Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Local News

Today's News

Jonathan Bahena awarded 2023 Rotary Cup     12/05/23
Jonathan Bahena is the 2023 recipient of the Rotary Club, presented annually by the De Queen Rotary Club. He is pictured with “Voice of the Leopards” Jay Bunyard.

DE QUEEN – The Rotary Cup has been presented annually to the Most Valuable Senior on the De Queen Leopards football team since 1936. Past winners of the award represent top students and athletes spanning more than nine decades at De Queen High School.

At Monday’s noon meeting of the club, “The Voice of the Leopards” Jay Bunyard presented the award for the 2023 season to cornerback/running back Jonathan Bahena. He’s the 88th all-time recipient of the Rotary Cup.

Bahena led the team in all-purpose yards in 2023 with 532. For his career, he was credited with 833 all-purpose yards. Defensively, he was credited with 58 tackles and a team-leading 19 passes defended this season. For his career, he was credited with 123 tackles and 40 passes defended. He was named to the All-5A South Conference first team as sophomore, junior and as a senior.

Bahena also excels in the classroom with a 3.22 GPA. He’s active in Student Council, DQTV and the Student Leadership Program. The son of Sarah Cook and Ismael Bahena, Jonathan plans to go to college after graduation in May and become a high school coach and history teacher.

Besides performance on the football field, the Rotary Cup is also based on character, leadership, scholastic achievements and participation in other school activities.

Trial for LRCO man accused of murder rescheduled to next year     12/05/23

ASHDOWN – The trial for a Little River County man accused of murdering his girlfriend’s son last year has been continued to next April.

According to court records, 65-year-old Walter Duermit was scheduled to appear for a pre-trial hearing in the Little River County Circuit Court today for a single count of first-degree murder. A motion to continue was granted by the court, moving his trial date to April 22. A pretrial hearing will be held on April 9.

Duermit has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge. He was released on a $250,000 bond in October.

The charge stems from an incident on July 26, 2022. That night Little River County deputies were dispatched to a residence on Little River County Road 170 after receiving a report about a fatal shooting in the home. Dispatchers were informed by a woman on the phone that her boyfriend had shot and killed her son.

When deputies arrived they secured the scene and identified the boyfriend as 65-year-old Walter Duermit. The victim, 37-year-old Joshua Yeager, was found deceased inside the home.

Duermit was then arrested for the offense of murder and taken to the Little River County Jail.

The arrest affidavit states Duermit allegedly admitted to shooting Yeager following an altercation at the home. Duermit reportedly told investigators that Yeager was unarmed when he retrieved a gun and shot Yeager once.

Upon a conviction, the Class Y felony offense of first-degree murder carries a sentence of 10 to 40 years or life imprisonment.

EXPLORE Act includes provision to reopen Albert Pike for camping     12/05/23

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A board bipartisan legislative package introduced last week into the U.S. House of Representatives aims to address a number of outdoors recreation issues on public lands including the reopening of the Albert Pike Recreation Area in Southwest Arkansas.

U.S. Representative Bruce Westerman (AR-04) introduced the EXPLORE Act alongside Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva following discussions in the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee, which Westerman chairs.

The bill seeks to address a number of issues on America’s public lands and water, including modernizing technology to improve visitor experiences, streamlining the permitting process and reduce fees for small businesses that depend on public land access, and improve accessibility for military service members, veterans and individuals with disabilities.

One of the most impactful measures in the EXPLORE Act, at least for residents of Arkansas’ Fourth District, is a repackaging of Westerman’s “Ouachita National Forest Overnight Camping Act” he introduced this past spring. If passed, the bill would reopen overnight camping at Albert Pike Recreation Area in the Ouachita National Forest.

Westerman said packaging the bill with the bipartisan EXPLORE Act should help it get across the finish line and into law.

That should streamline the process and insure we can get this passed by both the House and Senate by including [the Albert Pike provision] within the EXPLORE Act, which has bipartisan support and has been very popular since we started working on it,” said Westerman.

The Albert Pike Recreation Area is one of the most popular sites within the 1.8 million-acre Ouachita National Forest. The park features hiking, swimming and day-use only activities.

Albert Pike has prohibited overnight camping since 20 people tragically died in a 100-year-flood in the early morning hours of June 11, 2010. The incident was followed by a lawsuit brought by survivors and families of the victims. In 2020 the U.S. Forest Service conducted a public review and planning process to determine the future use of the park. In its final decision, the U.S. Forest Service stated it would not reopen the park for overnight camping due to the risk associated with possible future floods.

During a previous interview, Westerman said he introduced the legislation to Congress after hearing from numerous constituents who expressed their hopes to see the park reopen for overnight camping.

It was an incredibly tragic event, but in the last 12 years I’ve had lots of people reach out and say they want to reuse that site for overnight camping,” explained Westerman. “People were frustrated with the decision because there are safe options and plans out there for camping in this area.”

Westerman added that he understood, but ultimately rejected, the Forest Service’s appraisal. He said safe, overnight camping is possible within the park.

The Forest Service decided to close it and only allow day use. And as the infrastructure fails, they’re not going to replace it,” he said. “That’s when it’s time for Congress to step in and reevaluate the decision and the process. [Allowing overnight camping at Albert Pike] is something that can be done and be done in a way that’s rational, safe and good for residents of the Fourth District and for everyone who grew up camping at this beautiful location.

If passed by Congress and signed into law, the EXPLORE Act would require the Forest Service to reopen any campsites outside of the 100-year flood plain within 30 days of the bill’s enactment. In addition, the act would also require the development of at least 27 campsites within two years of the bill’s enactment. This would include at least eight campsites with water and electric capabilities. All of these would also be located outside of the 100-year-flood plain, or areas with a one percent chance of flooding in a given year.

We want to be rational with this, we don’t want to build these campsites along the river where the tragedy occurred, but rather build above the 100-year floodplain,” Westerman explained. “It’s something that can be done and I hope we can make it happen with this bill.”

Winners of the 2023 Lockesburg Christmas Parade     12/05/23

LOCKESBURG – The City of Lockesburg has announced the winners of the 2023 Lockesburg Christmas Parade.

This year’s winners are as follows:


First Place – Cake It Easy

Second Place – Schroer Medical

Third Place – Sevier County Housing Authority


First Place – Goin’ Showin’ 4-H

Second Place – Harper Young

Third Place – Legacy Academy


First Place – Lighthouse Church

Second Place – Williamson Church

Third Place – First Baptist Church of Lockesburg


First Place – LaVonna Wright

Second Place – Rusty Relics Tractor Club

Third Place – Wayne Smith

Cooperative Extension hosting webinars on HPAI     12/05/23

Submitted by Cooperative Extension Service

As one of the nation’s leading poultry-producing states, Arkansas has a keen interest in reducing the spread of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, often referred to as HPAI. To support that effort, the Cooperative Extension Service — the outreach and education arm of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture — is hosting two HPAI webinar workshops in December.

The first workshop, scheduled for Dec. 5, is for commercial industry producers. The second, scheduled for Dec. 12, is aimed at small and backyard hobby flock owners. Both webinars are scheduled for 6 p.m. (CDT).

Dustan Clark, extension poultry health veterinarian for the Division of Agriculture, will lead both webinars.

There is no charge to participate, but registration is required. Register online by clicking this link.

As of Nov. 30, there are confirmed cases of the H5N1 avian influenza in 47 states, including Arkansas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The most recent detection in Arkansas was Nov. 29, in a commercial broiler production flock in Carroll County.

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit

Mayor Jeff Brown
State Representative DeAnn Vaught
State Senator Larry Teague
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
US Senator John Booman
US Representative Bruce Westerman

Previously Reported

Foreman man killed in accident Friday     12/04/23
WINTHROP – A single vehicle accident claimed the life of a Foreman man over the weekend.

According to the Arkansas State Police, 34-year-old Matthew Cooper of Foreman was traveling north on Highway 41 near the junction of Highway 234 near Winthrop on Dec. 1 when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree. The accident occurred around 3:30 that afternoon.

Cooper was pronounced deceased at the scene of the accident. The investigating state trooper reported road conditions as clear and dry at the time of the accident.

Sevier Co. Chamber announces De Queen Parade winners     12/04/23

Submitted by Sevier County Chamber Executive Director Suzanne Babb

The Sevier County Festival is a beloved series of annual community events which kicks off the holiday season in our area. The festivities began on Dec. 1 with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting at the downtown pavilion in De Queen.

The event featured the De Queen High School Jazz Band playing Christmas music, as well as cookies, cocoa, and coffee provided by the United Methodist Church and the Chamber of Commerce, and was emceed by Chamber Ambassador Jennifer “Higgie” Higgins from KDQN.

Mayor Jeff Brown shared the challenges his city crew had in transporting, setting up and decorating the 18’ Christmas tree donated by David and Lillian Pate, and encouraged everyone to come and share the Christmas spirit at the pavilion, before turning on the lights to the delight of the gathered crowd.

The festivities continued the next day with parades in Horatio, Lockesburg, and De Queen. There was something for everyone to enjoy, as several thousand people lined the streets to watch the parade of floats, bands, dancers, horses, and more. The Sevier County courthouse was wonderfully lit with new decorations and lighting, adding to the enchanting holiday atmosphere. The event was made complete with the appearance of that jolly old elf, Santa, who greeted the crowds and added to the festive cheer. He welcomes everyone to stop by the Santa House on the Courthouse square in the weeks leading up to Christmas. His schedule is posted on the Sevier Count Chamber Facebook page.

Special thanks to our parade MC Loren Hinton with Ed88, and this year’s judges: Priscilla & Jason Faulkner from Impact Counseling, and Craig Dodson, Dierks Elementary Principal.

The Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, Christmas festival and county-wide parades are a continuing tradition and would not be possible without the great partnerships between the Chamber of Commerce and event committee, the county judge’s office, our city mayors, police and fire departments, our schools, businesses, and residents. It truly brings out Sevier County’s unity in community.



















1 – $100 WAYNE SMITH


3 – $50 LOW LOCS (CAR)









De Queen City Council to meet Tuesday to vote on budget, rate hikes     12/04/23

DE QUEEN – The De Queen City Council is scheduled to vote on the city’s 2024 operating budget and several rate increases for municipal services during its next meeting on Dec. 5.

The budget is set to include a five percent raise for city employees in 2024 as well as a $750 Christmas bonus. The De Queen Fire Department is requesting a $19,000 backup generator for its fire station to replace a unit installed around 30 years ago.

The De Queen Parks and Recreation Department is seeking to install more LED lights at its facilities as well as $40,000 to repair and upgrade the skate park at the Sportsplex.

The 2024 Street Program would total around $367,000 – $100,000 will be covered by a state reimbursement from this year’s repaving project on Coulter Drive. The Street Program would focus on repaving Locke Street from 13th Street to Ninth Street; N. Ninth Street from Collin Raye to the S-curve; and a portion of Fort Towson.

The police department is seeking two new Dodge Durango patrol vehicles to replace two of its older vehicles. In addition, the department is requesting $75,000 to expand the city’s dog pound.

At last month’s meeting, the council approved the first of three ordinance readings to raise rates for the city’s water, sewer and sanitation service. The increase is made necessary, said Brown, due to rising costs associated with providing these services to city customers.

If approved on its third and final reading in January, the ordinance would raise those rates to $9.25 per month for solid waste collection for single-family homes in the city limits and $12 for those outside the city. Commercial customers would also see a slight rate increase for dumpster pickup.

The ordinance would see sewer rates increase by $0.25 per year for the next three years. Water service would increase at a similar rate of $0.25 per year over the next three years.

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in De Queen City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Leopards, Lady Leopards travel to Broken Bow for Savage Classic     12/04/23

BROKEN BOW, Okla. – The De Queen Lady Leopards split a pair of basketball games, while the Leopards dropped two contests over the weekend at the Savage Classic in Broken Bow as heard live on your #1 Country 92.1. The De Queen girls defeated the host team from Broken Bow Friday night 52 – 47 but fell to undefeated Wright City Saturday 60 – 43. The Leopards lost to Broken Bow 61-36 on Friday night, and to Wright City Saturday 56 – 32.

The Lady Leopards jumped out to a 30-21 halftime lead over Broken Bow. The Lady Savages battled back in the second half to tie the game at 44. However, the Lady Leopards made plays and hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the 52 – 47 victory. Landri Ligon led the way with 17 points. Emma Chambers scored 15, including six straight free throws in the final minute to seal the win. Ellie Morphew was named our McDonalds Player of the Night with a phenomenal 18 rebounds to go along with seven points. Kate Lindsey added nine points.

Broken Bow’s boys doubled up De Queen at the half 36 – 18 and cruised to a 61 – 36 victory over the Leopards. Sam Graham led De Queen with 13 points. The Leopards were only able to convert on 10 of 43 shots from the floor on a cold-shooting night.  

On Saturday, the undefeated Wright City girls improved to 7 and 0 on the year with an impressive 60 – 43 victory over the Lady Leopards. Emma Chambers was named our McDonalds Player of the Night with 13 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Landri Ligon also scored 13. Ellie Morphew added eight as the Lady Leopards fell to 3 and 2 on the season.

In boys’ action, the Wright City Lumberjacks pulled away from the Leopards for a 56 – 32 victory. Roland Sanchez led the Leopards with eight points. Sam Graham, Trent Matthews, and Luke Dawson added six points each as the Leopards fell to 1 and 4 on the year.

Tree lighting in De Queen tonight, parades this Saturday     12/01/23
DE QUEEN – This Saturday communities across Sevier County will be hosting their parades ahead of the Christmas holiday.

The day will begin with the annual Christmas parade hosted by the City of Horatio at 1 p.m. through main street in Horatio.

The Horatio Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting a blanket and heater drive from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday to benefit members of the community who need a little extra help staying warm this winter. The event, which will be held at the fire station in Horatio, is being held in partner ship with Pilgrim’s, Brenda’s Blessings and the Horatio Senior Citizens Center.

Chicken dinners with all the fixings will be available at a cost for $10. The cost is just $5 for those who donate a blanket and free to anyone who donates a heater. Cash donations to the Horatio Volunteer Fire Department are also welcome.


The City of Lockesburg will host its annual Christmas parade at 3 p.m. Southern Bancorp in Lockesburg will host a celebration at its location at 103 W. Main Street beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Santa Claus will be onsite for photos and visiting along with refreshments who everyone who stops by.

De Queen

Area residents are invited to wrap up the day with the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas parade around the Sevier County Courthouse square in downtown De Queen. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with vendors and activities around the square. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.

The 2023 De Queen Christmas Parade theme is a “Classic Christmas.”

The chamber is again hosting a tamale cookoff at this year’s De Queen Christmas Parade. Everyone is invited to compete for the title of best tamales in Sevier County. Registration rules, prize info and other details are available on the chamber’s Facebook page as well as at

In addition, De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown will host the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting ceremony this evening beginning at 5 p.m. in the new pavilion in downtown De Queen next to city hall. In addition to the lighting of the official City of De Queen Christmas Tree, the ceremony will also include a performance by the De Queen High School Jazz Band and refreshments provided by First United Methodist Church of De Queen.

Other events across the listening area:

In other area Christmas parades, Foreman will host its parade this Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. The Little River Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Ashdown Christmas parade on Monday, Dec. 4 beginning at 6 p.m. as well.

The City of Idabel will hots its 32nd City of Lights Christmas Parade tonight beginning at 7 p.m. The Chamber will also host a small navtivity lighting at the Gladys Hill Park at 5 p.m.

Christmas market in De Queen this Saturday     12/01/23

DE QUEEN – A “Magical Country Christmas and Market” will be held this Saturday at the East Room event center in De Queen.

The market is scheduled from 2-8 p.m. with organizers describing it as an event for the whole family to enjoy. In addition to 16 vendors selling a variety of wares ahead of Christmas, the market will also include face painting for the kids, a pancake bar, a visit by the Grinch and the KDQN Treasure Chest from 2-4 p.m.

Wares will include boutique clothing and accessories, baked goods, scentsies, bath & body products, wreaths and more. Organizers said the locally-made and sold goods will be perfect gifts for this Christmas.

CASA of the Ouachitas will also be onsite with its gift-wrapping services by donation to raise money for its support of local children in the foster care system.

The East Room is located at 202 W. De Queen Avenue in downtown De Queen (across from the Lofton Family Clinic).

AGFC: recognize first harvest with this Christmas with certificate     12/01/23

Submitted by AGFC

Want to memorialize those unforgettable first Arkansas hunting and moments? The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a special way to say, “Welcome to the hunting community,” with customizable certificates that can be given to a person for their first success in the field.

When your new hunter connects with their first duck or deer, just visit and scroll to the bottom of the page to download a fillable PDF document. Versions are available to include an image of the young hunter and their harvest or you can use one of the AGFC’s standard certificates with an image of an animal in the field. Fill out the document online, print it and present it to the successful hunter. Versions also are available for a hunter’s first rabbit, squirrel, dove or fish. 

UAEX: protecting against virus spread this holiday season     12/01/23

Submitted by UofA Extension Services

As families and friends gather to celebrate the holidays, it’s important to protect against COVID-19 and the flu by getting updated booster shots for both illnesses. For older adults and infants, RSV also poses a dangerous health risk.

There are three important things we can do to help keep ourselves and our families safe during holiday gatherings,” said Bryan Mader, extension health specialist and assistant professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “First, encourage friends and family who you will be seeing around the holidays to get their flu shots and their updated COVID-19 booster if they have not done so already. While we have seen a reduction in COVID-19 cases over the last several months, we are seeing an uptick in the number of flu cases and other respiratory diseases like RSV, which makes the flu and COVID-19 vaccines all that much more important.”

Mader said that secondly, if one is not fully vaccinated, has a weakened immune system or plans to be around friends or family members who have weakened immune systems, he or she should consider wearing a mask when not eating, or holding gatherings outdoors to reduce close contact with others.

Third, and probably the easiest, wash your hands regularly,” Mader said. “We all became professional hand washers during COVID-19, and continuing this practice can help defend against flu, COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.”

As difficult as it might be to miss getting together with family and friends, Mader said that “if you are sick, you should stay home and plan to make alternative arrangements, such as virtual gatherings, or rescheduling in-person holiday events until recovered.”

Protecting against RSV

Mader said that RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia and can be dangerous for infants and older adults.

On June 29, 2023, the Centers for Disease Control recommended two new RSV vaccines for adults aged 60 and up,” Mader said. “The single-dose vaccines — one developed by Pfizer, called Abrysvo, and the other developed by GSK, called Arexvy — were determined to be equally effective by the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The vaccines are currently available to the public and can be given by your doctor or pharmacist.”

In August, the CDC approved and recommended the use of Beyfortus, also known as nirsevimab, which is a new monoclonal antibody treatment for infants and toddlers to protect against severe illness caused by RSV.

“Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that mimic the antibodies our bodies naturally produce,” Mader said. “While there is not currently an approved pediatric vaccine, monoclonal antibody treatments — such as Beyfortus — can provide an extra layer of defense that helps fight RSV infections and protect infants’ lungs. The treatment has been shown to reduce the risk of both hospitalizations and healthcare visits for RSV in infants by about 80 percent.”

Mader said Beyfortus has begun its rollout to pharmacies nationwide, although insurance acceptance still varies. One dose of Beyfortus can protect infants for five months, the length of an average RSV season.

A dose of Beyfortus is recommended for:

  • All infants younger than eight months in their first RSV season
  • Children between the ages of eight months and 19 months who are at increased risk of severe RSV disease, such as severely immunocompromised children, in their second RSV season.

Once the vaccines are available, adults aged 60 and up will be eligible to receive an RSV vaccine after consulting with their healthcare provider. The RSV vaccine is given as a single dose, and there is no maximum age for getting the vaccine.

Adults who are 60 years and older should talk with their healthcare provider about whether RSV vaccination is right for them,” Mader said. “Your healthcare provider might recommend RSV vaccination, especially if you have a weakened immune system from illness, such as leukemia or HIV infection, or from medications, such as treatment for cancer or organ transplant, as well as if you have chronic medical conditions or live in a nursing home.

If any of those apply to you, you might be at higher risk of severe RSV disease, and an RSV vaccine could help prevent serious illness,” Mader said. “Even if you had RSV infection in the past, RSV vaccination can help prevent future respiratory disease from RSV. Generally, if you have a moderate or severe illness, you should wait until you recover before getting an RSV vaccine. But if you have a minor illness, such as a cold, you can get an RSV vaccine.”

Get boosted for COVID-19 and flu

From around September to March — though the season can be longer in certain parts of the country — is typically the window for flu season, Mader said.

As the weather cools down and people are spending more and more time indoors, including at larger holiday gatherings, flu is certainly one of the most common health concerns,” he said. “Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next. This is to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be common during the upcoming flu season.”

Mader said everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. For those at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, the vaccination is especially important. These groups include:

  • Adults 65 and older
  • Adults with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease
  • Those who are pregnant
  • Children younger than five years, but especially younger than 2 years old.

Mader said it is recommended, and safe, to get both the flu shot and the COVID-19 booster shot at the same time.

While the COVID-19 burden is currently lower than at previous points in the pandemic, Mader said the absolute number of hospitalizations and deaths remains high. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk for severe illness, but children and adults with no underlying medical conditions can still experience severe illness due to COVID-19.

Last fall and winter virus season, people who received the 2022-2023 COVID-19 vaccine had greater protection against severe illness and hospitalization than those who did not receive that vaccine,” Mader said. “We are still at risk of COVID-19 because the virus continues to change, and new variants emerge. Additionally, protection from COVID-19 vaccines and infection declines over time. An updated COVID-19 vaccine provides enhanced protection against the variants currently responsible for most hospitalizations in the United States.”

In September, the CDC recommended a COVID-19 vaccine updated for 2023-2024 for everyone aged 6 months and older to protect against serious illness.

The main reason to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is to protect yourself against severe illness, hospitalization and even death,” Mader said. “COVID-19 vaccines also reduce the chance of having long COVID. The updated COVID-19 vaccines are similar to earlier COVID-19 vaccines that were safely administered to hundreds of millions of Americans during the pandemic.”

Mention of brand names does not imply endorsement by the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Lace Lane Festival of Lights is Dec. 15-16     11/30/23

DE QUEEN – A hugely popular local Christmas tradition is returning to De Queen this December. That is, of course, the Lace Lane Festival of Lights.

The Lace Lane Festival of Lights is an always popular and local Christmas tradition for many families in the area. Throughout the Christmas season and into New Year’s Day, the loop, located two miles north of De Queen on Ninth Street, is turned into a wonderland of Christmas lights enjoyed by children and adults alike. The display features literally thousands of Christmas decorations and many more lights.

The Festival of Lights will be held Dec. 15-16 from 6-8 p.m. both evenings. Everyone is invited to come see the lights, meet with Santa and take photos. There will be gifts for the kids as well. Donations will be accepted to help send the De Queen High School Quiz Bowl Team to the National Competition in 2025.

Homeowners along Lace Lane put a tremendous amount of effort decorating in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It all started more than two decades ago when Thomas and Donna Sweeten began transforming their property into a dazzling array of Christmas lights and decorations. From a dragon in a pond to a full choir, a variety of nativity scenes and over 100 Santa figures, the scene is something everyone can enjoy. And respect too, because the work that goes into decorating the homes on Lace Lane, and especially the Sweeten’s, is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Thomas has said in the past the decorations are his family’s way of sharing their enjoyment of Christmas for the whole community.

If you can’t make it to the Festival of Lights on Dec. 15-16 no worries: the lights are up now and will be available for viewing through Christmas and the New Year.

Second night of DQ Lions Club radio auction is this evening     11/30/23

DE QUEEN – Members of the De Queen Lions Club, in partnership with #1 Country KDQN 92.1, will host the second night of their annual two-day radio auction fundraiser this evening beginning at 5 p.m.

The auction will begin at five both evenings live in the lobby of First State Bank of De Queen on Collin Raye Drive. Members of the public can participate by listening to KDQN 92.1 the nights of the fundraiser or by visiting the lobby in person.

Area merchants have donated numerous items to be auctioned off including some great Christmas gift ideas with all proceeds going toward the many worthwhile De Queen Lions Club community projects.

Arkansas duck hunters can help stop spread of invasive species     11/30/23

Submitted by AGFC

Most public duck hunting areas throughout Arkansas are still exhibiting drier than normal conditions from the effects of a summerlong drought, making duck hunters scramble to find the water and the ducks. Hunters can help keep Arkansas’s lakes and rivers healthy by taking a few moments at the end of each hunting day to inspect their boats, trailers and hunting equipment for vegetation and other stowaways that could spread to new areas and destroy wildlife habitat.

The nomadic habits of ducks and duck hunters can make the perfect distribution system for unwanted aquatic invasive species, such as giant salvinia, water hyacinth and alligatorweed, which can reproduce quickly, choke out access to waterways and smother native vegetation that provides food for ducks and other wildlife.

Matt Horton, Aquatic Nuisance Species Program coordinator for the AGFC, says plants like giant salvinia, water hyacinth and Cuban bulrush can be easily transported as plant fragments or seeds clinging to decoys, decoy bags, boats, trailers and the mud clinging to waders. Zebra mussels, which are found in the Arkansas River and the upper 40 miles of the Bull Shoals Tailwater and Bull Shoals Lake, can hitch a ride on plants, boat hulls and motors. The larvae of the zebra mussel can even survive short periods in livewells, bilge areas of boats and bait buckets where they can remain in small puddles of water.  

A list of the most common aquatic nuisance species in Arkansas is available at as well as a hotline to report new infestations of these plants and animals as hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts find them.

Giant salvinia has been introduced into five Arkansas lakes since 2017, and is currently established in lakes Erling and Columbia,” Horton said. “If someone is boating on these lakes, for any purpose, there’s a high likelihood they’ve come into contact with this invasive plant.”

According to an AGFC-funded study by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, waters as far north as central Arkansas are at moderate risk for giant salvinia becoming established.

Lakes within 50 miles of the Arkansas-Louisiana border are at the highest risk, including Millwood, Felsenthal, Mercer Bayou and Longpool,” Horton said. “Based on future climate change predictions, over half the state could be in the high-risk category of infestation by giant salvinia by 2040.”

Horton explained that the help of duck hunters is essential in preventing further spread of invasive species, as they tend to seek out shallower, hidden areas where invasive species can become established and go unnoticed until they spread to other parts of a lake or river.

Aquatic nuisance species are nearly impossible to eliminate once they’ve been allowed to get a foothold in a new body of water,” Horton said. “Not only can they block access to prime waterfowl hunting areas, but they can also outgrow and displace native plants that provide valuable food and habitat for waterfowl.”

Hunters can help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species by following the three-step process of clean, drain and dry anytime they move to new water:

  • Clean all equipment – Remove all plants and pieces of vegetation, seeds and mud off your waders, decoys, blind, truck, boat and trailer, and wash all equipment and gear with a high-pressure washer. 
  • Drain your boat – Drain all water by removing all drain plugs from your boat when you leave the boat ramp.
  • Dry – Let all gear dry, preferably for five days, before visiting new waters. If there isn’t enough time to air dry between trips, use a towel to wipe dry remaining wet surfaces.

In addition to practicing clean, drain and dry, waterfowl hunters should pay particular attention to decoys, decoy anchors and swivels that can snag invasive aquatic plants.

Horton also reminds anyone using a boat that, according to the AGFC’s Code of Regulations, all drain plugs must be removed at the boat ramp when leaving a body of water and during transport, including those in live wells and bilge areas, where invasive species and pathogens may lurk.

Visit for more information about aquatic invasive species in Arkansas, how to report new sightings of possible invasive species and what hunters and other boaters can do to help protect our waters.

De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown to host Tree Lighting Ceremony this Friday     11/29/23
DE QUEEN – The City of De Queen is inviting everyone out to kick off Sevier County’s Christmas Parade weekend with the Mayor’s Tree Lighting Ceremony this Friday, Dec. 1.
Mayor Jeff Brown and the City of De Queen will host this new tradition in the community from 5-6 p.m. at the new downtown pavilion, located next to city hall. Attendees will be able to enjoy music from the De Queen High School Jazz Band as well as hot chocolate and cookies provided by First United Methodist Church. The lighting of the official City of De Queen Christmas Tree will follow.
KDQN Regional Sales Manager Jennifer Higgins will emcee the event.

The 16-foot tree was donated by David and Lillian Pate of De Queen.

Then, enjoy the “Classic Christmas” festivities on Saturday, Dec. 2. At 4 p.m., come enjoy music at the Sevier County Courthouse as you stroll and shop the vendors and downtown businesses. There will also be a live nativity scene, a cookoff to determine the best tamales in Sevier County and an Ugly Sweater Contest.

Parade day starts at 1 p.m. in Horatio, continues at 3 p.m. in Lockesburg and wraps up with the De Queen Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. The parade will include an appearance by Santa, who will then set up in the Santa House on the courthouse square.

More information and registration forms can be found at the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and website, or by calling (870) 584-3225.

Highway Commissioner discusses cost challenges, importance of highway tax     11/29/23

DE QUEEN – When it comes to meeting the need for highway and bridge improvements in Arkansas, there’s one limiting factor as old as time itself: cost.

The ability to pay for maintenance on existing infrastructure – let alone the construction of new projects – has never kept up with the need to do so. Even Ancient Rome, often credited with creating the first publicly-funded road system, couldn’t keep up.

The prospect of being able to do so in Arkansas, now and into the future, isn’t much brighter.

Record-setting levels of inflation following the COVID-19 pandemic have burdened every Arkansan – including the planners behind the Arkansas Department of Transportation’s goal of maintaining and improving the state’s highway infrastructure.

During an interview earlier this week, Arkansas Highway Commissioner David Haak discussed the simple but all-encompassing challenge posed by increasing costs in basic material. Haak represents the southern third of Arkansas – from the Ouachitas to the Delta – and said the challenge is even more acute in his region.

“Just look at asphalt,” said Haak. “The price has gone nuts. And in the southern part, asphalt is higher. Asphalt is made from oil and aggregate, and we don’t have aggregate in most of south Arkansas. So, it becomes more expensive.”

As an example, Haak described one recent project estimate: to install a concrete culvert across a highway. The planner anticipated construction could reach as high as $1 million. That was to install a single concrete culvert on one small stretch of the more than 16,000 miles in the Arkansas Highway System.

“We have to spend our money wisely,” said Haak. “We have more state highway mileage than Illinois, Tennessee and even California. And all of those states have more population and more money than we do. So things are stretched here, but we’re working on it.”

One recent development raising Haak’s hopes is the decision by Arkansas voters in 2020 to make the state’s 0.5 percent highway sales tax permanent. The tax would have expired this year had the measure not passed.

Haak understands the political risk behind any tax increase – and the burden it can carry, particularly for business owners like himself – but adds that the tax was necessary to try and meet the growing infrastructure needs in Arkansas.

“Nobody loves a tax, but for our roads that half-cent sales tax has raised some much needed money,” said Haak. “How the highway department can plan and budget and look at the roads that need the most work and know they’ll have some money to do it. I think you can now see more roads being resurfaced and improved thanks to this tax.”

It’s important, however, to put into perspective how great the need for highway funding is in Arkansas. The Arkansas Department of Transportation would need to set aside its entire budget for the next six years just to complete the 136 miles of I-49 between Fort Smith and Texarkana. And that’s at current projected costs.

That’s again why Haak praises Arkansans for passing the permanent highway tax measure. As owner of First Tape & Seal in Texarkana, he sees daily how vital highway infrastructure is to the state’s economy.

“We get trucks in every day and if they couldn’t roll, I’d be out of business,” said Haak. “There’d be no groceries on the shelves, no way to do business. And without roads, they can’t get to where they need to be. We pay the half cent, but at the same time, if the roads are in better shape, if you can eliminate potholes, when you see you’re getting something out of it, it makes sense. And I see us getting better roads because of the sales tax.”

As a Texarkana native, Haak stresses that his role on the Arkansas Highway Commission will be focused largely on the needs for improved highway infrastructure in southern Arkansas. As he mentioned in the first part of this interview, it’s an area of the state sometimes forgotten among the booming northwest and central parts of Arkansas.

“I get to look at a 10,000-foot view and see where the money is being spent across the entire state,” said Haak. “And I see money being spent across the entire southern part of the state [on highway improvement]. I’m not worried about Northwest Arkansas, the central part of Arkansas, or the northeast. As a highway commissioner I take all roads seriously, but those areas of the state are doing fine. My thoughts are on south Arkansas. I guess I am very protectionist for south Arkansas.”

De Queen Health & Wellness to provide free covid vaccines     11/29/23

DE QUEEN – De Queen Health and Wellness Group will be hosting a free covid vaccine clinic at Santa Barbara Catholic Church this Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

Flu Shots and RSV shots will also be available with zero co-pay for those with insurance and for a nominal fee for cash pay patients.

The covid vaccine is free for everyone regardless of insurance. Translator will be available to assist. The CDC recommends everyone to get their covid vaccine or related booster yearly. The vaccine is valued at $150.

Lions, Leopards trade wins at Tuesday night basketball contest     11/29/23

HORATIO – The De Queen senior teams traveled to Horatio Tuesday night and split the contests, with the Leopards defeating the Lions 47-40, while the Lady Lions knocked off the Lady Leopards 52-41.

The Leopards led 24-17 at the half, increased the lead to as many as 11 points in the second half, and settled with the 47-40 victory. Sam Graham, our McDonalds Player of the Night, scored 25 points, including four three-pointers. Graham added 12 rebounds and was credited with five steals. Luke Dawson added eight points as the Leopards won their first game of the season to improve to 1 and 2 on the year. Trey Mason led Horatio with 18 points. Izzy Tinejaro added 10.

In the girls contest, it was a tight first half with Horatio taking a 23-21 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Lady Lions came out hot in the third quarter, scoring the first 15 points to take control. The Lady Leopards rallied late and pulled to within three points at one point, but the Horatio girls notched the 52-41 victory. It was the first loss of the season for the De Queen girls who fell to 2 and 1. Emma Ray led Horatio with 18 points. Katie Glasgow added 15. For the Lady Leopards, three sophomores finished in double figures. Emma Chambers and Landri Ligon scored 13 each. Kate Lindsey added 12. The Lady Leopards never could find their shooting touch on the night as they shot only 24% from the field and 45% from the free throw line.

The De Queen teams compete in the Savage Classic at Broken Bow Friday and Saturday. The Lady Leopards take the floor at around 7:00 Friday night, followed by the Leopards at around 8:30.

Sevier County woman charged with fleeing after pursuit thru Ashdown     11/28/23
ASHDOWN – A Sevier County woman has been charged with felony fleeing after allegedly leading authorities on a vehicle pursuit during an incident in Ashdown earlier this month.

According to records filed in the Little River County Circuit Court on Monday, 47-year-old Alicia Wolcott was arrested Nov. 8 by officers with the Ashdown Police Department. The arrest affidavit states that officers attempted to stop Wolcott’s vehicle for a traffic violation when “she began to flee and drive reckless through the city of Ashdown.”
Officers said Wolcott ran through five stop signs and drove 80mph in a posted 35mph zone. During the pursuit, Wolcott is alleged to have narrowly missed colliding with several other vehicles on the highway including one of the pursuing police cars.

The pursuit ended several miles later and Wolcott was taken into custody. She is facing a felony charge of fleeing. The offense is upgraded to a Class C felony if the individual fleeing “creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person” and can carry a sentence of three to 10 years imprisonment.

Bond was set at $5,000.

Woman charged with stealing more than $5k from Foreman Band Booster Club     11/28/23

FOREMAN – An investigation into missing funds at a Foreman-based school organization has resulted in the arrest of a Little River County woman.

According to the arrest affidavit, 39-year-old Tiffany Sanders is charged with misusing more than $5,000 in funds raised by the Foreman Band Booster Club. She was arrested Nov. 12 and formal charges were filed yesterday in the Little River County Circuit Court. She is charged with a single count of felony theft of property.

Sanders allegedly admitted to stealing the funds via an ATM using a debit card belonging to the booster club in addition to using the “cash back” option when making purchases at Dollar General. Investigators said the missing funds are expected to exceed $5,000.

The investigation was conducted by the Little River County Sheriff’s Office.

During her arraignment, the court set Sanders’ bond at $2,500.

Hwy Commissioner David Haak discusses I-49 during visit to DQ     11/28/23

DE QUEEN – The newest member of the Arkansas Highway Commission hopes his role on it will help raise awareness on the need for more vital infrastructure improvements in southern Arkansas.

As a lifelong resident of Texarkana, Arkansas, and as business owner, David Haak intimately knows the transportation challenges facing the southern half of the state. When it comes to issues like infrastructure investment, Haak said there’s a general feeling that the southern third of Arkansas is missing out.

“I hate to say it this way, but it’s like the rest of the state has gone off and left south Arkansas,” said Haak before a presentation he gave at Monday’s meeting of the De Queen Rotary Club. “Northwest Arkansas, the central part of the state, even Jonesboro, is doing really well. But the southwest, the southeast and the middle are not doing that well.”

Haak’s appointment to the Arkansas Highway Commission earlier this year marks his third statewide appointment. Other appointments included to the Arkansas Waterways Commission and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. He also served as a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999-2004.

The Arkansas Highway Commission is the administrative and regulatory board over the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Its five commissioners are appointed by the governor to serve 10-year terms.

Haak is the first commissioner from Southwest Arkansas since Prissy Hickerson of Texarkana completed her term in 2007.

Haak understands that infrastructure investment is closely tied to economic development. Industries, logistic chains, agriculture and tourism all depend on a quality transportation system.

“I consider roads a big part of infrastructure because you can’t get anywhere without them,” said Haak. “Wherever I travel in south Arkansas, what I hear repeatedly is that if you want industry, you got to have good roads. And when most industries look, they want an interstate or to be close to one. If you’re more than 10 miles from an interstate, forget it.”

For Southwest Arkansas, Haak said the critical project is, of course, I-49. The decades-long project to connect New Orleans with the Canadian border remains a work-in-progress, particularly in Arkansas. The 1,700-mile interstate is around 80 percent complete.

For Arkansans, the most glaring gap in the completion of I-49 is the stretch from Fort Smith to De Queen and on to Texarkana. Lack of funding and soaring construction costs have all but halted completion of those 136 miles. The construction of the bridge over the Arkansas River, by itself, is estimated at $300-400 million dollars. Consequently, no timeline for funding or construction currently exists.

Nonetheless, the completion of I-49 through Arkansas would change the economic landscape of Arkansas, especially in the southwest corner.

“For western Arkansas, it would be like turning a light switch on because of all the traffic from the port, from Houston, bringing all kinds of goods and opportunities for jobs,” he said. “One of the biggest problems we have, is when I first became aware of I-49 in 1999 or so, it was like a $1.2 billion project [to connect Fort Smith to Texarkana]. Now it’s $5.5 to 5.7 billion. We can’t even keep up with the costs.”

For I-49 to reach the finish line, the project desperately needs more federal assistance.

“It will require some federal funding,” Haak said. “That’s what really finished I-49 from Texarkana south to the Louisiana line. [The project] isn’t forgotten, it just takes a lot of money. And at the rate inflation is going, it’s like it’s faster than we can come up with.”

I-49 was one of several topics Haak discussed in our interview. Before speaking to De Queen Rotarians on Monday, he also touched on several other important topics including local highway projects in Sevier County and the future of funding for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. We’ll feature the next part of that interview on Wednesday.

Cossatot FFA shoots to the top at state trap tourney     11/28/23

The Cossatot River FFA Trap Shooting Team competed Nov. 17 in Jacksonville for the 2023 Arkansas FFA State Trap Shooting Contest. The team earned several accolades during the competition, including First Place Southern District and Third Place Overall Squad.

WICKES – The Cossatot River High School chapter of FFA recently competed in a statewide trap shooting contest and ended the tournament as one of the top teams in the state.

The Cossatot River FFA Trap Shooting Team competed Nov. 17 in Jacksonville for the 2023 Arkansas FFA State Trap Shooting Contest. The team earned several accolades during the competition, including First Place Southern District and Third Place Overall Squad.

In addition, Cossatot FFA members Flint Dickerson and Justin Bell tied for third in the southern district, each shooting 47 of 50 targets. Brodie Dickerson shot 46 of 50; Tayden Broach, 42 of 50; and Thomas Goethals, 40 of 50.

Other team members competing in Jacksonville included Cooper Hayes, Spencer Hammer, Landon Case and Gabe Bell.

SAR to host ceremony honoring an Arkansas Patriot of the American Revolution      11/28/23

Submitted by The Sons of the American Revolution

On Dec. 2, at 1 p.m., the DeSoto Trace Chapter of the Arkansas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution will honor Captain William Jenkins as a Patriot of the American Revolution.

The ceremony will take place at the Murfreesboro Cemetery in Pike County, Arkansas. Captain Jenkins was born February, 19, 1762 in Maryland and died in Murfreesboro on October 14, 1842. He filed for his pension on August 3, 1832 in Jackson County, Alabama.

The ceremony will include a black powder musket salute and a bag piper. SAR members from the South-Central District (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas) have been invited to take part in the ceremonies. Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution will also be in attendance.

Period attire will be worn by SAR and DAR members. The public is invited to see this colorful and dignified tribute to America’s first veterans.

Collision involving train claims life of Ashdown man     11/27/23
ASHDOWN – An Ashdown man lost his life last week after his vehicle was struck by a train.
According to the Arkansas State Police, 78-year-old Charles Young was traveling north on U.S. Highway 71 in Ashdown on Nov. 21 when he failed to yield at a railroad crossing and was struck by a train. The accident occurred around 7 p.m.
Young was traveling in a 2013 Chevy Equinox. He was taken to Little River Memorial Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Road and weather conditions were reported as clear and dry by the investigating state trooper at the time of the accident.
Area Christmas parade season kicks off this Saturday     11/27/23
DE QUEEN – This Saturday communities across Sevier County will be hosting their parades ahead of the Christmas holiday. The day will begin with the annual Christmas parade hosted by the City of Horatio at 1 p.m. through main street in Horatio.
Horatio’s parade will be followed by the City of Lockesburg’s Christmas parade at 3 p.m.
Area residents are invited to wrap up the day with the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas parade around the Sevier County Courthouse square in downtown De Queen. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. with vendors and activities around the square. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.
Santa will be appearing alongside the lighting of the Courthouse before the parade. Chamber officials say with everyone’s help this will be a Christmas parade to remember in our community. The 2023 De Queen Christmas Parade theme is a “Classic Christmas.”

The chamber is again hosting a tamale cookoff at this year’s De Queen Christmas Parade. Everyone is invited to compete for the title of best tamales in Sevier County. Registration rules, prize info and other details are available on the chamber’s Facebook page as well as at

In addition, De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown will host the annual Mayor’s Tree Lighting cermony this Friday, Dec. 1. The event begins at 6 p.m. in the new pavilion in downtown De Queen and will include the lighting of the City of De Queen Christmas Tree.

In other area Christmas parades, Foreman will host its parade this Saturday beginning at 6 p.m. The Little River Chamber of Commerce is hosting that parade as well as the annual Ashdown Christmas parade on Monday, Dec. 4 beginning at 6 p.m. as well. For more information contact the Little River Chamber of Commerce by calling (870) 898-2758 or by emailing

Ashdown Panthers fall to Harding in third round of football playoffs     11/27/23
By “Voice of the Panthers” Jim Cross
The Ashdown Panthers went on the road with great confidence, armed with two come from behind playoff victories, to battle the undefeated Harding Academy Wildcats in the third round of the Class 4A State Playoffs.

Ashdown struck first with a 28 yard touchdown pass from Grayson Porter to Braeden Walton to give the Panthers a short-lived 6 to 0 lead. The Wildcats then scored six unanswered touchdowns in the first half to take a 42 to 6 lead at halftime highlighted by five touchdown passes from quarterback Owen Miller.

The sportsmanship rule was in effect and the Panthers scored once in the second half as Harding Academy won the contest to 42 to 14.

For Ashdown, getting to the third round of the playoffs was a huge accomplishment for a team that lost five out of six games during one stretch of the season. The Senior Class did a great job of holding the team together and will always be remembered for this special season.

On offense Braeden Walton had six catches for 137 yards and a touchdown.  On defense Nash Brown had an amazing game with 12 tackles.  Caleb Blakenship, Ty Marks and Hayden Zeigler also played well.  The Panthers end the season with six wins and six losses.  I was grateful to be a part of the ride and I thank everyone at 102.1 The Good Path for their support.

Lighting of the LRCO Courthouse is tonight    11/21/23
ASHDOWN – The Little River County Chamber of Commerce will present the annual Lighting of the courthouse this evening at 6 p.m.

Everyone is invited to join the chamber for the always popular Christmas light display at the Little River Courthouse in Ashdown. The event will include special Christmas music, presentation of the Land O’Lights Pageant winners and the reading of the Christmas Story. Christmas carols will also be sung during the event.
Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided and Santa Claus will be there to greet children.
DHS senior Kaitlin Villeda earns UCA scholarship    11/21/23

Kaitlin Villeda

DE QUEEN – Kaitlin Villeda, a senior at De Queen High School, has been awarded the University Scholarship from the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) valued at $18,000.
Kaitlin is a member of the De Queen High School chapters of the National Honor Society, FCCLA and FBLA. She also serves on the high school Quizbowl team, TSA, Student Council, as Senior Class President, Spanish Club, as Interact President and National Art Honor Society treasurer. She has received the Rotary Academic Award and was also named to the All Region Band and Choir.

Kaitlin plans to attend the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and major in Dietetics.

She is the daughter of Jose and Cynthia Villeda.


Carbon monoxide threat rises as temps drop; DQFD offers free alarms     11/21/23

Submitted by UAEX

Hunting safety encompasses many things, including firearms safety, proper handling of game and a working knowledge of emergency first aid. But as temperatures drop and fall hunting season enters full swing, Arkansans should also be aware of a danger that can sometimes accompany modern efforts to stay warm: carbon monoxide poisoning.

Jesse Bocksnick, extension 4-H outdoor skills coordinator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said carbon monoxide, often a byproduct of certain kinds of heating units, can kill with little warning.

If you get carbon monoxide poisoning, you may not even realize it,” Bocksnick said. “It can happen in just a few minutes.”

Inhaling carbon monoxide can impair your body’s ability to absorb oxygen, effectively suffocating you. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates that at least 420 people in the United States die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, and more than 100,000 Americans visit emergency rooms with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Earlier this month, a father, 46, and son, 26, were both discovered dead in a cabin in Sharp County of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. Investigators said the cabin reeked of propane fumes, and a propane stove was found in the “on” position, its tank empty.

Bocksnick said that many hunters use small propane heaters in hunting blinds when temperatures are cold. These heaters run off of small, 1-pound propane tanks. In blinds, which are notoriously drafty, carbon monoxide build-up is typically not a problem, but they may present other concerns, such as fire risk due to tipping.

A lot of newer heaters have anti-tipping sensors, which will shut the heater off if it tips over, or is moved too quickly,” he said. “Be sure and test that out at home. If your heater uses any kind of filter, inspect that as well. Make sure all your safety features are functioning properly before you even get out to the woods.”

If using a propane heater in a more enclosed space, such as a cabin or camper, Bocksnick recommended bringing a carbon monoxide detector with fresh batteries.

Some heaters, such as those using “forced air,” are completely inappropriate for anything other than very well-ventilated areas.

They don’t work that well in a deer blind, and are very dangerous, as far as both heat and carbon monoxide,” Bocksnick said.

Silent Killer: What You Should Know about Carbon Monoxide” is a free publication available from the Cooperative Extension Service, the education and outreach arm of the Division of Agriculture. It details the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Low level poisoning:
  • Tiredness in healthy people
  • Chest pain in people with heart disease
  • Medium level poisoning:
  • Flulike symptoms including nausea, dizziness, headache and confusion
  • Impaired vision and coordination
  • Breathing difficulty and increased blood pressure
  • Skin with a reddish cast
  • High level poisoning:
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Death

The De Queen Fire Department hosts a program to provide free carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms for free to residents of the City of De Queen. For more information on the program, visit the fire station or call (870) 584-7224.

Cross Point Cowboy Church to host live nativity scene     11/21/23

HOWARD COUNTY – Cross Point Cowboy Church will host the Birth of Christ 2023 Live Nativity in December and the evening is sure to be a must-watch event just ahead of Christmas. The event is scheduled for Dec. 15-16 beginning at 6 p.m.

The live nativity scene will feature live animals as well as a cast of over 100 fully-costumed participants. The event will be open to the public and completely free of charge. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available at the entrance.

Organizers invite everyone to come and journey through the streets of Bethlehem from the birth of Christ to the Cross, an event the whole family can enjoy. The event will include sights and sounds from times past as visitors walk past portrayals from the streets of Bethlehem.

Golf cart rides will be available for those who have difficulty walking.

Cross Point Cowboy Church is located in between Lockesburg and Nashville on Highway 371.

Click-it-or-Ticket campaign over Thanksgiving holiday     11/21/23

This Thanksgiving holiday, Arkansas law enforcement is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on a high visibility Click It or Ticket seat belt awareness campaign.

From Nov. 20-26, law enforcement agencies will be working together to reduce the number of fatalities that occur when vehicle passengers fail to buckle up. Law enforcement officers will be taking a no-excuses approach to seat belt law enforcement, writing citations both day and night to save lives.

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2021 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, November 29), there were 361 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the nation. Of these fatalities, half (50%) were unrestrained. Additionally, not wearing a seat belt proved to be deadly at any time of the day during the holiday weekend: 52% of those killed in nighttime crashes were unbuckled, and 46% of those killed in daytime crashes also were unbuckled. These deaths represent needless tragedies for families across America and may have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.

Buckle your seat belt to stay safe and obey the law,” said Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Colonel Mike Hagar.  “Whether you’re driving cross-country or across town, whether it is day or night, it is essential that you wear a seat belt. It’s your best defense if involved in a crash and may mean the difference between life and death. This Thanksgiving, and every day of the year, remember: Click It. Don’t Risk It.”

The Click It or Ticket campaign is designed to save lives by making sure all Arkansas drivers and passengers get the message to wear their seat belts. Don’t risk a ticket this holiday season, or worse your life, by not wearing a seat belt. Click It or Ticket.

De Queen Rotarians install new playground equipment in honor of 100th year    11/20/23
DE QUEEN – Herman Dierks Park is home to a brand-new inclusive playground equipment thanks to a recently-completed project by the De Queen Rotary Club in honor of its centennial year.

The equipment was recently installed at De Queen’s Herman Dierks Park near the existing playground structure. In line with standards set by the American Disabilities Act, the equipment is designed for physically-challenged children who may otherwise be unable to use the existing structure.
Michael Collins served as point-man for the Rotary Club project. A Rotarian himself, Collins said the club was looking for a way to celebrate its 100th anniversary in a way for the public to enjoy.
After meeting with Mayor Jeff Brown and Parks Director Gaytha Bakenhus, we decided the inclusive playground would be a great way to honor the 100th anniversary of the Rotary Club in De Queen and provide something for some kids in our community who may not get to enjoy what’s already at the park,” said Collins.
The music-focused equipment cost a total of $16,000 to purchase and install. The funds were raised through membership dues and several fundraising projects, especially through the sale of the club’s ISO-approved solar eclipse glasses. The glasses are being sold ahead of next year’s total solar eclipse and enough was raised already this year to fund the new equipment.
That really was our big fundraiser for this project and it was really successful,” he said. “We’ll have them for sale for $3 all the way up to the eclipse itself.”

The inclusive equipment is accessible during regular public hours at Herman Dierks Park. The Rotary Club of De Queen hosted a celebration of its 100th in October where members shared history and reminisced on the club’s many community projects over the years.

Find out more about the De Queen Rotary Club and its efforts in the community by visiting the organization’s Facebook page.

Ashdown Panthers advance to next round of playoffs    11/20/23

DEWITT – The Ashdown Panthers went on the road Friday evening to battle a 10-win Dewitt Dragons team in the second round of the Class 4-A state playoffs and rallied for a 30-28 victory. 

Early on, it looked as if Dewitt would make it 11 wins on the year as they jumped out to a 21 to 0 lead and in some ways looked effortless as their offense was clicking on all cylinders. 

The Panthers scored a late second quarter touchdown with 53 seconds to go in the half on a 12-yard pass from Grayson Porter to Caleb Blakenship to cut the lead to 21 to 8 at halftime which gave the Panthers a little momentum going into the locker room.  Dewitt had 175 yards rushing at the half and the Panthers appeared to have no answer.

However, Ashdown came out of the locker room and scored three touchdowns in the second half and held the Dragons to only one score to came away with an improbable 30 to 28 victory to advance to round three of the Class 4-A state playoffs. 

The Panthers haven’t been able to settle on a kicker for extra point attempts and so the Panthers always go for a two-point conversion after a touchdown. During the game Friday night, Ashdown converted on 3 two point plays and Dewitt made 4 extra point kicks, and that ended up being the final margin for victory.

Quarterback Grayson Porter had another amazing game with 122 yards passing and three touchdowns along with 134 yards rushing. Caleb Blakenship had two big catches, along with outstanding blocking on the edge, stellar play on defense, and his kickoffs put the Dragons in bad field position several times.

The offensive line of Wyatt Jones, Avry Buster, Colton Rowe, Radarius Norman and Gary Jerkins played outstanding.  On defense, Ty Marks led the way along with great performances from Tremell Williams, Nash Brown, Hayden Zeigler and Tatum Johnson.

The Panthers will travel to Searcy to battle Harding Academy the day after Thanksgiving at 7 p.m., and the action can be heard on 102.1 The Good Path with the Panther Pregame Show beginning at 6:30.

Friendship Baptist hosting meal giveaway on Thanksgiving Day    11/20/23

DE QUEEN – A local church is gearing up to present its annual Thanksgiving Day meal giveaway this Thursday for local families in need – an event they’ve hosted for over a decade and one which has provided meals to hundreds of people in the area during that time.

Friendship Baptist Church will host its 12th Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, Nov. 23. Meals will be served beginning at 10:30 that morning and continue through 12 noon.

Deliveries will be offered to homebound individuals in both De Queen and Horatio as well as first responders working Thanksgiving Day in Sevier County.

Ashlie Shelton, a member of Friendship Baptist Church, shared some of the details for this year’s Thanksgiving Day Meal.

“If you’re in need of a Thanksgiving meal, we’ll be glad to get you one,” said Shelton.”For those who do not need a meal delivered, just come on by and we’ll bring you one. And if someone is alone on Thanksgiving, they are more than welcome to come by and fellowship with us at the church. We don’t want anybody to be alone on Thanksgiving.”

The meal will include chicken and dressing with chicken donated by Tyson Foods, as well as all the fixings and dessert.

The church anticipates it will give away around 400 meals this year. That means, over the past 12 years, the church has fed more than a thousand people on Thanksgiving Day.

Shelton said it’s a big effort and takes the entire church to make it happen. Members get up early Thanksgiving Day morning for the final preparations. Even the church’s youngest members are there to help make the day a success.

“Everyone helps out,” she said. “The whole church gets together for this meal, even the little ones help. It’s so much fun to see everyone come together to make this happen each year.”

For the past 12 years members of Friendship Baptist Church have spent their Thanksgiving providing meals to others – including those in need and those first responders who work Thanksgiving Day. Now, it’s a church tradition.

“It’s a tradition for us now and we really enjoy it,” said Shelton. “It’s how we’ve come to enjoy our Thanksgiving, by helping out those in need.”

Shelton said anyone wishing for a Thanksgiving Day meal delivery on Nov. 23 can call (870) 279-0507, (870) 584-9918 or (870) 847-0439. Organizers ask that when you call you please provide your name, address and how many meals are needed. Leave a voicemail if there is no answer.

State Rep. DeAnn Vaught weekly update     11/20/23

By State Rep. DeAnn Vaught

While the convenience of department stores and online shopping is undeniable, we’d like to take this time to encourage you to incorporate shopping locally this holiday season.

Saturday, November 25, 2023, is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and by choosing to support them, we can make a significant positive impact on our state’s economy, as well as create a more vibrant and diverse shopping experience.

A small business in Arkansas is defined as those with less than 500 employees. There are more than 264,000 small businesses in Arkansas. Small businesses make up the majority of businesses in the state. More than 47% of all Arkansas employees work for a small business.

When you shop at small businesses, your dollars stay within the local economy. These businesses often reinvest in the community, helping to create jobs and contribute to the overall economic well-being of your area. In fact, studies show that 68 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community. In addition, every dollar spent at a small business creates an additional 48 cents in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.

Small businesses are often family-owned or operated by your neighbors, friends, and fellow community members. By shopping at these local establishments, you not only support their livelihoods but also create a stronger sense of unity and connection within your town or city. They also offer a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind products that you won’t find in larger stores.

Your small purchase this holiday season can make a big difference.

Adam Matthews named new superintendent of Foreman Public Schools    11/17/23
Adam Matthews will take over from Pat Tankersley as the new superintendent of the Foreman School District.

FOREMAN – The Foreman School District has announced Adam Matthews will head the district as its new superintendent.
Originally from Horatio, Matthews will replace retiring superintendent Pat Tankersley. Tankersley became superintendent of Foreman Public Schools in 2018 and oversaw the construction of the new high school.

Matthews said he entered the field of education to become because of a love for kids and a passion for sports. After joining the Marine Corps, he transferred to Henderson State University to further his degree in education. Matthews spent 14 years as a teacher and coach before obtaining a Masters in Educational Leadership from Harding University and his Educational Specialist Degree in Superintendency from Arkansas State University.

Matthews served as the assistant principal of Cossatot River for three years before his current position at Nashville High School.

When asked about his family, Matthews explained that he is “ married with two teenage boys. My amazing wife’s name is Tyler. She is a phenomenal English teacher as well. She loves to cook, plant flowers and crappie fish with me if it isn’t too cold outside. My oldest son’s name is Garrett. He graduated last year and is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting. My youngest son’s name is Trent, and he will be a senior next year. He is currently talking about a career in either chemistry or engineering. We love anything outdoors: hunting, fishing, camping, cooking out or just a game of backyard wiffle ball. Baseball was my favorite growing up, but we really enjoy all sports.”

In addition, Matthews said he is looking forward to his new role as the superintendent for the Foreman School District.

I am thankful and excited to be afforded the opportunity to be your new Superintendent,” he said, adding “GO GATORS!”

Gillham FBC hosting Thanksgiving meal giveaway this Sunday    11/17/23

GILLHAM – Gillham First Baptist Church will host a pantry giveaway this weekend to ensure local families in need have a great Thanksgiving meal.

The drive-thru Thanksgiving pantry is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. this Sunday, Nov. 19. The event will be held in a drive-thru fashion and will be first come, first serve.

A hundred Thanksgiving baskets will be given away. The baskets include a whole turkey or chicken as well as sides, bread and assorted desserts. This baskets are uncooked and perishable. There is no cost to families for this Thanksgiving meal giveaway.

Gillham First Baptist Church is located at 203 College Drive in Gillham. Watch for signs and workers for guidance.

For questions or for more information, text (870) 582-2808.

Holiday closings, trash schedule ahead of Thanksgiving week    11/17/23

DE QUEEN – Area government offices, banks and many businesses will be closed Nov. 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

That includes De Queen City Hall, which will close at noon on Nov. 22 as well as all day Nov. 23-24. The municipal trash schedule for the week of Nov. 20 will be as follows:

Monday and Tuesday will remain the same.

Thursday and Friday will be picked up on Wednesday.

City hall will open with regular hours on Monday, Nov. 27.

In addition, the Sevier County Courthouse, Landfill and satellite waste stations will be closed Nov. 23-24 in observance of Thanksgiving. The landfill and satellite waste stations will reopen on Saturday, Nov. 25 while the courthouse will reopen with regular hours on Monday, Nov. 27.

Area banks and many businesses will also be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23. That includes the KDQN Studios Nov. 23-24.

Sevier County Quorum Court discusses budget, Red Bridge Road project    11/16/23
DE QUEEN – Next year’s operating budget was the top item up for discussion at the November meeting of the Sevier County Quorum Court.
County officials met up on Monday to continue discussing the budget to fund county operations going into 2024. The quorum court is expected to meet in December to vote on the final budget ahead of the New Year.
In other county business, the quorum court approved several appointments on Monday:

-Susan Fitzsimmons was reappointed to the Sevier County Airport Board

-Kathryn Coulter was reappointed to the Sevier County Library Board

-Michael Collins was appointed to the Sevier County Housing Authority Board of Directors

Justices of the peace also approved a routine appropriation ordinance to levy taxes for 2023.

The quorum court also discussed providing investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office with compensation time when they are on-call.

On behalf of Sevier County Judge Sandra Dunn, the quorum court then approved a resolution allowing the county to advance a grant application process to replace the famous Red Bridge on Red Bridge Road. The state grant, if secured, would cover 90 percent of the cost of the bridge replacement. The next step in the process is a project feasibility study.

Dunn said the bridge is in need of replacing due to its weight limitations and the narrowness of its opposite lanes, posing a potential hazard. She said the bridge would be painted red to maintain this historical feature of Red Bridge Road.

LRCO Chamber announces upcoming Christmas events    11/16/23

ASHDOWN – The Little River County Chamber of Commerce has announced is 2023 Christmas Schedule of events.

That includes the always-popular and much-anticipated Lighting of the Little River Courthouse at 6 p.m. on Nov. 21.

Christmas events will follow with the Local Businesses Christmas Open House on Dec. 2-3.

The Foreman Christmas Parade is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 2. The Ashdown Christmas Parade is at 6 p.m., on Dec. 4.

On Dec. 9, organizers will host the annual Breakfast with Santa and Ho-Ho Parade at 9 a.m. Breakfast will be held at the Ashdown Church of Christ and the parade will follow after.

For more information, contact the Little River County Chamber of Commerce at (870) 898-2758.

Polk County Toys for Tots program seeks to bring Christmas to hundreds of children    11/16/23
POLK COUNTY – It’s that time of year for the Polk County Arkansas Toys for Tots program and the Elks angel tree. In 2022, the Mena Elks Lodge fulfilled the Christmas holiday dreams of 520 children in need throughout Polk County.
Applications are for Polk County residents only and must be returned to the address provided on the application by Dec. 1.
Toy distribution will be 8 a.m. to noon, Dec. 16. Families must bring the postcard that will be mailed out.

Organizers are seeking new, unwrapped toys, books and stocking stuffers for ages 17 and younger. Donation boxes and angel trees have been distributed in stores, churches and businesses around Polk County, including at our sister station, KENA/KQOR/The Polk County Pulse, in Mena.

Other locations:

Arvest Bank – Mena

Bealls – Mena

Chambers Bank – Mena

Dollar General, Mena, Hatfield, Cove and Wickes

Family Dollar – Mena angel tree

First Presbyterian Church – Mena

First United Methodist Church – Mena

Freedom Pharmacy – Mena

The Mena Star – Mena

St. Agnes Catholic Church – Mena

Skyline Café – coinbox only

The Q on Main/Suzy Q’s – Mena

Union Bank – Mena, Hatfield and Wickes

Walmart – Mena angel tree

Washburn’s – Mena

The application and updates can be found by searching for Polk County Toys for Tots on Facebook.

The program is sponsored by the Marine Corps League and the Mena Elks Lodge.

“Christmas 911” brings Christmas to those in need in Sevier County    11/15/23
DE QUEEN – Efforts are well underway by local first responders to bring Christmas to children in Sevier County with a personalized shopping trip.

Christmas 911 matches kids with officers, deputies, firefighters and other emergency responders who take them on an individual shopping trip for gifts, clothes and other items ahead of Christmas. Previously known as Shop with a Cop, the program’s name was changed to reflect the array of first responders who assist with it.
The program has been spearheaded by the De Queen Police Department for over two decades. In that time the effort has brought Christmas to over a thousand children in Sevier County.

Officers have been setting up at Walmart to collect donations from the public and also accept them at the police station in De Queen City Hall. Christmas 911 is funded entirely through donations.

DQPD Chief Scott Simmons said the yearly tradition is a highlight for not just the kids, but the police officers, sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, state police and others who participate.

The kids love it and have so much fun, as do our guys and gals who get to take them shopping,” said Simmons. “It’s a really great experience for everyone and we’re thankful we can do something like this to bring Christmas to these kids.

Organizers work with the local school systems to select children who otherwise might go without Christmas.

We found that our teachers have a really good view of which kids might need the most help,” said Simmons. “They see these kids day in and day out and know which ones are good matches for the program.”

Families can also be nominated by applications available at City Hall or via a Google Docs link pinned on the De Queen Police Department Facebook page. Organizers ask that nominations be turned in by Dec. 1.

For more information, visit the DQPD Facebook page or call (870) 642-2213.

Fighting hunger in Arkansas’ deer woods    11/15/23

DE QUEEN – Arkansas’ modern gun deer season kicked off this past weekend and one statewide organization is reminding hunters in Arkansas how they can join the fight against food insecurity.

Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry helps families in need by providing food pantries with fresh protein sourced right here in Arkansas’ deer woods. The group’s mission, said President Ronnie Ritter, is to transform a renewable resource into food for the hungry. And more hunters from Southwest Arkansas are needed to meet what organizers say is a growing need.

“Primarily what we do is, we get hunters to donate their deer to participating processors, they field dress it, they grind it into burgers, and then we give it to local food pantries, homeless shelters,” said Ritter. “We’re trying to infiltrate this area down here and get more hunters and processors involved.”

The organization recruited Prime Country Meats in Sevier County a couple of years ago as one its newest participating processor. Deer can be dropped off at any participating facility, processed and then picked up by the organization and distributed to local food pantries. There is no cost to the hunter.

All donated meat is distributed free and is usually donated to food pantries in the same county. It is served at churches, children’s shelters, rescue missions and community food banks. Ritter said he works with many feeding agencies across the state and the number one commodity they need is protein.

“If you ask food pantries what they need, it’s meat,” said Ritter. “It’s been harder lately for them to get it, too.”

Ritter hopes to encourage more hunters in Arkansas to consider donating one or more of their legally-harvested deer to Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. He particularly addressed those hunters who aren’t always interested in filling all their tags.

“Somebody that wants just a deer for their family, go out and shoot another and donate because there’s a lot of needy folks out there all across the state,” Ritter said.

Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry has provided more than four million servings of meat for food pantries across the state since its founding in 2000. The group, he said, has received generous financial support over the years in its mission to transform an abundant white-tailed deer population into a renewable food source for the hungry.

For more information on Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, and to find out how to join the fight against food insecurity, visit or call (501) 282-0006. Prime Country Meats, the participating processor in Sevier County, can be contacted by calling (870) 784-5040 or by checking out their Facebook page.

Three processors are also participating in Little River County: Little River Processing, Sivley’s Deer Processing and Cuttin’ Up Processing.

LVFD receives Weyerhaeuser grant for new equipment    11/15/23

The Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department has been able to purchase an array of new and state-of-the-art equipment thanks to donations. Those donations include more than $23,000 from Weyerhaeuser over the past two years as well as $7,400 raised through a recent gun raffle. (Photo courtesy LVFD)

LOCKESBURG – The Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department is the proud owner of some new life-saving equipment for its firefighters thanks to a sizable donation from Weyerhaeuser.

The fire department was once again awarded the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund Grant, this year totaling $13,000. The funds allowed for the purchase of two brand new self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA).

This equipment is absolutely critical to protecting our firemen when dealing with a blaze,” said Lockesburg Fire Chief Matt Webb. “This grant allowed us to replace some older equipment and get some new turnout gear for our guys. This kind of equipment purchase is difficult for a small department like ours without the generous assistance of partners like Weyerhaeuser.”

Last the year the department received $10,500 through a Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund grant to purchase brand-new, battery-operated extrication tools. The state-of-the-art tools are rated for the stronger materials and technology used to protect the newest vehicles.

Our older equipment struggled to deal with these newer, tougher vehicles so this is a huge benefit for our guys when responding to an accident,” Webb said during an interview after receiving the Weyerhaeuser grant last year.

The recent grant to purchase new turnouts and SCBA gear helps ensure Lockesburg’s fire department is both trained and properly-equipped, said Webb.

Weyerhaeuser has been really good to us, allowed us to do so much,” he said. “It’s not common for a department our size to receive a grant like this. Our guys are well-trained and have the tools they need to operate.”

The new equipment was also funded through a gun raffle held by the department earlier this year. That fundraiser raised $7,400. In August, Webb’s department secured a $1,000 grant from SWEPCO to purchase protective chainsaw chaps and other protective gear.

On behalf of the fire department, I’m extremely thankful for the public and our businesses in Sevier County for supporting us through these donations, by buying chances on the gun and for being members,” he said.

Webb is reminding the community that the fire department has rescheduled its chili cookoff to Dec. 16. Organizers were forced to cancel the competition last month due to rain. This time, it will be held in the almost-newly-remodeled fire station to ensure the weather doesn’t have an effect.

Anyone interested in showcasing their chili recipe is invited to participate. The public is welcome to come by beginning at 6:30 p.m. for all-you-can-eat chili for just $10. The public will also vote on the best chili of the night.

The fire department will also provide a free showing of a Christmas movie and will sell popcorn, hot chocolate and other snacks to those in attendance.

For more information and to register, contact Sydney Hill at Lockesburg City Hall by calling (870) 289-3261 or Lockesburg Fire Chief Matt Webb at (870) 582-5278.

De Queen teams split wins with Mena in opener    11/15/23

DE QUEEN – The De Queen senior teams split with Mena Tuesday night in the Coliseum at De Queen in the season openers as heard live on #1 Country 92.1  with the Lady Leopards posting a 57-27 victory while the Leopards fell to the Bearcats 55-50.

The young Lady Leopards jumped out to a 16-3 lead after the opening quarter and cruised to the 57-27 victory, invoking the Sportsmanship Rule in the second half. Sophomore Landri Ligon, our McDonalds Player of the Game, led the way with 15 points as she connected on 6 of 10 field goal attempts. Sophomore Emma Chambers scored 12, and Dayton Newberry added 10. Sophomore Ellie Morphew led the rebounding charts with eight.

The Leopards jumped out to a 26-21 halftime lead in the senior boys contest only to see Mena get hot from the three-point line in the second half as the Bearcats rallied for the 55-50 win. Sam Graham led the Leopards with 14 points. Kaiden Lindly poured in 11. Luke Dawson added nine.

The De Queen senior teams return to action Friday night at Cossatot River. The play-by-play with Toney and Greg can be heard on AM 1390 and FM 104.5.

Horatio School Board holds monthly meeting    11/15/23

HORATIO – Horatio Board of Education met in regular session on Monday, Nov. 13 in the high school library.

Board members voted to give employees a $500 bonus. The board voted to sell a 2002 and 2003 bus with sealed bids being turned into administration office by noon Dec. 11.

The board also voted to obtain bids on a 78-passenger conventional school bus with air conditioning and bids on 30×60 and 30×70 turn-key athletic facilities.

Nikki Stancil, business teacher, reported to the board about the 8th grade digital marketing class and shared some of the items its students have marketed.

Superintendent Gayla Youngblood and high school principal Curtis Black gave their respective reports to the board also.

Hunter in stable condition following accidental shooting near Cove    11/14/23
COVE – A man is in the hospital after he was shot during a hunting accident near Cove on Saturday, according to authorities.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call around 5:35 on Saturday about an accidental shooting seven miles east of Cove on Polk 32. The victim, a 22-year-old male, had been accidentally shot by his hunting partner while crossing a creek.
Polk County deputies, local volunteers, and first responders from Southwest EMS and Cove Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene. Upon arrival, first responders immediately began providing lifesaving treatment to the victim. In a press release, Polk County Sheriff Scott Sawyer said the victim sustained injuries to his arm and abdomen and was treated at the scene until being airlifted to UAMS in Little Rock.
An update on the victims condition, provided by his family, stated that he had extensive injuries from the accident. Authorities said the man is currently in stable condition, but will require additional treatment to recover from his injuries.

In his statement, Sawyer thanked the first responders involved in helping at the scene. In particular, he praised Polk County Deputies Josh Butterworth, Layton Mohr, Ben Lindsey and Thad Thomas for their “outstanding work in helping save this young man’s life.”

Sawyer said deputies, upon arriving at the scene, provided life-saving care, assisted him to an emergency landing zone and coordinated with the medevac helicopter to get the victim transported to a trauma center.

Without their help, this horrible accident could’ve been much worse,” said Sawyer.

De Queen man accused of homicide set for trial in Madison County    11/14/23
MADISON COUNTY – A De Queen man accused of killing three family members in 2021 is scheduled to appear for a jury trial this month in which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The trial for 25-year-old Hunter Chenoweth is set to begin Nov. 27 and continue through Dec. 8 in the Madison County Circuit Court, according to online records. Chenoweth is facing three counts of capital murder after three of his family members were found deceased in a home in Madison County on Feb. 23 of 2021, according to the Arkansas State Police.

The victims included Chenoweth’s 51-year-old mother, Tami Lynn Chenoweth; his stepfather, 59-year-old James Stanley McGhee; and his sister, 26-year-old Cheyenne Chenoweth.

Chenoweth was arrested the evening of the murders after authorities across the state began searching for a vehicle witnessed at the crime scene. According to the Arkansas State Police, Chenoweth was arrested following a brief stand off with state troopers in which he brandished a rifle and threatened officers at the scene. State troopers were able to approach Chenoweth from behind and arrest him without further incident.

Chenoweth’s defense attempted to prevent prosecutors from seeking the death penalty in his case. A motion filed on his behalf declared the death penalty as “cruel and unusual.”

However, the court ruled against the motion and therefore, if convicted, Chenoweth could be sentenced to death.

In an amended notice filed in the court, prosecutors stated their intent to seek the death penalty upon Chenoweth’s conviction due to aggravated circumstances within the case.

A further motion granted by the court has imposed a gag order on the case to prevent Chenoweth’s counsel, state prosecutors and other state officials from discussing the case publicly or with members of the media.

Chenoweth is also named as a defendant in a Washington County case related to a felony domestic battery charge from February of 2020. According to online court records, that charge stems from an incident that same month in which Chenoweth is accused of stabbing his stepfather.

LVFD chili cookoff rescheduled for Dec. 16    11/14/23

LOCKESBURG – Following the cancellation of Lockesburg’s Fall Festival last month due to rain, the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department has rescheduled its chili cookoff for 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 16. The cookoff will be held in the fire station to ensure weather won’t pose any difficulties.

After the chili cookoff, the fire station will host a show a Christmas movie for the public to watch for free. Organizers are inviting the whole family to come out and enjoy the night’s events. The public can purchase a ticket to eat chili following the cookoff.

In addition, popcorn, drinks and hot chocolate will be on offer and the event may even feature a special Christmas guest.

To sign up for the chili cookoff, or for more information, contact Fire Chief Matt Webb or call Sydney at Lockesburg City Hall at (870) 289-3261.

AR Biz Assist seminar in De Queen today with local small business experts    11/14/23

DE QUEEN – AR Biz Assist in partnership with the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce will host a seminar today (Nov. 14) at the East Room Event Center on 202 W De Queen Ave. in De Queen.

Greg Revels CPA, Ned Hendrix with Horatio State Bank, Lee Hammond with Farm Bureau, Wendy Orvis with ASBTDC, Austin Logan with the Arkansas Capital, and Jerry Talbert with US SBA will be speaking at the event.

This seminar is open for all small business owners in the area and will feature local experts open to answer any questions.

From tips on starting a business to learning about the latest U.S. SBA programs and loan products, this forum is a must attend. No matter if you’re starting a business or a seasoned pro, learn some best practices for success.

UAEX launches new podcast for poultry producers    11/14/23

Submitted by UAEX

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture has a new monthly podcast that will be of interest to commercial poultry producers and industry professionals in Arkansas.

The Fowl Frontier: Poultry Science Unplucked” launched Nov. 8 and is available to listeners free of charge on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or the the Division of Agriculture website at

Podcast host Zac Williams, poultry science extension specialist for the Division of Agriculture, said the podcast will address issues relevant to poultry producers and professionals who work in allied industries.

The first episode — “Biosecurity and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza” — features guest Dustan Clark, extension poultry veterinarian for the Division of Agriculture and associate director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas. With the recent confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Arkansas, these episodes will provide timely information for poultry producers looking to keep their flocks protected.

While this episode is mainly aimed at small and backyard flock owners, much of the information will be relevant to commercial producers too,” Williams said.

Poultry is big business

More than 6,500 farms in Arkansas produce some type of poultry. Northwest Arkansas, particularly Washington and Benton counties, produces the most poultry in the state.

Poultry is the leading agricultural industry in Arkansas, which ranks third nationally for broiler production and fourth for turkey production. The poultry industry provides 157,639 jobs and $5.1 billion (50%) of the total agriculture cash receipts in 2021, according to The Poultry Federation.

Easy Listening

Williams joined the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science and Poultry Science Department as an assistant professor in June. In his role, he provides poultry education and outreach through the Cooperative Extension Service, with a focus on connecting with the commercial poultry industry.

Williams, who hosted a similar podcast at the University of Michigan, said podcasts offer a convenient format for farmers and commercial producers to get information relevant to their operations.

It’s a direct way for us to deliver research-based information to our producers,” William said. “A lot of farmers will listen while they’re on the tractor or driving. They can subscribe and get notifications when there are new episodes.”

Williams also likes the interview-style format and plans to feature guests from the Division of Agriculture and from the poultry and allied industries.

With this format, I can bring in guests from all over the U.S. or the world to provide knowledge,” he said.

Listeners can also request topics they want to hear about by contacting Williams.

Future outreach

The new podcast is one way Williams hopes to connect with the state’s poultry producers. Workshops and a three-day Broiler Academy are also planned.

Specialized workshops for commercial growers, integrators and employees in allied industries will be offered at the Savoy Farm in Fayetteville. Williams said the workshops will be customized to fit attendees’ needs. To schedule a workshop, contact Williams at 601-527-2871 or

The Broiler Academy is planned for June 3-5, 2024, at the Don Tyson Center for Agricultural Sciences in Fayetteville.

This will be a Broiler Production 101 type workshop where we’ll provide an overview of broiler production management for anyone who wants to learn more about broiler management,” Williams said. “It will be good for new employees or people who have experience in one area but want to learn more about the industry,” he said.

De Queen Lions Club hosting auction fundraiser Nov. 27 & Nov. 30    11/13/23
DE QUEEN – Members of the De Queen Lions Club, in partnership with #1 Country KDQN 92.1, will host their annual two-day radio auction fundraiser on Monday, Nov. 27 and again on Thursday, Nov. 30.

The auction will begin at five both evenings live in the lobby of First State Bank of De Queen on Collin Raye Drive. Members of the public can participate by listening to KDQN 92.1 the nights of the fundraiser or by visiting the lobby in person.
Area merchants have donated numerous items to be auctioned off including some great Christmas gift ideas with all proceeds going toward the many worthwhile De Queen Lions Club community projects.
OCC Shoebox Collection Week now underway    11/13/23

HORATIO – Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Week is now fully underway to bring Christmas to less-fortunate children across the world.

Local volunteers will be transforming empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and articles of clothing for children in need worldwide. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and bring joy to children in struggling communities across the world. It all starts with the help of a shoebox filled with gifts.

This year’s collection week begins today (Nov. 13) and continues through Monday, Nov. 20.

As in previous years, local organizers will host a drop-off and volunteer site at the Horatio First Baptist Church, located at 211 Hazard Street in Horatio.

In Little River County, a drop-off location has been set up at the First United Methodist Church of Ashdown. Other drop-off sites are located at First Baptist Church in Nashville, the Cove First Baptist Church and the Faith Christian Center in Broken Bow.

Anyone interested in participating is asked to fill out a standard-sized shoebox with gifts for a girl or boy in certain age categories. Operation Christmas Child provides a full step-by-step guide on what and how to pack. That guide can be found online at That website also includes more detailed dates and times for when and where shoeboxes can be dropped off.

Hygiene item drive underway at De Queen Middle School    11/13/23

DE QUEEN – Students at De Queen Middle School are participating in a Hygiene Drive for one of the area’s charity organizations.

Organizers of the drive say community members who regularly visit the local food pantry are not only in need of food items, but from time to time are also in need of personal hygiene items for their family members.

The purpose of the drive is to be able to help the local charity stock their shelves with needed items so that they can help local members when their need arises.

The sixth and seventh grade students are competing against each other to earn extra time during their lunch break. The students will continue to collect items until Thursday, Nov. 16.

Items that are needed are…

  • toothpaste & toothbrushes
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • bars of soap
  • body lotion
  • hairbrushes & combs
  • stick deodorant
  • shave gel/cream & disposable razors (please keep in sealed package)
  • laundry soap
  • diapers
  • Baby shampoo & lotion

DHS Senior Ashlee McCullough earns OBU Presidential Scholarship   11/13/23

Ashlee McCullough daughter of Dalton and Christy McCullough has been awarded the OBU Presidential Scholarship valued at $80,000.
Ashlee is a De Queen High School senior who is an active member of the following: Student Council Fundraising Chair, President of the Spanish Club, National Honor Society, FBLA Reporter, FCCLA, DQTV Executive Producer and Interact.
She has won regional and state awards for DQTV, National Indigenous Recognition Program and named Leopard of the Week. Ashlee’s plans are to attend Ouachita Baptist University and major in Communications and Media with an emphasis in Sports Media.

Local schools to receive Arkansas Blue Cross “calming room” grants   11/13/23

Seventy-five Arkansas schools have been selected to receive $2,500 each from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield to open “calming rooms” on their campuses for use by students who need to de-stress or otherwise regulate their emotions.

The company announced its Take Good Care Calming Room initiative in July in an effort to address the needs of some 83,100 Arkansas students — better than one in 10 students — who deal with anxiety and depression.

Calming rooms are intended to give students a quiet place to reflect and refocus so they can perform their best when they return to the classroom.

Each participating school will oversee the rules and usage of their calming rooms based on the needs of their students. The spaces can also be used for counseling sessions and group discussions.

Calming rooms typically feature soft lighting, tranquil colors, comfortable furniture, positive and inspirational messages, and journals, coloring books and other sensory objects.

Schools in the listening area selected to receive calming room grants include Ashdown High School, Horatio High School, Nashville Junior High and Mena High School.

Filing period ends Tuesday for state, district candidates   11/13/23

LITTLE ROCK – The filing period closes tomorrow, Nov. 14 for candidates seeking election next year to Arkansas state and district offices.

This candidate filing period is for the offices of U.S. President, U.S. Vice President, U.S. Representative, State Treasurer, State Senator and State Representative. In addition, the filing period is also open to the nonpartisan offices of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, State District Court and Prosecuting Attorney.

Filings are being held in the second floor rotunda at the Arkansas State Capitol. The filing period will conclude at 3 p.m. on Nov. 14, according to Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston.

Next year’s important election dates include:

March 5 – Preferential Primary and Nonpartisan General Election

April 2 – General Primary Runoff Election

Nov. 5 – General Election and Nonpartisan Runoff Election

Dec. 3 – General Runoff Election

State Rep. DeAnn Vaught weekly update   11/13/23

By State Rep. DeAnn Vaught

As we gather around our tables this Thanksgiving, we encourage Arkansans to take a moment to acknowledge the unsung heroes of this holiday season—our farmers.

Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the blessings in our lives, and the hardworking men and women who toil in the fields, day in and day out, deserve a special place in our hearts this season. Arkansas farmers are the ones responsible for growing the crops and raising the livestock that grace many of our tables.

In fact, Arkansas ranks 3rd in the nation in turkeys raised. But that’s not the only popular Thanksgiving dish that may have started its journey on an Arkansas farm.

Arkansas is the 4th largest producer of sweet potatoes and our state ranks 6th in the nation in the acreage of pecans. In the last year, Arkansas farmers harvested more than 695,000 acres of corn.

Arkansas currently ranks 11th in the nation in soybean production. Soybean oil is used to make hundreds of foods, including mayonnaise, peanut butter, and ranch dressing.

From casseroles to rice pudding, another Arkansas crop makes its way to the Thanksgiving table every year. Arkansas ranks first among rice-producing states, accounting for more than 50 percent of U.S. rice production.

Agriculture is Arkansas’s largest industry, adding around $16 billion to our state’s economy every year. There are 49,346 farms statewide and 97 percent of Arkansas’ farms are family-owned.

So, as you savor each bite of your Thanksgiving meal, remember to give thanks to the individuals who make this feast possible. Let’s make this holiday a true celebration of gratitude, not only for the food on our plates but for the hands that nurture the land.

You can help show your appreciation to our Arkansas farmers and food service workers by looking for the “Arkansas Grown” label at your local supermarket.

AGFC confirms mountain lion sighting near Amity    11/10/23
AMITY – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has confirmed a mountain lion sighting near Amity in Clark County. The sighting was reported by a hunter who captured the animal on a game camera. AGFC biologists have investigated the sighting and determined that it is credible.
Mountain lions – also known as pumas and cougars – lived throughout Arkansas until about 1920. Over the years, several sightings have been reported in other parts of the state. There have been 23 confirmed mountain lion sightings in Arkansas since 2010. Mountain lions are solitary cats native to North America. They are typically shy and reclusive, and they rarely attack humans. In fact, mountain lions are more likely to be afraid of humans. They have learned to avoid people, and they will usually run away if they hear or see humans.

In November 2014, a deer hunter shot and killed a 148-pound male mountain lion east of Hermitage in Bradley County. It was the first time a mountain lion had been killed in Arkansas since 1975. DNA from that animal revealed that it almost certainly came from a mountain lion sighted in September 2014 in southern Marion County.

According to lab results, the mountain lion killed in 2014 most likely originated in the Black Hills breeding population of Wyoming and South Dakota. The mountain lion is believed to have traveled from Marion County to Bradley County in about six weeks before it was killed.

That shows you how far a mountain lion can travel in a short period,” AGFC Large Carnivore Biologist Myron Means said. “Mountain lions are not game animals; just like with other animals that do not have a recognized hunting season, they are illegal to kill. A limited “self-defense” exception exists in regulation when a person acts “under a good faith belief that he was protecting himself or other persons from imminent bodily harm or serious injury,” he added.

The public is encouraged to contact their nearest AGFC office with any sightings of mountain lions with verifiable evidence.

Sevier County Quorum Court to meet Monday    11/10/23

DE QUEEN – The Sevier County Quorum Court is scheduled to meet in regular session on Monday, Nov. 13.

Items on the agenda include reports from the Sevier County Medical Center, Sevier County Airport and Southwest EMS.

Justices of the peace will also vote on several appointments to county-regulated boards: Susan Fitzsimmons to the Sevier County Airport Board, Kathryn Coulter to the Sevier County Library Board and Michael Collins to the Sevier County Housing Authority Board.

In addition, the quorum court will vote on an appropriation ordinance to levy taxes for 2023. There will also be a discussion on the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office on-call policy.

The meeting will begin at 2 p.m. on Nov. 13 in the Sevier County Conference Room and is open to the public.

Horatio man charged with recent thefts    11/10/23

DE QUEEN – A Horatio man is facing charges following several incidents of theft in Sevier County earlier this month.

According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received several complaints of theft from the Horatio area between Nov. 4-6. Two property owners reported fuel had been stolen from diesel tanks at their chicken houses. Another individual informed deputies that a $2,400 hay monitor was missing from his tractor.

Following their investigation, deputies identified 25-year-old Bryce Braden of Horatio as a possible suspect. The arrest affidavit alleges that, during questioning by investigators, Braden admitted to the thefts.

Braden was arrested and charged with a one felony count each of breaking or entering and theft of property. He was also charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft of property. According to court records, Braden was charged with a felony count of forgery on Nov. 3.

USACE to waive some fees this Veterans Day    11/10/23

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,850 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide in observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swim beaches. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services or fees for specialized facilities and events. Other entities that manage recreation areas on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the waiver in areas they manage.

Visitors should contact USACE projects before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open. The status of USACE-managed campgrounds, boat ramps, swim beaches and other sites is available at

Sevier County Chamber elects new board directors    11/09/23
DE QUEEN – The Sevier County Chamber of Commerce met on Wednesday to elect several new members to its board of directors.

The newly elected board members include
-Greg Revels, CPA

-Helga Buenrostro with Farmers Bank

-Fernando Balderas of Southwest Arkansas Accounting Services

-Ned Hendrix of Horatio State Bank

The four new members will officially come on board Jan. 1, 2024.

In some other notes regarding the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce, Chamber membership increased from 100 to 170 since Jan. 1 of this year.

In addition, chamber officials reported that the recent Denim & Diamond fundraiser saw a net profit totalling $5,623

In addition, chamber officials reported that the repairs and remodeling project at the chamber office in downtown De Queen is going well. The final cost is estimated at between 550,000-60,000. The chamber is hoping to move back in to the building after Jan. 1. In the meantime, the chamber of commerce is operating out of the De Queen Church of Christ campus.

In addition, the chamber’s annual Christmas Parade is just a few weeks away on Dec. 2. This year’s theme is “A Classic Christmas.”

Sevier County Farmers Co-op hosts annual meeting    11/09/23

DE QUEEN – Members of the Sevier County Farmers Co-op enjoyed beef brisket with all the fixings at De Queen High School cafeteria Tuesday night before hearing a financial report that featured a nice rebound earlier this year.

The Co-op’s sales increased from $2.2 million in the last six months of 2022 to $3.2 million in the first six months of 2023. That resulted in a financial turn around of about $275,000, giving the Co-op a net profit of about $6,000 for the past fiscal year that ended June 30.

This is the first profitable year for the Co-op since 206. That upward trend has continued over the past four months, too.

Board members Richard Pearce, Will Pickering and Brent Young were re-elected. Newly-elected board members Tuesday night were Scotty Morris and Greg Smith. Jason Needham, named general manager of the Co-op back in February, said that the Co-op hopes to buy a new fertilizer truck in the near future. Needham said the new store on Collin Raye Drive has been average around 100 ticket sales a day and he plans a large sale to move unsold inventory next spring.

Cove church to host ICS-backed chili and gumbo cookoff    11/09/23

COVE – Live Oak Baptist Church of Cove will hold its first Chili & Gumbo Cook-Off and Gospel Singing, Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Polk County Fairgrounds in Mena.

Contestants are asked to pre-register for this International Chili Society certified event.

There are three different categories for both the chili and the gumbo competitions. There will be on-site RV hook-ups. Again, reservations are needed. It will be a full day of setting up, cooking, judging, tasting, and awards. The public can attend for a $10 donation. All proceeds go to Live Oak Baptist Church building fund.

For all of the details, rules and registration, call (870) 387-0013 or email .

AGFC, Weyerhaeuser agree on lease for Dierks City Pond    11/09/23

Submitted by Jim Harris, AGFC

DIERKS — Jackie Jones, a lifelong resident of Dierks in southwestern Arkansas, has taken note of the young boys walking around town with rod-and-reel in hand, knowing they face limited opportunities for fishing: They have a 6-mile walk to fish the Saline River, or a 4-mile trek the Army Corps of Engineers’-owned Dierks Lake.

A meandering small creek is close enough to fish in, he says. And less than a mile outside of town is Dierks City Lake, 47 acres that is owned by Weyerhaeuser Co. and has had monitored access over the years.

But now, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has entered into a lease agreement with Weyerhaeuser for public fishing access here in the Ouachita Mountains east of town, and Jones is hoping it will soon be “a showplace” as a local fishery.

I think one of the biggest improvements will be that it will be patrolled and monitored by the (AGFC),” Jones said. “I’m really excited for the future of it. I’d like to see the youngsters and the older people, where they can go and stand a chance of catching some fish.

When boys are 12, this is close enough they can have access to and have somewhere to fish.I feel the AGFC will manage the pond better for fishing, maybe stock it, see what’s in there.”

Jones, now 67 and owner of Jones Industrial Services, which contracts with Weyerhaeuser, recalls fishing the pond when he was in his teens. The pond, he says, dates to around 1918-19 when it was built to provide water for Dierks Lumber and Coal Co. Weyerhaeuser bought that firm in the 1960s, and in later years it built a newer mill and used water from the Corps’ Dierks Lake. 

Statewide fishing regulations will apply to the pond, Hann said. “Historically this lake has been great for bass and bream fishing.”

Jones remembers the pond as home to bass, catfish, crappie and bream, yet now, “to what degree I have no idea.”

The parents of his best childhood friend at one time were caretakers of the pond.

Dylan Hann, an AGFC Fisheries regional supervisor, said the lake hasn’t been sampled by biologists, but “I have been there a few times. While walking around the lake we saw a lot of bream and a few bass at first glance along the water’s edge. 

We hope to improve the access area on the southwest corner of the lake with a gravel parking lot and a concrete boat ramp soon.”

A gate to access the lake is at its southwest corner (

Jones said some locals broached the idea with Weyerhaeuser that the pond could be put to use as a fishery.

Fortunately, Weyerhaeuser and the Game and Fish saw it the same way,” he said. “Weyerhaeuser was all for it. The Game and Fish seemed to be all for it. The last four or five years, it seemed the tide had turned.” It just took time to negotiate for a deal to be put in place.

It definitely looks like it will be a positive for the area,” Jones said. “It’s a beautiful pond, lots of opportunities, close to Dierks, less than a mile from the city limits. It’s something that was really needed in this area.”

Legacy Academy Oratory Program 2023    11/09/23

LOCKESBURG – On Nov. 2, Legacy Academy upper-level students presented speeches, poems, and literature excerpts, which showcased their poise, skill, and confidence as well as the rigor of their studies.

All upper-level students took part in the readings, which included The Battle of New Orleans, Aesop’s Fables, and Psalm 23 in English and Spanish. Students deliberately practiced  presenting a variety of literature with the appropriate tone of voice, emotion, and dignity. Training students in public speaking is about more than simply reading and speaking; confidence and clarity underpin numerous life skills, thought processing, and personal awareness.

The school’s founder, Mr. Gallagher, said, “The value of communicating well is hard to understate, as it is preparing our students for all manner of interpersonal, business, and academic situations. Beyond that, we are training them to think and consider what they are hearing beyond the superficial. We want to teach students to read, to memorize, and to muse upon the Word of God and to seek the truth in anything they find, and this program was but one more opportunity for them to read, internalize, and present what they have learned.”

Legacy Academy is a classical Christian school, following the principles of the Trivium: first knowledge, then understanding, then wisdom. This approach uses time-tested methods to teach students: ensuring they are best equipped for a life of learning. Students should not simply be taught what to think but, rather, how to think, so that they can learn and grow for their whole lives.

Check your deer online in Arkansas this season    11/09/23

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission expects more than 33,000 deer to be harvested and checked this Saturday and Sunday during opening weekend of Arkansas’s modern gun deer season if the harvest is consistent with recent years. Although extra staff are being contracted to handle a large volume of calls expected to come in, hunters can still avoid any time on “hold” by checking their deer through AGFC’s new smartphone app.

The new app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple Store, but hunters who have used the AGFC app before this year should delete all older versions to get the new one. Once downloaded, they will need to create a new account and sign in to the system. If a hunter has a valid hunting license that allows harvest of big game, the associated electronic game tags will appear in their account. From there you can follow these simple steps to check your deer.

  1. Click on the Licenses and Game Check button to see your list of valid licenses and tags.
  2. Click on the tag you wish to use to check your big game (all tags that are still valid to be used will have an indicator arrow informing you that you can check game with it).
  3. Select the date of harvest and complete the short survey about the details of your harvested game. Include county, WMA/Zone, weapon used and other biological information on the harvested animal.
  4. Carefully review your game check report. Once submitted it cannot be changed. 
  5. To submit, press Next, then Save.

If your phone has service, you will receive a confirmation number immediately. You will also receive an email and a message in your app inbox confirming your harvest.

If you are not connected to internet or cell service, you’ll receive a notice on your screen that your submission is pending upon validation. When your device returns to service or internet connection, you should sync your app by selecting this button. Once synced you will receive your confirmation on the app screen, via email and in the app inbox.

All deer harvested in Arkansas must be checked within 12 hours of harvest. Before they are moved, they must have a physical tag attached to the antler (for bucks) or leg (for does) that indicates the hunter’s name, customer ID number, date and time of harvest and the deer zone or WMA where it was taken. If a deer is checked at the point of harvest, it does not have to be tagged as long as it stays within the immediate presence of the hunter who checked it.

Visit for more information on deer hunting in Arkansas. 

De Queen’s Friendship Baptist Church to host 12th annual Thanksgiving Day meal    11/08/23

DE QUEEN – A local church is gearing up to present its annual Thanksgiving Day meal giveaway for local families in need – an event they’ve hosted for over a decade and one which has provided meals to hundreds of people in the area during that time.

Friendship Baptist Church will host its 12th Thanksgiving Day Meal on Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, Nov. 23. Meals will be served beginning at 10:30 that morning and continue through 12 noon.

Deliveries will be offered to homebound individuals in both De Queen and Horatio as well as first responders working Thanksgiving Day in Sevier County.

Ashlie Shelton, a member of Friendship Baptist Church, shared some of the details for this year’s Thanksgiving Day Meal.

“If you’re in need of a Thanksgiving meal, we’ll be glad to get you one,” said Shelton.”For those who do not need a meal delivered, just come on by and we’ll bring you one. And if someone is alone on Thanksgiving, they are more than welcome to come by and fellowship with us at the church. We don’t want anybody to be alone on Thanksgiving.”
The meal will include chicken and dressing with chicken donated by Tyson Foods, as well as all the fixings and dessert.

The church anticipates it will give away around 400 meals this year. That means, over the past 12 years, the church has fed more than a thousand people on Thanksgiving Day.

Shelton said it’s a big effort and takes the entire church to make it happen. Members get up early Thanksgiving Day morning for the final preparations. Even the church’s youngest members are there to help make the day a success.

“Everyone helps out,” she said. “The whole church gets together for this meal, even the little ones help. It’s so much fun to see everyone come together to make this happen each year.”

For the past 12 years members of Friendship Baptist Church have spent their Thanksgiving providing meals to others – including those in need and those first responders who work Thanksgiving Day. Now, it’s a church tradition.

“It’s a tradition for us now and we really enjoy it,” said Shelton. “It’s how we’ve come to enjoy our Thanksgiving, by helping out those in need.”

Shelton said anyone wishing for a Thanksgiving Day meal delivery on Nov. 23 can call (870) 279-0507, (870) 584-9918 or (870) 847-0439. Organizers ask that when you call you please provide your name, address and how many meals are needed. Leave a voicemail if there is no answer.

De Queen City Council discusses 2024 budget, service rate increases    11/08/23
DE QUEEN – The 2024 operating budget was one of the main topics of discussion during Tuesday night’s meeting of the De Queen City Council.
If approved next month, the $12.1 million budget will fund city operations throughout the next year.

De Queen Mayor Jeff Brown, aided by the heads of each of the city’s departments, presented a conservative list of capital outlay expenses for 2024 – a conservative budget made necessary, said Brown, due to rising costs on nearly everything the city purchases.

The budget is set to include a five percent raise for city employees in 2024 as well as a $750 Christmas bonus. The De Queen Fire Department is requesting a $19,000 backup generator for its fire station to replace a unit installed around 30 years ago.

The De Queen Parks and Recreation Department is seeking to install more LED lights at its facilities as well as $40,000 to repair and upgrade the skate park at the Sportsplex.

The 2024 Street Program would total around $367,000 – $100,000 will be covered by a state reimbursement from this year’s repaving project on Coulter Drive. The Street Program would focus on repaving Locke Street from 13th Street to Ninth Street; N. Ninth Street from Collin Raye to the S-curve; and a portion of Fort Towson.

The police department is seeking two new Dodge Durango patrol vehicles to replace two of its older vehicles. In addition, the department is requesting $75,000 to expand the city’s dog pound.

The council is expected to vote on the budget at next month’s meeting.

In other business, the council approved the first of three readings to raise rates for the city’s water, sewer and sanitation service. The increase is made necessary, said Brown, due to rising costs associated with providing these services to city customers.

If approved on its final and third reading in January, the ordinance would raise those rates to $9.25 per month for solid waste collection for single-family homes in the city limits and $12 for those outside the city. Commercial customers would also see a slight rate increase for dumpster pickup.

The ordinance would see sewer rates increase by $0.25 per year for the next three years. Water service would increase at a similar rate of $0.25 per year over the next three years.

In some other city business, the council approved a $385,000 bid to sandblast and paint the city’s water tank on Magnolia Street. The cost will be fully covered by a grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC).

Brown also announced the city is receiving a federal grant to replace the sidewalks on the east side of Ninth Street from Coulter Drive to the De Queen Public Schools admin building.

De Queen man arrested on drug, fleeing charges    11/08/23

DE QUEEN – A De Queen man is facing felony charges after he tried fleeing from police while in possession of a controlled substance during an altercation with officers on Monday.

According to the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, deputies and officers with the Ninth West Judicial Drug Task Force were notified of the location of a suspect on Monday who had an active warrant issued for his arrest.

Authorities spotted the suspect, identified as 22-year-old Tyler Quintana of De Queen – traveling as a passenger in a vehicle at Tractor Supply. Deputy Chris Turner approved Quintana as he began walking into Tractor Supply. Quintana then reportedly pulled away from Turner and began running on foot through the parking lot. While attempting to apprehend the suspect, the deputy fell into an adjacent concrete drain causing injury to his shoulder, elbow and hands.

Deputy Turner was assisted by Deputy Chris Wolcott to a safe location to wait for EMS. Quintana was apprehended soon after by an officer with the De Queen Police Department behind Pruett’s Foods. Other officers arrived on scene. During a search of Quintana, officers allegedly discovered approximately seven grams of suspected methamphetamine in his possession.

Quintana was placed into custody on felony charges of fleeing and possession of a controlled substance.

Ahead of modern gun opening, ONF officials discuss hunting regs    11/08/23

OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST – Modern gun season in Arkansas begins this weekend, and Forest managers are reminding hunters of important safety and regulatory considerations.

It is important to always remain alert and aware of surroundings and to practice the “Four Steps for Safety” to improve awareness of natural hazards: Look Up, Look Down, Look Around, Look Below. Dead or dying trees can potentially fall or drop branches without warning, especially in high winds, and forest terrain can be uneven or unstable. Check the weather forecast and assess weather conditions before travel. Hunters should always let someone know planned routes, destinations, and expected return times.

All state game regulations are in effect on National Forest lands. State law enforcement officers work cooperatively with Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers to enforce federal regulations. Prohibited activities include:

-Baiting game species on the national forests.

-Shooting from or across a county, state, or federally maintained road.

-Possessing or consuming alcohol during any hunting activity or while operating a motorized vehicle, including off-highway vehicles.

-Traveling off designated routes for motorized vehicle use.

-Leaving dispersed campsites up and unoccupied for longer than 30 days. Any unoccupied (held) campsite is considered abandoned. At the end of the 30-day period, dispersed campsites must be completely dismantled and moved at least one mile from the original campsite. The 30-day period begins the first day any item is placed at the campsite. Campers may camp up to 90 days in a calendar year. Dispersed campsites may not be reserved.

Hunters should also be aware of requirements that apply specifically to individual national forests or wildlife management areas on a forest:

Ouachita National Forest

-Hunting stands may be erected for up to 14 days at a time and must be moved to another location more than 200 yards away if the hunting trip continues. All stands must have the owner’s name and address permanently affixed. Remove stands from the forest at the end of the hunting season.

-Off-highway vehicles are allowed on designated routes only or in game retrieval corridors while retrieving legally downed large game.

Maps and OHV Regulations

-OHVs are allowed on designated routes only.

-Not all Forest Service roads are designated as legal routes. Hunters may print a map before leaving home to ensure they are riding legally. Visit for Ouachita National Forest Motor Vehicle Use Management maps, or for Ozark-St. Francis National Forests’ MVUM maps.

-Want to go paperless? Download the Avenza app for digital MVUM maps: Hunters can track their activities all season long with this free interactive mapping tool.

National Forests do not issue hunting licenses. For more information and additional regulations regarding hunting on public lands, reference state hunting regulations published by the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission. For general National Forest questions, call the Ouachita National Forest at (501) 321-5202.

Lockesburg man arrested after trying to crash through gates at S.C. nuclear plant    11/06/23
Doyle Wayne Whisenhunt of Lockesburg was arrested last week after allegedly attempting to hit a security guard in his vehicle and crash through the gates of a South Carolina nuclear power plant. Whisenhunt is also wanted in Sevier County on multiple drug and firearm charges. (Photo courtesy of Oconee County Sheriff’s Office)

WALHALLA, S.C. – A Lockesburg man is facing numerous felony charges including attempted murder after he allegedly crashed his vehicle into the gate of a South Carolina nuclear power plant late last week.

According to a news release issued by the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina, 66-year-old Doyle Wayne Whisenhunt of Lockesburg is charged with one count each of attempted murder, malicious injury to personal property and unlawful entry following an incident Thursday night at the Oconee Nuclear Station.

Authorities claim Whisenhunt drove towards a group of security guards with his vehicle “in an attempt to cause harm or death.” Whisenhunt reportedly tried crashing through the exit gate of the facility, causing damage to the gate and fencing outside a secured area of the nuclear plant. He is also charged with trespassing on the property of the nuclear plant without authorization.

Whisenhunt was stopped from entering the plant by a pop-up barrier.

None of the facility’s employees were injured during the incident.

Whisenhunt was able to flee the scene, but was later located in a nearby vacant home. He was reportedly found by the property owner who held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived to make the arrest.

Authorities have not said what prompted the incident. However, in a statement the sheriff’s office said it doesn’t “have any evidence that this is any type of domestic terroristic event.”

The sheriff’s office said Whisenhunt was also charged in a separate incident earlier that night with leaving the scene of an accident.

Whisenhunt appeared in a South Carolina courtroom on Saturday where his bond was set at $320,500. If convicted on all counts, Whisenhunt could face up to 66 years in a federal penitentiary.

Court records show an arrest warrant was issued for Whisenhunt in Sevier County on Oct. 31 for multiple felony firearm and drug-related offenses. Those charges include possession of a controlled substance with purpose to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, and maintaining a drug premise.

Sevier County DHS seeking volunteers to help bring Christmas to local foster kids     11/06/23

DE QUEEN – With the holiday season here, the Sevier County Department of Human Services is once again organizing its annual project to provide gifts to all area foster children in-need.

The agency is seeking the community’s help in ensuring all foster children in Sevier County receive a gift this Christmas.

In total, the department is providing services to 50 Sevier County children in need at this time. Officials estimate that figure will likely rise by Christmas.

Organizers are asking anyone interested to contact them starting this week to request a child or children to sponsor this Christmas. The Department of Human Services will provide volunteers with information specific to each child. Gift cards are also welcome.

Sponsors can be matched with a partner to lessen the burden on individuals.

Those participating in the gift program are asked to turn their gifts in by Dec. 14. This will allow organizers one week to get the presents delivered to children before Christmas. Participants wrapping their own presents are asked to label the gift with the child’s number and the contests of the package.

Organizers say any and all help is tremendously appreciated.

For more information, contact the Sevier County Children and Family Services staff at 279-1731.

Congressman Westerman’s staff hosting mobile offices in Sevier County today    11/06/23
DE QUEEN – The office of Congressman Bruce Westerman has announced his staff will host mobile office hours across the 4th District this week. Staff will be available to assist constituents with casework matters related to passports, Social Security, Veterans Affairs, Social Security, Internal Revenue Service, and other federal agency issues.

Locally, two mobile offices are being held in Sevier County today. These include from 10 a.m to 12 noon at the Sevier County Courthouse in downtown De Queen and again from 2-4 p.m. at the Horatio City Hall, located at 111 W. Main Street in Horatio.

Filing period opens today in Arkansas for state, district and judicial offices     11/06/23

LITTLE ROCK – The filing period begins at noon today for candidates seeking election next year to Arkansas state and district offices.

This candidate filing period is for the offices of U.S. President, U.S. Vice President, U.S. Representative, State Treasurer, State Senator and State Representative. In addition, the filing period is also open to the nonpartisan offices of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, State District Court and Prosecuting Attorney.

Filings are behind held in the second floor rotunda at the Arkansas State Capitol. The filing period will conclude at 3 p.m. on Nov. 14, according to Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston.

Next year’s important election dates include:

March 5 – Preferential Primary and Nonpartisan General Election

April 2 – General Primary Runoff Election

Nov. 5 – General Election and Nonpartisan Runoff Election

Dec. 3 – General Runoff Election

Area government offices to close Friday for Veteran’s Day    11/06/23

DE QUEEN – The Sevier County Courthouse and Landfill will be closed this Friday, Nov. 10 in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.

In addition, the City of De Queen has announced it will be closed this Friday for Veterans Day. This week’s trash schedule for the City of De Queen will be as follows:

Monday and Tuesday will remain the same.

Thursday’s trash will be picked up on Wednesday.

Friday’s trash will be picked up on Thursday.

USACE to waive use fees on Veteran’s Day    11/03/23

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will waive day use fees at its more than 2,850 USACE-operated recreation areas nationwide in observance of Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The waiver covers fees for boat launch ramps and swim beaches. The waiver does not apply to camping and camping-related services or fees for specialized facilities and events. Other entities that manage recreation areas on USACE lands are encouraged, but not required, to offer the waiver in areas they manage.

Visitors should contact USACE projects before visiting to ensure recreation areas are open. The status of USACE-managed campgrounds, boat ramps, swim beaches and other sites is available at

USACE began the Veterans Day fee waiver in 2006 to honor those who have served our nation in the armed forces.

USACE also offers other fee-free days throughout the year to mark days of celebration and commemoration, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; USACE birthday; Juneteenth National Independence Day; and National Public Lands Day.

USACE is one of the leading federal providers of outdoor and water-based recreation, hosting millions of visits annually to its more than 400 lake and river projects. It’s estimated that 90 percent of USACE-operated recreation areas are within 50 miles of metropolitan areas, offering diverse outdoor activities for all ages.

To find a USACE recreation site near you, please visit or 

Leopards football is over, but basketball starts up next week (schedule)    11/03/23

Arkansas LEARNS Act Education Freedom Accounts     11/03/23

Arkansas will continue to accept applications from families who want to fund their children’s tuition with Education Freedom Accounts, and perhaps as early as February the state will begin accepting applications for next school year.

The governor proposed and the legislature created the funding mechanism during the regular session earlier this year. About 5,000 students have been approved and their families are receiving $6,672 to help pay for the cost of private or parochial schools. However, students who had been in the Succeed Scholarship program qualify for $7,413.

There is funding for about 1,500 additional students this year. Next school year, and estimated 13,000 students will be able to apply, according to the assistant commissioner for school choice in the state Division of Elementary and Secondary Education. He spoke to parents and interested people during a digital hearing on the Internet.

In school year 2025-2026, the families of all Arkansas students may apply for funding from Education Freedom Accounts.

The accounts are a component of Act 237 of 2023, also known as the LEARNS Act. That is an acronym for literacy, empowerment, accountability, readiness, networking and safety.

Under the act, private schools may apply to qualify for the accounts, and so far 94 schools, or about 70 percent of all the private schools in Arkansas, have been approved.

Earlier in October a national organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council, ranked Arkansas second in the country for parental empowerment, thanks to the LEARNS Act. Arkansas was one of only three states to earn an “A” from the organization for parental empowerment.

Act 237 also raises minimum teacher salaries to $50,000. Teachers who already make more than the minimum got a $2,000 raise. Full-time teachers can get 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

The act increases the amount that teachers can receive for student loan repayment, from $3,000 to $6,000 for teachers who pledge to stay in Arkansas.

It repeals the teacher fair dismissal law.

The act emphasizes several methods to improve literacy in the early grades. The state will hire 120 literacy coaches who will concentrate on schools that scored a D or an F on school report cares. Families of children struggling with literacy can get a $500 stipend to pay for a tutor. The standard in literacy for advancing to third grade will be higher.

Too many Arkansas children do not read at grade level, so under the LEARNS Act the state will provide high quality material so that all classrooms can use methods based on the science of reading. A goal of the act is to ensure that all elementary school teachers have been trained in the science of reading.

The LEARNS Act requires high school students to complete 75 hours of community service in order to graduate.

It allows high school students to choose a curriculum focused on technical and vocational subjects that will further their path toward a well-paid job. If high school students don’t believe they are suited for higher education, they won’t be limited to the conventional core of academic subjects.

The act directs the state will commit to more school safety measures, continuing the push to provide high speed Internet in all Arkansas schools.

Home Builders Resource Expo in De Queen tonight    11/02/23
DE QUEEN – Anyone interested in building their own home is being invited to an event in De Queen this evening aimed at connecting them with the right experts in the field.
The first-ever Home Builders Resource Expo is scheduled for 4:30-6:30 this evening in the Skilled Trades Building on UA Cossatot’s De Queen Campus. The event is free to attend and will include door prizes (including a total of $2,500 in gift cards to Bailey Discount Building Supply) as well as dinner.

Organizers invite you to discover everything you need to know about building your dream home and meet industry professionals who can answer all your questions.

In addition, we here with KDQN’s Morning Brew Crew will be live on-location with the Number One Country Treasure Chest full of cash and prizes.

The Home Builders Resource Expo is being sponsored by Tri-Lakes Realty and Baily Discount Building Supply.

Arkansas confirms case of avian influenza in Madison County    11/02/23

LITTLE ROCK – Testing has confirmed a case of avian influenza on an Arkansas poultry farm in Madison County. Following an investigation by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Livestock and Poultry Division in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Veterinary Services, the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory has confirmed poultry from this farm have tested positive for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI).

There is no public health concern, and avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture and partner agencies, including the USDA, are working to contain the situation. Actions include sampling and quarantining nearby poultry flocks.

We have taken immediate action to contain this disease and will continue to work with poultry growers, the industry, and our laboratory partners to protect against its spread,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “Arkansas poultry is safe to eat, and consumers can be confident in the safety of their food.”

The farm is under quarantine to stop the spread of avian influenza to other flocks in the state,” said Arkansas State Veterinarian John Nilz.

Under the provisions of the Poultry Disease and Flock Condemnation Rule, which can be found at, it is prohibited to conduct the following actions within an affected area:

-Exhibit poultry and domestic waterfowl.

-Move poultry or domestic waterfowl.

-Sell, barter, trade, auction, or give away poultry or domestic waterfowl at fairs, swap meets, auctions, flea markets, and similar events and locations.

An affected area is an area determined by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture of approximately 25 miles surrounding a flock with a confirmed case of HPAI. The boundaries of the affected area for the confirmed case in Madison County are Gateway (northernmost), Osage (easternmost), Combs (southernmost), and Harmon (westernmost).

Additionally, all free range and backyard poultry within an affected area, whether intended for commercial or noncommercial use, must be confined under cover or inside structures to prevent contamination from migratory birds. Backyard flock owners who have sick or unusual deaths in their flocks should email info@agriculture. or call (501) 823-1746.

For more information on avian influenza visit health/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/ai and for protecting poultry, visit

Leopards and Razorbacks meet up for 22nd contest on the gridiron tonight    11/02/23

Tonight’s matchup between the Arkansas High Razorbacks and the De Queen Leopards is the 22nd meeting between the two schools.

The Razorbacks have claimed twelve victories, while the Leopards have been victorious five times. There have been four ties in the matchup. Ironically, there have been three 0-0 ties over the years between the Hogs and Leopards!

The first meeting between the two schools was back in 1929, when Texarkana blanked De Queen 12-0.

The schools battled seven times during the decade of the 1930’s. Arkansas High won four of those matchups. The Leopards, coached by Jack Robinson, were victorious in 1935 by a score of 47-7. The schools tied in 1939.

During the decade of the 1940’s, the Razorbacks and Leopards played twice. Arkansas High won in 1940, and the schools tied 0-0 in 1941.

The Leopards dominated the series during the decade of the 1950’s, winning four, losing once, with one tie. The 1950 Leopards, coached by Bob Ellen and Bob Stephens, whipped Texarkana 26-2 enroute to a 12-1 season. Jack Humphreys and legendary Buddy Bob Benson paced the Leopards. Benson ran wild during his senior season in 1951 as the Leopards dominated Texarkana 32-6 on their way to a perfect 10-0 season.

The 1955 Leopards, coached by Delwin Ross, throttled Texarkana 36-6 behind a strong performance from Don Hubbard, who would go on to coach the Leopards in the 1960’s. Finally, the 1958 Leopards, coached by Jack Bell, defeated Texarkana 20-6. De Queen’s only loss in that 1958 season was to Hope 6-0.

James R. Norwood and John Whitaker led the Leopards to that 20-6 win over the Razorbacks.. The last meeting in that era between De Queen and Texarkana was a 6-0 Razorbacks victory in 1960.

De Queen and Texarkana would not compete again until the 2018 season when the two schools became 5A- South Conference opponents. The Razorbacks have had the best of the series since then. But there have been some memorable performances by the Leopards:

2018 – Alexis Luna rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown. Edward Garcia nailed a 28-yard field goal. Colby Cowley had six tackles and forced two fumbles.

2019 – Jesus Camacho rushed for 88 yards and a touchdown. Chase Pearce recorded nine tackles.

2020 – The contest was cancelled due to COVID-19.

2021 – Donyea Whitmore rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Dylan Williamson threw for 84 yards and ran for 72 more and a touchdown as the Razorbacks escaped Leopard Stadium with a 22-19 victory. Kaden Ahumada was credited with 14 tackles, and Enrique Hernandez had 12 stops.

2022 – Trey Brown did it all as he rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown, caught a pass for 15 yards, and led the tackle charts with 13 stops as Arkansas High rallied late for 36-24 win over the Leopards in Texarkana.

Cossatot River PTO to host 72nd Thanksgiving Supper    11/02/23

VANDERVOORT – Cossatot River School District Parent-Teacher Organization will host its 72nd annual Thanksgiving Supper next weekend.

The dinner is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 11 from 4-7 p.m. at the Cossatot River Primary School Cafeteria on the Vandervoort campus.

The menu includes chicken and dressing as well as all the fixings and pumpkin pie. Dine-in or take-out for a cost of just $8.

Leopard Marching Band makes history at state assessment    11/01/23
De Queen’s Leopard Marching Band made history Tuesday night with its first-ever 1st Division rating at the State Marching Assessment in Little Rock. (Photo courtesy of De Queen Public Schools)

LITTLE ROCK – De Queen’s Leopard Marching Band made history Tuesday night at the Arkansas State Marching Assessment.

The band earned its first-ever 1st Division rating during a performance at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock last night during the State Marching Assessment. In addition to this amazing score, the band was also named 10th overall in Arkansas in the 5A conference.
Leopards Band Director Daniel Dunn said the band showed incredible improvement over the last year, bringing its final score up by eight points. He added that students have put in hours of work into the show and it paid off Tuesday night.

The awards are the latest in a series of honors and trophies the band has earned this year. The band performed at the River Valley marching Invitational in Pottsville on Oct. 21 and added to its ever-growing collection of hardware.

The Leopard Band also received a Superior 1 rating from every single judge at the Region 2 Marching Assessment at Arkansas High Razorback Stadium in October. The score was the highest achievable and earned the team a trip to the State Marching Assessment held last night. This followed other amazing performances at Lake Hamilton and Glen Rose earlier this year.

SCMC Foundation hosting chili fundraiser today    11/01/23

DE QUEEN – The community is invited to participate in a chili fundraiser today organized by the Sevier County Medical Center Foundation. Given the freezing temperatures this week, it’s going to be a good day for chili.

The chili fundraiser will be held during both lunch and supper today: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 4:30-7:30 this evening. Meals can be picked up from the community building at De Queen’s Herman Dierks Park. Cost is a $10 donation.

Deliveries are also available within the city limits, or outside De Queen with a five-order minimum.

To place a delivery order, call (870) 584-6277 or 584-8177.

The Sevier County Medical Center Foundation is the non-profit, fundraising arm of the Sevier County Medical Center.

Arkansas trophy alligator gar application period opens today    11/01/23

AGFC Rivers Biologist Chelsea Gilliland working with a 187-lb. alligator gar from the Red River before releasing it back to the wild. (Photo courtesy of AGFC)

Anglers interested in hooking into an epic-sized trophy fish can apply for a 2024 Alligator Gar Trophy tag from now until the end of 2023.

Many Arkansas anglers travel all the way to the Gulf of Mexico each year in search of trophy fish like tarpon and sailfish. Most don’t know they are passing up a similar opportunity right here in The Natural State.

Alligator gar, the second largest species of freshwater fish in North America, occurs in many of Arkansas’s large rivers. These gar can grow longer than 7 feet from tail to snout and can weigh more than 200 pounds. In fact, the largest alligator gar ever caught in Arkansas weighed 241 pounds, more than 100 pounds heavier than the state’s next largest Arkansas catch, a 116-pound blue catfish that once held a world record.

Although the species is much less prevalent than it historically occurred, big gar are still swimming in rivers throughout Arkansas and many other southern states.

Anyone may fish for alligator gar on a catch-and-release basis with an Alligator Gar Permit (AGP), but a trophy tag (AGT) is required to keep an Alligator Gar longer than 36 inches. It takes decades for these fish to reach these trophy proportions, and harvest must be managed if the gar population is to remain healthy in Arkansas waters.

Interested anglers can enter the free online drawing from November 1 through December 31 for one of 200 Alligator Gar Trophy tags for the 2024 season. Applications are available under the “Fishing License” section of the AGFC’s online license system at

The drawing will occur Jan. 2, 2024.  Applicants will be notified of the results by email.

It’s Halloween! Sevier County hosting several free events this evening    10/31/23
DE QUEEN – It’s Halloween and families in Sevier County looking for a fun and safe trick-or-treating experience won’t have to look far with a host of events planned this evening.
Downtown Trick-or-Treat
That includes Trick-or-Treat Downtown on the Square presented by the Sevier County Chamber of Commerce. The event kicks off tonight at 4 p.m. around the courthouse square in downtown De Queen and will continue until 5:30 p.m. Businesses are invited to set up downtown at 3:30 p.m. and handout candy.

Fifth Annual De Queen Trunk-or-Treat

Alicia Rivas and other organizers will host the fifth annual De Queen Trunk or Treat from 5-7 p.m. this evening at the De Queen Sportsplex. Activities are also planned including sack races, face painting, corn hole and more.

Businesses, churches, civic groups and individuals are also encouraged to donate candy for this community event. Candy can be dropped off here at Your Number One Country studios as well as at Meraki Hair Studio, Leopard Nutrition, Cutting Room & Co., Conquest Industrial Services and Bakers Towing and Recovery.

There is no cost to attend and area kids are invited to come by for a free and safe Halloween candy giveaway experience.

Horatio VFD Trick-or-Treat

The Horatio Volunteer Fire Department is inviting the community out to its trick-or-treat event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Horatio State Bank parking lot.

De Queen Church of Christ

The De Queen Church of Christ will host a candy giveaway event at its parking lot beginning at six Halloween night and continuing until 8 p.m.

Following a few tips can help ensure a safe Halloween celebration    10/31/23

Halloween is here and to help ensure children and adults stay safe, here are a few tips for all who will be celebrating.

For trick-or-treaters:

  • Cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks.
  • Always walk on sidewalks or paths. If there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible. Children should walk on direct routes with the fewest street crossings.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up.
  • Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars.
  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors.
  • Choose face paint and makeup whenever possible instead of masks, which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers.
  • Be sure to choose a costume that won’t cause safety hazards.
  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant.
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks.
  • Opt for nontoxic Halloween makeup over masks, which can obscure vision; always test makeup in a small area first to see if any irritation develops.
  • Remove all makeup before children go to bed to prevent skin and eye irritation.

For adults and drivers:

  • Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs.
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  • Eliminate any distractions inside your car so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.
  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan an acceptable a route.
  • Agree on a specific time children should return home.
  • Teach your children never to enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends.
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home and take care to avoid any food allergies.

We can’t forget our furry friends!

Experts say to not take your pets trick-or-treating with you. Halloween decorations can spook them and cause them to run off.

It’s also important to make sure your pet’s costume is safe. They may look adorable in their costumes, but make sure their movement isn’t constricted. And of course, always keep candy out of reach.

Anheuser-Busch bringing Clydesdale team to Ashdown on Wednesday    10/31/23

ASHDOWN – The World-Famous Budweiser Clydesdales are celebrating their 90th Anniversary this year and Eagle Distributing of Texarkana – the area’s wholesaler of Anheuser-Busch products – is proud to be bringing them to Ashdown this Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The public is invited to come see the famous Clydesdale team at the Ashdown Fire Station at 4 p.m. Attendees are informed that parking will be limited.

Dinner and celebration to raise funds for Ashdown’s Two Rivers Museum    10/31/23

ASHDOWN – The Little River County Historical Society will host a dinner and celebration this Saturday to raise needed support for the Two Rivers Museum in Ashdown.

The Two Rivers Barn Bash will be held Saturday, Nov. 4 at Dee’s Barn & Venue on Saturday, Nov. 4, with hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. and dinner at 6:30.

The dinner meal and dessert will be prepared by Darby Neaves, owner of Naaman’s Championship BBQ, and will include his famous smoked pork chop with his popular twice-baked potatoes and specialty green bean side dishes, along with his homemade cheesecake to top it off. Ice tea and specialty coffee will be served.

The event will include double the entertainment by two local artists. Audra Turner Holt’s specialty is singing gospel hymns a capella. A 1990 top ten graduate of Ashdown High, Audra is currently the administrator of Pinecrest Retirement Lodge.

Also providing entertainment for the diners will be Steve Roberts, afamiliar performer in the Texarkana music scene for 37 years. Steve sings lead vocals for the popular local band Haywire, and his playlist ranges from Vince Gill to Bad Company.

Guests will also be treated to drawings for door prizes and the winner of a gun raffle. A silent auction will feature one-of-a-kind items, including a Razorback wreath, an American flag made out of wood, and paintings by local artists Kay McAdams, Kippy Wilson, and Mary Frances McKay.

Tickets for the event are $50 each and can be purchased at The Two Rivers Museum, The Castle, the Little River County Courthouse, Red River Oil, or from Historical Society members. Dee’s Barn & Venue is located just off Highway 32 West at 122 Little River 11 between Ashdown and Foreman.

For additional information, you may contact Carolyn Henderson at 903-

826-5627 or call Two Rivers Museum at 870-898-7200.

Sevier County Food for Fines, Mr. Roger’s Sweater Drive begins Wednesday    10/31/23

DE QUEEN – November is nearly here and that means a couple of things: Thanksgiving is just around the corner and so is the Sevier County Library System’s annual Food for Fines program.

Through this yearly initiative, patrons are invited to bring in any nonperishable food item for a one dollar reduction per item in existing overdue fines. Food accepted for fines are for returned library materials only, not for replacement fees of lost or damaged items. The program is part of the library system’s annual effort to address food insecurity in Sevier County, according to Head Librarian Johnye Fisher.

All libraries in Sevier County are participating again this year.

In addition to the Food for Fines program, the library is also once again sponsoring the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. The library is accepting new or gently worn items for donation, including cold weather clothes like coats, sweaters, gloves, hats, scarves and more. These items can be dropped off at any system library, including De Queen, Horatio, Lockesburg and Gillham.

Speaking of upcoming library events, Fisher is reminding kids in Sevier County that the library system will collect letters to Santa between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15. Letters can be dropped off at the library and will be sent to Santa.

For more information, call the De Queen Library at (870) 584-4364.

Halloween: The psychology for the “safe scare”    10/31/23′

Submitted by UAEX

LITTLE ROCK — Roller coasters. Scary movies. Bungee jumping. Why do we like the things that scare us?

For most people, low-stakes scares such as haunted houses, roller coasters, or scary movies are fun because, ultimately, we know we aren’t really in danger,” said Brittney Schrick, assistant professor and extension family life specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

At the bottom of it all is biology.

We get a release of endorphins in our brains that feels good,” she said. “Especially when it turns out that we’re safe, we get a sense of relief that causes us to relax. The anticipation of being scared can cause us to be tense and nervous, so when the scare finally happens, we get a nice payoff feeling.”

Endorphins are hormones that can give us a sense of well-being.

That rush of fear followed by a sense of relief has social effects as well, Schrick said.

We often do these kinds of activities with others, so we get to enjoy the fear responses and bond with those we are with,” she said. “There’s an ability to distance ourselves from what’s going on if we start to feel too scared. So, we might think ‘it’s just a movie,’ or ‘this will be over soon.'”

However, the tolerance for “fun fear” isn’t the same for everyone.

Everyone’s brain is different, so the responses we have when scared are different,” Schrick said. “Some people have been through truly terrible events in real life, so being scared isn’t fun. Others are naturally cautious, so being scared feels foolish.”

Schrick said that “some people seem to have a higher threshold for risk taking than others, and it often shows up at an early age. They are the ones likely to look for thrilling

activities because they like how they feel being on the edge of safety.”

Starts with peek-a-boo

The fun of the “safe scare” often starts with infants.

There seems to be a human impulse to startle each other,” she said. “We start doing it when we play peek-a-boo with babies. It’s not uncommon for babies to laugh when they are startled, so parents and other caregivers keep startling them so they will keep laughing.”

So why not be scared sometimes when we know everything will end up OK?

Schrick said that “in real life, scary moments are often followed by fallout or long-term stress that isn’t fun or easily recovered from.”

Listening area to receive first freeze tonight as cold front settles in    10/30/23
DE QUEEN – The listening area is expected to receive its first freeze of the season this evening as an incoming cold front threatens to drop temperatures below the freezing point.
The National Weather Service has issued a freeze watch in response, effective from midnight tonight to eight o’clock Tuesday morning. The watch is in effect for the entire listening area, including Sevier, Howard and Little River Counties as well as McCurtain County in neighboring Oklahoma. In Polk County, where temperatures are expected to drop into the low to mid 20s tonight, forecasters have issued a freeze warning due to the certainty of freezing temperatures.

Today’s high is just 50 degrees with tonight’s low expected to drop to 28 in Sevier County. Tomorrow’s low is just 25 degrees.

These temperatures could kill crops and other sensitive plants. Residents of the listening area are advised to take steps now to protect non-hardy plants from the cold. In addition, to prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor water pipes they should be wrapped, drained, or allowed to drip slowly. Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground pipes to protect them from freezing.

For homes prone to frozen water lines, leave faucets open slightly (particularly those ay away from where the water supply enters the home) and allow a small drip. This can help reduce the risk of frozen and possibly burst water lines during freezing temperatures.


DHS student joins Arkansas Congressional Youth Cabinet    10/30/23

DE QUEEN – A De Queen High School student has been invited to join the newest Arkansas Congressional Youth Cabinet hosted by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR).

U.S. Boozman launched the seventh year of his Congressional Youth Cabinet last week at the Statehouse Museum in Little Rock. The meeting brought together 100 high school juniors who were selected from public, private, charter and homeschool students across the state for their involvement and leadership in their communities.

The DHS junior invited to join the youth organization is Ester Carranza.

In a statement, Boozman said he looks forward to working with these youth leaders through this hands-on experience in governance and public policy.

I am pleased to welcome these young leaders who are interested in getting involved and making a difference in their schools and communities,” Boozman said. “It’s great to see the enthusiasm for the program and the passion students have for learning about public service and crafting policies to shape the future of Arkansas and our country.”

The Congressional Youth Cabinet is a non-partisan program that gives students insight and experience in the legislative process. The students will attend meetings throughout the year and work in teams to research national issues they select and propose policy solutions. In April, the students will present their recommendations to the senator.

A Leading Leopard: Lance Pinkerton marking 20th year at De Queen    10/27/23

Lifelong Leopard – Asst. Superintendent Lance Pinkerton is marking his 20th year with De Queen Public Schools in 2023, and his 26th year in education overall. He’s also in his fourth year as De Queen’s athletic director.

In addition to covering the current season through this publication, we at KDQN like to take the opportunity with our Leopard Pride football program to highlight the history of Leopards football and the many great people behind De Queen’s program – Leopards who stood out on the gridiron, those who give back to their community and those who embody the spirit of Leopard Pride each and every day.

Throughout this series we’ve had the honor to speak with many great Leopards who’ve made a positive mark in our community: Murray Neely, T. Ray Wilson, Jeff Holcombe, Richard Bell, Beau McCastlain, among many others.

In this edition, we spotlight another product of De Queen football who embodies the spirit of Leopard Pride as perhaps few other do: De Queen Assistant Superintendent and Athletic Director Lance Pinkerton.

A lifelong Leopard, Pinkerton has just about done it all at De Queen Public Schools: student, quarterback in high school, math teacher, assistant principal, principal and now assistant superintendent and athletic director.

Pinkerton is a third generation educator and a second generation Leopard. His father, Dwight, taught math at De Queen for more than three decades (he also coached Lady Leopards basketball for 10 years). His grandfather, too, was a math teacher.

A big part of life in Southwest Arkansas – then and now – revolves around high school football. Oh, those Friday Night Lights! Obviously, that term, which conjures up all the feels that come with going to a Friday night football game, refers to the giant floodlights high above the field that make the high school football game a bright spot in any rural town as the weekend gets rolling.

Like most young men in De Queen, Pinkerton found those lights irresistible. He joined the team and eventually worked his way to starting quarterback for his senior year in 1991.

It’s just what you did,” he said. “Everyone played football back then. There’s just so much excitement in a town like ours for football that you had to be a part of it.”

The Leopards were undefeated Pinkerton’s sophomore year. De Queen fell in the first round at state, but it was still a year to be proud of. The next year the Leopards ended 7-3 and, most importantly, beat Nashville. His senior year, as starting quarterback, Pinkerton helped lead the team to five straight victories in the first half of the season. However, a couple of injuries among the starting squad saw the Leopards end 1991 with a 6-4 record under Head Coach Bill Koen.

Pinkerton looks back fondly on those years – although he is quick to credit any victories on the gridiron to his coaches and fellow athletes.

I can’t say I had much to do with it because the rest of the guys on the team, and the coaches we had, were so great,” said Pinkerton. “I have a lot of good memories from those years, a lot of good friendships that were made and that I still have.”

Pinkerton’s performance on the field was strong enough, however, to earn him the prestigious Rotary Cup from the De Queen Rotary Club in 1991. (Fun fact: Pinkerton helped lead the team to a 22-0 victory over Stamps that year. De Queen Superintendent Jason Sanders was a sophomore Yellowjacket player at that game. Pinkerton said he tries not to reference this shutout too often during their daily interactions.)

Pinkerton also competed in basketball and baseball – a dedication to the broad range of De Queen sports that would later lend well in his role at the district’s athletic director.

It’s hard to reference De Queen Public Schools without mentioning Lance Pinkerton. But if you asked him in his senior year what his future had in store, education would not have been on the list.

I thought I would try accounting or something else, not necessarily a career in education,” he explained.

Yet, like generations of Pinkertons before him, education proved to be a draw he couldn’t shake. After teaching in Lockesburg and Foreman, Pinkerton returned to De Queen in 2003. This year marks his 20th year with De Queen Public Schools and his 26th year in education in total. Throughout that time he served as a high school math teacher, assistant principal of De Queen Middle School before becoming the campus principal, and now serves as assistant superintendent to Superintendent Jason Sanders.

This year marks his fourth as the Leopards’ athletic director. That position is transitioning this year to Leopards Head Football Coach Richard Bell to allow Pinkerton more time to focus on his districtwide administrative duties. However, Pinkerton has several important thoughts from these last few years as athletic director he is quick to share. For one, Pinkerton said a good athletic director is willing to lead from the front.

I try to take the approach of leadership with the idea that I’m working for them just like they’re working for me,” said Pinkerton. “I won’t ask them to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself. And I’ve been very lucky because the coaching staff behind our sports programs is absolutely dedicated to the kids who attend De Queen Schools.”

As athletic director, Pinkerton has been well-placed to see the challenges facing De Queen sports programs in recent years. Particularly during football season. De Queen Public Schools bumped up to the 5A conference back in 2012 and has had a tough hill to climb ever since. Following years of population growth, De Queen’s school is now perennially pitted against some of the biggest and best teams in the state (the Parkview Patriots currently the best example). It’s a pretty big change from the 2A conference foes Pinkerton faced during his years on the team.

Don’t get me wrong, we faced some serious opponents back in the 2A conference but these days we’re in a whole other league,” he explained. “Yes, we’re twice as big of a school as we were back then, but we’re one of the smallest in this conference. People talk about how good De Queen was at football historically, but a lot has changed from our days in 2A. Our coaches and players are still of an excellent quality but they’re up against some of the strongest teams in the state who can draw on a wealth of players.”

Despite the challenges – or rather, because of them – Pinkerton is quick to express his admiration for Leopards football and the commitment demonstrated by everyone involved with the program.

To train each day and get on the field each Friday night when you know you’re taking on some of the best teams in the entire state, that’s a level of dedication that’s hard to match,” he said. “I have so much respect for our kids, for our coaches, for committing week in and week out against what’s these tough battles. The fact they give it everything they got each week, well, that’s something our community can be very proud of.”

Perhaps most importantly, this adversity is building De Queen’s next generation of tough young men.

The thing is, there’s days in life when you’re going to get knocked down but you got to get right back up,” said Pinkerton. “And you got to get up fighting. Winning is great, but you have to know how to lose. How to come back and try again next time. Great coaches, like the ones we have, stress that every day. Ultimately, our guys are learning lessons about perseverance, about life. Life isn’t always going to be easy. You’re not always going to win. It’s how you deal with defeat that makes you a strong individual. It builds a commitment to give it your all regardless of how tough the competition is. And that’s why I know our guys are going to be good fathers, good leaders of their community, because they know that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. And our guys are tough.”

In short, Pinkerton is proud of De Queen football – just as he is in regards to soccer, track and cross country with these programs’ ever-growing collection of trophies.

One of the things that makes me proudest is going out in the community and seeing so many of the kids I taught, kids who competed in De Queen athletics, and how they’re now business owners and leaders in the community,” said Pinkerton. “Our athletic programs have always succeeded in teaching our young people not just life lessons, but also taught them to be proud of being a Leopard. Our programs are still doing that each and every day.”

On the other side of that coin, Pinkerton said De Queen is lucky to have a community so committed to its school district.

It’s hard to put into words just how much these community is behind our school,” he said. “From everyone who packs our stands at a football game, to our amazing school board, to Jason Sanders and our entire administrative team, to our coaches, teachers, students and their families – De Queen is a town that is committed to its school and not every community can say the same. I feel blessed to be part of De Queen Public Schools, to be a part of this community.”

From the gridiron to the admin office, Pinkerton is a true embodiment of Leopard Pride. Together he and his wife, Shanna, have two sons attending De Queen Public Schools: Max, a senior, and sixth-grader Sam.

Operation Christmas Child Collection Week is Nov. 13-20    10/27/23

HORATIO – Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Week will be fully underway next month to bring Christmas to less-fortunate children across the world.

Local volunteers will be transforming empty shoeboxes into gifts of hope filled with toys, school supplies, hygiene items, and articles of clothing for children in need worldwide. The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ and bring joy to children in struggling communities across the world. It all starts with the help of a shoebox filled with gifts.

This year’s collection week is scheduled for Nov. 13-20.

As in previous years, local organizers will host a drop-off and volunteer site at the Horatio First Baptist Church, located at 211 Hazard Street in Horatio.

In Little River County, a drop-off location has been set up at the First United Methodist Church of Ashdown. Other drop-off sites are located at First Baptist Church in Nashville, the Cove First Baptist Church and the Faith Christian Center in Broken Bow.

Anyone interested in participating is asked to fill out a standard-sized shoebox with gifts for a girl or boy in certain age categories. Operation Christmas Child provides a full step-by-step guide on what and how to pack. That guide can be found online at That website also includes more detailed dates and times for when and where shoeboxes can be dropped off.

Arkansas drivers: Watch out, deer are on the move    10/27/23

Deer are on the move in The Natural State. That means hunters and motorists in Arkansas should keep a watchful eye out, particularly at dawn and dusk.

In addition to the increased deer activity, the shortened days place rush hour during the peak times of day when deer are on the move.

One way to increase safety is simply slowing down. Giving yourself a split-second longer to see and react to deer along the side of the road often can be the difference between a safe braking job and a dangerous situation. Give yourself a few extra minutes in the morning and at night to get where you’re going and arrive safely.

When it is dark, use your high beams whenever the road is free of oncoming traffic. This will allow a deer’s eyes to shine, even when along the side of the road, so that you are prepared if one starts making its way toward you.

While jokes abound about deer crossing signs and the Arkansas Department of Transportation simply moving them to a crosswalk to let deer cross in those areas, the signs are there for a reason. According to ADOT, these signs are placed at areas where they have been requested by people observing multiple instances of animals crossing the road and where vehicle collisions have occurred.

Never swerve to avoid a deer in the road. Swerving can confuse the deer on where to run. Swerving can also cause a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles, take you off the roadway into a tree or a ditch, and greatly increase the chances of serious injuries. If a deer does move into your path, maintain control and do your best to brake and give the deer time to get out of your way.

If you do collide with a deer or other large animal, call emergency services at once if injuries are involved, or local law enforcement if no one is injured but damage has been caused to your vehicle. Also give the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission a call at 800-482-9262 to report the road kill. Report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible.

A frequent question to the Game and Fish Commission is, “If I hit and kill a deer on a road, can I keep the deer for meat?” The answer is yes, and it does not count on a hunter’s season limit. But be sure to report it, so that the AGFC can issue a check number for the vehicle collision so that officers will know where the deer came from. Once a wildlife officer records the incident, he or she also may know of a needy family in the area who would take the meat.

Luis Sotelo breaks 1,000 rushing yards for the Cubs   10/26/23

DE QUEEN – The De Queen junior high Cubs closed out their season Tuesday night at Leopard Stadium with a 35-24 loss to Magnolia in action heard live on your #1 Country 92.1. 

The big story of the night was our McDonalds Player of the Game Luis Sotelo, who rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries. And for the season, Sotelo surpassed the 1,000 yard mark with a total of 1,091 yards rushing, despite playing in the equivalent of only six games while he battled a high ankle sprain injury. Sotelo scored on runs of 43, 19, and 44 yards to put touchdowns on the scoreboard for the Cubs. Draiden Bennett rushed for a pair of two-point conversions. John Maturino passed to Jordan Ladesma for another conversation as the Cubs went a perfect three-for-three in two-point conversion attempts on the night. 

Turnovers plagued the Cubs as Magnolia scored on a 45-yard “scoop and score” and a 25-yard “pick six” to pull away for the 35-24 victory. 

With the exception of one game, the Cubs played competitive football throughout the season. Coaches Drew Dykes and Reid Maag did a nice job with the team.

Leopards Head Coach Richard Bell says the 30 ninth graders on the junior high roster will have the option of moving up to play for the varsity in the final two senior high football games, going into junior high basketball, or starting their offseason conditioning and weightlifting program.

Small, hobby flock safety is key to prevent spread of avian influenza   10/26/23

Submitted by UAEX

A change in the weather may intensify the fall migration of wildfowl and poultry flock owners will need to redouble their biosecurity efforts to stave off potential infections of a deadly type of bird flu, said Dustan Clark, extension poultry veterinarian for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Geese, ducks and other wildfowl are already making their way south along the Mississippi Flyway,” Clark said on Tuesday. “And we know that wildfowl play a role in moving avian influenza around the Western Hemisphere.”

At issue is highly pathogenic avian influenza, H5N1, which has beleaguered poultry owners since 2021, affecting millions of birds on five continents and last year, helped drive up egg prices. This fall, 10 states have had confirmed infections, with Oregon being the most recent, Clark said.

We have a cold front coming in a few days and that will push migrating birds south,” he said. “We need to be prepared.”

Arkansas is located squarely in the Mississippi Flyway and the lakes and agricultural fields of the Delta a stopping point for millions of ducks, geese and other birds.

Three of the states, Minnesota, South Dakota and Utah, have confirmed cases in turkey flocks,” Clark said. “The remaining seven states reported the highly pathogenic avian influenza infections only in backyard, hobby and small flocks.

Because small flocks tend to be outdoors, there’s a higher risk of exposure to infected wild birds,” he said. “It’s important that our small flock, backyard flock and hobby flock owners be informed about disease recognition and prevention.”

Webinars for poultry owners

The Cooperative Extension Service is holding four webinars to help owners of backyard, hobby or small flocks to protect their poultry from avian influenza. (U of A System Division of Agriculture image)

Clark is offering four biosecurity webinars for small flock owners at 6 p.m. each evening of Nov. 2, 7, 9 and 16. There is no charge to attend. Registration is available online.

While biosecurity may sound complex, there are some simple, inexpensive ways for small flock owners to protect their birds,” he said.

  1. Keep birds in pens covered with roofs or tarps to prevent exposure to wild bird feces and to keep poultry away from any pond or other water source that wild waterfowl may visit.
  2. Keep facilities and equipment clean and in good repair. Change feed and water frequently.
  3. Quarantine and isolate any new or sick birds from your other poultry for a minimum of three weeks.
  4. Keep unnecessary visitors away and keep a record of all necessary visitors. Do not let them come in contact with your flock. If you visit an area where there are waterfowl or poultry Do Not Visit your poultry until you change clothes/ shoes and wash your hands.
  5. Recognize signs of illness in poultry and report unusual signs to your local veterinarian, local county extension agent, extension poultry veterinarian, state veterinarian, USDA hotline at 1-866-536-7593, or Arkansas avian influenza hotline, 501-823-1746.

Find other information about biosecurity on the extension service website

Leopard Marching Band bringing home the hardware   10/26/23

It’s impossible to imagine a Friday night high school football game in Arkansas without the thunderous and inspirational musical accompaniment of the participating marching bands. The marching band isn’t just tasked with entertaining the crowd at halftime – it’s goal is also to inspire players and raise moral while distracting the opposing team (within the bounds of the rulebook, of course). It’s also a major draw for fans, increasing both crowd size and spirit.

Arkansas is known for great high school football. And where there is great football, there is often a great band. That’s certainly the case with De Queen’s Leopard Marching Band.

Our band has proved to be not just a fan favorite, but a judge favorite as well. That’s a fact given some top awards earned by the Leopards Marching Band at recent competitions around the state. The band performed at the River Valley marching Invitational in Pottsville on Oct. 21 and added to its ever-growing collection of hardware. Trophies earned included:

-1st Division Band

-3rd Place 5A Conference

-2nd Place Division 2

-4th Place Overall

The Leopard Band also received a Superior 1 rating from every single judge at the Region 2 Marching Assessment at Arkansas High Razorback Stadium in October. The score was the highest achievable and earned the team a trip to the State Marching Assessment in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium on Oct. 31. This followed other amazing performances at Lake Hamilton and Glen Rose.

Leopard Band Director Daniel Dunn said his students prove that practice makes perfect.

“There’s over 10 million things that each student has to do on every little moment,” said Dunn. “Moving the right way, stepping off the right way, carrying our instruments the right way, are we all together, are we planning our moves right. They’re asked to do so much and they have to excel very well. If somebody has a bad two or three seconds, that wreaks havoc on our show. We don’t get a chance to have a timeout and readjust, the show must go on. We work really hard because we like keeping our crowd entertained.”

No doubt, the marching band is one of the most entertaining elements of a Leopards football game and makes Friday nights in De Queen an even more electrifying experience. GO LEOPARDS!

Warren Ward to be honored at 2023 AHS Alumni Banquet this Saturday    10/25/23

ASHDOWN – Warren Ward, a graduate of Ashdown High School in the Class of 1980, is set to be honored at the 2023 Alumni Banquet this Saturday, October 28 at the Ashdown High School Cafeteria. He will be recognized for his remarkable achievements as a retired United States Air Force (USAF) Colonel and his significant contributions as a B-52 pilot during Operation Desert Storm.

In January 1991, Warren Ward was part of a historic combat mission involving seven B-52 bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base. Their objective was to deliver cruise missiles into Iraq to initiate the Gulf War. Ward piloted the No. 3 aircraft and received a memorable sendoff from General Buck Schuler, who compared the mission’s significance to the Doolittle raid in 1942.

The operation, code-named “Secret Squirrel,” was a resounding success, with 85% of their targets destroyed. The B-52s, including Ward’s aircraft, returned to Barksdale after a 33 to 35-hour mission without touching down on foreign soil. The pilots watched the events unfold on television like the rest of the country.

Ward’s dedication to his service and aircraft was evident throughout his career. He had 147 combat hours flying the B-52 and survived a dangerous training mission in 1995, where he successfully landed the aircraft after losing two engines. He had to burn fuel for almost seven hours before he could attempt a safe landing.

His connection to the B-52 bomber goes beyond his role as a pilot. His father, Steve Ward, was a mechanical engineer at Boeing and played a part in designing the B-52 models that continue to fly to this day. Warren’s respect for the aircraft and his family’s involvement in its history were evident as he honored his father during a visit to the Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home.

The Secret Squirrel mission remained classified for a full year, and the pilots had to keep it a secret even from their spouses. Warren Ward’s wife even mentioned the strain it put on their marriage during that time. Eventually, the mission was revealed, and the pilots, including Ward, reunited for a 25th-anniversary celebration in 2016.

Warren Ward’s service and achievements as a B-52 pilot are a source of pride, both for him and his family. The B-52 bomber holds a special place in his heart due to his family’s involvement and his trust in its solid design.

He has been married to his wife Amanda for 36 years and currently, is employed by Louisiana Tech University and is the Chief of Staff and Director of Operations for the Louisiana Tech Research Institute.

It’s evident that Warren Ward’s career as a USAF pilot and his contributions to the Gulf War have left a lasting impact, and his alma mater is proud to honor him as the 2023 Alumni Banquet Honoree.

Mental eval ordered for De Queen man accused of shooting sons    10/25/23

DE QUEEN – A De Queen man accused of shooting his two sons – one fatally – during an altercation last year will undergo a mental evaluation next month.

According to court records, 66-year-old Armando Arce of De Queen is scheduled for a mental health evaluation in late November to determine if he is fit to proceed in the case. The evaluation was requested by Arce’s attorney and granted by the court earlier this year.

Arce has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder stemming from an incident that occurred the evening of Nov. 8, 2022. Arce’s case will be paused until the mental evaluation is completed.

According to the De Queen Police Department, officers were dispatched the night of Nov. 8 to 223 Bobby Lane on the north side of De Queen in reference to a double shooting. Upon arrival, officers found two men suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Both men were transported for emergency medical treatment. Authorities stated one of the victims died en route to the hospital. The other was released following medical treatment.

Arce developed as a suspect in the case. A manhunt for Arce began that evening and he was apprehended near the residence less than 24 hours later.

Arce was identified as the father of both victims.

Arce remains in the Sevier County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond.

If convicted, Arce could face up to 40 years or life in prison for the first-degree murder offense.

Sevier County Library System hosting food, sweater drive in November    10/24/23

DE QUEEN – November is nearly here and that means a couple of things: Thanksgiving is just around the corner and so is the Sevier County Library System’s annual Food for Fines program.

Through this yearly initiative, patrons are invited to bring in any nonperishable food item for a one dollar reduction per item in existing overdue fines. Food accepted for fines are for returned library materials only, not for replacement fees of lost or damaged items. The program is part of the library system’s annual effort to address food insecurity in Sevier County, according to Head Librarian Johnye Fisher.

All libraries in Sevier County are participating again this year.

In addition to the Food for Fines program, the library is also once again sponsoring the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. The library is accepting new or gently worn items for donation, including cold weather clothes like coats, sweaters, gloves, hats, scarves and more. These items can be dropped off at any system library, including De Queen, Horatio, Lockesburg and Gillham.

Speaking of upcoming library events, Fisher is reminding kids in Sevier County that the library system will collect letters to Santa between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15. Letters can be dropped off at the library and will be sent to Santa.

For more information, call the De Queen Library at (870) 584-4364.

It’s Homecoming Week in Ashdown    10/24/23

ASHDOWN – Ashdown Public Schools is hosting events this week in celebration of 2023 Homecoming.

Ashdown Public Schools is celebrating its 2023 Homecoming with the theme “Big City, Small Town.” The festivities kicked off with a homecoming dance on Saturday for AHS students.

Homecoming activities for this week will include district-wide campus spirit dress-up days.  The AHS student body will have competitions featuring class spirit banners, a class food drive contest. and the powder-puff football game. Friday will complete the week with the pep rally and homecoming parade. During the week of October 23-27, students in all grades will be able to participate and dress up.

The AHS Student Council will have its annual Powder Puff Game at Dick Hays Stadium this evening at 6 p.m. Admission is $3 for everyone attending (this includes all guests and participants) and proceeds will benefit the AHS Student Council.

Ashdown Public School campuses will dismiss at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 27. The daytime presentation of the AHS Homecoming Royalty will begin at 12 noon. Following the presentation, there will be a brief pep rally and then the parade.

Anyone who wishes to participate in the parade is asked to contact Carla Alexander starting at (870) 898-3562 to sign up for the parade and receive a line-up number. When signing up, please know the length of your float.

The parade participants will line up on E. Richmond starting at the E. Richmond/Locust intersection before the pep rally begins. The parade will proceed left on Locust Street, left on Hagan Drive, Ellen Drive, and return to the AHS student parking lot down Locke Street. Participants are to remain on the floats until back on campus.

For safety purposes, organizers ask parade participants to not start exiting floats on Locust Street.

Evening coronation activities will begin at 6:25 p.m. in Dick Hays Stadium where the 2023 Homecoming Royalty will be presented and the queen and maid of honor will be announced.

Kick-off for the Ashdown Panthers vs. Mena is 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to come out and support the Panthers. Tickets are $7 each.

Homecoming is a time for AHS alumni to reunite and celebrate. This year, classes that end in “3” will be recognized and each is encouraged to enter a float in the parade on Friday afternoon and sit together during the game.

Sevier County Library Snippets    10/24/23

By Sevier County Head Librarian Johnye Fisher

Happy Fall Yawl, Happy November and Happy Thanksgiving! November is the month of Thanksgiving, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive and Food for Fines! So go through that closet and see what items you could bring to help keep someone warm for the winter. Also what food you can bring for fines or just to donate! We take all non-perishable food items that have NOT expired. All libraries in Sevier County participate and items stay in their community to help someone in need.

The De Queen Library will have 2 different Story Times each month that began last month. These will be on a Tuesday for the ones who can’t make in on Wednesday. And a Wednesday for those who can’t make it on a Tuesday. Thanksgiving Story Times are Wednesday November 8th and Tuesday November 21st and if you forget you can keep an eye out on page to see dates and always our programs begin at 4:00 pm. Don’t worry about being late we will wait on you!!!

November 15th through December 15th will be letters to Santa. We will have our mail box out and ready for those letters to be dropped off. The last day to drop off will be December 15th.

Remember we have the LIBBYAPP if we do not have a book on our shelves. You can follow the instructions to download the libbyapp from our or simply go to your play store on your device. Remember you must search “Arkansas Digital Library Consortium” and hold a valid library card to browse our selection. For more information, you can call 584-4364

Horatio Library

Catherine at Horatio Library says, that October was such a busy month.

The Community Puzzle has been very popular! The second puzzle is nearly finished.  There are some pieces missing: come finish it up with us.

The Needle crafters are busy working on Christmas projects. Bring your talents and projects Saturdays 10-12. The Library participated in the Horatio City Fall Festival and Halloween. The library gave treat bags with books and candy.

The Domino competition continues in full force. I have to laugh at all the groans: sounds like everyone is having fun.

November is that special month where we all remember all that we have to be thankful for. I am very thankful for the Horatio patrons I’ve gotten to know: for my family, both blood and work related, and God who gives us all blessings upon blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to all! For more information, on any of the above activities call 832-6882.

Lockesburg Library

Here at the Lockesburg Library the special activity programs that are planned for hildren furing the month of November are STEM subjects about the Fall season and Nutrition. The Preschool Table will feature food activities for under 5-year olds and there will be passive programs for older children that will change bi-weekly. Also don’t forget that on the second Saturdays of the month at 10:00 am our Coin Club will meet. November’s meeting will be on Saturday Nov. 11th. Mz. Wendy wants to send an invitation to homeschool families in our area. You are always welcome here at the library. For more info call  289-2233.

Gillham Library

Happy Thanksgiving from Gillham Library! We will be holding Food For Fines in November. So if you have any fines, you can bring in non-perishable food items to take care of it. Also in the month of November we will be hosting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive to help our local community folks with something warm to wear such as coats, hats, gloves, scarves and toboggans. On Tuesdays the Domino players are having a great time, come try your luck from 9-12.

We have Notary service on Tuesdays, you can make copies, or print from one of our computers. Saturdays from 11-3 Mr. Bob is available to help you. You can call Rhonda or Mr. Bob at 386-5665 for more information.

De Queen’s 5A Soccer Champions honored before football game    10/20/23

DE QUEEN – The 2023 Class 4-A Boys State Championship Soccer team from De Queen was honored at Leopard Stadium Friday night. Sloan took the opportunity to highlight the hard work and dedication demonstrated by his team leading up to the 2023 State Championship victory.

This is an awesome group of young men,” said Sloan. “It’s one of those groups that obviously wanted to practice every minute of every day. It was hard to get them to take a day off. Obviously by their results they worked hard to get where they’re at. I just feel lucky to be able to be part of it.”

This past spring, the Leopards earned their seventh state soccer championship since the program’s inauguration back in 2008. Over that period the team also earned two runners up.

Sloan highlighted a number of his team’s achievements over the years. He noted that this year’s seniors had to face a global pandemic when they were they were freshmen. But that didn’t stop them from anything. The next year, they earned the conference championship and were the runner up at state. The year after that, they again got the conference championship and made their way to the state semi-finals. This year, they earned their seventh state championship.

He said that’s a legacy De Queen Public Schools – the entire community – can be proud of.

Foreman hosting 2nd Annual Pecan Festival on Saturday    10/20/23

FOREMAN – Get ready for a day of fun and family-friendly activities at this Saturday’s Second Annual Rocky Comfort Pecan Festival in Foreman.

A whole host of activities kick off at nine Saturday morning and continue until midnight on Schumer Street in downtown Foreman. Admission is completely free.

This year’s Second Annual Rocky Comfort Pecan Festival will include craft vendors, games, food, live music and much more. Organizers invite everyone to come out for the festival in historic downtown Foreman. The goal of the festival is to highlight the rich history of Foreman and promote the local pecan industry in Little River County.

The only cost is for a vendor booth at the festival. Those proceeds will go towards the Foreman Community Foundation and its mission to make Foreman an even better place to live.

For more information, visit the Rocky Comfort Pecan Festival event page on Facebook.

AGFC offers app for hunters ahead of muzzleloader season    10/20/23

The last few cold nights have leaves changing and deer hunters double-checking their equipment in anticipation. Make sure a valid hunting license is on that “to do” list as you get ready for the muzzleloader season opener this Saturday.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deputy Director Spencer Griffith points out that setting up your new profile on the AGFC’s new licensing system and smartphone app only takes a few minutes and can help keep hunters on the right side of the law when it comes to harvesting their deer this year.

The new system enables users to buy licenses, check game, and stay informed about hunting seasons, harvest reports and regulations,” Griffith said. “We also worked with the vendor to make sure the site has a familiar feel like those used in popular e-commerce sites like Amazon.”

Hunters and anglers can visit for step-by-step instructions and videos on setting up their account, checking a deer and adding youth hunters to your account.

Renew your auto-renew

One feature that’s been carried over from the previous platform is the popular auto-renew system for annual hunting licenses. During their purchase, a hunting or fishing license buyer can check a box to have the AGFC licensing system store their payment information and automatically bill the license holder each year when their license expires. It’s a handy way to make sure you’re never caught in the last-minute scramble to make sure you’re legal the morning before heading for your hunt. But Griffith explains that the new system will need everyone to reestablish their payment credentials and automatic renewal options.

Everyone who previously enrolled in auto-renew should still visit the site to make sure their information carried over,” Griffith said. “If your renewal happened before September, you should be good, but you’ll still need to re-enroll for the future. Either way, it’s smart to go ahead and verify your license is valid before you head to the woods.”

Check with E-tags online

Double-checking your license is especially important if you plan to use the AGFC’s website or app to check your deer in the field. The new system will populate your account with the amount of electronic deer tags your license includes upon purchase.

Once these show up on your license in the app, you can check your deer, even if you don’t have cell service,” Griffith said. “But you need to make sure you’re ready for success before you leave the house for deer camp. Once you’ve checked a deer, you don’t need to physically tag it as long as it stays with you until you get back home. If you leave it somewhere like a deer camp, a processor or taxidermist, you still need to make a tag with your name, contact information and check confirmation number to claim the deer as yours in case a game warden comes to check on things.”

Renewable Youth CID

Some young hunters aged 6-15 will be hitting the woods with muzzleloaders this weekend, but the real excitement for the young guns is Arkansas’s Modern Gun Youth Deer Hunt Nov. 4-5. No matter what season the youth is hunting, they’ll still need to make sure they have a Customer Identification Number in the AGFC license system to check big game. The number, labeled YCID in the AGFC license system’s hunting license menu, is free, but hunters will need to go through the purchase process to secure their number each year and validate their allotment of deer tags. Once obtained, the youth hunter will be able to check their deer just like anyone else when they’re logged in with their account.

Their CID number doesn’t change, but it needs to be renewed each year to make sure the tags show up to check your deer when it’s time to celebrate,” Griffith said.

December trial set for Umpire woman accused of faking cancer    10/18/23

NASHVILLE – A December trial date has been set for a Howard County woman accused of faking a cancer diagnosis and collecting tens of thousands of dollars through a fundraiser held in her benefit.

Nancy Myers, 38, has been charged with a single count of theft of property greater than $25,000 for what authorities say was a scheme to raise money through a false cancer diagnosis.

Myers, whose address is in Umpire according to court records, was initially charged April 19 in Howard County.

Myers was scheduled to appear for a jury trial in the Howard County Circuit Court on Oct. 17. In September, the court granted a continuance motion by her defense to reschedule the trial to Dec. 12.

According to the arrest affidavit, beginning in 2021 Myers claimed she was diagnosed with cancer. Numerous people in her community reportedly provided Myers money to assist with medical expanses. A benefit held in June 2022 raised approximately $32,000.

In early 2023, numerous concerned citizens reported that they did not believe Myers actually had cancer. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation and Myers was interviewed.

During the early stages of the interview Myers stated that she had been diagnosed with cancer and had received several cancer treatments,” according to case information. Myers eventually told investigators that she had not been diagnosed with cancer and had not received any chemotherapy treatments, a fact she said she knew before the benefit was held for her cause.

Myers allegedly admitted to still possessing some of the money that was raised for her but that she had spent around $10,000 on car payments and other normal expenses.

ASP launches seasonal campaign against distracted driving    10/18/23

LITTLE ROCK – Distracted driving continues to be one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes along our nation’s roadways.  The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office (AHSO) is working with state and local law enforcement agencies to encourage drivers to put down their phones while driving as part of the statewide “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” high-visibility enforcement effort October 16 – 23. Arkansas law enforcement agencies will intensify their patrols aimed at drivers violating the Arkansas texting while driving law.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32,657 people died in distraction-related crashes over the 10-year period from 2012 to 2021. A distraction-related crash is any traffic crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash. Research shows that Millennials and Generation Z are the most distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. In 2021, 15 to 34 years old were 61% of drivers distracted by cell phones in fatal crashes.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of traffic crashes on our nation’s roads, and most of this distraction is attributed to texting while driving,” said Arkansas Public Safety Secretary Colonel Mike Hagar.

During the upcoming enforcement period, parents are encouraged to discuss with their teenage children the subject of developing safe driving habits, including the practice of never sending or reading text messages or accessing social media while driving.

In addition to being unsafe, violating Arkansas’ distracted-driving laws can also be costly. Arkansas law prohibits the use of a hand-held cell phone for texting, typing, emailing or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver’s age. It is also a “primary offense” law, which means a state trooper, police officer or sheriff’s deputy can initiate a traffic stop without observing any other violation. Fines for distracted driving can range from up to $250 for a first offense and up to $500 for any subsequent offense.

These fines can also be doubled if a crash results from a violation of this law. Arkansas state lawmakers passed a bill during the regular legislative session to enhance the existing penalties of the “Fewer Distractions Mean Safer Driving Act” A.C.A. § 27-51-1607. Violating this act can now result in additional penalties and can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor if serious physical injury or death result from a distraction-related crash.

The AHSO and NHTSA urge drivers to put their phones away when behind the wheel. Drivers are encouraged to follow these suggestions to ensure a safe driving experience:

-If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your vehicle in a safe location. Only after you are off the roadway and stopped is it safe to text.

-Ask your passenger to be a “designated texter.” Allow the passenger access to your phone for responding to calls or messages.

-Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

-Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. If you see someone texting while driving, speak up. If friends text while driving, tell them to stop. Listen to your passengers: If they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down. Help break the dangerous habit of distracted driving. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

Horatio Elementary hosting communitywide cleanup event    10/18/23

HORATIO – Horatio Elementary School will host a cleanup event this weekend in recognition of the 2023 Fall Keep Arkansas Beautiful campaign.

The cleanup event is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 22 from 2-5 p.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at the Horatio Elementary cafeteria at 2 p.m. Volunteers will spend the afternoon cleaning up and beautifying Horatio.

In addition, as part of Make a Difference Day, organizers are hosting a drive-through food drive for Brenda’s Blessing Food Closet. Organizers ask members of the community to drive through and drop off food or stay and help clean the streets of Horatio.

Food items suggested for Sunday’s drive include nonperishable items such as canned tuna, microwaveable meals, soup, cereal and peanut butter.

AEDC director discusses range of topics while visiting De Queen    10/18/23

DE QUEEN – One of Arkansas’ top economic development officials visited De Queen this week and spoke on a variety of topics ranging from Sevier County’s new hospital to the loss of Husqvarna in neighboring Howard County.

Clint O’Neal, executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, included stops at the Sevier County Medical Center and AMS Global during his tour of the county on Monday. O’Neal led the ceremonial groundbreaking of the hospital in November of 2020. Touring the completed facility nearly three years later, O’Neal praised the facility for serving to both meet the healthcare needs of area residents and for creating economic opportunities in Southwest Arkansas.

“It’s a beautiful aspect and there’s so many aspects to it,” said O’Neal. “There’s the healthcare component and that’s number one. When you need an emergency room, you need one close. But secondly, the economic development aspect of creating 112 new jobs, good-paying jobs, made it a real honor to see the completed hospital.”

O’Neal’s visit included a discussion with De Queen Rotarians and a visit to AMS Global. AMS Global, located between De Queen and Horatio and owned by Clint Nelson, is the sole North American distributor for a Norwegian-based global leader in sanitation technology. Anyone visiting the Sevier County Fairgrounds has seen some of the company’s products as the new and permanent restroom station installed there last year was manufactured by AMS Global.

During his talk at the De Queen Rotary Club, O’Neal spoke on the intersection between education and economic development. Part of that discussion focused on encouraging an educational system that matches the individual passions of Arkansans with good-paying careers.

“For too many years, we have asked children to go through the education system, we’ve promoted college, but haven’t really had the effective alignment between the education system and real world opportunities,” O’Neal explained. “The reason you go to school is to get a skill set to then go add value to the marketplace. We can really help kids understand their intersection between aptitude and interest, what they like to do and what they’re good at. If you’d like to do something, but you’re no good at it, it’s not going to work out in the marketplace. And if you’re good at it, but you don’t like it, you’re going to get burned out. It’s important to find career opportunities that students will be passionate about.”

O’Neal also raised the economic challenges faced by Arkansas, particularly given the recent announcements regarding the closure of Tyson-operated processing facilities in Arkansas and Husqvarna’s production plant in Nashville. O’Neal believes manufacturing will remain a crucial economic sector nationwide, but that the state’s emphasis should be on building higher-skilled opportunities less prone to foreign outsourcing.

“It’s going to be important for a very long time that we make things here,” said O’Neal. “I think there are opportunities for companies to say we’re not going to manufacture in China anymore and we’re going to break that back to North America. I think Arkansas is a place where companies can be successful and that we ought to continue our drive, certainly not exclusively, to bring advanced manufacturing jobs that require an increased skill set.”

For more information on the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and the work O’Neal and his team performs across the state, visit

Investigation launched after body found in Hempstead Co. train car    10/17/23

HEMPSTEAD COUNTY – An investigation is underway to determine the identity and origins of a body found inside a train car in Hempstead County on Monday.

According to the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office, workers found the decomposed remains on an individual while unloading train cars at Tyson’s Plant in Hempstead County near Fulton. Workers initially found what appeared to be a human arm underneath the train before calling authorities.

Deputies with the Howard County Sheriff’s Office investigated the scene and discovered a human body inside an empty grain car. The sheriff’s office requested assistance from Red River Wrecker Service to retrieve the body by lowering a cable through the car.

The recovered remains were found to be in a “badly composted” state and belonged to an adult male. The body is being transported to the Arkasnas State Crimb Lab for identification and cause of death.

The train reportedly transported a load of beans in Mexico before being loaded with corn in Missouri. From there, the train traveled to Hope with the Tyson feed mill as its destination.

The case remains under investigation by the Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office and the Arkansas State Police.