Southwest Arkansas Daily
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DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT HONORED BY NATIONAL SOCIETY OF HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARS 8/29/14
The National Society of High School Scholars announced that De Queen High School student Justyce Brown of Lockesburg has been selected to become a member of the esteemed organization.
The Society recognizes the top scholars who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, scholarship and community commitment.
The announcement was made by the founder and chairman of the Society, Claes Nobel.
Nobel stated that he was honored to recognize the hard work, sacrifice and commitment that Brown has demonstrated to achieve this exceptional level of academic excellence and that she is now a member of a community that represents the very best hope for our future.
Membership into the Society entitles qualified students the opportunity to enjoy a variety of benefits, including scholarship opportunities, academic competitions, free events, member-only resources, publications, and participation is programs offered by educational partners.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR 8/29/14
The Little River County Fair got underway this week and the swine judging contest was held Wednesday evening.
Angie Lewis of the Little River County Extension Office provided KDQN with the category winners and Grand Champions of the swine show.
Lewis reported that there were nine classes of market hogs during the swine show and that in class 1 with weights between 110 to 124 pounds, the winner was Gabrelle Leon followed by Monica Lansdell, Haley Wright and Daylon Haylee.
In class 2 with weights between 133 and 143 pounds, the winner was Haley Wright followed by Lyndon Youngblood, Mackyenze Dollarhide, Caleb Carver, and Daylon Haylee.
In class 3 with weights between 146 and 149 pounds, the winner was George Lepoard followed by Brooke Dierks, Braille Fondren, Leanna Stephens, and Cody Flowers.
In class 4 with weights between 150 and 155 pounds, the winner was George Lepoard followed by Mackenzie Scott, Derreck Magby, Reina Anderson, Monica Kennington, and Timothy Wright.
In class 5 with weights between 157 and 167 pounds, the winner was Maddie McAllister followed by Lyndon Youngblood, Carlenda Shelton, Gabrelle Leon and Rebecca Wood.
In class 6 with weights between 170 and 176 pounds, the winner was Cody Flowers followed by Caleb Carver, Timothy Wright and Marina Clayton.
In class 7 with weights between 178 and 182 pounds, the winner was Mackyenze Dollarhide, Lydon Youngblood, Reina Anderson, Rebecca Wood and Mackyenze Scott.
In class 8 with weights between 187 and 191 pounds, the winner was Marina Clayton followed by Carlenda Shelton and Lucas Anderson.
In class 9 with weights between 195 and 204 pounds, the winner was Mackyneze Dollarhide followed by Leanna Stephens and Derreck Magby.
The Grand Champion Hog came from class 7 and was exhibited by Mackyenze Dollarhide and the Reserve Grand Champion Hog came from class 8 and was exhibited by Marina Clayton.
In the breed classes, Rebecca Wood took first with her April Duroc (DO ROCK) Boar, while Mackyenze Dollarhide took first place with her April Gilt Duroc.
Mackyenze Dollarhide was the Grand Champion and Rebecca Wood was the Reserved Grand Champion.
Lyndon Youngblood won the Junior Showmanship award. Maddie MacAllister won the Intermediate Showman title and Carlenda Shelton was named the Senior Showman winner.
The 2014 Little River County Rodeo Royalty Contest will Friday night at 7 p.m. along with the Tiny Tot Contest and then the Ringgold Rodeo will start at 8.
ONE DEFENDANT SENTENCED TO 6 YEARS IN ADC 8/29/14
On August 21st, Mitchell Everhart changed his plea to guilty on two counts in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Judge Charles Yeargan.
Everhart was sentenced to 6 years with 3 suspended in the Arkansas Department of Corrections on the charge of theft by receiving and another 3 years on the charge of forgery in the 2nd degree. Everhart will receive credit for time that he has served in the Sevier County jail.
Two defendants will return to court on September 4th for their pre-trial hearings.
Pre-trial motions will be heard in the case against Aaron Moreland and Barry McKinney.
Moreland is being charged with delivery of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, while McKinney has elected to represent himself after being charged with theft by receiving, delivery of methamphetamine and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
A trial date of November 19th was set in the case against Dylan Carter. He's been charged with 3 counts of theft of property and 3 counts of breaking and entering.
SCRUTINIZE SECRET SHOPPER OFFERS 8/29/14
Few consumers would turn away the opportunity to get paid to go shopping at department store or dine at fine restaurants. That's why it's fairly common for consumers to fall victim to scams involving that type of job opportunity.
Con artists who perpetrate the "secret shopper" scam entice consumers with promises of cash payments if a consumer will evaluate the customer service at a store or restaurant while acting as an ordinary customer.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has issued a consumer alert to remind consumers about this scam and to warn consumers not to become victims of wire-fraud schemes.
Operators of the "secret shopper" scam send consumers a check, typically for three to four thousand dollars and ask the consumer to deposit the check and then use the money to make purchases at retail stores.
Once those minor purchases are made, consumers are asked to wire the remaining money to their employer, who is usually in a foreign country. Victims are then promised that they will receive a paycheck in the mail for their services, but that check never arrives.
Many times, the shoppers are told to complete the task and wire the money within 48 hours or risk losing their new job. The reason for this deadline is the scammer doesn't want the bank to have enough time to tell you the check is counterfeit.
So if you are promised free money in this or a similar scam, you should throw away any unexpected or unsolicited checks that come in the mail.
You should also be careful about employment opportunities that has no screening process and be leery of companies based in Canada or overseas that claim to have secret shopper or work-at-home jobs available.
And, you should never wire funds or provide information from a MoneyPak card to an unknown person or business.
For more information about this or other consumer issues visit the Attorney General's website gotyourbackarkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
WIN A LIFETIME SPORTSMAN PERMIT WHILE HELPING OTHERS 8/29/14
Residents of Southwest Arkansas like to hunt and fish and they like to help those in need, well, now they have an opportunity to do both at the same time.
The Southwest Arkansas Crisis and Resource Center is currently selling tickets for an opportunity to win a lifetime resident hunting and fishing sportsman's permit, but some may not be familiar with this center.
Executive Director Courtney White stated that the center needed to raise funds to help victims of domestic abuse and other crimes because they do not receive funding from the state or federal government.
White stated the Sportsman permit is an annual event and they will only be selling 350 tickets this year.
Tickets are only $20 each or 6 for $100 and the winner will be announced at 10 a.m. on September 30th at Harris Drug and Gifts in De Queen, but you don't have to be present to win.
KING RUNNING FOR ALDERMAN IN DE QUEEN 08/29/14
Matthew King of De Queen announced his candidacy for Ward 1, Position 1 for De Queen City Council. Two other candidates are running for the same position. Following is his announcement:
I, Matthew King want to announce my intent to run for the position of De Queen City Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1.
I have called De Queen home for the last 3 years; however, I consider myself a long time resident, having spent my summers here with family and friends.
I graduated from Texas A&M University in Texarkana with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. While obtaining my degree, I worked for Ayers Cleaners and Chandler Funeral Home. Currently I am employed at Pilgrim’s, working as data analyst for production where I have been for the last year.
This past year I participated in the Sevier County Leadership Program through the Chamber of Commerce. While in the program I decided that I wanted to be more involved in our city. Our city has great potential and I want to see it prosper for many years to come. I feel that it is important to our city’s longevity to do what we can to keep local businesses and industry here. Without jobs for our citizens our town cannot thrive. De Queen is not just the place I live; it’s the place I call home. It is my hope that if elected, I will be able to serve the city not only as a voice for local businesses but for all of its citizens as well.
I’m asking for your support November 4th. If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me at (870)-642-6142.
AREA STATE PARKS CELEBRATING LEGACY WEEK 8/28/14
Arkansas State Parks are celebrating legacy week through Saturday. Legacy week is being held to highlight the history of our state parks and to honor them.
Millwood State Park will hold several activities this weekend as a part of legacy week.
Friday evening, the park will host a night hike of Waterfowl Way Trail and on Saturday at 9 a.m., park interpreters will talk about the creation of the park and discuss how it has evolved.
Sunday morning, the park will host a kayak tour at 9 a.m. The cost of the tour is $10 for adults and $5 for children.
For additional information, contact the Millwood State Park at 870-898-2800.
At the Cossatot River State Park, park interpreters will discuss the natural history of the Ouachita Mountains and describe the unique plants and animals that live there from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday.
They will play the naming game from 11 until noon, while surveying a section of the Waterleaf Trail and then you can get artistic by taking your guitars, paint brushes and creative mind and discover how the Cossatot River Park inspires you.
Friday will feature a morning stroll from 9 to 10 a.m. and then see if you can get inspired to write a poem after taking a short hike through nature.
For a complete list of activities this weekend at the Cossatot River State Park, check out our website at KDQN.net or call 870-358-2201.
HART PROMOTED TO VICE PRESIDENT AT BANCORPSOUTH 8/28/14
The Hope Market President of BancorpSouth, Donny Hughes, announced this week that Teri Hart as been promoted to Vice President and Loan Officer.
Hart has 33-years of banking experience and joined BancorpSouth's predecessor, First Federal Saving and Loan in 1996.
Hughes stated that BancorpSouth was fortunate to have someone with Hart's experience and ties to the community in their De Queen office.
Hart is a native of De Queen and is current member and board member of the De Queen Lions Club and has served as an alderman on the De Queen City Council and on the board of the De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce.
BancorpSouth is headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, with approximately $13 billion dollars in assets and operates approximately 300 commercial banking, mortgage and insurance locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois.
2014 CONSERVING OUR PASTURES WORKSHOP 8/28/14
Landowners and livestock producers that are interested in cost-share programs and best management practices are encouraged to attend the 2014 Conserving our Pastures Workshop.
The workshop will be held on September 3rd at the University of Arkansas Research and Extension Center in Hope. The workshop will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude around 12:30. [The address for the center is: 362 Highway 174 North, Hope.]
Lunch will be provided following the informative session. Natural resource professionals with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Natural Resource Conservation Service and Arkansas Natural Resource Commission will discuss management of grazing lands including rotational grazing, alternative water sources, and stream side fencing. Presenters will also tie these practices into available cost-share programs and provide information on how to obtain cost-share if desired.
Jeff Taverner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stated they will have a great program set up that will cover nearly all financial incentive programs that are available. He said if you are a cattle producer, this workshop will explain the incentive programs and show them how they can improve their bottom line, while improving their water quality. He explained that these programs will also help prevent severe erosion from stream banks, as well as, provide a source of fresh clean water for livestock.
To RSVP, call 870-777-9702 extension 100. Reservations are encouraged so they can estimate how many meals they will need to provide.
For more information about the workshop, contact Mike Budd at 870-473-2869.
CHILD FIND CAMPAIGN IN ASHDOWN 08/27/14
The Ashdown School District is participating in an ongoing statewide effort to identify, locate, and evaluate children from birth to age 21 who have a physical, mental, communicative and/or emotional disability, as part of the Child Find Campaign.
According to Special Services Director Jan Ueckert of the Ashdown School District, this is something they constantly do.
"We are always seeking those children," Ueckert says, "It is something we do every year."
According to Ueckert, early identification of children in need of special education services is most important to each child. Furthermore, this information gathered from contacts with parents and other agencies will be used to help determine present and future program needs as progress is made toward the goal of providing a free appropriate public education to all children with a disability.
"It's the federal law that we have to identify these kids so that we are in a position to meet their needs," Ueckert continues.
The Ashdown School District works with the local Head Starts, Human Services, Health Department, and Mental Health agencies, as well as local education agencies, physicians, and other individuals to identify and locate children in school and out of school who may be in need of special education services.
Anyone who knows any child who may have a disability is asked to contact Ueckert at 870-898-4404 or visit the ASD Support Center office at 460 NW Front Street.
Submitted by Carolyn Henderson
UA COSSATOT OFFERING CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES TO THE SURROUNDING AREA 8/27/14
According to UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole, one of Cossatot's purposes is to provide educational opportunities to the residents of the counties that the college serves and Zebbie Minton of UA Cossatot's Continuing Education Department announced this week the fall schedule including short term courses to get you ready for a new career, community courses and kids classes.
Minton mentioned that UA Cossatot is offering short term courses that will have you job ready in about a month in the areas of truck driving, pharmacy tech and more.
She announced that UA Cossatot would be offering some new community classes like yoga and Civil War Era quilting.
There will also be classes for kids and small businesses.
For more information about the continuing education classes at UA Cossatot, call 584-4471 and ask for the continuing education department. Minton also mentioned that a copy of the schedule is on the station's website, KDQN.net and the college's website at cccua.edu.
UA COSSATOT INSTRUCTOR RETURNS TO THE US 8/27/14
UA Cossatot Biological Science Instructor Molly Sirigiri returned to Nashville over the weekend and returned to the classroom today.
Sirigiri has lived in Nashville for four years, while teaching on the Howard County Campus of UA Cossatot and this summer, she joined a group of members of the First Baptist Church in Nashville and several other churches on a mission trip to Guatemala.
The group completed their mission project within a week at an orphanage, but when they returned to Houston, she was informed that her particular type of VISA allowed her to travel outside of the United States, but would not allow her to re-enter the states.
So, Sirigiri was flown back to India where college officials, the University of Arkansas System officials, and U.S. officials worked to process the necessary paperwork for her to return to Nashville and her job.
UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole stated this was the best possible result, because Sirigiri is a vital part of the Cossatot staff and a vital member of her church and the community of Nashville.
Cole gave credit to the state's U.S. Senators and the UA System, as well as Kelly Plunk, the UA Cossatot Human Resources Director and Crystal Sims who is a Biological Science Instructor in helping Sirigiri returned to the states and for covering her academic duties.
Sirigiri teaches General Biology, Microbiology and Anatomy and Physiology.
TWO AREA RESIDENTS APPOINTED TO ARKANSAS BOARDS 8/27/14
Two area residents were recently appointed to state boards by Governor Mike Beebe.
Deb Tackett of Nashville was appointed to the Arkansas Early Childhood Commission. Her appointment will expire July 1st, 2017.
Tackett is the principal of the Nashville Junior High School and has over 34 years of experience in the field of education and has worked in the Nashville School District for 32 years.
Karen Massey of Hope was appointed to the Children's Behavioral Health Care Commission. Her appointment will expire August 15th of 2017.
STUCK VEHICLE RESULTS IN ARREST 8/27/14
Saturday, August 23rd, an off-duty investigator with the Sevier County Sheriff's office reported that a vehicle was stuck on the high line just off a road that leads to some property that he has leased off Ottawa Road.
Deputies Clayton Yates and Brian Hankins were dispatched to the area and observed a male subject walking up Ottawa Road, when the subject saw the patrol cars; he turned away from the officers and started walking on a lease road.
The subject was identified as 33-year-old John Wayne Billingsley of McAllister, Oklahoma.
Billingsley informed the deputies that he was trying to get his truck unstuck, which was in a large mud hole and leaning on the passenger side.
When the deputies ran the license plate of the vehicle, it returned to a James or Susan Hoffman of Oklahoma.
Deputies received permission to search the vehicle and discovered a pill bottle containing what appeared to be Xanex bars in it with no identification on the bottle. Billingsley was then taken into custody.
After Billingsley was transported to the Sevier County jail, Deputy Yates discovered a concealed gun holster in the back of his patrol car.
While searching Billingsley at the jail, deputies discovered a small clear bag that contained suspected methanphetamine.
Later that afternoon, deputies returned to Ottawa Road and began searching the area where they first discovered Billingsley for a firearm that he may of discarded.
Deputies found a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson in the brush about 30 feet from where they saw him standing when they turned onto the lease road. They also found three spent shell casing that matched live .40 caliber rounds that they found in the truck.
Billingsley is being charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a certain person and simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms.
HORATIO HIGH SCHOOL HOSTS BLOOD DRIVE 8/27/14
LifeShare Blood Center is having a blood drive this Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Horatio High School.
LifeShare Blood Centers announced that this blood drive was apart of the 2014 LifeScholars program, which is a program designed to honor students who demonstrate community service and leadership by becoming regular blood donors. LifeShare Blood Centers donor recruiter Karen Siefert stated that has young people are learning about responsibilities, they should also learn that one of the greatest gifts they can give, is the gift of life by donating blood.
Every school has the opportunity to earn scholarships for students, regardless of the size of the school or its athletic classification.
The community is encouraged to donate blood and support the students of Horatio High School.
According to statistics, about one in seven people that enter a hospital will need a blood product and one blood donation can save up to three lives.
LifeShare Blood Centers supplies all of the blood components of the Southwest Arkansas area hospitals, so your donation may save the life of someone you know.
DEMOCRATIC AG HOPEFUL ANNOUNCES LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 8/27/14
Democratic attorney general hopeful Nate Steel of Nashville says sex offenders should no longer be eligible for parole and should be required to carry drivers licenses with a special imprint.
The state representative unveiled a series of proposals that he says he will push in the Legislature next year if he is elected attorney general this November.
Steel says his proposals are primarily aimed at addressing the state's prison overcrowding issue.
Steel also proposed increasing funding for drug courts, establishing a veteran's advocacy unit in the attorney general's office and using up-to-date technology to find parents who are not paying child support.
Steel is running against Republican nominee Leslie Rutledge.
The two are running to succeed Democratic Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.
ASHDOWN STUDENT TO SERVE AS U.S. SENATE PAGE 08/27/14
Anthony Bennett Jr., a junior at Ashdown High School, is about to live the experience of a lifetime as an official employee on the floor of the United States Senate in Washington D.C. for five months.
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor nominated Bennett to become one of the most recognized employees on the Senate floor -- a U.S. Senate Page. Pages must be high school juniors with at least a 3.0 GPA and apply with a resume and various essays. Bennett applied, was selected as a finalist, and then eight days later was notified of his selection shortly before the beginning of classes for this year at AHS. Bennett reports for his duties on September 7
Bennett will be one of thirty Senate Pages for the fall term -- 15 girls and 15 boys. He will attend AHS for the first two weeks of school and then transfer to the Washington Senate Page School for the fall semester. He will attend school from 5:00 a.m to 9:00 a.m. daily and then be on the Senate floor to assist Senator Pryor and others as needed in the afternoons. His term will end on January 16, 2015, with an awards assembly.
Bennett is the son of Wynne Bell and Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Bennett Sr., and the grandson Mary and Mack Grimes and Barbara Hemphill.
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher
ARKANSAS BEAR SURVEY NEEDS EYES IN THE FIELD 8/27/14
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission needs your help to determine the number and locations of black bears in bear zones 3 and 4 in southern Arkansas.
Arkansas Game and Fish bear program coordinator Myron Means stated the commission is soliciting the public's input from people who have photographs of black bears in those two zones.
Zones 3 and 4 include all of Grant, Cleveland, Dallas, Nevada, Ouachita, Calhoun, Bradley, Drew, Ashley, Union, Columbia, Lafayette, Hempstead, Little River and Miller counties, as well as parts of Pulaski, Saline, Hot Spring, Clark, Pike, Howard, Sevier, Jefferson, Lincoln, Chicot and Desha counties.
Means said the commission needs photographs and GPS location information to assess the abundance and distribution of the bear population in this part of the state. He explained that most of the land in this part of the state is privately owned, so the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission does not have a large land base to conduct surveys for an accurate estimate of the population. So they need documentable evidence and locations of sightings within the last year.
Means says the commission is trying to determine if the population's abundance and distribution have the potential for hunting opportunities.
If you have any photographs with GPS information that has been taken within the last year, you are being asked to send them to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission by November 30th. You can email your pictures to email@example.com.
ASHDOWN TO STUDENTS CELEBRATE GRANDPARENTS DAY 08/27/14
Four Ashdown schools are inviting grandparents to their campus on Friday, Sept. 5, to celebrate Grandparents' Day with their grandchildren. Ashdown Schools recognizes the importance of parental support, including grandparents, in the educational success of its students and wishes to honor their contributions.
Margaret Daniel Primary kindergarten and first graders invite their grandparents to join them in their classrooms from 8:30-9:15 that morning, and second and third graders at C. D. Franks Elementary will do the same from 8:30-9:30.
L. F. Henderson Intermediate grades 4-5 welcome grandparents from 9:30-10:30 to come to the front office, where they will be escorted to their grandchild's classroom to share juice and donuts.
At Ashdown Junior High School (grades 6-8), grandparents may enjoy breakfast with their grandchild from 7:45-8:30 in the cafeteria, with the adult breakfast costing $1.90.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY FAIR LIVESTOCK JUDGING RESULTS 08/27/14
The 72 Annual Little River County Fair, Rodeo, and Livestock
Show kicked off yesterday starting with the Parade @ 6:pm, Rabbits
show @ 6:30 followed by the Goat Show 7:30.
Grand Champion Goat came from Class 3 shown by Kinley Wright
ASHDOWN SCHOOL RECEIVES GRANT FROM RONALD MCDONALD CHARITIES 08/27/14
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Texarkana recently presented a $2,300 grant to Margaret Daniel Primary School in Ashdown to help fund their Summer Reading Connection program. The reading program, which has just completed its fifth year at MDP, provides two books a week per child for children to maintain their level of reading through the summer break.
Since its start in 1995, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Texarkana has provided more than $895,000 in grants to non-profit organizations in this area.
Pictured are Jason Sadowski, Ronald McDonald House Charities board member and local McDonald's owner/ operator, and Kay York, principal of MDP.
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher
By Waymon Cox
Greetings from Crater of Diamonds State Park! Visitors from all over the world have come to the Crater and searched for diamonds this summer. Many have found their own rock and mineral treasures to take home, while others have treasured memories of our walking trails, Kimberlite Café, Diamond Springs, and more.
Unfortunately, litter can tarnish memories of an outdoor adventure, like searching for diamonds. It ruins the beauty of our world and can have long-lasting negative effects on the environment. Disposing of trash properly helps preserve our natural surroundings and the exciting encounters that await us in the outdoors!
Our experiences while on vacation heavily influence where we travel in the future. To show others how beautiful the Natural State can be, on Saturday, September 6, Crater of Diamonds State Park will host the 7th Annual Great Crater Cleanup, from 1 – 4 p.m., in conjunction with the Keep Arkansas Beautiful Commission’s Great Arkansas Cleanup.
Gloves and trash bags will be provided, and Great Arkansas Cleanup t-shirts will be given away while supplies last. All ages are invited to attend. Volunteers should arrive at the Visitor Center by 1 p.m. to register and gather supplies. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring drinking water. After the cleanup, volunteers are invited to meet in the Visitor Center Theater for refreshments and a drawing for great prizes!
For more information contact Crater of Diamonds State Park at 870-285-3116 or by e-mail at CraterofDiamonds@Arkansas.com. This year help our park and state shine like a diamond during the Great Crater Cleanup and Great Arkansas Cleanup!
Keep up with the Crater by subscribing to our free e-newsletter!
Most recent significant precipitation: August 18, 20214
Diamond finds for the week
of August 17, 2014 (100 points = one carat):
ASHDOWN SCHOOL’S SERENITY CAFÉ OPEN NOW 08/27/14
Serenity Cafe, the Ashdown High School coffee shop, is now open for the 2014-15 school year! Beginning this week, the new baristas in Mrs. Shauna Tipton's Entrepreneur class are ready to fix their customers up with a gourmet drink in the early morning or mid afternoon. Shop hours are 7:30-8:40 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m., as well as during home football games. Location is in the old band hall, across from Dick Hays Stadium.
The menu contains a delicious drink for everyone -- flavored coffees, cappuccino, a variety of lattes, specialty dark hot chocolate, along with frozen and cold drinks like frappe`, vegan fruit smoothies, and, new this year, Italian sodas in strawberry and cherry flavors. The students are working on the possibility of adding frozen lemonade too! All ingredients are of premium quality, along with top-of-the-line drink making equipment.
The coffee shop is part of the class curriculum for Mrs. Tipton's Entrepreneurship class. Two years ago, her class won a grant to fund the setup of the business and to support its continuing operation. Last year, the remodeling, purchase of equipment, and barista training was completed, and the Serenity Cafe came to life. The sale of the drinks helps a little to offset the expense of the shop's operation, but the most important aspect is the hands-on training the students get as they run the shop, keep the books, and make inventory purchases. However, none of this would be possible without the support of patrons who love good coffee or smoothies or Italian sodas!
The young baristas want to encourage the public to continue to support them, enjoy the drinks they brew up, and always expect to get service with a smile!
Submitted by Carolyn Henderson
5 CARNIES ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL TRESPASS 8/26/14
Friday, August 22nd, an officer with the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to a home on 3rd Street to take a report for Breaking and Entering.
Upon his arrival, Officer David Higgins interviewed the resident of the house, Chris White, who reported that five men showed up at his house and knocked on his door. He told the officer that he didn't know the men so he didn't open the door, but they went around the house and kicked the back door in, saying he owed them money.
White said they exchanged words and he ran out the front door.
White informed Higgins that he recognized one the men and described the four of the men as being black. White said, one had dread locks, another was tall, skinny and had a bald head and was wearing a white t-shirt, two of the men had beards and one was a short, heavy-set Hispanic man.
White said he had seen the men working at the carnival at the Sevier County Fairgrounds.
Higgins was then accompanied by Patrolman Bucky Sawyer, Sergeant Chad Bradshaw and Deputy Charles Emmerich of the Sevier County Sheriff's office to locate the suspects at the Sevier County fairgrounds.
After being transported to the De Queen Police Station, four of the five men admitted to entering White's home; however one suspect, 51-year-old Eugene Harris of Houston, Texas denied leaving the fairgrounds, but the other four suspects placed Harris at White's home.
All five suspects were charged with criminal trespass and released.
The other four suspects included; 39-year-old Christopher Davis of Memphis, Tennessee; 23-year-old Arturo Leos of Corpus Christi, Texas; 40-year-old Charles Hollins of Houston, Texas; and 33-year-old Paul Brooks of New Orleans, Louisiana.
ASHDOWN STUDENT SELECTED AS A U.S. SENATE PAGE 8/26/14
Anthony Bennett Jr. is a junior at Ashdown High School and is about to live the experience of a lifetime as an official employee on the floor of the United States Senate in Washington D.C. for five months.
Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor nominated Bennett to become one of the most recognized employees on the Senate floor, a U.S. Senate Page.
Pages must be high school juniors with at least a 3.0 GPA and apply with a resume and various essays.
Bennett applied, was selected as a finalist and then eight days later was notified of his selection shortly before the start of classes last week. Bennett will report for his duties on September 7th.
Bennett will be one of 30 Senate Pages for the fall term and he will attend Ashdown High School for the first two weeks of school and then transfer to the Washington Senate Page School for the remainder of the semester.
Bennett will attend school from 5 to 9 a.m. daily and then be on the Senate floor to assist Senator Pryor and others as needed in the afternoon. His term will end on January 16, with an awards assembly.
Bennett is the son of Wynne Bell and Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Bennett Sr. and the grandson of Mary and Mack Grimes and Barbara Hemphill.
CASA ADVOCATES NEEDED 8/26/14
All children need a voice and someone to listen to them and the Howard County CASA program is looking for area residents that are willing to serve as that voice for children that are currently in an out of home placement.
Lindsey Duffy of Texarkana informed KDQN that volunteers can learn more about the program by attending an informational meeting this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. in the Howard County Children's Advocacy Center on Clark Street in Nashville.
Duffy explained that CASA volunteer advocates help abused and neglected children during juvenile dependency-neglect proceedings reach safe, permanent homes. She said a CASA volunteer acts as a fact finder of the child's best interest, providing judges with valuable information on the child to help the court make a sound decision about the child's future.
Duffy also said anyone that cares about children can serve as a CASA volunteer.
Duffy stated that currently 25 children in Howard County are in the child welfare system and those children need you to be their voice and help look out for they best interest.
For more information, contact Duffy at 903-278-1198.
DONATIONS TO FIRE DEPARTMENT BENEFITS CITIZENS 8/26/14
De Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt spoke informed the members of the De Queen City Council that his department had received a donation from the Dunlop Family in the amount of $3,000.
Aldermen appropriated those funds to allow the department to purchase smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for the residents of De Queen.
Chief Pruitt stated the donation was more than expected, but the department will now be able to help more residents make their homes safe.
Pruitt also reported that after the recent storm that knocked over several trees in the area, the department realized that their current storm cleanup equipment was inadequate.
Pruitt stated that he contacted Joe Wilson at Husqvarna wanting to purchase some new equipment, but Wilson one upped him by donating some chainsaws and a pole saw to the department.
Pruitt explained that with donations like these, his department is able to serve the community of De Queen to the best of their ability.
For more information concerning smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors, contact the fire department by calling 584-7224.
HUCKABEE STOP THE FIGHT OVER COMMON CORE 8/26/14
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says fellow conservatives should stop the fight over Common Core education standards and instead consider the benefits the benchmarks offer students in struggling schools.
Huckabee's comments were made Friday and put him at odds with a significant bloc of Republicans, including many of his potential rivals for the 2016 presidential nomination.
Huckabee acknowledges the standards have become politically toxic, but he says parents from both parties should stop fighting the standards, which states voluntarily adopted and describe what reading and language skills students should learn in each grade.
Tea party-styled conservatives have branded the standards as one-size-fits-all prescriptions that have the backing of President Barack Obama. Teacher unions oppose their members being graded on how well students learn the more rigorous skills.
KING ANNOUNCES INTENT TO SEEK POSITION ON DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL 8/26/14
Matthew King announced today that he intends to run for a position as a De Queen City Alderman, Ward 1, Position 1, which is currently being held by Kathy Richards.
King reported that he has called De Queen his home for the past 3-years, but spent several summers here visiting family and friends as a young person.
King graduated from Texas A&M University in Texarkana with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He worked at Ayers Cleaners and Chandler Funeral Home, while obtaining his degree and is currently employed at Pilgrim's as a data analyst for production.
Last year, King participated in the Sevier County Leadership Program through the chamber of commerce and while participating in the program, decided to get more involved in city government.
King said De Queen has great potential and he wants to see it prosper for many years to come. He said he feels it’s important to keep local businesses and industry here because without jobs the city cannot thrive.
King stated that De Queen is not just a place where he lives, but is the place he calls home and if elected, he will serve the city, not only as a voice for the local businesses but for all of its citizens as well.
King stated he is asking for your support on November 4th during the general election and if you have any questions, contact him at 870-642-6142.
SCHOOL YEAR OFF TO A GREAT START AT DIERKS 8/26/14
Things are off to a great start in the Dierks School District and new Superintendent Holly Cothren even though there have been several changes this year.
Cothren and the district is still trying to correct a minor issue with the district's new safe room and, she mentioned the district made some upgrades to the district's technology by purchasing several laptops and creating new e-classrooms.
Members of the Dierks Board of Education approved the transfer of a couple of students and included a statement to the district's athletic handbook that states the district is not responsible for any loss or damaged personal items while players are traveling to activities.
Cothren also reported that the district approved a drug testing policy that will help student athletes say no to drugs.
Campus principals reported that enrollment for the district stood at 321 at the elementary and 266 at the high school.
AREA ACT SCORES ON THE RISE ALONG WITH STATE AVERAGES 8/25/14
According to the Arkansas Department of Education, Arkansas high school graduates are performing better on the ACT, with scores improving in several areas.
The report stated the state's composite ACT score increased from 20.2 in 2013 to 20.4 in 2014.
Department of Education Commissioner Tony Wood stated that even though scores are improving there is still work to do to ensure that every student graduates ready to attend college or start a career.
De Queen High School Counselor Ramona Hill informed KDQN that high school test scores improved by over a point from 18.0 in 2013 to 19.1 in 2014.
Department of Higher Education Director Shane Broadway reported that a score of 19 on the ACT in the areas of math and English is an indicator that students are ready for college.
Hill explained that De Queen High School is offering AP classes and offer a summer prep classes.
Hill said every student at De Queen High School takes the ACT exam at least once every year, while approximately 93 percent of the students take the test at least once state wide.
Hill also reminded students that the De Queen District is a testing center for every ACT test and now it a testing center for the SAT exam.
For more information about the ACT or SAT test, contact Hill at the De Queen High School at 642-2426.
AREA CONFERENCES CONCERNING OPEN ENROLLMENT FOR RETIRED TEACHERS 8/25/14
The Arkansas Retired Teachers Association is attempting to educate its members concerning the recent changes to the association's non-Medicare and Medicare retiree coverage through a series of meeting around the state.
The association is offering classes over the Open Enrollment, which is scheduled for this October.
Area members of the retired teachers association are invited to attend one of several meetings that are being held in larger cities throughout the months of August and September.
Coming up August 26th, a class will be offered in Little Rock at the Arkansas Teacher Retirement Building, but there's going to be a meeting in Texarkana, September 10th at 9:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church and in El Dorado, September 17th in the TAC building of the El Dorado School District.
If you have any questions, contact a Sevier County Retired Teachers Association member.
ARKANSAS LOTTERY CLOSING REGIONAL CLAIM CENTERS 8/25/14
The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted this week to close its three regional claim centers in Springdale, Jonesboro and Camden. The closings are expected to save the commission about $381,000 a year, which will be used for fund additional scholarships for Arkansas students.
The motion was made by Commissioner Mark Scott and states each center will close when its lease runs out. The Springdale center will close effective October 1st, 2014, and the claim centers in Jonesboro and Camden will close, November 30th, 2014.
Commissioners felt that due to the increased demand for lottery-funded scholarships and the relatively low traffic at the three centers, that the money to operate the centers would be better spent helping Arkansas students attend college.
ASHDOWN DISTRICT SEES ENROLLMENT INCREASE EARLY 8/25/14
Superintendent Jason Sanders of the Ashdown School District reported to KDQN that the district continued to make personnel moves during two meetings of the Ashdown Board of Education, but most were because teachers and coaches were getting offers to bigger schools and schools closer to their homes.
When Sanders arrived, he brought several ideas and one of those ideas was to start regular board meetings with a student spotlight, called Panther Pride.
Sanders reported that the district kicked off the new school year with a program entitled Rachel's Challenge, which deals will bullying in schools.
Sanders expressed his excitement about being at Ashdown and stated he was impressed by the teachers, administration and students.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL PASSES SALES TAX ORDINANCE FOR NOVEMBER BALLOT 8/25/14
Residents of Lockesburg will be considering an ordinance to levy a sales tax within the city limits of Lockesburg during the November general election.
Wednesday night during a special called meeting, members of the Lockesburg City Council passed an ordinance to levy three-quarters of one percent sales and use tax within the city.
According to the motion one-quarter of a percent will be designated for capital improvements on the Lockesburg campus of UA Cossatot, which will be renovating the old Lockesburg High School campus.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole presented a letter to the aldermen from the University of Arkansas System president that acknowledged the fact that Cossatot was expanding into Lockesburg.
The one-quarter cent sales tax will also have a sundowner clause of 10-years.
The other two-quarters will be used for general improvements within the city.
Currently, the city of Lockesburg does not have any city sales tax.
EUROPE GUILTY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT 8/22/14
It took a jury of seven women and five men about 15-minutes to find Jimmy Europe guilty of sexual assault in the 2nd degree Wednesday afternoon in the Sevier County Circuit Court.
In the case of the State of Arkansas vs Jimmy Europe, prosecutors presented three witnesses and played the video taped interview of Europe for the jury while presenting their case.
The victim, Tanessa Watson, testified that Europe sexually assaulted her the morning July 2nd in 2013. She also testified that she and Europe were cousins.
Jurors sentenced Europe to 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections, but will be given credit for the 12-months that Europe has spent in the Sevier County jail while awaiting trial.
LOCKEBURG MAN SENTENCED TO 50 YEARS 8/22/14
A jury trial in the Howard County Circuit Court resulted in a 50 year sentence for a Lockesburg man on Tuesday.
51-year-old Louis Richard was sentenced to the Arkansas Department of Corrections for 50-years on two counts of second degree forgery. The sentence was enhanced after prosecutors tried Richard as a habitual offender.
The jury deliberated for over 45 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.
GREAT ARKANSAS CLEANUP SET TO KICK OFF SEPTEMBER 6 8/22/14
This year's fall litter pickup campaign will run from September 6 through October 31st. Thousands of Arkansans will volunteer to pick up litter along the state's roadways and waterways during Keep Arkansas Beautiful's; Great Arkansas Cleanup.
All Arkansas communities are encouraged to get involved in this annual cleanup effort. Those who would like to learn more about organizing a litter-pickup event in their community or to volunteer with a local event can visit KeepArkansasBeautiful.com or call toll-free 888-742-8701.
Last year, more than 24,000 Arkansans picked up 415,320 pounds of litter from roughly 1,300 miles of roadway and shoreline. The volunteer effort provided the state and participating communities a cost saving value estimated at more than $850,000.
Once a community registers a Great Arkansas Cleanup event, Keep Arkansas Beautiful will help organize and publicize the effort. They will also furnish volunteers with cleanup materials and supplies, such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests.
WINTHROP SCHOOL RESTORATION COMMITTEE ELECTS OFFICERS 8/22/14
Members of the Winthrop School Restoration Committee met this week to discuss their annual Winthrop reunion and the elect officers.
Loren Hinton was elected president; Audie Dawson was elected vice-president; Pam Click was elected secretary and Melba Scott was elected treasurer.
Tammy Bates was selected as the head of the fundraising committee and Terry Hess was named the cleanup and maintenance committee chair.
A cleanup day for the school grounds was scheduled for Saturday, August 30th beginning at 6:30 a.m. and volunteers are needed.
Veta Bryan and Susan Lansdell were named the co-chairs of the Winthrop School Reunion.
This year's reunion will be held in the old Winthrop School cafeteria on Sunday, August 31st. Lunch will be served at noon and all present and former residents of the Winthrop area are invited.
The Winthrop School Restoration Committee will be meeting the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the old Winthrop School house.
TRADING UP FOR YOUTH GROUP 8/22/14
Kyle Price is the volunteer youth minister in Texarkana, Texas and he decided to play the red paper clip game to benefit the youth of his church and he stopped by the KDQN studios to explained that he wants to trade up to purchase a van for his youth group.
Price stated the trades have not gone the way he expected but is enjoying the experience and is excited to see what the final outcome is.
Price stated that he hopes the next trade involves something with wheels, but said he would consider any offer that would improve this bartering position.
Price said he has read the story of the red paper clip trade several times and has been getting tips from the Barter Kings from the A & E network.
If you are interested in participating in Prices' game or if you just want to follow his progress, you can follow him on Facebook at the white swan project.
And, if you are in the market for a diamond ring, get involved in Price's adventure and help provide a church van for his youth group.
TAX DELINQUENT LAND SALE SCHEDULED FOR SEVIER COUNTY 8/21/14
A public auction for the sale of tax delinquent land in Sevier County will be held at the Sevier County Courthouse on Thursday, September 4th at 2 p.m., according to the office of Arkansas Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston.
Registration for the auction will begin at 1:30.
Recent legislation has affected the procedures for the sale of tax delinquent properties, and purchasers should take the time to review the changes prior to the auction date.
The Commissioner of State Lands provides a Catalog of Tax Delinquent Lands, which contains the current statues governing the sales, auction dates, times, locations and other pertinent information regarding parcels that are being offered for sale.
The catalog may be found on the Commissioner's website at www.cosl.org or it is available in print form by mail.
Thurston stated properties at auction no longer have a minimum bid of the assessed value of the property. He said bidding now begins at the amount of the taxes and fees that are due on the property.
The redemption period has also changed. Owners of the properties that are sold at auction now have 10-days to redeem the property following the sale.
Delinquent property owners may call the Land Commissioner's office at 501-324-9422 to request a Petition to Redeem, or they may look up the delinquent parcel on the COSL website and print it from there.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO UPGRADE INTERNET SERVICE AT CITY HALL 8/21/14
Tuesday night, aldermen of the De Queen City Council heard updates on a few city projects, appropriated funds for the fire department and voted to upgrade the internet service at city hall.
Reserve Officer Beth Hughes informed the city council that the De Queen Police Department needed faster internet speeds in order for them to download the videos from the officer’s body cameras.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy stated the council upgraded city hall's internet speed to 5 megabytes.
Alderman Teresa Bunyard presented a report concerning a motel tax. She reported that if they city passed a three-percent sales tax on motel’s; it would generate about $20,000 a year.
Mayor McKelvy asked city attorney Laura Lindly to research the idea and present the council with the legal ramifications of passing a motel tax.
McKelvy also provided aldermen with an update on a couple of city projects and on one project, McKelvy reported that the contractor felt the city could save some money by making a few upgrades to the city shop, instead of re-roofing the entire building.
Aldermen also appropriated $3,000 that was donated to the De Queen Fire Department for the purchase of smoke alarms and Carbon Monoxide detectors.
CORPS SEEKS PUBLIC'S HELP IN PROTECTING ARTIFACTS AT MILLWOOD LAKE 8/21/14
Army Corps of Engineers officials are reminding everyone that it is against the law to remove artifacts from public lands at Millwood Lake.
Millwood Lake's level will be gradually drawn down to an elevation of 258.2 feet, which is about one foot below its conservation pool elevation of 259.2 feet. During low lake levels, Corps rangers have noted increased incidents of people digging for artifacts. This act is illegal and can be punished by severe fines or jail time.
Cultural resources are physical remains of our shared past and these artifacts include Native American arrowheads and pottery, buildings and remains of structures, rock art, ceramics, glassware and any other object that was made by and used by people.
Depending on the circumstances and severity of the thefts, fines can be as high as $250,000 and jail terms can be up to 10 years.
Minor offenses can lead to misdemeanor charges, while more serious offenses or second offenses can lead to felony charges and convictions.
Three Little River County residents were charged with violating the Archaeological Resource Protection Act at Millwood Lake on April 15th and April 20th.
35-year-old Christopher Castle, 29-year-old Lauren Bailes and 31-year-old Callie Neher plead not guilty in a federal courtroom in Texarkana in July.
Arkansas Archeological Society officials explain that when individuals pursue what they consider a harmless hobby by digging or picking up artifacts, they are destroying the past. By removing Indian artifacts or relics for a personal collection or to sell, the historical context is destroyed. This can wipe out the evidence of centuries of human experience. Many just don't realize the harm that they are doing. Other, however, care more about the profit than preserving the past.
Rangers are asking all lake visitors to help protect these public resources that belong to everyone. They urge lake visitors to keep a watchful eye out for artifact seekers and report such illegal activities.
If you seen someone illegally digging on the shoreline of Millwood Lake, call 898-3343.
Any information that you can provide such as location of the activity, number and description of person involved, car make or model can be helpful. However, do not attempt to intervene or approach individuals participating in illegal activities.
Rangers ask that everyone please refrain from destroying the local heritage and history and assist in preserving our natural resources for future generations.
AN ACT TO INCREASE THE ARKANSAS MINIMUM WAGE TURNS IN ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES 8/21/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announces that An Act to Increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage turned in an additional 69,070 signatures on Monday.
The Secretary of State's office now has 30 days to verify the newly submitted signatures.
The petition to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 per hour by 2017 was short 15,107 valid signatures after the initial verification process.
The initiative needs 62,577 verified signatures to be placed on the November 4th ballot.
WISHARD TO RUN FOR POSITION ON DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL 08/21/14
Lawrence Allen Wishard announced he will run for De Queen City Council position. Following is his announcement:
I am pleased to announce my intent to seek election to the Ward one, Position two seat on the De Queen City Council. I am a lifelong resident of De Queen and a graduate of De Queen High School, class of 2009. I work as a Funeral Director and Manager at Chandler Funeral Home. I am also, an active member of the De Queen Lions Club.
I have a sincere desire to give back to this community and preserve this city’s integrity for future generations. I believe in a calm, collective approach to city government operations. I also believe that thoughtful decision making and careful planning are keys to a successful city. If elected, I will be your voice and will stand strong for what is best for our community and its residents. I will always be glad to address any questions or concerns that you might have about our city’s operations and progress.
I am asking for your support on November 4th, to elect me, Lawrence Allen Wishard, as Ward one, Position 2 Alderman.
Humane Society hopes to move forward after embezzlement 08/21/14
By Patrick Massey, De Queen Bee
A former secretary of the Sevier County Humane Society will go to court next month to face a theft charge in connection to her time with the agency. Susan E. Wilson, 39, was charged with felony theft of property earlier this year after prosecutors claimed she embezzled nearly $4,000 from the county humane society.
She is scheduled to appear during a pre-trial hearing on Sept. 4 where she will enter a plea of guilty or not-guilty. According to Arkansas State Police Investigator John Rhone, an audit by J. Richey McCullough, CPA, of De Queen found $3,966 in fraudulent expenditures made by Wilson between Jan. 2011 and June 2012.
The purchases allegedly include a $600 television set and a $440 refrigerator. Prosecutors claim Wilson also withdrew cash from the agency's bank account at First State Bank and misused a humane society credit card for personal purchases. "By the time we knew it was happening it was too late," said Dr. Terri Devlin, who serves as president for the Sevier County Humane Society.
The agency discovered the fraudulent expenditures after Wilson left the humane society in June 2012. Investigators say the stolen money includes part of a $35,000 cash donation the local humane society received in 2010.
Although Wilson is currently charged with stealing $4,000 from the humane society, officials with the agency and the state prosecuting team allege the amount could be much higher. Neither was able to provide an estimated dollar amount of the alleged total, but Devlin said Wilson instigated numerous questionable purchases. "There are large sums of money that are just unaccountable," Devlin said. "A lot of these could be legitimate but since [Susan] didn't keep the receipts it's really hard to tell.”
Devlin said the theft has placed an additional strain on the agency's tight operating budgets. "It's hard to recover from this amount of money just disappearing," she explained. "As it is now we're barely making our month-to-month operating expenses." Devlin claims the former secretary also sabotaged the humane society's relationships with rescue agencies and other animal advocacy organizations by allegedly telling them the Sevier County Humane Society had closed. "When she did that a lot of those groups ended up cutting ties with us because they thought we were gone," Devlin said. One of those agencies includes a group that adopts animals to people living in the northeastern United States. "Many of your animals got donated through this agency and it was very successful, but after Susan told them we had closed they dropped us from their list," Devlin said. "It's not easy getting back into the group, and since they dropped us our adoptions have gone way down."
Despite these and other challenges, Devlin said the humane society is hoping to overcome the recent past and expand its role in the county. One major project includes a possible animal shelter with indoor facilities.
Currently the humane society's animals are being kept on private land but Devlin said better facilities are needed. "The storm we had a couple of weeks ago damaged some of our pens and even blew the tin roofs off a couple others," Devlin said. "We could really use something more permanent in the county. "So far the proposed shelter is still in its infancy and a suitable location is still being sought. Once the humane society gains some land to use it will be able to apply for several grants to help get the shelter started.
The humane society will continue to sponsor and host the area spay and neuter clinics, which are provided at reduced rates to residents of De Queen. However, the program provides no revenue for the agency. "It's something we sponsor for another group who actually performs the spaying and neutering, so we don't actually make any money doing it," she said. Devlin said the humane society is in need of the community's help during these tough times.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the humane society can do so in a number of ways. "Of course we need people who want to help with the animals by feeding, cleaning or just spending time with them, but we also need people who can help us write grants, set up fundraisers and get the community involved," Devlin said. Anyone wishing to lend a hand to the agency can do so by calling Devlin's office at (870) 642-4364.
Twelve Students Complete Training for CNA 08/20/14
NASHVILLE – UA Cossatot honored students who recently completed the Nursing Assistant Training Program with a Pinning Ceremony held upon the completion of the program.
Twelve UA Cossatot students marked completion of their training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.
Members of the Summer Class of 2014 who received their pins included, back row, from left: Ashley Williams, De Queen; Aspen Whitlow, Foreman; Jessica Rios, De Queen; Instructor Sharon Stubbs, Phyllis Parsons, Newhope; and Ana Mosqueda, De Queen. Front row, from left: Shatina Logan, Nashville; Jamie King, Lockesburg; Ginna Follis, Foreman; Robin Deer, Dierks; Aubrie Combs, Nashville, and Tammy Clemons, Nashville. The 90-hour course comprises both classroom and clinical work. It includes learning patient care skills, infection control, disease processes, and safety procedures.
de queen fire department receives donation from husqvarna 08/20/14
After the recent storm damage, it became apparent that the De Queen Fire Department's current storm clean up equipment was inadequate.
Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt contacted Joe Wilson at Husqvarna about purchasing a larger saw to replace their current one.
Mr. Wilson responded by donating three Husqvarna 455 Rancher chain saws and one Husqvarna pole saw to the department.
The De Queen Fire Department members want to express their appreciation to Mr. Wilson and Husqvarna for the donation that will better equip them to handle future storm emergencies.
TYSON FOODS DONATES TO AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM 08/20/14
DHS student Danielle Duggan teams up with Tyson Foods, Inc. for a “Back to School” kickoff at the Mary & Martha center. The center provides snacks and after school activities for children who may not have an adult at home when they get out of school.
Danielle has a passion for helping her community and giving back to those who make a difference. She is trying to raise awareness and help put an end to childhood hunger right here in her hometown. Her motto is “Spread the Love: The Beginning of Ending Childhood Hunger”
Tyson Foods, Inc. donated over 7,435 pounds to the Mary & Martha Center to prepare for their after school program right here in our community.
The center volunteers expressed their sincere appreciation for the donation and are looking forward to school starting back.
Complex HR Manager Donna Duggan said – “Donating the product is what we do –The real work comes from the center in preparing the meals!”
ARKANSAS LOTTERY CLAIM CENTERS CLOSING 08/20/14
LITTLE ROCK—The Arkansas Lottery Commission voted today to close its three regional claim centers in Springdale, Jonesboro and Camden, a savings measure expected to free as much as $381,000 to fund additional scholarships for Arkansas students.
The motion, made by Commissioner Mark Scott and approved by the Commission, provides for the closure of each claim center when its lease runs out. The Springdale center will close effective October 1, 2014, with claim centers in Jonesboro and Camden shuttering effective November 30, 2014. Commissioner Bruce Engstrom, noting that each claim center has a staff of two, asked Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Director Bishop Woosley to make those persons aware of any job opportunities for which they might be qualified within the Lottery.
“Certainly, the human element of is the hardest part for us,” Woosley said after the meeting. “These folks have served loyally, and we appreciate their service over the last five years. But faced with an increasing demand for lottery-funded scholarships, and the relatively low traffic at these three claim centers, the Commission simply feels those dollars are better spent helping Arkansas students go to college and building a more educated workforce in our state.”
Vaught to run for District 4 State Representative 08/20/14
DeAnn Vaught of Horatio announced that she will run for District 4 State Representative in the November 4th general election. Here is her announcement:
“I am DeAnn Vaught, I am your neighbor--a down to earth country girl—who is passionate for the State of Arkansas and our children’s future. I know I am not your ordinary politician, but I will fight for what I believe is right for our state and the constituents of District 4.”
DeAnn has been married to Jon Vaught for 24 years and they are the parents of Brittanee, Shyann and Josie. She is a graduate of Horatio High School, Southern Arkansas University with a BS in Ag Business, a poultry, dairy and hog farmer and a strong Christian.
Vaught is an NRA supporter, member of Sevier County Farm Bureau, Arkansas Pork Producers, Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association and a Horatio School Volunteer.
She stated, “I would greatly appreciate your help and your vote in November so we can have a strong voice from District 4 at the state capital.”
You may contact DeAnn Vaught with your questions and concerns at (870) 584-8807, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook email@example.com
ACCIDENT CLAIMS LIFE OF LOCKESBURG YOUTH 8/20/14
A single vehicle accident on Highway 24 claimed the life a young man from Lockesburg just after 12:00 a.m., Tuesday morning.
According to the accident summary from the Arkansas State Police, 16-year-old Austin Brackett was traveling eastbound on Highway 24 west of Horatio when his 2004 Chevy Silverado left the roadway and overturned in the westbound ditch.
Brackett was ejected from the truck and pronounced dead at the scene by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams at 12:15 a.m.
According to the report no one else was involved in the accident.
DRIVE SOBER OR GET PULLED OVER CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY 8/20/14
Early Sunday morning about 2 a.m., Patrolman Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was passed by a vehicle that failed to dim its lights and driving left of center.
Sawyer initiated a traffic stop with lights and his siren, but the driver of the vehicle continued to travel east on Collin Raye Drive. The vehicle finally came to a stop at the EZ-Mart on 9th Street.
The driver was identified as 34-year-old Ramiro Lopez. After failing a series of field sobriety test, Lopez was charged with Driving While Intoxicated and taken to the De Queen Medical Center for a blood alcohol test. He was then taken to the Sevier County jail for processing.
TEXARKANA MAN ARRESTED FOR CRIMINAL TRESPASS IN DE QUEEN 8/20/14
Sunday morning about 6:45 a.m., Officer James Gilbert of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Oak Drive in De Queen after dispatch received a call from Andrea Johnson.
Johnson reported that 42-year-old Kevin Gibson of Texarkana was chasing her and attempting to choke her. She informed the dispatcher that she was hiding in some bushes.
When the officers arrived, Johnson came out of the bushes and informed them that Gibson had been in the hospital in Malvern and when he got out, he came to her house. She told the officers that Gibson was having anger issues.
Officers Bucky Sawyer and Gilbert then went to Johnson's house to make contact with Gibson. The officers informed Gibson that he needed to leave the residence because Johnson didn't want him there and that if he didn't leave, he would be arrested for criminal trespass.
After that, Gibson told the officers he was not leaving. After refusing to leave and not following the instructions of the officers, Gibson was subdued and placed into custody.
Gibson has been citied for criminal trespass and resisting arrest.
DIERKS MAN ARRESTED FOR ACCOMPLICE TO ARSON 8/20/14
A Dierks man has been arrested for being an accomplice to arson.
On May 3rd, the Dierks Fire Department responded to a trailer house fire on 6th Street in Dierks.
According to the incident report, the structure was a total loss, but the fire department requested an investigation into the incident due to the burn patterns that were present throughout the structure.
The trailer house was owned by Avery Fatherree and was being occupied by David Bray.
The Dierks Police Department and the Howard County Sheriff's Office took samples from the burned trailer and found that gasoline was present in the samples.
Several individuals were interviewed and investigators discovered that David Kyle Bray had asked another person to burn down the trailer.
David Kyle Bray was arrested August 13 and has been released on a $25,000 bond.
The investigation is continuing with more arrest expected in the case. The case is being investigated by the Dierks Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the Howard County Sheriff's Office.
SHOOTING IN MINERAL SPRINGS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION 8/20/14
A Sunday afternoon shooting in Mineral Springs remains under investigation.
Police say the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Ray Thomas Jr. of Hope has been accused of shooting a Mineral Springs resident in the hip.
According to the report, around 2:10 Sunday afternoon, Thomas shot Aaron Olden following a domestic incident between Olden and a female occupant on Story Lane. Olden was transported from Mineral Springs to a Texarkana hospital by helicopter.
Howard County Chief Deputy Bryan McJunkins reported that Thomas fled the scene and was later spotted on Highway 73 in Hempstead County, but eluded officers with the Hempstead County Sheriff's Office.
Thomas later turned himself in to the Howard County jail and is being held on battery charges.
Police say Thomas had been living at the residence where the incident took place.
WEIGHT LOSS SUPPORT GROUP TO BE FORMED 8/20/14
Statistics show that many of us struggle with our weight and Angie Staggs of the Wellness Center in De Queen has decided to start a support group called ML.2 to help residents learn to be healthy and not necessarily skinny.
Staggs said the first class will be this Thursday at 5:30 p.m. She stated the program is free and there is no age limit, but is designed to teach participates to be healthy by learning things like what is a portion size.
Staggs explained that the program is not only about losing weight, but it’s about getting healthy which is apart of the groups new motto that says, “Nothing taste as good as healthy feels.”
If you have any questions about ML.2 contact the Wellness Center by calling 642-4000 ext. 5 and ask for Angie.
LOTTERY SCAM ALERT 8/20/14
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is once again warning Arkansans about telephone scammers making false representations about individuals winning a lottery prize.
This week, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has received reports of a person purporting to represent the lottery calling Arkansas residents and informing them that they've won lottery prizes.
The scammer is often calling from a Jamaican area code number, 876, and will often know the victim's home address, and then instruct them to go to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak and pay the pre-pay taxes that are due on the prize.
In some cases, the scammer is providing a toll-free number that, when called, mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.
Residents should always to suspicious of unsolicited callers that's requesting financial information. And residents should remember that the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order for you to claim a prize and the lottery typically does not call people to tell them that they've won, except in contests that the person has intentionally entered.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Powerball or Mega Millions, be on your guard and you can always call the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Security Hotline at 1-888-606-6292 for more information or to check the legitimacy of a such claims.
Dennis Milligan releases “Best Practices” proposals 8/20/14
Arkansas needs to implement a system to allow blind bidding on state investment business to avoid favoritism, Dennis Milligan, the Republican nominee for Arkansas State Treasurer, said as he announced his best practices package for that office.
“If I am elected, I will remember that every dollar I earn the state in interest is a dollar that doesn’t have to come out of the taxpayers’ pockets. We need a Treasurer who gets the best investment deals for Arkansas, not one who helps herself like Democrat Martha Shoffner did.”
Shoffner was convicted for 14 federal counts of public corruption and is awaiting sentencing for taking cash in a pie box in exchange for state business.
As part of his best practices plan, Milligan proposes setting up a system where the Treasurer’s office does business with authorized bond dealers and financial institutions.
All of those the office does business with must provide audited financial statements, proof of financial industry regulatory authority certification, proof of Arkansas registration, a completed broker/dealer questionnaire, certification of having read and agreed to the state’s investment policy, and anti-collusion affidavits.
“Once those who want to do business with the state have been vetted by the Treasurer’s office, I would submit the list to the state Board of Finance for approval,” Milligan said. “Only those who pass the approval process would be allowed to bid for state business.”
Milligan wants to partner with Information Network of Arkansas to set up an Electronic Trading Platform that is already used in other states.
"We would send out requests for bids electronically to approved bidders. When a bid was submitted, those in the Treasurer’s office working with the bids would only see a number, not the name of the bidder. Only after the bid process is completed would the name of the bidder be known,” Milligan said.
He said this open and competitive bidding process will do two things.
“First, it will make sure the people of Arkansas get the best return on their money. Second, it eliminates favoritism like we saw with Martha Shoffner,” Milligan said.
Milligan also wants to review and update the Arkansas Investment Policy. The latest policy publicly available was dated June 25, 1997 with amendments added in September 1997 and December 1998.
“One of two things is going on here and neither of them is good. First, either our investment policy has not been updated in many years or if it has been updated those updates are not easily available to the public,” Milligan said. “Either way, that’s wrong and I want to change it.”
Milligan said he wants the policy to be updated so it matches the technology available today while including provisions to provide maximum security with best investment return, maintain cash flow demands, and conform to all law governing the investment of public funds.
“I want the Treasurer’s office to hold investments to maturity whenever possible. However, if we have money invested at 2 percent interest and there is a major change and investments are paying 10 percent or better, I’m not holding on to investments with an obvious poor rate of return,” Milligan said.
He also plans to use investment diversification to reduce overall portfolio risk for the state’s money.
“Let me translate that for you: I’m not putting all our financial eggs in one basket,” Milligan said.
Milligan said he will establish an Internal Compliance Officer in the office to make sure that rules, policies, procedures and laws are being complied with.
”I want to make sure there is a proper segregation of duties and that our investment transactions are conducted properly. This job will include making sure employees refrain from personal business or other activities that could conflict with the proper execution of their public duties or prevent them from making impartial decisions,” Milligan said.
Another important part of his best practices is transparency by established reporting of daily, monthly and year-to-date balances of all funds, accounts, and deposit and investment performance compared to the target rates of return established by the Board of Finance.
Current Arkansas policy only requires quarterly reporting.
“Quarterly reporting may have been acceptable in the days when everything was on paper, but in this digital age, that’s no longer enough. I want the people of Arkansas to be able to see what is going on in that office,” Milligan said.
His plans include creating a monthly Investment Performance Report that will include a review of market conditions and economic developments, a review of the state’s investment portfolio, a report of all payments, fees and commissions; and a report of total funds invested.
Milligan wants the office to partner with an existing state website,transparency.arkansas.gov, to provide easy Internet access to information on the state’s investments holdings. This would include establishing real-time online reporting of investments, investment managers, and rates of return.
“I will also hold regular news conferences to report on the progress being made in the Treasurer’s office,” Milligan said. “I plan to go beyond the requirements of the office and issue a quarterly State Economic Report.”
That report will include items such as a commentary by the treasurer, a state GDP report, a gross revenue report, an unemployment report, and an economic indicators report.
“This will be a snapshot of where the state is economically. I believe the Treasurer is uniquely positioned to do this,” Milligan said.
“If I could sum up my best practices plan is would be that I will not only follow the law, but will go beyond the law and do what is right,” Milligan said.
SCHOOL RESTORATION COMMITTEE SETS CLEANUP 08/20/14
The Winthrop School Restoration Committee met Tuesday night, August 19th. Plans for the annual Winthrop Reunion were discussed. The reunion will be held in the old Winthrop School cafeteria on Sunday, Aug 31st. Lunch will be served at noon. All present and former residents of the Winthrop area are invited.
Officers were elected. President: Loren Hinton; VP: Audie Dawson; Secretary: Pam Click;Treasurer: Melba Scott
Tammy Bates was selected to head up the fundraising committee. Cleanup and maintenance committee chair is Terry Hess. Reunion co-chairs are Veta Bryan and Susan Lansdell.
A cleanup day for the school grounds has been scheduled to begin at 6:30 am on Saturday, August 30th. Volunteers are needed. The committee will meet the second Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the old Winthrop school house. Everyone is invited.
DE QUEEN ELEMENTARY BACK-TO-SCHOOL NIGHT 08/20/14
De Queen Elementary School will hold a Back-to-School Night for parents and friends of third, fourth and fifth grade students on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
Parents will have the opportunity to come to school and meet their child’s classroom teacher. You will spend approximately 30 minutes in the classroom while the teacher explains class routines and areas of instruction. Parents are encouraged to attend.
Parents of English Language Learner students are invited to attend a session with the ELL instructors, Ms. Carver and Mrs. J. Smith. They will explain the program and answer any questions. An interpreter is available in all Spanish sessions.
Back-to-School Night is intended for parent/teacher interaction. No activities are planned for the children on this night.
Great Arkansas Cleanup set to kick off Sept. 6
DANIEL SEEKS RE-ELECTION TO CITY COUNCIL 08/14/14
Sterling Daniel announced his intention so seek re-election to the Ward One, Position Two seat on the De Queen City Council in the November 2014 general election. The following is his announcement:
Sterling Daniel has called De Queen 'home' for 43 years. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Daniel retired from Weyerhaeuser/De Queen & Eastern Railroad as a diesel mechanic. Alderman Daniel has served the City of De Queen on the Planning and Zoning Variance Board and as interim mayor. he devoted his time to Sevier County as a reserve deputy for many years.
Daniel and his wife Della "Pud", have been married 64 years and have four grown daughters. They are active members of Kern Heights Baptist Church.
"I consider it an honor and privilege to have served the City of De Queen as an alderman for the past 17 years", said Daniel. "I am not afraid to ask questions and I encourage you to do the same. I will use my experience in working with fellow council members and the mayor to ensure a better quality of life for all citizens of De Queen. I will continue to be a strong voice for you and will keep working to move De Queen forward and a place we can proudly call home.
I am accessible and willing to answer any questions or address any concerns. You may call me at (870) 584-3895 or (870) 584-6620. I ask for your vote and continued support in the November election."
GUTIERREZ TRIAL UNDERWAY IN SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 8/14/14
Jury selection was completed a little before noon Wednesday in the case of the State of Arkansas against 22-year-old Emilo Gutierrez of De Queen.
Gutierrez is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and trafficking a controlled substance-meth.
A jury of ten women and 2 men were selected to serve in the Sevier County Circuit Court before Judge Charles Yeargan.
Wednesday afternoon, jurors heard testimony from an agent with the South Central Drug Task Force. He described the process that the task force conducted in order to obtain two search warrants on the residence of Gutierrez at 261 Westline Road on January 28th and 30th.
Gutierrez was arrested January 28th without incident after members of the Sevier County Sheriff's Office, the De Queen Police Department, the Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish and the South Central Drug Task Force executed a search warrant about 2 p.m.
The task force agent reported that the two searches uncovered about 1,389.5 grams of ICE methamphetamine.
Officers confiscated four rifles along with ammunition, a kilo of ICE that had a street value of over $100,000 and over $13,000 dollars in cash.
The trial will continue today and is expected to be turned over to the jury later this afternoon.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL TABLES SALES TAX VOTE 8/14/14
Tuesday evening during the regular meeting aldermen of the Lockesburg City Council voted to table a vote on an ordinance on a half-cent sales tax after hearing a request from UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole.
Dr. Cole asked the council to consider passing a resolution to designate a quarter cent sales tax to the college for capitol improvements to the Lockesburg campus.
Cole said work on the Lockesburg campus will not begin until after the De Queen Board of Education passes a couple of resolutions during their monthly meeting in September.
Aldermen passed the resolution to designate the quarter cent sales tax for the college but tabled the vote on the sales tax ordinance until Wednesday, August 20th at 6 p.m.
Aldermen heard a report from the park commission concerning a $1,000 grant that SWEPCO presented to the city park to enhance the park's infrastructure.
Park Commission Chairperson Sheila Ruth presented several bids for a new roof on the park concession stand, but all of the bids were rejected by the city council.
Aldermen vetoed a secondary insurance policy for the city employees that would have cost an extra $18 a month to provide access to online doctors and nurses.
Alderman also voted not to purchase a debit/credit card machine for city hall because the expense outweighed the possible revenue.
And, aldermen heard a request from the Sevier County Humane Society for funding to help provide spay and neuter clinics in Sevier County.
Mayor Danny Ruth informed the council that the city had started its mosquito spraying program.
He said city workers would be spraying the city on Monday and Thursday evenings at dusk.
CORPS TO BEGIN MILLWOOD LAKE DRAWDOWN AUGUST 15 8/14/14
The Army Corps of Engineers will begin a drawdown August 15th on Millwood Lake for bank stabilization work at Cottonshed Park.
Beginning on Friday, the lake will be gradually drawn down to an elevation of 258.2 feet, which is one foot below the normal pool elevation. The process is expected to take three days, depending on rainfall. The drawdown will last until September 2nd at which time the lake will be allowed to refill to its normal pool elevation of 259.2 feet.
After drawdown begins, boaters should exercise extreme caution because submerged stumps and shallow areas may begin to appear.
Also, boaters should be cautious when launching because of damage or sediment build up that may have occurred at the ends of the ramps. It is impossible to determine which ramps might be affected.
For more information call the Millwood Lake Project Office at 898-3343.
BEEBE WANTS TO REALLOCATE RESOURCES FOR SCHOOL BROADBAND 8/14/14
Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe says the state needs to reallocate $15 million dollars to expand broadband access to schools that are lacking fast internet connections.
The governor announced earlier this week that he want K through 12 schools to be able to use the broadband system that's available for universities in Arkansas, but that would take some action on the part of the state Legislature. Beebe reportedly considered including this issue on the call for a special session earlier this summer.
The state Education Department needs to use $15 million dollars that it is currently spending on copper-based Internet connections and use the money along with some federal funding to build a high-speed fiber network.
Beebe also announced that the state finance office will audit the Department of Information Systems to evaluate whether changes are needed in the agency that operates the state computer systems.
AARP POLL OF ARKANSAS LIKELY VOTERS SHOWS ANXIETY INDEX 8/14/14
AARP Arkansas released a new election year poll showing that 50 plus voters in November elections worry a secure retirement could be out of reach for them. Voters also want to see candidates who focus on improving their financial security, as they believe incomes have not kept up with their cost of living, especially health costs, taxes and retirement security.
The survey's Anxiety Index shows that across party lines, older voters and particularly those who are not yet retired, feel anxious about their financial security.
According to the survey, 50 percent of those polled worry that costs are rising faster than incomes. Forty-four percent say they are worried about health expenses and that they won't have enough for their retirement.
The survey also shows that 82 percent of non-retirees believe it is hard to save for retirement and almost half of them say they've postponed or will postpone retirement.
REPORT SHOWS FOOD STAMPS NEED STRONGEST IN FOOD-PRODUCTION COUNTRY 8/14/14
Oftentimes, the issue of hunger is associated with people in big cities, where the cost of living tends to be high, but a new study shows some of the greatest need can be found where America's food supply is grown and raised, which characterizes much of Arkansas.
Jon Bailey of the Center for Rural Affairs authored the report, which examines the percentage of households using food stamps from 2008 to 2012.
During the years reviewed, more than 14 percent of rural households received SNAP benefits, compared to slightly fewer than 11 percent in urban households. About 502,000 Arkansans are SNAP recipients, and benefits average about $120 a month per person.
Bailey points to another key finding. He says rural areas and small cities have higher percentages of households with seniors and children receiving food support than in larger urban areas.
In rural areas, one in nine households has a SNAP recipient who is either under the age of 18 or an adult that is over the age of 60.
SCHOOL DISTRICT WELCOMES 19 NEW TEACHERS
the first of July, the Ashdown School District has been busy hiring
new teachers, but Superintendent Jason Sanders explained that the
new hires would bring a lot of new experiences to the district.
night, the Ashdown Board of Education held their regular scheduled
meeting and put some of the final touches on the upcoming school
Ashdown District will be hosting an Open House this Thursday from 3
to 7 p.m. and will hold their annual Purple and White Panther
Scrimmage at 7:30.
KRANTZ ANNOUNCES HIS CANDIDACY FOR DE QUEEN ALDERMAN POSITION
Krantz of De Queen has announced his intention to run for the
position of De Queen City Alderman, Ward 3, Position 2. The position
is currently held by Pat Minor, who has announced that she will not
be seeking re-election.
is active in the community and stated that he would like to become
more involved in city government and do what he can to help make De
Queen an even more beautiful place to work and live.
moving to De Queen a little over nine years ago, Krantz lived in
Umpire and served on the Umpire School Board and was a member of the
Umpire Volunteer Fire Department.
is married to Risa and works for the Arkansas State Forestry
Commission in Sevier County.
said it is his desire to give something back to the city of De Queen
and plans to bring a common sense approach to city government. He
has worked with budgets in the past and plans to think about his
decisions. He also mentioned that he will not be swayed by peer
pressure and will keep the concerns and requests of citizens in mind
when making decisions that effect them.
said if elected he will be a voice for the people and listen to your
concerns, questions and praise for the city of De Queen. If you have
any questions, you may contact him at 870-784-2153 and he would
appreciate your support this November.
QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT CONDUCTS RESCUE ON COSSATOT
afternoon about 6:30, members of the De Queen Fire Department were
notified of a possible drowning on the Cossatot River, however, Fire
Chief Dennis Pruitt reported that everyone was found safe.
reported that five individuals reportedly in their 40's were
floating the river on inter tubes Saturday when they got split up
and two members of the party contacted the authorities.
said two members of the party became stranded on the opposite bank
and thought the other three may have drowned, but they had floated
on down the river to their truck.
stated there was no law against floating the river when its up, but
he recommended that you always wear life jackets.
of the De Queen Fire Department had to use a boat to rescue the two
stranded men, but everything turned out the way you hoped in a
situation like this one.
DEPARTMENT CALLED TO CONTAIN SLEEP OVER BON FIRE 8/13/14
night, the De Queen Fire Department was dispatched to an apparent
bon fire that was started during a sleepover.
Queen Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt reported that some girls between the
ages of 10 and 19 attempted to start a bon fire by using gas and
caught the gas can on fire.
said the gas can was about half full and the flames followed the gas
fumes and ignited the can.
fighters used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.
Pruitt announced that his tip for the week is to never start a fire
with gas and if you catch a gas can on fire, you should never
attempt to put it out with water.
GYM ADDED TO STATE REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES 8/13/14
State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
added three Arkansas properties to the state register of historic
places, including the Langley Gym in Pike County.
Langley Gym is located off Highway 84 West and was constructed in
Arkansas Register recognizes historically noteworthy places that are
not eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Place.
The board also nominated eight Arkansas properties to the National
Register of Historic Places for its consideration.
WARNS OF SPOOFING
to the state Attorney General's office, you can no longer trust the
number that appears on your caller ID. Scammers are using numbers
you recognize to get you to answer your phone.
called spoofing and sometimes they can even use your own phone
number and they are also using spoof text.
may even receive these calls if you are on a do not call list.
Attorney General Jim DePriest says spoofing makes it difficult for
authorities to track down the scammers, but if you are getting
spoofing calls or text, you can contact your phone company or
wireless provider to block the number. You should also report the
calls to the state's Attorney Generals office.
COUNTY QUORUM COURT APPROVES RENOVATION OF JAIL SHOWERS BUT TABLES
afternoon, members of the Sevier County Quorum Court passed two
resolutions and tabled a request from the Sevier County Sheriffs
office, concerning a deep fryer at the jail.
approved a resolution to allow Sevier County Judge Greg Ray to
accept a grant on behalf of the Sevier County Airport committee.
Court members also approved an appropriation of $8,000 to sandblast,
treat and repaint the showers at the jail to eliminate a mold
problem. Judge Ray stated the Jail Standards committee suggested how
the county should handle the issue.
approved a request from Circuit Clerk Patty Chaney to apply for a
grant in the amount of $30,500 for the second stage of a three-stage
process to convert the county's deed and mortgage books to a digital
file to be installed on the county's computers.
said this phase would be also complete the Image Enhancement phase,
as well as the Grouping and Naming phase of the project.
explained the grant is from the Automated Records System Fund, which
is funded by Class 6 and 7 counties that contribute $1 per copy of
their records to help fund projects for smaller counties.
Ray explained that this project would help the county store this
County Sheriff Bennie Simmons asked the Quorum Court to transfer
some funds from the department’s vehicle line item to its
equipment line item so they could purchase a new deep fryer.
some discussion, JPs voted to table the transfer until they heard a
report from the county's nutritionist saying the jail needed a deep
Fonda Hawthorne reported that Senator Jimmy Hickey had asked seven
counties in southwest Arkansas to work together in an attempt to
lure a new maximum prison to the area.
Johnye Fisher reported that the Sevier County Library System was
officially apart of a regional library system and that they had been
approved for state aid.
said the amount of aid was based on the population of the
participating counties and Sevier County will receive about 38
percent of the funds based on its population.
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the members of the Quorum Court that according to the Southwest Planning Commission, the number of low and moderate-income families had increased to 51 percent and therefore the county now qualified for Community Block Grants.
PAROLE BOARD MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS 8/12/14
Arkansas Parole Board recently announced their recommendations for parole and clemency and the list includes several from southwest Arkansas.
The board's recommendations are nonbinding and will be forwarded to the governor's office for a final decision since the board can neither deny nor grant a pardon or clemency.
Anyone with questions about these recommendations or questions concerning the parole process, they may call Rhonda Sharp at 501-682-9593.
Scott Smith of Sevier County was recommended for a pardon with merit including restoration of firearms.
Smith was convicted of possession of a controlled substance-methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
John McAlister of Lafayette County and Goleta Morrow of Nevada County were recommended for a pardon with merit.
McAlister was convicted on four counts of the Arkansas hot check law, while Morrow was convicted of six counts of forgery, two counts of theft by deception, four counts of forgery in the second degree.
John Wilson of Hempstead County was recommended for commutation with merit for the manufacture and/or delivery and possession of controlled substance.
Jermal Dotson and Randy Glenn of Hempstead County were recommended for commutation without merit.
Dotson was convicted of aggravated robbery, kidnapping and two counts of theft of property, while Glenn was convicted of four counts of theft of scrap metal, two counts of commercial burglary, two counts of criminal mischief in the first degree and four counts of breaking and entering.
John Barker and Jeffery Hayes of Miller County were recommended for pardon without merit.
Barker was convicted of residential burglary and battery in the third degree and Hayes was convicted of theft over $200, breaking or entering and several probation revocations.
SEVIER COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE INVESTIGATES UNATTENDED DEATH 8/12/14
On Monday morning, Sevier County Sheriffs Deputy Michael Barnes was dispatched to 120 Grace Lane in reference to an unattended death.
When Deputy Barnes arrived, the son of the deceased, Timothy Johnson informed him that he discovered his 82-year-old father, Thomas Johnson at his home.
Timothy stated that his father had been home for about 3-weeks after being hospitalized. He said his father had suffered heart, lung and kidney failure and had been taking medication for years for his condition.
Authorities reported no foul play was suspected and Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams pronounced Thomas Johnson dead about 5:33.
VEHICLE FIRE 8/12/14
On Thursday, August 7th, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office received a call concerning a vehicle fire.
About 7 p.m. Thursday night, Randell Chandler of Horatio reported that he was traveling west on Highway 24 when he started smelling smoke. Chandler reported that he pulled over and attempted to disconnect the battery.
Authorities reported that the fire started in the dash behind the radio.
AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATING CASE OF CRIMINAL MISCHIEF 8/12/14
Investigators with the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a case of criminal mischief after Gena Whisenhunt reported that someone had gotten into her mailbox in Gillham and destroyed her mail.
Whisenhunt reported that on Thursday, August 7th, her husband, Mike, went to the mailbox between 6:30 and 7 a.m. and discovered all of the mail crumbled up in the back of the box along with a pair of jeans that she had ordered off E-Bay.
Whisenhunt stated that someone took the jeans out of the mailbox and shredded them from the waist band down and then shoved them back into the mailbox.
The value of the jeans was only $20, but tampering with someone’s mail is a federal offense.
Boxtops for Education Collection 08/12/14
Wal-Mart in De Queen has set up jars in a display at the front of the store for you to drop off your Boxtops for Education through August 31st. If you have been saving the boxtops and don’t know who to give them to, you can take them by and put them in the jar as you enter the store. They will distribute them to the Horatio and De Queen public schools. If you have any questions you may call Joan Stancil at 784-6023.
ASHDOWN OPENS SCHOOL YEAR UNDER THE THEME OF "ONE/#1" 08/11/14
Ashdown School Superintendent Jason Sanders states, "We are always stronger together than if we are apart" and has set the theme for the 2014-15 school year as "ONE/#1." Building a unified team and working together for the common goal of student success, he continues, is what all of Ashdown School District will strive for this year.
A huge step toward helping students achieve success has come to the district through E-Rate funding and Arkansas Department of Education broadband grants, making internet connectivity more accessible and affordable for school districts across the state. Ashdown School's broadband connectivity will increase from 15 mg to 300 mg when installation of the new fiber-optic MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) is completed. All fiber-optic cabling has been installed district-wide over the summer and is now awaiting networking equipment from AT&T and Arkansas Department of Information Systems. Completion is expected to be as early as September.
Access to greater internet connectivity will keep Ashdown District in line with Common Core State Standards and PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College & Career) assessments, which will be administered in grades 3-11 this spring and will replace Benchmark Tests. Ashdown Junior High and High Schools were pilot schools for the PARCC testing in 2013-14, which is administered entirely by computer. The 2014-15 PARCC computer-based tests will cover math and literacy in grades 3-8 and Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II and literacy in grades 9-11 and will be administered in two parts in April and May 2015.
Every campus of the Ashdown School District is providing its students with more tools to achieve success. Both Margaret Daniel Primary and C. D. Franks Elementary are exploring Puterbugs, an enrichment program from Discovery Kids that teaches keyboarding and typing skills along with literacy.
MDP will be continuing its Family Night Library, thanks to generous supporters, where parents and students can share reading time and progress in Accelerated Reading. Principal Kay York also announced that $11,000 in grants from the Margaret Daniel Foundation and McDonald's have been applied to classroom and library advancements.
CDF now owns enough Chromebooks to supply the third grade students 1-to-1, greatly increasing their technology resource time. Principal Teresa Wake also invites everyone to buy a Panther Tervis tumbler from a CDF student as a fundraiser at the beginning of this year and to remember that Grandparents Day is Sept. 5 at CDF.
For the second year in a row, L. F. Henderson Intermediate has been awarded the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance's Breakfast in the Classroom grant, making breakfast a part of every student's morning schedule by providing free breakfast to every student on campus, regardless of economic status. The success of last year's program, along with proven research, shows fewer tardies, more focus and less discipline problems in the classroom. LFH also is proud of new playground equipment and ground cover, thanks to generous donations from many supporters in the community. Phase I of the project is completed; Phase II is on its way!
LFH will offer its students a special opportunity during Meet the Teacher/Open House on Aug. 14 from 3:00-7:00. "Touch the Truck" will give youngsters a chance to explore a real firetruck, an ambulance, and a police car, thanks to the help of County Sheriff Gary Gregory. Popcorn and cotton candy will also be served during that event.
Ashdown Junior High and Ashdown High School have new computer labs set up with all new equipment. Room 407 at AJHS has been set up as the new lab, which gives that campus four labs in total, allowing more enrichment and test preparation experience for students. AHS's new computers are installed in Room 505 and the library, giving that campus six labs in all, along with distance learning capabilities in Room 505.
All sixth graders at AJHS will also be enrolled in a year-long Computer Keyboarding & Technology Communications class, which will be a great help as they take the computer-based PARCC assessment in the spring.
The Leadership Team at AHS once again invites everyone to be a part of the 2nd annual AHS FAMILY TAILGATE event before the Purple/White Panther Scrimmage Game on Thursday, Aug. 14. The event is being held in conjunction with the AHS Open House/Registration from 3:30-7:30, with the scrimmage beginning at 7:30. Tents, tables, and booths will be set up along the parking area in front of Dick Hays Stadium, promoting school-sponsored organizations and community involvement. If interested in participating, contact Jennifer Walker at 903-276-4044 to reserve your space, or simply come and browse the booths while supporting AHS and the Panthers.
Supt. Sanders tells everyone, "We have a great school here in Ashdown!" He looks forward to meeting everyone in the district and in the community and continues, "Only by working together can we become one of the best schools in Arkansas (#1)."
CUSTOMS PLACES HOLD ON DWI SUSPECT 8/11/14
On Sunday, August 3rd, at 2:33 in the morning, Officer David Higgins of the De Queen Police Department was notified by an off duty police office that a possible drunk driver was headed east on Collin Raye Drive out by Tires Plus.
Higgins reported that he got behind the vehicle in front of the hospital and observed the vehicle swerving.
Higgins initiated a traffic stop in the parking lot of TJ's where the driver, 39-year-old Luis Martinez, could not provide a valid drivers license and failed the field sobriety test.
Martinez was then transported to the Sevier County jai and charged with Driving Under the Influence, number 3, driving on a suspended license, refusal to submit to test and driving left of center.
Martinez is being held in the Sevier County Jail on a hold placed on him by the U.S. Customs Department.
DIERKS WOMAN ARRESTED FOR ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A MINOR 8/11/14
Saturday night, Officer Drew Pannell of the Dierks Police Department arrested 33-year-old Jessica Melton of Dierks for driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license and endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree.
According to the incident report, Melton was pulled over after the Dierks Police Department received a report of a possible impaired driver on Highway 70 West.
According to Pannell, when Melton exited the vehicle, she had difficulty maintaining her balance and when he asked her a question, her speech was slurred.
FOREMAN CITY COUNCIL TO APPOINT A NEW RECORDER/TREASURER 8/11/14
The Foreman City Council voted to appoint a replacement to the office of City Recorder/Treasurer since current recorder/treasurer Mike Cranford will be leaving office December 31st because he was elected the next Little River County Judge.
According to state law, councils may declare a vacancy and then either call for a special election or appoint a qualified person to fill the position for the remainder of the term.
The Foreman City Council voted to appoint someone and as started taking applications that are accompanied by a resume until Friday, August 29th.
State laws says the appointed person must be a qualified elector, which means they live within the city limits of Foreman and are registered to vote.
For more information, you may contact the City Recorder/Treasurers office at 870-542-7434. [or email Cranford at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
HELP DE QUEEN SHOW CHOIR ATTEND AMERICA SINGS PROGRAM 8/11/14
Show Choir Director Stefani Jones asked the De Queen Board of Education if the show choir could attend the America Sings program in Orlando, Florida during their August meeting.
Board members approved the trip and Jones described the America Sings program and explained that John Jacobson who is chorographer from Orlando had invited the De Queen Show Choir to participate in the program while she was attending a workshop in Dallas this summer.
Twenty-four choir members will not only perform and attend workshops, but they be participating in a day of service in the Orlando area.
Jones said they will be in Orlando from February 26th to March 1st and she mentioned the cost of the trip.
Board members also gave Jones and the newly formed Show Choir booster club permission to start raising funds for their trip. Jones stated five parents have agreed to be chaperons and they are willing to take a school bus on their trip.
For more information, contact Jones at 642-2426.
HICKEY HOPING TO LURE NEW PRISON TO SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS 8/11/14
A group of state elected officials met to establish a strategy to convince the Arkansas Department of Corrections to construct a 600 bed maximum security prison in southwest Arkansas.
State Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana, Senator Larry Teague of Nashville, Representatives Nate Steel of Nashville, Fonda Hawthorne of Ashdown, Brent Talley of Hope and Prissy Hickerson of Texarkana; met to start laying out a plan to present to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.
The Arkansas Department of Corrections set out an "Expression of Interest" asking for bids for their proposed unit.
The unit is expected to employ up to 250 employees and pay would start at $12.75 per hour. The unit could be expanded to 2,000 beds, which would increase the number of employees to 500 with an operating budget of $38 million.
According to Hickey, the project would take a minimum of 400 acres in a pretty flat area.
The state announced that all bids must be presented by October 24th.
MINERAL SPRINGS TO SEEK GRANTS FOR STREET IMPROVEMENTS 8/11/14
The city of Mineral Springs plans to look into some grants to help overlay and widen some streets around the Mineral Springs School buildings.
Mayor Sonny Heatherly met with the state highway department this week to discuss a grant that would overlay McCrary and Browning Streets.
City crews have started spraying for mosquitoes, but they have not been able to spray often due to the amount of rainfall in the area. Heatherly stated that crews normally spray on Thursday evenings.
Council members voted during their regular monthly meeting to write off 10 water accounts from 2013 that totaled $704.
They also approved the destruction of the old city accounting records for 2005 and 2006.
RESULTS FROM THE 2014 PINE TREE FESTIVAL 8/11/14
The First Baptist Church won the religious division during the 2014 Pine Tree Festival parade and Kenya's Drive-in won the commercial division, while the Arkansas Forestry Commission won the civic division.
Gary Pinkerton won $1,000 for the highest scoring bull.
Boyce Pate and Randall Short won $500 each in the cash drawings.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 8/11/14
Some defendants made their first appearance during last weeks session of the Sevier County Circuit Court before Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper, while others made their last.
Ashley Strong ,James Culp, Odis Grant, Joseph Blankenship and Jennifer Vincent made a first appearance before Judge Cooper and are scheduled to appear Friday to be arraigned on formal charges.
Gary Czarnetski (ZAR-net-SKI) pled guilty to the charge of theft of property and was sentenced to five years probation, while Justin Ford pled guilty to criminal mischief in the first degree and was sentenced to six-years with three suspended.
Nancy Resendiz pled guilty to forgery in the second degree and was sentenced to probation.
Clinton Moss was sentenced to 6 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance.
Kewaun French pled guilty to reduced charges and was sentenced to six-months in jail.
Dave Rogers received a total of 12 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with two suspended after pleading guilty to possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance with the purpose to deliver.
Robert Sherrer was sentenced to three years in prison for domestic battery in the third degree and Donald Helms was sentenced to 10 years with two suspended for deliver of a controlled substance.
After being formally arraigned Aaron Moreland, Mitchell Everhart, Jayme Barnes, Erin Hammer, Jennifer Martinez and Bryan Walling plead not guilty and will return to Circuit Court for their pre-trial dates later in August and September.
Jimmy Europe and Jerome Edwards are scheduled for trial on Wednesday, August 20th.
Europe has been charged with sexual assault in the second degree and will be the first out.
Edwards is being charged with theft of property.
A SMOKER'S PLAN TO QUIT WITH ONE PHONE CALL 8/11/14
The Arkansas Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program is unveiling its newest Cessation Testimonial Campaign, featuring Alberta Faye Hires for the second time. She made her first debut in 2009, as part of the Cessation Campaign to promote the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline. A Quitline graduate, she took the first step toward a healthier lifestyle in 2008 and started running.
One quitter's step in the right direction turned into thousands and the new Cessation Testimonial Campaign, which includes television, radio and print, reveals the milestones that Hires has achieved as a result of her commitment to a tobacco-free lifestyle and she doesn't just run marathons, she finishes them.
More important than reaching and surpassing her personal fitness goals, Hires points out that one of her greatest achievements is serving as a positive role model for her grandchildren.
While personal health and family played a large role in her decision to quit smoking, Hires attributes much of her continued success to the support that she's received from her Quitcoach.
Hires' story is a powerful reminder to individuals, whether they use tobacco or not, that it is never too late to reclaim their health. For those who do use tobacco or nicotine products and want to stop, take it from a quitter who knows the true meaning of winning.
Hires said the one thing she'd say to someone who wants to quit is that you don't have to be a product of your past. You can be a product of your future, by only setting your own goals.
The Arkansas Tobacco Quitline is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day and the Quitline increases a tobacco user's success in quitting by offering a combination of free counseling sessions, with a QuitCoach and free nicotine-replacement therapy medications while supplies last. You just simply need to call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
HOW CAN YOU IDENTIFY A POSSIBLE DIAMOND 8/11/14
The Crater of Diamonds State Park is a unique park for more than the fact that they let visitors keep the diamonds that they find, but another odd rule at the diamond mine is, they let visitors take home up to a five-gallon bucket of screened and/or washed gravel or pretty rocks. So, to be clear, visitors are not allowed to take unscreened and unwashed dirt home.
So, why do they allow visitors to take home a bucket of washed gravel? Well, the reason is, between one half and two-third of the parks registered diamonds are found at home.
For instance, if the washing method is done right, the heavier rocks and mineral will concentrate next to the screen and on the bottom of other rocks and minerals, and when you turn the screen over onto the wash pavilion tables, that layer of heavy mineral will be on the top of the pile. So, if you take the concentrated heavy material layer home to dry out, these rocks and minerals may contain a diamond.
So, how do you identify a diamond? Well, most of the time they are rounded and shiny.
These shiny rounded rocks can be one of four different mineral and rocks beside a diamond, but remember, there is broken glass on the search field, but glass usually has sharp edges and is completely clear and diamonds are rounded and clear, but they don't look clear because of the natural shine that they have. So, you should be able to see into diamonds, but not all the way through them, like a piece of glass.
But, the park also has quartz crystals in the search area and its shiny and clear, like glass, but they have sharp edges and points. Also, if you look at the facets on a quartz crystal with a magnifying glass, you will notice the little parallel lines marching up some crystal faces. Those growth rings are not found on diamonds.
But to know for sure, send your find back to the Crater of Diamond for a positive identification.
TAX CREDIT EXPANSION PROPOSED FOR CHILD-CARE EXPENSES 8/11/14
As the cost of child care continues to grow in this country, so does the chorus of voices calling on Congress to take action.
For many working families, the cost of child care is one of their biggest monthly expenses, for instance, Arkansas parents pay from 4,600 to 6,200 dollars a year, per child for child care. The rising costs are being recognized on Capitol Hill and legislation has been introduced to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
Carla MoQuin is the president of the Parenting in the Workplace Institute and she says that's a good start.
Another Bill in the U.S. House would increase grant money for federal child-care programs.
Moquin says tax code and grants aren't the only ways families could be supported.
Moquin says having access to stable and high-quality child care is also vital for life-long success for kids, since the vast majority of a child's brain development happens before the age of five.
NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION SET FOR UA COSSATOT 08/08/14
Erika Buenrrostro of UA Cossatot announced Thursday morning that school starts August 18th and last day to register for fall classes is August 19th.
New student orientation is next week
on all three Cossatot campuses:
ASHDOWN CAMPUS: AUGUST 11, 9:30 - 11:30 AM OR 5:30 - 7:30 PM
NASHVILLE CAMPUS: AUGUST 12, 9:30 - 11:30 AM OR 5:30 - 7:30 PM
DE QUEEN CAMPUS: AUGUST 14, 9:30 - 11:30 AM OR 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Buenrrostro stressed that it is especially important to students who are taking online classes to attend orientation because they will be able to meet their advisors, learn how to log in to their accounts and...win prizes!
The fall schedule for the UA Cossatot colts Club Soccer team has been released and all of the home games will be played in Herman Dierks Park in De Queen. The Club is still accepting donations and sponsorships to help pay for the team's expenses. Buenrrostro stated that UA Cossatot decided to start a club soccer team after witnessing the success of the soccer teams at De Queen High School She said UA Cossatot was wanted to follow that success up by offering former high school players a chance to play on the college level.
Join Ashdown Students in Becoming Ambassadors of Kindness 08/08/14
On Tuesday, August 19, Ashdown students in grades 7-12 will hear Rachel's Challenge, their hearts and minds will be touched, and they will be inspired to release their inner kindness to others. The concept is as simple as that.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Joy Scott was tragically the first victim of the Columbine High School shooting in August 1999, but there is nothing tragic about her amazing philosophy of life. Rachel's parents, Darrel and Sandy Scott, have made it their mission to share her profound philosophy and turn her story into a mission for change.
Shortly before her death, Rachel wrote, "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go." So begins Rachel's Challenge.
The life and legacy of Rachel Scott is documented in a video entitled "Ambassador of Kindness," which will be shared with the Ashdown students on the morning of August 19 in a program presented by a representative of the Rachel's Challenge organization. Rachel's simple, yet profound philosophy serves to bring hope, while defusing bullying, disrespect, and prejudice.
In the afternoon, discussion/action groups will be guided in formulating a plan to carry out Rachel's Challenge, therefore becoming Ambassadors of Kindness for their school and in their own lives, impacting friends, classmates, and even the whole community.
That evening at 6:00, the public, including parents, church memberships and the community, are invited to the Ashdown High School auditorium to view the program "Ambassador of Kindness," to hear Rachel's Challenge, and to become part of the plan to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion.
Ashdown Superintendent Jason Sanders considers Rachel's Challenge a perfect opportunity for Ashdown School District, its students, parents, and the community to experience unity and to function for the betterment of all. "When students and community begin to show that they care about each other and start to pay forward little acts of kindness, great things can happen."
Interested parties can find more information about the program at rachelschallenge.org.
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher, Ashdown School District
Pilot Honored by Air Evac Lifeteam 08/08/14
Michael Hambrecht, base pilot supervisor with the De Queen, Ark., Air Evac Lifeteam base, was recently honored as the Region 4 Pilot of the Year. Region 4 consists of bases in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
Chuck Atkins, regional director of flight operations for Air Evac, said Hambrecht was quickly promoted to base pilot supervisor not long after joining Air Evac Lifeteam.
“Michael’s aviation skills as a pilot and his professionalism quickly instilled great confidence and trust with the crews,” Atkins said. “He has great leadership skills and a natural ability to motivate others. Michael is well known throughout the area, and his commitment to providing access and service is highly regarded by the hospitals and ground services in his region.”
Air Evac Lifeteam, an air medical service, provides rapid access to definitive health care for those who live in medically underserved areas. Flight crews, consisting of a pilot, flight nurse and flight paramedic, are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to the scene of an emergency, or provide transportation between medical facilities. Air Evac Lifeteam currently operates 115 bases in 15 states. For more information, please visit www.lifeteam.net, or like us on Facebook.
PEO Sponsors Girls State Participants 08/08/14
Two incoming senior girls at Ashdown High School experienced government in a mythical state when they attended the 72nd Arkansas Girls State Program on the campus of Harding University in Searcy on May 25-30.
Sponsored by local Chapter BA of PEO International, Payton Turner and Shelby Tipton represented Little River County in the hands-on citizenship training program, whose selection is based on interest in government, honesty, leadership ability and good character. The over 900 young ladies from across the state learn government by actually creating a mythical state through the election of public officials on local, county, and state levels and then by carrying out the duties of these respective offices.
Payton, the daughter of Jill and Michael Turner, and Shelby, the daughter of Shauna and Ray Tipton, belonged to different "cities" (Payton in Bethell and Shelby in Beebe) and to different mythical political parties (Federalists and Nationalists).
Since 1942, the Girls State Program for high school junior girls emphasizes the areas of Patriotism, Participation, and Progress as the participants gain a better understanding of our American traditions and our government. Both Ashdown girls told the PEO sponsors at their August meeting what they had learned about becoming better citizens and community members. They enjoyed speakers every evening of the week-long event and also spent a full day touring the Arkansas State Capitol, including sitting in on a session in the House and Senate.
Their favorite speaker, both girls agreed, was former Miss Arkansas Kristen Glover, also a former Girls State delegate from Stuttgart High School. They described her as an inspiring role model as she related her experiences representing the state and as she continues to be very involved in charity work and with her platform "Second Chances: Empowering Youth to Rise Above."
Payton also played clarinet and performed in the Girls State Band. Both girls spoke about the friendships they had formed with girls from across the state, whom they feel sure will remain friends through college and after.
Ashdown Chapter BA of the PEO organization encourages other organizations in the county to consider sponsoring a delegate for Girls State in the future so more of the county's young ladies can benefit from this experience. Sponsors are also needed for junior boys to attend Arkansas Boys State, a week-long leadership camp held on the UCA campus in Conway.
Pictured above are Ashdown High School
delegates to Arkansas Girls State (left) Payton Turner and (right)
Carolyn Henderson, Public Relations Coordinator/Teacher, Ashdown School District
UA COSSATOT RODEO TEAM PRESENTED LEGISLATIVE CITATIONS 8/7/14
Tuesday afternoon, Arkansas Senator Jimmy Hickey of Texarkana and State Representative Fonda Hawthorne presented Brody Braden, Tanner Caudle and the UA Cossatot Rodeo team citations from the Arkansas Legislature for their accomplishments during the National Rodeo.
UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole announced that the school made a decision four years ago to establish a college rodeo team and knew one day they would celebrate the success of that project, but he, himself, was a little surprised that they were so successful, so quickly. But, he said that was because of the right coach, Valerie Stone, and the right team members, including Braden and Caudle.
Cole informed the crowd of over 100 attendees that UA Cossatot always wanted to celebrate their accomplishments, and they wanted to recognize the success of the Cossatot Colts. This past season, Braden and Caudle earned the title of Reserve National Champions and the Cossatot Colts men's team finished the year in 10th place nationally.
Cole also informed those in attendance that the National Finals Rodeo would be televised on Friday, August 15th on ESPNU.
ARREST MADE IN THEFT AT FOOTBALL FIELD 8/7/14
Authorities have arrested two suspects in a case involving the burglary of the Dierks High School concession stand at the football field.
23-year-old Rickey Alexander of Newhope and 35-year-old Katie Ashbrooks of Dierks were arrested in connection to the incident, which was originally reported on June 30th.
According to the arrest warrant, the wooden door was pried open and a window was broken out.
School officials reported that sodas and Powerade drinks were missing along with several other items.
Members of the Dierks Police Department reportedly discovered some of the property dumped on Highway 70 North.
Officers John McKee and Drew Pannell reported that they found several items consistent with things that are associated with concession stands, along with two coolers. One of the coolers had BAND written on it.
CHALICE CUPBOARD JULY REPORT 8/7/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 82 families in Sevier County during the month of July including 153 adults and 93 children by distributing 1,943 pounds of food.
Food was donated by the First Presbyterian Church and the St. Barbara Catholic Church. During the month a total of 774 pounds of food was added to the cupboard shelves.
Volunteers suggest that cereal and jelly be donated this month.
The cupboards bank balance was $355.28 cents at the beginning of July. They received $404 in donations, but the cupboard spent $560.60 to purchase additional food items, thus leaving a balance of $198.68.
But, Sevier County residents who need food may stop by the Chalice Cupboard, Tuesday and Wednesday of each week between 2 and 3:30 p.m. at 115 North Sixth Street in De Queen.
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL AMENDS BUDGET, APPROVES SEWER SERVICE PROJECT 8/7/14
Tuesday night during a meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen amended the 2014 operating budget and passed a motion to expand the city's sewer service to residents within the city limits that currently do not have city sewer service.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided reports to council members concerning the city's sidewalk project, raw water line project and the city's sewer system.
McKelvy reported that the sidewalk project was being completed with the use of a $13,000 General Improvement Grant and he also said the raw water line project was going well.
McKelvy then reported that there were 32 houses with the city limits that were not on the city's sewer system. He then reported that he contacted the homeowners and asked if they would like to be hooked up to the city’s waste water system and only 15 said they wanted to be hooked up to the city utility.
McKelvy also reported that the city could begin working to provide sewer service to those residents because the waste water department had funds in their budget to start that project or they could make an extra payment on the water treatment plant loan.
After hearing the report, Alderman Sterling Daniel made a motion that the city start engineering the project east on Highway 70/71.
McKelvy also reported that city crews had laid a sewer line in the industrial park and would be installing a water line in the near future.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT ARRESTED FOR ALTERING PRESCRIPTION 8/7/14
On Friday, August 1st, Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel of the De Queen Police Department was contacted by the De Queen Regional Medical Center in reference to an altered prescription.
Tammy Morris informed Kimmel that she had been contacted by the De Queen Wal-Mart pharmacist Linda Graves concerning a prescription that appeared to have been altered.
Graves reportedly asked Morris about a prescription for Amoxicillin and Oxy for 62-year-old Rosemary Whitaker.
Morris informed Graves that Whitaker had visited the emergency room on July 26th and had received a prescription for the Amoxicillin, but not the Oxy.
On August 4th, Kimmel interviewed Whitaker.
Whitaker told Kimmel that she got the prescription from the ER on July 26th, but did not take it to the pharmacy until August 1st because she could afford to have it filled until then.
She reportedly told Kimmel that she put the prescription in the glove box of her car, but when she went to get it, the prescription was on the floorboard.
Whitaker told Kimmel, she didn't know the prescription had been altered when she gave it the pharmacists.
Whitaker was then processed at the Sevier County jail for fraud for the possession of controlled substance by fraud, forgery or theft.
TWO JUVENILES CITED FOR RACING 8/7/14
Officer JJ Lopez of the De Queen Police Department cited two juveniles for racing on Friday, August 1st.
According to the incident report, one juvenile was traveling west on Collin Raye Drive near 9th Street at a high rate of speed along side a white truck at about 4 p.m.
Lopez got behind the two vehicles near the De Queen Regional Medical Center and witnessed them turn onto Johnson Bridge Road. Lopez initiated a traffic stop on the two vehicles and cited the drivers for racing on the highway.
TWO RIVERS GALA SATURDAY NIGHT 8/7/14
The Little River County Historical Society will be holding its annual Two Rivers Gala this Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Texarkana Country Club as a fundraiser for the Two Rivers Museum.
Museum supporter Carolyn Castleman explained that museum helps promote Little River's pride in it’s past and the gala will help the historical society pay off its remaining balance on the building.
Castleman stated the event will be held at the Texarkana Country and will have a Southern Charm theme.
Mark McKay will be the emcee for the evening. McKay is a former graduate of Ashdown High School and is the General Manager of KTAL Channel 6 in Shreveport.
For more information or to purchase tickets stop by the Castle Antiques, the Two Rivers Museum or you may call 870-898-7200.
DE QUEEN DISTRICTS BEGINNING BALANCE WHAT EXPECTED BY ADMINISTRATION 8/6/14
Monday night during the August meeting of the De Queen Board of Education, Superintendent Bruce Hill informed the board that the district's beginning balance was what they expected.
Hill also reported that the district's food service program was still breaking even and the De Queen District was one of the few districts in the state that did not have to supplement their food service program.
Hill stated they were having some issues with leaking roofs on the new Elementary School and the renovated old elementary, but the contractor was still here working to alleviate the situation.
Board members accepted the resignation of three district employees, including assistant football and track coach Joe Baker, along with aids; Joni House and Love Blackwood.
They also approved the transfer of four students. Three students transferred to the Horatio School District and one transferred to the Cossatot River School District.
Board members accepted Superintendent Hill's recommendation to hire Meagan Strain as a Science teacher and Maralyn Faulkenberry as a third grade teacher.
Board members approved a trip to Florida for the High School Show Choir and they will start raising funds for their trip, but the board announced they would make a contribution to help students participate in the America Sings program in February.
The next De Queen Board of Education meeting will be Monday, September 8th at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building.
SIX-YEAR GRADUATION RATE FALLS IN ARKANSAS 8/6/14
The percentage of students at Arkansas' public universities who graduate within six years has fallen by 1.3 percent.
An Arkansas Department of Higher Education report says the six-year graduation rate fell from 40.8 percent in 2012 to 39.5 percent in 2013. The report tracks students who enrolled in college for the first time in 2007.
UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole reported Cossatot is helping students graduate within the three-year window period of time, but if they don’t graduate in three-years, Cossatot is there to help them accomplish their goals at their own pace.
Cole stated that last year, Cossatot had the highest transfer out rate in the state last year and is helping students continue their education at other institutions.
Cole explained that UA Cossatot wants to help students be successful.
Higher Education Department Director Shane Broadway explained that the report does not take into account that 36 percent of the students are part-time and it doesn't count students who started college in Arkansas and then moved to another state to finish there degrees or students who returned to college later in life to finish a degree.
REGISTRATION IN ASHDOWN 8/6/14
All elementary schools in the Ashdown School District, including Margaret Daniel Primary for kindergarten and first grade, C.D. Franks Elementary for second and third grades and L.F. Henderson Intermediate for fourth and fifth grades, will register new and returning students through August 7th from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. in the school offices.
A district-wide Open House will be held on Thursday, August 14th from 3 to 7 p.m. Elementary campuses will have a Meet the Teacher Night during those hours and Ashdown Junior High and Senior High will distribute student and parent registration packets during their Open House that afternoon.
Ashdown High School is encouraging its ninth through twelfth grade students to come by the school office any day to pick up their registration packets so they can take them home to fill out the forms and simply return the completed paperwork during the Open House on August 14th.
Students enrolled in Ashdown's New Tradition School will meet and register for their classes on the night of their Open House on August 14th from 3 to 7 p.m.
105 RABIES CASES CONFIRMED IN ARKANSAS 8/6/14
More than 100 cases of rabies have been confirmed in Arkansas so far this year with a second peak season for the disease on the horizon, according to state health and animal science officials.
According to Arkansas Public Health Veterinarian Susan Weinstein, the peak time for rabies is March and April with a smaller rise in late summer, early fall.
The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting 105 confirmed cases of rabies with 1 confirmed case in both Sevier and Howard counties.
Of the total number of cases, 88 have cases were skunks and 12 were bats. However, there have been two cases in cats and one each in cattle, foxes and dogs.
There were 152 cases of rabies in Arkansas last year, which was up from 131 in 2012 and 60 in 2011.
Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nervous system and is considered one of the most infectious diseases. The disease is fatal, but can be prevented with a series of injections. However, it cannot be treated once the symptoms appear.
Symptoms usually appear three to eight weeks after exposure and include pain, burning and numbness at the site of the infection.
Victims complain of headaches, the inability to sleep, irritability, muscle spasms of the throat and difficulty swallowing.
ARKANSAS DETAILS CHANGES TO MEDICAID EXPANSION 8/6/14
Arkansas is proposing requiring many participants of the state's Medicaid expansion program to contribute monthly to a health savings accounts and to set new limits on transportation for non-emergency services.
State officials released a report last week of their proposed changes to the state's private option, which was created last year as an alternative to expanding Medicaid under the federal health law.
Two public hearings are planned for next week as the state prepares to submit the proposal to the federal government in September.
Lawmakers required the state to win approval for the changes by February in order to keep the program alive.
Under the private option, Arkansas is using federal funds to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents.
ARKANSAS STARTS FISCAL YEAR BELOW FORECAST 8/6/14
Arkansas finance officials say sluggish corporate and sales tax collections pushed the state's revenue below forecast and the same month last year as it began its fiscal year.
The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration announced Monday that the state's net available revenue totaled $403.1 million, which is $7.1 million below the same month last year and $9.8 million below the forecast.
Arkansas' fiscal years began July 1st.
Corporate income tax collections totaled $18.4 million, which was $8.5 million below July of 2013 and $9.7 million below forecast. Sales tax collections totaled $185.5 million, which was $500,000 below July of last year and below forecast by $7.6 million.
Officials announced they were encouraged by individual income taxes being on forecast and an increase in withholding.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION HOLDS SPECIAL MEETING IN JULY 8/5/14
Members of the Foreman Board of Education held a special called board meeting in July to make a few hires prior to the beginning of the new school year.
Board members accepted the recommendation of new Superintendent George Kennedy to hire Teresa Chrenshaw and Gena Slaton as new elementary school teachers.
Board members also approved Kennedy's request to allow him to hire someone on an hourly basis for the bus transportation and bus mechanic positions on a trial basis for 30 to 60-days.
Board members approved the student transfer request of one student from the Foreman School District to the Horatio School District.
Board members also announced a meet and greet event for Kennedy and his family on Sunday, August 10th from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Oscar Hamilton Elementary Cafetorium.
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL FOR AUGUST 7TH, 8TH AND 9TH 8/5/14
The 38th annual Hope Watermelon Festival will open at noon on Thursday, August 7th and run through Saturday, August 9th in Fair Park in Hope.
This year's event will feature more than 200 booths of arts and crafts, as well as a dozen concession stands selling everything from barbecue to corn dogs to blooming onions and alligator on a stick.
Hope/Hempstead County Chamber of Commerce Director Mark Keith reported things will get off to a slow stroll on Thursday but events will include the Kiwanis Chicken Dinner, a dog show and the preliminary rounds of the Watermelon Idol Talent Contest.
Keith said activities will get started at 9 a.m. Friday morning and will be highlighted by the Lions Club fish and chicken dinner in the Fair Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Friday will also feature the gospel group Harmony from Wickes on the First Bank stage Friday night.
The Little Miss and Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant, which is sponsored by the Beta Sigma Phi, will be held inside the coliseum.
Keith said Saturday will feature a 5K Race and the Melon Mile for kids; an antique car show, a children's fishing derby on Lake Huckabee, the politically correct watermelon eating contest at 11:30 and the regular watermelon eating contest at noon and seed-spiting contest at 1.
Keith stated he was expected a little better competition during this year's politically correct watermelon eating contest, but hoped Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton would retain the title.
The final event, this year, is the David Nail concert and Keith said the chamber was excited to have a chart topper at this year's Watermelon Festival.
Advance general admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 4-10. Adult general admission tickets will be $20 the day of the show.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY LAND AUCTION NETS $234,209 8/5/14
The recent auction of tax-delinquent properties in Little River County collected over $234,000 for county and state governments, according the Commissioner of State Lands office.
The Land Commissioner's office conducted the auction of delinquent properties at the Little River County Courthouse and 25 bidders purchased 19 parcels, for a total of $234,209.21 in revenue.
The Land Commissioner's office conducts one tax-delinquent land sale per county each year to dispose of land on which the taxes have been past due for over two years.
Commissioner John Thurston explained that a small percentage of certified parcels make it to public auction because a majority of the properties that are certified to his office are redeemed, which means the back taxes were paid by the original owner.
Thurston stated redemption of property is the preferred method of disposing of tax-delinquent lands, however, he said an important role of the land sales was to return the inactive parcels to the counties tax roles.
Registered bidders may purchase land at the auctions. Registration to bid at a land sale is free, and upon the sale of a tax-delinquent parcel, the Commissioners office issues a limited warranty deed to the highest bidder.
Thurston's office returns delinquent tax and interest collected, whether through redemption or sale to the county taxing unit just as if the money had been originally collected there.
According to Thurston's office, his office returned $21 million to school districts and county governments in 2013. He reported that Little River County received $27,349.06 last year.
Thurston said this process ensures stable revenues for local public schools.
MISPLACED THEN MISUSED? 8/5/14
38-year-old Urvashi Patel contacted the De Queen Police Department on Thursday, July 31st to report that she left her wallet on the counter by the cash register at Wal-Mart.
Officer David Higgins reviewed Wal-Mart's security video and discovered that the cashier, 40-year-old Leslie Smith, took the wallet and placed it in her coat pocket.
Later, Smith reported that she was not feeling well and left work early.
Patel reported that there was $125.00 in the wallet along with a Sam's Discover card, Wal-Mart Discover card, a Kohl's card and Stage card.
According to the incident report, Smith was also called in sick the day following the incident.
SEVIER COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM READY TO SERVE STUDENTS THIS SCHOOL YEAR 8/5/14
As kids get ready for school, the staff of the Sevier County Library System wants parents and teachers to know that they are to help with their back to school needs by offering, public access to computers, fax machines and copiers.
Head Librarian Johnye Fisher announced that during the month of August the De Queen Library would be selling chances on a painting by Jana Spillman.
The chances are $1 each or 6 for $5 and you can stop by anytime and purchase your chances and the drawing will be held on Monday, August 25th.
Tomorrow, Linda Goodner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will be at the De Queen Library to present a program on Arkansas Mammals and Goodner said she will be reading the book, "Is a Camel a Mammal: All About Mammals.”
She also stated that she will be discussing the habitat, tracks and sounds of Arkansas mammals with the children.
THREE LITTLE RIVER COUNTY CHARGED WITH VIOLATING ARTIFACTS LAW 8/5/14
Three Ashdown residents have been charged with violating a federal law that protects artifacts that are discovered on public lands.
35-year-old Christopher Castle, 29-year-old Lauren Bailes and 31-year-old Callie Neher are being accused of violating the Archaeological Resource Protection Act on April 15th and April 20th at Millwood Lake near Ashdown.
All three defendants entered not-guilty pleas last week when they appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in Texarkana's federal building.
Castle has been named in both incidents, while Bailes and Neher were named in one incident each.
All three were released without bond.
CHALICE CUPBOARD JULY REPORT 08/05/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 82 families in Sevier county (246 people) including 153 adults and 93 children. Food distributed totaled 1,943 pounds.
donated food from First Presbyterian Church and St. Barbara Catholic church weighed 91 pounds. During July 683 pounds of food were purchased. Total food added was 774 pounds.
The bank balance on July 1, 2014 was $355.28. an additional $404 was received in donated funds. During the month $560.60 was spent to replenish food items. The bank balance on July 31, 2014 was $198.68.
Suggested food items for donation in August are cereal and jelly. Residents in Sevier County needing food may come in for aid on Tuesday and Wednesday form 2:00 p. to 3:30 p.m. at the Chalice Cupboard located at 115 North Sixth Street in De Queen. Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period (January-March, April-June, July-September, October-December).
ARKANSAS FARM BUREAU PRAISES SENATORS' ACTION 8/4/14
Arkansas Farm Bureau praised a proposal cosponsored by United State Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman called the Private Landowner Protection Act, which would amend the Endangered Species Act and require government agencies to perform a thorough economic analysis of any proposed species and critical habitat designation.
The issue goes beyond Arkansas' borders and has the potential to impact property owners nationwide.
The Pryor-Boozman bill closely matches HR 4319, the Common Sense in Species Protection Act of 2014, which was proposed earlier in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Rick Crawford of Jonesboro.
Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach stated that its important to note that every member of the Arkansas delegation signed on as a sponsor or co-sponsor of one of the bills. He explained the bills were designed to get a handle on an out-of-control issue with the Endangered Species Act.
Veach stated that Farm Bureau understands the necessity of the Endangered Species Act, but its implementation through critical habitat designations should not go without considering the true economic impact they have on the livelihoods and lives of the human species.
Veach explained that farmers, ranchers and landowners were being overloaded with unnecessary and burdensome regulations and the passage of these proposals will bring some good-ole common sense to what has become a gross overreach by the federal government.
MINERAL SPRINGS MAN ARRESTED FOR RAPE 8/4/14
Howard County investigators have arrested a Mineral Springs man on the charge of rape.
51-year-old David Hawkins was arrested July 31st following a report that was made to the Mineral Springs Police Department involving a juvenile female.
The case was investigated by the Mineral Springs Police Department, the Arkansas State Police and the Howard County Sheriff's office.
Hawkins' bond was set at $100,000.
FORESTRY COMMISSION DELAYS WILDFIRE PREPARATIONS 8/4/14
The Arkansas Forestry Commission has decided to delay summer wildfire preparations and the arrival of state-contracted single-engine air tankers has been pushed back.
Usually, by this time of year, the state has already experienced about 1,500 wildfires with over 20,000 acres burned. But, only about 15,000 acres of Arkansas forest have burned so far this year.
However despite the low risk, the risk still remains and the Forestry Commission encourages all homeowners to have a plan and manage their property to lower the risk of wildfires.
SEVIER COUNTY ALL-STARS OFF TO THE WORLD SERIES 8/4/14
The Sevier County National All-Star team won the state tournament last week in Nashville by defeating the Polk County All-Stars from Mena in the championship game and now they will represent the state of Arkansas during the World Series in South Carolina.
The team is coached by Anthony Shelton, Michael Williamson and Rod Short, but it was a mom that thanked Sevier County for its support.
If you would like to make a donation to help the team with their expenses call 279-0078.
SPAY AND NEUTER CLINIC 8/4/14
Dr. Terri Devlin of the Sevier County Humane Society announced Friday morning that the society would be hosting a spay and neuter clinic this week at the Sevier County.
Devlin stated the clinic would be Tuesday, August 5th; Wednesday, August 6th and Thursday, August 7th and she recommended that you call her office to set an appointment at 642-4364.
Devlin stated that all animals should be dropped off at the mobile clinic between 7 and 9 a.m.
Devlin said appointments usually fill up fast and recommended that you call and make an appointment as soon as possible.
And, if you would like to volunteer during the spay and neuter clinic or become a regular humane society volunteer, you may call Dr. Devlin's office at 642-4364.
SWEPCO PRESENTS GRANT TO CITY OF LOCKESBURG 8/4/14
Friday morning, employees of AEP-SWEPCO presented the Ida Margaret Coulter Stone Memorial Park committee in Lockesburg with a $1,000 grant to make some park improvements.
Jennifer Harland is the External Affairs Manager for the SWEPCO Texarkana office and she explained that the grant was to enhance the infrastructure of the park.
Sheila Ruth is the park commission chairperson stated the commission wasn't sure what they would be using the grant for exactly, but stated they would like to make some improvements to the park's walking trial or maybe complete some electrical work throughout the park.
Ruth was joined for the grant presentation by Lockesburg Mayor Danny Ruth, park commissioners Skip and Barbara Bell, Harland and SWEPCO District Supervisor Steve Saterfield.
VICTIMS REPORT STOLEN ITEMS FROM THEIR VEHICLES 8/1/14
A couple of De Queen residents have reported that items were taken from their vehicles Wednesday night while they were attending church.
One victim reported that several guitars were stolen from their truck while they were attending church at the De Queen Church of Christ on Collin Raye Drive.
The other incident was reported at the Friendship Baptist Church on Ninth Street, which is right off of Collin Raye Drive.
The victim at Friendship Baptist Church reported that sometime between 7 and 11 p.m. last night, someone broke into their car and stole a purse. They reported that the purse contained several personal items including their new cell phone.
According to the De Queen Police Department, the incidents are under investigation, but there are no suspects at this time. They are asking residents that have information concerning these thefts to please contact their office at 584-2213.
UA COSSATOT OFFERING INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM BEGINNING THIS FALL 8/1/14
Registration for the fall semester is currently underway at UA Cossatot and Admissions Coordinator Tommi Cobb announced students have until August 19 to register.
Cobb stated the college was currently operating under its summer hour program and is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Fridays, but they will go back to their regular hours of 8 to 4:30 Monday through Friday on August 8th.
Cobb also mentioned that orientation will be held on the Ashdown campus August 11th, in Nashville, August 12th and on the De Queen campus, August 14th at 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. each day.
Cobb then described how the new Industrial Technology Program started and will be offered on the Ashdown campus.
Cobb explained that you can pick and choose the classes you need or earn an Associates of Applied Science degree.
Cobb stated this new program helps Cossatot fulfill its mission statement which demonstrates that UA Cossatot is committed to the communities that it serves.
If you have any questions about the Industrial Technology Program contact Steve McJunkins on the Nashville campus by dialing 870-584-4471 ext. 2238 or you can contact the student services department.
POWER OUTAGE IN LOCKESBURG 8/1/14
Just before 10 a.m. Thursday morning, SWEPCO's 69,000-volt transmission line from De Queen to Lockesburg shut down, causing an outage to some 690 customers in the area.
According to SWEPCO's media relations director Scott McCloud reported about 12:30 p.m. Thursday that crews had been dispatched to the area to locate the case of the outage and make repairs.
A short time later, McCloud reported that an assessment team had located a tree that had fallen onto the transmission line and broke the top off the pole.
Power was restored about 7 p.m. to the affected area.
SEVIER COUNTY RODEO ROYALTY CONTESTANTS BEING SOUGHT 8/1/14
The 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is right around the corner, but it's time to sign up if you plan to participate in the 2014 Rodeo Royalty Competition and Sevier County Fair Board Member Michelle Sawyer mentioned the four different divisions for this year's event.
Sawyer explained that young ladies in the Little Miss, Princess and Queen Divisions will be judged on horsemanship and answer questions from the judges about their horse.
Sawyer said the last day to register will be this Saturday at noon.
Sawyer also stated all contestants must live in Sevier County or attend in Sevier County.
ARKANSAS ASKS JUDGE TO KEEP MARRIAGE BAN IN PLACE 8/1/14
Arkansas officials are asking a federal judge to reject an effort to strike down the state's gay marriage ban by arguing that the prohibition is constitutional and serves a legitimate state interest.
The attorney general's office asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to deny the motion for a summary judgment that was filed by two same-sex couples that are challenging the ban. The couples asked Baker to find a 2004 constitutional amendment and any related laws that bar gay marriage as being unconstitutional.
The couples sued the state over the ban last year.
The state is arguing that the motion is premature since Baker has not ruled on a motion that it filed asking her to dismiss the lawsuit.
The state Supreme Court is also considering whether to uphold a county judge's ruling against the ban.
BACK TO SCHOOL WITH A SMILE 08/01
James Jackson representing Smiles of Arkansas Dental Center announced today that "this year, in honor of our great community and the services they allow us to perform on a daily basis, we are giving away school back packs! Without our kids, we are irrelevant and we want to show our appreciation." Students grades K-12 may go by the Smiles office at 110 West De Queen Avenue in De Queen on Saturday, August 16th and pick up their free back pack with pencils and paper inside.
SENATOR TEAGUE SUPPORTS ENDING HUNGER 08/01/14
LITTLE ROCK – Dozens of volunteers packed more than 45,000 meals Sunday for Arkansans who routinely do not get enough to eat.
Senator Larry Teague of Nashville and his son, Larry, were among the volunteers who helped the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance meet its goals. They were joined by legislators from 15 states who were here for the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference.
Teague has been a consistent volunteer at hunger relief events, in his capacity as a state legislator and as an ordinary citizen. In 2010 Teague received the 2010 Acting Out Against Hunger Award from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance because of his consistent support of hunger relief efforts at both the statewide and the local level. Teague is vice chairman of the Legislative Hunger Relief Caucus.
“In a state like Arkansas, which has such a strong agricultural base and exports food throughout the world, no one should ever go hungry,” Teague said.
According to the Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas and Mississippi are at the bottom of national surveys on food security. In both states almost a fifth of all households are categorized as “food insecure.” That means they regularly live days in which they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.In the summertime, children are at special risk of going hungry because they do not get free or reduced priced meals at school.
“The food packaging event was a great success, first of all because we packed 45,000 meals that will go to people who need them. Secondly it was a learning experience for many of the volunteers, who included legislators and policy makers from all across the South. It was an eye opening experience,” Teague said.
Above: Senator Larry Teague of Nashville (in red shirt) and his son, Larry In blue shirt) help pack boxes with meals for the Hunger Relief Alliance.
Boozman Denies Blank Check for Border Crisis 08/01/14
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Border Security and Enforcement First Immigration Caucus, voted against giving President Obama a blank check for the border crisis.
“The President’s lawless policies and executive actions need to be stopped. This blank check will not solve the crisis at our border. It begins with enforcing our immigration laws and correcting the misrepresentations and misunderstandings of our laws that play a significant role in the recent influx of children crossing our southern border. I believe that these children here illegally need to be taken care of, but there needs to be a plan to return them to their home countries safely and as soon as possible,” Boozman said.
Boozman is a cosponsor of S. RES. 486, a Senate resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that President Obama should take immediate action through five concrete steps to resolve the situation and prevent future crises including providing states impacted by this surge of illegal immigrants with the resources they need to address this ongoing crisis and working with Mexican and Central American officials to improve security at the southern border of Mexico.
He also cosponsored S.2631, a bill that would prevent the use of taxpayer funds to expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and from continuing to lawlessly grant amnesty and work permits to new immigrants who enter the country illegally.
Community Matters According to the Brackett Family 07/31/14
Aaron Brackett was injured in a serious car accident that happened on May 5, 2014. The family wanted to send a thank you to all those who helped them in so many ways. Terry wrote this article and asked us to publish it on our website.
“We, the Brackett family, found out how much community matters when our son was in a serious car accident on May 5, 2014. We would like to send a special heartfelt thank you to all of the people who prayed, raised money, sent care packages, came for visits, sent cards, and most of all supported all four of us during this journey. The people of this community helped us in so many ways and we need each and every person to know what they mean to our family.
During our 30 day stay in St. Vincent’s in Little Rock, we could feel the love and warmth of our community. The De Queen Junior High students along with the special staff of the entire school raised well over $3000 for us and will always hold a special place in our hearts. Many students gave allowance money, paychecks, baptism money, and collected donations. Thank you. We would like to specially thank Kelly Williams who led that awesome fund raiser at school and took care of many other needed tasks (still continuing this day!). We need thank another special couple, Dee and Jon Vaught who were there for our son at the scene of the accident. They were there for a reason, and we thank both of them for being there for our son. Other special people designed and sold t-shirts as a fund raiser, not to mention all those that bought t-shirts. We send another special thank you to De Queen Hospital In-Patient and Out-Patient Rehab for getting us home when Aaron was finally ready for physical and occupational therapy. We can say that the staff and administration go far beyond what is expected. Other people visited, donated money, sent encouraging prayers and words, and kept our spirits up at just the right moments. Others led prayer groups at school (Horatio and De Queen), kept prayers going through social media, and prayed without ceasing. Thank you. We, of course, could not have survived this journey without all of our family members, including church family. They did everything from providing hotel money to doing laundry. Thank you and we love you.
You hear many people say that faith, family, and friends are the cornerstone of life. This journey sent that message to our family loud and clear. We want to let everyone know that it was your prayers and God working through so many of you that brought us through this journey, most of all Aaron. We are better for it, and hope that you, our community, know how much you mean to us. Thank you from Chris, Terry, Aaron, and Austin Brackett. We give God all the honor and glory.”
DE QUEEN COUNCIL ADDS 700 FEET TO RAW WATER LINE PROJECT 7/31/14
Tuesday night, the aldermen of the De Queen City Council met in a special called meeting and agreed to add the Wilson Creek Crossing section of pipe to the city's current raw water line project.
Before the vote, City Engineer Greg Vaughn informed the aldermen that all of the pipe for the raw water line project had not been delivered, and he said now would be the time to order an additional 700 feet for this section because pipe prices were going up about $20 a foot as of August 1st.
The cost of the additional section will be about $96,536.
Vaughn stated replacing this section of pipe would increase the city's water capacity and help reduce energy cost.
Vaughn said replacing this section of pipe would also allow the city to move the line out of the highway department's right-away.
Vaughn reported that the contractor had laid about 11,000 feet of pipe and he and the contractor held a progress meeting Wednesday morning to discuss this additional section and other issues related to the original project.
LOCAL STATE SENATOR HELPS FEED THE HUNGRY 7/31/14
Dozens of volunteers packed more than 45,000 meals Sunday for Arkansans who routinely do not get enough to eat.
State Senator Larry Teague of Nashville and his son, Larry Teague Jr. were among the volunteers who helped the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance meet its goal. The Teagues were joined by legislators from 15 states who were here for the annual meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference.
Teague has been a consistent volunteer at hunger relief events, in his capacity as a state legislator and as an ordinary citizen. In 2010, Teague received the 2010 Acting Out Against Hunger Award from the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance because of his consistent support of hunger relief efforts at both the statewide and the local level.
Teague is also the vice chairman of the Legislative Hunger Relief Caucus.
Teague stated that in a state like Arkansas, which has such a strong agricultural base and exports food throughout the world, no one should ever go hungry.
According to the Hunger Relief Alliance, Arkansas and Mississippi are at the bottom of national surveys on food security. In both states almost a fifth of all households are categorized as food insecure. That means they regularly live days in which they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from.
In the summertime, children are at special risk of going hungry because they do not get free or reduced priced meals at school.
Teague said this year's food packaging event was a great success. He said, first of all, we packed 45,000 meals that will go to people who need them and secondly, it was a learning experience for many of the volunteers, including legislators and policy makers from all across the South.
Teague said it was an eye opening experience.
LOOKING FORWARD TO ELECTION 2014 7/31/14
Most Arkansas voters are preparing to cast their vote for the constitutional offices of Arkansas, but the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Public Policy Center wants to remind voters that there are several issues that they will be considering when they go and vote this November.
Supporters of two proposed ballot measures are currently gathering additional signatures after following short of the required number.
The Act to increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage needs an additional 15,107 valid signatures to make the ballot, while the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment needs 17,133 more signatures, according to the Secretary of State's office.
The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Amendment seeks to legalize the statewide sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol.
The measure to increase the Arkansas Minimum Wage seeks to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 by the year 2017.
But, there are three measures that were submitted for voters consideration by the state Legislature.
Issue one is a constitutional amendment that asks voters to give legislative committees prior review and approval of new state agency administrative rules before the rules could go into effect.
Issue two asks voters to establish a signature threshold for ballot issue groups to meet before they are permitted more time to collect additional signatures. Legislators would like at least 75 percent of the submitted signatures be valid before they are given additional time to gather signature.
Currently, groups are given 30 additional days to gather and submit new signatures, in case their original petitions fall short of the required number of voter signatures to place the issue on the ballot.
Issue three would allow legislators to serve 16 total years in the Arkansas House or Senate, whereas they are now limited to a specific number of years in each chamber.
It would also create an independent commission that would set the salaries of state elected officials. And, it would place limits on lobbying by former legislators and set limits on campaign donations and gifts from lobbyists.
MAYOR MCKELVY REPORTS ON CLEAN UP EFFORTS 7/31/14
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy provided aldermen with an update concerning the city clean-up following last Wednesday's thunderstorm that left area residents without power for up to 48 hours.
McKelvy reported that the national weather reporting station at the Sevier County airport recorded 40 miles per hour winds during the storm before the power went out.
McKelvy stated that city crews started working to clean up the city Wednesday night following the storm and the city is in good shape at this point.
Alderman Walter Smith stated that the members of the area fire departments, police, EMS, as well as city and county workers all stepped up and did a great job following the storm.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE ASKS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO QUEEN WILHELMINA 7/31/14
Earlier this month, the State Parks and Tourism Commission met and heard a formal request from District 20 State Representative Nate Bell concerning the progress of the renovation project on the lodge at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park.
Bell informed KDQN that he wanted to speak to the commission because he felt the state had not done it's due diligence to keep the project on track.
According to one report, construction on the exterior of the building is nearing completion but there is an issue with mold.
Bell explained that another reason for the delays was the fact that Travelers Insurance who is the surety holder of the construction bond is not making payments in a timely manner and he mentioned he felt an investigation into the matter needs to be conducted.
Commissioner Bill Barnes stated one delay resulted from the deterioration of the fire suppression system due to the way the original contractor left the project when their contract was terminated.
Another delay resulted from the fact that the new contractor was not able to apply the mold mitigation plan in a timely fashion.
The lodge at the Queen Wilhelmina State Park closed in March of 2012 for a $6.7 million dollar renovation.
A new contractor had to be selected in August of 2013 after the state terminated the contract of Wade Abernathy Inc. following multiple delays.
Nabholz was hired to complete the project and they estimated that they could complete the project by the end of 2014, but Bell said that won't happen, because they are already about 60 days behind schedule.
Following Bell's request, an investigation is expected to be launched by the state's insurance department and the attorney general's office into the delays of payment authorization on Travelers behalf.
According to one report the delays have resulted in an economic loss of over $11.2 million dollars to the Mena and surrounding area.
DRINKING LEADS TO DOMESTIC CHARGE 7/30/14
Sunday night about 10:30, De Queen Police Officer David Higgins was dispatched to a residence on Gilson Street in reference to a domestic situation.
When Higgins arrived, 29-year-old Candace Durgin informed him that she had been drinking and when she got home, she got into an argument with her girlfriend.
Durgin stated after the verbal altercation started, she left to cool off, but when she got back, they stated arguing again and that time it turned physical.
Durgin admitted to striking 32-year-old Jenny Munguia first, and Munguia struck back in self-defense.
Both parties had injuries consistent with a physical altercation and both refused medical treatment.
Durgin was then taken to the Sevier County jail and cited for Domestic Battery in the 3rd degree.
IS A CAMEL A MAMMAL? 7/30/14
On Wednesday, August 6th, the De Queen Library will be hosting Linda Goodner of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Goodner will present a program about Arkansas Mammals and she informed KDQN that she will do that by reading the Dr. Seuss book; "Is a Camel a Mammal: All About Mammals.”
Goodner explained that she will also be discussing the habitat, tracks and sounds of Arkansas mammals.
Goodner serves 10 counties and works to promote the programs of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
For more information about the Arkansas mammals program at the De Queen Library, call 584-4364.
IT'S JUST ABOUT FAIR TIME 7/30/14
Young people have been caring for and preparing their livestock for the 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo all year and it's just about time to pre-register their livestock for this years show.
Sevier County Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Tuesday morning that livestock pre-registration is this Saturday and if students plan to show a chicken, rabbit, breeding goat, market goat, breeding sheep, market lamb, swine or cattle; they must pre-register their livestock between 9 a.m. and noon.
Frachiseur also mentioned that you must bring your livestock to be weighed if you are showing in the cattle breed commercial heifer division.
For more information, contact Sandra Nunn at 642-7352 or Donna Rivas at 642-4158.
MONEYPAK SCAMS BECOMING MORE COMMON 7/30/14
The only things between a criminal and someone's money are a 14-digit number and a good lie, and that is a lesson many Arkansan's are learning the hard way.
Criminals are increasingly turning to items such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards as a means to steal. Criminals attempt to trick consumers into believing that they won a sweepstakes prize, or they need your assistance while they are traveling out of the country or to help a family member or friend avoid jail time by paying an overdue fine. And, once the criminals have the number from the back of the card, it's almost impossible for a consumer to recover their money.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to warn Arkansans about potential scams and to offer some tips on how to avoid fraud when using MoneyPak or similar products.
There are many scenarios to avoid, but here are a few that have been reported recently in Sevier County:
One resident was informed that she had won a large prize, but she needed to pay the taxes and processing fee. They even informed her that they would pick up the amount when they delivered her prize.
But, remember organizations like Publishers Clearing House does not notify winners by phone and you can not win a drawing if you never entered the drawing.
Another resident was asked by someone claiming to be a local business owner to help them by sending some money to them while they are traveling overseas.
The local business owner was not out of town, but somehow criminals obtained her contact list and contacted all of their clients in an attempt to get them to help a friend in need.
And in another incident, a resident stated someone friended her on Facebook and immediately sent her a message asking if she had been contacted about winning the Facebook lottery.
She was informed that she had won $60 million dollars. The resident then asked to be contacted by certified mail by an attorney's office, but the person deactivated their Facebook account.
There are also accounts of people being asked to help pay a family or friends fine to keep them out of jail or a caller may threaten to turn off a consumer lights or gas.
McDaniel's office recommends that you never provide a MoneyPak number to an unknown individual; avoid offers that require the sharing of a MoneyPak number by phone or email; never email a MoneyPak number to any merchant and be skeptical about using a MoneyPak card for any offer that requires payment before an item is received.
For more information, visit the website, gotyourbackarkansas.org or call 1-800-482-8982.
PROPOSED FISHING REGULATIONS FOR 2015 7/30/14
The Fisheries Division of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has recommended several changes to the state's fishing regulations for 2015.
If approved, the changes will take effect on January 1st.
One proposal set the limit on crappie at 30-a-day, except on some individual waters. Presently, the state is divided with the limit being 20 crappie a day in the north and west half of the state and 30 crappie a day in the south and east.
Another proposed regulation change includes the removal of creel and slot limits on Grandview Lake number one near Columbus.
Comments on the proposed changes can be made to Arkansas Game and Fish Commissioners before their meeting on August 21st.
SEVIER COUNTY FAIR PAGEANT CONTEST 7/30/14
The 77th Annual Sevier County Fair and Rodeo is scheduled for August 16th through August 23rd, but it's time to sign up for the fair pageant and talent contest.
Fair Board member Linda Frachiseur announced Tuesday morning that the deadline to sign up for the pageant and talent contest is Monday, August 4th.
And Frachiseur mentioned that the winners of the Little Miss, Princess and Queen contests will represent Sevier County at the District and State competitions.
And if you don't want to compete in the pageant, you can enter a photogenic contest by entering as many photos as you would like. The entry fee is $5 per photo and contestants may enter more than one photo. However, photos must be turned in by August 15th.
Entry forms may be picked up at the KDQN studios and First Stat Bank in De Queen, but for more information, contact Frachiseur at 584-9592, Stephanie Haarmeyer at 784-0133 or Katrina Frachiseur at 642-5569.
Committee members will also be at the fair grounds Monday, August 4th from 5 until about 6 p.m. to accept pageant and talent show applications.
STILL FINDING DIAMONDS, 108 YEARS LATER 7/30/14
One question on everyone's mind is, "Why are visitors to the Crater of Diamonds State Park still finding diamonds, big diamonds, after 108 years of diamond mining?"
It's not really this isn't that odd of a question for people who live in the northern states, because they understand the freeze/thaw cycle or what is also so known as frost heaving.
The cycle can be described like this; when water changes from a liquid to ice it changes in volume by about 10 percent. This expansion can raise rocks and soils to the top of the soil, with a ribbon of ice forming under them. When the ice melts, the rock stays on the surface. But, the Crater of Diamonds search field is plowed on a regular basis. So, maybe another explanation is necessary.
The reason visitors are still finding diamonds after all these years is actually a combination of erosion and weathering.
Weathering results because the volcanic ash is extremely susceptible of breaking down when it is exposed to the earth's surface and the process takes place quite quickly and when the ask breaks down it leaves the diamonds, which aren't susceptible to weathering.
The other reason is erosion, which results when surface material is washed away by rain or flowing water and exposes ash to the elements.
So, plow many have suggested that the Crater of Diamond State Park plow more often, but the State Park Director, Greg Butts, says, "Arkansas' state parks are in the forever business."
Meaning they want to preserve this experience for generations to come. But, you should make plans to visit the park and seek your diamond.
For more information about the Crater of Diamond State Park, call 870-285-3113.
ASHDOWN CITY COUNCIL SELECTS INTERIM CITY ATTORNEY 7/29/14
During the July meeting of the Ashdown City Council, aldermen voted to appoint Thad Bishop as the interim city attorney to serve out the term of former city attorney Jay Metzger, who resigned from the position.
Bishop will serve until December 31st when Lindsey Thompson will assume the position after winning the election.
TYSON FOODS TO SELL INTERNATIONAL POULTRY BUSINESS 7/29/14
Tyson Foods says it will sell its poultry businesses in Mexico and Brazil for $575 million in cash to help pay debt that tied to its acquisition of Hillshire Brands.
The company expects the sale to JBS' Pilgrim's Pride, which is based in Greeley, Colorado and has facilities in De Queen, to be completed by the end of the year.
Tyson's Mexico and Brazil operations employ more than 10,000 people combined.
Tyson says it still plans to expand its international operations, especially in Asia, but the businesses it plans to sell didn't have the scale to gain market leading positions.
POLK COUNTY OFFICIALS MOVING FORWARD WITH JAIL TAX PROPOSAL 7/29/14
Polk County officials are moving forward with a sheriff's sale tax proposal to pay for a new jail.
The Polk County Quorum Court approved Sheriff Mike Godfrey's plan to seek a 1-percent sales tax increase to build a 100-bed facility.
The county will work with a planning and development organization to seek bids for builders to present to city officials for final approval.
Godfrey says a new jail is needed because the current facility no longer meets state requirements. He says it's likely the tax would not be ready for a vote during the November general election.
If the proposal is not ready for the November election, the Polk County Quorum Court will have to decide whether to hold a special election or wait until November of 2015.
AUGUST 3-9 IS NATIONAL FARMERS MARKET WEEK 7/29/14
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared August 3rd through August 9th as "National Farmers Market Week" and throughout the week, the USDA will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible and the communities that host them.
This year marks the 15th Annual National Farmers Market Week and recognizes the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy.
The agricultural secretary announced that farmers markets play a key role in developing local and regional food systems that support family farms and help grow the rural economies. He also stated that local farmers markets bring communities together.
Sevier County Farmer's Market board member Angela Smith explained that the farmers market wasn't only a place to get fresh vegetables, but it was a great place to stop and visit with friends.
So far this year, the market has had a large variety of vegetables and
She stated that it's not too late to sign up and sell your fruit, vegetables and craft items this year.
The Sevier County Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and this allows for gardeners to participate in other farmers markets in the area.
Smith also thanked everyone that's been supporting the farmers market.
She also stated that you should be listening to KDQN every Wednesday morning to hear a list of items available that morning as well as any special events that they may have planned for National Farmers Market Week.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE INVESTIGATING BOAT THEFTS 7/29/14
According to a report from the Little River County Sheriff's Office, the department is investigating the theft of a boat, two outboard motors and a trailer from a residence in Winthrop.
The owner of the property, James Applegate of De Queen, reported that he had been contacted by a relative who informed him that they had noticed the boat and trailer missing. He said they called because they thought he may have moved it.
Applegate reported that a 1995 15-foot War Eagle aluminum flat bottomed boat, a 25 horsepower Mercury outboard, a trolling motor and a 15 horsepower Johnson outboard motor and a trailer had been removed from his property.
Currently, no suspects have been arrested and the investigation is continuing. If you have any information as the theft of this property, you are being asked to contact the Little River County Sheriff's office at 898-5115.
MCCURTAIN COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP RODEO 7/29/14
For over the past 40 years cowgirls and cowboys have been testing their mettle during the annual McCurtain County Fair board Championship Rodeo in Idabel.
Fair board member Jessica Coffman informed KDQN that the annual event helps provide livestock for McCurtain County Ag Youth.
The event is sanctioned by the United Professional Rodeo Association, Cowboys Regional Rodeo Association and Arkansas Rodeo Association and the livestock will be provided by the J & J Rodeo Company of Cooper, Texas.
Coffman stated that there will be bronc riding, steering wrestling, barrel racing and bull riding, but it will also feature events for young people.
Coffman said the winners of the queen and king contest will be named Saturday night but will be introduced every evening and Thursday night is McCurtain County Farm Bureau night and everyone will get in free.
Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children.
For more information about the McCurtain County Fair board Championship Rodeo call 580-286-2121.
STATE SENATOR REMINDS PARENTS OF IMMUNIZATION REQUIREMENTS 7/29/14
Arkansas State Senator Larry Teague announced that under the state's new immunization requirements, children who will be 11 or older on September 1st must have a Tdap shot in order to attend a public or private school.
The purpose of the change is to better protect children who are at an age when they are likely to get pertussis, which is also known as whooping cough, which is very contagious and it can cause uncontrollable fits of coughing that can make it hard to breathe.
Arkansas health officials reported an increase in the number of 10 and 11 year olds who contracted whooping cough and that the number of cases declined in children that were old enough to attend the seventh grade.
Last year, there were 466 cases reported in Arkansas, compared to 80 cases in 2011.
If a parent chooses not to have their child immunized, they must obtain an exemption from the state Health Department's Immunization Section, by call 501-661-2169.
Another new immunization requirement is that seventh graders must have a shot protecting them from meningitis. Students will have to receive the shot before they turn 16, regardless of their grade level.
There are several other changes in the required schedule of immunizations and parents are encouraged to check with the health unit or their local doctor to ensure that they children have all of the required immunizations.
TIME TO REGISTER FOR SCHOOL 7/29/14
Summer is just about over and its time to start thinking about registering your child for the upcoming school year.
The De Queen School District announced that registration will be held August 4th through August 7th.
If you have a child that will be going into the 12th grade at the De Queen High School, they will register from 8 until 11 a.m. on Monday, August 4th. Eleventh graders will register on August 4th from 1 to 4 p.m.
On August 5th, tenth graders will register from 8 to 11 a.m. and all new students, students who did not attend school in the De Queen School District, will register from 1 to 4 p.m.
On August 6th, the De Queen Primary will hold its registration from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and then from 3 to 6 p.m.
All students in Kindergarten, First and Second grades must attend registration. Parents will find out their child's assigned teacher and will make arrangements for transportation at this time.
All Kindergarten, First and Second grade students that are new to the district will register in the Primary School Cafeteria. All new students will need to bring a birth certificate, social security care, immunization records and proof of their address, like at utility bill in order to register.
All new third, fourth and fifth grade students will register in the Elementary School.
On August 7th, sixth graders will register from 8 a.m. until noon and ninth graders will register from 8 until 11 a.m.; eighth graders will register from noon until 3 p.m. and seventh graders will register from 1 to 5 p.m.
For more information contact the De Queen Administration office at 584-4312.
UPDATE ON STORM RELATED POWER OUTAGES 7/28/14
Friday morning, AEP-SWEPCO announced that 1,181 customers in the De Queen area was still without power following the severe thunderstorm that went through the area Wednesday afternoon.
SWEPCO stated that a total of 5,376 customers were without power at the outages peak and they expect to have power restored to 95 percent of their customers by 9 p.m. this evening. However, they reported that there may be some scattered outages in the area until Saturday.
SWEPCO also stated that 1,526 customers were still without power this morning in the Nashville area.
SWEPCO currently has over 310 outside resource personnel from five states including Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi assisting their crews and more are expected to arrive this afternoon.
SWEPCO reported that the De Queen and Nashville areas continue to be the hardest hit areas with major damage from trees being down on SWEPCO facilities. They reported that the peak number of outages Wednesday night was almost 22,000.
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy reported that city crews were still working to pick up the debris and is asking residents to pile their brush up next to the street because city workers are not permitted to go onto someone's property to gather up debris.
If you have debris that needs to be picked up, you may call city hall at 584-3445 to add your name to the list.
42ND ANNUAL PINE TREE FESTIVAL IN DIERKS 7/28/14
With a week to go, plans are being finalized for the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks and Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Jerry Mounts stated that they are proud of the fact that it is one of the longest running festivals in Arkansas.
This year, Mounts said over 30 vendors are signed up and more are expected.
And, this year, Mounts said the Pine Tree Festival will feature a carnival with several rides for kids of all ages and Friday night will feature a concert highlighted by local artist.
According to Mounts, Saturday will feature the return of several events that have been absent in recent years, like chainsaw competitions and ax throwing and the festival will conclude with the 2nd Annual Ultimate Bull Riding and Bull Fighting Championship.
For more information about the 42nd Annual Dierks Pine Tree Festival, call 584-7811.
ARKANSAS SALES TAX HOLIDAY 7/28/14
Arkansas will hold its annual sales tax holiday this weekend beginning Saturday, August 2nd and ending on Sunday, August 3rd.
During the sales tax holiday, shoppers will not pay state or local sales tax on clothing and footwear, if the sales price is less than $100 dollars per item; clothing accessories and equipment if the sales price is less than $50 per item; school supplies; school art supplies and school instructional materials.
Clothing that will not be taxed will include coats, jackets, diapers-including disposables, insoles for shoes, bathing suits and costumes.
Accessories will include briefcases, cosmetics, hair bows, handbags, watches and wigs.
However, sewing equipment and supplies, protective equipment and sport and recreational equipment will be taxed.
For more information, you may call 501-682-7104 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
ATTORNEY GENERAL EARNS AWARD FOR WEBSITE 7/28/14
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's Consumer Protection website, gotyourbackarkansas.org, has been recognized by a national organization of attorneys general as the best in the nation for consumer outreach.
The Conference of Western Attorneys General presented McDaniel with a 2014 Website Award in the Consumer Outreach category at the organization's annual conference earlier this week.
McDaniel launched the "Got Your Back, Arkansas" initiative in 2012 and the website contains tips, tools and resources for consumers in a format that consumers can quickly locate the information that addresses their concerns.
The "Got Your Back, Arkansas" initiative spawned a similar program in Kansas and McDaniel stated that after making a presentation about the "Got Your Back, Arkansas" program, five other states mentioned they were planning to emulate the program.
McDaniel made consumer protection a priority of his tenure and since 2007, the Consumer Protection Division has helped consumers recover more than $12.7 million dollars.
This is the third Website Award that the attorney general's office has won.
GRANNIS RODEO 7/28/14
Cowboys and cowgirls are gearing up for the 46th Annual Grannis Championship Rodeo in Grannis on Friday, August 1st and Saturday, August 2nd.
Admission is $6 per person and kids 4 and under is free, but Friday night is Senior Citizens night and they get in for half-price.
This years rodeo will feature bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, team roping and bull riding, along with cowgirls barrel racing and breakaway racing. Robb also mentioned several other events like a mechanical bull and a calf dressing competition.
If you would like to participate in the rodeo, call 580-244-8596 on Monday, July 28th from 5 to 10 p.m.
JUNIOR HILL MEMORIAL HORSESHOE PITCHING TOURNAMENT 7/28/14
The 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival will host the annual Junior Hill Memorial Horseshoe Pitching Tournament on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in the Dierks City Park.
Junior Hill was the 1988 Arkansas State Horseshoe Pitching Class B champion, as well as, a member of the 1988 Class B Doubles championship team with James Hill.
Hill hosted a horseshoe pitching tournament at the Pine Tree Festival for several years, but since his death in 2011, Hill's son, Kelly Hill, has hosted the tournament in his father's honor.
Kelly said the tournament will be Saturday at 10 a.m. and everyone is invited to participate.
For more information about the Annual Junior Hill Memorial tournament call 870-279-1786.
LANGLEY GYM BEING CONSIDERED FOR STATE REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES 7/28/14
The State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program is considering adding the Langley Gymnasium in Pike County to the state register of historic places.
The board will consider the nomination at the meeting on Wednesday, August 6th.
The Langley Gym is located off Highway 84 West and is a large fieldhouse building that was constructed in 1950. Changes to the roof and window preclude its listing on the National Register.
Though the Langley School was constructed in 1945, the gym was not built until 1950.
STATE ANNOUNCES JUNE CRIME VICTIM REPARATIONS 7/28/14
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced last week that the Arkansas Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded over $400,000 dollars to victims of crime in June.
Awards were made in 312 new cases and additional expenses were paid in 44 previously submitted cases.
Victims of violent crime in Arkansas may be eligible for reparations from the state's Crime Victims Reparations Program and reparations are designed to help defray the cost of unexpected expenses associated with the crime, such as medical treatment or mental-health counseling.
During the month of June, reparations were made in one new case in Little River County in the amount of $71.26; two new cases and one supplemental award in Hempstead County in the amount of $3,541.73 and five new cases in Pike County in the amount of $4,459.27.
UA COSSATOT FOUNDATION MEETS 07/28/14
LOCKESBURG- Members of the UA Cossatot Foundation recently met in a regularly scheduled meeting at the Lockesburg Elementary Auditorium.
After a brief lunch, the meeting was brought to order by Chair Ned Hendrix. The first item reviewed was the estimated financial report. Dustin Roberts, Executive Director of the UA Cossatot foundation reviewed the revenue generated from previous fundraisers and informed the group of upcoming fundraisers. The foundation financials were up by over $16,000 compared to June 2013.
The next item discussed was the filling of an open Executive Board Member position. Board members expressed a desire for the open position to be filled by a person from the Nashville area. This would evenly spread the Board Members across UA Cossatot’s service areas. From several nominations a new member was chosen and will be contacted.
Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole updated the board members on the happenings, programs, and direction of UA Cossatot.
UA Cossatot Staff present was Cole and Roberts. Board members present were Hendrix, Angie Walker, Tyler David, Dewayne Mack, Clayton Castleman, and Greg Ray.
SEVIER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT 7/25/14
Tammie Harder was sentenced to 6-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with 4-suspended after pleading guilty to delivery of a controlled substance-Xanax, last week in the Sevier County Circuit Court.
Glen Stinnett pled nolle posse to a misdemeanor charge of fleeing and will serve 1-year in jail.
Stinnett had been charged with felony fleeing and endangering the welfare of a minor in the first degree after fleeing from deputies with the Sevier County Sheriff's Office on a motorcycle. The charge of endangering a minor was dropped.
Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan said the trial of Emilio Gutierrez will proceed to trial on August 13th after no pre-trial issues were discussed last week.
Gutierrez is been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug premises, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and trafficking a controlled substance-meth.
A trial date of September 10th was set for Levi Durham who has been charged with three counts of being an accomplice to theft of property and three counts of being an accomplice to commercial burglary in connection with the break-in at the First Baptist Church in De Queen.
Benjamin Butler and Dustin Taylor also had trial dates of September 10th set by Judge Yeargan.
Butler has been charged with possession of schedule III controlled substance and Taylor is being charged with delivery of a controlled substance-meth and as a habitual offender.
A trial date of September 14th was set for Cody Nava on the charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a drug premises.
RANDY GOLDEN FUNDRAISER 7/25/14
When a friend is in need, most folks around here step to offer a helping hand and that's exactly what the members of the Newhope Volunteer Fire Department is doing this Saturday at 5 p.m. for Randy Golden.
Randy Golden was recently diagnosed with cancer.
DeAnn Simmons stated there will be live music, performed by the Whiskey Hill Band, a live auction with Nick Fowler, door prizes and folks can buy a chance for a 270 rifle.
For more information about the fundraiser, call 870-557-4968.
LAWYER FOUND GUILTY OF CONTEMPT 7/25/14
Wednesday afternoon at the conclusion of the Darrin Tate trial, Tate's lawyer had one other issue to resolve in front of Sevier County Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan.
Lawrence Orta was found guilty of contempt of court and fined $500 by Judge Yeargan for being late to court.
Judge Yeargan informed Orta that he was being fined for not showing respect to the court by showing up late for a jury trial.
Judge Yeargan stated that he may have shown Orta some leniency if it had not been a jury trial. But the jury pool was ready for jury selection and the prosecutors were present and ready to proceed, but they had to wait on Orta arrival.
Judge Yeargan explained that he was very close to ruling for a mistrial due to Orta tardiness.
HOPE WATERMELON FESTIVAL FOR AUGUST 7TH, 8TH AND 9TH 7/25/14
The 38th annual Hope Watermelon Festival will open at noon on Thursday, August 7th and run through Saturday, August 9th in Fair Park in Hope.
This year's event will feature more than 200 booths of arts and crafts, as well as a dozen concession stands selling everything from barbecue to corn dogs to blooming onions and alligator on a stick.
Thursday's events will include the Kiwanis Chicken Dinner, a dog show and the preliminary rounds of the Watermelon Idol Talent Contest.
Friday festivities will begin at 9 a.m. and will be highlighted by the Lions Club fish and chicken dinner in the Fair Park Community Center from 4:30 to 7 p.m. and the gospel group Harmony from Wickes will perform on the First Bank stage Friday night.
The Little Miss and Little Mr. Watermelon Pageant, which is sponsored by the Beta Sigma Phi, will be held inside the coliseum.
Saturday will feature a 5K Race and the Melon Mile for kids; an antique car show, a children's fishing derby on Lake Huckabee, the politically correct watermelon eating contest at 11:30 and the regular watermelon eating contest at noon and seed-spiting contest at 1.
The final event, this year, is the David Nail concert.
Advance general admission tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children 4-10. Adult general admission tickets will be $20 the day of the show.
DINNER TO RAISE MONEY FOR TWO RIVERS GALA 7/25/14
The Two Rivers Gala will offer a Southern Charm-themed dinner to raise money for Two Rivers Museum in Ashdown.
The gala will be Saturday, August 9th at the Texarkana Country Club. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner will start at 6.
Tickets are $50 each and are available at the two Rivers Museum on Main Street in Ashdown at the Castle Antiques near the intersection of Highway 32 and U.S. Highway 71.
The emcee will be Mark McKay who is the general manager of the Shreveport, NBC affiliate.
McKay is a 1978 graduate of Ashdown High School.
The Two Rivers Museum contains a variety of displays, including a horse-drawn hearse, a portable wooden embalming table and World War I and II uniforms.
The military display titled Freedom’s Heroes won first place during the 2006 Arkansas Museum Association State Convention in the museums and budgets under $100,000.
The Two Rivers Gala is the main fundraising event for the Little River County Historical Society and the historical society owes about $17,000 to pay off the museum buildings.
According to a member of the historical society, they borrowed about $48,000 to purchase the building and they thanked the community for helping them pay the debt.
The museum has also received funds from the Texarkana Area Community Foundation.
Renowned harpist and recording artist Merry Miller will perform at the gala. According to her website, she has played professionally since she was 14 years old and recently released her 16th album, entitled “Psalms on the Harp.”
ARKANSAS AG REJECTS MEDICAL POT MEASURE WORDING 7/25/14
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has rejected the wording of a proposal to legalize medical marijuana by a group that is trying to put the measure before voters in 2016.
McDaniel’s office rejected the wording of the proposal by Arkansans for Compassionate Care, which had tried unsuccessfully to get medical marijuana legalization on this year’s ballot. The group had been unable to gather the 62,507 signatures from registered voters needed by the July 7th deadline to submit petitions to qualify for the November ballot.
The group is now trying to put the legalization measure eon the 2016 ballot. McDaniel cited some confusion in the text of the latest measure in rejecting its wording.
The proposal would allow patients with qualifying conditions to buy marijuana from nonprofit dispensaries.
STATE OF ARKANSAS VS DARRIN TATE 7/24/14
Wednesday afternoon, a jury of eight women and four men found Darrin Tate guilty of theft by receiving and sentenced him to 15-years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections along with a $10,000 fine.
Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir presented five witnesses that testified that Tate had possession, control and disposed of stolen property when he sold a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor to Dan Fryburg in October of 2013.
Chesshir also presented evidence that Tate modified an 18-foot trailer that was stolen from a residence belonging to Cindy Bercerra.
Tate's defense attorney Lawrence Orta did not call any witnesses on Tate's behalf and Tate did not testify. Although, Orta attempted to convince the jury that Tate was being set up by his ex-wife, Melissa Tate.
After finding Tate guilty, Chesshir presented Tate's past felony convictions to the jury and asked them to sentence him to the maximum amount of time under the state's large habitual offender statute.
Tate was convicted in McCurtain County, Oklahoma in 1998 for unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and arson in the 3rd degree. He was convicted in 2006 of arson in the 3rd degree in McCurtain County and for possession of a firearm by a certain person in Sevier County in May of 2013.
Tate was out of jail on a Arkansas Department of Corrections bond for the 2013 conviction when he committed this crime and he is awaiting sentencing in Sevier County for a conviction for possessing a defaced firearm.
Before the jury pronounced its sentencing, Circuit Court Judge Charles Yeargan informed the jury that Tate would serve about one-sixth of his sentence and then he would be eligible for parole.
ALBERT PIKE BACK IN THE NEWS 7/24/14
U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey has ordered a joint response to be filed by lawyers representing the 11 plaintiffs that have filed lawsuits against the U.S. government over the 2010 flood that killed 20 campers at the Albert Pike campground.
The purpose of Hickey’s order is to eliminate the possibility of potential witnesses being interviewed several different times.
Family members of the 20 campers that lost their lives in the historic flood of the Little Missouri River in the Ouachita National Forest on June 11, 2010.
All of the lawsuits allege the U.S. government knew of the hazardous conditions that existed in the campgrounds along the river and neglected to properly warn the public or take measures to reduce the risk.
A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture noted several factors contributed to the tragedy. The report stated the Forest Service failed to follow many of its own regulations.
All of lawsuits claim a district ranger was in a hurry to spend $600,000 on renovations at the campgrounds in an area that had a long and documented history of flooding.
However, the government claims it is protected from liability by the Arkansas Recreational Use Statute, but the plaintiffs have argued that the statute provides an exception that should permit the lawsuits to go forward.
Hickey’s order to consolidate the cases for discovery and a response to the government’s motion to dismiss suspends the deadline for the plaintiffs to file their joint answer.
ARKANSAS SCHOLARSHIP LOTTERY WARNS OF SCAM 7/24/14
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery is warning Arkansans about scammers who are making false representations about individuals winning a lottery prize.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has received several reports of persons purporting to represent the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery calling Arkansas residents and informing them that they have won lottery prizes.
The caller will often know the victim’s home address, and will often instruct him or her to go to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card called a Green Dot MoneyPak to use to pre-pay taxes that’s owed on the prize. Scammers are also providing a toll-free number that, when called, mimics the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery phone message.
To protect yourself and remember: the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery never requires the payment of any money in order to claim a prize and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery doesn’t typically call people to tell them that they’ve won, unless it’s for a contest that people intentionally entered.
And, you should never provide any personal or financial information to someone over the phone unless you initiate the call or are certain that the caller is legitimate, especially Social Security numbers, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, Powerball or Mega Millions, be on your guard. You can always call the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery Security Hotline at 1-888-606-6292 for more information or to check the legitimacy of such claims.
The Arkansas Scholarship Lottery has notified the Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office of this scam.
CHALICE CUPBOARD JUNE REPORT 7/24/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 35 families in Sevier County, including 69 adults and 41 children. The cupboard distributed 858 pounds of donated and purchased food items.
The cupboard’s June bank balance was $364.89 and they received $694.50 in donations. Volunteers spent $704.11 during the month to purchase about 1,044 pounds of food.
The St. Barbara Catholic Church and the First Presbyterian Church donated 133 pounds of food.
Volunteers suggest donating jelly and cereal this month.
Any residents in Sevier County needing food may come for aid on Tuesday and Wednesday’s from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Chalice Cupboard on North Sixth Street in De Queen.
INVASIVE BEETLE CONFIRMED IN 3 ARKANSAS COUNTIES 7/24/14
State agriculture officials say an insect that is native to Asia and kills ash trees have been confirmed in three Arkansas counties.
The insect arrived in the U.S. around 2002 and has killed about 50 million ash trees since then and officials say the insect has now been confirmed in 24 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
The female emerald ash borers lay eggs on the bark of ash trees and when the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the bark, eventually killing the trees.
Officials say the best way to avoid the spread of the insect is to not move firewood from place to place and the Crater of Diamonds State Park is requesting that all campers who plan to have a campfire to roast marshmallows, or to just enjoy watching a fire to leave their wood at home.
The Arkansas State Plant board and the Arkansas Department of Agriculture say the emerald ash borer has been found in Hot Springs, Clark and Nevada counties and all three of those counties border Pike County, which is the home of the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Now, although the borer infested tree can be treated with insecticide that is introduced through its roots, the best way to ensure that it doesn’t spread is to follow a very simple motto of “Buy it where you burn it, and burn it where you buy it.”
That phrase means that the camping public needs to leave their firewood at home and only use or buy firewood at the location where they camping.
At the Diamond State Park campgrounds, campers can purchase a bundle of wood for $4.95 or, they can harvest dead wood that is lying on the ground from the park, but don’t cut down a tree.
MOBILE MUSEUM OF EARTH HISTORY TO VISIT DE QUEEN 7/24/14
Friendship Baptist Church of De Queen will be hosting the Mobile Museum of Earth History Sunday through Wednesday.
Frachiseur explained that Dr. Thomas Sharp has dedicated his life to understanding and explaining key problems that's facing the modern Christian society, including how dinosaurs fit into God's creation.
If you are interested in the Biblical view of evolution and other missing links involving science, make plans to join the members of the Friendship Baptist Church by visiting the Mobile Museum of Earth History.
For more information call the church at 870-584-2890.
Sevier thunderstorms blew through southwest Arkansas late Wednesday afternoon downing trees that blocked roads and tore down power lines throughout southern Polk, Sevier, and Howard counties.
Patrons of both Southwest Arkansas Electric REA and AEP SWEPCO were without power for several hours overnight, as many as 2400 are still without power this morning.
AREA RESIDENTS SENT LETTERS CONCERNING WATER LINE REPAIR 7/23/14
Earlier this month, a company by the name of HomeServe sent letters to the residents of De Queen offering an emergency home repair service plan for resident’s water and sewer lines.
The letter states that homeowners are responsible for the water and sewer lines from their homes until it connects with the city's water and waste water system.
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy explained that these letters are sent out periodically and residents are responsible for the repair of their water and sewer lines, just as the letter states.
McKelvy also pointed out that there is no relationship between HomeServe and the City of De Queen and citizens are not obligated to purchase the coverage that is being offered by HomeServe.
HomeSever's letter states that this type of repair is not normally covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, but each policy is different and McKelvy recommended homeowners check with their insurance companies before they consider purchasing a HomeServe service plan.
HomeServe is a Connecticut company and interested residents may research them on the internet at homeserveusa.com.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL GIVE-AWAY AT FIRST METHODIST OF LOCKESBURG 7/23/14
This Saturday, the First United Methodist Church of Lockesburg will be holding a Back-to-School Give-away from 8 a.m. until noon.
Church members will be giving away 50 backpacks along with school supplies. Minister Terry Chapman reported that most of the school supplies will be for students attending kindergarten through sixth grade.
There will also be good used clothes, toys and household items.
Chapman said she expected the backpacks would go quickly and it is first come, first served. She also asked that everyone bring a bag, but they will have some Wal-Mart bags on hand if you need one.
The First United Methodist Church is located on the corner of Walnut Street and Valley Drive in Lockesburg. It's one block east from the Post Office.
If you have any questions, call the church office at 870-289-287.
DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL INTRODUCES NEW BOYS HEAD BASKETBALL COACH 7/23/14
Earlier this month, the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire Bo Brickell as the new high school boys head basketball coach.
Superintendent Bruce Hill informed the board that Brickell was looking to build a program and felt he was willing and capable of building a quality program here at De Queen.
Brickell was an assistant high school coach and ninth grade boys coach at Camden Fairview for the past four years and he talked about being from Lake Hamilton.
Brickell was also played college basketball at Arkansas Tech before transferring to UALR to play baseball.
Brickell explained that he was looking forward to the upcoming season, but he wants to start changing the teams and the towns mentality now.
Brickell said he was excited to be here because he was impressed with the program while he was still at Camden.
Brickell said he informed some of the players yesterday that life is hard, but this team will be successful and he plans to be around when that success happens.
FORMER DE QUEEN RESIDENT CHARGED FOR PIRATING A BROADCAST 7/23/14
A former De Queen resident has been named in a lawsuit in a Texarkana federal court for pirating the broadcast of a 2012 Ultimate Fighting Championship fight.
Former owner of the De Queen Country Club and Lodge, Carmenchita Pearson, has been accused of illegally intercepting and broadcasting the fights on July 21st, 2012 by Joe Hand Promotions of Pennsylvania.
The complaint alleges that Pearson is liable for the actions of employees of the De Queen Country Club and Lodge who allegedly played the matches illegally.
Joe Hand Promotions is asking for an award of more than $100,000 in statutory damages, attorney fees, investigative expenses and court costs.
HORATIO BOARD OF EDUCATION REVIEWS TEST SCORES 7/23/14
Members of the Horatio Board of Education reviewed test scores from the Horatio High School and Elementary during their July meeting.
Superintendent Lee Smith stated test scores were pretty good, but the elementary school needs to improve in math, but there will be a new reporting system next year, as Arkansas changes to PRAC testing.
Board members approved changes to the high school and elementary school student handbooks following the recommendation of teachers, principals and administrators.
Board members also approved changing the contracts of the high school counselor, Ginger Young, and elementary counselor Kaitlyn Truster. They also hired John Simmons as a full-time maintenance worker.
Before adjourning, the board accepted the bid from Moyer Equipment on a zero turn mower.
TATE TRIAL SET FOR WEDNESDAY 7/23/14
Prosecutors expect the case against Darrin Tate of De Queen to move toward a trial Wednesday morning in the Sevier County Circuit Court.
Sevier County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Manya Woods informed KDQN that Tate is facing his fifth felony conviction and if he is found guilty his sentence will be enhanced by the state's large habitual offender charge.
Tate is being charged with theft by receiving. Tate is accused of allegedly stealing a 1976 Massey-Ferguson tractor along with a 20-foot trailer in January of 2014.
Allegedly Tate sold the tractor to a Sevier County resident, who when interviewed by investigators from the Sevier County Sheriff's office informed them that Tate sold him the tractor.
Tate also allegedly modified the trailer so no one would be able to identify it.
According to court records, Tate was out of jail at the time of this incident on a Arkansas Department of Corrections bond because his previous conviction in May of 2012 is under appeal.
Tate has been convicted of four felonies, three in Oklahoma and one in Arkansas.
DE QUEEN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES SPEAKER AT FASTERARKANSAS EVENT IN TEXARKANA 7/22/14
State educators promoting increased high speed Internet service for Arkansas schools made a stop in Texarkana and one of the speakers was a recent De Queen High School graduate, Victor Rojas Jr.
According to a spokesperson for FASTERArkansas, they believe that by increasing access to high-speed Internet for state schools, they can reduce Internet cost for schools, taxpayers and help strengthen the state’s economy, by creating high-paying, new tech jobs of tomorrow.
Currently, Arkansas ranks near the bottom in high-speed Internet access and digital learning and without access to affordable high-speed Internet, it means many students do not receive a 21st century education.
According to Arkadelphia High School Principal David Maxwell, educators were scared of technology in the 1990’s, but students are not afraid of technology and with high-speed Internet service, the district can expose students to world-class educators through video conferencing.
Rojas informed those in attendance that the Arkansas constitution promises each student with an adequate education. He also reported that 60 percent of Arkansas schools lack high-speed Wi-Fi networks, which will allow for an effective use of technology in their classrooms.
Rojas reported that Arkansas is the only state where it is unlawful for a public research and education network to serve K through 12, as a result of a state law. He stated it’s time to change the law.
Chancellor of Southern Arkansas University Tech, Corbit Lamkin says of the 42 states that have an Internet infrastructure that is connected to Internet2, Arkansas is the only state that prohibits schools from using it.
By changing the law, it would provide a 21st century education for students; create a more educated workforce and bring more jobs to the state; and save school districts money that could be used for other investments.
LITTLE RIVER COUNTY JAIL HAS ISSUES 7/22/14
The Little River County jail opened just over a year ago after receiving a $1.3 million dollar renovation and now it’s leaking.
Last week, Little River County Sheriff Gary Gregory informed the members of the Little River County Quorum Court that the roof of the jail leaks every time it rains.
Gregory reported that water is pooling inside the metal roof and is running down the side of the walls into some of the cells. He stated the pooling water was discovered after the fire alarm went off a few weeks ago.
The water was discovered by employees of the alarm company that was sent to repair the alarm system. They informed the sheriff that the insulation is soaked about the air ducts.
Gregory stated that he has been attempting to contact the roof subcontractors about fixing the leaks. The roof has a 20-year warranty, according to the paperwork.
Gregory said the pooling water resulted in a prisoner being injured after slipping in the water. He has since been transferred to the Arkansas Department of Corrections, but will require surgery to repair damage to his knee.
Jail Administer Chad Atkins reported the leaks weren’t detected until it rained about five to six inches in a 24 hour period.
LOCAL BAND TO PERFORM ALONG SIDE NASHVILLE STAR WINNER – BUDDY JEWELL 7/22/14
Area musicians will share the stage Saturday, July 26th with the first winner of the USA Networks reality Country Music Competition show “Nashville Star” during the 2nd Annual Crystal Music Festival at the Board Camp Campground and Crystal Mine, in Board Camp, near Mena.
Buddy Jewell of Lepanto, Arkansas will headline this year’s event at 7 p.m., and he’ll be joined by Harmony of Wickes and Polk 74.
Jewell’s first album debuted at number 1 and his first two singles, “Help Pour Out the Rain” and “Sweet Southern Comfort” each climbed to the number three position on the singles chart.
Harmony is a Christian band from Wickes that will open for Jewell at 6 p.m. and Smith said Harmony was honored to be opening for Jewell.
Event organizers Orville and Cheryl Murphy said they plan to continue the tradition that they started last year by presenting a Fallen and Standing Heroes tribute that will be preceded by the Color Guard at 5.
There will also be crystal digging from noon to 5 p.m.
Festival tickets will be sold at the gate for $10 each age 12 and up. Kids under 12 are free.
Area volunteer fire departments will be serving as parking attendants and a parking donation would be appreciated.
Everyone should bring their lawn chairs and small coolers are welcome, but concessions will be available. For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.crystalmusicfestival.com.
MUNICIPAL ELECTION FILING PERIOD OPENS FRIDAY 7/22/14
Sevier County Clerk Debbie Hughes announced that the filing period for the November general election will open Friday, July 25th and close at noon on Friday, August 15th.
This filing period is for all independent candidates seeking a municipal office in cities that have a mayor-council form of government.
Petitions may be picked up from the County Clerk's office and may submitted beginning this Friday. Candidates will also file an affidavit of eligibility and a political practices pledge.
The County Clerk's office will determine whether or not the petition contains a sufficient number of qualified voters signatures within 10-days
If you have any questions about the filing for a ballot position during the 2014 Municipal election, contact the Sevier County Clerk's office at 642-3896.
THREE PRUETT'S FOOD EMPLOYEES INJURED 7/22/14
Friday afternoon about 3 p.m. members of the De Queen Police Department was dispatched to Pruett's Food in reference to a one vehicle accident involving several pedestrians.
When officers arrived, they discovered one pedestrian standing on the sidewalk and two others laying on the sidewalk with injuries to their legs.
According to the incident report, 84-year-old Yvonne Mulina of De Queen was attempting to park in front of the store and ran up onto the sidewalk striking three store employees.
Diana House suffered multiple compound fractures to her legs and was transported to Wadley Hospital in Texarkana where she had surgery Friday night.
House had just been promoted to the Dairy Foods Manager on Monday, July 14th.
Debra Circles also suffered a leg injury. She was treated at the De Queen Regional Medical Center and was released. She is expected to have more test run this week after the majority of the swelling decreases.
Mark Lewis was struck by the vehicle and knocked down, but according to House was able to get up and help stop the vehicle.
Lewis was also taken to the De Queen Regional Medical Center where he was treated and released.
Pruett's Food Manager Quinton Wilds explained that Circles and Lewis were taking the change out of the coke machines and refilling them. House stated she was taking a break and visiting with the other employees when the accident happened.
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN SUIT AGAINST CHARITY 7/22/14
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced that he has reached a settlement with the New Jersey-based National Police Defense Foundation to resolve allegations that the organization misled Arkansas donors into believing their contributions benefited Arkansas emergency responders.
In a consent agreement that was filed in the Pulaski County Circuit Court, the foundation agreed to pay $120,000 in restitution to consumes and to permanently stop all professional fund-raising activities in Arkansas.
McDaniel said the NPDF has been identified as one of the nation's 50 worst charities.
McDaniel sued NPDF and USA Publishing Group Inc. of Conway in 2013. NPDF retained USA Publishing to solicit donations from Arkansas consumers. The suit is still pending against USA Publishing.
NPDF paid $171,193 of the $231,004 raised in the state to USA Publishing for its professional fundraising services. Only $500 went to charity, according to McDaniel's lawsuit.
Telemarketers often misrepresented themselves as first responders, and the operation used bogus names like Arkansas Police Defense Foundation to deceive consumers into thinking the charity was based in Arkansas.
WAGE HIKE MEASURE GIVEN MORE TIME FOR SIGNATURES 7/22/14
Supporters of a plan to gradually raise Arkansas' minimum wage have been given 30 more days to circulate petitions and collect signatures after falling shy of the signatures needed to put their proposal on the November ballot.
Secretary of State Mark Martin's office on Friday told the Give Arkansas a Raise Now campaign that it had fallen short of the 62,507 signatures from registered voters needed to qualify the proposed initiated act for the November ballot. Martin's office said more than 3,000 of the 64,135 signatures that were submitted by the group had to be tossed out.
The proposal would raise Arkansas' minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour by 2017.
The group has until August 18th to submit more petitions.
ARKANSAS GOP OPPOSES TERM LIMITS 7/22/14
Arkansas Republicans have voted to oppose a ballot measure that would loosen the state's term limits and tighten state ethics laws.
Delegates at the state GOP's convention approved a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment appearing on the November ballot on Saturday. The resolution cited concerns about a portion of the proposal that would set a 16-year limit on serving in the Legislature. House members are currently restricted to serving three two-year terms, and senators are limited to two four-year terms.
The amendment also includes proposals to prohibit most lobbyists gifts to elected officials and prohibit corporate campaign contributions. The resolution that was passed Saturday, does not include those provisions.
The proposal was one of three measures that lawmakers voted to put on the 2014 general election ballot last year.
Arkansas Republicans are also touting a tax-cutting, anit-regulation message and expressing confidence that they'll complete a takeover of the state's top offices.
The GOP's nominees for statewide and congressional offices told delegates that were gathered for the state's convention that the GOP was well-positioned to continue its gains in what had been once a Democratic stronghold in the otherwise solidly Republican south.
Republicans are hopeful that they can win the governor's office, with GOP nominee Asa Hutchinson facing off against Democrat Mike Ross and U.S. Representative Tom Cotton is attempting to unseat Democratic Senator Mark Pryor.
The Democrats are holding their state convention next month in Little Rock.
CHALICE CUPBOARD JUNE REPORT 07/22/14
The Chalice Cupboard assisted 35 families in Sevier County (110 people) including 60 adults and 41 children. Distributions weighed 858 pounds of donated and purchased items.
The bank balance on June 1, 2014 was $364.89. During June an additional $694.50 was received in donated funds, with $704.12 spent during the month to replenish food items in the pantry.
The bank balance on June 30. 2014, was $355.28.
Donated food items received in June from St. Barbara Catholic Church and the First Presbyterian Church totaled 133 pounds. 911 pounds were purchased to make a total of 1,044 pounds of food shelved in June.
Suggested food items for donation in July are jelly and cereal.
Residents in Sevier County needing food may come for aid at the scheduled times of Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 pm to 3:340 pm at the Chalice Cupboard at 115 North Sixth Street in De Queen. Recipients of food may be assisted once during each three-month period.
Events Aid Vets Considering Sustainable-Ag Career 07/22/14
Veterans and their spouses who are considering farming as a viable career can apply to spend several days in September learning about sustainable, small-scale farming at “Armed to Farm” (ATF) events in Arkansas and Mississippi.
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is organizing the ATF events, which are supported by USDA Rural Development and NCAT’s ATTRA program.
Two ATF events will be held:
September 14-19 in Fayetteville, Arkansas
September 22-26 in Jackson, Mississippi
ATF will be a dynamic blend of farm tours and hands-on experience with classroom instruction. Participants will learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. Participants will leave the training with a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farming enterprise.
The number of participants will be
limited. Applications are due August 1, 2014.
Selected participants will be notified no later than August 8, 2014.
The event will be free for participants, and lodging and most meals will be provided. Veterans selected to attend will be responsible for travel costs to and from the event.
Veterans from Arkansas and Mississippi as well as Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF & OIF) veterans and their spouses will receive first priority. National Guardsmen/women and Reservists also are encouraged to apply.
Secondary focus will be on all other veterans. Spouses are encouraged to attend, not only if they are interested, but because running a farm will impact their lives even if they are not directly involved.
Go online at http://www.ncat.org/armedtofarm/ for complete application details. For more information, please contact Margo Hale at email@example.com or (479) 442-9824.
DE QUEEN RESIDENT CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE 7/21/14
On Monday, July 14th at approximately 7 p.m. Sergeant Gary Cunningham received a complaint from Rebecca Aguilar who stated a man exposed himself to her and a small child while they were walking along Maple Street.
Aguilar said the man was eating a banana has they approached him; he finished the banana and he threw the peel on the ground and at that point he dropped his pants.
Later that evening, Cunningham and Corporal Bobby Bagley interviewed 58-year-old Danny Shattuck at his residence at 1212 North Maple Street.
Shattuck informed the officers that he was in his house naked and she may have seen him, but he became more nervous has he spoke with the officers.
On Tuesday, July 17th, Lieutenant Sonny Kimmel picked up Shattuck and transported him to the De Queen Police Department where he was interviewed concerning the incident that occurred.
Shattuck allegedly admitted to Lieutenant Kimmel that he had stood at his front door wearing nothing but a t-shirt and tried to get a woman's attention as she walked by.
Shattuck was cited for indecent exposure.
DIERKS SCHOOL BOARD APPROVES CHANGES TO CELL PHONE POLICY 7/21/14
Members of the Dierks Board of Education approved the 2014-2015 students handbooks during their regular July meeting with a couple of additions to the cell phone policy section.
Board members voted to keep the majority of the old cell phone policy, which allows students to use their cell phones between classes and in designated areas.
They also added a consequence for a third violation of the cell phone policy. If a student is caught using their cell phone in a prohibited area or at a prohibited time for the third time, they will lose their phone for 30-days.
Board members increased the paid lunch price to $1.75. The increase is based on an Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition tool that determines the minimum price that may be charged for paid lunches.
They also accepted the milk bid from Hiland Dairy, the bread bid from Flowers Baking Company and the student insurance bid from Health Special Risk, Inc.
Sonja Markham was hired as a high school special education teacher.
Superintendent Holly Cothern informed the board that Buster Dellinger of Lockesburg offered the parking lot of the Lighthouse Church as a central location for a bus stop.
IT'S NOT JUST A LOT OF BULL 7/21/14
At the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks
Some exciting changes are taking place during the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks this year.
Dierks Chamber of Commerce member Stacey Janes stated that after last year's successful Ultimate Challenge Bull Riding and Free Style Bull Fighting event, the chamber has added more money and moved the event to Saturday night.
Janes said there will be more than bull riding and bull fighting Saturday night. It will also feature some of the best mutton busters in Southwest Arkansas, along with two young sheep fighters and a clown look-a-like contest.
Make plans to attend the 42nd Annual Pine Tree Festival in Dierks, August 1st and 2nd. For more information contact the Dierks Chamber of Commerce at 584-7811 or 845-7774.
US POSTAL SERVICE SHORTEN WINDOW HOURS AT LOCKESBURG POST OFFICE 7/21/14
U.S. Postal Service District Manager Richard Wynn hosted a public meeting at the Lockesburg Community room Thursday night to discuss the Postal Services plans for the Lockesburg Post Office.
Wynn presented the results of a recent survey that was sent to the Lockesburg Post Office customers.
Wynn reported that only 276 of 1,200 surveys were sent back, however, 91 percent of those who responded voted for the realignment of post office hours.
Wynn informed the residents that were in attendance that the Postal Service had decided to open the Lockesburg Post Office from 8:15 to 11 a.m. and from 1:15 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays, which will result in a six hour work day for the Postal Clerk.
Some residents asked if they post office hours could be adjusted so it would close at 4:30, so residents that work out of town would have an opportunity to use the post office.
Wynn explained that if you send mail between 4 and 5 p.m., you should use the blue mailbox that is outside for same day service because it is picked up about 5.
According to Wynn, the delivery route service will not be affected by this change and the hour realignment should take place within the next 60 days.
SCHOOL CALENDAR LAW HELPS PROTECT SMALL BUSINESSES 7/21/14
Most of us spend our Friday nights during the fall cheering for the Leopards, Lions and Panthers, not con artists or profiteers. Yet, out-of-state scammers may seek out money that's intended to support our hometown teams in order to line their pockets.
The Attorney General's office receives reports about solicitors asking business owners to purchase ads on sports schedules or calendars, but some of these solicitors are not affiliated with the school or organization they supposedly represent.
Therefore, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued a consumer alert to make sure business owners know about the state law pertaining to school calendars and schedule advertisements and to encourage advertisers to ask questions before they buy any ad space.
Business owners tend to assume that someone who is promoting advertising for a school athletic schedule is actually working for the school, but that's not always the case.
In some instances, con artists may make sales pitches for products that do not exist. Other times, legitimate for-profit companies actually produce a schedule or other product, but the item may not be endorsed by the school and the school does not receive any portion of the proceeds.
The state's school calendar disclosure law protects businesses against those kinds of solicitations.
The law applies to anyone who solicits advertisements for posters or other printed material depicting a school name, mascot or emblem in conjunction with an athletic program. Solicitors must disclose to potential ad buyers whether a school will receive any of the money that results from the purchase of an ad.
Any solicitor who does not give money to the school must state both orally and in writing that the school will not receive any funds from the sale.
Those who violate the calendar disclosure law are subject to penalties under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
McDaniel encourages business owners to read the fine print of any contract and to contact the school directly if necessary. If solicitors make false claims about working with a school, the business owner should contact the Attorney General's Office by calling 1-800-482-8982.
GOVERNOR CANDIDATES FUNDRAISING REPORT 7/21/14
Democratic governor candidate Mike Ross is reporting raising more than $296,000 last month. He is also spending more than twice as much as he brought is as he edged out rival Asa Hutchinson in fundraising.
Ross reported spending $653.365 and ended the month with more than $1.2 million dollars in cash on hand. Hutchinson spent $162,278 and had more than $1 million dollars in the bank.
The fundraising report covers the first full month since the two rivals won their parties' respective nominations in the May primary.
The two ex-congressmen are running to succeed Democratic Governor Mike Beebe, who is term limited.
DO YOUR PART AND HELP KEEP DE QUEEN CLEAN 7/18/14
Fire Chief Dennis Pruitt informed the residents of De Queen that the cities Code Enforcement office worked out of the fire department and they’re asking citizens to help keep De Queen clean by mowing their grass and picking up their garage sale signs.
Pruitt also said the city has an ordinance that limits the number of garage sales that can be held by an address each month.
If you have any questions about the city codes concerning the upkeep of your property, you may contact the De Queen Fire Department at 584-7224.
SPLASH DASH 5K 7/18/14
First Assembly Church of De Queen will be hosting their 1st Annual Splash Dash 5K Saturday, August 2nd at 8 a.m. to raise funds for missions and Youth Pastor Jonathon Reynolds said its called the Splash Dash because organizers have asked the neighborhood that the course will take to turn on their sprinklers and get the runners wet.
Reynolds said that even if you don't want to run in the 5K, you should stop by the church to watch runners slide down the 100 foot slip and slide to the finish line.
According to Reynolds the purpose of the Splash Dash is the raise funds for missions. Reynolds said the youth group is attempting to raise $12,000 this year.
Reynolds explained that if you would like to run there are several ways to register, including stopping by the church or go online to getmetregistered.com/splashdash5k.
So, help reach the world while having a little fun running in the 1st Annual Splash Dash on Saturday, August 2nd at the First Assembly Church in De Queen.
STATE BOARD MONITORING HORATIO SCHOOL DISTRICT 7/18/14
Earlier this week, the state Board of Education announced that the Horatio School District had ordered that the Horatio School District be monitored for two years for violating accreditation standards.
KDQN contacted new Horatio Superintendent Lee Smith to discover the reason the district was being monitored.
Superintendent Smith explained that it was a simple paperwork issue from last May because the district had a teacher that was teaching in an area that they were not certified in.
Smith stated the same thing had happened the year before, but it was a different teacher.
Smith stated that even with this issue on his plate his transition into the district has been going pretty smooth.
Smith also stated that the district would be making some changes to improve student test scores in math, after the district was placed on the Needs Improvement list this spring.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES 7/18/14
Several activities have been scheduled for the Cossatot River State Park if the weather cooperates this weekend, including several opportunities to get in the river and go snorkeling.
A sneaky snorkeling event is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Monday from 2 to 3 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, you can extend your snorkeling adventure by snorkeling a section of the Cossatot River with a park interpreter from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.
There's going to be an opportunity to hike the Harris Creek Trail on Friday and Saturday from 7 to 9:30 along Goats Bluff so guest can experience a beautiful sunset. Sunday, there will be a nature hike along the river. Hikers can expect several picture opportunities along the way.
Sunday afternoon, the park will offer guest a chance to feed the critters from 2 to 3 and then from 3:30 to 4:30 discover the shapes in the shade, as a park interpreter explains how animals use shade and cover to survive.
Then Monday evening, you can enjoy some homemade apple cobbler that been prepared in a Dutch oven from 8 to 9 p.m.
For a complete of activities at the Cossatot River State Park, visit our website www.KDQN.net.
LOCAL TEACHERS ATTEND NASHVILLE, TN CONFERENCE 07/17/17
Seven teachers from the Cossatot River school district attended the College-and Career-Readiness Standards Networking Conference hosted by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) July 14-16 in Nashville, Tennessee. Four of the teachers in attendance were from Cossatot River High School: Beverly Higgins (English), Jill Hunter (Counselor), Tim Walston (Music), and Leona Martin (Math Coach). Mary Ferguson and Sharon Miles represented the Cossatot River Elementary Wickes Campus math department. Umpire High School was represented by math teacher Carla Golden.
Over 1,100 teachers, administrators, and experts attended the conference in which Melinda Gates was the keynote speaker. Arkansas had the largest teacher representation with 130 participants.
Teachers attended training sessions by SREB staff and presentations by teachers from across the nation, gaining valuable techniques, strategies, and ideas to implement in their classroom. Three of the local teachers also presented at the conference. Higgins presented the strategies used to successfully implement Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC), one of the main comprehensive literacy programs recommended by the Arkansas Department of Education, in a rural district. Golden’s and Martin’s presentation detailed the steps taken to train other teachers to utilize Formative Assessment Lessons as part of the Math Design Collaborative (MDC) which is designed to enable students to become problem solvers. Cossatot River High School, as the former Wickes High School, was one of the eight high schools in Arkansas chosen to pilot LDC and MDC in 2011.
These teachers received scholarships from both SREB and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the trip.
Pictured above from left to right: Mary Ferguson, Beverly Higgins, Sharon Miles, Leona Martin, Jill Hunter, Carla Golden, Tim Walston
Submitted by Leona Martin, CRHS Math Coach
DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL APPROVES VISION OF SEVIER COUNTY HUMANE SOCIETY 7/17/14
During Tuesday's meeting of the De Queen City Council, aldermen approved a report by members of the Sevier County Humane Society concerning their plans to purchase some land and construct a shelter and dog park.
Humane society member Dr. Floyd Gonzales stated the society plans to purchase the property and begin cleaning off the property and construct a chain link fence around the property. The property is adjacent to Pilgrim’s Pride.
Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy informed the council that the members of the Craig Westbrook Memorial Tournament committee had offered to donate some funds to purchase three scoreboards for the ball fields at the Sportsplex.
Aldermen approved a request from the parks and recreation department to purchase a new pool vac.
Last week, the city pool had to be closed for a couple of days because of what was described as a combination of issues.
McKelvy reported that the pool vac quit working, the water's ph levels were off and they were experiencing an algae issue.
McKelvy recommended purchasing a new pool vac and have the old one replaced under the manufacture warranty. Aldermen approved ordering the new vac at a cost of $2,950 from BlueWater Pools in Little Rock. The new vac should be delivered by Friday.
DAY OF SERVICE FOR NEXT CAMPERS FROM BOGG SPRINGS 7/17/14
Memorial Baptist Church pastor Jason Carlton reported that campers from Bogg Springs conducted a "Day of Service" in De Queen on Wednesday.
Carlton stated this was the second year that his church has organized the service event.
Carlton said camp attendance is up 40 percent this year so about 145 high school students converged on De Queen to help with several projects in the community of De Queen to show residents how much they care about them.
Carlton said groups worded around town from 11:30 to 3:30 and they held a free car wash at Bailey's Discount Building Supply.
Some campers returned Thursday to serve lunch to the members of the local law enforcement and fire departments.
COUNTY RESIDENT SPEAKS TO LITTLE RIVER QUORUM COURT ABOUT PROPERTY DAMAGE 7/17/14
Roy Lincoln of Little River County presented his complaints to the Little River County Quorum Court concerning damage to his property that is being caused by campers and parties at the river.
Lincoln is a timber land owner and he stated that during periods of low water levels, campers and party goers have damaged some of his timber that is near the river by driving steel spikes into his trees.
Lincoln stated that the damage was being caused in an area near Winthrop.
The area is referred to as Stallion Ford and is a low level rock bar where folks like to host parties.
Lincoln owns 280 acres of timber land along the Little River. The land has an estimated value of $700,000.
Quorum Court members suggested that he contact the Department of Interior or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because they control the water in the Little River or the department of pollution and control.
CANDIDATES FOR ARKANSAS GOVERNOR DEBATE 7/17/14
The four candidates for Arkansas governor debated topics such as the private option, minimum wage and taxes late last week.
Republican Asa Hutchinson, Democrat Mike Ross, Libertarian candidate Frank Gilbert and Green Party candidate Joshua Drake participated in the debate that was held at the annual convention of the Arkansas Press Association in Hot Springs.
When asked about the private option, which is Arkansas' version of Medicaid expansion, Hutchinson said the program is doing a great job for our rural hospitals, but stated there were a lot of questions to ask, including, whether the state can afford its eventual 10 percent share of the expansion cost.
Ross said he voted in Congress against the Affordable Care Act and voted to repeal it, but said it has good parts and bad parts. Gilbert said the private option is a terrible idea and Drake said that he supports universal health care.
Ross also said that he supports a ballot proposal to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour over the three years. Hutchinson said he would prefer the legislature enact a minimum wage increase.
Gilbert has proposed issuing pardons to all non-violent drug offenders and Drake said he backs legalizing gay marriage.
SUMMER NUTRITION CHECKUP FOR ARKANSAS KIDS 7/17/14
Arkansas is at the front of the line for healthy summer meals for students and the Food Research and Action Center says the state has boosted its participation rate in the Summer Nutrition Program by 39 percent from last year, and is on track for a record number of summer servings.
Signe Anderson at FRAC says top-performing states are offering mobile meals, which means they are going where the kids are spending their time.
The report shows Arkansas reaches more than one in five students during the summer who normally receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year.
Even with summer vacation half-over, it isn't too late for children to pick up a meal.
Anderson says some of the feeding sites that are reaching the most students are being offered through churches, YMCAs, parks and recreation departments and boys and girls clubs.
Here in this area, the Horatio School District is offering a summer lunch program every Monday through Friday from noon until 1 p.m. at the Horatio Elementary School.
The meals are free for students 18 and younger and only $3.25 for anyone 19 and older.
The St. Barbara Catholic Church is serving meals every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the pastoral center. The meals are free to all children.
Plus, there's no paperwork to fill out for the free meals and no questions are asked. For a list of sites, go to the website, whyhunger.org/findfood.
Heartfelt thanks 07/17/17
A benefit was held recently Leta Baxter and her family. Leta has cancer and proceeds went toward medical expenses.
Following is the message from Leta:
"THANK YOU. On behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank everyone involved in the benefit held for me. So many people came together to show their love and support. I am thankful from the bottom of my heart to all who helped in any way. Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers...and thanks again. Love, Leta Baxter and Family."
LEVEL 3 SEX OFFENDER IN DE QUEEN 07/17/14
Blume D.O.B.: 02-11-94
260 Hwy. 71 North Lot #4
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.
DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD HIRES NEW BASKETBALL COACH 7/16/14
Monday evening, the De Queen Board of Education voted to hire a new high school boys basketball coach, accepted milk, bread and insurance bids and sold seven buses.
Superintendent Bruce Hill recommended hiring Bo Brickell as the new high school boys basketball coach after interviewing five candidates.
Hill stated that all five candidates would be a great choice, but felt Brickell understood the district was looking to build a program and felt he was willing and capable of building something special.
Brickell was an assistant high school coach and ninth grade boys coach at Camden Fairview for the past four years. He was an all-state basketball and baseball player at Lake Hamilton High School and played college basketball at Arkansas Tech before transferring to UALR to play baseball.
Board members also approved the milk bid from Highland Dairy and the bread bid of Flowers Bakery.
Hill also recommended the district purchase secondary insurance from Dwight Jones Insurance to cover every student attending school in the district.
Hill informed the board Monday night that the state's facilities board had disapproved the district request to build a new high school, but the district has appealed the decision and is expecting a response from the facilities board within the next 90-days.
Hill also mentioned that the district was going to spend almost $100,000 to install fire alarms in the old gym that sits beside the field house and the old elementary that has been recently renovated for DI classrooms.
Board members accepted bids from Ken Philips, B.Y. Gardner and Ronnie Ayers for the purchase of seven school buses that the district took out of service. Hill stated the district still had one bus that it would like to sell.
Board members also passed a resolution for the school election, which will be held September 16th. The election will be held by early and absentee voting only since there are no contested races on the ballot.
The next school board meeting will be Monday, August 4th at 6 p.m.
DPD ADVISED OF STOLEN VEHICLE 7/16/14
On Saturday, July 12th, Officer Bucky Sawyer of the De Queen Police Department was advised by a member of the South Central Drug Task Force that he had been advised that two suspects were at a residence on Old Highway 71 North that had stolen a car.
The vehicle was allegedly stolen from Miller County.
When members of the De Queen Police Department arrived at the residence, they discovered a 2004 Buick LeSabre parked in the drive way.
Officers were assisted by the owner of the residence and were allowed to enter a shed that where the suspects were at. Officers arrested Trisha Bruce and Bryan Walling, who were suspected of stealing the vehicle.
But, while placing Walling under arrest, he started fighting with the officers. Walling was eventually subdued with the use of a taser.
Bruce is being charged with theft by receiving, while Walling is being charged with theft by receiving, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
ONE PLEADS GUILTY IN CIRCUIT COURT 7/16/14
Circuit Court Judge Tom Cooper accepted the plea of guilty based on factual basis from James McLeroy for the charge of possession of controlled substance.
McLeroy was sentenced to 5-years in the Arkansas Department of Correction, but under the terms of his agreement, he will not serve any time if he completes drug court.
McLeroy was originally charged with possession of meth or cocaine with the intent to deliver, but his charges were reduced to simple possession once he qualified for drug court and because he didn't have any priors.
A new trial date was set for Teddy Lee Parmer who was found fit for trial.
Parmer will appear in the Sevier County Circuit Court on October 1st when he will by tried for the charges of aggravated assault and a habitual offender.
Christopher Norris appeared July 10th representing himself and will be back in court on July 23rd.
Joey Rymer was formally arraigned and had bail set at $5,000. He is being charged with possession of a controlled substance, while Kalyn Shope was arraigned and charged with possession of controlled substance-marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of Hydro-codine.
Cody Nava made a first appearance July 10th and will be formally arraigned this Thursday. Bail was set by Judge Cooper at $20,000.
A failure to appear warrant was issued for Tomas Pacheco after he didn't appear last week for his formal arraignment.
SEVIER COUNTY QUORUM COURT PASSES BUDGET AMENDMENT ORDINANCE 7/16/14
Sevier County Justices of the Peace met Monday afternoon for their regular July meeting and passed an ordinance to amend the 2014 budget through July 31st, but they also approved a couple new appropriations and a couple of transfer of funds.
County Judge Greg Ray explained that the Quorum Court approved two new appropriations in the amount of $3,200.
Five hundred dollars will be used by Sevier County Coroner Rusty Williams for a mask and Hazmat suits, while $2,700 will be used to purchase a new computer for the Sevier County Courtroom.
The funds for the new computer will be taken from the Court Automation Fund.
Judge Ray requested the transfer of $10,000 from the County Road Department's budget-vehicles to concrete after the county made several repairs to some galvanized culverts that the bottom had rusted out.
County Clerk Debbie Hughes explained that the request for the transfer of funds was due to a coding mistake earlier this year within the 2014 Elections Budget.
Judge Ray also informed the Quorum Court that the roof on the north side of the courthouse went to bid last week and that will leave only the center section that needs to be replaced.
JPs also reviewed a report from the prosecutor's office concerning hot checks. Judge Ray explained that these funds will be distributed to merchants that had been given hot checks.
SMITH TO RUN FOR DE QUEEN CITY COUNCIL 07/16/14
Walter L. Smith, Jr. announced today that he will run for Ward Two, Position Two on the De Queen City Council in November. He assumed the position in October 2012 when he was appointed by the City Council to fill out the term of Linda Polk.
Smith is a graduate of De Queen High School and has lived at his current address in De Queen for the last 33 years. He is an active member of the De Queen Fire Department where he has held several officer positions including fire chief. He is a reserve officer for the De Queen Police Department and a member of Holly Grove Missionary Baptist Church.
He and his wife, Bonita, have been married 37 years. They have two grown daughters, Jennifer and Elizabeth and are proud grandparents of their first grandchild, Lincoln Maddox Woodard.
Smith has been employed in Sevier County his whole life. He worked for Mountaire Poultry/Pilgrim’s Pride beginning in high school through 1990 in the truck shop and supply room. He was Mold Technician for Engineered Products, Inc. for 20 years and for the last four years he has worked as Emergency Management Coordinator for Sevier County.
When announcing his candidacy, Smith said, “I choose to live in De Queen. I think it’s a good place to work and raise your family. I am trying to be the voice of the working man and woman. I’ve worked all my life and will use that experience when helping the council make decisions that affect De Queen residents way of life. I ask for your vote and support in November.”
DR COVERT RAISES FUNDS FOR L.F. HENDERSON 07/16/14
If you didn't attend Covert's Country Bash, you missed a good time . . . and a chance to be included in a good cause.
Dr. George Covert hopes to continue Covert's Country Bash as an annual fundraiser and a way to give back to the community that has supported him for so many years. "Anything we can do to help" has been and will be his motto for the annual events, with hopes of helping many groups in need of funds who may reap the benefits of his generosity. Some may remember his first pay-it-forward event -- the Apple Cider Festival in November 2011 when he served dozens of free Thanksgiving meals to those who needed them.
This year the need for new playground equipment at L. F. Henderson Intermediate School on Burke Street in Ashdown was mentioned by clinic staff members, so Dr. Covert went to check it out. He came back to the office asking them for a plan to make it happen, and in two weeks' time, the Covert's Country Bash happened and was enjoyed by several hundred attendees -- old and young, local and visiting. Good music, good food, and good fellowship were mixed with perfect weather on July 3 as donations were accepted and almost $3000 was given to the LFH playground fund.
The staffs of Covert Medical Clinic and L. F. Henderson Intermediate School are especially grateful to the dozens of sponsors and volunteers who made the Bash possible. From the courthouse staff and County Judge Clayton Castleman on the dunking booth to surrounding medical facilities and local businesses who freely gave their support, the list of generous volunteers is lengthy.
Along with big-hearted community members and entertainers who donated their labor, talents and time are the sponsors who donated food, raffle prizes and other items: Bounc-a-Lot of Ashdown, Rhonda's Salon, Tangled Up, Exxon Road Mart, Pizza Hut, Brookshire's, CSR Rentals, Kim Plant Photography, Farm Bureau Insurance, Shape-Up Nutrition, Port-a-John, True Value Hardware, Ashdown Veterinary Clinic, Little River Nursing Home, Pleasant Manor Nursing Home, Gift Emporium, Big Jake's BBQ, Anytime Fitness, Salon in the Square, Shelter Insurance, Burger King, Wal-Mart, Subway, and Pilgrim's Pride.
Above: Dr. George Covert, staff and friends are still smiling at the end of a successful Country Bash! Pictured are (front) Glen Seymore, Patricia Kelly, (row 2) Haley Pack, Christina Gonzalez, Ivey Moulton, Marshall Sullivan, Nathan Burnham, (row 3) Mike Covert, Cathy Marshall, Mary Moulton, Patricia Sullivan, (back) Phillip Burnham, and Dr. George Covert. Other staff members not pictured but who also helped are Mary Trusty, Robert Richard, and Ida Ricks.
BUNYARD ANNOUNCES BID FOR RE-ELECTION 07/15/14
Teresa Bunyard announced Tuesday that she will seek re-election to an eighth term as Alderman, Ward Two, Position One on the De Queen City Council in November.
Bunyard earned a B.S. degree in secondary education from East Texas State University in 1987, a master’s degree in 1993, and passed the C.P.A. exam receiving her license. After being employed for two years as the Office Manager at the Sevier County Farmers Co-operative, Bunyard worked for seven years as Chief Fiscal Officer at Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. She is certified to teach both Math and English at the high school level, and business and accounting at the college level. She and her husband, Jay, own and operate radio stations in Arkansas, including KDQN AM-FM in De Queen.
Alderman Bunyard has two sons, Jacob, age seventeen, and Jack, age twelve. The Bunyards are members of the First Assembly of God Church.
Prior to serving on the City Council, Bunyard served for three years on the City’s Planning and Zoning Variance Board from 1995-1998.
In announcing her candidacy, Alderman Bunyard made the following statement: “It has been an honor and privilege for me to serve you on the City Council. My educational background and business experiences have prepared me well to work with budgets and administer grants, as well as understand revenues and expenditures in state and local government. Feel free to call me at 642-3104, as I always pledge to be accessible to listen to your concerns and suggestions. I humbly ask for you vote and continued support”, she said.
CLOSE CALL BETWEEN ATV AND TRACTOR-TRAILER 7/15/14
Saturday evening about 6:30, deputies from the Sevier County Sheriff's office were dispatched to a reported accident involving an ATV and a tractor-trailer rig on Red Cut Road.
However, when deputies arrived, they discovered a 2000 Freightliner and trailer in the ditch, but no collision had occurred.
Jarrin Platt of De Queen reportedly informed the officers that the incident was his fault because he was traveling to close to the center of the road and the truck swerved to avoid hitting him.
Platt was traveling west in his side-by-side ATV headed home after leaving his deer lease on Red Cut Road when he took a curve near the center line.
Platt said both he and the driver of the truck, David Wright of De Queen, swerved to avoiding hitting one another, and that was when Wright's truck slide off into the ditch and got stuck.
No one was injured and no citations were issued at the time of the incident.
CUFFS AND HOSES BLOOD DRIVE 7/15/14
Everyone needs a hero on occasion and the residents of Dierks and the surrounding area will have the opportunity to be someone's hero during the upcoming Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive on Tuesday, July 15th in the Dierks Community Room.
The event is a friendly competition between the Dierks Volunteer Fire Department and the Dierks Police Department. Each department will attempt to have residents donate blood in their honor.
The department that has the most blood donated in their honor will receive a trophy from LifeShare Blood Centers and all donors will receive a Cuffs and Hoses t-shirt.
LifeShare Blood Centers encourages all donors to eat a good meal and drink lots of fluids before they donate and to know the names of all of the medications that your taking.
Donors must also be 16 years of age or older and meet the height, weight and other donation eligibility requirements to donate.
So be a real hero and donate blood during the Cuffs and Hoses Blood Drive, Tuesday, July 15th between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the Dierks Community Room on Second Street in Dierks.
DE QUEEN FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS TO FIRE IN HAY BAILER 7/15/14
Sunday afternoon about 4 p.m., 16 firefighters and three trucks from the De Queen Fire Department responded to a call in reference to a hay bailer that was on fire.
When firefighters arrived the bailer was fully engulfed in flames and they worked for almost an hour and a half to extinguish the fire.
After extinguishing the fire, fire fighters removed the hay from the bailer to ensure that it would not re-ignite later.
According to the De Queen Fire Department, the cause of the fire is unknown. They stated the blaze could have started in the mechanical components of the bailer or the hay may have been the cause of the fire.
DIERKS BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVED OUT OF STATE TRIP FOR FCCLA 7/15/14
During a special called meeting of the Dierks Board of Education, board members approved an out-of-state trip request from the high school FCCLA.
The group qualified for the national STAR competition in San Antonio, Texas in the Life Event Planning category.
Life Event Planning is a contest that shows students applying skills that they learned in their Family and Consumer Sciences courses to help them manage the costs of an event. The event could be anything from preparing to move into a dorm room, to hosting a party or hosting a family reunion.
Board members accepted the resignation of Pam Davis as a high school Special Education instructor and Terri Shelton who was an elementary teacher that accepted a position in the De Queen School District.
They hired Linda Tollmen as a elementary teacher and they gave new superintendent, Holly Cothren, permission to hire some summer help at minimum wage.
FOREMAN BOARD OF EDUCATION REMOVES FORMER SUPERINTENDENT FROM SIGNATURE LIST 7/15/14
During a special called meeting of the Foreman Board of Education on Thursday, July 10th, board members voted to remove the name of former superintendent Jason Sanders from the signer list for the district's Regions credit card.
Board members also added new superintendent, George Kennedy as an authorized signer. They also approved the Special Education Form SP-1, which the board was required to do after hiring a new superintendent.
Superintendent Kennedy recommended accepting the resignation of Randy Summers, effective July 2nd. Summers was the district's Transportation Director and bus mechanic.
Kennedy also recommended the board accept the resignations of two elementary teachers effective July 9th.
Board members accepted the resignation of Rhonda Boyd and Andrea Garrett.
LOCKESBURG RESIDENT ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH CHURCH THEFT 7/15/14
Howard County Sheriff's deputies have arrested two men in connection with a theft at the County Line Baptist Church that occurred back in March.
Howard County Sheriff Investigator John Eric Glidewell reported that 40-year-old Anthony Lynn, who has a Texas address and 51-year-old Louis Richard of Lockesburg have been charged with theft of property for allegedly stealing an air conditioner from the church which is located on Highway 371 West.
Bond has been set at $25,000 for both men.
UA COSSATOT BOV MEETS 07/15/14
De QUEEN–The Board of Visitors from UA Cossatot recently met on the Sevier County Campus.
After the minutes from May were approved as printed, the board proceeded with approved the revisions of College Policies and the process of aligning the numbering with the UA System Board of Trustees Policies as well as simplifying the language of the policies and making sure the language is consistent.
UA Cossatot Chancellor Dr. Steve Cole regretfully informed the Board of the resignation of Board Member Billy Dawson and asked the board to ratify the employment of Gabriela Balderas as Career Coach for De Queen High School.
Vice Chancellor Charlotte Johnson gave the financial report. UA Cossatot has a cash balance of slightly over $2 million for the end of the year. There is over $758,000 in certificate of deposits and over $77,000 in endowment funds.
The Chancellor gave the Academic Report noting that according to the College Transparency website UA Cossatot has the highest graduate rate of any of the two year colleges in the UA System. Cole accredited this success to the intrusive academic advising model UA Cossatot has implemented with 7 advisors on staff.
Vice Chancellor Mike Kinkade reported that all of the existing construction projects are nearing completion. The Automotive/Collision Repair/Radio Complex on the De Queen campus is only lacking interior work and the radio tower is set to be installed soon. The Medical Education Department has undergone some renovation in classrooms and labs on the De Queen campus as well. The curbing and parking project in De Queen is nearly completion as well as the final stage of the renovation on the Ashdown campus. The project should be completed in a few weeks and a grand re-opening is planned for this fall. The design is still being finalized for the student commons area in De Queen
Chancellor Cole gave the Public Service and Workforce Development Report stating that Domtar invited the college to join them with the Department of Labor to help organize an annual safety conference held at Domtar. Domtar also invited students from the new Industrial Technology Department to attend the conference. They would like for Chancellor Cole to open the conference by speaking about the college and the partnership with Domtar.
ACTIVE SHOOTER CLASS SPONSORED BY THE UA COSSATOT POLICE DEPARTMENT 07/15/14
De QUEEN–The UA Cossatot Police Department recently sponsored an active shooter training class through the Criminal Justice Institute out of Little Rock.
This course assists law enforcement in obtaining information necessary to implement rapid intervention techniques in the event of an active shooter incident at a school, church, business, or other event where large groups of persons may be in attendance. Topics included the history of active shooter situations and instruction on immediate deployment, rapid intervention tactics, and techniques used in rescue and contact team situations. Day two of the training included practical exercises using Simunitions, or mock ammunition, during imitation scenarios to gain experience in applying the tactics and techniques learned in the classroom.
The class was held at the Horatio School and was attended by officers from six different agencies including: UA Cossatot, Sevier, Little River and Howard County Sheriff’s offices, and Police Departments from Nashville and Prescott. Horatio School District offered the use of their facilities as well as provided staff to be used in the role playing portion of the training.
COSSATOT RIVER STATE PARK ACTIVITIES 7/14/14
If you are looking for something to do this week, visit the Cossatot River State Park to learn how to kayak, snorkel or enjoy a peaceful sunset hike.
Monday from 10 to 11 a.m., park interpreters will provide a crash course in kayaking and during the class, hopefully, you'll learn how not to crash.
From 2 to 3 p.m., park interpreters will attempt to teach you how to sneak up on a fish during a snorkeling trip of the Cossatot.
On Tuesday, there will be an opportunity to go on a Macro-Invertebrate hunt from 10 to 11 a.m. and more snorkeling from 2 to 3.
Wednesday, guests can join a park interpreter for snorkeling from 2 to 3 p.m. and then experience a beautiful sunset along the river, during a hike along Harris Creek Trail from 7 to 9:15.
Park Interpreters recommend that guest wear the appropriate clothing and shoes for each activity and to bring plenty of water, snacks and sunscreen.
For more information about the programs at the Cossatot River State Park call 870-385-2201 or visit our website at KDQN.net.
GETTING PAID TO READ AT GILLHAM LIBRARY 7/14/14
The librarian at the Sevier County Library in Gillham has found a way to encourage children and adults to read and that's to offer them a cash prize.
Susie Tollett announced the Gillham Library will be holding a reading contest for the month of July and the winner will receive $25 in cash.
Tollett said a local business owner made a donation to the library and told them to use the funds to encourage folks to read this summer.
So, to earn a little extra cash this month, stop by the Gillham Library, you get entered in the drawing by just stopping by. You get another entry if you check out a book and if you bring someone with you, even if it is your wife, husband, brother, sister or best friend, you get two entries.
The Gillham Library is open Tuesday and Thursday from 8 to 5 and from 9 to noon on Saturdays.
The prize for the July reading contest will be a $25 give away. According to Susie at the library, there are three ways to enter the contest. You can visit the library, check out a book or bring a new friend to the library, which means you can enter three times per visit. The drawing will be held on Tuesday, July 29th at 3 p.m.
IT'S TIME TO SIGN UP FOR SOME FOOTBALL (PEE WEE FOOTBALL) 7/14/14
De Queen Parks and Recreation activities coordinator Chris Hale announced this week that the park will start accepting registration for Pee Wee Football on Monday and he mentioned you can get a registration form from the city’s website or stop by the parks and recreation office.
Hale stated that the park was also able to lower the cost of the program to just $35 per player, if they have last year's jersey from last year, but players must bring their jersey with them when they register to ensure the jersey is in good shape.
Registration begins Monday and Hale reminded parents that they need to fill the form out completely.
Registration forms will also be handed out at school when it starts, but for more information call the park at 642-4140.
SECRETARY OF STATE: DON'T BLOCK VOTER ID LAW 7/14/14
Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin's office is asking a judge to deny a request to block a voter ID law, saying it would cause "irreparable harm" to the state.
Martin's office asked Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox to deny a motion to lift the stay on his decision against the law on Wednesday. The state's voter ID law requires voters to show a photo ID before they are able to cast a ballot.
Fox ruled the law was unconstitutional in May, but suspended his decision, while the ruling is being appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas has asked Fox to life his stay. They say more than 1,000 voters were disenfranchised during the primary because of the law.
Martin's office asked Fox for a hearing the ACLU's motion.
ALCOHOL SALES MEASURE MOVES CLOSER TO BALLOT 7/14/14
A proposal to allow alcohol sales in all Arkansas counties has moved closer toward appearing on the ballot, after election officials said petitions for the measure had passed an initial signature count.
The secretary of state's office reported that more than 84,000 signatures had been counted on the petitions, which is more than the required number of 78,133. The office is now checking to make sure the signatures are from registered voters.
Clearing the initial count means supporters have 30 more days to gather additional signatures if they fall short during the verifications process.
The proposal would legalize alcohol sales in all 75 Arkansas counties. Alcohol sales are currently illegal in 37 counties.
MAYOR MCKELVY SEEKING RE-ELECTION 07/11/14
De Queen Mayor Billy Ray McKelvy has announced that he will seek re-election to the office of mayor in the Nov. 3 General Election.
He issued the following statement:
“It is an honor to serve the citizens of De Queen and be entrusted with the responsibility for the city’s business affairs. I have served as mayor of the City of De Queen since May 19, 2005.
“I have lived in De Queen for more than 30 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and a Master of Science in Business Administration degree from Texas A&M—Texarkana.
“During my time as mayor, the City of De Queen has constructed a new $7.9 million waste water treatment plant which reduced the city’s operating costs and put the city back in compliance with state environmental regulations. In 2017, the city will be able to restructure the two loans on the project in order to reduce interest costs and cut the length of the loan.
“Construction is presently underway on a new raw water supply line to the Cossatot River east of De Queen. This $2.6 million project will increase water capacity and allow U.S. 70-71 east of De Queen to be widened to four lanes in the future. The water line project will be paid for without the need to borrow money.
“In the last nine years, the City of De Queen has spent more than $1 million on street paving. The city received a GIF grant to replace sidewalks in the downtown area and that project is underway now. All city departments are operating with their budgets. The water, sewer and sanitation departments are well funded by the revenues from their operation.
“The Police Department and the Fire Department are well-equipped in terms of vehicles and technology.
ASHDOWN PD SPONSORING ARKANSAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL FUNDRAISER 07/11/14
The Ashdown Police Department Auxiliary Officers have joined with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock to help assist families who have children being treated in the hospital.
Everyday children are rushed to the hospital in little Rock as results of an injury or sudden illness. Upon arrival the child is admitted while the family has to wait to see what happens. Many times the family members were not able to prepare and arrive at the hospital without many of the essentials necessary for their stay.
This cooperative effort with the hospital is to supply the much need items to the families free of charge during the treatment of their children.
Boxes are available for donations around Ashdown at various businesses. These include the Ashdown Police Department, Mil-Way Federal Credit Union, State Farm Insurance, Cowling Title, and the Little River County Court House.
Complete lists of items that are need are available at the drop off locations. These items include travel size tooth paste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, Body wash, and shaving cream. Also individually wrapped snack items that are nonperishable are needed.
10 AND UNDER ALL-STAR FUNDRAISERS 7/11/14
Parents and coaches of the 10 and Under Sevier County All-Star team is holding a couple of fundraisers this Saturday to help players attend the 2014 state baseball tournament in Searcy, July 25th.
Clayton Yates stated the team would be holding a car wash in the parking lot of the Tractor Supply Company and a bake sale at Wal-Mart beginning at 8 a.m. He said they will also have a dunking booth at Wal-Mart to up raise funds for their trip.
Yates said you could also purchase a ticket for a gun raffle at either fundraiser.
Tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10 and the winner will have a choice between a 7mm08 or 270 Rugar American pistol, which has been donated by Baker's Bargain House.
Yates said funds will be used to provide rooms, food and jerseys for the team.
So, get your car washed and stock up on some baked goods while helping the Sevier County All-Stars represent our community during the Dixie Youth 10 and under state tournament.
CHAMPIONSHIP SOCCER TEAM HOLDING RING FUNDRAISER THIS SATURDAY 7/11/14
Members of the 2014 5A championship soccer team will be conducting a fundraiser this Saturday, July 12th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Salvation Army to raise funds for the team’s championship rings.
Coach Stephen Sloan explained that the Salvation Army was donating 50 percent of the store's sales that day to the team.
Coach Sloan said each player paid a $50 deposit, but the team needs to raise about $5,000 more.
So, help purchase rings for De Queen 5A State Champions by shopping at the Salvation Army this Saturday between 10 and 3.
EXTENSION HOMEMAKERS CLUBS OFFER LESSONS IN A VARIETY OF SKILLS 7/11/14
Extension Homemakers Council clubs in Sevier County can offer prospective new members lessons in a variety of educational programs, while also offering them a social outing with their peers.
The mission of this organization is to empower individuals and families so they can improve their quality of living through continuing education, leadership development and community service. The words Family, Community and Education stand out in this statement, because family is the number one reason for the existence of Extension Homemakers Clubs, but the community is its outreach and education is how it reaches the family and the community.
The Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council is one of the largest nonprofit volunteer groups in the state with a membership of over 8,000.
Extension Homemakers, the Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Arkansas and the United States Department of Agriculture are partners in providing this educational opportunity to families in Arkansas.
These agencies extend educational resources to homemakers through organized groups and special interest classes. To enroll in an educational opportunity, contact Janet Cantrell who is the Sevier County Extension Agent-Family and Consumer Sciences by calling 870-584-3013 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by the Extension office, which is located in the Agriculture building on the De Queen campus of UA Cossatot.
Sevier County has four EH Clubs. They are the De Queen EH Club, which meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the REA Building in De Queen at 9:30 a.m., for more information, call 642-2637; the Gillham EH Club, which meets on the second Friday of the month in members homes at 10 a.m., for more information, call 214-707-1495; the Seam Rippers EH Club, which meets every other Thursday at the Senior Citizen Center in De Queen at 6:30 p.m., for more information call, 642-2637; and the Wickes Re-Loaders EH Club, which meets the first Saturday of the month at David Jacobs home in Wickes at 1 p.m., for more information call, 784-1990.
HANDBOOK ISSUES FORCES DE QUEEN SCHOOL BOARD TO HOLD SPECIAL CALLED MEETING 7/11/14
Members of the De Queen Board of Education met Wednesday at noon for a special meeting to approve a couple changes to the district's student handbooks.
Superintendent Bruce Hill explained that the changes had to be approved this week, so the handbook could be delivered to the printer by Friday. Hill said if the changes able to be approved this week, so the handbooks will be ready for the first day of school.
Changes were made to the district’s drug and alcohol polices. Hill explained that the board approved making the punishment for a first offence of drinking or possessing alcohol at school to a 10-day suspension; second offence – 20-days and the third offense – 45-days.
If a student is caught in possession of or under the influence of drugs, the punishment for a first offense is 30-days for Kindergarten through seventh grades and 45-days for eighth through twelfth grades. The second offense is a minimum of 90-days suspension. Hill said if a student is suspended for 45-days, they basically lose the whole year.
Hill explained that he didn't feel the district had any bigger drug or alcohol problem than any other district, but he felt these changes would serve as a deterrent by giving kids a reason for not doing drugs or drinking alcohol.
The board will be meeting Monday, July 14th at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building for its regular July meeting.
LOCKESBURG CITY COUNCIL GOES TO THE DOGS 7/11/14
Tuesday night during the July meeting of the Lockesburg City Council, Alderman James Jester reported that he had been receiving questions about the city's dog ordinances.
And according to city records, Lockesburg has three ordinances on the books that deal with dogs within the city limits.
One ordinance establishes the position of animal control officer, another define dog control and one regulating what the council deemed as dangerous animals.
Ordinance 2000-1 states pet owners must have their dogs vaccinated for rabies and defines a vicious dog. The ordinance was amended in 2002 to include a fine up to $500 for not having a dog vaccinated, found running at large or is considered vicious.
The third ordinance prohibits certain breeds from being kept within the city limits of Lockesburg unless you apply for a special permit and purchase an annual permit for $50 a year.
Residents who own a pit bull and keep it within the city limits may be fined up to $2,000.
Jester stated that he would being picking up animals that are found running at large, but wanted to give residents the opportunity to properly restrain their pets.
Aldermen also heard a report from Park Commission Chairperson Sheila Ruth about the Fireworks in the Park event, which was held on the Fourth of July.
Ruth stated the park commission registered 37 cars and 13 tractors for the car show and the Lions Club had 43 runners for their 5 and 10K races Friday morning.
Ruth stated that they only had nine contestants in the pageant and the event will most likely be canceled unless there is more participation next year.
Near the conclusion of the meeting, aldermen discussed placing a sales tax issue on the November ballot to provide the city with extra revenue and possibly designate a portion of the tax to support UA Cossatot.