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12 ARKANSAS AIRPORTS GET $3 MILLION IN FEDERAL MONEY FOR UPGRADES      7/17/16

 

Twelve Arkansas airports have been awarded more than $3 million from the Department of Transportation to support facility upgrades and expansions.

 

The federal funding was announced last week by U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Congressmen Rick Crawford and Bruce Westerman.

 

According to Sevier County Judge Greg Ray, the J. Lynn Helms/Sevier County Airport will receive approximately $950,000 to build a parallel taxiway. According to the press release the Hope Municipal Airport will also receive funding for some facility upgrades.

 

Judge Ray also announced Pine Ridge Road will open Friday.

 

 

 

ALUMNI SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 1ST       7/17/15

 

De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce President, Susan Alspaw, announced this week the De Queen Lady Leopard softball team alumni will be hosting a tournament on Saturday, August 1st at the De Queen Sportsplex.

 

Alspaw said they are needing volunteer umpires and groups or organizations that want to set up some concession booths. She said all of the proceeds will be donated to the Sevier County Relay for Life.

 

Alspaw said they are anticipating an eight team tournament but if you are interested in playing, you can still sign up.

 

For more information, contact Alspaw at 870-584-8763.

 

 

 

DOMESTIC LEADS TO DRUG ARREST        7/17/15

 

Early Wednesday morning, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to an apartment on Fourth Street for a disturbance that had turned physical and the dispatcher had lost contact with the reporting party.

 

Patrolman First Class Levi Browning and Patrolman David Higgins arrived about 2:34 a.m. and encountered a white male with blood coming from his elbow.

 

The man was identified as 37-year-old Allen Stockdale of De Queen. After speaking with the officers, Stockdale was detained in Patrolman Browning’s vehicle.

 

After Browning asked Stockdale if he had anything on his person that he shouldn’t have, he said he only had a remote in his front pocket and officers went to speak with the reporting party, Marlow Baker.

 

Baker reported she and Stockdale got into an argument because she thought he was acting high. She said she called 911 on her cell phone and after speaking to the dispatcher for a few minutes, Stockdale grabbed her phone and broke it.

 

As the officers were leaving, Baker stated she wanted the remote back.

 

Officer Browning and Higgins returned to the patrol car and asked Stockdale for the remote and he informed them that he took it out of his pocket.

 

After searching the backseat of Browning’s vehicle, the officers found the remote along with a bag of suspected marijuana.

 

Stockdale then became agitated and started cursing the officers. When they arrived at the Sevier County jail, Browning and Higgins placed Stockdale in the drunk tank and he was charged with interference with emergency communication in the 1st degree and possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.

 

A couple of hours later, officers were dispatched to the county jail to assist the jailers because Stockdale had become disorderly and non-compliant while they were processing him. 

 

 

 

MINERAL SPRINGS SCHOOL DISTRICT PURCHASES POLICE CAR FOR RESOURCE OFFICER        7/17/15

 

The Mineral Springs School District plans to continue using a resource officer and during the July meeting of the Mineral Springs School Board voted to purchase a used police car from the city of Dierks.

 

Superintendent Curtis Turner said Officer Brandon Smith was a member of the Mineral Springs Police Department provides an extra level of security on the school campus and during extracurricular and athletic events.

 

Turner informed the board that the resource officer had worked well for the district.

 

Board members also approved the milk bid from Hiland Dairy and a bread bid from Flowers Baking Company.

 

Federal Coordinator Wendy Reed informed the board that the district could only carry over 15 percent of its federal funds to the next school year, so the board voted to purchase Chromebooks with the extra funding for grades two through eight. The Chromebooks will be used this fall.

 

Turner reported the district spent $7,600 on asphalt work around the campus and a bid for new band instruments was also approved.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY FARMERS MARKET WILL BE OPEN THIS SATURDAY       7/17/15

 

Angela Smith of the Sevier County Farmers Market announced Wednesday morning that the market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and you can find everything you need for any meal.

 

Smith said they offer all kinds of fresh vegetables along with jams, jellies and an assortment of baked goods and she mentioned some of the items that she expects will be for sell this Saturday.

 

For more information, contact Smith at 870-642-2718.

 

 

Yarborough Landing & Jack’s Isle boat launch set to re-open        7/16/15

Millwood Lake floodwater’s receding 

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced today that after being closed for 49 days the boat launch areas at Yarborough Landing & Jack’s Isle are scheduled to reopen on Friday, July 17, 2015.  Patterson Shoals area will continue to be closed until further notice. 

 

Cranford stated that he had visited the areas affected regularly since the date of closure & the levels are back to a point deemed usable for area fisherman.  “Although we are opening the ramps on Friday, we are cautioning everyone who accesses the lake to use extreme care,’’ said Cranford. 

 

Corps of Engineers personnel has advised that the lake is still in an unusual state due to the displacement of river buoys & the tremendous number of grass mats & alligator weed that are floating everywhere.  Floating debris & unseen objects just under the surface of the water could also pose a problem for area boaters.

 

Cranford also stated that “he greatly appreciated the patience & understanding of the area boaters during these extremely troublesome times.”

 

For more information you can contact the Little River County Judges office at (870) 898-7202 

 

  

 

HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT RECEIVES $660,000 GRANT      7/16/15

 

Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith announced Monday night during the regular meeting of the Horatio Board of Education that the district had been notified that they had received a 21st Century grant, totaling $660,000.

 

Smith said board members also approved some policy changes and raised the price of school breakfast to $1 and lunches to $2.

 

Smith said the new student handbook will also be available electronically.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of Joshua Fleming who was a teacher and coach.

 

  

FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES NEW COACHES       7/16/15

 

The Foreman Board of Education hired a new head football and head baseball coach recently and Superintendent George Kennedy stated the male athletes were excited about the new additions.

 

Neil Evans will not only serve as the head football coach, but he will also lead the Gator track program.

 

Mark Hill will teach History and serve as an assistant football coach, as well as coaching the baseball team.

 

Kennedy also announced the district voted to purchase a new scoreboard for the football field and the board is also considering additional upgrades to the baseball and softball facilities.

 

Kennedy said the board also approved the purchase of some new academic software from Edmentum in the about of $31,922.

 

Kennedy said the board may meet during a special later this month to hire some personal and handle any unfinished business before the start of school in August.

 

  

DISORDERLY CONDUCT LEADS TO PAROLEES ARREST       7/16/15

 

Tuesday afternoon, Patrolman J.J. Lopez of the De Queen Police Department noticed a driver not wearing his seat belt on Highway 70. He then conducted a traffic stop in Jack Wray's Body Shop parking lot.

 

The driver was identified as 27-year-old Jason Short and the passenger was Bendigo Greenwood.

 

Lopez wrote Short a citation for not wearing his seat belt and asked him to step out of the vehicle. Short was asked if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and Short responded that he didn't have time for this that he was needing to get to work.

 

Officer Lopez then advised Short that he didn't need his consent to search the vehicle because he was on parole. At that point, Short got upset and began cursing at Lopez and Sergeant Chad Bradshaw.

 

Sergeant Bradshaw then proceeded to detain Short; he tensed up and would not comply with the officer’s instructions. Short began yelling and according to the arrest report, continued to resist.

 

A search of the vehicle did not uncover anything illegal and Greenwood was allowed to drive Short's truck away.

 

Short was processed into the Sevier County jail on the charge of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

 

  

MOM ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING DAUGHTER       7/16/15

 

Saturday, July 11th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon was dispatched to a residence on Crosstrails Road in reference to a domestic altercation between a mother and her daughter.

 

As Davignon was driving to the scene, he noticed a female juvenile walking down the road. He reported she appeared to have a swollen face and he stopped and asked her what had happened to her.

 

Davignon reported the juvenile told him, her mom had punched her in the face several times, chocked her and attempted to burn her with a cigarette.

 

The juvenile also stated she bit her mom, so she would let her go.

 

When Deputy Davignon interviewed the mother, 37-year-old Patricia Williams of De Queen, she allegedly admitted to drinking and to fighting with her daughter.

 

 Williams was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault on a family or household member and domestic battery in the 3rd degree.

 

The juvenile was taken to the emergency room at the De Queen Medical Center and then released into the custody of the Department of Human Services.

  

 

FARM BUREAU LEADERS TO #BEVOCAL IN HOT SPRINGS      7/16/15

 

The Arkansas Farm Bureau's 67th annual Officers and Leaders Conference is set for July 20-21 at the Hot Springs Convention Center. The conference theme is #BeVocal, and it will feature speakers such as Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward and Greg Peterson of the Peterson Farm Brothers, a YouTube sensation and advocate for farming.

 

Secretary Ward will speak Monday afternoon, July 20th, along with Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach. Peterson will discuss "Advocating Agriculture through Social Media" at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

 

Workshops at the conference will cover topics such as commodity trends, the state water-plan, genetically enhanced crops and state and federal legislative issues.

 

About 500 Farm Bureau leaders are expected to attend the mid-summer conference.

 

Veach said Farm Bureau will continue to encourage their volunteer leaders to advocate for farming and for farm issues.

 

At the conference, the organization will also recognize its Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award finalists as well as recipients of the Romeo E. Short Farm Bureau Foundation and the Marvin Vines Memorial scholarships.

 

  

FEMA, STATE GRANTS WILL NOT AFFECT SOCIAL SECURITY OR BENEFITS       7/16/15

 

Arkansas residents who are rebuilding after the severe storms of late spring will not lose Social Security benefits, pay additional taxes, or give up income-based benefit programs if they accept federal or state disaster aid.

 

According to recovery officials from FEMA and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, in most cases, the Social Security Administration does not count federal or state disaster aid as income.

 

For more information or to apply for assistance, individuals and business owners in Howard, Little River, Miller and Sevier counties, may register online at disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.

 

  

REGISTERING WITH STATE, VOLUNTEER AGENCIES NOT THE SAME AS FEMA      7/16/15

 

Many Arkansas residents who suffered damage during the severe storms in late spring may have registered for assistance with state or volunteer agencies. However, this is not the same as registering with FEMA for disaster aid.

 

While FEMA, the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management and volunteer agencies often work together, their missions, programs and funding are not the same. Residents should register with FEMA for access to federal disaster assistance.

 

FEMA is funded by congress and administers disaster programs determined by federal officials and requested by the state. Disaster declarations by the State of Arkansas provide some assistance based on state criteria, but that aid is "turned off" when a federal declaration is made to avoid duplicating benefits.

 

Volunteer agencies that provide individuals and families with immediate necessities and emergency services raise their funds publicly and determine their own programs.

 

The disaster declaration on June 26th, put in place several sources of federal funding. It is available to residents in nine Arkansas counties that were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding during the period of May 7th to June 15th. Those counties include: Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier.

 

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in those counties can apply for federal assistance by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by web-enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.

 

  

WEEKEND HOURS TO CHANGE AT DISASTER RECOVERY CENTER IN HOWARD COUNTY       7/16/15

 

Weekend hours at the disaster recovery center in Howard County will change beginning this Saturday. The center provides help to those whose homes or businesses were affected by the severe storms between May 7th and June 15th.

 

Effective immediately, the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and the center will be closed on Sundays.

 

Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies are at the center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

 

Anyone who sustained damage in Howard, Little River, Miller or Sevier counties can visit the disaster recovery center.

 

  

WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUAL ASSAULT OF MINOR        7/16/15

 

A 35-year-old Wilton woman plead guilty to the charge of sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy after she gave him Xanax, marijuana and alcohol, this week in the Little River County Circuit Court.

 

Deby Hill changed her plea to guilty as part of a plea agreement before 9th District Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan. Hill was originally charged with rape.

 

Hill was sentenced to 20-years in the Arkansas Department of Correction with 3-years suspended and she will have to register as a sex offender.

 

According to court documents, Hill was arrested on July 6th, 2014 after the mother of the victim reported that Hill had sexually assaulted her son.

 

The boy said he and Hill had had sex on two separate occasions in March of 2014 and that she provided him with alcohol and Xanax.

 

 

18 WHEELER RIDES THE RAIL    07/15/15

 

An accident involving this 18 wheeler occurred Monday, July 13th on Hwy 71 south near the Ben Lomond cutoff.

The semi ran up on the railing which then became embedded in the truck.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN NATIVE TO ATTEND CLASS AT PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY    07/15/15

 

A De Queen-born man has been selected to be a panelist at the prestigious National Institute of Public Finance at Pepperdine University in California

Jim Harris, chief of staff for Arkansas State Treasurer Dennis Milligan, is scheduled to go to the NIPF's school at Pepperdine to obtain a Certificate in Executive Public Treasury Management (CPTM) during classes set for July 26-29.

He is the grandson of the late Lewis and Leona Caplinger of De Queen. He was born in De Queen General Hospital in 1953 while his mother, Rita Harris, was staying with her parents. His father was fighting the Battle of Pork Chop Hill in the Korean War when he was born.

The CPTM is the only certificate program designed exclusively for public treasury professionals. Participants will learn the core technical skill sets required of public treasuries nationwide.

"It is an honor to be selected to speak to my peers across the nation during a panel discussion on the challenges of coming into an office following the last elected official leaving the office in disgrace and in a mess," Harris said.

Those attending will gain specialized expertise by studying the three distinct tracks offered: Investments and Pensions, Executive Public Treasury Management, and Public Finance and Debt Management.

The Institute's new partnership with Pepperdine University represents a collaborative effort between the Foundation and the University's Schools of Business and Public Policy. This is the first time these courses will be taught to treasury employees.

Harris has been active in the National Association of State Treasurers since becoming Milligan's chief of staff on Jan. 14, 2015.

The NAST Foundation is dedicated to enhancing government officials' understanding of public financial management, and providing educational materials and opportunities to all individuals and/or parties interested in understanding public and personal financial management.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, founded by NAST for the purpose of providing education and support that enable member states to pursue and administer sound financial policies and programs benefiting the nation's citizens.

Membership is composed of all state treasurers or state finance officials with comparable responsibilities from the United States, its commonwealths, territories, and the District of Columbia.

The NIPF website says: "The Institute and Certificate in Public Treasury Management program bring together the nation’s most respected public finance industry experts, including both public and private-sector professionals and accomplished academic leaders to help members enhance their skill set and operate at the highest levels.
 

 

 A FORMER MINERAL SPRINGS MINISTER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT IN POPE COUNTY       7/15/15

 

The former youth minister of the Mineral Springs Church of Christ has been arrested for the second time this year and is being accused of sexually assaulting a college student in Russellville.

 

Jonathan Neeley, of Nashville, turned himself in on Friday, July 10th after discovering that there was a warrant for his arrest in Pope County.

 

According to court documents, between July 1st, 2012 and June 30th, 2013, Neeley sexually assaulted an intern who was working directly for him at a student center near the Arkansas Tech University campus.

 

The victim reported Neeley started by asking her questions about her past experiences and telling her how beautiful she was.

 

She said the relationship became physical and it happened nearly every time they were together. She said at one point, she told Neeley that she was concerned about committing adultery and he allegedly told her that "God wants this."

 

She said he told her that they hadn't been caught because their activities were something that God wanted.

 

Neeley faces four charges of third-degree sexual assault, in which a member of the clergy uses their authority over a victim in a position of trust to engage in "sexual deviate activity."

 

Neeley was arrested in February on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault in Howard County after several women filed reports saying he sexually abused them while he was their youth minister.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES DISTRICT WIDE DYSLEXIA PROGRAM       7/15/15

 

Monday night during the monthly meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members approved the material for the district's dyslexia intervention program.

 

Board President Randy Hedge informed the board that he felt this was a positive change and it will be one of the better investments in the district. Hedge said the district selected the Barton program material.

 

Board members voted to accept the recommendations of the Middle, Junior and Senior high administrators concerning the district's unexcused absence policy and Superintendent Bruce Hill announced the district would be partnering with the Primary PTO to expand the playground after students raised about $2,500 during their pennies for the playground fundraiser.

 

Board members accepted the bread bid from Flowers Baking Company, but tabled a decision on the milk bids. They also accepted a bid in the amount of $66,275 from Tri-Lakes Services, Inc. to renovate the backstops for the baseball and softball fields. 

 

 

 

HORATIO RESIDENT KILLED IN FARMING ACCIDENT      7/15/15

 

Saturday afternoon, a Horatio resident was killed in a farming accident on Fischer Road.

 

Sevier County Sheriff's Investigator Robert Gentry reported that John Nix informed him that he and the deceased, 49-year-old Anthony Culp, were loading a tractor and a hay baler onto a 24-foot trailer and the left tire of the baler ran off the side of the loading ramp.

 

Nix said Culp was working to put a floor jack and some wooden blocks under the baler to raise it up, so they could slide the ramp under it.

 

Nix said the baler then rolled backwards and ran over Culp.

 

Culp was pronounced dead by the Sevier County Coroner, Rusty Williams at 1:43 p.m.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT MEMBERS GIVEN UPDATE CONCERNING COUNTY REAPPRAISAL RATES      7/15/15

 

Sevier County Assessor Judy Smith, along with DeWayne Mack and Lindsy Nutt, gave the members of the Sevier County Quorum Court a report concerning the county's reappraisal process.

 

Smith stated letters will be mailed to county residents explaining the change in their property tax rates.

 

Mack informed the Quorum Court that home values went up 2 percent, business values went up 7 percent, but agri values went down 12 percent.

 

JPs also heard from Omar Gallardo and Victor Rojas Jr., from the Arkansas United Community Coalition, which is a non-profit organization that helps immigrants in Southwest Arkansas.

 

Gallardo said for more information, you may contact him at 870-279-5177 or email him at sworganizer@arkansascoalition.org.

 

JPs also approved an ordinance to amend the 2015 budget and County Judge Greg Ray introduced the Joyce Short who is working with the Sevier County Senior Adult Center.

 

 

ARNEC IMPROVES EDUCATION DELIVERY      7/14/15

 

The Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium has announced an alternative course delivery in addition to the current face-to-face education being offered for the fall semester.

 

The Arkansas Rural Nursing Education Consortium is a group of eight community colleges that collaborated to provide students an opportunity for an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. Students who are already accepted will benefit from the new learning delivery offered in the fall.

 

Many of the courses are taught using an interactive video delivery for lectures; however, this fall will feature face-to-face instruction and a live streaming option for a hybrid component for some classes. Students will be allowed to choose the delivery method they prefer on specific days. The hybrid incorporates students remotely accessing live lectures online.

 

The deadline for applications is August 31st. Classes start in January for new students and they will include course work as well as on-site clinical work in nursing homes, hospitals, and clinics. In January, face-to-face delivery will be an option for one class per week.

 

Student applications for the program can be submitted online and obtained from the consortium's website: www.arnec.org. The applications are due by August 31st for the class beginning in January 2016. The website also has details and a complete description of the application process, requirements and program contacts.

 

 

 

FEMA EXPERTS OFFER IDEAS TO LESSEN IMPACT OF DISASTER DAMAGE       7/14/15

 

Teams of specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be offering tips and techniques to lessen the impact of disaster-related property damage at building supply stores in four Arkansas locations beginning today.

 

In Sevier County, FEMA specialists will be at the Bailey Discount Building Supply at 880 East Collin Raye Drive in De Queen from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon until Friday, July 24th.

 

FEMA specialists offer "how-to" information on both retrofitting buildings to making them more resistant to wind damage and ways to elevate utilities against flood damage. They also provide tips to clean and help prevent mold and mildew.

 

Many of the tips and techniques are specifically geared for the do-it-yourselfer and for building contractors.

 

FEMA offers a number of free online resources for home and property owners. To get started, go to www.fema.gov/safer-stronger-protected-homes-communities.

 

 

 

FEMA EXPERTS SPEAK IN HOWARD COUNTY DURING PUBLIC MEETING     7/14/15

 

A disaster recovery center is now open in Howard County to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by severe storms during the period of May 7th to June 15th.

 

Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the Carter Day Center to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

 

The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. until further notice. Friday, Earl Armstrong with FEMA spoke with KMTB's Jonathan Canaday about how local citizens can apply for assistance.

 

Susheel Kumar is the public information officer for the Small Business Administration and he explained to Canaday how businesses can apply for federal disaster loans in addition to renters, homeowners and private nonprofit organizations.

 

Those seeking disaster assistance should register with FEMA before going to disaster recovery center. Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free number will operate from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

 

 

 

FEMA VISITS LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FOR REGISTRATION DRIVE     7/14/15

 

FEMA staff members will be temporarily stationed at the Sevier County Courthouse and the Little River County Courthouse Annex today to meet with survivors of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding survivors of May 7 through June 15th.

 

Staff members will be at the Sevier County Courthouse from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and at the Little River County Courthouse Annex from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 14th. Representatives will answer questions and help with the registration process for disaster assistance.

 

Those with questions can also contact the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 or from a web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Residents may also register online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

 

 

 

JUDGE TEDDER REMINDS AREA RESIDENTS OF THE IMPORTANCE OF APPEARING IN COURT        7/14/15

 

Sevier County District Court Judge Stephen Tedder took the time Monday morning to remind area residents that the District Court of Sevier County is in session today and it's important for residents with citations to appear.

 

Tedder said 90 percent of citations are for traffic violations and those citations are not punishable by jail time, but if you don't appear, a warrant for your arrest will be issued.

 

Tedder stated if you received a citation for a traffic violation, you can visit the District Court Clerks and arrange to take care of the fine before your court date.

 

Tedder also reminded residents that citations never go away and will be dealt with, one way or another.

 

If you have any questions about a citation that you have received, you may contact the District Court Office by calling 870-584-7311.

 

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT ENCOURAGES RESIDENTS TO SERVE AS FOSTER CARE PARENTS       7/14/15

 

Last week, Governor Asa Hutchinson asked faith based groups to help meet fill some critical needs in the state when it comes to the foster care of children and helping inmates adjust to life outside of prison.

 

Church and faith based leaders are being asked to attend a summit in Little Rock on August 25th and 26th to find out how they can help. But, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught stated, even if you don't attend the summit, your organization has the opportunity to help especially when it comes to foster children.

 

According to the Department of Human Services, there are more than 4,400 children currently in foster care with only 2,500 approved beds.

 

Through foster care, families have the chance to make the world a better place, one child at a time. The job of a foster care parent has been described as the most challenging step someone will ever take in their life, but it may also be the most rewarding opportunity.

 

Children enter foster care through no fault of their own. Some have experienced abuse or neglect in their homes and need a safe and stable home until they can be safely reunited with their families or adopted.

 

Foster parents are needed in every part of the state.  

 

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Human Services, the key qualification to being a foster parent is to be able to meet the physical, emotional and developmental needs of a child.

 

Applicants may be single, married, divorced, or widowed for at least one year. They must be between the ages of 21 and 65 and pass safety, health and background checks. The approval process may take up to six months after an applicant files the application.

 

If you think your home is right to foster a child, visit the website, www.fosterarkansas.org.

 

 

Report on the June 2015 Chalice Cupboard Food Ministry   07/13/15

         

The Chalice Cupboard assisted 42 families in Sevier County, including 80 adults and 54 children, totaling 134 people.  Distributions of food in June totaled 1,021 pounds from donated food and food purchased--thanks to gifts of money.

         

One supporting church during the month was St. Barbara Catholic Church, donating 56 pounds.  Individuals donated 197 pounds—including a memorial gift of 154 pounds. The organization of Sevier County 4-H donated 49 pounds.  Anonymous gifts received totaled 16 pounds.  All food items received totaled 318 pounds.  Selected food items purchased for the pantry during May totaled 644 pounds. Total food added last month--962 pounds.

         

The bank balance on June 1, 2015, was $3,178.55.  Deposits for the month were $851.00.  $654.37 was spent to replenish special food items for the pantry.  The balance on June 30, 2015, was $3,379.18.  

         

Persons living in Sevier County are given needed food at the Chalice Cupboard located at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen, on Tuesday and Wednesday--from 2:00 till 3:15 p.m.  Food is distributed to those assisted only once each three-month period of the year: January-February-March/ April-May-June/ July-August-September/ and October-November-December.

         

Those giving food may select their choice of non-perishable food items for donation.  We often suggest food items to help others in need, such as canned fruit, spaghetti and peanut butter.  Money or checks given to the Chalice Cupboard are IRS tax deductible gifts, and your gift may be mailed to the address above—or you may give your support directly to the "Chalice Cupboard" food ministry through the Bear State Bank, 504 Collin Raye Drive, De Queen, telephone 642-2911.

         

Note:  Deposits during June included a donation of $700.00 from the De Queen-Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class.

 

FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH TO HOST STATE CHOIR      7/13/15

 

This Tuesday, July 14th, area residents will have the opportunity to hear the 2015 All-State Assemblies of God Youth Choir in the sanctuary of the First Assembly of God Church in De Queen at 7 p.m.

 

Youth Pastor Jonathan Reynolds stated the choir is comprised of students from all over Arkansas.

 

Reynolds the choir is led by Megan McClure of Van Buren. He said choir members auditioned during the spring and will tour the state during the month of July.

 

For more information, contact the First Assembly of God Church of De Queen at 870-584-3435.

 

 

 

STATE FORGES UNIQUE JUVENILE JUSTICE PARTNERSHIP      7/13/15

 

Youth at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Bryant will now have the opportunity to receive college-level instruction and credit through an agreement with Shorter College and the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Youth Services.

 

According to Victor Rojas Jr., this is the first time youth in the juvenile justice system in Arkansas have been given access to on-site, college-level instruction that is led by a credentialed professor.

 

Shorter College is a private, two-year, historically black liberal arts college in North Little Rock. It will offer youth academic programming toward an Associates of Arts Degree in Basic Studies. Once students transition out of the Treatment Center, they will be able to complete their degree program at Shorter College or transfer their credits to other colleges across the state through the Arkansas Credit Transfer Program. 

 

Rojas said he applauded the partnership between the Department of Human Services and Shorter College. It said he feels it will help change the lives of youth in the juvenile justice system to pursue a higher education.

 

Rojas explained that in the 21st century economy, education is a vital part to ensuring ones financial security. He said quality education is and will always be, an essential component in preventing delinquency.

 

  

 

ARKANSAS EDUCATION BOARD APPROVES CHANGE IN TEST SUPPLIER      7/13/15

 

The Arkansas Board of Education approved a new standardized test provider to replace the controversial Common Core assessment provider, Assessment Readiness for College and Careers, less than a month after rejecting the same move.

 

The education board voted, 4-2, with two abstentions, Thursday morning to authorize officials to sign a contract with the ACT and ACT Aspire. However, this board includes three new members that were appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson after two members' terms expired and a third member resigned after taking a position with the Walton Foundation.

 

All three of Hutchinson's new appointments voted for the switch.

 

Arkansas Education Commissioner Johnny Key provided the board with the benefits of the ACT switch and suggested that it would provide a better methodology and help prepare students from a young age to take the ACT college readiness exam.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: MILITARY CONSUMER PROTECTION DAY       7/13/15

 

Military service members, veterans and their families are often subject to unfair, deceptive or abusive financial practices. The Consumer Protection Bureau began collecting data specific to military personnel and their families in 2011 and reports approximately 29,500 complaints were submitted through 2014.

 

The bureau reported 39 percent of those complaints were on debt collection, with the majority of those regarding continued attempts to collect debt this is not owed.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to help recognize Military Consumer Protection Day on July 15th and to make military service members, veterans and their families aware of the top consumer complaints so they will know how to get help with these issues.

 

Rutledge reported there were 11,600 complaints filed concerning debt collection; 7,100 complaints were filed regarding mortgage payment and loans; there were 2,700 complaints about credit reporting and 2,400 complaints concerning bank accounts and services.

 

Arkansas military service members, veterans and their families should file complaints with the Attorney General’s office at ArkansasAG.gov or call 1-800-482-8982. Within five business days, a postcard should be received in the mail acknowledging the receipt of the complaint, and a copy of the complaint will be sent to the business. Business should then respond within 10 business days.

 

Military Consumer Protection Day is an initiative to empower active duty and retired service members, veterans and their families and help defend them against fraud and help them make better-informed decisions.

 

 

 

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE       7/13/15

 

Individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that began in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties on May 7th through June 15th may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, according to Daryl Bassett, the director of Arkansas’ Department of Workforce Services.

 

At the request of Governor Asa Hutchinson, a federal disaster declaration was issued, designating those nine counties as federal disaster areas.

 

Among the different types of assistance available to individuals and households by the federal disaster declaration is Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Individuals who have temporarily lost jobs because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits, such as self-employed individuals, may be eligible for DUA, which provides unemployment benefits up to 32 weeks.

 

The first possible week of compensation for DUA purposes is the week ending May 16th, and the last possible week of compensation is the week ending December 26th.

 

DUA claims may be filed at the following area Department of Workforce Services offices: if you live in Howard County go to the Hope local office at 205 Smith Road, Suite A, or you may call them at 870-777-3421; if you live in Miller, Little River or Sevier counties go to the Texarkana local office at 1702 Hampton Road, or you may call them at 870-216-4011.

 

Claims for these nine counties must be filed between now and July 30th at a DWS office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

DWS offices will also provide re-employment assistance where appropriate. Claims filed after the deadline will be considered untimely and benefits will be denied, unless the individual can provide a good cause for filing after the deadline.

 

To be eligible for benefits, individuals must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area, but because of the disaster, they no longer have a job, a place to work in the area or could not get to their place of work because of disaster damage. They may also qualify if they have been prevented from working because of an injury or illness that resulted from the disaster. Benefits may also be available to self-employed individuals who have lost all or part of their livelihood as a result of the disaster.

 

Each claim is considered individually, therefore, individuals who believe they may be eligible should bring their government issued photo ID, Social Security card, the name and address of their last place of employment and documents verifying income, such as income tax statements, recent pay stubs, W-2 forms or some other proof of net income for 2014.

 

Bassett said DWS officials understand that because of property losses some claimants may not have the necessary 2014 income information. Although this will result in some delays, DWS staff will make every effort to work with DUA claimants to confirm their income information and expedite the claims-taking procedure. 

 

 

 

GROUPS SEEKING DISPLAYS ON ARKANSAS CAPITOL GROUNDS   7/13/15 

 

Arkansas' decision to put a display of the Ten Commandments on the Capitol grounds may lead to other monuments, including a statue of a monkey-faced deity, a banner promoting a vegan lifestyle and a Satanic statue of a goat-headed figure.

 

Groups advocating for separation of church and state are considering the monuments after the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the Ten Commandments that's on display outside the Capitol building in Oklahoma City be taken down because the state constitution bars the government from doing anything to benefit a religion.

 

Arkansas lawmakers passed a law during this year's legislative session that emulated the Oklahoma law that authorized their Ten Commandments display.

 

Representatives of the Satanic Temple, Hindus and animal rights groups say these symbols should be displayed alongside the Ten Commandments because they represent their deeply held beliefs.

 

 

 

WORKSHOP TO PROMOTE ADVANTAGES OF FARM-TO-SCHOOL PROGRAM OCT. 15           7/13/15

 

Arkansas Children's Hospital Research Institute has a workshop planned to educate schools, farmers and communities on the advantages of participating in a Farm-to-School program.

 

The Regional Farm-to-School workshop is being hosted by the institute's Childhood Obesity Prevention Research program in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

The workshop will be October 15th at the Southwest Research and Extension facility in Hope to help educate school personnel, farmers and community partners. The workshop will be limited to 50 people and 10 travel scholarships are available.

 

Workshop participates will learn how to menu, market and prepare local foods in schools and they will get some hands-on culinary skills training for school cafeteria staff; learn business and production planning for farmers and find out about food safety for farmers and schools.

 

For more information or to register call 501-364-3360.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT TO UNVEIL NEW WEBSITE        7/10/15

 

Members of the UA Cossatot Board of Visitors were informed that the college had accomplished all of objectives, except for one, in their current 5-year strategic plan, Project 2016. UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole said a committee has already started working on Project 2020.

 

Dr. Cole stated he felt the college's long range planning projects reveal the college’s passion for education and workforce development.

 

Cole said starting this fall UA Cossatot will focused on programs that will move students into the workplace or offer them more university transferable degrees.

 

Dr. Cole also announced UA Cossatot will also be unveiling a new website and a mobile app later this summer, so students may enroll online.

 

 

 

GAME AND FISH FOUNDATION SELECTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES     7/10/15

 

The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation has chosen a Howard County resident as one of its 2015 Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame inductees.

 

This year's inductees include Steve Bowman of Little Rock. Bowman is an outdoor writer and editor; the late Joel Campora of Waldron. Campora was an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officer who died in the line of duty while trying to rescue two women from floodwaters in 2013; George Dunklin Jr. of Stuttgart who is a past Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioner and current chairman of international Ducks Unlimited; And, Jerry Fisk of Nashville who is a master bladesmith and artist.

 

The Legacy Award will go to Jim Gaston, who played a key role in establishing trout fishing and promoting tourism in Arkansas.

 

The Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet will be Friday, August 21st at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock. Tickets are $100 and a reception and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7.

 

To purchase tickets or for more information, contact the Game and Fish Foundation office at 501-223-6468.

 

 

 

NASHVILLE RURAL WATER APPROVES PROJECT REVENUE BOND      7/10/15

 

The Nashville Rural Water Association held a public meeting this week to address any concerns association members may of had concerning the boards plans to start an expansion project.

 

There were no comments from the public and the board approved a resolution to authorize a revenue bond in the amount of $2.51 million dollars for the construction and financing of the project.

 

Board President Mark Dowdy said it was just a legal formality and that everything was ready to begin.

 

Water manager Ryan Stuckey said the loan will close on July 15th and a notice to proceed will be filed two days later. He said the project should provide plenty of water to all parts of the system and will include some major upgrades.

 

Stuckey explained that there will be about 22 miles of piping, most of it will be large diameter pipe that will reinforce two pressure zones and he said these improvements were needed because of the increase in water demand.

 

The project will include running a line that will tie both pressure zones together, which will allow water to be moved between the two zones without an alternate power source, in the event of an emergency.

 

Stuckey said the improvements should last for the next 30 to 40 years. Stuckey said the association will use its existing easements to run pipe along Mount Pleasant Drive to Highway 26 and east to the Pike County line.

 

But, if you have ay questions, contact the Nashville Rural Water Association at 870-845-5442.

 

 

 

AG URGES CONGRESS TO PRESERVE STATE AUTHORITY TO ENFORCE DATA BREACH AND SECURITY LAWS       7/10/15

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge co-sponsored a bipartisan, multi-state letter to the U.S. Congress in an effort to ensure that any future federal data breach notification or data security law provides consumers with the best protection.

 

The letter was signed by 47 attorneys general and emphasized the importance of maintaining States' authority to enforce data breach and data security laws, as well as their ability to enact laws to address future data security risks.

 

Citing recent efforts in Congress to pass a national law on data breach notification and data security, Rutledge and other attorneys general cautioned Congress against federal preemption of State data breach and security laws and argued that any federal law must not diminish the important role States already have to protect consumers from data breaches and identity theft.

 

According to the letter, since 2005, nearly 5,000 data breaches have compromised more than 815 million records containing sensitive information about consumers and that States have been at the forefront in helping consumers deal with the repercussions of data breaches and in providing important assistance to consumers who have been impacted.

 

Forty-seven states now have laws requiring data collectors to notify consumers when their personal information has been compromised, and a number of states have also passed laws requiring companies to adopt reasonable data security practices.

 

 

 

STORM SURVIVORS CAN REGISTER FOR ASSISTANCE ONLINE 24/7      7/10/15

 

Residents in nine Arkansas counties included in the federal disaster declaration can register for assistance anytime online.

 

Those affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding between May 7th and June 15th in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties may be eligible for assistance.

 

Individuals and business owners can register online, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or with any web-enabled mobile device, tablet or smartphone at m.fema.gov, just follow the link to "Apply online for FEMA Assistance."

 

FEMA's toll-free telephone number is 1-800-621-3362 and it is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice and multilingual operators are available.

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTED TO PURCHASE NEW WATER PUMP       7/9/15

 

Water Superintendent Jeff Brown informed the De Queen City Council, Tuesday night that his department needed to replace the pump, motor and base at the high-lift station on Stilwell Avenue.

 

Brown reminded the council that last month, they approved having the bearings and packing replaced in the old motor, but after the service men inspected the motor, they determined it would only cost a little more to replace, the motor, pump and base instead of rebuilding them.

 

Brown reported it would cost about $20,000 to rebuild the pump and motor, but it would only cost an extra $812 to purchase a new pump and motor.

 

Brown said the old motor was installed at the lift station in 1963.

 

Aldermen voted to purchase a new motor, pump and base.

 

Aldermen approved an ordinance to waive any competitive bidding on the purchase of a used dump truck in the amount of $40,950 and a resolution to sell the 1991 Ford F-800 truck that the city received in a vehicle swap with the county.

 

Aldermen heard a report concerning the city's agreement with Vyve Broadband. McKelvy stated there were about 300 Vyve subscribers in De Queen and that Greg Fender of Local Government Services said Vyve owed the city a little over a $1,000 in franchise revenue.

 

Aldermen also approved a resolution accepting the 2013 audit of the city's general and street fund accounts.

 

 

 

HUGE BLAZE IN POTTER, ARKANSAS DESTROYS BUSINESS      7/9/15

 

According to a report from our sister station in Mena, firefighters from three departments and Polk County Sheriff's deputies responded to a fire call at approximately 8:20 p.m. Tuesday evening.

 

Carl's Furniture in Potter, next to the old Sale Barn, was fully engulfed when members of the Potter, Mena and Hatfield fire departments arrived on the scene.

 

Sheriff's deputies were on the scene to handle traffic while firefighters had the northbound lane blocked due to the proximity of the building to Highway 71.

 

 

 

DISASTER RECOVERY CENTERS OPEN IN HOWARD AND JEFFERSON COUNTIES      7/9/15

 

Disaster recovery centers opened in Howard and Jefferson counties at noon today, to help those whose homes or businesses were affected by the severe storms in May and June.

 

Representatives from the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

 

The center in Howard County will be in the Carter Day Training Center in Nashville. The center is located at 200 Lake Nichols Drive.

 

The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. until further notice.

 

Those seeking disaster assistance should register with FEMA before going to a disaster recovery center. Individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the late spring storms may register online at www.disasterassistance.gov or call FEMA at 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free number will operate from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week until further notice and multilingual operators are available.

 

Anyone who sustained damage in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties designated for federal disaster assistance can visit any disaster recovery center.

 

Federal disaster assistance for individuals and families can include money for rental assistance, essential home repairs, personal property loss, and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

 

Low-interest disaster loans from the Small Business Administration area available to help with residential and business losses not covered by insurance. The Small Business Administration is the federal government's primary source of money for the rebuilding of disaster-damaged private property. The Small Business Administration helps businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters to fund repairs or rebuilding efforts and cover the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged personal property.

 

For more information on Small Business Administration programs, applicants may contact the administration's disaster assistance customer service center by calling 1-800-659-2955.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY SCHOOL ELECTION HAS ONE CONTESTED RACE     7/9/15

 

According to Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin, there will be one contested school board race in Sevier County.

 

Barry Reed will challenge incumbent Randy Hedge for the Zone 5 position on the De Queen Board of Education.

 

The Sevier County Election Commission certified the candidates and held a ballot draw Wednesday afternoon in the County Clerk's office.

 

Jeff Irvan will run unopposed for the Zone 3 position on the Horatio Board of Education and according to Akin there will be no change to the school millage amount.

 

The school election will be held on Tuesday, September 15th and early voting will start on September 8th and continue until 4:30 p.m. on Monday, September 14th.

 

 

 

SOUTH CRAWFORD STREET BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN SOON      7/9/15

 

Aldermen of the Mineral Springs City Council approved a bid from J & J Construction for the replacement of the bridge on Crawford Street.

 

During Monday's city council meeting, aldermen approved the bid of $19,500 for a new concrete bridge and Mayor Bobby Tullis said he hopes construction on the new bridge will begin soon

 

Tullis reported the area had experienced more flooding due the recent rainfall. He said city crews had to fix a water line break on the Fourth of July that was caused by flooding.

 

Tullis also reported that he had made an application with the USDA for funding to purchase a fire truck. Aldermen discussed the possibility of purchasing a one-ton truck and outfitting it with the needed equipment, about $65,000, rather than purchasing a used fire truck for $107,000.

 

 

 

PROSPECTORS' GEMBOREE WINNERS ANNOUNCED      7/9/15

 

On June 20th, more than a thousand people visited the Crater of Diamond State Park and celebrated diamond miners in Arkansas during the park's 5th Annual Prospectors' Gemboree.

 

During the day, kids and adults participated in games that were hosted by the park's interpretive staff.

 

A young man from De Queen took third place in the 6 to 9 age category in the Diamond Toss game.

 

This Saturday, July 11th, the Crater of Diamond State Park will host this year's Summer Luau Pool Party at Diamond Springs from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

 

The water park will be decked out with decorations, refreshments, games and more. The Joe Ledbetter Band will provide musical entertainment and guest must purchase a separate water park admission after 6:30 to attend the event.

 

Admission to the Summer Luau Pool Party is $6 for swimmers over 42 inches tall, $4 for swimmers under 42 inches tall and $2 for non-swimming chaperones. Children under two years of age are free.

 

For more information, contact the park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.

 

 

 

STORM SHELTER REBATE PROGRAM CLOSED      7/9/15

 

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will not be accepting any new storm shelter rebate applications for the state fiscal year of 2016, which runs from July 1st, 2015 to June 30th, 2016.

 

Applications that were received during the last state fiscal year were enough to deplete all of the funds for this fiscal year.

 

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management will begin processing rebates for the current backlog of all approved applications on file starting in July. It is expected that this program will wind down and not continue in future years.

 

More information regarding the storm shelter rebate program will be made available as it develops.

 

 

 

WINNERS OF THE FIREWORKS IN THE PARK, CAR AND TRUCK SHOW      7/9/15

 

Organizers of the 2015 Car and Truck Show at the Lockesburg Fireworks in the Park event announced the winners Tuesday afternoon.

 

The winner of the car class A division was Torrey Barber with a 1936 Dodge Business Coupe.

 

The winner of the car class C division, 1950-1059, was Torrey Barber with a 1955 Chevy Bel Air and second place went to Roy Rogers with his 1956 Pontiac Star Chief.

 

The winner of the car class D division, 1960-1969, was Ernie Kennemore with his 1966 Chevy Chevelle.

 

The winner of the car class E division, 1970-1979, was Archie Dorsey with his 1970 Buick GSX and second place went to Ernie Kennemore with his 1970 Chevy Nova.

 

The winner of the car class F division, 1980-1999, was Eddie Polk with his 1995 Cadillac Deville and he won second place with his 1989 Ford LTD Crown Victoria.

 

The winner of the car class G division was David Litchford with his 2012 Ford Mustang.

 

The winner of the truck class B division, 1940-1949, was James Martin with his 1949 Chevy Pick-up.

 

The winner of the truck class C division, 1950-1959, was Keith Midgett  with his 1951 Ford Truck and second place went to Toni Davis with his 1954 Chevy Pick-up.

 

The winner of the truck class D division, 1960-1969, was Richard Meredith with a 1967 Chevy Pick-up.

 

The winner of the truck class G division, 2000-new, was Adam Steward with his 2005 Chevy Silverado.

 

The winner of the Rat Rod Division, Class A, 1939 and older, was Jimmy and Rita Fitzgerald with their 1921 Ford T.

 

The People's Choice winner was Ernie Kennemore"s 1970 Chevy Nova and second place went to Torey Barber.

 

The Best of Show winner was Archie Dorsey's 1970 Buick GSX and second place went to Torrey Barber.

 

 

AREA SENATORS RECEIVE DISTINGUISHED LEGISLATOR AWARD FROM MUNICIPAL LEAGUE      7/8/15

 

The Arkansas Municipal League presented Senator Larry Teague of District 10 and Senator Jimmy Hickey of District 11 with the organization's Distinguished Legislator Award during the opening night banquet of the League's 81st Convention on June 24th.

 

The awards were given in recognition of Teague's and Hickey's strong support of cities and towns during the 90th General Assembly.

 

Each legislative session, legislators distinguish themselves by assisting cities and towns with key legislative issues affecting municipalities. This group of legislators, through their actions at the Capitol during this past session, were instrumental in contributing to the overall quality of life for the citizens in Arkansas' municipalities and The Arkansas Municipal League and its members cities wanted to show their appreciation to Senator Teague and Senator Hickey for their efforts in doing so.

 

 

 

AREA VEHICLE BREAK-IN UNDER INVESTIGATION    7/8/15

 

On May 12th, officers with the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to the De Queen Sportsplex in reference to six-vehicles reportedly being broken into and a two vehicle accident that involved the alleged suspect of the break-ins.

 

The driver of one of the vehicles involved in the accident was the suspect in the break-ins at the Sportsplex. However, the subject left the scene of the accident on foot before, officers arrived.

 

The subject has been identified as 31-year-old Kendaris Burris of Ashdown and is wanted on nine felony charges and three misdemeanor charges.

 

If anyone has any information concerning the whereabouts of Burris, you are being asked to contact Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN POLICE DEPARTMENT INVESTIGATING CYBER CRIME      7/8/15

 

On June 8th, officials with the First State Bank in De Queen reported 20-customers had been the victims of cyber crime over the weekend of June 6th and 7th, to the De Queen Police Department.

 

Investigators with the De Queen Police Department contacted the Arkansas State Police and the Fusion Center which is an information sharing center that shares information between the local and federal levels.

 

According to the De Queen Police Department, hackers in some shape, form or fashion were able to duplicate cards of customers of First State Bank. The cards were then used at Wal-Mart stores in Hope, Arkadelphia and Bryant to purchase gift cards.

 

President of First State Bank, Gary Golden, reported apparently a service provider of the bank was hacked and the hackers stole information about First State Bank customers. However, the banks system was not breached and the banks IT department conducts cyber test on a consistent basis.

 

Golden reported banks in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Tennessee have also suffered the safe type of breach, by apparently the same group of hackers.

 

Golden stated the bank instituted the Tag Rule and lowered the amount that customers may use on purchases, but the hackers used the cards as credit cards and the retail stores did not ask for proof of ID before approving the purchases.

 

Golden stated First State Bank is also transitioning to EMV cards which contain a small chip instead of a magnetic strip and will provide for more secure transactions.

 

Golden also assured the public that all affected customers were reimbursed for the unauthorized transactions.

 

According to the De Queen Police Department the incident is still under investigation.

 

 

 

JOHN MADDOX ANNOUNCES FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE       7/8/15

 

On Monday, John Maddox announced his candidacy for State Representative for District 20. The seat is currently held by Representative Nate Bell, who has stated he will not seek re-election.

 

Maddox stated that this decision comes after many months of prayerful consideration and conversations with family and friends, he decided that during this important time in the history of the state and country, it would be his honor to earn the voter trust and serve District 20 in the legislature.

 

Maddox is a lifelong resident of Polk County and a 1987 graduate of Mena High School. He is also the grandson of former State Representative Ode Maddox and is a local attorney in the Maddox and Maddox law firm where he is a partner with his father, David.

 

In addition to his career, Maddox has served on various boards and civic organization in the community. He currently sits on the board of directors of the Union Bank of Mena, Polk County Development Center and Rich Mountain Community College. In addition, he has been active in the Polk County Chamber of Commerce, the Lions Club and currently serves as Chairman of the Polk County Republican Committee.

 

According to Maddox, voters can count on him to a strong, conservative voice on both social and fiscal issues. When asked what he would like to accomplish in the legislature, he said he wanted to make government more efficient and accountable and wanted to look at how the state could continue reforming the tax code in order to help spur economic growth.

 

Maddox said as a small business owner invested in his community, he is interested in promoting the long-term economic success of District 20.

 

 

 

SOUTHERN SPORTSMEN FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE 2015 HUNTING SCHEDULE      7/8/15

 

Little River County Judge and Southern Sportsmen Foundation member, Mike Cranford announced the foundation's 2015 deer hunting schedule.

 

Cranford said the youth hunt is scheduled for November 6th through the 8th and will be held near Mineral Springs in Howard County. Youth hunters will be able to arrive by 3 p.m. on November 5th for a pre-hunt orientation and must be accompanied by at least one parent or legal guardian.

 

The adult hunt will be held near Foreman, November 13th through 20th. Adult hunters must arrive by 11 a.m. on November 18th and are welcome to bring a non-hunting companion. Six hunters and two alternates will be drawn for this hunt.

 

Cranford stated the lodging, meals and license for both hunts will be provided by the foundation and if anyone would like to support the foundation, they can contact him by email at mike.cranford@sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

All hunt applications must be received by September 1st and hunters who are chosen will be notified by September 30th. Applications may be found on the foundation's website at www.sharingtheoutdoors.com.

 

 

 

 

LEVEL THREE SEX OFFENDERS IN DE QUEEN  07/07/15

Ralph Barrera (Level 3 sex offender)

244 Hwy. 71 North #1

De Queen, Arkansas 71832

THIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.

This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public will be safer. Information is available through many resources, including the state website maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. More information is available from resources listed on the back of this flyer. Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass offenders will not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to share this information with the public. If notification ends, the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.

Four community notification levels apply. The higher the level assigned, the broader the notification to the community. Level 1(low) warrants minimal notice to the community (usually other law enforcement and/or members of the offender’s household only). Level 2(moderate) warrants limited notice to specific groups. Level 3 (high) warrants notification of all community members likely to encounter the offender. Level 4 is reserved for offenders who have a habitual or serious pattern of offending and are deemed sexual violent predators.

The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are releasing information pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. This act authorizes law enforcement to inform the public of a sex offenders presence when the release of such information will enhance public safety and protection. Individuals appearing on these notifications have been convicted of an offense requiring registration with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

 

Robert Garza (Level 3 sex offender)

181 Old Hwy. 71 North Lot 26

De Queen, Arkansas 71832

THIS OFFENDER IS NOT WANTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THIS TIME.

This notification is not intended to increase fear. It is our belief that an informed public will be safer. Information is available through many resources, including the state website maintained by the Arkansas Crime Information Center. More information is available from resources listed on the back of this flyer. Citizen abuse of this information to threaten, intimidate or harass offenders will not be tolerated. Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to share this information with the public. If notification ends, the offender will win since they derive power through secrecy.

Four community notification levels apply. The higher the level assigned, the broader the notification to the community. Level 1(low) warrants minimal notice to the community (usually other law enforcement and/or members of the offender’s household only). Level 2(moderate) warrants limited notice to specific groups. Level 3 (high) warrants notification of all community members likely to encounter the offender. Level 4 is reserved for offenders who have a habitual or serious pattern of offending and are deemed sexual violent predators.

The De Queen Police Department and Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are releasing information pursuant to section 13 Act 989 of 1997, known as the Sex and Child Offender Registration and Community Notification Guidelines. This act authorizes law enforcement to inform the public of a sex offenders presence when the release of such information will enhance public safety and protection. Individuals appearing on these notifications have been convicted of an offense requiring registration with the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

 

43RD ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL      7/7/15

 

Pine Tree committee member Stacy Janes announced last Friday that the 43rd Annual Pine Tree Festival will be held on Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st in the Dierks City Park.

 

Janes said activities will begin Friday night at 6 p.m. and this year they will be having a magic show for the kids, a talent contest and some local talent performing.

 

Saturday night will feature the 3rd Annual Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and no holds barred free style bull fighting at 8 p.m. Janes also stated Saturday night will feature some pyro and the All-American Cowgirl Chicks from RFD-TV.

 

This year's festival parade down Main Street will be held at 10 a.m. and after the parade over 40 food and craft vendors will open along with several activities for the kids, like free bounce houses, kiddies' train and pony rides.

 

This year's Pine Tree Festival will also feature a chainsaw competition, axe throw, a log loading competition and an archery contest.

 

Admission to the Friday night activities is free and tickets to Saturday's bull riding event is $10 for adults , $5 for kids 7 to 12 and free for kids 6 and under.

 

For more information about the 43rd Annual Pine Tree Festival, like them on Facebook or call the Dierks Chamber of Commerce at 870-584-9431.

 

 

 

ARREST MADE FOR FELONY POSSESSION      7/7/15

 

Saturday night, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported he noticed a van that didn't have a license plate, so he made a traffic stop in the De Queen Health and Wellness parking lot on Highway 70 West.

 

After checking the vehicles registration, Patrolman Browning issued the driver, 32-year-old Raven Tollett a citation for failure to register her vehicle.

 

Tollett also gave Browning and Sergeant Chad Bradshaw permission to search her vehicle. Officer Bradshaw reported he noticed the passenger 32-year-old Damian Burton reach under his shirt when Bradshaw asked Burton to exit the vehicle.

 

After instructing Burton to hand them what he was trying to conceal, Burton gave the officers two clear bags of suspected methamphetamine.

 

While Tollett was being questioned at the De Queen Police Station, she allegedly informed the officers that one of the bags of meth belonged to her and the other one belonged to Burton.

 

Both, Tollett and Burton, were charged with possession of methamphetamine or cocaine with the purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL TO MEET TUESDAY AT 5:30     7/7/15

 

Aldermen of the De Queen City Council will meet this Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council room of the De Queen City Hall.

 

Aldermen will consider passing a resolution to accept the 2013 audit of the city's general funds. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy explained that the council reviewed the audit in April, but the resolution to accept the audit was never placed on the agenda for their approval.

 

McKelvy also reported that the Arkansas Department of Health had conducted a Sanitary Survey of the De Queen Water Works Department.

 

According to a letter from the Department of Health, the City of De Queen received only one significant deficiency because the health department could not verify with documentation if the water storage tanks had been internally inspected within the past five years.

 

The department of health also recommended that the city have the filter media evaluated and replaced if necessary, along with several other recommendations.

 

According to the letter, the city of De Queen has 45 days to file a response with the department of health.

 

McKelvy also reported that the cable audit revealed that Vyve owes the city $1,028 in underpaid franchise fees.

 

The auditor, Greg Fender of Local Government Services, recommended the city hold a public meeting to discuss Vyve Broadbands performance within the city and to determine the future cable-related needs of the community.

 

Aldermen will consider holding a public meeting on August 4th to discuss the city's cable needs.

 

 

 

DOMTAR DONATES $50,000 TO LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FOR FLOOD RECOVERY EFFORTS      7/7/15

 

Domtar presented a check in the amount of $50,000 to Little River County Judge Mike Cranford to help with the flood recovery efforts and Domtar employees have volunteered to work with cleanup after the flood waters recede.

 

Little River County has been experiencing flooding due to heavy rains since May and according to Cranford, the Red River flooded over 100,000 acres in Little River County.

 

Domtar President and CEO John Williams wrote a letter to Judge Cranford that says, quote, on behalf of Domtar's nearly 10,000 employees, please know our thoughts are with you and your citizens as you deal with the tragic flooding situation in Little River County.

 

Our hope is that you can apply these dollars, at your discretion to offset the expenses of the search and rescue efforts, cleanup and repair initiatives to county roads and the extraordinary costs incurred by the sheriff's office protecting residents and property in the flooded areas.

 

According to the county judge's office, when the floodwaters recede and local authorities deem the situation safe, Ashdown mill team members will coordinate with Cranford to help with the removal of debris and sandbags.

 

 

 

ELECTION COMMISSION TO CERTIFY CANDIDATES      7/7/15

 

According to Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin, the Sevier County Election Commission will meet on Wednesday, July 8th to certify the candidates for the upcoming school election for the Zone 5 position for the De Queen Board of Education and the Zone 3 position on Horatio Board of Education.

 

The election commission will also hold a ballot draw if necessary.

 

Currently Randy Hedge holds the Zone 5 position on the De Queen School Board and Jeff Irvan holds the Zone 3 position on the Horatio School Board.

 

The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. in the county clerk's office in the Sevier County Courthouse.

 

The meeting is open to the public.

 

 

 

HEAVY RAINS THIS WEEKEND CAUSES MORE FLOODING     7/7/15

 

Heavy rains Friday night and Saturday morning produced flash flooding in Southwest Arkansas causing problems on several roads.

 

The National Weather Service estimated that Hempstead and Nevada counties were the hardest hit in the area and that area received between six to 10 inches of rain.

 

A portion of Highway 371 east of Blevins was washed out due to flooding and numerous roads were closed in Hempstead County. According to Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse, 17 county roads are closed.

 

Saturday morning, members of the Saratoga Volunteer Fire Department and the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office responded to a car that was trapped by the flood waters on Hempstead County Road 13 near McNab.

 

According to Deputy Luke Sorenson, he observed a vehicle on the edge of the road in approximately 10-inches of flowing water.

 

The driver, 18-year-old Tami Van Horn was able to hand her 3-year-old child to the deputy through the window. She then climbed out the window with some assistance.

 

The car was pulled out of the water by the Saratoga Fire Department.

 

Highway 355 at Fulton had to be closed for a while until flood waters receded and according to Little River County Judge Mike Cranford, some roadways in the Ashdown area were closed due to flash flooding on Saturday.

 

 

 

TREASURER MILLIGAN ANNOUNCES JUNE RETURNS ON SHORT TERM INVESTMENTS     7/7/15

 

Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan announced his office was able to earn the taxpayers of Arkansas $629,618.77 in interest on the short-term investments for the month of June, which brings the total for the first five months to over $2.1 million.

 

During the month of June the Treasury did experience a slight decrease in the monetary return due to a decrease in the funds available for investment and a shifting of the focus to the longer-term portion of the state's portfolio.

 

Milligan's office reported the additional revenue earned is placed in the Securities Reserve Account which assists in funding issues the people of Arkansas care about like: highway funding, four land highway construction, Game and Fish, the Secretary of State Help American Vote Act and other accounts.

 

 

 

UNWANTED GUEST      7/7/15

 

Early Sunday morning, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Timber Ridge apartments to answer a complaint concerning an intoxicated person wandering from apartment to apartment.

 

When Baker arrived, he discovered a man sitting in a chair next to apartment H3.

 

Baker said the man, 51-year-old Rodger Brizendine, had a bruised and beaten right cheek, as well as, blood on his shirt and hand.

 

Brizendine was taken into to custody and cited for public intoxication and taken to the Sevier County jail.

 

 

UA COSSATOT HOSTS LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR       7/6/15

 

UA Cossatot will host a Leadership Development Seminar for Managers, Supervisors and Human Resource Managers on Tuesday, July 14th from 10 a.m. until noon.

 

The seminar will be lead by Leadership Coach Greg Gilbert of Washington, Arkansas. Gilbert will be presenting a 2-hour program about developing leadership skills.

 

Gilbert informed KDQN that anyone in leadership will benefit from the class and you can learn more about the program by visiting Gilbert’s website at GregLGilbert.com.

 

The cost of the seminar is $75 and includes a copy of Gilbert’s book, “The Power of Better,” and seating is limited. Interested parties should register at GregLGilbert.com/local.

 

 

 

FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT HIRES FORMER RATTLER AS HEAD FOOTBALL COACH       7/6/15

 

During a recent meeting of the Foreman Board of Education, Neil Evans was hired to be the next head football coach of the Foreman Gators.

 

Evans graduated from Murfreesboro High School in 2005, where he was named the Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2003 and 2004 and earned an honorable mention for all-conference in 2004.

 

Evans then attended Harding University and played football for the Bisons until he became a student assistant coach in 2009.

 

Evans was hired to coach linebackers in 2010 at Mobile Christian School in Mobile, Alabama. Later, he was named the head football coach and served in that position until 2013. Over those three seasons, Evans’ teams compiled a 23-13 record.

 

The Mobile Christian Leopards made the playoffs all three of Evans years, and made the quarterfinals in 2012 and 2013.

 

In 2014, Evans became the secondary coach and special teams coordinator at Central Arkansas Christian in Little Rock.

 

 

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO BENEFIT FROM RESEA PROGRAM      7/6/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that during the last legislative session, legislators passed several bills to help Arkansas workers develop the skills they need in this rapidly changing business environment.

 

Vaught announced this week that the state will be able to provide even more services to put Arkansans to work, since the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

 

The Department of Workforce Services was awarded $537,758. These funds will be used to fund Arkansas’ Reemployment Services Eligibility Assessment program, which is expected to benefit more than 8,000 Arkansans who are looking for work.

 

Currently, participants are required to complete a job search workshop to maintain their benefits. The workshop lasts between four and six hours and is held once a month at the state’s workforce centers.

 

Participates receive labor market information, job search assistance, resume preparation and interview skills training.

 

The Reemployment Services Eligibility Assessment program will also provide one on one appointments and help veterans who are returning home to find work. These services will be provided at Workforce Centers in Helena, Hope, Benton, Searcy, Forrest City and Little Rock.

 

According to Vaught, the goal of the program is to keep claimants from exhausting their benefits before moving on to employment, but also to reduce the number of weeks claimed, as well as, reduce the total benefits paid, which will result in a savings for the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

 

According to the Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas’ current unemployment rate is 5.7 percent, which is slightly higher than the national rate.

 

 

 

ASHDOWN DOWN DISTRICT MOVES EXTRA REVENUE TO BUILDING FUND       7/3/15

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the Ashdown Board of Education held a special called meeting earlier this week to make some personnel changes and to discuss some old business that had not been closed.

 

Sanders stated the board accepted the resignations of Abby Rayfield, as the computer lab manager on the L.F. Henderson campus, high school Math teacher, Todd Gibson, high school English teacher, Nancy Gibson and high school business teacher, Will Harris. They also filled three positions, including a new state mandated position.

 

Sanders said the board voted to approve changes to the student handbooks, district policies and a 1.5 percent raise for classified employees.

 

Sanders also reported the board approved a resolution to move over $3.2 million dollars in extra revenue to the district's building fund.

 

 

 

BROTHERS PLEAD GUILTY IN SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT      7/3/15

 

Brothers, Devin Felipe and Michael Felipe, changed their pleas to guilty in a recent session of the Sevier County Circuit Court before Judge Tom Cooper.

 

Devin Felipe was sentenced to a total of 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and one-year in the Sevier County jail after pleading guilty to the charges of shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth or cocaine.

 

Devin Felipe was arrested on Wednesday, May 27th for shoplifting at the new Dollar Tree store in De Queen, while being processed at the jail, jail personnel discovered two small bags of meth along with a syringe and a smoking device in a black box inside his sock.

 

Michael Felipe was sentenced to eight-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and 30-days in the Sevier County jail for resisting arrest, shoplifting, fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Michael Felipe was arrested, May 21st for shoplifting, fleeing and resisting arrest at the Tractor Supply store.

 

Simon Ahumada was sentenced to 13 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections for possession of meth with the intent to deliver and for maintaining a drug premises.

 

David Lee Baker was sentenced to 10-years with four suspended after pleading guilty to possession of Hydrocodone and possession of meth or cocaine.

 

Fred Bunch was sentenced to seven-years for delivery of morphine and Joshua Parson was sentenced to six-years for possession of drug paraphernalia and domestic battery in the third degree.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: PLAN A SAFE JULY 4TH        7/3/15

 

Since 1776, Americans have celebrated Independence Day with festivities ranging from barbecues and parades to concerts and fireworks. These traditions are great opportunities for family and friends to gather and celebrate the holiday.

 

President John Adams once declared that Independence Day should be celebrated with illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."

 

So, it is no surprise that fireworks are now a common custom for many people to celebrate the holiday across the United States.

 

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 11 fatalities and an estimated 10,500 people injured by fireworks in 2014. Among those injuries, 67 percent occurred during the 30-days surrounding the Fourth of July.

 

So, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer report to remind Arkansans to keep safety and firework regulations in mind when celebrating Independence Day.

 

Arkansas State law requires sellers to obtain a license in order to sell fireworks legally in the state. Vendors are not allowed to sell fireworks to anyone under the age of 12 or anyone that appears to be intoxicated.

 

State law allows exploding fireworks to be sold each year from June 20th to July 10th and non-exploding items, such as sparklers and snakes, may be sold throughout the year.

 

Rutledge recommends that consumers only purchase fireworks from a licensed store, tent or stand; use fireworks outdoors; read and follow all warnings and instructions; supervise children at all times; make sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks; never relight a malfunctioning firework; do not shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container and keep a bucket of water handy in case of a fire.

 

In the City of De Queen, fireworks may be exploded on July 3rd, 4th and 5th between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight and no fireworks may be sold within the city limits.

 

If a person is found in violation of the ordinance by possessing or using fireworks, they may be punished by a fine not to exceed $200 and/or public service not to exceed 10-days.

 

 

 

FOREMAN WATER DEPARTMENT TO HOST PUBLIC MEETING      7/3/15

 

The Foreman Water Department will hold a public meeting on Monday, July 13th at 6 p.m. in the Foreman Community Center to discuss the installation of new water meters throughout the city.

 

The purpose of the meeting is to inform the public why the city is installing new meters and when the installation will take place.

 

They will also announce if there will be any initial cost or connection fees to the water customers and how the new equipment will effect their bills.

 

Water officials will explain the benefits of the new equipment and discuss the amount of time customers will be without water, while crews connect the new meters.

 

For more information, contact the Foreman Water Department at 870-542-7434.

 

 

 

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES FENCING PROJECT AT ELEMENTARY CAMPUS      7/3/15

 

During a special called meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members filled all of the remaining positions in the district and approved a fencing project on the elementary campus.

 

Superintendent Lee Smith stated they hired Lisa Frady as a Chemistry/Physics teacher and Pam Bright as a Pre-school aide.

Smith said the board also accepted a bid for new fencing around the elementary playground.

 

The Horatio Board of Education will meet July 13th for their regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the administration building.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT SUPPORTS NONVIOLENCE YOUTH SUMMIT     7/3/15

 

The Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission hosted the Nonviolence Youth Summit this past Sunday in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.

 

The event was held to celebrate the cultural differences in the community and De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy and Ericka Buenrrostro who is the sponsor of the UA Cossatot Student Diversity Association received an award for their participation and facilitation of the event.

 

Students from the Student Diversity Association volunteered for the event and worked booths that were set up for youth of all ages.

 

Ivan Leon, a legendary soccer player from Santa Fe, Argentina, was the guest speaker. Leon moved to the United States and pursued a BA in Communications from Liberty University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. He then continued his education at Dallas Theological Seminary and completed the Masters of Theology program. He also received a certificate of Entrepreneurship from the University of Texas.

 

Students from the UA Cossatot Colts Club Soccer team joined forces with some members of the Lady Leopard Soccer team and played an exhibition game against a team from the Hot Springs area.

 

Executive Director of the Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission DuShun ScarBrough told those in attendance, they were fortunate to have a college in the community that embraces diversity.

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL OFFERING SUMMER ACT PREP CLASS      7/2/15

 

De Queen High School Counselor Ramona Hill announced the De Queen High School would be offering an ACT Summer Prep class for the weeks of July 20th through 23rd and July 27th through 30th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

 

The district will also be offering a couple of refresher nights on Tuesday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 8th from 5 to 7 p.m.

 

Students who attend every day of the ACT Prep Class will be able to take the September 21st ACT exam for free.

 

Applications should be turned in at the De Queen High School office by Thursday, July 9th in order for teachers to plan for the correct number of materials.

 

De Queen students may attend for free but there is a $100 registration fee for students from other districts.

 

 

 

DISASTER UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE IN ARKANSAS     7/2/15

 

Residents in nine Arkansas counties that were declared disaster areas because of recent storms, tornadoes and flooding may be eligible for disaster unemployment assistance.

 

Residents, including people who are self-employed, who lost jobs as a direct result of the storms that moved through the area May 7th to June 15th in Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry, Sebastian and Sevier counties could be eligible for payments.

 

Claims must be filed between now and July 30th at the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services offices in Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Hope, Pine Bluff, Texarkana, Conway and Russellville.

 

Individuals must have worked or have been scheduled to work in the disaster area.

 

Applicants should bring a government issued photo ID, Social Security card, name and address of the last place of employment and documents verifying income.

 

 

 

TRUCK ACCIDENT REROUTES TRAFFIC      7/2/15

 

A little after midnight, a trailer overturned at the intersection of Magnolia and Lakeside.

 

The driver of the truck, Larry Treadwell of Branson, Missouri reported that he was turning right onto Magnolia Street from Lakeside Drive when he back tires went into the ditch, which caused the trailer to overturn.

 

According to the accident report the truck and trailer were heavily damaged, but there were no injuries. However, traffic had to be re-routed through the Tractor Supply parking lot until the accident scene was cleaned up.

 

Then about 4:50 a.m. Wednesday morning, power to the Cities of De Queen and Horatio went out after a snake apparently caused a substation to lock out the area.

 

Power was restored by SWEPCO crews in about an hour.

 

 

 

TWO ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH RECENT BREAK INS       7/2/15

 

Two people have been arrested in connection with break ins from this past weekend at the Nashville Elementary and Primary schools, along with the Immanuel Baptist Church.

 

18-year-old Lawrence Benson, Jr. of Nashville and 20-year-old De Angelo Coulter of Center Point have been charged with three counts each of Commercial Burglary and Theft of Property.

 

Nashville Police Department Investigator Larry Marion stated Benson turned himself in late Monday and Howard County Sheriff's Deputy Joey Davis arrested Coulter at a residence in Center Point on Tuesday.

 

According to police reports, the Immanuel Baptist Church was broken into but apparently nothing was taken, but some minor damage was reported. While searching the area, officers discovered the elementary and primary schools had also been broken into. The only items taken from the schools included some keys and money from the primary building.

 

Coulter is being held on a $50,000 bond, while Benson's bond was set at $25,000.

 

 

 

VAUGHT REPORTS ON ARKANSAS HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE      7/2/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that while the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace continues to explore if the state should create its own health care exchange and determine its own fees to charge the insurance companies, an important decision was handed down by the United States Supreme Court.

 

The Affordable Care Act states tax credits are available when insurance is purchased through an Exchange established by the State. The legal question in the case of King vs. Burwell was whether a federal exchange is an Exchange established by the State may offer subsidies for health insurance.

 

Recently, the Supreme Court said yes and Arkansas is one of 34 states in which individuals and families can shop for health care using a federally operated online marketplace commonly referred to as the exchange.

 

Those with incomes between 138 percent and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level are allowed to purchase insurance on the exchange at a reduced rate. The reduction in premiums is paid for by the federal tax credits that can be used in advance.

 

Currently, there are 48,000 Arkansans using these credits. These would be families of four making under $94,200 a year or an individual making under $46,000.

 

A family of four making under $31,000 or an individual making under $15,000 would be eligible for the Private Option where premiums are paid in full.

 

During the last legislative session, the Arkansas General Assembly passed legislation to prohibit the creation of a state-based exchange without approval from the General Assembly until this ruling was issued. But, since the ruling upheld federal subsidies, legislative approval is no longer needed and the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace may now proceed with the creation of a state-based exchange.

 

 

ANNUAL FIREWORKS IN THE PARK IN LOCKESBURG       7/1/15

 

The Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Park in Lockesburg will host the annual Fireworks in the Park, this Saturday, July 4th with a variety of activities for folks of all ages.

 

Gary Revels of the Lockesburg Lions Club announced they will be hosting Freedom from Blindness 5K and 10K races this year.

 

Revels said the club helps raise funds to provide eye care for area residents and Saturday's race is their biggest fundraiser of the year.

 

Revels said they will be presenting medals to the top finishers in each age category.

 

Park Commissioner Sheila Ruth said Fireworks in the Park will start with a co-ed softball tournament and end with a giant firework display.

 

Once again this year, the event will feature the Lockesburg Car and Truck Show from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Jo Anna said you can register your car or truck until the day of the show.

 

Ruth said there will be craft and food vendors and if you would like a booth space, you should contact the Lockesburg City Hall at 870-289-3261.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS STORM SURVIVORS URGED TO REGISTER FOR FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE      7/1/05

 

Arkansas residents affected by the late April flooding and storms may now call or go online to register for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to state and federal officials.

 

The Federal Coordinating Officer, Nancy Casper, said registering for assistance is the first step in getting on the path to recovery and her office is urging people with disaster-related damages to apply as soon as possible.

 

President Barak Obama signed the federal disaster declaration on Friday, June 26th and it offers Individual Assistance to residents in the counties of Crawford, Garland, Howard, Jefferson, Little River, Miller, Perry Sebastian and Sevier counties, although additional counties may be included at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.

 

To apply for disaster assistance, you may call 1-800-FEMA or you may go online at www.disasterassistance.gov.


The toll free number will operate from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Central Standard Time, seven days a week.

 

In most cases, a FEMA inspector will call you within a few days of registering to arrange a visit to your damaged home or apartment. A FEMA inspector will always have an official badge visible during the inspection. And, you should request to see identification before allowing the inspector to enter your home.

 

If you qualify for FEMA assistance, you will receive a federal government check or the funds will be directly deposited into your designated bank account. A separate letter will also be sent to you explaining how you may use the funds.

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK     7/1/15

 

Cossatot River State Park will be hosting guided kayak tours this Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

 

The cost is $30.94 per person and shuttle transportation, interpretive guide service and the use of a kayak, paddle and lifejacket. The adventure will start in the Visitor Center classroom and is designed for beginners.

 

Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary reported the weather may cause the tour to be re-scheduled or the route may have to be changed due to low or high water levels.

 

Friday and Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m., park interpreters will be leading a sneaky snorkeling adventure on the Cossatot River. Participates will be able to sneak up on perch, minnows and a lot of other river dwellers.

 

Friday evening from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., the park will host a Dutch oven dessert demonstration. Park interpreters will be preparing homemade cobbler for everyone to enjoy.

 

 Saturday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m., park guest will learn about tracking. According to Flanary, you just need to develop three skills to become a good tracker and she says we all have these skills. So, join Flanary in the Visitor Center's classroom and discover what type of tracker you are.

 

For more information about these programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN RESIDENT KILLED IN MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT      7/1/15

 

A De Queen man died as the result of a motorcycle, Monday evening in southeastern Oklahoma.

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported 33-year-old Michael David Culp of De Queen, died in the accident that occurred a little before 6 p.m.

 

The accident report says Culp was eastbound on U.S. Highway 70 near Eagletown in McCurtain County when the motorcycle went off the roadway.

 

According to the report says the motorcycle traveled about 400 feet before crashing into a ditch and overturning. The accident threw Culp more than 50 feet from the motorcycle.

 

 

 

HORATIO MAN ARRESTED IN HOWARD COUNTY      7/1/15

 

A Horatio man was arrested over the weekend in Nashville.

 

While patrolling Saturday morning, Nashville Police Officer Casey Parker noticed a vehicle parked at the Howard County Farm Bureau.

 

The driver who was identified as 36-year-old Clifton Roberts was slumped over inside the vehicle. Officer Parker was able to wake Roberts up, and while speaking with him, Parker noticed Roberts was acting in a nervous manner.

 

While conducting a pat down, police say they recovered three balls of black tape from one of his pants pockets.

 

Officer Parker said the tape concealed zip lock bags with suspected methamphetamine in them.

 

Roberts was transported to the Howard County jail, where he was charged with possession of controlled substance.

 

Roberts’ bond was set at $50,000 dollars.

 

 

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS STATEWIDE WATCHING FOR HOLIDAY IMPAIRED DRIVERS      7/1/15

 

The Fourth of July is a favorite holiday among Americans, but with summer fun, parades, parties and fireworks, the holiday typically proves to be deadly on streets and highways across the country.

 

Nationwide there were 199 people killed in alcohol related crashes during the 2013 July 4th holiday period.

 

The crackdown on drunk driving during the coming holiday period will involve state, city and county law enforcement officers devoting additional patrol hours through July 5th. Their target will be drivers who are impaired and endangering the lives of others traveling on Arkansas roadways.

 

Drivers who have consumed alcohol or drugs should remember they are putting their own life and the lives of others at risk.

 

Driving impaired can lead to other serious consequences. Even if no one is killed or hurt, a DWI arrest can lead to jail time, driver license suspension, costly legal expenses, court fines and higher driver insurance rates.

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports show that in fatal crashes during the July Fourth period in 2013, more than one-fifth or 21 percent of involved drivers or motorcycle operators had Blood Alcohol Concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit.

 

The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recommends these simple tips to prevent drunk driving: plan a safe way home before the fun begins; designate a sober driver; if you have been drinking, call a taxi, or a sober friend for a ride home; if you see a drunk driver, call 911.

 

2015 DISTRICT 4-H O'RAMA  06/29/15

 

Eleven Sevier County 4-H’ers competed in the Ouachita District 4-H O’Rama held in Gurdon, AR on June 16, 2015. To be able to compete at the District O’Rama, the 4-H’er must have competed at the local County O’Rama and be at least 9 years old on January 1 of the current year.
Blake Sawyer placed 2nd in Bicycle Junior Division, Aaron Morris placed 4th in Animal Science Senior Division, Hunter Frachiseur placed 4th in Wildlife Junior Division, Attalee Frachiseur placed 4th in Fashion Revue – Purchased Casual Junior Division, Amber Morris placed 1st in Food Fair Junior Division, Aubrey Seymour placed 1st in Human Development Junior Division, Brennen Seymour placed 2nd in Baitcasting & Game Fish ID Junior Division, Brayden Frachiseur placed 1st in Reel into Sportfishing Junior Division, Sabrina Rivas placed 2nd in Forestry Senior Division, Marcus Rosson placed 2nd in Gun Safety Junior Division, and Brody Smith placed 1st in Gun Safety Senior Divsion. Seniors (ages 14-19) who placed in the top 7 are eligible to compete in the State O’Rama competition that will be held in July at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
 

Pictured:  L to R sitting: Blake Sawyer, Raegan Frachiseur, Attalee Frachiseur, Brayden Frachiseur, Hunter Frachiseur, and Max Rosson.  Standing:  Sabrina Rivas, Brody Smith, Aaron Morris, Aubrey Seymour, Brennen Seymour, Amber Morris, Macy Rosson, and Marcus Rosson.                             

(Photo taken by Janet Cantrell)

 

2015 Tri Lakes Big Bass Winners    06/30/15

The 26th annual Tri Lakes Big Bass Tournament was held Saturday, June 27th on De Queen, Gillham and Dierks lakes in southwest Arkansas. 

There were a total of 196 entries fishing for over $14,000 in cash and prizes.  Five places were awarded on each of the three lakes each hour from 6 am until 1 pm. 

Top prize of $1,500 was won by P.J. Minor for his 6.30 pound bass caught during the first hour on De Queen Lake.  Bill Huddleston won 2nd place for $1,000 with a 6.16 pound bass caught during hour 3 on De Queen Lake. Third place and $750  went to Jason Sparks fishing on Gillham Lake who caught a nice 5.86 pound bass during hour 2.  Fourth place of $500 was awarded to Robin Daniel with a 5.72 pound bass caught during hour 6 on Gillham Lake.   Dierks Lake was also mentioned in the winners circle when Ronnie Cogburn weighed in his 5.49 pound bass during hour seven for 5th place and $300.  Keep in mind that these anglers also won hourly prize money in addition to the big bass prize.  (Hourly winners list)

Photo by Patrick Massey

 

 

PRESIDENT DECLARES DISASTER FOR ARKANSAS      6/30/15

 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the state of Arkansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding during the period of May 7th to June 15th.

 

The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals and households in Howard, Little River, Miller, Sevier, Crawford, Garland, Jefferson, Perry and Sebastian counties. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

 

Federal funding is also available to state, tribal and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller, Pike, Polk, and Sevier counties along with 21 other counties.

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he applauded the FEMA's decision to issue a major disaster declaration for the state and now residents and local communities can receive help financial assistance as they continue their recovery efforts.

 

Hutchinson said additional designations may be added to the declaration if requested by the state and warranted by results of further damage assessments.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford stated the declaration means the federal government will pay for 75 percent of the clean-up cost.

 

Cranford said it took awhile for the declaration to be made because the individual lose threshold had to be met.

 

Cranford said Red River is receding but another 2-inch rain could do even more damage.

 

Cranford said he plans to set up a meeting with all of the agencies involved to provide information to area residents

 

For information about assistance for both individuals and business owners call 1-800-621-FEMA or visit the website wwww.DisasterAssistance.gov.

 

 

 

REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE THE FOURTH SAFELY         6/30/15

 

When you think about the Fourth of July, you think of fireworks and large public firework displays, but you should also think about safety and local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

 

The National Council on Fireworks Safety suggests that you read the cautionary labels and performance description before igniting fireworks and only light one firework at a time.

 

Children should be supervised by an adult and fireworks should be disposed of by soaking them in a bucket of water.

 

Residents should also obey all local laws concerning fireworks. De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported fireworks may only be ignited in the city on July 3rd, 4th and 5th, between the hours of 11 a.m. and midnight.

 

McKelvy said violators may be fined up to $200 and sentenced up to 10 days of community service for violating the city’s ordinance.

 

This past weekend, officers with the De Queen Police Department issued a warning to a resident after neighbors complained about the noise.

 

 

 

DISTRICT 4-H O'RAMA       6/30/15

 

Eleven Sevier County 4-H'ers competed in the Ouachita District 4-H O-Rama held in Gurdon on June 16th. For 4-H'ers to be able to compete in the District O'Rama, the 4-H'er must have competed in the county O'Rama and be at least 9-years-old on January 1st of the current year.

 

Blake Sawyer placed second in the Bicycle Junior Division, Aaron Morris placed fourth in Animal Sciences Senior Division, Hunter Frachiseur placed fourth in Wildlife Junior Division, Attalee Frachiseur placed fourth in Fashion Revue-Purchased Casual Junior Division, Amber Morris placed first in Food Fair Junior Division, Aubrey Seymour placed first in Human Development Junior Division, Brennen Seymour placed second in Baitcasting and Game Fish ID Junior Division, Brayden Frachiseur placed first in Reel into Sportfishing Junior Division, Sabrina Rivas placed second in Forestry Senior Division, Marcus Rosson placed second in Gun Safety Junior Division, and Brody Smith placed first in Gun Safety Senior Division.

 

Seniors who placed in the top seven are eligible to compete in the State O'Rama competition this July at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

 

 

 

DRINKING ON HIGHWAY        6/30/15

 

Early Saturday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department observed a car on the overpass traveling east at a high rate of speed.

 

Browning turned around but was unable to catch up with the vehicle.

 

Browning said he then observed a maroon colored vehicle drive left of center and continued to straddle the center line for a little while. Browning conducted a traffic stop in the Farm Bureau parking lot and made contact with the driver, 26-year-old Martin Martinez-Marrufo.

 

Martinez-Marrufo informed Browning that he had drank one or two. After conducting some field sobriety test, officers discovered a partially drank Bud Light bottle behind the driver's seat.

 

Martinez-Marrufo was citied for drinking on the highway, driving left of center and for having no driver's license.

 

 

 

MILLER NAMED SAU SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR        6/30/15

 

Southern Arkansas University announced former De Queen Leopard John Miller and Sarah Higginbotham were nominated for the Great American Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

 

Miller and Higginbotham were named the 2014-2015 SAU Scholar-Athletes of the Year in April.

 

Higginbotham is a native of Bedford, Texas and graduated from SAU with a 3.91 cumulative GPA in Biological Science. Higginbotham was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Second-Team and was a two-time GAC All-Academic Team selection.

 

Miller is majoring in Engineering and Physics and currently has a 3.8 GPA. He was named to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District Three First-Team. Miller has been a two-time All-GAC Offensive Lineman for SAU.

 

 

 

PJ MINOR WINS 26TH ANNUAL TRI-LAKES BIG BASS FESTIVAL      6/30/15

 

Saturday morning, the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce held their 26th Annual Tri-Lakes Big Bass Festival on the De Queen, Dierks and Gillham lakes and this year's overall winner was P.J. Minor of De Queen.

 

Minor won $1,600 dollars while fishing on the De Queen Lake. The second place winner was Bill Huddleston, third place went to Jason Sparks, fourth place went to Robin Daniel and fifth place went to Ronnie Cogburn.

 

Minor and Huddleston were fishing on the De Queen Lake, while Sparks and Daniel were both on the Gillham Lake. Cogburn won the hourly big bass prize during the seventh hour on the Dierks Lake.

 

This year, the tournament had 196 entries.

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY WATER NOT HARMFUL       6/29/15

 

An official with the Sevier County Water Association reported they are having a problem with the magnesium and iron levels in the water. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the magnesium levels are elevated due to the recent rainfall and lake turnover.

 

Officials at the water association stated their system was not able to properly treat the magnesium level effectively; however, the water is safe to drink although customers may notice a dingy, dirty looking color and a slight odor.

 

Health department officials recommend using bottled water for the making of baby formula and to be careful when washing light colored clothing.

 

Sevier County Water Association employees are working to correct the problem, but it may take some time due the recent rainfall.

 

 

 

IT’S HARD TO STOP A TRAIN         6/29/15

 

Friday morning, an 18-wheeler hauling train wheel axles lost its load at the intersection of Collin Raye Drive and 9th Street, a little after 10:30.

 

According to a Walter Smith of the Sevier County Office of Emergency Management, the driver of the truck said he was considering driving thru the yellow light, but a small vehicle pulled out in front of him from 9th Street, so he shut the truck down, which caused the load to dislodge.

 

Members of the De Queen Police Department and the De Queen Fire Department closed down the two east bound lanes and directed traffic through the turn lane, until the truck could be reloaded.

 

According to the De Queen Police Department, no one injured in the accident.

 

 

 

39TH ANNUAL HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL     6/29/15

 

The Hope-Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the U of A Hope-Texarkana Foundation to bring Sammy Kershaw and Buddy Jewell to the 39th Annual Hope Watermelon Festival on Saturday, August 8th.

 

Kershaw will be performing his number one hit “She Don’t Know She’s Beautiful” along with several of his 10 Top Ten hits.

 

Jewell’s self-titled Columbia Records album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart and was certified gold and garnered two back-to-back top five hits with “Sweet Southern Comfort” and “Help Pour Out the Rain.”

 

This year’s Watermelon Festival will include a Friday night concert featuring the Beatle’s Tribute Band, the Liverpool Legends. The band will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Legion Field.

 

Advanced tickets for Saturday night will be $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 4 to 10. The day of the show, tickets will be $20. There will also be a Friday and Saturday night concert combination general admission ticket for just $15 and Friday night tickets are just $5.

 

Tickets are available at www.uacch.edu, or you may contact, the UACCH Foundation at 870-722-8516.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CLERK OFFERS GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING SCHOOL ELECTIONS        6/29/15

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced the 2015 School Elections will be held on Tuesday, September 15th.

 

The filing period for the De Queen and Horatio School Board elections will be from 8 a.m., June 30th until noon on July 7th.

 

Akin said the positions that will be running for election this year, include the Zone 5 position in De Queen, which is currently held by Randy Hedge and the Zone 3 position in Horatio, which is currently held on Jeff Irvan.

 

Akin also encouraged Sevier County residents to register to vote. She said the deadline to register to vote in this election is August 17th, but if you are a registered voter in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by September 11th and still vote in the School Board elections.

 

Akin said residents may need to update their registration if their name or address has changed.

 

Absentee voting is available for qualifying applicants and residents may contact the County Clerk’s office to obtain an application.

 

Early voting will be conducted in the County Clerk’s office only September 8th through the 14th from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

 

Akin said you have any questions; you may contact her office at 870-642-2852.

 

 

  

CONSUMER ALERT – AVOIDING VACATION SCAMS     6/29/15

 

School is out for the summer, and many Arkansans are taking vacations. These trips can be great for relaxation and fun, but consumers should take precautions to protect themselves from scams and con artists.

 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to help Arkansans keep their guard up and avoid being scammed before or during their vacations.

 

Rutledge offered these tips on how you can recognize a scam: a legitimate company will not require payment for a prize; if a travel agency will not provide the phone number or address of all or some of the arrangements it has made; high-pressure sales tactics could be a sign of a scam; be wary of wiring money as it is the same as sending cash, once sent, there is no way to get it back; and travelers should pay by credit card as much as possible because it is easier to dispute the charges if a service is not provided.

 

Rutledge also encourages travelers to make copies of credit cards, passports and driver’s licenses, along with emergency contact information in case any of these documents are stolen.

 

All travel scams should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission, local law enforcement and the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-482-8982 or ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

 

FAULKNER COUNTY GRANTS SAME-SEX MARRIAGE LICENSE AFTER SUPREME COURT LEGALIZES GAY-MARRIAGE       6/29/15

 

The Faulkner County Human Resource Officer Whitney Doolittle announced this morning that a same-sex couple received a marriage license in Conway shortly after the United State Supreme Court ruled the Constitution allows gay-marriage.

 

The attorney for same-sex couples who challenged Arkansas' gay marriage ban says she's thrilled with the ruling and believes all Arkansas County Clerks should begin issuing licenses immediately.

 

Cheryl Maples represented the couples who challenged in both federal and state courts a 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment and earlier Arkansas law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

 

Maples said the state Supreme Court will still need to decide whether voters can change an inalienable right in the constitution, which she says is what the 2004 gay marriage amendment does.

 

President of the Arkansas Family Council, Jerry Cox said this decision now creates more questions. He stated he believes the court will now have to re-define marriage.

 

Cox's group spearheaded the campaign in 2004 for the amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

 

 

 

PARK VISITOR FINDS 8.52 CARAT WHITE DIAMOND        6/29/15

 

An 8.52-carat white diamond was found June 24th by a Colorado resident at the Crater of Diamonds State Park.

 

The clear white and icicle shaped gem is the fifth largest diamond found by a park visitor since the park was established in 1972.

 

According to Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colorado, she found the gem within 20-minutes of her search in a couple of scoops of dirt.

 

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox said Oskarson and her boyfriend, Travis Dillon saw the Crater of Diamonds State Park on an Arkansas highway map while visiting Hot Springs and decided to visit the park.

 

This is the 227th diamond that's been certified by the park staff this year. Cox noted more than 30 other diamonds have been found on the surface of the search area so far this year.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park call 870-285-3113 or visit the website: craterofdiamondsstatepark.com.

 

 

 

STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR ASA HUTCHINSON ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RULING      6/29/15

 

Governor Asa Hutchinson released the following statement concerning the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage:

 

"The Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision requires the State of Arkansas to recognize same-sex marriage. This decision goes against the expressed view of Arkansans and my personal beliefs and convictions. While my personal convictions will not change, as Governor I recognize the responsibility of the state to follow the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court. As a result of this ruling, I will direct all state agencies to comply with the decision.

 

It is also important to note that the Supreme Court decision is directed at the states to allow and recognize marriage between two people of the same sex. It is not a directive for churches or pastors to recognize same-sex marriage. The decision for churches, pastors, and individuals is a choice that should be left to the convictions of conscience."

 

 

 

THAT’S SOME STORY        6/29/15

 

Early Friday morning, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police reported he was in the turning lane about to pull into the De Queen Auto Group to make a security check when he noticed a vehicle in the turning lane with its left blinker on. Browning stated the vehicle continued to drive straight toward him and he pulled into the dealership to avoid an accident. 

 

Browning reported he conducted a traffic stop in the Peppercorn Creek Plaza and witnessed the two occupants switch seats.

 

The occupant sitting in the driver's seat was identified as Darrell Moser. When Browning asked Moser to exit the vehicle, he noticed some open beer cans in the backseat.

 

Moser allegedly informed Browning that he and the other occupant, 36-year-old Don Crabtree were going camping, but he didn't provide an answer when asked, why they switched seats.

 

When Browning and Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker questioned Crabtree, he stated he did not have a driver's license.

 

Browning reported Crabtree had blood shot eyes and when asked if he had been drinking, Crabtree allegedly stated that he had been swimming all day. When Crabtree was asked where they were going, he stated he was planning to turn onto the old Lockesburg Highway, but decided he wanted a sandwich, so he pulled into Subway.

 

Later, Crabtree said the reason he pulled over was so Moser could drive.

 

After getting permission to search Crabtree's vehicle, officers found seven empty Keystone Light cans and one unopened can. They also discovered a cooler in the truck that was nearly full of more beer.

 

Crabtree was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated #2, refusal to submit to test, driving left of the center line and driving on a suspended license.

 

 

New Principal at De Queen High   06/27/15

 

Bryan Blackwood is the new De Queen High School principal for 2015-2016.  Former principal, Roger Busse retired this month.  Mr. Blackwood is a 1990 graduate of De Queen High School and a former Leopard athlete.  Blackwood graduated from Henderson State University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Social Science, coaching endorsement, and certification to teach math courses 7-12.  Later, Blackwood graduated from Texas A&M-Texarkana with a master’s of Education Administration along with a superintendent’s certification.

    

In 1996, Mr. Blackwood accepted his first teaching position at Lockesburg High School where he taught math courses.  The following year Blackwood was hired by De Queen Public Schools.  He taught middle school math courses, coached junior high boys’ basketball, senior girls’ track, and was the junior high assistant football coach.

    

I asked Mr. Blackwood, “What influenced you to pursue a master’s degree in administration?”  Blackwood’s reply, “I just knew that I always wanted to be an administrator.  It’s been my career goal for as long as I can remember.”

     

Mr. Blackwood just completed his twelfth year as an administrator.  When asked about the changes he has seen over the past years, he replied, “I can say the core of education is the same now as it was twelve years ago.  Testing, curriculum, and other things have certainly changed, but it’s still about teachers and students who prepare, work hard, and push themselves to be the best they can be.”

    

Blackwood stated that his biggest challenge over the past twelve years was to balance being the disciplinarian of the school and still being someone that students feel like they can come talk to if they have a problem.  You have to show the students that you care even when you’re having to discipline them.

    

I asked, “What do you look forward to during your first year as DHS principal?”  His reply, “I look forward to working with the staff and students.  To me, that is what this is all about.  We have a tremendous staff that cares about our students.  Our students will rise to the level of our expectations.”

    

Mr. Blackwood also said, “We are trying to do some things a little different this year concerning registration.  We are having registration at 6:00 P.M. in an effort to make it easier for parents to be involved.  Mrs. Ramona Hill is going to send information to the parents about what will be covered during registration.  Mrs. Hill is going to meet with all the parents and go over what all will take place during the coming school year.  She wanted to do this because we have so many parents that don’t know what is going on at school.  We hope getting this information out to parents will help to get more of them involved throughout the school year.  We also encourage teachers to stay in touch with parents either through calling them or by email.  We understand that two-way conversations between a teacher and parent is the best way to achieve positive results.  Teachers will be asked to keep a log of these discussions.”

 

Article by Tammy Whatley

TRI-LAKES BASS TOURNAMENT IS STILL ON   06/26/15

The 26th annual Tri-Lakes Bass Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 27th. Early registration is still open until Friday at 6 pm. Forms may be turned in at the KDQN Studios, Baker's Bargain House, or their will be someone at the Chamber Office Downtown from 10 am - 5 pm on Thursday and from 10 am - 6 pm on Friday. Late Registration and Boat Check will begin at 5 am Saturday at the Lakes.

*If you plan to fish on Gillham Lake, Boat check and late registration has been moved to Cossatot Point (by the dam). Cossatot Point will be the only ramp open for launch.  Both Big Coon & Little Coon ramps will be closed; however, fish weigh in WILL be held at Big Coon.

*If you plan to fish Dierks, the boat ramp at Blue Ridge will be closed. All others will be open.

*On De Queen Lake, Rolling Fork ( Bellahmine) Boat Ramp will be closed. The ramps at Oak Grove (by the old bait shop) Campground & Swim Beach will be open for Launch. Late Registration and Boat Check will be at Oak Grove.

 

ACTIVITIES THIS WEEK AT COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK        6/26/15

 

Cossatot River State Park will be offering guided kayak tours this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

 

The tours will begin in the Visitor Center classroom and will conclude after participates kayak down the pristine Cossatot River about 3 p.m.

 

The cost of the tour is $30.94 and includes shuttle transportation, interpretive guide service along with the kayaks, paddles and life jackets.

 

The tour is for beginners, so the pace will not be very fast pace. Of course, weather is an issue and the route may change or the park staff may have to re-schedule if the water levels are to low or too high on the day of tour.

 

Saturday afternoon from 2 to 3 p.m. Park Interpreter Shelley Flanary will lead a program to demonstrate how fish can affect its environment and the adaptations that emerge for these suspicious creatures, plus the group will take a closer look at a few of the unique fish from the Cossatot River.

 

Saturday night, guest can join the great American backyard campout from 6 p.m. until 8 a.m.

 

Flanary said the Cossatot River State Park is a perfect place to enjoy this American tradition by getting outside and connecting with nature. The campout cost $16 if you need camping gear, like a tent and sleeping bag and you will need to provide your own breakfast.

 

Sunday afternoon, guests can feed the park critters from 2 to 3 p.m. in the visitor center and then they can identify animals by the color of light that’s reflected by their eyes, while taking an easy half-mile walk.

 

For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS DELEGATION SUPPORTS GOVERNOR'S REQUEST OF DISASTER DECLARATION      6/26/15

 

U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman, sent a letter to President Obama supporting Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson's request for a federal disaster declaration for 33 Arkansas counties following recent severe storms and flooding.

 

The letter states that since May 7th, the state has experienced a continuing pattern of destructive storms, severe flooding and tornadoes that's resulted in three fatalities and damage to hundreds of homes.

 

The Arkansas delegation is seeking assistance for the state through the Robert Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, along with Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, including the Individuals and Households Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Disaster Case Management, Disaster Legal Service, Crisis Counseling, Small Business Administration disaster loans and Hazard Mitigation Statewide.

 

The letter explains that Arkansas communities are still working to clean-up and rebuild. Resources from the Arkansas National Guard, Arkansas Forestry Commission and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department are being used, but the recent series of disasters has exceeded the local government’s ability to respond.

 

If approved, the declaration would include, Hempstead, Howard, Little River, Miller, Pike, Polk and Sevier as well as, 26 other counties.

 

 

 

CHRISTIANS IN ACTION TO HOLD MONTHLY TEEN REVIVAL       6/26/15

 

Terry Brackett and members of the Christians in Action groups at the De Queen Junior High will be hosting another teen revival this Monday at the Kern Heights Baptist Church at 6 p.m.

 

Brackett said the turnout last month was great and they were hoping to reach more young people since students are out of school for the summer.

 

Brackett said for more information, you may call her at 870-784-4215 or the pastor of Kern Heights, Jordan Hodge at 816-263-1618.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN CHURCH OF CHRIST INVITES AREA RESIDENTS TO BREAKFAST EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY       6/26/15

 

Stacy Faulkenberry is a teacher in the De Queen School District and sees hunger up close and personal everyday at work and he realizes some students aren't able to have a healthy breakfast during the summer, so he and members of the De Queen Church of Christ have decided to serve breakfast every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of July.

 

Faulkenberry stated the church offers other ministries to help those in need, and realizes there are several similar programs in the area. But, he and others felt this was a need that had been overlooked.

 

The church is located at 1305 W. Collin Raye Drive and is across the street from the hospital. If you have any questions, call the church at 870-584-3226.

 

 

 

DIERKS SCHOOL DISTRICT UPDATED ON WEYERHAEUSER PILOT PROGRAM        6/26/15

 

Dierks Superintendent Holly Cothern informed KDQN that she updated the Dierks Board of Education concerning the Payment In Lieu Of Taxes agreement that the City of Dierks had entered into with Weyerhaeuser.

 

Cothern stated the district is currently holding an ACT school and the board approved the purchase on new textbooks.

 

Cothern mentioned the Arkansas School Board Association had recommended several policy changes but the board voted to table those issues until next month, however, they did approve an increase in the school lunch prices.

 

Cothern said the district added another person to the district's substitute teacher list, but they are still accepting applications for a literacy teacher and a basketball coach.

 

Board members also approved the transfer of eight students into the district and one out of the district.

 

 

 

QUEEN WILHELMINA STATE PARK LODGE SET TO REOPEN JULY 1ST        6/26/15

 

Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge on Rich Mountain will reopen on July 1st following a $9.6 million renovation, according to State Parks Director Greg Butts.

 

Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge sets on Arkansas’ second highest peak at 2,681-foot.

 

Butts said, the improvements to this lodge that opened by the state of Arkansas in 1975 should receive rave reviews when it reopens. He noted the lodge will feature all new windows that will give park visitors a more wide open view from all the lodge’s public rooms, including the restaurant and all the guest rooms.

 

The exterior of the lodge features shingles and stonework. The lodge was expanded from 25,881 square feet to 37,029 square feet to include the addition of a new heath room with a wood-burning fireplace, two additional guest rooms increasing the total to 40, and more space within all the rooms.

 

The guest rooms on each floor at the west end include gas fireplaces and spa tubs.

 

The upstairs meeting facility increased in size and includes a balcony overlooking the south view from the mountain. An elevator was added to the lodge, as well as more stairwells. A wrap-around porch on the building’s south side will provide visitors with comfortable outdoor space. A new porch was added at the west end. And a new fire protection system covers the entire building.

 

Other improvements include a new energy efficient heating and air-conditioning system, energy saving lighting throughout, solar hot water, and other such features. A new laundry will serve that housekeeping staff.

 

The project was funded by Amendment 75, Arkansas’s Conservation Fund, grant monies from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and State Parks Funds.

 

Today’s lodge is the third hostelry to grace the same site. The first inn was opened in 1898 by the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad and was designed as a resort retreat for passengers on the line.

 

The resort was named in honor of the Netherlands’ young Queen Wilhelmina. Known as the “Castle in the Sky,” the inn closed in only three years.

 

The second Queen Wilhelmina inn was built by the Arkansas State Parks and operated by the state of Arkansas in 1963 and was destroyed by a fire in the fall of 1973.

 

Today’s Queen Wilhelmina State Park Lodge opened in 1975. Visitors and guests can contact the lodge when it opens on July 1st to make reservations by calling 1-800-264-2477 or by visiting the website: QueenWilhemina.com.

 

 

4-H CLOVERBUD AND JUNIOR DAY CAMP       6/25/15

 

On June 9th, Sevier County 4-H held its annual Cloverbud and Junior Day Camp at the Cossatot Reefs State Park. This year's them was "Wild About the Outdoors" and 24 4-H'ers showed up to learn about outdoor living.

 

Harrell Sherwood is with the Arkansas Forestry Commission and he taught 4-H'ers to ID trees, while Robin Stacy from the Natural Resource Conservation Service taught them how to use two sticks to "fiddle for worms."

 

Sevier County Extension agent Rex Herring taught 'baitcasting" and 4-H program assistant, Dawn Leeper, taught them how to identify wild animal tracks and their furs.

 

County Extension agent Janet Cantrell taught the 4-H'ers to make their own lunch. Each 4-H'er had the opportunity to season their own hamburger patty and then add a variety of vegetables to a foil packet to be cooked on the grill.

 

If you would like more information about the Sevier County 4-H program, contact the extension office at 870-584-3013.

 

 

 

AMATEUR RADIO OPERATORS TO COMPETE DURING ANNUAL FIELD DAY    6/25/15

 

Amateur radio operators, Dale Janes and Bill Lee, stopped by the KDQN studios to invite the public to their Field Day this Saturday at the pavilion in the De Queen Sportsplex beginning at 1 p.m.

 

Lee explained Field Day is a contest that actually last until Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

Lee said there are 37 licensed amateur radio operators in Sevier County, but they will be set up to give the HAM radio operator test on Saturday to anyone who is interested in HAM radio.

 

Other HAM radio operators from McCurtain County, Oklahoma and the surrounding Arkansas counties have also been invited to participate during their annual Field Day.

 

For more information, call Janes at 870-642-2062.

 

Janes explained that HAM radio operators never say goodbye, but only sign-off by saying 73, which means I’ll see you later.

 

 

 

FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES UPDATES TO HANDBOOKS AND SCHOOL POLICIES        6/25/15

 

Members of the Foreman Board of Education voted not to approve a recommendation from the Arkansas School Board Association that would allow board members to attend meetings remotely.

 

However, Superintendent George Kennedy reported the board approved several changes to the elementary and high school handbooks that were recommended by the Arkansas School Board Association, as well as raising the cost of school lunches to $2 per student.

 

Kennedy also reported the district was also having some carpet installed in the band room, preschool classrooms and high school counselor’s office.

 

Kennedy mentioned Lisa Frady resigned, but the district will not be replacing her, however, they are still advertising for some coaches and bus drivers.

 

Kennedy said the district was busy this summer getting ready for the 2015-2016 school year.

 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT MOVING 3RD GRADE TO L.F. HENDERSON CAMPUS       6/24/15

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced this week that the Ashdown School System will be moving the 3rd grade onto the L.F. Henderson campus beginning with the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.

 

L.F. Henderson will now be composed of grades 3rd through 5th grades and Keith Frick will still be the L.F. Henderson principal.

 

There will also be some minor changes to the elementary campuses.

 

The Margaret Daniel and C.D. Franks buildings will still be named the same, but they will now be collectively known as the Ashdown Elementary. The Ashdown Elementary will be made up of grades Pre-K through 2nd grade. Teresa Wake will be the Ashdown Elementary Principal.

 

Sanders explained there were two reasons for these changes.

 

Sanders stated by making this change the district will be able to reduce the number of principal positions in the district and by moving the 3rd grade to the L.F. Henderson campus, each principal will be responsible for three grades each.

 

Sanders said, if they did not make this move, then one principal would have been responsible for four grades and the other would have been responsible for two.

 

Sanders said this move will make the schools run more efficient.

 

The other reason for the move is the district is planning to undertake some major renovations on the Ashdown Elementary campus in the future and by moving the 3rd grade out of the C.D. Franks building, it will be easier for the district to make those renovations.

 

If parents have any questions or concerns, they make contact either campus or the superintendent’s office.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN DISTRICT RENEWS CONTRACT WITH FIRST SECURITY        6/24/15

 

During a special called meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, board members approved the proposed budget of expenditures for the 2016-2017 school year and agreed to renew the district’s agreement with First Security Beardsley Public Finance to be the district’s financial advisor.

 

Hill stated First Security would also help the district if they ever needed to ask for a millage increase.

 

The agreement with First Security is for three-years.

 

 

 

SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS FLOOD RECOVERY MEETING SET FOR JULY 2ND       6/24/15

 

Crop and livestock experts from the Extension services in Arkansas and Texas will be holding a meeting on Thursday, July 2nd from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ag Learning Center at the Four States Fairgrounds in Texarkana, Arkansas.

 

The meeting is to help provide flood recovery tactics for farmers and ranchers in the Red River basin.

 

There is no cost to attend, but attendees are being asked to RSVP by the close of business on Wednesday, July 1st, so they will have a head count for dinner. To RSVP call 870-779-3609, text 903-293-2097 or email jsmallwood@uaex.edu.

 

Speakers will discuss crop options and varieties as well as soil fertility; insects, diseases and weed control; government programs; herd health and what ranchers should vaccinate their cattle for; and hay and pasture recovery options.

 

For more information about flood recovery, contact the Sevier County Extension office at 870-584-3013.

 

 

 

TAKING A NAP IN A HOTEL PARKING LOT        6/24/15

 

Saturday morning about 11 a.m. Patrolman Justin Gentry and Patrolman J.J. Lopez of the De Queen Police Department were dispatched to the Palace Motel parking lot in reference to a woman that appeared to have passed out in her vehicle.

 

When the officers arrived, they discovered 41-year-old Lynwood Jennet asleep in the driver’s seat of her Pontiac G6. According to the incident report, the car was running, but Jennet was unresponsive.

 

After Jennet woke up, she informed Officer Lopez that she had driven to the Palace from Idabel, Oklahoma. She allegedly smelt like alcohol; had bloodshot eyes and her speech was slurred.

 

Officers also noticed two open beer cans in the center console of the vehicle with a lit cigarette sitting on top of them.

 

After failing a series of field sobriety test, Jennet was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated.

 

 

 

TEXARKANA MAN CITIED FOR MISDEMEANOR POSSESSION       6/24/15

 

Saturday night about 10:30 p.m. Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department pulled over a vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot for not having a license plate.

 

Browning reported the driver, 24-year-old Trent Thomas of Texarkana, had blood shot eyes, however, he did not smell any alcohol.

 

Thomas was then issued a warning for not having a license plate and was asked about his bill of sale and title.

 

Browning asked Thomas why his eyes were bloodshot and if he had been smoking any marijuana recently. Thomas allegedly stated that he had smoked some earlier and he had some in the vehicle.

 

Thomas allegedly retrieved a clear bag that contained suspected marijuana from the center console and handed it to Browning. Thomas was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and released.

 

Browning reported that the reason Thomas was not taken to jail was because he was dispatched to assist another officer with a different traffic stop.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT UPGRADING PHONE SYSTEM       6/24/15

 

UA Cossatot's director of marketing, Alisha Lewis, announced Tuesday morning that along with the new text book program and several college-wide improvements, UA Cossatot is also upgrading its phone system.

 

Lewis stated Windstream would be converting the De Queen campus today and the Nashville and Ashdown campuses would be upgraded next week.

 

Lewis said if anyone needs any information about UA Cossatot, while the De Queen campus’s phone system was down, they will still be able to contact the Nashville and Ashdown campuses directly.

 

The number to the Nashville campus is 870-845-2454 and the Ashdown campus number is 870-898-4733.

 

Lewis explained the communication system upgrade will allow UA Cossatot to better serve the students and the communities that they represent.

 

 

ASHDOWN BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES SCHOOL LOGO AND COLORS       6/23/15

 

Members of the Ashdown Board of Education approved some renovations to the old Ashdown High School. Superintendent Jason Sanders reported the district plans to convert the old high school into the new administration building.

 

Board members voted to purchase computer lab equipment from White River in the amount of $46,099.69 and Sanders said they hired Gene Hawk of the De Queen-Mena Educational Co-op as a facility consultant.

 

Sanders stated the board voted to promote Kay York from the Margaret Daniel Primary principal to high school principal.

 

Sanders also explained that the district did not change the school's logo or colors but voted to make all logos and colors, uniform throughout the district.

 

Board members also accepted several bids to remove some portable buildings that were not being utilized by the district.

 

 

 

FOUR MEN IN A TRUCK TWO GO TO JAIL     6/23/15

 

Friday evening about 6:30, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department reported he noticed a tan truck on Highway 70 West with one occupant close to falling out of the moving truck.

 

Browning made a traffic stop and spoke with the driver, Eric Dockins, while speaking with Dockins, Browning asked for id's from the other three men. Browning stated all three appeared to be shaking and one suspect, 22-year-old Michael Richbourg, stated he did not have his driver's license but it was valid in Oklahoma.

 

Browning stated that he noticed Richbourg's eye's were blood shot and watery and smelt like alcohol. Browning also reported he noticed the odor of marijuana coming from inside the truck.

 

After receiving permission to search the vehicle, Browning discovered an open Keystone Light beer can and a small clear bag containing suspected marijuana. Richbourg was then placed into custody because the items were found under the passenger seat where he was sitting.

 

Richbourg allegedly admitted the beer was his, but stated he didn't know who the marijuana belonged to.

 

Richbourg was then informed that since the marijuana was within two inches of the beer that it was his and Richbourg was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana.

 

After asking the other occupants of the truck if the marijuana was theirs, an occupant in the bed of the truck, 35-year-old Michael Willis, allegedly admitted that it was his.

 

Willis also allegedly admitted to drinking about 12 beers and some whiskey.

 

Willis was charged with possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and public intoxication.

 

 

 

LITTLE RIVER COUNTY JUDGE ISSUES RED RIVER ADVISORY      6/23/15

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced that based on the current forecast of river levels by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that he has issued a continuing advisory for those who reside or own property near the Red River and the Little River in Little River County.

 

Cranford stated that he didn't expect the degree of flooding that the area experienced recently, but he suggested residents relocate livestock and equipment to higher ground and away from the low lying areas.

 

Cranford also said residents who live near the river should be ready to relocate if the rivers continue to rise as predicted by the National Weather Service and that those who rent or lease property that is near the rivers contact their lessees and advise them of potential flooding.

 

Cranford said the Little River County office of emergency management will continue to monitor the situation and if necessary communicate with those who have the potential to be affected by rising water levels.

 

Cranford said if you have any questions or additional concerns that you should contact his office at 870-898-7202.

 

 

 

NON-VIOLENCE YOUTH SUMMIT IN DE QUEEN SUNDAY      6/23/15

 

Du Shun Scarbrough of the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission announced they will be holding a non-violence youth summit in De Queen on Sunday, June 28th from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Herman Dierks Park.

 

Scarbrough explained the commission works with the assistance of the Arkansas Department of Human Services to coordinate the non-violence program.

 

The program is designed to encourage youth ages 10 to 18 to engage in positive leadership development and roles within the community. The event is free to the public and it will include a vendor showcase, an exhibition soccer game and a family fun festival atmosphere.

 

The Arkansas MLK, Jr. Commission works directly with youth by encouraging them to embrace racial and cultural diversity through one of the commission's area partners in education. The summit is designed to help youth achieve Dr. King's dream of understanding and acceptance of nonviolence and human equality through building common unity among all Arkansans.

 

 

 

THREE RESCUED DONKEYS SURVIVE       6/23/15

 

Three donkeys who survived the Red River flood in Little River County, continue to recover with the care of local veterinarian Dr. Kenneth Martin and other volunteers.

 

According to the original report, seven donkeys were found June 5th standing in about 4-feet of Red River floodwaters. The donkeys were rescued by Little River County law enforcement officers and volunteers by using ropes and boats to herd them to safety.

 

Four of the donkeys have died.

 

The surviving donkeys were placed on the property of a private citizen.

 

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory reported his office was attempting to find the person or persons who abandoned the donkeys.

 

The donkeys were originally found under a large tree that was down the hill from the command center on U.S. Highway 71 near Odgen.

 

 

BIG BASS BONANZA IS RESCHEDULED FOR JULY 17-19       6/22/15

 

The Arkansas Big Bass Bonanza has been rescheduled for the weekend of July 17 through 19, due to excessive water flows on the Arkansas River.

 

All current tournament registrations will be honored for the new dates, and the tournament rules and prize pay-out arrangements will remain the same. Anglers who are already registered and plan to participate in July won't need to do anything else, except show up on the days they are registered.

 

Contestants who have registered and are unable to participate in July may receive a refund of their entry fees. For a refund request form, contact the Arkansas Hospitality Association at 501-376-2323. Refund requests must be postmarked by Friday, June 26th.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray reported earlier this week that the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce Big Bass Festival is still scheduled for Saturday, June 27th, but it still depends on how much rain we get between now and this weekend.

 

Judge Ray said the chamber will hold the tournament if the boat ramps that they use for the weigh-ins are open.

 

The tournament is scheduled for 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the De Queen, Gillham and Dierks Lakes.

 

The registration fee is $45 and but it will go up to $50 on Friday, June 26th at 6 p.m. An early "late" registration will be held at the chamber office from 4 to 6 p.m. on the 26th.

 

Judge Ray said you should stay tuned to KDQN for any updated information.

 

 

 

CITY OF DE QUEEN PREPARING FOR LET FREEDOM RING CELEBRATION     6/22/15

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced this year's annual "Let Freedom Ring" celebration will be on Friday, July 3rd at the De Queen Sportsplex.

 

Hale said groups may set up a booth to raise funds, but all vendors will need to sign up in the park office and space is limited.

 

This year's "Let Freedom Ring" event will feature the Midnight Hurricanes. However, this year, they are planning to have a talent hour for local residents at 7:30. Each person or group will have about 10 minutes to perform and according to Hale there's only one spot remaining to be filled.

 

Hale said last year's event was a huge success, but if you have any questions, you can contact the park office at 642-4140.

 

The grand finale will once again be a giant firework show and the event is free to the public.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: BOATING SAFETY      6/22/15

 

Arkansans are looking for ways to cool down during the long summer days and many will head to one of the state's beautiful lakes or rivers.

 

With more than 200,000 boats registered statewide according to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, many residents spend a lot of time boating to beat the heat, but boaters need to remember to be cautious on the water.

 

Recently, a 14-year-old girl was killed in Arkansas in a jet ski accident and a Missouri man was killed a few days ago after being struck by lightning in his boat.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to caution Arkansans about the potential dangers of boating.

 

Last year, 72 boating accidents were reported by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, with operator inattention being the number one cause. Alcohol was another contributing factor in eight of those accidents.

 

Attorney General Rutledge released these tips to boating safety: check local weather conditions before departure and if you notice darkening clouds, volatile or rough winds or a sudden drop in temperatures, stay off the water; create and follow a pre-departure checklist; have a first aid kit, signaling devices, a boat anchor, marine radio and a cell phone on board in the case of an emergency; be alert at all times and stay clear of large vessels that may experience difficulty turning or stopping; designate an assistant skipper in case the primary navigator is injured; inform family and friends of your plans; make sure everyone is assigned a proper-fitting life jacket and avoid alcohol while boating.

 

Arkansas law requires children 12 and under to wear a life jacket at all times while boating or swimming.

 

Arkansas lawmakers also recently increased the penalties for boating while intoxicated to match those of driving while intoxicated. It is also illegal to operate or physically control a boat if the individual is under the influence of alcohol and that means a first offense could land someone in jail for up to one year, a $1,000 fine and their driver's license suspended for six months.

 

For more information, visit the websites of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

 

 

 

COUNTY JUDGE ANNOUNCES MELROSE ROAD WILL BE CLOSED BEGINNING JUNE 25        6/22/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray announced this morning that Melrose Road will be closed next week beginning on Thursday, June 25th so contractors can replace some culverts.

 

Judge Ray said the culverts are located about one mile north of the intersection of Central Road and Melrose Road and about two and half miles south of Highway 71 on Melrose.

 

Judge Ray said signs will be up and the road will be closed until the project has been completed, which could be anywhere from two weeks to a month.

 

 

 

 

STATE OFFICIALS SUBMIT JUVENILE JUSTICE PLAN       6/22/15

 

The Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board is responsible for overseeing the distribution and use of federal juvenile justice funds to support youth development programs and improvements to the state's juvenile justice system. In order for the state to receive federal juvenile justice funds, the state is required to develop a comprehensive three-year plan.

 

According to Victor Rojas of De Queen who serves on the Arkansas Coalition for Juvenile Justice Board, the State of Arkansas has submitted a plan to the federal government and will focus on the following program areas: School programs, Juvenile Re-entry and Aftercare Services and Juvenile Justice Systems Improvements.

 

The plan calls for specialized training to be provided to school resource officers.

 

The state will work to expand and enhance community-based mental health and substance abuse services and mentoring programs will be established to help at-risk and underserved youth.

 

In May, the Juvenile Justice Board approved the distribution of over $500,000 in federal grant funds to community-based programs that are aimed at preventing juvenile delinquency. The programs are designed to encourage community service, develop leadership skills and increase employability skills.

 

Rojas stated these programs are expected to serve thousands of young Arkansans.

 

Rojas said residents can rest assured that their taxpayer dollars are being spent wisely on services that produce positive outcomes for Arkansas families.

 

 

ARREST MADE IN LOCKESBURG BURGLARY       6/19/15

 

On June 12th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Wendall Randall took a report concerning a break-in at Jim's Boot Shop.

 

The owner of Jim's Boot Shop, James Graves, informed Deputy Randall that when he arrived at his shop on the 12th that he discovered a window broken out on the north side of his building. Graves reported about $100 in cash was missing from the cash register.

 

Deputy Randall also took a report from David Conaster who is an employee at the Lockesburg store of the Sevier County Co-op.

 

Conaster reported that when he arrived at work, he noticed the glass in the front door was broken and the door was unlocked, but he didn't find anything missing from the store.

 

Deputy Randall then obtained video footage from the EZ-Mart store.

 

After reviewing the video, deputies identified a white Ford F-150 pickup drop off a male subject at the Co-op about 12 a.m. Friday morning; however, the driver continued to EZ-Mart and purchased gas.

 

Deputies identified the driver as 19-year-old Robert Wallace Jr. After purchasing gas, Wallace drove back to the Co-op and picked up the other suspect.

 

While being interviewed on June 16th at the Sevier County Sheriff's office, Wallace reportedly stated that he was coming home from work Friday morning and saw a friend, 18-year-old Gabriel Bell, walking towards Lockesburg and picked him up to give him a ride.

 

Allegedly, Bell gave Wallace money for gas and he dropped Bell off at the Co-op. Bell allegedly was going to get some money from his aunt or grandmother.

 

After Wallace got his gas, he said they went to his house on North Park Avenue.

 

On June 17th, deputies interviewed Bell at the Sevier County Sheriff's office and allegedly, Bell confessed to breaking into the Sevier County Co-op and Jim's Boot Shop.

 

Bell has been charged with commercial burglary and criminal mischief in the 2nd degree, while Wallace has only been charged with criminal mischief in the 2nd degree.

 

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER BOARD OF EDUCATION ACCEPTS ROOFING BID      6/19/15

 

Earlier this week, the Cossatot River Board of Education accepted a bid to re-roof the Umpire High School at a cost of $70,231. Superintendent Donnie Davis reported some of the funds will come from the state's facility committee.

 

Davis stated the board also voted to rescind the purchase of 33 computers that was approved last month and accepted a new bid in the amount of $19,058.33.

 

Two teachers, Susan Brewer and Lakyn Cowart, were reassigned and the board accepted the resignations of Tonya Robb and Sharrell Pearce. Davis stated the district hired Raisa Whisenhunt and David Donica, but still have some positions open.

 

A salary in the amount of $57,100 was a approved for high school assistant Principal Mickey Ford and the board approved the transfers of one student to the De Queen School District and one from the Horatio School District.

 

 

 

DEEPER THAN SKILLS FOOTBALL CAMP      6/19/15

 

De Queen High School graduate Greg 'Fatty' White will be hosting a Deeper than Skills Football Camp next week in the Herman Dierks Park for athletes entering 3rd-12th grade.

 

White said several college players will be in attendance to speak with players during the camp and players will participate in Pro Day like exercises.

 

White said he hopes young athletes will develop their skills, but he also wants to drive home the point that it takes more than athleticism to succeed. He said it takes commitment, staying healthy and living a good lifestyle. White explained that a good lifestyle meant no drinking, no smoking and no drugs.

 

White said he never had the opportunity to attend this type of camp when he was growing up here in De Queen, but he earned a full scholarship to the University of Missouri and graduated in the fall of 2013 and is currently working on a masters in Human Performance Science.

 

The camp will be broken down into three groups. The first group is for 7th, 8th and 9th graders and they will meet from 8 until 10 a.m. each day. The second group will be 3rd through 6th grades and they will meet from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and the 10th, 11th and 12th grade athletes will meet from 2 to 4 p.m.

 

For more information, call White at 870-557-6051 or the De Queen Park and Recreation Department at 642-4140.

 

 

 

IMPROVEMENTS BEING MADE TO FOREMAN WATER SYSTEM      6/19/15

 

City of Foreman water department officials reported Wednesday afternoon that for the next several days, water in certain areas of the city would be turned off while crews tie-into the city's new water lines.

 

They reported they expected water to be shut-off from about 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. everyday for about the next week.

 

Officials stated they appreciated the patience and understanding of the Foreman residents.

 

 

 

UA COSSATOT COLTS PERFORMING WELL AT NATIONAL FINALS RODEO      6/19/15

 

The UA Cossatot Colts team roping duo of Brody Braden and Tanner Caudle are performing well in the first three rounds of the 2015 College National Finals Rodeo this week in Casper, Wyoming.

 

Braden and Caudle were in the 23rd spot after the first round, but moved up to number 19 after the second round and then claimed the number one spot following the third round with a time of 5.5 seconds.

 

Whitney DeSalvo is also competing well. She is currently in 35th place after two rounds in the Breakaway Roping competition with an average time of 14.7 seconds.

 

The College National Finals Rodeo is the Rose Bowl of college rodeo and Saturday night the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association will crown individual event champions in saddle bronc riding, bare back riding, bull riding, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, team roping, barrel racing, breakaway roping and goat tying.

 

National team championships will also be awarded to both men's and women's teams.

 

Over 400 cowboys and cowgirls from over 100 universities and colleges are competing in Casper.

 

The finals on Saturday night will also be taped and televised at a later date.

 

AFTER RECORD CREST, CORPS OF ENGINEERS BEGINS PROCESS OF LOWERING MILLWOOD LAKE       6/18/15

 

The Army Corps of Engineers of the Little Rock District began larger releases from Millwood Lake after flood waters downstream receded.

 

Millwood crested June 14th at 282.9 feet, a new pool of record elevation. The Corps will continue to increase releases from Millwood, as channel capacity allows, until the lake elevation is back down to 259 feet, which is the top of its conservation pool.

 

Currently, 38,500 cubic feet of captured flood water is being released from Millwood Lake. This amount will change as the Red River conditions change in accordance with the Millwood Lake water control plan.

 

Engineer Aaron Short reported they were coordinating with the Tulsa and Vicksburg districts to ensure that the Millwood releases wouldn't increase the risk of flooding downstream. He also stated Millwood Lake was doing its job of holding storm runoff until they can release it in a controlled manner once they have the channel capacity downstream.

 

 

 

ALDERMEN VOTE TO ABANDON A PORTION OF JANSSEN STREET       6/18/15

 

Tuesday night members of the Kern Heights Baptist Church asked the De Queen City Council to abandon a portion of Janssen Street just east of 9th Street.

 

Since there was no opposition to the request, aldermen voted to close the portion of street that runs between 9th and 7th streets. Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated he had been informed the church as future plans to build a new building.

 

Pastor of Kern Heights, Jordan Hodges, expressed his appreciation to the council and said the closing of Janssen Street will allow the church to better serve the City of De Queen.

 

Aldermen tabled a request for utility assistance from the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library.

 

Head Librarian Johnye Fisher explained that the library's funding was being cut next year and was hoping the city would help pay the libraries utility bills. She said the Cities of Horatio, Lockesburg, Ben Lomond and Gillham, pay the utilities for their branches of the county library.

 

McKelvy reported the city had hired a electrician to repair the lights in the downtown De Queen area, but about a third of the 80 lights are still not working.

 

After hearing a request from Legacy Initiatives to make the De Queen City Parks tobacco-free, aldermen asked to see some signs that stated the parks were tobacco-free. Mayor McKelvy informed KDQN that he felt this was a good idea, but was concerned about the enforcement of any new policy.

 

McKelvy also reported the city had picked up storm debris from all across the city, but was now picking up brush at homes that are calling the De Queen City Hall.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ACT SUMMER PREP SCHOOL       6/18/15

 

Applications are being accepted at the De Queen High School for their summer ACT prep classes which will be held July 20th through the 23rd and July 27th through the 30th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

 

De Queen students may attend for free, but the cost for students from other school districts is $100. De Queen students who attend every day will be able to take the September 12th ACT exam for free.

 

Students will also be able to attend two refresher nights on Tuesday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 8th from 5 to 7 p.m. prior to the September 12th ACT.

 

Applications should be turned in at the De Queen High School office by Thursday, July 9th in order for teachers to plan for the correct number of materials.

 

For more information, call the De Queen High School at 642-2426.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO GOSPEL NIGHT       6/18/15

 

The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival Gospel singing will be this Friday, starting at 6 p.m. in the Broken Bow City Park. There will be four groups performing this year, including the Jerry Times Band, Red Roots, Victory Life of Broken Bow Praise Team and the featured group, Debra Black Ministry.

 

Debra Black grew up in a Christian home and her new single, "Bright," is an upbeat song encourages believers to be a light in the darkness. Debra said it’s her desire to be a beacon of hope to people.

 

The Red Roots have a stage persona that's as fiery as their blazing red locks. These triplets, Nika, Natalie and Nicole will engage the crowd with their story through real life lyrics and rolling banjos intertwined with rocking guitars.

 

In 2014, the Red Roots released their third album and it was recently nominated for a Dove Award in the category of "Country Album of the Year."

 

 

 

LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS CONCERT IS A BENEFIT       6/18/15

 

Many people talk about the generosity of Sevier County residents. Folks around this area are always willing to help and this Saturday, they will not only have the opportunity to help their communities, but will have the chance to hear one of country music's amazing families perform.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee members, Bonita Smith and Patty Sharp, said the concert started after the City of De Queen named Highway 70/71 after him. Smith said, Raye was touched by the city’s actions and decided to form the benefit concert committee to give back to the community.

 

They also stated, the college, local schools, 4-H, boy and girl scouts and other local organizations have benefited from Collin Raye Benefit Concert grants.

 

This year's concert will start at 6:30 p.m. at the UA Cossatot Amphitheater, which the committee provided funds to help build, with the Midnight Hurricanes followed by Larry, Steve and Rudy Gatlin.

 

Smith stated if you want to help your community, all you have to do is purchase a ticket. Advance tickets are still available and general admission tickets are only $15, while reserved seats are $25. To purchase tickets, stop by the KDQN studios at 921 Collin Raye Drive, call 870-642-2446 or visit the website: www.southwestarkansasconcerts.com.

 

 

 

SUMMERTIME DIAMOND MINING         6/18/15

 

Summer is one of the busiest seasons for the Crater of Diamond State Park with thousands of people visiting the park during the months of June, July and August. However, precautions should be taken to limit sun exposure and to prevent heat-related illness while diamond mining or participating in any other outdoor activities during this time of year.

 

During any physical activity, our bodies sweat as a way to cool off and prevent overheating. However, sweating also reduces the amount of water that is in our bodies.

 

Dehydration can result when our bodies don't have enough water to carry on its normal functions.

 

Preventing dehydration begins before you ever go outside. On days that you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time, you should begin drinking water when you first wake and while outdoors, you should take a break about every 15 minutes to cool off and drink more water.

 

You should also limit your exposure to the sun and try to stay cool, by wearing a hat and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. It's also recommended that you apply sunscreen to exposed skin to help prevent sunburn.

 

The Crater of Diamond State Park search area features trees, covered picnic tables and washing pavilions where visitors can escape the sun and cool off during the hottest times of the day.

 

Even after taking proper precautions, heat related illness can be a major concern during the summer. Muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, and nausea are symptoms of heat exhaustion that, if left untreated, can worsen and become heat stroke.

 

Pay close attention to children, seniors, and anyone with health problems, as they may be especially prone to heat-related illness.

 

For early treatment of heat-related illness, move to a cool location, lie down, and loosen any tight clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of the body as possible and sip cool, not cold, but cool water.

 

You should seek immediate medical attention in the case of vomiting.

 

The Crater of Diamond State Park is open from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. daily during the summer, and many visitors choose to limit their diamond searching activities to early mornings or late afternoons, when temperatures are somewhat cooler.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com or call 870-285-3113.

 

 

 

SWEPCO EMPLOYEE RECOVERING FROM ACCIDENT       6/18/15

 

Last Friday morning, a SWEPCO employee from Nashville was injured while working in De Queen on an underground power line on Dawn Ave.

 

De Queen Police Officers J.J. Lopez and Nikki Nealy where close by and began CPR. A few minutes later, De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt arrived and also administered CPR until LeAnn Pitchford and Southwest EMS arrived.

 

Scott McCloud of SWEPCO reported, the employee was taken by helicopter to the burn center at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock.

 

McCloud said the employee was released from the Arkansas Children's Hospital on Sunday and was recuperating in Texarkana.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray expressed his appreciation to those who helped save this man's life.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed De Queen aldermen that he was pleased with the quick response by members of the De Queen Police and Fire Departments.

 

De Queen Police Chief Richard McKinley reported Tuesday night during the De Queen City Council meeting that the man was home and recovering from his injures.

 

 

COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK     6/17/15

 

Cossatot River State Park will be hosting a Cossatot River Weekend Adventure this Saturday and Sunday.

 

Park interpreters will lead an overnight adventure on the Cossatot River. Participates will enjoy kayaking, backpacking, fishing, hiking, camping, Dutch oven cooking, snorkeling and evening programs.

 

For more information about the weekend adventure call the park at 870-385-2201. The cost is $95 and covers the kayak and tent rental, food, guides and equipment needed for the tour.

 

Participates will meet at the park's visitor center at noon on Saturday and they will return the center about 2 p.m. on Sunday.

 

June 23 through June 25th, the park will host a Wild Wonders day camp for children 5 to 8 years old.

 

The registration fee is $35 for all three days and includes all supplies, snacks and field trips and park staff announced this morning that they still have spots available. You can pick up a registration form at the Cossatot River State Park visitor center.

 

For more information about these programs at the Cossatot River State Park, call 870-385-2201.

 

 

 

FIELD DAY 2015       6/17/15

 

Recent listings of the Federal Communications Commission show 37 licensed amateur radio operators in Sevier County.

 

The HAM radio operators will be holding their annual Field Day on Saturday, June 27th at the De Queen Sportsplex, across from the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.

 

Starting about noon on the 27th, HAM radio operators will be setting up antennas, radio communication equipment and emergency power supplies at the Sportsplex pavilion. The public is invited to visit and observe the communication potential that HAM radios can provide in times of crisis, when other means of communications may fail.

 

Several local HAM operators are certified weather spotters and can serve in this capacity in emergencies.

 

Field Day also provides HAM radio operators practice for times of emergencies, a camp-out, a picnic, informal contest and most of all fun.

 

Those interested in becoming a HAM radio operator, or just want to visit, are invited to come out and see the local operations. Invitations have also been extended to HAM radio operators in McCurtain, Oklahoma and neighboring Arkansas counties. For more information, call Mark at 870-582-2166 or Dale Janes at 870-642-2062.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO BATTLE OF THE BANDS         6/17/15

 

The 2015 Kiamichi Owa-Chito festival's Battle of the Bands will be on Thursday, June 18th, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Beavers Bend State Park Amphitheatre. This year, there will be three bands competing. They are Mud Feather, 2 Gun Justice and Jeff Smithhart.

 

Mud Feather was established five years ago and they strive to have a diverse sample of all genres of rock from classic to alternative to modern.

 

2 Guns Justice is a five-piece band from Southeast Oklahoma. All five band members are 2nd and 3rd generation musicians that have been playing music most of their lives. So, whether it's classic rock, classic country, pop to Top 40, they can play it.

 

Jeff Smithhart is a Texas native singer/songwriter who draws no boundaries. He is a seasoned entertainer who has performed for the past 30 years and has developed a strong and loyal Texas fan base that enjoys his high energy yet down to Earth shows.

 

The Grand Prize winner will win $1,000 and be the opening act for the Saturday night headliner, Mac Powell on June 20th.

 

 

 

LARRY GATLIN AND THE GATLIN BROTHERS CONCERT INFO         6/17/15

 

Saturday night the Collin Raye Benefit Concert Committee will host Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers during their 17th benefit concert at the UA Cossatot amphitheater at 6:30 p.m.

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray is a member of the concert committee and he discussed parking for the concert with KDQN Tuesday morning.

Ray said there will be parking at the Sportsplex, First Assembly of God Church and UA Cossatot, but there will also be remote parking next to Chandler Funeral Home and in the South Park Shopping Center.

 

Ray said members of the De Queen Fire Department will be directing traffic around the De Queen Sportsplex and providing assistance for concert goers who need help getting from their vehicles to the concert venue.

 

Tickets are still available for the discounted price of $25 for reserved seats and $15 for general admission.

 

To purchase tickets stop by the KDQN studios at 921 West Collin Raye Drive or visit the website, www.southwestarkansasconcerts.com. Debit or credit card tickets purchases will cost a dollar extra.

 

For more information, call 870-642-2446.   

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE REPORT      6/17/15

 

As of June 15th, the Sevier County Relay for Life has raised $24,262.16. However, Sevier County Relay for Life teams are not officially finished yet.

 

As of June 15th, the De Queen Junior High School Relay for Life team raised $8,450 by working the concession stands at athletic events, holding luncheons, selling snacks and by selling chicken dinners.

 

The De Queen Junior High team started taking donations in August of 2014 and they will continue to accept donations through the end of July.

 

Due to the bad weather and local power outages that hit the area during their Relay for Life event in May, they have decided to hold a Relay for Life Celebration on Saturday, July 11th at 5 p.m. in the Herman Dierks Park in De Queen.

 

At 6 p.m., they will honor Sevier County cancer survivors and hold the Survivor Walk on the shaded walking trail in the park.

 

The luminary ceremony will take place at 9 p.m. and all of the luminaries that were previously purchased will be lit, but if you would like to purchase a luminary in honor of a loved one that is still fighting or in memory of a loved one, you can contact anyone Sevier County Relay for Life team member.

 

If you would like to help raise funds for the American Cancer Society, you do not have to be a part of a team; simply contact Emmy Bailey at 870-784-3053 for more information.

 

LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL APPROVES BUILDING PERMIT      6/16/15

During the June meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, aldermen approved a building permit for Jason Roberts so he can set up a double wide mobile home on West Pine Street.

Aldermen then approved water adjustments for Keith Friday, Roy Austin and Jessie Durham totaling $634.21.

Aldermen also moved $100 from the supply line item to the mileage line item in the city's Street Fund.

 

 

HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION VOTES TO FUND A RESOURCE OFFICER        6/16/15

 

During the June meeting of the Horatio Board of Education, board members accepted the resignations of Kerry Bartholomew, Magan Dorsey, Misty Gentry, Natasha Click and Shirley Tipton. Superintendent Lee Smith reported the board also voted to hire Melissa Patrick, Sharrell Pearce, Elizabeth Bollinger and Jennifer West.

 

Smith said board members also voted to fund a resource officer through the 2020-2021 school years.

 

Smith explained the board approved the request from the Sevier County Quorum Court for a vote assuring the court that the district would be funding the position, even if the district was not approved for the COPS grant.

 

Smith said board members passed a resolution to hold the Horatio School Board election by early and absentee voting only if the candidate is unopposed.

 

Board members also approved a student transfer to the Cossatot River School District.

 

 

 

LOCAL PHARMACISTS UPDATES PUBLIC ON PBM LEGISLATION     6/16/15

 

Harris Drugs and Gifts owner, Renee Logan, spoke with KDQN about a piece of legislation that is set to become law on July 1st that is expected to help independent pharmacist cover the cost of certain medications.

 

Logan stated that she attended the committee hearings earlier this year in Little Rock in support of a bill that would help regulate PBMs or Pharmacy Benefit Management groups.

 

Logan explained PBMs determine what pharmacies will be paid for medications and she stated one of the main problems was the fact that PBMs did not publish their formulas for pharmacy repayments.

 

Logan stated it will take some time for the issue to be resolved, but she and other independent pharmacists are hoping it will get better soon.

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught also reported that legislators gathered last week in Little Rock to announce a new campaign that they hope will lead to more leads in the 20-year old kidnapping case of Morgan Nick.

 

Nick was kidnapped from a baseball field in Alma and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has also released a new age-progressed photo of Morgan.

 

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, they have a list of 20 Arkansans who are currently missing.

 

For more information about missing person cases in Arkansas, you can visit the website: www.arkansashouse.org.

 

 

 

FOREMAN WATER TO BE SHUT OFF      6/16/15 

An official with the water department of City of Foreman announced Monday afternoon that water to the city of Foreman will be shut off on Tuesday, so water crews can tie-in the new lines.

 

 

 

TOO DRUNK TO USE SIGNAL       6/16/15

 

Saturday morning, De Queen Police Department Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker observed a blue pickup make a turn without using a turn signal on 9th Street.

 

The driver, Liobardo Munoz-Lopez, only had a Mexico ID and smelt like alcohol.

 

Baker stated Lopez failed a series of sobriety test and was placed into custody for driving while intoxicated and for not having a driver's license.

 

Then on Sunday night, officers were dispatched to a residence on 12th Street concerning a fight that was in progress.

 

Patrolman First Class Levi Browning reported when he arrived he witnessed a male subject sitting on the tailgate of a truck who was bleeding from his mouth and eye with another male subject standing next to him.

 

The two men were identified as Dwaine Jewell and his son, James Jewell.

 

The two men informed Officer Browning that they had been in a fight with Joseph Sparks who was still in the house. At that time, Officer Browning reported that he heard screaming coming from inside the house and drew his service weapon after hearing a female scream, "He has a knife."

 

When Browning entered the house, he reported the man did not have anything in his hands and came outside towards Browning. Browning said he holstered his weapon and pulled out his taser and informed the man to settle down.

 

The suspect then ran back into the house and Officer Browning was assisted by Sergeant Chad Bradshaw.

 

At that point, the officers reported the man wrestled with officers until they could place into custody.

 

The subject was identified as 46-year-old Joseph Sparks of De Queen.

 

Sparks was charged with two counts of domestic battery in the third degree and resisting arrest. Sparks was then transported to the De Queen Regional Medical Center for observation.

 

DOMTAR EMPLOYEES PARTNER WITH HARVEST TEXARKANA TO PROVIDE WEEKEND SNACK PACKS FOR CHILDREN IN ASHDOWN SCHOOLS  06/16/15

It started with an "Adopt a BackPack" campaign in the clock alley of Domtar-Ashdown Mill and just grew from there.  In less than eight weeks, generous Domtar employees had donated a total of $5200, enough to fill weekend backpacks with food for 52 Ashdown youngsters in grades K-3 for the entire 2015-16 school year.

The idea originated with Anna McFarland, Domtar pulp maintenance planner who is a member of SWAT (Safety, Wellness, Action Team) of Domtar, as part of the new initiative of the team to perform community projects quarterly.  After coordinating with Camille Wrinkle, Executive Director of Harvest Texarkana, McFarland and her teammates set up an "Adopt a BackPack" center in the employee clock alley of the mill, where a $100 donation funded a Weekend Snack Pack for a child, and broadened the challenge by conducting a "bucket drive" for additional donations.

The BackPacks for Kids program has been operating in the Ashdown Schools since about 2001 and was originally coordinated through the Arkansas Rice Depot.  The school district's counselors now work with Harvest Texarkana because of its proximity and available resources, as well as Harvest's commitment to the welfare of kids in this region's elementary schools.

According to Harvest Texarkana's 2015 Spring newsletter The Dish, "The backpack program currently reaches over 700 children on 22 different campuses in 10 school districts, ensuring the most vulnerable students in our public schools have access to enough food for their mental, emotional and physical development." Through this program, Harvest is serving the highest number of students on record, according to The Dish.

Margaret Daniel Primary School counselor Yvonne Bond states that the Weekend Snack Packs go to children who have been identified as economically disadvantaged and in need of additional nutrition when school lunches are not available.  "Snack Packs include non-perishable items," Bond continues, "such as breakfast bars or cereal, pudding, juice boxes, pasta meals, etc."

Ashdown School District and its youngsters thank the Domtar employees and Harvest Texarkana for showing such support and commitment to helping those in need.  Other companies and organizations are encouraged to do the same thing for hungry kids by contributing non-perishables for Harvest Texarkana pantries or by calling 870-774-1398.

Photo:

(l to r) Teresa Wake, C. D. Franks Elementary Principal ; Yvonne Bond, Margaret Daniel Primary Counselor ; Loretta Price, CDF Counselor; Camille Coker, Executive Director of Harvest Texarkana ; Bob Grygotis, General Manager of Domtar-Ashdown Mill ; Anna McFarland, Domtar Pulp Mill Maintenance Planner ; and Kim Horn, Domtar Safety Administrator. 

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GYM NAMED AFTER BELOVED TEACHER  06/16/15

Over 4500 elementary students remember Mrs. Evelyn Bell as an energetic, dedicated and inspiring physical education teacher during her almost 40 years with the Ashdown School District, so it is quite appropriate that the elementary gymnasium located on the C. D. Franks Elementary/Margaret Daniel Primary Schools' campus be officially given the name "Evelyn Bell Gym."  The official naming ceremony, a surprise for Mrs. Bell, took place on May 29 as the kick-off event for the schools' annual Field Day for students, which can also be attributed to Bell's efforts while a P.E. teacher for the district.

Beginning as a math/science teacher, Bell initiated the physical education program for elementary-age children in the Ashdown School System on the Burke Street Elementary campus and later at what is now CDF/MDP, transitioning completely to a health/P.E. teacher.  She believed that being physically fit was a very worthwhile part of a student's total education and served on the state committee to rewrite the P.E. curriculum in the early '80s.

Mrs. Bell's P.E. program wrapped around the entire school and community, and everyone looked forward to the half-time performances she choreographed for her students during high school home basketball and football games.  The home side attendance was greatly increased, and she used this venue to enhance her P.E. program and its curriculum as the elementary students brought physical fitness to the forefront.

In the early '90s, Bell helped to establish the Presidential Youth Fitness Program in Ashdown Schools, which involved a pre- and post-test for the students and encouraged them to set personal goals and work toward them all year.  She also organized various activities and challenges for the staff, inspiring everyone to become more physically fit.

 In addition, Mrs. Bell organized the very first L. F. Henderson Intermediate School Olympics event after being inspired by the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta, Georgia.  The LFH Olympics, where every homeroom adopts a country and learns about it prior to competition day, have since educated many youngsters about foreign countries and their part in the World Olympics, in addition to the full day of Olympic-style events and contests.

The gym now named "Evelyn Bell Gym" was built in 1981 after Bell, with the help of then high school coach and P.E. teacher Helen Parker, pleaded that she needed a place "to get the students out of the rain."  Before then, Mrs. Bell taught students wherever she could find a place -- often in a crowded classroom. She campaigned for the building, getting the message out that the youngest Panthers needed a place to have physical education too. 

Evelyn graduated from Little River County Training School in Ashdown in 1962 and then from A.M.&N. (now UAPB) in Pine Bluff and went to work for Ashdown School District immediately as a junior high math/science teacher before becoming an advocate for children's physical fitness.  Mrs. Bell was named Teacher of the Year in 2003, and retired in 2006.  Her contributions to church and community also demonstrate her commitment to others.  Since the age of 12, she has been active in the St. Luke Baptist Church and later the Cedar Missionary Baptist Church, where she has served as Sunday School teacher, choir member, and member of Women's Auxiliary and Program Committee. 

In her community, Bell has served on the American Heart Association board, Secretary of the Ashdown YMCA, Little River County Hospital Board, United Way Board of Directors, and Detachment Committee for the Arkansas Athletics Association.

The daughter of the late Buster and Bennie Nelson, Evelyn married Joe Bell in 1966, who has been there supporting her work and helping out whenever needed.  Their children are Darhyl DeWayne, Monica Mariea, and Sedren Stephon. 

Picture #26 = Mrs. Evelyn Bell, retired elementary P.E. teacher with the Ashdown Schools, was honored with a reception following the surprise presentation of the new school sign naming the elementary gymnasium in her honor -- Evelyn Bell Gym.

Picture #4 = Students of C. D. Franks Elementary School in Ashdown hold the new sign that will be erected on the elementary school gymnasium.  The gym was officially named "Evelyn Bell Gym" at a ceremony on May 29, with a surprised Mrs. Bell in attendance.

 

CITY OF LOCKESBURG BOIL ORDER LIFTED  06/15/15

The Department of Health has released the “Boil Water” Notice confirmed on 6/9/2015 9:53:53 AM by Danny Ruth for the Entire System.  This order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of complete loss in normal system pressure.

Bacteriological samples taken on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 were found to be free of bacterial contamination and a satisfactory disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system.  The water is therefore considered “Safe” for human consumption and the “Boil Water” notice is hereby lifted.

 

LOCAL AUTHOR JAMES BABB RECEIVES STATE AND NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS      6/15/15

 

The historical fiction adventure series by local author James Babb continues to receive recognition for "The Devil's Backbone" and "The Devil's Trap."

 

Babb was recently awarded the Susannah DeBlack Award at the Arkansas Historical Association conference in West Memphis for his middle grade/young adult novel, "The Devil's Backbone." This award honors "the best book in Arkansas history for young readers." The award is the only one given at the Arkansas Historical Association conference for a work of fiction, and was established through the generosity of Thomas, Susan and Susannah DeBlack.

 

Shortly after returning home, Babb received notification that "The Devil's Backbone" and "The Devil's Trap" were top five finalists for the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, which is the largest not-for-profit book awards program for independent publishers and self-published authors.

 

Babb and his wife, Suzanne, traveled to New York City to attend the gala reception and received his awards.

 

Both books are part of a three-volume adventure series that Babb originally wrote for reluctant readers, but has discovered that wider audiences of all ages are enjoying them.

 

The story centers around Brody Martin, a 14-year-old farm boy who’s determined to help his family survive in post civil war Arkansas.

 

For more information about the Brody Martin series, go to jamesbabb.wordpress.com. His books are also available at the De Queen branch of the Sevier County Library, Barnes and Noble, Books-a-Million and Amzaon.com.

 

 

 

DOMTAR PARTNERS WITH FIRST BOOK TO GIVE BOOKS TO ASHDOWN STUDENTS      6/15/15

 

Domtar employees once again visited classrooms at the Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown to share the joy of reading with students.

 

Through a partnership with First Book, nine Domtar-Ashdown Mill employees came to the first grade classes of Amber Fleming and Katrina Williamson and brought new books for everyone.

 

Each student received his or her very own copy of "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle, in addition, several new titles were added to the classroom libraries.

 

First Book provides access to new books for children whose schools meet the requirements of serving children from low-income families. To date, First Book has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources, to help transform the lives of children and elevate their quality of education. 

 

 

Domtar employees who shared their time as volunteer readers in Amber Fleming's and Katrina Williamson's first grade classrooms are (front - l to r) Dun Pham, Hannah Mill, Alondria Scott, Tammy Waters, (back) Joey Wallace, Charles Allen, Johnathan Haltom, Brandon Ayers, and Eric Schott.

One young lady in Katrina Williamson's class really gets involved as Tammy Waters, Manager of Communications and Government Relations at the Domtar-Ashdown Mill, reads a book to them about The Pledge of Allegiance.

The kiddos in Amber Fleming's first grade class at MDP are so excited about their new book to carry home -- The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.  Their Domtar volunteer readers standing behind are (l to r) Brandon Ayers, Eric Schott, Joey Wallace, Alondria Scott, Charles Allen, and teacher Amber Fleming.

Domtar environmental engineer Brandon Ayers reads a book to a group of first graders.  Ayers organized the delivery of this book and many others to the MDP classrooms through a corporate partnership with First Book, a nonprofit organization who connects kids with books.

Domtar volunteer readers for MDP first graders in Katrina Williamson's class are (standing in back - l to r) Dun Pham, Hannah Hill, Johnathan Haltom, Tammy Waters, next to Mrs. Williamson.

 

FCI WARDENS TALK TO STUDENTS AS PART OF LEARNING FOR LIFE PROGRAM       6/15/15

 

Scott Young is a warden at the Federal Correctional Institution of Texarkana, Texas, and his executive assistant Danon Colbert spoke to all of the 4th and 5th graders at the L.F. Henderson Intermediate School in Ashdown about choices, both good and bad, and why rules and laws are important.

 

Young and Colbert presented their job descriptions as part of the Learning for Life career and character education youth program, which is a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Both provided detailed accounts of the daily lives of incarcerated individuals and how the FCI officials work with prisoners.

 

Young stated that his job boils down to "Helping someone become a better person." Both, Young and Colbert, encouraged students to get serious about their education and to listen to their parents and teachers.

 

Colbert summed up his advice to students by saying, "Pull your pants up. Tuck your shirt in. Turn your hat around and listen."

 

Learning for Life utilizes programs designed for schools and community-based organizations that are designed to prepare youth for future success and to enhance their self-confidence, motivation and self-esteem in their future careers.

 

 

ADE ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING FUTURE ACADEMIC ASSESSMENTS      6/12/15

 

In light of the recommendation by the Governor’s Council on Common Core Review regarding statewide assessment, the Arkansas Department of Education will not renew its contract with the Partnership for  Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers when it expires June 30th, 2015, and will pursue negotiating a contract with ACT and ACT Aspire to provide testing services for the 2015-2016 school year.

 

Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Johnny Key stated, the Arkansas Department of Education appreciated the work of Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and the council, and the department of ed. supported Governor Asa Hutchinson’s adoption of this recommendation.

 

Key said the department of ed. will ask the State Board of Education to consider a formal action to approve the transition to ACT and ACT Aspire.

 

Key stated the primary goal of the department of ed. was to graduate students from high school that are ready to enter either college or into a career. He said the department of education felt ACT and ACT Aspire assessments will be an effective tool in measuring how well the state is meeting that goal.

 

Arkansas will still receive the results from the PARCC assessments that were administered during the 2014-2015 school year, however, because this was the first year that the assessment had been given, the results will not be available until this fall.

 

The governor’s council will continue to review Arkansas’ academic standards and present a complete report later this summer.

 

 

 

APPLICATION PROCESS FOR ALLIGATOR HUNTING PERMITS STARTS NEXT WEEK        6/12/15

 

Arkansas hunters can apply for alligator hunting permits for the 2015 season online from midnight, June 15th until midnight, June 30th at www.afgc.com.

 

Permits will be drawn in July, and winners will be notified by email.

 

Each permit authorizes the taking of one alligator, which must be at least four feet long and alligator hunting is only allowed 30-minutes after sunset until 30-minutes before sunrise during the approved alligator hunting season dates of September 18th through the 21st and September 25th through the 28th. Both hunts are Friday through Monday.

 

Applicants must be at least 16 years of age the day the hunt begins. For more information regarding the special alligator permit hunts or to apply, visit www.agfc.com.

 

 

 

TRESPASS CHARGE      6/12/15

 

About 10:30, Wednesday night, Patrolman First Class Wayne Baker of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to 123 Cottonwood in reference to a possible break-in after a witness reported seeing someone enter the residence through a back window.

 

When Officer Baker arrived, he reported that he secured the back of the house where he found a broken window. He stated when he came around to the front of the house, he discovered a white female standing at the front door.

 

The female was identified as 31-year-old Jessica Carraway and she allegedly informed Baker that she was given permission from Georgette Bell to gather her belongings from the house.

 

The owner of the home, Steve Blankenship reported he had evicted the tenants and the house was vacant. Carraway was taken into custody and charged with criminal trespass.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CLERK OFFERS GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT UPCOMING SCHOOL ELECTIONS        6/12/15

 

Sevier County Clerk Debbie Akin announced this week that the 2015 School Elections will be held on Tuesday, September 15th, but anyone interested in running for a school board position in Sevier County should contact her office for information regarding the positions that will be elected this year, as well as the requirements and filing deadlines.

 

Akin stated some dates regarding filing, fall as early as July 1st.

 

Akin also encouraged Sevier County residents to register to vote. She said the deadline to register to vote in this election is August 17th, but if you are a registered voter in another Arkansas county, you can transfer your registration to Sevier County by September 11th and still vote in the School Board elections.

 

Akin said residents may need to update their registration if their name or address has changed, because it is necessary to update that information to ensure you vote on the correct ballot.

 

Absentee voting is available for qualifying applicants and residents may contact the County Clerk’s office to obtain an application. Absentee voting is designed to help voters who are unable to be present at the polls.

 

Early voting will be conducted in the County Clerk’s office only and anyone can vote early without any reason or qualifying circumstances. Akin explained that early voting was simply for the voting publics’ convenience.

 

Early voting for the September School Board elections will be from September 8th through the 14th from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office.

 

Akin stated you can contact her office with any questions or for more information by calling 870-642-2852.

 

 

 

SWREC HORTICULTURE DAY JUNE 18        6/12/15

 

Cooking demonstrations, fruit and vegetable research, butterflies and birds, a clinic with the plant doctor and of course beekeeping for beginners will all be a part of the program during the Southwest Research and Extension Center's Horticulture Field Day on Thursday, June 18th in Hope.

 

The center is located at 362 Highway 174 North in Hope and biscuits and honey will be served beginning at 7:30 a.m. and the program will start at 8:15. The event will include educational programs along with field tours.

 

"Cooking with Greens and Honey" will be presented by the Ouachita District Family and Consumer Science agents. Wings over Arkansas will present a program about the birds in the state, as well as, a program about how to attract birds and butterflies to your property.

 

Registration is $17 in advance and $20 at the door. The deadline for early registration is June 17. To register in advance, pick up a registration for at the Sevier County Extension Office on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot or call 870-777-9702.

 

 

BEWARE OF VACATION SCAM        6/11/15

 

Earlier this week, Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring informed KDQN about a vacation scam that anyone can become a victim of if they stay in a hotel this summer.

 

Herring stated con artists are attempting to steal credit card information by calling guest hotel rooms and pretending to be from the front desk.

 

Herring said con artists are calling hotel guests and telling them that there was a problem with their computer system and the hotel lost all of their credit card information and ask if they would be willing to give them the information over the phone.

 

People who have reported this scam, say the callers are polite and apologetic and they even offered to give the guest a discount on their room due to the inconvenience.

 

Herring said if you receive a similar call while staying at a hotel, you should tell the caller that you will come down to the front desk and handle the situation, but you should never give out your credit card information over the phone.

 

Hotel companies have also announced that hotel employees will never call you after 9 p.m. and they will never ask for your credit card information over the phone.

 

 

 

CITY OF DE QUEEN PREPARING FOR LET FREEDOM RING CELEBRATION     6/11/15

 

Chris Hale of the De Queen Parks and Recreation Department announced plans are underway for the city's annual "Let Freedom Ring" celebration at the De Queen Sportsplex on Friday, July 3rd.

 

Hale said any local vendors will need to sign up in the park office, but they only have five spots still available as of Thursday, June 11th.

 

This year's featured act will be the Midnight Hurricanes and this year, they will have an open mic event. Each person or group will have about 10 minutes to perform, but they will need to sign up by Friday, June 19th.

 

Hale said last year's event was a huge success, but if you have any questions, you can contact the park office at 642-4140.

 

Hale said the grand finale will be a giant firework show and the event is free to the public.

 

 

 

DIERKS CITY COUNCIL APPROVES PILOT PROGRAM        6/11/15

 

Monday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Dierks City Council, aldermen approved the Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement between the city and Weyerhaeuser.

 

Dierks Mayor Terry Mounts reported the PILOT program will benefit the city and the Dierks School District.

 

Mounts said Weyerhaeuser was also planning a big celebration when the new mill goes on line in 2018, because it will be the mill's 100th anniversary.

 

Mounts announced the city would continue working with property owners who are out of compliance with city ordinances and the council approved a $1 an hour raise for a new city employee.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE DEANN VAUGHT TALKS ABOUT HIGHWAY SAFETY       6/11/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported that every year nearly 500 people die on Arkansas roadways and with summer trips around the corner, she wanted to take the time to remind her constituents about a few laws that were past in an effort to save lives.

 

Vaught stated texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving and in recent months police have stepped up their enforcement of laws that prohibit texting while driving in Arkansas.

 

State laws prohibit the use of cell phones for texting, typing, email or accessing the internet while driving, regardless of the driver's age and it is a primary offense which means officers may pull you over if they suspect you are breaking this law.

 

Arkansas law also prohibits drivers from using a hand held device while driving through a school or work zone. Another law requires drivers to move to the farthest lane possible away from an authorized vehicle that's stopped on a road, street or highway.

 

All cell phone use, including the use of hands free devices is prohibited for any driver under the age of 18, however, drivers between the ages of 18 to 20 can use a hands free device, but not a hand held cell phone while driving.

 

Vaught reported she felt this reminder was needed as families begin to take their vacation trips this summer.

 

 

 

SCHOOL'S OUT POOL PARTY AT DIAMOND SPRINGS     6/11/15

 

This Saturday, the Crater of Diamonds State Park will host a School's Out Pool Party at the park's Diamond Springs from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

 

According to Park Interpreter Waymon Cox, the water park will be decked out with decorations, refreshments, games and there's going to be fun for all ages.

 

Local bluegrass musicians John David Watson and Tyler McRae will be performing and a separate water park admission will be required for the School's Out Pool Party after 6:30.

 

Admission is $6 for swimmers over 42 inches tall, $4 for swimmers under 42 inches and $2 for non-swimmer chaperones. Children two and under will be free.

 

For more information, contact the Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3113 or visit their website at www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.

 

DE QUEEN AUTO GROUP AND UA COSSATOT ADD PARTNERSHIP  06/11/15

DE QUEEN – UA Cossatot has announced a new scholarship made available by De Queen Auto Group, formerly known as De Queen Ford.

De Queen Auto Group owners, Jay and Mary Ellen Dooley, recently strengthened an already strong partnership with UA Cossatot by contributing $2000 for automotive student scholarships. 

“We are excited about providing a scholarship for automotive students.  We hired a UA Cossatot automotive graduate and want to make sure students have the opportunity to be successful,” said Jay Dooley.

 

The UA Cossatot graduate, Jessie David “Davy” Cirkles, Automotive Technician with De Queen Auto Group, earned a certificate from UA Cossatot’s Automotive Technology Department after graduating from Wickes High School and then entered an Apprenticeship Program.  Cirkles also went through several factory training programs. 

“Because of Jessie’s education, hard work, and proper training, he could go to any new car franchise and find a good paying job,” said Dooley.   “That’s why we want to support the automotive programs at UA Cossatot.  It provides an opportunity for a career.” 

 

John Terrell, of De Queen is a 24- year veteran of De Queen Auto Group.  He also received his education at a community college and pursued the manufacturing trainings.  He is certified to work on all major brands of vehicles including hybrids. 

De Queen Auto Group is also providing a 2015 Ford F-250 to the UA Cossatot Colts Rodeo team members and coach who are traveling to Casper, WY for the National College National Finals Rodeo.  The truck will be used to pull a trailer with the team’s horses.  The trip is over 2200 miles roundtrip from De Queen.   

 

“Jay and his staff at De Queen Auto Group have been generous to the Colts Rodeo team,” said UA Cossatot Colts Rodeo Coach, Valerie Stone.  “It takes a big team effort to make a rodeo program successful.  I appreciate the confidence and support that De Queen Auto Group gives us.  They are really a community partner.”

 

Jay Dooley has served on the Board of Visitors for UA Cossatot since the college joined the UA System in 2001. 

“Jay has demonstrated his dedication to this community many times over,” said UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole.  “From vehicle rentals to his small business experience he brings to the boardroom and now his donation to fund scholarships, Jay is an excellent friend to our college – he sees how important education is to the future of our community.” 

 

 

BUFFALO SOLDIERS VISIT L.F. HENDERSON  06/11/15

When L. F. Henderson Intermediate School social studies teacher Janet Phillips was teaching her fifth grade students about the Civil War, she invited two local citizens to help bring it to life.  Alonzo and Dianne Williamson, both members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Texarkana, visited the classes and spoke to the students about the contributions of the African-American regiment of volunteer soldiers who became known as The Buffalo Soldiers, both during the Civil War and afterwards.

Assurance of shelter, medical attention and clothing led 186,000 freed black men to join the Union Army in 1866, with thousands others enlisting in the navy, as nurses, etc.  "The indians referred to the black infantrymen as 'buffalo soldiers' because of their dark skins and their resiliency and courage as fighters,"  Dianne Williamson told the students as she presented an informational power point. "They continued as soldiers of the U.S. army after being freed in 1866 and won many Congressional medals of honor."  For many years and into the new century, the Buffalo Soldiers were influential in mapping out the western territory of the United States.

​Dianne, or "Lady Di" in her biker's lingo, also told the fifth graders about one particular soldier of interest -- Cathay Williams -- the first African-American female to enlist.  Cathay was also the only documented to serve in the U.S. Army posing as a man.  When asked to give her name, she simply reversed her given name and posed as a Buffalo Soldier named William Cathay.

The Williamsons, along with the other members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club, are dedicated to keeping the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers alive since they all have ancestors that fought and served.  "We take pride in our communities and participate in assistance programs," they state.  The club will be taking part in the Wounded Warriors project on June 13.

Picture attached:  Dianne and Alonzo Williamson are pictured with granddaughter Darrah Muldrew, a fifth grade student in Janet Phillips social studies class at L. F. Henderson Intermediate School in Ashdown.  The Williamsons, members of the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club of Texarkana, spoke to Phillips' classes about the history and contributions of the Buffalo Soldiers, who were organized in 1866 during the Civil War.

 

BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR THE CITY OF ASHDOWN HAS BEEN LIFTED.     6/10/15

 

 

CHALICE CUPBOARD REPORT     6/10/15

 

The Chalice Cupboard assisted 47 families in Sevier County, including 83 adults and 66 children, totaling 149 people, by distributing 1.120 pounds of food.

 

St. Barbara's Catholic Church donated 65 pounds of food during the month of May, while individuals donated another 114 pounds.

 

Food distributions are held every Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at 315 North Fifth Street in De Queen.

 

Supporters of the Chalice Cupboard may donate their choice of non-perishable food items; however, cupboard volunteers recommend canned fruit, cereal and/or peanut butter. Financial donations are tax deductible and local residents may make a deposit at the De Queen branch of Bear State Bank.

 

Cupboard volunteers also reported the Chalice Cupboard sign has been damaged on two separate occasions recently and reports have been filed with the De Queen Police Department. If you have any information regarding these acts of vandalism, contact the De Queen Police Department at 870-642-2213.

 

 

 

CHAMPIONSHIP BULL RIDING IN MENA SATURDAY, JUNE 13       6/10/15

 

Members of the Polk County Fair Board Association had to postpone the Ultimate Challenge Championship Bull Riding event last month due to the excessive rainfall and the event has been rescheduled for this Saturday at 7 p.m.

 

Sevier County Extension Agent Rex Herring reported, everything's going to be the same, but they're hoping for some decent weather.

 

Herring said some of the best bull riders in the world will be in attendance, including Smithville, Oklahoma's Lane Toon who is currently the number four cowboy in the world.

 

Herring said Saturday's event will feature about 14 different stock companies and judges will judge the cowboys and the bulls.

 

Tickets are just $10 each but for more information, visit the website www.visitmena.com.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: STAY SAFE IN THE WATER     6/10/15

 

Pools are opening for the summer, and families are heading to lakes and beaches to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and this means more people will be spending hot summer days in and around the water.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to educate Arkansans about the importance of water safety and the risks of drowning.

 

Rutledge released the following tips to having fun and safe summer around the water:

 

Supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention; consider formal swimming lessons for children; teach children to swim with an adult and to never go near or in the water alone; inexperienced swimmers or those swimming in deep water should wear a life jacket; consider fencing around residential and private pools; steps and ladders should be removed in above-ground pools when not in use; make sure drain covers are up to date in pools and spas; take the time to learn CPR and avoid alcohol consumption before or during swimming and do not drink alcohol while supervising children in an open body of water.

 

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, approximately 10 drowning deaths occur per day across the country, and many more drowning victims require hospitalization with their injuries resulting in severe brain damage.

The Arkansas Infant and Child Death Review reports drowning as the second leading cause of death in children ages 1 to 17.

 

For more information, visit the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, Arkansas Department of Health, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or PoolSafety.gov websites.

 

 

 

MEMBERS OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF CASON RETURN TO DE QUEEN      5/9/15

 

Members of the First Baptist Church of Cason, Texas returned to De Queen last Friday to help with the continuing clean-up efforts.

 

Pastor Scott Darby stated members of the church have been helping in storm clean-up efforts for the past 40-years and they arrived last week with chainsaws, rigging and a tractor to help those who couldn't help themselves.

 

Darby said church members have been all over the country helping people and enjoy serving others with the talents that God has given to them and someone in the church is volunteering somewhere every week, but Darby felt compelled to return to De Queen until he was sure everyone had received help that needed it.

 

The group went home Saturday afternoon to rest, but they will restock and send out some more volunteers to help clean-up communities  after the flood waters start receding.

 

Darby informed KDQN that they love serving others, but the residents of De Queen truly made them feel welcome and seemed to appreciate their assistance more than any other location they've been in a long time.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT FOCUSING ON CLEAN-UP      6/10/15

 

Members of the Sevier County Quorum Court spent a little time hearing reports and taking action on issues dealing with the storm that pasted through the area on Memorial Day.

 

JPs also approved the re-appointment of Larry Hale and the appointment of Bill Blackwood to the Sevier County Equalization Board.

 

An ordinance to formally authorize Sevier County Judge Greg Ray to complete the vehicle swap between the county and the City of De Queen was approved. The City will receive a 1991 Ford F-800 flatbed truck in exchange for a 1982 International dump truck.

 

Judge Ray requested JPs amend the 2015 budget by transferring $40,000 from the county's vehicle line item to the parts and repairs line item along with adding an additional $69,000 to the account so the county can have the power train rebuilt on one of it's road graders.

 

JPs approved a resolution to authorize a Contract of Obligation between the county and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

 

JPs also voted to allow the county to set up a separate budget for the storm clean-up after hearing a report concerning the county's clean-up efforts and Judge Ray reported county crews would be working to clean-up storm debris on various roads throughout the county over the next several days.

 

Quorum Court members then voted to help the Horatio School District obtain a COPS grant so the district can hire a school resource officer for the 2015-2016 school year.    

 

 

BECOME A CASA VOLUNTEER       6/9/15

 

Right here in our community, there are abused and neglected children who live in the shadows of our lives and they need your assistance to make sure that they are being protected.

 

So far this year, 55 children have been placed in foster care in the Ouachita Region due to abuse or neglect and Cynthia Martin of the CASA of the Ouachita Region announced there is a need for more CASA volunteers.

 

Martin explained CASA volunteers advocate on behalf of children in foster care to ensure that their rights are being defended.

 

She said the main qualification of a CASA volunteer is a love and compassion for children.

 

Martin said in most cases, CASA volunteers work with one child or family, while employees of the Department of Human Services work with several cases at a time.

 

Martin said the training was an overview of the foster care system, but even if you don't volunteer, you can still help the CASA of the Ouachita Region.

 

For more information, call Martin at 479-243-9277.

 

 

 

BODY OF MISSING LITTLE RIVER COUNTY MAN FOUND      6/9/15

 

Little River County officials reported they have found the body of a missing boater.

 

Constable Brandon Kennemore reported search teams found the body of 27-year-old Dugan Ward around 10 a.m. Sunday morning about 50 yards from where his dog was found.

 

Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory reported three people got on the Red River in a boat around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27th. The three were reported missing on Thursday morning and two of the three were rescued Thursday, May 28th.

 

 

 

BOIL WATER NOTICE FOR THE CITY OF LOCKESBURG      6/10/15

 

The Department of Health has confirmed the boil water notice that was issued by Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth for the entire system.

 

The order was issued as a precautionary measure because of the possibility that contaminated water may have entered the distribution system as a result of a partial loss in the normal system pressure.

 

Under the boil water notice, all affected customers are advised that the water may be unsafe for human consumption, and water used for drinking or food preparation must be boiled for one minute prior to use. All ice cubes should be discarded and only boiled water used for the making of ice.

 

This precautionary boil water notice will be lifted by the Department of Health when one set of water samples indicates that the water is free of bacterial contamination and an adequate disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system.

 

According to Mayor Ruth, the boil water notice was due to a water main break.

 

 

 

BOIL WATER ORDERS ISSUED       6/9/15

 

Sunday evening, Ashdown Mayor James Sutton issued a precautionary boil water notice after the city of Ashdown began to experience low water pressure.

 

Ashdown Waterwork crews located the leak at a fire hydrant that was located in a remote area and were able to restore water Sunday night, however, due to a complete loss of system pressure, Ashdown residents are being asked to boil their water for a minimum of one minute before consuming it.

 

The Arkansas Department of Health announced Monday morning that as a precaution, all affected customers are being advised that the water may be unsafe and water used for drinking, cooking, making of ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes should be boiled prior to use.

 

The department of health reported the boil water notice will remain in effect until an adequate disinfectant level has been established throughout the distribution system and water surveys show the water is safe to drink.

 

Another boil water notice also remains in effect for the members of the North Howard County Rural Water Association in the Umpire area, especially the customers in Umpire and to the South and West.

 

The reason for the North Howard County Rural Water Association boil water notice was a leak in water main that resulted in a partial lose of system pressure.   

 

 

 

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF DE QUEEN OFFERING SUMMER SUPPERS       6/9/15

 

This summer, the members of the First Baptist Church of De Queen will be serving Summer Suppers every Tuesday from June 9th through August 11th from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

 

Associate Pastor Micah Martin announced everyone is invited and it's free.

 

Martin said the meal is free and is being prepared by members of the church, but they would like for everyone to call, so they can get an estimate of how many people will be attending each Tuesday beginning tonight at 5:30.

 

The church is located at 1535 West Collin Raye Drive, just west of UA Cossatot, or you can call 870-642-2151 if you have any questions or if you would like to make a reservation.

 

 

 

NEWHOPE RESIDENT KILLED IN ACCIDENT      6/9/15

 

A Newhope resident died Saturday afternoon following a two vehicle accident at the intersection of U.S. Highway 278 and State Highway 32 in Hempstead County.

 

According to the accident report from the Arkansas State Police, 83-year-old Leroy Bogan was killed when he failed to stop at a stop sign and turned into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

 

Bogan was transported to Wadley Hospital in Hope where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Glen Monk. 

 

 

 

PARENTS ASKED TO KEEP SAVING BOX TOPS 4 EDUCATION THROUGH SUMMER      6/9/15

 

Kids are out of school for the summer, but parents of the Ashdown School district are being encouraged to keep collecting Box Tops 4 Education.

 

Four Ashdown campuses collect Box Tops to assist in purchasing playground equipment and classroom needs that are not covered by the district's budget.

 

Each box top is worth 10 cents, and they add up quickly and can result in a nice check being mailed to the participating campus twice a year.

 

Since beginning its collection program in 2010, Margaret Daniel Primary School has received almost $8,000 in return for coupons on selected store item boxes that would otherwise have just been thrown in the trash.

 

In addition to the Margaret Daniel Primary, C.D. Franks Elementary, L.F. Henderson Intermediate School and the Ashdown Junior High are also collecting box tops. Box tops may be dropped of in the school office any month of the year.

 

 

AREA SCHOOLS RECEIVE FUNDS FOR BEING IN TOP 20 PERCENT OF ARKANSAS SCHOOLS       6/8/15

 

Recently, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught presented checks to area schools for being in the top 20 percent of Arkansas schools.

 

Vaught presented a check for over $27,000 to the De Queen Primary School, a check in the amount of $24,248.19 was presented to the De Queen Elementary School, a check in the amount of $17,143.75 was presented to the De Queen Middle School and the De Queen Junior School received a check in the amount of $15,113.40.

 

Vaught also presented a check in the amount of $17,569.22 to Horatio High School for also being in the top 20 percent of schools in Arkansas.

 

 

 

ARKANSAS DAIRY FOODS CONTEST WINNERS NAMED       6/8/15

 

Jordan Williams of Bonnerdale and Zack Williams of Nashville were winners at the 58th annual Arkansas Dairy Foods Contest held June 3rd at the state fairgrounds in Little Rock.

 

Jordan Williams is the 15-year-old daughter of Jessica Vincent and she took first place in the Main Dish competition with her "Spinach and Artichoke Pasta." Zack Williams is the 15-year-old son of David and Tina Williams and he took first in the Party Idea competition with his "Italian Cheese Pillows."

 

Both winners received $150.

 

Judges placed contestants based on recipe, use of dairy products, originality, and availability of ingredients and serving technique. Arkansas Farm Bureau, Southwest Dairy Museum and Arkansas Dairy Cooperative Association sponsored the event.

 

In the Party Ideas competition, Brook Bradford of Shirley took seconds with "Fiesta Cheesecake." Jazzlan Rudd of Bismark took third with "Dezanay's Creamy Dip." And, Baylie Clay of Glenwood took fourth with "Marscapone and Mandarin Orange Salad." 

 

 

 

ASHDOWN FFA STUDENT NAMED BORLAUG SCHOLAR     6/8/15

 

Ashdown High School sophomore Karen McMillan was recognized during the end-of-year Ashdown FFA banquet and again on June 3rd at the Arkansas FFA Convention at Camp Couchdale in Hot Springs as one of the eight 2015 BorLaug Scholars from the state of Arkansas.

 

Named after the 1970 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the Borlaug Scholars are named through the World Food Prize youth program and are chosen based on the student's written research and group discussion on a critical food security issue.

 

BorLaug was awarded the Nobel Prize for "a lifetime of work to feed a hungry world," and it is said that Dr. Borlaug has "saved more lives then any other person who has ever lived" through his programs of agricultural research and development and his philosophy of teaching the world to feed itself, a movement widely known today as the Green Revolution.

 

The World Food Prize honors outstanding individuals who are predicting to make vital contributions towards improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world.

 

McMillan is the daughter of Eric and Heather McMillan, and she wrote a plan and composed a research paper based on increasing food availability in the third world country of Bolivia, which she then presented in April at the Arkansas Youth Institute at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She was chosen in the top eight, one of only 64 scholars chosen since the program's inception in 1990, and will now serve a fully-paid internship with the USDA anywhere in the United States, as long as she is enrolled in a U.S. school or college.

 

Along with congratulating McMillan, Cody Gallagher, Ashdown's FFA sponsor and teacher, awarded 12 Greenhand degrees and six chapter degrees during the annual FFA Banquet. In addition, Gallagher recognized 18 FFA judging team members who qualified for state competition.

 

Special guests for the banquet were the 2014-2015 Friends of the FFA, who were recognized for their donations to the FFA program.

 

 

 

BEWARE OF SCAMS IN AFTERMATH OF SEVERE WEATHER     6/8/15

 

Scam artists often use severe weather as an opening for theft and fraud. Arkansas officials urges residents to be on guard against potential scams in the aftermath of recent storms and flooding in our area.

 

Common scams include workers showing up uninvited and offering to clean up debris or make repairs to homes or other property. The con artists will ask for payment before during the work, and once they receive payment, they leave and never complete the job.

 

Another common technique is calling a resident and pretending to be a government official offering aid. Often, the con artists can mask their telephone number to make the number appear to be legitimately from a government agency, but in order to steal someone's identity, the con artists ask for bank account and other personal information. Government officials stress that they never initiate a call and ask for personal information such as bank accounts.

 

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management Director David Maxwell stated people who have suffered through a severe weather event, such as a flood, are extremely vulnerable to scams and his department encourages people to be informed and cautious if approached with offers of aid or for work to be done for them.

 

To report a complaint, contact local law enforcement agents or call the Arkansas Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-482-8982.

 

 

 

DINNER AND A MESSAGE AT BEACON HILL SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH JUNE 15       6/8/15

 

Monday, June 15th, at 6 p.m., the Beacon Hill Seventh-Day Adventist Church will host Chef Mark Anthony for dinner and a message.

 

Chef Mark Anthony said while he was working with hospitals across the country he realized he needed to do something about his weight. So, he gave up eating red meat for 45 days.

 

Chef Anthony has been a personal chef to Jack Nicklaus, Joan Jett, STYX, Journey and dozens more, but now he works with the Three Angels Network and in churches to teach people how they can control their bodies and how they can enjoy a plant rich diet.

 

Chef Anthony stated he will not only teach a few easy recipes but how to rearrange your kitchen to ensure your healthy success.

 

Seating is limited but for more information, contact the church at 870-642-3421. The church is located at 1446 Red Bridge Road in De Queen.

 

 

 

UPDATE ON STORM RECOVERY IN SEVIER COUNTY       6/8/15

 

Sevier County Judge Greg Ray and Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Walter Smith announced Friday morning that Sevier County has been declared a disaster area by Governor Asa Hutchinson and the county will be receiving some public assistance, but no determination on individual assistance had been made yet.

 

Ray said county residents can take their storm debris to the De Queen Business Park on Highway 71 North, Monday through Saturday, but he asked them not to leave it outside the gate on Sunday’s.

 

Ray said 35 counties have been declared disaster areas including Howard and Little River counties.

 

Smith reported the debris collection site was for storm debris only and for residents not to put other items, including household debris in the pile.

 

Smith also said if you live in the county and received some storm damage, you should contact his office at 642-4292.

 

For more information about road closings or debris clean-up call Judge Ray's office at 642-2425.

 

 

ASHDOWN ART STUDENT HONORED      6/5/15

 

Ashdown High School senior Melanie Barwick was chosen as a runner-up in the Downey Publishing "Art for Education" cover contest, recently.

 

Barwick's artwork appeared inside the back cover of the 2015-2016 Downey Texarkana Metro directory, which was distributed recently to homes throughout southwest Arkansas and northwest Texas.

 

Barwick is the daughter of Jimmy and Christy Green of Ashdown and was awarded a $250 gift card as a prize from Downey Publishing.

 

She was an Art III student of Linda King and her mixed media drawing was done in colored pencils and charcoal.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

MDP STUDENTS WIN PAINT THE COUNTY PURPLE CONTEST      6/5/15

 

 

Katelyn Dudley's first grade class at the Margaret Daniel Primary School was the Best of Show and First Place School winner in the Little River County Relay for Life Paint the County Purple school contest.

 

The event was sponsored by the Little River County American Cancer Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE      6/5/15

 

On Sunday, May 30th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Webb observed a Toyota pickup drive left of the center line on Highway 70 West.

 

Webb reported the vehicle was traveling east and crossed over into the west bound lane on a couple of occasions. Webb made a traffic stop on Mud Creek and he spoke to the driver, 41-year-old Nina Bailey of De Queen.

 

Bailey allegedly informed Webb that she had previously been charged with driving while intoxicated, but had not been to court yet. However, Webb was informed that Bailey's license had been suspended for DUI Alcohol.

 

Webb stated he could smell alcohol and asked Bailey if she had been drinking. Bailey reportedly informed Webb that she worked at a bar and had a beer while she was at work.

 

Bailey failed a field sobriety test and she was arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated and for driving on a suspended driver's licenses. After refusing to take a blood alcohol test, Bailey was charged with refusal to submit to test.

 

 

 

MEMBERS OF THE ARKANSAS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION ANNOUNCE OVER $6.5 MILLION FOR AIRPORT IMPROVEMENTS     6/5/15

 

U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton, along with Congressman Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack and Bruce Westerman, announced recently that 11 Arkansas airports have been awarded more than $6.5 million from the Department of Transportation to support facility  upgrades and expansions.

 

Senator Boozman stated, transportation infrastructure is vital for local commerce and private sector job growth and Arkansas will benefit from these airport improvements because they will help accommodate future development throughout the state.

 

Texarkana Regional - Webb Field will receive $3,403,151 to rehabilitate the airport runway and Waldron Municipal Airport will receive $318,812 to rehabilitate its airport runaway.

 

The other airports receiving funds included: Sharp County Regional Airport, Saline County Regional Airport, Clarendon Municipal Airport, Clinton Municipal Airport, Corning Municipal Airport, De Witt Municipal Airport, Newport Municipal Airport, Russellville Regional Airport and Searcy Municipal Airport.

 

 

 

SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT       6/5/15

 

In the May 30th session of the Sevier County Circuit Court, Jessica Hudson changed her plea to guilty on the charge of forgery in the second degree and was sentenced to five years probation and a $2,118.35 in fines and restitution.

 

Sonia Lowrey changed her plea to guilty on the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and received a sentence of five years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections along with a $1,000 fine.

 

Wesley Hirschi entered a plea of not true in his probation revocation case. Hirschi was sentenced to three years probation in July of 2014 for theft of property.

 

A trial date of June 24th was set for Katrina Maxwell on the charge of forgery in the second degree.

 

Cody Romine had a trail date of August 12th set for the charges of theft by receiving and possession of a controlled substance and a trial date of August 23rd was set for Dalton Kitchens on the charges of stalking in the first degree and possession of a firearm by a certain person. Kitchens is being held in the Sevier County jail on a $50,000 bond.

 

 

BLACKWOOD HIRED AS HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL       6/4/15

 

Monday night following a lengthy executive session, members of the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire Bryan Blackwood as the high school principal.

 

Superintendent Bruce Hill said Blackwood has served the district as a middle school principal and was the high assistant principal this year. Hill said school administration was in Blackwood's DNA.

 

Hill said board members accepted the resignation of four teachers, but three of them are going to teach closer to their hometowns.

 

Board members voted to hire five aides, three cafeteria workers and six certified staff members. Hill said he expected Nicole Staford, Courtney Hankins, Magan Dorsey, Monica Murphy, Misty Gentry and Camryn Mitchell to be great additions to the De Queen staff.

 

During old business, Hill mentioned that six trees fell at the old Elementary during the storm on May 27th and several buildings were damaged, but the district's insurance company is working to ensure the repairs are made quickly and correctly.

 

Hill then recommended the board accept the insurance bid from the Arkansas School Board Association in the amount of $96,918.32 with a $10,000 deductible.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN ALDERMEN UPDATED ON DISASTER CLEAN-UP     6/4/15

 

Tuesday night, the department heads for the City of De Queen reported on their response time following the storm that hit the city on May 25th. They also mentioned different items that didn't perform properly moments after the storm.

 

Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed KDQN that city crews are now focusing on picking up the debris that was left behind.

 

Aldermen also passed a resolution to hold a public meeting, Tuesday, June 16th to discuss closing Jansen Street at the request of Kern Heights Baptist Church.

 

Mayor McKelvy updated the aldermen concerning the city's retirement meeting that was held with the city employees and he presented them with a spread sheet, identifying the most urgent needs from each city department. McKelvy stated he felt the Water Department had the most needs at this time.

 

The De Queen City Council will meet for a regular meeting on Tuesday, June 16th following the public hearing concerning the closing of Jansen Street.

 

 

 

CONSUMER ALERT: CAR SELLERS BEWARE     6/4/15

 

Reports are increasing of a scam targeting the private, online sale of vehicles. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is warning consumers of a scheme targeting people who are selling their vehicles on the popular online marketplace, Craigslist. Law enforcement has reported nearly 100 instances of a phony bank check being used to pay for vehicles across the country.

 

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a consumer alert to warn Arkansans about the scam that leaves sellers liable for money still owed on cars, while the criminals get away with vehicles.

 

According to Rutledge's office, con artists are printing counterfeit checks that look real and sellers should be cautious because some of these checks can even fool bank tellers.

 

Rutledge also released the following tips for consumers who are selling their own vehicles: sellers should insist on speaking to serious buyers over the phone in order to gauge if they are genuinely interested in the car; consider only selling to local buyers; do not give out your home address; schedule test drives in the middle of the day and in a public place; once you have settled on a price, meet the buyer at his or her bank to complete the transaction and beware if the buyer recommends a specific escrow service, and do your own research by checking with the Arkansas Insurance Department License Division.

 

After the sell, you should keep documents or paper records of everything and never sign over a title until you have the money in hand.

 

Rutledge also encourages sellers to be cautions of overpayment scams and to avoid payment plans.

 

Victims should alert the website's administrator of the scam, as well as, local law enforcement and the Attorney General's office.

 

For more information, call 1-800-482-8982 or visit the website, ArkansasAG.gov.

 

 

 

CRATER OF DIAMONDS BEGINS SUMMER SEASON     6/4/15

 

The Crater of Diamonds State Park kicked off this year's summer season on Memorial Day weekend and from now until August 15, the visitor center, the Diamond Discovery Center and the diamond search area will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. From August 16th through Labor Day, September 7th, the park building and search area will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

With the start of summer, the Kimberlite Cafe and Diamond Springs are also officially open.

 

Kimberlite Cafe is a restaurant that is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, serving breakfast and lunch.

 

Another way to take a break after diamond mining is by visiting Diamond Springs, which is a water park featuring spray geysers, water jets, cascades, two water slides and a waterfall hideaway.

 

Diamond Springs is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $6 for swimmers 42 inches or taller, $4 for swimmers shorter than 42 inches and $2 for non-swimmer chaperones sitting poolside. Children under the age of two are also admitted for free.

 

Park Interpreter Waymon Cox recommends that while visiting the Crater of Diamond State Park, this summer, you should remember to take plenty of breaks in a cool, shaded area, drink plenty of water and wear a hat and sunscreen to prevent heat-related illness and sun damage to your skin.

 

For more information about the Crater of Diamonds State Park, visit their website at craterofdiamondsstatepark.com or call 870-285-3113.

 

 

 

THREE ARRESTED FOR DRINKING ON A HIGHWAY; ONE FOR DRIVING      6/4/15

 

On Saturday, May 30th, Sevier County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Webb stopped a white car after observing it cross the center line several times on Bellahmine Road.

 

When Webb approached the vehicle, he reported he witnessed the passenger sitting in the backseat drinking a beer and there were several other open beer containers in the floorboard.

 

The driver was identified as Norman Crump, Jr.

 

Crump allegedly admitted to drinking and failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

 

One passenger who was identified as Wesley Crump was arrested and charged with drinking on the highway along with the third passenger, Michael Elmore.

 

 

TODAY IS NATIONAL RUNNING DAY       6/3/15

 

Today is National Running Day and running groups and clubs across the country will be hosting community running events.

 

Here in De Queen, Dr. Jason Lofton and De Queen Girls Basketball Coach Jason Barker will be hosting a community run this afternoon at 5 p.m. starting in the De Queen Regional Medical Center parking lot.

 

Coach Barker stated it's not a race, but it's going to be a time for experienced runners and beginners to socialize and have fun. He said there are a variety of loops and distances, so today's event is for all levels of runners.

 

Lofton said if running wasn't your idea of fun, you might want to join a group that rides bikes on Friday mornings at 8 a.m.

 

For more information, contact AMP fitness. 

 

 

 

SUMMER REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS JUNE 4      6/3/15

 

UA Cossatot Coordinator of Admissions Tommi Unruh-Cobb announced Tuesday morning that the deadline to register for summer classes is this Thursday.

 

Cobb stated students may also register for fall classes, whether they are an incoming freshman or a non-traditional student seeking a technical certificate.

 

Cobb mentioned the new online textbook program at UA Cossatot will save students about a thousand dollars a semester since some used textbooks cost over $250 each.

 

Cobb said the demographics of the UA Cossatot campus is changing but their priority is still students.

 

Cobb said if you have any questions, contact the college and they will help.

 

For more information, visit their website at cccua.edu.

 

 

 

HELP AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY       6/3/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught announced Tuesday morning that families in Little River County who need help with disaster relief or have been displaced by the flooding and need a place to stay, should contact the Little River County Office of Emergency Services Coordinator, Don Hale at his office by calling 870-898-7203 or on his cell phone at 903-824-1907.

 

Vaught explained Hale will contact the American Red Cross for displaced families and he has the paperwork for families who need assistance with disaster relief.

 

If you are unable to contact Hale, contact Kellie Broomfield in Little River County judge's office at 870-898-7202.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford announced the following roads west of U.S. Highway 71 and south of Arkansas Highway 32 West are closed in Little River County: including county roads 1; 155; 4; 2; 75; 6; 23; 21; 26; 180; 169; 170; 8; 9; 515; 32; 70; 35; 33; 288 and 62. He stated only people who live on those county roads or that have property on those roads will be permitted to travel them at this time.

 

As well as, U.S. Highway 71 South of Ashdown, Arkansas Highway 41 South of Foreman to the Texas border and Highway 108 from Foreman to the Oklahoma border.

 

 

 

DWI - DRUGS ARREST MADE       5/3/15

 

On Sunday, May 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Davignon reported he observed a red Ford truck with expired tags traveling on Tower Road in Gillham. Davignon reported the expired tag also came back to a Chevy vehicle when he checked the registration.

 

After observing the vehicle cross the center line of several occaisions, Davignon stopped the vehicle to speak with the driver, 46-year-old Lynwood Scott of De Queen.

 

Davignon reported that Scott was agitated and what he described as unsettled. Davignon reported he suspected Scott was under the influence of a controlled substance.

 

However, Scott did give Davignon consent to search his vehicle and Scott allegedly admitted to smoking meth out of a pipe, just before he got pulled over. Scott also reportedly admitted that there was marijuana in the truck.

 

Scott was taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of marijuana, refusal to submit to test, driving left of center, fictitious tags, and no proof of insurance.

 

 

 

DIXON BEING HELD ON THEFT OF PROPERTY CHARGES      6/3/15

 

On May 18th, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Hankins was dispatched to Lockesburg to take a theft report.

 

Roy Griffin of Lockesburg reported that an air conditioner was missing from his rent house on Spring Street.

 

Griffin stated the air conditioner had been sitting on the front porch, and the house had been empty since the last renter had moved out.

 

A neighbor reported that they saw a man in a red faded Ford truck take the air conditioner.

 

On May 28th, Deputy Hankins interviewed Michael Dixon of Lockesburg concerning the missing air conditioner at the Sevier County jail where Dixon was being held on an absconding warrant.

 

Dixon allegedly stated he took the air conditioner because he thought it was scrap because the yard was all grown up around the house. He also said he didn't know who the house belonged to, but he sold the air conditioner to a guy for $50.

 

Dixon is being held on one count of theft of property.

 

 

 

BENEFITS OF $87 MILLION IN BONDS FOR LOCKHEED MARTIN       6/3/15

 

Monday, District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught discussed how the $87 million in bonds will benefit Arkansans.

 

Vaught stated in the 1980's, the Pentagon awarded a contract to develop the High Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle that was designed to transport troops and cargo. That vehicle became known as the Humvee and was used extensively in the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990's.

 

However, the Humvee wasn't designed as a combat vehicle and offered little protection against explosive devices, but now, Arkansas has an opportunity to play a major role in the development of the Humvee's replacement.

 

Lockheed Martin in Camden is one of three companies currently competing for a contract from the Department of Defense to produce close to 55,000 Joint Light Tactical Vehicles.    

 

Last week, the Arkansas House of Representatives approved $87.1 million in bonds to assist in financing the manufacturing. $83 million of the bonds will be used for land acquisition, site preparation and wastewater treatment. The remaining amount will be used for job training.

 

According to Vaught, if Lockheed Martin is awarded the contract, it will create close to 600 new full time jobs with an average salary of $46,720.

 

Due to this project, another 600 jobs are expected to be created in South Arkansas.

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE VAUGHT ADDRESSES SEVERE FLOODING IN LITTLE RIVER COUNTY      6/2/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught is asking residents in her district to avoid driving in areas where emergency officials are working to help those impacted by the recent flooding.

 

Vaught stated she realizes that everyone is concerned about their neighbors and loved ones, but at this time citizens are being asked to stay out of areas where first responders are working.

 

First responders have reported extra traffic on roads by individuals taking pictures or just looking at the damage and its hampering their efforts.

 

Vaught and other elected officials are also reminding residents not to drive through water if it is covering the roadway.

 

Vaught said this puts everyone in a dangerous situation, not only the drivers and passengers, but also the emergency crews that are called out in response to a rescue operation.

 

Little River County Judge Mike Cranford is also asking residents to stay off of watercraft in all bodies of water in the county until further notice.

 

Currently State Highway 41 South of Foreman; U.S. Highway 71 South of Ashdown and Arkansas Highway 108 from Foreman to the Oklahoma line are closed. 

 

 

 

ASHDOWN CANCELS REMAINDER OF SCHOOL YEAR     6/2/15

 

Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders announced Monday afternoon, that June 1st will be the last day of school for the Ashdown School District.

 

He stated due to the historic weather conditions, flooding and the safety of students and personnel who live in the affected areas, the district was going to cancel the last four days of school.

 

All personnel are being asked to contact their immediate supervisors for year-end check out procedures for equipment and records. They may also contact their campus supervisors for any additional questions.

 

 

 

ACCIDENT RESULTS IN ARREST AND SEVERAL CITATIONS      6/2/15

 

Sunday, May 31st, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to Lockesburg in reference to a single vehicle accident that resulted in about $500 worth of property damage.

 

When Deputy Barnes arrived, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Webb was on the scene and Webb reported he smelt the odor of alcohol on all the individuals that were involved in the accident.

 

20-year-old Alexandra Staton of Ashdown was identified as the driver and after failing a series of field sobriety test; she was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

 

After Staton was placed in Barnes' patrol vehicle, 23-year-old Joseph Smith stated he was actually driving the car and allegedly admitted to drinking six beers.

 

However, an eyewitness reported Staton had exited the 2008 Ford Focus on the driver's side.

 

Smith was then arrested and charged with public intoxication.

 

The other passenger in the vehicle at the time of the accident informed the deputies that he had also been drinking and that Smith had purchased the beer for him and Staton.

 

Jared Stultz was then citied for public intoxication and released into the custody of his mother.

 

Deputies then added two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor to Smith's charges.

 

While inventorying Staton’s vehicle, deputies found a marijuana smoking devise under the driver's seat and added the charge of possession of drug paraphernalia to her charges.

 

Both Staton and Smith are being held in the Sevier County jail.

 

 

 

CASON, TEXAS FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH AID RESIDENTS OF DE QUEEN     6/2/15

 

Nine men from the First Baptist Church of Cason, Texas arrived in De Queen with their equipment Friday morning to assist De Queen residents with the storm recovery.

 

Reverend Scott Darby contacted the De Queen City Hall on Wednesday of last week to offer their assistance. Darby explained that volunteers change, due to personal schedules, but the he said he could have a team ready by Friday morning.

 

Volunteers brought chainsaws, rigging and a big Kubota tractor equipped with a loader and brush grapple and they started working on Lake Avenue where they cut and remove a tree for a woman who lives alone. They then moved over to the trailer park on South Rockefeller Street where the tractor enabled them to support a toppled oak tree while others cut the tree from a home.

 

The group worked through the afternoon rain storm on Friday and spent the night at the De Queen Fire Station.

 

Darby explained his church supports these types of mission trips all across the United States.

 

Darby stated the group will rest, restock and then send out a crew to help clean up after the flood waters recede in Texas.

 

If residents would like to send a thank you note to the church, they may send them to the First Baptist Church of Texas men's group at First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 10, Cason, Texas 75636.

 

 

 

FUND SET UP TO HELP WARD FAMILY         6/2/15

 

The search for Dugan Ward who went missing in the Red River last Wednesday will continue as the weather improves and the river stops rising.

 

Ward went missing when he and his parents went to check on their property in the Red River bottoms, southwest of Ashdown. Ward's parents, Steve and Dee Dee Ward, were rescued about 8 a.m. Thursday morning. They were found holding onto a fence gate surrounded by the flooding Red River.

 

Dugan Ward fell into the river and remains missing.

 

Area residents have been donating food and other items to the family, and a fund has been set up to help support Ward's family at the Mil-Way Credit Union in Ashdown.

 

 

 

KIAMICHI OWA-CHITO FESTIVAL OF THE FOREST MOVED DUE TO FLOODING       6/2/15

 

The 43rd Annual Kiamichi Owa-Chito Festival of the Forest will be moving to the Broken Bow City Park due to flooding at the Beaver's Bend State Park.

 

The Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce announced all events will continue as planed except for the canoe races and they will be scaling back the art show. The art show reception has been canceled.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ACT SUMMER PREP SCHOOL       6/2/15

 

Applications are being accepted at the De Queen High School for their summer ACT prep classes which will be held July 20th through the 23rd and July 27th through the 30th from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day.

 

De Queen students may attend for free, but the cost for students from other school districts is $100. De Queen students who attend every day will be able to take the September 12th ACT exam for free.

 

Students will also be able to attend two refresher nights on Tuesday, September 1st and Tuesday, September 8th from 5 to 7 p.m. prior to the September 12th ACT.

 

Applications should be turned in at the De Queen High School office by Thursday, July 9th in order for teachers to plan for the correct number of materials.

 

For more information, call the De Queen High School at 642-2426.

 

 

 

PICKING UP A FEW ITEMS AT THE DOLLAR TREE       6/2/15

 

On Wednesday, May 27th, Sergeant Gary Cunningham went to the new Dollar Tree store in De Queen in reference to a shoplifter.

 

Dollar Tree Manager Justin Holland reported that a white male who was standing between the two doors confessed to stealing some stuff from the store and that he would pay double for the items if they wouldn't call the police.

 

According to Cunningham, 26-year-old Devin Felipe appeared to be nervous and his pupils were pin pointed.

 

Cunningham stated that Felipe tried to pull away while he was putting handcuffs on him.

 

Cunningham stated that he found three knives on Felipe and Sevier County Jailer Santiago Gonzalez reported he found two small bags of meth in a black box in Felipe's sock along with a syringe and a black smoking device that was packed with marijuana while searching Felipe at the jail.

 

Felipe was charged with shoplifting, possession of a controlled substance-Meth, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of furnishing prohibited articles into the Sevier County jail.

 

 

 

POLICE SEEK PUBLIC'S HELP IN FINDING MISSING WOMAN     6/2/15

 

The Hope Police Department is asking for the public's helping in locating a missing 24-year-old Hempstead County woman who was last seen May 20th.

 

Madeline Tomlin was last seen on May 20th in Hope and according to Hope Assistant Police Chief, Tomlin's family believe it's unlikely that she would willingly go this long without contacting them.

 

Tomlin was last seen wearing light blue cotton pants and a white or cream colored top. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds with brown-red hair and green eyes. Tomlin also has a butterfly tattoo on her foot, the name "Cash" on her ankle and a horseshoe on her shoulder.

 

The Hope Police Department is seeking information regarding her whereabouts. If you have information concerning the disappearance of Tomlin, you are being asked to contact the Hope Police Department at 870-777-3434.

 

  

 

TRAILER HOUSE FIRE IN GILLHAM      6/2/15

 

Early Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Barnes and members of the Gillham Fire Department responded to a house fire at 143 Gillham Lake Road.

 

When Deputy Barnes arrived, the Gillham Fire Department was on the scene and waiting for an employee of SWEPCO to arrive and cut power to the trailer house.

 

Gillham Fire Chief Brandon Herrington reported the trailer was fully engulfed when they arrived, but no one was home.

 

The owner of the trailer house, Jeff Overturf, reported that he and his wife had been out of the town since May 28th, helping their daughter move to Wickes.

 

Herrington reported the fire appeared to start in the North end of the trailer and was most likely caused by an electrical malfunction. No foul play is suspected, but fire fighters were sent back to the trailer around 9:30 Monday morning after the wind kicked up some flames.

 

UA COSSATOT CONTINUES RENOVATIONS AT LOCKESBURG  06/02/15

 

LOCKESBURG - The oldest building on the old Lockesburg High School campus was taken down in a controlled burn by the Lockesburg Volunteer Fire Department last week.

 

The old building was built circa 1929 and served the Lockesburg School district as an elementary, music, and ISS facility before the campus was closed following the 2010 school year.  UA Cossatot now owns the old Lockesburg High School property and plans to keep renovating the grounds to prepare for college and workforce classes to be held there.

 

According to UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, there are two older buildings that are suitable for use.  “In our slow but steady renovation, we have found that the old elementary and music building was a public danger and could not be rehabilitated, so we partnered with the Lockesburg Fire Department in a controlled burn to safely take the structure down.”

 

Extensive mold and termite damage had rendered the building useless. The other building that has been razed on the grounds is the old bus shop.

 

Renovating and preparing the old Lockesburg High School campus is taking more time than originally thought according to Cole, “We are taking a bit more time in the renovation process but we want to ensure the infrastructure is suitable before working on the cosmetics of the site. For public safety reasons, we have also posted no trespassing signs on the property.”

 

UA Cossatot has a target of January 2016 to begin offering classes at Lockesburg.

 

ARKANSAS HEART HOSPITAL TO LEASE HOWARD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL SPECIALTY CLINIC       6/1/15

 

Starting in August, the Arkansas Heart Hospital will lease the Specialty Clinic on the Howard Memorial Hospital campus.

 

Dr. Andre Paixo is an interventional cardiologist and will be in Nashville on the first and third Mondays of each month. He announced he also plans to apply for consulting staff privileges at Howard Memorial.

 

Additional clinic days may be added if necessary and Radiology Director Stacy Harberson and Ultrasound Tech Tessa Jamison reported they are planning to make a site visit to the heart hospital's Peripheral Vascular Institute to determine what equipment and training the hospital will need to provide so the hospital can offer peripheral vascular screening exams.

 

Howard Memorial is also considering offering stress test services once again.

 

 

 

DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL ANNOUNCED BOYS AND GIRLS STATE REPRESENTATIVES       6/1/15

 

De Queen School District Media Relations Director Tammy Whatley announced 11 students will represent De Queen High School during the Arkansas Boys and Girls State events today until Friday, June 5th.

 

Boys and Girls states are sponsored by the American Legion and teach students how government works while developing leadership skills and an appreciation for their rights as citizens.

 

While attending the program, students will run for office, learn public speaking, create and enforce laws and participate in all phases of creating and running a working government.

 

Boys State was started in 1935 and is held on the campus of the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

 

De Queen will be represented by Zachary Acker, Jeffery Davis, Jacob Glasgow and Michael Monroy at Boys State.

 

Girls State is held on the campus of Harding University in Searcy.

 

De Queen will be represented at Girls State by Savanna Hill, Leslie Vertiz, Krishna Patel, Italia Bustamante, Jessica Rogers, Danielle Duggan and Anna Grace Cauley.

 

 

 

FOREMAN SCHOOL DISTRICT PROMOTES COACH HALL TO ATHLETIC DIRECTOR      6/1/15

 

Superintendent George Kennedy announced the district has canceled two bus routes for the remainder of the school year and board members of the Foreman Board of Education approved the district’s school choice applications, but Kennedy said he feels the change in the deadline date may have impacted the number of transfers this year.

 

Board members approved some policy changes to the certified and classified personnel policy handbooks that were recommended by the Arkansas School Board Association.

 

Board members also accepted the resignation of elementary teachers, Nicole Stanford and Cody Friday along with a computer lab aide, Randi Lyn Dawson.

 

Kennedy also announced head basketball coach John Hall was promoted to Athletic Director on an 11-month contract.

 

Board members also voted to hire Natasha Click as a Kindergarten teacher.

 

 

 

JUST DOING A LITTLE SHOPPING      6/1/15

 

On Sunday, May 24th, Patrolman First Class Levi Browning of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to the Dollar General Store to take a report concerning a shoplifter.

 

Dollar General Manager Crystal Clark reported she witnessed two suspects sitting in the store parking lot, shoving things into the backseat.

 

28-year-old Niquisha Smith and 33-year-old Crystal Hill were sitting in a Ford Expedition in front of the store.

 

Browning reported he knew that Smith was wanted on an outstanding warrant and immediately placed her into custody.

 

Browning then watched the surveillance video that showed Hill place some items in a backpack. The video also showed the two women walk out of the store together.

 

After searching Hill's bag, Browning discovered several items that appeared to have been taken from the store and Hill was taken into custody.

 

The total amount of the items taken from the Dollar General Store was $43.95.

 

Both women were cited for shoplifting of $1,000 or less.

 

 

 

VAUGHT REPORTS SPECIAL SESSION WRAPPED UP ON THURSDAY      6/1/15

 

District 4 Representative DeAnn Vaught reported the special session wrapped up the final pieces of legislation Thursday afternoon.

 

Vaught reported the House passed an amended version of a bill that will move the state's May primary to March. The amended portion of the bill includes a sunset clause that was passed by the Senate.

 

The sunset clause says the primary will be held in March for the year 2016 only and will then move back to the May date for future elections.

 

House members also approved a Senate bill to move the Fiscal Session from February to April, 2016.

 

Vaught reported legislators also approved an $87 million dollar bond issue to help Lockheed Martin expand their facilities in Camden if they win a military contract to manufacture a new tactical vehicle for the Army and Marines.

 

UA COSSATOT CHANCELLOR STEVE COLE SPEAKS TO DE QUEEN LIONS   06/01/15

 

DE QUEEN, AR -  Dr. Steve Cole, Chancellor of UA Cossatot, was the guest speaker Tuesday, May 5th at the noon meeting of the De Queen Lions Club.

 

After Chancellor Cole discussed the yearly budget of the college and pointed out that spring graduation will award a record 342 diplomas, he mentioned the innovative textbook program.

 

“Let’s face it, today’s college student simply is asked to pay too much for textbooks, so UA Cossatot decided to end the madness and start an innovative new textbook program, said Cole.  “Beginning this fall, our students will pay no more than $30 per course for a textbook, and in many cases they will have to purchase no textbooks for the semester.”

 

Cole talked about the savings to families, citing that the average student and their family will save over $1,000 per year on the cost of textbooks, while not diluting the learning in the classroom.

 

Dr. Cole then fielded questions from the club, explaining how students will be able to attend UA Cossatot and eVersity this fall which is fully transferable and leads into a four-year degree from the University of Arkansas.  He also answered questions regarding how Arkansas can help undocumented students by making it where they only have to pay in-state tuition. 

 

The De Queen Lions Club is a member of district 7-L and fulfills many local humanitarian projects, including providing eyeglasses for youth in need.

ASHDOWN 4TH GRADERS-WALKING FOR CHRIST   06/01/15

The key to success in any great endeavor is support, and Bro. Jim Cross, pastor of Ashdown/Richmond First United Methodist Church, emphasizes that "the wonderful community support from Ashdown is what has led to the great success of Impact 2015 - Walking for Christ."

Cross's 30-mile solo Walk for Christ, now in its third year, has raised over $50,00 thus far, with the largest amount - $21,600 - being raised this year.  The ten-hour-long walk on April 11 ended at Dick Hays Stadium, where Cross was greeted by over 200 supporters enjoying catfish dinners and dozens of kids enjoying games and jump houses -- exactly the kind of scene Cross thrives on. 

Walking for Christ was the vision of Bro. Jim, a tireless mentor for young people, in 2012 when he felt led to raise awareness and financial support for several causes where children are in need.  He has divided the funds he has raised between scholarships for high school graduates with medical issues, Relay for Life, and UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), a world-wide distribution center in Baldwin, Louisiana, who are using his contributions toward building a dormitory to host volunteer workers at the center. 

He also divides the funds to support various school campus needs, such as a pavilion for the L. F. Henderson Intermediate School playground and new turf for the Ashdown High School football field.  In addition, Cross has donated financial assistance to families of Ashdown school children who have suffered loss and illness, including Brandon Cramer, who is still fighting to recover from massive brain injuries during an accident in 2013.

Pictured with Bro. Jim Cross (center) are members of the fourth grade student council at L. F. Henderson Intermediate School, who are part of the network of supporters for Bro. Jim's walk.  These students organized a coin drive called "Changing Lives with Change" and collected $259.39 at their school, which they donated to Impact 2015 - Walking for Christ.   Fourth Grade Student Council members posing with Cross are (front - l to r) Marty Lansdell, Adrian Salazar, Derek Hilton, Gracie Young, (back) Dylan Rose, Yajairah Medrano, Lilyan House, Dal Ringgold, Kaydence Briggs, Abby Butler, Jared Day, Stacy Walker, and StuCo sponsor Mrs. Linda Davis. 

 

ASHDOWN SCHOLARSHIP TEA  06/01/15

The annual Ashdown Scholarship Tea was held on Sunday, May 3, 2015 at 2p.m. in the Ashdown High School Cafeteria. Forty-six scholarships of $ 23,750 were given to 39 Ashdown High School Seniors.

The Scholarship Committee has awarded over 100% of all donated moneys for some time due to investments. We plan to continue this trend and strive both to recognize students’ needs and to reward their hard work and high aspirations.

Last year, we awarded 39 scholarships with a total value of $15,948. This brings the total scholarships to over 477 awarded to 984 students over the course of our 28 year history. The committee has authorized an alumni fund through which former students of Ashdown High School, businesses, or other individuals may contribute to the program in any amount and at any time. Such contributions may be made in honor or memory of friends and loved ones. Scholarships are tax deductible and may be sent to Ashdown Public Schools, 511 N. 2nd St., Ashdown, AR 71822. You may attention your correspondence to: Ashdown Scholarship Committee. You may call 870-898-3208 if you have any questions.

We would like to thank all of the donors for allowing us to continue honoring our deserving seniors from Ashdown High School. We would also like to encourage businesses, as well as individuals to support the scholarship program.

Pictured:  (l-r) Front row: Taylor Tallant - Brian Stapp Memorial, Nekhoe Hogan - AHS Beta Club and Bishop & Bishop,  Zane Lovell - AHS Band Boosters, Logan Trafford - AHS Band Boosters, Alex Coleman - Ashdown Alumni Association,           Payton Turner - Cecil & Beth Bowman Memorial and Bob Porter, Tiffany Gabbard - Domtar, Brittanie Bertrand - Jalen Lewis Memorial, Cortnie Greeson - Family Medical Associates.

Second Row: Amari Davis - Wesley Strange Memorial, Dakota Davis - Shirl & Nancy McCoy, Cierra Staten - Jalen Lewis Memorial, Brittany Martin - Class of 2007, Zentrella McClain - Mr. & Mrs. Jim Mounts, Eboni Hopkins - Ashdown Scholarship Committee, Kienda McFadden - Ashdown Athletic Booster Club - Coleman Pearson, Curtina Harper - Coca- Cola.

Third Row: Starnes York - Vestco LLC and James E. Sutton Jr. Memorial, Emily Mulholland - William L. & Mary E. Welch Memorial, Allie Anderson - Mil-Way Federal Credit Union, Allison Brewer - Little River County Retired Teachers, Rachel Pounds - William Coker Memorial and Little River County Extension Homemakers, Asphen Beard - Ashdown Alumni Association and Jackson Auto Mark, Madison Newton - Class of 1989 and Rotary Club, Mercardo Anderson - Hillis Family Dental.

Last Row: Lexy Wake - Cecil & Beth Bowman Memorial and Coleman Pearson Memorial, Jada Beth Fricks - Vestco LLC and Ashdown School Administrators, Abby Burchfield - Ashdown Alumni Association, Rebecca Wood - Little River Hardwoods, Inc., Alexis Houck - Ashdown Alumni Association, Kayley Miller - Jalen Lewis Memorial, Chelsie Stewart - Ashdown Eye Care, Aubrey Burchfield - Ashdown Alumni Association, Drew Akins - Davis Feed and Fred C. Jester Memorial.

Not Pictured:    Jason Fields - Ashdown Athletic Booster Club, Melanie Barwick - First Guaranty Insurance, Stefan Sanders - Kaufman Seeds Memorial, Dakotah Wilson - Ashdown Scholarship Committee & Lamontrick Turner - Wesley Strange