has old automobiles that need to be removed should call Baker’s Sales and Service at 584-3676. In some cases, vehicles may have salvage value.
Pickup of large items such as old furniture or appliances will be available during spring clean-up week. For big items, call De Queen City Hall at 584-3445 to be put on the pickup list.

RELAY FOR LIFE EVENTS SCHEDULED IN MCCURTAIN COUNTY 09/21/18

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Mccurtain County will be on September 29th, 2018. Two activities open to the public include the cancer survivors’ lap and the luminaria ceremony. The Relay For Life and activities will be held at Broken Bow City Park in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.

September 29th, 2018 @ 6:00 p.m.— Cancer Survivor Recognition. Cancer survivors from the Mccurtain County area are invited to walk the first lap of the American Cancer Society Relay For Life to celebrate their victory over cancer. The event and survivors’ lap will be held at Broken Bow City Park. Each cancer survivor will receive a free T-shirt to wear while walking the track. There is no cost to participate. Cancer survivors will need to arrive at Broken Bow Assembly of God at 4:30 for registration, followed by a free meal at 5:00 Families are welcome to attend.

After the recognition, The American Cancer Society will hold their Relay For Life luminaria lighting ceremony to recognize those touched by cancer in McCurtain County at Broken Bow City Park. Individuals or companies can make contributions in memory of those who have lost their fight with cancer and in honor of those who have survived. Each will be recognized by a lighted luminaria candle. Contributions can be made by calling Leigh Jackson @ 580 212 8847. For more information on Relay For Life or the following activities, call Leigh Jackson at 580 212 8847.

ACTIVITIES PLANNED AT SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARIES FOR FALL 09/21/18

A variety of upcoming activities and events have been planned at the Libraries in Sevier County for this fall.On October 10, the De Queen Library will host “Wonky Donkey” story time and fun. All area children are invited to attend. October 24th at 4 pm will be the “Humbug Witch” Halloween Story time, and treats. The first 30 children will receive a treat bag with goodies. Activities are planned for every Wednesday at 10 am. Dominos, games, cards, coloring and more will be featured! Call the De Queen Branch at 584-4364 for more information.

The Horatio Library will have 2 story times on October 6th and October 20th at 11:00 a.m. On October 6th they will also be having a book sale in conjunction with the Horatio’s Community Wide Garage Sale. They will have books set outside and some inside. They will be selling paperback books 12 for $1.00 and hardcover books for .75 cents. A television has been set up and all community members are invited to come in for a cup of coffee and watch the news, listen to music or watch a movie. They also have Dominoes every Thursday morning and Bridge on Thursday afternoon. Stop by and see Miss Amy for questions.

This October at the Lockesburg Library they will have a book club discussion of “A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy” by Sue Klebold” on Saturday October 13th at 10:00 am. Klebol’s son, Dylan was one of the Columbine High School shooters in 1999. Next months’ read will be available to pass out at this meeting. Residents are invited to
Join the book club and share opinions on the read. The library and Ms. Wendy appreciate younger readers and strive to be kid- friendly. Children’s programs are planned throughout October on Thursdays at 1:00 pm. Some of this month’s programs will be about “Click, Clack Moo, Cows That Type”, “The Sun,” In the passport series: “All about Egypt” and the Halloween program, “Room on the Broom.”

The Gillham Library highly recommends the book “Relics- Myth You Don’t Believe (Bigfoot) by John Vandeventer. The action begins in Mena, Arkansas and is a very fast paced mystery. They will have a children’s program the last Saturday in October. You can call Susie at 870-386-5665 or visit their Facebook page.www.facebook.com/gillhamlibrary for more information.

MEXICAN CONSULATE MOBILE OFFICE COMING TO DE QUEEN 09/21/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Center for Student Success will host the Mexican Consulate to Little Rock Mobile Office from October 16 to 19, 2018, on the UA Cossatot De Queen Campus. The office will be set up in the Skilled Trades Building and will be available by appointment only.

The office will provide passport, matricula consular, birth certificate, and dual nationality services. To schedule an appointment for passport, matricula consular, and birth certificates services, call 877-639-4835. For dual nationality service appointments, call 501-372-6933 ext. 230. Pricing and service requirements will be provided over the phone.

On Friday, October 19, 2018, Miriam Ramirez with Ramirez Law firm, PLLC will be available will
meet with families by appointment only who wish to obtain general power of attorney letters. Such letters/power allows a family member the ability to make decisions regarding children in their parents’ absence. This documentation is necessary for logistical processes in cases of deportation and helps someone to take temporary custody of children. To make an appointment with Ramirez, please call 501-672-6467.
For more information, please contact Center for Student Success Coordinator Erika Buenrrostro at 870-584-1133.

PIKE COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEETING UPDATES 09/21/18

Mike Yarbrough, fire chief of the Langley Volunteer Fire Department addressed the Pike County Quorum Court, during this week’s meeting, on the matter of placing the fire department dues on the 2019 tax statements. After discussion, JP Paul Baker made a motion to move forward with the proposal, seconded by JP Donnie Davis.

Judge DeWight Mack reported that the state aid job of striping the county roads will not be as expensive as anticipated and that the county should get back around $5,000 of the match that was paid for the job. Justices Player, Buck Sirmon and Crocker were selected to head the budget committee for the 2019 budget.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT FAIR SET FOR LAST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 09/21/18

The 74th annual Southwest District Fair is set for September 25th through 29th in Hope’s Fair Park. Attractions and rides, the largest parade in Southwest Arkansas, exhibits from fifteen area counties, music from Night Hawk, and Roughstock Productions Bulls, Broncs, and Barrells on Friday and Saturday will be featured.

There will be a ranch rodeo Thursday night. Cultural arts, canning, baked goods, needlework, horticulture and photography will be featured as well. The entry fee for admission is $5, for ages 12 and up, each day Children ages 5 and under are free and ages 6-12 are $3.00. Camping spots are available on a first-come, first served basis.
For information visit southwestarkansasdistrictlivestockshow.com. 

 

UA COSSATOT COLTS MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM SIGN INTENT LETTERS 09/20/18

Eleven University of Arkansas Cossatot Colts Basketball players signed letters of intent last week, on September 12, 2018, at the UA Cossatot  Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium. UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole and Colts Basketball Coach Warren Bane introduced the team members to attendees. UA Cossatot Board of Visitors member Jimmy Tumey attended in a display of board support for the players.

Chancellor Cole said, “We are extremely proud to have these young men sign letters that indicate that not only will they play basketball for UA Cossatot, but they also indicated that they will excel in the classroom.”
The following students will compete as the first-ever Colts Men’s Basketball Team:
• Chase Ewing, Guard/Forward, Charleston High School graduate, studying Physical Therapy
Assisting
• Brandon Fenner, Guard/Forward, Charleston High School graduate, pursuing Associate of
General Studies
• CJ Adams, Forward/Center, Nashville High School graduate, studying Accounting
• Tanner Owens, Guard, Centerpoint High School graduate, studying Physical Therapy Assisting
• Devin Threadgill, Guard, Foreman High School graduate, studying Physical Education
• Khawan Scott, Guard, Nashville High School graduate, studying Criminal Justice
• Jamonte Green, Guard, Murfreesboro High School graduate, studying Welding
• Kevin Brazil, Center, Nashville High School graduate, studying Business Management
• Shawn Funderburk, Guard, Kirby High School graduate, studying Physical Therapy Assisting
• Dillon Blount, Guard, Mineral Springs High School graduate, studying Education
• Jack Stuard, Guard, Murfreesboro High School graduate, studying Education

The first UA Cossatot Colts home basketball game will be in November 19, 2018, at 7:00 pm at the UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gym against Central Baptist College.
Currently scheduled Colts Basketball 2018 -2019 season games are listed below. For more up-to-date game information, please visit www.cccua.edu/events.

• November 8th vs National Park – Hot Springs at 7:00 pm
• November 10th vs SAU Tech – Camden, AR at 4:00 pm
• November 19th vs Central Baptist College – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gym, 7:00 pm
• December 1st vs ASU MidSouth – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium, Lockesburg at 2:00 pm
• December 3rd vs National Park – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium, Lockesburg at
7:00 pm
• December 10th vs SAU Tech JV – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium, Lockesburg at 7:00 pm
• December 15th vs Grit Sports Academy – Memphis, Tennessee at 3:00 pm • January 4th vs NorthArk – Harrison 2:00 pm
• January 10th vs Grit Sports Academy – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium,
Lockesburg at 6:00 pm
• January 17th vs NorthArk Community College – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium,
Lockesburg at 6:00 pm
• January 24th vs Central Baptist College – UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium, Lockesburg at 7:00 pm
• February 16th vs ASU Mid-South – West Memphis at 2:00 pm

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WAIVES FEES ON NATIONAL PUBLIC LANDS DAY 09/20

Little Rock, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers, Little Rock District announced today that it will waive day use fees normally charged at boat launch ramps and swimming beaches at its recreation areas in recognition of National Public Lands Day, Saturday, Sept. 22.

The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services, or fees for specialized facilities such as group picnic shelters.

In addition, volunteers who participate in one of the Corps’ National Public Lands Day activities will be issued a fee-free coupon if the volunteer site is participating in the coupon program. Volunteers should check with their local Corps’ project office for more information.

The fee-free coupon is valid for one year from the date of issue and may be used for one day of entrance or day use fees at any participating federal agency’s park, forest or recreation area that charges either of these types of fees.

Thousands of volunteers are expected to support the more than 66 Corps projects participating in this year’s National Public Lands Day, the largest annual volunteer hands-on restoration activity of its kind. Volunteers at Corps sites will take part in tree planting, erosion control, bank stabilization, building trails, restoring recreation areas, trash pickup, removing invasive species and non-native plants, improving wildlife habitats, harvesting prairie plant seeds and rehabilitating playgrounds.

Last year, more than 13,000 volunteers served 47,000 hours on Corps-managed lands, removing 152,000 pounds of trash, cleaning 1,400 miles of roadways and shoreline, improving 360 acres of habitat, and engaging 303 partner organizations.

The Corps has been involved with National Public Lands Day since its inception in 1994 and has consistently been one of the event’s largest providers of sites and volunteers. The Corps manages more than 400 lake and river projects in 43 states. With 90 percent of these projects located within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, Corps sites provide a wide range of safe and affordable outdoor recreation opportunities close to home.

For more information on National Public Lands Day or to find events near you, visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/ or call your local Corps lake or river office.

FOUR STATES FAIR CONTINUES THROUGH THE WEEKEND 09/20/18

The 75th annual Four State’s Fair and Rodeo will continue through Sunday, September 23rd. The event takes place in Texarkana at Loop 245 and East 50th Street and serves as a regional entertainment hub for Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma residents.

Activities at the fair include carnival rides, food vendors, livestock and rodeo with barrel races, bull riding, attractions and more. Tickets are available at the fair box office and online at fourstatesfair.com The rodeo portion of the fair will begin tonight, Thursday September 20th and continue through Saturday, September 22nd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m.

The fair is family friendly many exhibits will be on display for viewing. The cost of general admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets for the PRCA rodeo cost $15 for general admission and kids $12 and under are $10. More information can be found online at fourstatesfair.com or facebook.com/fourstatesfair.

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TALKS CITY DEVELOPMENT PLANNING AT MEETING 09/20/18

The De Queen City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, September 18th at City Hall. Items addressed during the meeting included the announcement of a new De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce director, establishment of a plan for city planning and development as well as pricing for the city’s water tank painting project.

Following the pledge of allegiance and prayer, Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy opened up the floor for public comments, during that time Callie Miller and Daniel Martinez from the Chamber of Commerce board introduced Suzanne Babb as the new De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. Suzanne will put in an estimated 20 hours a week in-office between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The main topic of discussion during the meeting was the establishment of a comprehensive plan for city development in De Queen. Sevier County Economic Development Coordinator Lisa Taylor proposed the need for a code-ready city wide plan and suggested a committee be composed to compare and contrast different bid pricing for possible plan formats.

Another item addressed was the topic of painting the water tanks for the city of De Queen. Two estimates on prices for the painting project have been conducted and Mayor Mckelvy revealed that the cost is expected to be around $272,000 for the hospital tank, which is scheduled to be painted first.

DE QUEEN/SEVIER CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HIRES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 09/19/18

The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce has announced the hiring of new Executive Director, Mrs. Suzanne Babb. Suzanne is a 20-year business owner in the De Queen area and is involved in several other community organizations that promote business retention, expansion and helping Sevier County thrive and grow. These characteristics are what qualified her for the position as the Chamber’s Executive Director.

Suzanne and her husband, James Babb are long-time residents of De Queen and have raised two daughters, Bailey and Tayler in the community. They are the former owners of Radio Shack, Silver Ink Books, and helped start Smart Phone EMT.

Suzanne states that she is an advocate for the local Chamber because she understands the value it has for the community and is essential to the economic growth of our county. Suzanne is looking forward to being in the Chamber Office regularly as well as meeting with local business owners. Suzanne plans on being in the Chamber Office Monday through Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

HORATIO EDUCATION BOARD MEETING UPDATES 09/19/18

The Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, September 17th in the Administration building. High School teachers made presentations about the Lead Teacher program they have been participating in along with other staff members. Principals and the Superintendent provided reports for the board.

Board members approved the Annual Financial Reports for 2017-2018 as well as the 2018-2019 budgets. They also approved the Minority Teacher recruitment plan ASCIP assurance plans and the 2018-2019 contracted services providers list. The Board agreed to donate $1,000 to the Imagination Library’s new Sevier County Chapter.
A new lunchroom charge policy was approved during the meeting. The new policy states that no a la carte charges can be made on accounts with a zero or negative balance.

The board did accept two transfer students from De Queen to Horatio and new maintenance, ESL aide, and Special Education aide were hired on ass staff.
Routine reports, financial statements, monthly bills and previous meeting’s minutes were all approved.

NEW PUBLIC NATURE TRAIL OPENS IN HOT SPRINGS 09/19/18

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and The Nature Conservancy will dedicate the new Electric Island Nature Trail at Lake Hamilton on Friday, Sept. 21. Access to the island is by water, so the AGFC will open the event with a special float via kayak or motorboat shuttle beginning at 9 a.m.

The boat ride will be eight-tenths of a mile and launch from the Andrew H. Hulsey State Fish Hatchery boat ramp for the 10 a.m. dedication followed by a guided 2-mile hike on the island. The new trail opens up more opportunities for public hiking, exploring, bird watching, fishing and picnicking.

A two-mile, natural surface hiking loop has been cleared on the island by work-release inmates from the Arkansas Department of Correction Benton unit. Visitors will find two trailheads on the north side of the island with signs and beaches where boats can tie up.
Maps and directions to the island are available at www.agfc.com/electricisland. To reserve a spot in the flotilla, email kirsten.bartlow@agfc.ar.gov or call 501-223-6473.

UA COSSATOT FFA RECIEVES GRANT FOR SERVICE PROJECTS 09/19/19

The University of Arkansas Cossatot collegiate FFA chapter in De Queen, Arkansas
has been awarded a Fall Semester-Long Living to Serve Grant for $1,200. The nationwide program provides grant money to local FFA chapters to support semester-long service-learning projects that address needs related to community safety; environmental responsibility; hunger, health and nutrition; and community engagement during the fall semester.

UA Cossatot FFA plans to help address student hunger by supporting food closets on UA Cossatot campuses. The grant monies will assist in logistical costs and promoting the program to all UA Cossatot students. The UA Cossatot Center for Student Success is currently collecting monetary donations and nonperishable food items for food closets on the De Queen, Ashdown, and Nashville campuses.

The program provided over $60,000 to FFA chapters in 19 states and Puerto Rico. Living to Serve grants are sponsored by various businesses who make financial contributions to the program. For more information and a complete listing of sponsors, visit FFA.org/livingtoserve.
The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth and career success training through agricultural education to 653,359 student members who belong to one of 8,568 local FFA chapters throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

HOLLY GROVE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH CELEBRATING 100TH ANNIVERSARY 09/19/18

Holly Grove Missionary Baptist Church, located 4 ½ miles east of Grannis at 950 Frachiseur Road, will celebrate their 100th Anniversary on Saturday & Sunday, October 6th & 7th.

National recording artists, the Tribute Quartet, will “Celebrate Jesus” through song during a free concert on Saturday, October 6th at 7 pm.The celebration will continue Sunday, October 7th, when the Mercy River Boys from Red Bud, Arkansas share the gospel through their music during the morning worship service beginning at 10 am.

There will be a potluck lunch following the morning service and singing in the afternoon. Everyone is welcome to join the celebration. There is no admission charge and no love offering will be taken.

 

UA COSSATOT COLTS RECEIVE DONATION FROM TYSON FOODS 09/18/18

DE QUEEN, ARKANSAS – Tyson Foods, Inc. donated $500 to University of Arkansas Cossatot Colts Club Soccer to support men’s and women’s teams 2018 season.

Tyson’s Grannis Plant HR Manager Mike Taylor recently presented the check to UA Cossatot Colts Club Soccer Sponsor Erika Buenrrostro. Tyson Foods is committed to and investing in local young men and women who pursue their educational goals.

Colts Soccer Teams began their season this month. The men play at home this Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 3:00 pm at Herman Dierks Park in De Queen. The next women’s home game is October 7, 2018, at 1:00 pm at Herman Dierks Park.

SEVIER COUNTY PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST NOW OPEN 09/18/18

The Sevier County Photography Quest is now open for entries. The Sevier County Economic Development group and The Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District have teamed up to host a photography contest open to people who live, work and enjoy their time in Sevier County. Jay Click and Lisa Taylor have taken leadership roles in organizing the contest and have announced the different categories that can be entered.

Categories include:
1. Sevier County’s Natural Treasures.
2. The roads and structures of Sevier County.
3.Sevier County at Work and Play.
4.Faith in Sevier County.
5.Sevier County Strong.

It is required that all photo submissions be the property of the photographer who enters the contest and all pictures must be in good taste and showcase positive aspects of life in Sevier County. The Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District staff will narrow submissions down to the top 5 photos of each category and those pictures will be judged by a panel of Sevier County Leaders. Jay Click said participants will have until October 8th to enter the contest.

All submissions must include photographer’s full name, phone number and email address along with the photo. Winners will be notified by Monday, October 15th. The first place winners in each category will receive a $20 gift certificate to Tres Agaves. More information can be found on The Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District facebook page.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP IN GILLHAM 09/18/18

A community announcement has been made requesting volunteers to help assist in the Gillham Cemetery clean-up. Each Saturday in the month of October efforts will go towards maintenance and general clean-up at the Gillham Cemetery. Organizers are seeking members of the community to volunteer time and resources into the project. Persons who can help include any one who:

-Has and can run a power saw or pole saw or tree trimming equipment.
-Has a tractor with front-end loader or trailers for small brush and limb removal
-Can perform labor such as limb removal, racking and piling bush, and picking up sticks.
-People who can provide rakes, trimmers, wheelbarrows and other supplies.

Please contact Gwen Vann Underwood at 601-633-6750 to get involved and make arrangements to volunteer.
Persons wishing to make monetary donations to the clean-up efforts can send check or money order to the Gillham Cemetery fund. Michelle Miles, 238 Tower Road, Gillham Arkansas 71841. Receipts will be administered for donations.

FIRST ANNUAL SALUTE TO MILITARY VETERAN’S PARADE ANNOUNCED 09/18/18

The American Legion will be having their first annual “Salute to Military and Veterans” Parade at the Hoo-Rah days Festival the morning of Saturday, October 6th starting at 9:00 a.m. All Veterans are welcome to walk or ride on a float in the Parade. Businesses and clubs in De Queen can also partake free of charge!

The parade line up will begin in front of the Senior Citizen’s Center in Herman Dierks park in De Queen. The parade float will be provided by post 54 and auxiliary. The parade will be followed by a flag raising ceremony at 10:00 a.m. at The Sevier County Museum and a free chicken dinner for all Military & Veterans sponsored by the American Legion and Pilgrim’s will take place starting at 11 am.

All others who would like a chicken dinner are asked to contribute a $5 donations to support our local Veterans and Military Families. At 1:00 p.m. the USO will begin in front of the Sevier County Museum Annex with free admission for all who attend. More information can be found by calling Jessie Horton 360-880-8910.

UA COSSATOT TO OFFER 8 WEEK WELDING COURSES IN OCTOBER 09/18/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot offers welding and pipe welding 8-week courses that begin on October 8, 2018. Registration will close on October 5 for all courses beginning in October. October 8-week classes conclude on December 7, 2018. These courses are eligible for a payment plan arrangement.

UA Cossatot offers welding 8-week courses on De Queen and Nashville campuses on Monday through Thursday from 4:00 to 8:20 PM. These courses include instruction in SMAW, MIG, and TIG welding. The college offers pipe welding 8-week courses on the Nashville campus on Monday through Thursday from 3:00 to 8:20 PM. These courses include one-on-one instruction in GMAW, FCAW – Stainless, GTAWCSP, and GTAW-LASS pipe welding.

A complete list of available courses and enrollment instructions are at www.cccua.edu/fall.
Persons interested in enrolling should see Student Services at any UA Cossatot campus or call 870-584-4471.

RURAL DEVELOPMENT MEETING MINUTES 09/17/18

The Sevier County Rural Development Authority met in regular session Wednesday, September 13, 2018, in the Tres Agaves Conference Room on the UA Cossatot De Queen Campus, for the purpose of ratifying the RDA’s strategic plan.

In attendance were Chairman Dr. Steve Cole, Crystal Rankin, Dick Tallman, and Gary Golden, with special guest State Representative DeAnn Vaught.
The plan targets five strategic priorities: Rural Economic Stability, Existing Business Expansion, Grow the Number of Small and Medium Market Business / Industry, Increase Suitable Housing Projects, and Increase Availability of Internet Broadband.

The group discussed each of these priorities and voted unanimously to accept the plan. According to Chairman Cole, “ Although the Authority has been in existence since 1963, many of our citizens are not aware of this group’s involvement in economic development in Sevier County.

This strategic plan’s purpose is to enable the RDA to be even more focused on promoting and facilitating future growth in the community

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES HUNTING AND FISHING WEEK IN ARKANSAS 09/17/18

Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a special proclamation Friday, September 14th in the Governor’s Conference Room at the state capitol to recognize September 15-22, 2018 as Arkansas Hunting and Fishing Week. He announced the celebration in front of a room filled with dozens of representatives from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, outdoor industry and nonprofit organizations who partner with the agency to promote conservation throughout the state.

Commission Chairman Ford Overton of Little Rock said he is extremely honored at the continued support the Governor has shown the Commission through its efforts at recruiting hunters and anglers. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and its partners have organized many special activities to recognize the week and the contributions hunting and fishing make to people’s daily lives.

Anyone 16 and older will need to have a valid Arkansas fishing license (youths under 16 do not need a fishing license in Arkansas). For more information on the family event, visit https://www.agfc.com/en/news/2018/09/05/big-catch-kicks-off-arkansas-hunting-and-fishing-week-sept-15.

The week will wrap up on September 22, which Gov. Hutchinson proclaimed National Hunting and Fishing Day in Arkansas during Friday’s press conference. AGFC nature and education centers will host special events on those days as well. Visit www.agfc.com to view a calendar of events or visit AGFC’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ARGameandFish to learn more about events at AGFC facilities throughout the week.

UA COSSATOT ANNOUNCES EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR PLANNED FOR SPRING 2019 09/17/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Physical Therapist Assistant Program will host a continuing education course for physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, physical therapists assistants, and occupational therapy assistants on March 9 and 10, 2018, on the Ashdown Campus.

The course is an introductory course titled, “Management of Adults with Neuromotor Disorders,” and will include both lecture style and lab. The Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association (NDTA) will facilitate the two-day course and will collect all registrations and monies via the NDTA website.

This seminar will provide participants with current information about NDT, best practices in neuro rehabilitation, and review core NDT principles. Lecture, lab, demonstration, task analysis, problem-solving, and experiential learning will help participants improve their assessment and treatment skills for adults with neuromotor disorders. This hands-on training is important and relevant for all professions and practice settings in order to produce the most optimal outcomes. Course instructional material is relevant for beginners
to advanced practitioners.

Jason Knox, PT, C/NDT, will facilitate the seminar. Knox is manager of a neuro rehabilitation program, and a physical therapist running a private practice. He has nearly twenty years of experience working with stroke, brain injury, and other neurologically impaired adults in the acute, rehabilitation, outpatient, and community home health phases of care.

Knox has been involved in teaching NDT courses for fifteen years throughout North America and internationally, and is an NDTA Instructor for adult patient populations and
every type of healthcare provider. To register or for more information, please visit www.cccua.edu/NDT.

MCDONALD’S RESTAURANT IN DE QUEEN UNDER CONSTRUCTION 09/17/18

The McDonald’s restaurant in De Queen, Arkansas is currently undergoing renovations while a new feature is being added to the building. The store will be closed through Tuesday, September 18th and will re-open for normal business hours on Wednesday, September 19th.

The purpose of the remodeling period is to add an additional drive through lane to the store’s current lay-out. The additional drive-through lane is designed for customers to place food orders at a quicker pace and spend less time waiting in line.

The management of McDonald’s in De Queen have apologized for any inconveniences and have expressed thanks to their customers for their continued business.

 

UA COSSATOT ANNOUNCES FREE HEALTH FAIR IN OCTOBER 09/14/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Center for Student Success will host a free health fair on October 18, 2018, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on the De Queen Campus in the Skilled Trades Building.
Services offered for free at the fair will include flu shots, glucose monitoring, blood pressure reading, body mass index (BMI) calculation, and more.
The event is open to students, UA Cossatot employees and the general public. The fair is in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health.
For more information, please contact the Center for Student Success Coordinator Erika Buenrrostro at 870-584-1133 or ebuenrrostro@cccua.edu. 

DE QUEEN ROTARY 5K DEADLINE EXTENDED     09/14/18

The rotary 5K will be held Saturday, September 22nd at 8:00 a.m. The event is sponsored by De Queen Auto Group. The course will begin at the Old Oak Grove Bait Shop and completes at Johnson’s Bridge. The course has been described as downhill and quick-paced. Pre-registration will cost $25 and Organizer Greg Revels announced that the deadline to sign up has been extended through Friday, September 14th.

T-shirts will be distributed for all participants who pre-register. Regular registration is available for $30 the day of the race at Oak Grove Bait Shop beginning at 7:15. All entry fees are non-refundable. Divisions will include ages 15 and under, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and ages 50 and over.

Greg Revels also revealed that the De Queen Rotary Organization sponsors events for senior citizens, sports teams, youth literary programs and other organizations in the Sevier County area.

Medals will be presented to the top two finishers for male and females in each division. Entry forms are available at KDQN, UA Cossatot, De Queen Auto Group and Revels and Co CPA. Mail forms and payment to Greg Revels, P.O BOX 271, De Queen, Arkansas 71832. For more information, email Greg@revelsandco.com

SEVIER COUNTY YOUTH ORGANIZE CHARITY DRIVE FOR CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL  09/14/18

Local Sevier County Residents Aubrey Seymour and Amber Morris have organized a community service project to give back to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The girls will be collecting various personal hygiene products to be donated to children and families staying at the hospital.

Personal hygiene items sought include but are not limited to: shampoo, conditioner, bars of soap, Q-tips, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash and hand lotion. It is requested that all donated items be travel size. Teddy bears and books will be accepted as donations as well.

The girls have established multiple locations in De Queen as drop off sites for the community collection drive, including Shelter insurance, UA Cossatot’s extension office and first state bank. The collection will be ongoing until October the 9th. Contact the extension offices 870-584-3013 for more information.

ANNUAL CLEAN UP ANNOUNCED FOR LOCAL STATE PARK  09/14/18

Staff members from Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro have announced the 11th annual clean up event for next month. On Saturday, October 13th volunteers are asked to participate in trash removal and general clean up at the park.

The event is being organized in conjunction with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s fall Great Arkansas Cleanup campaign. Volunteers can sign up beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the visitor center to help pick up trash in the 37.5-acre diamond search area. Trash bags and gloves will be provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be provided for volunteers while supplies last.

Participants are asked to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Refreshments will be served, and a prize drawing will be held immediately following the event. For more information, contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at (870) 285-3113, or email CraterofDiamonds@arkansas.com.

UA COSSATOT COLLEGIATE FFA 2018 OFFICERS AND SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS 09/14/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot Collegiate FFA student organization announces four officers and five scholarship recipients. Fall 2018 FFA officers are President Beatriz Alvarez, a sophomore from Foreman majoring in Agriculture and Nursing;

Vice President Hadley Philamlee, a sophomore from De Queen majoring in Natural Resources; Secretary Kinley Wright, a sophomore from Ashdown majoring in Agriculture Business; and Treasurer Hunter Bolland, a sophomore from Dierks majoring in Agriculture Business. 2018 UA Cossatot Collegiate FFA scholarship recipients are Dusty Kesterson, a sophomore from Umpire majoring in Agriculture Business; Hadley Philamlee; Kinley Wright; Hunter Bolland; and Kirsten Nicholas, a freshman from Horatio majoring in Agriculture Business.

UA Cossatot’s Collegiate FFA and agriculture programs equip students to lead and serve their communities through the agriculture industry as students and as professionals. UA Cossatot’s agriculture program includes the following degrees: Associate of Science in Agriculture Business, Associate of Science in Agriculture Science, Associate of Science in Agriculture Education, Associate of Science in Natural Resources, and Technical Certificate in Agriculture. 

LATINO FESTIVAL IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS SET FOR SATURDAY 09/12/18

The Latino Festival is taking place in Glenwood, Arkansas this weekend. The event’s purpose is to celebrate the heritage of Americans with familial connections to Spanish-speaking countries including Spain, South and Central America, as well as Mexico and The Caribbean.

Southwest Arkansas residents can attend the festival as a way to acknowledge Hispanic Heritage month, which takes place from September 15th-October 15th. The event will feature food, music and activities that pay homage to the traditions, language and culture Latino individuals have contributed to America.

Activities will include Loteria, coin and ring toss, balloon darts, mechanical bull, baseball pitch and more. All events will be family friendly and people of all ages and identities are welcome to attend. A kids corner will feature bouncy houses and face painting, as well as a Piñata at the close of the festival. Food and drinks featured will include Horchata, conchitos preparadas, tamales, street tacos and more.

The event is scheduled to take place from 1:00 p.m-9:00 p.m. Saturday, September 15th at CC Nueva Esparanza Church, 168 County Lane in Glenwood Arkansas. More information can be found online at Latfestival.org. CCNE can also be found on face book. That’s facebook.com/ccneark

HOLIDAY EXPRESS COMING TO DE QUEEN AND ASHDOWN THIS WINTER 09/12/18

Kansas City Southern’s Holiday express has announced multiple stops in Southwest Arkansas for the winter. The 18th annual Holiday express train will stop in 22 total communities across 8 states on 27 dates. At each stop, visitors can board the train, visit with Santa and his elves and tour the inside of the six-car train.

The events are free and open to the public. In addition to free, public events, KCS also hosts charity components. The project has raised more than $2 million to fund gift cards, clothing and various necessities to make donations to children in local communities. Persons interested in donating to the charity can visit KCsouthern.com

The Southwest Arkansas stops will include Ashdown, at 4:00 p.m. at main and U.S Highway 71 on Tuesday, December 4th and De Queen, at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 5th on the 300 block of Stillwell Avenue. More information can be found by visiting the news and updates section of KCsouthern.com

FREE KIDS FISHING DERBY IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 09/12/18

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced the next date for the 2nd Saturday Fishing Derby for kids. On Saturday, October 13th, the kids derby will be held at the Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center, located in Columbus, AR. The October date is the final AGFC kids fishing derby scheduled for the year. The next derbies will begin again in the Spring of 2019.

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.
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.

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT TALKS BUDGET, NEW BUSINESS AT MEETING 09/12/18

The Sevier County Quorum Court held their regular monthly meeting at the courthouse in De Queen on Monday, September 10th. Several items on the agenda were addressed, including the upcoming 2019 budget, annual payments for previous city official’s retirement plans, and a taxback program for a new business in the county.

During the meeting Judge Greg Ray appointed members of the court to the 2019 budget committee. Judge Ray selected Angie Walker, Earl Battiest, Roxy Stephens and Mike Archer to the budget committee. Judge Ray said he selected the committee based on their experience and knowledge. The budget committee will be responsible for the organization and assessment of funds distributed for city projects and issues throughout the 2019 year.

A pay off of previous city official’s retirement plans was also addressed. An original amount of more than $540,000 has been reduced to roughly $491,000 after multiple years of making payments. The Quorum decided to pay off the amount in full to avoid added interest and paying a larger amount than anticipated.

In economic Development news, a new business started by a Horatio man is seeking commercial business space in De Queen. The business, “Conquest Industrial Services LLC” currently employs 12 people, 11 of whom reside in Sevier County. The Quorum Court decided to honor the company with a taxback program on business purchases made. The Quorum believes the program is a positive incentive for businesses to establish in Sevier County, and will increase job opportunities and economic growth in the area.

The next Sevier County Quorum Court meeting will be held on Monday, October 8th at 2:00 p.m. The general public are invited to attend.

 

AHS TEACHER AWARDED MARGARET DANIEL EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION GRANT 09/11/18

The Margaret Daniel Educational Foundation awards AHS teacher Julie Sheppard with a grant to purchase a portable sound system in order to take their mini productions to community events, civic groups and schools.
Some of the performances the AHS drama students will be providing are: Three Little Pigs, Dr Maya Angelou’s famous poetry. Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, and musical pieces.
The grant totaling $1,003 will provide the needed system to allow their performances to become mobile. The Foundation seeks to provide innovative materials and opportunities for students in the Ashdown Schools.

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS INDUCTED INTO TEACHER CADET PROGRAM 09/11/18

Three students from Ashdown High School were recently honored at Southern Arkansas University in an induction ceremony for teacher cadets. The new Teacher Cadet Program at Ashdown High School is a concurrent credit college class, partnered with SAU, that encourages “academically talented, high-achieving, high school students with exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills to consider teaching as a career.”
The Teacher Cadet Program has become the national model for pre-collegiate teacher recruitment programs across the United States. The course will include, among many other things, instructional, motivational, and disciplinary tools for teaching and first-hand knowledge of teaching through practical experience in the elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.
Students include Kasey Barton, Adaysia Thompson, and Kaitlyn Woodall. The instructor is Dr. Julie Sheppard.

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT STUDENTS RECEIVE FREE SCHOOL SUPPLIES 09/11/18

Grants from Domtar and Wal-Mart, along with federal funds from the Ashdown School District made it possible to provide free instructional school supplies for all students K-5th grade for the 2018-2019 school year. The district values our community partners that help to provide the best possible education for our students and look forward to their continued support.
Pictured (l-r) Allan Bohn, Domtar General Manager; Kelly Menah, Ashdown Wal-Mart Manager; Debbie Greathouse, Ashdown School District Federal Programs Director; Casey Nichols, Ashdown School District Superintendent

SEVIER COUNTY MASS FLU VACCINE CLINIC ANNOUNCED 09/11/18

On Friday, October 5, the Sevier County Health Unit of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) will offer flu vaccinations at the Sevier County Health Unit, 304 N. 4th Street, De Queen, Arkansas, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. People should bring their insurance cards with them to the flu vaccine clinic. If they do not have insurance, or the insurance does not cover flu shots, the vaccine will be available at no charge. Handicap services will be available.

“We want Sevier County residents to stay healthy this flu season, and getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best line of protection,” Deborah Hedge, Sevier County Health Unit Administrator, said. “We encourage everyone to come to the mass clinic or the local health unit to get their flu shot.”

Even though new observations about the flu vaccine continue to be made, experts continue to recommend annual flu vaccinations for children and adults. The flu virus changes from year to year, and this year’s vaccine protects against the flu viruses that are expected to cause the most illness this flu season.

“The flu should not be taken lightly,” said Dirk Haselow, MD, State Epidemiologist at ADH. “We are encouraging everyone to get a flu shot to protect themselves and their families, because it is hard to predict in advance how severe the flu season is going to be this year.”
People of all ages can get the flu.

Certain people are more likely to have serious health problems if they get the flu. This includes older adults, young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), people who smoke, and people who live in nursing homes. Therefore, ADH strongly recommends that people in these groups get a flu vaccine.

It is also recommended that friends, family members and people who provide care to people in these groups also get a vaccine—not only to protect themselves but also to decrease the possibility that they might expose the people they love and care for to the flu.

The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu. Some people may have mild soreness and redness near the site of the shot and a low fever or slight headache. There are very few medical reasons to skip the flu vaccine. These include life-threatening allergic reactions to a previous dose of the flu vaccine or an ingredient in the vaccine. People with allergies to vaccine ingredients can often receive the vaccine safely, if it is given in a doctor’s office where they can be monitored.

The flu is easily spread through coughing or sneezing and by touching something, such as a door knob, with the virus on it and then touching their nose or mouth. So good hand washing habits are important in preventing the flu. However, the best way to prevent the flu is to get the vaccine.
For more information, go to www.healthy.arkansas.gov or www.flu.gov.

POLICE SEARCH FOR SUSPECTS IN ROBBERY INVESTIGATION 09/11/18

Police are looking to identify two suspects who remain unknown after a break in was reported in Ashdown last month. On Thursday, August 9th the Ashdown police department received a call from a concerned citizen who reported noticing a broken window at a business on the 300 block of Keller Street in Ashdown.

Officers arrived to find the front window of Gumflats Custom Imaging broken. Further investigation and video evidence revealed enough information to lead to the arrest of two suspects. One, was identified as a Juvenile male, the other named Darius Young. The Juvenile was arrested August 9, while Darius Young was arrested on August 30th.

At this time, two additional suspects have yet to be identified and the investigation is currently ongoing. Any persons with information leading to the identification and arrest of the remaining two suspects are asked to contact Ashdown police at 870-898-5640.

SHOOTING AT MCCURTAIN COUNTY BAR SUNDAY 09/11/18

Law enforcement representatives responded to the scene of a bar shooting on Sunday evening in McCurtain County, Oklahoma. Sevier County and De Queen police personnel assisted in the situation while awaiting the arrival of the McCurtain County Sheriff’s department.

Investigator Michael Lappin of the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Department arrived at The Blue Bar, located East of Eagletown, Oklahoma after the shooting occurred around 06:30 p.m. that evening. Deputies Tony Kennedy and Brandon Edward secured the area of the altercation and documented logs of all persons entering and exiting the premises while evidence was collected and witnesses were interviewed.

The bartender who witnessed the incident reported seeing a verbal altercation in the bar prior to the shooting taking place in the parking lot outside. Jose Martinez, also known as Martin Rojas reportedly approached a man named Johnny “Juan” Garcia and the two exchanged words.

The bartender also reported seeing both individuals exit the inside of the bar and also reported witnessing Garcia Shoot Martinez with a silver revolver twice. Witnesses of the shooting reported hearing two gunshots and seeing large amounts of blood. The victim went to the De Queen Regional medical center to receive treatment for injuries and was later transported to UAMS in Little Rock for surgery.

Sevier County Sheriff’s detained the suspect and Deputy Curtis fields recovered the weapon used in the shooting. Garcia was arrested and transported to the McCurtain County Jail. Garcia was charged with aggravated assault . More charges may be filed pending further investigation of the case.

 

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT ACTIVITY RELEASED FOR AUGUST 09/10/18

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department released a report for all activity conducted in the month of August, 2018. A total of 102 inmates were booked in the county jail. Community service picked up several areas, including DQ Lake, rink, south park, Dunn, Provo, Chapel Hill, A.L, Tribble, Buzzard roost, Landfill and Dike roads. Community service also provided workers for the court house and fair grounds.

The School resource officer handled complaints at the High School and  at the elementary school in De Queen and answered four complaints in Horatio and also conducted two traffic stops. Deputies spent 933 hours in De Queen, and a total of 62 complaints, 6 accidents, 32 traffic stops were addressed with 30 citations issued and 4 arrests made.

In Lockesburg deputies spent 380 hours addressing 76 complaints, 7 accidents, and 49 traffic stops with 4 citations issued and 8 arrests made. In Horatio deputies spent 420 hours addressing 44 complaints, 6 accidents and conducted 35 traffic stops with 1 citation issued and 9 arrests made. In Gillham areas deputies spent 240 hours addressing 27 complaints , 2 accidents, and conducted 28 traffic stops with no citations issued and 3 arrests made.

UA COSSATOT CONTINUING EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT CLASSES THIS FALL 09/10/18

UA Cossatot is hosting a variety of continuing education and workforce development courses this fall. The program’s purpose is to provide additional training and skill development for individuals looking to begin or improve in a career field.

Although many of the classes require a one time fee, the University offers several courses free of charge that require no textbooks. Upcoming classes this month include a Grant Writing course and a small business workshop.

The Small Business Start up summit will be held at the UA Cossatot De Queen campus on Thursday, September 13th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Representatives from the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will guide participants through a combination of two seminars in one. “How to write a business plan” and “starting a business in Arkansas. ” will both be addressed.

The course is free of charge to all participants but requires online registration in advance. More information can be found by calling 870-230-5184. A Grant Writing course will also take place at the De Queen campus this month. On Tuesday, September 18th from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Instructor Tommi Cobb will teach participants how to write clear goals, create and adequate budget, and write a narrative for relevant activities. The course fee is $35 and the deadline to register is Tuesday, September 11th.

Call 870-584-4471 for more information about this course and other similar programs.

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT HANDLES CRIMINAL TRESPASS SUSPECT IN GILLHAM 09/10/18

Investigator Jeff Wahls of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a residence in Gillham after receiving a call about a man refusing to leave the property. On September 4th, Wahls arrived at the home on College Avenue and was greeted by a female resident of the home. 

The woman made Wahls aware of a man, unknown to her who was occupying the front porch of her house and refusing to leave. The man identified himself to Wahls as Carlos Sanchez. Sanchez admitted that he did not reside in the home but did not state his home address. Deputy Kristyn Reed arrived on the scene to asses the property of the woman’s home.

The woman informed the Sheriff’s department representatives that no items were missing but she did wish to press charges against Sanchez for criminal trespassing. Upon further investigation it was discovered that Sanchez had two outstanding warrants for his arrest. Deputy Reed transported Sanchez to the Sevier County Jail where he was cited for criminal trespass and served the warrants.

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEETING HELD FOR SEPTEMBER 09/10/18

The Little River County Quorum Court’s regular monthly meeting was held September 10th, at the county courthouse. Several agenda items were discussed during the meeting including updates in a report from the Sheriff’s department, economic development actions, renovations to the courthouse’s exterior structure, a new security camera system and a proposal for changing the time of the quorum meetings.

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford said the Sheriff’s report included an assessment for current costs of inmate housing, and updates on economic development in the community were addressed as well. Inmate housing costs were found to stand at roughly $80 per day, which is lower than average area costs.

Economic Development efforts are underway as series of surveys are set to be collected in the community with the purpose of pinpointing areas for potential growth and change. Judge Cranford also announced a new Security camera system is being established at the courthouse and grant money for renovating structures outside the courthouse will assist in exterior renovation costs.

The final item addressed on the agenda was the proposal for changing of Little River County Quorum Court’s meeting time. The proposal was to change meetings from 9:00 a.m. on the 2nd Monday of each month to 6:30 p.m. on the 2nd Monday of each month. The motion failed with a 6-2 vote. Little River County’s next Quorum court meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. Monday, October 8th.

UA COSSATOT TO HOLD COLT’S BASKETBALL TEAM SIGNING 09/10/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot will host a signing ceremony for the Men’s Colts Basketball team players. Each player will sign a letter of intent and have photo taken. The player’s families and friends and the general public are invited to attend. Colts Basketball Coach Warren Bane, UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole, and all of the basketball team will participate in the signing on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 2:00 pm at The UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium

The University of Arkansas Cossatot is introducing Colts Club Basketball as a sports option for students for fall 2018. Arkansas Activities Association Hall of Fame Inductee Warren Bane coaches the inaugural Men’s Colts team. The Colts will compete against other two-year colleges and four-year university club teams in the region, culminating with the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association National Championships to be held in spring 2019.

The Colts will play their first game at National Park College in Hot Springs, AR on November 10, 2018, at 7:00 pm. The first Colts home game is November 19, 2018, at 7:00 pm at the historic UA Cossatot Bank of Lockesburg Gymnasium.

Depending on interest, a women’s team could be introduced in 2019. To be eligible to play, students must be enrolled in six credit hours per semester, maintain a GPA of 2.0, and may compete for a total of four academic semesters.

4-H’ERS COMPETE AT STATE 4-H O’RAMA IN FAYETTEVILLE 09/07/2018

Seven Sevier County 4-H’ers competed against over 500 4-H’ers from across the state at the 2018 Arkansas State 4-H O’Rama held at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville on July 24-27. To qualify for state level, they had to compete at the district level first.

The event was both educational and fun. There was a host of workshops, tours and competitive activities. This year’s keynote speaker was Laymon Hicks, author and youth motivational speaker. In his speeches, Hicks shared with youth the lessons he’s learned from his life, going from troubled teen to graduating high school with a 4.0 GPA and then later obtaining a doctorate. He told his story while assuring his audience that “failure is not a fatality” and encouraged them to “Get Up, Get Out, and Go Get It.”

The winners in the Senior Division (ages 14-19) were as follows:
Amber Morris placed 3rd in Health, Brennen Seymour placed 6th in Animal Science and 4th in Tractor, Marcus Rosson placed 3rd in Bait Casting & Game Fish Identification, Hunter Frachiseur placed 6th in Reel into Sport Fishing and competed in Livestock Skills, Andrew Shelton placed 3rd in Gun Safety, Aubrey Seymour placed 6th in Human Development, and Ethan Wolcott placed 6th in Public Speaking.

RIVAS RECEIVES 4-H SCHOLARSHIP 09/07/2018

Veronica Rivas received a 4-H scholarship for tuition to any University of Arkansas Campus at the 2018 Arkansas State 4-H O’Rama held at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville July 24-27.

In order to receive this scholarship, Rivas had to complete a 4-H record book and submit it for judging. Record keeping and completing a record book, which describes work in a member’s project, is an important part of 4-H. While it is not an easy process, the benefits are many. Completing a record book each year is the conclusion of project work for the year.

Only nine 4-H scholarship winners are selected from across the state. They are required to attend National 4-H Congress in Washington D.C. in November this year in order to receive the scholarship.
For more information about joining a 4-H club, contact Sevier County Extension Service at (870) 584-3013.

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD TALKS UPDATES AND PLANS 09/07/18

The De Queen School Board’s regular monthly meeting was held this week at the district’s administration building. On Wednesday, September 5th the board discussed several items on the meeting’s agenda. Items include Legacy Academy’s shared use of the Lockesburg gym , a push for minority teacher recruitment and the funding of the imagination Library’s Sevier county chapter.

In the August School Board meeting, the topic of granting Legacy Academy permission to utilize the Lockesburg gym for recreational activities was addressed.
Assistant superintendent Paul Shelton said the board wants the academy to have the opportunity to participate in basketball and they believe shared use of the gym would be beneficial to all parties involved. Paul Shelton is also in charge of the minority teacher recruitment process. Each year the district submits paperwork to state administrators regarding equal opportunity hiring practices.

Since De Queen has a high minority population, the board is regularly interested in hiring staff members of various ethnic groups and different backgrounds. During the meeting the board addressed plans for new minority teacher hiring plans that will be up for approval at a later date.

The board also addressed the potential to assist in funding the imagination library’s new Sevier County chapter. The Imagination Library is a program that provides children age 0-5 with one free book a month in the mail to encourage literacy and education. The motion was approved for the board to partner with the De Queen rotary and lions clubs to financially assist the nationwide program’s new local chapter.
The next De Queen schoolboard meeting will be held October 8th.

NASHVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER AFTER TWO-YEAR-OLD DIES 09/07/18

A Nashville, Arkansas man has been charged with manslaughter following the death of a two year old child.
Investigator Larry Marion with the Nashville Police Department says the incident happened on August 26th in which a two year old boy was found unresponsive. Pafford Ambulance Service performed CPR and transported the child to Howard Memorial Hospital. He was later air lifted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital and pronounced dead.

The preliminary ruling was homicide by blunt force trauma. The child also showed methamphetamine and THC in its system. Police say the child was living with the mother, Ahja Cherry and her boyfriend Richmond Jacobs.

Investigator Marion interviewed both individuals again on September 5th regarding the incident. At that point, 26 year old Jacobs was arrested on a misdemeanor failure to appear warrant. On Thursday, September 6, Judge Tom Cooper found probable cause to charge Jacobs with manslaughter.

He is currently being held in the Howard County Jail on a $100,000 bond. The Nashville Police Department is still currently investigating the case.

PUBLIC INOXICATION ARREST IN HORATIO SUNDAY 09/07/18

On Sunday, September 2nd Deputies Justin Gentry and Chet Stubbs of the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to the intersection of Highway 41 and Highway 24 after receiving reports of a woman walking in the middle of the road.

The deputies located the woman north of the Horatio City limits on High Way 41 walking down the center line of the street. Upon making contact with the female, the deputies reported noticing a strong smell of alcohol in her presence.

The woman was identified as Vashti Dean. Deputy Stubbs read Dean her Miranda rights and she was detained. Dean chose to waive her right to remain silent and admitted she had been drinking alcohol at a location on Landfill road.

She acknowledged engaging in an argument with another individual and decided to walk to another residence in Falls Chapel. Dean was placed under arrest for public intoxication and was transported to the Sevier County Jail.

Get Up and Get Active” HEALTH CHALLENGE FOR SEVIER COUNTY RESIDENTS 09/07/18

Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, issued a 10-year plan in 2015, “Healthy Active Arkansas”, to improve the health of all Arkansans. At the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Sevier County Extension Service, we are asking you to participate in a County-wide Challenge for Walk Across Arkansas – Fall 2018 to have healthier community members.

Walk Across Arkansas begins Sunday, September 16, 2018, and ends Saturday, November 10, 2018. Participants sign up online at https://walk.uaex.edu/ and record the number of minutes they walk or do other exercise for eight weeks. “Other exercise” includes activities that raise the heart rate for at least 10 minutes, such as running, biking, swimming, hiking, water aerobics, strength-training, etc.

Walkers may register 2 to 10 members as a team. Team members encourage and challenge each other to walk or participate in other exercise. The first person on a team to register will be the Team Captain. Team captains do the reporting weekly for the team.
Arkansas is #1 in strokes in the USA. Too many Arkansans are dying prematurely with heart attacks in their 40’s. Just by increasing the number of steps taken each day, a person can improve their overall health.

Sevier County Extension Service organizers encourage residents to challenge neighbors, friends and family to become healthy, active Arkansans by joining the University of Arkansas Walk Across. Call (870) 584-3013 or e-mail jcantrell@uaex.edu for information about teams and more information.

 

GENERATOR CAUSES FIRE AT DE QUEEN GROCERY STORE 09/06/18

On Wednesday, September 5th 2018 employees and customers of Pruett’s food in De Queen vacated the inside of the store after a fire broke out around 12:30 p.m. The incident was called in by a Pruett’s employee who utilized a county radio to communicate with first responders.

The fire was caused by a generator catching ablaze after a power outage triggered the generator into action. De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported miscellaneous supplies and items had been stored on top of the generator, which contributed to the flames. Officers of the De Queen Police Department arrived first on the scene and unloaded 10 fire extinguishers to contain the fire prior to the De Queen fire Departments arrival.

Firefighters pagers were inaccessible do to the power outage and the police scanner was used as a means up back-up communication. The De Queen Fire Department arrived at Pruett’s at approximately 12:33 p.m.

Collectively, 12 members of the department worked the structure fire for nearly 2 hours until the blaze was fully contained and then left the site at 2:17 p.m. Pruett’s was closed the remainder of the day following the incident.

No injuries were reported but multiple fire code violations were found on site and are set to be addressed accordingly. Pruett’s opened for regular hours the following business day.

Domtar Corp. to move new manager to Ashdown plant 09/06/18

Pulp and paper mill giant Domtar Corp. has named Allan Bohn as the new manager of the company’s Ashdown plant. He will replace Bob Grygotis, who retired as general manager on Sept. 1.Everick Spence, who currently works in the Fort Mill, S.C. headquarters office as director of Continuous Improvement, is being promoted to replace Bohn as Plymouth Mill, N.C. manager.

Both Bohn and Spence will report to Steve Makris, Pulp business vice president, effective Sept. 1.
“It is hard to say goodbye to a leader who is so highly regarded and brings so much experience to the operation of Ashdown, our largest mill. However, after more than 40 years in the pulp and paper industry, Bob deserves the opportunity to return with his family to their home in Kingsport, Tennessee,” said Domtar CEO and President John D. Williams.

“We have a deep bench of proven manufacturing leaders, so we are well equipped to keep the Ashdown and Plymouth mills competitive in their respective markets today, and prepared to compete in changing markets tomorrow,” he said.
Reprinted from talkbusiness.net

ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ANNOUNCES CLOSURE TO RIVER RUN EAST PARK 09/06/18

ASHDOWN, Ark. – The Army Corps of Engineers, Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office is temporarily closing access to River Run East Park.
The park will close at 8 a.m. Sept. 10 while repairs to the Millwood Stilling Basin are made. Depending on weather, the stilling basin work should be complete by Nov. 1. Because of safety concerns access to the day use area, boat launch ramp and bank will not be allowed during the closure.

Officials at the Army Corps of Engineers Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office regret any inconveniences this may cause and ask the public to exercise caution while boating.
For more information contact the Millwood Project Office 870-898-3343. Recreation information can be found on the Internet at www.swl.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/littlerockusace, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/usacelittlerock.

TOWN HALL MEETINGS ANNOUNCED FOR JAIL TAX ISSUE 09/06/18

A schedule for the upcoming townhall meetings in Sevier County has been released. The meetings purpose will be to discuss the upcoming jail tax issue that will be seen on the ballot in November. Information about the one-quarter cent tax continuation for the Sevier County Jail will be addressed. The general public are invited and welcome to attend the meetings.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11TH-6:30 P.M. DE QUEEN/MENA EDUCATIONAL CO-OP, ROOM C, GILLHAM
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18TH-6:30 P.M.HORATIO ELEMENTARY CAFETERIA
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9TH-6:30 P.M. LOCKESBURG GYM CONFERENCE ROOM
MONDAY, OCTOBER 15TH-6:30 P.M. BEN LOMOND SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16TH-6:30 P.M. DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA

CORPS TO ISSUE SPECIAL PERMITS TO 7 YOUTH DEER HUNTERS 09/06/18

ASHDOWN, Ark. — The Army Corps of Engineers is taking applications from hunters ages 6-15 who want to participate in a special deer hunt Nov. 3 and Jan. 5, 2019 at Millwood Lake. Seven permits will be issued to young hunters who seek to experience the outdoors and have a great place to hunt that is normally closed to hunting.

Applicants must submit a completed application form to the Corps by Oct. 18. A random drawing will be held Oct. 19 to select the seven hunters. Applicants must have parental permission, and be accompanied by an adult assistant at least 21 years old on the day of the hunt.

This hunt will provide a great opportunity for youth hunters to hunt near food plots without pressure from other hunters in the woods. Hunting blinds will be provided.
Surveys have been conducted to ensure resources are properly conserved and public safety is considered. Hunters must provide their own firearms. Also, youth must be skilled enough to safely operate the firearms they bring to the hunt.

Application forms may be obtained at the Corps’ Millwood Tri-Lakes Project Office at 1528 Highway 32 E, Ashdown, Ark. or by calling 501-340-1452.

 

HEALTHCARE EXPRESS TO OPEN A NEW CLINIC IN DE QUEEN 09/05/18

HealthCARE Express has announced they will soon be opening a new clinic in De Queen, Arkansas. To kick off this new venture, they held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, September 5th at the clinic’s future location at 1021 W. Collin Raye Drive. 

 

HealthCARE Express would like to give each person who comes through the door a positive customer service experience. They have expressed that they will strive for shorter wait times and provide staff who will take the time to listen to patient concerns and still provide care in a timely manner. HealthCARE Express Occupational medicine platform offers walk-in DOT physicals, pre-employment physicals, random drug screens, workers compensation, and DNA testing.

 

   Convenience for the employer is the company’s goal, and HealthCARE Express representatives have stated a desire keep wait times to a minimum and re-route employees back to work as quickly as possible. HealthCARE Express has announced they are excited to serve the De Queen area in a more convenient capacity. The company can be followed on Facebook to keep up to date on the opening date, health video blogs, and community events.

 

 

LONG TIME POLICE CHIEF IN NASHVILLE TO RETIRE 09/05/18

Nashville Police Chief Dale Pierce has announced his retirement. The announcement was made during the Nashville City Council’s August meeting when Pierce turned his resignation papers. His last day of employment will be January 1, 2019.

Pierce has spent 35 years in law enforcement, the last ten as chief. The city will take and review applications following the November election, with plans to have someone in place January 1 when Pierce retires.

Persons interested in submitting applications can contact the Nashville City Hall at (870) 845-7400 or visit nashar.org/contact to request more information about the application process.

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES SCHEDULED IN MINERAL SPRINGS 09/05/18

The Mineral Springs School district has announced parent teacher conferences for next week. On Tuesday, September 11th from 2:00-6:00 p.m. at Mineral Springs High School and Mineral Springs Elementary School. The conferences will feature information for parents and students regarding scholarship opportunities.

Representatives will be available to assist high school seniors with the application process for a 5,900 a year scholarship through the Arkansas Rehabilitation system. Workforce education staff will be onsite to assist parents and students in creating a professional resume and navigating the job search process.

The Mineral Springs senior class of 2018 received 1.2 million dollars in scholarships and educators are encouraging the class of 2019 to surpass the previous class in scholarship amounts earned. Spaces are still available for Pre-K. Parents will be able to fill out an application during conference time to reserve placement in the program.
Questions regarding conference topics and related matters can be referred to the school district. 870-287-4747.

BOMB THREAT AT PILGRIM’S PRIDE TUESDAY IN DE QUEEN 09/05/18

On Tuesday, September 4th, employees of a local chicken plant were evacuated from the building following news of a possible explosive device on site surfaced. The bomb threat caused hundreds of Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plant staff members in De Queen to evacuate the building around 6 p.m. Tuesday night.

First responders from the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department, De Queen Police Department and the De Queen Fire department assessed the situation. Streets were blocked off around the Pilgrim plant site while law enforcement representatives evaluated the scene.

According to fire officials, no explosive devices were discovered in the plant. KDQN reached out to Pilgrim’s Pride representatives for comment but no information has been released at this time.

UPDATES FROM DE QUEEN CITY HALL MEETING 09/05/18

The regularly scheduled meeting of the De Queen City Council was held Tuesday, September 4th at city hall. A variety of agenda items were discussed and an above average attendance of De Queen residents were present. A significant portion of the meeting was spent discussing the issue of Zoning ordinances within the De Queen city limits and potential development for properties within the zones.

Jimmy Ray Gentry and Nick Pesetsky spoke on the potential for the development on their respective properties and informed the council of plans they have for new housing and residential sites. Representatives from Legacy Academy attended the meeting to express opposition to the development near pilgrim’s and asked the council to consider not granting the request. After hearing comments from all interested parties the council did agree to grant the zoning request and Jimmy Ray Gentry will be permitted to develop housing on the proposed site.

In economic development news, Sevier County Economic Development Coordinator Lisa Taylor offered updates for the council on new commercial business establishing in the area. New businesses are a way of increasing economic growth and job opportunities in communities. Conquest Industrial Services is an industrial maintenance company seeking commercial site in De Queen. The council agreed to help the company with a taxback program that will assist in the company’s early stages of establishment.

In terms of items to be addressed on the next meetings agenda, Mayor Mckelvy says the 2019 Budget will be a significant item up for discussion. The next De Queen city council meeting will be held Tuesday September 18th at 6:00 p.m. at City hall.

 

UA COSSATOT FIRST IN ARKANSAS TO JOIN TEXTBOOK NETWORK 09/04/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot is now the first college in Arkansas to become a member of the Open Textbook Network (OTN). OTN membership supports UA Cossatot’s innovative open educational resource (OER) and internal textbook rental program. In the past three years, those programs have saved UAC students just under $1.1 million dollars in textbook costs.

In 2015, UA Cossatot became the first two-year college in Arkansas to abandon the traditional campus bookstore in favor of an internal textbook rental/ OER program. UA Cossatot Chancellor Steve Cole recognized that high textbook costs were not only a financial barrier to students, but also inhibited instructors from teaching courses with the most current and relevant materials.

Enlisting the aid of UA Cossatot Director of Educational Resources and OER Specialist Relinda Ruth, the duo developed a program requiring a $30 rental fee per course for all books required in a course. UA Cossatot faculty met the challenge, and currently 40% of the college’s courses use only OER materials that are free to students and are continuously updated for relevance.
The OER academic quality is overseen by a board consisting of faculty members appointed by Chancellor Cole. “We engineered our textbook rental/ OER program with the intention of making college attendance less expensive, but we weren’t willing to sacrifice academic quality,” Cole said. “Joining the OTN helps us ensure student academic success through high quality resources.”

Joining the OTN includes on-campus workshops led by the network’s experts to support faculty adoption of open textbooks. Ruth attended the 2018 OTN week-long Summer Institute and Summit in Minnesota during July. As the college’s OER Specialist, she will continue training to facilitate future workshops and help OTN collect measurable data of open textbooks’ impact for UA Cossatot students.

“UA Cossatot was the first in Arkansas to implement its own textbook rental/ OER program, so it seems only fitting that we become the first institution in the state to join the OTN,” Ruth said. “Being an OTN member puts us in a position to provide continuing leadership in the use of OER.”

The OTN is a rapidly-growing network of colleges and universities promoting access, affordability, and student success by using open textbooks and free open educational resources. The network houses an open textbook library available for faculty review and adoption, and promotes the dual benefits OER offers as it contributes to student academic success as well as allowing faculty to reclaim their courses based on their own expertise.

CAR TRUCK AND BIKE SHOW COMING TO SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 09/04/18

A New automotive show is holding it’s inaugural event in Southwest Arkansas this month. Triple C car club is presenting The First Annual Car, Truck and Bike Show on Saturday, September 15th at The McNab City Park in Fulton, Arkansas.

Brandon Clark is the President and founder of Triple C car club and a Southwest Arkansas Native who founded the club as an organized way to connect with the community. After attending car shows in other communities, Brandon was inspired to bring a local car show for residents right here in Southwest Arkansas.

Gates for the show will open at 3:00 p.m. and several categories will be featured for different vehicle types. Categories will include American Muscle, Bike, Rims, Box Chevy, male and female, corvette, best of show and under construction. Approximately 40 trophies will be awarded to chosen participants in each category and entry fees will vary based on vehicle type.

Music will be featured by a live DJ and all judging of entries will be conducted by Hands full of Cash Car Club out of Austin, Texas. The event is family friendly, as a bouncy house will be present for the kids. Barbeque, cat fish and other food options will be available for purchase on site. McNab City Park is located at 3630 highway 355 South in Fulton Arkansas.

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK HOSTING ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS 09/04/18

Two environmental based programs will be held at Cossatot River State Park’s natural area this month. Out of more than 200 nominations nationwide, Cossatot River state park’s natural area was selected as “The Hot Spot.” The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and Cossatot River State Park staff have teamed up to organize the September events.

The first program will be a “leave No Trace Awareness Workshop.” The event will be an educational forum teaching participants about the impacts of overuse. Interactive games, tips, cooking and cleaning while camping methods, environmental stewardship techniques and helpful skills to be used in nature will be featured as part of the program.

The event will take place Wednesday, September 26th 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the state park’s natural area. The second event will be a fall river clean up on Saturday, September 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 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.

GRANT APPROVED FOR LEGACY INITIATIVES TO DEVELOP TRAIL AT DE QUEEN LAKE 09/04/18

Legacy Initiatives, in partnership with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers De Queen Lake office has been selected by International Mountain Bicycling Association to receive the inaugural Accelerator Fund Grant. Legacy’s Sevier County project is one of only three selected in the nation through the highly competitive grant application process.

Dr. Jason Lofton, a program director with Legacy Initiatives said, “This grant has the potential to transform nearby communities through trails, leading to increased local access and offering health benefits to residents, while having opportunities to expand into larger, destination-worthy trail systems”.

The grant comes after a multi-year effort between Legacy Initiatives and the US Corp of Engineers. The agreement allows Legacy to establish public use trails on Corp of Engineer property at De Queen lake. This grant engages the nation’s most premier trails design firm to design the master plan for the trails. In addition to developing a full trails master plan, the grant is critical because without this type of master plan, the organization cannot seek funding from national organizations who fund such trails. After completing this step, the organization will be poised to secure larger grants to help with the construction of the trails.

Founder Chad Gallagher said, “Biking trails of this nature have become a tremendous source of recreational tourism dollars for communities across the nation. Arkansas is at the epicenter of this effort because of the Walton family’s generous vision for Arkansas.” This particular grant requires local matching funds. Local businesses raised $18,000 in 24 hours to secure the required matching dollars.

The local fundraising effort was led by Sevier County EDGE, a local group of business owners and leadership focusing on area economic development. “It was phenomenal to see local business leaders respond to the request so swiftly. It shows how ready everyone is to make something happen here as the community has been stagnating too long without the economic development and a proactive thrust toward the future that is needed. EDGE did a great job just making it happen on this project!”, said Gallagher.

Legacy Initiatives is a community based non-profit organization serving Southwest Arkansas through health, art, and historic preservation projects.

COUNTERFEIT CHECK SCAM IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS BEING INVESTIGATED 08/31/18

The Nashville Police Department is investigating a check scam that took place this month. Diamond Bank reported two counterfeit checks cashed at the Nashville branch on August 20th, also at Murfreesboro and Mineral Springs. Another counterfeit check was attempted to be cashed in Dierks.
While Officer Cody Looper was taking the initial report Mineral Springs Police were notified that another check was trying to be cashed at the Mineral Springs Branch.

Chief Jeff Witherspoon was able to arrest 25-year-old Devin Jones of Wake Village, Texas for the incident. Forty-one-year-old Jason Whitney was arrested later that night in Texarkana, AR on an unrelated charge, but is being held for Howard County on Forgery charges.

Investigator Larry Marion also learned that Jones and Whitney were both homeless individuals. They were picked up by an unknown male in Texarkana. The suspect bought them food and clothes, and then drove them to different towns to cash counterfeit checks. One of the suspects stated that he received $200.00 per check that he cashed.

Investigator Marion has received calls from Fayetteville, Jonesboro, and towns in Missouri that the same crime has occurred in their towns. While comparing photos with other jurisdictions, the same man is responsible for the counterfeit checks. His identity is unknown at this time. The checks were made up on a local business, and the total amount cashed was approximately $14,000 dollars. Both men are being held on Forgery charges. Jones has a $7,500 bond and Whitney is being held in Miller County (no bond).

DE QUEEN POLICE OFFICER FINDS METHAMPHETAMINE DURING TRAFFIC STOP 08/31/18

On Wednesday, August 29th at 9:45 a.m. Officer JJ Lopez of the De Queen Police Department conducted a traffic stop in an alley off 5th street. During the traffic stop Officer Lopez discovered methamphetamine inside the vehicle.

The discovery resulted in the arrest of Richard Hocutt, age 47 of Hooks Texas, Michael Elmore age 34 of Gillham, Arkansas and Amy Evans, Age 26 of De Queen. Elmore and Hocutt were charged with possession of a controlled substance, class D Felony for the amount of less than two grams.
Evans was charged with Possession of a Controlled substance 10 grams or more, a class B felony.

LADY LIONS BASKETBALL TEAM HOSTING FUNDRAISER 08/31/18

The Horatio High School Lady Lions Basketball team is hosting a fundraiser next month. On Friday, September 7th, a chicken dinner fundraiser will be held at the Horatio Elementary cafeteria beginning at 5:00 p.m.

A dessert silent auction will also be held during the event. All funds received from the chicken dinner benefit will go directly towards the cost of expenses for the girls basketball team. Expenses include warm-ups, gear, traveling and camp expenses and other miscellaneous costs for the sport. In addition to raising funds this fall, the Horatio Lady Lions are also welcoming a new head coach to the team.

Zeke Green was previously a Junior High basketball coach in Magnolia, Arkansas. Coach Green expressed excitement about his new role at Horatio and is looking forward to the upcoming season. The Horatio Lady Lions Girls Basketball team’s first game of the season will take place in November.

LADIES RETREAT SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER IN HORATIO 08/31/18

The “Come Determined” Ladies retreat will be hosted by the “Christian Women Reaching Out” organization. The group is composed of women who live, work and attend church in various communities around the Southwest Arkansas area.

The retreat will be held on Saturday, September 15th, 2018 at the Horatio Elementary Cafeteria. The admission fee is $10 per person and the retreat will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration will be held at 8:30 a.m. An agenda for the event includes Speakers, presentations, testimonies, and music.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all who attend the retreat. Telia Dunn of First Methodist Church in Nashville, DeAnn Vaught from First Baptist Church in De Queen, Joyce Arnold of Williamson Community Church in Horatio and Christy Ligon of De Queen will be featured speakers for the event. Special music will also be performed. More information can be found by calling Joyce Arnold at 870-784-8987, or Kay Smart at 870-584-8168.

 

FIRST ANNUAL FUNDRAISER TO BE HELD IN PIKE COUNTY AUGUST 31ST 08/30/28

A student scholarship fundraiser is being held in Pike County this month. The 1st annual Pike County Classic Tailgate Party will take place on Friday, August 31st from 5 until 7:00 at Murfreesboro High School the event will be hosted by Diamond Bank.

There will be hamburgers, chips, cookies & drinks for $5 per plate. All proceeds will go towards Student Scholarships for Center Point and Murfreesboro High School students. There will also be Baggo, Music as well as a variety of giveaways for participants in attendance.

The event will be an opportunity for the community to Show support for the Centerpoint Knights & Murfreesboro Rattlers. Organizers recommend arriving early to experience the food and activities! Kickoff is at 7:00pm as Murfreesboro will host Centerpoint at Holloway Field.

INTOXICATED DRIVER CHARGED WITH POSESSION, FLEEING IN SEVIER COUNTY 08/29/18

On August 22nd, 2018 Sergeant Greg Davignon and Deputy Chet Stubbs of The Sevier County Sheriff’s office discovered a vehicle driving at twice the legal speed limit while patrolling Highway 71 South. The car was documented as traveling at 107 miles per hour with emergency lights flashing.

Deputy Stubbs turned on the emergency lights and siren in the police unit and attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver accelerated in speed and continued driving while passing a motorcycle in a no-pass zone.

The driver of the vehicle stopped on McWhorter Road and was identified as Robert Wallace. Wallace was read his Miranda rights and placed in Deputy Stubb’s police unit. Baker’s Wrecker Service arrived on the scene to take possession of the vehicle. Wallace was transported to the Sevier County jail.

Upon being searched at the jail, it was discovered that Wallace appeared to be inebriated and a device commonly used for smoking marijuana was found in his possession, but he denied that the device belonged to him.

Deputy Stubbs conducted a series of field sobriety tests and a breathalyzer was administered. Wallace’s Blood Alcohol Content level was found to be .10, which was over the legal limit of .08. Wallace has been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while intoxicated and fleeing.

FAIR COMING TO MCCURTAIN COUNTY IN SEPTEMBER 08/30/18

The 2018 McCurtain County Free Fair will be held in Idabel at the McCurtain County Fairgrounds September 4th through 8th. Livestock entries open at 8:00am Wednesday, September 5th.The carnival will open at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5th with wristbands available until 10:00 p.m.

This year’s carnival features new rides and will be ongoing until Saturday, September 8th at 11:00 p.m. The Miss McCurtain County Pageant will be held at the Brinkley Center during the fair at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 4th. All participants must be between age 14 and 18 and reside in McCurtain County. The Beef cattle show will take place Thursday September 6th at 1:00 p.m. followed by the Swine show at 4:00 p.m. gospel night at 6:00 p.m. and local Artist Lucas Ebert will perform live at 8:00 p.m.

Night Hawk and Sam Fields will perform live in concert Friday, September 7th. The final day of the fair on Saturday, September 8th will feature a tractor driving contest at 10:00 a.m. as well as a hot dog eating contest and chili cook-off. The fair will close with an awards presentation at 6:00 p.m. More information about the McCurtain County Fair can be found online at mccurtaincountyfreefair.com

APNA SURVEY PRESENTATION SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER 08/30/18

All parents, educators and community leaders are invited to attend a presentation by Hope School District Superintendent, Bobby Hart about the benefits and usages of the Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Survey on Wednesday, September 12th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The event will be held at the UA Cossatot De Queen campus in the Weyerhouser building. Lunch will be provided to those who RSVP by September 10th. Contact Trena Goings at 501-517-1862 or tgoings@recoveryhhi.org. All school districts in Arkansas are invited to participate in the free survey annually.

Data from the survey is used to assess funding opportunities and identify issues found in self-reported data conducted for students in grades 6-12. Survey topics include nutrition, school safety, physical activity practices, and more.
More information is available online at arkansas.pridesurveys.com.

ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL HOMECOMING ANNOUNCED 08/29/18

The Ashdown Public Schools will celebrate “Kickin’ It ‘Panther Style’” Homecoming on Friday, September 21, with a day filled with fun activities.

During that week, students will have “dress up” days as a way of promoting school spirit which will lead up to “Purple & Gold” Day on the 21st. On Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30 p.m., the AHS Student Council will have their annual Powder Puff Game at Dick Hays Stadium. Admission is $3 for everyone (this includes all staff and participants) as this is a fundraiser.

Students will be dismissed at 1 p.m. on Friday and the Homecoming Pep Rally will begin at 2 p.m. in Dick Hays Stadium. Please be mindful that the buses will be running through the AHS Bus Drive which is now a one-way street.

In order to park for the pep rally, please turn into the AHS parking lot from Locust Street (do not turn at the auditorium from Rankin Street as buses will be traveling out that direction). The parade, led by Grand Marshal Bro. Jim Cross will follow the pep rally. Bro. Jim is the pastor for Ashdown/Richmond/Wade’s Chapel Methodist Churches and been very active in the Ashdown Community for the past 12 years.

Anyone wanting to have a float/vehicle in the parade, please Contact Carla Alexander at 870-898-3562 between September 17 – September 20. A parade number will be assigned at that time. Parade lineup will be on East Richmond St. The parade will travel the same route as in 2017 and will proceed down Locust, turn on Hagan Drive, S. Ellen, E. Locke and back to AHS.

The evening Homecoming Festivities and Coronation of the 2018 AHS Homecoming Queen will begin at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Panthers will kick off as they take on Benton Harmony Grove.

On Saturday, September 22nd, the Ashdown Alumni Association will host their 12th Annual Alumni Banquet where they will honor AHS 1971 Graduation Earnest Rhone. Tickets are on sale until Sept  14th.  Call 903-826-7918 for tickets.  

TRADE DAYS APPROACHING FOR AMITY IN SEPTEMBER 08/29/18

The monthly Trade Days event in Amity is scheduled for early September. The Giant Flea market event is a Southwest Arkansas shopping experience occurring once a month in Amity Arkansas. The outdoor shopping market is typically three days long and has been happening once a month since it began in March of 2015.
The next trade days will be held September 7th, 8th and 9th at 843 South Mountain Road in Amity Arkansas. Live music will be featured Saturday, September 8th as The Garrett Sisters are set perform live. The market is held on a 54-acre lot, housing large open-air buildings.

A $2.00 fee is charged for parking in the event’s assigned lot, but the event is free to enter. There is no charge for admission to enter the Amity trade days as community members of all ages are invited and welcome to participate in this Southwest Arkansas bargain hunting experience. Pets are not allowed but vendors are always welcome.

Types of vendors encouraged to set up on site include antiques, furniture, art and pottery, farm implements, tools, home, garden and outdoor décor, sporting goods, jewelry, wood working, crafts, and any similar products other than used clothing. Farmers will also be offered a place to sell their produce during harvest. Amity Arkansas is located 26 miles Northeast of Murfreesboro, Arkansas.

Shoppers and vendors have reported traveling more than three hours driving distance to participate in the event. Interested vendors can get details about securing a spot by contacting Russell or Kim Jones to request an application by calling (870) 223-6185 or emailing amitytradedays@gmail.com The face book page is also online at facebook.com/amitytradedays.

DEQUEEN ROTARY 5K SCHEDULED IN SEPTEMBER 08/29/18

The rotary 5K will be held Saturday, September 22nd at 8:00 a.m. The event is sponsored by De Queen Auto Group. The course will begin at the Old Oak Grove Bait Shop and completes at Johnson’s Bridge. The course has been described as downhill and quick-paced. Pre-registration will cost $25 and is open until September 7th.

T-shirts are guaranteed for all participants who pre-register. Regular registration is available for $30 the day of the race at Oak Grove Bait Shop beginning at 7:15. All entry fees are non-refundable. Divisions will include ages 15 and under, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and ages 50 and over.

Medals will be presented to the top two finishers for male and females in each division. Entry forms are available at KDQN, UA Cossatot, De Queen Auto Group and Revels and Co CPA. Mail forms and payment to Greg Revels, P.O BOX 271, De Queen, Arkansas 71832. For more information, email Greg@revelsandco.com

DOVE HUNTING SEASON OPENING SEPTEMBER 1ST 08/29/18

Dove hunters will have several opportunities for public hunting starting Saturday, September 1, the opening day of the season – at least if weather cooperates between now and then.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission prepares some fields each year on its wildlife management areas, and this year has 17 fields planned for hunters’ access.

The fields are available on a first-come, first-served basis throughout dove season, though some are only made available for hunting certain days of the week.
In southwest Arkansas that includes 80 acres of top-sown wheat in Rick Evans Grandview Prairie WMA.

Biologist Eley Talley says the wheat fields have been planted and that bird numbers are average or maybe slightly above average at Grandview and Hope upland.
Dove hunting opens 30 minutes before sunrise September 1, running until sunset.
Dove season is Sept. 1 through Oct. 28, and resumes again Dec. 8-Jan. 15 Daily bag limit for mourning and white-wing dove is 15, with a possession limit of 45. There is no daily bag limit or possession limit or Eurasian-collared dove.

 

UA COSSATOT TO OFFER 8 WEEK COURSES 08/28/18

The University of Arkansas Cossatot offers general education, welding, and pipe welding 8-week courses that begin on October 8, 2018.
Registration will close on October 5 for all courses beginning in October. October 8-week classes conclude on December 7, 2018.

These courses are eligible for a payment plan arrangement.
General education 8-week courses the college offers include Intermediate Algebra, Accounting II, General Biology, Micro Computer Application, Desktop Publishing, and Databases.
The college offers welding 8-week courses on De Queen and Nashville campuses on Monday through Thursday from 4:00 to 8:20 PM. These courses include instruction in SMAW, MIG, and TIG welding.

The college offers pipe welding 8-week courses on the Nashville campus on Monday through Thursday from 3:00 to 8:20 PM. These courses include one-on-one instruction in GMAW, FCAW – Stainless, GTAW-CSP, and GTAW-LASS pipe welding.

The college also offers free 8-week courses designed to prepare students for college level English and Math.
A complete list of available courses is at www.cccua.edu/fall.
Persons interested in enrolling should see Student Services at any UA Cossatot campus or call 870-584-4471.

DE QUEEN NATIVE WINS MISS TEXARKANA TWIN RIVERS TITLE 08/28/18

The Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers Competition crowned new 2019 titleholders Saturday, August 25th at the Pleasant Grove High School Performing Arts Center. All together, three winners were announced at the end of the competition. The winners include Megan Gibson as Miss Texarkana 2019, Jasmine Bruce as Miss Twin Rivers and De Queen native Danielle Duggan as Miss Texarkana Twin Rivers 2019.

Following suite in changes within the Miss America system this year, the program is now referred to as a competition and not an pageant. Contestants are now being called candidates and platforms are being called social impact issues. The competition offers more than $100,000 in scholarships to title holders and it is also a preliminary chance to compete for the title of Miss America.

Duggan is 20 years-old and the daughter of Donna and Greg Duggan. She is currently a student at Arkansas Tech University and majoring in Business administration. Her social impact issue is “spread the love: ending food insecurity.” The talent she performed on stage was signing. Her song choice was a religious hymn titled “It is Well.” Duggan will go on to compete for the Miss Arkansas title in Little Rock in June of 2019 at The Robinson Performance Center.

DEPUTIES APPHREHEND DISORDERLY WOMAN IN DE QUEEN 08/28/18

On Sunday, August 19th at 6:30 p.m. Deputies Matt Webb and Chet Stubbs of The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at a residence on Geneva Church Road in De Queen. The Call regarded a woman named Raven Tollett, who was showing disorderly behavior on property belonging to her ex-husband.

It became known to deputies that Tollett had an outstanding warrant for her arrest in the city of De Queen. Upon arriving on the scene, Deputy Webb identified himself to Tollett and attempted to place her under arrest. Tollett proceeded to throw a cell phone towards her ex-husband and began resisting arrest.

While attempting to place her into custody, Deputy Stubbs was bitten by Tollett. Upon placing handcuffs on Tollet, she rolled over and attempted to kick the Deputies. Ultimately Tollett was apprehended and transported to the Sevier County Jail.

 

BROTHER’S KEEPERS TOYS FOR TOTS BENEFIT RIDE 08/27/18

The Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club Chapter 34 hosted a charity event for the Sevier County Toy for Tots Saturday, August 25th. Saturday’s “Rumble in the Park” scavenger ride drew 45 riders to De Queen’s Herman Dierks Park.  Riders from Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle clubs from three states participated. Clubs represented included De Queen, Magnolia, Longview TX, Natchitoches LA, Texarkana AR, Tyler TX, and Shreveport LA Metroplex. Members must be active or retired firefighters to join.

 

Davis Massey, International Chaplin and president of the Tyler Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club spoke to the group before sending them off with a prayer.
The fundraiser collected more than $4,000 between individual donations and the ride combined. The proceeds of the event will directly benefit the Sevier County Toy for Tots.

Get more information about the club by contacting Joey at 580-306-2584, or Jerry at 870-784-6283.
More photos in Photo Album.

 

MARIJUANA FOUND ON RESIDENTS IN LOCKESBURG 08/27/18

On August 18th at approximately 6:00 p.m., Deputy Matthew Webb of The Sevier County Sheriff’s office conducted a traffic stop after witnessing a vehicle swerve between lanes on Provo Road in Lockesburg. Upon approaching the vehicle, Deputy Webb reportedly noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the car.

The driver of the car was identified as Samuel McClendon and a passenger in the front seat was identified as Cameron Melton of Dierks. Samuel Consented to a search of the vehicle and both men willingly stepped out of the car. McClendon admitted to being in possession of a quarter ounce of Marijuana, which was located on the driver’s side floorboard. Upon locating the marijuana, Deputy Webb explained the Miranda rights to McClendon and McClendon waived the warning and proceeded to answer questions.

Deputy Chet Stubbs arrived to assist with the process and transported McClendon to the Sevier County sheriff’s office while Deputy Webb awaited the vehicle owner’s arrival. McClendon declined to give a written statement and was cited for possession for possession of a controlled substance. McClendon was given an October 30th court date and the marijuana was sent to the Arkansas state crime lab for processing.

NEW DEQUEEN SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBERS ANNOUNCED 08/27/18

The De Queen Sevier County Chamber of Commerce has announced the welcoming of new members: Southern Fringe Salon.

Southern Fringe Salon is located in De Queen and opened in March of this year by Shantal Wagner and her sister, Ginger Hale. Shantal is married to Jason Wagner and they have 4 children.

Ginger lives in Horatio and has 2 children and 2 grand-children They are co-owners of the salon and have a total of 6 stylists currently and are looking to add a nail technician to the salon staff soon.

Current stylists on staff include: Shantal, Ginger, Sandra Griffin, Carli Davis, Tessa Gentry and Jamie Powell. Southern Fringe offers all hair services and has a pageant and wedding team who travel to provide services. Southern Fringe is open Monday thru Saturday and is located at 867 East Collin Raye Drive in De Queen next to Subway.

Shantal and Ginger are both from the Sevier county area and have expressed excitement about serving the communities needs through their business. Shantal and Ginger can be contacted about chamber of commerce matters or Southern Fringe business at 870-784-1942. You can also find them on Facebook @SouthernFringeSalon.

WATERMELON WEIGH OFF SCHEDULED IN WASHINGTON, ARKANSAS 08/27/18

On Saturday, September 1, the Old Washington Farmer’s Market and Historic Washington State Park in cooperation with the Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce will host an official watermelon weigh-off site for the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth in Washington, Arkansas. The Great Pumpkin Commonwealth provides official venues for growers to weigh several varieties of fruit and vegetables, including watermelons, across the country. They then give prizes for the largest weighed item of its type across the country.

This official weigh off event will be for watermelons ONLY. Prizes totaling $1,000 will be given out for the top three largest watermelons. Farmers of watermelons should begin registering their entries by 9am. Only one official entry will be considered per farmer or team. Preregistration is not required for the event.

The official weigh-off will begin around 11am. The event will take place behind the City Hall of Washington, Arkansas across the street from Williams’ Tavern Restaurant of Historic Washington State Park. For more information on the weigh-off contact Josh Williams at 870-703-8256 or at joshuawilliams14@hotmail.com.

In addition to the Watermelon Weigh-Off , the Old Washington Farmer’s Market are encouraging other area farmers to come and sell any produce they may have and also are encouraging any potential vendors of homemade goods that would like to participate in the event.

For more information to register as a vendor contact the market at 870-703-7892 or at oldwashingtonfarmersmarket@gmail.com.
Washington, Arkansas is located on Hwy 278 West just eight miles north from Exit 30 at Hope on US Interstate 30.

ARCHERY SHOOT SCHEDULED FOR SEPTEMBER IN SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 08/27/18

The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center in Columbus is hosting a 3-D Archery Tournament next month. The events take place the first Saturday of each month throughout the summer and are open to community members of all ages. The divisions are split up into different age groups and skill levels. All experience levels from beginner to expert are welcome. The tournament is set to take place Saturday, September 1st, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Divisions will include:
Open • Unlimited • Known
Senior Hunter (ages 50 and over)
Senior Open (ages 50 and over)
Novice • Women’s Open
Women’s Bowhunter • Women’s Novice
Hunter • Traditional • Young Adult (ages 15-17)
Youth (ages 13-14) • Senior Eagle (ages 11-12)
Eagle (ages 9-10)
Junior Eagle (ages 8 and under)
Entrance Fees
All Eagles……………………………. $5
Youth………………………………….. $5
Young Adult…………………………. $5
Adults…………………………………. $10
Families………………………………. $20
The Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Conservation Education Center is located at 1685 CR35N,Columbus, AR 71831 . The community of Columbus can be found on Arkansas Highway 73, 15 miles from Hope. Call Caleb Coulter, 870- 826-8193, to register or for more information.

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL COMING TO SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 08/27/18

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced mobile office locations for September. Attorney General Rutledge created this initiative during her first year in office to make the office accessible to everyone, particularly to those who live outside the capital city. Office hours were held in all 75 counties in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and assisted nearly 1,000 Arkansans last year. Rutledge believes in face-to-face conversations to truly hear from Arkansans.

The Attorney General Mobile Offices assist constituents with consumer related issues by filing consumer complaints against scam artists as well as answering questions about the office and the other services it offers to constituents. This year, the Cooperative Extension Service will be on hand at each mobile office to also provide information on the services it provides statewide.

Rutledge continues her partnership with local law enforcement across Arkansas to offer prescription drug take back boxes at each mobile office. Law enforcement will be at all mobile offices to handle a secure box and properly dispose of the prescriptions collected. Rutledge encourages Arkansans to bring their old, unused or expired prescription medications to an upcoming mobile office.

The Southwest Arkansas stop is scheduled for: Hempstead County
Thursday, Sept. 20 10:30 a.m. – noon
Hempstead County Cooperative Extension Courthouse, First Floor
400 S. Washington St. Hope, AR 71801
For more information about services provided by the Attorney General’s office, visit ArkansasAG.gov or call (501) 682-2007

DIERKS SCHOOL BEGINS NEW YEAR WITH NEW PRINCIPAL 08/27/18

Jo-Ann Walters Elementary School in Dierks began the 2018-2019 school year with a new principal. Lori Finley is a graduate of Henderson State University with more than 20 years experience in education.

She is also an Arkansas native who was born in Hot Springs. Finley believes an important aspect of the learning process is to focus on the “whole student”. She also has high expectations and goals for the new school year.

In addition to prioritizing education, Finley is also an avid reader and a family woman who is adjusting to an empty nest lifestyle, as her own children have recently gone off to college. Finley has expressed feeling very welcomed by the Dierks community and appreciates the kindness she has been shown by local residents.

 

MERLE HAGGARD’S SON TO PERFORM LIVE IN POLK COUNTY ARKANSAS 08/24/18

Ouachita Little Theatre is providing the venue for Marty Haggard to perform live music selections in Mena. Marty Haggard is the oldest son of the legendary Merle Haggard, and he will share country music written and recorded by his father on Friday, September 7th.

In addition to the music, Marty will share stories of the past, growing up by his dad’s side while he was writing and recording timeless, classic songs made popular during his illustrious career.
Marty has had his own accomplished career, performing country music for forty years. Approximately eight years ago, Marty’s love for his dad and his music inspired him to pay tribute to his dad through stories and songs.

This show will reflect his appreciation for the classic tunes of Merle Haggard and is a “must-see” for country music fans in Ouachita region. Marty will be available after the show to meet, greet and sign autographs.

Tickets are now on sale at the OLT office (610 Mena Street) weekdays, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If purchased in advance, tickets are $25; they will be $30 the day of the show at the door. Doors open at 6:00 PM, the show will begin at 7:00 PM.

FREE ART EXHIBIT IN HOT SPRINGS ALL OF SEPTEMBER 08/24/18

The Traditional Art Guild of Hot Springs will present their People’s Choice Award Show at Garvan Woodland Gardens throughout the month of September. Paintings of nature subjects in all mediums including oil, acrylic, pastels and watercolor will be presented.

The art will also be offered for sale by the artists with a portion of the sale going to projects at the Gardens, but touring and viewing pieces is free of charge to all visitors. The art show winners are chosen by votes from visitors to the Gardens.

The displays will be open for viewing 9am-6pm daily in the Magnolia Room throughout the month of September. Visitors will be encouraged to vote on their favorite pieces of artwork. All Art Exhibits in the Magnolia Room at Garvan Gardens are free and open to the public.

MINERAL SPRINGS SCHOOLS SEE GROWTH AND AWARDS AS NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS 08/24/18

Mineral Springs High School Principal Clint Jones reported at Monday’s school board meeting that enrollment increased from 159 at the end of last school year to a current enrollment of 173 students. A parent workshop was also held Thursday at the high school. Mineral Springs High School also received two awards for growth based on last year’s test scores. The awards included outstanding educational performance “Beating The Odds” in math and “Beating The Odds” in English language arts, both in the southwest region.

On an Elementary level, principal Stacy Gauldin reported a 90 percent attendance by parents at the school’s recent open house event. In other business, Superintendent Thelma Forte reported to the board that her recommendation would be to not seek second lien funds as later during the meeting the board approved a transfer of a one million dollar surplus into the building fund.

Board member Mike Erwin expressed concerns about expenses not included in the building project budget. The district planned to utilize existing phones, intercom system and fire alarm, however the technology is either outdated or has not interfaced with the new building. The district’s building project continues and plans are to move into the facility December 10th.

BROTHER’S KEEPERS HOSTING CHARITY EVENT IN DE QUEEN 08/24/18

The Brother’s Keepers Motorcycle Club Chapter 34 is hosting a charity event for the Sevier County Toy Run this month. The club’s “Rumble in the Park” scavenger ride is set to take place Saturday, August 25th 2018. All interested participants can meet at Herman Dierks Park in De Queen Arkansas for the start of the event. Registration will begin at 9:00 a.m.

The first bike out will take place at 10:00 a.m. and the last bike out will be at 11:00 a.m. The cost is $15 per rider and $10 for each additional rider and $5 for extra hand, limit one. There will be high hand payout and a meal will be provided for all participants after the ride. The proceeds of the event will directly benefit the Sevier County Toy Run. More information can be found by contacting Joey at 580-306-2584, or Jerry at 870-784-6283.

FREE MEDICAL AND DENTAL CLINIC SCHEDULED IN DE QUEEN 08/24/18

A free medical and dental clinic will be held at First Baptist church and Dr. Randy Walker’s office in De Queen this weekend. On Saturday, August 25th beginning at 8:00 a.m. all members of the community who do not have access to regular health and dental providers will be welcome and invited to attend the event.

In addition to free medical screenings and free dental cleanings, activities will be provided for the kids, including bouncy houses, free hot dogs and drinks. Event organizers Angie Walker and Micah Martin are excited to provide this opportunity for the community. Call 870-584-3000 for questions regarding the clinic.

HEMPSTEAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY TO HOST MEETING IN AUGUST 08/23/18

The Hempstead County Historical Society will be holding a meeting on Tuesday evening August 28, 2018 at the Presbyterian Church in Washington, Arkansas at 7pm. The general public is invited and welcome to attend the meeting.

The evening program will be presented by local historian, Reverend Keenan Williams. The program topic will be on the early Methodist community of Mound Prairie and Henry’s Chapel, located in central Hempstead County.

Mound Prairie was settled around 1816 by a group of Methodist and was one of the early communities of Hempstead County. The Historical Society seeks to bring awareness about the heritage and history of Hempstead County. Community members with ties to Hempstead county are encouraged to share any information and stories with the historical society.

ARKANSAS ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES SCAM WARNINGS FOR STUDENTS WITH LOAN DEBT 08/23/18

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge released warnings to Arkansas residents who may fall victim to loan forgiveness scams this week as the new collegiate school year begins. Many college students take out loans to help pay for higher education, but scammers prey on those in debt with fraudulent student loan forgiveness “programs.”

Scammers will pose as government agencies offering to help with complicated federal student loan debt or claim to be independent organizations that are aware of new changes in repayment programs. Offers that do not come from an assigned federal loan service are a scam.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said “Student loan debt can be intimidating and Con artists often make unrealistic promises, such as drastically reducing or doing away with monthly payments altogether. While this may seem attractive at first, it can be detrimental in the long run, accumulating interest and potentially sliding into default. Some of these scammers will even charge for their assistance.”

Attorney General Rutledge has announced possible red flag warnings to help residents identify potential con artists and scams. :
· Borrowers are offered a promise of guaranteed reduced payments and/or loan forgiveness
· The scammer requests Federal Student Aid username or passwords (FSA ID)
· Borrowers are instructed to ignore letters or emails from a federal loan servicer
· The scammer stressed the difficulty for the average person to navigate the Federal Student Aid system

If Arkansans believe they have been a victim of one of these companies, they should contact the federal loan service and update account information by changing all passwords and cancel any automatic withdrawal payments.

Financial aid basics and student loan repayment questions can be answered at StudentLoans.gov. The National Student Loan Data System is the Department of Education’s central database and has information for the specific federal loan servicer assigned to collect student loan payments.

For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS MUSICAL FESTIVAL SET FOR SEPTEMBER 08/23/18

The 2018 Musicfest will take place Saturday, September 29th at Delight City Park. The festival will begin with A 5K race scheduled to start at 8 a.m. The race has been named “The Glen Campbell 5K ramble” and will wrap up before the Antique car show begins at 9:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m. an open mic stage will be available for any local residents interested in performing in front of an audience.

After the open mic session concludes at 12:30 p.m. the live musical performances will begin. All scheduled performers have local and regional ties to the Southwest Arkansas community. Artist line-up includes 3rd channel, Deniah Williams, 4 states fusion, Jake Moore, Billstown and Bear Creek Boys. The bear Creek Boys group includes Pike County Judge Dewight Mack. This year’s event will be the festival’s 8th consecutive year since starting in 2011.

The event is always held the last Saturday of September. Non-profit group Southeast Pike County alliance is sponsoring the event. No members of the alliance are paid employees as the group’s purpose is to raise money to be put back into the community to host events and activities for local residents.

All proceeds from the music festival will go towards events like food drives at Christmastime and beautification needs like mowing and cleanliness in local parks. The group will also donate funds to families in need after medical crisis. Vendors are encouraged to set up at the festival, and the cost to participate as a vendor will be $10 per spot. Attending the music festival costs $5 per adult and kids 12 and under get in free. For more information, call Tom Henderson at 870-230-3579.

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK HOSTS SATURDAY ACTIVITIES 08/23/18

Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a variety of activities and events this weekend. On Saturday, August 25 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. the Litter Getter River Tour will take place. Park interpreters will guide visitors through a free river tour to pick up trash along the banks and in the river. Gloves and trash bags will be provided.

Interpreters ask attendees to wear sturdy water shoes and plan to get wet. Community members of all ages are welcome. Interested participants can meet at the Sandbar Parking Lot prior to the start of the event.

From 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Owl’s Last Supper is scheduled. The program is a hands-on activity that will include dissecting an owl pellet. All materials and sanitary supplies will be provided for this program.

Visitors will meet at the Low Water Bridge Below the Visitor Center at 2:00/ The final activity of the day will be Cossatot Craft Corner from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. This activity is a creative outlet for families and kids. Park interpreters ask participants to meet at the Visitor Center’s Legacy Room. Cossatot State Park is located at 1980 Highway 278 W/Wickes, AR 71973 and can be contacted by Phone at 870-385-2201.

ARKANSAS AND TEXAS GOVERNORS COMING TO TEXARKANA IN SEPTEMBER 08/23/18

The Governors of Texas and Arkansas will make joint appearances in Texarkana this September. The state leaders will be attending an event on Tuesday, September 4th at 3 p.m. at the federal courthouse in downtown Texarkana. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott will be present to help set off a newly formed economic development group.

The group is the AR-TX Regional Economic Development organization. The AR-TX REDI board is made up of life-time residents and local business leaders. The organization’s goal is collaborate efforts that will assist in expanding the region’s economy. Plans include recruiting personnel, developing employment opportunities, and launching new businesses in Texarkana and it’s surrounding areas.

The group plans to promote the area’s natural resources, and educational opportunities at a national level. Financial backing for the group will come from private donations and local business leaders.

HORATIO BAND BOOSTERS TO HOLD FUNDRAISER 08/23/18

The Roaring Lion Band boosters are hosting a chicken dinner fundraiser August 31st. The Fundraiser will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Horatio Elementary Cafeteria.
the cost is $10 per plate and consists of chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, dessert, and sweet tea. The dessert served will be a homemade poke cake. All proceeds will help the Horatio Lion Band pay for the cost of band camp, traveling expenses, uniforms and various fees.

 

NEW SEVIER COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE MEMBER 08/22/18

The Sevier County Chamber of Commerce has welcomed Salena Pruitt of Century 21 All Points Realty as one of their newest members. Salena works in and around the Sevier County area with a primary focus in residential real estate.

She has worked for Century 21 for two years and says that her agency stands out because it is known for its thorough knowledge of home and commercial sales world-wide. Salena is considered a stand out agent because she has a visual impairment that motivates her to work hard and to help members of the community achieve their real estate goals.

Salena is married to Rick Pruitt of De Queen and they have one daughter, Mazie. The Pruitt’s are also owners of Pruitt’s Trailer Park in De Queen. Salena works from home but is available to the community for questions about real estate and her new role with the chamber of commerce. She can be contacted by calling 903-385-3722, and has a website: www.salenasellsarkansas.com

NEW ANTI-TOBACCO PROGRAM AT ASHDOWN HIGH SCHOOL 08/22/18

Ashdown High School Media Specialist, Sandy Smith will be leading a new tobacco prevention chapter of Project Prevent Youth Coalition (PPYC) on the AHS Campus this year. The chapter has been funded through a grant by Stamp Out Smoking and Arkansas Children’s Hospital for seven years. 

Project Prevent is a youth tobacco prevention initiative of Stamp Out Smoking. By bringing awareness about Big Tobacco companies and arming youth with knowledge, tools, and power to make informed choices, the goal is to prevent Arkansas youth from smoking or using tobacco products. Project Prevent works year-round to provide events and programs to engage youth in new ways.” Project Prevent Youth Coalition is “aiming for a happy, healthy, and tobacco-free Arkansas.” The mission of PPYC will provide youth with action-oriented activities that address social norms about tobacco and nicotine.

 

Throughout the year students will have two advocacy projects which may include providing signage around campuses to inform that it is illegal to smoke on campus grounds and read age appropriate books to elementary students on the unhealthy effects of smoking.

Some students involved in PPYC will be able to attend a statewide prevention conference that will be held in October. Students will also have the opportunity to be involved in a film festival and a writing contest More information about the program can be found at sosprojectprevent.com.

 

 

CITY COUNCIL TALKS PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT AT MEETING 08/22/18

The De Queen City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, August 21st at city hall. A variety of agenda items were discussed and residents of the Sevier County community offered public comments regarding topics believed to benefit De Queen and surrounding areas. ZZ Kamruddin requested the city council consider providing funding for the Imagination Library.

The imagination library is a program that was founded in 1995 by Dolly Parton and mails books to children to encourage reading efforts. Kamruddin helped bring a chapter of the nationwide program to Sevier County Arkansas and has asked city council to consider donating financial assistance to the program to support literacy among local children. An update on the new retirement plan for city employees was addressed during the meeting.

Mayor Billy Ray Mckelvy announced meetings with two investment companies took place recently. The council intends to have finalization on the plan by the end of the year. Sevier County Economic Development Coordinator Lisa Taylor revealed that a recently requested grant for infrastructure and building purposes was not able to go through, but other sources of funds for development may be an option.

Taylor also suggested a master plan for the city of De Queen be developed for organization and growth purposes in De Queen. Mayor McKelvy emphasized that other routes may be an option, and the process will take time. After all regular agenda items were discussed, local residents including Bud Gentry and Nick Pesetsky addressed the lack of current housing availability in the city of De Queen.

The planning commission recently approved zoning requests made by Nick Pesetsky and Jimmy Ray Gentry to develop housing options in De Queen. More steps to move forward with the housing development plans are in order though, as city council will have to sign off on finalization of the issue at a later time.

The next city council meeting will be held Tuesday, September 4th at City Hall. Members of the community are invited and welcome to attend meetings, as time for public comments are allotted after the prayer portion each time.

SEVIER COUNTY DEPUTY HANDLES DOMESTIC BATTERY INCIDENT 08/22/18

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 emergency call on Cook Lane in De Queen at 11:50 p.m. Thursday, August 16th. The call was made by a woman who reported  that she and her fiancé, Landon Hardin had been in a altercation at their home earlier that evening.

The woman stated that the dispute had turned physical and claimed she was pushed, bitten and struck by her fiancé. Deputy Stinson questioned both individuals and assessed each of the residents physical conditions. Both individuals were found to have bite marks on each of their bodies.

The woman reportedly received two visible bite marks on her legs as a result of the altercation. Upon further investigation it was determined that markings on Hardin’s chest and arm were consistent with being defensive wounds caused by the woman. Hardin was placed in custody for domestic battery.

DRIVER’S IMPROVEMENT COURSE PLANNED FOR SEPTEMBER 08/21/18

Triple A will be hosting a driver’s improvement course in McCurtain County this September. The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 8th from 8:00am to 3:00pm. The course will be held at the Kiamichi Technology center at 3205 Lincoln Road in Idabel Oklahoma.

The cost of attendance is $15 and includes the book required. Rodney Moyer, certified driver improvement course instructor will be teaching the program. Participation in this course may qualify people to be eligible for lower monthly car insurance premiums.

It is recommended that participants contact insurance providers in advance to find out how much money may be saved by attending. Drivers of all ages are encouraged to participate. To enroll, visit bis.ktc.edu More information can be found by calling 580-286-7555.

ARKANSAS BOAT COMPANY EXPANSION WILL PROVIDE JOBS FOR LOCALS 08/21/18

An Arkansas based company announced its purchase of a manufacturing plant in Malvern this week. Veranda is a family-owned boat production company currently employing 80 people. The business is looking to more than double their staff list to handle the assembly of high-horsepower pontoon boats.

The staff additions will open up job opportunities for residents in Malvern and the Hot Springs surrounding area. The luxury boat manufacturing company is reportedly looking to add around 100 new employees over the next two years. The plant includes three large units across 40 acres in the Hot Spring County Industrial Park, located off U.S. 270 between Malvern and Hot Springs.

Veranda and a sister company, Xpress Boats, are descendants of Aluma-Weld, founded in 1966 by Kermit Bryant, a Navy pilot during World War II. Bryant took over an old schoolhouse in the Hot Spring County community of Friendship to produce all-aluminum, all-welded bass boats. The Veranda pontoons and Xpress bass boats now share about 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space at another industrial park southwest of Hot Springs.

Veranda’s departure will reportedly free up space for Xpress Boats’ eventual expansion. Veranda will be located near Arkansas Midland Railroad truck-driving school and Jay Bird Manufacturing, a wood-products plant.

DEPUTIES RESPOND TO DISORDERLY MAN IN GILLHAM 08/21/18

Sevier County Deputies responded to a call about an intoxicated man showing violent behavior at a residence in Gillham over the weekend. On Sunday, August 19th at approximately 1:00 a.m. officers received a request for assistance at a home on Clinton Crossing from a woman who stated her son had become violent after consuming alcohol. Deputies Stinson, Stubbs and Gentry responded to the call and were approached by a white male upon their arrival at the residence.

The male was identified as Joseph Nemeth, and family members stated that violent behavior was out of character for him, and believed alcohol was the explanation. Nemeth reportedly positioned himself in a fighting stance with clenched fists and verbally antagonized the deputies and disregarded multiple verbal commands to stand down.

Nemeth was apprehended by deputy Stinson and Deputies Stubbs and Gentry placed him in handcuffs. Nemeth was transported to the county jail for disorderly conduct and was given a September 25th court date. Nemeth did apologize to Deputy Stinson for his actions upon arrival at the Sevier County Jail.

KIDS DERBY DAY PLANNED BY AGFC FOR SEPTEMBER 08/21/18

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has announced the 2nd Saturday Fishing Derby for kids. On Saturday, September 8th, 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. The next derby event will be held 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.

RAZORBACK SOCCER PLAYER NAMED SEC DEFENDER OF THE WEEK 08/21/18

Razorback Soccer senior defender Carly Hoke was named the SEC Defender of the Week by the league office for her performance in Arkansas’ season-opening win over Duquesne and tie against No. 9 West Virginia.It’s the first conference weekly honor in Hoke’s career.

Arkansas head coach Colby Hale said. “This is well deserved, It was a fantastic team performance last week and I thought her play and veteran leadership was absolutely vital.”
Arkansas’ schedule called for a road trip to the Northeast against a Duquesne team picked to finish third in the Atlantic 10 and a top-10 West Virginia team that reached the Sweet 16 a year ago.

Hoke and the Razorback defense defeated the Dukes, 1-0, without conceding a shot and only allowing two corner kicks. Hoke, who is back to full health after a season-ending knee injury a year ago, played all 90 minutes against Duquesne and followed it up with a full 110 minutes in the draw with the Mountaineers.

Not only was the win against Duquesne the ninth season-opening win in the last 10 years, it also marked the first time in program history an Arkansas team has not allowed a single shot to an opponent.

Against the Mountaineers, Hoke led a defense that helped earn a 1-1 tie, which was Arkansas’ fourth win or tie against a top-10 opponent in its last seven opportunities dating back to the 2016 season.

Hoke’s 55 starts are the second-most of any active Razorback and Friday’s clean sheet was the 15th she has contributed to since 2015.
Arkansas will return to Razorback Field for its next match as it will open the home portion of its schedule against Nebraska-Omaha on Friday, Aug. 24 with first kick set for 7 p.m.

Tickets are available via the Razorback Ticket Office starting at $5 with kids 17 or younger getting in free. Fans can also buy season tickets for $25 and will receive a free 2018 Razorback Soccer scarf with their purchase.
For more information on Razorback Soccer, follow @RazorbackSoccer on Twitter.
(John Thomas, Arkansasrazorbacks.com)

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.

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.